Friday, 17 May 2013

5Foot10 Style Pick: Forever 21 Tropical Print Chiffon Maxi Dress

As promised, I'll be sharing some of my purchases and top stylist picks on this blog.

I adore this Tropical Print Chiffon Maxi Dress from Forever 21.  It's long, light, colourful and so versatile, plus it's affordable at just over £16 (or $19 if you are a US reader).  I also like it because the model is... 5' 10".. Such a valuable bit of information to have the model's height in the look book!

I'd add flip flops and a wide brimmed hat for the beach.  Transform it with a pair of espadrille wedges, a fedora, a smoking jacket and a metallic belt for an evening cocktail outfit.  Or add a pair of short cowboy boots and a waterfall cardigan for a more casual 'running to the shops' look.

Forever 21 only has a few stores in the UK (Birmingham Bull Ring, London Oxford Street, Buchanan Street Glasgow, Bluewater, Lakeside, Trafford Centre, Stratford City London).  They are worth a look but can get quite busy.  It's are a little hit and miss (I wouldn't buy handbags from there unless a very 'fashiony' item that I only wanted to use once or twice).  I like the jewellery (though be wary of green skin with some items!).  The range of clothes is vast and so you will normally find something, if you have the patience to look.  I prefer shopping online if I can help it!

Is this dress a hit or miss for you?  Do you like Forever 21? 

Stand Tall x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Jennie Runk: 5' 10" plus size model for H&M

I came across this image of Jennie Runk "Plus size model" for H&M.  Jennie is a US size 14-16 (UK 16-18).  Now I don't know about you but my first thought on seeing the campaign picture was that she looked pretty and healthy- I then found out that she was classed as 'plus sized' in the modelling world (although I thought she looked like a UK sized 12 so I'm not sure if that's 'model sizing').

Stunning Jennie Runk H&M dress
 The photo above is for H&M's beachwear line.  I thought it made a refreshing change to see normal healthy models used in a campaign.  I'm hoping that they make the dress above in my size as I'll be hunting it down in whatever H&M decides to using as my size that week.... (I fall between an 8-14 depending on the high-street store but that is a whole new post/rant!!)

Flawless Beauty!
Anyway I did a little research on Jennie, and was really pleased to see that she has the same issues with trousers as me..

"..... I was wearing sweat pants because my thighs were the size of their (her classmates) waists, and those pants were embarrassingly short because I was taller than the average adult, but still shopped at (pre-teen clothing store) Limited Too."

Glad to see that even models are not exempt from clothing woes!
Jennie off duty! Solve the trouser issues by wearing shorts! :)

Jennie for la redoute

25 year old Jennie has a Bachelor's Degree- pursuing academic studying alongside her modelling career.  She is an advocate for positive thinking and embracing health body confidence.  She has a facebook page (link) if you want to read her lovely thoughts or see more 5' 10" clothing inspiration.

Also she has written an article for the BBC website online (viewable here) which makes interesting reading.  Being 5' 10"  I thought Jennie made an excellent addition to 5' 10".

Have you seen many other campaigns using 'plus sized' models?  Any campaigns you'd like to ban for using unhealthily skinny models?  Any thoughts?

Stand Tall x

Monday, 13 May 2013

New Holiday Wardrobe: £245 (12 days of Holiday purchases!)

According to 'new research', the average woman (cough) spends £245 on a new holiday wardrobe before jetting off to a relaxing destination.  £245?? £245 for a new holiday wardrobe?!

Holiday Shopping?

Apparently the women the researchers spoke to said that they will normally buy (N.b. please read this aloud to the tune of 12 days of Christmas....)
  • SIX summer dresses
  • FIVE holiday tops
  • FOUR pieces of swimwear
  • THREE pairs of shoes
  • THREE pieces of jewellery
  • THREE items of makeup 
  • TWO pairs of shorts
  • And a pair of sunglasses (beach bag and sun lotion*)
I don't know about you, but that sounds like my ENTIRE packing list for a holiday?!  Not a casual holiday shop!?  Seriously, who are these women they surveyed?  I don't think anyone I know has purchased that amount of items for one holiday- let alone EACH holiday they take.  Maybe if it was a honeymoon there might have been a few new purchases- or a specific piece of kit for themed holiday- i.e. walking boots for a hiking tip, or a super posh frock for a cruise where there is a dress code.... but all these items.  No.  I don't think so.
Kate Middleton's 'Honeymoon going away' outfit: Zara Dress, LKBennett Shoes, Jacket/belt unknown but rumoured to be Topshop or Hobbs.  Estimated cost £200
I don't know about you, but I have a 'summer wardrobe' section which I try to pack away during autumn each year.  I try to eek it out as long as I can, while clinging to some notion that cold weather will never return and I can live in a summer fantasy world forever.  When warm weather is about I delve into these items, though living in the UK I rarely get to wear them.  This means that if I travel abroad to hotter weathers, I have a virtually unworn summer wardrobe to choose from.  Of course there might be a few replacements from time to time, but not for each trip.
I pride myself of being able to squeeze into the same items as it means I am the same size (although I do replace them when sun bleached, frayed or the elastic perishes).  Sometimes I will out the items because I don't like them anymore- BUT I don't set out to buy a new wardrobe each holiday!!
Sun Cream! A 'Wardrobe' item?!
Now I put a * by sun lotion and makeup.  One might treat themselves to new makeup every now and again, but most women will have a little purchase at duty free- I don't think that counts as it is not a home territory purchase..!  And sun lotion looses it's protection factor once it has been opened for a year- in fact the SPF goes down every year anyway, so it's a necessity to replace this.  I wouldn't count it as a 'summer wardrobe' purchase.  SPF is very important (if used responsibly- but I'll go into that on my beauty blog at some point)!  I do not see Sun lotion as an aesthetic item that people buy to 'primp themselves and look different in holiday photos'!

Don't get me wrong.  I do like to make new purchases for the season ahead, I just wouldn't spend *that* budget purely for each holiday trip.  I'd rather put the money towards investment purchases, or travel insurance/day trips/holiday food etc!  Oh and I also like to buy a few things while abroad... say a new dress, bracelet, some duty free makeup... hmm maybe spend the £245 on a new wardrobe while ON holiday.... that doesn't count, right?

Do you shop FOR holiday, or while ON holiday?  Do you agree with this survey?  Do you did out the same items first before purchasing replacements?
Stand Tall x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Ottavio Missoni: Bright Patterns

I woke up to the news that Ottavio Missoni, the co-founder of Missoni, passed away in the early hours.  A sad loss to the fashion industry.  I remember studying the fabrics and patterns during classes and being mesmerised by the combinations.  I felt  like they shouldn't go together- but they sort of clashed and looked good!  Of course I couldn't afford any at that time- but I could admire! 

Rosie Fortescue (5' 4") wearing Missoni shorts.
 Loved by celebrities, designers and public alike, a Missoni item always adds a splash of vibrancy to any room or outfit

Ottavio and Rosita Missoni began the Missoni brand in 1953.  A Missoni item is normally quite recognisable by it's knitted geometric pattern.   I hoped they would do a collaboration in the UK like the 'Missoni for Target' range in America.  Sadly this hasn't happened yet.

Missoni's famous zig-zag pattern fabric.  Credit

The story goes that Missoni were asked to debut their items at the Pitti Palace in Florence.  The model's bras didn't go with the colours of the fabric- so Rosita asked them to remove them.  The model's obliged but, unbeknown to the catwalkers or designers, when the fashion show began the fabrics became see-through in the bright stage lights.  Missoni became the talk of the town (and world) and sales went through the roof.  Just goes to show that sometimes mistakes can be the making of a great start.
Missoni M range.  Bright patterned culotte dress.

Now the brand is looked after by the couple's daughter- so the legacy lives on.

I love the clash of colours and patterns.  For many years things like this would have been too bright for me- too 'out there' though I always admired the pieces on others.  However this year I am embracing my brighter side- more pictures to follow ;)

If you have a Missoni piece I am a little envious!  Are you a Missoni fan?  Are you embracing the bright clashing patterns this summer?

Stand Tall x