Monday, 26 January 2015

Valentines Day Outfit - Casual VS Fancy

Hey guys,

So today I'm going to share with you 2 outfits that I think would be perfect for a Valentines day shindig - one for if you're going all out fancy and one for a more casual date. I've also included some date ideas - so if you're struggling about what to do with your other half then stick around!   

This idea was actually from one of the first posts I did back when I started blogging a year ago. If you fancy a good ol CRINGE then you can find the post here. I'd like to think my photography skills have improved slightly and that I'm a little less awkward in photos now ha! (Especially now I'm not smiling through braces!). 

The Casual Valentines Date Look

First up is the casual side of todays post - featuring a lovely floaty dress that I got from Missguided. They have LOADS of cute dresses in at the mo that will have you looking as sweet as a nut for Valentines day - I love this one because I think the print is super gorgeous and I love the button front detailing. 

Just a little heads up though - when I first tried it on my boobs tried to make a full blown escape, and I was considering sending it back to save my dignity, however it was nothing a little black Asos crop top couldn't solve, which I wore underneath the dress to keep the nip slips at bay. I would definitely suggest doing the same if you're not one for a bit of flashing either!  

Button Through Floral Swing Dress - £25 Missguided  / Black Fedora Hat - Topshop (bought last year) / Black Knee High Boots - £70 River IslandBrown Satchel Bag - £19.99 New Look / Camel Coat - £59 Miss Selfridge

Valentines dates I would wear this on:
  • Ice Rink Date - If there's one thing that cheesy films have taught us - it's that ice rinks are perfect for a lovely dovey date setting. There's currently one in Leeds at millennium square - but they seem to pop up in lots of cites around this time.
  • Our First Times Date - This isn't what it sounds like. How about spending a whole day or night doing the things you did on your first dates? It could include anything from eating at the first restaurant you went together, watching the first film you saw together, even re-visiting the first bar you went to. Even if it's completely random it's bound to stir up some funny (and possibly embarrassing) memories! :)
  • Valentines Cookery Class - Lots of restaurants do cookery/baking classes around Valentines day, so keep an eye out for one near you. And don't worry if you can't cook you could always turn it into a food fight!
  • Shopping in a New City - Explore a city you've both never been too and split up for half an hour to buy each other one surprise gift. OR have the gift already secretly bought and use it as an excuse to spend 30 mins in Topshop uninterrupted ha! WIN!  

The Fancy Evening Valentines Look

You may have seen in a previous post that I bought myself a beautiful pink dress from Chi Chi Clothing just before Christmas. So you can imagine my excitement when the opportunity to collaborate with Chi Chi came up! 

After spending a good chunk of an evening browsing through/falling in love with all their dresses, I finally managed to pick this beautiful formal evening maxi dress. It's like nothing I've owned before, and I couldn't help but feel a bit special in it! 

 Navy Maxi Dress* - £57.99 Chi Chi Clothing  / Silver Clutch - Accessorize  

Valentines dates I would wear this on:

  • Theatre & Meal - If you're wanting a bit of a fancy night out (who doesn't love an excuse to get dressed up?) then there are always some amazing restaurants that do pre theatre meal offers! My favourite in Leeds is the french restaurant Kendells Bistro - I always think it feels like christmas in there because of all the pretty lights - such a romantic & cosy atmosphere!
  • Night in a Castle - You could go super fancy and take advantage of some of the castle stay & dinner offers that are available around Valentines. Because us ladies deserve to feel like a princess every now and again! (Cheese). 

If something a bit more adventurous is your thing then I think GO APE is an awesome date idea! Climbing trees & zooming down the zip wires - what could be more fun! If you're thinking it lacks the romantic vibes, then you could always get all cosy in the cafe after with a nice hot chocolate. :)

Hope you've enjoyed the post - let me know what your favourite Valentines day dates are, or what your plans are for this years! 

Have a great week :)

Gabby xo


Monday, 19 January 2015

After Uni Work Struggles & 4 Work Outfits!

Hey guys,

Today I wanted to share with you a little about what it's been like since I left uni, and jumped feet first into the real work world. If you're just interested in the outfits then feel free to scroll to the bottom for 4 of my favourite work looks from this past month :)

After Uni Work Woes

I can't believe it's nearly been 6 months since I started at my not-so-new job! I was thinking recently about how much I enjoy it, especially when I compare it to the horrible 7 months I did in recruitment, and how hopeless I felt when I didn't know what I wanted to do after uni.

When I left uni with a Chemistry degree, there was only one thing I was certain about when it came to what job I wanted, and that was that I didn't want to do anything chemistry related. Most people thought I was crazy and that I had completely wasted 3 years of my life studying it. In fact they wanted me to waste another 5 or so years doing something I knew I wouldn't enjoy just so it was all "worth it". Well, we can't predict the future or how our feelings change, and I personally think we're made to choose our degrees far too early on anyway. I picked chemistry just because I was good at it and was told uni was the best option for a good career. However, towards the end of my second year I had completely lost any passion I had for the subject, but decided to push through and finish the degree off (which I am glad I did really!).

"Nothing you'll ever do will be wasted"

When Uni was over I remember the sudden pressure and realisation that I had to now decide my future, despite having no clue as to what I wanted to do and being told from friends and family that I had to do something with my degree. But during those times when the pressure was on I remembered a talk we once had in school. It was from a lady who ran her own successful business, and she explained how she'd gone from the most randomest jobs before she got to where she was, but that everything she'd learnt along the way had actually contributed to her success. It was the one line she kept repeating throughout "nothing you'll ever do will be wasted" that kept me confident that I was making the right decision. And I'm glad I did because it wasn't wasted! There's loads of things I've taken from my degree, even just things like being able to do reports which has made things a little easier when I'm doing them for my current job, or even the fact I met one of my best friends and had some of the best times of my life!

First Job In the Real World

So when I first started out applying for jobs, I uploaded my CV to a popular job site and started looking through available roles. I seemed to keep coming across loads of recruitment jobs with phrases like "UNCAPPED SALARY" "HUGE BENEFITS" etc, so when I got a call to ask me to come for an interview for a healthcare recruitment consultant role, I was really excited!

I remember my first month of recruitment. Everything was amazing, there I was being a grown up in a proper office,  being given proper responsibility and earning my first wage - all the general excitement and buzz of being in the real world. But, as more weeks went on, I started to get this nagging feeling in the back of my head. Is this really what I wanted to do for the next 5 years? Did I really enjoy being shouted at down the phone daily, working all evenings & weekends and being told to lie to people?.. My answer was (unsurprisingly) no. And I realised, quite sadly, that recruitment wasn't for me. Maybe I'd never be happy in a job I thought, maybe I was just afraid of hard work and should man up!? It took me a while before I fully admitted to myself that I was doing the wrong thing. I thought about how I'd wasted even more time of my life...when that saying whizzed round my mind again "nothing you'll ever do will be wasted" and I began hunting for my next job.

Moving Forward Into Digital Marketing

It wasn't easy finding the right job and figuring out what I wanted to do. I did one other role before I found the one I'm in now (doing digital marketing). And again when I realised I had to move from the last job I just thought.. you've got to be kidding me!? Who's going to want to hire someone who's spent 3 years in chemistry and done 2 roles in the space of about a year!!? But, after searching online for some local digital marketing companies I came across one who's website really interested me and despite having only a little experience in the field I bit the bullet and sent my CV in. And I'm so glad I did! I think it was actually having this blog that helped me get the role as digital marketing involves a lot of social media - and i've even done some blogging for companies! That and, really good timing (they were just about to start hiring!). Don't get me wrong I'm no digital marketing pro and I've still a lot to learn, but I can at least say i'm enjoying learning it.

So if there's one piece of advice I can give you and feel confident about, it's not where the best place to get a bargain skirt is's to remember that you don't have to be unhappy at work. Don't feel bad if you've spent 3-4 years somewhere and decided you don't enjoy it. You'll thank yourself in the long run for finding something you do enjoy, even if it takes a little while. Ignore those who try tell you you've got to stay where you're unhappy - they're not the ones going to a job they hate day in and day out. And of course remember that whatever you do, maybe it's a job in a factory that you're not enjoying or an office job you want to escape, whatever it is, you learn something from everything you do and nothing you'll ever do will be wasted :) So take control of your own happiness and go after something that makes you happy, and don't feel guilty for doing so.

And Now For The Work Wear!

Hope you didn't mind me sharing all that, now onto my favourite 4 work outfits from the past month.

1. Monochrome Dogtooth Style

Black & White Dogtooth Skirt - £20 Missguided / Black Crop Top - Boohoo / Black & White Heels - £19.99 New Look (bought last year) / Necklace - £3 Primark / Black bag - £7 Primark

This is probably the most "normal" work outfit of the 4, featuring the staple black and white work colours, to create a classic chic monochrome look. 

2. 60's Topshop Prints

Paisley Print Tunic Dress - £36 Topshop / Green Crop Top - £8.99 New Look / Statement Necklace - £7.99 New Look / Black Bag - £7 Primark / Black Knee High Boots - New Look

Now to mix it up a little! I love a good printed dress and had to grab this one from Topshop as I though the paisley print was amazing. I think it looks really cute with a green crop underneath (and I'm sure black, dark red or other colours would work well too!), whilst teamed with a pair of black knee high boots for a 60's office girl look!

3. Feminine Florals 

 Dark Floral shirt - £30 Miss Selfridge  / Purple Pencil Skirt - £25 Miss Selfridge / Brown Bag - New Look / Brown Heels - £19.99 New Look / Necklace - £3 Primark

This bright and floral look has to be the most girliest of styles I'm sharing with you today! I love how the bright purple skirt brings out the colour in the shirt. Work wear doesn't have to be boring and I love having fun with my work wardrobe to create looks like these! :)

4. School Girl Chic

Monochrome High Neck Tunic Dress - £19.99 New Look /  White Shirt - £9 Primark / Necklace - £7.99 New Look / Black Boots - £35 Miss Selfridge 

I say school girl school uniform consisted of a bright red jumper and blue blazer...yuk! But I do think this monochrome check print dress brings some school girl chic to the outfit, creating a cute & fun work look! 

And that's everything, thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments what your first experiences of job hunting were like, and what your favourite work styles are. :)

See you soon! 

Gabby xo


Monday, 5 January 2015

How To Go From Work Wear to Night Out - One Dress, 2 Outfits.

So there's an after work drinks event coming up, but you're not going to have time to go home and get changed. Mini dilemma - what do you wear?!

You don't want to look weirdly over dressed when you're working during the day, but equally you want to feel suitably styled when wine o clock hits - who knows if it will turn into a full blown night out! This slight outfit issue can easily be solved with a bit of simple layering, a quick shoe change & some accessory swaps - as I'm about to show you. :)

The Day Wear Look

The dress I'm featuring in todays post was kindly sent to me from the lovely ladies at Hybrid Fashion. Not only is it lace (my absolute fave!) but it also has a lovely aztec print & faux leather panel detailing which I really love.

Aztec Print Halter Neck Lace Dress* - £46 Hybrid Fashion / Dark Red Crop Top - Select Fashion / Black Knee High Boots - New Look / Black Bag - £8 Primark / Pendent Necklace - Primark

I thought the dark red crop top contrasted nicely against the dress, and I added a pair of boots, a pendant necklace and an oversized bag for a smart & work-appropriate outfit.

I have quite a big collection of cropped/fitted tops in my wardrobe now of all different colours, as they just come in so handy for layering over (or under) dresses, allowing you to create more outfits out of the same item. I would definitely recommend investing in a few different ones yourself if you want to make your own wardrobe more cost efficient & increase your number of outfit options! :)

The Night Look

Transforming to the night look was really simple. I just removed the top and necklace (decided the dress was detailed enough without any added jewellery), replaced the boots with a pair of heels and exchanged the oversized bag for a cute black going out clutch - which was a recent accessorize sale buy woop! 

Aztec Print Halter Neck Dress - £46 Hybrid Fashion / Black Satin Envelope Clutch Bag - £10 Accessorize / Black Heels - £19.99 H&M

The Brand

I was really impressed with the quality of this Hybrid dress, the material felt strong enough to last and was really comfortable to wear. They're actually currently having a huge sale on a wide selection of beautiful and classy dresses - so if you want to check it out you can find the link here

Thank you so much for reading & visiting my blog - what are your top tips for work to night out styling, or even just work styling in general? Hope you have a lovely week ahead and I will see you very soon! :)

Gabby xo

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