TSM Travel Diaries: Relaxing under the Tuscan sun in Boyfriend Jeans Pt. 2

I couldn’t blend in as a local in Europe even if I tried. A rustic doorway, snap, I have to take a picture. Food? click, click click, that stuff is definitely going on instagram…Oooh, a pebble, let me rearrange it so it looks extra special snap snap snap. Laugh as you may, I’m actually not as bad as some of my friends :P It’s definitely hard not to take so many photos in Europe when every turn of the corner looks like it belongs on a postcard or in a nostalgic foreign film. When I spend time filtering through these images, the embarrassment is long forgotten; I have these unique moments ingrained in my memory and captured on film to share with everyone for years to come.

Siena Tuscany coloured housesI was giddy with excitement over these beautiful and bright coloured residential homes in Siena. Something as mundane as locals hanging their washing out to dry just adds to authentic Tuscan look don’t you think?Siena Duomo


san gimignano tuscany

Sangiminano old town dusk

A dreamy Sangimiano by dusk …

san gimignano hills of tuscany


Antinori WineryWhile in Tuscany, we enrolled a cooking class for a day at Il Vicario with Katia and Fulvio in San Gimignano which was such an enjoyable experiencing making pasta from scratch and then filling our bellies with the fruits of our labour. 
Tuscan cooking School picci pasta
how to wear boyfriend jeans

Psst … these are officially my favourite pair of casual jeans for travelling. Remember how I was on search of the perfect boyfriend jeans here? These Zara Boyfriend Jeans fit my budget (£40 from memory) and are the most comfy pair I own (perfect for over indulging in Tiramisu and wine). I’m yet to dress them up with heels but for now, am content with a more casual look. Hope you enjoyed both Pt 1 and Pt 2 of my Tuscany Travel diary xo

TSM Outfit Post: Horizontal Stripes in the Zara Striped Dress

Do you have those days where you really can’t be bothered thinking about what to wear? Sometimes I just want to throw something on without spending more than 10 seconds thinking about what to pair with what and there’s nothing easier than a dress to do that on days like these. I bought my recent go-to casual Winter/Spring dress from Barcelona last December and I’ve worn it over a dozen times now; it is perfect for running around town on the weekend and I can also get away with wearing it in the office on casual Fridays too. It’s also, might I add, the perfect dress for pigging out at dinner!

Zara Striped Dress

Zara dress

I love stripes. If there are stripes in a store, I’ll make a beeline for them and usually have to stop myself from buying too many of the same type of tops and dresses. Horizontal stripes can visually make you look wider than you are and if you are particularly conscious of a certain area of your body, avoid wearing tight fitting horizontal stripes in that area or add longer cardigans or necklaces to balance out the stripes. My striped pieces are usually looser fitting or overized/slouchy tops that remain comfortable to wear and in darker slimming hues. Continue reading

TSM Styling Session: How to Wear Faux Fur – Shoreditch Street Style

So, is fur like sticking around or what? I’m kind of hoping is does because as I sit here and type, the attractive weather lady informs me more snow is forecast across Britain tonight and I for one don’t really care if fur is in or not because I’m kind of fantasising about some sort of ugg suit that I can work in tomorrow … Ok, so that would be a bit hideous and it really isn’t that cold compared to other parts of Europe right now but I did need reinforcement by means of my faux fur gillet today underneath my coat as an extra layer and it worked a toasty treat (sweating on the tube, well that’s another story).

Irrespective of your personal attitudes towards fur (faux or otherwise) I’m sure it’s crossed your mind at some point, especially if you’re graced with sub zero temperatures, that the girl wearing that fur coat looks damn warm and you just want to reach out and stroke her. Ok, maybe that’s just me but fur’s one of those things that you kind of love to hate and can’t help but be curious about what you’d look like in it.

I never expected to own a fur gillet or coat when I lived in Australia but the moment Winter hit London, I made a run for the shops and lined myself with I guess fake animal hair?! I wondered whether there would be any need to wear fur upon my return to Australia and I thought to myself, why not do a styling session on fur gillets that can be worn transeasonally :) We know you can wear fur jackets with jeans and boots but what about a fur vest paired with a dress for Spring? My friend Banana, originally from Melbourne as well, let me style her in a faux fur gillet in a fun and quirky way.

As with all the styling sessions, let’s get to know a little more about Banana!

Banana’s Profile Stats

  • Banana’s Height:  Approx 5 ft 1” (1.57m)
  • Skin tone: Fair
  • Build: Petite
  • Body shape: Rectangle Refer to this post if you need a reminder
  • General Clothing size: Size XS – Small UK/AUS 6-8.
  • Lifestyle: Busy with travels: – This lil travel bug is making the most of her time in London by travelling and conquering Europe on the weekends
  • Shopping preference: Needs basis
  • Shopping frequency: Purchases every few months and gurl loves sale time.
  • Style Preference: Fun, quirky and lover of prints and graphics
  • Personality (in three words): Creative, happy & positive (All in my opinion!)

Banana’s Styling criteria

  • For this styling session, Banana had no criteria and allowed me free ‘artistic’ range – She modelled for me to practice my styling skills and I wanted to play with graphics, colours and geeky fun accessories with an slightly edgier look  than usual.

Banana’s unique topshop dress looks great as a flowly billowy dress but I wanted to tailor the look by adding a wide belt to define the waist and show off the extension of Banana’s petite yet long slim legs. Adding heeled booties without the usual black tights shows them off even more and I thought it’d be fun to throw on a faux fur gillet over a sleeveless dress.

We added fun faux glasses, accessories and my Chloe Partay bag to match the dress and to tie in the three colours of the outfit for a little bit more funk.

Photos taken by me and Kylee – Thanks Banana! You look like you could be in Stockholm street style blog :)

Outfit Details

  • Old Topshop dress (alternative here)
  • Old Witchery Belt (similar her)
  • Old Zara Booties (New season here)
  • Halston Heritage Faux Fur Fest (similar here)
  • Medium Chloe Paraty Suede Bag
  • COS Necklace

A gorgeous alternative to these Zara boots that would look awesome with this outfit the the Senso Cut out Qimats!

 

TSM Outfit Post: Wedding love in BCBGMAXAZRIA Aqua Karey Lace Dress

I had forgotten what it felt like to have the strong Australian sun rays beam down against my pasty Britain-ised skin and being back in Melbourne for a very quick trip I took full advantage of the sun, prancing around in shorts and tank tops at every opportunity to ensure that every inch of my body including my toes could boast a shade greater than ‘stark white’ upon my return to a freezing snowy London.

Back for a brief trip to settle plans and visit my family, the timing was on our side for once and we had the pleasure of attending my friend Poosilla’s wedding (You may remember the gorgeous Poosilla from a styling session I posted a little while back here). Living overseas over the past few years, we’ve missed so many of our close friends’ weddings with much regret and it felt really great that were able to attend a wedding this visit around.  Weather wise, you could not have asked for a perfect day; the sun shone (perhaps a little too strongly I retrospectively say with newly sunburnt shoulders) which led to a perfect evening sunset backdrop by the water overlooking St Kilda beach for the reception. The bride and groom are  now celebrating on their very well deserved honeymoon after a very stressful lead up the wedding, moreso than your average wedding after the groom took ill a few days before the wedding and was only released from hospital on the morning to attend the wedding.

The last wedding I attended was in Melbourne 2.5 years ago when I was a bridesmaid for my friend and so I was kind of excited about getting dressed up for a wedding. I am a huge romantic at heart and love weddings; there’s something really special and joyous about witnessing two people you know publicly celebrate their commitment to one another. Whether the wedding reminds attendees of what’s to come or what they themselves have also committed to, weddings are a great opportunity to let loose and just have some fun!

I decided to wear a long dress for the wedding; something light and comfortable that would hide a potential food baby and the fact that I had quite pasty white legs. I saw this BCBG dress in John Lewis a few months back and thought it would be a perfect evening gown but with a price tag of £300+ I hastily put it back down. Continue reading

TSM Outfit Post: Barcelona Travel Diary – H&M Silk Graphic Skirt Pt. 2

I was meant to post this up just before Christmas after Part 1 but in my wind-down get out of the office and onto the plane mode I didn’t quite manage to do this (or answer some last minute work queries, oopsie) so just to jog your memory, this is an outfit post (worn at Ticketsbar): Part 2 of my Barcelona travel diary.

I picked this entire outfit up while shopping in Barcelona that very day (minus my trusty black patent pumps). I remember seeing a top very similar to this in a tumblr picture I’d reblogged and being a total sucker for creams and white and romantic prints, tried it on and convinced myself that I didn’t have anything similar in my wardrobe already (a criteria often used when I can’t quite to decide to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ because I don’t see the point in wasting money on similar styled pieces unless they are basics or casual essentials (tees, work skirts etc). This top has a lovely feminine beaded neckline, perfect for tucking into skirts and trousers and caters for the current cooler (ok, freezing cold) London weather. A top like this would work well on you if you have a boy-ish or pear shape but try to avoid high neckline numbers if you you are top heavy and conscious of creating a bulkier upper half.

Continue reading

TSM Styling Session: Bringing a ray of sunshine into your life – How to wear Yellow

Growing up with an Asian background, I was taught to avoid wearing the colour yellow given my already ‘yellow’ skin but more and more I find myself drawn to wearing these various shades: Gold, earthy creams, brassy olives and warm mustards and I even noticed that my taste in jewellery has slowly shifted from delicate silver pieces to bold statement jewellery and finer gold vintage pieces.

I’ll admit that wearing yellow can be a challenge to coordinate but while I was in Melbourne a few months ago, my friend Poosilla let me style her using the pieces she’d transferred into her new wardrobe (having recently moved into a new apartment with her fiancé) and I was pleasantly surprised to find several yellow based pieces and many brightly coloured items had surpassed the cull. I know a lot of us tend to do this: Summer tops get thrown in the Summer pile and we look at our dark Winter wardrobe and wonder why our clothes are so dull and boring and we now totally ‘have nothing to wear.’ I thought it’d be fun to pull out items which she’d purchased a few seasons back and put an outfit together that was tran-seasonal, fit her bubbly personality and lifestyle and prove that you can wear yellow, even if you have an Asian background and it’s definitely ok to wear investment styled pieces even if it’s not current stock.

As with all my online styling sessions, let’s get get to know a little more about Poosilla:

Poosilla’s Profile Stats

  • Poosilla’s Height:  Approx 5 ft 4” (1.64m)
  • Skin tone: Medium – warm
  • Build: Slim
  • Body shape: Pear/hourglass Refer to this post if you need a reminder
  • General Clothing size: Size Small – Medium  i.e UK/AUS 8-10.
  • Lifestyle: Busy and social – Poosilla works and plays hard but is guaranteed to always be up for Friday night drinks, a boogie on the dance floor and any time is latte time!
  • Shopping preference: Needs basis with the occasional splurge
  • Shopping frequency: Purchases on average every few months.
  • Style Preference: Fun, colourful and open to different styles
  • Personality (in three words): Bubbly, Social and funny (All in my opinion!)

Poosilla’s Styling criteria

  • For this styling session, Poosilla had no criteria and allowed me free ‘artistic’ range – She modelled for me to practice my styling skills and I wanted to play with unusually bold and bright colours in her wardrobe. I wanted to show that you can mix classic timeless pieces with bolder Summer or Winter pieces to obtain different looks from your existing wardrobe to avoid always having shopping for new pieces (as gratifying as that can be!)

Continue reading

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

T-Styled Me’s Weekly Insta-Tumblr Round-up!

It started snowing across parts of Europe this weekend and it was FREEZING in London! Winter and Christmas is creeping up way too early for my liking. I’m in a state of denial though because despite Christmas decorations in full swing on Oxford Street and Regent St and daylights savings this weekend, I’m still hoping for an Indian Summer. Deluded much? Don’t worry, I definitely got my reality check shivering in very low temperatures over the past few days!

Here’s what I got up to on the weekend and my fave pics from Tumblr / Instagram / through my iphone:

 Reblogged from Tumblr: I’m taking note for Winter: Thermals, layering and thick coats and capes.

Reblogged from Tumblr: Loving the high top wedge sneakers and am considering getting a pair for Winter. What do you think?

TSM instagram (@tstyledme): You know when it’s cold, there’s only one thing to do right? Stay inside and eat eat eat! Goodman has the best truffle chips and steak in London I’ve decided – if you get a chance, definitely try the steak here!

TSM iPhone Snap: Love the idea of a warm knitted scarf with a pop of colour this Winter. Came across this one from Anthropolgie and am considering knitting (i.e asking a friend to knit) one of these and having fun with the colour combinations.

TSM iPhone Snap: This was my casual rugged up weekend look. I’m currently on the lookout for a hat and a beanie to keep my head nice and warm. I wore: Viparo Leather skirt, Topshop Chambray shirt, Zara Fur Parka, Warehouse necklace, Zara Messenger Bag and Stuart Weitzman boots.

How did you stay warm for Winter or for those in Europe, what are your Winter wardrobe inspirations this season? I hope wherever you’re reading this it’s nice and warm! Have a great week guys ;)

Tien xo 

TSM: B is for Balenciaga

Actually, B is for Bad. That’s the guilt talking – I made a rather lavish handbag purchase a few weekends ago when Harrods had their storewide 10% off weekend and I’m still feeling guilty. My friend and I started with good intentions: Meet up on Saturday morning. Check. Grab coffee. Check. Grab cosmetics with the discount. Check. Buy a Balenciaga bag each … errr what?! How did that happen?

Now, I’m not an impulse buyer when it comes to major designer goods. I most likely have a picture in my head or pinned on my wall at least a year prior to purchase and in my defense, I have been on the lookout for my perfect Balenciaga for a while now. You know, visiting the website daily, harassing Balenciaga boutique staff, accumulating half a dozen quote cards only to pretend I still need ‘my other half’s opinion’ before sneakily taking pictures on my phone as though I’m making copies for the black market and embarrassingly rushing – These have become routine weekend activities for me. I even scoured Ebay on a daily basis for months, hoping in vain that my Balenciaga bag would magically appear heavily discounted and BNWT (brand new without tags). It.just.never.happened. What else was I meant to do?

If you own a Balenciaga or are a fan, did you, like me, find there so many decisions to make about one bag? Velo vs. City. Rose gold hardware vs. regular hardware, Black vs. anthracite … the list continues! Luckily I knew the colour of the bag from the beginning. My friend’s mum has a gorgeous tanned coloured Balenciaga and I too have wanted one in a similar hue since circa 2006 when they last released that swatch and I decided the ‘city’ perfectly fit usual handbag contents and my DSLR and as much as I love rose gold now, long term, I wanted the colour of my Balenciaga to fade and I felt the classic hardware would complement the aged look (told you, I’d given this way too much prior thought).

Ok, enough writing … Here are some pictures taken on the weekend with my new lover: Balency :)

The first night I had my Balenciaga, I literally cuddled it in bed. My bf, rightly so, was convinced I was bonkers for a) spending so much money on a ‘boring’ bag and b) seeing me at a new low – sleeping with a designer handbag. It’s kind of a running joke now. If he annoys or upsets me, he runs into the room, looks for the Balency and shows me because he knows it’ll make me smile. I can’t help but laugh at him and the fact that it actually works!

Outfit Details

After this splurge and in attempt to curb spending, I’m now officially on a shopping ban (damn you Shopbop discount code – you got me good) with the caveat that I can still spend on travel, presents, groceries, food and goodies from markets. I know some people can’t stand looking through ‘old junk’ and antiques but I could wander for hours through Portabello Antiques market in Notting Hill. I was on the lookout for some antique vintage trays for my future dresser (to display make up and perfume bottles) and ended up with two  Sheffield Silver trays after a good bargaining match …

Continue reading

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