Billieblush Embroidered Dress (3-8 years)
£37.00 SHOP NOW
The High Street is awash with gorgeous girls’ dresses. It was so hard to narrow them down, but these are some of the best ones I’ve seen (a couple of which I’ve already bought). I popped into Gap today and bought a few bits and pieces (including a fab pair of jeans for Marlow that, amazingly, I haven’t bought him before – details in tomorrow’s post), and this got me thinking about more dresses. There are just so many great ones around, and this is just a small edit… I love the colour of this pretty Billieblush one (above), and it also comes in two other equally gorgeous shades. This simple Gap colour block striped t-shirt dress (bought for Tabs – perfect for nursery); Gap Breton stripe chambray dress (and this one): Zara lace detail dress: Il Gufo striped shirtdress; M&S pique dress; M&S leopard print dress; The Little White Company chambray sundress (just layer a long sleeved tee under for now); Antik Batik printed dress (love this!); Kin striped dress; Emma Levine embroidered dress; Cyrillus mosaic print dress (such a cute print); and this La Redoute sweatshirt dress with lace trim.
Bodie And Fou Exclusive Family Hearts Print
£35.00 SHOP NOW
Mothers Day is just around the corner, and I’m in the process of compiling a ‘hint list’ for our husbands/boyfriends/partners (just forward to him or print it out and pin it to the fridge) for next week’s Mama Spree. In the meantime, I saw this sweet ‘la famille…c’est important’ print, and had to share it. It would make such a sweet present (any day, not just for Mothers Day). You do need to buy the frame, but I would recommend the (super-cheap) Nyttja style from Ikea (I prefer them to the chunkier ‘Ribba’ frames).
Topshop Moto Denim Dress (sizes 4-16)
£38.00 SHOP NOW
When I was a full-time Fashion Editor at Glamour (pre-twins) I used to make almost daily trips to Topshop (the Oxford Street store, which was a mere hop and a skip from our Bond Street offices, even in heels) for my ‘Toppers fix’ (it was a hard habit to break…). These days, my Topshop visits may have been scaled back, but I still love nothing more than the high I get from racing around that store with an armful of goodies, and I never fail to leave without some great finds. I popped into the Knightsbridge store (I love this one as it’s normally quiet, so I can shop without feeling a hundred…) yesterday after a meeting. My intention (as always) was to do a quick circuit of the store to check what was new, then leave. Who was I kidding? Before I knew it I was in a changing room with a pile of clothes, then approximately 20 minutes later I was exiting the store with a huge bag of goodies. So I thought I would share those goodies (plus some other gems I have hunted down since) with you today…
Firstly this dress. Now I didn’t actually buy this (only because it wasn’t there!), but my good friend (and super-stylish mama) tipped me off about it this morning, so I definitely will (sorry Nicky). We often turn up for nursery pick-up wearing a variation of the same outfit, and our sons are dressed identically at least three times a week!). Such a simple, cool, easy to wear, every day dress. I’ll wear it with black opaques and either a flat chelsea boot (the trusty Churches’) or ballet flats now, then just add simple flat sandals/skate shoes come Summer. I live in dresses like this. I bought this linen striped long sleeved tee (which I put on after I’d paid for it, and left the store in it – I was having a hot flush in my cashmere jumper!), and am wearing today (I also bought the grey & white version); this gingham dress (for all the same reasons as the denim dress); these Boutique navy striped mens’ style baggy trousers (I will wear them with high heeled sandals for the evening) – they are very ‘un-me’, but I loved them on; this marl grey long tunic-style top (great for anyone still feeling those stubborn extra post-baby pounds); another striped tee (looks expensive, and the shape is really flattering and easy to wear, plus it’s currently half price); this denim utility style jacket (a great alternative to the trusty army jacket – great over little dresses); this check sleeve sweatshirt (it’s not just the boys that get to wear the cool sweatshirts); these vintage-style loose fit cropped jeans; this satin striped A-line dress is super-chic and a great ‘going out’ dress if you’re bored of the LBD (I know I am); these white pool slides to wear with dresses and cropped slim-leg trousers in the Summer; these washed black ‘Baxter’ jeans (I love a Baxter jean and so apparently so does French Vogue Editor, Emmanuelle Alt); and finally this patchwork denim hold-all (the first thing I spotted on entering the store – just make sure you don’t wear it with the denim dress and utility jacket!!). That should keep me (and you) going for a while…
ps: a last-minute addition! I’ve just had a tip-off about this super-cool jumpsuit. This definitely wasn’t in the store when I was there, but it is online, and I love it!!! And a lot cheaper than the Isabel Marant one…
Barbour McQueen Sweatshirt (xxs-xxl)
£40.00 SHOP NOW
I love a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl Alexander Wang). Marlow loves a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl, but as yet, not too fussy about the label). And long may it last. The humble sweatshirt is effortlessly cool, and I can’t seem to stop finding great ones wherever I look. These are some of my favourites around at the moment, starting with this super-cool, faded print Steve McQueen one from Barbour. I’m also loving this Peanuts one from Uniqlo; this ‘boom’ one from Stella McCartney; this H&M plain charcoal one (always a classic along with a grey marl); this contrast one from Zara; this cool quilted one from Next; this striped one from Next; and finally this Mini Boden waffle one (in grey);
ps: these Mango plain cashmere crew necks are still available in the sale. I ordered two navy ones for Marlow (one for now, one for next year) that just arrived yesterday (along with his Monsoon robot sunglasses), and he’s weaing one today. I really like that they are a really fine-knit, so ideal for this unpredictable weather (and they look really expensive).
pps: don’t forget, it’s Mama Spree tomorrow!
Lands’ End Heart Straw Bag
£17.95 SHOP NOW
Tabitha has adopted my love of baskets, so I figured this one would be right up her street with it’s cute pink heart. Perfect for playing shops until our Summer holiday. I’m also still a huge fan of the classic Spanish style from Hedgehog (I have the medium one and Tabs has the small, although I have borrowed hers many times for my work trips in sunny locations – it’s the perfect size). Effortlessly chic as a mini holiday handbag.
Gap Colourblock One-Piece (6 months-5 years)
£14.95 SHOP NOW
I bought this for Marlow (and anyone who follows Little Spree on Instagram will probably have seen him wearing them), and Tabs has the girl’s version, and I absolutely love it. They are essentially onesies, but not baggy like most of them (there’s nothing stylish about them…). I like that these have a snug fit (think Uma Thurman in Kill Bill!), so they look cool and are super-cosy to sleep in (the twins love them). And I love the colour combinations. I’m thinking of buying bigger sizes to put away for when they are older. In the meantime, here are some more girls and boys pyjamas that I am coveting… These pretty Cyrillus velour ones with a Liberty print bow, these La Redoute knight dressing-up ones (still loving the idea of dressing-up nightwear) and classic star print ones; these sweet floral print Monsoon ones for the Summer; Cath Kidston plane print ones; John Lewis fun skeleton ones that glow in the dark (now reduced to just £10.00); Hatley horse print ones; Petit Bateau striped ones; Stella McCartney printed ones (currently half price); Mini Boden girls’ ones; and Mini Boden boys’ ones (I like the stripe/UFOs best). Phew!
The Little White Company Hydrocotton Baby Robe (0-12 months)
£26.00 SHOP NOW
Tabitha and Marlow had these hooded towels as babies (I loved that they came in two sizes, so you can just size-up when they get too big for the smaller ones), and they were just brilliant – they looked adorable all wrapped up in them, but they were just that bit more practical than a regular towel. And now you can get a dressing gown version (above), which is equally cute and snuggly. Here are a few other dressing gowns that I have seen and like…
This Vertbaudet boy’s one; this Little White Company hydrocotton girl’s one; this Cyrillus boy’s one; this Mothercare baby girl’s one; this Mini Boden striped boy’s one; and this Little White Company striped boy’s one (sorry, didn’t find many girl’s ones that I liked…). Tomorrow: my edit of the best pyjamas on the High Street…
ps: check out this fab Mini Boden competition that’s running at the moment. It’s a chance for your little ones to design their very own Mini Boden catalogue cover, and have it printed and sent to them! The closing date is 7th March, so you’ll need to get your skates on. The 10 favourite entires will win a £500 account credit, an iPad mini and a framed copy of their cover. Not too shabby! Tabitha whips the Mini Boden catalogue off me before I’ve even had a chance to look at it, so I will definitely be getting her on the case… Details here.
H&M Home Child’s Apron
£6.99 SHOP NOW
If you’re going to wear an apron, better make sure it’s a cute one… And this is definitely that. And here’s one for the boys from La Cerise Sur Le Gateau (don’t you just love that name?).
Betty Bramble Liberty Print Buggy Liner (universal design to fit most 3 and 5 point buggy harnesses)
£39.00 SHOP NOW
I LOVE this idea. Move over sheepskin, it’s all about the Liberty print buggy liners now!! How chic and totally gorgeous! I particularly love this classic Tana Lawn Liberty Arts print (equally for girls and boys). And it’s reversible – printed cotton on one side and luxurious navy corduroy on the other side. Genius. It’s padded with a hypoallergenic filling to give your little one the most comfortable ride, and it’s 100% cotton and machine washable. Perfect for adding a little extra style to your buggy. There is a more girly print too, and you can also get a blanket to match. They would make wonderful presents for a stylish ‘mummy-to-be’ (practical, but beautiful), and the prices are really reasonable too. I also love the fact that all of Betty Bramble (love the name too – sounds like a Beatrix Potter character) products are designed and manufactured in Britain, and the quality is amazing. I only wish they had been around when Tabarlow were babies…
Mango Wool-Cotton Blend Navy Peacoat (xs-xl)
£89.99 SHOP NOW
Today on Mama Spree it’s all about what to wear when you’re in ‘mummy mode’. Just because you’re a mum (whether you’re a full-time mum, work part-time, full-time, or are a freelance ‘juggler’ like myself, you don’t have to compromise style over comfort. I just make little tweaks to my look depending on whether I’m in ‘work’ or ‘mum’ mode, but the principles are pretty much the same – a wardrobe of pieces that (ideally) work together. So, your chic, but low-key (who wants to be running around the playground in a head-to-toe catwalk look and a statement shoe, looking ridiculous??), practical ‘mama wardrobe’ needs to start with a great coat (and great does not necessarily mean expensive). But if you’ve got the right coat, everything else will fall into place, and if you don’t manage to think too much about what you’re wearing under that coat, it doesn’t actually matter that much. We already know we are all obsessed with finding the ultimate navy pea coat for our kids, so I thought it was fitting that we start with one for us. I’m loving this one from Mango. At this time of year, start with your coat and work back from there. You need one that you can just chuck on, and run out the door. A neutral colour is essential, and navy is so much chic-er than black, and will go with everything. Personally I find that sticking to a bit of uniform most of the time makes things a lot smoother and easier in the morning – there’s just no time for faffing around when you’ve got to get the kids out the door by a certain time (‘herding cats’ always springs to mind). This is my selection of simple, stylish pieces that will all work together (if you need them to), look good, feel comfortable, and above all, are anything but mumsy.
Isabel Marant ’Bobby’ trainers (I have these, love them and live in them – I love the hidden wedge for that little lift – it makes all the difference, and you still feel feminine); John Lewis mens’ cashmere crew neck (like Alexa Chung, I can never have too many navy crew-neck jumpers…); Mother Of Pearl leopard print skate shoes (this has been my go-to shoe since the twins were born – cool and comfy); Gap ’sexy boyfriend’ jeans and Gap mens’ cashmere Breton sweater (I always check out the men’s department in shops, and often prefer the shape/style of the knitwear); leather ‘chuck everything in’ tote bag from The White Company; Cabbages & Roses navy long sweater (perfect for those ‘bloated’ days or when you just need a bit more coverage); Whistles skater shoes; Jerome Dreyfuss leopard print cross-body bag (I often just have a little handbag if I’m also carrying a larger tote bag with the twins’ stuff in, and this one is great because it’s hands-free); this ASOS jacket (at the last count I had a total of four army-style jackets!); this French Connection faux fur parka and these French Connection leather biker leggings (so comfy for running around in – just go for a slightly longer jumper – the Cabbages & Roses one would be ideal); this Acne cashmere beanie (for these dreaded ‘damp mornings’); and last but not least, these biker boots from Office are the perfect playground/park essential.
Monsoon Boys’ Robot Print Sunglasses (one size)
£6.00 SHOP NOW
The sun is shining (well it is in London anyway), and Tabarlow have actually been asking to wear their sunnies… Marlow’s cool Wayfarer-esque ones from Gap from last year seem to have vanished, so I am quite tempted by these cool robot print ones… And and I’m also loving those leopard print Mini Rodini sunglasses for the girls.
Rykiel Enfant Bow Dress (6 & 8 years)
£45.00 (was £158.00) SHOP NOW
Now this is a showstopper of a dress! And of course, I LOVE it. I love anything with a bow, and the bigger the better, so this dress is definitely hitting the spot with this enormous oversized one! It would make the coolest party dress (as long as you don’t add girly party shoes. I’m thinking a flat boot or hi-tops…).
ps: talking of gorgeous dresses, this Torres spotted dress is so chic, and now half price! I’m also loving these Woodstock (can’t get enough of their beautiful accessories at the moment) bow clips; and if you’re quick you could still nab one of these pretty Stella McCartney navy tulle skirts (also half price!).
La Redoute Sleeveless Polka Dot Print Romper (1 month-2 years)
£13.00 SHOP NOW
This super-cute romper may look a little Summery, but with a little bit of layering it could be totally adorable right now (and frankly, why wait?). Just add a cosy cashmere cardigan, some soft knitted tights, a gorgeous bow (you’ve got to have a bow right?), and you have yourself one very stylish baby. Then come Summer (if it still fits, which it should if you size up enough now), you can show off the pretty crochet detail on the sleeves (which I love). I squeezed Tabs into rompers like this for as long as I possibly could, I just loved her in them so much. Sadly no more. But how cute is this Bambo frilled bodysuit? And totally practical too – no extra fabric to ride up when your little one is on the move…
ps: just had a bit of a ‘mini spree’ in Zara this morning. I bought these boots, and this blouse for Tabs (plus one in age 13-14 for me – yep, another white blouse, but it is so pretty…); and this sweatshirt and these sandals for Marlow. Love them all.
Next Ochre Printed Sweatshirt (3 months-6 years)
£9.00-£10.00 SHOP NOW
I love pretty much everything about this sweatshirt, but specifically the colour (that gorgeous golden-yellow that always looks expensive) and the fact that it’s 100% cotton. In fact, Next had quite a few cool pieces that caught my eye when I was browsing recently. I like these boys’ boots too.
I have been getting requests from mums of little boys who refuse to wear jumpers, despite the recent temperatures. Marlow can be tricky about jumpers too (I think it’s all the charging around they do – they get so hot…), so I try to buy long sleeved ‘tops’ that are a bit warmer than a regular long sleeved t-shirt, and will almost always layer a cashmere cardigan over when we go out. His Cos charcoal cashmere one is still my favourite, but sadly seems to be unavailable now – I will endeavour to hunt out a replacement, but this Brora navy one is the closest I could find today). So here are a few tops that are a bit more substantial than just a long sleeved t-shirt, but aren’t too warm… Starting with this Mini Boden long sleeved top (I like the grey and the navy); this Alice a Paris fine knit sweater (should be light enough to avoid a morning meltdown); this Cos double-layer sweatshirt (I’ve seen it in the store – it’s a sort of sweatshirt-t-shirt hybrid); this John Lewis striped sweater; and I love, love love these Henley style sweaters from Mango (I will be buying both colours for Marlow).
Massimo Dutti Striped Linen Skirt (4-14 years)
£29.95 SHOP NOW
I like to call this kind of skirt a ‘skater skirt’ – full-skirted but short and cute. They always look adorable on, and work well with most kinds of tops – jumpers, long sleeved tees, also with or without tights. In Winter I would add knitted tights (love these colours), a cosy jumper and ankle boots, and come Summer, Mary Jane’s or sandals and a simple short sleeved tee. I love this striped one. Here are a few more that I have found and like… This grey spotty one from Lands’ End; this blousy floral print one from Gant (it’s all about bold Floral prints this Summer, trust me on this); this embroidered cheesecloth one from Mango; this sequinned tulle one from Jigsaw; and this gorgeous ‘dancer’ version from Cyrillus (possibly my second favourite).
ps: just spotted this great tweed coat in the sale at Jigsaw. Size up and put it away for next Winter…
pps: it’s all about the boys tomorrow…
Little Cloud Liberty Print Fabric Garland
From £12.00 SHOP NOW
I can never get enough of Liberty print, it’s just such a design classic, and always so pretty, no matter what. I found this name garland when I was cruising for baby gift ideas, and it’s just brilliant. Such an amazing price for such a pretty, personalised (I always love a personalised baby gift – it just shows so much more time and thought, plus your new baby’s name is such a novelly for those first few months…). Love.
ps: if you don’t necessarily want to go down the personalised route, this more traditional bunting from The Little White Company, inspired by a vintage eiderdown, is another sweet option. It would look adorable strung up in a nursery or bedroom. And how cute are these Liberty print Milk Two Bunnies hair clips?
Boden Pointed Slingbacks (sizes 36-42)
£69.00 SHOP NOW
This week I wanted to share a few of my favourite accessories. Each of these things, in their own way, will inject a little ‘something something’ into your wardrobe. I first clapped eyes on these super-chic striped flats many months ago, and it was love at first sight. I know there is currently a bit of a wait for them, but I really think they are worth waiting for (and it’s far too wet to wear them now anyway). You can order them now. Personally I like them best styled with jeans – preferably a skinny crop or a slouchy boyfriend style; or with a printed cigarette pant (even a camauflage print could work) for a bit of a cool ‘print mash-up’. I also like the pink and orange stripe and the plain silver version (if striped shoes make you nervous).
Here are a few other fab accessories that I have seen (and want) on my travels… Firstly this White Company studded belt (why is it so hard to find good belts to wear with jeans? I first saw this one on a shoot last year, and it’s fantastic); this Maison Michel fedora; these M&S white brogues (so cool, and really beautifully made); this Marc by Marc Jacobs laptop case (I have this one for my beloved Mac Air); these Zara leather slides (I first saw these on a collegue’s feet (the lovely Shola) on a shoot in Cape Town in January, and practically offered her cash for them on the spot, I was so desperate for a pair!). I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, but the ‘slide’ is the shoe for the Summer. Not for everyone, but they will instantly update any outfit. I particularly like them with simple dresses or cropped skinny black trousers; these amazing Mango white loafers (the loafer is officially back); this dreamy Saint Laurent bow necklace (a great way of adding a little Saint Laurent to your wardrobe without necessarily alerting your bank manager); this Cos leather folded bag; these John Lewis embroidered knickers (sorry for the over-share, and ok, not strictly an accessory, but John Lewis’s bikini briefs are the best, and these ones really remind me of the much pricier, Hanro ones…); and finally, these Chloe flats (beyond gorgeous!) are definitely top of my wish list this week…
ps: next week’s Mama Spree is all about how to look stylish when you’re in full-on ‘mama mode’. Who ever said that mummy = mumsy? Not me!
Cyrillus Princess Nightie (4-6 years)
£35.00 SHOP NOW
Here is the girls’ version of yesterday’s pirate pyjamas. I love this! Tabs wants to dress up ALL the time at the moment, and often wants to go to bed still in full-on princess mode. I then have to strategically peel off all the flammable fabrics after she’s fallen asleep… Not so easy. This gorgeous ‘princess nightie’ offers the perfect solution. Go to bed already dressed as a (non flammable) super-stylish, fully accessorised princess…
Cyrillus Boys’ Pirate Pyjamas (2-8 years)
£35.00 SHOP NOW
The chicest pirate pyjamas I’ve ever seen (actually, the only ones I’ve ever seen…). Marlow and Tabs have been invited to a pirate themed birthday party, so I am suddenly tuned into all things pirate-y. Marlow actually already has a pretty good pirate outfit, but this one definitely surpasses his in the style stakes. And how cool that it multi-tasks as pyjamas? Quick – they are selling out fast!
ps: this costume isn’t pirate related, but I love it so much I had to share.
Monsoon Baby Heritage Jacket (0-3 years)
£26.00 SHOP NOW
This jacket is just adorable. I love everything about it (especially the pom pom trim!). It’s the prefect Spring cover-up. It will also work well when you want to jazz up a plainer outfit underneath. This will definitely give your little one’s mini wardrobe an instant style boost. This Mango version is great option too.
ps: just bought this cat print dress for Tabs from Gap (they still have 30% off online). Looks really great with charcoal or navy knitted tights and a cardigan. I just love the print – very Miu Miu…