Vanity and Me

Fashion and beauty blog for the more mature woman not ready to hang up the high heels yet.

21/02/2017

Laura Ashley Feminine V Masculine


I'm sharing my post with Laura Ashley today. I have long been a fan of the brand and I can still remember my first ever visit at the Kings Road store when I was just around ten years old. My house host's a lot of the brand's homeware (I particularly like their lighting) and I have always found the fashion good quality and stylish. So I'm very proud to be featuring on the Laura Ashley blog.




Choosing something from the new collection was a tough choice, and you must take a look at the site to see all the latest beautiful prints for Spring/Summer. Divided into sections the romantically named collections of Vintage Romance - English Toile - Homespun - Simple Life and Terracotta


I have chosen this Blush Pink ruffled edged sweater from the Vintage-Romance collection and I fell in love with these trousers That are flared and my favourite style. The outfit combined is feminine with a masculine edginess to the outfit. 



 I love the frilled or fluted sleeve trend that's around at the moment and have had a job finding the right length for my petite/short arms. This sweater has a frill at the cuff, but it's well fitted at the wrist so I can get away with this. 



 The trousers are like a tweed effect but not tweed. A speckle in the material makes them look like this but they are actually light in weight and not bulky. I love the masculine cut of these trousers. They have a slight pleat in the front, but still flattering on the tummy and I think they would be great office wear with a white shirt. They are so comfortable!

 If you want to grab a pair, they are on special offer at the moment Here reduced from £75.00 down to £37.00 so be quick!



Are you loving the Ruffle trend that is everywhere at the moment? I feel at my age, even though I love all the frills and ruffles you have to be careful. That' s why I chose the masculine style trousers to tone it down a bit. Oh, and excuse the windswept look! I was at a local park with my daughter and the grandchildren. A very windy day indeed. My Grandson was telling me where to stand and how to have the photo taken - very bossy!



And made me promise that I would publish this one on the blog! I look like I'm going to be Birdnapped! 
XO Laurie

Jumper co/Laura Ashley
Trousers co/Laura Ashley



         
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16/02/2017

Celebrating Style Link Up - Jacynth And Me - An interview


Wow! Can I just say thank you so much for everyone that joined in last week. It really made me smile.
In this week's Celebrating Style, it's not about me, but another lady you may already know of. If not then please take a look at her site after reading. Let me introduce you to Jacynth Bassett of Bias-Cut.com



I discovered Jacynth through Instagram. Admiring the clothing that's available on her site. It was the unusual printed shirts that caught my eye! 

Then I discovered that Jacynth really flys the flag for us more mature women in the fashion industry.
When the Facebook page Ageism Is Never In Style was launched, I was one of the first to join. This is now a fantastic group, discussing all sorts of topics.



Further down the line Jacynth kindly shared some of my photos with a question and answers post on her website. I am now going to share the answers that Jacynth gave me when I fired some back. If you would like to see my interview with my answers you can find it Here - Storys Of Style 



An introduction to Jacynth...


I was studying law at Cambridge, having always thought I wanted to be a lawyer. But I realised I wasn't passionate about it, and I wanted to do something that I cared about. I realised I had an interest in business after being president of the Cambridge law society, and when it came to what industry I'd start my own business in, it was obvious that it would be fashion. I've always held a long-term interest in the fashion industry and taught myself about it from a young age. I was that girl covering my books in cut-outs from magazines, and my walls at uni were covered in fashion photography.


But it did take some time to get my head round to seeing myself as an entrepreneur and working in the fashion industry. Despite my love for fashion, I'd pigeonholed myself as "the academic" and the fashion industry was other-worldly. Throughout my studies, fashion was escapism for me, and certainly never thought I could or would go into the industry. But now I look back it all makes sense. I remembered the other day that I actually did my IT GCSE coursework on starting up a fashion boutique so clearly, there was a part of me that knew where I belonged after all!






1) Why did you aim your brand at the more mature woman?

Jacynth-
I was inspired by my mum. When I first concluded that I wanted to start my own fashion business, I thought about what angle it would have. I knew that there's plenty out there for younger women, but not much for more mature women. My mum and I would go shopping together since I was a teenager, and by the end of the day, she'd often feel dejected
I realised there was a real issue, so as soon as I left uni I started researching it more and discovered so many 50+ women felt invisible or irrelevant in the eyes of the fashion industry. The wanted to wear quality modern styles, but equally not to have to pay ridiculous high-end prices or opt for looks that their daughters would wear. So I resolved to start an on-line and pop-up boutique that curates collections by some of today's most talented contemporary labels, with a primary focus on celebrating the mature woman.
Because every woman can_ and deserves to- look stylish.

Because every woman can and deserves to look stylish




2) How do you get yourself heard in terms of social media? Where can women find your brand? And which channel has been best for you to use?


Jacynth -  The Bias-Cut.com is on Twitter (@the-bias-cutcom) Youtube and Polyvore. So women can easily find us on these platforms. We use the hashtag #NoWomanIsInvisable to get the word out. I also write weekly blog post's, have done numerous interviews (including a podcast in Australia)  and we have a forum called Ageism Is Never In Style on Facebook, where women (and men!) can come together, share their thoughts and favourite post's and let their voices be heard.
I've found each platform useful for different things. Twitter has been great for making connections, whilst I use Instagram to discover wonderful bloggers like yourself. And Facebook has been a great channel for getting the word out about the-Bias-Cut.com


3) Do you think us women are starting to get heard more now regarding fashion design requirements?

Jacynth-
Yes and no. The voice of mature women is being heard a lot more in the media and it is certainly making some smart designers sit up and take notice of them. But there are still many who don't want to be associated with that market, which is so disappointing and insulting. I speak to some designers who still think style and sophistication only derive from youth, and I refuse to work with those that think that way. Even recently I've known of designers turning down famous actresses from wearing their outfits because of their age, which is just appalling.

I think part of the issue stems from the fact that many designers don't actually understand what the customer wants and the female form. When they're at fashion school, certainly in the UK they're encouraged to explore their "vision" rather than understand how to actually design clothes that can be lived in. So they don't appreciate the different markets and types of customers out there. However, All walks beyond the catwalk is a great charitable organisation that now works with fashion schools to encourage students to really embrace all kinds of diversity, so there is hope!




  
    4)  You have some very interesting brand names and the designs that you stock are gorgeous. What inspires you to pick these brands and how do you source them?

 Jacynh-
Every brand and piece that we sell at the-Bias-Cut.com must tick 3 boxes: contemporary style, beautiful quality, and a flattering cut. If the designer or piece compromises on one of these elements, then we won’t sell it. And it also has to be interesting – it must not be easily found elsewhere. Style is about expressing your personality, so you don’t want to be walking around and seeing 4 people wearing the same sort of thing in a space of an hour! If something has a strong, unique identity – from design to fabric choice - then that really catches my attention.


Given the exceptional quality of the pieces, our prices aren’t ‘high-street’. But I always make sure the prices are accessible and fairly reflect the craftsmanship that has gone into the piece. Plus everything has to be versatile; they’re investment pieces that can be loved and last for years. So every season we add pieces that work with items from our previous collections, so that our customers can slowly build up their wardrobe. We won’t sell anything that can only be worn for just one or two specific occasions, or fall apart after a few wears!

The other thing I always take into consideration is that every woman is different. So areas one woman may want to cover, another would want to expose. So I make sure the labels I pick offer decent variety.


Of course, this means we have set a pretty high threshold to cross. I take a very long time finding designers and selecting the right pieces. I like to keep an open mind, so I might find them at trade shows, through word of mouth, on social media, or being approached. But it’s worth it to find that special gem for the customers – it’s been amazing hearing from them how many compliments they’ve received and how great they’ve felt in pieces they’ve bought from us. 
1     Describe your style. New trends versus Classic style?

Contemporary (but non-trend driven) with a dash of quirkiness. I’m a bit of a style chameleon – one day I’ll go ultra feminine and another day will be edgy. Every look is true to me but just reflecting my mood and a different side of my personality.

5) You host great parties and events. Why do you prefer this instead of just setting up shop somewhere?

Jacynth-
 At its heart, the-Bias-Cut.com is embracing diversity and being inclusive. So I feel if I stayed in one place, I would be limiting access to our collections. Hosting events around the UK (and hopefully one day beyond) allows me to meet many more women and listen to what they’re looking for. Plus I know some women prefer to shop in person, rather than online, so it’s a great opportunity for them to feel and try on the pieces in person.

And I love throwing the events as parties because ultimately the-bias-cut.com is a celebration of women! They offer a relaxed, fun atmosphere for women to meet fellow style-lovers, share ideas and inspiration and feel comfortable in a supportive shopping environment.

   6) What are your favourite colours for this Autumn?

 Jacynth-
Out of Pantone’s Fall ’16 colours, my top picks have to be Warm Taupe, Lush Meadow and Potter’s Clay. They’re elegant and classy, but still modern. But personally my favourite colours this autumn are burgundy and fir green. To be honest I love all autumn style generally – it’s my favourite time of year!

    7) Will you ever be holding a fashion show? I love shows and I want to attend!

Jacynth- 
It’s certainly something I want to do, but I’d like to build up the collection even more first to show off as many styles and shapes as possible!


I would love to view one of Jacynth's fashion shows! I hope you can find time to look at the website and join the Facebook group. 
Let's get on with the link up.I look forward to seeing your styles ladies!
XO Laurie

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it would be great if we can build a little or a huge! community here. I'm going to start using #celebratingstylelinkup to my twitter and Instagram. I'd love it if you could support this after you have linked up. Plus of course I will be sharing the blogger love back xx





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14/02/2017

East Clothing - A Jacket Full Of Spice



Today I'm sharing with you a jacket from East Clothing. Have you bought from East before?
I always pop in for a browse on my visits to Covent Garden, one of my favourite places to while away an afternoon, especially in summer.


I have chosen this one called the Anokhi Amrita quilted jacket. I loved the splashes of Red in the jacket and did intend to wear Red trousers of a similar shade, but then decided to go for a more casual look. 



East clothing was born in 1994 starting in a shop in Fulham road and has grown from strength to strength. Eastern prints in gorgeous colours made by artisans worldwide.


Pairing the jacket with my trusty bootcut jeans and a Navy long sleeved T created a comfortable stylish look. The necklace was also kindly given by East and I love the boldness of it. It really sets off the look.


The jacket is quilted, and actually a lot warmer than it looks. The material is hand block printed in India.
 I'm so pleased that the sun has shone today. So much nicer to show this off than all of the Grey days we've had of late. 


What do you think about the chunky necklace? This is quite a bold statement piece for me, but I am loving it. Petites can wear bold!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a great week everyone. Fingers crossed the sun keeps shining!

Anokhi Amrita Jacket co/ East
Necklace co/ East Clothing
Bootcut Jeans / F&F

XO Laurie


Linking up with
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09/02/2017

Georgiana Scott Jewellery And Celebrating Style Link Weekly Link Up


The first link up! I hope you're going to join me? 


Sharing with you this casual look that's instantly glammed up with this fur gilet.I bought this just before Christmas in F&F so it won't be available but I just wanted to show how to instantly dress up any outfit with a bit of glam fur!    


I wanted to share with you this fabulous jewellery brand Georgiana Scott I was kindly sent a bracelet to review.
I know some of you are already aware of the brand. I know my friend Mary The Pouting Pensioner definitely is. I came across the brand through Instagram, you know when we flick through that and drool over everything that we want!. I chose this Silver bracelet here I love the design of it's simplicity. To wear with anything.

The trousers are Next and the Stone coloured shirt is Mint Velvet.


When I was asked to choose something from the collection I thought it would be best to go take a look myself and see it all in the flesh. I did take some shots to share with you!


Some really unusual designs, it's all very chic, I love the earrings. Real statement pieces.


You can see that the bracelet is also available in gold. And what about those disc necklaces?



Plus of course you have classic pearls


Like what you see? 

You can find Georgiana Scott here And drool on Instagram here












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07/02/2017

JD Williams Value Selection



This week, I'm showing you the JD Williams Value Collection. 


I was asked to choose a few items to review and I have chosen a few pieces that really caught my eye, and I will be telling you all about my favourites in the next few weeks.

First up is this Flame coloured Tunic Top.This is really meant to be worn with your summer wardrobe! It's silky to the touch and much longer than it looks.This will be great with your shorts (As soon as I set eye's on this, I thought how great it will look with white) This Flame colour is one of my favourite's for the summer season.

However, if I wait till Summer to show you this, they would have been long sold! The price is £16.00 here And for that price, I have to say I'm impressed.



I was intrigued to try a classic pair of Black trousers. All I had in my wardrobe was a straighter slimmer style, and as you know I do like a bit of a flare to my trousers at the moment.They are listed as straight, but they have a little kick flare to them in my opinion, another bargain price of £15.00 here
I have to say I am really pleased with these for two reasons: They are a perfect smart working trouser. Made of the material that you can wash, hang up and there's no need to iron.
The are really comfortable. There are two small elasticated inserts at each side of the waist which is great if you work in an office or suffer from bloating throughout the day.


What do you think of the colour of the top? I love its brightness, and one of my favourite colours from this summers Pantone trend report.


Along with Flame, I'm really liking a lot of these. What are your favourites?


The bag that I'm pairing the outfit with is old from a market stall on holiday. I have listed a couple below for similar. The only other accessories I used were my heels and sunglasses. It was sunny when I left the house! 
Anyone else finding it hard to take photos in this weather? Sorry about the quality here ladies.Roll on the better weather! It's actually raining (again) in these photos.
Oh, and before I go, don't forget that there's a new link up starting here on Thursday. I hope you can join me.
XO Laurie





Linking up here
Style Nudge  Claire Justine   More Pieces Of Me  Trendy And Tidy  Color And Grace  Glam Adventure  A Stylish Fit  Not Dressed As Lamb Michelles Paige


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03/02/2017

Have You Tried This

Have you tried this yet?




I discovered Rimmel's Super Gel Nail Varnish a while back. Cheap at £5.99 but I didn't realise that you were supposed to use step 1-2-and three.
But I thought to myself nothing to loose and applied it just like any other varnish. All Ok. 
I didn't use a top coat to start with. I expected to come away with the washing up!But it didn't! It only lasted a couple of day's, so I re-applied and this time used my Seche Vite top coat.
If you haven't used this before, I totally recommend it! Anyway, I used this as a top coat, and now the varnish stays on for at least five days. 
Even with washing up and hairdressing. If you're not sure where to buy Seche Vite, you can find it here I still haven't tried the other steps to make the Gel varnish long lasting. I'm quite happy with it with this top coat!


Now getting onto this Jacket...




Remember a few weeks back when I showed you the Grey Bonmarche Jacket? If you missed the post it's here 
I have been so pleased with the jacket, and I know it sold out really quickly but they have just launched it in this Taupe colour here Do you like it as much as the grey? What would you wear with it? I can think of loads of thing to wear it with already!

And now some news for my blogger friends.
A new link up will start next Thursday at 3pm I hope you will join me! As you all know I only post a couple of times a week, so I hope I am going to be able to stick to my schedule. On this link up day, I may only add a few snippets rather than a full post, subject to available time. But it will be great to see you all xx



Hope you all have a great weekend ahead Xo Laurie

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31/01/2017

Zaful - Camel Cream And Denim

Sharing with you a coat and handbag from Zaful today. I often see this brand pop up in the blogging community and have liked a lot of what I have seen.


There was so much to choose from on site. The list of clothing goes on forever! There must be something for everyone. I had a job choosing from all the choice available. 


Not having any Camel colours in my wardrobe I decided on this wrap coat and Brown handbag.
The coat is not lined, so it's not your heavy winter type coat. At a bargain price of $29 would you expect it to be?
Actually, on looking through the Zaful website you can see this is your on trend place to go when you want to try a new style and don't want to part with designer money.



I like the zip detail that runs through the shawl collar. The size I'm wearing is size medium, I would say this is between a UK 10/12 you can find it here It's also available in the new trend Green colour too.


I've gone for a casual look to pair this coat with today. The most comfortable Boot-cut Jeans from here A cream roll neck jumper. A Tan and Gold Belt to tie in with the Gold on the handbag. Oh and one mop of messy hair! I should have brought a brolly with me! It's getting wetter with drizzle every second of these photos!



I have to say, I'm really pleased with the bag. It has a detachable strap, so you can just use the small handle if you wish. It looks a lot more expensive than it actually is at $26.99 here I was very tempted to try this one 



The only snag that I can moan about was the hemming on the coat. This is more like an overlocking stitch rather than a proper hem. Handy for me, as I always have to turn up sleeves. But I think I will get the coat hemmed properly.
Have you ever bought from the Zaful Site ? Let me know what you think
XO Laurie

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