Nothing says simplicity like black

With only a few days until we head off on holiday, packing is well and truly under way. Well, at least the suitcases are down from the loft! Taking expert packing tips from one of my favourite bloggers, Laura Fantacci I’ve decided to slim down the contents of my suitcase and keep to a monochrome theme. But for a long time black has been the least favoured colour in my wardrobe, it just doesn’t suit me. But with a little colour from the sun on my skin and a very lonely looking black jersey dress in my wardrobe, last weekend I ventured out my comfort zone and did it. I wore black and actually LOVED it.

Trying out new things can make you feel adventurous, like lighting up a little sparkle of opportunity. Though my main thought on this occasion was…. “What have I been missing out on?” And I never like to miss out.

If I am to continue my new found fondness for black then my buying strategy will still remain the same; considered and cautious. Gone are the days of impulsive buys (yes I can hear those sniggers coming from those that have been privy to my buying habits in the past but every purchase I make is highly investigated and deeply considered I can assure you!) I need to know that what I buy is going to go the distance both in style and in quality. Obviously a few things will slip through the net but then it would be boring not to have any spontaneity wouldn’t it?!

Inspired by it’s simplicity and effectiveness, I’ve put together a few of my favourite black pieces just right for holiday…

Topshop Embroidered strappy jumpsuit

the embroidered jumpsuit from Topshop

Accessorize Lenia cutwork shirt

the beach cover up from Accessorize

J.Crew grid dot maxi dress

the maxi dress from J.Crew

Reiss Bryana Black skirt

ok, not strictly black but lovely all the same…the monochrome stripy skirt from Reiss

Hush Homewear Maxi tube skirt

and finally, the simplest of them all the black maxi tube skirt from Hush. Timeless.

 What I love about the simplicity of black is that you can make a very quiet statement by wearing it cleverly and not as an after thought. Subtle details like eyelets and embroidery is all you need.

 Anyone else new to black?

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Oui Mon Cheri

Here I am on Saturday about to head off to the Lolly & Boo lampshade making course. The fact I’m wearing sunglasses is more to do with hiding my crafty nerves – you may know that crafts are not my forte – than keeping the sun out my eyes.

I’m living in this slogan jumper from J.Crew at the moment, to the point where I have to stop myself wearing for another day. One of the best buys ever. The fact that I’ve also seen Taylor Sterling, founder of the Glitter Guide sporting it, as well as Kat from Does my bum look 40 helps with the endorsement too!

I bought mine at the WIT blog for J.Crew event last month but grab it now, it’s on sale! L x

ps. turns out I’m not so bad…

lampshade instructions Lampshade

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WITblog & Me

Last week I had the pleasure of accepting a place at the Build Your Wardrobe J.Crew Laura Fantacci evening in London. For those who don’t know, Laura is the Fashion & Shopping Editor at Red Magazine and writes the blog, Wearing it Today – a daily insight into a stylist’s wardrobe. Laura oozes effortless Italian style and the evening was a collaboration between her and one of my favourite stores, J.Crew.

After hurriedly collecting my girls from school and leaving them with my mum for the evening, I whizz up the M3 and arrive at the Draycott Avenue store a little jaded and very creased. But there was shopping to be done and friends to meet so I quickly switch into mode.

Laura Turner J.Crew event

 

The Draycott Avenue store is smaller than the flagship Regent Street store but perfect for a more intimate event like this. I was greeted with a very welcome and refreshing homemade lemonade and made my way through the store to meet my friend Jennie – always so lovely to see a friendly, familiar face at these kind of things.

The store was heaving and buzzing with helpful J.Crew staff and fashion bloggers and enthusiasts. I soon clock the chic Laura who was wearing the gorgeous Collection eyelet jumpsuit and Sophia Webster heels (not available yet).

J.Crew staff and Laura Fantacci

Image via Wearing it Today blog by Laura Fantacci

Jennie and I made our way through the whole store fondling everything from the classic breton tee and cashmere sweaters to romantic lace tops and neoprene skirts. And how lovely it was to bump into a Twitter friend, Sophie Osborne. Just as lovely in ‘real life’ as on Twitter.

J.Crew Draycott Avenue

Laura Fantacci J.Crew

As the crowd disperses a little we spend a some time in the very (extremely) popular shoe section having a good look at the bejewelled sandals and Sophia Webster heels. Unfortunately my budget was not going to allow for a pair that evening…

I was definitely in a buying mood though but was conscious that I didn’t want to be frivolous. If I was going to buy something, as always I had to make sure it was going to work hard in my wardrobe. That’s when I clapped eyes on the Oui Mon Cheri sweater. Just to be clear, I am very far from a slogan t-shirt kind of girl but there was something about this that was very me. The fabric was so soft and comforting that I knew it would be easily thrown on for the school run on a chilly morning. And wouldn’t you know, the very next morning had a slight chill in the air!

Oui Mon Cheri sweater

The evening was great fun and full of ideas to fill my wardrobe for the Summer months and maybe even a holiday (slight bone of contention in our house at the moment with husband refusing to commit!) but maybe it’s time to start drafting a wish list. Now there’s an idea…

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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.
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Invest or Dabble:Statement Jewels

I’ve mentioned statement jewels a few times but if truth be told I haven’t actually had the guts to try them to their full potential. I have dabbled with this one that was pictured in the Essentials magazine page that I’ve had for a few years by Nicole Richie’s brand, House of Harlow. It’s quite delicate and in reality not much of a statement.

I have admired the J.Crew jewels from afar but haven’t been able to commit. For me, they’re priced for an investment. I need security first that I’m going to get my money’s worth so…I trawled the high street and found this one from H&M. Sadly it’s not available online but Accessorize also had some great ones.

H&M necklace

I wore it yesterday over a cashmere jumper and had a lovely compliment from a lady. Obviously I couldn’t resist telling her is was £7.99 from H&M *cue sharp intake of breath*. Smug was I.

To be honest, I feel so happy with this one that I probably won’t bother paying out. The quality is surprisingly good and it’s really heavy which is always a good test.

Are you an investor or a dabbler?

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Donna Ida Pebble Beach jeans

You know when you have nothing in the social calendar for months, then everything happens at the same time? Well, yeah that’s been happening to me lately. A four year old’s birthday and the obligatory party, a night away sans the children, trip to London and girlie spa time with cocktails.  But I’m not complaining, it’s all fun and I’m making the most of it now as the rest of the calendar is looking pretty sparse.

It has also meant that I’ve got to peruse the lesser explored corners of my wardrobe and dig out some of my “going out” clothes.  After a little trying on session for last weekend’s cocktails with the girls I settle on this.

For me the jeans are the highlight of this outfit. They’re the gorgeous Mabel jeans in Pebble Beach by I am the Ida Girl, courtesy of Donna Ida Denim. (I am totally obsessed with all things Ida so to have these jeans is up there with one of the highlights of my blogging journey so far).

What do you think?

Jeans, Mabel in Pebble Beach by I am the Ida Girl at Donna Ida / Drape top, Helmut Lang (old, similar here) / Metallic heels, J.Crew (similar here) / Necklace, H&M / Wristlet, Michael Kors 

Donna Ida Mabel jeans

Donna Ida Pebble Beach jeans

Donna Ida Pebble Beach jeans

Donna Ida Pebble Beach jeans

How busy is your social calendar looking?!

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Hush Homewear Loungewear

The prospect of having my loungewear on “public” display this week in the chalet has made me think that I probably need a bit of an upgrade (any excuse!). From the luxe Italian cashmere at J.Crew to budget friendly jersey designed by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks & Spencer there is some great choice around. Whether lounging around a chalet or cosying up at home, here’s some warm and cosy loungewear to get you going…ahhh….

Loungewear

1. Bird pyjama bottoms, Joules, £29.95

2. Harewood lounge pants, Jack Wills, £29

3. Oversized cashmere jumper, Hush Homewear, £160

4. Rosie for Autograph luxurious t-shirt, Marks & Spencer, £14

5. Rosie for Autograph luxurious jersey pyjama bottoms, Marks & Spencer, £19.50

6. Collection Cashmere waffle leggings, J.Crew, £248

7. Floral onesie, Joules, £29.95

8. Poodle pyjamas, Anthropologie, £68
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What’s your loungewear style?
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Statement jewels

[quote]Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove the last accessory you put on. Coco Chanel.[/quote]

I love sparkle and I love a pop of bling especially at this time of the year. So keeping with the program this week, this post is all about accessorising. It is the party season after all. For me, less is more. Instead of piling it on I’d always go for one striking piece that stands out on a simple outfit. Carefully selected and placed jewellery can look well thought through and put together. Statement jewels are a big trend and I think worn right can look stunning.

As with most of my wardrobe, I always go for something that will last. Not only in it’s durability but it’s style too. Something that will transform many outfits without being restricted by it’s colour or outlandish design. One trend I’m loving at the moment is blinging-up an ordinary, everyday outfit with a statement necklace. The best place I’ve seen this is J.Crew (yawn, yes I know!). A statement necklace over a denim shirt or knitwear looks amazing for day or night.

Here’s Polly’s Picks of some great statement pieces…
Statement jewels

1. Anton Heunis, My Wardrobe, £200 / 2. Accessorize, £14 / 3. John Lewis, £22 / 4. J.Crew, £135 / 5. JCrew, £115 / 6. Accessorize, £25 / 7. Club Monaco from Shopbob, £105 / 8. Tiffany & Co., £1040

But my top pick is the beautiful Asteroid necklace from Wonsuponatime.

Asteroid necklace

 

Are you wearing statement jewels?
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I had waited for years but this year I bought one of my all time favourite investment pieces – the Burberry trench coat. JT and I took a special trip to the new Regent Street store on a cold and rainy (well it had to be really didn’t it?!) January day and spent a while gawping and gasping at the array of gorgeous Burberry-ness that we were surrounded by. Next time you’re in London, head there. The store itself is incredible.

Burberry Regent Street

As soon as there is a dark cloud in the sky, my trench comes out. It’s an amazingly versatile coat. Something that I look for in an investment is that it has to work on many levels, be classic and be a great fit – the trench ticks all those boxes and more. For one more, it’s practical!

It’s great dressed up or down. Here are a couple of ways that I style mine.

Style Me - the trench, classic
Trench £219 Aigle / Belt £175 Mulberry / Shirt £93 Thomas Mason for JCrew / Fedora £55 Whistles / Boots £145 Steve Madden at John Lewis / Jeans £185 jbrand 811 skinnies Donna Ida

This outfit (above) will see you through so many situations. School run, coffee with friends, shopping…endless!Dress trench

Trench as above / Stripey dress £60 Oasis / Red dress £335 DVF Harrods / Heels £525 Christian Louboutin Net-a-Porter / Bag £350 Aspinal of London John Lewis
How you would you style a trench?

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