It’ll be in my backpack.

TOP PICK

 Swiftly beating my (dismally unreliable) second-hand mountain bike, and narrowly trumping pretty pink flask that facilitates excessive tea consumption, my #1 student item is my backpack.

My current backpack has carried all my junk across continents and around islands. It’s carried unnecessarily heavy books at three different universities, and completely necessary make-up/snacks emergency changes of shoes etc. on day trips, weekend trips, and ‘so what if I take my backpack on a date’ trips. Let’s face it, nothing else will hold enough snacks to get me through the day without permanently damaging my skeletal system; and I’m talking about you here, handbag.

 Backpacks subtly-hint-for-Christmas, backpacks to replace your old one, or simply backpacks to reinvigorate your backpack… cupboard.

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backpacks

hype

Hype
Av. Price £24.99

Their prints are wacky and totally fabulous and I absolutely love the crazy range available for the neat £25 price tag. All hail the king of backpack bargains. But you certainly won’t be finding these little numbers anywhere on the highstreet – and certainly not in the kitsch haven that is Exeter University. Check their online store.

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herschel co

Herschel Co.
Stockists: Urban Outfitters / Route One / Surfdome

Herschel Co’s bags are the prettiest candy and print palette. I love their super tall, slim cut that makes them perfect for even those cursed with a 15″ laptop, and their outer fabric is nice and stiff which makes them less… squished than the squatter Hype bags. They’ve got the essential padded straps – which boy do you appreciate after a long day at the library – and did I mention how pretty they are?

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 Mi-Pac 
£22-40
Stockists: ASOS / Urban Outfitters / Route One

Mi-Pac has a very, very wide range of prints: from the classics with contrast-pop outer pockets (LOVE) to the neat prints that have the perfect amount of pattern, without being… offensive (Hype). The thick, tan bottom helps survive the wear-and-tear of everyday student life, the straps are padded. A present the grandparents would understand.

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Easkpak

EastPak
Padded Pak'R £40 / Out of Office £50 / Pinnacle £70

EastPak is everywhere on campus, but it certainly isn’t cheap if you’re looking for something to fit a mammoth 15″ screen laptop. The upside is, their patent padded straps and back are super comfy once worn in; I’ve tried my housemates and was thiiiiis close to updating my own to an EastPak special. And hey there 30 YEAR guarantee.

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Final tip of the day, if you can’t find what you’re looking for with these mainstream brands, why not give Etsy a go? An international selling platform for independent artists, craftsmen, and small businesses, it has loads of original and one-off pieces that are worth a look if you’re particular about your backpack.

That’s about all the geeking out about backpacks I think I can handle in one evening. My own backpack and I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning for another trip to campus!

Till next time,

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Floral Prints and Sewing Chat

Shop!

 NO.1 True DecadenceXJohn Lewis/Tropical Shift Dress £37 £12
NO.2 MinkPinkXUrban Outfitters/Moonflower MaxiSkirt £60 £27.99
NO.3 Dorothy Perkins/Collared Floral Dress £32 £11.80 

SO… I’ve been bad.

Between all the final year assignments, essays and job applications, I confess I’ve been doing a liiiittle too much online shopping.

The good news is, however, I have sated my autumn obsession with floral prints, and a got myself a couple of sewing projects for (my guilty pleasure…) Monday Made in Chelsea nights.

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florals

There’s a bit of a floral theme going on with my October online-shopping spree. I think I’m finally getting in touch with my inner girly side. I’ve had a morbid fear of a) PRINTS and b) COLOUR all my life (idk), but it looks like my monochrome wardrobe is getting a flowery kick in the ass.

As per, my shopping bag this month is filled with classy bargain bin buys. In this month’s spree I’ve made two exceptions to my only-perfect-fit, and I’m hoping a cheeky needle and thread job will fix. Or 50/50 chance ruin.

I get a bit ambitious with a needle and thread.

sewing

NO. 1

This shop, I’ve been slowly altering the fab Tropical Print Shift Dress from John Lewis. The statement collar: big, bold, sharp – is just totally not for me, so I’m altering into a slight less obtrusive high-necked white band.

I’ve snipped off the collar, folded back the thick material of the remaining white neckline, and am taking a doubled thread round the inside edge with a blanket stitch. Easy-peasey!

Ta-dah.
Pre boozy Cosy Club debut.

Pre drinks debiut

NO.2 

I absolutely LOVE a sweet Peter-Pan collar, case and point the Dorothy Perkins purchase above with the cutest little rounded collar. There’s a lot to be said for a just about the knees skirt that’s long enough to be demure but wonderfully flattering.

NO.3

Is my next project: the beautiful, dreamy MinkPink x Urban Outfitters maxi skirt. The hefty £3 shipping price made me loath to click ‘confirm’, but I absolutely adore the huge moon-like flowers against the black. What you can’t see in the very sneaky UO shot is that there are two front slits. Weird and Angelina Jolie meme-esque…

Thank God a straight line of stitching even I can handle.

Love

Charlotte xx

http://www.mulberry.com/#/storefront/c6346/7388/moreviews/

LUST LIST: AW 2012

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THE BIG ONE: Herringbone Short Coat, Mango

I am in  love with oversize this autumn, and this oversize coat is killing me. Picture rolled up sleeves and just-too-big shoulders on, well, anything. It’s the perfect boyish piece to emphasise a slender frame that I wish was in my wardrobe. Please? Now?

THE WARM ONE: Knitted Speckle Slouch Jumper, Topshop

The winter chills are coming, and the student house is on measly heating, and I want a cosy cream jumper. Paired with black jeggings, scrunched down grey socks, black ankle boots and a messy bun… is it obvious I’ve been fantasising about this too much?

THE WEIRD ONE: Gargantuan Green Grape, OPI

You know when you’ve got that weird fashion itch that you can’t quite explain? Well, this is it. Maybe it’s the looming grey autumn weather, but this month I’ve had an overwhelming compulsion to slap some bright green on my nails and see how it goes, so some OPI (only the smoothest nail polish ever) Gargantuan Green Grape is going on my lust list…

THE CLASSIC ONE: Del Rey, Mulberry

Big. Carries things. Looks great. Self-explanatory, really.

THE WACKY ONE: Mono Cosmic Skater, Urban Outfitters

I’m not big on prints, and my wardrobe is very simple, but I’ve a closeted desire to own something this wacky for a geek-chic look – think Zooey Deschanel-esque glasses, tights, brogues and a loose white shirt. I’m not entirely sure which space conventions I’m invited to that I could wear this at, but the more I look at it, the more I’m thinking – screw simplicity and get this wacky number on.

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Taiwan: Super Shopping Experiences

carreforeIf you’ve never been at a Carrefour (家樂福), let me tell you now: you have not lived. Everything you know about Tesco’s being the king for super-sized convenience stores has been a lie. Carrefour is the Momma of all supermarkets… It’s a huge, four-floor amalgamation of shops in one enormous chain store containing everything you’d ever need in life, and more of what you wouldn’t ever – all interlinked by those amusing flat escaltors that you get at airports, at a slow incline between floors, where long lines of Taiwanese people (plus me) stand very, very still.

By contrast, the grocery area is noisy, packed – a battle of shopping carts and promotional people, calling out at the end of every stall and aisle offering tasters of things on that aisle: from dried peaches to taro bread, mango sorbet Haagen Daaz to milk in little hamster sized cups. (Silly woman, I know what milk tastes like… although Taiwanese milk is usually of the powdered and reconstituted variety, its thinner, sweeter and less creamy. Not like the fortifying Northern Irish milk I’m used to… T^T). It makes for an exciting shopping experience.

The highlight is, after a sometimes stressful, yet always satisfying shopping experience, I never fail to leave without the Carrefore jingle in my head – its there for hours afterwards. And the strangest part is, I really like it… Da dum dum da da dum dum da-da dum! (I like to shop at Carrefour ev-ery day) Sure, some would say I’m being brain-washed by the clever advertising campaign of a French supermarket mogul. But I just really like to go to Carrefour every day…

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