Dear readership (I think there are about four of you),

I have decided to direct all my blogging efforts towards my other blog, which has been getting more traffic than this one, and is a bit sleeker in general since I rebooted it earlier this month.

Please visit

Live long and prosper everyone!

thestardancer, now known as heplookingbroad / HLB


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The research begins in Autumn/Winter; the collections filter through in January; and by February it’s time to get well and truly acquainted with the possiblities for your Spring/Summer wardrobe. So, The Stardancer proudly presents – My Guide to the Trends of This Fashion Season.

I am a fashion-conscious ordinary girl like you, who wishes to wear what’s most stylish and fashionable, without succumbing to the clone-like high street appearance that plagues many a British town centre. I want to be cool, but I want to be me, and the ‘me’ part involves a heathy teaspoon of good old fashioned English vintage. Hopefully, the time I spend watching previews, scouring new season collections and gathering knowledge from other bloggers, magazines and the girls around me – not to mention my at times obsessive interest in the fashion world – gives me qualification enough to say that I am well-informed. So here goes: one little girl’s take on Spring/Summer 2011.

I will present the guide in stages, dedicating one post to each key trend and a final post to little extras or ‘micro trends’. Having weighed up the offerings of the high street I’ve grouped the key trends into six:

  1. Mad Men style
  2. 1970’s influence
  3. Vintage Varsity
  4. Secret Garden
  5. Snake Valley
  6. Futuristic Minimalist

So hopefully by next Tuesday we’ll all be sorted as to what counts as which trend, how to combine trends, how to make them vintagey, and which ones we hope to look stunning in this Spring!

See you tomorrow for a break down of how to dress like a 1960’s office pin-up girl 😉

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Faux Fur – the perfect transition accessory

It may be February, but SS11 is already spreading its wings. The start of the summer season is always the hardest – not only does the discerning fashionista have to grab key trends before they’re in full flow, with the finances still recovering from Christmas; but she also has to deal with wearing them….when it’s still FREEZING outside.

Catherine Zeta Jones wearing red fur coat

I myself am terrible at dressing appropriately for the temperature, and am always looking for stylish ways to keep warm. So when I spotted Catherine Zeta Jones wearing this divine scarlet-coloured fur coat, I was inspired. Fur is an excellent way to transition from AW to SS – put together a spring outfit, then just throw on a faux fur coat. You’ll look like a retro glamourpuss (especially if you add shades) and be really warm and snuggly!

Rules for fur:

  1. It MUST be fake.
  2. Don’t mix fur and fur – just the coat, or just the accessories.
  3. Keep it to natural colours or dark wintry shades like Catherine.
  4. Hair must be coiffed and make-up must be neat and subtle. This is NOT a look you can pull off if you’ve rushed from the house without make-up or a blow-dry. Similarly if you wear too much make-up you’ll look tarty. Keep it ladylike.
  5. Make the fur the focus by keeping the rest of the outfit simple.

I’ve done my research and have decided that ASOS is the place to get your fur goodies. They have a staggering range of fantasy fur accessories, and even better, they’re mostly modelled by my girl crush Cara Delevingne!

fantasy fur asos

Cape and hood £27, leopard earmuffs £6, tippet £12, snood £15, mittens £12, palm warmers £12, leopard mittens £15, cuffs £8, deerstalker hat £16 (prices correct 06/02/11)

I have the snood! ASOS also have a fairly good match for Catherine’s purply coat.

Dark red faux fur coat

………which I also just happen to have in my wardrobe as we speak 🙂

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A Rare Designer Lust

Ordinarily, I’m only interested in vintage gear or high street bargains. Never does the realm of new-season-designer so much as enter my thoughts, beyond providing inspiration of course; because I’m not Carrie Bradshaw or Blake Lively. Not only are designer items way out of my price range, but they’re usually far too flamboyant or edgy to wear without the paparazzi getting the benefit. (And as much as I’d like to believe it, nobody at all in my sleepy town is scrutinising what I wear when I go out of the house).

Just sometimes, however, I spot something that I really could have in my wardrobe, that I could love and cherish and actually wear. The designer piece that’s just caught my eye is by Vivienne Westwood, whose extravagant and eccentric designs appeal to my theatrical side enormously and have come to represent British designer fashion. Surprisingly, these beauties actually got my heart a-fluttering with their lack of flounce and fuss. Here they are: the Croco Buckle Detail Heeled Shoes…

Croco Shoes by Vivienne WestwoodCroco Shoes by Vivienne Westwood close-up

Are. They. Not. FABULOUS???!!

There I was trawling the internet for some plain-ish black heels, not too high for shopping trips, with a nice comfy strap (I don’t do well with basic court shoes as my feet are notoriously blister-prone). Never did I expect to find them with Vivienne’s honourable name beside them! They’re the equivalent of a plain white t-shirt for her!

These lovely heels are available at ASOS as part of Vivienne’s line ‘Vivienne Westwood Anglomania For Melissa’. The heels are a sensible height, the mary-jane shape is demure but very flattering, the crocodile print is very SS11 and that little gold heart buckle is just too cute. At £150 I think they are extremely reasonable, but unfortunately too rich for my blood, since I am merely a poor student and cannot spare such a large chunk of my gap year savings – even for shoe perfection.

Next post – I promise to do a run down of the season’s trends, now that it’s February and spring fashion is (stupidly) in full flow. But I may have to mention my last craving of the winter months first, and that is fantasy fur accessories. Stay tuned.

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Oh ASOS, you minx

ASOS are tempting me to spend money all over the place instead of saving like a good little gap year student. First 20% NUS discount and free postage, making these divine trousers only £20 including delivery. They’re so useful, and could be dressed up or down so easily; even worn to work! And of course bang on THE trend of SS11, wide legs.

ASOS Palazzo pants

THEN, to make matters worse, ASOS go and offer £300-worth of items to one lucky customer! All you have to do is fill your ‘save’ basket with items up to £300 and tomorrow you might own them all!! Of course, now I’ve gone through the shopping process searching for my items (which include a faux fur hooded cape, a framboise pink retro swimsuit, a floral playsuit, cat’s eye glasses, a silk scarf, a polka dot dress, paperbag waist shorts and a varsity style cardigan)….I feel like I already own them, and will mourn their loss if I don’t win.

Thanks ASOS. Thanks a lot.

(PS I love you!)

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Vintage Evolution

I had an epiphany today. I looked in the rear-view mirror in my Dad’s car and saw my reflected face, in all its pale whiteness and pink cheeks, and I was reminded of just how English and girly I look most of the time. And because I look more like an Austen character than a rock star, I don’t do cool very well.

Let me clarify. At school I wanted to look like the artistic cool girls, who were waif-like and just the perfect mix of indie and fashionable. They were like mannequins or models, and often ended up looking vaguely like this:

Kate Moss

Yep – Kate Moss, Topshop’s muse. I really wanted their androgynous, delicate look, and I would try, but end up looking lumpy and over-complicated. Because I’m not a stick, and I don’t have an elfin face like Twiggy. The truth is that my figure bears more resemblance to the right than the left:

Keira Bikini Holly Bikini

(Naturally, this is Keira Knightley and Holly Willoughby. I know, I know – the Holly picture is an ancient one, but she’s been pregnant/with a baby for the last two years, and that means a shortage of bikini snaps!)

And therefore, if I drape myself in edgy rock star gear, my whole shape gets swamped. I look my best when I wear clothes that were built for girls with a waist. Clothes designed to emphasise the femininity of that shape, unlike modern clothes which are designed to hang straight down off the shoulders like they would off a hanger. That look is undeniably cool, and underpins the silhouette of the 70’s trend, but it doesn’t suit me. I know what suits me, and it is, naturally…


So I promise that tomorrow I will make a post about how to incorporate vintage looks into SS11 – florals, polka dots, midi skirts, and all-things-feminine. And I promise that I’ll stop trying to be something I’m not. I’m an English Rose, a country lass, and that’s far better than being skeletal and posing around in thick kohl with cigarettes. No matter how cool that might look.

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I love the Sun in January – it’s so low in the sky that there’s actually an excuse to wear sunglasses when out of doors! And as we all know, they instantly improve the majority of outfits, and are great for folks like me who get up late and never have time to put proper make-up on.

In the Snake Valley stakes, I’m in need of some kind of kimono/shrug/poncho thing, preferably reddish and floaty, to throw on over my fringed tops and terracotta midi skirts (as seen at River Island, look here). I’ve narrowed the options down considerably, and have decided that this Topshop number is probably my best bet:

Snake Print Kimono

Also, I secretly want one of these:

baseball jacket

(A word of warning – affordable baseball jackets are plentiful at New Look, but apparently they’re really rubbish and fall apart within a week. So control your bargain-hunting instincts and trawl eBay instead. Many are under £20 even with postage).

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