A few days ago I heard about Passion for Fashion competition and since then I spent hours and hours every evening putting together five looks each costing less than £200 in total.
When I was picking items for each look my main rule was combining the high-end pieces found on sales with high-street items that would complete the look without costing a fortune. This simple trick has always worked for me because, for some reason, a clever mix somehow made less expensive choices look more designer’y. Of course, treasure hunt would often take a bit longer, but fashion challenges are always so exciting to complete!
The results are below – please let me know what you think.
The office look began with the dress. I loved the shape so much that it clicked as a must-have. I then added a bit of energy with touches of oxblood by pairing the dress with a beautiful waterfall jacket and statement ring. The shoes were a sale’s find – you’ve got to have the right shoe to feel confident and beautiful.
Where to buy: Striped knitted wrap jacket by Warehouse (£80), Dogstooth printed dress by Dorothy Perkins (SALE! £22 was £38), Patent lock bag by Oasis (SALE! £20 was £38), Attack black leather pumps by Carvela at Kurt Geiger (SALE! £49 was £120), nude Class tights by Levante (£6.00), textured faux stone statement ring in Cherry/Gold by Forever 21 (£3.90), lipstick Made for Me in Natural by L’Oreal (£8.19)
The first date for a real modern princess who likes living on a budget. I’ve already shared my thoughts about dressing up for dates, but in case you’d rather not to read several posts, the brief is that you’ve got to look feminine, feel comfortable and, seriously, forget about jeans and trousers and wear a dress AND colour. I know we all believe in a power of LBD, but men do have an ability to appreciate beautiful colours and first date gives you a perfect opportunity to stand out and really really capture his attention (mind and heart).
The dress was chosen for its comfortable fit but very sensual look (nobody can resist silk). Then I topped it up with a classic blazer to keep my princess warm. The lace booties compliment lace details of the dress and the nail polish is to be used for your tootsies, so there’s a little touch of colour in those peep-toes.
The clutch, floral bracelet and fruity perfumes add a very romantic touch.
Where to buy: classic blazer by Mango (£34.99), floral applique silk dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe at theoutnet (SALE! £63.00 was £180), lace ankle boots by Forever 21 (£27.75), all over pansy & lace envelope clutch by Accessorize (£32.00), flower finger cuff bracelet by Miso at Promod (£7.00), nail varnish in Shiny red by OPI (£11.00), lipstick Made for Me in Natural by L’Oreal (£8.19), perfume VIP for Women by Bjan at Cheapsmells (£11.95 was £30.70)
Oh, the good old outdoors! Perfect time to wear a bit of merino, the sweetest gloves and wrap yourself up in an adorable duffle coat. The bag and boots are found on sale.
Where to buy: Extra fine merino round neck sweater in off white by Uniqlo (£19.90), skinny jeans by H&M (£19.99), navy bonded duffle coat by Miss Selfridge (£65.00), colourblocked crochet scarf by Forever 21 (£8.90), Fox fingerless gloves by Forever 21 (£4.90), leather & canvas bucket bag by La Redoute (SALE! £22 was £55), Special white ankle boots by Carvela at Kurt Geiger (SALE! £59.00 was £160)
For a casual outfit I thought of a young Parisienne who loves classic Breton stripes, red lipstick and Isabel Marant. Since authentic Marant would never fit into £200, I just shopped around a little bit.
Where to buy: Breton striped top by Jaeger at House of Fraser (SALE! £48 was £80), skinny jeans by H&M (£19.99), herringbone coat by Mango (£39.00), Lock tote bag by Oasis (£40), dark red wedge high tops shoes by River Island (£40.00), iridescent heart charm bracelet in gold by Forever 21 (£3.15), Colour Riche Lipstick in True Red by L’Oreal (£8.69)
And now we are off to a party! Another Vanessa Bruno Athe dress that just begged me to be picked! Next stop was Zara where I spotted gorgeous ankle booties. The duo reminded me of Dolce&Gabbana baroque collection for Autumn/Winter 2012-13, so I did a little bit of browsing and returned, happy and pleased, with a pair of most perfect earrings, simple suede clutch and some neutral, but straight to the point, make-up. The hair would have to be up to open up the shoulders and show off the earrings – it’s so very sensual and playful.
Where to buy: Love & Beauty Essential Mascara (SALE! £1.99 was £3.15) + High Shine Lip Gloss (£1.65) by Forever 21 (£2.64), Strapless grosgrain satin dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe at theoutnet(SALE! £87.50 was £250), studded ankle boots by Zara (£89.99), Cut out teadrop earrings by Forever 21 (£5.65), Leather quilted & studded purse by ASOS (SALE! £12.00 was £15.00)
I must admit, I haven’t had this much fun for a long time. Playing with outfits reminded me how much I enjoy creating fantasies of my own, so I have a feeling I am going to make it a frequent feature on the blog from now on.
Photo source: Valentina Zelyaeva in Elle Russia November 2010 (photography: David Burton)