Outfit: Summer Styling with TK Maxx

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TK Maxx asked me if I would like to be part of their summer campaign to show how you can easily pull together the perfect summer outfit from their online store. As you all know I love TK Maxx, it is where I get a lot of my designer bargains from however I had never actually used their website before so I jumped at the chance. The idea was to choose a pair of shoes and a dress, an easy way to make an outfit. TK Maxx have such a huge selection, with many high street and designer brands. The website, as with the store, is a real treasure hunt, you never know what you will find! Pros of the website vs the store is that you can edit your search by size, style, colour and brand making things easier and quicker for those who don’t have time to rummage. It was really interesting to browse the brands selection, discovering names I hadn’t realised TK Maxx stocked. Since it is summer (apparently) I though it would be nice to look for an easy to wear day dress which could be dressed up or down. I didn’t particularly have anything in mind, so just decided to search by size and see what came up. My eye was caught by all the lovely bright prints but I was torn between a pencil or 50s silhouette. Most of my summer dresses are vintage so I opted for this printed orange silk dress which is a similar style to what I have, full skirt and nipped in waist. As TK Maxx only have limited stock the dress I chose already sold out, however you can browse all their other fabulous dresses.

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For the shoes, of course I wanted heels! But I really wanted to try something a bit different to my staple court shoes. The first pair I chose were a stunning pink, sequin peep-toe pair, but unfortunately they were too big, sob. I returned them, one of the only cons of the website is that you have to pay for posting items back but you can return them in store. Instead I choose these bright, colour block sandals. Even in summer I can’t bear to ditch the socks so these little anchors are my seasonal option! These shoes also sold out right after I got mine, one thing I will advise is buy it when you see it. TK Maxx don’t carry huge stock, that’s how they get such bargain prices, so things sell out fast. Don’t worry though there are lots more gorgeous shoes here waiting.

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Since I had my hair in a messy beehive -new default lazy hair style – I felt the whole outfit looked a bit too vintagey, with the 50s shape dress and cat eye sunglasses. To tone it down a bit I added the cut-off army jacket and belt. The sunglasses are such a nice shape, they only have a rim on the top so are bit aviator, a bit rayban. I actually just bought them myself from the TK Maxx website, designer sunglasses for ┬ú20 (rrp ┬ú100), can’t really argue with that! The designer shoes were ┬ú80 (rrp approx┬ú400) and the high street dress ┬ú29.99 (rrp approx ┬ú120), such great savings! If you have never checked out their website I really do recommend it, you will be surprised what big designer names you find.

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Have you ever shopped at TK Maxx online? What do you think of my picks?

Outfit: Wiggle Skirt & a Beehive

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Wearing: J MASKREY Sunglasses and skin jewellery, Iceberg pencil skirt and Sweetie jumper both TK Maxx, vintage Vivienne Westwood elevated platform shoes, fishnet socks Primark.

The sun, the sun!! I have literally been busting at the seems for a bit of sunshine so I could show off my fabulous new glittering treasures! Why did I need to wait for the sun? Well if you are familiar with the designs of J MASKREY you will understand, if not then scroll down the photos then come back up and read on…

Did you see? Only under the sun, or in fact party disco lights can you full appreciate the sparkling beauty of so many crystals! J loves crystals, in fact J pretty much puts crystals on anything you could ever imagine – no wonder I like her so much right! In fact my first ever J MASKREY┬á piece were a pair of crystal encrusted gloves, which I still get immense pleasure out of every year I pull them out. You can see them here in one of my very early blog posts, how did it get to be 4 years ago! How! Time flies and I actually can’t believe I was thin /brave enough to wear hots pants back then too.

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J MASKREY skin jewellery is already really famous with it adorning the bodies of celebs such as Rhianna and co, lucky for us she just set up her incredible online store so we can all have a glitter binge too! As soon as I saw the website I wanted absolutely everything immediately! I just wanted to roll around like a kid in a candy store. SUCH PRETTY THINGS! Also some cheeky things like her C’ word clutch bags as toted by Lady Gaga. Anyway, you know I am a bit of a sunglasses addict so how could I not fall head over heels for a pair of crystal encrusted kiss frames. The ‘Sexy D Frame’ sunglasses are a chunky, black ‘geek’ frame, nice big lenses and a Swarovski pucker! The lips are made up of lots of different sized aurora borealis crystals with tiny specks of glitter in between each stone – hows that for attention to detail. They come in a sleek satin finish hard case to keep them safe too. Everyone I’ve showed these sunglasses too have demanded I hand them over to be tried on straight away.

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The other twinkling accessory you can see is one of the skin jewellery designs, the ‘Gold Crystal Flower‘. Literally like a sticker for you skin! You just peel off the backing sheet and apply where ever you choose on the body or on your phone, books whatever you like. They have enough adhesive for around three wears on the skin then you will need a dab of eyelash glue to add the stickiness back. I have really sensitive skin and found no irritation at all, win. I have become obsessed with the skin jewellery, I love tattoo’s and I love jewellery. I think these are so pretty and can’t wait for summer so I can show them off a bit more. Now you might have come across other skin jewellery but I think I can safely say you won’t have seen anything even close to J MASKREY designs. There is so much attention to detail I sat looking at this transfer for a full ten minutes with my jaw grazing the carpet. The most precious Swarovski crystals, pearls and beads glittering away. Absolute works of art each and every one. I don’t know if you can see on the photo’s but the centre stone is a large, 3D faceted crystal!

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What do you think, do you love a bit of sparkle?

Comic Relief: 50 Ways to Wear it

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I am sure you already know that TK Maxx have joined with Comic Relief and Stella McCartney to design these fun Red nose day t-shirts to raise money for the charity. I took mine along to London Fashion Week and wore one each day – such a shame it was so cold and I didn’t get to show them off as much as I would have liked! My favourite way to wear the t-shirts was with a pretty, floaty skirt and sky high heels.

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Now you can share your own ways to style the Comic Relief t-shirts and help raise awareness for Red Nose Day by uploading you photo to the TK Maxx Facebook page and clicking on the 50 Ways to Wear it app tab. Just ‘like’ the app page and upload your photo, easy as that!

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If you don’t have your t-shirt yet they are available in TK Maxx stores and online here in women’s, men’s and kids sizes and a range of designs.

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LFW AW13: Day 1

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Street style trend of the day was snug knitwear and cosy hats – shame the sun came out and everyone was boiling!

Celeb Spotting

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The beautiful Kate Nash took her place on the front row at many shows today, she is always ready with a lovely smile. Strutting around the court yard were Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, Mark-Frances Vandelli Orlov-Romanovsky and Victoria Baker-Harber.

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Due to insane weather confusion – S/S in the shops, snowing in Manchester and sunny in London packing for LFW was a bit of a fail! I ended up leaving behind all the gorgeous light and breezy clothes I originally had marked for LFW and stuffing heavy coats and knits into my cases (yes plural). Then spent the entire day being far to hot and wishing for snow, never can win! Luckily I had packed these amazing sunglasses from TK Maxx, they remind me of beetle wings. The rest of my outfit was Vivienne Westwood and my gorgeous Rianna Phillips clutch.

My make up is all Bobbi Brown, who I had the pleasure of joining back stage too…

The Shows

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Saving the best for last here are my two personal favourite shows of the day, up first was Bora Aksu (first two images). A Gothic-romance of 1920’s skull cap style head wear and floaty dresses, cinched in with intricate corsets. The chiffon capes were otherworldly, I look forward to writing the full review. Next Jena.Theo, a more personal presentation where I got to go backstage with the Bobbi Brown team. The make up look was fresh and dewy with a pop of reddy-pink lipstick to match the footwear of course! The nails were an amazing contrast of black leather-effect polish and bright orange and pink neon. This all made sense when the collection was revealed, a bright and cheerful array of smiley face emblazoned over-sized jumper dresses and striking broken graphic prints in black, orange, yellow and pink. You can also see Irene’s nails from the Bobbi Brown team, she has a version of the mani I showed on my blog last post but shaped the tips into more of a heart shape for Valentines day, cute right!

More tomorrow and don’t forget to pick up The Sunday Telegraph for the Stella magazine this Sunday 😉

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 Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

Winter Coat Rules, Shopping & Wardrobe Reorganising

Out with the summer, in with the winter

I think by now we have figured out that my ‘taking time off to rest’ only resulted in me being bored witless. I can do the stay at home in the warm part, but can’t seem to stop working, well it’s only a few little blog posts not like I’m hauling bricks around a building site. With my first day off I ended up trawling the internet for hours, I mean seriously I now have a mental encyclopedia of all this seasons new stock. Then of course the browsing leads to the obsessing and the obsessing to the erm major buying! Every winter I really do like to have a new coat, no I don’t need a new coat every winter but I just really like to get one. It gets me in the mood for the season and brightens up my old knitwear. Since I will be wearing it pretty much every day it has to be something┬á I am head-over-heels about.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ‘Rac’ coat

Last year I went for a gorgeous Navy Anglomania ‘Limpish’ coat, which I still very much like but for some reason I have it my head that I need a red coat this season. I initially eyed up this ‘Rac’ coat also Anglomania, the perfect shade of cherry red with big gold buttons. But I wasn’t sure if the length was quite long enough. Hunting around I found this ‘Just-au-corps’ coat, in the same cherry red but with a longer flared hem and the added bonus of a hood. Since it was on Yoox.com it was also on sale, win! It was the last one in red, the gorgeous soft grey is still available, and a size larger than I would usually go for so hoping it will fit ok. The model only seemed to have a thin top on underneath and I like to wear massive jumpers so fingers crossed it will be just right. I really love Yoox, it is a bit like TK Maxx and The Outnet in that it sells past season designer items as discounted prices and you know I love a bargain. The site also accepts Paypal, woop, no more struggling to get that annoying Visa Verify thing to work – have you tried it lately no more passwords now a series of bizarre questions – and nope it still doesn’t work. In fact no need to even move from your sick bed to go get your purse. Now with Paypal your shopping can easily be paid via mobile too, perfect for my eBay addiction. I just don’t see why more online shops don’t use it.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ‘Just-au-Corps’ coat

When I’m looking for a new winter coat for everyday wear I have a check list I make sure it fits with:

-Must cover the bum (because otherwise it is really a jacket and wont be warm enough, I live in Manchester, its cold up North)

-Must be a style which works with both heels and flats (I’m 5’2 I don’t want my coat trailing in the snow if I have to switch to flats)

-Must be warm (sounds daft but some coats look warm but actually don’t retain the heat so you feel the wind right through it)

-Must have pockets (I mean seriously who designs a coat with no pockets)

-Must fasten (edge-to-edge coats look amazing yes, but really they don’t keep the cold and wet out)

Ok so yes I am a certified old lady these days but coats aren’t cheap so I want to be sure I buy one that is going to last. I have a few coats in classic styles which haven’t dated even though they are years old now. I really liked this Harper’s Bazaar coat edit, helpful if you want some inspiration about what style of coat to go for. I also picked up an amazing shaggy faux-fur jacket in TK Maxx which I can’t wait to wear. This week I’m going to finish off switching my wardrobe over from summer to winter. Hey, if we have to be cold we might as well look chic!

The realisation you will be colour blocking red all season

Any winter must-haves you are lusting after?

Over-Packers Annoymous

Just for a week right???

It’s that time of year again kids, London Fashion Week is upon us for the Spring/ Summer 2013 collections. Which means I am hauling half my life down to the Smoke for a week. I am usually a light packer, I hate packing and I hate having to plan outfits in advance, however I have learned from my mistakes┬á – not enough outfits and having to race around Oxford St at 9am/ forgetting my toiletries bag/ forgetting my hairbrush/ Bringing the wrong shoes /Having nothing at all that matches/ Emergency phone calls to Florrie to bring me tights… you get the idea! So this year I took my friends and fellow bloggers advice and prepared outfits wayyyy in advance. I even packed two extra ‘just-in-case’. Rather than have a fight with my suitcase I brought a second hold all, all nicely packed. I had my new make-up all ready…

Then I woke up this morning and had an insane panic that I didn’t have enough, stuffed a few random tops in, an extra pair of boots and erm filled my make-up/ toiletries bag till it was fit to burst, because well you never know how many lipsticks you might need right?? So I’ve gone from a carefree, last minute packet to a crazy obsessive over-packer, huh always one extreme to the other I guess! Either way I looks like I will be walking around like a fashion junk shop as usual, but hey it’s all in the fun of LFW!

I am sat writing on the train down to London now, after infuriating the entire carriage with my excessive luggage, I’ve no idea how I kept a coffee up right too ha ha!! This season I return to my role as ambassador for my beloved TK Maxx and will be reporting all the hottest gossip from LFW on their Twitter feed @TKMaxx_UK and of course you can follow me too @PearlWestwood. New this season for me will be Pinterest I will link you guys up to the TK Maxx boards once i get uploading. You can also keep your eye on Fashion Pearls of Wisdom on Facebook and TK Maxx on Facebook. I am going to be doing LFW with a different angle this season so let me know what you think, I hope you like it.

If anyone is around give me a Tweet!

More than one pair for each day, meh don’t judge me!

Most of it’s toiletries honest! (I am aware I have 3 mascaras there yes!)

Spur of the Moment Shoes Purchase!

Y3 shoes from TK Maxx

You know when you are just out browsing, just having a look, killing some time and all of a sudden you decide to buy something totally not your usual style just for the hell of it? Well that! I saw these super cool Y3 shoes, that’s the label by Adidas and Yoji Yamamoto and I had visions of myself all spots-luxe a bit Alexander Wang street sports cool! Obviously I get them home and realise I have absolutely nothing to go with these shoes – or are they trainers? But hey I do like a challenge, I’m thinking maybe the Wang blazer, slouchy t-shirt, tailored trouser possibly even a baseball cap…? I also have to mention how comfy they are, seriously the are actually like trainers, so soft and padded, why more heel’s don’t come with that I’ve no idea. They are almost bouncy!

What do you think, are they keepers?

Outfit: The Rain and Other Problems

(Wearing: Vintage Burberry trench, vintage leather boots)

Apparently it’s summer, I’m not at all convinced! What exactly are you supposed to wear when it’s chucking it down but really muggy hot? One minute it’s boiling the next you are covered in goose-pimples! Ah yes I know so British moaning about the weather but as a Northerner I do feel cheated that the only nice day of summer I’ve had was when I was in London. Just one day I got to wear a summer dress and sandals, sigh. So I’ve given up, I give up on you selfish Summer!!

Ok, ok I’m really still hoping we will be blessed with an Indian Summer, at least when I am in London for Fashion Week because there are beautiful things hanging in my wardrobe which desperately need an outing. First and foremost this Elie Tahari beige suede jacket, oh yes BEIGE SUEDE, I know what kind of crazy buys such a high maintenance jacket, but look at it!! It’s got more tassels than an 80’s table lamp how could I resist? Who care’s if I an only wear it one a mildly warm and extra dry day, I freaking LOVE IT! It was one of those things where I saw it, touched it, tried it on, pretended not to see the price tag and ran to the check out, hugging the carrier bag all the way home, where I promptly spent the evening dancing around in front of my mirror it it! I’m thinking since it’s short sleeves now might be the time to admit weather defeat and try wearing it underneath anther coat like my trench. What I think will be perfect with this jacket are the Missoni shoes I got ages ago, oh yeah equally as impractical in multicolored crochet but oh so pretty!

Jacket Elie Tahari from TK Maxx, Shoes Missoni from Spartoo

You see the real problem I have is buying and wearing practical clothes. The above outfit for example, sure it follows all the ‘rules’ of classic, chic style. I am forever being told that a trench and tall leather boots are on the ‘ten items every woman should own’ list and all that but OMG I FEEL SO PLAIN!! Sorry I know, I know I should be embracing the stylist mantra but I really, really struggle to wear an outfit like that. Same goes for blue jeans and a white t-shirt, yes it is an easy base for an outfit, yes you can dress it up with shoes and jewellery but it just doesn’t feel right for me. Sometimes I flip through the pages of Vogue and see all the cool French fashion editors in their jeans and Breton tops and look at myself in the mirror and feel like a bit of an overdressed Peacock. Yet for some reason I just feel more comfortable rolling around in a vat of Vivienne Westwood. I find it quicker and easier to get dressed in some insane Westwood outfit in a rush in the morning that I do in a plain t-shirt and jeans. It doesn’t make much sense I know, in theory it should be the exact opposite. So yeah I could probably throw on the the Tahari jacket and Missoni shoes with a white tee and blue jeans, it would look great but it wouldn’t look like me. I could wear them with a little black dress and say the same but there is some tiny fashion-crazy inside my head screaming AZURE BLUE DRESS!

I think perhaps the problem I have with simple, classic, call-them-what-you-will, clothes is that you can’t really hide behind them. When you wear a plain white t-shirt you don’t really notice it, as opposed to when you wear one with a crazy print or slogan blazoned across the front. I guess I feel more ‘naked’ wearing something simple than I do wrapped up in some fantastical, OTT fashion, more vulnerable. My clothes are my armor. They also offer a form of escapism, you can be Dorothy of Oz in a red pair of heels or even the Wicked Witch in a long black gown. Life is more fun if you get dressed up. Clothes can be comforting too, I am sat writing this now in an appalling dark grey hoodie, yet it is fleecy soft inside, I can pull up the hood and snuggle into it, it is almost like wearing a hug. It is my ‘ill hoodie’, it just makes me feel that tiny bit better, comforted and secure as my body acts like a total jerk.

Thank you to everyone asking how I am doing on my new medication, it is too soon to say if it is having any positive effects and so far only minimal side-effects, however this week I have been plagued by so far unexplained muscle-cramps (like when you pull a muscle in sport but it doesn’t go away after hopping up and down for 5 minutes). So that has slowed me down a bit this week and involved the dreaded hospital but other that I’m ok.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

Do you have any strange fashion habits? Are you a simple or pile it all on kinda person?

Outfit: Silver Bomber

(Wearing: Versace from TK Maxx bomber jacket, Markus Lupfer ‘Saint’ t-shirt, Lanvin for H&M skirt, Ann Demeulemeester boots)

Can you believe the last two photo’s are iphone photo’s! My friend took them as I didn’t have my DSLR and the batteries ran out of my little point-and-click after the first shot. I can’t get over how good they are since my Blackberry only gives little fuzzy things. I have heard a lot of people debate the need of even having a DSLR when they have an iphone, I don’t think they are that good but definitely a great alternative to carrying around a separate pocket camera.

Any way here I am wearing for the first time my Markus Lupfer t-shirt with the crazy story and Lanvin H&M skirt both of which I’ve had for ages but for some reason they haven’t seen the light of day. I don’t know why but sometimes I will buy something and have it hanging in my closet for a while before I wear it. Not to be confused with the sad ‘regret buys’ that end up in the charity shop, more like they are just waiting for the right time. I don’t know I am so weird with clothes! I also pulled out my Ann D boots,which I wore to death in the summer I first started this blog, then put them away for a bit and gave them a rest! Sometimes I will wear something like mad then chuck it on eBay and buy something new. I did debate it with these but I tried them on and was like ‘wow I freaking love you’, I had just forgotten how much! I topped it all off with this crazy silver bomber jacket which is Versace, I picked it up in the High Street Kensington branch of TK Maxx when I was down in London, it is such a good store. I really enjoy walking around the area on a sunny day. Since the jacket is perforated leather you need it to be fairly warm but not boiling to wear it so I’ve been waiting for some decent weather to bust it out.

Do you have any strange wardrobe habits, are you a hoarder?

Trends: Heritage Prints

There are certain things which never go out of fashion, they may come in and out of the limelight from time to time but they are fashion constants. Many of the major fashion houses have elements which are distinctly them, instantly recogniable with no need for the brand label. For the older brands establishing a house print and using that in each collection not only gains brand recognition but instills a feeling of heritage. Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, Daks all have a distinct print which as soon as you see it instantly invokes the history and quality of the brand.

For Autumn / Winter 12-13 Daks made prolific use of their house check, not just in linings but as entire coats, skirts and dresses. The print was used with minimal, paired down classics such as wool shift dresses and rich leather boots.  Invoking a feeling of warmth and luxury with contrasting fabric layers, silk under textured wool. The pallet simple, cream, black, tan, red, caramel.

The other good thing about brand heritage prints is that they transcend seasons, you could buy a printed piece from any season and it will never look dated, it will always look fresh. To prove my point I noticed TK Maxx have a selection of bags on their website, as you know I am always bargain shopping there if you are unfamiliar with the shop they sell designer brands at bargain prices, sometimes past season, seconds or end of line, always fabulous. You could pick either and who would know if they are from this season or not? Nobody and that is the sign of a true classic.

You can see more from the Daks AW12 collection in my Facebook Album