I’ve been shopping, which is always a dangerous sport. To be fair, a lot of it gets returned: for every twenty things I order (always online, much to the horror of Mr AMR, who has to sidestep huge mounds of ASOS bags and shoe boxes for two weeks while I decide what I’m keeping!) I reckon I hold on to one or two items. A poor hit-rate, but it’s still preferable to having to do an in-store try-on accompanied by a toddler and/or baby.
Anyway, I thought that I would show you the best bits from my recent retail adventures – a “what to wear” guide for the tail-end of summer. Most of these outfits will take you into autumn, I think, which is handy considering the recent spate of rainy, cold weather.
This little floral mini-dress from Zara (here) is one of my favourite recent finds; I think I need a size up (this one is a small and my chest is literally bursting out of it) but it’s soft, incredibly well-cut and the length is just the right side of “mini”. (ie, lengthens your legs but doesn’t flash your knickers. God forbid.)
I’m wearing my very new dress with my very old Mulberry Lily bag* and some gorgeous wedges from LK Bennett*. These are sturdy but leg-lengthening, which is one of my favourite combinations. (I know there’s a rude joke in there somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. To be honest, I think that my hair tool post exhausted me, in terms of sexual innuendo.)
LK Bennett have very kindly offered readers 10% off full-price online purchases with the code NEWSHOES10* – please see full T&Cs below!
Next outfit. I bought the little shirt dress above from H&M a while ago, so you may have to hurry if you want to snap one up! It’s very relaxed and comfy, and I’ve been throwing it on a lot on the rare hot day, but it looks great sexed up with some glitzy accessories.
I’m having a proper little love-affair with the Cecilia shoes from LK Bennett – soft gold leather and a manageable heel, they feel a bit “Studio-54-crossed-with-Grecian-goddess”. “Grecian Goddess goes to Studio 54”? Whatever, I’ve been swanning about the house in these heels – they go marvellously well with everything from skinny jeans to my floor-length black dressing gown. I look like a Hollywood star waiting to go on set!
Next on the agenda, a very casual mini-dress, £30 from ASOS*. It’s rather short at the back, but I threw a giant cardigan over the top (French Connection, £110 here*) and felt instantly more at home. A pair of black opaque tights would have been even better, but I thought that might be a stretch for a summer fashion post!
I love pretty, girly prints with big chunky knitwear thrown over the top. It’s a good way of getting your wear out of your summer dresses – you can extend the life of a little slip dress by months and months if you wear it with a good, oversized cardy. (I’m also partial to a party dress beneath a parka, a la Kate Moss, but that’s a whole other story.)
And the same goes for a flimsy summer top – the one above is from Hush (find it here*) and it’s beautifully light for a hot summer’s day, but throw a thick knit over the top and you’re good to go in even the most inclement weather. And it looks great with jeans. In fact I sort of prefer it with jeans! The blue denim gives it a harder edge. These skinnies are from AND/OR* – you may remember them from the shoot I did for John Lewis just after having Baby Ted. Stretchy-yet-structured, they have a really premium feel.
And now: can we talk about this cat blouse from Zara? Look at that print! Straight from a Paul & Joe Beauté lipstick casing. The cut is excellent – sort of a relaxed pyjama fit – but it has this unusual drapey front that covers a multitude of torso issues and also provides a bit of an interesting detail. You can leave the ends loose or tie them over themselves, either looks good.
Again, to stop it all from being too pretty-pretty, I’ve paired the blouse with jeans but then glitzed things up with some sparkly court shoes.
These are the Bianca courts from LK Bennett – a very wearable height, which is important for me at the moment with my (hopefully temporary) ankles-of-great-crumbliness, but a sexy little shape. You can find them online here*. The Zara blouse is £39.99 here.
I have a post drafted about my Equipment shirt addiction: they just do the best silk shirts in the most fabulous prints. This leopard print one isn’t available anymore, but they have loads of designs and there’s constantly something new to gaze at. I mostly buy my Equipment shirts on The Outnet here* because they’re about a third of the price and they always have a massive selection of prints…
Granted this outfit isn’t even remotely summery, but when we shot the photographs it was freezing cold and raining so I thought that I’d throw in a Weather Day option!
I’ve poured myself into some stretchy black jeggings from Zara (£25.99 here) and the boots are the Hettie black leather boots from LK Bennett.
The boots have a smart, equestrian feel and the shape is actually quite slim and dainty – if you want a comfy, flat pair of boots for winter, but something much more feminine than a biker boot, then take a look at these. You can find them online here*.
Back to the fairer weather clothing, and a bit of a wildcard: this khaki maxi-dress from Karen Millen* is a bit out of my comfort zone. I think it’s the fact that it’s sleeveless, but very covering everywhere else! Focusing on my arms has never really been a priority for me; in fact over the past few years I’ve specifically looked for dresses with sleeves.
But there’s something a bit “50s safari” about it all; the colour, the neckline, the fully-buttoned front. I feel as though I should be perched atop a vintage Fortnum & Mason hamper with a pair of leather-covered binoculars slung around my neck.
This dress is in the sale at the moment – £120 instead of £180 here* – and I’ve just been throwing it on with flip-flops, shamefully, but it would look lovely with some proper sandals. I like the idea of slightly battered, tan leather ones, but I don’t have any. Weirdly. Must put some on my list, though I’m not sure there’s much point now. One for the spring shopping session perhaps!
That’s it for this season – join me again for more sartorial shenanigans as the leaves start a-falling from the trees and we all sit there moaning about how we didn’t get any summer, etc etc…
Terms & Conditions for LK Bennett: Offer only valid with promotional code ‘NEWSHOES10’ at checkout. Offer is valid from 10th August 2017 to 10thSeptember 2017, 23:59. Offer is valid online only on UK website www.lkbennett.com. Offer is valid on full price shoes; excludes sale items. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative will be given. L.K.Bennett has the right to amend, cancel or withdraw this promotion at any time.