Sunday, 2 February 2014

Monochrome: Houndstooth (dogtooth) pattern








Checks, herringbone, tartan, stiped or plaid are all classic winter patterns. I do like them all, especially the herringbone, but there is an old time favourite that I have which I don’t  think can ever be replaced– the houndstooth (or dogtooth) pattern. It comes in all combinations of colours, but it is the classic monochrome that has stolen my heart forever. I practically have this pattern on everything – tights, handbag, snood, even pyjamas.


However, you must be careful when you wear this pattern. It is best to have just one item with it (or two small matching ones e.g. a scarf and a bag). If you have trousers or, as in my case, a coat in this pattern, the best thing to do is to avoid adding any other dogtooth prints and any other patterns for that matter.  It goes with everything, but keep it elegant. 

 This is a city chic print and you should keep it classy.It was originally mostly fashionable for men’s suits, but I think guys should forgetabout it today and leave it a lady-only territory.Here is how I gave myself a nice walk on a sunny winter Saturday morning wearing my favourite houndstooth pattern coat (while walking my puppy hound!)

P.S.: Red goes great with it. Red handbag, red scarf or red lips...
xx

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

We love: Rachel McAdams’ simple classy style at Sundance


The buzz of all the events and awards in the last few weeks is still going around and everyone is commenting on celebrities’ outfits. I saw some lovely outfits and style, like Beyoncé’s white innocent dress at the Grammy awards, absolutely sexy and highlighting every beautiful curve of her body.

 



However, one very simple and yet classy outfit caught my eye – Rachel McAdams’ at Sundance Film Festival. She had gone for a very casual combination of this season’s hottest trends:


Leather trousers – they look best on long legged girls, yet this petite beauty does pull them off with a pair of lovely high heeled ankle boots for a height boost, an oversized herringbone grey coat to take the attention off the petite figure and a subtle neutral jumper. Add the large chain necklace for an accent and to match the oversized coat and  voilà!

 

I haven’t seen a bad choice of an outfit from Rachel McAdams, but this casual-trendy-elegant-classy-simple combination grabbed my attention with its obvious beauty. Inspirational and an absolute favourite winter outfit!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Top 10: Winter Accessories


When it comes to accessories, 10 is purely not enough. Not even enough to begin with. However, there are some you just can’t live without.

Here are mine:


1.       The knee high flat boots

These go with anything – skirts, jeans, trousers, dresses… you name it. And they are comfortable.

2.       The oversized beanie hat

Comfy, warm and doesn’t take the volume off your hair. Goes with anything, including outfits on the more elegant side to make an unusual statement. But be careful with that.













3.       The snood

It wraps you warmly and goes with anything. It looks cool over a blouse or a dress too.

4.       The leather gloves

On the more elegant side as well, a pair of these in a neutral colour goes with any coat or outfit.

5.       The ear muffs

They are cute, they make you look good and they don’t ruin your hair shape and they keep your ears warm. They go well with more casual and sporty outfits.

6.       The sheepskin boots

Here I just have to say that I used to hate them. I mean, LOATHE them. However, once you make the mistake of considering them and them put your feet it them, that’s it. You wish you never have to take them off.

7.    The sheepskin mittens

A warmer alternative to the leather gloves, but they are more casual

8.       The elastic belt

      Goes with many dresses, skirts and tunics.

9.       The watch

This is THE WATCH. Well, at least  for me. THE WATCH is the watch that goes with most of your outfits and accessories and your style in general.  This one is still on my wish list but I must soon have it.

10.   The leather tote

Now this is the most important item of all. That’s because you can fit all the previous ones in it and still have space for your phone, make-up bag, a book and anything that you absolutely must carry with you at all times. I have



An extra can’t-live-without item for me are the wellies, but that’s just because I have taken up dog owning, dog walking and other dog-fun(or not so much) activities. Contrary to most of the other items on my list, they are in a bright colour to go with my ear muffs.




What are your must-have accessories for winter?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Top 10: simple rules for good metabolism


 

Recently I decided I will be writing a Top 10 post every week. As everyone right now is too busy commenting on top 10 outfits from Golden Globes, I thought it may be worth bringing in some fresh air and open the good health and wellbeing topic.

In my last post I shared my views on sizing and I still have a lot to say about why it doesn’t matter. As I said and will always say that what matters is whether you like yourself or not and whether you feel good.

Now we all know that regardless of the number your clothes tags show, in all sizes and shapes it is healthy that feels good. Good metabolism is key to good shape and to fitness.

 

Metabolism levels are different for each individual. Often it gets slower with age. Also, metabolism is affected by the seasons. In winter, because of the lower temperatures, as well as lack of or less movement it slows down. This is why we gain weight during the colder months.

So what are the 10 very simple changes that you can do to significantly improve your metabolism?

1.       Regular food intake:

If you eat only a meal or two during the day, your body will store all the nutrients and energy it gets “for later”, as it will think it won’t be fed for a long time. The key to good metabolism is eating more often, but getting smaller portions of healthy food. It’s even better if you can keep a good regime and eat at the same time every day. Try to break your daily food intake in 5 small portions.

2.       Step by step

Each step increases the energy your body uses up and tones your muscles. Instead of taking the bus for a couple of stops or using the lift, do yourself a favour and take a little walk or take the stairs. Try to make as much effort while doing so (e.g. squeeze your bum with every step you make) to make it even better. Try and get as much movement out of simple activities as possible (squeeze your bum or your abs while watching TV or brushing your teeth, or sitting on the tube)

 

3.       Coffee

Although it is excluded from most diets, coffee hits straight into the fat cells. It also makes us happy,as our body produces serotonin (hormone of happiness) when we drink it. Coffee, activates metabolism and helps burn calories fast.

 


4.       Magnesium

Magnesium also helps burn body fat. This mineral provides oxygen to your cells and oxygen helps clean our body out of fat. This is why having a banana (bananas are rich in magnesium) is a very good choice for one of your 5 meals. (as an afternoon snack, for example). Other foods that are quite rich in this mineral are spinach and lettuce.

5.       Massage

Body massage activates the digestive system, improves metabolism and is good for your skin’s elasticity. Using suitable products and their combination make massage a pleasant and pampering experience. Try and squeeze in a massage session at least once a month and make it a habit. Or get someone you trust do it for you as often as possible (you can offer to return the favour and the exercise of giving a massage will also be good for your metabolism)

6.       Sports

I tried to avoid mentioning it but I just can’t… The benefits of doing sports are just too many… For your shape, your health, for the way you feel, your energy levels and concentration, your overall tonus. Exercising before breakfast is the best time to burn fat and improve your metabolism. I won’t push it further but just try to fit in as much movement in the morning before breakfast as possible.
Also mornings are when the body cleanses itself. Try and drink green tea to help it and to leave the breakfast for as late as possible so that your body can cleanse without being overloaded for a few hours.

7.       Sleep
 
 

 

Enough sleep is vital to good metabolism. Going to bed early and sleeping for around 8h is ideal for your shape and your health. Also, more sleep means less stress and fatigue. And this means better health, more fitness, better health.
 
 

8.       Oranges!

All citrus fruits help the good metabolism and cleanse your body and their scents are mood boosters! Eat a couple for breakfast or have the juice of them (freshly squeezed, with pulp!)

9.       Spices and seasonings

You may have heard that spicy food and spices improve metabolism. That’s right! Try and have healthy quantities of spicy food. Also, other seasonings such as rosemary or basil are good for your health and for your shape too!

10.   Cucumber, melon, watermelon….

The more watery the fruit of veggie, the better for the… yes, that’s correct, for your metabolic processes!  This is because they are rich in fibre, but still contain over 90% water, which cleanses your cells while making you feel full for longer.



and last rule … of course, is water. I put it last as it is the most important one and is so obvious that it should be taken for granted. In case you don’t drink at least 1.5L of water per day, make it your priority number 1 to get used to doing so. Keep a bottle or a glass of water next to you on your desk and on your night stand all the time and every time you look at it … drink!

What do you do to improve your metabolism?

 


That’s all, folks, stay healthy and happy with yourselves!

 

 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Does clothes size really matter?

 
 


 

 

Does clothes size really matter?

Zero is a size. And so is 20.And more.

Why are we so obsessed with size numbers? Why do we want to put a letter, number or any sort of label on anything just to be able to refer to it and identify it?

Just recently, in a post-Boxing-day-sales-excitement-sharing conversation with my colleague, she told me about a Karen Millen dress that she loved and tried on, but she just wouldn’t squeeze in her normal size. No, not because she gained weight during the Christmas holidays, but because, according to her, in this store clothes is smaller than they should be for the size indicated. So, she said she did eventually find a size that fit her. So I asked: “Did you take it”

She said, looking at me as if what I had just asked was outrageous: “No, I wouldn’t give my money for something that makes me unhappy”.
Well, this conversation went on for a while. I just don’t understand why a number sewed on a piece of clothing would make you unhappy and, so unhappy even, that it will make you not want to buy a dress you think is beautiful and you look good in it.


I just don’t understand it.

In my wardrobe I have anything from size 6 to 12 (UK sizes), from XXS to L. And they all fit me. And I feel beautiful in all of them. For me you either like a piece of clothing or you don’t. Size tag is supposed to be there just to help you quickly find what you should try on in the store. Or to convert between EU/UK/US etc. size charts. Not to define you. Not to define what you like yourself in. Not to make you feel good or bad. It is just a number, get over it!

 
 
 



Life would be so much simpler if things could only be classified as “I like it” or “I don’t like it”

In the end of the day, isn’t that what matters?

The only number that I care about when we are choosing an outfit is the one indicating the price. In an ideal world even that wouldn’t matter, but hey, we can’t have everything.

So next time you love an outfit, take 4 different sizes to the changing room. Try them all on until you find the one that fits you. Don’t look at the size. Only look at the price tag. Do the maths in your head, decide whether you can afford it or yes (or may be next month). Leave the rest to what your reflection in the mirror says.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year!



 
The New Year stormed in and even though I was preparing for it I still can’t quite accept it’s 2014 (in fact, I’ve had the constant feeling that it’s 2008 for… well, since it actually was 2008).

Well, I sent off 2013 well, got some lovely gifts and bought myself some more gifts during sale period (but I will tell you more about that later).

The good news is that after my shopping marathon I can barely afford to buy food, which means I will stay in good shape after staffing myself during the holidays.

Along with staying in good shape, I set myself some more goals for 2014. I don’t like to call them New Year resolutions, as I don’t believe in that + most of them fail anyway.

So here are some:

 

·         Move more (this includes walk more, take the stairs more often, exercise at home more often, walk my puppy for longer). I find that this not only helps me stay in shape, but is also a good mood booster.

·         Find new healthy recipes

·         Get a little bit fitter

·         Give highlights a try

·         Give semi-permanent make up a try

·         Save more

·         Volunteer for a charity

·         Travel somewhere I haven’t been before

·         Possibly get to swim with dolphins

·         Learn how to use my new smartphone (which is touchscreen and this is a first for me, probably the biggest challenge on my list)

·         Sleep more

·         Also, go out more (yeah, I know the two contradict each other)

 

When it comes to purchases my list includes (but is not limited to!):

·         Find the ultimate skin serum – In 2013 I found out the benefits of using a serum and started using one. Now I am on a quest to decide which one is my favourite, ultimately best serum ever.

·         Find my dream lemon tote bag

·         Get more colourful sandals and shoes for summer

·         Get a more colourful winter wardrobe too

·         Another pair of white framed sunglasses

·         A watch I have been keeping an eye on for a while

 

 

Well, that’s all for now folks. I wish you a very happy and successful new 2014 and I hope you were more prepared for it. What are your top New Year goals?

Monday, 30 December 2013

Inspirational hourglass celebrities



Here is a compilation of my top hourglass figure celebrities of all times. They are inspiring and a true expression of femininity and style.

You can see that hourglass comes in all sizes and is always beautiful!

Enjoy and get inspired! xx

 

List of hourglass figure celebrities:

Classic hourglass inspirations

·         Joan Collins
 
 

 

·         Elizabeth Taylor
 


·         Grace Kelly

 
·         Marilyn Monroe
 
 

 

·         Sofia Loren

And here are some more contemporary inspirations:

·         Kelly Brook
 
  

·         Scarlett Johansson
 

·         Beyoncé Knowles
 

 

·         Oprah Winfrey

·      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
·      Nina Dobrev

·         Rihanna
 

·         Shakira

·         Halle Berry

·         Kate Winslet

·         Nicole Scherzinger

·         Jennifer Lopez

 
And now a lady who is not a style inspiration for me, personally, but is best known namely for her hourglass curves:

Kim Kardashian


Friday, 27 December 2013

Top reasons why having an hourglass figure is awesome!


 

 

Not all girls and women are proud to have the most wonderfully looking (and thought to be ideal by many) body shape – the hourglass. Sometimes it can be quite stressfull, especially in teenage years, when your curves make you look more mature and feminine than your friends or if you feel pressure because you are falsely believing that “skinny is the only sexy body look”. Even women in their 20s fall for the latter. However, there are many reasons having an hourglass shaped figure is awesome! Here are some of them!

 

1.       Your figure is symmetrical, no matter what  your size you are

2.       Hourglass figure is the one most commonly associated with  femininity and desirability

3.       Women with hourglass figures are more intelligent, research shows. Again, it doesn’t  matter what your size is, what is important that the waist is smaller than her hips (ratio 3:5 is thought to be ideal)

4.       Studies show that the children of mothers with hourglass figures are more intelligent (fat around curvy hips and thighs holds higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the growth of the brain of the baby; the children of mothers with hourglass body shapes  with  are more likely to do well in cognitive tests than others

5.       Another … yes, study(!) found that hourglass is the body shape of women less likely to develop heart disease (overall your figure is a predisposition of good health!)

6.       Men are crazy about hourglass curves, even be it unconsciously. Watching a curvaceous woman can feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might, research now reveals

7.       That’s not the best. Even women feel the same – even if, for other reasons. When it comes to comparing to other women to evaluate their own attractiveness, it turns out women evaluate hourglass figures most attractive and… threatening

8.       Only 8%of women have hourglass figure. That’s right – you are different than 92% of the female population (and that’s just in terms of body shape)! And even amongst the 8% you are unique - hourglass curves come in many sizes!

9.       Although dressing in a favorable to your figure way is not always easy, actually women who have hourglass curves have a very wide variety of styles, clothes and combinations to choose from! All they need to do is learn how to make the most of each of them and flatter their silhouette!

10.   You may be pleased to know that this blog is read not only by women who have hourglass figures, but also ones who wish to get one or to learn to dress as if they have one. Yes, you lucky few who have it as a gift of nature should never forget that some don’t consider themselves that lucky and wish they resembled you!

 

There is a little bit of everything for everyone in here, so whatever your size and figure, this is the place where you can learn more, feel beautiful and share your beauty with the rest of the world (feel free to e-mail me, give me your ideas or opinion on what to write about, what you would like to read about, share some pictures of an amazing outfit or style that you felt glamorous in or anything else under the sun related to the purpose of this blog!)
 
Enjoy!
 
M. Belle