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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?

Friday 11 December 2015

The Statement Coat - 1/3 Russet

 Coat (in the sale!): here. Blouse: here. Bag: here | all - c/o Marks & Spencer. Shoes: Russell & Bromley. Trousers: here. Earrings: Dior - alternative here. 

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Merry Christmas everyone!!

 'Tis officially the season, and by 'the season' I mean the season for shamelessly updating your coat collection. I am, and always have been a complete coat fiend. I am that person who has a rail exclusively for coats, and this is something I'm mostly proud but also a little ashamed of. 

Statement coats are my particular weakness because they are, in my mind at least, an entire outfit in themselves. Throw on a pretty basic outfit and top it off with a bold, eye-catching coat and you're good to go. My favourite failsafe combo is a blouse or polo neck jumper teamed with a pair of leather trousers. 

Marks & Spencer has been a longstanding and rather unexpected favourite of mine when it comes to outerwear, and many of my oldest coats that've stood the test of time are from M&S - my personal fave being this pinstripe one I wore to fashion week a couple of years ago. I've also found that my answer to the question 'where's your coat from?' is met with the most surprise when I reveal it's from M&S. Literally, I don't know why this isn't public knowledge. M&S do great coats and I've always thought so. So, when M&S offered to help revamp my winter wardrobe my response was... oh my god YES. I picked out a few, a russet one, a red one and a black one, which I'll be sharing with you over the next week or so. This one is almost certainly my favourite (FYI it's also reduced from £129 to £90.30) The russet colour is so striking and unusual, which contrasts perfectly with the jet black collar. I'm also really pleased with how well it's photographed - I think the rich, warm colour really comes across wonderfully. 

What do you think? Do you like wearing coloured coats or are you more of an 'all black everything' person?

Thursday 3 December 2015

'Practical' Winter Dressing - Striped Faux Fur / Maxi Coat

Faux Fur Stole - here. | Coat - here. Earrings - Dior, alternative here. | Shoes: Russell & Bromley, sold out, alternative here. Bag - Chanel, alternative here

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Another failsafe monochrome outfit to share today, snapped on the day before my birthday whilst picking up a couple of presents and jazzed up with my new favourite winter accessory; a striped faux fur stole from Reiss. The fact that the light stripe in the scarf isn't white, but a beautiful grey-lilac, avoids the potential 'style inspo: Cruella De'Ville' situation. I picked up this coat (which makes me feel a bit like I'm in The Matrix so that's great) after realising that I actually didn't own a plain black coat - only black capes, and quite frankly my lower arms were growing tired of always being cold. So, I decided to get myself a warm, practical, versatile coat with actual proper arms. I'm not always the best at dressing practically for the cold, I tend to peer out of the window and think 'nah, it doesn't look that cold, I'll just wear a light jacket.' This decision is swiftly followed by regret. Shivery regret. Because of this, I've really been enjoying making use of these two new winter-appropriate pieces.

My Favourite Faux Fur Stoles:

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What I'm wearing:

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Gift Idea no. 1; Yves Saint Laurent - Black Opium

YSL Black Opium (30ml) £40.05 - c/o YSLavailable here. | YSL Black Opium 30ml Gift Set £45.69 - available here.
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In the past week I seem to be punctuating every sentence with differently phrased, totally uninteresting observations about the cold. Eg; Brrr it's cold. Cold today, isn't it? Can we turn on the heating yet? Can't I just work from bed, it's so cold? etc. However, despite the cold sometimes being worthy of complaint, it always comes hand in hand with one thing - CHRISTMAS. 

As much as I enjoy Christmas, there's always one part that I and many others struggle with; what to buy for presents. Now, I was initially just going to do a short review of YSL's Black Opium (which was kindly gifted to me) but I thought hey, why not start getting into the christmas theme and do a little summary in the form of a 'gift idea' type thing - in case you read this and think it sounds like the kind that might suit someone you love. Also, the good thing about fragrances is that they come in varying sizes, depending on your budget - as well as being available in actual gift sets, so there are so many different options in terms of price/products - I've linked a few below. 

So, Black Opium, described by YSL as a 'glam rock' fragrance, is a mixture of white floral, coffee and vanilla, also featuring hits of jasmine and patchouli. Despite being a rather musky scent, it's still relatively sweet, making it perfect for evening wear. It's also described as 'sensual' but I can't honestly say I've ever smelt anything and thought 'mmm so sensual', although I can totally appreciate what they mean. It's glamorous and mature, and in my opinion definitely a night-time fragrance. As most of my perfumes are quite light and spring like, this was a welcome change. This is the Eau de Toilette version which comes in a glossy bottle covered in shimmering pink sparkles - so it's dressed perfectly for the festive season! 

Do you like the sound of Black Opium? Also, do you like these little beauty posts? They're relatively quick for me to do photography wise in comparison to outfit photos, so I do like popping them up every now and again!

(I also went and picked photogenic leaves off a wet floor for this, because what's a beauty blog post without some strategically placed, irrelevant objects/flowers/shrubbery?)

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Flute Sleeve Dress with Embroidered Collar - Why Clothing Size Doesn't Matter

Dress: here. (Alternative here) | Earrings: Dior (alternative here) Lip Colour: here.

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I'm fairly certain I owned an almost identical dress aged 4. In fact, I regularly see little people clothes and wish they came in my size (or seriously wondered if I could squeeze myself into 'age 11-12' - answer: lol no.) So when I saw this insanely adorable little piece I ordered it in a frantic, mad excitement. It makes me feel like a 4 year old milkmaid and that is absolutely fine with me. Every detail is exquisite; from the intricately embroidered cut-out collar and bib to the flute sleeves, complete with little bows. 

A little heads up; this comes up rather small. I find that the fit of Dahlia's clothes to lean more towards teeny-tiny bird-like creatures, which I am not. (I once ordered a pinafore dress from them which literally did not even cover my entire bum..) Their clothes come in sizes Small, Medium and Large -  I'm 5'9 and generally a size 10 in dresses, and I'm wearing a Large. I hate to admit that initially, a small part of me didn't like the fact that I was wearing a size Large, but then the more prominent, more reasonable side of my brain took over and I reiterated to myself what I've often told other people; the label in an item of clothing literally does not matter. I cannot stress it enough. I know people use the word literally so often these days that it's almost lost all meaning, but it literally doesn't matter. The cut/measurements of clothing varies hugely from store to store. As long as it fits and it looks good, no one knows what size you're wearing and more importantly, no one actually cares. (And of course, it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway - a larger size does not necessarily equate to 'less attractive'.)

What do you think? Do you care what the labels in your clothes say?

Monday 9 November 2015

Pink Roses and Lillies - A Surprise For Granny

Now, not being one to turn down anything involving a bouquet of fresh flowers and not being one to turn down an opportunity to make my Granny happy, I recently accepted an invitation from Debenhams Flowers to receive a beautiful bouquet of my own choosing in honour of Grandparents Day. I'd never heard of this celebration before, and although some may scoff and think 'phh, it's just another way to make money' - I don't agree. Of course,  the vast majority of things that are 'commercial'/for sale, have been created to make money. That's life. But I don't think that should mean that we can't also appreciate the positive aspects - I think having a day dedicated to grandparents is a very sweet idea. It's funny, because although I was never aware of Grandparents Day, I inadvertantly invented my own version of it many years ago. My Granny has lived with me since I was 7 years old - quite literally as long as I can remember (she's now 88 years old - 89 next month!) So, because of that, when Mother's Day would come around I remember becoming aware that Granny didn't have a day of her own, so the day after Mother's Day I would always, and still do, give Granny a 'Happy Granny Day!' card. So this invitation from Debenhams seemed incredibly fitting for me!

I chose the Pink Rose and Lily bouquet for Granny, which was delivered in a very secure cardboard box, with the flowers inside wrapped in pretty purple cellophane paper, complete with a personalised note and box of chocolates. Granny was totally thrilled with them, and in fact she said they were absolutely too beautiful to have them in her room all to herself, and insisted we place them in the ground floor hall so that everyone could enjoy them. 

I say with complete honesty that it was probably one of the loveliest bouquets I've ever seen in person. The colours of the flowers were beautiful, and each one perfectly formed. I have never seen such perfect roses and the lilies all opened within a couple of days of each other. The entire bouquet lasted for almost two weeks until it started looking quite sad - we were all amazed by their longevity!

Debenhams have also kindly given me a 25% off discount code to share with anyone who'd like to use it - 'DFBLOG25' - so if someone special to you has a birthday coming up or maybe you'd just like to buy yourself some (and why the bloody hell not?) then knock yourself out with a Flower Delivery. There is also a next day flower service if you're in a rush. (Please note; I don't receive any commission if you choose to use the code, it's literally just for your benefit should you choose to use it!)

Would you ever order flowers online?