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Friday, 29 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Your favourite post of all time

 
It was so interesting to see that your favourite post of all time was a 'How to pack the perfect suitcase' one - not surprising, I have to add, as packing the just-right amount of things, making sure you wear everything you bring with you and getting the balance right of wearable and aspirational is a bit of an art form. I've always loved packing - I love thinking about what look I'm going to achieve on my getaway, buying a few new things weeks ahead of it and taking the time to lay everything out on my bed and carefully placing everything into my suitcase.

Since then I've done lots more packing posts, more specifically about traveling and packing with kids and weekend getaways, some of which are listed below:


Last summer we dedicated an entire The ICONS Update to the packing-theme when I asked our photographer at Wardrobe ICONS to spend the afternoon with me as I prepared to pack for my summer holiday in Italy (we weren't faking it - it was all real time!). You can see that post here:

But this one, was your all-time favourite post on WIT of all time:

(And here's a little anecdote... on that holiday, my husband asked me to marry him!)


31st May 2010 "WIT-ty-summer-holiday-packing"

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: The WIT wall


I remember someone asking me about the "WIT wall" one day and it took me a while to understand what they were talking about - what "WIT wall"?! Oooh I see!!! The brick wall I take my photo in front of every day!! It's funny because although completely unintentionally, "the wall" has become a bit of a WIT trademark, but it was never meant to be a style choice or with any particular significance - sorry!


If you think about it, it's quite an ugly wall, it just so happens that North London is full of them and more so it's a plain background that doesn't change according to seasons, where I could just stand in front of and let the clothes do the talking.


It also helps that this particular one in the last three years is just outside my doorstep, so my husband could take a quick snap on the way to work. There have been many WIT walls throughout the years - in the early WIT days it was by a wall in the park I had to cross every morning on my way to work, then when I got married and we moved to our first flat it was just outside the overground, and finally  when Greta arrived it was a more handy spot outside my house. She loves standing in front of it and giving me a bit of a pose!

Greta giving me her best WIT pose ;-)
So in the years I guess I've become fond of the brick background and have pretty much stuck to that! Sadly however, there's not a brick wall in sight in the new area I'm moving to over the summer... But here is the last one I took last night before date night wearing my new ASOS dress and tasseled clutch from last year with my beloved Chloe fringed sandals. So I guess it's goodbye WIT wall!

ASOS dress and clutch bag, Chloe shoes, J.Crew earrings

Monday, 25 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Wardrobe Oganisation rules I live by


When I was thinking about the posts I should leave you with before going on maternity leave, I thought a classic wardrobe-organisation one should definitely be included - after all, us WIT girls love a good wardrobe! Luckily last summer, once I finished my new fitted wardrobes, we did a shoot for Wardrobe ICONS that looked at all the aspects and rules I live by to have the perfectly organised wardrobe. Here are some of my top tips - if you would like to see the full feature head to The ICONS Update here to also shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.


1) TO SEE IS TO WEAR

My wardrobes are built behind closed doors, but once I open them everything is organised by section and all accessories have a label so that I know wha't inside shoe boxes and dust bags. To see really is to wear more - make sure that however you decide to organise your wardrobe, everything is in plain sight so you don't forget what you own.



2) CHOOSE THE RIGHT HANGERS

Not all your items of clothing need the same type of hanger, so don't waist precious space with the wrong type. I use 4 different styles: clip on for skirts, thin velvet-effect non slip ones for blouses, men's fold ones for trousers and shoulder padded ones for coats.



3) KEEP YOUR SHOES SEPARATE

Shoes can stink, you walk in them on pavement and they are generally non hygienic, so try not to store them together with your clothes. I have a separate wardrobe for my high heels (that live in boxes) and pull out drawers for my flats. Find a place in your wardrobe/house that doesn't see them living with your fabrics and knitwear that can absorb odors and get stained.



4) PROTECT

Protect your wardrobe from moths with all your powers - I'm obsessed with the concept and place moth repellent sheets in-between all my jumpers and hang moth killer in each one of my wardrobes (even the ones that have no wool - you never know). At the end of the season I wash all my knitwear and take all my coats to the dry cleaners; yes at a price, but better that than a munched up Max Mara camel coat is how I see it!.

 

5) DE-CLUTTER AND STORE AWAY

At the beginning and at the end of the season try to get rid of at least five things - it will make you feel better about your wardrobe and also create space for new buys. Put away clothes that are not season-appropriate, it will be a joy to rediscover them all a few month later.



6) GO BEYOND CLOTHES

Be organised about all items that live in and around your wardrobes that serve to create the perfect outfit. Think about your belts, sunglasses and jewellery too. Once again, it's all about having them in one place so you don't waist time looking for this and that and then organising them appropriately.



Read all my tips and see the full feature of my 'Perfect Wardrobe' shoot in The ICONS Update here + shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.

The ICONS Update

Friday, 22 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: WIT mama Friday Special - your essential reading

Photo by Julie Adams from my feature with The Grace Tales
The time has almost come to say goodbye for a few months, so to celebrate these last few weeks together I've come up with a few posts looking back at WIT and some of your favourite content. Second post of this series is a WIT mama Friday special, from the Friday mum-related posts that I have been regularly writing since becoming a mother to Greta in 2012, and more specifically the 8 posts you liked the most. Here we go..


WIT mama Friday essential reading


Tips from the top on flying with kids





To see more of my WIT mama Friday posts, click on the WIT Regulars tab top left of the home page and choose WIT mama Friday

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: WIT'S TOP 10 LOOKS OF 2015/2016 (as liked by you)


The time has come to go on maternity leave and put my feet up for a few weeks before my second baby arrives. To celebrate these last two weeks together I've come up with a few posts looking back at WIT and some of your favourite content. First up is "WIT'S TOP 10 LOOKS OF 2015/2016 (as liked by you)". I recently downloaded an App on my iPhone that allows me to see which posts are most popular on Instagram, and this is the Top 10 chart of your all time favourite looks of the past twelve months. 

It was so interesting to see, because as I was going through them I noticed that the things you love, are the ones I love too: a statement skirt, fab accessories and a glitter shoe, but also all of those wardrobe staples like a stripe top, a grey sweater and a white shirt - those key staples that made me want to start the concept of Wardrobe ICONS as an extension to WIT. So whilst I'm gone, and if you think you might miss me a little (I'm sure I will miss you!), don't worry because Wardrobe ICONS and The ICONS Update will continue to provide you with a little form WIT fix on a weekly basis.

So, without further a due... here are the looks you liked the most:

 NUMBER 10
The statement skirt 
 
I remember this day - I was rushing around and had a work dinner with Kate Spade in the evening and I opted for a fun skirt and plain top. I've always loved statement skirts - I love their versatility, the fact that you can dress them up and down and that you can choose from so many different styles. I have everything from dramatic neon pink maxi skirts to sequin ones and raffia fringed pencil skirts and never tire of them. They have become such a thing, that Net-a-Porter now has a whole section just dedicated to Statement Skirts (that I love!).

Whistles skirt and top, J.Crew shoes, Mango bag
 NUMBER 9
The grey sweater 

A grey sweater is a WIT must-buy, I couldn't live without mine. Despite having a shelf packed with them I wear each one of them on a regularly basis. Jenna Lyons gave me a little tip that has served me so well - when you find something you love buy it in different sizes, maybe one up or down, that way you can style it differently depending on the fit and look you are trying to achieve. I have fitted ones I like to wear with baggier bottoms and vice versa, but also different necklines and thicknesses for different seasons. My favourite grey sweater will always be a Tippi sweater from J.Crew though...

Gap jumpers, Lorenzo Serafini for Philosophy skirt, Jimmy Choo shoes
 NUMBER 8
The bold colour move 

Despite loving a basic and having started a business revolving around it, I couldn't live without a Transformer in my wardrobe. Be it a statement accessory, a fun clutch or a bright pink jumpsuits, I love fashion too much not to be tempted by seasonal trends and making a few wild buys. This Topshop Made in Britain blindingly bright pink jumpsuit was one of those buys and I absolutely love it! I wore it on the cover of The ICONS Update and somehow I think it really sums me up: 'classic, but with a twist!". 

Topshop jumpsuit, Accessorize clutch, Gianvito Rossi sandals
 NUMBER 7
The stripe T-shirt
 
I'm so glad one of my maternity looks made it into your Top 10, and even more glad to see that involves a stripe top. This is another WIT favourite and something I often go-to when I don't know what to wear. I would actually go as far as calling it a wardrobe saviour. My favourite is the Saint James® for J.Crew slouchy T-shirt - I love the long sleeves and slouchy fit. One heads up, get the white and navy (not the ecru). 

J.Crew T-shirt, Stella McCartney cape, Topshop maternity jeans Chanel shoes and bags
 NUMBER 6
The jumpsuit 
 
You obviously love a jumpsuit! After the success of the pink one, I bought the same exact style but in a more wearable colour and wore it so much, both day and evening with a smart clutch and heels - this was me wearing it to work. There is something so incredibly comfortable about a jumpsuit and I think it adapts well to any age. I prefer something with a sleeve and would always go a size up to get that effortless fit.

Topshop jumpsuit, KG shoes, Antonello bag
 NUMBER 5
The leather skirt 

I think what you probably loved about this look was the thigh high boots, but what I picked up on in terms of wardrobe staples is the leather skirt, or leather bottom. I have everything from culottes, trousers, leggings to three different style skirts (full, mini and pencil) and wear them all the time. The great thing about leather is that you buy it once (clean lines and of good quality) and never ever have to buy it again. So think well and hard before purchasing a style, as real leather tends to be expensive and you want to opt for something that will last a really long time in your wardrobe. Whistles always has a good leather staple - and so do we in our ICONS section.

Isabel Marant Etoile jumper and boots, Whistles leather skirt, Bally bag
 NUMBER 4
The trench

At number 4 is the trench. How could it not be? Easily also at number 4 in my own hit parade of wardrobe must-haves, the trench coat is an item every woman in her late twenties early thirties should save to buy and will wear for the rest of her life. Fact. So if you don;t have one yet, you should! It's the perfect in-between season jacket, so chic, so timeless and will never ever fail to make you feel stylish and put together even on the days where you are wearing the equivalent of your pajama underneath. The one and only to buy - Burberry!

Burberry trench, J.Crew top, Day Birger jeans, Miu Miu shoes
 NUMBER 3
The boho dress 
 
I love a little boho touch here and there and I remember falling in love with this Monsoon dress which I wore on a night out to celebrate my wedding anniversary. I like to do boho the dressed-up way, so would always pair my blouses with a designer bag or like in this case, a dress with fringed sandals and super slick clutch (the shoes were a fab Chloe buy and the clutch a another great wardrobe investment from Jil Sander). My rule is not to do hippy, I like a slick final effect. I'm glad it's a high-street look that made it at number three!

Monsoon dress, Jil Sander clutch, Chloe shoes
 NUMBER 2
The white shirt  

At number two is the white shirt, obviously! Crisp, white, cotton the white shirt is most definitely an item that every woman should own. Find the style that works for you be it fitted, loose or boyfriend style and wear it with everything from your jeans, layered under jumpers, tucked into a pretty skirt and even as a beach cover up! My ultimate favourite styles of all time are the MiH Oversize Shirt (great with leggings and at the beach) and the Equipment Signature washed-silk shirt (perfect for smartening up just about anything and such a universally fabulous fit).

Gant shirt, MiH jeans, Valentino bag, Chanel shoes
 NUMBER 1
The designer coat 
Ah! To think of the stick I got for this coat on Instagram ;-)
Well, it goes to show that a quality designer coat is at the top of your list too. Coats (and tailoring in general) is where to spend your money. You will never truly love a cheap coat, it can be a seasonal indulgence, but building a long lasting, quality winter coats closet has always been one of my absolute rules. This was the year I invested in a cape - it was something missing entirely from my wardrobe and I have, somewhat to my surprise, worn so much. I was pregnant and couldn't say at the time of this pic, so this coat served as a perfect maternity coat but it also works equally well in the day and as a smart evening coat.

Stella McCartney cape, J.Crew top and shoes, Gap jeans
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