SUNGLASSES TO TURN HEADS AND COMPLETE THE CHIC

SUNGLASSES TO TURN HEADS AND COMPLETE THE CHIC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

As we embrace the warmer climes our mission is to rediscover our own style in selecting a pair of sunglasses.  They are both a statement and an essential part of our wardrobe as well as our wellbeing, and both should be seriously taken into consideration.

Sunglasses have completed many iconic outfits throughout the past decades from Audrey Hepburn to Jackie Kennedy/Onassis, and now is our chance to create our own identity, even if inspired by one of the legends of Society or the Silver Screen.  There is nothing like a great pair of sunglasses to complete an outfit and give you that extra chic and confidence which is guaranteed to turn heads.

It is tempting to opt for a cheaper pair of sunglasses and there are many around on the High Street, and this could be a false economy as they can both fall apart and go out of fashion very quickly.  So we are giving you a few options of sunglasses that will stand the test of time, both in quality and as classics in their own right.

Ray-Ban Jackie Ohh Tortoise £127 – from Very


https://www.very.co.uk

Saint Laurent – Kate Cat-eye acetate sunglasses – black one size £270  from Net-a-Porter


https://www.net-a-porter.com

Ray-ban Erika Sunglasses £64 – from the Sunglasses Shop


https://www.sunglasses-shop.co.uk

Vogue Eyewear Gigi Hadid Square Tortoise Sunglasses – Pink/Brown Tort, Now £61 – from Very


https://www.very.co.uk

Aviator Sunglasses – Rose Gold – Ray-Ban £135 – from Very

https://www.very.co.uk

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CLOTHES THAT TRAVEL – FROM BEACH WEAR TO BAR AND BEYOND

CLOTHES THAT TRAVEL – FROM BEACH WEAR TO BAR AND BEYOND

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

If you are about to head off on holiday and want some last minute ideas for adapting your outfits from the Beach to the Restaurant, Café or Bar, I hope I can inspire you where to start looking.  There are some stunning options out there to suit all tastes and budgets.

These outfits will also be ideal if you are on a cruise or in a hotel or holiday village, where you alternate between the beach and other activities throughout the day.

Marks and Spencer have some incredible deals with all of their beach wear, and one I spotted is the Pure Cotton Striped Beach vest Top and Trousers set at only £22.50

Monsoon have a gorgeous Gemima Print Jersey Dress at £70.  This will also be useful to wear around the house at home, as the print is timeless and it is comfortable to wear even for dinner parties when you get back.

V by Very have a great wide leg Beach Jersey Jumpsuit at £30, which I adore as I am into wearing black this Summer, as it looks cool and chic, and this particular garment is worn with ease.  You can fold it up and put it in your beach basket too and it will still come out looking good.

Warehouse Panel Maxi Dress in Ivory at £90 is another adaptable dress for Summer, as it is perfect for casual day or dressed up as more glamorous evening wear.

Simply Beach have a gorgeous Watercult Beach Kaftan in Pink Sand at £119.00 but they do have offers of discounts all the time, so you may be lucky.  This is so adaptable and can even double up as a dressing gown.  Just love the simplicity of it.

Hope I have got your fashion taste buds flowing to consider how you can travel canny and still look a million dollars.

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ONE GIRL’S GARBAGE IS ANOTHER ONE’S GOLD

ONE GIRL’S GARBAGE IS ANOTHER ONE’S GOLD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

A second hand clothes shop in the mid-nineties, location – Primrose Hill, London.  A female, late twenties enthusiastically sorting through racks of pre-owned clothes, which have been immaculately cleaned and well ironed.  Her mother, a prim woman in her late fifties looking on with scornfully, silent and disapproving.  She suddenly bursts into dialogue with an accent resembling Hyacinth Bucket from the nineties TV show Keeping up Appearances, ‘can we please leave’ she spouts ‘this shop is making me feel quite sick’.

I am sure many of us have encountered the occasional Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) in our own lives, including the snobbish character within ourselves.  But as the majority of us are trying to do our bit to save the planet, the recycling of clothes is now becoming the norm, and in fact a respected way forward.

The past few years have seen the approval from celebrities and the wealthy who not only donate their garments to Charity Shops but also buy from them as well, just to keep the recycling circle going.  Also, as one famously said ‘one girl’s garbage is another one’s gold’.  This is often the case, and has happened time and time again with acquaintances who have boasted huge savings and acquisitions from their Charity Shop rummages.

My own mother Sylvia Anderson, a pioneer for women in television, who was one of the first women to make it to University from a working class family, because of her high level of intellect (but with very low funds), couldn’t afford to buy any new clothes.  But through her own ingenuity purchased a very high quality second hand tweed coat in London in the fifties – a garment she hung onto for years.  She adored the classic line and high quality of the material, even though she paid a fraction of its value.  So I was well rehearsed into recycling my clothes from an early age, as I remember her still wearing it when I was a child.

In fact moving on from this legacy, I was one of the pioneers of the home ‘clothes swap’ way back in the eighties when friends were encouraged to gather at each other’s houses, eat, drink and try on each of our pre-loved outfits.  Such fun, and often very fortuitous.

The environmental charity WRAP states that £30bn of unworn clothing lies hanging in UK wardrobes, and 11m goes to landfill.   So now the World has caught up, and rather than hiding our second hand acquisitions under a bushel, we are now encouraged to recycle our wardrobes as often as possible and restock from the ever giving pile of clothes donated from enthusiastic givers like ourselves.  After all there is nothing more satisfying than a bargain, especially when you are also contributing to the planet we inhabit whilst making a killing – metaphorically of course!

 

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LET’S GET BACK ON THE STREETS – THE RETURNS ARE TREMENDOUS

LET’S GET BACK ON THE STREETS – THE RETURNS ARE TREMENDOUS

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Just over 20 years ago, when I lived with my family in South London, I was lucky enough to experience the wondrous ‘corner shop’ in all its glory before they virtually disappeared from our streets for good. My daughter was just two years old when we moved to ‘The Borough’, and that was before it had become Yuppie Central. We lived in a fabulous square, inhabited by actors, artists, writers and the original South Londoners who had inherited the flats and houses from their families.

It was a fantastic time for us all – mainly due to the corner shop which was run by an Italian couple who treated us all like their own offspring. It was a meeting place for us to link up with the other inhabitants of the Square, an emotional support centre when you had a problem and a crèche when any one of us parents had to dash across town to a meeting or audition. On several occasions they delivered soup to my door when we had a bug and couldn’t go out, and even fed our cats when we were away. More like a family than a grocery store, and they managed to keep the food at a reasonable price in spite of the Supermarket being down the road and even ran a ‘tab’ for elderly residents who were struggling to meet their food bill until they received their monthly allowance.

Like so many of these spectacular places, they eventually had to close because of the extortionate rates that were raised by the greedy commercial landlords, and this was in spite of a huge petition from us all and a plea to maintain some sort of heritage in the area.

I am telling you this because I feel passionate about our High Street, and really don’t want the same thing to happen to so many shops and outlets throughout the UK that are being affected by our lack of support through the convenience of the online purchasing that is becoming the norm.

A very good example of a successful remaining retail outlet, I am happy to say, is a local boutique which is still being supported by customers in the flesh, who need to try on their fabulous clothing – a big ‘shout out’ for The Forge in Gerrards Cross www.theforgeboutique.com. This is similar to the corner shop concept as a meeting and greeting place – and I was amazed when I moved to the area two years ago, and found someone being comforted in the boutique just before Christmas. The poor lady had a melt down because it had all got too much for her with the demands of the time of year with the food and present buying shopping, preparing the house for a large number of people – do I need to go on!

But I was delighted to witness that with some TLC from the customers, and a hug from the shop keeper, she went away feeling she had the strength to cope.

This is why we have to take responsibility and somehow build into our schedule the time to go out and hit our High Street. It doesn’t mean we have to spend lots of money, but you will be surprised how much you can save when you search for a bargain in some of the local stores, and the satisfaction and pleasure it will give you knowing you are contributing to keeping the heritage of the High Street alive.

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UNIQUE CONCIERGE SERVICE PROVIDES HIGH END FASHION

UNIQUE CONCIERGE SERVICE PROVIDES HIGH END FASHION

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Ann Snapes has been an avid follower of fashion for a number of years, and has an extremely stylish wardrobe of stunning designer clothes, shoes and handbags.  Ann is now bringing her passion centre stage, and has set up a unique designer outlet DressXchange, to lend her experience to all women who are in need of a fashion ‘makeover’ or looking to buy and sell their clothes on a regular basis.

DressXchange is an excellent concept where women can experiment in the art of ‘dressing up’ with Ann’s diverse collection of ‘preloved’ fashion items, sourced from women, who similar to Ann, like to update and recycle their designer wardrobe regularly, and share Ann’s passion for fashion. You can also sell your clothes through Ann’s company, which facilitates an online ‘shop window’ to buy and sell fashion items at the press of a button.

I visited Ann at one of her pop-ups in Beaconsfield and browsed the vast variety of designer labels and items from ball gowns to handbags and jewellery, and she then visited me in my office at Pinewood Studios.

Ann has created a service where you can send her your products to sell and then she will evaluate them and give you an idea of what cost she believes they should be marketed at. The concierge service is that she will have your items professionally photographed and then put onto her website this is all free of charge. When your items sell she will then give you a percentage of the sale.

Ann can be reached at www.dressxchange.co.uk and you can also browse her website as it is being constantly updated.

 

HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH SHOES

HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH SHOES

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Wallis Simpson famously said, ‘a girl can never be too rich or too thin’ – well I don’t agree with that, but my motto is ‘A Girl Can’t have too many shoes’!!

Imelda Marcos allegedly had 3000 pairs of shoes in her ever expanding wardrobe.  Can you really blame her, as she had so many functions to go to and certainly had to match the different outfits, besides which it was a bit of a passion for her too.

We have learned in recent years with reflexology that our feet represent different areas of our entire body, so why not nurture them.  Shoes should be added to our list of psychological wellbeing ‘must haves’ for the sheer bliss of wearing comfortable but beautiful adornments on our feet.

I have found as I get older, I am struggling to wear the shoes I proudly donned in my teens and early twenties, and would never be seen dead in a pair of Clarks or wider fit shoes.  But then to be fair, these brands have upped their game and made their designs far more elegant and catwalk friendly.

If you are struggling with wearing heels, invest in a pair of Dr Scholls party heels at only £4.49, and wear shoes around the house days before the party to break them in and get used to the height and balance, you so that you can enjoy them to the full.  I recently spotted a gorgeous pair of stilettos and wanted to buy them anyway, in spite of the fact I knew they would probably kill me.  The shop assistant just flung me a throwaway line as I walked out the door – ‘don’t forget to practise’.  It made a big difference.

Here are some party ‘must haves’ for you in the shoe department:

Clarks – Ellis Ruby – Rose Gold Leather party shoe, lovely to look at and easy to wear.  £69.
https://www.clarks.co.uk/c/Ellis-Ruby/p/26135282

Shoe Embassy – hand crafted shoes are an investment – blissfully comfortable and made from comfy leather, one review said ‘I’m having an affair – this is my second pair’ I spotted this gorgeous shoe aptly entitled ‘Exotic’ now only £47.50.
https://www.shoeembassy.com/exotic

New Look have some amazing bargains as always, and one I thought you would like is this sexy black faux snake pointed court for only £19.99.
https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/footwear/shoes/black-faux-snake-pointed-court-shoes/p/571703709

Very.co.uk have a multitude of wonderful choices, and I just fell in love with this unique pair of ‘Irregular choice Nick of Time party heel shoe’.  Yes, that is its name and well worth considering for its sheer style and comfort at £82.
https://www.very.co.uk/irregular-choice-irregular-choice-nick-of-time-party-heel-shoe/1600276538.prd

So get in there girls, and start practising!

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