The Fash Flash: Max it out

When I shared a selection of summer dresses a couple of weeks back there were of course several gorgeous maxi dresses I could have chosen and I thought they deserved their own dedicated post 🙂

I love a maxi and thought I might be able to wear a few of my old ones during pregnancy but apart from the stretchy jersey styles, as per all my other dashed fashion expectations during pregnancy, the waist hasn’t been in the right place or the boobs haven’t fitted…

Coral lace back maxi, Warehouse £85 // Graphic yellow print maxi, ASOS £55 // Pink poppy print dress, French Connection £240

I’m thinking of buying the French Connection dress (above right) for a holiday later in the year and wonder if I will be able to fit it now and after baby too…

And if you happen to fancy wearing a maxi to an occasion you have this summer, here are a few more dressy styles. I love the beautiful prints of these floral styles and can vouch for the MANGO dress which my friend Jess wore to her rehearsal dinner the night before her wedding a week ago – she looked stunning.

Plunge neck floral maxi, ASOS £55 // Cross back Silk maxi, MANGO £129 // Floral Maxi, Warehouse £80

And lastly, a little selection for my fellow pregnant ladies. The pickings are slim as always(!) but I bought this striking emerald maxi for a couple of occasions I have coming up this summer (as I’ll be in full bloom!) and think it would dress down just as well with flat sandals. I also like the bandeau style to prevent strap marks on sunny days and the Gap dress for casual ease.

Emerald knot front dress, Seraphine £59 // Twist back maxi, GAP £34.99 // Bandeau (with detachable straps) maxi, ASOS £45

Have you spotted any gorgeous maxi’s or have I turned your head with one of these?


Friday Frock O’clock

Right now, ASOS has 25% off dresses. When they’re already well priced, that means super bargains are there for the taking. Instead of outdated wintery styles as you so often get in mid-season sales, there are some dresses perfect for stocking up on for summer holidays and events, so I thought I’d pick 4 favourites today.

Embroidered cutwork dress // Origami heavy satin dress // Open back dress // Graphic floral maxi dress

Happy Friday readers,


Friday Frock O’Clock

I know the weather has gone rubbish again and I know summer feels like it may have already become a distant memory, but right now, all I’m thinking about are summer days and holidays. I do love a maxi dress but find them all a bit samey with too much jersey shapelessness and unforgiving ‘cling’ so when I spotted this one it felt just right. I love the colours and print (unusually for me as I’m not much of a ditsy florals girl,) but the boho draped style and unusual cut make it a winner for me. And of course it could be dressed up or down…

For now I’ll be dreaming of distant summer evenings when I can wear this to drift out for candle-lit twilight drinks.

Have you guys spotted any dresses that you’re hankering after but feel it’s too soon to buy? Happy weekend readers.


PS, I may be even more in love with the model’s haircut than the dress…

What to Wear: Indian Summer

Shirt, Dorothy Perkins (old) // Maxi dress, (old) from a local boutique // Bag, GAP // Sandals, Dune (old) // Sunglasses, Banana Republic

Todays post is more of a ‘stretching your wardrobe out’ theme, as I re-work a couple of heavily worn items in my wardrobe. Last weekend I headed to West Fest – a little street festival in West Didsbury, near my home. The area is famous for independent restaurants and bars with a few pretty shops too and the businesses all get involved with pop up street stalls and music. It was a glorious day and I was feeling in the festival spirit so I dug out an old maxi that I don’t like the top of anymore and layered it up with a chambray shirt (also seen here.)

I’m not sure if the knotted shirt is still a bit nineties or just hasn’t made it back over the pond yet as I see it on lots of fashion bloggers in the US. Either way it worked for me, oversized sunnies, my ikat bag and flip flops completing the look.

I was really pleased to make an item that isn’t to my taste anymore work, not just for what I had in mind but nodding to the trend for maxi skirts without actually splashing out on one. (An item I thought more this summer than ever, a little impractical in summer showers. After all, no-one wants a soggy (hem) bottom.) 😉 Outfit sorted, I dedicated myself to enjoying the array of food and drink on offer whilst basking in the Indian Summer sun.

What are you re-working and re-wearing right now?


Friday Frock O’clock

Todays dress is an event dress for sure, but it’s also the kind of dress that people lust after and wish they could simply lounge around the house in because it is so darn glamorous. I imagine Annabel would wear it to one of her events, or perhaps the Any Other Woman team, after all it is in team colours. Myself, if there had been a second Love My Dress Soiree, as there was this time last year, I would be wearing this…

Peach embellished maxi dress- £150

The online store image doesn’t do her justice but oh my, look at the gorgeous press image. Just bohemian enough for summer and perfect for a wedding or fabulous party. Anybody thirty soon? Please buy it and rock it with a beaded clutch and some killer keels… or flats for that matter and an Ibiza/summer fields floral circlet headband.

You’re welcome readers.


Friday Frock O’clock

All I’m thinking about right now is my holiday so when I stumbled across this Seafolly dress I fell in love. I have to admit, I NEVER spend a lot on Summer clothes, you get to wear them so little and when you do, they get ruined by sea water, pool water or suncream.

Seafolly Coral gladiator maxi dress – £99

If you’re a little more confident that you can take care of them however, this could be the perfect reason to invest in a stunning beach to bar dress like this one. With care, you’ll still be wearing this in years. It’ll look equally good with heels and chunky jewellery in the bar as flip flops on the beach, or in the city for that matter sight-seeing. The colour is perfect with a tan and I love the way it has been styled here with flats and a raffia bag. It’s probably the top end of what I’d stretch to price wise, but I can see it having great longevity and being 100% worth it!

Have you started thinking about holiday dresses yet?


Fashion Dilemmas: Amanda’s honeymoon cruise

Yesterday while we were all dreaming of colour bright pool-sides and retro road trips across the pond, reader Amanda commented the following:

I’m just planning our honeymoon in May/June 2013…

We’re going to go on a cruise ship from the UK to New York to start off with.  I’ve just booked it and was terrified at the commitment and money.  Now I’m a gibbering wreck having seen that I apparently I will need to wear evening dress on 3 nights, cocktail dress on 2 nights and the other 2 I can be “elegant casual” (which means for men that they don’t have to wear a tie)

I have precisely nothing in my wardrobe that would meet these criteria.  Smart for me is a t-shirt and skirt.  They say with some emphasis that t-shirts are not allowed after 6pm.  And how do you pack one bag with that sort of wardrobe and hiking gear for California?  I mean this metaphorically as I don’t think there is an answer – but if anyone has one I will be pathetically grateful.

Well Amanda – we think there IS an answer, and we don’t expect you to be pathetically grateful, just send us in a report of the highlights of your trip, ok?

Rebecca and I just love putting outfit inspiration together, so readers, please send your dilemmas in to FF – who knows, it could become a regular occurrence!

The maxi dress: An affordable black tie/evening option

It is an absolute sartorial gift that the maxi dress shows no sign of going out of fashion as yet.  Instantly formal due to their length, there is a cut to suit everyone.  The dresses below all have enough ‘wow factor’ to be worn with heels (and the beauty of a maxi is you only need to take one pair of heels on holiday and wear them with more than one long dress because you don’t really see them) and layered during the day.  The lightweight maxi is also a great choice if you’re travelling in countries where you need to cover your legs, if you’re visiting temples, churches and mosques for example.

1. Green printed maxi dress from MANGO – switch the belt for a different look and use the printed belt with one of the plain dresses you’re taking, or even as a headband!

2. Black gathered maxi from ASOS – Wear with a brooch at the bust and long dangly earrings – it won’t crease and no one will know that it’s jersey! Great for wearing during the day underneath a denim jacket or even a knotted shirt (my tip for Amanda? Steal your husband-to-be’s for the latter)

3. Bias cut Maxi from Ghost – This Ghost maxi is definitely an investment piece, but its timeless cut ensures it will never go out of fashion. I mentioned this yesterday but it’s worth saying again – at the moment Ghost are dyeing a range of maxis in 16 different colours.  So there should be something to suit everyone, including Rebecca who’s allergic to black!

Midi dresses: For the cocktail and elegant casual nights

1. Butterfly print asymmetric hem dress, Warehouse – This butterfly printed midi-dress (below right) is feminine yet still has a rock star edge to it.  I think it would look great with wedge sandals in a metallic shade but you could dress it down by wearing a cardigan over it, or a fitted jersey top with a sleeve underneath it.

Butterfly print dress – H&M // Butterfly print asymmetric hem dress – Warehouse

Cocktail and day dresses:

1. Butterfly print dress (above left), H&M – A bargainous number to pad out your wardrobe options… wear with a slip to add more substance to the fabric.

2. Blue Mesh Skirt dress, COS – I am in serious danger of buying this blue number.  Serious danger.  It is incredibly chic, and would be perfect as evening and cocktail wear, yet pair it with opaque black tights and a cropped black blazer and you’ve got a smart/casual outfit with serious catwalk-led credentials.

3. Lilac Jersey Dress, COS – This lilac jersey dress is basically an oversized T-shirt- but it’s the perfect item to dress up or down.  The viscose in the jersey means it won’t cling too much, and with a ribbon belt, high heels and statement jewellery, I’d say you’d have ‘elegant casual’ nailed.

4. Mint drop waist dress, COS – I have a silk dress of a similar cut and colour, and I’ve had it 10 years… I dress it up with heels or have been known to wear it on holiday with flats and a jumper over the top.

5. Gold sequin cuff long sleeved black Dress (see below), ASOS dress – This ASOS dress can be worn as an on deck ‘cover-up’ over your swimsuit, and then worn over a slip with high heels as a cocktail dress.

To give you an idea of exactly how versatile it is, here’s a Day-to-Night respresentation Rebecca made earlier showing how you can style it to take you from sight seeing to cocktail sipping…

Dress – ASOS
Day: Sunglasses – Rayban // Bag – Accessorize // Sandals – Accessorize
Night: Clutch – Accessorize // Earrings – Accessorize // Heels – Zara

Rebecca’s tips:

  • Go neutral with your daytime accessories to find something that works with every outfit in your case. This raffia and tan leather bag dresses down a glam dress for day and won’t look out of place in a National Park over a hoodie. Similarly, take one pair of double duty flip flops that will see you from pool to sightseeing to bar. Think tan, black or metallic, whatever the majority of your wardrobe is.
  • Same goes for evening attire – find a small metallic, black or neutral clutch to work with everything and choose nude shoes – lighter for summer and they’ll work with dark colours, brights and neutrals meaning only one pair of heels required! Did I mention they lengthen your legs? 😉

Woah – I could go on but think I should stop now before I am too tempted to reach for my credit card.  I haven’t really gotten around to skirts and tops for capsule wardrobes either – next week perhaps?

So readers, do you have any suggestions for Amanda? Do leave us a comment with the link if you do!

Gemma C-S xx

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