Edita wears | Floral Organza

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Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 3

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 6

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 8

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 4

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 14

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 7

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 13

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 2

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 9

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 12

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 11

Edita in Sammy Dress, New Look, Zatchels 10

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Dress: c/o SammyDress, Pumps: New Look, Bag: Zatchels
Images by Tina Muller
I have been a keen admirer of 3D elements on organza dresses for a while now, and I am so glad that finally I can wear a flowing, moving garden on my own backside.

SammyDress got in contact with me promising a low price and fabulous quality. Of course I was sceptical at first: How can such low prices guarantee that I will be wearing actual fabric and not toilet paper? There was only one way to find out. I agreed to cooperate. I wanted to find out what buying from cheap merchants/wholesalers was all about. So here it is, my guide on how not to become an Expectation vs. Reality meme.

Communication

I have been reading a number of customer reviews online, (note: not on the merchant sites themselves; a lot of reviews there seemed doctored to my eye) and the reaction was truly mixed. Some people got exactly what they wanted and didn’t need to communicate with the sellers, others had issues with the products and had to email to complain or request refunds. From patchy English to no responses at all, a whole lot of customers were in shock. I was lucky enough to communicate with someone caring at SammyDress who kept in contact and was there to answer any questions I had. Yes, this dress is sponsored but I promise you, I cancelled many cooperating opportunities with similar brands only because their communication was dreadful. It’s fair that English is not everyone’s first language but I think rudeness and pushiness can be universally understood.

Top tip: Before buying, email the site you are interested in to get a taster of the service you will get. I tried to cooperate with another brand similar to Sammydress and was sent a dress that was so bad, I thought it was not even worthy of being used as a piece of cloth for mopping floors. Unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration. When I voiced my disappointment, they didn’t seem to be bothered that much about working with me, which made me question how would they treat customers if that was how they treated a PR opportunity.

Quality

Essentially, what you are buying here is what I’d like to call is poor man’s couture. Brands from China or Singapore often look around for popular styles, copy photos from the Interwebs and pop the pics on their websites for their seamstresses to sew “something similar”. This is the main reason why the Expectation vs Reality meme is hilarious to so many of us. Though I don’t see myself laughing in the knowledge of someone working day and night sewing these cheap dresses just to be able to make ends meet. On the other hand, without this job, they wouldn’t be able to support their families. It is a closed circle and a topic for a completely different blog post. What quality should you expect? That of a pressured person sewing in a poorly-lit room. I am not stating this to make you feel bad – this is often no different from anywhere else on the high street, once you start to think about it on a deeper level.

Top tip: If you opt for a straight-forward style that is not encrusted in diamanté, beads and sequins, you are more likely to get an item that is a perfect replica of the image you saw on the site. I took a risk with a more complicated style, and in my case it paid off with SammyDress, which is why I am really impressed. Should you take a risk with a complex dress? Depends on how lucky you are in Black Jack.

Price

Clothing sites from China or Singapore have bulk-buyers in mind as their main customers which makes the prices low. A dress may cost you even less than a packet of crisps. That cheap.

Top tip: Common sense is your friend. A wedding gown for $5 will never be your friend, no matter how pure your heart is. Employ logic – clothing for a reasonable price will most likely minimise the hassle of returns, back and forth emails, and the risk of never seeing your refund, as quite a few reviewers found the hard way.

Delivery

I am based in London, so I had absolutely zero issues with the delivery – the items came within a week, faster than some UK-based retailers.

Top tip: I found the delivery information pretty clear on every wholesale website I checked, Sammydress was definitely very straightforward about your delivery options and prices depending on what country you reside in. If you are still not sure, just email them as I said in tip number one. It’s just good to know you are in safe hands before you place an order.

Sizes

In these images I am wearing Medium or a UK 10, so in my case this was quite regular. Having said that, I was also sent a jumpsuit from a competitor which said “one size fits all” and I have proven to be an exception to “all” as it most certainly didn’t fit me. To be fair, this happens in almost any high street shop these days. I once ended up getting a size 6 top and size 14 bottom from a UK retailer. It made me feel skinny AND voluptuous at the same time.

Top tip: If it is an A-line dress or an item that has spandex in the fabric’s consistency, go for your regular size. You might need to go up a size if you are tall purely for the length, and have the item tailored to your size. The same goes for when you feel uncertain, always go a size up so that you can make it smaller easily if you need to.

Final word

I know these types of retailers got a whole lot of bad rep recently. They are what they are. I can’t entirely blame them for the Expectation vs. Reality situation, the consumer too has a lot to answer for expecting Gucci quality for a dollar. As long as you order something beautiful for a reasonable price, you are more likely to get it. It’s as simple as that. I had my frustrations, but landed on gold with this number from Sammydress on this occasion. I am glad I am on the Expectation side of meme.

Edita wears | Royal Ascot With HotSquash

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 8

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 13

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 8

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 5

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 9

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 4

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 11

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 7

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 12

Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 10

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Edita at Royal Ascot in Hot Squash and Creations by Liv Free 1

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Dress: c/o HotSquash, Heels: Marks&Spencer, Kokoshnik: Creations by Liv Free
Images by Laura Hudson

My opportunity to go to Royal Ascot was made possible by a fantastic British brand called HotSquash. The label specialises in clothing with unique warming and cooling technology. The dress I was wearing was equipped with the cooling feature, hence you see me shamelessly basking in the sun, not a sweat patch in sight. I can’t wait to try on a piece from HotSquash’s warming range – it could be the next British winter must-have.

Coming back to Ascot, I must talk about the races themselves. They were like short bursts of energy fuelling the day, with the presenter’s superfast commentary like a shot of vodka in one’s Red Bull: Sharp, exciting and invigorating. Having said that, some of the other interactions were less pleasing. I was lucky enough to be in a group of wonderful women all whom work in fashion journalism and see over-the-top styles on the daily. Walking through the crowds, had my squad not been there, I would have felt borderline frightened. Other elegantly hatted ladies tended to stare each other down top to bottom and back again. Meow! If you are going to Ascot next year, be mindful of that – these are not just empty words.

I’ll finish off with the icing on the cake, my kokoshnik by couture milliner, Liv Free. Her work is just mind-blowing. It was important for me to wear something that represented Eastern Europe and the stunning elements from my part of the world, as due to recent political events it keeps being demonised every single day. This was my personal silent statement, and no words can ever argue with the sincere beauty of an intricate, traditional and folkloristic kokoshnik.

A massive thank you to HotSquash and Brandnation for this opportunity. Would I go to Royal Ascot again? In a heartbeat.

Edita reports | Thomas Sabo Autumn-Winter 2016

Edita at Thomas Sabo Launch Event 5

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Thomas Sabo is a brand that allows you to be sentimental. Its classic charm bracelets literally ruled the world a few years back to the point that I probably was the only person on the planet who didn’t have a Thomas Sabo charmed piece. I have never seen a jewellery brand completely dominate the market in such a short period of time, cementing the personalised jewellery trend, and leading the way for other labels to follow.

Last week I had an exclusive first look at the brand’s Autumn-Winter 2016 offering. Bohemian vibes, mysticism and hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt have driven the jewellery giant in a different direction from sentimentalism to symbolism.

Deeper, darker, more decadent pieces have always lured me, so this collection is something I definitely look forward to wearing. After all, jewellery is good for the soul. And well-carved, meaningful and alluring jewellery is even better.

Edita wears | Secret Garden

Edita in Meteor Shower London, Dior, Silhouette, Levis, Poelman 2

Edita in Meteor Shower London, Dior, Silhouette, Levis, Poelman 3

Edita in Meteor Shower London, Dior, Silhouette, Levis, Poelman 1

Edita in Meteor Shower London, Dior, Silhouette, Levis, Poelman 4

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Edita in Meteor Shower London, Dior, Silhouette, Levis, Poelman 5

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Top: Meteor Shower London, Camisole: Dior, Denim: Levis, Sunglasses: c/o Silhouette, Chunky Slippers: Poelman
Images by Ahmed Fayed

These flower walls most certainly form a temple. A place where it’s peaceful, serene and silent. I could stay here forever and then a while longer.

This truly magical place served as a magnificent backdrop to my somewhat casual Sunday look. I was genuinely excited to rock the ugly shoe trend. Think Birkenstocks, chunky slippers and clunky platforms. I used to love slippers like the ones I am wearing in the photos in the 90s, that is when I didn’t wear Spice Girls platform boots. These mules/sandals/slippers would sort me out throughout the entire summer in all of their ugly glory, complete with an awkward platform, a rough finish and heaps of comfort. I weirdly adored them then and I weirdly adore them now. Though if I ever start talking about classic crocs this way – please slap me.

Going up, my look suddenly turns whimsical. This very fairytale-like top from Meteor Shower London, Dior camisole, pearls and messy braid add a boho twist to the entire look, elevating it where the 90s slipper dragged it down. It’s all a fine balancing act, really.

To finish off the outfit, I went for this pair of sunglasses by Silhouette from the brand’s collaboration with Wes Gordon. I wanted a very soft culmination point, and these sunnies delivered just that, perhaps not aesthetically as they payed homage to the slipper at the bottom of the look, but by design as they were light as a feather. Another instance where the importance of balance is underlined. With all of this manoeuvring and balancing – perhaps I missed my calling being a ballet dancer? A prima ballerina would look just at home in this secret garden after all.

Edita wears | The Trench Dress

Edita in H&M, Boohoo and Chanel 1

Edita in H&M, Boohoo and Chanel 10

Edita in H&M, Boohoo and Chanel 3

Edita in H&M, Boohoo and Chanel 2

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Edita in H&M, Boohoo and Chanel 4

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Trench (Worn As Dress): H&M, Heels: Boohoo, Bag: Chanel
Images by Ming Chan
To describe my personal style, I’d like to put a picture in your head. Have you watched a cartoon called Dexter’s Laboratory as a kid? Remember that episode called Lab of the Lost where Dee Dee and Dexter venture out to the “old part of the lab“?

In that particular episode, you may recall seeing some of Dexter’s first ever inventions, those that were flawed and forgotten. These were the ones that forced the boy genius to improve and achieve more. I see my personal style and this blog just like Dexter’s secret laboratory; most recent posts being “my greatest creations“, while the first outfits merely a synonym to the “old part of the lab”, where I rarely venture to – I think I may need a Dee Dee myself to help me go there. Yikes!

My personal style is always evolving, it’s much braver and more daring than it used to be when I just started archiving my outfits. It’s a daily experiment. In fact, it scares me to think that this article in two or three years’ time too will end up along with the “old inventions“.

But we’ve got plenty of time still, so let’s talk about it. This is my attempt to nail the minimalist trend. Can you think of an outfit more minimal than just some shoes and a trench coat? This silky H&M piece made me feel that it would be genuinely rude to add anything else. And goodness me, I wouldn’t want to be rude!

The final question is: Can this look be recreated for a person who is less keen on being described by a 2003 Britney Spears lyric to the song Outrageous: “Trench coat and my underwear / Let’s go with this freak show“?

The answer is, yes it can. Take Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine’s recent look for example here (she is wearing clothes underneath as a reasonable human being should), Chiara Ferragni’s of The Blonde Salad pink Sonia Rykiel coat or indeed Mira Duma’s fabulous Valentino coat-dress outfit (I will leave it to your imaginations to establish if they Britney’ed it or not).

Whatever trench-as-dress style you end up going for, it seems that you are in epic fashion company. Plus, you’ve always got me and I come with cookies. Or kookiness… And a box set of Cartoon Network series.