Style Crush & Fashion Chameleon: Ashley Madekwe!

I love a celebrity who can effortlessly mix the high-end pieces us mere-mortals crave with the everyday accessible labels that makes up 90% of my wardrobe. Ashley Madekwe is effortlessly stylish and the perfect all price dresser. Ashley is best known for her role as social climber Ashley Davenport on the hit TV show Revenge. But unbeknownst to many, me included until recently, in addition to her acting career Ashley also runs her own successful fashion website ring my bell. If you have even wanted a glimpse into a celebs wardrobe nows your chance… Ring my Bell features Ashley’s real everyday looks alongside exact match buys or similar pieces available to purchase enabling you to recreate her celeb-worthy look.

Ashley’s style, embodies everything I crave; the perfect combination of comfort and style. The mix of luxe fabrics paired with basics, worn with either a sneakers or an amazing pair of heels (or both – on different days of course) minimal accessories and a whole lot of class. Girl-crush much? I also consider Ashley to be a style chameleon; one day she is in grungy Dr Martens to the next where she’s seen in a pale pink pencil skirt, there is no trend she won’t try and no trend she can’t pull off.

Here are a few of my favourite looks of Ashley’s and what I wish I owned…(I had to cull a lot to get to this list as there are too many to choose from)…

Touch of Tartan

Tartan is a trend that I am predicting to make a big come back next winter. But the ability to work it into your wardrobe is a skill and must be done with a little care. The pieces you choose must be classic and well chosen or you run the risk of looking like a school girl… Not ideal at 28! Ashley is a lover of tartan weaving it into her look with statement skirts or coats, ensuring the rest of the outfit remains minimal for a perfectly polished look.

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Matching Short-Suit

The two-piece shorts suit takes a whole lot of confidence, wearing one in tomato red is fashion-forward at its best. Ashley embraces strong silhouettes in striking hues perfect for her skin tone, creating an outfit that definitely packs a punch. I really love this outfit for summer; it’s structured and oh so now. Witchery can help you recreate this look with an almost-perfect match it buy in stores now. Available here.

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Boyfriend Denim

Ashley gives me the confidence to wear my distressed boyfriend denims with heels, who can really go passed a look so chic and ultimately comfortable. Although these denims are definitely not a favourite of the boyfriends they are definitely a favourite of mine… And let’s be honest girls dress for other girls most of the time!

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Statement Accessories

Nothing says style more than well chosen accessories. With a minimalist approach and a clean look, Ashley lets her accessories do the talking; with Moroccan style prints (my favourite) or oversized bling, this girl can do no wrong.

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Follow @smashleybell on Instagram or check out her blog, for an insight into her enviable wardrobe and stylish looks.

If you have Style Crush whose wardrobe is worth stealing would love you to share with me?

SS x

Fashion Challenge; Joye of Denim

It’s that time again… Paula Joye’s Five Day Fashion Challenge. For those who are not aware, Paula Joye from Lifestyled loves to create a wardrobe challenge, encouraging you to make the most of existing items in your wardrobe fit to certain style theme…

And this week it was all about denim! Five days and five new ways to incorporate denim into your daily look. Denim jacket, skirts, cut-offs, coloured or chambray (on a technicality I am classifying chambray as denim)… P.J has put no rules or structure for my daily denim inspiration, the only rule is to wear denim in a way that is different from your usual style. For me, I am not a huge jeans person because I prefer to have my legs out… so I will be looking to wear my jeans at least once in someway throughout this week.

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No such thing as too much denim.

Denim is a tricky trend to pull-off for five days in a corporate environment, lucky for me my workplace is quite casual. However, finding workwear appropriate denim pieces was a challenge but it can be done. The key is to pair with luxe materials and chic accessories to complete a polished denim look.

So without further adieu let the denim fashion challenge begin.

Day 1. Monday – Denim Jacket

Braving the elements on a Monday is not ideal, you don’t want to leave your bed and it makes choosing an outfit that is ‘wet-weather’ appropriate a nightmare. But that’s the blessing of a fashion challenge it means the difficult decisions of what to wear have already been made and you can hit snooze once of twice.

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Day 1. Miserable weather in denim

Today, I started with a classic wardrobe must-have, the denim jacket. I bought this one from Sportsgirl about 10 years ago, whilst still in school, and although I don’t wear it as often as I used to, it was definitely a piece worth holding onto. Worn layered over my favourite classic white shirt, ankle boots and an a-line skirt; for a Miranda Kerr-esqueΓ© look.

Day 2. Tuesday – Distressed Denim

Distressed denim at work is pretty risquΓ©, especially when I have client meeting first thing. Worn alongside a pair of nude pumps and blazer creates a clean look. There is something really hot about distressed denim with heels, not sure if guys get it, its probably a trend they would rather us wear for housework rather than a night out, but I just can’t go past it.

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Day 2. Distressed Denim Look

If you don’t have a pair of distressed denims, investing in some doesn’t need to break the bank, with chain stores everywhere taking this trend to new heights. My denims are from the basics experts, Glassons, costing me less than a full tank of petrol!

Day 3. Wednesday – White & Denim

As the sky clears for ‘fashion challenge hump day’ I realise this isn’t as easy as I assumed it would be. Wearing denim day-in, day-out and ensuring it is workwear appropriate is quite hard.

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Day 3. White & Denim

Today I took one of my weekend staples, sleeveless denim shirt, and added to a workwear essential, white pencil skirt, to create my version of casual-chic…. Ensuring I still look presentable for the random meeting that somehow always pops up on a day I decide to make a risky fashion statement, a black lace bra, see-through blouse and your company CEO don’t really mix. White & denim are a match made in heaven creating a clean spring day look.

Day 4. Thursday – Chambray

The Chambray Shirt is a new favourite in the wardrobe department, the perfect throw over option or to create an edgy look when worn with super skinny jeans #doubledenimalert. Although technically not denim, I am ensuring I wear it in a new, ergo challenging way.

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Day 4. Inspired by Elle Ferguson

To mix it up, I decided to tie it around my waist. This trend of tying your sleeved tops round your waist is not a new concept. The last time I did it was at the recommendation of my mum to prevent me from loosing my primary track top on sports day. Although slightly self conscious I wrapped my chambray round my waist and endeavoured to rock it like a stylist. Inspired by fashionista Elle Ferguson, I have recreated her street style look and taken it into the workplace.

Day 5. Friday – Casual Friday

Casual Friday… would have to be my favourite day of the week, as it is acceptable to wear sneakers to work! Aside from the sneakers I am pulling out an oldie but a goodie… Buried in the back of my wardrobe, where it has been a permanent resident for the past 5 or so years. I’m dusting off this denim classic and rocking it my way.

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Day 5. Casual Friday – Dressed for Comfort

The denim skirt, has taken a back seat of late to the latest casual denim essential, the cut-off denim shorts. I am making executive fashion decision, it is time for a denim skirt comeback; versatile, comfy and the ultimate building block for any casual chic outfit. Paired with a slogan tee, another wardrobe favourite, creating a cool-comfy approach to this look ensuring denim remains the hero of my outfit.

So that brings to a close what I wore for another successful Lifestyled fashion challenge… I have looked forward to each and everyday this week of denim. Each outfit was a group effort; as the work girls have oh’d and ah’d over my combos and created playful banter over where chambray is actually denim or if I’m breaking the rules! Looking forward to the next challenge PJ!

Check out #JoyeofDenim on Instagram or Twitter for more denim inspiration.

SS x