Monthly Archives: May 2012
In the final part of the 5 ways to wear challenge, blogger Ashley Turner from Pink Julep Abroad shows us how the Reiss Alexie dress can work for a Jubilee garden party and a night out with the girls…
Garden parties are a summer must and with the Diamond Jubilee just around the corner, chances are you’ve already been invited to a few. It can be difficult to know what to wear to a garden party as they can range from very casual to very formal, but there are a few rules you can count on. You’ll inevitably be in a garden and it’s possible that the ground is wet. Mud and heels don’t mix – this is a great time to break out your wedges! LK Bennett makes beautiful, classy wedges and we know from last summer that the Duchess of Cambridge is a fan. You’ll be outside and it could be a bit chilly, so don’t forget your cardigan. Cashmere is a great option and a way to add a pop of colour to your monochromatic dress. If it’s too warm, simply tie it around your shoulders. Simple jewellery, a structured bag and big sunglasses give the look a Jackie O quality. Finish off the look with a Gatsby-inspired straw cloche over your hair in loose curls to add classic romance to the look and keep the sun off your face!
1. Reiss Alexie Dress, £149
2. Forever 21 Ribbon Trim Cloche, £8.90
3. Miu Miu Sunglasses, £165
4. Brora Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan, £219
5. Dorothy Perkins Deco Studs, £7.50
6. Banana Republic Leather Buckle Bracelets, £17.50 each
7. LK Bennett Madie Wedges, £175 – £95
8. Chloe Small Marcie Shoulder Bag, £1,235
Let’s shake it up a little, shall we? Suppose you’ve got a hot cocktail party to attend this summer – a rooftop soiree, a friend’s birthday party or even a hen night for a gal pal who’s getting hitched and named you a bridesmaid. You need to look hot and there’s no reason why you can’t wear your faithful summer frock with some sassy accessories to give it a whole new lease on life! This is the opportunity to take advantage of the season’s hottest trends. Here I’ve incorporated neon and metallics for an on-trend look. Let this party be your excuse to rock a pair of statement heels, daring jewellery and an edgy clutch with your oh-so-appropriate dress to get a city chic party girl look. Finish the look with a boyfriend blazer, roll up the sleeves and you’ll be the most fashionable hottie on the dance floor.
1. Reiss Alexie Dress, £149
2. Topshop Ponte Boyfriend Blazer, £40
3. Lara Bohinc Saturn Earrings, £370
4. Michael Kors Berkley Clutch, £180
5. Forever 21 Contrast Bangle Set, £5.65
6. McQ Studded Pump, £270
So that’s 5 outfits sorted for 5 summer events with just 1 dress! Thanks Ashley!
If you’ve never shopped at a sample sale before, now’s definitely the time to start! There’s a series of amazing sample sales coming up – all of which you’ll find listed on SalesGossip – with high fashion heavyweights including Alexander McQueen, Erdem and Christopher Kane reducing sample stock by up to 80%.
You’re pretty much guaranteed to leave any one of these events with bags full of bargains – especially if you follow our Top 10 tips to sample sale success…
1. Keep an eye on SalesGossip’s dedicated sample sale section so you can see what sales are coming up and plan your next shopping trip.
2. Go along on the first day of a sample sale if possible. It pretty much goes without saying that there will be the biggest choice of stock before all the best buys sell out.
3.Take cash. At some sample sales cash is the only form of payment accepted, whilst at others credit card payments incur a charge. Also, admission to the sale may cost £1/£2.
4. Travel light and just pop your purse in your pocket. You won’t be allowed to take your handbag in (although lockers will be available) and pushchairs won’t be permitted inside.
5. Avoid impulse buys. I know – easier said than done with so many amazing discounts, but it is highly likely that you will not be able to return unwanted items. Most importantly, make sure the items fit you properly.
6. Know what you need. Do you really need to add a tenth pair of black jeans to your wardrobe just because they have 80% off?
7. Be open minded. You never really know exactly what will be stocked, so it’s the perfect opportunity to try something different and pay less for it.
8. Keep up to date with emerging trends. It may be a must-have now – but will it last more than one season or is it just a one hit wonder?
9. Don’t forget your friends and family. You might just find the perfect present you know they’ll love – or keep an eye out for items you know they want.
10. Don’t save and keep schtum – spread the word about where you found your bargain buys. You’ll get more kudos than for paying full price.
Oh, one more thing – any Becky Bloomwoods out there – try not to get into any fights over Gucci boots however beautiful they might be!
In part 2 of the 5 ways to wear challenge, blogger Ashley Turner from Pink Julep Abroad styles-up the Reiss Alexie dress for a summer wedding…
Most of us will be invited to a day wedding, if not this summer, then the next. It’s a great time to break out your sexy new strappy sandals or peeptoes as there are surely no dress code issues prohibiting open-toed shoes – just make sure you have a pedicure and choose a lovely neutral, classic red or light pink shade on your toenails. If you’re so inclined, this is a great time to wear a fascinator or some feathers in your hair, but don’t feel obligated as feathers, hats and gloves are no longer required at most weddings unless stated on the invitation. If you choose to wear a fascinator, keep your jewellery simple so you’re not looking too over the top – here I’ve chosen a plain gold cuff and some lovely gold studs, but pearls are also a classic choice. For daytime weddings, it’s best to keep the whole look simple, sophisticated and conservative. A clutch, shoes, classic jewellery and an optional fascinator are really all you need to look sleek, chic and beautiful… but not more beautiful than the bride because that would just be rude!
DAYTIME WEDDING LOOK:
1. Reiss Alexie Dress, £149
2. Coast Victoria Fascinator, £50
3. Banana Republic Flower Stud Earrings, £20
4. Banana Republic Sleek Cuff, £25
5. Nine West Going Steady Leather Sandals, £95 – £65
6. Ted Baker Pajak Cutout Black Clutch, £99
EVENING RECEPTION LOOK:
As a guest at an evening wedding, things are a little bit more tricky. People often send out their invitations with vague dress code descriptions such as “festive” or “party chic” which is just confusing to guests who are already stressed about finding the perfect gift, looking their best and seeing their crazy Aunt Tilly for the first time in 5 years. If the dress code is black tie, you’ll need a gown, but don’t be afraid to wear cocktail to an evening wedding. Some people will wear long dresses, but these days more an more celebrities are showing up on the red carpet in shorter hemlines. Just make sure that your accessories are glitzy enough for the occasion. If you’re not sure, go metallic! Metallic gold is like a chameleon – it takes the shape of the atmosphere it’s in. If people are dressed down, your metallics will be chic and daring; if they’re more formally dressed, your metallics will be just sparkly enough to make your look shine! Gold is very on-trend right now and looks beautiful will most colours so you really can’t go wrong with metallic accessories. The bonus point is that metallics are available at all price ranges, so you should be able to go for the gold with any budget!
1. Reiss Alexie Dress, £149
2. Accessorize Ombre Jewel Vine Earrings, £8
3. Accessorize Apollo Crystal Statement Ring, £15 – £4.50
4. Charlotte Olympia Dolly Slingback Pumps, £625
5. Aldo Cranshaw Clutch, £28 – £19.98
Next time Ashley shows us how the Reiss Alexie dress can work for both a garden party and a cocktail party…
Have you decided what to buy your dad for Father’s Day yet? A pair of novelty socks and a box of his favourite chocs may be traditional, but after ferrying us around like a free taxi service and providing much needed funds whenever the nasty bills get too much, maybe a better gift is called for this year…
On 17th June it’s our chance to say thanks, so shop our gift guide then let dad put his feet up to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a good book this Father’s Day…
Ted Baker Watch, £90
Ralph Lauren Big Pony Collection, £38 for 75ml
Paul Smith Mini Striped Cufflinks, £60
Aspinal of London Croc Wallet, £75
Handpicked Collection BBQ Set, £29.95
Handpicked Collection Personalised Keyring, £19.95
M&S Collezione Leather Bag, £99
Top Gear Drivers’ Handbook, £10 from Next
Emma Bridgewater Mug, £19.95
Kurt Geiger Slippers, £50
Ashley Turner is the blogger behind Pink Julep Abroad. At SalesGossip we love reading Ashley’s Daily Style posts, so we decided to set her a challenge – to style up 1 dress for 5 different summer events without giving us a serious case of dress deja vu…
It’s that time of year again when we’re all scrambling around wondering what on earth we’ll wear to the various weddings, parties and events that are quickly filling up our summer schedules! Summer socialising is very expensive for most of us – the wedding and hostess gifts, event tickets and transportation costs alone are a hefty weight on the old bank balance. Add an outfit for each of those events to the list and bankruptcy seems imminent, making summer more stressful than fun.
With a little planning and creativity, you can get through most of the season with one dress by changing the accessories to create a new look each time. Now, I know what you’re thinking – outfit repeater! Don’t sweat it, we’ve all seen Kate Middleton recycling her dresses with different accessories for everything from royal appearances to the weddings of her friends. If it’s good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s good enough for the rest of us!
Start with deciding on the dress that will work for all or most of the occasions you have lined up. Unless your diary is loaded with a lot of black tie events, you should be fine with a cocktail dress or even a bright suiting dress. Try to find something interesting, but in a simple cut that has sleeves or at least straps. Some religious buildings and events won’t allow bare shoulders and you don’t want to be embarrassed – it’s also great if your frock is suitable for the office so you don’t have to trek home before after work cocktail parties.
Five examples of summer soirees you might need to get ready for are a daytime wedding, an evening wedding reception, a garden party, a cocktail party and Ascot. Surprisingly enough, you can indeed make one dress work for all of these events and the one I’ve chosen is an interesting frock from Reiss.
This dress is perfect! It’s interesting, flattering and neutral. Also, some will frown on wearing either white or black to a wedding, but this is beige and broken up with the black nicely, so it’s absolutely appropriate. It has a capped sleeve, so it’s dress code suitable and it’s simple shape is not only flattering – it also allows you to layer shrugs, jackets or cardigans over it to mix up your look. At £149, this frock is not cheap, but it’s a great investment that will pay for itself in compliments. Think of it this way, if you wear it to 5 events, it’s only £30 per wear and you’ve got a classic dress that you’ll enjoy year after year.
Look 1: A Day at the Races
Should you be lucky enough to attend Ascot, you’ll need to be prepared. This is the time to splurge if you can afford to, on very classy, well-made accessories. When I selected this dress from Reiss, the first thing I did was check up on this year’s dress code regulations for the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, which are a bit more strict that the other areas at the famous races, but appropriate for all people in attendance. When in doubt just remember: It’s better to be overdressed than the alternative. For those in the Royal Enclosure, hats covering at least a 4 inch diameter on the head are required. Dresses must have sleeves or straps at least one inch thick and should be an appropriate length described as just above the knee or longer, though trouser suits are also permitted. Don’t make the mistake of covering a strapless dress with a shrug – it won’t pass. Even though jackets, shrugs and boleros are permitted, the dress underneath must meet the dress code requirements.
When attending Ascot, heels are a must! You may be standing for quite a while, so opt for a platform pair which will offer more comfort than other styles. Keep jewellery classic – pearls or diamonds are perfect. If you want to keep it interesting, opt for a more fashionable style such as the earrings above made of black diamonds and pearls. A cocktail ring will balance out the earrings, but don’t go too big with your ring on this occasion – it’s a little tacky for Ascot. A gold metallic clutch gives the look a pop while remaining classy.
The hat is tricky since not everyone looks great in the same hat. I prefer large brim hats for these types of events – they are classic and beautiful. If your dress is a straight, slim style, a big hat balances out the shape nicely. Of course you can always take a bit more risk with the hat – people do – but don’t be surprised if you receive the same reaction Princess Eugenie got with her mad hat at the Royal Wedding. Keep it classy and your mind will be on the good time you’re having instead of wondering what everyone is saying about the hat you’re not quite sure about.
1. Reiss Alexie Dress, £149
2. Large Bow Hat by Nigel Rayment
3. Astley Clarke Pompom Pearl Earrings, £875
4. Astley Clarke Black Diamond Pillow Ring, £1,150
5. Diane Von Furstenberg Metallic Tonda Clutch, £301
6. Yves St. Laurent Trib Too Contrast Toe-Cap Courts, £550
See how Ashley styles up the Reiss Alexie dress for four more summer events soon…
So, you’re all clued up on the revisions to the Royal Ascot dress code and you’re ready to hit the shops to find that all important hat – and matching dress, shoes and handbag, of course. But before you race off, take a look at our Ascot style guide – featuring a mix ‘n’ match edit of some of the high street’s hottest buys, with pieces from Coast, Phase Eight, Jigsaw, and the latest addition to the Designers at Debenhams fold – Jenny Packham No.1.
Whether you go for the understated elegance of nudes and taupes or make a statement in royal blue, odds are on you’ll look fantastic!
Hilary Hat; Phase Eight, £99
Ballet Silk Chiffon Dress; Jigsaw £235 (model also wears Bamboo Suede Shoes, £139)
Victoria Fascinator; Coast, £50
Taupe Verity Dress; Phase Eight, £120
Royal Blue Zoe Bag; Coast, £35
Royal Blue Romola Peplum Dress; Coast, £150
Floral Printed Dress; Jenny Packham No.1 at Debenhams, £85
Diamante Bow Brooch, Jenny Packham No.1, £25
Pale Pink Rhinestone Embellished Clutch Bag; Jenny Packham No.1, £80
Have you got a winning look for a day at the races all planned out? Share it with us via Facebook or Twitter…
Every bit as much an occasion for horse racing enthusiasts as it is an opportunity to dress to impress, Royal Ascot is viewed by many as the jewel in the crown of the English summer social calendar.
To ensure you’re first past the post in the fashion stakes at Royal Ascot this June, make sure you’ve swotted up on the revised dress code… heaven forbid you turn up at the Royal Enclosure sporting a fascinator, however fetching it might be!
So what to wear? Thankfully a helpful Ascot style guide has been issued for racegoers to refer to…
For Ladies formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure. Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer. Dresses and tops should have straps at least one inch wide. Strapless, off the shoulder and halter neck styles are not permitted. Hats must be worn – however a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches or more in diameter is an acceptable alternative to a hat. Fascinators are no longer acceptable! And perhaps most importantly of all, midriffs must be covered.
As for the Gentlemen, they are required to wear either black or grey morning dress including a waistcoat and tie (note, not a cravat), a black or grey top hat and black shoes. Very dapper indeed!
Chiffon Dress, Louisa Beccaria; Nude Heels, Christian Louboutin; Hat, Stephen Jones
Morning Suit, Waistcoat and Tie, Gieves & Hawkes; Top Hat, Bates Hatter; Shoes Crocket & Jones
The dress code is slightly more relaxed for the Grandstand, but racegoers are: ‘encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occassion’. That means a hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times. Once again strapless dresses and tops are not permitted and midriffs must be covered. Ladies trouser suits are acceptable attire in both in the Royal Enclosure and the Grandstand, but trousers must be full length – so no shorts, please.
Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie.
Suit Jacket and Trousers, Ted Baker; Shirt, Topman; Tie, Reiss; Smoking Slippers, Jimmy Choo
Blouse, Gerald Darel; Skirt, Reiss; Fascinator, Jane Taylor; Ankle Socks, Massimo Dutti; Shoes, Ursula Mascaro
Nick Smith the Head of Communications and International Racing at Ascot describes the changes as: ‘a reaction to what our customers have told us they want – differentiation between Royal Ascot and other race meetings.’
Personally, I’ll take any excuse I can get to wear a big hat – but what do you think of the Ascot dress code? Are they the gatekeepers of tradition upholding standards of elegance and decorum, or are they stifling personal style with what can be seen as a modern day take on sumptuary laws?
Before you go shopping for your Ascot outfit, look at our day at the races style guide, coming soon…
Amy Childs like totally dresses the same as the Duchess of Cambridge. Shut up!
Remember last December when only a matter of days passed by before Amy was spotted out and about wearing the very same £69.99 Zara dress Kate had worn to the Prince’s Trust charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall? Well, now she’s at it again…
Amy Childs has become the latest celebrity to design a capsule collection for Lipsy, and like the rest of the nation, she’s turned to Kate for a little sartorial inspiration. But did we expect the Queen of Essex to follow the lead of the future Queen of England?
It’s no surprise that Amy has tweaked the designs to pump up the glamour. By raising the hemline on the Temperley inspired gown to create a fishtail, the overall look achieved is very different from the KM original - it just goes to show how versatile lace dresses like these can be.
If you’ve got a big event coming up, be it a prom or night out with the girls – Lipsy have the dresses to get you red carpet ready. Alongside the Amy Childs for Lipsy collection, there’s also Lipsy VIP, modelled by Made In Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh.
It’s time to get the bunting out and celebrate The Queen’s 60th year on the throne!
2012 is going to be one year to remember – so why not get some patriotic mementos? There was was a time when we the most you could buy was a commemorative mug, but now everyone from top designer labels to high street stores are getting in on the act – selling everything from crown-shaped cufflinks to Union Jack bikinis. Here are the Top 10 Jubilee buys we’ve found…
Crown Cufflinks, Tatty Devine £60
OPI Great Britian, Great Nails Limited Edition Nail Polish Set, £22 House of Fraser
Union Jack Purse, Cath Kidston £25
Crown Necklace, Tatty Devine £87
Union Jack Bikini, Sweaty Betty, Top £28, Bottoms £25
Vivienne Westwood Jubilee Earrings, Available End of May
‘Tea With The Queen’ Teapot, Emma Bridgewater £50
Bond No. 9 London Celebration EDT, Exclusive to Harrods £290
Queen’s Head Clutch Bag, Aspinal of London £595
Union Jack Platform Shoes, Gina £875
Geri Halliwell eat your heart out - Vivienne Westwood has a whole new take on the Union Jack dress. This corseted couture is certainly not made from a tea towel – and there’s even enough fabric to cover your knickers!
Yes Vivienne Westwood is the latest designer to fly the flag in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The capsule collection of 10 suitably patriotic dresses features the Union Jack motif as well as more romantic designs in a muted colour palette. With swathes of silk chiffon these are dresses fit for a fairytale princess. Just top off with a tiara – or failing that, a pair of Vivienne Westwood Jubilee Collection earrings will do the job just fine!
To celebrate in style the collection will be available from the end of May 2012, prices from £650 – £3000.