workwear

Dress like a boss: Menswear edition

Dressing like a boss doesn’t necessarily mean putting on a suit and trotting off to work. A lot of businesses are becoming increasingly casual and a suit doesn’t necessarily have the place it once did. The trick is to look professional while retaining your own sense of style. Here are some looks you can draw experience from.

Dress like a boss: Casual

Dress like a boss: Casual by shoplinkz featuring a bracelet bangle

This is a more casual look. It is okay to wear sneakers to work.

Dress like a boss: Jeans

Dress like a boss: Jeans by shoplinkz featuring movado watches

Jeans make a great base for another work look. You can dress them up with smart shoes and a blazer or keep it casual with sneakers and a nice polo shirt. A smart watch keeps everything on trend.

Dress like a boss: The Green Suit

Dress like a boss: The Green Suit by shoplinkz featuring wingtip shoes

If you want to make a real impact, a colorful suit is the way to go. The green of this jacket and pants goes great with the browns of the shoes and bag. While we’re seeing fewer and fewer men in suits in the working world, there’s still a place for something like this. You’ll be able to impress clients while standing out, perfect for a networking event.

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Post-apocalyptic style

If it were up to me, this would be my style at all times but as it’s almost Halloween, let’s look at some post-apocalyptic style for your home and wardrobe.

This isn’t just about fun zombie-themed items but also practical things that really will help you when the apocalypse hits. Hey, you can never be too prepared…

Boots

A sturdy pair of boots is so important in the apocalypse. You’ll need boots that will last a long time, will be comfortable and can handle all kinds of terrain. Sorry, the Jimmy Choos are out. If you can get your hands on military boots, great, but a sturdy pair of leather boots or waterproof hiking boots will do the job too.

Bags

The last thing you want to do is throw your back out when you’re fighting for survival. A large backpack that’s comfortable to carry is a must. A well-made camping bag or rucksack will make life easier. You need to fit all your supplies into this bag and you’ll want it to be comfortable when you’re carrying a lot of weight.

Chest and waist straps are important and it could do with being waterproof too. Ideally, you should be carrying food, medical supplies, water and a change of clothes that you’ll probably want to keep dry.

Supplies

Medical supplies, a good penknife, a torch, a map and anything else you might find useful. Everyone should have a first aid kit at home and in their car. This is where function comes before fashion but if you really need a cute first aid kit, check out this tutorial on Instrucables.

Fun

zombiechicIf you love a bit of zombie-chic (that’s a thing) then not everything has to be practical. We’ve created a whole list of fun, sci-fi, post-apoc goodies. Check it out here.

Watch this space, we’ll be covering style and what to wear post-apocalypse next week (if, of course, the world doesn’t end before then…).

Vamp

Simple Halloween costume ideas

Halloween is coming and if you haven’t already got your costume sorted then you probably need to start thinking about it now. We touched on some really creative costumes but what about simple ones? We’ve got some great ideas for costumes that don’t take too much effort at all.

Kitty Cat

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Dress yourself all in black and get your hands on some cat ears. These are easy to find in clothing stores as well as in your local fancy dress shop. Go for glittery one, furry ones, or simple diamanté ears work too.

Can’t get your hands on ears? Twist your hair up into two buns on top of your head (Miley-style) for makeshift cat ears.

You could also fashion yourself a tail out of stuff you have lying around at home. Cut one leg off a pair of opaque black tights then stuff it with socks or newspaper. Clip this to the back of your skirt or trousers for an instant tail.

Eyeliner works fine for whiskers and a little black nose.

Devil

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Grab yourself some little devil horns and put on your nicest red dress. Add red lipstick and plenty of black eyeliner to give your look that extra edge.

Pirate

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Cobble together a pirate outfit from your existing wardrobe. Ripped tights and a simple skirt paired with a striped top, all finished off with a plastic cutlass and pirate hat.

Or you could go for brown jeans, over-the-knee boots and a corset. Wear with a long jacket and whatever pirate accessories you can find in your nearest supermarket.

Heisenberg

Walter White Heisenberg
This might not be as simple as others on this list but all you need to do is get your hands on the hat and the glasses, paint a beard on in eyeliner, if you want.

Maybe carry a plastic bag of blue popping candy around with you too.

Vampire

* Vampirella *
Corsets, long coats, capes and lots of black all work well for this look. Red lipstick will work in place of fake blood and it’s a great excuse to do a really sexy, smoky eye look.

Plastic fangs can be found in beauty stores, supermarkets and from fashion retailers.

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Beauty must-haves for winter

Dr-Mercola-Sunshine-Mist-Vitamin-D-Natural-OrangeA winter skincare routine is so important because your skin is exposed to low temperatures when outside then hot, dry temperatures from central heating when inside. These ups and downs can really affect your skin, causing it to become drier than normal. Not to mention the fact that we just don’t get as much sun during the winter and that vitamin D is so important. As well as drinking lots of water, you should pamper yourself. Get your hands on some new beauty products to help you through winter!

Here are some beauty products that will help you through the colder months. The prices of these vary but I’m sure you’ll all agree than none of these will break the bank. Check out the full Shoplinkz list for all the details.

With vitamin D in such short supply and due to the fact that we don’t produce it in our bodies, it’s important to get enough when the sun isn’t shining or when you’re spending a lot of time indoors. This is a non-aerosol spray that gives you a daily dose of vitamin D. This can help your skin health, slow down the ageing process and improve your immune system. $17.97 from My Natural Market.

CliniqueYou can still get sunburnt in the winter so it’s important to protect your skin from those harmful rays. Instead of remembering to put on sunscreen all year round, get into the habit of using a moisturizer with a sun protection factor (SPF). This will ensure you’re always protected. The Clinique Superdefense moisturizer is a great product that will leave your skin looking radiant and youthful while protecting you from the sun too. $48 from Izzy’s Beauty Shoppe.

EosIt’s really important to protect your lips during the winter. Central heating and biting winds can play havoc with our lips and this leads to drying and cracking, which can be as unsightly as it can be uncomfortable. Avoid this by applying a lip balm or chap stick throughout your day. Don’t just save it for when your lips are already starting to hurt.

Petroleum-free lip balms are best for protecting and nourishing skin. While petroleum products (like Vaseline) feel like they’re doing a good job, they’re just trapping what moisture is already there, rather than actively making a difference. Using petroleum products on your lips can actually stop you from producing natural oils from your skin. This means that once the product wears off your lips, they feel drier than ever.

This Coconut Milk EOS lip balm is free from nasty ingredients and is small enough to be popped into a pocket or handbag so you can use it on the go. $3.49 from Walgreens.

Three Rose BalmThis is a multi-purpose balm from a small natural beauty brand in the UK (but they ship worldwide). All Palm and Sole products are handmade with lovely, natural ingredients. The balms come in a range of scents and make great night creams. Use to moisturise dry patches, fight ageing or to soothe a weather-beaten face after a day out in the wind/rain/snow. $16-$25 from Palm and Sole.

What products are you loving this winter?

 

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The most creative Halloween costumes we've ever seen

I love Halloween, any excuse for me to dress up. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for some creative ideas and here are a few of the most creative Halloween costumes I could find.

This amazing skeleton makeup is by Mademoiselle Mu. It’s a great way to  add something really special to an outfit. It’s not an easy look to pull off but with a bit of practice and a lot of blending, you too could be a skeleton for Halloween.

The Joker from Batman is another great costume no matter if you’re male or female. Check out this Joker cosplay, with some of the scariest makeup I’ve even seen, for inspiration.

Want to try this costume on a budget? Check out this guide to thrifting a Joker costume.

Another amazing creepy look for Halloween courtesy of the Saw films.

This comic book look has been done to death but that’s not to say you shouldn’t try it for yourself. Start with evenly spaced white dots then highlight your features with a simple black line. Feel free to add other accents like the gorgeous girl in this photo has done.

Finally, this full Weeping Angel costume (yes, there’s someone in there!) can be done at home. Click the picture to take a look at the full tutorial. This would be a great way to scare any Doctor Who fans.

 

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Sign up for Shoplinkz for a chance to win an iPad Air 2!

We’re very excited to announce that we’re running a competition for new Shoplinkz users. All you have to do is sign up for free and you will magically be entered into the drawing to win an iPad Air 2!

Sign Up for Shoplinkz Here

Once you’re signed up to the site, have a look around. It’s a great tool for saving and sharing the items you want most online. We’ll also help you to find the best deals, discounts and more.

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Because we’re lovely people, we’re also giving you the chance to earn some extra entries into the competition. You have to be a Shoplinkz member to qualify for the extra entries, though. You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, follow on Instagram and give this blog a follow on Bloglovin’ too.

If you’re a blogger, we’re also giving you extra chances to win by writing about Shoplinkz on your blog. We’d love to know what you think of the site.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can share this competition using the icons below, you won’t get an extra entry but karma will be on your side.

Good luck!

fall trends

Fall trends you can try today

Fall is upon us so we’ve been thinking about the trends you should be wearing over the coming months.

Check out our full Shoplinkz list for lots of gorgeous items.

Leopard

LeopardI’m pleased that leopard print is here to stay because it’s one of those things that’s been so easy to get that I don’t know how I’d cope if it went completely out of fashion.

This print is surprisingly versatile. You can use it to add some girlie chic to a simple outfit or you can go all out rock and roll by pairing a leopard print dress with some big boots.

We’ve seen a lot of leopard print on the cat walk so you’ll be able to get your hands on this ever-popular style for a while longer.

Now’s also the time of the year where you can get your hands on a leopard print fur coat (faux of course). Orange2

Orange

This is a great color trend that’s bound to breathe some life into your winter wardrobe. Pair it with browns and other neutral colors for a fall look with a bright twist.

We’re loving this orange shirt from Topshop, the embellished collar gives just the right amount of glam. Wear it with a simple skater skirt or with some high-waisted jeans and heels for instant glam.

There are various levels of orange, of course. From the florescent to the more muted shades of fall leaves.

What you choose is up to you but feel safe in the fact that it’s okay to dress head-to-toe in orange shades if you fancy it.

Leopard wrap coatWrap coats

This leopard print wrap coat (two trends for the price of one) is a great example of this trend.

The catwalk was rife with over-the-top wrap coats so it’s nice to see it being done for the RTW market.

What I love about this trend is how flattering these coats are. They create a gorgeous hourglass silhouette. Not to mention the fact that big collars and hoods make these super-snuggly too.

Coats are a great way to incorporate two trends into your wardrobe. Go for an on trend shape in popular color. This fall/winter we need to be looking out for pastel pink, sapphire blue and, of course, orange.

Go for something simple and timeless if you want to try this shape but want your coat to last you a few years.

Plaid2Plaid

The nineties-inspired grunge has brought the plaid trend full force into our wardrobes. Grunge can’t be pulled off by everyone but that’s no reason not to include some plaid in your wardrobe.

A plaid shirt might not be the best route to go down as they can look a little soccer-mom (if that’s the look you’re going for, though…) so try a plaid scarf or other accessory.

This dress can be worn in a number of different ways. Wear with a blazed and black patent court shoes for a librarian-chic look or you can wear it with Dr Martens, black tights and a leather jacket for something that’s a little bit more punk.

Shearling2Shearling

Another warm, comfortable trend for this season. What you need to look out for is a short leather jacket with a shearling collar as this is the look for fall.

If you’re looking for something longer and warmer, go for a full shearling coat.

This look is so versatile. Wear with your most glamorous dress or wear when hiking in the woods over winter. You can look fashionable while wearing something that is practical (for once).

Oxfords

Oxfords2Menswear-inspired shoes are going to be big this fall too. When boots aren’t an option, go for Oxfords. These shoes can be chic, they can be simple, or they can be clunky and a little bit nineties. What you choose depends on your own personal style.

These Lanvin Oxfords would look great with a pretty shift dress. You can keep it simple and let the key parts of your outfit do the talking. These would also make fantastic work shoes. Wear them with black trousers, a well-cut shirt and a floral blazer for a look that’s professional but fashionable too.

What fall trends are you wearing?

Etsy picks: Fall treats

Treat yourself to something beautiful for your home this fall. It might be a beautiful little piece of home décor or it might be something a little more decadent.

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Velvet pumpkins aren’t exactly practical but if you like to decorate your home for fall or Halloween then these are for you. The velvet adds a very chic effect to these fall favorites. e2

Want to make your morning coffee for travel-friendly? Do it in style with this sugar skull travel cup!e3

Want to add something extra special to tea, sparkling wine or lemonade? Try these rose flavored sugar cubes. Perfect for parties.
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A pair of beautiful Moroccan ottomans are bound to add something special to your home. Go on, treat yourself!
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A lovely, understated Halloween decoration that’s a little bit more tasteful than lots of fake cobwebs and a plastic skeleton.
e6Finally, a print that would be perfect on any fashion lover’s wall. This might make a great gift for a fashionista! I think I’ll be treating myself to this lovely little thing!

 

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How to add some color to your garden

As you probably know, I’m currently giving my garden a makeover. I love color and at this time of the year, it’s difficult to get the brightness I crave from flowers alone. I’m based in the UK and, for the most part, winter equals dull, gray weather.

All the plants die down and we’re left with a little bit of greenery but no color. Redoing the garden gives us a chance to plant more evergreen plants and winter flowers. Here are some tips on getting some color into your garden all year round.

Paint

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Here’s my garden as it stands, currently very bare with no lawn in place but brighter than most winter gardens! We’ve just painted the shed and this little wooden planter. There’s still a few coats to do but this is a great way to give your garden a but of vibrancy.

Go for contrasting colors (opposites on a color wheel) for real impact and don’t be afraid to experiment. Why not paint a shed in stripes or add little accent details in a different shade.

Evergreen plants

These are plants that are with you throughout the year. I’ve just bought a shrub called Midnight Martini. During the summer it’s bright green but as winter creeps in it fades to almost-black. That might not sound like a lot of color but it works to break up a winter garden that’s all green.

You should also look for plants that turn a beautiful shade of red or orange in fall/winter.

Winter flowers

Blue Pansies

If you’re in warmer climes than I am, you have a wider range of winter flowering plants at your disposal. If you’re somewhere chilly but without too much risk of very harsh frosts, there’s still some options.

Pansies are a great option for this time of the year and you can go for pale blues to give your garden a winter wonderland feel.

If you need to worry about frost, plant flowers in pots where they’ll get a bit of extra protection and you can move them around to get more shelter when needed.

Statues

I have plenty of geeky plans for statues in my garden but whatever your tastes, you can find something to add interest to your garden all year round.

Fruit and veg

What you grow depends on your weather but even cooler climates can benefit from some winter vegetables. They’ll add a bit of color to your garden and you’ll get the added excitement if growing your own food!

How do you get color in your garden?

Five road trips you'll wish you'd taken

I love a road trip and I’m at my happiest when I’m on the road, travelling to some amazing place. We’ve already written about a UK road trip but here are a few more trips you’ll be wishing you’d taken.

The Karakoram Highway

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This is a snaking mountain road of 800 miles that connects China to Pakistan. It winds up and across some of the largest peaks in this part of the world and it’s a great way to see some mind-blowing scenery.

Jody Robbins wrote about her trip along this scary-yet-beautiful stretch of road over on MSN travel. Read it here.

Skyline Drive

Dogwood on Skyline Drive
This is a stretch of road just 105 miles long that takes you through Shenandoah National Park. If there wasn’t a speed limit this road would be some strange mix between absolutely thrilling and very dangerous but there’s a 35mph limit in place. This means you can roll down your windows and really take in the scenery.

I drove this as part of a 3000 mile road trip around America and it was one of the highlights. We saw birds of prey, took in some amazing scenery and even watched black bears. It’s one of those places that makes you feel happy to be there, to be around nature and to be doing something different to the day-to-day slog we all go through.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Grossglockner road
Get your BMWs, Audis and agile little sports cars at the ready. This is one of those fun roads in Austria that really tests your driving ability and concentration.The end point is a beautiful national park that’s a joy in it’s own right.

If there was ever a road built for the things I love to see and the way I love to drive, this is it.

Historic Columbia River Highway

View from Rowena Crest
This little two-lane road in Oregon is special for a number of reasons. It’s a nice drive but the really wonderful thing is the fact that along its 15-mile stretch there are six state parks, seven waterfalls and views of five mountain peaks.

It might take a while to drive those 15 miles if you stop to look at everything along the way…

Evo Triangle

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This is a 25 mile route that takes in three roads in North Wales. It’s named after Evo magazine that uses the route to road test cars.

I had the opportunity to drive this in one of the new Vauxhall Adam Rocks urban-minis. It’s a hilly, windy road with great visibility but occasionally peppered with rogue sheep. This whole area of Wales is just amazing and I can’t recommend it enough.

What’s the best road trip you’ve ever taken?