Friday, 30 March 2018

THE best jumpsuit I've ever come across!

If you're anything like me, you approach jumpsuits with great trepidation. VPL, tight around the bottom and potentially unflattering over the tummy are all things that strike fear into the heart of me. I've been there, done that and seen the photographs. They weren't pretty. 

Jumpsuit in pebble from Asquith (£79) styled with trainers from Air & Grace and a statement necklace

When a brand approaches me and the words "women's activewear" appears in the email, I'm interested! And when that activewear is made "ethically, using eco-fabrics - organic cotton and bamboo" then my interested is really piqued - largely because I don't  know that much about bamboo. And this is exactly what happened when Asquith got in touch to see whether I would like to collaborate with them. 

In all honesty I don't think that I had heard of Asquith before they approached me, which was a real shame as I feel that I may have been missing out all these years. The first thing that I do on being approached by a brand is to head over to their website to take a good look around, particularly at their "About us" page. I'm always interested to know their back story as it often stems from something really interesting. And then quite often I pick up the phone and speak to the brand direct to find out more about them. 

Alice Asquith was way ahead of the game when she created Asquith in 2002. Her love of fabrics and design, coupled with her love of yoga and pilates led to her creating one of the first "street to studio" brands for organic activewear. She was passionate that the pieces were ethically made from the best eco friendly fabrics available and that her designs could bridge the gap between pilates or yoga, the school run, the beach, as loungewear or for travelling in. 

Now, aside from organic activewear being better for the environment, one of the things that interested me was  the claim that clothing made from bamboo really could be soft, sweat wicking and comfortable. In my head I had visions of pandas eating bamboo and I couldn't work out for the life of me how that could be turned into something that I would want to wear.  I also learnt from my conversation with Asquith that bamboo is breathable and therefore so much better to wear than lycra for working out in, plus it is great for travelling in. 

Jumpsuit in pebble from Asquith (£79) - sunnies and sandals are all that you need

The piece that I chose for our collaboration together was the Jumpsuit (£79) which also comes in pebble. As I mentioned above, jumpsuits can strike fear in my heart but then again I thought that I spotted some strategically placed ruching (always a positive) and the legs looked as though they had enough room in them, it also came with detachable straps plus, a jumpsuit can be hugely versatile. 

I took the jumpsuit away to Dubai with me, where I styled it in three different ways for daytime looks, but to be honest, there are unlimited ways that this jumpsuit could be worn. I like the idea of it with heeled sandals, a tux jacket and lots of gold jewellery for more of a dressed up look.

With hi-tops and a utility jacket for a daytime sporty look

 I loved wearing this jumpsuit and can't wait for some warmer weather to arrive so that I can wear it again. With its 95% bamboo and 5% elastane composition, it was super comfortable, even in the heat (and there wasn't a spiky bit of bamboo, or a panda, in sight).  

Alongside a drop of gin and the odd Easter Egg, I'm always up for a little bit of healthy living, which is rich really coming from the person who has just spent five days in bed with something horrible. Having said that it did give me A LOT of time to stare out of the window and think. And I decided on a few things. First, our bedroom needs decorating. Secondly, I need to do more ironing. Thirdly, I'm going to try and carve out some more time for yoga as well as incorporating more bamboo in my life, because I think that it's important to take time to breathe more deeply and to think about the planet a little more. 

Please note: This was a sponsored post written in conjunction with Asquith, whose pieces I am really smitten by!

Monday, 26 March 2018

The most FABULOUS competition and celebrating an imperfectly, perfect, laid table

Now bear with me on this one! True, the table cloth needs an iron, the crockery doesn't quite match, the paper napkins are from Ikea and the cutlery could do with a polish. BUT here's the thing. I walked through the door at about 5pm yesterday, the sun was shining but fading, we had a fantastic burrito dinner planned and I felt that spring might just be in the air, so I decided that all of these things were worth celebrating, albeit in a slightly imperfect way. 

Table cloth Cleverly Wrapped (£48) Flowers from Peony Flowers Glasses from Oliver Bonas similar here

I could have waited until next weekend when the light wasn't fading, when I'd sorted the crockery, when I'd ironed the table cloth and found some fabric napkins - but then the moment would have been lost, the time investment would have been disproportionate and it may have created pressure. Hec I may not even be around then!

So this post is about looking beyond the imperfect (other than the flowers which are TOTALLY perfect and which we will come to in a minute) and seizing the moment. Everyone who sat at the table - from the 10 year old to the three teenagers and my husband, noticed and appreciated it, so it was worth the effort. But to be fair even if they hadn't, it made me happy! Plus I'm pleased to report that the new table cloth (which was gifted to me by Cleverly Wrapped at a recent event and which can also be used as a beach throw or a wrap) survived the onslaught of tomato sauce spillages and chocolate sauce being dripped all over it. 

So what was bunged onto the table in addition to the obvious? Bottles of gin of course. Rhubarb, lemon and elderflower to be precise. I love the colour of the labels and also of the contents. A bowl of lemons and limes, a candle from Neon Beach Club which kind of worked with the flowers and the Easter eggs that my Mum has wrapped up for the children for Easter.

But let's talk about the flowers. Oh how gorgeous are they? I met Julie from Peony at QVC on International Womens' Day. We shared a dressing room and got chatting about all sorts of things.  I had seen Julie before, and I knew about Peony Flowers but I hadn't really investigated them. To be honest I just don't think I'd ever really thought about faux flowers. Oh what a mistake was that?  Hello lightbulb moment!

Subsequent to our meeting, Julie sent me this beautiful hydrangea arrangement, together with a stunning bouquet, both of which instantly transformed our room. I think that I messaged her straight away telling her that I hadn't realised that this was just what the room needed. Mr SG is very impressed with the flowers. He's slightly mystified by them and he keeps on taking a look at them, and feeling them, to see whether they are real.

And in her kind and generous way, Julie has offered this Lily arrangement (which retails at £160) as an Easter gift in a competition that I have already launched on Instagram but which I would love everyone to be able to take part in, whether you're on Instagram or not and whether you're able to leave comments on the blog or not.

So really it's very simple. If you're on Instagram please hop over to my Instagram page here and tag a friend who you would like to receive this gift. You can tag as many friends as you like. If you're not on Instagram, just leave a comment below, mentioning the name of a friend. And if you can't leave a comment, please just email me at with your friend request. And that's it! The winner will be announced on Easter Sunday - and believe me, this lily arrangement will be far better than any possible Easter egg ever could be. Good Luck!

Saturday, 24 March 2018

A Style Challenge - "Mom" Jeans

Call me old school but I'm not a fan of the word "Mom." And don't even get me started on "gotten." I can move with the times when it comes to "reaching out" "see you later" (even though later could be in two weeks, so not really later at all) and "like". There are a lot of "likes" in our house. But gotten? Nope, not going there. Anyway, back to the point. Mom jeans.

A few weeks ago, House of Fraser asked me whether I would like to choose something to feature from their denim range. After going around the houses a little, I decided on a pair of  "Mom"* jeans. I've never done them before and nor have I seen many others in my age group wearing them (perhaps there's a reason for that!) I thought that I would give them a go - not expecting to like them in the least - but then again entering into the unknown and not being sure of what you're going to find is the point of the "Style Challenge."

Red Lips Tee from Becky at Bricks & Stitches (£25)

It's the "rear view" in Mom jeans which I've always found a bit troubling. With their high waist and generally small pockets, your butt can look as if it's as long as your legs. Whilst at the same time shortening your legs. Not necessarily what we strive for in life.

But then again their high waist can create a nice shape and give curves where there may not be any. And actually the tapered "carrot" leg is quite flattering. In fact I really like the shape of the legs on these Mom jeans. Tucking a top, such as this red lips tee from Bricks & Stitches (£25), in to the jeans is the best way to style Mom jeans. Wear a longer top at your peril! If you like this tee do get in touch with Becky at Bricks & Stitches quickly, as they sell like hot cakes.

KLAXON WARNING  - rear view shot! 

See what I mean? My bum does look quite deep but actually the pockets are placed quite high - so it's not as bad as it could be. Well at least I don't think that my butt cheeks look as if they're down near to the back of my knees. But I could be wrong and in fairness I think that other styles may be more flattering. Then again, in some ways the older I get, the less that type of thing concerns me. 

You may wonder why the label is still on the jeans. Well the thing is that I had decided to return the lovely Mom jeans gift because the waist is just that bit too tight. But actually since wearing them, they have given a little and it may be the case that they are OK. 

That is, depending on what you, my lovely readers, think about the Mom jeans. Shall we go there for a change, or just leave them to the young 'uns? Does my bum look deep and do my legs look short, or do the strategically placed pockets deal with that. And for heavens sake can we please come up with a better name for them? 

* I should say that this particular style of Mom jeans are not currently available at House of Fraser but I have linked to all other available styles above. Both the jeans and the tee were gifted to me. The shoes are from Next (£48)

Monday, 19 March 2018

How do we feel about these? Do they remind you of your student days?

They're like a brain worm that won't go away. Try as I might, I can't stop thinking about them. DM boots. Perhaps the cold weather has frozen my brain, perhaps it's a mid-life crisis. Or perhaps it's just because I genuinely really like them and I can see how they would work with my wardrobe.

We all wore DM shoes at University. Come rain or shine, summer or winter, we all wore DM shoes which we bought from Sheffield market. The only variation was that in the summer we would wear them without socks and everyone over the age of 35 would ask whether they hurt. But they never did. The cost per wear of those shoes over the 3 years was peanuts - and they carried on long after the 3 years were up too. 

Now it's not so much the DM shoes that I'm attracted to because "street" trainers have largely taken their place. No, it's the boots that I really like. Especially the pink, navy or silver. Well I'm nothing if not predictable in my unpredictability. True, they wouldn't go with everything but most skinny/straight/girlfriend/boyfriend jeans would work with them and maxi dresses and skirts too. 

Iced Metallic (£110)

So why now? Maybe it's because I'm looking for something different but which is still wearable. Having not worn DMs since I  hit about 20, they definitely tick that box. But they're still comfortable and practical too. That doesn't mean to say that I will be re-visiting my multi coloured polka dot ra-ra dress from Tammy Girl circa 1983, or my mini kilt, ruffle blouse and white tights combo circa 1985 - but then again I just might.

I'd like to do a post on brands which are hot on environmental and social responsibility issues. Luckily this is something that most new brands take seriously as part of their ethos.  Dr Martens have a really detailed Social Responsibility page on their site covering everything from child labour, to working hours, how they source their leather (they also do a vegan range here), the materials they use in their packaging and the charity work in which they engage. 

So my question is this. Can any of you imagine going down the DM route or are they a big fashion "no-no" as far as you're concerned? I would love to hear what you think. 

From the feedback that I have received, I know that many of you would like to see more outfits posts, so I will try and include a few outfit pictures at the end of each blog post (if the post itself doesn't constitute an outfit post.)

I wore this outfit to an event that I went to on Friday. I thought that people may appreciate the macarons (by the Crow Kitchen) and biscuits (by Juliet Sear) - if nothing else. I know that I did.

Same outfit - different shot. The trousers are from Mango. I wrote about them here, the trainers are from Air & Grace, the blouse is from Mercy Delta and the bag is from neon beach club

OK so this was me being brave in a skirt that I thought that I might return but which I decided to keep. It's from ASOS and is the floral pansy skirt. The trainers are as above and the jumper is an old one from Topshop.

Oooh it was chilly this day. I was lucky enough to be sent a fab sweatshirt from Hari and the gang (£42) which I layered under this Topshop coat and wore with Gap jeans, Topshop boots, an LK Bennett bag and frilly socks (all past season.)

So that's it for now. I'll see you anon and hope that you all have a fabulous week. xxx

Saturday, 17 March 2018

My top eleven pleated skirts and some ideas on how to wear them

Pleated skirts are, much to my Mum's delight "Oh I DO love a pleated skirt", going from strength to strength. They are a trend that's not going away, which is funny in some ways because other than a brief spell that I remember as a child, they pretty much disappeared from the skirt scene with pencil, mini, skater and midi skirts being more popular. I think that it may have been the rise of the popularity in midi skirts a few years ago now though, that saw them come back in to favour. Most pleated skirts fall into the "midi" category, so they ticked the box of being a "variation on a (midi skirt)" theme.

Sophia pleated skirt Reiss (£155)

I featured this skirt on my insta stories when I took some of you for a virtual shop earlier in the week. It's absolutely beautiful. The pleats are razor sharp and edged in black for an even sharper look. 

I still believe that there's a pleated skirt for everyone, somewhere. Most crucially the issue is what kind of waistband is on the skirt and how the pleats fall from it. I've included lots of pictures below of me in various pleated skirt outfits and I'll try to explain what I mean when we get to them. 

Elsa pleated skirt Reiss (£155)

I haven't seen this skirt in real life but the shape is virtually the same, if not the same, as the one above. What I like about this skirt is that the darker colour over the tum area is really flattering. And it's just such a striking skirt - great if you're after something different and you're not really a floral/spots type girl. 

Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

But then again, if spots are exactly your thing, this skirt from Mango could be just the ticket. It's really lovely in real life and in the store they paired it with a pale blue jumper which looked gorgeous.  Spots feature hugely on the High Street at the moment so expect to see a lot more spotty pieces over the next few weeks. 

Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

This skirt ticks a lot of trend boxes in one go. The navy/yellow/white colour combo is a big trend this summer. Work in a go faster "athleisure" stripe along with a split and the pleats and oh boy you would so be nailing it. I really like the sporty vibe about this skirt - great if you're not someone who loves girlie floaty skirts - or if like me you do but you're also a bit of a chameleon and like sportier urban pieces (I totally made that phrase up - but I know what I mean!) too. 

Stripes pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

Stripes! Again another huge trend this season on everything from tops, to skirts, trousers and accessories. I love the interesting colour combination of this skirt which is again from Mango. They are really doing pleated skirts so well this season and there are also some pleated dresses coming through too, which are an interesting addition to the dress scene.  

Leopard print skirt H&M (£34.99)

Yeah! Good old leopard print. This is a small print and not too "leopardy" if you know what I mean, making it a fairly easy leopard print to wear. I love leopard with anything red, denim, or neons too and as we know, leopard is the new neutral, so it's definitely one to have fun with. 

Satin pleated skirt Whistles (£99) which also comes in metallic gold, green and black. I've linked to them all here

A metallic pleated skirt always feels a bit glam without being too try hard. It really is a great one to dress up or down and it can take you to so many different places just by changing up your top and/or shoes. 

Batik Lily pleated skirt Whistles (£139)

I think that this skirt is a little bit marmite. It's definitely in the colour of the season but whether it's your cup of tea or not is a different matter. I think that a skirt like this works either if you're going to go the whole hog and dress it up for a wedding, or dress it right down with a slogan tee or denim. Anything in between might just not work. But I'm happy to be proven wrong!

Pleated skirt HUSH (£89) (lined and elasticated waist)

I haven't seen this skirt in the flesh as HUSH in our John Lewis don't have it but having said that, I'm really tempted to order it and see what it's like on. The blue and green combo are really striking but  in a very wearable way and without being too dressy.

Pleated skirt in watermelon Jigsaw (£120) it also comes in blossom blue

The above skirt from Jigsaw is a real gem. It's a great length, hangs well and the pleats are quite "flat" when they come out of the waistband, meaning that they fall in a really flattering way. It also comes in blossom blue (below) and gravel (below that). 

Pleated skirt in blossom blue Jigsaw 

When something is a little more on the expensive side (such as this skirt) as we all know, there are lots of things to consider for sure. It may be that it's perfect for a wedding, or an event, but something that you would also get a lot of mileage out of afterwards, bringing the cost per wear down. 

Pleated skirt in gravel Jigsaw (£120)

Or it may be that you're not sure whether a pleated skirt is going to be for you, in which case maybe start off with an inexpensive one and see where it takes you. Or maybe the inexpensive one is perfect and there's no need to look any further. Or perhaps you just fall in love with one like this, or it's an amazing fit. So many things to think about!

Stripe maxi skirt Ted Baker (£120)

For anyone who is super tall, or who likes their pleated skirts to be full length, this one from Ted Baker is a possibility but I think its "sheerness" might need to be checked. 

Contrast pleated panel maxi dress Ted Baker (£239)

And remember I mentioned earlier about pleated dresses? This one with its panel of pleats is so pretty. If anyone I know would like to get married, I'd be very happy to wear this to the occasion. 

So here are some outfits "that I prepared earlier" - in some cases a lot earlier! 

This gold M&S skirt is great for the winter. The velvet is lovely and shimmery. It has an elasticated waist band which is good because I can either wear it on my waist or drop it lower if I feel in need of a bit of extra length. The pleats aren't too small or knife like, which I think suits me slightly better. Heels and a leather jacket give this skirt more of a dressed up feel.

This skirt from Topshop again has fairly open pleats and as there aren't too many of them, there's not so much volume in the skirt.  I like the length of it and it's a really versatile skirt. The heels glam up this skirt and jumper outfit but with boots or trainers it would look completely different.

This is an H&M pleated skirt. I find it harder to wear - possibly because there are more pleats in it and the fabric is quite stiff, meaning that if I bend over the skirt sort of folds and digs in. Sounds weird huh?!

This is probably the least favourite of my pleated skirts. The waist band isn't elasticated and there are lots of pleats with lots of volume. As it's pleather, it's also a bulker fabric, so it's less flattering than the green Topshop one.

It's the Zara silver one again but this time with a fitted knit instead of a denim shirt. 

Topshop again with metallic boots and a star print shirt

Topshop again with a blouse and trainers

And finally the Jigsaw skirt which I've linked to above with some crazy green boots! 

I realise that pleated skirts won't be for everyone, but I hope that these outfits have provided some ideas on what to stick with your pleated skirt. I think the fact that they're not short, or clingy, that they have some volume (which is good if you like to take a big stride or don't have the teeny tiniest of hips) all help to make them super wearable for busy ladies who love a skirt but who don't want to feel restricted when it comes to bending over, loading the washing machine or striding out in force. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The only heels that you will ever need....

Belted utility jacket with lace detail GAP (£64.95*) | Gold acid pony hair belt Bricks & Stitches (£36) | silk blouse old but similar here from French Connection (£69) | Jeans Mango previous season but similar here from Hush (£79) 

I can guarantee that every time I wear these leopard print heels from River Island (which are sadly no longer available), people will ask me where they're from. In fact, as I was putting this post together, someone messaged me on Instagram to ask me that very question.

So a few weeks ago it got me thinking that it was about time that I put a blog post together on where to find the best leopard print courts. Having done the ground work, I can confirm that there aren't that many leopard courts around. My searches at Clarks, Selfridges, House of Fraser. Next, M&S, Hush, Hobbs, Jigsaw, Other Stories, New Look, Zara, Warehouse, Oasis and Topshop lay testament to that. 
There are plenty of flats, trainers, block heels and sandals - and if anyone requests me to do so, I'll do a post on those too. But for now I wanted to keep it to a classic style, leopard print court shoe. 

These are, for now, the best three options:

Boden  courts (£110)

My first thoughts on these were that they looked a bit fussy but the "wiggle" is a really nice look when on the foot. The reviews as far as comfort goes are really good. The heel doesn't appear to be too high and people say that they have worn them all day without any problems. Someone commented that they were cut quite low at the front and someone else found them uncomfortable because they had a bunion but other than that (and one issue relating to quality control) the reviews were really positive.  

How to style them? 

We all know that leopard is the new neutral. Think of it as you would plain black shoes. Chances are that there will be a whole lot of leg, or black trousers, or denim (for example!) above them, so even if you've got print or pattern or other colours going on elsewhere in your outfit, it really doesn't matter as it's broken up. And if not? Even better! 

I style mine with everything from jeans, as above, to my gold pleated skirt, black coated skinnies, navy wide leg culottes, silky joggers and side stripe pants - anything and everything really - which is what makes them the only heels that you will ever need. 

Leopard print mid heel courts Dune (£70)

This Dune style is a fabulous one. No doubt many of you are familiar with it as it comes in lots of different colours - fifteen to be precise. The shoes have five star reviews so I think that's a pretty good indication as to their comfort and design. These shoes are described as a "mid heel" and also come in a wide fit. To be fair, I think that these would be my starting point if I was on the hunt for some now. 

Karen Millen leopard heels (£145)

With a 9.5cm heel, these shoes have an extra 1cm to their heel height compared to the Dune shoes, which for some will be a deal breaker and for others, not so much. Unlike the other two styles these have a black heel and are also they are also pricier. But if they fit perfectly and do the job well, they will be a better investment long term, so they may be worth trying. 

My "photographer" told me to strike a pose for Mother's Day. So this was it. She even showed me what to do. And who am I to argue?

If anyone comes across any more leopard print courts out there and if you would like to share them with me, please do so. Or if you'd like a post on flatter leopard print shoes, just say the word. In the meantime, I hope that you all have a great start to the week. xx

Friday, 9 March 2018

7 summer outfits offering a little bit of coverage!

I get it, really I do. There's something vaguely irritating about someone going away somewhere warm when it's freezing here, sharing their snaps on Instagram, AND THEN writing about what they wore whilst away. Especially when quite a few of those clothes have been gifted. Maybe I should just stop right there!

Except that I love seeing other people's holiday snaps, especially if they're sunny. OK so maybe not the six albums of snaps that my Grandad would compile after each trip - but definitely snaps of outfits. And personally I love it when people bring me clothes that I like, as it saves me having to hunt them out for myself. It also saves me the time associated with a trip to the shops, not to mention the cost of parking and so on. So hopefully you won't all object too much to the fact that some of the clothes were gifted to me.

The Bright Sundress

Tassel tie maxi dress Whistles (£149)

Adding a few pieces into my summer wardrobe was never going to be a bad thing. Most of our holidays over the past 20 years have been in Guernsey, Cornwall or Wales, all of which we absolutely love, but it has involved lots of t-shirts and cut-offs rather than anything glam. 

So one of my first additions was this red dress (above). I loved the colour of it - it's so vibrant and fun and with a Whistles gift card that I thought I would probably lose if I didn't use it pronto, it gave me the perfect excuse. I don't think that this dress is available in stores but it is online. I can find red tricky to wear for some reason. I like the idea of red trousers - but I'm not sure that they would like me.  This dress somehow isn't too challenging and the length of the straps can be altered, depending on your height, which is good as some maxi dresses are super long. 

When the weather is slightly warmer, I'm going to layer a jumper and leather jacket over the top and turn it into a maxi skirt with trainers.

Just after this photograph was taken I nearly walked into a camel. I mean, it's not like they're huge or anything is it? 

The Shorts and Long Sleeved Top

I thought that you would all appreciate a good look up my nose! Well it was either that or seeing my legs in the all their glory with the sun shining right on them. Honestly, my nostrils were the lesser of the two evils! 

I bought these shorts from 2birds Dubai for about £10. 2birds is a fashion and accessories label run by Sue and Caroline, two Australian ladies. They have some great pieces - round baskets, cool  jewellery, lots of pom poms, neon and tassels. They are definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. The shorts are great - one size fits all, plenty of room in the leg so they are flattering and an elasticated waist. Even better. 

This fab neon bag was a gift from Charlie at Neon Beach Club. I met Charlie last year when she came to my first pop up and she has very kindly gifted some of her beautiful pieces to me since then. I like to think that she benefits from our friendship but thinking about it, I'm not entirely sure that she does. I think that I ought to do something about that! I bought the top last year from H&M and there are already similar popping up in stores.  

Neon Copelands from Air & Grace (£149)

Now you know me and a good pair of trainers. Trainers are never very far from my side, or indeed my feet, and Air and Grace trainers are just so comfortable. Seriously, if you're ever contemplating buying some trainers, do take a look. I walk for miles in mine so I'm not just saying that. 

Again, these trainers were gifted to me as a result of a friendship that developed at my first pop up. Claire, who runs Air & Grace, is such a lovely soul, has a great eye for design and knows all that there is about trainers, having worked in the footwear business for many years. 

As testament to these super comfortable trainers, I didn't even bother wearing socks with them the first time that I wore them as I knew that they wouldn't rub my feet. And they didn't. Now some may find not wearing socks with trainers gross but I just don't like the feel of trainer socks. Weird I know. 

The humungous building in the background is the Atlantis Hotel which is famous the world over. There's a bit of a debate as to whether it is the largest in the world or whether the one the Bahamas is bigger. Now with Dubai liking to have the biggest/fastest/tallest/largest/most expensive of everything in the world, this doesn't go down well. So they're building an even bigger hotel next door, just to be sure. Like you do. 

The Long Sleeved Midi Dress

Lola embroidered cotton kaftan Aspiga (£135) Sandals ASOS last year, similar here

I think that it was even before I'd planned our trip, that Aspiga asked me whether I would like to work with them this year. I knew of Aspiga, having seen the brochure drop through my door many times, but I suppose with not having really been in the market for super "hot holiday" type clothing, I hadn't really invested in them previously. But then I started to take a closer look and I saw some pieces that really appealed to me. 

What I really had in mind for this trip were pieces that offered me enough coverage to be culturally appropriate and which could be worn to the beach, but which weren't suitable only for the beach. I love beachwear but I prefer the versatility of being able to wear the clothing out and about too - and I wanted to feel a little bit glam and a bit less shorts and t-shirt (for this trip at least). So this lola embroidered cotton kaftan ticked the box perfectly plus (hello Mrs Predictable) it was blue and white. 

This style has been really popular and there's currently a waiting list for it but if you like the idea of one, just pop on over to the site where you can add your name to it.    

The Hi-Low Maxi Skirt and Vest

Frida skirt navy and white Aspiga (£125) vest Topshop many years ago, sandals Asos as before

Next up, and again from Aspiga, is the Frida skirt, which is an absolute joy to wear. It is so lightweight and floaty and its just feels really beautifully feminine. I loved wearing this skirt with a really simple, and exceptionally old, vest from Topshop. I can't wait for the weather to be warm enough to wear it here. 

The Maxi Dress in the Colour of the Season

Lenu Maxi Dress (£95) with previous season Air & Grace espadrilles

The Air and Grace espadrilles that I'm wearing above were the first pair of Air & Grace shoes that I bought. I should find out later on in the week whether they will be available again this summer - but hopefully they will. The maxi dress is again from Aspiga. It's got a great length to it so would be perfect for anyone who struggles to find dresses long enough plus it has plenty of volume in the skirt so it's not too close fitting and sweaty feeling. Oh and lilac is having a HUGE moment right now.

I had a bit of an earring splurge at Topshop before we went away. That's how I added the "glamour" part to my outfits. Original huh? Huge Perspex earrings. 

Perspex petal drop earring (£12.50) Topshop

The High Split Maxi Skirt and Sporty Tee

This skirt was one that I bought from Asos last summer. It has a huge split up it and a short lining underneath for modesty purposes. There's a (sort of) similar one here, also from ASOS and which is £25, so a really good price. I wanted to stop this outfit from being too floral and flouncy so I bought a bit of a "sporty spice" type t-shirt before I went away, just to add contrast. I love the blue in this skirt too and wanted to pick it up in a top.

The Silk Printed Maxi and Metallic Tee

Printed skirt Ridley London  and star T-shirt Hush (£35)

And last but not least, I borrowed this gorgeous silk printed skirt from Ridley London to photograph whilst I was away. Ridley make the most beautiful dresses, skirts and blouses out of a fabulous selection of liberty prints. If you can't see what you like in the fabric that you like on the website, just call the store and they can take an order over the 'phone.

Hush star T (£35)

So that's my somewhat lengthy outfit round up. I suspect that it may be a few weeks before I get a chance to wear any of these things again but when that warmer weather finally arrives, I'll be ready and waiting. And I hope that these bits and bobs have maybe given you some ideas too, even if it's a case of following the principles and tweaking them to your liking.

Oh and over on Instagram I've saved all the stories of me packing for our return to the UK. You may like to see the clothes in the "flesh" and I also thought that it was a good idea in case the suitcases went walk about. Until next time! xxx