1. Petit Bateau Wool & Cotton Sailor Sweater, £50.00 2. Petit Bateau Long Sleeved Wool & Cotton T-Shirt, £19.50 3. Mango Five Pocket Trousers, £14.99 4. Petit Bateau Striped Jersey Socks, £8.00 5. 10 IS Silver Hi Top Trainers, £48.50
Cool and cosy layering, with a pop of colour…
ps: 30% off the most expensive item in Petit Bateau when you buy three things at the moment…
Smalls Tanks & Long Sleeved Tops (2-12 years) From £27.00 SHOP NOW I am now a complete convert to these gorgeous merino wool pieces. Marlow and Tabitha now have a tank and a long sleeve top each (Marlow’s in navy, Tabitha’s in the (perfect) ‘misty rose’ shade of pink (I can’t wait to layer it under her dungarees). I was lucky enough to be sent one each for them to try, but I was instantly smitten, and have since ordered one more each. When I first dressed Marlow in his, he actually commented on “how lovely and smooth” it felt as it went on (that’s my boy!), and he is very picky about fabrics and the feel of things he wears. Actually he’s pretty picky about everything he wears, but that’s another story. These tops are the perfect combination of comfort and cool (trust me, they look as great as they feel, and I’m a lot pickier than Marlow), but don’t take my word for it, here’s why…
They are machine washable (in fact they get better with every wash); breathable like a second skin (cleverly drawing moisture away from the body); warm in Winter and cool in Summer; you honestly won’t believe it’s wool – super-soft. made from superfine wool trimmed from happy sheep that roam the mountains of New Zealand and Australia (love that!); naturally stretchy for maximum movement; longer in the body to keep out pesky draughts (nothing worse than a ‘too short’ top); cool curved hem to keep little bottoms warm and won’t ride up when your little one climbs a tree or runs around the playground; contrast coloured stitching for a cool pop of colour, so stylish enough to wear on their own or layer under things in the same way as a regular vest; and no need for lots of bulky excess layers thanks to the amazing weight-to-warmth ratio of merino (not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds impressive). Oh and last but not least, no need to fill a (much needed) drawer with a different vest for every day (as I used to) that invariably shrink and have to be chucked anyway. No they aren’t exactly ‘cheap’ but the you only need one or two. So once you’ve bought them, you’re done for quite a while. Amen.
ps: while we’re on the subject of the wonders of Merino, I was a huge fan of the Merino Bambino sleeping bags when Tabarlow were babies. They were the best thing ever. No more buying loads of different ones for the various seasons in varying tog sizes (so confusing and not to mention bulky to store) – just one each for the whole year round. For any mamas of little ones under the age of two, I cannot recommend these enough. And after a quick look on the website, it seems that they are also now available for toddlers too. Genius.
Mini Boden Baby Cardigan (0-3 years)
£18.00-£20.00 SHOP NOW I love, love, love these gorgeous cardigans. I couldn’t decide which colour I liked best, so I edited it down to my three favourites. I love the hand knitted feel, the velvet ribbon trim, and the sweet little patch pockets (basically everything about them!). Tomorrow I’ll show you how I’m styling Tabitha’s (and which colour I went for in the end)…
Just bought a couple of great long sleeved (it’s that time…) slub tees for Marlow in Gap today (styling tip: they look really cool with the sleeves rolled up a couple of times). This one (in ‘cast iron’) and this one (in ‘raison’). Love them. I also spotted this coat in M&S, and ended up buying it for Marlow’s school coat (apologies that it wasn’t in last week’s coats edit, but I hadn’t seen it then). Trust me, it’s so much nicer in person; plus it’s grey not khaki as it states on the website. And it has a really warm, cosy lining. I was also tempted by this one that I spotted in Next yesterday. Not bad at all.
ps: do you subscribe to the Little Spree daily email updates? If not, why not? You might miss something!!
Bob & Blossom ‘Love’ Silver Print Long Sleeve Tee (1-5 years) £14.95 SHOP NOW I have long been a fan of Bob & Blossom, and have bought countless number t-shirts for birthday presents (they are always well received by both parents, and little ones, and a great price at just £16.95). But at the recent Bubble exhibition in London, it was this adorable love tee that caught my eye. The ‘marshmallow’ pink is just right, and the silver text makes the perfect cool contrast. I also loved the ‘hello’ version in the perfect ‘cloud’ grey with neon text (in fact, it was tough to choose which one to use as the picture for this post). They are also both available in baby sizes too. I can’t get enough of them!
ps: the lucky winner of the gorgeous Nature Zoo musical octopus is Louise Knight. Congratulations Louise! Please email me with your address and I will post it straight to you. Thank you to everyone who entered, and worry not, there will be more competitions coming soon.
pps: next week is dedicated to the dreaded (for so many reasons!!) subject of ‘back to school’, or in Tabarlow’s case: starting school. I am traumatised, but mostly about the scary shoes. I will be sharing my woes with you all next week, so don’t buy anything until you’ve read my edit.
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…)
Love this colour of this top with white (don’t worry – the price of the shorts reflects how laid back you can be about getting them dirty, but they do look cool though don’t they?). And you don’t get more ‘lo-fi’ than this super-cute wooden mobile phone (complete with chalk and earphone erasers)! Love it.
Petit Bateau Boy’s Jersey Breton Top (3-12 years) £33.00 SHOP NOW I never really think of ‘mini me’ in a dad context, but how cute would this be? A really simple, but cool gift idea if you’ve found yourself running out of time. And the trusty Breton top is always a Little Spree favourite. And obviously the boy’s one would be just as perfect for a little girl too. And there’s even a baby one!! Love.
Little Joule Pocket Detail T-shirt (0-3 years) £12.95-£14.95 SHOP NOW Now it’s no secret how much I love a Breton tee (and Marlow’s drawer is testament to this), but recently I have been discovering quite a few in non-traditional colours, and have been rather liking them. Here are a few others that I have found on my travels… Polarn O. Pyret (love this one, and it’s currently 20% off!); Mini Boden has a whole host of alternative colours; Joules; Uniqlo; Mango; and No Added Sugar.
ps: just bought this clock for Tabarlow’s bedroom. We’re in the process of teaching them the time (but obviously a regular clock is a bit to much of a challenge at four), so that they know (well Marlow specifically!) that until they see a 7 at the beginning of the numbers, it is too early to go into Mummy and Daddy’s room!! At the moment, they (he) comes into our room to look at our clock, but by that time it’s a bit late… I’m hoping this cute tradiitonal clock with prove to be enough of a novelty to keep them (him) in their room a little while longer… Wish me luck!
pps: don’t forget – Little Spree’s guide to the best Father’s Day gifts this Sunday…
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…
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…
Jigsaw Long Sleeved Striped Top (4-14 years) £19.00-£24.00 SHOP NOW Will I ever tire of the trusty Breton tee? Probably not. And how cute is this pink one with a Liberty-esque floral print pocket? And it also comes in blue. I can’t choose between them, so Tabs might just be getting two (although I think I can guess which one will be more popular!). Here’s a (classic style) baby version for little ones too.
The Little White Company Flutter Sleeve Top & Bloomers (0-24 months) £22.00 SHOP NOW How gorgeous is this little baby set? So pretty. And one of the things I love most about it is that it’s chambray blue, not pink. I’ve also found these equally adorable (non-girly) pieces for baby girls this week…
These (very French) grey baby cords (just as cute for girls as for boys), also from The Little White Company; this pocket blouse from H&M; this Mini Boden pointelle cardigan (in yellow) as worn by super-stylish Harper Beckham; this Gap romper; this Paz Rodriguez baby cardigan; and this Zara striped sweater. Make the most of the non-pink, non-non-girly times while you can…
Petit Bateau Boys’ Striped Canvas Chinos (3-12 years) £44.00 SHOP NOW We all love a stripe right? Perosnally I can’t get enough of them for Marlow. Here are the stripes I’m loving this week…
This Uniqlo girls’ striped long sleeved top (but who says boys can’t wear it too?) This M&S straw trilby (with striped band); this Monsoon striped sweatshirt; Cos striped socks (Marlow has these); he also has this long sleeved tee from Gap; and I’ve got my eye on this sweatshirt from Mango. Just make sure you don’t bust them out all the same time. Obviously.
ps: don’t miss tomorrow’s Mama Spree. It’s the ultimate Mothers’ Day ‘hint list’ for the Daddys…
MangoTassel Bead Blouse (3-12 years) £16.99 SHOP NOW I love this top! I want this top!! For me!! But in the meantime, one will be winging it’s way to Tabitha wardrobe… 100% striped cotton, beads, tassels (bells, whistles?)… All you need to add is a great pair of skinny, mid-wash jeans (with little ankle boots for now, and sandals for Summer, and it would be totally adorable with denim cut-offs too). Ok, it’s not strictly a pink princess dress, but I am going to try my hardest to convince Tabs that it’s way cooler than any princess look (wish me luck!)… Here are some more cute hippie/folky style tops (and a dress for good measure!) that I found that I think you might like… This other Mango top; this Mini Boden one; this Gap dress; this La Redoute lace blouse; I love the print on this Alice à Paris one; this ilovegorgeous one; and this Crew Cuts one (I like the pink).
ps: these are Marlow’s Gap jeans that I was talking about on Sunday. They are so cool, and he’s barely taken them off since I bought them. Just give them a little turn-up and you’re good to go.
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).
Barbour McQueen Sweatshirt (xxs-xxl) £40.00 SHOP NOW I love a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl Alexander Wang). Marlow loves a sweatshirt (preferably grey marl, but as yet, not too fussy about the label). And long may it last. The humble sweatshirt is effortlessly cool, and I can’t seem to stop finding great ones wherever I look. These are some of my favourites around at the moment, starting with this super-cool, faded print Steve McQueen one from Barbour. I’m also loving this Peanuts one from Uniqlo; this ‘boom’ one from Stella McCartney; this H&M plain charcoal one (always a classic along with a grey marl); this contrast one from Zara; this cool quilted one from Next; this striped one from Next; and finally this Mini Boden waffle one (in grey);
ps: these Mango plain cashmere crew necks are still available in the sale. I ordered two navy ones for Marlow (one for now, one for next year) that just arrived yesterday (along with his Monsoon robot sunglasses), and he’s weaing one today. I really like that they are a really fine-knit, so ideal for this unpredictable weather (and they look really expensive).
Next Ochre Printed Sweatshirt (3 months-6 years) £9.00-£10.00 SHOP NOW I love pretty much everything about this sweatshirt, but specifically the colour (that gorgeous golden-yellow that always looks expensive) and the fact that it’s 100% cotton. In fact, Next had quite a few cool pieces that caught my eye when I was browsing recently. I like these boys’ boots too.
I have been getting requests from mums of little boys who refuse to wear jumpers, despite the recent temperatures. Marlow can be tricky about jumpers too (I think it’s all the charging around they do – they get so hot…), so I try to buy long sleeved ‘tops’ that are a bit warmer than a regular long sleeved t-shirt, and will almost always layer a cashmere cardigan over when we go out. His Cos charcoal cashmere one is still my favourite, but sadly seems to be unavailable now – I will endeavour to hunt out a replacement, but this Brora navy one is the closest I could find today). So here are a few tops that are a bit more substantial than just a long sleeved t-shirt, but aren’t too warm… Starting with this Mini Boden long sleeved top (I like the grey and the navy); this Alice a Paris fine knit sweater (should be light enough to avoid a morning meltdown); this Cos double-layer sweatshirt (I’ve seen it in the store – it’s a sort of sweatshirt-t-shirt hybrid); this John Lewis striped sweater; and I love, love love these Henley style sweaters from Mango (I will be buying both colours for Marlow).
Lands End Flannel Tunic (6-12 years)
The high street (as were the catwalks before that) is awash with various tartan and plaid prints. I love this smock style top (so easy to wear) with its cute heart-shaped patch pockets. Size-up, then it can be worn at as a little dress with knitted tights before it morphs into a top. I like that it can also be dressed down with jeans to feel bit more grungy. This chambray version is also great if you don’t fancy the tartan… £19.95 SHOP NOW
ps: all the details of the babyGap/Little Spree event at the flagship store on Oxford Street will be revealed on Tuesday. I can’t wait to meet you all (and your gorgeous little ones) next Friday!
Looking for inspiration to fill the Christmas holidays? We’ve used this discount site to buy tickets for a few years now (the last time for a theatre performance of Paddington which included a marmalade making class). It’s updated every Thursday and is currently offering tickets for a Frozen sing-along. Need we say more….