Saturday, 28 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for an early night.

Apologies about yesterday, everyone! My blogging assistant kindly put out a note in my absence late last night. I got caught up in some family stuff and wasn't able to hit the laptop to blog. Huge apologies!

Anyway, shall we get back to today? If you've been reading my blog for the last few weeks, you'll notice how I've swapped casual Sundays to casual Saturdays and how much I'm really enjoying having a lazy day on a Saturday. Today was no different. A lie in followed by some lovely text messages from MYB and then I made brunch for the family. I spent the afternoon writing and listening to music, chatting to MYB and doing very little else- bliss!

I've been really stressed out this past week and it's only hitting me now how tired it's making me. MYB calmed my mind this evening and I made the decision that I needed some major relaxation. I've had a candle-lit bath tonight, had an lush salad for dinner and gave myself a pedicure. I'm now blogging from my bed and I'm going to watch some silly but slushy chick-flick in a moment. Happiness all round.

Outfit time! The outfit is casual and comfortable- and why not? The printed pink tee is DKNY and I've added some super skinny jeans by Cheap Monday. For me, the highlight of this outfit has to be the wonderful Nike Liberty dunks which I have craved since they first appeared on my screen one beautiful day. Accessories are super bright with some ASOS bangles, a hairband by New Look and a retro style Gola bag. Happy weekend!

Early night.
Early night. - by hollieanne on

Friday, 27 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for no blogging.

Apologies, guys. Will explain tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for wishing it was sunny.

Spring is my favourite time of year for all things fashion. Not only do we get the A/W fashion weeks (Erdem and Preen have proved to be my favourites so far) but we get that slight bit of sun which is enough to whip out those Escada/Primark sunnies even for the slightest few minutes.

I love dressing in spring because I'm such a girly girl and nothing is better than the feel of a slight breeze against my bare legs or walking around Hyde Park with no shoes on. I love the excitement that summer is round the corner and that I have no plans but to spend several hours a day in an office somewhere in London being paid to write features. Spring, for me, means jeans and flat sandals, cardigans wore unbuttoned with dresses and bare legs, homemade cotton tote bags with painted slogans and more corsages than ever.

But I'm feeling a bit sluggish of late and a bit ill so I've had a need for sun and spring more than ever. This afternoon, in the cold of the late February sky, I wore flat gold sandals with my jeans and silk top and it felt wonderful to feel the cold on my toes. I was rather freezing but there's something about the air on your toes that just feels summery and fresh and clean. I'm craving just a little more sunshine so that I can get away with plain tops, statement necklaces, jeans, flip-flops and huge sunnies more than I can currently.

So I've dressed for spring today! That mix-match feeling of open toe shoes and comfortable winter friendly trousers. This chain detail top by Balmain would be such a staple in my wardrobe and mainly worn dressed down with dark denim jeans for Sunday coffee and newspaper mornings with MYB. I've used some biker style Chloé pants but added some brown Steve Madden platforms to give less of a heavy feel and more light and summery. This incredible bag is the new love of my life and is designed by the ever wonderful Miu Miu who have also designed this super pretty pink hairband. To soften the look and make it really girly, I've used a necklace from Betsey Johnson and a ring available from Evans. Finally, to tie in with the animal print of the bag, I've selected a ring by Just Cavalli. Hope the sun turns up soon...

Wishing for sun.
Wishing for sun. - by hollieanne on

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for shopping for MYB!

This week is leading up to a very exciting end as, on Sunday, it'll be the birthday of the most delightful man I know! MYB will be opening cards and presents and suddenly feeling much closer to 40 come Sunday ;-)

As I'm not spending the weekend with MYB, I've been super organised as regards his gifts. I bought his card last weekend and I went on a lovely shopping spree this afternoon to buy pretty little gifts for him. I adore shopping for other people but shopping for MYB is something else; he has such incredible taste in everything (apart from music!) that I find myself feeling wonderful as I marvel over the geekiest and most gorgeous sections of department stores.

Clearly I cannot reveal what I ended up buying but I know, come Sunday, he'll adore them and perhaps feel that little more inclined to marry me!

I've style the outfit for comfort today. Lectures, writing, dealing with PR invites and shopping has taken it out of me today and I'm headed for an early night! I love denim dresses but this one here, by 3.1 Phillip Lim, is so simple yet so right. I've gone for red accessories with some Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse shoes, a See by Chloé bag (number 1 on my lust-list right now!) and jewellery from Lady Luck Rules OK! Finally, a pretty blue beret from Forever21.

Birthday gifts for MYB.
Birthday gifts for MYB - by hollieanne on

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a day of broken hearts.

Here at Dressing For HQ, we're all a bit low tonight. Tears and pouts and sighs are echoing around as everyone tries to comfort me after several super rubbish things happened today. I'm not going into details, I just want to be given a break so much.

The morning started off fine. MYB sent me some lovely morning texts to apologies for falling asleep before we had a chance to chat last night and I went out for a lovely run for a while. I ate lunch, got stuck into a wonderful project I'm working on and then, sat in my bed working and listening to Kanye West, I hear some bad news which would leave me crying for the next few hours. Devastating doesn't even come near it.

I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people around me. MYB has been a saint and I couldn't be more thankful of how he coped when I rang his office and cried down the phone to him. MYB couldn't have said nicer or more sweet things; I just really hope I haven't let him down.

But this evening got worse. Something trivial and expected but nonetheless rubbish. Let's hope tomorrow is better, eh? And I'm going to make some pancakes soon to make me feel happy inside.

Black is the main shade for this outfit. Depressing, I know, but there are some lovely colour pops which symbolise happiness and a bright future. I've used a beautiful Rick Owens tie-front leather jacket and used a Topshop printed tee underneath. The black jeans are Sass & Bide. Colour comes in the form of some incredible Brian Atwood heels, a Marc Jacobs bag and jewellery from both Topshop and Wet Seal. Happy Pancake Day!

It has been a rather bad day.
It has been a rather bad day. - by hollieanne on

Monday, 23 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Samantha Cameron.

I'm a Tory girl and not afraid to say so. Whereas my parents are Labour voters and I come from a long line of working class North East men and women, I totally favour the Conservatives. I could blog for hours on why their policies appeal to me but I'll opt out for now and discuss my love for Samantha Cameron. She makes me swoon! She's by no means my lady crush but she's a true inspiration and icon for me and thus I ended up writing 1000 words on her and her wonderfulness today.

Sam Cam not only has a wonderful dress sense (elegant, colourful, modern, trendy, chic, well fitting...) but she's an incredible role model for those wanting to juggle a vastly successful career with motherhood. She's beautiful, does a wonderful job at Smythson and should be praised for coming out as an individual despite the success of her husband.

Writing 1000 words on my idol was a pleasure and I hope I've given a successful argument that she plays a key role within the Tory party.

Enough politics and onto fashion? Indeed! I'm sorry if this entry is too politically focused but I have dressed in typical Sam Cam style here. Samantha Cameron is often seen in Reiss and this top from the very store would look wonderful with her colouring. I've used some trousers, gloves, heels and a bag by French Connection and added a statement necklace from Jigsaw. Final touches come from some Forever21 earrings and a stunning Chopard diamond watch.

Sam Cam
Sam Cam - by hollieanne on

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the car breaking down.

What a day! Here's me expecting a simple Sunday and it turns into a nightmare. This morning I woke up late, text MYB to tell him about my nightmare (I heart how much he looks after me even when we're apart) and watched Hollyoaks with a grilled bacon sandwich. I got dressed in some comfortable Sunday clothes, made a coffee and made plans to go out for the afternoon with my family.

My mother is learning to drive so she and her partner opted to spend the afternoon having a little practise whilst my brothers and I went shopping and had lunch together. Once we were dropped off, my brothers and I walked around the shops and I enjoyed getting male opinions on shades of lipsticks, high heels and jeans. My brothers may only be twelve and eight but they know their stuff on fashion! My younger brother even declared that today was the "best day ever" as he got to "enjoy all the shops for girls". Strange but cute.

My mother was taking a while but we were happy in the knowledge she was learning her driving stuff so we went for three large Starbucks hot chocolates and a shared shortbread. Drinking hot chocolate with my two little boys is almost as good as sipping on champagne with MYB!

After a while, however, we worried. My mother wasn't answering her phone and neither was her partner. The shops were close to closing when my mother turned up looking flustered. The car had broken down a fair while away and the RAC were coming out to rescue them. As it was a long way to walk, my mother suggested I keep the boys busy and she'd come back for us once the car was fixed but she warned us that if she was longer than an hour and a half, we were to make our own way back.

Two hours passed and they hadn't turned up. Worried and cold, the boys and I walked for ages in the rain to get help. I'd forgot my bank card so we had no money on us but the lovely people at Sainsbury's garage called us a cab and we paid once we arrived back home. An hour later, my mother and her partner arrived home totally exhausted.

It's been a tiring, exhausting and stressful day but we got through it.

Style is a must in these situations, however. No cash? No transport? Not a problem if you're dressed wonderfully. I love this Topshop jacket- it is so 80s and fabulous! I'd wear the jacket left open with this brown and white striped DAY Birger et Mikkelsen tee, some jeans from New Look and mustard colour heels by Kurt Geiger. This sweet cross the body bag is vintage and all the jewellery featured is from Topshop.

Broken down.
Broken down. - by hollieanne on

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being super tired.

Hi! How have you all been? Managed to live without me for a few days? Oh my word, what a few days! Good friends, incredible food, a load of champagne and incredible success. I can't even begin to describe how great everything was and it was brilliant to see old friends and new colleagues. 2009 is clearly my year!

So, like I said, things went very well and I received a few bits of astonishing news which left me in tears of happiness. I've spent the past few days giggling, working really hard, going for pretty walks and drinking champagne cocktails with a large group of dear friends. I'd love to go into more detail but, for the time being, it'll all have to stay a lovely secret.

I've spent today trying to recover and enjoying a lie-in. I'm going to be doing the same thing tomorrow but with more magazines, a lot longer in my nightwear, a pretty catch up with MYB and perhaps an afternoon nap. I am getting old!

I love the outfit for today- it's cute, simple and cosy. This Forever21 cardigan really reminds me of something my granny would knit me back in the day and it has a lovely vintage feel to it. I've gone for a simple Topshop tee, Stella McCartney jeans and flats from Boden. The colourful bangles are Oasis, the ring is Topshop and the watch and bag are from ASOS. Hope you had a great Thursday and Friday, everyone!

Super tired!
Super tired! - by hollieanne on

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for travel.

It feels so weird to be blogging in the morning and perhaps a little weird for a lot of you to be reading the Tuesday and Wednesday entries at the same time. As I explained previously, I'm off on a bit of a work/catching up with friends trip but because of the situation, I'm not sure I'll actually get to blog over the next two days. All sounds a bit top secret, right? I'm sure you'll find out in due course.

It's so early right now. I'm normally only up at this time for lectures but there's a final load of packing to be done and lots of beauty treatments to be conducted before I even think about stepping onto any train! I have less than two hours to finish up blogging and replying to work e-mails as well as making myself look ravishing and making sure I haven't forgotten anything. This is all going to be worth it, though. I have a feeling this trip is going to be very productive.

If I don't manage to blog on Thursday and Friday, I'll try and get my lovely blogging assistant to pop a message up letting you know. I'm hoping I can but it may not be possible. Forgive me? I am giving advanced warning. I shall return on Saturday and fill you lot up with more lifestyle rubbish and fashion crap. Have a great few days, guys!

Oh, what? You want an outfit? Oh, OK! I need to dress pretty enough to impress people today but also comfortable enough for survive about six hours of travel! I think this outfit would do the job. I've used a silk pleat Vanessa Bruno top which I'd wear tucked into this stunning Moschino Cheap & Chic bow front teal skirt. I've actually gone for white Converse to dress the outfit down and add maximum travel comfort and the pink leather weekend bag is from trustworthy M&S. Finally, the jewellery is from Topshop- how cute is the bird necklace?! OK, I need to run a bath and make myself look half decent. Have a great few days, everyone.

Travel. - by hollieanne on

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for spending time with her mother.

Some women complain about spending time with their mother. Meeting up in M&S and listening to her go on and on about how you need to settle down shortly and have some babies isn't the idea of a brilliant afternoon for most people, but it is for me.

OK, so my mother is very accepting of MYB (actually, she's thinks I'm not good enough for him- ha!) and she'd never push the issue of children because she knows I'm not maternal and never plan on getting pregnant. But listening to my mum talk about her things and her goings on is utter bliss for me. By the age of 19, my mother had lost her own mother and I find it so difficult to understand how that must have been for her. I'm an only child and my mum has always been my best friend so even if she is "gently guiding" me about marriage and children and the future, I will always love it.

Today we did some lovely high street shopping and then came home to make dinner. I love cooking with my mum, she's an incredible cook. Tonight we had fresh baguettes with humus and Italian meat followed by grilled chicken and ploughman's salad. Yum! We've been painting our nails tonight and sitting watching TV. I love these times.

If my mum and I are meeting for a shopping trip or lunch, I always make sure I look really nice as I want to make her super proud. This outfit is more than mum worthy! The pretty floral dress is by Forever21 and I've added some purple heels from H&M and a corsage (which I own) also from H&M. The clashing colour earrings come from Miss Selfridge, the daisy watch is none other than Marc by Marc Jacobs and this incredibly beautiful necklaces is Yves Saint Laurent. Finally, a Topshop suede clutch to match in with the colour scheme.

Just a final note, the blog will be up tomorrow but early on in the morning. Thursday and Friday will see the blog (most probably) not up and running due to being away with work and not being able to access the Internet. I'll try my best but I'm 90% sure the blog will be down for a few days. Apologies.

Spending time with mum.
Spending time with mum. - by hollieanne on

Monday, 16 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for booking dinner online.

MYB is a clever bloke. He knows stuff about the web and such like but I, on the other hand, am at a bit of a loss. I use social networking sites but I'm only just using Twitter, I clearly blog and I've become a little too accustomed to shopping online. But that's about it, that's about all I can manage. In actual fact it's not that bad but I still do find myself a little lost when MYB talks about podcasting and rubbish like that.

You see, the Internet scares me. I feel I can never trust it and although I booked both my Britney and Beyoncé tickets through the web, there's always a feeling it never went through. I always feel nervous that train tickets haven't booked or an order I've placed on ASOS won't arrive because the Internet swallowed it up or something equally as silly.

I'm old fashioned, right? Considering I'm both a print and web journalist, I'm still not totally clued up and even if I am, I don't use it as much as I should. But I'm the girl who will send a love letter like your granny would rather than a love e-mail. And, in actual fact, I think MYB probably finds it refreshing.

But I trusted the web tonight and booked a dinner reservation online. Two, in actual fact. One for dinner in Angel on Wednesday with a dear friend and one for a pretty French place for the following evening with a few friends of mine. A few clicks and I have tables booked and confirmation e-mails. Am I going to call up both places tomorrow just to check? Probably. But I'm going to try and resist and put my faith in the Internet. I'll report back and let you know if it actually all goes to plan!

I've picked out an outfit which represents my excitement at the upcoming week. It's a very 'Hollie-Anne' outfit. My mother recently described my style as "pretty hippy" and I'm likely to agree. I like blush tones, flowers, flat sandals and the feel of the air on my legs. I've fallen in love with this dress by Roksanda Ilincic, it has to be one of the most beautiful pieces I've seen lately. I've added some gold flat sandals by Coach, a pretty pink leather Balenciaga bag and I've finished off the look with a Versace bangle and some sweet earrings by Christian Lacroix.

Booking dinner.
Booking dinner. - by hollieanne on

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for shopping for jeans.

All women will admit that the perfect jeans don't exist and searching for a pair that are just right can take hours. I'm sure you'll all agree on the power of the perfectly cut pair of denim jeans; dressed with flats for weekends, heels for work and a pretty top for dates. For me, it's vital I find a pair that are going to flatter my decent size arse, wrap around my hips just right so they look more like Beyonce and not beach whale (whales don't have hips, right?) and my jeans need to be long enough for my silly long legs.

So today my mother and I embarked on finding just the right pair. For a little over a year now I've been wearing a pair from a popular high street store that do just the job and I've wore them for work with a blazer and felt really great. But would they still exist? And even if they did, would they still look decent on me? Losing weight has change me from an apple shape to much more of an hourglass shape (yippee!). I love my figure right now but I find myself becoming nervous that the usual things I'd normally pick out just won't look the same.

But today was a success. I'm the girl who never wears trousers and I only tend to wear jeans once a week with the rest of the week being filled with skirts, dresses and tights. I found the right jeans today, though. They're actually the pair I've always worn but in a slightly darker denim and a two sizes down from normal. I bagged some lighter denim wide-leg jeans from H&M this week for a fiver and although they're fine, I think they'll just be my Sunday jeans for wearing when I'm just popping to the shops for the papers and milk.

My mother, the sweet little cuddle bug that she is, picked me out a nautical over sized tee with a red sequin anchor and I adore it. Thanks, Yummy Mummy. Oh, and whilst I'm onto thanking people, I think I should apologise for the post yesterday. I feel like I came down on MYB too much regarding silly Valentine's Day. We made up last night which was super gorgeous.

Anyway, outfit time? Go on then. Clearly I've picked the perfect jeans shopping outfit! The jeans featured here are hot new label Current/Elliot whom I've heard such great things about. The pretty hippy vest is See by Chloé and I've used an Alexander Wang blazer so it would be easy to visualise how the jeans would look for work and weekend. I think heels are important when shopping for jeans as to get the right leg length so I've used orange Miu Miu wedges for that extra height. I had great trouble today- 34 inch leg is apparently the largest stocked and they're just say fine, I could do with a longer length though. Accessories come from the wonderful Marc B with this orange bag, a sweet Nine West necklace and a Topshop ring that I have officially fallen for. Finally, some Tom Ford sunglasses because posing is fun!

PS/ How incredible was the Alexander Wang A/W show? STUNNING!

Shopping for jeans.
Shopping for jeans. - by hollieanne on

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a rubbish Valentine's Day.

This entry will make me sound like I'm moaning and perhaps a little like a spoilt brat and I apologise in advance. But it's Valentine's Day and I'm alone! OK, so I'm in a pretty little long term relationship with MYB but the fact is that I am sat in an empty house with nothing but two sleeping guinea pigs and a glass of lemonade to keep me company.

Those who've known me a while will know I despise Valentine's Day for the fact that it's just a money making scheme but this year I began to question where I really did hate it or whether it was just because I didn't have anyone to share it with.

Last year MYB and I spent February 15th in a sweet little restaurant on New Oxford Street. It was freezing and our plans to walk to Kings Cross were scrapped and we hopped on the tube so he could be home by 1am for his two. We'd only began dating then and I don't even remember if I bought him a card, I'd known him well over a year at that point but dinner and a catch-up was more than enough.

This year, however, we're super happy together so I was excited to wait for the postman this morning with my sweet little card. I'd already sent MYB a little gift and gorgeous card and was so excited for it arriving in the post. Come 12:30 this afternoon, I'd given up hope. MYB "forgot" we'd agreed to do Valentine's Day this year despite knowing I was sending him a little something tiny.

OK, so the man is *the* sweetest and most romantic man I have ever met; he makes me feel so beautiful every day with the sweet little texts he sends me to remind me he thinks I'm beautiful or when he holds my hand over the dinner table so I really shouldn't complain and he has apologised lots and promised to make it up to me next week. But I feel a bit left out, to be honest. I'm a super silly girl and adore everything the man does for me but a tiny card would have been nice.

I'm sure we'll be giggling into the early hours tonight though and I'll soon forget about it. MYB, as I now realise you most probably read this most days, I heart you!

Outfit time? Think so! OK, so I'm not going out tonight and rather I'll soon be snuggled on the sofa with Sex And The City The Movie on DVD but why not dress up anyway? I've seen this Topshop dress everywhere- in magazines, on style blogs and on girls in the street- but I do think it's incredibly gorgeous. I've gone for green pop colours with Topshop heels and a Juicy Couture bag. Jewellery is delicate with a Disney Couture necklace, Forever21 floral earrings, a ring by Yves Saint Laurent and a super pretty hair comb from Monsoon. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day. - by hollieanne on

Friday, 13 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for an up and down day.

Friday 13th is supposed to be unlucky, right? It's all supposed to be about sadness and bad accidents and a general feeling of nerves. So why did all the bad stuff that happened to me today have an equal in some good luck?

I have had some bad luck today, it made me cry a lot, but I've had such thrilling news that I've found myself in tears of happiness. I'm not sure that's how Friday 13th is supposed to work, is it?

Bad news was in the form of my rubbish BFF cancelling on me. We were supposed to be spending Monday and Tuesday of next week together but he's had to call it all off for some reason. Cue me getting rather cross, rather angry and super emotional. And yet, my silly BFF doesn't understand why I would get upset? Er...because I care about him? Because I miss him? Because I hate being let down more than anything?

There was actually lots of good news today. There are two bits of major news but I'm afraid I cannot report on such things right now but all should be revealed by two weeks time. Other good news is perhaps more simple: finding the perfect denim skirt and having to buy it two dress sizes down from the normal size I'd pick, buying new luggage and spending a wonderful afternoon and evening being girly and giggly with my mother. Tonight will conclude with Cosmopolitan magazine and a lovely chat with MYB. MYB will probably have to suffer me moaning and bitching about my BFF for an hour but it'll be lovely all the same.

I picked two key colours for today- a black (for bad luck) and a pretty bright blue (for good luck). However, as my day has been so up and down and rather crazy, I feel this skirt by Topshop really represents my day: a total mix of madness! The shoes featured here are also by Topshop and I've gone for some blue tights from Toast. The plain black tee is H&M, this sweet blue clutch is Loyd Maish, the ring is Urban Outfitters and this incredible necklace is Burberry Prorsum. Finally, I've added a brooch which symbolises just how I feel today! Happy Friday 13th, everyone!

Up and down.
Up and down. - by hollieanne on

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for being stuck in the snow.

I had a food review to write this afternoon so spent a sweet morning pottering around the house, taking a bath and sorting my outfit for the day. I listened to some really upbeat music, giggled at sweet little text messages from MYB and pinned my hair up. As I was getting ready, however, it started to snow and it did not stop.

Locking up the house and putting my umbrella up, I realised I was set for a day of bad weather and my silly purple flats were probably not going to cut it. After twenty minutes stood at the bus stand and watching cars struggle to get up the bank, I came back home and was in my comfortable socks with a copy of Elle Collections in my hand.

This afternoon was filled with cottage cheese straight from the tub, reading magazines, discussing the concept of marriage and texting MYB whilst he was on the train back from London.

In the- rather British- attitude of giving it a go, I've dressed for braving the snow and trying to make it out. This Juicy Couture coat is so sweet, I love the little gold buttons. I've added a pretty frilly Topshop blouse, some bootcut trousers from Theory and patent pumps from Miu Miu. I've used an Alexander McQueen bag, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings and a Fendi watch.

Snow, snow, snow.
Snow, snow, snow. - by hollieanne on

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for doing a food review.

I was dreading today; the prospect of free food has had me shaking with nerves all week. You lot think I'm crazy now, right? It's horrible to admit but I've been using food as a means of control and after becoming quite angry yesterday (my father, of course), I was determined to look on as everyone tucked into lunch and I sipped on water. I also happen to strongly dislike several members of the group I was with today so the idea of eating in front of them didn't appear like it was going to go too smoothly but it actually turned out brilliantly.

I was pleased to see the lay out of the restaurant was a little more intimate than I had thought so I surrounded myself in close friends and decent people and opted into eating lunch for the review I'm having to compile. The food was delicious but what really made it was the company and the fact that said company made me feel so at ease. I spent a wonderful few hours talking love, Vogue Italia and yummy blokes. Fun times!

Today went a lot better than expected. And my outfit got compliments from 2 random strangers, one being a slightly odd old bloke who told me I dress like "girls should" and the other being from a darling boy who works in Starbucks who praised my accessory choices. Good times!

MYB (My Yummy Bloke) and I have spent the past week chatting into the early hours nearly every night so I must, must, must have an early one tonight and as seen as MYB hasn't replied to my texts for a while, I think he's probably stuck in his silly BBC office late tonight. Or perhaps he's just had enough of me? Hope not! Doubt it, he's been super incredible lately.

Sadly, however, I'll be taking Elle Collections to bed and not MYB. Or Hugh Grant. Or Colin Firth for that matter.

Anyway, onto the outfit for today. The idea behind it was very much "ladies who lunch"/Sex and the City/dinner in Soho and onto drinks in East London. Why not dress up for dinner? People don't do it enough these days. I love this floral dress from Forever21 but rather than go all out girly, I've given it a bit of a tough edge with sporty peep-toes by Stuart Weitzman and a statement necklace. The neon bag is from Paul's Boutique and adds a major colour pop. The pink carries on into a metallic bangle from Forever21 and the hard edged black bangle is CC Skye.

Food review.
Food review. - by hollieanne on

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for needing so much sleep!

This past week has been filled with a major lack of sleep and my plans for an early night last night quickly vanished when I locked myself in a conversation that went on for hours and hours and hours. It was rather pretty and it's nice to feel butterflies about love and life once more after a tiny period of the spark dying in rather a few aspects of life.

But, despite my rather youthful age, I am not one who is able to stay up all night and manage a perfect day of work the next (or should that be same) day. I went to sleep about 530 this morning and woke two hours later to prepare for my day. Plans for today were supposed to including spending the whole time on campus and shopping for jeans but once I snuggled up on the sofa with BBC Breakfast, I couldn't pull myself away. Duvet, herbal tea and the comfort of my hoodie was enough to keep me there all day in a mist of sleep and yawning.

MYB and I exchanged sweet little text messages all day that were a wonder to wake up to in between naps. Now, however, I have to be up early in the morning and don't feel sleepy at all. Bugger.

The outfit I've styled for today is clearly all about comfort but there's tones of the S/S trend of- in more casual terms- pajamas as day wear. Jessica Alba eat your heart out! OK, so not quite but I like this outfit for casual indoor wear. This pretty cardigan is Moschino Cheap & Chic; I love the neck tie. I've added some love/hate leopard print harem pants by Temperly London and selected some grey flats by Tibi. The super soft scarf seen here is available from La Garconne, the ring is Forever21, earrings are Betsey Johnson and the cross over bag is from Dorothy Perkins. Back to bed? Think so!

Sleep is needed!
Sleep is needed! - by hollieanne on

Monday, 9 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for: "Happy Birthday, BFF!"

Celebrations all round as my wonderful BFF turns 24 today! My little boy is all grown up now...well, perhaps not grown up but he's getting on a bit. We've spent some brilliant birthdays together, the best probably being when we were a couple and I threw him a surprise tea party for just the two of us; we were eating party food left overs for days after and had loads of fun popping the hundreds of balloons I'd blown up for the occasion.

Sadly, however, we spent this year apart. Clearly it was for practical reasons but not being with my BFF on his birthday today was a tiny bit painful. I'm chuffed that he spent the day out with his Love Interest at the cinema but I have to admit that I am jealous that she got to be with him today. I must have called my BFF about ten times to sing happy birthday to him and I think I began to get on his nerves a little but he appreciated it all the same.

The worst thing about today was hearing "our" song. My BFF and I once spent a thrilling and highly amusing evening together at a wedding party, we dressed up and I got rather tipsy. At the end of the evening, we went in search of cigarettes for a family member which ended up involving driving all around Essex and popping into a very creepy pub to buy- what we later found out- the wrong cigarettes. High on the happiness of the day, I clicked on my iPod as my BFF drove around and blasted this certain song. My BFF and I were so busy singing and dancing along to it that he ended up driving over a crossroads and being beeped at by about five different drivers. It might not sound much but we still laugh about it over 18 months later and the song I heard on the radio today reminds me of that very hilarious and wonderful day.

BFF, Happy 24th Birthday!

Clearly, I'd wear this outfit out to my BFF's party. I may find myself falling in love with this Paul Smith pretty floral dress. I've gone for neutral colours with some Miu Miu slingbacks, a Betsey Johnson necklace and earring set and all other jewellery by Louis Vitton. But it's the clutch that really makes this outfit for me, it's from the one and only Butler and Wilson and is a brilliant statement piece. Until tomorrow...

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday - by hollieanne on

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for Sunday shopping.

My weekends have swapped round of late. Normally, for most people, Saturday has become the day of retail therapy and business and Sunday is left for those days of sausage sandwiches, Hollyoaks, reading the papers and lounging about. Lately, my days have swapped roles. Yesterday was spent relaxing and today was a thrilling day of hitting the High Street.

OK, so perhaps I normally spend both days in a wonder of retail happiness but it's been nice to relax and then really enjoy the new season items that are cropping up in all the High Street stores. I didn't purchase too much (a simple but super soft white fitted cardigan, a pink leather belt with gold buckle detailing and a nautical dress) but I was really excited to see day dresses available once more and heavy winter coats are now replaced but lighter trench coats and hip skimming jackets in pop colours and animal prints.

I'm missing MYB a lot, to be honest. Perhaps I'm just being over emotional at the moment (every bloody thing is making me cry!) and could do with a cuddle from him but I found myself in tears over it last night, which is very rare as regards anything to do with MYB being busy and/or unavailable. I just wish I could steal him from work, if only for an hour, and feel safe again. Is it the presence of Valentine's Day that is making me miss him more or is it that I'm increasingly tired and busy? Perhaps a mix of the two. I think I need to call him after this. And stop being such an over emotional girly girl!

I'm moving on to the fashion pick of the day before I get any more soppy/silly. New Look currently have a beautiful red trench in right now(actually, it's the same as my beige one but a different colour) and I'm tempted to take advantage of their 20% student discount to buy it. Do I need it? Nope. But it's so beautiful and as seen as I cannot afford the See by Chloé one feature here, it's the next best thing. I found this sweet little vest from Topshop which I've paired with Cheap Monday skinnies and the most wonderful pair of lace-ups I've seen in a long while. They're lush, right? Thank Mr. Cavalli for producing such beauties; I doubt I'd ever have them off my feet if I owned them. The Topshop hexagon bag is perhaps more of an evening bag than a day bag but mini is the new maxi, after all. This sweet little necklace is by Tarina Tarantino and the ring is Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Sunday shopping.
Sunday shopping. - by hollieanne on

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for super happines.

Dear Readers, I feel I may burst with happiness. Will you forgive me if I do so? Lots of love and smooches. Your Dressing For-ista, Hol xx

Do you lot ever have days where not much has happened necessarily but you're just overwhelmed with happiness? OK, so some stuff has happened. I'd love to tell but part of the pleasure is keeping it a secret between myself and the other delicious person and being wrapped up in our own little world.

Happiness, for me, is contentment. If I experience feelings of being content then I'm happy. But sometimes something, or someone, can just induce that extra pop which makes you feel so chilled-out, so blissfully happy that you'd love to bottle feeling and keep it for the days when your hair looks rank due to the rain and you feel like having a tiny cry about it (just me? Thought so!). Today is one of those days.

Actually, the past two days have been a blur of happiness and giggles and lots and lots and lots of super fabulous love. Am I making you throw up yet? This is nice for me, though. I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder which has, in the past, pulled me to places so low that I cannot even begin to describe. I treasure these seconds, minutes, hours and days of extreme (non-mania induced) genuine happiness like you could never imagine.

I woke up late today after a very late night last night. The past few nights have been rather late ones, to be honest, but well worth every second. I spent the morning in bed relaxing and recalling the previous few nights. I often find it shocking at how happy I am, after everything with my illness, it's just a bit odd being this content and successful and happy in a way that has ZERO to do with my BPD.

Currently listening to "All Dressed Up In Love" by Jennifer Hudson and this song fits the bill for my mood today. The following outfit would be worn out to dinner with my Love, giggling about silly things as we walked into town and kissed in the freezing cold. I mentioned a while back about how much I love wearing black these days and this outfit shoes that black doesn't have to be boring. First off is a simple silk vest by Kain which I'd wear tucked into this stunning Balenciaga tiered skirt. The black tights are standard Topshop ones but look at these Louboutin babies! How stunning are they? The huge bow detailing at the back... *sigh*- perfection! I'm also drooling over this Anthony David New York bag. Jewellery adds to the classy/cool mood of this outfit. The black chain necklace is from Monsoon and the pretty pears are Forever21. The bow brooch, which I'd wear pinned into my hair, is Chanel and the ring is unmistakably also Chanel.

HAPPINESS! - by hollieanne on

Friday, 6 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a beautiful day taking photographs.

Calm. Simple. Cold. Sunny. My day has been utterly wonderful. I went into college to use the arts library only to find it was closed due to teacher training- gutted. I spent the next hour in the "normal" library sending e-mails and sourcing inspiration.

This afternoon I wandered around a local park I'd never visited. It was frosted white and looked so beautiful with a mix of old age buildings and the backdrop of a modern city. I loved hearing the frost crunch under my pink leather flats and seeing my hands turn more and more red as the temperature dropped.

Walking around the park with nothing but the sounds of birds and passing traffic was so calming. Normally my iPod is plugged in constantly but not today, I wanted the quiet. There was perhaps an added comfort knowing my mother was only two minutes away as the park faces the hospital where she works. I always feel better within myself when my beautiful mother is near.

I took many photographs as I soaked up the winter sun and a load have turned out beautifully. I'm very proud. Oh, and there was the odd self portrait in there too. Vanity o'clock!

Currently talking to MYB online. Perfect way to end the day.

So, I've gone all casual and nautical today. I really like this Burberry coat, it looks really plain but there's something about it. I've selected wonderfully dark jeans by Levi and added a sweet t-shirt by Stella McCartney which induced the nautical theme. There pretty anchor earrings come from Urban Outiftters and I've picked a lovely nautical bag. Finally, some gorgeous flats by French Sole. Happy Friday, Guys!

A day taking photographs.
A day taking photographs. - by hollieanne on

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for shopping for boys.

My BFF is lovely. I'm sure you all know how much I adore him as I go on about him a lot in my blog but he's very much annoyed me today. Monday will mark the 24th birthday of my darling BFF and I am very proud but birthdays means gifts and gifts mean trouble.

Shopping for Christmas gifts for my BFF is easy as I buy the generic DVD and computer game sort of things and then pile up loads of little silly gifts and chocolate. However, his birthday is always difficult for me for some odd reason. There's a computer game I know he'd like but he's been meaning to buy it himself for ages so it lacks creativity. What is a girl to do?

He doesn't like football, he isn't into fashion or labels, he's not a cook and nor does he have a need for any home items or any gadgets. He's so hard to buy for! What I opted for in the end is actually brilliant but not exactly unique but I know it'll make him happy.

People find it odd that I have a straight male for a best friend; OK, so we've been "there" (2.5 year relationship, actually) but we get along like brother and sister now. My father (as the idiot he is) thinks my BFF and I will get married and have children one day. But both my best friend and I feel rather sick at the idea of us kissing or that we ever did. It feels weird- urgh!

Today is pretty and feminine to substitute for the major male influence of today. Tibi have to be one of my favourite designers and I'll probably opt for one of their dresses once my hips become drastically smaller. This Tibi dress is bold but pretty and costs around £150 which I feel is well worth the price. I've gone for simple black tights and a purple flat shoe from Monsoon. The red glitter heart bag is delicious and is from the High Street love that is Topshop. Accessories keep in with the colour theme with purple beads, a red flower ring and a big purple number. Finally, my favourite look of the moment, a pretty corsage to pin hair back with- this one is available from Topshop.

Shopping for boys.
Shopping for boys. - by hollieanne on

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for photography in the garden.

I had a final resting day today before I prepare myself to head back into education after a week and a half at home due to illness. I have to admit that I'm a tad nervous about tomorrow for some odd reason but I guess it's like the feeling we all get about going back to school/college/Uni/work after the holidays, isn't it? My mummy sorted me out with cuddles and shakes.

My portfolio pieces are increasingly growing and I'm loving the stuff I'm producing right now. MYB asked me to e-mail some pieces over for his viewing (I heart how interested he is in my work!) and I'm waiting to hear his responses- let's hope they were a hit! I produced a few more pieces today but it makes me nervous as to how close the deadline is to have it all finished. I have by no means started on my "Suri Cruise: My Personal Style Icon" stuff and nor have I even began to pen any words regarding how I ended up in the silly world of journalism (MYB and I, Jan 6th several years ago, All Bar One, Chinese man crossing the road... it's a long but beautiful story). I'm sure I'll manage.

When I wasn't doing portfolio pieces I was out in the garden. My parents have a beautiful garden which I love discovering. I didn't embrace the outdoors and the garden over the summer due to illness so I'm really looking forward to the sun coming along and walking down towards the apple tree via the stepping stones. I've taken the opportunity over these past few days to sneak out amongst the snow and snap away with my camera. We have some beautiful plants and flowers in our garden which have allowed me to take some incredible shots. I'm hoping to venture out amongst the plants and trees more often for some photography sessions. It's my happy place right now.

This super pretty outfit is perfect for staying home and being comfortable and creative in but also warm enough for half an hour out in between the trees and flowers. I find myself in love with this cardigan which is by Oscar de la Renta; it has a major price tag but it's absolutely gorgeous! Under the cardigan I'd wear this sweet little pocket silk tank by Alexander Wang and slip on some simple True Religion jeans. Chloé have produced these simple but pretty stack wedge heels and I've added a wonderful investment buy by Bottege Veneta. Jewellery is all cheap but chic: the owl ring is Miss Selfridge, the earrings are Topshop and this statement necklace is available from ASOS.

Photographs in the garden.
Photographs in the garden. - by hollieanne on

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a bit of a rubbish day.

I woke this morning to notice that my glands were the size of Paris Hilton's breasts. The tonsillitis has returned, I fear. I had to cancel the lunch I had planned and the rest of the day was a bit of a blur, to be honest. Tonight ended with a slight sadness. MYB will be calling to rescue me from such a miserable day soon- giggles, private jokes and plans for this weekend (perhaps) will make me smile.

How bad is the snow and ice still? I went out tonight and, after missing the bloody bus, walked through thick snow and black ice for twenty minutes. I managed to fall on the ice only twice.

Hopefully the plans MYB and I have for this weekend will come off: I really need a weekend where I don't have to watch the clock and can stay in bed getting cuddles until mid-day. I miss MYB a lot. Perhaps I'm just being a silly girl with silly emotions but I could do with a little cry and a cuddle from my man.

The outfit for today is pretty much an indoor outfit, something to be worn just to cook dinner in and do some writing. This grey cardigan is by Dorothy Perkins- I love the sleeve detail. I've added a cami from Vero Moda and a wonderful skirt by Topshop. I adore this Marc Jacobs heart bag; it's a real investment piece that you'll love for a long time to come. Continuing with the blue, I've gone for navy tights and blue satin pumps from H&M. Jewellery is big and bold; this necklace is Banana Republic and the ring is by Miss Selfridge.

Ice. - by hollieanne on

Monday, 2 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for a snow day.

Snow, snow, snow! It won't stop, will it? I couldn't make it to my evening class as all buses were called off and I've had many a friend not even make it into work or places of education. I worried about MYB this morning but apparently all is fine as regards snow at his end and he went on being a busy and gorgeous little worker bee at BBC.

My day was rather lovely despite the snow. There's something quite romantic about it all, isn't there? It's a shame I was alone today and didn't have MYB to join me as I locked myself in my home and watched the snow fall outside. I took a huge bubble bath and loved hearing the sound of the hailstones hit my window as I soaked in boiling hot water. I did sneak out into the garden to take some photographs but didn't brave the cold for too long.

I have pencilled in lunch tomorrow with a very dear friend but I shall have to perhaps cancel unless the weather changes for the better overnight but I fear it's going to get worse.

I've therefore dressed for the weather with layers and Ugg boots. I lovelovelove this coat and was shocked to see it's actually from Miss Selfridge- it looks designer! I've gone for a grey Crumpet cashmere cardigan to help stay warm and there's a pretty grey bow top underneath that which is available from The jeans are Sass & Bide and I've already mentioned the Ugg boots. These pretty earrings are a steal from Forever21 but the ring is a little more expensive as it's by Gucci. Finally, a gorgeous emerald colour bag by Chloé. Hope you're all safe in the snow!

Snow day!
Snow day! - by hollieanne on

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for the end of a rather nice weekend.

I'm a writer so I should have a problem with the word 'nice' but I do not thus I am using it to describe my weekend. My weekend was a rather divine old one with comfort being the key word. There was lots of Moloko, half drunk glasses of all sorts and cold toes as it snowed.

I ended last night in bed with a fabulous novel a la some 40something. Blissfully happy and locked in a tale of 1930s photographs turning up in library books, MYB called me and I had a decent little moan about my father. MYB and I ended up chatting and giggling for a while and I tried to go sleep but couldn't stop grinning from the previous conversation. Needless to say, I am exhausted today after several hours of early hours texting with my love. Worth it though!

My mother, brothers and I took a brief but sweet shopping trip today and had lunch together. I returned home to find snow and a decent hour on the clock so I took the Sunday newspapers and supplements and spent a while flicking through and reading whatever grabbed my attention enough. The rest of the night has been novel reading, novel writing and Stella McCartney geekiness with MYB. Sunday evening is a rather busy time at his place but I'm hoping to steal him for five minutes tonight to remind him I need his old magazine articles ASAP.

Also, have you ever shared a silly moment of "made up French" madness with your BFF which ended in laughter over the French word for 'goat'? No? Just us then...

I created the outfit for today with Sunday style very much in mind; that need to look stylish as you have lunch out and do some shopping but to also relish in the last few hours before office attire is needed. I've been in love with this Roberto Cavalli blouse for some time now and have finally used it in a set. As much as the the blouse would look great during the week with smart trousers, I've used some Kate Moss for Topshop white skinny jeans and added a flat silver sandal by Miu Miu. Keeping with the silver tones, I've gone for a large bag by See by Chloé and jewellery by Chanel. Hope you've had a great weekend!

Sunday times.
Sunday times. - by hollieanne on