Autumn favourites

A quick list of good/interesting things I have read, listened to, watched, worn and done recently:

review: kobo aura h20

My e-reader is one of my most used, most treasured possessions. It's a wonderful travel companion, and has been helping me cut down on clutter in our home. I still buy 'actual' books from time to time - second hand paperbacks which I donate again when finished, and the occasional new release that I want on my shelf - but the stacks of unread and read-once-never-again titles have disappeared.

One down side to using an e-reader is not being able to take it in the bath (or, I imagine, the pool if you're on holiday). If you like to take a long Sunday Soak like I do, this can be a tad frustrating - especially when you're in the middle of a great story. A few months ago I was invited to test and review the new(ish) Kobo Aura H20, which immediately grabbed my attention because it's waterproof - hallelujah! I used it for a couple of weeks and, in short: it's a fab piece of kit.

The Aura H20 has everything you'd ever want in an e-reader - clear screen, slim profile and a simple interface. It's a little heavier than my Kindle, but by no means bulky. The screen is very softly backlit (I believe they call it 'ComfortLight'), which is a major bonus for evening reading.

I tested the Kobo in the bath along with some of my favourite pampering products. And when I say tested, I really mean it. Not just little splashes and bubbles; I dunked this baby right under the water and let it sit on the bottom of the bath for several minutes. And, it was fine! It has an excellent sensor that immediately indicates if any moisture gets on the screen so that you can wipe it off. I was really impressed.

This has definitely jumped to the top of my Christmas list. In my eyes, there's no better way to relax after a long week than with a book in the bath (and a glass of wine, if you're feeling that way inclined), especially now the weather is getting cold and the nights have drawn in.

So, this ticks all of the boxes for me: it does one thing and it does it really well. It's full-featured without being bloated (i.e. no distracting games or social media functions), user-friendly and hardy. As the only waterproof e-reader currently on the market, the Aura H20 certainly is the cream of the crop - an incredible product that I'm confident in recommending.

*This post is not sponsored. I was sent a Kobo Aura H20 e-reader for review, which I returned after a few weeks. Thank you, Cherish PR, for inviting me to test out a product that I genuinely love! 

my favourite sustainable & minimalist fashion vloggers

A couple of people have recently asked me to share my favourite sustainable and minimalist fashion vloggers - so, here they are! If you've got any other recommendations, please leave them in the comments below. I'm always on the lookout for new channels to subscribe to :)

My Green Closet
Verena is one of the most well-researched, eloquent vloggers I've ever come across. Her videos are really informative and she's a great spokesperson for the ethical fashion movement. I've been introduced to some really great sustainable brands through her channel.

Light by Coco
Coco is probably the most well-known minimalist vlogger on YouTube, and for good reason; her videos are always really well put together, and cover a wide range of topics ranging from food to fashion. I particularly enjoy Coco's travel videos - she's a true packing pro.

Hello Cathy
I love watching Cathy's channel because her fashion tastes are really similar to my own, and I find her elegant wardrobe really inspiring (her project 333 videos are awesome). Cathy has lots of great, thoughtful advice for those interested in pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle.

Melissa Alexandria
Melissa is such a cheerful, sweet person; her videos are a joy to watch. Her channel is relatively new to me, but I've already seen her cover a wide variety of topics ranging from fashion to finance.

I'm a huge fan of Jamie-Lee's blog, so of course I was delighted to find her on YouTube as well. Jamie-Lee's outfit videos are incredible - she has amazing style and her videos are really great quality.

The Daily Connoisseur
Author Jennifer L Scott uses her channel to share some of the most popular notions from her best selling series of Madame Chic books. I always find her advice to be valuable and useful, and I especially like her videos about the five piece French wardrobe.

collection I'm coveting: Christophe Lemaire S/S 2015

more here

These clothes, they keep me awake at night, they're just SO BEAUTIFUL. That coat in particular... man, I'd sell my soul for that coat.

considering culottes

I have been mulling over the idea of culottes a lot lately. Most probably because I've just finished reading the second instalment of the wonderful Cazalet Chronicles - Marking Time - and I'm on a major vintage fashion kick, but also because I like just about anything midi-length. 

As you've probably gathered, I'm not a particularly trend-driven dresser. But, culottes are undeniably having a moment right now (evidenced here, here, here and here) and I can totally see why; it seems they look chic on just about everyone - the perfect balance between swishy skirty goodness and trouser-legged freedom. However, I hadn't happened upon a pair I thought I could pull off / integrate into my wardrobe, until now.

Enter these smashing chambray culottes from impossibly cool (new to me, but the love is growing fast) French brand, Somewhere. I'm praying that these will look as good on me as they do in my head, because in theory they are a perfect addition to my wardrobe. They may just strike the perfect balance between smart and casual (which I am constantly striving for, see previous 1000 posts on this subject) - we shall see. 

The weather here has gotten pretty lousy and I'm already turning my mind to transitional dressing. We get so little sunshine here that we've become experts at stretching summer clothing into the cooler months. A jumper here, a scarf there. Layering is the key, my friends! If the culottes are a keeper I'm sure they'll make a great piece for Autumn. 

Have you succumbed to the culottes trend? Any advice on how to style them?

p.s. I happened upon the aforementioned culottes whilst searching for a cheaper alternative to this skirt - alas, no cigar. Could any eagle eyed readers point me in the right direction? 

style inspiration: Tina Chow

This week I've been thinking a lot about the style of Tina Chow; a model, jewellery designer, and campaigner most famous during the 1970s and early 80s. Throughout her career she was muse to Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Issey Miyake. 
“Tina had an innate elegance and never needed any designer to do anything for her. In fact, she did a lot for us.” - Giorgio Armani
Despite her success as model and designer (not to mention her very public life and, sadly, death) very little about Chow seems to have survived. I have scoured and scoured the internet searching for photos/designs/articles, yet have been turning up the same small set of low-res images for the last four years. This seems astonishing now - in an age of aggressively invasive paparazzi and insta-obsession - but perhaps it's partly this minimal record that makes her style seem so appealing. 

I first read about Tina Chow on les anti-modernes* (way back in 2011, time flies!) and Sophie's commentary bears repeating; Chow's style was feminine and strong, bold yet subtle - a carefully considered selection of timeless basics which looks as good now as it did 30 years ago, and will still look good 30 years from now.

She nailed the androgynous look with short, neat hair and simple make-up (often none at all but she rocked a red lip) - a bold contrast to the big, loud styles most associated with that era. Reportedly, Chow wore a 'uniform' consisting of a white t-shirt, black slacks, a grey cardigan and flat pumps; an idea that is so prevalent today, especially after this article swept the web.
“Femininity has nothing to do with wearing ruffles. You can show your femininity regardless of what you wear. Your attitude will show it. Femininity and feminism go hand and hand.”  - Tina Chow
Although it's true that she was both way ahead of her time and a trend-setter, the fact is that this look will never really be out of fashion. There's something so comforting about that.

Chow pioneered the use of rock crystal in fine jewellery; strikingly combined with bamboo, leather, silk cord and precious metals. The influence affected by her designs is recognisable in many contemporary pieces, both high-end and high-street.
“I like the idea of wearing very personal jewellery and not much decoration.” - Tina Chow
I'm reminded of the stacks of crystal bead bracelets I wore as a teenager (my favourites were rose quartz, hematite and jade). I've always really liked natural stone jewellery because it's so simple, versatile and easy to wear - a great complement to a minimal closet. 

I will be doing my best to emulate her cool vibes this week! It's always good to have some inspiration on a Monday :)
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