Posts Tagged ‘style’

Dresses for Spring and Summer

Monsoon dress

The children spent an hour just scooting up and down the street outside our house today. They didn’t have coats on, we left the front door open, and they only stopped because they got hungry and thirsty. For the first time in months, we were outside, without coats on, in full sunshine under a bright blue sky – and we were warm. Spring is finally here.

I can’t wait to update my wardrobe with a few bits for the warmer weather. I’m on a *very* tight budget though, and so when High Street Outlet got in touch and asked if I’d like to pick a few items to review, I felt very lucky – what perfect timing.

I’d not heard of High Street Outlet before, but they buy in factory surplus stock from high street stores – and then sell it for a fraction of the price. Often, the brand’s labels are cut out but since I don’t really care what the label on the inside of my clothes says or doesn’t say – this doesn’t bother me at all!

There’s so much choice on the site, but the first thing that caught my eyes was this lovely Monsoon Aztec shift kaftan dress. In sheer navy, this beautifully embroidered dress comes with an underslip and is super comfy and easy to wear. It’s classic Monsoon – something a bit different, a bit smart, a bit boho, and works in so many situations. So far, it’s a work dress, an evening dress, and a dress I’m definitely packing for our holiday in the sun later this month for warm evenings chilling at the hotel. I still can’t get over that such a stunning dress is only £22.50 – it really is something special!

 

Monsoon dressMy other favourite was this Boden Lupin maxi dress. At £24.99 it’s another fabulous bargain and something I know I’ll get lots of wear out of from now until at least September. I’m only five foot two, but I love a long dress because they’re so easy to wear all summer – and, like the Monsoon dress, this will get worn on lots of occasions and definitely be coming with me on holiday. (It’s also SO lovely to find a maxi dress that doesn’t need hemming. Hurrah!

The very pretty and extra comfy gold strappy flats from Monsoon/Accesorize were my final bargain from HighStreet Outlet. They were only £12.99 and I plan to wear them with everything!

 

Boden maxi dressIf you’re near Poole, Dorset, make sure to check out Highstreet Outlet ‘in real life’ as they open their doors once a month to the public. And if you’re not, enjoy having a browse online – there’s lots to choose from, and if it’s a bargain, you can justify getting something else as well… right?

*Disclosure: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. 

The little black jumpsuit that could…

Black Zara Jumpsuit with gold belt and vintage statement necklace from Joules

After spending about a month dreaming about a black jumpsuit from Zara, I decided it was time to add it to my wardrobe last week. Although I’d already been eyeing it up from afar, I’d also been finding plenty of excuses not to buy it. I was too old, it would be annoying to get out of when I needed the toilet, I was too short. My list of excuses went on.

Until last week, when I saw it on the hanger, tried it on, and decided relatively quickly that actually, I loved it.

Black Zara  Jumpsuit with gold belt and vintage statement necklace from Joules

I wore it on Friday for the first time (to the Britmums Live 2015 conference), and realised I’d been a bit silly worrying about it for so long. I’m in my 30s, I’m not too old to wear what is essentially a vest and trousers. I have no idea why I’d been so daft.

Wearing this lovely little black crepe number made me feel pretty confident and happy – which is of course always a win. It reminded me to have a little fun with my clothes again, no matter how happy or sad I am with my body when I wake up in the morning.

It’s usually dresses which cheer me up, but this weekend, it was the jumpsuit that did it. Yes, it was a bit of a faff going to the toilet (especially at the end of the night, but that may have been the gin…) but I also felt a lot more glam than I usually do in trousers. I love being in all black, and teamed with wedge sandals, a little gold leather belt, and a vintage-style Joules necklace – my outfit was all about the things I like style-wise as well as having a bit of a different edge to it. Wearing black with bold accessories will always be one of my favourite looks, yet the jumpsuit definitely gave it a refresh.

In my mind, this has become the little black jumpsuit that could…

It reminded me to have fun with my clothes again, to dress up when I feel like it, and to enjoy wearing what I want. It’s amazing what a simple little outfit can do!
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Style Me Sunday

Silver ballerinas and navy pants – my current loves

Street style navy trousers and silver pumps

I am constantly looking for the perfect commuting shoes. I don’t have far to walk – about ten minutes from the tube and five minutes through the station at Kings Cross – but I can’t bear shoes which are uncomfortable for every day.

I’m not even on my feet much at work, but I have a few basic requirements for my shoes – they have to be pretty and the have to be comfy. My feet seem to have got wider since I’ve had the kids though, and finding comfortable shoes isn’t as easy as it once was.

I’ve found the perfect pair though, so I thought I’d share them. They’re a lovely pair of silver ballerinas from Fit Flop. I’ve been living in them, and not just on the commute.

zara4

Tony snapped me in them – he calls them my granny shoes but I don’t care – on our way to a weekend barbecue. I’ve been wearing them with jeans, ankle skimmers, patterned capris – and my favourite trousers of the moment.

These navy viscose pants from Zara are super comfy and nice and light for the very welcome warmer weather. I’m a bit over jeans at the moment and feeling pretty unhappy with my body – but these just hang well and hide the bits I’m miserable about!
zara trousers2So, there you have it – my current loves. A really simple but perfect pair of navy trousers (in fact, I love navy in general right now!) and my silver ballet shoes. Wearing them with a silky vest and cardi is my current default going out outfit. This weekend I also took out my favourite bowler – an LK Bennet number from about ten years ago, and a floral H&M bomber. Because yes, I remember the first time!fit flop silver ballerinas , H&M bomber , navy zara trousers

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Style Me Sunday

Spring Summer 2015 – For Mums

mums summer wardrobe mummy fashion must haves

I’ve been dreaming about summer dresses recently, but because it’s been so cold for this time of year, I’ve not really been wearing them. Instead, my wardrobe feels like it’s been stuck in ‘spring 2015′ for ages, even though we’re just about reaching ‘summer 2015′. With the warmer weather in sight, just, I’m at last starting to shed the extra layers. But given how fickle the British summer can be, I know I better not get too excited.

And so, I’ve done a quick round-up of the things I’m wearing loads at the moment, the pieces I’ll be wearing as the weather finally gets warmer, the bits and bobs I’ll be layering no matter what the weather, and the lovelies I’m lusting over. It’s all, as you’ll see, comfort and practical. I work in the office four days a week, and I spend three days a week at home with my littles. My clothes get put through their paces!

spring summer for mums

I’ve started with dresses. I love maxi dresses over summer because they require so little planning. Just pop it on and you’re good to go. I’m hoping to treat myself to this Boden number, and for a short dress, I’ve got my eye on another Boden piece. Capped sleeves are my saviour (they hide my too-soft upper arms and the dress I’ve got my eye on is fun but easy for every day. I don’t have loads of time to get ready in the morning, so clothes I don’t need to think too much about always win. As you know I’ve also got my eye on a jumpsuit for this year, and this Boden once fits the bill. I’m already picturing it with heels on a rare night out!

A rucksack is perfect for chasing littles around the playground – or doing anything with them in fact, because it gives you two hands free! This super-smart Michael Kors leather option gets my vote and it would work just as well when not with the kids too.

You know I’m partial to a statement necklace and this Boden number will go with everything. It’s not too glitzy either – perfect for a Breton or cashmere jumper (this gorgeous one is from Hush). I’ve also got a few summer blazers and light jackets on the go, but none as versatile as this one from Zara – isn’t it great?

I’m a big fan of printed trousers, boyfriend jeans and skinny jeans. They’ll be my summer wardrobe again this year. I’ve tried wide legs, but I just can’t commit! As for shoes, I’ve barely taken off these silver Fit Flop silver ballerinas because they are so practical for commuting and days with the kids. And even though they are so comfy, the wedge gives me a little height and the silver makes me feel a bit glam. There’s just something about silver shoes… For total dress down moments though, vintage New Balance are where it’s at for me this season. I’ve got my eye on these lovely grey ones. What are you wearing while it’s not quite summer?

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The Perfect Jumpsuit for Summer

jumpsuits zara H&M Stella McCartney

I’ve been wondering about whether to get a jumpsuit for ages. Every time I’m about to take the plunge, I convince myself that either I’m too old or too short or they’re too much effort to go to the bathroom in… But, finally, about two years after everyone else, I’ve found one that could finally make my mind up for me. Look how lovely it is…

Zara jumpsuit

It’s a Zara jumpsuit that’s online now and – basically, I love it. The high waist and gathering around the top of the trousers are the features that are calling me me. I also love that the suit is so simple and could be worn with flats or heels.

I’ve also been admiring this Stella McCartney number – although you would bake in it over summer!
stella mccartney jumpsuitThere’s so many printed jumpsuits around at the moment too and while I think these would be so much fun to wear, I don’t think I’d have the confidence to pull one off. Here’s my current favourites though – let me know which ones you love. I’m definitely still picking the plain black Zara number as my favourite!

jumpsuits zara H&M Stella McCartney

 

What I Wore – A Weekend in Paris

photo (14)

Packing for our weekend in Paris was so hard for lots of reasons. Firstly, I had kept the booking a surprise from Tony – so all the packing had to be done in secret. Secondly, we were only going for two days so it was really hard to choose what to take! Lastly, I knew I had to pack light because lugging a heavy bag on the Eurostar wouldn’t be much fun.

Luckily, the forecast was for dry weather – so I didn’t have to worry about waterproof layers. I opted largely for practicality because I knew we would do a lot of walking – but I still took some things with me that I really love. And so – here’s my weekend in Paris look… weekend in paris clothesStarting at the bottom – I took two pairs of super comfy flats from Dune and they were definitely the right choice because we walked for miles. I teamed them up on the first day with a spotty cropped trousers and super skinny jeans (both Boden) on the second day. I stuck with grey, red, silver and blue as my colours so everything could be mixed and matched. A grey wool Banana Republic blazer-style jacked kept me warm – and I definitely needed it in the spring breeze. A light blue cashmere scarf was also really useful in the wind, and my country garden Notting Hill tote from Pink Lining (where I work) was the perfect travel and sightseeing bag.

I took my favourite dress of the moment, the Jacques Vert petite spot tiered dress – because I love it – and it was absolutely perfect for our evening meal in a very traditional French bistro. I had lots of wine and chocolate that evening – and then we walked to the Eiffel tower. It was the perfect dress for a perfect evening!

I think if I’d have had another day I would have taken another pretty dress for the daytime – but I’ll just have to make sure we stay for longer next time!

paris meal

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Style Me Sunday

My Perfect Party Dress – by Jacques Vert Petite

I’ve just found the dress I’m going to be wearing again and again this summer. In fact, I’m so taken with the the Jacques Vert Petite Spot Tiered Soft Dress that I haven’t been able to wait for summer to wear it.

It got its first outing, complete with a wool black coat and a cashmere scarf, last month. I’m so pleased the weather has finally cheered up though so I can show it off properly on its next outing. Here’s a little peek at it on my birthday though – it was a freezing evening so I had to wrap up!

Jacques Vert petite spot tiered dress

I adore the length of this dress and it’s only because it’s from a petite range that it works so well on me. At 5 foot 2 inches, dresses can swamp me – so top marks to Jacques Vert for their line of petite dresses.

As soon as I lifted this dress out of the box I knew I’d have to wear it for my birthday party. It’s a gloriously soft, light fabric which hangs perfectly and I love the dots. I was initially a little worried about the tiered effect and how it would make me look, but actually it was incredibly flattering and hung really well. The little capped sleeves were super flattering too. (My upper arms are my least favourite area of my body and I hate having them on display!)
Jacques Vert petite dress

I loved the cowl neckline of this dress and was so refreshing to be wearing a smart, tailored dress that didn’t swamp my height or cling to any bumps. You can see why I’m going to get lots of wear out of it!

I’m already a Jacques Vert fan, and so when the team got in touch to tell me about the new range of petite dresses for spring summer 2015 I was delighted. Dresses are my absolute favourite wardrobe item, but if they’re not a petite cut, they don’t always work.

This dress though really does work. And it’s going to be a dress which comes out for weddings, summer garden parties and any semi-smart occasion I have coming up over spring summer 2015. It is so easy to wear and yet also definitely special – I felt really good in it, and any dress that makes you happy is a winner in my book.

jacques vert petite spring summer dress

For my birthday, I wore this dress with a coat and scarf because it was freezing, and I also wore flats. This is because Tony and I went for a drink along London’s South Bank in the afternoon, then walked (via the tube) to a restaurant in Hoxton and then headed on to a bar near Old Street tube. I needed the flats! (I did make sure to sit down lots with glasses of champagne though too!)

jacques vert dress

Everyone loved my dress and it was the perfect choice for a semi-smart evening with friends to celebrate my birthday. It saw me through drinks, dinner and more drinks, and while we were inside because of the weather, it would have been ideal for an outdoor party.

The dress comes with the most gorgeous flower pin which would look divine on its own on a black blazer with anything – even jeans. Or, equally, it would be the perfect pin on a shawl to cover up with on a summers evening at a party in this dress.

jacques vert flower

This dress is going to get another outing this weekend to somewhere very exciting. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram @kiranchug to see where! For now though, have another look at just how lovely this dress really is!

jacques vert petite spot dress

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Pretty Things Brightening Up Spring

boden bag

There’s a few little things that have been brightening up spring for me. Yes, getting out with the kids, the great new book I’m reading, the promise of longer evenings – all those things are just glorious. But, there’s a few more frivolous things that are making me smile too. So I thought I’d share them.

First up is my new Boden handbag. How beautiful is this? I was in two minds about the colour but once I got it I knew I’d made the right choice. Talk about a bold shade for spring. It’s perfect with denim or relaxed trousers, and a good size for every day. There’s already a pack of wipes, an empty box of raisins, one purple crayon and a pulled-out hairband at the bottom.

boden bag

I’ve been looking for animal print flats for ages. Well, I’ve been looking for heels too, but that’s another story… These gorgeous beauties were sent to me from Atterley Road and they’ve been making me happy since I pulled them out of the box a few weeks ago. I’ve been pairing them with my skinnies on the school run and also with black cigarette trousers for the day.atterley road shoes

Lastly, what’s not to love about a statement necklace? This has found its way onto my neck for the office, for playdates, for girl’s night… you get the idea. Usually with a plain Tshirt, it’s my current bling of choice. I’ve posted before about another statement necklace that’s a favourite of mine (this Joules number here) but this one is a little smaller and more manageable – but still makes a statement. It makes me feel totally glam whenever I wear it. What’s more, a beautiful friend gave it to me for Christmas, so wearing it makes me think of how lucky I am to have her in my life.necklaceSo there you have it, a few little pieces that I am loving this spring. What are your favourite things right now?

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Time to Ditch Skinny Jeans for Wide-Leg Jeans?

Zara wide leg jeans

I think it might be time for a little change. I know this is a frivolous thing, but I’m thinking of switching my skinny jeans for some wide-leg jeans.

It’s a big move though, isn’t it? I love my skinny jeans and I wear them probably more than anything else in my wardrobe. I love being in dresses, I’m partial to printed trousers – but nothing beats my skinnies for a day with the kids and the inevitable playground mission/walk in the mud/trip to soft play/painting session.

Despite all that… I’ve been eyeing up some wide-legged jeans… and they’re calling me. Don’t these look rather wonderful?

Zara wide leg jeans

They’re wide leg jeans from Zara and they are top of my shopping list right now.

I was (as you do) idly browsing the Zara site on Saturday night when I mentioned on Twitter that I was thinking of getting something like these and having a break from my skinnies. I was amazed by the response. It appears that we do love our jeans!

So many people who answered felt the same as me – they loved their skinnies, leaving them would be a big move. But the wide-legs and flares that are pushing their way onto racks this season are appealing, and not only because we all remember them from the first time!

I think that I’m going to take the plunge. I’m usually in super skinnies in indigo or forest green from Boden and a very pale blue and a mid-blue pair of high-rise skinnies from Gap – but I’m ready for a change. Even though I know that these skinnies basically look good with every top, every jacket, and every pair of shoes – I’m willing to try something new! I don’t need to give up my skinnies for good either – I can always wear both.

Before taking the plunge with my own pair of new jeans though, I’m going to try out some hand-me-downs to see how I get on with them. My beautiful sister kindly gave me her old 7 For All Mankind Dojo jeans. They’re lighter than these ones – but have a look at them here (I’ve got to get them taken up for me, so I can’t show you them on yet!)

7 for all mankind dojoI’m only five feet and two inches, so I’ll be wearing these with heels underneath – I’m thinking wedge sandals or clogs when the weather warms up, or high-heeled shoe-boots before then. Come summer, it’ll be flip flops and sandals all the way.

It’s funny now to think it took me ages to get into skinnies. I’ve put on a bit of weight recently though and I wonder if a wider fit might suit me a bit better and be a little more comfortable? I will keep you posted!

In the meantime, let me know, do you think I’m best off sticking with the skinnies?

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What He’s Wearing – Spring Summer Picks for Men

House of Fraser Barbour mens shirt

At this time of year I love pushing my winter woolies to the back of my wardrobe and dreaming about warmer days. I usually have a good clothing clear-out and like to treat myself to a few new spring/summer items. I’ve got a few posts lined up about what I’ll be wearing when the weather finally gets warmer, but, today, I’m doing something a little different. I’m turning the blog spotlight onto Tony. (Still can’t believe he agreed to this!)

When House of Fraser got in touch last month and asked if we would like to work with them on a post about menswear for spring Summer 2015 I immediately said yes. And then I asked Tony.

The thing is, Tony’s not particularly interested in clothes. He wears clothes which are functional, and that means he wears them right out before finally investing in anything new. He wears a casual shirt to work each day and usually replicates that look at the weekend. I sometimes dare to buy his shirts for him, but it’s risky. He usually waits for years and years before going and doing the job himself.

He was lucky enough to receive the new Barbour Pailsey Print Hawk Shirt from House of Fraser though, and as far as spring/summer menswear goes – I think it’s a winner. He’s been saving it up for weekend wear which is high praise – it’s too nice for work!

House of Fraser Barbour mens shirtI don’t think the kids have really noticed Daddy’s new threads, but I like the fact that it’s smarter than denim and the cotton is pure luxury to touch – so soft!

house of fraser shirt

As you can see, Tony thought this was the perfect shirt of mucking around with the kids in the garden and fields on a sunny day! He did also wear it out to dinner with friends though and I was pretty pleased with him – it looked brilliant.

house of fraser barbour menswear spring summer shirtI’ve been having a look at the other House of Fraser casual shirts for spring summer 2015 and I reckon Tony’s is my favourite. Here are some of the others that caught my eye though. First up is this Barbour Steve McQueen shirt with short sleeves. I think the print is so much fun and perfect for barbecues with friends.

Barbour Steve McQueen Navy Classic Fit Short Sleeve Shirt This Aramani jeans check shirt has Tony written all over it. He can’t get enough of checks and so it’s great to see they’ll be in the shops again this summer.Armani Jeans Tartan Check Long Sleeve ShirtLast up is another Armani jeans shirt. How lovely is it? If Tony wore this on one of our (rare) dinner dates, I’d be very happy!Armani Jeans All Over Logo Print Shirt in BlackWhat are you hoping your man will be wearing this spring summer?

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