My Best Buys of 2016 & CLC World Travel Centre Competition

IMG_2909[1]IMG_2910[1]

2016 marked a real style evolution for me. I’ve been into clothes and fashion for a long time now, even to the point that I can’t remember ever wanting to work in any other industry, however I did really struggle with defining my own style. I knew I loved wearing and buying clothes, and keeping up with all the different trends, but I couldn’t put my finger on what style defined me. But, in 2016 I feel like I really grew into my own sense of style. I learned that I love pieces that are more chic and timeless and throughout last year I really started to invest in some key wardrobe items, which I know I can wear for so many years to come.

One of my favourite items that I purchased in 2016, when it comes to a really key piece that I will be able to wear for so many years to come and it will always be in my wardrobe, is this tailored black blazer from Ted Baker. As soon as I saw this is in the John Lewis sale, I instantly fell in love with the look of the piece and how it’s really well tailored but still not too formal. It looks amazing paired with a casual outfit, to add a bit of smart edge, or a bit more dressed up, for a more important occasion. I also really love the patterned lining, it looks so pretty, when it just pop’s out, when I’m wearing the blazer open. It’s one of my best buys of 2016, because it’s so well made, tailored amazingly and fit’s me like a glove.

The best purchase I made in 2016 that was sparkly and perfect for many special occasions, to come over the next few years, is this gorgeous A-Line Karen Millen Dress. This was the piece I wore for my 18th birthday, and so it has so many amazing memories attached to it, but it also fit’s so well to my body shape, it elongates my legs and flatters my waist really well. I love the leather panelled detail, on the shoulder, and my favourite part has to be all the gold sequins around the waist. It’s so chic, but also really timeless and a piece I can wear over and over again.

This last item I suppose is a bit of a cheat, because I actually only bought these in the recent Christmas sales, however I’m really loving them at the moment and I think they are one of my favourite purchases of 2016. It’s this lovely pair of patent mulberry Chelsea boots, from M&S. I just really love boots in the winter, and especially in 2016 I really embraced the fact that I’m tall and that a bit of a heel makes you look just that little bit more feminine and elegant. So, these Chelsea boots are perfect for adding a bit of colour to a plain outfit, or just partnering a statement boot with a variety of different outfits for college and work. I’m really into a good statement boot, and I love the way these add a bit of class and femininity to the classic winter outfit of jeans and a jumper.

—————————————————————————

So, in a celebration of some of my best buys from 2016, I’m also running a competition with CLC World Travel Centre for you to be able to win a £25 voucher to spend at the Birmingham Bullring. As I really love shopping and constantly building a new wardrobe, I wanted to give you the chance to be able to win a voucher to spend in one of the East Midlands biggest shopping centre’s, in collaboration with CLC Travel Centre. You’ll be able to find that latest designer bag in Selfridges, buy some gorgeous new underwear from Boux Avenue or Victoria Secret or even buy a new phone, from Vodaphone or EE. The bullring has it all, and you have a chance to win a £25 voucher to put towards something new for you or a lovely person in your life.

How do I enter? All you need to do is follow CLC World Travel on Twitter, @clcworld,  and follow me @RachLydia on twitter as well. Then you simply need to comment on this blog post which CLC resort you would like to visit the most. The competition will open today at 7PM and close at 7PM on Sunday 29th of January. The winner will then be posted on all my social media channels, on the following Monday 3oth January 2017. Make sure to be following me on Twitter, Instagram and ‘like’ my Facebook Page. Good Luck!

T’s & C’s: The entrant(s) must be aged 18 or over. Proof of identity and age may be required. The competition opens on the 8th January 2017 and ends at 7PM on the 29th January 2017. Entries that are incomplete, illegible, indecipherable, duplicated or which contain profanity will not be valid and deemed void. Prizes will be posted to the winner within 7 days of them providing their postage details.Confirmation of the prize will be made in writing/via online correspondence to the winner.

Rachel x

My 4 Essential Designer Accessories | A/W 16

 img_28041img_28051When it comes to discussing the topics that feature most on this blog, clothes have to come first place. However, I often think that I don’t give accessories the credit they deserve as really they are the most versatile key pieces of any outfit. They are able to completely transform a look, from day to night, casual to dressy or even to make it a bit more you. I think you could as far to say that they define your style, as they’re the pieces you wear again and again, with a variety of different outfit combinations. So, to make sure that I give credit, where credit’s due, I’m going to be sharing my 4 essential autumn/winter accessories, with you all. The items I’m really loving at the minute and that I couldn’t live without, during these chilly winter days.


A Great Pair Of Boots | DKNY

As I mentioned in my little autumn haul, which you can read HERE, a great pair of boots are a real essential at this time of the year. They are probably the only style of shoes you will be wearing on your feet, and it’s so important that you have a pair that’s super comfortable as well as being really stylish. This designer pair, which I actually got in New York for a really discounted price, are the perfect pair! They’re a gorgeous stone grey, that goes with so many different outfits and colour combinations, they’re a really chic pointed style, that elongate my legs and have the perfect size heel. However, what ever colour, style or heel height, the key is getting a pair of boots that fit perfectly with your style and that you will be able to wear, all season long.

A Stylish Hat| 

A good hat is an accessory that I really love to wear, as it starts to get colder and moves into winter. Not only does adding a really lovely hat to your own outfit, make it look super stylish and chic, it is actually really practical and keeps your head super warm. It has to one of my favourite autumn/winter accessories, after boots of course, and this year I decided to venture out into wearing bobble hats a bit more. I love the look of them on so many other people, however I’ve never quite mastered it myself. However, this gorgeous fur one, from a lovely designer in New York, is the answer to my bobble hat prayers. It’s a light grey colour, with a textured fur as the main part of the hat, and then a super soft bobble to top the whole piece off. It’s so easy to just throw on, still looks really chic and also solves many bad hair days, in an instant. It was even an essential on the plane, back from New York, due to the air conditioning being cold and there had been an Indian summer, whilst we were there.

Something Rose Gold and Sparkly | Pandora & Fossil

Rose gold jewellery is something that I’ve loved for quite a while, however since a few gorgeous Pandora rose pieces have come into my collection, I’ve been addicted to wearing it. The pieces that I have from the collection are the single daisy ring, and the thicker style with multiple daisies. I love how they add a bit of femininity and colour,within a season where there are a lot of darker colours in your wardrobe. They compliment grey, and black, and look especially lovely with burgundy/purple; meaning you can wear them with so many outfits and they’re super versatile. You can easily throw them on, for an everyday look or for a more special occasion, and they will always look gorgeous and super girly. If you’re looking for a type of jewellery to buy or wear, during this season, rose gold is bang on trend and suits a lot of different types of tastes and styles.

A Gorgeous Handbag | DKNY

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you will know that I’ve had an almost life long love, and borderline obsession, with handbags. They really pull a look together, look so chic and stylish, and I always think that you have to carry all your things somehow, and it might as well be in something beautiful. This bag is the latest addition to my collection, and was a lovely gift from my mum for my 18th birthday. It’s the perfect size, as you’re able to really fill it and carry all your essentials and more, but it’s also not too big and bulky; encouraging you to fill it with lot’s of unnecessary items. I love how the bag is really structured and reminds me of one of the mini Celine bag’s.  The colour is gorgeous, it goes with anything and everything, looks great everyday and also to go out, and the grained leather ensures it wears well, whatever is thrown at it. I learnt my lesson after buying my first designer bag in a plain and non-grained leather. It doesn’t look that bad, but is a lot more prone to scrapes.

What are your essential accessories this Autumn/Winter?

Rachel x

3 Coat Styles | A/W 16

img_26261img_26271

Personally, I don’t think that you need to follow the latest trends or be really modern, to have style. It’s all about embracing what ever you like to wear, and being able to style an amazing outfit together; that’s what personal style is all about. But, how ever much we can try to get away from the trends and what the most influential designers are wanting us to wear; the catwalk affects every part of the fashion world and is inter-woven within every fashion lover’s mind.

When it comes to trends, I like to know what’s popular and current, however I’m not obsessed by them and instead I prefer to just purchase items that I love and want to wear. Whether that’s the new most in coat, or just a shirt I’m really loving the pattern of, I tailor the trends around myself and my own style. So, as a coat has to be one of the biggest purchases you can make for A/W 16, I thought I would share 3 realistic coat trends for the season. Trends that are achievable and can easily be inter-weaved into your current everyday style…


1. The Quilted Jacket| F&F | £35

Quilting has to be one of the easiest trends, to not only be able to purchase, but also to be able to wear; as long as you’re smart about it. The key to getting quilting right is knowing your proportions and the exact fit you need. Personally, when it came to buying this burgundy coat from F&F, I knew I’m traditionally a size 12, however I chose to go up a size so that I would be able to wear jumpers or a few layers underneath it, and still feel comfortable. On the other hand, you have to be really careful that a quilted jacket doesn’t drown your body and create quite a bulky shape around your upper half. Therefore, you need to try and get the best of both worlds; allowing for a bit of jumper room, but also ensuring that it’s not too big and takes over.

When it comes to styling quilted jackets, it really depends on the colour and style you have. However, the one that I have really is a bit of a more standout piece and I like to keep my outfit chic and classic to go along side it. Jeans, boots and a white tee/ shirt work really well and keep the whole outfit fairly casual, as let’s face it realistically no one can make a quilted jacket look extremely high fashion, especially when wearing it everyday. However, this is a trend that is super easy to incorporate into your wardrobe and can be worn by almost anyone.

2. The Trench Coat | Calvin Klein | £60+

The trench coat trend is one of the most chic and high fashion coat trends ever. It’s such a classic look and can be worn with any outfit; adding a sense of glamour and style. The key to nailing the trench trend is fit, quality and definitely colour. In order for the trench coat to really look amazing, it needs to just gently skim the body and flatter the waist, by the addition of a belt. It should always be able to be done up, but should also not be too big and loose.

However, finding a good quality trench is key, and really finishes the look off. My favourite ones are the traditional wipe-able polyester, or the thick cotton style; depending on what type of coat you want and when you want to wear it. The colour is so important and will either make it into a staple item in your wardrobe, that you can always reach for, or be an item you love but isn’t actually that versatile within your wardrobe. So, I would suggest either Tan, Beige/Cream or Black. They’re super neutral colours, go with everything and are really chic.

3. Boyfriend Coat | M&S | £70

This is a coat trend that has hit the fashion world by storm, over the last few seasons, as masculine tailoring meets high end feminine fashion. So, this probably has to be one of the hardest trend’s to nail and to be able to add into your current A/W 16 wardrobe. The structured, longline, tailoring can so easily overwhelm you and your outfit, therefore you need to make sure that you have a good fit and shape to your boyfriend coat. Make sure that yours is not too long, and compliments your height; petite and tall range’s are really good this and making sure that a item suits your structure. The design of the coat is also super important, and finding the right one of key; whether it’s a more simple straight cut style, or a more complex double breasted and pocked design.

When it comes to styling the boyfriend coat, it’s all about almost contrasting the style and shape of the coat. Pair it with more tight fitting items of clothing, which may still be tailored, such as a really lovely shirt/blouse and tailored peg leg trousers. On the other hand, you could compliment the style of the coat and pair it with a pair of loose fitting boyfriend ripped jeans and a baggy V-neck tee. The key is to decide what style you want to channel and that will compliment with your wardrobe , and the boyfriend coat will be your best friend.

Don’t forget to check out my first seasonal buys for Autumn/Winter 16. I talk in detail about this gorgeous burgundy coat from F&F, and a lovely new jumper style that I’m obsessed with.

Rachel x