THE PINSTRIPE BLAZER

Blazer: Arket / Roll Neck: COS / Jeans: Weekday / Cardigan: Barena  / Belt Bag: COS / Boots: Lemaire 

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

 

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BORROWING FROM THE BOYS

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

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48 HOURS IN PARIS

Coat: Jigsaw / Trainers: TOMS / Dress: Mr Larkin / Sunglasses: RayBan

 

Long ago are the days of carefree backpacking around Australia (almost four years to be exact), but since my first taste of independent travel, it's all I've wanted to do since. There's nothing quite like the adventure of exploring new destinations. 
2017 has certainly been a travel-heavy year, ticking off Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen (again) and even Manchester, now a favorite UK city of mine. 

So when TOMS invited me to explore Paris for two days, being the Paris virgin I am (or was, should I say), I jumped at the chance. With the French capital only a 2-hour train from London, something which astounded both Jordan and me (when you live in Norfolk a 2-hour + train journey to any major city in the UK is the norm), I don't know why I hadn't been sooner! Maybe its proximity and ease to travel to had made me put this architecturally pleasing beaut on the back burner. 

Before departing, we called upon the usual suspects for recommendations (Oliver Hooson, Mat Buckets, Liv Purvis)  but kept our time relatively unstructured. After an arduous final week at work, I was ready to use Paris as a celebratory break before commencing my first week of self-employment. 

If you think this is going to be a travel guide, then think again. Call this, Paris unplanned.  

Food & Coffee

Telescope / 5 Rue Villedo, 75001 - An inconspicuous coffee shop tucked away in the 1st Arrindosment, with decor as sparse as the menu Telescope focus firmly on the coffee in your cup (The banana bread deserves a shout out also). I'm no connoisseur, but this was a damn good cup of coffee. An ideal rest stop pre or post-Louvre. 

Rose Bakery / 46 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 - These guys know their way round baked goods, if you've had a taste of the too-good-to-be-true carrot cake in Dover Street Market then you'll appreciate the hype. With an unsufferable sweet tooth like mine, RB was high on the list to try, and regardless of mixed reviews online the brunch menu did not disappoint.  

Other places visited: Passager, Frenchie To Go, Fragments

 

Visit 

French Trotters / 30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 -  A carefully created lifestyle store, FT's heart lies with quality products built to last. Clothing is still at the forefront and including brands such as Acne, Our Legacy, Veja, Filippa K, astutely merchandised alongside their own line [French Trotters] consisting of simple pieces, highlighting beautiful materials and cuts. All of which are entirely crafted in France. 

Aesop / 30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 -  Renowned for their unique store interiors, this location did not disappoint. Each Aesop store is designed with the surroundings in mind. Inspired by Parisian parquetry the Saint Honore store is covered, ceiling to floor, in Victorian Ash sourced from Australia, with of course a touch of greenery. I think I just found my new no.1 Aesop store (Lambs Conduit currently competing with Marylebone for second place). 

Galerie Patrick Sequin / 5 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 -  Behind a deceptive black facade in the 11th arrondissement, hides repository of midcentury furniture design open for public viewing. So deceptive in fact, Jordan and I couldn't work out how to enter the building & were the convinced space was shut. (FYI, ring the bell and thou shall pass) The converted workshop now houses some of Frances most esteemed designs, including pieces from Jean Prouve and Le Corbusier. Shoot me for saying it; this gallery was 'interior goals.' 

 

 

Other places visited: Palais De Tokyo, Merci, Colette, Lemaire

Dress: Mr Larkin / Trainers: TOMS / Earrings: Young Frankk

 
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Blazer: Oak & Fort / Trainers: TOMS / Sweater: Blake LDN / Trousers: COS / Sunglasses: Ray Ban

 

STAY

COQ / 15 Rue Edouard Manet, 75013 - Located in the 13th arrindosment, Doris and Dicky's COQ hotel  (an acronym for Community of Quality) was an entirely peaceful and beautifully designed hotel to retire to after a day racking up the step count. Rich navy walls are complemented by splashes of mustard yellow and gold hardware. The rainforest was 10/10; the best hotel shower experienced to date. 

The Hoxton / 30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 - The effortlessly hip new addition to The Hoxton group, still with all the home comforts of its London siblings (breakfast bags at the ready) but with a Parisian twist. The indoor-outdoor bar & lobby are a sympathetic backdrop for the two 300-year-old spiral staircases, the plethora of velvet armchairs and a living foliage wall. 

 

Exploring Paris at a slower pace allowed me to recharge, appreciate my surroundings and savor the good company. This trip was made possible by TOMS, a brand dedicated to giving and improving lives of others. Some of you may or may not already know through the One for One mission, every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS donate a pair to a child in need. The shoes are often given alongside, hygiene education, health care or basic necessities. More information on their important work can be found here

Photography by Jordan Bunker & Myself 

This post was in collaboration with TOMS and Doris & Dicky. All words and opinions are my own. 

AN AUTUMN UPDATE WITH DUNE LONDON
 

Trainers: Dune London / Jeans: Weekday / Coat: Nanushka / Sweater: Nanushka

Location: Frosilo, Copenhagen.

 
 

Boots: Dune London / Coat: Jigsaw / Trousers: Oak & Fort / Blouse: Mr Larkin 

Location: STAY, Copenhagen

This still relatively new world of blogging and social media 'influencers' has opened many doors for me, of which I will always be grateful for, one of those doors being the opportunity to travel more. I still and always will take pleasure in documenting my style through here and on Instagram but sometimes travel appeals to me more than the fashion side of my field does, so when the chance to merge the two arises, it's a bonus.

Last week Dune London, kindly reached out inviting me to style some latest offerings from the Autumn Winter collection, falling perfectly in conjunction with Vikki (over at Style & Minimalism) and mines trip to Copenhagen. 
Now we're in Autumn; I naturally chose black footwear and where better place to capture two understated updates on two classic black shoe styles, than the Danish capital. 
Unsurprisingly, my day job requires me to reach for black shoes most days, but black shoes don't have to be boring; they can often be the icing on the cake, an anchor to a monochrome look or a needed contrast against white denim. 
I chose the Padock boot; a more wearable everyday take on the of the moment sock boot, with a manageable heel height for the heel novices out there (me included) and the Elena trainer; a smart nod to running sneakers, synonymous with Copenhagens trainer culture. As a frequent runner, or running junkie should we say? I habitually wear my tired looking sneaks when not out pounding the pavement, whether it be walking to work, returning home from the gym or a stroll into town, so these act as an acceptable and less whiffy (sorry TMI) alternative. 

Alongside its life-enriching qualities, for me travel = new content. I'm certainly one to immerse myself in new cities and always make an effort to experience it first hand rather than through a lens, but I can't pass up the chance to scout new locations, especially when Scandinavian architecture is involved. 

Unfortunately, I didn't capture as much of one of my favourite cities on the big camera, but something tells me I'll be squeezing another trip in before 2017 is up.

DUNE FAVOURITES

This post is in collaboration with Dune. All words and styling are my own. 

Photography by Vikki Pearson

AUTUMN STARTS WITH BASICS

Coat: The White Company / Jumper: The White Company / Jeans: Levi's (similar here) / Shoes: ByFar x Whistles / Watch: Mondaine 

Where has this year gone? We've officially hit seasonal limbo, that awkward in-between stage where neither Summer or Autumn is here nor there and all you're faced with is last Autumn's apathetic looking wardrobe. I know it's monotonous for us Brits to dwell on weather woes, but that's just what we do, so hear me out on this. Every October brands prematurely tempt us with their newest Winter offerings, this year predominantly filled with Prince of Wales checks, super-sized sweaters, and a corduroy comeback. But what if like me, you're not ready to jump head first into Winter trends, and simply looking to throw on something for a normal, nondescript Autumn day. Enter, The White Company, known best for their luxury bedlinen and fragrance they also nail quality basics, ideal pieces for this time of year that transcend time or trends and can pull you out of any style rut without shoving you out of your comfort zone, into the murky waters of fast fashion. 
This wool trench and chunky roll neck sweater (paired with white jeans and loafers as a small nod to the departing warmth) are pretty much the ideal throw-on to keep me going until hats and scarfs are needed. 

 

 

This post is in collaboration with The White Company, all words and adoration for The White Company are my own. 

 

 

 

 
WINTERTON-ON-SEA
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Unspoilt East Norfolk coastlines like these are exactly why I treasure and appreciate living outside of London. Winterton ( a 30-minute drive from Norwich) is void of arcades, brash shops and there isn't a single candy floss stall in sight. Instead, you're greeted with sand dunes as far as the eye can see, one fish and chip shop and a small cafe that serves up some damn good cakes. I've often felt enormous pressure to make a move to London in order to succeed within this industry, but I know if I relocated to the capital life wouldn't be quite as 'sweet.' Meeting other creatives and bloggers who reside in cities other than London has taught me to appreciate where I am and what it has to offer, such as backdrops like this which lends itself perfectly to this late summer outfit.

Shirt: A.P.C / Skirt: COS / Shoes: Studio Nicholson / Bag: Weekday / Earrings: ThreadStudio / Watch: Rosefield

Photography by Dean Khalil