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A fairytale evening with Debenhams

It’s a Thursday evening in London at 6pm. I’m sweating profusely under my bright orange velvet suit after running frantically to make my train. I squeeze through the closing doors, desperately hoping the wide-leg style doesn’t get trapped as they close. Ripping off my jacket in this -4° weather receives numerous odd looks, as if I’m trying to seduce the mid-fifties man opposite me by fanning my sweaty, unshaven armpit in his face. ‘Sorry’ I say, ashamedly. He doesn’t look up.

I’m off out on an evening with Debenhams*, and despite the disastrous start, I’m so exceedingly excited I might actually wee. Let’s hope not, eh. I’m meeting a crew of other bloggers to watch Florence and the Machine at the o2 in a box (yes, you read correctly, a BOX). Not only that, I’ve also picked out the orange, velvet and now slightly damp suit I’m wearing from Debenhams.

Once on the Jubilee Line, I realise that I stand out like a sore thumb. Especially amid all the grey suit-wearing city workers at Canary Wharf. I suddenly doubt my fashion choices and regret picking an outfit that a) means I can’t stand at the back and pretend to be socially inept, b) only women such as Heidi Klum should wear and c) makes me look like an Oompa Loompa on steroids. I text my boyfriend ‘I feel stupid :(’ covering my phone with my chewed fingernails so over-the-shoulder-lookers on the tube don’t see. ‘I thought you looked great! Even rushing around and sweaty!’ he replies.

One stop away from North Greenwich, I decide there’s nothing else to do but own it. I’m going to strut into the o2 like I’m Naomi bloody Campbell, and then find a quiet corner to remove scruffy trainers and change into heels…

I don’t know what it is about heels, but as soon as I’ve got them on I feel like my alter ego comes out. A bit like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce, or Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage. I stride confidently over to the gate where I announce proudly ‘I’m here with Debenhams, to sit in a BOX’. ‘Ok love,’ the woman replies, ‘we just want to take a look inside your bag’. Disappointing.

Once inside, a kind man named Davide leads me to the other bloggers. Explaining that I don’t wear heels regularly, I apologise for tottering behind him so slowly. ‘Tottering?’ he exclaims, ‘What is tottering?’ I explain, and due to his olive skin and European accent, I ask him where he’s from, ‘Deptford’ he replies.

The minute I see the other bloggers, I’m met with sequin skirts, silver boots, and satin dresses. What a relief. There are burgers and chips and cheesecake and everyone is chatting about whether it’s better to have your instagram profile as a business or personal account. I feel instantly relaxed. We take photos of one another like we’re old friends, sipping wine and filming boomerangs as we go. 

I’ve seen Florence a few times. Once at Reading Festival when she first became a ‘thing’, and once at Ally Pally when she became more of a ‘thing’. I feel quietly proud that I know all her songs and am v grateful to Debenhams that we’re seeing her and not Boyzone or one of the other crap o2 listings (yes ok Boyzone had some bangers, but come on: Florence > Boyzone).

Florence is an ethereal woodland nymph, running around frantically in a sheer, pale green-coloured dress. Barefoot, of course. It’s always odd when singers speak between songs and Florence is no exception. She has a small, child-like voice that seems strange compared to her warbling, empowered vocals. As she throws herself into Ship to Wreck, I actually worry that she might be over-doing the running around bit and am relieved when she stops for water (reason no. 1 for why I am a mum**).

I am seriously considering packing in my gym-membership and buying a wafty 70s dress to run around the house in. I’m sure it would do me more good than running on a treadmill for half an hour watching Loose Women.

She comes back on stage for the encore. The familiar lyrics of Shake it Out fill the 20,000 capacity o2 arena and that is my cue to leave. Mainly because I’ve seen her perform it live before but also because I’ve already experienced one over-crowded tube this evening and I’m not overjoyed about the prospect of another one (reason no. 2 for why I am a mum).

After saying goodbye to all my new blogger friends and the wonderful Debenhams crew, I leave the o2 feeling extremely fortunate and full of wine. My Cinderella evening is coming to an end and I take off my silver heels and put my muddy trainers back on. Someone’s been sick in my train carriage and I do the incredibly British thing of staying exactly where I am for fear of being impolite. I suddenly panic and wonder if it’s all been a dream. Did I really see Florence and the Machine at the o2? Or have I just been sat on this stinking sick train for 2 hours? I flick my camera on. I feel like the girls who captured the Cottingley Fairies, because there she is, a tiny figure, a distant memory, a minute, mid-air, Florence and the Machine.

*This experience was complimentary for the purpose of review. See disclaimer for more details.

**not a real one, obvs. 

 

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Christmas party season is upon us and the fateful time has come to choose yet another black dress to wear to yet another Christmas party. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE an lbd: classic, sophisticated, but arguably boring?

Christmas is probably the only time (apart from Glastonbury) that we can wear whatever sparkle, glitter and twinkle the fashion Gods up in buying heaven dare to let loose on their websites. And I am 100% THERE.

I’ll wear your bodycon dresses, playsuits and wrap-around maxi dresses literally any other day of the year (pm me for my address yo) but if it’s not got a sequin on it at Christmas, I’m not touching it. I think my biggest regret in life is not wearing some form of glitter on my face every day of the year. Doesn’t it make you happy? It makes me happy.

That’s why I’m totally invested in Warehouse’s party dresses collection*. They just know that there are some women out there (i.e. – me) who will not be leaving the house between November 1st – December 31st unless they look like a giant Christmas bauble has thrown up on them.

There are 3 types of se-queens and fortunately Warehouse has provided for us all. What legends.

 

1. The ‘on-the-verge’ se-queen

You’re all for a bit of sparkle at Christmas but you’re not quite ready to throw in the lbd and commit to looking like Dame Edna Everage (understandably). You love a twinkle here and there but maybe not combined with a bright colour. You’re discreet, classy and I LIKE you.

You are: a sheer sequin panel dress!

 

2. The ‘halfway-house’ se-queen

You are a se-KEEN but maybe not so keen that you have diamantés adorning your toenails. You’re more than happy to commit to some sort of sparkle, but maybe not sequin on sequin on sequin?

You are: a rainbow sequin cami top!

 

 

3. The absolutely committed ‘I only wear sequins don’t @ me’ se-queen

You are here for it. The words ‘too glittery’ are not in your vocabulary and you’d give Strictly Come Dancing a run for its money the amount of glitz you own. You will wear glitter with jacquard with lurex with leopard print with sequins and that’s just to get milk.

You are: a sequin catsuit! 

 

 

Which type of se-queen are you? Let me know!

 

*AD. See disclaimer. This was a collaborative post but all writing/opinions are my own.

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Réalisation Par dupe ruffle dress

Réalisation Par is the fashion brand of the now and, along with 40 million other bloggers, I bloody love it. However, beaut dresses come at a ‘gotta-work-40-hours-for-one-dress’ price tag, and that I don’t love so much.

It has been my mission this summer to find the best dupe dresses on the high street and ta-dah – I’ve found the best one!

Good old Glamorous and Asos: they’re like friends that never cancel, they never let you down. This absolute beauty has just enough ruffle, a tasteful print, a corset bust and a much nicer price of only £30.

Paired with a denim jacket and some simple summer sandals, it’s the perfect day dress (worn without a bra too yasssss).

Have you found any other Réalisation Par dupes?! If so please share with the team and leave them in the comments below!

Glamorous Cami Dress with Ruffle Straps in Ditsy Berry Print can be bought on Asos for £30 here!

 

 

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Sassy in stripes

I am a jumpsuit FAN. They’re super comfy, easy to shove on, and always look cool. The only downside is getting your whole top half out every time you need a wee, but ya know, peaks and troughs.

This Native Youth number is no exception. Vertical stripes are always flattering and it’s a bargain at only 50 squid.

As you know, Native Youth are one of my favourite brands at the moment. You can get quite a few pieces from Topshop and they’re always beautifully made.

Also their clothes make me feel cool without really trying (lol, desperate to be cool).

So if you don’t mind getting chilly nips every toilet time, then absolutely invest in this beaut jumpsuit!

 

Outfit details 

Native Youth Bay jumpsuit £50 *

Birkenstock sandals £69.99

Ray-Ban round sunglasses (similar) £127 

Accessorize necklace (similar) £21

* This item has been gifted. See disclaimer for full details.

 

 

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Gambettes Box X Patricia Blanchet

Yasssss Gambettes Box have smashed it again!

This month’s tights have been designed by Patricia Blanchet who makes beautifully quirky shoes (can we talk about these please).

I looove the circus theme and the tights are so perfect for this weird inbetweeny weather (defs not brave enough for bare legs yet).

The March edition of Gambettes Box comes in a drawstring bag making a cool alternative to the box I received last month! And the bag has a quote on it in neon orange:

Emmenez-moi au pays des merveilles.

‘Take me to the land of wonder’. I took this latest set of photos in a cinema which seems appropriate as I did travel to a world of cinematic wonder after the shoot!

Don’t forget you can get £2 off your first box with the code GAMBETTES EMMA just follow this link to subscribe! (Also don’t forget that if you only want to subscribe for one month, that’s absolutely fine, you can just cancel your subscription when you’ve received your first box)

Outfit details

Gambettes Box X Patricia Blanchet tights £11.90 (with my code, see above!) *

Urban Outfitters t-shirt £26

ASOS black suede mini skirt (similar) £59.99

Topshop paint splattered denim jacket (similar) £19.00

*This item has been gifted as part of an affiliate program. See disclaimer for full details

 

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NATIVE YOUTH: The Best Kept Fashion Secret

I first discovered the Native Youth brand when poring over Topshop’s website for something ‘edgy’ to wear. I found this beaut Teddy Bear coat and thought ‘omg, a great new brand that not many people have heard of’. Basically #cool.

I loved it when people asked me where my coat was from ‘oh just like this super cool under the radar brand that you probably haven’t heard of – Native Youth‘.

I got such an obsession with the brand that I’d go on Topshop’s website and KNOW which items were by Native Youth. Such a groupie.

Their collection is always stylish and you can wear everything they produce with trainers (my main requirement when buying clothes). They have a lot of loose-fitting styles which I LOVE (conceals ma massive bum) and they’re so comfortable too.

I honestly think this beautiful rust colour is flattering on anyone, and it’s definitely beautiful for the Summer. This jumpsuit is one of my fave pieces from their SS18 collection, so much so that I have the trousers and top in the same fabric too! (watch this space)

Native Youth, you’re the best kept secret. Thanks for making me look cool.

 

Outfit details

Native Youth jumpsuit (coming soon!)

Adidas trainers £64.95 (similar)

ASOS earrings £6

 

 

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Ciao, bella!

So here’s a little story…

When I was 2 I used to live in Italy. It always comes up as my ‘fun fact’ when I have to introduce myself to a big group of people that I don’t know.

At the time I was completely fluent in Italian, I used to pop down to Mario’s at the end of the road and pick up a loaf of schiacciata (salty bread) to devour back at our villa.

Now, however, despite studying GCSE italian as part of my degree, I am useless.

My boyfriend always laughs at me as I tried to impress him when we first met by telling him I could speak Italian. I got myself in a v sticky situation though when we ended up on holiday in the Cinque Terre two months later and he said ‘go on then, you order the food’.

All I could say was ‘ciao’. LOL

So when I saw this BEAUT top on Anthropologie‘s website, it felt only right to pair it with a pair of vintage tartan trousers and pose outside of a pizza shop. Unfortunately no pizza was ordered (this wasn’t cause I’m in Italy lol, I just don’t think I’ve quite got to that stage in my blogging career where I can pull off posing with a pizza slice like Isabella Thorsden).

Anthropologie are absolutely bossing it at the moment. Look at those beautiful Tretorn platform trainers too (anything to give me a bit more height)!

I hope you like the photos below, ciao bella!

 

Outfit details

Anthropologie Sol Angeles t-shirt £58*

Anthropologie Tretorn trainers £88*

Urban Outfitters urban renewal trousers £46

*features press samples, see disclaimer

 

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A Parisienne Tights Subscription: Gambettes Box

 

 

So here’s a little story about why I love Twitter. My sister asked for some patterned tights for Christmas, but not being quite up on the hosiery market, I had no idea where to look. When I tweeted asking for advice, the absolute babe that is Georgia replied and said I should check out Gambettes Box*, a subscription service that delivers 2 pairs of tights through your letterbox every month. So I signed up, ordered a box, and the minute the tights came to my flat, I fell in love.

 

What is a Gambettes Box? 

 

Designed in Paris, Gambettes Box delivers two pairs of beautiful tights every month. And I’m not talking cheap, snag-on-the-first-day tights.  These are beautifully made with a unique design, and the most Parisienne packaging you’ve ever seen. When I received my first box, I wanted to pull my new tights on, grab a café au lait and skip gaily down the Champs Elysées (instead I pulled them over my sausage legs and took photos round the corner from my flat, making sure the local Greggs was not in shot).

 

What do you get in a Gambettes Box?

 

The joy of a Gambettes Box is that you don’t quite know what you’re going to get every month! The tights are a complete surprise, but from the two boxes I’ve received so far, they’re always elegant and stylish. The packaging is absolutely beautiful too, complete with French quotes, and postcards of models styling the tights. They make great presents for your gal pals’ birthdays and they’re an absolute bargain at only £13.90 per box (I even have a cheeky discount code below too!).

 

Where can I buy a Gambettes Box? 

 

Gambettes Box is a subscription service, so you get a box monthly but if you just want to buy 1 box, you can! You sign up to the subscription and then cancel the service when you’ve collected enough beautiful tights to last you a lifetime! If you don’t cancel the subscription you’ll still be delivered a box a month, but it’s pretty much a rolling contract. And the brilliant thing is guys, that because I’ve teamed up with Gambettes Box, you can get £2 off your first order! All you have to do is use the code:

GAMBETTESEMMA

Click here to order your first box: https://www.gambettesbox.com/#ae165  

 

I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful patterned legs! (not in a weird way…)

Emma x

*Features press sample, see disclaimer

 

 

Outfit Details

Olive Clothing khaki wool mini skirt £48

Gambettes Box patterned tights £13.90 (for two pairs)

Hollister black turtle neck (similar)

Accessorize black wool beret £12

Primark black loafers (similar)

 

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How to wear yellow

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I am (very) prone to wearing a lot of black.

Anyone else scared of bright colours? Cause I am TERRIFIED.

But this year, I am embracing ‘terrified’, so hence, in this post, I’m wearing bright colours! If you’re a bit wary like me, team a bright jumper with black jeans and accessories so the colour is the focus of the outfit. Et voila, you’ve nailed it!

This gorgeous mustard/ochre yellow jumper is from Oasis and it’s a perfect colour to wear in time for Spring. (Basically just tryna dress like a daffodil)

What fashion fears are you going to conquer this year?

Outfit details

Oasis Cable Knit jumper in Bright Yellow £36

ASOS Brixton Womens Baker Boy hat £40 (perfect for small heads!)

Urban Outfitters BDG black skinny jeans £45

Urban Outfitters Western Leather belt £28

ASOS Vagabond black leather boots £80

 

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Winter layering

This one time in the office a colleague came up to me and said ‘do you know what I like about you, Emma? You’re all about comfort over style.’

Er, RUDE.

But also, 100% true.

Major respect for gals out there wandering round in knee-high boots in sub-zero temperatures, but personally I can’t be bothered. I’m all about cosy knits, long trousers, and polo necks. Anyone else have the never ending nightmare of wearing a wool coat because it’s -5 outside, but as soon as you get on a bus/enter a shopping centre/have a coffee, you get terrible Winter sweats?! I’m telling you, layering is the way forward.

This rust orange jumper from Native Youth is super snug and perfect for shoving over a black turtle neck.

I fell in love with these Topshop heritage trousers, they fit really well so they’re brill for you gals out there with short legs and a big bum (like me). I love how the orange jumper picks up the colour in the trousers – just team them with some classic Topshop loafers and your outfit is absolutely sorted.

 

Outfit details:

Native Youth rust coloured jumper – £60.00

Topshop Heritage trousers – £39

Topshop black loafers (similar) – £45

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