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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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In preparation for autumn, I had been looking for a short brown jacket and was delighted when I came across this in Bershka earlier today.

It’s part of Bershka’s Bsk collection and for £29.99 it’s an absolute steal. Oh how they do spoil us! We have a choice of getting it in either orange, blue, green, brown, camel, or black. As you can see, I chose camel.

I like the fact that the fur collar is detachable, even though I’m more than likely to wear it with it on because it adds character and a nice autumn/winter feel to it. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have the option.

It has a floral patterned lining on the inside is thick enough to keep me warm until the harsh winter weather decides to show face.

For a stylish autumn casual look, this would team well with a knitted top/cardigan/jumper, some skinny jeans tucked into boots (knee high or ankle boots accessorised with leg warmers).

Colour matching:

  • Reds: cherry/wine/ burgundy
  • Browns: dark brown/ light brown/tanned orange
  • Cream

I bought a size larger than I normally wear, simply because when going over thick knitwear it’s good to leave extra room so my armpits and arms don’t feel pinched. It fits nicely and hugs my body from the waist upwards.

Have you got your autumn/winter outerwear yet?

I came, I saw, I bought this lovely short autumn jacket and I am a very happy lady!

Yay! The long-awaited Westfield, Stratford City finally opened on Tuesday this week. Located adjacent to the Olympic Park, it boasts three floors of utter retail (and leisure) bliss covering 1.9million square feet and is the largest urban shopping center in the whole of Europe . The £1.4 billion development houses over 300 shops, 50 bars and restaurants (including quite a few of my favourites…Joy!) and a 17 screen, all digital, 3-D state-of-the-art Vue cinema. It has also created 10,000 new job. That’s probably solved a lot of the unemployment crisis in London.

Anyway, I took a trip (a day after it opened because I value my toes and didn’t want to get trampled on by the hoards of crowds on opening day) to see what all the fuss was about and toushé, point made. I totally get the hype and I’m not surprised why the call it “a city within a city”. Quite frankly, it’s enormous.

Everything is so pristine. As you enter, you’re greeted by a massive M&S to your left. Walk a short distance further and there are scores of glass-fronted stores to your, left, right, above and below you and some fancy-looking stalls, restaurants and bars in the centre of the aisles. Nice modern, swanky sofas and chairs- which I predict won’t stay as fresh for long- are placed around the centre for shoppers to rest their weary, all shopped-out feet. I was in sheer awe.

Transport links to get there are fantastic and if you drive in, theres no need to fret about parking- there are 5,000 car parking spaces available with very reasonable charges (first 2 hours are free!). There’s no wonder it brings in consumers from all over London (I’m guessing mainly to window shop though because we all know money’s to tight to mention).

Gone are the days when I’d have to travel into the West End of London to have a shopping frenzie. For me, his is so much more convenient than going to Oxford Street/Regent Street for so many reasons. The main ones being:

  • You’re indoors so the weather won’t ruin your shopping experience;
  • It’s a lot closer to where I live so I can make a quick journey there and back home;
  • It has public toilets. Unlike when I’m pressed while shopping in the West End and feel obliged to buy something at McDonalds just to use their loo, here, here, I don’t have to worry about wetting myself;
  • You can shop later here most days of the week because the majority of the stores close after 8pm.

To some extent, it kind of reminds me of American malls, where a lot of young girls and guys get dressed up and hang out there for a huge portion of their day to window shop, and not purely for clothes or shoes but for talent (#ifyouknowwhatimean).

In terms of supermarkets, I was quite surprised there isn’t a Sainsbury or Tesco (especially as Tesco seem to be opening branches everywhere) in there. After all there’s M&S Food and Waitrose.

Quite worryingly, the escalator stopped suddenly while I was on it, which is a major health and safety risk that management need to look into pronto. Funnily enough, 5 minutes before I went on the escalator I overheard a girl telling her friend about having the same experience but I thought that it was probably a one-off incident. Clearly not.

I feel sorry for  the small Stratford Shopping Centre and the stores and stall holders there that will inevitably lose some customers. It was quieter than usual when I passed through it on my way back home. I’ll still shop there but only at the places not offered in Stratford City like the market stalls or the butchers. I mean, why go to the small New Look store when there’s a larger one in Westfield provide a wider range of options, right?

I was going to have some lunch at Westfield but when I saw the length of some of the queues, I quickly lost my appetite. Fear not, I certainly won’t loose my appetite for shopping there. I’ll definitely be having many-a-day of retail therapy euphoria.

Take a look at the website for more information: www.westfield.com/StratfordCity.