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Category Archives: Wardrobe

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

As the autumn chill enters, so do my favourite woolly accessories. With these cuddly pieces, I am armed for winter!

1. Over-the-Knee Socks ^

I tend to wear tights through the winter, so my best trick is to wear warm tall socks over top. They can be rolled up or down, so perfect for transitioning to sweltering indoor heat or for working up a sweat on a brisk walk. These are from Cath Kidston, and also happen to be adorable.

2. A Scarf to Wrap Around My Face

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

As I learned from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there are many ways to wear a scarf. It can simply hang from your neck, or you can tie it in place to fight the wind. My favourite is to start with the end and wrap tight layers around my neck when it’s really cold! This is my Exeter College scarf because I have mad college pride.

3. Cashmere Leggings

http://fashionablylight.com/oxford-things-to-do/

When cold comes to freezing, these haven’t failed me yet. Great as pajamas or to wear out, the only problem is sometimes they’re TOO warm. These are from BCBG and have lasted me a couple of years so far.

4. Cashmere Fingerless Gloves

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

These recycled cashmere Turtle Dove gloves from Indigo are perfect because I can still use my fingers, but they keep my wrists and hands super warm. If I’m especially cold I can ball my fingers into a fist and so far that’s been warm enough.

5. Woolly Hat! ^

If my head is warm, the rest of me is that much warmer. When I couldn’t figure out my heating last winter I even wore this thing to sleep. Hey, pixie cuts are cold. This one is from Forms, one of my favourite nooks in Camden.

What are your wintery essentials?

miss xandra bee

P.S. throwback to last year’s woolly wonders… 

Finding My Wardrobe Colour Palette

Finding My Wardrobe Colour Palette

My life is cycling back through the steps I took in my book, Becoming My Own Heroine. Back to the UK, back to suitcase living. To be certain that I packed the right combination of clothing, I filled out Unfancy’s free wardrobe planner. So useful! My main takeaway was defining a colour palette.

First I laid out all my clothes I was thinking of taking, in rainbow order ^, to spot trends. Then I matched them with some crayon colours:

Finding My Wardrobe Colour Palette

I found that my main colours are powder pink and cobalt blue, with some highlights of bright pink, yellow, and orange, and black. It sounds like a lot of colours, but it does help to eliminate greens and purples, and earthtone shades.

Do you have a colour palette?

miss xandra bee

 

Inside My Jewellery Box

Inside My Jewellery Box 

I’m packing up my suitcase for another move, and I thought I’d share everything in my portable jewelry box here!

This week’s episode of FabulosiTEA is on Selecting Signature Jewellery.

Tune in for our full discussion [Here for iTunes!]:

Xandra Necklace

^ A “Carrie” necklace had been on my wish list for a while, so when oNecklace offered to send me one, I said yes please! If you would like your own, you can use the coupon code FASHION to get 10% off.

Inside My Jewellery Box

The Dino

My signature pink dino necklace is from a keyring I had in kindergarten. I use the chain from my Deathly Hallows necklace below.

Kate Spade Jewels

I love the bright colours, so I snatched this one up in a sale.

Inside My Jewellery Box

Pac Man Necklace

This Etsy find was a Christmas present, and I love how the dots sort of make it look like a pearl necklace. Only nerdier.

Inside My Jewellery Box

Climbing-esque

While I have been known to wear actual climbing gear as hats, belts, and capes, this piece merely reminds me of the sport. A present from my aunt, from Georgetown Jewelry!

Inside My Jewellery Box

Potterphile

I bought this lightning bolt necklace straight from the I Am Acrylic designer at a market, and she said that a Harry Potter reference was unintentional! Still. The Deathly Hallows necklace is from a vendor at LeakyCon.

Inside My Jewellery Box

Big Dipper, Small Penguin

These are presents from The Monkey, and are automatically included in each of my capsule collections. The Ursa Major necklace is also from Etsy.

What are your signature pieces?

miss xandra bee

 P.S. thoughts on sentimental jewellery and how to define it

My Go-To Ethical Brands for Clothing Basics

My Go-To Ethical Brand for Clothing Basics

If t’were more convenient, all of my clothes would be ethical, Fair Trade, environmentally friendly, etc. Sometimes, though, it’s just not practical. Most ethical brands are online only, or are not sold in my area, and it gets expensive to pay for shipping on top of the usual extra cost to buy consciously anyway. 

Here are some quick, widely sold, brands that sell loverly ethical staples!

American Apparel – tights

American Apparel’s factories are located in LA, and their company is 100% sweatshop free. Right now all of my tights are from American Apparel, because they come in great colours, are non-pinchy and durable, and are easy to buy in person.

Hanky Panky – underwear

Proudly made in the USA since 1977, this is the most comfortable underwear ever, and it comes in a variety of styles and colours.

Braintree – socks

These bamboo socks – as they call them, ‘super socks’ – are luxury for my feet, and the most durable kind I’ve worn. I used to regularly replace cotton socks every few months, but these have lasted me way longer without wearing thin! Braintree focuses on ethical fabrics, like bamboo and hemp. Originally from Sydney, Australia, they now operate in London. I pick up pairs at Indigo when I’m in Oxford!

What are your go-to ethical brands and shopping tips?

miss xandra bee

P.S. more on ethical fashion, simplified here.

My Style, in 5 Key Items

If you had to boil down your style to 5 key items, what would they be?

Harper’s Bazaar asked Kate Moss this question, and I thought, what fun! We can learn a lot by the answer to this question, so why don’t you give it a try? My five:

My Style, in 5 Key Items

[worn to art galleries, on FabulosiTEA reunions, and to work.]

My Style, in 5 Key Items

[worn as a winter layer, in my backyard, and in so many YouTube videos.]

My Style, in 5 Key Items

[brand new!]

My Style, in 5 Key Items 

[worn to take exams, attend the opera, and generally stomp about the UK.]

My Style, in 5 Key Items

[worn to tea, out to dinner, & when feeling silly

For more explanation and insight, see my latest video!

What are your 5 key items?

 miss xandra bee

P.S. How do you get dressed in the morning?

Minnie Adventure: It’s a Small World

Minnie Adventure: It's a Small World

What makes Disneyland so magical? At first glance there’s nothing minimal about an entire “land” or even “world,” and yet, reflecting on my first trip to Anaheim for Sister’s birthday surprise, the “happiest place on earth” is merely the sum of many micro-pleasures:

♡ Disneybounding. Have you heard of this phenomenon? As much as I admire detailed cosplay, taking subtle fashion cues from characters is my kind of creative challenge. I worked around my yellow dress and came up with… [can you guess?]

Minnie Adventure: It's a Small WorldMinnie Adventure: It's a Small World

Winnie the Pooh! 

Minnie Adventure: It's a Small World

HAIRBAND, [BORROWED] | SWEATER, TALBOTS [BORROWED] | DRESS, JONES AND JONES | BLOOMERS, ANTHRO | SHOES, CONVERSE | SOCKS, BRAINTREE | BAG, [MARKET]

Extra care went into the details: my elephant handbag Jack pretended to be a heffalump, and I wore Marc Jacobs honey perfume with a Betsey Johnson bee ring.

♡ Walt’s vision. “[Disneyland] has that thing – the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement- I knew when I was a kid.” All Walt wanted was a place where he and his kids could have fun together. While I’ve been to Disney World many times, seeing that front gate just as he imagined was something special.

♡ Kindness and compassion. Cast members and attendees alike. For some reason it’s easier to say “I like your outfit” at Disneyland. Why? The air is rife with love and appreciation. “May I see your ticket please, princess?”

♡ Waiting patiently. Embrace the long waits, and it’s an excellent practice in meditation.

♡ An unexpected rock climbing adventure. Follow the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail to be a Wilderness Explorer with Russell from Up!

Minnie Adventure: It's a Small World

♡ Attention to Style. From cake at the Plaza Inn to the Pixar Parade costumes, every detail adds up to charming fun.

It’s a Small World. This was my favorite ride of the trip: a lovely Mary Blair creation with the message that we are all one. The revamped Disneyland version (way cooler than WDW, at least from my last visit!) features familiar Disney characters in their homelands; a mini hide and seek.

♡ It’s never finished. Walt left an unfinished spire on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle because “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” !

For an extra fix, check out my fellow Disney girls: Danielle, MeganGala, and Lynsay!

monday mini adventuresmaking the most of one’s surroundings through conscious exploration and appreciation 

miss xandra bee

P.S. More Disney! Outfits from Walt Disney World.

Style Education: Why You Need a Fashion Icon

Have you ever felt stumped by defining your style as “boho”, “classic”, “edgy”, or “romantic”? Each category has a lot of fun to offer, and I have struggled to pigeon-hole myself into just one.

In fact, most stylish ladies also span several. So here’s the better question: If you could borrow anyone’s wardrobe, fictional or non, whose would it be?

Defining a style icon (or five) is education for putting outfits together.

You can admire one look, but seeing the array that your icon wears is inspiration for the variety one cool lady can put together. While Audrey Hepburn may be remembered as “classic”, she is iconic for her playful spin on the style. 

When you’re shopping, ask yourself, “Would ___ wear this?” Picture your style heroine wearing it: sometimes that trick prevents me from buying something that isn’t quite right.

Here are the heroines I chose as my style icons!

1. Carrie Bradshaw, The Carrie Diaries

Why You Need a Fashion IconSparkles, prints, and rabbits are all fair game.

2. Elle Fanning

Why You Need a Fashion IconShe rocks the balance between high fashion sophistication and playful girlishness.

3. Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl

Why You Need a Fashion IconShe’s always dressed for the occasion with her own classic edge.

4. Emma Woodhouse, Emma ApprovedWhy You Need a Fashion Icon

Emma’s go-getter attitude is channeled through her statement pieces and and strong structures.

5. Audrey Hepburn
Why You Need a Fashion Icon

The original classic/quirky sweetheart.

Homework: Who are your style icons? Let me guess – do they transcend trends?

miss xandra bee

How to Sleep in Style: Capsule Loungewear

How to Sleep in Style: Capsule Loungewear

When it comes to sleepwear, why not dress like a heroine? Here’s my advice for cozy loungewear (fancy word for my preferred ‘jam jams’).

♡ Have a colour scheme. Without intending to, I ended up with a mix of ‘fairy tones': powder pink and blue, white, grey, and some navy. Since I don’t have too many pieces, this means they will all match. And matching makes me feel calmer.

♡ Work in layers. Here you see an array of styles and fabrics. I have cashmere leggings for the winter (or for a chilly summer night!), some bloomer-esque shorts, and my favourite constellation bottoms. On top, I like to layer camis with long-sleeve shirts or jumpers, or both!

♡ Work in pieces from your day wear. The Cath Kidston deer jumper and the Ambrym duck top (yes, that crazy thing on the bottom of the pile is supposed a duck!) used to be in my daily mix, but don’t feel quite my style to wear outside anymore. Instead of getting rid of them, I wear them to sleep, and they make me happy.

♡ Wear your pajamas like a treat. I love the feeling of getting changed into cosy PJs at the end of the day, preferably after a nice shower with luscious lotion. My best tip: rub Lemony Flutter or Rejuvenating Rub on sore feet, then slip on bamboo or cotton socks to “feel like you have a new pair of feet!”, as a Lush employee described it to me.

For more tips and dreams on Mood-Lifting Loungewear, see this week’s episode of FabulosiTEA

Download and Subscribe on iTunes

What do you wear to sleep to feel lovely?

miss xandra bee

How Many Pieces Should You Have in Your Wardrobe?

What does it mean to be a minimalist?

And why would anyone want to be a minimalist?

Having less stuff enables me to live lightly and travel freely. It helps me make calculated choices, and expend energy in the right places. Now I put more thought into purchasing clothes than I do in putting clothes together.

But as for a specific number of pieces? It’s up to you.

Project 333 [3 months, 33 items] is a good starting point for many, since it is achievable for most people, and is customizable.

Minimalism is not about reaching a certain number of possessions. It’s about your deliberate choices. 

I’ve come up with three points that determine how many items you should have:

  1. How much storage space you have
  2. What kinds of different occasions you need/want to consider
  3. How often you can/want to clean your clothes

See the video for more details:

What do you think about my three points? Did I leave any out?

miss xandra bee

How Do You Get Dressed in the Morning?

How Do You Get Dressed in the Morning?

Less stuff means less time in front of the mirror.

Paring down to a capsule wardrobe meant paring down the choices I have each morning as I get dressed. I discuss this more in my ebook!

What I wear depends on:

  1. What’s clean
  2. How cold it is outside
  3. Where I’m going

Hear more in this video!

How do you get dressed in the morning?

miss xandra bee





Being a Heroine

Mini Adventures

Minimalism

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