Casually Luxe-ing Up A Little Black (Vest) Dress

Whether you like them long or short, fitted or loose, vest dresses are easy and forgiving to wear.  And if you like to wear yours casually like I do, then you probably always pair them with flat sandals or trainers. But, laid-back and comfortable doesn’t mean having to loose out on the “chic factor” and some carefully chosen accessories can really help dial things up a notch. The key, as usual, is to keep things simple.

Here are five easy ways to take your vest dress from casual to casual-luxe….

#1. Fabric. Fine fabrics (silk, satin and their faux relations) give a more polished look than cotton or ribbed versions. #2. Cut. Try on different styles until you find what suits you. I like mine just above the knee and loose but if longer or more fitted works for you, go for it. Just remember that short and too fitted can sometimes come off a little cheap and long and too loose could wind up looking shapeless. #3. Feet. Give the flat sandals and trainers a break and go for a pair of backless loafers or flat/low-heeled mules#4. Bag(gage). Keep it small to medium – strictly no extra baggage allowed! (If accompanied by a “junk generating mini person” get them to carry a rucksack.) See my last post for where to get some fabulous small totes at the moment.  #5. Accessories. Low-key and understated.

I am wearing:

Vest Dress (Filippa K)| Mules (Primark)| Bag (&Other Stories)| Sunglasses (Céline)

Thanks for visiting!

Addie xx

Slim Shade(y)s. Why I won’t be skinny this Summer

Prada

Super skinny ‘the Matrix’-inspired sunglasses is a hot trend for SS18.  But I’ll be sitting this one out. The reason? Lies in my wardrobe, specifically the third drawer on the left. That, my friends, is where my sunglasses go to die. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection – the problem is most of them don’t really suit me and a few are positively unflattering (and I strongly suspect that the new skinny trend will be the latter).  So, how have I ended up in this specs-tacular mess?

# 1. My face? Lol. My prominent cheeks, nose bridge width and temple length ratio don’t make it easy. I’ve long since made peace with the fact that my face just isn’t a ‘natural’ when it comes to sunglasses!

#2. The elusive “perfect pair”. I guess as a result of #1 I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pair.  The upshot of which is yet more sunnies….

#3. Trend trap. I know I should know better. I do know better. Yet, I’ve ended up with several pairs of sunglasses that I don’t ever wear and worse, some that I do wear knowing full well that they don’t really suit my face (yes you, Ray Ban Wayfarers).

#4. A different look. I do actually know what shape suits me best: Square and big. (Anything else and my cheeks get in the way which means that the sunglasses end up halfway up my forehead every time I smile.) But I yearn for a different look! After all, I can’t be doomed to wearing huge square sunnies for life can I?

The Usual Su-specs: L – Oliver Peoples, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, The Row, Victoria Beckham, Steve Madden. R – Prada, Whistles, Celine, Ray Ban, &otherstories

Don’t let this photo fool you – quite a few pairs didn’t make the cut for this post. Like the gigantic reflector aviators I picked up in Tokyo that make me look like Deputy Cartman from South Park.  Or, the vintage 80s ‘drop-down temple’ pair. Or, the goggle wrap-arounds – another Tokyo special.

Tip: There aren’t really any sunglasses dos and don’ts. Know your face obviously. But if you are after a ‘statement look’ and not particularly bothered about how they suit you and your budget allows, I say knock yourself out! Sunglasses are also one of the most affordable ways to buy into a high end label. With that in mind, here’s a little taster of the shape of things to come this Spring/Summer…..

Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

Louis Vuitton

Prada

And for the truly adventurous……

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

And the shape that suits me best……

Love,

Addie x

*Apologies to subscribers who received an earlier unfinished draft of this post due to a technical fault. Please disregard that version!

 

The Forever Coat (and I know where you can get one)

For years I’d been on the look out for a decent “all rounder” coat. I knew precisely what I wanted: long, wool, tailored but not fitted, slouchy but not too over-sized, in black or grey. But I also had a maximum budget of £250 (with no adjustments for inflation I’m proud to say😊).  It wasn’t exactly an active search and there had been some close contenders over the years (All Saints did a decent version two seasons ago) but the search didn’t officially end until last Winter when I saw (and immediately bagged) this one from COS (A/W 16). I’m a big fan of the COS minimalist approach to wardrobe staples and this coat doesn’t disappoint. It’s everything that I’ve come to expect from this brand which consistently punches above the weight of other High Street retailers. A clean silhouette with solid slack tailoring – a happy combo of style and function. Classic, fabulous on or off-duty, it is truly a forever coat. And all for the princely sum of £225.  If you would like one for yourself COS has done similar versions this season in grey, burgundy and black in store now and at the same price. I remember a fashionista friend of mine once referring to COS as “the poor man’s Celine“. I guess it’s sort of a compliment but I also think that this punchy brand has earned more than enough stripes to stand on its own merits.

Addie x

For styling tips and what I’m wearing see my Tailored Coat Rules at the end!

 

My Tailored Coat Rules:

#1. For versatility go slack-tailored rather than fitted. You can always cinch it at the waist when you need to.

#2. Bag a clutch. If going for straps I like to wear very small bags across the body under the coat with the coat undone. Or I go supersize. In my opinion, medium-sized shoulder bags don’t quite work with long tailored coats. A clutch however takes the chic factor up a couple of notches.

#3. Keep it simple.  Let the coat speak for itself. My preferred off-duty mode is unbelted, paired with a good quality knit and trousers (of any kind) or jeans. If wearing with a dress or skirt add heels and ditch the tights.

#4. Look after your coat. It can’t be a forever coat if you don’t can it? A tailored wool coat is not the coat for extreme weather conditions so leave it at home on a rainy or snowy day. And make sure to dry clean it before you pack it away for another season!

What I’m wearing:

Coat (COS)|Scarf (Acne Studios)|Leather trousers (H&M)| Sweater (pink – Matalan/black – Primark)|Clutch (patent – Sandro Paris)| Clutch (camo – Vivienne Westwood)|Trousers (H&M) | Jeans (Heaven & Earth)| Boots (patent – pied a terre)| Boots (Deichmann)| Sneakers (Isabel Marant)| Sunglasses (tortoise shell – &other stories)| Sunglasses (black – Celine)

Sweet Dress Tough Accessories.

I love this little Topshop dress. But, with it’s lace trim and cutesy Peter Pan collar, it’s almost too twee for my liking. So the studded McQ sandals and geometric pattern of this fab Victoria Beckham clutch add a bit of toughness. I’ve also worn this dress with heeled pumps for work but I like it best off-duty. Tough accessorising works well with most girly frocks – as it gets colder you can do this by adding a leather jacket and boots (ankle boots for this dress).  Not sure what boot length to go for? Look out for “boots guide” coming soon!

Love

Addie x

Dress: Topshop; Sandals: Alexander McQueen; Bag: Victoria Beckham; Sunglasses: Celine