Nautical and Nice

It all started with those pointed Dale flats from L.K. Bennett… And then the French Sole nautical collection. And Modalu’s nifty fabric Riviera tote with that amazing navy and white stripe… Pretty soon, I was obsessed with all things nautical, and, well, it was pretty much only a matter of time before this happened:

Nautical and nice

On the top row we have the aforementioned Modalu tote (£75), and next to that, the Soho grab, also from Modalu (£89). If leather is more your thing, Modalu also do this amazing azure blue Artemis shopper, which is one of my favourite colours this season (£199).  L.K. Bennett also have a couple of really cool nautical totes this season – at the end of the top row is the Hoxton canvas tote (£175), and the cool and quirky Lytham St. Anne’s canvas beach bag (£95, one of a series of three) starts off the second row on the left. Save your pennies with the simple chic of this navy striped tote with rope handles from Next (£20), or treat yourself to Kate Spade’s Welcome To Brighton bag (£130). Rounding out the bag selection are two clutches – on the left is L.K. Bennett’s embellished straw Evie clutch (£225), and the right is Kate Spade’s nifty Terrace Drive Abbett clutch (£245).

On to the shoes! On the top row we have French Sole’s red pointed Penelope flats (£180), then L.K. Bennett’s azure Connie espadrille wedges (£160). The L.K. Bennett team are mad for gosgrain this season, because they have several offerings that make use of the striped ribbon in a variety of colours – each of my selections is available in various bold striped patterns. Next to that on the end of the top row of three is another nifty pair of French Sole flats, Henriettas with a rope pattern that dances across the toes (£160). On the bottom row on the left are a pair of slingback pointed toe flats from Next (£26), another pair of simpler Henriettas from French Sole – I couldn’t resist the rope bow! – (£150), and then a peep-toe espadrille wedge from Next (£34). Finally, a Marlene block heel sandal from L.K. Bennett (£175), and those shoes that started it all, the Dale pointed toe flats, from L.K. Bennett (£150) – available in navy and white, azure and white, and raspberry and white, and all in that gosgrain finish I love so much!

Do you like to channel a bit of nautical style in your wardrobe come the sunnier seasons? Without doubt, nautical style is always in fashion during spring and summer, and I’m a sucker for it every time! Considering that it always makes an appearance on the shelves, it’s a smart investment to pick up a few nautical accessories to mix and match – you’ll probably find you end up using them year after year. Do you have an old favourite you like to bring out?

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: St Patrick’s Day edition – French Sole and Mulberry

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Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! I don’t usually get into the swing of this celebration (my Irish heritage is non-existent, sadly!), but it was the perfect opportunity to break out two of my favourite items!

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You all know I have an obsession with Mulberry and French Sole, so it seems pretty fitting that I have a pair of shoes and bag from these two companies that match pretty well, and are perfect for the celebrations!

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I absolutely adore the velvet ostrich finish on these French Sole flats that I bought on my factory store visit last year. So far it’s been too cold to wear them out, but I did manage to bust them out for a relaxed New Year’s Eve party! They’re so comfy, and they look very plush indeed.

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And here’s my beautiful emerald green Lily in micrograin calf – absolutely lusted after for over a year and bought in the Harrods’ cardholder sale late 2013. I just love the simple shape of the Lily, and the adjustable strap. (This Lily is still available at Mulberry for £750 here)

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It’s a classic shape which means it’ll never go out of fashion – and it can be dressed up or down for any occasion! Did I mention the adjustable strap is awesome? Because it is! I have a massive thing for chain and leather straps at the moment.

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Happy St Patrick’s day everyone! Are you dressing up or wearing green today?

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: French Sole Quilted Red Henrietta Flats and Accessorize Alessandra Satchel

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The Great French Sole Factory Shop Haul continues – this time, with the incredibly festive looking pair of red Henriettas with white trim! The main body of these flats are quilted, but the toe is nubuck, which makes them look really pretty, but is a bit of a nightmare if you’re going anywhere that’s a bit damp!

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However, there’s no denying that white and red seem made for Christmas (thanks, Coca Cola!). And, I paired it with one of my favourite bags, my red Alessandra satchel from Accessorize, which my friend Lisa bought me for my 30th birthday. You can purchase similar bags from Accessorize here: they’re one of my favourite companies!

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Attached to it is a little Parazul charm I bought on holiday in the Caribbean. Parazul are one of those companies you see everywhere on a cruise, but at the time there was no way I could drop $100s on a bag, so I bought myself a little charm instead. On the shuttle back to the ship, one of the crew started cooing over my shopping bag, but his face completely dropped when I showed him what I’d actually bought! Still, I like it! And, as well as being a reminder of my holiday, it’s also a nod to my family’s shipbuilding heritage too!

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And, finally, my nail varnish is Goldeneye by OPI – in my opinion, the best bright gold varnish for the Christmas season. Perfect if you want to get into the holiday spirit!

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: Mulberry Bryn and glitter Aldo ballerinas

Wow, what a week so far! It was my birthday yesterday and I’ve barely had time to stop and think all week – the next time I’ll be free to take a breath is probably Monday – but I’m certainly not complaining! However, it does leave little time for blogging. That said, I definitely had to make time for my bag ‘n’ shoes of the week, so I could show off my beautiful birthday present from my husband (which I bought myself in the summer sale, cough, ahem) – a new shiny oak Mulberry Bryn! I’ll definitely be featuring this baby more in an upcoming post – but for now, here she is!

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Because it was a special occasion, I had to break out the glitter shoes I bought last year for the Christmas period – they’re super comfy Aldo ballerina flats, and they’re a mix of silver with some light flecks of gold. And, you can just about see the lovely pearl bracelet my husband bought me as a wedding gift too. This was definitely a combo that brought back happy memories!

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: Hobbs Antonia satchel and Accessorize Camden ballerinas

Work has been insane recently so I’ve not had very much time to update the blog in the past week, but I did take a picture for Bag ‘n’ Shoes – I just neglected to upload it, cos I’m like that. My idea was to update these on a Wedneday, to celebrate hump day, so if I stay on track there should be another post like this the day after tomorrow… And, happily enough, my next Bag ‘n’ Shoes day after that falls on my birthday! And I happen to know I shall be receiving a rather splendid new bag then, because I bought it!

Anyway, shall I shut up and get on with it?

Hobbs  Antonia Bag and Camden studded ballerinas

I was definitely feeling the love for autumn last week – there’s nothing quite like the crisp air and the sunshine through the red and brown leaves. It’s probably my favourite season! So as soon as it gets slightly chilly I’m in my wardrobe, cackling with glee, airing out my jumpers and scarves and getting ready for the cold. It’s not *quite* cold yet – in fact, today, it’s bordering on warm – but I’m going to get excited anyway. I wore my new-to-me red and green tartan scarf from Abercrombie and Fitch, which you can just see in the picture. A bargain on eBay and such a great colour! And, you can also see my big sloppy jumper from hush in there too. But that’s not the main attraction!

Hobbs  Antonia Bag and Camden studded ballerinas

My lovely brown leather Antonia bag from Hobbs is surely the star of the show! I got her with my voucher I won from Ascot the year before last, and these Camden flats from Accessorize were bought on a recent trip to London when my feet just gave in in my heels – they were on sale, and I love the colour and the studs. (You can buy shoes from Accessorize here: I love their range!)  So far my combos have been very matchy matchy, but unfortunately I think that’s going to be a theme for me! Maybe this little feature will encourage me to be more daring with my combos.

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: Fendi B Bag and ASOS flats

Since I can’t seem to stop taking photos of my bag and shoes (even if I can’t pull off a semi-decent outfit I can usually muster some nice shoes and a bag at least once a week…) I decided to make it into a semi-regular feature, called Bag ‘n’ Shoes – because if there’s one thing I wholeheartedly believe about any kind of journalism, whether it’s on a blog or in the mainstream press, it’s that simple is better. (And it also helps that I am a simple creature at heart, and have almost no capacity for creating clever titles or puns.)

Without further ado, here are my inaugural Bag ‘n’ Shoes of the week:

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Fendi B Bag, Naughtipidginsnest / Little Miss Ballet Flats, ASOS

That’s RIGHT! After all my years (literally, years) of pining over Fendi B Bags, I finally scooped one up. Only carried once, she’s a real beauty, from the pre-owned store http://www.naughtipidginsnest.co.uk/ (HIGHLY recommended – in fact, I’ll be doing an interview soon with the owner, I hope!). I’d been after a black and gold bag for a while (my previous black bag, the Hobbs Lanesley, has silver hardware) and when I saw this one appear on the site, I was certain I NEEDED IT. Unfortunately, my discovery also coincided with the summer holiday, which is when the shop takes a break, so I sat with my fingers hovering over the mouse for the grand reopening in order to make sure the bag was mine. And it is! What a happy ending.

After that expense, Marc Jacobs’ exquisite mouse flats are a trifle outside my budget, but I think I might even like these flats from ASOS better… I’ve been telling everyone they are mice, but they are clearly bunnies. I am obviously in need of a lie-down.

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Christmas party daytime look: Nordic print T-shirt and ballet skirt combo

I can’t be the only girl who secretly wants to wear ballet skirts all the time, can I? There’s just something so beautiful and elegant about the soft layers of netting that will make anyone, even a heffalump like me who only barely knows what a pirouette is, feel like a prima ballerina! So I took the plunge and ordered a cheap skirt from eBay, figuring that even if it didn’t suit me, at least it wouldn’t break the bank in the process…

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I have to say, I think it looks pretty good, even with my pear shape – the length is long enough to make it tolerable for winter, too!

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I paired it with my new Brat & Suzie Loose Fit Nordic Stag T-Shirt from ASOS (here), which I love, because it’s very festive and comfortable. AND, it’s not another Christmas jumper, but it’s still very seasonal. Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas jumpers. But, as we all know, most of the time, the heating on in people’s houses means it’s actually too hot for a lovely thick jumper, and then what are you supposed to do? My answer: rock a festive T-shirt!

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Check out the adorable detailing, with the Rudolph-lookalike, and the Fair Isle style patterns. Love it! The colour is bang on trend, too.

I had to break out my latest favourite shoes, which I’ve been coveting for months now – these beautiful leopard print, pony skin* India flats from French Sole! (* Just so you know, pony skin is not actually made of ponies!)

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If you had told me last year I’d be buying a pair of animal print shoes, I would have thought you were mad, but somehow the trend has really grown on me – I think it’s all the vintage fashion I’ve been looking at recently! And the red trim is amazing, too!

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Of course, you know I love me some French Sole, right?! There’s just something about these shoes which are really Christmassy and festive – I guess it’s the implied warmth of the animal print, and the red trim which just screams FESTIVE TIMES ARE HERE!

This kind of look is the sort of thing I think would work really well for an informal, daytime Christmas party – it’s not too dressy, but it is playful and festive. And, you won’t be panting like a dog in your thick knit jumper when someone whacks the heating up!

Lust List: little black shoes to go with your little black dress

You know I loves me some French Sole. I also love the new studded slipper trend. Put the two together, and you get these beauties! Black Henriettas 2Black dome studded leather Henriettas from French Sole! Oh my… Let’s look a little closer at these beautiful little studs!

Black Henriettas 3Even though I love the bold, rock chick look of the pointed studs of the current trend, these domed studs are beautifully feminine, like little golden bubbles! Black Henriettas 1

There’s something really Christmassy about these sweet flats – and it would definitely make a great Christmas present for a lucky girl! Purchase these beauties at French Sole for £150.