Thursday, 27 June 2013

I Think I Need a Vacay: Our Holiday Essentials

Packing for your holiday can be stressful, especially if you're signed up to the good old one item of hand luggage only rule. Making sure you have everything you need and fitting it into one tiny weekend bag is a skill, in fact it's an art. Everyone knows the trick is to only pack what you're realistically going to wear. This means the backless gold jumpsuit with floor length tassels from River Island that's 2 sizes too small, that you bought 2 years ago, to wear once you'd lost a few pounds (but haven't) stays at home in your bottom drawer, where it belongs. We're a strong believer in the pack-by-day-plan technique, choosing one option for each day of your vacay, and one only! This requires conviction and foresight, two things that may go out the window when you're trying to squeeze 15 bikinis into the inside pocket of your case. 

Now we can't help you be a better person or packer, but we can list our favourite items that will be making it into our cases this summer for when we finally jet off into the sunshine. 

The Black One Piece
Get yourself a decent cossie this year. Bikini's are cool and all but suits have a certain je ne sais quoi that make bikini wearers look like they stepped fresh out of Teen Vogue. We're not talking special K vibes here, or those mumsie 90's throw backs American Apparel are rinsing this summer We're talking statement suits, solid bright colours and sexy cut outs. We love this one shouldered piece from ASOS, all black, asymmetrical shape and mesh inserts, perfect for when that base tan kicks in. 

The Pussy Cat Shades
There are two types of sunglasses people; there are those who get through sunnies quicker than they get through socks, then there are those who invest in some serious eye gear, carry protective cloth around with them and get really uncomfortable when you ask if you can try them on. The latter are the ones who have the best eye game, they're ones who might invest in a pair of these babies (see below). These Illesteva beauties, produced in collab with Zac Posen, are the perfect and much more glamourous alternative to the round spectacle frame specs which still seem to be doing the rounds this season. 

Like we said earlier, you need to be economical with space when packing. Which is why including versatile pieces in your case leaves more room for all the things you hate to pack but have to i.e. your freakin massive hairdryer. The kimono is our fail safe all rounder, beach cover-up in the day and throw it over anything in the evening. They're the simplest way to liven up the levi cut-offs/vest combo, a look we which we pretty much live in, especially when we're on our hols. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Festival Slap: Our Guide

Rainbow Brows

Perfect for festivals, bright brows are our new fave. There's no mess, and once they're done no fuss, so you won't have to worry about them sliding down your face. You can use a lip pencil, we love The Make up Stores 'Frosted Berry', just make sure it's a hard pencil and not a soft crayon. The bolder the better, you'd be surprised what colours you'l be able to pull off. Dark haired beauts among you, opt for berry shades, Blondies try aqua marines and Red-heads go green. 

Glitter Ball

Now we all love glitter, even though it gets everywhere and you'll be finding it in places you never thought it could reach, there's something about covering yourself in something sparkly that just feels so right. However, don't make the mistake of being 'that girl' the stereotypical festival bird who smears a little smudge under each eye and hey presto! Hey we've all done it but you can't just dip your toe in, if you're glittering it up, do it right. We've been using MAC's 'Beautiful Iris' eye shadow, they slicking over a layer of Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour cream (lasts 10 times longer than Vaseline) and covering the entire socket with The Make Up Store glitter pot in 'Scorpio'. 

Peachy Clean

If glitter isn't your bag and you're after something that will come off without using a whole pack of baby wipes then play around with colour and not sparkle. Make sure your base is purrrfect, might be a bit of a tall order trying to perfect a matt base whilst sat in the middle of a field but if the focus is going to be on colour your skin needs to be flawless. We love NARS duo eyeshadow in 'Fashion Rebel' and 'Rated R', the colour combinations are festival friendly, and can be built up steadily to achieve the amount of coverage and intensity you're after. If you fancy a more sheer finish, reach for the good old 8 hour cream and dab over cheek and brow bones. 

Ghetto Gothic

Sometimes all a girl needs is a smokey eye. Festival smokey eyes need to have a bit more staying power and intensity than your usual sexy smolder. Granted, this is probably best for when the sun sets but make sure you apply it before the sun goes down. This is pretty much impossible to do in the dark, perched on a make shift stool, hand held mirror in one hand, torch in the other. Focus on the brow, make it a strong one - add a little extra height to the arch and length to the tail. Highlight the brow bone to add further contrast and cover the whole socket in Illamasqua's powder eye shadow in 'Obsidian'. If you're going to see your lashes through the black make sure you stick on a decent pair of falsies. 

Lip Service

If the thought of putting on a full face at a festival seems more ridiculous that Rita Ora headlining the main stage at Glasto then make your statement through make-up accents. Make your lips pop and your nails to match. Bold lips are easy to do and easy to take off! This doesn't work on dry crusty chops so make sure you're fully moisturized up and there's no cracks for the colour to cling to. We've purchased Illamasqua's lipstick in 'Flare' and 'Apocalips' for Glasto this weekend, bright orange flare for the daytime and teal matt Apocalips for the Down Low! 

Thursday, 20 June 2013


It was a key trend last Spring now they're back for round 2 this summer, head to toe botanical prints might not sound like everyone's cup of tea but if you can pull it off then throw caution to the wind and go floral! 
According to some there are no rules in fashion, however we have a few and here are 3 we think help to avoid looking a little less Hyacinth Bucket and bit more Solange. 

You can opt for head to toe and still break it up with maybe a vest or crop top underneath. Anchor your busy prints with a solid block of colour to give a bit more depth to your get up. 

Keep silhouettes stream lined for a more lady like finish. As there should be a lot going on in terms of colour and print, keep it simple in terms of shape and cut. We're loving tailored shorts with cropped jackets as well as maxi length skirts with cropped tee's or vests. 

Avoid being matchy matchy like the plague, there's nothing more contradictory or Laura Ashley than matchy matchy 'clashing' florals, it undermines the whole trend which in essence should be (even though we know its not) a spontaneous mix of bright, bold patterns that you just threw on and now happen to look amazing.

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Beauty Big Guns - The Products We Can't Live Without

The beauty products we'd be ugly without... 

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream 

The all-rounder, the go-to, the life saver. Stick it on your lips, your face, your eyes, your bumps and bruises, it does the job, it does whatever you need it to do. We're addicted to slicking it over our eyes, whether they're naked or caked in eye shadow, creating that dewy wet look that is perfectly delicious. 

Agadir Argan Hair Oil 

Argan oil has been and continues to be the answer to our prayers. Saved our ends after we dip-dyed the hell of it, it tames the frizz without giving us the grease, it brings our dead ends back to life without leaving any gross residue behind and gives the dullest locks that sought after shine. 

Johnson's Baby Light Oil Spray (With Aloe Vera) 

Sometimes no matter how much you moisturize, there's just not enough Palmers coco butter to give your pins that summer sheen that oil can. Oil is messy, greasy and can get everywhere (inc.especially over clothes) when applying. This light oil spray by Johnson's baby eliminates the risk of spillage and is perfect for applying all over in a few squirts. 

Illamasqua Matt Primer 

If you don't already use a primer, you're definitely missing a trick here. Primer is the middle man between your moisturized skin and your foundation, without it your foundation doesn't stand a chance and will be down your face in no time. We love Illamasqua's Matt Primer as, like the name suggests, it creates a flawless matt finish, giving your foundation ultimate staying power. That shizz won't budge. Say bye bye to shine!

Benefit High Beam 

The best highlighter/complexion enhancer on the market right NOW. We have been using this product for years and it remains one of our top 3 make-up products. Use it alone or over make up, it gives a soft luminous sheen to brow and cheek bones, highlighting the face as well as giving a healthy dewy glow. 

Friday, 14 June 2013


Botanical Prints 

Miranda Priestly would kill me for saying this but, this season florals are back, surprise! This time round they've taken a much bolder form, think high spec Japanese wallpaper crossed with Pat Butcher's curtains. Thing is, with this trend, you can take it any which way you want; go big and bright or tiny and understated, everyone's a winner. We love our cute button up tea dress with it's bright red blooms and little berries, there's even a little bird on there somewhere. 

That 70's show 

It's a tad cliche to describe a trend through the decade it was prevalent, it's also the most accurate. The 70's exudes that easy elegance that isn't quite there in many of the decades that followed. Shout out to Hedi Slimane, who in his first collection for YSL showcased a selection of tailored trouser suits and wide brimmed hats, cutting out the cruddy hippy vibes and referencing the much more elegant, mature side of the flower power fashion years. This candy striped mini dress with its pussy bow detailing is our nod to easy 70's elegance. 

The Minimalist

Perfect for summer, this no nonsense approach to dressing is one of our favourite trends this summer. Simple lines, no fuss, easy. Just stick on your favourite pair of trainers/ jellies/heels and you’re good to go. Having spent all winter being a maximalist converting to minimalism might take a bit of getting used to. Just take it one step at a time and when you feel the urge to reach for a belt, think again! Our gingham mini in the perfect summer party dress, team it with a pair of heeled chunky boots for a more grungy feel. 

Keep it Cropped

As you may know, here at House of Jam HQ, crop tops are our FAVE. They have swiftly become a staple basic in our spring/summer wardrobe, the go-to piece when nothing else seems to looks right. Even though some people don't seem to have the stomach for it, you don't need Beyonce abs to pull it off. It's not even your abs being showcased, its more a sneak preview than full blown flesh baring. The crop top works hand in hand with another fave our ours, anything high waisted. Team with elegant tailoring or a trusty a-line pencil skirt to accentuate narrowest part of your waist. 

Statement Shirt 

Bold prints and bright colours are everywhere, and we're loving the simplicity of a good shirt to convey both. Head to toe print and colour can sometimes be too much, which is why this season we've got in the habit of opting for the statement shirt, thrown over a pair of black skinnies. Et voila! They go with practically everything and we have some absolute beauties in store. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Up The Panty: High legged swimwear DO or DON'T?

High legged swimwear, it's crept it's way back in and now we have a choice to make, do we embrace the hype with open arms or stay loyal to our hipster briefs? The claim is they create a longer sexier line, define the waist and lengthen the leg but are they really that flattering? We think you have to have a few squats in the bank before you can truthfully answer yes to that question. Thing is, while a high leg panty might have looked heavenly on Baywatch, if you can pinch an inch, you're in trouble. If the Eric Prydz video taught us one thing, it's to book yourself in for a hollywood and get down to zumba before you dive thigh first into this one. 

The HL Ambassadors

1. Yasmin Bleeth in Baywatch (never Pammy) 

2. Cindy Crawford in... the 90's 

3. This bird from American Apparel 

4. Elle Macpherson in this ridiculous picture 

5. Salma Hayek in Dusk Til Dawn 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Graduate Fashion Week - The Winners

In a country where raw young talent it nurtured and encouraged, It's great to see how this years Graduate Fashion Week has been celebrated. Coverage of this years event is everywhere and so it should be. London has always been the epicenter for aspiring designers, it's punk inspired ethos creating a stable platform for young designers, enabling them to work their way up the ranks, turning their designs into actual brands. Remember 2012, the year London killed it at Fashion week? The year the focus was shifted from Paris, the year the likes of Meadham Kirchoff, Marios Schwab and Mary Katrantzou produced 'those' collections forcing fashion heavy weights to take notice, and see our capital as the 'key' fashion week? Well we reckon in a few years when this lot have made their way up the ladder, history will be repeating itself. The winners of this years GFW have definitely upped it a gear this year, with the bar being well and truly lifted. 

Gold Award Winner - Lauren Smith

Womenswear Award Winner - Hannah Williams 

Zandra Rhodes Textile Award - Kirandeep Bassan

Josephine Pettman 

Thea Saunders

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

♥ ♥ ♥ Guest Blogger - SUMMER SELECTA! ♥ ♥ ♥

Guest blogger, make-up artist HerRoyalMeredith, makes her summer selection from our new pieces in store this week... 

1. The Cropped Jacket 

LOVELOVELOVE this cute Balmain-esque embroidered number. You can never fail with a piece that defines the waist and accentuates the hips - cropped jackets are always a winner with me as they're best pals with the LBD and look just as good with cuts offs and a vest. This piece scores extra brownie points with it's over-sized 80's feel and cute button up detailing. 

2. The Kaftan Dress

God love a Kaftan. This is going to be my summer time savior, no doubt. Team with a pair of sky-highs you get that 70's glamour, lots of movement, billowing fabric and tassels flying everywhere, stick on a pair of flats and you've got the perfect beach cover up. Glasto's just around the corner and this beauty is going to see me through the highs, the lows and the loos. 

3. The Over-sized Shirt 

This shirt reminds me a little of Peter Pilotto's S/S '12, which remains one of my favourites. The dreamy graphic print and the bright blues, perfect for the summer, look great with the over-sized shape and roll up sleeves. I'd pair this my skinniest skinnies and highest heels.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

We ♥ Man-Repellers

Jelly Shoes...
These childhood classics are beyond cute and will remain in our hearts and on our feet forever. However, nostalgia and cuteness is lost on boys for 2 reasons:
1. Boys who wore jelly shoes at school were cannon fodder for the boys who wore kickers.
2. Boys can't hack blisters.

High-waisted Jeans...
We have no idea what their deal is with these, it will remain one of life's unsolved mysteries. They eliminate the threat of muffin top, suck up the stomach and bigs up the booty. We can pop, lock and drop without our panties peeking out a la Katie Price style, always a bonus, so whatever their problem is, we're past caring. HW4LYF!

Roll Necks...

We see Sade, they see their old maths teacher. We're not going to argue, when worn incorrectly
roll necks can look a little less chic and a lot more frump, but they feel too right to be wrong!

Monday, 3 June 2013

90's honeyzzzz

Mariah in Heartbreaker

The only time we'll ever be into hipster jeans. The crochet halter and platform shoes sound like a combination with the potential to turn stomachs not heads, but all credit to her pre-twin bouncy self, Miss Carey kills it. DEAD.

Janet in Poetic Justice

The braids, those jeans and thee abs, all hail Queen of the crops our Jan. You can't really ever go wrong with a crop top in our opinion and if there's one thing to team it with it's with high-waisted denim. Miss Jackson, we salute you.

En Vogue 'Funky Divas' cover

All black everything, matching corsets and lace - what's not to love? Looking like it stepped straight out of Stella M's A/W '11 collection, this cover will forever remain in our top ten. Team berets, yes please.