I was having a discussion at work the other day about shoes (what else?) where I was the only person who didn’t really love an espadrille.
Perhaps it was one too many Summer holidays when I was younger wearing them, but they’re just not the kind of sandal I would ever choose.
But then, I started seeing lots of Instagram snaps of cool young things wearing THESE – the Chanel espadrille:
Plus points: Chic enough to smarten up a simple pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Negative points: They are £295 and keep selling out.
So while I love them – realistically, practically and financially, they’re not meant to be mine.
But it’s definitely made me re-think the Summer espadrille. And I do quite like these, by Toms. Hmmm….
Last week I had lunch with Myleene Klass, as you do, in Nobu’s private room. Very nice thank you.
The musician / model / mum was celebrating her tenth Baby K collection for Mothercare – which is amazing. In fashion years that’s good going.
Anyway, it was lovely.
Lunch was amazing, the champers was flowing, Myleene was gorgeous (and so friendly, I think I massively over-shared stories about the kids ), plus the latest collection was very impressive.
Myleene’s signature leopard print and floral mis-match is definitely something I would do myself, but have always worried about it being a bit old for the baby. But I have to say the swimsuit (and matching hat!) I received as a present is the cutest thing ever. LOOK!
And I loved this eagle t-shirt for Charlie.
Here are some other pieces I love, all in store and online now.
Style expert Angela Buttolph is an experienced print and broadcast journalist, covering everything from writing weekly features for glossy magazine Grazia to hosting BBC fashion programmes A Week Of Dressing Dangerously and Fashion Victim Rehab.
She is also an author, having written Kate Moss: Style Icon, a ‘style biography’ about the fashion icon of a generation.
Now Angela, 42, is about to have her first baby (in three weeks!) and has recently been contributing to Gurgle Magazine about all stylish maternity matters.
So how has this style aficionado coped with the past nine months? Angela talks to MMM to discuss.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! How have you found the whole experience style-wise? It’s been quite fun actually – a bit of a new fashion challenge. Although, full disclaimer: I’ve been blogging for Isabella Oliver so I’ve had quite a bit of help!
How do you usually dress? What would you say is your usual non-pregnancy style? Zara meets Isabel Marant. Leggy with sharp jackets and heels. A bit more boho in the summer, a lot sharper in the winter.
When you first found out you were pregnant, did you have an idea of the kind of look you would aim for? And have you succeeded? I thought I would do a lot of stretchy dresses with flats or heels; leggings, sharp jackets and heels; and a little bit of boho-y kimono jackets with leggings or maxi dresses – and I was right. I just didn’t want to just wear all my husband’s clothes and hide under baggy layers for the duration. Or wear prim little Peter Pan collar smocky dresses – which don’t suit me even when I’m not pregnant.
Would you say you have been frustrated at the lack of choice on the high street? Totally. The selection there is so conservative, I think they’re thinking ‘women won’t want to buy too many pieces so they all need to be really simple’ so there’s not a single statement piece anywhere. I would usually buy a knock-out pair of jeans and wear them non-stop for a few months, but all the maternity jeans are indigo, black or (woo!) grey. No prints, no interesting finishes, no amazing colours – nothing. And when I meet up with my NCT class everyone is wearing stripey tops or dresses because that’s all that’s available that’s even remotely fashionable. And if you want a Kate Middleton-style lace dress, in any colour, you’re laughing, but a catwalk savvy digital print? Forget it.**
Have you actually bought any maternity pieces? Where from? I was completely obsessed with Isabella Oliver before I was blogging for them, so I did buy some pieces – my favourite was a paper thin Rick Owens-style waterfall collar black leather jacket which I’ve worn more than anything else – it’s the perfect shape for a bump! And I also bought their kimono style wrap coat, two pairs of their brilliant black leggings and a couple of sexy stretchy dresses.
What have been your own personal hero products (clothes / accessories / shoes)? I’ve lived in Isabella Oliver leggings. It’s great to highlight the bits of you that are still (relatively!) skinny. I have two scoop neck cashmere jumpers from COS which are long, thin and fitted with thumb holes and they have been my staple wear-with-everything base layer for the winter. And I’ve got the most pleasure out of still wearing my own jackets – worn open. I’ve got a cropped Chanel style jacket from Topshop, a printed kimono jacket from Topshop, and I’ve just bought a paisley print padded cotton jacket from Zara. It’s great when you can mix in ‘real clothes’! Also: hats – so easy to wear but nobody seems to expect a pregnant woman to bother styling herself (!) I’ve got a stripey beanie and a khaki fedora and both of them are always big hits.
Are there any stores on the high street you could recommend? H&M does the best (thick) maternity tights, and Muji does surprisingly sexy non-underwired bras, but other than that I’ve been pretty unimpressed to be honest.
Who on the high street do you think should consider bringing out a decent maternity range? I would love to see what Zara could do – I would imagine something fashion forward but also elegant and wearable.
What do you think stores get wrong when it comes to maternity style? WHERE are the current prints? The fashion forward colours? The statement fashion pieces? Seriously? It’s all about prints at the moment and a stretchy colourful printed T-shirt dress would be so easy to wear and a great way to look blooming in pregnancy.
If you could create the ultimate maternity-friendly capsule wardrobe, what five pieces would you have in it? 1. A stretchy digital print T shirt dress (similar to Isabella Oliver’s Vivien T-shirt dress) 2. A pair of AWESOME statement skinny jeans – in a cool, Maranty print like tie dye for summer 3. A sharply tailored, coloured jacket (like Isabella Oliver’s cobalt blue Everyday jacket) 4. Stretch leather leggings – yes please 5. Fitted cashmere jumpers in an endless selection of colours and prints
What would you advise a newly pregnant woman to invest in? Some great statement/print kitten heels, flat shoes or cool trainers – to liven up all those basics (you really won’t be wearing five-inch heels). Good quality skinny jeans or leggings. And a colourful dress that makes you feel gorgeous but also works for work, weddings, meeting up with friends etc
And finally, have any celebrities impressed you with their own pregnancy style? None of my faves are pregnant at the moment but I like women who can do really casual/jeansy style well – Gisele always looked pretty good – understated but up-to-date. I like it when women don’t change their usual personal style while pregnant. And fashion blogger Hedvig Opshaug did fashion-forward coats and jackets for pregnancy really well.
** UPDATE FROM ANGELA:
“Annoyingly since we discussed this, I’ve noticed that Topshop Maternity has sprung into action and dropped all these great items which were NOT available during the long boring cold winter of dullness that was the first few months of my pregnancy, grrr. Here are some of my I-would-have-totally-worn-these pregnancy picks:”
Skirts are a very personal thing, but in general you find your style and stick to it.
In my case, it’s all about the Midi – a length lower than knee but shorter than ankle.
I’m not a massive fan of my legs, so Minis and me will never get on. I quite like a Maxi on a hot Summer’s day, but to be honest, the thought of racing round after the kids and constantly picking my skirt up is a practicality meltdown waiting to happen.
So Midi it is. And I am very happy with that, particularly when there are so many ways to wear what is currently a very on-trend shape.
Raf Simons reintroduced the Dior Forties ‘New Look’ full Midi style for SS13.
And for a budget version, check out Coast’s ‘Rita’ skirt.
Here are some more I currently love. Rock with a grey t-shirt and trainers for a grunged-down look, or team with a cable knit and heels.
New Apps are launched every day, with loads helping busy mums out in various ways – whether it’s a game to keep the kids amused in the car or an app to help mums lose the baby weight.
Now a free App has launched that really is designed to make life easier for mums on the go. Called WOWMUM, it instantly locates nearby baby and child friendly places sorted into three simple categories Eat, Play and Pamper. I mean, genius!
So whether you’re looking for baby changing facilities, buggy friendly eateries, indoor and outdoor play areas, toy shops or children’s hairdressers, WOWMUM can help. There’s even a ‘Nappy Changing Panic Button’ for, well, you know! I had an experience last weekend in the middle of a shopping trip which that would have VERY handy for…
Already over 12,000 WOWSpots have been located across the UK, it features a range of easy to use icons to allow you to search for things like highchair availability, children’s menus and bottle warming facilities. The other really clever thing is that if you discover a family friendly gem the App allows you to ‘add a WowSpot’, as well as share reviews and ratings.
With so many places on the App already, it seemed a good idea to ask WOWMUM to give MMM readers their Top Ten favourite kids clothes stores around the UK. And read on to download the app and be in with a chance to win a £40 giftcard for one of their favourites, cool London kids boutique, Kidsen.
WOWMUM’s TOP TEN favourite children’s wear shops:
The Elves & the Shoemaker, 100 Bridge Street Wye, Kent www.elvesshoes.co.uk
This shop has a great child/parent-friendly environment and is a compact shoe shop in Kent. The whole shop is geared towards making the experience a magical one for children, from the rainbow-carpeted shoe-fitting area to the words of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale written on the walls and an inviting looking play table. The shop offers school staples like Start-rite to more exciting European brands such as Angulus, Primigi, Ricosta and Garvalin.
Rosita Lollipop, Paynes Way, Hitchin www.rositalollipop.com
Rosita Lollipop is a great find for parents who love retro and vintage living. It is a lifestyle clothing and gift shop that specialises in 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s reproduction vintage wear for guys and gals and children too! Its gift range has beautiful greeting cards, gorgeous children’s reproduction and contemporary designed toys and books. Everything will make your heart skip a beat… or two!
Bluebelle & Co. Trafalgar Street, Brighton www.bluebellandco.com
Bluebelle & Co is dedicated to selling unique and vintage inspired products and has a great collection of babywear, children’s clothing, toys and gifts, as well as fashion and homewares for mum. Its large retail space is great for buggies so it’s a pleasurable shopping experience for mum and child, you won’t leave empty handed.
Kidsen, 111 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3NS www.kidsen.co.uk
Award winning children’s store Kidsen offers a slice of Scandinavian life in the heart of Kensal Rise, west London. Founded in 2008, Kidsen is the UK’s first Scandinavian children’s store selling beautiful things for kids from some of Northern Europe’s most innovative and sought after brands. Promising a unique shopping experience, Kidsen meets every child’s needs from fashion and shoes to gifts, toys and interiors. Kidsen also stocks Mummy and Me ranges in shoes and clothes….prepare to shop!
Little World, Morningside Road, Edinburgh www.littleworldonline.com
This colourful and inviting boutique offers a great range of children’s clothing, footwear, outerwear, accessories plus nursery staples for new mums. It’s a great one stop shop for ages 0 to 8 years. Focusing on bright, fun and wearable clothes you can kit your kid out in brands like Joule, Timberland and Hatley.
Piccolo, New Kirk Road, Glasgow www.piccoloclothing.co.uk
Piccolo is a super stylish, family managed children’s designer boutique now in its 19th year of trading. It offers a wonderful selection of sought after clothes from birth to 12 years from casual wear to special occasions. Although the shop may be small the choice is vast Bourget, Catimini, Emile et Rose, Ben Sherman, Lily Gaufrette, Pampolina, Petit Bateau, Bobux and Country Kids Socks and tights and a vast range of Christening wear for boys and girls. And the best thing…car parking is free, what a treat!
Elias & Grace, 158 Regents Park Road, Primrose Hill London www.eliasandgrace.com
Elias & Grace oozes genuine old world charm. This easily accessible Primrose Hill store is flooded with natural light that offsets its décor and merchandise perfectly. This luxury brand offers stylish parents access to the best in chic and unique international designer childrenwear from 0 – 10 years. Shop for brands such as Chloe, Marni, ACNE and Petit Bateau.
Angels & Urchins, 45 St Cuthberts Street, Bedford, MK40 3JG
In Bedford is an oasis of carefully selected European shoe brands (Buckle My Shoe, Ricosta, Garvalin) and expertise. The owner, Sam Price, offers children a toy box and a TV showing DVDs; parents are rewarded with a loyalty card offering 25 per cent off their sixth pair of shoes. Put your best foot forward to this little gem.
Ragamuffin, Arlesford, Southampton www.ragamuffin-uk.com
Ragamuffin is a pretty shop selling a large range of clothes and accessories for babies and children. Its summer collection includes some beautiful summer dresses which are perfect for parties and occasion wear. It’s based in the picturesque market town of Alresford so it makes a great family day as there’s lots to see and od there including a steam railway.
Strawberry, Aigburth Road, Liverpool www.strawberrychildren.co.uk Strawberry is a designer boutique, which is often frequented by Coleen Rooney, Alex Gerrard and Nicola Carragher, which showcases leading leading children’s fashion brands. Unless you’re feeling flush you’ll probably find yourself window shopping rather than actual shopping! Enjoy great design and quality from Armani Junior, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood and Maharishi.
Along with Google Maps and Hailo, it’s probably the most useful App I’ve downloaded. Download the App here to be in with a chance to win £40 of Kidsen vouchers (one winner will be be contacted)
WOWMUM is available on iphone and Android, so find out more info here