• Infashion, lifestyle

    FESTIVAL WEAR FOR THE INTROVERT

    FESTIVAL WEAR FOR THE INTROVERT

    Festival dressing: the mere thought of it brings me out in a cold, cold sweat. Get it right and you’re the belle of the festival arena stomping until the early hours of the morning, get it wrong and you’re doomed to chafing, blistering and sunburn and an early night under the stars. Some of you may be heading to Reading and Leeds Festivals this weekend, so I wonder if you can relate. I’ve attended many festivals and, each time, have faced the same, ‘But, WHAT, what do I wear?’ dilemma. This year, attending Kendal Calling was no different. Discovering comfortable festival wear for the introvert is no easy task! 

     

    With only five days to prepare, I went online to find a solution to my dilemma: I envisioned finding a bohemian styled outfit but would negotiate for a Sixties swing dress winged my way. As an introvert, I’m not interested in showing any thigh so when I looked at various festival fashion ranges, the overwhelming suggestion was HOT PANTS! Over the past ten years,  I’ve seen more rump squeezed in and flaunted at festivals than any butcher’s guild could shake a stick at. Trust me, hot pants was not going to cut it.
     

    You know that feeling when you know you have plenty of clothes, but for the life of you, you just can’t fathom a suitable outfit? So you search every online outlet you can think of, until deciding that you’re officially cray cray and there MUST be something you already own just waiting in your wardrobe. So, I tried to think logically. Two days outdoors. Two days where all four seasons could make an appearance, and all I could think of was an outfit Roy Cropper would be proud of: WATERPROOFS and LAYERS.

    Now, there mightn’t be anything sexy about waterproof raincoats and wellington boots, but then again,  blistered, sopping wet feet and chafing isn’t attractive either. Let’s face it, we’re in Britain and it’s odds on that it will always rain when you really don’t want it to. So I decided to dress practically in denim, raincoat and wellington boots. (I’m not going to be featured for my festival style anytime soon but for me, comfort was the most important factor.)

     

    Lordy! I’m officially a mature adult because I’ve just admitted that comfort was my priority! Dressing comfortably is surely a measure of reaching adulthood? You saw this Bellfield denim dress featured in February, but it seemed like the perfect solution for summer festival fashion, especially as it matched my floral Cath Kidston wellies so well. Feeling like Bellfield had come to my rescue in my time of need, I started to eye up their Alexandra jacket. Yes, I already have a raincoat, a shorter length bright yellow affair from Seasalt but what if it poured and poured with rain? Already panicked by the increasing costs of petrol, parking, food and accommodation, you should know Bellfield really did come to my rescue and gifted me this gorgeous jacket and the gift of staying dry! You can expect to see this jacket lots in autumn. 

    Practicalities scratched off my list, I needed to add a little quirk to my fashion festival so I bought the most ridiculous sunglasses I could find in Primark. Circular, mirrored and adorned with florals, they only cost £1 but I found myself so attached to them I brought them home ready for next summer. Clearly adopting a floral theme, I added my bright Layla Amber accessories and naturally, my floral YMC rucksack. 


    Comfortable and true to my own personal style, I’m happy with how this outfit came together. Do you find festival dressing a challenge? What’s your go to outfit?


    Outfit Details
    // Yarrow dress* :: Bellfield Clothing (now £28) //
    // Alexandra jacket :: c/o Bellfied Clothing (similar) //
    // Liberty print floral rucksack :: YMC //
    // Floral sunglasses :: Primark //
    // Necklace & ring :: Layla Amber //
    // Wellington Boots :: Cath Kidston //
     
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  • Infashion, thrift

    THE SOUVENIR PRINT SHIRT DRESS

    Manchester fashion blogger

    The Souvenir Print Shirt Dress

    Over the past few months, my charity shop finds have dwindled in number and you’ve seen very few purchases here on the blog. I can’t complain because in July, the charity shop Gods bestowed some amazing thrift luck upon me when I found some key, quality pieces for my autumn wardrobe: a 60’s style Boden skirt, a Topshop trench coat and a Wheels & Dollbaby cardigan, to name but a few. I’m excited for autumn fashion, but I’m still embracing summer. Strangely, it was when I was searching for autumn fashion staples that I chanced upon the souvenir print dress, a dress I’d wanted to buy first-hand- until it sold out. 

    July saw me browsing in fewer charity shops than ever before; it was a busy month, both socially, home and work wise, with my calendar full of theatre trips, evenings out for tea with friends, Kendal Calling with John, days out with family, decorating our living room: you name it! Nonetheless, it was on a visit to my local hospice shop that I found the souvenir print shirt dress- a dress from River Island’s ‘Chelsea Girl’ range.
     
    Maybe it’s my yearning for a holiday in the sun that made me take the dress from the rack to look at its bright, holiday themed print? Maybe it was the fact that it’s a midi length dress (perfect for the ever-changing English summer)? In reality, it was Willowbrook’s half price sale that cast the final vote and saw me take it home for £2.50. Yes, £2.50. Brand new, I suspect, and perfectly fitting. 
    Manchester Fashion Blogger
    The Souvenir Print Dress
    The Souvenir Print Dress
    The Souvenir Print Dress
    The Souvenir Print Dress
    Outfit Details
    // Souvenir Print Shirt Dress :: Willowbrook Hospice, originally River Island ‘Chelsea Girl //
    // Tan leather sandals :: Clarks  c/o Brantano //
    // Suitcase novelty bag & snail ring :: both Accessorize //
    // ‘Mermaids have more fun’ necklace :: Punky Pins //
     
    I wore this outfit on Friday when John and I decided to have an impromptu day out in Ormskirk (you might have heard of it as it’s the home of Edge Hill University). As John had time booked off, I thought I’d join him and we started the long, lazy weekend by stopping by our favourite bistro for lunch and searching for mid-century finds in Ormskirk’s numerous charity shops. We aimed to finish with a coffee at Ormskirk’s latest, and hippest, coffee shop, Cobble, but the English weather had other ideas and we found it too warm to be drinking lattes. 

    Although we didn’t find any mid-century furniture finds, we did find a dinosaur teapot! After the disappointment of not being able to find ‘that’ Morrison’s planter, we’ve decided to buy a succulent and make our very own version for a snippet of the price and a donation to charity. Even though I wasn’t supposed to be looking at clothes, how could I not? I found a vintage style handmade dress with a delicate, embroidered collar for just £1. I can’t wait to feature it, until then, Instagram Stories? 
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  • Inlifestyle

    KENDAL CALLING 2016 :: #MAKEITAYAYDAY

    Kendal Calling 2016 :: #MakeItAYayDay

    You know how I pledged to make 2016 a year of action, a year where I’d make some positive changes in my life? Do more, work less, see more, worry less? Well, last weekend, I was able to add a little more action to my 2016 list of adventures when I was invited to Kendal Calling 2016. And, if you want even more action, I’m adding a mini vlog to the end of this post (yes, my first ever!)


    Located in Lowther Park, in the heart of the scenic Lake District, Kendal Calling 2016 is a relatively short 70-mile drive north up the M6. John and I are always up for a change of scenery at the weekend (although having never camped together, we made sure to book a B&B for Saturday evening!) Arriving just after midday, we were greeted with a festival awash with colour. 

    Invited to Kendal Calling on behalf of the kind folk over at Emmi Caffe Latte who are all about adding a little more yay to your day, we made their yurt our first stop to sample coffee cocktails. As a coffee enthusiast, I found them delicious- especially the YayPout (imagine a juice version of a coffee chocolate orange and you’re halfway there!) Before heading back into the arena, we took advantage of the photobooth to capture our #makeitayayday moment! Then it was time to truly experience Kendal Calling 2016!
    In the arena, our festival highlights included:
     
    • Raised hands, jumping in the air to the rhythm of the infectious ‘Flame’ by Sundara Karma in the Calling Out tent whilst singing, “Hold. My. Flame and set alight.”
    • Noel Gallagher’s disbelief at Yorkshire Day, “You’ve got your own day? Get to f**k.”
    • Justin Hawkins of The Darkness in that spandex suit, “We’re going to do some hits from 2003, because who wants to hear the songs no-one bought?”
    • The Sugarhill Gang, “Apache, jump on it!”
    • Listening to Spring King whilst eating Katsu Curry sitting on the mount outside the Calling Out tent.
    • Discovering we knew more Kelis songs than we ever thought possible. 
    • The taste of a pint of ice cold Strongbow Dark Fruits after the long drive. Ah!
    • Exploring ‘Lost Eden’ a whole woodland area of Kendal Calling I’d never seen before featuring artwork and installations. 
    • The luxury of festival hospitality toilets, no Shewee needed this time!
    …and, here’s how Kendal Calling looked on film!

     
    We had a truly wonderful weekend away in the Lake District- I can’t believe it took me three years to return to Kendal Calling! So much so, we’re already planning a return trip to a festival in 2017!
     
    *We were invited to Kendal Calling on behalf of Emmi Caffe Latte, our festival tickets were complimentary*
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  • Infashion

    I LOVE CAROUSEL :: BY THE SEA

    I Love Carousel

    I Love Carousel – By the Sea

    Summer weather in England: sporadic, humid and sometimes hot, but always welcome. Although it doesn’t happen often, news that a heatwave is making its way to our shores brings summertime plans, because inevitably it won’t last long. With a spell of unusually warm weather forecast, and a Carousel dress just begging to be worn, John and I planned a mid-week evening at the seaside. As you know, I’m already a fan of Carousel clothing so where better to visit wearing a nautical dress than picturesque Lytham?

    Which starts to explain where I’ve been. Since John moved in, my blogging schedule has gone haywire. I’ve been writing when I feel inspired or when I’ve had the time. I’ve been making the most of evenings after work (because let’s face it, having a work/life balance is still something of a novelty) or we’ve been putting plans into action to make our house a home (read: hours lost to Pinterest). The recent radio silence is because we’ve been painting the living room, taking it back to white to begin our mid-century inspired plans. Regular blog posting shall resume, shortly. Until then, let me tell you about our seaside trip. 

    After work last Tuesday, we decided to take a short drive up the M6 and along the Fylde Coast to visit Lytham. Located just six miles from the shores of Blackpool, Lytham feels a world away. We strolled along the promenade until we reached the town’s famed windmill. Standing tall, it’s an enchanting landmark to admire so we joined the rest of the mid-week revellers to sit in its mighty shadow and enjoy summer. It’s times like these that I feel grateful: to feel the coastal breeze in my hair whipping away the mundane worries of the day, to breathe wonderful deep breaths of sea air, to enjoy a hazy, golden sunset. It feels wonderful just to be. 

    Of course, no trip to the seaside would be complete without a themed outfit. This dress is from one of my favourite brands, I Love Carousel clothing, based in Dublin,(regular readers will remember March’s post featuring Carousel: vintage modern dressing). Taken from their new summer range, the Debbie Boat dress encapsulates the carefree feel of summer. Despite the word ‘pink’ being part of my namesake, it’s a colour I rarely wear but with its sweetheart neckline I decided to give it a try. Of course, being a lover of prints, Debbie’s repeating boats pattern may have played a part and naturally, I had to pair it with this nautical stripe suitcase bag. Damn it, if I can’t go on holiday this year, I’m going to live in a world of make believe!

    Outfit Details
    // Debbie boat dress :: c/o I Love Carousel //
    // Suitcase bag :: Accessorize //
    // Clogs :: Lotta from Stockholm //
    // Sunglasses :: Orla Kiely //
    //Jewellery :: Vintage //I Love Carousel
    I Love Carousel
    I Love Carousel
    I Love Carousel
    I Love Carousel
    I Love Carousel
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  • Inlifestyle, travel

    TOP 3 BERLIN BREAKFASTS :: INSTA’ WORTHY

    Top 3 Berlin Breakfasts

    Top 3 Berlin Breakfasts

    It’s almost a month since I returned from Berlin, but it feels like so much longer. For me, Berlin is a city that feels homely. I love roaming its familiar streets, in each of its iconic areas, and it’s no surprise that it’s one of my favourite place to write about! John and I have visited so many times. but despite this, every visit uncovers somewhere new for us to enjoy. 

    Read more

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  • Infashion

    ENGLISH SUMMER RAIN

    Manchester Fashion Blogger

    “Always stays the same, nothing ever changes, English summer rain, seems to last for ages.”

    English Summer Rain, Placebo

    We’re tricked into the illusion of an English summer when the calendar reads July and we awaken to find rooms bathed in sunlight. Inevitably though, the dark clouds roll in and our illusions are shattered. Torrential rain, roads flooding. Each and every year, it’s the same. Can you believe these images were captured only hours after rain caused severe flooding and disruption? 

    This year, I’ve subconsciously  grown wise to the weather’s antics and  have sought solace in darker colours and longer lengths: heck, I’ve even invested in a handful of midi skirts. It seems this is the only time of the year that I truly allow myself the freedom to experiment. This year, more than ever: I cut my hair after almost a decade of wearing it long. Of all of my experiments, this midi length Zara sale buy has to be my most successful. 
    I’ve been wanting to capture this beautiful dress since I found it in the middle of June. It’s a size large and extremely oversized but there is just something so wonderfully bohemian about its fluted sleeves and retro print that brightens my mood and unleashes my inner adventurer. It makes me feel free and optimistically cheery, all for £26.99.
     
    Zara_Midi_Dress

    On the topic of wanderlust, it’s may only be a month since we returned from Berlin, but our urge to travel is rising. Maybe it’s because we’ve been hashtag tourists on Instagram, enjoying the travel posts of those we follow, or maybe we’re destined to travel, its ingrained into who we are. Whatever the reason, we’ve been researching our next adventure, and have started to discuss the idea of whether we should start a travel blog to take our Wanderlust Is Us’ project one step further. 

     
    (This is where you tell me I’m crazy to create another blog, especially a travel blog…)
     
    So back to the English summer rain, tell me! What do you wear when the transition from blazing sun to torrential rain is so damn quick and bloomin’ inconvenient? 
    Zara_Midi_Dress
    Zara_Midi_Dress
    Zara_Midi_Dress
    Zara_Midi_Dress
    Outfit Details
    // Midi dress :: Zara //
    // Necklace :: c/o Bill Skinner//
    // Clogs :: Lotta from Stockholm //
    // Satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
    // Sunglasses :: Orla Kiely //
    Manchester Fashion Blogger
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  • InEmily and Fin, fashion

    AN EMILY & FIN SUMMER! WIMBLEDON IS HERE!

    EMILY & FIN SUMMER

     Emily & Fin Summer! Wimbledon is here!

    For me, it truly feels like summer’s arrived when Wimbledon begins, even though it usually rains! Did you know it’s the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only major one played on grass? It’s not surprising that a tournament started in 1877 is steeped in tradition: players must adhere to an all-white uniform, players are referred to by title and a member of the Royal family has attended since 1907. I look forward to Wimbledon and of course, consuming Pimms and strawberries and cream! This year, I thought I’d take my love of Wimbledon a step further with an Emily and Fin summer dress, the ‘Anyone for Tennis?’ dress to be specific. 

    As you know, I’ve always loved dresses adorned with fun prints, but I think this dress may now be my favourite. Made from 100% cotton, it has a looser fit on the bodice and is perfect for hot days. I first wore this dress in Berlin with my sparkly Superga pumps, but I wanted to style it with a Wimbledon theme. Would you expect anything less from me when the dress is adorned in tennis rackets?  
    EMILY & FIN SUMMER
    EMILY & FIN SUMMER
    EMILY & FIN SUMMER

     

    EMILY & FIN SUMMER
    EMILY & FIN SUMMER
    Outfit Details
    // Anyone for Tennis? dress :: c/o Emily and Fin //
    // Rain clouds necklace :: Kayleigh O’Mara //
    // Camera bag :: Accessorize //
    // Clogs :: Lotta from Stockholm //
     
    As we Brits know, it always rains at Wimbledon (so much so, they famously installed a roof to stop rain interrupting play.) Even in June, I find I won’t leave the house without an umbrella. This strawberry print umbrella belongs to my mother-in-law, we think it once belonged to John’s granddad who was a greengrocer. I think it’s perfect for Wimbledon. My necklace was purchased from the talented illustrator and crafter, Kayleigh O’Mara, on Instagram. A yellow belt to represent tennis balls and a camera bag, because any spectator would need their camera, no? 
     
    Are you excited for the start of Wimbledon? Strawberries and cream? 


    Linking up with Not Dressed As Lamb. This week’s theme is summer dresses, why don’t you join me?

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