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Monday, 1 February 2016

Review - A New Addition: Saint Laurent Monogram Tassel Satchel

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Today I wanted to do a little review and explanation of my beautiful new addition; one of Saint Laurent's classic shoulder bags; the 'Classic Medium Monogram Saint Laurent *pauses for breath* Tassel Satchel in Black Crocodile Embossed Leather', or more colloquially known as the Saint Laurent Tassel Bag. 

Before I go into it, I just want to make it clear that this was a gift from my parents. I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I'm in the position to be dropping this kind of money on a handbag. I do make some money from blogging - the amount varies from month to month, but again, it's not on the buying myself a designer bag scale. Hell, I still need a few minutes to recover from the shock after paying for a full tank of petrol, and I've done it hundreds of times. I don't want you to think I'm sitting in a fort made of gifted Urban Decay Palettes and lighting cigars with £100 notes. I do however, know that I'm very fortunate, and I am hugely appreciative and am grateful that my parents treat me to the occasional gift.

So, when choosing my next addition, I knew I had to be careful because I can be very fickle; I loved the Celine Tote and the Chloe Drew, but not enough. So, for about 9 months I'd been spying and heart-eye-emoji-ing all over this Saint Laurent piece on the arms of Emma, Sammi & Isabella - all demonstrating it's versatility through different styles and seasons. It's classic and stylish, but a bit more *edgy* than my beloved Chanel. Although *edgy* I am not, I thought I'd just about get away with it. 

Mine was purchased from Selfridges - the larger size (the one shown here) is currently out of stock but you can find the smaller size here at Selfridges. Alternatively there is always, of course, the YSL website.
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How I Style It:
If you you'd like to see how I've styled it thus far, take a look at this blog post. 
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The bag is 9.4 by 5.7 inches and 2.1 inches deep. 
The chain handle is 18.7 inches and the bag falls just around hip-length on me. It also has a handy interior slot pocket which is the perfect size for keeping your phone.
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Made in Italy; it's 100% calf-skin leather with a suede lining. The bag's exterior has been beautifully created in the style of crocodile skin, and I personally favour a textured leather as if you were to scratch the bag, it's much less noticeable. I worry much less about using a textured bag than I would a smooth textured bag.
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All hardware, both exterior and interior, is silver. 
It features an interlocking metal YSL signature on the front, with silver chain and magnetic toned hardware. The attention to detail is impeccable.
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Now, for the actually useful part; how much stuff can you fit in it? I'll be honest, in my opinion it's not the most spacious bag. It probably looks more spacious than it actually is. Don't get me wrong - all of the essentials fit happily, but I suppose after being so used to my Large Chanel Classic Flap Bag, I've become rather accustomed to be able to take all kinds of unnecessaries out and about with me. For instance, I can't fit my travel sized Tangle Teaser in here along with my make up bag, it's a one or the other situation, which I'm not used to. However, I do fully accept that carrying around a hairbrush is hardly essential. So, I am quite enjoying that aspect forcing me to be more discerning about what I carry around with me. 

I am truly loving this bag - but if I was forced to come up with a negative, it'd be the way the bag opens and closes. I want to give you my fully formed opinion, in case you're thinking of treating yourself to this piece and the way a bag opens and closes is actually really important to you. 

To open and close the bag, the whole front flaps open and shut, held together by a little round magnet (as seen above). The magnet is VERY strong - and I feel bad criticising this, as I certainly wouldn't want the bag to flap open in the breeze or spilling the contents, but sometimes when I'm trying to open it, I feel like I'm having to be a bit vicious with it in order to pry it open. Secondly, when closing the bag, despite the magnet being extremely strong, it doesn't pop together with great ease. It's not always a smooth closure; you really have to get to know the exact position of the magnet in order to line them up perfectly. I'm used to it now, but initially I did just fold the bag shut a couple of times only to later realise that the popper and the magnet hadn't properly met, leaving the bag not totally secure. Overall, the bag is very sturdy; much sturdier than I expected. 

1. Compact mirror.
2. Keys.
3. Favourite Rouge Coco lipstick.
4. Estee Lauder concealer.
5. Antibacterial hand Gel.
6. Concealer brush.
7. Lip brush.
8. Free roaming money - I'm always forgetting to keep change on standby for parking.
9. Card holder.
10. Lip balm.
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Overall, I am of course utterly thrilled to add this piece to my collection. It seems to go with every outfit and works for day and evening looks. I will certainly treasure it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! 

If you're a fan of this bag but not such a fan of the price, here are some of my favourite, more pocket friendly mock-croc offerings... (p.s. the one that says £65 is actually now only £18!)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Layering Prints for Winter

Photos by Bianca Bass.

Coat: COS - old, alternative here. Shirt: here. Trousers: here. Faux Fur Stole: here. Shoes: Russell & Bromley, old - alternatives here. Bag: here & smaller version here.

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Layering prints is something that a lot of us approach with caution, myself included. I do feel that mixed prints often land either end of a scale - really cool, or really awful and I've experienced both myself. 

I've spoken a little recently about the importance of trying pieces on before you make a judgement. As we all know, things can look monumentally different on a human body to how they look on a hanger, and the thing about mixing prints, in my humble opinion, is that there aren't any rules; there isn't a special formula or cheat sheet. Bold prints can work with subtle prints, big with small and monochrome with colour - and sometimes, two prints you'd think match perfectly can look terrible on. You simply have to experiment, and when it works, you'll just know (& when it doesn't work you will also definitely know...) - which is what makes mixing prints so fun! 

To further demonstrate the randomness of print-mixing success, this outfit was an accident. I'd been trying on some new pieces and had rather unceremoniously (and slobbishly) chucked a couple of 'keep' items over my coat rail; a geo printed shirt and a pair of black and white pinstripe trousers - which had landed atop of a ruby red coat from COS. Draped over the end of the rail was my new no.1 faux fur accessory - a striped stole from Reiss. Somehow, it all worked - and of course it's fine if you disagree, as after all personal style is all in the name - it's personal! 

Do you ever mix prints?

What I'm wearing...

Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Burberry Trench - 'The Kensington'

 Trench: Burberry; here. | Scarf: Burberry (about 10 years old!) similar here: Burberry - alternative here. Shirt: here. Trousers: here. Shoes: Russell & Bromley. Earrings: Dior. Bag: Chanel.

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I took these photos shortly after my birthday in early December and didn't have a chance to squeeze them into my post schedule before I flew off to Singapore on the 15th, and while I'm there I like to keep everything 'Singapore themed' - it'd feel a bit odd posting photos of myself in chilly London when I was actually in 30 degree tropical heat. So, I asked on Twitter and Instagram if you'd still like to see the post and the answer was a resounding yes, so, your wish is my command... 

The trench coat; timeless and traditional. Arguably, the ultimate capsule piece. Although it's now heralded as a fashion icon, the trench actually dates back to the 1850s. It was originally a military garment, which was further developed for use in the trenches of the First World War - fascinating, right? It was traditionally khaki coloured, but as the style leaked into the trends worn by the general public, other colours were developed and so arrived the popular honey & stone versions we're so accustomed to seeing today. It seems terribly obvious now that I've done a bit of research, and despite the sizeable hint in the name itself, I'd never realised the trench coat had military origins.

Now, I can completely understand why it's a classic. It's the perfect throw-on piece. Since I received my first designer piece (a Chanel bag) on my 18th birthday, I've been slowly building up my collection of long-lasting, classic designer pieces and I'm thrilled to add this coat. Mixing high-end with high street is something I've always enjoyed, and I can truly see myself wearing this long, long into my adult life. (Just make sure that if you see me eating chocolate whilst wearing this, you run up to me and violently slap it out of my hand.)

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Some of my favourite trenches...

Admittedly, I'd always admired Burberry trenches. Then one day earlier this year, my mother and I were walking past a Burberry store and she announced 'we should get you a Burberry trench for your birthday - that'll last you forever' and I thought, well, who am I to argue?! After that, I'd decided that I wanted the classic 'Honey' colour in a long length. 

As you can see, I stuck with the long length part of that decision but the Honey colour went entirely out of the window when I buttoned one up and we all (including the sales assistant who was helping us) went '....errrm... maybe not...' - frankly, the colour was horrendous on me. Although the name sounds pleasant, 'Honey' wasn't doing me any favours. So, the exceptionally helpful shop assistant suggested I tried on the Stone colour, which I'd never really taken a fancy to. I buttoned up 'The Kensington' in 'Stone' and we were all sold. SOLD. Sold to the girl who looked horrendous in Honey. It really reminded me how important it is to try things on - even things you might not necessarily expect to look good. 

Do you own a trench? Are you a fan of the style?

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What I'm wearing...

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Statement Coat - 3/3 Black

Coat: here - c/o Marks and Spencer. Blouse: here (in the sale!) Shoes: here - c/o Dune. Trousers: here. Red Stole: old, alternative here. Bag: Chanel - alternative here.
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Black; the final installation of my statement coat series. I'm sure you don't need reminding that a black coat in any form is one of the most timeless, classic pieces you can (and should) own. This particular one is M&S's take on the classic, with a military style and maxi length. The quality is impeccable and the understated but detailed military accents mean that this can be thrown over almost any outfit - day or night! (I must also be honest and mention the fact that when I refer to this coat as maxi in length, I mean it. I'm 5'9 and wearing heels here, and it's not too far off the ground. So - if you're a lady of little proportions, this particular style may not be for you.)

I also paired with it a piece that belongs to one of my more recent obsessions; fun/coloured faux fur accessories. This red and purple ombre, stole had been sitting in my wardrobe for a couple of years until it tumbled out whilst I was rearranging a few things, so I decided to resurrect it. Although it's old, fear not - I've linked a few alternatives below if it takes your fancy. 

It seems strange writing this whilst looking at the photos of me all bundled up in London, as I'm currently writing this to you from sunny Singapore! If you'd like to see what I'm getting up to you can  take a look at @arabellagolby on Instagram and Twitter.

Are you a fan of fun faux fur? Do you have a black coat that goes with everything?

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Statement Coat - 2/3 Red

Coat: here. Jumper: sold out/not online - alternative here. - both c/o Marks & Spencer. Boots: here. Skirt: Zara - £16 alternative here. Brooch: Chanel. Earrings: Dior. - alternative here.

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Next up; red - the second installation of my 3 part Statement Coat series. Brightly coloured coats are something I find quite timeless - as long as the style and cut is classic. This jewel toned M&S piece is certainly an eye catcher and encapsulates everything I love in a coat; statement lapels, bold colour and a maxi length. I wanted to go for a sort of smart casual, Parisian vibe, so I paired it with a striped roll neck and a Chanel brooch with deep red jewel details.

Do you have any super colourful coats in your wardrobe?