Monday, 3 December 2012

Back Soon!

Hey everyone!

Sorry you haven't heard much from me in a while, I'm taking a little break from Secret Carousel and Carousel Secrets atm to work on another project of mine. It's taking a little longer than expected, but I promise to be back soon with just as much awesome indie fashion and questionable commentary as before, if not more. I miss you all!

Love and kisses,
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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Three Ways to Style: Printed Leggings

For my next Three Ways post, I decided to pick something notoriously hard to style: printed leggings. I mean once you've got over the hurdles of "does the print make my arse look gigantic", "does the waistband give me a massive muffin top", and "does everything jiggle in a really hideous manner even while I'm standing still", the next thing you think is "what the f*ck do I wear them with".

Now I used to wear a lot of leggings as a kid, being a 90's child of parents stuck in the 80's, and I'm pretty sure I never used to style them like this. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've still got my massive "Pembrokeshire Sheepdogs" t-shirt, and I'm pretty sure it still fits. It's probably something you'd find in a vintage shop ("Bargain!"), but I would be really stuck as to whether I would be wearing it ironically, or if I actually thought it looked good.

It's probably a good thing I had no sense of style as a kid though, because if I was wearing one of the following outfits I would probably have looked like I was in some kind of child pageant.
1. Pale Pink Cutout Wooden Earrings, £4 from NewellsJewels
2. White Tropical Leggings, £12 from Lavish Alice
3. Brenda Knitted Peplum, £15 from Pop Couture
4. Yoselin Mint Green Platform Heels, £22.99 from My1stWish
5. Mint Green Mini Cross Body Bag, £15 from Ji Ji Kiki*
Total Outfit Cost: £68.99
I adore these wooden cutout earrings from NewellsJewels, but it was a nightmare picking which colour to use. Do I go for the pale pink, the white, the hot pink, the orange, or even the black? They'd all work really well, and they're all so pretty. The Ji Ji Kiki bag comes in two colours as well, mint green and coral, so picking the perfect combination was just too hard! I love how it turned out though, I think it's a really feminine and grown up take on leggings.

This is definitely going to be the most popular outfit from this post, once you see the other two you'll know what I mean...
6. New York Hat Co. Fisherman Cap, £25.95 from Village Hats
7. Stargazer Pink Lipstick, £3 from Four Leaf Clothing
8. White Tropical Leggings, £12 from Lavish Alice
9. Selected Femme Cat T-shirt, £35 from Eden
10. Peta Gold Studded Peep Toes, £19.99 from Daisy Street*
Total Outfit Cost: £95.94
I put this outfit together and really liked it, but then I realised it looked a lot like an 80s LA stripper/member of the New York Dolls. So I switched the t-shirt with the black leather boots on it for this one with a cheetah or whatever and now I think it looks a lot better. More sassy and less trashy, if you will. I think it works.
11. Aubrey Floral Crown Headband, £22 from Rock 'N Rose
12. Black Spike Bralet, £15.99 from Karma Clothing
13. TUK Black Suede Mondo Lo Creeper, £69.99 from Soho's*
14. White Tropical Leggings, £12 from Lavish Alice
15. Metal Frame Circle Sunglasses, £10 from Urban Excess
Total Outfit Cost: £129.98
It's probably not a good idea to wear this outfit outside at the moment, if you live in the UK anyway. You'll probably freeze to death. You should probably get a parka or something, or check out my tips for wearing a bralet in winter, from the stud post. Because I don't want you catching a cold.
   
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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Weekly Shop: Junkie Lovers

Built from a love of trash and all things pretty, Junkie Lovers creates quirky fun jewels to excite and ignite a flame in your heart. Inspired by pop culture, indie fashion and everything colourful and kitsch, these eye catching pieces meet cute with an upbeat edge.

I love this shop because: Fun & funky brightly coloured jewellery made from laser-cut acrylic to bring a smile to your face. Mirrored pieces catch the light and send shimmers around the room, while retro icons and quirky silhouettes stand out to liven up an outfit and brighten up your day.

Website: www.junkieloversboutique.com

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

There Will Be Stud

I looove studs, being an alternative type (or never quite growing out of my goth phase, take your pick), and I looove wearing dark colours. So this year's A/W trend is pretty much perfect for me. It's great to walk around the shops and see so many things I love and would actually wear. But at the same time I can't help thinking, why wouldn't I buy something from an independent shop instead?

I guess the main reason is convenience: it's so much easier to see something I like on the way past, and just buy it than it is to go out of my way to find an independent shop on the offchance that they have something along the lines of what I'm looking for.

So to save you the trouble, I've gone through all the independent shops listed on Secret Carousel to find the best and coolest studded pieces, and edited them all into one blog post for you. Hope you enjoy it!

If you see an item you like, click through to the shop to check them out. You never know, it might be your new favourite!

1. Skull Studded Miniature Rucksack, £12 from Everything Stops For Tea
2. Studded Burgundy Tank, £10 from Joelle's Emporium
3. Grey studded jumper, £35 from Halo Boutique
4. Antique Gold Pyramid Triple Ring, £10 from Babi Online
5. Underground X Ashish Creepers, £114 from Underground
I love the awesome dye effect on this hand-studded top from Joelle's Emporium, and it's such a gorgeous colour as well. Berry shades are massive for this autumn, but they can be hard to match. An easy way to stop your outfit from looking too dark is to add a dash of cream - it really helps to accentuate the rich red and purple tones and will lift your entire outfit.

6. Glow Navy Studded Collar Shirt, £45 from Pret a Portobello
7. Alba Bronze Studded Bralet, £28 from China Doll Boutique
8. Triangle Stud Necklace, £6.50 from Rings and Tings
9. Olivia Studded Loafers, £20 from Simmi Shoes
10. Silver Studded Levi Shorts, £41.99 from The Little Deer
You wouldn't have thought bralets would still be popular in winter, but they're gonna be. If you're not superhuman, and let's face it, most of us aren't, you're gonna want to know how to wear it without catching frostbite on most of your torso. I know three ways, so if you know another one feel free to add it below in the comments.

1. Wear a sheer blouse over the top. It'll be more covered up, but subtly sexy at the same time.
2. Wear a blouse UNDERNEATH. I saw this on a blog the other day (can't remember where) and it looked pretty awesome. It doesn't lose any of the prettiness of the bralet itself, but you won't be cold either.
3. Wear a thickish cardigan over the top. Your stomach might be a little chilly if it's exposed, but you won't notice with the extra warmth from around it.

11. Pamela Mann Tights With Metallic Studs, £7.49 from The Peas Knees
12. Handmade Studded Hair Bow, £7 from PeaceLoveAndOtherStuff
13. Stacey Faux Leather Jacket, £68 from Goldie London
14. Studded Spike Necklace in Gunmetal, £4 from Kukee
15. Leela Platform Shoe Boot in Pale Pink, £39.99 from Daisy Street*
The soft grey hair bow and the pink Leelas are perfect for softening the studded look, and they would add a sometimes-needed femininity to a leather jacket. I love the idea of a pink version of this shoe, it's light and pretty and would add a girly touch to my far-too-dark wardrobe, but the studs keep the edgy feel to stop it tipping over into fluffy territory. I need to get a pair!

I hope this post has been useful! For hundreds more incredible independent shops to drool over and adore don't forget to have a look through Secret Carousel, the UK's independent fashion directory!

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Three Ways to Style: Stripy Pink Top

I think a lot of people think that shopping in independent shops is gonna be expensive. I mean, yeah, sure if you buy a OOAK handmade hand-dyed organic silk and beetlewing dress from a LCF graduate, it probably will be a little on the pricey side.

But let's face it, you don't really want that. You probably wouldn't wear it, realistically. What you DO want though, is awesome, unique items that express your own personal style, and that no one else is wearing. And it's perfectly possible to do that on a highstreet budget. Or less. I promise.

So I''ve started putting the outfit totals into the Three Ways posts, so you can see how much it actually costs to not shop on the highstreet. Or pays.

1. Black Mesh & Lace Cuffs, £14.50 from The Gothic Shop
2. Jessica Louise Cupcake Tank £25.99 from Attitude Clothing*
3. Black Bow Earrings, £5.05 from Kitsch Bitch Jewellery
4. Iron Fist Lacey Days Platforms, £39.99 from Soho's*
5. Black Organza Net Petticoat, £21.99 from Lindy Bop
Total Outfit Cost: £107.52
Petticoats can be outerwear too! They're great fun to wear and bounce and flounce all over the place and make you want to twirl around and skip all day. Also they give you a sort of grown-up but innocent happiness that makes you really carefree and smiley and it's impossible to feel properly miserable or angry while wearing one. You'll just sort of make a frowny face, or purse your lips and raise your eyebrows a bit, and then sigh "Oh well!" and go about your bouncy flouncy day.

6. Alice In Wonderland White Rabbit Bag, £16.99 from Kitsch and Cute
7. Jessica Louise Cupcake Tank, £25.99 from Attitude Clothing*
8. Butter London Nail Lacquer in Cheeky Chops, £12 from cutECOsmetics
9. Melanie Gingham Raffia Wedges, £44.95 from Burlesque Shoes
10. Green Striped Cotton Shorts, £31 from Olive Clothing
Total Outfit Cost: £130.93
I definitely could not pull off this outfit. I haven't really mastered stripes yet for starters, which is kind of a key thing here. Pastel colours are still far too girly for me, plus I'm pretty sure they would make me look younger and 'cute', which is not really what I want - I already mentioned the wanting to buy a drink without being ID'd didn't I? And too many awkward PE lessons mean I just can't face wearing shorts. That and I just don't want to have to stand up after sitting on a wicker chair.

But hooray for non-toxic nail varnish right?

11. Grey Ice Jeans, £32.99 from Criminal Damage
12. Jessica Louise Cupcake Tank, £25.99 from Attitude Clothing*
13. Pink Star Envelope Wallet, £13.95 from Kiki's Boutique
14. Hematite Beaded Wrap Bracelet, £13 from Philosophical Garlic
15. Gwendolyn Polka Dot Shoes, £59.95 from Lady Luck's Boutique
Total Outfit Cost: £145.88
This outfit was gonna be grey and pink, for a little variety, but then I got on the whole stars and polka dots thing and there was no going back. I love how you can take a casual outfit like jeans and a vest and make it really glam by just adding a classy pair of heels, it goes from "yeah ok I sat on the couch all morning watching tv, what of it, we've run out of cereal alright?" to "darling do you mind choosing a wine for tonight while I pick out a dessert?"

See hmm? Completely affordable. You won't have to have those awkward episodes where you want to buy a jumper and a pair of jeans and you get to the till any more.

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bootylicious.

So today was kinda Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I kinda didn't have any internet until this morning so I kinda only just finished the pirate themed post. They take work you know. Luckily I reckon this means I don't have to actually talk like a pirate in this post any more, which is a bit of a relief since I kinda think it gets a bit old after the second time it happens after you hear about it anyway. There are only so many piratey words people can think of and it's all a bit too much like being at drama school to be fun.
1. Skull + Spike Ear Chain, £22.50 from Black Pearl
2. Bronze & black pirate bag charm, £7.50 from Pirate Treasures
3. Gypsy Top, £28 from Gaia Noir
4. Vintage Black Leather Knee High Boots, £32 from Cecily Rose Vintage
5. Steam Punk Bangle Anchor, £7.95 from Chaotic Clothing
To be honest, 'pirate' is a bit of an all-encompassing term anyway. I don't expect all pirates were middle-aged "scurvy dogs" for starters, and definitely some of them were female. I imagine some of them were rich aristocratic housewives who got sick and tired of sitting at home looking at clothes all day and decided to get off their arses and do something about it.

Therefore, there must have been some pirates who started out so posh that they made me look like a tavern barmaid. Then of course there are modern pirates. So I reckon I probably sound like one type or other of pirate most of the time anyway.

6. Black Gothic Tricorn, £85 from Blackpin
7. Spin Doctor Rodin Coat, £99.99 from Violent Delights
8. Pirate Booty Large Double Heart Necklace, £17 from Bete Noire Jewellery
9. Pirate Ship Brooch, £7 from Chelsea Doll
10. Letter Of Marque Belt Buckle, £34.99 from Gothic Garden
If you're gonna be a pirate though, you've really got to do more than say "Arrr" a few times or take a picture of yourself wearing a tricorn and pouting whilst stroking your cat. You've got to be daring; you've got to take risks; you've got to break the rules.

11. Skull and Crossbones Skirt, £30 from Rooby
12. Pirate Bunny Earrings, £6 from Ji Ji Kiki*
13. Pirate Charm Bracelet, £16.99 from Kitsch and Cute
14. Heart Eye Patch with Crystals, £12 from Prong Jewellery
15. Pirate Lace-up Ankle Boots, £63 from Alternative Footwear
Get your coffee from a local coffee shop, one that isn't a chain. Wear heels and a dress to do the hoovering. Stop buying shitty poorly-made highstreet clothes and jewellery that falls apart on the shelf.

Find some independent retailers that you love, and buy from them instead.

Support the lady who gave up her job to follow her dream of running a dress shop, the mum who makes jewellery so she can spend more time with her kids, the girl who sells vintage clothing while studying for her GCSEs. Stop being lazy, and start really breaking the rules.

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Each Peach Peplum

If there's one trend that stands out as a runaway hit at the moment, it's the peplum. Tailored yet feminine, it's equally perfect for the office, a night out, or just sitting in a pub garden on a sunny afternoon. A pastel top with a peplum waist is an easy way to smarten up a pair of leggings, and a peplum dress is a lifesaver if you don't know what to wear for an interview.


Dotty Peplum Skirt, £24 from BangBangCrash
Dora Flower Flock Peplum Shift Dress, £15 from SheLikes
Peplum Frill Bodycon Pencil Skirt, £8.99 from Funky Divaa
Latex Peplum Pencil Skirt, £105 from Cathouse Clothing
I love love love this red spotty skirt from BangBangCrash, it's one of my favourites of the whole lot. It's lively and youthful, and yet still sophisticated, thanks to the double peplum and flattering shaping. If it wasn't already enough of a bargain at £24, it's also handmade to order. Take that, highstreet suckers!

Stop Staring Obsession Dress, £180 from 20th Century Foxy
Damani Floral Print Peplum Dress, £22 from Pop Couture
Turquoise Peplum Shift Dress, £45 from Little Mistress
Black Satin Strapless Top, £19.95 from The Gothic Catwalk
How can you not ADORE this devastatingly gorgeous dress from the aptly named Stop Staring? It's an American label, but it's available in the UK from the equally brilliantly named 20th Century Foxy, amongst others.

If you want something a little more affordable, check out Little Mistress. I keep going back to their website when I should be working just to sigh over their pretty, pretty dresses. Then I get in this looping paradox of not being able to work because I'm distracted by the dresses, but not being able to buy the dresses because I haven't worked enough to buy them.
Pink Tropical Floral Peplum Dress, £15 from Desire Clothing
Lace Peplum Dress, £49 from Aspire Style
Detachable Peplum, £29 from Nauticoco
Vintage 1980's Cocktail Dress, £65 from Peekaboo Vintage
Bet you didn't know you could get detachable peplums did ya! These ones are reversible as well, they've got black on the other side, so you've got a ton more uses for it.

Aspire Style are great if you're looking for some classier accessories or clothing, really sweet little boutique. Ok so the dress is Little Mistress as well, so shoot me.
Neon Flare Peplum Skirt, £15 from Yayer
Black Heart Peplum Dress, £65 from The Wardrobe Door
Blue Polkadot Peplum Dress, £22 from Lace Boutique
Tuxedo Peplum Dress, £30.98 from CherryPiePunk
Two more striking handmade dresses here, one from The Wardrobe Door, and one from CherryPiePunk. One inspired by classic vintage glamour, and one slightly more tongue-in-cheek - but both easily wearable and well within your budget.

Remember to check out the shops if you like something featured here, one of them could be your new favourite label! For more crazy independent shops you never knew existed, don't forget to check out Secret Carousel!

(The title is a reference to the Janet and Allan Ahlberg children's book, in case you were wondering what the hell I was on about. I think the peach dress got filtered out in the mix)
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