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Back To Work Outfit Inspiration...

After all of the sparkle, sequins and colour that surrounds our outfits over the festive season, heading back into work wear territory come January can seem, well, a little dull can't it? It's easy to get stuck in a style rut (don't we know it) and reach for those easy black and grey pieces and comfort clothing on a cold January morning. But as we all know, a good outfit can do wonders for our mood, confidence and demeanour so even if its cold and dark outside and you are only going to the office, making a little more effort with your work outfits can really make all the difference to getting through January unscathed. So here at ALOL we are aiming to 'dress up' a little more for the office  and so far its been great fun! We thought we'd share some of our back to work outfit inspiration, the best celebrity and street style looks of course, which we've been gathering like crazy over on our Pinterest board of late. back to work inspiration We've been getting inspired by the likes of Poppy Delevigne and Miroslava Duma and below are our style tips on how to make more of your work wear this year: 1. Keep it masculine - we all love feminine looks but lets be honest, they do take more effort. If your version of work wear at the moment is jeans/ trousers and comfy shirts/ knits then you don't need to stray too far from that. Masculine styles can look sharp and totally chic as long as the cuts are right. Add at least one more girly piece such as the fur stole in the first look above, a statement necklace or a bright scarf and your look will be far from boring. 2. Add a fun print - Poppy Delevigne's jeans and blazer look above is nothing special but the polkadot print of the trousers makes this look stand out and seem far more creative. We also love the embroidered panel of a plain pencil skirt as seen above or a simple polkadot silk shirt as worn by Clemence Poesy. Easy to do, yet makes a true statement. 3. Inject some colour - Ok so not all of us could pull of Miroslava Duma's cobalt blue suit, but adding an injection of a bright colour like this will both lighten your mood and give you a lift in the style stakes. Not brave enough to do a coloured suit? Try a bright scarf or necklace or even a pair of colourful heels underneath a plain suit. 4. Stick with the classics - classic accessories will always update a more plain work uniform, and it also means you don't need to spend loads buying new season pieces. Whatever you wear, add a classic yet chic bag, and the jewellery you feel comfortable in and you'll instantly feel more confident at work. 5. Choose your empowering item - everyone has one thing which can give you that air of confidence even on the worst of bad hair days, whether its a slick of red lippy, your favourite sparkly heels or just a pendant that means something to you. On those days when you wake up tired and reluctant, throw this on and make it a great day! What gives you confidence at work? Do you have any tips for making back to work less dull? Tweet us @annalouoflondon or follow us on Facebook here.

How to Beat the January Blues...

Poor old January really does get a rough deal - it must be everyone's least favourite month. After all of the festivities, sparkle and warmth that fills December, January is associated with grey winter mornings, dark days, back to work blues and boring non sparkly outfits. We liken January to a Monday - you always dread its arrival, it's terribly slow to get going and you're usually pretty glad when it draws to a close. But why not turn January on its head and make it a month to remember? Let's be honest. so much of its dull demeanour is due to our bad attitudes (and of course the weather, which by the by is horrible right now). Why shouldn't January be a month to look forward to? So this 2014 we are vowing to beat the January blues and fill the month with as many exciting, fun and memorable activities as possible! Here's our top tips on how to beat the January blues... 1. Take up a new hobby - well it is the month of resolutions after all so if your going to do something new this year, you really might as well start right now, otherwise it may be a resolution that gets relegated to the 'I'll definitely do it next year' bin. Putting your mind to something new will give you an exciting new focus and we bet you'll get so engrossed the month will fly by! So if you've always wanted to learn the drums, go fly fishing or take up sky diving - now is the time. 2. Listen to upbeat music - At the ALOL offices, we've decided to veto any sad or dreary songs this January and listen to fun, upbeat tunes that get us through the day with a smile. Music is a great way to lift your mood so why not download some new (happy) tracks to your ipod this month and make a 'work commute' playlist that will help you start your day with the right attitude. 3. Make time for friends - During January there is a tendency amongst most of us to want to stay indoors, huddle up under the duvet and drink endless cups of tea. While we're not against that at all (it might just be a favourite pastime for all of us), giving in to your hermit tendencies certainly doesn't help rid you of the blues. So although it seems like a huge effort to get up, get dressed and head out into the rain to see friends, do it anyway as good times and giggles will definitely leave you feeling happier. 4. Get glammed up - Ok so after too much partying over Christmas, the last thing you might want in January is to go out on the razzle dazzle, but even if it's just a wine and cheese party with the girls, we all love getting glammed up for the evening. And besides who said sparkle and stilettos are only for Christmas? Putting your new make up on and a posh frock will have you feeling like you again in no time. 5. Pamper yourself - a big part of the January blues for most of us is down to tiredness brought on after a super hectic end to the year. Put all those lovely lotions and potions you were given at Christmas to good use and give yourself a night (or a full day) of pampering. 6. Get plenty of fresh air - you know when your parents used to take you on long Sunday walks when you were younger and you hated them for it but you're now kind of coming around to the fact that they were on to something? Yup that's what we are talking about - put your wellies on, grab your dog/ husband/ kids and get a bit of fresh air in your lungs, unfortunately your parents were right - it's good for the soul. What are your tips for getting through the January slump? Tweet us @annalouoflondon, Follow us on Facebook or catch us on Instagram.

Anna's Guide to Layering Necklaces...

Why wear one when you can wear three? The trend for layering necklaces is hotter than ever right now but getting the balance right can be tricky. Too few and it doesn't work, too many and your overloaded, too close together and you lose the effect, too far apart and there's no coherent theme. Here, founder and designer, Anna gives her top tips on the art of layering and suggests which type of necklaces are most appropriate for the trend... 1. Choose your Theme - the most important part is to first of all decide which type of layered look your are trying to portray. Do you want something grungy and punk inspired (lots of larger gunmetal chains, tough spikes and overlapping styles) or are you looking for more of an understated femininity (dainty chains and simple charms)? Once you have a theme, picking the necklaces to wear will be much easier. 2. Decide on the Amount of Layers - similar to the above tip, the amount of layers you are hoping to achieve is important. I would say the minimum you need to create a layered look is three and it helps if these are all of varying lengths, however if you do want a heavier look you can add many more! 3. Start Small - I always think it's best to start with your smallest chain length and work down. The ideal length for your first chain is about 14 inches and something personal such as a name necklace, initial necklace or small charm necklace works best for this first piece as it creates a personal touch and draws the eye. From here you can add a few more chains of about 16- 18 inches to begin the layered look. 4. Add One Statement - every layered look needs one statement piece as this will bring the look together and create a themed design rather than just a collection of necklaces thrown together. Your statement piece should ideally be in the middle of your arrangement and be the most colourful of all your necklaces. You can then coordinate your other pieces to complement the base and accent colours. For example if your statement piece has a gunmetal base with bright turquoise stones, keep the rest of your chains silver, gunmetal and black to complement this. Our luxe necklaces make ideal statement pieces as they sit just below the neckline. 5. Add the Longer Layers - the final step is to add longer length chains to the mix to create proportion. If your smallest necklace is around 14 inches then I would advise having your longer layers reach no more than about 30 inches as otherwise the distances between the two will be too wide and look mismatched. Depending on your theme (see tip 1) the longer layers are your chance to get creative and add some attitude to your look. Mix in different lengths, textures and styles to complete. For example if you have used mostly rose gold chains then long length pearls can be a great addition to the final layers, if you have kept the look all monochrome why not add the tiniest flek of bright pink within one of the final chains? Long lockets can work really well here as can social tag necklaces or chain styles. And voila! You should now have the perfect layered look to suit your style. Remember that at Anna Lou of London most of our necklaces come with a choice of chain lengths meaning creating a layered look from the offset has never been so easy. We would love to see how you layer your chains so why not tweet or instagram us a pic using the hashtag #annalouoflondon!