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Mid Length 60s Hair Cut

I finally took the plunge and underwent a radical – if only to me – haircut, lopping off a good four inches or so of dull, straggly ends in the hope of achieving an Anna Karina-esque bouncy long bob. Or a de rigeur single-length ‘lob’. Either way, I am jubilantly happy with the results and keep asking myself the critical question – why didn’t I do this months ago? I feel much more myself, it’s super-quick to dry on bitterly-cold, dark mornings and requires a quarter of the amount of shampoo and conditioner I was previously getting through.

I had my hair cut at the Aveda concession at Liberty of London so that I could make the most of my staff discount. The counter offers a dry cut, which I actually prefer as I feel you have a little more control over the end result, and you get to redeem the value of the hair cut against products. So yes, for all of £33, I walked away with the sixties’ hairstyle of my dreams and a armful of luxury products worth considerably more, in theory, than the cut itself. (I am still struggling to figure out the maths but it’s certainly one of the most generous deals I’ve ever encountered.) When combined with the added appeal of Liberty Loyalty Points and further mini product samples, I quickly realised that there’s really no excuse to take the kitchen scissors to my fringe ever again.

Aveda

I have been experimenting already with the the Phomollient Styling Foam, which is lightweight and non-sticky, when blow drying to create bouncy, inward-turning ends. The Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair leaves my hair noticeably softer after merely a pea-sized application and I am looking forward to sampling the protein-enriched Shampure Shampoo and Conditioner.

Isn’t it remarkable the impact a haircut can have on your state of mind? I am already feeling more enthusiastic about Spring fashions and rediscovering all of my old threads. All of my existing fail-safe outfits feel refreshed, and considerably more chic, now that I have lost those unnecessary lengths of hair.

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paul and joe

Here is a rather belated showcase of some of my Christmas presents that are simply too pretty not so share.

My sister and sister-in-law treated me to these gorgeous Paul and Joe goodies. I am head-over-heels in love with the beauty products this brand creates, every piece has the most wonderfully kitsch packaging and evokes vintage glamour. This truly is is nail varnish remover in its most decadent form, deserving to crown a dressing table and never be used. (Although you could always sneakily refill the gorgeous bottle with the cheap stuff and no one would be any the wiser.) The make up brush holder is beautifully cast in a heavy plastic, reminiscent of Bakelite, and is patiently waiting for me to invest in some equally lovely brushes.

vintage cat garland

I spotted this wonderful kitty garland at my parent’s home in Norfolk and knew my life wouldn’t be complete until I had row of pudding-carrying cats hanging from my own mantelpiece. I just wish that I could keep them up all year round.

anya hindmarch

I treated myself to this luxurious Anya Hindmarch leather pouch in the Christmas sale. I was able to use my staff discount on top of the sale price which brought this long-coveted item to just within my reach. It’s beautifully made, with a pistachio-green leather lining, and remarkably hard-wearing: it still looks brand new despite being lugged about in my handbag next to a particularly jagged set of keys and a leaking lunch box.

kay bojeson monkey

Jian Wei bought me this adorable little wooden monkey. It is in the style of the classic midcentury design by Kay Bojeson and looks so cute just hanging out on the bookshelf.

larsson and jennings watch

After much deliberation, I also treated myself to this gold-plated watch by Anglo-Swedish duo Larsson and Jennings. I felt it was time to own a proper adult watch and this stylish unisex design is destined to never go out of fashion. The strap is adjustable and can also be replaced with a leather strap however I really like it in gold as it almost doubles up as jewellery. You may also have noticed the particularly striking edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and the Damned, a gift from Jian Wei which I will begin reading once I have finished Tender is the Night.

What did you get for Christmas?

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A Sunday in Forest Hill

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On Sunday I met up with Jian Wei’s sister, Maisy, for a meander around Forest Hill. We pottered around some charity shops before heading to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a slightly dilapidated Natural History museum at the top of the hill and one of my favourite spots in South East London. Not only is entry free, the museum also boasts a café in a fairy tale conservatory, a medicinal garden and some of the best views of London.

I wore my new leather Chelsea boots, gifted to me by Clarks, which were remarkably comfortable for a first wear and required absolutely no ‘breaking in’. The leather is wonderfully soft, with a fine grain and I love the contrasting sole. I also took the opportunity to photograph my new(ish) Harris Tweed A.P.C coat that I bought with my staff uniform allowance in September last year and which I have been wearing almost every day since I made it mine. The checked lambswool scarf is made in Britain and is from Marks and Spencers, the vintage silver initial brooch was a gift from my mum, the grey cashmere sweater was borrowed from Jian Wei and is from Uniqlo and the black wool skirt is from & Other Stories. The bag is a £1 charity shop find that I have owned for years.

After spending a couple of hours peering into the eerily-illuminated glass cabinets and ogling some of the more grisly specimens, Maisy and I enjoyed a hearty vegetarian Sunday roast at Canvas and Cream. This restaurant and gallery has a wonderful ambience, with a vintage aesthetic that avoids being too twee with a heavy dosage of solid wooden furniture and re-purposed cut glass lighting

How did you spend your weekend?

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If you have enjoyed reading about the Horniman Museum and Gardens, you may be interested in another blog post I wrote last February, which contains lots more images of the unique architecture and Natural History specimens.

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Pärlans Konfektyr | Nytorgsgatan 38, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden | +46 8 660 70 10

Pärlans caramels are handmade with organic fresh cream, real butter and sugar and evoke the heyday of this particular confectionery in 1930s Sweden. The staff, with their authentically coiffed hair and handknit cardigans, are every bit as stylish as the pastel sweet wrappers and boxes the caramels are meticulously hand-wrapped and presented in.

I was surprised to discover that Pärlans Konfektyr was, in fact, opened recently in 2010 which is testament to the incredible lengths the founders have gone to in sourcing authentic machinery for the production of the caramels and luxurious decor for the wood-panelled, cosy shop next door.

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Meatballs for the People | Nytorgsgatan 30, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden | +46 8 466 60 99

This understated eatery serves the most incredible Swedish grub in the form of reindeer or moose meatballs accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, a veal-based white sauce and traditional pickled cauliflower, lingonberries and cucumber. For vegetarians, there is a melt in the mouth chickpea alternative and the set menu meal is served with a husk of crisp bread and butter, followed by complimentary coffee and heart-shaped pepparkakor biscuits.

Meatballs for the People may be a small chain, but the price and quality of the food makes it difficult to beat as a satisfying pit stop when trawling SoFo’s bounty of thrift stores and boutiques.

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Grandpa | Södermannagatan 21, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden | +46 8 643 60 80

Grandpa is a large Scandi-cool boutique selling a tightly-edited selection of ‘normcore’ classics, utilitarian homewares and a smattering of vintage curiosities. The store epitomises understated Swedish style and is packed full of covetable garments, all made from high-quality materials and robust enough to endure the colder Nordic months.

Jian Wei and I splurged on a brass pineapple ice bucket which looks rather striking nestled amongst our bottles of spirits. See below.

brass pineapple

Have you ever visited Södermalm? What are your favourite spots in Stockholm?

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2014: A Year in Outfits

2014 in outfits

january

The year began with a very belated outfit post from Treviso, a town in Italy I’d visited in September whilst en route to Venice. This image saddens me a little as it features my beloved trench coat which was unfortunately stolen from the staff locker rooms at my workplace this summer. It had been my ‘go to’ mild weather coat choice for several years and so I feel a little lost without it! A perfect trench coat is now on my alarmingly long list of ‘items lost and stolen in 2014 to be replaced’ list.

Read the original post here.

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In February I discovered the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill. I really must return in the spring to witness the gardens in full bloom and take this ridiculous pink vintage coat for another spin.

Read the full post here. Expect lots of images of natural history displays.

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Another belated post from Venice, wearing a skirt I am kicking myself for not keeping (it was on loan as staff uniform from a previous employer), my beloved Ferragamos and my dearly departed trench coat.

Read the full post here.

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In April I was snapped for Vogue Street Chic whilst on my lunch break dressed in my work uniform. I still cannot believe this actually happened.

Read the full post here.

may

In May I visited the beautiful city of Bath for a little break. This stripy Breton t-shirt, Alex Monroe Pea Pod necklace and clay-brown skirt from Female Hysteria Vintage on Etsy are pieces I wore constantly this year.

Read the full post here.

july

This denim dress was a charity shop find and something I wore all summer.

Read the full post here.

june

I bought the classic Saltwater sandles this year and wore them constantly. I am sure they are now an entire size larger than they were when I purchased them, most likely due to overuse!

Read the full post here.

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In July, Jian Wei and I enjoyed a blissful week in Lisbon. This 1950s cotton stripe dress was found for free on a trip to Brighton and, following some repairs, transpired to be a perfect holiday dress.

Read the full post here.

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I attended an idyllic wedding at Mannington Hall and it was the perfect occasion to wear this rather fragile 1940s crepe tea dress and this quirky 1940s raffia framed handbag.

Read the full post here.

august

Another outfit from Lisbon featuring an all-time favourite novelty hieroglyph print vintage skirt. I also bought some basic cotton t-shirts from American Apparel this year in a bid to develop the ‘quality basics’ portion of my wardrobe, a goal I intend to pursue further in 2015.

Read the full post here.

october

I made this skirt using Liberty Art Fabrics and wore it to explore the fairytale mountaintop town of Sintra in Portugal.

Read the full post here.

september

I found this delicate 1950s silk blouse for £1 and it was probably one of my luckiest finds of the year. This 1960s wicker basket bag was also a charity shop steal and fits in all my picnic essentials on days out, such as Keat’s House in Hampstead as pictured here.

Read the full post here.

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It’s the clay-brown skirt again! This time with a new COS cream waffle knit sweater I received for my birthday, just in time to explore Eltham Palace and Gardens.

Read the full post here.

December

And finally a festive outfit for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day, wearing a beaded cardigan gifted to me by Beyond Retro. I am also wearing a 1950s wool skirt I bought for next-to-nothing on Etsy and a pretty ecru silk 1950s blouse from Pop Boutique.

Read the full post here.

So it would appear that all I wore in 2014 was calf-length full skirts and blouses, with Ferragamo pumps or my stolen trench coat. Perhaps my style goal for 2015 should be to push the boat out a little?

Do you have any style resolutions for 2015? What was your most frequently worn item of 2014? I would love to hear in the comments section below and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful new year.

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Liberty Christmas Wishlist

 

As someone who works in the retail industry, I can quite honestly say that all I would like for Christmas is a good rest and some time with my family. But, if I had to pick something material, well – the following items may have caught my eye whilst doing the rounds at work…

1. Mermaid Hair conditioner.  Whipping the lid off and sniffing at every opportunity has led me to discover that this smells mouth-wateringly like a piña colada.

2. Olivia Von Halle silk pyjamas. The ultimate luxury, evoking the decadent heights of the golden age of travel. My colleagues and I are constantly plotting how we might financially justify silk pyjamas so that we might feel like ageing aristocrats.

3. Le Galion, Tuberose. This collection of perfumes has barely changed since launched in the 1930s: the bottles are pure Art Deco elegance and the scent of Tuberose is just divine.

4. Larsson & Jennings watches are fairly ubiquitous among the staff at Liberty and it’s easy to see why: the Anglo-Swedish timepieces tick all of the boxes for design and quality, yet at a highly seductive price point.

5. Charbonnel Et Walker truffles. So indulgent plus they come nestled in the most beautiful pastel boxes that can be reused for storing  jewellery and trinkets.

6. I am a bauble fanatic. I spent most of last November glued to eBay, frantically placing increasingly absurd bids on job-lots of vintage baubles. This box of hand-painted, glass concave decorations would be a shrewd way of bolstering my collection.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

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