Autumn Flowers - Red Ditsy Floral Shirt Dress from New Look Inspire

I feel very lucky that I have wonderful friends, but to have wonderful friends with excellent taste in fashion is just so incredibly fortunate. And that feeling of excitement, luck and happiness was written all over my face when opening one of my birthday presents from the lovely Chattermonkey. Inside I found this darling Red Ditsy Floral Shirt Dress from New Look Inspire staring back at me, and couldn't wait to get myself into it!

The dress fits right in with my vintage sensibilities. A bold red with blue and white floral accents, it's a Summer print which flits into Autumn with ease. The dress is sized up to accommodate my larger bust, but the belted fit and flare shape ensures that my waist doesn't get hidden amongst the fabric.

The dress is currently part of the New Look sale on their website, and you can pick this beauty up for just £9. I teamed it with a lovely Tatty Devine swan necklace which was also a birthday gift (this time from the almost-mother-in-law), and some blue flowers from Pearls & Swine. It's such a cute and comfy outfit to wear, and one which sits easily under a cardigan as layers get thrown on for the colder weather.

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Ballard Of Easy Rider - The Perfect Autumn Biker Jacket from HM+

For years I've been after the perfect biker jacket. I wanted something which made me feel like a 1950s rebel, part James Dean, part Frenchie from Grease. But alas, there was something which wasn't quite right, either looking far too big or feeling far too tight. I was beginning to fear that I just didn't have the right shape for a biker jacket, and had all but given up. With wide shoulders and big boobs, I'd always end up with too much room on my waist for it to zip up comfortably, and would just look a bit saggy... But then on a whim, I tried this beauty from H&M+, and after sizing up, it's slightly cropped dimensions fit like a dream.

The jacket has all the hallmarks of a traditional biker shape - the collar, zipped cuffs and zipped pockets. It also entails the delightful squeak which fake leather often has, but I'll forgive sounding like a rustling mouse for the perfect cut and shape of it. It even hits my high sitting waist perfectly!

Biker Jacket: H&M.
Dress: H&M (review here).
Tights: Primark.
Leaf Hair Clip: Tatty Devine.

I like that it's one of those clothing items which looks good with everything. I don't have to think what I'm wearing it with, and whether I'm walking through the park or going out on a date, it's just so easy to wear.

Now for my next mission - to find cute heels which I can walk in!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Sunshine After The Rain - Autumnal Days in H&M, Primark and Pearls & Swine

I feel a bit like an idiot posting this now that the treacherous weather has turned back to feathery rain and ominous grey skies. But cast your minds back to last week and remember that we had a couple of glorious sun filled days which harked back to Summer - days where you'd feel warm in a coat, with the sun's golden glow throwing long shadows all around you.

I know it's hard to believe now that our ten minutes of proper Autumn has suddenly turned into the start of six months of Winter. I can now barely remember what my legs look like out of black tights and suspect their paleness would blind me if I could and glanced upon them.

But anyway. Going back to that lovely warm, Autumn sunshine...

Dress: H&M
Cardigan: H&M
Tights: Primark
Ballet Flats: Primark

The not-quite-chlorine-blonde in my hair is still freaking me out a little. I sort of like it, but it takes me by shock every time I see it. It was never meant to be like this for more than a day - it was just a pre-lightening exercise as a base for bright hair-dye fun. But I've learned a lesson - wait for your order of hair dye to actually arrive before covering yourself in peroxide. Sigh.

That said, I think the hair works with this outfit. The H&M dress was a £4 bargain in their sale, and the cardigan and ballet flats work brilliantly with the various shades of pink. But that's it. Nothing else but ankle boots, faux fur and wolly socks until March. Good bye legs, see you in the spring!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


(Be)Witching Hour - Glamorous Halloween Inspiration from Collectif

As someone who loves vintage and vintage repro, my love for Collectif knows no bounds. Not only do they have a range of incredible dresses which fit my bust without having to size up on the waist, (I love you, Dolores!) their cardigans, coats and accessories are the stuff of cine filmed vintage dreams.

When they released the Penny Pencil Dress last year, I felt like a vampy film noir dame. It was impossible not to feel glamorous whilst wearing it, but I've always been a girl who likes a bit more swing to my wiggle. I live for voluminous circle skirts, so you can imagine how I nearly passed out from excitement when I discovered they had taken my favourite femme fatal top half, and given it a swirl ready makeover!

Rose and Ladybird Veiled Fascinator: Pearls & Swine

Available up to a UK size 22, the Penny Flared is new in as part of the Collectif AW15 collection. Super swishy, it features a criss-cross halter-neck with a hook closure and sweetheart neckline. It's like their pencil shaped sister in every way bar the switched circle skirt finish, and is made from a stretchy poly mix fabric which really shows off your shape.

The fit is true to size, with the halter neck perfect for those with an ample bosom. I wore mine with a gravity defying strapless bra, but would also be happy to wear it with regular bra straps for a more harness style finish. The material falls perfectly and hits just below the knee of my 5'6" frame, but for extra oomph I teamed the dress with a full red petticoat. Cue lots of spinning around in my living room for ages, but I just couldn't help myself - I love this dress so much!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

*Dress sent for review. All opinions are real and my own.


That's Amore - Italian Inspired 70s Prints from H&M

As I'm sure I've previously mentioned, I've really been loving all the 70s vibes currently adorning the current Autumn / Winter ranges. When I saw this patterned jersey dress from H&M, my heart skipped a beat and that was the start of me digging out my Autumnal make-up palette of golds, purples and general cosmetic drama!

With the change in weather, I've found my skin has dried out a little so I've ditched the setting powder and gone for a much dewier finish to the skin. It's been quite nice as I've found it offsets the more heavier colours and has somehow worked in well with my seasonal clothing shift.

The dress reminded me of classic 70s Italian vintage, mostly to do with the print. I really like that it has a high neck too, with just a biker jacket thrown on top, I was super cosy when walking over Hampstead Heath to meet with some friends.
Tights: Primark
Handbag: Vintage

As the pattern is so busy, I kept the accessories simple with just some black tights, my trusty black boots and an old season gold perspex leaf from Tatty Devine. Whilst it's pretty different from my usual look, I really loved it. I'm definitely all about embracing my inner 70s film star this season!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Introducing Brantano - Seasonal Footwear Trends To Take You Into Winter

You can never have too much footwear in your Autumn / Winter arsenal. When you're battling against wet leaves, icy pavements and the tottering heels of festive parties, it's always wonderful when you come across somewhere new with everything your feet could need in one handy place.

Brantano is just that - a one stop shop for footwear trends, with 145 stores mostly dotted around retail parks, and an online store offering many brands such as Clarke, Vans and Esprit.

The website presents several AW15 trends as stories, with the stand out ones for me being A Folk Story and In The Black.

A selection from the Folk Story trend at Brantano.
A Folk Story is all about exploration with a bohemian feel at it's centre. Made for the outdoors, this trend is filled with practical, durable and hard working footwear. Lace up fronts, chunky heels, hiker soles and colourful trims make up this collection, finished with an earthy, Autumnal colour palette.

A selection from the In The Black trend at Brantano.
The In The Black trend is all about style and sophistication, offering timeless classics which will have you flitting between work and after work drinks with ease. Always versatile, the black shoe or shoe boot goes with so much, offering a polished touch to an outfit whether the finish is matte, inky or patent. They are the perfect instant fix to make an outfit smart, and definitely make your look mean business!

You can check out the full website here, which is filled with everything from wellies to running shoes as well as cute heels and ankle boots. You'll definitely find something you love to put your best foot forward in!

UPDATE - 23/03/17
Since this post went live, Brantano have sadly gone into administration and are no longer trading.

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Brantano)


Late Summer Daze - Beautiful Landscapes from The Lake District

Now that the rain and wind of classic Autumn have hit London hard, it's difficult to believe that just a few weeks ago, we were running around the Lake District with the Summer sunshine in full swing. Despite visiting in September, we were lucky to be met with the most incredible weather - green leaves turning red against a cloudless blue sky.


Boots Made For Walking - Lorraine Kelly Ankle Boots Extra Wide EEE Fit from JD Williams

I've been a huge fan of the collections from Lorraine Kelly at JD Williams ever since I saw her first Spring preview last year. Her biker mac has been something I've pretty much lived in ever since I got my hands on it, so when I heard that she had launched a range of footwear, I was really excited to see what it looked like.

I'll be the first person to admit that I'm useless in most heels. However I do love a good chunky design, and when I was kindly offered the choice to review something from the range, I decided to risk my lack of balance in these lovely wide fitting ankle boots.

When I took them out of their box, it was love at first sight. Available in a choice of black or tan, I choose the black ones as I figured there would be more in my wardrobe for them to go with. They feature a quilted design, zip fastening, but most importantly, the comfiest block heels I've ever worn in my life. At 2 3/4 inches my feet would normally give up in defeat after about 30 minutes, but somehow, these £65 beauties have been designed as the footwear holy grail - heels which I can actually walk more than ten paces in!

I teamed the boots with my LK biker mac, and felt like I was ready to tackle all manner of 70s style spy shenanigans. There are so many different footwear designs in the collection, ranging from sky blue court shoes to cherry red wide calf boots so is perfect for injecting some colour into your Autumn / Winter style. You can view the whole range here and get to putting your best foot forward!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

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