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 December heatwaves and garden parties have been replaced by the kind of festive pursuits I used to dream about growing up.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-_-topshop-pink-fur-coata-girl-a-style-_-christmas-in-cambridgea-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-_-cambridge-satchel-saddle-baga-girl-a-style-_-christian-louboutin-bow-heelsWearing: Cambridge Satchel Co saddle bag c/- // 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.

The Party Dress

A Girl, A Style _ Whistles Ren Dress (small)A Girl, A Style _ Christmas

Happy holidays! I’m off to Australia today just in time for Christmas; I haven’t been back in a few years and I couldn’t be more excited to see my family and friends and white sandy beaches. But because Christmas in the middle of summer just doesn’t feel as merry, I’ve been cramming in as much of the festive season here in England as I can before jetting off for the other side of the world.

There have been all my favourite traditions; all-weekend holiday movie marathons in our pyjamas (with a side of hot cocoa), holiday baking sessions (and dancing around in our kitchen to Christmas tunes), the Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker, seeing all of London’s Christmas decorations and department store windows and a few marvellous holiday parties.

A Girl, A Style _ The Party Dress 1A Girl, A Style _ Party DressA Girl, A Style _ Lulu Guinness Clutch

Of course, a fabulous holiday party demands a dress to match; preferably the sort that makes you want to twirl, and which can be worn year after year as you create new memories and traditions.

I added this floral organza dress to my collection a month ago, and it has already taken me everywhere from my office Christmas party and an afternoon tea date with a friend, to the most fabulous soirees on my schedule (just add a little extra sparkle). I love everything about the style (bonus points for any dress with pockets), and it will work just as well on Christmas day (even in the Australian heat) as it will well after the holiday season has ended.

A Girl, A Style _ Kate Spade Licorice ShoesA Girl, A Style _ The Fitzwilliam Museum, CambridgeA Girl, A Style _ Party Dress 2

Wearing: Whistles dress (I also love this similar style) // Lulu Guinness clutch (on sale!) // Kate Spade heels (more colours here) // J.Crew crystal necklace // J.Crew emerald necklace (also in pink) // Eugenia Kim headband (similar style at Shopbop) // vintage bracelet // Kenneth Jay Lane ring // vintage earrings (almost identical styles at BaubleBar + Net-a-Porter).
Beauty: Chanel ‘Singulaire’ nail polish // MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow // Clarins ‘Soft Peach’ blush.

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Do tell me; how do you dress for the party season? Wherever you are, and however you celebrate, I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Amber-Rose

The Perfect Pair

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 13 (small)

The weather in Cambridge is being frankly bi-polar at the moment (glorious one day, drizzly and grey the next), so I’m trying to make the most of every bit of sunshine before summer disappears. My in-laws are visiting from Australia for a month, so we’ve been spending our weekends and evenings after work playing tourist in the city. The other Friday, I finished work an a little early (the perk of everyone except me being on vacation in August: less emails to deal with!), so decided to head straight to Kings College for an hour of downtime and lazing on the riverbank before the others arrived for our evening of picnicking and punting on the river (my favourite Cambridge summer pastime).

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 7 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 11 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 12 copy

I knew I wouldn’t have time to go home to change after work, so reached for this preppy-casual look that could take me from the office to a picnic. I teamed it with heels and an old favourite blazer during the day (to make it just polished enough for casual friday), and then just kicked off my shoes for punting.

For the sake of full disclosure: although I’ve bought my fiancé a few pairs of jeans and some great check shirts in Hollister (and honestly they wear better than most other brands in his wardrobe), I haven’t shopped there myself in years. But when they invited me into store to pick out my favourite pieces, I happily accepted on the basis that my best friend swears by their jeans and seems to be wearing a pair whenever I say she looks especially great.

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 6 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 3 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 9 (small)I bypassed the super-destroyed denim (too trendy for my taste) and the ultra-thin legging jeans (that don’t work if you have curves), and went for the classics. This gingham shirt is exactly my style and a wardrobe essential; I had spent a year hunting for the right one and have already since worn it tucked into navy chinos at the office and teamed with a little black a-line skirt on the weekend. I’m trying to incorporate different denim styles into my wardrobe (instead of reaching for the same three favourites), and these skinny blue jeans (I also bought a clean version without the ripped knees) are perfect for that preppy collegiate look I love, the same the quality as all my designer pairs (minus the price tag), and so comfortable (even while messing about on boats and cycling around town).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be lazing by the river…

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 2 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 5 (small)Wearing: Hollister shirt c/- // Hollister jeans c/- // Sportsgirl blazer (old, but similar style here) // Rebecca Minkoff clutch (sold out, but similar style here) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style here) // Karen Walker sunglasses // Mimco necklace (old, similar style here) // Michael Kors watch.
Beauty: NARS ‘Grace’ lipstick // Clinique ‘Soft Peach’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Like Dreamers Do’ nail polish. 

This post is in collaboration with Hollister. Photos by Beth Morton

In the Rose Garden

A Girl, A Style _ Garden Party 1A Girl, A Style _ Coach Blush Pink Crosstown Bag

The English know better than anyone to never waste a glorious day. So the other day, in the midst of an English heatwave, I escaped the office to meet my best friend and tiny godson for a lunchtime date. Not wanting to miss the blazing sunshine (or an opportunity for an outing of my new Self Portrait dress), we headed to the beautiful Queen Mary rose garden in the middle of Regent’s Park. When the sun is shining, I’m always happiest in a gorgeous English garden and this one is a lush idyll in the centre London.

The garden was at its summer peak, and the smell of the perfumed roses filled the air in the most wonderful sensory experience. We spent a happy hour lazing in the garden; smelling almost every variety we passed (there are some 12,000 roses planted in the garden), stopping to say hello to the ducks, and afterwards strolling to Marylebone high street for lunch.

It was the perfect way to spend a spare hour in London.

A Girl, A Style _ Garden PartyA Girl, A Style _ Garden Party 6A Girl, A Style _ Garden Party 4A Girl, A Style _ Garden Party 2

Wearing: Self Portrait dress (also available in a lilac + black version) // Coach bag // Chloe sunglasses (also available in cream) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style available here) // Coach watch c/- // Alex Monroe necklace // Kenneth Jay Lane starburst ring // Alex Monroe love ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring (inexpensive version available here).

Beauty: Deborah Lippmann ‘Like Dreamers Do’ nail polish // Nars ‘Laguna’ bronzer // Clinique ‘Rosy Pop’ blush // Nars ‘Nucleus’ lip gloss.

Love, Miss B xx

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