As well as filling the gaps in their Summer wardrobe, Summer sales are also an opportunity to make a (cheap chic) start on the season ahead. For now we love these khaki green shorts and navy sandals for their classic versatility,and we’re making a start on our boys Autumn wish-lists with this Louis Louise navy jumper and these long sleeve t-shirts. Well we say Autumn, but actually long sleeve t-shirts (along with rain macs and wellies) seem to be essential Summer-wear so far. Still, we remain optimistic that short sleeve t-shirts will be required – I have bought Bailey this ukulele one from Hartford and this lovely Bellerose grey linen one. For those days where it’s chilly, then sunny, hot then chilly, sunny, rainy and chilly again, we’ll be layering them under this Babe & Tess navy sweatshirt, and for really chilly days this Hartford cosy fleece lined grey one.
1. Maison Lebiche Later Aligator Tee (2-12 years) £22.75 2. EasyRead Time Teacher Watch £19.95
3. Boden Denim Shorts (2-12 years) £22.50-£26.50 4. Pom D’Api Leather Sandals (sizes 24-34) £51.35
We accidentally left Bailey’s watch on holiday recently. Whilst looking for a replacement, I came across the ‘Easy Read Time Teacher’. It’s not possible to see all the clever details here, but all the minutes are named, the screen is split into ‘past’ and ‘to’ as well as other useful annotations like ‘o’clock’ next to the number 12. I also think it has quite cool styling – the shape and fabric strap remind me of military pilot watches. Be sure to impart this information if you think it will encourage them to wear it!.
1. Boden Washed Surf Hoodie (9-16+ years), £29.50-£34.50 2. Next T-Shirt (sold as part of a set of two, 3-16 years), £10.00-£16.00 3. Bonton Backpack, £40.00 4. Boden Denim Shorts (sizes 22-32), £26.50-£31.50 5. Mango Hooded Cotton Parka (3-14 years), £29.99 6. M&S Leather Trainers (sizes 13 small-3 large), £13.00-£14.00
Seeing as we brought you a tween post for girls, we thought it only fair that we do one for the boys too. Here’s a little selection of some of our favourites for those pre-teen boys (although as can see, most of these pieces come on little boy sizes too).
1. Mango Flowy Shirt (4-14 years), £16.99 2. Next Jumpsuit (3-16 years), £16.00-£21.00 3. Gap Shirt Jacket (xs-xxl), £24.95 4. Monsoon ‘Make Your Own’ Beaded Necklace, £8.00 5. Gap 1969 Boy Fit Denim Shorts (4-13 years), £16.95 6. Next Fringed Bag, £12.00 7. Next Woven Sandals (sizes 26.5-41), £24.00-£30.00
Ladies, you spoke, we listened. So here it is: our first ‘Tween Spree’ post. There are some lovely pieces out there for older girls so we thought we’d start you off (yes, we’ll be doing more, and not just for girls) with a round-up of some of our favourites. These denim cut-offs and green utility jacket are mini-must-have pieces, and we just love these cute accessories (they would make great gifts too). Oh, and just between us Mamas, those leather woven sandals go up to size 41, so, if somehow your shoe size ends up in the basket, our lips are sealed!
The sweetest sequin basket, (a tasteful) Batman sweatshirt, cool khaki cut-offs, the cutest crocheted dress (Tabitha’s is on its way), and probably one of our favourite logos tops of all time (we’ve already ordered a couple as gifts): the Little Shop has been re-stocked!
It can be hard to find ‘character’ pieces that our children like (and we like!) which is why we (and you) loved the Boden dinosaur sweatshirt so much. We know how disappointing it was when it sold out (although having just checked ages 9-10 and 11-12 are now available). So, we’ve been keeping our eye open for something we like just as much; what a relief then to find these dinosaur sweatshirts. It’s the scribbled images that make them cooler than your average printed top. Plus they have helpful poppers which allows you to ease (rather than yank) them over your little one’s head. They’re available in 3 months-3 years, but don’t worry mums of older boys, Boden have recreated the ‘jurassic dinosaur’ print from their sweatshirt and made this fisherman’s hat (Bailey loves his) and these board shorts. Both are currently available in most sizes and are in the sale, but please be quick, otherwise we’ll have to start looking for replacement dinosaur hats and shorts too!
No we haven’t lost our marbles, and yes we do know that it’s only March. We also know that some of you lucky Little Spree’ers will be heading off in search of Winter sun at Easter. So, we thought we’d give you a head start on your packing with a few of our essential Summer pieces (between us we have almost all of them already!). For everyone staycationing this Easter, consider this a buy-now-stash-for-later (before they sell out) post. Either way, we thought the idea of being on holiday is a pretty good way to start the week.
There’s no getting away from it, it looks like Summer has come to an abrupt end. In August. I daren’t leave the house without the the kids’ rainmacs and an umbrella for fear of literally being washed away… But, it’s not cold, so jumpers and coats are still off the agenda. This is always a tricky one to get right clothes-wise. Tabitha and Marlow have literally been living in their wellies (these exact ones) pretty much since we got back from our holiday (so long sandals…). So we might as well work them into cute outfits right? A splash of ochre feels Autumn-ready in an Indian Summer of way…
It’s not too late to scoop up a few last-minute sale bargains (and there are definitely some great things still out there if you’re quick!). There is a common myth that if you shop the tail end of the sales, it’s only the dregs left that no one else wants. Not necessarily. You just need to be a bit more sale savvy that at the beginning of the sales. We’ve done the savvy bit for you…
Take a look at this Kickle rain mac, this Mango sweatshirt; these Mango shorts; this Miller sweatshirt; this Mango belt; these The Little White Company short pyjamas; this Miller sweatshirt; Marlow’s favourite boots from Boden (tempted to buy him another pair for the Autumn…); Marlow’s Boden jumper (as featured on the Boden blog); these Boden baby dungarees; this Mango baby long sleeved tee; these Louis Louise baby trousers; these Caramel baby trousers; this Mango baby sweater; Bonton baby cardigan; and this Mango baby sweater (a great ‘buy now stash for later’). Phew!
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…
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…
1. Petit Bateau Sailor Sweater, £40.00 2. Gap Denim Shorts, £8.97 (were £14.95)
3. Bonton Sun Hat, £28.00 4. Pom D’Api Velcro Sandals, £65.00
There are some items in Bailey’s wardrobe that I buy year after year, and in Summer these include denim shorts, a navy jumper and tan sandals. They create a sort of capsule wardrobe as they work with each other and almost everything else. On a hot day swap the jumper for a t shirt, add a hat and sunglasses (I’ve just bought Bailey these cute round tortoiseshell ones) and on cooler days wear the jumper and sandals with lightweight jeans such as these. Bailey wore both versions in one day last week!
ps: Alex and Alexa asked me all about what it means to be a mother in ‘Motherhood Explained’ for their blog. Read the feature here.
With the exception of the bow (which we suspect Bailey and Marlow would enjoy much more than we would) this outfit encompasses all our summer favourites: stripes (this may well be our favourite Breton tee for the Summer), denim shorts and cool canvas shoes. In fact we predict that all the outfits our boys will be wearing this summer will be some version of this one!
I came across this pretty top when I was doing a quick ‘new in’ scan on the Next website. When I found it I literally did a double-take. Then I ‘zoomed in’. Just to be sure. Yep, confirmation: it was a find and a half! And I love the brown for a change. I had ordered one for Tabitha seconds later (plus one in white – how could I resist??). It really is so like an Isabel Marant Étoile one (and one that is in stores right now!) I am contemplating the age 16 for myself… In fact, I’m contemplating this whole outfit.
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!
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).
I sometimes struggle with shirts for Marlow, as they have a tendency to look (and feel) a bit stiff and starchy. Not this one from one of my favourite brands, Miller. And I love it even more styled in this relaxed way with these cool khaki shorts and (girls) Birkies. Who says boys can’t wear silver sandals anyway?
Braces don’t just look cute, then are actually serve a purpose too! I love these striped ones from H&M – some of you may remember Marlow’s from last Summer. And these (girl’s) gold trainers are super-oool.
I literally never know what to dress the twins in from one day to the next at the moment…One day it’s jumpers, the next it’s t-shirts. So for those jumper days, here’s a practical (but still cute) outfit (if you’re going to jump in muddy puddles, you might as well do it in style…). And I am loving these silver wellies!!
ps: here’s another great jumper (and it’s currently 60% off!).
pps: I recently ordered some new name labels for Tabarlow from Tiny Me. I love the ‘mini labels’ in ‘garden party’. They have gorgeous colours (I went for ‘classic’) and the quality is great. I will definitely be re-ordering.
ps: a quick snoop around the T.K.maxx website threw up a few great finds from Stella McCartney Kids (the sizes are a bit random, but the prices are incredible). Love this boys striped shirt; this girls cotton camisole; these denim jeans; and these boys striped shorts (love the green version too). I had heard the rumours about them stocking Stella, but had never actually managed to get my mits on any in the store. Who knew they had a website? Easy!
pps: lots of people have been asking me exactly what I bought when I did my Mango Spree with the recent 30% off online. Unfotrtunately everything I bought for Marlow (including a girls’ t-shirt), and a lot of the things I bought for Tabs, appear to have sold out (sorry!), but here are a few of the things I bought for Tabitha: this embroidered blouse; this lace trim blouse (in lavender); and this embroidered dress. I did also buy myself this dress for my Summer holiday (I sized up and ditched the black ribbon tie). I am under no illusions that I will look like Daria in it, but I will wear it with a tan flat sandal (see Friday’s Mama Spree) and an army-style oversized shirt-jacket…
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.
Gap Chambray Pocket Tee (xs-xxl) £14.95 SHOP NOW Where would we be without denim and chambray in our wardrobes? I particularly like chambray in the Summer because it’s so much lighter and cooler to wear. This top is from the Gap girls’ collection (from five years and up), so bear that in mind with the sizing. It would look great with little shorts or skirts, or even skinny jeans. Just think of it as a normal t-shirt, and style accordingly. I also love this cute H&M baby version, and this Mango mama version. Here are a few more fab pieces for the girls… This cool denim tunic top from Tulip & Nettle (love!!); this Gap chambray romper; this Petit Bateau dress; this Zara top; this Mini-A-Ture pocket dress (now reduced from £45.00 to £22.50); this Petit Bateau baby pinafore dress (gorgeous with a white peasant style blouse under); these Gap ruffle shorts, this Cos top and these (chambray-esque) Cos hair clips.
ps: other recent purchases for Tabs include this sweet spotty dress from Mini Boden (still waiting for it’s debut), and these leopard print sunnies (I couldn’t resist them when I popped into H&M on Saturday). So cute! And they will look great worn with all this chambray…
Monsoon Baby Isobel Embroidered Top (0-3 years) £18.00 SHOP NOW All you need to add is a skinny jean (love the lighter wash of these – Tabs has them) or a pair of denim cut-offs (Marlow and Tabs both have these) for the ultimate Summer top.
Mini Boden Boys Cardigan (2-12 years) £20.00-£24.00 (was £25.00-£30.00) SHOP NOW It’s all about the boys today. Starting with this super-cool, simple cardigan made from cotton and cashmere. Great for those ‘in-between days’ when you’re need an extra layer, but not necessarily a really thick, warm one. I love the elbow patches and the subtle neon trim details. Here are a few more pieces that I have spied for the boys this week that will also work for those ‘is it Spring yet?’ layering kind of days…
I bought these Zara girls’ cotton striped trousers for Marlow a couple of weeks ago – they are lightweight, and a slim fit. Perfect for Summer (and there’s no way I could get Tabitha anywhere near a navy striped trouser these days…); this cool star print scarf from Cyrillus; these M&S navy suede chukka boots (I always loved a chukka style boot – Tabarlow’s daddy is a big fan of the Common Projects ones); these John Lewis colour block Wayfarer sunglasses; this The Little White Company mixed stripe long sleeved tee; this cool tee from The Fableists (this new little brand that I just discovered – definitely worth checking out); and this H&M cargo shirt. I also mentioned a great pair of jeans that I picked up for Marlow in Gap on Saturday. They were my favourite skinny fit that I always buy him, but they were a new wash – slightly distressed and with a little turn-up. I am going to double-check with the press office, but I think these are them. He was wearing them today with a Miller striped tee (from my Miller sale swoop a few months ago) if you want to take a look on Instagram. I also noticed that they already have their denim cut-offs in for Summer. I bought the Gap ones last year (for me and for Marlow actually, but more about mine in Mama Spree) and he literally lived in them. So I am going to ‘buy now, stash for later’ (I like these H&M ones too).
John Lewis Ticking Stripe Shorts (3-18 months)
There are only a few pairs left, so you’ll have to be super-fast to get your hands on these fab ticking stripe shorts. The perfect addition to every stylish baby boy’s holiday wardrobe. £7.50 (were £11.00) johnlewis.com
Mini Club Boys Denim Shorts (6 months-6 years)
I spotted a (always very stylish) little boy at nursery this morning wearing these (with a Breton striped t-shirt and grey Pom D’Api sandals if you’re interested), and immediately started interrogating his mum as to where they were from. Even I was surprised when the answer was Boots (and I have found many a gem there over these last three and half years as you know…). They are a fab washed denim that is really lovely and soft; a slouchy, relaxed fit, and just very cool (this picture does not do them justice at all). His mum had ditched the belt, which somehow made them look a lot more stylish (and expensive). I really like the pale denim for a change too. I am going to copy and buy a pair for Marlow right as soon as I have finished writing this! I have found myself living in denim cut-offs these last few weeks, and I have come to realise that you can’t understimate their versatility (I’ve worn mine with everything from hippie blouses to cashmere jumpers to embellished tops…). So it was the logical next step to pass my latest obsession onto my kids… £11.00 boots.com
George Chino Shorts (9 months-6 years) These are a great colour (it always looks good with grey), and I love the chino style. And I think we may finally actually be able to bust out our shorts! £4.00 direct.asda.com
Little Bird By Jools Breton Striped Shorts (6 months-5 years)
It may be Winter outside (I dusted off the black opaques today – so depressing…), but I’m going to carry on regardless. I have to remain ever hopeful that at some point, Marlow will be able to wear a pair of shorts this year. And I love this striped jersey pair from the Little Bird collection (still going strong, and still doing some great pieces). Maybe he could wear a pair of Tabitha’s knitted tights underneath? £6.00-8.00 mothercare.com
ps: I have already given his (warmer) Winter coat to a charity shop. I was clearly a little hasty. Might have to buy it back!!
Cyrillus Swimming Shorts (4-16 years)
I’m possibly a little late in the year with this post, but I don’t know about you, but I was experiencing a balmy Summer’s day today in London (I am still wearing my white vintage sundress and flip-flops to prove it…). So I think there is definitely still a ‘swimwear window’. How great are these ‘swimshorts’? Super-stylish, but still fun. And chic enough to be worn as regular shorts pre/post swimming. £23.00 laredoute.co.uk
Mini Club Boys Denim Shorts (6 months-5 years)
These shorts are without doubt my best buy this Summer. They may not look particularly exciting, and to be honest, they were just a quick purchase without too much consideration. But four months later I have realised that Marlow has literally lived in them. They are a fab shape, and just look really great on. And they go with everything in his wardrobe. You can’t really see from the photo, but the turn-ups are striped, which is a cute little detail that you probably wouldn’t expect from something bought in your high street pharmacy. Wherever I can, I always try and check things out in the flesh as well as online, because things can look very different. It can work both ways, but things often look so much better in real life than in a picture (these are a good example). I like to give things the once-over if I possibly can (and I’m very fussy, believe me). They were a bargain when I bought them for £11.00 back in April, so they are an absolute steal at £5.50 in the sale now! And I know it’s not very cool to admit, but I just love the fact that I get my Boots points too! £5.50 (were £11.00) boots.com
Zara Home Kids Liberty Print Swimming Short (2-5 years)
Sorry for posting another thing from Zara so soon, but these are in the sale, so may not be available for much longer, so had to share. And I always find it really hard to find (I feel like I’m always saying this about everything…) good swimming shorts for boys, so was so happy to find these. The paisley print is from a Liberty Arts fabric, which I absolutely love. And they are 100% cotton, which is always a good thing in my book. If you have a little boy (even if he’s younger than two years – keep them for later), you should buy these. £14.99 (were £29.99) zarahome.com
Trotters Summer Shorts (2-11 years)
I bought these for Marlow in the Trotters sale a couple of weeks ago. There are such a cute, classic pair of shorts for little boys. They go with everything. And you may not be able to see from this picture, but they are seersucker and have little belt loops. Nice. Admittedly Marlow’s have only had one outing due to the Monsoon weather in London, but they looked super-cute worn with a little turn-up and his Hartford simple white cotton t-shirt (which I’m loving!). Fingers crossed he gets to give them a second outing (I’m not holding my breath)… £12.99 (were £24.99) trotters.co.uk
River Island Girl’s Blue Stripe Shorts (3-12 years)
Yes River Island are now doing kids’ clothes too. And there are some great bits (although for slightly older kids rather than very little ones). I love these faded blue striped shorts. They definitely have a whiff of Isabel Marant about them, which is always fine by me. They would look great with simple tan sandals and a peasant blouse or (navy) cotton jumper for the British Summer. And if you can be bothered, I would cut the hems and let them fray – super-cool. In fact, I’m now thinking I would rather like a pair myself (wonder if I could squeeze my butt into an age 12 pair??)… £15.00 riverisland.com
H&M Girl’s Denim Shorts (12 months-8 years)
Little girls always look so cute and cool (always the perfect combination in my book) in denim cut-offs. But the trick to pulling this look off is to ‘pretty them up’ a little. I would style these ones with a pretty peasant/smock top or blouse (extra points if it’s a little sprig floral print!) and sandals for a lovely, easy Summer outfit for a little girl. Perfect. £9.99 hm.com
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…
Monsoon Hibiscus Print Shorts (3 months-3 years) I love the whole ‘mini surfer’ vibe of these shorts. I always find boy’s shorts tricky to find (well, nice ones anyway), but there’s something I really like about these. Normally I would go for something plain, or a seersucker stripe if I was feeling a bit crazy, so I actually surprised myself by liking these! They will look really cute with a grey t-shirt and navy sandals/hi-tops. £12.00 monsoon.co.uk
The adorable books from ‘Lost My Name’ have been one of our go-to birthday gifts for some time, so we were very excited to hear about the new edition to their collection: ‘The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home’. We don’t want to spoil the surprise so we’ll just say that if you loved their original book, we think you’ll love this one too.