It is party season once more and many of us have several events to juggle which means we also have several outfits to plan. It can be expensive to keep getting new hot, on trend dresses to dazzle the crowd in so I’ve come up with a few tips to help make an old outfit look fresh, to make the same outfit look different and to generally just rock the party season like a pro!
1. Switch up your Shoes! To give your outfit the edge, team it with some really bright heels. That simple change can make the most casual of ensembles a little more glam. Wearing the same Little Black Dress you wore last year? Bright red heels or cute detailed shoes like these from Kurt Geiger will really make you stand out!
2. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! Bright, bold, over-sized jewelry can dress up a simple dress and give it some added flare. However, you might rather just accessorize with an embellished bag as it gives the same results.
3. Don’t Crash Diet! Instead make it all about the outfit and find a dress that flatters your body. Crash dieting only makes your first drink go straight to your head and you feel low on energy all day.
4. Dressing for your Body! It is probably the most important factor of them all. If you have legs to die for or a cleavage to make Christina Hentricks envious, make sure you find a dress that shows off your very best feature. This will give you a confidence you’ll radiate all night and you’ll turn heads wherever you go.
6. Remember Facebook! A dress can be see-through or underwear shows through and you don’t notice until it is too late. Snap a picture of yourself before you go out to prevent any regrets later!
7. Always have a Back-up! You can never be too careful. A zip might break, you might feel bloated or a sequin could come loose. Having a plan B is always a good idea and saves a big panic on the day.
8. Pick a drink and stick to it! There is nothing worse than feeling like you made a fool of yourself the night before. Pick a drink at the beginning of the night and keep drinking it. Mixing just gets you more drunk quicker and makes you feel like hell the next day!
9. Hot Hair! There is a saying that your hair is your biggest accessory so make the most of it. Practice before the event so you don’t stress out on the night and play around with different styles. Also pick a hair-do that will best show off your dress. For instance, a strapless number often works best with a chic up-do.
10. Most importantly, have fun! Mingle with friends and strangers alike. Keep conversation light and relaxed. If you look and feel fantastic, your confidence will run through to every aspect of the night!
Do you have any hot tips?? Let me know!
This week I ended up hitting a few more bars and a brilliant piece of theatre so paid closer attention to my outfit choices (I could no longer rely on the coat). However, this week also saw me exploring the Chicago Aquarium, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Millenium Park – all of which were awesome! I have never heard of a “free” Zoo before but sure enough, this one is. I was dubious as to how well maintained a non-profit zoo could be and little worried for the animals inside. However, it turns out this zoo is part of many conservation programs and gets its funding through this. They open it up as an attraction to get people interested in animal welfare and to show us how special these animals are. There is something incredibly humbling about seeing an animal so up-close and personal! Although I sometimes get upset by zoos and keeping animals contained, I feel it is important to show us humans how wonderful they are. It was an incredibly windy day in the windy city zoo but we still lost ourselves for a good four hours just wondering round and seeing the animals.
I wrapped up warm in jeans and an over-sized jumper, cherry tomato ugg boots and my coat but still clutched a nice warm hot chocolate when it was on offer!
The aquarium was a very cool attraction with a great exhibition on Jelly fish. It also had a 4D cinema where Happy Feet was showing – a form of cinema that is not quite perfected yet in my opinion but I did enjoy it! Outside the aquarium were great views of the city and these massive iron leg structures I enjoyed playing around (big kid!). I thought I’d dress up my coat look with a fuchsia pink scarf and tried out my feather earring for the first time. I thought they added a nice touch as I was starting to get a little bored of seeing myself in the same thing!
A few nights we went out and drank cocktails (one too many on one occasion!) and I wanted to wear something that said, “I tried but not too hard”. So, I went for a baby pink boyfriend blazer over a cute Zara dress, with thick black tights and black boots. It is a look I think is really casual yet chic and sexy. It also is really comfortable to wear because you don’t feel too “on show” and you can just relax. Another night I went for black leather leggings, a long black tank top and a blazer (which I ended up ditching when I saw the bar was pretty dressy).
Chicago has been one magical adventure and I’ll be sad to say goodbye. If you ever get the chance to visit, do it and do it with style!
Keeping things Simple and Chic in Chicago!
I’ve been hanging out in Chicago now for the past week and there is SO much to report! First off, what a city! On one of my first nights here, it was Halloween. The Americans take this “holiday” far more seriously than us Brits which I think is amazing! I’ve always had Halloween themed birthday parties since I was a kid so it was awesome to see it being done so well everywhere I looked! We went off to this Haunted House and paid to get really scared and freaked out! No expense was spared when making this attraction and for the whole hour you wonder through all these different rooms just not knowing what is coming next. It. Was. Awesome!! Chicago is probably somewhere I’d never go to unless there was a reason for the visit but my goodness am I glad I had a reason. The city has a very gothic vibe with a mix of these gorgeous old buildings and massive modern day skyscrapers. It is incredibly spacious and clean for a city and unlike London, you never feel like you’re surrounded by millions of people on the street but instead you have breathing space. There are plenty of attractions that you can wonder in and out of for free and the ones you pay for are well worth it!
The next night we headed out to the Ice Hockey. Here I was sporting a Blackhawks tee-shirt to show my support to my new favorite team and to fit in with the locals! I was actually pleasantly surprised how stylish the tee-shirt was considering it’s a supporters top and usually they are splattered with sponsorship and a bit shapeless. This on the other hand was an awesome top! You can’t really see it in the pictures but the red is a little bit see-through which is a nice detail and makes it kinda sexy, plus it is nicely fitted and works well with jeans and my cherry tomato ugg boots! As for the game, well that was also a pleasant surprise too, the Blackhawks won in extra-time and although I didn’t get to see a fight or anyone lose their teeth, I did get to see an awesome game.
I also had to spend some time this week dedicated to The Magnificent Mile, which is just as it sounds…a magnificent mile of SHOPS! I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular and enjoyed window shopping at the designer stores and stepping into the more mainstream ones. I was a little surprised by the lack of individual boutique stores in Chicago in general but here you did find more of the unusual items you only get in flagship stores.
I bought myself some gorgeous gold leaf earrings and thought I’d purchase some feather ones too to try them out. I also picked up some gloves as I had underestimated how chilly it was in Chicago this time of year. Nothing was super cheap, like it used to be when you shopped in America, but it was good to see what they had on offer. I wasn’t blown away by the clothes inside the shops but that is probably because I like to find something a little unusual.
I didn’t get many opportunities to lose the coat either as it was absolutely freezing! However, that was cool with me as I love my new Dahlia coat and it pretty much goes with everything. I had fun adding different scarfs and rockin’ knee-high socks with it, plus it did its job of keeping me warm which says a lot about it because, man oh man did I need it!
One unexpected surprise of this week was that I had a casting for a commercial that I was offered after the casting director saw me walking down the street! It was a little random but pretty cool to take part in and I was asked to wear a colour that would compliment my skin tone and hair so I opted for a cool burnt orange number I picked up in a boutique in Hull – but more about that next time!
Must go…the zoo is calling! I’ll let you know how I get on next week!
Tomorrow is my 24th Birthday and I am off to see the one and only, Britney Spears at the O2. This of course calls for me to purchase a new outfit! Now this is a little sad, but the fact is October 28th is also the birthday of Dahlia, my favorite London boutique (don’t ask me how I know that!). So as a present to us both, I went in to purchase a dress.
I immediately spotted this gorgeous burnt orange dress with flower detail across the shoulders and upper chest. I loved the V-shape outline cutting the two materials together and the light brown belt finished it off casually. The colour screams autumn and reminds me of Halloween (which is easily one of my favorite days in the year)! Here I’ve teamed it with my favorite Kurt Geiger boots, cute knee high socks and added some Disney Couture accessories to keep it youthful and fun.
I’ve never been great at just purchasing one thing from Dahlia and knowing I had a trip to Chicago coming up, I also purchased a warm navy mac with gold detail. It has a really high neck to keep the wind out and looks so flattering being fitted to the waist with a nice full skirt.
This is one of my favorite pictures taken of me wearing it round Chicago!
Summer Wedding – AHH what to wear??!
It is August and peak Wedding Season so finding an outfit should be a piece of cake… or so I thought! I searched high and low but couldn’t find anything that had much to say for itself. That or they didn’t have my size left, it was the wrong cut for me or the colour made me look ill. So, I asked myself the question us girls hate to ask… “Do I really need a new dress?”
I rummaged around my wardrobe and was pleasantly surprised to stumble across a dress I bought to go to a wedding when I was 14 years old from Miss Selfidge. I looked it up and down and wondered…just wondered if I could still get into it. Sure enough, it fit better than it had the first time round! I’d forgotten all about it as it’s been years since I went to a wedding and I always found something new to wear.
A corset top is also flattering and cinches you in at the waist creating curves and showing off you smallest area. I love the lace detail on the dress, the nude colouring to it is very in this season and the handkerchief skirt is cute and playful. The corset top means you feel nice and secure without any straps so I knew I’d have no problems dancing the night away.
I found some sweet beaded nude shoes to wear with it, not too high as there is usually a lot of standing at weddings (gotta keep things practical). I also threw round a pashmina in case it got a little chilly later on. Just like that, I was good to go! What luck…
Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Rew. The whole day was absolutely fantastic and I hope you have a very happy life together. xx
Photographs provided by Nigel Ware
Valentines Day Dresses
This year, I find myself alone for the first time in years on Valentines day. My good friend and even better actor buddie, Jofre, was taking part in The Secret Cinema and invited me to come along as a way to take my mind off it all. He drops in a few days before that it is fancy dress 1950′s style and I start to panic…What the hell am I going to wear?
In last minute situations such as these, I turn to another good friend… ASOS. First off, I knew I wanted to wear red. I absolutely HAD to wear red. I filtered down my search and trawled through the hundreds of dresses the site has to offer. With limited funds, time and choice, I went for a simple Vera Moda dress which was 1950′s style and wondered what to do…
When it arrived I grabbed my black Tutu, slipped it underneath and just like that, it started to come together! I teamed it with Nude heels to make my legs appear longer and finished the outfit off with a black belt to tie in the black Tutu and went off for my night of interactive theatre (which by the way, is fantastic and you must go!)!
I then went again a couple of nights later, this time wearing a simple black dress I forgot I owned and a long fur coat I had just been given. I still think I prefer the red dress but both looks made me feel and look the part. Which one do you prefer??
Adventures on Brick Lane!
Being fairly new to London, I’ve only just discovered the wonder that is, Brick Lane. First off, the vintage shopping possibilities are endless! I bought myself a gorgeous white vintage lace sundress for a mere £20 and a whole ton of quirky broaches and hairbands that will help me stand out!
Secondly, it seems everyone who is there has their own unique sense of style and unlike the judgmental eyes of most high-streets, no one bats an eyelid at the weird and wonderful. This alone gives it a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere which attracts the more indie folk of London who spend all weekend just soaking up the markets and street entertainment.
Some of the vintage stores are over priced, and some of the market stalls make clothing that I question the quality of. However, a lot of up and coming designers start out here and I found a great stall, more for men at this stage, called And Now Wee who sell a fantastic range of graphic t-shirts and lovely soft knitwear for a fraction of most retail stores. They also have a brilliant eye for detail and don’t cut corners to save costs so the clothes should last longer.
It was so much more my “scene” and I lost myself walking round. It is also famous for its curry and after tasting one, I see why! If you can, go down and check it out. Share with me any of your awesome finds too!
From Sick to Stunner
Minding my own business on my commute into work today, I’m sat as I am every morning, reading the Metro, drinking a latte and slowly waking up! Suddenly, I hear a splash, my lap feels warm, and my brain catches up with the situation…a woman has been sick on me. Yes my friends, SICK on me…
However, she was pregnant and I felt awful for her so I just said not to worry and a woman opposite offered me a Kleenex (really like drying up a swimming pool with 1 sheet of kitchen roll) which I accepted wondering how this was going to help! I couldn’t go back and change as I’d be late to which my boss would be furious, but I did have sick on me so obviously I had no choice but to shop (!) and I went seeking a new outfit on Carnaby Street. I tend to stay away from mainstream high-street shops because I like something a little more individual and quirky. I was pretty new to London but had found some great Boutiques around here but until today, had not discovered the best of all…
Just off Carnaby Street is a little shop called, Dahlia. It is magic.
I went in very conscious of the smell of sick on me and hoped the lady behind the counter wouldn’t notice! I scanned the rails and to my relief and delight, discovered something right away to try on. I then kept looking around just in case there was something better and sure enough, there was something else I liked. In fact, everywhere I looked in this small boutique, I saw clothes I loved! Without meaning to, I began to linger and take my time eyeing up the clothes but was soon snapped out of it by the buzz of my phone and my boss shouting at me, demanding to know why I was late.
I ran into the changing room and changed into a dress I knew I was going to buy before I even tried it on (I’ve teamed it here with a fur wrap to add a little something) and then went back at lunch to snap up a few more items! Delighted to find this place as its the most reasonably priced clothing I’ve come across in London that really reflects my style.
Check them out, they also have an online store (www.dahliafashion.co.uk)
It turned a rather horrible day into a truly successful one!
New Year: New Style!
So another year has rolled around and I find myself in a situation I’d not planned for. I work in an office in Mayfair for a start (not exactly the actors dream!), I’ve also recently had my heart broken and I live in a fairly dodgy part of London. All of these factors and a few more minor ones were really getting me down. I wanted to start feeling good about myself again. I wanted to at least take control of one part of my life. So, being a totally girlie girl and never needing too much of a push to go shopping, I thought I’d take my control of my appearance. I didn’t want to “reinvent” my style, but I did want to feel like I was starting over. New Year, New Chapter…New Wardrobe! I started going over the things I loved about my “look” and I also looked at the stuff I always left hanging in my wardrobe and never wore.
I started to see that I had different “types” of clothing i.e. The Festival Look, The Rocker Look, The Garden Party Look and as much as I liked these clothes, I wondered what my wardrobe really said about who I am? I came to the conclusion it said…”I have no idea!”
So I started where, in my opinion, we all should… Looking at myself naked in a full length mirror. I went over in my mind what I liked about my body, what I couldn’t stand about it, what I should accentuate and what I should really cover up. I found this actually really uplifting because all I’d usually focus on was, what wasn’t right when I looked in the mirror. I know it is pretty typical to just focus on the negatives and all to easy to do too. However, finding those things that I do quite like allowed me to feel good about my body. THIS massive and very vital piece of the puzzle meant I had confidence to go shopping knowing what I wanted to show off, knowing what I wanted to hide and having a far higher hit rate in the changing room!
Next was to look at the clothes I always reached for, my feel good clothing. Why did they make me feel good? What colours do I favour? What cut do I typically chose? I also thought about women I admire and how they dress, what do I like about their clothing? How do they put together an outfit? Would that suit me?
If one good thing has come from working in an office, its the money that I get for it! My disposable income isn’t massive but if I pinch pennies in other places, I could afford to get myself some new clothing that says so much more about me. So, I hit the shops of London in search of my ideal outfits. I wasn’t totally clueless as to what I was after but I was trying my best to be open to new trends and clothing I wouldn’t typically put myself in. I really recommend this. It really forces you to focus in on what you like to wear and what you don’t, you see yourself in things you’d usually avoid but actually end up suiting and you have a lot of fun in the process!
I also recommend shopping alone, it gives you more freedom to search the aisles and the opinion you have of the clothing is yours alone. I was always talked into buying things I wasn’t sure of and sure enough, never wore! It is OK to ask someone what they think, but remember, people don’t want to hurt your feelings and will be careful, which isn’t always helpful.
Also, follow your heart. If you like something on yourself that’s a little more “out there” and “daring”…do it. And do it with confidence. What is most important is how you feel in the clothes you are wearing.
I’m pretty thrilled about my purchases and I really feel I’m starting to express who I am through my clothes…but more about that throughout my next blog updates…
Let me know how you got on!