Hello lovely readers :)
Last week I was contacted by a lovely person from Money Supermarket about a competition they're running at the moment called Passion For Fashion. The idea is to put together 5 Autumn/Winter outfits for 5 occasions (office wear, casual, a first date, outdoors, & a party) each one costing no more than £200. The top prize is £1000 + an iPad3, with 5 runners up prizes for each category of £200 each.
So, here are my picks...
(Click images to make them bigger. All photos from the item's respective site, links below)
Scalloped edge shorts, £52 // City bag, £49.99 // Watch, £15 (sale) // Jameela Jamil blouse, £35 // Patent loafers, £32 // Pearl tights, £12
Total cost: £195.99
I wanted to keep the office outfit fairly simple, I think this works better in the work place. I went for a statement blouse to give the outfit some colour & vibrancy. I then chose items to go with the blouse that were classics with a twist, namely the simple shorts with a beautiful scalloped edge & the thick black tights covered in tiny pearls; little accents like this really give the outfit a subtle but quirky edge. I accessorised with a simple watch, Russell and Bromley-esque patent loafers and a leather-look city bag from Zara; this bag is especially good for the office as it has compartments for files and paperwork.
Top tip: Invest in a good bag for work, you may need to squeeze in more than you plan to & you need it to last, especially if you're commuting.
Hat, £25 // Breton stripe top, £22.99 // Belt, £10 // Bouclé jacket, £12.99 // Brogues, £44.99 // Boyfriend jeans, £38 // Statement necklace, £19.99 // Canvas bag, £8.50
Total cost: £182.46
For the casual outfit I wanted to keep it simple & stick to classic pieces that's why I chose the Christys' style hat, breton top, bouclé jacket & brogues. I also thought the boyfriend jeans with the brogues would give a relaxed look without being too sloppy. The canvas bag is perfect to fit everything you may need & is brilliant if you decide to go out shopping. I decided to add fun accessories to give the outfit a little bit of quirkiness, hence the 'bonjour' belt & beautiful statement necklace.
Top tip: If you like pricer labels but can't afford them, invest in some of their accessories - this Lazy Oaf bag is only £8.50!
Banana heel shoe, £40 // Faux leather jacket, £60 // Clutch bag, £26.99 // Peplum top, £32 // High-shine tube pants, £30
Total cost: £188.99
A first date may mean your outfit has to be able to transition from day to night (cinema & a meal, a gallery & then cocktails, coffee & then bowling, etc.) that's why I went for items that could work for both. The peplum top is simple & chic, & the embellished collar adds that extra special detail without the need for jewellery. The tube pants are perfect for day to night also, as the high shine makes them a bit more special than normal black skinnies (+ they make your legs look long & slim - winner!) A leather jacket is a must have for any wardrobe especially in winter, in my opinion, & this one is simple enough for the daytime but also elegant enough to see you through until the evening. I wanted shoes & bag that would add an extra bit of sparkle without being overwhelming so I chose a mid-heel with a glittery toe strap (super high heels could be awkward on a first date, especially if you're not sure what you're doing) & an embellished clutch (perfect for your essentials). The star buys for this outfit are the shoes, clutch & tube pants, all dupes of much more expensive items -- Miu Miu heels, Alexander McQueen knuckle duster clutch, & American Apparel Disco Pants.
Top tip: Looking for the perfect leather jacket for Autumn/Winter? Go for a high quality PU/faux leather version instead, they're a lot kinder on your purse & look the same as the real thing.
Vintage Levi's shorts, £18.99 // Cable knit jumper, £19.99 // Dr. Martens, £70 (sale) // Cat scarf, £20 // Grey cotton soft tights, £4.99 // Vintage 70s military jacket, £32 // Rucksack, £30
Total cost: £195.97
I love this outfit and think it's perfect for a day out & about, perhaps in the countryside or an outdoor music event. I chose the Doc Martens as my starting point because, for me, they're the perfect outdoor boot. They're a lot harder wearing & comfortable than wellies + these ones were in the sale so they're also a lot cheaper than higher end wellies such as Hunters. The pattern really sold them to me as I thought they were pretty & would go with so much. I paired the boots with some soft grey tights (got to keep those pins warm!) some vintage cut off Levi's, a thick cable knit jumper, a vintage khaki jacket, a rucksack & scarf. Probably my favourite part of the whole outfit is the cat print scarf, I thought it was so quirky & cute plus the blacks & browns make it really wearable.
Top tip: Look for items on ASOS Marketplace. Here you'll find amazing pre-owned & pre-loved pieces for a snip of the price + many things are one-offs so you'll be stylish and original.
Rose stud clutch, £69.99 // 100 denier shaper tights, £6 // Brocade peplum top, £29.99 // Embellished knicker shorts, £45 // Statement necklace, £9.99 // Black stud heel-less shoes, £19.99 + £2.99 P&P
Total cost: £183.95
For this look I really tried to bring out the lux and glamour of Dolce and Gabbana's AW12 collection (check out the looks here). Black & gold are always perfect for evening/party wear, especially in winter, & I thought this outfit would be really striking. I paired the embellished knicker shorts with 100 denier body shaping tights, as the shorts do show off a lot of leg so you want to be certain that everything's smooth & well covered (I think it looks much better wearing a thick pair of tights under knicker shorts like these. Thicker tights will also help to make your legs look extra sleek & slim). The patterning of the peplum top reflects the shorts, whilst the necklace gives it some colour & sparkle. The shoes are a cheaper take on Jeffrey Campbell's heel-less shoes, with the gold studs making them edgy & perfect for a party.
Top tip: Look on eBay for cheaper versions of pricey fashion heels, the choice is endless!
So those are my 5 outfits :) I spent a really long time choosing all the items & making sure each outfit came to under £200 each (quite tricky when you love to spend, even if it is virtual spending!) But I'm really happy with what I managed to put together & think they show my 'Passion for Fashion' & that you can be thrifty and stylish!
FINAL Top tip: Invest in items! By paying a bit more for certain items (usually bags, coats & shoes/boots) you actually save money as these are the things you use & wear the most. The longer they last, the less money you'll have to spend on new pieces ;)
What are your thoughts on my choices? Do you have any good money saving tips? Let me know in the comments below :)