Saturday, 18 May 2013


I would like to discuss the notion of the two piece - an idea championed by Topshop this season. The concept is a matching two piece combo which can consist of top and skirt/shorts/trousers etc. The suit is an example of a matching two piece, but it lacks the novelty value of the new two piece and therefore won't be included.

When I first saw this trend for coordinating I felt shocked - it was perverse. It went against everything fashion subculture stood for. You've planned your outfit to match? It's so prim, conservative, twee. How awful!  The two piece was to be found in charity shops, hung on a double hanger. I would always want one part of the two piece, such as the jacket that went with the skirt, but no way did I want that awful skirt! But, they would never sell me only one half, so I would either have to have both or leave both. They only play in a team.

It took me a matter of days to creep in to this trend and look at it with objective eyes. It's actually deeply rebellious and subversive. I've often given the advice ''never match your shoes with your bag'' and similarly ''don't coordinate your outfit, it looks too polished and considered''. But what could be more unconsidered than buying an already constructed outfit? Scrap what I thought before...from here on in, I'll be matched. The best coords are those with 1950's/60's inspired abstract or graphic prints. The shapes that work are the ones that subscribe to the 'show your legs and cover your top or cover your legs and show your top' rule. 

All images: Topshop
Above I have collected my favourite two-pieces from Topshop's current range. They're beautiful and chic. The value for money is another obvious bonus. You can get two pieces for as cheap as one, and let's face it, they don't always have to be worn together. If you're having an 'off' day and you're feeling a bit too sleepy to challenge opinions, the seperate pieces will still work individually. It would be tempting to trick the outfits in to thinking you'll always wear them together, before you buy them - and then seperate them as soon as you get home, but I think this would be a big mistake.

In your less fashionable circle of acquaintances you may be seen as some kind of loser for wearing matching clothes. But this is the beauty and joy of coords! Two pieces are no longer only to be found inside granny shops in strange seaside towns, and soon your friends will realise. So, to continue a well loved and may I also say, practical, outfit solution, I will be seeking out a matching shirt and skirt combo in all charity shops I come across. Hello, sweet subversion. 

Back to the start of the two piece:

80's Orange Aztec Print 2 Piece - babushakas clothing at Asos Marketplace  
60's Lilac/Purple Wedding 2 Piece - LizziesVintageFinds at Etsy
70's Crop Top/Trouser 2 Piece - madam popoff vintage at Asos Marketplace
80's Rosey Floral 2 Piece - VINTAGE STYLE ME at Asos Marketplace
70's Black/Red Flora and Fruit 2 Piece - LizziesVintageFinds at Etsy
90's Floral 2 Piece - ArsenicKitty at Etsy
90's Leopard Print Morgan 2 Piece - THERAVENSWRITINGDESK at Etsy
Polka Dot 2 Piece - House Of Jam at Etsy
60's Watercolour Floral 2 Piece - Sandra at Etsy

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


2) Selling all my Earthly possesions on eBay
3) Martha - my cat (ongoing)
4) MAC lipstick
5) The Who
6) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
7) Growing my hair LONG
8) Topshop's 'Astrix' boots in grey
9) 'The Voyage of Storm Petrel: Book 1'
10) Helen Melonlady's YouTube channel
11) Morning lay in's
12) Cake

Monday, 13 May 2013


My dear and talented friend Abi (aboids4abi) has just got herself a job at Lush, and as a Lush employee she will learn to have an in depth knowledge of products, their benefits, their bad points and who they're suited to. So, to be a helpful friend and also because I really love writing beauty reviews, here's a top five of my most beloved, tried, tested and consistently used Lush products:

This soap is beautiful and simple. It's made from just lemon oil, soap and glycerine. You can plop it in the bath for a bit to give the bath lemony scented joy (don't leave it in there for too long though, expecially if your bath is super hot, as you'll have no soap left), or use it as a regular soap in the bath/shower. Another plus is that it makes the whole bathroom smell amazing! For me the name and smell conjurs images of 60's hippies making their own soap, did they do this? I hope so. When I smell it I think of San Francisco, The Beatles, sunshine. Soap is much better for the environment than shower gel too, both in terms of the packaging and how it reacts when it goes down the drain. I always go for a nice big £6 or £7 pounder. Hunk of dreamboat.

Having crappy skin for 75% of the year, I struggle to find facial products which don't make the face dwellers more angry. It's a dull subject really, so I won't elaborate- see below for my Clinique review and more in depth moans. Anyway, this stuff is divine. I've been using it as a night cream for the past 4 months and it has improved my skin both in appearance (far fewer spots) and texture (soft and matte). This product prides itself on being easily absorbed - it is. I personally wouldn't use it as a day cream as it would probably be a little too heavy for a base under makeup, but yep, night cream all the way. At first I was sceptical when it was given to me as a tester by a Lush employee, as in the past some Lush skin care products have definitely made my skin worse, but this stuff is different. It smells so good too, like lavendar and rose essential oil. It has no cocoa butter in it which can be too heavy on some skin types and clog pores. No wonder it's Lush's best selling moisturiser. I can't sing it's praises enough, as you can tell.

Mmmm. This particular scent is described as 'sexy jasmine', it's other main notes are ylang ylang, rose, vanilla and sandalwood. It's quite a heady smell and perhaps it would need to grow on some people, but I have loved it from day 1. I would be it's groupie. It's a warm, unusual smell that also reminds me of bohemia, forests, hippies, festivals. I particularly like the solid perfume as its very portable, easy to whip on when your out and about, and the solid aspect gives it an enduring yet subtle smell. I would always choose Lush scents over designer or fashion house fragrances. I do like a select few of such perfumes, but most of them are so pumped up with alcohol and chemicals that you're left smelling like a vodka drink. Lush wins again.

This solid massage bar is my favourite for giving massages to 'one's boyfriend', but also to my own back if I can reach. It packs a punch with cinnamon, peppermint, and softer tones of shea butter and coconut oil. It has these cute seedy beads that you can use to give a good massage to achey shoulders and knotted muscles. It would be ideal for people who jog or go to the gym, unfortunately I hate sports but not to worry! It has a wonderful moisturising effect too, it lasts for a long time if you keep it well (i.e. in a tin) and works wonders on over worked bodies. The ONLY downside is that you have to tidy away the little blighter seeds that have escaped.

This is my absolute favourite red lipstick, and I've tried a few. My need for red lips and desire to be Courtney Love began my voyage of discovery in to red lipsticks from an early age (like 14...15, not when I was a baby). Basically what I'm saying is...I've tried them all and this one wins. It comes packaged in a little glass bottle with a screw on lid, the texture is thick and almost powdery. I have tried applying it straight to my lips for a thick, high pigment effect and also applied it with a lip brush over a thin layer of balm. Both techniques work very well, it just depends on what you want. To apply straight to lips you must have a well moisturied and flake free pout otherwise your lips will dry out further and the colour will get stuck in the flakes. OW. Lush's beautiful makeup range is based on an 'emotional brilliance' philosophy, so each colour is associated with a different mood, state of being or feeling. Do investigate further, there's a game featuring this idea on the LUSH website which I would recommend. Note: In the above picture, you can see 'Ambition' on the right and 'Bubbly' on the left, which I also bought. Bubbly is lovely too, pink and glittery for Spice Girl moments.

Lush, I love you. Abi, good luck!

*top image courtesy of Lush and