I am not quite sure when the bum bag became a thing to be honest. When I was growing up any form of bag was pretty much the domain only of women. In fact when I hit teenage years, my mum thought I should have a bag pretty much around the time she thought I should start wearing a bra. Both seemed to be seen as a female rite of passage.

Although at that time Dad was the one working in an office, I only remember him having a wallet to carry things around in. There may have been a briefcase at some point. Mum had  several bags of different styles full of all manner of paraphernalia needed for her life and the demands of parenting too.

At some point, I became aware of bum bags but at the time I think we smiled about them. There was some daft idea that no real man would wear one. Having said that my brother did finding them really convenient when travelling the world.

The bum bag is back!

Wearing a bum bag today means you are on trend. So if being fashionable matters to you, check out the bum bags available on the High Street and online. Just because you have not tried one before does not mean it will not work for you this time around. If you have the budget available, why not check out the designer bum bags available. Many of the bigger fashion houses are starting to bring the bum bag trend back and incorporate them into their latest lines. When houses like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada start doing things, many of the high street retailers soon catch on and begin to offer plenty of their own iterations to. Different materials, sizes, shapes, colours – the possibilities are endless.

Advantages of a bum bag

You usually wear a bum bag around your waist. I like this idea as it means I won’t constantly be pushing the strap back up onto my shoulder. I find this so annoying and have shoulders that seem to slope in a way that means straps from bras and bags constantly slip down. That said, bum bags seem to frequently be worn around the shoulders too so there’s plenty of ways to style them if you’re not a fan of them around your waist. Also a bum bag leaves your hands free for when you want to take that Instagram picture, send a text or sip your cuppa.

So are you ready to throw caution to the wind, celebrate your freedom and try a bum bag? With so many styles available from all the different online and high street retailers you’re bound to be able to find one to perfectly suit any mood or occasion! They don’t even just have to be a single season accessory and you may find that having tried one this season, you will be convinced and want a new one for the next.

Are You A Fan Of The Bum Bag?

 

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy

You may have heard the term “cocktail ring” and are uncertain about its meaning and origin. There are so many different types of jewellery, it can be confusing to a newcomer and with that in mind, here’s a brief rundown of the terms “cocktail ring” and “dress ring”.

Rings

Image Source: Pixabay

The Cocktail Ring

The cocktail ring has a very interesting history and was first seen during the 1920s, when the prohibition was in full swing. As you may already know, the cocktail drink was created at this time to mask the taste of bootleg alcohol that was distilled at that time and a cocktail ring was a showy, oversized ring that embodied the feeling that socialising was something good and captured the spirit of the independent American woman who strived for equality. During the prohibition, parties were held in secret and the cocktail ring soon became a symbol of female independence, with a large diamond in the centre that was surrounded by smaller stones. If you are looking to purchase a cocktail ring, you will find a great selection of quality rings at affordable prices at https://www.certifieddiamondnetwork.com.au/.

Rings
 

Image Source: Pixabay

The Dress Ring

This opulent style of ring is designed to be worn on special occasions rather than every day and the ring is typically worn on the ring or index finger of the right hand. As with most traditions, people wear this type of ring on any finger today, with the notable exception of the wedding ring finger, yet the glitzy style can incorporate diamonds, sapphires or emeralds to add a little colour.

 

Rings

Image Source: Pixabay

You can find excellent online jewellers where you can have a look at visually beautiful pieces that are ideal for special occasions. In the event you can’t find what you are looking for, the jeweller can customise a new creation.

 Dinner Parties

After the prohibition ended, people moved on to dinner parties, which was a much more civilised approach to socialising. No more hiding in basements and secret venues, the 1930s saw the emergence of costume jewellery more and more, with both the wealthy and not so wealthy indulging in glitzy jewellery as a show of decadence. The 1930s and 40s were glamorous eras and many of the wonderful jewellery items are still worn today for those special occasions and if you are looking to acquire a cocktail or dress ring, browse the many online jewellers who offer a wide range of spectacular rings from that period.

Creating the Perfect Look

 Cocktail rings are a great accessory for those special occasions and whatever outfit you decide to wear, there will be something that perfectly fits with your look. Antique rings offer a timeless style that will appreciate over time and whether you prefer diamonds or other precious stones, there will be something just right. An online search is the best place to start with your quest for the perfect cocktail or dress ring and when you do find the right piece, a secure online payment is all it takes to have the ring despatched by courier.

If you want to project the right image with a ring that goes well with your chosen outfit, talk to an established online jeweller that specialises in this glamorous style and you will soon find exactly what you are looking for.

 

 

 

Cuddle Fairy

Cashmere is such a lovely word. I cannot remember a time when I did not know the word or that it equated to quality when it comes to fashion choices. Cashmere is one of those raw materials where the saying that you get what you pay for really applies.  Cashmere has a luxury feel and always looks super classy. With colder months coming soon, it is time to invest in ponchos, jumpers, gloves, hats and scarves.

Cashmere

Where does cashmere come from?

Some people are surprised when they hear cashmere comes from goats. I have known this since childhood as my mum worked in textiles. She was a huge fan of women’s cashmere jumpers and felt that it was important to invest in herself as well as her family.

Where to buy cashmere

Denner Cashmere is a shop based in Battersea, London but the good news is they also have an online store.Their cashmere is sourced from the plains of Mongolia from Kashmir goats and they actually comb the fine cashmere from their under bellies as opposed to shearing, making it ethically sourced. For more info you can visit https://www.dennercashmere.co.uk/from-the-plains-of-mongolia-to-the-bustle-of-the-city/

Cashmere

All the products are 100% cashmere and are so luxurious but at affordable prices. Yes they are considered purchases but well worth making in my view for a classic look.

Why is cashmere pricier than sheep wool?

The Kashmir goat produces only four ounces of the special fibre each year. It takes the yearly cashmere produce of more than two goats in order to produce a single two-ply jumper.

Not only is cashmere so much rarer than sheep wool but it has superb qualities that make it appealing. It is a lot lighter to wear and yet around 8 times better at keeping you warm. If you have ever worn cashmere you will also know how beautiful it feels on the skin and how soft it is to touch.

Cashmere

My cashmere choices

I absolutely love the idea of cashmere ponchos with sleeves and would adore one in striking red. I also had no idea you could have stripes on cashmere so the jumper pictured above really appeals too. Finally I would love a jumper in a really subtle colour too to style up with a brown leather skirt I have recently purchased. As soon as I asked friends what to put it with, one of my favourite friends suggested a cashmere top.

Do you wear cashmere? What do you love about it most?

Featured Dream Team Blogger

 

Setting up a new fashion brand is something so many of us would love to do. Emma Stewart is different as she actually went ahead and made her dreams come true, setting up Allta, which launched in July. I am delighted to share an interview with her which shows the calibre of an amazing woman.

Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I have always been tall for my peer group. When I was three years old my family moved to Sweden for a couple of years and there is a picture of me with some friends from kindergarten and I am head and shoulders above the others. I was always self-conscious because of my height. I am fairly shy and always felt awkward and clumsy. Both my brother and I are tall (he is now 6’5” and I am 6’) and were often thought to be older than our years because of our stature. I had a pretty average childhood, growing up in Basingstoke in Hampshire, doing well at school and attaining a place at university. I decided to take a year off before heading to Hull (where I had a place to read American Studies), and went to Germany for a year as an au pair. I subsequently switched degree courses to study German, which was a good choice and helped me get some of my first jobs.

What was your first career?

I worked in publishing selling foreign rights to German, Dutch and Scandinavian publishers. Basically, as the publisher, we would put the concept of the book together (this was illustrated non-fiction of the ‘coffee table book’ variety) and would then sell this concept to US and European publishers who would publish the books in their countries while we published the books in the UK. I used my German and travelled to Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia on a fairly regular basis as well as visiting book fairs in the UK and in Frankfurt. After a few years of this, I decided I wanted a change and went to West Herts College in Watford to study for a post-graduate diploma in copywriting, journalism and radio and from there got a job at Bloomberg in London as a journalist on their radio team.

What led to you setting up your business? 

I had been working in an organisation providing facilitation to production companies wanting to make film and TV productions in the English regions (i.e.: we would help them find locations, crew and studios and liaise with the relevant local authorities to enable roads to be closed, etc.), but some people in my organisation were being made redundant – including my line manager, with whom I got on particularly well – and morale was at a very low ebb. I had been toying with the idea of a tall clothing brand for many years, but it was only when I met a bunch of my husband’s friends, who were all self-employed (as is my husband), that I really started to look into it in any detail. Running your own business sounded challenging but enjoyable and I liked the idea of being my own boss. I then sold a property that I co-owned and so had some cash behind me and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Who gave you information and advice to help you set up your business?

My husband had been running his own business for around 10 years when I decided to set up Allta, so he was very experienced in all aspects of being an entrepreneur. He became my business partner and took on all the boring but important aspects such as insurance, the bank account, accounting and anything involving a spreadsheet, leaving me free to focus on the more creative elements of design and marketing. The London College of Fashion was also an invaluable source of help and information. I have now completed four of their short courses: Essential Guide to the Fashion Industry, Starting Your Own Fashion Label, Introduction to Fashion Design, Adobe Illustrator for Fashion. The information and contacts made through these courses have been extremely helpful and I have found out about all the various trade bodies and trade shows to attend.

What is your biggest life challenge to date?

Shortly after deciding to pursue this new business venture and just seven weeks after getting married, I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury after a cycling accident, where I fell off my bike, fractured my skull and suffered some bleeding and blood clots on the brain. Emergency surgery, 10 days in intensive care and a further 8 weeks in hospital followed and it was a full six months after the accident that I was able to return to work part-time. All plans for starting my own business were put firmly on the back boiler.I have now managed a full recovery, although have been left with epilepsy, which I understand is a fairly common side effect when the brain reacts to the scar tissue caused by brain surgery.

Who supported you at this difficult time?

My husband and entire family and network of friends were amazing during this time. My husband of course, bore the brunt of both the emotional impact of the accident and the practical aspects of visiting me in hospital (every day for over 2 months; not easy when you have your own company to run) and helping to ease me back into the pattern of everyday life when I was back home. My friends and family were also superb. The accident happened when we were down in Studland for a weekend of camping and I was initially admitted to Southampton Hospital. My husband and I live in Oxfordshire but some close friends living in Winchester, who were on holiday at the time, allowed my husband, parents (who live in Somerset) and another good friend to stay in their house for a couple of weeks to allow them all easier access to me in hospital. My sister-in-law is a senior nurse and was superb and cutting through any red tape we encountered in the hospital and just keeping everyone positive and well informed.

My friends rallied round, visiting me in hospital and back at home afterwards, but the big plus was that after months of negotiations, which had always ended in a firm ‘no’, my husband finally agreed to us getting a dog, so my fur-baby, Wilf the cockerpoo, came into our lives.

Tell us about your products and why you think they are special?

As a tall woman, I struggle to find ‘regular’ fit clothes on the high street to fit my proportions. It is not impossible, but it is pot luck. When you do find something that fits, you almost feel compelled to buy it just because it is such a rare find. Long Tall Sally is the only tall fit brand that most people have heard of (there are others, but I had never heard of them until I started to research this niche. The Tall Fashion Adventures blog has a good, international list (http://tallfashionadventures.com/shopping-lists/), which means that tall women have a fairly limited selection of clothing to choose from if they want something that is guaranteed to fit properly.I am also keen to use natural fibres as so much clothing is made from polyester, which isn’t breathable for your skin and is bad for the environment. So, we are about producing good quality garments that will last and are made out of natural fibres that are less damaging to the environment. This is an area I want to research further and do what I can to support.

For me, shirts and jackets have always been the hardest to find. I have tended to buy jeans from Gap tall section and Levis and can cope with a 34” inside leg as, with a straight or skinny leg jeans style, I don’t think it matters if they are a teeny bit cropped looking. But shirts and jackets are very hard to find. That’s why I wanted to start with these staples. I love a good quality jacket and am often frustrated that the tall sections often just carry the safest colours of black and navy. That’s why I decided that as well as the trusty navy and grey options, we would also do a hot pink and turquoise jacket for our launch so that tall women can have a choice of some fun colours for a change.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to come and see the clothes for themselves, we are taking a stand at the Rare Brand Market Christmas Market at Goodwood Racecourse from 22-24th November

Why is it important for women to invest in themselves when it comes to fashion and style?

I mentioned earlier that I was very self-conscious when I was young because of my height and I think this is a trait that is shared by lots of tall women. As children and teens we all seek to blend in and be part of the gang and often anything that makes you stand out is something you want to hide and change. This can be anything but speaking from my experience, height is one thing you can’t change or even hide. The answer is to wear it with confidence and dressing well and feeling good about yourself in your clothes is one way of doing this.

I don’t think this means making sure you are up to date with the latest fashions and trends, but by wearing clothes that fit you and suit your height, shape and colouring, you can feel good about yourself and have the confidence to perform at your best, be that in your personal or professional lives. This is not just a tip for tall women, but all women should feel they deserve to look their best to give them confidence in themselves.

If you could recommend ONE book to women, what would it be and why?

Testament of Youth is a book that affected me very deeply. It has become a classic so is probably already well known to many but it is the story of one woman’s experience of growing up in early twentieth century England and the restrictive Edwardian environment she longed to rebel against. She then endured the loss of her brother, fiancé and friends in the First World War and did what she could to support the British war effort, becoming a firm pacifist in the process. It is a moving and inspirational story of courage, learning, love and loss. It puts our present day comfortable lives into perspective.

If you could recommend ONE website to women what would it be and why?

I would recommend noiclub.org. This is a fantastic resource for female entrepreneurs, sharing tips and events. It also has a really useful Facebook page where women can interact and ask for help and advice. The founders are very supportive as is the community they have established.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

It is never too late to start working on a passion project like starting up your own business. I sometimes think I should have started Allta when I was younger, living in London and had more energy, but now as I approach my 50th birthday, I have more money than when I was younger, I have a supportive husband, who didn’t come into my life until I hit my 40s, I have learned a fair bit about myself and my strengths and weaknesses, and I am not afraid to ask for help, which I may have shied away from doing when I was younger. If there is something you want to do but are waiting for the right time, it may never come along. Just do it, is my advice!.

www.allta.co.uk

DreamTeam Linky

 

JakiJellz

Remarkable examples of flawless fashion have allowed so many of the world’s most famous ladies to turn heads and make moments that are long talked about. It is often through the women’s dresses that they wear when gracing the red carpet or shooting a scene for the big or small screen that helps to get them noticed, but which are the most iconic moments?

Here, we take a look at a selection of the most iconic and inspiring designer dresses. Not only that, we also provide tips on how you can replicate the look with dresses that can be bought on the high-street today…

Marilyn Monroe

So many generations will remember Marilyn Monroe for her off-screen endeavours, her beauty and her talent. However, which of the pop culture icon’s renowned outfits beats them all to be the most iconic? For most of us, seeing Monroe playfully pushing down the skirt of her white cocktail dress in the film, The Seven Year Itch, is an enduring image that sums up the actress’ spirit and appeal. The backless, sleeveless dress, designed by William Travilla, featured a below-the-knee skirt and halter-like bodice with a plunging neck — risqué for the 1950s. Striking the perfect balance between elegance and seductiveness, this outfit is still inspiring designers today and even sold at auction in 2011 for $4.6 million!

You must select a high-street dress with a ‘vintage party’ vibe if you’re going to embody the Monroe appeal with your fashion choices. This dress style has a distinctive time-honoured elegance to it, yet, it looks ideal for a fun girls’ night. Go for a pleated midi skirt or lace embellishment for a beautiful retro appeal, then update the look in the upper section. Monroe makes up for the modest skirt hemline by showing more shoulder and arms — do the same with a Bardot or plunge neckline and polish off your 1950s-inspired look with mid-heel sandals and a pretty, floral hair slide.

Cher

Cher showcased how to make an impact when appearing at the 1986 Academy Awards. The legend of music and film was asked to present the Best Supporting Actor award and made sure she wouldn’t be upstaged by the winner in a black, jewel-encrusted gown with matching plumed headpiece designed by Bob Mackie. Split into a hip-hugging skirt and criss-cross bralet, the outfit was captivatingly daring for an Oscars event and has gone down in film industry history as one of the most famous outfits ever.

Confidence will be very important if you’re going to get the essence of this amazing look just right. Show off your curves by pairing a black cami bralet with a long, side-split skirt or opt for a midriff cut-out maxi dress. Swap the plumed headwear for a diamante headband and add to the glamour with a pair of embellished, slingback heels. Cher wonderfully made her bold outfit perfect for the sophisticated Academy Awards by complementing her exposed midriff with a loose-fit jacket — get the same effect with a chiffon kimono.

Julia Roberts

There’s no doubting that Julia Roberts is one of film’s most celebrated women. After all, she has appeared in so many blockbuster movies and also has an Oscar win among her remarkable list of accomplishments. Obviously, the actress has donned many outfits during her on-screen time, but perhaps one of the most iconic costumes is the red, off-the-shoulder dress she wore with long, white evening gloves in Pretty Woman. Created by designer, Marilyn Vance-Straker, this scarlet column dress, featured a sweetheart neckline and sat elegantly off the shoulder to create a beautiful silhouette that looked innovative, yet timeless. So, how do you get the high-street version?

Feminine elegance is seen throughout this gown’s design. If you have a special occasion coming up, this style is ideal. Stick with the sweetheart neckline but opt for a shorter hemline or even an asymmetric skirt cut to tone down the formality. Pair with wrap-round heels and keep jewellery to a minimum — chokers look particularly good with this neckline and a simple, neutral-shade clutch will finalise the look perfectly. Wearing your hair up will help show off the outline of the dress, too.

Jennifer Lopez

By appearing at the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000 wearing a green, silk chiffon gown, Jennifer Lopez caught the eye of so many people in attendance and who were watching across the globe. Designed by Donatella Versace, this stunning dress featured a jungle print and a daring, plunging neckline that opened all the way to the singer’s navel — secured with a sparkling green brooch.  All over the world, people went wild for this innovative gown. According to former Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, it was the most popular search query ever and even led to the launch of Google Image Search! Described as a turning point in Versace’s career, emulating this flawless look is simple.

It doesn’t matter your body shape, you can showcase a beautiful, flowing silhouette in a silk chiffon dress. Select a style with a long-at-the-back hemline to show off your legs and recreate the daring-but-sophisticated appeal of the famous jungle dress — asymmetric cuts will also look good and make sure you choose a bold, eye-catching colour to stand out from the crowd. Tropical prints are popular this fashion season — although check and animal patterns also work well — while long-sleeves help create an elegant balance of exposed skin. Don’t feel you have to go as low at the front as J-Lo, though. Plunging necklines certainly inject a touch of glamour into an outfit, but you can get the same effect by going for a simple v-neck and enhancing your dress with statement jewellery and high heels to make sure you’re ready for a special evening.

Beyoncé

No matter if it’s when she’s working on new music or her fashion choices, Beyoncé never seems to be anything but one step ahead of the rest. We couldn’t get enough of the sheer, bejewelled dress that Beyoncé wore at the Met Gala in 2015. Designed by Givenchy, the fitted, backless gown was awash with strategically-placed multi-coloured crystals and before slowing elegantly around her heeled feet.

There’s only so many times that you’ll be able to wear a see-through, crystallised dress and pull off the look mind. However, there’s no reason that you can’t enhance your wardrobe with something similarly extravagant. Concentrate on the embellishment of your gown to emulate the Beyoncé look — styles such as a diamante bodycon or metallic maxi dress will offer a similar, stand-out look that’s perfect for a night out. Instead of sheer or see-through, why not opt for a nude gown that you can pair with complementary bag and heels?

Britney Spears

When Britney Spears appeared at the 2001 American Music Awards in a denim dress, the singer captured so much attention for all the right reasons. Back when Britney and Justin were possibly the most famous celebrity couple, the singer’s every fashion movement was scrutinised — and this is perhaps her most iconic. Styled and shaped like a ball gown, Spears’ sleeveless, floor-length dress featured a fitted bodice, metallic belt and even short train to give the impression of jeans-inspired formality. If you love denim or just like alternative takes on standard outfits, try getting the high-street version of this.

Choosing a pinafore or shirt-style dress in light-blue denim will be the perfect way to go if you’re hoping to tone down the formal part of this well-remembered look. Be sure to also use a waist belt to nip you in for a flawless figure outline. Get the ‘dressed up’ look on your next night out by selecting a fitted, mini style that you can pair with stilettos and accessories, or go for a black-denim, shift dress with thin straps for an alternative blend of low-maintenance denim and high-fashion style.

Meghan Markle

When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle earlier this year, 18 million people watched the wedding all across the UK. Many were tuning in to catch the first glimpse of the bride’s wedding gown. But in fact, Markle’s second outfit choice also got people talking. For the evening, the new bride opted for a silk crepe, sleeveless, high-neck gown designed by Stella McCartney that fell flawlessly over her petite frame — and it’s a style that many of us would love to have sitting in our own wardrobes.

Choose a halter-neck, sleeveless look and you’ll be able to elegantly show off your shoulders. This style works best when the skirt of your dress is midi or even maxi, to get the ideal level of skin exposure. Of course, you don’t have to stick to white. Purple is a big colour this fashion season and slipping on a pair of simple, mid-heels and only a few pieces of jewellery — perhaps droplet earrings and a small selection of matching rings — will let you harness the chic, understated vibe of this style. If you have a more casual event, go for a shorter skirt or one with a high/low frill hem.

How To Replicate The World's Most Iconic Dresses

Confessions of a New Mummy