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Summer Holiday Buys By Charlene Bent

Shopping at Rushden Lakes has become a ‘must have’ experience when visiting Northamptonshire. Not only is it the hotspot for fashion lovers, it’s also the best place for foodies to meet and beauty fans to indulge.

Luckily for me, I am officially a Northants resident now and the pleasure is always mine. With the summer holidays fast approaching I had to schedule in a shopping trip to see what was on offer and give myself some much needed retail therapy.

My first stop for a “California Dreaming” vibe was River Island. Bursting with pops of colour including neon brights and paisley prints, I had arrived at the best store for festival style. With so many must-have buys inspired by one of this season’s biggest trends, I knew that I had to layer up to make the most out of my outfit. I picked this statement neon blazer, peplum style t-shirt, skinny blue jeans, a contrasting holdall to match and block frames to channel my inner Lady Gaga.

Next on my agenda was House of Fraser, where I stepped in for some beauty inspiration to compliment my holiday wardrobe. Christian Dior introduced me to the perfect shade to go from day to night time fun with minimal effort whilst, Clinique added the perfect rosy cheeks for my skin tone.

As a stylist and personal shopper, I am not often on the receiving end of the luxury treatment however, I had the opportunity to step into the Personal Shopping area of House of Fraser and all that was missing was a glass of champagne. The velvet seats, beautiful lighting and private dressing room is exactly what every woman needs to feel like a million pounds. Not short of good customer service, I had the chance to try and buy some of my favourite looks. This red jumpsuit from French Connection is the perfect occasion piece, pair with some nude or black court shoes and you are all set.

If you’re stay-cationing this year and want to be versatile with your summer buys – this Whistles green blouse teamed with these pinstripe paper-bag trousers from Mint Velvet is the way to go. It’s great for the office, a summer’s lunch with the girls or if you just fancy upping the style stakes with your wardrobe.

Since the 1960’s BIBA have been an iconic fashion brand to be seen in, fast forward to 2019 this yellow dress symbolises why the brand is still at the top of their game. It’s their attention to detail by carrying through their signature rock ‘n’ roll style throughout the collection.

Whilst in store I headed over to my favourite shoe brand Kurt Geiger. These three picks were at the top of my dream list, from the leopard print wedge that can be donned on the beach and about town right through to these red stilettoes and nude court shoes that can glam up any look.

Feeling premium fashion inspired, I just had to check out the fabulous Beaverbrook’s store which boasts luxury jewellery including a selection of diamonds and designer watches. To complete my outfit choices I selected these bangles and this Gucci timepiece for the ultimate in high fashion.

Of course, I shopped until I dropped and with over 5 hours of non-stop dressing up fun, I needed some fuel to help me power through the rest of the day. Being the foodie that I am and on a journey to make healthy food choices and a pro-veg diet, I heard through the grapevine that Magazine Heaven was the place to go for trendy food lovers. Thanks to this Halloumi, avocado and chilli jam bruschetta, I was not disappointed.