Jo Jo Maman Bebe Espadrilles (sizes 4-11)
I spotted (sorry!) these a while ago when I popped into the store in Marlow, and they have been on my/Tabitha’s shopping list ever since. I’ve always loved espadrilles – they make me think of Jane Birkin, and holidays in the South of France as a teenager. In fact, I don’t think people ever stopped wearing them in France! But they are definitely having a bit of ‘moment’ again (if Chanel have done a version of something, you know there is a trend emerging…). I love this Mary Jane style (a lot easier for little ones to keep on than the traditional style). Super-cute.
Cyrillus Boys T-Bar Shoes (sizes 20-24)
I always love these kind of classic canvas t-bar sandals for the Summer. They are always pretty inexpensive (so you don’t feel so bad chucking them out come Autumn…). They always look chic, and the velcro strap makes them fast and easy to get on and off. I will be buying a pair of these each for Tabs and Marlow. This navy baby pair from H&M are a great option too.
£24.00 (were £30.00) cyrllius.com
Le Petit Tom Baby Ballerina Shoe (0-18 months)
How adorable are these? Now I usually find most decorative baby shoes a bit naff and pointless, but I just couldn’t resist these handmade ones. Love the navy velvet of course. They are cute and pretty, but not gimmicky or too ‘doll like’ (one of my absolute pet hates with baby girls). And you don’t need to wind the ribbons up the leg – just cross them over once, then double-up if you still have more ribbon left. Super-chic. They would be perfect for a special occasion worn with tights. Love.
£19.25 (were £38.50) igloo kids.co.uk
Gap Slip-On Sneakers (sizes UK 4-10)
In case you haven’t noticed, the skater style slip-on is having a major ‘moment’ right now thanks to Pheobe Philo at Celine. I have been living in my classic Vans for years (so comfy, and easy to wear), and have recently bought the Kurt Geiger black croc ones, which I love (perfect with a boyfriend jean). So I’m glad to see them appearing in little sizes too. So cute. I love these navy ones from Gap (they also come in grey with a yellow trim which are also really cool). I’m always on the look-out for great kids’ shoes that are easy to get on and off (not as easy as you might think, and there’s only so much velcro I can take…). These will be perfect for Marlow for nursery. I am going to try and get Tabs into a pair too (love them on girls), but I don’t fancy my chances much…
M&S Leather Walkmates Heart Sandals (sizes 5-9 small)
Yep, it’s another great pair of red sandals (is there a trend emerging here?). After I posted the Little Bird Mothercare ones back in January (which Tabitha has and is wearing and loving a lot – in fact she’s wearing them today), a Little Spree reader (thank you Mim) contacted me to ask if I’d seen these M&S ones? I hadn’t (amazingly – hope I’m not losing my touch?). I love the Walkmates shoes range – Marlow has had a couple of great pairs of boots from them over the last couple of years. Actually, it was their fantastic desert boots that I bought for him when he was around a year old that kick-started the whole idea for Little Spree… So far I’ve never bought Tabs any, but I’m definitely going to give these a go (Grandma is already briefed for her next trip to The Meadows). I love how traditional they are, and the adorable little heart cut-outs are a sweet touch that will keep Tabs (as well as me) happy. And all the Walkmates shoes are especially designed to give little feet the room they need to develop properly, such as extra toe space etc, so you know they are being looked after (so important for those early years). And they always use good quality, flexible leather. I am a big fan.
Tip Toey Joey Dolly Shoe (3-21 months)
There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to start banging on about the distinct lack of non-hideous baby shoes there are out there. We all know that already. And the amount of emails/tweets I get on this very subject will confirm this. So instead of moaning on about what isn’t available (for reasons which remain a complete mystery to me, because I know the demand is definitely there, but I think that probably counts as banging on…), I’ve decided instead to focus on what is. Quite a few people have asked me recently for advice on stylish baby shoes/’first walkers’ for girls (including me dear friend, Des for her daughter Missy), and these are one of my favourites. I bought Tabs and Marlow (yes it’s true, I did dress my son in what can only be described as ‘Mary Janes’, much to my father’s horror…) a very similar pair for them as they started toddling and walking. Tabs’ were a really pale, dusky pink, and Marlow’s were navy (see, almost butch in navy right?). Anyway, I loved them, and at the time, they were by far and away the best ones I could find. They were simple and neutral, and went with everything they wore (I was not about to buy two pairs for each of them in one hit – forget it). And as you know, I do veer towards the more old-fashioned/classic things sometimes (which is not for everyone I know). I think these are a really sweet, stylish option for a little girl who is on the move (but equally great for a younger baby – they look cute and they will stay on). And not a bad price at all. And dare I say it, they do have a bit of a whiff of Harper Beckham about them? She loves a Mary Jane, and she loves grey… I will let you read the more technical blurb for yourself on the Igloo website, but rest assured they are 100% leather, and designed to allow your baby’s feet to grow and develop properly. So there you have it.
Monsoon Glitter Tap Shoes (sizes 7-13)
How cute are these? I still remember having a pair of silver glitter t-bar ‘party sandals’ (they were a bit of Granny-style ballroom shoe as I remember…) when I was little, and I absolutely loved them (and wore them at every opportunity!). I just felt so ‘pretty’ wearing them. I need to remind myself of these past feelings when I am literally having to wrestle a nasty pink sparkly ‘item’ out of Tabitha’s hands in a shop (sadly this is becoming all too frequent these days…). I think these are a pretty great example of something that will keep both Mummies and their (princess/pink/sparkly obsessed) little girls happy. Love the ribbon ties – so sweet. I think they would also look great dressed-down with (navy) leggings and a cashmere jumper (very ‘in rehearsals’)…
ps: obviously not (under any circumstances) to be worn at the same time as the ilovegorgeous gold sequinned dress (as featured on 29th January). Can you imagine?
Little Bird By Jools Red Buckle Shoes (sizes 4-10 junior)
I spotted these in the pictures for the Little Bird launch collection last season, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t available to buy (I did look…). Anyway, I was having a little mooch around the Mothercare website the other day, and there they were! Now I know what I said about the colour red on Sunday, but I have always loved a red shoe (both for me and for kids). Tabitha has her red Carys (scored in the Trotters sale before Christmas) Mary Jane’s which I love on her, and strangely, red shoes do seem to look good with most things (I love red worn with paler, more muted colours). I love that these are quite classic and old-fashioned looking (much like Tabs’ pair). I also like that they are quite chunky, so not too girly – perfect with dresses and jeans/trousers They have a bit of a Red Hand Gang feel about them. Super-cute.
If you follow me on Twitter, I apologise, because you’re probably sick to death of me gushing over this collection already… Peter rabbit is 110 (and looking good on it!), and to celebrate Gap have collaborated with Beatrix Potter with this completely adorable collection for babies. I have to confess, I was slightly sceptical when I first got wind of it – how would such a collaboration even work? It just sounded a little gimmicky to me, and I suppose I just didn’t ‘get it’. How wrong I was. I first saw the collection on Tuesday in the Oxford Circus store when I dashed in to check it out quickly (in the name of research) on my way home. I was instantly smitten, and promptly scooped up two rabbit face jumpers (one with pink trim, one with blue) and his and hers packets of socks in the most gorgeous colours (I always find it a struggle to find good socks for toddlers…). Officially the age range is 0-24 months, but I wasn’t about to be defeated that easily, and on inspection of said items, endevoured to squeeze my two (who just turned three) into them. Bingo! Both jumpers (age 18-24 months) fitted, and the socks are perfect. Where there’s a will and all that… Fast forward to the official press launch breakfast this morning, and I arrived feeling like I had already seen the collection in its entirety. Wrong again. I had barely seen anything – this collection is huge! The colours are spot-on – lots of grey (oh yes!), navy, dusky pink, pale blue, saffron (which I’m loving at the moment – so easy to work into a neutral-ish wardrobe, and so chic) etc. It’s just the perfect mix of whimsical and cute. Stylish and so, so sweet. Here are my favourites (including the jumpers I bought for Tabarlow, and Marlow’s days of the week socks), but I also particularly loved the days of the week bodysuits for little babies (up to six months). They would make the lovelist gift for a newborn. The blue shawl-neck cardigan (or possibly jardigan?) is based on Peter Rabbit’s own ill-fated jacket (how cute is that?). Love, love, love…
from £7.95 gap.eu
ps: available online and in-store now.
Babies In Sheep’s Clothing Baby Ballet Slippers (0-12 months)
Are these not the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Well, today at least? One of my lovely Little Spree followers, Jane tipped me off about them (yes, getting quite a few lately – thank you), and I was instantly smitten. I love the combination of the sheepskin and the ballet slipper (haven’t seen that before). And such pretty colours. So you know baby will be super-cosy as well as looking completely adorable. In fact, they remind me of a pair of F-Troupe ballet flats that I have (and love) with very similar criss-cross elasticated straps. I live in them. These are 100% New Zealand lambskin sheepskin, handmade, and naturally dyed. They are made just outside Christchurch on the South Island by women at home who are unable (for various reasons) to enter the traditional workplace. So another ethical purchase for you. They would make the most gorgeous gift (I have switched into full-on Christmas present buying mode now!) for any stylish babies (I can think of a few!) on your list. Love, love, love them! Thank you Jane.
M&S Denim Velcro Trainers (sizes 5s-12s)
Yes I am still obsessed with all things velcro! As you know, I’ve already bought the M&S navy suede velcro ankle boots for Marlow and they are great for nursery. And now I’ve discovered these too. Loving the denim, and the super-simple design. Might have to get these as well… Good old M&S!
H&M Boys Brogues (sizes 7s-1)
I was tipped off about these from my lovely friend, Joe who is Brand Director at Grenson Shoes (so he definitely knows a good brogue when he sees one). He bought these for his four year old son, Otto (one very cool little boy indeed) when he was in Germany recently. He texted me a picture of him (Otto, not Joe) wearing his with a pair of skinny turned up jeans and he looked so cute (this is the way to go with a ‘statement shoe’ like this – dress them down so they don’t look like your little one has dived head-first into the dressing-up box…) Now, they are not leather (I never thought I’d post something that is described as ‘imitation leather’, but there you go), but that’s not really a surprise when they are £12.99 is it? All I can say is if you’re looking for a super-stylish, cool pair of shoes for a little boy, these are the ones to buy. Loving the monochrome (very Bugsy Malone). I just wish they came in Marlow’s size, but sadly his feet aren’t quite big enough yet. Buy now, keep for later?
Vans Hello Kitty Classic Slip-Ons (sizes 4s-2l)
These would probably win the prize for the item least likely to appear on Little Spree. So what the hell are they doing here you may well ask? Here goes. Well, I’ve always loved Vans (I blame the surfer/skateboader ex-boyfriends). I live in mine when I am at home with the kids and at the weekends – they are just so cool, comfy and easy to chuck on. I only like the plain slip-on ones though, and they always look great with a skinny jean and a cashmere jumper (my ‘mum uniform’). Anyway, enough about me. Hello Kitty has gradually started becoming part of my life now that Tabitha has appointed her as her guru. She literally worships her. So far she has a couple of cuddly toy versions, a hair slide (eek…) and a hairbrush. But this is as far as it goes. I have drawn the line at anything wearable (ok, the slide yes, but that doesn’t really count does it?). As far as I’m concerned, ‘Hello’ (as Tabs casually calls her) crosses the line between cute and naff when she starts appearing on leggings, t-shirts and swimsuits etc (it’s the thin end of the wedge). But I am obsessed with these Vans! I just think the combination of Vans and ‘Hello’ is too cute! My boyfriend will probably die of shock (and it takes a lot to shock him believe me!) when these turn up in the post, but yes, I am going to order a pair for Tabs. I cannot wait to see her face. Obviously, she will only wear them with a really simple, low-key outfit (party dresses need not apply), such as her pale grey skinny jeans and a Breton t-shirt/jumper/little blouse. Oh gosh, have I lost the plot? Should I make this my last post? No, sorry, I love them!
M&S Boys’ ‘Walkmates’ Leather Velcro Shoes (sizes 4s-9s)
Yep, another shoe post! And no, I very much doubt Elvis ever wore shoes with any kind of velcro straps. But I definitely think these are a great, inexpensive toddler shoe, and worth sharing with you all. I first saw them almost two years ago in the Marble Arch store, and bought them for Marlow (at the same time as the now famous suede desert boots that I bought for them both). I would like them even more if they didn’t have the red tag on, but you can’t have everything right? And these are proper toddler walking shoes – designed to give little feet the right amount of room to develop properly. So I can live with the red tag (God, I need to get over myself sometimes!).
ps: apologies to anyone trying to buy the Joules hobby horse in yesterday’s post. Sadly it has now sold out. It was definitely available when I published my post at around 5pm yesterday, I promise. That was clearly one popular horse!
Starchild Milky Stars Leather Baby Shoes (0-6 months)
Baby shoes/booties are just as tricky as toddlers’ in my opinion. You can find this type of soft-soled leather shoe (I used to call them ‘Michael Flatleys’ when Tabarlow wore them) everywhere, but can you find tasteful ones? Not easily. They are few and far between, believe me. This pair is definitely one of the cutest I’ve seen. Admittedly, white is perhaps not the most practical of colours for baby shoes (but let’s face it there’s not a whole lot of walking going on at this age…), but you can’t have it all! They are simple and stylish, and the tiny cut-out stars are just such a sweet detail (and just enough). And suitable for both boys and girls. Trust me, you’ll be lucky to find nicer ones (if you can, please share!), and these are just £10.00 in the sale! Oh and apparently their sizing is quite generous, so I’m sure these would last beyond six months. Love.
£10.00 (were £16.00) custard-online.co.uk
Clarks ‘Cruiser Crew’ Baby Boy’s Shoes (sizes 2-5 F & G)
Just don’t get me started on baby shoes. Oh sorry, too late! I felt I had to address this controversial subject due to overwhelming demand from Little Spree followers. In particular, Lisa, who emailed me in desperation about where to buy a pair of ‘walkers’ for her son. The thing is, we know we can’t just buy any old stylish shoes for our little one’s first pair (as much as we may want to) because our sensible side is reminding us that we don’t want to mess up our kids’ feet from the word go. So all we ask is that someone designs a non-hideous shoe that is not going to screw up their feet, that they can take their first steps in. So why, oh why is this so hard? It is such a mystery to me. Anyway, I ended up buying French soft soled little Mary Janes (I know what you’re thinking – really, for Marlow too? Honestly, they looked so sweet) from Igloo for Tabarlow, which were so cute, and very respectful to their little feet. And expensive. But they looked really worn after only a few weeks, and they grew out of them a few weeks after that. Hmm. But I looked everywhere for a stylish, inexpensive option, and found nothing. So after Lisa emailed me (and I could sense her desperation even via email, so felt a certain sense of responsibility to respond!), I hit the internet. And this is what I found. Well this was by far the best option I could find. Ok, so they may not be perfect, but they do tick a lot of boxes: they are Clarks (so we know they are going to have our little ones’ interests at heart as far as their feet are concerned), they are navy (well almost) and grey (tick, tick!), they are a great price, and last but not least, they are not hideous. I would even go as far as to say that they are quite cute. Put it this way, if I was looking for first shoes for Marlow now, I would buy these.
Native Miller Shoes (sizes 5 Jnr-2)
This post is dedicated to my two lovely friends, Kath and Kerry. Kath emailed me the other day to ask where she can get a stylish alternative to the popular ‘plastic shoes’ (you know the ones I’m talking about – don’t make me name and shame) as worn by adults and kids in the Summer, for her 18 month old son, Sam. Now I haven’t got time to tell you how much I hate this particular type of shoe, but I will tell you that I think they are the ugliest shoes ever, and no, it’s not ok to dress your kids in them. Sorry. Ok, so of course the next question is where can you get an acceptable alternative to ‘those shoes’ from? And the thing is, I can’t deny that it is useful to have plastic, waterproof (and not to mention, wash proof and odour resistant) shoes that you can get on and off easily in the Summer (particularly on holiday). So here is the answer – these fab shoes from Native Miller! Honestly, they are so great. I love that they have a bit of skater vibe too. When I was in Cornwall last week with Kerry, her son Finn had a pair, and they looked fab, so we have her to thank for these. A really cool recommendation. Thank you Kerry! I am definitely buying a pair for Marlow. Kath has already bought a pair for Sam and loves them. She also said that these ones look more navy in the flesh than the blue in the picture, which is even better as far as I’m concerned. They also come in various other colours, but these are my favourite. So there you have it, plastic shoes can be cool! Who knew?
Next Suede Boots (sizes 4-12)
For the more beady Little Spree readers out there, you might be getting a slight feeling of deja vu right about now. Yes, you have seen these fab chukka boots before back in March, but in grey. They were one of the most popular items I have posted to date, so I thought they were definitely worthy of a second outing in navy (I’m not just being lazy!). As you all know, I love all things grey and navy for boys (and girls too for that matter), and they are two colours that go with pretty much anything. Marlow has the grey ones (in fact he was wearing them today with his French Connection navy & white long sleeved t-shirt and Boden girls’ skinny jeans), and these navy ones will be coming his way very soon…
Cos Melange Sweatshirt (2-6 years)
I always love a grey marl sweatshirt (and live in them myself – I particularly like them dressed up with a skinny trouser, heels and a sparkly drop earring, but enough about me…). I love that this one is more of a charcoal grey. I copied Sam (one half of a another twin duo that Marlow & Tabs hang out with) with this one from Cos. Marlow literally lives in his. Wear with…