FASHION | How to say ‘What? This old thing?’ and genuinely mean it

Belfast born image consultant, Ciara Lowe-Thiedeman now located in London guest blogs for us today about this season’s fashion trend “Conscious Consumption” – resurrecting the old, reducing the need for new!


Clearly fast fashion is not a new issue but it has been catapulted smack bang into the public eye this past year, with massively increased media attention like Stacey Dooley’s doco ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secret’. But change isn’t happening fast enough and the shocking statistics behind the mass production of clothing is far from sustainable.  The problem is global but the solution is local. We need to stop and question our part in this... and what we can do to hit back…

A long time promoter and host of upmarket recycling charity events, I got a little giddy when I saw Cathy’s insta story about #TheKindnessCollection. Showcasing and promoting recycling and encouraging people to ‘bring it back’ is a key way stylists can effect change in the fast fashion crisis. And hats off to Cathy for doing it large on the @BFW stage. Educating people how to update classic pieces in your wardrobe through styling may seem ‘small scale’ but if it makes us stop before we shop, it can only do some good –for the environment and for the charities that stand to benefit too.

 It was my 40th birthday that first sparked my idea to do something with my guilt of excess and my passion for recycled fashion, so I decided to celebrate this milestone by raising money and awareness for suicide and mental health charities – a cause close to my heart. A little idea to dig into my privileged friends’ wardrobes for their unloved high end items that grew arms and legs and raised over £30K, generated two trucks full of donated clothing and spawned a little documentary into the bargain. We had Beyoncé’s costume designer, Ruth Tarvydas attend and top end stylists queuing to style up old pieces for the catwalk. It was clear this kind of fashion fundraiser provided an opportunity for people to do their part to help more than one growing problem – excess consumption and underfunded charities.

I have subsequently run smaller, more intimate ‘Bring and Buy’ events which I call “Excess Baggage Girls Nights In” where a group of 20 or so women gather at my house with their unwanted high end bags and clothes and we again rid ourselves of excess and buyer’s remorse while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for mental health. These nights always generate more than £2K and immense feedback about the opportunity to do good with our excesses – and bag a Balenciaga bag among other designer bargains!

 So it turns out Cathy’s decision to take action on dealing with ‘what to do with the old’ is perfectly timed. ‘Bringing it back’ and resurrecting vintage pieces sitting idle in your wardrobe (or someone else’s) is absolutely the new trend happening this season – bigger than ever before.

I look forward to seeing what Cathy can do with the pieces she has gathered for #TheKindnessCollection and how she’ll style them up.

But here is my top tip for SS19 season to help you resurrect the old and reduce the need for a constantly revolving new wardrobe:

 Invest in a stylist. The rewards will last you a lifetime.

 A good stylist will get to know you and won’t recommend you spend your hard earned money on cheap, eco-unfriendly items, but will teach you how to ‘shop your wardrobe’ and get better use from what you already have. You’ll learn to pair or fill in gaps with quality styles and colours that suit you and best match your personality. A good stylist will encourage you to consider buying secondhand and give you tips on how best to do that. Your investment in a good stylist will ultimately save you significant time and cash, and quite possibly be a positive step towards helping save the planet.

 Ciara Lowe-Thiedeman

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Last week, F Words contributor and all-round stylist-slash-model- slash-design-queen Melissa Elliott took to the launch of the tenth Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, an annual event which celebrates the ever evolving Irish fashion industry by showcasing the newest and most innovative Irish designers, alongside Ireland’s most established designers.  Check out her report here:


 The Morgan Hotel in Dublin City Centre was the setting for the tenth anniversary press launch, and guests were greeted with delicious breakfast nibbles, fresh juices and warming coffee by the gallon, while we previewed some of the upcoming collections and had a chance to meet a few of the designers showcasing at the main event. There is nothing I love more than being in a room filled with passion about Irish design, sustainable fashion, craftsmanship and creativity.


 Knitwear made a strong statement, particularly in the work of Colin Burke who has featured in Elle magazine. He showcased an array of highly skilled hand crochet and knit alongside innovative design development. An exploration of texture is always a winning trend and Colin has unsurprisingly been named in the One to Watch category alongside Charlotte Lucas, who showcased part of her elegant, effortless and luxurious bridal capsule. A beautiful mix of flirty feathers and bespoke tailoring.

Credit: Colin Burke

Credit: Colin Burke

 In addition to the several competitive categories in Fashion, Accessories, Millinery and Jewellery, the evening will feature “The Perfect 10” – which will comprise of ten leading Irish designers featuring their unique designs. Meaning this ten-year anniversary is sure to be a stand out night with a spectacular display from Ireland’s more promising designers, a platform to showcase to the industry experts whilst most importantly generating public support that will last for years to come.

 It is one of the highlights of our fashion calendar and this year  - on 14 March - it will be showcased at the stunning Galmont Hotel & Spa in Galway City.

 Tickets are on sale now via


As Business of Fashion so brilliantly put it earlier today, last year’s #GoldenGlobes were something of a coming out for the #MeToo movement, with women eschewing the usual red carpet glitz for all-black ensembles to draw attention to Hollywood’s mistreatment of women. The campaign, plus fiery speeches at the ceremony from Oprah Winfrey and others, brought unprecedented attention to the problem and emboldened victims and activists to take on some of entertainment's most powerful men.

One year on we saw some powerful and empowered women serving up strong looks on the red carpet.

For me, Lady Gaga completely stole the show in her lilac gown by the house of Valentino - an homage to Judy Garland’s dress in the original A Star is Born movie back in 1957. I also loved Lupita Nyongo’s purple/electric blue number which looked stunning with its touch of sparkle. Julia' Roberts’ caped trouser suit and Susan Oh and Constance Wu’s dresses were worthy of note.


Global trend forecaster and colour consultancy the Pantone Color Institute has named the 12 top colour trends for Spring 2019.



A warmer palette is set to dominate the upcoming spring 19 season, reflecting shoppers’ desire for a confident, more optimistic future, the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report Spring/Summer 19 suggests. Energetic shades more traditionally associated with autumn – such as orange-red Fiesta, deeper Jester Red and vivid orange Turmeric – are set to fill collections and consumer’s wardrobes. The season’s warmer tones will be offset by splashes of zesty green, sunny yellow and more traditional spring pinks. Which one is your favourite??

Of course, here at the F Words we like the yellow ones, especially that lemon butter shade… dreamy!


Hollywood’s most stylish celebrities were out in full force as they rocked the red carpet at the 2018 Emmy Awards this week.

We saw everything from sophisticated evening gowns to power-dressing couples and even bold-as-could-be rainbow stripes make an appearance… Yes, really!

Scroll through the gallery below to see our top picks from the night:

FASHION Haute Couture and Millennials

Haute Couture and Millennials

As the key buying force of the world, Millennials have been a target demographic for all fashion brands, high and low, for quite some time now. Their innovative spirit paired with the fact that their lives are intertwined with technology delivers a mixed bunch of shoppers who were once thought to never ever dip their fingers in the beauty that is haute couture. 

And yet, designers have found a way into the minds and hearts of Millennials, and their ever so complex relationship is still growing and developing. Brands have changed their catwalk ways to meet halfway with Millennials, who truly know what they want both from fashion as an industry and trends and their style preferences. Clearly, there has been an impact on both ends, helping reshape this bond into a new stage we have yet to experience.

Luxury embraces sustainability



Photo by Caleb Lucas on Unsplash

So much buzz has been created around some of the most recent Earth-friendly movements, that even the highest-ranking fashion labels were bound to take notice sooner or later. Those who have responded to this Millennial need and call sooner have earned perhaps the most coveted spot as the top names Millennials will gladly wear. They see it as an investment, both into their look and authentic expression, and into the future of our planet, so the price tag is not a concern.

Although Millennials firmly believe that sustainability should not be a luxury in the modern world, they appreciate that it’s necessary for these labels to take a stand for others to follow in their footsteps. For example, names such as Stella McCartney are doing their part by introducing new sustainable policies. 

Trends that tend to last

Where does true luxury of fashion shine the brightest? At the fashion shows in the capitals of the globe, where the runways every season are brimming with new designer ideas waiting to conquer the world. And yet, luxury brands are looking to introduce a more durable way of making their seasonal outfits, so that they can be worn for years on end, both in terms of quality and trend-wise.

It’s no wonder then that luxury labels that make long-lasting items with timeless design in mind are much more appealing to Millennials than those who behave like a typical fad diet: they are exciting for a while, only to be replaced by another temporary mix. 

Emerging brand collaborations


head in hands.jpeg

Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

Utility paired with authenticity is something every Millennial dreams of in their wardrobe. When you examine a typical designer runway, you’ll see a plethora of garments not a single living soul would wear in real life. More luxury brands are switching to the more purpose-driven side of fashion, where wear-ability actually plays a significant role in design without sacrificing design ingenuity in the process.

Unconventional brand names such as Junya Watanabe join forces with utility and lifestyle brands such as the North Face to deliver a slew of products that are so much more than gorgeous. They perfectly reflect the values of every modern Millennial who strives to lead a healthy, fit life, explore nature and stay comfortable while doing so. These wonderful pieces belong both in your capsule wardrobe and in a collection of real-life wears that can never go out of style, as they are made to serve a purpose. 

Minimalist in nature

Millennials have reinvented minimalism to suit their innovative needs and style preferences. To put it in perspective, this fashion direction is no longer constricted into a predetermined set of garments that are rarely ever seen on runways. On the contrary, haute couture is finally letting the spirit of a true Millennial infuse their collections with rebellion and simplicity – without depriving them of flair, of course.

Although Rihanna’s Fenty Puma collection scream anything but minimalism, they have somehow become the staple of not only athleisure, but of essential statement fashion almost every closet will own sooner or later. Streetwear paired with high-end names delivers items such as simple black leggings, clean white sneakers that can be worn anywhere and anytime, but also a wide range of colorful heels, printed hoodies, and the like. 

Modernization of the oldest brands


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Photo by Dmitriy Ilkevich on Unsplash

On a final note, old brands have been stuck with their old ways for a very long time. They have persisted with their luxurious brick-and-mortar businesses, fashion shows, and a limited online presence, until the era of Millennials. 

Now, even some of the oldest stars of haute couture such as Gucci have embraced the changing digital landscape to accommodate their Millennial customers. Suddenly, you see them strutting their models and brilliant outfits on Instagram, boasting celebrity collaborations, and pursuing online engagement on many social networks out there. 




BUSTY AND BAFFLED: Style Tips for Big Boobs

Blessed in the boob department? Chances are you’ll be aware of the typical advice for us booby girls, but I’m so over all the big-bust-style-advice which tells you to cinch in your waist or use minimizer bras. 8 out of 10 ladies with big busts these days are no longer the natural hourglass figure, they’re more apple shapes, and so cinching in of a waist that doesn’t exist is just non-advice! And some of those reading the advice won’t actually want to wear a minimizer, they want to celebrate their bosoms – and rightly so!

However, having a big bust shouldn’t mean a compromise in confidence or style. If you’re reading this because you’re busty and baffled, then bear with me and read on. I can’t say I have every solution, but I have seen enough to help me create my own set of rules and regulations which help optimise my ‘girls’ instead of them getting in fashion’s way.

Full disclosure: I totally love my boobs in the bedroom (or bathroom, or wherever I am naked) as they are pretty nice and pert it has to be said, but I have to admit that I don’t love them when I am choosing fashion. Big boobs and most fashion – in my opinion – are not great bedfellows. I mean, even in the 90s when boobs were what asses are today (thanks to the Kardashians), the only thing boobs really suited in high fashion was the original Hervé Leger bandage dress and the odd crop top with ultra low rise boot cut jeans – but these styles also required taut tummies, something which I, for one, no longer possess.

So I’m coming from a place of not really embracing my boobs if we’re honest, and I know that when I try to ‘hide’ my boobs, they look their worst – (peek-a-boob from a cool shirt or blouse anyone?) and so do the clothes I’m trying to use as camouflage tools; however I also know LOADS of ladies who are generously proportioned in the chest area, who embrace their boobies and dress them with pride and joy, so I will try to recognise the gripes & boasts of both types of big boob dresser in my TOP TEN TIPS for big boob dressing. Enjoy!


Let’s go back to basics and acknowledge that we can’t talk about dressing for a busty frame without addressing bras. But finding the right one — one that’s comfortable, supportive, and flattering — is half the battle. I mostly live in plain black or nude T shirt bras with NO EXTRA PADDING (why do so many brands ADD PADDING to bras for big boobs?!) It’s not like we NEED any more!  

A good bra should be one that covers the whole breast and gives your chest shape without giving it an additional boost (unless that's your preference). It’s important to invest in at least a few full-coverage options that will provide the most supportive base beneath all your outfits. Even if you are certain what size you are, it’s always a good idea to get measured by a fitting expert every time you purchase a new bra.

Thankfully, this doesn't require backpack-size straps and bland colours only. I got measured up at Boux Avenue in Victoria Square and went from wearing a 34DD to a 34F(!) after being measured properly.




One of the original rules for busty girls was always ‘V neck good, round neck bad’. But whilst V necks are super flattering on larger busts, (because of the triangulation from shoulders and the elongated line down towards the waist), I refute the claims that round necks are all bad. If you hove toned arms à la Michelle Obama and a slim enough waist line/obliques silhouette, then a fitted, round neck t shirt can be perfect, especially if you have big hips as well and you’re choosing to go wide or baggy on your skirt or trouser silhouette.

That said, we’re all for ‘if you’ve got it, FLAUNT it’ here at the F Words (FLAUNT does begin with an F after all) so we believe that displaying a bit of your well-endowed cleavage is every busty girl's right – and V necks definitely do it better.  But if you think a V neck is too severe, go for a scoop neckline, which is always flattering when it hits your chest at just the right places.

The same can be said of turtle necks and polo necks. If you’re busty with an hour glass figure, a polo neck over big boobs with a high waisted trouser or pencil skirt is classic and cool.

In eveningwear, a sweetheart, off-the-shoulder neckline a la Susan Sarandon creates the ultimate time to shine while swimwear in a plunge cut to suit your shape and size is also flattering.


3.    WRAP IT UP!

Whether in the form of a dress or jacket, a wrap silhouette complements every body type and bust size, and the natural V created from the wrapping is always super flattering, plus the tie belt goes just under your bust, usually the slimmest part of your upper waist. (Thanks, Diane Von Furstenburg!) Again, I’d suggest that you think of your overall figure before choosing the skirt shape in a wrap dress. If you’re short and apple shaped, I wouldn’t advise an A line or full skirted wrap dress, go for something straighter but a little bit shorter in the hem line and in the arm, to show off those slim limbs.  

Double breasted jackets fall most definitely OUTSIDE of this rule and can look really frumpy on busty figures as they tend to cross over right across the bust and not under it like a well fitted wrap dress. Plus, they move funnily when you and/or your boobs move to articulate your speech - or raise hands for any gesture. (Sleeveless tuxedo jackets are a good alternative if you want to feel suit-y).

           4.    PUSSY GALORE – Try a Pussy Bow Blouse

A high-neck pussy bow blouse makes for a flattering cut to style with high-waisted pants or a skirt—especially for those moments you want to hide your cleavage. Because of the elongated neck and the focus up there, this is an occasion when you can afford to go bulbuous on the blouse shape and not look pregnant, even if you drop your skirt/trouser waistline a little. I would also suggest shorter sleeves on the blouse, above the watch & bracelet line, to show off slim wrists & bring the focus to nice jewellery. (Don’t be afraid to use your local tailor or amendments shop to do this – sleeve length can make such a difference and I am forever asking my guys at The Zipyard to alter everything!)


On the subject of necklines, be careful to steer clear of too much detail – especially frills and ruffles - because they can make the bust look even bigger. It’s better to stick with simple colour combinations and clean lines.



If you have a waist, or the semblance of one, then take note from Ashley Graham and cinch your look at the waist with a corset, kimono wrap belt or a wide buckled belt. Instant hourglass! Every woman with a shapely figure has probably received a recommendation to cinch her waist as it accents the bust and creates a pinup-worthy frame instantly. I’m kind of tired of this advice, though; it feels overdone, plus a significant proportion of the female population is more likely to be apple shape these days, so cinching in a waist which doesn’t exist will create muffin tops – not hourglass shapes!

6.    USING YOUR WAIST #2 - Have A Bare Midriff Moment

Much like a corset belt, a hint of a bare midriff helps to create that hourglass figure—and draws attention to your waist if you have a slim enough one to bare it. I only discovered this trick in my forties and a cropped top which is cut just below the bust but above the slimmest part of the waist will create a trompe d’oeil – drawing attention to the waist and away from the bust. I don’t actually expose any flesh personally (not intentionally anyway!) but I team a cropped top with a high waisted pencil skirt to very good effect.



The Peek-A-Boob is real. Yes, that occasion when your button-boob combo fails you and your shirt buttons gape (or pop out entirely) to reveal your boobs and/or bra (not always your prettiest). Of course with Sod’s Law, it’s usually when you’re speaking to a stranger. Or presenting at work. Or out with a new date. Often we’re told to go up a size in the blouse to avoid this, but that just creates extra fabric elsewhere and adds to a silhouette which (on me anyway) doesn’t need extra inches added by loose fabric. If I do have to do that, I end up getting the blouse altered. But here’s my advice – get the blouse that fits and take it to your local alterations store (I use The Zipyard) and ask them to add in a couple of strategic popper buttons between the regular ones. IT WORKS! It takes a bit of a pull to pop the popper buttons and they reinforce your own buttons, however pretty or practical they are.


A more subtle way to create a similar effect is to use dark colours as belt equivalents.  A dark shade across the torso will give the impression of diminishing a body part's size, while light or bright hues draw attention to an area. Colour blocking is a clever way to balance out proportions. With a black top half and colour block hem, a two-tone dress will minimize a larger chest and draw attention to your bottom half. Colourful seaming and piping can also help, so remember that colours and wide stripe prints can completely define your shape without any additional buckles and belts. But on that note – another tip is to learn to STRIPE RIGHT:  Wearing vertical stripes on your top half will lengthen your upper body and slim your torso therefore making your chest appear smaller.

Prints are by no means out of bounds - opt for smaller style patterns or, if you want to go bold, a black background to florals, polka dots etc will stop you looking heavier up top. Use a strategic placement formula here too – if you want to distract from your chest, wear them on the bottom, if you want to flaunt your bust, vice versa.


If you’re boobie, you’ll know that changing room feeling of trying on a dress and experiencing relief when the zip glides up past your waist AND bust without a struggle. Stretchy fabrics can be flattering because they fit a greater range of body shapes, but if you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, or you’re an extra at a hen party in Vegas, so choose fabrics and sleeves/necklines to suit too.

We often need to go up a size to accommodate our widest measurement which can create a bit of a potato sack syndrome where the dress is tight at the bust and hanging loose and smock-like all over. Unless I’m pre-menstrual and bloated or going for an eight-course tasting menu and need the extra room, I dislike this shape. But on those few occasions, this kind of loose, hanging style is actually liberating and, if you choose the right fabric/shape, you can totally rock an androgynous look, (a look which usually looks much better on women with a straight-lined frame) especially when you’re no longer worrying about defining your waistline.

Choosing to choose separates over a dress allows you to accommodate different sizes on top and bottom. It also allows you to play with print and pattern. (see Point * above). A nifty trick is to create the illusion of a dress with co-ordinated block colour tops and bottoms. When choosing tops for a big bust, make sure they’re sufficiently long, as having a big bust can shorten the length, and pop any buttons. And if you’re a T shirt kinda gal, I hear ya! Anyone with big boobs knows that T-shirts are hard — the slightest V-neck can give you cleavage overload, and anything baggy looks like you're wearing a tent. But the solution is all about what you pair it with — a loose, crew-neck T-shirt still looks cool when it's tucked into a slim skirt. Remember length and fit is important too, so crop it or knot it if you have to/want to!

One of my go-to dresses for work in summer is the shirtdress, which will nip you in at the waist before flaring out to balance out your bust, but I often get extra buttons added (see point 7 above). Unbuttoning it as low as you can go is another option. As is adding a statement belt. Just remember, it’s important to highlight your waist, more so if you are petite.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to play with playsuits and jumpsuits. I have found that they are one of the most flattering and easy-to-wear silhouettes for me and my boobs - but not every style, so it pays to play with shapes and styles here too.



Biker style jackets are brilliant for big busts because the lapel design ensures the jacket actually lies over your boobs when open instead of just falling off to either side. This cleverly makes your chest area appear smaller. And don’t worry about being able to zip it up - we guarantee you’ll rarely want to wear it that way. Also, the cropped length of most motorbike jackets helps make your top half look smaller and more proportional, especially when you're not super tall.  The same ‘wear it open’ rule applies to blazers – don't worry about buttoning up. Wear them open with crop tops and high waisted bottoms or wear wide belts over clean-line tops underneath for best effect. In short, when it comes to most jacket styles for big boobs, remember one thing: single breasted and slightly open is your friend.






We know it’s the colour of our blog here at the F Words, but YELLOW is also the hottest (and happiest) colour to wear this summer. Whether you are a lemonade and lime punch type, or you're a more full-bodied colour kinda girl, and prefer a rich egg-yolk hue, there is a shade of yellow for all skin types.

This week, I tasked our German intern Nikolina Baulch with finding her faves, from bananas to buttercups and sunflowers to sweetcorn. Here are her top picks of the bright cheery colour that sweeping insta with sunshine


Rhianna who sets the yellow trend wearing a yellow twinset by Oscar de la Renta.

Here are some of our fave yellow items right now… Click on the pict




Wonderful One-Piece

Bikini be gone, I have moved on. Gosh, that rhymes and I didn’t even expect it to!

I’m not sure if it’s my age, or the fact that I am more often than not running after little ones on beaches or by pools, or the fact that I dislike my tummy (it’s my body part nemesis, the bit I dislike the most - and I know as a #bodyimage ambassador I shouldn’t say that, but it’s the truth!) or indeed the fact that the choice is now SO GOOD… that I have fallen out of love with itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikinis of all kinds and totally in love with one piece swimsuits. I mean, they’re just so much more handy and I truly believe they look super elegant when compared to bikinis. On me anyway.


I went looking for some the other night for my forthcoming holiday and didn’t go much past, which, I must say, had the most comprehensive selection anywhere - and from brands right across all price ranges and for various body shapes. This blog post is pretty much a summary of all my faves, and faves that I would pick if I had various different body shapes. I hope you like them and I hope you can manage to buy some of the best ones before they sell out (because I missed a few myself!!)


The BAFTA TV awards in London saw the stars of Britain’s glittering small screen come out in force and grace the runway – and they did not disappoint! The evening saw the likes of Peaky Blinders winning Best Drama Series, Molly Windsor and Sean Bean winning Best Leading Actress & Actor and Love Island winning Reality and Constructed Factual.
And whilst the awards are exciting, here at the F Words, we looked to the red carpet and we have rounded up some of our favourite looks from the evening. With summer well and truly here, we saw the stars wear romantic silhouettes, bold colours and dynamic floral prints.

Thandie Newton - Richard Quinn

Thandie Newton - Richard Quinn

Lucy Mecklenburgh - Rami Al Ali

Lucy Mecklenburgh - Rami Al Ali

Anna Passey - Zeynep Kartal

Anna Passey - Zeynep Kartal

Jodie Whittaker -.jpeg
Joely Richardson.jpeg
Lucy Watson - Aiden by AM.jpeg

Jewel tones of blue were popular across the carpet with stars like Jodie Whittaker, Joely Richardson, Lucy Watson (wearing Aiden by AM) and Molly Windsor (wearing Huishan Zhang) all looking dazzling in the shade. Yellow was another popular colour choice, as seen on Laura Whitmore (wearing Sophia Kah), Michelle Keegan (wearing Suzanne Neville) and Amy Jackson (wearing Elisabetta Franchi).

Laura Whitmore - Sophia Kah.jpeg
Michelle Keegan - Suzanne Neville.jpeg
Amy Jackson -  Elisabetta Franchi.jpg
Amanda Holden - La Mania.jpeg

By far the most popular shade seen on the red carpet was pink in all shades, from blush to deep magenta.  With Amanda Holden in La Mania, Caroline Flack in Costarellos and Lucy Mecklenburgh in Rami Al Ali, showing us how it’s done.

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Some honourable mentions have to go to Anna Passey, who wore a simple white gown from Zaynep Kartal, accessorised with a bold gold belT; Vanessa Kirby who wowed in a champagne Dior gown and Thandie Newton who pulled off a bold floral print Richard Quinn design.

Georgia 'Toff' Toffolo - Costarellos.jpeg


However, here at the F Words, we think the best dressed of the evening has to go to Toff! Wearing a beautiful blush floral dress with red detailing by Costarellos, this is a gown that not everyone could pull off but one that is super girly, pretty and bang on trend for the season!




“Miss, I forgot my trainers.” We all cried. Every week. Until…

Well, until the teachers caught on and we were swiftly pointed in the direction of the sweaty, old shoes that made up the lost property pile. The bulky, unwanted, UNCOOL shoes that hadn’t in fact been lost but strategically disowned by teenagers mortified by their parents’ idea of suitable gym footwear.

Fast forward to 2018 and we’re willing to join lengthy (and rapidly growing) waiting lists and fork out hundreds of pounds to get our hands on the same trainers. This time calling it fashion.

These appropriately named “ugly trainers” are still making the rounds with at least one season under their belt and given their meteoric rise, constant controversy and ability to sell out in under an hour, I suspect they’ve got several more seasons in them. And yet, I’m still not entirely sold.

Dissect the street style shots and you’re met with supermodels off-duty and of course, the coolest of the cool kids roaming the streets of London and New York. While I can appreciate that the best fashion trends are usually the most divisive and that all trends are subjective, just how ‘user friendly’ is this trend? How does it translate for day to day wear and why on earth has something so conventionally hideous caught and held on to our attention?

Figuring out why the shoes are ugly certainly isn’t the challenge here. The colour combinations explain the “dad trainers” reference and bulbous soles and oversized tongues scream invasive.

Acne Studios Manhattan leather, suede and mesh sneakers - £360

Acne Studios Manhattan leather, suede and mesh sneakers - £360

Balenciaga TRIPLE S TRAINERS - £595

Balenciaga TRIPLE S TRAINERS - £595

NIKE Air Max 95 leather sneakers - £150

NIKE Air Max 95 leather sneakers - £150



Prada Cloud Burst

Prada Cloud Burst



Stella McCartney Eclypse Trainer £450

Stella McCartney Eclypse Trainer £450





However, something about these ugly trainers draws you in, an undeniable air of intrigue surrounds the trend. When you take a closer look and appreciate the fact that Louis Vuitton’s, Nicholas Ghesqière spent 4 years designing Archlight (a top contender for leader of the ugly trainer pack) and acknowledge the statistics from Stylebop that reveal Balenciaga’s Triple S as the fastest selling item of 2017, a statistic echoed among those at where the Triple S sellout was closely followed by Stella McCartney’s Eclypse and Acne Studio’s Manhattan trainers, you can’t help but feel you’re missing something. High street interpretations of the trend have continuously cropped up, bringing trends from the fashion elite to the masses - usually a pretty clear sign that a trend is here to stay and with both Zara and Nike making a case for the ugly trainer, my opinion could be swayed on the user friendly front.

Man Repeller went so far as to link our love of the ugly trainer to the current political climate, describing them as tools introduced to help ground us during times of unrest. With those thick, sturdy soles, we certainly can’t argue with their ability to ground us.

Refinery29 argue the popularity of the trend has risen in response to society’s growing demand for authenticity with writer Lisa Trautman claiming, “I’m at a point where I prefer something real to all of the selfies, avocados and minimalist apartments on Instagram.”

She’s got a point.

Clearly there’s a lot more to this trend than meets the eye and while I may remain skeptical, I’ll try most trends once.

The survival guide to the ugly trainer revolves around subtle feminine touches. Strike the balance with elegant accessories and dainty earrings. Embrace the clashing nature of a feminine, floaty dress against the masculinity of the shoe. If you dare, wear them after dark - LBD, low denier tights, chunky trainers and ankle socks worn proudly pulled up for all to see.

We won’t let this trend get the better of us. 


The Met Gala, the charity event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, is considered the highlight of the global fashion social season, attracting the biggest stars and fashion designers from across the world. It is known for its expensive tickets, ultra exclusive guest list and most of all, extravagant couture outfits that are based around a different theme each year.

This year, the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which showcases how Catholicism has influenced fashion throughout history.


Celebrities hit the cream carpet sporting everything from papal-inspired gowns to religious prisoner-inspired chainmail gowns and, in Katy Perry's case, oversized angel wings - by Versace of course.

Every year there are massive hits and terrible misses, but here at the F words, we have looked at all of last night’s sartorial offerings and these are some of our most interesting picks.


Anna Wintour (who hosts the event each year) looked ever-elegant and Holy Communion style white/silver by Chanel, but Versace was a popular designer of the night, with Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian West and Gigi Hadid all sparkling in the Italian house’s creations. Jennifer Lopez has showed she still can rock a thigh high split in a stunning Balmain gown.

Some more literal takes on the theme were from Stella Maxwell in a Virgin Mary adorned garment from Moschino, Rihanna arrived in her own “pope-mobile” in an jaw dropping outfit from Maison Margiela and, never to be out-done, Sarah Jessica Parker aced the theme with her stunning dress and headpiece from Dolce and Gabanna.


Some honourable mentions have to go to Olivia Munn in H&M, Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren and Kate Bosworth who was breath taking in Oscar de la Renta.


Share your faves with us in the comments here or on our Instagram!




Despite living in one of the wettest (and therefore potentially muddy) countries in Europe, I have this thing for white shoes. My First Holy Communion shoes were my first ever pair of really special shoes that I got to help choose myself and, looking back, wearing them that day was probably the first time I felt that now-common feeling with shoe purchases, ie, that they changed how I felt and looked at myself, in the way that a great pair of shoes can give confidence or a wee ‘I-can-do-anything’ boost to anyone, aged 8 or 80. So perhaps there is some deep link back to those wünder schuhe, or perhaps I just like white? I mean I wore white skinny jeans à la Elizabeth Hurley for pretty much all of the 90s...  Either way, these are my latest obsessions. 


I hope you like… (Click on the pics to buy) 

Snakeskin Cowboy Boots, £299, Gestuz at
DETAIL SHOT (Snakeskin Cowboy Boots, £299, Gestuz at


1. Snakeskin Cowboy Boots, £229, Gestuz at -


If staying ahead of the fast pack is your end goal, let Western inspired cowboy boots be your weapon of choice this season. The subtle stud detailing of this Gestuz pair, show the world that you mean business while the ankle grazing nature of the shoe wins points for versatility - we’re talking worn with jeans, blouses, maxi dresses or leather. However, cowboy hats are reserved for fancy dress only. 


PRODUCT SHOT (Dxn Vintage Trainers, £75, Saucony at

2. Dxn Vintage Trainers, £75, Saucony at -


Stan Smiths set the standard high for the white trainer trend. So high that almost everybody has a pair and while they remain a classic, individuality is the driving force that keeps personal style alive, making saying no to these Saucony trainers increasingly difficult. I’m ready to reboot the ever-present white trainer trend with muted tones and retro runners. 



3. Nike Air Max 95 Trainers, £120, Nike at -


The Dad trainer, the ugly trainer, the ‘I really need to have those’ trainers - whatever you want to call them, there’s no doubt that the overblown silhouette trainer is taking the street style world by storm. Balenciaga and Gucci have given their two cents on the matter and as for the Louis Vuitton Turbo trainer - that’s a whole other matter. Nineties nostalgia is here to stay, especially when it comes to our footwear. 


Styling tip: Wear with an oversized hoodie, straight leg jeans, trench and these trainers - done and done. 


PRODUCT SHOT Multi Buckle Heeled Western Boots, £45, Miss Selfridge at

4. Multi Buckle Heeled Western Boots, Miss Selfridge at -


Fendi, Ganni, Armani and Calvin Klein all looked to the wild west as inspiration for their recent collections so it was only a matter of time before the high street followed suit and thank goodness they did. These purse string friendly pair of western boots serve as the perfect gateway to a trend everyone wants in on. Not far from the classic Chloé Susanna boots, these will allow you to subtly tap into the trend and create timeless looks season after season. 


Leather Cowboy Ankle Boots, £99.99 at Zara.jpeg
Leather Cowboy Ankle Boots, £99.99 at Zara 2.jpeg

5. Leather Cowboy Ankle Boots, £99.99 at Zara -


No one does designer dupes quite like Zara so it’s no surprise that these beauties look familiar. Reminiscent of Phoebe Philo’s SS16 collection for Céline and at a fraction of the price, the angular features and sleek finish of these Zara boots make it hard to resist that infamous ‘Add To Basket’button. Whether leather or denim is more your vibe. there’s no deny thing that these boots were made for walking. 


It’s rare that fashion flips on its head and mummies are genuinely coveting kids’ clothes, but looking at the latest swimwear collection from M&S for girls, I am wishing I was 30 years younger right now. (And on a beach with lots of ice cream and sunshine it’s fair to say). 

Read on for my fave picks from this brights-done-right collection from one of the nation’s favourite stores. They look super cool for girls and I am pretty sure, having spoken to a few mummies this weekend, that the size 6 and 8 adults among them are definitely going to be trying to squeeze into the age 16 sizes.
Just click on the pics to buy - plus, remember there’s no VAT on kids’ clothes, so it’s a double whammy, win-win situation if you can fit into them!

Last Spring I worked on a fashion show for MaxMara, which had a tropicana theme with lots of palm leaves across printed fabrics throughout the collection. The theme was evident across a few international fashion houses and made it to some high street stores, notably Zara, for grown ups, by about September.  But it hasn’t gone away, and our recent weather makes dreamy tropical prints all the more attractive (along with aforementioned beach). I can just imagine these two swimsuit options with tanned limbs and tan sandals and an oversized hat plus shades. What’s not to love?!

And if I didn’t know that the M&S garment production lead time took longer than a few months, I’d be easily duped to think that their collection of rainbow swimwear came straight off Christopher Bailey’s AW18 final collection for Burberry. The stripes are bold, bright, sassy and strong and will make a statement on any beach or by any pool - and I cant help imagining myself in that stripe raincoat at a summer festival.  

 Striped Swimsuit £7 - £9

 Striped Swimsuit £7 - £9

 Rainbow Striped Swimsuit £9 - £11

 Rainbow Striped Swimsuit £9 - £11

One last style which would look super cute on a kid, but just as nice on a grown-up, is this Audrey Hepburn inspired sailor bow swimsuit. A classic style with handy pelmet peplum frills to avert attention from the hips, which little girls rarely have like we do of course, so we absolutely demand this style is replicated for us mummies!


Last night saw the stars of the silver screen out en masse for the Academy Awards 2018 in Los Angeles. Millions watched around the world as The Shape of Water was the biggest winner of the night. We were obsessed with some of the sartorial choices and spent ages choosing our faves, so without further ado, here are our pick of the best!

Margot Robbie stunningly channelled Grecian glamour in this custom Chanel piece. The dress had gorgeous beaded straps  and a crisscross skirt and Margot completed her look with a clear Chanel clutch and Chanel Fine Jewellery.

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Alison Williams went old Hollywood glam, stepping out in a gorgeous nude Armani Prive couture gown with a long train. Styled by Cristina Ehrlich, the actress wore her hair in a wavy, deep side-parted 'do for her first-ever Oscars. 

Lupita Nyong'o stole the show at the 2018 Oscars wearing a fierce gold Versace dress that was custom made for her. The designer number featured a slit up one leg and chain-ink details across the bodice. Lupita topped off her regal outfit with a Versace clutch, Alexandre Birman heels, and Niwaka fine jewllery. 

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Saoirse Ronan graced the red carpet in this pretty pink dress by Calvin Klein. The dress featured a strapless silhouette and gorgeous bow detailing. The talented  actress completed her look with court shoes by Christian Louboutin in the same pale pink hue. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 14.58.30.png

Jane Fonda dazzled at the 2018 Oscars in a white gown by designer Olivier Rousteing with beautiful pearl detail. The Coming Home legend and two times Acedemy Award winner showed of her amazing physique in a figure-hugging dress with elegant sleeves and dramtic shoulder pads. 

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She has dazzled at over a dozen Oscar ceremonies in the past and this year was no exception as Nicole Kidman stunned in one of the most memorable gowns of the night. The strapless form-fitting navy Armani  Privé gown featured a dramatic sweetheart neckline and a thigh-high slit.

Emily Blunt's 2018 Oscars look was so good it deserved a golden statuette of its own! The actress wore a fabulous Schiaparelli confection that was sweeter than a spoonful of sugar. As she prepares to remake the beloved Mary Poppins film, the Victorian neckline perfectly channelled the prim and proper icon. The dress featured some delicate applique around the torso and bow-like sleeves and was presented in a soft blue-tinged grey tulled. The actress completed her look with delicate crystal blue chandelier earrings. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 15.00.12.png

Picking up the gong for Best Support Actress, Allison Janney stunned at the 2018 Oscars in a gorgeous red Reem Acra dress. 

The show-stopping gown featured a plunging v-neckline complete with flowing, floor-length sleeves and had a dramatic train. Allison completed her look with a matching Roger Vivier clutch and Jimmy Choo heels, although perhaps the most attention-grabbing part of her ensemble was her sparkly jewellery which cost over $4 million dollars! Wowzer

What did you think of the looks on the red carpet? Who was your favourite? We can't believe #awardsseason is over!


As Holywood (and millions at home) prepare for the biggest awards night of the year, I decided to take a look back at some of the most memorable dresses to ever grace The Oscars' famous redcarpet. From Gwyneth Paltrow in that Ralph Lauren to Lupita Nyong’o in Prada here are my faves... 

First up, in the 1999 awards Gwyneth Paltrow chose this beautiful soft pink taffeta gown by Ralph Lauren. Paltrow picked up the award for Best Actress for her role in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and accessorised her look with stunning Harry Winston jewels. The look divided commentators but it was so perfect for her WASP-y shape and personality at the time. And here at The F Words it will always be a classic.


1999 - Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph Lauren

The 1954 Academy Awards saw Audrey Hepburn shine in this stunning gown by Hubert de Givenchy - who went on to dress the talented actress for seven of her later films. The dress featured a gorgeous floral pattern finished with a skinny belt. Hepburn won ‘Best Actress’ for her role in ‘Roman Holiday’.



1954 - Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy

Beautiful Spanish actress Penelope Cruz wowed in her dazzling, blush feathered Versace gown in 2007. She looked absolutely flawless in this dress which oozed opulence and immediately earned a place as one of the most iconic dresses to ever grace the Oscars' red carpet.



Emma Stone slayed in this dramatic Giambattista Valli gown back in 2012. The strawberry red/fuchsia colour against her skin and hair colour was bold, add to that a statement bow, a perfect updo and a Louis Vuitton clutch and, voila! There is nothing we don’t love about Emma’s look!


Also making a statement was Halle Berry in her dress for the 2002 Academy Awards, where she took away the gong for Best Actress, and wrote history by being the first black woman to do so. I loved this Ellie Saab dress at the time, but not so much now - however I thought I would include it here anyway, because it was so of its time. With hindsight, the dress was super daring and wowed onloookers;  plus she deserved all the attention that night in this show-stopping gown with its satin train, sheer top and some modesty-covering embroidery. 


Cate Blanchett looked every inch the Holywood Queen as she stepped onto the 2014 Academy Awards' red carpet. She paired the beautifully embellished gown by Armani Prive with subtle makeup and tousled waves; creating some super styling waves of her own. 


Rachel Weisz looked simply beautiful wearing Vera Wang at the 2007 Oscars. The year before she had won a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in The Constant Gardener and this time she returned to the red carpet to present an award. 
Her champagne coloured dress was beautifully embellished with diamante detailing on the bust and a short train embellished with plaited satin and tulle. She completed her look with a loosely-waved updo and berry-stained lip. With its figure-hugging cut and draped bodice the new mum looked every inch the glamorous Holywood star. 

Back to red again - and the year 2013 when Jennifer Anniston wore the colour of love as she stepped onto the red carpet with then beau Justin Theroux.  The strapless Valentino creation was simple yet glamorous with its romantic red hue and full bodied skirt.



The world fell in love with relatively new actress Jennifer Lawrence back in 2013 (lucky for some!) when she tripped and fell in this stunning Dior gown; (shame some are falling out of love with her of late, for showing off a bit of leg, but hey - that's a whole other blog).  The intricate design and daring silhouette looked incredible on her beautiful, youthful and athletic frame, so it was no surprise that her Oscar gown knocked her right to the top of all the best dressed lists - and lists of actresses that designers wanted to dress. She stuck with Dior for 2014 though (when she fell AGAIN!)... 



I have saved my (so far) all-time favourite Oscars look for the 2014 awards and Lupita Nyong’o's powder blue PRADA dress, which totally stole the show at her first time nomination for her role in Twelve Years a Slave. The gown, with its stunning floaty fabric, soft tone and plunging neckline will go down in red carpet history. And PS - her green dress at the Cannes Film Festival is one of my favourites on that red carpet too. Girl got style! 

LUPITA NYONGO - 2014.jpg


Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of late night browsing - and some of the fab finds from this month include these beauties. Take a look - tell me what you think!

1. Forever 21 Ruffle Jacket

While remaining Forever 21 may be something left to our daydreams, the youthful brand definitely knows how to keep feminine fashion super sophisticated. There’s no doubt in my mind that denim days have only just begun now that this denim jacket has entered the game. 

Take this otherwise “cutesy” item up a notch with leather trousers and stiletto boots. The leather will toughen up the look while the shoes remind everyone who’s boss.

Ruffle Trim Denim Jacket, £55, Forever21. Available at

Ruffle Trim Denim Jacket, £55, Forever21. Available at

2. Chloé Rylee Cutout Leather Boots

Never can a girl go wrong with anything Chloé.

Former creative director, Claire Waight Keller broke many a fashion heart upon her departure from the brand last year. Thankfully, her replacement, Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s killer collections since have definitely softened the blow. These cutout leather boots played a starring role in the French designer’s debut SS18 collection for the brand. 

The thing about this brand is that it just makes sense. As Ramsay-Levi explains, “You don’t need to be a fashion person to get it.” It only takes one look at these boots to recognise that they’re the standout shoe of the season. Tell me you can’t already imagine the rails of outfits to be styled alongside these boots? Take the look straight from the runway with blouses and mini skirts or experiment by pairing them with floral maxi dresses. The contrast between feminine florals and tougher leather boots brings serious style points your way. 

Oh and that cutout feature you see at the sides and ankles? Incredible with bare legs (if you dare). 

Rylee Cutout Leather Boots, £995, Chloe at Net-a-Porter. Available at

Rylee Cutout Leather Boots, £995, Chloe at Net-a-Porter. Available at

3. Bauble Earrings

Warning: May provoke unnecessary Dad/boyfriend/most males uninterested in fashion jokes. 
You know the drill. You also know you’ll always beat them in a best dressed competition. So let them laugh, you’re the real winner here. Plus they’re not actually baubles… 

The key to this modern day ear candy trend is avoiding pieces reminiscent of “Do your ears hang low?” chants of childhoods gone by. Instead opt for more gravity friendly, glam pieces. These Bauble Bar earrings tick all of the boxes. Black is always in style and the chic film noir vibes both of these earrings are giving off make them the perfect entry into a trend some may be nervous about trying. 

For a simple day time look, try a plain white t-shirt, straight leg jeans complete with a red lip and slick low ponytail to really show off the earrings. As for the evening, you best believe it’s time to slip on that LBD and those killer heels. These earrings were made for the dance floor. 

Floretta Sequin Hoop Earrings, $38 dollars; Maraca drop earrings, $34 both Bauble Bar. Available at  and

Floretta Sequin Hoop Earrings, $38 dollars; Maraca drop earrings, $34 both Bauble Bar. Available at and

4. Pink Jumper

Q: How many trends can one jumper tick off? 
A: Pink. Check.
    Stripes. Check.
    Ruffles. Check.
    Sporty elements. Check.
    Instagrammable. Check.
    Enough to make me want to purchase. Check.

While spring is (thankfully) inching its way closer and closer, buying knitwear doesn’t seem the most logical sartorial move right now but between the unpredictable nature of UK weather and the increasing mention of magenta as the AW18 trend reports roll in, how could you possibly resist this investment buy?

Embrace the clashes of red and pink incorporated in this knit, pair with red wide leg trousers and pointed white boots to give this jumper the moment to shine that it truly deserves.  

Cropped striped jumper, £305, Maggie Marilyyn at Net-a-Porter. Available at -

Cropped striped jumper, £305, Maggie Marilyyn at Net-a-Porter. Available at -

5. The Chair

What’s one thing all fashionable females need in their dressing room? 

Incredible lighting for one. And for another, an adorable chair. 

To the outside world it may seem totally impractical but to the style squad in the know, this chair is a must. Add a blush cushion (heavy on the fluffy texture) and you’re ready to go. Now someone pass me a camera while I upload it to Instagram #interiorgoals

The Emily & Meritt Bow Chair, $269 available at

The Emily & Meritt Bow Chair, $269 available at


Our guest contributor Amy Goldsmith talks us through her top picks for #ValentinesDay in this week’s fashion story…

Whether you and your darling have been together for a while or it’s a relationship that’s just starting to bud, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to indulge in some romance. What will you be doing this year? Are you and your partner going out to a simple dinner? Will there be roses, chocolate, and grand romantic gestures?

However you decide to celebrate your love, one thing’s for sure –there’s a sweet date waiting for you in the future and you’ve got to be ready for it! Sexy, cute, elegant, you’ve got options to take this date anywhere you want, and we’re here with some cool suggestions to help you put together the perfect outfit.


The way to a man’s heart? Velvet. It’s lush, smooth, and it will engage his senses as his hand brushes over your waist – it simply gives a tactile dimension to your outfit that’ll make him want to sit closer. A soft velvet dress paired with six-inch heels and a cheeky little smirk that promises a hot night ahead will make his mind spin. We recommend the Zara Printed Velvet Crossover Dress because it’ll show off your sexy legs and hug your figure just right; pair it with some burgundy heels and maybe a long coat over it so you can experience that moment of hearing him gasp as you unbutton the coat and slide it off your shoulders...


Demure, sweet, with just a dash of naughty, another great outfit idea is pastel-colored or white lace, preferably something that makes you look delicate, feminine, and still absolutely sexy. This Newlook sheer lilac frill trim top is a gorgeous choice, especially if you pair it with a nude undershirt and slim jeans or trousers. Wear ballet flats and let your hair fall down your shoulders in loose curls and you’ve got a nice, romantic look on your hands that’s so innocently sexy.


Feminine, mysterious, and luxuriously sophisticated, maybe you want a look that will have the guy sweating as he tries to impress you. Enjoy his open-mouthed stare as he sees you in a tight little pencil skirt and something like this Rockmans Elbow Sleeve Ruffle Blouse and black pumps. Pin your hair in a sleek chignon, paint your lips with some wet, nude lip gloss, and give him a smile girl – you’re an elegant goddess and you need to own it! Confidence is an essential part of this look, so enjoy your own beauty!


Maybe you’re an edgy gal who likes to make the head turn wherever she goes, who breaks social conventions and likes to get a little dangerous with her fashion. In that case, leather pants are your friend, baby! Slim leather pants, this satin wrap top, and the magical ingredient – over the knee boots! Throw on a leather jacket, wear bright red lipstick, and rock this bold look! If you want to dial it down a notch you can pick high-waisted skinny jeans instead of leather pants, and maybe switch the shoewear to high-heeled ankle boots


Let’s not forget the most important part – lingerie. Red is almost traditional for Valentine’s Day, but hey, it works. Nothing makes a gal feel sexier than red lingerie, but if you prefer, you can also go for the more mysterious-looking black or charmingly sexy white or pink. However, we’d like to encourage you to take it a step further and wear a corset (we know you always wanted one), because there’s nothing like a little burlesque moment to bring some fantasy and sexy romance to the date (or rather, what comes after it). Imagine yourself in a burgundy corset and black stockings with garters, then imagine your man as he sees you in it. Hot, hot, hot!

Excited about your date? Well there’s nothing like a little shopping session to keep you going until Valentine’s Day is here, so get creative and put together an outfit that will knock his socks off and make you feel sexy and stunning!