Posts tagged dresses
HAVANA BRIGHTS

If you are regular reader you know that I'm a colour lover. I believe that beige is a waste of space where a colour could be so when Marks & Spencer asked if I would like to review their Havana trend for their Style + Living section I jumped at the chance.

Yellow - the colour of happiness. Lots of people think that yellow won't suit them but there are so many different shades that it is likely you can find one that does. This dress has the power to change you and the people around you's mood.

Tiered Cuff Detail Long Sleeve Midi Dress £49.50

Blue - is an easy to wear colour and this top is a flattering style. Perfect for both the beach and town, jeans / shorts.

Pure Cotton Embroidered Sleeve Blouse £35

Tropical Flowers - if you aren't ready to go for full on brights or full on florals then this is a great jumpsuit. It is super comfortable and the wrap style is flattering - great for every day and for summer events.

Printed Frill Sleeve Jumpsuit with Belt £39.50

“The most important thing with any outfit, whatever the shade, is that you like it, wear it with confidence and always accessorise with a big smile – because life is just too short to wear boring clothes.” Please read the full article here.

Photos by @janelookerphotography

LOVED & FOUND AT JOHN LEWIS

John Lewis's loved&found section is a collection of fashion, beauty products, accessories and lifestyle brands  curated around a theme and title. Collections include Dressing Up BoxBalearic Beach Club and World Beach.

loved&found is a great way to discover new products and brands that you might not have thought to shop. When a website is as large as John Lewis's it can be hard to know where to begin, so a good place is an already curated edit of interesting brands.

I have found so many things in loved&found that I like. 

Star Mela £110 / Soludus £59

I  love a summer smock dress - so comfortable, flattering, practical, can be worn if you are pregnant and will last a lifetime of summers. I also love shoes with pineapples on, neither of which i would have thought to shop for at John Lewis. My bag is by Star Mela who I have been a fan of for ages, this is a perfect all round summer bag for work, beach, nappies etc.

Star Mela £70

From the Dress Up Box collection I love this black and white spotted dress, I might wear it for wedding I have coming up and it would become a really useful dress to have in your wardrobe - It could be worn with any colour, with or without a jacket, with bright coloured shoes/ sandals flat or heeled, it could also be worn casually or to work, you could wear a t-shirt underneath it or a jumper over it.

Another thing that caught my eye was this silver jacket, the good thing about metallic coloured things is that they go with everything (metallic is a neutral in my world) and can be worn anywhere. I would wear this dressed down with jeans or dressed up to a smart event or party.

Baum und Pferdgarten Adia Strap Dress £289 / Darling London Dulcie Coat £109

Another couple of brands i have discovered via loved&found are contemporary, fair trade jewellry brand Mirabelle and Scandi inspired British brand Waven (pronounced ‘who-vuhn’).

 Mirabelle Palm Tree Pendant Chain Necklace £57 / Waven Caaren Loose Jumpsuit £70

I love leopard print everything and I can see that this leopard print jumper is probably going to become one of my staples, (as well as metallics) I believe a leopard print to be a neutral too.

COMPANY: BEG BORROW BUY

Beg Borrow Buy is a new clothes rental service that basically allows you to borrow/rent a super cool dress to wear for an event and then return it afterwards.

They have a range of high street and designer dresses to choose from, in a range of sizes for a variety of occasions. Once you have selected your dress you can rent it for 4 days or 8 days, you wear it and then return it in the prepaid envelope, they then have it cleaned ready for the next person to rent it.

I borrowed a stunning Kooples dress that i've had my eye on for a while (but couldn't afford to buy) and a super cool black and white striped dress - both of which would be perfect for weddings, parties, events, meetings etc. I was sorry to see them go back, but its fine as I can just borrow them again.

This is a really great service and idea - you get to wear an amazing dress at a fraction of the price without having to invest in something you many only wear a couple of times. 

Beg Borrow Buy was founded by Natalie, who after seeing dresses she'd invested in and not worn for a while gathering dust decided there must be another way... Here is what she wants us to know about her company:

NAME OF COMPANY: Beg Borrow Buy

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: June 2016

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Natalie Getreu

WHY WAS IT CREATED: I found myself constantly being torn between wanting to buy beautiful and unique pieces for the events and special occasions I had coming up and trying to be economically responsible - especially living in London! More often than not I couldn’t resist the urge and the pieces I invested in, whilst I loved, were only worn once or twice and then just ended up sitting in my wardrobe, occasionally borrowed by a friend but otherwise just gathering dust. Which is how the idea of Beg Borrow Buy was born. I thought it would be great to have a virtual closet where I could wear new and special pieces for every event and party for a fraction of the price. Plus given our items are delivered straight to our customers door, and there is no dry cleaning involved, it really is an easy option for everyone!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Beg Borrow Buy is not just tailored to the luxury and designer market. Rather our distinctive collection is a mix of vintage, designer, and contemporary high street labels from around the world. This makes our brand not only unique but an affordable and stylish option for all budgets.

WHAT WE SHOULD BORROW FROM YOU: You can’t go wrong with black, and our back to black debut collection features a number of black dresses in a variety of styles and sizes so there is something for everyone.

Photography by: Jane Looker Photography / @janelookerphotography

DRESS LIKE A MUM ON A HOLIDAY

My family and I recently went to Kos, Greece with Mark Warner holidays and we had such a great time! Since having children the way we holiday has changed - in order to have to a relaxing time I have worked out that I need to eliminate cooking, cleaning and constant kid entertainment - which are the main things that Mark Warner do so well.

MELISSA ODABASH £140 (was £320) - I love this dress - so comfortable and flattering, the perfect thing to wear pre / post beach.

A typical day on our Mark Warner holiday consisted of waking up and going to the breakfast buffet (which had everything from freshly made smoothies, to a full English, to pancakes). We would then drop the kids off at Mini Club which is like a massive play room, with super friendly staff, loads of toys, crafts and activities - my son went sailing, windsurfing, swimming and played tennis. Then my husband and I would RELAX - we'd either go to the pool, to the beach (i actually read a book!) or to play tennis. We would then pick the kids up at lunchtime and have lunch in the restaurant together. 

LOVE MOSCHINO £110 (was £210)

The afternoon was spent with the kids by the pool, in our room, in the playgound and at the beach. We would then take the kids for dinner at 5.30ish and at 7.30pm we'd take them to movie night at the Mini Club - where all the kids sit together and watch a film before getting into their little camp beds and all going to sleep in a row. We would then go for a drink(s) at the beach bar before heading up to dinner. After dinner we would collect the kids (asleep) and carry them back to our room.

The whole holiday worked so well - it is a tried and tested formula where both the parents and kids have a brilliant time.

We went to Lakitira resort - it has tennis courts, swimming pools, beaches. As well as Greece Mark Warner also go to Sardinia and Corsica.

Of course being on holiday and somewhere with good weather all the time  gave me a perfect excuse to pose by some Greek walls in some amazing summer clothes. 

SENSI STUDIO bag £117 (was £195) / Pom Pom Sandals £110 / Toolally Earrings £45 

Iris & Ink dress £125 / Jigsaw leather clutch £34 (was £69)

More of my holiday outfits can be found over on my Instagram @dresslikeamum.

BAUKJEN SALE PICKS

I have written about Baukjen before, it's a brand that i have only really come across this past year but that i have been really impressed with. They do great quality, versatile basics that can be dressed up and down, that wash well and last.

I have some perfect leather leggings that i got last year and lived in, i think they were my most useful item of winter clothing - definitely worth the investment. I have also recently got a mint green leather biker jacket (of dreams), the leather is so soft and it fits perfectly.

The other thing to look out for is matching tops/ shirts and trousers which are great if you are a different size on your top to your bottom and can't find a jumpsuit that fits - if you get them as separates it gives the illusions of wearing a jumpsuit but will be your perfect size.

Chambray Jumpsuit £87 (was £145) / Dress £83 (was £139) 

Baukjen also do great sales (i love sales) and have the kind of things in the sales that you don't regret buying! Here are some of my top picks from the current sale:

Jumpsuit £77 (was £129) / Chambray Shirt  £76 (was £109) / Shirt £69 (was £99) /  Jumpsuit £74 (was £149) / Trousers £54 (was £109) / Skirt £83 (was £119) 

This post is in collaboration with Baukjen but all thoughts are (totally) my own!

BRAND: RIYKA

I have written about London brand Riyka before - they are a husband and wife team (Rebecca and Vedran) who make super cool, contemporary clothes in a sustainable and ethical way using reclaimed, organic and (where possible) British made fabrics.

All the clothes are designed in the UK and are made in a fair-wage, sustainable, atelier in Bulgaria. Riyka's designs are timeless, bold, confident and classic and do not follow trends. Their latest collection includes some super cool oversized dresses and interesting, flattering tops.

Brooke dress £137 (I'm wearing size S)

I love Riyka - it's so refreshing to discover brands and wear things that have been created by talented people with integrality, passion and with a strong belief and confidence in what they are doing - and because you can see and feel it in the clothes.

Photographer: Matt Lain photographer and Toni Caroline stylist

BRAND: Naomi Purkiss Boutique

Naomi Purkiss Boutique make made to order bespoke clothing, from unusual bright coloured and bold pattered fabrics. Her designs and styles are flattering and unique, and due to the way they are cut many of her pieces would be perfect to wear if you are pregnant.

Here is what Naomi would like to tell us about her Boutique:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Naomi Purkiss Boutique

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: July 2013

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Naomi Purkiss

WHY WAS IT CREATED: Originating from my obsession with vintage and unusual fabrics, I started designing easy to wear, flattering garments in bold colours and prints. All items are made with carefully sourced fabrics and there are only a few of each made and some are one of a kind. Women feel special knowing they are wearing something unique which will not be found anywhere else.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: I offer a personal service where customers can choose a garment shape, choose a fabric and choose a length and I will make to order. Items can also be selected from the rail of current stock at my home studio in South London. Alternatively customers can place an order via email. Join my mailing list by contacting me at naomipurkissboutique@gmail.com for information about my 'Top Night' events or follow me on Instagram.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: The Kimono jacket is a best seller and a statement piece, easy to throw on over jeans or dressed up for a more glam look. Better still, wear one over a matching, or contrasting, top and 'double up your NPB!'

BRAND: CLARY & PEG

Clary & Peg design and make vintage-inspired maternity clothing.  

Inspired by photographs of their mothers in their maternity clothes, the duo behind the brand spotted a gap in the market for vintage looking maternity wear and have created an easy to wear, classic cool collection - that can be worn with or without a bump.

Here is what Edwina & Johanna (the founders) would like us to know about their brand:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Clary & Peg

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: May 2013 (A week after the birth of my second child and 5 weeks before the birth of Johanna's)

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED : Edwina Gieve and Johanna Kociejowski (We met heavily pregnant with our first children at an ante-natal class)

WHY WAS IT CREATED: When we were pregnant we struggled to find things to wear that were as stylish and unique as our pre-pregnant everyday clothes. Mostly we felt that we had to compromise and make do, so we wanted to create a collection that allowed women to enjoy dressing when pregnant and to feel fashionable regardless of how big their bump was. We wanted to create clothes that women want to wear even if they are not pregnant. We also both wear a lot of vintage and there was nothing out there that married "vintage" and "maternity". We were inspired by pictures of our Mum's in dungarees and smock tops, we felt that it was a niche that needed to be filled.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We design and make vintage-inspired maternity wear. All our clothes have been designed so they can be worn with or without a bump. It is very important to us that we are designing clothes that women will want to wear even when they are not pregnant. Our clothes are manufactured in London.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Key pieces for this season - Pinafore, Shirt-dress, Swing top, Jumpsuit. All work through all stages of pregnancy and after. All suitable for breast feeding and very versatile, can be worn everyday and dressed up or down. Staple pieces that that are both comfortable, stylish and unique.

BRAND: A DAY IN A LIFE

While looking for the perfect black jumpsuit i came across a new brand called A Day In A Life.

There are many things that i like about this brand - I like that the collection is so versatile, i can imagine wearing the same dress/jumpsuit to a wedding, party and to work and it being perfect for every occasion.  I like that the pieces are ageless and would look amazing on both a 60 year old and on a 20 year old.  I like that there aren't to many pieces in the collection and that they never have sales, instead the collection will grow and more seasonally appropriate items will be added.  

I recently got their black silk jumpsuit and i love it - i know its going to be one of my default items of clothes and will stay in my wardrobe forever.  It can be dressed up or down and worn at every occasion - from a meeting to on holiday.  There is a draw sting waist that you can tighten up high on the waist or lower on the hips - you could also wear this if you are pregnant as it is a loose fit.

A Day In A Life's clothes are well thought through and curated.  The Engineered Knit Slip Dress which is a kind of spanx dress that holds everything in can either be worn as a dress on its own or underneath the looser fit dresses.  This is the type of thing that'd be useful for after you have had a baby to hold everything in, plus you can breast feed in it by pulling the strap to the built in bra down.  The Stretch Printed Bodysuit is another versatile and useful piece that can either be worn on its own or underneath something - again great for breastfeeding and tummy hiding.

The pink coat is amazing - it kind of feels heavy and swings, the cropped jumper is fun to and would look cool on top of the shirts or over the long sleeve jumpsuit.  The quality is amazing and you can only buy directly from the brand meaning that there are no wholesale costs. 

I meet Davina who is the Founder and Creative Director, she has an impressive fashion CV having worked for some of the worlds best fashion houses, she is also really nice and a mum to!

You can see the full collection here: A Day In A Life and for 10% off the jumpsuit from today until August 2nd enter promo code 'DLAM'.

H&M PICKS

Sometimes i go in to H&M and there are loads of amazing clothes that i want and other times i go in and find nothing.  I have got some great pieces from H&M that have lasted really well and are really great quality.  I am also a fan of H&M because they have one of the best eco credentials on the high streets.

Anyway i went in a couple of days ago and spotted a few good pieces - so i thought i'd share them!

Sequin T-shirt £29.99 / Playsuit £29.99 / Dress £14.99 / Jumpsuit £29.99 / T-shirt £12.99 / Top £29.99

BRAND: PEOPLE TREE

I'm not sure if it's something to do with getting older and more responsible or because of having kids or because there is so much taking from the planet and world and not enough giving back but ethics and sustainability has become more and more important to me recently.

People Tree has one of the best the most positive, productive brand ethos's ever.  They were one of the first brands (over twenty years ago) to pioneer Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable fashion, partnering with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco fashion.  By creating access to markets and opportunities for people who live in the developing world they created a new way of doing business.  They produce, manufacture, ship and design clothes how all clothes should be but more than often are not.

To celebrate my awesome new Simeon Farrar graffiti dress i thought i'd do a post on People Tree - if its not a brand you know check it out.

Their clothes are always great quality and as well as their core collection they do some super cool collaborations with people such as Zandra Rhodes, Orla Kiely, Bip Ling and Atelier.  Loads of their clothes would be great to get if you are pregnant and will then last to when you are not.

Here are a few of my current favourites: 

TIE-DYE

There is a lot of tie-dye around at the moment - at first i wasn't sure, i think because it reminds me of my (not so cool) teenage style.  But now i'm kind of in to it again, its got a cool-hippy-rock thing to it that no other print has. 

If you are feeling crafty then you could try doing it yourself or you could give bleach tie-dye a go which looks a bit less messy.  Alternatively you could get one of these dresses pre-dyed from the shops - no mess at all man. Peace out.

Tie-dye is not just for grown ups.