Office Makeover: The Final Reveal!

Office Makeover So, it’s time for the final reveal of my office! I’ve hated the home office I’ve worked in ever since we moved in – peach walls, beige carpet, blonde wood bookcases, a bright purple desk (thanks teenage me!), a black fabric office chair… Nothing matched, it was always messy, and we didn’t use the space properly. Plus, I hate carpets and I couldn’t wait to rip everything up and replace it with fresh, clean laminate! (Style note: Charlotte Olympia kitty flats here.)

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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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It bags: then and now

Stuck on deadline last week, I spent most of my spare seconds thinking about designer bags…

I daren’t speak for all women, but I think it’s fair to say that most fashionistas have at least a few dream bags in their sights that they’d kill to own one day – even if it’s a far off fantasy. For some reason, I started thinking about the bags I used to lust after when I was younger, versus the sort of bags I really love now. It’s not surprising that my taste has changed after all these years!

IT bags
Looking at my list of hallowed It Bags from my youth (well, if eight years ago can really be considered that long ago – I’ve certainly come a long way since!), it seems as though I only really started lusting after designer bags around 2006, which is when the Chloe Paddington reigned supreme and the Fendi B Bag was just launched. I actually ended up buying a Paddington which turned out to be a fake (I’m fairly sure it’s fake but I’ve never authenticated it – if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t – although it wasn’t that cheap to start with!). I just absolutely loved the padlock closure and the thick chunky leather look of the bag, although I never could decide whether I liked the brown better than the black… The Dior Saddle bag is pretty timeless, although I couldn’t find a good picture of the sort I lusted after, which was the gaucho style distressed version, coated in charms. Designed by John Galliano, the bag certainly isn’t as timeless as it was thought to be at the height of its fame, around 2007, although I’d still make room for it in my collection! The same goes for the Fendi B Bag, which was pretty polarising when it debuted. But I still have a massive soft spot for it, with its huge oversized buckles! Some colourways, such as the one above, really don’t do it for me, as I think the design works better when it’s allowed to speak for itself. Subtle one colour designs really work for the B Bag. Since then, it’s been eclipsed somewhat by the Fendi Spy – not sure why, but I’ve never really fallen in love with that one!Compared to my mid-2000s style, my current style is a lot simpler. It’s certainly evolved into (I like to think, anyway) a more sophisticated and classic look – but I think that’s fairly indicative of the way high fashion is going. I absolutely love Mulberry’s now retired Polly Push Lock bag in midnight and brown leather – the combination of the two is refreshing yet classic, and I love the simple lines of the satchel style bag. I’ll always love a good satchel! My new found love of Mulberry also shows in my selection of the Lily – in particular, this beautiful emerald green colour in micrograin calf skin. The adjustable length of the strap, which can be doubled to make it sorter, or left longer, makes it a versatile bag, and there’s just something about the contrast between the gold furniture and the rich green that makes this combination lustworthy to me! And finally, that old classic, the Chanel 2.55. I used to be the type of girl who couldn’t understand all the fuss over this quilted beauty – to me it seemed old fashioned and a bit twee. But maybe it’s through repeat exposure, maybe it’s just my natural style evolution, but this is one designer bag I would certainly love to own one day – although it seems highly unlikely considering that they sell for £2.5k new at the moment, and not much less second-hand! I guess I’ll have to make do with my Jaeger Kate bag until then…

Do you have a wish-list of It Bags? Has your taste changed over the years? I’d love to know what bags you lust over now, and how you think your style has evolved!

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Duchess Style: jewellery

Another post in my continuing saga of replicating outfits by the Duchess of Cambridge! This time, it’s about her jewellery. To be honest, I’m not massive jewellery girl – I love studs and long pendants, but other than that, I’m fairly neutral about sparkly things. I wear glasses most of the time, and I just don’t think dangly earrings suit my face with them on, which vastly reduces my opportunity to wear them. But, like I always do, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole and have started lusting over some of Kate’s amazing pieces. I swear I am going to pick up the gorgeous Links of London Effervescence Bubble Stiletto earrings someday, but there are some other items that I like that I simply couldn’t afford. Step in, the replikate! Tatiana of Tatiana’s Delights (another great Facebook group for Kate fashion fans!) tipped me off about the amazing Kate collection from Cristalina Jewellery, and I emailed the company right away (sales@crystaline.co.uk) to see if they had the items I was after in stock. They did! So, with a £5.99 postage fee on the top, I got my items the day after I paid for them, on a Saturday, no less!

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Kate Crystal Pear Drop Earrings, £9.99

kate_middleton_duchess_cambridge_jewellery (14)Kate’s Button Pendant, £16.99.

I have to say, I love them both. I’m a massive fan of Kate’s Asprey pendant, but I’d never blow three grand on anything… literally, I cannot think of anything I’ve ever bought or would intend to buy that’s near that price. But this is a pretty similar item. The only bugbear I have is that there’s an engraving of the word ‘princess’ around the edge. As someone who, even as a child, never styled herself as a princess, nor actually wants to be one, having it around my neck is a little bit annoying – but hey, I guess I can live with that!

I also quite like Kate’s Hope Egg earrings, but again, the price is too high for me to spend on something that I merely ‘like’. The crystal pear drop earrings really are very similar, and of course, a much better price!

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I’m not usually a fan of silver jewellery, but I do like these!

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What do you think – any items Kate wears that take your fancy?