Long time readers might remember this post from almost a year ago. On the whole, the post was well received, apart from the grammar police tearing it to shreds, the majority of you enjoyed an honest review on those capsule wardrobe items we see everywhere on the 'gram. I vowed to do another, so finally, after ten months since the first instalment, I'm back with a similar post. Miele recently set me the challenge to pick a handful of luxury investments that I will wear again and again (thus needing to wash again and again). I don't mind spending money on quality wardrobe essentials and classic pieces, but what's the good in doing so if I can't wash them? Hands up who else has a separate 'hand wash' or 'dry clean only' pile that has sat untouched for months! Far too often some of my favourite pieces have spent more time unworn than they have worn, completely defeats the point of investment right?
Miele, however, has answered our delicate washing prayers, by developing the W1 washer AND T1 dryer in which you can finally wash THE UNWASHABLE. Cashmere jumpers, silk dresses, wool coats - all now washable at home. So here are my 5 capsule items I plan to put to the test....
THE WOOL COAT / £1000
I'll kick start my picks with one hell of a splurge and my 'hero piece' should we call it? This cashmere and wool blend coat comes with a whopping price tag and before you begin to question my sanity, let me tell you, I did not pay £1000 for a coat. I've had my sights set on it for almost a year, but unfortunately, haven't had a spare grand knocking about, so I was forced to look for others means of getting my hands on it. Thankfully Vestiare Collective came through, and I bagged this beautiful coat for half the price (brand new and unworn). What makes this coats worth the four-figure price tag, though? I know what you're thinking, it's a brand thing, which to an extent is correct, if it didn't have Acne Studios stitched into the neck would I have been less inclined to buy? Maybe so! As much we love that peachy pink packaging and recognisable font, Acne also means quality and excellent tailoring.
In passing this coat doesn't look like a one thousand pound coat. However, it definitely feels like a one thousand pound coat. It's unlined so there's no room for error during construction, after a thorough examination there's no denying this is beautifully made coat. The classic and straight fit of the coat makes it timeless, and the cashmere wool blend creates a lightweight handle while still keeping you warm. (A nice change to some of the heavier outwear I own). The rest of the jacket speaks for itself, a simple D-ring closure, two deep set pockets and a simple narrow notched collar.
Would I pay £1000 for this coat? No. Would I pay half the price on a consignment website? Yes. Especially safe in the knowledge I can wash it in the Miele W1 washer.
THE SILK DRESS / £305
Marina London is fast becoming my go-to brand for beautifully designed, 100% silk basics. All the styles are carefully considered, simple and crafted from high-quality silks. The Dree Dress, in particular, is fast becoming my favourite piece. This classic, straight shirt dress, comes with a long tie to create a feminine look at the waist. 'HOW MUCH for shirt dress?!' - I hear you cry. With all luxury investments, especially the classics, the devil is all in the detail. Made from a lightweight crepe, this dress gives you the freedom to layer without overheating and wear on its own in the warmer months. With my Dress dress count currently at a total of 3 (white, grey and navy) , I think that's a testament to the dress's quality and versatility. I don't make a purchase if I can't see myself continuously re-wearing.
I'm also a sucker for an understated shirtdress, and it doesn't help that Marina Guergova, the woman behind the brand, is one of THE kindest and most sincere ladies I've ever met. So I'm probably a little biased towards Marina London already and much prefer to support independent designers where possible.
THE WOOL TROUSERS / £170 (ORIGINALLY £280)
Okay, now trousers is an investment I can SERIOUSLY get behind, it pays to invest in an everyday essential such as trousers. On paper, my trouser criteria is relatively straightforward, simple, straight cut and slightly cropped. Shopping for said bottoms, however, isn't always easy, especially when like myself you are overly picky, petite and 5'3". I don't know if it's just my body type, but I find it virtually impossible to find trousers that fit on the high street. Topshop was my go to, thanks to their 30" length, but the quality simply isn't up to par.
The 'Milli' trousers were another item on my Acne wish list, so as soon as they went on sale, I leapt at the chance to order them. Being short brings with it a lot of trouser troubles and many trips to the tailor. More often than not trousers are too long, something that sold the 'Milli' trouser to me was how cropped they appeared to be on the 5'9" model. Cropped on a model = regular length on me. Initially available in 4 colours, as tempted as I was by the pink, for wearability purposes, I picked navy and grey.
- Perfect length
- True to size
- Generous pocket size that sits in the seam
- Wool feels thick and durable
- Fluff/hair consistently sticks to them, so regular lint rolling is required on the navy pair.
THE CASHMERE JUMPER / £125
An ultimate in indulgence, a cashmere sweater. Renowned for it's amazing ability to regulate temperate, when the weather turns cold, cashmere is my best pal. Considered the most luxurious in the wool family due it's stronger, softer and lighter fibres, which is often reflected in the price. & Other Stories, however, have recently introduced a handful of beautiful 100% cashmere pieces to their website all at affordable prices without comprising on quality. Something you must bear in mind when buying cashmere is, piling WILL occur. Unless you walk around like a scarecrow with a pole up it's a backside; light bobbling is hard to avoid. The best thing to combat this minor downside is to pick up a cashmere comb (inexpensive and handy to have so you can tidy up any worn areas). This turtleneck does what it says on the tin; the silhouette is relaxed and boxy. I've been pairing this with the navy Acne trousers (seen above) for a simple, 'I'm so off-duty, just running errands around town but actually put a lot of thought into this' look.
THE WOOL SCARF / £140
The famous Acne Canada scarf concludes my luxury capsule collect. I spoke about my initial disappointment when first opening the grey version here, but the scarf had it's pros also! And despite the £30 price increase (I blame Brexit), I've purchased another. This time in a classic navy colour. I'm not just saying this to justify the scarf, but this one feels softer than my grey predecessor...maybe that's the price increase?! There's not much more for me to say that hasn't already been mentioned about this scarf, it's still a great size, still warm and navy was the ideal colour to pick next. (I'm now lucky enough to have the perfect trifecta, having been gifted the black version for Christmas).
There you have it...5 investment buys that I can wear over and over again, safe in the knowledge I can now wash them a hell of a lot easier thanks to Miele! Watch this space to find out how I get on with washing the unwashable.
In collaboration with Miele, all words and styling are my own.
Cashmere Mix Hoodie: THE WHITE COMPANY / Cashmere Mix Joggers: THE WHITE COMPANY / Vase: THE WHITE COMPANY /
It's taken two bad cases of the flu in the small space of 3 weeks to give me the wake-up call I need finally. SLOW DOWN BRITTANY. Life/work has been a whirlwind since November; free weekends have become a myth, and I don't remember the last time I slept in. I'm not about to get all Hygge on you or preach the practices of slow living, but last weekend as I lay paralysed and shivering on the sofa, alarm bells yelling 'listen to your body' started ringing in my head. It's time for me to make a change. It's time to embrace these grey days and cold weekends and take the time to relax and restore myself in preparation for spring. In collaboration with one of my favourite lifestyle brands, The White Company, below are four simple but effective ways I plan to do so.
Reduce Screen Time
Although I want to increase my blogging content, I also contradictorily, feel reducing screen time could help improve the quality of my relaxation time. Too many evenings are currently spent 'relaxing' in front of a screen, whether it be my laptop or phone, nine times out of ten its unproductive time. Instead, it's mindless and unsatisfying browsing which in turn leads to unnecessary splurging. By no means do I want to go cold turkey on the internet, but quality over quantity is essential. Time spent in front of a laptop needs to more productive and more beneficial to what I am doing, but spending time away is just as important. In short, I should channel my online shopping energy into the blog and take more time AWAY from the computer.
Remember To Read
Without sounding too much like a cliche, I'm just too busy to read! (Or at least I THINK I am). It's not that I don't want to read, trust me I do. I've got the last five copies of Elle stacked up, the most recent edition of The Gentlewoman ready to go and my Good Reads bookshelf is struggling under the strain of all those virtually half read and to be read books. Taking time out to read has always felt like a luxury. It's something I'll do only if and when every to do on my endless list is complete, when in fact, making time to do it should be something on the to-do list also. Reading is a fantastic escape that improves my ability to focus, inspires me to be more creative and of course it's a relaxing activity.
Rejuvenate Your Skin
I will be the first to put my hands up and admit I didn't entirely look after my skin or body in December. I polished off my body weight in Roses each week, drank more gin than water, and fell off the running waggon hard. Just as I anticipated, my skin has started to suffer the after effect first, and some TLC is needed, pronto. The fast-paced world of skincare still baffles me, though; I just want a handful of daily products that I can trust to work with minimal effort on my behalf, is that too much to ask? Luckily, The White Company has partnered up with Deciem - The Abnormal Beauty company (umbrella company of The Ordinary, Niod, etc.) to bring us six carefully curated skincare heroes, launching today! The range covers a broad spectrum of daily use products, including an eye cream, cleanser and night oil.
N.B The White Company do not test on animals.
Lounge in Luxury
I've always been one to reach for an old pair of joggers and a sweatshirt to relax in (or feel like a slob in, should I say), but since discovering The White Companies loungewear range, lounging just got a lot more luxury. There's something about slipping into a matching cashmere blend jogger, and hoodie at the end of the day with a cup of tea and a book that makes relaxing on the sofa feel even more gratifying. If I'm taking more downtime, it doesn't hurt to do it in style. The same rule applies to the environment ones relaxing is being partaken in, introducing a new scent, new homeware accessories or fresh greenery can be a quick uplifting fix your home needs. Bunches of fresh eucalyptus and The White Company's 'Noir' scent are my current favourites.
After a hectic festive period what tips do you have on relaxing and restoring ones self?
In collaboration with The White Company. All opinions and styling are my own.
...or should I say a VERY belated Happy New year. Usually, I kick start the new year with a fresh set of resolutions, but this year I haven't felt the need. Dean and I ended 2016 on a bit of low (see here) so just making it into 2017 felt enough of an achievement. I think it was also clear to any long-time followers; I suffered a blogging burnout towards to the end of last year. My work/life balance couldn't have been more off; I pushed myself too hard and developed a case of 'digital anxiety.' With 2016 and the post-Christmas slump firmly behind us, though, both of us are feeling more motivated than ever to get this year underway and off to a good start. 2017 will see two major life events come to fruition; the completion of our renovation and tieing the knot. Despite the political turmoil and uncertainty in the world right now (by no means am I disregarding this), personally I have a good feeling about this year already!
Scarf: Charli (Get £20 off all cashmere travel wraps with code BBTWENTY)/ Coat: Norse Projects / Trousers: Acne / Boots: Acne / Bag: A.P.C
As a blogger people naturally assume you are confident, I mean who wouldn't think that. Every other post on here and Instagram is all me me me. Unbeknown to most, but like many other women, I've struggled with crushing self-doubt and lack of self-confidence ever since I can remember. Whether it's my hair, my body, my makeup or my voice I've always been overly self-critical, so you can imagine when I started blogging (nearly two years ago) these insecurities were extremely heightened. Undeniably blogging and sharing pictures of yourself on the internet brings with it certain pressures. Sure the first few months of blogging were pretty rocky, filled with awkward poses, self-criticisms and even some tears. I spent countless weekends telling myself 'I look ugly', 'I'm too short', 'I'm too skinny', 'What's the point, I look stupid'. The list could go on. But fast forward two years, through a lot of determination and small life changes I've taught myself to look past the insecurities and to keep a focus on why I started blogging in the first place. I didn't start blogging because I wanted to share photos of myself for people to scrutinise. I started because I wanted to share my personal style.
I was recently asked to be involved in Danish design house, Georg Jensen's You Can Never Be Too Much campaign and it got me thinking about some of the inspiring women I've met along my blogging journey and how they have inspired me to be confident in more ways than one. Below are 4 ways in which I've boosted my self confidence and helped reach my blogging goals.
The campaign itself features five extraordinary women who through hard work, determination and self-confidence have reached the top of their game. See more here.
Small Confidence Boosts
Low self-esteem or self-confidence can be a big problem, but sometimes it's those smaller confidence boosts that can make the difference. I always take note of the things that make me feel good, no matter how small they are. It could be the perfect fitting pair of jeans or a favourite lipstick (that always get's you compliments). Remember the little things that make you feel good, ready for when you next need some get-up-and-go.
Break a Sweat
Joining the gym and regular running has hands down been the best solution to my low self-esteem, both mentally and physically. Any sign of self-pity or doubt rearing it's ugly head, and I'm straight our the door to the gym or pounding the pavement. Can't beat the endorphin rush after a bad day.
Take a Risk
Ten months ago I took a risk. I threw myself out of my easy and comfortable job of 5 years, quit, started a new one and I haven't looked back since. You would think to leave a job which I knew like the back of my hand would, in turn, create the reverse effect and completely rattle my confidence but it made me stand up straight and realise what I wanted and how to get it. I have no choice but to be confident in my current role, in the beginning, I felt pressured to project an air of self-conviction which has naturally developed into the real deal. I'm not telling you all to quit your job tomorrow, but you will be surprised at how taking a step into the unknown can force you to be the confident person you want to be.
Comparing yourself to others won't get you anywhere. Learning to accept myself, appreciating who I am and what I have was vital in growing self-confidence. When starting out in the blogging world it took some time to find my feet, and I inevitably compared myself to other bloggers, a hell of a lot! This did nothing, but make me feel even worse about myself. We are all different, which I continually have to remind myself is a GOOD thing.
This post is sponsored in collaboration with Georg Jensen, all words and opinions are my own. I would love to hear your own experiences with self confidence and over coming any lack thereof.