Whistles have been a brand I've backed since date dot through Instagram and via the blog. Years before I had even an inkling that this minefield of a world called Social Media could one day be my full-time job, I was flying the Whistles flag proudly and continue to do so today. So you can imagine my delight when the opportunity to work with them arises. Some of you may have caught the Spring/Summer press day takeover I shot over on their Instagram stories last month, pictured above is what I wore for the day.
With Christmas only seven days away it seems mad to even make allusions to the 'S' word, but after seeing what's in store for the balmier months, I knew I couldn't withstand sharing. Sales will be in full swing next week (Whistles has already started, check it out here) and as someone who avidly avoids sale shopping, casting my mind forward to new collections is the only thing that gets me through this limbo period.
SS18 is set to sufficiently feed my appetite for jumpsuits (of which there are many this season), 'squiggly' prints and all things boxy. See below for my new season highlights.
This post is in collaboration with Whistles. All words and styling are my own.
At the start of 2017 Dean and I set ourselves the goal of moving into the new house by Christmas, it took up all of our weekends, sucked the life out of Dean and caused endless bickering, but by the skin of our teeth, we are in! Admittedly we probably handed in our notice a little prematurely at the old the house, but neither of us could face Christmas or another Winter with a broken boiler, an oven that could only be lit by getting down on your hands and knees with a lighter and the world’s worst shower. I could rant endlessly about why it's in a landlord’s interest to fix these things and how five weeks post-move we shouldn't still be fighting for our deposit back, but I'll save you from that monotonous tirade.
Selfishly, I wanted to move before Christmas primarily to decorate a new space. I never felt overly festive in the old house; it was cramped, dark and no matter how beautiful the wreath was, the ugly front door overshadowed it. Being the Christmas-aholic I am, this always broke my spirit a little. But this year is different, we've got a new space, new decorations (because we foolishly left last year’s The White Company decs in the loft at the old house) and our first real tree. You can't beat the smell of a real tree, and The White Company's Fir Tree scent is the perfect accompaniment to enhance the smell throughout the house.
Current house status: The walls are bare, we're living out of two rooms, and we don't have a single curtain or dining chair… but so what. Christmas is here, and with a little help from The White, Company we're having ourselves a minimal little Christmas.
The brand really comes in to its own this time of year. Having worked at The White Company as a Visual Merchandiser for two years, I'm too familiar with the magical environment created in store at Christmas; you can't help but feel inspired to recreate a little piece of the magic back home. This year’s Scandi haven of white and grey tree decorations mixed with traditional greenery, sparkles and of course their signature scent, Winter, compliment the light wood and concrete floor in our home ideally. Although the walls are bare and we’ve hardly enough crockery and seating for two, there’s something special about the first Christmas in our new home we’ve worked so hard for.
This post is in collaboration all words and adoration for The White Company is my own.
This is a call for all last-minute Christmas shoppers of the world to unite for a moment and share the internal panic together. With only two weeks (yep, can't quite believe it myself) to go, and one snow day already under our belts the festive season is in full swing, and I couldn't feel less prepared. But let's rewind four weeks, back to a festive event I attended with Monsoon in which we celebrated one of my favourite elements of the Christmas season, the act of giving. Hosted in collaboration with Quill London, a small group of us gathered in their Clerkenwell store to practice the art of calligraphy, no mean feat if you're a left-handed beginner may I add, but a charming way to personalise gifts this season none the less.
No get together this time of year is complete without a seasonally apt getup, the thought of being clad in sequin and glitter filled me with mild anxiety, but unbeknown to me Monsoon also caters for the minimally inclined partygoers too. I'm not a complete partywear-phobe, I still appreciate something special this time of year, so when I clocked this velvet trim jacket in the London Westfield store, I knew I'd found my safe zone. When shopping for any event, whether it be day or night, versatility and comfort are always at the forefront of my mind. The understated velvet lapel, paired with the front hem split trousers and trainers is the perfect nod to the festive period without feeling uncomfortable.
Suit Jacket / Suit Trousers both Monsoon.
This season I wanted to give back to a certain someone, who I won't name as I don't want to spoil the surprise, to say thank you for their perseverance, support and generosity throughout the highs and lows over the past year. Packed neatly away in a hand illustrated gift box (pictured above) complete with name tag, written by yours truly, is a bundle of Monsoon gifts I think she'd treasure in and around her home. See my gifting picks below.
This post is in collaboration with Monsoon. All words and styling are my own.
I can't believe it's taken me this long to invest in a pinstripe blazer. Blazers have passed me by for years, but with the recent boom of the Prince of Wales check kind, they've been impossible to avoid.
Now pinstripes are no news to the fashion world, but Arkets offering of classic tailoring is. (It's taken numerous sceptical store visits, but I can finally say Arket have won me over) From wool to polka dot jacquard, they've got you covered in the suit department. These matching trousers are now high on my wishlist.
When the team over at Farfetch kindly asked me to style up something red, I embraced my appreciation for (Patrick Bateman-esque) power dressing, by layering a red v-neck cardigan underneath.
There’s an uncanny power that comes with wearing bright red. It has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and so grabs our attention first and there’s also that energising, self-esteem boost it can award you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with layering and if you’re new to the shade (or like me shy to try such a bold hue ), perhaps just add a pop of colour like this Barena V-neck cardigan. Head over to the Farfetch blog to see how six other ladies have styled different shades of the intriguing colour this season.
Photography by Oliver Hooson
Puppy Tooth Blazer / Puppy Tooth Trousers / Half Zip Sweater / Monk Shoes : Paul Smith
Oli wears Epsom Coat / Loopback Sweatshirt : Paul Smith
I've never been a 'girly girl', saying the phrase alone induces internal shudders and resurrects some problematic high school memories. Entering my most poignant teenagers years with a single father by my side, navigating the world of bra shopping and all things awkwardly feminine undeniably shaped me into the sartorial tomboy* I was and still am today. I was all trousers and trainers, not a dress in sight. Without a female role model, my dad was the person I looked up to and felt inspired by the most. He spent most of his working career in neatly pressed slacks, crisp white shirts (blue in his previous RAF days) and perfectly polished black lace-up oxfords. An outfit I've subconsciously channelled and continue you to do so.
One vivid memory I still carry with me as a young teenager is deciding what to wear to the 'popular girls' birthday disco. Having bagged an unofficial invite, the 'oh you can tag along with me' type invite from a friend of a friend who knew said girl's cousin (you know the score) I knew this was going to be THE party. After days of military planning, ensuring Dad had my killer outfit washed and ironed, come the big night I was confident and ready to go. But as I entered the village hall, wearing my favourite wide leg corduroy trousers, an infamous 'sk8er girl' emblazoned Tammy Girl long sleeve tee, complete with DC trainers. (Can you tell this was the era of Avril Lavigne?), my confidence vanished immediately. I'd missed the mini skirt and lip gloss memo. I was surrounded by my skimpily clad classmates, permeating the room with the smell of Charlie Red and faces full of mum's borrowed makeup scowling at my offbeat disco outfit. Safe to say, I was outta there pretty, prettyyyy swiftly.
We are all so much more than the clothes, but at that moment as a mortified 14-year-old girl, that is precisely all that mattered. Something that made me feel on top of the world as I left the house lead me to feel awful and isolated within hours.
Fast forward 17 years this memory still sits at the forefront of my mind; I let other peoples preconceptions win that night, I allowed a lack of self-confidence get the better of me, and I kicked myself for weeks after. From that moment forward I vowed to harness the 'God-I-look-good' feeling you get as you perform the last minute mirror check before departing the house because I never wanted to enter a room and not feel comfortable in the clothes I'm wearing ever again.
My personal style and how I choose to get dressed in the morning is heavily influenced by men, good pal Oliver Hooson being one of them. Dressing like a guy doesn't necessarily mean a literal translation of your boyfriend's wardrobe. (though that definitely does happen), it also doesn't involve the phrase 'boyfriend jeans', instead, I'm taking everything I can't find in womenswear, from menswear and making it work for me. With subtle styling twists, masculine designs feel classic and clean on me; dressing feels more comfortable and effortless.
Working with Oli and Paul Smith has been a long time coming, this project couldn't have felt more relevant to both of us. Paul Smith introduced his women's line in 1993 after discovering women were buying more men's tailoring to wear for themselves, 23 years later as the demand for gender neutrality in fashion rises; the designer scrapped his womenswear slot at London Fashion week last year in favour of showing both genders side by side in Paris. A move I'm entirely on board with. With this in mind, Oli and I explored gender neutrality and the similarities in our styles with the Autumn/Winter collection.
Sharing Pauls passion for the suit, and styling it for life outside of the office, I instantly picked this traditional tonal grey Puppy Tooth version. This fine-tuned two piece has all the attitudes and fabrics from menswear, with skilful design twists to flatter the female form. Complete with half zip layered underneath and chunky monk strap shoes, I left the house with utmost confidence that day.
*I use these two words together lightly to illustrate my style choices.
Photography & Video by Thomas O'Donoghue