While I’m planning on staying at home with not much to do for the whole of December, I sometimes envy those people who have booked an inspirational trip away during the festive period. Even though I love Christmas in the UK, skipping all the stress that sometimes comes with it does sound appealing! For those of you who are planning to spend time abroad this winter, one of the most special places to visit is Sicily.
November is here and you know what that means. Not only is the countryside is looking particularly glorious with golden leaves and harvest fruits on the trees, but it also means that Christmas is on its way! Which you can probably guess from my festive blog posts last month is something I’m already particularly excited about. November is a great month; the days are bright and fresh, bonfire night is coming soon, and it the slightly cooler weather makes me want to snuggle up in the evenings with something good to read. That’s the reason I’ve compiled this blog post about my favourite publications and am launching a lovely giveaway to win a copy of the newly published ‘Swing Dance’ vintage culture book – so please read on!I was lucky enough to get my hands on the new issue of LandLust magazine at the weekend. If you’ve not yet heard about LandLust I’m not surprised; I hadn’t either when I first started researching the publication last month, but I’m so pleased that I’ve discovered it now. The magazine first launched in Germany 10 years ago and now has over a million readers there. Building on this success the magazine is about to launch in the UK too.Much like my regular favourite mag (which I’ll tell you a little more about in a minute!) this publication focuses on country life, cooking, crafts, gardening and much more. With thrifty articles on making homemade piping bags, low-cost Christmas decorations and DIY ‘scrap-wood’ shelf projects it’s no wonder that I’ve been intently pouring over every page since it arrived. It’s hitting the shops on 5th of November so be sure to pick one up or visit www.landlust.co.uk for more information on this new title.I’ve been excited about checking out the newly published ‘Swing Dance’ book since it hit the shelves back in mid-September. Last week I finally got my hands on a copy and couldn’t wait to sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy browsing the vintage-inspired pages. Written by Scott Cupit, founder of the world’s largest swing dance school ‘Swing Patrol’, the book is an insight into the world of contemporary swing dance and, as you may have noticed from my various blog posts on the subject, this is something I am really keen on learning more about.The book explores the most popular swing dance styles including the Charleston, Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag and Balboa and offers a step-by-step guide to perfecting the dances. It also focuses on the associated vintage culture of each style including the music, hairstyles, fashion, make-up and history of each dance, so it’s not just about learning the steps!Seeing as its Tuesday Shoesday I couldn’t resist sharing some photos of the gorgeous vintage footwear page within the book. I’d love a pair of gold dancing shoes like these – they look so comfortable and glamorous! Both Hubby and I have a few pairs of brogues in our wardrobe and I love wearing them for dancing lindy hop; they make jumping and kicking so much easier than when I’m tottering around in heels!If you would like to win a copy of this gorgeous new book – great for anyone interested in vintage culture, fashion, beauty or dance – I have two to give away to my wonderful blog readers. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this blog post for your chance to win a copy of this brand new publication. Continue reading “My favourite reads + ‘Swing Dance’ book review” »
It’s easy to assume that all those fashionistas you see on the street were born with an eye for style and an innate understanding of what looks good. In most cases though, they just know the right places to look to check out new styles, and what it takes to change a style from something they’ve seen into reality.
If you have even a small creative bone in your body, it’s likely that you too can learn about style if you know the places to look. Here are some tried and true methods to go from staring envyingly at an awesome outfit to decoding the style elements and incorporating them into your own look.
Look at your favorite celebs & style icons
If your goal is to learn about fashion so you can become more fashionable yourself, then the celebs whose outfits you most admire can be a great place to start. The trick is to not be overwhelmed or intimidated when you first being paging through Vogue and Hello or browsing Heatworld.com. These celebrities and models have stylists who are paid a great deal to come up with outfits for them, plus most have a bottomless wardrobe (not to mention designer freebies!) to choose from.
The good thing about stars having paid stylists is that you can steal their hard work for free, just by checking out their pictures. Pick out a few favorite celebrities’ looks and grab a notepad. Now you’re going to break down the major elements of the outfits you’ve chosen. Really look at what they’re wearing and what makes the style. Is it a tailored jacket with a flirty skirt (tutu even)? Coloured tights? Eye-catching accessories? If you’re like me, the same sorts of staple items will come up in many of your favourite looks. By the time you finish, you’ll have a list of different items you can begin incorporating into your own wardrobe.
Check out fashion blogs
Fashion blogs are excellent to have in your style arsenal, because in many cases they do this fashion decoding for you. Many pick out different style elements and highlight new looks; whether you’ already an avid blog-reader or not, they’ll help you understand the current trends. Refinery 29 is an excellent blog which breaks down current looks and makes suggestions for style combinations. Other blogs, such as Street Peeper and the Sartorialist, post pics of enviable street fashion from around the world. When you find styles you like, perform the same “style analysis” that you did on the celebs, breaking down the actual elements of the outfit in writing. In this way, you’ll be able to keep track of established and emerging trends.
Keep an eye on street fashion
While street fashion blogs are certainly excellent at cataloguing worldwide trends, it’s likely that there are at least a few fashionable lads and lasses in your town; if you live in a city, then there are hundreds. In your daily comings and goings about town, look at people who immediately strike you as “put together.” Make a mental note of the major elements of their look—is she wearing stacked wedges, cutoff shorts, tribal prints? Be a style thief and look to others for inspiration. You’ll probably find that after a short while you’ll be able to improvise these put together looks on your own.
Read books & magazines
While books might seem like the opposite of fashion (old and dusty versus new and trendy), they can actually be great tools for learning about style. Look books and fashion books chronicle everything from vintage fashion to the latest trends, and can help you gain a little perspective on fashion’s evolution. The library will usually have the latest issues of Vogue and Elle, and these are always worth a look too. I personally love leafing through old issues in the journals archive to see how fashions have changed over the years (and sometimes have a giggle too – did anyone really wear that?!).
How do you go about re-creating celeb outfits? What influences your own personal style? Do you already read fashion blogs and what do you think about them? Leave me a comment! x