Dune FRI sandals

So *the* sandal of the season is the fugly. Fashionable and ugly…I could think of other words too…ahem.
They’re not one for me but no doubt in two years when they’re just not going away I’ll be all over them.
What I have taken to is the block heel. I tried these on in Dune last week and love, loved them. Call me noncommittal but before I took the leap I needed to check I was going to get my money’s worth.
Dune FRI sandals
School run – Dress, Next
Dune FRI sandals
Wedding – Dress, Coast (I included this dress because I saw in the flesh last week and it was stunning)
Yep, definitely a keeper.
My Pollyanna

Pattern is the precise antithesis of how I would define my style and somewhat of an unchartered territory for me. But stepping out your comfort zone every now again can be liberating and who knows I might actually like it?!

I’m wearing this Vilagallo dress today with Ash ankle boots and Burberry trench.

My Pollyanna pattern dress

Here’s similar…

Mint Velvet printed dress, £99
Mint Velvet patterned dress
Mint Velvet, £99
New Look Patterned tunic dress, £12.99
New Look patterned dress
New Look, £12.99
J.Crew Misty Fog tunic dress, £198
J.Crew Patterned dress
J.Crew, £198

Are you a patterned or plain girl? 

Red dresses

I’ve got swept away in Golden Globe fever today so put together this impromptu post. My news feeds have been inundated with the most gorgeous gowns from last night’s Golden Globe awards and the one theme that really grabbed me was RED. So elegant, so timeless and a sense of prosperity.

So I had a little hunt around and found these gorgeous (and rather bargainous!) red dresses from The Outnet.


The Outnet Red dresses


1. Red Valentino, scalloped stretch-knit cotton dress, £182.50 (originally £365)

2. Notte by Marchesa, fringed silk-sateen dress, £247.20 (original £515)

3. Alice + Olivia, Kirie silk and metallic jacquard dress, £279 (originally £620)

4. Michael Michael Kors, draped stretch jersey dress, £170 (originally £170)

5. Valentino, cotton and silk blend dress, £324 (originally £1080!!!!)

6. Alice + Olivia, spelling woven peplum dress, £182 (originally £485)

7. Diane Von Furstenburg, maeryn stretch-crepe dress, £175.20 (originally £438)

Featured image photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images via Grazia Daily.

What was your favourite look of the awards?

My first option for Christmas day seemed to be quite popular (see it here). But since then, every time I open my wardrobe I hear a little squeak from my tartan skirt, as if to say “what about me?”. Last year I bought this skirt from Jack Wills as a last minute dash for traditional festive style. To be honest, it’s not something that I would wear at any other time of the year (mainly because it’s really short!) but to get into the spirit of the season I was compelled to buy it. There is definitely something to be said for forgetting fashion and just getting into the Christmas spirit.  Jack Wills don’t seem to do anything similar this year but how about these for a traditional tartan Christmas Day outfit…

Red Check Kilt from Topshop


Jigsaw Tartan Velvet Silk Back T-Shirt (£79)

worn with these black skinnies from one of my favourite jeans brand,  7 For All Mankind (on price match at John Lewis for £144)

7FAM black skinnes
Or if the tartan is a bit too much then I love these easy day-dresses from Boden.

Alma dress, now £79.20.


Kate dress in berry & black from Boden, now £103.20.

BODEN Kate dress
What will you be wearing on Christmas day?

When F&F sent me this Lace Panel Illusion dress from their new Julia range, to me it seemed like the perfect option for a dinner date or a formal occasion of some kind. But when I showed it to my friend (who works in banking) she immediately said it was perfect for work. So perhaps it fits the bill for that illusive, ‘perfect’ day to night dress? I love a bit of versatility so I put it to the test.

For me, it would be all about the finishing touches so I’ve asked my trusty make-up artist contributor, Lisa Hancox to add her take on what make up she thinks could take this dress from day to evening.

The Day Look

Julia dress

I opted for black opaques with a simple black court shoe, collarless black jacket and a shoulder bag to dress it down. It’s not something that I would wear during the day (because I don’t have the occasion to) but I can see that if you worked in an office or were out and about meeting clients that it would work really well.


Shoes, Dune. Jacket, Massimo Dutti. Bag, Gucci.


Firstly, apply a semi-matte or matte liquid foundation before you go to work in the morning. Try ByTerry Cover Expert, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish, Maybelline FitMe and Max Factor Whipped Cream foundations.  This formula will last longer and look better in photos taken in the evening – glowing skin can look shiny and sometimes ghostly when snapped in low-light with a flash.

Dab on some concealer under the eyes and a cream blusher – I love this one Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy blush. Then set your base with a translucent powder.

Apply a very thin line of black eyeliner to the roots of the top lashes using the Bourjois Intuitive Liner, mascara and lip balm. The dress will do all the talking in the office so keep your make-up really low-key.  Take your foundation, blusher, mascara, concealer and setting powder to work with you.

Day to Night

To take it through to the evening and you’re feeling brave, I would go for nude legs and nude or gold shoes. It’s a delicate, elegant dress so I’ve chosen my very special Manolo Blahniks. The soft feathers and satin heels compliment dress perfectly. A simple, suede clutch for timeless elegance.

Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik

After work, check whether you need to add any more coverage with your foundation and concealer, then re-set with the powder.  Apply another thin layer of cream blusher – dim lighting means the amount you used for the office won’t show up quite as well. Then,  I’d consider one of these two options:
1) A wine-red lip would look stunning and simple – without adding any further make-up to your eyes.  Choose a matte but conditioning formula which will last longer and looks more modern.  I particularly love:
  • NARS Velvet Matte pencil in Cruella and NARS Pure Matte in Amsterdam
  • Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau in Muse
  • Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon
To prepare your lips, pat on a thin layer of concealer all over the lips before applying your lipstick and then a second layer.  Just make sure your lips are smooth by applying some balm 10 minutes before.
2) Play up your eyes and the detail in the dress by working some dark sparkle in a sophisticated way. You could create a black sparkly smoky eye with Chanel’s beautiful Illusion d’Ombre cream eyeshadow in Mirifique.
If that’s too dramatic apply the same product as an eyeliner to the top lashline OR line the top lashline again with a thicker line of the same black from the morning and then add a line of gold liner directly above it – I rate Eyeko’s skinny liquid liner in Rose Gold  and Barry M metallic eyeliner in ‘mle5 gold’ .

Kate Middleton looked lovely in this lace dress from Zara a couple of years ago.

Kate Middleton lace dress


This dress is available exclusively online here at F&F, £30.

How would you dress this up…or down?!

Every year it seems to be the last thing I think about. Even when I was younger, I remember going shopping for my ‘Christmas Day outfit’ yet I still forget about it. So this year, I’m going to get organised. My main criteria is sparkle, flexibility (for all that climbing and stepping over people who are sat on the floor and reaching up and over at the table) and just something a little bit different that I wouldn’t normally wear.

This year, I saw this picture (featured image above) and have wanted to find a way that I can adapt into something practical for my life. I hate using the words practical and comfortable, always seem to conjure up images of anoraks and walking boots but you get what I mean, right?

Here’s what I found…

Coast Tressi Full Skirt, Porcini / John Lewis / £47.20 (on Price Match this week!)

Christmas Day Dress Coast Skirt
Warehouse Crepe Insert Jumper, Cream / John Lewis / £32 (also on price match this week!)

Christmas Day Dress warehouse jumper

Whistles Amelia Silk Mix Sweater, Silver / John Lewis / £65

Christmas Day Whistles jumper

Sharon Mills 1950s Silver Marcasite Necklace / John Lewis / £475

Christmas Day necklace

Ok, so I won’t be popping out to buy this necklace anytime soon but it is lovely!

Started thinking about your Christmas Day outfit yet?

I am little bit on the unhealthy side of obsessed with Boden at the moment. They have totally transformed their brand and from nowhere they seem to have turned into my go-to online store for classic pieces with an up-to-date feel.

Their Mid-Season Sale has some great value pieces with up to 40% off. Here is what I have my eye on…

Boden Saint Germain CoatSaint Germain Coat, now £119.20

Boden Skater SkirtPonte Skater Skirt, now £34.30

Boden Collette dressCollette Dress, now £71.20

Boden Boho bootBoho Boot, now £87

Boden Elegant lace shirtElegant Lace Shirt, now £48.30

Boden Broderie TunicBroderie Ponte Tunic Dress, now £47.20

The Sale ends on Sunday…so be quick!

What’s your favourite?

Dress in featured image: Roll Collar dress, now £59.40 in burnt gold.


A Foundation Wardrobe…

Building a successful wardrobe starts with a great foundation, a solid core that you can build around. In these cooler months, I love the feel a soft tee under a cosy jumper or a soft, jersey dress with black opaques.

My wardrobe has to work on so many levels and although I rebel against anything ‘mumsy’, the fact is that sometimes you have to be practical.

I discovered Baukjen just after having my first daughter, as they are the sister company of the great maternity wear company, Isabella Oliver. Baukjen have some of the best key pieces no wardrobe should be without. Excellent quality, great colours and flattering shapes.

Baukjen Long-Sleeve T-shirt

The Essential Long-Sleeve Tee in Berry Melange, £39. This will work perfectly for layering with a leather jacket and scarf or neutral jumper.

Baukjen rouched jersey dress

Ruched Jersey Dress in Dark Grey Melange, £99. This would look great with black opaques and suede boots or add a chunky belt, scarf and biker boots.

Baukjen Pink Coco shirt

The Coco Shirt in Lipstick Pink, £99. Great colour pop to brighten up a dreary Winter day. Looks great dressed down like this or with tailored trousers for a more formal look.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

UPDATE 20/8/2013:

The Best Orange Dress…In Action.

What I forgot to mention is that this little treasure was found in Tesco!

Tesco shift dress

Worn with Christian Louboutin leopard heels, Tory Burch black leather clutch and Massimo Dutti black jacket.

As an Autumn Winter staple this dress will serve you well. The ‘go-to’ dress for work, dinner out or just on one of those ‘dressy’ days’. It will be great with black opaques and boots or with a trench for rainy days. With it’s classic silhouette coupled with the exposed zip, it’s quite unbelievable that it owns it’s £20 price tag.

I bought it just this week and had to share it. Reminds me of a certain VB….can’t wait to have an excuse to wear it.

It also comes in teal, plum and in black.

What do you think? Could it be the bargain of the season?

You can click here to buy this dress on-line.


In the current edition of Red Magazine, I read about Bea Johnson and her Zero Waste Life. It was so enlightening and just reading it gave me a sense of calm and tranquility. She owns just five items of clothing and five items of footwear. Perhaps she is at one end of the scale but it inspired me strip back my wardrobe and think about what my bare minimums would be (well, for the summer anyway!).

Over the past few years I have taken on a new philosophy when it comes to clothes. Buy fewer. Buy better. I can be quite ruthless when it comes to clear outs too, I will periodically go through my wardrobe and de-clutter. It’s a really refreshing thing to do. Reminds me what I have and makes shopping a lot more focussed.

This is my conclusion…

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1. Tailored shorts in a neutral shade. Easily worn with brights or white for a clean look. (French Connection)
2. Silk cami. I’ve gone for a bright shade here but navy would also be good for versatility. (French Connection)
3. Tan leather sandals. I bought these because they quite literally go with anything. I can dress them up or just throw them on with shorts. (Sam Edelman)
4. Scarf. I chose leopard because it’s great for lifting a plain outfit and looks lovely with brights and neutrals. (Warehouse)
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5. Floral dress. (Emily & Fin)
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6. Wedges and clutch. MUST have wedges. Summer must-have, wedges are so easy to wear and versatile. (Stuart Weitzman, Russell & Bromley). Anya Hindmarch clutch that, with no exaggeration, goes with EVERYTHING!

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7. Cropped jeans and pumps. This is my staple outfit for cooler days and a typical ‘school-run’ style. I think cropped jeans at the ankle are really flattering and I find I can throw on a t-shirt, cami or shirt and they always look great (Koral, from Mimi Noor). My well-loved and well-worn Superga pumps in white add a touch of preppy style.
So that’s me. What items could you strip back to?

Laura x