Sunday, 31 January 2010

Fabfrocks reviews: Shock Absorber running bra

When I think about bras I think about pretty lacey thinks with bows and ruffles and matching knickers. I don't think about this:But as I increase my exercise regime from a couple of times a week to everyday (just about!) in my well documented bid to shed a few pounds, this could become the most important bra in my wardrobe.
Buying a sports bra is as boring as buying a pair of trainers: but just as essential. I don't think I realised this until I did my work out in the shock absorber bra this morning and for the first time ever when exercising, didn't spend 20 minutes thinking about the dull pain in my breasts! Not that I didn't have a sports bra: but believe me once you've tried the Shock Absorber, you'll never turn back to the one from Primark for a fiver again!
The bra is from the new sports specific range: this one has been designed for running, but there are two others designed for racket sports and ball games. The fit is snug and it has a slight flattening affect on the bust. And the white lines around the cups aren't go faster stripes (sadly!): they're strategically placed reflective strips, meaning you'll be seen more easily if you're running at dusk or dawn. It fits really comfortably with no rubbing or chaffing (even when I was jumping vigorously on my trampoline!) and although I can't attest to the blurb specific 78% bounce reduction, I can say that the amount of bounce was significantly reduced. Oh, and despite all the scary looking catches and fasteners, it is really easy to get on!
The new bra is available from Debenhams ( and the only down side to it (from my point of view) is that it only goes up to an F cup: I wear a FF. But I tried upping the band size and trying the F, and the fit is pretty good.
I think now that my wobble is under control, I could even be encouraged to get outside and start running. But i'll probably stay in here on my cross trainer, watching Eastenders!
Love, Tor xx

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Question: What do you wear to a job interview?

The third question in my "what to wear to..." series is the most difficult one of all: What to wear to a job interview. I think it's so hard, and often spend more of my preparation time panicking about my outfit than I do reading my notes!
What you wear to a job interview depends on a number of factors. Firstly of course its key to be professional, and its important to be comfortable. But the level of formality, and more importantly creativity in your outfit depends on the industry you want to work in. So i'm going to divide my post into 3 categories: formal (I think this is best for city jobs), semi formal (this is good for more creative roles such as marketing and pr) and casual (nowadays almost any role can be in a "casual" office so only go casual if they specifically say so- I had my first casual interview for a big corporation, and it was more nerve-wracking than the boring suit ones!)
Formal: Sadly, in some industries there is no room for creativity at all. If you are going to a formal interview for a formal job I would stay safe in a black suit and a crisp shirt. I would even stick to a skirt: I have heard from friends who work in the city that this is what is expected from women at the first interview stage. This doesnt have to be horribly boring though! A well cut shirt can be hard to find, and I bet you will find yourself wearing it to everything, again and again!


Semi formal: For this I would still lean towards a suit but team it with a jersey top rather than a blouse. This is also a good place for a shift dress and nice handbag!


Casual: Like I said before, this is the hardest one. No matter how casual everyone else is, this doesn't mean jeans! It's still an interview, so its important to look a little smart and make it clear that you're taking the interview, and the job seriously. When someone says come casual what they want is for you to be relaxed: but an interview is still a time to present the best possible version of yourself.


Most of all, don't worry too much about it all! The best piece of advice my mum ever gave me was to remember that they aren't just interviewing you, you're interviewing them. So I always put a little piece of my own creativity in my outfit; with interesting shoes or a piece of jewellery. (I do work in a creative role though!) Because it's important to me and if they don't like who I am I won't be happy anyway, so it's better to just not get the job!
PS - Congratulations to the lady who inspired this post! My sister found out on Thursday that she has a new job and is exciting to start in a new career direction. Go Amie!
Love, Tor xx
Outfit 1: Suit from Debenhams, shoes from Carvela, shirt and bag from River Island.
Outfit 2: Suit from All Saints, everything else from Topshop
Outfit 3: Everything is from Debenhams

Friday, 29 January 2010

Daily wear: buttery-soft show off!!

My daily wear posts seem like buses at the minute: none for ages and then two come along in the same week! The real reason I am posting this is to show off the leather jacket I wrote about getting from River Island in the January sales:


It really is as soft as butter and I love the waterfall lapels: the gentle draping seems to minimize my bust and is very flattering around my waist. I dont think this outfit is showing it off to its best though, because I have a seriously thick cardigan underneath!

The cardigan is from a charity shop in Norwich: I love it! I got it many moons ago, and Becky got a very similar one at th same time (Matching=cool, ok!) I've teamed it with a dress from primark and the knee high boots you have seen me wear a million times before: they're just so comfy when I want a heel but know i'm going to do lots of traipsing around!

Oh, and what is that around my neck?? Yes, it's the bat skull necklace I lusted after back in November! My boyfriend bought it for me for Christmas, but unfortunately it isn't nickle free (and I am allergic to nickle) so I wore it once and couldn't wear it again. However last week I finally got around to changing the chain and now I can wear it all the time!

And one more oh: check out my new hair! I wanted it really light (I believe my exact words were gaga blonde) and four hours later, this is what I got! I have to go back on Saturday to have it toned one more time (its yellower than I would like at the front) but then it will be perfect! For a dramatic look I teamed it with WendyB-red lips!

Have a great Friday!

Love, Tor x

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Pizza express: Eat pizza, stay thin!

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I am on a health kick this year and have started watching what I eat and exercising three times a week: I don't want to be 'skinny' and don't think that anyone should be pressured to be thin, but I want to tone up!
This should mean that pizza is off the table. So you can imagine how excited I was when Pizza Express got in touch asking if I wanted to attend an event where I can make and eat a pizza which has only 500 calories from their new Leggaria range(this is basically a pizza with a hole in the middle filled with salad) alongside a 100 calorie (!) glass of wine as well as meet a nutritionist and a life coach.

I sat with the lovely Reda and Harriet of Where is Harriet ( We chatted about blogging and were then joined by the nutritionalist who helped develop the leggara and the life coach respectively. They were both lovely and I learnt that it is not OK to just have a banana for breakfast (i'm now having wholegrain toast with my banana, starting this morning) and that the reason I don't feel hungry in the morning is because i'm eating too late at night. I also learnt to think positively during exercise to maintain my motivation.
Then we went to get our hands dirty in our pizza making masterclass:

I am a terrible pizza maker but Mike (the handsome pizzaiola) was great. He taught us how to toss the dough and the secrets of the leggara: how to cut the hole in the middle, and the low fat cheese that still tastes great, but keeps the calories down. And then he let us go crazy with the toppings!
And here is my completed pizza: yummy cheesy goodness but without the guilt!

It was a really fun and educational event, and though I still don't think we can say we're on a diet and eat pizza everyday, it's nice to know that the option is there when you want a guilt-free treat.
Love, Tor x

Primark pick of the week: New season dresses

Hi guys,
I know it still feels a bit cold, but think about spring we must! And I could be slightly biased because I can't actually buy any of them (and not being allowed something makes us want it all the more) but I love every single summery floaty dress in the primark window this week:
The themes are generic summer ones: floral and nautical. But I like the vintage feel to some of the nautical pieces and the flattering puff sleeves on the floral dresses. I also like the price point: I always double check the hems and restitch the buttons on anything I buy from primark but I do think the quality of their stock is improving dramatically. And although that means you have to pay £15 for a dress instead of £10, something similar from topshop would still set you back £60. This, of course, is merely an observation, and not me trying to talk myself into shopping at all!
The transitional coats instore at the minute are very eyecatching: i'm especially fond of the white sailor coat with contrasting navy buttons and trim (second picture) And for those of you still looking to wrap up warm against the current chill, a lot of the jumpers and cardigans instore have been reduced - see? There's something for everyone!
Love, Tor xx
PS - I know I usually take close up pictures instore but a burly security guard asked me not to and proceeded to stalk me with his eyes all the way around the shop. So these window pics were the best I could do. Hopefully i'll have better luck next time!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Dailywear: colour pop and zebra boots

This is what I wore to work today: my hair (which is naturally slightly curly and frizzy) went crazy in the rain this morning!

The mini dress is years old, picked up from TK Maxx, the cardigan is also seasons old from primark. I love the batwing sleeves and the vibrant yellow colour! The necklaces are from Miss Selfridge and Warren James respectively. The bag is by Max C, I got it from Joy. The zebra print boots are from Topshop Boutique, as are the leggings.

These boots inject zing into any outfit; they are really hard to wear though because the pattern shortens your legs and they are an awkward length for dresses (which is all I ever wear!) I still love them though: they are very bling, and my sister insists they make me look like Rod Stewart.

Speaking of Rod Stewart, check out my awful fringe trim. (It reminds me a little of seventies Rod!) It's very short, but on the plus side, at least it's straight. I will just have to wait a couple of weeks for it to grow back to its normal length!

Todays was a very ordinary outfit but the bright colour of the cardi and the boots I don't normally wear to work lifted it up: I think it even helped make my day go quicker! I hope you all had a happy Monday!

Love, Tor xx

Fabfrocks loves Kenzo: A rare glimpse at a menswear collection

I don't normally closely follow the menswear shows (it's my secret shame!) but when I saw the new Kenzo collection on Saturday I realised it's probably time I paid a little more attention! This is exactly how I would love the man of my dreams to dress: The collection is very 50's inspired, I love the pairing of the Doc Marten boots with the more tailored suit trousers. Skinny ties are a particular favourite, and I love the cherry red leather in both the boots and the gloves. It is the perfect masculine but attention grabbing accent colour for the variety of shades and patterns of grey.

I love the long double breasted blazers, but the soft grey zip up biker style jacket is also versitile and wearable. I also think it's quite androgenous: I would love to wear that myself! It also helps that the models are very beautiful: this definitely holds my attention to any collection!

The overall looks are very strong but there are aspects here that could be incorporated into any gentlemans wardrobe: I can see a pair of cherry red leather gloves going straight onto the boyfriends birthday present list! This has also reignited my love affair with D Martens.

I think I might make a belated new years resolution to get more involved in the menswear shows - yum!

Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Make up: What's your workspace state of mind?

I was thinking today about blogging, and more specifically about the situation in which I write my blog. I am lucky enough to have a home studio complete with sewing machines and space, desk and shelves and shelves full of fashion books. Yet I always write the blog with my laptop on my knees on the sofa (yes, that is where I am now!)

Creativity-wise, where I blog isn't that important to me. And yet, when it comes to putting my make up on there is only one place I can be: my dressing table. Chaos it might be, but it's an organised chaos and everything has its own special place. It's an oasis of products and quiet, where one stroke with the right brush could turn me into Cinderella (it hasn't yet, but i'm still confident it could!)
I'm sure this sounds superficial, but I feel like my dressing table is a tiny reflection of me; complete with its shabby chaos and its birds and bird cages everywhere! I love perfume and layering scents on top of each other, so i'm lucky to have a boyfriend who indulges my whims and gifts me with lots of lovely smells. The latest two (both to be recommended) are the Marc Jacobs Lola (a Christmas gift from my parents) and the Anna Sui from the bf
On days when i'm running late I put my make up on on the tube, and even though I don't actually wear an awful lot of make up, it leaves me feeling all out of sorts! I think its the calming affect of having ten minutes at my dressing table that makes me feel good about myself, rather than the actual make up itself!

What about you: do you have any routine you couldn't live without, however trivial?

Love, Tor xxx

Friday, 22 January 2010

ASOS Curve: ASOS dominate the world!

ASOS have launched a new plus sized range called "ASOS curve" aimed at curvy women sized 20-28. I can't review the fit or the quality because the collection isn't aimed at me, but I can say that i'm glad that ASOS have decided to grow their brand in this direction (doesn't this mean there is noone left that can't have ASOS in their wardrobe? Their domination of the online shopping world is complete!)


Things I love about ASOS curve:

  • That the plus sized clothes are actually being shown on the body of a genuinely plus sized model. I hate it when you see a size 14 girl modelling for Evans (they do that alot) How is that inspirational for a plus sized woman?
  • The price point is the same as for the ASOS mainline range. I know that plus sized clothes require more fabric (and this is used as explanation) but always thought it must be awful to have to spend so much more than anyone else for every item of clothing you buy.
  • As you can see from the pics above, the clothes are genuinely fashion forward. They are young and trendy and versitile: there are pieces here that could be worn by any plus sized woman of any age.

The collection is quite small at the minute (only a couple of pages of stuff) but i'm sure as people start buying it it will grow and grow! A perfect incentive to get involved in what I like to call "online shopping Friday!"

Love, Tor xx

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Obsession of the day: Wedge ankle boots

Like most people that like fashion I have obsessions; little fixations, if you will. They are pointless and shallow and mean nothing in the grander scheme of things, when earthquakes can take everything you have. But when I have one of my little fixations i'm like a dog with a bone: I can't let anything go!
For the past couple of months I have been fixating on wedge ankle boots. Everytime I get dressed, everything I wear, I mentally tell myself it could look better if I had those boots on my feet. I especially wanted the Ashish @ Topshop ones and now I am seeing them everywhere, and the more I see the more I want.
I want them high and severe: even the Rick Owens ones I used to lust after seem too tame to me now. In dream money shopping world these Acne ones (above) are the ones I will stomp about in (these boots are made for stomping!) and I like the unusual white sole detail and the laces. These are sleek shoes. On the highstreet I would plump for these instead:
I can only find a picture of the tan one online, but they do have these in black instore. Of course, they're from Topshop.
Someone emailed me saying it was "awful" that I could be so shallow as to sit here and write about clothes after what had happened in Haiti. Like it was my fault (it wasn't, by the way). I won't be responding to that email but I will say this: Isn't it amazing that we can sit at our computers and be so selfish and so shallow? I feel good about that today because of all the people that can't, not in spite of them.
Kate @Make do Style had the fab idea that we bloggers should ask any PR types that get in touch we should ask them to make a donation to Haiti in exchange for promoting their products (if we wanted to promote them anyway of course, i'm not suggesting we write about stuff we don't like!) I've already done this once this week, and thought it was such a good idea I would share: it's a particularly good way of giving if you're too broke to dig into your own rent/food money!

Love, Tor xx

PS - The Principles review is coming, it's just taking me longer to work on than I thought! Sorry!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fabfrocks interviews: Ben de Lisi

Today I went to see the new Principles by Ben de Lisi collection. Under Ben's creative direction, Debenhams is moving the brand back to what it is celebrated for: a timeless modern collection with a designer twist aimed at the discerning fashion lover. There are some really lovely pieces (a striped cropped jacket and an embellished navy chiffon dress had me particularly excited) and also some non-descript ones (a tan stripey cardigan was especially yawn-worthy) but I will be writing a full post about what I thought of the clothes later. I will say the collection is definitely aimed at a woman older and smarter than myself, but it was still fashion forward, if not a little predictable. However, this post isn't about the clothes but about the man himself.
After I had seen the showcase of the new collection I was given the change to talk to Ben de Lisi, and find out more about what he felt about the new range:

How do you think this collection differs from your usual collections, which usually focus on eveningwear?
It's effortless, it doesn't require too much thought. It's easy to wear and easy for people to understand. Some of the dresses just require throwing on, they don't need anything else. Flashes of colour are also important.
How hands on were you throughout the design process of the collection?

I go to the office everyday and input to the collection everyday. I am the same with anything that has my name on it: this isn't just a celebrity endorsement.

Who are your style icons?

Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis. I saw Michelle Obama eminating that style and wearing J Crew and I thought that was exactly the right thing to do and that really helped inspire this collection.

Everyone has a career defining moment. What would you say has been yours so far?

Kate Winslet wearing my red dress to the Oscars (I knew he was going to say that but I had to ask!)

Each collaboration collection has one piece that everyone is trying to get their hands on. What piece do you think it will be from this range?

I really like the mac, which comes in two colour ways. It's fully lined and will retail at, I think, £86. I also like the lined monochrome dresses with the pattern which was influenced by the New York skyline.

You studied sculpture in Brooklyn before becoming a fashion designer. Do you think this has an influence on you as a designer?

Yes I think it does. I view the body as a form, as something to sculpt around. I think it also influences the patterns I use which can be graphic.
What do you like about the existing Principles brand, and what will change under your leadership?

I liked that before had a strong identity and it was accessible to the consumer. Now I intend to bring a touch of class!

Principles by Ben de Lisi will come in sizes 8-20 and the petite range will come in sizes 6-18. My next post will be a full review of the range.

Love, Tor xx

Competition: Does your boyfriend have great hair?

Does your fella have great hair? It is thick and glossy? Does it fill you with envy? My boyfriend has a shaggy mane of lovely locks: he even uses hair straighteners (sorry Mike, the secret is out!) and there have been Saturday nights when it has taken him longer to do his hair than it takes me to do mine!This is cricketer Kevin Peitersen. Not my boyfriend!
He also uses products: possibly as many as I do! On the subject of products for men, the whole Brylcreem range has just had a complete style overhaul, fronted by England cricketer Kevin Peitersen, and they're on the hunt for a number of guys to show off some of their new Brylcreem products via a fantastic new competition over on their Facebook page. [ ]
All they’re asking is for fans to tell them where good hair has got them, and submit a photo of themselves to accompany the story – have they pulled a girl way out of their league, blagged it into a club or got even further than that? At first I thought it was ridiculous that hair could get blokes any of these things, but then I thought about the power of hair: a good hair style really can't be underestimated!!
The four selected Brylcreem boys will not only be filmed for the Brylcreem website demonstrating how to use the products, but they will also win an amazing style package worth over £1000 [2 hours personal shopping at selected House of Fraser stores with vouchers worth £500 to spend in store, a haircut at a local salon, a D&G watch, an 8GB Apple iPod Nano and one year's subscription to GQ magazine!]. Ten runners-up will each win a year's supply of Brylcreem products.

Not a bad prize for some lucky handsome chap!
Love, Tor xxx

Monday, 18 January 2010

Question: What do you wear to a winter graduation?

Everyone I know (until recently) has graduated in the summer. I always thought this was the standard university way: until December when i'm confronted with my sisters snowy graduation and no idea what to wear! For every other graduation i'd been to a floaty tea dress and pretty heels had been the easy order of the day! This was as much a dillemma for both my sisters and my mum, so I thought the next installment of my "what to wear..." series would cover what to wear to a winter graduation.

What do you wear to a winter graduation?

Young or old, the perfect piece for the winter graduation (if you have the money for this as well as a lovely outfit, of course!) is a statement coat. My mum wore a beautiful calf-length cream wool number covered in black embroidery, which she teamed with tailored black trousers and a red silk top (for an injection of colour) I couldn't afford a new coat, so opted for my smartest navy mac. It might not seem that important, but given that all but the professional pictures are likely to be taken outdoors, people will see more of your coat than anything else.


If you really feel the cold I suggest you balance the neccessary accessorising with colour coordination; its OK not to freeze in a hat, scarf, and gloves, as long as they all match; if you really want to coordinate, match it to your top or dress underneath as well!

With a winter graduation it is tempting to whip out the sparkle: the shops are full of Christmas party dresses, and this is a special occasion, the bad devil on your shoulder tells you. Don't be tempted: you'll only stand out for all the wrong reasons. The outfit you're looking for is a smart formal day time outfit: something you wouldn't be ashamed for your Grandma to see you in!

If you fancy wearing something a little more attention grabbing then you could do a lot worse than this seasons winter florals: a wintery take on the traditional florals most people wear to a graduation:


And of course for those of you than wouldn't wear a skirt for love nor money, the winter graduation is a Godsend; skirts are almost expected in the summer, but in the winter there's nothing you can't do with a well-tailored pair of trousers. Opt for a brown or navy blue to avoid blending in with the crowd or accentuate your dramatic nature with black on black.


Another thing to bear in mind (with summer as well as winter graduations) is that if you are going to be walking across lawns to reception tents or photography beauty spots think about what you wear on your feet! As always the usual "rule" to stay comfortable applies and in this case it is also important to think about staying warm; there's nothing worse than having to rush through such a special day because all you can think about is how cold your toes are!

I opted for a coral black and blue floral skater dress with thick black tights and knee high black boots. I teamed it with my navy blue mac, a black scarf and black hat: it was warm and comfortable, but looked really smart on the day. And it really was a special day all round!

Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Nail colour: Bourjois have nailed it!

Barry M will always be my "go-to" brand for injecting exciting colours into my nail varnish collection (and I love their black nail varnish so much I buy it over and over again) but for it's high gloss and ease of application, Bourjois "So laque" polish is one I will certainly turn to again.
I was looking for a nude nail colour that would almost blend in (certainly tone nicely) with my skin, and not draw too much attention to itself, whilst still making me look polished and well put together. This kind of subtlety isn't something Barry M does well, so I had to look elsewhere in the Boots make up department to fulfill my needs; the So laque in "Beige glamour" fit the bill perfectly!
At £5.49, I wouldn't call this cheap. And I wouldn't have bought it at all if I didn't have an important event coming up that required a definite lack of black fingers. But now i'm really glad I did; the brush is fan shaped so that just one application covers the whole nail (two sweeps on the thumb) It had a great consistency which made it really easy to apply too, and it looked nice after one coat, and could definitely be worn that way, but I applied two coats because I wanted a really high gloss finish.
The bonus of buying it in Boots was that they are giving away a £5 voucher for Ruby and Millie/No 7 with every purchase over £5. And given that the No 7 nail varnishes are just over £6, next week I will be buying myself their new teal polish for £1. (because making 2 purchases in one week would just be decadent, no matter the price!) That makes the overall collective cost of the 2 varnishes very reasonable indeed!

What's your favourite nail varnish? Are there any other brands you would recommend I try?

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 15 January 2010

H! by Henry Holland behind the scenes photos

The first H! by Henry Holland @ Debenhams drop is landing soon, and I for one am excited: as you might remember, I previewed the range a couple of months ago, and there were a couple of lovely floral dresses on my hit list. I think the range is going to be really popular, especially given the massive '90s revival we are experience at the moment: "Very nineties" would be the one phrase I would choose if I had to sum up the collection in two words, in fact.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I was sent some behind the scenes shots of Henry working on the collection. And even more excited that I could share them with you:

I love seeing "sketch to dress" pictures: it fascinates me to see how the original vision evolves to become a wearable viable piece.
I always think it's nice to know that a designer has been truly involved in a highstreet collaborative project: so often I imagine that designers and especially celebrities just turn up to the launch party. It's nice to know this isn't the case with the H! range (I base this statement on the evidence of the three pictures above: so i'm not sure if it's really 100% true. I'd like to think so though!)
Looks good doesn't it?! I will be even more excited when I can get in store and try all the stuff on: expect a full review on that as soon as it happens! Will you be checking it out? Or as the range of designer collaborations grows and grows are you loosing interest? The market for it certainly is becoming saturated!

Love, Tor x

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Everyone's talking about: V magazine's "Size issue"

Everywhere I turn today I am accosted with posts, pictures and articles about V magazines size issue. And it hasn't even been released yet!

Overall I have read postive posts and comments, but I have also noticed how many people spew hatred about having to look at pictures of someone who might be a little bit fatter than them: is it really that big a deal? But of course it is a big deal, if for no other reason than that we aren't used to it. Most magazines only feature what I refer to as "standard" catwalk models: tall, thin, flat chested. But (and I say this as a curvy girl myself) I can understand why.

When i'm flicking though a magazine or catalogue I rarely notice the models: i'm looking at the clothes. I don't know if this is normal or unusual, but I never know which model has appeared in which catwalk show, even if I was there. I don't look at the models at all, only what they're displaying. And androgenous women are the perfect clothes horses; boobs and hips are sexy and appealing and they get in the way when i'm focusing on looking at a dress!

Now if i'm reading an editorial it's a different story, and some clothes hang better on bigger women; so I think that magazines should have more versitility in the models they use. And I think it's nice to see a women who looks like you wearing a dress you quite like; hell, it might even encourage you to go out and buy the dress! But I don't think this should become a big "versus" argument: there is no war! I'm not sure why some articles are giving big ticks to plus sized models and then in turn, subliminally perhaps, putting a big cross next to the standard ones. "That's one for the big girls" "The big girls are taking over" Isn't there room for everyone?There certainly is in our society, where I wouldn't dream of pitching women against each other based on their height or weight (except, perhaps, if I was organising some kind of wrestling tournament) I understand the fashion world is different from the "real world" and not all shapes and sizes can or will be embraced, but I just can't believe that a few inches on a waistline can cause these kind of headlines.

I would also like to point of that the "Size Issue" featured plus sized and petite women. So why are we only reading stories about the plus sized models? I know it's a slow news week, but maybe some of the tabloids need to take a step back and get some perspective.

I won't be deciding how I feel about the success or otherwise of the issue until i've actually seen it: a few widely distributing pictures does not an opinion make!

Love, Tor xx

PS - I would also like to point out the only positive of all this debate: I seem to be having a girl crush on Crystal Renn!

Fabfrocks loves Victoria Shearing Millinery

With the news of my sisters engagement spreading through the family camp like wildfire, all family talk recently is of weddings: what to wear, what she should wear, where, get the idea!
So it struck me as funny when a press release about Victoria Shearing Millinery Launching her Debut Bridal Collection landed in my inbox this morning. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link: One look at the designs and I found them so beautiful I knew I had to share:

I love the third one especially (the veil crown) which is very much to my sisters taste: the feathers and the flamoyance are more for me really!!

Victoria Shearing ( creates stunning and unique couture head pieces, fascinators and tiaras for special occasions. Designed and hand crafted in her studio, Victoria uses her creativity and knowledge of millinery and haberdashery to create both seasonal collections and bespoke pieces.

All head pieces are hand blocked, individually hand trimmed and lined to a high specification not found on the high street.

I initially clicked selflessly thinking of my sister, but that didn't last long! I might have Victoria design our headpieces for the wedding, and then I (and other bridesmaid/sister Amie) can steal the show!! (Insert evil laugh here!)
Of course i'm joking, but if you do have a wedding to go to then I think you could do a lot worse than one of these beautiful handmade headpieces, for not much more money than a mass produced one from the highstreet!
Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

All the fun of the fair in candyfloss hues

I'm having an editorial love affair with the upcoming Spring trend for candy floss colours; the baby blues, pinks, and greens remind me of the standard colours of the Nissan Figaro (my all-time dream car) They make me think of Easter eggs and Spring babies (chicks, lambs, calfs) and softest floaty chiffon.

I also love the puce and nudes that are being used for accessories all over the catwalk to go with this new trend: it makes me long for utterly impractical buttermilk leather gloves!


I'm looking forward to subtle clashing and layering colour after gentle colour all over myself. But will I ever turn by back on black? It's not really that tough a question - the answer is no! I will be softening the look by introducing some of the pastels I crave though! When Christopher Kane gives up black and turns to pastel, you know it's time to reassess the colour pallette of your wardrobe!


If you're thinking of getting ready for Spring on a budget then ASOS is a great place for basic pastel pieces (ideal for layering) at the minute but Topshop and River Island are also cashing in on the trend! Topshop and Kurt Geiger would be my first stops if I was looking for the obligatory statement nude shoes to compliment your new outfit.

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 11 January 2010

Question: What do you wear on a first date?

I try not to be too perscriptive when dresses for situations. As far as i'm concerned there is no set thing you should wear to a wedding or a job interview. But today a friend emailed me a question i'm sure hundreds of women the world over ask everyday, and I thought I would have a go at answering it:

What would you wear for a date with a boy you really like?

My initial answer to this was a hundred questions (starting with "who is this boy!?") Where is the date? When is the date? Where are you going? Because not only am I nosey, but I also don't think there is one answer to what you wear on a first date without knowing all the facts, and by answering these simple questions with your wardrobe in mind you can easily work out the answer yourself!

1. Where is the date geographically?
Is it near your house or a trek across town? In Covent garden (think hundreds of cobbles!) or at the top of several flights of stairs? There is nothing more off putting for any chap (so i'm told!) than a girl who can't walk in her shoes or complains constantly about her feet. So if you know there's going to be lots of walking keep your heels low or sneak a pair of flats in your handbag for the long walk home!

Similarly if you know your going to be bar hopping, talking a long bus home or going for a romantic walk then don't forget your coat! It might not look that chic with your carefully prepared outfit and we all know any truly chivalrous man will offer you his anyway, but you'll always be that girl who made him get frostbite and a nasty cold!! Not a good first-date look!

2.When is the date?
A Saturday night date gives you more time to prep, and I always think you can dress up a bit more for a weekend date than you can for an afterwork bite to eat! (Especially given most girls glam up on a Saturday night, even if they're just going to the pub!)


Of course if you are meeting straight from the office then redoing your hair and makle up, and even full outfit changes are normal, but (in my opinion) off putting; who has their full Saturday night make up and a sparkly dress on at 6.30pm on a Tuesday night? I would suggest your normal work outfit but with a few updating touches: an attention grabbing necklace, swap those heels for flats, change your top and you're ready to go!

3. Where are you going?
So you have on your slinkiest body con dress....and then he takes you for a five course dinner. What looked all svelt and slinky isn't looking so good with a food and wine stuffed pot belly is it? If you know your going to be dining out and (like me) your tummy expands a little when you eat then make sure your wearing something that fits a little looser on your middle.


Going on an old school bowling and hot dog date? Then leave the short skirts at home! Noone wants to see your knickers everytime you throw a ball. And if he does on a first date then he's probably not the kind of chap I would approve of you dating anyway (I'm very fussy!)!!
Actually I would avoid any kind of skirt when bowling; I promise you bowling shoes don't make anyones legs look attractive!

All it takes is a little bit of thought and a little bit more logic, and choosing what to wear for the perfect date is easy. And above all, make sure that your comfortable. If you feel your best in jeans then wear jeans; you can dress denim up for almost any occasion, so there's no need to borrow or buy a skirt or dress than makes you feel uncomfortable and not like you. Because if he doesn't like you then its time to send him back where you found him anyway!!

4. Boobs or legs but not both!


I hate style rules but this is one I will stick to 'til the end of my days. I don't believe "if you've got it flaunt it!" In fact, my mother taught me that having it was a very good reason indeed not to flaunt it at all. But if you do want to show off your never ending legs or your cracking cleavage then pick one and keep the other covered up; looking like a glamour model isn't classy and it isn't clever. Unless you are a glamour model of course. In which case it's probably a good idea to look like one!

5. It's all a matter of personal taste.
What's perfect for one person will make another cringe: that's the fabulous, subjective, interesting, different thing about fashion! Here's my perfect date outfit:


What's your go-to date outfit? Do you have any tips to add to this?

Love, Tor xx

Outfit 1: All from Oasis
Outfit 2: All from Topshop
Outfit 3: All from New Look

Outfit 4: Various highstreet stores

Wardrobe clearout time is here again!

In order to make the most of the wardrobe you've got you have to be able to see the wood from the trees. And in light of my new-f0und shopping opt-out (I like Make Do Style's term much better than ban!) now's the perfect time to clear out my wardrobe so that I can rediscover all the wonderful things lurking at the back that I didn't even know I had!

This means that yesterday I started added some more stuff to the FabFrocks Shop (I can't link that properly because blogger is playing up, but you can get there by clicking to your left!) As well as the usual array of dresses and tops, there are 3 coats available so far (more to come later today!)so perfect for the current chill! As usual, email me if there's anything you want!

I'm pretty excited and positive about the upcoming shopping "opt out" and being forced to experiment more with the wonderful wardrobe I already have. But now it's time to lay down the rules:

1. The obvious one! No shopping for clothes. Exceptions are: underwear if absolutely neccessary, and black tights/leggings, because I seem to always be putting holes in mine!
2. Window shopping is fine and to be encouraged: it's where I get a lot of inspiration for the blog!!
3. I'm giving up clothes shopping, not consumerism in general. So the occasional grazia magazine, replacement nail varnish, hair cut etc is acceptable.
4. Failure is not an option. It would be too embarrassing: especially given that my mum laughs out loud everytime I mention the plan!!

Love, Tor xx

PS - As I mentioned her earlier, "Hi Mum! Love ya!" My parents recently had broadband installed at home which has enabled my mum to start reading the blog everyday: she tells me off if i'm late to update, so this is an extra incentive to make sure I post everyday!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Lousie Goldin shoes at Topshop: out February 5th!

Just a little bit of shoe love, to brighten our gloomy weekends. I love the snow, but only when i'm watching it fall from inside my nice cosy living room: walking out in it is a nightmare!

Louise Goldin launches her first footwear collection for topshop in February, and i'm already a little bit in lust. These beautifully sculptured shoes were first seen on the catwalk of Louise’s SS10 collection.
This capsule collection nods towards the revival of the 1990’s with Louise citing high-glamour as a point of reference. Inspiration was also taken from Baroque opulence. There are two designs; the first is studded on the toe with diamante around the heel which is available in black on black or cream and gold. The second design has the reverse; studded heel and diamante toe and is available in rose with crystal.

Obviously i'm after the tougher-looking black pair, but I wouldn't say no to the other pairs either! Sadly, with the £150 price tag and my shopping ban starting on the 31st January, no is a word I am going to have to get used to!

Love, Tor xx

Saturday, 9 January 2010

If you want to bag a bargain then head to the River Island sale

....but if you do then I think you'll have to be quick! Yesterday online and today in store, you can take an extra 50% off ALL the sale stock in River Island. And there are plenty of bargains to be had! I was really surpised by how much variety of stock was still left in store, and in a full range of sizes too.

I've only just got back from Brent Cross and can't be bothered to try everything on (again!) and take photos, so here is what I got laid out flat, to give you an idea of what's available:
Silky embellished vest. Was £34.99, sale price £10. Today price: £5Snake print boyfriend blazer. Was £54.99, sale price £10. Today price: £5
Frilly cut out Dress. Was £44.99, sale price £20, today price: £10
Butterfly pattern ankle socks. (They made me think of Alice in Wonderland!)Was £3.99, sale price £1.50. Today price: 75p
And this is my favourite piece of all, and the biggest bargain too. Buttery soft stud detail leather jacket. Was £160, sale price £75. Today price: £37.50.

There is alot more available instore than online, although if you go to Brent Cross you may find the staff are rude to you: my sister wanted to buy a pair of trousers (as well as hundreds of other things) and everything except them came up at half the lowest price. When asked why they weren't too (I suspect they just hadnt programmed the till properly) she was spoken to so rudely ("I wont be changing my views for you, little madam" were the exact words) that she left everything and walked out of the shop. I bet they're waiting on the edge of their seats for my angry letter!

Although I am guilty of impulse-buying things I don't really need (the snake blazer and ankle socks for example) I think it's important to use the sales to your advantage and only buy things that fill a gap in your wardrobe. I've been snapping up cute tops to wear with jeans, having invested in my first pair for years last month and have been looking for the perfect leather jacket for a while: I have a "pleather" one but it feels horrible, both to touch and against the skin. This one is soft as butter, flattering and fabulous: it was love at first sight!

And with that the shopping crew (my boyfriend, sister and I) shook hands and decided that I now have everything I need, and my shopping ban can begin. It's going to be really hard and I will have to lay down some proper rules and need lots of support but i'm determined to do it. (I make it sound like I have a drug addiction!) More on the shopping ban on Monday.

Love, Tor xx