Borrowed from the (Uniqlo) boys…

17 March 2016

Little Spree Uniqlo collaboration
Trench Coat, £29.90

Little Spree: Uniqlo collaboration - girls

1. T-shirt, £7.90
2. Trench Coat, £29.90
3. Skinny Jeans, £12.90

Little Spree: Uniqlo collaboration - boys

1. T-shirt, £7.90
2. Jersey Jacket, £24.90
3. Slim Fit Jeans, £12.90

You’ll often find our boys in pieces that we’ve bought from the girls department (we’re careful to remove any ‘girls’ labels now the boys can read!). It’s less often that it works the other way around, so when we saw this (boys) Breton top (you know we can never resist a Breton) we couldn’t decide whether to style it for a boy or girl so we deicide to do both. For Spring, wear with jeans and a lightweight jacket (how cute is this mini mac!) hi-tops for boys and ballet flats for girls.
While you’re on the site, definitely worth a look are this striped skirtsweatshirtstriped tee, padded gilet, and hoodie.

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: Uniqlo’s (newly refurbished) Oxford Street store is re-opening tomorrow. Alongside our favourite mens’ cashmere jumpers you’ll find their new Liberty London for UNIQLO collaboration, and a roof terrace which we’re told has breath-taking views across London.

Created in collaboration with Uniqlo

Tried & Tested Baby Bargains

21 January 2016

Little Spree Baby sale edit

1. Mango Bouclé Wool Coat, £19.99 (was £39.99)
2. Mango Ruffled Dress & Knickers Matching Knickers, £11.49 (was £22.99)
3. Mango Bobble Beanie, £3.99 (was £7.99)
4. Babe & Tess Cotton Romper, £29.03 (was £38.48)
5. Mango Leather Mary Janes, £9.99 (were £19.99)
6. Louis Louise Velvet Trousers, £22.27 (were £37.12)

Today is all about the littlest of little ones, and arguably the cutest of the sales bargains. As with everything we’re posting this week, each piece has been previousy featured on Little Spree at some point. Now a little tip for sale shopping for babies – it’s all about thinking ahead (preferably a year ahead if you can actually get your head around what size you’ll need a year from now – this will probably depend largely on the age of your baby and the amount of sleep you’ve had this week!!). Project yourself into the future and you can make a great sale find work that little bit harder. We’ve often been know to ‘repeat buy’ the exact same things in larger sizes (and not just during sale time either – our favourite Cos cashmere jumper is a case in point). So ladies, size up, stock up, and stash away for next year. You’ll be so glad you did.

Sarah & Nicky xx

ps: a word of warning – don’t stash your sale bargains away too carefully (learn from my mistakes ladies – SC). I’ve been known to stash them away, then completely forget all about them. Not so helpful.

pps: don’t miss the last in our sales fortnight tomorrow. It really is ‘last chance saloon’ for mamas this time!

Going, Going…

19 January 2016

Little Spree girls sales picks

1. Louis Louise Blouse, £36.40 (was £52.00)
2. Boden Dungarees, £15.00-£17.50 (were £30.00-£35.00)
3. Carrement Beau Wool Coat, £42.05 (was £60.08)
4. Pom D’Api Brown Boots, £51.10 (were £73.00)
5. ilovegorgeous Sequin Bag, £27.30 (was £39.00)

Although we’ve never tested the theory, it’s said that if you wear all your favourite pieces together, you end up with a wonderful outfit. These girls ‘as seen on Little Spree’ sale picks seem to prove the theory – chosen individually, on the basis that they were some of our favourite items from our winter outfit edits (and still had sizes available) they actually  make a lovely (cheap chic) outfit. You might also like to test the theory with these other sale pieces from Mango, Louis Louise, Gap,  Louis Louise, Mango, and Manuela de Juan.

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: Tabitha has 2, 3 and 4. In fact, SC loves number three so much, she’s considering re-buying for next Winter!

As Seen On Little Spree…

18 January 2016

Little Spree boys sales picks

1. Miller Shirt, £24.00 (was £60.00)
2. Gap Peacoat, £29.99 (was £49.95)
3. Someday Soon Sweatshirt, £24.97 (was £49.00)
4. Mango Cotton Joggers, £9.99 (were £19.99
5. Dandy Stars Backback, £24.62 (was £30.78)
6. Converse Hi-Tops, £22.40 (£32.00)

In our second week of sale posts (trust us, there are still plenty of great bargains to be nabbed if you know where to find them) we’re focusing on the ones that nearly got away – the pieces we have already featured on Little Spree in previous posts or in the ‘Little Shop’ that we still love (whether we’ve already bought them or not). So if you’ve had any ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ moments, this is the week for you. Here are some reminders: Hoodies, henleys, hats..., Elias & Grace: treat week for boys, Coats: the boys edit, Someday soon…, Beach boy. And who could forget Bailey’s favourite logo sweatshirt (sadly the navy has sold out, but we managed to track this grey version down). And here are a few more ‘as seen on Little Spree’ bargains worth checking out from Bellerose, Mango, Scotch ShrunkMango and Converse. See you tomorrow for the girls.

Sarah & Nicky xx

Sales Edit Day 4: Baby Bargains

14 January 2016

Baby Sale New

1. Oeuf NYC Panda Jumper, £56.23 (was £80.33)
2. Miller Baby Coat, £57.00 (was £95.00)
3. Il Gufo Pom Pom Hat, £36.86 (was £52.65)
4. Gap Organic Alphabet Onesie, £11.99 (was £19,95)
5. Mademoiselle à Soho Mittens, £12.31 (were £15.39)
6. Mango Ruffled Dress & Knickers, £14.99 (was £22.99)

Is there anything cuter than mittens on a string? We often buy matching hat, scarf or glove sets, but we also like to mix them up  – these chunky knit ones are the perfect shade as they go with almost all other colours. Ditto this hat! Of all of the sales posts this one has been the hardest to edit as there’s so much sweet babywear out there. So indulge us a little longer and take a look at these other pieces that we have found: this Oeuf NYC cardigan; this Ketiketa jumper; these Oeuf NYC pants; this Mademoiselle à Soho dress; this Gap marl grey onesie; this Babe & Tess (early Valentine cuteness?) sweatshirt; and this

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: the Gap alphabet sleepsuit/onesie is one of our best buys of last season. All three of our kids have one! So not just for babies – it goes right up to age five!

Sales Edit day 2: the boys

12 January 2016

Boys New

1. Kidscase Beanie, £16.80 (was £24.00)
2. Anaïs & I Reefer Jacket, £59.54 (was £99.23)
3. Miller Jumper, £48.00 (was £80.00)
4. Mango Corduroy Slim Fit Trousers, £9.99 (were £14.99)
5. Boden Suede Desert Boots, £24.00-£32.00 (were £40.00-£45.00)
6. Kidscase Scarf, £21.00 (was £30.00)

This is the perfect time to invest in those slightly more expensive pieces that, having been discounted, feel like a real bargain. Such as this perfect navy wool jumper from Miller (which we love in all colours). It’s also worth looking ahead to next Winter and sizing up on anything you know you will need – we’re very tempted to buy this cool grey pea coat and stash it for next year (love the cosy sheepskin style lining). Hats and scarves are also great sale buys – this hat and mittens set is also on our boys sale wish list, along with these these trousers, and this jacket.

Nicky & Sarah x

The Best Of The Sales: Part 1

11 January 2016

Girls Sale

1. Maan Dress, £40.00 (was £80.00)
2. Mango Faux Fur Coat, £26.99 (was £39.99)
3. M&S Chunky Knit Roll Neck, £6.00 (was £15.00)
4. Jigsaw Stripe Jumper, £24.00-£27.00 (was £35.00-£39.00)
5. Maa Slip-On Trainers, £28.50 (were £95.00)
6. Bonton Tutu, £31.50 (was £45.00)

We’re back! And we don’t know about you, but we’re a bit over the sales already… Well, a little bored of seeing the same old things anyway. So for our sales edit (this week and next – yep two full weeks of gorgeous sales bargains!!) we’ve delved that little bit deeper, and searched just that little bit harder to bring you the pieces that we really feel are worthy of sharing. It’s not enough that it’s just ‘nice’ and on sale – that’s not the way we roll at Little Spree. We still expect the same levels of style as always, and a tempting price reduction. And this time we’ve decided to split our finds into two: the pieces we’ve already seen and loved (and posted), but not necessarily bought (and are now possibly wondering why not?) and the pieces we’ve discovered as we cruise the sales online. So this week is dedicated to the former. So we’re kicking off with the girls. Oh, and for any mamas of boys out there, before you tune out, these super-cool skate shoes are on Bailey’s wish list! You gotta love a boy who can rock a silver trainer…

Sarah & Nicky xx

ps: a few more stylish bargains to consider are this, thesethis, this, and these.

p: if you haven’t already, check out my interview about motherhood and dressing kids with Children’s Salon here. SC

Elias & Grace: treat week for boys

22 October 2015

Boys Grey Cords I

1. Bellerose Godal Jumper, £52.00
2. Scotch Shrunk Peacoat, £112.00 (was £140.00)
3. Boden Slim Fit Cord Jeans, £12.00-£28.00 (were £22.00-£28.00)
4. Pepe Murgia Boots, £118.00

Sarah and I have been clearing out the kids wardrobes, only to discover that most of their Winter clothes (especially their trousers and jumpers) from last year no longer fit. We already have their coats – this is Bailey’s grey pea coat (which is presently on sale) and this is how I would like to see him wear it (left to his own devices Bailey would simply slip it on over a Superhero costume). So (for us at least) ‘treat week’ at Elias & Grace couldn’t be better timed. We always like to buy a few expensive items each season to mix in with their high-street buys and in Winter our splurges usually include boots and a few gorgeous jumpers. This winter’s wishlist includes this Kidscase long sleeved tee; this Bellerose coat (last year’s Winter coat for Marlow and Bailey); this Louis Louise jumper; this Miller beanie; and Marlow’s favourite hi-tops from Pepe.

Just remember to use code TREATAW15 at checkout before midnight on 27th October to receive 20% off.

Nicky & Sarah xx

Elias & Grace: treat week for girls

20 October 2015

Girls Dot Jacket

1. Morley Chloe Blouse, £55.00
2. Carrement Beau Wool Coat, £60.08
3. Gap 1969 Super Skinny Jeans, £19.95
4. Pom D’Api Boots, £107.00

We love stripes, we love (little) spots, but spots and stripes together? I know it’s a shock to see not one, but two patterns together in a Little Spree post, but even we can’t resist this gorgeous Morley top and Carrement Beau coat (in fact Tabitha already has both, as well as these gorgeous boots – even nicer in really life). It’s ‘treat week’ at Elias & Grace who are offering 20% discount off their AW15 collection with code TREATAW15. This offer only runs once per season so it’s the perfect time to stock up on those more expensive/statement/investment items (which is includes the Morley stripe top and these Pom D’Api boots). Also in our basket you’ll find this Zef dress; this Louis Louise poncho; this Carrement Beau Breton; this Kidscase dress; these Minnetonka boots (Tabitha has already put in a request for a pair after seeing them on my laptop!); this Nice Things cardigan (the perfect cardigan); this Louis Louise blouse (first seen on Little Spree here); these Miller mittens (Tabitha and Marlow already have these from last year in grey and navy – proof that mittens on a string really don’t get lost!); and it’s the perfect opportunity to buy new wellies for the Winter too. Check back on Thursday to see our boys ‘treat week’ wish list. Happy shopping!

Nicky & Sarah xx

Coats: the boys edit

8 October 2015

boys coats

1. Scotch Shrunk Peacoat, £140.00
2. Levi’s Parka Coat, £97.00
3. Bellerose Lakes Coat, £135.00
4. Monsoon Duffle Coat, £44.00
5. Gap Parka, £59.95

When it comes to children’s clothes, it’s a fact universally acknowledged that there’s less choice out there for boys. A fact that can be very frustrating, except that is, when it comes to boys Winter coats. Then we don’t care – we don’t need much choice as we rarely deviate from one of three styles: pea, duffle, parka; in one of three colours: grey, navy or green (and if the style’s right, ochre). Last year both Bailey and Marlow wore navy peas coats (similar to these from GapBoden and Mango) and parkas (last years version of the blue parka above). This year Bailey will be wearing the Scotch grey pea coat (it has a clever detachable camouflage liner) and Marlow will be wearing the cosy Levi’s green parka. If we hadn’t already decided on the boys coats before we researched this post, we’d also be considering this M&S one, this Next one; or this Next one. Who needs more choice than that!

Nicky & Sarah xx

Baby it’s cold outside…

6 October 2015

Baby Coats

1. Boden Lined Cord Jacket, £25.00-£27.00
2. Mango Boulé Wool Coat, £39.99
3. Mango Pocket Coat, £39.99
4. Gap Chambray Bear Jacket, £24.95

So it turns out that our favourite coats for babies are all grey… Hmmm. What can we say – we love grey! It goes with everything, is always chic and stylish, and is just as perfect for baby girls as it is for baby boys. And mamas of baby girls – make the most of it while they will actually wear grey! Here are a few more contenders (and some are even navy!). This herringbone puffer from Gap; this J by Jasper Conran mini duffle; this cord padded jacket from M&S; this Emile et Rose quilted jacket; this John Lewis double breasted jacket; and last but not least, the super-cute Boden one (Tabarlow’s first coats were from Mini Boden and they were so cute) comes in navy too.
We’re taking a break from coats tomorrow (we’ve started counting coats at night in lieu of sheep…) to bring you our favourite (the) jumper of the moment. But we’ll be back with our favourite boys’ coats on Thursday.

Sarah & Nicky xx

Coats: the girls edit

5 October 2015

Girls coats II

1. Carrement Beau Polka Dot Wool Coat, £60.08
2. Mango Faux Fur Coat, £39.99
3. Next Textured Coat, £17.00-£23.00
4. Quenotte Martine Checked Coat, £93.82
5. Caramel Jasmund Coat, £107.33

Ever see children’s clothes and wish they came in adult sizes? That’s how we feel about our girls coat edit. As you know we like girls to look, well, like girls rather than ‘mini adults’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have ‘mini-me’ moments. This season it’s been made easy with so many classic coat styles in the collections (between us, we probably have an adult version of most of these coats). Others to consider include this Next faux fur one; this Next Borg lined parka; this Bluezoo parka with fur hood; and this M&S fur trimmed bomber (which I saw at the M&S press day – trust me, there was more than one Mummy wondering if they might fit into age 14!).

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: for all you of you emailed us to ask where Tabarlow’s  Instagram onesies were from, here they are.

back to school part lll: coats

26 August 2015

boys  school coats

1. Petit Bateau Navy Raincoat, £58.00
2. RJR John Rocha Boys Neoprene Parker, £30.40
3. Navy Mac, £30.00-£36.00
4. John Lewis Hooded 3-in-1 Jacket, £38.00-£43.00

girls school coats

1. John Lewis School Shetland Coat, £80.00-£90.00
2. John Lewis Unisex School Duffle Coat, £75.00-£95.00
3. Debenhams Navy School Mac, £8.00-£15.20
4. Next Wool Coat, £30.00-£36.00

You think it would be simple to find a plain black or navy school coat wouldn’t you? Not so. Well, not a half decent one anyway. We know a lot of schools have their own coat as part of their uniform (like Bailey’s), but a lot don’t (Tabitha and Marlow’s – well they do, but they have the choice as to whether they wear it, and the school one is really not that warm). These are the best ones we found. We have split them into boys and girls, but to be honest, most are unisex.  And this John Lewis duffle is a snip at just £27.00

Sarah & Nicky xx

a mango surprise

25 June 2015

Mango Girl

1. Elastic Edge Dress, £15.99 (was £22.99)
2. Hooded Parka, £22.99 (was £34.99)
3. Cork Neon Sandals, £6.99 (were £29.99)

Boys Mango

1. Checked Shirt, £8.99 (was £12.99)
2. Hooded Parka, £22.99 (was £34.99)
3. Denim Bermuda Shorts, £8.99 (were £14.99)

Have you heard of the ‘Mango Outlet’? Until recently neither had we! Not to be confused with the ‘sale’ section of Mango, this is an entirely different website dedicated to their previous collections, with everything at hugely discounted prices! Imagine our excitement to find some of the items we wish we’d bought (you snooze, and maybe you don’t lose after all…) now available with up to 70% off!  Not ones to keep such a find to ourselves, we’ve scoured the site for our favourite items to share with you. Here are some other faves for the girls: this dress; this sweater; this cardigan; this sweater; this blouse; these moccasin boots; and this pom pom necklace.And for the boys: these sweaters; these hi-tops; this Henley sweater; this jacket;  this sweater; and this parka with detachable lining.
Now let’s keep this as our little secret, ok?

Nicky & Sarah xx

ps: And of course we haven’t forgotten about you! More Mango Outlet (crazy) bargains on Mama Spree tomorrow…

sale style for boys

16 June 2015

Boys Clothes Sale

1. Numero 74 Guitar Cushion, £19.44 (was £24.30)
2. Gap Chambray Field Jacket, £13.99 (was £32.95)
3. Bellerose Pocket Tee, £15.66 (was £19.58)
4. Bellerose Walton’s Sweatshirt, £22.27 (was £37.12)
5. Birkenstock Silver Rio Sandals, £26.60 (were £38.00)
6. Louis Louise Crepe Sarouel Trousers, £19.85 (were £33.08)

This is a very dangerous time of year for our credit cards as two instincts kick in: buy now and stash for later and just BUY NOW! In addition to the jacket and sweatshirt above, our ‘buy now and stash it’ list includes this Penfield navy parka; Scotch & Soda stripe sweatshirt and these Mayoral leather trainers. For now, we’re adding a few summer basics to the list, like these Gap swimming shorts and navy cut-offs; a pair of our favourite Pom-D’Api sandals; this Nico Nico tee; and this cool shirt from our current go-to brand Louis Louise. Just remember, when the credit card bill arrives, think how much you saved rather than how much you spent!

Nicky & Sarah x

ps: don’t forget it’s Father’s Day on Sunday (how did that suddenly come around – even we thought it was next weekend!!). Check out our Daddy Spree post for all the (stylish, obviously) gift inspiration you need…

uniqlo: basics & beyond…

28 April 2015

Uniqlo Boys Outfit

1. Washed Stripe Tee (3-12 years), £7.90
2. Long Sleeved Tee (3-11 years), £7.90
3. Parka (3-11 years), £14.90 (was £29.90)
4. Slim Fit Jeans (3-12 years), £24.90
5. Shorts (9-11 years), £7.90 (were £14.90)

Uniqlo Girls Clothing

1. Cotton Linen Dress (3-11 years), £14.90
2. Skinny Jeans (3-12 years), £9.90 (were £14.90)
3. Chino Shorts (3-11 years), £9.90
4. Crew Neck Cardigan (3-6 years), £9.90 (was £14.90
5. Cotton Crew Neck Tee (3-12 years), £2.90 (was £5.90)

In a game of word association “Uniqlo” would normally have us shouting out “mens cashmere jumper” but on a recent search for a boys Breton t-shirt we came across a whole collection of reasonably priced basics, and a few stand-out pieces too (take a bow blue boys parka and girls printed dress). Even better, with the exception of the boys’ jeans, our favourites from the collection are all under £15!

Nicky & Sarah xx

Created in collaboration with Uniqlo

hot flushes

3 March 2015

cool boys outfit

1. Mango Wool Blend Sweater, £6.50 (was £16.99), mango.com
2. Mango Parker With Detachable Lining, £39.99, mango.com
3. Zara Biker Trousers, £19.99, zara.com
4. Paperchase Navy Quilted Backpack, £25.00, paperchase.co.uk

Does anyone else have a son who is always hot?? Bailey has some gorgeous (unworn) chunky-knit jumpers in his wardrobe, but the mere mention of them usually results in a wrinkled little nose. Having bought these jeans for him a few weeks ago (Marlow also has them, in khaki) I was looking for a jumper that I liked (and Bailey would wear) when I came across this grey one  from Mango (thin and in the sale!). Smiles all round. Whilst searching for the jumper I also found this great khaki coat, and you know how we love a khaki coat at Little Spree!  As for the bag, we were asked so much about it when we put a picture of it on our Instagram feed last week that we thought we’d share it again.

Nicky x

boy meets girl

18 February 2015

stripe jean

1. Uniqlo Sweatshirt, £14.90
2. Verity Jones Large Hair Bow, £6.00
3. Boden Denim Slim-Fit Jeans, £22.00-£26.00
4. Velveteen ‘Ali’ Bag, £25.35
5. M&S Leather Mary Janes, £34.00-£38.00

stripe jean boy

1. Uniqlo Sweatshirt, £14.90
2. M&S Beanie Hat, £8.00
3. Boden Denim Slim-Fit Jeans, £22.00-£26.00
4. Uniqlo Pea Coat, £19.90 (was £39.90)
5. Gap Canvas Hi-Top Sneakers, £17.95

One pair of trousers that we both love, but for girls or for boys (they are officially girls’)? We love them equally for both. So we decided to style them two ways – one look for the girls and one look for the boys. All bases covered.

Sarah & Nicky x

little boots

5 February 2015

iloveG

1. Gap Lace Yolk Dress, £24.95
2. Uniqlo Sweatshirt, £14.90
3. ilovegorgeous Chelsea Boots, £55.00 (were £79.00)
4. Mango Parka, £34.99

We adore these cute little red boots (and the fact that they’re on sale always helps of course!). And don’t be afraid to bust out a Summer dress in Winter (we do!) – it’s just all about clever layering (don’t forget a cosy vest – our current favourites are from Smalls). And we love a grey marl sweatshirt over a pretty dress. Just add a khaki parker and some tights, and you’re away… We also still really like this Mango army-style jacket. There are a few sizes still left in the sale if you’re quick!

Sarah & Nicky x

ps: how about this super-cute ‘love’ necklace for a ‘mini Valentine’s’? Or these (thanks Sarah for the tip-off) for the boys?

christmas day dressing

11 December 2014

girls party

1. Miller ‘Pop’Jumper, £85.00
2.. Zara Sequinned Skirt, £17.99
3. M&S ‘Best Of British’ Pure Wool Coat, £80.00
4. Gap Velvet Mary Jane Flats, £14.95

This is a great Christmas Day/party look that’s not too blingy. Cosy, cute, with just a smattering of sequins. Perfect.
It’s a different vibe altogether, but I just ordered this robin jumper for Tabs and it’s SO sweet. Christmas-y, but in an adorable old fashioned way. She will definitely be busting it out with a skinny jean (possibly even dungarees if I can bribe her!!) and a gold Mary Jane.

Sarah x

Boys party

1. Mango Batman Sweatshirt, £16.99
2. Zara Velvet Blazer, £45.99
3. Next Super Skinny Jeans, £13.00-£19.00
4. Converse High-Tops, £30.00

Whether it’s a birthday, wedding or Christmas it’s the same dilemma: how to make your little boy look dressed up but not overdressed? Oh how I’ve envied mothers of little girls at these times, but we think we’ve come up with a cool Christmas solution here. We also like this grey jumper from Next if the Batman sequins are a step too far; and these amazing boots if these hi-tops aren’t far enough.

Nicky x

kate spade loves gap

12 November 2014

Kate Spade Gap bags

1. Kate Spade Gap Kids Colourblock Tote, £29.95
2. Kate Spade Gap Kids Coloublock Tote (Large), £59.95

Gap Kate Spade

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

mini me, mini preen

5 November 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 11.57.58

MINIPREEN_53575_1.jpg

PREEN LINE SARAH CLARK

As a huge fan of Preen (I remember going to one of their very first shows at London Fashion Week when I worked at Marie Claire, and just being blown away by the combination of beauty and ‘coolness’ of the clothes). I couldn’t have been more excited when they launched Mini Preen earlier this year. It’s just gorgeous. And just like the womens’ collections, is cool and pretty in equal measures. I caught up with one half of the Preen design duo, the lovely Thea (arguably one of the nicest people in fashion) to ask her a little more about the collection…

What made you decide to launch Mini Preen?
When our eldest daughter, Fauve was born I was always on the lookout for clothes that were a bit different, and as she grew she always wanted to wear my dresses, so the idea of a Mini Me, Mini Preen was born.

Do you always try to keep your Mini designs closely linked to your womenswear collections? I love the ‘mini me’ angle to the press look books. Completely adorable.
Yes, we always link Mini to our adult collections. We shrink the prints so they don’t look oversized on the smaller frame of a child. The coats are shrunken versions, also the dresses are of similar styles to the adult, but more age appropriate.

What kind of girl is the Mini Preen girl?
Well the main inspiration for the Mini Preen girl has been our daughters. Cute, cool, spirited, fun, ‘outdoorsy (is that even a word?), and must contain pink.

I love how you mix classic children’s clothes with a cool, modern edge (not easy to do!). Are your own daughters a big part of your inspiration?
Yes totally. Like with our Preen ethos we want to mix classic, modern and vintage.

Do you think you might ever do a high street collaboration with Mini Preen, like your womenswear collection for Debenhams?
I think that would be a great idea!

I am told you are a fan of Little Spree. Is this true?
Yes! I got introduced to it by a close friend and now I’m addicted!

Do you like to mix high street finds with more expensive pieces when dressing your daughters?
Absolutely. The high street are doing great clothes for kids, and I also like to look around markets such as Portobello for smocked vintage dresses for Blythe (2). My own children really love to wear Preen though. Fauve (6) loves a party dress and she has a sweatshirt dress that she lives in!

Any favourite high street haunts for kids clothes?
I find Zara Kids is great for coats, and tights in interesting colours. H&M kids is always a place I go to get my daughter, Fauve her skinny jeans. Also Mothercare are doing some great coloured corduroy trousers at the moment. They are meant for boys, but I dress my girls in quite a lot of boys clothes – coats, trousers and shirts. I think it’s a great look.

Preen has kindly agreed to give away the gorgeous Mini Preen red checked coat-dress, above, worth £294.00, as well as this super-cool Preen Line jumper-dress, worth £398.00. How lucky are we?? Two for one! All you need to do to enter is email us with the answer to the following question: What is Thea’s design partner/husband’s name? Easy peasy. And don’t forget to include your (UK) dress size and the name and age of the little girl who might be lucky enough to win the coat-dress. You have until Friday 14th to enter, and we will announce the winners (one big, one small) the following week. Good luck!

Mini Preen is available in 4-11 years (sorry, girls only) from Selfridges and Harrods

more peas please

1 October 2014

Peas

1. Cos Wool Coat (1-8 years), £55.00
2. Feraud Navy Coat (5-10 years), £29.99
3. Mothercare Navy Coat (18 months-8 years), £28.00-£30.00
4. M&S Indigo Coat (3-14 years), £28.00-£32.00

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.

coat edit part lll: girls

17 September 2014

Girls coats 2

1. Next Grey Faux Fur Front Coat (3-16 years), £38.00-£44.00
2. Zara Double Breasted Mohair Coat (3-14 years), £49.99
3. Jigsaw Junior Faux Fur Trim Tweed Coat (4-13 years), £74.00-£79.00
4. Gap Wool Zip Coat (12 months-5 years), £34.95
5. Monsoon ‘Ana’ Coat (3-13 years), £45.00

Here are our our favourite Winter coats for girls. Fancy winning number 5? Monsoon is kindly going to give one away to a lucky Little Spree reader, as well as the two baby girl coats featured in our edit on Monday (numbers 1 and 4). All you need to do is tell us which Winter coat I bought for myself (as mentioned in a recent Mama Spree post); subscribe (just go to the right hand side of the website and enter your email address) to the daily Little Spree email update (if you don’t already), then send your answer to the usual email address (find it here). Don’t forget to state which coat you would like, and in which size. You have until Friday 26th September to enter, and we will announce the winner the following week. Good luck!

little coats for little ladies

15 September 2014

Baby coats

1. Monsoon Baby Bear Coat (3 months-3 years), £40.00
2. John Lewis Tweedy Hooded Coat (3 months-3 years), £30.00-£32.00
3. Zara Coat With Shearling Lined Collar (9 months-3 years), £32.99
4. Monsoon ‘Sophie’ Coat (3 months-3 years), £38.00
5. La Redoute Double Breasted Coat (1 month-3 years), £35.00

It’s all about coats this week on Little Spree. We’re starting with our edit for baby girls (although all of them go up to three years, so not strictly just for babies). Could they be any cuter? I almost cried when I saw this pistachio green one in Zara and realised that Tabitha was too big for it (I’m not even joking). I have since consoled myself with another Zara one, which is coming up in our girls coats post later in the week. See you tomorrow for the baby boys…

school coats (girls & boys)

13 August 2014

324492763_0_PR_1_3x_70247_0051

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…

buy now, stash for later…

13 July 2014

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.

summer coat

4 May 2014

Zara Double Breasted Coat (3-14 years)
£35.99  SHOP NOW
I have just bought this for Tabitha, and have concluded that it’s the perfect Summer coat. After seeing the fabulous Joseph one (as mentioned in Mama Spree on Friday), it inspired me to find a scaled-down version for Tabs. A Summer coat does sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but anyone reading this from the UK will testify that one is essential (it’s a brave person who dares to venture out without some kind of coat, even in the height of Summer, as you just never know…). As the weather has been getting milder (then colder again, them milder again…) I have been relying on the twins’ trusty M&S yellow rain macs, but they don’t always seem/look quite right somehow (unless it’s actually raining obviously)… This one is a gorgeous grey-blue; it’s cotton, so lovely and lightweight; slightly quilted; and has a pretty floral lining (which looks great with the cuffs turned back, plus meant it passed the Tabitha ‘it’s just pretty enough’ test). I think Tabs will mostly be wearing hers cool and casual with jeans and trousers.

ps: on a separate trip to  Zara (yes, I have weeks when I never set foot in that store, then others when I’m in there virtually every day – I think it’s clear what kind of week last week was) I also picked up these crocheted shorts for Tabs. Love them. They will ‘prettify’ any simple, easy-to-chuck-on tees/Bretons for an everyday go-to Summer/holiday look. And she chose these sandals herself (she loved them because they’re pink, pink, pink, I love them because they are neon pink which gives them a much cooler edge than a regular pink, and it’s a win-win because Tabs can’t tell the difference). They will look best worn with more girly things I think (she put them with her Mango ‘mini me’ embroidered dress this afternoon and they looked great). I also bought her these striped shorts, which I will pair with pretty blouses and smocks.

two in one

26 March 2014

Zara Parka With Detachable Waistcoat (3-14 years)
£39.99  SHOP NOW
I have always loved a bargain (my father’s daughter), and I always love the idea of getting something extra. Now this girl’s navy parka ticks both those boxes, but also looks great. Such a cool idea to have the detachable waistcoat (ok, so we’ve seen detachable linings before, but personally I have not seen any that also double up as waistcoats), and such a pretty one too! This is the ideal coat for ‘right now’, and I will definitely be snapping one up for Tabitha (the floral lining/waistcoat should hopefully balance out the lack of pink for her…). Pretty cool.

skater girl

23 February 2014

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…

the ‘french factor’

11 February 2014

Alice a Paris Boiled Wool Pea Coat (3-36 months)
£37.00 (was £54.00)  SHOP NOW
I LOVE this French brand. All the pieces are beautifully simple and well designed, and just have that inexplainable ‘French factor’. The colours are neutral and expensive looking (but the prices are anything but), and they stock the same styles season after season (this definitely appeals to my ‘repeat offender’ shopping habits). And it’s equally fabulous for boys and girls. And look what I found in the sale?? Another pea coat! But how gorgeous (and so French!) is this chocolate brown boiled wool version with a plaid lining? Beyond gorgeous in fact. And on sale. As one Little Spree reader put it: “it’s the guilt-free Bonpoint”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

ps: ilovegorgeous has a great sale on at the moment. And talking of coats, how cool is this teddy boy style for girls?

to peru and back…

6 February 2014

Paddington Bear For Baby Gap Rain Parka (0-24 months)
£29.95  SHOP NOW
As one of my all-time favourite childhood characters, Paddington Bear is definitely worthy of a collaboration of his own. And we know that Gap can work a collaboration like no one else. Forget naff gimmicks and cartoony motifs, the execution is always spot-on, and the pieces always have that ‘want it right now’ appeal. Pus we know that the pieces are always going to be totally affordable. The collection is primarily made up of red, white and blue, with a few splashes of yellow. This parka is one of my favourite pieces – love the toggle buttons and the striped lining. My other favourites are this super-cute embroidered dress (love it!); these classic yellow rain boots; these days of the week bodysuits; this quilted floral print jacket (if you have a daughter and you haven’t bought one already, you have to buy her a cotton quilted jacket for the Spring – there are so many cool ones around); and this bodysuit. And no need to journey to Peru to buy them…

ps: Tabarlow and I spent a lovely (rainy) afternoon with our friends Nicky and Bailey at Maggie & Rose in Chiswick today. For anyone living in West or South-West London who doesn’t already know about it, you need to. It’s a little (well, not so little – 12,500 square foot actually) haven for anyone with young kids, hidden away in deepest W4. The amazing soft play area has been designed like a cool farm (complete with with mini barn, not to be confused with a mini bar) and horses, and is over looked by an all-day family brasserie open seven days a week serving healthy and delicious food (so we can catch up while they play where we can see them). There is also a walled garden with a tree house and a vintage double decker bus; a cinema snug, mini allotments and loads more… It’s basically an amazing place to hang out with your little ones (regardless of the weather), where you can all have a lovely time. It’s a total win-win. I’m hooked.

pps: just spotted this fab checked blouse from Miller. It’s 70% off and so cool…

designer bargains

2 February 2014

Little Marc Jacobs Cannoli Jacket (4-12 years)
£78.00 (was £195.00)  SHOP NOW
I am clearly still subconsciously searching for the ultimate navy pea coat. This is a fantastic one from Little Marc. It is still quite pricey, but I think it’s worth investing for next Winter if you size up. There are still quite a few things out there in the sales if you look hard enough (you just need to be lucky with the sizes). And this is definitely the time to pick up some designer pieces that might normally be unaffordable (or more accurately, unjustifiable). Here is my edit of the best things out there… These boots are old favourites (Marlow has had at least two pairs over the years) that I still love. Quite tempted to buy him another pair actually. He’s also had a pair of these (I love that they repeat the same styles season after season). I really love these suede boots (they also come in navy) for girls (a lot more affordable now they are half price); this owl jumper from Stella; this gorgeous Chloe dress; this Chloe cashmere hat and scarf set (it would make the most adorable baby gift); this printed Miller dress; and finally, how cute are these Bonton booties??

sale time!

30 December 2013

Mango Double-Breasted Plaid Coat (sizes XS-L)
£19.99 (was £47.99)  SHOP NOW
This boys’ jacket is an amazing bargain, and it’s certainly not too late to jump into the plaid trend (let’s face it, Winter is going to be here for a while yet..). I love it. This  (very Isabel Marant-esque) fabulous charcoal flecked girls’ coat, also from Mango is another hit. Love, love, love this gorgeous girls’ tulle skirt from Chiara; this cool tee from Bang Bang Copenhagen; these pretty vests from Stella McCartney; this simple Miller grey tee; this smocked Liberty London dress; and finally, this Miller printed dress.

chic tweed

6 November 2013

Zara Tweed Coat With Detachable Fur Collar (9-36 months)
This is the cutest coat ever. I love everything about it, from the tweed, to the double breasted style to the detachable fur collar (two coats in one). I also love this one (Tabitha had a very similar grey version from Zara the Winter before last); and this one, which is very similar, but for girls older than 36 months. This is a really sweet little coat from Mothercare; and how cool is this shaggy fake fur one from Mango (and such a practical colour!). And finally this super-chic one from Cos for a splash of colour.
£32.99   SHOP NOW

ps: just seen this neon pink tweed coat with a fur collar on the John Lewis website. It’s from the Somerset collection by Alice Temperley. I have actually seen it in the flesh, and it’s so lovely (I don’t think the John Lewis still-life pics ever do the products justice I have to say).

pps: navy pea coats still leap off the screen/rail/page whenever I see one, and I still feel compelled to share. So after spotting this great cord one (love the fur collar – lots of them around at the moment), how could I not share?

marlow’s duffle

20 October 2013

Mothercare Herringbone Tweed Duffle Coat (3 months-3 years)
This is the first time I have ever posted something twice, but I felt it had to be done. I posted this exact duffle coat on 7th February 2012! I also mentioned it in a post a few weeks ago, as one of my favourite ever buys. It was Marlow’s first proper Winter coat, and I absolutely loved it on him. And yes, this is the one that everyone thought was from Caramel! It looks really expensive (and is anything but), and is really warm and cosy (thanks so the borg fleece lining); has the all-important zip and buttons combo; and unlike many baby duffle coats, it’s not stiff and hard to get on (I found so many to be so cardboard-y that unless your child happened to be double-joointed they were virtually impossible to get on…). So I am sharing it for the second time around because it’s just such a brilliant find.
£26.00   BUY NOW

navy peacoat part ll

29 September 2013

Autograph Wool Blend Peacoat (12 months-7 years)
The navy peacoat is still as elusive as ever this Winter (on the High Street anyway), and I have now become slightly obsessed about it. I think this Autograph one from M&S is one of the best options (thank you Nicky), and it has a cosy padded lining, and is machine washable (why do kids’ coats get SO filthy?). Here are a few other recent finds I’ve sniffed out on my travels… Thanks to all the mums (and there were lots of you!) who recommended this fab one from Zara (it’s a girls’ one, but obviously perfect for boys too). This is the same one I bought (and loved, and amazingly still fits!) for Marlow from H&M last Winter. Annoyingly they have made it in black this year instead of navy (don’t they realise that navy is THE colour of the season?), but it’s still a good option (I love the extra sewn-in ribbed collar for those extra-chilly days).. This is not a peacoat, but it’s navy, wool and really cool (do not be put off by this terrible picture, which bears no resemblance to the fab coat I saw in the flesh in the store last Thursday – trust me, it’s fantastic). I really like this new (ish) Kin collection at John Lewis (it has a whiff of Cos about it…). I think I might go back and get it. Again, this one from F&F is black, but it’s a good one. And finally, if you feel like a splurge, this Cyrillus one is really lovely (and probably my favourite of the lot), and definitely navy: as is this Petit Bateau one – a classic naval officer style, complete with gold buttons. That’s it for now, I’m going for a lie-down…
£28.00-£30.00   BUY NOW

ps: just in! I spotted this one on the Mothercare website a few weeks ago, but for some reason thought it was black, so discounted it, but in actual fact it’s dark navy (thank you ‘Belfast Mummy’). So I’m adding it in as late contender. Definitely more of a boy’s pea than girl’s I would say, but a really good (and affordable) option.

pps: girls’ boots coming this week…

 

the elusive navy pea coat

19 September 2013

Mothercare Wool Peacoat (3 months-3 years)
I have lost count of the amount of people who have asked me who (on the High Street) has done a good navy pea coat in the last few weeks. And the honest answer is: virtually no one! So strange (last Winter they were everywhere!). I have found quite a few good black ones (more of those, plus more coats, later in the week), but no navy. Until now. This is such a great find (even if I do say so myself) from Mothercare, and it’s ticking all the right boxes – classic shape, cute grey collar, super-cosy grey (yes grey again!) borg lining (even in the hood!), wool mix fabric, machine washable, and a great price. Sadly Marlow is too old for this one, otherwise I would definitely have snapped it up for him. I actually bought his very first Winter coat from Mothercare, and it was fantastic (everyone thought it was from Caramel…) – great quality, stylish and really warm. So I am definitely a fan of their coats. Quick, before the stampede – I know for a fact that there are a LOT of mums out there right now looking for a coat like this…
£26.00-£28.00  mothercare.com