arizona sandal


Wearing   ♥  Tailored gingham dress {similar in plus size here and here}  ♥ Handmade flat straw hat  ♥  Handmade rattan Ata bag  ♥  Birkenstock Arizona sandals {similar here}  ♥  Jeepers Peepers pink round sunglasses 

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I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love all the fashion, DIY and home inspiration I find there, I hate how 85% of the site is basically images of skinny, white women. When I started blogging, it was with the intention of creating fashion imagery in a similar dreamy, wistful aesthetic but as a fat, brown woman instead. For today’s look, I’ve drawn inspiration from a select set of imagery that’s had my attention on Pinterest all summer. It started with the Rennes Veritecoeur dress which I kept seeing everywhere early this summer but which was hopelessly out of my reach. Around midsummer there was this serendipitous moment where I was obsessing over black and white gingham and my tailor got in a bolt of gingham fabric which was just right, so I got my perfect flowy billowy gingham dress tailored. Although I’ve been wearing it constantly the past couple of months, I wanted to wait until I had all the components of my ultimate summer vacation outfit together before photographing it for the blog.

Next up was the hat. I’d been perfectly content with my trusty Olney boater all these years, until I realised that a flat straw hat is what I really really wanted after seeing this image of Imade Ogbewi from the Kinfolk summer issue. And this obsession was further cemented by everything from the Jacquemus Spring 17 collection. But even Jacquemus sized hats are way out of my budget, retailing at £200 on average, so I kept hunting until I found my handmade flat straw hat from Portugal for less than £25! Even though I draw a lot of fashion inspiration from Pinterest, my budget for translating that inspiration isn’t much, so I have to get creative. I switched the original ribbon the hat came with for a velvet one because hat ribbons in my wardrobe have to be velvet. And yes, someday I will have an outrageously massive wide brimmed straw hat, and I’ll handle it like a baby and also wear it for gardening, but in the meantime, working with a limited budget helps me harness my ingenuity a lot more than I would have if I could just buy everything I saw off Pinterest.

The bag needs no introduction to anyone who’s been following Summer 17 fashion trends, because these bags have been everywhere! It started with the Rachel Comey Baan bag and soon enough, traditional Indonesian Ata bags were hanging from almost every single fashion blogging shoulder on the internet. I actually had to wait and save up for my rattan Ata bag - at $75 plus shipping, it’s the most expensive thing my wardrobe has seen in a while. And it’s such a beautiful, delicate, unique piece, I’m utterly besotted with it! I so wish summer wasn’t coming to an end soon so I could keep styling this bag with every single outfit, but there’s always next summer and many more summers to come. And what August holiday outfit would be complete without a pair of Birkenstocks? Ever since I got my first pair last summer, I knew I wanted more of these unbelievably comfy sandals, which are the only things I can actually walk in thanks to my fallen arches. My pink Birkenstock Arizonas are currently sold out, but Birkenstock has a similar pair in the very reasonably priced Eva range. The Mediterranean inspired setting of Rural Blues on the outskirts of Bangalore was the perfect backdrop with just a hint of Santorini (another Pinterest favourite!) to complement the look.

So that was a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes and in my head while putting together an outfit. A lot of the time, it’s not as easily defined since Pinterest isn’t my only source for fashion inspiration - but I do try and pin bits and pieces I see on my internet journeys so I can collect most of my inspiration in one place. Where do you find your fashion inspiration from? And how do you put outfits together? Let me know in the comments!

Photos by Taha Zaidi

Rebecca Mead considers the fashionable rise of the Birkenstock:

The furry Birkenstock got its start on a Paris runway. In 2012, Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Céline, presented her latest collection on models wearing Arizona-style sandals lined with mink. Céline’s homage to Birkenstocks, which fashion magazines began calling Furkenstocks, became a hot item: Miley Cyrus was photographed wearing a bejewelled pair with harem pants and a bra top. That season, Giambattista Valli, the Italian designer, offered a metallic version of Birkenstocks, edged with studs. And then Givenchy produced its own twist on Birkenstocks: sandals made of soft black leather printed with a delicate pattern of pink roses. Even Manolo Blahnik, the designer of very high-heeled shoes, declared himself a Birkenstock aficionado—when it came to his own feet, at least.

Photograph by Pari Dukovic

Shine Bright

Metallic must-haves for the holidays

Besides the addition of cozy boots and blanket coats to our cold-weather wardrobes, we can’t wait to incorporate more metallics. With winter approaching and party season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to show a little sparkle (plus, it’s never too early to start thinking about that New Year’s Eve outfit!). Metallics suit every style, from demure to daring, so opt for what you love, whether it’s gold nail polish or a sexy silver dress. Take advantage of this seasonal favorite and shop high-shine clothing and accessories below.

Diane von Furstenberg FW14

Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss at Mario Testino’s birthday party

Nasty Gal In A Flash Halter Dress

Liquid Metallic Cami

Serpent and the Swan Hard Wear Metallic Tee Dress

Metallic crop top

ASOS Premium Pleated Midi Skirt with Metallic Inserts

Metallic Shorts

Metallic Pleat Skirt

Metallic Ankle Grazer Jeans

Metallic Skirt


ASOS Leather Zip Top Clutch Bag

Cold Picnic Metallic Leather Tote Bag

Verity metallic cracked leather rucksack

GALLOP Metallic Court Shoes

ASOS HOW WE DO Heeled Sandals

Metallic Finish Blucher

The Anouck Loafer in Metallic

Pascal 8-Eye Boot in Pewter

Birkenstock Arizona Metallic Leather Slide Sandal

Style || Pompoms

By Northern Style Exposure

I have a major oft spot for anything PomPom! Honestly, I will make almost any wardrobe item work if it includes this cute detail. Unfortunately this Pompom Cardigan Kimono sold out but I linked the romper, dress and tunic… all in white.

Loving my bracelets? You can get 10% off with the promo code #NORTHERNSTYLEsparkle at Hillberg & Berk till the end of August 2015. 

Follow Northern Style Exposure on Instagram right here! 

Shop The Look

ASOS Pom Pom Cami Maxi Dress

Vero Moda Distressed Denim Short

Arizona White Leather

ASOS PETITE Vacation Romper with Pom Poms and Tie Waist

Arizona Pebbles Metallic Sandals

Glamorous Tie Waist Tunic Dress with Pom Poms


Neon Summer

Yep, We’re Still Talking Brights This Summer

Fluorescents are back and looking oh-so-stylish this season. I love the bold neon colors in this Hawaiian shirt and the mirrored blue lenses in these classic wayfarers for a look that’s distinctively 80s. And what goes better with neon than some acid wash jeans right? It’s a totally 80s look that will totally turn heads. Why not try it out yourself for a festive occasion like a summer party or even the 4th of July? For more summer trend inspiration be sure to check out Zappos for all your sartorial shopping needs.


Scotch & Soda Hawaiian Shirt  //  ASOS (Similar) Jeans  //  Birkenstock Arizona Sandals  //  Le Specs Sunglasses


Disclosure: This post was written as part of my collaboration with Zappos.