I've moved on...
...to a different domain. Why, what were you thinking? The truth is, I just woke up one day and decided it's time for a change—a metamorphosis, if you will; or, in layman's terms, if Britney can shave her head, then maybe so can I? Nevertheless, it's been a rather handsome 10 years of talking to you, and thank you for putting up with all my moodswings and terrible dad jokes. Fear not! The hormonal imbalance and jokes are more terrible on CUBICLE, see you there.

My failed attempt at giving Jen a fishtail braid…

Lovely Charlie of A La Mode | Lucy’s DIY collar!

Carrie of Wishwishwish

Frances Sandra style challenge looks

Video courtesy of Next; Outfit: Sweater – Maska, Dress – Storets.com, White shirt – AA

I love Next. I mean, aren’t they geniuses? One first class carriage full of fashion bloggers, one innocent explosion and poof goes a sizeable chunk of the UK fashion blogging community. GENIUS! Imagine the article on that. Fess up Next, how much did you get paid by the journalists & editors (those robbed of Danish pastries by bloggers at the last fashion week)? Conspiracy aside, I do think I’m starting to fall for Next, their nod towards the bloggers is proving to be very friendly, and they’ve really played up their game with the trend interpretation. (Although, call me tasteless, but the 70’s trend really doesn’t appeal to me at all. )

The trainride was to Next’s headquarters in Leicester where we were fed and watered, then set loose in the mock-shop in a competition to style an item assigned to each of us. It was like a 9 year old’s birthday party at McDonalds really, in the best sense possible, I love birthday parties. And 9 year olds. As you can see my item was a pair of flare jeans, and instead of trying to smuggle and trade between the contestants with better items I decided, heck, let’s just go with it. On hindsight, I should’ve wrestled Frances to the ground for the white blazer. You should watch the video – I say I wanted to style it ‘boho’ and the only thing boho about the outfit is the misfitting jeans and my speech on peace love and understanding. My, I had such a blast this day.

Thank you Next and Jenny from Spreading Jam for organizing an amazing day, and Kit & Jill for snaps!

Write a Comment


  1. everyone looks so gorgeous! Loving carrie’s shoes and your long hair~ :)
    I think you did the fishtail braid well! I want to see you with it as well haha

  2. Love that pleated skirt in the photo!

    cool video and nice photos!



  3. I really liked your failed fish tail!! :D

    And that black skirt…MMmmmmMMMMmmm :D

  4. anka

    i love shoes on the third photo!
    and your cute way of wearing that cardigan!

  5. Great photos and great round-up of the day, there really has been quite an explosion! I love what you did with the skirt on the day, very creative and that you stayed honest throughout the whole post about things. So jealous of the first class train, should’ve bumped up my ticket!

  6. Oh no, really? Is that because you had to come separately from the crowd? That sucks :(
    Such a fun day though huh? Love that shot of you peeking out of the changing room that Jill took, I wonder if she put that up yet?

  7. @Shini, Well yes I came from Nottingham, and didn’t even think to get more than a standard ticket due to my student mentality. Oh well, it wasn’t much different anyway. I haven’t seen the shot by Jill but I think I vaguely remember her taking it…

  8. Looks like you girls have so much fun together! I always loved playing dress-up as a kid so this would be my dream come true! :)


  9. Yay! More pictures from this amazing day. That sticky toffee pudding – mmmmmmm. I’m re-living the moment.
    Your outfit was my favourite of all, I really don’t wear jeans either and I think you did an amazing job of making the outfit your own. What you did with the little straps on the arms was genius! It totally looked like it belonged on the black sheer shirt.
    I hope the Next designers take that into consideration.

    You video is super cute too Xxx

  10. i loved this… it must have been such great fun!
    your talk was good, too, don’t worry. :)
    i love the grey sandals with grey stockings.


  11. Looks like you had a great day (despite the flared jeans)!

    I’m thinking it would be great fun to do this sort of thing with my girlfriends, just occupie a house, get great food and drinks and then have everyone bring an assortment of clothes and shoes and just style the hell out of it…

  12. Yah that’s such a great idea for a slumber partay!

  13. All the posts so far look like you guys had so much fun!

  14. Gosh- so many things to say:

    First off- congratz!

    2nd- your “attempt” at a fishtail looks pretty damn good to me. So.. i dont know. I like it.

    3rd- going from top to bottom – VIP PASS- sa-weeet!

    4th- lots of great shots “in between”.

    BUT 5th- (video and comments) – First off, the flared jeans look great on your body. super flattering. SECOND- the competition sounds wildly fun. I happen to be a huge fan of 70’s glam, so i’m super pyched about high-waisted non-skinny jeans coming back in style.

    Anyway, I very much enjoyed the video!!! Pics too. xo Al

  15. you ah so nice :$ I love high-waisted, trust me. It’s the leather fringes and floorgrazing flare jeans that I fear!

  16. looks a great event :)
    love how you style the jeans , and the clutch too ;)

  17. i dont know what to call these blogger invitations and lavish giveaways. i guess it’s very flattering to bloggers, and to participate and create looks…
    very glad for u. hope no competition arose between you bloggers

  18. Nah no competition, great opportunity to get more friendly with other bloggers!
    There’s usually no ‘lavish’ giveaways at such events to tell the truth, except maybe the first class train ride – but usually it’s just food and drinks and small nicknacks to use during the event (pens & stationery). This is the least I’d expect though because a post about the event is essentially promotion for the brand, and if the bloggers aren’t getting paid then some other kind of compensation should be considered.

  19. Super nice pictures!! Loving the ponytail!!

    Go check my LIGHT and DIET-LIKE cook blog on


    If u like ITALIAN FOOD, u’re gonna love it!!!!

    xoxo Benny

  20. Ah, this is awesome! Oh and this beaded collar with the deer on it (can it get any better?) – I need it! But I am pretty sure it is not from Next. But it’s definitely calling my name, very loudly.

  21. The UK treats their bloggers well! I loved that DIY collar.

  22. Such beautiful photos, details and such inspiring outfits. Great post! That icecream seems pretty tasty ahh :)

  23. wow this looks like so much fun. I didn’t realise that carrie went, literally all my fave bloggers are there! X

  24. lovely photos and style! i love fishtail braids.
    and such a cute DIY collar!

  25. i think your outfit was reallyreally nice! omg i loved the way you have the belt with the purse. that idea was just supercool!

  26. amazing!!!

    xoxo from rome

  27. It is a fishtail braid init?

    I’d be surprised if they turned the black lace skirt into a top, I would buy it!

  28. hahah. I’m SOO glad you included the video! It is great. I think the colours in the shirt are a bit boho too… in addition to the ill fitting jeans. that was such a fun day, especially considering the hesitation in getting up in the morning.

    p.s. thanks for the fishtail braid – i think you did an awesome job, especially seeing as we were on a train, you had slept 30min, and i kept looking at Frances. (speaking of which… why do i look so concerned in that first shot?? ahh.) xx

  29. haha perfect condition for a blogger wipeout! it looks like a great day and its nice seeing you for real like actually talking!

  30. Samantha

    love the pictures! the fishtail braid looks great! haha i want that lace skirt! so pretty


  31. I love this set of photos! I really like the braid : )

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  32. wow stunning photos and looks like such an amazing event. x

  33. oh gosh..where to start….your fishtail braid looks amazing, that whole day looks like so much fun, the pics of food make me hungry and i LOVE how you styled the jeans.

  34. Next?! Who would have thunk it, I’m shocked.
    Now this is one of my aspirations, that a clothing company calls me for my view on something, I mean normally i just stand outside various head offices and shout out my opinions but now the security guards know my face it does prove difficult, still the element of surprise/disguise is my new tactic.

    Your post made me smile, i totally think you should have thrown lady-like etiquette outta the window and fought for that blazer
    Come check out my beauty trends for spring/summer 2011 it is a kick! Also it is informative looool it’s an informative kick

  35. Riggght? I did that too before and they actually tased me once and I had to leave with my tail between my legs… that’s why I started the blog.

  36. @Shini,

    ooooh you see i did not do it that way round?! i started the blog then started to share my ‘views’ at diffrent head offices (i think the official word the police used was stalk but i dont agree with the ‘establishment’ as it were so i choose to ignore that description)

    anyhoo love the new post, im really an arty person but that i can get in to

  37. @Shini,

    ooooh you see i did not do it that way round?! i started the blog then started to share my ‘views’ at diffrent head offices (i think the official word the police used was stalk but i dont agree with the ‘establishment’ as it were so i choose to ignore that description)

    anyhoo love the new post, im not really an arty person but that i can get in to

  38. Great idea from Next, looks like an amazing event!
    Love the pictures and the contest.

    With love, Samm
    @ http://www.afterstylecomesfashion.blogspot.com

  39. This looks like fun! Maybe I didn’t read it properly, but I did not understand from the invitation that the trip was so well organised (My only thought was: Leicester? Where is that?!). Bloggers and industry – it’s become a close relationship…
    Lovely, lovely pictures. Now I will watch the boho video. xo

  40. What a fun challenge! I would’ve likened this type of challenge to an 11-year old’s birthday party at Pizza Hut, but same diff. I like how you styled the flare jeans (I think that I would’ve had a tricky time styling them, plus under a time crunch!), especially with the “pop.” :D

    And uhm, and can we talk about how adorable you were in the video? I swear it’s not to sound creepy, but yeah, pretty adorbs.

    Also, I used one of your pictures in this post on my tumblr (char-redtoast.tumblr.com), and credited/linked back to you of course. If you’d prefer that I not do so, please let me know.

  41. Of course I don’t mind, but thank you so much for asking! Dude didn’t know you had a tumblrrr

  42. @Shini, I doooo and it’s too addicting. Right now it’s mostly comprised of Golden Globe stuff and pretty pictures of pretty things. I’m like an 8-year old pop culture fanatic.

  43. I LOVE 8 YEAR OLDS TOO. Giggity.

  44. Savvy business acumen from Next. A coup I say! The internet is slowly but surely transforming the way these business allocate their marketing dollars. Some blue-chip companies are allocating more and more towards online presence and for this case, fashion bloggers are at the fore front of alternative marketing for fashion business.

  45. You’re so right, I remember Next being very mum/aunt bargainy store not a year ago and now look how quickly they’re changing! I think they’re really grabbing the new internet + fashion phenomenon by the right handles if you know what I mean.

  46. Wow this sounds like such fun.
    and that is a seriously stylish first class carriage hahah

    I hope to be invited along someday just to meet you lovely ladies!!!


  47. Love the Food, the clothes, the looks!!!

  48. hahaah you sound soo excited. One first class carriage full of fashion bloggers <- that is so cool/funny/unreal at the same time. really nice thing by next. you all look fantastic!

  49. First of all, your nails!! I want all of those colors!

    Second of all, this video is kind of a revelation, you have an American accent?!

  50. I know, weird right??
    Don’t really have a strong one, just what I like to call an ‘international’ accent… oh man.

  51. @Mieko,

    Yes! I was going say the same thing! Nails AND the accent! I’ve always thought you’d have a quite a strong English accent, Shini. So I suppose most people that go to international school would probably have an ‘international’ accent, huh? :) Anyhoo, love how you use the skirt as a top! NEXT… Who would’ve thunk it for sure!

  52. The way you’re wearing the tops together is really interesting, buttoning up the strap from the colorful under-layer onto the top layer is great idea! Or am I missing something and it’s actually one top with multiple layers? Either way it looks great. I liked watching your video, your accent certainly is hard to place, kind of like a little bit of everything!

  53. Jasmin

    first your pics are lovely! the event looks like fun!


  54. I think your fishtail braid is pretty good, I mean I wish I could have that skill. Looks like you had a productive day!


  55. Saw a picture of a yellow pleated skirt from Kit’s blog and I realised it was yours?! I love it!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous!! You look amazing! Congrats on the win! You look fantastic in those flared jeans! Love your accent too!


    Love from Seoul,
    Nostalgic Senses


  57. That skirt looks great as a top/bustier thingy and i too thought ‘oh i didn’t know shini was american!’
    Looks like an amazing day. Definitely made up for the terror of the itchy sweater, huh?
    ps. Love lucy’s DIY collar! I’m currently obsessed with collar details. I’ve made a few but hers is soooo much better

  58. That looks like such a wonderful time! What an amazing group of fashionable women. =)

  59. That looks like such a wonderfully fun interlude! What a beautiful group of fashionable women =)

  60. That looks like an amazing day. Seriously. Would it be bad to say that I might’ve been more occupied with the food and snacks if I was in your position? But regardless, what a fun and amazing opportunity.

  61. Oooh love your pictures Shini! I also loved your matching nails with Kit, Jill and I assume Jen’s too. Sounds like you made a proper blogger’s night and day of it all!

    Your outfit was definitely a worthy win- who would have thought to hitch up that skirt and wear it round your middle? It looks great but I wonder how Next will style that on a model and whether it will be exactly the same as your outfit?

    That day definitely opened my eyes to the wonders of what Next had to offer. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for the next blogger event either!!

  62. Beautiful photos… looks like it was a blast. Especially love what you did with the skirt turned into a top!

  63. […] don’t want to be bombarded with pictures of a lucky few of us scoffing canapes etc, however a few pals of mine have done the job exquisitely. If you’re interested you can see all of our looks […]

  64. oh yes, ive been popping into next quite a lot lately, ive bought dresses, shoes, cute lil’ sweaters… looks like you had a great day out, really nice for us to get a sneak peek of whats coming soon! xxx

  65. That’s so true! It WAS like a mad birthday party! It was hilarious good fun actually: not at all what I expected.

    You put this together so beautifully, Shini. And I feel you’ve explained just how I feel about the brand. Hats off to them, and to you. (I even caught a nice soft focus shot of me on the train).

    Where ARE you? xx

  66. amazing post. so lovely

  67. Leila

    I can’t believe you guys were in Leicester, my hometown!
    Man, if I knew, I would’ve gone to the HQ and party crashed!

  68. Luv those shoes… the buckle is fab!

  69. […] Fashion bloggers day trip to Next – Park and Cube […]

  70. […] week to cover for two really great sponsors. Despite the accent as some may have noticed in the Next video I have never actually been to the US, and undoubtedly this would’ve made a rather pleasant […]

  71. […] week to cover for two really great sponsors. Despite the accent as some may have noticed in the Next video I have never actually been to the US, and undoubtedly this would’ve made a rather pleasant first […]