Outfit Post: A simple black and white dress…

If you know me…you know I LOVE colour.  So this post is a bit of a different one for me as I am showcasing basically a black and white dress.  It is also a more feminine look than I really go for with a high neckline and an A-line skirt.  The dress was from Marks & Spencer and was paired with a pair of mules also from Marks.  I was lucky that the lovely Sabrina Sikora pushed me into wearing mules (I always looked at them with an eye brow raised) and well they were peep toe too which makes me go EEK even more (I have to keep a decent pedicure on those tootsies).  However, they ARE super comfortable and pretty much went with every outfit I had during the summer of 2015.  Also a heel that you can walk around in in HK?  SOLD.  Thankfully Marks & Spencer have reproduced them this Spring 2016.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it.  Shame though that they did not reproduce the navy version (gutted I didn’t get those last year).  For other options on the mule shape…check out Australian brand SENSO (they ship to HK!) from closed toe, open toe to various shades of animal print (cue heart emojis at this point).

 

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Senso Mules…

The dress I am wearing in this outfit post is from Summer 2015 for Marks & Spencer.  However the shape is classic and super flattering for most silhouettes.  For curvy girls like me, a nipped in waist helps give you a nice shape and though sleeveless, it is easy to cover up your bingo wings with a little cardigan (or just own the said bingo wings like I do).  I have found local brand WHAT THE FROCK?  to be a great affordable option.  No pattern but coming in a multitude of colours which adds personality to your outfit!

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What the Frock ‘French’ Dress in Pink

I have heard from a professional matchmaker that such a dress like this is perfect for a first date.  It is feminine, fashionable (without being too fashion aka scary) and has scope via the colour and the accessories you add to it to make it your own personal style.

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So there you go…dresses that do not have crazy prints can be a good thing…

Thanks as always to Bryant for making me look semi decent in photos, that boy is a miracle worker and super talented.

 

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Culottes Are Still Here…And They Are Cooler Than The First Time Round…

Culottes were the go to “IT” item for girls to wear in the 80s, 90s.  Generally above the knee in loose flower material (usually in a very bright pattern).

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Culottes were short in those days…

A classic teenage girl ensemble would include some ill-fitting culottes and the ubiquitous hat.  Do  you remember the TV show “Blossom”  well, her wardrobe probably contained a few pairs of culottes.

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Young Blossom from the then hit TV was a Culottes Princess

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Interesting floral or graphic prints were commonly accompanied by a vast colour wheel of colour!

Culottes NOW…

This version of the culotte is surprisingly easy to wear.  Here are some quick tips:

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  1. Keep things neutral.

Go for simple silhouettes and neutrals such as black, navy, white or grey.  Keeping it simple helps to keep it easy to wear with your tops but also gives versatility meaning that you can dress it up for more formal occasions or dress them down for casual outings.  Neutrals also means that you can make it work appropriate and have it as an alternative to suit trousers or skirts.  Wear with heels and a smart shirt or even a jacket.  Wearing it with open toed sandals or sneakers and a slouchy sweatshirt or sweater keeps it casual.

Heels makes this office appropriate or even as an evening outfit option.

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Culottes – A trend that is versatile.

2. Material Choice is Key

Unless you are a model or tall and with slender physique, culottes made in fabrics such as stiff satin or leather can be hard to wear.  Though providing a very strong statement look, it is not an easy look to pull off.

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Materials such as leather though striking can be hard to pull off.

Materials such as jersey, cotton mix, silk, wool or even denim are great options for the culotte.  For the culottes which are less wide legged, suiting materials are great and makes it a very suitable work alternative.

For summer months, go for lighter fabrics or even pleats if you are brave enough.

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Add a cropped top for the perfect summer look.

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Cropped tops, light fabrics and colours makes the culottes a perfect summer staple.

4. Proportions are Important

To keep the culottes modern and not an 80s/90s throwback, keep them below the knee.  Ankle to mid-calf are super flattering.

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Below the Knee is the optimum length.

MY PICKS:

I have found some great affordable culottes in a variety of styles.  Check out sites such as ASOS and Zalora.  Also Monki have a great denim pair which will not break the bank at under 300HKD.

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However if you want to spend some extra money, check out some of the Scandinavian brands such as Dagmar or Carin Wester which you can get from a store in Vein (one of my favourite stores in HK)

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Carin Wester

Where to Shop:

ASOS (www.asos.com)

Zalora (www.zalora.com.hk)

Monki (address: Shop L1/29-31, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong telephone: 3585-8026

website: www.monki.com/; www.facebook.com/monki.hk)

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

And here is a sneak peak of how I wear the new version of culottes…outfit post to be out soon!354A6577

And Then We Became Four…Or how my Chihuahua has more Instagram Fans than Me…

I know how ironic for me to start working on my blog again by writing about the newest addition to my dysfunctional family (remember my labels recognising two cats – a previous post?)  Before you all wish me congratulations that I have joined into the current trend of fashionistas (wait I actually termed myself as a fashionista?) of having beautiful babies (Sabrina, Jasmine Smith from Dress Me and Christing C), I have to say “STOP”.  No I have not found some poor man to inseminate me but I have adopted a dog…a CHIHUAHUA!!!

Now I am ashamed to admit I was one of those people who were not chihuahua lovers.  However, I am a sucker for a sob story.  I have been volunteering for doggy adoption days at a local charity called Kirsten’s Zoo and one day one of my friends from the association who helps foster especially emergency cases came to the adoption day with a big reusable shopping bag.  In it contained a very angry (read petrified) chihuahua called Edowan.   My friend had previously fostered him before he had been found a supposed permanent home and had found him delightful.  When she went to receive  the dog from that said supposed permanent home (which lets just say did not work out for the dog), Edowan had a total character change.  From a seemingly friendly adoptable cute (albeit fat); he had turned into a slightly slimmer aggressive at other dogs and was aggressive to people.  He had infected feet (they were bright pink from licking due to stress and not drying out) and overgrown claws nearly the size of his actual feet (dogs tend to if walked enough keep their claws filed down naturally and only need occasional clipping unlike cats).  Have you noticed that I sound relatively knowledgeable?   Anyway, we all now faced a problem, this little angry Chihuahua needed a foster home or he would have to go to kennels.  He could not go to a foster with children or dogs.  It slowly dawned on me and (looking back it felt a bit like an out of body experience) that I was probably the only one who could come to the rescue (yes SUCKER is probably tattooed on my forehead).  I feebly mumbled I had two cats but I could separate them from the dog by having the dog in my room.  The dog was handed over to me and then I realised I HAD TO BUY DOG STUFF NOW!!!  AND OMG, I have an angry scared chihuahua to deal with.  Panic instilled as I made my way home.

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A fairly accurate representation of me meeting the chihuahua.  (Apart from either the dazed and panic expression on my face.)

At this point, I must say that the usual fosterers of Kirsten’s Zoo came to my rescue with words of advice and more importantly reaching out with their phone numbers so I could contact them any time.

So off home…we go…  Mads and Odette were curious by the noisy and angry bundle as I hustled into my room after setting up pee pads and a little bed and food bowls filled with designer dog chow and released the little bundle.  Actually for a chihuahua,  Edowan (yes his name is EDOWAN – I do not understand the provenance of the name.)  First of all he growled and yelped at me, bit me when I tried to hold him or pick him up but did finally calm down.  Though pick him up in the wrong way and yes another bite mark to my growing collection.  He also loved barking at the door to my room as he knew there were cats on the other side.

Problem one…Edowan is not toilet trained and so cue frantic clorox and then scrubbing and wipes.  Edowan needed to go to the vets and get his feet sorted out as he was needing to be carried everywhere and also the pain was making him even more annoyed.  However, he looked like a cute dog….let’s just say there was potential in this spunky little old man.

Edowan is 8 years old, spent nearly 7 years on a Chinese fisherman’s boat where he spent the last two years sharing with a younger, larger golden retriever and hence was a bit bullied.  His owner went out one night and disappeared.  It is assumed he drowned.  For a whole month, Edowan and his doggy companion were unnoticed and survived on cigarette butts.  Also Edowan was dragged by the ear by the larger dog (he now has a bias again retrievers or large dogs – little dog syndrome maybe?)  My foster friend took him in and said he was quite friendly and was learning to go to the toilet outside.  And then he was adopted.  As the adopter had kept on avoiding signing the papers, legally the dog was still the adoption agency.  Kirsten is very protective of her charges as so much time and money is invested into making sure perfectly good dogs do not get euthanised when they can be adopted.  So an intervention happened, the sorry state of the dog was realised and then I entered the story.

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Edowan when he was first adopted…

After a bit of time with Edowan, I found out he was actually just desperate for cuddles and love…which I was happy to give.  He was not happy to go to the vets but we needed his feet sorted out so I could get him out walking again as I strongly believe that unless necessary, a dog should be walking…for the first few weeks, the catchphrase was “No bag Eddie, you walk!”  As any parent….Edowan was used only when expressing disapproval.  Edowan responded to Eddie.

A few days isolated in my bedroom meant lots of cuddles from me but I also wanted to see if all the pets could live in sweet harmony.  I introduced Eddie on a leash to the cats.  The cats were not bothered, Eddie was not either.  And it  pretty much has been like that since apart from the odd “Get out of my way!” from Eddie.  However, apart from the cats, Eddie was not a sociable little dog.  Imagine coming out of solitary for 6 months and then being inundated with noise, new smells, people and NOISE.  Eddie out and about on walks was a nightmare.  He was aggressive when he saw dogs, people especially CHILDREN and wheelchairs.  And it was not just a little bark, it was a complete fit which I termed PSYCHO EDDIE.  However, I found out that Eddie loves walking up stairs and so my 7th floor walk up is a blessing.

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First Few Snuggles with Eddie

Bromance between Mads and Eddie slowly developed with the odd interaction with Odette but it was more a Mexican stand off

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The Cutie at Home

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Psycho Eddie

I at that stage in fostering Eddie was working at the Hive and I managed to sneak him in.  It was such a great place for him and he began to be less psycho and engaged with people.  It does help that he is pretty adorable looking.  There are random pictures of him on people’s Instagram…random dog in the office today but do not care.  Adoption days on the other hand were not great for Eddie.  There are a lot of people and dogs, all hoping to make that match between man and dog.  He was nervous and completely Psycho Eddie.  He was also stressed after.  However when taken away from the crowds or sitting on my lap, we did manage to get some cute shots for the adoption promotion.  (I was still denying I was attached to the grumpy old man).

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Edowan posing a storm for pictures

After seeing these pictures (thanks to amazing volunteers), I realised Eddie was very photogenic. Hence the onslaught of my placing Eddie in fashion posts on Instagram (with earrings from Jennifer Loiselle, wearing a fashion bow tie, browsing through a Jack Wills brochure, wearing a fetching novelty hat and posing with MAC make up).

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Or PRODUCT PLACEMENT…Eddie has now graced the official Instagram of JaxCoCo and Plug PR for Nexpresso.

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With regards to socialising Eddie so that he is a happier and relaxed dog amongst people and hopefully dogs and children, it is an ongoing basis but he has such character that I believe we can do it.  He is a lady charmer

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He is also incredible with his expressions for photos.  As a fashion blogger, I am a failure and cannot take decent pictures of myself.  I somehow need to get some tips from my dog (yes dear readers I adopted him…)

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Why Paying for a Good Hairdresser is a Worthy Investment

I am a lazy person… there I admit it…if I could go without brushing my hair, I would.   Yes being such a complete slob does not sit well with the fashion blogging gig but hey, at least I am honest.  I also have to admit to being a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to hairdressers and really did not see the point of going to a more expensive hairdresser when I could go to the cheap local down the street.

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After having admired DressMe’s Jasmine Smith’s glossy and edgy looks, I dug into my purse and bit the bullet (actually I decided to try due to a Sassy deal).  First of all QG Private i salon is based in the HK Four Seasons Hotel so you can experience a bit of luxury as you get your hair done.  Secondly, John Mouzakis (the hairdresser genius) is super cool and extremely friendly.  I said the magic words “Leave it to you John but make sure it is low maintenance” and he began to work his magic.  I was offered some hot lemon tea and settled down to browse some magazines though in the end I ended up chatting to John about diverse subjects as tattoos, his coming to HK with Toni & Guy and errr…Justin Bieber.  John kindly did not talk about the sorry state of my hair and time whizzed by.

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John Mouzakis of QG Private i Salon

With a final flick and run through of my hair, John showed me the final results.  I shamefully have to admit that I squealed like a girl (wait I am a girl but you know what I mean) and cried out “OMG, I feel like a princess!  John you are as good as Kate Middleton’s hairdresser!”  (I am not sure John felt flattered by that comparison but I meant it in a good way.)  My hair was soft, shiny and bouncy just like the future Queen of England’s hair.

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This is what I felt my hair looked like…

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me1Me with my shiny bouncy hair…

I happily paid my fee and was convinced to make a return trip.

John’s usual partner in hair transformations is the colourist Andy Wong.  Andy is the one responsible for the dramatic hair colour transformations of Jasmine’s (flame red, deep purple, a light orange…).  Now I have to make another shameful confession, the last time my poor hair had a colour treatment was when the boy treated me to some ombre highlights or as he puts it in his French accent HOMBRE…  This happened at least a year (more like a year and a half) ago and I was extremely ashamed when I muttered this to Andy.  Andy worked miracles with my poor hair and now I have a lovely lighter brown sheen to my hair and the colour will grow out without horrid roots (perfect for my slothlike self).

A good hairdresser and colourist are a good investment.  Yes, you might think it a luxury but in the long run as I have found out, your hair is so much more manageable, in better condition and generally just makes you feel good.  It is also such a relief for me to be able to just let them work their magic.  I personally am very bad at giving directions, I REALLY do not know what is good for me.

I definitely would recommend visiting John and Andy if you are in HK.  These guys are truly miracle workers and also nice guys to boot.

John – just a joke but may be I should try this on my next visit?  Seriously just joking, I know you would be willing to try!

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Find John and Andy at:

QG Private i Hair Salon
Podium Level 6
Four Seasons Hotel
Central, HK

Telephone: 2521 0070