TSM Outift Post: Falling in love with London and Louboutins

I never really believed it, but it really is possible to fall in love with a city and I know this because I get a bit choked up inside thinking and admitting that after three and a half wonderful years in London, I’ll be leaving soon to head back home to Melbourne. I convinced myself that if I don’t admit it on my blog and continue not to discuss it with close friends here, it’s not really happening (classic case of denial!). Whilst I very much looking forward to spending more quality time with my loved ones and re-discovering Melbourne through new eyes, I’m also left with other peculiar feelings such as anxiety, sadness, excitement and fear which hopefully are normal emotions for someone in my situation?!

In preparation to leave, I have learnt three things over the past few months: 1) I need to check myself into ‘hoarders anonymous’ 2) the decision to move half-way across the world has provided me with some of the best experiences and memories of my life so far and 3) how lucky I am to be able to see walk by these historic and strikingly beautiful landmarks each and every day … Tower Bridge is one of my favourites and is only a 10 minute walk from my home.

Celine trio bag clutch in red christian Louboutin pigalle

Celine Trio Magenta red Christian Louboutin Heels PiagelleThese are my trusty comfortable distressed boyfriend jeans that I’ve mentioned work well on most body shapes and can easily be dressed up with a simple pair of heels. You’ll remember that these were a travelling staple of mine from my Tuscany trip¬†styled more casually and were inspired by a reader who wanted advice on how to wear boyfriend jeans.

zara distressed boyfriend jeans how to wear boyfriend jeans

Celine Trio Hermes Orange H Bracelet clac

It really does take time to find the right pair and I probably tried on at least 5 before I found these which were affordable and comfortable with just the right hint of ‘ventilation.’ You know you can always find an old pair and jeans and experiment with distressing it yourself (DIY) ūüėõ

Now let’s talk about another love affair. The one most women may or may not admit to having with Christian Louboutin heels. Maybe like me, you’ve always wondered whether these Christian Louboutins are really worth all the hype and more importantly the money (first post here).¬†To be honest, I find only a select few CL designs fit to my taste but if there is one thing that Christian Louboutins do and do very well, is make you feel like a million bucks. It’s not just about the signature red sole, but it’s a combination of the low cut sides, shape and heel design of this particular heel which makes your foot feel and look sexy. Christian Louboutins are known for being made to enhance and celebrate a woman’s femininity and walk. I’m really not explaining myself very well here but there is definitely a sense of confidence, however fake, I get from doning and strutting around in a pair of these Christian Louboutins. Whether I can last in them for more than an hour, that’s a different story #weak

BCBG Maxaria lace striped top celine trio christian louboutin black shoes

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This design is the¬†Christian Louboutin Pigalle in patent black and is available in three heel heights: 8.5cm (85)¬†(better for everyday wear), 10cm (100) and the very sexy 12cms (120). I’m wearing the 100s which is just at the height of my comfortability threshold. I’m at awe at those who can trot around in the 120s on and off camera!BCBGMAXARIA lace top

Tower Bridge London Fashion Christian louboutin celineThese are some of my favourite photos from my blog because I can see the stunning Tower Bridge in the background. If you ever do come to London, put it on your list to get to for a picture because it certainly is a lot more exciting that the actual famous London Bridge. St Paul’s Cathedral and West Minster Abbey are also other favourite landmarks of mine.

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Outift Details

Thanks for reading and thanks to Jon for taking these pictures for me :)

TSM Tips: How to find the right hairdresser that suits you

I recently had a few questions come through on my tumblr about what styling products I use for my hair and this had me reminiscing about the first day I set foot in London and decided that it was time for the big C.H.O.P! I had had enough of long hair (and standing in front of the mirror, sucking in my cheeks and folding my hair in at strange angles in attempt to imagine myself with short hair, a fringe and a moustache) I was ready for a change!

I’ve never been one who religiously visits one and only one hairdresser. Not because I’m disloyal, but because I’ve never felt like I’ve met ‘the one.’¬†It’s almost like dating isn’t it? Some would just nod and pretend to listen (Just¬†a trim sweetie? Blah blah blah Imma give you whatever haircut I feel like today) and others would make me feel like they understood what I wanted but in reality charged me an arm and a leg to flutter their scissors and exclaim how much they LOVE.IT before pushing me out the door poorer than when I walked in yet still with the same length hair.

Since I’ve come to London, I have stuck to the one single hairdresser for three years. I met my hairdresser at Rush Hair¬†on the Strand on Embankment and for the first time ever, I didn’t leave regretting wasting my money. I was in LOVE: Hook, line and sinker after the first session. My hairdresser¬†was professional, technically trained, genuinely friendly and importantly delivered on what we discussed. The salons themselves were gorgeously decorated and it always felt like a treat to be in pampered in, especially in the Shu Umera lounge at the Rush salon on¬†The Strand.

I know most of us want to feel like a million bucks when we leave a hairdresser’s and I’m no exception but after so many let downs in Oz, for me all I wanted was to leave feeling like I a) I actually got my hair cut b) my styled hair differently to how I walked in and c) I got my money’s worth. My experiences at Rush always tick these three boxes. I love the products they use and am always sneakily asking for advice on DIY tips and tricks for the in between haircut weeks.

If you’ve been roaming around London like me looking for ‘THE ONE’ I’d definitely recommend giving Rush¬†a go. It’ll be the best pick me up you can give yourself.

A picture taken after ‘The Chop’ three years ago

short hair rush hairdressers

And another one from the last haircut I had a couple of months back from the same hairdresser I met all those years ago at Rush.

Celine Trio Bag Magenta Red regular small Shoreditch love shake

 

T-Styled Me tips on finding the right hairdresser and obtaining the experience you’re after is is always to:

  • Where possible, use recommendations from friends. Trust is a major issue when it comes to hair and you generally don’t want to risk it.
  • Opt for a hairdresser that is within your budget that you will realistically return to for follow up appointments whether it be a stylist or a senior stylist
  • Bring in pictures and clearly explain to your stylist exactly the look that you’re after and don’t be afraid to speak out half way through the haircut.
  • Find someone who suits your style and you get along with without having to try too hard.
  • Always ask for a different finish: blow-waved curly, straight, with loose waves – This part personally always makes me feel like a million bucks !
  • If you don’t like the service, get up and move on – no one wants to be stuck in a bad relationship right?!

TSM Review: Newly launched ‘& other Stories’ boutique in London

& other stories is basically the middle sister¬†store¬†of H&M and COS; three years in the making and¬†much anticipated hype to live up to around the¬†collection that debuted on Regent Street, London last weekend. I wasn’t brave enough to¬†visit¬†on opening weekend; I didn’t want¬†claustrophobia¬†to taint my first experience of the¬†1200 sq feet boutique which would no doubt have been full overly ‘focused’ fashionistas and media¬†a rife¬†so I managed to¬†pop in this weekend to check it out.

And-Other-Stories London

& other stories HM

And-Other-Stories-store-london regent street

My initial verdict? I am a fan and my wallet has an unhappy feeling that I’m going to be a big fan. I’d personally describe & other stories¬†as the adoptive child of design led¬†COS (ok so it’s getting incestuous) – due to the clean lines and minimalist shapes and Topshop Boutique –¬†driven by the edgier fashion forward¬†shoes, accessories, patterns and feminine prints. Now¬†I say ‘adoptive’ child because the concept of & other stories is meant to be like no other: It is not inspired by the latest catwalk inspired trends but rather influenced by the notion of¬†personal style of everyday individuals (like us), bloggers and women who create their spontaneous ‘thrown together’ individual looks through multiple avenues (thrift stores, online shops, eBay, vintage stores etc). For three years, 70 designers were split between Stockholm and Paris (including designers from ACNE) to create ‘stories’ for the collections and the influence is highly visible in store by both the indoor merchandising and clothing designs.

and-other-stories

What I loved about the concept of the store was that there seemed to be a subliminal stylist following you around everywhere. The pictures of coordinated outfits were surrounded by a series of subtly suggestive edits which encouraged you to compile a thrown together look, very much popularised by bloggers and street style you see today.

Styling is about expressing personality from head to toe so I love that the wide rimmed racks (spacious finger spacing) and suggestive accessories help customers to experience mixing and matching pieces with make up to create a look of their own.

& other stories 2013 london

& other stories London & other stories Regent street

& other stories 2013These are the items I picked up in store and tried on. I suspect due to the mad Saturday rush and the fact that it was only the second weekend since opening, there weren’t any small sizes available to try on so I left empty handed. The size ranges from 34-44 (UK6-UK16 equivalent) and the pricing is fairly reasonable but on the pricier side compared to what we high street shoppers are used to.

& other Stories London changing room

Pictures from there current collection& other stories London Regent street Summer Spring

& other stories London Regent street 2

& other stories London Regent street ss2013

other stories London

I personally loved the shoe and accessories in store more than clothes but that’s just me in general. It’s difficult to tell how comfortable the leather of the shoes are but I definitely like the metallic cut out sandals and heeled brogues. I can see the heels being a hit in London as well with the younger crowd however the prices are definitely premium compared to younger sister H&M.

Best buys &Other Stories

& other stories leather ballerinas

& other stories shoes

& other stories gold heel pumps

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where one of these stores will open, I’d highly recommend you visit for a browse (There are stores opening in Paris and Copenhagen). The stores have a cool Scandavian feel to them and there’s an eclectic mix of vintage tones, clean silhouettes and retro styles that will strike a cord with everyone and especially if you, like me, love blogger fashion! Check out their online store and find yourself browsing for hours just like I did in the actual store on weekend.

Thanks for reading – Have a great week!

Tien xo

TSM Outfit post: A Heston Dinner Date in Printed Silk Trousers

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I’m inclined to think this certainly is the case with my boyfriend. While I’d prefer to spend discretionary funds on clothes and jewellery, my boyfriend’s preference would be to spend it on trialling different restaurants and dining at Michelin starred restaurants so when our anniversary reared its head a few weeks ago, I knew that the usual photo collages, cufflinks and scrapbooks that worked in previous years wouldn’t really bring that sparkle to his eyes the way that a surprise dining experience at Heston’s second Michelin starred restaurant, Dinner at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, would so I booked in date night a few months in advance.

We had the fortune of eating at Heston’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant ‘Fat Duck’ earlier in the year and were keen to compare it to ‘Dinner’ ever since it’s highly anticipated opening in 2011. Dinner’s menu is based on Heston’s ‘Feast’ series with each dish on the menu was referenced to a¬†historic time period and was inspired by cooking methods and recipes found from the archives of the British Library.

While the mains missed the wow factor for me (we chose steak and the fish), we both agreed that meat fruit and the tipsy pineapple cake (that I kept incorrectly calling the Tipple cake) were the main stars of the ‘Dinner’ Show:

Looks like a real mandarin doesn’t it? The meat fruit (chicken parfait)’s resemblance to the fruit was extremely impressive and we were equally satisfied with the light, creamy feathery texture once we cut into it and I loved the slightly citric tang from the mandarin jelly exterior with the grilled sourdough toast.

I was advised by a work colleague to order the signature pineapple tipsy cake well in advance (it takes 40 mins to prepare) and to definitely share it with someone because of it’s rich texture. Sharing? Biggest mistake of my night. I loved loved loved the rich cream filled brioche that had be baked and basted in sugar syrup that I really could have easily finished it off by myself. It can only be described as heaven in your mouth sprinkled with just the right amount of sweetness. The side pineapple slice spit roasted to provide a fruity grilled contrast and was the perfect¬†accompaniment to the cake. One of the best desserts I have ever tasted! Continue reading

Client testimonial: T-Styled Me Personalised Styling and Shopping

I have¬†this blog¬†and¬†others to thank for introducing me to MB, who I had the recent pleasure of styling as a guest at a wedding in London. When I was first approached by MB, I was naturally delighted and eagerly anticipated meeting for our pre-shopping consultation only to find one tiny challenge … MB lived in a totally different country¬†to me and was only scheduled to fly into London on the weekend of the wedding (Cue panic button!)

Thanks to advanced notice and modern technology, prior to her arrival, I¬†was able to ascertain MB’s likes/dislikes and feedback on my different outfit ideas for her before establishing a tailored scheduled shopping package aimed at meeting her goals to find:

  • An Autumn friendly outfit for a traditional English wedding
  • A traditional hat / fascinator suitable for the wedding
  • Casual weekend¬†outfits appropriate for Russian weather and suitable for her active lifestyle as a mum to a gorgeous baby girl,
  • Dressy outfits for the office and nights out that were practical and comfortable and
  • Accessories that MB could mix with high end and high street brands in her existing wardrobe.

Conscious of wasting limited time fighting London’s notorious shopping crowd, I utilised knowledge of current stock, trends¬†and brands to make our shopping experience more efficient and targeted to MB’s needs. I had already selected outfits prior to her arrival for MB to try on and foster an enjoyable and relaxed shopping trip.

Meeting and styling MB was a truly enjoyable and rewarding¬†experience for me given my passion to style others and the very reason why I started this blog. I’m glad to say our 3 hr (turned 4 hr) shopping session went successfully and MB left with a complete new outfit for the wedding as well as several casual outfits and pieces she could mix into her current wardrobe which she would not have previously considered.¬†She even left with costume jewellery which I think is a sign that she had been “T-Styled Me.”

I brought my camera along on the day to take a few pics but I was so caught up in the excitement of styling that I kept forgetting to take proper photos. MB was kind enough to send me quick snap of the wedding outfit I put together for her. Continue reading

TSM Outfit Post: My First London Fashion Weekend

After missing out on London Fashion Weekend tickets last year, I stalked the website like ¬† there was a crazy secret online sale on and made sure that Kylee and I got tickets for this year’s event. London Fashion Weekend is open to the public (note London Fashion Week is different and reserved for elite designers, buyers, celebrities and famous bloggers only) and this year’s event promised all that shopaholics and fashion enthusiasts could hope for: Catwalk shows, pop-up boutiques, make-up/hair stations and a Mulberry designed LFW12 tote bag filled with goodies that I was more excited about than the event itself.

However… in my haste in ordering tickets, I managed to stuff up our booking and forgot to order the LFW Mulberry Goody bag! *cries* I know what you’re thinking, it’s just a printed tote bag with a lot of freebies/goodies but you must understand, I.LOVE.FREEBIES. Samples,¬†miniature¬†goodies, catalogues, magazines, free food tasting at the markets, whatever it is, I want a part of it. So I was really annoyed at myself for making such a silly mistake and watched enviously as everyone picked up their bags like badges for a club – I know it could have been a lot worse; I could have turned up on the wrong day (don’t laugh, I have done that before; I have arrived a day early at the airport for my flight) and it’s fine, I’ll just just have to attend next year’s London Fashion Weekend now won’t I ? ūüėõ

We purchased the basic set of tickets (and used a free discount code on the Internet -Win!) which included entry into the event and a catwalk show but overall, I found the ticket prices dear for what basically allowed you to shop and watch a short 15 minute catwalk show (Ticket prices ranged from £24 Р£150 depending on the package purchased). The highlight of my day was just being amongst a crowd of predominantly women and girls who shared a common interest for fashion (you could tell everyone there had made an effort to dress up or down for the event) and the fact that I was in London experiencing the multitude of different styles from the high end to funky street style which is what fashion is all about.

Here are a few snaps from the day:

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TSM Outfit Post: Casual Chambray for a chilled out Weekend

I’ve been asked a lot lately about how to dress casually; most people seem to have their work and special occasion outfits down pat but struggle with inspiration for the weekend. I tend to be very casual on weekends; you’ll never find me in heels and my typical weekend (if not travelling) involves meeting friends for brunch, shopping or exploring London. I personally think a chambray shirt is a really great staple for weekend wear. I’ve had a really comfy blue shirt (not quite a chambray shirt) for over a year now that I use constantly; it works as an alternative to a cardigan, looks chic tucked into skinny jeans with boots and equally cool worn loose with a tee and leggings. It’s versatility extends beyond age barriers – particularly great for new mums to throw on when going for a walk and convenient while nursing as well.

I took a few snaps from a ‘no plans just chillin’ type weekend my bf. We spent it browsing the Whitechapel Gallery, ducking into a cafe, admiring Brick Lane Street Art and picking up an afternoon sugary snack from Old Spitafields markets in London …

I found a decent cup of coffee @ the Exmouth Coffee cafe on Whitechapel street London!

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