Fashion

Stylish shoes for the Summer from Vionic

I like to think that I try to dress nicely, ok, sometimes I am not quite on point but generally I can be seen looking smart casual. However, when I go out I always seem to over dress. I find that going for dinner with friends I can often be in a dress and heels when they turn up in flats and jeans. Of course there is nothing wrong with flats and jeans but for me going for dinner is about getting dressed up, making more of an effort to what I would wear for the school run. I guess however we are all slightly different.

Summer months for me are not my favourite to be honest, I find that I end up not knowing what to wear. Being more on the plus size of life means that I don’t always feel confident with my legs out in the summer, so I generally live in midi dresses, bardot tops with jeans, the odd maxi dress or skirt and then either flat flip flops or a pair of summer sandals. Finding sandals that are gorgeous and yet wearable for a day out, without thinking about your feet hurting is quite difficult. Style doesn’t have to hurt!

Stylish Shoes for the Summer from Vionic

Pumps are just not really me, I have a couple of pairs that I love but they generally get worn in the garden and in the spring or autumn when it’s too warm for boots or too cool for sandals. My best friends wears her pumps with everything, dresses, jeans, shorts. A few weeks ago we were all heading out for lunch, she explained her outfit. A lovely shirt dress but she was pairing it with her pumps……. Well I almost spat my tea out. However, she look fabulous! But I just could not pull that style off.

For me style is about being yourself, wearing what you feel comfortable in. I love a statement piece of jewellery, could be a ring, necklace or earrings, for me less is more when it comes to style. I feel like a nice piece of jewellery just finishes even the most casual of outfits off.

Style doesn’t have to hurt

When it comes to shoes I always have to think about my daily life. When I’m not on the school run or in the park with the children, you will often find me seeing my friends, entertaining at home or out and about shopping. Finding something that not only suits my style but I know I can shop until I drop in isn’t always easy.

I met with the fabulous team at Vionic at BlogOn a couple of months ago and they offered to send me out a pair of shoes I had fallen in love with. They promised me I would be able to be stylish while on the school run, out shopping and even for drinks with the girls. I choose the Solana tan sandals, with just the right size heel and perfect for the summer. I love them, with the weather being so nice, they have not left my feet even with relaxing with a glass of wine in the hammock.

 

*Thank you Vionic for sending me out the perfect stylish shoes for the summer.*

5 Countries to take your style inspiration from this summer

Even if you’re not heading abroad this year we all have those places we’d love to visit — from far-flung destinations to those that are closer to home. Why not take some style inspiration from your travel wish list and introduce fresh colours and prints to your wardrobe?

Leading us around the world is QUIZ, retailers of going out dresses and summer fashion essentials.

 

Miami, USA

Take your holiday style inspiration from the home of golden sands and sun-kissed residents. With temperatures reaching 28 degrees in the summer, Miami residents choose vibrant swimwear as they soak up the sun on South Beach before slipping into relaxed cuts as they party the night away.

Go loud and bright! Think tropical print culottes, palm print co-ords and bright dresses. Each piece can be dressed up or down, so whether you’re taking a summer stroll or hitting up a club, you can channel effortless Miami vibes.

And, what about footwear? Slip on flip flops by day before switching to barely-there heels when the sun goes down for a look that’s both glam yet effortless.

South Africa

For some authentic inspiration, take South African fashion designer Jacques van der Watt’s Black Coffee design house. The designer’s Orbit Summer 2018|2019 collection encapsulates the modernity and positivity of the 1960s, featuring bold colours and embellishments across simple shapes and styles.

It’s all about injecting colour into your wardrobe. Clash bold primary shades such as vivid reds with bright yellows, keeping shapes and styles simplistic—think loose-fitting tees and flared shorts.

For added detail, choose geometric patterns in classic monotone hues or incorporate bright colours. Crochet detailing is a staple aspect of Black Coffee’s collection, and crochet dresses or cover-ups would make the perfect boho-inspired addition to any summer wardrobe.

Morocco

The country of Morocco is famed for its diversity and attention to detail — as exemplified by the country’s outstanding architecture and detailed mosaics. When creating a Moroccan-inspired look, it’s important to retain this attention-to-detail — think detailed embroidery and intricate prints.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to bring a hint of Morocco to your wardrobe as tile print is key to this look. This on-trend, intricate detailing is all over the highstreets at the moment, so introduce it to your wardrobe through palazzo pants or even a co-ord. In terms of colours, choose patterns in rich purples and vibrant blues and oranges.

Because of the climate in the North African country, loose-fitting, kaftan styles are essential. Choose shift day dresses in a darker tone — such as burnt orange — complete with gold embroidered detailing. Finish your look with gold or leather strappy sandals, and layer on gold accessories.

Sweden

The fashion in Sweden is defined by simplicity, taking basic items and styling them to create timeless looks. Part of this is the near effortless blend of smart styles with casual wear, pairing sports-inspired trousers with a tailored blazer, for example.

Looking to recreate a Scandinavian look this summer? You’ll need a combination of everyday essentials and fine tailoring. Make sure you have a great collection of plain t-shirts in white, grey and black. Wear yours with sports-inspired trousers and a blazer, or swap out your trousers for tailored shorts. Loosely tuck the hem of your t-shirt into your trousers, slip on a statement necklace and keep your hair loose and natural.

Another technique that’s important is layering. For an effortless look, throw over a lightweight scarf or keep your knitwear loose and wear over a crisp shirt. Don’t be afraid to go oversized either!

India

In India, it’s all about colour, vibrancy and pattern. If you like creating bold looks with rich colours, this is the country you need to steal your summer style from!

How is it done? Much like Morocco, India enjoys intricate embroidery and jewellery. However, generally speaking, the colour palette is much richer in India — think deep reds and emerald greens. For formal events, choose a sophisticated maxi in a deep tone with extensive embroidery. For day time dressing, a simple tunic is a great choice, providing it features some sort of embroidery.

The paisley pattern has become synonymous with the country, so look for ways to incorporate this into your look. How about a bold midi or maxi skirt complemented by a plain-colour vest or blouse? Alternatively, look for a paisley print bag to finish your look, and don’t forget to add plenty of jewellery.

Take your wardrobe around the world this summer!

 

*This is a collaborative post.*

My jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

A couple of months ago the team at Rosanna Croft Jewellery got in touch to see if I would like to be part of the new bespoke design experience at their Bakewell studio. I do love jewellery, who doesn’t right? I have a few lovely items in my jewellery box, plus my engagement ring, wedding band and eternity ring, which I wear all the time. So, of course I wanted to have a bespoke design experience, you never know I might not ever be able to experience this again.

jewellery Design Experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

I headed over Bakewell in Derbyshire to meet with Roseanna herself, to find out a bit more about her and Roseanna Croft Jewellery. Roseanna, studied Jewellery design and manufacturing at university and then went on to travel the world working within the jewellery industry. While in Australia, Roseanna picked up a beautiful black diamond, I was luckily enough to be shown it while at the studio. Having not seen a black diamond before, I was blown away with the cut and the way the light reflected from it, just stunning.

Roseanna is also Princes Trust young ambassador, she has recently attended the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, I am very jealous. I would honestly love to attend a Garden Party at the Palace one day.

As we got talking about both of our loves for luxury items, we started to discuss what style of jewellery I like and the style of piece I would love to design. I already knew that it was a ring, that I had my heart set on designing with Roseanna. For a long time I have wanted something that represented my children. I have been looking for the last couple of years for something that did just that. I love the vintage style, so I am always looking in second hand jewellery shops and antique stores to find something, however I still have not found exactly what I have been looking for. This bespoke design service is perfect when you know you want something but haven’t quite found what it is yet.

As my son’s birthday is July, Ruby is his birthstone and my daughters birthday is in October so Opal is her birthstone. I felt like this would be my perfect opportunity to design a luxury item of jewellery that represented them both and have it’s very own story.

My jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery

Roseanna Croft Jewellery offers a unique champagne afternoon tea design experience, which we booked in for a couple of weeks later. Roseanna Croft Jewellery’s bespoke service gets booked up, so to get the day of the week suitable for me I needed to wait a couple of weeks. It wasn’t an issue, I gave me time to put some ideas together and email some over to Roseanna before going back.

Rosanna believes that ‘every piece of jewellery tells a story’ so with every piece of bespoke jewellery made, they produce a story card along with a valuation of your item.

I was really looking forward to working with Roseanna Croft jewellery and having my bespoke design experience. I arrived at the studio in the heart of Bakewell, to be greeted by the lovely Roseanna who had a glass of champagne to hand to me as I arrived. While I made myself comfortable she went out to the back of the studio to finish preparing the afternoon tea. Sandwiches, olives, mini shortbread, mini muffins, fresh melon and delicious champagne truffles, all serviced on a vintage style cake stand. I don’t actually eat olives, but everything else looked and tasted lovely.

We sat down together and began designing my ring. I had put together a Pinterest board of vintage rings that I loved, I had also previously sent Roseanna a few images I had found that I liked so she did have some idea of what I had in mind. While talking about the ring style, the stones and the metal it would be made from, I showed Roseanna a couple of other rings I had with me from home. A diamond solitaire ring set in white 18ct white gold plus an 18ct white gold wish bone style ring set with 11 small diamonds. These rings were actually from my ex fiancée when I was in my late teens, which for some reason I had kept in box in my jewellery box. I wondered if maybe we could use the stones and the gold from them within my new ring. It seemed silly to me that they had been in a box for almost 15 years. (Wow, 15 years……. time has flown)

As we set about looking at the different style rings that I liked, it became quite clear I wanted a statement ring. Something that I would probably never find anywhere else, something people would remember and ask where it came from. I felt drawn to the rings that I can only describe as a shield, something marquis shaped, but not as a single stone.

As Roseanna put pen to paper, she started to sketch a couple of styles out. We spoke about each one and then designed another, I also spoke about my ideas as we went along. Some good, some ……… well, lets just say there is a reason I do not design luxury jewellery. We continued looking at different styles, talking about what worked, until Roseanna had designed something that I loved, something that no one else would have and something that was perfect for me. Even though I had made a few different suggestions, most didn’t work however, Roseanna put me at ease to be able to come up with ideas and she never once made me feel silly for making a suggestion. I’m sure Roseanna knew they wouldn’t have worked but she sketched them down and we discussed each one as we went along.

Roseanna felt that using the diamonds from my other rings would work beautifully within the ring design I had chosen. When we were both sure it was what I had been dreaming about, Roseanna added colour to the sketch so I could see the placement of the Rubies, Opals and Diamonds. The sketch was then turned over with a few details written on the back, about the stones, the metal I had chosen and also my ring size, which Roseanna sized for me. Although at this point I wasn’t sure about white gold or yellow gold.

My bespoke ring design

As I wasn’t 100% sure about the metal for my ring, we discussed how yellow gold would help the Rubies to stand out, but make the diamonds slightly yellow looking and how the white gold would make the diamonds sparkle more. As it is quite difficult to visualise, Roseanna offered to send me the computer generated image of the ring in both yellow and white gold. Perfect. At Roseanna Croft Jewellery they work to a 6 week turn around from your jewellery design experience to taking your item home, of course that depends on how easy people find it to decide on the item they would like made (I did not), and also depending on the jewels as some have to be specially sourced from across the globe for these bespoke pieces.

As I finished off my second or third glass of champagne and nibbled at the afternoon tea, while chatting away about the Royal Wedding and Royal engagement rings over the years. Roseanna explained that after the appointment, she would design the ring on the CAD computer system, which allows you to see something in 3D image before actually making it. It would then be emailed over to me to look at and see if I would like any changes making.

After I said good bye, I couldn’t wait to see the design. Within 5 days my design arrived in my inbox. As promised in both yellow and white gold. Wow!

The yellow gold as you can see, just didn’t quite have the same feeling to me. I felt like that yellow gold made more of an impact that the setting of the stones and I wanted to stones to be the standout part. What do you think?

 

I am very indicieve about things, and I just wasn’t 100% sure about the placements of the rubies, so I asked Roseanna is she would be able to put together an image of them flipped around. It was no problem, Roseanna was more than happy to adjust the ring. A couple of days later another image arrived for me to look at.

I will be honest, I had had both of the images for a week or more and I still did not know which I loved more. I asked my hubby, my friends, my sister and my brother-in-law who has a great eye for design yet I still couldn’t make my mind up.

So I contacted Roseanna back again, to ask for the size of ring so I could visualise it even more on my finger. Roseanna said to me to try not to over think it and go with what I love, she also offered to see me again to re-design if I wanted to. I knew I loved the rings, just I wasn’t to sure which one I loved that bit more. In the end after almost two weeks of comparing the rings and writing this post, I have finally decided on the first design that Roseanna put together for me. I felt like it was more balanced and I love it.

Now, I cannot wait to see the process of my gorgeous ring being made, I will be going over to the studio again to see some of the stones being placed and to see how it is all made. I will share the rest of my jewellery design experience at Roseanna Croft Jewellery, when I have collected my gorgeous ring. I cannot wait.