A Guide To Prom On A Budget: The Jewellery

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Jewellery is a really key element to bringing an entire look together, as the small details finish the look off and make it look really polished. A delicate necklace fills the space around your neck, a pair of crystal studs adds a sparkle in your hair and a few sliver bracelets and rings bring the beauty down your whole body. However, it can be hard to find some really gorgeous pieces, when you’re on a budget and don’t want to splash out on expensive pieces. So, that’s why I’m sharing some of my favourite affordable, but yet still beautiful, jewellery brands which would be perfect to pair with your prom dress.

The Brands 

Working on a jewellery counter  exposes me to some of the little hidden gems of the jewellery world, and brands that I really love. There’s so many small boutique style brands out there today, and the key is really research them and spend time looking for the perfect pieces. Some of my favourite brands are Joma Jewellery, Estella Bartlett, Bloom Boutique, and Cluse, which are great for affordable yet beautiful watches and a bit of jewellery too.

Next Silver Tone Flower Effect Necklace

Bloom Boutique Personalised Initial Disk Bracelet

Joma Daisy Studs

Joma Aria Heart Bracelet

Cluse La Roche Rose Gold Watch

When you’re looking for some beautiful new jewellery discoveries, there’s a few key places to look to help speed the process up a little bit more:

  • Instagram is a great place to discover small brands and you can even search for jewellery and see all the beautiful pieces that have been featured in people’s pictures and the independent brands too.
  • Not On The High-street is another really great place to look for small, handmade jewellery pieces. I actually discovered bloom boutique through this website, and it’s honestly such a great place for undiscovered brands.
  • Local boutiques and gift shops often have locally handmade items or small brands, which you would never see on the high-street. So it’s always worth popping into your local ones and seeing what selection they have.

Key Pieces:

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When it comes to the key pieces, which every girl needs to complete her prom look, there would only be three key pieces I would advise very girl to wear; A pair of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet. These are obviously dependent on the style of your dress, but are generally the classic three pieces of jewellery and for me are the essential’s to complete a special occasion look.

The Necklace – This should always be worn when you either have a plain half of your dress or have any type of plunging neck line, such a low round or a v neckline. This is because the necklace will fill the chest space between your neck and where your dress starts and just tie it all together and ensure that you don’t look too bare.

The Earrings- I think these should be worn no matter what outfit your wear, as it takes the sparkle into your hair and then can feed down your body. Generally I love a good stud, as I have long hair and generally an type of drop earring gets caught in my hair. However, it all depends on the dress and sometimes a drop can look super elegant and classy. Really it’s all about balance.

The Bracelet- I think this is a real essential to wear to finish a look off, however it’s key that you choose wisely and with the correct dress. If you have one that is strapless, off the shoulder, or with cap sleeves, then a small bracelet would be perfect as it takes the beauty of the detail down your arms. However, if you have a long sleeve, you may want to rethink, especially if it is embellished. As this could look too over the top. So, that’s why I love the simple Joma bracelets, as they’re comfortable to wear but also still dainty and beautiful too.

What jewellery brands do you love and are wearing for your prom or special occasion?

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5 Books Every Fashion Lover Needs To Have On Their Reading List

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Delving into a really good book is one of my favourite ways to relax and enjoy an escape from the world for a while. When I can mix my love for reading with my passion for fashion and style, that’s when I find some of my favourite reads, which I’ll keep in my collection for years to come. So, as I know so many of you are just as obsessed with all things fashion, just like I am, I thought I would share five of my favourite books that you all need to add to your reading list.

Inside Vogue | Alexandra Shulman 

This is the ultimate books for fashion lovers and is an absolute must read. It’s written by the previous editor in chief of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, who was the head of British Vogue for 25 years. The book is in diary form and documents Alexandra’s life, events, and preparation for the 100 years of British Vogue celebration. What I really love about the book is how real the accounts are and how much insight you get into the whole Vogue world. I honestly think its an amazing book for anyone who loves Vogue, Fashion or is even interested in fashion publication.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the book itself, I’ve done a review on it HERE which you can go and have a good read of.

Vogue On Giorgio Armani | Kathy Phillips

It’s not just this book that I would recommend that you add to your reading list, but the entire collection of “Vogue On” books. Each one is focused on a different influential designer, looks back on their life and really focuses on what made they become such a big name in the fashion industry. There’s one for every type of designer and I would recommend reading as many of them as you can as they’re so interesting and super helpful if you’re studying fashion or want to in the future.

British Fashion Designers | Hywel Davies

Talking about designers, this book is focused purely on the most well known British Ones. The book looks at 27 designers, at all walks of the industry, both large fashion houses and the smaller more individual brands, and does a short interview with each one. They ask questions about their position in the industry, their fashion background and also how British design has influenced their own work. It’s a quick snapshot of each designer, but brings a really fresh and unique angle where as the “Vogue On” books look back at key pivotal moments in history for each designer.

Where Stylists Shop | Booth Moore

This isn’t a book that you would sit down and read from cover to cover, but more of an coffee table read that’s really interesting to just pick up and have a look through. I’ve always been so interested in shopping, clothing and styling it all, which is why I love doing Visual Merchandising at work, and this book is the perfect guide as to the best places to shop. It looks at hundreds of cities across the world and then picks out the true gems which you need to visit. Whether it’s a boutique, market or a couture house, its the places that only the best in fashion go to shop, so of course we all need to visit too.

Revenge Wears Prada | Lauren Weisberger

You will all know of the famous Devil Wears Prada, and this book looks at what happens after. This is a great novel to pick up, read and get gripped by, as you follow what happens after Andrea leaves the office and follows a different path, starting her own magazine. It’s such a interesting twist after the film and is a great read after delving into the original, which I would really recommend too. The whole series are the ultimate read for fashion lovers and this book is the hidden gem of the entire story.

If you’re looking for another amazing series to read, then the Shopaholic series is a great one for fashion lovers, who like a good easy yet fashionable read.

Do you have any fashion favourites you can recommend to me?

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A Guide To Prom On A Budget: The Dress

ASOS DESIGN Bandeau Crop Top Prom Midi Dress

ASOS DESIGN High Low Mini Pleated Dress

ASOS DESIGN Pearl Trim Halter Fishtail Maxi Dress

ASOS DESIGN wrap organza bow front midi dress

ASOS Cold Shoulder Cowl Back Pleated Maxi Dress

ASOS DESIGN scuba seamed open back mini prom dress

Lipsy Halter Ruffle Bodycon Dress

Lipsy D Ring Wrap Dress

Lipsy Floral Print Cami Skater Dress

Pale Blue Lace Crochet Trim Bodycon Dress

Coral Ruffle Yoke Shift Dress

Navy Thigh Split Cape Sleeve Dress

River Island Faux Pearl Swing Dress

TFNC Sateen Bow Back Maxi Bridesmaid Dress

Asymmetric Hem Blazer Dress

Ruffle Detail Bardot Dress

Twist Front Midi Dress

FAUX SUEDE DRAPED DRESS

LONG FLORAL PRINT DRESS

SEQUIN DRESS

Choosing the right dress is the most important element of the entire prom process. It’s probably the first time in your life that you get to wear a truly special dress, which marks a big moment in your life so far. It’s the end of such a large chapter in your life, and not only says goodbye to the girl, but hello to you as a woman; marking your way into a new part of your life. So this makes it even more important that you nail the dress, or outfit if you’re more into rocking a jumpsuit or co-ord, with my guide on choosing the perfect dress, even when you’re on a budget.

Where To Shop

Even though you’re on a budget, you can still find some gorgeous pieces that would be perfect for an prom or special occasion. The most important thing is to choose carefully where you shop, be patient and be prepared to look around. When I was choosing some of these lovely pieces below, I stuck to the budget of up to 50.00, and you wouldn’t believe that by the look of some of these dresses. That was all thanks to places such as ASOS, New Look, River Island and Zara. All beauties of the high-street that you can easily find or pop online to their websites.

ASOS Organza Bow Dress £38.00

TFNC Sateen Bow Dress £50.00

New Look Crochet Dress 29.99

Lipsy Black Ruffle Dress 42.00

Zara Sequin Dress 39.99

When choosing a dress there is a few tips that will speed the process up and make it so much easier for you to find your perfect dress:

  • Spend time shopping online, even though you can’t try the pieces on before you buy them, online brands don’t have as many overheads and can offer much more affordable prices and also often have discount codes you can use to save a bit of money.
  • Decide on your budget and then use the price filter, when looking for pieces online, so that you will be looking at everything in your price range and not fall in love with something that’s way too expensive.
  • Know your body shape, and have a rough idea of what you want; as there’s so many different styles, colours and silhouette’s that it can get over whelming unless you know a little bit about what you want, and what suits you.

The Silhoutte’s

The Maxi Dress: ASOS Grey Pearl Neck Dress £45.00

The Wrap Dress:Topshop Twisted Dress 39.00

The Midi Dress:ASOS Bandeau Dress 45.00

The Maxi Dress– This is one of the most classic silhouette’s for evening wear and the most elegant. If you want a traditional prom dress, then is the style to go for as it enhances every body type by creating emphasis on your top half and slimming and elongating your bottom half. A perfect example of this would be the gorgeous beaded neck grey dress from ASOS.

The Wrap Dress– This is a more modern and yet still elegant take on a prom dress, as it really empahsises your curves and creates a tiny waist, while making sure everything is covered in a really modest way. I think these look best on body shapes which have a more boyfriend frame, to create the illusion of curves, or the traditional hour glass as would really enhance the natural curves of your body. A lovely example of this would be the midnight blue wrap dress from Topshop.

The Midi Dress– This a new take on the classic maxi, but with more of a playful twist. It still looks super chic, with a skirt just touching below the knee but is showing off your lower calf and a gorgeous pair of shoes. This works best on taller girls, as they can take the length and it really helps them to elongate their bodies. A perfect example would be the blush bandeau midi dress from ASOS.

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What I Did During My First Year of Fashion Buying

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Studying fashion has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and a career I’ve known I wanted to pursue since I was a little girl. Fashion has always been something I’ve been so interested in, and as I’ve got older and been able to get closer and closer to actually studying pure fashion, the more I’ve loved it and wanted to just surround myself around it. So, as I’m now only one step away from my dream career, I thought I would share what I’ve done throughout my first year studying a Fashion Buying degree.

What is it?

What actually is Fashion Buying? Well to be honest I don’t think that you will actually ever really understand what crucial job a fashion buyer does until you’ve worked in the industry yourself or you know someone who has. Basically, a fashion buyer is the main middle man between a design for an item and it coming to life. Even though there is so many other people involved, like suppliers and manufacturers, a fashion buyer works with the designer to take a design concept, sources the materials and organises it all to get made. Not only do you have to love fashion, you also need to be super organised, driven, keep on top of the latest colours and trends, and I think most of all you need to absolutely love your job.

The Modules: 

The degree I’m doing is not purely fashion buying, but it is also mixed with fashion marketing as well, so you get to work within both subjects alongside each other. The whole degree is then split up into five modules, in which four are related more towards fashion buying and one towards marketing. Even though it is a buying degree, it covers every aspect of the job and in first year really creates foundations for the whole job role.

Core Buying One:  This has to be one of my favourite modules because it looks at all the things you need to know purely to do with buying. So you look at sourcing, negotiation, the buying cycle, range building, visual merchandising and so many other skills. This module had two really creative assignments, one producing a sketch book and a mood board and another doing a comp shop. That’s for another day, as they’re so interesting. Then to finish the year we did a report on psychological buying habits, which was a bit stressful to end the year on.

Textiles Materials: This is another big module, which runs throughout the whole year. It’s all about learning the key elements to the fabrics you might source as a buyer. It was split up into four main area’s and a group project to review it all at the end of the year. Five weeks were dedicated to weave, learning about all the different structures and actually hand weaving on a machine. Five weeks were dedicated to knitting, where we learnt about different types of knit and the stitches and knitted various forms on industrial machines. Then there was another five weeks for fibres and yarns; learning about different types of fabrics and their characteristic’s and the final five to colouration. This was where we learnt about the dyeing process and the different types of fabric dyes appropriate for each fabric type.

The assessment for this module was a mini phase test at the end of each area and a big group presentation to finish.

Introduction To Fashion Business: This is my all time favourite module, as it takes all the business elements, some of which I learnt in a-level economics, and mixes them with tons of fashion examples. It’s like mixing two of my favourite things together and I found it so interesting. We focused on the role of the marketer and the merchandiser, as well as theories about business and lots of industry talks. They really made a 9.00am start on a Tuesday worthwhile.

The assignments for this module were quite varied, as we had an individual essay to write about the role of the merchandiser, in the fashion retail market, and then had to create a marketing infographic for a business, in a group project. They were both really interesting and I particularly enjoyed creating the infographic and being in a team with all my girlfriends.

Digital Communication: This was one of the harder modules on the course as there was so much new and technical information. This whole module was all about the digital aspect of buying, with practical sessions in Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as lectures about how we see colour and the different types. The assignments made the module quite hard as we had a big phase test at the end of the lectures to test all our knowledge, although it was open book, and we also had to build a five piece range on illustrator. Even though they were both hard assignments, all the information will be invaluable and I know I will always relate to it in the future.

Design Cultures: This is a module all about the history of clothing, retail and trends. It takes you all the way back to where clothing began, all the different styles, status symbols and also how retail itself evolved. Before I started the course I thought this was going to be so boring, however I actually really enjoyed it and cant wait for it to start again next year.

The assignment was really interesting and played to my strengths, as it was to create an educational blog. So I couldn’t use this one and had to write a lot more formally, but it used all my design skills on WordPress and just how to generally write a blog. You had to focus on your own fashion influences, a global fashion week, analyse a historical item and also analyse a portrait or advertisement.

My Experience: 

Overall, my experience of the whole course so far has been amazing. I searched for a long time to find a fashion degree that was right for me, and I’m honestly so happy I chose this one. Its just so varied, I’m learning new things every day and loving every second. It doesn’t feel like a chore because I love it and every assignment we have done. I’m already so proud of myself for how far I’ve come and I can’t wait for second year.

Do you have any questions about a fashion buying career or thinking of doing one yourself?

Rachel x

11 Things I’ve Learnt After My 1st Year Of Driving

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Driving was such a massive part of my life last year, and the freedom of finally being able to drive myself around and have my own independance has been a massive part of my life ever since. So, as I recently celebrated driving for a year, I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learnt over the last year of being on the roads.

1. Learn how to drive when you’re as young as possible as you have the time and the brain quickness to be able to pick driving up easily. Even though when I learnt to drive I had work, A-Levels and driving as well, i’m still so glad I did it then as I  would’nt have the time to do it now. It’s given me so much more freedom and has helped me transition into adult life.

2. There are so many crazy drivers on the road, and people that make stupid decisions it’s unbelievable. You really do have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch out for everyone, at all times and predict what they might do, and even then sometimes you can’t believe the decisions people make on the roads.

3. Having a car is at times like having a baby, as it constantly needs attention and love. Whether that’s keeping it clean, putting oil and water in it, paying for petrol and then any repairs that need doing along the way. However, if you buy a car that’s a bit newer you can avoid a lot of random big repair costs and save money in the long run.

4. Nine times out of 10 things that happen aren’t your fault, like someone scratches your car in a car park, or someone swerves into your lane. So, if you ever do have an accident don’t automatically take blame just because your a new driver. Remember your young and have quick reactions, and also you’ve had the newest training as older drivers have got into bad habits and don’t always do everything right.

5. Black boxes can be really annoying, especially when you’re running late or having someone right behind you as you’re doing the 30 speed limit. However, they are so worth it when after a safe, accident free year of good driving your premium can go down by 500.00.

6. Motorways really aren’t that scary as they seem, as long as your savvy about how you drive on them. Lets face most new drivers have to stick strictly to the speed limit so that means that we have no chance of competiting against the cars that have power and can do well over 70mph. So, stick to the left lane when you can and think about where you’re going and what lane you need to be in, and you should be all good.

7. Going on a road trip is one of the best things you can do in your first year of driving, as you can put your skills into practice once you feel confident on the roads. The best way to do it is to get one person or a group of friends you love to spend time with, make a really good playlist to listen to and some snacks and your complete. Oh and also a sat nav so you don’t get lost and stressed out too!

8. Be savvy about where you buy petrol from and which garages you get repairs done at, as not everywhere charges the same for the same thing. I always go to Sainsbury’s for petrol, if i can, as it’s cheap and lasts a long time, and with garages I always get at least two quotes for a repair before I choose which one to go for, as you can save so much money.

9. You will get prejudice as a woman when you have a car, as some men assume you know nothing. So expect looks when you go and fill your car up with fuel or your water washers at the petrol station. However, i would always recommend you take someone with you when you go to a garage for the first few times, as you may be charged more or taken advantage if you don’t know what you want. So make sure you’re clear and know what you want and you’ll be fine.

10. Having a stable, steady income every month makes it a lot easier to pay for your car and your bills to do with it. I have a part-time retail job, and I work set hours every week, so I know when i’m working. That helps me to budget for the month and know that all my bills are covered.

11. It’s the best thing you can do and it honestly has given me so much more freedom. It  makes life so much easier and even though it is expensive, its worth every penny to have a car and i feel so lucky everytime I drive it.

Are you learning to drive? What things have you learnt since driving?

Rachel x