BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY SPRING DRESSES

Dresses and breastfeeding are not mutually exclusive - you just have to find the right ones.

The best breastfeeding friendly dresses (and jumpsuits) I think are probably the ones that open at the front - although look out for dresses with a loose neck that can be pulled down or ones with massive sleeves/ arm holes that allow boob access from the side.

Marks & Spences have a couple of good options in at the moment here are my two favourites:

I love the lilac colour of this dress - it’s so pretty but I also like the modern cut of it. It can be worn both smart and casually. It would be great layered - you could wear a long sleeve polo neck (i’d probably go with a stripped one) and tights under it in the winter and then either bare arms or a short t-shirt in the summer.

Linen Rich Double Button Front Midi Dress £59 / Button Detailed Denim Jacket £35

This is such a good summer dress - super useful and perfect for both Summer in the city and on holiday. The style is very flattering and it is a great length. This is defiantely a ‘go to’ dress that when you can’t decide what to wear this one will never let you down.

Linen Blend Button Front Waisted Midi Dress £39.50 / Pom-Pom Clutch Bag £29.50

This post was kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencers and is part of my ongoing partnership with them. All words and choices are my own obviously.

Photography by Jane Looker

M&S JANUARY PICKS

This months’s M&S picks include the perfect crop loose jeans (I love M&S jeans), a very cool blazer, a cropped (Chanel / Clueless style) jacket and a cosy cardigan.

M&S jeans are some of my high street favourites - they fit well, do not go baggy after one ware and last. I’ve worn these jeans a lot since I bought them - dressed up with a sequin top and white boots and dressed down with t-shirt, cardigan and trainers. This style is called (High Waist Wide Leg Cropped Jeans) and is my current favourite.

Wear with: boots, bare ankles, funky socks and then sandals in the summer. They come in blue, black and ecru/white - I have them in every colour.


High Waist Wide Leg Cropped Jeans £29.50

I love this outfit - even though I am usually a pink person I do love a dabble in blue and blue is going to be big this Summer. This jacket is awesome, very cool and looks so great with jeans - it is comfortable too as it has a slight stretch.

I’d also like to draw attention to this white T-shirt. Perfectly cut t-shirts are quite hard to come by and this is a really good one - its great quality cotton, got nice long sleeves and is loose around the tummy which I like.

Pure Cotton Round Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt £22.50 /

Cardigans are back and I missed them, they are such a useful item of clothing. Love this tiger print one its so cosy and can be worn over everything and anything.

Animal Print Cardigan £25

LOVE this little box jacket - it actually comes with a matching skirt (I saw someone wearing it as a suit the other day and it looked very cool) it reminds me of something from the movie Clueless.

This post is part of my monthly retainer with Marks & Spencer, all thoughts and outfits are my own.

BRAND OVERVIEW: THEO + GEORGE

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: The company is named Theo + George, after the founders grandfathers.

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: The company was originally founded in 2014 but was completely rebranded and relaunched in 2017 with a new image and new collection.

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Theo + George was founded by Katie O’Riordan, a working mother of two. Katie, originally from Philadelphia, honed her craft by managing the outerwear department for a leading multinational sportswear company in the US, before settling in Ireland.

With a degree in physics and a background in architecture and fashion, Katie has taken her unique skills and applied them to her life’s passion. She has received increasing recognition for her work in the fashion industry - in 2015 she made the shortlist for the IDI Universal Design Award and was awarded the title of 2017 IFIA Fashion Designer of the Year.

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WHY WAS IT CREATED: Theo + George was born out of a need for high quality, comfortable and stylish basics that fit into every woman’s wardrobe and serve as the foundation for effortless dressing. Based on an ethos of buying less and choosing well, Katie creates exceptionally crafted pieces that work together and help to remove the excess of clutter from your wardrobe.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Theo + George, strive to do everything with social responsibility in mind; from the design process to choosing production partners, as well as giving thought to how the products are consumed and their end of life. When creating Theo + George, sustainability in fashion was at the forefront and Katie knew she wanted it at the core of the brand. Once you have learnt of the devastation, environmental impacts and human costs associated with the fashion industry, you can’t knowingly continue to ignore and at Theo + George, they continue to put that at the top of their priority list.

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WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: We work with some of the best cashmere factories in the world who offer 100% traceability and are BCSI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) approved. The factories are completely vertical and they buy their cashmere fibres directly from the herdsman from Tibet and Inner Mongolia, who have made sure to look after the health of their goats as well the careful combing of the hair to protect their skin - healthy goats are necessary for high-quality cashmere fibres year after year! As we only sell online we avoid those high retail costs and can pass on those savings to our customers.

We have a range of cashmere pieces including crew neck and turtleneck cashmere sweaters which are available in a range of colours as well as black and grey cashmere leggings – the ultimate in comfort.

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As the colder months roll in we’ve found ourselves living in bomber jackets. They’re the perfect piece for layering while ensuring to keep the cold at bay. Our Alannah Bomber Jacket is super sleek in design and made from ultra-soft black diamond quilted suede - it is the most luxuriously soft fabric we've ever felt. The lengthened sleeves are added for a modern twist, the hem, collar and cuff are finished with a rib detailing, and the lining is made of the most buttery lightweight satin fabric.

The Sarah Satin Bomber is a lighter weight sleeker sister to the Alannah bomber jacket. It’s cut from lustrous satin and fully lined. Zip detail up the back for design and function. Unzip a bit for a looser fit around your waist without losing the bomber aesthetic.

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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE - FASHION

Maybe our favorite guide to put together, although we’re wondering who this is actually for - us or them? Either way, any of these fashion forward choices will make someone very happy.

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Katie, the founder of Rogue Matilda entered the shoe business following years of frustration at the inability to find the perfect flat shoe: pumps were un-supportive, trainers unprofessional and traditional brogues unflattering. Rogues provided a fashionable, well-made, alternative to all this. Frogues is a capsule collection designed by Freddie Harrell for Rogue Matilda resulting in three unique designs named after three best friends: Anissa, Charlie and Winnie. The collaboration was born from a mutual love of brogues, colour and not taking life too seriously

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Carousel Jewels is a boutique London jewelry brand. They handcraft their pieces in 925 sterling silver and finish them with a 22 carat gold plating and bright coloured gemstones. All of their pieces are ethically produced in small quantities. These cluster hoops are with the same care and attention as all their pieces and finished with and pearl beads. The perfect alternative for hoop lovers!

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Rosa Bloom is an eclectic, playful clothing label, dreamt up in 2008 by founder Rosa Hirsch-Holland.  Both eye-catching and wearable, the brand has gained a cult following, with her loyal customers attracted to the sense of freedom and transformation that the clothes embody. This beautiful iridescent pink sequin cape occupies the beguiling space between ready-to-wear and costume and will elevate any outfit for any occasion.



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Inspired by Britain, home heritage and a genuine love for cashmere, Jumper 1234 is designed with a contemporary edge and a playful heart. All design work takes place in London - with Production based in Mongolia where the world's best cashmere is made. This Pop Art inspired, new Multi Snake jumper is lovingly printed in a selection of their favorite rainbow colours on a 100% Mongolian cashmere sweat.

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Bringing back her unique take on modern femininity, British designer Olivia Rubin has launched her Fall Winter 2018 collection, adding a touch of rock and roll glamour to the Olivia Rubin woman. This season Rubin introduces luxe fabrics such as sequins, sumptuous velvets, liquid gold wool mixes, and flowing silks, creating a more elevated sophistication. This sequined rainbow dress will take you straight through from Christmas to summer with elegant, colorful ease.

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Gussy and Louise design dynamic, fun-infused collection for ladies and kids, buzzing with energy and irresistible allure. Perfect for mum-and-mini matching, but not compulsory! Their laidback-luxe range, including throw-on, colour-popping cashmere, perfect party blouses and effortlessly cool neon embroidered jeans, make the perfect presents for loved ones or a cheeky gift to self! These new ladies ‘girlfriend’ style jeans with neon pink stripes are the perfect relaxed style to be dressed up or down.



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Edge of Ember jewelry comes with a clear conscience – no nasty stuff goes on behind the scenes. They work with artisan workshops and small-scale factories that are run in an ethical manner, that employ craftsmen superbly skilled in their trade. Fashion choices have a real impact on people and the environment, so they make sure that their production processes are kind to the people that make it.. This personalised necklace set is sure to please. Pick a special letter and their birthstone for an extra sparkly touch - and you get a customised necklace you can wear close to your heart.

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HOPEFUL is a sustainable premium accessories brand focusing on timeless and tactile pieces that have an almost comforting quality. Each bag is lovingly hand made by UK craftsmen and women minimizing the brands carbon footprint. They have curated a season-less sustainable range that will last and become more beautiful with age, using beautiful colours and and tactile materials with superior quality and a timeless feel. This beautiful slouchy Harlem clutch can be worn both ways featuring super soft black suede and subtle pewter nappa leather. The clutch can be folded or rolled, dressed down with a pair of boyfriend jeans or dressed up for an elegant night out.

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We couldn’t resist adding these to our gift guide - they are after all the perfect sunglasses for winter sun, wherever you are. DLAM called them The Everyone, because their shape suits - everyone! With a strong acetate frame and 5 barrel nickel hinges, high quality, scratch resistant lenses providing 100% UVA and UVB protection, they’re perfect for the slopes or the long haul beach destination. Available here!





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BRAND OVERVIEW: ROGUE MATILDA

Who doesn’t love cool, beautifully made flats with an edge? We certainly do.

We asked Katie, founder of brand Rogue Matilda to give us some background on the company

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Rogue Matilda

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2015, with the first full collection launching SS16

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Katie Matilda Harland

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WHY WAS IT CREATED: Katie entered the shoe business following years of frustration at the inability to find the perfect flat shoe: pumps were un supportive, trainers unprofessional and traditional brogues unflattering. Rogues provided a fashionable, well-made, alternative to all this. With added sass. She wanted to create a brand that offered reasonably priced luxury shoes for those who cared more about the quality, craft and materials, in juxtaposition to current high street offerings where design is paramount to quality, durability and comfort.

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WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: For the Rogue Matilda woman, her city is her catwalk and her style is an expression of her personality. The driving force behind the brand is to create playful flats that are not only comfortable but become the focal point of an outfit. This manifests itself in the use of eclectic materials such as pompoms, velvet, pony-skin and python effect leather, which have all become synonymous with the brands collections. This animalistic aesthetic coupled with premium leathers and suede’s creates the perfect fusion of classic and quirky, with a forever focus on reinventing the brogue.

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WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Buy from us if you want quality flat shoes without the designer price tag (our average price is £149-£185). Your Rogues will make you smile all day long and customers often get in touch to say they get complimented on their shoes every time they wear them out. Additionally due to the fact we have one brogue last and one sneaker last, once you know your size there are no nasty surprises between fit on different styles... so once you go Rogue, you rarely go back!

https://roguematilda.com/

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TRANSITIONAL PIECES FROM M&S

One of the many good things about the seasons changing is that it gives us the opportunity to wear different types of clothes - which is always fun. So this October I will be wearing…

LEATHER TROUSERS: These make a great change from jeans, go with everything and will become a firm favourite for the season and for the years to come. They can be styled with trainers or ankle boots, t-shirts or cosy knits.

LEOPARD LOAFERS: These shoes are so good - the quality and fit it spot on, they will update every outfit and you can wear them with tights, sparkly socks or bare feet.

Leather Block Heel Ring Detail Loafers £69 / Leather Straight Leg Trousers £199

LEOPARD PRINT SHIRT: I actually thought that leopard print had peaked but this season there seems to be more than ever. This shirt also ticks the 80’s/90’s vibe that is around at the moment. I love this pink velvet bag - such a statement but it also a great size.

Animal Print Long Sleeve Shirt £29.50 / Velvet Bucket Bag £29.50

CORDUROY: Corduroy is in (it’s been a while) these wine coloured cropped trousers are great. At the moment i’m wearing mine with a pink slogan T-shirt but no doubt this will soon be with a cosy knit.

Corduroy High Waist Cropped Trousers £35 / Pure Cotton Logo Print Short Sleeve Top £15

This post was created as part of my monthly partnership with Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, clothes choices, words and poses are my own.

Photography @janelookerphotography

(Trackable + affiliate links included)

THE LEOPARD PRINT SLIP DRESS

This is one of the most versatile dresses I have bought recently. I've worn it to a festival, a beach and to a meeting and I love it. Leopard print is still very much in this season and in my opinion is a neutral so goes with everything. Slip dresses are also having their moment so this is a good combo - plus it is £25 so very affordable.

Here are 3 ideas of ways to wear this dress but there are many more... Once the weather turns cold i'll be styling it with black tights, ankle boots and a chunky knit cardigan. It would also look cool with trainers and a denim jacket.

 

I love this jumper - the colours are great and it is chunky but not bulky.

These shoes are pretty cool too - purple velvet - perfect for the winter season. They are like wearing chocolate boxes on your feet.

Layering slip dresses is also a great way to style them - i'm wearing a simple white t-shit but a polo neck or colourful clashing print top could work too.

Animal Print Slip Midi Dress Price £25 / Jewel Trim Square Toe Loafers Price £29.50 / 

Leather Circle Cross Body Bag Price £89

Photographer @janelookerphotgraphy

This post is part of my ongoing collaboration with Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, words and outfit choices are entirely my own obviously. Affiliate links are included.

THE INVESTMENT SKIRT

I've always been a fan of investing in pieces that will last. In my experience (and wardrobe) i've found that the items of clothing I own that perhaps were a bit more expensive and better quality have lasted the test of time and been worn over and over again.

I don't necessarily believe that 'investment pieces' need to be classic pieces - I have a rainbow dress that I consider an investment piece but I do believe that you need to love them, and that they need to flatter your shape and be comfortable.

One of the items of clothing that has recently become part of my wardrobe staples is this leather skirt from Marks & Spencers. It is soft black leather, mid length with an elasticated waist and I love it. It's not cheap at nearly £200 but for what it is, coupled with the fact that this will last you a lifetime it seems a fair price.

Here are a few ways to style it. Although the possibilities are endless...

White t-shirt + trainers

This is how i'd wear the skirt for everyday - if i'm out shopping, meeting friends etc..

Sparkly top + sliders

It is easy to dress up with a simple sparkly top - sequins or silk would also work well.

The Statement Shirt 

For a fun day to night look i'd wear it with a fun silk shirt or colourful top and bright accessories.

DRESSING PREGNANCY IN THE SUMMER

Growing a human takes a long time! I am currently at the end of growing my third and feel like I have been pregnant in every season and for a very (very) long time.

I don't think there is a perfect time of year to be more or less pregnant and of course it totally depends on the individual woman, both in terms of what they do and how their body takes to pregnancy. Both Summer and Winter come with their own challenges, advantages and disadvantages.

But Summer is approaching and with it comes things like holidays, weddings and festivals as well as life, work and everyday life. All things that pregnant women partake in, while wearing clothes.

Dresses are great things to wear while you are pregnant in the summer, mainly because they are so comfortable and will keep you cool (many women struggle with getting hot). This pregnancy i've really hated waistbands especially at the beginning and end for some reason - so i've defiantely embraced the dress.

I think it is worth investing in dresses that you can breastfeed in afterwards or that you can wear once the bump is going down/gone. The advantages of wearing an official maternity dress is that they are cut especially to fit over a big belly so there won't be so much pull and the hem line should stay straight, however many non-maternity dresses still work well.

MATERNITY Pink Spotted Skater Dress £42 / Bobby Lobster Canvas Shopper Bag £26

Dresses can be layered too - this one for example would look great with a t-shirt worn underneath or with a chunky knit cardigan or denim jacket on top.

MATERNITY Zebra Print Ruffle Slip Dress £39 / Benny String Shopper Bag £22 

With maternity dressing generally I think it is important not to deviate from your usual style too much. There is so much change with your body anyway the last thing you should feel the need to do is change your image too.

If you usually wear shorts and skirts invest in maternity versions. You may also find that you can wear many of your existing tops - which if they become too short you can layer with a vest underneath or with a belly band.

Plus you will most probably be wearing these for a few months post birth and if you are short of money look out for them on second hand sites or sell them afterwards.

MATERNITY Colorado T-Shirt £18 / MATERNITY Ripped Ashley Shorts £29

Shirts are another great bump proof item of clothing - they look smart and are perfect for breastfeeding in afterwards. This one also comes in a non-maternity cut - the main difference is that the shirt is longer and wider around the waist - which for many is a more flattering cut anyway. It is also very soft against you skin and washable - something that once you are a mum things have to be.

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RALPH LAUREN'S POLO SHIRT

One of the items of clothing Ralph Lauren is renowned for his classic Polo Shirt. Ralph Lauren designed the original Polo shirt in 1972 after being inspired by the heritage and glamour of polo. He wanted to create a shirt that could be worn everywhere from the city to the beach, that would stand the test of time and that would get better with age. At the time the design and concept was innovative and new, but the style and design has proved itself over the decades by repeatedly being one of their top selling items. 

Ever since I can remember Ralph Lauren's Polo Shirt has been around - i've seen it styled and worn by so many different people (from politicians to pop princesses to the boys I used to hang out with at sixth form college).  Plus it is even soft and stretchy enough to accommodate an 8 month pregnant belly!

There are so many different styles and fits to the classic polo shirt including the Classic, Slim Fit, Boyfriend, Tailored, Sleeveless and more. They come in lots of colours, designs and patterns but all always have the embroidered polo player on the chest.

Ralph Lauren recently asked me how I would style their polo shirt - I've kept it simple with denim dungarees and skinny jeans. I think once my bump has gone (and my waist is back) i'll be tucking it in to a pleated skirt too.

This one is the Men's Custom Slim Fit - it is a loser, classic shape.

 

This is the Slim Fit women's - I like the way it is tailored in at the waist, the narrow shoulders and the low buttons.

The Polo shirt is a generation-less, timeless piece of clothing which has stood the test of time like nothing else. And, it is having a resurgence...do you have one in your wardrobe?

This post was kindly sponsored by Ralph Lauren.

Photography by @janelookerphotography / www.janelookerphoto.com

WARDROBE PICK ME UPS

This month's M&S pieces are the perfect items to give your wardrobe an easy update. None are 'maternity' but can all accommodate a swelling belly (if you need them too). 

First up is this stripped top, I have seen many takes on the breton top but this one has some good ingredients. I love the longer length and the frill on the 3/4 length arms, perfect for wearing over skinny trousers or jeans.  

Cotton Rich Striped Ruffle Cuff Tunic £25 / Multi Colour Cup Drop Earrings £12.50

I love this pale pink cotton dress, it is simple and flattering - I love the gathering around the waist and wrists. I'd wear this to a wedding but i'd also dress it down for everyday.

Pure Cotton Ruched Waist Tunic Midi Dress  /£65 / Cross Body Bag £12.50

This is a top of two halves - simple from the front but super fun and bright from the back. This is a great top for anyone who likes to avoid anything to tight around their waist as it hangs and fits really nicely.

These lilac shoes have got to be some of the most comfortable shoes i've ever worn (and I have tried on a lot of shoes). They are so soft plus are available in 6 different colours - there is a chance I might get them all...

Pleat Back Short Sleeve Shell Top £45 / Leather High Cut Ballerina Pumps £35

This post was kindly sponsored by Marks & Spencers and is part of my monthly collaboration with them.

VERSATILE M&S PICKS

This month my M&S picks are all about versatility - whether that be to accomodate a 6 month pregnant belly, or because you can wear them in all weathers or to any occasion or simply because they are very useful things to have in your wardrobe.

 

Interseason is the time in between seasons - when it is not quite spring but not quite winter or when it is not quite hot summer but it is getting summerey. Anyway you get the idea and whichever seasons you are between it is always a confusing time of year for dressing.

This floral dress is a great dress for all seasons (and incidentally perfect for maternity + breastfeeding). I've worn it with tights and boots (winter) but in a few months (summer) I will be wearing it with sliders and rolled up sleeves.

 

Floral Print Long Sleeve Shirt Midi Dress £45 / Wide Fit Leather Block Heel Ankle Boots £69

Do not underestimate how useful a good quality, classic design, black leather backpack is but also don't underestimate how hard it is to find one. I am always on the lookout which is how I spotted this one - it is perfectly balanced and will last a lifetime.

Leather Backpack Bag £59

These trousers are amazing - I am 6 months pregnant in these photos so I am only able to wear maternity trousers or ones with elasticated waists, comfort is always key for me but especially at the moment. These are as comfortable as tracksuit bottoms but at the same time are a checked print that look smart enough for work.

Cotton Blend Textured Trousers £27.50 / Round Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt £7.50

This is an ideal shirt for anyone who does not want to show too much tummy or bum off (or for someone who is pregnant). It is super smart and feels really premium. I've teamed it over jeans but would also wear it with a pencil skirt or over leather leggings.

Pure Cotton Striped Dipped Hem Shirt £39.50 / Sculpt & Lift Mid Rise Skinny Leg Jeans £35

This post is part of my ongoing collaboration with Marks & Spencers. All thoughts, words and outfit choices are entirely my own obviously.