Pick (n Mix) Of My Week

This week I've fully taken on board the most wise of words "treat yourself" and rolled with them. Debatably maybe a little too much but in my defense there are so many amazing pieces out there on the high street this season and I'm only human. There's only so much self restraint I can have before enough is enough and I just have to have it all! Yes ok I probably can't have a social life for the rest of the month but at least I'll be dressed well whilst I sit at home watching Netflix and eating baked beans on toast for the sixth night in a row...

Money woes aside, I have three pretty amazing buys to share with you. All sixties inspired, sorry to keep beating you over the head with sixties trends but you cant really escape it in shops at the minute and also, hey why break a habit of a life time?

Dress- Moto At Topshop
Jersey Shirt- Urban Outfitters
Skirt- Zara
Firstly I've got to talk about this Zara skirt! What an absolute dream! It's made from a pin cord fabric and comes with detachable braces so should you prefer, you can wear it more as a pinafore. I personally feel like the skirt itself is a statement enough without making the outfit even more fussy with extra straps. The colours on this skirt are just perfect! Deep green and mustard were pretty much made for each other and are easily worn with a whole host of other rich and rusty tones which should make deciding on a top to match easy work! The print itself could be mistaken for genuine vintage, inspired by prints from sixties fashion labels like Biba and with a slight William Morris kinda vibe to it. There's quite a few sixties skirt options out there on the high street but this is definitely my favourite so far! Aaaaand at £19.99, they are practically giving it away.

Yummy Skirt- Zara

This photo and the one above- Twiggy in Biba
George Harrison in William Morris print
Next on my pick list is this burgundy, thick cord pinafore dress from Moto at Topshop. I have to hold my hands up now and admit I needed another cord dress like I needed a hole in the head, however for me this is the best one yet! It's got a zip fastening up the front which looks like you could have bought it straight out of Mary Quants boutique Bazaar back in 1964. What I really love about this dress is the belt around the waist, another sixties inspired detail but also really flattering! I'm just going to put this out there, I love cord pinafores but sometimes they can look a tiny bit like you're wearing a sack and aren't exactly complimenting, this dress however is the complete opposite. The belt squeezes you in at your waist and gives things a slightly more dressy take on the usual cord pinafore. Team it with a roll neck in the day and a printed shirt in the night, it will work and you'll be happy with your investment. See how I wore it this week below!

Cord Dress- Moto at Topshop
Mary Quant in her Icon Zip Dress- 1964
Dress- Moto at Topshop
Paisley shirt- Urban Outfitters
My last pick is this jersey shirt in mustard from Urban Outfitters, also available in burgundy it was a tough call deciding between the two colours. It's a great addition to any outfit and can be mixed with my other two picks no problem. Great for wearing under a dress or tucked into a skirt. It's still got that sixties feel but it just gives you a break from a roll neck, I love roll necks but sometimes I think they are an easy choice and you can find yourself stuck in a rut with them. This just makes a nice change and who can argue that! 

Shirt- Urban Outfitters
So there you have my three treats of the week! Hope you've enjoyed and hope I've encouraged you to go shop like me (if just to make me feel less bad about my spending overload, sorry in advance). 
Sophia x

My Autumn In Pictures

I have a bunch of photos I've taken over the last two or three months which I thought I'd put together in one post, sort of like a mini photo diary. The photos are all just the little things that inspire me, make me happy and kind of sum up what I've loved from the last few months. The majority are just taken around Manchester and are some of my favourite details from around the city... Oh and there's a little bit of Belgium and Holland thrown in there too! Hope you like. X

Ever since I was a little girl I've always loved this little alley way leading to King Street in Manchester, a little more rough around the edges these days but those umbrellas always make me smile.

Restaurants on King Street are my always a treat to visit! A lot of them have kept the original features from when they were once banks and they are b-e-autiful. I would happily wear the glass roof in Zizi's as a dress pattern. The photo in Jamie's Italian is one of my favourites. Partly because it features one of my favourite people, my boyfriend Joe and partly because the ceilings in there are a dream! The colour scheme reminds me of a Wes Anderson film, sweet pinks and powder blues. It's a yes from me.

I've already featured this photo in a post but I adore it because it perfectly sums up Salford in Autumn. The only time of year the city looks vibrant (sorry Salford, I love you but sometimes you just aren't kind on the eyes).

Northern Quarter buildings. They're underrated. In particular these stain glass windows along Dale Street. 

This for me was a pretty unreal photo to take. It's my boyfriends gig at Ritz Manchester. The crowd were totally amazing and I don't think I've ever felt so humbled, proud and overwhelmed all at once. Super happy memory. 

Bonfire night at Brabyns Park in Marple! One of my favourite times of year, in one of my favourite places. Marple is my home town, so it's always super nostalgic to go back there and I don't do it enough. I had my sheepskin mitts on and a hot apple cider in my hands, I was in absolute heaven. 

The train from Amsterdam to Antwerp. What. A. Dream. It was like walking into the seventies. Red and yellow walls and burnt orange seats, again the retro vibes on this train completely reminded me of a Wes Anderson set up. Why oh why aren't the trains in England more like this? 

Amsterdam, lovely Amsterdam aren't you a pretty little thing! I wasn't there long but I adored it. The squashed up houses brought to mind battenburg cake, tiny squares in pastel colours. My number one favourite was the marzipan looking building in my last photo. Totally inspiring! 

Zara Does Retro

Is it just me or is anyone else finding it an extremely stressful experience visiting a Zara store lately? Purely for the simple fact I want EVERYTHING! This season has seen Zara pretty much nail the sixties mod/seventies glam trend. From suede shirts to retro print mini dresses to cord pinafores, Zara has every aspect of retro fashion covered. One of my favourite buys in particular ("one of" being the operative two words, as I feel like I've pretty much bought the entire Zara look book in the last two months) and my outfit for today is this absolute babe of a blouse.

Floral Blouse- Zara
The blouse comes in a brown, green and pink retro inspired pattern which gives a subtle nod towards colour schemes seen on the Miu Miu AW 15/16 runway and has a pussy-bow tie collar, which adds a feminine touch. The pattern pays homage to the floral flamboyancy of the sixties/seventies whilst not going too overboard or looking like you're wearing your nan's curtains. If you are wanting to do the seventies trend but are scared of the sometimes out there prints, this shirt is a good place to start. I'm completely reminded of outfits sported by the likes of The Beatles, The Kinks and Rolling Stones in the mid to late sixties and I totally adore it!

This shirt is a pretty easy one to add in to an outfit. Wear it with high waisted trousers or a cord skirt and you can't really get it wrong. I am in love with sixties and seventies fashion however I'm a firm believer you can definitely go over the top with it! I think it's far better and easier to lend ideas from retro fashion rather then go full on sixties throw back and run the risk of looking like you're in fancy dress. Plus my advice is if you are going to go for head to toe sixties, you really have to commit to it and pay attention to detail otherwise it just looks a little off. With this is mind I've been teaming the shirt more with denim whether that's a pair of jeans or a pinafore. I just feel that denim tones it down and gives it a more relaxed day time look. Today's outfit I've gone for a denim mini skirt and a tiny nod to the seventies rather then a gigantic wave. Hope you enjoy. Sophia x

Floral Blouse- Zara
Denim Skirt- AC for AG Jeans

Lucky Stripes

If I'm going to talk about my style I thought it probably necessary, if not compulsory to write about my biggest vice in life (excluding Pall Mall cigarettes, yes Pall Mall. Don't judge me too harshly). I am a sucker for a stripe! And it's my personal belief everyone should have at least one in their wardrobe. There is nothing more classic then a Breton top, it can be worn in a multitude of ways and will instantly make you look ten fold cooler. That's a proven fact. Since the age of around 16 I've been on the quest for the perfect Breton top and have subsequently built up a little bit of a collection, I did a head count recently there's way over thirty. Eek. Hi I'm Sophia and I'm a stripe addict. But then so was Picasso and he was a genius so...

The key to wearing stripes is to keep it as effortless as possible. The Breton top is a timeless look and if it ain't broke don't fix it. Simply wear with your hair undone, a classic cut jean (preferably indigo or stone wash), a pair of ballet pumps or high top Converse and you're good to go. Add a leather biker jacket for extra outfit brownie points. 

I adore this photo of Audrey Hepburn in Rome in 1966. For me this is the perfect Breton outfit. Totally relaxed, effortless but incredibly stylish.

Go to labels for stripes are Cos and APC. Both use simple designs, classic colour combinations and they have yet to get it wrong. APC can be a little on the pricey side but it's well worth the investment! Remember this is a classic and you will have it in your wardrobe for forever... Or something like that anyway. My personal, absolute, all time favourite for stripes though is French brand Saint James! If you haven't discovered them yet you're in for a treat (plus nobody does stripes better than the French, so you know you're in safe hands)!

Stripes- All Saint James
Amazing quality which will last you years, their tops have a traditional Breton, french sailor shape to them. Loose fitting, with a boat neck and a wide 3/4 length sleeve. I usually go for the men's styles just because I prefer them a little androgynous looking. Kinda like I've literally borrowed it from a sailor, very baggy with the sleeves rolled up. Weird little tip but you need to trust me on this one, I also tend to wear my Breton tops backwards. It gives a higher, more straight boat neck and it just looks a little more tidy (does not work with a crew neck, I repeat does not work with a crew neck). Odd, I know! But Devil's in the detail and I've done it for years and never been caught out. Promise. And voila! Super simple look, but it works! 

Top- Saint James
Jeans- Topshop "Mom" Jean

So there you have it, a whole post dedicated stripes! Who'd have thought it! 
Bon Nuit. X

Outfit Of The Day/Pattern Of The Year

So back in August I snapped up this pretty little dress from Topshop. I am such a fan of the print and as soon as I saw it I needed it! I sometimes find ditsy floral print can look a little cheap but this one is right on the money and could easily be mistaken for vintage. The dress has smock detailing on the front which I completely adore and which brings to mind the type of party dress my mum would have put me in when I was a little girl. 

Dress- Topshop
Cat In The Background- Evie
Such a fan of this dress that I am, I only went and bought the blouse version as well this week. Excessive I know! But when I find something I love, I like to roll with it. My justification was that the dress although perfect for summer, isn't that wearable in winter as the material is quite light and floaty. The top on the other hand goes just nicely under a pinafore worn with a thick tight and an ankle boot. See! Makes total sense, I stand by my excessive decision!

Blouse/Denim Pinafore- Both Topshop

Autumn Appreciation

Autumn is my favourite time of year hands down! Partly because it's the season I think Manchester suits best, suddenly everywhere is decorated with these amazing autumnal colours from the fallen leaves and even the bleakest parts of the city look pretty awesome (plus my inner child says there is nothing quite as satisfying as kicking and crunching through piles of leaves). 

Salford looking all pretty for Autumn
And partly because it's the season I think I suit best. Roll necks are a staple piece in my wardrobe and having to live without them through summer is a challenge (suggestions for a summer alternative to roll necks welcome). Also I can be a bit of a colour-phob and I tend to shy away from anything too bright. I find rusty autumnal tones like Browns, burgundies, burnt oranges and deep greens seem to meet me half way. They're rich without being garish and they're vibrant whilst being a little toned down.

I made a Villoid board around this image a few weeks back but my biggest inspiration for Autumn/Winter is Bob Dylan's- The Freewheelin Bob Dylan album sleeve. I'd say it's one of my favourite photographs and for some odd reason I have a strange affinity to it. The colours pretty much sum up everything I love about Autumn.

I've been forever searching for the perfect sheepskin coat to complete my autumn/winter wardrobe and I recently found on I absolutely love from Ark by Glamorous. it's suedette which means it's perfect when living in Manchester because it won't ruin in the rain and it costs a fraction of the price you'd pay for a real suede coat! Plus it's a match made in heaven with some of my favourite Autumn pieces.  

Sheepskin Coat- Glamorous at Ark

Cord Skirt- Topshop
Cable Knit Jumper- Cos
(Alternatively, New Look have done a similar knit at a lower price point)
Coat- Glamorous at Ark
Roll Neck- Zara Basics
Skirt- Topshop

Mary Jane's Of Dreams

There's a photograph from 1966 of Marianne Faithfull performing on "The Tom Jones Show", in which she wears a purple and silver metallic knitted mini dress and a pair of silver metallic, square toed, block heeled Mary Janes. I absolutely adore Marianne, she's one of my biggest style inspirations and this outfit is one of my all time favourites from the sixties. I've found that recently I'm a total magpie when it comes to metallic shoes and have continually held those Marianne Mary Janes as the goal for what I'm looking for. This season has not disappointed with footwear and I've definitely got one step closer to owning my Mary Jane shoe collection of dreams. 

Marianne Faithfull- 1966
I am totally in love with this seasons Orla Kiely for Clarks collection, with one shoe in particular calling out for me to buy them immediately! The angelic Angelina shoe! Gold metallic leather Mary Janes with a tiny weeny heel, 2 strap fastening (worn crossed a la Marianne) and a subtle nod to Orla's signature flower design on the front. Wear with your favourite vintage dress and you're good to go tinkle toes.
Shoes- Orla Kiely for Clarks
Bag- Mulberry
As if I didn't already feel like my Mary Jane dreams had come true, Topshop went and brought out these absolute beauty's and well I had to have them too (My poor bank account). Higher heeled, square toed (aaahem, hiya Marianne dream shoes) and a little less of ostentatious gold leather then the Orla Kiely's.

Shoes- "Ginger", Topshop 
How I wore these little golden dancing shoes? I teamed them with this be-a-utiful floral midi wrap skirt also from Topshop. I LOVE the pattern on this skirt, it's a little bit vintage, a little grand, a little bit Gucci-esque and a little bit oriental. 
Midi Skirt- Topshop
The finished product looked a little something like this and I completely adored wearing this outfit. Maybe a little more grown up then my usual style but those shoes and that skirt are a match made in vintage inspired heaven. *applaudes Topshop*

Knitted Turtle Neck- Zara
Skirt- Topshop
Shoes- Topshop

The Uniform

If I had to describe my style, I'd say it's somewhere between sixties groupie and your 5 year old brother. I go one way or the other, my looks either very feminine or zero effort required Tomboy. The majority of the time I opt for Tomboy (because I can be a tad lazy) and my standard uniform... Dungarees! I live in them! I'm a scruffy little thing really and dungarees are THE easiest, most comfy things you will ever sport in your life. Fact. A normal every day outfit for me looks a little something like the below. Ok, so it's not the sexiest outfit you're ever going to wear and you do look like you're about to shout "TAG! YOU'RE IT!" and run off giggling at any second but on those lazy days when you just don't care and you're feeling a little crappy, believe me these denim babies will be a god send!

Dungarees- Topshop
T-shirt- Comme Des Garcon at Dover Street Market
Shoes- Converse
My style inspiration when it comes to dressing like a total boy is a mix of these three; Francoise Hardy, George Harrison and yup, Chungy. Francoise because she has this amazing talent of looking like she couldn't care less about what she's wearing, at the same time as looking like THE definition of chic and the coolest girl you ever clapped eyes on. George because there wasn't a denim look he couldn't pull off. Seriously, double denim was a walking in the park to him and dungarees, a total breeze! (Disclaimer: Apart from George, men and dungarees is just wrong if not a little creepy... Sorry but that's just one girls opinion). And Alexa, because well, she's Alexa. I'd also just like to add that if anyone's struggling with my Christmas present this year the below AC for AG Jeans black dungarees would go down a storm with me. Thanks.

One of my favourite recent purchases are these black cord dungarees from Topshop.

Dungarees- Topshop
 Super comfy and they add a more girly, seventies spin. Sometimes denim (especially indigo) can be a little harsh and full on, whereas cord is a softer look. It allows you to wear a feminine blouse underneath and team with a more dainty shoe no problem! Exhibit A...

Dungarees- Topshop
Blouse- Vintage/Beyond Retro

First Post (is definitely the scariest)...

I feel like as this is my first post I kinda need to formally introduce myself? So my name's Sophia which I'm sure you'll have gathered and to cut a long story short I'm obsessed with clothes. I never stop buying! It's a monthly struggle deciding whether to spend my last £50 on food or on Topshop's new in page (Topshop wins every time). Due to this unhealthy interest and my ever expanding wardrobe I've found myself progressively posting more and more style/outfit related posts on my Instagram and strangely enough a few lovely people seem to approve. Instagram is such an awesome creative outlet but you're so limited with what you can say and I've started thinking it would be nice to explain my outfits in a bit more detail and what exactly inspires me in how I dress. I know there's so many girls out there with similar interests to mine and I would love to share my looks with them, so with that in mind I've decided to crank things up a notch and start this blog! Ahhh scary and exciting but mainly scary!

I'm kinda thinking I should have done this ages ago and now I have a back log of photos I want to share and no idea where to start! Bare with me whilst I get my bearings!

FYI this is me.
Sophia x