Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Would you wear a crop top?

I first saw these in Topshop and now it seems they are a 'thing':

All of the above are from Topshop.

Yes, it is the cropped top. Personally, I think these are fine if they're worn over another top - luckily I haven't seen anyone wearing just the crop top, because that would only work on a very skinny person on a very very hot day, the likes of which we are unlikely to see in England until June 2010. Stomachs should not be visible on the general public except if the individual has super-fit abs and is going out to rock it in a club. Everyday high street wear that reveals the wearer's stomach is never appropriate and rarely attractive.

The weird thing is, I haven't seen anyone wearing a crop top at all, except one of my schoolfriends who wore it at the weekend the other day (over another top I hasten to add). Only one person. So who is it wearing these things? Are they sold with a secret warning sewn in only to wear them after dark when nobody's around?

Anyway, my point is that I like them but would probably not buy one myself since they are clearly not essential and I am strapped for cash. But if I was one of those people who can buy new clothes very weekend (like that friend who wore one of these...) then I would certainly consider wearing one, because they're quite quirky and fun. And due to the imbalance between the number of them on the street and on shop hangers, they would certainly set you apart from other shoppers, because nobody else appears to have one!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Harem pants and why they rock

These are harem pants. You've probably seen them already this year:


Inspired by the East and also known as Aladdin trousers, harem pants are getting everywhere. They're noticeably different to your usual pants, with the 'drop-crotch' style and soft drapy material. They're loose around the thigh and have elasticated cuffs on the calf. A short history of the pants would tell you that they were first popularised by style icon Talitha Getty in the 60's after this picture was taken...

...on a rooftop in Marrakesh. The New Romantics wore them in the 70's and early 80's, and they disappeared for a while, returning in the twenty-first century. Don't let anyone tell you they're a new thing! The harem pant has recieved a lot of criticism, including comments like these: they make you look short; they make your hips look fat; they're too slouchy; they're just too outrageous.

Well, get over it! Harem pants are great! They're made of really soft material which is comfy to wear, unlike the evil waistbands of super-tight skinny jeans which leave seam-imprints on your midriff. The drapy style makes them really cool and comforatble to wear on hot days. If they make your legs look short, get longer ones and wear platform sandals. If they make your hips looks fat, wear slouchy big t-shirts with them - the point is that they are slouchy! You can always wear them with tailored blazers and blouses if you feel uncomfortably informal - that's my plan for the next school term.

Dress them up or dress them down, harem pants are a simple and comfortable alternative to regular trousers and they're guaranteed to get you noticed in an increasingly clone-like high street. There are more formal styles of harem pant, including tailored ones with real buttons and pockets etc., but for me this defeats their comfy, chilled-out vibe. Also the 'posh' ones are usually made from silk or satin, both of which will have an unwanted effect on your hip and butt size. Oh, and a word of warning about the 'peg' style of harem trousers. That's these ones:


The big hips and tapered legs are great if you're skinny and want extra curves - the model looks really good, after all - but if you're already fairly curvy you'll just look out of proportion. Stick to the traditional looser leg. If you're concerned they're too 'out there' - just wear them! Be noticed! Everyone wearing skinny jeans will think how great and unconventional you look and wish that they had worn them first. One of my favourite things about harem pants is that they break the mould! But...the absolute best thing about harem pants is that I got mine a year ago (in a sale, too), before everyone started making a fuss about them!

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Fashion Faux-Pas and Patrick Stewart's Shoes

Today I'm going to talk about yesterday! I spent the day in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, where the Royal Shakespeare Company was holding an open day. It was a really great day, with opportunities to talk to the artistic associates like directors and producers, and see all the fabulous costumes - a different kind of fashion altogether!

I SAW PATRICK STEWART'S SHOES!!! And David Tennant's! They were from Hamlet 2008 which I was lucky enough to see a production of. They were nothing special really - just black leather dress shoes - but my favourite actor wore them, every day for six months, and so I feel a connection. Crazy, maybe, but true...

You may think this has nothing to do with real fashion, but actually I witnessed several awful faux-pas in Stratford yesterday that need writing about.

1. Leggings as trousers do not work. Especially if the wearer is overweight. If your butt is visible, you're doing something wrong - it looks like you forgot to wear a skirt. No exceptions, even for jeggings (jeans-leggings, the leggings that have denim seams drawn on to make them look like super-skinny jeans). Cover it up, please!

2. Old people cannot dress themselves. They wear rain macs even on sunny days, and little lace-up shoes made of coloured leather - and the floral blouses; save me now! It is my hope that my parents' generation will be slightly better dressed as geriatrics that we may be spared a high street full of frumpy old people as the aging population increases. I say this because in all the talks I went to yesterday the majority of the audience was over sixty and very poorly attired.

3. If you're not sure whether your shoes are going to give you blisters or not, don't wear them. This is my own mistake from yesterday, ladies and gentlemen - I wore some pretty Skechers sandals that I've had for ages, and even though I wore them around the house the day before to soften them up, they still cut into my feet and my dad had to buy plasters while we were out. Embarrassing and painful. Just don't do it.

That's it for today, I'm afraid. I'll try to be more useful tomorrow...and more on topic. But I saw Patrick Stewart's shoes! I couldn't help but tell everyone!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

How To Wear A Vintage Style Tea Dress

I'm a big fan of the vintage style, particularly floral tea dresses and summer dresses à la 1940's. However, I've found that worn on their own they look a little too formal for my everyday wardrobe - I'm all for dressy daywear, but I don't want to look like I'm going to a wedding every time I step out of the door in a dress!

Having experimented with various accessories, I have compiled a list of tips to consider when wearing vintage style dresses:

1. Floral patterns are gorgeous, but they can look a little 'twee' - court shoes in a matching colour look beautiful but are much more suited to garden parties and speech days than a trip to the mall. Wear coloured ballerina pumps or neutral shoes to avoid looking overdressed. With plain tea dresses, bold co-ordinating colours look really good.

2. If your dress has a waist line (rather than an empire waist) then make sure to wear a waist belt! Personally, with floral dresses I'd go for a thick leather one to add a bit of 'kick-ass' to an otherwise very frilly, girly outfit. On plain dresses, thin coloured wasit belts look great because they're not getting lost in a pattern. Also, who can argue with that sexy 50's pin-up figure to go with the vintage look? Cinch belts plus tea dresses equals hot!

3. Cardigans go better with tea dresses than jackets (with the exception of leather jackets, which look great with almost everything). To keep the gorgeous cinched-in waist, wear your cardigan under the belt to keep the chill off whilst looking fabulous! Black cardigans detract somewhat from the feminine style of the dress so try softer colours, but be careful: pastel shades must be used with caution to avoid the 'little girl at a birthday party' look.

4. Accessories should be kept simple for patterned or floral dresses. Floral-style jewellery, distracting pendants and bold colours should be kept to a minimum. On the other hand, with plain dresses, the accessories make the outfit (see previous comment about bold shoe colours) - go for eye-catching bright colours or statement pendants. I have a great gold pendant from New Look with a jewelled leopard's head on the end, and it never fails to prompt positive comments! Another thing to consider: pearls worn with vintage style dresses can make you look like a minor royal at a garden party. Classic style, yes - but reserve it for weddings and posh functions.

Here's an outfit idea involving a beautiful dress which belongs to me!

Dress 'Maud' from Joules, belt from All Things Green, cardigan from Forever 21, shoes from Miss Selfridge, bracelets from Accessorize.

As you can see, the neutral and plain accessories highlight the pretty floral pattern on the dress, and don't steal attention. The opposite works for plain dresses. So, to wear a vintage style tea dress without looking like your headmistress, keep fuss out of the picture and emphasise everything that's great about tea dresses - they cut a nice figure, they're timelessly gorgeous, and they're so eye-catching you'll be turning every head in the high street!

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Horrors of the Neon Trend

Any British fashion addict worth her stilettos will have noticed this rather disturbing trend cropping up all over the high street. Does this look familiar to you?

Most of this is from New Look, apart from the Rebecca Minkoff clutch and Debenhams green flats. I picked up the blue top hat image from Polyvore and I have no idea where the jeans are from but Primark have similar ones (also in yellow, orange and green).

Now, I am not against neons. I don't wear them generally because they wash me out awfully (having very dark hair and very pale skin) - but I love bright colours. I think that neon items can make outfits really eye-catching and edgy.

What I object to, however, is a scary side effect of the neon fashion trend - there are people on my local high street who think the idea is to wear ONLY neon colours, and go out looking like walking glo-sticks! It's so cheap and tacky and looks awful on everyone, regardless of shape, size or colouring; and the culprits always seem to be girls who have no sense of modesty, which only adds to the 'cheap' look. Here's a good example of how totally NOT to wear neon, provided by the Peacocks website (she also has neon pink glads on her feet - who thought this was a good idea?), compared with an outfit idea using bright colours more tastefully:

Dress and necklace from New Look; sandals and bag from Topshop.

These outfits are both easily accessible from any high street - the only difference is that one has some class and looks cute, and the other doesn't. Using neon colours to add interest to a colourless outfit is a good thing; going all-out fluorescent just makes people look cheap and plastic. I know which I'd choose!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Merits of Gold Jazz Pumps

I'm sure we've all been in that excruciating situation - the outfit is perfect, the accessories divine, but wait! You've forgotten the shoes...and on searching through your footwear you discover to your horror that NONE of your shoes will do, and you have to change the whole thing and go shoe shopping, fast.

I have recently realised, through a string of these painful experiences, that I am in need of some neutral coloured flats. You know the kind I mean - the reliable shoes that you can sling on with anything when black won't do. A friend instantly told me that "gold or silver would be the best bet" and I wasn't sure at first, but metallics are a good neutral option. So I've been hunting around, and I came across these little beauties:

These ones are, unfortunately, last year's stock at Monsoon - but I love the idea. Jazz shoes are becoming increasingly popular following on from this year's flat pump trend, and what could be better than a soft metallic pair that'll go with almost any outfit?

What's so great about gold jazz pumps?

1. Metallics really do go with anything (except more metallics - please, no gold leather pants with these cuties!), which makes them really versatile and long lasting.

2. The lace-up style makes them much more comfortable and supportive than ballet pumps without being...sturdy.

3. They are simple and subtle, and therefore timeless - they'll last for more than one season, which is a good thing for the college budget!

4. They are eye-catching without being too showy. It's important when wearing dance shoes not to look like you're wearing a costume! Too much glitter or extra detail detracts from the shoe's style. If you're looking for glitter, however, you couldn't go far wrong with these...

5. The really good news...they're available in many shops for very reasonable prices!

I've found decent examples in Primark (for £5!) and Office, with the 'Earth' pump for £15(left) and the 'Tap' pump for £35 (right).

I'm sure that as soon as I have some spare funds I'll be getting a pair - because they're useful, and really cute!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

All About Me and My Blog


I thought I'd start out with something simple, and tell you who I am and what this blog is all about.

What is the purpose of my blog? This blog was inspired by one of my favourite websites (which I only discovered recently but can't get enough of) -, a blog designed to help college students worldwide living on a budget to be stylish and individual in the wardrobe department. As a high school student on the brink of entering university, this is an issue close to my heart! I am addicted to style and am constantly falling in love with unattainable items of clothing. I have decided not to hide my lusting and dreaming any longer, but instead to share them with the world via this blog. (Though I'm sure that from time to time other topics will creep into my posts, like my Disney cravings and deep adoration for Patrick Stewart - important parts of my life!!).
A little about me...

My name is Steph, aka The Dancing Doctor. I'm a student, style-addict and Star Trek fan, and I love movies and saving the planet.

'The Dancing Doctor' is a name I got from my favourite TV show of all time, Star Trek. See my profile picture? That's Doctor Beverly Crusher, my favourite character. I think you'll agree with me that she's gorgeous! She was nicknamed 'the dancing doctor' in college because she won a tap and jazz competiton, and although she hates the name, I've always liked it - so here it is on my blog.

So that's that! I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts and musings, and if you have any suggestions then feel free to e-mail me via the link provided.

Happy Shopping!

The Dancing Doctor :-)