Feeling a Little Ropey

Sometimes it’s the little details on clothing that really catch your eye and make a more impactful statement than you think possible. Last summer I bought the most simple looking stripe dress from Zara, it was about £20-25, but the thing that elevated it and made it feel much more expensive, and the main focus of the compliments I received, was the rope detail straps.

There is of course something very nautical about rope details on clothing, especially if it’s teamed with stripes, but it can also bring a tribal element when used in jewellery or footwear, and for me a simple rope belt can be the sophisticated finishing touch to any elegant outfit. Just look at the below and variety of looks that can be achieved.

(All images via Pinterest)

The first couple of images in that montage (green and yellow outfits) are from previous Balmain collections.  When Balmain teamed up with H&M last year for one of the hottest high street/designer collabos ever, it was also a look they recreated for us mere fashion mortals.  You can probably still track pieces down on Ebay if you’re prepared to pay the inflated prices.

Another catwalk fav of mine, Isabel Marant, uses rope detailing on footwear, from ankle tie flats to chunky heels, or as a belt to cinch in the waist on a over-sized sleeveless jacket and tunic style dresses – this is my preferred way to wear.  I’m currently lusting over a little ASOS number that mirrors this Marant style so perfectly, but probably not right now with a big old baby bump!

So if you’re looking to give an old dress a new lease of life with cool accessories, or just treat yourself to something new, maybe these high street offerings aren’t as ‘ropey’ are you’d think.


Back to Basics

It’s heading towards that exciting end of the month, pay day weekend, which means many of us will once again be heading out for a splurge at the shops.  Quite often if I’ve been good and I’m looking forward to a little retail therapy, end up gravitating toward statement purchases, special occasion pieces or items that you can only wear once in a while because you fear people will recognise something from the last time you wore an outfit.  This is probably because it’s always nice when someone compliments you on a bag, top, pair of shoes or new coat, but my current obsession is for finding really nice basics.

My latest lusting is for the perfect navy t-shirt, which is currently proving as elusive as the  fashion industry fav, grey marl tee.  It may seem like the easiest of items to purchase, but trust me it’s not.  There is the cut and fit to worry about, the material it’s been produced in and then that all important shade of navy, but I know the search will be worth it because staples like these make all those statement purchases work with the rest of your wardrobe.

Lets take the understated navy tee for example, easy to throw on with jeans and trainers when you’re on the school run, but then incredibly chic when teamed with leather trousers, blazer and heels for cocktails with the girls.  It’s also a trans-seasonal (sorry for the jargon) piece which can be layered up with chunky knits, little jackets or under a denim shirt, then sun’s out gun’s out and it’s the perfect accompaniment to your favourite cut offs and patterned skirts be it mini or maxi.

So whilst I’ve been scouring the high street and the internet I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourites, and if you’ve tracked down a better basic let me know.

Put Your Shoulders To It

So Winter has finally made an appearance and it’s cold, actually its freezing but I can’t stop planning (and buying) clothing for my summer wardrobe, and in particular anything that’s showing off a bit of shoulder.

There is something so sexy about a little shoulder action, in an understated way rather than being overtly sexy.  I’m also thinking if you are off anywhere fancy and want to flash a little flesh at this time of year this is most definitely the way to do it.

Although most of us are probably purchasing jumpers, jackets and roll necks right now, the stores are slowly starting to fill up with nice little pieces of Spring inspired delights. Off the shoulder and one shoulder looks dominated the SS16 catwalks regardless of the interpretation – 70’s, stripes, minimalist, making this a key look to invest in and giving maximum bang for your buck.

(All images via Pinterest)

And if you’re hitting the high street here’s my hot-list not to be given the cold shoulder.

(All images via PR Shots)

Style Staple – The Shirt.

Classic, minimalist, collarless, sleeveless, over-sized – I’m taking about the humble shirt.

Shirts have become a wardrobe essential for me, a go to item of clothing that can be worn for work or play, desk to dinner (or disco), and all that stuff in-between.

Not long ago the white cotton shirt was only really thought of as part of a working woman’s wardrobe, probably ironed to within an inch of it’s life and a bit stuffy.  Now it’s been elevated to classic, cult status and it’s not hard to see why.  You can easily transcend any of the seasons hottest trends, and can be team your shirt with anything from ripped jeans to a leather pencil skirt.  Just look at these for inspiration (images from Pinterest).

My fail safe shirt is a denim one, actually I have two and both are from the awesome ASOS, a dark denim version and in light of recent events with my growing tummy that is housing baby Stevens no 2, I’ve had to dig out a light washed, maternity shirt, that I would happily wear whilst not pregnant it’s that good!

In the Summer time (when the weather is fine), I love to rock a little double denim look with cut offs and gladiators, but when the sunshine fades and it’s time to layer up I love a big chunky knit over the top of my shirt.  Depending on the neckline of the jumper I do both button up and open collar, but always have a rolled up sleeve with a little denim cuff peeping out the bottom, it’s such a silly little styling trick but it instantly makes an outfit look cool.  I’m forever pushing up the sleeves on clients jumpers, blazers, leather jackets and shirts!  Just take a look at the way this J Crew beauty is put together, it’s just two items, a shirt and a skirt, but the styling of it takes things to another level.

J crew Pinterest

So step of of the office and experiment with some styling, I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly a shirt will become your new wardrobe hero. Here’s my hot picks right now.

Tangerine Dream

So September arrives and along comes the wind, rain and grey skies!  Its not all bad though as the high street is full of all the new autumn/winter trends we’ve been drooling over in those September issues.  But if you’re not quite ready to let go of the summer just yet then there is one colour that will still bring a little sunshine to your wardrobe, for now and throughout the cooler season…we’re talking orange.

Of course we associate orange with sweltering summers, sun shine and possibly fake tan! But orange also evokes thoughts of autumn, when the leaves turn and start to fall and big bright orange bonfires in November.

Fashion favourites’, Jourdan Dunn and Olivia Palermo, have been working the colour for months, and the AW15 catwalks were awash with orange in all variations, which has now filtered down into the high street.





I bet you thought ‘Orange? No Way’! But I’m wondering if now that you’ve seen the spectrum of colour you have to play with whether I’ve convinced you to give it a go?  Whether you doing some last minute summer holiday shopping, or already stocking up on AW wardrobe essentials here are my tangerine dreams on the high street right now.

(Catwalk and celebrity images from Pintrest)