White Birkies

A couple of weeks ago the nice folks at Cloggs contacted me and invited me to try out their site. I hadn’t heard of them before so tentatively took a look, expecting it to be clogs (which I’m really not a fan of) and not much else. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see they stock a few of my favourite comfy/weekend/at home shoe brands including Uggs, FitFlops and my much-loved Birkenstocks.

The site was easy to navigate - with good, clear photography - and I managed to place an order for white patent Birkies very quickly and with no problems. The shoes arrived, nicely packed, a couple of days later. All in all a really good customer experience.

Worn at the weekend with printed culottes (so loose and swishy - they hide a multitude of sins!) and a PVC top (BIG mistake in the current heat!):

Birkies

Many thanks to Cloggs for inviting me to try out their site (and gifting me these awesome shoes).

xx

Topshop fashion event

On Tuesday evening I travelled through to Edinburgh to take part in a panel discussion at an event that Topshop was running as part of the Edinburgh Fashion Festival. With around 200 people expected I was a bit nervous, but ended up really enjoying it (helped by my friend Vicky coming along for support, and a glass of Prosecco before taking to the ‘stage’!). It was informal and fun, with a good level of audience participation.

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As a thank you, Topshop gave each of us panellists a gift card. I used mine to buy a few things from the new collection.

A slouchy duster coat that will be handy when the weather turns a little cooler (this is a re-issue – I really wanted it when it first came out in April but it sold out too fast for me):

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A simple black jumper made more interesting by lace detailing:

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I’m a sucker for anything with roses on, so was immediately drawn towards these trousers. I love the print:

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Big thanks to Topshop for inviting me to take part in this event – it was a really good experience.

xx

The waiting game

The Zara sale is always a big disappointment in the first few weeks. £130 item reduced by a tenner = sale bargain? I don’t think so!

It’s a different story a few weeks in though and there are really good discounts to be had. I’m keeping an eye on this jacket, currently reduced from £70 to £50:

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I’m quite prepared to play the waiting game. Once it’s down to £35 or less I’ll make my move!

xx

Up all night

I bought a T-shirt with the words ‘Up all night’ on it in an attempt to convince the world (and myself) that I’ve still got it/live life never quite knowing where the night’s going to take me*:

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Reduced to £8 in the Toppers sale if you too feel the need to communicate your midlife crisis to everyone you meet. :)

#deluded #tragic #salepurchase

*Usually to bed by 9pm with a good book – and that’s OK!

We Shop loves: Primark shorts

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say there’s a category of clothes in my wardrobe known as ‘Stuff I wear on holiday (when I’m feeling carefree and brave and reckless and a bit sun-stroked and never-quite-sober) but would NEVER…EVER…be seen dead in outside the house back home’.

This category consists almost entirely of Primark shorts, which I absolutely love for wearing abroad and kicking round the house in:

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£4 a pair! Ridiculously cheap. And so many colours and patterns to choose  from – an obsession without limits.

Top tip: buy a size up from the one you normally wear. You – and your booty – will thank me for it. ;)

xx

Summer to winter

My main summer holiday in Southeast Asia is starting to feel like a dim and distant memory, but I’m hoping to get a wee trip abroad with my best friend organised for the next month or so (a weekend in Rome is currently looking like the preferred option).

In order to fund this jaunt I’m trying to save as much money as possible this and next month, so am making a conscious effort to stay away from clothes shops. I do genuinely need to buy perfume as I’m almost out of my Chanel Coco Noir, which has lasted since Christmas. Over the past few years I’ve worn For Her on and off, so am thinking of switching back to that for a change. It’s nice to wear a perfume by a designer you really like, such as Narciso Rodriguez, even if you’ll never be able to afford the clothes!

Apart from buying perfume, I’m going to try to make do with my existing clothes for the rest of the summer and not buy anything new. With the summer sales on already, it won’t be long before autumn ranges start to hit stores and I much prefer winter dressing. I always look forward to reading about the new season trends and ELLE, probably my favourite source of fashion information, has already published its A/W 2014 trend review online.

This year I’ll definitely be investing in a new winter coat and boots. Fashion folk always advise buying your coat as early as possible after new stock starts arriving in order to get the best of the collections. The only problem with that is that I like to wear new stuff straightaway and I really don’t think a wool coat will be needed in Rome in July/August!

Since I’m planning to visit a friend in San Francisco for Thanksgiving in November, I might try very hard to wait until I get over there to stock up on winter clothes (as well as do my Christmas shopping). Shopping abroad is always more fun – particularly when the exchange rate is good and the dollar’s looking not bad at the moment. I’ll be doing plenty of online research before I go to plan my purchases!

xx

The electronic cigarette trend is going worldwide

Fashion isn’t just about the clothes we wear and the places we shop; it’s a far wider social phenomenon. From the kinds of food that we eat, to the films we see, almost every decision we make in the modern world filters into fashion.

As a part of culture, fashions differ across the world. Every now and then, though, there is a trend which takes such a hold that it grows all over the world. Perhaps the most recent trend to take off on such a vast scale is the switch to e-cigarettes. At a time when attitudes towards traditional cigarettes are changing due to the impact they have on our health, a popular alternative is finally emerging.

The surge in popularity

As more and more people learn about what e-cigarettes are and how they work, they are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Part of the success of this electronic alternative lies in the way in appeals both to those who are looking for a healthier alternative to tobacco, and those who are looking to quit altogether. As the popularity in vaping grows, more and more brands are becoming available; www.vapestick.co.uk being one of the most well-known.

Other ways of ingesting nicotine exist, but they have never seen great levels of success. This is likely to be down to the fact that they haven’t been able to offer a substitute for the act of smoking itself. While nicotine patches and gums are able to offer the user a dose of nicotine, they aren’t enjoyable, and they don’t spare any thought for the ritual of having a cigarette, which is a large part of the addiction for many people.

The cigarette as an icon

For many years, the cigarette was seen to be cool. Only recently, when the extent of the negative impact on our health has been addressed candidly and honestly, is this image beginning to be tempered, though this is not entirely gone. For as long as smoking is considered to be in any way ‘cool’, quitting aids have an upstream battle ahead of them.

E-cigarettes are able to expand their domain into the ritual of smoking a cigarette, and this is likely to help explain their popularity. Not only are smokers not forced to give up the act of smoking as immediately as they give up cigarettes, but they are still taking part in a sociable activity. Thus, the unhealthy trend of smoking cigarettes is quickly transforming into the healthier trend of ‘vaping’, and e-cigarettes.

Possible barriers

Things have taken off quickly for the electronic cigarette, but it’s not all plain sailing just yet. As with any sudden change, governments have been quick to consider whether laws or regulations should be changed to control their use in some way. There have already been suggestions from US lawmakers that vaping should be banned on flights. In the UK, ministers are debating whether or not e-cigarettes should be considered for involvement in the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces.

Over the coming months, decisions are sure to be taken around the world which are able to cement the future of the e-cigarette. When more conclusive studies have taken place regarding the use of electronic cigarettes, governments should be able to make better informed decisions regarding their use. If electronic cigarettes are indeed a healthier alternative to tobacco, there are very few persuasive arguments for curbing their use, in public spaces or anywhere else.

Until then, it will continue to be down to the public to make these decisions for themselves. Currently, the public are deeming electronic cigarettes to be an overwhelming success, whether as an alternative to tobacco, or as an aid to quitting altogether.