How to Wear Dungarees without looking like a character from a Steinbeck novel

Featured

So here’s the thing, I love a good pair of dungarees. They’re cute, comfortable, and extremely low maintenance. The only problem is, dungarees get a bit of a bad rep; I’ve been called a ‘Hillbilly’, a 1930s farm worker and the missing member of Mumford & Sons to name just a few. I think it’s time to silence the haters and re-embrace this underrated 70s throwback, which is why this post will dish out some useful tips and tricks on how to make people regret ever hating on the humble dungaree.

  1. Meryl Streep in ‘Mamma Mia’

With the new ‘Mamma Mia’ film set to be released this summer, I thought I’d include a look that is heavily inspired by Meryl Streep’s wardrobe in the first instalment of the ‘Mamma Mia’ franchise.

rexmammamia

In the film, Meryl (in the title role of ‘Donna’) sports a pair of baggy navy dungarees layered over a white cotton blouse, and I always thought she pulled this casual summery look off fabulously. In homage to Meryl, this outfit injects a bit more youth into the outfit whilst still keeping it looking rustic and relaxed. Wearing a cropped blouse allows you to show off a little bit of skin and provide a light contrast to the heaviness of the dungarees themselves. This look is also great for summertime, as the bagginess of the dungarees allows you to wander around without feeling like you’re trapped in a boiler suit.

‘Sears’ dungarees bought second-hand from ‘Cow’ (£15), cropped blouse purchased from Mod Box section of T.K.Maxx (£6.99). IMG_3035

2. Don’t be afraid to embrace bagginess

A lot of people worry that if they wear baggy clothing underneath dungarees, they’ll end up resembling that of a sack of potatoes or a pillowcase (myself included). However, wearing an oversized sweater jumper alongside dungarees can really give your outfit an 80s vibe that is currently in trend with the revival of vintage- a movement that is gaining momentum incredibly quickly.

Pairing a long-sleeved jumper with a full-sized pair of dungarees makes for an incredibly cosy and movable outfit, perfect for lounging around the house or running a few errands. However, if you want to add a bit of sex appeal to a pair of dungarees without looking like you’ve tried too hard, simply wearing a cropped jumper with a pair of low-rise denim dungarees can inject a more modern and chic feel to an otherwise easy outfit.

Short denim dungarees purchased at a charity shop (£5.99), long-sleeved sweater from ‘Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair’ Sheffield (£5.00), cropped jumper from ‘H&M’, (sale item £5.00)

3. Shoulders and Straps

Another way in which you can inject a more youthful and fun vibe into a pair of dungarees is to layer them over a Bardot-style stop, which really accentuates your neck and collar bone. This can help lengthen your body and stop the dungarees from making your figure look squat or hunched. I personally think it looks lovely to have the straps of the dungarees on full show with bare shoulders, as this also draws attention to your neck and give you the opportunity to complement it with a cute choker.

 

Navy cropped off-the-shoulder from T.K.Maxx (£3.99), baby pink Bardot-style t-shirt from H&M (£7.00)

 

4. Never underestimate a classic T-Shirt

For my last outfit instalment I decided to strip it back to the often under-rated and forgotten T-Shirt, which are usually left to gather dust at the bottom of my drawer alongside other basic necessities such as vest tops and cami shirts (thank God clothes don’t take things personally). Anyway, wearing a simple T-Shirt underneath a pair of short dungarees can look really sweet, especially shirts that aren’t skin tight. Whilst plain black or white T-Shirts can make a pair of dungarees look a bit more chic, injecting a bit of bright colour through the shirt can give your outfit that extra bit of fun that makes you stand out from the crowd.

T-Shirt from Johnny Boden sale (£8.99)

Advertisements

How to Make your Mark this Summer with Prints

I know I’m probably being a bit presumptuous here publishing a look-book that consists mainly of floral, thus very summery, prints: however, I think we’re all in need of a bit of a boost after the recent bout of crappy weather. In an act of fashion rebellion against the thick jumpers and hooded coats that deserve to have stayed in the winter season, this blog post features a collection of outfits that all incorporate bright prints into their design. One of the major things that I noticed when I was rummaging through my wardrobe was the sheer range of printed clothing that I had hanging on the rail- and surprisingly, how a few of these prints actually complemented each other.

So, deep breath, I’ve made the bold decision to suggest the mixing of prints. Yup, you heard me right, print mixing. Before today, I would never have felt confident enough to wear more than one print at a time. However, I now declare myself a convert. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s never a bad thing to dress outside of the box and challenge yourself to wear something that pushes you to be more confident.

Look #1

IMG_3132
High-waisted flared print trousers, Topshop, £10.00

When I first plucked these trousers from the sale rail in Topshop, I was a little bit dubious. The bold, autumnal print caught my eye as soon as I stepped into the store, although I wasn’t completely sure if it was for the right reason. However, I can now firmly say that these trousers were £10 well spent. The light-weight fabric is perfect for a summer day, and is very versatile in its ability to be dressed up or dressed down.

Here, I paired them with a black bandeau piece (Primark, £5.00) and a mustard strapless top (Boohoo, £4.99): both tops help complete a look that is sexy yet classy, which could easily be worn to a summer festival or an informal family gathering. Finished off with a simple choker, these outfits can look polished without looking like you’ve tried too hard. Oh, and the main benefit? The trousers are comfy as hell.

Sidenote: Pairing flared trousers with a pair of platforms really elevates the look

Look #2 

Cherry Polka Dot Print Skirt (Collectif, £12.99)

Those who have read my first blog post (‘How to Wear Dungarees without Looking like a Character from a Steinbeck Novel’) will know that I love everything vintage. It’s therefore no surprise that I absolutely had to buy this 50s style pencil skirt when I found it in one of my local vintage haunts. I’ll be honest, it’s certainly not what you would call an ‘everyday’ item, with its bold cherry print, decorative bows, and cinched waist. However, I think this is what makes it so visually appealing. I wore this outfit with a pair of red stilettos to my GCSE certificate evening years back, and despite a few trepidacious looks from some very conservative parents, I received many compliments that really boosted my body confidence.

A floral pencil skirt like this can easily be worn with a corset-belt to emphasise the hourglass illusion that it creates with the figure. You’ll see this belt feature a LOT in the upcoming outfits, so mentally prepare yourself.

Look #3

I’ll be honest here, I’ve actively avoided wearing floral dresses since I started uni in September, mainly because I felt that my new classmates (not forgetting my module tutors) would think me childish and naive. Believe it or not, I used to wear floral dresses almost every day during my time in Sixth Form, so it brought back a few memories donning these floral beauties again.

Looking through my dress collection made me realise that I shouldn’t care what the people in my seminars and workshops think about how I dress, because you know what? It doesn’t matter! Inject a bit of colour into your summer lookbook with some cute little floral dresses, they definitely don’t disappoint. Worn with a pair of heels, these dresses can easily be made to look sophisticated and mature without making you look like Norman Bates’ mother.

Both dresses featured are Topshop products, each costing between £10-15.00.

In order to inject a bit of youth into the dress, I experimented by pinning up the front and holding it in place with a corset belt: dresses with an asymmetrical length can look very sophisticated whilst still showing a bit of leg

Look #4

IMG_3458
Cream floral playsuit, St Luke’s Hospice Charity Shop, £6.99

It’s taken me a while to figure out how to wear this playsuit without feeling like a dowdy housewife or a Cath Kidston bag on legs: however, I think I may have finally cracked it.

The solution? A black lace bralette and a black belt. Simple, yet instantly effective. The sweeping neck of the playsuit allows the edges of the bralette to peek through the fabric, creating a look that is playful without becoming overtly sexual. Paired with the black belt, both accessories juxtapose the creamy floral print and give it a far more modern and arguably indie edge.

Final look: Grandma with attitude

IMG_3474.JPG

Look #6

I am prepared to debate with anyone who claims that knee-high/thigh-high socks belong only with school uniforms and fancy dress costumes. Yes, they may not be as comfortable or as practical as tights, but they have the potential to make arguably boring dresses and skirts look fun and inviting. They make a very bold statement, meaning that wearing them can prove to be a real test of confidence: however, printed socks look super cute when worn with skater skirts and floaty dresses.

As you can observe in the images below, ditching a cardigan for a crop leather jacket can completely change the vibe of the outfit, giving it a punk edge that is reminiscent of outfits you might see in 80s throwbacks such as The Breakfast Club (always a classic).

IMG_3542
Rainbow fuchsia striped thigh-high socks, Within Reason, £12.00
IMG_3521
This dress features in my first blog post (go check it out if you have time!), Topshop                                    Complementing a pair of these style socks with a top of a similar colour can give your outfit a great sense of coherence and finesse

Look #7

IMG_3592
Ladybird print Tie Top, Henry Holland, £7.99

On the topic of printed tops, I don’t really think there’s much room for error. A cute little crop top, such as the ones featured in the pictures below, can be worn with pretty much anything, including jeans, shorts, and skirts. During the summer season, I personally prefer to pair them with a long maxi skirt, as this can help create an hourglass figure without the use of a belt. Whilst these print tops would look equally as fashionable with a pair of denim shorts, I feel that wearing them with a longer skirt can create a look that is slightly more sophisticated and appropriate for an evening event (although yes, the slit that features in my skirt is ever so slightly risque).

Sidenote: The maxi skirt featured here is a Primark product, which I decided to ‘alter’ by adding the slit (hence why the lining looks a tad rough around the edges)

Look #8

IMG_3634
High-waisted silk ice-cream print shorts, Topshop, £10.00 (on sale)- super lightweight and very comfortable: Maroon lace crop top, River Island, £5.99; Black floral print bralette featured below, Primark

Print shorts are perfect for a summer’s day. Providing both comfort and cuteness to any outfit, shorts that pop with their print take the classic denim short one step further. Wearing a little crop top or even a balconette-style bralette alongside a pair of these shorts completes a look that is both playful and very 60s looking.

This is where things start to get a bit more wacky, because I’ve experimented with the mixing of these print shorts and a couple of print tops that you might not necessarily have thrown together. If it offends you visually then I apologize in advance.

IMG_3657
The key to successfully pulling off a multi-print DIY outfit is to construct the outfit based on a specific colour scheme. In the above image, I chose to really focus in on the pastel element of the shorts, and so was able to pair them with a top that also features pastel tones to complement them.

Applying the same method with the outfit featured above, I played with the pink tones of one of the ice-cream prints and paired the shorts with a tie-top that consisted of a completely different yet similarly coloured print. To some, this look may horrify, and I agree that it’s perhaps a little challenging to take on. However, I believe that fashion is all about raising bars and breaking limits, and so I definitely wouldn’t discard this outfit in fear of mockery.

Rocking several prints that, on the surface, may appear to clash or resemble a look from Dale Winton’s ‘Supermarket Sweep’, makes a brave statement that will have people envying your fashion-forwardness and wishing that they had the balls to try it themselves.

IMG_3664
This print-short outfit is possibly one of my favourites of the day, as it looks really feminine and delicate whilst still maintaining a certain edge. These bird print shorts are slightly looser fitting and don’t come up as high on the waist, meaning that they are easy to move around in and feel less restrictive.

Look #9

For the final installment of incorporating print into a summer outfit, I decided to focus on an accessory; the humble scarf. I’ll admit, I haven’t worn a scarf as a fashion accessory for years, as they were getting a bit of a bad rep due to their popularity amongst 90s tribute bands and Kelly Clarkson impersonators. Having said that, I thought it would be a nice tribute to the printed scarf to incorporate it into an outfit without it becoming the defining feature.  Gaining inspiration from the Hippie movement of the 1960s, I decided to use the scarf as a loose belt, wrapping it through the waistband of some low-rise jeans that are good to wear during those breezier summer days.

Added bonus? If you start to get a little bit chilly, you can simply untie the scarf from around your waist and wrap it around your neck: no more need to worry about having to drag a scarf around with you if you get too warm and want to give your neck some fresh air.

IMG_3688

IMG_3696
If you wish to replicate this look with the scarf, I would recommend a long, thin scarf that won’t clog up your waistband or look too heavy

So that’s it for this post folks, thank you so much for giving it a read. I hope you’ve found some inspiration in here for your summer wardrobe, or at least feel more confident in your ability to rock some printed clothing this year!

Saving money on Cosmetics with Primark

Being a first-year student at university, I’ve realised that the time has come for my food budget to be more extensive than that of my cosmetics one, a realisation that has led me to discover the wonders of Primark makeup. Yes, I’m aware of the initial distaste and reluctance that this statement is likely to brew in the general public, particularly given Primark’s reputation as a cheap high-street store that aims for quantity rather than quality. However, I am not ashamed to say that I have been buying a range of Primark cosmetics for a couple of months now, and I plan to continue doing so for the duration of my time at uni. Why? Not only is it good value for money, but is actually achieves a similar effect to many of the products sold in more expensive brands, including Rimmel and Benefit (just to name a few). In this post, I will recommend several beauty products that I use for both my everyday make-up look as well as several evening looks, including photos of the product in application and its appearance on the skin.

Side note; outside of term time I occasionally buy cosmetics products from both Benefit and Rimmel (which I would also recommend if you have a high budget), which is why I have included price comparisons for these brands alongside Primark’s own. The purpose of this post is not to say that Primark makeup products are the best quality products out there, but rather advertise some of their stock that can act as cheaper alternatives to more expensive brands.

 

  1. Foundation                                                                                                                               My Perfect Colour, Medium Coverage, £2.50

Benefit, £29.00

Rimmel, £8.25

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m definitely no makeup expert, but I’d say that Primark’s ‘Perfect Colour’ foundation is a pretty cost-effective way to cover any blemishes and redness of the skin that you may wish to hide. For me, the medium coverage foundation is strong enough to conceal most spots and scars without looking like you’ve just been hit in the face with a trowel of dewy makeup. It’s relatively long-lasting, and when used alongside Primark’s ‘Perfect Colour’ matte power, manages to achieve a look that is both natural and non-shiny.

One of the only downsides of this foundation however, is the difficulty of matching the shade to your skin tone, as I find that ‘nude’ is far too dark. Being somewhat vampiric in complexion, I tend to gravitate towards ‘ivory’; despite being the closest shade to my actual skin tone, it can look a little light in places, and so I occasionally have to balance it out with a darker powder.

IMG_3258IMG_3182

IMG_3187
Apologies in advance for my lack of eyebrows; no time to pencil them in

 

2. Bronzer

Bronze Palette, £3.00

Benefit Bronzer, £28.50 

Rimmel, £5.99

Contouring is a technique that I only properly discovered earlier this year, meaning that I’ve tended to lean towards powders rather than liquids when it comes to applying bronzer. Primark’s ‘Bronze Palette’ includes two shades of bronzer and four accompanying shadows (white, caramel, coffee and gold); despite not knowing anything about how to contour aside from online photos and magazines, using this palette made it easier for me to practise without feeling as though each brush swipe was costing me an arm and a leg. Like the foundation, it is relatively long-lasting and achieves a strong contour when applied liberally.

I’ve also been using the gold shadow very frequently (as you can tell from the rather ‘well-loved’ palette), as it is very pigmented and adds a really nice shine to an evening eye look.

IMG_3271IMG_3201IMG_3199

 

3. Highlighter

Pure Glow Highlighter, £3.00

Benefit= £24.50

Rimmel= £6.99

As I said before, contouring is not something that I consider myself to be an expert in, especially when it comes to balancing highlight and bronzer. However, applying makeup is an art, and hopefully (sooner rather than later) I’ll have learnt how to apply it properly without looking like some sort of mer-creature. The highlighting powder that I use from Primark, when applied in several layers, achieves a really clean and shiny look. Its colour carries a silvery tint that makes for some great photos when you’re out in the club (trust me, I know- it’s rescued me more than once).

However, as I briefly mentioned, it’s not as pigmented as I’d perhaps like it to be; a couple of applications are needed in order for the powder to really shine through. For £3.00 though, I’m not complaining.

IMG_3239IMG_3207

 

4. Eyeshadow

Vintage Eye Shadow, £4.00

Benefit, £28.50

Rimmel, £8.95

Now is where makeup can get really creative. I’ll be honest, eye makeup is probably my favourite part of the long and arduous facial routine that I carry out most mornings. I love being bold with colour and experimenting with different shades to create a final eye-look that stands out without looking too drag. Primark’s ‘Vintage’ palette has been brilliant for this, as the colours included in the product are bright and can look really sweet when blended together. Yes, the metallic shades are a little faint, but having said that, the pigment of the pink shade really compensates for this.

Each application doesn’t need a shovel’s worth of shadow, as the colours don’t fade once they’re applied to skin (which is more than can be said for a couple of other shadows I’ve used in the past).

IMG_3268

IMG_3191
Pink shade applied lightly
IMG_3225
No shadow applied

IMG_3279

 

 

5. Eyeliner

Fine Liner Pen, £1.50

Benefit, £20.00

Rimmel, £5.99

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I LOVE THIS EYELINER. Liquid fine liner pens are the way forward, and Primark’s own brand definitely makes the cut. The fine nib on the pen allows you to achieve a winged effect without it looking like a child’s been let loose with a Sharpie, which is perfect when creating a smokey-eye look. Although it’s not waterproof, it’s very durable and doesn’t run once it has been applied. I’ll be honest, I preferred the version with the shorter nib as this was a little easier to apply, but the liner with the long nib is still relatively easy to apply and can be used for some really dramatic looks.

IMG_3232IMG_3193 (2)IMG_3198

 

5. Lipgloss

Insta girl flash Photo gloss, £2.00

Benefit,£15.00

Rimmel, £5.99

I was initially a bit dubious when it came to purchasing Primark’s lipgloss, mainly due to the ‘Insta Girl’, which came across as a tad tacky and cheap. However, hats off to Primark for producing a clear lipgloss that outperforms its horrendous name! With a slight tint of blue, this gloss achieves a really shiny look that I can’t really complain about. I’ll admit it is a little sticky, but once applied a couple of times you don’t particularly notice. This gloss looks great when applied onto matte lipsticks, as it brings out the flash of colour that you’d want when trying to achieve a bold lip-look.

IMG_3272IMG_3216

IMG_3220
Further apologies for the state of my lips, winter has hit them hard

 

6. Blusher

PS Blusher, £1.50

Benefit, £24.50

Rimmel, £3.99

Here’s the main issue with blusher:  it can either give you a warm glow that makes you look both healthy and endearing, or you can end up looking like a garden gnome who’s had a few too many sherries whilst fishing by the pond. I’ve found that the best solution is to use a blusher that is only a few shades darker than your skin tone and apply it conservatively (not like you’re trying to paint a Jackson Pollock masterpiece). Primark’s blusher is really suited for this, as it not massively pigmented, meaning that you can apply it several times without fearing that you’re embracing what I like to call ‘full garden gnomage’. Primark stock plenty of shades, ranging from peachy tones to warm blush, meaning that you’re highly likely to find a shade that’s right for you.

IMG_3248

 

IMG_3211