Are you looking for the perfect faux leather skirt? I think I may have the answer for you on this one. I have wanted either a leather skirt or a pair of trousers for decades but never quite had the courage to just go for it. Of course, nowadays we know faux leather can look just as good. With a milestone birthday coming up, I thought it was high time I found the perfect faux leather skirt.Perfect Faux Leather Skirt

 

Mine came from Elvi which was a brand I was unfamiliar with. I looked at their Autumn range. I was a little disappointed that a lot of the range was quite dark but the perfect faux leather skirt came in a lovely deep brown which appealed to me. It is asymmetric at the bottom and has a flattering frill detail too. I was not sure about the belt at first but it is great as you can wear it tight or looser perhaps on  those days where you are heading out for a dinner date.

The things I loved most about the skirt is that it did not make me look huge in the tummy area. I still carry a large mummy tummy but as if by magic this skirt made me look quite slim. The skirt is straight and figure-hugging but that just made me look curvaceous and there is nothing wrong with that! The length was about knee-length so not too short and not too long.

My husband almost never comments positively on what I wear. You can see this as a complete lack of interest or the fact he loves me whatever I wear. I veer between the two but it is nice to get a compliment. He loves this skirt which means when I wear it to go out in he says something lovely and we get off to a great start. I have also had compliments from a few people about how I look in the skirt ranging from “very chic” to “super sexy” and of course those give the go a boost.

I have tried it with various tops including a cream cashmere sweater, a pink top and a floral rust top. It is a good basic that you can jazz up in  different ways.

Elvi have a really exciting new range right now so pop on over and treat yourself.

 

 

 

 

Mummy in a Tutu

Linked to Creative Mondays

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

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