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Monday, 30 June 2014

How I Style Harem Trousers

How I Style Harem Trousers

For days when I'm just running errands, working from home, doing the school run etc, there is nothing more comfortable than slouching around in my harem trousers. Mine are from Hush a couple of years ago and are still as good as new, even though I've lived in them! I love the laid back fit (loose without being too drapey!) and they are so versatile - wear with a vest/tee and gladiator sandals in the summer and wedge trainers and a sweater for the rest of the year.

This is the pair I have from Hush in the dark grey:

Hush Long Harem Trousers


And here I am wearing it yesterday with a stripey vest (from Hush about three years ago) and Topshop sandals (available here).


Add a jersey blazer for a more finished look, mine is from Boden three or four years ago:


And they also look flattering with heels for a casual evening out:


If you have never tried harem trousers before you could start with these from H&M for only £12.99 - I've heard really good things about them!

H&M Harem Pants


So, do you like harem trousers or are they not your cup of tea? They can be a tricky trend to pull off, but if you get it right you can look stylish while feeling like you're wearing your pyjama bottoms!

As always I love to hear your thoughts!

Abbi x




Friday, 27 June 2014

A Sneaky Sales Purchase!

I have mostly managed to avoid the sales, especially as I have been really busy this week organising a fashion shoot, but I did manage to secure a pullover that I have had my eye on all season. It has been permanently in and out of my online basket and I was waiting to pounce should it go into the sale, which it did!

It's this stunning metallic knit from Anthropologie:

Custommade Pewter Sweater Now £68.95 from £138


Stylish yet simple, easy to wear and timeless, it arrived on Thursday when the weather changed to wet and chilly, so I was able to wear it straightaway to my friend's house for dinner with the girls:


I love the fact that it's quite subtle and not overly shimmery. It's easy to incorporate metallics into your look, by keeping everything else neutral. I've paired mine with my boyfriend jeans from True Religion (available here ) and silver pointy slingbacks from Next (available here). I love my rose gold Olivia Burton watch with it, and added a little sparkle with my bracelet from Stella & Dot:


It's definitely a very chic summer knit, but I think I could wear it into the autumn with dark denim or black jeans. That's how I've justified it anyway!

Has anyone else picked up an amazing sales bargain?

I would love to hear from you!

Abbi x



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Denim Tunic Dress

This week it has been all about the denim tunic dress - the perfect item to throw on in the morning, add some sandals or flip flops and you're good to go. It can be worn on the school run and days when I'm working from home, to the beach after school and for a relaxed look at the weekend. I will be taking this on holiday as I think you could also wear it with a statement necklace and strappy sandals to dress it up in the evening. And with ankle boots in early autumn? Suddenly, it seems like a very good buy indeed. So here is mine from Topshop:

Topshop Moto Contrast Denim Tee Dress £38


And here I am wearing it with Birkenstocks to go to the beach:


I love wearing this bracelet from Hultquist at Yard with it:



If you prefer a lighter wash, then this similar dress from Topshop is reduced to £20:

Topshop MOTO Bleach Wash Denim T-Shirt Dress



And again in a lighter colour from Warehouse, I love the contrast detail to the shoulders and back:

Warehouse Contrast Denim Dress £40


Another relaxed option from Cos, this dress is made from a lightweight fabric that has been woven to look like denim chambray, and has a V-shaped back:

Cos Dress With V-Shaped Back £59


And another denim shift dress, reduced from £50 to £35, is this one from Debenhams with contrasting black sleeves and embroidered birds on the arm:

Debenhams Sugarhill Boutique Royal Joliet Denim Dress


And one from New Look at such a fantastic price:

New Look Denim Tunic Dress £24.99



They really are a great option for the lovely weather we've been having - what does everyone think?

As always, I love to hear from you...

Abbi x


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Summer Wardrobe Staple: The Maxi Skirt

I haven't talked about maxi skirts on the blog before, and yet it's a style I wear all through the summer and they never seem to go out of fashion. Not only are they flattering for most shapes and sizes, they are incredibly versatile and can take you from the office to a dinner date or even to the beach. Style wise, the maxi skirt is feminine and effortless and looks best paired with a simple tee and flats. Add a little denim jacket for daytime or a blazer for a smarter evening look.

I prefer jersey versions during the day - my favourite is this black and ecru striped one from Great Plains at Yard, which I bought last year. I have worn it to death and washed and washed it and it still looks perfect. Here I am wearing it to work last week with a long sleeved black tee from Zara (available here) and silver pointy slingbacks from Next (available here).


And for the beach I swapped the shoes for my Birkenstocks, which I bought on Amazon, and a yellow linen tee from Zara (available here)


Great Plains aren't doing a stripey one this year but this one is a similar style, and currently reduced to £24.50 from £35

Great Plains Spindle Jersey Maxi Skirt


If you did want a stripey one, New Look has a similar version to mine, with the addition of a side split:

New Look Apricot Monochrome Side Split Maxi £21



And another jersey striped option from Matalan, in navy and cream, for only £12:

Matalan Jersey Stripe Maxi


New Look always has a huge choice of maxi skirts, and currently has some great jersey options at fantastic prices. Love the colour of this one below, reduced to £12.99 from £17.99:

New Look Red Jersey Belted Maxi


It also comes in a stunning cobalt blue:

New Look Blue Belted Maxi


If you prefer a straighter style, this one from Hush is a chic option:

Hush Maxi Tube Skirt £40


For evenings, especially on holiday, I prefer a more floaty maxi in chiffon such as this striking one from Topshop:

Topshop Lime Chiffon Maxi Skirt £40


There are also some gorgeous pleated chiffon maxi skirts at Dorothy Perkins in this season's pastel colours. The lilac one below also comes in mint green and pale pink:

Dorothy Perkins Lilac Pleat Georgette Maxi Skirt £35


And a stunning pale blue version from Zara, reduced to £19.99 from £25.99:

Zara Maxi Skirt


So do you wear maxi skirts and what is your favourite way of styling them?

As always I love reading your comments and try to respond to them all!

Abbi x

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Review: The Soulshine Cafe, Bridport

In February this year a delayed flight meant that I had an unexpected night in Los Angeles with my family. The next day we had a few hours to kill before heading back to the airport and decided to hire bikes and cycle along the scenic Manhatten Beach trail. There were so many caf├ęs and juice bars along the route and we talked about how fantastic it would be to have something with a similarly laid back vibe in Bridport.

And now there is! The Soulshine Cafe opened three months ago and is such a refreshing addition to our already vibrant market town.


It's the place to go for smoothies and fresh juices - you can either order one from the counter at the front, which also sells their own artisan bread and deli items, or stroll through to the bright and lively cafe at the back, which opens onto a beautiful outside courtyard.They also sell art and lifestyle magazines which can be difficult to get hold of in this part of the world!

So much thought has gone into every aspect of the stylish design - there is a little annexe containing a herb garden and even a cute understairs area where children can play with vintage toys.

Just as much passion has gone into creating the locally-sourced menus with snacks and meals to suit every appetite and plenty of vegetarian and vegan food on offer. The menu is displayed on a big blackboard:


We started off by ordering some juice - there is a great selection to suit any mood! I ordered the detox juice (a blend of beetroot, carrot, apple ginger and lemon) and Mr DF had Buzz Like A Bee, a delicious concoction of apple, celery, cucumber, kale and coconut water.

They are so addictive and I love how they serve them in jam jars:


In addition to their healthy blended treats, they also offer a hearty brunch menu. Mr DF was about to leave for a weekend sailing, so he stocked up with the Full English while I had the Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo. Such a delicious treat, and we both loved the freshly baked sourdough bread.


I also spotted lots of stacks of Canadian pancakes being ordered, popular with both adults and children:



We finished with our favourite flat white coffee, the best in town:


And check out the tempting selection of cakes (we were too full unfortunately!)


The cool wall decor includes maps and graphic design prints:





Without a doubt, this will become a regular place for me to go for coffee with friends or take the boys for a smoothie after school. If you are local and haven't yet discovered Soulshine then you are in for a treat and if you are on holiday in the area, I would definitely recommend it for brunch to set you up for the day!

And finishing as always with my outfit! It was a warm sunny day, so I wore my floral ASOS midi skirt that I bought for my Dad's 70th birthday lunch a couple of weeks ago, an Abercrombie tee that I bought in Miami last year and H&M tan and snake print flat sandals that I bought in Exeter last week. The bag is by Nat & Nin at Yard and the necklace is from Links of London, a present from my Mum a couple of years ago.


Hope everyone is enjoying this lovely weather.

Back soon with a post all about maxi skirts!

Abbi x

If you would like your restaurant to feature on Dorset Fashionista please contact me on abbiibell@gmail.com

Disclosure: The brunch at the Soulshine was provided free of charge but all the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Have you ever bought at a Vintage Couture Auction?

Few investments combine art, beauty and history as well as fashion. As a lover of vintage clothing, I'm delighted to welcome Caroline Pearce from auction house Busby Bridport Saleroom, who has kindly written a guest post highlighting some of the treasures from this week's auction. I will be heading down there on Thursday and will report back with any unique fashion finds - over to Caroline:

On Thursday 19th June Busby Bridport Saleroom will be having its third auction of vintage couture. There is an eclectic mix of funky and fun dresses including a collection of clothing with well known couture names such as Ossie Clark, Biba, Jean Patou, Lanvin and Christian Dior. In addition to dresses, skirts, jackets and coats there are hats, shoes, gloves, fabric pieces, lingerie and many more exciting treasures including a 1920s Irish Aristocrat's dressing up box.


Many of the clothes have been hidden away by elegant ladies who haven't worn them since the 50's, 60's or 70's but have stored them beautifully to maintain their superb condition. When the clothes come into Busby Saleroom, Harriet Cunningham, who curates the sale, spends hours measuring and cataloguing each outfit so distant buyers or internet bidders who are unable to attend the sale have a good idea of what they are bidding on. Harriet really knows her stuff, having run the vintage clothes shop Sublyme in Lyme Regis. As it is festival season we picked out a few dresses to show the blog readers which would be perfect for swirling and dancing in! Lot 324 is a gorgeous original 1950's red rose dress with a side zip that comes with two other dresses.




Or how about floating around Bestival in Lot 284 which is the debutante's collection of Troubadour couture cotton maxi dresses?


If you are looking for the show stopping ball gown, there are many beautiful pieces from the 30’s up to the 50’s.  Lot 347 is a stunning 1940's tulle and sequinned ball gown covered in sapphire and dark blue sequins.



I popped in today and found my favourite piece amongst them, lot number 304; although at a size 10/12 it is a little small for me so sadly I won't be bidding on it. It is a beautiful silver lace and beaded cocktail dress which was given by Lady Waley-Cohen to her grandson's nanny in gratitude for her work. As Lady Mayoress she liked to "indulge in some romantic evening dresses". Just after this picture was taken several women who had come in to view the pieces gathered round to admire it - but this unique dress could be yours for around £50!


I also loved Lot 343, the lime green floor length Givency coat - it is gorgeous and anyone tall and size 10 should seriously look at that. We expect one or two of the dresses and antique lace to fetch amazing prices, particularly if there are telephone bidders or internet bidders on them. At the last sale the tension and excitement rose in the auction room as a Charles Worth dress crept up and up in price fetching nearly £2,000!

If you live near enough to Bridport I would urge you to come and see the clothes for yourself. Viewing is tomorrow, Wednesday 18th June 9am - 7pm and also on the day of sale from 9am onwards. Many of the dresses you can try on. All of the clothes can been seen on the online catalogue at www.busby.co.uk which also has details of where to find us in North Mills Trading Estate, Bridport. Many people are intimidated about buying clothes at auction but it's an easy process, just a case of registering your name and address and then either coming along or leaving a bid with us. You can even bid live online where you can see and hear the auctioneer live on your computer screen via http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb . If you want to make sure your bid has been received then feel free to copy me in at caroline.thom@busby.co.uk. I am there on auction days so say hello if you can make it. If you do leave a bid or bid online there is a postal service if you are happy to wait a couple of weeks - or some people send a courier to collect their goods.

Have you ever found a couture bargain at auction or see something go for an astounding price at auction?


Friday, 13 June 2014

Stella & Dot Wish List

Last week I received a beautiful gift in the post from Jacqui, a stylist for Stella & Dot in the Dorset area. It's the Amelie Sparkle Bracelet in peach, and I am so pleased with it!

Amelie Sparkle Bracelet



It perfectly matches my rose gold watch from Olivia Burton and I wore the two together to a 40th birthday party last weekend:



I'm really looking forward to hosting a Stella & Dot party next week, where Jacqui will be on hand to give her expert advice to everyone.

Ahead of that, I have been making a wish list and here is my top 5:

Number 1 is the Pegasus necklace in silver - I would love to wear this with my black jumpsuit:

Pegasus Necklace Silver


Second is this gorgeous necklace for holidays, to wear with maxi dresses - it can be worn in multiple ways and I love it in the longer length:

Sutton Necklace


Next is this fabulous bracelet, which would go with everything:

Renegade Cluster Bracelet Rose Gold


And I love this delicate gold chain that can be doubled or worn long:

Chelsea Necklace £45


And finally this coral necklace is a must for the summer:

Coral Cay Necklace



I'm also looking forward to seeing the lovely range of beach bags and scarves. If you would like to look at the full range please go to www.stelladot.co.uk/jacs
If you would like to host a Stella and Dot party, you can get in touch with Jacqui at jacquiemma@gmail.com

What would be on your list? As always, I love to hear from you...

Abbi x

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Making a Statement with with Alice's Wonders

I think it has become rather obvious that I'm a big fan of the statement necklace - whether it's to dress up an evening outfit, transform a basic jeans and tee ensemble, or add a stylish touch to a stripey Breton top.

So, when Cathy got in touch from online jewellery boutique Alice's Wonders, I was thrilled to be able to choose something from her stunning and very affordable collection of statement necklaces. There are times when an accessory doesn't just complete an outfit, it makes it - and the one I have chosen does just that!

With summer dressing and holidays in mind, I opted for this eye catching bib necklace - I absolutely love the neon colours!

Neon Multi Gem Bib Necklace £15


It arrived beautifully packaged:



The necklace looks amazing worn with a little black dress or an evening jumpsuit:


Neon Necklace c/o Alice's Wonders
Black Crepe Jumpsuit - Mint Velvet
Clutch - Guess
Sandals - Dune (SS13)

It also elevates an everyday midi dress to something more special:

Neon Necklace c/o Alice's Wonders
Midi Dress - Uniqlo
Flip Flops - Havianas
Sunglasses - Oakley


And my favourite way to wear a statement necklace is with stripes:

Neon Necklace - Alice's Wonders
Stripey Breton Tee - Maison Scotch at Yard (SS13)
Black Linen Boyfriend Jacket - Topshop (old)
Faux Leather Skinnies - Zara
Leopard Mya Bag - Boden
Silver Slingbacks - Next

Here are some other styles that really caught my eye - I love the vintage look of this yellow leaf design:



And another vintage design in a stunning mix of colours:

Blue and Yellow Crystal Fan Necklace £10


And pastel colours are so on trend this summer:

Mint Green Oval Sparkle Necklace £10


Another favourite is this cobalt blue necklace:

Large Cobalt Blue Sparkle Necklace £10


And such an amazing price for something so elegant:

Black Ribbon Statement Necklace £9



You can check out the full range of jewellery at www.aliceswonders.co.uk

So, do you share my love of statement necklaces? As always, I love to hear from you.

Abbi x