reversible

Polarn O. Pyret Baby Reversible Sun Hat (4-24 months)
£12.00  SHOP NOW
A good (and stylish of course) sun hat is a Summer essential for babies and toddlers. I love this chambray blue, but if you get bored and fancy a change, it’s reversible. I also really like this striped one from Mothercare, and this reversible floral/striped one from Mini Boden.

ps: if anyone is looking for a duvet for their little one, this feather and down one from John Lewis is ideal. I just bought two for Tabarlow, and they are fantastic. Cosy, but not too warm, and a great price at just £30.00.

mama spree: mini me

Mango Ethnic Embroidered Dress (sizes 6-14)
£44.99  SHOP NOW
This week’s Mama Spree is going to be brief because I’ve been shooting pretty much non-stop for two weeks, so I have barely window-shopped online, let alone been near an actual shop (well not one that sells clothes anyway). But I have managed to buy two things. One of them is this dress (my favourite style of Summer dress – simple, cotton with a hint of hippie, and looks great with a simple flat sandal), and the other is the ‘mini me’ version for Tabitha. I cannot wait to wear them together on holiday. I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or Tabitha??

ps: if you’re not sick of me by now, you can read my ‘My Uniform’ interview with ‘Wear & Where’ style blog here.

slub tees

Gap Boys Heathered Slub V-neck T-Shirt (12 months-5 years)
£9.95  SHOP NOW
You can always rely on Gap to to do a great tee (I’m a big fan for myself too, and regularly stock up – this one is next). I am obsessed with slub t-shirts (fine weight, flecked), and a grey one is a must-have for Summer (whatever your age). I love this v-neck version for boys. And while I was nosing around the Gap website I also found these others that I will be adding to Marlow’s Summer shopping list… This striped one (I like the blue and white); this pocket one (I like the khaki, the navy and the bright yellow); and this ‘engineer’ style (I like the ‘milk’ colour way).

hippie boys

Monsoon Embroidered Boys Collarless Shirt (3 months-12 years)
£16.00  SHOP NOW
Sometimes I find that shirts can be a bit stiff and formal for little boys (and Marlow refuses to wear them at all), so I liked this more hippie, Indian inspired version for the Summer months. It would look great for a wedding/party, but also just for everyday with jeans and sandals. Boys can get on the ‘stylish hippie bus’ too…

ps: it’s almost time to bust out the Summer pyjamas. I love these ones from Gap and these ones from The Little White Company.

mama spree: maternity chic – dressing your bump

Joseph Paint Print ‘Pattina’ Dress (sizes 36-42)
£345.00  SHOP NOW
Once I’d got over the shock of being told I was expecting twins (to this day, it still remains the single biggest shock of my entire life, but that’s a whole other story…), one of my first thoughts was: what will I wear?? I was quite lucky as my bump wasn’t actually that huge (surprisingly!), and I didn’t gain much weight in other areas (I think it was some kind of trade-off for the twins shock), so ‘dressing my twin bump’ wasn’t as tricky as it could have been. Plus, the twins were born at just 31 weeks, so I never got to that ‘home run’ when you tend to pile on the most weight. Anyway, bearing all that in mind, I still had to make adjustments to the way I dressed, and I was a full-time Fashion Editor at Glamour magazine at the time, so shapeless tracksuits were never going to be an option. My body changed in ways that I wasn’t necessarily expecting, but I didn’t want to have a sudden style bypass just because I was pregnant. My pregnancy was during the Winter months, which I do think is easier as you can cover up more of the bits that are proving to be more of a challenge to dress. I didn’t buy many actual maternity things, as I didn’t feel it was necessary (plus my pregnancy was at the height of all things ‘smocky’, which was a huge bonus, as I already had quite a few appropriate pieces), and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on things that I almost certainly wouldn’t want to wear again (after the first few post-baby months anyway, and after that you literally want to incinerate everything anyway!). So I bought a couple of pairs of maternity jeans; a couple of cute, cool dresses (from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Topshop Maternity); some leggings (I know – don’t judge – they are really useful – I wore mine with slouchy mens’ cashmere jumpers/plaid shirts and biker boots towards the end of my pregnancy, and they were a godsend); a couple of pairs of maternity jeans (there is no getting around the jeans things after a few months, you have to give in to a maternity pair); a few longer vests/tees to layer under things as your bump expands and shortens all your normal tops with it; and one great dress for weddings/parties etc. (mine was Prada and non-maternity, but things have progressed a lot in maternity clothes since then).  The men’s department proved to be an amazing resource for me, and I used to hit Gap and H&M on a regular basis for a quick fix (I had one particular mink coloured cashmere v-neck from Gap mens’ that I practically wore out…). I think it’s really important to still feel like ‘you’ and not loose your identity whilst you’re pregnant. There’s enough changes to deal with without having to change your ‘look’ as well. And don’t overlook things with layering potential, such as sleeveless dresses, which ordinarily might not feel covered enough. So here is an edit of my favourite pieces for dressing your bump and being cool (with the odd hot flush), chic and comfortable at the same time. And many things that you will happily still want to wear for months after your baby’s born.
So I’m starting with this gorgeous Joseph paint print dress (above). You need to treat yourself to/invest in one great dress that will make you feel fab, and can be worn dressed up or down. This one is super-cool, feminine; will look great with or without black opaques; heels or flats; with or without a skinny long sleeved marl grey knit layered under or a boyfriend style cashmere cardigan worn over it. One of my Marc dresses was quite similar to this, and it proved to be one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. One website that I particularly love is Hatch. They do a gorgeous, clever collection of bump-friendly wardrobe essentials that are super-stylish, super-cool and that we can love “before, during and after pregnancy”. Genius. It was actually really hard to narrow down my favourite pieces, so you should definitely take a look at their website, but here are my selects: this cream shirt; these ’night out’ leggings; these silk dungarees; and this beautiful silk long dress. I also love these Topshop Maternity dark vintage Baxter maternity jeans; this Whistles knitted dress; this Zara mens linen long sleeved t-shirt; these ASOS maternity scalloped shorts; this Topshop Maternity denim shirtdress; this H&M mens’ denim shirt; this H&M mens’ checked shirt; this Cos long striped shirt-dress (so versatile – can be worn as dress with flat sandals in the Summer, over cool leather leggings, or layered under a shorter length sweater); this Topshop Maternity black swimsuit; this Mango embroidered dress (great for holiday); these Gap maternity skinny khakis; this Cabbages & Roses navy sweater (which I know I have posted previously, but it would be perfect when you’re pregnant); these J.Crew maternity toothpick black jeans; this Anthropologie ruffled top; these ASOS Maternity distressed skinny jeans; this Gap mens’ cashmere Breton (now half price); this Seraphine grey maxi dress; this White Company asymmetric jersey dress; these J Brand ‘Hewson’ maternity skinny jeans (if you fancy a splurge); this ASOS maternity t-shirt dress; this Gap maternity baseball tee; this ASOS Maternity t-shirt dress (cool with a skater shoe); these Koka Mama wet look leggings; this Zara tunic top; and finally this Isabella Oliver wrap maternity tee (grey) for those last few months when you may feel in need of a bit more support for your bump (as recommended by my good friend Nicky).

ps: it isn’t maternity, but I LOVE this super-cute Anthropologie printed swimsuit, and had to share. It’s definitely on my holiday shopping list. And this one is a really flattering, post-baby option, or if you’re more curvy. I love the retro feel.

pps: check out my interview with Alex and Alexa about why I started Mama Spree.

ppps: I am not pregnant.

 

pirate trousers

Mini Boden Roll-Up Trousers (0-3 years)
£18.00-£20.00  SHOP NOW
These cute baby trousers have a bit of a pirate feel about them, which I love. They will look great turned up. So easy and comfy to wear. Just add a cosy neutral coloured sweater like this one from Cyrillus or this one from Susie and Toto, then switch up for a grey marl tee in the Summer. I’m also liking these navy M&S sandals, which would work well with this look.

ps: don’t forget it’s Mama Spree Friday tomorrow. And it’s all about how to be chic, cool and comfortable when you’re pregnant (and yes it is possible!).

messenger chic

Mango Canvas Messenger Bag
£24.99  SHOP NOW
It can be so hard to find cool kids’ bags. Now I know that Marlow will be all over this one because it bears more than a passing resemblance to one of his dad’s bags (which just so happens to be Marc Jacobs). It’s simple, stylish, not too big… Perfect for nursery.

ps: this cool boys’ graffiti tee from Stella Kids is now just £21.50 in the sale.

pps: I also like these checked denim shorts from Mothercare.

lace & denim

Mothercare Denim Playsuit With Lace (18 months-8 years)
£12.00-£13.00  SHOP NOW
It does seem a little strange to be writing about Summer playsuits from the Inner Hebrides (I am in Skye, then the Isle of Harris shooting for the next 8 days), but that’s the way we roll at Little Spree…). I do love a playsuit (as does Tabitha), and this one’s mix of cool denim chambray and pretty lace is spot-on. And no need to wait until the warm weather (although I wouldn’t recommend wearing it here quite yet!!) – just layer with knitted tights and a long sleeved tee until then. The only downside to the playsuit? Not great for an urgently needed trip to the loo…

yay lunch!

Happy Jackson Lunchbox
£6.00  SHOP NOW
I bought one of these each for Tabitha and Marlow when they started staying at nursery for their lunch on a Thursday for French Club (which they think is the most exciting thing ever!). I like that it is both cool and practical. Love the monochrome striped ribbon band (ensuring the lid never comes off), and it’s great for boys and girls.

mama spree: the marant effect

Mango Ruffled Slub T-Shirt (xs-xl)
£19.99  SHOP NOW
No one loves a bit of Isabel Marant more than I do. I just love the effortless way she mixes pretty, feminine, (sometimes a bit folky/hippie) with tougher, edgier pieces for her signature ‘pretty cool’ vibe (as worn by many a fashion editor and most cool ‘off duty’ models). I always feel good in her clothes, and always try to buy a few pieces each season (and not necessarily the most obvious ‘stand out’ things, which are more likely to date), and I just wear and wear them. Put simply, she just designs things that we want to wear every day. But I can’t help noticing that the ‘Marant effect’ is all over the High Street at the moment… Ok, so there’s nothing new about this, but at the moment it’s actually hard to avoid! So I have hand-picked my favourite Isabel-eque pieces, starting with this fab ruffled slub tee, above (that I will definitely be buying, in both colours). I know I will wear this all time with my denim cut-offs come Summer time. I’m also coveting this cream embroidered dress; these Zara leather ankle tie sandals; this super-cool ‘day-to-evening’ embroidered jacket from Maison Scotch; this Zara cream embroidered top; this Monsoon embellished jacket; this Mango embroidered top; and you can even get the real thing for a not unreasonable £70.00.
So that’s what I will be buying, but in the meantime, this is what I’ve already bought… These Zara navy and white striped trousers (I’ve been wearing them cropped with a little turn-up, my Alexander Wang grey sweatshirt and my gold Miu Miu studded sandals from last Summer – still going strong, despite wearing them non-stop last year). Tabitha calls them my ‘pirate trousers’. They are super-comfy. These H&M slouchy, boyfriend style dungarees (I’ve been looking for the right pair for ages now, and these come pretty close). I’m wearing them with a long sleeved breton tee or a pretty/hippie blouse (the cream Zara one above will be ideal) and my Chanel pumps; these Office buckle pointed flats (worn today the Wang sweatshirt and my Current Elliot black boyfriend jeans – they are a damn sight more comfortable than my Valentino Rockstud flats I can tell you that much!!); these skinny jeans from Limited at M&S (I know that M&S may not be top of your list when shopping for jeans, but I really liked the wash, and had them taken up, so they are now cool and cropped  - perfect for wearing with flat sandals); these leopard print flat sandals from Kurt Geiger (love them with my Zara striped trousers); I am living in this JCrew tee (I bought it when I was in L.A, shooting for Red, back in January) - it’s so lovely and soft, and a really flattering (slightly longer than average) length; these Gap ‘sexy boyfriend’ cut-offs were one of my best buys of last Summer, and they are doing them again. I literally lived in them. I like that they are not too short) When it’s warm I just trade jeans for cut-offs. Simple. So I have them already, and I am planning on buying another pair…

ps: I have had a few requests for suggestions for flattering post-baby swimsuits. I first spotted this one in M&S when I was rushing past the womenswear department, en route to the food hall to grab some lunch one day. The thing with the most flattering swimsuits is, you first need to get past the often distinct lack of hanger appeal. They tend to look a bit scary – frumpy, bulky, and more likely to belong to Mrs Doubtfire than Daria. But this is because they are fully equipped with all the smoke and mirrors needed to make a swimsuit that will flatter bodies that aren’t beach-perfect. Post-babies, some of us need a little extra help. This one is super-chic, I like the thin straps, and all-over black is always flattering. It reminds me of this JCrew one that I’ve got my eye on. It has the all-important tummy control rouching, which holds everything in. Think of it as spanx for the beach. And as with the the trusty spanx, I would advise hiding it from your husband/boyfriend at all times when it is not being worn. And at the end of the day, who cares what it looks like off, if it makes you look (and feel) great on… I like this Boden striped halter neck one too (the navy and white stripe).

faded florals

The Little White Company Floral Print Skirt (2-8 years)
£26.00  SHOP NOW
I absolutely love the pretty grey, faded floral print on this full skirt. This style reminds me of the skirts that Miller always do (classic, but modern at the same time). And it has cute pockets for added coolness. Such an easy piece to wear in the Summer. I would style it with a classic navy and white Breton and simple (white or navy) sandals.

ps: it comes in a dress version too. Which one to get??

affordable luxury

Chloe Baby Girls Cashmere Hat & Scarf Set (12 months)
£42.00 (was £84.00)  SHOP NOW
Chloe. Cashmere. Beyond gorgeous. And totally affordable. No this is not an April fool! These are hard facts. Such an amazing price for a beautiful, luxury baby gift (for yours or someone elses). I’m very tempted to buy it to keep for the next friend who gets pregnant… I’m even tempted to have another baby myself!

swim style

Cyrllius Boys’ Striped Swimshorts (4-16 years)
£29.00  SHOP NOW
As promised, here is my edit of the best boys’ swimshorts on the high street. There is definitely less choice for the boys (isn’t that always the case?), but I have tracked down some great ones. These blue and white striped ones are my favourites, but I also like these star print ones, also from Cyrillus; these Mini Boden striped trunks (Marlow has last year’s version of these); these plain navy ones from Howick; these colour block ones from Next; these gingham checked ones from Petit Bateau; and these Hatley shark print ones.

ps: remember this Mango parka I mentioned in a Mama Spree post a few weeks ago? It’s now 30% off…

my all-time favourite sandals

Sun-San ‘Surfer’ Sandals (sizes 5 infant-3 junior)
From £35.00  SHOP NOW
Anyone who has been a follower of Little Spree for over a year will already know about these sandals, so forgive me for repeating myself. But it’s that time of year again when we have to start thinking about (and buying) our Summer sandals before they all sell out. I am still yet to find a childrens’ sandal that I love more than the Sun-San ones. Tabitha and Marlow have worn them every Summer since they could walk, and I’ve just bought theirs for this Summer (Trotters have started stocking them, which is great because you can get their feet measured for them in the store). They look great, they are super-comfy, they look good with everything, they are equally cool for boys and girls, they start from baby sizes, they are waterproof, and they go in the washing machine. Oh, and they come in a huge range of colours (and styles, but the ‘Surfer’ is definitely my favourite). My favourite colours are white, navy, pale pink, silver, gold (for girls) and navy and tan (for boys). The best kids’ sandals ever.

ps: happy mothers’ day to all the Little Spree mamas out there! Hope you’re having a wonderful day.