Thursday, 30 June 2011

Off Away for a Little Bit

I'm off down to London town to stay with my parents for a bit, see Foo Fighters at Milton Keynes and go to Sonisphere! Busy busy. I won't be blogging while I'm gone, but have scheduled a couple of posts to hopefully keep you on board until I return on 11th July.

I've been in packing hell this afternoon but managed to turn this:


Into this:

Good work I think. Have a lovely week and I'll see you when I get back!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Guest Blogging on Summer Shoes

Today you can find me guest blogging over on Chloe's blog Memoirs of a little thing called life. When I heard Chloe was looking for guest bloggers I was excited to take part and it's my first ever guest post.


Trot on over and let me know what you think?

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Smoking Issue


Smoking has always been associated with the fashion world, I think it is an assumed fact that models will smoke as it suppresses appetite and helps them to keep their "model" bodies. I have never smoked, not even once, and I am proud to say that my parents gave up smoking for me and I went from growing up in a smoky household to a smoke free and healthy one.

As something to do it has never interested me, why would you want to spend all that money on cigarettes which are proven to be linked to cancer and other illnesses, when you could spend it on clothes. Seriously, the fashion world would rather spend money on these death sticks than the latest must have item of clothing. Really?! I just don't understand it.

I've never really had friends that smoke, a few of them are "social smokers" (or just smokers who are lying to themselves - you are still addicted, just admit it) but I've never had to be around smokers, however, some of my lovely friends in Leeds (you may smoke, but I still love you, don't worry) are quite big smokers when we go out, and I got home last week from a night out in York stinking of smoke with a sore throat. My clothes actually reeked, and I ask myself again, this is something that people who love fashion do? Make their expensive clothes stink of smoke? Really?! Again, words fail me.

The smoking ban has been great for me, I love the fact I can go out and not have to be around smokers, it is now completely my choice if I want to go outside and be near them, but it doesn't seem to be having a large an affect on girls and women smoking that it should be. The message should be going out to teen girls that there are healthier ways to control weight, and models should be ambassadors of this message, instead it is still accepted that this is the way models maintain their figures. I'm not trying to get in on a debate about the size models should be - but if the only way they can stay a size 4 is to heavily smoke, shouldn't this be a key reason for the fashion world to consider working with larger girls? And by larger I may just mean a size 8 (god forbid!), but a natural size 8. I don't want to start campaigning to for size 16 girls to be models, it just isn't the point I'm trying to make, but shouldn't girls who eat healthy and exercise be the famous ones, not the girls who eat junk and smoke all day?

What are your thoughts on smoking? Do you smoke? What are your reasons? Please share your thoughts.

Image from

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Style on a Sunday: One Pair of Jeans

As I may have previously mentioned on this blog, I'm not a big trouser wearer and I in fact only own one pair of jeans. Some people find this quite shocking, but if those people could take me shopping and find me a pair of jeans which fits and is comfy then that would be much more helpful. Here is an outfit I've worn a couple of times over the past few months (again, apologies for my weird face in this photo - why do I look worried all the time?):


Top: Topshop, Cardigan: Topshop, Jeans: New Look, Sandals: Primark

This top has served me well, I think I got it in 2007 and it was a wardrobe staple for me and my Uni housemate (and best friend) Laura, who coincidentally I stole this cardigan from...I hope she's not missing it too much. I'm really not sure about these sandals, everyone told me they were really comfy and so cheap but I can't really walk in them and ended up changing into my Havaianas. 

What do you think of jeans? Where do you buy your favourite pairs? I'd love to hear your advice - I definitely need it! 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Lust-have #4: Palazzo Pants

This new trouser trend had passed me by until earlier this week when I saw a girl on the train wearing a black pair and looking really effortlessly cool, well apart from the fact that in certain light you could see straight through the fabric and could tell she wasn't wearing any knickers...anyway...

So, this got me thinking about Palazzo Pants, and now I don't think my mind will rest until I've tried a pair on and found out if they look utterly ridiculous or crazy fabulous on me (I'm thinking ridiculous right now). They just look super comfy and would be a great way for me to wear coloured trousers as discussed last week, and depending on the cut could be a good work-wear trouser.

I'm not completely sure what you wear them with (knickers for one, I guess), t shirts? Blouses? Vests? They could become a money drain for my wardrobe if I purchased a pair and I wanted to buy various tops to accompany them.

This pair is from ASOS (photo c/o and also come in black which I think would be a great way to look smart in the office, as I tend to go for wide leg trousers anyway.

As usual, here are a few of my favourite palazzo pant looks that I've been lusting over this week:

Ooh, I just love this hat and the pattern on the trousers is really cute but simple. Love it.

Seriously swooning over every aspect of this outfit, the pants, the scarf and my gosh THAT bag. SWOON.

I can't resist a polka dot, can you? Stunning. And those sunglasses? To die for.

What are your thoughts on Palazzo Pants? Do you think they're just a fad or will they be around for a while? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Coyne-Operated Culture: Swan Lake


I have been hit by ballet-fever ever since I saw Black Swan in January this year, now don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to ballet, I had lessons from age 8 to 14 and my Nana took me to see Swan Lake in Covent Garden when I was 12. I also saw Romeo and Juliet not so long ago, but being at Uni I just kind of forgot that I loved it. Then I saw Black Swan and I fell in love again, so when my Mum told me about the Bolshoi Ballet broadcasting performances from their 2010-11 in cinemas across the world I knew I had to try and go.

York Picturehouse was the nearest cinema for us to go to to see Swan Lake, and for £30 I thought the price was really reasonable, it's a really great and affordable way to watch ballet, especially when your other half doesn't even know if he likes ballet! I didn't mind spending £15 on him seeing Swan Lake with me, especially when afterwards he said he really enjoyed it.


The performance includes some interviews and backstage footage, which to us seemed a bit unnecessary, but the ballet was absolutely beautiful and more than made up for watching interviews translated into different languages in the interval. Now, Swan Lake is a pretty simple story (typical of any ballet, really) about a Prince and a girl (who is a swan) who fall in love, but then he declares his eternal love for her double (um, also a swan) and they end up dying/heartbroken (this tends to change dependent on which company you see perform). Yes, from an outsiders perspective it does sound pretty crazy due to a lot of loving going on between a human and a were-swan, but it does result in absolutely stunning costumes and some gorgeous dancing.

We saw Mariya Aleksandrova as Odette/Odil (the white and black swans) and Ruslan Skvortsov as Prince Seigfried, and I have to say I was completely blown away by Mariya, she encapsulated both characters perfectly and her Black Swan Coda was spot on. I loved the costumes and the set was very simple and quite modern (I'm not sure my Nana would have liked it) but I thought that it gave the dancers a lot of space and really let them show off without an intricate set taking away from that. Tchaikovsky's music gives me goosebumps anyway, and this was no exception, if you've seen Black Swan you will also notice how much of the original composition is used to soundtrack the film, although I am sure the instrumentation is different to give the film an altogether darker tone.


I had an absolutely lovely time watching Swan Lake yesterday, and I'd highly recommend going if you're interested in ballet, as for not much more than the price of a cinema ticket you can see a world class ballet company perform.

Images are not mine and are not necessarily the Bolshoi Ballet. They are from various sources.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Style on a Sunday: To The Ballet

Today my outfit was a homage to ballet fashion, I teamed a cream cardigan with a pleated skirt and ballet pumps, topped it off (excuse the pun) with this coral t shirt from Primark.

Apologies for my slightly odd expression in this photo, it looks like I was angry with Ryan at the time, which I definitely wasn't, and apologies for the awful editing, I was trying to make the colours a bit better and now I just look a bit grainy:


Top: Primark, Cardigan: Primark, Skirt: ASOS, Shoes: Primark, Bag: Brussels Train Station

I was a bit scared of teaming the midi skirt with flats but I don't think it looks too bad, I think that it would look better with heels but I didn't feel comfortable enough to wear them . I'd really like to find a sandal with a small heel, you know the ones that look a bit vintage? I am on the hunt for a pair! I liked the whole ballet look though (I actually went to watch Swan Lake, but more on that tomorrow) and the first outing of the midi skirt was a success. I also just want to mention this bag - how awesome is it? My mum got it for me when we visited Brussels, we saw it at the train station and I fell in love - I think it toughens up any outfit a little bit and I'm not too great at being too girly so I think it really sets this outfit off.

What do you think of a midi skirt and flats? Would you try it or do you think they should always be worn with heels? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Size and Style

I've just realised that while discussing my love for coloured trousers I casually mentioned what size clothing I wear. I tend to need size 16 or 18 for trousers or skirts, sometimes dresses as well if they're tight because I have very wide hips. I normally wear a 14 in tops but I own a couple of 12s and a couple of 16s too. It tends to vary.

I don't look at photos of myself and think I look like a stereotypical 'size 16' mainly because I don't think I look very curvy - my waist is pretty small and my hips are wide but that is about as far as it goes. I don't have a huge issue with my size, though I do think that my recent life stresses haven't helped me to lose weight. I try to eat pretty healthily and I try to exercise (I am least successful at this) but it's all about health for me, and when I feel like I'm unhealthy that is when I want to change.

In my opinion, if you're healthy it doesn't matter what size you are, but for me there still is a bit of a stigma attached to me saying I wear a size 18. I don't know if there should be, because I'm happy and I'm pretty confident in myself, but I still feel a bit embarassed saying that I'm a size 16 or 18, even though that's average.

I find the high street really confusing when it comes to sizes as well, I seem to change across shops and even in shops! It's ridiculous!

I guess I'm just interested in what people think about sizes - do they matter? Is it all about how you feel and if you're healthy? Or do you feel better at a certain size? I'd really love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Lust-have #3: Coloured Trousers

This week has been thoroughly hectic, but I'm back and ready to blog about my latest style obsession: coloured trousers. Since posting my most recent Style on a Sunday post I have been toying with the idea of adding more trousers to my wardrobe. I have a confession to make: I only own one pair of jeans, one pair of casual trousers and one pair of work trousers, the rest of the time I live in tights or leggings. However, brightly coloured denim and soft pinky hues in chinos are pulling on my heartstrings and I'm very tempted to spend my hard earned cash on something I've never considered a wardrobe essential.

It seems to me that coloured denim or coloured chinos could slip nicely into my weekend and working week wardrobes (I really don't enjoy mixing the two normally, is that weird?) and help me in my quest to become a little more professional and maybe a little more grown up looking (no more bubble-hemmed skirts for me). To me they scream Parisian cool with a hint of cheekiness and when I see people wearing a bright red pair of jeans or pink chinos I instantly think they stand out from the crowd, and not that I necessarily want to do that, but sometimes it's nice for your outfit to say "Look At Me!", right?

So, as usual, here are some fabulous examples of people standing out from the crowd:

The lovely Chloe rocking some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G bright red chinos - if I saw her in the street I would be staring and she would probably be scared.

This is just so effortlessly cool. I have my eye on a pair of pink chinos from Primark, I tried them on a few weeks ago but didn't think the fit was right in a 16, so going to maybe look at trying the 18 and wearing a belt. Will have to see!

Yellow denim and Hello Kitty - what more is there to say? Oh right, there's SEQUINS too. I am in love.

Do you like coloured trousers? Have you been rocking the look? Let me know what you think and link me to your outfits!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Style on a Sunday: School Trip

This Saturday Ryan and I caught the train to Bradford to visit the National Media Museum and this is what I wore:


Jumper: Primark, Top: H&M, Trousers: Next, Shoes: Primark

We had such a fun day, I'd really recommend going as there's some really good photography exhibitions on over summer. After a couple of hours we decided to head back to Leeds and go to Wetherspoons for some tea, we both tried the Gourmet Chicken Burger for the first time and were very impressed. Nom nom.


What do you think of this outfit? I'm never sure what I think of trousers, I hardly ever wear anything other than dresses or tops and leggings, so I'm just not sure how to style them!

Did you do anything nice this Saturday? I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Most Prized Possession


I'm pretty sure that everyone I know owns a Pandora bracelet, they were all the rage when I was at University and I desperately wanted one for my 21st birthday. My mum and bought me the bracelet and first two charms and then family and friends bought me a whole bunch of charms. I had barely opened the box before I had about 7 charms to add to it, it was brilliant. I was scared it would look a bit rubbish with only a couple of charms, but no, it looked fabulous from day one.

I won't bore you with a description of every single charm, but thought I'd take some photos to show you all a few of my favourites.




This bracelet means more to me than any other piece of jewellery because when I wear it I have my mum, dad, nana, Ryan and my friends all with me. It sounds stupid but it reminds me how supported I am by everyone, and for that I am truly grateful.

Do you have a Pandora bracelet? Do you have something else that gives you confidence when you wear it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Lust-have #2: Lita Boots

This week my lust-have is a shoe I have been obsessing over for a while, but haven't been able to justify the price: the Jeffrey Campbell Lita Boot.

Lita Boots

They are overstated shoes with a platform and heel which would make me well over six feet tall, they come in a wide variety of ridiculous colours and I'm not sure I'd ever be able to walk in them, but barely a day goes by when I don't think about these shoes. They have wooed me with their uber coolness and I have wasted hours looking at the pretty girls on who intimidate me just a little bit wearing them and looking incredible, which makes me think I'd be the number one cool girl in Leeds if I could just get my hands on a pair. I thought this was all a pipe dream, but according to this website they are available in black and in my size, and boy am I tempted.

I hope that by the end of the year I will own my very own pair of Lita Boots and I will be swanning around the streets of Leeds towering above everyone in my stupidly high platforms. Until that day comes I present you with a few of my favourite Lita looks courtesy of

Ah, look at this, the boots are the main focus and the rest of the outfit is simple but so full of style. I think this look would be really good for work (maybe with some thicker tights though!)

I have a dress that looks a bit like this dress, I therefore need these shoes to go with it... does anyone else use this type of logic when wanting to buy clothes? Please say yes.

I think I saved the best 'til last. This is simply stunning.

What do you think of the Lita boot? Maybe you own a pair - I'd love to see your styling of them!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Is Nakedness Always Sexual?

In real life, especially in summer, we are bombarded with images of women in bikinis and men in speedos advertising the latest fashion range in magazines and on billboards, but we also encounter girls walking down the street in hotpants and crop tops and spotty teenage boys with missing shirts. From these points we can immediately conclude that whether we like it or not, not all nakedness is sexual.


I am a big Lady Gaga fan, and of course she is known for her fashion, but she is also quite well known for not wearing many clothes. She graced the cover of Q magazine topless and with a dildo in her trousers - was she doing this to be sexual? I'm not sure. Did she do this to question our views of sexuality - I would say definitely. I'm sure many men looked at that cover because Gaga looks attractive and is topless, but then seeing the dildo, what did they think then? In my opinion, Gaga doesn't want to position herself as an object of sexual desire for men and women, she almost wants to be 'asexual'. Many of her fashion choices are not attractive, they are so OTT and haute couture but most of the time quite 'un-sexy', and when she does strip off down to a bra and panties combo it is often to make a point, not to be sexual. Let us look at the video for 'Born This Way', in one segment of the video Gaga is wearing black and white underwear and is surrounded by dancers who are male and topless or female and in plain black bras. Is this look about being sexually attractive, or is it about stripping down to your most vulnerable and accepting that you were indeed 'born this way'? I'm not saying that Gaga never acts in a sexual way, because she does, but it maybe feels like people can be quick to judge her for wearing a bra and pants and not look further into the potential reasons for that styling.

With the Bailey report being released people are now discussing the potential rating of music videos, meaning that videos with a inappropriate content for children would be rated 15 or 18, much like a film would be, but how do we judge what is inappropriate? Personally, I would say that Rihanna's S&M video is completely inappropriate for young children to watch and I would urge this to be rated 18. However, although Gaga spends a lot of the 'Born This Way' in underwear, I don't see the video as sexual and therefore wouldn't worry about younger teenagers/children potentially seeing it. I guess that is where the debate lies though - is it about nakedness? Is it about sexuality? Is it generally about inappropriate behaviour? What makes something explicit? Personally, I really don't want to be warned that a music video may contain moderate sex reference or a scene of mild peril. These arbitrary statements mean nothing to the average viewer and have since become a joke (well, in my household anyway) and I think if music videos are really going to be rated this system needs to be clear and laid out in simple terms.

What are your thoughts on the proposed rating of music videos? Do you think nakedness is automatically sexual? I would be really interested to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Style on a Sunday: Festival Fashion

There is now only 5 weeks until me and Ryan head to Knebworth for Sonisphere and due to extreme lack of funds I am unable to really buy any new clothes for the occasion. So, I'm starting to plan now so that I have a vague idea of what I need to pack nearer the time. In my experience it is most important to have simple outfits which can be mixed and matched with accessories/shoes/layers depending on weather. So, here is my first Sonisphere outfit:


Dress: Zara, Shorts: New Look, Belt: ASOS, Socks: Primark, Boots: Hunter, Bag: ASOS, Sunglasses: Claire's Accessories

Here I have my simple outfit of a dress and shorts which I think would be great for a typically muddy but warm festival day. However, if it was a boiling hot day, I'd take away the socks and wellies and add a pair of simple plimsolls (however tempting flip flops may be, I think I'd be in a world of pain if I stood anywhere near the front - poor toesies) like these from H&M:

Or, if it was a really cold day I'd add a plain black hoodie and leggings, and if it was rainy I'd add a thin waterproof jacket. The only thing I'd like to add to this outfit for a hot day is a hat, but I really don't think I suit hats so I never know what style to get!

What are your top tips for festival fashion? Please share your wisdom in the comments!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Little Tokyo

Last night I was really sociable and went out for dinner with Jen and Lucy to Little Tokyo in Leeds. As soon as we arrived I was taken aback by the beautiful decor, the walls were covered in wonderful paintings, there were fairy lights on the ceiling and there was BRIDGE over a POND which had actual real life FISH in it. Seriously. I have never been to a restaurant with a pond before. The tables are sunken (cure some slight hilarity getting in and out of the chairs) and you sit on wooden benches with cushions, which while I'm sure is very traditional did start to cause a case of numb-bum after a good couple of hours of chatting and eating.

To start we each had a cocktail, I chose a Pina Colada and it was gorgeous and creamy, absolutely perfect and then for food I chose a Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box. I've never had a Bento Box before so I didn't really know what to expect, but it was such a good way to eat a meal! The box (as you can see in the poor quality photo - sorry!) has little compartments for each part of the meal. So, mine had one section for the chicken, which was stunningly tasty, a section for rice with seaweed and salt, one for salad with a ginger dressing and one for tempura vegetables. There was also sauce and some fruit, but i wasn't completely sure about when to eat that. I'm not too skilled at eating with chopsticks so it took me a while to finish but that meant I felt nicely full and satisfied when I eventually did! We couldn't resist dessert though (we all have that little extra pocket of space for dessert, don't we?) and I had Mango Sorbet which was served in a bowl made of ice. Again, seriously!! I had never seen this before and it felt so fancy, even though I was a bit worried about the bowl melting before they cleared our table...

The evening was filled with good conversation about anything and everything, and I definitely feel so supported by these two lovely ladies in my blogging journey - thanks girls!
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