Your Verdict…

…Was to keep the shoes!

Thanks for the texts/Facebook/tweets comments in response to my previous blog post. Apologies for the hideous wet hair/ Friday morning voguing!

ASOS dress, Deena & Ozzy shoes

Also, it’s pay day and I’ve been eyeing up Primark’s SS12 collection on Look mag’s website. I may have a little fun this weekend!

Happy Friday!

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Dressing up for Spring

Tomorrow the temperature is forecast for 14 degrees!

(Yeah all you Southerns who scoff about Northern weather! Suck it!!!)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been biding my time, getting ready to unleash my inner lady. I’m looking forward to being able to wear dresses in the day, not just in the evening when the public love to throw JD and cokes on me (like someone did when I was wearing the white dress pictured below).

White dress, £22.99 by Forever 21, Bambi necklace also Forever 21

I had to wear this dress with a modesty-sparing nude camisole underneath because the fabric is so unwearably sheer! To protect my lower half I donned tights and a tutu that I bought from the kids section of H&M a few years back. It makes the skirt look huge, but I quite like how that takes the outfit from overly demure into something curious for the evening.

Bag from Tynemouth market, tights by Topshop

I also love the detailing on the dress. Lace is still big for this season, with coloured lace being tipped for popularity, but I like more interesting and/or subtle alternatives such as the netting on this dress (and this ‘teacloth pattern’ shift dress I own from Topshop, who currently stock an amazing array of shift dresses).

The only issue I have now is finding a slip short enough to go under the dress! M&S slips I’ve tried thus far have been woefully long so I’m considering a trip to BHS sometime soon. When I wore the dress before (to a Little Comets and Vinyl Jacket gig), it was with the tutu underskirt, biker jacket and lashings of smokey eye makeup. Next time I want to take the look in an entirely opposite direction, with a fresh face and girly accessories. (Tips for slips much appreciated!)

Today I took my first ‘Spring look’ out on the street, hitting the BALTIC in Newcastle to check out the new exhibitions by George Shaw and Lindsay Seers. I thought I’d match the everlasting Summer staples – florals and nautical inspiration. I also thought I’d cling onto the Mad Men trend before the hysteria dies down.

Rose silk alice band by Stone Bridge, sailor cardigan £10 by Primark, Bag from Tynemouth market, Dress and shoes by Peacocks. Necklace handmade by me!

I’ve done ‘Mad Men’ with the demure nude kitten heels and vintage bag, nautical with the cardigan and necklace (which I made from an old keyring) and florals with the dress and the beautiful rose silk alice band that I was sent by the lovely Melissa and Claire from luxury hair accessories company Stone Bridge. I wouldn’t normally throw so many things together, but I haven’t yet found a jacket to go with the dress so I settled for the cardi and thought I’d try and – in the words of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn – “Make it work”.

I’ve decided to try and get other people to take outfit pics for me when possible so I can get some shots outside – and out of my room. The other day my manager Kevin said that my tripod shot photos from my room ‘made me look like a kidnap victim’. Volunteer photographers out there get in touch!

Oh, thought I’d post this picture because it made me giggle. The BALTIC shop has tons of amazing cards, including designs by cult T-shirt shop Lazy Oaf (and some similar independent designs that the latter also stocks online).

Card, £2.50 from the BALTIC shop

Heehee!

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?

Jazzy Lemon saves the day!

I’d meant to take a picture of my outfit for The Prison Library single launch at the Cluny 2 last night but headed out the door without thinking.

I don’t take a picture of every outfit I’ve worn, but I wanted a picture because it featured a few items I picked up from the Metro Centre on Wednesday. (I’m also having a wardrobe clear out and am in the midst of deciding what looks good and what would be best placed else where!)

Luckily Newcastle’s staple music photographer Jazzy Lemon was out in force and happened to take a few snaps of me at the gig (which you can see below). You can check out the full album (amongst literally hundreds of thousands of rock and roll moments) here. There’s plenty of great shots of all the acts; this Sunday’s Amazing Folk Roots Show guest The Lake Poets, Let’s Buy Happiness in disc jockey action at the decks, soulful Indie four-piece Grandfather Birds and headliners The Prison Library, who managed to put fears about the departure of brilliant Frankie & the Heartstrings guitarist Mick Ross totally at bay.

Blazer £29.99 by H&M, cropped t-shirt £9.99 by Zara, skirt £11 by Primark, headband by Stone Bridge

I saw this t-shirt on Zara’s website and experienced one of those “HAVE TO HAVE THIS” moments where I wanted to leave my desk and flee to this shop for immediate purchase. I didn’t notice I’d picked up a larger size until I got home but I think it will still work tucked into skirts or with faux leather skinnies. The blazer is one of the comfiest I own and was a complete impulse buy when a band practice was cancelled last-minute.

Shoes by Office, socks by Primark

I decided to brighten up the muted colours, ‘chic-up the geek’ and raise myself off the floor by a good five inches with my Office platform heels. I got these in 2008 when I was paid for my performance in Days of Hope by Howard Goodall at Birmingham’s MAC theatre. Although most of the money went on student rent and a new electric piano, I just couldn’t resist these. They made me at least as tall as most of the audience which meant that I could comfortably see the bands for once!

Satchel by New Look (all photos by Jazzy Lemon)

I’m starting to get rather impatient for Spring to arrive now. I’m resisting hiding in big coats and layering cardigans and my unlined parka in an attempt to be ready lest we be treated to a sunburst or two. Tomorrow I’m heading off to Tynemouth (a bit of the coast to any Southerners reading this) so I’m hoping to find a treat or two. I’ve never been before, but I’m gagging for some good ole seaside chips!

Thanks again to Jazzy Lemon for letting me use her photos!

The perfect LBLD?

I’ve always dreamed of finding that ‘perfect Little Black Dress’

I thought I found it for a mere £9.99 in H&M today but when I got to the dressing room it just didn’t fit right.

I had places to be so had to leave the strapless, shiny black pleated bargain behind with the shop assistants. Feeling down I moved to leave the shop but stopped in my tracks near the exit… By Jupiter! I had found it!

It was wrinkly, not in my size and made of fake leather! I had to buy a size up but it means it will be perfect for casual winter layering (for the Amazing Radio office) whilst not being a too tight and ‘fetish’ looking. Once off the hanger and on my body the wrinkles disappeared and gave an almost smooth look.

Faux leather dress, £14.99, white shirt both by H&M

Faux leather dress, £14.99, white shirt both by H&M

It’s the perfect day-to-night dress too. Here I toughen it up a little with my Peacocks grey hiking boots.

Boots £20 by Peacocks

I quite like it with my red heels too; there’s plenty a pair of shoes that would work with this dress which is why I adore it so.

I have a gig with The Union Choir in support of The Winter Hill Transmission’s single launch next Friday (19th November) and I’m not sure if I should wear this or the Primark dress below…

Dress £15, by Primark

The flash of my camera has made the underskirt of this dress look a lot shinier than it actually is. It reminds me of a Peacocks dress I saw in a magazine (but it’s a lot nicer in the lace detailing department and £8 cheaper.) I have to wear it with a belt because the empire line design into the full skirt is so unflattering I was tempted to take it back. The swift addition of the belt made me have a sudden change of heart.

I think that the leather look dress might be better for The Union Choir gig, and the crochet dress for my first Get Frank gig on the 25th November – but again, I’m not sure.

Help me out? Which one for which occasion?!

Leather bum

Apparently it was all about winter shorts on the front row of the recent ‘fashion month’ which got me wondering… what makes a pair of shorts ‘wintery’?

The Observer’s weekend magazine solved it for me quite quickly just this Sunday as I read their article on dressing for one’s age. Accompanying the article was a page of high street picks (by catagory, i.e boots.) Apparently, as a 21 year old it is my destiny to wear black leather shorts throughout winter (and pay a hefty sum for the privilege).

I decided that if destiny had started making my style choices, I might as well have some kind of influence on how things panned out (without completely ruining what fate had previously decreed via the pages of OM Magazine.) Thus I headed to Zara, where I had seen these shorts on a previous trip.

 

Top £16 by Topshop, Shorts £29.99 by Zara

 

So yes, apologies for the dim photo, but my ‘twist’ on fate was to choose brown shorts (some might say the colour of ‘Leatherface’ from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that kind of felt relevant due to Halloween being on the cards!) I’ve tucked the slubby breton Topshop top into the shorts in the above pic, although it’s quite short and deliberately oversized which means it particularly goes with slim cut cigarette trousers (I’ve yet to find the perfect pair…sigh).

 

Shirt £7.99 by H&M, Scarf £3 by Primark, Boots £25 by Peacocks

 

Aside from shorts being very much in vogue with the fashion editors at Paris fashion week, they were reportedly worn with bare legs (eek!)

 

 

Vintage jacket from Cancer Research (customised with Tiger Balm logo applique)

 

Ok so there’s a lot of brown in the last outfit, (and it’s not even shade-of-the-moment-camel-shock-horror!), but I do love this jacket. I got it four years ago at a Cancer Research charity shop in Maidstone from their ‘retro rail’. I took out the shoulder pads and stitched on a Tiger Balm appliqued logo that I’d rescued from a hemp tee that had gone wrong in the wash. I might wear this more as a winter-to-spring get up, although time will tell what the seasons will bring weather-wise! On a more realistic side of things I believe I’ll be teaming this shorts up with a creamy opaque pair of tights and these boots, or roughing things up with some tall, woolly tights and my canvas boots (with the bouncy rubber heel that I pray people never notice.)

On a slightly different ‘style’ note I need to find something to wear for a band photo shoot with the new Get Frank lineup – ideas much appreciated!

We’ll be heading into the studio at the end of next week to record our first EP – we’ve made light work of my back catalogue and are ready to go. There’s more of a freeform improvisational feel to some of the tracks and I’m very excited to finally get some proper recordings circulating (I’ve never had any at all so these will be the first). We’re looking for gigs in and around Newcastle too so ideas are again very welcome!