classic with a twist

boys pea coat

1. Gap Stripe Slub Tee (12 months-5 years), £8.95
2. M&S Notch Label Pea Coat (5-14 years), £28.00-£32.00
3. American Outfitters ‘Lake’ Trousers (2-14 years), £28.00 (were £70.00)
4. Petit Bateau Unisex Leather Hi-Tops (sizes 7-1.5 UK), £62.00

the best hat ever…

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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.

mangotastic

Mango girl

1. Elastic Edge Dress, £22.99
2. Faux Fur Gilet, £24.99
3. Suede Ankle Boots, £54.99

Mango boy

1. Mid-Wash Denim Shirt, £19.99
2. College Sweatshirt, £14.99
3. Slim-Fit Corduroy Trousers, £19.99
4. Stitched High Top Sneakers, £29.99

If you’re looking for a little inspiration before getting that hefty 30% off at Mango (it ends at midnight tonight – just enter this code at checkout: 5WEEKEND), here’s one for the girls and one for the boys…
And for us? We’re loving this jacket; this cardigan (perfect for those chilly morning school runs that we know are coming – just chuck it on and run out the door); these scarves; and we’re still loving this jacket and these boots.

ps: love this girls dress too (I always love a white dress in the Winter with tights and boots).

oh how I love my smalls…

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Smalls Tanks & Long Sleeved Tops (2-12 years)
From £27.00  SHOP NOW
I am now a complete convert to these gorgeous merino wool pieces. Marlow and Tabitha now have a tank and a long sleeve top each (Marlow’s in navy, Tabitha’s in the (perfect) ‘misty rose’ shade of pink (I can’t wait to layer it under her dungarees). I was lucky enough to be sent one each for them to try, but I was instantly smitten, and have since ordered one more each. When I first dressed Marlow in his, he actually commented on “how lovely and smooth” it felt as it went on (that’s my boy!), and he is very picky about fabrics and the feel of things he wears. Actually he’s pretty picky about everything he wears, but that’s another story. These tops are the perfect combination of comfort and cool (trust me, they look as great as they feel, and I’m a lot pickier than Marlow), but don’t take my word for it, here’s why…
They are machine washable (in fact they get better with every wash); breathable like a second skin (cleverly drawing moisture away from the body); warm in Winter and cool in Summer; you honestly won’t believe it’s wool – super-soft. made from superfine wool trimmed from happy sheep that roam the mountains of New Zealand and Australia (love that!); naturally stretchy for maximum movement; longer in the body to keep out pesky draughts (nothing worse than a ‘too short’ top); cool curved hem to keep little bottoms warm and won’t ride up when your little one climbs a tree or runs around the playground; contrast coloured stitching for a cool pop of colour, so stylish enough to wear on their own or layer under things in the same way as a regular vest; and no need for lots of bulky excess layers thanks to the amazing weight-to-warmth ratio of merino (not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds impressive). Oh and last but not least, no need to fill a (much needed) drawer with a different vest for every day (as I used to) that invariably shrink and have to be chucked anyway. No they aren’t exactly ‘cheap’ but the you only need one or two. So once you’ve bought them, you’re done for quite a while. Amen.

ps: while we’re on the subject of the wonders of Merino, I was a huge fan of the Merino Bambino sleeping bags when Tabarlow were babies. They were the best thing ever. No more buying loads of different ones for the various seasons in varying tog sizes (so confusing and not to mention bulky to store) – just one each for the whole year round. For any mamas of little ones under the age of two, I cannot recommend these enough. And after a quick look on the website, it seems that they are also now available for toddlers too. Genius.

L.A boy

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1. Bobo Choses L.A T-Shirt (2-10 years), £27.00
2. Mango Cotton Field Jacket (3-12 years), £16.99 (was £34.99)
3. Massimo Dutti Cotton & Cashmere Knitted Leggings (4-14 years), £29.95
4. Pepe Suede Boots (sizes 24-36), £40.00 (were £100.00)

We’re obsessed with these amazing cashmere (yes cashmere!!) joggers/leggings. How cool are they? In fact, we’re loving this whole laid-back look.

mind the gap (it’s dangerous!!)

baby gap

1. Floral Cord Bubble One-Piece (0-24 months), £14.95
2. Bear Sweater Hoodie (0-24 months), £16.95
3. Mary Jane Bow Flats (0-24 months), £8.95
4. Long Sleeve Bodysuit, Pack Of Three (0-24 months), £14.95

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1. Thermal Slub Tee (12 months-5 years), £8.95
2. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £19.95
3. Cat Baseball Hat (sizes xs-l), £6.00
4. Warmest Puffa Vest (12 months-5 years), £24.95
5. Desert Sneakers (sizes 5-11), £19.95

Gap Headband

1. Starry Top (12 months-5 years), £14.95
2. Knot Bow Headband, £6.00
3. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £17.95
4. Ankle Strap Ballet Flats (sizes 5-11), £14.95

Gap MS

1. Merino Sweater, £39.95
2. Mens Parka Jacket, £64.95
3. 1969 Legging Jeans, £39.95
4. Chelsea Booties, £69.95

Gap has a whopping 30% off until Monday (8th September), so we have dedicated an entire post just to them, seeing as they are doing such great things at the moment (for us mamas as well as our little ones). So today, we’ve done not one, but FOUR Little Spree looks, and every single item is from Gap. It’s a one-stop shop! Between us Nicky and I have pretty much bought everything (don’t bother going to the Richmond or Kingston stores ladies!!). Many of these things aren’t available in the stores yet, so enjoy a little preview. We also bought this tee; these pyjamas; these pants; these socks (in grey and navy); this blouse; these jeans; this blouse for the kids. And we also want this dress; these boots; and these track pants. And if you feel a little guilty, you could always treat your husband/boyfriend to this or this.  As far as we’re concerned, Gap just keeps getting better and better (Tabs is wearing the entire girl’s outfit right now). And we can’t stop shopping…

ps: Mama Spree as usual tomorrow (if your bank account hasn’t already been cleaned out!).

our favourite boys jumper

Beanie

1. Boden Cotton/Cashmere Jumper (2-12 years), £25.00-£30.00
2. Gap Cable Knit Beannie (xs-l), £8.95
3. Gap Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £17.95
4. M&S Leather Riptape Trainers (sizes 4-13 small), £24.00-£26.00

I’m a little bit obsessed with this jumper. You can see why. Meanwhile my sister is obsessed with these trainers (she’s bought no less than 4 x pairs!! – she likes to get ahead of the pack…), and we are too. Cheap and chic.

ps: since writing this, my nephew’s trainers have arrived, and my sister said that the sizing has come up really big, so bear this in mind when ordering.

pps: Marlow’s Cos shirt that he wore to my sister’s wedding is now available online.

jumpers & shorts

A bag

1. Crewcuts Cotton-Cashmere Raglan Sweatshirt (2-16 years), £38.00
2. Gap Striped Denim Shorts (12 months-5 years), £7.99
3. Oliver Bonas Alphabet Shopper, £15.00

For Marlow it’s all about a short and a sweater combo at the moment. It’s still (just about) mild enough for a short (and what is it with little boys not feeling the cold??), but definitely too cold for a tee, so he’s living in long sleeved tees or jumpers. Making Summer last as long as possible basically! Here are some others that we’ve got our eye on at the moment.. This fisherman crew neck from Next; this one from Mini Boden (grey melange); and this one from Gap (in grey and navy).

kids at weddings…

wedding girl

1. M&S Autograph Floral Lace Bridesmaid Dress, £35.00-£37.00
2. Woodstock Flower Garland, £26.00
3. ilovegorgeous Satin Ballet Pumps, £15.00

wedding boy

1. Cos Striped Collarless Shirt, £19.00
2. Gap Frayed Denim Shorts, £7.99
3. Birkenstock Rio Sandals, £38.00

wedding baby

1. Tulip & Nettle Sailor Suit, £48.00
2. Robin Pre-Walkers, £27.99

As many of you probably know, my sister Caroline got married on Saturday. Lots of you have been asking me recently about what to dress your little ones in for weddings (your own or friends/relatives). As you also probably know, one of my absolute pet hates is babies and toddlers in any kind of ‘formal’ clothing. And don’t get me started on waistcoats, suits or ties. So how do we navigate this tricky path of wanting to dress them up without the tackiness of the ‘mini adult’ look? So I thought I would share the (pretty much) exact three outfits worn by Tabitha, Marlow and my two year old nephew, ‘Baby James’ on Saturday. Tabitha was an ‘unofficial flower girl’ (it’s a long story…), and I wanted something pretty and whimsical, rather than big and pouffy (no hooped underskirts please). I fell in love with the Woodstock flower garland months ago (I challenge anyone to find one prettier…), so this was my starting point. It is SO gorgeous, and the picture really doesn’t do it justice. I saw the dress in M&S a while ago, and ummed and ahhed for weeks, but once I’d actually bought it and tried it on Tabs, I was pretty smitten. Again, it’s hard to see how nice it is from the picture (one of the downsides to internet shopping I guess). Plus, to be completely honest, I really didn’t want to blow £100 plus on an ‘unofficial flower girl’ dress. This one was perfect, and just ‘pretty enough’. It also comes in pale pink (I didn’t even show Tabs that one, for obvious reasons, though it was pretty I have to admit). And the satin ballet pumps were a cute finishing touch (she changed into her regular ballet shoes with the trusty elastic later on). I wanted Marlow to look smart-ish, but still cool and comfortable (he’s not one for dressing up, and even shirts can be a struggle with him). I liked this soft, collarless one from Cos (he also had another striped one from Cos that he also wore, but it’s not on the website) because it didn’t feel too stiff and formal. The shorts are denim, but the gunmetal grey was just smart enough. And he LOVES his silver sandals! ‘Baby James’ looked adorable in his classic sailor top and matching cropped trousers. He then wore the white version of the top the following day with navy shorts (I like these ones from Next). So if the complete look is a step too far into Victoriana for you, then just replace the matching trousers with shorts or regular trousers. And I love the navy t-bars (James’ were from BbBell). So there you have it. Check out Instagram (littlespree) for some pictures of them. ps: if you’re interested in what I wore, I will give you the details on Friday in my Mama Spree post.

my favourite cardigan

boden trio

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!!

back to school: it’s all about the (cute) little extras…

back to school G

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

 

back to school

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…

school coats (girls & boys)

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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…

girls school shoes: the whole story (and a few less warts)

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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.

back to school…

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photo: pinterest

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…

bubble round-up: the ones to watch…

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photo: leeclowerphotography

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.