It’s All White

I like to think that the night of New Year is a reflection of how the following months will pan out. Not everyone loves Hogmannay, so I realise that this is perhaps a personal myth. However, if we take that idea and run with it, many of us had a white and snow-covered start to the year and fashion in 2011 is definitely going to reflect that.

White is the colour or the non-colour for any purists out there. Well, pure are what we’re going to need to be, many of the collections for Spring Summer this year, featured top to toe in white. Hmm. This. Is. Not. Good.

Michael Kors S/S 11

Don’t get me wrong, I love white: it’s Summery, fresh and angelic – a look I sometimes struggle to achieve. The problem is that UK summers aren’t usually very balmy; in fact, they’re notoriously wet. Rain equals dirt. And the snowy attire that graced the catwalks was definitely not mud splattered. Shame.

And don’t get me started about white jeans. TV programme ‘The Only Way is Essex’ was a surprise hit but I’m hopeful that denim, Dagenham style, isn’t going to find it’s way into this years trend. Frankly, white jeans are impossible to get right. They rarely look classy, are totally impractical and unforgiving on even the skinniest of whippets.

So, how should us mere mortals carry off this trend: to look, well… heavenly?

This dress is absolutely darling… And I actually take my own advice seriously–I’ve just bought this beauty! Eloise Dress (£42.00) http://www.darlingclothes.com

You know I love a bargain, so a great idea is to combine some of the trends that are going to be big this year (but from experience, don’t try and do them all at once!). Personally, I’m loving white lace and anything sheer and floaty. For me it also has to be short, I can’t abide dirty bottoms. Of my trousers, obviously.

It may seem innocuous but lining is just as important as the outer fabric when gowning up in white. You don’t want your undies to show through, unless of course that’s the look you’re going for: cute cami – yes, black g-string – hell, no. This ain’t the 90’s after all.

Accessories go for a total white out this season too and shoes are top of the

A step closer to heaven… I think I want every pair of Jeffrey Campbell 2011 collection (for sale in Office from about £80) http://www.jeffreycampbellshoes.com

list. With the whole 70’s vibe going on, I expect wooden soled platforms with a splash of white to be a good combo-trend choice. Perhaps worryingly, white eyeliner is also ‘in’. Not sure about this one, unless it’s worn on the inner rim to make eyes look bigger.

Mixing different shades of white and off-white, tones and textures is also a big hit, or give an outfit a bit of punch with some of the other big Summer colours like burnt orange, navy and jewel hues.

And if you’re wondering, I was at a wedding this New Year. Don’t think I’ll be taking the white trend that far though…!

 

 

 

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London Scottish

May I first dispel any myths about Scots and Mars bars? Oh naughty…no, I’m not being rude, whatever you may get up to in your spare time. Quite simply, I’ve never had one, nor has anyone I’ve ever known or indeed do my close family or friends eat them as a mid-morning snack, or heaven forbid, for breakfast. The Scots are many things, but if we wanted to consume that many calories, we’d drink them instead…

It’s a funny thing being a Scot in London. Stuck between the ripple of amusement from these Southerners when I let slip a ‘wee’. Not literally of course, but my speech is so peppered with the word (I think it comes from a need to perpetuate my Scottishness) that I recently managed to blurt out in a meeting that I was going for a ‘wee wee’. ‘Um, not like I’m 5 years old and I say wee-wee I stuttered, I mean I’m going for a small wee’. Clearly, that didn’t make it any better; it was still far too much information.

So with that, entirely embarrassing and unnecessary story out of the way, what then of the other myths about Scots? Far be it for me to talk for a whole nation, but much like the Mars myth, nor are we miserly. We have far too much good sense for that. We are always the first to get a round in (as every good Scot knows, the first round is usually the smallest and least outlandish, the top shelf only gets a look in later).

I’m going to keep this short, so I’ll miss out the tough oats to fry like sporting prowess, political standoffs/scrutiny or philandering and our dear old Sean Connery and stick to; Do we really dislike the English that much?   Don’t be daft, how could we possibly, when you make us look so damn brilliant in the eyes of the rest of the world. Many a merit comes from being an underdog.

It is, obviously, no myth of course that we always love a bit of good humoured banter… (and really, I do love an Englsh crumpet!).

The Cat, the Fashion Faux Pas and the Wardrobe

I’m not a big one for resolutions. I think it comes from being a rebellious teenager; anything that sounds vaguely like a rule is something I want to break! However, it’s a New Year and rather than detoxing my body this January, I have resolved to de-clutter my life.

An early spring clean has kind of been forced upon me as I am moving to Glasgow at the end of this month and it seems sensible for me to finally get around to ‘A Grand Old Wardrobe Clean Out’. I’m pretty sure I no longer need my first pair of knee length platform boots that I bought when I was 15: for a start they’re hideous. It has, however, broken my heart though to chuck ‘em. So, it got me thinking about the value we place on clothes and how, in many ways, our wardrobes are as good a collection of memories as any photo album. I first wore the condemned boots on one of my first dates with my childhood sweetheart and first love. Aw. I think I thought they were sexy. He no doubt, well ahead of the times, thought they were vile.

If clothes are memories then here are some of my favourite, some, I’m sure you’ll agree, are definitely erring on the side of the Fashion Faux Pas. Thankfully (for me), I don’t have photos of the worst! Honest.

I was Punk’d

I wore this outfit to the club Punk in London. No, it wasn’t fancy dress. Yes, those are gold leggings. I’d like to say it was brave, out-there and a little bit quirky but in reality I think I’m channeling way too much lyrca!

Pretty in Pink

This is the gorgeous Olivia Rubin dress that I wore to the Scottish Style Awards last year. She is by far one of my favourite British designers, she uses really interesting materials and textures and I’m yet to try on a dress of hers that I don’t like! Toped and toed with $15 boots from forever 21 (which you can now get in the UK) and a headband from Topshop.

A Little Cat with Clogs on…

A friend took this photo of me at home in Scotland before I headed to the bright lights of London to try to become a  TV presenter. I loved this jumper from Zara (which clearly I thought was a dress) and I wish I hadn’t taken it to the charity shop.

Right, now I am seriously re-thinking binning those boots…!

Minnie Me!

When I was wee I had a Minnie Mouse T-shirt that I refused to take off. Possibly the only item of clothing that I have ever worn until it literally fell off me. When I found this one in Urban Outfitters a few years back I felt like all my Christmases, Tooth-Fairy and pinkie wishes had come at once! I think it was a bargain £16.

Going Dutch

I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but just to give you a giggle… This is an outfit I put together on a styling course I went on about 4 years ago. Thankfully, I think I’ve learnt a bit since then. Namely, don’t try and emulate another country’s national dress then combine it with over-the-knee football socks.

I’m not even going to mention the pose… What was I thinking?

So there you have it, some of my best and worst fashion memories. Right, I’m thinking this wardrobe detox could take longer than I originally thought, if my old clobber is finally going on to greater and bigger wardrobes, I better take photos of them all. That way I can pine after them properly… no scrub that: remind myself why I got rid of them in the first place!

Sale Away With Me…

Happy New Year dearest readers: I hope Santa filled your stockings and you had a debauched New Year, or as us Scots say, Hogmannay.

I love Christmas. I love the festive joie de vivre, the sparkly lights, the carols and I love, love, love Christmas pudding. However, almost above everything else, I love Christmas because it precedes the January Sales: the perfect cure for a mulled wine hangover.

If you haven’t shopped yourself out before the 25th December, now is the time to be trawling the rails or cruising the Internet looking for a bargain. Before you set out though, I would recommend a battle plan. A bargain aint a bargain if you never wear it!

As always, there’s going to be lots of pieces from the 2010 collections that carry over into 2011, so if you spot some of these bad boys on the sale rails it’s a good idea to snap them up (and then feel smug when they come back in at full price!).

Lovely Lace… £23 (reduced from £46) http://www.asos.com

Lace: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Love lace. It’s still a big hitter this year and it’s a great fabric that will work right through into the warmer months. Lace dresses worn with thick tights just now can be ‘Summerized’ come Spring, when (hopefully) it will be warm enough for us to get our pins out!

Maxi Skirts/Dresses: The key to wearing a maxi dress or skirt is finding the right one for your body shape. Maxi should mean maxi, floor skimming is best as it gives more length to your body; even being a few inches short can make them look frumpy not lovely and floaty. In 2011, the maxi goes sheer. So if you have one (or spot one in the sales) don’t be afraid to take a pair of scissors to the lining. I bought

Topshop Floaty Wide Leg Trousers were £45 now £15 http://www.topshop.co.uk

these maxi wide legged trousers from Topshop for £15 and I’m going to do just that when the weather heats up. Topshop already have some in their new collection, which are almost identical but completely sheer.

Biker: Leather has been kicking it back for the last few seasons but has remained somewhat in the shadow of the military trend. But Spring 2011 see’s it rev it’s engine a little more, so keep hold of the boots, the jackets and, for the bold, the leather shorts. I spotted a real leather jacket in the sale for £60. Bargainous!

60’s Ladylike: The clothes that make Madmen, or men go mad, if you prefer. Curves are still big, with strong silhouettes being the key to this look. I haven’t seen much in my ‘saling’ (clearly, you’ve picked ‘em all up already!). By Spring, the fabrics will be lighter and the colours fresher, however, if you do spot something 50’s/60’s with a lovely red reduced tag on it, be sure to pick it up!

Bell-Bottoms: I don’t know about you, but I was a little unsure about skinny jeans to begin with (“but they show eeeeeverything!” I wailed). Now, I can’t live without them.

These puppies are a great cut and colour for only £37 (were £145) http://www.secretsales.com

However, a new year, a new decade for that matter, and the trends they are a changing. 70’s glamour is going to be a rising trend over 2011 so it’s perhaps inevitable that flares would make a return too. Wear them high, and wear them wide!

Kitten Heels: I’ve heard a rumour that the more delicate shoe is making a comeback this year (after clogs, I’m sure we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief!). Personally, I’m not totally sure about this trend; a high heel can do wonders for the posture and the self-esteem. My feet, however, are delighted.