Trans-Seasonal Dressing: My Capsule Spring Closet

Happy April everyone (sorry, I know I’m a tad late to the welcoming party – are there any hot cross buns left?)! I hope your long Easter weekends were relaxing ones full of great food, great company and great TV (there were some crackers on the box). Sadly the Easter bunny did not bring nice weather with it to the egg hunt – apart from today’s wonderful glimpse of sunshine, it’s just been rain rain rain and my hair (more like ~ball of ginger frizz~) is not happy. I warn you – this post is going to involve a lot of complaining.

These days we can’t be sure what we’ll wake up to in the morning – will the Beast of the East have returned, bringing with it another deep layer of fluffy snow? Will I be woken up by the gentle lullaby of an ice cream van jingle, mum bounding up the stairs with lollies in hand announcing the 30-degree heat that arrived overnight? Will I regret spending an hour straightening my hair the evening before when I step out of my house into torrential rain?

This topsy-turvy snow-then-sun-then-snow-again-then-sun-again-then-rain-rain-and-more-rain has had me doing the hokey-cokey with my furry boots and woolly hats – in, out, in and out of the wardrobe they have gone. Mother Nature normally likes to shake things up around March-April time but this year she’s really keeping us on our toes. This is particularly inconvenient when it comes to planning outfits for the following day – we can’t really predict what we’ll be faced with on our morning commute.

I do love being organised and I refuse to let my need to plan what I’m going to wear the night before be disrupted by the silly ol’ weather. Therefore, this desire for ultra-impressive organisation (definitely not impressive) has led me to create a SpRiNgTiMe CaPsULe WaRdRoBe.

What is a SpRiNgTiMe CaPsULe WaRdRoBe I hear you ask?!? Well, it’s three fancy, fashion-y words that sound nicer together than ‘pile of clothes on my bedroom floor that I tend to reach for more often during this period of crazy weather’. Uh no wait I mean… my SpRiNgTiMe CaPsULe WaRdRoBe is a collection of pieces that I’ve spent the past couple of weeks building to use as fool-proof back-up items I can wear with the confidence that I’ll be able to face any rain, sun, sleet or snow Mother Nature wants to throw at me (OK, maybe not snow, I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared for snow).

So, if you’re interested in finding out more about some of the pieces of clothing I’ve included in my fancy-pants (definitely not fancy-pants) SpRiNgTiMe CaPsULe WaRdRoBe then keep reading… ☺️

Fur-lined jackets

I’m not normally one for bright colours – in fact I actively avoid them while browsing through clothing rails in stores – but I couldn’t take my eyes off this beautiful red/orange piece. In fact, red is fast-becoming my colour of choice this season.

This vibrant faux shearling biker jacket from River Island featured on my Instagram a couple of months ago and I’ve worn it most weekends since. Slipping your arms into these faux fur-lined sleeves feels like putting on a blanket – it’s the softest piece of clothing I think I’ve ever worn.

Rather than reaching for the nearest pair of black jeans or a navy chiffon dress to neutralise the blinding jacket (picking dark items of clothing for outfits is a reflex), I’ve paired it with even more colour. This summery dress is a New Look gem from a couple of summers ago. The biker jacket brings out the red accents in the dress, and the russet-coloured buckle booties enhance the spring/summer boho-vibe. For chillier days, I’d stick on a pair of high-waisted straight leg jeans and a thin grey tee.

If faux fur-lined biker jackets are your thing but red just ain’t, you can find other similar ones here and here.

Culottes

Culottes seem to be an item people either love or hate. I used to firmly place myself in the ‘hate’ group, assuming their shapeless silhouette would make my thighs look wider and butt look bigger (and not in a cute way 🙅‍♀️).

IMG_7933

Around this time last year though, they became a hit trend and I succumbed to the fashion slave within me and tried on a pair in a Zara changing room. It was in that changing room that I jumped straight across into the ‘AbSoLuTeLy AdOrE’ group and culottes have since become a staple item in my wardrobe.

Whereas style used to be my priority for outfits, I now tend to value comfort more than anything else (I just cross my fingers the style bit will follow suit) – luckily culottes fit the style AND comfort bill to a T. I think this navy pair from Zara (old, similar here and here) looks fab with this fluffy Topshop jumper (also old – similar here and here); I love the combination of patterns and textures. This outfit is ideal for both chilly and warmer days – culottes allow for wonderful air flow when you feel a sweat coming on during your rush to the station 😂

Roll neck tops

Roll necks are another type of clothing I have grown to love over time. As a not-so-small-chested gal who used to be quite self-conscious of any clothing that gave the impression of curves, high neck pieces were never really welcome in my wardrobe. But, like culottes, after seeing images of stylish influencers rocking roll necks under graphic tees, satin dresses, spaghetti vests and the like floating around the internet last year, I wanted to give them a chance.

Roll neck knits were my go-to this winter – they’re snug and cosy, and make you feel like you’re still tucked up under your duvet. While there are still days that make me question whether spring has actually arrived (will this rain and cold weather ever sod off?!), I’m not prepared to risk hyperthermia on my commute to work – wear a high-neck knit on a warmish day and you’ll be angrily pulling at the fabric around your armpits until you can jump into a shower. So, I’m downgrading my layers to a thin cotton roll neck tee instead.

The one in these shots is from Boohoo; similar can also be found at Suncoo and H&M. I’ve paired it with the comfiest little corduroy pinafore dress from Topshop (sold out – similar here and here) and some thigh boots. I absolutely love this outfit! Whip your hair up into a bun or high pony to accentuate the funky neckline and you’re set.

IMG_7926

Oversized scarves

Forgive me if this one sounds a bit boring or predictable but leaving it out of my SpRiNgTiMe CaPsULe WaRdRoBe would be an injustice to the power of this reliable accessory.

Anyone who sees me on the daily will be aware of my attachment to this gorgeous light blue H&M scarf (old – similar here and here). You won’t see one of us without the other (yeah, we’re one of those couples 🙄😂). She’s multi-purpose (yes, she’s a ‘she’) – flop her on top of your head and she’s a great hair-protector when it’s raining; stretch her out across your shoulders and she becomes a nice shawl for chilly evenings (not that I’m classy enough to wear a shawl); let her hang long around your neck and she conveniently covers up your pyjama top during a dash to the supermarket.

IMG_7945

If you’re not already convinced (c’mon, they’re multi-purpose hat/jacket/bad-outfit-disguises!) I think scarves also add a lot to the silhouette of an outfit.

I’ve been big on silhouettes lately, combining pieces of different shapes and textures to create an interesting outline. A tassel scarf draped twice around your neck adds a nice lil summin’ summin’ to an outfit that’s otherwise shapeless. I like contrast too – oversized sweaters with skin-tight jeans and chunky boots; figure-hugging halternecks with puffy tulle skirts, thigh boots with a flowing dress. Oversized scarves add some nice contrast to an otherwise figure-hugging or outfit.

Also, while we’re looking as these ReAlLy CoOL (definitely not cool) photos of me smiling at my cute AF scarf, can we also take note of how funky these River Island jeans are???


…and that’s it, folks – the four items I will continue plonking on my body regularly until Mother Nature decides to bless us with some sweet sunshine 🌞

I’d love to know what pieces you’ve been reaching for during this strange seasonal transition!

Love,

skitch

Three Beauty Trends I’ve Fallen For This Autumn

Who knew a full-time job would be so time-consuming? 🤷‍♀️😂

Before I officially began post-graduation employment life I thought it was going to be easy to come home from a day at the office and spend the evening blogging and shooting. Unsurprisingly though, my free time has mostly been spent on the sofa surrounded by snacks, intermittently eating and napping.

Although the rush-hour commute is a bore and the 7am alarm can feel a bit painful after a late night movie, the job itself has been a whirlwind of excitement. I’m being introduced to a brand new career and getting trained in skills I never knew existed; I’m lovin’ it ❤️

Enough work-talk though; today’s post is going to be about another little love of mine. A couple of weeks ago I talked about my favourite autumn knitwear trends, and this post will run along the same lines but instead about the beauty crazes that have caught my eye this season.

For me, the perfect autumnal palette consists of rich red and mustard hues, soft browns, various shades of beige and metallic bronze. During the autumn months I want the colours of the changing leaves to be painted in makeup onto my face; nature is the fundamental source of beauty, so why not take inspiration from it each season? For the next few months I’ll be avoiding sharp lines and bright colours (not that I’m ever really one to sport a blue eyeshadow though…!), and embracing bitten lips, glowing skin and rosy “been-in-the-cold-for-too-long” cheeks.

Red wine lips

I’ve never really been one to favour a bright lip over a striking eyeshadow look. When I’m getting ready for an event or night out, I always warm towards a smokey and dramatic dark eye, complete with sharp liner & enormous lashes. My confidence tends to dip whenever I wear a bold lip colour because there are so many things to worry about – is it on my teeth? Has it smeared all over the rest of my face? Did I just get some on that person’s shoulder when I hugged them??  This lipstick anxiety usually results in me avoiding those stunning hot red or pretty pink colours.

But, autumn always feels like the start of a new chapter. I have always associated it with the beginning of a new academic year (a milestone more anxiety-inducing for me than January 1st! 😂) and I guess I’m still stuck in that conditioned mindset of something new starting around September/October-time. This sense of starting afresh is often accompanied by the desire to be a lil bit daring and get out of my comfort zone.

My mild version of “getting out of my comfort zone” this season is going to involve deep red lipstick. Enough of simply admiring those who have the confidence to wear a beautiful lip colour (and envying their perfect application skills!) – this season I’ll be joining them in sporting those gorgeous red-berry shades (at least, I’ll try to on weekends 😜). While matte lips were all the rage this spring and summer, autumn calls for contrasting high-shine glossy looks.

red wine lips

My favourite red wine lip colour is the MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva, with a slick of No7 High Shine Translucent Lipgloss over the top. I line my lips with Max Factor Colour Elixir Universal Lip Liner before applying and it stays put for hours. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the MAC Diva, and prefer liquid lipsticks over solid ones, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen is a pretty great colour match (if perhaps a tad darker).

Rosy flush

face.jpg

Rosy red cheeks bring back childhood memories of hours spent playing in the forest after school. We would make dens within the trees and build ‘bonfires’ out of leaves, and once the sun set and the air got cold we would run home to our cosy houses and mama’s warm hugs. I’ve always loved the sensation of burning cheeks when you come into a hot room from wintery weather outside. To me, that beetroot-coloured glow breathes life and energy, and I embrace any opportunity to recreate such a look without having to do the actual running-around part 😂

Rosy pink is the colour of choice this season (for eyes, as well as cheeks). The blush that I have repeatedly been reaching for is the No7 Match Made Powder Blusher in Peach Velvet, and the Real Techniques Blush Brush is perfect for applying it with.

Modern & minimal

On the spectrum of cake-face foundation to barely-there BB cream, I can land on both ends. For the right occasion I will embrace a high-coverage foundation to create the illusion of “flawless” and matte skin. During general day-to-day activities, I’ll warm towards a lighter BB cream to even out my skin tone and add a natural glow; I’ll just dab some concealer onto blemished areas.

This autumn, the “no-makeup” makeup trend returns once again. While in previous seasons there was a focus on bare skin and soft brows, AW17 puts more emphasis on those finishing touches – wispy lashes, perfectly groomed brows (touched up with powder, if needed, and held in place with some brow gel), a touch of pearly highlighter or pale gold on eyelids, and a sleek hairstyle to accompany.

To keep my skin looking bright and glowing, without an oily effect, I use the Topshop Glow Prime & Finish underneath a light/medium-coverage foundation. For a subtle highlight you can also dab it along cheekbones, cupids bow and the bridge of your nose.


I hope you enjoyed reading about the beauty trends I’ve fallen for this autumn (get it? Fallen? Fall? Autumn? Yah, punny). I’d love to hear about the makeup fads you’re enjoying too!

Love,

skitch

The It-Knits (A/W 17)

“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~ Lauren DeStefano

By the beginning of October, trees have started to turn magical shades of pink and orange and red, leaves seem to find their way into the house every time you open the door, and that “new season” feeling has truly set in. Autumn is my favourite time of the year – finally I’ve got an excuse to snuggle up in big chunky sweaters 24/7 and spend my evenings sipping cocoa in front of the fire. I can pop to the shops in an oversized jumper dress, unbeknownst to others that I’ve got pyjamas on underneath that I haven’t bothered to change out of. I can use “it’s too cold” as an excuse not to leave my cosy house, and most importantly, I can invest in some new autumn outfits!

It’s not rare to find knitwear in the Autumn/Winter trend charts, but in 2017 there is a strong focus on textures. Cable knits, feathers and fur – sweaters this season are going to be adorned with all manner of materials and patterns. While I’ve not yet jumped on the feathered-sweater bandwagon, and that furry Zara jumper will be sitting on my wish list until I get a pay cheque, I’m so excited to have another excuse to fill up my closet with some more fluffy and velvety items.

In this post, I’ll be talking about some of the knitwear – new and old – that I’ll be wearing for the rest of the season (or year, tbh).

Earn your stripes

This cropped striped sweater was purchased from H&M years ago, but there are lots of similar pieces on the market at the moment such as these at Forever 21 and New Look. It combines two popular trends – the monochrome striped pattern that has plastered the catwalks for the majority of this year; and the cropped style, perfect for pairing with high-waisted miniskirts or jeans, or over a flowing dress. I’m embracing texture in this outfit and pairing this crop with a beautiful lace midi-skirt (originally from an M&S sale rack, similar can be found at Missguided and Very.co.uk), a big silver chain necklace (Missguided have a gold version) and some chunky white heels (Boohoo; similar here).

Oversized turtlenecks

Avenir Stripe collage (FIRST ONE!)

You can find similar knitted turtleneck jumpers at ASOS and Missguided.

Soft as velvet

Velvet

As might be evident from the name of my blog, I’ve got a weakness for anything velvet – whenever I’m adorning any soft bits of clothing, you’ll find me unconsciously stroking it throughout the day 😂. I own very few pieces of beige-coloured clothing but I fell in love with this Chenille jumper from Stradivarius as soon as I saw it on its hanger. Its beautiful texture adds detail to an otherwise plain piece, and I love the contrast of the light nude on darker colours. I’m a big fan of neutral palettes, so I’ve paired it with a really simple grey A-line skirt and black boots; the cute “bunting” necklace adds a nice pop of colour though. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, Tesco sell almost identical ones in three colours, and River Island have got a cardigan version!

The mustard knit

IMG_1686

IMG_0314

This gorgeous mustard yellow is going to be my staple colour this season. It’s bright and it’s bold – something I often shy away from when I’m constructing my outfits each day, but this cosy knit from Primark adds a much-needed burst of colour into my otherwise dark wardrobe. The sleeves on this piece are wider than average – I love how they look when they’re rolled up – and the neckline is almost polo-style. I’ll be wearing this sweater with black skinny jeans, a pair of chunky boots and an oversized scarf when the weather starts getting cooler. Primark don’t have this piece on their website, but similar-ish versions can be found at Missy Empire and New Look.


I hope you enjoyed reading about my (slightly unhealthy) affection for jumpers, and perhaps feel a tad more inspired to fill your own closet with knitwear and cosy clothing for this new beautiful season.

Love,

skitch