Marks & Spencers

Can I just say how much I am absolutely loving M&S handbags at the moment? Who knew that M&S would ever be cool? But I have recently noticed that they are slowly creeping up in the style stakes. It seems that every time I’m flicking through a magazine and a bag catches my eye and makes me think ‘Oh my god I need that bag in my life’, it seems to be from M&S. Which is fanastic news! Affordable and lovely and probably avoided by most high street shoppers and so eliminating that awkward, ‘Oh, I see you shop in New Look too’ moment with your friend/sister/stranger on the bus.

Here are a few of my favourites: (apologies for the random sized photos – the M&S site has odd gif files…)

This one’s not quite so stylish but it looks very nice and snuggly…..

Out of Print

Courtesy of The Cool Hunter, I recently discovered an excellent sounding idea, t-shirts with your favourite classic book covers printed on the front. The company in mention is Out of Print. As with my previous TOMS post, this idea is made so much better by the fact that there is kindness behind it. For every t-shirt purchased, a book is sent to a community in need. This is done through their partner, Books for Africa.

Being quite a big reader myself, I absolutely fell in love with this idea – I just think it’s such a nice edge on all those cliche ‘vintage’ band t-shirts you see on every man and his dog.

Womens t-shirts are $28 and shipping to UK is $10. (They do mens & children’s too)

These are my current favourites, which I think would look fab paired with skinny jeans, converse and a blazer.

(You can click each t-shirt for a direct link to the page)

TOMS – One for one

I can’t remember where or when I first heard of TOMS but they are one of my ultimate shoe loves. They aren’t massively popular where I live and unfortunately I only ever see people walking around in cheap high street versions. However, after a trip to Huntington Beach aka ‘Surf City USA’ in May, I noticed that nearly everyone owns a pair there – they’re like the new Converse – but better because they give back.
If you haven’t heard the TOMS story then you should definitely take some time to look at their site – it will be the best discovery you make all year. To cut a long story short, every time you buy a pair, they give a pair to a child in need.

They have recently given away their millionth pair which is fantastic and were featured in Marie Claire for it.

I purchased my first pair of TOMS in May and cannot describe how much I love them! They are so comfortable and versatile – and considering I’ve worn them nearly every day since buying them, they are holding out pretty well!

To be honest though, I think my favourite thing about TOMS is the sense of community that they have built – if you head over to their facebook page and take a look at all the photos uploaded by their ‘fans’, it’s just really lovely. I love looking at all the different ways that people have decorated their TOMS and made them their own.

Heroes of jeans

Personally, I think that if you can look good in a plain old jeans and t-shirt combo then you’ve pretty much cracked it. Anyone can smarten themselves up in a suit or go glitzy for a posh party but I think it takes something special if you can look effortlessly hot in jeans and a t-shirt. To me, it is the epitome of classic cool. My obsession with laid back fashion was only further fuelled by a recent trip to California where I completely fell in love with everything about the place. It really is as good as it looks in the movies! As I travelled around the state I realised that the ‘California Cool’ look that gets so heavily pushed in the shops in the UK isn’t a work of fiction.

As food for thought, some of my casual heroes are below:

Who do you look to for casual inspiration?

Have you ever been fortunate enough to find the perfect pair of jeans?