dressing (up) girls

1. Numero 74 Fairy Wings, £21.00  SHOP NOW
2. Numero 74 Glittering Crown, £6.00  SHOP NOW
3. The Little White Company Tutu Skirt, £26.00  SHOP NOW
4. Joules Breton T-Shirt, £14.95  SHOP NOW
5. Numero 74 Mini Magic Wand, £2.00  SHOP NOW
6. ilovegorgeous Mary Jane Shoes, £64.00  SHOP NOW

My favourite girls’ fancy dress costumes ever were from H&M. Yes H&M! They were part of the amazing UNICEF collection (as mentioned on Little Spree last October) that they do occasionally. One is a Marie Antoinette dress (straight out of the Sofia Coppola film…), complete with lace, bows and bustle; the other is the coolest mermaid costume I have ever seen (complete with tail that cleverly clips to the skirt when you need both hands free). Tabs rotates them, and they always get so many compliments (particularly the mermaid). I’m sorry to say that these were purchased quite a while ago now, so are no longer available, but rest assured, I will let you know if/when they do another collection. In the meantime, I have put together a cute little outfit (above) which should keep both mamas and daughters happy and sufficiently ‘dressed up’; plus some other ideas… This pink superhero; this forest fairy; this princess (I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but Tabitha has this, and loves it even more than her H&M Marie Antoinette dress!); this vet; this Marie Antoinette; this nurse; this pirate; this doctor; this cat; this Tudor girl;  and then this bat mask and wings and wizard’s hat (as seen in the boys’ post yesterday). And last but not least this diamante tiara for a bit of last minute accessorising…

bow chic

Mamas & Papas Bow Collar Dress (2-6 years)
£29.00 (was £58.00)  SHOP NOW
This is a great dress for a special occasion or party. How chic is that bow collar? And the quality is good too – 100% silk no less! Mamas & Papas? Who knew?

ps: coming soon to Little Spree – ‘book corner’. I (with the help of Tabitha and Marlow’s dad, who also happens to be a child psychologist and total book obsessive) will be sharing my favourite tried and tested children’s books to read to your little ones.

mama spree: mothers’ day ‘hint list’ for all the dads out there…


Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Loose Pocket
£135.00  SHOP NOW
Mothers’ Day is only two weeks away, so it’s time to start throwing out some serious hints. I have compiled a little selection of things that I definitely would be more than happy to unwrap on 30th March, and hopefully you will too. I have tried to choose things that we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves (when was the last time you actually bought yourself a pair of cashmere socks??), so they feel that bit more special and luxurious. I’ve also tried to cater for all wallet sizes… I would politely call this a ‘hint list’, so email this post to your husband/boyfriend/partner right now, then keep your fingers firmly crossed…
I’m going to start with this fabulous Anya Hindmarch personalised ‘loose pocket’. I have been a fan of these for many years, but I actually don’t have one (Tabitha and Marlow do though – Anya Hindmarch very kindly sent them both one after they were born – you may have seen Tabs’ on the Little Spree Instagram feed – it’s gold and super-cute). I like this  red ‘I love you’ version too. They are impossibly chic (personally, I love the red and the navy the best, but they come in a whole host of colours), and so useful. You can use them to keep pretty much anything in. And I love the fact that you can have them personalised in handwriting (like the one above) or embossed (there are lots of options available, or you can choose your own words) to make it a totally personal/bespoke gift (so all the more thoughtful). I would go for something that includes your name, but I also love the idea of a Mothers’ Day gift having ‘mummy’ in there somewhere – ‘mummy’s stuff’ etc etc. You’ll need to hurry though if you want to personalise (in your own writing if you want), as the deadline for this is Monday 17th. So make sure you waft this under your significant other’s nose asap! There is an additional charge of £40.00 for this service. Instead of cut flowers, how about this M&S lavender tree (I was sent two from my cousins for my birthday recently, and they are so lovely, and they are delivered to your door – mine are currently residing in our little courtyard); or this vintage lavender trough from Not On The High Street? This Valentino Rockstud leather headband (a lot cheaper than the shoes, and probably a lot more comfortable to wear…); these White Company cashmere socks (currently 20% off); you can’t ever go wrong with a  Diptyque scented candle - they are without doubt the best scented candles, and they smell amazing just sitting on the mantelpiece without even being lit – my favourites are Baies, Figuier, Roses and Tuberose; this (ridiculously tactile) Marc by Marc Jacobs heart paperweight;  I already have (and love) these cute Stella McCartney days of the week knickers (size up though – they come up tiny!); I have been dreaming of this super-cool Hillier gold bunny necklace for some time now; anything from Smythson always makes a stylish gift, and this ‘I love my mum’ notebook is so sweet (and we can never have too many notebooks!); an indulgent Cowshed (one of my favourite places) treatment gift card (anything from a manicure to a full body massage will make all us mamas out there feel truly pampered and appreciated; this Nuxe multi-purpose oil comes highly recommend by a very discerning friend. Apparently it’s amazing (and smells incredible); this fun personalised tote bag from Not On The High Street would be a cute, inexpensive pressie that I would probably use every day. And like the Anya loose pockets, you could either have your name, or ‘mummy’ or ‘mama’ – whatever is personal to you really. And no wish list would be complete without some Isabel Marant (show me a mama who doesn’t want to receive a little something from Issy?), so I am adding these gorgeous multi-drop earrings as a final wish. I hope I have provided all the men out there with enough inspiration. I think this should be enough to be getting on with. And dads, any questions, please feel free to email at the address at the top of the page…

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…

baby bow tie

Baby Bow Tie Metallic Bow Tie
£15.00  babybowtie.com
I’m getting quite into the idea of boys in bow ties. They can look rather cool! This cute gold one would look great worn with a denim shirt. I also like this bunny printed one from Paul Smith if you’re not entirley convinced about the gold…

ps: I mentioned this book in a post quite a while ago now, but people are always emailing me asking for the details again. So here you go. Lostmy.name. It’s a gorgeous, personalised book that tells the story of a child who has lost their name, and sets off on a mini adventure to find the missing letters. I’ve just read Tabitha’s book to the twins. They absolutely love theirs! One of the most original, personalised (and not to mention, fun and educational) gifts you can buy. Such a lovely (and, at under £20.00, very inexpensive) present for any child from a newborn to six years. Sadly they are no longer able to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas, but they are currently offering a 15% discount. And they are wonderful all year round anyway…

christmas tutus

Mango Tulle Miniskirt (sizes XS-L)
£16.99  SHOP NOW
I never tire of a pretty tutu (particularly when worn with a knit of some kind), and there are so many gorgeous ones out there to choose from a the moment, from the full-on flouncy to the more understated ones that just feel more like a ‘special skirt. These are my favourites, starting with this simple style from Mango, which comes in a whole array of other equally cool (un-Barbie) colours. I also love this beautiful ruffled vintage pink one from The White Company; this floral embroidered one from M&S (very similar to a little Zara skirt of mine actually that I wear with tights and a chunky jumper, but I digress…), this diamante ruffled one from Zara. this dotted tulle one from Kiahawo; this can-can style from ilovegorgeous; this star one from Carousel; this La Redoute one (that I have posted in the past, but is still available, and is now half price in sale!).

ps: just ordered these for Tabs from AlexandAlexa (thanks for the tip-off, Nicky!). Totally adorable. Hurry – they are selling out fast…

black tie

Cocoon Cotton Romper (0-2 years)
£9.00  SHOP NOW
Looking for something cute and a little tongue-in-cheek for your baby boy to wear over the festive period that doesn’t involve reindeer ears? This is sweet, playful, but still cool and stylish. And not too silly. I love it. And for all the baby girls out there, the Angel baby grow is fast becoming a cute classic. For a more traditional take on the Christmas romper, this striped one from Gap is another favourite.

the prettiest party dresses

Okaou Charcoal Cotton Dress With Flounced Sleeves (18 months-5 years)
£9.50 (was £19.00)  laredoute.co.uk
It’s that time when we need to start, not just thinking about party dresses, but actually buying them (before the best ones all sell out!). Here is a little round-up of my favourites around at the moment… This Okaou one from La Redoute (I have to say, La Redoute have  some amazing dresses) is definitely one of my favourites. It looks black (I’m really not a fan of black for little girls) in this picture, but it’s actually a gorgeous charcoal grey. I love the pretty tulle frill and the gold studded embroidery at the hem, and it’s such an amazing bargain! Another favourite is this feather one from Kihawo: this sweet brocade one from H&M; this navy one with metallic stars from Mango; this gorgeous navy tulle one also from Mango; this navy corduroy one from J by Jasper Conran (not strictly a party dress, but it’s cute and it’s a dress, and I really love it/wanted to share it anyway); this velvet one from Gap; this pink chiffon one, also from Gap (it looks a bit boring in the picture, but I’ve seen it in the store, and it’s really pretty); this lace one from Hucklebones; and this super-cute spotted one, also from Hucklebones; this fabulous lace spotted one from Somerset by Alice Temperley (love!); and if you feel like having a major blow-out (alternatively you could always wait for the sales, and you might just get lucky…), this Chloe dress is to die for.

little dandy

Autograph Cotton Floral Shirt With Bow Tie (12 months-10 years)
I can’t help getting preoccupied with girls’ clothes in the run-up to Christmas. So many gorgeous things to choose from (watch this space for my favourite party dresses and tutus – both coming up this week), and frankly, not enough parities/festivities to showcase them. Boys (particularly toddlers) on the other hand… Not so much. However, I have had my eye on this stylish little shirt and bow tie combo for a while now. I love the tiny floral print, and the contrast of the black trim and velvet bow tie. And you can’t really go wrong at £14.00 can you? My only problem now is persuading Marlow to wear it! He HATES dressing up of any kind. Oh well – I suppose a grey sweatshirt works for any occasion…
£12.00-£14.00  marksandspencer.com

sequins

John Lewis Sequin Dress (2-12 years)
I love a sequin (always in moderation of course), and so does my daughter. I have noticed that the high street is awash with gorgeous sequinned dresses, perfect for the Christmas party season, but also perfect for any other time too… I have hand-picked my favourites (Including this fab navy and gold one from John Lewis), which includes a couple of really low-key, un-blingy options for the sequin-phobic (if there indeed, is such a person?)… This Mini Boden dress (I love the combination of this particular shade of pink and the gold sequins – it has a bit of a Marni vibe about it…); this ilovegorgeous gold sequinned dress (full-on and fabulous!) and this one (just divine): loving the casual, everyday sparkles on this navy one from Zara; this classic ballerina style from Ted Baker; and this baby version; and this Little White Company dress (Tabs already has it).
£22.00-£24.00   SHOP NOW

ps: all the details on how to enter the babyGap prize draw will be in tomorrow’s post. You don’t want to miss it!

pps: if you have a daughter who is OBSESSED with Hello Kitty (as I do), and try (as I do) to steer her away from the scary (and invariably, pink) branded clothing, I have a little find that that may just be of interest to you… This t-shirt from M&S is as tasteful as Hello Kitty comes, and I actually think it’s rather cute (and yes, it really is navy!). I bought it for Tabs, and of course, she LOVES it, and I don’t hate it. Result! I like it best worn with navy and white striped leggings, cream cable knit cardigan and her trusty Boden suede boots. And everyone is happy.

tux tee

H&M Long Sleeved T-shirt (1-10 years)
As you know, I’m not normally a fan of ‘gimmicky’ clothes, but I just couldn’t resist this cute (technical term: trompe l’oeil) t-shirt. Perfect for a bit of tongue-in-cheek chic on special occasions…
£5.99   SHOP NOW

ps: this little number is rather cute too…

pps: If you have a baby aged between 0-24 months, and live in the London area (or feel like a trip to London?), come and see me at the Gap flagship store on Oxford Street for an exciting Baby Gap/Little Spree event on Friday 29th November. I will the there all day, and would love to meet you (and your gorgeous little ones!). That’s all I’m allowed to tell you at the moment, but all the (exciting) details will be revealed nearer the time, so watch this space… It’s going to be fun!

don’t mess with my tutu…

Okaou Ruffled Tutu (18 months-5 years)
I am often asked about tutus, and where to buy a stylish, non-scary one. They are not one of my favourite items (unless at a ballet class of three year olds, when there is simply nothing cuter…) of clothing, but having said that, Tabitha does own three (not including her ballet one). One pale-pink, one cream, and one grey, although they don’t get out much I must confess… The grey one was a DPAM find on a work trip to Paris, and is by far my favourite. I suppose I just like the fact that it’s not pink. And it’s not too ‘poufy’, so can (and has been) worn with knitted tights, a (Breton) jumper and boots and still pass as a reasonably normal outfit. So I was rather pleased to find this similar one on the La Redoute website last night. I love the pretty layers/ruffles of tulle. And it starts from 18 months, which is a real bonus, as it is even harder to find a tasteful tutu for babies! And for the record, I do let Tabs express her ‘inner princess’ in suitably scary/flammable ‘dressing-up’ outfits. Inside the privacy of our house. Oh and by the way, this one does also come in pink!
£11.00  laredoute.co.uk

ps: I also always love the Bob & Blossom ones for a slightly more ‘full-on tutu’ experience. And they do a grey one too!

dresses dresses and more dresses!

Gap Baby Girl Woven Dot Ruffle Dress (0-24 months)
I am starting to lose track of all the pretty Summer dresses I have bought for Tabitha in the last few weeks. Some have been great sale bargains, and some haven’t, but they are all completely gorgeous, and everyday wearable. So I felt compelled to dedicate a post just to dresses, and share some of the ones I have bought. I should also mention that I have been so taken with some of the Summer dresses currently available on the High Street, that I have been buying some in sizes as small as 18-24 months (Tabitha is three and a half!!) in the hope that they might just fit her (most do, amazingly, but she is very petite, and I do love a short dress on little girls…). So don’t  be put off by the sizing if you don’t necessarily have a baby girl (and lucky you if you do, as some of my favourite finds are for babies). So here we go. This gorgeous classic full-skirted floral print dress is just adorable (I am little obsessed with it actually, as anyone who follows me on Instagram will testify). I love the faded yellow rose print (that sort of looks like a lemon print). Tabs debuted hers today as nursery’s Summer Camp (needless to say, it was a little worse for wear at pick-up time! This super-simple blue and white seersucker striped sun-dress from The Little Company (currently reduced from £28.00 to £14.00). This cute white broderie anglaise cotton dress from Autograph at M&S (bought yesterday). This classic Breton striped t-shirt dress from Petit Bateau. I think I have bought Tabs this exact same dress (ok, sometimes with long sleeves in the Winter) at least four times since she was worn. I always love it, and I love that they always have one every season. I picked one up in the sale yesterday (£22.80 reduced from £38.00). Add to this list the Miller dress I posted last Thursday (which I absolutely love, but am saving for the Autumn) and I think Tabs is pretty well stocked for dresses. Maybe in retrospect this post was a bit of an over share?
£19.95  gap.co.uk

ps: I almost forget to mention the dress in today’s post! As you know, I love a white dress, and I’m loving this one. It’s part of Gap’s new ‘High Tea’ collection, which is made up of ‘dreamy pastel hues in supersoft fabrics’, so right up my street. So simple, but so pretty. It would also make a fantastic (and inexpensive) bridesmaid/flower girl dress.  I have to say, if you are time-poor and looking for great Summer dresses, head straight to Gap. They definitely have some of the best I have seen. Over and out.

bridesmaids

I Love Gorgeous ‘Cloud’ Dress (2-13 years)
If you are looking for a gorgeous, stylish bridesmaid dress, then I would definitely recommend ilovegorgeous as the first place to look. They have the best selection of the most beautiful dresses. Think Kate Moss’s bridesmaids and you kind of get the idea… Pretty, but cool in that lovely whimsical way. No unnecessary frills or flounces (or polyester!) – just simple, pretty dresses that will keep the bride, the bridesmaid, and the bridesmaids’ mum more than happy. And I love that they are would be just as lovely on a two year old as a thirteen year old. This is one of my favourites. It’s silk, knee-length, with delicate pin tucks, silver lace trim, and fluttery sleeves… And completely adorable.
£136.00  ilovegorgeous.co.uk

hello sailor

Tulip & Nettle Sailor Suit (12 months-6 years)
There is something so adorable about this little sailor suit – I was drawn to it immediately. It has a really classic, Victorian feel to it, which is so sweet and charming. Perfect for a special occasion like a wedding if (like me) you have a phobia about babies and toddlers wearing suits (particularly when ties/bow ties/waistcoats are involved), but you still want something traditional. It looks like it came from some amazing vintage store somewhere…
£48.00  tulipandnettle.com

ps: I want the top half in my size!

tiny dancer

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 

cha-cha-cha

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’)…
£23.00  monsoon.co.uk 

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?