Sunday, 23 September 2012

Passion for Fashion ~ 5 outfits, 5 occasions.

Hey there!
Today's post is going to be slightly different to usual in that it is for a competition are hosting. The aim is to create 5 outfits each with their own theme; causal, outdoors, first date, party and office wear, using online shops with a budget of £200 for each. The overall winner gets £1000 and an ipad and a winner for each category will be picked and get £200 (for more info go here). It kind of sounded like a dream of a competition so in I dove (and just in time since the deadline is now tomorrow)! I definitely spent a ridiculous amount of time on this challenge but it was actually really fun so I regret nothing!
As a student (and a general money tight Scrooge) I am always looking for deals so when the brief said to “make potential savings wherever possible” I was on it! A lot of online retailers have student discounts and at the moment as well as discounts on their new or old collections. In the prices I have also included P&P since I think a lot of people ignore this even though it can make up quite a large part of the overall cost of buying an outfit online and I put any money saving oppertunities next to the prices to show all the factors that contributed to savings.
What I normally do when I'm working out an outfit (being it for an Outfit of the Day or something like this) is doodle it out to make sure everything works together, so I've included neatened versions of those drawings so if you're like me you can get an idea of the outfit when it's put together.

Casual ~ Grunge & Gothic

This is the kind of thing I’d wear if I was chilling at home, out shopping or with some friends. Even though it's an common connection to make I don’t think causal has to mean boring, I think these are the kinds of times where you can wear things that really represent your style and who you are as a person. I accidently ended up with a sort of black and white theme with a pop of colour with the jumper, which is nice and warm and can be worn with the sleeves rolled up, the way I like it. The creepers compliment the jeans with their black & white theme, without being too garish, since the jeans are already quite a statement. I love these jeans so much and even more due to the 20% student discount and Motel's free P&P all year round. 
These hats are so in at the moment and I love them, I quite like the idea of sprucing it up with one (or two) cute little pin badges. The nail varnish matches the jumper and I kept the jewellery simple due to the statement that the jeans already make.

Striped Jeans ~ Motel, £38.40 (20% off + free P&P)
Creepers ~ ebay, £19.98
Beanie ~ ASOS, £5.40 (10% off + free P&P)
Jumper ~ H&M, £23.39
Necklace ~ Rock n' Rose, £20.95
Badge ~ ASOS, £5.40 (10% off + free P&P)
Rings ~ H&M, £2.99 (combined P&P)
Rucksack ~ ASOS, £44.00 (on sale + free P&P)
Nail varnish ~ ASOS, £4.50 (10% off + free P&P)
Total: £165.01

Party ~ Pastel & Witchy

I don’t do things in half measures so when I go out I go all out. I love how much wearing a wig can change how you look entirely, as long as it doesn’t look tacky or cheap and I think this one is so beautiful and looks well made - I would probably wear it casually too. I chose this particular one because of how lovely and current dip dye and pastels are at the moment. I really like Jeffery Campbell Litas, however I am not willing to spend over £100 on a pair of shoes and I think a lot of retailers have cottoned onto this so now there is a massive range of similar designs for a lot less. I chose the lilac ones to match that amazing wig.
I decided on a long black dress because I think it's an under appreciated alternative to the little black dress. This one escapes being boring by having the slits that go just high enough, not only that but at the moment Urban Outfitters has 20% off for students and free P&P. Also, with the nights getting colder having a bit of extra material can be greatly appreciated.
I really love the witchy look at the moment (it doesn't help that Halloween is on the way) and although I chose a spiked headband I could have equally have gone for a black floral crown or a head chain. I love how black lipstick looks but at the same time a pastel nude would have worked as well if black is a bit too extreme for you, but for me it's perfect. Due to the dress being quite simple the jewellery I chose offers a lot more colour, texture and shapes.

 Bracelets ~ Topshop, £15 + P&P (10% off)
Lilac wig ~ Gothic Lolita Wigs, £47.50
Lipstick ~ Barry, £4.49 + £3.95
Necklace ~ Topshop, £16.50 (10% off + combined P&P)
Platform shoes ~ Missguided, £32.54 (15% off)
Dress ~ Urban Outfitters, £46.40 (20% off + free P&P)
Spiked headband ~ Topshop, £9 (10% off + combined P&P)
Clutch bag ~ New Look, £14.99 (click & collect)
Total: £190.37

Outdoor ~ Starry & Practical

As someone who goes on a fair amount of walks (generally in windy, muddy places) I know the most important thing about “outdoor” clothing is practicality, and especially as A/W rears its head, warmth. This parka is a nice variation on a classic (note that it isn’t the standard khaki) and with a big fluffy hood like that there’s not much of a need for a hat or an umbrella. I’d say it’s also thick enough that for the average walk knitwear isn’t needed either. Heels really aren’t an option but these gorgeous studded boots will definitely do, they look sturdy but on trend. I also like the idea of wearing a floral headband as a nod to festival wear, plus when walking through woodlands you can pretend you're some kind of faerie.
Everything is pretty simple in terms of patterns, with an overall theme of greys and reds so the t-shirt adds a main graphical element. Astronomical symbols are everywhere at the moment and this one is particularly pretty. To match it I chose some shorts with little star studs. I could have chosen tights but I like the idea of long, over the knee socks that can be pulled up high or pushed down if it gets too warm. Gloves and a snood are added for obvious reasons, but they're small enough to fit into the pocket of the parka if need be.

Parka ~ Dorothy Perkins, £53.10 (10% off + free P&P)
Boots ~ New Look, £34.99 (click & collect)
Over the knee socks ~ H&M, £10.89
Vest top ~ Urban Outfitters, £20 (20% off + free P&P)
Shorts ~ Etsy, £35.37
Gloves ~ ASOS, £4.50 (on sale + free P&P)
Snood ~ H&M, £6.99 (combined P&P)
Floral headband ~ Etsy, £22.11
Total: £187.95

First Date ~ Comfortable & Cute

So, here’s the thing. I’ve never really been on what I consider to be an official date, but I will use my imagination. If it were me I’d probably under dress for fear of looking like I’ve tried too hard but I thought I’d have a bit more fun with this outfit, I envisage a cute confident girl wearing this on her first date as opposed to myself - they are all things that I would wear. So my thinking is when going on a first date you want to look feminine without coming on too strong or looking like you’ve tried too hard. Obviously hearts and a lot of pink are a big no go. I chose this dress because I love it, the colour is such a rich, autumn colour and the stars are cute touch. It's a great shape, not too restricting, floaty and the sweetheart neckline gives a little bit of a romantic, vintage feel. Thanks to student discount I would get 10% off the price and everyone gets free delivery which I think is a really great feature of ASOS.
I paired it with sweet, frilly socks but also some tights to keep all that leg warm. I could have just chosen some plain nude tights but I liked the idea of adding another interesting little detail that isn't too overpowering. As a plus they're also on sale. I think it's important to feel comfortable in order to be yourself which on a date is pretty important. If you feel relaxed then you come across as yourself. With that in mind I chose a big, warm chunky knit cardigan in white to match the stars on the dress.
The accessories are dainty and subtle. The star theme is continued with the ring and the necklace in gold to add some warmth to the white. I couldn't resist adding a sweet velvet hair bow in the same colour as the dress. I kept the bag simple and fairly small, just big enough for a purse, a phone and a few essential, nothing too cumbersome and the little bows are a nice detail (I chose to buy a few things from Topshop so that I wasn't paying P&P for just one item). On the comfort theme again I chose flat shoes, I can't think of anything worse than tottering after your date in some ridiculous heels. I feel like flats keep it slightly more informal as well, if that makes sense.

Cross-body bag ~ Topshop, £29.00
Chunky knit cardigan ~ Ebay, £16.14
Dress ~ ASOS, £40.50 (10% off + free P&P)
Velvet bow headband ~ Etsy, £9.48
Star necklace ~ Etsy, £11.37 (free P&P)
Star ring ~ Etsy, £9.48
Brogues ~ Ebay, £19.74
Frilly socks ~ Topshop, £3.50 (combined P&P)
Tights ~ ASOS, £5.00 (on sale + free P&P)
Total: £123.36

Office Wear ~ Refined & Retro  

I’ve never been in an office situation (all of my jobs have been in retail or in bars) so I can only guess about these things. When I started putting together this outfit the dress came to mind straight away, I love it so much and I feel like the slightly retro heels and the white belt (which is currently 25% off at the moment!) counter balance the girly feel of the dress to still give a mature working woman vibe. The dress is quite busy (collar tips, polka dots etc) so the accessories had to modest. I chose a silver, white and black theme due to collar tips with dark green as a colour accent in the form of tights and nail varnish. Out of the earring (although all of them work with the outfit) I would chose the flower shapes ones with the pearl accents. Not only are these earrings amazing value for money, I managed to catch them whilst there was a free P&P offer for a few days!

I thought it'd be nice to include some practical things and I love the idea of stationary being an extension of someone’s style and Paperchase is definitely where it’s at in terms of fashionable stationary. I think these notebooks are such a great idea; each has a different function; a to-do list, notes and contacts, perfect! The laptop case as well is both fashionable and useful for looking after your computer. Another practical thing I wanted to include was a coat. This trench coat is simple and not too bulky, just perfect for walking from the train station to the office, with tights to keep legs warm.
I chose a fairly big bag, because as a working gal you have a lot you need to carry around; purse, laptop, diary, pencil case, makeup bag etc. In keeping with the slightly retro feel of the outfit I went for a timeless, luxurious looking tote. A really cool feature that a lot of retailers have started doing but what New Look did first is have the 'click & collect' option, where your order gets delivered to your local store where you can pick it up for free, no need to pay P&P. I live about 10 minutes from my closest store so I think this is such a great feature!
To top off the outfit I went for a beautiful, dark red lipstick. Classic and elegant! 

Dress ~ Glamorous UK, £34.94 
Shoes ~ ASOS, £16.50 (on sale + free P&P)
Belt ~ ASOS, £4.50 (25% off + free P&P)
Bag ~ New Look, £24.99 (click & collect)
Tights ~ H&M, £7.89
Nail varnish ~ ASOS, £3.00 (30% off)
Earrings ~ Dorothy Perkins, £6.00 (20% off + free P&P)
Notebook Trio ~ Paperchase, £12.25 (10% off)
Laptop case ~ ASOS, £15 (on sale + free P&P)
Trench coat ~ H&M, £29.99 (combined P&P)
Lipstick ~ ASOS, £3.00 (on sale + free P&P)
Bracelet ~ Etsy, £19.10
Total: £177.16


  1. Gosh, I love everything on this post!! So many great ideas for outfit, I feel really inspired. I wish I had so many of these products, hahaha. And the doodles are really really cute =))

    1. Heh heh, I'm glad I could provide some inspiration for you! <3

  2. Wow these are fantastic- love your sketches:)
    The casual jumper and first date dress are amazing!

    1. Thank you :) yeah, I'm totally in love with that dress as well.

  3. I love your choices and the drawings are so cute :) x

    1. Heh heh, thank you, they're silly little doodles but I thought they would be a fun addition.


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