American Vintage – Tee on Trial with The Dressing Room

Over the last week I’ve been putting an American Vintage Jacksonville T-shirt through its paces. I must admit, I’m no stranger to these fabulous tees as you can see here and here. They really are great little tops though, a flattering deep v-neck, slightly flared with rolled, raw edges for added cool-French-girl effect. I also really like the slight slub effect of the fabric and the depth of the colour. These tees come in a vast array of colours, but the lovely Jaime at The Dressing Room picked out this gorgeous plum one for me to try out:

20131029-184805.jpgA great choice, I think! A beautiful colour for A/W, it looks fabulous with navy, black, grey, burgundy – all my favourites! Anyway, enough eulogising, on to the road test…

I spend quite a lot on my wardrobe so I like to make my clothes work, hard. I hate it when something lovely hangs there sadly only getting the occasional outing because it just doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure I could make this T-shirt work for all occasions; dressing up, dressing down and dressing for work.

I wore it to the Insiders Event at The Dressing Room:
20131029-185902.jpgIt was super easy to pair with pleather leggings and my trusty Pistol boots, and when I felt a bit chilly I just threw a plaid shirt and a scarf on top.

Outfit:

Tee – American Vintage c/o The Dressing Room
Pleather leggings – Uniqlo
Shirt – Uniqlo
Boots – Acne
Necklace – Alex Monroe
Scarf – Pure Collection
Bag – Alexander Wang

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Next, I wore it for a trip to the cinema with the nippers:
20131029-190658.jpgSlight difference in the level of glamour, but hopefully not too bad for an off duty look. The tee looks great under a fitted leather jacket and I love the colour with my grey skinnies!

Outfit:

Tee – American Vintage c/o The Dressing Room
Jacket – Oasis
Scarf – Louis Vuitton
Jeans – Goldsign
Trainers – Nike
Bangles – Tokyo Jane c/o The Dressing Room
Bag – Alexander Wang
Cute kid – Model’s own

Finally, I wore it to work. This is always the greatest challenge with a tee, I think. Our dress code is ‘business casual’ and, while that’s open to interpretation, it tends to be more business than casual.

20131029-192705.jpgApols for loo-view shot – I would have liked to have done an in-situ desk pose but my work is top secret *cough, MI5, cough*, so I can’t take any pics on the floor. This is probably my favourite outfit – I love the deep berry tones and the juxtaposition of the slubby fabric and the smooth leather.

20131029-193021.jpgI got complimented on this outfit a lot. I even got asked out on the way home – ‘do you always look this hot when you go to work?’. Smooth operator.

Outfit:

Tee – American Vintage c/o The Dressing Room
Leather Skirt – Ebay
Shoes – Michael Kors
Bag – Mulberry
Watch – Olivia Burton (similar here)

So, my verdict? This is a ‘take you anywhere’ t-shirt, it really is. The fit is great and the shape is very flattering. And, as you can tell from the intensive use it has had over the past week, it washes really well too. I cannot stand a t-shirt that loses shape after a couple of washes (I’m looking at you Helmut Lang).

At £45, these aren’t the cheapest t-shirts on the market, but the quality is fabulous and the range of colours is unrivalled. I’ve just counted and The Dressing Room have 19 colours in this style alone! Oh, and they also do a long-sleeved version too.

On my wishlist are the slate

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…the heather grey long sleeved

20131029-195052.jpg…and the cactus.

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What colours are on your wishlist? As ever the lovely folk at The Dressing Room will be only too glad to help you out should you need, so why not check out the website or pop in to get your AV fix?

P.S. I was very kindly allowed to keep the T-shirt shown in the pictures, but I already owned a couple and really do think they are great. This is a lip service free zone.

P.P.S. I told him I was married and he suggested we could keep the arrangement to ourselves. I demurred, but he did have a lovely gold tooth.

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Scandi Style Month at The Dressing Room

This month is Scandi Style Month over at Twentymumthing favourite The Dressing Room. This is exactly what it sounds like; a celebration of Scandinavian Style, showcasing the fabulous brands the DR stock such as Becksondergaard, Twist&Tango and Tokyo Jane. You can read more about everything they have going on over on their blog but on to my involvement… Those lovely Dressing Room folk got in touch to ask me to review some pieces by Rosemunde. This Danish brand design luxurious wardrobe staples in a silk blend which slip seamlessly into your existing wardrobe. Need proof? Ok then…

Rosemunde2

Outfit:

Vest – Rosemunde (similar)
Top – Rosemunde
Jeans – Paige
Boots – Ash
Scarf – Becksondergaard

These tops work so well layered together as part of an everyday outfit. I love the tonal look acheived by layering the two shades of grey. Boyfriend jeans and a pretty bird scarf by another Scandi brand, Becksondergaard, make this a perfect casual look.

Rosemunde1

Outfit:

Vest – Rosemunde
Jeans – Twist & Tango
Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Bag – Jimmy Choo

If you saw yesterday’s post you’ll have seen the outfit I put together for an anniversary meal with my husband, and this is a variation on a theme. While these tops are great for layering, they are fabulous worn simply with skinnies too. The delicate lace is the perfect foil to the pointy stilettos and zip detail on the jeans.

Rosemunde3

Outfit:

Vest – Rosemunde (similar)
Cardigan – Rosemunde
Skirt – T by Alexander Wang
Shoes – Jemima Vine

Here I’ve put together a look which I think works really well for the office. I’m wearing a twin-set but (hopefully) don’t look like I’m missing my set of pearls and sensible court shoes. The colours palette is very simple, but the lace detail at the front (and back, check out the link) of the cardigan adds interest. And these tops would work just as well with jeans and boots too – I do like a multi-tasker.

Rosemunde4

Outfit:

Grey Vest – Rosemunde (similar)
Purple Vest – Rosemunde
Jacket – American Vintage (similar)
Jeans – Goldsign
Boots – Ash

How beautiful is this aubergine colour? I love purple for Autumn/Winter, and this top looks so gorgeous layered with the pale grey. I can’t find this vest on the website, but if you give the lovely ladies at the Dressing Room a call, I’m sure they can sort you out. I haven’t mentioned just how delicious these tops feel against the skin. The high silk content means they are super soft, and they’re suprisingly warm too – perfect for layering up on chilly days. The other great thing about them is that although they’re quite figure hugging, they don’t ride up (the bane of my life with long vests!)

So, now you’ve seen how easily these great basics slot into my wardrobe, maybe you fancy some in yours? Well, your luck is in! From today unti midnight tomorrow (Tues 10 Sept) The Dressing Room are offering an extra 10% off all full priced items with code AUTUMN10. What better way to kickstart your A/W wardrobe? Do let me know what you’re buying or dreaming of buying – I love shopping vicariously!

DISCLAIMER: I received the grey vest shown in the pictures as a thank you for doing this review, but, as ever, all views are very much my own. The rest of the tops are winging their way back to St Albans (though having seen how lovely the slate grey long-sleeved top looks with my vest, I’m seriously considering breaking my ban!)

And yes, I know my patio needs weeding.

Review: Make Up Atelier Paris

Until now this blog has been very much fashion focussed, but from hereon in you can expect to see a lot more beauty featuring, as, like a lot of women aged 12 – 112, I’m a bit of a product junkie.

I was recently sent some make-up to review from Make-Up Atelier Paris (available here). I hadn’t heard of the brand before, but they’ve actually been on the scene for quite a while. They market themselves as a brand for make-up professionals, with a focus on long lasting, multi-ethnic products, with a mind-boggling 50 shades of foundation available, and unlike a lot of brands, manage their own lab and manafacturing facility. This ensures the the products are unique, innnovative and, crucially for me, cruelty free.
So, without further ado, here are the products I received and my low down on each:

Eyeshadow in Noir Or – £8.00

This eyeshadow was a lovely metallic khaki shade. It isn’t too heavily pigmented, which I like as I prefer to layer my shadow and the risk of looking like RuPaul is significantly reduced. I couldn’t find this colour on the website, so here is a photo:

Noir Or

I really liked the shade; a light dusting was subtle enough for daytime, but you could up the ante and use more for night-time drama. I wore it out for lunch with the girls and found the staying power pretty good; no top ups needed and my lids stayed shimmery.

Waterproof mascara – £12

I’ve been using Lancôme Hypnose for a while now, and I’ve been pretty happy with the results, though it does tend to clump if I use more than one coat. I didn’t expect this product to change my allegiance, but I’ve been really pleased with it and will definitely be buying this when I run out. It goes on smoothly, doesn’t clump and defines my lashes nicely.

Waterproof Mascara

It also survived the blub test when I failed my driving test (for the fifth time, FFS). For reference, it is nigh-on-impossible to take an interesting photo of a mascara, but I want to show the nice silicone-y brush. You do need make-up remover to take it off (a baby wipe won’t cut it, but what do we expect from a waterproof mascara!?) I also think the price is pretty good, at £12 it is hovering around the high-end high street mark and a good bit cheaper than Lancôme. Converted!

Waterproof Gel Liner – £13

Now, I have to confess my ignorance as far as gel eyeliners are concerned. I am a confirmed cack-handed cretin, so I’ve stuck firmly to a nice, safe kohl pencil for my eyeliner needs (if you bodge it you can rub it a bit and call it a ‘smoky eye’), so I have no frame of reference for this one. However, I’m impressed. I’ve been wearing it daily, along with the mascara and I’ve really liked the addition of a bit of drama to my eye area.

Gel Liner

The liner gives a lovely sharp line (if applied properly!), doesn’t bleed and has incredible staying power. How do I know? Well, let’s just say that a few beverages were consumed, and the only part of my appearance that looked as good the next morning as it did the night before was my lash line.

Cream Blush in Ambering Rose – £12

Well, obviously I loved the name of this one. Again, I have not historically been a great wearer of blusher. The Wednesday Addams look is more my thing, but I’m game for anything, so I thought I’d give this a crack. And guess what? I really like it.

Cream Blush

This blush is very subtle, really just a hint of a tint, which is the dream for me, because without fail I usually apply the stuff and look like I’ve got slapped cheek disease. Again it can be layered for a more flushed look, but I’ve just been rubbing a swirl onto the apples of my cheeks, and loving the healthy, three dimensional look it gives me. Wednesday, begone!

So, to sum up, I’m so impressed with this brand. I can see why a lot of make-up artists use it; the durability of the products is absolutely phenomenal, and from what I can see the range of shades it extremely broad. I’ve now put the gel liner in bright blue on my shopping list, and I’m in the market for a new primer, so I’m going to give this a whirl, and I’m also loving the look of the highlighter. I will, of course, report back!

Review: Mary & Clarks La Promenade Studded Brogue

When I was approached to review some shoes from the Mary & Clarks collection, I knew exactly the pair I would chose – the La Promenade Studded Brogue.

20130424-210316.jpgI had tweeted about them earlier in the week, and they were already on my mental shopping list, so it was great to have the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’. And buy I most certainly shall, as these shoes are, in the words of someone much cooler than me, the bomb.

The Mary in question is of course, Mary Portas, of Queen of Shops fame, and as you would expect from such a shrewd businesswoman, these shoes are considered and carefully thought out. The combination of brogue style, metallic snake print and studs is fabulously OTT and completely on trend (rather like Mary herself). I love the juxtaposition of sensible shoe with blingy glamour – I would feel completely comfortable (in both senses of the word) wearing these shoes on a night out. If you want a slightly more toned down version, they also come in black or white.

The leather is light and soft, the laces are waxed, so won’t get soggy in the rain, and the best part? They have underfoot padding. I know – heaven! One thing I will say though is, if you are between sizes, size down. I usually wear a 6, or a 5.5 if I can find one, but the sample I was sent to review is a 5, and it fits like a glove.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking, a blogger paid to plug a product will wax lyrical about any old bobbins. Well, no. Firstly, I have far too much integrity for that kind of carry-on and secondly, the shoes are only on loan (sob) and I was not paid a penny for this review. I genuinely just think these shoes are brilliant, and I like to share my discovery of anything great with you lot.

I have styled them here with cropped jeans and a (slightly crumpled) Mickey Mouse t-shirt for a casual look, but for work I will wear them with slim-fit tailored trousers and a fitted shirt, or even a midi-skirt.

20130424-205648.jpgLuckily for me, there is currently 20% off the entire Mary & Clarks collection when you enter code “BMARY13” at the checkout. Even if the brogues aren’t for you, check out the rest of the range, because it’s not often you find shoes of this quality at a sensible price! I’ve also got my eye on the La Lumiere in blue snake and the La Tullerie in grey snake.