Sunday, 24 May 2009

It's Darling! - Styling ideas with our new brand.

We're very excited here at Aspire to get our first delivery of new brand Darling clothes. We've just dipped our toe in this season, picking out a handful of vintage inspired summer pieces and I've come up with a couple of ideas on how to wear them mostly for my own enjoyment!

Inspired by Audrey...

Inspired by Audrey

Some images not my own - source and links in text

I've created this classic look, inspired by Audrey Hepburn around the gorgeous Darling Scarlet dress (£75), a shift made from a material with a slight stretch which hangs beautifully. It has pretty pearl beads sewn all around the neckline, which I have then matched with Aspire's new favourite bow pearl cuff (£12.95). The bow theme is continued with our Stone Bow clutch (£25) and as the dress is demure, although finishes above the knee, I thought some killer heels like our Poetic Licence ruffle heels (£59) would give the outfit some extra va-va voom and of course as it's summer, these retro round sunglasses (£10), from Dorothy Perkins are perfect. In your bag, you might want to have one of these handy novelty lipstick pens (£2.95) to write down your number for all your adoring male fans!

Casual Summertime...


Some images not my own - source and links in text

Inspired by the gorgeous weather we're having I've featured two of Darling's gorgeous floaty tops, both made of silk to keep you cool on hot days. The first is the lovely yellow 'Lili' top (£49) with inbuilt cotton lining and vintagey lace detailing particularly round the neckline. The second is the Darling Zara top (£62) which is quite long (but sadly not quite to be a dress!) and comes with a seperate basic white vest. Both of these would look great with this light denim mini skirt (£35) from Oasis, our gorgeous Poetic Licence flower flip flops (£40) and our new coral beaded bracelet (£16.95). Topped off with these great sunglasses (£15) from Topshop.

Simply Pretty...

Simply pretty
Some images not my own - source and links in text

This look is based around the lovely Darling polka dot Poppy dress (£69), which again is made of a floaty silk chiffon with in-built slip. It would look great with our bow flip-flops (£49) and a cute denim jacket (£30) from Dorothy Perkins, pinned with our Flower brooches (£9.95) and those topshop sunglasses again. Also, what about one of our cute compact mirrors (£7.50) for your handbag?

Well, I've had fun with our new Darling Clothes. If you're local to our Aspire Style shops in Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford, we've got a special customer eve on Thurs 28th May with 20% off ALL clothes! (5:30-8:30pm)

Until next time,

Irresistible fashion, jewellery & gift

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Inspirational shop windows at Aspire Style

At Aspire Style in the real world of our bricks and mortar stores, our window dressing is of course extremely important. It is our only opportunity to entice would be customers into our shops with the delights of what's in store. With that in mind, we have the creative talent of Sassi our merchandiser in Stratford & Warwick and Catherine in Oxford. We try and theme our windows and change them on a bi-weekly basis to keep things fresh and this week Sass has created Paris themed the windows with inspiration from Sofia Coppola's advert for Miss Dior Cherie advert:
Image Source: Youtube - to watch advert click here

The advert is beautifully shot with gorgeous scenes of a Parisian patisserie, balloons and bicycles. Here is Sassi's interpretation in our Warwick window:

She has used a vintage stepladder painted a pretty turquise colour and placed our shoes and gifts on it and strewn the window with gorgeous pastel-coloured balloons which gives the window a real impact!

Sassi's Stratford window:

For Stratford, Sass has kept with the Paris theme, photocopying black and white images of the Eiffel tower as a backdrop. In the photo above you can see our Yumi Tandy dress (£55), pretty red Poetic Licence shoes (£79), our retro overnight bag (£45) (just seen) and the utterly gorgeous red patent Orla Kiely bag

On the dresser, Sass has used books, gifts and jewellery to carry on the theme, including our Eiffel tower charm necklace (£14.95) of course!

Well, hope you like this week's look into the real world of Aspire Style... if you're in Stratford, Oxford or Warwick and haven't been to see us - please pop in, addresses at

I'll keep you posted on future inspirational windows as they are created.

Au Revoir!

Irresistible fashion, jewellery & gift

Saturday, 9 May 2009

New ways to wear ditsy florals

Inspired by a recent 'Ditsy Florals' fashion article in Grazia magazine, I thought I'd have a go at putting together some looks with some of our super cute floral dresses. Starting with the dress as the key piece, I've come up with looks which range from a casual summer work look, a good weekend outfit and one that would be great for standing out in the crowds at this summers' festivals!

A pretty summer work look:

Some images used are not my own - source and links in text

The work look is all centered around our Yumi Rita dress (£60) which falls just above the knee and is a floaty, cool chiffon material, smartened up with a topshop jacket (£60) with enamel stud detailing, smart and comfy gladiator sandals (£22) by Dorothy Perkins and accessorized with one of our colourful plastic flower necklaces (£8.95) and a pink suede belt from Topshop (£25).

A good weekend outfit:
Ditsy florals and pearls
Some images used are not my own - source and links in text

Another Yumi dress is at the centre of this weekend look. Our Yumi Pansy dress (£45) is a pretty tea dress with a pale blue and green flower print, which would work perfectly with a classic denim jacket - this one from Dorothy Perkins (£30). Our bobble pearl necklace (£17.95) and matching pearl bracelet (£14.95) work really well with the colour scheme and add a touch of vintage style. The outfit is completed with the Nica Rain tote bag (£60), our Poetic Licence bow sandals (£49) and some topshop shades (£15).

Pretty for a festival:
Mix and match

Some images used are not my own - source and links in text

This is my favourite look - a bit eccentric English rose. The dress is our bestselling Fever Strawberry Dress (£45) which has a lovely Cath Kidston-esque rose and dot print on and a real vintage feel. These green polka dot wellies from Cath Kitston (£38) go perfectly with the dress in a cute fashionable clashing sort of way and the outfit is finished with a stripey cardi - essential for our changeable English summer weather. This one's from Topshop (£32). Accesorize with a couple of our super-cute plastic flower brooches (£7.95) and our sweetie necklace (£8.95).

Until next time!

Irresistible fashion, jewellery & gift

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Aspire Style - best friends in business and on TV!

On the TV - Emma's wearing the Maisy Sundress and I'm wearing the Fever Poppy Dress

Well it's been an exciting week here at Aspire Style with an appearance on BBC2's Working Lunch last Weds (29th April).

It all came about by Emma putting together a press release about our business 'with an interesting angle' and emailing it to their general contact email a few months ago. Our angle was 'Best Friends in Business' as Emma and I have been friends since we were 10. At 32, and after 4 years in business our friendship is still going strong!

(tragically we weren't too stylish in our younger days... although Emma has made valiant efforts with that crimper!)
We were at the same school but different classes and met due to an unfortunate netballing accident where, due to our competitive nature (has served us well!), we both went for the ball and one of us (me) came out of it with a fractured arm! The arm healed and we discovered we had lots in common including a passion for art and all things creative.

(Eermm... What are those things on our heads?! - At the clothes show when we were 15)
As time passed we often talked about what we would do when we grew up including running a night club! But as A-Levels turned into degrees and graduate jobs, we were busy on the treadmill of life. A few years into our careers, with Emma a marketing brand manager and me stuck with lots of men doing design engineering (that's where being good at drawing can take you!), we started yearning to do something more creative again and so the idea of Aspire Style was born.
(looking very pleased with ourselves at 18 (honest!), off to a 70s event)

From our first shop in a sleepy street in Warwick, selling vases and cushions, we've grown and changed into 3 shops and online selling delectable dresses, fashion jewellery & girly gifts!

Mmmm.... I wonder where we'll be in 4 years from now?

Irresistible fashion, jewellery & gift