the best hat ever…

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Cos Cashmere Hat (1-8 years), £17.00
This has been my favourite go-to beanie hat for the past three years, and I still love it. Marlow has had the charcoal version every year, but this Winter I went for navy (so chic). It’s the softest cashmere, and the ear flaps are a godsend for keeping those little ears extra cosy. And such a bargain at just £17.00.

ps: and the winners of the Monsoon coat competition are…

Sophie coat: Grace Elliffe
Anna coat: Clare Scott
Baby bear coat: Rosi Richmond

Congratulations ladies! Monsoon will send sending your coats out to you directly. Woohoo!  And for everyone else who entered and weren’t lucky this time, worry not – there is another (really exciting!) competition just around the corner. And it involves one of my all-time favourite design duos.

mangotastic

Mango girl

1. Elastic Edge Dress, £22.99
2. Faux Fur Gilet, £24.99
3. Suede Ankle Boots, £54.99

Mango boy

1. Mid-Wash Denim Shirt, £19.99
2. College Sweatshirt, £14.99
3. Slim-Fit Corduroy Trousers, £19.99
4. Stitched High Top Sneakers, £29.99

If you’re looking for a little inspiration before getting that hefty 30% off at Mango (it ends at midnight tonight – just enter this code at checkout: 5WEEKEND), here’s one for the girls and one for the boys…
And for us? We’re loving this jacket; this cardigan (perfect for those chilly morning school runs that we know are coming – just chuck it on and run out the door); these scarves; and we’re still loving this jacket and these boots.

ps: love this girls dress too (I always love a white dress in the Winter with tights and boots).

mama spree: petite mama

Petite 1

1. Boden ‘Barcelona’ Cardigan, £89.00
2. Topshop Embroidered Blouse, £38.00
3. ASOS Leather Clutch Bag, £35.00
4. Isabel Marant Leather Ankle Boots, £565.00
5. Current Elliot Distressed Jeans, £96.75

As you may already know, I’m no longer the one woman operation I once was at Little Spree. For the past few months I have had a (super-stylish) partner in crime, Nicky. We met at nursery pick-up last  Sumer, and instantly bonded over our mutual love of Isabel Marant (and subsequently discovered that around half our wardrobes were/are identical). Our career backgrounds couldn’t be more polar opposite – Nicky’s in law, mine in fashion; but we share the same taste in almost everything (ok, she hated the ASOS cat bag and I’m bemused by her obsession with plain cotton tote bags), but 99% of the time we agree on what we like when it comes to clothes (for us and our kids). She has a gorgeous (impeccably dressed, naturally) four year old son called Bailley (one of Tabitha and Marlow’s best friends), and he and Marlow are very often unintentionally dressed in identical outfits (which we find hilarious, and they both love!), even before we started working together! Anyway, if you like my taste in clothes, you will like Nicky’s too (in fact, you already do), and the best bit is, two of us can find even more gorgeous, stylish, affordable clothes for your little ones (and not to mention us). So, now ‘one’ has officially become ‘two’ (is that a Spice Girls song?). Two pairs of eyes = twice as many gorgeous finds. And Nicky also happens to be a ‘petite mama’, so I asked her to write her first post on exactly that…

If asked, Bailey would tell you that he’s four and a quarter years old. At 5ft 2″ and three quarters I get it: every quarter counts. So I’m all for dressing in a way that makes me look taller (or at least not shorter) and for me this outfit ticks all the boxes. First, it requires no tailoring, although my absolute top tip is to befriend your local tailor as soon as possible – without exception, well fitting clothes always look more expensive. Second, it  includes my favourite Current Elliott jeans, which fit well around the waist and have the perfect (ankle skimming) length. For me this justifies the usually steep price tag and makes this pair from the Outnet a great buy (you can often find them on their site so it’s worth signing up for their drop alerts). On the high street you can’t beat Gap and Topshop for their Petite ranges (M&S, ASOS and Boden are pretty good too), especially their jeans – I  like these ripped washed out black Moto jeans and these Gap boyfriend jeans. Next up shoes: for winter I always buy a boot with a heel, but it has to be one that can be worn day and night (so no skyscrapers or ‘stilts’ as Bailey calls my heels). I love these Isabel Marant ones; I feel taller and slightly ‘cooler’ just looking at them, and for those with petite feet they start at size 35. These Isabel-esque Mango ones are a good alternative as they have her hidden wedge but a Mango price. Personally I don’t find top halves to be too much of a challenge, with the exception of coat sleeves which I almost always have tailored (does anyone have arms that long?). Not something you will have to worry about with this great pea coat nor these chambray and plaid shirts that I’m also coveting. Finally, accessories: there’s nothing petite about this clutch bag, I just love it and think it’s the sort of statement item that would make you stand out from the crowd, even at 5ft 2″ and three quarters!

ps: if you haven’t done so already, you still have time to enter the Monsoon coat competition. Get your entry in by midnight tonight, and we will be announcing the three winners next week. Good luck!

pps: Boden currently has 20% off EVERYTHING, ending Monday. Nice.

let it snow (just not yet)

pramsuits

1. Petit Bateau Unisex Plain Baby Snowsuit (3-24 months), £65.00
2. John Lewis Baby Woodland Print Snowsuit (0-3 years), £28.00-£30.00
3. Boden Cosy Floral Print All-In-One (0-3 years), £38.00-£40.00
4. Zara Padded Snowsuit (1-12 months), £32.99

A snowsuit is probably the last thing on your mind at the moment if you have a little one under three, but believe us when we tell you, good ones are not easy to find (I can actually just about remember that far back, and Tabarlow’s were from Boden and I loved them, but it was slim pickings for sure). But we have scoured the High Street to find cosiest, cutest ones out there (and trust us, we have left no stone unturned). Here are a few more that we liked too… This one from John Lewis; this one from Gap; this one from La Redoute; and this one from La Redoute (in grey).

mama spree: laid back layering

6394249505_2_1_1 photo: zara

This is what we aspire to look like on those days when you’re running errands, doing the school/nursery run, pushing the pram, chasing after toddlers… This look works for all of the above, and is super-easy to put together and wear. We’re in! This whole look is from Zara (what don’t we like in Zara at the moment??), but here are some alternatives for pulling this (seemingly) effortless look together… Uniqlo mens cashmere crew neck (brown); Gap shirt; Next shirt; Zara cardigan;  Topshop joggers; Current Elliot trousers (we love these, and they’re reduced from £200.00 to £90.00); Gap trousers; Topshop trainers; Gap slip-ons; Jerome Dreyfuss bag (I was drooling over this in Liberty last week…); and Gap tote.

ps: the coat edit continues on Sunday with the boys…

 

coat edit part lll: girls

Girls coats 2

1. Next Grey Faux Fur Front Coat (3-16 years), £38.00-£44.00
2. Zara Double Breasted Mohair Coat (3-14 years), £49.99
3. Jigsaw Junior Faux Fur Trim Tweed Coat (4-13 years), £74.00-£79.00
4. Gap Wool Zip Coat (12 months-5 years), £34.95
5. Monsoon ‘Ana’ Coat (3-13 years), £45.00

Here are our our favourite Winter coats for girls. Fancy winning number 5? Monsoon is kindly going to give one away to a lucky Little Spree reader, as well as the two baby girl coats featured in our edit on Monday (numbers 1 and 4). All you need to do is tell us which Winter coat I bought for myself (as mentioned in a recent Mama Spree post); subscribe (just go to the right hand side of the website and enter your email address) to the daily Little Spree email update (if you don’t already), then send your answer to the usual email address (find it here). Don’t forget to state which coat you would like, and in which size. You have until Friday 26th September to enter, and we will announce the winner the following week. Good luck!

little coats for little ladies

Baby coats

1. Monsoon Baby Bear Coat (3 months-3 years), £40.00
2. John Lewis Tweedy Hooded Coat (3 months-3 years), £30.00-£32.00
3. Zara Coat With Shearling Lined Collar (9 months-3 years), £32.99
4. Monsoon ‘Sophie’ Coat (3 months-3 years), £38.00
5. La Redoute Double Breasted Coat (1 month-3 years), £35.00

It’s all about coats this week on Little Spree. We’re starting with our edit for baby girls (although all of them go up to three years, so not strictly just for babies). Could they be any cuter? I almost cried when I saw this pistachio green one in Zara and realised that Tabitha was too big for it (I’m not even joking). I have since consoled myself with another Zara one, which is coming up in our girls coats post later in the week. See you tomorrow for the baby boys…

oh how I love my smalls…

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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.

mama spree: london fashion week mama

Topshop U

1. Uniqlo Mens Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater, £79.90
2. Topshop Unique Lace Hem Midi Pencil Skirt, £155.00
3. Aquazurro + Olivia Palermo Cut-Out Leather Sandals, £495.00
4. ASOS Sleeping Cat Cross Body Bag, £18.00

To celebrate London Fashion Week, which started on Friday, here is a look that I LOVE. Take a super-chic midi skirt (with a gorgeous lace panel), add a sexy cutaway sandal (these are definitely on my wish list), a slouchy boyfriend cashmere sweater and a cute/quirky bag (mine is on its way), and you have a Fashion Week worthy look. I am not at the shows today, but if I was, I would probably be wearing something like this (yes, even on a Sunday). And seeing as I’m not, I’ll probably be buying  a version of it anyway, and wearing it for meetings/cocktails.

mama spree: coat style

Boden Coat

1. Whistles Cashmere Dress, £175.00
2. ASOS Faux Animal Print & Leather Bag, £18.00
3. Boden ‘Ledbury’ Pea Coat, £159.00
4. Boden Brogue Chelsea Boots, £129.00

Camel wrap 2

1. Mango Cable Knit Cotton Sweater, £29.99
2. Joseph Double Cashmere Coat, £625.00
3. Mango Leather Biker Boots, £99.99
4. Topshop Baxter Jeans, £40.00

patch jean 2

1. Isabel Marant Étoile Sweatshirt, £155.00
2. Topshop Unique Oversized Blanket Coat, £350.00
3. Gap 1969 ‘Sexy Boyfriend’ Jeans, £49.95
4. Boden Pointed T-Bars, £69.00-£79.00

Thank you everyone who emailed us with your favourite coats from the coats & boots post two weeks ago. The most popular one by far was the Boden pea coat. So here is one way to wear it if you want a stylish look for running around in, but don’t necessarily feel like wearing jeans. I love a jumper-dress (as long as it’s not tight, it’s such an easy thing to wear), and have a similar one from Cos that I bought last Winter that I live in (currently with a bare leg and my Valentino Rockstud flats). The second most popular coat was the Joseph one, so here’s a cool every day way to style it. And as we were compiling these two posts, we found this gorgeous Topshop Unique oversized blanket style belted coat (above), which we both fell in love with, so here’s how to wear that one too…

ps: we have an extra Mama Spree this week, on Sunday – a look that I love and want in equal measures! And it has nothing to do with the school-run…

kitty flats

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Next Cat Pumps (sizes 26.5-41)
£14.00-£17.00  SHOP NOW
If you can’t stretch to the kitty flats, you can console yourself (and your daughter) with these ones…

ps: Gap has done it again! But this time it’s 50% off!!! So if you haven’t already bought everything you want/need, it’s 50% off select Gap baby and kids styles right now!

pps: my favourite Aigle wellies are now available on the John Lewis website (thank to my eagle-eyed sister for spotting them). The navy are my favourite. Obviously.

L.A boy

photo 2

1. Bobo Choses L.A T-Shirt (2-10 years), £27.00
2. Mango Cotton Field Jacket (3-12 years), £16.99 (was £34.99)
3. Massimo Dutti Cotton & Cashmere Knitted Leggings (4-14 years), £29.95
4. Pepe Suede Boots (sizes 24-36), £40.00 (were £100.00)

We’re obsessed with these amazing cashmere (yes cashmere!!) joggers/leggings. How cool are they? In fact, we’re loving this whole laid-back look.

wear now, still wear later…

M&S dress  ballet

1. M&S Cotton Corduroy Dress (1-7 years), £20.00-£22.00 (plus 20% off at the moment)
2. Verity Jones Extra Large Antique Mauve Hair Clip, £7.00
3. Gap Metallic Ballet Flats (sizes US 5-11), £14.95

M&S dress

1. M&S Cotton Corduroy Dress & Tights Outfit (1-7 years), £20.00-£22.00 
2. Gap Cable Knit Pom Pom Beannie (sizes xs-l), £9.95
3. Gap Biker Boots (sizes US 5-11), £22.95

I snapped this gorgeous dress up in M&S a few weeks ago when I was doing a sweep of grey school trousers, skirts and pinafore dresses. What a relief to find something so pretty! And it is so much prettier in real life – needle cord, gorgeous smocking at the neckline, and a cool smocky shape. A real Holly Hobbie style dress. And for the first time ever, I actually like the tights that come with it! They are a great colour. So at the moment Tabs is wearing hers like the first picture (we are loving those Gap Lanvin-esque pumps, and she has also worn it with these gold Mary Janes), then as Winter sets in, she will be busting out the tights, biker boots and beanie. I absolutely love this dress! And while we’re talking dresses, here are some others that I like… This one from The Little White Company; this one from Gap (they have done so much cute ones, and if you’re quick you can still get the 30% off until Monday); this one from Zara (bought for Tabs); this one from John Lewis (just add a cardi); and this one from Zara (also bought for Tabs).

ps: bought these super-cool leopard print ‘Birks’ for Tabitha yesterday. Now Marlow wants a pair, so have ordered him some too. Admittedly a bit late for a Summer sandal, but I couldn’t resist. Plus they look so cute with chunky grey socks (as modelled by Marlow yesterday when he tried Tabitha’s on)… Oh, and if you’re interested ladies, they go up to a size 40!!

mama spree: maxi chic

topper dress

1. Topshop Lace Placement Maxi Dress, £65.00
2. Saint Laurent Gun Drop Earrings, £175.00
3. Gap Quilted Leather Biker Jacket (30% off until Monday 8th), £199.95
4. Mango Ankle Cuff Mary Jane Flats, £34.99

We’re loving a cool, feminine maxi dress right now. And this white one just feels so ‘right’. Nicky has already bought it, and tried and tested it on a night out. Here are a few more we’ve ear marked… This one from French Connection; this one from ASOS; this one from Whistles (currently on sale); this one from Somerset by Alice Temperley; and this one from Ghost (a total classic and available in a ton of colours).

ps: bought these today from Claire’s Accessories. I’m always on the lookout for the tiniest/finest gold hoops and the teeniest gold studs, and these cheap and cheerful (but gold plated – I’m not putting any old metal in my ears…) ones are great for every day.

pps: next week we’re going to show you how to wear your Mama Spree coats, and we want you to tell us which ones. Email us at the usual Little Spree address with the coat (from last week’s Mama Spree) you would like us to style up. The most popular two will be featured in next week’s post.

mind the gap (it’s dangerous!!)

baby gap

1. Floral Cord Bubble One-Piece (0-24 months), £14.95
2. Bear Sweater Hoodie (0-24 months), £16.95
3. Mary Jane Bow Flats (0-24 months), £8.95
4. Long Sleeve Bodysuit, Pack Of Three (0-24 months), £14.95

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1. Thermal Slub Tee (12 months-5 years), £8.95
2. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £19.95
3. Cat Baseball Hat (sizes xs-l), £6.00
4. Warmest Puffa Vest (12 months-5 years), £24.95
5. Desert Sneakers (sizes 5-11), £19.95

Gap Headband

1. Starry Top (12 months-5 years), £14.95
2. Knot Bow Headband, £6.00
3. Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £17.95
4. Ankle Strap Ballet Flats (sizes 5-11), £14.95

Gap MS

1. Merino Sweater, £39.95
2. Mens Parka Jacket, £64.95
3. 1969 Legging Jeans, £39.95
4. Chelsea Booties, £69.95

Gap has a whopping 30% off until Monday (8th September), so we have dedicated an entire post just to them, seeing as they are doing such great things at the moment (for us mamas as well as our little ones). So today, we’ve done not one, but FOUR Little Spree looks, and every single item is from Gap. It’s a one-stop shop! Between us Nicky and I have pretty much bought everything (don’t bother going to the Richmond or Kingston stores ladies!!). Many of these things aren’t available in the stores yet, so enjoy a little preview. We also bought this tee; these pyjamas; these pants; these socks (in grey and navy); this blouse; these jeans; this blouse for the kids. And we also want this dress; these boots; and these track pants. And if you feel a little guilty, you could always treat your husband/boyfriend to this or this.  As far as we’re concerned, Gap just keeps getting better and better (Tabs is wearing the entire girl’s outfit right now). And we can’t stop shopping…

ps: Mama Spree as usual tomorrow (if your bank account hasn’t already been cleaned out!).

our favourite boys jumper

Beanie

1. Boden Cotton/Cashmere Jumper (2-12 years), £25.00-£30.00
2. Gap Cable Knit Beannie (xs-l), £8.95
3. Gap Skinny Jeans (12 months-5 years), £17.95
4. M&S Leather Riptape Trainers (sizes 4-13 small), £24.00-£26.00

I’m a little bit obsessed with this jumper. You can see why. Meanwhile my sister is obsessed with these trainers (she’s bought no less than 4 x pairs!! – she likes to get ahead of the pack…), and we are too. Cheap and chic.

ps: since writing this, my nephew’s trainers have arrived, and my sister said that the sizing has come up really big, so bear this in mind when ordering.

pps: Marlow’s Cos shirt that he wore to my sister’s wedding is now available online.