Go Long: Evening Dresses With Sleeves

As a lover of the dress, when it comes to winter I’m not always up for exposing my legs but often holiday parties demand it – I want to feel elegant and feminine on a night out.  I therefore return to my small collection of dresses with long sleeves to beat the cold but still give me that little bit of glamour and sophistication.  This ruched dress is from Reiss, one of my favourites to wear at this time of year.  The ruched fabric contrasts with the smooth side panels to give the illusion of curves and the low back is a detail I adore – it balances out the simple and covered up front, is a little sexy yet mysterious and subtle.

Some of my long sleeved dress choices for the holiday season, below.  Left to right Long sleeved sheer ponte dress from Oasis; Reiss Roseanne black lace layered dress; Sabiaa sparkle dress from Ted Baker and Whistles Victoria lace dress.

I think the key to footwear when it comes to an outfit such as this one is to balance the understatement and block colour of the dress with a high and strappy heel.  In fact most of the long sleeved dresses I found online were styled in this way – you don’t want something too chunky; you need to go delicate.  These sandals are from Nine West.

The only thing I wished I had done in this post was to wear my hair up.  A messy bun or ponytail would have looked perfect!  I think, Blog Reader, whilst 2012 was the year of accessorizing, 2013 will be the year of the hair for me. Watch this space!

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

Poolside in Austin, Texas & Austin City Guide Part One

After a week in NYC, I’m now back in Austin, Texas.  Although I was just recently talking about fall wardrobes, I’m not in need of that quiiite yet, Blog Reader.  The temperature in the state of Texas remains in the 80s this month (that’s 30 degrees to you, Europe!) so here I am, in a typical Austin weekend outfit – denim cut offs, simple tee, sunglasses and sandals*.

Austin is an amazing city.  The weather is insanely gorgeous and the people here are so welcoming.  You’ll have seen snapshots, outfits and lots of travel tips from my trips to Austin over the past year but below I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite boutiques, bars and restaurants for part one of this week’s Austin City Guide:

Boutiques:

Co-Star Style 1708 S. Congress | 512.912.7970 – menswear and womenswear.  I was excited to find that they stock G Star Raw and J Crew, plus their range of sunglasses styles is excellent.
Feathers Vintage Boutique  1700b South Congress Ave | 512.912.9779 – sister store to Moss Austin (who you can read about here) this place has some amazing biker tees and enough accessories for you to put together a whole outfit before you leave the boutique.
Teddies for Bettys 211 West 2nd Street | 512.614.2103 – how happy am I that I can still get my lingerie fix in Ashley’s boutique.  Ashley’s blog keeps you in the know about in store events (DJs, champagne and cupcakes reign supreme here) plus she shares her expert knowledge on lingerie styling and current inspirations.  A must visit!

Photos: Red Rogue Studios

Bars/Restaurants:

Guero’s Taco Bar 1411 South Congress Ave | 512.447.7688 - an outdoor bar area playing live music several nights a week.  Grab one of their speciality margaritas and stay a while, especially on Wednesdays when Texas Music Radio live broadcasts from the garden.
Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden 709 East Sixth Street | 512.614.4972 – when I am missing NYC I can get my pretzel fix here, but really you come for the sausages and extensive drinks menu.  Absolutely try the Merguez and drink yourself under the table with their list of amazing brews.
Wearing: Denim (short) shorts, Urban Outfitters.  Sandals, Nine West.  Tee, Marks and Spencer.  Sunglasses, GUESS.

I’ll be posting part two of my guide later in the week, Blog Reader. Do visit!

*Life as a fashion blogger is certainly much much easier in a place with very little rain or wind.