A bit of everything – then some more

Do you ever, like me, go into TK MAXX and feel like a kid in a sweet shop, not knowing where to look?

That happens in most locations, but I always managed to find what I need: be my most convenient, London Stratford or my closest to work, Bank, but their new Oxford Street location just took that feeling to a whole new level, where big brands at small prices are spread across four floors.

Modern, spacious, organised, friendly and full of cute corners, with a killer stock!

You can find their usual accessories, beauty, shoes, women, children, toys and men sections, together with the coveted Gold Label, jewellery and also Pre-Loved, a small super luxury section where you can find big ticket second hand designer accessories.

Think original dream handbags, procured and authenticated. How great is that?

The beauty section is always fun for me – so many fabulous brands I love and worked with in the past and you can truly find some gems.

It is also a great place to discover new brands and products!

Now, the home section has my heart – so much that at my visit to the new shop I ended up getting most of my little visit haul from there, including a set of four beautiful iridescent glasses for £7.99 and a 15oz candle for the same price.

Where can you find great glassware at such good price? Cushions as fas as the eye can see? Towels so soft and so affordable? Kitchen utensils staples but also some you didn’t even know you needed?

Candles, for example, I will never pay through my nose for that again; they have so may options of excellent quality!

Not going to lie, I got this very seasonal Sea Salt Pumpkin (yum) there the last time, but I have at least two of the same brand, with more classic fragrances I like for my home, purchased a while back, stocked up and ready to go.

And the shoes? Have you ever paid attention to the calibre of the designers at the Gold Label section? It is INSANE. And the savings you get?

Add that to the rows and rows of the non- gold label footwear at even better value.

Talking about Gold Label, the same goes for clothes. Some gorgeous stock going.

I went a bit more modest and got this fabulous pink coat at a very affordable £39.99 that is going to see me through the autumn very well. I love a pop of colour, especially in the colder months where everything is so grey!

I have, apart from the goodies I got in this shopping trip, many a gems from TK MAXX.

My kitchen is full of amazing accessories from known brands which were purchased there for a fraction of the price.

Who remembers my gorgeous silver holographic glitter boots that look a million dollars but was purchased for £17 a few months back?

And who hasn’t got the heartache of not having bought something, just to go back a few days later to get it and not find? A black leather handbag, circa 2010, Clapham. My heart.

TK MAXX works with many designer brands – big and small – and are always procuring the latest in fashion.

You may think most of it stock is past season, but the vast majority comes from current season overproduced, overbuys from stores, and some especially manufactured stock for TK MAXX which negotiates volume and good prices, which are passed on to us, consumers!

Great for the pocket and also a good chance for surplus stock to actually get sold and used. Oh, and it does not hurt they look sooooo good!

Oh, and they have plenty of Halloween stuff at the moment!

TK MAXX has many stores across the UK, Europe and Australia – so easy to find one near you. Visit the new one at 203-207 Oxford Street, just a few minutes from the tube station.

Oh, and don’t forget they also put some of their stock online, so visit their website – you can use gift cards and even click and collect at the shop!

written by Dani

Please note that this was a PR offered opportunity. I was invited to visit their new shop and given a gift card to buy some tempting items, but the above is based on my experience on the day and general, asa customer, with TK MAXX.

When haute couture sparkles

It has been a while since I wrote a style post – or even longer a fashion post. So how best to pick it up than with Paris Fashion Week? From FROW, merci!

Don’t they say Paris is always a good idea? Turned out to be a great one got treated to a plethora of amazing shiny designs. 

In total, we covered about 10 shows in 2.5 days under mainly freezing in snow and, trust those 55k steps taken, hectic. But boy, would I do it again? Hell yeah!

I will start with what makes my heart flutter: whimsical sparkle. And there as a fest for my eyes!

Alin Le’Kal brought in wearable glamour to the catwalk with Reflective Elements. And reflect it did, as it shone its way past me.

So close I could (wanted, but didn’t) touch the fabulous creations, the heavily embroided evening gowns walked had in had with very party friendly versions.

These gold numbers are an example of the versatile core design translated into different styles and occasions.

The black numbers didn’t disappoint and again, seeing something I could wear straight away was a delight.

Also alluding to princess dreams, some of my favourite designs had a classic full skirt, and the mix of materials is just dreamy – crystals, feathers, beads.

The lines are sensual and feminine, and very relatable.

Regal. That is what Ziad Nakad‘s Orion collections says to me. I am not going to lie that every time a model came down the long staircase into the double runway, it did take my breath away.

The craftsmanship was almost palpable and the whole collection looked like a magical fairy tale, with flowy and extravagant styles.

Dazzling in pastels, champagnes, silvers and black, the collection did allude to vintage royal styles, heavy on stone work, Nakad created his own constellation that afternoon.

The above, my favourite, mainly for the combination on the ombre colours, neck line and the exquisite use of feathers and crystals, was a just breathtaking – I let out a huge gasp when it came in and when i went out.

Finally, not as amped up but also shining bright, La Metamorphose brough some classic (and classy) lines into their Eden Gardens collection.

Having a woman in bloom as its theme, the pastels and whites call for purity and light – in design and personality.

Again, vast skirts did take my fancy, and I was again taken aback by the prettiness of it all.

A huge thank you to all of the amazing people at MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS Productions – Romain, you are a gem and everyone working at the shows made me fell so special!

Stay fashionable – I will soon be dropping more fabulous brands in!

Alin Le’Kal and La Metamorphose images by imagetree, prss release by Mephistopheles Productions.

written by Dani

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: stripes incoming!

It’s been so long since I actually published a style post, but I am hoping to get back into it. What better way of getting back into it than this little gem, shot in the beautiful Spencer House over London Fashion Week?

If you haven’t noticed (I am sure you have), stripes are going to be everywhere for spring/summer. It suits me fine as for me, they are always welcome. However, even though I like trends, I will only adopt what I like, twisting and tweaking to make them suit my personal style.

This is a super budget outfit that turned out to be quite fun, quirky and cute, which is just the kind of style I love!

This New Look cropped red wool jumper, currently on sale for £6 (a bargain!), comes in 7 colours and also looks amazing layered.

The sac, tie waist trousers, also from New Look, has a great fit for its shape and it seems to come quite large – this is a size 6, while I am usually a 10 for trousers. It costs a reasonable £19.99 and I feel it will be a staple on my spring wardrobe.

Boots are from H&M – another great bargain at £29.99, and the cute hearts from IPHORIA on the laces add extra cuteness to the ensemble and break up the rough edge of the boots.

And I was wearing my favourite clutches ever: Lulu Guiness lips, this time in black, which was the first one I got.

A couple of years ago I started building a solid handbag and shoe base. Since then, I haven’t wasted money on high volumes of cheaper shoes and bags.

I currently have 4 lips, in black, gold, red glitter and nude, to cover most outfits!

Finally, to top it off, you know I like making stuff, eh? I made this cute hair piece with a little gem encrusted whale keyring, also from New Look at £4.99 (now on sale for 2.99). I cut the keyring bit and added a little bow to the loop at the top of the happy whale’s head.

I then scrunched some net I had home, to channel a bit of SS18 Chanel, and all was duly hot glued onto half a fascinator hair comb. Suddenly my side ponytail is a load more fun just by sticking the hair piece to the base of it.

Makeup was simple: a long feline flick, a little bit of nude matte eyeshadow on the crease, and 3/4 lashes, a good measure of highlighter and a killer red – he almost electric Charlotte Tilbury Tell Laura on my lips!

You all know I love a monochrome with a splash of bright, so no wonder I like this outfit so much. I am very excited to have FINALLY posted a style piece – and that is comes ahead of the new season!

What are you looking forward to wearing when the weather is warmer?

And huge thank to Kat for shooting me pretty. Check her out on Insta!

written by Dani

We are better together: Carol Aquino for So Many Lovely Things

Wow. That’s how I am opening. I never thought I’d get someone other than my selfish and picky self to write on So Many Lovely Things.

The day, however, has come. Welcome Carol Aquino *all clap*.

Our paths crossed randomly a few years ago but just recently we realised we may have more in common than previously accounted for. Add to that the fact Carol, originally from Rio but a good old London soul like myself, has enviable credentials and boom.

In all honesty, I am over the moon (surprised and a bit incredulous, tbh) she agreed to become a collaborator on So Many Lovely Things. I cannot say enough how ecstatic I am to get a bit of her shimmering sea of knowledge, professionalism and fun over the blog.

Ms. Aquino brings extensive fashion, style and communications expertise, plus a ridiculous gift for seeing the future (she works in trend forecasting) to the little blog, to make up for some of my shortcomings, mainly in knowledge, but also in, erm… lazy assness time to create more posts.

The low-dow:

  • MA in Fashion Journalism (London College of Fashion)
  • Extensive experience on international trend forecasting (she worked for Stylus and trendwatching.com)
  • A background in economics, mainly providing poignant research for politics.
  • An undying love of glitter and dancing (hello! <3)

Some of you may have already seen her on my Instagram or at an event, so will not be surprised to see her face (and wise words) ’round here too.

Carol will be covering fashion, trends, style, lifestyle and to be honest, anything she wants, gracing us with her fabulous flair and that eye in the future!

Catch her on Instagram (@carolaquino), Twitter (@querouaquino) and of course, here real soon.

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: You shall go to the ball

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-5What’s better than a fabulous little black number for a ball? Well, not much really.

I was lucky enough to wear the stunning Peggy Hartanto Aegean dress in black, kindly lent to me by The Apartment at London Fashion Week.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-1And yes, I went to the fabulous China Ball at the stunning Natural History Museum. I was honoured to be dancing with Dippy, the Diplodocus, which will be retired from the grand hall at the end of this year.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-6This dress has very classic lines; a full A-line skirt with some modern twists, like the deep neckline and tied at the waist, for extra definition. The quality and finish are superb!

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-3The satin fabric is heavy and thick, making it fall perfectly but also nipping in to the right places for a structured, clean silhouette.

Peggy Hartanto is an Indonesian designer who studied fashion in Australia and her beautiful collections are indeed based on clean lines, bold colours and innovative use of fabrics and construction.

I accessorised it with my Lulu Guinness black lips clutch, Christian Louboutin Pigalle Follies Python Mika, Christian Louboutin lipstick and plenty of gold accessories.

There was downside to wearing this gorgeous dress: I had to give it back the day after. Cry.

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: the wide-legged trousers

so-many-lovely-things-7-of-11Recently I became obsessed with these wide legged trousers. When I say recently, add around 6 months.

After years constricting ourselves into skinnies, my pins welcome the freedom and breeze of these babies.

so-many-lovely-things-6-of-11This particular pair is a fantastic cut for my body shape: high waisted, flowy and skimming the bum. It doesn’t pinch too much at the waist, just the right amount. Just flattering and perfect.

These Forever 21 bargain trousers are so versatile it’s not even funny – they do day, evening, flats, heels, summer and winter without any effort. I always feel elegant on them.

so-many-lovely-things-1-of-11Here, I paired them up with a netted (super) crop tee from Topshop, which add a bit of informality to the attire.

so-many-lovely-things-9-of-11These silver block heels are amazing. Also very versatile, a manageable heel height for every day and super comfortable leather from Kurt Geiger.

The shoes are a very easy way to add some metallics to the outfit without being too out there.

so-many-lovely-things-10-of-11Statement sunglasses were in order for this hot day in London – and Le Specs does it effortlessly, for a pocket friendly price.

so-many-lovely-things-5-of-11I wore a basic day makeup (escaped from the office to  do the shoot), red lips, plenty of rings and my Mulberry Lily bag.

And I had the best time with the wonderfully talented Sarah Bacchus, the photographer from 2Boxes Photography.

She made me feel so comfortable, was fabulous at directing and getting the best shots out of me.

so-many-lovely-things-3-of-11She was also very speedy, making the lunch break shoot a fun and smooth reality!

2Boxes does styling sessions, but also amazing photography of all types – wedding, children, events, fashion… name it and it will be done in a magical and professional matter.

My wide-legged trousers joy was captured brilliantly!

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: a, well, fashion affair

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

It’s early, I’ve had little sleep, I’ve been so tired I refused champagne. Yes. That. It must be fashion week.

Honestly, I don’t even do that much for it and it is rather tiring. On my day 1 (actually day 2), I was lucky to watch Rohmir frow with Crabtree & Evelyn.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

They were an official Fashion Scout sponsor this season and created beautifully illustrated special edition packs of their fabulously classic hand creams to celebrate; I had a divine hand scrub and massage, which all Freemason’s Hall guests could have too!

Their #HandsOnFashion hashtag was all over!

Rohmir show was entitled my English Garden and, quite appropriately to Crabtree & Evelyn, had a its share of flowers! A pretty, flowy collection and very wearable. I could certainly do with some pieces.

I also visited the fabulous The Apartment, a space I am very lucky indeed to be invited to. The atmosphere is fantastic, Abi, the founder behind the concept is a joy to be around and she gets it beyond right every season.

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Photo by @JoinCOmb for The Apartment

This season’s star had to be the concept room, full of pink balloons. In love.

I had my hair done – a small side plait and some waves and a photo shoot with the amazing guys from Comb. As I mentioned, The Apartment has some fabulous partnerships every season!

I decided to go a bit girly-goth on Saturday. Cats seem to be a recurring LFW theme for me – this season it manifested itself with a Karl Lagerfeld tee, with Choupette illustrated by Tiffany Cooper.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Add my little Karl phone cover to it, a dinky cat necklace from Forever 21 and voilá: a theme is re-born.

I also threw my Karl Lagerfeld for Riachuelo jacket in for good measure (it’s London after all).

lfw-5This magnificently full voile skirt, bought from Amazon, was Primed over in 24h for a ridiculous £8.95.

Little dotty socks (I freaking love little socks) are from Primark, these chunky sandals from New Look have been with me forever, handbag is my beloved Chanel, of course, which completed its first birthday with me.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Nails were painted grey with Essie Now and Zen, lipstick is the fabulous Di La LA from MDMflow, a cleaner eye with fierce eyeliner and the pretty Eylure Rosie Bea Kitsch lashes.

I loved this look so much! And it worked with flats too, to run around, although I was lucky enough to be ferried around in style (and comfort) by Hyundai – another great Apartment partnership!

I also visited the Pandora lounge and they had Mii makeup, Nails Inc Paint Can nails and the most amazing Pandora treats vending machine!

Lookfantastic also has a fab lounge; when I went, I had a makeup refresh and a fab lip done by Lord & Berry and I also popped to the Perrier Jouët L’Eden in London, which is a gorgeous lounge and bio-responsive garden by Bompas and Parr, part of the London Design Festival (well worth checking their activities this week).

Perrier Jouet L'Eden

I mean, anywhere you can pick your pretty flute from a tree, I am totally in. Glam and gorgeous!

And that was just Saturday…

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Looking ahead: AW16, anyone?

dani's little book of fashion shoes - somanylovelythings.com

Oh, yeah, gimme red!

As Alanis Morissette would say: Isn’t it ironic? The weather is only just warming up (use that with caution) in almost mid-August but my ever wandering eyes cannot stop ogling over AW16.

I may even have bought a couple pieces… and GOSH kicked out the vibe providing me with amazing makeup for the season… So what do I have my eyes on?

Well… read on…

Cherry, vibrant red, I am looking at you. Yes. Not that I stopped wearing you, as you are my classic fave colour… but you are so in. Updated the sober autumnal look with that cherry pop.

Another colour you’re gonna have lots of for the season is pink. I don’t need to say how much I love that.

Sandals. Yes, sandals. I have just fallen in blind love with pop socks and it looks like they will stay with me with my winter sandals.

For the more conservative ones, pick less delicate sandals with block heels, and a counter. But those strappy ones you abused of in the summer are also in.

Socks, tights or both. Gucci AW16 lis the inspiration. Learn.

Matchy match bags and shoes was huge in the late nineties/early noughties. Well, it’s back. Live with it. My OCD thanks you, AW16.

Still on shoes, boots. Of course boots, for winter. Doh-oooh. But I am talking kinky books. Detailed, over the knee, tied-up, high-heeled statement boots.

vb-woolbustier

I’ll take the cut-out, thank you.

British heritage fabrics. Now, I find them hard t wear, being from Brazil and all… but with the re-vamped silhouettes this season, I think things will be easier. VB bustier anyone? Thanks.

slip-dress

Probably around 5 of those in my wardrobe right now…

The slip dress doesn’t seem to be going anywhere… especially when the silks are back with a revenge. Suits me right: slip dresses are easy to wear and dead comfortable.

08 Jan 2001, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, arriving at the 28th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium. --- Image by © Frank Trapper/Corbis

Hold on….Not going *that* far…

And while we are at the 90s, let’s talk about denim: I’ve been dodging it; bought a pair of jeans here, a shirt there…. but it’s already everywhere.

I am not going to discard the possibility of pulling a Justin and Britney. Ok, I will NEVER touch it *cringe*.

As we are talking denim, let’s not forget embroidery and badges. Huge. Still. Get sticking!

mcqueen-coat

DREAM COAT ALERT!

Talk about coats for AW is a bit silly. Of course there will be coats. Think trenches, capes, puffas… the usual suspects. But also pretty (embroided, hello!), shiny… Love.

Oh, and don’t forget the military.

I talked about this Alexander McQueen coat before. God, it’s dreamy.

velvet

Growing on me this velvet business…

Finally, velvet. I am torn when it comes to velvet: the texture is undeniably delicious, but it is quite unforgivable on the bumps.

Still, the opulence is undeniable. I think I like the vampy vibe. Might start slow, with a little crop or something. In black or navy. For now.

Like the bling? Well… spread the family jewels around. Hair, face jewellery, shoes, handbags… aplenty!

jewels

Crown me… crown me!

Embellishments are huge for AW16 – jewels, embroidery, badges, as already mentioned, but sequins, stones, crystals… Sometimes altogether. GO big or go home never made more sense.

What have you got an eye on for the new season (and I am hoping it takes a little while to arrive, honestly!)

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Making shopping easier

octer (4 of 11)Imagine finding everything you need to buy in one place – think shops, designers, fashion, home… From high street to high end.

Octer does just that. And a bit more. It actually compares different retailers so you can find the right colour, size and price.

And what’s more, you complete your transaction with the retailer itself, so you’re safe.

You can browse by category or store and you can see similar products to your selection – you never know when you’re gonna find a very similar item which is a bargain!

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I was set on a wrap skirt for my holidays and after using the search to find them, I fell in love with this beautiful flowery one from New Look.

As I am already registered with New Look, the last part of my transaction was quick and smooth and I got it delivered at my local store, within the shop’s usual delivery conditions.

I teamed it up with this pretty peach frilly, off the should Forever 21 top, even though I bought the top to match the skirt too, and nude wedges I bought in Brazil a while ago.

While browsing, I was taken aback with the amount of products available; to make your life easier, you can browse by style once you’re in a category and styles are also split so you can browse bodycon dresses only!

A suggestion: maybe it would be nice to filter by brand too. But there is always the search box!

octer (10 of 11)You can then filter by price, store and choose to see sale items only!

But beware: the sheer volume of information in the site, which is amazing, can be a bit overwhelming at times.

I have to say, I was quite impressed to see Louboutins next to Linzi?! Octer does have something for everyone!

Go on and have a browse at Octer. Ah, you can also download the app!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Famous at Ibis – glamour on a budget

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When you think Ibis hotel, luxury does not necessarily come to mind, but who said you cannot be stylish and glamourous on a budget?

Ibis has teamed up with stylist to the stars Alex Longmore to prove just that. I was lucky enoug to witness first hand how a great location, modern decor, comfort and great service do inject some glamour into everyday life.

ibis_blackfriars_roomI stayed at the Ibis London Blackfriars for a day of fashion and style. The Ibis Blackfriars is minutes walking from Southwark and Waterloo, walking distance to Southbank and super easy access to all tourist attractions. Very handy and pocket friendly.

The decor is contemporary and clean; rooms are simple but very well equipped, with comfort at their centre. Service was friendly and attentive, always with a smile.

ibis_blackfriars_receptionAlex talked about trends for the coming season, all high street and pocket friendly – and I must say I have already adopted a bomber jacket, from New Look, at an affordable £26).

After talking fashion, we were treated to a fab lunch at the hotel’s Fogg’s restaurant, which has delicious, filling and super affordable lunch and dinner options.

Ibis London Blackfriars H7943

After lunch, we were taken to explore the Vogue 100 exhibition at the British Library. Alex took us through the Vogue 100 years of fabulous photography, dousing her extensive knowledge of fashion, style and celebrities over us.

After that, we had some free time to explore the city, which I passed, as London is home, and shopping, which I welcomed, as I was eaget to put the Alex’s style tips into practice!

I had a friend’s birthday that evening and returned to spend the night at my comfy bed at the Ibis. Of course I had a Sweet Bed by Ibis, which offers extra comfort.

When I woke up, I was treated to an amazing breakfast – they even have guacamole, fruit or green smoothies, and the most delicious black rice and coconut rice pudding, healthy options alongside your traditional continental and cooked breakfast items such as bacon, eggs, pastries, and much more.

Even better, breakfast was available until midday (continental; cooked items available until 10).

ibis_blackfriars_loungeWith my tummy full, I returned to my room to do a bit of blogging and opted for a late check-out for extra relaxation.

After my experience, I did feel a little bit #FamousAtIbis! 🙂

The hotel is perfect for a night out in town, families, short breaks, business… it does cater for all needs with its great location, facilities and prices. Daily rates at the Ibis London Blackfriars (3*) start from £91!

Thank you so much Ibis for having me and looking after me so well and Alex for all the knowledge (it was great seeing you again!)

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I was invited to take part in this experience by Ibis, but opinions are my own.