my first project 333 - spring/summer 2015

Spring/Summer moodboard

Since reading about Project 333 on many of my favourite blogs, I've been really interested in trying it for myself. Over the long Easter weekend I finally found time to go through my clothing, switch over my seasonal things, and make a list of the items I think will serve me best over the next three months. Although I considered myself to have quite a 'well curated' wardrobe, laying everything out like this flagged up some obvious mistakes (I have some items that don't seem to go with anything else, for example). I have also been reminded of some pieces which I really like but haven't worn very often. Above all else, this has shown me that I own more than enough.

I realise that everyone sets out on this project with slightly different goals and intentions, so here are mine:

  • to buy fewer, better, more sustainable items 
  • to save money for other endeavours
  • to create a simpler, more harmonious, less stressful wardrobe 
  • to ensure that I get enough wear and enjoyment from the clothes I own and love
  • for my clothes to take up less space in my brain
  • for my clothes to take up less space in our small home

The main difficulty I found with this exercise was trying to predict the weather. As anyone who lives in Britain knows, our seasons can be very changeable and difficult to define. This past fortnight we've had both snow and blazing hot sunshine! I am grateful to work in a casual creative environment, which made this much easier for me as I do not require smart clothes that are separate from my 'weekend' clothes. I did, however, try to include some things that could be worn for business meetings and other semi-formal occasions like weddings and christenings. I didn't include any 'party' clothes as I very rarely go to clubs or bars.

If you're interested in how my first shot at Project 333 looks, read on...

collection I'm coveting: Finery

I just discovered a new (to me) brand and I'm really excited. I spied a dress by Finery in the latest issue of Vogue, and after looking them up online, have fallen in love with the complete collection. Their style is contemporary and chic; populated by the neutral colours and simple silhouettes that I love but with surprising flashes of print and some bold, modern accents. From the descriptions, the fabric looks to be of good quality yet the prices are reasonable (in line with similar brands like & Other Stores, Zara and Cos).

I just ordered the 'Barrett' skirt and can't wait for it to arrive! I'm hoping it's just right, as I've been hunting for a versatile black midi skirt for years. I will report back on fit and quality.

Finery operates a bonus/points system for its users, including a free gift for those who encourage five friends to join - so if you're interested, please let me know and I'll send you an invitation :-)

Have you ever shopped with Finery? Am I really late to the party?

"That's a good looking North-South outfit"

'The Rules of Mid Season Dressing' (pages 60 & 61), Porter Magazine issue 6

Michael Kors offers some wonderful advice in this article, which has stuck with me ever since I read this issue of Porter (during a long train journey some months ago). My favourite is 'Arrive looking as good as you left':

Years ago, when I first started out, I was doing a personal appearance in a speciality store in America and I had a sales assistant say to me, "That's a good looking North-South outfit." I said "What does that mean?" and she said, "Well, you want to get on the plane in a cold place looking appropriate, and then you want to arrive in a warm place, shed a layer, and still look appropriate." I was probably 22 at the time but I still think about it.

I so love the idea of a 'North-South outfit'. Being able to shed a layer and still look appropriate is currently my ultimate ambition; we've had both snow and warm sunshine this week, a real challenge to dress for!

My Style in 5

After watching a few videos of this tag on YouTube, I thought that these five simple questions would be the perfect thing to ease me back into blogging after yet another writing hiatus (it's March already!?). So, the general idea is five questions in five minutes...

1. Who are your style icons?

Other than constantly gazing at Sofia Coppola, I get most of my style inspiration from bloggers and Instagram - please refer to my reading list to the right :-)

2. What is your best style advice or tip?

I don't have any ground breaking style advice, but one thing that I would recommend is investing in you. Not your clothes, not your make-up, but things that make a difference to the you that exists without all of those things. To me, this means investing time, energy and money in my health and fitness, in the foods that I eat and the skincare that I use. Once I started taking care of myself like this, it was easier to focus on questions of personal style without using clothing as a crutch for shaky self-esteem. 

3. What was your style like as a teen?

Bright pink and purple hair cut into a blunt bob, big stompy boots, all-black clothes, Adam Ant style make-up and lots of piercings (regretfully). 

4. What type of outfit do you wear the most?

Jeans and a jumper/shirt/tee (I'm particularly partial to a Breton stripe), usually with sneakers or pumps and a scarf. 

5.Who is your favourite designer?

I love Margaret Howell and Christophe Lemaire. 

Some of my favourite videos of this tag: Hello CathyThe Minimalist SparrowLightly Lumay.Nobody tagged me, but I encourage everyone to have a go - it's fun! Comment below and let me know if you do.

collection I'm coveting: Valentino Pre-Fall 2015

twenty fifteen

We're nearly 20 days into 2015 already; this post has been sitting in the notes app on my phone for more than five weeks. I guess that means I'm starting the year as I mean to go on - as a pretty lousy blogger... I always thought the idea of new years resolutions was kinda silly, but I made some last year and found the exercise surprisingly useful and gratifying. Some of the best things I did in 2014 came about as a direct result - I'd been thinking about them for a while, but turning them into set goals gave me that extra push.

dear Santa...

Sunday Suppers / Eyeko 'Skinny Brush' mascara / lambswool blanket / KeepCup (8oz)
 Hotel Chocolat Christmas selection / Uniqlo cashmere beanie / Whistles 'Onslow' bucket bag / Clarisonic Mia 2
Tesco DAB radio / Vivienne Westwood's autobiography / aloe vera plant

Can it really be November again? Where did you go, 2014? In a few weeks time I'll be another year older (25, eek) and a few more weeks after that it'll be that most wonderful time of the year again. There aren't many things I'm really lusting after right now, but if you're twisting my arm, Santa, I'd be pretty pleased to see any of the above under my tree...

What's on your wishlist this year? 

collection I'm coveting: KowTow

LOVING everything in this current collection from KowTow - I probably won't buy anything (not sure they ship to UK, anyway) but it provides major wardrobe inspirations all the same. I'm really into these slouchy/loose 'contemporary kimono' shapes. Also, the crazy red polka dot pattern against black and white stripes? It so works!

collection I'm coveting: Everlane (Always)

I kinda feel like Everlane exists mainly to taunt me; my perfect wardrobe, manufactured responsibly and transparently, and available at a fair (and attainable) price - but I can't get my hands on it. The day they start shipping to the UK will be a high point in my life (and also the day I go bankrupt).

#livefresh: Ügot Newcastle review

I recently went on a whirlwind business trip which involved an insane schedule, several very late nights, a line up of poky conference rooms, and endless train journeys (you know the drill). By the time I got back I was exhausted and - after surviving on carby baked goods, crisps and cheese sandwiches for three days - malnourished. Being mainly vegetarian and a lover of raw food, I find it pretty depressing having to choose my sustenance from the sort of establishments common to stations and cheap hotels; even when there is fresh food, some form of cheese/pasta arrangement is often the only veggie offering. 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to visit the new ÜGOT café in Newcastle's Central Station, so Laura and I popped in one Friday afternoon. It was packed (good sign) so we dashed around and took a bunch of stuff back to our office for lunch... and WHAT a lunch, oh boy! ÜGOT sells my type of grub: fresh vegetables, BIG salads, interesting vegetarian and vegan options, fresh juice and smoothies, great coffee, fresh fruit, and nice but not-so-naughtly treats like chocolate and cinnamon nuts, dried fruit mixes and frozen yoghurt. Their offerings are seasonally directed, with an ever-changing menu that means that there's often something new to try.

Despite the fact that Laura and I have quite different tastes, we both found a ton of things we liked at ÜGOT; a real testament to the variety on offer. To give a brief sense of what the menu is like, I had: a kale and falafel wrap, a banana and maple smoothie and tropical frozen yoghurt. Laura had: a chicken noodle pot and raspberry frozen yoghurt. We also shared some cinnamon almonds (although I gobbled most of them, sorry Laura!). Everything was insanely yummy, but the froyo was particularly amazing.

Healthy, interesting, nutritious, FRESH food from a station? Hallelujah! This is what I was craving on aforementioned business trip (and everyday, now I think about it). Have you been to ÜGOT yet? Please post menu recs below!

I can't wait for my next visit to ÜGOT - I'm particularly looking forward to tasting the new peanut butter hot chocolate :-)

Many thanks to the team at ÜGOT for inviting me to try their new menu. More info: visit, follow ÜGOT on Twitter and Instagram, and like ÜGOT on Facebook