Friday, 30 September 2011

What I wore this fine Friday..

The gorgeous heatwave continued, as I'm sure you're aware, and so I was a very happy bunny today. That said, I did wear tights - because I wanted to! I hope it stays this gorgeous weather-wise though, even if it is October tomorrow and officially getting towards the days of getting up in the dark, fires in the evening & being blue with cold all day. But let's not dwell on the general depression that is the English winter, broken only by Christmas, and let's enjoy these few days of sun! Today I wore..

Shorts - Reverse; Tee - Pull & Bear; Belt, Tights & Ring - Primark; Shoes - New Look; Necklace - Topshop; Bracelets - Topshop, ASOS & bought on holiday in India.
I didn't dress totally innapropriately for the weather today.. I just reeeaally wanted to wear those tights! But I never thought I'd be strolling around in a tee when its nearly October. Oh, and another thing I noticed.. I felt extra-extra-short today wearing flats after wearing heels of some description every other day this week! I think my feet were probably thanking me for giving them a break though. 5 days in heels coupled with finally getting back into some exercise & hitting the gym 3 times this week might have made them give up totally!

Today, as well as the gym, enjoying the sunshine, and grudgingly going to class, I went to visit my old friends at gymnastics - then hit the supermarket with my mum. It's been a pretty amazing day.. and then I remembered I never shared my latest buy with you all!

I couldn't resist this Dorothy Perkins knit dress, especially on sale! It's petite, which means it fits perfectly, and everything about it is still hot for winter. The fit-and-flare retro shape is a winner, and the light knit quality is perfect for some warmth on those shivery days, while the sleeves are uber-flattering. It's basically my new perfect day dress. I'll be styling it up soon I'm sure, so eyes peeled.. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Here's my college look..

Today was once again beautifully, uncharacteristically sunny for the end of September - and I'm definitely not complaining! I may just have replenished my autumn wardrobe, but I practically live for sunshine, so I don't mind not wearing my new clothes.. there'll be plenty of chances soon enough, because this can't last. I bet October will be a complete Siberian winter, and then it'll be cold until March.. so any hot weather at all is totally welcome!

Dress - H&M; Cardi & Belt - Primark; Shoes (practically invisible, but actually my purple wedges) - New Look; Bag - River Island; Necklace - Accessorize; Ring - Parfois; Bracelets - Topshop & ASOS.
For most of my life I was convinced that a girl as short as me simply couldn't pull off a maxi.. but earlier this year I bought my first floor length dress & haven't looked back. This H&M one drew me in with the graphic print, and I had just been waiting for the right time to wear it. Heels were necessary though, and since it isn't a petite dress I did have to hold it up a bit when walking, or I would have gone head-over-wedges in 5 seconds flat. That said, I don't even care about the practicality - it's lush! I tried not to over-accessorize too.. just a pop of colour from the belt & shoes (take my word for it), some gold jewellery and my ever-present beautiful college bag. Oh, and a guest appearance from my cutie of a cat! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Star Style Obsession - Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a country pop sensation, and I am totally in love with her music because her lyrics are so easy to relate to - pretty much every time I feel a strong emotion, she has a song for it, and an amazing one at that! Anyway, another reason I adore Miss Swift is that she simply always looks magical. There are no other words. In her style there is something reminiscent of a Hollywood screen siren, all retro marcelle curls and killer red lipstick.. she has nailed a look that will never, ever go out of fashion. And on days off she still works a red pout, or some unspeakably cute clothes that make me lust after her entire wardrobe. I am in awe of the amount of gorgeous dresses that must be living in her wardrobe.. and let's be honest, this run-down of my favourite looks is dominated by them. But it's okay, because Taylor shows us all a thing or two about how to look perfectly beautiful every single day.

To kick off the celebration of Taylor's gorgeous style, here's a beautiful red dress classically & flawlessly accessorized with gold - simply stunning, right? And her signature beauty look of retro waves and a red lip only add to the intensely glamorous appearance.. I'm very jealous of her right now!

Another incredible dress - she's not afraid to unleash her inner princess! Taylor totally has the right attitude towards big events.. why not go all out when you know you'll look amazing. I like to think I share this view, that being overdressed is always better than underdressed. I just can't get enough of this gorgeous, glittering dress, which is basically the Disney princess dream dress - but even in that dress, not many people could look as flawless as Taylor.

I am totally in love with this dramatic look! The dress by itself is a huge statement, while the nude and black lace overlay is a classically sexy style, the sheer drama of the floor-sweeping train takes it to the next level. And then the gorgeous, swept-up hairstyle and vampish red lipstick shoots it into fashion heaven, cementing Taylor's status as a style icon.

Swift is a fellow fashion magpie, and knows that a glittering dress is always a show-stopper - this mini is no exception, especially when matched up with equally elegant, glitzy shoes. But the thing that catches my eye first about this photo is the lack of retro curls, replaced by sleek, straight hair and a sexy fringe. Personally, although I adore her romantic curly hair, I wish she rocked a straight mane more often! And not just because I am devoted to my straighteners, but because she looks so grown up, stylish and gorgeous.

Another day, another glamorous, dazzling dress. Yes, I am insanely jealous of her wardrobe. The combination of amazing dress + curls + lipstick feels like a little bit of a fashion formula, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The subtle variations, like looser, side-swept hair and the column style maxi length make this look just different enough from her other glittering styles, and of course she looks breathtaking.

Possibly the most recent of my pick of Taylor's looks, she's a golden girl in this beautiful, sparkling dress and matchy-matchy gold shoes. Yet again, the killer pout and up-do put vintage Hollywood style in mind - I can't help thinking she should have been a movie star in the 20s or something! Simply beautiful. I just love that while she looks show-stopping at every public event, she doesn't feel the need to jump on the bandwagon of every trend going. Taylor knows that classically gorgeous styles work on her, and therefore always looks amazing - and avoids looking dull and same-y with new twists every time.

Out on the street and looking cute as ever, this cherry print dress and cardi combo is perfect sweet street style. Dresses aren't just for events - they should be every girl's go-to feel-good look!

Even out shopping, Taylor looks sweet and retro. I love the popping colour and the cute kitten heels, which, when paired with a dress in a classic retro shape, give her ensemble a vintage feel that is just too gorgeous. Seriously, Taylor Swift always looks amazing. Fact.

This dress is just too beautiful to ignore. I know, I know, this is practically a wishlist of perfect dresses as much as an homage to Taylor, but honestly, look at her. The blue perfectly suits her skin tone, while the bow detail is just the right amount of cute and quirky to make this look individual, and the gold is echoed in her shoes and even in her shiny hair. Plus metallics are still a huge trend this season, so she still looks very du jour.

Shock, horror, disaster. My favourite looks are from this point not dresses! This Breton top & skater skirt combination is flawless airport style - bright, but still classic, and comfortable enough to fly in. Even her cute nude shoes are practical.. girl after my own heart. And if I ever look this good on a flight, I'll know I've made it in the fashion stakes.

Proving she isn't just a screen-siren type style icon, Taylor shows off her cutesy, quirky side in this panda jumper. Said jumper is only reinforcing my current knitwear obsession. And the side plait, skirt and tights make this look off duty comfort dressing at its best. I also love the way she has drawn '13' on her hand - it is famously her lucky number.

My final favourite look of Taylor's contains another cute jumper - want, want, want! This look totally nails cute, autumnal dressing.. simple jeans, gorgeous bag, practical-yet-beautiful boots and a red lip work perfectly with the oversize jumper to create a relaxed look that still comes across as polished. I think I'll be copying this fashion formula in times to come..

Now, if you still don't see why Taylor is a total style queen, you never will. I love that on days off she looks like a totally normal, American girl and doesn't seem to need to wear wacky clothes to get noticed - just working a sweet dress or jumper is enough. Yes, I am admiring her simple, cute style, when one of my major icons is Lady Gaga.. split style personality much?! While Swift doesn't need crazy get-ups to get noticed, she does enjoy dressing up - even in the few favourite looks above she looks quite different, going from sultry and dramatic through to glittering princess, and perfectly illustrating one of my favourite things about fashion.. the ability to dress up, change your character every day depending upon your mood. Your personal style can change radically from day to day because you are not the same every day - but it can still look cohesive, and essentially 'you', as Taylor proves. Absolutely love this girl. Love and kisses, Tara xox

I'm loving this Indian summer we've got going on..

Finally, the weather in September, in England, doesn't make me want to scream. Or cry. Or curl up in bed and hibernate instead of braving the elements for college. I think you can guess that the typical great British weather is very unpopular with me - so this little heatwave we're having is like heaven! And it means I don't have to consign my beautiful summer clothes to the vaccuum-pack bags just yet, or unpack my thickest coats. Loving it. But I was still a little sceptical today, so I played it safe..

Dress - New Look; Tights - Primark; Shoes - H&M; Bag - River Island; Necklaces - H&M & presents from friends; Bracelet - Pandora; Rings - Yumi & H&M.
Ignoring the super-awkward posture (this bag is seriously heavy and it's windy, okay!) you can tell I didn't quite trust the weather enough to break out a full-on summery look.. which came back to bite as I was incredibly hot sat on the bus! But equally it could have gone the other way, and I could have been freezing in this more springtime dress and tights combo. And that right there is why I hate autumn weather - it's just so unpredictable! Plus I can't even trust looking out the window in the morning to judge it, it always looks cold when I get up.. so long live the attitude of wearing whatever I want, whenever I want. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday's girl is full of grace.

Or so the little rhyme goes. I find it hard to believe I was actually born on a Tuesday - grace doesn't feature in my vocabulary! Anyway, this fine Tuesday I was feeling anything but graceful under the influence of a serious cold.. so I broke out my #1 girlie item - the pink circle skirt!

Shirt, Skirt & Bag - River Island; Boots - H&M; Earrings & Bracelet - Accessorize; Necklace - present from friend; Ring - Yumi.
Yes, this pink circle skirt is the ultimate in making me feel girlie & graceful as I swish my way around college. I felt like toughening it up a little today though with the denim shirt - and hello, new ankle boots! Love the boots already, and they're going to see me right through winter. I was also quite shocked that my legs didn't turn to blocks of ice today, I guess that heatwave I've been so sceptical about is actually here! And I intend to abuse it by getting more summery outfits out to play for the last time before I am condemned to layers and full body coverage.

I was going to stop musing there.. but then I remembered that something else I love happened today - Auntie Gok was back on TV with a new series! I absolutely adore this series already because he is finally doing an outfit on a budget I actually have - £50. Finally, some realistic fashion for me! I am so impressed with the way he digs stuff out of supermarkets, or Primark, then jazzes it up a bit and makes it look a million dollars - I think I'll be hitting the supermarkets with a vengeance when I next go shopping. Yet again though, his show makes me wish I had been good at Textiles at school, and that any attempt to customise didn't just look awful.. those glitter-heeled shoes were amazing, and I wish I could replicate them. The road testing is also another favourite part.. okay, okay, I love it all. Gok, I salute you & your amazing fashion credentials! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fashion Confession.

Oops. Only just remembered that my weekly reveal-all fashion confession was due today - my brain is just not working right now. But moving on from my lack of memory, the latest confession of mine is...

I do not understand the appeal of playsuits/jumpsuits.

Yes, they are seriously in fashion right now. Playsuits are apparently a cute alternative to dresses, while jumpsuits embody Studio 54 glamour.. but I'm just not feeling it! It could be the accumulation of 8 years in leotards, but anything that's basically an all-in-one just does not feel glamorous to me, or make me want to wear it. I could be missing out on some serious chances to look amazing, but I don't care. There are so many other options (and I will never need an alternative to a dress, when dresses are lush in themselves) and I just cannot ever see myself buying one. Call me narrow-minded, prejudiced, whatever, but in this case I am prepared to be very unfair and judgemental. Just this once. I wouldn't wear one if you paid me. (Unless we're talking thousands here.) Love and kisses, Tara xox

Time flies when you're a busy bee..

I have literally no idea how this week has gone by so quickly - it's insane that it is Monday evening again already! I also feel like I barely got to enjoy the weekend before it was snatched away from me.. but ah well, there's always another one coming up soon. Today was also parents evening, and I was washing my hair (yes, I'm using that lame-o excuse - but it's true!), which is why I'm posting so late when I really should be thinking about bed. Or maybe that essay I have to write. Anyway, here's what I wore to my (painful) college day..

Top & Shoes - New Look; Skirt - Stradivarius; Blazer - Topshop; Bracelet - Pull & Bear; Rings - H&M; Necklace - Accessorize.
I called today painful for several reasons.. the simplest is that Monday is my only full day (4 lessons, 9-4.30), the next is that I still have a nasty cold & sore throat and woke up feeling like death, and the last that I decided to wear heels despite both of these other issues. So yes, I bring it upon myself.. Anyway, today I felt a bit clashy, what with the stripes & florals, and liked getting another wear out of my midi skirt since it wasn't so cold my exposed legs would turn blue! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Overdressed? Me? Maybe...

Today was an incredibly important event - one of my closest, oldest friend's 18th birthday parties! She may not be 18 for a few days, but this was a very special party.. friends and family alike gathered to celebrate her becoming an adult. And I just want to say that it was a brilliant party, and we love her very much. Also thankyou for providing such a great excuse to dress up..

Dress - Topshop; Shoes - New Look; Tights - Primark; Bag - present from friend; Bracelet - Pull & Bear; Earrings - Accessorize.
For once in my life, dressing up didn't equal patterns, prints & glitter (much) and today I went back to black.. mostly because I was desperate to wear my new Topshop LBD! It's the only LBD I've ever owned, and I'm quite in love with the detail around the neck, which I feel stopped it being too boring and plain. The red lipstick, gold clutch and nails (detail later) all added a bit of interest - while top-to-toe black remains a classically cool combo. The ponytail was to show off the detail on the back of the dress, and it didn't hurt that it is this season's go-to updo. I think this is a look I could replicate & update for years to come without it getting old - even if I do say so myself, this dress is a brilliant investment. The wedges were also the most sensible of my heels, considering it was an 18th party (bottle of wine for the table anyone?) and coupled with the updo added much-needed height to my frame.

Now here's the promised detail on my nails.. it's not perfect but I saw the idea somewhere and decided that for my next party look I would replicate it so... ta dahhh! Glitter dipped tips. Not bad for a first go I think. To achieve this sparkly look I simply painted my nails in Nails Inc Polish in Saville Row (although I'm pretty sure it will work in any colour combo), applying as normal with base coat etc, and then painted the tips with clear top coat before dipping into GOSH nail glitter in gold. Word to the wise, the gold gets everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Also, have a tissue or brush ready to sweep off the excess glitter. After the glitter layer had dried I painted the clear topcoat on all over and left my nails to dry. Simplest thing ever, but it looks so unique! And it would work with pretty much any colours.

The nail glitter was a new find of mine - I saw it in the shop and decided I simply had to try it. But finding an occasion was quite difficult.. This party was ideal. The glitter tips isn't all you could do with it though, for full-on glamour you could do your whole nail in glitter, or any design/pattern you can dream up! I'm thinking this glitter is a staple for Christmas. And though it might feel a little OTT, I personally think it's always better to stand out than blend in! Love and kisses, Tara xox

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Things I Need In My Wardrobe.. #6

As the temperature sinks lower & lower (apart from that weird predicted heatwave this week), and I've realised that not wrapping up can actually get you ill, I've started looking into warm things to wear this winter. Yes, yes, only yesterday I was saying how I am ridiculously obsessed with knitwear at the moment.. but I need more than just cable knit to keep me cosy and on trend! So the subject of my latest fashion-hunt is... 


If you have been paying any attention recently you'll know I downright refuse to wear anything made from an animal - so the trend for faux fur suits me perfectly. Real fur is cruel and unnecessary, so I'm incredibly glad that it's faux that the fash-pack are going wild for. Not only does fur link into so many trends (elegantly trimming 40s style coats, huge shaggy 70s pieces, navajo-esque items, cosy english heritage style), but it is ridiculously warm. I actually remember owning a faux fur hat when I was about 7 - see how ahead of the times I was!

I'm not sure exactly what I want from my faux fur gem though - I seem to have items from every trend that it could be worn with! And on the one hand, a decadent statement piece would make my wardrobe legendarily cool, but could become dated in a few months.. whereas a more versatile piece would essentially be more wearable and better value for money.. Oh, who am I kidding trying to reason it out? I'll do my usual trick.. take a look at the options and see which one I fall in love with!

£90, ASOS
As per usual, one of my first stops was ASOS - they have the hottest trend items all year round, so I could count on them for something truly amazing. And they didn't disappoint. This coat is gorgeous, soft-looking and I can picture wearing it sat in a cosy cafe with hot chocolate while snow falls outside.. But it's kind of out of my price range!

£20, ASOS
This is just one of the many cute collars, hats, cuffs and raccoon tails that ASOS has to offer - for quirky, amazing fur accents look no further. This particular collar caught my eye because it evokes old retro glamour, and would take a simple outfit to a whole new level of awesome.

£70, Topshop
The next obvious place to hunt down cool faux fur was Topshop, it may be pricey but it is always on top of the trends. There are so many more achingly cool coats and gilets that I had to tear myself away from the page.. This gilet though is my top pick - so versatile, you could wear it every day and layer it up in so many ways!

£35, Topshop
For a quick dash of faux fur, try a bag. It doesn't commit you to the trend, but adds a luxe feel to pretty much any outfit. This one comes in a few other colours, I just love the purple.

£80, River Island
River Island has an amazing collection of faux fur pieces this season, and they are all incredible. This coat is a real walk on the wild side, combining luxe faur fur with one of the most glamorous prints around - leopard. Dare to wear it if you've got serious fashion credentials and fashion balls of steel!

Another gilet that would work for effortless layering, I love the more unusual printed fur and the pricetag is a bonus!

£60.00, Boohoo
If you don't want to go for all-out fur, this jacket is perfect. Mixing up textures is insanely cool right now, so this really is a no-brainer. I love the fitted style which counteracts the huge furry cuffs & collar.

£80, Miss Selfridge
Well hello, vintage glamour! This coat is so ridiculously gorgeous that I'm a little bit in love with it already.. The cool camel colour, gold buttons and faux fur trim combined just scream 40s screen siren. This would be the kind of coat you keep forever and always look amazing in - total investment!

These are just a few of the stunning faux fur options out there - coats, gilets, cuffs, stoles, scarves, bags, shoes.. you can get pretty much anything with some faux fur trim right now! And you know what? I still don't know what I want to buy. Next time I go shopping (probably after payday - woohoo!) I will probably fall in love with a million different things, but will hopefully gain a snuggly, beautiful item to see me through winter in efffortless style. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Friday, 23 September 2011

Today's look.. and a much needed pick-me-up!

Friday finally rolled around, and up until about lunchtime I was feeling SO good about it.. tomorrow is the weekend, plus I finally joined the gym and got in a quick session in my free lesson (I do literally no exercise!). But of course, something had to give and so I have now picked up a nasty little cold - sore throat and all. If I'm honest, it probably has something to do with my refusal to accept that the cold weather is here to stay and the fact I therefore don't really dress for it, so I'm glad I bundled up a bit today..

Jumper - Topshop; Shorts - Blue Miss; Socks - Primark; Shoes - New Look; Necklaces - Topshop, Dorothy Perkins & Accessorize; Rings - Topshop & H&M.
The bundling up wasn't intentional.. I am just a little bit obsessed with knitwear at the moment! I don't know what it is, but I seem to be stockpiling anything cute & knitted at the moment.. and I'm currently in love with cute, kitsch printed jumpers - some of the Topshop ones are to die for. Maybe a little bit of common sense is invading my style sense, and probably for the better since I've got a cold already! I have to admit, I felt a little plain at first when I got dressed.. which is why I layered on the jewellery to add interest. I'm still a bit of a 'more-is-more' girl at heart - whatever I've said about appreciating fashion basics.

And now you've seen my look, we move on to said pick-me-up.. and it really did cheer me up considering how much like death I feel at the moment! I arrived home, quite glad to be back, and waiting patiently for me was... My H&M delivery!! And not only was it part 3 of the immense order I placed back in July (yes, they took that long to send it), but everything I'd subsequently ordered was all wrapped up in there too - happy days.

Firstly, the final part of my July order - and yes, I'm still a little bitter about how long it took to arrive! But it's just gorgeous in real life. And a total staple. It's the kind of jumper that can either be thrown on for casual perfection, or layered up as in the huge AW trend.. androgyny. It's also so soft I think I might melt when I wear it. Now, do you see what I mean about my current knitwear obsession? It's unhealthy! I will do my best to draw the line here on jumpers though..

Secondly, this maxi dress that I snapped up in the sale - yes, it's summer season, but the graphic print is ubercool, and I can easily bring it into AW with some clever layering and a chunky knit! It's also surprisingly not too long on me, considering it's made for girls at least 6 inches taller than me.. but heels are still a necessity.

Forgive the light.. these are really more brown than red - but I'm sure you'll see soon. These Chelsea boots are the perfect ankle boots for pretty much any outfit - androgynous, heritage, 70s.. teamed with a skirt, jeans, shorts, anything, these will look gorgeous. Cannot wait to wear them now - come on Monday!

I am ridiculously excited that these are here now, I've been waiting impatiently for months and subconsciously plotting what to wear with them all.. Yes, I have fashion on the brain 24/7 - I literally live, breathe and dream it. Can you tell? Honestly, I never expected to be so keen to get back into college, but the chance to wear these gorgeous little pieces makes me wish I could go in tomorrow! But no, tomorrow is Saturday, and I am working (so not even a lie in). Speaking of work, I really should be doing one of my many essays right now, so I'm going to love you and leave you all until tomorrow. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 22 September 2011

So what if it's cold.. this is what I want to wear!

Today was yet another full, busy day at college - now it's termtime, that describes practically every day of my life! But anyway, 3 weeks in and the work is piling up around my ears, so excuse me for just dashing this post off before dinner.. My policy of not wearing the same outfit twice is going well, my extensive wardrobe means I have plenty of combos to choose from. Today I went for..

Top - Lefties; Shorts & Bag - River Island; Blazer & Earrings - Topshop; Tights - Primark; Shoes - New Look; Bracelet - Pull & Bear; Ring - Parfois; Necklace - Accessorize.
I *heart* these shorts a ridiculous amount. I do wish I could say I customized them myself, but no, they came that studded & sparkly & beautiful when I got them for my birthday last year.. I know, I've had them for over a year and still haven't gotten over how awesome they are! Just looking at them makes me want to go all Gok Wan and buy practically a whole haberdashery to stick on a dress or something - but I still haven't forgotten that I dropped Textiles in year 9 for the simple reason that I cannot sew. So I'll stick to the lazy fashionista's way of buying something dripping in embellishment anyway! If there are any brave people out there who wish to glam-ify their wardrobes with unique decorations, go for it. I salute your crafty skills. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Star Style Obsession - Nicola Roberts

Back in the days of Girls Aloud actually releasing music, I wasn't too keen on any of them.. and Nicola seemed to just be known as 'the ginger one'. But a break from music, an acceptance of her gorgeous pale skin & red hair, a makeup range, solo material & an amazing wardrobe later, Miss Roberts is a complete style queen. She has a real dare-to-be-different vibe, from her porcelain skin to her awesome dip-dyed hair and original, out-there styling - and that's what I admire about her. This is one girl crush based on pure style.

To kick off the reasons why I love her style, this pre-dip-dye look is flawless. That stunning Issey Miyake dress sets off her skin tone perfectly, and she has accessorized it beautifully - a totally classic look that makes her look elegant, sophisticated and stunning.

Some critics didn't like this neutral toned outfit, but personally I adore it. The tonal colour palette that continues on into her makeup and even her hair is just gorgeous. Also, how does she get so much volume in those sexy bedhead curls? Serious hair envy.

It's not just designer dresses that Nicola works, she loves a bit of Topshop Unique - and looking at this I can understand why. Amazing statement dress, and I'm quite jealous of her being able to pull off yellow.. not many people can! The now-signature dip-dye is out in full force and looking fierce, while being able to walk in those shoes gives her serious fashion points. I simply love this quirkier edge to her style, she's a real individual.

See what I mean about individual? I swear that hair bow shouldn't work.. but with that smile she pulls it off. And usually I absolutely hate jumpsuits (I refuse to wear one ever), but this sweet acid wash one works for her - plus nobody else is wearing one!

More Topshop Unique, accessorized with that killer smile and a glass of unidentified alcohol. I love the slightly daring crossover cutout and stripy pattern that take this maxi from drab to fab! And is it wrong that the orange drink adds just the right pop of colour? Now that's clever - coordinating your beverage and outfit.

At a recent LFW party, looking quite toned down and oh-so-heritage-chic in this muted green floral dress and gorgeous shoe boots - LOVE. Also adore the chunky gold watch and bright lippie that really take this look to the next level. Honestly, is this girl a style chameleon or what? Pretty much anything she wears looks incredible.

Resisting the urge to go too crazy with outfits on stage, this daisy dress is gorgeous, kooky and totally Nicola. This girl is racking up some serious style credentials - she may have worn this to perform a few moths ago, but the mini hemline is bang on trend now, what with the 60s vibe floating around fashion space.

Okay, so she's modelling here and is therefore expected to look mind-blowingly gorgeous, but really.. this is out-of-this-world stunning on so many levels. The LBD & heels is a classic combo, but the sleeves and texturing here make it totally unique, while letting her flawless makeup and unbelievably volumized hair stand out perfectly. Top marks. If only this sort of look worked in the real world!

From all black to some serious clashing prints here, kudos to Nicola for pulling off this fashion forward ensemble! I'm pretty sure if I tried to be this fashion-forward I would just look like an explosion in a pattern factory.. but she just looks achingly stylish. Oh to have her innate fashion sense. Gorgeous shoes too.

I remember seeing this a while back and just loving it. Of course, it's totally impractical for anyone in the real world - those shoes wouldn't let you take more than 5 steps without tumbling. I'm actually thinking she has superhuman powers to be able to walk in them. But anyway, this look is amazing because it makes dressing for British summer totally simple - she looks glam and summery, but will still be warm in our disappointing climate! Shame we're heading into winter now..

Airport style.. always a tricky one! Most of the general public will wear anything comfortable because they know they won't be hounded by paps.. no such luck for celebs. They have to look totally fashionable, while being able to survive a long-haul flight comfortably. And does Nicola manage? Of course. The luxe bag and shoes rev up the outfit without being OTT, and the clashing patterns work thanks to the block colour clothes. More style genius from Miss Roberts here.

And finally, since winter is approaching, I couldn't resist a little snap of Nicola defying the rule that warm = unfashionable. This standout red coat is the perfect eye-popping hue to brighten up those dull winter days while keeping you snuggly through the hell that is British wintertime. Also relishing seeing her in flat shoes - practicality!

As I have now proven, Nicola Roberts has insane style and totally deserves to be one of my style obsessions. After looking at these stunning outfits, I am resolved to be a bit more accepting of my natural look, and work with what I have - it clearly pays off for her! The variety in her looks is also admirable.. she manages to change her style often while always looking totally du jour. Now I just can't wait to see what she wears next.. and during fashion week, I hopefully won't have to. Love and kisses, Tara xox

I like to think I dress eclectically when I'm in a hurry..

Wednesday is such a lovely little half day that sometimes I forget I actually need to go into college. Like today. I woke up as usual at 6.30am (ugh) and to my sleepy mind it felt like today was a day off.. leading to a doze for ten minutes, followed by a panicked scramble to get ready as I realised that actually, college was very much open and yes, I was expected to be there. I'm saying all of this just so you understand that although I have outfit ideas in my head, I am not the kind of over-organised girl who lays her clothes out the night before and then gets up on time and saunters out the house in plenty of time.. oh no. I'm more likely to have an idea, then run around like a headless chicken trying to find everything I want to wear after wasting ages in the shower. And then have no time to do my hair before legging it out of the door. Here's what today's mad scramble produced..

Dress & Ring - Topshop; Shirt & Bag - River Island; Shoes - New Look; Tights - Primark; Necklace - Accessorize.
Layering has a lot to be said for it in these awkward transitional days when indecisive weather means you either boil or freeze, whatever you wear. Up until recently I was convinced that it just made me look chunky though - but now I've realised what a well placed skinny belt can do to keep you in proportion. Genius. Oh, and in my opinion, denim shirts are so not over.. key fashion layers! Even double denim hasn't quite died yet.. as Kate Moss proved when she rocked the trend at Fashion Week.. If she's working it, it has to be a la mode. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I actually dressed for the weather today!

Shock. Horror. Disaster. I broke the pattern of a lifetime and wore warm clothes when it was cold out! That's practically sensible. And I've got to admit, I was snug as a bug in a rug all day long. I think there's something to be said for warm clothes in winter..

 Jumper - H&M; Jeans & Boots - New Look; Bag - River Island; Necklace - Dorothy Perkins; Ring - Primark.
Starring appearances in my photo here from my shoe collection & my cat - clearly the two great loves of my life.. But no, this was one of my most practical outfits to date, and I didn't even take the weather into account! I just wanted to wear it. Maybe the weather went along with it, and if I'd work a sundress & dollies it wouldn't have rained.. Still. I was so warm and comfy today that I am in love with every item - prepare to see a lot more of them, but in original ways every time.. you know me! Not one to wear an exact outfit twice. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fashion Confession.

The realisation that it's Monday is normally a horrible one made at 6.30 in the morning, when I remember that I actually have to get up in the morning, but now it is quite a pleasant surprise actually.. because I quite love doing my fashion confessions! So here's the next random fashion "secret" about me that I'm willing to divulge..

I am obsessed with patterned tights.

They just draw me in, like a moth to a flame. Especially now that it's so cold I need them to stop my legs going blue. But there's just something about patterned tights.. I buy so many pairs that I have an entire drawer devoted to tights, and still want more. There's an infinite number of patterns and colours that mean I can literally never have enough! I think this fetish dates back all the way to when I started primary school - would I turn up in regulation grey/black tights? No way. Mine were stripy, spotty, even glittery and it was never too much. Then in secondary school tights were literally the only way to stand out a bit, so the current stockpile began then..

Now I think pattern tights are just the perfect way to be a bit individual, whether they are totally clashed-up or as the focus of an oufit.. And it's always fun to wear something a little bit different! Don't get me wrong, I do own plain, sensible tights for those times when an outfit is so eye-wateringly bold/bright/crazy that anything more would tip it over into ugly - but those times are few and far between in my book. More is more. And that includes making your legs look awesome. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Mondays always need brightening up.

Monday rolled back around again, meaning more crack-of-dawn dressing for college.. luckily, I thought ahead and had an idea of what to wear. Here's my brainwave in fashion form..

Gold Top - Pull & Bear; Shorts - Reverse; Cardigan, Black Vest (underneath) & Shoes - New Look; Tights - Primark; Bag - River Island; Necklace & Ring - Topshop.
I felt a bit mix & match today if I'm honest, hence the staggering amount of patterns and colours I threw on. Both the gold top and the cardigan were getting their first days out in the world, and I couldn't resist wearing them with my Americana shorts.. hopefully I pulled off the slightly clashy look. The tights were just a small nod to the absolutely huge polka dots trend. I think I now love the cardigan even more than I did when I bought it (2 days ago, yes) since I was toasty warm all day without sinking to coat level. New autumn staple? I think so. Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Keeping my skin in tip-top condition means work..

I've just realised that you know how I maintain my hair, and you know exactly what makeup I wear, but you don't know the skincare regime I swear by.. well, time to fix that. Skincare is vital for me because I have irritating combination skin, ranging from dry to oily - which is really annoying! It makes it difficult to find products that actually work, and it means that missing a day in the regime has a huge effect. I'll start by explaining what I use in order, and why it has won its prestigious place in my bathroom.

The first thing that goes onto my face in the morning (aside from breakfast crumbs if I've been messy) is this - Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash. It leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed, while smelling gorgeous and lasting for a long time! I stocked up on it last time it was on offer (about 6 months ago), and still have an unopened bottle.. it's just so good that it has blown all my other cleansers out of the water.

Next up is Garnier Fresh Essentials Hydrating Day Cream. As it says on the label, this is for normal and combination skin, which means it isn't too thick for mine but still hydrates really well. The vitamin enriched formula leaves my skin nice and smooth too. I only use this in the mornings, since it is a day cream, before I put on my makeup - a good tip is to really massage it in, then do your eye makeup or something else before putting on foundation so that it has a chance to soak in, or you'll get the oily, shiny look.

Now we move on to the evening.. This is all about getting my makeup off so my pores aren't all blocked up over night - basically making my face as squeaky clean as possible. I always use these face wipes, and have loads of packets littering my room so that I never run out. They are Skin Therapy 3 In 1 Fragrance Free Facial Wipes, cheekily bought in Wilkinsons because they have the best deal.. Basically they're awesome because they remove makeup really easily, even thick coats of mascara and eyeliner, and don't leave my face dry like other face wipes do. After using these I usually use the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash again - double cleansing to make sure!

Okay, so I don't just double cleanse, I triple cleanse. And the third product in my skincare trilogy is Pond's Cold Cream. I first started using it when I heard somewhere that Kylie loves it (don't judge me, you know how I feel about that woman), but it earned its keep with amazingly quick results. It's a slightly strange product to use, because you put it on like any cream, then have to wipe it off with cotton wool pads.. but it really works. You would think that after two cleanses there couldn't be any more makeup/dirt on my face, but the proof is on the cotton wool - an amazing amount of makeup still comes off, showing that this really is worth it. It cleans off so much, while making my skin incredibly silky and smooth, as well as hydrating it so well that a moisturiser isn't necessary.

And there you have it, my skincare regime. I do this every day, and although I still get the odd breakout (probably down to the insane amount of junk food I eat) my skin is generally clean, soft and clear. Of course, I'm not a total slave to the routine - there are days when, for whatever reason, I haven't done one of the steps.. like if I am at a friend's house and can't be bothered to take it all with me. But I do notice the difference. I generally have to cleanse and moisturise twice as well the next day.. 
However, I am a big advocate of taking time off doing any skincare at all. When I go on holiday I tend to just moisturise before putting on my makeup and use a face wipe to wipe it all off again.. and even though I get a few more blemishes the first day or so, letting my skin breathe without all the chemical formulas gets it really clear. I also believe that your skin gets used to a set routine, so going back to it after a break makes it even more effective. Love and kisses, Tara xox