Summer Dress Masterclass

One of my favourite things about summer is my summer wardrobe – and adding to it. My summer staples this year are denim shorts, boyfriend tee, statement necklace and Birkenstocks but for really hot days (hello muggy weather we’ve been having recently!) or for days when I want to look a bit smarter, the summer dress is everyone’s best friend. You can wear one with some flip flops for a picnic or day at the seaside or wear some bejewelled sandals and a statement necklace and it’ll be office-ready.

George at Asda have asked me to pick out my favourite dresses from their Summer Shop… this is how I’d wear them…

The maxi

There’s something about any print that vaguely has a hint of Missoni about it, that appeals to me every time. This maxi dress just needs a slick of bright lippy, sandals and a denim jacket to make any picnic or BBQ a style hit. Add a fedora hat if it’s really sunny.

Maxi dress from George at Asda

Printed maxi dress, £12

Buckled sandals, £10

Mid-wash cropped denim jacket, £18

Rimmel Kate Matte lipstick in 110, £5.48

The midi

This outfits screams ‘summer date’ to me – whether you’ve managed to blag a babysitter or you’ve got a night out with the girls planned (cocktails and cinema is always a winner with me) the combination of cotton midi dress, leather jacket and embellished flats will see you right.

 

Gorgeous summer outfit from George at Asda

Embellished dip hem dress, £18

Faux leather jacket, £30

Gemstone sandals, £12

Wasp necklace, £4 (has an air of Alex Monroe to it, don’t you think?)

The classic

I love a stripe – especially when paired with a statement necklace. But for this look, I’ve gone for a print clash (something I learned from my friend Erica) by choosing a floral kimono in similar colours to wear over the dress. Add a pop of colour with some bright nail polish and trainers (or if you’re going for a more dressy look, block heeled sandals would look ace.)

Striped summer dress - George at Asda

Stripe sundress, £10

Floral print kimono, £16

Max Factor mini nail polish in coral, £1

Canvas slip-ons, £6

Which look is your favourite?

• Thanks to George at Asda for collaborating with Not Another Mummy Blog!

A Day At The Races

Back in 2003, I was 24 and the MOST FUN THING EVER was a day at Royal Ascot with my friends. To someone who was more used to Soho pubs and studenty clubs with sticky floors that played Girls Aloud songs, it felt ever so grown up and sophisticated to be going to the races.

A group of around ten of us bought tickets, booked a nearby hotel and then the real preparation began… looking for an outfit. I remember spending endless weekends in department stores, trying on dresses and fascinators until I found one I loved in Warehouse. I also wore it to my engagement party later that summer - back then it was much easier to wear the same dress to different events. Facebook didn’t exist in the UK so there was no risk of everyone I know seeing my frock. This snap (below) was taken in a pub near the Ascot racecourse at around 11.30am (rock. and. roll) and believe me, I thought I looked ace at the time. Now, of course, I’m thinking that side-sweep fringe was a mistake and that lavender fascinator? What was I thinking?! My friends’ outfits have definitely stood the test of time better than mine. In fact, my best mate Kim (red coat) could easily wear that outfit to Royal Ascot 2014 and look hot.

Royal Ascot

Of course the brilliant thing about 2014 versus 2003 is that now, there are more options when it comes to shopping for the races – trousers look just as good (and on many people better) than a frock. If I were off to Royal Ascot this year, I’d probably go for an outfit like this…

Royal Ascot outfit

Yes! No hat or fascinator. They just don’t suit me (see top pic for proof) and I’d much rather feel comfortable on a day out with friends. What would you wear to the races? Would you stick with the tried-and-tested frock and heels or try something different like trousers?

 

Huge thanks to Betfair for sponsoring this post. For details on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.

 

Am I Too Old To Wear Minnie Mouse Ears?

I have a bit of a history with Child/Adult Clothing Confusion. When you’re a student, you can get away with wearing a retro Care Bears t-shirt (or, ahem, having a Teletubby on your car dashboard) but apparently, as you get older, this is less acceptable. Like the time I took my 3 month old baby to a sensory class and couldn’t work out why I was getting funny looks off the other mums. Ah, yes, it might have been because I was wearing an animal hat (look, it was from River Island) and so was my baby (hers was Mothercare).

I often walk into Gap and start lusting after a brightly coloured striped tee, before panicking and wondering if I actually like it because it would look nice on my three year old. I sometimes lose the ability to differentiate between ‘stuff I like for me’ and ‘stuff I like for my pre-schooler’. Does anyone else do this?

Which brings me to…Am I too old to wear Minnie Mouse ears? Well, according to Asos, no!

*cheers, does backflip, does back in, hobbles*

The fashion retailer have announced that they’re teaming up with Disney to make Minnie Mouse ears. Coming in a variety of styles (I love the floral ears…) they start at £10 and will be available to buy from June. Asos Minnie Mouse ears

Why should kids have all the fun? I’m going to buy a pair and wear them to Camp Bestival. After all, where else can you embrace your inner child without anyone giving you a second glance?

 

Minnie Mouse ears from Asos

But Minnie has long been a fashion icon to those who are young at heart. Last year, lots of designers collaborated to create a collection shown at London Fashion Week, paying homage to Mickey’s lady friend. The range was auctioned off in aid of the Fashion Arts Foundation.

Minnie Mouse fashion designs

 

If high fashion ain’t your thing, then brilliantly, Asos have got some awesome sweatshirts, tees and leggings with Minnie on…

Are we too old to wear Minnie? Heck no.

1. ASOS Mickey And Minnie Printed Leggings, £22

2. ASOS CURVE Sweatshirt With Mickey & Minnie Sleeve Print, £28

3. River Island Minnie Sweat Top, £25

So what do you reckon? Are we too old to wear Minnie Mouse? I vote ‘heck no’.

Win! One Of Five £50 Petit Bateau Vouchers!

Some things in life are underrated. Like Vanessa from The Saturdays (she is clearly the most beautiful member of the group) and eating a basic cheese sandwich (sometimes it’s just the best). When it comes to children’s fashion, a brand that is sometimes overlooked is Petit Bateau.

Petit Bateau kidswear

Beautifully made, great quality and classic designs, you’d be hard pushed to not find something you love for your kiddos. My 3yo has a nautical striped dress and it washes so well and doesn’t need ironing (lazy-mum-win).

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are my picks for boys and girls. Just LOOK at the yellow raincoat. It’s for boys but really, a girl would look awesome in it too. And those red sandals for girls? Gorgeous. Actually, do they come in my size?

Gorgeous outfits for kids from Petit Bateau

Fab outfits for girls from Petit Bateau
Petit Bateau have given me five (YES FIVE) £50 vouchers to give away. That’s £250 worth of vouchers up for grabs. *Plays fanfare* For your chance to win Continue reading

Revitalising Your Wardrobe With Bright Colours This Spring

Asos pink skirt

Today I’ve got a sponsored guest post, written for Not Another Mummy Blog about spring fashion…

The weather may not be reliable, but it is taking a definite turn for the better: a sure sign that spring is here. There’s no better time to take stock of your wardrobe and make sure it’s packed to the hinges with clothes that not only look and feel good, but which reflect your positive outlook.

Ditch the dark!

Dark clothes are all very well during the long winter months but as soon as spring has sprung, opt for something a little brighter. You can still keep a little black dress on hand for nights out, but all the dark knits should be packed away until the Christmas decorations come back out. Whatever else you do, you should definitely get that outdoor glow that only a sun-kissed sheen can give you by getting a good-quality fake tan. Try out some of St. Tropez products and with a little thought, you can turn heads for all the right reasons this spring.

Go a little wild!

It’s surprising how many people stick to the same old colours season after season, telling themselves it’s so they’ll be able to coordinate their outfits easily. Well, it’s time to put a stop to that and branch out a little (then a little more!) Get advice from somebody honest, like a sister or friend, who will tell you which colours suit you and which don’t, then go and shop like you’ve never shopped before! It’s a guarantee that a colour upgrade of your wardrobe will lift your spirits.

Accessorise well

If the majority of your clothes are bright, you have to be careful with your belts, bags, shoes and hats. There’s nothing to stop you from getting brightly coloured accessories – in fact, colour matching is on-trend this season, but it’s important to be careful when you’re buying stuff. Never try to remember a shade! If you want shoes to match a top, take that top with you when you shop – maybe even wear it! If you can’t match the colour,  go for a colour clash or choose something neutral. Far better to have a pair of cool grey shoes than something that doesn’t quite work and ruins your look.

Show off your new look!

Once your wardrobe has had a thorough revamp, you’ll be dying to strut your stuff, but you may need to give yourself a little bit of spit and polish before you can do your new clothes justice. Can you honestly say your hair and skin has fared well during the cold weather? Is it time for a trim or even a radical new style? Should you book yourself in for a facial and a manicure?

The fashion mags may tell you what colours are on the catwalks and what’s going to be hot in the high street, but it’s up to you to decide which of those colours, if any, you want to wear. Don’t let them dictate your look; just strike out in any colour direction that will make you feel good and you may find you’re the one who sets the trend.