What to Wear: Capsule Style Post #1

It’s been 2 weeks that I have officially been wearing my capsule wardrobe now, or at least since I revealed it to you all, so I thought it was time to share some outfits on the blog. This isn’t what I have worn everyday as I don’t always have Pete around to snap a photo, but it;s a good representation of the styles I have worn so far. I hope to keep bringing you new outfits every couple of weeks or so throughout the capsule period showing you different ways I wore it.

So let’s start off with one of my favourites… probably because it feels the most ‘me’, baby or no baby. I wore this outfit shopping with Pete and felt pretty presentable. Dare I say, normal!

Henley dress // Leather Jacket (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

Henley dress // Leopard slip ons // Military jacket

Here is the same dress, worn to Grand Designs Live. I needed to be comfortable and casual for an all-day expedition with a baby in tow, and this outfit fit the bill perfectly.

Grey Knit (old) // Khaki Joggers // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1

This outfit was for swimming! It was a miserable day (as you can see,) and I was dreading being all cold and wet in the changing rooms afterwards so I pulled out something cosy and comfy. Somehow these trainers always make the comfiest outfit look like I made a lot more effort than I actually did. As you can see, I’m LIVING in this jacket.

Sequin long sleeved top // Boyfriend Jeans // Military jacket // Nike Air Max 1 // Leopard belt, GAP (old)

Here comes the jacket again! And my go-to uniform… a tee and boyfriend jeans. A lot of the combinations in this capsule are a variation on this theme. I love the metallic trainers and sequin embellished tee giving this outfit a real kick of personality though.

Nursing dress // Pony spot flats // Monica Vinader necklace

This one was worn for a family get together for Pete’s Mums birthday. I wanted to dress up a little and it was still warm, so the point flats added a bit of extra smartness too. Do I love this photo? No. Can I see the extra baby weight and mum tum? Yes. Am I trying to give myself a break 12 weeks on? Yep, trying. *Grimace*

Navy funnel neck knit // H&M Henley // Skinny Jeans (similar) // Leopard slip ons

And lastly, this weekends outfit – a perfect Sunday outfit in my book. Skinnies, flats, a chunky knit (worn over a layering top with buttons for feeding access) and no coat as it was warm enough to go without. I like wearing knits layered instead of coats in the winter.

So what do you think readers? How are your autumn wardrobes going?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. If you’re new here, Welcome! Here is my whole capsule wardrobe and why I’m doing this.

Girl About Town: The Art of Dining – The Colour Palate

With the job that I do, I regularly get emails full of “check out this amazing experience” ideas, lots of which actually aren’t that exciting or innovative. However a few weeks back, one thing did stand out amongst all the “uber cool” Shoreditch bar recommendations or “uber exclusive” private members club launches (with “live PAs form the cast of the latest reality TV series” no less!), and that was a link to the Art of Dining website. I’ve never heard of them before, but have seen similar concepts and so I was eager to try them out.

So I hit up a foodie friend of mine who I knew would also be in for a colour-and-light themed dining experience and booked us some tickets.

We arrived at a non-descript building, not far from Baker Street tube, identifiable as our destination only by a man with a clipboard standing next to instructions chalked on the concrete step outside. We were ticked off a list, ushered down some candlelit stairs to an underground space, washed in green light, handed a Green cocktail each and showed to our seats at the long communal table, laid with green paper, the usual dining accoutrements and, unusually, rather large tree centrepiece.

Once the room filled up with guests we were called to attention by the creative team behind the concept, who briefly talked us through the evening’s proceedings and we were then served our first course: the Green course, consisting of light, leafy, herby, green food on green plate with green napkins accompanied by a paint pot of green sauce and a paint brush (not green) with which to serve it!

When we had finished, serving staff informed us we should rip off the top layer of the “table cloths” to reveal the next colour: White. The tree was taken away and replaced with a silver candelabra and the green light slowly transitioned to soft white.

As a quick aside, a lot of my GCSE science and art came back to me. White light is actually a rather beautiful combination of colours, and it seems that green light washes out colour entirely so my dining companion and I looked like black and white photographs of ourselves! Which is a good point to note if your complexion is looking less than flawless in real life before a big event – put on some red lippie and change your light bulbs to green, you’ll look like a thirties movie siren!

Sorry, back to the dining experience. With the White course (a soup) also came a small glass of colouring pencils so we took to doodling all over the table tops as our neighbours played a heated game of hangman. We decided against the corresponding White cocktail, and stuck with the Green as it was so tasty!

After White came the main course, Yellow, complete with massive vases of sunflowers, yellow table tops and sunny yellow light followed by Black, where the lights were dimmed to almost complete darkness, as we finished off the savoury dishes with black food almost invisible against black plates and table tops by the light of tiny candles.

We ordered some Orange cocktails to match our Orange pudding which arrived (along with the matching tableware, of course) as the lights came back up to a warm glow and our tables were adorned with sprays of orange roses.

The food was interesting and tasty, enhanced by the “concept” in which it was served, and overall it made for a really great night out. Tickets cost £50 for five substantial courses and a welcome cocktail. Drinks thereafter were very reasonably priced for London.

As it’s a pop up, The Colour Palate disappeared as quickly as it arrived, but keep an eye on the Art of Dining website for future pop ups, and check out some of their previous events here which look equally as interesting and exciting.

With my appetite for concept pop-ups fully whetted, have you lovely readers any recommendations? Let me know!

Victoria x

PS! Find Victoria over on her blog Sugar Plum Slipper or on twitter @VictoriaHale.

Meet and Greet: Victoria (a.k.a. Girl about Town)

Good Morning readers! As we have a growing roster of regular contributors, some new, some old timers, I thought it would be fun to get to know them a little better. Victoria is now my longest standing contributor of the Girl About Town series and I’ll be bringing you a post from her tomorrow but for now, have a little read of this and find out more about why she is super qualified to be our monthly stylish city hostess with the mostess!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a married, early-thirty-something, marketing and business development manager who works crazy hours at a large global law firm by day, but by night/weekends/annual leave days I’ve made it my mission to visit the world’s coolest bars, sights, cities, beaches and parties.
I love to travel, party, explore, decorate, event-plan, outfit-assemble and generally seek out the best that life has to offer. I love to eat, but I can’t bear to cook. I pride myself on always striving to be the Hostess with the Mostess and cocktails are my life skill.
I’m fiercely independent, but really, I just couldn’t do “it”, or be “me” without my amazing and inspiring friends and family nor my long-suffering husband, without whom I would likely never eat meals that require knives and forks, nor would I ever get out of bed in the mornings!

What do you write about?

All the fun stuff I find to do, eat, drink or experience in London and any other city I happen to be visiting.

What is your weekday/weekend uniform?

You’ll either find me at one end of the spectrum or the other… I’m either dressed up and ready to stalk the halls of my office/to party in a black dress and killer colour-pop heels (tights on for the former, off for the latter) or dressed down in jeans and boots, or my fave pyjamas!
I’m all about the accessories. For me, they add my personality to an outfit and make me feel like me.

Favourite Food?

Does tequila count? No? OK, so, depending on the day of the week I could be craving any of the following: Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Lebanese or Italian. If it came down it, I’d have to go with my mum’s lasagne. It’s a recipe that’s been handed down from the Italian side of my family, and which I have no intention of ever learning. However, over the last 10 years, my husband has come very close to perfecting it! I’d have it with a rocket, tomato and avocado salad with a homemade dressing!

Holiday destination recommendation?

So, so, so many! Holidays are kind of my “thing”… tweet me, or message me and let’s chat! @VictoriaHale

Can’t live without Beauty product?

Karin Herzog Vita A Kombi Oil.

Last book I read…

I have a number on the go on my iPad but the last tangible book I read was a recommendation from Florence Finds in fact: The Girl with all the Gifts. It had me hooked from paragraph one.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A lie in and a leisurely breakfast and quality time with my husband (he works shifts and I work long city hours, so QT is rare!), over which we plan travel, home improvements, social events and talk about work. Then I or we get dressed up and hit the town or a party or get dressed down and snuggle up on the sofa or in the local for catch ups with friends. Sunday is brunch day at home or out, just us, with family, friends or both, catching up on chores and jobs and then a family dinner followed by some Sunday night telly as I relax before another crazy week at work. Sometimes my weekends are more tiring that my working week, but I love them and I wouldn’t change them for the world!

Come back tomorrow for the latest instalment of Victoria’s Girl About Town series, on a pop up dining experience with a difference!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Splish Splash

Before even the first day was done of my Capsule wardrobe for Autumn, I realised i had made a grave omission (for Manchester dwelling anyway.) No wet weather gear. For autumn walks they are a must but there was enough torrential rain last week to make me want to wear wells every day of the week so there is going to have to be an amendment! I’ve bought a waterproof coat (more on that soon) and am digging out my Hunters. In the meantime, here are a few I found for you guys to waterproof your wardrobes with…


Joules flower print // Dark silver Chelsea boot wells, New Look // Joules Dog print
Strap detail wellington boot, Ted Baker // Original slim zip wellington, Hunter // Studded biker wellies, New Look
SeaSalt tideline Wellies // Hunter Tall stripe wellington boot // SeaSalt Yellow deck wellies

There are styles here for fun, city dwellers and pretty prints – all the bases are covered.

Are you a welly wearer?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Reviewed: Pacapod Napier changing bag

A while back, before Bea arrived, I mentioned changing bags. I wanted something wipe clean, not too big, with a cross body strap, and that fitted my style. I eventually settled on the Pacapod (I am a sucker for an organisational system) and was thrilled to be offered one to review so I’m here to dish my thoughts on it.

First up, I love it. It does everything I need and I like the way it looks too… here’s a front and back view for you. I chose the Napier, in charcoal.

It’s got 3 main ‘area’s: The pod section which I consider to be baby’s, with 2 velcro in ‘pods’ They are designed as ‘feeding’ and ‘changing’ pods, i.e. one for bottles (or snacks later on) and one for nappies etc, but I use them for changing and changing(!) as we don’t need lots of feeding supplies just yet and a poo-splosion is much more likely.

As well as all the compartments there are several other ‘extra’s’ like the changing mat, and bottle insulating sleeve, that I like. The pods are roomy and the changing pod has extra pockets for nappies, elastic to hold your wipes, and side pockets for whatever else you might need. The feeding pod is insulated, but as you can see I keep a change of clothes in there, bib, and some spare breast pads. There’s also a wipe clean bag for dirty nappies or clothes not shown here.

I often hook the changing pod onto the pram if we are nipping out or throw it into our pram basket, to save taking the whole bag.

The rest of the bag has a large middle compartment and 2 front pockets. I use the middle one as a combination of my stuff, ( I often carry a change of top, just in case,) perhaps a book or magazine and laptop, my camera, purse, a bottle of water, a toy for Bea and a muslin.

Then the front pockets hold my stuff. There’s a zip pocket for my phone, lip balm, hand cream and pen. Then I tend to stuff things like the Red Book, or my diary and post to be sent in the front pocket, along with a couple of cereal bars for emergencies.

And my favourite little gizmo is the key clip – no more rooting around in the bottom of a huge bag for my keys on a rainy day!

I am really happy with the Pacapod – its big enough for us to use for swimming trips with Bea’s towel etc and we have even packed it up for a couple of nights away with friends – it holds plenty of nappies and clothes. I have it ready packed and restock it after we have been out a couple of times. It’s always ready for us to go, so I never have running around the house getting ready nightmares before we go anywhere and best of all I know exactly where everything is.

Have you got a Pacapod? Would you consider one after reading this – I really can’t recommend mine enough.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Disclaimer: Pacapod sent Rebecca the Napier changing bag for review but all reviews featured here are 100% honest and genuine. If I didn’t like it, you wouldn’t be reading about it.

What to Buy: October

Good morning readers! Today I have a new regular contributor to introduce to the FF team! Erin is a regular commenter and old friend of mine who always impresses me in the style stakes. She will be taking the fashion helm here at FF and writing 2 monthly posts, the first one sharing her must buy’s for the coming month and the second showing how she wore them. I’m super excited that she is joining the team and I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome and enjoy her posts. Take it away Erin! PS Happy Birthday!

When Rebecca asked me to guest post on Florence Finds about fashion and style, I was over the moon. I love to indulge my fashion passion when I can and although I don’t work in that field at all, I like to keep an eye on trends and pieces to help influence my own wardrobe.

October is one of my favourite month’s of the year, not least because it’s my birthday month (actually very apt as it’s today!), but it also heralds the start of the cooler weather and the countdown, dare I say, to Christmas. There are a few AW14 trends I’ve been looking at trialing this season, and October is the time to invest or dip into some of them, because if you are anything like me, when the time comes and you DO decide you want something, it’s almost always sold out.

Here’s my roundup of the key items I believe you need to think about buying now, before it’s too late.

Faux Fur

Striped Coat // Shoe Clips // Gilet // Stole

There’s no getting away from it, Faux Fur is everywhere. From huge teddy-bear coats to subtle keyrings, you can choose your involvement level! I love the stoles from Helen Moore, and Topshop have a great take on a Boxy gilet – perfect to put over jeans or a dress for those in-between days.

Anything Burgundy

Ballet Pumps // Tunic // Skirt // Boots

Burgundy (or Wine, Oxblood and Maroon as I’ve seen it described) is THE colour of the season. From boots and bags, to jeans and evening dresses, you’ll find it everywhere. Now is the time to buy a piece that you love that will take you through the season. These Clarks boots are wonderful – I love the pony skin and leather combination for added interest.

Loafers


Metallic // Snakeskin // Classic

I owned my first pair of loafers when I was in Secondary school. They were a flat black patent mock croc pair from Next and I wore them to death. I’m so pleased that these are now one of the shoes of the season. Anything with tassels gets my vote! From Metallics, to Snakeskin or plain, there’s plenty to choose from – just make sure you buy a pair you know you will love and they’ll work very hard for you. Wear with cigarette trousers and a slouchy knit, or an a-line skirt and slim polo, there are plenty of options, with or without Opaques!

Jewels

Shirt // Shoes

It’s no secret that I’m a huge magpie and so I adore all the jewelled bits that are around. Pick up a shirt like this H&M one as a nod to the trend, or go all-out with something like these pumps that are sure to dress up even the plainest of outfits. I’ve actually just bought these and can’t wait to wear them with jeans and dresses.

A Coat!

Navy & Leather // Pink Stripe  // Red Check

It probably sounds obvious, but buying a coat now, and not when it gets really cold, is a must. I always get to the point where I’ve not bought one and then panic; of course nothing is left in my size that I like. There are some beautiful ones around this season, from dressing gown style to more structured pieces, but I’m really loving the checked styles, especially this M&S one which would look gorgeous over denim or all black, and also anything Black & Navy, THE colour combination of the season. This one from H&M ticks that box, as well as the leather one too. A good investment!

Will any of the above items be on your October list? I’d love to hear.

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

AW14 Capsule Wardrobe: Reveal

So here we are, finally! My 35 piece post-natal (breastfeeding orientated) capsule wardrobe.

I realise we are already in October, but I have been wearing this wardrobe as I built it, since the beginning of September and I plan for it to see me through until Dec 1st. I’ve decided that I will then ‘refresh’ it by swapping out a couple of lighter pieces for more winter appropriate items and then I hope I might make it through until the end of January.

(Why? – Because I want to live lighter, save money, and wait to buy more clothes until my shape has settled down post baby and maybe, I don’t need access to my boobs every 2 hours!)

My 35 pieces comprise:

  • 18 tops. (7 tee’s/lightweight tops, 3 dressier tops, 7 jumpers and 1 coatigan/wrap outer layer.)
  • 9 trousers/skirts, dresses and jackets. (2 jeans, 2 joggers, 1 skirt, 2 dresses, 2 jackets.)
  • 8 pairs of shoes/boots. (2 trainers, 2 flats, 3 boots and 1 pair of heels.)

Oui Oui tee // Sweatshirt zip detail top // Zip top

Grey oversize tee // Blurred leopard top // Grey v-neck sloppy tee

Maroon stripe knit // Red shell // Oversize wine tee

Navy funnel neck knit // ‘Love’ stripe light knit (old) // Angel Sequin Knit (old)

Bright blue tunic shirt // Grey Knit (old) // Chambray (maternity) shirt (similar)

Sequin long sleeved top // Pink Cashmere zip knit // Aztec wrap (old)

I went heavy on the tops for ease of changing them post baby sick related incidents. Only 5 of these are tops I already owned as so many of my old wardrobe wasn’t suitable for what I need right now. The majority are cheap and cheerful however, from Forever 21, H&M, Zara and Warehouse. The more expensive brands were purchased with vouchers and discounts and are items I know will last beyond my current needs. There are no massive revelations here for breastfeeding as I’m pretty down with the vest under a top manouver now, but most are looser to enable easy lifting or I don’t mind stretching the bottom of them in the case of this old Moschino top. I really don’t like cardigans so stuck with looser sweaters I can lift, as per my usual style.

Skinny Jeans (similar) // Boyfriend Jeans // Print joggers

Khaki Joggers // Nursing dress // Ruched jersey skirt

Leather Jacket (similar) // Henley dress // Military jacket

Only 2 dresses here as I struggled to find dresses I would wear and were my style, that also worked for breastfeeding. My bottom half has been my problem area as I have found it hard to find Items that are flattering, comfortable and practical for the mum-tum/post c-section scar tenderness and crawling about on the floor with a baby. And only 2 jackets as I’m banking on not needing my heavy parka until December.

Leopard slip ons // Pony spot flats // Nike Air Max 1

Ankle buckle heeled boots (similar) // Brogues (similar) // Leopard heels

Over the knee boots (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

I could have included way more here but I was ruthless. You’ll notice there is only 1 pair of ankle boots but I knew I would seldom wear a heel, so these combine the two. The reason these boots look battered is because they are – they are super comfortable, warm and work with lots of items, so they easily earn a place. The top row are all new. Fancy trainers for some sneaker style, leopard pony skates as another trend-led flat and I just fell in love with the black and white pony spot points – to elevate casual outfits that little bit. I only allowed myself 1 pair of true heels as I supect I’ll rarely need them. Those boots bottom left? They’re over the knee boots. That’s right, over the knee. I had them and they’re bang on trend this season so I opted to include them as they make an average outfit super-sexy in 2 seconds flat whilst being flat and truly comfortable.

So what do you think readers? There’s no claim to being some kind of fashionista here, but I hope you’ll enjoy seeing how I wear these for everyday, easy style. I’ll try to do a regular update including a selection of recently worn outfits. Oh and the budget? I was doing really well until I splurged on the Cashmere knit, but I’m justifying that because it’s probably something I would have ended up buying for the December onwards wardrobe and it made no sense to buy it later when there is a 25% discount now. (Until tonight!) So the total came to £650, (£150 over budget) but I don’t feel bad about this as I’m selling old pieces on eBay to cover some of the excess and clear out my wardrobe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Anything you like here? How is your wardrobe looking for Autumn?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS wondering why I’m doing this?

25% off Whistles with Grazia


Bea Cashmere zip knit, Whistles

I wasn’t going to mention this discount this year but then, as I so often do, I decided to buy something rather last minute before the discount expires and thought some of you might appreciate the reminder! I wasn’t going to spend any money on knitwear for my capsule wardrobe (coming right up!) but every year I do always buy a great quality piece of knitwear so when I saw this one I couldn’t resist. It’s a nice change from the grey/navy cashmere I already have and ticks the box for another big AW14 trend… brights with black. You can’t immediately see but it also has zip sides perfect for breast feeding access!

Head on over to whistles.co.uk to see if theres any thing you don’t want to miss and use the code WH25AW14 for 25% Off with Grazia UK. You have until midnight 6th October – that’s Monday!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Did I mention the jumper is called ‘Bea’?! ;)

Bea @ 6 weeks and Nursery sneak peek!

A few weeks ago now Laura and Pete came over to capture some images of Bea while she is still tiny. We had discussed when would be the best time when we did my maternity shoot and one thing Laura said stuck with me, ‘You’ll never want to do it, you’ll never feel ready, don’t worry about tidying and everything, just get us round.’ So at 6 weeks we bit the bullet (once she was smiling,) and arranged a date. In typical fashion we had a bad night prior to them coming, and Bea then proceeded to have the most out of character day she has ever had, grizzling her way through the photos. I was tired, managed to do my hair and not much else, even throwing on some everyday clothes. But you know what, I didn’t care. I wanted images of us in our daily life, just celebrating the every day joy that Bea brings us. And that’s exactly what we got.


Head on over to the Lawson photography blog to see the whole post AND some of the photos were taken in the nursery, so you’ll get a sneaky peek of that too. :) Full post on the nursery coming soon…

Thank you so much Laura and Pete – you really do amaze me every time with the moments you capture forever.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Would you… Express?

Hardly as controversial as the title sounds, today I’m looking for a bit of advice.

So far (10 weeks in,) I haven’t expressed any breast milk at all. I haven’t had any need to or wanted to really – I’m quite happy feeding her myself, although I can imagine I might have tried sooner if she wasn’t sleeping as well! The only thing that has tempted me is the thought of an ‘emergency’ and the benefits of having a stored milk supply. This week I also have a work meeting to attend in the evening which I will have to take Bea along to, and I’m starting to see how much easier it would be to be able to leave her with daddy for 2 hours, worry free.

I didn’t buy a pump at first as I knew I could buy one quickly if I needed it (I know some people use them early for babies that won’t latch properly, or to build supply etc…) and I planned to follow the advice on not expressing until your milk supply is stable. So now I have 2 questions: Can you recommend a pump and do you have any advice on when/how to pump and store/re-use?

I’m also thinking ahead a little here as Bea already refuses a dummy and I’m worried will refuse a bottle. It’s not an issue now but I will be going back to work at around 8 months and if all is well at that point with the breast feeding still, I would express at work for what she needs on top of solids she is taking. (I don’t even know anything about this! How much of her requirements would be met by food at this stage? I’m guessing not so much?) So I need her to be taking a bottle well before then to minimise back to work stress.

Thanks in advance for your advice and thoughts readers! :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo