Christmas in Cambridge

a-girl-a-style-_-christmas-bowsa-girl-a-style-_-christmas-bows-3Happy Christmas week! Wherever you are and however you celebrate, I hope you’re all starting to wind down for the year and enjoy some festive merriment. In all honesty I’m still in the midst of my usual pre-Christmas frenzy at work* (desperately trying to get everything on my to-do list sorted before all the government departments shut down for the break), but I’ve been determinedly filling my weekend and evenings with all the Christmas. 

Since moving to Cambridge from Australia (almost 8 years ago to the day!), I’ve taken Christmas to a whole new level. December heatwaves and garden parties have been replaced by the kind of festive pursuits I used to dream about growing up. I treasure my Christmas traditions – both old and new. Each year I love going to see a performance of the Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker, attempting to ice skate (terribly), meeting a girlfriend for afternoon tea somewhere fabulous, throwing our yearly holiday movie night where our neighbours all turn up in their pyjamas (we’re lucky enough to have a real-life ‘Friends’ scenario in our building and are close friends with many of our neighbours), and probably the grandest Cambridge tradition of them all – attending the annual Carols from King’s service at the King’s College Chapel (perks of having a clever Fiancé who happens to be a King’s Fellow).

a-girl-a-style-_-christian-louboutin-bow-heelsa-girl-a-style-_-topshop-pink-fur-coata-girl-a-style-_-christmas-in-cambridge-2With my calendar so full of parties in December – from decadent college supper parties in the grand dining halls to more relaxed candlelit parties at friends’ houses – I take this as the perfect excuse to dress up (you don’t have to tell me twice). In December, I really only have two sartorial modes: cosy (cute pyjamas for an evening spent snuggled indoors), or festive (because if you can’t get away with being a little bit theatrical with your outfits in December, then really, when can you?). Basically if it’s shiny, sparkly, or has a bow on it, I want to be wearing it right now.

To take the drama out of getting ready when I’m rushing from work to a party, I always rely on one of my favourite party dresses, knockout shoes, and a small but chic bag that can fit all the essentials. So when my favourite Cambridge brand – the Cambridge Satchel Company – asked me to pick out a new bag for the holiday season, I knew this gorgeous red patent version was the one straight away.

Although I don’t tend to wear red when it comes to clothes, I adore it as an accent in the form of party shoes or a swipe of lipstick (I’m never without my red lipstick in winter). I’m not really sure why I didn’t own a red bag before, but now it’s one of my favourite things and seems to work with everything I’m wearing right now (bonus points: its smart enough to be party-appropriate, but still fits all the essentials I need to tote around during the day).

a-girl-a-style-_-christmas-in-cambridgea-girl-a-style-_-christmas-in-cambridge-2Wearing: Cambridge Satchel Co saddle bag c/- Cambridge Satchel Co // Sister Jane dress // Topshop coat // Topshop brooches (on coat) // Christian Louboutin shoes also seen in this post (past season but similar style here). Beauty: Bourjois ‘It’s Redding Men’ liquid lipstick c/- // Marc Jacobs ‘Kink & Kisses’ blush.

However you’re celebrating this week, I wish you all the happiness and cheer of the season!

Love, Miss B xx

* This explains the fact that I am both obviously sleep-deprived and in need of a haircut in these pictures (aka the never-ending battle that is deadlines vs beauty sleep…)

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This post is in partnership with The Cambridge Satchel Company. Photographs by Joe Galvin.

Bow and Arrow

A Girl, A Style _ Bow & Arrow
A Girl, A Style _ Bow & Arrow 3

Confession: I despise the concept of fast-fashion. Of course I’ll indulge in fun, inexpensive updates to my wardrobe each season just like everyone else (and I must do an ASOS at least a few times a month), but generally I prefer to see my wardrobe as a collection of treasures which I curate, edit and build upon each season and love for years to come. Like any collector, I have my weaknesses that I’m drawn to again and again; give me a French detail (little black dresses, breton stripes, pearls and chain-strap bags), lucky charms and love talismans (cupid’s arrows, lip motifs, hearts and wishbones), or put a bow on anything (it must be chic, never twee) and I’m powerless to resist.

On this blog, you’re far more likely to see me wearing a mix of a new favourite items teamed with the pieces I’ve owned and loved for years and years rather than a head-to-toe look I’ve just bought that week and might never wear again. That’s not how I dress in my daily life, and it’s not how I like my wardrobe; I don’t believe in consumerism just for the sake of it, and will only buy things if I know I’m going to get mileage out of them. Whilst that probably makes me a bad blogger (I rarely post the latest trends just to drive sales), it does mean that if something appears on here, it’s because I genuinely love and wear that item (and think you might too).

A Girl, A Style _ Lulu Frost
A Girl, A Style _ Corpus Christi Clock Cambridge
A Girl, A Style _ Bow & Arrow 2

Take this outfit, for example: I bought this little Marc Jacobs ‘Stam’ bag about 12 years ago (I loved it so much I invested in three versions of the same bag and still bring them out each year, because to me they’re classics), these sunglasses were a gift from my fiancé about 10 years ago (they’re so classic that they’re still Chloe’s bestsellers every season), and I bought these Louboutin heels a few years ago and still love them (even though they’re entirely impractical). Throw in a dress which works as well on weekends as it does at the office (it’s both fun and classic at the same time) and some jewels which feel like vintage treasures, and it’s the perfect formula.

So my point is this: invest a little more in those labels and pieces that make you the happiest (they’re usually the items you are drawn to again and again, regardless of trends), treasure them for years and just add a few fun new things into the mix to keep things fresh each season.

If you embrace the items you can’t help but collect, then your wardrobe will always feel like a curation of treasures.

A Girl, A Style _ Marc Jacobs Stam Bag
A Girl, A Style _ Bow & Arrow 6Wearing: Carven dress (sold out, but similar styles here) // Christian Louboutin heels (old, but similar styles here) // Marc Jacobs bag (old, but available here) // Lulu Frost necklace (old, but similar styles here) // Lulu Frost earrings (similar style here) // Kenneth Jay Lane ring // Chloe sunglasses.
Beauty: MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Deborah Lippmann nail polish // NARS ‘Impassioned’ blush

Which pieces do you collect time after time? I’d love to hear about your most treasured items and talismans!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Amber-Rose

Winter Floral

A Girl, A Style _ Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap Bag A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 5

Let it never be said that I don’t know what I like. Trends come and go – and whilst I’ll sometimes experiment with a new style – it’s those classic, gorgeously feminine pieces I always reach for. Or put more simply, red lipstick and Louboutins always trump #normcore (unless you’re my friend Alex of The Frugality, who wears boyfriend shirts and Birkenstocks like no one else and makes me wish I were half as cool as her). 

A Girl, A Style _ Erin Featherston Floral DressA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 4A Girl, A Style _ Kate Spade Bow CoatA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral

I’m pretty powerless against a dark floral dress, but I always prefer a dark, winter version (as seen here and here) vs a lighter spring iteration, which can feel a little too twee or predictable. I bought this neoprene version in Anthropologie before Christmas, and it it looks instantly glamorous, but is actually completely effortless (exactly what I like in a dress). I teamed it with my sky-high red Louboutins for date night, but it looks just as good with a mid-heel (this Kate Spade pair are a perfect substitute because, let’s be honest, those Louboutins are strictly taxi shoes only) for dinner, or teamed with black boots or a ballet flat for day. Just add red lipstick and a jaunty beret and voila: the perfect coquettish winter look that will work for just about every occasion.

A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 2A Girl, A Style _ Chanel Classic 2.55 Flap BagWearing: Erin Fetherston at Anthropologie dress // Kate Spade coat // ASOS beret // J. Crew necklace // vintage bracelet (similar style at J.Crew) // Lulu Frost crystal ring // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring // Christian Louboutin heels // Chanel bag. 
Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ Audacious lipstick // Chanel ‘Provocation’ nail polish // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush.

What’s your instant style formula for winter?

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Amber-Rose

Just Like Sunday

A Girl, A Style _ Just Like SundayA Girl, A Style _ Kings College Cambridge

This weekend was exactly what I needed. I’ve finally recovered from the election (I haven’t  stayed up literally all night like that since I was at University and had six essays all due in my final week before graduation) and a frenetic few months in Parliament and have finally been able to relax for the first time in ages. The Clever Fiancé was overseas for work, so on Saturday I made the most of my first day with no plans in weeks and headed to Notting Hill for an all-day date with myself (every girl needs them occasionally): a much-needed primp and polish session at my favourite salon (Taylor Taylor on Portobello Road for those who ask), lunch at Ottolenghi, a little shopping at Aesop and Diptyque and treasure-hunting on Portobello Road, and wandering around those gorgeous leafy, pastel streets in the sunshine.

A Girl, A Style _ Miu Miu Tortoishell SunglassesA Girl, A Style _ Just Like Sunday 2A Girl, A Style _ Leopard Christian Louboutin Pigalle

On Sunday – he fresh off the plane and in need of caffeine and sustenance to help stay awake all day, me in need of juice and weekend newspapers – we headed out for the kind of long, lazy dates Sundays were made for: lunch, sunshine (which, in typical English fashion, lasted until precisely the minute we took these photos) and a walk through a few of our favourite colleges.

I threw on my ‘lazy weekend’ uniform (when it’s too warm for tights but not yet warm enough for breezy dresses, it’s always an iteration of the easy top, blazer and denim combination) that always feels like Sunday. It takes 5 minutes flat to get ready and you’re good to go wherever your weekend plans take you; I just add heels (only if I’m cycling instead of walking, and otherwise it’s chic ballet flats or ankle boots), sunglasses (these Miu Miu cat eye sunglasses seem to go with every single thing I own) and bright lipstick to yesterday’s hair and the most comfortable clothes I own to make it look as though I have made an effort, when really I haven’t.

Gloriously lazy weekends; you’re really rather wonderful.

A Girl, A Style _ Lulu Guinness Edie Bag

Wearing: Current Elliott boyfriend jeans (also available at Shopbop + Net-a-Porter) // Whistles linen tee (now on sale at ASOS + also available in black) // vintage Ralph Lauren blazer (similar style here) // Lulu Guinness ‘Edie’ bag c/- (also available at Harvey Nichols + House of Fraser) // Miu Miu sunglasses c/ SunglassesShop (also available at Bergdorf Goodman + John Lewis) // BaubleBar necklace c/- // Christian Louboutin heels (sold out, but similar styles available at Neiman Marcus + Saks) // Michael Kors watch (also available at Shopbop) // Lulu Frost crystal ring (that’s still acting as my stand-in engagement ring until I can make a decision!) // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring. 
Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ audacious lipstick (also available at John Lewis + Selfridges)// NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush (also available at Liberty + ASOS) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of my Heart’ nail polish (also available at Selfridges).

I’d love to know: what are your favourite lazy-weekend pursuits? Do you have an easy weekend uniform?

Love, Miss B xx