My New Blogs!


Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know I have begun a new blog dedicated solely to fashion.

Please take a look!!! I know fashion blogging won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but please pass on my new site to anyone you think would be interested. I would appreciate ALL of your support!!!!

So, after deliberating on addresses and names and so on – I have gone with ‘i of fashion’ at http://bbhough.wordpress.com

I have been mulling over the idea of a fashion blog for a long time, and have decided to give it a go and see what happens. So, I am ‘officially’ a fashion blogger now!!!!!

So, keep your eyes peeled for more fashion articles on bbhough.wordpress.com!!!!

Many thanks,

Bex

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A Dedicated Follower of Fashion – Beau Brummell and the History of the Quintessential Man’s Suit.


The British Regency period (1811-1820: when The Prince of Wales became Prince Regent), has been described as the most explosive and creative.

Akin to the 1960’s; enormous changes in culture and society all fused together in one enormous burst of energy.

The battle of Waterloo was won. London was completely re-designed. Turner and Constable were painting, the waltz was introduced (highly risky dance for that era), and Jane Austen and Lord Byron were inspired by the life surrounding them to write.

The glamour, the tastes, scandal and gossip, opulent aristocrats, blossoming middle classes, monarchs, decadence, the celebrity culture, the drugs and drink (minus the rock and roll); it was a celebration of youth culture and of course the fashions. The Regency era was an age of exuberance and creativity, but also of excess and deprivation.

The Dandy – Dress Etiquette and Suit Style

Amid all of this was there was rise of the ‘Dandy’, a fashion etiquette and new wave of style.

How is this important? Well, the ‘Dandy’ shunned traditional elaborate aristocratic styles of the time; wigs, breeches and powder were replaced by simplistic elegance. In short, this was when the plain black suit and ‘tie’ became the epitome of the male wardrobe; embracing masculinity and not femininity.

The person responsible for introducing and establishing this modern men’s suit, and fashion necessity was the infamous George Bryan “Beau” Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840).

Beau Brummell became an iconic figure in Regency Britain. The arbiter of men’s fashion, and also a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV; this friendship enabled Beau to entrench what might have been dismissed as an insignificant, and fleeting fashion faux pas into mainstream culture. Beau’s ideas were propelled; taking root in society, they had substantial influence.

Brummell was responsible for making a generation rethink their style choices, and ingrained a fresh sense of what fashion was. Men had never before embraced the understated. Perfectly tailored dark coats, polished boots (with Champagne of course), and full-length trousers rather than knee breeches and stockings, and above all immaculate shirt linen with an elaborately knotted cravat; a must of the ‘Dandy’.

The Beau Brummell ‘Dandy’

Beau’s personal habits were as fastidious as his fashion choices. Attention to detail was a prerequisite for any ‘Dandy’, and it was claimed he took five hours a day to dress. Cleaning his teeth, shaving, and daily bathing were part and parcel of achieving the style, just as much as the clothes.

Brummell’s dictum eventually exerted an influence upon the ‘ton’. The ‘ton’ a term used in reference to Britain’s higher echelons of polite society during the Regency era. The word is derived from the French word meaning ‘taste’ or ‘everything that is fashionable’. The full phrase is ‘le bon ton’, meaning good manners or ‘in the fashionable mode’; the characteristics which epitomised the ideals held onto by the British ‘ton’.

Once the ‘ton’ had adopted the style it then became the must for every self respecting fashion conscious man. Brummell’s niche fashion etiquette then became global; making an impression on all fashion from that day to this.

Bronze Statue of Beau Brummell in Jermyn Street, London

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Clothes Horse


I wanted to add some Fashion flavour into the mix of my blog posts. This post is not going to dictate what is hot and not, what you should wear and go out and immediately buy. I also don’t want to focus on high end, designer or couture, nor do I want to burden you with raving on about vintage. There is nothing wrong with these, or with blogs dedicated to these, but many people don’t have the budget nor do they have access to great vintage stores.

I feel that Fashion is, or at least should be a statement of style reflecting your own individuality, and not only that but your budget, size and shape. Many things deemed to be fashionable are unobtainable by the masses; clothes can be out of their price ranges and also wouldn’t suit them. Fashion isn’t merely dictated or limited by shape and size, or budget though; its imagination. I am not laying down fashion rules here either; I hate such fashions ‘norms’ stating that larger women should wear this and thinner women wear that, NONSENSE! Doesn’t matter on size or shape some items just won’t suit you regardless! You know your shape, you know what works and doesn’t.

I going to aim my focus on what is available from the ‘High Street’, what is cheaper and accessible. I am also encouraging you to SHOP AROUND! The selections of clothing that I have chosen for this post can be purchased online, but these are not the ‘b’ all and end all of what WILL be available locally to you, and also there will be cheaper alternatives! The items included in this post are just IDEAS, a taste of what is out there.

I would suggest that before you go out to shop ALWAYS have the style in mind that you are looking for; think of the item you require. Keep in mind what you already have too; buying into a ‘trend’ for the sake of doing so is a waste of money if you have nothing to compliment it, and again not everything suits everyone! I tend to sketch my Fashion ideas in a little pad, and look for something either specific to that idea or as near as I can find. I ALWAYS search for cheaper too; if something is £40 in River Island, I’ll go and look in H&M, Primark or anywhere else to find something similar if not exactly same thing.

Of course I am not advocating completely ruling out more pricier garments. Buying one good item that will last into the next seasons is an investment, but you will be taking the chance that your choice fits this bill, as fashion does change quickly. Try to avoid overt statement pieces of one particular trend; maybe look at adding a flavour of that trend into your wardrobe, but not the whole nine yards! I have managed to make a few purchases that were pricier than I’d normally be comfortable forking out for, but they have stood the test of time. Of course it is up to you what you choose. I am also not ruling out vintage and second hand stores completely either! If you have them local to you, and you know them well enough, and they are cheap, use them! I know here in Madrid they are my first option. I bought a ‘Coatigan’ last year for 20 euros, opposed to the River Island prices of £70 – £90! Bargain!

Pick the bones outta this one:

OK, let’s talk about the bones; Dogtooth and Herringbones to be precise!

The Dogtooth print is quite the thing this season, yet it is a print that can be hit and miss, even crass to carry off. There are dresses, tops, trousers, jumpers and coats on sale with this print all over them, but choose wisely. It all depends on the right type of the print and the style of the outfit.

My choice for this one is an idea that fits the bill perfectly. I have chosen an over-sized cardigan; over-size being another trend this season. This unfortunately is a vintage item; though as I have already mentioned it is an idea of a style, it is not the only item available in this style. I searched for something I would wear, and this was the one I decided I preferred, plus although it is vintage the price is right too!

This vintage black and red wool mix cardigan is listed on asos.com link below:

https://marketplace.asos.com/listing/cardigans/vtg-black-red-wool-mix-dogtooth-print-cardigan-oversized/538138

Next up, the Herringbone.

I admit I am mixed on very specific and bold print types, especially on coats as they look good now, but again, will they be the ‘thing’ next winter? Admittedly there is more flexibility with fashion currently, as eclectic seems to be the thing, so perhaps these prints will last the test of time!

I am a bit of a coat fanatic; I adore the styles, shapes and tailoring of these garments. I do believe that a coat which is not too ostentatious can be a better bet, again thinking on the long term, especially if you do plan to spend a good portion of money on it!

If it is cheap you want then Primark do have good stocks of pretty decent coats and jackets. The key there is to check the tailoring as it can be hit and miss sometimes; how sharp are the shoulders and how neat are the sleeves, what are the darts like to nip in your waist, what buttons have been used and so on. I have recently seen a version of the ‘River Island army jacket’ on sale in Primark; I will include this later on.

The coat I have selected is from River Island and is a great example of the Herringbone print, and the everlasting ‘boyfriend’ or now over-sized style.

River Island Grey Herringbone Boyfriend Coat, 25% wool, £75.00: link below

http://www.riverisland.com/women/coats–jackets/coats/grey-herringbone-boyfriend-coat-626441

Re-take on River Island Army Jacket:

Primark have taken the army jacket with leather sleeves and re-created their own version. Interesting and uncanny, as after I saw the River Island version I went into Primark searching for such a re-creation to purchase, with no luck! Now, they have graciously accommodated me, thank you Primark for reading my mind! I have no doubt this offering will be half the price of River Island’s version. A possible great buy for the season; leather and army combined!

http://www.primark.co.uk/page.aspx?pointerid=0dea055bcdff4321bb85f635c18f55d2&ptype=snk

Keeping Warm:

Woolly knits are available in a wide variety and range of styles, prints and added with embellishments. Again try to always look for the cheapest alternative. I have recently seen a thick (almost cable) knitted cardigan in Topshop with spike and stud detailing on the shoulders, roughly £48. I think that is over-priced, as there are similar cardigans on sale at the moment in Primark, OK, they are minus the spikes and studs. Now this might seem an issue, but spikes and studs can be purchased on any jewellery item, as this season they are everywhere. Failing that a good jewellery and bead or haberdasheries shop will sell them. If you feel up to it, you can always add the spikes to the cardigan with a needle and thread, or glue gun.

I think that the fine and soft knits with lace panels inserted, are very unusual, although seemingly quite popular too. They do add a certain charm and fashion detail if all else fails.

The cardigan I have selected has a ‘Navaho’ or a rock / 1960’s festival feel; depending on your mood!

It is from H&M, Black Jersey Cardigan with short sleeves, fringes, and no buttons: link below

http://www.hm.com/gb/product/05050?article=05050-A

Now for those cautious of the stud and spike trend, and wanting to avoid an all-out ‘punk’ look. This black studded jumper from oasis, £55, is classic and demure and yet has a little rough edge. Perfect for jeans, leggings or if you are feeling adventurous, leather trousers.

http://www.oasis-stores.com/studded-neck-jumper/knitwear/oasis/fcp-product/3610163901

Trousers:

Talking about leather trousers there are plenty of PU mock leather options available, tight and almost legging like; they seem to be an ideal choice to rock up any outfit. Yet, cheap imitations can often be tacky and nasty. When choosing any fabric that is fake make sure it looks as good as possible next to the real deal. I am aware leather trousers are expensive, so I’m not advocating buying real leather. Just make sure your choice is a good one, and not a waste of your money.

Dr Denim Faux Leather Trousers for £105.86, so good in fact that they are currently out of stock. Shop around ladies; I have seen Warehouse do a version too.

http://www.asos.com/Dr-Denim/Dr-Denim-Faux-Leather-Trousers/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1423405&cid=2640&sh=0&pge=17&pgesize=20&sort=3&clr=Black

Alternatively, if you want high fashion here is a pic of Mrs Beckham, in a pair of oh so tight leather; OUCH!

Printed Jeans:

I have selected a pair from Topshop, and I do like them. However, I am aware they will not suit everyone’s shape and size. These are a more muted shade and print, not as garish as some prints or colours available. Long line over-sized denim shirts, jumpers or tops could be worn to cover any areas you may feel uncomfortable exposing. However, if you feel up to it I have also included a sheer sleeveless shirt to accompany them, again with the stud detailing.

The jeans are a Moto Laser Print Jamie Jeans, £45.00, in Burgundy: link below

http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=61&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=7519147&langId=-1&sort_field=Relevance&categoryId=208527&

The sheer chiffon sleeveless shirt is from Hearts & Bows, £35.27. It has a point collar with spike stud embellishment and button fastening through the front: link below

http://www.asos.com/Hearts-Bows/Hearts-Bows-Stud-Collar-Blouse/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2556603&cid=2623&sh=0&pge=15&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Khaki

ABOUT HEARTS & BOWS
‘Hearts & Bows reign with their trend-led collections original vintage and vintage inspired pieces, creating a cool, street style inspired grunge-girl. Studded blouses and collar tips add a tough edge to chiffon blouses and mini dresses, layered under oversized Arran knit boyfriend cardigans and ‘90s check shirts. Look out for hi-shine leggings and Hearts & Bows’ signature high waisted rave pants, as skater skirts’.

Skirts:

Now this chiffon over lay skirt looks great with the army jacket and the grunge ‘tee’, but the price seems very steep for what it actually is. Fabric can be purchased and made up into a quick wrap around skirt to mimic this very style, alternatively search cheaper retailers for similar options.

b + ab Chiffon Overlay Skirt is a mind boggling £63.52! Details of the item include; an elasticated, high waist with a short underskirt: link below

http://www.asos.com/BAB/b-ab-Chiffon-Overlay-Skirt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2487030&cid=2623&sh=0&pge=15&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Black

ABOUT B+AB
‘Part of Hong Kong’s renowned I.T. fashion group, B+ab take a trend-led approach to their collections, inspired by London’s street style and a vintage girl aesthetic. Military detailing, leather jackets and flashes of colour add a tougher edge to B+ab’s fairy-tale chiffon mini dresses and romantic flowing skirts’.

Leggings:

How many more incarnations can these go through?! Well take a look at these Peacock feather print offering from BamBam.

They are a bold choice no doubt, but look great coupled with the biker jacket in the pic. BamBam Leggings in the Peacock Print are £49.40. They are crafted from a super stretch fabric: link below

http://www.asos.com/Bambam/Bambam-Leggings-in-Peacock-Print/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2501047&cid=2623&sh=0&pge=16&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Multi

ABOUT BAMBAM
‘Bold, fun and fresh, Australian label BamBam began in the living room of two Queensland based brothers. Taking an irreverent approach to laidback style with an East coast perspective, BamBam take a grunge aesthetic and run with it; think heavily distressed denim with studs and patchwork, and leggings, bodysuits and bodycon dresses covered in galactic digital prints’.

Hair Accessories:

This River Island bow is an interesting alternative to the traditional hair clip; a grunge, rock or even Gothic look.

It would look fab with going out dresses or even jeans and jumpers.

Black Spike PU Bow Hair Clip, £6.00: link below

http://www.riverisland.com/women/accessories/hair-accessories/Black-spike-PU-bow-hair-clip-627504

If you have any comments on my post, or would like to discuss ideas and make suggestions about the fashion for this season then please do so! I would like to know what you think about Fashion, trends, styling and even the prices of clothes.

Many thanks for reading!

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.