Wednesday, 30 December 2009

2009: A round-up of the bloggy year!

I think 2009 has been a pivotal year for the blog; I have been trying to post more frequently and consistently, and this has started to feel like more than just a hobby to me. It's the year i've started to really feel a part of a blogging community, rather than sitting in my room writing for myself! It's also been the first year PR agencies have started to show an interest in what I write (I think this is true for most bloggers) meaning I can (hopefully) bring better content and more competitions and news and stuff to you guys.

The most special memories I will take from this year are threefold:
  • London Fashion Week; feeling inspired by the shows and excited to be a part of something that I think is so important. Within days i'd even forgotten about how tired I was and how much my feet hurt, and I can't wait to do it all again in February!

  • Working with Aussie; The Angels project has been one of the best and most well thought out blogger-projects I have worked on. The 1000heads team have put loads of thought into making it special, and the project has also enabled me to meet lots of bloggers I wouldn't have otherwise met and make some great friends too!

  • Discovering twitter! Who knew that you could share so much in 140 characters, and I have found that twitter is the best and easiest way to engage with a vast community of bloggers and readers!
Other highlights include the Arcadia group bloggers day, Graduate fashion week, meeting Fearne Cotton at the launch of her collection for Very, sitting next to Christopher Kane at the ballet (even though I was too scared to chat!) discovering Catwalk Genius (one of my favourite new websites) and the amazing Kurt Geiger shoes that have been in my wardrobe for 6 months, but that i'm yet to wear!

On a personal note (because it can't all be about fashion!) finally moving in with Mike, graduating from my Masters degree and watching my baby sister graduate from her BSc were all highlights too!

The end of 2009 has also seen me make a realisation I probably should've made a long time ago: that loving fashion doesn't have to mean loving shopping and bankrupting myself for it, so that's something that will change next year. I'm looking forward to the new challenges that will bring, and experimenting with the wardrobe I already have.

Sorry if this has seemed a little self indulgant, but I think the New Year is the perfect time for self-reflection. I hope you like what i've been doing too, and that you have a wonderful New Year!

2009: The fabfrocks stats
Posts written: 266
Competitions run: 7
Fun had: Plenty!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 28 December 2009

Sales review: Miss Selfridge

Like all of the sales there are lots of sparkles and party dresses available in the Miss Selfridge sale. However unless I have a really important event coming up I usually avoid these like the plague: if you're honest you won't want to wear this seasons dresses next Christmas, and you probably have enough party frocks in your wardrobe (I know I do!)
So in the Miss Selfridge sale I decided to ignore the party frocks and focus on practical things I might actually need, with varying degrees of success:
The good
I love this little polka dot jacket, a bargain for £12. Its also a good kind of piece to buy in the sales at this time of year because it can be worn like a cardigan now and as a jacket come Spring/Summer, when polka dots will still be in vogue. This top is another example of something you can wear now that will still be of use in the summer; that's generally what I try to look for in my sale items, so i'm getting as much wear from them as possible

The not-so-good
Check out the mince pie belly! yuck! These 2 jumpers are perfect examples of on the hanger it looked pretty good - on the body not so much! They just didn't flatter my figure! The material of both was lovely though, and I do have to point out that they were a bargain at £10 each!

My first sale of the season is done, and it's only left me thirsty for more! Watch this space!
Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 27 December 2009

We are handsome (or we will be in these!)

I know its the middle of winter, we're all fat from Christmas, and it's no time to think about swimwear, but my heart skipped when I saw the designs from handmade swimwear range "We are Handsome". And that's no mean feat given that I usually despise swimwear in all of its many evil forms. But these swimsuits are good looking (you could say handsome) not too exposing, and the prints are to die for!

They're versitile too: I can imagine each one of them looking as good in the city with shorts as they will on the beach.
Above: The Africa, The Arabia, and The Hollywood. These are my favourite 3 of 7 equally interesting designs.

Each piece is made by hand, with the highest quality polyester lycra, printed with high density inks using a placement sublimation process. Each of the designs is limited edition and handmade to order, and although they aren't particularly cheap (coming in at £99) it seems worth it to avoid the risk of wearing the same boring itsy bikini as everyone else on the beach!

I think this could well possibly be the coolest swimwear i've ever seen, and wearing something this awesome will definitely stop you worrying about your body on the beach: you'll be too busy thinking about how amazing your swimwear is. And I can almost guarentee someone will say you look handsome!

Sadly they are only available up to a UK size 12 but have no fear: The diet starts in January so that I can definitely squeeze myself into one of these next summer!

Love, Tor xx

PS - Don't forget to enter my super awesome Christmas giveaway!!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Isabella Oliver end of season sale...

....And so it begins! The Isabella Oliver sale starts tomorrow, and there will be massive bargains to be had, as long as you're quick!!
Obviously there are so many sales starting today I can barely mention them all. I will be hitting the high street and reporting back on the best bargains. Let me know what you find too - it's always good to know what people are picking up and it always amazes me how much prices on the high street can differ depending on your location! As usual, let me know if there are any particular sales you want me to review, however I might not be able to do as many shops as I usually do: unfortunately the bf and I are moving house in 2 days and that will be eating up a lot of my time. I will do my best though!
Oh, and because I was distracted by my military-style sales chat I forgot to say: I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Love, Tor xxx

Friday, 25 December 2009

On the twelfth day of Christmas...Seasons greetings everybody!

Eat too much, and drink too much, and don't get dressed, or put on your new dress. Give presents, and open presents, and laugh and cry. See your family, see your friends, walk in the snow, walk in the park, or don't leave the house at all. However you're spending today, I hope you have a really wonderful Christmas!

Love, Tor xxx

PS - Don't forget to enter my super-awesome Christmas giveaway!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Take a new look at New Look

I've never paid much attention to New Look for a very silly reason: in my home town there are only 3 clothes shops, one of which is New Look. So when I was a sullen teenager, New Look was where I went for all of my jeans and angry black T shirts (not much change there then!) I never thought of it as very fashionable. So when I left my tiny hometown I didn't think I would want to set foot in a New Look for a very long time. Yesterday I changed my mind!

The colder weather has really thrown me (as i'm sure you can tell by all my winter posts!) so I went into New Look hunting for some inexpensive winter warmers. And their range of jumpers and sweatshirts (my latest obsession) shocked me with the quality of both the design and the fit:

*DISCLAIMER - please ignore my frizzy hair, as i'd just come in from a snow shower!*
My favourites were the dark grey "bonjour" one, and the slouchy plain nude. I also loved this stripey long-sleeved tee, despite its flabby tummy exposing properties: That's a whole load of untoned flesh on display! However layered upon layers I think it could really work! There were also acres of sequinned dresses and blazers, and impressive shoe display, and they already had a lot of their Spring/Summer stock in store. I would say that New Look is a lot like Topshop, only cheaper!
There are several stores I haven't looked at since I was a teenager, but this New Look experience has made me realise two things: 1) New Look is a store I should definitely visit more often an 2) perhaps I should have a more open mind about the stores I visit!

Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Would you like to see a show next London Fashion Week?

As much as we would all give our right arm to go and grace the front row seats of the Marc Jacobs show or have a standing room pass for Burberry at London Fashion Week this year – for most it will simply be impossible! So that's why I was interested when LGN Events got in touch to say they are hosting their own off-schedule LFW show “A La Mode.”

Now in its 3rd season, the show will feature collections of some of the most talented new designers in the industry from across the globe, and the best part is - a small number of exclusive tickets are available to the public!
LGN Events will be hosting “A La Mode” at the beautiful Charing Cross Hotel on the first day of Fashion Week – Friday 19 Feb 2010. With only a limited number of tickets open to the public, to be the first to view these incredible Autumn/Winter 2010/11 collections you had better move fast.
Tickets are £18 and include a complimentary drink and goody bag upon arrival. To book, go to:

Designers showcasing include: Mila Miyahara, Hanako Narahira, Us Trendy presents Dilly Daisy, Estelle Annabel, niOka, Chrsytal Sloane, and Borris James Powell. Plus there will be plenty of shopping opportunities too for those of you who want to bag the latest must-have accessories.
Guests attending the event include buyers, press, journalists, PRs and other fashion professionals and enthusiasts: and me!! I'll be there scribbling away in the press section (at the back no doubt!), so if you do decide to come along then pop over and say hi - it's always nice to see a friendly face!
Love, Tor xx

PS - Don't forget to enter my super-awesome Christmas giveaway!!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Until now all the gifts have been for the lady-readers, but today we will be looking at something for the gents.

Umbro have just launched a vintage sportswear range for S/S10 which would be perfect for the fashion savvy fella, and a great way of gently nudging your boyfriend into losing that beer belly in the New Year (when, lets be honest, is when everybody wants to shape up!)
The range is already available to buy from House of Fraser and i'm a big fan of all of the T-shirts, but especially this slightly 80s, tracksuit covered one!
The Umbro sportswear collection is an amalgamation of over 85 years of cultural influence taken from the Umbro archives and embodies a strong sense of contemporary style through progressive art and music influences, seen in fresh new fabrics, colours and graphics.
Who knew shaping your man up could make him look stylish at the same time!?
Merry Christmas!
Tor xx
PS - Don't forget to enter my super-awesome Christmas giveaway!!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Super-awesome Christmas giveaway!

I love the ballet (although I have none of the grace of a dancer) so I was delighted to be invited to a performance by the Scottish Ballet back in October to celebrate their 40th anniversary. I even got to sit next to Christopher Kane! (this filled me with wild excitement whilst the boyfriend snoozed gently!)
So I thought what better to give away this Christmas (the perfect time to go to the ballet, especially if the Nutcracker is being performed) than tickets to the ballet. And the Scottish Ballet have kindly obliged me!

So the prize is this: a pair of tickets for a Scottish ballet performance of the winners choice! You can see the performance of your choice on the date of your choice. Most of the performances show in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen and Belfast however if you want to see the
Nutcracker you can see that in Newcastle as well. Check out the schedule for the next 12 months here, and see if there's anything you fancy!

If that's not enough, the winner will also receive some Aussie hair products and L'oreal make up, so they can look especially gorgeous for their night out!

How do you enter? That's easy! Become a follower of the blog and leave a comment! As usual, winners will be drawn from a hat. The competition closes on 30th December, so it will be a perfect New Year suprise for somebody!
Good luck!
Love, Tor xx

Trousers versus dresses: the winter debate

So this post isn't so much a debate about style (although it could be if you wanted it to be!) but about warmth. As you can probably tell from my numerous "daily wear" posts, i'm not a trouser wearer. In fact the only pair of jeans I own are relagated to house moving status. But on Saturday, in anticipation of my Christmas at home with my family slobbing out (we don't even take our PJs off on Christmas day!) I purchased a cheap pair of skinny jeans from the Topshop outlet. And yesterday I tried them out.

Wow was I cold!! I always layer leggings over tights to keep warm under my dresses, but look at those in jeans and trousers with envy: how wrong was I?! I was colder in the jeans! Maybe if i'd worn tights underneath I would have kept warmer, but the jeans are so tight I dont think they'd fit. Does this mean skinny jeans are officially summer trousers? Because I dont see how anyone could wear them all day without catching hypothermia (is this something you catch!?)

This is the inverse of how I had always imagined fashion (in terms of warmth) would work: pretty dresses for the summer and warm trousers for the winter is seen as the standard. But now i'm not going to worry about wearing my dresses or lament about how cold my legs are: thinks could be worse (as I found out yesterday!) I think i'm just going to invest in some over the knee socks to wear over my leggings and tights combo: in this case, layering really is king!
(The floral and heart print knee socks above are both from Topshop for £8 - a small price for toasty legs!)

I know alot of you do wear trousers - even if the weather is as cold as today! How do you keep warm in them?

Love, Tor xx

Daily wear: The important winter details

Hi guys,

In my opinion (which is humble!) winter dressing is all about the details: the layering, the hats, the little things that go on top of your basic outfit that are so important. I admire people in the street that are wearing brightly coloured clashing accessories, but I always tend to stick to one tone; generally (you guessed it!) black!

My details:


I can't get enough of this snood and wear it every day. I'm thinking of buying it in grey to bring a little colour variation (to match my grey gloves and grey hat of course!) Black snood: H&M, Sequin hat: Primark, Elbow length cotton gloves: Car boot sale.

What accessories do you go for? Do you like to match or clash your winter warmers?

Lots of love,

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Online sales.... it begins!

Without meaning to sound like an octogenarian, the sales seem to start earlier and earlier each year, don't they? The truly savvy (and with nerves of steel!) could save a fortune if they waited until a couple of days before Christmas to do their shopping - I think it would give me a nervous break down though!

If you haven't done your Christmas shopping, and you don't feel like fighting the masses you could do your shopping online, and there's a massive selection of online pre-Christmas sales to choose from:
  • The official my wardrobe sale starts on 23rd December. All products currently marked with a Snowflake will go into sale with a 30% off and then the discounts will escalate as time goes by.

  • The style compare sale starts on Boxing day (so not quite in time for Christmas!) allowing you to browse the sales from dozen of stores all in one place.

  • New Look currently has a fashion sale on with half price party wear; I particularly like the sequinned blazer which is now half price at £20 and would be perfect for Christmas day.

  • Starting yesterday, Evans has a half price sale on shoes, lingerie and accessories: this includes their boots, so perfect for those with a slightly larger calf.

I already have all my Christmas shopping, and all my outfits planned for over the festive season, so I don't need to do any shopping until January (when I will be finishing perfecting my capsule wardrobe) but i'm sure there are some great deals to be had if you're still looking!

Love, Tor xx

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Bargain of the week!

I have written before about my undying love for Soap and Glory, but this is a deal that I don't think anyone could resist!

It is the Boots offer of the week (less than half price) and it is just £20. For that you get the pretty carry case, 11 full sized products and the pouff and cotton draw string bag as well. I dont want to sound like i'm promoting Boots here, but to put that into perspective, another gift pack with 2 full size products and a shower cap comes in at £15: this is the best bargain i've bought for ages! Here is a close up, so you can see what products are inside:
It all looks and smells so delicious that I wish I could use it all at once! According to the lady who served me in Boots this morning, this has been their most popular offer of the week to date, and they anticipate having run out of the sets completely by tomorrow, despite the offer running until Thursday (Christmas eve) The bf bought me this one, but its such a good deal i'm thinking about going back to get another: that way I have replacements for when this one runs out!
PS - Today is "Christmas" in our house (because Mike and I still like to go to our respective families for the festivities) so I have a hoard of lovely presents to share later, and am writing this with my feet soaking in my new Scholl foot spa whilst Mike fetches me candies. Later there will be a Christmas dinner. This is a life I could get used to!!
Love, Tor xx

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Perfecting the classics: The little black dress

A recent worry about my severe lack of savings coupled with a new 12 months plan for the bf and I to stop renting and start buying and my decision to get the phd I have been planning since I finished my Masters nearly two years ago (breath!!) means that I have had to reassess the way I shop and spend.

I think about a third of the new things I buy every month are featured on the blog, but I guestimate that around £400 a month disapears from my purse to the British high street. That's around £5000 a year! Not only is this silly and unrealistic, it is also impossible to maintain that and have all the other, more important, things I want. So I have made the unprecedented decision to (drum roll please) buy quality not quantity, purge my wardrobe of all the things i've bought and never worn, build a solid wardrobe of classics (hopefully in the january sales) and by January 31st to have STOPPED SHOPPING. I don't know if i'll be able to do it, but i'm really determined to give it a go. I don't need to buy half the things I buy, so i'm just going to stop. Having you guys monitor my spending and shame me when I shop will also be a good incentive! (unless of course I win the second best job in the world, in which case I will be shopping, guilt-free, and noone can stop me!!)

The first thing I decided my wardrobe needs for its new harder working ways is a perfect little black dress. I love black, and wear it nearly every day! There is a reason the LBD is a classic and that's because its easy, flattering, and so versatile.

A closer inspection of my wardrobe however revealed that I don't need to shop for a little black dress at all: I have 5 really great ones, and once I get out of the frame of mind that it is a bad thing to wear the same dress twice, they can start working for me harder than ever before. Here they are:

They range in quality from vintage to Topshop to a self-modified Primark number too. The cut of each might not be "in vogue" but I think its more important to dress for your figure, so almost all of my dresses are high necked to minimise my bust and nipped in at the waist because my figure is fairly hourglass. The exception is the 80s dancing dress which I rarely wear because it's so dressy, but I love the way it looks!

I have also kept half a dozen other evening dresses, but my favourtie 3 are: a white sequinned French connection one, an electric blue low cut one from Dorothy Perkins and a black and gold sequinned one from Miss Selfridge. Obviously I would love to own a beautiful timeless designer lbd, but I think these ones will be perfect, so that I can save my money for other things on the list that I don't own at all. I know a capsule wardrobe demands only 1 evening dress, but i've kept 11 and got rid of around the same number: I call that progress!!

Next thing on my list I think is a flattering breton tee: perfect to clash with another pattern or wear simply with my favourite colour: black! What are your wardrobe staples? What things do you think I need in my wardrobe that I will wear and wear again?

Love, Tor xx

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

More help needed!

So, you may or may not have seen my video last week, vying to get the (Second) best job in the world. Embarrassing though that video is, I really really want this job!

There were over 10,000 entries. (10,114 to be precise!) Day by day this has been and will be whittled down until the winner is announced on the 21st December. I am in the final 100, but I won't get any further without your help!

Please could you go to find my "little chipmunk face" (these are Becky's words, not mine!) and click on the green arrow next to my name: no need to comment this time, just one little click!

I will be eternally grateful, and if I win and get to go on a shopping trip around the world (!) I will kiss each and every one of you!!

Love, Tor xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

New purchase: Mad about mohair!

When I was a little girl my mum had an oversized mohair cardigan. It was purple. I used to love playing with it: it had a silk lining and I loved the contrast between this and the shaggy, slightly itchy mohair wool.

Two weeks ago the increasingly generous (!) boyfriend bought me an early Christmas present: a gorgeous dress from Warehouse I had fallen in love with. However its body con fit left me conscious of the hips it clung to, and after much deliberation I decided to take it back: this left me sad. It was perfect save an inch of fabric at the hips but the size up looked baggy and shapeless! Sadness however led quickly to happiness when you see what I swapped it for:
A mohair coat with a silk lining (just like my mums!) reduced from £100 to £60 in the pre-festive sales. I was yet to buy a winter coat, and relunctant to relagate my boyfriend blazer back to the wardrobe. If i'm honest, I was also trying to hold out for the January sales! This solves both issues, as it is a boyfriend blazer style coat, with wonderfully pointy lapels and beautiful double breasted buttons as a fastener! After initial concerns that it was a little masculine, I twirled around in it three times and promptly fell in love! And I think for the quality received, it was a bargain too!!

PS - As I freeze in yet another of my floral dresses i'm beginning to contemplate knitwear. I think it's time to invest in a more wintery wardrobe. What are you all wearing as the cold snap snaps??
Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Daily wear: More legs-perimentation!

After my mixed experiments with coloured tights, i'm back to playing with my beloved patterned leggings. My legs are my weakest feature (they look fairly short and dumpy) so patterned legs shouldn' really work for me. But I love them, and I love how easy it is to throw them on and liven up a pretty dull outfit.

Today I am sporting my grey and black aztec leggings (topshop) with a crazy textured suedette dress from primark, my winkle picker boots from Office and the obligatory hair bow: a subtle black one from topshop. And because it is a trend I am noticing the bloggosphere over, here is the apparently obligatory jumping shot!

It's fairly conservative for a weekend outfit, but today is just going to be taken up with family obligations, so conservative outfits are the order of the day!

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Love, Tor xxx

Friday, 11 December 2009

Please help me to get the (second) best job in the world

When my friend sent me the ad for the (second) best job in the world I thought it was too good to be true: which of course it is! But I decided to apply for it anyway! are looking for an International shopping consultant for one month. What does the job entail? Being paid to travel around the world shopping, and then blogging about it. Could there be a more perfect job for me?!

So I applied. The serious CV bit is done. The making of the accompanying video bit is done: very badly as it's my first attempt but I think at least you get a glimpse of my personality - we just have to wait and see if that's a good or a bad thing!! Who know I had such a sof and pathetic girl voice! It doesn't sound like that in my head!

And now I need your endorsement: please please recommend me for the job by voting for my video. All you have to do is click on this link and it won't take a minute:

As an extra incentive, here is my truly truly terrible video: if you ever wanted to see me embarrass myself on camera then please don't look away now!

Help me now and you will all be greatly rewarded with love and eternal thanks...and maybe pixie dust!

Thanks guys!
Tor xxx

NB: Apparently Youtube is experiencing a delay in processing the videos so you might not be able to see this right now. Grrr - its always when you dont need it isnt it?! Please check back!!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

Today we're veering slightly away from the fashion path with our fictional gift: even the most hard-core fashionista needs a little bit of variety in her stocking!

I am a major stationary addict: I especially love heavy smooth running pens and soft leather notebooks. So it's no suprise that I often browse through stationary websites, which is where I found todays perfect gift. It's from Paperchase and it is my favourite "day of Christmas" so far:
Isn't he adorable? His tiny little robot face is so expressive, and he's practical too! And a bargain for just £9. Paperchase have a whole range of robot goodies in store at the minute, and I think they make a great present!
If this isn't to your taste then I would still recommend a quick peek in Paperchase; its not a place many people think to go for gift-buying, but in my opinion their gift section is exceptional. If your an obsessional forward planner (like me!) then I also recommend popping instore in the second or third week of January: I love Paperchase Christmas cards but find them a teeny bit expensive. So I buy them at the end of January when they are a massive 70% off (or they were last year!) and save them for Christmas.

You don't need to say it, I already know: massive geek!

Love, Tor x

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Focus on: Barbara Hulanicki

I haven't written one of my "Focus on" pieces for ages, which is a shame. I enjoy writing them, and also find that even though they are quite rudimentary, they help focus my mind. Whilst writing a single level narrative about a specific designer, my brain runs ahead of me making connections to novels and articles I have read and tying them together with my thesis. I want to do some serious work on my PHD application this afternoon, so i'm hoping this will help!!

From paper dresses to dresses in the paper, today's designer is Barbara Hulanicki (predominantly, this is about the Biba of the 1960s and 1970s) I say dresses in papers because Hulanicki and Biba had a start in life that many modern designers would perceive as decidedly unhip: she started selling her designs by mail order in the back of middle class British newspapers such as the Daily Express. In fact, it was from here that she got her big break; a pink gingham dress sold in the back of the Daily Mirror which enabled her to start up Biba properly.

She got this far with the support of her husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon, and Biba was a partnership between the two of them. This is interesting to me because it echos the story of Mary Quant, who was encouraged to start her business by her husband, Alexander Plunkett Green. In fact there are several reports that suggest he was "the brains" behind the whole operation. It fascinates me that two of the women that are plonked on a pedestal as icons for the generation that saw true independance for woman (in some form or another) were being held on that pedestal by business-savvy (and in Quant's cae, very wealthy) men. In May this year writing about the death of her husband in The Guardian Hulaniki said: "I wish Fitz was still around [he died in 1997]. It was so terribly hard after we'd been close for so many years. I had to learn to do all the things he'd done, like writing cheques"

Disregarding the finances (which sixties designers notoriously struggled with!) I wish I had been able to see Biba in its glory days; to soak up all the different departments (and they really did sell everything you could need) and the overall sense of cool. This description from The Independent is one of the best i've read: "Six storeys of Deco-inspired glamour, swathed in silk and satin, the walls painted black, plum and chocolate brown, with mirrored pillars and faux Tiffany lamps, ostrich plumes, peacock feathers and chrome fittings. Ten thousand feet of breathtaking opulence, the first fully developed lifestyle boutique, selling a retro-modernist vision of late-capitalist splendour two decades before anyone would fully comprehend the concept." But don't be fooled into thinking anyone would have been welcome through the doors of Biba; that side of the cultural revolution happening all around was squarely ignored. You had to be young, (and 30 was ancient!) hip, slim, and beautiful.

Biba's tagline in recent times is "a labour of love, a label, a lifestyle" and what a beautiful lifestyle. It must have been wonderfully exciting to be involved in this, and even more wonderful to wear the dresses, which are my new obsession.

If you want to know more about the Biba story there is a screening of the Beyond Biba film at the Lexi Cinema this Saturday, and the screening is followed by a Q&A with the director afterwards. Which is pretty exciting - I wish I could be there!

Hopefully more of this kind of post are to come - i'm feeling on a roll!
Love, Tor xx

Monday, 7 December 2009

My dream weekend away: in Paris

I love Paris; especially in winter. The chill in the air, the romance, and the chic Parisian winter style! If my boyfriend was feeling particularly romantic (and flush!) then I would love a trip to Paris in my Christmas stocking. Chic French stockings: of course!

I would start in Colette trying on shoes; I would probably waste a great deal of money buying some too! Then I would stroll along the Champs Elysees window shopping and watching the chic and well-heeled women of Paris wander past. There is a certain style about French women that you just don't get in our quirkier British variety! The women of Paris are also skinnier; perhaps that's because they, unlike me, wouldn't spend whole hours devouring French pastries and drinking rich creamy hot chocolate!

Whenever I get the chance I love vintage shopping and how exciting it is to find vintage when you're abroad (and how impressive to show off when you get home!) So we'd had to go to the Puces de Vanves for some flea market rummaging to find vintage jewellery and my old favourites; beaten up leather bags!

I know to some it's "touristy" but I love the Eiffel tower: an architectural masterpiece. I'm also keen to point out that you can buy the creamiest soft pistachio ice cream from a vendor under the tower - I can almost taste it, as well as the pastries i've just devoured in my imagination!

Shops, galleries, antique markets, yummy food, and beautiful people: in my minds eye I can see myself in my pointy boots and swing coat having the time of my life. Now I just need a Christmas fairy to wave a magic wand!

Ahhh, a girl can dream!
Love, Tor xx

Watch this space

I have a slight obsession with watches. I don't wear them myself, but I love buying them for other people. I love the leather strap and the reassuringly heavy metal face. I love how they look and feel and sound, and I think they make great gifts. I've bought my dad a beautiful Katherine Hamnett watch for Christmas with an oyster coloured face.

I also think watches are a great way to introduce colour into your look, especially if you're a chap like my beloved, who lives and dies in black t shirts and stripey jumpers, or a girl who has to wear a dreaded black suit everyday!

In my limited experience of watch wearers, there are 2 different types: those who view their watch as a hefty investment and wear it everyday, and those of see their watch as another accessory and change it as often as they change their mood. Here are my "ones to watch" for each category (I wonder if I can cram any more watch jokes in here!):

The sleek investment watch

The fun mix-it-up watch

There is a thirteen year old girl inside me that thinks the cupcake watch is super-awesome! I also think the Marc Jacobs skull pendant watch is a nice time keeping alternative for anyone, like me, that finds wearing a watch an annoyance.

For ease of montage creation, and because they stock a suprisingly good selection, all watches shown are available from

Now i'm thinking about everyone I can potentially gift watches to this Christmas!

Love, Tor xx

Saturday, 5 December 2009

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

It's day three of our twelve days of Christmas -soon be time for Santa! Day 2 warmed our legs, and who can forget the rabbit with wings on day 1? (definitely a must-have!) So today's gift of Christmas we're moving away from clothes to the ultimate Christmas party neccessity; the gift of sparkly eye make up of course!

So, on the third day of Christmas, a festive fashion blogger gives to you.....
Urban decay preen shadow box, £18

I love big black eyes when i'm going out for the evening, and urban decay is always the company I turn to first. I find their products a little heavy going for day time use, but they really come into their own at night.

The Preen shadow box contains an eyeshadow primer (which I've used, and which really does hold your shadow all night) 6 different eye shadows to match all your outfits (though it's a shame it doesn't include the black one; I love their "oil slick" eye shadow so much i'm on my third tub!) and a travel sized black liner: their liner is very soft and easy to use.

If Urban Decay doesn't do it for you, now is still the perfect time to stock up on any make up that's running low; almost every cosmetic company is putting together gift sets at this time of year, and you can often get a full set for the individual RRP of just one or two of its contents. Bargain!

Love, Tor xxx

Friday, 4 December 2009

Aussie girls night out and competition winner

Last night I enjoyed one of the best events I have ever been to thanks to this blog. But before I tell you all about it, i'll get "the business" out of the way first: the winner of the Aussie competition is Make do Style Kate. Aussie will be in touch next week to let you know what the prize is; I hope it's a good one - I haven't even been told what it is yet! Those guys are so mysterious!

So back to last night: Aussie organised a Girls Night Out at Mayfair club Mahiki. As always, my sister Amie accompanied me as my VIP guest and we spent our night partying with all the other Angels, particularly Jenny (the Style PA) and her wonderfully entertaining VIP guests.

The entertainment
When we arrived we found a make up artist setting up, preparing to either touch up our exsisting make up or compltely reinvent our looks. This was incredibly well received and although I didn't have my make up done (due to wearing hideously long false lashes that I didnt want to fall off!) Amie did, and the results were really fantastic! About an hour later and a magician arrived: his fast hands had us all squealing and trying to work out what he'd done, and he was also very very funny and wonderfully entertaining.

The drinks
The best question would probably to ask what didn't we drink and the drinks flowed liberally all night! A treasure chest full of Champagne cocktail, a canoe full of shorts, and beautifully presented cocktails with great names! I especially enjoyed my lovers cup (though I chose to drink it myself rather than find a lover to share it!)

The goodie bag

As if the drinks and entertainment wasnt enough, the Aussie gang also gave us goodie bags: a lovely vanity case filled with Max Factor make up, and lush Aussie hair products!

The fun
OK, so the pictures for the drinking and the fun are very similar, but the drinking was fun!! We also danced until the wee hours to some very bad cheesy music. Finally, the outfits: Amie is wearing dark denim jeggings with a sequin top from Primark. I'm wearing a velvet skater dress from Topshop with a feather and suede wasitcoat and a feathered headband.

Thanks to Aussie and the 1000heads team for a very enjoyable and well planned night!

Love, Tor x

PS - The official photographer for the evening was Sam Whitney: I think you can tell which photos here are his and which are mine!!

PPS - Sorry this post wasn't very faaashion, but I had so much fun that I wanted to share!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

Is all this Christmas talk making you feel festive yet, or starting to irritate? Do let me know!! Now back to business. Well, it wouldn't be a list of lovely things (Christmas or not!) without me mentioning Topshop at least once. For me, they are the anchor of the British highstreet.
So, on the second day of Christmas, a festive fashion blogger gives to you.....
A selection of coloured and patterned tights from Topshop. (£6-£12)
A fornight ago I invested in several pairs of thick opaque coloured tights from Topshop, and have been using them to brighten up my winter wardrobe, which is heavily dominated by black. Slipping on coloured tights lifts my mood, and I often find myself staring at my legs! I am chunky of calf and thigh, so patterned tights aren't really an option for me, but I do think they look amazing, and would be perfect for transitioning a shift dress from office to party.
Tights are my best friend during the winter months; black opaque ones to slim the leg, coloured ones for fun, and knitted ones when it starts to snow. So today, they are my imaginary gift to you!

Lots of love,
Tor xxx

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I know it's the boyfriend's birthday this weekend but...

...I know where I will be on Friday night, and I don't even feel guilty about it! See you there?

Love, Tor xx


On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

I love Christmas, and the festive feeling that is starting to permiate everything I do. So I decided at regular intervals between now and the magical 25th, I would give you an imaginary gift; something pretty that I found on one of my regular wanders around the web, and available at stocking filler prices. Because the third best thing about Christmas (after seeing family and friends and all the yummy food, of course!) is the feeling that it's perfectly OK to buy yourself little presents!
So, on the first day of Christmas, a festive fashion blogger gives to you.....
A flying rabbit pendant from etsy shop cosmicfirefly for $27.50.
My love of animals in fashion is well documented, and I really do think new and interesting jewellery can make any well fitting little black dress perfect for those Christmas parties. Like I said before, it isn't obligatory to spend a fortune on a dress you're only going to wear once or twice. I do think it's obligatory, however, to spend money on rabbits with wings. It's just good logic!
If your pocket money/stocking filler budget is a little more than mine, and you share my love of animals in jewellery, then I officially declare Wendy B's chicken in egg locket pretty much perfect!

Lots of love,
Tor xxx

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Pens down please class. It's time to stop writing

The Aussie competition is now closed. Thanks for entering guys!

I will be announcing the winner shortly; as soon as Aussie have revealed to me what the prize is! I am chuffed that my entry is on the homepage of their site though; the little 'roo did it for me!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 30 November 2009

Jewellery: Keeping it in the family

Today, I am feeling very special and important (make do Kate might say superior!) I am feeling this way because I am wearing a beautiful necklace, bespokely made just for me and presented to me yesterday, quite by suprise. No other necklace like this one exists in the whole world, and that's enough to make anyone feel pretty great. My incredible crafty and talented little sister Lucy made this necklace just for me. It is silver and the beads are glass; each bead is a slightly different colour and shape, making it even more unique. She is making a range of increasingly bautiful and complicated jewellery in her back bedroom, and I anticipate her gifts with glee.
She also made the festive little box the necklace was presented in. Although she doesn't sell her jewellery (I keep telling her she should!) you can check out more of Lucy's crafts on her fairly new blog, Munyip Makes. I know that I will be keeping this safe, and that it feels even more special knowing not only that it was made just for me, but also because it was made with love.
Sorry for the posting gap, but I took a break to spend some time with my family, who all came to London and gathered in my house for some wonderful family fun! Normal service will resume now though!
Love, Tor xxx

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Lust-have item of the day: Sophie Hulme cardigan

I saw it. I need it. I randomly saw this cardigan on the New! magazine website this morning and fell in love. It is from the Asos designer collaboration section (called, i believe The Hub) and is by British designer Sophie Hulme. Sophie Hulme is one of a handful of young, emerging designers who have been hand-picked to design an exclusive collection for the range

Her collection, inspired by all things British, includes teapots and kitsch caravan prints. Apparently it comes in at £65, which isn't exactly cheap, but I don't think it will break the bank either. However I can't find it - the asos site is loading unbelievably slow and I can't seem to locate this cardigan on it. Has it sold out? Does anyone know anything? I want to snuggle in this over Christmas. Help!!

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wonderfully impressive stocking fillers for under £20

*If you are either of my sisters then please click away now!
I don't normally enjoy christmas gift guides, because I struggle to pen my loved ones into magazines pre subscribed boxes (if they're a boy look on this page, if they're sporty look on this page, etc) However I have very nearly finished my Christmas shopping (Martin Lewis the money expert would be proud, as I wanted to pay for my presents with October's salary leaving me November's for partying and December's for the January sales)

And whilst completing my shopping I have found (and bought!) some really pretty gifts that won't break the bank, so I thought I would share them with you. So here is the fabfrocks Christmas stocking gift guide. 6 great things to suit any under £20 budget and perfect for every single girl I know!
Next week i'll be bringing you another 6 items for those with a bigger budget; under £35. And if anyone is reading this looking for gifts for me then those gloves have particularly taken my fancy; I couldn't believe they were only £18!

Enjoy your Christmas shopping everyone!
Love, Tor xx

New competition: From brief to bra

I hate shopping for underwear - finding something pretty that I can wear smoothly under my clothes and that actually looks right is a nightmare, because I have a heavy chest but a narrow back. Wouldn't it be amazing if you could take the pattern from one bra, add it to the shape of another, and then embellish it to your own special requirements?
Well thanks to this new competition from SimplyYours, you can!! Simply Yours, the plus size lingerie specialist (and producers of the genius Gok Wan shapewear) is running its first ever design competition "From Brief to Bra".

If men designed bras....

They want to find out what you look for in a lingerie set - and what better way than to ask you to put your ideas to paper and submit a design? They want you to let your creativity flow and design a lingerie set perfect for curvalicious women. The winning design will feature in the Spring/Summer 2011 catalogue and be sold at!
The competition is being run through their Facebook page and I for one will be giving it a go; it would be easy to find the perfect bra if i'd designed it myself!!
Love Tor

PS - Don't forget to enter my fantastic Aussie competition - it ends on Friday!!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Daily wear: The new old dress

Hi guys,
Two important things happened in the FabFrocks house this weekend; the first is that we put up our Christmas decorations (it's the first Sunday of Advent next Sunday and my whole family is coming round for a feast!)
They're looking so pretty, and are making me feel really festive! I've even started taunting Mike by leaving wrapped presents under the tree! The second exciting thing is that I fit into this dress:
A couple of months ago the boyfriend kindly ordered me this dress from ASOS. I loved it, especially the unusual panels. However I was devastated when it was too tight and it just didn't fit.
Mike packed it all up to send it back, but I just liked it too much to let it go. So I resolved to lose a little bit of weight and have used it as a measuring stick because I don't like scales; and this weekend it fit!! I still want to shed a little more weight, especially off my upper arms and legs which are looking particularly chunky in my coloured tights experiment. But this pretty dress made my day, because it means i'm making steps in the right direction!
Now i'm going to ruin it all by sitting in front of my Christmas tree and eating a mince pie!
Love, Tor xx