What’s your style: classic, or cool?

One of the things I love about British fashion is the way it fuses heritage brands with cutting edge cool. Old names like Burberry and Mulberry mixing with new ones like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. One side representing tradition, the other side bringing innovation and a playful sense of danger.

Even as I’ve evolved in my own sense of personal style, I can never seem to quite settle on a fashion persona that entirely embraces one or the other. I am certain I would be kicked out with equal amounts of disgust from the front row of any reputable British fashion brand – and it’s almost with a sense of pride I can declare myself to be a free agent in international waters. Of course, it means my wardrobe is a chaotic mess of rock-chick style accessories, prim, retro dresses, and far too many hats – but doesn’t everyone strive for a wardrobe like that? (They don’t? Off with you!)

Anyway, since I love a good scarf, and I seem to have one permanently wrapped around my neck from the months of October to March, I thought I’d investigate some good designer staples – and yet again, came into the age old question: cool or classic?

Brit-Style Scarves
The correct answer is undoubtedly BOTH! In which case, I shall rephrase – which one first? And can you sum up your own personal style? Does your wardrobe follow a general theme, or are you like me – a fashion butterfly, flitting mindlessly from pretty thing to pretty thing, never to settle? What is to become of us poor homeless butterflies? Ask not, for as my cat would tell you, they usually get eaten.
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Highclere Castle: Home of Downton Abbey

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Last weekend, my folks and a couple of friends and I all piled into a car to head to Highclere Castle, home of Downton Abbey! I actually live just 40 minutes up the road from the location, but it’s so hard to get tickets – we actually booked ours in February. It’s been a loooong wait.

When we got there, it was drizzling, and surrounded by mist – which was very atmospheric, but not very good for photos. Unless you wanted photos of atmospheric drizzle…

Misty mosaic

The neat little folly was called Jackdaws Castle – basically designed to look nice from the castle rather than do anything – it didn’t even have a roof! I didn’t remember it from the show, but my friend recognised it from a scene with Lady Edith and a certain imposter who turned up as a patient at the Abbey during the war…

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Unfortunately, photography is banned inside the castle, so I don’t have any pictures of Countess Grantham’s bedroom or the lovely foyer, but we did have a trip around the gardens I can share with you – by the time finished touring the house and the excellent Egyptian exhibit, it had definitely brightened up!

Gardens mosaic

I definitely recommend going if you’re a fan of the show – for one thing, it’s really neat to see how it all fits together in real life. And who could resist having their photo snapped at Downton Abbey? Not me, that’s for sure!

Downton outfit mosaic

Kitten Cateye sunglasses, ASOS / Blue jumper, Hush / Dog friendship bracelet, Mulberry / Black and copper friendship bracelet, Links of London / Rose gold cherry blossom sweater necklace, C/O Maqaroon

Tickets for Highclere Castle can be purchased in advance from the website here. The summer season is currently sold out, although tickets may be available on the day subject to capacity – best time to try your luck is 2pm. Β£18 gets you an adult ticket to see the grounds, the Egyptian exhibit, and the castle interior. Tickets for just the grounds are also available at a cheaper price.

If you’d like to see any of my photos in more detail, check out my Flickr set here!

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Meon Shore picnic

This evening, we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and go for an impromptu picnic at Meon Shore, which is about 20 minutes drive from us. First off we popped by Marks and Spencer to pick up some reduced picnic goodies, then we jumped in the car and headed off!

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Taupe Suede Plimsolls, Mint Velvet
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On the way back we stopped at a little produce stand and picked up some onions for dinner tomorrow – can’t think of a more perfect end to a lovely evening!
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Petworth House

In April, we visited Petworth House as part of a special offer with the National Trust. It was a lovely place with some great artwork, but pretty expensive if you’re not getting a special offer. And, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to access the top part of the house during the weekends… Considering you still have to pay full price for this and it’s not mentioned anywhere, I found this to be pretty irritating in all honesty. But if you like art there’s still a lot to see during the weekends, including a spectacular gallery full of statues and paintings. I didn’t take photos inside because I was worried about being told off!

UntitledSunglasses, Jeepers Peepers / Boyfriend jacket, Primark / T-shirt, Warehouse / Pave button pendant, Cristalina Jewellery / Lanesley bag, Hobbs / skirt, Louche / Maddox wedge, L.K. Bennett

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This was my first outing for my Maddox wedges, and I was worried whether they’d rub or be uncomfortable – but I’m happy to say they were excellent! However, I wore them with sheer tights, which I am slowly learning is one of the most effective ways of preventing blisters on your feet… Pro-tip there! These shoes also give you a lot of height without losing stability – I went through a phase of hating wedges, but now I’m back in love with them again…

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Do you blame me? LOVE these shoes!

9 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Mistress

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Yes! I am a massive fan of classic red nails, and this is truly a brilliant colour – and very festive, too! A tiny hint of pink, but an overall bold, brassy red – perfect for modern and vintage looks. Here’s what Ciate says: “Everyone loves and needs a classic pillar box red. It’s the ideal go-to colour if you need to get noticed no matter what you are wearing.”

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I think of all the colours I’ve had so far, this is the one I’d be most likely to have purchased anyway, and it’s good to know that there’s a really good go-to red in the Ciate range for me!