Mini Boden Summer pyjama set (2-12 years) £19.50-£23.50
You didn’t think we’d only post summer pyjamas for boys did you? We know that despite there being more choice out there for girls, finding the right pieces can still be tricky. In fact, we sometimes wonder if the very fact that there’s so much choice can have the opposite effect? Well as far as summer pyjamas are concerned we think these Boden (above), Petit Bateau, M&S, Bonton (on sale), John Lewis, M&S, Petit Bateau, and Jigsaw (not so Summery, but a great bargain and so sweet) are the best out there…
Nicky & Sarah xx
ps: and anyone who read our interview in The Grace Tales will understand why we’ve included these. So don’t judge – I could have done you a favour! SC
Photos: Cass Bird for Porter magazine
I can think of few activities I loathe more than buying swimwear. In fact, I actually loathe the process of buying it more than actually being seen in public wearing it (and that’s saying something!!). I can literally count on one hand the amount of swimsuits (we’ll get to bikinis in a minute) I’ve owned that I actually liked and fitted. I always feel there’s a compromise somewhere, and usually it’s a toss-up between style and content.
So this year (with my holiday looming ever closer), I decided to do things differently. I was still searching for ‘the one’ (aren’t we all?), but I was happy to settle for one that ‘did the job’. So I went online (as you do) and ordered a ton of swimsuits (plus a couple of bikinis for good measure (in for a penny, in for a pound – if I was going to go through the painful process of trying tons of swimsuits on, why not chuck a few bikinis into the mix?), and waited for them to arrive. As with everything in my life, time was limited. So forget all the tips you’ve read about shopping for swimwear: getting a fake tan first, having a full Brazilian bikini wax (although some kind of hair removal is never a bad idea) and flattering lighting – this time, I just tried them on, one by one, making piles of yes, nos and maybes. I just went for all black, as it’s just the easiest option if you’re time-poor and not a size 6. And black is always a chic option. I am a size 12 (a 10 on a particularly good day, generally about one week every leap year) with big boobs, small waist and hips (as in, I have hips, not small hips, obviously). So these are my favourites that I have kept and will be wearing this Summer in Italy: Boden ruffle bandeau (personally, I prefer it minus the straps), Next shape enhancing, Next plain (love that they both have thin, adjustable straps), and my favourite? This scallop swimsuit from Boden. Such a flattering shape, non-wired but still supportive, and I love the low back (so few seem to have them these days). Love it. But size-up, it comes up small. I also went for this Boden bikini top (again, nice thin straps) with these Mint Velvet bikini bottoms (this is my favourite style of bikini bottoms) for those non-focaccia days. And Nicky has already bought this gorgeous scalloped bikini top and bottoms. All in black.
Now if you really want to invest in a black swimsuit, I’ve only ever heard amazing things about Eres swimwear (French women swear by it!). The prices are pretty eye-watering (there goes the rest of my holiday capsule wardrobe…), but if you’re in the market for a big splurge/investment, you should seriously consider one of these.
ps: and in case you’re wondering, this post is not a sponsored one. I just felt I wanted to share, what I have to admit were, surprising results.
pps: you will be relieved to hear that I will not be posting any pictures on Intagram of me on holiday wearing any of my swimsuits.
Petit Bateau Cotton Striped Pyjamas (2-18 years) £28.00
We’ve been searching for our favourite boys Summer pyjamas, and this Petit Bateau pair is definitely one of our favourites. Marlow already has them, and both Tabitha and Marlow both have the long sleeved (and long legged) version (two pairs each in fact, that’s how much we love them!). They are so great -super-soft and super-comfy, and they wash so well (a dull ‘mum fact’, but true). We’re also loving this traditional M&S pair in cotton seersucker (I’ve seen them in the store and they are so lovely – SC), M&S gingham, this fun Stella McCartney and this Next set of three.
And although not necessarily the most Summery of pyjamas, this gorgeous John Lewis striped pair are straight out of a Victorian storybook, so a great ‘buy now, stash for later’ purchase.
Sarah & Nicky xx
It may be just us, but as soon a we start thinking about holidays, it suddenly feels like we need a whole new wardrobe. If you’re not careful, you can spend more time (and money) preparing for those few weeks away than the rest of the season. Don’t panic, we’re in this together, we’ve been there and have the excess baggage receipts to prove it. So, we’ve re-stocked the Mama Spree shop with a capsule collection of holiday essentials: pieces that have high multi-wear potential, work well together or just help make your outfit look pulled-together. Feel free also to consider our edit a template for your packing list; if you buy well (did we mention that many of the items are also end of sale bargains?), you really do need less than you think!
Nicky & Sarah xx
M&S Children’s Jigsaw Sandwich Platter £11.00
Any long-standing, hardcore Little Spree followers/fans will know that I have long been a fan of the trusty M&S ‘kids simple sandwich party platter’. One particular mum (the lovely Claire Scott, who has followed Little Spree since the very beginning) even declared that she would “never party again without the M&S platter” following the LS endorsement, and I know many of you also followed suit. It was basically a ready-made platter of those simple (but oh-so-delicious) simple finger sandwiches that kids love (but take HOURS) to make. Cheese. Ham. Boom! I would order them online, then just swing by my nearest M&S store on the day of the party and collect them. No muss, no fuss. So, you can imagine my horror when I went to place my annual order online on Friday night (with one eye on Billions…), only to discover that my favourite party essential was no more. I may even have let out a muffled squeal of horror. But, as they always say, triumph over adversity, and sure enough, after a (slightly hysterical) scroll through the party food section, I stumbled across these!! I mean, could they be any cuter? So mine are ordered and I’ll be collecting them on Sunday morning. Job done.
ps: in case anyone is confused about Tabarlow’s birthday being back in January (well if you follow us on Instagram anyway), it was. But we always have their party in the Summer, so they can have it outside in Richmond Park. Keep your fingers crossed for the weather!
No one can deny the merits of the trusty LBD, but here at Little Spree, we fall time and time again for the white version (the LWD). For the Summer (Summer??) you can’t go far wrong with a gorgeous white dress and a pair of flat tan sandals. And don’t think that a white dress is a no-go if you don’t have a size 8 body to put it in either! It’s all about finding the right style for you. The LWD can be every bit as flattering as its dependable alter ego – it just takes a bit longer to find the perfect one. Here are a few (many of which are now on sale – bonus!) we’ve rounded up that we think are definitely worth a look (for all shapes and sizes)… Oh and size-up – this is definitely not a body-con situation – your LWD should be cool and loose…
Mango, Marje pleated chiffon, Iro broderie anglaise, Mango embroidered smock-style, Isabel Marant Étoile ruffled, The Great billowing (love this!), M&S maxi, Vanessa Bruno prairie (want!), Isabel Marant Étoile denim, French Connection crepe maxi, The Jetset Diaries open-back, Melissa Odabash crochet and voile, Mango lace panelled (this is on my ‘to try on’ list), and Urban Outfitters crochet (great for the beach). And for you gorgeous curvy mamas out there, we love this and this one, both from Mango Violeta.
Sarah & Nicky xx
ps: but having said all that, how gorgeous is this white and black one (just ordered – SC)?
pps: and also remember, a white dress can look so great with a tee/sweater/sweatshirt worn over it – so don’t discount any with spaghetti straps, thinking they are too bare or not possible without a bra.