10 Shades of RED

RED ALERT…

The fiery shade, in a plethora of hues, dominated the autumn/winter 2017 shows earlier this year, with brands such as Givenchy, Preen and Max Mara sending head-to-toe burgundy, wine and cerise looks down the runway. From tracksuits to coats, oversized knits and accessories – if there’s one colour to be seen in this season, it’s red.

No, I don’t mean splashes of colour here and there. The idea is go big or go home. There’s no time to be shy and conservative with this autumn trend. The runways certainly showed that this red trend is about all-over fire; the bolder the better.

I must admit, red is often a colour that is typically sexualised, and that is why I tend to navigate away from such bold tones – other than the odd red lip. However, this time around, the red trend is more refined, more grown-up and stands as a trend that feels entirely approachable for simply anyone.

If the thought of wearing red intimidates you (don’t worry, I’ve been there), then start out by incorporating simple bold accessories into your look, or opting for a deeper shade that feels less intrusive. Opt for wine and burgundy hues, for example.

The key to perfecting this trend, is incorporating a number of red elements to your outfit. Think about embracing different shades of red and different patterns to help break up the outfit and define your look from head to toe.

Here are some of my favourite red picks from the high street:

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From left to right: Red Cropped Jumper, £15, New Look | Silk & Lace Non-Padded Plunge Bra, £27.50, Marks & Spencer | Silk & Lace Brazilian Knickers, £12.50, Marks & Spencer | Red Wide Leg Trousers, £45, River Island | Red Leather Boots, £80, Zara | Velvet Pleated A-Line Midi Skirt, £35, Marks & Spencer | Red Long-line Coat, £90, Marks & Spencer | Red Patent Leather-Look Midi Skirt, £25, New Look | Red Round Crossbody Bag, £30, Zara | Red Faux Leather Mini Pelmet Skirt, £28, River Island | Textured Coat, £90, Zara

Channel your inner Marilyn Munroe with red this season!

With love,

Victoria

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#StressAwarenessDay

1st November 2017 – Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day falls on the first Wednesday in November each year, and is a highly important date in the calendar. We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of day to day life.

Sadly, stress is often overlooked and dismissed as simply nothing, however it is much more than that. Becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 12 million people visit their GP with mental health problems annually, many of whom are dealing with stress.

National Stress Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our own personal well-being and understand the best ways to manage stress. People deal with pressure in a variety of different ways. There are countless techniques to cope with stress and issues caused by it, from keeping active, to eating a balanced diet, to meditation. Sometimes seeking medical help by professionals is beneficial.

To help you maintain our well-being and staying healthy, noticing what’s making you stressed can help you learn how to deal with problems before they get worse. This is particularly important in the workplace where stresses of workload and working relationships are highly common. Tackling this is the first step to feeling happy and care-free!


My top stress-busting tips:

1. Be active: Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it can help to reduce the intensity of your emotions, help to clear your thoughts and let you to deal with your problems in a more calm and rational manner

2. Take control: The feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of well-being. Taking control is empowering and a crucial step to finding a solution.

3. Connect: A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.

4. Have “me” time: In the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time winding down. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work and commitments.

5. Avoid unhealthy habits: Over the long term, unhealthy habits such as comfort eating, caffeine, alcohol and smoking cigarettes won’t solve your problems; they’ll just create new ones.

6. Help others: Research shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. If you don’t have time, do someone a favour every day.

7. Work smarter, not harder: Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Time management is key.

8. Try to be positive: Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day – it sounds cringe, but it is known to help.

Don’t forget to take care of your mental health.

With love,

Victoria

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Autumn Trends

Crisp cold mornings and the the relaxing crunch of leaves beneath my feet means only one thing – autumn is here.

Throughout the autumn/winter period, you will mostly find me rummaging through clothes rails on the hunt for cosy jumpers, searching for my 87th turtle neck top, and coats of various shapes and colour to beat the morning chill (even when I know I already have enough). I just have no self discipline when it comes to shopping for clothes, but it’s hardly a bad thing when the fashion is just too good to miss. I, for one, know all too well the feeling of regret when I’ve decided not to purchase an item I fell in love with, and upon my return I am in utter despair to hear it’s no longer available. Tear jerker moment for sure.

From sophisticated fur detailing, to leather trousers and suede boots, to tan, burgundy and deep green hues, I am completely in my element. My autumn inspiration comes from various periods in history, and a number of people across the years. From the fantastically stylish Victoria Beckham, to the classic look portrayed by the late Princess Diana, to actresses such as Sienna Miller.

My style is fairly simple, and all about investment. My mantra is all about finding those wardrobe staples which can be used in almost every outfit you wear, and can be incorporated into outfits all year round. I love the vast variety found on the high street – always have and always will – but sometimes it’s okay to splash the cash when it comes to those core pieces that you can wear over and over again; coats, shoes and bags are the main items for me.

Here are five looks I’ve concocted – perfect for beating the autumn chill, whilst keeping the oh-so-important stylish and chic everyday look…


Look 1

Autumn mornings are perfect for a spot of brunch with your other half, or girlfriends. Opt for stylish shades of caramel, oatmeal and tan – colours that are casual, but let off an air of sophistication too.

Why not choose a simple knit, tucked into an autumnal suede skirt? Add an on-trend pair of ankle boots and an embroidered small box bag for the essentials: lipstick, purse and phone.

Jumper | £24 Topshop | Skirt | £20 New Look | Coat | £96 Zara | Boots | £79 Topshop | Bag | £32 River Island


Look 2

City chic; perfected no other by the one and only Victoria Beckham. To nail the posh city look, contrast a checked blazer and turtle neck, with a pair of leather look trousers/leggings. Pair with a crossbody bag and a pair of flats and you’re good to go to the office, or running errands in the centre of town.

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A statement bag is a must-have wardrobe item and is something I’d happily spend a little more money on, to ensure the quality is perfect and will last a long time despite being used over day in day out.

Blazer | £70 Zara | Top | £15 New Look | Trousers | £20 Mango | Shoes | £28 Next | Bag | £34 Topshop


Look 3

I am forever musing over the chic fashion style of residents of Kensington and Chelsea, with check print out in force, and one hundred and one varieties of the classic trench coat.

The trench coat is a staple, that doesn’t have to be an expensive Burberry number. Pair with an on-trend bell sleeve knitted jumper, checked peg-leg trousers and stylish loafers. Add a contrasting crossbody bag and some small hooped earrings to round the look off.

Jumper | £29 Topshop | Trousers | £42 River Island | Trench | £96 Zara | Shoes | £28 Next | Bag | £30 Zara


Look 4

Deep and decadent, giving you feelings of warmth and glimpses of cosy Christmas nights by the fire. Burgundy and wine hues are exactly what your wardrobe needs – and lots of it. Let’s face it, you can never have too much wine. 

Throw a long-line wine coloured coat over a simple black jumper and skinny black jeans, for a sophisticated day-to-night look. Add a pair of boots, or loafers, and wine-hued bag to continue with the festive theme.

Top | £ 24 New Look | Trousers | £20 Marks and Spencer | Coat | £119 Marks and Spencer | Boots | £79 Kurt Geiger | Bag | £16 Zara


Look 5

Channel your inner Britney Spears or Kendall Jenner and opt for some fur this autumn season. Don’t worry, I don’t mean real fur. You can do this through fur accessories, such as a bag, scarf or shoes, but sometimes it’s worth going all out with a faux fur coat.

Pair a simple roll neck knit ribbed jumper with jeans for a casual look, and add a fur coat for added texture. Compliment the outfit with a black tote bag and leather Chelsea boots.

Top | £15 Topshop | Trousers | £40 Mango | Coat | £96 Zara | Boots | £119 Kurt Geiger | Bag | £26 Zara

Happy Autumn!

With love,

Victoria

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Suicide the biggest killer at Uni last year

Mental health is a serious problem, and is not something that can be ignored.

The number of people in the UK suffering from a mental health problem is on the rise. According to mental health charities, such as MIND, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

This statistic is only going to get worse unless something is done to help those in need. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May promised to tackle the “stigma” around mental health and the government pledged to ‘transform’ the way mental health problems are dealt with. In February last year, NHS England said an extra £1 billion a year should be invested in mental health services by 2021. Despite this, spending budgets on mental health services are continuing to be cut. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton, Scarborough, the Isle of Wight, St Helens and Walsall are set to reduce spending on mental health by £4.5m, leaving very little help available to those who may need it.

The problem isn’t just among the general population, and it’s a particularly rife problem among students at university. With university funding repeatedly being cut, I constantly ask myself this question: “How on earth are mental health problems going to get any better?”

This morning I read an article in The Guardian by Sarah Marsh, reporting that suicide rates at UK universities is at ‘record level’, and the number of students disclosing a mental health problem in their first year has risen fivefold in 10 years. I have pasted the article below for anyone who may be interested. This is an issue close to my heart and home, and there should be more awareness on the matter.

With love,

Victoria

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A growing number of undergraduates are reporting mental health problems, according to a report that shows a record number of students have killed themselves in recent years.

The scale of the mental health crisis at UK universities is revealed in a study by the IPPR thinktank. It shows that the number of students who disclosed a mental health problem in their first year rose fivefold to reach 15,395 in a decade.

Analysts also found that a record 134 students killed themselves in 2015. In the same year a record number of students with mental health problems dropped out of university. Experts put the rise down to growing pressure on students who leave university with huge debt, as well as increased awareness – meaning more people are reporting problems.

Mark Salter, a spokesman for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We know that the government needs to do much more to stop people reaching the level of desperation where they take their own lives. Suicide is preventable … without proper resourcing and funding, we will not reduce suicide in England,” he said.

The report called for universities to ensure that their counselling services had close links with local GPs and mental health services.

Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said the findings were “shocking” and should act as a “massive wake-up call to universities to take this area much more seriously”.

He said: “Some vice-chancellors still think [mental health care] is not the business of universities and it’s just about development of the mind, but developing minds means nothing unless you also help people learn how to become settled down and ready to learn.”

The Labour MP Luciana Berger said the research uncovered worrying levels of mental ill-health: “The wellbeing of students cannot be an afterthought. The government and universities must take on board the recommendations and create the conditions in which our next generation can get help and flourish.”

New analysis found female first-year students were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to disclose a mental health condition in 2015-16, whereas four years previously both were equally likely.

Ruth Caleb, wellbeing consultant at Brunel University, said the rise could be down to the fact that more students now came to university already anxious and worried about the degree they would get, as well as the debt they would be saddled with as their working lives began.

“The rise is due to a combination of more awareness of mental health issues, a lowering of the taboo previously attached to mental health services and a greater sense of anxiety about the future. Young men are still a concern to us as they tend not to present as much to counselling and wellbeing services,” she said.

The report also highlighted soaring demand on services. Through a survey of 58 UK higher education providers, it found 94% had experienced an increase in demand for counselling services over the past five years, while 61% had seen demand jump by more than a quarter.

The proportion of students using, or waiting to use, counselling services was as high as 26% at some universities.

The report recommends that the Department of Health introduce a new NHS Student Health Fund, with local partnerships of health and education providers bidding to deliver innovative models of integrated care to students.

It also called for a new student premium to top up the funding of GP practices with high proportions of patients who are students, as these practices receive less funding per head.

Thorley said: “As a first step, the university sector should make a firm commitment to drive up quality and increase access to support services. Along with strengthened NHS provision and funding, this will help ensure that no student is held back by their mental health.

A Department for Education spokesperson said the government had worked with Universities UK to improve mental health support. “We expect all universities to take the wellbeing of their students seriously and ensure that they are providing them with the right support … Later this year the government will also publish a green paper with proposals to improve mental health services,” they said.

 

Brass Lovin’

Polished brass finishes have long been popular, and brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years due to the rise in ‘shabby chic’ and ‘vintage’ interior design crazes. 2017, however, has seen a shift away from polished brass and instead a shift towards satin or brushed brass, creating a warmer and modern appearance.

Satin brass finishes are transitional and can complement a number of styles and colours, making it the perfect addition to any room. For this reason, it is expected to see rooms with satin brass continue to dominate the interior design scene for quite some time, although it is likely that they will begin to be mixed with other finishes to achieve a more quirky, unique and contemporaneous looks.

This trend is becoming increasingly popular in both kitchens and baths over the last year or so. Adding brass tones to the kitchen creates a combination of something very natural and clean, like white marble, and something industrial, hard, and a little bit glamorous with the brass, for a traditional, modern style.

t is important to remember that this trend can work virtually anywhere, with brass being used as a stylish alternative to the ever-popular chrome taps and accessories seen in people’s abodes.


Brass inspo:

Bedrooms

Bathrooms

Kitchens

Living Rooms

Dining Rooms

Thankfully, you’ll be pleased to know that brass finishes aren’t going to set you back too much as they don’t have a hefty price tag attached. So get re-decorating!

What do you think of this trend?

With love,

Victoria

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Glossy lids

Over the last few months the glossy lid trend has taken a long list of celebrities and bloggers by a storm. It’s a look that most of us love, but feel it’s hard to pull off in day-to-day life. However that’s not the case – it’s totally wearable when you know how and if you use the right products (according to make up artists), without looking sticky or sweaty.

The ‘jelly eye’, or also known as the ‘wet-eye look’, has gone viral since the beginning of the year, with searches on Pinterest and social media increasing tenfold, particularly after New York and London Fashion Week where a number of fashion designers showcased the glossy eye.

Forget glossy lips. Now it’s all about those glossy lids


How do I do it?

Essentially, you place a gloss-like product onto your eye-lid and just pat it into place, et voila! It doesn’t have to be perfect – that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes a more ‘lived-in’ eye look creates a flirtier appearance, much like a smokey eye too. That is simply it. There is nothing more to it. It literally takes two minutes – if that – that’s the benefit of it. So, if you’re ever in a rush doing your make up and need a simplistic, yet stylish, go-to look, the glossy eye is for you.

Over the last month, it’s quickly becoming one of the biggest summer make up trends, with a plethora of models, celebrities and make up artists showcasing their work of ‘art’ – make up is basically a form of art, right?


The ‘pro’ way

Bobbi Brown senior pro make up artist, Hannah Martin, is frequently seen on Snapchat and Instagram showcasing the glossy look, and often posts tutorials on how to achieve the popular trend. She has a YouTube channel where she does this, but despite the fact she does not post often, when she does it is simply a treat. I say “quality over quantity”. Click here to find out how a Bobbi Brown professional make up artist creates the glossy eye look.

What do you think of this look?

With love,

Victoria

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Hair Must-Haves

Keeping your hair looking healthy and feeling happy can be difficult, especially when you’re a girl and your best friends are the hairdryer, straighteners and curlers. I am guilty of this, and I’ve become all too aware of the consequences it can have on your hair. My once fresh, bouncy and free-from-split-ends hair has taken a drastic turn for the worse a few months ago. Since having it cut, I have vowed to keep my hair in good condition and not neglect it.

I have recently been gifted some wonderful hair products from various brands which I have been trialing for a few months in order to try and tame my limp, dry and lion-like mane. I have tried four products from the brands Philip Kingsley, Swell and NUXE. I have been so excited to try these and see how they transform my hair. Read on to hear my thoughts about the products…


Philip Kingsley

Philip Kingsley is known by many as the world’s leading expert in hair and scalp care. He has been branded the ‘Hair Guru’ by the New York Times, the ‘Hair Wizard’ by Vogue, the ‘Hair Doctor’ by the Sunday Times after the successful unique, award-winning product range that helps to bridge the gap between science and hairdressing.

From Kingsley’s range, I tried the Citrus Sunshine Swimcap and Instant Beach serum:

Citrus Sunshine Swimcap, £15

Sadly this product is no longer in stock as it was limited edition, however they have a normal Swimcap serum which works the same – without the citrus fragrance – so if you’re interested – there’s an option for you.

This cap intends to guard against discolouration and damage for all hair types due to the sun, chlorine, salt water and wind. It aims to freshen hair, giving it an energising ultra-conditioning treatment, with a fruity and floral fragrance, to protect hair from the summer elements and keep coloured hair in tact.

Review

Although I haven’t been on holiday to reap the benefits of using the Swimcap whilst swimming in the pool and sea water, I have been wearing it on my hair whilst sunbathing during the mini heatwave we’ve had in London over the last few weeks. For the week that I used it, I noticed a stark difference in the condition of my hair. Usually after sun exposure, my hair tends to feel dry and dull, however after using this serum, my hair has been soft and silky not only immediately, but for 2-3 days afterwards too.

I would definitely recommend this product. 5/5


Instant Beach, £22

This product aims to give you beachy, tousled waves without drying your hair out and causing breakage. The salt-free texturising spray is said to give you effortlessly cool, texturised waves with incredible volume and hold. 

Review

At first glance, I was skeptical about this product as I’ve used a number of texturising sprays over the years to achieve the ‘beachy waves’ look, but nothing seems to work perfectly on my hair. However I was highly impressed with this. It nourishes the hair and conditions it, leaving it soft and healthy, as well as creating effortless beachy waves without the problematic knotty hair either.

I was very happy with this product. Philip Kingsley definitely knows his stuff! 5/5

(The only downside to these products is that they’re slightly on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way so you won’t have to purchase these products often.)


Swell

Many hair products give temporary, cosmetic results and often damage hair in the bid for more body. However Swell is all about protecting hair and finding a long-term solution for fine, limp and thinning hair using their unique all-natural formula, giving you immediate and sustained volume (even with difficult to manage baby-fine hair) from day one. Swell crucially nourishes the follicles, resulting in increased hair growth and reduced hair loss when used regularly.

Ultimate Protect & Renew Serum, £20

This product claims to banish frizz and give you a sleek, hydrated and healthy appearance in order to create a professional finish.

Review

This serum is easy to apply and just one pump of serum to the middle and ends of your hair keeps it protected from heat and styling products. I blow dry my hair every few days which creates dry hair and gives me split ends from the heat damage, but this product I have found creates an immediate difference. The ends of my hair after blow drying look healthy, soft and bouncy, creating a shinier, thicker and sleeker blow dry – a girl’s dream!

I will definitely be purchasing this again. 5/5


NUXE

NUXE was founded by Aliza Jabès who wanted to create a natural cosmetics brand inspired from the pharmaceutical approach and adapted to cosmetics. NUXE uses natural ingredients, and guarantees you will be blown away by the ability of their products.

Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse, £29

NUXE’s Huile Prodigieuse is the iconic dry oil, branded No. 1 in the Oils category in French pharmacies, is made using seven ,Precious Plant Oils, and claims to nourish, repair and soften skin and hair. Its fast absorbing silicone-free formula is said to leave skin satin-soft and adds gloss and suppleness to hair in a single step.

Review

This product works wonders. This is a multi-use product that can be used on your face, body and hair to help get rid of dryness, reduce the appearance of stretch marks and to strengthen and condition hair. I have tried this on all areas, but I find it’s most effective on hair as it instantly reduces the dryness and leaves it looking fresh and conditioned like I’ve just walked out of the hairdressers. It also smells divine!

I really do like this product. I’m not sure I’d pay £29 for it but if it’s ever on sale I’d definitely stock up! 4.5/5


Do you have any hair products you can’t live without?

With love,

Victoria

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Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

Are you ready to escape England’s unreliable weather forecast? I definitely am.

When going on holiday, it’s important to pack light. Taking a capsule wardrobe is the best option as mixing and matching is key to packing successfully. You don’t want to end up over-packing or going over your baggage weight allowance and having to pay a fine (what a perfect start that would be for your holiday?).

Dive in to see my must-have pieces for your summer holiday and 10 ways to style them…

Dress | £22.99 New Look | Shoes | £18 ASOS | Bag | £39.99 Mango | Bikini | £59 Calvin Klein | Hat | £10 Boohoo
Dress | £28 River IslandBag | £39.99 MangoShoes | £16 ASOSBikini | £15 Wolf & Whistle
Top | £12 TopshopSkirt | £19.99 New LookShoes | £18 ASOSBag | £26 Topshop
Top | £16 TopshopTrousers | £19.99 New Look | Shoes | £16 ASOSBag | £39.99 MangoHat | £10 Boohoo
Top | £17 TopshopTrousers | £40 River Island | Shoes | £18 ASOSBag | £26 Topshop
Dress | £22.99 New Look | Earrings | £4.50 TopshopBag | £26 Topshop | Shoes | £18 ASOS
Bikini | £8 Topshop | Skirt | £19.99 New Look | Bag | £39.99 Mango | Shoes | £16 ASOS

 

 

Top | £16 Topshop | Trousers | £40 River Island | Earrings | £4.50 TopshopShoes | £18 ASOS | Bag | £26 Topshop
Dress | £28 River IslandShoes | £16 ASOS | Bag | £39.99 Mango | Bikini | £59 Calvin Klein
Top | £12 Topshop | Trousers | £19.99 New Look | Shoes | £16 ASOS | Earrings | £4.50 TopshopBag | £26 Topshop

 

Get your holiday wardrobe ship-shape!

With love,

Victoria

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Wardrobe Inspiration

New season = new wardrobe.

As the temperature is beginning to rise in England (albeit, not today), give your style a revamp with some fresh summer outfit ideas: from bright colours to matching co-ords and denim overload. Here are some warm-weather-ready outfit looks to inspire your summer outfits-of-the-day this season.


One of AW17’s hottest colours will be red. This matching crop top and culotte set looks super chic and summery. Monochromatic outfits create a sleek, streamlined look – a perfect ‘hot’ hue for summertime.


Lace-up details are a highly popular choice this season. This pinstripe, shirt dress combination is the perfect way to take the trend into workwear territory. The corset clinches in at the waist, creating a flattering update to a boxy shirt dress silhouette.


A breezy white midi dress is an elegant alternative to the slip dress trend for occasions that call for a little more sophistication. Add chunky gold hoop earrings and a straw basket bag for a summer-ready, picnic-date-ready look.


pink2

Millennial pink is on-trend this spring/summer. This stunning hue acts as the perfect neutral when styled with a blazer – like above – to create a stylish outfit that suits the office to the street.


If you’re all about those sporty vibes, a ribbed light-weight knit dress and trainers will create a chic athletic-inspired outfit. The white striped trim along the neckline and sleeves makes all the difference to transform this black dress from classic to cool.


Bring the ’90s back to life by pairing a bold strappy cami dress over a plain white tee for a bold look. Accessorise with casual canvas-style trainers, a denim jacket tied around the waist, and perhaps a bold lip.


Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are a chic feminine and romantic wardrobe staple this summer. Juxtapose an off-the-shoulder top with distressed denim for a super ‘cool-girl’ street style look, or culottes if you want a more light-weight casual outfit.


A culotte jumpsuit is not only an effortless wardrobe staple, but allows accessories to do the talking. Pair with a bright, bold crossbody or tote bag, and colour-coordinated sandals for a stylish look.


Logo tees are a must-have for your wardrobe this summer. (A popular choice at present is the Topshop £15 ‘Femme Forever’ tee or River Island’s £18 ‘Girl Gang’ tee). Add a stylish patent/leather skirt and you’ll be sure to make heads turn this season.


Replace your usual blazer and trouser look with a co-ord set. Think pink with a two-piece combo, like this bandeau top and wide-leg ruffle trouser look. Alternatively, pair a matching colour-coordinated blazer and shorts with a crisp white shirt or logo tee for a lighter, stylish casual look.


Straw accents – from wide-brim hats to basket bags – make the ultimate neutral summer accessory this season, and will match with pretty much any outfit.

What’s your favourite look?

With love,

Victoria

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