Tag Archives: Zara

Dear Santa… A Christmas Wishlist

Christmas wishlist 2013

Jo Malone fragrances in Earl Grey & Cucumber and Blackberry & Bay / Balega running socks / Deep red brogue Chelsea boots, River Island / Zara mens knitted hat / Listography Journal, Play.com / FujiFilm Instax 90, Photojojo/ Lipstick Queen Some Like it Hot gift set / 2014 diary, Paperchase

I know I said no gift guides this year but I couldn’t help putting together a little wishlist for myself, including a new camera – a girl can dream, right?

This year, for the very first time, Mr Ship-Shape and I taking the plunge and hosting Christmas ourselves. Given that we’ll be spending a fair chunk of money on keeping seven people in food and wine for a couple of days, we’ve decided just to give each other stockings this year, so I don’t expect I’ll find a FujiFilm Instax 90 or a new lens under the tree.

We’ll be using the red and white polka dot stockings that I made last Christmas and filling them with small but thoughtful gifts – I already have a couple stowed away that I hope he’ll like!

When I was younger I was all about the Christmas presents – even a few years ago I could barely get to sleep on Christmas Eve for all the excitement – but now I’m a little older, I’ve reached something of a tipping point. A stocking is lovely and I’ll never say no to a bottle of Jo Malone cologne or a pair of wine coloured Chelsea boots, but they can’t compare to family.

I really am just looking forward to spending time with our respective families, enjoying the company of those I see far too infrequently and setting some of our own Christmas traditions, which may or may not include devising a recipe for Baileys hot chocolate…

What are you wishing for most this Christmas?

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Playing with Proportions

Zara cropped sweatshirt and Topshop skirt

Eight years ago, if you’d told me I’d be wearing a cropped sweatshirt I’d have laughed in your face and then pulled down on the hem of my baggy jumper even further.

Before I came to university, the concept of having a waist was foreign to me. Although not obviously overweight, I’ve never possessed a flat, washboard stomach, so trends like 90s cropped tops passed by me in a flurry of ‘well why should I pay so much for a t-shirt that’s half finished anyway!?’

But then I found myself living in a house of ten people – including seven girls with seven distinctly different personal styles. We shopped, we borrowed clothes and my waist was eventually coaxed out of hibernation, embracing the trend for wide elasticated waist-cinching belts with aplomb. After university I took up running and yoga and started loosing weight. 50s vintage skirts piqued my interest and I finally started shopping for clothes with waistlines that sat around the middle of my body rather than hanging off my hips.

Today I’ll try almost any trend, and while my midriff remains firmly under wraps, accentuating my waist with a full circle midi skirt and cropped sweatshirt is all part of playing with the figure I have, rather than pinning for a body I’ll never have.

This beautiful powder blue midi skirt was snapped up in the Topshop sale a few weeks ago (where I also bought these beauties) and the cropped grey marl sweater is a recent impulse purchase from Zara, and my first foray into anything cropped since the age of ten, when cropped ‘bra’ tops were all the rage. My silver brogues from Office complete the look, which is one of my new favourites to wear to work.

Are cropped clothes a yeay or a nay in your style playbook?

Zara and Topshop outfitRed ombre hairZara cropped sweatshirt and powder blue Topshop skirtSilve brogues from Office

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Five Alternatives to Pink Princess Coats

Five Alternatives to Pink Princess Coats

Camel and faux leather coat – Zara  /Plum funnel neck coat – Jaeger  / Mustard yellow boucle wool coat  – River Island / 1970 Soul  straight cut blue coat  – Reiss / Orange boucle coat – French Connection

As much as I loved Raf Simon’s princess pink swan-song at Jil Sander (A/w 2012), the whole over-sized, pastel pink, dropped shoulder, Grace Kelly-esque thang isn’t my cup of tea. The show was nothing short of beautiful and when Carven, Mulberry and Celine followed suit with pink coats for A/w 2013, I knew the trend would stick.

I appreciate the sugary sweetness of it all, but pastel, powder, blush or fuchsia; pink just doesn’t suit me. And what’s more, I don’t even like it.

Yep, that’s right, this blog might be covered in the pink stuff but it’s not my favourite colour by a long stretch, partly because it was always a colour I was encouraged to like growing up because ‘you’re a girl’. Pink is now such a loaded hue that apart from the design on this blog, I tend to avoid it at all costs.

I’ve seen a gazillion pink winter coat options on the high street, compiled on wishlists and featured in blog posts (my fave being Amy’s round up), but what I haven’t seen is some decent alternatives.

Above is a selection of five beautiful high street winter coats for the pink-phobic like me. Are you pining for a pink coat this season or does one of these take your fancy?

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Topshop Haul and THAT Zara Scarf

Topshop outfit with Zara scarf

I’m reluctant to use the word ‘haul’ in titles because, a) it’s terribly American, and b) there is enough mass consumerism in the world without me adding to it with a high street binging session.

However, when the Mr left me alone for ten days to go gallivanting half way around the world for work, I took out my loneliness on the recent Topshop sale, in a big way. I bought four completely different, mis-matched items, two of which can be seen here.

Sales have a habit of bringing out the best and worst in me – sometimes I’ll find the perfect item that I was waiting to go down in price and other times I’ll be so excited that a top is in my price range that it doesn’t matter if it’s bright orange and covered in enough feathers to keep Big Bird warm.

This digital print rose skirt fits into the latter category – I’ve been after a pencil skirt for a while and although pink isn’t my favourite colour, I’m a sucker for a good floral print, as my collection of floral trousers will attest to. On the contrary, the fine knit grey jumper was a no-brainer. It’s so light and delicate that can be layered with any outfit and the colour goes with almost everything else in my wardrobe – result!

As this was a lazy Sunday afternoon outfit I slung on a pair of beaten up Converse and kept warm with my huge Zara scarf. Since it featured in a previous outfit post, I figured I should at least go to the effort of showing off the other side – a fine herringbone pattern in black and white wool. If you haven’t yet gotten your mitts on one –hurry! I hear they’re selling like hotcakes…

Jumper and pencil skirt – both Topshop / Double sided scarf – Zara / White trainers – Converse / Grey wool backpack – free gift with some German beer Mr Ship-Shape picked up on his travels

Zara herringbone scarfTopshop jumper and grey wool backpackTopshop and Zara outfitTopshop rose print pencil skirt and Converse trainers

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Welcome to The Greatest Show on Earth

Heartfelt vintage blouse and Zara shorts

On Sunday I kicked off September with a visit to Circomedia’s Sunday Best event in Portland Square.

Circomedia are something of a Bristol institution, housed in a beautiful church overlooking Portland Square, which sits between St Pauls and Cabot Circus, the performance company specialises in contemporary circus and physical theatre. They’re a regular feature at festivals like Glastonbury and watching one performance will have you wishing you could run away to join the circus.

The afternoon was family-orientated but I managed to to blend in with the 10 year olds and try my hand at the trapeze, which was actually scarier than I anticipated, even though I was only five feet off the ground. Extreme concentration was required, see photos below, but it was so much fun and a great way to round off a weekend that had up until that point included three – yes, three – trips to B&Q.

For the occasion I wore the vintage lace blouse I found at Heartfelt Bristol, paired with the Zara shorts I found in their summer sale. The faux gold jazz shoes are an old pair from Primark and the belt is vintage Laura Ashley. The satchel is from Dr Martens and is perfect for keeping my DSLR safe when I don’t want to lug my chuncky camera case around.

Not the most practical outfit, but the afternoon was so much fun that I’m even contemplating signing up for a beginner course. I don’t think there’s any danger of me running away to join the circus just yet but a girl can dream…

Vintage lace blouse – Heartfelt Bristol / Blue and cream striped shorts – Zara / Belt – vintage / Gold jazz pumps – Primark / Leather satchel – c/o Dr Martens

Circomedia Portland SquareHula-hoops at Circomedia Sunday Best eventAttempting the trapeze in Portland SquareCircomedia event at Portland SquareCircomedia Sunday Best eventVintage blouse from Heartfelt BristolPortland Square churchZara shorts and vintage blouse on the trapeze

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Festival Fashion: A summer Style Challenge with Cabot Circus

Cabot Circus Festival Fashion

When Cabot Circus challenged myself and two other bloggers to a Summer Style Challenge I couldn’t resist shopping for the ultimate summer look; festival fashion.

I go to at least one big festival every summer, not to mention the numerous one and two day affairs that take place in the heart of Bristol throughout the year, and to me they signify the start of summer.  This year I’m heading to Glastonbury and crossing fingers, toes and every other body part that it will be a rain-free festival.

Armed with £150, channeling Florence Welch and the hazy warmth of Coachella, I headed to Cabot Circus to shop for the perfect festival outfit. I’m insanely sensible when it comes to festival dressing and already own a waxed cotton jacket and wellington boots from previous festival shopping sprees. But festivals are a place to have fun and if it doesn’t rain all weekend then the last thing you want to be stuck wearing is jumpers and hot rubber boots.

Topshop Chelsea boots

I started by investing in a pair of Chelsea boots from Topshop. Clocking in at £65 they’re not cheap, but a good pair of comfortable ankle boots are a festival must-have. Glastonbury is nearly two square miles so if you’re planning on seeing acts at every stage that’s a lot of walking to do!

Shorts are another festival essential – if it’s hot you can wear them with bare legs and if it’s cold and wet you can layer tights of patterned leggings underneath. These stonewash ‘boyfriend’ shorts are from New Look and at £14.99 they’re a bargain! To keep with the hippie-folk feel I paired them with a £25 Chelsea Girl sleeveless cream blouse from River Island. I love the lace details and the button front – it’s so easy to wear and can be paired with skirts and leggings just as easily as shorts, making it perfect for a capsule festival wardrobe.

A backpack is an on-trend way to carry festival essentials such as a camera, suncream, tissues and a bottle of water, so I chose this brown cotton number from the men’s department at H&M. As a rule I find menswear on the high street to be more robust, and am partial to jumpers and t-shirts designed for menfolk. At £15, this backpack was the perfect choice as the colour will go with the rest of my festival wardrobe and if it gets a bit muddy then, well, at least this will act as camouflage!

Finally I topped this look off with the ultimate in flamboyant festival fashion, a fringed kimono top from Zara. At £29.99 I think this cream number adds the touch of frivolity that festivals demand. The jade, magenta and burnt orange flowers on the back make this a statement piece that could easily be worn over a simple t-shirt, black jeans and ballet pumps on a night out as well as at a festival.

That’s my Style Challenge outfit – do you think it’s festival ready?

To see more Cabot Circus ‘Home of the High Street’ Style Challenges don’t forget to check out how Gina put together her honeymoon style challenge and how Christina tackled a summer chic look.

Fringed kimono – Zara / Cream lace sleeveless top – River Island / Stonewash ‘boyfriend’ shorts – New Look /  Tan Chelsea boots – Topshop / Belt – H&M / Hair garland – Glastonbury festival market stall

Floral hair garlandCabot Circus Summer Style ChallengeZara kimono and River Island topZara fringed kimono and H&M backpackNew Look Boyfriend shorts

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Cowboy boots and Western shoots

Zara studded cowboy boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

You know when you really want to like something but it just doesn’t happen? I feel that way about heels – not just high heels, all heels. I can’t walk in anything over an inch and even then I have an 80% chance of stacking it once I leave the house.

My ineptitude for heels knows no bounds, and I thought even cowboy boots were out of my reach until I spotted these beauts in Zara a couple of weeks ago. I’m a big fan of Zara, even more so when there is a sale on, and after initially lusting after a pair of red ankle boots covered in studs (£40 down from £130!) I came across these worn tan leather demi-cowboy boots. The smattering of worn metal studs removes them far enough away from country singer but not so close to S&M that they look like props from a Lady Gaga show.

They were the last pair, in my size (I love it when that happens) and half the price of the flat red boots, so I decided to take them home. Two weeks later and not a blister or aching foot in sight! I’ve never bought shoes from Zara before so I don’t know if it’s the brand or just this pair that works for me, but I’m loving my extra two inches of hight.

When I went out for drinks at the weekend I styled them with my sparkly black skirt (the one I like to think Mila Kunis would wear in Black Swan), also from Zara, and my black lace yolk Primark blouse, which also has a touch of cowgirl about it. The belt is vintage and the cotton/leather-look leggings are from Primark.

Have you ever bought shoes from Zara, and is there anyone else out there that looks like a less graceful Bambi on ice when they wear heels?

Zara boots and glitter skirt | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionPrimark lace blouse | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionZara skirt and boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionZara Primark outfit | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

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Sunshine and Italian wine

Accessorize maxi skirt

The title of this post pretty much sums up my recent holiday. I spent a blissful seven days in Southern Italy, reading books, drinking the local wine and eating LOTS of pasta!

The holiday started on a low note when I realised I’d left my DSLR battery at home, tucked into it’s charger after I ran it down taking photos at CLIC Sargant’s Fix Up Look Sharp launch. Fail.

For me, photography is a key part of any holiday (regardless of whether or not the results end up on Facebook, Flickr or anywhere else) and I was gutted not to be able to use my DSLR. Thankfully I was able to buy a cheap point-and-shoot in the local supermarket, which went some way to satisfying me need to capture every vaguely interesting field/pizza/building that came into my line of vision.

These shots were taken on the terrace of the house we were staying in, and waking up to a view of lush, green fields and clear blue skies each morning was wonderful.

This floral print maxi skirt from Accessorize kept the mosquitos at bay, and the pastel fringed scarf from Upper 5th kept me cool in the scorching heat. The vest top is from Zara‘s recent summer sale, and I love it! The detail on the back is so intricate but it the cut and pipping gives it a sporty/functional vibe too.

As much as I enjoy A/W dressing, I do love wearing such bright colours and clashing patterns – this maxi skirt only ever sees the light of day about three times a year!

Accessorize maxi skirt and Zara vestAccessorize skirt and Upper 5th scarfSoaking up the sunItalian vineyardsFloral print and lilac nails

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

  • Girly dinners. On Wednesday I had dinner at my friend B’s flat (the dinner party I attempted to make peanut butter blondies for) and five of us spent the evening eating amazing food, gossiping and making Oreo milkshakes. I had a great night and it was only dampened (quite literally) by walking home in the rain with hole-ridden shoes.
  • High street/designer collaborations. This week I blogged about an article I penned for Running in Heels. The topic was all about the collaborations that appear in Topshop, H&M etc and how I’m getting a tad tired of them. I also featured a sparkly, ballerina-inspired outfit earlier this week, above.

  • Lists for life. This week I stumbled on Gala’s 100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet list (reposted via Charlotte’s Web). I love these kinds of lists – they’re like affirmations and I’m happy to say that I can tick a lot of these off on a regular basis, though sadly I don’t yet own the world’s funkiest blender….
  • Dancing to Def Leopard. Last night a house warming party in Cheltenham turned in to a random evening in a venue called 2 Pigs, where we spent the wee hours of this morning dancing to Def Leopard, Thin Lizzy and Guns n Roses – amazing!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Leather, sparkles and ballerinas

Zara skirt and colour coded books

Tonight I’m staying in and playing the domestic goddess as I attempt to bake some peaunut butter blondies, but on Saturday I went out for some cocktails and thought I’d share the outfit I wore.

After hanging pictures, cleaning the house, mounting the TV on the wall (possibly Mr Ship-Shape’s proudest achievement of the weekend) we went into town for happy hour at Las Iguanas, which sparked a mini cocktail crawl around central Bristol.

For the occasion I decided to wear the sparkling ballerina-inspired skirt I found in the January sales at Zara, which I can’t believe I almost considered taking back! When I was younger, I had a similar skirt from H&M which was shorter, more like a rara skirt really, and this feels like its grown up replacement. I paired it with white vest top and black lace body (just showing) and the leather jacket is one I picked up when I went to Florida a couple of years ago. The belt is vintage, courtesy of Grandma Ship-Shape, and my silver tap shoes are from Peacocks. They are falling apart at the seams and hurt my feet if I wear them for too long, but I love them! Do you have a pair of shoes you just can’t part with?

Zara skirt and leather jacketTa-da! More booksZara skirt and leather jacket

Skirt, Zara / silver tap shoes, Peacocks / belt, vintage / leather jacket, American (possibly from Macy’s) / white vest top, H&M / black lace body, good old M&S

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