Ok, so for the last two nights I’ve been wondering what kind of chills I’ve been feeling, and I’m not talking Grease Lightning. Autumn is officially here and I’ve finally gotten around to swapping my spring/summer clothes with my autumn/winter ones into my wardrobe and chest of drawers (and, of course, as standard, stocking up on some new buys). Buuuuuut, the change in weather also means I can wear my favourite boots. Yay!

Top(New Look); Leggings (Next); Boots (Linzi Shoes)

These sexy (in a tasteful way) horse riding style boots are made from soft faux leather and I often team them with skinny jeans tucked in or leggings- a classic autumn/winter look.

Wherever I go, people (friends, family and strangers) frequently ask me where I bought these knee highs from (or at least stare at my feet long enough for me to consider doing a little jig to break the gaze of admiration). Well, the answer is Linzi Shoes, an Essex-based shoe retailer (they’ve also got a store in Westfield, Stratford City).

I love these boots so much that I have a pair in black as well. It’s the kind of love that if they were going to discontinue them, I’d buy at least two extra pairs. I wear them ALOT.

Actually, come to think of it, they’re THE most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. FACT! They really are made for walking. I used to wear them on long days at uni and to my relief my feet wouldn’t be aching me by the end of the day.

What’s your favourite pair of autumn/winter shoes? Are you all set, wardrobe-wise?

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I had a Nicki Minaj-athon on my ipod yesterday morning while carrying out some domesticities. I hadn’t realised just how good her album Pink Friday is. As much as some people slate her, her style is unique, eccentric and I like it. It suits her because she carries it off with such confidence. After all, as Gok Wan says *puts on Gok voice*: “It’s all about the confidence”.

I love how she has different fringe hairstyles in a range of colours, lengths, textures (frizzy, straight curly) and patterns (the leopard print ones – wow!)…

I finally got a Nicki-inspired fringe (well, just a fringe really) four weeks ago after much deliberation. I wasn’t too convinced when I looked in the mirror but my hairdresser reassured me that it suited me. It’s growing on me day by day and I’m used to it now. Mind you, I’m not as brave as Nicki to go for the bright colours.

What celebrity hairstyles have you been inspired by? Did it suit you? Were you one of those ladies who changed their hair colour when Rihanna or Cheryl Cole dyed their hair red?

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Is it me or does everyone seem to be having babies lately?! I know at least five people who have become parents within the last four weeks and another three who are expecting some time early next year. So I guess I’m going to be doing a lot of gift shopping. I love shopping for baby clothes! The lil ones grow so fast that you pretty much need to update their wardrobe (well, chest of drawers) every 3 months. Trouble is, I just want to buy almost everything I see (in essence, there’s not much difference when shopping for myself!!).

My heart melted when my husband’s colleagues put money together to buy our newborn a cute matching outfit from Baby Gap a few weeks ago.They bought it in 3-6 months so he’ll be big enough to wear it in the coming weeks.

Babies deserve to be stylish too. Here are my top six favourite stores to shop for baby and toddler clothes simply because of their good quality items, reasonable prices (some moreso than others) and up-to-date trendy styles:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Babies are super cute anyway, but dress them in even cuter clothes and they become adorable.

Have you had a baby recently or know anyone who has?

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Here’s another one of my ensembles I thought I’d share with you lovely readers:

Who: With family

What: Monochrome jacket (Bershka £39.99); Black polo top (New Look £7.99); Short black skirt (Forever 21 £5.25); Black patent buckle flats (Linzi Shoes £20); Patent black croc effect bag (Next £30)

Where: To church

When: Sunday 16th October 2011

Why:  I draw inspiration for styling myself and putting an outfit together from so many different sources such as magazines, films, blogs, celebrities, friends, family, adverts and strangers I see when out and about. Here, it was from a reality TV program.

Like millions of people across the UK, my TV highlight on Saturday and Sunday evenings is The X Factor. This year, I’ve been particularly drawn to the monochrome outfits worn on the show.

Two Shoes(left); Amelia Lily (right)...Images ©ITV

Before her makeover for the live shows black and white was recognised as Amelia Lily’s signature look. She had a unique style and accessorised her outfits really well with an abundance of stylish jewellery.

When Two Shoes auditioned for the first time they did what I like to call a monochrome match. I wasn’t so sure about the shape of Lucy’s dress but I really liked Charley’s jacket. As the two lovely ladies from Essex would say, I thought the look, as a whole, was “totes amazeballs”. Very eye-catching indeed…. Such a shame that both acts left on the first of the live shows. Anyway, I digress….

Had to get this jacket when I saw it in Bershka. It stood out to me and fitted beautifully. The polo neck (which you can’t see very well from the pics, sorry)  was selected because autumn is here (mind you, it wasn’t that cold on the day, hence why I braved not wearing tights), and that style of top generally goes well with jackets/blazers.

So why the short skirt? I wanted to make the look somewhat youthful because one can run the risk looking a little too mature with that style of jacket.

I could have worn this outfit with heels, but in fear of looking tarty ’cause I’d already chosen a short skirt, I opted for black patent flats. I kept the patent look consistant with the bag. Speaking of bag, I’ll admit that I chose to carry this one simply because I wanted something big enough to fit my little bubba’s nappies, milk and mini flask into, nonetheless it adds an office feel to the look.

What do you think of monochrome? Eye-catching or eye sore?

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The bow tie. A retro piece of neckwear but just like skinny jeans on men, wearing one will either suit you and give you an edge or just make you look plain ridiculous. I love a bow tie on a man. Worn correctly it can look really sexy.

Wearers of this accessory are often stereotyped as being eccentric, extremely intelligent, and rigid in character. If you ask someone what comes to mind when you mention bow ties their response will more than likely conjour up images in their head of nerds, comics, magicians, circus ringmasters, scientists, and university professors.

When I’ve been out clubbing recently, I’ve noticed this trend of bow tie wearing has really become popular, particularly in the rnb/hip-hop/bashment/afro-beats scene.

Here are some of my acquaintances who I think pull the look off with effortless suave:

Did you know that there are three general types of bow tie? (yeah, neither did I until I was doing my research on it) :

1) Bat-wing- has straight sides and best worn with a tuxedo;

2) Butterfly/ thistle- has curved sides and is more appropriate to wear during the day;

3) Diamond tip- has pointed tips.

Dress It Up

The most obvious option is to wear a satin bow tie with a suit and possibly matching handkerchief.

Dress It Down

  • Don’t wear it with a suit;
  • Do roll up your sleeves or try wearing one with a short-sleeved shirt;
  • Do try the look with a patterned shirt such as check;
  • Do try it with trousers of a more casual material, such as jeans, corduroys, khaki.
  • Particularly for daywear, do select ones with textured fabrics like wool, selvage denim, straight cotton etc.
  • Do go for patterned ones to avoid looking too formal, such as paisleys, stripes or dots;
  • Do sync the colours of your bow tie with your outfit.

An alternative way to wear a bow tie is to leave it untied and wear it with an open shirt collar and jacket.

All in all, match it with what you think looks good and is suitable for the time of day and occasion.

I’ve selected 8 bow ties in stores that I think are really cute:

1. Carrot & Gibbs Silk Self Tie Bow Tie (Nordstrom £37.70)

2. Duchamp Kluklos StrIpe Bow Tie – (Selfridges £65)

3. Orange Candy Stripe Bow Tie (Topman £10)

4. Black Chunky Twill Ready Tied Bow Tie  (Red Herring at Denhams £9.50)

5. Tommy Hilfiger Bow Tie (Macy’s £20.2)7

6. Drakes Dotted Silk Bow Tie (Mr Porter £75)

7. Purple Floral Bow Tie (Austin Reed £25)

8. Check Cord Bow Tie (ASOS £8)

Do you think you’d look good in a bow tie? Is it a style you’ve thought about wearing before?

Or ladies, why not try to persuade your other half to wear one? You might be pleasantly surprised as to how well it suits him.

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I was reading this week’s Look magazine (17th October 2011) when I came across a double page spread titled ‘The Secret New Online Labels The Celebs Love’ (page 16). Sure enough, “the glamourous online hit” Celeb Boutique was featured.

I first discovered Celeb Boutique earlier this year when I was reading one of my favourite blogs online and my eye caught an advert which led me to the retailer‘s website. I was very impressed with the dresses on offer and couldn’t resist making an order.  The concept behind the online store is that you can get the same popular outfits as worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Amber Rose.

Photo of Kim Khardashian taken from iheartkim.net

Quite a few British celebrities have been spotted wearing the retailer’s dresses including Abbey Clancy, The SaturdaysRochelle, and TOWIE’s Amy Childs, to name a few.

I went to the online shop and purchased myself a sexy little gold number last month for my birthday. I bought the ‘Kimmy Adelisa’ Gold Strapless Bodycon Dress priced at £89.99.

I was chuffed with how quickly my order arrived and was pleasantly surprised with the cute ribbon-tied flat box it was presented in.

This dress was inspired by an extremely similar bodycon dress that Kim Khardashian (whose style I absolutely adore) wore. She has such a gorgeous figure that she could pretty much wear anything and look stunning. For women who aren’t as voluptuous as her, this dress gives promise of holding you in, smoothing you out and accentuating the curves you do have.

Images from celebboutique.com


Kim wore hers with a gorgeous pair of gold, studded Christian Louboutins, but since I don’t have a disposable income to rival hers, I found an equally gorgeous pair of heels from New Look to go with the outfit.

I accessorised with a gold brown gemstone necklace, chain drop earings and a shiny gold clutch bag.

The dress actually does what it says in the tin (for want of a better phrase). It fits your body so well and tightly that it almost gives the illusion that you’re wearing body paint.

Now, I wasn’t aiming to look like a celeb or imitate anyone’s style. I just simply wanted a fancy, figure-hugging dress to wear on a night out to celebrate turning a year older, and it just so happened those that were on offer appealed to me.  Really happy with my purchase and would definitely buy a few more dresses from there.

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