Can I Have Your Opinion Please?

I have what fashion-sceptics would call a ‘First World Problem’.

In other words, it’s not really an issue at all, I’m just seeking the opinions of others over – of all things – a pair of shoes.

Shoes by Deena & Ozzy at Urban Outfitters. Originally £150, now £40

I picked these up on impulse during a spot of retail therapy. I think my Spidey senses were telling me that the week ahead would not be a smooth one (it’s only Tuesday and so much has flippin’ happened!)

Should they stay or should they go (back to the shop)?

Aside from this footwear splurge I finally bought a pair of jeans (that aren’t jeggings) and my first jumpsuit (I may even post pics later, it’s that special).

As I don’t usually tend to spend so much on a single item I’m starting to have serious doubts about the shoes. They’re comfy, feel fabulous to strut in and certainly draw the eye… but are they too much for me? I’ve not worn them out yet as I’m still not sure whether I should return them… and that’s why I need you!

Please let me know what you think with a comment below. Are they worth every penny or a waste of space? And ultimately, should I keep them?

 

Head flower

Stone Bridge, the Kent-based luxury hair accessories company have come up trumps again by sending me another fabulous hair clip.

Knowing I love hair flowers and anything borderline quirky, Melissa and Claire decided to send me the biggest hair flower I have ever seen…

Hair flower by Stone Bridge

When it was delivered, lovingly wrapped in luxurious layers of tissue paper (held together by a signature claret red ribbon), I couldn’t quite believe my eyes – it’s the size of a small dinner plate!

Photo by Alex

Whilst I’ve decided I’m not quite ready to venture out with the beautiful chiffon clip on my head without an occasion worthy of its presence (such as a wedding or Ladies’ Day at Ascot!), it does make me think of something Patricia Field might pin onto a Carrie Bradshaw costume. I’m definitely going to pin it onto one of my shift or swing dresses next time I head to a gig or feel like the day deserves more glamour.

As I live a minute away from Columbia road I thought it would be silly to miss the famous flower market yet again, and the lovely corsage gave me yet another excuse to venture out. So, armed with a camera and Alex, I squeezed my way through the throng of people, corsage boldly pinned to my shirt.

Blending in with the merchandise

Strangely enough, despite Alex thinking I was self conscious of my ‘fashion statement’, I was actually just aware of having my photo taken amongst to many people (although I needn’t have worried as there were so many tourists around!). I love the fact that a corsage is an unusual choice to chose as the focal piece of an outfit, but feels apt due to the amazing weather we’ve experienced recently. I’ve seen a few girls wearing beautifully simple swing dresses recently and I’m desperate to get my hands on the perfect one, so as always I’d appreciate any recommendations!

How would you style the huge hair flower up?

Frivolise me!

I began a game in the Amazing Radio office the other day called ‘Frivolise Me!’

This essentially involves deciding to embark on an activity and then making it decidedly more ‘frivolous’ – for example taking a taxi instead of a bus to town, or buying a fancier product than you usually would. It’s a rather materialistic, entirely unserious game, but one that’s worth a giggle. It was only when my colleague Stevie B replied to one of my tweets that I realised that I had been playing the game without realising!

I headed into Newcastle city centre after work fully intending to try and find this pair of ‘rusty’ paperbag waist shorts from Miss Selfridge ready for Spring, or at least a similar pair for a cheaper price. I decided to try Primark to see if they stocked such a style.

Bag from charity shop

It turns out that they didn’t… but they did have a pair of leather look shorts that I noticed on my way out of the store! Naturally I grabbed a pair in my size, rushed to the changing rooms and had a go with them! Probably not an item on many fashionable Spring ‘must-have’ lists, but an item I gladly bought in place of the ‘safer’ Miss Selfridge option.

Shorts £10 by Primark, pussybow blouse (vintage) from Oxfam, heels by H&M

I do already have some leather look brown shorts from Zara, and fake leather skinny trousers from Topshop, but I couldn’t resist adding these to my growing collection. There’s something I can’t resist about this fabric. It’s less obvious than denim – especially when worn during the day – and  can be dressed up as in the photo above or dressed down as in the photo below.

Headband by Topshop, tee £9.99 by Zara, bag £10 from Tyneside metro market

(As you can probably see for yourselves, I’m sticking my tummy out in this photo, delightful eh!?)

I blogged about this Zara tee in my last post. It’s oversized and rather short which means I’ll probably wear a vest top underneath it if I take this outfit further than my bedroom. The headband is a couple of years old. I got in from Topshop in a bid to disguise my unruly hair as a ‘deliberate statement’. It wasn’t deliberate in this photo either, but I have been experiencing a minor revolt from my barnet today! The bag was a wonderful vintage find from Tyneside’s Saturday metro market last Saturday. You can’t tell from this photo but it’s a gorgeous, inky hue with an almost marbled effect. I’m attempting to work more ‘ladylike’ pieces into my wardrobe, and have bought a couple of waist-focused black pieces in the past couple of weeks; a shift dress from Topshop’s sale and a black, elasticated waist dress from Zara that I’m planning to debut at a Little Comets gig this weekend.

So what have you ‘frivolised’ recently? And which do you prefer, denim or leather?

Stone Roses

The other day I received a parcel…

 

The welcoming label!

 

I don’t really get many parcels so I was rather excited… particularly when I opened it and found a note handwritten on luxury paper just for me!

 

How pretty!?

 

I was sent the mystery package by Stone Bridge, a Kent based luxury hair accessories company that had spotted my curly tresses and thought that they could do them justice!

I lived in Kent for about eleven years so hearing that an international company was successfully flourishing not far from where I grew up was something to feel proud of. Kent isn’t really known for much other than hops and livestock, so it’s nice to see something slightly more… well… fashionable!

The company was set up by entrepreneur Melissa Hill. In 2006 she spotted a gap in the market for couture hair accessories and set about commissioning wearable works of art from around the world as well as ordering pieces from highly skilled designers from America, France and Italy (and further afield.) Due to the handcrafting processes that go into each piece, each design is of limited quantity which means I’m rather unlikely to turn up wearing the same head gear as someone else!

 

Almost real: Rose Silk Alice Band by Stone Bridge

 

Now I have to apologise for the following pics… I have finally spent some pennies on a nice compact camera, but I’m awaiting the delivery of a tripod so I can finally start posing proper. What I’ll be doing in the near future is assembling potential outfits to match one certain item, such as this alice band or other hair bands and barrettes.

My approach to fancy headgear is a bit like shoes – why own something if you can’t wear it more than once? The white colour of this headband makes many think of formal occasions such as weddings and christenings but I think it’s got potential for far more outings. I’ve often worn dramatic feathery headbands and fascinators to Get Frank gigs in the past so I’m definitely looking forward to having fun with this white beauty.

 

Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint in #06 by Max Factor, £6.99

 

 

Click on the pic to check out more Rose Silk Alice Band colours.

 

I also like to post outfits for occasions so my next challenge is to compile something to wear for my first gig with The Union Choir on Friday. It’s at Plugged Inn in Sunderland (yup, no idea where it is exactly) and I’m going to have to head straight to the venue after work at Amazing Radio. I’m thinking that this head band is absolutely perfect for the gig because even if I’m stuck wearing my casual work clothes, this head band will provide a slice of instant glam to proceedings!

Another lovely thing about this head band is that it’s ultra comfy – some alice bands I’ve owned in the past have been too tight or snagged my hair upon removal – causing headaches in both senses of the word! Also I don’t face the problems I had with my headband in this post, where the head band kept slipping so much I’ll probably never wear it out of the house again.

My super talented friend Ruth Kilpatrick took a couple of photos of me wearing the head band at an Amazing Radio session interview I did with Charly Coombes and the New Breed for this Wednesday’s Afternoon Show so hopefully I’ll post those soon with a potential Friday gig outfit and a bit more about Stone Bridge themselves – let’s get supporting independents eh?

Where do you think I should wear the Rose Silk Alice Band? Comments and suggestions much appreciated!

 

Too young for Mad Men, too old for Rydell High?

I finally have shoes!

My dad and his wife finally made it up to Newcastle so I have shoes and dresses once more… hurrah! Most of the dresses are meant for evening, but there’s a few skirts including the Topshop full circle skirt in the following shots.

Skirt by Topshop, shirt by H&M, belt by Zara

Shoes and socks both by Primark

Headband by H&M, Necklace by ladyluckrulesok.com

I bought the scallop patterned skirt last summer whilst interning at Channel 4 for a bargainous £10. I’ve not worn it too much because I’ve never had a top to wear it with… until now. The full skirt is very much in vogue at the moment, with Mad Men taking the fashion world by storm. I feel the softness of the peasant style shirt and brown belt softens up the look slightly, whilst the just-above-knee length makes the look younger too (more Grease than, say, fifties secretary.)

Although the shoes are difficult to see, they’re a navy bow detailed pair I got from Primark a couple of seasons ago. I wouldn’t necessarily team them with pink socks, but I want to make the most of getting away with summer before it gets truly cold outside. I might really go for colour as it gets colder with this look and go for bright tights (such as a sheer red, or maybe even a yellow),

I’m very excited about my shoes too as my Dad brought a load up. There weren’t as many has I had originally as I had to have a bit of a clearout… I haven’t counted how many I have yet! I did pick up a new pair of amazing Victorian style boots from Peacocks today for £25. When I saw them online it was love at first sight… In the shop today I went dizzy trying to decide between brown and black but went for brown because I think they’ll be wearable right into Springtime that way… although I’m severely tempted to get the black colour too!

Boots £25 by Peacocks, Socks £2 for 3 pairs from Primark

This is really more of a springtime look, but I figured that I could team this with tights, a cardi/jacket and a wooly beret to keep the look cosy. (Roll on springtime!)

The boots fit perfectly so I’m pondering attempting the walk to work in them. My only worry is that I’ll wear into the heel too quickly… most of my shoes need reheeling as the nails are all exposed at the bottom. I must be pretty tough on them!

Shoe porn is on it’s way soon, I promise!

How I wish I were a fashionista

When I was younger I hated shopping.

Maybe it was the freedom of a student loan, but once I hit uni, I became increasingly interested in clothes and fashion. It’s a growing obsession that sees me spending my lunch break on high street store websites and on fabulous blogs like Selina’s Flying Saucer.

I’d love to start my own fashion blog, but aside from the fact that most of my stuff is still in Kent (I moved from Birmingham to Newcastle with a suitcase and a supermarket ‘bag for life’) I’ve mostly been getting odds, ends and essentials from the shops.

I was wondering if my blog should focus on adapting pieces I already have to new trends, or combining new and old pieces, I’m not too sure. I don’t have a camera or a tripod at the moment so I’ve had to stick my macbook on top of my wardrobe to get the following shots…

High waisted trousers from Zara sale, 'Kenya' lion tee from Urban Outfitters sale

High waisted trousers from Zara sale, 'Kenya' lion tee from Urban Outfitters sale

This picture, for example, consists of old and new.

The tee is from an Urban Outfitters sale. I got it a few months ago for a tenner and I really love it. It’s long enough to go with jeggings or leggings without swamping me.

The high waisted Zara trousers were lusted after by me for ages. I’d been looking for a ‘paperbag waist’ style for ages and happened to come across them on the Zara website. After work that evening, I was off to the Metro Centre like a shot!

I’ve teemed these with pink Primark brogues (£12), and a small copy of Mulberry’s ‘Alexa’ satchel. It was a bargainous £16.99 from Internacionale. I love that it doesn’t swamp me and can be easily mistaken for something of greater marketable worth! A friend recently did a double take in a nightclub… and I had to reassure her it was a desperate fake!

I’m still umming and erring about whether I can go out in public like this however! The trousers have not left my house yet since their purchase, due to the fact that I worry about how unflattering they might look. I bought some low waisted chinos too that have had a couple of trips, but because they sit lower on the hips, they don’t risk so much of a ‘belly bulge’ look. On the other side of things, I’m not too big (about a size 8-10) so I figure that if I do look bigger than normal, I still won’t look larger than your average person (and that can’t possibly be a bad thing… could it?)

Bag by Internacionale, shoes by Primark

Bag by Internacionale, shoes by Primark

You can probably tell that I’m in desperate need of a tripod… and also a proper wardrobe! I’ve just moved house and the wardrobe doesn’t have a rail in it. The bottom drawer of the chest in the background is also knackered!

Because I’ve been dealing with rent situations I’ve been a bit cash strapped recently, although I did some work in May that I’m awaiting pay for. Once that comes through I’ll hopefully shed myself of outstanding debts (student loan excluded of course!) and get myself a tripod and passable camera.

Whether people will want these posts from me is another thing… I don’t know if I have an audience for this blog, let alone a fashion loving one, so I’ll keep the clothing posts occasional, unless there is a demand for it.

In other news, I cannot wait for the Zara online shop to arrive! It’s coming on September 2nd, and as there isn’t one in Newcastle town centre, I’m guessing it’s going to become one of my most visited sites! I just love their clothes. I’d definitely choose Zara over Topshop, every time! Aside from Zara, I have to admit that my favourite store is Peacocks!

Parka, dress and shoes all by Peacocks

Parka, dress and shoes all by Peacocks

I got this dress a few months ago, even wearing it to my graduation. It was £20 with my student discount, and I absolutely love it. Clearly it can be dressed up with heels but easily worn with more of an edge, like in the picture on the right. My favourite way to wear it is with a pair of mid heel, tan coloured New Look brogues that I got from a charity shop for £3 and a pair of grey/brown hiking socks (my first lot were from Primark, but I can’t find them in there anymore… gutted!)

The parka was £25 and the heeled boots were £20 (mine are grey.) Both items are ‘this season’ but for some reason I can’t find the jacket online anywhere. (It was sold out in the Newcastle branch so I had to get mine from Gateshead. I have a feeling that it’s been rather popular.)

Peacocks parka, £25

I really did want a jacket like this months ago, (pre Glastonbury in fact). I searched all over Birmingham but couldn’t find anything so I was ecstatic when I found this.

Although someone told me it doesn’t rain much in Newcastle, it’s been torrential rain for most of August so I’m glad I found this jacket in time! My Primark pac-a-parka was just not doing anything for my rep in the Amazing Radio office!

The boots might raise eyebrows, especially when I tell you that they have a springy rubber heel – however I figured that rubber and shoes are both the subject of fetishes, and together they kind of cancel out their own fetishisation! This is extremely twisted logic. But this is also fashion. Maybe.

Peacocks 'Bella' boots, £20

So that’s pretty much it for my first attempt at writing about fashion. Hopefully I’ve been the opposite of elitist, and easy to read!

I do find it kind of strange taking pics of myself and posting so many up, but I guess it’s in the name of fashion! Plus, my angles are out of necessity rather than that very ‘2005’ Myspace fad.

So if you think I should stick to writing about music/radio, that’s cool – and if you like what I’m doing then also please say so. I’ll still be writing about my career and work experiences for 4Talent’s blog… which I really need to do again sometime soon!

So until next time darlings…. goodbye!

Frank x

(p.s Lipstick is Lancome’s Le Rouge Absolut in Caprice, 132 with Body Shop lip liner in Red, 007.)

How do you wear yours?

photo-31

This year Topshop are selling the official Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T shirts for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Above are some photos of me wearing mine. I saw this video on the Topshop site and had to have one! The song used is pretty cool…

photo-71

The tee has been updated from the old light blue circle design to a rather ‘now’ mono colourscheme. The oversized look fits in nicely with the ‘baggy top/ leggings look’ that seems to be appearing everywhere. I only wear leggings for drama however I tried on some purple, slightly high waisted ones under my new tee in the Topshop changing rooms and actually quite liked them… Perhaps when student loan comes in I’ll go crazy and get some, but probably shiny black – who knows! I’ve always been a dress or skirt girl but leggings can go under right? In the pics I was desperately trying to show what I was accessorizing the tee with (to go with the TS ‘How will you wear yours’ type campaign.) hence the picture of my purple clad legs in the air!

photo-101

I really want to show you all a picture of my new skirt which is from the charity shop at the end of my road (45 secs walk away!) Its the same pattern that I’ve seen on a lot of scarfs recently. Originally it was a lot longer and I cut it and did a makeshift sewing job of the hem. I was going to wear it as a dress but then thought that I’d wear it more as a skirt… It was £2….result! (Sorry this is an impromptue post so no time to change…)

photo-1

 

I also got a blue cheerleader type skirt from COW on Digbeth high street today for a bargainous £3. I love cobalt blue, particuarly with white…

photo-21

As readers of my blog probably know, I don’t tend to blog about clothes too much, however I’ve developed a bit of a fetish for fashion recently…not so much trends, just drooling over Love magazine and hair accessories in pretty much every shop I go into. You can probably see from the photos that my instruments (there’s more of them on the opp. side of the room to my shoes) and my shoes are fighting it out for space. I probably have about 30 pairs of shoes in my room currently. There’s some on the various ledges and in the hallway. I’m terrible! My collection is probably not worth anything because all of my shoes tend to be sale items. If you ask how much any pairs of my shoes cost, I’ll almost certainly be able to tell you…

Now…go buy that T-shirt (if not for you, for someone else. Its a calorie free, charity earning alternative to the ‘how do you eat yours’ creme eggs…but you can always get creme eggs as well!)

Frank x

ps.

Thankyou to Chris Unitt for buying me a listerine prezzie after my ‘7 things‘ blog. Anyone else wanting to donate, let me know!!!