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Monday, 30 June 2014

How to wear crochet the un-girlie way

J.Crew dress, Aquazzura shoes, Chanel bag
Crochet can some times look a little bit too girlie on me, so I always make a point of wearing it with something that "cools-it-up" a tad: I like to wear dresses a bit on the short side and pair them with a black shoe and leather accessories; I pair separates with ripped or frayed denim, a leather or denim jacket whilst piling on some jewellery to give the whole look a bit of an edge. 

Crochet tops and dresses can also easily look cheap (especially if they are), so it's really important to choose well: opt for bright whites where you can (when it's hand made it's often made of pure white cotton), choose thicker threads and natural fabrics as they look more expensive. A bit like with broderie dress your crochet items down rather than up to get that Isabel Marant (above) effortless look.

  1. ASOS Premium Crochet Sundress £75.00 I am a little bit in LOVE with this dress 
  2. Étoile Isabel Marant Caty embroidered crochet-cotton mini dress Was £350 Now £210 40% OFF
  3. Tessa Crochet Dress by Goldie £38.00
  4. Accessorize Scallop Lace Shorts £35.00
  5. Lisa Maree The Shining Light crocheted cotton-blend bikini Was £140 Now £98 30% OFF
  6.  Warehouse smock top £15.00
  7. Crochet Detail Suntop £38.00
  8. Top Shop Floral Crochet Top £28.00
Finally one last heads up: crochet is really beautiful (and precious) when it's hand made, so take advantage of the sales to invest in something that you will treasure forever. Both Net-a-porter and Matches have some a great selection in store now - just click on the links.

Friday, 27 June 2014

WIT mama Friday: Work/Life balance

On duty/Off duty look
So much has been said about trying to achieve work/life balance that I want to start by saying that I know I can't bring much more to the table but my own experience. It may be because after having children this concept becomes much more relevant in a women’s life, but with the news of me leaving Red now official, I wanted to dedicate this last WIT mama Friday to my attempt to find a balance between being a satisfied working mum and a committed mother. 

At the shows in London
Going back to work in September after one years maternity leave was, to my surprise, not a big deal for me: of course I was going to miss Greta but I kind of longed being back at my desk, I missed my fabulous job at a glossy magazine, I loved getting dressed up in the morning with a purpose and most of all, I missed grownups company!

Back at my desk and one of my first pages in Red this year
Unexpectedly, as months went by and Greta got older, this slowly but steadily changed to the point where one day I realised that seeing her one hour in the morning and little more than this in the evenings was quite simply, not enough. 

On the set of a Red shoot this year
I started WIT as a side project to my day job and for a long time this worked just fine; I could be a shopping editor during the day and a blogger at nights and weekends, guilt-free. But since going back to work full time and with a small child this has become increasingly difficult (forget trying to be a decent wife, friend and family member!). My evenings, weekends and holidays often at a laptop were not acceptable any longer and I gradually started longing for a clearer on-duty/off-duty routine.

Working on WIT at the week end
What if I could find a way to have more flexible working hours, ones that would allow me to spend more time with Greta?  Was there something I could do that would allow me to pick her up from school in the future as well as having the odd afternoon off to take her to a play date? If so, would I be prepared to give up a prestigious job and the security of a salary for it? Could starting my own business and being my own boss be the way forward? A lot of thought went into answering these questions and, with a little compromise here and there, I decided to take a leap of faith and resign from Red with the plan to  fully commit to WIT and develop a personal project that has been in the back burner for almost four years.

The Fashion Monitor announcement of me leaving Red
At this point the decision was kind of made for me: in the last five years WIT and all of you that read it have become something I really care about and the job behind it is one that I want to do really well. So WIT and my new project (yes, obviously it’s fashion!) are going to be what I do 9-5 most days, and my balance comes with knowing that my working day finishes after that. 

Leaving Hearts yesterday evening..
So after six amazing years at Red, eight busy working months and a pretty emotional day, yesterday I said goodbye to my friend and colleagues at Red and next week Greta and I are flying back to Italy to be with our family and friends for a work-free month. I will be back to regular posting in August but until then, I will update once a week. It’s time for a new chapter in my life and I (and my new business partner) simply cannot wait to tell you all about it...

My new project started here..

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Expensive V Cheap

AA T-shirt, Zara skirt, Christian Louboutin sandals, Chanel bag
I always love doing these post - what's not so good is that I always end up buying something myself (oops I might have ordered those lace espadrilles for my upcoming beach holiday). Anyway, whether you go for a cheap thrill or investment buy these seven items are all super juicy and the sort of wardrobe-booster that your upcoming holiday needs: from a boho maxi dress (to be worn with flats on a hot summer night) to a wear-forever spotty swimsuit (I went for the investment here when I went back to Italy to the Dolce outlet). Enjoy!

ALICE by Temperley Lucy Flower Shirt Dress £276.00 Was £395.00 (30% off)
Saige Cotton Dress by Little White Lies £110.00

Christophe Sauvat Taruda Bag Pom Pom Clutch £124.00 Was £178.00 (30% off)
 ASOS Aztec Clutch Bag with Pom Poms £28.00

Tory Burch Milos polka-dot underwired swimsuit £225
ASOS Cupped Spot Bandeau Swimsuit £24.00

Red Valentino Polka Dot Rose Print Gown £575.00 Was £1,150.00 (50% off)
Mango Leopard gown £99.99

Christophe Sauvat Loreley Embroidered Tunic Dress £100.00 Was £143.00 (30% off) 
 Monsoon  Mala Embellished Kaftan £39.00

Tory Burch Portofino crocheted cotton shorts £130
Top Shop Crochet Shorts £24.00

Valentino Leather-trimmed lace espadrilles £320
ASOS JESSIE Espadrilles £12.00

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Unfussy going-out dresses that you can wear with flats too

Peter Pilotto for Target dress, Dorothy Perkins clutch, Aquazzura flats
I often don't post pics from the week end but as I was getting dressed for dinner with friends on Saturday night I started thinking about "going out dresses", you know that special little something that in your teens was probably a top? Well for me now it's a little dress, something that I can wear with flats and dress down rather than up. I took my Peter Pilotto for Target out for the first time but it did leave me with a twitch for more buys. So I went on a virtual shopping trip and here are the results: unfussy going out dreses that you can (and should) wear with flats, a clutch and minimal make up.

  1. See by Chloé Crepe-ruffled cotton dress  £ 363.00  £ 254.00 | 30% off
  2. Top Shop Mix Tile Print Tea Dress £45.00
  3. Mango Heart print dress £39.99
  4. Saige Cotton Dress by Little White Lies £110.00
  5. ALICE by Temperley Madison laser-cut crepe de chine dress £395
  6. Isabel Marant, Étoile Renee floral-print linen and silk-blend dress  £ 270.00  £ 189.00 | 30% off
  7. See by Chloé Cotton Layer Dress £146.00 Was £292.00 (50% off)
  8. J.Crew Collection ruffled broderie anglaise cotton mini dress £200

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

"My Fabulous Friends... Wardrobes" (Part Two)

Admittedly it's taken me a little while to gather up part two of "My fabulous friends... wardrobes" but it's here at last! I asked three WIT friends from quite literally all around the world (London, Sydney and L.A) to share photos of their wardrobes and give us a few tips on how to keep it neat. I hope you enjoy it and if you've missed part one, don't worry.. just click here.

Julie Adams, Photographer and co- founder of www.anaffairwithitaly.com

Julie is my best friend, maid of honour at my wedding and mother to my gorgeous goddaughter Vivienne Rose and Madeleine Pixie. She is also an incredibly talented photogrpaher and one of the creators of travel/style/design website An Affair with Italy, that I too as an Italian recommend to anyone who wants to be in the know of all things Italian. Julie always look effortlessly stylish and has a tremendous eye for forever pieces. I asked her to share photos of her wardrobe and a few tips on how she keeps it tidy.


Wardrobe location: Sydney, Australia
Most treasured item: I'm not too attached to things but at the moment I'm loving a vintage gold link necklace I bought in Rome.
Latest purchase: An 'escape bag' by 'State of Escape' stateofescape.com.au
Next purchase: A Laura Urbinati Swimsuit lauraurbinati.com
Fashion motto: Dress however makes you feel good
Best organisational tip: De-clutter! It's better to have less clothes and really like what's in your wardrobe… makes getting dressed a whole lot easier!

Carrie Robertson,  fashion loving mommy of 3 kiddies (and future blogger of "Honest Eye" launching this summer)

Carrie is a loyal WIT reader from the US - we have actually never met but pretty much since I started the blog, every now and then she has been writing in with style questions, fun photos of her WIT buys and, more recently, some heads up of her own (she's the one that introduced me to the new MMJ make up range, unavailable in the UK and who so kindly sent me a lipstick to try on). In the years I feel like I've got to know some of the lovely WIT readers and Carrie is definitely one of them. I follow her on Instagram, she's an absolute fashion lover and  when I caught a glimpse of her wardrobe I had to ask to share some photos of her dreamy dressing room.. 

Wardrobe loaction: Los Angeles, USA
Most treasured item: yellow satin Manolo Blahniks.  Just looking at them make me happy
Latest purchase: kelly green Celine bag
Next purchase: A cropped top ... adore this look with the high waisted skirt.
Fashion motto: Fashion should not be complicated.  Stick to the classics but add personality with fun accessories and pops of color.
Best organisational tip: buy a folding board (sold on amazon)...secret to keeping my t-shirts and sweaters looking neat.  also, I am a huge fan of huggable hangers (they even make kiddie sizes!)

Martha Ward,  fashion stylist & journalist, and editor of marthamagpie.com

Martha is a friend, budding stylist and style crush of mine. Whenever I bump into her she is always wearings something fabulous and unexpected and unlike me, is great at spotting gems from vintage shops and flea markets. We share a passion for J.Crew, pink and jewellery and I have often wanted to dive into her wardrobe to see just how many pairs of shoes she has. Well today we kind of all get a peak at her eclectic closet...

Wardrobe location: London
Most treasured item: my stack of white Victorian and Edwardian dresses
Latest purchase:  a Kate Spade wicker lemon bag - I am crazy for a novelty bag.  Particularly one of the basket/raffia/wicker variety
Next purchase: a Saint Lauren pink pussy bow neck tie.  And a voluminous blouse from ASOS.  I like a juxtaposition.
Fashion motto: don't be too geared by trends - nothing worse than a slave to fashion!
Best organisational tip: use plastic freezer bags to store knitwear, and lay out your jewels so you can actually see what you own.  Out of sight is out of mind.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Have you been in Reiss lately?

Gap T-shirt, Reiss skirt, Aquazzura flats
Continuing my series of "Have you been in ..." I was reading a magazine and saw this snakeskin print skirt which I couldn't believe was from Reiss. Also, I was a little bit surprised that it had missed my radar! I usually know what's in every store at all times so I was a little disappointed with myself! Which got me thinking that I hadn't been in Reiss for a while so it was time to explore. 

Givenchy A/W14
It was just as good as not only I ended up buying the skirt (snakeskin print is my absolute favourite trend for next season), but I saw a white crochet dress very similar to my French Connection one that I wore in Ibiza and that many of you asked about, a great short sleeve jumpsuit that is much more affordable than my J.Crew one, some great swimwear and a fab lace top that was very Dolce e Gabbana. Lots of great quality buys, staples that you will wear over and over again and a fab sale on at the moment too. Do go in next time you are in town!

All available from Reiss

Friday, 20 June 2014

WIT mama Friday: 3 stripe T-shirt quick outfit ideas

This Chinti and Parker T-shirt was one of the very first things I bought last year as I emerged from the depths of Greta finally sleeping through the night. On my Fridays off I often just pick up one my stripy Tee and jeans as it's a look that always make me feel put together, in it's total simplicity. This specific style is not available any longer but it's been such a hit that Chinti has made new colour combinations - this is on sale now and with a huge discount too.

Chinti and Parker Heart-print striped organic cotton-jersey top Was £90 Now £54
Here are some quick outfit ideas, for holiday and city life centred around a classic stripe T-shirt. Print out and keep or add your Pinterest mood boards for reference in those days where you just don't know what to wear.

Boden sweatshirt £27.00
J Brand 8226 Photo Ready cropped skinny jeans £255
Accessorize leather sandals £25.00

Whistles Lauren Linen Stripe Top £65.00
Rag & bone The Mila mid-rise cut-off twill shorts £150
J.Crew Woven canvas espadrilles Was £60 Now £30

J.Crew Long-sleeve sailor-stripe tee £19.00
Étoile Isabel Marant Nea printed mid-rise boyfriend jeans Was £195 Now £136.50
Top Shop Double Strap Sandals£26.00

And since it's WIT mama Friday... I couldn't resist this little T-shirt look for kids styled with a pair of fab Liberty print bloomers perhaps?

Top Shop Mini Stripe Bretton Tee £12.00

Liberty London bloomers £15.00
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