Monthly Archives: July 2011

Festival Fashion: Bristol Harbour Festival

Ship-Shape & Bristol Harbour

It’s that time of year again! Bristol Harbour Festival, one of the largets free events in the country, has descended on our fair city. I’ll keep this brief as I’m sure you’re already out enjoying the festivities but don’t forget to check out this amazing, totally free event over the weekend. Events, performances, street food and heaps of festival fashion can be found in the Arnolfini, Queens Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Castle Park, the newly opened M Shed and of course the harbour itself. This is one of the highlights of a Bristolian summer so don’t miss out! See you by the cider tent! x


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Filed under festivals, nautical

Hell Hath No Fury…

Primak floral trousers

… like a women scorned and in possession of a credit card. The term ‘retail therapy’ was made for a lover’s tiff, a hard day at work or family stresses. I don’t know about you but some of my best style decisions have been made during a period of sadness or anger (most notably a perfectly fitting pair of Topshop jeans purchased in the break-up fug of October 2004).

A significant shift in life can prompt major changes in the wardrobe department and while my life is pootling along quite nicely at the moment, it didn’t stop a domestic dispute with my other half becoming a perfect opportunity to make the most of the sales at Cabot Circus yesterday.

New Look and Zara are two staples in my wardrobe – I’m constantly impressed with what they both have to offer, New Look in particular has become a real fashion contender in the last five years. Zara offers timeless, elegant basics and statment pieces that walk the line between exciting and reliable – pieces that you know will become instant classics.

Add to this that both these stores just happened to have items I had been lusting after for months – in the sale – and you have a situation that might have to eventually involve my bank manager. However with a bad mood in tow and a thrill for  a bargain I was more open to taking risks (see Primark’s floral golfing trousers, above). I even threw caution to the wind by falling in love with a full price polka dot skirt with woven tan belt, below, from New Look.

More photos to follow once I’ve road-tested all this loot but for now I am basking in the glory of my therapeutic sales trip and contemplating a online session too….

New Look salesNew Look sales detailsZara sales pieces

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Filed under Cabot Circus, florals, nautical, New Look, Primark, Zara

Sales and Stripes

Ah London, my second home and forever a drain on my wallet! For the last couple of days I’ve been catching up with friends, eating cupcakes from Lola’s, checking out the amazing Glamour of the Gods exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and killing time on Oxford Street.

Until this trip I had been careful to suppress my appetite for The Sales – choosing instead to work hard, go to a few festivals and avoid those dominating red signs wherever possible. I think it was this well-meaning abstinence that contributed to my frenzied attack on Oxford Street yesterday morning. It started with the search for the perfect Breton top and ended with several Mango, H & M and Next carrier bags.

I’m a big fan of Mango and it pains me that in Bristol we have to make to with a concession in House of Fraser, so I made an effort to enjoy the one located on Oxford Street. Buried under a pile of stripes I made my way to the changing room and returned victorious, with a white and navy striped t-shirt dress and a scarlet red and muddy brown cardigan which makes me feel like an extra in Harry Potter.

Stripes on Sale - L-R: H&M, Mango and Next

A quick browse found me a another stripe – this time in the shape of a vest with a breast pocket and column of buttons down the centre in Next of all places. The royal blue and white stripes are close to perfect but I still feel the perfect stripe is out there waiting for me.

Topshop, Zara and Uniqlo all caught my attention but it was H & M that came up trumps in the sales, with a colour clashing pink and red sundress, above, and  a slightly more subtle floral print dress and tunic, below. Hopefully this little spending spree has curbed my enthusiasm for The Sales but I can’t be held responsible if I pass by Urban Outfitters next week.

Fortunately I’m off to a cottage in the middle of Wales for the rest of the week so unless Topshop have opened a new store at the top of Mount Snowdon, my credit card and I should be safe.

Fade florals and salmon pink tunics at H&M

Sheer fabrics and brushed cotton


Filed under H and M, London, Mango, shopping

Something for The Weekend: Great Birds Exhibition

This isn’t fashion related but if you want a dose of culture this weekend that doesn’t involve teenage wizards then check out the new Great Birds of the British Isles exhibition. The Birds are an all female collective of urban artists (Dora, Milk, K148 and Amour) who paint, graffiti and photograph their way through life, bringing a fresh, feminine edge to their craft and doing it all right here in Bristol.

Following on from collaborations and exhibitions in Bristol and London the Birds are back and their opening party is this Friday. I’m off to a festival and gutted I won’t be able to make it but will head down to The Upper Gallery, Bridwell Street, before the exhibition closes on the 24th July.

For more info including opening times and party details, check out their Facebook page.

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Filed under Broadmead, illustration

The Origins of Beauty

Origins goodies

In the build up to the wedding I tried my best to act like a grown woman and establish a decent skincare routine, become better acquainted with my hairdresser, eat healthily and generally take care of myself. As with most of the good intentions I make to myself on a daily basis, the majority of these fell by the wayside.

It was in fact Lorraine Kelly who kickstarted my skincare routine, by advertising a promotion by luxury natural skincare brand Origins, offering a free cleanser and skin consultation when you bought in an old skincare container to your local Origins counter. This was part of their annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle scheme and as a brand I’d always wanted to try, I jumped at the chance to sample their products. During the consultation at Bristol House of Fraser I found that the brand also specialise in mini facials. For £15, redeemable against purchase, you can be pampered for 45 minutes with moisturisers, serums, face masks and face scrubs.

As a facial virgin I felt a tad nervous as I lay down on the table a week later, cocooned under a warm blanket as the consultant got to work, but five minutes in I wondered why I hadn’t tried this ages ago. As the owner of sensitive, dry skin I had avoided such treatments in the past, worried that I would leave with bright pink face, traumatised by a concoction of synthetic ingredients and vigorous hands. Thankfully this wasn’t the case – after a lengthy consultation and a slap on the wrist for not have a decent skincare routine in place, the lovely Michelle selected products packed full of natural ingredients that would hydrate my skin and give it that  all-important bridal glow.

By the end of the session, which included a hand and arm massage and an amazingly hydrating skin mask, I drifted out onto the shop floor in a state of utter relaxation. I treated myself to another facial before the big day (its best to leave a good three-five days between a facial and a special event) and although I’ve had to restrain myself thanks to a post-wedding financial slump, I think £15 is a bargain for such a relaxing, calming and hydrating facial.

If you’re nervous about taking the plunge into the world of facials then I would recommend a visit to your local Origins counter for a natural, luxurious treat. Oh, and for the authority on local beauty, don’t forget to check out The Bristol Beauty Blog too for skincare and make up tips and tricks.


Filed under beauty

Vintage knits and ditzy dresses at Top Deck Closing Down Party

green and white stripped vintage dress

Happy Monday folks, I’ve just about recovered from my mildly traumatic carbooting experience to share with you some gems I picked up at the Top Deck Closing Down Party. Friday evening was the last time Top Deck opened before sailing away into the sunset and A and I went down to see if we could bag ourselves a bargain.

As well as booze, live music and a SNES (!) which left me pinning for my old Sega Megadrive, there were plenty of vintage and retro gems to riffle through. While A fell in love with a pair of woven tan sandals, I found a gorgeous white and green striped sleeveless mini dress, above.

While I’m not a huge fan of polyester, I do love the prints that accompany this style of dress, and unlike most of my vintage finds this is already a suitable length to wear without feeling like I am channeling an OAP. The mint green buttons are a nice touch though I think I’ll switch the belt for a tan number. As well as this I found myself transfixed by a lemon yellow knitted tank, below.

While I am partial to a spot of ill-advised 80s knitwear, I find that, thanks to having breasts and more meat on my bones than a size 6 catwalk model, these jumpers often just make me look frumpy. Not Shoreditch chic or dripping in ironic cool, but just like they looked on your mum the first time round, only without a scrunchie and Pat Butcher earrings.

It was therefore a rather pleasant surprise to find that not only did this jumper fit me, it actually suited my shape and was, dare I type the words, flattering. The lemon colour suits my post-holiday skin and the fine knit cable details and scalloped edges keep it the right side of feminine. It took us some time to make it to the till as every rail had something to offer but I managed to restrain myself to buying just these two items.

It’s a shame to see a hidden gem of vintage finds close down and I wish the Top Deck owners all the best for the future. If you checked out the closing party let me know what you thought and what found its way into your wardrobe!

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Filed under granny fashion, knitwear, Start The Bus, vintage

Something for the weekend… Top Deck

Top Deck closing down party

Saying goodbye isn’t easy, and as more national retailers go under it is hardly surprising that independent shops are closing left, right and centre too. Sadly  vintage emporium Top Deck (situated above Start The Bus on Bladwin Street) is one such shop.

Founded in 2010, the store sold and retro clothing, hosted several art exhibitions and was a little slice of awesomeness in the centre of town before it’s permanent closure was announced last month.

The good news is that Top Deck are going out with a bang this Friday (that’s tomorrow folks) with a massive closing down party. Running from 5pm till late the party promises live music, free booze and 50% off all clothing. You can also bring your own booze and listen to the likes of TOWNS and Pardon My French on the decks. So kickstart that Friday feeling by bagging a bargain and biding farewell to a fab independent boutique.

For more info check out their Facebook event.


Filed under independent fashion, shop closure, shopping, Start The Bus, vintage

Bristol’s first Oxfam Boutique has landed!

Oxfam Boutique Park Street, Bristol

Bristol's Oxfam Boutique, Park Street

London has it’s fair share, Bath and Cardiff can boast one each and for a while I was wondering if an Oxfam Boutique would ever make it to Bristol but thankfully my prayers have been answered in the city’s first Oxfam Boutique situated on the oh-so-stylish Park Street.

Sat cosily between Cath Kidson and Boston Tea Party, the newly opened Oxfam Boutique has been decked out with a signature monochrome colour scheme, minimalist layout and gorgeous white gilt mirrors. Oh, and there are some nice clothes in there too.

Yesterday morning as I ducked in and away from the rain one of the boutique’s lovely volunteers toldy me how well the store has been received. Clothing donations are always welcome, and the boutique is also on the hunt for fashion-forward volunteers. Fututre plans could see the boutique getting involved in fashion shows, developing an online store and hosting events such as Stitch and Bitch nights so watch this space.

There was a wide range of womenswear and menswear to choose from – the  a cream cable knit jumper in the mens knitwear section particularly caught my eye – and the boutique feel come through in the clean display, minimalist window dressing and of course the prices – slightly higher than your average charity shop. There wasn’t quite as much vintage stock as I would have liked – though supermarket brands and Primark labels were all to common on the rails, as is often the case with fast fashion labels – but hopefully this will change as donations come flooding in.

The way Oxfam has tapped in to the link between charity shops and the trend for vintage or pre-loved clothing is spot on and undoubtedly an inspiring factor in Clic Sergent’s ‘Shop’ on Gloucester Road. In a location that already boasts some fantastic vintage hotspots such as Uncle Sams, Motel and BS8, the boutique will have plenty of competition but lets not forget that shopping here will get you a new outfit and contribute to a fantastic charity.

If you want to Beat Poverty With Style then pop in and say hello, volunteer your time or treat yourself to a new piece of wardrobe candy at Oxfam Boutique, 77 Park Street, BS1 5PF.

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Filed under charity shop, Eighties, ethical fashion, granny fashion, oxfam, vintage

Festival Fashion: St Paul’s Carnival

London may have it’s Pride Festival parade today, but in Bristol it’s all about St Paul’s Carnival. I wish I were writing this post tomorrow afternoon, after a night of hell-raising but alas I’m sat at home on a Saturday night nursing a nasty bout of festival flu. Those of you who have experienced the physical come down of a festival will know what I’m talking about – headaches, aching muscles and a cold that makes me sbound libe dis – my body is literally punishing me for having such a good time : )

Glastonbury was a riot – if you haven’t already seen my festival fashion guide check it out – as was my time spent blogging and tweeting for Worthy FM. A snoop backstage revealed that Barbour jackets were just as essential as a decent pair of sunnies, and my wellies certainly earned their stripes over the weekend. Since my return I’ve been feeling under the weather but that didn’t stop me from checking out St Paul’s Carnival today – a must on my to do list every July.

For me the carnival signifies the start of the summer and this afternoon did not disappoint. Aside from carnival costumes half of Bristol took to the streets in maxi dresses, double denim, floral hair garlands and body con mini dresses. The festival spirit was in the air, floating past giant sound systems along with the smell of jerk chicken and fried plantain – nom!

Before retiring to my sickbed I took a few snaps of the carnival in all it’s glory which you can see below. If you took to the streets let me know what you wore and what you got up to : )

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Filed under denim, festivals, Glastonbury, St Paul's Carnival