cardiff

The Best Coffee Shops In Cardiff

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If there’s only one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I’m totally obsessed, probably addicted and very much in love with coffee. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day without a cup since I was about 15, and I don’t plan on doing that soon either. Coffee is just a great excuse to catch up, take some time out or just get out of the house. As it’s such a big thing for me, I thought I would share a few of my favourite coffee shops in Cardiff, incase you wanted to try them out too.

 

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UNCOMMON GROUND

I love this coffee shop! It’s one of my absolute faves, it’s right in the centre and a great space to work or catch up. They have loads of tables and you have the choice of sitting inside or out in the arcade. It’s also quite dimly light which makes it feel cosy and if you love the coffee you can buy a bag of beans to take home.

 

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200 DEGREES

This quirky coffee shop on Queen Street has its own roastery and is perfect if you consider yourself a real coffee connoisseur.  They invited me for a blogger event over Christmas and their chai latte is particularly amazing. They use a special syrup from Jeeves & Jericho that makes it taste absolutely incredible.

 

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BLANCHE BAKERY

If you’re looking to take Instagram pictures then this is THE best place to go, as it was designed for getting likes. From the leafy wall, to the neon sign and the perfectly decorated doughnuts there are so many picture opportunities it’s unreal. Blanche is also vegan so if you have friends with different requirements it’s an easy place to go.

 

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COFFEE BARKER

This is a favourite of all the bloggers in Cardiff because it’s so Instagrammable outside, think Parisienne vibes. They also do great coffee, fancy milkshakes and food so it covers all bases. I particularly love going for breakfast though as they do the best egg and avocado on toast. It’s also in Castle Arcade, which is stunning as it has all its original features and an upper level with cute shops.

 

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HARD LINES

Hard Lines gives me New York vibes and it’s definitely the coolest and most hipster of all the coffee shops. They have a stall in Cardiff market which is the one I go to the most and their coffee tastes really, really good. They also do a beetroot latte which is bright pink if you wanted to push the boat out.

 

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HANDLEBAR BARISTA

If you don’t have time to sit in then the Handlebar Barista will be your go-to guy. This super clever coffee cart is built onto a bike so it moves around the city, which is so perfect if you commute in the morning. As a heads up he’s often outside Queen Street Station!

 

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BIG MOOSE COFFEE CO

I’m so in love with this coffee shop, it’s beautiful inside, has great food and helps to support homeless people in Cardiff. It’s also just off Queen Street, on a really quiet street so it’s nice to get away from the busyness. They do really great cakes if you have a sweet tooth and have a great breakfast and lunch menu, including vegan and gluten free options.

If I’ve missed anywhere make sure to let me know in the comments, I’m always up for discovering new places. Any excuse for a coffee, right?

Afternoon Tea At The Mulberry Bar

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorThe Celtic Manor is one of those amazing hotels that feels really special and fancy but manages to make you feel really comfortable and relaxed at the same time. Being a little further out of the city they’ve managed to provide everything for their guests you could ever imagine from a spa, to golf, ice skating and of course a gorgeous spot of afternoon tea, my fave.

Afternoon tea is held in the Mulberry Bar which is just to the right of the main restaurant. It has a bar, chandeliers, little booths and velvet chairs alongside the nicest marble tables that I’m going to have to start hunting for. It’s super glam and the best treat for a birthday or a very extra afternoon with your girlfriends. My Mum’s been really busy recently, as she’s just finished her masters so I thought it would be nice to bring her along with me as it was such a lovely treat.

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorWe were sat in the middle of room in these really high velvet chairs and were given a menu full of all the different teas we could choose from. Me, being super boring went for a pot of classic english breakfast but my mum decided to go for their Danish Pastry tea which smelt incredible! I’ve been meaning to track some down for christmas ever since. They had so many different flavours to choose from including chocolate brownie, apple strudel and spiced orange.

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorThe first course was probably my favourite and consisted of a verrine of cauliflower cheese in a little cup with a side of welsh rarebit. It tasted absolutely amazing, was really thick and creamy and was just classic autumn food that set the tone for a really cosy afternoon.

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorThe next course started with a slate of savoury treats that included roast beef in a Yorkshire pudding, a beetroot macaron with smoked salmon, parmesan shortbread with sundried tomato and pesto, warm leak and pork wellington with London sauce and a selection of classic afternoon tea sandwiches. There was so much food but it was a lovely treat to indulge in everything and try out all the flavours. My favourite was the parmesan shortbread as it was really light and fresh but I thought the macaroons were really clever too.

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorNext it was time for some cocktails! There are two on the menu to choose from and they were both designed exclusively for the afternoon tea so it felt really special to get to try them. I went for the Tea Collins which is made with raspberry liquorice, lavender tea, Gordon’s gin, Beefeater gin, sugar syrup and lemon juice. It was a really refreshing cocktail with more of a bitter taste and as I’m a lover of g&t’s it was perfect for me. My mum went for the other cocktail which was called the Jaffa Cake and it’s essentially a jaffa cake in liquid form. It’s made with chase orange gin, marmalade vodka, Cointreau, white cacao liqeur, fresh orange juice and a spoonful of marmalade. The rim of the glass is also dipped in chocolate to create a way more grown up and decadent version of our favourite snack.

style-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorstyle-rarebit-blog-afternoon-tea-at-the-mulberry-bar-celtic-manorThe last course was the most important as it was time for the sweet stuff, cake! They were so pretty and each one was handcrafted into the most beautiful designs that were almost too pretty to eat. Almost. They included an elderflower and champagne delice with strawberry foam and meringue (cute pink ball), candied hazelnut choux puff with vanilla and praline creme, then a green tea, apple and ginger tartlet (this was my favourite!) and lastly a white chocolate and shortbread truffle cake. This is also followed by two scones with jam and cream in classic afternoon tea style. We couldn’t manage these though so we took them home for my little brother and he gave rave reviews.

The afternoon was such a lovely treat and it would make for a special gift, especially as Christmas is coming up. I think it would be perfect to take a group of friends too, there was loads of food and it’s a memorable place to spend a special occasion. I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to try this out and me and my mum absolutely loved it. If we only we could do this everyday eh…

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For more information on Afternoon Tea at The Mulberry Bar click here.

Photographs – Sarah Barnes

Boux Avenue Blogger Event & Bra Fitting

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Have you ever had a bra fitting? Because up until last week I hadn’t either but gorgeous lingerie brand Boux Avenue really kindly invited me to their Cardiff store to do just that. I went along with some of my favourite welsh bloggers and it was like one big girly night in. It was honestly one of the best events I’ve been to in a really long time, the girls in the store were really sweet, there were drinks, makeup and hair stylists and loads of gorgeous lingerie to try on, so perfect!

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I was actually really nervous about the bra fitting part as it’s something I’ve always put off. I think, like a lot of women I would rather guess than get my bra out in front of someone but after last week I so regret not doing it sooner. It was so quick and easy and Liv who helped me with my Boux Avenue bra fit knew so much and gave me a lot of really good advice about what to look out for.

I actually decided to film my bra fit for my YouTube channel (vlog below) because I know how many of us are intimidated and I thought it would be good to show what really happens. I was actually wearing a back size that was two sizes too big and a cup size that was two sizes too small which I was adamant was my size for YEARS. I can’t believe how long I was kidding myself and also how much bigger my boobs look now that I’m finally wearing the right size!

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Now that I’ve been once I would definitely go back and pick up some more pieces as it was just such a lovely experience. The bras are so pretty, there are so many different options and trying them on in the french chic style changing rooms felt so glam. They also gave me a discount code for you guys to use in the Cardiff store, CARDIFF10 for £10 off when you spend £50 so there’s even more of an excuse to treat yourself!

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How To Make Your Lips Look Bigger With Makeup

how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogIn the time it’s taken me to get this blog post up Kylie Jenner has dissolved her lip filler and killed a big trend faster than she started it. You would think that writing a post about making your lips look bigger with makeup would be kind of pointless now but I follow these tips everyday so I thought it would still be useful. This post isn’t so much about creating that insanely full Instagram lip anyway but more about enhancing what you have to balance out your features. Here are the four easy steps…

how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blog how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogStep 1: Exfoliate

Exfoliating your lips increases the blood flow which actually helps to plump them up and make them bigger. It’ll also help to get rid of any dead skin, softens up your lips and gives you the perfect base to apply colour. I use the LUSH Honey Lip Scrub in circular motions for about 2 minutes and I find it works really well to buff my skin without being too harsh. Alternatively, you can DIY one using coconut oil and brown sugar which is just as good.

how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blog how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogStep 1 : If you don’t have a lip scrub

For anyone who doesn’t have a lip scrub my friend Mim told me this hack of using your tooth brush as an exfoliator instead. It works in exactly the same way but I found it made my lips a lot plumper than the scrub because it’s more of a deeper exfoliation. Just make sure there’s no toothpaste on it as that will dry out your lips!

how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blog how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogStep 2: Overline

The easiest way to make your lips look bigger with makeup is to use a lip liner. As mine are really thin at the edges I love using a pencil to completely redraw the outline and make my lip shape much rounder.

My go-to is the Code Beautiful Soft Smooth Lip Liner as it stimulates collagen as well as being really long lasting. It’s also self sharpening so every time you take the lid off the point is perfect making it really easy to draw a crisp line.

I like to draw the outline first around the edges of my lips and then slowly bring the colour further down. I also leave the very centre liner free as I think it helps to make them look fuller. As mine are super thin it’s pretty impossible to contour them Instagram style so this is the next best thing.

how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blog how-to-make-your-lips-look-bigger-with-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogStep 3: Apply a plumping gloss

The last step is to apply the Code Beautiful Lip Intense Lip Plumper to make them look as full as possible. One of the main ingredients in the gloss is Hilurlip which redefines the lips and plumps them up for a way fuller look. It also uses hyaluronic acid, a natural moisturiser found in your skin to keep them super hydrated which will help with the plumping effect too.

It’s very pepperminty and does tingle when you first put it on but it’s really gentle and not uncomfortable at all. I actually quite like that you can feel it working and it definitely keeps my lips hydrated for longer unlike other plumping glosses that I’ve tried.

The gloss is also in a your lips but better shade that’s perfect for everyone and I think doing this in more muted tones help to keep your lips looking natural. I tend to stick to nudes and pinks so this is perfect for me but you could definitely layer it over a red or plum lipstick if you wanted something different.

If It Wasn’t For My Blog I’d Go Crazy

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“There are some days when I feel good, I’m really inspired and ideas just happen and then there are other days, when I’m not so good and blogging is a struggle”

I think we all get like this sometimes, stress piles up and we feel a little wobbly but it’s during those times that writing helps to keep me sane.

I’m in a slump at the moment but I always feel crappy around my birthday. It’s weird, it makes me feel like time is moving really quickly but I’m just a little bit too slow to catch up. I’m sure once the shock of being another year older is gone I’ll get back into the swing of being creative though.

It may sound dramatic but I honestly don’t know what I would have done with my life if I hadn’t have started a fashion blog. I’m just so grateful for wherever that idea came from. On my worst days it only takes reading a few comments or coming up with new ideas to make me feel better and on my good days I could not be more proud of how far this page has come.

I’ve always been one of those people who welcomes a distraction and to be honest I would probably still be panic attacking the shit out of life if it wasn’t for StyleRarebit. As much as I’m not where I dreamed I would be at 26 I’ve certainly come a long way since publishing my first post. For a start I now know the difference between your and you’re (took a while) and I’m definitely a little more self assured and a lot more grown up than I was back then. It’s funny how something as small as starting a blog can do that. The opportunities, positivity and friendships that have come my way since the beginning are unbelievable and just thinking about those makes me the happiest gal alive.

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Snowy Rarebit

snow-day-fashion-blog-style-rarebit-1 I finally made it outside today! I literally can’t tell you how bloody happy I was to get out of my house. This storm is driving me a little bit crazy and I’ve realised that snow days as an adult definitely aren’t as fun as snow days when you’re a kid. Mainly because I had to work from home and couldn’t spend all day in the park throwing snowballs at my friends…

I was sent home on Wednesday because the pipes had frozen and worked from home on Thurs and Fri as it was too much effort to get to a coffee shop. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever spent inside! I’m the polar opposite of a home bird and it was definitely a struggle.  So glad I made it to the park today though! It’s amazing how beautiful everything looks in white and I have a million times more energy just from getting some fresh air. My mum, little brother and I also dug out our neighbours drive for them, which got us out the house and helped me to burn off all the tea and biscuits I’ve been eating.

As beautiful as the snow is, I’ve got my pics now so I’ll be glad when it melts and I can get back to normal… might miss my snow beau though.

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Posing outside Berlin Cathedral

style-rarebit-fashion-blog-berlinCity breaks are my absolute fave and it feels so good to get away and explore somewhere new. I always feel more inspired coming back and seem to have way more ideas too, which is the best excuse for a holiday!

Last week me and Rory went to Berlin for a few days to check out the sites. On our first we had a few hours to kill before check-in, so we went for a little wonder to find some lunch. We were staying in Alexanderplatz, which is pretty much in the centre and so we were actually really close to the Berlin Cathedral without realising. It wasn’t on our list of places to visit but it turned out to be one of my favourites, have to love serendipity! You can see from these pics just how beautiful it is and climbing to the top gave us the best views of the city. I feel like I would go back again just to visit this…

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A Fashion Bloggers Guide to Buying Second Hand Designer on Ebay

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbayFinding a bargain piece on eBay makes me feel like I’ve won the fashion lottery, every time it happens. It’s almost as good as picking up a Furla bag in a charity shop for £3.50 because none of the grannies who work there know what it is. These purchases don’t happen everyday but when they do, it feels bloody amazing. As I’ve had my fair share of lucky finds and an eBay account for nearly 10years (I started early), I thought it would be cool to write up a fashion bloggers guide to buying second hand designer on eBay, to help my readers out too.

Do your research: It’s good to know what you’re looking for and to have some background knowledge on the particular item or designer first. Often fakes are really easy to spot but you don’t what to get ripped off paying more than retail either, so your best bet is to get clued up way before you hit eBay.

Focus on one brand/item at a time: Just looking at shoes or bags as a whole will take you months to sift through so you need to get specific about what you want. For example, if you love the Phillip Lim bags searching ‘Phillip Lim bag’ would be good but it’s better to know the exact item e.g. ‘Phillip Lim Pashli bag’ as this will bring you the best results.

Look for real pictures: This may sound like a weird thing to say but if the listing has stock images from a website and it’s not a retailer, then chances are it’s not the item you’re ACTUALLY buying. Especially if the description says it’s second hand, you know it’s not going to be in mint condition. Ask the seller for snaps of the exact item and if they don’t want to send them to you, then it’s likely it’s dodgy.

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbaySave it: Ebay has a function where you can save your favourite searches and sellers for later, so that you can keep checking for new listings. Say you’re searching for a ‘Furla Metropolis Bag’ save your search including location (if you don’t want to pay for shipping for example you can set it to UK only), the maximum price, colour etc. and then check on it once a week for anything new or any discounts. You can also follow your favourite sellers which is good if you find someone who loves the same designer as you and likes to clear out their wardrobe often!

Be prepared to wait: I once watched a Kenzo bag for months. At the beginning the price was £300 and I kept on watching until she reduced it to £60. Often if people really want to get rid of something you can offer them a bit less too and by waiting you’ll figure out if it’s something you still really want.

Don’t be shy about contacting the seller: Designer items are always going to be a little bit more expensive and therefore more risky to buy. If you need some extra info or reassurance the option is there for you to contact the seller and you should use this function as much as you need to. Whether thats for more pictures, to see a proof of purchase or just for piece of mind, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Avoiding Fakes: Obviously this will depend on what you’re buying but there are a few tell tale signs that something isn’t quite what it seems. One of the most popular scams is listing fakes with just a picture of the bag (so you recognise it) but the seller won’t put the brand name in the title to avoid getting caught my eBay. This is because if a fake bag were to be listed under the name of a real one, e.g. “Gucci Dionysus” and eBay saw that it was a fake not only would they take it town but the seller would lose their account. As long as you search your specific item, you’ll likely avoid this but it’s good to be aware. This doesn’t mean that all items listed are real though, so you still need to be really careful. If you’ve done your research and still aren’t sure then you might want to try out using a authenticator service online. You can send them the link to the item and they’ll give you their professional opinion on whether or not it’s legit. This isn’t free but if you’re making a bigger purchase, it’s 100% worth it. Designers like Chanel or Hermes are sold for crazy prices on the second hand market but are also copied on a mass scale so it may be hard for you to tell the difference.

Chanel bags cost more than £5: If the price is too good to be true then it’s probably fake, as much as a bargain purchase can happen it’s very rare and if something looks shady, it probably is. Don’t be lured in and always do your research. I recently picked up a Karl Lagerfeld bag for £40 which is a bargain but not crazy unbelievable, if I found a Chanel for this price though I would know it was dodgy.

Open a case: If you purchase something and it arrives not as described, in bad condition or you think it’s fake then you can open a case with eBay and they’ll help you to resolve the problem. This is obviously worse case scenario but it’s worth knowing that you’re covered just in case.

If it’s the real deal but you don’t like it, you’re not getting a refund: Something else worth mentioning is that eBay doesn’t work like ASOS. There’s no free returns and you can’t just send it back if you don’t like it. Provided everything is legit and it’s as described the seller probably won’t take a return, so just make sure you really want it or would be prepared to sell it on before you buy.

I hope you liked these tips and that you found them useful! Let me know if you have any tricks of your own or if you try these out and pick something up. I’ve also written a post on other places to buy second hand designer online here if you’re interested.

Christmas Party Outfit Tips #thisisnewlook

fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-lookfashion-blogger-cardiff-new-lookfashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-lookfashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look“Tis the season and I plan on taking full advantage of every party I’m invited to so that I get to wear this outfit again…”

Christmas party dressing should NEVER feel like a chore, if anything it’s something to totally revel in. I feel like fashion at the moment dictates a way more relaxed and casual feel and more and more girls are opting for flat shoes and baggy trousers than ever before. This time of year totally overrides all trends though and there isn’t a store on the high street not offering some glitz.

Dressing up can feel a little bit overwhelming, especially if your don’t do it often but I think the most important thing is just to have fun with it. When finding the right dress it mainly comes down to the fit though, so you’re going to have to do some trying on! A good tip is to figure out your body shape (pear, apple etc), what you want to accentuate (boobies, bums) and what you want to skim over (for me it’s tummy and legs!). Knowing the shape of dress you’re looking for will be really helpful in narrowing your search and will make the trying on stage way less stressful.

The New Look Christmas range is full of gorgeous dresses in literally every shape, fabric and style imaginable, so you’re bound to find something! I love this star print dress because the shape is so flattering! It sucks in my waist, makes my boobs look way bigger and skims over what I want to hide. I love the star print too as it’s really fun and playful which is so perfect for this season.

I paired my dress with this insane faux fur jacket which is the key piece of the season. There are so many bold fur jackets out there but I love how subdued this colour is and I’ll be able to wear it with so many other outfits. It’s good to pick one that works with your skin tone too, especially if you’re going for something bright! I like that this one is cropped as well and hits my waist just where the dress starts to kick out.

fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look fashion-blogger-cardiff-new-look“I love to go all out with accessories, they can really elevate a party look, even if you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans…”

The right bag is everything, you only have to scroll through Instagram to know that. I love this black embellished bag as it’s so festive and glitzy but still wearable and will go with any party look. Something worth mentioning is that as great as a clutch bag is they’re so small and there’s nothing worse than not being able to close them. This bag is big enough for my phone, keys and some touch up makeup as well as a cross body strap that is dance floor friendly.

I love New Look all the time but I think everyone knows how incredible their shoes are. I would go as far to say they’re the best affordable brand and I can always find something. These platform shoes are pretty out there and they totally make me feel like I’m in ABBA (YASSS) but they’re also super comfy. Comfort is the most important thing in a party shoe and yes it’s hard to find comfy heels but they do exist! If you struggle to walk in stilettos opt for a chunky heel like these or a lower block heel instead. You want to look dressy but you also want to be able to dance all night and walk to the bar, right?

I hope you loved my Christmas party tips and you have the best festive season! Merry Christmas xx

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Photography Sarah Barnes

This post was sponsored by New Look/Query Click

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How to style a Beret

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“Championing small, creative businesses has always been really important to me”

In fact I’ve got a whole series of blog posts interviewing designers from my favourite fashion start-ups including Swag and Tassel and Xandra Jane. I think anyone who is creative and following their passion knows how important support is in keeping their art alive. As much as we would love to endlessly create, the reality is that we also need to pay our bills and put some food on the table. Before I get too deep though today’s post features a gorgeous beret from a new fashion start up right here in Wales. Andrea’s Closet only launched 3 months ago but they already have a RTW and bridal collection which they successfully showcased at Cardiff Fashion Week last month. Their gorgeous fascinators are the perfect wedding accessory but my favourite pieces are the knitted head bands and winter friendly berets. I think often hats are something you only think about when you have a special occasion or when it’s super cold but they’re such a good thing to invest in. This beret is timeless, it’s interesting but also really wearable and it’s something I’ll bring out year after year.

fashion-blogger-cardiff-beret fashion-blogger-cardiff-beret
fashion-blogger-cardiff-beretHere are some quick styling ideas to get you inspired to pick up a Beret…

1. Wear it back on your head and tilted to one side for a super casual look.

2. Wear it perfectly straight and back on your head if you want to channel classic Parisian chic.

3. Pair it with some sunglasses like the one in this post to instantly bring a beret up to date.

4. Pick one up in a contrasting or bright colour to add some interest to a boring outfit.

5. If you’re super edgy pop it straight on your head and puff out the shape for a very extra, runway inspired look.

6. Make sure you get one in the right size! If it’s too big you might still be able to work with it but too small and your head will be bulging out the sides. Not cool!

Once the new Andrea’s Closet website is live I will pop it here but until then please check out their social media pages to see their newest collection.

twitter // facebook // instagram

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