I spent last weekend with my boyfriend Ian up in Northumbria, a county with the most stunning coastline and beaches. We took a rather bracing stroll along the Tynemouth North Pier and because the sun finally decided to put in an (intermittent) appearance, it seemed appropriate to wear this yellow lace dress.

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I love the midi length of this yellow lace dress. It has a nude lining which finishes above the knee, so it looks beautiful when the sun shines through. It has adjustable straps at the back too, which make for an excellent fit.

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The swift dip in temperature when the sun went behind a cloud necessitated adding an extra layer. I’ve had this denim jacket longer than I’ve had my sixteen year-old and I never tire of wearing it.

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The leopard print espadrilles are similarly hard-working. I’ve worn them over and over, although I did only get them earlier this year. (You can see them here with a pink broderie anglaise dress and here with a drapey floral dress ), Like denim, animal print is a brilliant, hard-working and versatile addition to the wardrobe.

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The chunky pearl and heart t-bar bracelet is by Danon and is from my own online jewellery boutique. I have also got a matching necklace, both of which are available with a silver heart.

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I’ve always been fascinated by and drawn to lighthouses- I don’t know why. The Tynemouth North Pier Lighthouse was built in 1903 and is a spectacular focal point.

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I can only apologise for the crazy windswept state of my hair too! It was a very blustery day and my hair is disobedient at the best of times, reverting to its naturally wavy state at the merest hint of moisture or wind. These outtakes attest to the losing (lost?) battle.

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My yellow lace midi dress was a gift from Joanie Clothing, (£45) and the gorgeous leather beach hut grab bag was a gift from Yoshi Bags, (£90). Just like Lizzy O, my own tiny jewellery and accessories boutique, (where my pearl bracelet and the bee ring in this post are from), these are small, independent businesses. We are all very grateful for your support!

As a style blogger, friends and family ask for my thoughts and advice on clothes and accessories. As an optometrist, I get asked about eyes. Sometimes, these two worlds meet when people seek advice on what type of spectacles are best functionally and sartorially. A column I wrote recently for the professional journal Optometry Today, was about trends in men’s spectacle frames. This was timely because my partner Ian was long overdue some new glasses as an alternative to his habitual contact lenses. He knew he wanted Transitions and was keen to get varifocals for the first time.

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We went to Eyeworks in Kensington to have a sight test and to choose glasses. That’s where I got my fabulous Transitions Style Colours from, (do read all about them here- they’re brilliant). Ian wasn’t sure what style of frame he wanted, so like I do with everyone, I recommended trying lots of styles, including those out of his normal comfort zone. He did just that and consequently, decided upon this super stylish frame by Mykita.

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Essilor Varilux with Transitions, men's spectacle frame trends, Eyeworks Opticians, Kensington

Clear Vision At All Distances: The Varilux X Design Varifocal With Transitions

The Varilux X by Essilor is the very latest in varifocal design and this is what Ian opted for. It affords excellent vision with minimal distortion at all distances (long-distance, intermediate and near). Practically, this fulfills all visual requirements from driving to watching tv, using a PC or laptop, cooking, reading and looking at a phone. Ian adapted to the Varilux lens immediately which is quite remarkable, because I know that it’s common for a first-time varifocal wearer to need a period of adaptation. This is testament to the outstanding optics of the lens and Ian’s receptiveness to their benefits.

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Essilor Varilux with grey green Transitions, men's spectacle frame trends

UV Protection And The Seamless Transition

I cannot place enough importance on protecting the eyes from harmful UV exposure. Among other things, it can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and premature ageing of the skin around the eye. Transitions lenses adapt and darken in response to UV light. When in bright sunlight, it takes less than a minute for them to reach their darkened state. The time it takes to fade back to clear is just slightly longer. It’s a seamless transition which means they can be worn both indoors and out, so negating the need for prescription sunglasses. The lenses offer 100% protection against harmful UV rays when they’re dark and against harmful blue light when they are in the clear state.

Transitions For Business and Pleasure

The combination of the Varilux and the Transitions means Ian glasses work for business and pleasure, for tasks at any distance and in all lighting conditions. In summary, this pair of glasses does everything.

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Essilor Varilux with Transitions in darkened state, men's spectacle frame trends

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The Current Top Three Trends in Men’s Glasses

Spectacle frames are one of the first things a person sees; they speak volumes about the wearer’s style and personality and it’s amazing the difference they make. In fact, I believe they have the power to create a whole new persona (I’m thinking of Clark Kent here). From a style perspective, anything goes, however, there are currently three standout trends in men’s spectacle frames. Gentlemen, who do you want to be?

The Hipster: With thick, dark, frames, hipster glasses are a cultural fashion phenomenon. A hipster has an interest in style and culture and he accessorises with scarves, bracelets and earrings. He enjoys a laissez-faire approach to life and Johnny Depp epitomises this hipster aesthetic and attitude.

The Geek: Geek frames are over-sized, often angular, and frequently coloured.  A geek is confident, edgy and not afraid to be on display. He might sport tweed and elbow patches and may or may not hold a PhD. Indiana Jones and Clark Kent top the class of aspirational geeks. (Can you tell tell that I’ve always preferred the quiet confidence of Clark Kent to his more outgoing alter-ego?)

The Classy Gent: Classic frames are timeless in shape and have no association with a particular decade or style genre. Minimal in design, they come in easy to wear neutrals and soft metallic shades. A man who wears such frames might inhabit the world of business and wear tailoring. Anwar Hadid, (brother of supermodels Bella and Gigi), proved that classic is cool, when he tweeted a picture of himself wearing classic aviators.

Transitions: The Multi-tasking Lens

Whatever your choices, make sure you get a sight test at least every two years. Consider getting Transitions lenses too, to ensure that your eyes are protected from harmful UV rays all of the time.

And, although I don’t for one minute believe that you gents can’t multi-task, we can conclude that your spectacles most definitely can…

Ian’s frame is the Mykita Mylon with Varilux X Design Ormix progressive (varifocal) lenses with Transitions light adaptive lenses in grey/green.  My frame is by Caroline Abram and it has the Transitions Style Colours in sapphire (do go to this post for more details). This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Transitions Optical. As always, my opinions are 100% honest and the content is my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. Thank you to optometrist and owner of Eyeworks, Miss Brenda McKernan and to student dispensing optician Aimee Wheeler, for the outstanding service and finally to Emily Marsh from Chase PR for arranging this collaboration.

This post will be linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share 

Before I went away, I wrote a blog post detailing what outfits and accessories I was packing for ten days in Nerja. With that, I included my recommended travel essentials and tips to make for easier holiday packing. Subsequently, I wanted to share my favourite of those holiday outfits, which were photographed in some stunning locations.

Holiday Outfits: My Favourite Dresses

I discovered this divine blue door on El Balcon de Europa, when I was in Nerja last year. It’s too beautiful not to use as the backdrop for at least one holiday outfit, so I used it to show off the brightest of my dresses. This *zig zag striped maxi dress is lightweight and easy to wear and I accessorised it with *citrus yellow espadrilles and my *Pomfret Slouchy Pouch.

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The mini honey bee necklace and honey bee ring in gold, are both by Danon and available from my own accessories website, Lizzy O

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The fabulous *retro turquoise and gold sunglasses are from Retrospecced. This is a company that refurbishes vintage and used designer spectacle frames then donates a percentage of their profits to charity. Consequently, every pair of glasses and sunglasses they sell is unique.

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The statue of King Alfonso XII, also on El Balcon de Europa, is something of an icon. He is very popular for photographs and in fact, I took a picture with him last year him which I posted on Instagram.  This year I’m wearing a *pink and grey snakeprint maxi dress from the latest collection at Kaleidoscope. It’s fully lined, so I’ll wear it in autumn with a chunky cardigan or denim jacket. With it, I wore three crystal-set wrap bracelets, also from Lizzy O. Don’t they look pretty stacked together and sparkling in the sunshine?

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This red dress with contrast hemp is another of my favourite holiday outfits, more of which is in my previous post.

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Holiday Outfits: My Favourite Beach Cover-Ups and Bikinis

As well taking enough holiday outfits for ten days, I took a lot of cover-ups.  I think kaftans and beach dresses are invaluable to wear to breakfast and lunch as well as on the beach. I adore this pretty *white Iconique Ronda poncho. The lace detailing is exquisite and it’s lightweight, cool and comfortable. It’s from UK Swimwear, which stocks a wonderful array of beachwear-particularly useful once the shops move to Autumn wear.

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Another *white embroidered dress, this time with red and blue detailing. Again, in common with the previous dress, it’s loose enough to be cool and comfortable, yet has enough structure to be stylish.

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This *blue Seychelles bikini and the matching *Seychelles kaftan, are by Fantasie. Although the gorgeous azure floral print is striking, it was the crossover straps that caught my eye.

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This red leopard print bikini is very flattering and super-stylish and I featured it in the blog post before last. Also in that post, are lots of tips for feeling beach ready at any age. 

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My final holiday outfit is the full-length *Halona fish print beach caftan by Rose Fulbright. It was the glorious printed silk that caught my eye along with the wide neckline. In fact, I wore this to evening dinner with the yellow espadrilles as well as on the beach.

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I like to accessorise my holiday outfits with something appropriate, so what could be better than a lobster? This *navy and white stripe leather cross body bag, is beautifully made and is the perfect size for my camera.

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The photographs were taken by my daughter Poppy Johnston and it was wonderful to be surrounded by such stunning locations. Later this week I’ll be linking this post to I Will Wear What I Like,  Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share.

Thank you for reading and for supporting those brands that support my blog.