Thursday, 21 September 2017

Styled by Helen: CrossEyes

Hand with red nail polish holding CrossEyes Edinburgh Circle Frame Glasses Scottish blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wearing CrossEyes glasses with red and orange outfitRed haired Scottish fashion blogger wearing smart casual outfit with CrossEyes lasses and Syrah Jay necklaceRed Dundee tote bag screen printed at the Dundee Design Festival and worn by Scottish blogger
Dundee blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wears black trousers with The Shinin patterned socks from DCA Shop and metallic Primark boots
Dundee style blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wear CrossEyes glasses with red eye make up and red and orange outfit

I love wearing glasses but that hasn't always been the case. I've needed them since I was in primary 7 but it took me a number of years to find a pair I was completely happy with. Those super small, dull wire frames of my teen years still make me shiver just thinking about them. Luckily in 2012 I discovered Spex Pistols and found that glasses can have style. Shocker! I still have, and frequently wear, the cat-eye Ray-Bans that started my glasses obsession. I did have a brief affair with contact lenses many moons ago but now I'm very much in the glasses camp, so much so that I don't feel quite myself without them. There's the fact that I need them to see but they've also become a big part of my personal style and wearing the right frames always gives me a confidence boost. So I was very happy when CrossEyes got in touch and asked us to come visit their Edinburgh store (the brand's first in Scotland) and try out their spectacle selection.

Colourful transitional summer autumn outfit worn by Scottish blogger with red hair
Colourful street style from Scottish blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations against a colourful graffiti wall with eye design painted in Dundee

Where Dundee has Spex Pistols and Glasgow has Iolla, there never really seemed to be anywhere in Edinburgh that had that same draw of a wide selection of awesome frames at affordable prices. But that's all changed with the arrival of CrossEyes. While this Danish company doesn't quite have the independent charm of my favourite Dundee and Glasgow glasses emporiums, they do have plenty of drool worthy frames, a relaxed shopping space and a tidy price point of £98. And they have one thing those other places don't have - they do eye tests! I didn't try out the service but I loved that people were coming in and booking a slot for the very same day. So handy!

As Kimberley mentioned in her post, we tried on pretty much the whole shop and had a whole lot of fun doing so. Eventually, after much mulling over, I opted for these lightly caramel coloured circle frames. A bit of a step away from my trusted cat-eye shape but it's good to try something new. I have to say I'm rather happy with how they look. They're easy to wear while still being interesting and fun and I love the toirtoiseshell legs! The only downside is that they have been referred to as Harry Potter glasses on a number of occasions. Not being a huge fan of this fictional wizard this is a slight drawback for me but for others it might be a plus. I still heart them though.

Glasses | c/o CrossEyes Edinburgh
Jacket | Charity Shop
Top | H&M
Trousers | H&M
Boots | Primark
Necklace | Syrah Jay
Tote Bag | Printed by me at DCA Dundee Design Festival workshop
Socks | DCA Shop

CrossEyes Edinburgh store filled with over 400 stylish frames and spectacles
Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wears colourful CrossEyes turquoise lasses with Dreamland clothing glitter tshirt

The CrossEyes shop itself has around 300 different frames in it, including some lovely colourful limited edition ones.  I particularly liked the turquoise pair, but I think that was mostly because they went with my outfit. So, if you're in Edinburgh and are after some new specs, I can thoroughly recommend checking out CrossEyes. If you aren't in Edinburgh, they do have a number of other stores across the UK. I even stumbled across one in Derry on my recent trip to Northern Ireland!

Thanks to CrossEyes for being super welcoming and treating us to some fabulous new specs.

Eye graffiti art by SYKE.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Styled by Kimberley: CrossEyes

Review of Danish opticians CrossEyes new store opening in Edinburgh Fashion blogger Wardrobe Conversations tries out frames from new fashion-led opticians CrossEyes
We've had Scandi-homeware, Scandi-clothing, and Scandi-skincare.  If you think you've got Scandinavian-everything, you might be missing one element. Your specs. No fear, because Danish fashion-led frames have come to town in the form of CrossEyes! I hadn't heard of the brand before, although there are already a number across the UK. CrossEyes opticians offer a fixed price point, like a few other places (and I'm certainly not complaining about the growth in this!). The 'any frame' deal includes single vision lenses for just £98. Often single price points are offered by online only stores, and I'm a pretty cynical shopper, so having a physical store is my preference. Perfect.

We were invited along to check out the brand new store, in Edinburgh's Rose Street, and play with some frames ourselves. The compact, chic showroom really fits in with the other independent boutiques in the area, with its clean, simple branding. I'm not sure CrossEyes knew what they were in for, letting Helen and I hang out and try on virtually every frame in stock to pick out our faves.
Scottish fashion blogger Wardrobe Conversations shares the latest glasses from affordable Scandinavian glasses brand CrossEyes Scottish fashion blogger Wardrobe Conversations shares the latest glasses from affordable Scandinavian glasses brand CrossEyes
I quickly fell hard for the chrome effect glasses above and hoped that they would soon be mine; a fresh frame among all my heavy plastic rims. Alas, it wasn't to be as I was reminded that it wouldn't work with my high prescription. It's not the first time I've been warned off this shape. The large size of frame that I wear to fit my potato head is always at odds with the depth of lens I need (read: milk bottles). While CrossEyes can thin the lens down, this particular semi-invisible wire frame would make my lenses look like goggles. The milky bars are most certainly not on me!

I'll forgive anyone else who picks up these beauts for themselves, if a little begrudgingly. Don't feel bad, as there was plenty of other choice on offer, with a vibrant array of colours in stock. In the end I couldn't quite pull myself away from my signature tortoiseshell, but I did get a flash of cobalt blue to set these lovely over-sized frames apart.

When our glasses arrived, only a few days after putting in the orders, we took them out for a spin on the Windiest. Day. Ever. Seriously, I took the wind swept look to a whole new level:
Top Scottish fashion blog Wardrobe Conversations wears Zara bird shirt and Zara bag for autumn winter 2017
Close up of affordable but fashionable CrossEyes glasses worn by Wardrobe Conversations fashion bloggerStreet style with CrossEyes Opticians Edinburgh as worn by Wardrobe Conversations fashion blogger
Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to the weather in Scotland, and trying to take photos outside means chasing daylight and battling the elements. It's sort of fitting for this look, as I'm attempting to make my cross-seasonal outfit work for autumnal temperatures while retaining the colour of summer. Having the flashes of blue and yellow throughout, from glasses to handbag, works really well to give that sunny nod. I even added my fab DIY Miranda Carmen bag charm that I made at the Emily Millichip leather applique workshop at last month's Craft Scotland Summer Show, and I paired it with the Jo Pudelko earrings I picked up at the 2015 one. The relaxed fit of this outfit makes it perfect for layering up. If only it was windproof.

Shirt | Zara
Bag | Zara
Bag Charm | made by me
Earrings | c/o Jo Pudelko
Glasses | c/o CrossEyes
Easy Miranda Carmen inspired tropical pineapple keyring DIY with Emily Millichip Street style with CrossEyes Opticians Edinburgh as worn by Wardrobe Conversations fashion blogger

Thanks again to CrossEyes for letting us in for an early peek at the fabulous eye wear on offer.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Styled by Helen: Candy Colours

Scottish blogger wears Dreamland glitter tshirt, denim jacket, peach skirt and gold boots
Scottish blogger with red hair, Spex Pistol glasses and Dreamland tshirt
Scottish blogger in candy coloured outfit with Dreamland tshirt and peach skirt Meow & you pink cat enamal pin badge by Hello Harriet and Lucky Dip Club worn on a denim jacket
Fashion blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations wears a candy coloured outfit

I'm a lover of strong and bold colours but sometimes it's nice to embrace some lighter shades. I've been adding some candy shades to my wardrobe over the summer and enjoying getting into the sweeter side of the fashion spectrum. This peachy skirt has been a bit of a favourite, that was until I washed it with some denim and it developed a slightly blue tinge. Sob! It's still wearable but it's no longer looking quite as fresh as it does in these photos. Luckily my Dreamland tshirt is still looking good. I've been careful with it in an effort to make sure the glitter letters last. It seems to be workin so far!

It's true that I'm not the best at of taking care of my clothing. I will wear pretty much everything to death but sometimes an item's best days don't last quite as long as they should when in my hands. I own several dresses and coats that say dry clean only on the label but have never been near a drycleaners. I also wash everything way too much and avoid hand washing whenever I can. Basically, I have a lot of bad clothing care habits. So I've done a bit of research and written myself some rules to try and stick to:
  • Separate clothes before washing. I'm usually pretty good at separating my darks and lights but sometimes I really want to wear something and it goes in the wrong wash for the sake of speed. Not a good idea!
  • Wash clothes inside out. I only ever do this if something's ended up in the washing basket that way but apparently it can help, especially with dark items.
  • Store things properly. I always hate putting my washing away, it's one of my least favourite chores. I think a wardrobe tidy is required and then that might encourage fold thins nicely rather than just shoving them in and closing the door.
  • Be more delicate with delicates. Yes, that means hand washing items that need hand washed and putting others on a delicate wash. I read that putting items in a pillow case while washing can also help.
So there's just a few rules to get me started. You can see I haven't added 'take dry clean only clothes to the dry cleaners' on there. That's because I know I won't end up doing it and I don't want to set myself up for failure. Maybe sticking to the above list will lead on to other good clothing care habits, you never know.

Fashion blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversation and her rules for caring clothing
Scottish style bloger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations

Jacket | Charity Shop
Tshirt | Dreamland
Skirt | TK Maxx
Boots | Primark
Pin | Hello Harriet for Lucky Dip Club
Satchel | Vintage Weigh and Pay
Glasses | Spex Pistols

The combination of tshirt and midi skirt seems to have been my summer uniform. I can't get enough of this easy to wear pairing, though I'm having trouble finding a coat that will allow me to take this look into winter. Short jackets, like this denim one, have been working great but I know I'll want something longer to keep out the chill. Getting the right length of outerwear to go with a midi skirt is proving difficult, especially for a short arse like me. Nothing seems to look quite right. Usually I'm pretty good at carrying my summer staples through to colder months but this time I'm struggling. Can anyone offer some advice or point me in the direction of some solid style inspiration?

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Styled by Kimberley: Candy Colours

I panicked a bit when Helen challenged me to find a candy coloured outfit with about half an hour's notice but it was actually great styling practice to try out a new combination. I've explained that I'm a suck it and see kind of stylist; dressing from the gut, so this kind of pressure suits me fine (after  the obligatory ritual of frantically hauling things out my wardrobe and complaining I have nothing).

I don't normally have a complete look in mind, unless it's one I've worn before. I start with one thing I'm in the mood to wear and then build everything else around it. In this case, it was this old, old H&M skirt that I've worn for one photo shoot but is too flappy to wear in any kind of wind (apologies to all who saw my knickers). Picking out the blue background of the floral pattern made it easy to fit the rest around it and I used the classic Rule of Two when colour matching to put the bag with the shirt and shoes with nails. Style it head to toe, girl.

Of course, I couldn't call it a 'candy' challenge without a themed item, so I tied the whole look in with these super cute pick'n'mix earrings from You Make Me Designs. Helen bought me them for my birthday and I love the way they're not a pair- one is a foam shrimp and the other is a foam banana. I love super cute playful accessories! I have my eye on the Monster Munch necklace too...

Speaking of playful accessories, obviously I have to give a shout out to my amazing Moe bag. He looks pretty similar to me getting ready for a night out, all in pink with fluffy slippers. As if his glamour and the GIANT tassels weren't enough pizzazz for one clutch, it is also extremely padded, so it doubles up as an excellent pillow. Again, this is pretty similar to me on a night out, as I normally start heavy yawning around 11pm...

Shirt | old
Skirt | old H&M
Shoes | New Look
Bag | The Simpsons X Skinnydip
Glasses | c/o Specsavers
Earrings | You Make Me Designs
Nails | Buff

As with so many outfits I throw together for our Styled By challenges, this has ended up being a great summer look that I'm keen to re-wear. It's just a shame that we have had our summer (all 5 days of it) in Scotland now, so I'll have to pack these away for winter and bring out the woolies instead. Having a look documented here is a great reference for me to make the most out of my wardrobe. We've been pretty slack lately but it's my favourite posts to do (and you seem to like them too, along with our Unlikely Style Icons).

If you've got a look you'd like to see us style up, a ridiculous topic you think even we couldn't pull off, or you want to join in and Be Our Guest on the blog with us, have a look at our Contact Us page for details on how to get involved. We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

August Round Up


Watching: everything Edinburgh International Festival!! I lost count of all the shows I watched so I'll be sharing my top 5 next week. As well as the comedy and theatre, I went along to the Standard Life Festival Opening Event to watch the light and sound show. This year it was moved to George Square and I thought it worked quite well projected against the three sides- it certainly felt more relaxed and less crowded in the larger space. I also went to the Lush Gorilla Perfume launch party, to check out the art installations created around the scents. They were fun- I liked the granny's sitting room and play kitchen the best but the cardamom coffee scent is delicious.

Doing: during my festival staycation, I made it along to a lot of non-festival goings on. I really enjoyed the Paul Marr x Rowanjoy exhibition, which celebrated ten years of creative collaboration between the photographer and dress designer . I love that these photoshoots have been purely for the creativity, with pieces designed specifically for the concepts rather than retail. The space was beautifully dressed with the prints sat alongside the garments and huge floral displays by Jack Fleuriste. To top up my culture, I saw the latest Dovecot tapestries (swoon!) and the ECA Masters Show. I also popped along to the Edinburgh Cocktail Festival, where there were cocktails served in pineapples- now that's my kind of event!

Buying: I have honestly never put so much thought into a purchase as I have for these damn New Balance trainers. My commute now includes a bit of a walk so I keep my nice work shoes in my office. I've worn down a pair of cheap-but-cute trainers and want something more robust. And not pink. I keep looking at pink ones. I find trainers so uninspiring to look at, so it's taken me forever to match up functionality with style. In the end I've gone for the most nondescript. Meh.

Clicking: I'm more than done with August now, and have looking at all things Autumn since about the 14th. I already have my tickets booked for this year's Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry, after having such a great time last year. We are going to stay in Pitlochry and make a weekend of it, so I'm looking for fun walks to do and places to stop by. Any recommendations?


Watching: I've already harped on to everyone I work with about A Ghost Story so now I'm bringing my love for this film to the blog. Casey Affleck wandering around in a bed sheet while Rooney Mara looks sad and eats a pie. Ok, so it sounds terrible but this film was an amazing cinema experience. It's beautiful, sad, powerful, thought provoking and reassuring. It's difficult to describe and I can see why people might not like it but I was just blown away. The soundtrack, the visuals, the ghost costumes, the movement through time... haunted is the word. When I got home from seeing it my flatmate even asked if I was ok and offered me a hug! I urge you to go and see this film. If you do (or have already seen it) let me know what you think. If you don't like it though we may not be able to be friends anymore.

Doing: I went to not one but two Masters shows in August. Not quite as many as the Degree shows I made it to earlier in the year but still pretty good. I had a quick wiz round Edinburgh College of Art, where I particularly enjoyed the Illustration section. So many colours, playful artworks and some great paper cutting! I also visited the DJCAD show where the work of  B.D. Owens,(pictured) stood out to me.
Kimberley and I also had a lot of fun taking part in Emily Millichip's Carmen Miranda Bag Charm workshop at the Craft Scotland Summer Show. It was lovely to have an afternoon filled with tropical shapes, crafting and chat, especially in such nice surroundings. Now I just have to find a bag that deserves my fun new charm!

Buying: While at the ECA Masters show, I treated my self to some work by illustrator Pilar Garcia de Leaniz. I really liked the poster for the event so when I found out it used Pilar's work I knew I wanted to take a piece home. I got myself a pretty skull print that's the perfect mix of creepy and colourful that I enjoy and a fun coaster because they always come in handy. Now I just need to get my act together and get a frame for my new artwork. I still have a few pieces I picked up at the degree shows that are awaiting this treatment so I'm not sure how soon that will happen!

Clicking: My friend Ashley suggested I listen to a podcast called Criminal. I'm not great at discovering new podcasts so I always take on the advice of others. She sent me a specific episode called A Bump in the Night. I listened to it during the day and it still freaked me out! Now I've downloaded a bunch of other episodes and I'm loving the variety of interesting stories.
As I'm visiting Ashley in Northern Island next month, I've also been researching places to go, things to do and where to eat. I've already found 11 Alternative Things to do in Belfast, checked out where the Game of Thrones locations are, found out about Belfast Vintage Shopping and read some food reviews from a local. Have you been? What should I check out?