Autumn / Winter 2013 Wish List!

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Rick Owens runway via Style.com, Rick Owens tunic, Michale Kors leggings, Eugina Kim bobble hat – all from Net-a-Porter.com, Sheepskin boots from UGG Australia.

Like most people I tend to have to ‘versions’ of my wardrobe, the going out fancy and they staying at home scruffy. Because of my dogs I go for comfort when I’m at home, slouchy sweaters, plaid shirts, leggings and Ugg boots. Up North we are starting to feel the chill in the air during the evenings signaling autumn will be here soon, all the new season stock is starting to arrive in the shops too. I won’t go on about how ridiculous the retail fashion cycle is but as I am sure you know finding winter clothes when you actually need them is never easy, you always need to be one step ahead. For me there are always two winter essentials, new boots and a new coat. Last years Cardi UGG Australia boots took a bit of a hammering so this year I really wanted something more sturdy, but still soft and flexible enough to be comfortable wearing around the house. I chose these pale grey Baily Button Triplet from UGG Australia which will go well with my winter staple colours of black and grey. In my mind I look like I just stomped off a Rick Owens runway, in reality I look like I forgot to get dressed, but hey at least I will be warm as I sit hidden under an oversized hoodie.

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As for my respectable-adult-leaving-the-house-look you all know I have to be drooling over the new season Vivienne Westwood. I haven’t seen much of the new collections in store yet but this Gold Label runway look basically sums up how I want my AW13 to be, torn silk skirts, oversized knit sweaters, clompy boots and capes. For the office the smart new Harris coat in baby pink is calling to me, as is this incredible printed pencil skirt. I love a good statement necklace and this chunky collar with semi-precious stones is divine. My current tartan everyday bag is starting to look a bit abused so I also have my eye on a nice roomy new one, this embossed tartan tote is rather lust worthy.

PicMonkey Collage

All images / products Vivienne Westwood.co.uk

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Whatcha got, whatcha got, lemme see, lemme see, sniff, sniff, sniff!!! Han approves of new shoes so long as he gets to jump around in the tissue paper.

Style Inspiration – Chuck it on the Chair

I am always being asked what my style inspirations are, with the expected answer to be a list of Hollywood stars, celebrities, films and designers. In truth the most common thing is my bedroom chair. When I’ve chucked things on it haphazardly in a rush, clothes strewn around the room and all over the floor, it’s then by chance I will notice two things which really work together, things I wouldn’t have thought to try. Colours, patterns, shapes like a still-life mood board. Here tartan with sports-luxe or gold for a not to the opulent trend, it is nice to just have a play around. Flicking through the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar in bed, I noticed the purple trench with this bright orange clutch amongst other things piled on top of it, they could have jumper right out of the colour blocking editorial on the pages. Next time you are stuck for inspiration try delving into the back of your wardrobe and throwing it around a bit, you never know what you might find!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Girl Crush – Emanuelle Alt

(Michael Perry patent boots, Rupert Sanderson ‘Bessie’ heels, Kat Maconie ‘Camilla’ boots)

I have a confession to make, sometimes when I’m out shopping I shop for a tiny Emanuelle Alt who lives in my head. She is the version of me and how I would dress had I been born with an extra 9″ and thin as a rake. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with my body but sometimes there are some trends I love but alas cannot pull off! How I would love to be able to rock a pair of skinny jeans and a baggy t-shirt like Emanuelle, she has the perfect figure and attitude for dressing simply. She always dresses it up with either a statement jacket, think leather or shoulder padded blazer or a killer pair of heels favoring designers Isabel Marant and Balmain. I was just checking out the new season shoes on offer and spotted some gorgeous pairs, for some reason blue is appealing to me. Here are three of my favourite and whilse I’m not sure if they are my own style I think they would be perfect for Emanuelle. I can just imagine her in the Michael Perry patent ankle boots with their rows of tiny buckles. The kitten heel Rupert Sanderson’s are typical of her style, she often favours a black court shoe but the navy detailing adds a nice splash of contrast. I have a pair of Prada kitten heels which are similar to this which I can’t wait to get out again this season although it will be with skirts not skinny’s for me! Finally I chose these midnight blue velvet Kat Maconie boots, they are just so beautiful and the velvet seems so luxurious for winter. They are a little different to what Emanuelle would wear but hey every girl needs to try something new every now and again. As for me I really think shades of blue and navy will be my think for autumn / winter.

Do you ever ‘Shop’ for other people?

(Image of Emanuelle Alt via Stockholm Street Style)

101 Ways to Wear a Vivienne Westwood Pirate Squiggle Top

(Wearing: all Vivienne Westwood -┬á Worlds End ‘AR’ t-shirt, Squiggle top as pants, 3-tongue shoes, malachite necklace, gold orb belt.

Oh alright not quite 101, how about 3? There really are a lot of ways to wear these hugely popular tops (available exclusively at Vivienne Westwood World’s End ┬ú150), first and for most as an actual top! Just like I was wearing in my last post ‘Squiggle Girl‘. They are a really versatile piece, easy to wear casual or dressed up with a suit. But hey this is Westwood and that is a bit too obvious. A few of us were talking about this on my Facebook page, how the Squiggle top can be styled into so many other things. Mark Andrew shared his seriously cool take on the top as trousers and so I thought I would show a couple of ways you can try styling your top.

1. Trousers – I admit this seems a really odd thing to do, put you top on as if it were trousers! The arms from the legs and you can belt the opening around your waist, the neck will leave a hole but just pull it up and pin it however you please. It think they give a really cool harem style pant. The only limitation with this is that you need fairly slim legs so you don’t stretch out your top.

2. Apron – a take on tying your top around your bum like you did as a kid, you can do a similar trip but in a more stylish way. Here I tied the top on the side, wrapped the arms around the back and around the front again, tying in a knot. It gives an extra layer and a great pop of print.

3. Scarf – a really unexpected way to wear the to is as a scarf. Roll the top up from the sleeves down to conceal the neck hole, hold on the chest and wrap the arms around the back of your neck and down the front, tucking any exposed underarm patches in. Tie the ends of the sleeves in knots to give the tassel effect.

There you go a few ways to experiment, you could do this with any loose fitting long sleeve top, not just the Westwood Squiggle top. Have fun!

What to Wear to a Garden Party, Taking Tips from Kate Middleton

Kate and her Prince stroll the grounds

You don’t need me to tell you how much of an impact Kate Middleton’s style has had over women world over since she wed Prince William. Debates have been divided, but no matter if you think her look is perfectly chic or just a bit boring we can all take a few tips from her.

The one thing Kate is a dab hand at is dressing for garden parties. We might not all be invited to the polo or to stroll the grounds of Buckingham palace but I am sure we will all find ourselves at an outdoor occasion such as weddings, BBQ’s and picnics this summer (my post for wedding guest outfit ideas). The easiest thing to wear to this kind of event is a simple tea-dress, it will be comfortable and elegant – should you need to sit on the grass, whilst also keeping you cool. A light jacket or cardigan is the perfect accompaniment should it get chilly in the evening. Pashmina’s are popular but personally I find them fussy as you constantly have to adjust them to keep in place. Your choice of footwear however is the key to your look, forget the heels either go for a flat sandal or a wedge, there is nothing fun about spending all day with a heel stuck in the turf!

LK Bennett ‘Zella, Belle by Sigerson Morrison ‘Wallis’, Melissa ‘Patchuli’

In the shoe department Kate is famously known for her love of two styles, nude shoes and the wedge. Wedges are the perfect shoes for summer garden parties, they give you the same lift as your heels but will keep you firmly on the ground. Here are three of my top picks. First up is Kate’s personal favourite the LK Bennett ‘Zella’ available in nude and black patent with an espadrille style heel. This is such an easy shoe to wear and will go with any outfit. For girls who like things a bit more edgy the Wallis from Belle by Sigerson Morrison are a great option, they come in red with pink heel trim or blue with green trim. The vibrant colours and pointed toe add a real pop with attitude! These would also look great with a wide leg trouser if dresses aren’t your thing. I just had to include the Melissa ‘Patchuli’ a peep-toe wedge which comes in grey, black and my personal recommendation royal navy. If you aren’t familiar with Melissa shoes, they are all made from bubble-gum scented rubber which means they are waterproof, perfect for damp grass and summer showers. Now all you need is that party invite!

Kate stays chic whilst her friend battles a rogue pashmina

Are you a wedge girl? What are your summer style tips?

(Kate images courtesy of Grazia, shoe images courtesy of Zalando.co.uk)

Work Wear – Not a term I tend to use

The term ‘Work wear’ usually instills one reaction in me Snoozeberg!! I think it is the lasting repulsion of school uniform, which trails over into so many work uniforms and the eternally drab grey suit. Is there anything more miserable than a sea of soggy wet grey bodies huddled together on public transport at 8am? I can’t say I have ever been one to tow the suited and booted line. Ok so turning up to teach an academic day school in harem pants might have gotten a few confused looks but that’s just me. There are ways you can twist the term work appropriate however, in more subtle ways. This feature in Vogue homes in on using fresh summer palettes for traditional tailoring. Crisp white and baby blues or sand with chambray seem much more appealing. I think the easiest thing to play around with are accessories. I have always been a fan of wearing statement shoes with simple suiting. Here Vogue have gone for a quirky flat brogue which would be perfect this summer paired with a turned up trouser hem. Alternatively a stunning pointed stiletto in faux snake skin with the leather ‘Lavacourt shoes from Guess for the heel’s girls. You could also try working with handbags and jewellery. A white bag always screams summer and this season loud and proud earrings pack a punch.

How will you be updating your look for the office this summer?

Its Knitwear Season

I think we have done decidedly well with the weather so far this winter, in fact we are five degrees warmer this November than last year. I have managed to avoid my thick winter clothing and get away with just a warmer coat or light cardigan. It wasn’t going to last long though and this week has seen the temperature drop and that traditional November chill is in the air. Time to pull out our heavy coats, hats and gloves. This season has seen a real embrace of knitwear from the fashion industry, so no more boring old threadbare jumpers from last year, its time to embrace the new knits. As money is tight around Christmas here are some on trend but very affordable pieces of knitwear from Joe Browns and styling tips on how to look chic this winter.

When Alexander Wang brought loose fitting sports wear to the runways he caused something of a storm. No more are sweaters and jogging pants reserved for the gym. He added chunky heels and messy hair for a glam-casual look. I would pair this Sloppy Joe Sweater with a pair of grey jogging pants or leather leggings, a pointed court shoe and a statement necklace for casual cool.

Cable knit jumpers made a huge come back last year after Alexa Chung stepped out in an over-sized Aran cardi. This Textured Knit and Scarf set makes accessorising easy  and worn with a fitted pencil skirt makes it work friendly too. The cropped sleeves make it perfect for layering with either a long sleeve t-shirt below or a blazer over the top.

For the highest of high fashion labels Givenchy and Balenciaga to adorn their jumpers with animals, it must mean your dodgy old Xmas sweater has now gained serious style credentials. This Quirky Cat Sweater adds a dash of glam and a lot of fun to your outfit. I especially like that it has a bow detail on the back. By far the easiest piece to dress up with heels or down with jeans, it will be your go-to item this season.

Finally knitwear isn’t just reserved for sweaters oh no, these Crazy Alpine Leggings will not only keep you snug but add a welcome dash of colour to those grey days. Teamed with sneakers, snow boots or heels this is a very versatile piece!

How will yo be keeping chic in the chill this winter?

Trying Out Winter Coat Trends

When I received an email from House of Fraser, saying they wanted to choose a coat from their winter collection which they thought would fit my style, I have to say I was more than a little intrigued. I mean I am picky, really picky. But they saw straight through me and my undying love for anything fuzzy and furry by sending me this Label Lab faux fur coat.

With it’s statement wide collar and single breasted cut the coat is distinctly 70’s in style however the colourful take on leopard print its very modern. The 1970s trend is one of my favourites for this season, however I am not one to wear floppy hats and maxi dresses so I chose to style the coat in a sleeker way. Wide leg trousers and pussy bow blouses again are key 70s pieces but keeping the lines clean and sharp lets you dabble in the decade without looking like a pastiche (unless you want to of course, I’d love to start seeing men in platforms again).

Another reason for keeping the look streamlined was to keep it work wear focused. So many of the glossy magazines are all fired up for party looks but we spend most of our time and money on our daily wardrobe. That said this coat would be equally perfect thrown nonchalantly over a little black dress and a strappy pair of heels to keep out the chill whilst you party hop.

I am a sucker for detail and thought the tiny studs on the buttons were a nice touch.

The coat fastens with the buttons but I think it would also look fabulous worn with a wide belt. Belted coats are another trend gaining popularity this season and adding one is such a simple way to change the look and shape of your coat.

I think this is coat is a lovely choice for winter, it is certainly something different yet is classic enough to easily wear. The quality is very good and I think this will be one you keep pulling out year after year. One thing worth nothing is that the sizing is very generous so if you are between sizes go for the smaller, there will still be plenty of room to fit a jumper below.

(Also wearing Ossie Clark blouse, Chanel brooch, Vivienne Westwood trousers, Christian Louboutin shoes, vintage clutch)

What are your favourite winter coat trends?

Pearl

Styling This Seasons Trends With TK Maxx

Early in September I went to the TK Maxx press day to see what they had for the coming season. Whilst in London over Fashion Week I called into the Kensington High Street branch to see for myself if what they had promised was on offer. It was, in abundance!

Here I styled two looks around the trends featured during the press day: Country Heritage and Party Wear. (You can read the press day coverage here and here). TK Maxx has a fantastic range of this season key pieces, with deliveries being made every day there is always something new to see. I call into my local branch every time I am in town to check I am not missing out on any bargains. You need to view shopping in store similar to vintage shopping. Have a good look at everything, take you time, try things on and the real gems will soon reveal themselves. If you haven’t got a local store or aren’t the rummaging kind then you can now shop online too.

Country Heritage

Many elements of the heritage trend are very easy to wear from moss coloured knits to tweed skirts. Cocoon yourself in complimentary layers for a chic yet warm look. Dress up a simple outfit of jeans and sweater with a wax jacket and statement ankle boot.

Party Dresses

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching it is time to bag yourself the hottest party dress. Out smart your friends by turning up in something unique – don’t you hate it when every girl in the party is in the same ‘must-have’ High Street frock. With TK Maxx offering a vast range of limited designs no 0ne is going to outshine you. From wine colours to glittery details, neon flashes and sequins the options are endless, just don’t forget your heels.

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Click the thumbnails for full size images or check out the entire album on my Facebook page

Look 1: Dress RRP £2280 TK Maxx price £599.99, cardigan RRP £1220 TK Maxx price £199.99, boots RRP £304 TK Maxx price£105

Look 2: Dress RRP £3060 TK Maxx price£199.99, shoes RRP £418 TK Maxx price£99.99

All items from TK Maxx designer Gold Label section

Styling by Pearl Westwood

Photography by Florrie Clarke

So what do you think were you surprised you could score runway looks from TK Maxx or have you been stalking the rails for years? Which trend is your favourite for Autumn / Winter?

How to Look Cocktail Fabulous in 5 minutes

Want to know how to look cocktail fabulous in 5 minutes?
My answer – Throw Some Sequins at it! For real, should you want to say ‘Pearl cocktails in 5 minutes’ I will be there in a flash. I can grab a number of sequined garments and with a slick of lippy be at the bar with a Harvey Wall Banger before most people have even opened the wardrobe door.
I haven’t always been this good, in fact any event that required me to wear something other than my everyday attire would have me hurling myself on the floor with sobs of ‘I have NOTHING to wear’!!!!! I know I am not alone in this and I know it surprises people when I confess too that evening wear gets me frazzled. Granted most of my daily outfits are OTT enough for evening anyway but it is the properly dressed up part that gets me. Well it did until I discovered my friend the sequin. Dresses are of course the easiest thing as it is pretty much the whole outfit in one, but I do love a sequin top too with a simple black skirt or trousers.


(Wearing: Vintage dress and clutch, Chanel boots)


(Wearing: Vintage top and clutch, Vivienne Westwood skirt, Christian Louboutin shoe)

Because I know how annoying it is when someone says ‘oh it’s vintage’ as that means hours searching around, check out Very’s gorgeous cocktail dresses. The have a huge selection of sequined numbers some very vintage in style, here are a few that caught my eye whilst having a quick browse.

Love Label £75, Fuse by Preen £17, French Connection £82.59

What is your party trick?
Pearl