Summer Vibes

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The fact that I’m writing this post while gazing out of the window at a grey sky and spitting rain only serves to fuel my desire to escape to sunnier climes as soon as possible. Sitting at my desk with a woolly cardigan draped around my shoulders and my feet snugly ensconced in a pair of slippers, it seems like the ideal time to start planning my summer wardrobe. While the sun may elude us here in London, we do have a holiday planned to Mallorca, which means at least one week of guaranteed beach weather this summer (a vast improvement on last year as I can only recall one or two days of glorious sunshine). So here are some of the items I would like to be packing into my suitcase come August:

  1. A pair of denim shorts are a perennial summer staple and these ones from Gap have just the right amount of distressing so they look naturally casual rather than too try-hard.
  2. I rarely wear high heels in summer and these silver espadrilles from Whistles are smart enough to take you from beach to bar while still being supremely comfortable.
  3. The soft sheen of rose gold looks fabulous against tanned skin and this stunning Astley Clarke moonstone pendant can be worn on its own or layered with other delicate necklaces.
  4. I tend to stick to a neutral or monochrome colour palette all year round but it’s fun to liven up an outfit with brightly coloured accessories such as this beach bag by Sophie Anderson. Inspired by the designer’s travels in Colombia, the roomy tote has been handcrafted by the country’s skilled weavers.
  5. This gorgeous dress from Isabel Marant’s Étoile collection has popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed quite a few times over the past month or so. The drop waist silhouette and soft ruffles are universally flattering and while it qualifies as an investment piece rest assured that this is a dress that you will want to keep wearing long after the temperatures drop.
  6. Simple but oh so stylish, this striped romper is the kind of thing I imagine chic Parisian girls wear on their annual summer jaunts to the Riviera. Pair with huge shades and a wide brimmed hat to truly channel your inner Brigitte Bardot.
  7. An off the shoulder top is a must this summer and this one from H&M will look great with the Gap shorts or a pair of jeans on cooler days.
  8. Finally, a hat is also a necessity to protect your face, scalp and hair from the sun’s rays. To avoid it getting crushed in your suitcase it is best to wear it on the plane, which also helps you switch into holiday mode!
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New Knits

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{Misty Trapeze Knit and Colour Block Rib Knit – both from Whistles}

With most of the UK basking in a heatwave and temperatures set to soar to 30 degrees, what on earth am I doing buying knitwear?

Fear not, I assure you there is method in my madness. I know from previous experience that I will spend  most of this year’s clothing budget on Autumn/Winter pieces as knitwear, coats and heavy boots tend to be more expensive than shorts, sandals and cotton dresses. Also quality, in my opinion, is paramount when it comes to these items – a cheaper, synthetic jumper may look appealing on the hanger but give it ten washes and I can almost guarantee that the initial allure will begin to fade.

So, this is where the summer sales come in. If you can force yourself to think about the darker, colder months that lie ahead, it is the ideal time to invest in some quality pieces at a fraction of the original price. Both these Whistles jumpers were reduced from over £100 each to £35. Hopefully they will stay hidden in my wardrobe for a good few months, but come mid-November, I will be thankful for my forward planning.

Next on my list are a pair of classic biker boots as my old pair have literally been worn to death.

What do you buy in the sales? Do you think ahead to the next season or do you prefer to concentrate on the here and now?

IMG_7616 Whistles Knits

Currently Coveting #19: The Perfect Sweatshirt

Lately I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with sweatshirts. They are perfect for this time of year and easy to throw on in the morning when you don’t want to think too hard about what to wear. I also like the idea of teaming them with skinnies or a leather skirt and heels for a casual, yet glam, night time look. There are loads of nice sweatshirts out there at the moment, from bright coloured ones with brash slogans (which I’m definitely on the wrong side of 20 to wear! Only college kids could get away with those in my humble opinion) to more subtle options in muted hues like the ones I’ve picked out here. Comfortable AND stylish is always the best combination!

Sweatshirt 1

Karen Millen sweatshirt with sport detailing, reduced from £60 to £48.50; People Tree Love Heart Sweatshirt, reduced from £60 to £45; Asos sweatshirt with glitter heart, £25

Swaetshirts 2

Hamptons NY Baggy Beach Jumper from Wildfox, £101; Noisy May Varsity Sweatshirt, reduced from £20 to £15; Ribbed Sweatshirt by Boutique at Topshop, £45

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W Applique Sweatshirt from Whistles, £75; Whistles Fleur Logo Sweatshirt, £75; Cities Tri Marl Sweatshirt from Topshop, £24

Currently Coveting #12: Ali MacGraw’s Classic Preppy Style

Love Story 2

One style crush that I never tire of is Ali MacGraw in Love Story and I find myself turning to the 1970 movie for style inspiration every time Fall rolls around. The actress exemplified all-American preppiness in her turtlenecks, knitted scarves, plaid miniskirts, knit caps, and peacoats, creating a look that is both chic and timeless. Even though the film is over 40 years old,  every outfit could be worn today without blinking an eye and in today’s fast moving fashion world where trends come and go at lightning speed, that’s really saying something.

{In the picture above (clockwise from top left): Herringbone Tweed Jersey Skirt, £125 from Karen Millen; Cambridge Cable Turtleneck Sweater, £98 from J.Crew; Check Cashmere Scarf, £295 from Burberry; Sam Edelman Loren Heeled Riding Boots, £235 from Asos; Lexi Faux Fur Collar Coat, £250 from Whistles}

 

The Fashion Clinic #6: Fall Essentials

Autumn Collage

One of the best things about Autumn has to be the clothes – cosy cashmere jumpers, lots of colourful scarves, thick ribbed tights and ankle boots. Don’t get me wrong, I love balmy summer days when you can just pull on a sundress and slip on a pair of flip flops but unless you can afford to escape for the whole summer, how many outings is that strappy dress really going to get?

A quality piece of knitwear on the other hand will see you through until April or even May (at least if you live in the UK). If my past experience of the English weather is anything to go by, a light jacket or heavy cardigan will usually suffice as a cover-up until mid November. I’ve had my eye on the Fortuna cardigan (8) by Swedish design trio Dagmar since I first spotted it in a store in Gothenburg two years ago, but the hefty price tag forced me to walk away. So when I saw it reduced by 30% on Farfetch I was quick to snap it up and it’s now hanging in my closet waiting for the temperature to drop.

Odd Molly’s Knit Jacket (6) is another design that I never tire of. The fit is universally flattering and it looks great teamed with skinny jeans or an A-line skirt which are two of my Fall/Winter staples. When it comes to denim, I tend to stick to the shapes that I know suit me and these Skyline Ankle Peg jeans by Paige (5) have been my go-to style for the last couple of years. With a 29″ leg measurement they’re the perfect length for a shorty (5′ 2″) like me.

“Any colour as long as it’s pink” proclaims the cover of this month’s Vogue and who am I to argue? I love this pale pink sweatshirt by Clu with feminine ruffles along the bottom (2). H&M’s take on the dressed-up sweatshirt (1) is a snip at £29.99 and the imitation leather skirt (9) from the same store is one of those versatile day-to-night pieces.

Also on my wishlist this season are these fab go-with-everything black ankle boots from Whistles (7) and a checked shirt with crochet detailing on the shoulders from high street fave Topshop (10). And let’s not forget the accessories – I already own about a zillion scarves but this neon pink one by Becksondergaard (3) would brighten up any dull winter’s day. I discovered Stella & Dot last year when they had a stall at my son’s school Christmas fair and their jewellery is amazing and not too pricey. At the moment I’ve got my eye on this Renegade Cluster bracelet (4) which is apparently a favourite of singer Katy Perry.

What’s on your shopping list this fall?

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

Flicking through the September issues of the fashion glossies for inspiration is an Autumn ritual for me. Above: British Vogue, Swedish Styleby and British InStyle

The Fashion Clinic #4: Summer in the City

So the sun is beating down and all you want to do is stretch out on the lounger next to the pool with a good book and chilled glass of rosé for company. Sadly for most of us this scenario only becomes a reality for a couple of weeks a year (if we’re lucky!) when we jet off on holiday. The rest of the time we have to contend with our normal routine regardless of the weather – whether that’s running after the children or braving the tube to go to work (or both!) – so here’s my guide on how to stay cool and look hot (but not frazzled) when the temperature soars.

Smart Collage2

Clockwise from top left: Dress by Hobbs NW3; Top from Zara; Shorts by Asos; Bracelet by Monica Vinader; Shoes by Whistles; Dress by Asos; Jacket by Asos

CasualCollage2

Clockwise from top left: Bracelet from H&M; Dress by Free People; Vest from Topshop; Shorts by Vero Moda; Sandals from Oasis; Dress by Asos

Standing tall

Before I had children I never wore flat shoes. Ever. (I also had never changed a nappy, cooked a meal from scratch or visited a branch of John Lewis but that’s another story) Since becoming a mum, I don’t seem to wear anything but flats, whether it’s ballerinas, flip-flops, Converse or biker boots, unless it’s for a night out. Being only 5’2″ I need all the extra height I can get and lately I’ve been thinking that adding an inch or two to my daytime footwear wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In my experience, wearing a bit of a heel improves posture by making one stand up straighter, slims the silhouette and boosts confidence. As luck would have it, there are some really stylish mid-height sandals around at the moment. Here’s my pick of the best:

SHPTSHIS_z

Swedish Hasbeens, £145

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Kurt Geiger, £95

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Whistles, £155

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Topshop, £55

 

 

Save or Splurge?

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Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen my latest style crush – a pair of canary yellow stilettos from Whistles. The only reason they’re not mine yet is that I hesitate to spend £125 on a pair of shoes in a colour that is such a departure from my normal choice of palette. It took a lot of willpower to walk away when I spotted them in a store earlier this week though!

Then I came across this pair from Topshop (on the left in the picture above) for a more purse friendly £58. The colour is slightly darker and quality wise I would hazard a guess that the Whistles pair would come out on top. But I also have a feeling that these shoes are more of a one-season wonder than a future wardrobe staple so going for the budget alternative is probably the sensible option.

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