Finding your Autumn style can be a bit of a challenge when you're a summer baby at heart. Made more for bikinis on the beach and flip flops, the cooler months have always been a struggle for me. Perhaps the reason why I've spent the last four years chasing the summer from the Northern to the Southern hemispheres and back again! While some friends craved the warm winter woolies and darker nights, fantasising about staying warm on the sofa with a good movie, I was dreaming of tropical heat and living on the beach. But moving to Hamburg has really made me see Autumn in a whole new light, no longer is it the season of rain and wind and cold, but instead Germany has shown me a season filled with warm, rich colours, with hearty food and log fires. I can't believe I had never seen it before, but Autumn is Germany at it's finest, the parks ablaze with gold, red and brown, the skies clear, blue and the ground warmed by the late season sun. I won't lie, I'm writing this on a day when it is rainy and blustery to the max, a horrible autumnal day, but until now, my first Autumn living in Germany has been one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
You all know that I'm used to spending my life in maxi dresses and swimwear, and already I've adjusted my summer style to fit in with the Hamburg look, but with a new season comes a whole new challenge. Getting used to all the layers, knitwear and most of all, weatherproofing against the German weather while not giving up all sense of style! German style seems to be very functional, weather-oriented and very muted colours, with a lot of black. Well, as much as I'm rooting for how practical their style is, I can't help but be bored by the lack of colour and fun in dressing for the weather. I think there HAS to be a way of preparing both the sunny Autumn days and the worst weather that is yet to come this season, while still maintaining your fun, quirky style throughout the winter months. Here's five ways I'm embracing the season and changing up my style for autumn:
I love anything colourful and living in sunny countries means a bright colour scheme never gets a second look. But, when you're walking through dark, dull streets and everyone is wearing black and grey, it can be hard to be brave and to embrace colour. I miss my bright red and yellow summer dresses that always looked great with a tan! But there's no reason why your autumn/winter wardrobe has to be dull. Why not change up your colour palette and instead of avoiding all colour, go for more muted, jewelled tones that suit the season. I love the autumn shades,l from deep reds and golds, to rusty oranges, I'm a huge fan of the rich colours appearing in the shops. It doesn't have to mean a complete wardrobe overhaul, why not pick up some new accessories or basic tops to pair with your favourite season-to-season items? My favourite new items are a deep orange headscarf and a bargain rust-coloured coed jacket that I’ve barely taken off since I found them.
It’s all about the accessories and I’m all about finding ways to change up your autumn style while sticking to your budget and keeping things sustainable. It’s nice to see fashion bloggers stepping away from fast fashion and instead promoting vintage and second-hand shopping. I’m a big lover of vintage shopping and find it great for picking up one-of-a-kind pieces that will help keep your style unique to you. Whether it’s a new bag, scarf or even a hat, it will come with a story, and even better, you’ll know that your purchase will be supporting both your wallet and the environment. One of my favourite things to shop for is vintage and second-hand jewellery on markets and in stores, you can find some real gems if you dig deeper enough!
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing more important than having plenty of layers at the ready to keep you toasty on the walk to work. We all want to look good, but it’s just as vital to stay warm and cosy when it’s -10 degrees outside. I’ve started wearing small tops under big jumpers with a warm coat for the journey into work, with scarves and hats. Layering means being ready for that first blast of autumn winds and rain in the morning, but also being able to peel off those layers when your office is 100 degrees by the afternoon. By being smart and combining layers, you can save yourself the cost of investing in a thicker coat by instead layering jackets and jumpers. If you’re on a budget when updating your autumn style, this can really help.
Trying to limit your purchases of new autumn styles? Trying to stick to a budget? Cut back on spending and instead invest in a capsule wardrobe. Just focus on picking key pieces that you know you can style up in multiple ways and will wear throughout the season. Don't worry about picking up one of everything, instead pick out the timeless styles you know you will bring out again and again. If you love the more retro, 70's styles, why not invest in a pair of flares or some corduroy trousers? Or if you prefer, why not invest in a piece of knitwear or boots you will wear for years to come? Always ask yourself if you really need the item, if you will wear it for more than one season and if it is really your style.
A great way to refresh your wardrobe is to recycle clothes from one season to the next. All those summer dresses could be reinvented with a polo neck or long-sleeved top underneath and a pair of boots. Pair with a nice, cosy winter coat and you have a brand new look! Or why not bring back those summer skirts with a pair of tights and ankle boots? Look carefully at your wardrobe and think about how you can recycle what you already have to really make the most of the clothes and limit your spending. Plan your autumn style carefully to achieve maximum effect with minimal effort. All the money you will save, plus the knowledge you are making sustainable choices for the environment, will be more satisfying than yet another cheap dress or outfit. Plus, restyling previous outfits forces you to get creative and try ways of wearing items!
How do you change up your style for autumn? How are you embracing the season? What's your must-have autumn style?
Flatform fashion is a strong look for the summer, and even better, it's entirely practical for us traveler girls. Teaming up with XYLondon gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase fabulous shoes and clothes which are perfect for summer – no matter where you are spending it. I'm loving the opportunity to share more fashion-related posts lately and think it works well with travel as I require my clothes and shoes to be a lot longer-lasting and more hard wearing as well as stylish, so that they can survive all of my adventures.
I've always loved fashion, it's such a great way to be creative, and as someone who has struggled all her life to find good shoes that fit, gorgeous footwear has always been something I ended up sacrificing. Now these new flatform fashion styles combine pretty shoes with practicality and make them perfect for traveling the world and exploring new cities.After those first months of travel spent living in flip-flops and tie-dye on the beach, I'll be honest and say I'm really enjoying being able to dress up a bit more now I've left backpacking behind and make more effort for life in Europe. With all this gorgeous weather, I was over the moon when the team at XYLondon sent me these gorgeous shoes to try out and style up. They picked well to match my style and the shoes go great with everything from summer casual wear to a party dress for nights out, that I've barely taken them off since they arrived in the mail.
Most importantly of all, for someone who struggles to find shoes that are the right shape and size for her awkward feet, when these flatform fashion styles arrived in the post, they both fit like a dream the very first time I put them on. Well-fitting shoes are so important, I can't deal with the sight of feet crammed into too-tight heels or straps that make your skin bulge uncomfortably. Our feet carry us every day of our lives ladies, they deserve comfort as well as style.As someone who walks a hell of a lot in every new place I visit, it's important for shoes to not only be comfortable but hard-wearing, so when these gorgeous Polly Black Strappy Slingback Flatform Shoes arrived I made sure to put them through their paces. Wearing them on a day out in Cambridge, we marched the streets all day long and not once did the shoes rub or feel even slightly uncomfortable. They felt like I'd been wearing them years with the soft, synthetic leather and the comfortable flatform fashion style – which, if, like me, you can't be bothered with big heels, is a great way to dress up an outfit for the evening while staying comfortable.
These gorgeous shoes were such a hit that I raved about them to my bestie, who promptly went online and bought a pair for herself. These are also available in white and rose gold which are both fab for a night out or daytime wanderings. For £22.99, they're a total steal and even after I've worn them to death, they still look brand new and are as comfy as the day they arrived. You guys know I pride honesty in every review, and I can honestly say these have become my favourite and the most versatile shoes in my wardrobe. Available online here.I've definitely noticed that since traveling, I'm much more of a trainers and flats kind of gal than heels – I used to love going out in heels but that was back when I had the stamina and the inability to feel pain. These days, I much prefer to dance all night or walk all day and still be smiling at the end, so flatforms fashion is a great choice because you get the benefit of the extra height (a bonus if you're a shortie like me) and feeling a bit more dressed up at night, but they can also be worn during the day with more casual outfits. Anything that works for both day and night is a winner for me, especially if you're traveling a lot and don't have much space in your bag for lots of shoes.These Paige Navy Faux Suede Strappy Flatform Sandals are a great example of a really well-made and stylish shoe that easily works for both day and night. They can be nice and casual for a visit to the pub or a day out somewhere, or you could even dress them up and wear them to a wedding if you styled them well. I love the slight espadrille style of the bottom of the shoes, it make them feel really summery and perfect for holidays while the darker colour means they'll go with your whole wardrobe. The thick straps are really supportive and make the shoes really comfortable to wear, plus the wrap-around strap style is very slimming on the ankles.
Again, I tested these ones out with a good and long walk through the countryside over here in Germany and despite running around the fields taking all these pics, they were still just as comfortable as the day they arrived. The rich colour is perfect for teaming up with blue denim or even the super cute striped trousers that are everywhere at the moment. They are also available in nude or black and cost just £22.99. Available online here.
What do you prefer – heels or flats? Where do you stand on flatform fashion? What shoes are your favourite this summer? Have you got a pair you bring out every season?
Whether you're backpacking or flashpacking, it can be hard to know how much to pack when you're heading out on your first big adventure. (Check out my girl's packing guide to Asia and Australia) It doesn't matter whether you're using a backpack or a suitcase, we all have limited space and you only want to take what you actually need. I used to be the worst for over-packing stuff I just didn't and wouldn't ever need on holiday, but since backpacking and realising that if I over-pack it is more weight for me to carry, I've found it much easier to cut down. One thing that is always very important to think about when packing is footwear - it's so easy to overpack when it comes to shoes and these quickly add weight to your bag. While you may want to take the prettiest shoes around - it's important to think more about long-term comfort. Your feet are your heroes when you travel, they carry you everywhere and go through a lot so it's important to look after them and to treat them to decent shoes that will help support them for longer.
If you're not planning on backpacking or travelling long-term, you can still be thinking about your upcoming summer holidays and festivals which always deserve a new pair of cute sandals. I don't know about you guys but whether I'm travelling or just at home, I'm pretty hard on my shoes and wear them to death, so I'm always in need of a new pair of trainers or flip-flops. I like to start my packing, or my summer by having a huge clear out - trying on all my old shoes to see what still fits and is still in good enough condition to wear - anything that doesn't gets thrown in the bin or taken to a charity shop. This gives me more space to store any new purchases and helps me work out my shopping list.
What shoes should I pack for my holidays?
A traveller's favourite - these are perfect for the beach, exploring a new place, partying the night away or even wearing in the scummy hostel showers. It's worth investing a little bit into these instead of going for the cheapest possible as the materials will last longer and they will support your feet more. I currently have some rubber ones from Billabong which have great support and are not damaged by the water. Straw ones look cute but they quickly begin to smell and go mouldy when damp, and super cheap ones will quickly fall apart and can strain your feet when walking.
My favourite shoes for travelling - these are so useful for so many things. If you have a nice pair they are perfect for daywear as well as nights out, plus if you're travelling in cooler places these are good for keeping your feet warm. If you're as active as me when you travel - they are also great for going running, for hiking, climbing, cycling and exploring. I tend to travel with a sporty pair of runners for outdoor activities - my current ones are Nike trainers - and I also like to keep a pair of nicer trainers with me for everything else - these were previously Converse and are now Adidas trainers. I can't recommend Converse enough for travelling - I spent two years travelling with a white pair which ended up filthy a lot but were always sparkling white again after the washing machine.
One summer essential you need to buy early is sandals. It's easy to forget when backpacking that you might end up in some pretty smart places - I've gone for cocktails at the Hilton in Thailand and been dancing in glamorous clubs in Sydney. So you always want to make sure you travel with one dressy/smart outfit and either a pair of nice sandals or heels to wear with them. The debate of sandals vs. heels is a long one so I'll summarise for you, but it's up to you what you choose. Sandals are great because they can be dressed up or down - most of my travels have been just with a nice pair of sandals mostly just to avoid wearing flip flops or trainers. However, I do currently have a pair of small heels with me after being based in Melbourne for 5-6 months and enjoying lots of nights out in fancy bars and clubs.
It entirely depends on where you are travelling and for how long - for Asia I would recommend just sandals as heels are never worn. For Australia, you may want a pair of heels for the cities but then again, if you're sticking to outback life and road trips you'll much prefer some small sandals. It's good to spend some time picking out the sandals you really want, make sure they are comfortable and have sturdy soles - I had some beautiful ones made for me in Santorini, Greece. Make sure you go for a neutral pair that work with everything from dresses and skirts to jeans and shorts - you want to create a capsule wardrobe that allows you to combine all elements in various combinations. Taking this approach will save you money, and reduce the clutter in your wardrobe.
Once you've picked out your favourite new footwear, make sure you spend some time breaking them in to avoid blisters when you're on the road. Remember that in hot weather your feet will swell slightly, so it may be a good idea to buy half a size up if your shoes are already slightly tight, or break them in wearing socks to stretch the material a little bit further. The strappier they are, the funkier your tan lines will look so always remember to put sunscreen on your feet once you're in the sunshine.