48 HOURS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
As a perfectionist, I can sometimes find it hard to be spontaneous especially when it comes to travelling. So when John suggested we spend 48 hours in the Scottish Highlands with less than 48 notice, I really took a leap of faith and said YES. (Wild. I know.) Whilst the thought of packing an overnight bag and hitting the open road may sound exciting, even romantic to some, to me it just isn’t logical. When travelling, I like to be well prepared, usually packing a capsule wardrobe of mix n’ match pieces well in advance. Turns out, last minute adventures are a whole lot of fun and packing needn’t be stressful!Over the years, I have learned that the best way to pack for a trip away is to simply take your favourite clothes. (Naturally, checking the weather forecast before you travel is a no-brainer.) I’ve written posts before on how to travel light or how to pack for city breaks, you name it. This is not one of those post. This post features my favourite pieces I have bought and thrifted over the past few weeks, true classics that I know will be with me until they’re worn to threads.
Do you remember my trip to Blackpool a few weeks ago? Whilst John was finding an elusive piece of street art, curiosity got the best of me and I popped into Primark to look at their autumn arrivals. I was so impressed that I took to Twitter to proclaim my pleasant surprise at their autumn range! To me, Primark isn’t a place that I shop at regularly- their sizes are irregular and the quality is hit and miss, however even I cannot ignore the fact that occasionally they have some amazing pieces and because of that, I buy the odd Primark piece. Last month, that odd piece was this bee print shirt for £7, yes £7! I dreamed of layering it under winter knits but the quality was so impressive, I added a neck tie!Recently Newgate watches got in touch to ask if I’d like to try a watch from their range .Can you believe I didn’t own a watch until I hit 30? With mobile phones and classroom clocks, I never saw the need for one. These day I can’t be without a watch, I have a sense of feeling out of place, out of time. I’d been trying to break out of my Olivia Burton rut, so I said yes please and chose The Electric.You might think I chose a unisex watch so I could share it with John, that’s partly true. But, I loved the classic and retro design of The Electric. I love the stainless steel against Newgate’s classic and iconic typography, no matter your style it’s a classic design that will compliment all outfits. If you haven’t heard of Newgate, the brand has been known for their iconic clocks for decades so it seems only natural that husband and wife duo, Jim and Chloe Read, decided to translate their clock designs into bold and contemporary wrist wear for men and women.The benefit of growing older is understanding, developing and fine-tuning your own personal style. As you know, I search for and seek out clothes that are high quality, made to last and come with a price tag that I’m comfortable with. I tend to find that I invest my money in my accessories because these transcend fashion trends and stand the test of time. That’s why I’m happy to wear bargain finds alongside accessories that cost £100+ for. It’s all about price per wear.I’m so happy that we’re now truly in autumn. Even though the days are flooded with sunlight, there’s a welcome chill in the morning air and it won’t be long until we start our descent into winter. I’m so pleased to have purchased my winter coat in September, brand new with tags from a Roy Castle charity shop. Whilst it may have been the most I have ever spent on a single charity shop purchase, this £20 Topshop coat is a steal. You know when you slip a new coat on and it feels perfectly snug and cosy you never want to take it off? Despite it being 19 degrees at the time, that’s how I felt. It’s a sample coat, which means it may be imperfect in certain places but I’ve yet to find any faults with it. I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of it in the upcoming months. It was perfect for 48 hours in the Scottish Highlands.Outfit Details// Bee shirt :: Primark //// Khaki fur coat :: Topshop sample via Roy Castle //// Electric watch :: c/o Newgate Watches //// Mustard tights :: Tu //// Polka dot skirt :: New Look //// Leather satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
Rush Hair Manchester Blogger Event
It seems that last Thursday was the night to be seen in Manchester as a whole host of events were taking place in the city centre: fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, fitness bloggers, beauty bloggers, no matter your field, there was a Manchester blogger event for you. I could tell you that I chose the Rush Hair blogger event because I’m eternally searching for a hairdresser a cut above the rest, or a place with fringe benefits, but I’ll stop with the puns: I’ve been boring everyone about my distaste for my hair’s current state for far too long, I thought it would be a good opportunity to seek advice.
I’ve been bemoaning my short hair for the past few weeks, not only am I growing out the length, I’m also growing out my fringe (and desperately trying to avoid the temptation to have it cut back in). At the moment, I have one style: poker straight and clipped to the side. I’d been told that stylists would be hand throughout the event to offer advice, but I didn’t expect to leave this Manchester blogger event feeling optimistic and armed with skills to tackle my bonce and love it once more.
Arriving in Manchester city centre, I met Katie from LifeonVista before entering the salon, a bright oasis away from Manchester’s famous rain. Spacious, airy and gleaming, we were among the first guests to arrive and stood self-consciously nursing a glass of Prosecco whilst eyeing-up the largest canapés I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on. Within minutes, a member of the Rush team, Casey, had put me at ease by sitting me in a hairdresser’s chair and asked me to moan about explain what frustrated me about my hair.
Giving me tips on how to transform my eternally growing-out fringe to resemble Bridget Bardot’s iconic swept fringe, I left Casey feeling optimistic and excited to try something new. By then, the salon had begun to fill with familiar blogging faces and also, new bloggers I had yet to meet. Before the event, I eagerly checked Tamsin’s thread on Manchester Bloggers’ Facebook group and followed those who were attending. It was refreshing to be at an event where everyone was friendly, smiling and open to chat.
It was a pleasure to meet some new bloggers: Rachel from Ode2Fitness, Laura from HairWonderfulDay and familiar Manchester blogger, Fikki from Pasttime Bliss who I met at the Mottram Hall event. I lost track of time chatting away before realising that the event’s attendees had started to undergo spectacular hair transformations: curls, curls everywhere! And that was when I met Lucy, who within thirty minutes, had taken me from drab to feelin’ fab!
What do you think?
Since the event, I haven’t pinned my hair back once and have started to embrace the side sweep. I will be returning to Rush, after all it’s not often I find a hairdresser that can make me feel so, so good about a grown out fringe and hairstyle. A ladies cut and finish with one of Rush’s stylist is priced at £44, slightly more expensive than what I’d usually pay, but Rush are offering 50% off for new customers with the code: RUSH50.
Thanks to the team at Tank PR and the staff at RUSH for a wonderful evening!
All images taken, with thanks, by Katie from Life on Vista.
As a Manchester fashion blogger, the bohemian, hip Northern Quarter of the city has been my playground for many years: notably, for its photogenic urban backdrops and abundance of street art. With paste ups proudly sat aside hand-finished stencils, it’s an area that’s flourished alongside its creative counterpart: music. In fact, it was through music that I discovered the Northern Quarter existed (back in the early 2000s).You’d be forgiven for thinking the photos in this blog post were taken in the Northern Quarter, they’re not. It’s Blackpool. Just like Manchester, Blackpool has also seen a resurgence of culture in the form of street art thanks to Sand, Sea and Spray: a festival that showcases international street artists. Gloriously transforming dozens of walls in the town from bleak to chic, Sand, Sea and Spray has attracted household names in the street art world such as: D7606, Nomad Clan, My Dog Sighs and C3, to name but a few.
The paste ups of D7606 are well-known across the UK and as far-fetched as Europe and the USA, you’ve seen his worked featured in an outfit post here, three years ago. His work is familiar and maintains the inseparable mix of art and music. Pasted alongside C3’s feminine pieces, it’s a winning combination that I simply couldn’t resist for an outfit post backdrop. Same style, same art. Different town.
I can’t say I was overjoyed when John suggested that we visit Blackpool: it was an uncharacteristically warm September’s Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t welcoming the thought of spending an hour in the car. Had I seen these works before I’m sure I would have been more encouraged. Part of my reluctance was not knowing what to wear- I’d packed up my summer dresses just days before, but this ASOS pinafore dress (a July purchase) sat hanging on my dress rail waiting to be worn.
I’m never far away from a polka dot print I’ve yet to discover and love, it’s a weakness (or strength, depending on your perspective) and I fear it’s become my signature style. Slowly, I’m starting to rotate my wardrobe. In preparation for autumn, I’ve vacuum packed away my spring/summer clothes, tried on 90% of my winter clothes and have created a large pile of clothes to sell on and donate to charity. Selling my clothes means I can buy more, guilt free.
Outfit Details// Polka dot pinafore :: ASOS //// Collared shirt :: Vero Moda //// Red satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //// Pom pom loafers :: Primark //As it turned out, the majority of Blackpool’s charity shops are open on a Sunday. It’s remarkable: not once have I visited a place with shops that open on a Sunday. It was a happy chance, because whilst John was striving for the perfect shot taken in the perfect light, I could happily browse what Blackpool had to offer. (In a twist of fate, I didn’t find anything and haven’t since and that’s no mean feat because I’ve estimated that I’ve visited approximately 30 charity shops within the last week or two.) Am I disappointed? Not really, maybe a little but the fruit of summer’s charity shop trawling has brought me over 50% of my autumn wardrobe. Who can be down about that?Are you thrifting for your autumn wardrobe? I’d love for you to share your thrifty finds using the hashtag #ShowMeTheThrift. Alternatively, if you’ve been to see Blackpool’s Sand, Sea and Spray festival, I want to know your thoughts! ❤
September fashion Emily and Fin Nancy Dress
September, you remind me of a teenager- one minute you’re laying it on thick with lashings of sunshine, the next you’re scolding me with a tantrum of rain. And, you expect me to put up with this behaviour? Well, I do because I love the way you bring me the start of autumn. Readers, I know you’re just as excited for the change of season as I am but are you finding this transitional period difficult to dress for? Because, I am.
As you know, I was recently invited to celebrate 10 years of Country Attire at Proper Tea in Manchester. Despite the event being held in August, the weather was what you’d typically expect in September and it rained for the entirety of the afternoon, whilst remaining uncomfortably warm. I don’t know about you, but I find this type of weather so difficult to dress for and this time of year can be a challenge for my personal style.So, I reverted to my factory settings and wore a dress because ladylike dressing seemed apt for High Tea. I wore the beautiful Nancy dress by one of my favourite brands, Emily and Fin. I have loved this naval dress since the release of their spring/summer 2016 look book. When Nancy was reduced by 50% in Aspire Style’s summer sale, I took it as my signal to invest in September fashion Emily and Fin Nancy Dress
If you’re a regular reader of Polkadot Pink, you know that buying investment pieces is important to me- whether those investment pieces are brand new or second hand, it doesn’t matter as long as I love them. I want to build a wardrobe full of clothes to love. Last month, I was exceptionally lucky to find lots of pieces for my autumn wardrobe in north west charity shops. An added benefit of buying the Nancy dress meant I could wear the pieces I’d thrifted.I was delighted to find this bamboo handbag as finding a retro bag had been on my summer wardrobe wishlist- one season too late but who’s being picky? Lined in red velvet, with an ornate golden clasp, it’s in immaculate condition and can you believe it was only £1.99? It is surprisingly roomy and fits my camera, mobile phone and keys in. It’s set to become a staple of my wardrobe.Outfit Details// Nancy naval print dress :: Emily and Fin //// Vintage Crimplene jacket :: Jospice //// Tan Mary Jane heels :: Red Herring (Red Cross) //// Bamboo handbag :: No brand (Age UK) //// Cherry brooch :: Luxulite //Weeks later, I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this vintage Crimplene jacket in the Allerton Road branch of Jospice during a rare day of thrifting with Katie, from Life on Vista. I believe it’s from the 60’s but vintage enthusiasts may correct me. It’s a size 12 and fits like a glove, even though I’m petite. I’m certainly not in need of any more jackets, but at £3.99 I think it’s earned a place in my wardrobe.I’m also not short of shoes (I have an alarming amount of pairs), so why do I find it difficult to find a pair to complete an outfit? On the same thrifting trip, I also found these Red Herring leather shoes in a local Red Cross shop, in brand new condition. Tan is a colour that I always invest in because it’s so versatile, especially at a price of £1.99.If you follow me on social, this week I’ve been seeking advice and talking about how I’ve started a Bullet Journal. Honestly, it’s been a revelation! In just one week, I’ve increased my productivity by managing to stay focused and on task. Next week, I am planning to pack away my summer clothes, start piecing together autumn outfits and donate/sell items that no longer fit me. It’s a task I’m looking forward to. Watch this space!
LEAVING TEACHING :: ONE YEAR ON
Who could deny that autumn is on its way? Darker nights are drawing in, mornings are laced with dew and there’s a cooler nip in the evening air. I’ve said it before but, to me, the change between August and September always feels greater than any other seasonal change. I used to relate this to the start of a new school year, but this is the first academic year that I won’t be returning to a classroom so I wanted to write about leaving teaching one year on.