Minimal packing

Like any good blogger, I couldn’t go away and not share the contents of my suitcase. So although the blogosphere is aflood with packing tips and travel essentials, here’s mine to add to the pile…

This holiday is completely different. There will be no requirement to dress up, no need for posing poolside attire and certainly no need for a breakfast dress (see the Online Stylist‘s brilliant definition of a breakfast dress!). So the words simplicity and minimal spring to mind.

Having said I was going to give the monochrome packing regime a go I came unstuck when I realised I don’t actually have much black but what I do have in abundance is navy, white and grey.

So the theory is that you only pack items that can co-ordinate together. If it’s doesn’t go, it doesn’t go in. Brilliant. Packing has never been so easy and blissful.

My Pollyanna packing My Pollyanna packing

My Pollyanna packingThere is of-course the exception, so I’ve popped in my coral beach cover up that I bought in Italy last year. But the basis of my suitcase has been my 7 For All Mankind denim cut-offs (an old pair of bootcut jeans I butchered last month). White and grey tops – there’s a white shirt, tee and vest together with a denim shirt for cooler days and my Oui Mon Cheri sweater for those sea breezes. I’ve also thrown in a black jersey maxi dress just in case.

House of Havisham

For swimwear, I’ve packed my one-piece swimsuit from Topshop and this nautical bikini from Cos that I bought a few months ago (it’s now in the sale and the top is reduced to £5!).

Keeping my suitcase lavender fresh is this perfect suitcase pillow handmade by my lovely friend Penny with lavender from her garden. She has opened a new company, House of Havisham where she designs and hand makes beautiful contemporary crafts – she is also an expert at sourcing unique vintage finds so look out for her website coming soon.

In the meantime you can follow her lovely Instagram feed now and she’s on Twitter too.

So that’s it, just time for a few bubbles tonight with friends and we’re off.

L x

NYE 2013

I’ll be having a pretty low key New Year (as most have been since children!) but if I was to do something, I’d like it to be spectacular!

Sometimes I find myself escaping into a most glamorous, graceful world on Pinterest pinning some of the most exquisite gowns you can imagine. I’ve been wanting to blog something like this for a long time and it seems like New Year is a perfect excuse to get glammed up so I’ve used some of my favourite ‘pins’ and found some great high street and designer alternatives.

1. The Sheer Black Gown

Image from Christian Dior
Dior black sheer dress

 Black sheer dress from Adrianna Papell, The Dressing Room, £255

Black sheer dress The Dressing Room

2. The Nude lace dress

Image from, McQueen

McQueen nude dress

Felicia nude lace dress from Darling, £79

Nude lace Darling

3. The Red gown

Image from

Red strappy dress

Red dress Alice by Temperley, £297 (was £425).

Red gown My Wardrobe

4. The Monochrome

Image from

Reese Witherspoon monochrome

Monochrome dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim, £805.

Monochrome gown My Wardrobe

5. Long sleeve navy lace

Image from

Minka Kelly blue lace dress

Catherine Deane, £1040.

Navy lace gown My Wardrobe

Have you got your NYE outfit ready?

Red trousers are a great way to add a splash of colour to your wardrobe. Warm, rich reds are a classic that are great for this time of year and can easily be dressed up or down (and I do love a bit of versatility!). The  Victoria Beckham Denim, Burnt Sienna Slim Chino Trouser from the mid-season sale are a fantastic tailored cut with great shape. They are now £180 reduced from £240. I have these in Navy and the quality is faultless. They’re smart and formal but look great with a chunky knit and flats.

VB red trousers with denim & navy

A denim shirt is an easy tool to dress down any outfit, it contrasts the formality of these trousers perfectly. I would also keep it neutral with a soft scarf and navy flats.
VB red trousers with black, leopard & gold

For drinks with friends or a special evening out, I would team them with a classic black pussy-bow blouse and leopard heels. It’s not often I accessorise, but I love the Anton Heunis collection and these earrings are perfect for edgy elegance. The gold clutch (from Accessorize) adds a touch of sparkle.VB red trousers with knitwearChunky knitwear or a classic cashmere turtle neck exudes effortless style and gives a soft, cosy look. Worn with simple flats and an oversize tote to complete the outfit.

How would you wear your red trousers?

One item that has been a firm member of my wardrobe in the past few years as been the humble denim shirt. Super easy to wear and for me, I like the way it mixes up my wardrobe. I haven’t been brave enough to venture into ‘double denim’ (yet…) so it will always mean making a conscious change into coloured jeans or chinos. It will also bode well through the upcoming seasonal change, so here is my pick of some of the best…

Denim shirt edit

1. Oasis £44 / 2. Topshop £44 / 3. H&M £20 / 4. Current Elliott £130 / 5. J. Crew £63

There is one little drawback….sometimes I can feel a little “scruffy”. But, if carefully chosen, a fitted denim shirt paired with pointed flats and navy jeans can look fab. I’d probably wear this with a structured handbag too, to contradict the shirt.

Denim shirt and pointy flats
How will you be wearing your denim shirt this season?

Embracing my new style rules, I was going to venture out of my navy and greige comfort zone and take on ‘summer brights’. As I live in skinny jeans, it seemed only right that I should start there.

[quote]”Buy the best you can afford and you’ll only buy once“[/quote]

My philosophy with jeans is, “Buy the best you can afford and you’ll only buy once“. I’m a big believer in having fewer, good quality items that wear and wash well that you will value more. So, with trepidation, I go forth on the hunt for my bright jeans. I head straight to Mimi Noor, my favourite denim boutique in Bath (yes I travel that far!) and dive on in….

Immediately, I am united with the jbrand 811, mid-rise skinny in Kumquat. A soft, coral colour that I knew would work well with neutrals and block colours. Sold.

[frame_center src=”” href=””]Floral pumps: French Sole by Jane Winkworth[/frame_center]I wear them at every opportunity, they’re great dressed up for a summer party or with my beloved navy and pumps for everyday casual.[frame_center src=”” href=””]Bag: Anya Hindmarch. Probably the most universal bag I own. Goes with everything! Shoes: Jimmy Choo. Classic neutral wedge bought on sale 3 years ago. These come out time after time due to their versatility. I’d always rather have one ‘special’ pair that I treasure.[/frame_center]

I didn’t think I could do it, but I’ve proved myself wrong and they seem to have created somewhat (or should I say kumquat??! – sorry that’s terrible!) of an addiction to brights. So have the confidence and just GO BRIGHT!

Laura x