Style Build: The Style Grid

Hello Lovelies,

Earlier in the week I posted an Autumn/Fall workwear capsule wardrobe using items currently available on the UK high street. I used the style grid developed by Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb because I think it is simple to use yet really effective. I encountered Catherine’s blog last summer and became a little obsessed with creating mini capsules with her grid on Polyvore. I thought I’d share some of them with you here. Most of them are pretty colourful and fun. I hope they inspire you to create mini capsules with your own clothes and help you when you shop for new items.

This one is called ‘Slimy Pink’. It’s a play on the psychobilly look I love to rock on most occasions. Slime green is one of my favourite colours, it contrasts well with pink (and purple too). It’s kind of creepy but humorous too.

Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Slimey Pink

Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Slimey Pink by misshoneybare featuring a cotton knee length skirt

This one is called ‘Juicy Brights’. I think this is a great work wear capsule for summer time, the colours are so fun yet a few of the pieces are tailored and chic. Pink and orange are not seen together very often yet they harmonise well.

Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Juicy Brights
The following one is called ‘Sly Green’. The various shades of green harmonise with one another and are taken back a bit with the black and grey pieces in the capsule. Check out those McQueen peep toe heels, drool!
Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Sly Green
I named this capsule ‘Monochrome Splash’. A black and white set with splashes of bright red to lift it a little. These are the colours I used to wear almost exclusively for a good long while, black, red and white. Apparently tartan is on trend this season, so it seems every Autumn/Winter!
Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Monochrome Splash
The final capsule I’m sharing with you today is called ‘Cute Chic’. Very overtly girly pieces mixed up with some tougher elements, like the DM boots and the spiked cuff.
Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Cute Chic
And there they are. Which one is your favourite? I think mine are Monochrome Splash and Sly Green, they closely resemble my current style. I hope you enjoyed looking at them as I did putting them together. That’s all for now. Thank you kindly for reading!
MHB
-x-

Style Build: Introducing the Style Grid & Autumn Workwear

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla via Unsplash

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla via Unsplash

Hello Lovelies,

Today’s post is all about dressing for work this autumn/fall. I have put together a small capsule of items to get you inspired, drawing on the stunning colours we see during this season; burnt orange, deep reds, plums and gold. As soon as the weather cools, it seems many people turn to trusty old black to get them through the season, especially in the office. On the London Underground I see a mass of black swarming up and down the escalators and squeezing into trains. There’s nothing wrong with all black, I love it and it can be very very chic, this is simply an alternative for those of you wanting a bit more colour. Inject a little visual vibrancy into the office! All items are currently available on the high street, from budget friendly retailers like River Island, to higher end labels such as Reiss. I have used the style grid, a system developed by Catherine at Not Dressed As Lamb, it’s absolute genius and I applaud her for coming up with it! I think everyone will find it fun and easy to implement. It uses four pieces in the following groups; tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories. They are then put into the grid system and as you can see, whichever way you trace a straight line, you have a full outfit that includes one of each of the four categories, making up an outfit. You can go vertically, horizontally and diagonally. This will give you ten combinations. If you zig-zag along the lines, you can make even more outfits. Throw in a few toppers (cardies, sweaters, blazers etc) and you have rather a large selection of outfit options. This is a great way to start developing a capsule wardrobe if you’re unsure of how to begin, just make sure that the pieces mix and match (I’ll have a post on this at a later date). It’s also a great way to get you wearing those items in your wardrobe that rarely see the light of day. I do this on a regular basis, I use a capsule system (be it this one, or say, 333 or 30×30, all of which I will be posting about in due time) on a regular basis to ensure that I’m using all of my clothes and not getting stuck in a rut. This particular grid system will see you through at least three working weeks! Be your own stylist, get into your closet and see if you can come up with a style grid with stuff you own, or keep it in mind when you shop for your autumn/winter pieces.

Mini Capsule Wardobe- Autumn Workwear

Mini Capsule Wardobe- Autumn Workwear by misshoneybare featuring an amber bead necklace

The items included in this capsule are…

TOPS:

*Red Shell Top £16 Dorothy Perkins

*Burgundy Shirt Dress £45 Oasis at House of Fraser

*Gold Metallic Top £49 Planet at House of Fraser

*Purple Roll Sleeve Shirt £23 Dorothy Perkins

BOTTOMS:

*Green Polka Dot Jacquard Trouser ££35 River Island

*Purple Paisley Jacquard Skirt £22 River Island

*Black Leather Trim Trousers £120 Reiss

*Dark Brown High Waisted Leather Pencil Skirt £85 River Island

*Cream Colour Block Square Tote Bag £45 River Island

SHOES:

*Burgundy Quilted Ballet Flat £95 French Sole

*Two Tone Riding Boot £100 Schuh

*Purple Suede Platform Court Shoe £49.50 M&S

*Tan Wide Heeled Brogue £62 Office

ACCESSORIES:

*Amber and Silver Statement Necklace £295 Be-Jewelled at John Lewis

*Woven Basket Print Scarf £85 Jaeger

*Black Stretch Belt with Gemstone Fastening £15.99 Zara

*Apollo Statement Bangle £15 Accessorize

TOPPERS:

*Black Jersey Blazer/Cardi £30 River Island

*Neutral Cropped Rib Knit Zip Cardi £149 Reiss

*Orange Cut Away Jacket £225 Jaeger

*Vine Bloom Open Front Jacket £110 French Connection

*Cream Colour Block Square Tote £45 River Island

Below I have put together some examples of outfits using the pieces that were not joined on the grid by a straight line. Can you spot any others?

Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Autumn Workwear; Outfit Ideas

Mini Capsule Wardrobe- Autumn Workwear; Outfit Ideas by misshoneybare featuring knee high black riding boots

I hope you find the style grid as fun and as interesting to play with as I do. Let me know how you get on, I’d love to see some other people’s versions. In the meantime, that’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-

Style Roundup: Men’s Holdalls

Sonja Langford- Acorns via Unsplash

Sonja Langford- Acorns via Unsplash

Hello Lovelies,

With Autumn just around the corner, I get to planning weekend breaks in the country. I imagine enjoying long walks in the finally cool air and feeling the crunch of leaves beneath my boots. Curling up in an armchair in the corner of a local coffee shop, nursing a creamy hot chocolate and getting lost in a great book. Watching the sun set as it’s last golden rays make the red, orange and brown leaves scattered all over the ground shine…bliss! I do so much enjoy that we have seasonal weather, each brings with it it’s own sensual pleasures and unique beauty. So, wherever I plan to go, I need something to carry a couple of days worth of clothes in. I am really into men’s accessories at the moment. They’re so sturdy and smart and, well, masculine. Here I’ve picked of my favourite holdall bags currently on the market for you men (and women) out there who may also be planning an autumnal break.

Men's Holdalls- My Pick of the Best for Autumn 2013

Men’s Holdalls- My Pick of the Best for Autumn 2013 by misshoneybare featuring shoulder strap purses

Clockwise from top:

*Boden (£89)- Indigo cotton canvas holdall with a striped lining and chocolate brown handles and adjustable shoulder strap. A relaxed looking bag for those who prefer a less formal look.

*Nap-Sac (£270)- Coffee coloured holdall with contrast trim. A wopping 40 gallon capacity and cotton webbing lining. Durable and stylish.

*Reiss (£295)- Sleek, smart black classic holdall. Great for city and country breaks. Simple stitch details and silver hardwear.

*M&S (£149)- Italian style inspired chocolate brown leather holdall with plenty of pockets, for those of us who like to keep everything super organised.

*Barbour (£145)- As durable and practical as their iconic coats. This Barbour holdall will last you a lifetime and never go out of style.

*Reid & Hamilton (£260)- Brown holdall with a rather old fashioned feel about it. Another with plenty of pockets, this will wear beautifully with age.

*Superdry, available at Next (65)- Black nylon casual holdall. Great for active weekends and doubles as a great gym bag. One you can chuck about.

*Chapman (£259)- Tweed classic holdall with contrast trims and straps. Has a large padlocking compartment and waterproof middle layer. Adjustable and very smart looking.

*Peter Werth, available at House of Fraser (£150)- Gorgeous, minimal and unique looking holdall with one main compartment. Lined in a beautiful purple fabric. Minimal on the outside, flashy on the inside. Reminiscent of a Boateng suit.

Hopefully I’ve picked something to suit all tastes and budgets. I do believe that investing in a quality item will see it last you a lifetime if you treat it right. So what may seem expensive, is really a snip when you look at the cost per use ratio. Well, that’s all for now. Thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-

Style Build: Style 101 (Homme)

Dapper Dog

Pug in a Pea Coat – By The Rover Boutique

Hello Lovelies,

Earlier in the week I brought you the ultimate basic wardrobe for women. 101 mix and match pieces to keep you looking chic all year round, as well as a 15 piece capsule with outfit ideas. Today I bring you the men’s version. 101 basic staple pieces, including accessories, to help make being stylish easier. Click here to see the Pinterest board (until I work ut how to embed it in this post).

Style Build: 15 Basic Items to Fast Track Style!

Style Build: 15 Basic Items to Fast Track Style! by misshoneybare featuring a leather laptop bag

Again, I have put together a 15 piece capsule of essential items, with outfit ideas for those of you who really want the super quick and easy way to look instantly pulled together. It’s the no brainer way of looking like a dapper dog, rather than a scruffy mutt. Again, these are not hard and fast rules, just suggestions to help you on your way. Instead of a navy three piece suit, you may prefer a grey one. Instead of Chelsea boots, you might like something a little tougher and hard wearing.

Style Buld: Fast Track Style

Style Buld: Fast Track Style by misshoneybare featuring Vans sneakers

Take your lifestyle and personal style when making purchases. Always buy the best you can afford (especially when it comes to tailoring, knit wear and shoes), rather than throw away stuff. If you care for your items properly, they will last you years. On that note, make sure you’re going for classic cuts and details to ensure your wardrobe basics don’t date too quickly. Many of you will probably have a few of these items in your closet already, just fill in the gaps in your closet as and when you can. There’s certainly no need to rush out and buy everything all at once (unless you want to of course). I hope you find this post useful. I’ll be posting more in the style build series, including closet organising, how to care for your clothes and accessories, as well as picking colours and styles that flatter. That’s all for today though, thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-

Beauty Round Up: Naked Beauty

Hello Lovelies,

Gosh it’s been so hot here in London this summer, it’s been wonderful but it’s enough to make a girl want to wander about naked. Now, apart from enjoying going au naturel in your own home, there’s not much choice about wearing clothes when interacting in day to day life, however, that doesn’t mean your nails need to look dressed! I’ve herded my fave nudey nail colours here for your perusal, from pale pinks, peachy tones, mochas and deep brown to cover all skin tones. Whether they be glossy, matte, textured or sparkly, let your nails look naked.

Nudey Nail ColoursNudey Nail Colours by misshoneybare featuring a beige nail polish

Clockwise from bottom:

*Barry M Textured Nail Effect in ‘Kingsland Road’.

*Hard Candy Crushed Chrome Nails in ‘Crush On Copper’.

*Lime Crime in ‘Peaches Cream’.

*Illamasqua in ‘Purity’.

*Barry M Nail Paint in ‘Mushroom’.

*Megan Miller Nail Polish in ‘Ganache’.

*M.A.C Nail Lacquer in ‘Triumphant’.

*Butter London Nail Polish in ‘Yummy Mummy’.

*Rococo Nail Apparel in ‘My Cupcake Creme’.

Of course, you can forgo nail varnish all together and let them truly be in the buff. Shine them to a natural sheen using a simple nail buffer file. Well, that’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-

Style Build: Style 101 (Femme)

The French Series - "Très chic" by Ambrette

The French Series – “Très chic” by Ambrette

Hello Lovelies,

Today’s post is all about style. Style 101. That is, 101 items of clothing, accessories and jewellery that will see you looking super stylish 24/7. Now, I’m not suggesting that you run out and buy everything on the list, it’s just a guide for you to work out what goes well together and what looks effortlessly chic. Most of the items are neutrals though there are some brights and prints in there too. This is because neutrals are easier to mix and match with one another and also with more colourful or patterned items. Many of you will already have a few of these pieces in your closet, some of you might have nearly all of them (you lucky thing!). Pick colours and shapes that suit you (if you find yourself unsure about what that is, I’ll have more posts on that at a later date) and that reflect your personal style. For example, I have a black blazer but it’s cut in the shape of a riding jacket. It just makes it a little different. I have a black pencil skirt but it has a pleather panel on the centre front and centre back making it a little edgier and sexier. When choosing classic pieces (and I class every item on this list a classic), buy the best you can afford rather than throw away stuff. They will last you longer, some a lifetime. Less is more. Build slowly and consciously. Sew things yourself if you can. Search thrift shops and vintage stores. It’s not a race. To see the Pinterest board, click here. Ideally I wanted to embed the board in this post but after about three hours of trying to figure it out I thought my head was going to explode, any advice on embedding boards in WordPress are most welcome!

If you want a fast track way to style, I also have a Polyvore set of only 15 mix and match items that will work with whatever else you may have in your wardrobe.

Style Build: 15 Basic Items to Fast Track Chic!

Style Build: 15 Basic Items to Fast Track Chic! by misshoneybare featuring pink tops

Most of us have a pair of jeans, some flats, some sunglasses and a scarf. You’re already part way there in that case. I chose tortoiseshell sunglasses as they are more versatile. Also, most essential items lists include a nude and black ballet flat and a nude and black pair of heels. By choosing a pair of each that includes both nude and black, I’ve eliminated the need for two extra pairs of shoes. Much easier on the budget! The dress is an infinity dress and can be tied in about 100 variations, you could go for a flared skirt instead of the tulip shape of the one in my set if you prefer. The bag is casual smart and is also convertible, it has three different straps, go for black, chocolate, grey or taupe. I’ve chosen a tailored skirt but you could go for a stretchy version for comfort instead, or even a leopard print one, or a nude tone. Here are some outfit Options using only the 15 pieces. Think how many you could make when you add in other things from your wardrobe.

 

Style Build: Fast Track Chic

Style Build: Fast Track Chic by misshoneybare featuring a beige blouse

What do you think? I’m sure you could start creating a little capsule wardrobe of simple, mix and match items from your closet right away if you wanted. Of course, this is a very basic and chic set. You can go as bold and colourful as you like and I will show you how to do that in future posts but that’s all for today. Thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-

Style Build: Creating a Capsule Wardrobe. An Introduction.

StyleHello Lovelies,

This post is the first in a series based on developing personal style and building a capsule wardrobe of basics that you can then add to season to season. I know I blog a lot about hair, makeup and baking mostly but I actually have a background in fashion. I did my degree in product design and development for fashion at the London College of Fashion and I have worked as a garment technologist, trims and accessories buyer, pattern cutter and style developer among other things in a career spanning almost 16 years (I started young! I got my first summer job at 14 cutting out patterns and sewing garments for a small boutique) before re-training as an mua and hair stylist.

Workroom

I’ve spent a lot of time working in a room like this.

I’ve styled shoots, been a personal shopper and cleared out/organised many wardrobes and closets in my time. So, I figured I’d share the lessons I have learned, my eye for style (which is relative, these are just guidelines) and love of design. I have noticed that a lot of the capsule wardrobe advice talks about ‘classic’ or ‘simple’ pieces as a foundation for your wardrobe. I’m here to show you that even those of us with a more alternative style can build and develop working basics without even the faintest whiff of a ‘plain white shirt’ if you don’t what to. Everyone is different, so why would the same pieces work for everyone’s wardrobe? I understand that they are meant to be the basic staples that the rest of your stuff works around but really, if you’d rather have a Little Orange Dress instead of a Little Black Dress, then why the hell not? And quite frankly, I consider leopard print to be a neutral.

Leopard Print

Totally a neutral in my book.

There’s no room for navy and beige in my basic wardrobe (but if there is in yours, well that’s fine too). I guess the deal with the usual advice is that a lot of people are genuinely unsure of what to wear, have never experimented with clothes or have never thought about it too much. But I don’t think that means we all have to walk around like carbon copies. I remember seeing so many women who looked chic on a trip to Milan. Very chic in fact, very well put together and yet, no personality, no individual style shone through and it was kind of weird (being a Londoner from the Islington/Camden area, I grew up being used to seeing all kinds of weird and wonderful styles growing up).

So, here are the things I plan on covering over the coming weeks…

* Clearing out your wardrobe. The good, the bad and the downright fugly: Helping you evaluate what you already have and recognising any style patterns. Shopping your wardrobe. Helping you work out what to keep, what to customise and what to get rid of.

Is this your wardrobe?

Is this your wardrobe?

* Personal Style: Building on the previous installment where we look at any style patterns emerging from your current wardrobe, I’ll also guide you in deciding if this is what’s right for you or if you feel you’d like to make some changes/try something new. Get inspired!

*Suits You Madam: What to wear to flatter your body shape, height and colouring. Explaining the whole ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ thing that style consultants go on about.Body Types- Women

* The Basics: The workhorses of your wardrobe. Evaluating your lifestyle and tailoring your key pieces to suit you. I’ll do a ‘classic’ capsule collection comparison against several examples of my own.

*Wardrobe Additions: How to add pieces into your wardrobe from season to season. When to splurge and when to save. Looking at how many pieces you truly need for a versatile wardrobe. Looking at the 333 project and the Style Grid.project333hanger*Accessories: The staple accessories that will help you change up your outfits and add personal flair to your look. How to take an outfit from day to night.

*Putting it all together: Looking at my example capsule wardrobes to show you how to create many different outfit combinations.

*Mini-Capsuling: How to put together small (yet perfectly formed) capsule wardrobes for various scenarios. Including, short city break, business trip, country weekender, beach holiday and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender.

On top of that, I will be giving advice on how organise and store your clothes. How to fold things properly to save space and minimise creasing and tips on picking the right underwear for your outfits.By Rachel SylvesterI will be featuring some real life wardrobe hauls for you to see how I tackle other people’s closets in the real world. I’ll also be happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding your wardrobe and style. Whether it’s a garment you love but have no idea what to wear with it, how to customise and update an item, or how to freshen up your favorite dress etc. Simply leave a comment or email me via the contact page if you rather it be private.

I’ll also be doing ‘How to Wear’ posts as part of the Style Build series. Styling up one item in many different ways to show you how versatile garments can really be when you put your mind to it.

*PHEW!* Well, that was a lot to take in but I really hope you will enjoy this new series. Until the next time, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

-x-

New Family Member!

Nommy's First Day 19Hello Lovelies,

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may already know that the Mr and I have a new addition to our family since last weekend. She is a Chihuahua and Pug cross and she’s nine weeks old tomorrow. Allow me to introduce Dr Nommy Von Balderdash (Nommy for short).Nommy's First Day 01 I’m completely in love with her, she’s as cute as hell and very funny. The next few weeks are going to be intense with crate training/toilet training etc but I’m very excited. I grew up always having at least two dogs in the house and I have been desperate for a dog since I moved out of the family home. Unfortunately rented flats tend not to allow furry free roaming pets (luckily, my landlady didn’t mind me having my pet snake, Reuben, who was my first family addition six years ago). Now I live with the Mr who owns his place, I can finally enjoy being the companion to a four legged friend.Nommy's First Day 08 I will try to continue blogging as much as I can while I train Nommy and fit in hair/makeup jobs. I’m still trying to get used to blogging regularly and working out what I like/want to blog about, it’s a work in progress and I’m learning as I go.
That’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

-x-

Pear, Almond and Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

36th BDay Cupcakes CollageHello Lovelies,

Today I bring you the recipe for pear, almond and chocolate cupcakes. I made these for my Mr’s birthday. I asked him to pick three flavours and then I would turn them into a cupcake for him. This is what I came up with…36 BDay Cupcakes 01

You will need:

For the sponge:

275g self raising flour

175g soft brown sugar

100ml vegetable oil

200ml non dairy milk (soy or oat tend to work best)

1 tsp baking powder

1tps almond extract

30g ground almonds

1 pear, peeled and chopped

100g dark chocolate chips

For the frosting:

250g icing sugar

100g non-dairy spread

30g cocoa powder

Edible shimmer and chocolate decorations (optional)

What to do:

Pre-heat the oven to 200’c and line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases.

1) sieve the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds and sugar, mix together.36 BDay Cupcakes 02

2) In  a jug, whisk together the oil, non dairy milk and almond extract. Add to the dry ingredients.36 BDay Cupcakes 05

3) Add in the chopped pear and chocolate chips and stir the whole mixture until just mixed.36 BDay Cupcakes 06

4) Divide the mixture between the muffin cases (I use an ice-cream scoop to ensure my cupcakes are roughly the same size).36 BDay Cupcakes 07

5) Put onto the middle shelf in the oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean.36 BDay Cupcakes 09

6) Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. In the meantime, combine all the frosting ingredient in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Put in the fridge until the cakes are cooled.36 BDay Cupcakes 08

7) Pipe a swirl of the frosting onto each cake. Finish off with a little edible lustre and a chocolate decoration if you like.36 BDay Cupcakes 11

8) Stuff them in your face.36 BDay Cupcakes 10

 

One Pair of Trousers, Two Different Ways.

Hello Lovelies,

A quick style post, showing you how I took one pair of striped trousers from day to night for my Mr’s birthday last week.

Look One: Daytime. We headed out to the Hayward Gallery to see the Light Show. I really recommend it, it was beautiful and immersive. Hurry though as it ends on the 28th of April, also, tickets tend to sell out each day so book online beforehand. I wore the trousers with a black slash neck, 3/4 sleeve sweater, black patent boots and a skull print scarf to keep the chill air off my neck. I kept my makeup pretty classic 50s and wore a red bandana in my hair. I topped off the look with some chunky skull rings and my sugar skull pendant.Stripe Trouser 01Look Two: Evening. After nomming some yummy Mexican food we headed back home for a short while. We went out for drinks in the evening so I switched up my outfit a bit. I took the sweater off to reveal the off shoulder tee I had been wearing underneath all day. Changed the boots for red suedette heels, added a red clutch bag, cocktail ring and pretty stud earrings, reapplied my red lipstick and I was all set.Stripe Trousers 02That’s enough about clothes for now. For you bakers out there, I’ll be posting my Beau’s birthday cupcake recipe soon, pear, almond and chocolate flavour, mmm! Thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

-x-