WARDROBE REHAB: THE DENIM SKIRT

Denim skirts have been around in one form or another for the past 50 years, and I have to admit that when I first saw the 70’s inspired version on the cards for the coming seasons I was on the fence. But after hitting my local second hand store and finding perfectly suited styles that just needed a few lazy alterations (read: cutting to the right length), I found myself wearing them over and over – and an addiction was born.  They first came on the scene in the 60s when creative and resourceful hippies made full length denim skirts by opening up the inseam of old jeans (and my DIY idols are born!). Since then the denim skirt has managed to evolve with the times over and over. With the huge variation of denim skirt styles there are many considerations if you’re on the hunt for a modern version of this classic piece.

I have shared a few thoughts, ok ok some strong opinions, on the topic below. What can I say? I’m a denim skirt junkie!

Blue and white summer outfit

Choose the right genre

Relaxed 70’s styles like the A-line button down midi and/or the shorter grungier version from the 90’s are perfect. Opt for mid or high-waisted. Personally I would stay away from 80s styles that are too structured or fussy, like, for example, a stone washed pencil style with a peplum and the teeny-tight-low-rise minis we all had in the 00’s. Think Margot in The Royal Tenenbaums rather than Mariah Carey in Glitter.

High or low

Think of it the same as your favourite pair of jeans. Paired with a t-shirt and sneakers for every day, crop top and sandals for the beach or a silk shirt and heels for a night out. It can even be appropriate for an ‘on-duty’ look if you work in a casual or creative work place when styled carefully.

Don’t be afraid of

Double denim! Unless it’s a perfectly matching set like a cute dark denim crop and high waisted floaty midi, go for at least a few shades different between the top and bottom. The safest option is a light washed shirt tucked into a darker skirt.

Take it into next season (and beyond)

The best thing about the latest denim skirt styles is that they are totally trans-seasonal. Mid-length looks great with knee high boots, knitwear and a coat. While the shorter styles work perfectly with tights and ankle boots.

Don’t worry if

You have an outdated style currently in your closet. It is very likely to come back in fashion in a few years so pop it in storage. Or you can check out my denim skirt DIYs and give and old piece some new life!

Looking to add one to your wardrobe this summer, and your local thrift store not giving you any love? I love this longline version from Topshop, this flippy American Apparel one would be great for a festival, this Asos one would be great for casual Fridays, this J Crew one is so so perfectly styled for there weekend (they always get it so right) and finally this AG Jeans version comes Alexa Chung approved.

July  11Blue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfit

Wearing: Thrifted Denim Skirt (cut to the right length), Spell Designs top, Coach Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, Panama bought in Athens.

Photos by Michelle Tng

Always with that blue and white these aren’t I guys? It’s so easy!

A QUICK GUIDE TO CAMBODIA: PHNOM PENH & KEP

Cambodia, not the first place that I thought of when I pondered my Asian bucket list, but what I found on a recent trip impressed me much more than many of the recognised tourist destinations in the region have. Less discovered, with a faded colonial charm and the nicest people you’ll find virtually anywhere, it really is a place you need to visit before it ends up at the top of everyone’s hit list. I was lucky to visit with a friend who used to live there and got to see it through the eyes of a local, the best things to do and all the secret haunts. She also educated me on the tragic history of the country under the Khmer Rouge, which makes the warmth and hospitality of the people all the more astonishing. On out trip we visited the capital Phnom Penh and the virtually secret seaside town of Kep which is a couple of hours drive from the city. Next time I’ll definitely be visiting Siam Reap!

A Quick guide to Cambodia Phnom Penh and Kep

The pier at the Sailing Club in Kep (heart eye emojis)

Phnom Penh

A great little stopover on the way to wherever you’e going (whether it be Siam Reap or a beachside getaway), I loved the quaint feel of the capital, with tree-lined streets, faded French-colonial buildings and hectic markets.

Stay

We stayed at Raffles Hotel, with it’s colonial vibes it’s the perfect place to kay your head. If you’re on a budget The Pavillion or Plantation are both lovely too.

Eat & Drink

Have dinner at The Common Tiger for something a little more modern. We loved! Have drinks and bites downstairs at Chinese House. Have late night drinks at Bar Sito. Have a delicious lunch or dinner at Romdeng (part of the Friends Alliance charity that trains staff – so you’re eating for a good cause!). Have happy hour at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel.

See & Do

Wander the waterfront during the early evening. Visit the Killing Fields Memorial just outside the city for a heart wrenching, truly chilling look at the recent history of the country. Take an afternoon to explore the French Quarter and imagine your life in one of those ramshackle french style houses. Go crazy shopping at the Russian Market – make sure you pick u some gorgeous crockery and drink a strong iced coffee.

Good to know

Restaurants shut around 9 in Cambo, so stop taking selfies in your hotel room and get out there!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Wandering the city in Mister Zimi top, One Teaspoon shorts, Witchery flats, J Crew Bag and Nick Campbell sunglasses.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Raffles Hotel

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The beautiful colonial architecture of the city.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Mornings in Phnom Penh

Kep

All the amazing art deco architecture dotting the hills of this seaside town is a tribute to the area as a weekend haunt of rich French colonialists up to the 1960’s. However, during the Khmer Rouge’s rule the town was cleared out and destroyed. Whilst some redevelopment has happened in the last decade or so, the area still retains a melancholy atmosphere – crumbling mansions and wide, quiet streets. It was this sense of history and almost ghost-town-ness that intrigued me about the place. It’s a great as a place to relax as the pace is slooooowwwww (and there are limited things to do).

Stay

We stayed at the rather pricey  Knai Bang Chatt, a hotel on the water set across a series of art deco mansions – it had those Wes Anderson’y vibes that you guys know I love so much. Up in the hills, The Veranda is another option if your budget is a little less.

Eat & Drink

Seafood is where it’s at in Kep. Eat much. My friend swears by Kym Ly as the best place to eat amongst the seafood restaurants on the water. Up on the hill, the Veranda is a great spot for dinner and drinks, or go in the day for yummy croissants! My number one place for eating, drinking and general hanging out is The Sailing Club, a true gem amongst a fairly meagre set of dining options in the area. Have a top up at Kep Market, fruit and snacks perfect for taking on a little excursion.

See & Do 

Take a day trip to Rabbit Island, you can easily get a boat from the Kep Pier and set up at one of the restaurants there. We both got somewhat aggressive massages at the little stalls there, we had the stress literally beaten out of us! Organise with your hotel to do a took took tour of the local area, if you get someone good they’ll take you to all the hidden mansions that are crumbling since the Khmer Rouge let the area go to ruin. Take a full afternoon to enjoy the sunset at the sailing club, it was heaven!

Good to know

My friend is a foodie so helped me order the good stuff, number one tip is to have everything with the local Kampot Pepper – so so delicious. I also absolutely loved the traditional Amok dish, the prawn one at Knai Bang Chatt was next level.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The pool at Knai Bang Chatt

Cambodia Guide

Simple holiday outfits… DIY shorts and Her swimsuit

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Time to take a load off!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The perfect place to watch the sunset.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

I loved all the details at Knai Bang Chatt.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Travelling with friends is the best (especially ones who say yes to lunchtime drinks!)

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Exploring run-down villas in DIY shorts, Club Monaco white shirt, J Crew Bag

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Hashtag serenity?

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Enjoying the sunshine in this.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Squid with campot peppers – amazing!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

This is what I wish every weekend looked like…

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Dawson’s Creek vibes get me every time.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The sunsets were utterly amazing.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The gorgeous Sailing Club. Every single detail was perfect.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Gorgeous bungalows at Rabbit Island

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Grab a boat to Rabbit Island. A great day.

DIY COPPER CLOTHES RACK

We’ve been playing around with copper in the studio a lot recently, it’s just such a great material because it’s so incredibly cheap from your local hardware store, but it adds a sense of elegance  just about any project you use it in. Hanging copper racks aren’t exactly new but we recently created a layered one in a triangle shape and I thought it would be worth sharing with you. As a lover of symmetry I can’t help but be drawn to the shape,  and the best thing about this rack is that it looks a lot harder to make than it actually is! And did I mention it costs $10 in total to make? Read on to see how.

DIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

On my rack (what I’m taking to Vietnam): Top to bottom – DIY cut off shorts (3 pairs!), Faithfull Romper, Zulu & Zephyr Top, Faithfull Crop Top, Spell Designs Crop Top, Grana TankWinona Romper, Faithfull striped romper, Leopard print flats (my own design – stay tuned!), Market Panama Hat, Coach Bag, Furla Make Up Bag, J Crew flats.

I’m heading heading to Vietnam this weekend and the above is what I think will be coming along with me – I’ll be following my recent travel packing guide obviously! If you have any tips for Hoi An I would love to hear. :)

DIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

You need:

  • Two lengths of copper pipe (ours were 1.2 m and 60 cm – 1.4 yards and 0.7 yards)
  • Rope

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

How to:

1. Cut your rope to size, we used about 5 metres (5.5 yards) for this. Then, thread it through your longer piece of pipe until the pipe sits roughly in the middle of the rope. Then, thread the smaller piece of pipe onto the rope at one end.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

2.You then want to add the other end of the rope through that same small piece of pipe so that the smaller piece of pipe has two lengths of rope going through it in different directions. We added a chop stick to the second end of rope to get it through past the first piece of rope.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

3. Feed the rope through the other end of the shorter pipe.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

4. Connect the two pieces of rope at the top to form a triangle.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

Hang it and away you go!

DIY Copper Hanging Rack DIY Copper Hanging Clothes RackDIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

THE TWO MINUTE FLORAL ARRANGEMENT

If you’d said the words ‘flower arrangement’ to me a few years ago, I would have broken out in a rash. I guess it conjured up images of crazy aunts with strict rules about flower placement as well as people being done away with in Midsommer Murders (always in the greenhouse right?!). Anyway, if you’ve been tuning in recently you’ll know that I got over that a while ago, in part because of working closely on a few projects with the lovely Gemma, who showed me that flowers needn’t have any rules, you can be as creative (or lazy) as you want and it will usually work out. Unless of course you leave them out of water… That doesn’t work so much. Last week I was excited to get back in the studio with Gemma and create some more projects that we’ll be sharing over the next few months. And although this particular little arrangement isn’t a ‘project’ so much as a few flowers in some mismatched jars, it was one of my favourite things we did on the day – proving yet again that what you do with your blooms doesn’t have to be tricky or ulcer inducing.

Quick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting idea

There are pretty much no rules to creating a simple multiple vase arrangement here but a few pointers from Gemma are:

  • Choose flowers that stand alone well such as roses or hydrangeas.
  • Go for a mix of bottles in all different sizes.
  • Cut all the flowers are different heights and trim downwards on the stem.
  • Add flowers as you go to fill in the gaps.

Quick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting idea

Photos by me.