Friday, 28 October 2016

St Albans Fashion Week: Catherdral Catwalk Show

I can't believe that a year has gone by and we are back at St Albans Fashion Week.  The week started with Kim Miller and her style talk with LK Bennett.  Last night Carol and I attended the first of two shows at the Cathedral - front row of course! And my week will end with Mel on Sunday watching The first Monday in May, a fashion film at The Odyssey.

The Cathedral never fails to impress, it has to be one of the most glamorous venues to hold an event like this.  What I love is how the church people and the fashion people all mix in together to create an unforgettable night., plus volunteers from St Albans and the surrounding areas give up their time, to showcase a fun and fashionable event - an excellent way to get community spirit and help local businesses. I'd love to see more towns and cities across the UK doing stuff like this.

The catwalk enticed us with fashion labels of Red Velvet, Essie and Betsy, Twisted Fabric, RareONE, Prom Sisters and much more.  I've chosen to stick with regular HIgh Street labels for the content of this post, giving you a chance to shop locally should you see anything you love. Key trends they focused on for Autumn/Winter 2016 was Tartan, Check & Plaid, Military and finally Velvet, Fur and Luxe.

And until next year...

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Kim Miller Talks Style with LK Bennett London

Last night I attended an event held by LK Bennett London for St Albans Fashion Week in collaboration with Kim Miller Styles.

Kim opened the event by giving a talk about styling and colour choices for your wardrobe and the value you can get out of it.  With over twenty-five years’ experience, she gave the audience an insight into some useful tips that they could easily adopt just by spending a little time on their wardrobe.

Kim Miller opening the LK Bennett event
Kim Miller talking about Colour Analysis
Model demonstrating how colours can or cannot
suit you - these do and she is an Autumn! 

Let’s be honest, we all have things “hiding” away from sight, that we’ve forgotten about or saving for best – but if you don’t use it, was it really worth the investment? One of my very first blog posts was about this subject, and so for a trip down memory lane, click here to have another read (circa Nov 2011)!

The LK Bennett woman is likely to be the well-travelled professional and with that you need a capsule wardrobe that works hard for you.  With only two minutes to make an impression, because people look and then make an opinion – it can be hard to change these views once it’s made.  So what you wear, every day, can make a real impact on your career opportunities.

The theme of the night was 15 key items into 50 potential outfits – whilst we didn’t see every single possibility, it soon became clear that by having a good basis of neutrals with one to two colours, mixing textures, shoes, bags  and accessories – you soon could do a lot with very little.

Model showing off the Andra Black Trousers and
the gorgeous Lorde Smoke over the knee Suede Boots

I loved this long cardigan, ideal for the current weather where its not quite cold
enough for the heavy winter coat - great for travelling in too.
Sorry Ladies I can't find it on the website, so ask in store if your interested

This Saskia Deep Rose Dress is perfect for business day or dress it up for a night out.
Stitched perfectly to shape your body and with those sleeves ending at the elbow
it covers up and enhances the length of your legs. Also available in green

To see the full range of this seasons clothes by LK Bennett London, click here.

Some top tips for Kim!

  1. Nail your style – Use social media like Pinterest for ideas and you’ll start to see a theme of what you like. 
  2. Add colour – balance your outfits by mix & matching. Try to wear three colours in every outfit to add interest
  3. Think outfits – organise your wardrobe so can access all components like jewellery, scarves etc – take photos to remind yourself of outfits to help you select quickly
  4. High-low balance – think about where you really should be spending the money, Kim used an example of a dress for a wedding, why spend a lot if you will never wear it again?!
  5. Savvy with your cash – Think about the cost per wear, only buy what’s needed for your wardrobe by creating lists.  Will it go with at least three items already in your wardrobe?
  6. For the Love & Joy - just OK is a big fat NO! – This has to be my favourite tip that everyone can adopt from NOW! Stop wearing what’s ok, if you don’t love it, if you don’t get joy from it – STOP!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

What I Wore: Black Floral in Velvet

Girls night, last night, meant I got to treat myself to a new dress.  I saw, I tried on and I purchased all in a space of what felt like five minutes!

I headed into NEXT in my hometown simply to buy a top, but I came across this fabulous black floral range which had a variety of different items that you could style with black or gold pieces to make a lovely capsule range for Autumn/Winter 2016.

Velvet is a big trend this season and I've been looking out for a velvet dress or top - most I've found have been in plain black or plain bright jewel colours which have a tinge of cheapness about them and yet the price tag states otherwise.

This floral dress plays homage to the velvet trend and yet has this understated glam about it. I styled the dress with black platform suede shoe boots, ultra thick black tights and some simple gold jewellery as I didn't want to distract from the floral design - which has birds, flowers and butterflies all over it.

NEXT have quite a few pieces in black floral - some that I loved in store I couldn't find for you on the web, but hopefully the items below will give you a taster to perhaps explore this range for yourself.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Are we all a minimum two bag, bag lady?

Let's stop and think about it, when was the last time you didn't have TWO bags??! Some days I have so much to carry, I personally dream of a second pair of arms or should that be shoulders?  

So it starts with the handbag - I can never ever go anywhere without that! I would love to do the 'day clutch', I think they are very glam but I can't, just can't, as I have too much to carry.

Then there is my work bag, my gorgeous Samonite laptop bag, I just love, love, love - but hey that can get really heavy with all my equipment so that's the max I can have on the one shoulder.

I then have my shopping tote - this comes in a variety of styles depending on what I am up to.  I have a lovely foldable shopper from Eco Chic that lives in my handbag and it's perfect for the daily food shop or a Saturday morning stint in town.  But if I need to carry a change of shoes or say a jumper then I have my orange Topshop tote (in photo below), it's a real Mary Poppins, and yet so stylish.

And whilst for you mums I know you have all the kids stuff to carry, I need another bag for my dog - well he needs stuff too - and I've given up on using my handbag for that!

The two bag look!

How did our busy lives get so crazy? and do we really need to carry all this stuff? Well if you want to work on-the-go and if you have other life-beings to look after then YES we need bags.

By the way - I have not mentioned HIM, yes the other half - have you noticed he never has to carry much, and on a night out you always seem to end up having to squeeze his phone and keys into your clutch bag (just saying!)

And so with that, this post is dedicated to more upmarket shopping totes than the plastic bag - well if we have to be 'bag ladies' let's at least do it with style.  And you also get permission to book yourself in to the nearest spa for that neck, shoulder and back rub, we've certainly earned it! And perhaps HE should pay for it ;) 

I love this khaki green bag, but if it's not for you then there is a brown or grey/black option too

Slouch Shopper Bag

Mesh Shopper

Black River Island shopper bag

If you want one that folds up tidy so that you can have it in your handbag, Warehouse have a couple of designs, this one's my favourite

Zip Around Shopper Bag


ooh and the irony bag!

Tote bag from Cafe Press

Monday, 17 October 2016

Plum it Up!

This season colour trend is definitely plum, it's everywhere, you can't miss it - shoes, handbags, scarves, gloves, purses and on it goes.

It's such a versatile colour you'll find it goes with everything. Team it up with brown leather accessories or your favourite navy jacket. It can lighten up an "all black" look and it's the perfect combo for dark denim jeans.

I've been wearing my plum scarf with my cream Zara jacket most of this week.  

Instagram: @lovedbylizzi

This fabulously soft scarf from Accessorize comes in a variety of colours - so if you're not keen on plum then I'm sure there is one you'll love, as it's such a great price.

Lily ribbed scarf
Colours: Plum, red, lime, yellow, teal and pink

I purchased these shoes from New Look about six weeks ago in preparation for a wedding. I am not surprised that they are now out of stock - as they are gorgeous, yet comfy (danced all evening) and OMG they were only £24.99!  

These are a great alternative for a fabulous autumn look, especially with skinny jeans.

Dark Red Comfort Strappy Heeled Boots
New Look

Now I've not yet invested in a handbag, but there is still time!  And if I was this is a likely option...

Lipsy Mock Croc Tote Bag

And finally - if you get your gels applied at a salon that specialises in Jessica gels - then simply ask for Windsor Castle - and you'll match perfectly with your accessories!

Monday, 10 October 2016

AW16 Trend: The White Shirt

One of the best things about Sundays, is brunch.  There is nothing more relaxing, I think, than heading to a cafe, sitting outside (weather permitting of course) and having a cooked breakfast at leisure.  After a busy week at work and smoothies most mornings, this is just bliss.

Now I like to get a little dressed up for brunch; don't get me wrong there are times when you want to keep it more relaxed, but if I'm heading into London then I do make more of an effort.  And you can't go wrong with a white crisp shirt, teamed with dark jeans and either boots or flat pumps.

This classic shirt can be dressed up or down, and a must for this season.

When investing in this classic, here are a few tips:

  • Invest in quality - you want the fabric to be of good quality, you can pair this alongside cheaper jeans, trousers or leggings but the shirt itself needs to ooze quality
  • Keep it white - if you're not good with laundry then either get it cleaned at the dry-cleaners or wash it on its own
  • Well ironed - it needs to look crisp! And the only way to do this is to iron it - especially if it has cuffs and collars they need to be sharp.
  • Think about your body-shape - if you have a waist then get a fitted one that enhances your hour-glass line, if you're not and perhaps more flat or say round then go for a straight cut. 
  • Think about your bust - depending on the size of your bustline, the larger the less fussier you want it
  • Baggy relaxed shirts should only be worn with slim-tight leggings or jeans - be sure to check that this doesn't make you frumpy
  • Dress it up or down - have fun with jewellery to keep changing your look
  • Keep it fresh - if in doubt buy a new one each year there's nothing worse than a tired looking white shirt!

Here's three that I've picked for you:

Mapel by Reiss

Frill Front Shirt by NEXT

Autograph by M&S (And featured in Vogue)
Supima® Cotton Blend White Shirt