Friday, 31 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Halloween.

Boo! It's officially the night of Halloween where brats from round the streets put on plastic masks and take all the sweets out of the tin you didn't like.

I did, however, take my little brother trick or treating this evening and we actually had fun! He wore a skeleton outfit and I threw on my leopard faux fur coat and popped a few gold bow hair clips in to look like ears. Of course, I wasn't trick or treating for myself- the few pennies wouldn't buy me a Chanel and my diet isn't going half bad so I'll pass on the sweets. But my seven year old brother is now covered in chocolate and wondering what to spend his £3 on.

On our way home from an all day shopping trip, my family and I came across a little 3 year old girl with her parents who was out all dressed up as a pumpkin- her little baby walk and the blonde locks coupled with the bright orange outfit was just too cute for words so, as the car was waiting to get out of a lane and onto a main road, we all popped our spare change into her matching pumpkin bucket. Some people dislike Halloween but I think it's super cute!

So, if you're too old (or too cool) to go knocking on doors, try a Halloween party and make Bloody Mary cocktails and scary gingerbread mummies! Yeah, OK, not so cool but never mind. Dressing For is something you could only get away with on October 31st. Start with a rather pretty Topshop cat mask and clip hair back with some Halloween themed bows. Next, an investment piece of a beautiful L'Wren Scott boxy cape- at just over a grand, I'd suggest not dribbling chocolate down it or splashing an extra bloody Mary all over it. Be brave and slip on some silver leggings and top the cat look off with some Louboutin leopard print pumps and an amazing Cavalli Swarovski embellished clutch. Happy Halloween!

Halloween! by hollieanne

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for novel writing.

I hadn't touched my novel in a few weeks, I admit. Perhaps just being busy with college work, selecting a University, worrying about my father acting like a teenager and resisting the temptations of a Starbucks or a cupcake is what did it.

I used to set aside an hour or two most evenings to write down ideas, read everything over, edit and actually scribble down a few lines but I've been shy with it of late. It was nice to trap myself in the South London antics of my characters and become a different character for a few hours. I researched my characters more and visualised myself in their shoes and in their outfits. I adore writing this book as it's not standard chick-lit but it has a whole other side to it which adds a certain stand-out aspect to it- or at least I hope! I'm not saying the novel will be a number one best seller but I do know that it's the most enjoyable thing to do on a rather dull Thursday where the hailstones won't stop.

I often dream of what my book launch will be like and come up with images of Bridget Jones and disastrous speeches, which will probably be the reality of it all. Hmm, I'm thinking some pretty satin black dress, a chic little up-do, too much red wine and my boyfriend on my arm telling me that I buggered the speech up and had red wine down my dress but he couldn't wait to take me home. Ha! Perhaps wishful thinking? When I reach the age of my first book being published, I'll either be some 28 year old singleton with cats or a 67 year old woman who looks like Vivienne Westwood but has to be wheeled round in a wheelchair after a skiing accident or some such. Hmm...

Today is a pretty but comfortable day. Starting with a Marc by Marc Jacobs tea dress which is perfect for the weekend, the office, a party and for a date- it's a brilliant purchase! Pair with a Topshop People Tree green cable knit scarf and a bright Mulberry poppy tote for some major colour. Slip on some simple Miu Miu flats and a purple rose ring. Next, curl up in a coffee shop with a large cappuccino and write away!

Novel writing. by hollieanne

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for yesterday.

I am bad! Ooops. I know, I know, yesterday's entry didn't happen but you do get two this evening. I wish I could say I was at some party and drinking champers until 4am but it honestly just slipped my mind. My eyes were too busy lighting up at seeing the Hollyoaks girls all dressed up for the National Television Awards. I must say, people slag them off but the Hollyoaks lot are all gorgeously natural and stylish beauties. Ahh, to be shockingly beautiful and talented.

Anyway, yesterday consisted of very little. A sad little cold bug and a long lunch in the pub with friends. I wish I'd been on the wine but I'm watching the calories so had a diet lemonade- I am as cool as Kate Moss, right? Right?!

One thing I did do yesterday was sent a pretty little flirty text to the boss. Well, not my boss but a big team of journalists and media folks' boss. Yup, I am lucky that my other half is rather successful and thus, as it turns out, is in charge of lots of people; rather inspirational, really. So, knowing he'd be sat at his desk, I popped a little "You are bloody gorgeous! xx" text message to his mobile to make him smile. It's nice knowing he'd be sitting at his desk in his striped shirt and yummy trousers and reading the text with a smile. I guess it's always important to remind someone you love them, isn't it? A little flirtation goes a long way when you've been with someone for a while. Then, last night just before I was about to drift off to sleep and feel a little sad because my love wasn't cuddling me with his rather perfect arms, I sent another text reminding him that I was super proud of him and that I loved him very much. Today I learned that that evening had been rather chaotic and not very pleasant for one reason or another so my text had made him smile. So, a little random message can mean a lot and I think one of the things that keep a long term relationship going is the tiny things and still flirting as if you were on your third date (as we all know the "Three Date Rule"!).

Dressing For is for flirting with the boss! A little striped skirt paired with a Malene Birger blouse is the perfect work look that makes you look hot and not frumpy. What I haven't done here is add a pair of tights which, unless you work in the media or fashion industry and can get away with anything, I'd very much suggest. Stand tall with some appallingly sexy shoe-boots and add a pretty pair of hoops and a gorgeous golden Mattijs Van Bergen bow ring. Next, throw on this super chic and classic Fendi babydoll trench coat and then slide a grey leather briefcase on to show him that you have brains too! And if your boss isn't too pretty/has a wife/is gay, perhaps remind your man that he's in control- if only for one night! Have fun...

Yesterday. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Sunderland.

My mummy is an absolute star! We took her for a job assessment at a hospital in Sunderland today and she bloody well passed it with flying colours. She'll have an interview within the next week or so. I have very little to say but "Go Meme! Go Meme!".

Whilst my mummy sat her exams, the boys and I went off into town to do a little early morning shopping. I'd frequent Sunderland as a little girl most Saturdays- my football shirt and pigtails swinging in the breeze coming from the sea. My father and I would take long walks around the football ground before the match started and if I wasn't feeling too scared, I'd pet the police horses.

But since my parents split, the football stopped and I'd paid one or two visits to Sunderland to see friends. But today brought back nice memories and I got to enjoy the girly shopping side of it.

Not bad! H&M, Monsoon, River Island, New Look, Superdrug... decent little high-street shops for me to meander around for a few hours. A few purchases of jewellery bits from H&M, stack loads of cosmetics and a bundle of "good luck" gifts for my mother.

Dressing For is inspired by the need to look smart to sit a test and then casual and comfortable enough to try on dresses and capes in H&M and Monsoon. Start with a simple but chic Mike & Chris Mongomery jacket and add some jeans by Dorothy Perkins and slip into some fabulous platform heels by Wet Seal. On top, I've used a slouched tee by French Connection and then accessorised with various beads and pearls. Finally, an American Eagle blue and white bucket bag to stash all those buys! Until tomorrow...

Sunderland. by hollieanne

Monday, 27 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for leopard print coats.

The piggies are doing very well. Horatio has stated himself as a bit of a bully and appears to love biting the bottom of Gordon and chasing him around until he does a tiny piggy cry- poor thing. Once we can handle them in the next few days, I think Gordon will get a few more cuddles to make up for mean Horatio's chasing.

Anyway, onto fashion! I've never been a coat person, really. Perhaps it's a Newcastle thing as Newcastle girls as known for never wearing a coat on a night out. Or perhaps I just don't mind the cold. But this A/W I've acquired four lovely coats of all colours and styles.

My first purchase was a beautiful khaki full circle skirt mac from the M&S. It's become a very envy induced coat with stack loads of compliments and many people not realising Marks and Spencer could be so fashion forward (It can! You just have to search a bit!). My second purchase would again be from Marks and Spencers. A beautifully smart and amazingly cut bright pink number with the most amazing over sized collar and a wonderful cocoon shape. This coat would set me back a small fortune but it's a beauty. The third buy of this A/W was my beloved cape from Primark with military style buttons. Yummy! And then, my latest purchase would be a dream. Searching Primark amongst size 8 bow print tea dresses reduced to a fiver, I'd find a fabulous and rather divine faux fur leopard print coat. Slightly cropped sleeves, finishes at the waist and with a high collar- I couldn't ask for more for £25! And it was the last one in my size- total shopping fate!

So, today we are dressing just for that coat! The boyfriend is being indecisive and making you feel a bit rubbish, your brothers are home for half term and driving you mad and your best mate is too busy swooning over his cricket trophy. So, what do you do? Grab an amazingly stand-out outfit and go off for a cocktail. I've started with a New Look jacket- double breasted so perhaps for the smaller girls in life but still super cute and yet super smart. Underneath we have a fab Alice in Wonderland vest by Topshop and then (wait for it...) some PVC leggings. Yup, this is an outfit for the super skinny but if you can work it, then bloody well work it! Slip on super high Jimmy Choo shoe-boots and hold this bright blue feather Topshop clutch in the hand wearing the red cocktail ring- clashing colours but oh so good! I'll have a martini...

Leopard Print Jacket. by hollieanne

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for her Guinea pigs!

What a fabulous day! What turned into a dull morning waiting for Mr. E's care to get fixed, ended with my two new little cutie-pies!

I am now a yummy mummy to Gordon and Horatio the Guinea Pigs. How fun are trips to Pets At Home? That place might have had a lot of dead fish flolating in the aquariums but it sure does have some sweet little Guinea Pigs. My step-brothers and I opted for two rather scruffy looking creatures and, after much confusion over how we were going to fit the rather huge cage into the care, took them back to our Northern and noisey home.

They're a little scared at the moment but Horatio appears to be the more nosey one and he isn't shy at all. I can't wait until they get settled in and I can pick them up and take lots of photos with them. Oh and yes, I did pick their names!

Dressing For is today about comfort, style and cuddling little balls of fluff. This Topshop knit dress looks super comfy and is really quirky with the dog print. Pair with two Chanel classics- the cute flat shoes and super glam bag. Finally, add some Topshop pink mittens for some colour and to keep your fingers warm in this really aweful weather!

Guinea Pigs. by hollieanne

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being proud of her best friend.

My best friend is fabulous! I know everyone is bound to say that about their best boy or girl but my cute little button of a best mate deserves all the XBox games, takeaway pizzas and snuggles in the world!

My Weepsie never fails to surprise me- from waking me up on a morning with phone calls to tell me I smell, to serenading me with made up songs and writing me stories about snails named George. If you're ever in need of a creative and rather gorgeous Essex boy, give him a call!

I honest would be lost without him. Most friends are lucky if they speak once a week but Paul and I are never off the phone to one another and tend to speak about five times a day. My boyfriend doesn't mind one bit and has often been around when Paul and I have been having a good old gossip about birds and er...seals.

So, how chuffed was I today to be told that my darling one-time boyfriend of two and a half years had won an award? Hurrah! My best friend, the shy and timid bloke with a love for dumplings and darts, was tonight awarded the "Best Fielder" prize within his local cricket team at a fancy do. Well, Mr. Weepsie, I love you! I can't wait to see him soon and smother his face with loads of kisses. I am proud!

Dressing For is today for having fun and spinning round in circles with your best one. Sure, it's a little silly and out there but it's perfect for a tea party on the living room carpet for 2. We'd make sure we had dumplings at ours. I adore this t-shirt, I'm not sure where it's from to be honest but it is well cute! Slip on a La Garçonne twirly skirt, some Minnie Mouse ears (why not?!) and a graphic bangle. If you have to be sensible, I'd suggest removing the Disney ears and slipping on some Jimmy Choo flats and a Chloé bag.

PS/ Have just rocketed into the "best girlfriend in the world" league. Get in!!!

Cricket. by hollieanne

Friday, 24 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for arguing.

I have never met a man so ill educated when it comes to other people's feelings! I am officially cross. At who? My mother's choice of bloke. Not only did he really offend me last week (did I write about that? I don't think I did) with a comment that hurt so much but he also cannot understand that I'm still hurt about it.

He talks to me as if I'm just some "silly tart"- a phrase he's used in the past and will certainly not use when he's talking to me ever again! I despise the way he sees women as being second, it's only a small amount but it's too much. Of course, my mother can't really see it but it drives me insane! You can tell he thinks women are over-emotional and silly. Well, Mr. E, I think you're a bit of an ignorant idiot. How dare you demand such respect and not give it back. How dare you tell me that your comment last week didn't effect me. How dare you claim that I am lying when I say I feel a certain way.

I know, you shouldn't let these things get to you but they do. I just really, really, really want to go round to my boyfriend's place and get the most gorgeous blond hug and have a tiny cry and be looked after for an hour or two. I want to feel all sorry for myself and get cross at Mr. E and be so elated that my man is intelligent, educated and dresses bloody good rather than in Newcastle United shirts and minging jeans! I am officially pouty!

As I'm sure you'd have guessed, Dressing For is today for arguments with narrow minded people who won't listen to you and are chauvinistic and demand attention just because they're a man! Hmm, can anyone say feminist? I'd wear this outfit to go and pick up a bottle of red wine, stomp round to my boyfriend's and rant for about three hours about Mr. E. This outfit would be unusual for me to wear as I prefer to be a bit more girly but I love the "rock chick" look that Kate Moss appears to wear so well. The Judy Blame tank top is true goth goddess style and paired with dark denim skinny jeans and kill-ah (!!!) Moschino shoe boots, you're onto true "I really have just thrown this on but don't I look amazing?" bad girl style. Throw over a Luella blazer and swing this Chanel quirky classic off your arm and you're almost ready to go. Finally, a high-street hit via this fab Miss Selfridge cocktail ring. Add lashings of black eyeliner, a massive pout and stack loads of feminist attitude.

Argue. by hollieanne

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for making the deadline.

I was poorly this morning so missed my philosophy lecture and drifted off whilst watching news story after news story about Kerry Katona and her "frazzled" appearance on yesterday's This Morning.

However, I knew I had to pull myself together and make it in this afternoon as my feminist work of art in the form of an advertising essay had to be submitted and signed for by 5pm. Come 1:45 when my eyes were sore, the rain was hitting off the roof like mad and my mum was offering tea and hugs like there was no tomorrow, I was rather reluctant but there was zero way I was going to lose 2% of my grade mark for being late.

Braved in thick tights, my tattered metallic purple flats, a lifetime lasting LBD and my envy inducing M&S circle trench, I made it to campus at 4. Now, anyone reading who has younger children will know what a nightmare brothers can be when it comes to using the computer. I had a major panic on as my "darling" brother had used all the ink on the printer for printing off Hannah Montana and Halloween pictures to display in his room. Thankfully, the library came to the rescue and my essay was signed for in the office at 4:47pm. And I wasn't the last one to hand it in; with around ten minutes to go, at least three names were still not reported to have handed in the essay which was worth 60% for unit 1- eeek!

Dressing For is today designed with rushing about in mind. Some Christian Louboutin patent flats provide sophisticated and stylish footwear by the iconic designer of shoes- when deadlines are minutes away, I doubt your heels will get you far! Slip on a 3.1 Phillip Lim orange dress and black tights for a super simple but chic look and throw over a clashing colour such as this pink cardigan. Finally, add an on-trent tassle bag and a Dries Van Noten statement necklace that is to die for!

On time. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for finding out his real name.

Have I ever told you the story of Humphries and Owner? I'm not sure I have, have I? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Every morning, at the same time, I get on the bus into Newcastle from my home. And every morning, in the same spot, sits a pair I call Humphries and Owner. Humphries is a gorgeous shaggy dog, described in modern culture as a Dulux dog. Owner is, of course, the owner of Humphries. Owner is always dressed rather casually and sits and listens to his iPod- at around the age of 55, I wonder what he listens to as Humphries sits and attracts smiles from the crowd of commuters.

I'd tell the tale of Humphries and Owner- how they appeared, what stop they got off at and my theories as to where they might be going- to my best friend and my mother. We all rapidly became intrigued by the duo and brief mentions of them on an evening turned into immediate texting on a morning as soon as I saw them.

I came up with the name Humphries- he really suits it and I then further have discussions about the shattering of illusions about his real name. I swore I'd never find it out.

Then today, as I left campus at a different time to normal, I found myself sat in the station with Humphries' head on my lap. Humphries and Owner were waiting for the same bus as I was and I was rather elated inside to find that Owner said hello to me. As I stroked Humphries, Owner smiled and I just had to do it!

"What's his name?" I asked, terrified of a response such as "Shaggy" or "Cuddles".
"Shepard" replied Owner with a smile.

Shepard? Humphries is called Shepard?! You know what, the illusion isn't ruined and so the reality is a million times better. I never did quite find out where they were going though...

Dressing For is today inspired by a park walk with Humphries/Shepard. It's been freezing outside so one needs to start with a snuggly and smart looking Topshop coat. Next, the focus piece- a fabulous print skirt by Erdem Laverna skirt that I'd sell my boyfriend for (that is, if he were not so damn gorgeous and super intelligent!). It is such a beautiful skirt though, isn't it? Dressed down with cashmere t-shirts and perfect for the office with a tailored white shirt. Then go navy mad with a Dorothy Perkins shopper, some vintage leather gloves and super cute shoes- a slight 50s look that I heart. Is it true that loads of people meet their partner whilst walking their dogs? I have no doubt you would in this super sweet outfit. Happy dog walking!

Finding out his real name. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a new found love of evening classes.

I am exhausted today- essays, UCAS, working on my novel, doing some painting and reading stack loads of material on new media advertising.

However, my tiredness has nothing to do with not returning home until 11ish last night. I attended my evening class with a dash of anticipation and a venti caramel latte with an extra shot from Starbucks. Having been up since 6am yesterday morning, I was worried that I'd feel exhausted during my English Language evening class and not make too much of a good impression. But my word was I alive!

I loved the fact that there was hardly anyone standing in the corridors or waiting for the lift on campus come 5pm and the fact that it felt less of a chore as I was giving up my Hollyoaks time to be there out of choice.

From 5-9pm we actually studied the English language. I gained knowledge and wrote three sides of A4, unlike attending the morning lectures which I found unstructured and ill of interest. Hurray- long live feeling nervous as I walk through pitch black back streets on a Monday evening to catch my bus.

I've created Dressing For with the idea of attending an evening class and then meeting your bloke and his colleagues for a glass or two of red wine. My other half was out with friends last night and, I admit, I was daydreaming about joining him- full of zest, inspiration and ambition after my lecture. Sadly, by the time the train took the journey from Newcastle to Birmingham New Street, I feel he may have finished dinner (plus, his friend is also his super clever and super thin ex that scares me a little!). Anyway...

The look is casual, comfy and yet smart enough to make a decent impression. I like the fact that this Vanessa Bruno dress looks like something I might wear for bed, it looks so comfy! Add a pair of Converse for slightly nervous walking through town in the dark and a polkadot full skirt Topshop coat to brave the cold in style. Next, to add a little glam, use Chanel necklaces and a brooch to make your accessories do the talking and then a Marc by Marc Jacobs tote to store all your notes and a small bottle of perfume to freshen up. Ahh, the English language and wine- what a perfect dream.

Lecture. Wine bar. by hollieanne

Monday, 20 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for flirty comments.

Oh la la, aren't I the sex siren? But someone certainly thinks I ain't half bad for a fat lass!

I was in such a panic this morning over changing my lecturer and lecture time that I threw on the closest things to hand; this resulted in a brown dress, mustard cardigan, red and check scarf, black leggings and red shoes. Not as bad as it sounds but not great by any means.

I rushed around campus this morning trying to change my Monday/Tuesday English Language lecture to the Monday evening four hour one. The English department where, in all respect, not too helpful and my upset about the comment made towards me was almost brushed off. Hmm, what can I do? I had to justify changing to the evening class as it being better for study time and such. I'm all for handling confrontation heads on and discussing it calmly but when I tried to do that this morning my ever defensive lecturer got worked on. Onwards and upwards, eh?

Walking out of college, I was soaked by the rain and my umbrella didn't stand a chance. Creeping through the streets of China Town and listening to Kings of Leon, I looked an utter mess. But Office Man certainly didn't think so! Now, let me explain who Office Man is- he does, of course, work in an office and we pass each other every day and wave hello, Office Man often smiles at me with his shockingly gorgeous smile and it makes my morning, I have to admit.

So with rain soaked hair, a cardigan that was dripping wet and a slightly worked-up pout, Office Man and I walked the same direction into town and glanced at each other lots. Then Office Man stopped!

OM: "You look really nice today!"
Me: "What? Me? I am soaked right through"
OM: "I know" [insert gorgeous smile here]

Ahh, my day has been made! Of course, I do have a lovely boyfriend who I'm super committed to but he'd agree with me that a little flirtation and a tiny crush actually does wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. Well, Office Man, I thought you looked nice today as well!

So, with a skipping round the streets and an evening glass to attend tonight, we need to be preppy and yet pretty. I've started with this gorgeous Topshop prom style dress and layered it with a Batman t-shirt. Add some purple polkadot tights, yummy Oxfords and vintage bag and you're almost complete. A bobble hat for the cold weather and then some seriously classy bling in the form on this Monica Vinader ring. Now, remember to smile and wave, smile and wave...

Flirting. by hollieanne

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for dancing to The Saturdays.

Last night, as I watched Ruth fight for her place on X Factor, my mum's bloke made a comment about my weight. Sure, I'm no size 8 and I guess I am overly comfort eating in a time of stress over UCAS and my father but I do think there's zero need for comments like the one he made. I cried. My mum comforted me.

The comforting lasted well into today and I refused to be in the same room as her bloke. I admit, I wanted to make him feel bad and I was rather embarrassed at my current body shape, too.

My mum always has a way of making me feel better no matter what; everyday I think of the couple of years after my dad left when it was just the two of us. The house smelt of perfume and lipstick, we ate cheesecake and Chinese food and cried at girly films nearly every night. I miss those times but they're often repeated when it's just the two of us alone in this new home.

After finally giving in and dressing in a striped top and navy cords, my mum dragged me downstairs and presented me with home-made cheesecake- perhaps not the best thing for a girl with major image issues right now but it worked! With my mum's bloke and my brothers out for the day, my mum and I snuggled up on the sofa and watched Sex And The City: The Movie and giggled at how much of a Carrie Bradshaw wannabe I am (who isn't?!).

But it was letting go and listening to BBC Radio 1 that did it for me. Dancing in the kitchen is something I always, always, always do. When I lived alone, I did it. When I moved back home, it was one of the first things I did and no doubt when I go to Uni/move into a penthouse in New York/live in my shabby chic future Persian country house, I'll do the same. Today's choice was "Up" by The Saturdays. I don't care if some people think they're a cheap Girls Aloud/Sugababes/Spice Girls- I. LOVE. THEM! My mother and I have some sexy dance moves and let's face it, you couldn't shake like we do without lots of bootaaaaaaay!

Sunday if often my favourite day to dress for. It's lazy before the office week starts but it's also pretty and girly for Sunday lunch with your granny. And, can I add before I start explaining this outfit, my gorgeous mum loves this ensemble! I love this Chloé number, it's perfect for slouching in and yet would look amazing glammed up, I also get the impression it would hide one too many Yorkshire Puddings rather well. Add on some Marc by Marc Jacobs (fabulously priced) skinny jeans; there's not really a more pretty yet casual look that I enjoy more than a dress and jeans. Throw on some gold bangles, an amazing Isharya Filigree that should be a modern classic and then wrap your feet in some Grecian style Topshop sandals. Finally, I would happily lick some rather manky feet for this super pretty Bottega Veneta Butterfly intrecciato bag. Until tomorrow...

Untitled by hollieanne

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dreses for sudden flights out of the country.

Dating someone with children has really helped me understand that my parents do have lives too and they're often more fun than my own! I guess something clicked when I first fell in love with my other half and I suddenly had such a new outlook on my parents, their divorce and their current situation. I think this is probably the greatest lesson my boyfriend has ever taught me, although I'm not sure how aware he is of it.

But even though I understand my father needs a life and a relationship, I've never approved of his teenage like behaviour and his need to gallivant, for one of a better word. I've never understood my father's need to be in relationship after relationship and for, well, all his life to overlap. He's never been single since he was about 16. A need to feel constant love after an appalling childhood? Maybe so but in this instance, it hurts.

As I sat doodling teacups and kittens this morning, my father called. He always has a habit of talking around the main point (the man was a massive success in the retail world, I shouldn't be surprised at this!) so he started asking how I was, what I was up to and what times I was in college for the following week. Then he got to the main point. Himself and K The Bore are off to Turkey for a week as of Monday afternoon. No time to see me between now and then, he's afraid so er...bye. Bye, Dad! You know, I haven't seen you in a few weeks and you're off once more spending cash you told me you didn't have when I asked for £10 for two research journals. It's not the money, it's just the madness of it all and the way he just appears to dump me the whole time.

Perhaps some people reading this will think I'm being a little selfish and my father is just living his life but he's irrational, unstable and falls in love constantly with new women because he likes the feeling of being in love. After I moved back in with my parents, it took weeks for my father and I to even speak but then we build up this amazing relationship and once I meet K The Bore and lie and say she's great, he drops me like a hat and doesn't call as much and hasn't visited or invited me over. Well, Mr. Brooks, do what you please because I do not care. Nope, not one bit. But doesn't ever girl need her daddy in fragile times?

So with a slight annoyed expression about me all day, I've created Dressing For with a pink stroppy stomp! This pink prom style dress would come in at around £12.40 if Forever21 existed in the UK; sometimes I hate living in Britain (this is a lie- I loooooooooove being British!). The shoes, however, not so cheap but aren't they a work of art? I actually want these Prada babies just to cuddle at night. Again, you'd be spending mega bucks on the Chanel bag but if you're daddy's little princess perhaps you could just flutter your eyelashes? Hey, it might work! Add this Juicy Couture belted trench for the autumn nights. See, people laugh at me for my love of Juicy Couture but how could you not love the label when they produce items like the sweet little trench? Finally, clip back hair in some Claire's vintage style slides and grab this Urban Outfitters watch necklace before they're all snapped up. A perfect outfit for pouting and sipping on a skinny mocha in Starbucks.

PS/ Promise I'll try and stop with the pink overload!

Sudden flights. by hollieanne

Friday, 17 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for chick-lit Friday.

My day off- yippee! Actually, it should be a study day where I do all my essays and pitch articles/send off copy so I have the weekend free but I prefer to spend it in something slouchy and floaty and drink green tea all day.

After a hospital appointment this morning, I opted out of going into town and made myself the first caramel latte of the day. "Lipstick Jungle" by "Sex And The City" author Candance Bushell in one hand, coffee cup in the other and BBC Radio 4 playing in the background. Yes, I am really 56 and not 19.

My entire weekend will probably follow the same pattern and will end in a hot bath and wishful conversations on the phone to my bloke about Paris, pug dogs, studying in New York, his music, Cath Kidston and 1920s flapper girls. Either that or my best mate will be nattering on about girls and asking for dating advice. That boy is gorgeous. He needs no advice at all.

The outfit today follows on from the feminine look of yesterday. Soft, floaty and chic.
Mayle Itati has produced this striking cami which looks like it would hang like a dream on the right figure (I'm thinking small bust; so basically, not mine!). Teamed with some iconic Sass & Bide jeans and a super pretty cardigan from Republic. Now, I hope my boyfriend/best friend is reading this and comes across this cute as candyfloss bag! It's available for just under a tenner so is the perfect weekend online shopping treat- I can feel my card screeching at me to use it. The gold Converse are just plain fabulous and, last but totally not least, the Chanel ring and brooch are to die for. Yes please, Santa! Perfect outfit for a coffee and book morning followed by some writing and a glass of rosé and a cuddle with your bloke.

Relaxed Friday. by hollieanne

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for using watercolours.

It's so nice to spend only an hour of my day in a lecture and then come home and enjoy the finer things in life such as my slippers, Coke Zero in a mug, Hawaiian Tropic body butter, Jeremy Kyle and painting.

I haven't touched a paintbrush in weeks. I am ashamed.

I'm no artist in the typical sense. Picasso isn't my father and my mother would probably switch the lights off in some modern lighting exhibition show but I give it a go! And it was nice, it was nice to paint and feel so calm whilst doing it and create pretty images on a pretty page inspired by pretty days out with my best friend, my mother and my boyfriend (ahh, Chatsworth...).

Not even the disruption of my two younger brothers arriving home from school could annoy me as I painted Persian blue and emerald green onto grease-proof paper (yup, the stuff you put in the oven!) and sang along to random Amy Winehouse lyrics that kept cropping up in my head.

Sadly, the day didn't stay as calm. Brothers should not be allowed near laptops, put it that way!

The outfit I've made up for today is a very "Hollie-Anne" outfit. I tend to go for the chic and feminine look day to day and hardly ever wear trousers or jeans but opt for pretty pink colours and wonderfully constructed or floaty skirts. I love this rather dressy printed skirt from Forever21 and it speaks for itself so only needs a Topshop vest and a Forever21 grey cardigan over the top for understated elegance. I'm slipped on some pretty Topshop salmon coloured gladiators (make sure you've got your pedicure!) and I'd use a pretty pink satin hairband to keep hair tamed and classy. Finally, there's always time for a touch for timeless designer and that's why I've selected this Tiffany and Co silver necklace and Miu Miu leather tote to carry around everything from books to paints and, of course, lipstick. I love it!

Watercolours. by hollieanne

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for reading fashion marketing books in Starbucks.

Considering I didn't go to bed until 2:30am and woke 3 hours later, the day flew by with not a yawn in sight (well, maybe one whilst in the library). A quick lecture with my philosophy teacher, a tutorial class which was spent talking fashion with the lovely Samuel and then a five minute meeting to discuss my media essay (I'm onto a good one!).

I indulged in a Starbucks white mocha and caramelised onion and cheese bread. If you could not tell me the calorie intake, I'd be chuffed, thaaaaaaaaaaanks! Whilst I sat sipping on coffee and with a whipped cream moustache, I opened up my current favourite fashion marketing book and fell in love like I've never known. Ahh, reading about Coco Chanel's insults to Poiret made me geekily giggle and proud to be a feisty woman.

There are very few things that I enjoy more than learning about marketing and promotion within fashion. See, I knew I'd find my place in the fashion world and the numbers world (sort of).

When you brothers are annoying you/your appointments keep getting cancelled/your bloke finds you just a wee bit too much/Hollyoaks is reducing you to tears every night this week, try and pick up something about fashion branding- trust me, it'll work!

Dressing For is geeking it up today! The fashion and book lover within you is released all in one. The Luella floral blouse is the key piece of the outfit- buy a few sizes up and wear it over sized and baggy. I've then used some fab skinny Topshop trousers and I worship the lucky ladies who own these Jonathan Kelsey for Luella shoe-boots. Throw on some typical geek glasses, a Forever21 bobble hat and some Primark accessories. Am I a geek? Yes, Sir!

Fashion marketing chic. by hollieanne

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for going auburn.

I had a duvet day today. A lie-in after meeting The Hoosiers last night and shaking my bottom off in a fancy dress outfit that I described as "an oppressed 50s feminist housewife" but was twice described as "Kim and Aggie from Channel 4". Either way, for last night and last night only, I came across as a woman with a lot of scrubbing power!

I emerged from my gorgeous double bed at 11am. Sadly, there was no yummy man next to me to provide cuddles and breakfast in bed so I wandered downstairs and watched This Morning with my mum. I am a classy bird.

After lazing about in my favourite pjs of the moment, I got dressed in a fabulous blue check shirt with ruffle detail, comfy jeans and the cape of my dreams. In retrospect, the gladiator sandals were not a good idea in the rain but it was fabulous and cosy in my hair salon/beauticians.

After a while of staring at Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud in the likes of Now Magazine, I knew I needed to embrace the world of ginger hair! I know, I know, it's apparently not enough for me that I have glasses, a gap between my teeth, a rather large pair of hips to say the least and a quirky dress sense- I just had to go into bully central and go all out.

It took two hours and lots of bleaching of my hair to give me the auburn look I craved. It's not exactly the bright ginger that I really want as to clash with my signature pink lipstick, but it's the best they could do with my darker than dark hair until November 25th when my hair will be going under another dye job. I love it.

So, to show off my new auburn colour, I've picked the key shades to match my new tone. Starting off with this "I must own and I'll happily sell my gorgeous, intelligent and successful boyfriend for it" Marc Jacobs trench; nice autumnal colour, eh? Underneath I've added this Diane von Furstenberg Tuvallu kimono dress. Blue works amazing with ginger shades, thus my blue check ruffle shirt I wore out today. As it's getting colder, wetter and typically English outside, it's time to add some tights by Topshop and slip on these Chloé boots. And it does seem a shame to cover up newly done hair but I would for this classic over sized floppy hat.

auburn by hollieanne

Monday, 13 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for critiquing the critique.

Having been in the journalism trade for some time now, I've come to realise that- unless stated- criticism is never personal but always constructive. You develop a thick skin in this industry and rejection becomes your new best friend. You brush it off and get on with it, change bits of an article to fit the bill, find a new source and scrap a million ideas you thought were world changing. Hey, that's just the way it goes.

But upon returning to education, I was looking forward to getting to grips with questioning the lecturer's marking and self analysing work. Rather than accepting things and doing as my editor tells me, I was looking forward to saying "Well, actually, I think...".

So today I got my "personal essay" back for my HEFC English Language course. I'd wrote about an event in my life which will change me forever, an event I'm still recovering from but an event which is so profound that I can detach myself from it and write it as if it were a film script. I was elated with the first draft and handed it in two weeks before the due date as I was promised it would be marked early and I could work my way towards a first.

Hmm, I got the essay back today and what a fuss it caused. Magazine titles need to go in italics? Sure. I used an apostrophe wrong? Sorry! But an attack on my past? Er, no thanks.

Yup, my teacher actually implied that I am possibly rather stressed and I need to take it easy and not question the marks. And what did I do? Well, I said that- for ethical reasons- I didn't want to lie in my autobiographical piece even if it did get me a distinction. Hmm, walking on eggshells are we? It's called having the balls not to mumble "OK" and totter off and be an unethical writer.

Dressing For is today about being sharp, smart and a little bit of a rebel.

Miss Selfridge have done this wonderful grey check skirt that could easily be a designer piece with a huge price-tag, add on a quirky and super cheap Paris tee from Wet Seal and then throw over a wonderfully odd Fred Flare cardigan for that inner protester. The beret of my dreams and Aldo gloves give a chic feel and the La Garçonne shoe boots are perfect for sashaying down the corridor with attitude. Finally, an amazing John Galliano newspaper bag that reminds me of my media roots.

Critique. by hollieanne

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for fancy dress outfit shopping.

Tomorrow evening I'll be in fancy dress for the first time ever- yay! I've never been to a fancy dress party before (sad, I know) so I am so excited.

My mother and I spent a hurried afternoon rushing around the shopping centre and trying to source inspiration. Despite tomorrow evening being planned for months, we didn't quite get our act together so have had to settle for what we could grab today. But what we found wasn't bad at all!

So, when I go off and see The Hoosiers tomorrow evening, I'll be dressed as a 1950s house-wife. Not very inventive, I know, but I have a lecture in the morning and then a hospital appointment with very little time to change in between. So unless I wanted to meet my doctor tomorrow dressed as Superwoman/Amy Winehouse/a naughty nurse, I'll have to work with my own clothing.

My style is quite 50s feminine anyway so my favourite mustard and purple floral dress will come in perfect, teamed with my cupcake apron, rollers in my hair and all the added accessories of a duster, rubber gloves and a feather boa for good measure. I can't wait!

As the shopping was quite hurried today, I've picked an outfit that's perfect for a slouchy morning with magazines, pastries and Hollyoaks followed by a Sunday lunch and glass of wine with your bloke and then trying on wigs quickly in fancy dress stores.

I love this Charles Nolan silk blouse- it's the perfect piece for work and for weekend. I've paired it up with a pale pink cotton Miu Miu skirt, Topshop knee high grey socks and amazing geometric style Chloé leather flats. Finally, as well as the Topshop bag, I've gone for cupcake jewellery- hooray! I heart cupcakes and The Humming Bird Bakery in South Kensington is the place of my dreams. Oh how I miss it...

Fancy dress shopping. by hollieanne

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for sausage dog cuddles.

I had the most brilliant day today! Did I go shopping and find the perfect vintage fur coat? Nope. Did I get the role of editor at Glamour? Sadly not. Did I meet Kate Moss and ask her why she's so overrated? No, but I will one day. Did I meet Peaches Geldof/Laura Hollins (Agyness Deyn)/ Gok Wan and make them vanish off the face of the earth? Again, no but I will one day!

Today, my greatest life dream came true... I got some major cuddly snuggles from a gorgeous wee sausage dog! Ahh, it was love.

There I was, walking down my local high street and giggling to myself at the 14 year old pregnant girls and the amount of 6 month old babies with Greggs pasties in their mouths when I suddenly spotted the most gorgeous and divine creature alive (sorry, Robin!). He cause a bit of a fuss- the long body, wet nose and cute little dreamy eyes made everyone stop and stare and eventually I just couldn't help myself.

I stroked him (I've since, in my head, named him Mustard) and his tiny wet doggy nose gave me a sweet little kiss. I cuddled him and thought about running off with him but I wasn't sure my gladiator sandals would carry me fast enough. I'm not one for animals but sausage dogs are a major exception.

The outfit selected for today represents all the joy Mustard gave me this afternoon. I haven't stop smiling (little things please little minds...) and I doubt I ever would if I owned this yummy Dorothy Perkins coat- just look at the bow! I've added a Karl Lagerfeld tee and Topshop mini and paired them with bright orange tights and green Topshop frill heels to brighten it all up. Finally, a patent orange bow bag and elephant earrings complete the bright colour pop look. Yum yum!

Sausage dog joy. by hollieanne

Friday, 10 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for loving the end of the honeymoon period.

When you're in a relationship it can often feel like all your plans and thoughts revolve around your other half. You select times to call one another and everything else is off limits, you make plans for dinner and not even a night out with the girls will make you cancel it and you plan romantic mini breaks months in advance and make all other plans around that.

But am I right in thinking it can often feel too much? Sure, planning stuff with my bloke is great and we do get all loved-up to the point of it being sickly to others but it can sometimes feel odd, especially after being single and independent for a while.

Recently this transcended into a slight distance between my other half and I. Nothing bad, really, just a feeling of needing to make plans/call each other 45 times before we go to sleep/talk for hours. I'm still madly in love but I quite fancy slouching in my Ugg boots and having a really early night.

When you're not in a relationship you dress to attract men, when you're in a relationship you dress to impress him- so what happens when you're really comfortable in a relationship and can slob about in your M&S grey PJs? Who do you dress for then? You, of course!

I discovered that wonderful point once more where I really do just dress for me. I went to the salon today and spent 2 hours having my nails done for no other reason than wanting them done to make me happy. I wore my Ugg boots (in public!) and allowed my bloke to see me in them. I got a stain on my white top and didn't care one bit! I'm finally in that moment of comfortable and sexy and it's all for me!

So, whilst my bloke has flown off on business until tomorrow morning, I'm more than happy spending a night with lots of Ben&Jerry's, Sex And The City: The Movie and a slice of chocolate cheesecake (hips o'clock!). Maybe boring is, well, boring but it's the comfort of the secure relationship mixed with the elation of knowing your appallingly hot boyfriend finds you rather sexy in your hoodie and pajama bottoms (well, maybe cute rather than sexy!).

Today's outfit might be comfortable, it might not be the most fashion forward outfit ever seen and it may well contain two of my guilty fashion loves (Ugg boots and Louis Vuitton bags) but it isn't by half rather cute. The Proenza Schouler long sleeved tee should be a staple in every one's wardrobe (although an M&S version is clearly more affordable), a simple denim mini skirt and waistcoat add an autumn feel and the Fred Flare nerd glasses necklace is pure geek-chic.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for hanging on the telephone.

I sighed lots today. Why oh why must you keep me hanging on the telephone? Why must you say you'll ring back at a certain time and never do? Why must you ignite the over crazed worrier in me and make me thinking of everything from you being taken away by a unicorn to you having an affair with Paris Hilton?

That's the apparent art of modern day technology though, isn't it? You can get hold of anyone via means of text message or calling them on their mobile but it breeds a certain amount of anxiety. It's true! Suddenly your significant other doesn't reply to a text for 24 hours and you're worried they've run off with the whole cast of Hollyoaks/Simon Cowell/Boris Johnson (the latter is a serious worry for my other half, I'll have you know!). You wonder if the non-replying person has had an accident, if they've suddenly fled the country after being involved in a crime or whether they've been kidnapped by aliens or Girls Aloud.

Slow down! He/she is fine. They've been in a really long and important meeting all day and couldn't get a signal on the train. They love you very much but they have more important things to do in work time than reply to your "Hiya Love, what do you fancy for tea?" text message.

Still, it isn't by half annoying when you can't get through. So today we're all about slouchy comfort for when you're phone is fixed to your ear like you'd fix Gerrard Butler to your lips. And when you finally do get through and feel like an idiot for panicking so much? A sharp coat and killer heels for stomping about town.

Forever21 provide one of the only reasons I want to visit NYC so I've used one of their simple striped tops with a pair of DKNY wool pants. Tuck your top into the trousers for true high-waist chic sailor girl style. Add a nautical belt and a Bottega Veneta bead necklace which I've fallen in love with. When it is time to go out, slip over this Fendi trench coat and Topshop heels and grab this yummy clutch to take the outfit from day through to night.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for The Hills.

I finally purchased the "reality" series The Hills on DVD today. After months of giggling over T4 showings of Lauren et al, I handed over the Zavvi shop assistant a total of £18 so I can spend my Sunday evenings watching the semi-trashy show over and over again.

Last month my boyfriend and I sat down to watch an episode. A lazy Saturday morning at his place with tea and pastries became a vital moment in my boyfriend's life, seemingly. As a fan of Living Lohan and Newlyweds, I was surprised he hadn't involved himself in the love lives of Heidi and Spencer. Watching it together, both of us total media geeks, we analysed the show and came out with the following conversation:

Boyfriend: "Hollie, this is utter shit!"
Me: "Yeah, but it's sooooo good!"

You have to love it, right?

Dressing For is today inspired by "complicated" love lives, the younger days of working at Teen Vogue and the major need for a Chanel bag!

Simple Charlotte Russe shorts, a Topshop Marc Bolan tee and a Warehouse cardigan focus on the staple "LA Girl About Town" look. But what makes it is the accessories. Chanel large quilted shopper? Check! Chanel-esque quilted ballet flats available from Net-A-Porter? Check! Huge sunglasses? Yup! And a colourful Topshop bracelet? You know it! So, stick your "cell phone" to your ear and pretend you're chatting to Teen Vogue's West Coast Editor- true The Hills style!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for creative writing.

Nice little English Language lecture this morning. Actually, when I say nice I mean rather dull in the form of being given 2 hours and 30 minutes to write a short instructive piece (How To Apply Lipstick was my contribution!), a formal letter (I complained to Dune about the red patent paint coming off my new wedges after one day) and a descriptive piece (based on getting a cab after my boyfriend and I left the Wallpaper* Design Awards in January of this year).

As my lecturer was reading through my rambles on air kissing and Eton accent slurring of "It was lovely to meet you, Hollie daaaarrrrrlling" she gave me a compliment which, at first, I didn't realise how amazing it was. Apparently my descriptive pieces read exactly like F. Scott Fitzgerald ( I admit, I didn't know who he was! Yup, I can tell you who was in the front row of the Alexander Wang A/W 2008 show but I'm not the most literally read bird. It's not that I don't care, I love to read and will read anything I can get my hands on, but perhaps I enjoy the more fluffy side of things after a long stressful day of sub-editing/feature writing/studying.

My classmates then informed me how much of a wonderful man Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald actually is and that I should be elated that I have a similar tone and style to him. Wa-hey for me!

So today I'm dressing for creative writing. Hours in coffee shops writing descriptive pieces about a geeky boy who makes it in the Big City, creating ideas for short stories and epic novels, producing characters like the person I've always wanted to be, daydreaming and scribbling every though on the page. Ahh, the art of imagination...

This outfit is indeed eclectic but why not, eh? I do realise that I am a massive La Garçonne geek and I do adore Chloé but how can I help it when they produce these beauties included in the outfit below? The wear with everything La Garçonne dress should be a staple and when paired with the chunky striped Chloé cardie, it's the perfect slouchy working from home outfit. I've added a brilliant pair of Gareth Pugh leggings (possibly the only wearable thing he's ever made) and stuck on a 40s style green trilby to be extra colourful and quirky. Again, it's a selling my granny style situation for this Chloé day bag. Any offers on my darling grandmother? I'll accept in the region of £825. Let the bidding begin!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Wokmania.

I was educated tonight. I learnt something that will stick with me through all my life and prove to be a valuable life lesson. Tonight I learned that you should never, ever, ever allow students near a chocolate fountain! The thing is, the title of "mature student" means nothing when it comes to a river of cheap chocolate sauce.

We couldn't resist the unlimited ice-cream machine and nor could we resist plunging the ice-cream under the chocolate fountain and cheering like seals when the chocolate quickly solidified. I admit, as a group of people in our early 20s (well, almost for me), we used a five year old boy and his masterful handling of the flowing chocolate Heaven as our mentor. That kid knew how to do it!

I was one of the boys tonight. The girls among us aren't exactly girly girls and despite my dress loving appearance, I can handle my own. So I was on Fosters tonight. Yup, I drink pints when I'm with the lads and wine when I'm with the boyfriend (despite our rather long lasting relationship, I still want him to think I'm a classy bird!).

Selecting the outfit for Dressing For today required me to pick something feminine and yet edgy. I would probably sell my gran (if she were alive) for this silk D&G tartan blouse (I'm sensing a sell-out item...) and once paired with some classic black jeans, your outfit doesn't need much more apart from some sexy shoe-boots like these ones by Chloé. I've added a Butler and Wilson brooch (I adore Butler and Wilson!) and a pair of super cheap Claire's angel wing earrings. Finally, anyone fancy spending about a grand on this Roberto Cavalli leather shoulder bag for me? There's not much I wouldn't do...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the farm at the bottom of her father's garden.

I met my father's latest girlfriend today and saw his new flat for the first time. My dad has a habit of swaying from one woman to the next so planning an outfit to impress her is long gone. It's a Sunday so I stole my mother's grey dip-dye leopard print cardigan, my favourite green skirt and grey leopard print shoes. And a slick of pink lipstick which makes my father realise I'm a real live grown-up now!

Hmm, so this girlfriend is blonde. His previous lot, minus one, have been dark ladies but I'm guessing he got bored. My opinion of the lady we'll call K has been odd. My father first told me about her and explained how she's had a very, very, very bad time over the past few years. Blackmail to make me like her after I bonded so well with the last girlfriend? Probably.

In the end, K was OK. Nothing to write home about. But what was to write home about was my father's new flat! Wow, wow and wow again! Not only is it super chic, super slick and super modern but it has the most amazing countryside views and a farm for a garden. Yup, my father who works in a call centre now has a farm for a garden. I spoke to the 3 ducks, made noises at the horses, laughed at the hens and gave the goat an evil stare. I'm impressed, Dad!

So today's look is all about looking chic in the mud. OK, so this Stephen Jones beret is nearly £200 but it's gorgeous! Add a cute tea dress by Goddiva, a Lady Luck Rules OK brooch and the compulsory Cath Kidston wellies are you're sorted. All that's missing is a bit of hay at the end of your lippie coated pout.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a pizza party.

Today saw the 12th birthday of my step-brother, Anthony. It almost made me sad to realise that I was only a year older than him when I was struck down with depression equal to an adults and a future which would be controlled by it. Only now, at 19, am I in control of what is now diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder and I almost live out my childhood losses in my two step-brothers' eyes. I enjoy their giggles, innocence and silly games knowing that I missed out on a lot of that. I feel privledged to have two such vibrant and mischeivous rascals to call my brothers.

And the giggles were at full speed today as we gorged on pizza, salad, cookie dough and stack loads of ice-cream until we were all nearly sick. We sang Happy Birthday at the top of our voices, popped the balloons which were blow-up for the birthday boy and chased each other around as if we were in a playground. Our laughing gained a few looks from fellow customers who perhaps thought the woman with the pink pout, dip-dye cardigan and smart wide-leg pants had too much sugar that morning. And what if I had? Today, I felt 12 too. And it was great!

The outfit picked for today represents the joy of being mature but young, silly but sensible, child-like but with so much life experience. I adore these La Garconne trousers which would be suitable in any editorial office or University meeting, the Topshop tee could easily slip under Yves Saint Laurent's "Le Smoking" tux for a quirky look and the Converse are commuting essentials which are swapped for killer heels on the corner of 6-8 Old Bond Street. I have a killer flu and this Topshop cable-knit scarf would be a welcome comfort. The Hello Kitty ring? Something I would have picked when I was 12 and something I'd probably still pick now, if truth were known.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for conversations about curves inspired by Jourdan Dunn.

Marks and Spencers often provides a source of inspiration for me. I heart their clothing and would much rather dig around their stash of clobber for an hour and purchase a £79 trench coat than spend the same amount of time in Oxfam only to come out with a granny batwing jumper with gold sparkles on that all the 18 year old girls of Birmingham are sporting.

But today, as much as their clothing was yummy, it was the location of the sandwich fridge area that caused a rather fabulous conversation. At one side of me was a stand of magazines (everything from Heat to Top Santé to Woman's Own to Cosmopolitan) and at the other side was a fridge featuring calorific lunchtime treats. I opted for a copy of Vogue and a banoffee dessert.

I was VERY happy to see the gorgeously gorgeous Jourdan Dunn on the cover of November 2008 British Vogue. She's beautiful, enough said. The banoffee dessert is beautiful. Ahh, if only there was some sort of Jourdan Dunn dessert invented and then I'd be in Heaven.

My mother commented on how young Ms. Dunn looks and how skinny she is. After watching Channel 4's tear inducing "Dana: The Eight Year Old Anorexic" last night, she had a point but I wish not to debate the fashion industry and their ill looking clothing models. I'm a fat bird, I'm always going to think they're too skinny, aren't I? My mother smiled at my bootylicious bottom (covered by grey wide-leg pants today) and then looked at the chosen dessert. This then sparked a conversation about when I was interning at a women's magazine some time ago and came across two women in the (AMAZING) company restaurant. The two women, dressed like Topshop and Marni had thrown up on them after too much vodka, shared a plate of lettuce. I wish I was joking.

So today we celebrate beauty- whether you're a very thin supermodel or a round apple shape like moi. Personally, I'd rather miss out on a Primark tea dress if it means that extra slice of four cheese pizza at Pizza Hut, but each to their own.

Today I've selected a curve loving dress available from Net-A-Porter, some yellow tights (why not?!), Marni shoes to make sure the only wobble in my legs is because I'm struggling to navigate said heels after four glasses of rosé, a cute Topshop owl brooch and, for the hell of it, a brocade vintage bag.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the feelings of not being bothered.

So, after my rough day yesterday which ended in a tearful call to my boyfriend ("But I just *sniff* want to do... *wail* weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllll!"), I woke this morning not caring about any one's disrespectful attitudes; this then reflected in my outfit.

On those days where you really do just throw everything on (Ms.Moss/Sienna Miller/Peaches bleedin' Geldof, this is NOT you- no matter what you say and try to portray) you should really embrace it. My actual outfit from today is pictured below and hey, I might be a circle shaped Northern bird with little sense of style but I don't care and my Converse All Stars kept my feet warm!

There's a great satisfaction in picking up the first few items you find- on the floor- and creating something new that feels more comfy than a pair of M&S pjs. I do wish, however, that my floor contained these beauties of a Marc by Marc Jacobs hairband (yup, Cheryl Cole did wear it on X Factor last weekend), Topshop's fugly but hot tiger tee and the most luxurious See by Chloé tights. Yummy, aren't they?

Until tomorrow...

And finally, the pouty and circle shaped creature named Hollie-Anne Brooks:

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Bad day. I have too many opinions and not enough respect, or at least that was the theme within today's media lecture. One does not appriciate one's opinions being laughed at. Indeed, neither does one appriciate having a very academic, intelligent and sensible opinion looked upon as if it were both appalling and crazy. Nope, not at all, Mister.

So today I'm dressing for a little respect (you know you want to start singing...go on!). As I'm playing student today and not freelance journalist, I need to keep it fresh and young but still as if I know what I'm talking about.

I've selected a pretty blue See by Chloé cocoon coat; I love the shape and my own selection for this winter is a pink M&S cocoon number with the most amazing neckline.

I'm not the only one in thinking black equals smart and thus equals serious, right? Perhaps I am but so be it! The lower half of the outfit features a simple black tulip skirt from high-street Heaven store Dorothy Perkins, simple ribbed tights and lifetime lasting D&G black flats.

Up top we have this interesting number from Miss Selfridge which has been spotted on a TV presenter/singer/reality star (actually, it was Holly Willoughby, I think). This adds a fun twist, something light and yet smart tucked into the skirt.

Finally, a pair of simple gold hoops always win and how could you not have a giggle when life/lectures becomes too much when you're carrying around this fish beauty by Hollywould?