Bold Floral Prints (I Left my Soul there, Down by the Sea)

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Zara floral print dress styleonthecouch william williams

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I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin

These photos were taken at my ‘happy place’ by the sea in Mexico last year.  Our last morning there felt very sad, as is always the case when you must leave the sun and relaxation behind and return to real life. However the rich colours of the sea and sky along with my outfit that day reminded me of the power of colour and print in a design – and spring / summer 2014 will certainly bring an abundance of romantic and edgy prints and rich shades for us to choose from.

This Zara dress has seen me through three summers now. It is a beautiful slightly-racer neckline that accentuates the shoulders and the body con style seems to suit my shape at this length (I cannot go body con and short, which is why I have given up on the prospect of Herve Leger ever working for me*).

Zara have a couple of lovely colorful print dresses selling now that I wanted to let you know about:

Boat-neck printed dress 59.99 GBP

Printed dress with wide straps 59.99 GBP

Bigger budget you say? Well then try Prabal Gurung’s florals.  Oh, and readers of size EU 34 might want to head over to The Outnet right away to snap up this Stella McCartney bargain.

We’re having some beautiful weather in England right now. I hope you had a lovely weekend wherever you are, Blog Reader.

*This did not stop me from returning to NYC’s SoHo store every two months or so and trying on the whole collection when I lived in Manhattan. To the team at Herve Leger SoHo, sorry-not-sorry.

Photos: William Williams

Fashion Essentials: 4) Denim

William Williams style on the couch-31Next up in my Fashion Essentials series is denim.  Originally only for manual laborers because of its durability, Levi Strauss popularized denim in the 19th century, manufacturing overalls or ‘jeans pants’  as they were known, for coal miners in the USA.

“By the 1930s, cowboys in the United States had also adopted this seemingly indestructible pant. The rise in popularity of Western movies in the U.S. introduced the general public to jeans and soon every boy and man wanted to imitate their screen idols and get a pair. The rugged lifestyle of jean wearers helped to create a jean identity.”- from the History of Denim

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In the 20th century, jeans were transformed into a pop culture fad: think bell bottoms in the 60s and 70s.  Currently, denim sales are skyrocketing.  The metamorphosis of jeans from a commodity to a fashion item happened during the 90s; when jeans evolved into a number of various other items such as jackets, shorts, skirts etc.

How many denim items do you own?  I bet it is more than four, maybe even over ten.  I counted that I have nine: two pairs of boyfriend jeans; two ripped pairs, three skinny.  I have one denim shirt and one pair of denim shorts.  As my own capsule collection of denim has evolved over the years, I am now sharing with you my favourite denim essentials (for which I always stick to my rule: keep denim below the waist):

A) Boyfriend jeans

a. ACNE pop trash boyfriend jeans 260.00 GBP

b. Paige Denim Callie / Naomi deconstructed 229.00 USD

c. Shop Wasteland awesome baggies 145.00 USD

B) Essential skinnies

a. Paige Denim Colette super skinny legging 179.60 GBP

b. Current/Elliot The Ankle skinny 198.00 USD

c. ASOS Ridley high waist jeans 30.00 GBP

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C) Shorts

I am a complete sucker for shorts with the pockets that creep out below the hemlines, as if a little DIY-ed happened at home before you stepped out the door.  Remarkably hard to find online (is there more DIY going on than I thought?) here are some of my best finds:

1. Paige Denim Jaxx knee shorts (not since Carrie Bradshaw appeared in pedal pushers in Sex and The City will I ever look back wearing this shorts style.) 138.00 USD

2. TopShop Moto high waist denim shorts 28.00 GBP

3. Levi’s rolled hem shorts 40.00 USD

D) Overalls (okay, okay so I am breaking my rule just a little bit here.)

Since I spied one of my blogger favourites Style Heroine in her Stella McCartney denim overalls I had to go try out the style myself.  I prefer something slouchy for dungarees, and Frame Denim have this slouchy pair you might like. Alternatively, here are my top picks:

1. ASOS overalls (as in my picture) no longer available, but closest match here, 45.00 GBP

2.  Paige Denim Sierra Overall 279.00 USD

3. Shop Wasteland LA overalls 145.00 USD

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Want to know more? Check out my two favourite denim-centric sites Eat. Sleep. Denim and Donna Aida.  Or see additional ideas on my Pinterest.

Lace Mini Dress: Loyd Ford

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LoydFord-Lace-Dress-styleonthecouch-1As the weather turns warmer and the sun sets later in the evening, I remember all those favorite wardrobe pieces I need to drag out of storage this time of year.

This mini dress by Loyd Ford, with long lace sleeves and metallic shimmer, is a perfect spring transitional piece.  Long sleeves and short skirts seems like a strange combination at first, but it is one I love for warmth and glamour.  If you choose, as all good fashion bibles suggest, to show off just one of your favourite assets – e.g. highlighting your legs, your back, or your shoulders, but never all at once – then this could be a perfect style for you. Get those pins ready and step out in style….

For more in this vein, try:

Long sleeved peplum hem mini from ASOS now 16.50 GBP

Lark mint/cream lace overlay dress from Reiss, 195.00 GBP

Tibi Bibelot long sleeved dress 365.00 USD

Diane von Furstenburg Zarita lace mini dress from Net a Porter, 295.00 GBP

Lover jungle cotton-blend dress 780.00 GBP

Photos: William Williams.

Wearing: Dress from Loyd Ford; Sunglasses, Prada; Heels, Zara.