Season Of The Witch


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I'd be lying if I said Hallowe'en was my favourite holiday because if truth be told, I love pretty much every holiday. If there is an excuse to don costume, glitter, tartan etc... or partake in some kind of tradition, I'm there. That being said, Hallowe'en is up there with the best. I've been known to express excitement about it's approach around the July mark. 

I am a huge child when it comes to traditions so the things I like about Hallowe'en are the same as when I was 5 - pumpkin carving, Hocus Pocus and appropriately themed sweets and snacks (always the snacks). From then, with the help of my friend Kim, growing up I developed a love for slasher films and general spookiness which upped the PG rating if only slightly. 

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My wardrobe has no exemption from this strange desire to buy into gimmicks; I have a few Christmas only items and come Valentine's you know for sure I'll be wearing pink or red. Unsurprisingly I have several ghoulish tee's in my repertoire, this one being the newest C/O of Best Dressed Secret. Easy, fun and a bit silly (and also on sale); I added texture with this luxe green faux fur jacket from Topshop, high waisted, tailored trousers and crisp white trainers to give a little extra style kudos.  

One thing that was lacking in my box of tricks was a reputable spooky playlist (ie. not one including the Monster Mash) to listen to while indulging in aforementioned festivities. This year I created my own and needless to say it's been playing a lot this month. So, click play, check out the rest of this post and then get on to those pumpkins! Happy Hallowe'en! ðŸŽƒ

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T-Shirt: C/O Best Dressed Secret (on sale) | Faux Fur Jacket: Topshop (old) New Season Colour also in Grey & Pink | Trousers: River Island (old) Alternative | Trainers: Topshop (old) Alternative 

Amber Ring: Galerie Mirages | Wings Ring: Julia Lacey | Bobble Ring: Topshop (in store) Alternative | Linked Ring: Topshop (in store) Alternative | Bracelet: Pandora | Necklace: Ted Baker



#carryyourconfidence


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If you didn't already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and iconic bag brand, Fiorelli have teamed up with Breast Cancer Care to raise money through their campaign #carryourconfidence. The bold pinstripe collection donates £10 per bag with the aim of raising £75,000 across the year to support the charity. Face of the campaign, Katie - a survivor of breast cancer talks of how she wants to promote a positive battle, creating more confident stories for others to turn to. 

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I am incredibly lucky to say that my life and those closest to me have not been touched by the disease directly but it goes without saying that the impact on those diagnosed and their loved ones is huge. I am also well aware of the fragility of that fact and how quickly it could change. For those reasons, I wanted to contribute to a message I feel strongly about. 

The narrative of the campaign is to #carryyourconfidence in the same way that you carry your favourite handbag. I picked the Anouk backpack as I love the minimal, chic design. The backpack style gives a youthful vibe which I contrasted with a tailored longline blazer. I love the proportions of the different jackets and dress paired with the knee high boots.

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The campaign topic really resonated as confidence has been and still is an on going battle for me. The issue I have is that I often feel passionately about something but will regularly second guess myself and let the little voice in my head convince myself that I'm not good enough or that I'm wrong in my opinion. Something I'm sure a lot of of people can empathise with. It makes me anxious and can stop me voicing what I believe or proceeding with something I am passionate about, (this blog and writing being a prime example).

However, on certain days I feel full of determination and will act the part until it becomes something that I know I will be able to do. Public speaking is probably the best illustration of this. I still get nervous before talking to a crowd but over the years, from high school and uni to my job now, I forced myself to do it when it was asked of me. This has made me realise that I am capable, and although the butterflies still make their rounds in my stomach beforehand, I will get through it and be proud that I did. 

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Another aspect that determines how confident I feel is how others view me, and this varies depending on who it is and what environment I'm in. I'm sure my Dad will find it somewhat amusing that I don't voice my opinion in certain circumstances as I have no trouble at all having a back and forth with him at the dinner table until he concedes (or at least pretends to). When I was in school I was always told by teachers to have more self belief as I constantly sought reassurance; words I have heard repeatedly and still do. There have also been friends/boyfriends over the years who were loud characters that dominated the relationship, making me believe that I was the weaker one. I have never been loud and unfortunately, loud is often misinterpreted as confident and quietness as shyness. In my opinion that is completely false. So depending on whether I am around close friends and family, at work or in a group of people I don't know very well then I can go from a exuberant debater to quietly confident to a reserved introvert in a flash.

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Confidence comes in different ways, some are humble, some are arrogant, some are both depending on what day it is. However, I think the reserved shouldn't be underestimated as not being confident, they just might not be as forthcoming with it as others. If you are like me, surround yourself with those that build you up, support you and help you achieve your goals. If you believe in what you have to say but you don't necessarily believe in yourself, stepping outside your comfort zone is imperative for self growth. Otherwise, you'll later regret not taking the chance and seeing where it might lead. So, if you were to ask me how I carry my confidence I'd say, quietly, modestly, and with occasional pride (absolute pride is a work in progress). 

To support Breast Cancer Care, and Katie in her fight for confident stories pick up your bag from Fiorelli.com now.

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Bag: C/O Fiorelli | Boots: Topshop (old) Alternative | Dress: Topshop (sold out) Alternative | Blazer: Topshop (sold out) Alternative | Coat: Zara (old) New Season Alternative 

Amber Ring: Galerie Mirages | Wings Ring: Julia Lacey | Bobble Ring: Topshop (in store) Alternative | Linked Ring: Topshop (in store) Alternative | Bracelet: Pandora | Necklace: Ted Baker



nailed it


The Nail Yard is my go to spot in Edinburgh for a manicure. Having previously suffered the consequences of acrylics and become disillusioned with shellac, I've converted to the gel polish offered there. Opaque and glossy with 2/3 weeks lasting power as well as nourishing qualities not found in other polishes (including shellac) - what's not to like? The salon itself is bright and contemporary; situated amongst the boutiques, coffee shops and florists of Morningside which further adds to it's charm.

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On this occasion I was invited in to experience their new treatment, the 'Signature Manicure'. Upon arrival a massage candle was lit, while my nails were shaped and cuticles tidied. My hands were softened using a natural coconut scrub (which smelt amazing!) followed by an equally delicious moisturising lotion. As a longtime sufferer of eczema, the products were sensitive to my skin leaving them feeling hydrated and smooth and completely un-aggravated!

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As I mentioned previously, I always opt for the gel polish as I find this lasts the longest on my nails. Shellac, for some reason, lasts only a few days before 'shattering' which is frustrating when investing in a manicure with the aim of longevity. The treatment finished with a relaxing hand and arm massage using the the oils from the candle which had been burning throughout the duration of the appointment. I went for a rich purple shade incorporating a subtle white dot on the thumb which I love, I only wish I had asked for it on each finger too!

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I couldn't feature these photo's without mentioning my jewellery. I wear the same rings everyday and feel totally bizarre without them on. Both on my left hand were gifts from my Boyfriend, Charlie. The amber one is from a little shop in Stockbridge called Galerie Mirages which is definitely worth a visit if you are in Edinburgh and the wings are by jewellery designer Julia Lacey. The other two are both from Topshop's sterling silver range and I can testify both are still completely silver, with no signs of tarnishing at all! Although barely seen here I also wear my Pandora charm bracelet and a delicate heart chain from Ted Baker every day too along with my ear stud and nose ring which is a simple hoop, both from the piercing studio. I love wearing jewellery that has sentiment which is why I tend to wear the same pieces daily. 

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Amber Ring: Galerie Mirages | Wings Ring: Julia Lacey | Bobble Ring: Topshop (in store) | Linked Ring: Topshop (in store) | Bracelet: Pandora | Necklace: Ted Baker | Leather Jacket: Topshop | Blouse: Topshop (Old) 


Photography: Charlie Jennings


the baker boy


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Do you ever try on a hat with an outfit and as soon as you take it off the outfit just feels...lacking? It happened to me with this very outfit. I wore it to work, tried on a baker boy and had to buy it because my look just wasn't as good without it.

Baker boy's have been doing the rounds, especially on blogs, for the last couple of years so nothing new. Personally, I've struggled to find one that fitted my head...apparently it's rather large. I also wanted a minimal homage to the baker boy without all the bells and whistles. This one trades in the metal hardware for covered buttons in the same fabric as the main hat which softens the overall appearance. 

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If you follow my Instagram you will have already seen this red knitted jumper. I bought it a little prematurely and have been absolutely boiling every time I've worn it (until now). I love this time of year when you can style an outfit with chunky jumpers and it not be cold enough that you have to hide the entire look with a coat. I paired this cosy knit with a Summer skirt purchase and opaque black tights - the perfect way to squeeze the most out of those Summer clothes before they hibernate for the next 6 months! 

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I love the contrast between the feminine floral skirt and the chunky black boots which are a new buy from Mango. Having worn my studded Topshop Amy boots to death last year I was ready for something new and finding most styles hadn't moved on enough from the previous Winter selection I opted for a plainer but equally as masculine style. As added bonus, anyone who suffered through my endless complaints about the sheer effort and pain of breaking in my Amy's will be pleased to know, these ones were comfortable from the get go!

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As someone who was never really into bags, the blog is teaching me the importance of having the right one with each look. This wallet on a chain style is a real suede number from Zara. As well as the overall style, I love the size as it stops me filling it with junk I don't need - although currently there are four different lipsticks in it.  

For me, this outfit is perfect for those bright Autumnal days where there's a chill in the air but not enough to merit a coat. Definitely perfect for a coffee and cinnamon bun run...

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Hat: Topshop | Jumper: Topshop | Skirt: Topshop | Bag: Zara | Boots: Mango



at home


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Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how much I enjoy blogs and images which incorporate lifestyle and realness; almost like the equivalent of what 'normcore' is for fashion. There is something so refreshing and authentic about seeing the full shot and outfit in context rather than with a blurred background. It feels as though you can really appreciate someone's style rather than just seeing someone wearing clothes - the main difference between blogging and traditional marketing campaigns. 

And so this post comes to you straight from my flat, complete with empty planters in the living room and wine bottles (also empty) on the kitchen floor. For added authenticity, I was also full of the cold which made my face look like a puffy mess (hence hiding it in the majority of shots).

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On this occasion, I made a pot of coffee, gave Kirsty the tour and we chatted about us and about ideas for the blog while she snapped away. It was inspiring to give ourselves time to try something different and focus on developing new concepts.

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This outfit aims to show that purchases made last year can still feel relevant if you choose thoughtfully and style in fresh ways. This H&M jumper has dramatic sleeves made from a quality mohair blend lending itself to simple, paired-back styling. I teamed it with a pair of ASOS jeans in stone, which is a far more wearable shade in the autumnal months than a stark white. To finish I wore my new checked slip on vans which I am currently loving along with my jewellery, which is the same as always (I plan on doing a separate post about it soon)! Overall this look is an easy throw on which still feels somewhat pulled together. For something more evening appropriate pair the jumper with black skinnies, heeled black boots, a red lip and sleek hair!

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Jumper: H&M (old) New Season Version in Red | Top (just seen): H&M (old) Similar | Jeans (frayed by me): ASOS | Trainers: Vans



last of the summer sun


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When someone asks my favourite season I usually say Autumn. However, it's definitely more the change into a new season, whichever one it may be, that I enjoy most. I love the shift in weather, the transition in what we wear and the anticipation of a fresh start. For some reason, this time of year holds a sense of new beginnings for me - perhaps it's the built in connotation of starting a new school year that makes me feel like I should be buying stationary and planning...more.

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September can be a funny one weather wise in Scotland. As the shops start to fill with knitted jumpers, thick coats and bobble hats we tend to get a last minute effort from the sun to give us what some might constitute as a late Summer. However, this can be both fleeting and temperamental; in direct sunlight, it will delightfully warm your skin but find yourself in shade or under sudden cloud cover and it will feel like you've stepped into midwinter (potentially a tad dramatic)... 

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Red remains the colour of the moment and is continuing into the new season too. This red split midi skirt worn here with a pair of dusky pink espadrilles and a twist front crop still feels appropriate for wear now but as the days cool off, a knitted cropped jumper like this one could be layered in the evening for effortless transitional wear. Alternatively, a pair of chunky boots and long wool coat would give even more warmth if needed whilst still feeling like a purposeful, stylish outfit and not one worn due to necessity. 

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I already have my eye on so many new season pieces - namely this coat of dreams. However, as the sun is currently still fighting through my blinds I will attempt to hold off and enjoy the last of the warmer days and light nights before investing too heavily in a season we are yet to experience...for a little longer at least.   

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Top: Urban Outfitters | Skirt: Urban Outfitters | Espadrilles: Topshop (old) Alternative 



bah, humbug


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Often I find dresses to be the kind of item I have in my wardrobe that I don't get maximum wear out of. Without the ability to mix and match to change up the look, they can feel less versatile than a top and trousers or skirt combo where the variations are endless. Although I have plenty dresses in my collection they are definitely on rotation less than other pieces. I generally have one particular outfit that I enjoy wearing and at risk of it becoming stale, I try to ensure I don't over wear it and become bored of it too quickly.  

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Humbug stripes have been popping up all over the high-street of late and I am having to restrain myself from buying it all! Apart from this mini, I have already been suckered into another look comprising of a tailored blazer. Hopefully I will be able to share that one with you on here soon.

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Back to the dress though - this one is flattering on so many different shapes as the incorporated belt allows you to nip in the waist while the kimono style sleeves cover the tops of the arms. The key hole in the front keeps the dress feeling youthful by showing a little skin in a subtle way while the chunky black stripe means opaque black tights wouldn't look out of place in the colder months either. It also comes in all blackkhaki or pale pink too and in contrast to the dress in my last post, I found I needed to size down to an 8 to get the desired fit. 

Wearing with a beat up leather jacket, (this one was my first purchase with my Topshop pay-check an unbelievable 6 years ago!), some studded flat boots and a fringed backpack gives a grungy but pulled together look for day or night. The sun was shining on this occasion so I finished off with a pair of Quay sunnies which, with an oversized and slight cat-eye shape, adds an element of glam femininity to the look. 

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If studs and leather aren't your bag, I've shown how this bold striped dress can be changed into a more refined, chic look with ease. Remove the biker jacket, slick back your hair into a low pony tail, add those tassel statement earrings and exchange the flat boots for a pair of heeled sock style ones instead to create an all together more sophisticated take on this outfit. 

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These boots are a recent addition and are exactly what I had been looking for in this style. With quite curvy legs I struggled to find sock boots that didn't leave my calves feeling like they were spilling over the top or worse, having the zip give up completely halfway up the ankle! These ones are the perfect length, coming up at the most flattering point on my leg making them look long as opposed to shortening them which is a danger with this style. They are made from super soft leather which moulds to your legs without digging in and the chunky heel makes them easy to walk in especially when you have to navigate those pesky Edinburgh cobbles. 

Although these two looks are similar, they offer a variant on the same dress without much hassle. So if you are going from day to night or want to change from biker chic to refined chic in a few small steps this is the one for you! 

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Dress: Topshop | Leather Jacket: Topshop (old) new version |  Studded Boots: Topshop | Sunglasses: Quay | Bag: Topshop (old) alternative | Earrings: Freedom | Heeled Boots: Topshop



not just another festival outfit


Edinburgh in August means only one thing, The Festival. Thousands of people flood the city for one month to celebrate all things art, music, comedy, theatre, dance and more. Streets are cordoned off, beer tents are erected and basically every business premises becomes a venue for some kind of event, show or performance. I had a customer ask me what the population size of Edinburgh usually is, and after a quick google search (naturally, my over-thinking brain panicked that my guess would be drastically out) I was assured that it is indeed, around 500,000, Scotland 5 million - less than Greater London alone. However, in August the Edinburgh population more than doubles.

Personally, I love Edinburgh all year round but I'm genuinely always happy to see others discovering what my home city has to offer. I lived just outside Edinburgh all my life before a brief stint in London. It wasn't until I moved back that I really appreciated it's unique character. Obviously so full of History, you can walk down a secluded cobbled street, turn a corner and be met with a crowd of cheering tourists watching performers or socialising in a beer garden. There is pace and rhythm without it being a constant rat race; there's always a feeling that there's enough time to take it all in.

With so much to see - a tenuous link back to clothing - a go-to outfit is a must. This floral wrap dress can be taken from day to night with ease and could be worn with a pair of white trainers (as most things can) for a more casual vibe, perfect for the Edinburgh Festival. The sleeves provide a little extra coverage from the inevitable breeze whilst still feeling Summer appropriate. Throw on a classic denim jacket for a relaxed look or a black leather for something a bit tougher. In regards to fit, I would recommend sizing up from the 10 if you are taller than 5ft5. Although the 10 fitted me well round the body it was much too short which led me to take the 12, adding the length I needed whilst maintaining a flattering fit through the body too.  

If you are looking for a little inspiration about places to visit in Edinburgh you can check out my mini city guide here. Until next time, Happy Festival-ing. 


Shoes: Topshop | Dress: Topshop | Bag: Marc Jacobs



fuss free fashion


I am probably the world's best over-thinker (about pretty much everything). Sometimes being analytical is a good thing; seeing details others don't or helping to achieve the most out of a situation by being thorough. However, often it can lead to unnecessary worrying. When it come's to dressing sometimes it's best to just not think and go for some tried and trusted styles and combinations. After all, the act of picking out an outfit for the day should definitely not be a source of anxiety. After six years in retail, the most repeated mantra by colleagues is 'at the end of the day, it's only clothes', and it's worth remembering from time to time.  

Pretty much everything in this outfit is a staple in my wardrobe; a stripe button down, denim, a tan belt and block heeled sandals along with my jewellery which is the same every single day. For me there is something so effortless about a shirt. The deckchair stripe of this Urban Outfitters number paired with the tortoishell buttons makes it super easy to style for Summer as tan accessories tie in perfectly. This denim mini from Topshop features white topstitching which is a detail we are seeing come across into A/W Season too, making it an easy way to update your basics. I love the rich shade of blue contrasting against the white stitching and raw hem.

As I mentioned, tan accessories work well with this ensemble giving it an easy Summer feel. This brown leather belt is one I've had for a few years, which in my opinion is looking better with age as the leather has softened and cracked. A pair of wrap up suede block heel sandals finish off this simple, timeless look.

Really, it's nothing groundbreaking; no crazy of the moment, tricky, uncomfortable styling - just classic pieces worn in a flattering way to create an easy, go-to look for when you wan't to throw on an outfit without thinking!


Shirt: Urban Outfitters (sold out) Similar | Skirt: Topshop (in store) Alternative | Belt: Topshop (old) Similar  | Sandals: Topshop (old) Similar



a personal shopper's guide to shopping


When you are are lucky enough to do for a living what you are interested in most, it's easy to forget that your knowledge isn't obvious to everyone. Whether you are planning a shopping trip or have an appointment with a Personal Shopper I've provided some tips to consider before you head into town. 

It goes without saying (I hope) that if you are happy shopping in your comfies with no makeup on then absolutely go for it (in fact I did it today). This is merely a list of things that might help you feel more positive about shopping if it isn't usually your thing.

1. CONSIDER YOUR ATTIRE...
Shopping is a workout. If you aren't comfortable walking in heels for an extended period of time then don't wear them. It doesn't matter how amazing they look if two hours in you're whinging about the burning sensation in the balls of your feet. Equally, don't go for anything with crazy buckles, ties or other fastenings - having to take them on and off in the fitting room will get old quickly. The same goes for the main event, go for something low maintenance and easy; if your outfit only looks good if you get that half tucked in shirt looking just right it will only become irritating for you and whoever you're with (this jumpsuit is perfect - made from super soft fabric it pulls on and ties at the waist - easy)! Despite this, don't go slobby either; wear something you feel good in. If you don't feel good it will filter into how you feel generally while shopping and you want to maintain an air of positivity!

NB: A cross body bag is a must if you want 100% hands free shopping capability.  

2. ...AND YOUR APPEARANCE.
This is especially important if you are shopping for an occasion. I am continually met with statements like, "I can't tell if this suits me because I don't have makeup/fake tan/my hair done". If you know you're not happy in yourself without any of these things then it's understandable that you will not feel strongly toward what you try on because all you'll see is the fact you don't look like how you want. When planning a shopping trip consider the fact you will be staring at yourself in the mirror. If taking a few extra minutes to pop a bit of lipstick on or spritz some dry shampoo in your hair helps make you feel like you, take it - you'll be happy you did later. 
 

3. BRING WHAT YOU NEED. 
There is nothing harder than trying to imagine how a strapless dress looks when you've got a normal bra on with the straps tucked awkwardly under your armpits or trying to match colours with a top you're desperate to wear that's sitting at home. Yes, it's a bit of a faff, maybe an extra bag to carry but it'll make the job easier and hopefully minimise the chance of having to return things that don't work. So if it's a strapless bra, a pair of black tights, heels, or a specific item to coordinate - pop it in your bag.

4. BE OPEN.
Especially important if you are seeing a Personal Shopper: being forthcoming in trying new styles, colours and shapes will either open your eyes to new possibilities for your wardrobe or focus your mind on what it is you don't like, both of which are positive. But you won't know until you try! Our opinions change all the time and so does what's in fashion so chances are you might have changed your mind about how you look in red or floral or tailoring since you last tried it! 

5. DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF.
We all have bits we don't like. Try not to fixate on those aspects and see the things you do like. As cheesy as it sounds, nothing and no one can truly give you your sense of self worth except you. So instead of going shopping expecting to find clothes that make you look different, find the ones that make you feel good as you are. And definitely don't get something that doesn't fit! Whether too big or too small there is no point in taking something home to hang it in the wardrobe, waiting for a time you hope to fit into it - it'll only make you feel guilty that you don't now and that you've spent money on something you can't wear. 

6. TAKE A BREAK. TAKE LOT'S. BREAKFAST, COFFEE, BRUNCH, LUNCH... COCKTAILS...
 


Jacket: H&M | Jumpsuit: Topshop | Trainers: Topshop (Old) Similar | Bag: Zara (on sale!)



power to the flower


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I recently found myself speaking at a local event in Edinburgh called 'Life & Style'. It's not particularly unusual for me to be doing this as public speaking is part of my job as a Personal Shopper. The audience was perhaps around sixty people, however, I've spoken to upwards of a hundred before. 

I'm not an especially confident person and actually quite shy, but when it comes to work related things, I hate looking like I'm not capable so will always say yes and worry about the 'how' later. Feigning confidence is something I find I can do when part of a professional circumstance and the more I've done it, the more natural it feels. I really think that it's the key when it comes to getting good at something like this - there isn't a magic solution but forcing yourself to keep trying will mean you'll slowly become more comfortable in the situation. On this occasion, although I felt a few knee wobbles I could feel myself taking time over what I had to say rather than rushing through so it would be over quicker. 

This is the outfit I wore to the event. As I was talking through Summer trends, it felt appropriate to dress in ode to the sunshine regardless of it's current disputable existence. I've genuinely had tourists come into the shop over the last week asking for wooly hats, scarves and coats! 

I built the outfit around this ruffle, floral mini skirt which I have been loving. I was never a floral kind of girl, always preferring something a bit more geometric or classic like a breton stripe. However as of late, floral has had a bit of refresh being paired with star print or polka dots as you can see here. Teamed with a simple black top and black leather mules, the look still feels polished despite the ditsy print of the skirt. A heel always makes me feel more confident so as long as its comfortable and easy to walk in I'll wear a chunky heeled shoe when I'm public speaking to give me an extra boost (although I am the clumsiest human on Earth so this always comes with slight risk). 

In reference to the chilly, rainy weather we've been having (it is physically impossible for the Scots not to comment on the weather) I've finished the outfit with my Topshop PVC trench which I am SO pleased that I bought as I haven't seen anything similar apart from the Alexa Chung version (both of which are now sold out - sorry!) I love the traditional design made in an ultra futuristic/nostalgic 90's (is that possible?) vinyl fabric. This is totally my Buffy jacket and I'm not ashamed to say that is partly the reason I got it. 

If you were at the Life & Style event, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It was so inspiring to see so many people celebrate all the different brands and businesses Edinburgh has to offer!  


Mules: Topshop | Skirt: Topshop | Top: H&M (old) Alternative | Jacket: Topshop (sold out)
Alexa Chung for M&S version being sold here


Photography by Kirsty McLachlan


wrap it up


Wrap Tea Dresses are this years Summer essential and here's why. 

1. Comfort.
Generally made from super soft fabric, tea dresses are light and flowing with no zips, buttons or other uncomfortable fastenings to dig into the tum after indulging in another obligatory Summer BBQ.  

2. Flattering.
If like me you are always considering what shapes will flatter 'the girls' the wrap around style and 'V' neckline complement a bigger bust and synch in the middle (adjustable to wherever is best for your body) meaning eyes are drawn to the waistline. This is further enhanced by the sleeves which are longer, bringing the eye down to the narrowest area, in line with the waist while also covering the tops of the arms which is a bonus if you are not keen on showing off this area. Finally, the ruffle hemline not only keeps this classic style of dress fresh for this season but also creates movement and a sense of youthful fun to the design. 

3. Lightweight.
Thinking of Summer Holidays? This piece is ideal if you are attempting a hand luggage only trip. The lightweight fabric means it takes up hardly any room in your case! 

4. Transitional.
Thinking in the same vein as packing sensibly, the tea dress is an easy transition from day to evening. Wear as I have here with a block heel sandal for evening or throw on over your bikini with a pair of Birkenstocks and a tote bag for a day at the beach. One of the best tips I have acquired for holiday packing is to first wear an outfit for evening before downgrading it for day wear; that way you don't need to pack two outfits per day.

5. Options
Finally, tea dresses are having a moment this season meaning there is an array to choose from, from high street to high end. Depending on whether you prefer block colours, floral prints or something more geometric there will be a style out there to suit your preference! 

I can't end this post without an honourable mention to the red finishing details; my suede Zara bag (which I've already featured and has been one of the best purchases I've made this season) and these sandals. At first I wasn't sure they were anything special but they are so comfortable! I can wear them all day at work (bearing in mind this means around 9 hours of being on my feet including a twenty minute up hill walk to get there)! They work so well with so many outfits and with the ankle strap sitting low on the foot they don't cut your legs off at the wrong spot. 

Hopefully the weather grants Scotland at least one day hot enough for me to wear this in the coming couple of months! 


Dress: Topshop | Bag: Zara (on sale!) | Sandals: Topshop also in Black & Tan



baggy trousers


It's been a whole three weeks since I last posted on the blog and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by! I managed to squeeze a quick Summer holiday to Greece in during my mini hiatus where I ate, drank, sunbathed and enlisted my boyfriend to take outfit photos against pretty pastel walls; you can check these out on my Instagram (@stylecompanion).

Not that I need any more excuses to shop but a holiday always calls for a few new pieces for the wardrobe, doesn't it? Nobody's Child is a brand recently stocked as a concession in Topshop Edinburgh featuring a perfect selection of tea dresses, co-ords and floral trousers. It is super affordable meaning if, like me, your holiday wardrobe comes out but once a year, you won't break the bank for pieces that won't be your most worn. 

These trousers are super high waisted - elongating the leg with a flattering wide fit. Another way to wear would be with a knotted white tee as an easy alternative if an all over baggy look is not for you. I decided to accentuate the bagginess by pairing with this ruched white blouse, adding height with the yellow suede mules. I love that there is something slightly awkward about the proportions which I believe creates an air of effortlessness to the outfit. 


Blouse: Topshop | Trousers: Nobody's Child | Shoes: Topshop



Thank You, Honey


Although The Style Companion is only a little under a month old, I wanted to express a genuine thank you for all the kind words and support I've been given so far. As I've mentioned before, I was always so fearful of what others would think of me writing a fashion blog but after experiencing such positive feedback I only wish I'd started sooner. 

This outfit is a mix of old and new; the suede mustard harrington jacket is Topshop Boutique from last S/S. Boutique is a premium collection Topshop create with longevity and quality fabrics being the crux of it's concept. Paired with the "Gucci" print tee everyone is currently obsessing over, it creates a contemporary, luxe look for day to day. 

When I first wore this jacket I worried over the smallest mark but now I've come to terms with that inevitability and I'm embracing the worn in look! I love the warm ochre shade and I think it will always look fresh and new with blue denim and a white tee each time Spring roles around! 


Jacket: Topshop (Old) Alternative | T-Shirt: Topshop | Jeans: Topshop | Belt: Topshop | Bag: Zara



so you're going to a wedding...


There's nothing I find more challenging than dressing for a Wedding. I'm not really one for floral prints and full skirts and all the options catered especially for Wedding guests just never feel me. 

However, earlier this year my brother got married (on the most beautiful, sunniest day EVER!) which obviously meant a shopping trip was due. 

Jumpsuits are such a versatile piece and this striped one from Whistles is perfect to dress up for a special occasion. I am instantly more comfortable in trousers and the cropped, culotte style of these gives me that security without being too structured, keeping the look light and fresh. 

I also like investing in pieces I can wear again and again. Knowing that, come the next occasion, I will want to wear something new, making sure I have various ways of styling something after the event is important to me. Being 100% silk, you could easily pop this jumpsuit in your suitcase year on year, wearing as part of a holiday wardrobe with a pair of sandals or espadrilles.

For the Wedding, I paired with an 'easy to walk in' block heel in black and white with a patent finish. This along with the buckle detailing gives an eighties edge while the pointed toe keeps the overall look feminine.

Introducing another contrasting colour with the vibrant yellow bag adds dimension and a youthful element to the look. The addition of the tailored white jacket pulls the outfit together giving a formal yet alternative vibe.

If you are struggling to find an outfit for a Wedding, my suggestion is to look past what the shops promote as being appropriate and consider something a little outside the box. This might give you more scope to find something that feels like you that you'll also happily wear again. 


Shoes: Topshop | Jumpsuit: Whistles | Jacket: Topshop (Sold Out Online) Similar | Bag: Marc Jacobs



candy stripes


Spring and Summer can be a tricky time to dress in the UK but especially in Scotland. The weather is completely unpredictable and it wouldn't be surprising to experience all four seasons in a single day. Temperatures often don't reach the same highs that even England can experience which means you're often layering up knitwear and coats longer than feels appropriate for the season. In saying this, when the temperature hits double digits expect to see some shirtless men roaming the streets as 10 degrees or more is legitimate 'taps aff'* weather north of the border. 

For those sunny days when there is still a chilly breeze in the air, this style of dress is perfect. The 3/4 length sleeve covers the shoulders while the long line gives the legs a little coverage too, ideal if your pins have yet to see the sun since last Summer and are still a blinding shade of pale (most of the Scottish population). The buttons don't fasten the full length of the dress giving it movement when you walk and letting your legs peak through while the belt nips you in at the waist further enhancing your shape. 

The red and white candy stripe print while being statement also lengthens the body creating an illusion of height. While I'm not sure if I really believe the vertical stripe myth of making you appear slimmer I feel in this case, because of the shirt dress style and waist tie it at least compliments my curvy figure. 

The bold and colourful print is what gives this outfit a sense of Summer whilst being wearable in Britain's less temperate climes. Providing a bit more coverage than spaghetti straps and short shorts, it helps put you in gear for the season. Throw on a leather jacket for the evening or even style open with jeans, a white cami and a pair of slides for another way to wear. 

*Taps-Aff (Scots Vernacular) Literally "tops off." The removing of one's shirt or other upper body garments, most often in the event of warm weather. 1

Check here to see if it's 'taps aff' weather in your area. Currently it's 10 degrees in Edinburgh and I'm told it's 'taps oan' so maybe I was exaggerating slightly...


Trainers: Topshop (Old) Similar | Dress: Zara (Sold Out Online) still available in store | Bag: Zara



saved by the bell


If Kelly Kapowski was an item of clothing, I feel like it would be this jacket. I also fear that that reference will fall flat on an alarming majority after innocently referencing an outfit as being 'Kylie-esque' recently, to which my teenage client responded with a look of sheer puzzlement. I mean it's Kylie, Minogue - surely an institution!? After coming to terms with the fact that I'm old enough for my childhood to be a complete and utter mystery to the next generation, "I got to thinking"... why is it that so many women are unwilling to wear styles that remind them of eras past? (see what I did there?)  

In my job as a Personal Shopper I hear similar phrases repeatedly; "it's something my mum would have worn!" and "I wore that the first time around!" are popular favourites. I feel like I am now starting to experience what it's like for certain styles to come back, I remember wearing embroidered denim, gingham dresses and chokers when I was younger and now they've looped around again becoming stylish and in. However I don't share the same desire to avoid wearing them now either. Unless I had a bad perm, over plucked eyebrows or blue eyeshadow on, my outfit will always feel current because the rest of my look is in keeping with today's image. 

As I've said before, confidence is also a huge factor in 'pulling off' a certain style and getting the right fit in clothing helps with this immeasurably. After discovering the blog Shot From The Street, where undeniably stylish Lizzy puts on a pair of straight cut jeans and instantly makes you want to buy them I have been on the hunt for the best ones for my figure. And I think I have finally found them! These distressed jeans by H&M are high waisted with a button closure, they don't leave me with the tummy pouch (too much) and the darker denim racer stripe elongates my leg and slims the thigh. I often find straight jeans either look too skinny down my leg or create too much volume around the stomach, hips and thighs as I am curviest around this area that's something I want to avoid. The fit paired with the authentic looking frayed hems and distressing, have made these jeans my go to for an easy, laid-back weekend outfit. 

Aside from the jeans, this outfit is really all about the bubblegum pink jacket. The crop fit means it hits at the most flattering point on the waist, showing off the narrowest area and the bum which allows the slightly oversized fit to balance out by maintaining the rest of your figure (something I am all for if you have read my previous posts). I love the fun and girly vibe this gives but also enjoy the texture and roughness brought by the ragged hem. 

If you are still wondering what the hell I was on about in the first paragraph I suggest Sex and the City be your next binge watch; the phrase, 'I got to thinking' will haunt your dreams but you will also enjoy hours of Mr. Big so it's swings and round-a-bouts.

Another thing worth mentioning - baby pink makes you looked tanned! 


Jacket: H&M | T-Shirt: Topshop (Old) Similar | Jeans: H&M | Slides: Office (Old) Similar



life in colour


Colour can be daunting when it comes to dressing. So many women are unhappy in their bodies and when we are constantly told that black is the most slimming shade to wear it's unsurprising many of us are deterred from trying a brighter look.

If you were to rifle through my wardrobe right now, in general you would find a lot of monochrome, a lot of blue denim and a lot of shirts. Granted, it's peppered with a few accent colours; a mustard yellow here and there and maybe some pastel pink but up until recently I was a pretty neutral dresser too.

Lately however, I have been attracted to some more daring hues and it's funny how wearing a little colour can lift your spirits!  

For this outfit I have gone all out with fuchsia. I mean, if you are going to do a thing you might as well, you know, do it. The key, for me, is to incorporate some 'safety net' items like this casual tee and my Birkenstocks, both of which are easy, familiar pieces which help to create a more effortless look. I recommend this tactic to anyone trying out a different style as keeping the rest of your outfit close to your usual will ease you into the idea of seeing yourself in something new.

Keeping the rest of the colour palette minimal and in the same colour family also helps pair back and soften the vivid shade of fuchsia making it more relaxed and laid-back for daytime. A slight nod to the colour combo of the moment, pink and red also freshens the look, keeping it feeling contemporary and new.

Pink and red were never a pairing that previously screamed success and I'm almost certain it's in every list of 'fashion rules' ever written that it shouldn't be done but considering there was a time women couldn't wear trousers we can all surely agree rules are there to be bent or broken, at least when it comes to fashion.

I am loving the new possibilities introducing colour to my wardrobe is bringing and while I think I might always consider a minimal, monochromatic look 'my style' what's the harm in experimenting a little? And as for black being the most slimming shade to wear, maybe it is, but... who cares! I am all for my clothes being flattering but not if it means I can't wear whatever I want: wear something with confidence and it will look good (despite any rules you are breaking).


Shoes: Birkenstock | Skirt: Topshop | Bag: Topshop | T-Shirt: Topshop



girls rule


Statement tees are a wardrobe staple. They are the perfect styling piece, simple and easy to wear, there is undoubtedly one to suit everyones' taste or interest. 

I tend to go for one that feels relevant to me as l believe this makes an outfit more authentic and credible. I wouldn't buy a band t-shirt unless I could name at least a few songs that I like. Don't get me wrong, I think a grungy Metallica tee looks incredible tucked into a pretty, pleated midi skirt but the thought of someone asking me about their music and my bemused expression as a response makes me cringe

Here I've opted for Topshop's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, 'FTBC', t-shirt which features an embroidered rose motif and 'Girls Rules' expression. With 30% of the proceeds donated to support Breast Cancer research you can have style and substance knowing what you have to say (through your t-shirt) is helping an important cause - and who can't get behind that!?

Along with this cool tee the collection includes a distressed denim jacket and mom jean both in the colour of the moment, pink, which you can get here and here. There is also a 'Girls Rule' shopper bag and a real leather buckled skirt in white, perfect for incorporating into a British Spring/Summer wardrobe. 

For this outfit I have played up the slogan by styling with a masculine, oversized blazer. Often misconstrued as being difficult to wear, oversized fits can look stylish and alluring with a few tweaks. It's vital to show a little skin in order to maintain your figure, rolling up the sleeves of the jacket allows my wrist and the narrowest part of my arm to show through which balances the baggy fit of the jacket and wideness created by the shoulder pads. Without doing this, it kind of looked like the end of the night and a kind gentleman gave me their jacket for warmth. If I was pairing with something other than a skinny jean, i.e. a tailored trouser or straight cut denim I would suggest wearing with a heel to give height and elongate the legs, again throwing a bit of contrast to the more androgynous silhouette.

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To finish I added a contrasting pop of colour with this yellow Marc Jacob's shutter bag which was a much considered purchase. Yellow is a colour I see coming back every Summer; I feel I will get so much wear out of this as in general, I have a very neutral wardrobe so this little guy brings a bit of fun to a monochromatic look. The earrings are different for me as I usually stick to the same jewellery but I fancied something with a little drama! There's definitely a bit of a trend on the high street at the moment with statement earrings in organic shapes like these so I thought I'd dip a toe in the water (turns out big earrings are heavy)! 

My trainers are another Topshop find from a couple of seasons ago. They are a great piece to pair with tailoring as it makes it more weekend appropriate and are the best at giving work wear a new lease of life. Currently I have my eye on the platform Supergas as I think they would look perfect with Summer dresses. With a holiday coming up they might be my next purchase. 


Earrings: Freedom at Topshop (In Store) | T-Shirt: Topshop (Sold Out Online) Blazer: Topshop | Bag: Marc Jacobs | Jeans: Topshop | Trainers: Topshop (Old - Similar)


hello world


I've almost started some kind of variation of 'The Style Companion' a billion times since the age of eighteen but for one reason or another, not quite managed until now. With cumulative encouragement from a fair few, from friends and loved ones to work colleagues I'm finally biting the bullet.

From a young age I have loved expressing myself through clothes. Having never been someone who felt full of self-confidence, the way I dressed was a means of communicating my personality to the world.

It started with Trinny and Susannah in 'What Not to Wear' which apparently first aired in 2001 which made me nine - somewhat hilarious as I seem to recall incessant use of the words 'tits' and 'ass' and a lot of groping of said body parts. It's worth noting I have an older sister who watched the show; she and my mum both despise shopping so it's quite a mystery how I discovered my love for it. 

From then, 'Gok Wan's How to Look Good Naked', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Project Runway' further instilled an interest in the world of Fashion, eventually leading me to study it at University. Since then I've worked as a Buyer's Admin Assistant, moved to London, moved back from London and finally established myself in Edinburgh as a Personal Shopper (my mum kind of enjoys shopping now she has someone to rifle the rails for her, officially). 

A really great outfit can give confidence, create happiness or even spark conversation between strangers. Whether people like to admit it or not, there's power in the way we dress; it's the version of ourselves we choose to present to the rest of the world and it says something about us. As a Personal Shopper I've seen this first hand; from as young as eleven to more mature women who desire a bit of help navigating the current trends to suit them, everyone loves to feel confident in what they wear.

'The Style Companion' is somewhere I can (hopefully) utilise my passion for personal style along with tips, tricks and advice that I've learnt along the way.  

These photos were taken last October but I will do my best to link accurate alternatives below. Going forward I hope to style items you will be able to get your hands on with ease!

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Boots: Topshop (Almost Identical) | Skirt: Topshop (Similar) | Blouse: H&M (Sold Out, Couldn't Find Alternative) | Leather Jacket: Topshop (Very Similar) | Fedora: Topshop (Very Similar)