Marks & Spencers introduces “shwopping”

Today leading chain Marks and Spencers introduced “Shwopping” – its big recycling scheme aiming to bring the number of clothes going to landfill down. In the UK alone 9,513 garments are discarded every five minutes and some of these items could continue to be useful clothing to someone else or be recycled. In this scheme M&S Customers are encouraged to swap any old or unwanted items when they come into store. The clothes will then be recycled or resold by Oxfam, with the aim of reducing the 1 billion items being dumped into UK landfills each year.

Certainly seems a worthwhile cause. In a bid to hammer the message home M&S have filled Brick Lane in London with a clear (and soggy) reason as to why this scheme is so very important. Presumably the clothes used in this publicity stunt will not be going to landfill afterwards…

It is however a good message. Dont waste your old clothes ladies! There is a cause for them no matter the condition.

Loving Lace in 2012

We have covered many of the current fashion trends over the last few weeks but have failed to cover lace which is absolutely massive this season. It seems many of the current trends are celebrating femininity and lace is a superb example of this. Paired up with other fashion trends, such as pastels colours, and you can be sure to be onto a winner by adding a little lace into your wardrobe.

We´ve scoured the shops for some perfect example of high street and online retailers putting lace to exceptional use in their clothing – and here are just a few of our absolute favourites.

Lace Outfits at Boohoo.com

Alex Lace Top Pleated Skater Dress £20.00

Tara Lace Long sleeved Shift Dress £15.00

Carly Lace Shift Dress with Pleat £20.00

Lace Clothing from Misguided

Cristina 3/4 Sleeve Lace Pleat Dress Cream £26.99

Alanetta Lace Bodycon 'Kate' Dress Cream £24.99

Laraine Tailored Lace Dress Black £39.99

Others

Drama Queen Lace Detail Bodycon Dress (ismee)

Rare Lace Short Sleeve Dress £45.00

Per Una Floral Lace Jersey Top with Camisole (M&S)

Check out the retailers above for other examples of beautiful lace clothing and incorporate it into your wardrobe this season.

If you are looking for lace outfits in plus sizes then check Miz Moe Plus Sizes for some great plus size lace clothing from Yours Clothings, Evans and Curvissa.

Versatile Holiday Clothing: 3 in 1 Dress

If you are planning your summer wardrobe you will probably be considering taking very few items of clothing (in order to avoid the dreaded surcharges of hold luggage). One of the most flexible items you can consider this year is the 3 in 1 dress from Freemans. Its available in a great range of colours and can be worn, as the name suggests, in three different ways. In order to expand on this you can try combining the dress with additional items of clothing or accessories. A bolero jacket for example could lift the dress up to be worn for a casual evening.

Lascana 3-in-1 Dress From £35.00

So, to explain, the Lascana 3-in-1 bandeau dress is perfect worn as a mini dress for walks along the beach but can also be worn as a skirt for trips into town or a long dress for the evening. This clever dress can be transformed in a jiffy to suit any occasion. Made of high quality heavy fabric, the top section has a double layer for a perfect fit.

Available colours:
Berry – Black Printed – Black – Brown – Petrol – Purple – White

Sizes:
Sizes 6 to 18

Check out Freemans superb ideas for holiday clothing in their Holiday Shop

Lets go BAG shopping

Yesterday my bag died. It has had a hard run and, finally, it passed the point of no return and simple broke under the strain. We gave it a fond fair well and looked on the bright side.

This means bag shopping.

Sure, I dont have only one bag. Lets face facts, we ladies need bags which will match every occasion or outfit, but I like to have one bag which is my all purpose “grab and run” for everyday use. Its usually large enough to carry the everyday essentials but not so big the store security guards follow me around the store as potential threat (they have a tendency to do here if your handbags are too big!).

Anyway, not willing to simply shop for myself, I had to share the results of my searches with you – with, of course, final choice being displayed at the bottom!

Fossil Key Per Flower Cross Body (£78.00 ) Menarys

The beautiful fossil bags are always something to behold. The heart and soul of the FOSSIL brand – its people, products and culture – is about a unique kind of inspired creativity. Representing the concept of accessible cool, Fossil’s identity is anchored in vintage authentic style mixed with a creative spirit and a sense of humour that extends into all its product offerings, graphics and one-of-a-kind, trademark collectible tins. Fossil creates modern yet vintage products for everyone, a simple yet compelling idea reflected in the Company’s tagline, Long Live Vintage. I love a good vintage bag and fossil do them so very well – at accessible prices too!

Vivienne Westwood Pink Ecopelle Women’s Shoulder Bag £448.00 Daniels

Every girl has her dream – and mine has always been to own a Vivienne Westwood. This striking women’s shoulder bag is part of their Spring Summer women’s bag collection. Made from leather material in a striking pink tartan print – this stylish handbag is guaranteed to grab attention this season! The bag features a double handle along with a shoulder strap, inside the bag is a spacious main pocket that’s lined with fabric that has the Vivienne Westwood Globe logo print repeated on it (so you can boast I guess). Either way, its far out of my current price range – but a girl need her dreams!

Pintuck Floral Black Healthy Back Bag £59.00

I discovered these bags from Healthy Back Bag a while ago and I do own one for travelling. I never really considered them being a replacement for my everyday handbag but they do have some lovely designs are a definitely worth a look. The bag pictured here is a beautifully soft crinkle cotton bag, embroidered with a delicate floral pattern set against either a beige or black background. Tactile yet hardwearing, these bags feature our signature silver lining and organisational pockets. If you have back problems or value your back you should take a look at their incredible range.

Leather Satchells from Bohemia Design from €91

If you are looking to partake in a little colour blocking this season with your accessories then you might like to check out the colourful range of leather satchells at Bohemia Design. They have a large range of colours and styles – perfect for the current colour block trend and at very accessible prices. I own one of their range and the quality is superb – these are bags which are truly meant to last!

Maddox Organiser Flap from Fossil £ 168

Its not surprise to me this is one of Fossils most loved bags for this season. The design is absolutely fabulous and definitely one for my list. Its just gorgeously trendy with a cool vintage feel – great for this seasons fashion trends. Drawing inspiration from vintage luggage, the Maddox organiser flap, with a glazed leather trim, is structured to carry all our day-to-day necessities. With classic hardware and a season-perfect print, Maddox is their most-loved bag.

The search, unfortunately, continues. Any recommendations?

Fresh & Minty Plus Size

I recently discovered the latest fashion trend colour to hit the high street – mint! Well, now we are going to covering fresh and minty in plus sizes.

We first called off at Yours Clothing, one of our personal favourites as a general rule, but unfortunately didnt find anything mint which tickled our fancy. Most unusual!

Evans was our next port of call and, rather thankfully, they faired a little better. I am still seeing a sharp differential between the quality of clothes on the “standard shelves” for want of a better term and the plus size ones. Most disapointing. Its time the stores stepped up and realised than average sizes are now around a 16 in some countries. Start catering for them!

Evans Mint Green Straight Leg Jeans £35.00

Green/Putty Jersey Wrap ‘Frida' Dress £70.00

Evans Mint Green Ruffle Top £18.00

Minty Green @ Curvissa (UK Sales only)

Sleeveless V-Neck Top £18.00

KangaROOS Hoody £55.00

Long Sleeve T-Shirt £25.00

Mint Green from around the web

Grazia Dress with Corsage £55.00

Embroidered Placket Blouse £31.50

Arizona Rock ’N’ Roll Straight Leg Jeans £55.00

Get Fresh with Mint

One of the main colours for the Spring 2012 season I love the most is the recent addition of Mint Green. Its a seriously cool colour – in more ways than one. Mint accessorised with hints of gold (jewellery in particular) is a real winner in my wardrobe. This colour is absolutely wonderful when used as a highlight colour – combine with creams or other pastels for a lovely feminine look. Take my word for it the racks of fashion stores is going to be packed with this colour.

I have just finished trawling the shops for some of my favourite mint green must haves – and here they are!

Mint butterfly print maxi £45.00 Dorothy Perkins

Mint dotty 50's dress £30.00 Dorothy Perkins

Mint contrast tunic Now £15.00 Dorothy Perkins

Becky Embroidered and Cutwork Detail Top £20.00 Boohoo.com

Eva Twist Neck Detail Lace Fit And Flare Dress £20.00 Boohoo.com

Melinda Lace Skater Dress £25.00 from Boohoo.com (also in coral and lemon)

MOTO Grunge Ripped Skinny Jeans £50.00 from TopShop

LEVITATE Sport Heeled Sandals £80.00 TopShop

Pleated Dip Back Skirt £38.00 TopShop

Plus Size Minty

Stay tuned for our next post on Fresh & Minty Plus Size

Preview Olivia Rubin´s New Collection for Dorothy Perkins

I recently got to enjoy a preview of Olivia Rubin´s new collection for Dorothy Perkins. The collection, entitled “Postcards From”, is comprised of wrap dresses, maxi dresses and peplums in whimsical designs which would be perfect for your summer holidays.. Olivia Rubin is famed for her graphic prints, so you will be sure to fall hook, line and sinker for her holiday themed shell and tropical bird motifs in soft neutral shades with punchy highlights of her signature favourite – shocking pink! The items, generally speaking, are available in dress sizes 6 to 18 – which means it can still be enjoyed by plus sizes up to size 18!

The collection goes on official sale tomorrow on Dorothy Perkins Enjoy!

Pink bird wrap dress £45.00

Grey bird maxi dress £45.00

Pink bird maxi dress £45.00

Grey bird peplum dress £49.00

Blush shell peplum top £25.00

Grey bird dress £40.00

The Fashion Must Haves for Spring / Summer 2012

Winter is finally behind us for another year and so we can say goodbye to those thick chunky sweaters and snow boots. After months of being hidden under layers of bulking clothing its no wonder so many of us are left feeling frumpy and somewhat drab. I find it exciting therefore that the trends for this Spring / Summer are so bright and colourful – it will definitely help to lift my spirits and jumpstart the summer. I´m looking forward to receiving my latest additions so I no longer hit the “I´ve nothing to wear” issue whenever I open my wardrobe!

If you have been following our last few blogs you will know that this Spring / Summer is all about bold colours, neon, prints, pastels and lace. Those we have not as yet covered we will be doing in the next few days – so, please, stay tuned for that. We like to search the web for all the latest trends for our wardrobe and, as I know I am not alone in my clothing consumerism, I like to share my finds with you.

One of the most interesting trends I have only really just encountered is Soft Mint Green – which I absolutely adore. Its a beautiful cool colour which compliments every skin tone and is tremendously flattering. ” In addition to this lovely cool mint, other pastels such as lavender, pink, guava, and beautiful buttercup yellow are overflowing the virtual racks this season. It seems like pastels are definitely rising to the top of the trends this season – and its not surprising given the fact that, unlike some of the other trends, they are very versatile. You can wear pastels for work or a night out on the town – nothing more versatile than a pastel-colored pencil skirt paired with another current trend, a lace or crochet top. Add in skinny belt and nude heels to create a chic, polished silhouette.

Neon is also in but its not a trend I think I will be partaking in this season – although it might make it into my accessories. Vibrant greens, pinks, blues, and yellows can be found in anything ranging from jeans and tops to jewellery and handbags.

Prints in general are big the season too. In fact we´ve already covered the explosion of ethnic prints. Prints, as with our previously disclosed Neon, need to be kept simple. Personally I would pair one key printed or neon item and work it in with plain jeans, just for an example, rather than try going with an entire wardrobe of clashing printed fabrics.

I do intend having a few items of Lace which, for me, is an absolute delight. I love the femininity of lace. But, as with so many of our other trends, less is more – especially when using coloured lace in your wardrobe!

Whatever you chose, enjoy the explosion of colour this Spring, and may it brighten your day!

Olivia Rubin new collection for Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins are introducing “Postcards From”, a new collection from London designer Olivia Rubin created exclusively for Dorothy Perkins. Olivia Rubin is famed for her graphic prints, so you will be sure to fall hook, line and sinker for her holiday themed shell and tropical bird motifs in soft neutral shades with punchy highlights of her signature favourite – shocking pink!

Enjoy!

Learn more about the collection on the Dorothy Perkins website – and stay tuned for your future reviews because early glimpses of the collection means there will definitely be a few items appearing in my wardrobe for the coming summer season. Sign up to be the first to receive a secret link to shop on official launch day here

They do promise to be wonderful feminine and unique but not sure what the size range will be – no official announcement on that as far as I am aware. If you are wanting some key items for your wardrobe this summer then stay tuned to the Dorothy Perkins website!

Summer 2012: Ethnic Prints

Tribal prints, Ethnic prints and Mayan designs are combined to bring you the hottest look this summer! Whether you´re going on holiday to exotic places or attending a weekend festival we have brought together some of the hottest items to fill your summer 2012 wardrobe. Its the perfect trend for making you feel like a global traveller and, if you want that final hippy look, then feel free to go over the top with accessories and jewellery – you can never have too many bangles!

Check our next post (coming shortly) on dressing up these awesome Aztec and ethically inspired outfits

Aztec Prints from Boohoo.com

Helena Aztec Print Bandeau £8.00

Melanie Aztec Print Open Back Strappy Dress £18.00

Milly Aztec Print Knitted Leggings £10.00

Lottie Aztec Print Sleevless Vest Dress £12.00

Tiffany Aztec Front Split Maxi Dress £20.00

Sandy Strappy Aztec Print Mixi Dress £18.00

Aztec Prints from Freemans

AX Paris Aztec Print Dipped Hem Vest £22.00

Miss Sixty Aztec Safari One Shoulder Dress £75.00

Miss Sixty Safari Aztec Print Maxi Dress £145.00

Aztec Prints from across the web

Love Label Aztec Print Bodycon Dress (Isme) £25.00

Aztec Print Leggings (Asda George)

Lovedrobe Aztec Print Button Up Cardigan (Evans) Now £20.00

Aztec print, edge to edge, knitted cardigan 45.50€

Square necked, Aztec print tunic with 3/4 length sleeves 29.00€ (Yours Clothing)

Billie & Blossom Black aztec print belted tunic (Dorothy Perkins)