Friday, 23 September 2016

NEW IN






For me Autumn essentials include a neutral oversized coat, minimal knitwear and some formal elegant trousers.  THIS is the Season of the trouser so it is the ideal time to stock up.  Whether you are after a pair of statement wide legs or cropped tuxedos the stores are full of options.   I tend to mix formal and casual pieces for day to keep smart workwear looking fun.  Pair your's with a Parisian style monochrome sweatshirt or wide sleeve shirt and heels.  

I have recently discovered two new gorgeous brands to add to my shopping radar and had to share them with you.  Started at Creative Director Mandy's kitchen table, 'Hush' has a wide offering of laid back, luxury pieces including my favourite black 'Si Bon' sweatshirt for just £45.  The look is fresh and ageless.  

The second is new brand 'Modern Rarity' which is filled with shades of nude and contemporary, forever styles.  I'm lusting over their pink cocoon coat!  Prices from £65.  What's not to love?  

Both brands are available at John Lewis.  I have even added a wish list of my favourite pieces below for you to take a look at.



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Monday, 19 September 2016

A GUIDE TO PACKING







Packing is definitely an art form. There are those who make it look completely effortless and those who turn up with a bursting case and still can't pull an outfit together. I used to very much fit into the latter. I would pack, repack, panic and then squeeze as much as I could into the case. My husband could be heard squealing 'the zip will burst' as I jumped up and down on the once rectangular bag. 

I've always travelled a fair amount. I travel with work, sometimes across Europe for a day, sometimes for a week. I'd have meetings where I needed to look like I knew what I was doing. I'd be working up ladders at 2am on shopfits the night before a big opening. What I needed to pack would vary hugely and sometimes I would need it all in 24 hours.

I travel for pleasure including trips over to Normandy on the motorbike with only a lunchbox sized pannier to fill. Three week adventures to Canada dining in Vancouver's luxury hotels followed by hikes with Bears in the mountains. It's fair to say I have picked up a few tips and busted even more packing myths over the past decade. With another exciting trip this week I thought it about time I shared these secrets to packing success.






Check the weather. Obvious right?  14 day forecasts are easily available online so research a few days before you go for up to date information. Clever packing means versatile items. If there's a chance of rain don't bother packing those Miu Miu ballet pumps. Select shoes that work thoughout your trip and a coat that covers all options. Be ruthless with bulky items but if you need to take 2 coats (a tidy jacket and an outdoor coat for example) wear one of them on the day of travelling. The same goes for your shoes. Wear your ankle boots on the day then they don't have to squeeze into your case.

Don't roll. This is an urban legend.  Fold items and lie them flat which takes up far less space and gives fewer creases.  Group similar sized items together such as tee shirts to keep them compact.

When selecting outfits consider how many days you are away for. Pack outfits for those days all with a similar colour scheme to ensure mixing and matching is possible.  Add in a few extra tops to cover spaghetti accidents or evening changes.







Accessorise.  Consider the looks you have packed and select a few statement pieces to work with them. A vintage diamant√© necklace looks striking with Breton tops for day. A small print neck scarf takes up zero space and adds a twist to basic tees and shirts. Use shoe bags to keep lingerie and hosiery together. Tights won't acquire mysterious ladders when travelling and if you get searched at the airport the guy (or gal) won't have to rummage though your pants!






Check hotel websites for hairdryers and irons before leaving.  If most of the hotels are well stocked you can probably leave your hairdryer behind and gain a large suitcase space and extra weight. When you arrive unpack items that are prone to creasing and outfits you are planning to wear over the next few days. Hang any sorry looking items in the bathroom before having a hot shower. This steams out creases and leaves items crisp.

The suitcase is back out, the weathers looking good and I'm pulling together a selection of monochrome outfits. If you have any amazing tips for packing let me know.  Somehow I still end up having to sit on the case to get it closed!




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Thursday, 15 September 2016

WISH LIST




This week I am feeling very Autumnal and although the weather is still pretty mild I'm lusting over wide leg trousers and muted greys.  Brands have launched their New Season collections and it's sooo good to see shops filled with exciting new pieces again.  This week I have purchased a pair of statement boots, one of Autumn's must have mini-bags and was on the hunt for the perfect pair of trousers, until I found these!  Pair with a grey tee for now and then this cashmere sweater from John Lewis's new beautiful brand Modern Rarity.  Tie a silk scarf around your wrist instead of a cuff for a hit of colour.




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