Festival Diary- Dream A Little Dream Of Glastonbury

I'm not going to begin to insult your intelligence by telling you, "Glastonbury is the greatest place on earth"... We've all heard it before and if you've ever been lucky enough to go, you'll know this to be true. I'm also not going to begin to possibly try describe Glastonbury in one mere blog post, where would I begin and how long have you guys got? You just have to see it to believe it and no words could ever do it justice. It's quite literally magical. Where the weird, wonderful, talented folk from all walks of life gather together to put on a show like no other spread across 1,100 acres of dream like fields. Yikes... I walked on average 23,000 kilometres a day without even trying... Seeeeriously mega!

Hair Tutorial x Melissa Timperley- We Can Smile And Wave

Since the beginning of time or maybe just since the beginning of my blog there has been one question in particular which crops up (excuse the pun) above all others and that is, how do I style my shaggy mop of hair? I've tried on many occasions to explain this in the limited refinements of an Instagram comment but it's never quite the same as going into full detail and breaking things down step by step. As time's gone on I've toyed with how I can answer this very simple, yet kinda long winded question for you guys on my blog, but without a running commentary of photos the idea always feel flat (unlike my hair... Again excuse the pun). Then a brain "hair" wave (I'm so sorry, I can't help it with these hair related puns, they practically write themselves) suddenly came over me and whilst booking my next appointment with my wonderful hairdresser Melissa Timperley, I decided I'd ask her if she'd lend a helping hand/hair dryer/scissors. Who better to help demonstrate the best technique for tussled, waved locks right? And as summer draws closer this seemed a better time than ever for us all (including myself) to get that beach/bed head, "oh I feel asleep on my sun lounger and woke up all sun kissed like this" hair refined and perfected! So without further a-do and with the amazing aid/expertise of Melissa, here is a step by step guide on how to replicate my wavey bob...
1. The Cut and The Colour
Now Melissa made a very good point from the offset, there's no use in showing you how to style your hair without explaining the cut and colour which are both equally important for this kind of look. First things first, I have my hair dyed via the technique of balayage highlights. Balayage is a technique used to create natural, sunkissed highlights and is done so by gentle brushing the bleach on to your hair. As you can see for the photos, Melissa carefully sections and separates my hair to brush on the bleach so that the colour will mix in nicely with strands of my natural, untouched hair to give a more subtle effect. Melissa is a balayage genius and takes a substantial amount of care and attention when applying it so be prepared for a long appointment! As displayed in the least classy way ever, my hair is left in foils for around half an hour to an hour depending on how the bleach develops and then after about two of Melissa's amazing hazelnut coffees later, it's rinsed out. A toner will be added afterwards to ensure there's no brassiness. And voila, you're left with the upmost Au Naturale, yet super golden hair colour.

For the cut it's nothing too complex. I like the front to sit neatly on my shoulders with a slight graduation towards the back, going slightly shorter. I know, I know! When you think graduated bobs, you imagine footballers wives/Victoria Beckham circa 2003 but that's completely NOT what this is. Promise! The graduation will simply give the back of your hair the body and volume it needs for that super messy, shaggy feel you're after. For extra volume I have it cut quite blunt but with layers running throughout. You don't want harsh layers, just something which will give your hair movement and allow for it to wave more easily. Lastly my fringe is cut choppy and rounded, I love love love a gringe (grown out fringe)! A rounded shape will mean you can part it without creating curtains which could give early noughties Leonardo Di Caprio a run for his money.

2. "Wet Hair" Products and How To Dry
Three key products to use on your wet hair are; volumising spray (only if your hair is angling on the thin side, I have super thick hair so this is a no no pour moi), a salt/texturising spray and heat protector. I've given you a shoppable list of some of the products I love to use for further guidance. Now there's two ways you can go about drying your hair. If you've got all the time in the world/are washing your hair the evening before I would suggest spraying your salt/texturising spray, scrunching your wet hair for maximum waves and leaving it to dry naturally. This is by far the best technique for that tussled vibe... It's called bed head for a reason ladies, low maintenance is key! But if you're getting ready in a hurry or like me you're pampering yourself at your hairdressers than I would suggest spraying a touch of salt spray, then a touch of heat spray and blow drying straight. Melissa has done mine uber straight in the photos simply because she needed to check my cut was tip top, this isn't mandatory if you're styling at home! 

3. Now Let's Make Waves
To begin with you'll need to roughly section your hair into three parts; at either side and then one at the back. See picture above because I think I explained that terribly. Take big chunks, I'd say a good one to two inches of hair and pick at random! Remember you're basically creating organised chaos on your head so don't be to regimented with your chunks. Now with your hair straighteners (if you can use a hair wand/tongs then I salute you), start at the top and curl round, think big flicks that never stop flicking and curl away from your face. The best analogy I can give you when I say "away from the face" is Farrah Fawcett flicks. Google it and everything will suddenly make more sense. Do this technique a section at a time and the golden rule, I just can't stress enough is... Do NOT be too strict with yourself. 

4. Shake It Off, A-Shake It Off!
The best tip Melissa gave me is move your hair about as much as you like, once your hair is waved/curled it will always bounce back no matter how much you play with it! Learn to be tactile with your hair! For some reason we feel the need to walk on eggshells with curled hair, DON'T! It's messy hair your after so mess it up good!! You want to really run your fingers through your hair, shake it up and separate the curls so they become disjointed and disheveled. Once you're happy with the right amount of mess, apply your hair spray to hold in place and a touch more texturising spray to eliminate that fluffy, "just washed" feel to your hair.

And ta da!!!! There you have your super shaggy, super summery, tussled bob ready to hit the beach or a festival near you!

Big thank you to Melissa at Melissa Timperly Studios for helping me finally demonstrate this style for you guys. Before all of the above I would alway recommend making sure you find the right hairdresser for you, one that will put the care and attention in you need. A balayage can be risky business if applied wrongly and the trouble with short hair is, if it's a disaster you have no where to hide!! If you're Manchester/Northern Quarter way I would whole heartedly recommend giving Melissa's studio a try where they put the time and love into your lovely locks! See her details below along with a shopping list of products I've tried and tested and bloody love.

Happy Waving Ladies,
Sophia x

Melissa Timperly Salon:
Visit her website HERE
Pop in at 67 Tib St, Northern Quarter, Manchester
Or call on 0161 834 5945

Stuck In The Midi With You

I'd like to think I've reached a point with my blog whereby you guys have got to know me, well my style at least and it's no secret I'm a lover of vintage fashion. I always have been and I always will be. There is no greater joy in life than rummage through rails upon rails (or Easy pages upon Easy pages) of vintage clothing and hunting out the perfect 1970's embroidered blouse or 1950's immaculate tea dress. The real special pieces are like gold dust and if you've been savvy enough to find them, than you're worthy enough to keep them. I have so many vintage pieces hidden away in my wardrobe that I don't necessarily wear regularly but keep for the simple fact I can't believe my luck on finding something quite so beautiful. When I was younger the real prized find for me was vintage Laura Ashley. The nineties trend hadn't really hit home yet and you could quite easily pick up a pristine condition floral print Laura Ashley button down dress for a mere £10. Gone are those days and if you're in the market for something similar now, you better be ready to part with 5x the money. Life is unfair sometimes and thus so is vintage shopping.

But here's where I make a horrific confession to you and I only hope you don't judge too hard. Within my trophy cabinet/wardrobe of vintage clothing I've acquired over the years lies various vintage skirts and tea dress all of which have been brutally modified by a younger/more foolish me. Cast your mind back 7 years ago and I would have had no qualms with taking a pair of scissors to that beautiful Laura Ashley floral item I was so lucky to find. I shortened everything. The lot. But that was simply a sign of the times. Skirts were strictly to be worn above the knee and there were no exceptions for vintage. But unfortunately times have changed and so has my skirt length. Now I would always opt for a midi length skirt over an above the knee in the summer months and in a cruel twist of fate I've found myself hunted down the discarded reels of fabric, I'd once so flippantly cropped off my vintages dresses in order to sew them back together. I so far have managed to retrieve one skirt and one dress whilst vowing to never harm another vintage pieces ever again. 

The Midi skirt or dress has become a standard in every high street store. And as mentioned previously it's my skirt length of choice, especially in summer. There's something a little refined, elegant and ultra feminine about a skirt which falls just below the knee. I don't know how but by just adding a few inches of material on to a skirt or dress you can completely transform your outfits overall vibe. I personally feel a lot more comfortable in a midi length skirt, there's just something care free about a button down floral passed the knee skirt, your favourite graphic tee and high tops for summer. Firstly you don't have to worry about just how brown your legs AREN'T and secondly because the cut of a midi length skirt is ultimately far more flattering on most body shapes than a mini. 

I guess the length of your skirt really does say a lot of about you. Where a mini skirt says youthful, confident and daring, a midi says sophisticated, fashion forward and a touch aloof. When talking in fashion terms, the word aloof will forever conjure up images of sartorial French girl style in my head. And if this is a look you aspire towards than the midi skirt is a must have for you. Two outfit saviours for any Jane Birkin wannabe (isn't that who we all truly aim to be deep down) are; A midi length, button down tea dress, unbutton from the bottom hem up stopping just above the knee to avoid any signs of frump, wear with your favourite gold locket, strappy sandals and wicker bag. The second; A midi length skirt, teamed with a embroidered square neck camisole and your trusty (dirtiest) white plimsoles. These two effortless outfits are summer uniforms of mine, think Mediterranean holidays, think drinking coffee outside a Parisian cafe, think lazy Sunday, summer walks round the city. This kind of style is really true escapism. Need more Midi length inspiration? Here's a few personal favourite's:

Penelope Cruz/Captain Corelli's Mandolin- Quite literally the definition of Mediterranean dressing. Ok so the film itself is touch and go (namely Nicholas Page's questionable Italian accent) but let's ignore that for one moment and concentrate on what matters... Penelope's impeccable collection of tea dresses. This is how you'll think you'll look in a midi floral dress but unfortunately no one pulls of effortless, summer style like this leading lady. Please note milk maid plaits for extra outfit brownie points. Fake tan maybe also be required.

Gwyneth Paltrow/The Talented Mr Ripley- Unlike Captain Corelli's this actually is a favourite film of mine and the highlight for me is that white shirt and patterned/striped/embroidered midi skirt combo Marge pulls off all too well. Perfect for replicating next time you've got a weekend lunch date or shopping trip planned. Team with a heeled clog for more of that super kitsch vibe and tie your shirt at the front if you're feeling a little daring but personally I think tucked in looks equally as chic. Which leads me on nicely to...

Audrey Hepburn/Roman Holiday- I mean if after watching this film you don't have an innate desire to chop all your hair off, start sporting neckerchiefs and ride around on a moped with a man you barely know, are you even normal?! This is Audrey's 1950s style at it's best. Her waist line will make you never want to even look at pizza and Italian ice cream again but her full, swing style midi skirt will temporarily make you forget your troubles so it's swings and roundabouts... Literally. Once you find the right full circle skirt, team it with your sweetest summer blouse button to the top and tucked in. That's the easy part out of the way, the next step is finding the right Vespa.

Rachel McAdams/The Notebook- Please note wearing a midi will not necessarily mean you will end up hitching a romantic boat ride with Ryan Gosling. In fact if you manage to find a midi dress as pretty as the baby blue dream dress worn by Allie, I would probably suggest giving any water based activities a swerve. Instead opt for something a little less risky (but no way near as exciting) like a dinner date (again Ryan Gosling is optional). This is the kind of dress you will spend years hopefully searching for when vintage shopping. When you find it don't let it go. To be worn with a heeled Mary-Jane or a Castaner heeled wedge espadrille. 

Now you've got a small taste of what to expect from your summer wardrobe, midi style you free to saunter around in your element, flowing skirt. Your summer just got a little more chic.

Disclaimer: No vintage dresses were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Sophia x

Thanks to Northern Flower, Tibb St for letting me shoot in and amongst your lovely flowers

Shop My Look
Turtle Neck Knitted Jumper- H&M, Floral Midi Dress- And Other Stories, Strappy Suede Block Heel Sandal- Mango, Round Wicker Straw Shopper Bag- Easy

Shop the full look and see more suggestions below...

Photography by Rosie Ann Butcher

Fat Face Summer Collection- Sunshine Super Wardrobe

So we spoke about transitional/summer time dressing a few weeks back, when I announced layering was key... It's England, layering is ALWAYS key. But as we start seeing numbers in the region f twenty plus on our weather forecast, it's time to reconsider our wardrobe once again in favour of outfits just a touch more high summer. It's a scary and daunting task, I know. Committing to your high summer wardrobe when our weather is just so unpredictable. But needs must, your Saltwater's are crying out to be worn. Be brave and bite the bullet. Once again Fat Face have hit the nail on the head with their perfectly curated High Summer collection and I'd like to talk you through two of my favourite outfits, which funnily enough consist of some of my all time summer essential pieces your wardrobe can't be without.

When I was younger I feel like the denim cut off short reigned supreme in my summer wardrobe and I'd spend practically the entire length of June all the way to August living in them. Don't get me wrong I still love denim shorts but these days I've stored them firmly in the "festival" outfit category and far away from the "daily routine" wardrobe (priorities change and shorts one step away from being deemed underwear are unfortunately not passable as office wear... The injustice, I know!) which carries me easily and breezily through the summer months. Currently I tend to go for something a touch more sophisticated (unintentionally so), in the form of a midi skirt. Unlike the denim cut off, I find midi skirts far more comfortable, far more flattering and far more easy to outfit build with. They easily transcend from day to evening and the real plus point for me, they're a lot more forgiving on legs at the beginning of the season when they've not long since seen the light of day after last summer i.e. they're practically translucent. I absolutely adore floral print midi skirts which is the reason I've chosen out the Fat Face Mina African Floral Skirt as my number one pick. I love the vintage inspired feel they give almost every outfit. I particular love this Fat Face design as the mustard and navy colour combination, gives the skirt even more of a retro feel. Mustard and Navy are amazing tones for easy styling, almost acting as a neutral base and go with pretty much anything/everything. The tie front is uber flattering on your waist and again adds just a touch more seventies retro to your outfit. Team with a grey marl or white tee and you're good to go for an relaxed summer look.

My next pick,  which I've styled with the Mina Midi is a classic Breton stripe T-Shirt. I've been championing stripes for forever and I've mentioned them countless times on my blog, but needless to say they never go out of style and they manage to some how make every outfit look just the little bit more chic. I love the cream on navy stripes seen on this Fat Face Flavia V Neck T-shirt, which can be teamed with either your favourite stone washed denim or florals for a more summer feel. If you haven't ever invested in a Breton T-shirt before, why not? You will honestly not know how you lived with out and if you're anything like me, you'll become a bit of an addict. I couldn't resist getting the Flavia tee in every stripe combination possible, with the burgundy colour option being my second top pick... We normally relegate Burgundy to our winter wardrobes and as it's a personal colour favourite, I was more than happy to incorporate it into my summer style too! Team your stripes with Birkenstocks' or your most worn in espadrilles for that effortless french girl vibe.

Last on my top picks/summer essentials list is, the floral embroidered sundress. It's a no brainer, they were quite literally made for summertime. The sad fact of the matter is you really can't tie them into your winter wardrobe no matter how hard you try but than that makes them all the more special come spring when you can dust them off and take them for a spin. Wear them with a vintage style Mary-Jane, a classic Saltwater or you know and I know it, my footwear of choice, Converse (but you guessed that already, right?). I am in love with Fat Face's Vanessa Embroidered Dress, purely for the rust colour tone alone. We normally expect to see our summer dresses in creams, sherbet yellows or dusty pinks and that's great but what about all the retro tones we know and love? If there's a new found place for burgundy in my summer wardrobe than there's a place for other earthy tones such as this dreamy rust colour too! What's more, it only highlights the beautiful cream embroidery detail further and it's so pretty, it really needs showing off. There's a real Victorian Petty coat feel to this dress which I completely adore, it's the kind of dress which only narrowly avoids being mistaken for genuine vintage. The tie detailing at the back means you can wear it as cinched in or as smock like as you feel comfortable. I personally prefer a smock style dress, it's more flattering on my kinda boyish figure and more importantly, they're just so bloody comfortable.

So there you have my three summer essentials and my three top Fat Face picks, all rolled into one! I promise you, all are great investments to ease you into your high summer wardrobe without hesitation. You can shop my full look and more from Fat Face below.

Happy Summer campers,
Sophia x

Photography by Rosie Ann Butcher