Sunday, 30 October 2016

Outfit: a touch of sparkle + Hell Bunny discount code!

Right, we're practically in November now so I'm bringing out the glitter and the snowflakes... If the shops can do it, so can I! And sorry folks, no Halloween outfit this year. I only really bother if I have a party to go to and also I set the bar too high last year, I feel...

When you see what's in this outfit, you'll know why I particularly couldn't contain my eagerness for some festive sparkle (and scroll to the bottom if you're here for the discount code!)... Because, folks, it's finally here. The Hell Bunny glitter frame bag I've wanted for nearly a year is mine! Ok, so they never made the mint green one and that dream has died (unless it does get revived for Spring 17), but the silver is just as delicious, don't you think (there's also a red version)? And will probably go with more, come to think of it, particularly in the festive season. Oh, I absolutely adore it. I think you might just be seeing it again before the year is through. It's going to take a fair amount of willpower not to have it in every outfit quite frankly.

Such a beautiful bag needed an equally pretty outfit, and thankfully this season Hell Bunny have provided. I particularly love this new lurex Angette jumper (which also comes in black, silver and red, although for the black one you'll need to find it at a stockist). I don't have many v necks these days, so when one comes along with glitter and a bow in a lovely shade of green I'm all over it. And crucially - not itchy! It is a perfect match for this skirt - which seems to hang on me much better than its cotton sisters (note, unusually, I haven't shortened this one so it's at actual length). In both items I'm my usual Hell Bunny size XS, so follow the size guide (the top has a fair amount of stretch though).

I've not quite got to the end of my gushing - the snowflake hairclip! In a twist of fate, just as I was giving up hope of finding one to pair with this outfit, which was the vision I had in my head from the start, Viva La Lux posted an experimental new design on Instagram... And there it was! As patience is my middle name I bought the first one immediately before it even had chance to hit Etsy and I regret nothing. You can now also buy a red and gold version, but the silver is still my favourite.

If that's not all, my shoes are new too! I very rarely wear outfits of entirely new items but it just so happens everything here turned up at the same time and was made for each other. If you recognise the shoes, clever you - you did just see them in my Autumn bargains post!

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator

Viva La Lux snowflake hair fascinator

Hell Bunny Angette top in green lurex

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator

Hell Bunny Angette top in green lurex

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator

Pin-up style snowflake hair fascinator

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator

Hell Bunny Tippi frame bag in silver

Hell Bunny Angette top, Doralee skirt, Tippi bag with snowflake fascinator
Hair accessory: Viva La Lux
Shoes: F&F @ Tesco


Now, how about that discount code I promised in the header? Use the code cicim20!% for 20% off on hellbunny.com (before anyone asks, it does include the symbols). That's my mega early Christmas present to you - so now go forth, buy all the sparkles!


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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Outfit: bringing sunshine to autumn

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't have a huge amount of love for autumn. By all accounts, it's pretty inseparable from winter over here most years and I just don't like dressing for the cold. I'm trying to embrace it a bit more again this year, helped by the fact it's not been too dreadful yet.

It's not been sunnier though! As I stare out the window now the sky is the thick cloud cover it was when I took these photos the other week. Same old same old. So, I have to make my own sunshine and that's why mustard yellow is such a favourite of mine for the colder months. It's a neutral and it's just so cheerful. And the mustard boots I'm wearing here are really darn comfortable so they become such a staple at this time of year. In fact, it was around this time last year I took these photos with these same boots and bag... Where it turns out I was also banging on about how it's autumn but not too cold again. How embarrassing... 

Anyway, the jumper is new! It's a top version of Collectif's popular Olive dress and is deceptively warm. I wasn't expecting the warmth, it's not that thick! I was also expecting itchiness, because I have a real problem with jumpers driving my skin crazy, but actually there's only minimal irritation. Minimal I can handle - minimal is probably as good as it gets for me! So that's two thumbs up for this jumper, which is clearly going to go with tonnes of colours too, hurrah! But I do rather like the way it looks with sunny yellow...

Forest green and mustard yellow autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Stack of autumnal coloured vintage bracelets

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper

Forest green and mustard yellow 60s autumn look with Collectif Olive jumper
Hair flower: Collectif
Jumper: c/o Collectif
Skirt: French Connection (old, so very old)
Tights: Primark (old)
Bag: Warehouse (old)
Boots: Clarks (old)


I hadn't deliberately set out to feature some more of the lovely items Jessica sent me last year so soon after the catastrophic house fire that has, for now, destroyed her lovely shop business, but they serve as a reminder to keep this lovely lady in your thoughts and maybe send her a gift or two through the Facebook page, to help build her collection back up again.



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Thursday, 20 October 2016

20 for up to £20 - the best of autumn's vintage style bargain buys

First up, slight post hijack. Many of you already know that pillar of the vintage blogging community and my lovely friend Jessica, of Chronically Vintage, has suffered a horrendous loss as her house and its contents burned down last week (her blog has the story). Jessica, her husband and dog escaped but their cat is presumed gone. I can't imagine what that must feel like and what trying to rebuild an entire life and impressive vintage collection must feel like, but I do know that it's going to be a horribly difficult time for the forseeable for them. Just in case someone reading this didn't know and wants to help, then please do visit their donation page (which makes me want to cry with gratitude every time I see it at the good there still is in the world). Some things are more important than clothes, despite what this post is about!!

So (and please excuse the abrupt and seemingly insensitive direction change!), who would have thought that buying (and fixing up) a house and paying for a wedding would put a squeeze on my finances in the latter half of this year? I mean, lovely problems to have of course, but it has rather knocked my good intentions to invest in quality pieces on the head. For a few months, though, I managed it... But now I'm back on the hunt for bargains.

Ok, ok. I did buy another pair of Hasbeens. What can I say, I'm only human and when they're in the sale there's nothing I can do to resist. But apart from that, I'm living more within my means lately. Autumn/winter is a tricky time of year to have a clothes budget though - coats, boots and knitwear that doesn't make you want to scratch your skin off don't come cheap. For the most part, I'm going to be getting by with what I've got (and whatever I'm fortunate enough to review), and top that up with inexpensive bits and pieces. 

I have to say, though, I'm actually surprised at what £20 or less can get you this season. In fact, there's so much that I've found that I can write this whole post about it! I apologise in advance for the items that don't ship outside of the UK, by the way (I didn't check, but I would guess that Tesco and Sainsbury's might have such policies).

10 bargain clothes pieces for autumn 2016
T-B, L-R:


If you love Collectif's AW range this year and particularly like their new black Olive dress and all the pleather they have going on, you might be pleased to see the Boohoo Effie dress and the Tesco skirt which look, well, remarkably similar to these pieces. I actually snapped up the Boohoo dress (warning, I've linked to a petite version) because I've wanted the Olive dress for ages, but I already know it will be a stupidly long length on me. Not a problem with this dress - it's nicely below the knee, but not excessively. It's not of a knit material like the Collectif dress and not going to feel the same on therefore, but the overall look is really pretty similar so if it's the style you want it's a good bargain option. While I don't own the Tesco pleather skirt, I can vouch for the quality and cut of Tesco's pencil skirts as having worked for me in the past. I quite want to try the whole leather look, so I think this one is going to be for next pay day!

I can also vouch for the Voodoo Vixen cardigan! It's so soft and snuggly, and it makes every outfit look great because faux fur. You can see a picture of me wearing it recently on my Instagram (@ciciandmarie). I also snapped up the denim pencil skirt here, which for the price is really very good. It's a proper pin-up pencil skirt fit with just the right amount of stretch (order your usual size). And no, it's not thick cotton for that price, but that's what tights are for. I also own the Banned top in another colour and while it annoys the heck out of me that they don't make these tops in a size 8, they're so comfortable to wear that I forgive them once I've tucked them in!

The Boohoo embroidered skirt is super pretty - I can picture it looking cute with the New Look velvet bardot top. I'm really impressed to see that amount of detail on a skirt costing only £20 - hopefully the 'catch' is not the scratchiest tulle in the world!! Perhaps the pinafore dress is more of a modern style, but with a turtleneck underneath it'll be great for the office, while having something a bit 60s about it. I think that one is going to have to join my wardrobe too.

10 bargain shoes & accessories for autumn 2016
T-B, L-R:


Can we all take a moment to marvel that leather touch screen gloves this cute are available for £12 these days (and, er, not worry about how they got to be that cheap)? I'd like these in all colours, really, because who wants to wear nasty looking gloves and/or take them off every time you try to put something on Instagram? But then again, if they're elbow length pleather gloves like this Collectif pair... for £12 I might put up with the lack of phone contact!

So, from this collection, I own two of the items featured. If you do follow me on Instagram you've seen these shoes already - they are incredibly good value for money because they're very padded under foot, as well as looking darn cute. And for me, added bonus of the tie keeping the shoes actually on my foot and not somewhere in my wake. I also snapped up those boots - they are timeless and the design again keeps my foot in, while still not boxing my feet in so they could definitely be worn with midi skirts. Not as comfy as the Tesco pair, but for £20 I'll suck it up.

A cloche hat for £9?! I mean, I don't really do 20s style that much, but for that price, why not? Twice the money but still a snip will get you that lovely Collectif hat, that I have no idea when I'd wear but it wouldn't stop me trying (and it comes in so many colours, including mustard!). I also want to give a shout out for that obi style belt, because I've wanted one since I saw one of Marilyn's outfits in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes where she had similar and it just looked so chic. I hope I manage to get my hands on one of these before they sell out.

So, what do you think of my choices? Any bargains you've spotted lately I should know about? Stay tuned to find out if I buy all 20...



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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Outfit: posing on the pier

This set of photos is extra special to me partly because I'd been picturing it for so long. We visit this pier every year, often several times a year, as it's local to where we stay in the summer in the caravan by the coast. And every time I was on it, I'd take in the amazing scenery and think to myself... if there just weren't so many damn people around, what an awesome photo location this would be. Because I see my surroundings in blog backdrops - what, don't you?

This year, however, I finally did something about it. I got up early and dragged my trusty photographer out at 7am on a chilly early autumnal morning. It was so worth it (well, for me it was, B might say otherwise!). There wasn't another soul on the pier, the wind was at a minimum as forecasted (unheard of) and while nippy, I've had a lot worse. We got there as the sun was still rising and it created such a beautiful hazy low light together with all the clouds. Of course, my outfit had to have a nautical vibe for such a location. I think it was finished off perfectly by this little pinwheel brooch - I don't know about everywhere else in the world, but you find a lot of these in seaside towns over here (er, pinwheels that is, although if any shops at the seaside want to start selling Erstwilder brooches...).

But really, the star of this show is the pier itself. What is there not to love about a living, breathing part of Victorian history? It markets itself as 'unspoilt' and I think that's pretty accurate. It's not full of coin machines and endless junk food stalls, it's just a big ol' pier with a fish and chips restaurant one end and a theatre the other. Yes, that's right, a theatre! It still has an end-of-pier show all these years later. The other great thing about it is that the local dog-walking community love strolling along it, so by the time I've walked to the end I've probably seen about 20 dogs! And that's quite alright with me.

Nautical 50s inspired outfit on the pier

Collectif striped t-shirt

Seaside pin-up posing on the pier

The Red or Dead London Pier bag

Nautical vintage inspired outfit with lifering novelty bag

Old style viewfinder on the pier

Walking on a Victorian pier Cromer

Pin-up style nautical outfit on a pier

Erstwilder pinwheel party brooch

Nautical 50s pin-up style outfit on a pier

Nautical 50s pin-up style outfit on a pier

Nautical 50s pin-up style outfit on a pier

Nautical 50s pin-up style outfit on a pier
Top: Collectif (old)
Skirt: Collectif (sold out)
Shoes: B.A.I.T. Footwear via Zulily


Our visits to the pier are probably done for this year, but we'll be back very soon. Maybe not at 7am in the morning next time...



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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Outfit: golden

Autumn outfits are most definitely here! It's not too cold yet though (especially on the days the sun comes out), so I'm actually, for what feels like the first time in all history, doing the whole 'transitional' clothes thing. Which basically means as far as this outfit goes that I'm wearing my winter clothes, just without tights :D 

So there's a few new things to show you in this post. First up, this cute skirt. SheIn sent this to me for review and I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I knew nothing about the brand and the prices seemed too good to be true. Ultimately, I thought worst case scenario I could send it back, so what's the harm... I followed the guide on the site to choose my size and a couple of weeks later it turned up (presumably from China). My first pleasant surprise was that it was exactly the size the guide had indicated - all measurements were spot on. This meant it was exactly the size I wanted it to be for both waist and length - it's partly why I chose this skirt in fact and you can see from the photos it looks like it was custom made for me as a result. The second pleasant surprise was that the quality was actually pretty good and it looked nicer than the picture. I mean, it's not a luxury item, but I've got a lot worse from British companies charging a lot more. It has a neat straight hem, which is more than I can say for some of my clothes. Furthermore, the pleats really work to make this skirt hang nicely without any need for a petticoat etc - I don't have one on here. So all in all, I'm really quite pleased with it and think I'll get a lot of wear out of it because the different colours in the checks will lend themselves to different combinations.

The golden tones in the skirt led me to crack out my new beret and bargain Vivienne Westwood shoes I snagged off eBay for just such an outfit occasion. I don't wear gold all that often, but when I do I remember that it actually works quite well with my colouring. Something about the yellow in my skin and slight redness of my hair I guess. Talking of hair, I'm starting to really nail my waving tong now - this day I managed to get all the waves to go in the same direction on both sides. Or it was a total fluke and next time I use it I'll be back to a mess - probably the more likely scenario if I'm honest as I don't know what I did differently...

Oh and yes, you did just see this bag. What's so great about it is take the charms off and it's a fab neutral day bag - in fact it's the one I'm currently using for work :)

Autumnal vintage style outfit with check skirt, gold bardot top and Vivienne Westwood globe heels

Autumnal vintage style outfit with check skirt, gold bardot top and beret

Collectif bardot top, Bow and Crossbones hoop earrings and beret

Autumnal vintage style outfit with check skirt, gold bardot top and Vivienne Westwood globe heels

SheIn check skirt

Collectif bardot top, Bow and Crossbones hoop earrings, SheIn skirt and beret

Autumnal vintage style outfit with check skirt, gold bardot top and Vivienne Westwood globe heels

Vivienne Westwood globe shoes in grey and gold, Vendula London charm bag

Collectif bardot top, Bow and Crossbones hoop earrings, SheIn skirt and beret

Autumnal vintage style outfit with check skirt, gold bardot top and Vivienne Westwood globe heels
Beret: ASOS
Jumper: Collectif (new silver colourway)
Skirt: c/o Shein
Bag: c/o Vendula London
Shoes: Melissa x Vivienne Westwood (via eBay)



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