That’s right, Fe-liners, the Frock Swap is nearly upon us – a mere two days away, to be precise! Here at Fe-line HQ, we couldn’t be more excited if we tried as this swap is set to be an amazing event. So, what have we got in store for you? Well we’re glad you asked.
We have some amazing stalls popping up and we feel this lovely lot of ladies offer a fab selection of accessories that will compliment your new swaps. Joining us on the day will be:
We have a whole section of the swap dedicated to getting pampered. It’s your opportunity to give yourself some ‘you’ time after a long week, or get yourself ready for a Saturday night out. Joining us in the pamper corner are:
- Shiatsu Oxford offering shiatsu massage
- Lauren Wheeler Make Up offering makeovers, make up matching and facials
We know that Frock Swapping can be thirsty work, so we’re thrilled to have The Wandering Kitchen on hand to provide you with Tea, Coffee, Cake, and (oh, yes, Fe-liners) Wine! The prospect of said cake is making us pretty hungry over here at Fe-line HQ…
Workshops & Books
Award winning Personal Stylist and Image Consultant, Katy Dyer, will be running free Style Sessions from 12.30pm until 1.15pm so you can find out which colours suit you, some top accessorizing tips, and what the key trends for Autumn/Winter 2014 are.
As you may have seen, the Fe-line Book Club recently launched and we’ve all been busy reading our first book, Alison Mercer’s After I Left You. Although we will be mostly running the Book Club online, meeting up at the Fe-line Frock Swap just seemed too good an opportunity to miss! We will therefore having our first ever Fe-line Book Club meeting from 2pm and that’s not all, because:
We’re very excited that Alison Mercer, author of our first book After I Left You, has agreed to come and talk to us at the Frock Swap. Alison will be joining us from 3pm and will be discussing the book as well as answering questions.
So that timetable again:
- 12.30 – 1.15 Style Sessions with Katy Dyer
- 2.00 The Fe-line Book Club Meeting
- 3.00 Alison Mercer discussing After I Left You
And finally, there will of course be:
Well, the Frock Swap wouldn’t be the Frock Swap without some Swapping of Frocks, now would it? If you’re new to the whole Frock Swap concept, here’s how it works:
- You know that skirt you bought that wasn’t quite your colour? That jumper that just didn’t fit? Those shoes you’ve had for ages and never found occasion to wear? Dig them out, put them in a bag, and bring them along.
- Hand them over to Team Fe-line along with £2 and we’ll give you a voucher for each item.
- Peruse our rails and find yourself something that is your colour, a piece that does fit, and another that you will absolutely wear.
- Bring them to Team Fe-line and pay for them with your vouchers.
It really is that simple – replacing clothes that are just taking up space in your wardrobe for clothes that will earn their keep by making you look and feel fab.
So come and join us this Saturday, 20th September at the Old Museum (Town Hall), Oxford from 12pm til 4pm – we can’t wait to see you!
When I was travelling in Thailand this year, I got the below tattoo done. It’s the title of a (most excellent) Edith Piaf song and means, in French, “I regret nothing”.
Really, you don’t regret anything? people often ask. Really, no. And I haven’t done some half stupid stuff in my time, believe me. I’ve dated the wrong men, I’ve drank too much and behaved like an idiot, I’ve spent too much money on clothes and ended up poor, I’ve taken my moods out on friends and family who don’t deserve it…and much more.
But the thing is – I have learnt from all these experiences. From every awful relationship I’ve had with a man that didn’t treat me right, I have learnt to no longer put up with that. For every fall out I have had with a friend, I have tried to think about what went wrong and change for the better. And sometimes, yes, you may have to make the same mistake several times before you realise what went wrong and how you can learn from it. But you will learn, eventually.
One of my favourite films is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because it shows that even if you might want to erase a memory and pretend something never happened, it happened for a reason and it’s not actually healthy to want to block somebody or something out of your mind, as tempting as it might be. All our experiences, the bad as well as the good, make us who we are.
I have a condition called trichotillomania, where I pull my hair out. It’s a complicated, rather unspoken about condition related to OCD and self-harm. It means I have given myself bald patches that make me embarrassed and ashamed, sometimes not wanting to leave the house because I’m so self-conscious. As much as I want to stop – I can’t; it’s not that simple, unfortunately. It’s like scratching at an itch, or picking a spot for me. I wish I didn’t have this condition, but I do, and I have to deal with it – and at the end of the day, it makes me who I am. I am, I feel, a better and more understanding person because of it.
At the end of the day, I am who I am because of everything that has happened to me – the bad as well as the good. The bad is never fun, but you should always look back on bad experiences as learning ones. You’ve been through these things so you can make sure you don’t have to go through them again. You become a better person through learning from your mistakes. You may wish these things hadn’t happened, and that’s understandable, but life is no picnic, and everything happens for a reason – as cheesy as it sounds, I believe that, and also that what is meant to be will be.
All my flaws and mistakes make me who I am, and as frustrating as they can be at times, as much as I may try to fight them, I have experienced them so I can become my best self.
I’m going to end with the amazing song that inspired this post. Take it away, Ms. Piaf:
It’s now been over six months since Frankie was born and on the one hand it has felt like a whirlwind but on the other it feels like I have always been a Mum. I love my new role and I love the relationship that is forming between us. A couple of my friends have told me that they have been impressed with the way I am so calm as a Mum. That is a massive compliment to me as I am not always a calm person. There have been times when I have felt far from calm, but on the whole I have been impressed and surprised with how calm I am as a Mum too.
I thought I would share with you my top tips for staying calm as a new mum:
- Don’t force yourself to breast feed, do what feel is best for you and baby. I think there is way too much pressure on new mums to keep breast feeding as it is so physically demanding. I got to 3 months and then Frankie moved on to the bottle (milk not wine) as it was the best for both of us. I am glad a gave it a go but I am not sad that I moved on, Frankie is happy and healthy and so am I.
- Grandparents are awesome but they can be very opinionated, let it blow over your head and carry on your way. I let Grandmas and Granddads do what ever they want with Frankie when it is their time and don’t interfere. Giving them this time alone with him allows them to have a great bond with him and means they let me get on when it’s my time.
- Buy yourself some clothes in a bigger size than you were before you got pregnant as once you have the baby your pre-pregnancy clothes won’t fit you and your maternity ones won’t either. Going shopping just after giving birth is AWFUL, I ended up crying in the changing rooms of New Look, not good. If money is a bit tight, why not come along to the Fe-line Frock Swap on 20th September and get yourself a few bits?
- Prepare yourself for friendships with people to change, some people like kids more than others, some friends without kids might not quite understand just how tired and emotional you feel.
- This black out blind by Koo-di is awesome
- The inflatable duck bath by Munchkin is the best thing I have bought.
- You will feel like you are losing your mind at times, it’s normal.
- You will feel a bit rubbish about the way you look sometimes, your body changes, you don’t have time to do you hair and make up and it has this weird empty feeling after you have given birth, it’s normal.
- Ask your partner for help, men aren’t psychic. If you need some time to do your thing, say it, if you need them to take a turn on the night shift, ask them. They love you and they want to help, but might not know what you need.
- Enjoy every second of it. It’s such a cliché but they really are tiny dots for a very small amount of time. Before you know it they are wriggly movers and shakers with their own minds.
Do you have any tips you could add to the list? I would love to hear your comments,
The leaves are turning, schools are back and there is a crispness in the air. It’s the time of year that we start to think of cosy layers, autumnal tones and digging out those winter boots. Jeans, jumpers, boots, tights and skirts are great staples for this time of year. However, if you’re looking to update your look for the season it can be a bit of a minefield knowing where to start and what exactly is ‘a la mode’. It’s important to develop your own style and know what suits you from season to season but introducing a slightly different colour, accessory or cut will keep you up to date without compromising your own look.
I don’t consider myself a slave to fashion one bit, but I do find how trends and fashions come about is really interesting. Economics and world events even have a bearing on what we wear on a daily basis. For instance this summer’s tropical trend was influenced by the spot light on Brazil and the colours, patterns and styles that we see as iconic Brazilian looks.
Each season, it’s great to have some key go-to trends or pieces that don’t have to cost the earth and will freshen up your style. So here’s a run down of the key looks to go for this season that can easily be accommodated into your everyday wardrobe and won’t break the bank.
- Circus – all the fun of the fair and more! If you like to have a bit of fun with your look this is the trend for you. Think bright and bold colours, bejewelled necklaces, harlequin patterns, starry sparkles, polka dots, pom poms and tassels galore! I love this Handmade Harlequin Scrunchie we have at Kinship of Oxford, practical fun for everyday.
- Parkas – if you need to update your autumn/winter coat but don’t want a heavy wool number, a parka is the way forward. For one, it’s the essence of practicality for our British climate. In Topshop’s AW14 range Cara Delevingne modelled this gorgeous faux fur number.
- Statement knits – there’s nothing like pulling on a cosy cardi or jumper when it gets a bit chilly, and there is a great feast of delectable knitwear out there this season. The catwalks were brimming with quirky knits and slogan sweatshirts. Burberry showcased a wonderful wool and cashmere blend poncho in rich autumnal tones. New Look have a fab version, perfect as a statement layer.
- Sparkle – no autumn/winter wardrobe would be complete without a bit of bling. It’s the perfect way to party up a casual outfit with minimum effort. There are some great sparkle collar sweatshirts around this season as well as jewel laden shoes; or how about this sparkly number from Kinship. It also taps into the colour block trend and is gorgeously glittery.
- Bold accessories – if you’re bold, go big! Think slouchy clutch bags in bright colours and over the top hair accessories like this awesome hair bow at ASOS.
- Swinging sixties – the anthesis of the grungier trends inspired by 90s and 70s looks, this trend is all about pastel colour palettes and soft pretty pieces including fun rain macs and fluffy faux fur like this super cute jacket from ASOS.
- Get some colour on – bold and bright hues to combat winter blues. Perfect! This is a great way to brighten up a dark outfit. Pair a bright top with black trousers or add a bright accessory to lift wintery tones. Dior had some great colour blocking show stoppers in their AW14 collection. This bold number from New Look will definitely brighten even the dullest winter day.
- This is the 90s – think washed out denim with cropped tops and baggy shirts. If you were a 90s child, look back to your roots and get inspired. I particularly love this trend as it’s dripping with nostalgia. I love chunky ankle boots, flatforms, smock dresses and I’m sure I’ve still got some gothy chokers from the first time around!
- Midnight floral – dark and mysterious, bold floral prints on dusky backgrounds. There was a strong influence of Victoriana and the Arts & Crafts movement on the cat walks for AW14. Find your inner Pre Raphaelite model and pair deep velvets with floral pieces. I particularly love the floral midi skirts available at the moment. There are some great pieces around and they would be great for a wintry special occasion. This skirt from ASOS has got my vote.
- Tartan – this is a great seasonal pattern that can suit all. There are a great variety of colour ways to choose from and you can add a touch of tartan simply and cheaply by layering up with a scarf. This new Tartan Shawl at Kinship of Oxford is perfect for adding a super soft cosy layer and updating your outer wear.
There are some great trends out there and I hope I have picked one here that you can see yourself pairing with your own style. Whichever you go for remember, if it makes you feel good, it looks good.
Why not post your AW14 style choices on twitter and tag @felinewomen as we’d love to see!
Until next time, lovely Fe-liners.
Love and sparkles,
As we’re moving the Frock Swap to a bigger venue this autumn we’ve been able to add some great stalls and sessions too! Here’s a brief run-down on the stall holders that will be there and some of our favourite items in their collections as well as more information on some other surprises at the Frock Swap on Saturday 20 September, 12-4pm at the Old Museum in Oxford.
Fe-liner Rosie runs the online gift shop Kinship of Oxford, so she will be bringing along her range of jewellery, accessories and of course gifts. Kinship isn’t just an online shop though, Rosie also takes her gifts to festivals and events all over the county and is popping up all the time in Oxfordshire throughout the year – so we’re lucky we could bag her for our Frock Swap! Rosie has a huge selection of items, but now that the autumn is well and truly here we’ve decided to feature one of her lovely scarves.
Eliza Jane Jewellery creates delicate silver jewellery. She’s inspired by “the written word, by nature and by the relationship between memory and objects.” Lots of her pieces feature animals like foxes, birds and hares, which she hand cuts. We love the intricate delicacy of Eliza Jane Jewellery and how she creatively uses cups, flowers and saucers in lots of her product images.
One for Sorrow makes bewitching pieces with elements of witchcraft and occultism. She uses unusual materials like quartz and embellishes with charms. Our favourites are her vials filled with feathers or hand-foraged bones, they have a very autumnal feel about them.
Ladies Who Lunch offer bohemian yet sophisticated, bold yet demure contemporary jewellery. Their collections have a piece for everyone – whether you like minimalist gold and silver pieces or colourful stones and jewels – and they will make bespoke commissions for you too. We love this gold plated garland bracelet with clusters of flowers with crystal centres (they even have studs and a necklace to match!).
There won’t just be jewellery and gift stalls but also workshops! Personal Stylist and Image Consultant, Katy Dyer, is going to be running a free Style Session from 12.30-1.15pm so you can learn how to make the most of your swaps. Including key trends to keep you up to date for the current Autumn/Winter season and which colours to choose to work for you and the rest of your wardrobe – plus find out how accessories can really change the look of an outfit to suit the occasion. Jo’s reviewed Katy’s Colour Me Beautiful session last year, so you can find out more about her award-winning know-how here.
We’ve also recently launched a Fe-line Book Club – after a very popular literary themed #felinehour on Twitter we realised that lots of Fe-liners had thoughts on fiction and we wanted to create a way for us to be able to talk about what we’re reading more, and get us all reading more! This month we’re reading local author Alison Mercer’s After I Left You and we’ll be chatting about the book from 2pm at the Frock Swap, with Alison joining us from 3pm. We will also be running chats about the book over Twitter and assembling lots of thoughts through our Book Club mailing list, so there will be more opportunity to talk about After I Left You in case you haven’t quite finished reading in time for the Frock Swap.
As well as these great stalls and the copious amount of swishing, we’ll also have The Wandering Kitchen serving tea, coffee and cakes and our very own Fe-line bar (look out for the sparkles!).
There’s so much to look forward too we are practically counting the days and minutes until our grand Frock Swap return – see you at the Old Museum on the 20th?