Guest Blogger: Alexandra Jacobs on Spring/Summer Hamptons Style

April 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

A travel enthusiast Alexandra writes about tourism, beaches, food and the wonderful things in the world. In this article she describes how Hamptons style serves as her fashion inspiration for the current season. Follow her at @alexsjourneys or visit her blog alexsjourneys.wordpress.com.

Fashion during the warm months is bright and cheerful, light and carefree. When inspiration for personal style is taken from a destination like the Hamptons, it is easy to transition from the cool, fresh weather of spring to the hot and sunny days of summer. Nautical inspired fashion is practical and comfortable, as easy to carry from day to night as to adjust for temperature changes. Though comfort is the main benefit, classy style takes center stage. When you are lounging in your hamptons home in the summer, this inspired look is relaxed, chic, timeless and easy to wear.

With an atmosphere of sea breezes, bright sunshine and casual elegance to inspire a wardrobe, the result is stunning, natural and effortless. Simplicity is predominant, from the cleanly cut shapes of each garment to the dramatic colors and minimal patterns to the crisp natural fabrics like linen, cotton and silk. The shape of each outfit is an important part of nautical fashion, with a clearly defined, graceful and flattering figure. The relaxed, classy style makes the clear simplicity interesting without lots of details, and relies and dramatic color to make statements. Pure white, all shades of ocean blues, bright red, crisp black, earthy sand colors are all favorites in nautical fashion. While patterns in general don’t play a big part, stripes in all sizes and pairings of colors are stunning. Natural fabrics paired with basic elemental accessories, like leather shoes and belts and brass jewelry is one of the main charms of the Hamptons style.

Every wardrobe style needs staple pieces. Hamptons fashion is no exception. A pair of tailored, dark jeans, sleek white trousers and a couple plain pencil skirts take care of the bottom half of the staple pieces. For on top, have some basic tailored blouses and tee shirts, especially in plain colors and stripes, cardigans to make those cold weather transitions easy, a striking, fitted blazer and a classic khaki trench coat. Top it off with a couple dresses for both daytime and evening, in plain white, chambray or elegant navy and unique, personal accessories. With this basic backbone for the wardrobe; an entire look can be created by mixing and matching pieces.

Making the change from spring to summer is easy. Wear blazers and cardigans with tee shirts, blouses and dresses until the heat arrives, and then leave them behind. Change up the accessories, and the transition is complete. A good trench coat is a must when vacationing by the water or simply traveling through spring. It provides warmth when cold wind hits and can be left behind when the sun comes out.

The skeleton of a nautical wardrobe is basic, working for both casual and dressy. Whether an outfit needs to be dressed up for a business meeting or for evening, small changes are all that are needed. Sandals, jeans, a striped tee and a blazer are perfect for running errands. To dress it up for dinner out with friends, change into pumps and white trousers and switch earrings. A morning at the beach can be spent in a long sundress and just slip on a pair of heels, nice jewelry and a fancy up-do for the evening. Hamptons inspired fashion is relaxed and eternally classy on every occasion.

Outfit inspirations are taken from A Cup Of Jo, Pinterest and Emerson Fry.

The New Swimsuit

April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Easter everyone! Have you been enjoying 4 days off? I definitely have been – getting together with friends, lounging around at home with my boyfriend, catching up on unseen films and favourite TV series and of course big Easter Sunday Roast (I was invited to attend, you would never see me making one myself, my kitchen skills are below average). And while I am in London for my 4 days off, some others managed to escape the city and head for far away beach destinations. Hence I was inspired to check out the hottest swimwear of the season and straight away went for my old favourite We Are Handsome, a brand famous for their photo-printed swimwear which appeared on my blog numerous times. And they did not disappoint – see my picks of one pieces below!

  1. £225
  2. £210
  3. £185
  4. £205

But not only did We Are Handsome not disappoint, they also started a trend for photo-printed swimwear after many celebrities including Rihanna were seen wearing their designs. Wildfox has a range of them now including a cat printed one piece, Topshop featured a few pieces online that will be available at the end of the month (exciting!) and finally ASOS providing items inspired by We Are Famous with an affordable price tag. Check out my selection of swimsuits from ASOS below and go on to their website to see many in bikini versions.

  1. Digital Beach Sean Cut Out Bandeau Suit, £40
  2. Palm Print Swimsuit, £35
  3. Cut Out Suit in Palm Print, was £40 now £32
  4. Palm Print Swimsuit, was £40 now £32

Mango Maxis

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

The spring has sprung. Hence it is time to find spring buys that can help once and for all leave the wintery outfits behind and recharge our wardrobes. This time I turn to Mango for help updating the skirt selection. I have spoken volumes about midi pleated skirts a few weeks ago (read more here) but it does not mean we have to wave goodbye to pleats of different lengths. Maxis are still full on trend this season so I found four perfect spring must-haves by Mango.

1 and 3 (£44.99) are perfect to add the pastel trend to your wardrobe – wear them by day with your favourite cotton tee or combine with complementing pastel colour silk tops and statement necklaces for totally fashionable evening wear.
2 (£39.99) is a total find – this is the rock chic solution to spring romanticism: black with leathery finish yet strangely feminine, you wont regret this buy.
4 (£49.99) has a denim feel to it yet is light and perfect even for the hottest day of the year – match with your favourite Converse or Superga trainers for a sporty feel.

Pre-Loved

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Are you looking for more affordable designer items? Or are you reshuffling your designer wardrobe and want to earn on no longer needed pieces? If so your answer is not the untrustworthy Ebay but a new London based store Chic&Seek where previously unwanted designer goodies are handpicked to ensure quality and resold. An environmentally and purse-friendly idea allows you to find treasures among a second-hand items that are yet in very good conditions (many are brand new!). Where can you sign up, you may ask. First step is to visit the online store http://www.chicandseek.com, and if you are certain about an item just buy it there and then, and if not, make a virtual rail of goodies you would like to see in person and book a time to come down to a very chic mews house in Notting Hill to try them on. Isn’t this the most personalised service for finding pre-loved items ever?

And you know, I just could not avoid picking a few pieces that are going straight to my wish list: great condition, amazing discount and no authenticity worries!

  1. Isabel Marant Floral Dress, £175
  2. Christian Louboutin Mary Jane Shoes, £225
  3. Tods Patent Clutch, £300
  4. Chanel 2.55 Handbag, £1750
  5. Marni Necklace, £120
  6. Bottega Veneta Boots, £200
  7. Matthew Williamson Strapless Sequined Dress, £250
  8. Hermes Scarf, £175

Made in China

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘Is it possible for a Chinese company to build a worldwide brand?’ is the title of many marketing papers and is a popular topic for deliberation. Indeed with the overwhelming negative attitude surrounding ‘Made in China’ label, many assume that it would be a while before a truly popular brand can emerge out of China. Surprisingly, it might be the realm of fashion that sees the above claim overturned. Indeed for the last year one high street fashion brand from China has been experiencing very fast growth by looking for support from style bloggers, support that it has been receiving in bundles. Indeed if you read a few street style blogs you must have come across Romwe – fashionable and affordable online brand that designs and manufactures its range in China and offers free worldwide shipping. A tempting proposition indeed since the quality of Chinese production is higher than many assume – most of the technologies used in clothing manufacturing are identical to expensive European designer items, some of which have a portion of its production in Asia.

I decided to explore the website to see what the style blogs loved about the brand: I was on lookout for truly trendy items that fit an international fashionable customer and I found a bundle. For example I absolutely love the range of shirts with contrasting detailing (collars and cuffs) and here are my top six picks, all in a very affordable price range:

  1. Montage PU Lapel Silver-Tone Blouse, £22.22
  2. Paillette Embellished Fake Twin-Set Nude-Pink Shirt, £22.88
  3. Leopard Print Chiffon Shirt, £17.65
  4. Off Shoulder White Shirt, £20.92
  5. Oversized Splicing PU Star Black Shirt, £24.18
  6. Paillette Lapel Black Chiffon Shirt, £20.26

I have to be truthful though, while level of trendiness of the clothing is high there are a few things that Romwe should work on to satisfy high demands of international consumer, which of course requires a large financial investment (possibly unachievable at the time yet important enough to be prioritised in the future): items photography is not uniform or of the highest quality which leads to underselling the garments, product names are slightly misleading (second shirt in my selection is referred to by ‘fake twin-set’ leaving me to guess what it’s meant to mean), ‘about us’ page needs major work – it’s not doing the idea or the website justice and requires a few reads to gasp the content leading me to an overall point about the need to work harder on any written material as words like ‘stuff’ should not be used when referred to products, let alone in the description on the home page.

All in all I have to say a very good effort, the kind that can be easily seen in growing sales figure. I have a feeling the brand will do very well in the future, especially if some alterations to the website are made to ensure even the toughest international customer is satisfied with the experience.

My Fashion Wish List Is Ready For Spring

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had a great day today. Here in London the weather was just perfect – sunny and warm it definitely felt like spring has arrived. And who is not looking forward to spring? With a wardrobe full of new season hot items and a wish list that would fill another one of those (wardrobes, that is) I have been waiting on the start line for weeks now and it is all about to kick off. Oh and there was another thing that made my day – my post on Lana Del Rey being picked for top 20 posts of the week on IFB. Exciting stuff! Here are the links to all the high quality blog posts that made the cut for your weekend reading, enjoy!

The IFB Weekly Roundup: Links A La Mode

The photo which just made me feel like spring is courtesy of Tom Byfield.

Del Rey – Lana’s First Fashion Tribute

February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

In retrospect I knew it was coming. After the success of naming a handbag after Alexa Chung, which was one of the major factors propelling Mulberry to fashion heights with the unprecedented speed for British label, having a new fashion muse and as trendy as Lana Del Rey was an obvious step. Indeed Mulberry was a first fashion establishment that recognised Lana’s appeal by hiring her to sing at their LA party. And now that even British Vogue gave her a seal of approval, calling a bag Del Rey was a perfect PR move: fashion world already had eyes on Mulberry for their Autumn/Winter 2012 catwalk show (star studded row would make any designer proud with Michelle Williams, Elizabeth Olsen, Olivia Palermo, Pixie Geldof and Downton Abbey actresses Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery to name a few) and having Lana float in with a brand new Del Rey bag just sent fashionistas and media into frenzy!

Mulberry’s Emma Hill said Lana inspired them with her vintage style and seductive voice. Indeed Del Rey bag does have a very vintage feel – add White Ostrich material (the one Lana was wearing for the show and Mulberry party in the evening) and you have a seductive feel indeed. I love Lana’s style (I wrote a post about her recently which you can read here), I love Mulberry, and guess what – I love new Mulberry Del Rey handbag.

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