photography

I Can’t Believe This Coat Was £20

cardiff-fashion-blogger-style-rarebit-pink-coatLast month on my way to the Hotel Indigo launch I had some time to kill and went in search of a mirror that I could touch up my make in. Turns out my makeup was fine but the Zara coat I was wearing definitely wasn’t. Basically my work bag is leather and I think where it had been raining the dye had run all over my shoulder. It was like a big muddy handprint all down one side of me and as much as I’m hoping that happened on the way there, I was probably sat at work all day looking pretty trampy. So it’s very lucky that I found this pink New Look coat because it’s in exactly the same colour and made for an easy switch. It was also only £20 in the sale which is beyond incredible and I literally haven’t taken it off since. My favourite thing though? That it’s fully lined!! I haven’t seen a lined coat on the high street in forever and it’s my pet peeve…

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coat – new look // t shirt – h&m // dress – toyshop // boots –  toyshop // bag – autography

photography // sarah barnes

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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.

How I’m Falling in Love with Blogging again

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It’s not that I’ve ever really fallen out of love with blogging, but in the past few months the community seems to be more concerned with followers than actual content. This shift is really annoying me and taking away from the fact that for the majority of us, blogging is just a really fun hobby.

I’ve had several people ask me recently if they think it’s still worth blogging, as so many people are doing it. It’s not that there is anything wrong with asking me that or talking about followers but I just feel like when I started I wasn’t aware, nor did I care about stats.

I created StyleRarebit.com because I thought it would help me to get a job in the fashion industry after my degree but it’s actually given me so much more. I’ve grown in confidence, made friends, learnt a million more skills than I ever did in school and have worked with some of my favourite brands. Those kind of experiences are priceless to me and whether 3 people read my blog or 3,000, it doesn’t take anything away from that.

To get me out of my little funk I’ve been making a lot more fashion content, which is where my main passion really lies. Putting together outfits, ideas and discovering new brands is something that I really enjoy and I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have this page to experiment with. It’s my own personal style file and whenever I don’t know what to wear or am hating what’s in my wardrobe, I can look back here for ideas that will get me inspired again.

Blogging is whatever I want it to be, for as many people who want to read it and for as long as I want. There’s no rules here and if I’m still enjoying it, I’m going to continue writing and sharing the things that I love.

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     photography: sarah barnes 

 faux fur jacket: new look // blouse: somerset by alice temperley // culottes: toyshop // boots: jd williams 

 

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Winter Outfit Inspiration – Casual Sock Boots

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Just before Christmas I had an email from JD Williams asking if I wanted to collaborate on a post and I was SO excited. Initially I was thinking of writing about party shoes (glittery heels included) and putting together some outfit inspo for you guys but then I stumbled onto the ankle boots section and completely forgot all about that. I’m a little bit obsessed when it comes to boots, in fact I already have way too many but there’s just something about a classic boot that’s so versatile, so they always seem like a good investment. These boots are from the Violeta range by Mango and are a casual nod to the sock boot trend that is very much hanging around. Just way more comfy than the stiletto kind! I love how chic they are too and really pull together this everyday outfit with very minimal effort.

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“I think this outfit is very reflective of that too. This is everyday me, not too dressy. It’s just comfort paired with great accessories.”

Just before the new year I felt like I was loosing my creative juice a little bit and I’ve also been struggling to find time (as always) to create new content for this blog. Sometimes getting caught up in comparing yourself to other people can really kill your vibe too but I’m finally learning to zone that out and remember why I started Style Rarebit in the first place. Because I love blogging!

I think this outfit is very reflective of that. This is everyday me, not too dressy. Just comfort paired with great accessories which is pretty much my go to philosophy when it comes to getting dressed. I think we would all agree that the number one goal is to look totally polished without having to make much effort at all. This look is essentially jeans and a jumper but tying a satin ribbon around my waist and dressing it up with a blazer is the perfect way to cheat looking like you’ve made loads of effort. I think that’s why the boots work so well too, being structured they are the perfect day boot if you want to look put together. They also look super expensive and the unusual heel (that metallic is everything!) means they add extra interest if you’re wearing plain clothes. They’re also on sale right now so even more of an incentive to pick them up… I love them with my mom jeans too as they’re tight on the ankle they sit really well underneath and give the illusion that my legs are slimmer.

If you take nothing else from this post just get to investing in some good boots this season that will totally dress up a zero effort look. Maybe even two pairs?

Shop boots here

Photographs by Sarah Barnes

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My New Year’s Resolutions 2018

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I know that for a lot of people New Year’s resolutions are a pretty cringe and pointless thing to do. I so disagree though. In fact I think you should make resolutions on the regular. Having goals and thinking about what you what and where you want to go are so important and there’s no shame in making positive changes. So in order to practice what I preach, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2018!

To be more impulsive – I’ve stressed out over everything this year but the thing about stressing is that it’s totally pointless. I’m behind everyone my age in probably every way. I don’t have a house, car, baby or career path and I’m not ‘settled down’ (that phrase makes me want to be sick) or particularly going anywhere. I know that sounds a bit negative but I actually think it’s pretty liberating. This is the year I want to let go of worrying about what other people think and just concentrate on being happy, enjoying things and listening to my gut feeling. There’s been so many times where I’ve missed out on things I’ve wanted to do and I think now is the time to stop holding myself back.

To travel more – Growing up I used to travel all the time and that’s something in the last few years that I’ve really started miss. Yes I went to Poland, Amsterdam and 5 cities in the UK last year but I think I’m yearning for a little more adventure now. Not having any money has definitely had a lot to do with it but maybe it’s time I start setting some holiday money aside. It’s the best thing for clearing your mind and giving you some fresh inspiration.

To watch more movies – While at university I really got into films, especially ones from the 50s and 60s and in particular everything by Alfred Hitchcock. I used to spend ages trolling through films and discovering new ones and this is something I want to pick up again in 2018. There is so much creative inspiration to be found in a good movie!

To blog more – I’m still struggling to juggle my blog and my 9-5 job and this is something that’s been a problem since day one. I really want to get more of a routine down and start treating it like a job with some time set aside each week. My blog is really important to me and has really helped to distract me when I feel like I’m getting bogged down with anxiety. This little project has brought me so many good things and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for Style Rarebit.

I would love to know your resolutions too, pop them in the comments below for me to read! I hope you all have an amazing year and that you aren’t feeling too worse for wear after last night too…

 

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3 Easy Christmas Party Outfits

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Today I’m pairing up with Jack Wills to bring you some super cute Christmas party looks that are really wearable and extra glitzy. I love putting together outfits for the festive season and although I thought Jack Wills was just for pyjamas their range this year is really impressive. There are so many gorgeous cocktail dresses, evening bags and warm coats that would work for any holiday occasion.

If you’re looking for presents they have some really lovely accessories and pyjamas which are great too. If you’re struggling it’s worth checking out their online gift cards as well which ping into your bestie’s inbox so they can pick their own perfect gift. For now though let’s get on to the outfits…

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Jacket £69.95, Sequin Top £41, Velvet Mini £59.95, Bag £24.46, Earrings £9.95   

I think this one is perfect for a work Christmas party. The cute skirt and sequin top look really festive but it’s comfy and classy at the same time. I love this bag too, you could fit so much in this and a cross body is ideal if you feel like a dance. These are definitely pieces you would wear again and again with various different outfits, especially the mini and velvet jacket! Pair this with some black tights and heels and you’re good to go.

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Pink Coat £148, Dress £62, Bag £27.96, Necklace £12.95   

I LOVE this coat! It’s so perfect and the most gorgeous colour. This look is great for a family party or even for Christmas day. The dress is really flattering and will nip in your waist, giving you the classic hour glass silhouette and I love the spotty sleeves. Very 50s! Pair this with the gorgeous velvet bag and long necklace to complete the look and add some texture too.

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Earrings £9.95, Jumpsuit £90, Belt £27.95, Bag £29.95   

This last look is the most dressy and perfect for getting catch up drinks with your friends. I always pair a jumpsuit with a belt because I think it really draws in the waist and accentuates your shape. This clutch bag is perfect for a night out too as it has the little wrist strap so you don’t have to worry about holding onto your bag all night.

I hope you like these looks! Let me know in the comments what you’re wearing to your Christmas party too?!!

*This post is sponsored by Jack Wills / Spot Digital 

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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.

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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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Trying on party dresses at Coast Cardiff

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-eventNia is wearing the Kadie sequin maxi dress £129

Me and a little group of Cardiff fashion bloggers took over the Coast store this week to try on some seriously beautiful dresses. This is the perfect time of year to be invited to an event at Coast because nobody does occasion wear quite like they do. They’ve also seriously upped their game this season with a collaboration with The Royal Ballet and some killer trend focused pieces that are totally gorgeous. So, if you’re looking for a special Christmas dress I snapped a few of my favourite ones and have linked them all below!

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event The coast store in Cardiff’s gorgeous accessories table including the AMANDA Heart Bag which is such a perfect Christmas gift.

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-eventI absolutely fell in love with this one! It really pulled in my waist! Illy Ruffle Maxi Dress £169

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event My Cardiff blogger gals Claire, Nia (thecardiffcwtch.com) and Amy

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event Venus marble jacquard dress £159

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-eventTamia cuff bracelet £25

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event Bell sleeve dress £139

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event Harni embellished bangle  £19

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-eventFia knot bag  £45

coast-cardiff-party-dresses-blogger-event  Lileta Cubic Zirconia Bracelet  £25

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Choosing the perfect perfume gift with Fragrance Direct

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Perfume is the one gift that seems to really panic people, perhaps because fragrance has always been a very personal thing. Often our favourite ones are connected to memories or people that are really special to us and when buying for someone else, it’s something you really want to get right. As scary as shopping for perfume sounds it’s actually a lot easier than you think and can be a lot of fun too. So, to take the pressure off, I thought I would share with you a few of my top tips for fragrance shopping and 3 of my favourites this season for the special gals in your life.

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Top tips when shopping for a perfume gift

1. Always keep the person you’re shopping for in mind and try not to be swayed by your own personal taste.

2. Think about what they like, their favourite food, fashion brands and lifestyle and what would work for them. If you know of another fragrance they love, even if it’s a candle, that can be a perfect starting point. It’s also important to consider their age, your 18 year old niece isn’t going to love Shalimar in the same way your grandma will…

3. Don’t just look at the bottle, it might be gorgeous but it’s whats inside that counts! Make sure you read the description and get clued up on all the ingredients. It’s also worth remembering how the fragrance notes work in perfume too. The top notes are what you smell immediately after spraying it, the medium notes are what comes through as the perfume dissipates on the skin and the base notes are the deeper scents that come through after around 30 minutes of wear.

4. Try and figure out which fragrance family you want to stick to, whether it’s floral, oriental, woody, aromatic or otherwise. This will help you to narrow down your search and keep you on the right track.

5. It may sound random but consider their personality. There is such a thing as a bold fragrance and it’s an unlikely match for a shy wallflower. You want them to feel comfortable wearing the scent and you don’t want it to overpower them.

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Chloe Signature Eau de Parfum Spray

When Fragrance Direct told me that the concept of their campaign was giving the perfect fragrance gift, I instantly thought of my mum. Hence the cute picture of us above! Her signature fragrance has been the Chloe Eau de Parfum since it first came out. It’s also the perfect gift if you’re buying for someone with a love of fashion, who’s refined and likes delicate fragrances. It’s a combination of peony, lychee and freesia mixed with warm amber and cedar wood making it a very sophisticated and elegant scent.

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BOSS The Scent Intense For Her Eau de Parfum

The next perfume I chose for someone like me. I love fragrances and I also love experimenting, I have a few go-to favourites but I’m always up for trying something new. The Scent Intense by Hugo Boss is a much bolder fragrance than the Chloe one and has top notes of honeyed peach and freesia blossom which are feminine but not too sweet. This is mixed with the warm scents of cocoa and vanilla which combined makes it a perfect shout for the winter months. I am also completely in love with the bottle, it’s so luxurious and the colour is totally divine.

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Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L12 12 Pour Elle Sparkling EDT

Lastly this gorgeous, fruity fragrance from Lacoste is perfect for someone with more a playful personality and who prefers more subdued scents. The sweet florals are mixed with a woody and patchouli base as well as a touch of french macaroon, delicious! It’s a perfectly girly, everyday scent that doesn’t feel to dressy or over the top and would definitely be a safe option for someone younger too.

christmas-perfume-fragrance-direct-style-rarebit-1If you need any more inspiration on picking up the perfect gift Fragrance Direct have created a Thoughtful Gift Guide just in time for Christmas that will help you with your search.

I hope this post has given you a boost in confidence before the chaos of Christmas shopping begins and that you’re as excited to get into the spirit as I am! Happy holidays!