Black Tied – Jewellery With A Difference

I’m extremely happy to say I finally bought some pieces from Black Tied; a company that gives a really personal touch to their handmade jewellery.

I heard about them a few years ago from BeautyCrush and if you’re familiar with her style then you’ll see the items from Black Tied are right up Sammie’s street. I draw a lot of inspiration from her style so I thought I’d check them out.

I spent a good hour perusing the website; they had so many things I was interested in, but I limited myself to 3 (hello self control!).

One example of that personal touch I was talking about is the packaging the jewellery is delivered in. Complete with fancy wrapping paper and thank you notes to their customers, it definitely made me smile when I opened the envelope.

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First I opted for this simple Light Crystal Circle Donut Necklace. I love pairing it with a plain black or white Tee and dark jeans, it takes my ‘I didn’t have time this morning‘ outfit and turns it into ‘I’m so casual chic‘.  The length of the chain in great – reaching just above my belly button to give a rough guide. It does get tangled pretty easily because of this though (Quick Tip: don’t wear it at the same time as your headphones unless you enjoy untying knots!) But the odd tangle is well worth it in my opinion, the chain is robust enough to not get damaged by them and it’s the perfect accent to my dressed down outfits.

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Next I decided to treat myself to a midi-ring. I see these on loads of girls and I think they’re adorable but I struggle to find ones that (without sounding snobby) look a decent quality. Black Tied had a HUGE range of midi-rings; most companies have one or two available, you know, as a novelty. I think it’s time companies realise midi-rings and here to stay and these guys are definitely one step ahead. I LOVE the one I bought – it’s a Stirling Silver Midi-Ring With Feather Charm. I was pleased with the fit and the quality for the price I paid. So you can imagine how inconsolable I was when I lost it after my second time wearing it. I got so many compliments on how unique and elegant it was and I miss it dearly despite our short time together *cries a single tear*

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Lastly I decided I needed a pop of colour and invested in this vibrant, Round Bead Bracelet with Gold Hamsa Charm. It’s made of (what I believe is) wood and the charm offsets the blue nicely. If you’ve been following me since the start, you know I have an unhealthy addiction to black so this bracelet is an easy way for me to inject some colour into my wardrobe. I was surprised when it arrived as I was expecting it to be plastic, however after wearing it I’m glad it isn’t. I wore it on a hot day and had no uncomfortable sticking or interesting imprints in my arm – so whatever material it is, I like it!

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Overall I would 100% recommend Black Tied if you’re looking for some accessories that go one step beyond the high street. Real thought and care has gone into their designs and they value each of their customers. I exchanged a few emails with Laura, the founder of Black Tied, and she was warm and accommodating, ensuring I had all and any information I needed. I’ll be buying from them again and I honestly don’t have a single complaint!

Check out the Black Tied website  here

Follow them on Twitter here

Like them of Facebook here

Let me know about your secret finds and where you buy your cool bits and bobs!

*All Photo’s Property Of Black Tied*

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Knomo Spring/Summer Lookbook

A month or so ago the lovely people at Knomo held a sample sale at my university.

 They’re a global company who specialise in bags designed specifically for your technology. Traditional technology bags are frumpy eyesores, but Knomo’s designs are STUNNING. You can’t even tell the majority of them are for laptops!

 Of course I tried with all my might to refrain from buying anything but…I couldn’t help myself.  I ended up walking away with four.

I’ve put together a review and lookbook in this post so I can give you the full skinny – lets start with the lookbook!

I’ve put together a variety of Spring/Summer looks (even though it pouring with rain right now) to show you just how versatile the bag is:

The Edgy Look

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 Vest: Gap, Jeans: River Island, Shirt: Thrifted, Boots: New Look

The Smart/Casual Look

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Vest: Gap, Skirt: Topshop, Belt: H&M, Scarf: Miss Selfridge, Sandals: Miss Selfridge

The Lazy Day Look

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Crop Jumper: Thrifted, Jeggings: Pull&Bear, Trainers: JD Sports/Nike

The Office Look

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Shirt: BooHoo, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: New Look, Belt: Accessorize

The review:

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In short – I love it. It’s really high quality material and the finish is immaculate. I’ve given 3 away as gifts and have heard nothing but good things from the receivers. This is the one I kept for myself.

It’s a black 16 inch laptop bag – it has an over the shoulder adjustable strap as well as 2, shorter handles. There is a zip pocket on the front as well as the inside and a compartment at the back of the bag which I presume is meant for your charger. Look, even the inside is pretty!

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I’ve worn it with a laptop and also as a normal bag and it’s extremely comfortable. The thickness of the shoulder strap means there’s no digging or painful chafing and the material is soft against the skin. It’s easy to wipe down, it’s very durable and doesn’t scuff easily.

The downside is I can’t fit my charger inside the main bag or in the compartment at the back. This can be a bit of a pain if I’m looking to be out for more than a couple of hours. However they do have a huge range of sizes for their bags, I just can’t imagine anyone being able to fit their charger as well as their laptop in my one which is a shame.

The bag itself, however, is beautiful and Knomo really care about their customers. They include a little message inside  in case it gets lost so people know where to return it to – how lovely!

I’d really recommend Knomo – they really are the bags of the future. It’s pretty pricey, but honestly the quality is 100% worth it. If you can find them at any sample sales or anything of the like then grab some because I promise it’ll be a bargain!

Check out their website here, or follow them on Twitter @Knomo – say hello, they’re super friendly!

Let me know what your favourite look was in the commets!

Social Media Madness!

Hello hello everyone!

I just wanted to write a really quick post letting you all know I’ve updated my social media so it’s easier to keep up to date with my blog, I know a lot of my readers aren’t wordpress users.

So if you want all the low down:

Like my Facebook – facebook.com/purelymad

Follow my Twitter – @maddisonhucks

Follow me on Bloglovin – <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12141003/?claim=qf673b7fue4″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Whatever suits you best!

I also wanted to say a big thank you for helping me grow this little community in my cosy corner of the internet x

Thrift Shopping…Online?

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Whenever I need inspiration, I assume like most of us, the internet is where I turn. Recipes, make up techniques, outfit ideas, DIY advice, there’s a blog post or a YouTube video for whatever I need.

However what seems to be cropping up more and more is that a lot of the items people have in their posts are thrifted. Now I adore second-hand stores and bargain hunting so its exciting that it’s becoming more common and less ‘ew’. People are proud that they bought that awesome jumper or those retro jeans second-hand because they cost £25 less than their friend’s brand new pair and look twice as cool.

The problem is there really aren’t many good quality thrift stores near me, there are lots of charity shops that I happily potter about in but I usually find, at most, 2 items that are wearable. So as usual I took to the internet to solve my problem.

I found a whole community not only buying second-hand clothes but also selling their own! It’s all totally self organised and people barter down the prices and also do swaps if both parties are selling an item of interest. These communities can be found all over the place, my favourite’s are on Facebook as the exchanges are super speedy. You post a picture and description of your item and state your asking price. People then leave comments if they’re interested and you either sell to the earliest or the highest bidder. Arrange a time and place to meet and voila you have a new addition to your wardrobe!

Gumtree is also a good place for this however I’m less keen due to all comments on items being sent directly to the sellers email. This means other people who are interested can’t see offers that have been made so there isn’t much competition, on the Facebook pages people often offer you higher prices than other bidders if they really want what you’re selling.

I think this is such a great idea; not only do I get bargains but I also get to shift a lot of my unwanted clothes and make a bit of money off of it too! Now, I know this isn’t revolutionary as eBay is a prime example of this. However through sites like Facebook and Gumtree everything is done locally – as you meet up with the bidder in person and make the exchange face to face there aren’t any shipping requirements. Here’s where you need to be cautious! Always meet in a busy public place, many (including myself) arrange to meet outside tube stations and shopping centres. I always take someone with me and it’s a good idea if you’re selling something expensive (e.g. designer labels or electrical goods) to arrange for them to be picked up from your address and to make sure someone is home with you. This isn’t a huge concern as all interest shown in an item is in clear view of the rest of the group members so there’s a degree of accountability.

I just think this is a really cool idea and besides the bargains and pocket change it creates a real sense of community. People have made friends through these groups, everyone is polite, friendly and helpful towards one another and it’s lovely to see how happy your items can make people!

I thought I’d share my new pass time with you and also challenge you to have a look around and see if there’s any online thrifting happening in your area! A good way to start is to type in to Facebook: ‘Items for sale in [insert area name]’ and see where it take you.

Leave your discoveries in the comments below to help your fellow thrifters out!

The Brave and the Colourful

Anyone who knows me knows that I live in black. Black dresses, black shoes, black bags (the fashionable kind, not the bin liner sort). But in the spirit of change, and after being teased on every night out for owning not 1 but probably 10 little black dresses, I’ve promised myself to wear more colour. Here are some of the things I bought in the January sales. On writing this I realised it’s a bit of a Topshop haul, hooray for student discount!

My first vibrant purchase was this navy textured blazer:Image

Topshop: Originally £65 down to £20 for Boxing Day Sales http://bit.ly/1dtOZdX

I know what you’re thinking, it’s hardly neon pink but hey..baby steps guys, baby steps. This will be an easy way to inject some life into my everyday wardrobe by throwing it on over a white tee and some jeans.

My second purchase was this red velvet dress:

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Topshop £30 http://bit.ly/1cO8blI

I haven’t worn this dress out yet but I like that I can dress it down with some casual biker boots, tights and a leather jacket or dress it up on a night with a pair of black heels and a clutch. One thing to note is that this dress scoops low at the back and front so it just about rests on my shoulders which might be a problem.

Lastly I invested in this grey/silver crushed velvet skirt:

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Topshop: Originally £32 but down to £15 for Boxing Day sales http://bit.ly/1dPKmyv

I love this skirt, especially the length! It’s so hard to find skirts that aren’t ridiculously short and that I don’t have to constantly tug on as I’m walking.

Neon leg warmers here I come!