Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dundrum Blogger in Residence: Round 2 - Must have Accessories for Autumn Winter 2012

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Round 2

Must have Accessories for Autumn Winter 2012

Not in the mood to read? Or want more - check out my video where I talk about the pieces I've picked for my own personal collection of Autumn Winter must-haves
(featuring awesome original music by my super-talented brother)

Let’s face it – fashion is an expensive hobby.  It’s in one day, and the next day it’s out (Heidi Klum
said so, it has to be true) – so keeping up with the trends required both time and money. Not something we’re all blessed with.

The trends this season range far and wide – from gothic black leathers to clashing hyper-colourful patterns. This is the season you can really make your own, and I am head-over-heels in love with the gothic, 90s-revival grunge looks floating around and while I might have a few pieces from over the years - the light, bright colours from Spring/Summer are nowhere to be seen, so I am finding myself lacking some of the real key pieces. 

But don’t worry, years of student-living and minimum wage have taught me a few things – including the art of accessorizing and how the pick accessories that are up-to-date and under-budget.

To me, it is the accessories that really make the outfit in the end, and this season especially the trends are carried by the details, the embellishments, so why go out and invest in a whole new wardrobe when Autumn rolls around, when a few key pieces can update what we already have?

So these are my key pieces, my "Must Have Accessories for Autumn/Winter 2012" – they won’t break the bank and they’re bang on trend -  and what's more they can all be picked up in one shopping trip as everything is available in Dundrum Town Centre. 

Goth Black is in like never before, and black leather is leading the way. Vogue called it the "New Noir" - elegant black leather pieces have been seen on the catwalks of Valentino, Mulberry and Givenchy and the high street has added the extra edge and put studs on EVERYTHING. For me, a great way to incorporate this into everyday-wear is a piece like the studded black leather bow pictured above. I picked this up in Topshop recently - it's both a hair clip and a brooch, so it's great as a hair accessory with a bun or a high ponytail, or it can be pinned to a coat or a bag to instantly update the piece. One key piece like a studded purse or handbag is an easy way to welcome this trend into your wardrobe

As well as studs, skulls are everywhere - if you aren't brave enough to go for a full-on skull print shirt, adorable skull bracelets are available in Topshop and in Claire's Accessories in a variety of colours making them a great addition to any outfit.

Check out my "Goth" board on Pinterest for some goth inspiration and more examples of studded accessories, handbags and skull prints. I think one or two of these pieces and you're set.

Collars Statement collars and decorative collar tips have started popping up everywhere; but instead of having to buy a new range of shirts and blouses just for the collars - why not pick up some detachable collars or decorative colar tips. They come in a range of styles from metallic and beaded to embellished fabric and they can be teamed with almost any outfit for an instant pick-me-up. They're super simple, but I'm a complete convert for collars. Grab a leather studded collar and you've got two trends in one! What's not to love? Check out my "Collar" board on Pinterest and I'm sure you'll agree

Statement necklaces If you only buy one accessory this season - make it count, make a statement and make sure it's a necklace. A great way to jazz up any outfit, a great statement necklace will take you from the office, to dinner and on to the dancefloor. If you really wanted to you could pay anything for a statement necklace, but Topshop, Accessorize and Penneys to name but a few have some amazing pieces that will last you all season and look amazing teamed with anything from a simple shirt to an oversized jumper. On a night out you can let the necklace do the work teaming it with block colours, simple shapes and you're ready to go. Not only that, you can capture any of this season's trends in a necklace from baroque to art-deco to gothic glamour. Super-girly, super-chic and super simple, a statement necklace is a great way to look your best this Autumn, Winter - and, dare I say it, at the Christmas parties (hides behind couch)

Blue Every season has it's colours - and while we know that Black is definitely in, we always need a wildcard colour. For me, this season it's cobalt blue. Just picture how it eye-catching it will be in the winter light! This season I am on the lookout for a pop of blue in the form of an oversized clutch or a purse. Trust me, the deep, strong hues will look amazing against all the black we'll be wearing as well as a being a great complementary colour to the red/purple/burgundy tones making up our neutral pallet this Autumn. As with the statement necklace, one great blue piece will carry a whole outfit in one swift move. Don't believe me? Check out my "Blue" board on Pinterest

Hair doughnut There's still so much more I could go on about, but I'll have to leave you with this. Hair. I've looked this up and an "accessory" is something added to something else to make it (among other things) more attractive. So why not include our hair? And if there's one hair accessory I won't be seen without this season it will be a hair doughnut. Buns are everywhere - sleek ballet buns and messy top-knots, and these little babies make all that possible and more. Not to mention the staying power; wind and rain be damned, our hair will stay in place - and we won't have to spend hours at it either. Once you get the hang of it, throwing your hair up in a bun takes no time at all leaving you time to add hair clips, alice bands - whatever takes your fancy. You can hardly call it an investment seeing as from Boots to Penneys to H&M you're hardly going to pay more than €3 for one, but it will be the best €3 you've spent in a long time. I've got a Pinterest board packed full of top-knot-inspiration that's well worth checking out if I do say so myself

Phew! That's a lot of accessories. If you haven't already, check out my video where I go through some pieces I've picked up myself for this season - and if you have, well, that's all I've got! My Pinterest is full of inspiration for this season and some incredible pieces all available in Dundrum Town Centre, including a more detailed look at the Geometric and Retro trends.

Like my stuff? Vote here to get me through to Round 3 in the Dundrum Town Centre Blogger in Residence - pretty, pretty please!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why, it's the Night Before Pay Day!

The Night Before Pay Day

T'was the night before pay day,
and all through the house
just one creature was stirring
with the click of a mouse.

Curled up on the couch,
laptop balanced with care,
with the screen lighting her face
and her eyes fixed in a stare.

All her family were nestled
all snug in their beds,
While visions of stilettos 
danced in her head.

Her purse may be empty
but that will soon rectify,
as into her bank account
wages are due to arrive.

Her carts and wishlists were bulging,
She'd been logged on for days.
Saving and favouriting,
Falling for each latest craze.

Discount codes, free shipping,
Temptation was rife.
It's a marathon of sorts -
for which she has trained her whole life.

And now just one night of waiting
stands between her and her dreams
Of Louboutin, of Guicci,
Or some vintage McQueen.

'Course come the time to click "Buy"
she won't have quite as much,
Maybe not three pairs of jeans,
And she'll leave out that clutch.

But the night before pay day,
Is a night full of hope
for a speedy delivery
and that the bank account can cope ...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dundrum Blogger in Residence: Round 1

I’ve been hovering around the blogosphere for months now. Stalking almost. Becoming immersed in the culture, the style (oh, the style) and subjecting my poor bank account to rigorous workouts in an effort to keep up and emulate what I’ve seen. Of course it was only a matter of time before I tried dipping my toe in, which I have at times, and other times chickened out. But then I found an excuse to really push myself and dive right in at the deep end.

Dundrum Town Centre have announced an incredible competition in search for their own “Blogger in Residence”, and with that amazing opportunity comes a Prize “Vault” full of Must-Haves and Do-Wants! For the first round we’ve been asked to choose one item from the prize vault and write a 150-word blog post about one fashion must-have we couldn’t live without it – so if I was to pick one thing out of this treasure trove I would have to go for the handbag. So here goes nothing!

Ode to a Handbag

If there’s one thing I can’t do without it's a handbag, and a sizable one at that! While I have reigned in my oversized habits, I still manage to carry an alarming amount of stuff around but believe me from hairclips, make-up, books, pills and potions I’ll need them all at some point. 

Coco Chanel said “Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress”, I’d like to think a great handbag plays a role too.

Let's not forget how our trusted handbags are fashionable as well as practical. Be it a clutch, tote or a satchel, that pop of colour, extra embellishment, or a knowing nod to a trend - I can rely on it to keep me both organized (albeit organized chaos) and fabulous.

Shoes may not always be comfortable, you can’t wear a fur coat in summer; but you’ll never go wrong with a good bag.

What I'm most looking forward to about Autumn...

The weather this summer, this year more like, has had a strange effect in nearly every corner of the world. Here in rainy ole' Ireland we've had it completely backwards. Farmers are up in arms. Apparently we'll be taking out mortgages to buy bread soon enough.

But the grey skys and gathering winds have not left me wanting for sun - three days in 30+ degrees in New York was all the sun I'll ever want to experience, in fact it just got me excited. Groundskeepers have been remarking that the wet, wet weather has caused many trees to turn early - and that's all I needed. Autumn. I love Autumn. It's the perfect season. I don't do heat very well, I feel suffocated, clammy, fatigued, I live for the days I can wrap up, curl up and and smell the scent of Autumn in the air. Realising just how late in the year it is all of a sudden becomes less of a shock when I think of the things I can look forward to.

I love Autumn...

Not for it to be cold outside, for it to be a little bit chilly
For the mornings to be dusted with just a sprinkling of frost
For how it's spelled A-u-t-u-m-n, even that satisfies me
For the sight of steam rising hot coffee in take-away cups held in gloved hands
For gloves
For scarves
For soft, floppy wooly hats
For brown leather boots
For Golden Hour evenings

For the crunch
For rich colours, for fiery oranges and soft reds
For pumpkins
For Halloween
For root vegetables
For hot Sunday breakfasts
For bright, grey mornings
For piles of leaves
For Autumn-blooming flowers
For regular TV programming

For thigh-high wooly socks, always in grey
For Autumn/Winter collections
For flushed cheeks
Not for Christmas shopping, but starting to think about presents
For romantic fantasies of how Paris, London, New York and Boston look and what it would be like to be there
For long sleeves
For cinnamon cocoa
For cinnamon anything

For the sight of the starts and the sound of the wind as I go asleep...

... These are the things I love Autumn for

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's the plan for this week?

So I've been beyond absent from my little corner of the internet and unfortunately don't have any excuse except for the fact I'm very lazy and disorganised. But my disorganisation is getting very irritating at the moment. I've been looking around the house and realising I have stuff everywhere, and I'm really starting to feel bad. Also my room looks like those houses you see on extreme hoarder shows ... so I have to take a stand.

My friend Avril wrote a blog called 7 things in 7 days - an idea she had seen on Kemples blog, and so the chain of inspiration has fallen to me so I've decided that I need me a list of goals to get myself motivated this week

Here 'goes:

- Get to the gym 3 times this week
- Get outfit ready for wedding next week
- Wash all the clothes in my wash basket
- Aim to only eat wheat with one meal a day
- Return impulse buys from pay-day weekend shopping sprees
- Make dinner for Boyfriend
- Get my eyes tested.

I'll report back as to how well I do with it all!

By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin