Friday, 30 May 2008

Grown up fash pash.

I've realised that I need to adopt a more grown up look. I'm not quite ready to consign myself to Anna Wintour's ubiquitous chic - nor will I don a fur!

Which reminds me, now quite a few of you will have seen SATC:the movie, and as there are images galore, I feel ok to comment on the only bit I winced at was the display of fur.

I've never been comfortable with it but harbour no desire to throw paint. I'm not against fur per se but the indulgence of it. Perhaps I was heavily influenced by Dodie Smith's 101 Dalmations as a child! My bf who moved to NY had to phone me to confess her fur coat purchase on the basis of need 'it gets so cold' she moaned.

That aside, it was Carrie in her long Argyle socks that made me think. You see I happily don my long Prinlge ones and jaunt about with them over my knees with flats or heels. In fact I strolled in to Gucci on 5th, four years ago on a cold November day in said pair.
But Grazia magazine sort of dissed the look and in some respects rightly so when seen on a grown woman. Plus, now they've made such a public viewing I might look like a copy cat.

I decided to ignore Mr de la Renta's fall items with fur and selected a grown up day look and an evening one for me to aspire sadly from now on I'll be wearing my socks under my jeans on a cold day.


My rash of blogs today (see 2 more below) are due to visiting friends for the weekend so tomorrow I'll be donning a pinnie with my pearls and whipping up a cup cake or two before preparing a hearty supper of spaghetti bolognese and salad. Then on Sunday I'll be wearing an eye mask to stop the light from coming in if I've overdone it on the chianti.
Look forward to catching up on all your blogs next week xxxx.

Over gladiators

There is a lovely piece by Observationmode on gladiator sandals. Upon which my comment was basically done them, over them and am resurrecting my Jack Rogers Navajo gold sandals. They are a bit tatty but a buff polish will sort that out.

You can only get them in the USA, I think someone briefly stocked them in London a few years ago.

I wasn't being mean about gladiators as for years, in fact every year I've worn a pair but when my beloved ones of the last few years wore out I decided not to replace them with any of this years choice. I don't think you can survive a summer without flats so check out Observationmode for a comprehensive choice of both flats and heels.

Jack Rogers Navajo sandals image

What inspires a stylist

I don't know where I found this but I'd stored the picture in my inspiration file.
The upload doesn't do it justice but if you click on it, it enlarges the image to its true splendour.
I wonder if Patricia Fields saw this at some point too, as the first dress we see Carrie in SATC the movie is almost the walking version of this old print.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Pick me up

This is one of my favourite websites
There is nothing like it for a bit of a pick me up....for your clothes

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Fantasy suitcase packing

In my head, in my spare time I tend to do a lot of fantasy suitcase packing. I pride myself on being the queen of minimal holiday packing.

My current favourite suitcase packing heading is pieces that effortlessly work - they have to just do the talking and require no ironing. I'm mainly imagining myself enjoying a Caribbean break (it is so miserable in London at the moment).

I don't trust BA or American Airlines with my suitcase so I have a carry on for a week. I wear on the plane a Gap grey cashmere tshirt with Warehouse white kick flare jeans and a pair of blue Repetto ballet pumps on my feet. My pale blue pashmina with silver studs from dOushala completes my travel look, oh and my Tom Ford Raquel sunnies.

In my carry on holdall, I pack 2 bikinis, my White Company terry hooded robeand a pair of flip flops. I'm loathed to do any ironing but think a white button shirt is de rigeur and think the humidity will act as a steamer. 2 x American Apparel tanks in white and silver with a cut down denim mini (it was a longer Gap denim skirt but cutting it shorter looked heaps better) plus a black Zara cardigan.

I'll take a pair of strappy high heel evening sandals and splash the cash on one of these two dresses:-

right - Purple/Pink Oriental Silk tunic dress from LK Bennet price £199

left - Emilio Pucci Orchidea print jersey dress from Net-A-Porter price £590

Which would you choose?

Monday, 26 May 2008

Project Top 50

Inspired by the little project of white shirt and jeans by Square Old Soul, I returned to my favourite pastime the perfect wardrobe.

My pet hate has to be those must have top 10 items -almost impossible. However my favourite event would be to have the courage and fortidude to have a wardrobe of only fifty easy pieces. So my challenge to you, is to give me at least your top 10,(agh!) and examine my list that is currently standing at 38 out of 50.
Tell me what to take out or what to add. All you need to think about is what to wear items for i.e. day, work, evening etc. Give me your views on how to function with just 50 items (doesn't include underwear or gym kit thank goodness). Once compiled it can become the 'blogger's top 50 clothes to own'!

1. Trench coat

2. White button shirt

3. White tee

4. Pencil skirt

5. Day jeans
6. Cardigan
7. (Cashmere) jumper (round or v neck)
8. Flat boots (riding or biker)
9. Leather belt

10. Pashmina

11. Necklace (day)
12. Bracelet (day)

13. Black trousers

14. Little Black Dress

15. Tux DJ jacket

16. Satin or silk cami

17. Evening jeans

18. Sparkly or dressy evening earrings

19. Evening ring

20. Evening braclet

21. Evening necklace (not neccessarily all worn at once!)

22. High heels

23. Strappy high sandals

24. High heeled knee high boots

25. Flat shoes (pointy, loafers or brogues)

26. Flat sandals

27. Plimsolls

28. Flip flops (make it Havianias and just for beach or house event!)

29. Winter scarf

30. Summer print scarf

31. White summer trousers (line or jeans)

32. Sun dress

33. Pretty top

34. Shoulder, tote or hand bag

35. Weekend over nightbag

36. Clutch

37. Suitcase

38. Cotton vest top
Leave your views in comment box or email me

Saturday, 24 May 2008

White shirt & jeans project

Square Old Soul has undertaken a white shirt (tee or button) and jeans project. Go and look at the wonderful images she's posted and send you own submission - here's mine!

I'd actually been wearing this all day so the white t is quite grubby. Also my little boy got in the way - wouldn't pose but had to hang around!

White t shirt - Dorothy Perkins (A/W06), Jeans -Uniqlo, Scarf - Toast, Belt- Jigasw, Sunglasses - RayBan aviators (quite a few years old), Moccasins - Kurt Geiger (2 summers ago!)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Nighty Night

Ok in some respects this isn't really blog sharing information but I injected a change into a certain part of my wardrobe with great results!

Now, I am no real fan of Boden but it does suit some people's lifestyle and clothing needs. I am nothing if not open as a stylist and have a HUGE capacity to deliver a broad spectrum of looks etc. (Do you like my corporate spiel.) Boden has some good basic/useful items and their childrens clothes are fantastic. I find Johnnie Boden a bit of a jolly hockey sticks and after receiving some pointless Boden fridge magnets stuck the words Johnnie Boden on a George Bush fridge magnet that I bought in DC (an ironic gesture - it is very cheesy).

Then the Boden PR person annoyed me when I requested some samples for a style forum. The response was very snotty. Sorry, but really Boden you are not Chanel! Compared to the lovely helpful PRs at Kew, M&S, Jigsaw and LK Bennett.

However, I suddenly found myself completely fed up of my night wear which consisted of nothing, unless you count some old vest and pants as boudoir attire - no methinks not. And yet the idea of satin or something silky from Agent Provocateur seemed a bit pointless and a waste of money. I needed some va va vroo but given I'm more likely to make a quick cup of tea, or jump in to the shower and get young child up all before 7am, function over form was the criteria.

Then old Johnnie boy sent a new catalouge with some dreadful copy intended to make one smile with wry amusement over cappuccino and croissant on a morn. Yet I was taken with a print used for a bikini, sourced in France it was pretty and louche at the sametime. I then investigated some more prints and found a fresh blue floral one masquerading as a nightie. Bingo! I was smitten and suddenly had visions of me actually supping cappuccino and picking at croissant whilst sat outside on a sunny morn with nothing but said nightie and a pashmina draped over shoulders.

My new found love affair with a nightie went down rather well with Mr Make Do & Mend. Which proves that Jerry Hall was a bit off the mark with her ' a woman needs to be a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom'. On balance keep the larder stocked with beer and be girly when necessary.

Clothes tossing

I spotted this great idea on Delicious Industries's blog the other day. Inspired by a piece on Camera Tossing I decided to do clothes tossing.

The object is to get lots of items together then throw them in the air and see how they land. Had I had a helping hand I would have taken photos of this experiment. Instead I can only offer these two pics of a couple of combinations that landed together.
You can take this one step further and blind fold yourself and pick out random items and then put them on - see what sort of look it makes. Honestly hours of pointless fun.
I'm sure someone clever with their camera can do a much better job than me - a challenge!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lost magic knickers part deux

I remind you of my recent post concerning the misfortunate loss of a pair of magic knickers. Well, they've been found!

After a hard day's personal shopping for a client I picked my dear little boy up from nursery and underneath his hoodie jacket on his peg was my knickers!

It had taken nursery quite a few days to pluck up courage to ask were they mine, given the largeness of the said waist and tummy clincher number. I fessed up they were mine and past them off as exhibit numbers only - no need to go into detail on the need!

Roman prices

The lovely Coco of Coco's Tea Party had a great little visual and piece on gladiator sandals. For those of you who even balk at a £30 price point for such summer numbers then these little beauties are £8 at Matalan

But a cautionary note re:gladiators - a la Style Bubble , less floral dresses more imagination!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Wish you were here....

The Resort collection set me thinking about being by the sea and wearing glamorous outfits.
It put me in mind of this great piece of fashion photography by Norman Parkinson, my most fave of photographers.
Jerry Hall Jamacia May 1975

Monday, 19 May 2008

The new Resort Cruises in!

Miami is becoming a venue de jour with the latest billing of a sub collection -Resort.
The great thing about the Resort collection shows at Miami is, it is the cementing of a third look for every Spring/Summer wardrobe. When you come to packing away your S/S clothes you can base what you keep on the new holy trilogy of :

Riveria Chic - the ubiquitous stripes, trousers and plimsolls look from Coco Chanel,

Out of Africa/Safari Chic - neutral shirt or trousers, crisp white shirt, safari jacket transformed into tux luxe in the evening as defined by YSL,

Miami Glamour - 30s, 50s and 70s flamboyance provide a great reference for swimsuits, poolside glamour and gratuitous clothes indulgence indeed! Release your inner Sophia and Margo.

Of the four collections currently available to view on Oscar de la Renta and Christian Dior offers a real spirit of the glamour of Miami. De la Renta combines colour with an art deco reference, using 1930's cutting with the new modern take on 1970's high octane pizzaze. A truly great commercial American offering.

The Dior collection is flamboyant and presents a fifties Latino look to great effect. The outfits conjour up a star like Gina Lollobrigida in the heyday of sultry leading women pitted against the American leading men such as Sinatra.

Chanel disappoints with an almost lack lustre performance more Miami vice than spice. Some lovely understated day wear for lunch or afternoon cocktails on South Beach but Lagerfled gives a more sombre 80s offering than the hedonistic vibe of Galliano.

all images

Friday, 16 May 2008

Purple Haze

Having recently enjoyed the splendour of a purple dress a la Kelly Rowlands at SATC premier. I was bowled over to see yet another splendind showing of this colour on Natalie Portman at Cannes. I'm not sold on the dress itself - the top half is a bit frou frou for me and it's summer why the black belt and shoes.

Purple is a jewel of a colour and it was a nearly ran last A/W but got eclipsed by all hues of grey.

I'm holding out for a purple reign this A/W when it will rightly sit majestically with black

Thursday, 15 May 2008

M&S ups and downs

Don't laugh but somehow today, I manage to lose some beige tummy and waist clincher magic knickers which I so need to wear under my Max Mara dress for my style talk on Saturday. The reason I've miss place them, is the lovely lady who served me in M&S informed me that people are allowed to return knickers! This conversation stunner cropped up because I remarked on the fact there was no hygiene sticker on said (now lost) £28 worth of knicker upholstery.

I'm horrified that M&S do accept returned underwear and think this should stop immediately. Equally, I'm quite upset about my loss due to the cost. I'm hoping they find them in the store ......rather than they've dropped out of my bag somewhere!

On the up side I found a gem of a dress in there today. A gorgeous little black capped sleeve shift number for a mere £35.00

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


After a little flurry of giddyness, it is back to the reality of hard work and being focused.

Today I popped in to the wonderful bra fitting area of Selfridges to have my 6 monthly bra fitting. Now I can measure and fit, but I always like to have a second opinion. The team at Selfridges are very good and very helpful. It is often the best stocked, with nice and airy changing rooms to be fitted in. Since my little boy (who is now 2 and a half) my rib cage has slowly but surely gone back in to place and today was the day to acknowledge that return! Finally I can buy some nice numbers instead of my make do ones from John Lewis.

Nothing wrong with John Lewis lingerie department- it's just I wasn't prepared to buy above a certain price whilst my body was still changing. John Lewis is the best place for maternity, non wire, reasonable priced bras and generally useful for all manner of bust things.

Undergarments are very important to make your clothes look nice and fit well. They can also make you feel a million dollars in a t-shirt and jeans. Which is why I'm obsessed with being properly fitted. After road testing everywhere (including Rigby & Peller) I place Selfridges first, John Lewis and R&P joint second. It does depend on the person fitting so consistency is my benchmark. The team at Selfridges are the most consistent.

So it was with complete joy I discovered the Fantasie Helena Balconette bra - it truly is a divine number. A best seller to boot for those in the know. In fact Selfridges only had one in my size as someone had stocked up on this style*. The Fantasie range also gets my top vote even over the fav USA Victoria Secrets store.

Two bras later I was hooked - literally. I can not tell you what a fantastic feeling my new adornments have given me. With some top tips from the girls in Selfridges I bought the required missing bras from Figleaves and indulged in one other purple number, see photo above (plus matching briefs as not many purple ones around!) by Sexy Panties and Naughty Knickers. I don't make these names up! My staples are black, white and nude but I always like to have one bright colourful number.

Having a decent under carriage is an investment and well worth it. I'd forgo all other manner of items just to be enveloped in the most perfect bra. Sadly, I did stand at the counter practically fondling my own 'bangers' ( a la Gok Wan) because it felt so damn good!

*Not too pricey either at £24.00

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Yesterday's nearly ran

Bad timing for this! But hey they were just round the corner from the SATC movie premier.

Here's the results

Boo hoo Noth enough

I can't tell you enough what a fab evening it was. London town, blue skies, nice breeze and a late start oh must be a premier. Kim Cattrall looked the most gorgeous, partly because she excudes womenhood. They all looked amazing but the evening was not an A list frenzy apart from the girls themselves, the only other mentionable is Patricia Fields who to my complete joy did turn up. But no Mr Big! I really wanted to see Chris Noth.
I failed miserably in sneaky photo taking - in fairness I would have looked a) a dork and b) had it confiscated!

Gok Wan was outside trying to get interviews (amongst others) and there was a general flash frenzy for anyone vaguely 'known'. I escaped with a forlorn walk, with my plus one friend, we did take a funny pic of me with a board before we entered but I can't get it from my phone to my computer currently!

Most of the other celebs were of no interest but Kelly Rowlands (ex-Destiny's Child)looked great and was lovely, she also had plus one friend who had to step aside for the photo calls.
Just compare Kelly with a couple of Brits on right Michelle Ryan, Jenny Faulkner.

Kelly's dress was stunning. A deeper bolder purple than reflected in the photo.
Oh and the film - well Sarah Jessica Parker and the cast pleaded for secrecy, mouths buttoned etc. It is so hard for me not to be a BIG mouth!!

I wore cream cotton Primark dress, Gap's Pierre Hardy black patent platforms, silver clutch from Blommingdales, Soho ( I bought it last September when they were filiming SATC) and a pale blue pashmina with silver studs from (worn as scarf thing not shawl!). I knew it would be cold inside the cinema with the air con and it was.......Hardly top drawer stuff but I did tube it! I wasn't gonna waste my Blahnik's on the Bakerloo

Sunday, 11 May 2008


Ok I can't contain myself any longer for tomorrow I go to the Sex and the City premier!!
As much as I can say. But I will be drinking a cosmo or two afterwards.

Really, normally my life is nappies and work but sometimes it all comes good.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


....Princess Beatrice is working in the personal shopping service at Selfridges, just so ya know.
We bumped into each other at work today.....

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A little tipple at lunch

Today I discoverd Primark. Obviously I'd known about the P and I had on a few occasions stumbled in but today I found it!

I'd never thought it was for me and hadn't factored it in as a place to shop. The only reason I went was because my bank didn't have anyone to see me at lunchtime! I did accuse them of being last century. When I huffed out, I thought what am I going to do for an hour...oh look there's a Primark.

An hour later and a great rummage I had two lovely new dresses and a top for under £30. Now I know why people like Primark. I like their brown paper bags too. I was going to put dresses on and appear out of the bag in an ironic Marc Jacobs way, but it is progress in deed that I've photographed and loaded up piccies anyway!

Blue top with bow detail round collar

B&W print dress , Ivory shiny dress

It did feel very nice being indulgent.....

Style makeover comp winner

In case you thought I'd forgotten there was a winner!
Winner C. stranger on the shore is in real life Rachel Tod, a New Zealander stuck out in the wild West of Wales.

We will be meeting in Birmingham at end of August to give her a fashion overhaul with the new A/W 2008 clothes.

I would have put a photo up but so far Rachel hasn't sent me a jpeg! But I'll be taking some on the day.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Planning ahead

It is debatable how much shoes are going to change next season - from the catwalks it seemend ankle boots or shoboots were still making a mark - aside from the flights of fancy ones. With that in mind I've sourced two bargin offerings from Cara London that might stand you in good stead for the rest of the year.

Here are the links -choose from biker boot or shoboot.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Motivational tips

A number of bloggers have recently drawn attention to either ethichal clothes purchases, see post by Stylist Stuff or like Observationmode to a no spend rule for six months or more.

I'm in the midst of working on a new edition of my book as the so called credit crunch gets a grip on everyday living.

What do you do to stop yourself blowing the budget or resisting temptation for that must have item?

How important is ethical clothing to your lifestyle?