Valentine's Day Outfits

THE CASUAL OUTFIT

I personally love this outfit for casual day wear on Valentine's Day, granted it may be too obvious for some peeps, what with all the hearts and all that...However since the heart pattern is on a T-shirt (from Sainsbury's brand Tu, similar here although way more expensive), I think it lends a perfect understated nonchalance, a casualness that would have been impossible with the formality of a blouse.

The long brown crossbody (from New Look, yonks ago, similar here) also adds an extra relaxed element to this easy on-the-go kind of look. The black jeans as you know from previous fashion posts are a staple in my closet and what I consider to be my "comfort zone", but you could easily pair this top with a flowy skirt for an even more girly look.

As for me, my girliness is in the shoes! Slightly more raspberry toned IRL (and not such a good match to be honest), the lowness of these M&S heels makes for easy walking (it's 3 inches, I can't do much more than 4 inches without a strap for support, similar here). However if your town is full of cobbled streets (cough...cough Brussels) then my all means put the heels away and try and go for some red flats. You definitely want to add that pop of red on your feet to break up the dullness of the black jeans.

For makeup I wanted to keep it simple, so I did my everyday eye look (Prestige brown eye pencil on the top lash line not in my waterline and Lancôme Precious Cells mascara in black) and added a more natural red stain to my lips (...not that red is very natural) with the Bourjois Lip Velvet in 03 Hot Pepper. I love these lip velvets because they give a smudged-out effect to your lip line (a bit like air brushing) and since it doesn't have such a "hard" edge you lips keep that easy casualness while still wearing a red! Now I know mattes aren't for everyone, that why I've also shown a Revlon Lip Butter in 063 Wild Watermelon, it's a bright muted red with a lovely glossy finish, the "shiny" variations of the casual red lip!

THE FORMAL OUTFIT

I first saw this dress in HelloOctoberxo's Kendall Jenner Modern Muse Le Rouge Tutorial and just knew I had to have it! I had been looking for a formal red dress with a lace décolté to be able to wear at Christmas time or for possible winter weddings, for ages! And this dress from Missguided but bought on Asos (still in stock), was exactly what I had envisioned. The dress has a very similar feel to the brand Chi Chi; knee length, tulle volume and lacing (I love those dresses, very girly and not stupidly short like most dresses I see on the high-street. Not everyone wants to be showing off their knickers, you know!).

Come Christmas time, the family had gotten tickets to go see The Nutcracker on Ice, so with plenty of time to spare I found these gorgeous red heels also from M&S (different from the previous outfit; more orange-y red, rounded toe and 4 inches high and still in stock) in our family November shopping trip to Bluewater.

Now came the clutch: after a thorough look at all my go to shops for clutches; New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Accessorize and seeing zero red clutches, never mind "glittery", I went where I always go...eBay! This little beauty only cost me £2.50 plus shipping. Now sadly I didn't get to wear it, since my big boo got a kidney stone as a Christmas present (that was one Christmas Eve that my family is not likely to forget anytime soon...happily he's fine now).

However come June I've got some new tickets to go see Swan Lake, so this beautiful outfit will get to see the light of day then (or evening should I say). Since you've probably sussed out by now that I'm a #singlepringle and my Valentine's Day night is going to consist of stuffing my face full of chocolate whilst watching all the romantic films, wouldn't have it any other way #Heaven #1dayoftheyearitissociallyacceptable

For makeup; I would up the amp with my eyes and put my eyeliner on my waterline, instant drama! And go for a dramatic red such as this new one from KIKO in 01 Candy Red (post here), now if you need a "kiss-proof" lipstick then I think we can all agree Mac's Ruby Woo won't be budging. Finally, on my nails I'm wearing Essie's Red Nouveau, also a more orange-y based red, but there are endless amounts of good red nail polishes out there, so be my guest!

There you have it, my casual and formal outfit options for Valentine's Day, or any day really.

What is your go to outfit for Valentine's Day? You don't have to be in a relationship to dress for the day!

Are you more the type to treat it as any other day? With "coincidently" more heart shaped chocolate all around you.

Or do you absolutely hate Valentine's Day and everything to do with it? In which case so sorry for this post, things will be back to normal soon, I promise! :P

 

xxxemma

Follow

My Watch Collection

There are two things you need to know about me. Firstly, I have tiny wrists in proportion to the rest of my body (I'm not kidding; my Mum had them checked when I was a baby because she was so worried!) but I can do cartwheels and handstands just fine (the important stuff I know), but push-ups on the other hand...forget it! I totally blame my small wrists for that, not my complete lack of pectoral strength :P

Secondly my watch addiction can be entirely described as hereditary at this point, since both my Dad and brother have sizeable collections themselves and my Mum is slowly catching up. What can I say "watches are a girl's best friend!" no really! Although I do love jewellery (fake/real = pOtato/potAto) a watch is my go-to accessory on a daily basis (I don't understand people with their phone pocket watches...but hey, Apple watches are totally bringing it back to the wrist, we WIN!).

Anyway these two things mean that I have to get most of my straps adjusted and also smaller faces suit me better, not that I've let that stop me from buying watches with big faces...if you've got it, flaunt it! Also my collection is rather sizeable, but each one (of the expensive ones) was either my main Christmas or birthday present, to each their own! Let's get started:

P.S. Like my fake cactuses/cacti (I know I can't even keep those alive!) and fake marble background?!...It's official I've entered the #bbloggers clichéd background world and I'm loving it! :P

THE SILVERS:

Emporio Armani

Growing out of the Swatch Flik Flak phase (leave in the comments below if that was your first watch type too) my first "proper" watch was a silver-coloured one that I remember getting from a Chapelle Outlet store for £30, but for the life of me I can't remember its brand (but it did come with a matching bracelet). However it was what I wore for most of my teenage years (it got quite scratched up in the end) since silver went with everything! This was before the rose gold revolution, which we will get to later. :P

Because of this my Dad got me a "fancy" silver watch to wear on special occasions. Now as I didn't choose this one myself I have no idea how much it cost, but a quick look at the Emporio Armani women watches online would put it at around £150, but my Dad is a bargain hunter so I doubt that's how much was paid. It was most probably from an Outlet store for much less than that (I highly recommend Outlets if you're thinking of getting a fancy watch, they often have some great deals).

The strap of the Emporio Armani watch is the same width as the face, which gives this watch quite a "bulky" look, but it's still thin enough that no one would confuse it for a man's watch, I personally love it (you're going to be hearing a lot of that, it is my watch collection after all).

Marks and Spencer

Next we have the Marks and Spencer one which comes in between £18-£30. I love this one because it really is an embellished bracelet! The strap is very small and fits like a bangle bracelet (not malleable like a standard strap) with a dainty square face, that if you look at closely you will see is a pale lavender colour. I love this one because if watches could ever be categorised as jewellery this would be it! Small, with a silver shine and a hint of colour, love it!

THE BLACKS:

Accessories at New Look (both of them)

The one on the right is the first one that you'll see comes in the "gigantic" face format. Now it does look incredibly bulky on my wrist but because I have bony wrists I think I can get away with it, it's certainly a distinctive look! I especially like this one because even though it has a monochrome design, the face gives it all the "shabang" it needs! Surrounded by a circle of glittery stones - I don't think they're diamonds at £19.99 - the face also has 3 fake sub-dials, which gives it a rather high tech look. I love pairing this with my black dungarees and turtleneck jumpers (I think I'll do an outfit post on them soon, I love them that much).

The horizontal one is from New Look too, but with a slight alteration...the strap. When I went ferreting through my jewellery box (where I keep my cheap watches) in preparation for this post I found this watch, and I remember having cut off the strap either because it was broken or because it was very ugly, can't remember which?! But I kept the watch itself because I love the black and silver minimalism so much. Then I sent my Dad on a mission (he knows his watch shops) for a plain matte black leather strap, and I think we can all agree he delivered! This watch is now perfect and exactly what I envisioned for the face...round of applause for the best Dad in the world! So total price would be £12.99 plus strap price.

THE BLUES:

C&A (the darker one)

I love this one (sensing a theme no?) because of its bright pop of colour (it's brighter IRL). My second "gigantic" faced watch but this one is deceptive as the dial is quite a bit smaller than the face would have you believe. Not my favourite face from my collection if I'm honest, I really just bought this one for its strap...I love matching my nails to it with Maybelline's Forever Strong in 635 Surreal. I bought this one in a C&A in Paris (back in 2012 in my exchange year at the Sorbonne), which had a much larger selection of clothes/accessories/jewellery than the C&As I've been to in Belgium, but it wasn't much more than €10 (I recently had to superglue the strap back together, so you can tell).

Marks and Spencer

This one was bought last minute for a wedding last summer. It matched my blue lace dress and high heels perfectly (you've been warned before about my matching lunacy...the nails matched too...shhhhh). The only issue was my wrist. Way too big, I needed several holes put in, luckily we were in another Outlet Centre the day before the wedding and many jewellery stores later (they didn't have the punch thing) the Fossil store kindly did it for me, free of charge! :)

THE PINKS:

Olivia Burton

I've only discovered Olivia Burton watches rather recently (last two years or so), and they're exactly what was missing from women's watches for years. The last one in my "gigantic" series, the artistic faces is what really drew me in (although I really love her classic dial from the Wonderland Collection too), and there are several more I would really love from her brand but at ballpark £80 each, I've got a few more Christmases and birthdays to go (In the meantime New Look have some decent looking dupes). I picked this "pink" one from her Woodland Collection because I love the face and the bird reminds me of my "Snow White" adventure, everytime I look at it!

Now as my Dad is quite the gardener (green thumb not inherited; cough...cough, fake cacti!) we happen to have an awesome cherry tree (that I helped plant when I was 8) at the front of our house near my bedroom window. Bird food happens to hang from said tree and attracts the exact same birds as the one depicted on this watch (a Great Tit...hey, I didn't come up with the name!). Nothing special about that. But one bird in particular was insisting on building a nest on my window ledge and repeatedly tapping my window every morning around 5am (for a night owl like me this was far from ideal) for food I think (even when the bird feeders were full). So every morning I had to destroy said beginning of nest because my window ledge is angled and I didn't want future eggs to slide off (neighbouring cats also have easy access), plus I have a blind to open and close. Needless to say it was several months of being woken up "à la Cinderella" fashion, before it eventually gave up and I was able to sleep like a true Disney princess again. But those several Snow White moments, when I and the bird looked at each other through the glass whilst it kept tapping will never be forgotten!

Ted Baker

I love this soft baby pink watch from Ted Baker, although I almost didn't get to have it on my birthday, as it was so well hidden by my parents that they had technically lost it! We all had to frantically search the house to find it! Needless to say it was found and the crisis of potentially having lost £150 was averted :P The only thing I would say about this watch is that it has the most unnecessarily difficult clasp I have ever come across. It has two closures: the standard one of a material strap like the Olivia Burton one, and underneath that a metal fold-over one of a metallic strap like the DKNY one (on the right). It took me a whole week to figure out how to adjust it to fit my wrist. Even now I can't remember how I did it!

DKNY

This is my chocolate watch! I first saw it in a DKNY ad in a magazine and although I loved the shape and colour of the strap the magazine photo had the face tinged slightly green, an odd combo but a possibility and far from the ideal (all of the watch being bronze chocolate coloured). So I wanted to see it in person to see if it really did have a green-ish face. So during my last Christmas at Uni in Edinburgh, I looked for it in all the jewellery stores on Princes Street and there in the Fraser Hart window it stood. I couldn't see any green so I asked if I could try it on and it was perfect! It has a pearled face hence the green tint in the ad. Mine is however mostly chocolate bronze with an orange pearlessence (also the tiniest bit of green), I think each watch would be unique in this collection as you don't know what pearlessence pattern/colour you might end up with, I was lucky! The only drawback to this watch is its battery life, I had to change the battery two months after I bought it and again a year after that, the Fossil watch (coming up next) I bought a year before this DKNY one has yet to need a battery change. :/ But if I remember correctly I think I got this watch slightly discounted, still £150, so can't really complain.

THE ROSE GOLDS:

Fossil (both of them)

My first Fossil watch (on the left) is what started my rose gold revolution, back in 2011-2012. While everybody else was buying "gigantic" Michael Kors watches I opted for a slightly smaller more understated rose gold Fossil watch. I bought this in Paris in Les Halles for €150 I think, but this has quickly become my most trusted watch (long battery life) and since it's the only one I own that also tells the date, it was my lucky exam one too! I think we've all been at an exam and just invented dates because stress blanked out the real one, or you're so anxious to start scribbling down answers you're not paying much attention to that detail (days and months are easy to forget, but I think I put 1956 as a year once, and only realised it when it was corrected and handed back to me...oops!).

The one on the right is my second Fossil watch (I was so impressed with the first) and like all the other pink ones I own, it also has a rose gold rim to its face (Can't get enough of rose gold! Not a fan of normal gold...too yellow for me). More of a turquoise, it could still be categorised as a blue but it just didn't look good with my other blues, I love wearing this one (and my lighter coloured ones) in the summer. Speaking of which, that's exactly when I got this one, on a summer holiday in Portugal (in the Forum Algarve to be exact) but you don't have to travel all the way there...Fossil still make them in this style for £95, so go check out their site!

So there you have it, my watch collection! Hope I didn't bore you to death and it may have given you some ideas on future Christmas or birthday presents, and why not a Valentine's day present too if you have a special someone in your life. #singlepringle #foreveralone

What was your first watch?

Any memorable stories attached to a piece of jewellery or a watch? Do share!

Are there any particular brands you absolutely love and think I should check out?

Which one is your favourite?

 

xxxemma

Follow

Red & Lace...OOTD #ThrowBackThursday

All Winter, my wardrobe pretty much solely consists of lace. I'm talking Edwardian Era dedication here!...okay that might be a slight exaggeration :P But as someone that likes to dress very femininely (except for the uniform black trousers, but even here I can compromise) lace is my perfect go-to. I especially like high collars with lace detailing "à la Lily Elsie".

I've recently been able to stock-up on lace tops and blouses thanks to H&M and Dorothy Perkins who have a really great selection! So now I can feel like an extra from Downton Abbey (noooo not from the kitchens) without all the drama (not that that doesn't make it really entertaining) :P

The white lace top is from H&M (similar here), the burgundy blazer is from C&A (similar here) and as you can see from the photos I've also included a "lace" (Baroque) pattern to my standard black trousers, also from C&A (similar here although only in bright red). Shoes and bag are from M&S and John Lewis respectively :)

Now what's the #ThrowBackThursday element to this post I here you ask? Well, when it comes to the November/December Winter months, I like to pair my lace items with reds and darker colours. Hence, as you've probably guessed, I paired this look with the classic Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 107. But when it comes to the January/February Winter months, my lace items gets paired with much lighter colours; whites, creams and nudes and very simple makeup such as the Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 42 (part of the her new Nudes Collection).

So if you decide to wear lace, you can always twist it to your fancy; it doesn't always have to take the shape of a dress, as clearly demonstrated here. And you can always play with the "soft" element that lace creates by adding a more structured element, such as the blazer...the colour palette is yours!!!

Remember fashion is meant to be fun, so if you feel like drawing inspiration from a bygone era...the world's your oyster! :)

What is your go-to fashion item in the Winter?

Have you been following Downton Abbey? What did you think of the finale?

Are you a lace fan too? If so, what's your favourite colour to wear it in? What do you pair it with?

What's your go-to makeup in January? Are you a nudes girl after all the December reds, or do you go for something completely different?

 

xxxemma

Follow

1 Jumper/Sweater 3 Ways - Autumn/Fall 2015

The piece: a Tan Jumper from H&M...the season Autumn! (similar here)

My first way of stylling this jumper is by making it the centre piece of the outfit, choosing two additional items to compliment it. In this case a tan handbag (from C&A a shop we still have here in Belgium! similar here) and some tan flower patterned boots (from last year's M&S Collection similar here). The black jeans are a staple in my wardrobe (similar here), as you've probably noticed they're making a reappearance from my last outfit post. All in all, I'm keeping the palette fairly neutral with just two colours: tan and black.

That said, as I've kept the palette neutral, makeup is where I have a bit more fun with this outfit. Either, I continue with the neutral route as seen in the next pictures or I go the bright pop of red route, as you can see in the photos above.

Here, I'm wearing my new addition to my Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets collection: 03 Hot Pepper (as it's an orangey-red it does make your teeth look a bit yellow). I would additionally pair it with the Essie nail polish in Color Binge (swatched in my Essie Autumn Collection post). For eyes, I would have put on a more orangey eyeshadow but as I was doing multiple photos in one day, my eye look here is my everyday one (Prestige brown eyeliner, with my Lancôme Hypnôse Precious Cells mascara). I would have also added the Clinique Cheek pop/blush in 02 Peach Pop as it is the only blusher I own that has an orange undertone to it (all my other ones are pink and mauve under-toned). 

For the next outfit, I'm playing with different materials in the same tanned category.

Both the faux leather boots and jacket (similar here) were purchased from New Look years ago (on separate occasions so I'm not even sure if it was the same year). Now although I love these boots (similar here), the problem with them is that they do not zip up all the way (you can see where the zip finishes in the next photo) so it makes it impossible to stuff jeans down them (even skinny ones) so you can only really wear them with tights or as seen here ¾ length jeans rolled up. As these are the only pair I own, blue had to do, but I feel they add a very casual element to the whole outfit.

But you might disagree, like my dad who kept trying to cut out the jeans from the photos he was shooting of me, you guys are lucky you got a full length shot of this outfit at all ...guess you can't please everybody :P

P.S. This is wear the argument "but it's fashion!" comes out...when really it's just my weird stylistic choice!

For makeup you can see the neutral route I would take with this jumper, since I already have so much of the tan colour going on, I would not add anything extra to my makeup.

So on my lips: the new Nude Collection of Rimmel lipsticks by Kate in 42 (does anyone else wish she had named her lipsticks, I mean does that not seem like the funnest part...no?) over my trusted N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude.

Finally, the last outfit is for those colder and more rainy Autumn days (which let's be real, in Belgium those days are the definition of Autumn).

The coat is also from New Look (similar here), from years ago. But do not disappear, the duffle coat style always makes a reappearance every year during the colder seasons, it's definitely a "classic" coat to own. I love the brown detail trimming and toggles on this dark navy coat, I personally think it goes beautifully with the tan jumper.

The main reason why I bought this coat though, is the hood! At the time, I was at Uni in Edinburgh and if you've ever experienced the Edinburgh winds, then you know that carrying an umbrella is futile (RIP all the broken umbrellas you often see in the street bins from unknowing tourists). The hood was the only way to go, you can easily hold it in place, without looking like an idiot doing a weird wind dance in order to keep your umbrella from turning inside out. But hey, if you feel like dancing and "singing in the rain" then I won't be the one to stop you. :P

For trousers, it the same M&S black skinnies from above (surprise...surprise) and my daily go to black boots (similar here), also from M&S years ago. Mind you, I've had to have them re-heeled 3 times because the "top piece" (the part of the heel that comes in contact with the ground) kept coming off after they naturally wore down from constant use, but all is well now.

For makeup, it's the same neutral combination as above (Rimmel's Kate lipstick in 42 and N°7 lip pencil in Nude).

So there you have it, my 3 ways of styling this tan jumper, hope you enjoyed it! 

 

Do you guys have any favourite jumpers that fit in perfectly with your wardrobe? 

Any go to jumper colour you like to wear in Autumn?

What's your Autumn weather like where you live? Is it still the T-Shirt and jeans kind or do you skip more milder weather and go straight for the earmuffs and fleece lined coats?

 

xxxemma

Follow

Green Envy... OOTD - October 2015

For the longest time, I never wore colour. During my teenage years my go-to "colour"...BLACK! One day, one of my school friends suggested that I try wearing green to bring out my green eyes. So instead of looking for the usual dark clothes, I spotted a moss-green T-Shirt and since then my wardrobe has never been the same again. If you're afraid of colour, I suggest venturing out into tones that match your eyes, you'll never look back...trust me! Now, my wardrobe is a true colour spectrum to behold (I never got rid of my black trousers/jeans style though, as you will probably notice in many outfit posts...soz).

Now, it's only fair to warn you guys I have a thing for shoes but more specifically boots. Some girls collect handbags (I'm more than happy with my black, tan, small tan and aqua ones) others sunglasses... Me, I collect shoes! And nail polish...but you've probably already guessed that by now from my "nails" category. Speaking of which, I would normally be wearing green nail polish to match my outfit (yes I'm that kind of matching lunatic) but as I was swatching the OPI Venice Collection at the time (blog post up soon), I had to give a break to my poor and abused cuticles. 

The green boots I hear you ask, are from this season's Marks & Spencer Collection: scratch that, the whole outfit is Marks & Spencer! I've grown up loving Marks & Spencer, and since they re-opened in Brussels, this year, I'm in Heaven (my mum introduced me to them, so I blame her for my shopaholic addiction here)! Honestly I don't understand why more girls my age (24) don't talk about this beacon of light, more often! Granted, there is the stereotype that it only caters to the older ladies out there, and I might have a habit of dressing older than I am (that's my style, what can I say). But it's a true misconception and I urge you (young folk) to look at their fashion (and makeup range for that matter), have a proper ferret, you won't be disappointed!

The black high-waisted jeans (not that you could tell from the photo) was a limited edition from M&S: they are called the High Waisted Skinny (similar here). It has a beautiful fit for a skinny jean (I'm pear shaped, so my thighs generally don't fit in skinnies without the waist then becoming too big if I size up) but these were perfect! Sod's law is that they only had one in my size (UK 12) in Brussels and since it was a limited edition, they didn't re-stock. 

The green coat (similar here) is gorgeous! However, I had to size down two sizes, I'm usually a UK 12 (top and bottom) but I bought UK 8 in this case, which admittedly made me feel very thin on the day, mind you, I'm of the smaller bust variety, so you might want to still try on (if interested), to be safe. Also, I noticed it doesn't photograph incredibly well. The material has a shine to it that makes it look creased in photos but it really isn't in real life, I promise!

For makeup, green eyeliner! I'm not sure if you can tell from the zoomed in picture of my face, but if you look closely, I'm wearing dark green eyeliner (I did warn you that I was a matching lunatic). It's from a brand that used to be carried by Boots, and from which I adore all their eye pencil/eyeliner products (drugstore prices) called Prestige.

Luckily enough on a Summer family holiday in Portugal, I wondered into a Douglas shop, I had never heard of them before, but they carried makeup, so the true magpie that I am, I went in. Lo and behold, there standing in the spotlight (not really, I'm trying to create a mental picture for you guys...is it working?) a Prestige stand! Needless, to say I stocked up on my daily brown eye pencil; "total intensity eyeliner in 02 Bold Brown" (smooth velvet to apply and lasts all day, it does smudge a bit but I really don't mind that). And I noticed this green little fellow "total intensity Liquid Ink Eyeliner in 04 Stalker" calling out to me. It was lovely and creamy, dried fast (the nightmare of the slow drying liquid eyeliners and the inevitable blinking debacle was not an issue here) and it didn't smudge. It has a 9 month expiry date, so by now mine is a bit old, but I shook it up a bit (it had separated and was quite liquidy) and I was good to go, not as good as an in-date product, but I don't have easy access, so it will do :P

 

So there you have it my October OOTD, is it too matchy matchy for you?

What colour did you gravitate towards do get out of the black monochrome stage of your life (if you had one that is)?

Or what's your favourite colour to wear that brings out your eyes? Would love to know :)

 

xxxemma

Follow