My Week, My Style

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One of the best parts of reaching my thirties is that – for the most part – I’ve figured out what I like, and what works for me; both in style, as in life (there were some seriously questionable periods in my teens and early twenties when, trying to find my own identity, I embraced every new trend with varying degrees of failure). By now, I know that my look is part Parisian romantic-meets-uptown feminine, part Oxbridge preppy; classic, but always with a fun twist.

But just as I’m not defined by any one thing, I want my wardrobe to be as adaptable as I am to keep up with my strange double-life and whatever my schedule throws up each week. So when Boden, one of my favourite British brands (and always one of my Go-To’s for chic workwear, breton tops and the cosiest cashmere), asked me to show how I dress for my week – whatever that looks like – I was only too happy to oblige.

Read how I style my week below, and the full profile over on the Boden page.

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Wearing: Sally coat // Lovely sweater // Sophia shirtdress // Drawstring bag // Court shoes  (all items c/- Boden)

Weekday:

As long-time readers probably know, this blog is not my sole-professional pursuit (obviously; otherwise I might actually manage to post more than once per week…!). Whereas most of my internet pals have long since quit their jobs to blog full-time, it’s important to me to maintain both of my passions, which is why to this day I still fly the ‘slashie’ flag and maintain my political career. Yes, it probably makes me the most peculiar blogger at Fashion Week (and I’m fairly sure I win the annual award for most pink worn in Westminster, ever), but I prefer to make my own rules when it comes to my professional path.

But while I mean business, I don’t believe in playing by boring sartorial rules of sartorial dressing. Unless I have a very important meeting or have overdosed on ‘The West Wing‘ the night before, you’ll rarely find me in a suit; instead I favour sharp tailored trousers, feminine blouses, and a faithful collection of go-anywhere LBDs teamed with accessories that make it my own. Hey, if leopard print heels are good enough for our new Prime Minister…

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Wearing: Abingdon trench coat // Carolyn dress // Saddle bag // Court shoes // Sadie sunglasses (all items c/- Boden)

Weekend:

By the time the weekend rolls around, I can’t wait to see the back of the weekday commute and stay put in my neighbourhood for a couple of days. Cambridge is especially perfect in the Autumn, and this time of year is usually a glorious mix of weekends spent lazing in secret gardens, punting on the river, outdoor performances of Shakespeare and start-of-term college events with my boyfriend.

I’ve probably watched ‘Love Story‘ one too many times lately, but I’m really feeling that preppy 70s Ivy League vibe this season. I love how the tan saddle bag and tasselled boots add a new (old) twist on my usual Autumnal weekend-in-Cambridge uniform of preppy navy blazers + breton stripes.

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Wearing: Navy tweed blazer // Soho jeans // Striped breton top // Suede boots // Saddle bag // Selma sunglasses (all items c/- Boden)

Please tell me I’m not the only one around here with a strange double-life (and the dichotomous wardrobe to match)? I’d love to hear how you all divide your time between your professional and personal pursuits!

Love, Miss B xx

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Post in partnership with Boden #MyWeek. Photos by Joe Galvin

June in Pictures

Spending sunny evenings on the river (in between the seemingly daily torrential downpours). Channeling a 50s Palm Springs babe in gobstopper jewels, glitter and sunny mimosa nails. Dates at the ice cream parlour with my gal pal. Celebrating the Clever Boyfriend’s academic achievements (and the news that we will be Cambridge-based for another 5 years). Cocktail hour. Adorning my wrist with new jewelled treasures. Mulberry bow heels and floral trousers. Afternoons spent lazing in secret gardens. Transforming vintage jewels with a DIY splash of neon. Channeling cat lady chic with Charlotte Olympia Kitty heels and Paul & Joe’s darling Cat Collection beauty. Saturday morning walks along the college backs. London wearing its best Union Jack bunting in celebration of our Her Majesty. Collecting vintage Coronation souvenirs. Fragrant garden rose blooms in Jubilee tea caddies. My favourite things about English style. The Prime Minister’s famous door at Number 10 Downing Street. Pottering in Cambridge’s vintage bookshops. Taking a break from the office in the rose gardens of Westminster Abbey. Shoes, glorious shoes at Jimmy Choo HQ. A trip to the theatre with the Clever Boyfriend (and that magical moment when the lights dim and the orchestra strikes up). Continuing my list of ’30 Things to do Before I’m 30′ and embracing the pure opulence of a Cambridge May Ball (tuxedos and silk dresses, new shoes, fireworks, dancing and champagne until dawn). Exploring the mansion-lined streets of Maida Vale and the canals of Little Venice with Dearne and Anna. Strawberry cocktails on the waterways at The Summerhouse. Being reunited with my favourite fashion gal pal Nicolette for a week of adventures all over London. Back to back afternoon tea at Laduree with Laetitia, Charlotte and my favourite PR girls. My first trip to Wimbledon for strawberries and cream and terrific tennis. A trip to Hampshire for quality time in the countryside with Amanda.

Wishing you all a delightful July!

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. I have at last joined Pinterest! Come and join me over there

 

One day in Autumn

I’m forever being asked how I manage to juggle my double life of politics vs fashion.  So after a few lovely readers asked me to do a post on ‘a day in my life’, I thought I’d show you how (it’s all about cramming meetings and events into my lunchbreaks and evenings). I start my day in Cambridge, where, as usual, I’m running late. I race out the door, put a happy playlist on my ipod (Phoenix and Marvin Gaye and 60s French pop tunes) and hop on my Pashley and cycle over the river and past the Hogwarts-esque colleges towards the station to get the train to Kings Cross. When I arrive at the other end, there are glorious blue skies over Westminster. I head into my office (no matter how often I go there, I can’t help but be awestruck by the sight of Parliament’s gilded ceilings and history-drenched corridors. I check my emails, answer some press calls and do a few hours work to the soundtrack of division bells and Big Ben chiming overhead.

At lunch, I hop on the tube to Bond St to meet a friend and go and say hello to Lulu Guinness (whom I adore) at her press day. It looks like a sweet shop inside; there is a tea party and a sea of practically edible bags all around the room just threatening to undo my savings (I practically squeal at a blush pink perspex lips clutch). We play a quick game of dress-ups with our favourite bags for Lulu’s camera, but then it’s time for me to dash back to the office.

It is such a gorgeous day in London that I decide to walk back instead, so make my past the lions in Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly. I’m powerless against the sight of the golden Laduree cave glinting in the sun at the corner of Burlington Arcade, so pop in for a sugary fix (for later). I skip past the Ritz and make my way through Green Park (where, to my glee, there are giant piles of autumn leaves just waiting to be jumped in), past the usual gathering of tourist at Buckingham Palace, and through St James’ Park. Apparently the squirrels of Westminster have impeccable taste, for three of them actually run up my legs to sniff the macarons swinging from my arm (ever seen a squirrel swinging from a rope of pearls? I promise you it’s as funny as it sounds!).

It’s back to Parliament where I lock myself in my office to get some important work done (orange blossom macarons at my desk make the afternoon a little easier). I pop to the Terrace (not open to the public, but it boasts the most spectacular view of London over the Thames) for a cup of tea on my way out, then head for a meeting nearby. Afterwards, I hop on a bus to my happy place, Liberty, to restock my perfume, chocolate and stationary supplies. I make a quick stop by a fashion event at Oasis around the corner (I pick up a gorgeous necklace whilst there), and instantly feel like a happy child at the sight of the fairy floss machine on the way out (which was my supper. My dentist would not be impressed). I head for the tube (I’m sure I looked rather special walking through Oxford Circus with my stick of fairy floss), go back to Kings Cross, and collapse on the 10:00 train back to Cambridge with a fresh copy of Vogue.

I’d love to know your secrets for juggling various commitments and interests?

Love, Miss B xx

On What I’ve Been Up To…

Back at the office: Big Ben

Some of you may know that since my trip to the US, I’ve been on a career sabattical. Although, after 3 degrees and a wealth of work experience in that field alone, politics seemed my natural path, I’d always fancied myself as a fashion writer. Deciding that  if I don’t try these things before I’m 30 I might never have the chance again, I began to entertain the idea more and more. So when my previous Westminster job came to a natural end, and all the signs began to point in one direction, I decided to take a few months out to try something different.

And so I came to try the fashion world on for size.

Since August, I’ve been working with the wonderful LibertyLondonGirl* as her Editorial Associate, and dabbling in all manner of fabulous adventures in the world of fashion as a result. I attended the shows of my favourite designers at Fashion Week, met supermodels and icons backstage, come face to face with Anna Dello Russo’s fantastical style, attended the A-list soirees with the fashion glitterati (though secretly, I’m just as happy at home in my pyjamas), had afternoon tea with Lulu Guinness, and met some generally lovely, inspiring and simultaneously talented and fashionable people.

A Fashion Week favourite: Charles Anastase S/S ’11

However, this designer shoe habit doesn’t pay for itself, and I’m realistic enough to know that completely re-establishing oneself in a new field takes a lot of time, effort, and putting in of hard yards. As I’ve becomed too accustomed to the comforts of a regular salary to continue to live off my savings forever, I decided that this is a path I would pursue on the side at a somewhat slower, though no less enthusiatic, pace over the next year or so. And just as I arrived at this conclusion, the stars all seemed to align in my favour, and I had a job offer which was too good to refuse.

Which brings me to why I’ve been a bad blogger the past week. Last week I started my new role and I was so exhausted by having to transform back into a serious political advisor, that I had no energy left for creative thought. But I’m back, invigorated by everything I’ve experienced, and ready to share new loves and experiences with you, my ever lovely readers.

So tell me, have you ever taken a leap of faith or made any drastic life changes yourself?

Love, Miss B xx

* which seemed wonderfully serendipidous; when I first moved to the UK, her blog rapidly became a daily must-read and guided me through the trials and tribulations of becoming an expat.