Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Perfect Shirt Dress

Style Theory: I have just seen this most perfectly, perfect shirt dress and had to share it with you...First spotted it on Sincerely Jules..

My immediate thoughts that it was gorgeous and must be very, very designer..oh the excitement when I found it was from Anthropologie then eek at the price but if I make sure I don't buy anything else until summer holidays (yeah right) then maybe I can add this to my summer holiday clothes??..
 Anthropologie Marina Chambray Dress £128
Style with these accessories for evening....
1. Sunglasses - Next £15
2. Pom Pom Keyring - Poppy London £27
3. Willow Leather Bag - Aurora Living £59.50
4. Espadrille - Mint Velvet £99
5. Earrings - Accessorize £15
For day swap heels for comfy flats....
1. Sunglasses - Topshop £16
2. Leather Satchel Topshop £65
3. Sandals - Palmairas £40
4.Earrings - Accessorize £6
A chic little summer holiday outfit that can work for day or night, or wear over your swimsuit for a super stylish (if a little expensive) cover up..well, a girl can dream..!

Next time the very best beautiful, crisp white tops on the high street..with arm I am getting a little older I feel more comfortable with the upper arms being under wraps.
Thanks so much for reading as always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time, Frances xxx

Thanks to Donna at I Won't Wear Sludge Brown for bringing those fab Mint Velvet espadrilles to my attention xx

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Spotlight on...Cos

Style Theory: Cos Stores, the older, more grown up sister of H&M is a Swedish master of modern, simple shapes, innovative fabrics and unexpected design details. It is the kind of shop at first glance can look quite 'samey' but delve deeper and you will be seduced by the flattering dresses, gorgeous tops and beautifully cut skirts. 

Cos states it is 'Modern, Functional, Considered design' It is perfect for women who like to show they have a shape without wearing something that is too clingy (ie. me) After two babies my figure is full of lumps and bumps and I find Cos pieces skim over these due to the way the garments are cut and also the fabrics that are used; heavy cottons and thick linens to cover any tummy bumps, a twist towards the base of a shirt, razor pleats started just at the most flattering point, all these details are cleverly thought out by the designers and technicians to create pretty fabulous items. Cos is one of these stores you have to (if you can) go in sans les enfants and when you have a time to try, try, try lots of different pieces until you find the right ones for you.

I had a little trying on session today and these are my favourite items..

The Comfortable Holiday Dress
Contrast Panel Dress £55
A flattering, T-shirt dress, the poplin contrast fabric around the bottom of the dress is thick and pulls the jersey fabric out,away from any lumps and bumps on your body resulting in a super comfortable, easy wear dress. Perfect for holiday, wear with strappy tan sandals.

The Tailored Dress
Pleated Poplin Dress £69
The knife pleats on this dress make it pretty and flattering, amp up this dress with contrast sandals (orange or turquoise or the sandals below..)
Metallic Sandals £135

The Statement Coat
Gathered Detail Coat £135
A real statement piece, this coat would be fabulous for a wedding. It would look great worn as a dress with heels and you could also dress it down with distressed jeans and heels and a denim shirt..I love this coat!

The White Top with a Twist
Top with Folded Sides £45
My sister has this top and it looks beautiful on, from the front it looks like a basic white (non clingy) top from the back it has a slight cape like appearance, very cool..

The Wedding Guest Outfit
Stretchy Rib Top £59
Technical Mesh Skirt £79
This would, again, make a fabulous wedding guest outfit or I am thinking of buying this to wear for my daughter's Holy Communion in May and a wedding in June. The skirt is a mesh-type, slightly padded fabric so again it does not cling, I really like it's futuristic look. (looked good with my Boden Alice heels)

The Statement Skirt
Textured A -Line Skirt £79
Add a pop of colour to your wardrobe with this barbie pink skirt, cut to skim the hips, would look perfect with a navy t-shirt and a pair of navy/pink heels, I like the clash with the yellow coat. 

I could go on forever, it is fair to say I am a Cos fan. The prices are a little on the more expensive side so I treat myself to one or two pieces a season then buy a couple more pieces in the sale (you have to look out for it as things sell out quick but it is normally really good 40% - 50% off)

Are you a Cos do you like minimal shapes with a twist or does this collection look too shapeless to you? Have you bought items from Cos before, have they lasted the test of time? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Dress to Impress..

Style Theory: It is coming up to the season of weddings, summer balls and summer holidays and it is so nice to own one gorgeous, slightly different dress to wear to these occasions. With the 70s trend gaining momentum I am loving all things maxi. I also love mixing fabrics, textures and colours to create a slightly statement look without looking over the top.

Some inspiration from Streetsylers..

Images via Pinterest

Best on the High Street now: 
I have selected my top maxi dress finds that would be perfect for a summer occasion and also can be dressed down for a summer holiday evening. I really prefer maxis with a sleeve, this mainly down to the fact that I am not too mad on my arms any more (getting old!) but also because they look more authentic 70s boho with sleeves....
Sister Jane at Asos Galaxy Dress £72

The star print on this layered maxi dress is eyecatching, it would be perfect for a summer wedding with high strappy black/tan sandals or add a pop of colour with orange strappy sandals. Wear a longline tux style jacket over the top and a sparkly clutch for a gorgeous look. Dress down with flat sandals (the Mango flats I have featured in previous posts) and a boho slouchy tan bag.

Free People @ Asos £128

The button through detail on this dress means you take the split as high as you dare. Again, a perfect dress for a wedding with strappy high/low sandals (love the ones on the model) and perfect for the those warm summer evenings on holiday.

BA&SH @Asos £195

A little pricey but I adore the print and shape of this dress, wear with tan accessories and let the dress do the talking. This is one to look out for when Asos has their summer sale..
Pepe Jeans Maxi Dress @Next £90

Love the slightly see through fabric with the underdress, wear this with metallic accessories and for a smart event with high strappy metallic sandals (see Cos for a gorgeous pair of silver high sandals

Mango Blond Gown £89
Completely left-field but I adore this dress, the colour of the season, 70s styling. Definitely one to try on but would make a real statement.
Mango Premium Striped Dress @John Lewis £34.99

More of a casual look, wear this with Stan Smith trainers and an oversize denim jacket for a cool summer look. It is ribbed jersey, would also look fab thrown over a swimsuit for the beach.

Free People Bonnie Dress £138

More of a midi dress but utterly boho cool, wear with strappy sandals to bring it into 2015 and give it an edge.

H&M Maxi Dress £29.99
I tried this on below and love it, I sized down to make it more fitted as I think this style needs to be fairly neatly cut to your figure to flatter. I am 5ft2 and found the length perfect (with heels) A gorgeous, reasonable dress, perfect for wedding, I would team with tan sandals and perhaps an orange large clutch.

I find maxi dresses really comfortable and easy to wear at parties as they are so elegant and also you don't have to worry about your legs being super toned and tanned...

Are you a fan of the maxi dress? Do you like the 70s boho look this year? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xx

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Style Theory: Molly Gunn, editor of blogzine Selfish Mother has come up with a wonderful way to raise money and awareness for women in war torn regions, the Mother logo sweatshirt and tee.

Mother Sweatshirt £45
Selfish Mother launched the range to show solidarity for Mothers around the world. I know, I, for one, moan about the day to day little difficulties of bringing up my two but I cannot not imagine the huge difficulites families in war torn countries face. The profits of Mother designs go to Women for Women International - an amazing charity that helps women affected by war and conflict to rebuild their lives through training programmes. £20 from the sale of this sweater goes straight to Women for Women International.

Buy your sweater or logo Tee by clicking HERE
I do love a slogan sweater or tee and even more so when they help others. We Mums have to stick together and help each other. Check out the Women for Women International website to read about the work they are doing for women around the world, it is inspirational.

Spread the #MotherLove and post your Mother logo sweatshirt or tee photo on Instagram or Twitter #SelfishMother #MotherTee #WomenforWomenUK. Which one will you choose??

Until next time, Frances xx

Monday, 20 April 2015

Grown Up Denim Dungarees

Style Theory: Dungarees are slowly (slowly) becoming an acceptable garment for a 'grown up' to wear and since I have worn my black H&M non stop I thought I would dive into it a little further with blue denim dungarees..

Denim dungarees can be tricky, they are slightly harder to wear than the black tailored version as they can veer towards the Huckleberry Finn look fairly easily. I wanted to style these Asos ones with a grown up twist to hopefully avoid the overgrown baby look, so I paired them with a denim shirt, my trusty navy Zara blazer and sandals. They are, I agree, a complete love them or hate them item, I kinda love them as they are so comfortable (I love having no waistband digging in to my stomach) and pretty versatile. They look just as good with trainers as with heels. The wide leg look ticks this season 70s trend but does need to be worn with heels so as to elongate my legs.

These are from Asos and have a rather large (really bad on me) rip across the thigh. In my opinion it is completely unneccassary and will be patched up when I have a second to no.1) read SusieSoSo's guide to patching up jeans (Sue is seriously amazing at tips and tricks and finding fab high street finds) and then secondly getting my needle and thread out and do it.
Shirt: H&M
Blazer: Zara
Bag: H&M
Sandals: H&M
These are a most definitely a "flash trend', they have been bubbling around for the last few years with the trend really coming to the fore this year but I do not see it having much longevity so I would buy non-expensive and wear lots now.

Here are my favourites from the high street now:
Moto Boyfriend Dungarees £48
A fairly baggy slouchy dungaree, would look fab with a tailored shirt and heels.
LA Redoute Boyfriend Dungarees £59
These are a really soft, comfortable, light denim with a little stretch. Perfect for summer holidays, wear with a vest top and sliders for a cool, laid back look.
Asos Denim Full Length Dungaree £45
The description of these state that they are 'full length' but they look ankle length to me. These will be a flattering dungaree as they are a neat fit with a slim leg.
Mango Denim Dungarees via Asos £54.99
The plain styling at the front of these dungarees will flatter, as with all clothing it is a matter of trying on different styles of dungarees to see which ones are cut right for your body shape.
Asos Denim Dungaree with thigh rip £45
These are my dungarees in the photos above, at 5ft2 these are the perfect length with heels for me (if a teeny bit long) They fit true to size and are super comfy, just need to patch up that rip!

Are you in the love them or hate them camp? Have you divulged in the dungaree trend as yet? I must admit I have tried on so many pairs to find a pair that fit me properly, some are too long on the body, too tight, too loose on the leg so if you are wanting some try, try and try again with different styles you will find your perfect pair!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, I read everyone and really love hearing your opinions. Until next time Frances xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Affordable Designer Looks ....

Style Theory: Each season H&M launches a capsule collection of exquisitely designed, affordable pieces made from environmentally sustainable fabrics called the Conscious Exclusive Collection. I love the ethos of this collection, it features organic fabrics (such as cotton and hemp) as well as recycled wool. Each piece looks extremely designeresque but with a much lower price tag. Style and sustainability, the perfect match..

Olivia Wilde fronts the campaign, the looks are beautifully tailored, with elegant prints and a neutral colour palettes reflecting the 'earthiness' of the range. 

The Exclusive Conscious Collection launches tomorrow (16th April) in larger stores (check online to see if your store is stocking it) and online, so order early as this sells out in a flash...

Here are a selection of my favourite pieces:
Kimono Dress in Lyocell £39.99
I love the Japanese look of this dress along with the draping and belt detail at the front. Definitely one to try on, it will either look amazing on or really for the shopping basket anyway.
Mulberry Silk Tuxedo Jacket £79.99
Adore this timeless jacket with a twist. The sleeves are slashed to the elbow giving it a cool, cape look, this would see you through spring, summer and into winter, perfect for throwing over dresses for special occasion or wear with distressed boyfriend jeans, heels and a striped, drapey blouse for an evening out with this but I think it will be the first thing to sell out.
Ruffled dress in Lyocell Mix £39.99
This is such a cute dress, it has a racer back and side pockets, perfect for a show shopping summer holiday piece. I would wear with this season must have tie sandals in either tan/black for a gorgeous summer look.
Dress in Silk Blend £49.99
A perfect wedding guest dress for those who like a more tailored look, or a stunning dress for work. Wear now with bare legs and sandals and in the winter with black opaques and pointed black courts.
Patterned Silk Blend Dress £149
This dress would be perfect for a summer wedding, wear with Mango tan strappy flat sandals for day, for evening wear with brown strappy heeled sandal. has pockets..I adore a dress with pockets gives you that nonchalant cool look.
Long Patterned Silk Mix Skirt £99.99
A beautiful maxi skirt worn with organic T-shirt. The skirt is made from mulberry silk and organic linen, utterly stunning...
Top right: Embroidered Dark Grey £59.99  Bottom left: Embroidered Lyocell Dress £49.99
The little top is a tabbard style and looks fab worn over a tight white tee shirt with a pair of skinny or flared jeans, it will give your summer outfits a little fashion twist. The dress looks stunning, a real easy-wear piece, wear with strappy sandals, over skinny jeans, with trainers or with heeled sandals for an evening out.
I have bought a couple of items each year from the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection and have worn them so much, they really are worth a little investment as you rarely see someone with the same as you.

Here are the two pieces I bought last year...hope to add to my collection tomorrow!

Coat: M&S
Top: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection (last year)
Jeans: Oasis
Shoes: Zara
Bag: Spain
Cardigan: Topshop

Top: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection (last year)
Shorts: Chloe via EditSecondhand
Bag: Accessorize
Sandals: Accessorize
Does this range appeal to you? Are you in summer dress mode? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Frances xxx