Sunday, 28 July 2013

Collect by St David's collection service

As we approach payday I know a lot of you will be planning some payday purchases. So I thought that I would let Cardiff-based fashionistas know of a new service which St David's Cardiff are offering.

Collect by St David's allows you to get your online purchases delivered to the shopping centre, at no additional cost! Once your purchases have arrived, the centre contact you and you can collect the parcels at your convenience.

I tried the service earlier this month and was really impressed. Getting my parcels delivered to St David's as opposed to my office meant that I could take the items home at a time which was convenient to me, e.g. If I have a meeting last thing on the day a parcel is delivered I don't want to take my purchases with me, so would have to leave it in work. Thanks to this new service underneath my desk doesn't have to start to resemble The Outnet dispatch area! As I can walk through the centre on my way to catch my train home, this service is so convenient and quick. I will definitely be using this service again.

 Have you tried this service? How did you find it?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fusing fitness and fashion: Stella McCartney, Lucas Hugh and Hussein Chalayan

Once upon a time you would have struggled to find activewear that managed to be both fashionable and functional. However thankfully, it is now possible to find fitness clothing that means you don't have to leave your fashion sense at home when you go for a run (or whatever your fitness activity of choice is)

Before I started training for the Cardiff 10k, it had been quite a while since I had done any serious exercise. My attempts at setting foot into the world of fitness had been brief and intermittent, and that was when they hadn't reduced to absolutely non-existent! Therefore I hadn't really seen the need to buy any new fitness clothing. However once I had committed to running the 10k (I am still not sure what possessed me!) I decided to invest in some new fitness clothing. This wasn't purely for fashion reasons. Given the recent erratic weather conditions, I didn't want to let the weather become an excuse for not going for a run.

Lucas Hugh 'Krypton' top, reduced from £120

We probably all know that a number of designers have collaborated with fitness brands over recent years, e.g. Adidas & Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen & Puma. However, although the designers might have created fitness-friendly collections, they are not always the most purse-friendly of options. However if you take some time to look carefully, it is possible to pick up pieces which manage to be fashionable, functional and friendly to your wallet at the same time.

Adidas by Stella McCartney sports bra, reduced from £55

Lucas Hugh is a brand which caught my attention as soon as it launched. The label was set up by Anjhe Mules in 2010 and aims to fuse high fashion ready-to-wear with technological activewear. The label has proved to be extremely popular with celebrities and fashionistas alike. Although I loved the collections, there is no way that I could justify purchasing anything given my zero activity level. However, just after I signed up for the 10k, the fashion gods thankfully slipped a Lucas Hugh top into one of The Outnet's Weekend Shop-Ins. That meant that a top with a RRP of £120 was now mine for the price of £35! I love the bold print and the shape of the top. The details ensure that the top looks good without compromising on functionality. The top has now sold out, but it is definitely worth keeping an eye on The Outnet for more fitness fashion bargains. I also picked up this Stella McCartney sports bra for £25 including delivery instead of £55 + delivery in a more recent Shop-In.

Another designer sporting collaboration which caught my eye was the Puma by Hussein Chalayan collection. However, again the collection didn't feel like it would be good value for me given how infrequently I would wear it (pre 10k sign up that it is!) We all know how changeable the British weather can be. Therefore a waterproof that I can run in is most definitely a practical purchase. I loved this jacket which I saw first on My Wardrobe, but it sold out in their sale before I could nab it. A quick Google search led me to Puma's own website which still had it in stock. And thanks to a £10 email sign up code and free delivery, I picked up this jacket for 60% off the original price!

Thanks to Bangs and a Bun's inspiring blog, Spikes and Heels, I have become a firm believer in her mantra,"Be Pretty on Rest Days", i.e. don't let the thought of getting sweaty and red-faced stop you from making a positive change by training to get fit. However I definitely feel better running in more stylish and colourful pieces. My running times might be ever so slightly lacklustre, but that doesn't me that my fitness clothing has to be! Maybe on a subconscious level I am hoping that the pieces might distract from my tomato coloured face!

I would love to know how you feel about what you wear to train. Do you give it any thought at all or are you a firm believer in the sweat pants and baggy t-shirt school of thought?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

My Month in Instagram: June

Here are some of my Instagram photos from June. The photos in the top frame are all from my recent trip to London. I had a fabulous day up there between meeting up with my Twitter friend Sophie for the first time and going to Charlotte Tilbury's House of Rock 'n' Kohl in Selfridges.

Clockwise from top left:
  • The brilliant Chris Levine holographic image of Kate Moss produced especially for the House of Rock 'n' Kohl
  • My Twitter friend Sophie and I posing in the photo booth at the House of Rock 'n' Kohl
  • The poster for the Erwin Blumenfeld exhibition at Somerset House. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in fashion photography.
  • No trip to London for me is complete without a visit to Liberty. I loved that this gentleman is standing to attention to greet shoppers as they enter the store.

Clockwise from top left:
  • I have signed up to run the Cardiff 10k for the Mothers of Africa charity. The longest that I had ever run prior to starting training for this was 5.5k, so I need to put some serious work in! I am not too worried about my time though, as long as I finish and raise funds for this fabulous charity, which helps mothers to survive childbirth through educating healthcare workers in the poorest countries in Africa.
  • This display in Paperchase really caught my eye. I love flashes of neon pink, whether it be in an outfit or in interiors.
  • I took this shot when I visited Cardiff Castle with friends one Saturday afternoon.
  • This is a close up of the print on my new Lucas Hugh top which I bought in one of The Outnet's brilliant weekend shop-ins. I love Lucas Hugh fashion-led stylish sportswear but it is slightly out of my budget. I love that I can still manage to train for the 10k in style!


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