Sunday, 7 September 2014

Orange you glad it's autumn?

I certainly am.

It's my favourite season; the colours, the climate, the style and the general magic of it all.

In preparation for what is generally one of the wettest times of the year (not that we usually experience much of dry spell here) I was on the look out for a practical jacket. Enter Mainline Menswear.

They generously gave me free reign from their collections and I selected this bold hooded jacket from Penguin.

It's a warm coral orange (although described as red on the site) and will tap this season's colour palette. It's lightweight, shower-proof and perfect for a casual day off. As it's waterproof, it will also hold in the heat, so there's no need to layer much underneath.

I'm wearing it here with skinny stretch jeans & black New Balance sneakers I picked up in San Francisco.

I pulled the jacket on yesterday when we took Frank for a walk. As you can see, my facial foliage is also in full bloom - I've not trimmed my beard since I was on vacation in May...

Check out the full range of big brand names including J Lindeburg, Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans & Billionaire Boys Club available at Mainline Menswear

(This post also marks the introduction of Frank. He's our new addition. We got him in June and he's a crazy, fearless, funny wee character.)

*this is a sponsored post

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mid Season Melancholy | Sam Squire guest post

Sam Squire has relaunched his site with a great new look and kindly invited me to contribute a guest post. With his new site, a range of grooming products coming soon and even a book under his belt, he puts many bloggers to shame. (And to make matters worse, he's still a teenager!)

Check out my suggestions for the summer-autumn transitional period

Thanks again to Sam for hosting me!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What I Want Wednesday

You can deny it all you want, but summer seems to have given up and we've jumped straight into autumn if the darker and cooler evenings are anything to go by.

This being said, I am not despairing. I LOVE autumn; the clothes, the food, the atmosphere. I can stop pretending to enjoy being too warm and having to layer up and down according to the changeable weather. I can now embrace the best season of the year!

I have spoken before of my love of scarves and my ongoing search for the elusive (affordable) blanket scarf. ASOS chucks up a few alternatives, but they're in the women's department and not what I have in my head. Burberry offer this gorgeous thing but at £995, it's a little out of budget.
burberry graphic blanket scarf
While in my head, I'm brave enough to don this poncho-esque beauty, I don't know if the streets of Belfast could cope with my fantasticness.

Measuring a sizeable 192x134cm, it is literally a blanket, so I got to thinking (I'm turning into a SATC cliche) feck it - why not just buy a blanket and have some craic? This tartan wool mix travel blanket from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill could be a bold and fun statement. Wear it like true Highland plaid like the model above, draped over one shoulder. At just £20.00, it's an affordable style experiment.
(I know I'll probably chicken out and it will become my sofa buddy, but I also have a romanticised vision of curling up under it with my laptop and be all pretentious and writery)
of course, it would have to be campbell tartan
I hope you're enjoying my little indulgent Wednesday fantasies; it's my way of living vicariously when I'm limited by budget or my own fears.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

If I Were A Boy | Belle Beauty

Today is the launch of a new series on the blog called If I Were A Boy. I'm asking female bloggers to write a guest post on what they think their style and life would be like had the fates decreed to make them a boy. The inspiration all came about from my very first guest blog from my friend Ruth of Willow Lane almost a year ago. Anyway, here is my first (of hopefully many) post, please allow me to introduce the lovely Issy!

I'm Isabelle and I ramble on about stuff over at Belle Beauty. After realising that I spent the majority of my evenings reading through Beauty, Lifestyle and Fashion Blogs I thought I’d have a bash at one myself. I am a complete amateur Blogger. I take all my photos on my Iphone, write my posts up on my Ipad and an still have blogspot in my URL. But, none of this matters, I enjoy rambling on about beauty products that everyone has already tried and tested, showing off some outfits when I remember to take photos before spilling food down myself (this happens too often) and posting the odd lifestyle post when I actually do something interesting.  I wanted to take part in this series because it is something so different, when blogging you can get completely wrapped up in the latest make-up release or the torrent of floral kimono based fashion posts, it’s refreshing to take a step outside of his little box and think about things from a different perspective.

I like to think of myself as very much a 'typical girl'. I'm obsessed with make-up and beauty products and I never have enough clothes; when I rummage around my double wardrobe, chest of drawers and hidden shopping bags with smuggled goodies I always come to the conclusion that I have NOTHING to wear. 

I decided to attempt to justify my shopping addiction by starting a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. You see, when I spot a perfect outfit I need to buy it to blog about. I like to keep my posts quite light-hearted and in no way claim to be a fashion or beauty expert, I'm the kind of person that goes to the shop in a Onesie and Ugg boots and has to have at least 4 attempts at winged eyeliner before it looks even by which point, the corners of my eyes are so sore I can't wear any eye make-up at all. 

For my day job as a Legal Secretary I don't go to work in a Onesie and Ugg boots. I wear heels, pencil skirts and a blouse. My other half is a personal trainer and gets to wear comfy jogging bottoms and T-shirts and trainers to skip jog or run on his merry little way to work whilst I clip-clop and hobble the two minutes down the road to work praying that my blistered feet don't burst before lunch at the earliest. 

I cannot express the jealousy and anger I feel towards Ben on a Tuesday morning when he's pulling on his joggers and comfy trainers whilst I'm squeezing my swollen blistered feet into my heels and staring at my bloated post-KFC belly as it slightly protrudes out of my pencil skirt wondering if I'll actually physically be able to sit at my desk today. 

If I were a boy, I'd be Ben (not only because he has a super amazing girlfriend) but also because of his casual-comfy work attire. The first thing I do when I get in from work is launch my shoes across the room peel off my clothes and scramble into his joggers and a big baggy T-shirt, climb onto the sofa and watch A Real Housewives Series. Ben will then stroll in later moaning that his calves hurt because he's been on his feet all day, seriously, he should try sitting at a desk in a pencil skirt after a little too many cakes in the morning trying not to burst open and then hobbling to the printer pretending your feet aren't sweaty and you haven't worn away three layers of your skin in the same spot in the past three hours whilst pretending you're on a cat walk. 
issabelle (& the scene-stealing ollie)

Granted I could just change my career and become a personal trainer but then what would I do with my shoes? I could wear less painful and constricting clothes for work but they don't hurt in the changing room and the models always look comfy in them online. 
ben - issy's alter ego

If I were a boy I'd probably be a slob, I wouldn't shave...ever. I'd wear sports clothes all the time and never work out. If I were a boy I'd take my top off in town when it's too hot just because I can. If I were a boy I'd sit with my legs open and not feel guilty and when I eat a large pizza alone because I'd pretend I was on Man V Food and winning. If I were a boy I'd never use a bag because I'd just need my wallet phone and keys. If I were a boy I'd probably be single and very smelly. 

I think it's best that I'm a girl. 

Thank you Issy for being my test subject inaugural blogger. You can keep up to date with all the goings on with Belle Beauty via twitter 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

What I Want Wednesday

Still on my spend ban, I am trawling the internet; digitally window shopping for all the things I could buy.

This week I'm wanting something that isn't even out yet. I'm not a huge techie but this stylish and impressive little gizmo caught my eye in an article on Highsnobiety yesterday.

polaroid cube lifestyle action camera

In the era of blogging, vlogging and sharing pretty much every event in our lives, this down-right-cute camera climbs the top of my list. It might even encourage me to make the Taggled video I promised Ruth months ago...

Waterproof, shockproof, 1080p digital lens, miscro SD slot and up to 90mins recording time all crammed into a 35mm cube for $99 - what's not to love? (I would totally pretend I finally have my own little robot buddy too as it has a magnetic foot so you can take him anywhere)

monkey stand

It's released later this month (Polaroid's site is scant with details and I couldn't find any pre-order options on the likes of Amazon) but I will be keeping my little eye on it and let you know when it appears.

What pieces of kit do you use for your blog?

*images property of Polaroid

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Blessed Are The Geek

  1. 1.
    an unfashionable or socially inept person.

Or so they would have you believe...

We have reached faux-geek saturation point with those f-ing t shirts every girl wore last summer and if I see one more kid in fake NHS glasses that I know fine rightly have plain glass lenses, I'll puke. But trace many of the trends of the past few years and you might be wearing the very thing you picked on that guy in school for wearing.

Plastic frame glasses, bow ties, comic t-shirts, braces, cuffed jeans, bobble hats, satchels... we all have at least one of these in our collections.
alfie brown frames | specspost £24.00 (incl standard lenses)

The explosion of geek subculture such as comic books, video games, tv shows like The Big Bang Theory; even blogs, have lead to many businesses capitalising on this niche market and the result has sadly killed what had made it so special.

the big bang theory | geek chic

Take superhero t shirts for example. I have collected comics for over 15 years, as a skint kid my only option for a comic book t shirt was either £40 in Talisman or ordering from a catalogue you would find in the likes of SFX magazine. The appeal was that nobody else would have this and not everyone would get it. It was my way of wearing my geek with pride. Now they are on every shelf in Primark and I couldn't be less interested as they are not unique.

A true geek would not wear a Superman t-shirt, they're more likely to be wearing a Bizarro t-shirt. This is their subtle act of defiance, wearing the reverse of norm.

Here's a few of my own geeky t-shirts, ranging from Wolverine to Totoro, Avengers to American Horror Story

Maybe geeks are the true style pioneers, adopting and embracing the unusual until it becomes too obvious and they move on to the next (secret) big thing?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

What I Want Wednesday

A weekly series on all the things I wish I had is rather selfish so I thought I would make this Wednesday different.

What I Want is ...

The on-going Gaza conflict is a prime example of the rut mankind continually finds itself in. Fighting for the best of your people, while killing other people, is not in the interest of any one.

If you want to help make a change, give to the likes of Save The ChildrenAmnesty International, the Red Cross or MSF.

I am not taking sides or trying to justify actions. There are politicians to do that.

This post is pro-human.

(I'll be back to the usual indulgent WIWW from next week)