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Friday, 29 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Your favourite post of all time

 
It was so interesting to see that your favourite post of all time was a 'How to pack the perfect suitcase' one - not surprising, I have to add, as packing the just-right amount of things, making sure you wear everything you bring with you and getting the balance right of wearable and aspirational is a bit of an art form. I've always loved packing - I love thinking about what look I'm going to achieve on my getaway, buying a few new things weeks ahead of it and taking the time to lay everything out on my bed and carefully placing everything into my suitcase.

Since then I've done lots more packing posts, more specifically about traveling and packing with kids and weekend getaways, some of which are listed below:


Last summer we dedicated an entire The ICONS Update to the packing-theme when I asked our photographer at Wardrobe ICONS to spend the afternoon with me as I prepared to pack for my summer holiday in Italy (we weren't faking it - it was all real time!). You can see that post here:

But this one, was your all-time favourite post on WIT of all time:

(And here's a little anecdote... on that holiday, my husband asked me to marry him!)


31st May 2010 "WIT-ty-summer-holiday-packing"

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: The WIT wall


I remember someone asking me about the "WIT wall" one day and it took me a while to understand what they were talking about - what "WIT wall"?! Oooh I see!!! The brick wall I take my photo in front of every day!! It's funny because although completely unintentionally, "the wall" has become a bit of a WIT trademark, but it was never meant to be a style choice or with any particular significance - sorry!


If you think about it, it's quite an ugly wall, it just so happens that North London is full of them and more so it's a plain background that doesn't change according to seasons, where I could just stand in front of and let the clothes do the talking.


It also helps that this particular one in the last three years is just outside my doorstep, so my husband could take a quick snap on the way to work. There have been many WIT walls throughout the years - in the early WIT days it was by a wall in the park I had to cross every morning on my way to work, then when I got married and we moved to our first flat it was just outside the overground, and finally  when Greta arrived it was a more handy spot outside my house. She loves standing in front of it and giving me a bit of a pose!

Greta giving me her best WIT pose ;-)
So in the years I guess I've become fond of the brick background and have pretty much stuck to that! Sadly however, there's not a brick wall in sight in the new area I'm moving to over the summer... But here is the last one I took last night before date night wearing my new ASOS dress and tasseled clutch from last year with my beloved Chloe fringed sandals. So I guess it's goodbye WIT wall!

ASOS dress and clutch bag, Chloe shoes, J.Crew earrings

Monday, 25 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Wardrobe Oganisation rules I live by


When I was thinking about the posts I should leave you with before going on maternity leave, I thought a classic wardrobe-organisation one should definitely be included - after all, us WIT girls love a good wardrobe! Luckily last summer, once I finished my new fitted wardrobes, we did a shoot for Wardrobe ICONS that looked at all the aspects and rules I live by to have the perfectly organised wardrobe. Here are some of my top tips - if you would like to see the full feature head to The ICONS Update here to also shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.


1) TO SEE IS TO WEAR

My wardrobes are built behind closed doors, but once I open them everything is organised by section and all accessories have a label so that I know wha't inside shoe boxes and dust bags. To see really is to wear more - make sure that however you decide to organise your wardrobe, everything is in plain sight so you don't forget what you own.



2) CHOOSE THE RIGHT HANGERS

Not all your items of clothing need the same type of hanger, so don't waist precious space with the wrong type. I use 4 different styles: clip on for skirts, thin velvet-effect non slip ones for blouses, men's fold ones for trousers and shoulder padded ones for coats.



3) KEEP YOUR SHOES SEPARATE

Shoes can stink, you walk in them on pavement and they are generally non hygienic, so try not to store them together with your clothes. I have a separate wardrobe for my high heels (that live in boxes) and pull out drawers for my flats. Find a place in your wardrobe/house that doesn't see them living with your fabrics and knitwear that can absorb odors and get stained.



4) PROTECT

Protect your wardrobe from moths with all your powers - I'm obsessed with the concept and place moth repellent sheets in-between all my jumpers and hang moth killer in each one of my wardrobes (even the ones that have no wool - you never know). At the end of the season I wash all my knitwear and take all my coats to the dry cleaners; yes at a price, but better that than a munched up Max Mara camel coat is how I see it!.

 

5) DE-CLUTTER AND STORE AWAY

At the beginning and at the end of the season try to get rid of at least five things - it will make you feel better about your wardrobe and also create space for new buys. Put away clothes that are not season-appropriate, it will be a joy to rediscover them all a few month later.



6) GO BEYOND CLOTHES

Be organised about all items that live in and around your wardrobes that serve to create the perfect outfit. Think about your belts, sunglasses and jewellery too. Once again, it's all about having them in one place so you don't waist time looking for this and that and then organising them appropriately.



Read all my tips and see the full feature of my 'Perfect Wardrobe' shoot in The ICONS Update here + shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.

The ICONS Update

Friday, 22 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: WIT mama Friday Special - your essential reading

Photo by Julie Adams from my feature with The Grace Tales
The time has almost come to say goodbye for a few months, so to celebrate these last few weeks together I've come up with a few posts looking back at WIT and some of your favourite content. Second post of this series is a WIT mama Friday special, from the Friday mum-related posts that I have been regularly writing since becoming a mother to Greta in 2012, and more specifically the 8 posts you liked the most. Here we go..


WIT mama Friday essential reading


Tips from the top on flying with kids





To see more of my WIT mama Friday posts, click on the WIT Regulars tab top left of the home page and choose WIT mama Friday

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: WIT'S TOP 10 LOOKS OF 2015/2016 (as liked by you)


The time has come to go on maternity leave and put my feet up for a few weeks before my second baby arrives. To celebrate these last two weeks together I've come up with a few posts looking back at WIT and some of your favourite content. First up is "WIT'S TOP 10 LOOKS OF 2015/2016 (as liked by you)". I recently downloaded an App on my iPhone that allows me to see which posts are most popular on Instagram, and this is the Top 10 chart of your all time favourite looks of the past twelve months. 

It was so interesting to see, because as I was going through them I noticed that the things you love, are the ones I love too: a statement skirt, fab accessories and a glitter shoe, but also all of those wardrobe staples like a stripe top, a grey sweater and a white shirt - those key staples that made me want to start the concept of Wardrobe ICONS as an extension to WIT. So whilst I'm gone, and if you think you might miss me a little (I'm sure I will miss you!), don't worry because Wardrobe ICONS and The ICONS Update will continue to provide you with a little form WIT fix on a weekly basis.

So, without further a due... here are the looks you liked the most:

 NUMBER 10
The statement skirt 
 
I remember this day - I was rushing around and had a work dinner with Kate Spade in the evening and I opted for a fun skirt and plain top. I've always loved statement skirts - I love their versatility, the fact that you can dress them up and down and that you can choose from so many different styles. I have everything from dramatic neon pink maxi skirts to sequin ones and raffia fringed pencil skirts and never tire of them. They have become such a thing, that Net-a-Porter now has a whole section just dedicated to Statement Skirts (that I love!).

Whistles skirt and top, J.Crew shoes, Mango bag
 NUMBER 9
The grey sweater 

A grey sweater is a WIT must-buy, I couldn't live without mine. Despite having a shelf packed with them I wear each one of them on a regularly basis. Jenna Lyons gave me a little tip that has served me so well - when you find something you love buy it in different sizes, maybe one up or down, that way you can style it differently depending on the fit and look you are trying to achieve. I have fitted ones I like to wear with baggier bottoms and vice versa, but also different necklines and thicknesses for different seasons. My favourite grey sweater will always be a Tippi sweater from J.Crew though...

Gap jumpers, Lorenzo Serafini for Philosophy skirt, Jimmy Choo shoes
 NUMBER 8
The bold colour move 

Despite loving a basic and having started a business revolving around it, I couldn't live without a Transformer in my wardrobe. Be it a statement accessory, a fun clutch or a bright pink jumpsuits, I love fashion too much not to be tempted by seasonal trends and making a few wild buys. This Topshop Made in Britain blindingly bright pink jumpsuit was one of those buys and I absolutely love it! I wore it on the cover of The ICONS Update and somehow I think it really sums me up: 'classic, but with a twist!". 

Topshop jumpsuit, Accessorize clutch, Gianvito Rossi sandals
 NUMBER 7
The stripe T-shirt
 
I'm so glad one of my maternity looks made it into your Top 10, and even more glad to see that involves a stripe top. This is another WIT favourite and something I often go-to when I don't know what to wear. I would actually go as far as calling it a wardrobe saviour. My favourite is the Saint James® for J.Crew slouchy T-shirt - I love the long sleeves and slouchy fit. One heads up, get the white and navy (not the ecru). 

J.Crew T-shirt, Stella McCartney cape, Topshop maternity jeans Chanel shoes and bags
 NUMBER 6
The jumpsuit 
 
You obviously love a jumpsuit! After the success of the pink one, I bought the same exact style but in a more wearable colour and wore it so much, both day and evening with a smart clutch and heels - this was me wearing it to work. There is something so incredibly comfortable about a jumpsuit and I think it adapts well to any age. I prefer something with a sleeve and would always go a size up to get that effortless fit.

Topshop jumpsuit, KG shoes, Antonello bag
 NUMBER 5
The leather skirt 

I think what you probably loved about this look was the thigh high boots, but what I picked up on in terms of wardrobe staples is the leather skirt, or leather bottom. I have everything from culottes, trousers, leggings to three different style skirts (full, mini and pencil) and wear them all the time. The great thing about leather is that you buy it once (clean lines and of good quality) and never ever have to buy it again. So think well and hard before purchasing a style, as real leather tends to be expensive and you want to opt for something that will last a really long time in your wardrobe. Whistles always has a good leather staple - and so do we in our ICONS section.

Isabel Marant Etoile jumper and boots, Whistles leather skirt, Bally bag
 NUMBER 4
The trench

At number 4 is the trench. How could it not be? Easily also at number 4 in my own hit parade of wardrobe must-haves, the trench coat is an item every woman in her late twenties early thirties should save to buy and will wear for the rest of her life. Fact. So if you don;t have one yet, you should! It's the perfect in-between season jacket, so chic, so timeless and will never ever fail to make you feel stylish and put together even on the days where you are wearing the equivalent of your pajama underneath. The one and only to buy - Burberry!

Burberry trench, J.Crew top, Day Birger jeans, Miu Miu shoes
 NUMBER 3
The boho dress 
 
I love a little boho touch here and there and I remember falling in love with this Monsoon dress which I wore on a night out to celebrate my wedding anniversary. I like to do boho the dressed-up way, so would always pair my blouses with a designer bag or like in this case, a dress with fringed sandals and super slick clutch (the shoes were a fab Chloe buy and the clutch a another great wardrobe investment from Jil Sander). My rule is not to do hippy, I like a slick final effect. I'm glad it's a high-street look that made it at number three!

Monsoon dress, Jil Sander clutch, Chloe shoes
 NUMBER 2
The white shirt  

At number two is the white shirt, obviously! Crisp, white, cotton the white shirt is most definitely an item that every woman should own. Find the style that works for you be it fitted, loose or boyfriend style and wear it with everything from your jeans, layered under jumpers, tucked into a pretty skirt and even as a beach cover up! My ultimate favourite styles of all time are the MiH Oversize Shirt (great with leggings and at the beach) and the Equipment Signature washed-silk shirt (perfect for smartening up just about anything and such a universally fabulous fit).

Gant shirt, MiH jeans, Valentino bag, Chanel shoes
 NUMBER 1
The designer coat 
Ah! To think of the stick I got for this coat on Instagram ;-)
Well, it goes to show that a quality designer coat is at the top of your list too. Coats (and tailoring in general) is where to spend your money. You will never truly love a cheap coat, it can be a seasonal indulgence, but building a long lasting, quality winter coats closet has always been one of my absolute rules. This was the year I invested in a cape - it was something missing entirely from my wardrobe and I have, somewhat to my surprise, worn so much. I was pregnant and couldn't say at the time of this pic, so this coat served as a perfect maternity coat but it also works equally well in the day and as a smart evening coat.

Stella McCartney cape, J.Crew top and shoes, Gap jeans

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The WIT Refurb Sale (part two)

Getting ready to detox my wardrobes
Those of you that follow me on Instagram will know that I've embarked in the crazy task of moving homes quite literally as I prepare to give birth. Luckily I feel like I have everything under control, and even if I don't... so be it - you're more relaxed with number two.. right!?! Anyway, to make room for new things and declutter before the big move, I've decided to give my wardrobe another little detox and sell some of my things. 
 
Going through my denim box - I've got way too many!
The result of this you can see on my Instagram account @WITrefurbSALE that I reactivated this weekend. It's quite a time consuming project so things will go up when I have time, and more is to come. Please apologise creases on dresses and general lack of "styling" but as you can imagine, bending over to take photos and ironing is not something I can do easily with an 8 months bump! Everything I'm selling is obviously in good or perfect condition and only sold because I have to make room for a smaller (but walk-in) wardrobe.
 
@WITrefurbSALE

If you would like to see what's gone up this weekend just follow me on @WITrefurbSALE on Instagram and keep checking in the next few weeks. If you like something that is still available, simply email me at wearingittoday@gmail.com and I will give you all payment information (PayPal only). One thing is that postage has to be arranged by the buyer - same reason as above, I can't make trips to the post office. I will wrap everything up and you can either send a courier (if you are London based) or book one like Hermes, cheaper than Royal Mail insured/signed for and very reliable.

 
Some of your buys ready to be picked up
Oh! And if you can't find anything you like on my Instagram, have a look at my Vestiare Collective account - there's a few things there you might like too!

Happy Shopping!
Laura x

Friday, 15 April 2016

WIT mama Friday: you won't believe where this dress is from...

Part of the 'problem' of working at Wardrobe ICONS is that I literally spend my days in front of the computer looking for fabulous clothes for you and half the time end up buying them for me. Whilst that is a great testament to our overall philosophy of practicing what we preach it is a little bit of a slippery slope... nevertheless, here is a great buy especially for all WIT mama Fridays mums on a budget.

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This dress is, drum roll... from Monsoon! It surpasses the WIT quality and fit check and I can only apologies for modelling it with an 8 months bump I'm sure it will look much better on the non pregnant ladies that will get their hands on it today.

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Marilyn Dress £79.00 Monsoon

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

City appropriate espadrilles


Chanel espadrilles from a selection at Vestiaire Collective

My Chanel espadrilles were a totally crazy, indulgent buy, but I have to admit I absolutely love them and have got so much wear out of them last season, to my surprise mainly when I was in London. I think espadrilles are mainly a beach/holiday shoe, but with so many styles to choose from there are styles that make them totally city appropriate too. Sadly if you work in a smart office, I still think they are a total no-go, but could work at the weekend. Here are the rules I go by and all the ones I would own if I lived in Los Angeles all year round!

The perfect city espadrille:

  • Opt for leather, suede and fabrics that you would actually avoid on the beach - they are more likely to be city appropriate.
  • Choose neutral colours like black, navy and tan and save brighter shades for the beach.
  • Styles with a closed toe and back are preferable to ones that are not. 
  • Avoid straps and lace ups that instantly look very beachy. 
  • A heeled or wedge espadrille is the ultimate holiday heel so stick to flat styles only.
  • If in doubt, ask yourself if you could call it a shoe and if the answer is yes, then it's likely to be city appropriate!


1 Diane Von Furstenberg  Cairo espadrilles  £171
2 Valentino  C-Rockee leather espadrilles  £490
3 Soludos £57 ASOS
4 and 6 Suede £88 J.Crew
5 Tory Burch Two-tone leather espadrilles £175
7 Isabel Marant √Čtoile Cana printed canvas espadrilles £90

Monday, 11 April 2016

Let the season of the peasant blouse begin

Joseph trousers and gilet, DAY Birger top, Aquazzurra shoes

It there's one thing I love wearing in Spring and Summer is the peasant blouse - it's the most versatile top that you so easily dress up and down and makes any outfit instantly look a little more polished. 
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Mango £35.99
I wear it as I would wear a T-shirt and reach out for it with the same practical reasons: goes with everything and is super comfy (even when 8 months pregnant). 
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Madewell £125
I know the boho trend comes and goes, but for me a peasant blouse is an ultimate wardrobe staple. 
Today I'm wearing an old one from last year, but you can shop for very similar styles practically everywhere.

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√Čtoile Isabel Marant £170

Friday, 8 April 2016

WIT mama Friday: 10 little things that make all mamas happy on a bad day

I've had one too many sleepless nights and sick days in the last few months, but hey ho, we can't complain too much - right? When the going gets tough and I need a little pick me up, there are certain things that always make me feel better. Some come at a bit more of a cost, but most of them are actually life's little pleasures. Here are mine. Happy Fridays mamas!

1- A manicure or pedicure
I know I've said this before - but those 30 minutes to myslef, sitting in a plush chair either sipping on a hot chocolate, watching re-runs of Sex and the City or or simply checking through my Instagram feed, are a true moment of bliss. And then you walk out with perfectly manicured hands and feet, the antithesis of all thing non-perfect in motherhood! To me this is the ultimate pick me up. I love Cowshed... they know how to make me feel pampered and this week I had my nails painted in a super dark shade of plum called Roubachka from Chanel (the only place I found stocks most Chanel colours online is here - they sell out so quickly everywhere else).



2- Weekend papers in bed
I'm not keen on giving Greta free access to the iPad, I actually sometimes wonder if I'm a bit too strict with it, but sometimes I just throw my hands in the air and give up. Why? Because I just want 15 minutes of peace! If you have a 3 year old chatty, me me me me little one at the weekend you will know what I mean. So last Sunday I did something I had never done before: I shoved those head phones on her with total freedom to flick through her (pre-approved) Netflix account to watch whatever she wanted. And so I read, undisturbed, the weekend papers for two hours. BLISS.


3- On the sofa online shopping
It can be anything - my Ocado weekly shop, something new for the house or like this week, something for my summer box. It's just for that little thrill of a buy, and it always feels so good! I've missed it actually because being pregnant takes the joy out of shopping, yet with summer soon approaching and a bump free life ahead of me I have had that urge to shop again. I was on ASOS one night last week and ended up buying this tie-dye leather clutch. I can see myslef wearing it this summer on holiday... I can already smell the sea when I think of it!

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4- Fresh flowers
When the house is a mess, toys are everywhere and the super tidy person in me suffers in silence, I give the house a quick tidy up and buy some fresh flowers. There's something therapeutic about choosing the ones you want, bringing them home, placing them in a vase and then looking at them open up in the following days. Buying (and receiving) flowers always puts a smile on my face, so much so that this year I asked my husband if my birthday present could be just that - a fresh bunch of flowers per month delivered to my door from my favourite florists. It's the gift that keeps on giving.


5- A hot shower with a deluxe shower wash
After a long day, maybe with a sick toddler or just pregnancy/life/work exhaustion there is nothing that relaxes me more than a  scorching hot shower with my favourite shower wash. I always buy something lovely, usually on the expensive side from either REN, AESOP or Cowshed. They last for so long and make my at home showers feel like I'm at Barnsley House.. so why not!

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6- Bookingsome time out
It doesn't have to be anything major, just some sort of escapism. Last week I was reading about this farm you can go to just outside of London - the idea of a family day trip always cheers me up and knowing that I will give Greta some quality time together makes me happy inside. For solely me and husband time I would probably rely on the help of Mr. and Mrs. Smith for some kids free time! I recently went to Soho Farm House and despite being sick in bed the whole weekend, I loved every minute of my beautiful room.


7- Beautiful stationery
Taking time to write a thank you or birthday card is something I take lots of pleasure in - I think it comes with the ritual but also from the fact that I know how much I too enjoy receiving a handwritten note in the post. I have a little folder with cards I've collected from everywhere, and a pot with my special pens.  

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8- Pizza night on a week day
Now this is a bit of an unusual, but when the going gets tough I like to pretend like my life has not changed at all since having children - who needs a to book a baby sitter in advance when you can just put your kids in the car and head to your local pizza place for an early dinner on a  week day?! Pizza night always makes me a little happy inside and like me, my family loves the impromptusness of it all. And if I'm feeling really wild... I will even have a whole full fat Coke! ;-)



9- New Shoes
I don't know what it is about shoes, I'm such a shoe girl! Maybe because on most days I wear jeans and so shoes can really change the way I dress them up, but for me shoes are a real temptation! This week I was shooting my last 'Shopping List" for Wardrobe ICONS which happened to be on summer shoes and I literally fell in love with this Charlotte Olympia pair... when I slipped them on they gave me a real Carrie Bradshaw moment! They will be perfect for my shower party and for my baby's city Christening... plus, YOU gave me permission to buy them so needless say more??

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Charlotte Olympia Ilona bow-embellished canvas mules £545

10- Wearing red lipstick
Because it instantly makes me feel prettier even on the days where I don't feel pretty at all!


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