OOTD – Date Night + Handbag Tag

Dearest Ladies,

I have an OOTD for you today, but it’s also a tag post from the lovely “Mammu” ūüôā¬†She tagged me forever ago, but it was still on my “blog-posts-to-write” list. I’m talking about the¬†“What‚Äôs in my date night purse?” tag post. This is her original post.

Me and my boyfriend have rather busy lives. He has his band (see their photo-shoot here), his teaching job and a full-time job РI have my studies, my dissertation, my blog and a few other things. It is therefore important for us to make time for each other. So yesterday, we went to an Indian restaurant Рit was our first time trying the cuisine. We loved the food and wine and it was a really perfect date night.

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I decided on the same bag that I wore in this ootd post, I got it from ASOS a while ago. I was going for the “New Look Clutch Bag 1”, shown in one of my first posts. But, while I love that bag, it is so small, it’s stressful – it’s too hard to fit all you really need in it. I borrowed one of my sister’s dresses (from New Look) and I wore it over sandals which I bought (and only wore) for a wedding.

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This is all the crap that managed to fit in my bag:

  • My Phone
  • Tissues
  • My Keys (with my sizable key chains)
  • A Camera
  • A Catrice Lipstick (mentioned in a¬†favourite’s post)
  • A box of Daygum Chewing gum
  • My ID Card

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Yes, you might be wondering why I did not take my purse with me… For starters, it’s rather large, and secondly, this was my boyfriend’s treat. He saw me struggling to put it in the bag, and he reminded me that that was the deal from the beginning ūüôā

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I hope you like this look! I will try to post more regularly but as I said, it’s been a hectic couple of months.

Love,
M.

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What to wear and what not to wear to a Funeral

Dearest Readers,

Today I will take the plunge and talk about something we rarely talk about (by choice). Funerals are difficult for family members.¬†After the¬†Pretty Little Liars¬†season premiere, I have been battling in my head whether it is appropriate to write about this. But then I thought, “When we are in doubt, we Google it…” so we do expect to find something related to the subject.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, funeral attire must show that you are grieving. In a country like Malta, some are still very traditional. Sometimes family members choose to wear just black¬†for a long time. This is a ‘tradition’ but it is also a sign of respect and sorrow. Unfortunately I attended my fair share of funerals. Not that this is the most important thing but I do notice that while people are there to pay their respects and say final goodbyes, they are not always dressed appropriately for church and for a funeral.

I cannot stress this enough, the clothes you wear are not the most important thing, but wearing the right clothes for the situation is always important.¬†Choosing your funeral attire should be simple; it shouldn’t be something you have to think about (not too much, at least). The focus is not you – you do not need to shine. Here are some pointers for those who are still unsure on what to wear…

Sleeve Length

A minimum cap sleeve is expected. If you are going sleeveless, a shawl or a bolero is expected. No off the shoulder pieces unless you are then, covering up – I would actually avoid them completely.

No – Too ‘Sexy’

Perfect

Colour

In Malta we tend to go for Black. Unless the family states that the deceased would have wanted people to dress as usual, i.e. colourful, it is always safe to assume that Black and White (and Grey) is what you should be going for. A white-shirt and a pencil skirt will always do the trick.

Too Much (for a funeral)

This + Bolero = Good

Cut & Fit

Nothing too sexy. You are going to a funeral, not to pick up guys at a bar. Office wear is usually smart enough unless you feel like slipping into a Little Black Dress – A midi dress would be a tad more appropriate than a little one. In MY opinion: no dip-hem skirts or crop tops. No cut out tops and dresses either. A tasteful peplum might be ok. ¬†Your clothes should fit you well – a dress that is too short is not appropriate. Go for something smart, I am not sure about baggy trousers… You have to be your own judge, but don’t go to a funeral wearing leggings (AS PANTS…), or even worse, wet-look leggings.

Too Baggy

Too much Skin

Perfect

Also Perfect.

Pattern

Don’t go for anything fussy. I think plain is always better, especially for a funeral. If you’re wearing patterns, make sure it does not draw too much attention. I think certain lace tops, young people were wearing to one of the funerals were tacky. This is not the place to wear your Saturday night sexy stretchy body. I understand that they are young, and possibly own a neon coloured wardrobe, but a white shirt is more appropriate than ‘ńßamalli’ lace.

No

Pretty, but might be a bit much for a funeral…

This will work.

Shoes

Flats are ok, but I would prefer kitten heels (No, I don’t think they are hideous…) or a mid-heel. You want to look smart but not too sexy, so stilettos might be pushing it if you are not able to walk in them. Wedges are ok if they are not massive. I would go for black shoes if possible, something elegant, something you can walk in – again, be your own judge (this post is just a few tips!).

Perfect.

Good.

Good too.

Too Flashy!

Too much

Make up

Keep it simple. Foundation and a nude lipstick. Maybe add a little bit of blusher not to look completely washed out. If you think you’re going to cry (just being realistic here…), don’t overdo it with eye make up. Otherwise stick to waterproof. I went for just a little bit of mascara and a soft coloured eyeliner on the bottom lash line. In my opinion, this is not the place for false lashes. You do not want to look overdone. You do not want to look like you were more into your looks than to mourn. Don’t go all dolled up, it doesn’t reflect positively on you if you look like you spent an hour doing your make up. Go for a natural or a ‘no make-up’ bare look.

Sunglasses

Finally, if you are going for sunglasses, don’t go for anything massive, fancy or with lots of embellishments. Something simple that ¬†fulfills its purpose and that’s it.

Too Conspicuous!

Good Choice

Men

Men always have it easier. Just wear your suit, a grey or black one; navy blue can be ok too. A clean white shirt and a black tie. If you do not have a black tie, go for some other subtle colour. Nothing too fancy, you can keep your pink tie for some other occasion. Do not put too much gel in your hair either, it’s not that good for you anwyay.

Image source for all of the above: ASOS.com

Onto one last example:

I don’t know if you watch Pretty Little Liars, but in the first episode this season, aired last week, all the “liars” attended a funeral. This is what they wore:

Pretty Little Liars at Walden’s Funeral (Hanna, Emily, Spencer, Aria)

With Jenna in the Background… (Emily, Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Jenna)

With Mona… (Emily, Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Mona)

Hanna: While I do like her dress, this was too sexy for a funeral. As soon as I saw it, I could not stop thinking about how inappropriate it was. Don’t get me wrong, I love it… just not for a funeral.

Emily: While introducing a little bit of colour, this dress was a very good choice for Emily. Points for Emily!

Spencer: As usual, Spencer is perfect. Her outfit was smart and there wasn’t too much skin showing. Great choice indeed.

Aria: I felt that her outfit was a bit too much. You do not need to keep your style at a funeral (it’s irrelevant!). Women usually wear the first smart¬†black dress they find in their closets. Maybe the dress was ok (for her, given her style), even though it had a red belt/waistline, but I would have stopped there. The burgundy shoes were (pretty but) unnecessary.

Jenna: I think the lace was overdone here. Were those stockings? Really? (Don’t get me wrong, I DO like them, I just think a funeral is not the place for them.

Mona: She looked great. A very pretty dress, perfect cut, not too much cleavage – it worked out great for her build.

Finally, while I did put a lot of thought into this, you shouldn’t worry too much about it as long as you look smart and keep it simple. If you are attending a funeral, your main focus should be the family, not what you’ll be wearing. As long as it is something respectful and tasteful, the point of going is you being supportive. Be in the best attire possible, not for yourself or for a show, but to pay your respects.

I really hope I did not offend anyone with this post. I am only trying to be helpful here. The numbers show me that¬†unfortunately¬†many of you find this blog post because you just lost someone.¬†My deepest sympathies go to all of you who have just lost a loved one. ‚̧

Love,

M.

Shopping tips – problems with ‘picturing’ your wardrobe

Dearest Readers,

I haven’t posted a list in ages and since I will be going to London next week, I thought, “What better time to post something about shopping?” This is also something for me to keep in mind!

Shopping can be fun, but you have to be careful, unless you want to do this every year:

Weirdly enough, being a lady sometimes means that:¬†the more clothes you have, the more you feel like you have nothing to wear. Still, unless our bank accounts are exploding with money (mine isn’t) and our closets are huge, we sometimes need to hold the breaks, if anything, just to keep our closets clean and tidy, right?!

If you’re anything like me, you do not want to carry an extra bag when you are shopping. But when looking for something in particular, you might want to actually do that: take it with you. That’s the only way you can get it right on the first time (unless you have a photographic memory). Otherwise, your trip to the mall can be more than simply unsuccessful. Besides, it will turn out to be a waste of your time as you might need to return it.¬†This is why picturing your wardrobe from afar, might not be such a good idea:

1. Colour and Pattern

This is probably the most realistic problem. Colours and Patterns seem to be different in our head to what they are in reality… So, you decided¬†not to have one extra bag with you, but you still need to get the right item to go with it. You brave the shops, and end up with a darker/lighter hue than you originally desired. Grrrr! Whether you LOVE shopping or HATE shopping – this is just a waste of time!

The colour and pattern might match the image of your skirt in your head, but will it work when you get home to try everything on? Not sure about that. You will then need to buy a new top anyway, and a skirt to match your new top – this habit can become dangerous!

Source: Twicsy

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to¬†take a look at your closet before you head out. You don‚Äôt want to head back with 10 new items and realize that ‘ooops’ you have so many items in the very same colour. (I do know people who don’t mind that actually…)

2. Cut and Shape

You might be thinking, “This would look great with my latest peplum addition.” But I say, “Will it really?”

Flares and pleats seem to re-size themselves as need be when they are only in our head. You wouldn’t want to look like a lampshade and sometimes you think skinny pants do the trick. Just ask yourself if you have enough or too much play with shapes in your outfit.

Just because something is all over the shops, doesn’t mean it should be all over our closets. Peplum might be in, but I’ll never wear it – the cut and shape is not really for me.¬†Again ‚Äď our mental image of what we have in our closet drawer is not always¬†accurate, so unless you are shopping for fun, beware and be aware!

Not sure if this shape is really ‘you’…

3.Texture and Material

While some people can pull off wearing different materials combined and different textures and patterns, this is not a matter of choosing a print and checked shorts and not caring about anything else. While we should all be encouraged to play with soft and harder textures, plain and bolder patterns, one must keep in mind that not everything goes, at least, in my opinion.

More so, not everyone will look good in the same things. For instance, I do not think that velvet goes with everything, but some people combine it with different things and make it look great anyway. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment. But, if you are looking for something specific,¬†take the item you need to match to with you. (Am I preaching?)

If you don‚Äôt, you might find out that your most favourite buy¬†does not look good with your linen pants… Your lacy blouse would look better with satin, and whatever have you. Be daring in what you are wearing but do look at the mirror before you head out to the world.

You’re doing it right! Source: marieclaire

4. Space

If you are going to grab some more basics, remember, our closets are finite. You can make space… but there is a limit. Don’t go for massive furry coats or puffy jackets if you are not sure you are actually going to wear them. They will take up half of your closet space, at least until you decide to stop feeling guilty and put them away for good. I’m not suggesting crop tops to save space, but even when it comes to shoes, think:¬†do you have space where you can store these massive wedges?

No one wants to see your shoe boxes on your balcony in the scorching sun. That is too upsetting – Shoes need to be loved! But you need to be practical. This also applies to bags, so do look into space saver solutions if your closet is a fuller than your fridge.

Unless you have your own Mr.Big, in which case…

Space is not an issue!

Here… Now you have space for your 1,000 pairs of shoes, all of which you clearly need.

5. Money

We all wish that money is never an issue. Truth be told, it sometimes is especially if you are a full time student! At this point in my life I would rather stock up on basics from cheaper brands but then splurge on a good suit, a staple handbag or a statement necklace.

Shoes fall under a whole new category.  (caution: lie alert) They deserve all the attention, but that being said, I would only splurge if they are to die for and if they won’t be killing my feet! I don’t want to spend too much money on shoes I can never walk in again.

Go for good deals, carefully. Splurge on the things you definitely love and will wear and enjoy for a long time. If you can afford designer wear, that’s great. But again, I’d get something I can get a lot of use of like the perfect Burberry coat or a Louis Vuitton bag. ‚̧

Wise words or not so much?

I do suggest keeping these things in mind when shopping especially when faced with limitless possibilities. But at the end of the day, shopping should be fun and obviously as Carrie Bradshaw suggested, it counts as exercise too.

I know that¬†many people hate shopping and I hate it too sometimes (when I am too busy to find what I need…)! These tips should help make your life easier the next time you¬†need¬†to head to the mall.

Love,
M.

How to be Comfortable but Stylish in Summer

Hey Ladies!

This weekend I was a little bit more relaxed cause I am over and done with 2 of my exams.

Also, I am so so happy to have reached 20,000 views today! My blog has been live since January and in less than 6 months, you have been reading my posts daily, and that just makes it all worth it! Thanks for all the comments and likes… I am actually thinking of creating an international giveaway just for my top commentators on the blog when I reach 25 thousand views. What do you think about that?

Anyway, more about that later… This is what I posted this weekend:

A New Painting!
I‚Äôm a ‚ÄėBeauty and Fitness Malta‚Äô¬†Contributor
Favourite Face Product of the Week

To be honest with you, I am barely realizing it’s summer, and it is almost summer for me too as I will be done with exams in 18 days, and then I’m off to London with the girls!

It hasn’t been too hot in Malta, and usually, by this time of year, we can hardly stay in a room without switching on the AC. This year, I still wear a cardigan in the evening, I still sleep under a quilt and I don’t even use the fan, let alone the AC in my room!¬†But, I am not gonna fall for it, it ALWAYS gets incredibly hot here in Malta. The kind of hot weather that makes you shower 2 or 3 times a day. The kind of scorching sun in which you should never leave the house without sunscreen.

It’s not the nicest of feelings and well, wearing high heels that make it hard to walk is one less thing you should be worrying about at this time of year. I had actually written a post about wearing flat shoes a while ago, and you can check it out here. Here are also two ootds where I wore flats: here¬†and¬†here.

I have for you, 4 different Polyvore sets with summer basics and some statement pieces. In summer it’s better and more practical ¬†to be more comfortable, but how can you still look polished and stylish? This is how…

Smart but Comfy

laid back 1
Having to go to work is a bummer in summer, even if you are a student worker. And well what is a motivational killer if not unbelievably hot weather? Though your office might actually have an AC, in something similar to this, you’ll still look smart and chic for a work meeting.¬†No pain in your feet, and you’re still looking smart in a sleeveless top.¬†What about having your hair tied up and away from your face? That’s the best thing. And about these sandals, I used them in another post a while ago. Gold makes them look a bit dressier than your average pair of flat sandals and I should really get myself a pair!

Breezy Dresses and Wedges

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Sometimes you might still feel like a little bit of heel or something a bit more girly than sandals.¬†Wedges do the trick and they’re actually quite comfortable.¬†Also wearing wedges and not flats, looks like you put in a bit more effort into your outfit before heading out. And what’s better than a dress with light fabric for air to circulate? ūüėõ Finally, some wooden accessories never hurt anyone either!

Colour Block Dresses

relaxed
Again, something lightweight, a pair of flats and a cute bag. A statement necklace to top it all off and you’re good to go! These dresses are just perfect for summer, so I would stock up on these, maybe even some 1 coloured ones. They’re perfect, and you can dress them up or down according to your needs!

Harem Love and Neon

harem love

I still don’t own a pair of harem pants but I’m dying to get one. When I saw these on Etsy, I was so stunned with all the beautiful colours and patterns. They are almost psychedelic.¬†Neon is so in right now, so pairing it with a flowy harem would be brilliant. Wearing a tight, corset-like plain top contrasts with the loose effect of the harem pants. And flip-flops keep making the whole look more earthy and effortless. I also used a necklace which I had used earlier in the sets in this post here. I try to repeat the items sometimes, because it is good to know how we can reuse items in different outfits to their full potential in all scenarios.

I’m actually looking forward to summer now with these beautiful colours and fabrics.

Which one of these outfits is more you? Would you experiment with any of the other looks?

Love,
M

The International Designers’ Fashion Show – MFW’13

Dearest Readers,

The Malta Fashion Week is coming to an end, and boy what a week it was! Tomorrow is the main event that all of these events have been leading up to and energy and excitement levels cannot be higher! Ok, not energy, not from my side at least cause I am knackered. Just one more night in heels left and my feet can finally have a very well deserved break.

The last two shows were¬†fascinating! I am talking about the¬†New Designers Fashion Show, both the first 5¬†and the rest¬†and yesterday’s¬†Fersani Fashion Show. Today featured 5 international designers, one of which is Maltese but is based in the UK.

Like I did in the previous posts, I will go through them one by one. The venue, the Prime Minister’s office in the Auberge de Castille, was the classiest venue one could go for which complimented the general theme of most of the outfits.

Photos by Dave Degabriele and Dennis Calleja (www.denniscalleja.com)

  • Marella Ferrera (Italy)

This collection had a general theme and this was veils and intricate lace work. Apart from in some certain details, the only colours we see in this collection are Black, Nude, and Orange. The pieces vary in length, tightness, colour and cut. The different shapes make the collection a well rounded one, from cocktail dresses to evening gowns. Some of the dresses had veils which looked very traditional and were very pleasing to the eye. Others had matching scarves or shawls wrapped around. One particular one had feathers which I thought was gorgeous touch. Sleeve lengths and necklines varied from one piece to the other. One thing I also noted was the beautiful earrings the models were wearing. I wish I could get my hands on a pair!

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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  • House of Jola (Nigeria)

I loved this collection! The colours and patterns were so alive and the models were the best ones throughout the whole night. I will share the photos I took with them later on¬†because¬†they were also the friendliest of the bunch. The theme of this¬†collection¬†was geometrical shapes, turned into patterns. Starting with the spiral motif, we saw triangles, perspective designs, spots, tiger print, and other geometry, some of which was inspired by the shapes of ¬†flowers. The collection, like Celeste and Pavli’s Style on Wednesday (See it here) included a male model which was again, such a breath of fresh air. I will have to ask why the involvement of male models was so scarce this week. The dresses featured different shapes and were lightened up with Swarovski embellishments. The models were so talented and completely professional, their posture perfect and the clothes fit them like a glove. They walked with attitude like they owned the catwalk, it was all very impressive.

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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  • Fabryan (UK)

The collection started with the LBD, a classical basic that every woman should own. A mixture of blacks and whites followed with the very original peplum, dip hem blazer which was one of my favourite pieces. Evening gowns followed, with flowy, shiny satin, lace and ruffles. I did feel that the sequin dress did not fit in with the rest of the collection, just because it had nothing in common with the rest. I’m still unsure if that is a good or a bad thing. One of my favourites was the maxi-dress with the satin polo neck. I thought the contrast of the materials placed together was so subtly effective and played the textures like it was music.

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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  • Kevin Muscat (Malta/UK)

I’m not being patriotic here, but honestly, this collection was one of the best, not that I feel that any of the collections were not up to standard. I was telling Pierre from media after the show, that I just cannot pick a favourite. Kevin Muscat featured mainly shirts and shirt dresses. Choosing the colours black, grey and orange on their own was the best decision for this collection. The orange satin lit up the room like nothing else and the contrast was just sublime. I also loved the few LBDs the collection featured, using pleats and skater skirts and contrast coloured pockets. Maxi skirts, maxi evening dresses, pencil skirts and coat like pieces were also presents, this collection did not lack one single thing. No wonder Kevin made it to the UK¬†successfully. His collection reminded me of the pieces stocked by Nara Camicie, which I always adore.

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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  • Biljana Tipsarevic (Serbia)

Last but not least, the lacy collection from Serbia. Wonderful, minimal pieces… By minimal I mean, not over the top – the detail was by far not minimal. Colours chosen were whites, off-whites, ivory, cream, gray and red. The collection started with subtle white midi dresses and finished with red sexy maxis.¬†Paneled¬†dresses combined with lace and fine mesh, belted skirts, suits and evening gowns, made this collection so diverse but yet within a theme, being classical, minimal and elegant. My favourites would have to be the first cream lacy dress and pretty much everything else. The designer’s dress herself was also show stopper.

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

Photo by Dave Degabriele photography

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The event was a glamorous one and it kept increasing my expectations for tonight’s show. The ambience at the Auberge de Castille was perfect and the event indulged all of our senses.¬†We heard beautiful pieces of music by a Maltese composer, performed by a Maltese Cellist.¬†We saw beautiful collections with breathtaking colours and details.¬†We smelled (tasted and enjoyed) the wine we were given at the after party.¬†We tasted the delicious food at the reception.¬†And we felt just at home at this incredibly well-organized event.

Once again I have to say that the models were so talented and professional. The shoes were provided by Aldo and were also gorgeous.
All in all, a perfect evening for the fashion enthusiasts.¬†I’ll be back tomorrow with the final post about the 15th Malta Fashion Awards!

Love,
M