My Summer Festival Look With Zalando

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go to a festival. Granted, things have changed slightly since my days of going to T in the Park and Reading, but there’s something so magical about sitting on the grass, overpriced plastic glass of Pimm’s in hand, soaking up the sunshine, listening to live music.

These days, that live music is more likely to be the dulcet tones of Justin Fletcher, but honestly? Family festivals still have that same magical feeling to them. The giant bubbles, the music, the face painting, the costumes, the enchanted forests with storytellers perched on a log… family life doesn’t get much better than that.

I’m teaming up with Zalando to share my ideal summer festival look – after all, just because you might be going to Camp Bestival rather than Glastonbury, it doesn’t mean you can’t rock a cool festival vibe.

zalando-festival-fashion

Pieces across body bag, £30 // Quay Pippa sunglasses, £40 // Deby Debo dress, £70 // UGG Volta boots, £140 //  UGG Volta boots, £140 // Esprit denim shorts, £39 // Roxy beach bonfire scarf, £23 // edc by Esprit top, £19 // Suiteblanco sandals, £23

I love the 70s trend that’s so big this summer – fringing, embroidery, tassels and suede, all look amazing at a festival. I’d also mix in a bit of a sporty feel, with denim shorts and this animal print sleeveless top. Chunky straps on the sandals are everywhere this season and the mix of pastel mint with metallics looks great. I’d need some sturdy boots too, though, in case it gets muddy underfoot and I’d need to stomp back to my tent (who am I kidding, you’d never see me in a regular tent…. a yurt perhaps! I’m such a rubbish camper).

So what do you think? Would you wear these items to a family festival? Don’t forget to pack the glowsticks!

The Day I Let The Wallis Style Advisor Dress Me

Have you ever had a personal shopper? No, me neither. I’d like to think it would be amazing, but in reality, I’d probably feel pressurised into spending money on things I don’t need. But Wallis have launched an online personal shopping experience  – The Wallis Style Advisor – which aims to help us choose clothes that will suit our body shape, without any pressure or potentially embarrassing changing room mishaps (tell me I’m not the only person to have experienced a jammed zip!)

How does it work? Well, you answer a bunch of questions about your body shape, hair colour and eye colour. Then it asks you about colours you like wearing, parts of your body you like and dislike, and what size you are at a specific shop. Finally, it asks you questions about your personality – if and when you like to get dressed up, how you would describe your style and other brands you like and dislike. Then it gives you your style profile and some recommendations!

My style profile is:

“You have voluptuous curves, a defined waist and lovely shoulders. Your key to dressing is to highlight your top half and minimise the focus on your bottom and hip area. Tops and dresses with nipped in or fitted waists, added details at shoulder and bust and wearing darker colours on your lower half are magic styling tricks for you. Lower necklines flatter your fuller bust. Non clingy bottoms and skirts that skim over hips without adding volume will make them disappear. Avoid embellished details and hemlines that finish at your widest part.”

So how did The Wallis Style Advisor do?

Pretty good! The only thing it seemed to get wrong was it kept telling me to order clothes in a size 18. I’m not a size 18 and my gut feeling was that if I ordered things in an 18, they’d be too loose and unflattering. So I went for a size 16 and bingo, I was right. Here’s what recommendations it made…

First up, it picked out this Natural Print Kimono (now £20 in the sale) which I LOVE. It’s very loose and floaty, and can be slung on over plain outfits to jazz them up a bit. I love the print, which is a peach black and grey graphic flower print. I wore this outfit last week, when I went to meet some blogger friends at Cha Cha Moon in Soho for dinner.

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Next, it chose me a maxi skirt (now £15 in the sale). I’m a fan of a maxi skirt but don’t actually have many of them, for some reason. The coral colour of this one really jumped out at me, and I like wearing it with a clashing coloured vest or tee. I wore this outfit a couple of weeks ago to a picnic at the primary school the little one will be going to, but I’m just as comfortable wearing it while I work from my kitchen table. I love that it’s a crushed polyester so you could take it on holiday and not worry about creases from the suitcase.

wallis-maxi-skirt

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Lastly, it picked out a black jumpsuit for me. Now I love this. It’s a stretchy material (so comfy) and is super flattering, hiding all my lumps and bumps. I love the skinny tapered ankle and the wrap/v-neck top. I’m going to wear this, this week, at the Brilliance In Blogging Awards.

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What do you think – did the Wallis Style Advisor do well?

• Thanks to Wallis for asking me to review its Style Advisor app – it was lots of fun!

A Spot Of At-Home Pampering With LeSalon

Le Salon review

Like most people, I have a crazy-long checklist that I have to get through before any holiday. Working out what we need to take, making sure all clothing is laundered and clean, organising any airport parking, booking the cat sitter, buying new sunglasses. Oh and being freelance that teeny tiny matter of doing a week’s worth of work before I go, to make sure I only need to do minimal work while away.

Less important things (writing a blog post, having my nails done, changing up Euros) usually fall by the wayside as I realise that I’m not superhuman and shouldn’t try to fit everything in – after all, what’s the point in going on holiday if the lead-up to it makes you feel stressed?

But just before our recent trip to Portugal, Le Salon swooped in to the rescue. LeSalon is a beauty app that allows you to book premium beauty services quickly and efficiently with the technician arriving straight to your door. If you live or work in London, it’s super easy to book, just entering your postcode, the service you’d like and the date and time that suits you.

Le Salon review

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Prices are reasonable too – their Classic Mani is £25 and you can have an Express Mani & Pedi for £40. The technician who arrived at my door was Christine and she had all her kit in a handy trolley suitcase – all the kit is clean and sterilised and they only use CND and Essie polishes, so you’re guaranteed a good quality finish. The scrubs and lotions she used smelled AMAZING – lime and papaya if my memory serves me correctly, and got me in the holiday mood!…

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A Four-Year-Old’s Holiday Wardrobe

Look out the passports. Buy the factor 50 sun cream. Yep, we are on the countdown to a family break to Portugal and the usual giddy planning is taking place. But it struck me a few weeks ago that the four-year-old has had a growth spurt in the last few months, so now half of her summer gear from last year no longer fits. The other half of it is covered in paint/felt tip pen stains. In fact, yesterday she went to pre-school wearing a double whammy – a summer dress that was far too small for her and had black paint stains down the front. Mother of the year, right here.

So it was time to sort out a new summer wardrobe for her. My usual hit list for kidswear is H&M, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare, Tootsa MacGinty and River Island. I also hit Next and spent far too long checking out the swimwear and beachwear from Sunuva.

I love kidswear that looks like kidswear – bright colours, cotton, comfort. I’m not as keen on high fashion or grown-up trends shrunk in size (leather leggings on toddlers make me feel a bit uneasy) and brilliantly, there’s lots of fun kidswear around…

Holiday outfit kidswear

Yellow shorts, part of pack of 3 c/o Mothercare // Blue vest, part of pack of 4, Next // Blue sandals, Little Bird By Jools c/o Mothercare // Sun hat, Marks and Spencer

Little Bird by Jools sandals

Summer 2015 kidswear

Because I’m Happy t-shirt c/o Marie-Chantal // Blue sandals c/o Little Bird By Jools, Mothercare // Floral shorts, part of pack of 3 c/o Mothercare

Summer 2015 kidswear

White shirt c/o RI Kids // Blue smock dress c/o Tootsa MacGinty, Sun hat Marks and Spencer, Blue sandals c/o Little Bird By Jools, Mothercare

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The Perfect ‘Meeting Outfit’

alison-perry-boden-outfit

Because I work from home, I’ve got to admit, my usual daytime outfits consist of jeans, sweatshirt/tee and flats. If I know I’ll be meeting a friend for coffee, I’ll put some make up on and add a statement necklace to make myself seem less of a scruff. If I’m having a really lazy day, the postman and any delivery men have the joy of seeing my lovely unwashed hair scraped into a top knot and my PJs, when they knock on my door. I’m a vision of beauty, I can tell you.

So this means that since leaving the magazine I worked on and going freelance, last year, my wardrobe has slid from being semi-stylish to very casual. I no longer have a real reason to buy heels or smart clothes, so I don’t.

But I’ve had a bit of a problem recently, when I’ve had meetings with PRs or editors in London. Apparently it’s not acceptable to turn up to a meeting wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. To be honest, I’ve never been good at dressing smartly. Even in my days of working at magazines like More and Look, my day to day outfits consisted of skinny jeans, heels, a Breton t-shirt and a statement necklace. Working in a creative environment like a magazine office, no one wore suits (apart from the really top bods who usually sat on a different floor) so my outfits worked.

So I’ve struggled recently, when raiding the depths of my wardrobe for something vaguely smart. “Can I pull off this cocktail dress on a drizzly Tuesday?” I’d think, before opting for jeans again. Because that’s how the scale of my wardrobe goes…

SCRUFFY -> CASUAL -> COCKTAIL DRESS -> MY ACTUAL WEDDING DRESS

Don’t worry, I’ve never rocked up to a meeting in the latter.

So hurrah for Boden who have come to my rescue by sending me this outfit. The Long Line Shirt (£44) isn’t something I’d normally choose (mainly because shirts aren’t a fan of my boobs: see photo at the top for proof) but I love it, especially with the Bistro Crop Trouser (£59). I bought a pair of these in a green pattern last summer and loved them. They’re a great fit and look brilliant with sandals, flats or heels. I’ve been wearing them, this week, with my black Birkenstocks and a neon yellow necklace.

boden-summer-workwear

What do you think? Presentable enough for a meeting?