pretty things to see, feel, eat

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mama loves - the last burst of brights for autumn

Autumn is definitely here, so while we can still indulge the last bursts of brights - both weather-wise, and with outfits, here are some pops of colour that I just love to brighten up these rather grey days...

Spotted these fab eye-wateringly bright coral beauties on a very elegant lady on the commute to work last week - she wore them flared with flat black pointed shoes, and her snakeskin belt and pattern-clash silk scarf over a white shirt, and looked really chic!

I wore this Vionnet dress (from The Outnet) to an evening do out with Mr.G a week and a half ago when it was 27' - it has slashes of red and yellow against the monochromatic white and black, and I toyed with my shoe choices, before finally going for the t-bar sandals I recently bought (and am still talking about them over on my big sister site Mama and More

See, I'm still wearing those t-bars!  Just a little obsessed!  This is one of my favourite dresses, yet somehow I only managed to get it out once this year - mainly because I'd forgotten about it while it lay packed away in a bag marked "pre-pregnancy body" that I finally dared to unpack! I love the bright cobalt blue colour and the cut.  It's by Full Circle, but I can't seem to find their womenswear anymore.  

Funny story about this dress - a few years ago a friend suggested I give her a re-style, and we went straight to a little shop in the Portobello by a designer that I knew did dresses that would be perfect for her shape - his name is Philmore Clague, and the cuts are usually very sculptural, in a slightly Vivienne Westwood way, but without the price tag.  A year or two later when Mr.G and I attended my friend's son's christening service, I took my new Full Circle dress along to wear to the church, and she was wearing a dress by Philmore.  It was the EXACT same dress, same fabric, same colour, identical.  I can only guess that perhaps a buyer saw his dress and did a replica or ordered from him for their brand.  What were the chances?

Here's hoping that it's brighter where you are, and if not, well, pull out some brights to cheer you up!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Working Mama Style

I haven't updated this space in a while, but I am back!  I started a new job in mid-July, and have been unsure about whether to continue this blog as well as my main site, Mama and More.  No decisions yet, so I've decided to keep them both going for now, although who knows, in future they may just end up together.

My new job is with an upscale fashion brand, and so I've been back to dressing up to the nines for work.  It's interesting to be in this kind of company, and all sorts of thoughts are going through my head about it, about body image, about perceptions of style.  One thing is for sure, it is full steam ahead at work, with turbo engines roaring, so we'll see when I get to write about all of the above.

In the meantime though, summer is still here, so the legs are still out, enjoying freedom from compulsory layers.  

White Shirt from Twenty8Twelve (it really had been ironed when I took it out, this is what happens when your children are so delicious you HAVE to cuddle them!); Navy shorts from Hennes; Burberry wedges

Floral dress - no label, gifted; belt from Mango, wedge sandals from Pied a Terre

I hope you're having a wonderful summer.
Let me know what you're wearing to work?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mama Likes - Floaty summer dresses and getting polished toes out!

I absolutely love a floaty bohemian vibe for summer - I could waft around all day in floaty dresses given the opportunity and the weather.  Last weekend we had two wonderful London summer days that I wrote about over on my alternate site Mama and More here, when the sun shone through and our local pub threw a street party, and so my daughter and I donned our summery frocks and wafted around, Pimms in hand (for me, not her, naturally!)

For Saturday, I wore this dress from London Fashion Weekend sales, bought at least 5 years ago - does that make it vintage yet? Watch from Michael Kors, neon pink belt, Cos, handbag Tamara Fogle, Sandals, Zadig Voltaire as usual.

On Sunday, amazingly enough, the sun continued - it's a rare thing to be much appreciated to have two consecutive weekend days of sunshine here!  My girl and I rocked summer smock dresses - hers from Next last year, mine from H&M, four and a half years ago.  I talked about gladiator sandals in my last post, here (what's your take on them? Love or loathe?).  I do have one caveat with sandals - if toes are out, grownup toes to be exact, polish! Just a quick slick of something - for me, it's like remembering to brush your teeth or wear underwear before leaving the house.  You just wouldn't not!

 I last wore this dress when I was 5 months pregnant with her, and for a long time, unless I was pregnant, I've stayed away from floaty smock dresses, as they just remind me of a time when I wore little else, but now I am back to enjoying them again.

Today I discovered two new pairs of sandals that practically begged me to take them home - they are from the children's section of M&S, so if you go up to a Eur38/US 6.5-7/UK5, the kids' sandal selection is definitely worth checking out... especially as there's no VAT on childrenswear.

These do come in a more grown-up colour way in the adults' section - in silver glitter or black glitter.  I was dubious about the pink until I tried them on, and then just couldn't resist!  They sealed the deal by being only £14.00.
These are a more muted gold than my Zadig & Voltaire gold sandals, so I convinced myself that they do a different job.  I try to do "one in one out", so came home and expunged two pairs of shoes to make room.  They were only £12.00, so I got 2 for the price of... um at least half the cost of one normal pair? It would have been rude to say no!

I hope that you're having a lovely week, what are you wearing?

Linking back to
Transatlantic Blonde What I Wore Wednesday // The Pleated Poppy What I Wore Wednesday // Because Shanna Said So Random Wednesday // Small Town Big Wardrobe - Whatever Works Wednesday // The Mummy Chronicles Watcha Wearin Wednesday // Fashion's Greatest Hits

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mama likes... Gladiator sandals - a summer favourite!

Gladiator sandals have been lingering around for a long time - well, thousands of years really, if we go all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome, but in fashion terms, it's been a trend on repeat for a few summers - like pashminas and UGGs, it just won't go away! Personally, it's is a relief, as I fell in love with this sandal style years ago - probably in my early teens - and couldn't wait for certain other sandal trends to go away (don't make me mention the "B" or "C" words!), so that I could get back to what my husband calls my "Flavius Maximus footwear".

Here's a little pic of me and my girl in ours - mine from Kurt Geiger last summer, and hers from Zara Kids.

Here are a few other beauties in the shops right now - quick, summer may actually be here, time to get those (well manicured) tootsies out!

Chunky silver leather from Top Shop

Multi-strap leather from Bertie

Gold pared-back luxe from Chloe (from ShoeScribe)

Leather and Leopard print from Whistles (via Asos)

Or a fierce studded leopard print version from Zara

Studded black toe-post from River Island
Statement leather and mesh sandals from Sergio Rossi (from ShopBop)
Neon yellow by Rebecca Minkoff (from DJ Premium)

(now tell me that "Flavius Maximus" ever dreamt of rocking such a fabulous pair!)

Last summer, my daughter wore these to death from Monsoon.  I'm not a fan of kids wearing grown-up style, and these are just adorable, while letting her copy mama just enough!

They do something similar for adults, but sadly not in the fuchsia pink.  Still, there's a sandal out there for everyone!  

  I haven't dared wear the high gladiator sandal, although if I did...

(Givenchy sandals from 2011 - I'd love to see what my husband would make of these, although not sure I'd wear them to the supermarket!)

What do you think, would you dare?  Are you a gladiator sandal lover?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mama Likes... Statement Necklaces, a few favourites

I love how jewellery often tells a story.  As well as being a focal piece or just finishing off an outfit, jewellery is often incredibly personal, and it doesn't matter whether it's uber-expensive, or an impulse purchase.  

I've loved statement necklaces for years, here are a few of my favourites:

Possibly my all-time favourite statement necklace - gold chains on black grosgrain, that ties in a loose bow, from Donna Karan.  Donna Karan was the very first fashion designer I fell in love with when I was a child, poring over fashion magazines, and when I went into her London store years ago, this was the only thing I could afford, but I was determined to leave with something!

I wore this necklace to death (practically literally, as you can see by the one chain that is broken!) - embellished and silver & black, it went with everything and was a real statement.  I found it in a hotel shop in a boutique country hotel I visited about 5 years ago - just goes to show, there may be hidden gems anywhere!

I bought this over-sized "pearls" on grosgrain ribbon necklace, from Accessorize, some time ago, and have rarely worn it, but suddenly I've started gravitating towards it and wear it a lot.

this necklace from Stella & Dot reminds me of Grecian Goddess style, perfect with a plain white vest, or over a gorgeous dress. I've worn it to 2 weddings already.

LOVE necklace above, and pink neon cutout lace effect collar necklace below from Bershka.  I've recently gotten into Bershka, and these pieces are just a bit of easy fun.

Are you a statement necklace lover?  Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you have any favourites to share!

Linking in with Fashion Forward's All things pretty

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - supermarket style

A quick trip to the supermarket this morning, and I just felt like wearing heels.  Why not?  Doing mundane mummy-chores doesn't mean I can't still enjoy throwing on some glitzy shoes!

Top, Old Navy, embroidered jeans, David Bitton (I've looked online for similar, but only came up with Ed Hardy-esque ones), Bag, Milly, Shoes, Charles Jourdan, necklace Accessorize

These shoes were a total find - I bought them in Oxfam on Carnaby Street, and the guy in the shop said they were so small no-one can fit into them, so if I had Cinderella feet I could have them for.... £7!! I almost wanted to apologise for robbing him as I ran out of the store!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these jeans.  They seem to surface every couple of years, and I dismiss them for ages until the mood strikes.  

Linking back to
Transatlantic Blonde What I Wore Wednesday // The Pleated Poppy What I Wore Wednesday // Because Shanna Said So Random Wednesday // Small Town Big Wardrobe - Whatever Works Wednesday // The Mummy Chronicles Watcha Wearin Wednesday 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Do I Dare Double Denim?

I did, I went there, I double-denimmed.  And on date-night no less.  Mr.G grinned and shrugged, saying it's obviously one of those girl-things he won't get.

What's the verdict - to double-denim or not, would you?

Denim dress (worn as tunic) from Esprit, silk blazer from Zara, denim clam-diggers from Top Shop.

Linking up to for this week's trend spin on chambray (denim/chambray, that works, right?)

Mama Loves... A little bit of change - interiors

Growing up we often moved house, and my sisters and I loved to move the furniture around to make it feel like it was "our" space.  It wasn't long before we looked forward to the next adventure though.

These days, having been in our house for a good few years, the furniture seems to be in the right spots, and when I long for change, I can't just pick up and leave and start afresh like when we were children.  It may sound trite, but making some small changes, like moving around artwork on the walls, or just changing cushions, does brighten things up, and also makes me feel like my life isn't static.  Perhaps it's just the nomad in me that needs to uproot a tiny bit, but not too much.  

Here are a few beautiful cushions to bring some new season looks into your home.  There are so many out there, and I've looked at to name just a few.

Sediment cushion - the pattern makes me think more of bamboo trees in a batik print style

Someone once told me that peacock feathers are bad luck, but there is something so glamorous and beguiling about them, isn't there Mrs.Peacock?  

Kitsch budgies whispering to each other

I love this zebra print, and the giraffes below

I would love to place this near a window, for daydreaming of sunny beach days

I love the dramatic skylines of cities, they don't even need to say their names

Grown-up and stylish, with more than a hint of Stella Mc Cartney methinks

I love this neon yellow flamingo, I'd put him next to his more staid, traditional sibling here below

And strictly not for the kids' room, how fabulous are these sexy burlesque themed cushions, perfect for a boudoir, thrown across a chaise long, or even on a spare bed! 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - a new love affair

You know how you fall in love with something and then want to wear it all the time?  Meet my new love - this swishy silk skirt from TK Maxx.  I absolutely love it, and wore it to dinner with friends last week, and then to a morning meeting the day after too!  Plus my new favourite red suede boots from Oscar Milo - well, if the British summer continues to be so elusive, I at least have a reason to alternate between these and my beloved gold Zadig & Voltaire sandals.

grey jacket, M&S; embellished cardigan, Top Shop

lace & bead necklace from Accessorize

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - a very relaxed date night

The last of the watery sunshine, as the week's tease of summer faded away! We headed out to our favourite Indian restaurant for a very relaxed date-night.  I have to mention that upon arrival at the restaurant, the manager excitedly showed us the Tatler Restaurant guide 2013 that they have been included in.  This shows two things - they obviously don't select only super-posh restaurants, or super-expensive, AND we clearly have good taste, right? And now need to book tables in advance!   I've included a review from TripAdvisor here (the Tatler guide isn't online just yet), because we're just really pleased for them.

So, back to What I Wore Wednesday:

Lurex sweater is from Stussy, jeans from Bershka, handbag (just seen) Mulberry, bracelets, Kurt Geiger and Monica Vinader

Neon yellow wedge sandals are Kurt Geiger.  They are so high, I feel like I get to see the world from a whole new perspective, given that I am a petite petite at 5'1", and the wedges add another good 5" on, yet somehow manage to be comfortable.

Psst - I'm also doing What I Wore Wednesday over on my other site, Mama and More - so swing by to take a look!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Mama likes...Black dresses in the summertime

I love wearing colour.  Bring on bright brights, shocking neons (perhaps not head-to-toe, I am, ahem, over 30 after all), and even loud prints at times.  And of course, black.  I always come back to black, no matter what the time of year is.  In summer, the juxtaposition works even better.  

I love white in the winter - a white dress with black opaques and towering wedges; a white cashmere or wool sweater whisper warmth and luxury; white jeans with a black top look cool and effortless (and childless, clearly.  At least not of the wipe their hands/faces/noses on you type of offspring.  Toddler-less to be exact).  And in summer, I can't dismiss black.

There's something perennially classic about black.  It doesn't try too hard, it just IS.  I'm not just talking an LBD for evening-wear either.  A flowing black maxi dress, set off by gold jewellery maybe, a flouncy black dress with details in the cut or fabric, or black capri pants with a simple t-shirt.  Wearing black, the details jump out, unhindered by print, not distracted by colour.  And somehow, black always looks groomed.

I think of Stockard Channing as Rizzo in Grease, in her black cinched waisted shirt-dress, while the other girls looked purposefully prudish in their flouncy pastels.  She looked cooler, grownup, no fussy cardigans thrown over her, but elegant, and, well, naughty, of course.

Even Sandy finally gave in to black when she made her final transition to release her inner vixen in those pants that were so tight Olivia Newton-John apparently had to be sewn into them!

For a more modern girl-in-black crush, albeit still with a 50s twist in living La Vita Bella, is the divine Monica Bellucci as seen in the brilliant ad campaign for Summer 2013 by Dolce & Gabanna.  She stands out amongst the fun and frivolity as classic and just stunning in that black lace dress.

Wearing black in the bright light of a summer's day is unexpected - you could be on a walk of shame, or you could have just tossed on something elegant, without needing the excuse that an LBD usually does of an evening event, and it certainly doesn't have to look like workwear.

(image credit - The Blonde Salad)

So, I'm not averse at all to wearing black in summer  - in fact, I love it.  There's even physics to back it up!  To put it simply - white reflects heat, and it looks cool and light, however while it reflects the heat from the sun (very minimally, especially when you live here in the UK), it also reflects the heat nearest to you... your own body heat, and so therefore makes you hotter than black, which absorbs heat!  This answers the long-standing question of why people in the hottest countries in the world often wear black head to toe (apart from religious and cultural reasons of course)... it's practicality.  Who says fashion isn't practical!

dress, French Connection

dress, Monsoon

In my world, no colours are off limits - and nor should black be, just because the heat is on.  In fact, it's even cooler to wear black in the summertime!  Just show some flesh, and add some gorgeous accessories.