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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter holiday sea escape packing how-to

Whenever I have to pack for a holiday, however long and to whatever destination, I always start by picturing in my mind what kind of girl I want to be. Once I've pictured "her" it is so much easier to pack and my suitcase instantly becomes a cohesive capsule wardrobe. I then proceed by considering the location, the length of the stay and what I will be doing. I lay everything on my bed divided in day and night outfits, followed by essentials (underwear, nightwear) and finished off with shoes. I am often cold, so I always make sure I have all weather options: this could be as simple as packing tights/closed toe shoes/jacket/jumper to go with your outfit. Beauty case and make up are always the last ones to go in, followed by techie stuff and neatly re-arranged handbag (I don't need my work pass on holiday!)

For this three night holiday to the sea in the UK, my inspiration was this J.Crew girl: cool, relaxed, stylish but realistic. I will be taking walks on the beach with my daughter and friends so I need a wardrobe of easy staples that I can mix and match, whatever the weather. I've gone off trilby's and now prefer a slouchier hat, if I will get to wear swimwear at this time of the year it has got to be a black, chic one piece. I take pleasure in creating a sense of occasion for whatever is going on in my life, so always pack something a little something special. A little black dress always deliverers, it's got to be something unfussy but equally gorgeous that if I go out for a dinner I feel a little dresses up. I will be taking my Other Stories dress and wearing it with a fun colorful clutch (the only time I don't wear a designer bag). I always pack a small selection of inexpensive jewellery and always get a glossy gel mani and pedi before I go. It just makes all the difference. Happy Easter WIT readers, see you next week!

J.crew shorts £59.50

J.Crew week end sweatshirt £59.50

J.Crew linen shirt £79.50

Mango shirt dress £29.99

Mango parka £69.99

Aquazzura Belgravia lace-up suede point-toe flats £440

MiH Jeans Phoebe mid-rise boyfriend jeans £195.00

See by Chlo√© Cotton-jersey and crocheted cotton mini dress £250

Accessorize  Fine Straw Crochet Hat £17.00

Asos mini drop earrings £5.00

ASOS Aztec Clutch Bag with Pom Poms £28.00

Ray-Ban The Wayfarer D-frame acetate sunglasses £125

For perfect gel nails try Marian Newman in Residence (and her team) at Atelier Beaut√©: CND Shellac is the original 'Power Polish'. It delivers 14+ days wear of flawless colour, mirror shine and zero dry time and nail damage. Suitable for naturally healthy nails.

CND Shellac Manicure - £80 (40 minutes)
CND Shellac Pedicure - £110 (50 minutes)
For bookings 
number is 020 3393 0977 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Thought of the day: wear wear wear!

Sometimes I tend to save my favourite items and only wear them for special occasions, my peplum skirt for example (that I absolutely love) I've only worn it once during Milan fashion week. What's that about?!  Well, my thought if the day is that every day is a special day so wear, wear, wear ALL your favourite clothes. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

The cargo pant

I did my seasonal wardrobe swap-over at the week end and found these old cargo pants that I suddendly had an urge to wear again. I remember buying them as a nineteen year old and thinking they were the coolest thing ever (they are from Pinko!). Today I am breathing new life in them with my Sophia Webster heels and Tippi crew neck. If you have a pair of cargo pants buried in your wardrobe take them out, and here are three updated ways of wearing them as a grown up!

From the left:

Casual Friday (flash back)

Today I'm cheating a little bit and posting an outfit that I wore Friday.  Today's actual outfit needs some shopping tips which I haven't had time to do this week end, but look out for it tomorrow. Here I am outside Shoreditch House graffiti wall after a busy morning of meetings in my Chanel sweatshirt, Top Shop lurex skirt and LK flats. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

WIT mama Friday: Mini Me

Greta and I last summer in Amalfi in matching broaderie tops. Photo by Julie Adams
Now that Greta is growing up I am starting to notice that I am dressing her a little bit like me. For starts we will both be wearing one piece swimsuits this summer as well as slip on trainers, hers from Boden mine from Kurt Geiger and our Stella-ish neon cork sandals. I love a little bit of denim or chambray with a delicate broderie anglias top and my Isabel Marant Etoilebeach cover up will certainly be repeated in the form of a boho dress for her. We also both love monogramming and I have been fantasising about a bespoke "GZ" Walton (which I would use until she gets married) for a while now... and lastly I won't be wearing pom pom hair clips I kind of wish I could. 

I shop from my pages

I remember trawling through the rails at the Karla Otto press office some three months ago looking for gems for my May shopping pages, and finding this dress with love at first sight excitement.

I pictured a summer version of myself in it, made a mental note to buy it as soon as it hit the stores and used the top version for an Isabel Marant  inspired section in my trend report. 

Fast forward to last week and The Frugality reminded me that the dress was in store and off I went to buy. It comes in black and white but I opted for the Italian widow look ;-) 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The flat that makes me feel like I'm on heels

I have a little (big) crush on my strappy Aquazzura flats and simply want to wear them every day. It may also be because I had te pleasure of meeting the designer duo behind this made in Florence made brand, and they are such lovely people that the association of the two puts a smile on my face every time! This is the flat that makes me feel like I'm on heels minus the hassle (let's face it) of commuting on stilts, and I am literally obsessed with it. I know they are pricey but believe me that cost per wear they are totally worth it, so start saving up. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

My favourite red lipsticks

Almost every day when I post a picture of my outfit I receive an email, a tweet or a comment asking me what shade of lipstick I'm wearing. The truth is that I don't always wear the same shade, I have a selection that I choose from that goes from orange-red to a more cherry-red and which one I opt for totally depends on my outfit. So today I've decide to come clean and answer this question once and for all by revealing my "closet" of favourite lipsticks, because as with my clothes every day is a new lipstick day.. and PS. the shade I'm wearing in the pic is MAC lipstick in Lady Danger

1) Nars semi matte lipstick in Heat Wave £19.50
2) Top Shop Lips in Infrared £8.00
3) Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella £19.00
4) MAC lipstick in Lady Danger £15.00
5) Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon £23.00
6) Top Shop Lip Bullet in Heartbeat £8.00
7) Nars semi matte lipstick in Red Lizard £19.50

Monday, 7 April 2014

Have you been in Mango lately?

I flew to Rome for the week end and had some rare flying-alone time to catch up on magazine reading. One thing I noticed as I looked through the front of book sections, is the amazing product available in Mango this season. As soon as I got back home I did a little trawl on their website and found myself adding tens of things to my basket. I love that Isabel Marant on holiday look they are going for, and the brilliant news is that it all comes at a reasonable price too. This week's Star Buys are therefore entirely dedicated to this Spanish brand, and here  are a few more bits I'm adding to my wish list.

PS. One bit of advice: it's easier to shop on their website that it is in store as everything is stocked online whereas most of the smaller stores don't stock the premium range. www.mango.com

Friday, 4 April 2014

WIT mama Friday Guest Star: J.Crew's crewcuts design guru Jenny Cooper

I had the great pleasure of meeting Jenny Cooper, Head of crewcuts design, at the J.Crew pop-up store launch in London back in May last year. I had recently become a mum and the world of crewcuts had just become that much more interesting to me. We chatted away about Greta, her two boys, monogrammed cashmere, neon pops and the much anticipated J.Crew store opening later on in the year and promised to stay in touch.  

One year later (and one too many crewcuts buys later for Greta), I asked her if she would guest star in one of my WIT mama Friday posts, and answer a few questions about the crewcuts aesthetic that we at WIT love so much.  I am thrilled to say that she agreed, and here's what she had to say..

WIT:  Jenny, we already love J.Crew in the UK but we were wondering what's the perfect recipe to achieve the crewcuts look for our kids?
Jenny: I’m not sure there is just one answer to that question!  I think if you are a boy, you would take a little bit of slim, sunwashed chino and mix in a neon striped sock, a cool graphic tee and maybe a Ludlow jacket on top for attitude.  If you’re a girl, maybe it would be a slim slouchy army pant with a sparkle encrusted sweatshirt, and either a Golden Bear varsity jacket  borrowed from her brother or a wool motorcycle jacket or a neon Kway jacket.  I could keep making outfits all day……but basically something casual and everyday worn with a favorite quirky item.  I think everyone, children especially, has that special item of clothing with personality that they gravitate to and will remember for the rest of their lives.

WIT:  Tell us about your love affair with J.Crew. How long have you worked there and how did it all start for you?
Jenny: I’ve been at J.Crew since 2000, initially designing women's sweaters for 7 years and then when we launched crewcuts, I had a couple test subjects (children) at home so it was a very simple and exciting transition for me.  J.Crew has always had an ease to it, combined with a sense of fun and dress-up, that has always resonated with me and which I think works particularly well for kids.

WIT: Which are your personal favourite top five designs this season?
Jenny: I’ll start with girls!  The SUNSHINE tee (1) with the toothpick jean in railroad stripe (4)  and the Darby loafer in basket weave (5).  I also Love the embroidered dress (6) that was embroidered with a layout that we found in a Moroccan market.  The next favorite outfit is the embroidered pompom tunic (3) with the cowgirl denim cut-offs in river blue wash (2).  These were hemmed and then unhemmed to create a little undone edge at the hem of a perfect worn –in blue wash.  And not to forget – the glitter slip-on in multi (7) the sneaker of the moment!  Also the Taryn dress (A6154) comes in mid-April) and is a gorgeous blue floral print that we put a slice of neon yellow placket on.  Fortunately that print comes in women's too so I can have something in it too!

6) Girls' embroidered dress £65.00
7) Girls' glitter slip-on sneakers item £56.00
WIT:  And for boys?
Jenny: Oh my.. where to start!  I get to buy it all and test it on my own kids so I have a really hard time narrowing it down!  But I just bought our homage to the upcoming World Cup tee (style# to follow) which will be online in 1 week and our There’s Only 1 tee (5) because my heart breaks whenever he wears it!  I was also really excited to get the black Puma hightops (7) and for Spring Break the kids water sandals (2).  As I’m writing this I put the boys Japanese chambray suit (1 and 4) in my bag, because he’ll be able to wear it as a suit and the pants by themselves with a graphic tee.  AND the kids sunnies in clear (3) because they have a fantastic mirrored greeny-pink lens.  Last but not least – the Stanton short in Big Leaf (6) to ring in Spring and summer.  I think I may have gone over 5 but I stopped counting because I can’t when I’m shopping for my boys…..

1) Boys' Ludlow suit jacket in chambray £130.00
2) Kids' water sandals £34.00
3) Kid's sunnies £20.50
4) Boys' slim ludlow suit pant in chambray £74.00
5) Boys' there's only 1 tee £24.50
6) Boys' Stanton short in big leaf print £40.50
7) Kids' Puma® suede mid classic sneakers £42.00
WIT: If we were looking to invest on one little something for our kids that will last all through the summer season, what should it be?
Jenny: In my experience a favorite pair of shorts gets worn almost more than anything else.

Girls' cuffed chino short item £32.00
WIT: Let's talk about mums on-duty style. Do you have a uniform? 
Jenny: Well right now I’m wearing a man’s uniform pantsuit….does that count?  But the usual uniform is a pair of jeans (they change, right now it’s either a pair of high-waisted cropped flairs or a Point Sur white selvage roll-up (Point Sur slim stacker Japanese selvedge jean in marshmallow wash £238.00), a linen V-neck tee from J.Crew, either white or heather grey, one with my name monogrammed on the back neck, and a jacket of some sort.  The jeans change and the jacket changes but the shirt is always the same!  I’ve also been wearing a really cosy men’s grey sweatshirt in XL (Sueded fleece sweatshirt item £69.50)

WIT: Thank you so much Jenny! And off I go to buy Greta that pom pom tunic...