Wear it Two Ways: Emerald

This year, What To Wear is getting a re-vamp. The point of me sharing outfits on Florence Finds has always been twofold. Firstly, it encouraged me to try new things, and I hoped it inspired you guys reading to take more risks with fashion and step outside of your comfort zone a little. Most of all I hope it gives you a little voyeuristic pleasure and inspiration for brightening your day with new sartorial choices.

However, this year I have got new objectives. Too many of my purchases were one hit wonders and I end up turning to the same key pieces over and over again. So What to Wear is now becoming Wear it Two Ways. For each post I’ll be showing how I have worn one key piece (sometimes old, sometimes new) in two different ways. I’m hoping it will inspire me to get more wear out of my purchases and you to mix up your wardrobe a little. ;)

The purchase in this case was a Reiss (sale purchase) jumper. Emerald green in colour, wooly and warm but with enough little details, (like the centre back seam and side split hem,) to make it wearable in other ways. First up I ventured into what is apparently a big trend this winter, tartan. It was perfect for a winter walk in snowy Wales a couple of weekends ago.


Jumper, Reiss AW12 // Shirt, Abercrombie & Fitch // Jeans J.Crew // Wellies, Hunter (Original Gloss)

Of course there’s nothing unexpected about this look, but I thought I might feel a bit fuddy duddy and didn’t at all. I think it’s the shade that’s so versatile however as it’s just bright enough to work with a whole different colour pallet, and up the glamour.


Jumper, Reiss // Skirt, Hobbs (old) // Belt, Whistles (old) // Shoes, Pied a Terre (old)

This look was a product of colour pairing inspiration from Pinterest, and a vintage inspired silhouette. The contrast of thick wooly jumper and layered tulle with sequin embellishment completely changes the feel of the jumper. It’s a great winter date night look (that would be just as good with some black suede ankle boots,) thanks to the nipped in waist from a skinny belt and feminine silhouette.

So let me know what you think of the new feature and which look you prefer – will you be getting more wear out of your knitwear now?

Love,
Rebecca

Interior Inspiration: Emerald City


Image Credit

It’s safe to say, green has never been top of my choice of colours for decorating. Yet the striking nature of most green interiors means that I have been mesmerised by some of the rooms I have collected here to inspire you today.


1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Historically, green conjures up period interiors, beautiful stately homes and cosy country log piles. If you’ve got enough light (or want to work with a lack of it instead of fight it,) green can look elegant and even magical.


1 // 2 // 3

A complete contrast however is the modern look. Emerald looks amazing in a black and white setting of mixed with patterns and prints blended in fabrics and accents like this pendant light shade.


Image credit

I fell in love with this tropical room with a colonial feel, brass accents and that lush velvet sofa against a backdrop of greenery.


1 // 2 // 3 // 4

I think my favourite way to see emerald however is as a stand alone accent in a room. A piece of art maybe, luxurious fabrics or painted statement pieces of furniture.

I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to decorate in this shade… green isn’t a colour on my usual decorating palette, but the images are inspiring none the less. Have I inspired you today?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Green with Envy

There’s something about emerald that for me just makes me think of couture… there’s something so elegant about a vivid emerald green gown. Yet when done top to toe with a car coat, printed pants and a striped knit, it looks clean and modern.


Lace back dress // Emerald gown (Zac Posen) // velvet burn out gown // J.Crew modern green outfit

It’s all very well day dreaming about couture, (wouldn’t you just die to wear that Zac Posen gown?) but when I’m planning outfits I always look for inspiration in how people are wearing certain styles or themes on the streets. Colour used in an unexpected way… interesting shapes and patterns.


Ski knit and green coat // Modern green dress // J.Crew printed pants // Jade jacket // British racing green jacket

Despite my love affair with emerald, the fashion world doesn’t seem to be sharing in my passion for the shade. However I have sought out a few pieces in green (of many shades,) that are spring appropriate for you.



Printed pants and sequinned skirt, J.Crew* // Skinnies // Light knit // Scarf // Cable knit jumper* // weekend stripe dress // Oxfords* // Puma classics* // Lace dress*// Trophy Wife nail colour //  Body Warmer // Hunter boots

The thing about green is that it’s so fresh and springy. I’m just getting to the stage of wanting to invite spring into my wardrobe but nobody wants to look like a fashion queen in season inappropriate attire. The rich tones of these teals, emerald, grass, jade and apple greens make them perfect for the promise of warmer weather but not out of place in the wet and blustery gales we’re having. I’m particularly loving the J.Crew take on shades of green in sequin metallic skirts and exotic patterns teamed with chambray and casual neutrals.

Have you found any green items to take your fancy lately? Do share them in the comments box!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

*Florence’s favourites ;)

Monday Must Have: Paperfashion


Image: Emerald Beauty by PaperFashion

At the moment, I’m in the process of updating our hanging decor – I’m looking for prints and images to update various spaces around our home. The two priorities are our bedroom and living room. Where we once had quite a retro industrial feel to the images, with photos of salvaged objects and archival drawings of butterflies, I’m feeling the need to change things up and moving towards more use of colour. In our bedroom I’d like some more feminine images with fashion illustrations and watercolours and one of my favourite illustrators is Katie Rodgers of PaperFashion so I thought I would share her work with you today.

The other reason for choosing this particular image is that this week, I’m following a bit of a theme for Florence Finds. Every year, Pantone announces a ‘colour of the year’ and this year it is Emerald. I have to say, although in design circles the announcement is thought to be very influential, I have been following the choices for the last couple of years and have never noticed them spark a huge trend. This year is no exception, however it has stolen my heart completely. I realised that I wear quite a bit of emerald green and am drawn to striking interiors where it is the main colour. So this week I’m going to share some Emerald (or just green) fashion choices, how I wear it, and how to decorate with it. I hope you like it. :)

Happy Monday readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! If you like Katie’s illustrations you can buy them here in the PaperFashion shop. Shipping from the US is only $6 :)

Friday Frock O’clock [Halloween Edition]

It’s only 5 more sleeps to Halloween and in honour of one of my favourite celebrations (or should I say ‘frights’,) I just had to choose a Halloween appropriate frock.


Etta Dress, Reiss – £195

Those of you who follow Florence Finds on Facebook will have seen that I was originally thinking that todays frock would be black (of course,) and either lace and gothic or sparkly and vamp-ish. However, when I clapped eyes on this number all I could think of was the Wicked Witch of the West and the Emerald city. In Emerald green sequins and with a Navy tulle overlay this is the perfect halloween dress (red glitter shoes, green facepaint and a witches hat optional,) that will also work all through the party season.

This Friday, share your Halloween outfits (I’d love you to tweet me them @florencefinds, or on Instagram @Rebecca_Norris) and I’ll share them on Facebook, or show-and-tell your pumpkins and Halloween decor. Do you celebrate Halloween and what are you doing this year?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Friday Frock O’Clock

I can’t lie, all I’m thinking about right now is Autumn/Winter fashion. I’m still getting to grips with the big trends and styles to share with you but I am seeing a lot of green. Where green hasn’t been a favourite colour of mine in the past I’m suddenly falling hard for this gorgeous shade of emerald and spied this Dylan Scalloped hem dress on the whistles.co.uk website yesterday.

The dress is actually in the Whistles Outlet (yes, they have an outlet store online) and has been marked down to £95 due to a defect in the hem as a result of the styles effect on the fabric. I can’t vouch for whether that is an issue but I’m going to be ordering one myself to find out. The double scalloped edge and the sleeves with the classic Whistles shape just look so very lovely I thought.

It’s my first personal venture into Autumnal fashion, what do you think?

Have a lovely weekend readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spotted: The Mulberry Harriet

I try to be democratic on Florence Finds, and cover clothes for all budgets, but sometimes Florence must imitate life and reflect something I have been coveting beyond all reason, beyond financial sense.

Today, that lust after item is one of my all time favourite brands, Mulberry. Going from strength to strength and even seeing sales rise despite the recession, it’s not hard to see why when they produce such stylish yet classic bags.

Today, I’m sharing my favourite from the recent early collection releases… The Mulberry Harriet bag.

Ok, they’re astronomically expensive, but there are times in life when you need a treat, a windfall perhaps, a work bonus or inheritance, hell even a lottery win. Particularly when the weather is like it has been recently, some online window shopping is most definitely allowed.

I’m not sure I’m 100% on the sludgy green colour, although I imagine it would look fabulous with neutrals, but I am in LOVE with the satchel in navy spongey patent. And could that shade of nude-beige look anymore luxe?

No, I didn’t think so either.

So just close one eye, squint a little and block out the price, then tell me your favourite. Let’s lust after them together…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Wear [Basics]: Parkas

This morning it’s back to basics because aside from the fashion pieces in your wardrobe, I know that every woman needs the basics - a great pair of jeans, the perfect white shirt, black patent courts… the list goes on. Today’s What to Wear is not my most fashion forward choice but has certainly been inspired by that off-duty model look in slouchy jersey pieces, biker boots and leggings. The Parka.


Parka: Gap – now £35, Scarf: M&S, Fingerless gloves: M&S, Jeans: Warehouse, Jumper: Warehouse, Boots: Pied a Terre, Bag: Coach.

I’m actually only recently getting into outerwear. Before now I’ve always found it prohibitively expensive for good quality pieces and hated the fact that thin or synthetic fabrics don’t actually keep you warm. I’ve broken all my rules of ‘buy well and buy once’ and no to ‘synthetics’ with this cinch waist parka in 100% classy polyester. The reason I went for it however is that it’s light weight and throws on over winter woolies nicely without adding extra bulk. The sheen of the fabric also emulates a rather more expensive silk version I saw once.

I’m looking forward to mixing it up with some dressier pieces, a glitter skirt perhaps with a thick wool jumper. I’ll keep you posted…

In the meantime, this is a timely post for Kirsten, who asked me on Twitter the other day ‘to find me a stylish warm parka.’ so I added some high street and online finds to my own. I can’t vouch for the warmth Kirsten but I hope you like the variety of styles here :)

  1. Topshop Dark Khaki Waxed Parka with black faux fur trim. (Hurry! This one is down to £40 from £98 and there are only Size 10′s left.)
  2. ASOS Parka with leopard faux fur trim
  3. Whistles Brigitte Wool Parka
  4. Navy Villa Duffle Parka – ASOS (Bargain of the century at £35)
  5. ASOS Parka with detachable fur lining
  6. Miss Sixty Grey Parka – ASOS

Are you a fan of the Parka? I’d love to hear what you think of this weekend chic favourite…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Apologies for the picture quality, this was an iPhone indoor capture in desperation during all the wet weather pre-christmas and also pre-haircut ;)

DIY Makeup: Disco Eyes

This morning, as it is (allegedly) the night to end all nights, the party of all parties (can you sense the sarcasm here?) tomorrow; yes, that means New Year’s Eve folks, so I’m sharing a party makeup look. It’s my turn to play model this time, again, to highlight that these looks can work on any average Joe.

Another of the tutorials we shot a couple of months ago now, this was inspired by the catwalks again and a look that was called ‘Beetlejuice’, a coloured smokey eye using greens and blues and purples like the iridescence of a black beetle’s back. Coupling that with the Seventies resurgence that is still massive right now and the disco fever that is perfect for parties (think jumpsuits, Halston Heritage and Studio 54) we opted for a D-I-S-C-O look.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

I think it’s my favourite look so far, mainly because I love playing up my eyes, then just working a slick of gloss on the lips. I hope you all love it too! :)

I’ll hand over to Catherine from Ivy Clara makeup now to give you the how-to and thanks go once again to her and Zoe Hodson for taking the fab photos.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

When using any strong colour, it is really important to use a cream base coat in order for the powder colour to stick to and remain vibrant throughout the night. This also ensures that the colour does not slip so avoids the dreaded panda look after a couple of hours of dancing. Pat on with a finger or a flat brush and then use a fluffy brush to buff out the edges into the socket line. My favourite products are Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner by Benefit. I used a lilac based colour called ‘Stilleto’ on Rebecca’s eye but the product comes in a range of shades. Any of the brighter shades would be suitable as a base for the ‘Peacock Eye’.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

The next step is to build up colour in the outer corners to create depth. I used a pure pigment shade by Illamasqua in ‘Illuvium’ which is a high shine, metallic product perfect for a disco vibe. Use a small brush to apply the product into the outer ‘V’ and then buff along the socket line towards the inner corner of the eye. Repeat this process a few times, using a ‘little and often’ approach. This way you are creating a multi-tonal effect with the eyeshadow and strong definition without harsh lines.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

Next, line the lower water line with a soft pencil. I used eye kohl by MAC in ‘Blooz’ but if you have chosen to recreate this look in purple or green, use a pencil in a corresponding colour. Take a slanted brush, and using the same colour used in the eye socket, apply along the lower lash line. A good tip to avoid any fall down of product onto the cheek, is to hold a tissue under the eye while doing this. Any product will be caught by the tissue instead of ruining your base.

To live up to the ‘Disco Eye’ title, add some sparkle to the centre and inner corner of the eye. Using glitter can be tricky! To be more twinkly eyed than disco ball, mix the glitter with a sealant such as Illamasqua sealing gel and pat onto the eye with a flat brush. A cheap alternative is to mix some glitter with a small amount of vaseline before patting onto the eye. Stick to glitters that are formulated especially for eyes. I used Holo Glitter Shaker in ‘Lazer Purple’ by Stargazer, which comes in a range of vibrant colours.

To finish off the look, add a few coats of mascara brushing through the lashes after each application. I love Volume Million lashes Luminizer by L’oreal which contain tiny particles of colour. There are formulations for blue, green and hazel eyes.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

If any glitter or eyeshadow has run astray, tidy this up using your foundation brush which will have surplus foundation on it.

Finally finish with a luminizing blusher in a pink or peach tone. I love ‘Anglikia’ and ‘Amour’ blushers by Nars. Apply to the the apples of the cheeks, building colour up gradually until you reach the desired effect.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

As you can see, it wasn’t only me who had their make-up done by Catherine… we also created this look for Mahj, who suited a peacock take on the look in emerald greens and vibrant blues. Of course, you can change your choice of colours to work with your skin tone or eye colour, or just when you fancy a change!

I hope you liked the tutorial and once again thank you to Catherine, Zoe and Mahj for helping out!

So, what are you all doing for New Year’s Eve?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms – A Living Room Makeover

This morning, I am VERY excited. This post marks the start of one of the things that gets me really excited about Florence Finds… the opportunity to share other people’s Real Rooms. The idea is, you send in before and after pictures of your decoration, renovations and make-overs to inspire our lovely readers with your interiors style. There’s no right or wrong – I’d like to see a real variety of interiors and houses or flats on Florence’s pages, but today’s post couldn’t be more appropriate for the time of year.

Laura Lawson sent in the images of their recent living room makeover and I don’t mind saying I’d like to de-camp there for one winter weekend spent lolling in front of that fire. It’s so cosy!

Thanks Laura!

Before…
We bought our house in April 2010 and have been plodding along with its makeover ever since. It’s the first house we’ve owned, and I can’t tell you how excited we get about DIY and making things exactly how we want them! The living room in its former life was a rather dark, carpeted room with a mahogany door and window frame. It’s rather on the teeny side too so squeezing furniture in was going to be a bit of a nightmare.

After…
Step one was to banish the mahogany forever with a splash of Farrow and Ball’s ‘Cooking Apple Green’ (obsessed with it). Next, the old carpet came up to be replaced with some lovely oak wood flooring; the artex (shudder) was smoothed out by a genius plasterer and the walls were given a coat of antique cream. A lovely blank canvas, now what?!

There would be no point trying to make this room bright/airy/minimalist/tidy. We live in a cottage, we like its pokiness, so decided to embrace it! When we talked about our ideas for the living room we landed upon this theme – “the kind of room that you walk in and instantly want a nap”.

So here it is, our cosy, warm lounge full of stuff we love. Somewhere to put our feet up and snuggle. We succeeded in our mission by the way, I fall asleep in here all the time.

I love my Penguin classics!
A lot of photography books (of course!), and a vintage photographer stamp.

We found this fire companion set at a local traditional ironmongers.
Nothing beats a real fire and cashmere socks!


Now a word of warning to those wishing to embark on a land of real fires; they need attention, and if you haven’t used it for a year and it needs a good sweep you may accidentally set your chimney on fire (just a little) and need to call the fire brigade. What a dramatic end to our Florence Finds living room photo shoot; I need a lie down and a cocoa.

  • Sofas, coffee table, TV table, rug: Next. Bookcases: Ikea.
  • Lamp: Laura Ashley
  • Reconditioned telephone: Pedlars.
  • Tub of coasters from a souq in Morocco.
  • The best slippers ever: Ugg
  • Pretty pictures. ’Beneath it all’ by Todd White and an unnamed piece by a student.
  • Photo albums (containing our wedding prints): Jessops.
  • Speakers: Monitor Audio.
  • Tie backs: Laura Ashley.
  • Light: John Lewis.
  • Throw: Laura Ashley.
  • Candle: ‘Nectarine blossom and honey’ Jo Malone.

Super snug – I love.

So, Have you got a Real Renovation to share, a make over or DIY project? If you’d like to share it with our readers, please send in your images and a short write up, including the details of your featured items, to hello@florencefinds.com.

Please drop Laura a comment if you love her renovation, I for one am after those penguin classics… oh, and the cashmere socks please.

Love,
Rebecca.
xo