Showing posts with label Allium B. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allium B. Show all posts

Friday, 26 June 2015

Taking a Liberty shirt dress across the pond...

In the words of Rod Stewart

"Will I see you tonight, on a down town train
 Every night every night it's just the same
 On a down town train"

....and the irony was, I was on a down town train - but it wasn't night time and nor was Rod singing to me. Oh well, you can't have it all.

For those of you who follow Style Guile, you may recognise this Claudette dress from Allium B, which was gifted to me a few weeks ago. Its Liberty print is so quintessentially English that I really wanted to take it away with me. An Assistant in J. Crew on 5th Avenue recognised it as being a Liberty print and said how much she loved it - which I thought Mary and Claire at Allium B would be pleased to hear. And for anyone interested, all Allium B dresses are currently on sale, so do nip over for a look. 

The above photo was taken on the Staten Island ferry, having viewed the Statue of Liberty. 

And for those who are fans of Gossip Girl (realising the importance of Gossip Girl on this trip, I watched about four episodes before we went, just to get the gist of the whole thing) this museum was used for the external shots of the school that Serena and Blair went too. (See, I even know the characters!)

My sandals are the Dena sandal from Miss KG (£55), which were amazing comfortable for the eight or so miles that we must have covered that day.

And here's a shot of the lady herself! 

Wishing you a fabulous weekend. x

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Featuring the perfect shirt dress - the Claudette dress by Allium B in a bespoke Liberty print...

Many of you will be familiar with the brand Allium B which is run by sisters, Mary and Clare, both of whom previously had successful careers in fashion.

After being convinced that there was a gap in the market for dresses aimed at those ladies who wanted that all important extra length and close attention to detail, in September 2011, Clare and Mary started developing the range. Allium B was launched in March 2012 and has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years.  Nearly three years ago now I interviewed Mary and Clare, asking them about the philosophy behind the brand and for anyone interested, you can read that interview here.

Over the past few summers I have featured Allium B dresses on Style Guile and I have loved wearing them all. I wrote about the Eliza (£95) dress here , the Hannah dress here and the Audrey dress here and when I was asked to feature the Claudette shirt dress (£125), one of Allium B's new styles, I didn't hesitate in saying yes.  A shirt dress is one of those wardrobe workhorses that will serve you well over the years in so many different ways.

The Claudette shirt dress is particularly special because Liberty commissioned a bespoke print especially for Clare and Mary, which has the Allium B flower in the design. And their dresses are now available for sale in the Liberty store, which must be hugely exciting for them.

The Claudette shirt dress comes with a fabric tie belt, three quarter sleeves and lends itself to being styled in a number of ways. Although I have opted for the more obvious dress route, it would work really well as a beach cover up, or as a tunic style top over skinny jeans - either undone or done up.

For anyone who would like to treat themselves to a lovely dress from Allium B, there's a 25% discount available to readers of Style Guile, using the code BESPOKE, which is valid until 20th June.

In the above photos I have styled the dress with a thin gold Reiss belt, Topshop shoes and a Jigsaw bag and sunglasses for quite a modern "City" look. Below I have swapped the bag to a Kausar one and the sparkly sandals are from Aldo, which gives the outfit more of a laid back summer look.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

One of the best dresses for a hot day - the Eliza dress by Allium B


Ironing or blog post? Ironing or blog post? Oh hum the blog post won.

So, what to wear on one of the hottest days of the year? (Apologies to those of you for whom it's winter at the moment. Your turn to gloat will come!)

You all know what a fan of Liberty prints I am and this Eliza dress by Allium B (£95) is perfect on a hot day. The length is good but it's not too long, the skirt is slightly A-line, the straps are wide enough to accommodate bra straps and it's nicely nipped in at the waist without being too tight. I don't get to wear it a lot but when I do I really enjoy it because I know that the summer has well and truly arrived. My dress is from last summer but this season's blue one is very similar and for info purposes, I'm wearing a size 8.

I'd started to get a little freaked out by the fit of these red sandals because I usually slip them on and off without undoing them. However I've found it increasingly difficult to get them back on, which has led me to wondering whether my feet are swelling or something. The 15 year old denied wearing them so then I asked the 6 year old. She 'fessed up to wearing them because "they make me taller." When reporting this to the 15 year old she said "I've been meaning to talk to you about that...." and then too admitted to having worn them. So independently of one another, and without me knowing, there they both are trying on my shoes when I'm not looking - which I suppose is a compliment really. Anyway, at least it explains the swollen feet (or lack, of as it transpires.)


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Allium B - the Hannah Liberty print sundress

When I was asked by Mary and Clare, the sisters who run Allium B, to wear their Hannah dress (£95) on Style Guile I was only too happy to agree.  The dress is made in a lovely Liberty print and it is 100% cotton, so great for the summer. I'm a big fan of Allium B dresses and am lucky enough to have three of them, to include the Eliza (£95) which I love for its retro styling and the Audrey (£110) which I adore for its simplicity, pretty neckline and the addition of a sleeve.

Mary and Clare put a huge amount of thought into their into designs, making sure that the straps are wide enough on their dresses to accommodate a bra strap and that the length is long enough to protect our modesty! They design a limited range of dresses which can be updated season by season by tweaking them with the latest accessories. 

I really like the scoop at the back of this dress. As time moves on there's probably less and less of ourselves that we want to reveal - but a bit of back is still OK!

For anyone who likes the idea of an Allium B dress, a 20% discount from the full price can be obtained by entering STYLE at the checkout.
And here's a shot of the pretty as a picture model who is wearing the dress on the Allium B site.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Mum on the Run - 3 hot days, 3 not quite so hot outfits!!!

I was meant to post this last night but ran out of time - hopefully it will all make sense!

We're going camping tomorrow morning so I won't be writing again until Sunday. We're also going to a wedding reception tonight and I'm just starting to wonder whether I need to pack anything more for our camping trip than bunting, jam jars to put flowers in and insect repellent. Hmm, that could be an interesting blog post - strategically placed triangles of bunting. Then again, perhaps not.

So with that in mind, I'm bringing you a triple whammy of outfits - to include some disasters in the blue leg and frosted lipstick department.

This printed silk dress was from Jigsaw about three years ago now. These Mango block heeled nude sandals that I bought at the start of the summer have done a great job of freshening up lots of older (not even vintage, just older) pieces, making them look more modern. It's been the same with the red Topshop sandals that I bought and which I am wearing below - and by that I mean that for the cost of two pairs of shoes my wardrobe looks more up to date than it did - not that I am smug or clever!

As our eldest took these photos yesterday morning she said "You can't show those, you've got blue legs. It looks like you're lacking in oxygen." How right she is! The morning light is always slightly blue but knowing that I wouldn't have time or the opportunity later on the day, they had to do. The blog was never meant to be about perfection, which is lucky. This is the liberty print Eliza sundress from Allium B, which has been fantastic in this warm weather.

This H&M skirt is of a similar age and a great piece for its £7.99 price tag as it is fully lined.  I bought the coral neon T-shirt that I am wearing with it this summer, also from H&M and also £7.99.  The gold wedges were from Dune a few years ago now too and look, I've changed colour from the shots above - no more blue legs for me.  I'm so fair that at times it's painful! Sadly for me spray tans don't last that long either so I have to have two coats before I look anything more than remotely off white. For the first day it's a bit dark but it doesn't take long to calm down.

On the way out of the front door I shoved on some lipgloss that I found lurking at the bottom of my bag and look - it's a frosted number which takes me right back to the late 80's. Very bananarama! Ah, you've got to laugh.

Hope that you are all enjoying the sun and I will see you on Sunday.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mum on the Run - Bringing you the perfect LBD - the Allium B Audrey dress

By a great little LBD I mean that this is both a great Little Black Dress and a great Little Blue Dress - take your pick!

OK, so let's get straight to the nitty gritty as to why the Audrey dress by Allium B (£110) is such a winner shall we?  First of all there's the length. It has that lovely length to it which means that there's not too much leg on show. Some ladies love showing their legs - which is fantastic - others less so. I definitely fall into the "less so" category.  Mary and Clare design all of their dresses to have just that little bit more length than lots of High Street brands.

Then there's the neckline, which is really pretty and delicate and negates the need for tricky necklace decisions! I also like the fact that this neckline would also work on ladies with a curvier bust, despite the fact that it has a fairly high neck. The pretty detail breaks up the chest area, the effect of which is to give it a lower neckline, without the cleavage flash.

The sleeves are a perfect length too, nipping in at the elbow and with enough fabric so that they aren't restrictive in any way. Sometimes dresses with sleeves can still be restrictive, especially if they are made of a jersey fabric but that's not the case with the fabric on this dress, which is Viscose Moss Crepe.

When it comes to fabric belts, I am normally the first to whip them off and replace them with something more structured and with a bit of colour. However, after trying a few different ones of my own, I went back to the original. The width of it was right and unlike introducing another colour, the all black belt gives a sleeker line - which doesn't mean to say that I wouldn't ring the changes at some point. Equally it can be worn without the belt for a different look.

As to other ways of styling the dress? With it being black, the possibilities are endless. Black and tan are always a great combination so here are some accessories that would work with it - a leopard print bag, animal print scarf, cream and tan shoes. Two of the three below, worn with either a black or tan blazer, would be a great look.

Pair it with either silver or gold for a night out. Here I've chosen silver shoes, a black snake print Liberty bag, a black glitter belt and a chunky diamante bracelet. The texture on all of the items prevents the outfit from being too flat and the black belt, despite its glitter, continues with the clean line theme.

A spot of colour is always nice against black, whether it's blue, pink, green, yellow or red it would give the dress a really different feel from the more sedate options above.

A contrasting belt and bag would work well, perhaps with a nude shoe. Or a contrasting shoe and bag with a black belt. A scarf is a good option when wearing a blazer, which can be removed to reveal the pretty neckline.
For me the perfect thing about the Audrey dress is its versatility which is, without doubt, a real wardrobe saviour. Now as to the trickiest decision of all. Black or blue?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Mum on the Run - perusing the Allium B sale - the go to brand for dresses made for ladies who don't want to flash their pants (not unintentionally at least)!

For anyone in need of a lovely summer dress or two, Allium B has just launched its sale. With 50% off some lines and 25% off full price dresses (just for the weekend) I can't think of many better ways to spend half an hour on a rainy Saturday afternoon!

Apply code SALE 25 at checkout,  until midnight on Monday 24th June
You may remember the lovely Allium B Eliza dress that I was wearing a couple of weeks ago in Wales, in the sun (what a distant memory that is)!

In an effort not to be defeated by the oodles of rain that we have had this week, together with the colder temperatures, I put a coral H&M sweatshirt over the dress. Sometimes I prefer the look of a sweatshirt to a cardi, especially over a more traditional print - such as this Liberty one. It just keeps everything more up to date.  Also the proportions of the shorter length on the sweatshirt worked well with the dress. A little shorter would have been even better but it's not worth getting too hung up on these things.

The Eliza dress has 25% off it this weekend, taking it from £89 to £66.75. There's also free delivery and returns. Some of my other favourite dresses are the Audrey because of it's pretty neckline and elbow length sleeves and also the Susana for it's nipped in waist and the fact that a shirt dress is definitely a wardrobe work-horse rather than a dress that's wardrobe work-shy - and let's face it, we all need pieces like that in our wardobe.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Mum on the Run - In the Liberty Eliza sun dress by Allium B - on a sunny day too!

Almost a year ago now I interviewed Mary and Clare, who are sisters and the founders of Allium B. Mary and Clare, who both had successful careers in fashion, were disillusioned with the style, fit and quality of dresses on the High Street and so set about designing their own range of versatile, simple but statement, "forever" dresses.  For anyone interested in the rest of the interview, you can read it here.
Roll on nearly a year and Mary and Clare asked me to choose a couple of designs of their dresses to wear on Style Guile. With my stash of summer dresses severely depleted, with some warm weather promised, being short of time (and with lots of dresses being short of hem), the offer couldn't have come at a better time.  The very next day the dresses were on my doorstep. Perfect!
The first dress that I chose was the Eliza dress (£89) which was designed to celebrate Allium B's first birthday. The liberty print, retro feel and the fact that I felt that a proper "summer" dress was the order of the day, made this an easy choice. Just for the purposes of perspective, the model is 5 ft 7" but I'm not sure what size dress she is wearing. I am 5 ft 6" and wearing the size 8, which I found came up true to size.

As the day dawned bright and clear for our weekend away, I knew that it was a now or never moment. I really like the neat fit on the top half and the way that the dress nips in at the waist but then has enough room in the skirt to make it possible to walk/bend down/surf down the sand dunes (sorry, no pictures of that particular activity).

The straps on this dress are wide enough to make it possible to wear a normal bra without it showing. For me that's great because if there's one thing I would be likely to forget to take on a weekend away it's a strapless bra (or perhaps a child.)

I've really included this photograph for the spectacular shot of the seagull, the sun and the scenery. With converse instead of heels, the dress was a good beach/crabbing option.

Even bending down and sorting out crab bait wasn't a problem. Well, not for the dress, at least!
Sun dresses can be tricky the older one gets! There's a fine line to tread between being cool and exposing too much flesh. The length of this dress is a real bonus for someone like me who doesn't like to show a lot of leg and I like the fact that the wide straps and the cut of the neckline mean that I don't feel too exposed but nor am I too covered up either. We just need a few more sunny days now. As I mentioned, I have two dresses to try, so I hope to bring you photographs of the other one really soon.....
Allium B have kindly offered any blog readers/clients of mine an exclusive discount of 20% off any full price dress. Please just quote code SG20 any time now between today and the end of July. Happy shopping!