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?

Like my posts? Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Polyvore for even more content!

Square logo initials

Replikating at Hobbs, Gunwharf Quays

Gunwharf Quays is my local shopping outlet, and whilst it doesn’t have as many luxury brands as Bicester, it’s still an amazing place to shop.

20140406-002508.jpg
If you’re after some Kate Middleton style, it’s also a great place to pick up replikates!

20140406-002615.jpg
Many of Kate’s favourite shops and brands are here, including L.K. Bennett, Barbour, Hobbs, Jaeger, Ted Baker, Links and Ralph Lauren

20140406-003046.jpg

I popped in to Gunwharf for a quick pit stop this weekend, and here are some of my finds!

20140406-003214.jpg

This awesome Ted Baker jacket in silver was a special sample priced at £80. Unfortunately it was a bit creased and didn’t photograph well, but it had a beautiful shape to the back.

20140406-003355.jpg

Ted Baker is an excellent place to get really gorgeous party dresses or frocks for the races.

20140406-003459.jpg

Another great outlet is L.K. Bennett. I’ve purchased many a great item in here, including a teal Jude jacket (£60) and a pair of black suede Harper pumps (£115). Highlights today included a black Davina dress (Kate has worn one in teal under her Jetta jacket – like the Jude) for £150, and Sledges in beige, gold and black glitter for £115.

20140406-003737.jpg

I spent most of my time in Hobbs though – I love the brand and the physical stores, but let’s just say their online service leaves a lot to be desired… But let’s stick with the positive for this post!

20140406-003900.jpg

There were a few items in here from the current mid season sale, including plenty of items in the same Dalmatian print that Kate wore in Southampton (hers was a collarless coat). The Niamh top was there in blue and white for £28.

20140406-004204.jpg

There were also trousers, a scarf, and a cardigan (£50).

20140406-004347.jpg

As the Dalmatian mac that Kate wore is long since sold out, these are great replikating options which use the same print! There are even shoes – the Lexi open toe court for £49 and the Bea ballerina, £35.

20140406-004628.jpg

My favourite replikate from Hobbs is the Myra wedge, in navy suede (£49).

20140406-004739.jpg

They also had the mushroom version, which was incredibly tempting!

Hobbs Outlet stores can be found at Bicester, Braintree, Canterbury, Cardiff, Cheshire Oaks, Kildare, Portsmouth, Swindon, Walton-On-Thames and York. Track them down at http://www.hobbs.co.uk.

Sunshine at the Beach

Sunshine at the beach

 

Since I bought my lovely yellow Zara coat, I’ve been thinking of ways to style it for spring. As I’m also slightly obsessed with nautical stripes at the moment, I put together this outfit featuring a striped navy and ecru jumper from Next (£18), striped, pointed Dale flats from L.K. Bennett (and also available from Next… Although I’ve been waiting for mine to dispatch for a month: £150), inky denim leggings from Next (£24), the aforementioned yellow Zara coat (£99.99) and the Mulberry Lily in Emerald (£750).

Bright colours, nautical influences, and a mix of green, yellow, blue and white – what do you think? I have to confess, I’m struggling to come up with bag matches for this coat that go with the rest of an outfit!

EDIT: Grazia magazine UK is currently offering 25% off L.K. Bennett between 1-14 April. Pick up the 7 April edition with Gwyneth Paltrow on the front for your code, which can be used online or in a store!

Like my posts? Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Polyvore for even more content!

Square logo initials

Shop the Sales 2013

What with work, socialising and shopping, I’ve barely had time to blog recently – but don’t worry, because that is set to change! Back to regular posting, and back to my weekly bag ‘n’ shoes posts, too!

Meanwhile, here’s a taster of the sales goodies I’ve been hauling in over the past month – some of them are much coveted items whilst others are ‘I-can’t-resist-a-bargain’ impulse purchases…

Shop the Sales 2013

I have a weakness for glitter, gold and French Sole, so when these Henriettas went in the sale for half price (£60) I couldn’t resist. The navy ones were also on sale for the same price, and I told myself that I was being restrained by not buying both… Then at the weekend, my husband and I happened to go into a French Sole store where they had the navy (bottom left) in my size, so I claimed another pair as a Valentine’s Day present! Just have to wait until February to wear them, but I’ve been taking them out of the box to admire them every so often…

The Mulberry gold dress in the centre was down from £495 to £75 in Bicester Village, and I couldn’t believe the price tag at first. It’s a beautiful shimmery soft gold, very pretty indeed.

Another Bicester bargain, this Alice Temperley scarf was just £22 and has a lovely neutral shade to it.

The dress on the far left is a green wool dress from Cos, which I first saw at the lovely Lilac Pages blog. I love the shape and so I stalked it until it went on sale on Christmas eve. It actually didn’t arrive until early January though!

Another ‘patience is a virtue’ purchase is the Great Plains Palace Wrap coat. I have a picture of this pinned to my noticeboard by my desk and was eagerly awaiting the sale. When it was reduced from £140 to £110, I gave up a little bit, but then it was reduced to half price and I snapped it up immediately!

These Mulberry signature heels are divine, and although I was really after the flats, I consoled myself with the high heels and bought the McQ by Alexander McQueen suede biker flats on the right as well…

The central green Anya Hindmarch clutch is the bargain of the century for me. Originally on sale for £595, I found it at Bicester for £50. It plays ‘Deck The Halls’ and is adorable, but sadly, you can’t even fit a lipstick inside it! I’m happy with spending £50 on it though, it’s very quirky.

Finally, the bottom right purchase was my final and most extravagant. A half price exotic tweed large Lily in flame from the Mulberry outlet store. I saw this bag months ago on a style blog and fell in love. It’s also been carried by Jennifer Lawrence – and who doesn’t love a bit of J-Law in their wardrobe? Anyway, it’s probably my favourite Mulberry bag to date, and I’m thrilled I managed to scoop one up.

So, have you been shopping in the sales? Pick up any bargains? Let me know!

Bag ‘n’ Shoes: French Sole Silver Sparkle Henrietta Flats and Wilbur & Gussie Navy Charlie Clutch

Finally, there’s time to post about last week’s bag and shoes combo (don’t worry, I have a special one lined up for this week!). Again, this continues the saga of the French Sole Factory Shop visit last month (read about it here)!

Sparkle French Sole and Navy WG 640

These are the third pair of my epic haul, and they are very slightly translucent, with a reinforced area around the toes for added strength. The shoes are dotted with gorgeous silver sparkles, and have a muted navy trim. Because they were samples, and had no box, they were actually £20 instead of £25! I paired them with my favourite Wilbur & Gussie clutch (although it has plenty of competition, I LOVE W&G!), the raw navy silk with the beautiful ship fastening! (This style is currently unavailable, but you can browse the Charlie clutch range here.)

Montage 1

Because of the diamantes on the clutch’s ship clasp, and the gold edging, you can match it to silver or gold accessories, which is handy! As you can see, I usually carry it by the strap handle, which allows you to dangle it off one wrist at a jaunty angle…

I love these silver strips on the heel of the flats too.

Sparkle French Sole and Navy WG end 640

I also love the way the muted colour scheme creates a really subtle look for the Henriettas – the opaque material is also really unusual and great fun. Although the sparkles work well for the holiday season (indoors, of course!), this kind of look would also be terrific for a balmy summer night too!

The clutch – well, what can I say? The Charlie clutch in gold was carried on tour by the Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister, Pippa, is often spotted with a W&G clutch under her arm. Given my fondness for nautical accents, how could I resist this one – especially when it combines two of my favourite colours, navy and red?!

Square logo initials

A starry night manicure for Halloween

I love Halloween, and I usually spend most of October getting ready for it – can you tell? While Halloween itself is but one day a year, you can still let a little magic into your life this month with this pretty matte navy and gold mani, originally inspired by this Pin I found, which sadly leads nowhere now! The thing I like about this look is that it’s smart enough to be worn any time of year, but still has that special spooky something if you want to show some Halloween love without resorting to the obvious green, orange and black.

Halloween manicure OPI

Creating this look couldn’t be easier – you just need a dark blue colour, plus a top coat with gold flecks, and a matte finish. I used OPI’s Keeping Suzi At Bay, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Matte Top Coat.

Halloween manicure OPI

All I did was layer on one coat of Suzi (top), then two of Golden Gun (left), and then one of the Matte (right). I don’t know whether I prefer it glossy or matte, because either way I totally love this look! It took me ages to decide which blue to get, because usually I end up with a dark navy that winds up just looking black on my nails. But this colour is deep and beautiful, with a pretty pigment that’s perfect for autumn and winter!

Halloween manicure OPI

So, whether you’re celebrating Halloween, Bonfire Night, or any other wintery holiday, I think this is a great look that’s  opulent, classic and stylish all at the same time. Though, I still fall in love with pretty much any colour topped with The Man With The Golden Gun, so I may be biased!

Square logo initials

17 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Power Dressing

Dec 17 Mini Mani Month - Power Dressing
Dec 17 Mini Mani Month - Power Dressing
Dec 17 Mini Mani Month - Power Dressing

Today’s mini was a beautiful, deep navy blue called Power Dressing.

Untitled

What a lovely, glossy finish – love this colour! Ciate’s site says: “Rich dark blue. This colour is for the strong and powerful women in high places, let your nails do the talking.”

17 Dec Ciate Mini Mani Month Power Dressing

This is one colour I’ll definitely be happy to break out after advent is over!