Friday, 30 March 2012


Quite a while ago now I wrote a post rambling on about how much I needed to get some flatforms in my life (check it out here), since they were the surprisingly popular emerging shoe trend of the season. I listed many gorgeous pairs in that post, picked my favourites, and then obviously ended up getting a completely different pair! 

I got these stunning floral flatforms from ASOS from their extensive selection of gorgeous pairs. I will admit that these weren't my first choice, but my favourites all had some part made of leather.. Disappointing. I then saw that these were 100% man-made, and decided that I quite liked the cute, colourful print, so I went for it. They arrived today and I eagerly shoved my feet into them, to find out that actually they were gorgeous, so comfortable and made me feel like summer. I wasn't overly sure about the ankle strap, since my short legs look even shorter when cut off at the ankle, but with the platform at the bottom it kind of works. I can't wait to wear these out, not only because they are bold and beautiful but also because they add height at a ridiculous level of comfort. 

Love and kisses, Tara xox

On holidad part two - the purchases.

As promised here comes a quick show-and-tell of my Madrid shopping haul, disappointingly small though it is. It was mostly the product of a last-day shopping frenzy, although I did try not to waste all my Euros..

The first thing that got me was a pair of sunglasses on the first or second day, since I had forgotten to pack mine! I was caught by these in H&M and decided that they were a very practical, yet stylish purchase.

I love the classic, Wayfarer-esque shape that means they will go with most outfits. I actually have some Wayfarers in black, and I adore them, so getting a similar style in another pattern makes sense (to me at least). The again classic tortoiseshell print gives this style a chic twist and adds a bit of interest. I got a fair bit of use out of these on the trip itself and can see myself living in them on any future holidays thanks to their versatility and the fact they were so cheap I won't mind subjecting them to a bit of a battering.

Next, my eye was caught by a gorgeous blazer in Bershka..

It's a little plane-crumpled from being squeezed into my cabin-baggage suitcase, but I think you can still see how beautifully summery it is. I have been contemplating a coloured blazer for what seems like forever - basically since I discovered how versatile and incredible the black one could be! Since head-to-toe pastels is a bit of a trend this season I thought that if I was going to go for one, pastel was the way to go, and this stunning peach shade was perfect. It is also really well fitted, even on a petite girl of 5'0. I think it must have been intended to be cropped, but that just means it is a perfect length on me. I also love the bold black button and striped turn-ups on the sleeves for that extra little detail.

At every turn I was drawn to tropical print shirts, and in Blanco I finally caved and bought this one.

I wasn't initially sure about this blouse, but the print certainly attracted my attention. Then I saw one of the shop assistants wearing it and really liked the cut and how it fell on a person, which made my decision for me. I didn't even try it on, I just picked it up in an XS (European sizing was mind-boggling to me) and bought it. Now I am back home I am so glad I did, I love the bright, beautiful print of a beach - palm trees, flowers, sea and all - and can't wait to wear it. This will be a perfect piece for day all through spring and summer.

I also decided to replace my purse, since it was getting rather battered and saw this one in Blanco too.

I absolutely love how chic this purse looks, how simple and classic it is with that clean shape and gold detail. My favourite thing about it however is the colour combination - it is the perfect way to work a pop of yellow into my wardrobe.

Finally, I got a bit overexcited in Muji. I don't know what it is, but their practical-meets-quirky take on useful things just pulls me in like a moth to an electric light. 

Something about cute stationary can attract me and excite me in a similar way to clothes. I don't know what it is - maybe a desire to accessorize absolutely everything. All I know is that I had to force myself to stop with just a black rubber, two pens and a notebook. The pens are in rose-pink and sky-blue and are possibly too beautiful to ever write with. And the notebook, well, that I just could not leave behind - it is tiny and has rainbow coloured pages. Isn't it the cutest? I don't know if I will want to waste it with my trivial scribblings, but I love it anyway.

And there you have my actually quite restrained and small set of purchases from Madrid - what do you all think? Worth it?

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Breaking up again.

Today was my last college day before breaking up for the Easter holidays. While I'm pretty keen for a holiday and looking forward to lounging around in the sun (if it lasts), reaching the end of my penultimate term at college has made me realise just how close the exams are. Time to get my head down and do some revision, I think! Tomorrow. Today is going to be one last fully lazy day, especially after some car issues first thing and the sheer joy of handing in a finished piece of coursework..

Blouse, Shorts & Sunglasses - H&M; Shoes & Ring - Topshop; Tights - Primark; Necklace - New Look.

Excuse the strange morning light in this photo, and try instead to focus on the clothes.. I opted for an outfit that I again was not convinced by in theory, but actually loved in practice. I thought that combining some bright digital florals with scarf-print shorts would be too much, but apparently in this 'anything-goes' season it works. I surprised myself a little with this, and am proud I had the guts to wear it out! I did tone it down a little with plain black opaques and glitter flats, as well as some much-needed sunglasses.

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

On holidad.

Okay, wowzers. I've been silent as the grave post-wise for the past five days. That is practically unheard of, right? Normally I can't wait to ramble at length.. Well, I've got a legitimate excuse right here - last Friday I jetted off to Madrid with some of my fellow Spanish students for a college trip, and I only got home last night at some ungodly hour. I could blog all day about how much I love Madrid, bore you all sick with endless lists of things we did, things we ate (it was a real food holiday) and how much I wish I was back there right now, but I will try to keep mindless musings to a minimum & stick to the fashion side of it.

First up is my first holiday outfit, which had to be a versatile affair since it needed to see me through a morning in college, some coach-airport-coach transit and then an evening in some kind of tapas bar.

Blazer – ASOS; Top  & Necklace – Topshop; Shorts & Cuff – H&M; Tights – Primark; Shoes – New Look.

I opted for a quick mix of some spring trends – scarf print and pastels - with my new paisley shorts, and a simple scalloped vest in my favourite colour of the season, mint green. The combination works in a way I wasn’t sure it would, probably due to the black blazer and black opaques that frame it, and the cute colour-pop slippers.

Day one was over quite quickly, lost in transit, and day two rolled around. I tried not to let being on holiday and dressing out of a suitcase lessen my style, and although I knew the weather would be good, I didn't let myself slip from trend-driven dressing to lazy-holiday style.

Blazer – ASOS; Blouse  & Shoes – Primark; Skirt – H&M; Tights – New Look; Bracelet – Temporary Secretary; Ring – Topshop; Bag – H! by Henry Holland.

Another bit of pastel confectionery burst out of my suitcase for the first full day in Madrid, this time my pleated lemon blouse and mint green shoes. I was a little unsure about doing the double pleat with this blouse & my colour-block skirt, but I think the fairly simple colour combinations made it work. This was almost a print-free outfit, until I added in my star print tights for a little bit of extra interest.

On day two we ended up hitting the Prado museum, after a bit of a walk, and I enjoyed it more than I expected. I’m no art critic, and probably would have preferred it if we went to a Prada museum, but I do admit that some of the paintings really impressed me, and we spent a fair while in there quite happily. Then came the usual gift shop frenzy, followed by a minority of the group wandering through Madrid back to our youth hostel (the others took the metro – lazy!), while we entertained ourselves looking around and adding ‘idad’ to every word. Yes, I study A2 level Spanish.

Then we went out for the evening in the red light district – not on purpose, it just happened to be the area we were staying in. I will admit we peaked too soon as we kicked off with a good jug of Sangria. This was followed by an immense amount of walking, some serious snacking, wine, and the discovery of cartons of Sangria for a little over a Euro.

We all woke up on day three pretty sleepy, ready for some coffee. Again I tried to maintain the standard of my outfits..

Blouse, Jeans & Sunglasses – H&M; Necklace & Shoes – New Look; Ring – Temporary Secretary.

Jeans may not have been the wisest choice for a super-sunny day in Madrid, but I really loved this combination of a bold floral shirt, shimmering metallic jeans and colour pop slippers. I did feel quite eccentric as I strolled through the streets, but maybe that's just my style. This look worked very well day-to-night though, because those metallic jeans are a little too glam for day (but can be dressed down) and are totally party-ready.

Day three consisted of an incredible amount of walking, firstly to the Plaza Mayor, then back to the hostel, then out again for lunch, more random wandering and a visit to the park. Days in Spain seem very long because nothing really gets going before lunchtime, so you can walk around for absolutely ages, and then everything stays open and buzzing until late, even the shops. After the park, we went back to the hostel again to get ready for another night on the streets of Madrid. Much like the night before, the evening consisted of Sangria, snacking and walking, only this time we ended up in a bar that we were pretty sure was a gay one. No issues with that whatsoever - besides, they mixed a good mojito.

Day four didn’t start well since we overslept and had to get ready in a rush, and I was ridiculously glad that my obsessive-compulsive planning had led to me packing pre-composed outfits for each day. 

Top – Mary Katrantzou for Topshop; Skirt – River Island; Shoes – Primark; Necklace – New Look; Bracelet – Temporary Secretary; Earrings & Ring – Topshop; Sunglasses – H&M.

By this time, I was feeling brave enough to bare my pale English legs in my favourite 50’s style skirt, paired with one of my Mary Katrantzou pieces. I love a good floral print, as you can probably tell, and I especially like how feminine I felt in this combination. Honestly, I did look feminine – just excuse the bad light of the youth hostel!

On day four we visited the Reina Sofia museum, full of modern art that was mostly incomprehensible to me. I went a little photo-crazy in there, but resisted the gift shop frenzy (okay, couldn’t find it). We then had a free afternoon to make our way back to the hostel any which way we fancied, which was basically lunch followed by another long walk. It was our last proper evening in Madrid, so even though we were tired and not really up for it, we went out again. It was a pretty funny night, again consisting of Sangria, snacks and lots of laughs.

The final day, day five, began in a bit of a packing frenzy, and I rolled out the simplest outfit of the trip..

Top, Cuff & Sunglasses – H&M; Shorts, Earrings & Ring – Topshop; Tights & Shoes – Primark; Necklace – New Look; Bag – H! by Henry Holland.

Baring a little more flesh again today, I left my shoulders bare for once. I’m not fussed about tanning, but there are occasions when I want to walk along feeling the sun on my skin. I love the cute butterfly print of this top, and the way the slouchy fit balances the uber-short shorts (tights are necessary). My mint green shoes are a bit of an unexpected colour pop, and I think I will have to get some more since this trip has pretty much battered them to death!

On our final day we went to the royal palace, and then on the last afternoon I finally got some free shopping time. It started with frozen yoghurt, churros and one final cocktail, finishing up with hitting clothes shops hard, then trying to fit everything into my suitcase. Then before I knew it we were on the coach back to college, and my mum was picking me up. I literally collapsed into bed last night.

Phew, that was a super-long post. Since I’ve already blathered on far too much I will post my scant buys another day, and just leave you with a few thoughts. Since my return to Madrid I have been thinking I could easily spend more time there, and I may just have to return soon! I am also glad that I opted out of college today, since I am suffering a severe post-holiday crash. Finally, I want to say how ridiculously excited I am for this weekend, going to see my best friend for the Kylie Minogue Anti Tour!

Oh and one last thing – if you actually made it to the end of this post, you deserve a medal! 

Amor y besos, Tara xox

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I love print.

As the title suggests, I love print. I mean seriously love it. Big and bold, cute and ditzy, tribal, polka dots, stripes, monochrome, multicoloured... I love all permutations of print. I know some people can be scared of print, especially this season's penchant for clashing two or more together, but I cannot get enough prints in my wardrobe. Don't get me wrong, I can adore plain or block-coloured pieces too, but there is just something about a gorgeous, eye-catching print that excites me. And of course, thanks to my huge print obsession, one of my favourite designers is the genius that is Mary Katrantzou - and today I wore one of her pieces.

Blazer & Earrings - Topshop; Shirt (worn as dress) - Mary Katrantzou for Topshop; Leggings - Miss Selfridge; Shoes - Primark; Belt - Malene Birger; Necklace (just seen under collar) - New Look; Cuff - H&M.

Okay, so it's not mainline Katrantzou, but no way could I afford that! However, I did manage to get my paws on this and a few other things in the massive fashion moment that was Mary's collaboration with Topshop.. and this is the first time I have worn this piece. I'll own up - it's a shirt. But since I am on the smaller side and could only manage to pick this up in a medium, it qualifies as a dress. At least with something underneath it does. Now to be honest, I've never really been a 'leggings-and-a-top' girl, at least not when I'm not lazing around my house, but I just felt like leggings were the way to go with this shirt/dress. I opted for a slightly sheeny, almost wet-look pair (remember that trend from a few years back?) and I quite like the juxtaposition of textures with the sheer, chiffony shirt.

My absolute favourite thing of today's look is of course the stunning digital floral print - it's bright, bold, beautiful, interesting, eye-catching, statement-making and somehow really easy to wear for day. Mary Katrantzou truly is the master of prints.

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Paisley & mint.

It was back into college again today since I was feeling a bit better.. Luckily it was only Wednesday, a half day, but there was the joy of parents evening as well. To kill time between my last lesson and parents evening only four hours later, I decided not to go home, but went out for lunch with Mum, treating her as a late mother's day present. It was actually a pretty good day, topped off with some more gorgeous weather - although today my dressing inappropriately went to the other end of the spectrum and I ended up being too hot.

Blazer & Ring - ASOS; Dress - Dorothy Perkins; Shoes & Tights - Primark; Earrings - H&M; Necklace - Avon; Bracelet - Pandora.

In one of my more foolish moments, I picked out an outfit more suited to January than March, or at least more suited to a cold day than the beautiful blue one we got today! I was even wearing my heavy-duty black tights, since the others were in the wash.. Big mistake. But however warm I may have been (and don't get me wrong, I adore hot weather), I was actually pretty pleased with this minimal-effort outfit. I have had this dress for quite a while, but since paisley scarf prints seem to be everywhere at the moment, I decided to break it out again. Since the majority of the outfit was black (I am turning into my mother apparently) I opted for my new mint ballet flats to add a pop of new-season colour to the look. A few pieces of delicate silver jewellery finished it off in a classic, slightly understated way.

Okay, now for possibly the first time I am going to do a little bit of shameless promotion.. My best friend has just set up her own fashion blog, literally a few days ago, and even though I might be slightly biased it is absolutely amazing. She has brilliant style, is really entertaining to read & is basically all-round amazing. Go check her out at Dress me i'm your mannequin - it's totally worth a click and a read. Oh and Becca, I love you! 

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Getting around to it...

Since I'm off college ill again (yes, I'm pathetic and sickly quite a lot lately), I have finally gotten around to a post that I have been meaning to do for weeks. As I'm sure everyone knows, the world went a little crazy over the collaboration between Marni and H&M that dropped on March 8th - and I was no exception. Or was I? When looking through the collection online to choose my pieces, I found that while they were all so well designed by the geniuses at Marni, they just weren't my cup of tea. Only one or two things caught my eye, and were exciting enough to convince me to buy. 

Obviously, the online scramble took place on March 8th, with some degree of success & a week or so later a lovely little box from H&M arrived at my door. I practically ripped it open (after struggling with it for a while) and was so happy with my piece of this collaboration.

The piece I opted for was this gorgeous flower necklace in black - bold, eye-catching and gorgeously quirky. Like I said, most of the collection wasn't really my thing, but I totally adored the Marni for H&M accessories! What I love about this necklace is that it is such a statement shape that it could easily be the focus of an entire outfit, yet the sleek, shiny black hue means it could be paired with a bold print and not steal the limelight. I'm planning on working it both ways in the near future. 

It's versatility is definitely one of this necklace's best features, and I love the way the petals of the flowers can move a little and aren't completely fixed in place, which adds tactility and motion to it. The quirky, stylized shape of the blooms is also gorgeous. And speaking of being versatile, that fabric tie means that you can have it at pretty much any length you want, from dangling almost to your waistline to acting as a choker or simply resting below your collarbones. It can be so long in fact, that for me it could even act as a belt - my parents pointed this out upon my proud displaying of it, and I am quite tempted..

I am so glad I got my hands on a piece of Marni's collection for H&M, even if it isn't an iconic dress like the Versace I will know where it originated from and enjoy it all the same. This necklace is perfect for embellishing my SS'12 wardrobe now and then making its reappearance regularly throughout my lifetime. So what do you all think? Did you pick up any items in the Marni for H&M drop way back on March 8th? 

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Monday, 19 March 2012


Finally, finally, we saw some sunshine today in my corner of the country! And it was beautiful. Even if it made driving a little more difficult due to visual impairment, I loved being able to sit outside at lunch & being able to see a blue sky for once. And just this once, my spring style was matched by the weather - and that made the look even better.

Blazer & bracelet - Topshop; Blouse - Lefties; Skirt - ASOS; Shoes - Dorothy Perkins; Ring - Primark; Necklace & Earrings - Accessorize.

Nobody can ignore the tropical prints that are absolutely everywhere right now, in either sense of the word. Anyone with half a fashionable bone in their body is snapping up tropical-print pieces left right and centre, ready to make a statement this season. I absolutely love playing with print, so naturally I had to get in on the act. This look takes a tropical print and gives it a classic, dressy twist with the pencil skirt shape, sorbet blouse and chic blazer, along with the necessary high heels. I love the bright print because it is really bold and fun, and I am so glad that the universe conspired so that the sun shone down to emphasise the tropical feel.

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Star Style Obsession - Kristen Bell

I absolutely loved Kristen Bell in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I have to admit that after that I didn't really keep up with her films... But I did keep an eye on her stylish appearances at premieres and the like because in my opinion she has a talent for choosing the most adorable dresses to appear in. I can't lie, she does seem to stick mostly to mini-dresses that show off her legs, but the old saying applies - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This girl knows what works for her and keeps it fresh by opting for unusual colours and patterns. 

I absolutely adore the print on this dress because it is so unique and eye-catching, especially when combined with such a structured shape. Kristen has played it safe and simple with accessories and totally pulls it off.

Don't get me started on how gorgeous this colour is on her. I also love the quirky cut-out detail that adds a bit of extra interest to the dress.

A LBD on Kristen is anything but boring, in fact this one is super-luxe thanks to the way the light reflects off those sequins. She has pitched this one perfectly as the conservative shape and length tone down the all-out glamour of the sequins.

Florals will always be one of my favourite prints, and I love this quirky take on the perennial trend. I am also indescribably jealous of her legs..

Opting for a fierce, structured asymmetric style here and making it work perfectly, thanks to the ladylike accessories and her sweet little smile.

Pastel colours are a real obsession of mine at the moment, and Kristen looks absolutely stunning in them. The combination of baby-blue and peach is gorgeous, and her pink lipstick stops it looking drab.

You can never, ever have too much glitter or diamantes. I love how she has balanced the high hemline with longer sleeves, even if they are sheer and diamante-encrusted. She looks like the cooler incarnation of a disco-ball in this stunning sparkling dress, and I really want one like it now!

This is the outfit that caught my attention this week and specifically made me choose Kristen as my latest style obsession. I am having a bit of a trouser phase, and this pair is incredible (especially considering they are from Topshop!), as is the way she has styled them. The sheer shirt, blazer + necklace combo is quirky, polished and totally du jour, and basically perfect in every way.

As well as on-duty, Kristen has a killer off-duty wardrobe. This look is cute, slightly off-beat and totally adorable. I love the cutout lace top, and yet again the balancing act she pulls with the uber-high hemline and long sleeves - watch and learn.

Finally, this winter look was just too cute not to post. She actually manages to make covering up look super-sweet with those adorable mittens and her knitted turban.

So what do you all think of Kristen Bell and her style? I love the way she can make her signature mini-dress and heels look fresh and on-trend with of-the-moment prints and hues, but I love her style the most when she takes a little risk, like with the Topshop trousers. Her perpetually tousled blonde waves are the perfect offset to pretty much any outfit, and you never see her looking anything less than immaculate makeupwise either - a girl after my own heart.

Love and kisses, Tara xox

Saturday, 17 March 2012


For the first Saturday in ages, I wasn't working this morning (evening shift - yay!), so of course I hit my local shops hard. Shamefully, despite pounding that pavement for quite some time I didn't actually buy that much. I'd had ideas in my head of things I'd seen before and was highly tempted to snap up, but of course when I actually got to the right stores, those things weren't there, or weren't in my size - oh the difficulties of being an average size!

Blazer - ASOS; Top & Shoes - New Look; Jeans - Primark; Bag - H! by Henry Holland; Cuff - H&M; Ring - Topshop; Earrings - Accessorize.

I went for a simple, relaxed outfit today, relying on bold colour and different textures to see me through. I don't wear jeans or trousers half as often as I wear skirts/shorts/dresses, so when I do I don't like to just wear your average pair of indigo skinnies (although I do own some of those) and would much rather make a statement. Coloured denim has been big in fashion for a few seasons now, and it is going nowhere as we get into the swing of SS'12. I have my eye on a few other coloured pairs, but while they remain firmly in my dreams I picked out this cobalt blue pair. I paired them with a white cutout lace top (white is another SS'12 trend), which stops me looking too covered-up and conservative, along with my blazer and some bright accessories. I also wore my hair up for the first time in a while, purely because it hasn't actually come down since yesterday evening!

I said that I didn't buy very much, and it is true.. In fact the only thing worth mentioning is this gorgeous new pair of flats from Primark.

Okay, in the light here they look almost light teal coloured, but I swear to you these cute little dolly shoes are actually a delightful shade of mint green. And it's not really a secret that mint is one of my favourite colours right now, as well as a big hit in fashion - yes, Gaga was right. Since they were such a bargain, I couldn't resist these shoes. They are perfect for spring, and will work beautifully with all the other pastel colours that have infiltrated my wardrobe.

Love and kisses, Tara xox