Stylish Thoughts – Esme and the Laneway

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925072_856425167708876_607623781_nI’m excited to be sharing the stylish thoughts of Melbourne (Australia) based, of English extraction blogger Marianne of Esme and the Laneway.

What is the secret to great style?
I think it’s a mix of wearing the things you love and are most comfortable in, and wearing what suits you and your shape. Sometimes I’d like to ignore the latter but of course that isn’t always the best idea! For me, I think that the best outfits are the ones I can put on, feel happy in – and then forget all about. Being comfortable and happy in what your wearing definitely shows through, and even more so in real life than in photographs!
What is the one thing you would spend a lot of money on?
Perfume! Definitely. always, perfume. For me it is a luxury and a joy, and I will save to buy the absolutely best I can find and would never, ever make do with with anything less. And bags, too – I’m actually on the hunt for anew handbag now and I think they make an impression on people. That said, no branded It bags for me ever! Simple, well made are things I look for there.

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What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on?
Makeup! As much as I love the luxe stuff, I’ve found some really cheap brands that work really well for me, and so I can save a lot here (and put it towards the perfume and handbag!) I love finding clothes in op shops, and also love vintage, especially for winter wear. While the vintage I buy might not be super-cheap in the short term, my vintage coats cost about the same as a cheaper-ish high street one, but will last me forever.
What are your top tips for looking stylish when travelling?
Well I just got back from Dubai, and I have to admit I actually don’t look especially stylish on long haul flights! For me, comfort and practicality is everything when flying more than an hour. Comfortable pants, (elasticated waists, don’t judge me, they are ideal for when you expand mid air), comfy tops, a large soft scarf for when it gets cold, or making into a pillow, and shoes that are easy to slip off, and have no metal bits to hold you up at security. And for me, no makeup, just sunglasses and a tinted lip balm!

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What’s the secret to looking polished?
Details, and grooming. I like to have my nails painted, and my toenails always painted – I feel naked and rough without a pedi. I’d like to be able to look polished without makeup but I don’t, so I like to do my face, have hair that’s been sorted into some sort of style – although I love a bit of a birds nest at least some of the time! – and I have been enjoying wearing jewellery in the evenings lately. I used to be more simple in that regard but now I like adding a few things.
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look?
I’m not remotely interested in being on-trend, but I do find trends interesting, and will adopt anything that I like from them. The problem is I will keep wearing them once they go out of fashion, which means I run the risk of looking last season all of a sudden! As long as I like what I am wearing, I don’t mind what the trends are up to. And they can be really interesting. As much as I love older things, I love seeing what’s happening now too!
What is your current obsession?
Earrings! This is brand new for me. I like the dramatic dangly kind that make your earlobes wobble, now that I’m used to how it feels. I love big, sparkly, art nouveau style earrings with my hair pinned up. Am on the lookout for a pair or two more!

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Who inspires you?
This changes all the time, and can be quite random. I love the film stars of the 1930s, and lately have been interested in the earlier Follies girls. 1930s Yvonne Fitzroy and Edwardian actress Lily Elsie are big inspirations at the moment for the coming summer, as well as the work of the artist John William Godward. Films really inspire me too – at the moment, trying to get myself in the mood for summer (I’m a cold weather girl) I like 1970s and 1980s period dramas, their take on Edwardian to 1930s things.
Do you have a signature piece or style?
I think red lipstick – although in warmer weather I tend to back that off a little in the day time!
What’s your secret to making yourself stand out?
I actually don’t like to stand out, but on the other hand, will always wear what I want and am not afraid of standing out because of that. Wearing whatever you love the most will help make you more memorable!
The one piece of advice most women need but don’t get?
To not be afraid to be themselves! And to enjoy the frivolity of it all if they want to, and not feel and about it. It’s fun, we shouldn’t feel bad for liking dressing up if that’s what we like!
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received?
To be comfortable in what you are wearing so that you can forget what you have on and just enjoy yourself. And to ignore rules about socks and sandals. Socks and sandals are a good thing. As are navy and black together. So, some rules simply must be broken!
What is your favourite current trend?
I love the early 1970s thing that’s coming through (again) as I really love so much from that decade. Long, swirling chiffon, high leather boots (we’ll have to wait for that now!) and hats are all things I like. And flat sparkly sandals!
What’s your favourite short cut to style?
A good dress, and nice shoes – in summer this be a simple maxi for me.
What’s the worst current trend?
I don’t hate all denim shorts, but I’m really hoping that we won’t see too many more of the really shorts ones again this year, with the pockets hanging out the front and bottoms hanging out the back!
What are your favourite websites
This changes all the time, and goes in cycles. I love vogue.co.uk, style.com for the shows, and some net-a-porter.com for fantasy shopping. I love this blog (I find it really useful) and many blog that talks about outfit wearing.
How would you describe your personal style?
Hmmm… vintage would have to be in there obviously, and this summer it’s going to be a bit boho art nouveau – can we blend those?! Bo-veau! Last winter it was a bit 1940s country hunting.
Who are your style icons?
I love Catherine Baba, Nigella Lawson, the earlier silver screen dames such as Joan Blondell, and Estelle of Micky in the Van.

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