I’ve been staring at my Pinterest board for ‘holiday style inspo’ for quite some time.
I’ve also been staring at my own outfit photos – both on this blog and on my Instagram.
And finally, I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been doing a hefty bit of stalking.
Nah, not the actual creeping outside your house with binoculars kind. Just the social media kind. The, just having a casual nose at what everyone else is wearing kind, the taking mental notes for my own style kind.
And I’ve come to some conclusions – looking cool is actually kinda easy if you follow some basic style rules.
Here’s whatcha need to know…
1. BRETON T-SHIRTS A SIZE UP
Or, if you don’t use fashion language (I legit only learnt what a Breton tee was when I worked at LOOK), a long-sleeved striped t-shirt, usually in white and navy.
You might have one already snaking about in your wardrobe and they’re my absolute fave go-to for day, but I’ve noticed my pretty Pinterest girls are wearing them looser than I do and it looks so effortlessly chic and comfy. Wear with ripped jeans or a leather mini or cut off shorts for all the thumbs up emojis in the world.
2. RED LIPSTICK
I can’t preach this enough. DO NOT BE SCARED. It instantly uplifts an outfit, even for day. Heck, I’m sat at my desk wearing a red lip because it makes me feel so damn sassy.
Despite trialling some MAC shades and some cheaper high street brands, there’s nothing that even comes close to how perfect Illamasqua’s Soaked is.
3. CROPPED RAW HEM JEANS
If, like me, you spend at least 47 minutes a day pouring over the ASOS website, then you might kinda know what I’m talking about.
It’s those damn dreamy jeans that seem to be featured in every shoe image at the moment, the dark blue jeans which are cropped just above the ankle and have the ‘raw hem’. The sort which looks like it’s recently just been torn. It’s all fresh and fraying and busy looking achingly hip.
I’m desperate to find myself a pair in petite for my stumpy legs, but am yet to find them. But if you’re, y’know, over 5ft 4 you should BUY THEM AND LET ME LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOU. (Shop ’em here)
4. CLASSIC TRENCH COAT
I mean, you could go MENTAL and buy a Burberry mac, but let’s face it, ain’t nobody got the bank account for that.
Earlier this year I replaced my trusty £25 Primark trench of five years with, get this, a brand new £25 trench coat from Primark.
Without sounding hideously dull, combine the three items above – red lippy, striped tee and jeans – with a trench and you’ve got the perfect low-key outfit that works pretty much all year round in the UK. Team with trainers or strappy flats to nip to Tesco and fool everyone into thinking you’re chic and French or just y’know, a stylist or summin.
Oh and ALWAYS snap it up in a stone/cream shade, you’ll get way more wear out of it. Promise. (Here’s a nice ASOS one should you want me to point you in the right direction…)
5. EAR CUFFS
Admittedly I only own one ear cuff and it’s this little slice of sweetness from Adorning Ava, but I’ve seen a few floating around on Insta of late and they just look so achingly sassy.
Plus, they’re a budget wardrobe update if ever I saw one. OH and you don’t need like a weird double piercing or anything – the top is normally a clip.
6. CHAIN BAGS
My chain bag obsession started in about 2011 and it hasn’t slowed down. They’re basically the fashion week street style dream. My only real issue is finding cross-body bags where the whole straps is chain (rather than like half of it and the rest a manky ol’ cheap synthetic leather), and the actual bag is a good size.
One of my all time faves is a neon yellow studded number from Boohoo, but sadly it doesn’t go with *all* that much, sob.
If, like me, you’re ahem, a bit blessed in the boobie department, then it’s probs a bit more flattering to wear said bag over a shoulder rather than across your body otherwise squished boob and that.
I find eBay great for these (probably because they’re, erm, modelled very closely on some designer styles…). This is one of my fave under £20 ones.
7. TORTISESHELL CAT EYE SUNGLASSES
The first pair of these I bought were from ASOS last year (these ones) and I crushed them with my back whilst eating Mille Feuille in the car with Chris the other day. Honestly, I’m really hip, promise.
They’re all over social media and the fashion bloggersphere at the moment, and I’m big on the ones which have a bit of gold metal detailing on them.
Y’know how when you were younger you wanted to wear big massive sunglasses to look like a WAG? These are like the 2k15 alternative.
8. MEN’S SHIRTS
I went through a phase a couple of years ago of basically wearing Primark/H&M t-shirts from the men’s section with every outfit – they just had such a classic fit compared to all the women’s stuff.
Now I’ve moved on to men’s shirts. It all started when my white GAP number started to go gappy on my boobs and look like it didn’t fit properly – so I nabbed Chris’s Topman one in a medium and for some unknown reason it fit way better. It didn’t look oversized particularly, it just fit over my boobs better, which considering men don’t even have boobies is such a weird one.
Anyway, I recently snapped up a white shirt for a fiver in Primark from the men’s section and it fits like a dream. I suggest you do the same for all your jean/a-line skirt/midi skirt and denim short outfits.
9. WHITE NAILS
Remember when everyone (aside from me because ALL THE COLOUR) was obsessed with black nails? Meh, that’s over.
It’s been all about white, which is lovely and all, but it does take at least 3 coats to look decent. Or, if you get bored with the whole monochrome thing – rock mint nails or lilac. I’m obsessed with the sweet colours in the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Range, especially Eat My Dust.
10. BLANKET SCARVES
OK, maybe not so much rn in the summer.
Actually, take that back, yes right now in the summer – have you seen the harrowing rain and apocalyptic skies of the past couple of weeks?
I love ASOS for this – the giant scarves that could *definitely* double up as blankets (they’re an absolute YES YES YES for long haul flights). You see them all over the shot on Pinterest, teamed with a biker jacket, sunglasses and hair that’s still tucked inside the chunky scarf.
It’s an autumnal look that I adore and it’s amazing because IT’S SO DARN COMFY.
11. ROLLED UP GIRLFRIEND JEANS
I’ve been on the boyfriend bandwagon since earlier this year, but I have to be honest, catching myself from some angles makes me feel a bit like FLIPPIN’ HECK YOU LOOK LIKE A MASSIVE LADY. So yeah, now I’m on the hunt for some sexy little girlfriend jeans. They’re not skinny and they’re not as baggy as boyfriend, but they’re like the more flattering version.
Make sure yours has a rip or two and rolled up hems. Seriously rolled up hems with everything from sexy strappy stilettos to flat monochrome Nike Theas just looks so damn hip and happening.
12. LAYERED PENDANTS
When I worked for a fashion mag, the statement necklace was always second best to gold pendant necklaces. Half the fashion team owned one of these Daisy London dreamboats (but I own a somewhat cheaper version from Accessorize.)
I like to layer up different lengths of dainty necklaces (as well as rings and bracelets), and I mix up my gold-plated longer one with cheap H&M and Primark buys.
The day I see a gal in the street wearing culottes and she doesn’t look like she’s absolutely owning it, then, well, I’ll tweet about it and let you all know.
I’ve been swearing by a couple of Warehouse pairs I have all summer. I just love how light and comfortable and easy to style they are.
Wear with a cami top or white shirt half tucked in. It’s an instant day-to-night winner and you know it.
P.S. If I was going to buy another pair it’d TOTALLY be this pair.
The humble fedora. The fashion blogger favourite since day.
I actually stumbled across my stash whilst doing a clearout pre-car boot and forgot how much I loved my grey and brown variations instead of the classic black (one from Boohoo and one from Primark – the latter was MUCH better quality just FYI).
You need one in your style arsenal, if only for greasy hair days and festivals and hiding under when you feel as grey and blah as the British sky. (This one’s a gem)
15. MIRROR LENSES
A knock-off blue pair of aviators were the only reason I managed to do Trek America with any dignity. I was smelly and greasy and tired and spotty and those life savers literally stopped me looking from a mountain troll. I owe them a lot.
Again, this is eBay territory (just search ‘mirror sunglasses’), they literally cost less than a fiver. I’ve just gone for a green round-frame pair for the rest of the summer (and my upcoming trip to Mykonos).
But be warned, they do scratch easy so maybe use a glasses or summin’ grown-up.
16. LEATHER BIKER JACKET
I think I’ve preached this about 574857 times since starting a blog, but seriously, if there’s one thing you invest in – it’s this.
My biker jacket is three years old and gets just as much wear now as it did when I bought it. I’m still waiting for it to go out of fashion but y’know what? I’m just not sure it will, not for a lil’ while anyway.
It goes with EVERYTHING. I wear mine over summer dresses to stop them looking so twee during the summer, and then layer like 7 jumpers underneath in the midst of winter.
This £90 one is superb value for real leather. Love.
17. GREY JUMPER
OMG what a boring note to end on, eh?
Nah but seriously, whether you’re a fine knit or sweatshirt kinda gal you need something of the plain grey variety for all the layering you’ll do throughout the year.
Whether it’s to whack on during a flight, or wear with a leather biker, shirt and jeans – it’s one of the most worn items in my wardrobe, and you should make sure you jump on that bandwagon. (This one’s £12.99 from H&M, you legit cannot go wrong.)
It’s a weird thing to notice in all my Pinterest pins – but there’s a heck of a lot of grey jumpers layered up to pull an outfit together. Who knew?
Shoppable items from photographs: Petit Bateau striped Breton tee, £58 / Warehouse striped cropped trousers, £48 / eBay tortoiseshell sunglasses, £5.50 / Illamasqua ‘soaked’ lipstick, £19.50 / Daniel Wellington watch, £159 / Adorning Ava ear cuff, £9 / New Look green heels, £10 / eBay green mirror lenses, £5.39