Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fashion Blog : High Street Luxe Find : Vegan Leather Chloe-Esque Shoes, Flattering Ballet Flats And More.

Relaxing in the sun (with a hat and without sunscreen) iPad in paw, I padded across two high street luxe finds and an essential cardigan with a good fit.

1. Vegan Leather Chloe-Esque Block Heels
£19.99 from New Look

The first thing I noticed about this pair was the finish around the sole edges and the super soft bar of faux leather across the toes where there isn't a stitch in sight, just a look of sumptuous "leather". Minimal stiching around the ankle strap is neat and fine and the block heel has that bit extra that makes you take notice, styled with a surprising twist.

The deep red is a modern neutral, as compatible as tan with so many looks with a balance between colour and natural tones just right. I think it's the finish (inside and out) and sumptuous look that makes this pair a Luxe Find. Fit: these are narrow shoes, if your foot is medium width maybe go one size up, the position of the bar across the front is low so may not suit a foot that is wide at the toes. These aren't super comfortable but they are wearable as the faux leather is soft.

2. Vegan Suede Ballet Flats
(Man Made Materials) £19.99 from New Look.

There are some nice finishing touches like a gold layer in the "flat heel" and the all over mini studs that give a cheaper shoe material a super luxe finish to look at both close and from afar.

Love the flattering shape of the shoes too. The statement styling would make these flats a perfect partner to any dress or for evening slim cigarette pants. Fit: These will take some softening up with wear, but they do feel good in their shape and build and fit true to size.

3. Warm White Essential Crew Neck Cardigan
 (82% Cotton, 18% Nylon) £9.99 from New Look

A great proportional fit and nice fine fabric with a feel of soft cotton/wool. It is knitted rather than a woven fabric which gives it a more expensive look, I will add that it is delicate so will require careful washing on a delicate wash in a net bag.

Dress Intelligently, Dress Beautifully and Love What You Wear, Ms CN x
(Buying leather and wool free since June 2013).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fashion Blog : High Street Luxe Find : Vegan Leather Dress £22.99 UPDATED

This vegan leather dress at New Look is chic and perfect for the transition between winter and spring, it looks great with opaque tights and ankle boots, finished with a nice chunky knitted scarf. The simplicity of the no fuss design lends itself perfectly for day wear.

The hems are unfinished. I would leave the neckline and sleeves unfinished, but I would use some fabric glue and add a neat single hem on the bottom. The fabric is thin and may stretch oddly at the bottom when you are sitting down without the extra strength of the bottom hem. The bust area has a shape sewn in at the sides by means of darts, this means that this dress will only hang correctly on a smaller bust size a - c.

I am not expecting this dress to last as many years as a dress priced at 20x £22.99, but with regular wear with care I would expect to get a good year from this piece.

New Look Leather Look Dress UK UK £22.99 / Europe €29.99 .
New Look ships worldwide and offers free delivery options.

New Look Vegan Leather Dress 2014
This dress is similar to the Rag & Bone NY dress I posted about a couple of years ago (pic below). A true classic in a very different price bracket (£650) to this New Look cheap & chic alternative.

Rag & Bone NY Leather Dress Circa. 2012

Why I now choose vegan leather

In June 2013 I made the decision not to buy anymore real leather clothing. I had researched extensively where leather comes from today. It's not a fashionably pretty or happy story.

Years ago leather came as a by product of the meat industry where cows and other animals were raised naturally outdoors, fed well and treated well as living beings with most of the leather coming from the UK, Europe and USA. Leather clothing was not sold everywhere and if it was for sale you would only see a few pieces per season. Leather was carefully purchased and cherished for years.

Now leather is available cheaply and excessively in most high street stores. Cheap leather comes from India and China where animals are bred solely for this purpose and lead a life of extreme cruelty, sadness and deprivation before being slaughtered in the worst conditions (more info here). Some leather still comes as a by product of the meat industry but again the way the animals are raised in factory environments and intensively without seeing the light of day, effectively being raised in a concrete prison environment is not something any intelligent person would wish to buy into at any stage of the chain.

Sign the PETA petition here, it's free and only takes a minute to help stop this unnecessary cruelty.

Vegan leather has improved significantly since the plastic-like PVC of the 1980's and 90's. Today vegan leather or faux leather is soft, wearable most importantly looks like leather.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fashion Blog : Investment Piece : Black Chloe Boots at £165 & More Chloe

I have refrained from writing about the January sales as I imagine that everyone is in receipt of the same bombardment of promises of up to 75% off filling one's inbox each day that I am. You don't need anyone to tell you that there are some good deals out there.

I find that really good pieces don't often make it to the sales usually selling out during high season. Trawling the rails of from a comfy armchair I gazed across a couple of real gems worth buying at great prices.

CHLOÉ Tucson metal-cuffed leather ankle boots.
Original price £550. NOW £165. 70% OFF.

CHLOÉ Wool-gabardine black straight-leg pants.
Original price £300. NOW £120. 60% OFF.

Anyone who reads here regularly will know that I am Chloe biased, it's the one label where I can find great wearable pieces each season that travel well and look polished, the styles carry well from season to season without looking dated.


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