Kate shines at the Order of The Garter Ceremony.

Kate Middleton at the Order of the Garter 2011

Image by liam_davies via Flickr


Rounding of a trio of stylish and inspired Royal looks, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looked amazing yesterday at the annual Order of the Garter Ceremony at Windsor.

Kate opted for a silver-grey coat with an embroidered waistband and a silk draped neck dress, and wore a stunning Philip Treacy fascinator. She again showed off the sleek, elegant style that she is becoming famous for. The outfit was quite similar to the one her mom Carole wore to the royal wedding, showing perhaps where some of Kate´s style influences lie.

I think this weekend as shown that Kate is the rightful heiress to Diana´s vacant style throne. She exudes confidence and always looks so glossy and groomed, but tops it all off with a winning smile.

Outfit launches new store in Wednesbury

The Arcadia department store Outfit launched its new Wednesbury Store on Saturday, with balloons, goodie bags and spot prizes of loaded gift cards for lucky shoppers. Fashion-Mommy went along to have a look at the fabulous new store.

The store, situated on the Gallagher retail park, had opened on December 1st, but had decided to have an official Christmas party on December 11th. With just two shopping weeks until Christmas, it was very busy, with lots of shoppers coming along to take a look at the new store. I was amongst them, and was seriously impressed by what I saw.

For a start, the store is split into two departments. Downstairs is a lady’s shopping haven, with Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Warehouse, Topshop and Miss Selfridge all under the same roof. The store has large collections from each of these stores, including wide ranges of the accessories departments. The mezzanine is home to the menswear, with Burton and Topman being situated upstairs. This means you can send your man off to have a browse upstairs while you do serious damage to the credit card downstairs. Perfect!

I think Christmas is the perfect time to launch a new store because the party clothing is just so pretty with its glitz and glamour. The mannequins in Outfit were beautifully dressed, giving lots of guidance of how to put together the perfect party outfits, whilst the window is a stylish homage to a winter wonderland, complete with snow and snowflakes.

Shoppers received a cute Outfit goodie bag containing the new edition of Marie Claire, chocolate and bottled water, all in a reusable eco shopper. Spot prizes of loaded gift cards were also given out, containing amounts of up to £100 to spend in store.

The staff are friendly, approachable and efficient. They know the collections and are happy to hand out advice, and to point customers in the right direction when looking for something in particular.

Of course, Fashion-Mommy didn’t leave Outfit empty-handed. I love the new Dorothy Perkins collection, which has a 1940’s feel. I selected a pair of navy, wide leg trousers(£30) and a terracotta sheer blouse and camisole (£29.50). I also got a navy blue and silver scarf from the Miss Selfridge section, reduced from £16 to just £5.

Palazzo Pants Dorothy Perkins at Outfit.

terracotta tunic £29.50 at Outfit

I f you haven’t got all your Christmas presents yet, or you’re still in need of a special party outfit, then I would suggest a trip to Outfit. You’re sure to find everything you need.

JB’s in administration – teenage fashion memories.

Logo JB's Dudley

Image via Wikipedia

I popped into Sainsburys on Saturday to pick up hair colour, having made a knee jerk decision that I needed to go blonder, and whilst there I noticed that lots of the October style mags were out = Marie Claire, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar etc. So, obviously I grabbed them and got into the long Saturday Lottery queue. And there, on the front of the local Express and Star was the emblazoned headline ‘JB’S IN ADMINISTRATION’. Legendary Dudley venue under threat of closure. I instantly felt sick. JB’S couldn’t possibly close, it’s an institution,where bands like the Wonderstuff, Neds Atomic Dustbin and Pop Will Eat itself had started out. The venue where I’d danced the night away with my best friend Dawn and snogged inappropriate men with long hair. The place of my teenage fashion memories.

The original JB’s was n King Street in Dudley, a tiny, grotty but cool venue tucked away from the main town. It was usually busy, as Dudley was very much a student town in those early 1990’s days. It was the days of Nirvana and Grunge, James and Sit Down and the Stourbridge sound of The Wonderstuff, who became so successful they even had a (sell out) number one with Vic Reeves.

I’d first discovered JB’S through a slightly older boyfriend, but it was once he was out the way that Dawn and I really discovered our fashion mojo. JB’S was dark in terms of fashion as well as lighting, full of Goth type girls in black swirly skirts and Sisters Of Mercy make up. Dawn and I were far more girly than that, going for a 1960’s/1970’s slant of glitter, a-line skirts and in Dawn’s case, a fabulous white leather Emma Peel style Avengers jacket.  We went shopping in charity shops in the local area, and paid trips to the rag market in Birmingham in order to pick up cheaper Doc Marten’s in cherry red. These are now definitely back in vogue with Jessica Alba hardly out of hers.

A typical saturday night outfit would feature a pretty suede or leather vintage skirt, with a lurex or lacy top and opaque tights. Doc Martens on your feet and a tiny purse in your hand. Handbags were a no-no, where could you put them when you danced? Hair had to be glossy and long for swishing around as you danced (moshed!). Lots of 1960’s style black mascara would complete the look.

Another favourite outfit featured a fabulously frilled vintage blouse in the Adam Ant pirate style, worn with denim hot pants and opaques. A purple shearling long coat edge with white faux fur and a santa hood was great when the weather went cold, as the taxi rank was a long walk back into town.

Some of the style would work just as well now. Dawn had an amazing brown leather satchel bag she used to wear cross body, which would ‘ve been perfect for Spring/Summer 10, whilst my vintage cream button back blouse would’ve fitted into this season like a glove. The Doc Marten’s have never left fashion – Agyness Deyn, Alexa Chung and Jessica Alba all still wear the heavy, but comfortable boots.

When Sienna Miller first emerged as the Queen of Boho chic in the early millennium, I remember thinking, she’s stole our style! Shearling waistcoats, floppy hats, boho skirts, we’d worn them all, 10 years earlier, and with such teenage aplomb.

I remember my last visit to JB’S. It had moved to its current venue by then on Castle Hill, and it was larger, slightly cleaner, but nowhere near as charming as the original venue. We went to see a tribute band called Ocean Coloured Theme. They were alright, but I was now out-of-place, wearing a grey silk floral skirt, lace black top and…gasp…heels. I’d even got a handbag. Dawn still knew the trick, turning up in casual jeans and rugby top, but I no longer fitted in. I didn’t like the beer on the day floor that made it so slippy for my heels, no the darkness of the place.

Even so, I would still miss it if it did die, and joined The Birmingham Hummingbird and the Walsall 5th as a big nightclub in the sky. Indie kids need their venues and they shouldn’t be bright and clean!

Did Sienna Miller steal her look from Dawn and I? Boho Sienna.