23.08.2019- Most Wanted: Early Autumn Essentials

Friday, 23 August 2019

Now that we’re edging towards the end of August, my thoughts are turning towards autumn and the arrival of the new season. There’s something about the back-to-school sentiment of this year which is quite motivating- and the thought of the change which autumn brings with it is one which feels quite refreshing after the summer- especially along with the promise of long, leafy walks, a slight chill in the air and optimum opportunities to indulge in hot chocolate! Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll be wishing summer back as soon as it’s dark by teatime and the mornings are gloomy, but for now it’s nice to feel things shifting slightly- including the styles cropping up in the shops: 
Relaxed Wool Blend Knit Sweater, £65, & Other Stories/Alexondra Dress, £309, Baum und Pferdgarten/Fishtail Parka, £150, Arket/Camel Knit Midi Dress, £149, Whistles/Bright Orange Floral Midi Skirt, £59.50, Oliver Bonas/Corsica Cardigan, £199, Baum und Pferdgarten/Crescent Moon Pendant, £17, & Other Stories/Novesta Star Master Plimsolls, £49, Toast/Bibi Cross Body Bag, £129

This jumper from & Other Stories is firmly fixed at the top of my new season wishlist (confession: I picked it up yestersday!) predominantly because the colour is so dreamy, and the perfect option for bridging the gap from summer to autumn. As well as that, it’s the ideal piece for layering over jeans or trousers, and would also look fantastic thrown over a dress, like this gorgeous floral style from Baum und Pferdgarten. I spied this style in the flesh in the window of one of my favourite local boutiques, and it won me over on the spot- especially as the darker colourway lends itself perfectly to giving florals a refreshing twist for the new season. The slightly longer line is also perfect for lots of versatile styling options. 

Next up, a practical investment in the shape of this parka from Arket, which wins points galore for being completely weatherproof (essential when it’s raining one minute and gloriously sunny the next..!), and for the lovely colour- a great alternative option to lots of the darker outerwear options which tend to hit the shops at this time of the year. Whistles always come up trumps as the seasons start to shift, and this knitted midi dress is no exception. Not only is the colour perfectly autumnal, it’s exactly the kind of cosy essential which makes the colder temperatures more bearable. A refreshing pop of bright colour, this midi skirt from Oliver Bonas is a great option for teaming with a chunky knit, and the vibrant pattern promises to be the perfect mood-booster as the days start to get shorter. Next up, another seasonal staple in the shape of this Baum und Pferdgarten cardigan- an investment piece which would stand up year after year. 

In terms of accessories, I’ve been really impressed by what & Other Stories have on offer at the moment, and this crescent moon necklace is a lovely touch for any outfit. I’m always on the lookout for fresh, comfortable footwear, and these Novesta plimsolls from Toast are on my ‘to buy’ list when payday rolls around. Finally, this cross-body bag from Whistles is a great staple for the season ahead and beyond- one of those brilliant investment buys which is perfectly practical too. 

Have you got your eye on any new pieces for the season ahead? 

(Image credit: & Other Stories, Baum und Pferdgarten, Arket, Whistles, Oliver Bonas and Toast.)

21.08.2019- What Walking Has Taught Me

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

If you follow me on Instagram, you might be aware that back in May, accompanied by some truly amazing work friends and in support of the wonderful Jolene, I took part in Trekstock’s Big Urban Trek. The premise was simple- a (hopefully!) sunny Saturday, with a ten mile trek route across London, from Greenwich Grind to Move Your Frame in King’s Cross. What I hadn’t anticipated at that time was just how much walking with this group of people would become something of a permanent fixture in my diary and how rewarding I would find it too; from our first training walk in April to now, I think we’ve amassed a good many miles more than any of us would have anticipated when we signed up for the original trek. 

There’s something really primal about walking, and I think we’re so often caught up in moving towards certain goals or destinations that we often forget just how important the journey to get there is. During the week, I can easily rack up an average of five or six miles a day from home to work and back again, but I always find myself rushing too much to actually think about the process of putting one foot in front of the other. I think the same can be said of almost everyone in a big city- with the combination of needing to be somewhere ASAP with the obligation of avoiding eye contact or conversation with anyone whatsoever compounding this lack of awareness- and that’s without even factoring in the eyes-glued-to-the-phone zombies ambling along the pavement which very often serve as the stem of my London-orientated angst.

The simple process of putting one foot in front of the other is one which I think is really important for life in general, and walking mindfully over the last few months has helped me to decompress a lot at the weekends- forgetting all of the little things which tend to worry me and just focusing on reaching the end of the route. So far, we've trekked from Richmond to Hammersmith, and from Amberley to Arundel in West Sussex, and I've also bolstered these rambles with lots of activity in Ireland and Scotland too- including climbing some pretty big hills. It's honestly been a hugely rewarding experience, and one which has also allowed each of us the opportunity to talk properly and without any distractions- as well as motivating each other to keep going!

With this in mind, last month I signed up to the Miles for Refugees challenge which is being organised by the British Red Cross for the month of September. I've chosen the 108 mile challenge- equivalent to the distance from Calais to London, which I can accumulate in a combination of running, swimming, cycling and walking. I'm really eager to get started and to have another challenge to take on- ten times larger than The Big Urban Trek but one which I hope will prove just as rewarding- especially as the cause is so worthwhile. There are more details here- and if you'd like to sponsor me, you can do so here. Thank you! 

Have you set yourself any long-term challenges recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

19.08.2019- What I Wore Today #381

Monday, 19 August 2019

As I touched on in my last style shaped post, packing for travelling is something which I have become much better at over the last couple of years, especially in terms of streamlining my wardrobe and favouring multi-purpose practical pieces. I’ve made a little bit of a concerted effort to invest in some top-quality basics which I know will last for trip after trip, and which have lots of scope for styling in a host of different ways. For Scotland, I travelled fairly lightly with some weatherproof essentials which worked really well for the changeable weather, and which also ticked all of the rights boxes in the comfort stakes too:

Cardigan- John Lewis 
Shirt- John Lewis 
Trousers- Lululemon 
Sunglasses- Ganni 
Bag- Fjallraven 
Shoes- New Balance 

First of all, how glorious is this backdrop? The streets of Edinburgh are so beautiful, but to stumble across this Rocketman inspired art was a total bonus! I was really pleasantly surprised by how lucky we were with the weather during our time in the city, so this combination was perfect for day one. This cardigan is a fairly recent purchase from John Lewis, but one which I’m really thrilled with, especially as it’s the sort of staple which I know I’ll get so much wear out of over the coming weeks and months. Similarly, I’ve been in the market for a great basic white shirt for ages now, and this linen style (again from John Lewis) is the absolute dream- as ideal for summer as it will be layered under some of my favourite knits as we head towards winter. 

Have you created a capsule wardrobe for travelling? 

(Image credit: Katharine Morgan, please do not reproduce without permission.)
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground