Old BookCase Shoe Storage Display

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I am still midway with the renovations and awaiting a few more shelves for my walk-in – yep I do have more shoes than I thought. In my bedroom I decided to swap my old chest of draws for a taller styles so was left with a space. I debated having another Billy bookcase but didn’t want to make the room cramped. Instead I decided to evict all the books from this bookcase we had in the hall and bring it in to my bedroom. Since it has glass doors I thought it would be great to display more more ornate shoes whilst keeping them safe from dust. The bookcase was inherited from my Granddad, it still has his cigarette┬á burn on the top. I remember as a child my mum telling him off as he would often leave his cigarette balanced on the top whilst he went off doing things. It doesn’t really match the otherwise white room but I really quite like how it looks, or perhaps that’s just because I like the bookcase, either way I’m happy with it. I am still putting off re-varnishing the wood floors, it wasn’t a fun job the first time I did it.

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The ‘before’ shot

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Cigarette burn and a cup mark

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I also picked up these fun storage boxes from Dunelm, I use my Lush hatboxes to hide away bits and bobs but had filled them up so these will be great for hiding messy make-up and toiletries. I know it will be worth it in the end, but I’d just like to be able to find a pair of socks without having to rummage through ten bin bags first! Hopefully by next week it should be finished, just one last trip to Ikea.

Sunglasses to Suit Your Mood

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Clockwise from top left: vintage Wayfarers, All Saints Cat-eyes, Nichole Farhi Clubmasters. 

I am so glad the sun has finally decided to put in an appearance, it means we can get out our sunglasses! As with most things I’ve acquired a little collection of different styles, I really like to match my sunnies to my outfits. I think by far my favourite styles are big, thick, black frames as they are easy wear and they go with everything. Above is my ‘handbag’ collection, as in the ones I keep stashed in my handbag. They were all cheap, ┬ú20 or under so I don’t have to worry about them getting broken at the bottom of my bag. Last summer the All Saints pair were my staple, such a flattering shape, year before were the Wayfarers. This year I wanted something a bit different and was taken by the Clubmaster style. I was lusting after the Rayban Clubmasters when I found these Nicole Farhi ones. I liked that they had a lower nose bridge and of course that they were only ┬ú20 from TK Maxx. I do think my next buy will be Rayban though, as the cheapy ┬ú5 vintage ones above don’t offer much protection in strong sunlight so I would like a classic pair of Rayban Wayfarers. Red Hot Sunglasses have some amazing ones and I think their prices are very reasonable, they also have an extra large lens Wayfarer design available which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

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Clockwise from top left: Nicole Farhi, Celine, J MASKREY

Besides from my everyday sunglasses I also have a few pairs of special ones. These were either expensive so I don’t want them clunking around my bag when I’m not wearing them or they go with specific outfits. The ones above are my D-Frames, they kind of have a ‘geek’ glasses feel to them, nice and chunky. The translucent ones are really only for a bit of fancy as they don’t offer any eye protection, whilst the red Celine ones I feel need balancing out with the right outfit. The J MASKREY ones with the crystal kiss are my absolute favourite sunglasses in the world ever, aren’t they amazing!

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Clockwise from top: Gianfranco Ferre, Nike, Miu Miu, vintage Dior

If I want a softer look then I reach for my tortoiseshell sunnies, I have them in a variety of frame shapes from nice big cat-eyes, to oversized honeycombs, delicate gilt trimmed and aviator. One for any occasion really! I tend to wear these with a vintage dress and heels, perfect summer look.

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Finally I have these big, bright D&G ones. Not sure what category these would go in! They are great just for a bit of fun and would be the pair to take to sit beside a pool with a cocktail. I also have this sunglasses chain holder from GOGO PHILIP, I’ve got a real habit of tucking my sunglasses over the neck of my tops – inevitably I end up dropping them when I lean over so this is really useful and a little bit cool I think. All I could use now is a beach…

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Making Shoe Art

From top: Missoni, Prada, D&G

Boo hoo I want to wear my summer shoes but it just won’t stop raining, so all I can do is look longingly at my pretty heels. Sigh. That is the problem with fabric shoes, you can’t risk wearing them in the rain or they will be ruined. These three are my current favourites, classic court shoes seem to be my go-to style but I don’t usually opt for prints. The dip-die Prada’s are from a few seasons ago, I really want to get a pair of dip-dye jeans or trousers to wear with them. The gingham D&G’s have only had one outing so far and I just wrote about wanting to wear them with my leo print clutch, alas I am still waiting to do that. The crochet Missoni’s I got recently, my first buy from the brand. I have always been a fan of their signature, rainbow colour knit’s but never gone for anything before. I really liked these pointed court shoes though, a bright pop of colour to add to any outfit. As soon as we get some sunshine!

That Doesn’t Match, Does It?

D&G Gingham shoes and Leopard clutch

I┬á was recently asked if there was a certain comment people always made about my style. Such as ‘You always wear such high heels’ or ‘You always wear a certain colour’. The only thing that came to mind was actually a little bit of an argument I tend to end up having with people when they say ‘That doesn’t match’ or ‘But that doesn’t go’. I either end up being questioned to explain why it in fact does go and when I am in the mood I will gladly explain the concept of clashing prints. Sometimes I play devils advocate and ask ‘Why should it have to match’. When I am not in the mood for a debate I simply quote Chandler Bing when defending his tatty old arm chair ‘It goes with me’.

As soon as I saw these D&G gingham shoes I thought they would be perfect to wear this summer with my leopard clutch to give a new lease of life to my old vintage frocks. They are nicely padded inside and a comfortable heel height so I know I will get lots of wear out of them. Even though they are court shoes and I promised myself I wasn’t to be buying any more court shoes. Hmm does the fact they are peep-toe make them different?? I wouldn’t say I was a gingham person, too many school dress memories, but I have been drawn back to the fabric lately.┬á Gingham seems to have cropped up all over the place, I picked up a pale blue shirt from Worlds End last time I was in London and Miu Miu have used it in jewellery this season too which I am eying up. I have a very old red gingham shirt I am itching to try wearing with these shoes too. Perhaps it is the Dorothy Gale association but gingham always makes me feel a bit girly – all the better to pair it with a bit of leopard, black leather or something studded!

Outfit: All The Glitters

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Hussar jacket, D&G t-shirt, Zara trousers, Christian Louboutin shoes, Jimmy Choo H&M necklace, Chanel Mimosa nail varnish.

Florrie took these photo’s of me one chilly morning in Convent Garden. I was not in the mood what so ever for photo taking, hence the scowl and the hiding in my collar. Good job Florrie can always get me to crack a smile. Love this jacket though. It is one of my favourite things, it looks a bit extreme but inside it feels just like a cosy old sweater. Which is why I wear it so much I guess, comfort and looking like a Christmas tree, win:win!

Outfit: Total Mash Up!

Wearing: D&G wedges, Vivienne Westwood Gold Label t-shirt, VW Anglomania skirt, vintage leather jacket, Primark socks.

Check me out in my wedges! Long time readers of my blog you will be familiar with my aversion to the chunky style shoes. ‘They are so comfy’, ‘much easier to walk in than heels’ people would tell me blah, blah, blah I thought. True I had tried them on, even been a huge fan of the wedge in the past but some how my love had waned. It wasn’t until I decided to redecorate my bedroom and have a huge clear out in the process that I actually had the time and space to fully assess the contents of my wardrobe. What soon became apparent was that court shoes ruled supreme. Yep different colours and styles but all my shoes were pretty much courts. So I made a deal with myself, no more new shoes unless they are something totally different!

At the same time I had been lusting over this seasons D&G show. I always love D&G but this was their last ever collection, the brand to be merged with the main line Dolce and Gabbana. I am still bemused by this decision, since the two lines were very much different in style, not to mention the price range. This cemented my decision, I really wanted to have something from the very last D&G collection. Full of vintage inspired printed silks, gypsy gold jewellery and a crazy splattering of contrasting prints it really summed up the design philosophy which had been behind the brand.

When I spotted the shoes for this season I couldn’t resist, who else would use florals, polka-dots, leopard print and geometric shapes on one shoe! Naturally I leaned to the peep-toe court first, but stopped myself, remembering my deal. Ok I would try the wedges instead, I mean I could easily exchange them for the courts if I didn’t like them. But like them I did, in fact I skipped off in them the day they arrived. Yes, they are high and the platform wedge does take some getting used to walking in. But the lovely padded sole and sturdy ankle strap make feel secure. I managed to wear them all day without doing myself any damage, so I concede, I may be a wedge girl yet. It is so nice to have a different shoe, just the look of it can transform an outfit.┬á I am going to enjoy playing around with these. I am also going to be dreaming after the rest of the D&G collection, here are some of my favourite looks.

Runway images from Style.com

Outfit: Pastels, Neon, Metallic!

For my second post on how I will be wearing pastels I went totally in the opposite direction! In fact I would forgive you for noticing I was wearing pastels at all and that is my point. A really easy way into the trend is to just wear something as simple as a t-shirt, just exchange one of your usual items – in my case a classic white tee, for a pastel version.

I am also wearing one of this seasons key items, the Bomber jacket! I really like the shape of bombers but wasn’t sure if the Baseball style was quite my thing so I ran around the shop screaming when I found this perforated silver leather one!!! Which is very much my thing!

Wearing: Armarni jacket, D&G sunglasses, pink top all from TK Maxx; Vivienne Westwood skirt; Chanel shoes; D&G clutch. Make-up Chanel June nailvarnish and Rouge Allure lipstick in Delicieuse.

My pink top also has a bit of a story behind it. A couple of weeks ago I joined TK Maxx and some of my favorite fashion bloggers for a lovely evening at the Paramount. We weren’t just there for a party, although we did have a marvelous time, we were all there to support their campaign to help Cancer Research through their Give Up Clothes for Good initiative. The deal is you fill up a big bag of clothes or even just choose one item, whatever you can, then take it along to your local TK Maxx store where they will pass it onto Cancer Research to sell in their shops! All they ask is that you donate something as you would expect to receive it, clean and in new or excellent condition.

Then if you are anything like me, you can go about rewarding yourself for that good deed by picking up something to fill that gap in your wardrobe at TK Maxx, namely a pink metallic top! In the video below all the bloggers talk about what they donated to the cause and what they would replace it with this summer. I have bags of stuff to donate but that night I talked about one special piece. I donated a pretty cotton dress which I bought whilst at my first ever conference in Lanzarotti. The weather was awful so outside of work I spent a lot of time in the local craft shops. The lady who owned the clothes shop handmade everything using local and vintage fabrics. It is a beautiful dress in black and green with a four leaf clover print – like the tattoo on my wrist. So keep your eyes out for it whilst shopping at your local Cancer Research shop!

Enjoy the video’s although you will have to excuse the seriously bad angle I am at as I look and sound horrendous!

Natalie Hartley Gives Up Clothes for Good

Fashion Bloggers Give Up Clothes for Good

You can watch more clips from all the celebs on the YouTube channel Love TKMaxx

Outfit: When its Old New and New New

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Galo’ jacket, Worlds End shirt, vintage VW necklace, vintage Wrangler jeans, D&G shoes.

You know when you buy something out of season, it sits looking at you. You have to shove it in the wardrobe out of site. Yet it keeps glinting at you every time you open the door. This ‘Galo’ jacket has been sat looking at me since around January, however it first glinted its beady eye at me last year when the Vivienne Westwood S/S Gold Label show images were released. The it appeared in the shop, I didn’t dare try it on, in case I fell in love with it. I guess somethings are just inevitable and the fashion gods decided it needed to go home with me. Here it is, the first hit of sunshine and I whipped it out of the dust bag.

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label S/S10

This is one of those outfits where I can’t decide if I especially like or not. Perhaps it has something to do with the jeans, I don’t particularly like jeans all that much. They look fantastic on other people, Emanuelle Alt for example, but they aren’t for me. Which also doesn’t explain the 15 or so pairs in the bottom of my wardrobe either hmmm. Anyway I still decided to post the photos because this is what I wore and that is the point of this blog. Much as we would all love to look like we jumped right out of Vogue, truth is that isn’t real life. Now if someone could invent the real life version of an air brush that I could use. Fat day? Meh brush that muffin top away. Oh well we can dream!