Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Style Inspiration to keep you on track...

Style Theory: When the sales start it is tempting to buy random items of clothing just because they are half price. However, if you stay focussed and keep your style in mind for the next year ahead you can tailor your sales shopping accordingly and buy some key classic or on trend items that will 'lift' your existing wardrobe, giving you new, current look for less...

So with this in mind here are my favourite streetstyle looks I will be using as my inspiration when I hit the sales later on today.....

Cropped Flare Jean

The cropped flare is 'a thing' for 2016, expect to see a lot more of this look. I am planning to chop the bottom off my J Brand Love Story jeans for this effect..I will let you know how I get on.


Pink still has a big place in my heart and I will be searching out muted pink tones to add colour to my wardrobe. I adore the satin dress above and have my American Vintage cardigan from Quattro Rish as a starting point.

Still without doubt my most comfortable trainers ever and they make every outfit look cool..go for the 'Neo white' colour when buying them as they are slightly vintage looking.

The Classic but Modern Dress Shape
Pin from ~ The Yellow Dress Blog

I adore Anna Mason designs, she has such an eye for classic but at the same time contemporary looks. Her dresses and tops are so feminine and flattering and are made bespoke for each customer with a huge range of fabrics and colours to choose from for each design. An absolute investment piece (they are definitely not cheap but if you do want to buy a forever dress this is one for you) and if you choose the right fabric you can wear these pieces from the height of summer with strappy sandals and in the depth of winter with tan leather boots and a wool coat. 

Mules are having a moment this year and these Gucci mules are leading the way. They look slightly weird but my love for comfort, practicality (well, kind of practical) makes these a winner for me. Love them worn dressed down with the muted colours above, so stylish, so cool, so 2016..

Another iconic shoe of 2015/16 no doubt the high street will be flooded with 'homages' to this design - normally Zara are quick off the mark and I will be on the lookout as I love this elegant shape and block heel but do not have the money to buy Chanel..the hunt is on. I will be wearing them with all black in the winter and pale ankle length blue jeans and frilled/pleated shirts in the summer.

Gorgeously Back to Basics..

Sometimes it is good to keep things simple, I love beautiful classic items, a soft, oversize grey scarf (love this one from Travelling Bazaar) A beautiful bag, a simple, navy cashmere jumper (&Other Stories have some gorgeous ones) Things like these additions to your wardrobe can elevate your look, making you look sophisticated without it looking fussy. 

For me my perfect wardrobe is all about balance, a few key investment pieces (bag, jumper, one piece jewellery) a few key, beautifully fitting basics (blue and black jeans, oversize scarf, camel/grey coat, cool pair of trainers) and some frivolous cheaper trend buys (colourful tops, a few pairs of crazy shoes, one slightly weird coat/jacket) et voila you have wardrobe happiness..it's easy!!

I hit the sales yesterday so will report back tomorrow on what I found, it was fairly manic so much busier than before Christmas but there were a few really fab bargains around.

Hope you are having a lovely Christmas and are managing to have a rest, ours has been fab, lots of time with the family, love spending lots of time with my sisters lots of laughter, drinking and food and more food! 

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xxxx

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Sparkles..

Style Theory: At Christmas, sequins become the norm, day or night I feel slightly underdressed without a touch of sparkle. I love just one embellished item, particularly a sequin jacket, dressed down with jeans and trainers, it makes you feel festive without looking over the top..here is my Christmas sparkle look alongside a few other favourite pieces I have seen..
Sequin Jacket:Kate Moss for Topshop (old season) lots of similar styles below
Top: Zara (old season) similar here
Jeans: Topshop Baxter £40
Ballet Shoes: Russell and Bromley £155
Earrings: Claudia Bradby Pearl and Diamond Cocktail Earrings £294
Watch: Storm 
This sequin cardigan is from Kate Moss' range at Topshop a couple of years ago, it comes out every Christmas and for any special occasions as it it so easy to wear and has the added bonus of covering my untoned arms..

It is all about keeping things underneath your sequin jacket simple, it makes dressing for Christmas and New Year easy and fuss free..

Photos via Pinterest

Here are my favourite sequin jackets available on the high street now, perfect for Christmas and New Year...
Topshop Sequin Boyfriend Jacket £80
A slouchy, oversized jacket that will look cool over skinny jeans, a grey T shirt and heels. Add a skinny scarf for a Kate Moss rock chic look..
Sparkly Sequin Bomber Jacket £75
Love this bomber style sequin jacket, it is so this season. The shape of the jacket dresses down the sequins making them entirely daytime appropriate. For a chic evening look add a black velvet top, skinny jeans and heels..
Jaded @Asos Sequin Sweater £80
Fabulously cool, daytime to evening sweater. Perfect for day with boyfriend jeans and trainers, in the evening add a pair of heels for an eye-catching look.
Sequin cape Miss Selfridge @John Lewis £65
This would look fab over a grey T shirt, skinny blue jeans and trainers or ballet pumps, let the cape do all the talking!
Phase Eight @John Lewis reduced from £130 to £89
Only a uk10 and uk14 left in this style on the JL website but I just adore the shape and the satin sleeves, a truly luxe piece that can dress up any outfit in an instant.
Armani @House of Fraser reduced from £520 to £208
Hurry hurry with this one, only a couple left of this stunning Chanel-esque jacket with sparkles through it and beautiful 3.4 length sleeves. I have completely fallen for this, so chic and elegant, I would 'channel' Princess Diana with this one wearing a grey fine knit sweater underneath and a pair of skinny pale blue, ankle length jeans and chanel-esque two tone ballet shoes. So so gorgeous!
Sequin Jacket with Thermal lining Hotsquash @ House Of Fraser £89
Again a fabulous little sequin jacket that can be thrown over jeans and a T-shirt to add a touch of sparkle. This jacket a thin thermal lining that is super soft and cosy, the perfect Christmas jacket.

It is all about keeping things underneath your sequin jacket simple, it makes dressing for Christmas and New Year easy and fuss free..

I hope you are all organised for Christmas (hopefully more organised than me - lots of last minute running around!) I wanted to wish you all a fabulous Christmas, I hope you have a really wonderful, restful? (if that is at all possible at Christmas) time and send you all lots of love. Thank you all so much for your support this year, I appreciate it so much that you take time to pop over and read my blog, I love sharing ideas with you all and love all the feedback.

I will be around on Instagram with lots of festive outfits and sales ideas over Christmas, come visit me over there. In 2016 I have lots of exciting things and a big change planned for the blog, I hope you will like it!!

Wishing you all a very very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Lots and lots of Love Frances xxxxx
Ph via Pinterest

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Little Red Bag...

Style Theory: The little red bag is the perfect accessory to instantly lift an outfit or add a new twist. It is eye catching and at the same time classic, wear with camel, navy, black or pink to add a little vibrancy to your look...

Bag - Village England Mini Cranleigh £125
Coat - Maje £284.70 (in sale)
Breton - Boden £25
Jeans - Topshop (old) similar here 
Shoes - M&S (old season) similar here
This Village England Mini Cranleigh bag is beautiful, made of full grain leather (my favourite), gorgeously soft but structured. The attention to detail and design is that of a far more expensive bag, it has the feel of something really very special to be treasured. I love the subtle Village England branding, the brass medal on the side of the bag, the flap over top with magnet fastening, less fiddly than buckles, it is deceptively spacious and the cross body strap makes it perfect for running around town.....all in all a gorgeous Christmas bag....

From winter to summer the red bag will work to add a pop of colour to your wardrobe..these are the looks inspiring me....

Images via Pinterest
I can see the bag working just as well with my white and black sundresses as with faux fur and jeans now, the possibilities are endless...

Have you got a bag on your Christmas list this year, what is your wish list? The Christmas panic is starting to set in, I think I have done about half my shopping, no Christmas cards have as yet been written and the kids break up tomorrow..feeling a little behind as usual. I hope you are a little more organised than me!! As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xxx

*Mini Cranleigh bag was gifted but I was under no obligation to write about it, it just is gorgeous so I wanted to let you know about it..

Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas Partywear....the easy way

Style Theory: I have an admission, I suffer from #FOBO (Fear Of Being Overdressed) I am always happier a little dressed down, I love a party outfit but I like to add a casual edge to balance out my look, think sequin trousers and trainers, glittery tops and jeans. I am uncomfortable with the all singing, all dancing party look, I adore it on other people but on me it feels a little feel too much. 

So when La Redoute asked me to create a few party looks, I was initially slightly worried but when I looked at their gorgeous range online and added my own spin, I was delighted with the results. Comfortable, flattering and suitable for a party..here are my La Redoute Party looks and the good news is most of it is up to 50% off at La Redoute now...

The Velvet Jacket

Jeans - Gap (old season)
The sparkly, fine knit top is incredibly flattering, it adds Christmas sparkle and a touch of style with the open back detail. So soft and comfortable to wear, I wore my normal bra underneath but you may need to wear a backless bra/mulitway bra. The knit is an amazing price at £21, I chose the silver coloured black top but both colours are stunning...

The Velvet jacket is my hero partywear item, absolutely adore this item, it is so on trend this year but also such a classic piece. It fits beautifully, I ordered the size 10 and it fits perfectly, the velvet feels luxurious alongside the gold button details for a chic finish. Again a really affordable price from £38.

The Leather Dress

Shoes - Nine West (old Season) similar here 
Scarf - Burberry (nearly vintage it is so old!)

This camel coat is a beautiful wool and cashmere mix, it looks and feels so expensive and hangs beautifully on. A classic shape so worth investing and looks effortlessly chic. Without a doubt the best affordable camel coat I have found this year, I will be investing in it. It comes up a little big, I am wearing a uk 8.

To add a little spice to your look, this 'soft as butter' leather dress the ultimate LBD, it fits like a glove creating a flattering silhouette, it really is beautiful on and the length is perfection, hugs your curves but skims over lumps. The coat is the perfect neutraliser to the leather dress, add a pair of leopard print heels and a little black understated bag for a easy, chic look.

The Easy Wear Dress

Leather Trousers - Quattro Rish 
Coat - M&S (old season)
Shoes - M&S as above

This dress is so easy to wear, throw over jeans, leather leggings or opaque tights, add a pair of black courts to lengthen legs (especially when wearing black opaques) and add a touch of clashing pink and you have a comfortable, cool, flattering Christmas party look. This is the perfect outfit if you, like me, are a little out of shape and have been dodging the gym and indulging in mince pies, it covers over everything and I love the extra support of leather leggings to hold it all in and slim down my look and it is only £21.

Velvet, Glitter, Tutus and Trainers

So not necessarily understated but how often do you get to wear a tutu?! I adore the La Redoute velvet jacket and sparkly top with this look and the trainers bring it back down to earth. All in all a pretty comfortable but quite show stopping look and one of my favourites.

La Redoute have an amazing sale on at the moment so many of the pieces I have featured are heavily discounted making them the perfect Christmas party treat. 

Do you have #FOBO , or do you like going all out for the partywear? I would love to see your #FOBO Christmas looks on Instagram, please share them with me with the hashtag #FOBO. 

All photos by Jon Bacon

Created in collaboration with La Redoute. All words, styling and creative direction my own.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Perfect Christmas Gifts for Her under £100

Style Theory: The Perfect gift, chic, elegant and something that little bit special.. I have searched the high street for what would be my perfect gifts..I hope you agree..
Warehouse Black Embroidered High Neck top now £30
I have this top, it is the perfect and flattering Victoriana top, it looks great with jeans or with cigarette trousers and heels, the perfect Christmas Day or Christmas evening drinks top..
Boden Relaxed Crew Neck £130 but 30% off until 8th Dec
I love a cashmere sweater, it oozes luxury and is so soft and comfortable to wear. I always size up at least one size for a slouchy look, they look fab with skinny jeans, wellies and an oversize scarf on a Boxing Day country walk. Boden have 30% off until tonight but keep checking as they seem to have these offers more and more frequently so worth holding off to buy with a discount.

Jack Wills Blanket Scarf £49.50
I spotted this today in Jack Wills and it is perfectly oversized but not so chunky so that you are unable to wrap it around your neck. I love the tartan, would look fab with the cashmere sweater above, perfectly chic and cool.

Olivia Burton @John Lewis £80
I adore the soft pink and beautiful gold tones of this watch, it is simple, chic and would be a super special present.
American Vintage Cardigan £110 Quattro Rish
I am slightly obsessed with this cardigan ( I know it is £10 over £100 but I had to include it) It is on my Christmas list and is so comfy, cosy, flattering and a great length. I love it with a huge grey scarf (love this one from Travelling Bazaar £40) leather leggings and boots.. QuattroRish will send out to you if you give them a call on 01737 235468

River Island Grey Leather Pom Pom Gloves £25
Super cute, leather gloves with a gorgeous pom pom detail, they come in a huge range of colours from all black to animal print, I think any girl would be delighted with these.
Aurora London Willow Bag £64.50
This is a beautiful, compact bag that transforms from a cross body bag to a cool clutch. It is gorgeous soft, buttery leather in a deep wine colour with the option to engrave initials on the front in gold for that personal touch.

Gold Stan Smith Trainers £69.99 - FootLocker
Because is there anything better than a pair of Stan Smiths and now in Gold?! J'adore...completely and utterly. These would see you perfectly through the year, in the summer with tanned ankles, skinny jeans a white shirt, now with black skinny jeans and black pop neck..so so cool.

Missoma Gold Mini Fang Necklace £95
The Missoma range of fine gold jewellery is stunning this season, it has the perfect pieces to layer up. This necklaces sits high on your neck and would look equally stunning in the summer as with a crew neck sweater in the winter.
Missoma 18ct rose Gold Star £89
Love this one too..beautifully delicate, the star sits perfectly without twisting around.
AnnaLou Of London Alphabet Necklace £67.50
This is a beautiful personal present to give a loved one. I have the letter 'J' for my children (who luckily have the same initials!) My Nana had a J too and I always used to love it when I was little so this is really a special item of jewellery I will keep forever. These really thoughtful, keepsake gifts do not have to cost a fortune to be something super special. Me and my sisters normally all club together to get each other presents so we can buy something a little more substantial but still make sure we keep within an affordable budget.
Hush Superstar Sleep Gift Set £55
Possibly the best gift idea I have seen this year, you choose a set of (gorgeous) Hush PJs, a book from a selection and a chocolate bar for a truly luxurious and perfect gift. Love, love this idea, there is a movie gift set available too. In fact, check out all of Hush's gift sets - loving the Cashmere Gift Set £130 and Winter Star Gift Set £85 too.

Miller Harris La Pluie Perfume @Very £95
My favourite perfume, it is quite floral (some would say a little Granny-ish) but I just adore it, my husband bought it for me last Christmas, it smells divine, on my list again this year.

Bloom and Wild Six Month Letterbox Flower Subscription £100
Fresh flowers dropped through your letterbox once a month for six months..sounds like a pretty perfect present to me. They can arrange lily free bouquets (I am not a fan and now we have a kitten they are a no go anyway - you just have to specify at the online checkout) 

Vogue Magazine Yearly Subscription via WHSmiths £29.90
Vogue magazine to be is one of those indulgent magazines that I wouldnt buy myself (it adds a fair amount to the weekly food shop!) so as a gift it is perfect..
 Now I am officially in Christmas mode I could go one forever and no doubt will have a few more ideas coming your way on the blog (beauty/home gifts) ..next to look at the Perfect Gifts for Him...always a little tricky?!

Would love to hear your ideas, what is on your Christmas list? What have you bought the ladies in your life? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xxx