Monday, 21 September 2009

Loving This Handbag

Quilted handbags are back in fashion, the original being the Channel 2.55 classic quilted handbag which was first released in 1955 and then re-released to celebrate it's 50th birthday in 2005. If you cannot afford a Chanel one you could grab yourself a bargain quilted bag from the high street. The above bag is only £12.00 from New Look and is also available in Pink and Ecru.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ankle Boots Line Up

Autumn seems to have well and truely arrived so it's time to get booted up to brave the upcoming chilly months with ankle boots being very much in demand for Autumn 09





Manzoni Boots £99.00 from Moda In Pelle with studs for a classy take on a biker look


Love Label Scandal Frill Platform Ankle Boot £37 from Littlewoods, also available in black and selling out fast




Prince Ankle Boots £99 from Dune also avaiable in navy and black






Autograph Suede Leather Platform Ankle Boot £49.50 from Marks and Spencer in purple



Agressa Ankle Boot £95 from Top Shop with chunky buckles for that biker look



H&M Cut Out Peep Toe Ankle Boot £29.99 in pretty pink and they might seem a bit brave but cut out boots are going to be very popular this season

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Home Sweet Home




Make your home smell delicious and be the relaxing haven you want it to be with scented candles.

Easily Sorted's favourite candle is Molton Brown's White Mulberry Air Candela which is scented with aromas of green tea, camomile and ylang ylang. £49 from Molton Brown stores or from their website. It may be quite expensive but it has 70 to 80 hours burning time and once you try their range of scented candles you will be hooked.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Loving This Jumper Dress

It may not actually be the Autumn yet but given the weather at the moment it would be easy to forget that it is still Summer.

One good thing (being glass half full about it) is that the grey weather can help us start focussing on our Autumn wardrobes.

Jumper dresses are great staple items for Autumn and Winter. You can make them more individual with patterned tights, which are set to be big this coming season. I have already got my eye on this one, £38 from Top Shop, which is great for the office and is made from super soft cotton with 3/4 length sleeves (also available in cream and grey):

Friday, 21 August 2009

Home Sweet Home


If you like dogs you'll love this Red Dog Cushion, £18 from the Ben di Lisi collection at Debenhams. Expect more great designs from Ben di Lisi at Debenhams as he is now focussing on his collaborations with the store rather than his own lines.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Loving This Handbag



Lulu Guinness Scarf Tie Large Wanda Bag in black velvet with black patent trim and a scarf decorated in a Lulu Guinness design of hearts, shoes, cats, flowers, bottles, keys and mirrors available for £250.00 as part of the Autumn Winter 09 collection.



Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch Discrimination Case- The Outcome

In June Easily Sorted reported on the case of Riam Dean who claimed she was discriminated against due to a disability while working in Abercrombie & Fitch's store in London. Riam Dean has a prosthetic limb which she did not tell the store about in her interview. She claims that she was made to work in the store room because her arm did not fit in with the stores "look" policy. She was initially given permission to cover her arm with a cardigan but was later told that it did not fit in with the store's dress code.


An employment tribunal has held that she was wrongfully dismissed but they did not go so far as to say that Abercrombie & Fitch were guilty of disability discrimination. The tribunal said in its ruling that it was "satisfied that the reason for the claimant's dismissal was her breach of the 'look' policy". It said: "Whilst the tribunal is satisfied that the claimant's dismissal was a consequence of her unlawful harassment, for which she should be compensated, it cannot be characterised as an act of direct disability discrimination." Riam Dean has been awarded £9,000 compensation for injury to her feelings, loss of earnings and harassment.


Fashion is notoriously fickle and Abercrombie & Fitch have been criticised in the past over their “look” policy which is set out in a 45-page company handbook. The case has raised controversy partly because Riam Dean is clearly a very attractive girl and if it was not for her disability she surely would have fitted into the strict "look" policy.


The case has been damaging to Abercrombie & Fitch and does highlight the importance of disability awareness. However stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch are not likely to stop choosing shop floor staff on the basis of their appearance and as the store has been cleared of disability discrimination the case is not going to set a legal precedent for fairer treatment of those with a disability in the work place.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Shrinking Violets Not Allowed

Purple is a colour which is associated with warmth, exuberance and fun and is set to be big this autumn. Purple was historically associated with wealth and was a regal colour due to it being difficult to manufacture. In times of economic doom and gloom purple is a great colour to provide a hint of luxury.

Easily Sorted brings you some great purple outfits, make up and accessories for you to indulge in this Autumn:

Lace Silk Dress £45.00 from Top Shop, a floaty dress made from 100% silk with lace detail. Beautiful on its own or emphasise you waist with a gold belt.

Ruched Volume Sleeve Cardi £35.00 from Warehouse in dark purple. Great for work or worn over a dress in the evening.

This dress is £45.00 and is from River Island's Autumn 09/10 collection. It combines purple with metallic look, also set to be an Autumn trend. With it's tulip shape and ruched details this is a must have party dress.


Perspex Buckle Waist Belt £25.00 from Warehouse. Update a black dress this Autumn instantly by adding this belt.

These Antique Rose Court purple suede shoes with a sequined rose are £74.99 from Schuh and will brighten up your feet.



Purple Haze Eyeshadow, £11.00 by Urban Decay. Purple eyes are great to create this Autumn's 80s look and for smoky eyes apply on the eyelid and line under the eye to creat maxium impact.




Keep those fingers perfectly polished and bang up to date with Jessica Nails- Anything Goes Purple Custom Nail Polish, £7.




Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009

If you were born in the 80s...the 80s

We spent the 90s being embarrassed about the 80s which had many unique fashion trends. Now the 80s has become retro cool and fashion forecasters predict that 80s fashion of shiny leggings, and neon brights will continue into the Autumn and big shoulders will be a key look. Duran Duran have reformed and A-ha have just released their 9th album. 80s fashion and culture is everywhere.

Easily Sorted brings you some of the 80s fashion, some we still love and some which will (hopefully)be firmly designated to fashion history.


The Global Hypercolour T Shirt

So popular in the 80s yet such a bad idea! The t shirt changed colour according to body temperature so you could end up with quite embarrassing colour change under the arms or marks from roving hands. Not yet made a come back but one that we can just look back and smile at.



The Shellsuit

Eek, what was the shellsuit about? The shellsuit was born in the 80s as a tracksuit for jogging in with its parachute like material in clashing neon colours. Not one of the 80s most flattering creations. There is however a website dedicated to the shell suit cause. iloveshellsuits.com begins "The Shellsuit revolution has begun. It will be unruly, grimy and uncivilised. Clashing colours, shiny materials and lungeing will be at its heart and it shall take no prisoners. Some revolutions are led by the majority, others by a small band of revolutionaries. This one is the latter, the indoctrinators omni present; Jimmy Saville, Kriss Akabusi, Mr Motivator and Pat Sharpe."

Jimmy Saville may still be seen running round Leeds with his shellsuit but I say run and hide away from the shellsuit. It's just wrong!


Neon Leggings and Cycling Shorts



While I fondly remember wearing brink pink neon cycling shorts as a child thankfully they have not yet made a come back. Neon leggings however have and the ones pictured to the left are Tribal Leggings from Urban Outfitters and are £28.00. Wear with a white top or for true 80s fashion, and for the more daring, with a clashing top.




Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads for women became popular in the 80s as power dressing began with women making a statement in the work place that they were on a par with men. Shoulder pads are set for a revival this year, as one of the key looks for this Autumn is big shoulders. The clashing Neon Dress with Shoulder Pads, pictured to the right is very 80s and is £35.00 from Asos.

The dress to the left is from Zara's Autumn/Winter collection and is one of several pieces inspired by the 80s big shoulder look.




Cross the Body Bags

These were popular in the 80s along with "bum bags." While not quite as garish as an 80s neon fabric bum bag, this cross the body Louis Vuitton bag £1,480 has a very 80s feel to it with its bright yellow colour and sporty design. An expensive way to keep up with 80s trends but it is bound to make you stand out from the crowd.

Boom Box

Boom Boxes or Ghetto Blasters incorporated loud speakers, an amplifier, and a radio casette. They became very popular in the 80s and were associated with 80s breakdancing and hip hop. For an 80s retro bag with a difference check out the
Living Dead Souls "Boom Box" Print Bag with Built-In Speakers £23.50 from http://www.bluebanana.cc/



80s Cartoons

I may be biased being a child of the 80s but there were some classic children's tv shows in that decade. One of the greats was Trap Door originally shown in 1984 and starred Berk as the caretaker of the monster's castle and the soundtrack "Stay away from that Trap Door- cos there's something down there." Get your retro Ladies Black Trap Door T Shirt by Forever Famous for £24.99 from http://www.trufflesuffle.co.uk/.


Big Yellow Teapot

While we are on the subject to childhood memories, one of my favourite things from the 80s is the Big Yellow Teapot! It combined the idea that girls like tea sets and dolls houses by bringing the two together. Very random but it provided hours of entertainment with little people who span around in the top of the teapot and slid down the spout!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Prawn, Courgette and Leek Risotto

I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious, healthy and very easy to make so I thought I would share it with you.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1 leek, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
350g arborio rice
1.6 litres vegetable stock
200g cooked and peeled king prawns
small bunch of parsley
salt and black ground pepper

Instructions

Heat the oil and half of the butter in a large shallow pan.
Add the leek, courgettes and garlic and soften over a low heat.
Add the rice and cook for 1 minutes, stirring continously.
Heat the stock in a separate pan and add a ladle of stock to the rice. Simmer and stir until all the stock is absorbed.
Add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring continously.
When almost all the stock has been added and the rice is al dente (about 15 minutes) add the prawns.
Season and stir in the remaining stock and the rest of the butter.
Cover a leave to stand for a few minutes then stir in the parsley.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Grab Them Shoes Before They Go

The sales are almost at an end and so you need to be quick if you want to snap up some bargains. Here's Easily Sorted's pick of some of the best shoes on offer:



Gina Patent Lizard Sandal was £415.00 now £220.00 at Browns




Irregular Choice Cortesan Leopard was £63.37 now £45.00 from Schuh





Lacey Lane Shoe by Office was £60.00 now £25.00





Twlight Indian Slipper Gold Shoe was £25.00 now £5.00 from Office




Birkenstock Piazza was £40.00 now £25.00 at Kurt Geiger



Dolly Interbow 2 by Office was £60.00 now £15.00






Nicole Farhi Nuala 3fad1 was £280.00 now £99.99 at Kurt Geiger







Christian Louboutin 'Ananas' Scalloped Mules were £835.00 now £505.00 at Browns



Lorri in Red by Moda In Pelle was £60.00 now £30.00





Bertie Bow Back Court Shoe was £74.00 now £44.00 at ASOS

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Crocodile Tears- The Demise of the Crocs

Crocs, you either love them or hate them, and now they are latest casualty of the recession. When I first saw Crocs on sale at an airport I would never have dreamt that they could become a global shoe giant. More than 100 million pairs have been sold in over 125 countries in a variety of colours and their success has been unprecedented. They are loved for being comfy, practical and environmentally friendly. Although they are virtually indestructible, they are not made from plastic but from anti-microbial non resin foam called Croslite and have even been described as being vegan. They are hated for being ugly, over commercial and have been accused of being a hazard to health and electronic equipment.

The invasion of the Crocs began in 2002 and their popularity spread with celebrity endorsements and large scale manufacturing. They became a hit for holiday makers, nurses, doctors and people who were on their feet all day. George W Bush was even pictured in a pair. They branched out and launched Croc wellies, which again weren't the most aesthetically pleasing footwear but with their non-slip soles and their wide toes they were very practical for walking about on the snow around ski resorts and they became a hit in trendy ski resort Val D'Isere. They also sell a range of shoes, flip flops, sandals and boots but none of their lines have caught on in the same way as the original Crocs.

The problem now seems to be that because Crocs are very hard wearing and almost indestructible, almost everyone who wants a pair now has one and fakes are also widely available. Production was too high, expansion was too quick and the market has been over saturated. If you already have one pair you are not likely to buy another, especially not in a recession. The company lost a massive £113 million pounds last year and has cut its workforce by 2,000.

Crocs have always had their enemies. There have been stories about Crocs storing electricity and giving its users electrical shocks which led them to be banned from some hospitals. The electricity surge can apparently make hospital equipment fail and wipe your iPod. A blog was set up to back the demise of the Crocs called ihatecrocs.com. The site shows an unsucessful attempt of destroying Crocs by burning. You can also buy the t shirt pictured above on the ihatecrocs website. A recent post on ihatecrocs in response to news of Crocs downfall said:

"Thanks for your emails and good work, everyone. This victory is a bit bittersweet, though. The whole US economy had to tank to bring it about. Poor, poor US economy. And the job loss, of course. It is a shame."

This may not be the end of the Crocs though. The company has cut costs and production and a new chief executive John Duerden has been brought in to try and reverse the companies' fortunes. He remains convinced that the Croc has not yet lost its bite but whether there is anyone out there who still wants to buy them remains to be seen.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Urban Fashion Experience

Easily Sorted brings you more from the world according to the Urban Dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/. This time its alternative definitions for fashion and trend related words.

Fashion

A sense of style that changes from decade to decade, century to century. Each era of fashion can change by very little or drastically.

Fashionata

A term used to define a woman with a penchant for shopping and a natural flair for combining both current and vintage fashionable trends.

In today's Urban society, "fashionista" is not by any means a negative term. Thanks to television shows like "Sex and the City" rather more specifically, thanks to actresses such as Sarah Jessica Parker, the image of a "fashionista" has been modernized into a much more positive, powerful and successful feminine role.

Fashion Victim

It's a person who crosses the boundaries of fashion and style, like taking a fad too far, or wearing too many trends at once and therefore taking the look from the glamourous to the ridiculous. It is also a person who tries to draw admiration through the designer brands (or a shameless copy of them), wearing labels- regardless of fit or personal style- and becoming a "walking billboard"!

Trendoid

A person who is extremely up-to-date and obsessed with the latest fashions and trends.

Clothes

The most effective form of contraception.

Hip

Cooler than cool, the pinnacle of what is "it". Beyond all trends and conventional coolness. Not to be mistaken for "deck".

Hipster

Someone who mimics the incoming trends, and immediately ditches anything that might have been cool two minutes ago.

Hipster is the new Bum on the Street look, includes k-mart shoes, moccasins, cardigans,and anything else you can find at a thrift shop. Mob top haircuts. Claims to listen to 80's new wave or indie bands. And Extremely pretentious with their music taste.

Hipsterdufus

A fake hipster, who has fallen behind in trends. A Hipsterdufus would be seen still listening to The Strokes in the latter half of 2001.

Pop-Culture Sponge

A person who soaks-up popular culture like a sponge.

Absorbing trends and styles wherever you are then rinsing them out to keep only the things you really like.

Aesthetically aware and sensitive.

Towny

Someone who wears the latest fashions and follows the trends. However, they find anyone who dresses differently offensive and are likely to come out with phrases such as "your a freak, greeebo!" Also their range of insults covers "greebo" "freak" and "ya mom." Very closed minded.

Scranner

People who wear addidas and nike, and who follow the major trends in footwear and sports gear, mainly found at secondary schools, in the Leeds area.

Sheep

A person who likes anything and everything that "everyone" likes (trends, etc.) for the sake of being cool. Once that trend ends and everyone stops liking it, they promptly start disliking it and it becomes the worst thing in the world. They also mock the people that continue to follow the "uncool" trends. The plural of sheep is sheeple as in "Look at all the sheeple wearing exactly the same clothes."

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Make Up Bag Secrets

Easily Sorted's brings you its favourite make up bag and some fabulous make up bits:


I love this Retro make up bag by Benefit which is £21.50. This cute bag not only has a great design, it has a handy section on the inside for brushes, is big enough for all your everyday make up and also good for taking away on holiday or weekends away.




For a flawless base use Virtual Matt Foundation by Prescriptives with SPF 15. Prescriptives has the largest range of colours of foundations with 23 different shades covering 4 different colour bases. A great texture with an oil-control complex, anti-oxidants to prevent environmental damage and natural exfoliants and it keeps your skin looking great. It has a medium to full coverage and as it is perfectly matched to your skin you cannot tell that you are wearing it.


Benefit Erase Paste Concealer is brilliant. It is £18.50 and is available in 3 shades and is great for cancealing dark circles and other blemishes. It reflects the light and makes you look bright eyed and radiant. I previously used Lancome's Touche Eclat but am now converted to Erase Paste which is much more effective.


I love Hoola Bronzer by Benefit which gives you a sun kissed look without looking orange or caked in make up. It costs £22.50 and lasts for ages. The brush that comes with it although very compact is not great and the bronzer is applied more evenly with a proper brush.


Apply Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact over bronzer for a flawless look. It highlights cheekbones and if you apply a small amount of the lighest colour under the eyes it hides dark circles and brightens the skin. £29.99 and available in Bronze, Pink and Beize, I like the Bronze one best as it suits my colouring the most. It might be quite expensive but it lasts a long time and is definately worth the price tag.


A high quality blusher brush is a must. Mac do great ones with really soft bristles. They do a variety of sizes and this blusher brush is great for highlighting cheeks and for sweeping over the whole of the face and is £22.00



Dream Mascara by No7 £11.30 in black from Boots lengthens and thickens eye lashes without clumping or smudging. It has a plastic brush which separates eye lashes. I have tried loads of different mascaras and this one is my favourite.



Rimmel Special Eyes Eyliner Pencil in black. I think that if there is one that you can spend less money on it's eyeliner as you can get ones that do a great job without breaking the bank. This one from Rimmel is only £2.49 and the tip is really soft so it does not pull the skin. The tip doesn't break easily like with some eyeliners and it does not need sharpening very often.


Urban Decay eyeshadows are highly pigmented for striking, shimmery colours. The compact includes a mirror and an applicator brush, has a magnetic closure and is great for carrying in your handbag. It has ten colours Smog, Maui Wowie, Mildew, Shattered, Oil Slick, Polyester Bride, Last Call, Grifter, Chopper and Sin and is set out in complimenting duos.



For the shinniest, yummiest lips you have to get one of Lancome's Juicy Tube. The original is available in a variety of colours they now do an ultra shiny hydrating Juicy Pop gloss in 2 colours, purple laser and cyber coral and they are £13.50 each.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Summer Pudding Crumble Cake

Taken from the Mail on Sunday You Magazine this recipe by Annie Bell is a fantastic adaptation of the traditional summer pudding.

Ingredients

Cake
130g lightly salted butter, diced
130g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs
190g plain flour, sifted
1 heaped tsp baking powder, sifted
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Crumble Toping
75g lightly salted butter
75g golden caster sugar
75g plain flour
75g ground almonds
100g raspberries
50g redcurrants
Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 190c/ 170c fan/ 375F/ gas 5 and grease a 20cm loose bottom cake tin, 9cm deep.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then incorporate the eggs one at a time. Add the floor, baking powder and orange zest and whisk until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the tin, smooth the surface and bake for 20 minutes.
To make the crumble, whisk the butter, sugar and floor with the ground almonds until the mixture just clings into large crumbs.
Tip the crumble into a large bowl and fold in two thirds of the raspberries and redcurrants.
Scatter the crumble mix over the cake, then scatter the remaining raspberries and redcurrants.
Bake for a further 40 minutes.
Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Heat Wave Helps Economy

The recent hot weather has been encouraging shoppers to get out more and spend more. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KMPG retail sales monitor has shown that non-food sales achieved their best result since October 2008 in the three months to June 2009.


Although the results are encouraging the high street is still on uncertain grounds. Sales of homewear goods are low, with continued uncertainty over jobs making people delay big purchases. Clothes sales have been doing well, with the good weather coinciding with the summer sales and buyers have been spending their cash for a feel good boost. Swimwear and sunglasses have been selling well along with summer clothes and childrens' wear. Food sales have also risen with barbecues being very popular. This may just be a seasonal boost and we will have to wait and see if the positive results continue after the summer sales have finished to see whether a recovery really is on the horizon.