1. H&M Satin Tunic With Tassels, £24.99 (sizes 8-20)
2. Isabel Marant Buffalo Bone Earrings, £65.00
3. Dorothy Perkins Washed Black ‘Harper’ Jeans, £26.00 (sizes 6-20L)
4. Next Animal Print Thong Sandals, £20.00-£22.00
1. H&M Satin Tunic With Tassels, £24.99 (sizes 8-20)
2. New Look Zulu Embellished Clutch Bag, £19.99
3. Dorothy Perkins Washed Black ‘Harper’ Jeans, £26.00 (sizes 6-20L)
4. Next Peep Toe Shoe-Boots, £16.00 (were £35.00)
This post is inspired by a gorgeous friend (and talented makeup artist) of mine, Lisa. She is definitely what I would describe as curvy, and in all the right ways. I have worked with her quite a lot recently on various shoots, and was inspired by her cool, but feminine ‘looks’ each day. She (along with many of you) asked me to do a Mama Spree dedicated to curvy mamas, so here it is. I decided to do an outfit that will work just as well for day as for night, with just a quick swap of accessories. I must admit, I did have Lisa in my mind when choosing these pieces, but I think this is a universally cool and flattering outfit (who says you have to wear frumpy clothes just because you’re not a size 8? Not me that’s for sure). You can’t go far wrong with a black jean as far as I’m concerned (I am a huge fan), so that’s what I started with. I’m also a big fan of the skinny rolled-up jean and a slouchy blouse combo (in fact, I would totally wear this outfit). This Gap mens army-style jacket would be great worn over your shoulders with both of these looks (the Gap mens ones are always the best, and I saw this one in the store last week, and it’s now firmly on my Autumn shopping list). These Gap legging jeans (don’t be scared by the name – they bear no resemblance to a scary jegging) are super-flattering. I like the black (the wash is great – a bit faded), but they come in lots of different colours/prints. My sister swears by them , and I lived in my camouflage print ones last Winter. I also like this this Mango suede panel t-shirt; this Isabel Marant Étoile dress; this Mango mohair coat; these Autograph leather leggings (my sister also has these and loves them – I’m tempted too); these Mango faux leather leggings; this Mango wool-blend t-shirt; this Evans navy long sleeved tee; these H&M linen tees; this Warehouse jumpsuit (despite what you might think, jumpsuits can be really flattering for curvier bodies – you just need to get the proportions right); and these Mango sandals.
Next week it’s all about Winter coats (another popular request). It may be only August (not that you’d think it from the weather), but it’s not about waiting until Winter is fully underway to buy yours (if you care which one you buy anyway), You have to act fast before the best ones sell out. So don’t even thinking about investing until after next Friday.
Mini Boden Cosy Pointelle Pack (0-3 years)
£32.00-£34.00 SHOP NOW
Could these be any cuter? I mean, seriously…
Eva & Oli Grey Backback
£31.59 SHOP NOW
Yes, more back to school paraphernalia. Had to share this rucksack though – it’s a great option for a school bag (if you don’t have a regulation one). I like this Bobo Choses star print one too.
1. Next Playsuit Set (3 months-6 years) £14.00-£15.00
2. Boden Cardigan (0-3 years) £18.00-£20.00
3. Gap Ballet Flats (sizes US 5-11) £14.95
The perfect transeasonal outfit to take your little girl seamlessly from Summer to Autumn, and through to Winter… Just add grey or navy knitted tights (and possibly these cute boots in ‘mouse’) as the temperature drops…
Mini Boden Baby Cardigan (0-3 years)
£18.00-£20.00 SHOP NOW
I love, love, love these gorgeous cardigans. I couldn’t decide which colour I liked best, so I edited it down to my three favourites. I love the hand knitted feel, the velvet ribbon trim, and the sweet little patch pockets (basically everything about them!). Tomorrow I’ll show you how I’m styling Tabitha’s (and which colour I went for in the end)…
Just bought a couple of great long sleeved (it’s that time…) slub tees for Marlow in Gap today (styling tip: they look really cool with the sleeves rolled up a couple of times). This one (in ‘cast iron’) and this one (in ‘raison’). Love them. I also spotted this coat in M&S, and ended up buying it for Marlow’s school coat (apologies that it wasn’t in last week’s coats edit, but I hadn’t seen it then). Trust me, it’s so much nicer in person; plus it’s grey not khaki as it states on the website. And it has a really warm, cosy lining. I was also tempted by this one that I spotted in Next yesterday. Not bad at all.
ps: do you subscribe to the Little Spree daily email updates? If not, why not? You might miss something!!
1. Mango Quilted Denim Jacket, £59.99
2. J.Crew Long Sleeved V-neck Tee, £26.50 (was £32.50)
3. Acne Pop Low-Slung Boyfriend Jeans, £260.00
4. Scotch & Soda Cotton Shopper, £19.95
5. Topshop ‘Annette’ Ankle Boots, £65.00
I think we all deserve a little treat after looking at all those scary school shoes (I know I do). We are all over this fab quilted denim jacket from Mango, and will both be putting an order in for one I’m sure. Come September, you may (hopefully anyway) not need a coat, but you will almost certainly need some kind of lightweight jacket, particularly for those early morning school-runs. This is the kind of easy jacket that you can just chuck over pretty much anything and just feel a bit more ‘done’. We like it best with a relaxed grey marl tee and cropped jeans (and don’t rule out a blue jean with it either – that would look great). And these boots (you may remember I have mentioned them before) are the best pseudo Issy Dicker boots we’ve seen (so many others have tried and failed to emulate their coolness). Love these. And if they are anything like the Issy ones, you will be living in them this Autumn. Here are a few other relaxed pieces we found for the school-run… This BDG aviator jacket (I love this – it’s already in my cyber basket!!); this Boden Breton (in ivory/navy); these Iro Lottie coated joggers; these Gap boots (in black); this Boden; this Superdry parka; striped jumper (in grey and navy), this Zara plaid shirt; and this Topshop sweatshirt. Over and out.
ps: next Friday it’s all about you curvy mamas there…
1. Lily & Lime ‘When I Grow Up’ Notebook, £9.50
2. Gap Kitty Backpack, £19.95
3. Rosie Jo’s Initial Personalised Canvas Bag, £12.50
4. Happy Jackson ‘Yay Lunch’ Lunchbox, £6.00
5. Sarah Catherine Designs ‘First Day Of School’ Personalised Card, £2.95
6. My 1st Years Personalised Pencil Set, £12.00
1. Posh Totty Designs Interiors Retro Wooden Rulers, £6.00 each
2. Gap Nylon Backpack, £19.95
3. Sarah Catherine Designs ‘First Day Of School’ Personalised Card, £2.95
4. Rosie Jo’s Initial Personalised Canvas Bag, £12.50
5. From You To Me ‘Rant And Rave About My School Journal’, £10.00
6. Doodle By Stitch Doodle Pencil Case, £12.50
Here are a few cute things that we loved, to try and refresh your palette after all the un-inspiring dullness of regulation school shoes and coats of the previous posts. One for the girls, and one for the boys. We also liked this school reminder chalkboard; and this Gap owl backpack.
ps: tomorrow it’s all about us again! Phew. New term = new season’s clothes. Yay! We’ve got it covered with a cool, effortless ‘school-run look’ for September that will take seconds to throw together in the morning, featuring our new favourite high street jacket…
La Redoute Hooded Parka (3-8 years)
£27.00 SHOP NOW
Another pretty uninspiring subject is school coats. Sigh. We know they need them, so we know we need to buy them, but are we getting excited about them? Er, no. This La Redoute one is the current favourite (a great unisex option). In fact, most of the ones we found were unisex (well the ones we could stomach anyway), but then who really wants a pink belted puffa coat for school (well, apart from Tabitha given half the chance!) anyway? We just want a non-hideous (there seems to be a trend emerging this week for school wear…) one that will keep them warm and dry (ish) right? So here you go… This one from F&F; John Lewis; this one from Uniqlo (in navy); this one from Gap; this one from Zara; this one from M&S; this one from Zara; this one from Next; this one from M&S; this one from Gap; this one from Joules this one from M&S; this one from John Lewis; this one from John Lewis; this one from Polarn O. Pyret; this one from John Lewis; and this one from Trespass. Is it too early for a drink?
ps: tomorrow it’s all about those little extras…
Papouelli Violetta Mary Janes (sizes 26-34)
£59.00 SHOP NOW
Here we go again, but this time it’s the girls’ turn. And I have to say, compared to the boys they haven’t got it so bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s slim-pickings out there, but there are definitely some more than ok options. Personally I prefer the more traditional style for girls – the classic Mary Jane is always a favourite of mine (in or out of school), so I was pleased to see so many around for school. The ‘Violetta’ style from Papouelli (above) is the girls’ front-runner (and almost certainly going to be Tabitha’s first pair of school shoes), and they come in navy and black (for some reason, most of my favourites only seem to come in navy, annoyingly). They look sweet, but are pretty sturdy too. I also like these options… These from Start-rite; these from Petasil (Blanche): these from Start-rite; these from Clarks (I actually saw these in the window of the Richmond store last week, and they are much nicer in real life); these from Start-rite; these from Geox; these from Lelli Kelly (I never thought I’d see the day when I would be featuring Lelli Kelly on Little Spree!!); these from Start-rite; these from these Menthe et Grenadine (thank you Lucy for the tip-off – they have some gorgeous shoes for girls and boys); and finally these from Next. Amen.
ps: tomorrow it’s onto school coats… Oh joy.
Geox ‘William’ School Shoes (sizes 27jnr-39)
£42.00-£46.00 SHOP NOW
I feel like this post should come with a disclaimer: WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND OFFENSIVE. And if you don’t have kids about to start school/at school, consider yourself very lucky (for now) and go and pour yourself a large glass of wine and skip this post (believe me, it’s strictly on a need-to-know basis only). I have come to the conclusion (it didn’t take long) that a stylish (regulation) boy’s school shoe does not exist. Fact. I am more than happy to take on a challenge (and did), but try as I might, as far as I know, there is simply no such thing. But before you cancel your son’s school place and start googling ‘home schooling’, read on… There are some ok-ish ones that are pretty inoffensive. The ‘William’ style (above) is definitely the front-runner, and the style I will almost certainly be buying for Marlow (Nicky has already bought them for her son, Bailey). They are well-made, totally inoffensive (i.e. didn’t make me want to throw up when I first saw them); are a good price; and tick all the tedious ‘velcro etc.’ boxes. Plus they are even less offensive in person. Done. And seeing as boy’s school shoes is, by far, the most common request in my Little Spree inbox since launching, I felt I should give you a few other options. A lot of the ones I liked were more of a hybrid of a shoe and a trainer, which are not allowed at most schools, but I have included a couple just in case you know something that I don’t… These from Petasil (first spotted at Bubble and loved them); these from Kickers; these from Ricosta; these from Next; these from Geox; these from Kickers; these from M&S; and these from Dr Martins. Amen. I am certainly glad that is over (until next year anyway). That was, without doubt, the hardest post I have even had to write.
ps: if you happen to live in South-West London, The Shoe Station is fantastic for school shoes (and non-school shoes too).
pps: it’s over to the (slightly less offensive) girls’ options tomorrow…
The whole of this week Little Spree will be dedicated entirely to ‘back to school’. Or in Tabarlow’s case, starting ‘big’ school. Including the least offensive regulation school shoes out there (as if this whole transition wasn’t challenging enough for us??), school bags, coats, and just various cute school bits and pieces. First up, it’s the boys’ shoes, coming later today…
The Bubble London exhibition back in July (where does the time go??) was really inspiring in so many ways. Me and my new partner in crime (and super-stylish mama), Nicky set off on a mission (both in flat shoes) in search of lovely new brands/labels, and believe me, she’s as picky as I am am! We saw a lot of things we liked, a lot of things we didn’t like (or simply just weren’t very ‘Little Spree’), and some things that we loved. I have narrowed down to who we really loved (it was tough, but my job is to edit after all), and who you may not necessary be on your radar just yet (there were also a lot of familiar brands that we already know and love there too, but you don’t need me to tell you about those), so here’s who to keep an eye on now, and particularly come Autumn (we were looking at their upcoming Autumn/Winter collections).
First up: Velveteen (above) was our absolute favourite. We loved everything about his label and their collection!! Think Bonpoint, but (much) more affordable, and with a cooler/hippie/artisan, handmade feel (but still lovely quality). Faded tiny florals/stripes/dot prints, tassels, to-die-for cute bikinis, baskets… You get the picture (and it’s not just for girls – the boys things are equally gorgeous). I would probably have bought the entire collection there and then if I could have! We also loved their philosophy of working with fair-trade organisations wherever possible. You will definitely be seeing more of Velveteen (even the name is adorable!!) on Little Spree. The Little Tailor was another fave. Beautiful hand knitted baby pieces in perfect colours/tones. Favourites included the square comforters (definitely the most stylist one I have seen to date); blankets, cashmere trousers and knitted rattles.
You will already have heard of Nature Zoo because of the recent ‘Octochic’ competition. We loved everything about their stylish crocheted toys and nursery accessories. Everything they do would make the loveliest baby gifts too. Sticky Fudge - just gorgeous pieces for boys, girls and babies. A lovely muted colour palette. Ponytail (probably our second favourite) focuses on the coolest/most stylish toy storage bags, changing mats and nappy bags. We particularly loved the genius drawstring ‘Saco’ bag (in grey) which is a toy storage bag and play mat in one. I definitely would have bought one of these if they had been around when Tabarlow were babies. Another great (original and stylish) baby gift idea. Castell make the simple, stylish Spanish sandals that you have probably seen around quite a bit this Summer. Love love love! Collégien is a French label that make super-cool toddler slipper-socks with a moulded sole (they even do a pair in navy cashmere!!). They also do a great selection of coloured socks and tights. Dadati is another Spanish label (there are such great kidswear designs coming out of Spain at the moment) that we loved. They specialise in beautiful, classic children’s clothes. Lots of pretty Liberty prints and lovely colours, a lot of which is unisex. Great prices too.
ps: remember this super-cute kitty bag (as featured on Little Spree back in July? I’ve seen so many all over Instagram recently (and not just for little girls either!), and the good news is, it’s still available here.
1. Scotch & Soda Broderie Anglaise Top, £87.95
2. Gap Zip Pocket Track Pants, £34.95
3. Mango Striped Canvas Bag, £19.99 (was £34.99)
4. Birkenstock ‘Arizona’ Sandals, £49.95
Having just got back from a wonderful two weeks in Tuscany, ‘plane dressing’ is definitely still fresh in my mind. I flew to Parma with the twins, and Tom drove (how I got talked into that one I will never know…), so I was running a very ‘tight ship’ in terms of what to wear and what to carry. Pulling together any kind of ‘look’ for the plane with kids in tow is no mean feat (plus who really cares that much anyway?), but I do still like to feel ‘put together’, but still comfortable. There are just a few factors to consider. Flats are a must (why anyone would travel in heels, regardless of mini travel companions is a mystery to me?). And flats that are easy to get on and off at security are a non-negotiable with little ones. I’m still slightly on the fence with the whole Birkies trend, but I do love them on other people, and I love the white (and you will live on them on holiday). I just spied these track pants on the Gap website yesterday, and will definitely be buying myself a pair (I do prefer the charcoal though I have to say). Then if you add a more feminine top (I’m loving that this one is chambray, rather than the usual white), this will balance the trackies nicely and keep them chic, not sloppy. And I’ve been eying this striped Mango tote all Summer, and a roomy bag that you can sling over your shoulder is another nonnegotiable when travelling with little ones. Then this can also double up as a chic holiday/beach bag (cutting down on your packing – the only others bags I took where my trusty basket bags).
This week I’m also loving this Scotch & Soda cotton shopper; these Topshop shorts (perfect for holidays); this H&M Breton jumper (I just bought it, it’s great – quite a heavy knit, not ‘fine’ as described on the website, so more like a traditional Breton); this Gap shirt (great with khaki trousers); these Kurt Geiger wedges (very Stella-esque, and they really remind me of an old pair of A.P.C ones that I have had for years); this Boden (Marni-esque) retro print sweater (the brown – love it with denim); these Topshop ankle boots (if you can’t/don’t want to stretch to the Issy ones); and this Mango unstructured blazer (this is a bit of a ‘buy now, stash for later’ purchase).
Bob & Blossom ‘Love’ Silver Print Long Sleeve Tee (1-5 years)
£14.95 SHOP NOW
I have long been a fan of Bob & Blossom, and have bought countless number t-shirts for birthday presents (they are always well received by both parents, and little ones, and a great price at just £16.95). But at the recent Bubble exhibition in London, it was this adorable love tee that caught my eye. The ‘marshmallow’ pink is just right, and the silver text makes the perfect cool contrast. I also loved the ‘hello’ version in the perfect ‘cloud’ grey with neon text (in fact, it was tough to choose which one to use as the picture for this post). They are also both available in baby sizes too. I can’t get enough of them!
ps: the lucky winner of the gorgeous Nature Zoo musical octopus is Louise Knight. Congratulations Louise! Please email me with your address and I will post it straight to you. Thank you to everyone who entered, and worry not, there will be more competitions coming soon.
pps: next week is dedicated to the dreaded (for so many reasons!!) subject of ‘back to school’, or in Tabarlow’s case: starting school. I am traumatised, but mostly about the scary shoes. I will be sharing my woes with you all next week, so don’t buy anything until you’ve read my edit.
Nature Zoo was one of my favourite stands at Bubble London last week. They make the most beautiful (and stylish) crocheted toys and accessories, and chic, stylish baby gifts. I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous musical octopus, and the lovely ladies at Nature Zoo kindly offered to give one to a lucky Little Spree reader. All you need to do is answer this (ridiculously easy) question, and email your answer to me at the usual Little Spree email address (you can find it in ‘contact’ at the top of the website). How many legs does an octopus have?
I also loved the cot and pram/buggy mobiles (the figures are detachable, so you switch them over or add to them – love that – so clever). Anyway, check out the website for yourself – they have so many cute things. There’s just something about the look and feel of these crocheted pieces that babies just love. The little rattles are adorable too. And the great thing is, they are all super-stylish.
We’re off to Tuscany tomorrow on holiday (follow me on Instagram: littlespree), so Little Spree will also be taking a little (and much needed) break. Back in two weeks! Good luck with the competition! I will announce the winner when we’re back, so you have plenty of time (the closing date is 6th August).
ps: more from Bubble soon. I can’t wait to share my favourites with you…
1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Festiva Macramé Bag, £35.00
3. Kurt Geiger ‘Goodsport’ Sandals, £59.00 (were £110)
1. Mango V-neck Jumpsuit, £34.99 (was £59.99)
2. Isabel Marant Bead Tassel Earrings, £85.00 (were £170.00)
3. Scotch & Soda Batik Clutch Bag, £26.00 (was £51.95)
4. Isabel Marant Leather Sandals, £261.00 (were £435.00)
Who knew a black jumpsuit could be so wearable, flattering and not to mention, versatile? Not me. But now I own one (this exact one from Mango in fact) I am a complete convert. And it works just as well for day as for night. The one downside? There is no such thing as a quick trip to the loo! And whatever you do, do not wear one on a long haul flight (learn from my mistakes ladies!). I was seduced by it’s ‘chic and comfortable’ appeal, but in one trip managed to lose an arm (the jumpsuit’s, not mine) down a dubious-looking loo at JFK airport (nice), and frequent loo trips on the flight become pretty tedious when you have to strip down to your bra and knickers each time (with a queue of impatient fellow passengers waiting outside…). But don’t let any of that put you off, I also love this one from Scotch & Soda.
ps: this week I’m also loving this Topshop printed sarong, and this basket bag (note the addition of the shoulder strap) from Hedgehog for my (just around the corner) holiday…
pps: I’m obsessed with the Scotch & Soda batik clutch (above)!!
1. Miller Palm Shirt, £27.50 (was £55.00)
2. Gap Flat Front Denim Shorts, £14.99 (were £17.95)
3. Birkenstock Silver Rio Sandals, £36.00
I sometimes struggle with shirts for Marlow, as they have a tendency to look (and feel) a bit stiff and starchy. Not this one from one of my favourite brands, Miller. And I love it even more styled in this relaxed way with these cool khaki shorts and (girls) Birkies. Who says boys can’t wear silver sandals anyway?
1. M&S 2 Piece Cotton Gingham Blouse & Shorts Outfit, £20.00
2. M&S Cotton Cable Knit Cardigan, £9.00
3. Zara Leather Metallic Sandals, £9.99 (were £17.99)
M&S are doing some great baby pieces (and all in lovely cottons) at the moment. I love this cute little gingham outfit and cable cardigan. So chic.
ps: saw lots of gorgeous things at the Bubble London exhibition today. Very inspiring. I will be writing a special post all about my favourite ‘ones to watch’ (some you may already know, and some you probably won’t). And guess what? I also found some non-hideous boys’ school shoes (yes complete with the obligitoary velcro!). I will definitely be sharing those, so don’t buy any new school shoes until you’ve read it.
Kin By John Lewis Boys Parka (2-10 years)
£10.00 (was £15.00) SHOP NOW
Thank you Jacqueline for this great ‘buy now, stash for later’ find. And an amazing price!! You can’t go wrong with a parka, and I’m definitely buying one for Marlow to ‘stash’ for the Autumn. And here’s another (slightly longer) one, also from John Lewis.
ps: here’s a super-cute girls Winter coat from Monsoon to buy now too (it’s just £40.00). So tempted…
pps: Tabitha is wearing her Next shorts dungarees and striped tee combo today (she did take a bit of convincing: “but it’s not pretty enough…”, but I managed to talk her round). It’s so sweet.
1. Next Printed Playsuit, £11.00-£12.00
2. Maileg Mini Bunny Girl, £17.00
3. La Redoute Desert Boots, £22.50 (were £45.00)