Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for NYE 2008!

I know you'll all be out at fabulous parties right now and not sitting in wearing your nightwear like I am but I'd like to wish you all a fabulous 2009! Creating Dressing For has been such a highlight of my year and it's been wonderful to read all your kind comments and e-mails in relation to my very first fashion blog. I hope you have a couture filled 2009!

Now, as I said above, I am at home in my nightwear after my NYE plans changed a little. I had planned to spend NYE with MYB but he's spending time with his son tonight and so I'm surrounded by my closest family and drinking lemonade. Rock and roll! I do feel a little sad as to not be spending the night with the most incredible man I have ever dated but I'm pleased he's not cancelled on me for some BBC only party or some such and knowing MYB and his son will be having a fabulous time brings a huge smile to my face. If I was at his tonight? Dinner, The Hills Season 1 on DVD and champagne in bed- pretty much like a normal evening. But I miss him. He's been the thing that has made 2008.

I wish someone could have photographed the two of us back in June: MYB was holding my hand as I was lying in a hospital bed and being told I might not pull through. And yet he still told me I was beautiful and that I was his baby. As much as it was the lowest moment of my life, I'd never felt so beautiful as I knew we could get through anything.

OK, loved-up rubbish over and onto the outfit. Dressing For is modest tonight as it's for spending the evening in with MYB and not at some club. I adore this dress by Emilio Pucci dress and it needs little more than a pair of black tights, a skinny belt and some black Louboutin heels to go with it. I've accessorised further with my dream bag by Mulberry, some cute Chanel bracelets, a Marc Jacobs hairband and a wonderful Vera Wang cocktail ring. Happy 2009 from Dressing For!

NYE with MYB. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for feeling really low.

My eyes are a little sore from crying. That makes me sound like an emo, right? Hope not! Haven't had the best of days, mainly induced by my father as mentioned in yesterdays blog.

I've spent today lazing on the sofa and feeling totally exhausted after a disturbing night filled with nightmares. I wore my comfort hoodie today, it's the only one I own and is about 3 sizes too big and from the mens section in H&M. I feel like a slob. Yuk. Never will I start the day by eating Marks and Spencer New York cheesecake again; it'll only make me feel fat and yucky for the rest of the day. No fun!

MYB, bless him, had the pleasure of hearing my moan at him this evening and then hear my cry as I recalled how low I've felt today. We got through it together- like we always do- by giggling and pointing out how much of a typical silly girl I actually am. I adore him.

I'd wear this outfit to take the train to MYB's place and get ready for a night of cuddles and hot chocolate. Shame it's not happening tonight, right? C'est la vie. This outfit is really different from my own personal style but I'd love to be able to dress more casually and feel really comfortable. The checked shirt is a snip from Forever21 at around £7! I'd wear the shirt a size larger and wear it with some bootcut jeans like these by 7 For All Mankind. To add a slightly more girly touch, I've gone for blue sequin Converse and a pretty bow ring by Miss Selfridge. The satchel bag is Cath Kidston, the necklace is by Juicy Couture and the pretty pink watch is by Coach.

Feeling low. by hollieanne

Monday, 29 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being rejected for washing.

Imagine the scene: I'm watching Season 1 of Sex And The City, I've got an afternoon glass of rosé in my hand and I'm totally relaxed in the house alone. And then my father calls.

My dad and I had planned a pub lunch for tomorrow and my expectations were high: talking about Muffin Top was out, talking about my half-sister was out but chatting about our hopes for 2009 and stories about my granny were in. When my dad called I figured he was ringing to confirm our plans and see how I was. But no. He called to cancel on me.

OK, sure, you have to work? Or your sister is ill and you need to visit? Not that either, eh? Ah yes, you're cancelling on me because you "have loads of washing to do". Yes, my dad cancelled on me with the excuse that he had lots of clothes to wash. Pardon me but we both know that's bollocks- he cancelled on me to spend more time with that Muffin Top. Thanks, Dad, I'll be off to see the crisis team tonight.

Never mind him though, he's an idiot. I'll go out for lunch myself tomorrow and sit in a pretty coffee shop with a marketing book in hand and a bigger smile on my face than if I was seeing him. I like the outfit for today; it's really pretty, really feminine and reminds me of a summer festival. I've had my eye on this Billabong dress for a while as it's really versatile (black tights and heels on a night out, over a bikini on the beach...) and the geometric pattern is fab. I've put the dress over some skinny jeans and added a Miss Selfridge slouchy cardigan for a more casual look. Accessories are tan dull golds and I know these wedge gladiators will be a total love or hate split; personally, I ADORE them! The ring and satchel are vintage and the long chain necklace is available from Toast.

Rejection. by hollieanne

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for 27 Dresses.

My Yummy Mummy I were alone today so spent the afternoon finishing off the tin of chocolates, having chips with melted peanut butter for lunch and watching 27 Dresses. It's been ages since we've done anything like that and it reminded me of all the past Saturdays we'd have when my dad was at the football match (or sleeping with some tart) or when my dad left and it was just the two of us hibernating in our utter disbelief. We must have watched Bridget Jones' Diary a million times.

I'd been wanting to see 27 Dresses for ages and it didn't disappoint. OK, so it was a typical girly film that I should be growing out of by now but I can't help love the idea of being that late 20something who has a crush on an unsuitable man and is then finally swept off her feet by a man she'd never taken any notice of in the past. Yeah, I'm a sucker and believe in the Disney fairytale but after not having the easiest romantic relations in the past 2 years or so, I cling on to hope that my darling Prince Charming will come along and marry me in the garden of our four bedroom country estate. But that's unlikely.

Despite adoring MYB, I still watch the likes of Bridget Jones and think I'll be that sad singleton in my 30s. And there's nothing wrong with that, I loved being single as much as I do being in a relationship, but I need to face the fact that the Prince Charming type blokes are only in movies and that all the hot, romantic, kind AND rich lawyers/journalists/doctors are always taken- whether I'm 19 or 39! Saying that, I have a very hot journalist of my own but one day at a time and all...

Watching 27 Dresses made me think about how many times I've been a bridesmaid. The total so far is 5. That's a lot for my age, right? I'm hoping the next time I'm a bridesmaid will be to my mother and her partner. My farther and Muffin Top? way! Even when I was 7 and was bridesmaid for an aunt, I'd have people say to me: "Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Hollie-Anne!". It's clearly been installed in me from a young age that I'll never be a bride myself.

I have a clear stance on having children and people therefore always assume that I'll never want to get married either but that's not the case at all. When Peaches Geldof came out recently said she didn't think marriage always had to last forever (or some such), I found myself firstly disgusted but then in total agreement. I'm not saying I'll be a Joan Collins but I have to face the truth via the fact that my parents were divorced and I'm madly in love with a man who was divorced several years ago. My parents were married for nearly 20 years before they departed ways and I think that's rather beautiful and quite an achievement. People never quite realise that getting married is massively high on my agenda and is not far behind the major career success I crave. OK, so if MYB proposed now I'd totally freak out but in ten years time? Sure. And I'll be wearing an Oscar de la Renta dress and Gina heels- I've promised myself that for years.

With the theme of never being the bride, this outfit fits the bill for a pretty and modern bridesmaid. I admit, I haven't been a bridesmaid for a few years so haven't had to face the horror of disgusting dresses for a while but I never understand the need for all the bridesmaids to look revolting; sure, the bride looks better but I'd rather have super stylish bridesmaids and better looking photos, wouldn't you? Whoever asks me for my bridesmaid skills next should allow me to wear this pretty outfit- I adore the simplicity of golds and peaches. This Tomas Maier is gorgeous and would look perfect at a summer wedding and I've added gold Louboutin shoes, a Roberto Cavalli clutch and some pretty Alex Woo leaf earrings. To finish the look, a gorgeous Gabriel & Co. bracelet and pretty pearl ring.

Always the bridesmaid... by hollieanne

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for nightmare sale shopping.

Might just be a short post tonight as I'm having to head up to the hospital for a little chat with the doctor. It's nothing too serious, I'm certainly not ill, but today has been full of slight triggers and I need to be reminded how to cope with them.

But seriously: why is it that when you think you've forgotton all about a bad person in your life, they crop up again when you don't need them to? It was so random tonight, or perhaps not so, and I saw her huge face glaring at me. I need MYB to hug me. This girl, a stupid ex-friend of ours, has probably been snopping around at my online stuff and catching glipses at photos of my love and I laughing like silly idiot and exchanging gifts. I don't mind, per say, but what I do mind is her silly little need to just crop up in my life all the time. MYB is certainly true in his descriptions of her and he's certainly right that I need to wipe her out of my mind all together.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this post. The point is that I went sale shopping. And what a nightmare! Town was SO packed and I didn't have the £399 I needed to purchase a Mulberry bag in the Fenwicks sale. Gutted! I managed to pick up a few things including some Juicy Couture perfume, a skirt, a beautifully cut dress and some underwear- that will do me.

My back is now killing from carrying all those bags, though. Glad cross-body bags are going to be in next year, it'll take some of the pain away from carrying my Paddington on my arm.

The outfit is very simple today but I think it's safe to say that seven inch platform and couture dresses are out of the question when one is fighting to grab the last £25 MYLA bra, right? This Topshop coat is really pretty and rather Victorian-esque. Under the coat you'll find a rather cute Sonia by Sonia Rykiel t-shirt dress and I've finished the look with black flats, black knee high socks, a Marc Jacobs cross-body purple bag and some Topshop swallow studs. Happy sale shopping!

Sale shopping. by hollieanne

Friday, 26 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Boxing Day.

The last three Dressing For topics have been pretty straight forward. Sorry. But what else is there but Christmas? I could write about a personal event happening today which is making me feel a wee bit rubbish but it's probably too personal (or too related to MYB) to blog.

Chin up, eh? It's Boxing Day. A day of sale shopping, binging on more food and enjoying all the gifts of yesterday. I made a last minute decision to hit the sales today but didn't have too much time so mainly went to New Look. Must say, I was slightly disappointed. I managed to buy a fabulous gold/cream colour swishy skirt that was reduced to £7 from £28 in the New Look sale and a few little bits of jewellery but nothing substantial.

I think I'll go back tomorrow and try and seek out bargains in the likes of M&S, H&M and any other store which I didn't have a chance to raid.

The best purchase of today was my Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd! My mum and her bloke bought it for me much to my delight. It's pretty and takes snappy snaps. I'm happy enough.

On with the outfit! I've picked something stylish but comfortable today; an outfit which is easily slipped on and off in changing rooms to try on that ugly but cheap dress from Topshop. The boy-fit blazer should be a wardrobe staple and this one is by Stella McCartney. Under the blazer I've added an ACDC tee and the jeans are Republic. Keeping with the navy and black theme, the flats are Debenhams, the ring is by ASOS and the guitar watch is Marc by Marc Jacobs. A splash of colour is added with some adorable Betsey Johnson earrings and a Marni bag. Happy Boxing Day!

Boxing Day. by hollieanne

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas, Fashionistas!

I'll leave you with my outfit from last night rather than a Polyvore piece.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Christmas Eve.

Happy Holidays, Everyone. Can you believe Christmas is upon us already? It's weird for me, really, as I had Fake Christmas with MYB last week and I really don't feel festive anymore. But I need to consider the following: since when was dinner at Nandos and discussions about Sam Ronson festive? Spending time with my parents (my father not included), too much wine, glittery decorations and the current wonder of really bad Christmas songs that currently fill this gigantic house rather successfully is what Christmas really is.

And it's going OK. I actually had a hospital appointment this afternoon but have spent the rest of the time slowly sipping on rosé and wrapping pretty gifts in purple paper.

I got lost in explaining Christmas Eve traditions to MYB last night and the major one of our household will be underway soon: the huge girly bubble bath and the new pajamas. I have to open the gift my mother selects from under the tree and it's always a pair of new pajamas. Although I fear my mother selected the wrong size this year and I'll be snuggling up in MYB's favourite bedtime attire of mine, my robot pajamas.

I am missing MYB tonight. We haven't spoken today and I'm pretty sure we won't as he's so terribly busy. And indeed, Friday will symbolise a family birthday for him and I'm certainly not family. Gutted.

Moving on, how sparkly and fab is this outfit?! The outfit is perfect for pre-Christmas cocktails with your BFFs. The Anna Sui dress reminds me of a flapper girl dress and the fact that it's covered in sequins makes it even more amazing. As the dress is quite short, I've gone for total excess with DAY Birger et Mikkelsen leggings and continued the sequin theme with some really pretty heels by Marc by Marc Jacobs. Accessories are mixed textures with some ASOS earrings, a wonderful octopus ring by Kenneth Jay Lane and a total lust-have via a classic Bottega Veneta clutch.

Christmas Eve Drinks. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being let down by her father. Again.

Avid followers of my blog clearly know I have a certain cliche in the form of "issues with my father" and they have sadly crept up again today. I can't be bothered to go into detail but I suppose Christmas is always a weird time of year when you have parents who are separated, right?

I guess my father just doesn't know me and hasn't done for a while. We were best friends when we were younger, before he left my mum, and now I struggle with the concept of my mother selecting my Christmas gift from my father and him just handing over some cash for it. Because of that reason, because it wasn't really from him and because he couldn't even be bothered to browse the Juicy Couture section in Fenwicks or know me well enough to pick something I'd really adore, I'll be taking it back and the cash going towards a Mulberry bag. It's weird accepting a gift from my father that's actually from my mother.

MYB will be home from the office soon so, as he's requested, I'll be telling him all about it and having a little cry. Until then? Fighting back the tears whilst munching on an M&S mince pie and slurping on a calorie filled glass of milkshake.

This outfit is exactly the sort of thing I wear every day (minus most of the expensive labels) and thus a clear representation of my personality of which my father would not know. I've had a slight Dolce and Gabbana day (secrets, secrets!) hence the Bowie tee and pretty pink metallic bag from the Italian label. The "throw on with most things" purple skirt is Miu Miu and the belt I've added is Dorothy Perkins. The flats shoes are Marc Jacobs and the silly watch is indeed by the same designer but under the collective of Marc by Marc Jacobs. I'd wear this Johnny Loves Rosie sequin bow in my hair and this Miss Selfridge bracelet could perhaps be turned into a hair feature, too. Finally, cute little Betsey Johnson stud earrings.

Issues with my father. by hollieanne

Monday, 22 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for learning how to relax.

Last night went well. Just after I finished blogging, a car pulled up outside the house and drove me to the hospital. I was seen by the crisis team who spoke to me for about an hour and we made some plans and rationalised my behaviour and thoughts. I arrived home about 1230am this morning and, after chatting to the incredibly calming MYB, fell fast asleep for about eleven hours.

One thing that did come up was that I struggle with the issue of relaxing. I guess that's the manic side of things that stays permanent. Sure, I can spend a day doing nothing but watch DVDs and taking a bath but I'm always on edge.

Today I tried to do some "positive relaxing" but it really hasn't worked. I now feel stupidly lazy because I've spent the day reading magazines, watching rubbish daytime television and working on my novel. I guess even when I'm with MYB and all we're doing is lying in bed chatting or when we're going for a pretty walk in some gorgeous park I'm never that relaxed. I need to add "positive relaxing" to my 2009 resolutions.

This outfit isn't supposed to be seen out in public too much but it is pretty. The peach tank is Adidas by Stella McCartney and the silk trousers are Rick Owens. The hat and sandals are cheap and chic and available from Republic and Wet Seal respectively. If you need to go out for wine and chocolate (like I did today) then grab this Prada bag. Finally, I've added the Gucci bracelet because I feel naked without at least one piece of jewellery. MYB and I were having a chat in the pub on Thursday about how girly I am and how I despise not being feminine and this outfit proves it, I can't even relax around the house without something feminine on; I'm sure MYB appreciates that, though!

Positive relaxing. by hollieanne

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for seeing the crisis team.

This entry is a little different tonight. I've never kept quiet about suffering Borderline Personality Disorder ( as I believe it's an illness long overlooked and defiantly misunderstood. Currently there are changes being made as to gain a name alteration for the disorder as it currently suggests something along the lines of schizophrenia when in fact it's more of an emotional condition similar to that of bi-polar disorder.

I've been struggling for about a week after not seeing my doctor for around four weeks due to holidays and the like. Late last night I ended up finding myself well and truly embraced in an "episode" which threatened to harm, not only my precious relationship with MYB but indeed my entire self.

I'm therefore taking positive steps this evening and have contacted my local NHS authority. I've been up to a local hospital for a quick assessment and am currently waiting for a hospital car to pick me up and take me to a mental health ward in the North East. It's not as bad as it sounds, my episode is well and truly over, but I do need checking out and just a little chat to help me understand my current feelings.

I'm doing it because I want to make positive steps to guarantee a secure future for MYB and I. I'd like to state that if MYB, and especially any of the participating people within his life, is/are reading this then I'd like to point out my severe apologies for any degree of disruption, upset or confusion. I'd like to personally and publicly thank MYB for his support with the past 24 hours and indeed that for the past two and a quarter year. I am deeply lucky to have people around me willing to understand and willing to learn. I hope one day that BPD won't be seen as such a thing as to fear as "emotional instability" doesn't mean lives are constantly disrupted. I live a perfectly normal and blissfully happy life which, like depression and many other illnesses, needs a little chat with a doctor every now and again.

Therefore, rather than leaving you with an outfit today I'm leaving you with a photograph of me: I'm a successful, happy and intelligent girl who you'd see every day walking down the street. But I have a condition. The latter does not define me.

PS/ It's the lighting that is odd and not my eyebrows- they are perfectly neat.
PPS/ The scarf, vest and cardigan are all Primark, the headphones are HMV (avec Jessica Simpson blasting from them) and the soft Russian doll was a gift from MYB for Christmas.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for hurting her back.

Ouch! A simple shopping and lunch day turned into me almost crying with the pain in my back. Not good. I was out for lunch with the family when I slipped on some spilt juice that hadn't been cleaned up, nor had a caution sign stuck up. I was fine at the time but a few hours later, rushing around Toys'R'Us and trying to gather last minute gifts for my brothers, I felt the pain. And it has not stopped, despite taking pills.

I could do with an early night tonight to soothe the pain. I'm wondering if a hot water bottle might help? I certainly think being stretched out in the bed I share with MYB on occasion could help but sadly he is busy and I'm in too much pain to hop on the train.

But if MYB and I were to be enjoying a night of tea, Strictly Come Dancing and cuddles, I'd wear this. The outfit is comfortable, stylish enough to pop out to Tesco with and is a perfect mix of textures. These pants are pretty much my dream pair of trousers but sadly Roberto Cavalli won't stock these satin beauties in my size. Same goes for this amazing Paul Smith tee, really. But I'd probably have better look with a simple grey cashmere cardigan like this one here. Pre-back accident I found myself buying some silver Converse shoes so I've popped some in my set for today. Also featured is a beautiful blue Chloé bag and a kitsch apple ring by Dolly Dagger.

I have broken my back. by hollieanne

Friday, 19 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for seeking inspiration and researching.

Last night I had a little cry before bedtime. Yesterday was a massive day of reflection due to it being six months since a major (sad) event in my life. I found myself sitting on the sofa alone and knowing MYB (My Yummy Bloke) was out with his work lot. I got a slightly drunken text about 1230am saying he hoped I was "basically very happy"- thanks, MYB. But that was the point, I was crying because I was so happy but at the same time I was sad because I knew that I wouldn't be getting the MYB cuddles in bed of the previous night. Never mind, they'll happen again before I know it.

So, because of all the reflection and the need to make MYB shockingly proud of me, I did a stack load of research and have started to get my portfolio together. I don't come from an art/design background and I take snap-shots that always turn out really nice but it's never something I'd do professionally. I can't draw to save my life. I can't sew (and neither can MYB so if he marries me, we're hiring a tailor). But I can write. And style. And do a bit of pouting which all ends up inspiring me.

Today I am inspired by the following: MYB and I disagreeing on whether Nick Lacey is an idiot or not, Carina Round, MYB's blog post about Sheffield inspiring him, girls from Norway asking my advice, the end of Woolworths' Pick and Mix, sitting on MYB's bed in a long silk nightdress and a cardigan. The latter especially. "It's very decedent, I know" he says as he sips champagne in bed with me. We disagree on Nick Lacey but decadence is never out of the question.

I am a simple things girl. Cupcakes, a new nail paint, digital radios- they do it for me. I am the girl who complies a guinea pig squeak, cookie dough, "Music is Power" by Richard Ashcroft, MYB's love of Zara, walks in the cold and an insatiable need to pop out ideas for selling a brand and turns them into her world. The idea of creating a massive portfolio to impress some of the top universities in the country sort of terrifies me; how do I take the tiny things and turn them into one big thing? I'm sure I'll do it. Tiny steps and all...

With spending most of the day at my desk (laptop, blogs, books, magazines...) I need a sweet little outfit that'll be comfortable but inspire me to create and I think I've managed it here. This Forever21 tee is so cute and I can well imagine my best friend popping it in my stocking this Christmas. The beige Chloé skirt is an office staple, as are the Louboutin flats. Accessories wise I've gone for a sweet bobble hat from Topshop, a vintage bag, a brooch from Urban Outfitters and the most wonderful tea bracelet by Hannah Zakari.

Inspire and research. by hollieanne

Finally, a picture of one of my Christmas gifts from MYB because it is simply the love of my life:

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for wishing it was still this morning.

I really wish it was still this morning. This time 12 hours ago saw me relaxed, smiling, being hugged and drinking coffee with the man I love. Nothing beats our lie-ins!

I can hardly stop smiling as to concentrate. I have so many memories of the last few beautiful days (I'm being careful what I reveal!) that my head is spinning. MYB really is wonderful.

I can't even begin to type for fear of causing any discomfort for MYB's two but he cannot do much wrong right now. I heart our pub lunches, giggling, walks in the freezing cold, dinners out, wine drinking and cuddles. Oh my God, I'm SO happy!

I wore something really simple and comfortable today as it was freezing cold but this outfit would have been perfect for a day filled with a lazy morning, pub lunch, goodbye cuddles and a final train journey- if only the sun was shining! I adore this coral skirt and it's a snip at around £11 from Forever21. I've paired the skirt with a grey vest and cardigan and pretty blue flats. Finally, a necklace from Urban outfitters, a ring by Fred Flare and a classic Chanel 2.55. I miss him already...

Holding hands, drinking wine... by hollieanne

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being so wrapped up in cuddles that she forgot to blog!

I'm in trouble! I know, Readers, I know. What type of daily blogger am I if I go a single day without some sort of fashion and lifestyle twittering?

But you see, I was so wrapped up in cuddles and cocktails that I couldn't possibly bring myself to load up the computer, style some stuff together and write- especially not when MYB is around, anyway.

Thus I apologise and hope you'll realise it's a one off. Today (and indeed yesterday) marks a six month anniversary for me of the most life changing moment of my life and I needed to celebrate. I am allowed a single day off, right? Right?!

OK, so maybe not but you get the entry for yesterday this morning (12 hours late but it's still here!) and you'll get another entry tonight. I heart being in love.

So yesterday was a nightmare day with travel, a philosophy exam and then more travel. At the end, I got the good stuff! Hurrah! I needed to look smart and serious yesterday but also rather delicious in the afternoon so I've gone for a simple pallet of grey and black. I am a massive fan of sleeveless tops/dresses with a waistcoat, don't ask why but there's just something fabulous about it. So to get the look, I've gone for a pretty black ruffle dress by Forever21 and throw a grey knit Topshop waistcoat over the top for a more dressed down feel. Continuing with the grey, I've added ruffle shoe-boots, a sweet little cable knit bag by Dorothy Perkins and grey tights. D&G provide the silver chain necklace and the bangles are DAY Birger et Mikkelsen. Forgive me?

Sexy Philosophy by hollieanne

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for getting everything finished for Christmas.

I'm in such a rush today...not enough hours at all! I successfully got one batch of work done today meaning that I can spend my Xmas relaxed with MYB.

Today's entry is short but sweet as I have to revise for a two hour exam tomorrow morning, pack my clothing to spend a few days with MYB and indeed catch up with MYB for giggling and excitement regarding tomorrow.

As I needed to be sharp and serious today, I've picked a really smart outfit. A simple belted black coat from Forever21, a gorgeous staple knit dress by Marc by Marc Jacobs and some wonderful shiny heels also by Forever21. The bag is Anya Hindmarch, tights are J-Crew and the scarf (which adds some much needed colour) is signature Missoni.

Finishing work. by hollieanne

Monday, 15 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for doing everything wrong!

I am going to cry. I'm actually going to cry. I keep doing everything wrong today and very little is working out.

Today didn't start off bad, I had a lazy morning and headed into town for Starbucks where I had a major flirt with a rather fit bloke who passed me his number (I love MYB, yes I do, no matter how fit he was....yes, MYB). I then skipped off to two meeting which went incredibly well, especially the latter.

I was on a major high and sat down to read some stuff about broadcasting and children. I was sitting there happily when I went to pay for a book and realised I couldn't find my bank card. I paid by cash and went and sat down to sort out my Paddington, knowing my card would be in there somewhere. But it wasn't. Thus I have no bank card and therefore no money. I went back to Starbucks (the last place I had it) and they didn't have it. A bloke in a red (red!) jumper then informed me I probably wouldn't get a new one by Xmas. Yeah, Mate, I got that. I walked out and had to stop myself crying really hard.

I text MYB to tell him about the situation and he called pretty much straight away and was all protective and sensible and reminded me to cancel my current one for fear of online use by some idiot. MYB scored some major Brownie points for being so sensible and protective today- well done, Love!

But what is it with buses? I was still close to tears when I started queuing for my bus home only to wait half a bloody hour because it decided not to turn up.

Then I slipped over on ice.

And now I've only gone and tagged MYB in some photos on Facebook for him to de-tag himself and now I'm all paranoid about whether he's mad at me or not for even doing so. I am on a major feeling sorry for myself night. I need a bath with a Lush bath bomb, perhaps a tiny cry and a call from MYB to tell me he hearts me. Yes, a cry is needed.

This outfit is mainly black, a colour I hardly wear but wear really well. I fell in love with this Topshop skirt and was actually surprised to see where it's from. On top I've gone for a pattern clash with Debenhams polkadot cardigan and the shoes are kept simple with suede flats by J-Crew. The American Eagel adds colour and another pattern mix and the Yves Saint Laurent bag just adds such a touch of luxury; I think it's defiantly in my top 5 designer bags of all time. Finally, a very sweet little Miss Selfridge snake bangle which I adore. Time to hit eBay for the aforementioned bangle, I think!

I keep doing everything wrong! by hollieanne

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for broken zips in New Look.

My Yummy Mummy took me off shopping today to clear my mind after difficult conversations with my father and feeling anxious about stuff to do with MYB. We had a girly day and I dressed in the perfect comfort combination of a dress, jeans, flats and a big chunky pashmina. We pretty much had the perfect Sunday.

As I'm seeing MYB for our Fake Christmas on Wednesday, I wanted to buy something new to get me in the festive spirit and make MYB gobble me up as soon as he saw me step off the train. I headed to my High Street favourite that is New Look and my eyes were drawn to a strapless number that came in black, red and purple...and they were in the sale! I proceeded to the changing rooms with three shades of wonderful dress and firstly tried the black on. The zip was broken. I sent the slightly silly shop assistant to grab me another but she came back and kindly informed me the zip was broken on all the black dresses. And the purple ones. And the red ones. Hence the sale. When I questioned why there was no "This item is broken blah blah blah" sign, the silly shop girl shrugged and clearly thought I was crazy to want decent customer service.

I have no new dress. Woe.

But I'm sure I'd impress MYB in a simple jeans and t-shirt number like this one for Dressing For. I'm in love with this Marc by Marc Jacobs tee- how pretty is it?! I've also used Marc by Marc Jacobs jeans, pretty peachy pink heels and gold tote. This Chanel bracelet is creeping in to the top of my Xmas list and New Look did get something right with this pretty purple flower ring. Until tomorrow...

Broken zips. by hollieanne

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Alexandra Burke.

How pleased am I that the North London beauty won? I actually really did think Eggnog would win and had been saying so all week but talent came through and she won!

I've been in tears all night, 90% X Factor/10% MYB being the worst boyfriend ever, and couldn't stop welling up during Alexandra's performance with Beyonce. Oh my god! And yet, what made it so emotional was that you could tell Alexandra couldn't quite believe she was singing with her idol. That girl needs to realise she's just as good, if not better, than Ms. Knowles.

So we're dressing like a true Superstar today and all in gold! I adore this Zac Posen satin mini and wish I had the figure to pull it off. If, like Alexandra Burke, you have amazing legs then really work it by wearing some killer Rupert Sanderson high heels. I've added a Fendi clutch and a necklace by one of my favourites, Alex Monroe. The stack rings are Marcia Moran and the bangles are Charmak. Well done Alexandra!

Alexandra Burke. by hollieanne

Friday, 12 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for having zero patience.

OK, MYB, I get that you have to work late sometimes but three nights in a row? No thanks. And it's not just that, it's the way he hardly bothers to tell me he's staying late or even considers how that might make me feel. MYB is a typical metro-sexual bloke but clearly that means he's like 99% of other men and is lacking in the consideration field.

I shouldn't complain, I know, he works really hard and does an amazing job but sometimes I can't help but get really cross when it's hitting 11pm and my boyfriend is still on his way home as I'm about to fall fast asleep. I guess the worst thing is that I've been asking him to do something for a week and he still hasn't bothered. Jesus, nag much?

I went out for dinner tonight and had the first mulled wine of the season- nothing like it! I had dinner and laughed and chatted about silly things like men and relationships and friendships. It was fun. And it involved Dime Bar cheesecake- yum!

But to truly stress having lost my patience with MYB and starting to become quite furious, I've gone all red. Red symbolises my anger but also my passion at knowing that as soon as he calls me sweetheart tonight, I'll fall into his arms and realise I'm actually with the hottest bloke I have ever met. Double yum! I've gone for a double dose of Fendi love with this beautiful red dress and amazingly high heels. Next is the Bottega Veneta quilted clutch which pretty much proves why I love the label so much. Finally, jewellery comes in the form of an amazing cocktail ring, some pretty earrings and a fab Marc by Marc Jacobs bangle.

Cross. by hollieanne

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being stood up.

I wasn't stood up, really, but it sort of felt like that. Why does it feel like my boyfriend is dating Mark Thompson and not me? If you're reading this Mr. Thompson, can I have my boyfriend back please?

OK, so I'm deeply proud of what MYB does and how much work he puts in but I miss him sometimes. Christmas is always mad with work, everything has to be finished before MYB can even think of snuggling up with me on Christmas Eve, and there's been some big project or something but it doesn't stop me missing him.

Last night was no exception and I hadn't heard from MYB all day to the point that I got worried. Eventually he text at 10:30 and was only just on his way home from the office. Cue me being gutted. I'd had a bit of a rubbish day and there's nothing like a gossip with my man to cheer me up. I was cross at MYB but I've been known to be still in the office come 8pm so I can't complain. I love what MYB does, I'm proud beyond belief but tonight is now another night where I'm left alone in bed whilst he's at the desk.

Mark Thompson owes me one, I think.

So as I'm feeling a little blue and lonely today, the theme for Dressing For is just that. I'd wear this to spend the day in lectures and the evening out with friends trying to forget about MYB and Mark Thompson running away together and getting married. This 3.1 Phillip Lim top is a fabulous comfortable staple and is paired with skinny jeans. On top I've selected this amazing Topshop jacket with a wonderful neckline and plenty of room for a brooch or two if you like. Accessories are blue and yellow with some Marni flats and a lust worthy Marc Jacobs bag. Finally, a yellow colour-pop with a Forever21 ring and some pretty earrings.

Stood up. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for feeling better than expected.

I was nervous, I admit. When I arrived home and walked in to find my father already there, I found myself having to stay calm and bite my tongue. After a day of mixed emotions I thought that the last person I'd want to see would be my father but I was proved wrong.

I really do think my mum has had a word with my dad about his lack of interest in me and the like. My dad was interested in me tonight! My dad asked me how I was and what I was up to and everything like that! He didn't mention love once and only asked about MYB once rather than the usual six million times. What's happening to the man? He's usually self-obsessed and not interested in me one bit. If my mum really has had a word with him then I'm grateful- she's a star!

Like I mentioned above, today really has been a day of mixed emotions and I feel it'll only end on a low note as MYB are perhaps having a slight argument. He's not answering my calls (although I'm sure he's just busy) and I'm well annoyed at him. I hate this. I wish we could be calm and cuddly all the time.

But I'd wear this outfit to keep my upbeat. How can you not be happy when wearing orange tights?! And how amazing is this dress by Catherine Malandrino. It's crazy but actually really wearable for both day and night. For a day look, I've slipped a polo neck underneath and added flat studded boots but replaced with some patent shoe-boots and left without the bottom layer, this would be fab for a hot date! Finally, a simple teal bow bag to keep in with the colouring of the dress.

It wasn't that bad... by hollieanne

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for preparing to feel sad.

My father lands tomorrow. No, he isn't flying in from some small island near South America but he is coming to visit me and I must say that I've spent all of today worrying. Still shockingly ill, I spent today working on some visual pieces and jotting down an idea for my book but it was all so overshadowed by the thought of how many jelly stings my father will force on me tomorrow.

You've seen Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason, right? Bridget Jones et al have a friend, married and smug which is always the case, who just has to sting you. We all have one. The friend who tells you just how many degrees your new boyfriend's assistant has and that his ex-wife was a model for Gucci (zero chance in the case of MYB and I!) or that you're looking well...considering you have put on weight since your last bloke left you. Well, the jellyfish in my life happens to be my father but rather than picking at the small things with me, he throws out one big net and I'm the only one that is caught up in it. I have to listen to him go on for hours about his latest love conquest and how my life will change endlessly once I'm in love myself and that careers and friends appear dismal once faced with love. I always want to bite back and tell him I am in love but actually, my career is equally delightful!

I don't know, my father just drains me and I cannot even cope with the thought. I was hoping to rant to MYB about it all but he's two hours late in calling me and I'm too stubborn to call him. Onwards and upwards, eh?

I'd wear this outfit for a day writing at home. What would start out as feature ideas would end up in lists on how much my father annoys me and then finally a list in ways to keep calm around him tomorrow. OK, so it's freezing outside so perhaps a playsuit isn't the best option but it's fine for spending afternoons with the fire on. Throw this burnt orange cardigan on from Toast for a snuggly feeling and slip on some fringed flats if you must wear something on your feet. And if the mood takes you and you just have to pop out to the Starbucks across the road for a 4 shot mocha, throw your notebooks in this Jil Sander number. Finally, a sweet little elephant necklace from Forever21.

Preparing. by hollieanne

Monday, 8 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Diet Coke.

Mid-afternoon on a Monday symbolises Starbucks and some sort of fashion marketing book. Like clockwork, I'll take the bus to town and then pop into Fenwicks for a glossy magazine to occupy me at some point within the following 24 hours. I then skip off to Starbucks, usually chatting to my best friend on the phone as I go, and make my order. I sit down on one of the comfortable sofas, always facing outwards as to people watch, and reading whichever enchanting book I've opted for.

But this week was different. The situation was the same but it didn't taste as sweet. I was probably too ill to attend my lecture tonight, I was emotional and exhausted and I've barely eaten all weekend. Against the advice of MYB, I got ready and went along to my class. But my ritual Starbucks probably proved I was still ill. I sat back and my coffee tasted vile. It wasn't the coffee but the weird illness spawned taste in my mouth and I just couldn't relaxed.

I managed to mumble my way through tonight, breaking off for a chat with MYB. It went fine, nothing spectacular, but I became distressed at my huge lack of energy and severe lack of appetite.

Having returned home tonight I did find my taste buds had arrived back but for only one thing. I'm currently sipping on a glass of Diet Coke and it actually tastes wonderful. Apart from coffee, it's the only thing I've consumed since Friday night and, although not the most nutritious of things, I plan on drinking glasses and glasses until it's time for bed. Clearly a trip to the bathroom is going to be needed but I'm chuffed I can finally taste something other than vomit!

As I'm needed lots of energy today, I've gone for bright colours and have started with this Tory Burch long sleeved yellow cardigan. Underneath I've selected an amazing All Saints t-shirt which is heading right to the top of my Christmas list and I've paired it with some pretty skinny off-white jeans by McQ. Accessories are kept simple with some Gap silver flats and Chanel earrings and silver chain bag. I'm sure this outfit, and the Diet Coke, would keep me energised!

Diet Coke. by hollieanne

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for an entire weekend of being ill.

As you can tell from my last two entries (or lack of, as the case may be), I've spent the entire weekend really ill. I was fine on Friday afternoon as I spoke to MYB whilst he was waiting in the departure lounge of an airport in the Isle of Man but between his flight taking off and landing, I was struck down with an awful sickness bug.

To be honest, my days have all blurred into one and I've had about six hours sleep in three days. I came down with the illness so suddenly but it lasted all weekend and I ended up throwing up all through the night. I've been totally weak for the past day or two and hardly have the energy to even type this out.

Looks like I'm going to have to cancel my morning meeting tomorrow as to try and make sure I'm fine for my evening lecture. I haven't been out the house all weekend and would kill for some fresh air hence the perfect Sunday afternoon walk outfit for Dressing For today.

How sweet is this Marc by Marc Jacobs knit? It's a perfect office to weekend piece and well worth the approximate price tag of £140. Pair with some simple dark jeans with white stitching, a Miss Selfridge sequin beret and some hoops from Nine West. This anchor necklace by Juicy Couture is going on my Christmas list but it's the shoes and handbag that are the real stars of the show. I'd kill to own some Louis Vuitton luggage but I think given the choice of any of their wonderful pieces of arm candy, I might have to opt for this shiny red number. What a beauty! Finally, a pair of Chanel flats. The pattern and gloss mix of the iconic leather two tone flats look stunning and as classy as any pair of high heels.

Weekend of being ill. by hollieanne

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for yet another day without Dressing For.

I'm still deeply ill so there'll be no Dressing For again today, sorry. I'll be back up and running tomorrow.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for no Dressing For.

I've caught a horrid sickness bug so am spending tonight in bed and throwing up. Sadly, there'll be no Dressing For this evening.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for getting Britney Spears tickets!

Oh my gooooooood! I actually have tickets to see the wonderful Britney Spears in June 2009. OK, so a stack load of the British public are in the same position (including about 98% of my social circle) but it's still just as exciting.

Britney is such an inspiration to me and I turn into an eleven year old girl when I talk about Ms. Spears and, as much as I wouldn't go as crazy as the Britney Spears crying fan on Youtube, I won't really have a bad word said about her.

I ended up working from home today so I snapped up tickets super quick and spent the rest of the day relishing in delight and listening to Britney on repeat.

I ordered 2 tickets for Saturday 6th June but who I'm taking, I have no idea. My mother wouldn't mind going but I think it's more than likely I'll end up dragging MYB along- and like he'll complain! Seeing Britney Spears dancing around in tiny outfits? No man would turn that down- gay or straight!

I'm all colourful but warm today for working at home. I have a jumper similar to this but sadly it's not Moschino. Mix the purple with a sculpted yellow Yves Saint Laurent wool skirt and slip some black tights on for extra warmth. Finally, if you must go out in the ice for supplies of red wine and magazines, stomp around in these Topshop beauties which are sure to brighten the dullest of snowy days. Blue bangles and a blue ring provide the accessories. And in celebration of Britney Spears' comeback, I've gone for the "Save Britney" bag by Perez Hilton. Save Britney? She's back, Baby!

I have Britney tickets- Oh my God! by hollieanne

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for snow.

Oh my word, what happened to the UK today? Whether you were in the Scottish Highlands or "daaaawn soufff", I'm sure you'll have experienced some sort of snow blizzard or at least patches of ice. In my part of the world it was defiantly a day for wrapping up warm and trying not to slip on all the black ice. I'm shocked to say that I didn't slip once. What's happening to me? I'm normally the first on my rather rounded bottom!

Tomorrow is supposed to be worse so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that travel will be OK. MYB appeared the manage yesterday and I'm guessing he was fine today but this weather isn't doing anything for his cold nor mine.

I'm more of a fan of summer fashion, I admit. Winter is fine, I like coats and scarves but I also love my peep toes and thin dresses too much. MYB, I recall, once sent me a photograph of him all wrapped up in his scarf and coat (probably from Zara!) and he looked amazing- the man can pull off the whole ten layers of clothing thing really well. His other half cannot. Perhaps it's something to do with my not size 10 figure and already having extra padding thus feeling even more self conscious in a thick coat? Yes, that's probably it.

Anyway, I couldn't get away with today's outfit but I'm sure someone else jolly well could and here we are. We're fighting against the bitter cold today so I've picked an amazing Graeme Black cashmere coat with a fabulous colour. If the coat wasn't warm enough, underneath is a simple black cashmere vest which is paired with some skinny jeans and boots by Acne. Final touches come in the form of some gloves by Principles, a long Monsoon necklace and this amazing Louboutin flannel tote bag. Stay warm!

Freezing cold! by hollieanne

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for stress.

Why is it that your day off always has to end up being a little bit rubbish? This morning started off fine, I had a decent sleep and went to watch my little brother singing Christmas songs at the local supermarket with his school- it was trés cute! Once I returned home and sat down with a cup of green tea, things went wrong.

Today I had planned to do one thing and one thing only which was to finish an essay. Knowing I had 1,500 words to complete by Thursday, I allocated myself breaks and times in which I could do various things such as e-mail MYB, chat on the phone to my best friend and flick through magazines. Before I got started, I checked my e-mail to find one by someone I rather dislike. She'd e-mailed out of spite. She'd e-mailed to make me sad. Today, rather than working really hard all morning and have the afternoon to do what I pleased, I ended up crying on the phone to MYB and stressing like mad. Why is that woman so obsessed, eh? It wasn't nice.

Still with panic, stress and upset on my mind, I realised I'd done none of my essay and time was ticking away. I had two choices: let Nasty Witch Woman get to me and mess up the essay or think of how proud MYB is going to be of me once I get an A for completing the essay. NWW lost and MYB's proud smile won.

I did the essay and have only just finished. I'm still waiting for an e-mail back from NWW about why she thought it would be fabulous to reveal some rather trivial but upsetting news to me. Never mind, NWW, you'll get over it...

Dressing For is comfort today but also cute. I'm all flowery to keep my mood upbeat and smiley, no matter what NWW tries to throw at me. Sadly, due to all the stress of today, I'm suffering from some horrible stomach cramps so that's why we have a cute little hot water bottle today which is available from for a tiny £6.95. From Charlotte Russe, we have some simple skinny jeans and Roberto Cavalli provides this pretty oval amethyst necklace. The rest of the outfit is Cath Kidston who, in my eyes, provide everything you need for comfort and style. The plain colour button tank is really cute and can be worn alone if working from home or paired with wide-leg trousers and a pretty shirt for days when you're in the office. I've gone all floral with some pretty plimsolls and a velvet tote to store all your essentials in if you just need to leave the house and get away from it all for a few hours. Finally, pin on this crystal brooch and tie hair back in an effortless bun with this rosy felt hair tie. Stay calm and carry on...

Stress. by hollieanne

Monday, 1 December 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for McDonalds.

My lecture this evening was rather dull, a simple reading and then answering questions about said reading. It didn't work for me so I spent the time gossiping with a friend about the male species, doodling flowers and writing love notes to my love.

I left campus feeling slightly deflated and not full of the buzz that I normally have on a Monday evening. Never mind, eh? The chatting and drawing was nice and I did learn something, I guess.

What made me evening was how hungry I was. M&S provided the muesli this morning and I grabbed a Starbucks coffee but, come 8:30pm, I was really hungry. In came the wonder that is McDonalds. Walking through town and trying to contact MYB (I think he was playing Dad Taxi at the time), I heard a rumble from my stomach and opted for the close to hand branch of McDonalds. I opted for a still Fanta, fried and some fab chicken burger with cheese and nachos on. Nice!

So I'm dressing for the guilty pleasure that is a McDonalds on a freezing cold winter night. You need comfort, you need warmth and a little style. But who is really going to see you? You can afford to be a bit slouchy. And why not? Wrap up warm in this beige cardigan from Republic and pashmina from Forever21. I've gone for a simple jeans a t-shirt look with a cute tee which is also a Forever21 number and jeans by True Religion. Finally, for a tiny bit of glamour just in case anyone does see you, slip on some orange Pedro Garcia flats and a classic quilted Chanel bag on your arm. Until tomorrow...

McDonalds. by hollieanne

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for having the plasterers in.

Note, that title says plasterers and not painters! Hello, Readers. Short time no speak. Why on earth am I in such a good mood? In all fairness, I shouldn't be writing this having just come off the phone from MYB as I've had a stupidly awful day.

Picture the scene, it's Saturday night and you're wiping away the tears after seeing your inspiration that is Britney Spears perform on X Factor. As you're about to curl into bed you think of the day ahead; caramel coffee, cashmere cardigans and pj bottoms, Heat Magazine and some styling. You drift off to sleep with MYB on your mind and all is well...

Until you're woken up at silly o'clock by men in your kitchen. Yes, I forgot the platerers were coming and that they thought it would be great to hammer down walls or whatever they do early on a Sunday morning. I tumbled downstairs to find my mother et al happily sipping tea which has been made in a makeshift tea room in the front room after said plastering men have taken over your kitchen. My Hollyoaks sessions was ruined by banging, workmen singing along to Leona Lewis, constant cried for cups of tea and the scraping of plaster hitting the kitchen walls. They didn't leave until 6pm after which I headed down the pub for half a bottle of wine and a rather fancy dinner with friends.

Dressing For is about lost Sunday comfort. It's slouchy but, after being covered in dust, it's glam enough to make you feel all pretty again. I love this Donna Karan sequin vest- it's perfect for the party season if you don't fancy wearing a dress. I'm wearing some Diane von Furstenberg tuxedo jersey pants on my legs and silver Converse on my feet to dress the whole look down. For accessories, I've picked a Juicy Couture bag and jewellery from Forever21. Thank God I get a lie in tomorrow!

Plasterers. by hollieanne

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the Primark menswear section.

I was dragged out Christmas shopping today and with my sore throat still roaring and bags under my eyes after chatting with MYB into the small hours, it was pretty much the last thing I wanted.

After a wake-up call in the form of soft cheese and bread sticks for breakfast, I blow dried my ginger mop and added a pop of red lipstick on and was finally ready to face the havoc inducing high streets. My mother and I stepped out together for a men-free shopping day (although several yummy creatures caught my eye so it wasn't totally men-free) and indulged in every make-up counter that Boots has to offer. My selections? A wonderful orange lipstick, Marc Jacobs 'Daisy' fragrance and a smokey eye collection for the festive season.

We had fun selecting gifts for my brothers and I managed to pick up a few things for MYB (not from the Primark menswear section if you're reading this MYB, you don't have to worry!). My pleasure came in the surprisingly cool Primark menswear section. My mother was picking out a few bits for her tracksuit bottoms and trainers excuse for a partner and a cardigan caught my eye. I'm a major fan of the boyfriend cardigan and wore one recently when out for dinner with MYB over a smart purple dress, stockings and heels. The latest addition to my expanding cardigan wardrobe is a grey with "neon" pink stripe cardigan from Primark menswear. I opted for the XL size for a baggy and comfortable feel and I'm currently wrapped in it over the top of some pretty pink pajamas. I also came across a rather large tartan scarf that will go fab on jeans and Topshop basic vest days. Who would have guessed, eh?

I'd wear this outfit out for dinner with MYB or perhaps just to the cinema and for a cocktail. I'm a little bit in love with Primark today so both the peep toes and the gorgeous orange dress are from the flea market on the High Street that is Primarni. And we love it! I've used jewellery from Betsey Johnson and an established "it" bag in the form of this Balenciaga teal number. Finally, as I am championing men's clothing, add a Topman teal cardigan and wear with the buttons left open.

Menswear. by hollieanne

Friday, 28 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for sore throats.

I could feel it coming on last night as I chatted with MYB whilst snuggled up in my bed and knew this morning would only make it worse. Alas, after getting over a cold and several weeks of none stop physical illness, I'm now run down with a dreaded sore throat.

I think having a sore throat is one of the more horrible winter related illness. If you know me, you know I never shut up so losing my voice today has proved a nightmare but still hasn't stopped me chatting (in a painfully high pitched voice) to my best friend on the phone or singing along to Britney Spears.

My bed proved a welcome comforter today but sadly MYB wasn't with me to enjoy gossip magazine reading or hot chocolates. I've slept for a lot of the day although, come 11:30pm, I'm now wide awake and have to be up early for the hell that is Christmas shopping in the morning.

A girl can't let illness get to her too much though, can she? After all, I had a portfolio to put together, blogging to be done, feature ideas to be sent out and a novel to write so I bounced back as much as I could with the added help of some honey and lemon medicine.

Dressing For is all about spending the day at home poorly but still looking chic as you take calls from your editor and plan the latest twist in your future best-seller. I don't have the figure to pull off hareem pants but I wish I did as they always look so comfortable and yet so chic; I've selected these ones in a classic colour from Topshop and paired them with a Bowie tee also from the ultimate high street favourite. Add some gorgeous Lanvin pumps which would look just as good as heels on any dance floor for the Christmas party season and added a scarf by Paul Smith- the chicest way to keep your poorly throat nice and warm this winter for the true English country look. Finally, slip on a few cocktail rings and some studs. And if you must go out? Slip your Strepsils and Filofax in this vintage beauty.

Sore throat. by hollieanne

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for lunch after lectures.

I'm in such a brilliant mood today despite only a few hours sleep and many a looming deadline. Today saw me feeling confident and smiley on a freezing cold North East morning; my trench was back on, the peep toes I wore were freezing my feet off and my over sized clutch was like a comforting daytime teddy bear.

I attended my philosophy lecture this morning and successfully pointed argument out, debated and pouted my way to such respect from my fellow classmates. On my way out of campus, Pussycat Dolls on my iPod and lipstick freshly applied, I bumped into an old classmate who I hadn't seen in ages due to timetable changes and we exchanged chats and smiles that kept me grinning for the rest of the day. Finally, I waltzed into town and met my darling mummy for lunch and a catch-up. As a friend said to me today: "Lunches with mums are the best" and she is so right. I can always trust my mum to tell me I look nice, make a few corrections when I don't and generally amuse me.

After the entry yesterday about surprise contact from MYB, I thought it couldn't get too much better in terms of loved-up, romantic and flirty mid-day messages but clearly I was wrong. MYB and I exchanged text messages all day that made me feel all beautiful and safe despite MYB working in the capital today and your darling blogger being Up North.

Lunch with mummy was fabulous, MYB has pretty much made me the happiest girl in the world today and nothing beats a decent philosophical debate. So, to express my happiness but a need to still dress smartly for lunch with mummy, Dressing For is colourful but chic. I'm a major Oscar de la Renta fan and have been spying on this silk bow blouse for a while. I've paired the aforementioned blouse with some simple wide-leg jeans available from Warehouse and some wonderful heels by the fabulous Georgina Goodman. Now, you'll have to forgive me for yet more purple but I cannot resist and have therefore gone for a purple flower ring, a Fiorelli laptop bag and some bangles available from ASOS. Got your glass of wine in your hand, mother opposite you and smile on your face? Your look is complete!

Lunch after lectures. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for surprise e-mails from MYB.

I've had a hectic day which resulted in some power dressing and super defending. I could write a mile long blog entry about the antics of today with television companies, porn, turning into my alter ego a la Beyonce and Sascha Fierce and the ripping apart of presentations. However, I like the positive things in life and find that a blog entry on your dear author going on and on about the ins and outs of advertising revenue, putting together a Microsoft PowerPoint and the National Geographic Channel would just be a one way ticket to Dullsville.

So, we're going to keep the mood upbeat! Don't you just love it when surprises come at just the right time? After an amazing day in education and a muffin and cappuccino at Starbucks, I came home and was exhausted. It's times like this, after five hours sleep and lots of caffeine, that I realise I am but a 19 year old and shouldn't want to "get myself settled" for the night in comfortable clothes and with a hot water bottle but that's the way it went this evening. I changed into some wide-leg trousers and a cashmere cardigan once I returned home and sat myself on the comfortable chair to read my e-mails; after a few press releases, a Facebook update and a case study request (I didn't have one, sorry!), I noticed an e-mail from a certain name I remembered very well but hardly ever see in my inbox.

MYB (or My Yummy Bloke for those of you who have not long joined us) has been so rushed off his feet with work lately that I started to get worried about his stress levels. Sure, we've spent some gorgeous time together of late just relaxing but I can't exactly be there to pour him another cup of coffee or give him a hug when he's being given paperwork beyond the roof or trying to employ decent news journalists, can I? He was working in a different city today which is a real regular occurrence but I couldn't help but feel sorry for him- late nights and lots of work are not good. So, during my only spare five minutes of the day, I dropped him an e-mail to say hello despite knowing he wouldn't perhaps get it until tomorrow once he was back in the usual office. I like to be a romantic idiot, to be honest and one of the things that most attracts me to MYB is how sweet and romantic he is.

As regards romance, I like the small things. Perhaps my definition of romance is different to most but to me it's things like when MYB knows my taste so well and texts me to tell me about a certain song I'd love or when he thinks the drive up to Chatsworth will be just as pretty as actually walking around the grounds will be or when he lights candles as we have dinner as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Therefore, after a crazed day, a small dose of MYB romance was just what I needed and just what I got. This afternoon MYB had sent me an e-mail just to tell me he thought I was gorgeous. He took time out of his crazy work schedule just to tell that to some 19 year old writer with a love of tea dresses, balloons and peach coloured socks. I'm positively glowing with happiness now.

I'd wear the outfit I've selected for Dressing For to go out for dinner with MYB- my treat! I love Gareth Pugh but, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, very little of his stuff is really that wearable but these two pieces are a total exception and are clearly being added to my Lust List; the silk top clearly reminds everyone of that Kate Moss ripped vintage Dior dress a little and the zig-zag wrap cardigan looks so comfortable. Pair with some Karl Lagerfeld straight leg jeans and a purple overload via accessories with a strawberry pendant, a pair of stunning earrings with a price tag of over £3,000 (eek!), some amazing Louboutins and a Dorothy Perkins clutch.

Surprise e-mail. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being fine.

"I'll be fine, I'll be fine. No, really, I will". I keep telling myself this and it shocks me how much the low mood on today has crept up on me after the joy of yesterday but that's the way it goes, right? Especially when you have BPD.

I'm a creature who is both amused and saddened by the little things. A cupcake at the Hummingbird Bakery, wearing a corsage, seeing MYB stand at the bar and order cocktails for the two of us...bliss! Not having an umbrella when it's raining, getting a question wrong in class, running late for an appointment... floods of tears. I ain't by half one sensitive soul, really.

I guess that's what it is today, isn't it? I just keep welling up with tears over the smallest reasons on earth and am having to tell myself to stay calm and stop being silly. Perhaps it's all just part of being a girl? Or maybe I am just a simple creature.

I could do with the biggest cuddle from MYB though. There's something about that man where, as soon as I'm in his company, I just feel warm and snuggly and safe. He's better that caramel hot chocolate which tends to have the same effect on me.

Dressing For is today about being in between; about needing a little cry and a huge smile. I'd wear this to go for a walk with MYB and then back to his for a few tiny tears, lots of massive cuddles and scribbling down my feature ideas as he did some work. Purple is the main colour of today as it's that in between colour, it can be happy but it can also be sad. We're sort of in the middle today but how could you not be happy with these purple sequin Converse on? I'm actually in love with them. And to me, there's not really much more comfort that pairing some smart wide-leg trousers with a pair of Converse so I've used these ones by Oscar de la Renta. Keep the happiness theme with this super cute Disney tee and, because they always make me smile, wear some pretty Pucci ear muffs. Continuing with the purple theme, I've used a pretty Miu Miu bow scarf and one of my favourite handbags ever- the patent purple Mulberry Bayswater. Stay happy!

I am fine. by hollieanne

Monday, 24 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Hollyoaks Later.

I'm in the best mood today. I'm happy, I'm singing, I'm dancing. But can I reveal why? No, not really. In due course, my Dear Readers, in due course...

However, I have to admit that I'm tired today after all the happiness (which I've actually yet to share with anyone. I wish MYB would answer his phone!) so the addition of Hollyoaks Later has to be the icing on the cake. I'm currently giggling as I write but must say that I was suitably shocked at the use of swearing from Josh. He doesn't swear!

I can't wait for the appearance from my current favourite band The Saturdays. Hollyoaks and The Saturdays? My life is too happy (and simple) for words.

Dressing For is happy, happy, happy today! Why not be super colourful? I've used this Tibi bright blue shift dress which is a statement in itself. I've over accessorised with some amazing patent pink peep toes by Alexander McQueen, a fab apple clutch by Temperley London and a pretty Disney castle necklace. Finally, slip on a bright pink cameo ring and sit back and enjoy Hollyoaks Later. What's life without guilty pleasures, eh?

Hollyoaks Later. by hollieanne

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the perfect trench coat.

Why was my lazy Heat magazine reading Sunday spoiled when I was informed I'd be dragged around yet more shops Christmas shopping? There I was, plain vest and nice jeans, all snuggled up on the sofa with the papers and some magazines and ready to spend the day lipstick and care free. But my mother had other ideas.

Again, it wasn't bad. I tried to ignore the impending loom of Christmas Day and the current credit crunch by purchasing a few items for myself: an amazing statement necklace from New Look, frilly pants with purple flamingos on, a bath bomb from Lush... simple things. Toys R Us nearly killed me with the load of screaming children and whizzing lights from flashy toys but I got through.

The surprise smile of the day came from an early Christmas gift, however. Shopping in a favourite high street store of ours, my mother and I came across a beautiful looking trench coat- the buckle style detailing on the sleeves, the amazing neckline cut and the lenght all made it look appallingly pricey on the hanger and I was worried that once it was on my tall but apple figure, it wouldn't look like the dream it had hanging up in the store. But it did! Hell, I'd even go as far as saying it looked better. The neckline sat perfectly on me to give that super smart but sexy look and the belt around my waist made me look more Marilyn Monroe than Space Hopper. My mother very kindly offered to purchase it for me and took delight in seeing me twirl around in ultimate happiness in the trench I'd be craving for several years. I can't quite afford a Burberry just yet so this will come second best. I can't wait to wear it for my lecture tomorrow evening with my new plum colour corsage pinned to it that I'd purchases from H&M several days ago.

But, as much as I love my new high street one, I'm going for the perfect trench today in my blog. And it is, of course, the Burberry London Windsor trench. Oh, if only! Underneath I've gone for a glam look in the form of a pretty little Diane von Furstenberg lace top and some True Religion skinny jeans. Accessories are kept simple with a nude and grey theme to compliment the top and trench so I've used some stupidly beautiful nude Louboutin heels and Proenza Schouler grey and nude clutch. I'd wear this out for dinner with MYB or perhaps to a work event; thing is, I'd never want to take the coat off even if the underneath did look that good!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Christmas shopping.

When I was tiny I would always make an annual event to Newcastle each year for a special female only day of Christmas shopping with my mum. My mum would take me to Fenwicks every year and select millions of party dresses for me to try on; ruffles, sequins, glitter and frills would fly all across the room as both my mother and the shop assistants delighted in seeing the small girl with the big pout and perfectly styled bob twirl with delight and astonishment at each and every dress. My love of fashion will never cease.

As I became older, the shopping trips never stopped but they'd never be as special. The one a year McDonalds I'd consumer on the cold winter Saturday became tasteless as consumerism changed and fast-food became trendy and Fenwicks Christmas window became nothing but a huge crowd as I struggled with fear of losing my mother amongst the free-for-all. Once I was in my teens, Christmas became a time to be deeply sad as I became torn between spending time with my separated mother and father and feelings of guilt over spending more cash on my mother or vise versa.

Last Christmas was a rush of boring Oxford Street gift shopping as I covered the festive period with freelancing shifts and moved from a manic house in East London to a calm Heaven south of the river.

So it was nice to be back. It was nice to have my mum tell me to button up my coat and make sure I had everything ready for the day ahead. And today was amazing! My mother, my youngest step-brother and myself ventured out into the utter cold and braved every high street store you could imagine. We stopped off for lunch, pulled on our mittens and marvelled at the spinning and singing frogs in that beloved window. Traditions are always the best.

I also managed to finish off buying MYB's Christmas gift. Fabulous! Although my smile, once knowing all purchases were complete, may well be bigger than his on Christmas day. MYB was clearly on my mind today as, for the first time in ages, we did the gorgeous yet slightly silly thing of staying up well into the early hours and just talking. When I finally crawled into bed at 4am, my face hurt from smiling so much. I'm exhausted and I had planned on having an early night last night in preparation for such a long and exhausting day but I just couldn't help myself! For MYB and I, it's our first real Christmas together. Having been friends for a few years now and never anything more, it'll be nice to say I'm coupled up this Christmas and explain to distant aunts and uncles that I'm certainly no spinster and that yes, my boyfriend is rather fabulous. Fingers crossed he'll love his gift!

I'm wrapped up warm for Dressing For today. How beautiful is this coat? The scarlet colour, the bow neck and the cut look really pretty and it's available from high street fave Dorothy Perkins! Underneath I've added a cosy looking Stella McCartney grey dress which would be paired with some much needed tights to combat this cold weather! Accessories are bright, minus the classic leather Marc Jacobs boots, in the form of some pretty red heart studs and a statement velvet trim mustard hat. Finally, I've fallen in love with this D&G bag which, when walking hand and hand around Harvey Nichols once, MYB described as "a toaster". Happy shopping!

N.B: Polyvore isn't working too well right now so I'm going to have to link you up for now!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Rachel Stevens.

A discussion about Rachel Stevens came up in Starbucks in Manchester whilst away on a romantic weekend with MYB recently. As I was browsing through his iTunes play lists ("They were before your time Hollie... And them... Yeah, them too") I came across a single track by Ms. Stevens; I then proceeded to giggle that MYB was the only man on earth to appreciate her music. "But you have to admit, it is a bloody good track, Hollie". Perhaps MYB had a point?

The discussion never cropped up in my mind until today when my Internet radio station blasted out Some Girls by Rachel Stevens. I found myself overjoyed at hearing the song I hadn't heard in forever! Last.Fm them proved the source and I found myself listening to tracks such as Sweet Dreams My LA Ex (MYB's favourite!), Negotiate With Love and I Said Never Again.

Not only can the girl prove a hit on Strictly Come Dancing but she can sure by Hell perk up an afternoon of creating mood boards for my portfolio.

Sadly, however, I now have to admit to MYB that he was right. Bugger!

Rachel wore this Hervé Léger to the National Television Awards recently and she looked amazing in it. I've changed it a little from the standard award night clutch and sparkly shoes to a more edgy look. A jacket of sorts is a must with this cold weather so I've selected this leather jacket by Forever21. I've gone purple with accessories in the form of some killer Moda In Pelle shoes and a Valentino patent tote. Finally, add some cocktail rings by Marc by Marc Jacobs and Miss Selfridge respectively. I'd wear this out for dinner with the girls and to jump in a cab to make it back on time for the Strictly Come Dancing final!

Rachel Stevens. by hollieanne

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for panic attacks.

When I was little I was trained, by my mother, in how to take care of my father whenever he had a panic attack and I was the only person around. I remember a little sheet that gave details of the symptoms of panic attacks and how to calm a person down. I also remember the huge batch of paper bags in the cupboard which were given to my dad from the pharmacy; they were printed with a green cross and blue text in a typical chemist style.

I've never really suffered from panic attacks- perhaps I had a few in my early teens and maybe a 'light' one once every now and again but it's never something I'd say I "suffered" from or that happened to me frequently. But today, for one of the only times in my life, I had a major panic attack.

The thing that's upset me most about it is that I found myself feeling really embarrassed about it as there was nothing, that I can recall, that brought it on. The location bothers me most about the incident, however. I happened to be right in the middle of Marks and Spencer and, in the middle of shaking and being unable to breath, managed to drop my basket to the sound of a loud clatter. What started off as short breaths and sweating turned into loud crying, intense shaking, chest pains, hyperventilating and lightheadedness. Right in the middle of an immensely busy M&S!

People crowded round me and worried people tried to ask me if I was OK but nothing came out of my mouth. Eventually members of staff made people move on and slowly took me to a back room to calm down. They gave me glass after glass of water and gave me a paper bag to breath into. Well done, M&S- you actually really helped! They were so lovely but I felt so silly and couldn't even look them in the eye. I ended up leaving my basket of wine and dessert as I was too flushed and worked-up. It wasn't good.

Dressing For is all about staying calm today. When I'm feeling ill I always opt for the floaty dress or top and skinny jeans number. There's something about a silky and floaty top that always makes me feel calm and comfortable. I love this over-sized Day Birger Et Mikkelsen shirt dress as it can be slipped on over jeans, like I've done, or worn on its own with some ribbed tights and a belt. I've added some skinny jeans by Cheap Monday and some bangles by French Connection. I've gone for browns and oranges with accessories and started with this Disney Couture pumpkin necklace- so cute! Finally, slip on some super comfortable moccasins available from Fred Flare and take advantage of Dorothy Perkins 20% off day and bag yourself this vintage looking patchwork beauty. Remember, stay calm and carry on...

Panic Attacks. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being a little low.

I sounded happy in the entry from yesterday, right? Yeah. Chuffed with shopping purchases and looking forward to flashing my new ginger hair to a crowd of philosophy students (although I failed to mention that...). But yes, I was calm and happy and still feeling amazing from the weekend.

But, although I tried to remain upbeat about spending time with my father, something always gets me. My father is quite toxic for me but I always kid myself that he's changed and perhaps he isn't as bad as I make him out to be in my head. Yes, perhaps my father is just an old romantic and not a man who makes a mess and leaves everyone else to pick up the pieces. Maybe he's not as disinterested in me as I thought he was and maybe- just maybe- he does totally understand what I go through with Borderline Personality Disorder.

I need to stop pretending things can be stars and glitter with my father. I don't mind him but I always come away from seeing him feeling so low for no real reason and then the mood carries on into my life for about a week. My father made a few comments that upset me yesterday. But the thing is, he says things so lightly as if they're total fact when, actually, they're the most offensive things you've ever heard.

And so I felt fragile today. My hair looked limp. My outfit wasn't a bad choice but I just wasn't smiley and upbeat and looking like someone very excited about hearing back from any of her selected University choices.

I had a cry to MYB last night. I'm not sure he could understand me as one minute I was crying about deadlines and stress, the next I was going on about having a cold and at some point I cried my eyes out at how rubbish my father makes me feel. After a long day, I'm not sure a 19 year old bird crying "And now my Chanel mascara is aaaaaaaallllllll down my face!" was exactly what he wanted but he did correctly remind me that it's always sensible to take my make-up off before bedtime. Did MYB make me feel better? A little but I'm starting to think that the only way to feel better regarding my father is to slowly distance myself from him until I feel healthy enough to take on his issues and criticisms.

Onwards and upwards, eh? Slip on this outfit and take a cab to your bloke's house for ice-cream, cuddles and a tiny- mascara free- cry on his shoulder. You know it makes sense! The outfit is simple but cosy and the Chloé bag is big enough to pack a pair of pajama bottoms in case you fall asleep on your bloke's sofa and decide to stay the night. This mohair McQ looks so cosy and would be cute paired with Ugg boots on lazy weekend days. But today I've added a pair of KG tan shoe-boots to help you stand tall and walk confidently no matter how teary you feel. Finish with a simple pink beret and pretty Chanel necklace. Now, cry and moan all you like but know you'll be doing it whilst looking amazing!

Feeling low. by hollieanne