Bring Your Own Blanket

With this rather unpredictable British Summer we’ve been enjoying of late, it seems we are facing yet more style questions and decisions. Not just whether to wear bare legs, tights or leggings….always go bare after June I say…..but now we have another accessory to consider, the blanket.

I went to a friends 40th birthday party at the weekend which was, as any June party would be, hoping for fine weather or at least to be warm and dry enough to enjoy the garden and not all be huddled around the kitchen table. So, very sensibly, my friend sent an email to the ladies of the party asking us all to bring our own blankets as she only had a few and was sure knees would need to be kept warm if we were to enjoy the garden. I rather liked this request, it made me smile and then the question entered my dreadfully affected fashion head, what kind of blanket should I take??? Now, being rather partial to blankets and quilts, I have quite a few, of all varieties. I went through a crochet blanket phase – buying not making – and found quite a few fabulous, brightly coloured vintage “granny” offerings through Ebay and little antique shops. And then there are the ubiquitous Cath Kidston checked picnic blankets, of which I also have a few. All I must add, have been picked up in the CK online sale and from one of my new favourite places, Bicester Village. If you haven’t been there, you must.

And then there are my growing collection of Indian quilts which are bright and colourful and quite possibly my most precious home ware possessions. So you see my dilemma. All these are blankets and quilts to be proud of but are they right for a 40th birthday party in a London garden will some very chic ladies in attendance and one or two cocktails. I ruled out the Cath Kidston ones immediately. They suit my country life perfectly but will remain my guilty “oh I just buy her stuff because the children love it” secret.

There was also the matter of my outfit to consider. I’m a person who spends perhaps too much thought on how things look together. Shoes, jacket, bag, scarf…all important accessories to coordinate and the blanket needed to treated in just the same way. If I was going to spend the evening in the garden with my blanket, it simply had to match my outfit. So that meant the crochet offerings were also quickly ruled out.

In the end I went for a beautiful grey throw sort of blanket with embroidered flowers running along the hem. It was understated and warm and complimented my grey silk dress and black and white brogues beautifully. Not that anyone will have noticed, but I did and that’s all that matters in situations such as these.

So there it is. Apparently there have been quite a few wedding invitations sent recently with the same “bring your own blanket” footnote and I personally think it’s a pretty wonderful addition to the British Summer dress code. So bring out your blankets, but remember they may end up saying more about you than you think.

The Kids Are Alright

Seeing as it’s my blog and seeing as Little Lucky Seven is half my company and seeing as I’m allowed to do whatever I want on my own blog with my own company, I’ve decided to give ourselves a plug.

So, here it is.

For the best custom made kids caps anywhere in the world, go to Little Lucky Seven

They’re not only very cool indeed and worn by all kinds of discerning and very fashionable children, but it seems kids actually want to keep them on their heads. Which is rare. And even better, parents seem perfectly willing for their children to wear them. Which is a bonus all round.

They cost just £20 and are only available from the online cap shop. Each and every cap is made by a real person and sent out in its very own cap box. Which is nice enough to recycle and use to put all kinds of things in.

Here are a few photos of the caps and some of our Little Lucky Seven stars……



Tallulah and Hope

My favourite kaftan and cape label Tallulah and Hope are up for an award and it would be criminal if they didn’t win.

Vote for them on Beach Tomato here

Imagine Fashion

Watching, reading, perusing and loving Imagine Fashion whilst enjoying a cup of tea and wearing my new Ebay Cacharel dress.

It’s a happy Friday

Watch the Matchstick Girl fashion film here too


I have absolutely NOTHING to wear

I have a meeting today, an important one and I don’t even know where to start thinking about an outfit. I’m too tired to feel even vaguely fashionable and I have no idea what the weather’s doing.

So do I go for a Summer dress and leather jacket, jeans and a cape, skirt and blouse….that just sounded wrong writing it. Pumps or plimsolls, ankle boots or heels.

Such a lot to worry about so early in the day.

Will report back once I’ve had a long, confusing think over a cup of tea.


Some hours later…….well I put together a pretty good outfit in the end. An old American Retro grey silk smock dress smartened up with a plain chocolate leather belt and my black and white brogues. And all finished off with my black Celine studded leather bag. So, whether I get the job or not, I found myself a damned good outfit in the process.

Ebay for me

I’m quite a bargain hunter when it comes to new clothes. I love beautiful, expensive things but also love finding them for a good price. It can be done, I’m the living proof, you just have to know what you want and where to look.

I’m not a great charity shop shopper. I never seem to find the amazing things that lurk amongst the slightly musty offerings. But I am a good discount website shopper and ebay purchaser. Most of my very favourite things have come from sites like The Outnet and Ebay and I was prompted to write this post by my latest acquisition, a “brand new with tags” Cacharel dress for just £40. There are certain items and labels I long for and Cacharel has always been one of them. I adore it but only own one piece, a charcoal grey pencil skirt which I snapped up at a sample sale many many fashion moons ago, and have always dreamed to own one of their Summer print dresses….and now I do!

So that’s made me very happy indeed. And while we’re at it I thought I’d share some of my other bargain purchases…..

This was an Ebay win. A brand new See By Chloe blue and white striped dress. Bought to wear to a party just a few weeks after I’d had my second baby. I was feeling a bit nautical at the time so this was perfect. And I wear it all the time now. It’s comfy, timeless and flattering to whatever kind of day I’m having. £32.99 including postage – Ebay.

And then to my fabulous Chloe cape coat. My absolute favourite Winter piece ever. And for just £55 – Ebay

Will take a picture and post later…’s packed away safely from moths.

I find the secret of Ebay shopping is to know what you want and then search for it. Stick to the designers you know suit you. There’s no point going for something you know nothing about or in a style you’ve never worn – it will just end up as a big, disappointing mistake. If you’re familiar with the way the designer cuts and their sizes, you’re less likely to end up with something you’ll never ever wear.

Like everyone I pour over the fashion and shopping pages of my favourite magazines, especially the catwalk roundups. And I drool over Net-A-Porter every time  “Just In!” emails hit my inbox. But I can’t afford to buy all those lovely things I want so much so I have to get creative. I see what I like and then I search for that piece or something from that particular collection online and sometimes, I get lucky.

It’s fun, satisfying, guilt free shopping and I urge you all to give it a go.

Online shopping and Morris Dancing

I’ve had quite a consumer-led weekend. No clothes sadly, well one hat, but a few nice bits and pieces to make me smile and none of which have left me feeling too guilty or, most importantly, horribly poor.

It started online with the wonderful french site Bianca and Family. I could have gone crazy and bought pretty much everything on there but my credit card wouldn’t allow it and I’m not quite that frivolous. But I did get these lovely things for the boys and I can’t wait for them to arrive….I think the cushion is my favourite

So that was Saturday. Today was slightly different. We went to a village fair – the first of the “season” in these parts – in the very pretty village of Churchill. It was full of the usual Morris Dancing and dog show, featuring prizes for the “waggiest tale” but there were also some rather good stalls selling all sorts of bric a brac which is the kind of thing I love. So, having a bit of an addiction to old pottery, especially platters and bowls, I found 3 pieces of treasure. Here’s a picture of my favourite. A Rhine Grey platter from Burgess and Leigh. Only £5. Thank you very much.

And then to Daylesford to treat myself to a hat. Not the wide brim, floppy thing I thought I wanted but more of a soft cowboy-ish sort of a hat which was a fraction of the price and I won’t need an extra suitcase to take it on holiday.

So after last week when I didn’t think I wanted or needed anything at all. It would seem there were all kinds of things out there I hadn’t even thought about so it’s just a relief that I found them at all!

Caterpillar suckers

My husband ordered some caterpillars online which are soon to turn in to Butterflies, right before our very eyes……when I say soon……

They currently live in two plastic sealed cups on a shelf high enough from children’s reach but near enough for us to watch them grow. Very very very slowly indeed.

“They make it look much more exciting on the tv ad don’t they” said my 40 year old husband. Case closed.

If you too want to watch some very small caterpillars eat their “special food” and turn in to beautiful butterflies which you can release in to the wild and see the unrequited joy  in your children’s eyes, then click here

Our caterpillars in situ. In the larder. Nice.

I need….

A hat. I have a house FULL of hats. They’re everywhere but none of them are mine and none of them satisfy the current longing I have for a very particular hat.

What I need is a very wide brim floppy straw sort of hat which has a perfectly rounded head bit and a perfectly sculpted floppy brim bit. Natural colour and weave. Not too expensive. Easily transportable and low maintenance.

And I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard to be one of those fashionable girls in wide brim hats. If you know what I mean.

Farewell Charing Cross Road….

Central Saint Martins School of Art is moving home, which is sad, as I spent a very happy 4 years in the Charing Cross building. I wrote to the head of fashion at CSM when I was 12 and included some designs – you can imagine – which I hoped would prove my worth as a shining light in the future of fashion……which never actually happened I might add. But I did end up studying Fashion Communication and Promotion at CSM from 1994 – 1998 and am hugely proud to have been part of both the college and that wonderful building.

Click the link below to see the film.