Good summer shoes are a tricky purchase indeed. Not only are your feet not used to being sockless but its also very hard to combine comfort and style. Wedges are a summer favourite and they tick both boxes by making your legs look fabulous while preventing a broken ankles on uneven footpaths! Floral patterned wedges are especially summery and can brighten up a block colour outfit. Walking any sort of distance in summer means that flats are essential...but you can't hide unattractive flats in the sunshine and runners are generally just too warm. Espadrilles are great for short distances and there is such a huge array of patterns to choose from so you can team them with shorts, harem pants, skirts and dresses.
Due to the rough woven sole of the espadrille they can become a bit hardwearing on the foot but there are plastic alternatives which are slightly more comfortable. I bought a pair of Native shoes, in TkMaxx, for travelling to Australia last year and they were perfect for the heat. Native shoes are made from foam- injection molded-EVA, a lightweight and durable material resembling rubber. The best thing about Native shoes is that you can wash them to keep them fresh and they dry in the sunshine in no time AND they are available in a variety of styles and colours.
Its no easy feet making flats look hot but one woman who succeeds is Kourtney Kardashian and her choice of sandal is perfect. She is a big fan of the knee high gladiator sandals and they look great with shorts and dresses. The appeal of these sandals for me is that unlike the flip flop or other sandals this gladiator sandal doesn't have that piece in between the toes that's just waiting to cut and chap your downtrodden foot. Wh
Wedding season has officially landed! Hate them or love them chances are you have to go to at least one this summer so make sure to look fabulous. There are a few general rules of thumb about wedding guest attire. First of all and this should go without saying but white is for the bride ONLY and personally I'd stay away from anything resembling white including creams or ivory as well. I think it's also wise to avoid the same colour and style of the bridesmaids...just to be on the safe side. Summer weddings are a great excuse to have fun with colour. Yellow, coral and lavender are especially nice with a light layer or two of tan. Wedding are an ideal opportunity to hone your developing tan skills as you have plenty of notice so you can build up a nice natural look tan in the coming days of the wedding.I find No7 Naturally Sun Kissed Gradual Tan is really good for an even tan and its tinted so its easy to see the progress when applying it. Instant tan is fine but its can be a bit harsh for daytime and will also show up easily on your dress so beware.
Choose your bag very carefully as while the tiny clutches and diamante box bags are lovely in photos they are non practical for carrying,phone,lipstick,tissue,perfume etc. It is hard to find a balance between fashion and functionality but it can be achieved. Shoes are another common pitfall...we have all made the mistake of thinking it'll be all right on the night with the killers heels that 'make the outfit' but make our feet pay dearly for the privilege. When choosing a heel bear in mind you may need to contend with countryside, church driveway pebbles and steps! Block heels are not the most attractive but they are a safe bet. For cheap and cheerful shoes I use everything5pounds.com and chockersshoes.co.uk, the gold shoes below are from chockers.
Hair and make up for weddings is always a ton easier when someone else does it but if are on a budget you need to give yourself plenty of time to make mistakes and fix them and have a hissy fit if needs be. Backcombing is essential if you need your hair to last all day and its not a bad idea to invest in a make up fixing spray to keep your face looking fabulous for example the Collection Fix Me Up Long lasting Make Up Fixer for €9.59 in boots. Accessorizing your outfit is of course the funnest part and there is no end to the choices available...Marks & Spencers has a lovely selection of gold as does accessorize and as always you can't beat Penny's! I have three weddings this year but luckily I am bridesmaid for two so I'll have my outfits sorted!
Oriental inspired clothing is one of my absolute favourite looks. The mandarin collars, sashes, ornate fastenings and the vibrant silky fabrics of oriental garments are so enchanting and dripping in asian allure. This style is simple, feminine, oozing sophistication and elegance. The colours are bold and vibrant, the fabrics are rich and decadent and the lines are clean and structured.
The kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, is making a huge mark on high street fashion at the moment. The kimono has everything you could want from a single item of clothing, its luxurious texture, comfortable draping fit, pretty patterns and the icing on the cake...a fabulously floaty fringe! The kimono comes in many forms and it generally suits every shape! The kimono is a real fashion statement and can dress up just about any outfit.Another stunning feature of oriental clothing is the exquisite embroidery. Embroidered birds, flowers, dragons etc make sure these items are not to be overlooked and the vivid colours ensure you will definitely stand out from the crowd.
A simple style of dress for this look is characterised by the mandarin collar, a wrap over neck line with detailed material fastenings and a sexy slit or two on the skirt to show a hint of leg. The accessories for this trend are just as extraordinary and ornate as the clothing. Embroidered clutch bags are perfect with the delicate materials used for the clothing. Hair acceossories also feature heavily in the slick back twists and buns. Hair sticks and pretty, colourful flowers add some exotic elegance to simple up-dos.
Brooches are something which I never imagined I would ever be interested in or want to wear. I thought brooches were old fashioned and naff but I since realised that the brooch is one of the simplest and most subtle ways of adding some classic style to an outfit. The world of brooches is so varied and there are so many unusual and inventive styles to choose from its just a question of pinning down a style you like. I recently purchased a lovely black coat in River Island and I discovered that the little green and white diamond guardian angel pin I have is perfect on the collar just to give it some sparkle. Brooches can be worn on bags, scarves, coat lapels or work really well at the top of a buttoned up shirt collar.
I have a soft spot for cameos as they are so delicate and feminine looking. They have a really classic and antique aura about them. Cameos are one of the most simple styles of brooch available and they work well with most looks and are especially nice with pastels. If the traiditional cameo sounds a bit to prim and proper and you are looking for something a little more egdey these skeleton cameos(above) are available on etsy.com €20.82.
Another one of my favourite type of brooch is the animal brooch. Bumble bees like the one above or butterflies, lizards, snakes and birds in brightly coloured diamante are lovely with block coloured outfits. Wooden brooches are also widely available in various animal shapes including foxes, horses, rabbits and deer. I found a fantastic make for animal themed accessories in Spitalfield market in London called titiMadam. Their website titMadam.com has some very cool trophy head necklaces, skulls and plain old cute animal jewellery. Also if you are looking for cheap and cheerful pieces Rua boutique on Capel St has a large selection of animal badges for less than €10.
There is a lot of fun to be had with brooches. There is such a vast selection of types and materials used. You can even have a stab at making your own, all you need is a safety pin and a good imagination. Buttons, coins, beads, old phone charms, skeleton keys, pieces of lego...they can all be used to create a beautiful bespoke brooch.
In honour of our When Poppy Met Daisy's Corsetry class todays blog focuses on the supremely feminine and rather bizarre invention. A long long time ago corsets were used as instruments to narrow a ladies waist and reshape her figure, thankfully in today's society we have a things like exercise and diet to do that for us so in today's fashion world the corset is simply an elegant fashion accessory. Granted there are still some hardcore corset wearing women around the world determine to the structure to mold an itty bitty waist but for the most part corested garments are designed to be worn for a short period of time and to give the illusion of a smaller shape.
Dita Von Teese is a modern day pioneer of the the corset and wears it with attitude.The corset is a big fixture is Dita's burlesque performances and she is rarely pictured in anything else. However Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rihanna have also sported some very ornate examples of the corset. Rihanna goes all out in the mad max-esque embellished corset trimmed with chains and spikes galore. A corset top is a dressy statement and generally worn with a simple skirt or trousers. These tops are not for shrinking violets or wall flowers as they designed to maximize the bust and draw attention.
The art of corsetry dates back as far as the 16th century with the idea being to shape a woman's body into a cone like figure. 'Bones' made of various materials such as whalebone, steel, ivory or nylon are inserted into the garment. The bones give the corset its rigid and structured form and this boning process if often used in evening gowns and dresses to make sure a strapless style stays in places and supports the bust. A boned bodice in a dress may make it a little more difficult to breathe but it certainly holds everything in and makes for a gorgeous silhouette a trade off I'd be willing to take every time.
Whether its the kitchen sink or just some lippy and a purse -the humble handbag is one of the most important accessories a girl can have for style and storage. Finding your everyday handbag is as important as finding your soul mate. You need a bag that you can rely on, a bag that goes from day to night, that has a compartment for your prized possessions...a bag that will see you through thick and thin. Personally I think a satchel style bag with a cross strap is always a good choice if have to walk any distance to work or if you need to spread the weight of the boulder of stuff you carry. The satchel is always a good 'hands free' type bag as you rarely need to hoist or adjust it as you travel. The bowler bag is also a comfortable everyday bag and if you choose the right handles you can carry them on the shoulder if you get tired of swinging it down that street! The more space you have in your full time bag the better as you can never be too prepared. And whether its zipper or button its essential to make sure your bag is pick-pocket proof!
Full time handbags that you use every day are definitely a vital part of any wardrobe but the part time handbag for those special occasion can be as disfunctional and over the top as you like. Clutch bags have maximum impact for style but trying to decide between your phone, purse or make up is not easy when you're packing that adorable little bag.Aside from the space aspect of a clutch they can also be a nightmare to mind but practicality isn't in this season anyways! Embroidered and embellished bags can bring an outfit to life and add a splash of glam where necessary. Pillarbox handbags are splendidly vintage and make for the perfect accessory to any evening gown.
Sequins, beads and chainmail make for gloriously glamourous bags however make sure you have done sufficient training as they make for seriously heavy weights. When it comes to value for money Pennys always has a huge selection of bags for every occasion but if you are looking for something a bit different ebay.com or etsy.com are great and second hand shops almost always have cute leather bags that
One of my favourite things ever is a fringed piece of clothing. There's something extremely alluring about a fringed garment. I associate it with flapper old school glamour with a majestic movement of a shimmering fringe as it swishes side to side. I can never resist the urge to run my hand along that fringey goodness!! I purchased a pair on black fringed shorts in Topshop many moons ago mainly because they were reduced from crazy expensive to €18. The fringe is just on the bottom of the material unlike these entirely fringed shorts which are so pretty and very razzle dazzle.
The neat looped fringe has a hint of Great Gatsby about it and its perfect for any vintage look. Fringes are a full time job to maintain and you need to think very carefully about the environment in which you wear a fringe in as they get caught and pulled very easily. If the fringe is synthetic you can sometimes singe the end to keep it from fraying but if not you need to mind your fringe. The dip dyed fringe is more radical but fabulous nonetheless. Dip dyed fringe is great for bikinis and going out dresses and can add some excitement to ordinary piece.
Boots and bags are made all the more appealing with a nice fringe attached!Fringed boots or jackets they can look a bit wild west but cowboy chic is sometimes nice as long at you leave the stetson at home. Fringed shoulders are ideal for anyone who isn't a fan of their arms as their dainty draping makes the arm look more feminine.
First things first I was so sad to see Lynda leave the Sewing Bee last night but I do think it was her time. It's going to be a very exciting final and I am hoping that Heather or Chinelo will take the title. It was another inspiring episode that gave me more ideas to get up and do something with all those old clothes I have that I need to upcycle! Anyhoo I have noticed that the shops are awash with check print at the moment. I am not quite sure how I feel about it just yet as I find it a little intimidating. Coloured check is something I approach with caution as I still have nightmares about Cher's crazy yellow check get up in Clueless which has recently been ressurected by Iggy Azelia.
As with any busy print I feel less is definitely more when it comes to check and especially if its coloured also. The pleated check skirt is a bit of a school girl throw back but it can still be nice when teamed with a plain top and no knee high socks! The skort (skirt + shorts) can also look very nice in tartan or neat check. A bit of celtic kilt-like chic is never a bad thing!
Pennys nearly always has a nice selection of soft check shirts that are perfect for a smart casual look. The check shirt goes with just about everything...denim short, jeans or leggings! And if you want check casual how about these bright vans which look seriously comfortable with their fleecy lining. Check is a versatile look that tranfers across all seasons or the Irish one season weather.
Its official...I am one hundred per cent addicted to the Great British Sewing Bee. I have spent every day since last Tuesday in a state of heightened anticipation for this week's episode. Everything about this programme is so darn watchable, the music is nostalgic, there's just the right amount of history and the challenges every week are excellent. Last week I was very sad to see last man standing David eliminated as it was refreshing to see the craft from the male perspective but there is still a group of lovely ladies left. I have a soft spot for Lynda as she has a fantastic sense of humor but I admire Chinelo's creativity and confidence and Heather's coat last week was my favourite garment in the show so far. On tonight's programme the contestants must make a dress out of a piece of fabric straight on to the manneqiun by draping it. I would imagine that Chinelo will shine in this task as she seldom uses patterns for her clothes anyway.
I love the idea of being able to make your own dress and see it develop from conception to creation and it is so motivating to learn the tricks and techniques necessary. Here at When Poppy Met Daisy we have a few limited places left for this Sunday the 5th of April for our 'make a dress in a day' workshop. Its a really great opportunity to see how much you can do once you have the basic skills mastered. The satisfaction that comes from knowing you have created a garment exactly the way you wanted/imagined it is unparalleled. When you see what can be achieved from this charming craft its easy to fall in love with it.
Since starting the dressmaking class here I'm looking at clothes in a different light. I bought shoulder pads last week which I fully intend to customise/embellish with some of my gold sequins and beads. I can see potential in garments that used not to appeal to me. Choosing materials and trimmings is so much fun. I have been introduced to the world of haberdashery and I'm never leaving. Right now I am a complete novice to the sewing scene but so far I'm HOOKED! I'll be posting photos of my dress as soon as its done and also my shoulder pads.