Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Christmas Party Dress

long black halterneck dress I know it seems a long way away, but there are now only 8 weekends until christmas. With Christmas parties from the beginning of December, I am taking the advice of a good boy scout and being prepared. There will be no last minute panics for me this year, not only have I picked out the perfect dress but also the perfect accessories and underwear leaving me plenty of time to do my Christmas shopping.

This halter neck dress is available in black or red. I will be opting for black which is really flattering and can be accessorised with some interesting and unusual accessories.

black multiway  bra

When you are getting dressed up for a big night out, it is important to feel good from the inside out. A halter neck dress calls for the right bra to give lots of support and avoid visible bra straps, so that you can enjoy yourself, dance and feel confident. This halter neck multiway bra is available in a D-K cup.

grapevine jewellery set
To make my christmas party dress look really special, I will accessorise with this grapevine jewellery. It is really unique, I like to have my own style instead of just following the latest fashions. It is handcrafted in copper and brass and mounted on a six strand seed.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The credit crunch and your wardrobe

At this time when we are all feeling the credit crunch in some form or fashion (pardon the pun), should we remain addicted to buying throw away fashion or should we be building a quality and timeless wardrobe that can be re-invented by mixing and matching accessories?
It is all a matter of preference. For the younger fashion conscious wearer buying five low quality tops seems more sensible than buying one good quality top that will withstand numerous washing and is of a style that could be worn time and time again. For the more mature trendy woman adding to a wardrobe may seem more practical than investing in clothes that could only be worn a few times.

Yes, clothes are an investment. It is an asset like any other that projects image through branding and can label us as belonging to a certain group or class. While it validates by association it also differentiates by disassociation by setting us apart from those who do not belong to the group.
What does your clothes say about you? Do you only wear runway fashion, high street-high end fashion or high street - low end fashion? Or are your clothes as individual as you are? How will the credit crunch affect your purchases from now on? Don't be afraid to mix it up and shop by quality and not necessarily by label.

Here are 10 tips on building a wardrobe on a budget.

1.Remember a wardrobe on a budget is not built in a day but overtime.
2.Visit the sales and discount outlets and only buy items that flatter you and are of good quality. Do not be tempted to squander your money on items you will only wear a few times or never at all.
3.Shop by quality and not by label. Sometimes the high end stores retail the same basic clothing as the low end stores. The label may be different but the quality is the same and half the price. Have you never had persons ask you where you bought a certain item and when you mention a low end brand name their jaws drop in amazement? Yes, low end brands may retail many cheap items but some also carry a mid price range that can be of good quality and value for money even when bought at full value prices. Develop an eye for quality and look beyond the brand name.
4.Do not be a slave to fashion trends. Be guided by them but find your own style.
5.Look for unique and unusual items of clothing. For those who want to stand out from the crowd, if people ask you, "where did you get that?" - often enough then you know that you are doing something right. The internet is a good place to browse for items that you would not find on the high street.
6.Buy separates. Items bought do not have to match up in your mind with an existing item in your wardrobe. You will find the perfect accompaniment to the garment on a subsequent shopping expedition.
7.Don't be afraid to try new colours.
8.Arrange you wardrobe by colour and look at your colours. Interweave the colours and have another look. You would be amazed how looking at colours next to each other gives you a sense of what colours and patterns match up well together.
9.Accessorize your wardrobe with quality jewellery, handbags, shoes and belts. You can dress up simple clothing with unique and striking accessories. Handcrafted accessories are a must if you are looking to stand out from the crowd.
10.Read the washing and care instructions for your garments and do not simply commit everything to the washer and dryer. Quality clothes may not be the cheapest but they can be more cost effective in the long term.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Folk Fashion

For Autumn Winter 08, the catwalks were literally flooded with folk fashion and accessories. This is a development of the Boho trend that has been rumbling on for many seasons. This season, the folk trend is feminine and glam with rich autumnal colours, fringes, scarves, faux fur and lots of bold prints including paisley. The look is a mixture of all sorts of historical influences including 70's, hippies, Russian and Cossack costumes but with a polished finish that is very now. Look out for individual handcrafted accessories and shaggy faux fur to get this look, team with opaque tights and boots for a cosy winter folk outfit.

Etro autumn winter 2008

At Etro this fringed dress accessorised with a goat skin bag is just the right balance between glam and folklore.

DKNY Autumn Winter 08

At DKNY this floral dress look sperfect with a big woolley scarf and grey wooley tights which make sure the floral print does not look to whimsical.

Dolce and gabanna folk trend 08

At Dolce & Gabbana, smart tailored trousers are contrasted with a shaggy folk style faux fur coat.

gucci folk autumn winter 2008

Gucci does the best folk glam of this season. I love the rich coloured prints and long belt.

pictures from

goat skin handbag

This leather and goat skin handbag is a great accessory for this seasons folk trend team with a paisley dress and thick opaque tights to complete the look. Available from Munique Fashions.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Change the Way You Dress

Ever wondered why some people look so well put together and others do not? For those who appear to have put some thought into what to wear, that's exactly right. They did plan what they were going to wear. There is a difference between simply putting on clothes (hoping to get it right) and putting thought into what you are going to wear by coordinating your wardrobe.
Many of us pay little attention to our appearances for various reasons:

- No time - Too lazy - Can't be bothered - What's the point! - I'm just a stay at home mum
- Overweight - Have no one to dress up for - It's cold and I have to wear an outer coat anyway - and the list goes on ..............

Whichever category you fall into, you can only change the way you dress by making an effort. The stimulus for change starts with you. It is important that you want to look good for you. What you wear can lift you up or put you down. Thus for me, when I look good I feel good. Even if other aspects of my life are not perfect, dressing well can usually be a confidence boost and lift my self esteem.

If you want to change the way you dress, start by adopting the attitude that you are going to make time to sort your wardrobe. You are going to buy clothes that flatter your shape and size. You are going to learn to layer up and still look good. Ultimately you need to make a commitment to get rid of clothes that do little to enhance your appearance. This I know is hard. So for every new piece of clothing you buy, get rid of one piece that you know does nothing for you.

Re-inventing yourself through fashion.

The first step is to define your body shape. For this you can seek professional help from a fashion stylist or personal shopper if money is no object. This can seem like an expensive option but can be cheaper in the long term as it saves you time and stops you wasting money on clothes that do not enhance your body shape or size. Alternatively you can use the free Gok Wan's consultation body shape guide on the channel 4 website at Littlewoods also offer a slightly more in-depth free shape calculator. This calculator is linked to Trinni and Susannah's book "The Body Shape Bible
". Both consultations are only a guide towards defining your body shape and may not address all areas of your body thoroughly. Again it depends on what you input as answers to the questions provided.

Once you have defined your shape, you would see that you do not have to be size zero model to look good in clothes. That is not to say that health and diet are not important. You should make every effort to maintain good health by exercising and eating right to avoid becoming victims to life style diseases.

Make a list of your positive body attributes, though I must say that you may not be the best person to do that as usually we are the harshest critics of ourselves when it comes to our body. For instance I think my bust size is a negative attribute while many of my friends wish they had my bust size. Thus what seems to be a negative for you may be a positive in the eyes of others. Be objective and ask the opinion of others in defining your body attributes. The key is to find clothes that accentuate your positives and downplay your problems areas. For example high waisted trousers are excellent for downplaying high tummies and bulges.

How do the fashion experts do it?

Browse through magazines to see how the experts put clothes together in terms of style, shapes, colours, patterns and accessories.
Take in TV Shows on Fashion. The Clothes Show on UKTV Style presented by Louise Redknapp, Carolyn Franklyn and Brendan is one example which shows high street fashion trends as a spin off from the catwalk. Another aspect of this show included a Yummy Mummy section where Cheryl Konteh - fashion stylist, transformed a weary mother into a beautiful swan. Browse your local TV and Cable Networks to see what's available. You can learn so much by watching these fashion programs.

Look at others around you

Identify persons whose look you like and start to emulate them. And I say persons because some people may be one dimensional in their dress sense. Take what is good from several persons and put your own look together. Ensure that the looks you are emulating are appropriate for your body shape and size or can be adjusted to suit. For example you may not be small breasted enough to wear certain thin strap tops or dresses comfortably without feeling that boobs are far too overexposed or spilling out. If the cut and shape of the garment works for you then experiment with wearing a camisole or vest under the top or dress.

Stop Clothes Hoarding

Refrain from buying clothes and putting it away for a special occasion or thinking "this jacket is too good to wear just to collect the kids". Learn to play down or play up an outfit. For instance a nice jacket or coat can be worn with jeans and a basic top to play down the outfit while you can wear the same jacket with dressy pants, heels, soft top and play up the coat or jacket. Experiment by buying inexpensive quality clothes from discount outlets, sales etc that flatters your shape and size. You did not pay much for them so it should not matter too much where you wear them.

Widen your shopping radius

You are not going to find everything you need to change the way you dress in one shop or in one day. If you are one of those who habitually visit the same stores over and over again then force yourself to go into a store you have never browsed in before. Remember you are not looking for ten of the same slacks or jumpers in different colours. You are looking for different styles, different cuts and different colours that may appeal to your figure and complexion respectively. Expand your shopping radius and even include the internet. There are lots of great bargains and unusual finds on the internet.

Get your underwear right

Wear appropriate underwear with your outfits. As stressed by Trinny and Susannah of "What not to Wear" fame, "Nowadays, specialist knickers, tights, all-in-ones and bras are industrially enhanced for the sole purpose of improving our shape....". If you are wearing a body hugging garment then wear underwear that will hold your tummy and bulges in place. Bras should give you the lift you need to keep large breasts well supported and small breasts boosted if that is the look you are going for. Either way, while underwear is practical it should also make you feel sexy. Visit a department store that offers measuring services for your bra size. Big boobed women will feel right at home at Bravissimo who "provides a wide choice of lingerie and swimwear in D-K cup". Check their website for store locations or buy online at bravissimo.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Invest in quality accessories. Accessories are very important and can really lift or pull an outfit together. Some say - "Oh I'm not a belt person or I'm not a scarf person or hat person or whatever the accessory might be". In a lot of cases this is usually said because you have no idea how to wear it. See how the fashion experts use these accessories in magazines, shop windows etc.

Remember quality accessories do not necessarily have to be a designer's brand to be of good quality or look good. Buy unique fashion accessories that will set you apart from the crowd and will make you look just as good or even better than the designer wear. Gok Wan on his Channel 4 programme - "Gok's Fashion Fix: look fabulous for less" shows us how to get designer looks for less. The last bag I bought while on holiday in the Caribbean by a local designer called Sel J is so unique in its styling that people always ask me "where did you get that". At the same time I also have other well known European designer bags that get the same attention when I use them. Thus the key is not to buy designer for designer sake but designer or non designer because it is quality and unusual.

Headscarves as an accessory are highly underrated and under utilized and can really liven up a look. Invest in some trendy headscarves preferably silk so as not to dry out the moisture from your hair - great for those bad hair days. Choose a colour from your outfit and match up with an appropriate headscarf.

Revitalize your hair and skin

Hair and skin are also vital to your appearance. Transform your face with a new haircut that is suitable to your face shape and age.

Make up is great to enhance our appearance but it is important to be comfortable in your skin. Develop a regular regime of cleaning, toning and moisturizing your face and do regular facials. A monthly galvanic facial is useful to get rid of dead skin cells as well as detoxing and rejuvenating the skin. Bear in mind your face never looks great immediately after a facial. However, after a day or two you would see the results and people will tell you as well how amazing you look. For those on a budget find your nearest college with a beauty school. They usually offer hair and beauty treatments at significantly reduced prices.

Dressing well is a habit

The bottom line is...... you have to make an effort to look good. Like everything else, dressing well is a habit. The more you do it the better you become at it and it develops into a habit. Do not be afraid to experiment and have fun mixing and matching your clothes. Find new ways to wear old favourites. Sometimes we have to get it wrong before we know that we are getting it right.
But once you get it right, you will know that your dress sense is improving when you are receiving compliments on your clothes or being asked "where did you get that" or "what's the occasion". So enjoy the attention when it comes.

Soon you would be wondering why I didn't make an effort before. Next you would be critiquing the dress style of others around you in your head and thinking "how can a person dress so badly".

Finally dressing well becomes effortless.

A new fashion and style blog is born

Bali Girl necklace Welcome to Munique fashions, a brand new blog about fashion and style. We hope to bring you the latest trends and fashions with a big helping of individual style that will make you look gorgeous and feel great. Munique is all about being trendy and fashionable, whilst being stylish and individual. We hope that you enjoy reading!

Munique also has it's own range of unique, quality handcrafted fashion and accessories from artisans around the world. These exotic designs communicate rarity and say something about you the wearer. At Munique we say that our unique fashions are a conversation with style which starts “where did you get that”? Because when you wear our products that’s what people will ask.

Necklace "Bali Girl"