1. Caramel ‘Nikau’ Baby Romper, £72.00 2. Les Tricots De Margot Cashmere Bonnet, £34.00 3. John Lewis Pack of 2 Tights, £6.00 4. Gap Velvet Mary Janes, £8.95
Caramel is probably one of my favourite children’s labels – the colours, the shapes, the knits, the beautiful sprig prints… You could literally shop on their website blindfolded and still come away with the most stylish outfit ever. My bank balance however… not so keen. You can do some serious damage in less than a minute without even trying. So for me Caramel is a one-off; a treat; something for a (very) special occasion; or somewhere I might shop during sale time. A bit like Bonpoint I suppose. Which doesn’t mean I love it any less. In fact, it probably just makes me want and love it even more… But a couple of weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with someone who had a slightly different slant to shopping at Caramel. Her and her friends (all with little ones) buy a few pieces from Caramel each season (for newborns and up), then pass them all on to each other. But not just as casual hand-me-downs in a Waitrose carrier bag; as actual gifts for newborns and birthdays – washed, ironed and beautifully wrapped in tissue and ribbon. As good as new. So their little ones wear them, their mamas love them in them, they are carefully cared for (well you would when a romper sets you back £72.00 wouldn’t you??), then passed on, then the whole process is repeated. Everyone is happy. And it works because the quality is great, so the pieces really last and last. I suppose it’s simply the polar opposite of today’s ‘throw away fashion’ (a concept that I personally loathe). The chicest form of recycling. I just love this idea. And who wouldn’t want a gorgeous Caramel cardigan/romper/pair of bloomers for their little one, even second-hand?
Have you been into the baby department at M&S recently? It’s had a bit of a makeover (I had a tour of the newly refurbished kids department in the Westfield store, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed). Forget just popping in to grab a pack of white cotton sleepsuits after a mad dash around the food hall – you are going to want everything! The ‘baby shop’ now features everything you could ever need for your baby from stylish clothing (we are obsessed with the cashmere all-in-ones – we challenge anyone not to fall in love with the grey one) to gorgeous, chic nursery furniture (who knew?). We’ve rounded up our favourites (above), but here are some other things that we couldn’t cram into the pictures, but that we’ve also seen and loved:
This two piece cotton knitted star top and joggers; this 5 pack of pure cotton star bodysuits; this 4 piece pure cotton assorted t-shirt and leggings outfit; this fabric giraffe; these knitted poufs; this star print snowsuit; and this knitted elephant soft toy. You can even buy brands such as Baby Bjorn (baby carriers, bouncy chairs, travel coats…); Avent (bottles, breast pumps, thermometers…) and Dr Brown’s (sterilisers, bottles…). And check out this chic high chair (and such a great price)? It really is a one-stop shop.
ps: Nicky popped in to the M&S Spring/Summer 15 press day today. She has posted a few pics on Instagram (@littlespree) if you fancy a sneaky peak of what to expect next year…
1. Kate Spade Gap Kids Colourblock Tote, £29.95 2. Kate Spade Gap Kids Coloublock Tote (Large), £59.95
1. Jack Spade Gap Kids Contrast Cardigan, £29.95 2. Jack Spade Gap Kids Wool Jacket, £69.95 3. Jack Spade Gap Kids Selvedge Straight Jeans, £27.95 4. Jack Spade Gap Kids Google Eyes Hi-Tops, £29.95
Nicky and I (with Tabarlow and Bailey in tow – it was during half term) went to the press breakfast for the launch of the new Kate and Jack Spade collaboration for Gap Kids. Whimsical, playful, kooky and colourful. We saw, we liked, we shopped. In fact, we actually preferred the boys collection (which is unusual because generally boys’ clothes are so much harder to find). Nicky bought these super-cool hi-tops for Bailey, and he/she absolutely loves them. They are so cool. And how sweet are these ‘mini me’ totes? Here are some other bits and pieces that we liked… these gift bow ballet flats (Tabs was obsessed with them!); this pom pom hat; this glitter satchel; and ok, so this is more of a Mama Spree purchase, but we love this iPhone cover too.
Available (for a limited period only) in stores and online now. www.gap.co.uk
Elias & Grace is probably our favourite website for children’s clothes (from newborn to 14 years). It’s a one-stop shop for all things super-stylish for you little ones. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find something that wasn’t stylish. We love their edit of the designer collections (favourites such as Mini Marc, Pom D’Api, Bellerose, Woodstock, Chloe, Miller…); the way they put gorgeous, effortless looking outfits together in the ‘looks’ section – so inspiring; and their ‘trends’ – a great way of narrowing down if you’re pushed for time and looking for something more specific. And if you haven’t checked out their ‘outlet’, you definitely need to – they have some amazing bargains tucked away in there…
And the exciting bit is, Elias & Grace are having a ‘treat week’ where they are offering 20% off eveything, starting on Monday. But we’ve managed to secure an early bird discount just for our readers, so you can scoop up the best pieces before they go! The discount will run until 10th November. Just use the code: TREATBC14at check-out. What are you waiting for??
ps: we’ll be showing you some of our favourite pieces/looks next week.
I spotted these fab cushions when I was in the Westfield store today, looking at the gorgeous new M&S Baby collection (more of that next week…). They look really expensive!! And as you can see, they are anything but! You can order any letter (or how about having all the letters to make the whole name?), and they even come with the padding in (how irritating is it when you go to pay for a cushion/s and you then have to pay for the padding on top? Or is it just me?). They would make such a great gift for a newborn’s nursery. Who needs Jonathan Adler anyway?
1. Gap Devil Knitted Hat, £4.99 2. Boden Baby Cardigan, £16.20-£18.00 3. John Lewis Halloween Skeleton Sleepsuit, £14.00 4. M&S Halloween Pull & Go Bat, £6.00
Who says babies can’t get in on the Halloween action? Just make sure they’re bundled up and cosy, and off you go! We also like this cute bib; and as baby Halloween costumes go, this bat print onesie is a pretty cute one.
1. Gap Glow-In-The-Dark Sleep Set, £14.95, Shop Now 2. Numero 74 Super Hero Outfit, £39.69, Shop Now 3. Hunter Sillver Wellies, £30.00, Shop Now
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about little Halloween costumes. After trawling through (what felt like) hundreds of ‘scary’ polyester outfits; various Halloween themed items of clothing (most of which were pretty dodgy it has to be said); and far too much black and orange for our liking, we came to the following conclusion… Buy a pair of ‘spooky-ish’ pyjamas, pimp them up a bit with a few carefully chosen accessories, et voila! You have a stylish, comfy, inexpensive ‘trick or treat worthy’ outfit that means you can just pop your little ones straight into bed after trawling the streets because they’re already wearing their pjs! Perfect. We always love a Gap set of glow-in-the-dark pyjamas (Marlow and Bailey already both have a pair), and these girls ones are so sweet. Just add the (super-stylish) cape, mask and wellies and you’re all set. Who said Halloween has to be scary anyway? Let’s leave that to the older kids. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a pretty cape or tutu to the pyjamas… I’m also going to be buying Tabitha this Hello Kitty Halloween DVD to get her in the spooky mood (and let’s be honest, how scary can Hello Kitty actually be??). Tomorrow it’s the boys’ turn…
ps: we have had a few requests for some more purse-friendly leather pencil skirts following Friday’s Mama Spree. Here are a few we found on the high street… This ASOS one; this River Island one (we like the pockets); this French Connection wrap one; and this petite one from M&S.
Rain Starts Play Handmade Wool Slippers (3-12 months & sizes 2-12), £24.99 SHOP NOW Nicky’s son Bailey has these, and she loves them. I also still love these Gap bear slippers (Marlow is currently on his fourth pair – he’s had every size over the years) , which some of you may remember, were the first thing I ever posted, back in January 2012. We also love these from M&S, these from Minnetonka; and these slipper socks from Falke.
The Little White Company Bunny Slippers (sizes 1-13), £22.00 SHOP NOW I keep seeing adorable bunny slippers everywhere at the moment. These Little White Company ones are my favourites. I’m also loving these Mini Boden ones (super-cosy), these Monsoon ones, these J by Jasper Conran ones; these Monsoon ones and these Moulin Roty baby booties. Boys’ slippers tomorrow…
Remember last year’s obsession with finding the perfect navy pea? Well it seems that you can’t move for them on the High Street this year! Here are four of our favourites (this M&S one is even machine washable!!). We also like this one from Gap; and for a non navy one, this grey herringbone one from La Redoute is pretty great.
M&S Metallic Effect Jazz Shoes (10 small-6 large)£16.00-£20.00 I was tipped off about these by super-talented interiors stylist, Twig Hutchinson when were on a shoot together recently in Ibiza. I had seen the gold glitter ones, but not these. Love the understated metallic with the pretty grosgrain ribbon laces… Loving these rose-gold Mary Janes too…
Cos Cashmere Hat (1-8 years), £17.00 This has been my favourite go-to beanie hat for the past three years, and I still love it. Marlow has had the charcoal version every year, but this Winter I went for navy (so chic). It’s the softest cashmere, and the ear flaps are a godsend for keeping those little ears extra cosy. And such a bargain at just £17.00.
ps: and the winners of the Monsoon coat competition are…
Sophie coat: Grace Elliffe
Anna coat: Clare Scott
Baby bear coat: Rosi Richmond
Congratulations ladies! Monsoon will send sending your coats out to you directly. Woohoo! And for everyone else who entered and weren’t lucky this time, worry not – there is another (really exciting!) competition just around the corner. And it involves one of my all-time favourite design duos.
1. Petit Bateau Unisex Plain Baby Snowsuit (3-24 months), £65.00 2. John Lewis Baby Woodland Print Snowsuit (0-3 years), £28.00-£30.00 3. Boden Cosy Floral Print All-In-One (0-3 years), £38.00-£40.00 4. Zara Padded Snowsuit (1-12 months), £32.99
A snowsuit is probably the last thing on your mind at the moment if you have a little one under three, but believe us when we tell you, good ones are not easy to find (I can actually just about remember that far back, and Tabarlow’s were from Boden and I loved them, but it was slim pickings for sure). But we have scoured the High Street to find cosiest, cutest ones out there (and trust us, we have left no stone unturned). Here are a few more that we liked too… This one from John Lewis; this one from Gap; this one from La Redoute; and this one from La Redoute (in grey).