Sunday, 31 July 2011

Office: Prices to make even the recession conscious smile

Try and take me into Office around five years ago and chances are I'd give you a sarcastic look and kindly say no. Why? Well, I've always had this misconception that I couldn't afford to shop there. The shoes were always to die for, from the classic heels to the hand-crafted out-there originals but the prices always shouted avoid everytime I glanced through their glossy window displays. Until recently. I think it was last summer when shopping in Manchester that my friend persuaded me to give it a go, and boy am I glad that she did. I walked away with a gorgeous sky-scraper pair of beauties, all for the shockingly good price of £25.00. Reduced from...(can I get a drum roll here?)...£80.00. I haven't looked back since. 




Yes, Office can be expensive, but so can every shop. Alot of the shoes in Office are worth their full price, but to me, I'm always more pleased with myself if I walk away with a bargain as I wear high heels on a daily basis so can't afford to spend £80+ on a pair of shoes that won't last me more than one season. So my solution? One word - SALE. I do admittedly light up whenever I see this word and the Office sale is indeed one sale to be excited about.  




I've hounded their shoe sale for the best bargains under £30 and am here to share them with you (plus the ones that are definitely sale-worthy - and not in a good way!). One thing I can't promise you is that there'll be around for long, after-all at these prices, you'd be mad not to!





1 Look like the lady of the manor in these leather lovelies 
2 Tan + tailoring = one timeless pair of brogues
3 Crochet pumps keep your feet cool whilst the delicate material keep things feminine 
4 The crochet's back, this time with tan and a t-bar
5 Everyone should own a classic pair of black heels. And these are a steal at close to £10
6 If you're not keen on the old-fashioned flat brogues, this patent pair are your answer. The flirty sling-back heel take the look from masculine to fashion-forward
7 Look loud in leopard with these sky-high sensations with £100 knocked off the price!
8 Or if you'd prefer a more toned down style, try this black version with a glamorous gold lining
9 Nail nautical in these sweeter-than-a-packet-of-biscuits shoes 
10 Add a pop of colour in to your wardrobe with cherry-red patents




11 Who said flat shoes were boring?
12 T-bar, suede and timeless black. For under a tenner, their a steal!
13 Let your shoes do the talking in these platform stilettos. Just remember - don't look down
14 Suede boots with a difference
15 Everyone should own a pair of classic black ankle boots and for under £20, it won't be long before these bad boys fly off the shelves!




More Lady Gaga, than lady, these shoes command attention. No other commentary is needed. I guess the saying 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' seriously comes into play here... 




ALL image source: http://www.office.co.uk/
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What I Wore: Polkadots and Aviators




Strapless polka dot top - H&M
High-waisted black shorts - Red Herring @ Debenhams
Aviators - H&M

So, I'm back from Paris - sadly! I had the most amazing time so am quite gutted that I'm back in England but c'est la vie. I'll blog some of my photos tomorrow morning but as for now, here's an outfit post for what I wore today. 

For once, it was an okay day weather wise for where I live so the legs came out. I love anything polka dot so my bargain strapless tee was a must. I think I paid £2.99 for it a few years ago and for that price, you could hardly say no. My black shorts are a wardrobe staple for me as they look chic with ANYTHING. I've worn them that much that I doubt they'll last in such condition till next summer but at least I can rest assured that I got my money's worth. Speaking of bargains, my beautiful aviators I got in the H&M sale for just £2.49. Yes, that's right, TWO POUNDS FOURTY NINE!! Granted I had to stay up till 2:00am when H&M re-stock to get my hand on those beauties but it was worth it, generally speaking fashion is worth it. 


On the topic of H&M, their sale is STILL ON! I swear they keep adding more and more into it and their prices are amazing, so if you're after a bargain - get their quick! Their are still a few things I want from the Topshop sale if they come back in stock. What I tend to do is go through the sale from the start and bookmark all of the items I want - even if it says 'out of stock' as every few days, I'll open the bookmark to see if it's come back in stock. Granted, Topshop don't re-stock with the same speed and reliability that H&M do, but their stuff is worth the wait so I'll keep my hopes up!


That's it for now, tomorrow I'll start ticking off my blogging 'to-do' list. 
Night bloggers!


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Friday, 22 July 2011

Mini break from blogging

Tomorrow, I am leaving for Paris until Wednesday so my blogging frequency will be put on hold unfortunately. I'm not taking my laptop with me as it is a holiday and I want to soak up the culture, but if I find any free wi-fi, I'll try and use it to give quick updates! 


I'll have LOTS to blog when I get back, including my number one style crush (who will be revealed), my countdown of my 10 sexiest males and of course, Paris news and photos. 


See you soon


xx
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Thursday, 21 July 2011

GLAMOUR Magazine - Sexiest Men 2011





Yes, it's that time of the year again - when Britain's best no.1 women's magazine asks us to reveal our sexiest male celebrities to the world (well, GLAMOUR staff, but you know what I mean!). 


Unfortunately, we only get one vote so it's time to get thinking who's your ultimate dream man. To vote, click here: http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/celebrity/sexiest-men/sexiest-men-voting

My predictions as to who will make the cut? Ian Somerhalder, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Alexandar Skarsgård, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford. I'd be highly surprised if the majority don't make it in there somewhere!

As for my vote, I found it particularly hard to narrow it down to one person, but I did. The survey has inspired me though to run a 'Top 10 Sexiest men' - from my point of view. 


Who's your top 10 sexiest men? Would be interesting to see the differences!







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What I Brought: 20th July 2011


Yesterday I spent the morning in one of my favourite cities - Manchester. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing and a great night out, Manchester has FANTASTIC shopping. Some of the biggest department stores in the country, two H&M's and independent boutiques - what more could you want? 

Below are my purchases, nothing too outrageous, and apologies for the poor quality of the photos, I used my webcam as I couldn't find my camera!

Tights £4 - Debenhams 
(I reckon I buy tights as often as people buy loaves of bread. I wear them about 80% of my life so always end up ripping them). 
Christina Aguilera perfume £10 (WAS £20) - Next
(I've been wanting some perfume since my birthday and I've had this one before and liked it. The fact that it was half price and I had £15 of NEXT vouchers did also sway me a little!)

MAC foundation £19.50 - Selfridges

Frill socks £1 - Primark


Silk patterned scarf £3 - Primark

Mustard basic vest £2 - Primark

Grey basic t-shirt £3 - Primark
(I brought this as my old GAP grey top is now my 'hair dying' top so cannot be worn in public due to some lovely, non-washable dark brown stains!)


Bird crop top £6 - Primark
(I love crop tops but they usually swamp me because of my small upper body but this one didn't look as stupid as they usually do so I had to get it. Plus, the pattern is lovely).


Spotted tunic/dress £8 - Primark

Hairbrush
Perfume 


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Gossip Girl - La mode à Paris














This Saturday, my friend Megan and I are going to Paris for four nights. Paris however is not a normal holiday. When I go to Spain (or somewhere hot), my fashion sense tends to lean towards comfort rather than style, but with Paris being one of the fashion capitals of the world, the same cannot be applied. So where have I turned to for inspiration? Gossip Girl of course. Season 4's opening few episodes were set in the beautiful city bringing colour, heels and jewels to the winding streets. 


Blair's fashion in particular embodies femininity, grace, ruffle textures and romantic prints teamed with a mix of dreamy pastel shades and rich jewel hues. Unfortunately I don't have Eric Daman as my stylist like Leighton and Blake, heck, I don't even have a stylist at all, but a girl can dream!
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Top 5 Style Crushes - #2 Nina Dobrev

Since splashing onto TV screens thanks to her portrayal as vampire-loving Elena Gilbert, Nina Dobrev's fashion credentials have soared. Her mix of fun, flirty and feminine ensembles flaunt Dobrev's dainty frame whilst oozing youth and class at the same time. Added with gorgeous glossy locks and perfected red-carpet poses, Nina has certainly showed Hollywood she's arrived! 
L-R
Top

Staple black wrap dress brought to life by cascading curls @ the 2010 SCREAM Awards; Looking chic in opaques and a navy and grey patterned party dress @ a winter fundraiser;  Looking Breakfast at Tiffany's flawless in a gorgeous flock monochrome strapless @ the 12th Annual Young Hollywood Awards;  Aptly dressed in a white cocktail dress at the White House Correspondents Association; Bringing it back to basics in barely-there make-up and a simple but chic bandeau dress


Bottom

Big hear, bold lips and a figure hugging monochrome dress @ an Express 30th Anniversary party; Looking stunning in this silk, waterfall-inspired back @ the 50th Monte Carlo TV Festival; Grecian goddess and statue-like posing on the red carpet for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards; Glitz and glam teamed with glossy curls @ the 2010 Teen Choice Awards; Sassy señorita in a classic LBD with a hair flower accessory


Images sourced from http://nina-dobrev.us/
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Get the look: Leighton Meester in Louis Vuitton


(Images sourced from
One of my most FAVOURITE red-carpet dresses is this Louis Vuitton number worn by Leighton Meester at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. The nipped-in waist accentuated her petite frame whilst the ruffles added femininity and flare to the monochrome masterpiece and the red shoes make a 'pop' statement of their own. Jealous? A little. 


If you like this look and can afford LV's original then go for it, however if you're like me, and owning such a quality piece of clothing is purely a pipedream - then take a look at this Dorothy Perkins' similar take on Leighton's look. 



And guess what? This gorgeous version won't break the bank at an amazing £12.00. Credit cards at the ready! But be quick, sizes are selling out fast and at this price, I can see why!


Visit www.dorothyperkins.com for this dress and many more fab bargains in their Summer sale. 
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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Dorothy Perkins: My Summer sale picks







Like most women, I love a sale. I see that four letter word and my heart skips a beat. Dorothy Perkins' sale was no different. Most of my shoes are from DP as they have great savings, usually discounted from around £30-£50 to £10-£20. 


Online there are currently around 2,000 items in their sale. So naturally, I trawled through 13 pages of clothes and shoes and narrowed down what I would buy if money were no object. 




There are some fantastic bargains to be had, so what are you waiting for?! Visit a store near you or go online: www.dorothyperkins.com
(Image sources)
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Urban Outfitters: Granny Chic


Chances are you've seen one (or a hundred) of these stashed away in your grandma's house and you even have the pleasure of it being used on a rainy day (and lets face it, England has a fair few of those!). But no longer is this fashion statement saved for OAP's, the weather rain hood is making an entrance on the high street for ladies of all ages.


Take these funky designs from Urban Outfitters - bold, bright and the obvious of keeping your hair dry. And even better, UO are currently holding a sale (with up to 75% off!) leaving each item a steal at £3.00. 


Would I buy one? Honestly, probably not. Although I like to keep my hair dry, my umbrella does the job fine. I don't think I have the edginess to pull off this trend successfully and I will always have the image of my nanna donning one of these for a trip to town and for me, that's where there'll stay.


But while the weather hoods may be off my menu, the head scarf is essential if ever driving a convertible, but beware of letting it slip a la Bridget Jones or risk the 'stuck my hair in the electric socket' look. 


SJM

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H&M Autumn 2011


My H&M Autumn catalogue came in the post today and safe to say, I was quite excited. Along with H&M being my favourite High Street store, I always enjoy Autumn fashion as unlike summer (in England), the weather's unpredictable and I'm not a massive fan of showing everything off, with Autumn - you know what to expect from the weather and bare legs are a no no! 

I'm going to blog my season picks ASAP but thought I'd wait till the range hits the stores tomorrow before spoiling it all for you! 

SJM 
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Friday, 15 July 2011

Harry Potter: The End


Anyone else remember the Voldermort cat that hit headlines this/last year? (above)

I'm going to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II tonight with Clare, Cat and Alex. Uber excited and relieved that we booked our tickets a week ago as the cinema we go to, although it’s big, gets filled up so quickly. We decided against seeing it in 3D as we’re all not the biggest fan of 3D films, it’s more expensive and as far as I’m aware, it’s not actually been FILMED in 3D, just edited, so it’s not worth the money you pay. I quite happily pay more for 3D filmed films as a lot more effort and money has gone into the filming and since we’ve seen the past seven in 2D, why suddenly the 3D? 
Clare and (I think) Cat have both read the books so they’ll be watching for difference or plot misses, but at the end of the day, you’ll never fit a 500 page book in a 2 hour film - it’s impossible. I know quite a few spoilers thanks to my sister, Dana and the internet but I’m trying to avoid knowing anymore before tonight to make it more of a surprise. 
Although we’re not going watching it in 3D, if there’s any special Harry Potter glasses left, I’m buying some, just as a memory!.

Just got to avoid the internet to avoid spoilers. 
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Hair Inspiration

I'm going to confess something to you now, something that my friends are well aware of - I have a phobia of the hairdressers - mainly getting my hair cut.


This is an extract from my personal blog about my fear: I’ve had several bad encounters with hairdressers from birth. They used to cut my fringe too short as a child so I had to push it back with a headband for the first two weeks to conceal the appalling cut. They’ve dyed my hair black before and it cost me £70 for the worst hair moment of my life. And they gave me so-called ‘tiger-streaks’ once, as my scalp was burnt from skiing so they wouldn’t colour it the colour I wanted, so I ended up with zebra-crossing hair - not a good luck. Both of the colour disasters cost my mum and myself a LOT of money and misery as I was a cow throughout these ‘traumas’ and refused to go to school at one point due to how crap I felt. It’s because of this that I A/ avoid the hairdressers at all costs and B/ get a friend to colour my hair. That way it’s miles cheaper, I’m in semi-control and if it does go wrong (hopefully it won’t), it’ll be my fault. 


But recently, my hair has been in terrible condition - a mixture of colouring, split ends, heat, too much shampoo and conditioner and general weather conditions. So, I decided to man up and head to the hairdressers. It was quite obvious I was nervous (had the shakes) but luckily I had a new, very nice hairdresser who clearly saw how weird I get about it. I had only an inch off but the result is great. My hair is still long and now is in GREAT condition. I just feel like such an idiot for waiting for so long to go back! 


Anyway, the point of this article was not for to ramble on to you about my hair history, but to show you my hair inspirations. Everyone has them. If I was blonde, I'd want Blake Lively or Lauren Conrad's hair. Megan Fox, Sophia Bush and Nina Dobrev are my favourite brunette hair idols. Below are the images I had in mind:


Leighton Meester images
Sophia Bush images


I have naturally poker straight hair so it's quite boring after a while. What these four photos all have in common is the front framing style. The middle two images showcase more of a fringe (or bangs) which I'm not brave enough to try yet, but the outer two are what I've gone for - something that when I wear my hair up or half up half down, I will have hair to frame my face. 


Leighton's definitely a colour chameleon, but as far as classic style that always exudes being flawless, Sophia is always successful. 


So who's your hair inspirations? 



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Monday, 11 July 2011

MIA

Just a quick message to apologise for my recent absence from updating my blog. As some of you will know, my nanna has been in hospital for nearly two months. I kept blogging whilst she was in hospital as we always were under the impression that she would be coming out. Unfortunately things took a drastic turn a couple of weeks back when they discovered she in fact had cancer and within three days of this news, I lost my beautiful, caring nanna. I had to obviously put my blog aside to spend time with my family but I intend to pick up the pace asap so I don't disappoint my readers.

Thank-you for all sticking by my blog.

SJM
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© STACEY JOANNE MARIE

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