Starchild Milky Stars Leather Baby Shoes (0-6 months)
Baby shoes/booties are just as tricky as toddlers’ in my opinion. You can find this type of soft-soled leather shoe (I used to call them ‘Michael Flatleys’ when Tabarlow wore them) everywhere, but can you find tasteful ones? Not easily. They are few and far between, believe me. This pair is definitely one of the cutest I’ve seen. Admittedly, white is perhaps not the most practical of colours for baby shoes (but let’s face it there’s not a whole lot of walking going on at this age…), but you can’t have it all! They are simple and stylish, and the tiny cut-out stars are just such a sweet detail (and just enough). And suitable for both boys and girls. Trust me, you’ll be lucky to find nicer ones (if you can, please share!), and these are just £10.00 in the sale! Oh and apparently their sizing is quite generous, so I’m sure these would last beyond six months. Love.
£10.00 (were £16.00) custard-online.co.uk
John Lewis Pack of Two Cotton Tights (2-15 years)
I get so many emails (yes even in August!) from mums asking my advice on where to buy good girls’ tights, I felt they were deserving of their own post. I am (surprise, surprise!) very particular about tights (both for me and for Tabs, although I will stick to Tabs for the sake of this post). Firstly they have to be cotton. For Tabitha they must only ever be the cotton, knitted variety (I have an irrational phobia of little girls, particularly babies, in regular opaque tights – the white ones literally bring me out in hives, even at christenings…). I am very picky on colour and design too. I have dabbled with the occasional pair of striped tights, but always end up hating them once they are on (too gimmicky for me, although I am not entirely against them). So this narrows is down to a rather modest selection of navy, grey and charcoal. Sorry! But before you get too depressed by this limited colour palette, allow me to lift your spirits by adding that all those colours go with pretty much any other colour, so you don’t have to faff about so much in the morning getting (your little ones) dressed. I always buy these John Lewis ones (but they only start from age two, so no good for babies I’m afraid), which also come in, yep, you’ve guessed it – navy and charcoal. I also buy the Mothercare ones, which also come in a pack of two. Zara always do great ones too, particularly if I’m feeling really crazy – they do lovely cable and ribbed ones (Tabarlow wore charcoal ribbed ones under their christening gowns). I do also like brown and beige too actually now I come to think of it. So there you have it. If anyone else has any other leads, I would love to hear from you (unless it’s about white, opaque ones – you can keep those).
Mila-Moo Floral Nappy Cover (size: newborn)
These are just so cute! Similar to the pretty knickers I have previously posted, these are slightly different in that they are designed specifically to go over nappies (such a great idea). They are handmade from cotton Liberty fabric, are elasticated for extra comfort, and have a pretty velvet trim. And as for the bow? Too adorable for words… Would make the most beautiful gift for a newborn. It’s things like this that seriously make me want to have another baby! Almost.
Start-rite Navy Boots (sizes 4E Jnr-6.5E Jnr)
I’m now constantly on the look-out (on high-alert in fact) for great shoes for babies and toddlers because so many people have emailed me about this very subject, and how hard they find it to get decent ones. How cute are these navy boots from Start-rite’s ‘English Classics’ range? They almost look a bit Victorian, which of course, I love (just leave the velvet knickerbockers at home…). And no velcro/trucks/cartoon characters in sight! I just love that they are simple, classic and completely plain. And navy! And you know that Start-rite are def going to look after your little one’s feet. Love.
Lily Rose ‘Coralie’ Liberty Print Blouse (3-24 months)
I love the Winter florals trend that was all over the catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2012/13 (you will be seeing a lot of them around in the stores from now). Gone are the days when pretty floral prints were just reserved for the Summer months. I love nothing more than dressing Tabitha in a Liberty print (this one is Liberty Arts fabric) blouse, skinny jeans or cords and boots (usually desert) in the Winter. I will just add a simple grey cardigan over this blouse for chillier days. I particularly love the colours of this one, and the ric rac trimmed collar.
Next Grey Spot Skinny Jeans (3 months-6 years)
Printed jeans are all over the place at the moment (I’m still loving the Current Elliot faded leopard print ones…), and this is a really cool pair from Next. It’s getting to the end of ‘Summer’ and I’m starting to think less about Summer dresses and sandals and more about cool skinny jeans and jumpers (I think I’m talking about myself and Tabs now). I love that these are a little different from your average skinnies, but will still go with loads of things because of the neutral grey. Tabs will be rocking hers with a little blouse and hi-tops. Cute.
Little Bird by Jools Toadstool Doorstop
This is one of my favourite things from the collection (and one of Jools’ too apparently). I just love toadstool things for kids, and this is so cute. I love that it’s knitted, and has a really old-fashioned/vintage feel about it. But not only does it look adorable, but it’s practical too – great for little ones who are scared of the dark and need their bedroom door ajar. It would make the loveliest present too. I was going to buy one when I was in the store last week, but I was already a bit laden down, (and en route to see my great friend Des and her new baby, Missy) and it’s pretty heavy, so I had to (reluctantly) leave it. The great news is, UK delivery is free (hurray!), so I’ll be ordering one online (and a few extra for gifts too). In fact, I am going to do that right now…
La Redoute Baby & Girl’s Checked Bikini (18 months-5 years)
What is it about French girls’ bikinis? They are always, always my favourite. They are just so… pretty. Love the pink gingham checks and the flouncy frills. Super-girly and utterly gorgeous.
H&M Long Sleeved T-Shirt (1-8 years)
Ok, so not the most exciting thing in the world to post, but to be honest I’m still on a high from the Sun-San sandals, so felt today was a good day for a more subdued offering. I always buy Marlow’s t-shirts from H&M. They are cheap and cheerful, but really great quality. These ones are 100% organic cotton, and are always a great, slim fit (I hate baggy clothes on little boys). I just buy a stash of them in one go, and they get worn the whole time. I love that they are just completely plain. And £3.99! They also do great (plain) long sleeved all-in-ones for babies in a large selection of colours which are just brilliant for layering. I do find that H&M sizing can be quite generous though, so I would advise you to size down if you don’t normally shop there.
ps: if you don’t already, remember to also follow me on Twitter because I tweet different finds on there too. I am constantly seeing fab things when I’m out and about, and can’t possibly post them all on Little Spree, so Twitter is a great was of sharing in an instant.
Sun-San ‘Surfer’ Sandals (sizes 5 infant-12 infant child)
I have been obsessed with these sandals for for about a year and a half now. I first discovered them through my lovely friend, Coliena (a super-talented fashion photographer who I work with regularly) in LA, whose daughter always wears them. They are called ‘Saltwater’ sandals in America (which is where things start to get a little confusing…). You can buy them over here (Little Liberty stock a small selection of them as well as various other places), but not online. You can find them on US websites, but they won’t ship to the UK. But now they are trading under the name ‘Sun-San’ over here, and you can order them online directly from their website. Hurray! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am! These are just the coolest sandals ever. They come in tons of lovely colours, and slightly different styles (check them out for yourself on the website), but the classic ‘Surfer’ style has always been my favourite. They are great for girls as well as boys. They look fab on, are super-comfy (for both wide and narrow feet), and are also waterproof, so perfect for beach holidays. I have just ordered a pale pink pair for Tabs, and will see how the sizing comes up, then order a navy pair for Marlow. I had sort of given up on Summer sandals now that’s it almost September, but I just couldn’t resist these. Also, they start in quite little sizes, so they are great for pre-toddlers too. Love, love, love!
Gap Crochet Neck Dress (0-24 months)
This is the exact sort of dress that I love, and you will find me running around in in this humid weather at the moment. Simple, loose, (aka comfortable) and a little bit hippie. Perfect. So naturally, I will be buying one for Tabs. I didn’t see this until now (how it escaped my eagle-eye is quite beyond me…), so the sizes are a bit limited because it’s coming to the end of the sales, but if you’re quick you can snap one up for any cute ‘mini hippies’ in your life. It will definitely be one of those dresses that gets worn all the time, I can promise you that.
£10.99 (was £17.95) gap.eu
ps: I bought Tabs the most gorgeous dress from the Little Bird collection from Mothercare today. It’s a tiny floral printed smock-dress with long sleeves and a Peter Pan collar. It’s so sweet. And just £16.00! In fact I gave the whole collection the once-over in the Marble Arch store, and I have to say, it looks great. I loved the knitted toadstool doorstop – completely adorable. I will be going back to buy that tomorrow…
Vertbaudet Towling Beach Poncho (2-12 years)
I love a towling beach poncho/cover-up (and in fact, have one myself – navy from Old Navy). They are just so cosy (and dare I say it, useful?). When we were on holiday with friends in Cornwall last month, all the kids wore them, and just looked so cute. Tabarlow have Boden ones (navy & white striped, as did their little friends – doubly-cute). They are just so perfect for that time at the end of the day on the beach when the sun is setting and it’s starting to get a little chilly. So what’s wrong with a regular towel you might ask? Good question. And the answer is, these ponchos instantly warm them up, they are super-cosy, and they can still carry on playing until you’re all ready to call it a day (so you get to maximise your beach day as well as their fun). Plus they just look so sweet in them. These plain ones from Vertbaudet are fab, and almost as importantly, in the sale…
£20.00 (was £25.00) vertbaudet.co.uk
Mini Club Boys Denim Shorts (6 months-5 years)
These shorts are without doubt my best buy this Summer. They may not look particularly exciting, and to be honest, they were just a quick purchase without too much consideration. But four months later I have realised that Marlow has literally lived in them. They are a fab shape, and just look really great on. And they go with everything in his wardrobe. You can’t really see from the photo, but the turn-ups are striped, which is a cute little detail that you probably wouldn’t expect from something bought in your high street pharmacy. Wherever I can, I always try and check things out in the flesh as well as online, because things can look very different. It can work both ways, but things often look so much better in real life than in a picture (these are a good example). I like to give things the once-over if I possibly can (and I’m very fussy, believe me). They were a bargain when I bought them for £11.00 back in April, so they are an absolute steal at £5.50 in the sale now! And I know it’s not very cool to admit, but I just love the fact that I get my Boots points too!
£5.50 (were £11.00) boots.com
Percy & Nell Personalised All-In-One (0-12 months)
Oh my gosh, how cute are these? I love anything personalised (particularly gifts), and these are practical too. I have to say, I particularly love the grey stripes (and there’s nothing to stop you ordering that one for a girl). The initial is covered in sweet little stars. They are made form lovely cotton (100%), and come beautifully gift wrapped too. You can only have up to nine letters though, so bad luck any Maximilian’s out there – one of these will not be winging it’s way to you any time soon I’m afraid…
Topshop Mini ‘Grunge’ Jumper (3-18 months)
How cool is this waffle knit jumper from Topshop Mini? I spotted it the other day when I was in the store, scooping up some new additions for my own wardrobe. The collection is always small, but perfectly formed, and they have fab things for babies. I love that this is actually called the ‘mini grunge’ jumper! And I love this colour (‘Wedgewood’ is the new ‘duck-egg’ according to Topshop HQ…). Grunge is back and even our little ones can get in on the revival. Cute.
Little Bird is the name of the new (and super-cute) collaboration between Jools Oliver and Mothercare that is about to launch. The Red girls are all raving about it, and I can definitely see why. The collection includes everything from nursery bedding and accessories, to babies and childrens’ clothing and gifts. I love that everything has a slightly nostalgic feel about it that is almost retro, but way cuter. Think sweet, naive prints, little rainbows, animals and toadstools and you get the idea. Many of the pieces were inspired by Jools’ own childhood memories, and some of my personal favourites include this gorgeous little yellow suitcase filled with goodies for a newborn (such a lovely gift) for just £25.00. I also love the colourful wooden baby mobile, the knitted toadstool, and the little t-shirts with Liberty-esque print trims. Overall it’s an adorable little capsule collection that definitely won’t frighten your bank manager. Little Bird will be available in stores and online from tomorrow (Friday). Definitely worth checking out.
Du Pareil au Meme Checked Smock Dress (1-23 months)
I could only go so long without posting something from my favourite French high street brand. Love this! It’s the perfect dress to see you right through from Summer to Autumn, then Winter. I really like the subdued colour palette and the check print. And it’s that perfect smocky dress shape that always looks so great (and lasts and lasts as they naturally morph into a smock-top when they get a little small). Plus it definitely has a bit of a Harper Beckham feel to it, which can only be a good thing can’t it?
Gap Days Of The Week Dinosaur Pants (2-5 years)
These are the boy equivalent of the girls’ pants I posted on 8th August. I couldn’t stock up on cute kickers for Tabitha without getting a stash for Marlow too. Ok, so he is not particularly interested in them (are boys/men ever really?), but he does like the fact that they are all different, funny dinosaurs. Admittedly, he is even less interested in whether he is wearing Monday’s pants on Thursday (surprisingly). Anyway, these were by far the cutest ones around on the high street (although Petit Bateau had some great plain ones in the sale that I snapped up).
John Lewis Leopard Print Tote Bag
I was in John Lewis this morning (buying a letterbox if you’re interested) and stopped in my tracks when I clocked this beauty on the ground floor. I am slightly obsessed with leopard print, but only in small doses, and it has to be the right kind of leopard print. I have mentioned my bag before (I have a great leopard print bag from Antik Batik that always gets a lot of attention whenever I use it), but have never come across another one that even comes close. Until today. This is a great size to just throw on your shoulder. It’s lightweight, and the design is really simple. I love that it looks slouchy (well it will once you’ve filled it anyway) The leopard print is spot-on (sorry, but it is!) and it is just a really cool bag. I think it would make a great baby/kids bag to chuck all that stuff in that we all lug around the whole time. I love it! I was so tempted, but I managed to resist. This time. Oh and by the way, it looks much nicer in the flesh (you have to trust me on this). Would look super-cool worn with jeans or anything low-key and casual (so perfect for us mums). I can’t stop thinking about it…
Mothercare Checked Shirt With Elbow Patches (18 months-8 years)
Good to see a green checked shirt for a change. And I absolutely love anything with elbow patches (these ones are corduroy – nice). They always look cool no matter what. A great, stylish boy’s shirt at a fab price. Done.
Zara Home Kids Maternity Bag
Now this really is a first for me. A ‘maternity bag’ (‘hospital bag’ to you and me)! How gorgeous is this? I have seen the baby bags that Zara Home do, and love them, but have yet to see their slightly smaller ‘sister’ bag until now. And the thing is, this would make a great baby bag afterwards anyway. Plus you can buy a matching changing mat and little zip-up sponge bag (I have loads of these for all Tabarlow’s varoius bits & bobs – they are so handy). It’s just so pretty. But I also love that it is slouchy so it has that whole ‘pretty cool’ thing going on. Would look great with jeans or khaki cargo pants. And I love the option of the long and short handles. And you don’t need me to tell you how adorable this Liberty print is. Plus I like that it’s cotton, not nylon. Just chuck it in the machine if it starts to look grubby. Obviously it would help to know that you were expecting a girl, but if you do, this is the bag for you. Treat yourself! It would also make a lovely present from say, work collegues (and if they’re feeling extra generous with the whip-round, they could even throw in the changing mat and sponge bag!) for someone about to head off on maternity leave. Love.
Clarks ‘Cruiser Crew’ Baby Boy’s Shoes (sizes 2-5 F & G)
Just don’t get me started on baby shoes. Oh sorry, too late! I felt I had to address this controversial subject due to overwhelming demand from Little Spree followers. In particular, Lisa, who emailed me in desperation about where to buy a pair of ‘walkers’ for her son. The thing is, we know we can’t just buy any old stylish shoes for our little one’s first pair (as much as we may want to) because our sensible side is reminding us that we don’t want to mess up our kids’ feet from the word go. So all we ask is that someone designs a non-hideous shoe that is not going to screw up their feet, that they can take their first steps in. So why, oh why is this so hard? It is such a mystery to me. Anyway, I ended up buying French soft soled little Mary Janes (I know what you’re thinking – really, for Marlow too? Honestly, they looked so sweet) from Igloo for Tabarlow, which were so cute, and very respectful to their little feet. And expensive. But they looked really worn after only a few weeks, and they grew out of them a few weeks after that. Hmm. But I looked everywhere for a stylish, inexpensive option, and found nothing. So after Lisa emailed me (and I could sense her desperation even via email, so felt a certain sense of responsibility to respond!), I hit the internet. And this is what I found. Well this was by far the best option I could find. Ok, so they may not be perfect, but they do tick a lot of boxes: they are Clarks (so we know they are going to have our little ones’ interests at heart as far as their feet are concerned), they are navy (well almost) and grey (tick, tick!), they are a great price, and last but not least, they are not hideous. I would even go as far as to say that they are quite cute. Put it this way, if I was looking for first shoes for Marlow now, I would buy these.
Jo Jo Maman Bebe Fisherman’s Raincoat (6 months-5 years)
Tabarlow have literally lived in their yellow raincoats lately. If they’re not actually wearing them, they are never far away (either in my bag or under their buggy – the macs, not the twins). It hasn’t been cold enough for an actual coat, but it’s been windy/rainy enough to need some kind of cover-up, so I daren’t leave the house without them. These do come in other colours, but I always love a traditional yellow rainmac. It’s such a classic. And they just always look so cute. And this one has a super-stylish navy and white striped lining, which I love. It’s waterproof (may sound obvious, but it’s not always the case believe it or not!), and machine washable. Sold!
Gap Days Of The Week Pants (2-5 years)
Potty training twins has definitely been a challenge (and one that I wouldn’t necessarily want to repeat any time soon), but I’m pretty much there now. But I do think that buying an abundance of cute knickers really helped, particularly for Tabitha (well us girls all want pretty knickers don’t we?). I have been letting her choose which pair she wants to wear, which she loves. Each pair has a cute little animal on the back (for some reason she is obsessed by the fox pair…). I have the Stella McCartney days of the week knickers myself (thank you Tom!) and love them, so when I saw these I just had to have them for Tabs. They are so sweet. But obviously she is very rarely wearing the correct day, but then I have to confess, neither am I!
La Redoute Boy’s Straight Cut Trousers (18 months-4 years)
Now you know how obsessed I am with grey skinny jeans (Tabarlow live in theirs), so I’m always on the hunt for cool new ones. I saw this pair by La Redoute and loved them. They are officially a skinny trouser, but they look very much like jeans to me. They are a great shape, and have cool flap pockets on the back. The best thing about them? They will look good with everything in their little wardrobes (ok, so Tabarlow don’t actually have a wardrobe – they share a chest of drawers, but anyway…).
Next Glitter Hi-Tops (sizes 3-12)
Sometimes the magpie in me just can’t resist a bit of sparkle. I can’t quite put my finger on what the exact appeal of these is, but I think they just remind me of various cool ‘blingy’ hi-tops that have been around lately by designers such as Lanvin and Louboutin. And I always love a hi-top, and live in them myself. I guess I also just love the mix of casual-cool and sequins, and they do look really cute on. I would, however, draw the line at wearing them with skirts or dresses. These definitely need to be worn with jeans/trousers/leggings (Tabs was wearing hers today with a Crew Cuts long sleeved striped breton and beige cable knit cardigan). Try and dress them up or make them too girly, and the coolness starts to unravel very quickly. They are also a great compromise for little girls who want all that sparkly ‘pink stuff’ that us mums hate. Tabs loves these (obviously she is blissfully unaware that they do also come in pink..).
Cyrillus Girls’ Butterfly Pyjamas (2-14 years)
I know I keep banging on about the difficulties I have finding good girls’ pyjamas, but I really do. Not today! How gorgeous is this grey butterfly print pair? As chic as you would expect from Cyrillus, but still whimsical and pretty enough to keep me happy. I love the bib front and the velvet trim. And they are made from lovely cotton. Suddenly Tabitha seems to have an abundance of great pyjamas!
ps: I went to John Lewis (in Kingston) today and discovered that the fab Native shoes I posted on 26th July are now half price in the sale! So a real bargain at just £12.50 a pair! I hadn’t got around to buying them for Tabarlow yet because I’ve been so busy, so was more than a little excited to get both pairs for the original price of one. Tabitha was with me and (obviously) wanted the fuschia pink ones, but they didn’t have her size (which, as you can imagine, I was devastated about…). So I got them both the navy (Kath was right – the blue is definitely more of a navy in real life), which I love. Tabarlow have just gone out with their dad wearing them and they look so cute (both wearing jeans with a little turn-up). They have a real ‘skater vibe’ which is so cool. In fact, I like them so much I may even buy larger sizes to keep for when they grow out of these ones. Love, love, love!
Boy & Girl Badge Print Tee (1-10 years)
I have to admit, this sort of thing is not normally my cup of tea, but something made me stop and give it a second look. Ok, it is a teeny bit kitsch (something which normally has me running for the hills quicker than you can say Bonpoint…), but I also think it’s really cool and original. I love the slightly Seventies ‘Red Hand Gang’ vibe (memories of my own childhood…). And I love all the cute illustrations, and the fact that it would be equally great on a boy or a girl (I can definitely see quite a few of my friends’ kids wearing this…). It’s a great price (there are still a few sale bargains around), and is made from 100% Fairtrade cotton (love that). I would just keep things really simple and wear it with jeans and sandals.
£9.75 (was £13.00) boyandgirllsshop.com
Bob & Blossom Tutu (2-8 years)
It’s a very fine line between naff and cute where tutus are concerned. Sadly most of them fall into the former category. This one however, strikes the perfect balance between pretty and cool. It’s made from layer upon layer of gorgeous chiffon, and I love the grey (just so much cooler than the standard pink – Tabitha has a grey one that I bought her in DPAM in Paris one time, although it’s not as ‘poufy’ as this one). Would look super-stylish for a party or special occassion, or just for playing dress-up at home. But the great thing about this one is that it is tasteful enough to look equally great worn on a regular day with a cashmere jumper and knitted tights, or a Breton t-shirt in the warmer weather. It would make such a lovely present if you’re stuck for what to buy for a little girl (and you can have it gift wrapped in a gorgeous candy pink and white striped box – so cute!). Love.
Vertbaudet Boy’s Parka (2-14 years)
Military is going to be a huge trend for the Autumn (check out the September issue of Red if you want to see my Military story that I shot back in May), so get ahead of the game and snap up this great parka in the sale for your little boy (or grandson/nephew/godson etc). I love all the pockets (always handy – and kids love them), the sewn on badges, and that the hood can be tucked into the collar when it’s not needed. Super-cool.
£27.30 (was £39.00) vertbaudet.co.uk
ps: I have just finished shooting my Knits story (it will be out in the November issue of Red) in The Hamptons, and am about to head back to JFK to get my flight. See you back in London…
Laura Ashley Set Of Two Oval Baskets
I can’t seem to stop buying baskets at the moment! These are the ones that I mentioned in my last basket post a few weeks ago. I’d just bought them in the Laura Ashley sale, and I’m still loving them now. They are perfect for storing toys, and still look stylish in your living room. Anyway, I was excited to see that these are still available, so wanted to share the love…
£52.00 (were £65.00) lauraashley.com
ps: I am posting this from the most gorgeous beach house in Amagansett in The Hamptons, the location for my Knits story for Red. I think it is the most beautiful setting I have posted from to date. Anyway, I’d better go – need to get organised for the shoot…