1. Next Playsuit Set (3 months-6 years)  £14.00-£15.00
2. Boden Cardigan (0-3 years)  £18.00-£20.00
3. Gap Ballet Flats (sizes US 5-11)  £14.95

The perfect transeasonal outfit to take your little girl seamlessly from Summer to Autumn, and through to Winter… Just add grey or navy knitted tights (and possibly these cute boots in ‘mouse’) as the temperature drops…

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.

boys school shoes: the whole story (warts & all)


Geox ‘William’ School Shoes (sizes 27jnr-39)
£42.00-£46.00  SHOP NOW
I feel like this post should come with a disclaimer: WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND OFFENSIVE. And if you don’t have kids about to start school/at school, consider yourself very lucky (for now) and go and pour yourself a large glass of wine and skip this post (believe me, it’s strictly on a need-to-know basis only). I have come to the conclusion (it didn’t take long) that a stylish (regulation) boy’s school shoe does not exist. Fact. I am more than happy to take on a challenge (and did), but try as I might, as far as I know, there is simply no such thing. But before you cancel your son’s school place and start googling ‘home schooling’, read on… There are some ok-ish ones that are pretty inoffensive. The ‘William’ style (above) is definitely the front-runner, and the style I will almost certainly be buying for Marlow (Nicky has already bought them for her son, Bailey). They are well-made, totally inoffensive (i.e. didn’t make me want to throw up when I first saw them); are a good price; and tick all the tedious ‘velcro etc.’ boxes. Plus they are even less offensive in person. Done. And seeing as boy’s school shoes is, by far, the most common request in my Little Spree inbox since launching, I felt I should give you a few other options. A lot of the ones I liked were more of a hybrid of a shoe and a trainer, which are not allowed at most schools, but I have included a couple just in case you know something that I don’t… These from Petasil (first spotted at Bubble  and loved them); these from Kickers; these from Ricosta; these from Next; these from Geox; these from Kickers; these from M&S; and these from Dr Martins. Amen. I am certainly glad that is over (until next year anyway). That was, without doubt, the hardest post I have even had to write.

ps: if you happen to live in South-West London, The Shoe Station is fantastic for school shoes (and non-school shoes too).

pps: it’s over to the (slightly less offensive) girls’ options tomorrow…

cats & (ballet) flats

1. Next Chambray Playsuit & T-Shirt Set, £15.00-£21.00
2. H&M Straw Bag, £4.99
3. La Coqueta Napa Ballerina, £25.50 (were £34.00)

Could Next have made dressing any easier? The perfect striped Breton already layered under the cutest dungarees shorts. This a ‘mini me’ outit if ever there was one (ok, maybe not the cat bag, although I do love it…)

who says chic can’t be cheap?

1. Imps & Elfs Savana Dress, £30.00
2. Hucklebones Giant Bow Headband, £14.50 (was £29.00)
3. Start-Rite Gold Mary-Janes, £59.00

I was having a bit of a snoop on the (always) gorgeous and inspiring Elias & Grace website when I found this sweet striped baby dress (above) at a really reasonable price. I have to confess, I was a little surprised. So I kept on snooping… And I unearthed a whole host of amazing bargains. So many in fact too many to include them all here) that I decided to dedicate an entire post to them. So here you go (sorry – just girls this time)…
This Miller navy (also comes in grey) dress; this putty coloured Maan dress; this Maan bow dress; this Miller printed blouse; this Chloe printed dress; this Noro cardigan; this Morley dress; this Miller blouse; this Miller dress; these Miller corduroy jeans; this Miller baby cardigan;  this Simple Kids dot print dress;  I bought this navy full skirt for Tabitha a while back, and she’s just grown into it and starting wearing it. I love it. I was never really a fan of skirts on her before, but these sweet styles are so versatile and pretty – they look great just with a simple tee and sandals. Oh and I also love this Miller striped brooch.

ps: I know I have already posted these cute gold Start-Rite shoes, but I wanted to show how versatile they are. They look just as great with little dresses as with jeans. Gold works in the same way as neutral colour – it goes with pretty much everything (except maybe gold…).

pps: and talking of bargains, how adorable is this floral ruffle bikini from Gap?? What is going on at Gap these days? I’m buying more in there these days than ever!! Loving this, this and these too.

flower girl

1. Woodstock Flower Garland, £26.00
2. Ilovegorgeous Pure Cloud Dress, £136.00
3. Ilovegorgeus Confetti Bag, £39.00
4. Bloch Ballet Flats With Elastic, £12.00

If your daughter is going to be a flower girl this year, be ready with this gorgeous little look… I love this bow dress from Cyrillus too.

ps: these Mini Boden ballet flats (in pale gold) are a great option if you want/need a more substantial shoe.

toddler chic

1. Trotters Liberty Print Blouse, £44.99
2. Cos Knot Detail Hair Clip, £4.00
3. John Lewis Pointelle Cardigan, £12.00-£13.00
4. Gap Legging Jeans, £17.95
5. Start-Rite Mary-Janes, £59.00

A pretty blouse has always been my favourite starting point for dressing baby/toddler girls. I love the way they look, and they just last and last. I know this one (love this Liberty print – so pretty!) only starts at age 2-3, but with Tabitha I always used to buy them much larger, then she would wear them as dresses (with or without tights/leggings) with the sleeves rolled up to start with, then as tops later on (this was a top tip from a fellow fashion editor when I was pregnant). I literally had some that she wore for well over a year. This is one of my favourite looks that I used to dress Tabs in (and still do, minus the elasticated waist jeans and baby shoes…).

ps: I found this adorable baby floral print blouse in John Lewis the other day. So sweet.

bat chic

Next Batman Crew Neck Sweater (3-16 years)
£16.00-£22.00  SHOP NOW
Love this. I normally hate anything gimmicky or branded, but this really reminds me of all the super-cool Zoe Karrsen sweatshirts and tees, which I always want to buy. So if your son happens to be obsessed with superheros, this is a way to keep him happy (and stylish).

ps: my friend just bought this Cos coat for her four year old son, Bailey, and it’s so great. I had checked it out quickly when I was in the store the other day, but am definitely going back to get it next week. It’s a great boys’ lightweight ‘Summer’ parka, and the charcoal grey makes a refreshing change from an army-style khaki jacket. This week (other random things) I’m also liking are this colour block cardigan from Mamas & Papas; these Hampton plimsoles (in charcoal); this baseball style tee (in heather/pepper) from J.Crew; these River Island swim shorts; this Boden sun hat; and this stripe sweater from The Little White Company.


Stella McCartney Fingerless Gloves (sizes s, m, l)
£15.00 (were £30.00) SHOP NOW
One day it’s swimsuits, then the next it’s gloves (albeit fingerless ones). That’s the crazy British weather for you. I do love these though (they will be so warm and cosy – no drafty gaps between little hands and arms), and they could be a fab ‘buy now, wear later’ purchase, or indeed a ‘buy now, wear now’ one… And as I was cruising the Stella collection, I came across a few other great sale bargains. This baby bat tee; this boys striped cashmere cardigan; and this boys owl intarsia jumper.

ps: these 10 IS grey canvas trainers are one of my favourite pairs that Marlow has had. They super-stylish, look great with everything, and have the all-important velcro straps. They wear really well too.

no bows, just arrows

Lötiekids Arrows Sweatshirt (12 months-3 years)
£25.00  SHOP NOW
As you know I love a grey sweatshirt, and this one has a cool arrow print which just make me like it all the more. If you don’t know Lötiekids you should definitely check them out. They do great unisex basics in the great muted colours that we all love; some with really sweet, unique prints. Marlow had a pair of grey leggings with a bicycle print on when he was a baby, which I loved. And Tabitha had this A-line t-shirt dress in dusky pink, which (as you can see) they still do.

ps: these plain grey canvas shoes from Mothercare are the perfect every day ‘running around in’ shoe.

skate chic

Monsoon Glitter Skate Shoes (sizes 10-4)
£17.00  SHOP NOW
Tabitha has these, and she absolutely adores them! She loves that they are ‘like Mummy’s shoes’ (although admittedly I don’t have a glittery pair, I do have at least six other pairs of skate shoes that I have acquired since the twins were born – I have long been a convert to their ‘cool comfort’). And the great thing about this particular pair is that they are a cool girls’ shoe, but one that appeals to ‘girly girls’ who are fully immersed in all things princess-y (like Tabs) because of the glitter. It’s all about the glitter. I would quite like a pair myself now…
Tabitha also has this pair from Zara, which have a small amount of pink on them, so she loves them too. I have also seen (and liked) these denim, spotted ones from Gap; and these navy Vans (I still love the classic Vans ones). I like them best worn with jeans and a pretty blouse, or with cute dresses in the Summer, so not too tomboy.

an ‘m&s moment’

M&S Foil Star Print Mary Janes (4-13 small)
£12.00-£14.00  SHOP NOW
I popped into M&S the other day for a quick sweep of the kids’ department. I had about five minutes to spare between appointments, but found myself lingering for a lot longer as I kept finding more and more cute things for Summer. Love these sweet star print Mary Janes (a little bit Chloe, non?) – the perfect ‘just bling enough’ party shoe. Here are some other bits that caught my eye, including a couple of things I bought for Tabs, and a blouse that I bought for myself! These navy spotty t-bar plimsoles for toddlers (they also come in grey); these white sandals; this printed blouse which I bought for Tabs (the flecks look more like a cool neon pink in the flesh); this printed blouse (also now in Tabs drawer); this t-shirt: this embroidered blouse (it reminded me of an A.P.C sundress of mine…); and finally this is the top that I bought for myself (in age 13-14). And yes, it fits! Sorry, didn’t make it to the boys’ section – I was too late by then! Next time…

silver shoes

Trotters Mary Jane Pre-Walkers (sizes 17-19)
Could these be the cutest/chic-est baby girls’ shoes ever? So simple and stylish, and silver goes with everything, particularly my favourite palette of grey, navy and dusky pink. And this Mary Jane style is such a design classic, it never dates. Love! I also love these, and these gold ones for toddler girls from Gap.
£24.99   SHOP NOW

ps: Boden has 22% off at the moment to celebrate their 22nd anniversary. Only until Thursday night though, so you’d better get on it…

red mary janes

Clarys Mary Jane Shoes (sizes 20-26)
I managed to score a pair of these for Tabs last year in the Trotters sale, and absolutely loved them. They were the perfect mix of traditional and cute. They looked great with sweet little dresses and knitted tights, but I always liked them best worn with skinny cords (grey or dusky pink were my faves at the time…). And I loved the fact that they were red – it weirdly has a way of going with most things (if most things happen to be navy, grey, dusk-pink, blue…). Anyway, that was then, and this is now. I just happened to be snooping around the Trotters website the other day, and I saw that they are still stocking them (and in navy, fuchsia and beige)! I have been asked by lots of mums where I got them from after posting various pics of Tabs wearing them on Instagram. So here you go! I’m really tempted to buy another pair (navy, of course)…
£44.99   BUY NOW

ps: more navy peacoats to come next week. I have left no (High Street) stone unturned. Stay tuned.

scalloped flats

Gap Scalloped Flats (0-12 months)
I think these may be the cutest baby shoes I have seen. And certainly the chic-est. They bear more than a passing resemblance to the Chloe scalloped edge flats (which I adore), and these even have the added appeal of an ankle strap. It’s things like this that make me really want to have another daughter (a smaller one that fits into doll-like things like this). Sigh.