30 June 2013

Get the Look: Mary-Kate Olsen

I've always had a style crush on the Olsen twins. However, it is Mary-Kate’s fashion choices that are known to be daring and different, which automatically make her the most stylish Olsen twin (sorry, Ashley)! Her thrown-together, laid-back look – strongly influenced by the sixties bohemian chic - is lusted after by many (including me)!

Mary-Kate and Ashley have been in the limelight since they were babies, acting alongside each other in TV shows and films until they decided to pursue fashion and launch their own luxury label - The Row - in 2006. But it is, in fact, Mary-Kate that has been given more of a name in the fashion world due to often stepping out in controversial outfit choices. She has been on both ‘best-dressed’ and ‘worst-dressed’ celebrity lists in the media, but still continues to experiment and explore her love of fashion in spite of this, which has resulted in her managing to uphold the utmost respect in the industry.

Her style is grungy and edgy compared to Ashley’s, who tends to look more polished and refined - yet they both still always manage to look glamorous. I've worked out that there are certain steps that you can take to get her look, so without further ado:

1. Hunt down vintage prints.

There is high demand for vintage in the fashion world at the moment. Start channelling sixties bohemian chic by buying vintage pieces with dated prints, like the ones you can see Mary-Kate wearing here, to add a sense of history and heritage to your outfits.

2. Combine different textures.

Mary-Kate mixes fabric textures to create layers and add depth to her look. She does this through wearing leather trousers and boots underneath chunky knitwear – and then throwing a fur coat on top. Not only is this look stylish, but it is practical for cold weather too.

3. Invest in key sixties pieces.

There is no doubt that Mary-Kate is influenced by the sixties era when it comes to the way that she dresses. The retro bohemian look that she channels for every day, casual occasions can be seen through her use of denim, fringing, hats and oversized sunglasses – in addition to the vintage prints mentioned previously.

4. Add oversized, tailoring for comfy, smart casual looks.

For business meetings, Mary-Kate either wears fitted dresses, or a shirt with smart trousers, and heels. Then she will add an oversized, tailored piece through a knitted coat or blazer. Play with proportions and use volume, like she does, to add an element of comfort to a long working day.

5. Up the glamour for evening occasions.

Mary-Kate’s daytime outfits do tend to give off a ‘couldn’t-care-less’ vibe, although her night time outfits are the complete opposite. Efforts to dress up are always made, and Mary-Kate apparently can’t resist a good, old fashioned sparkly dress. Put your own twist on it, like Mary-Kate does through her retro stripe detailing and voluminous sleeves, to tie in with your personal style.

Basically all you have to do is follow these steps with wavy hair and a pout to ultimately get the Mary-Kate Olsen look. Also remember not to take yourself, or your style, too seriously. Mary-Kate can be quite playful with fashion; it might have led to some questionable fashion choices in the past, but it has also led to some truly inspiring ones, which will continue to influence a generation.

(What do you think of Mary-Kate's style? Did you watch the Olsen twins when you were young? Katie-xo)

25 June 2013

Pastels and Polkadots

Hello, everyone!

Just a quick one today to show you how I've styled these Topshop Jamie peach jeans that I bought from eBay recently.

Pastels is one of my favourite trends for Spring/Summer 13 - I think all of the sugary shades that can be seen everywhere right now are simply delicious!

I wanted to dress the jeans right down to get the cool, laid-back 'thrown together' look epitomising everyday casual chic. Therefore I chose this white t-shirt, which I adore as it's quirky with the printed map of the UK on the front, and my new polkadot converse-style lace-ups.

Polkadots are another key trend for this season and I think, in moderation, they're the cutest thing ever.

I then threw on a vintage-look denim shirt and summer floral scarf to battle the chilly winds.

Finally, to dress the outfit up slightly, I accessorised with gold jewellery and my white, leather bag with long gold chain strap (which I'm afraid you can't see very well in these photos - sorry)!

Map T-Shirt - Tea and Cake @ Topshop
Topshop Peach Jamie Jeans - eBay
Polkadot Lace-up Pumps - New Look
Denim Shirt - ASOS
Summer Floral Scarf - Vintage
White Leather Bag - Vintage

And there you have it!

I think this outfit proves that sometimes it's good to pair two trends that wouldn't usually go together, like pastels and polkadots, because you might just be pleasantly surprised with the results!

(Do you like this combination of pastels and polkadots? Would you wear them together? Katie-xo)

21 June 2013

Cosatto is SO COOL!

Ever heard of children's products company Cosatto?

You should have; they're one of the coolest brands on the planet right now. If you haven't, you'll know much more about them after reading this!

Kinderbase, the brand that I now work for, currently sell some of their products on their website (check them out here). Yesterday my Manager invited me to visit their head office so we could preview their new range and it was such an eye-opener.

Not only is Cosatto one of the best places to work in the UK (they recently won an award for ranking fourth), but the company is doing some amazing things at the moment in terms of product, branding and marketing.

Their brand identity and positioning is solid, with personality overflowing from everything that they do.

They have a USP of fresh, innovative products with quirky designs and personality. Their mission statement is 'to save the world from boring baby stuff'. It may be bold, daring and ambitious - but it works!

Their offices are seriously impressive, reflecting the brand personality down to a T. The showroom, where we previewed the new range, was branded with their handwriting and had a garden party theme running throughout; there was grassy floor, deck chairs and benches with parasols. They even had their own library and chill out area, living area with bean bag chairs and... Wait for it... a SLIDE which led to the showroom! Naturally I had to try it out!

Everything was so well thought out and executed to perfection.

I don't think I'm allowed to say much about the new range at this stage, but there are some corking products in there! One of my favourites has to be this stroller with comic book print design:

How unique is that?! It's brilliant, just brilliant!

I really was geeking out all afternoon. I love the attitude the brand has: this is what we are, this is what we stand for and, if you don't like it, BYE! It's quite cheeky, but very admirable.

I feel lucky that I now get to work with this brand as we continue to grow Kinderbase. Great job, Cosatto! Keep up the good work.

(Had you ever heard of Cosatto before now? What do you think?

Also, I have just created a Facebook page for this blog. Please show your support and 'like' it here: www.facebook.com/ISpyTrendsUK.

 Thanks! Katie-xo)

14 June 2013

Varsity Luxe

It's Friday again - HURRAH - almost the weekend!

I find I appreciate Fridays a lot more since I became a working girl at Kinderbase.

Today my OOTD post is more like OOTOD (outfit of the other day), but I'm sure you will appreciate it regardless!

As you're probably aware, the S/S 2013 trend of Sports Luxe is everywhere at the moment - particularly on the high street and blogosphere. It was first seen at New York Fashion Week, championed by DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger. It represents the cool, laid-back American vibe and uses recognisable sports silhouettes to get a look that is fashionable yet functional.

I'm a massive fan of the varsity-style jackets, specifically, with stripes on the cuffs, badges and lettering. I managed to pick up two of these jackets last month on eBay for bargain prices! I originally bought the cropped one without realising it was cropped, then re-sold it to buy the full length one, as I think cropped jackets can look unflattering on my curvy pear-shaped figure (but perhaps that's just me!)

It was a sunny day outside, but a bit chilly in the wind, so I decided to team my baseball jacket with my turtle-neck white crop top, high-waisted denim shorts and black opaque tights. Baseball jackets are best worn casual with denim, in my opinion. There's a lot of aesthetically pleasing design features going on, so wear them with understated pieces in a muted colour palette and just let your jacket do the talking.

You can then accessorise to glam up the outfit. I added a tan belt, gold chain and vintage sunglasses for sophisticated cool, and to make the look more luxe.

Baseball jacket 1:

Baseball jacket 2:

Turtle-Neck Top - Primark
Denim Shorts - MOTO @ Topshop
Black Opaque Tights - M&S
Tan Belt - Topshop
Gold Chain - eBay
Vintage Sunglasses - eBay

It's all about finding your inner American collegiate in order to channel Varsity Luxe this season.

(Do you like my Varsity Luxe look? What do you think to the sportswear trend? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)


7 June 2013

Working Girl at Kinderbase

Hello, everyone!

This post is a little bit different to what I usually do; I just wanted to give you an insight into my life and tell you more about myself.

As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I recently started a new job as a Marketing Executive for a small children's products retailer in the name of Kinderbase.

Kinderbase began in 2007, under the name 'Day Nursery Supplies', as they primarily provide core product to nurseries up and down the country. They have recently expanded, and built their brand online through a transactional website and social media, to also be accessible to parents and other childcare professionals in the industry.

They sell a range of products - from pushchairs and car seats - to cleaning and daily essentials for day nurseries. You can see for yourself on their website www.kinderbase.com.

The brand's personality is really fun and they try to source the highest quality products at the best possible prices, in order to give their consumers a wide offering and a reason to keep coming back to them.

They call themselves 'Nursery & Baby Experts' and have built a strong social media following in the form of 10,000+ 'likes' on Facebook and a growing consumer base of 2,500+ on Twitter. You can find them at www.facebook.com/kinderbase@NurseryUpdates on Twitter and @Kinderbase on Pinterest. Come and join the community!

They're currently hosting a giveaway which closes Monday 10th June, so get entering if you're a parent or nursery worker! Here's how to be in it to win it:

The link to the photo on Facebook is here.

My job at Kinderbase at present consists of managing the social media and marketing activity, sending out email newsletters bi-weekly, creating artwork for the website, uploading and updating products on the website and helping with business for the Nursery Uniforms aspect of the company (find out more about the sub-brand here.)

I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and I'm thankful for the opportunity! Hopefully I can make an impact to business and prove myself beneficial to the company and its operations!

(I'm looking for parent bloggers for Kinderbase to collaborate with in the future. If you're interested, please email me at katie@kinderbase.com. Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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