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One thing that has become very apparent to me during the last six months is the lack of fashionable maternity fashion available on the UK highstreet. I was pleased to see a few years ago that my favourite brands Topshop, New Look and H&M had started to offer a maternity collection however now i actually need it, all they really offer are the basics and who just wants to live in stretch tees and leggings for nine months (no matter how comfy they are). Just because i am pregnant doesn't mean i want to loose my style identity and dress like a sack of potatoes.

Now I know there are lots of pricier, specialist maternity brands but with the financial cloud of baby looming, i wanted to keep my clothing budget to a minimum, especially as a lot of these pieces wont get worn again. So far I have managed to achieve this, by continuing to wear a lot of my pre-bump clothes - oversized classic tees, knitwear etc is all good when teamed with a pair of maternity jeans and some accessories to add individuality. However it's those fancier, more fashionable pieces i have struggled with, something that doesn't look frumpy or like a pair of grandmas curtains. Not only have i struggled finding them but actually physically being able to look at / try on in a store.....no-where stocks Maternity. The brands that do offer it, choose to simply sell online and whilst we are a technologically advanced society these days and online shopping is so easy, sometimes you just want to try on a whole pile of stuff without first having to pay and then return it, especially when you haven't a clue about sizing.

And breathe.....mini rant over! Now onto the essentials in my maternity wardrobe. In no way the absolute list, but these are things i have found myself reaching for day after day, that allow comfort but also reflect my own style.

Maternity Fashion - My Essentials

Add some fun
Working prints, colour and fun in to your maternity wardrobe helps to break up the inevitable black/white/grey basics you will end up wearing everyday. I achieved this by buying a couple of statement items and mix & matching them into my everyday looks. This bold floral top from ASOS has been my go to piece when i want to feel a little more put together at work, teamed with black skinny jeans and flats - the blouse style is flattering and the bold print makes me smile. Something as simple as a cute slogan tee (not for everyone) is a perfect thrown on item. I fell in love with this "Pregosaurus" tee, so easy to wear and I love the tongue in cheek humour of it. Finally the loafer......super comfy and practical but in this fabulous bold metallic pink just adds a touch of fun. I went for a cheap pair from Primark, but as my feet have swollen a little, £8 was a bargain. I have been teaming these with skinny jeans or my classic LBD and have had no end of comments and compliments about how cute they are -  they do come in many other colours if pink is a little too bright.

The Basics
The foundations of any good wardrobe, maternity or not are staple basics that work for all occasions. Focus on a great pair of black leggings, a pair of black & denim jeans in your preferred fit - i always wear skinnies and i went for over the bump for comfort but there are so many fits and washes available. Stock up on basic tees and vest tops, these will be your saviour - layered up under shirts, knitwear, dresses or worn on their own, mine all came from Primark as i love the fit of their basic vests, just buy a size bigger to accommodate your growing belly!! Comfort is key here so go for stretching fabrics, that hug your bump and cotton where possible to keep you cool during those hot flush moments.

A Simple Dress
For the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy i was still able to wear a lot of my favourite dresses, and where possible even now i will buy non maternity. Go for smock styles that fit and flare over your growing bump and if you need to add a belt. The one style i did go for in maternity was a striped bodycon midi dress - i am not normally a bodycon wearer (too many lumps) but since my bump popped i have been proudly showing it off and a fitted dress does this well. I went for a simple t-shirt style midi from ASOS and it is super comfy, lightweight, will last me for the rest of my pregnancy and looks great teamed with Converse and a jacket.

Finishing Touches
These are the items i have reached for most days and would suggest spending a little more on as they are classics, not fit dependant and will be useful once baby arrives. A classic sneaker/trainer - be that a cool pair of Converse, or a slightly more sporty fashion active sneaker, which ever style you choose go fo comfy and easy to get on.....now i am almost 30 weeks i live in my little sneakers, they work well with all of my wardrobe and let me waddle around in comfort. Last but by no means least, would be a cross body bag, keep it small so you don't carry the kitchen sink around (save your poor back), plus this style keeps hands free - helpful for later on when you have to negotiate driving a buggy around. I have not stopped using my Cambridge Satchel Co Push lock bag, i love the injection of colour (last years dusk blue) and the easy size but also not having to compromise my style. Small bags are so on trend and how gorgeous is this bag in the SS17 Neon Coral shade - slightly lusting over this and may have to drop hints for my upcoming birthday!



Maternity T-Shirt in Floral with Ruffle Hem - ASOS | Maternity Preggosaurus Slogan Tee - ASOS
Metallic Pink Loafers - Primark (In store only) | Maternity Cropped Legging - ASOS
Washed Over Bump Ripped Knee Jeggings - New LookMaternity Ridley Skinny Jean Over The Bump Waistband - ASOS
Maternity Curved Hem T Shirt Dress in Stripe - ASOS | Gingham Smock Dress - Primark (In store only)
Large Push Lock Satchel - Cambridge Satchel Co

As I am sure you will see from above, ASOS has been my saviour, not only can I buy a mix of brands in one place but their own brand ASOS maternity collection is by far the nicest I have found and accounts for about 90% of my maternity wardrobe. A great range with plenty of variety, great fit and best of all not expensive.

Best Highstreet Maternity Collections
New Look | M&SASOSTopshop | H&M


Are there any other brands/products you would recommend I check out?
_________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!

Maternity Fashion - The Essentials


One thing that has become very apparent to me during the last six months is the lack of fashionable maternity fashion available on the UK highstreet. I was pleased to see a few years ago that my favourite brands Topshop, New Look and H&M had started to offer a maternity collection however now i actually need it, all they really offer are the basics and who just wants to live in stretch tees and leggings for nine months (no matter how comfy they are). Just because i am pregnant doesn't mean i want to loose my style identity and dress like a sack of potatoes.

Now I know there are lots of pricier, specialist maternity brands but with the financial cloud of baby looming, i wanted to keep my clothing budget to a minimum, especially as a lot of these pieces wont get worn again. So far I have managed to achieve this, by continuing to wear a lot of my pre-bump clothes - oversized classic tees, knitwear etc is all good when teamed with a pair of maternity jeans and some accessories to add individuality. However it's those fancier, more fashionable pieces i have struggled with, something that doesn't look frumpy or like a pair of grandmas curtains. Not only have i struggled finding them but actually physically being able to look at / try on in a store.....no-where stocks Maternity. The brands that do offer it, choose to simply sell online and whilst we are a technologically advanced society these days and online shopping is so easy, sometimes you just want to try on a whole pile of stuff without first having to pay and then return it, especially when you haven't a clue about sizing.

And breathe.....mini rant over! Now onto the essentials in my maternity wardrobe. In no way the absolute list, but these are things i have found myself reaching for day after day, that allow comfort but also reflect my own style.

Maternity Fashion - My Essentials

Add some fun
Working prints, colour and fun in to your maternity wardrobe helps to break up the inevitable black/white/grey basics you will end up wearing everyday. I achieved this by buying a couple of statement items and mix & matching them into my everyday looks. This bold floral top from ASOS has been my go to piece when i want to feel a little more put together at work, teamed with black skinny jeans and flats - the blouse style is flattering and the bold print makes me smile. Something as simple as a cute slogan tee (not for everyone) is a perfect thrown on item. I fell in love with this "Pregosaurus" tee, so easy to wear and I love the tongue in cheek humour of it. Finally the loafer......super comfy and practical but in this fabulous bold metallic pink just adds a touch of fun. I went for a cheap pair from Primark, but as my feet have swollen a little, £8 was a bargain. I have been teaming these with skinny jeans or my classic LBD and have had no end of comments and compliments about how cute they are -  they do come in many other colours if pink is a little too bright.

The Basics
The foundations of any good wardrobe, maternity or not are staple basics that work for all occasions. Focus on a great pair of black leggings, a pair of black & denim jeans in your preferred fit - i always wear skinnies and i went for over the bump for comfort but there are so many fits and washes available. Stock up on basic tees and vest tops, these will be your saviour - layered up under shirts, knitwear, dresses or worn on their own, mine all came from Primark as i love the fit of their basic vests, just buy a size bigger to accommodate your growing belly!! Comfort is key here so go for stretching fabrics, that hug your bump and cotton where possible to keep you cool during those hot flush moments.

A Simple Dress
For the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy i was still able to wear a lot of my favourite dresses, and where possible even now i will buy non maternity. Go for smock styles that fit and flare over your growing bump and if you need to add a belt. The one style i did go for in maternity was a striped bodycon midi dress - i am not normally a bodycon wearer (too many lumps) but since my bump popped i have been proudly showing it off and a fitted dress does this well. I went for a simple t-shirt style midi from ASOS and it is super comfy, lightweight, will last me for the rest of my pregnancy and looks great teamed with Converse and a jacket.

Finishing Touches
These are the items i have reached for most days and would suggest spending a little more on as they are classics, not fit dependant and will be useful once baby arrives. A classic sneaker/trainer - be that a cool pair of Converse, or a slightly more sporty fashion active sneaker, which ever style you choose go fo comfy and easy to get on.....now i am almost 30 weeks i live in my little sneakers, they work well with all of my wardrobe and let me waddle around in comfort. Last but by no means least, would be a cross body bag, keep it small so you don't carry the kitchen sink around (save your poor back), plus this style keeps hands free - helpful for later on when you have to negotiate driving a buggy around. I have not stopped using my Cambridge Satchel Co Push lock bag, i love the injection of colour (last years dusk blue) and the easy size but also not having to compromise my style. Small bags are so on trend and how gorgeous is this bag in the SS17 Neon Coral shade - slightly lusting over this and may have to drop hints for my upcoming birthday!



Maternity T-Shirt in Floral with Ruffle Hem - ASOS | Maternity Preggosaurus Slogan Tee - ASOS
Metallic Pink Loafers - Primark (In store only) | Maternity Cropped Legging - ASOS
Washed Over Bump Ripped Knee Jeggings - New LookMaternity Ridley Skinny Jean Over The Bump Waistband - ASOS
Maternity Curved Hem T Shirt Dress in Stripe - ASOS | Gingham Smock Dress - Primark (In store only)
Large Push Lock Satchel - Cambridge Satchel Co

As I am sure you will see from above, ASOS has been my saviour, not only can I buy a mix of brands in one place but their own brand ASOS maternity collection is by far the nicest I have found and accounts for about 90% of my maternity wardrobe. A great range with plenty of variety, great fit and best of all not expensive.

Best Highstreet Maternity Collections
New Look | M&SASOSTopshop | H&M


Are there any other brands/products you would recommend I check out?
_________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!


Selected Femme Flower Printed Skirt - ASOSGingham Crop Frill Jacket - Topshop | Cloud Sweatshirt - Anya Hindmarch
Pom Pom Market Basket - Edit58 | Olivia Burton Begin To Blush Leather Watch - ASOS 
Fluro Stripe Smock Dress - ASOS | Spice things up Winking Camel pouch - Kate Spade
Parisian Blue Stripe Floral Embroidered Bardot Top - New Look | ACE Laser Cut Point Shoes - Topshop

With one day of sunshine so far this month, my thoughts have turned to the seasons ahead and some much needed colour and fun needed as temperatures finally start to warm up in the UK. 

Perfect for spring and ticks all the boxes for the gingham trend, this cute boxy jacket with fluted sleeves would work so well with both a jeans & tee combo as well as an casual LBD.

The main item on this wishlist i need in my life is the straw tote - a huge summer must have for the last few years this one is the perfect size and embraces my favourite trend of detailing....the pom pom beautifully. Not the cheapest version around but well crafted and gorgeous.

The final callout has to go to this amazing organza striped dress from ASOS. A gorgeous spring pastel palette and some interesting detailing - gathered waist and longer sleeves, making it a perfect dress. Would be great for a wedding but also great for daytime, dressed down with flat sandals and that straw tote.

Which was your favourite piece this month?
_______________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!


March Wishlist


Selected Femme Flower Printed Skirt - ASOSGingham Crop Frill Jacket - Topshop | Cloud Sweatshirt - Anya Hindmarch
Pom Pom Market Basket - Edit58 | Olivia Burton Begin To Blush Leather Watch - ASOS 
Fluro Stripe Smock Dress - ASOS | Spice things up Winking Camel pouch - Kate Spade
Parisian Blue Stripe Floral Embroidered Bardot Top - New Look | ACE Laser Cut Point Shoes - Topshop

With one day of sunshine so far this month, my thoughts have turned to the seasons ahead and some much needed colour and fun needed as temperatures finally start to warm up in the UK. 

Perfect for spring and ticks all the boxes for the gingham trend, this cute boxy jacket with fluted sleeves would work so well with both a jeans & tee combo as well as an casual LBD.

The main item on this wishlist i need in my life is the straw tote - a huge summer must have for the last few years this one is the perfect size and embraces my favourite trend of detailing....the pom pom beautifully. Not the cheapest version around but well crafted and gorgeous.

The final callout has to go to this amazing organza striped dress from ASOS. A gorgeous spring pastel palette and some interesting detailing - gathered waist and longer sleeves, making it a perfect dress. Would be great for a wedding but also great for daytime, dressed down with flat sandals and that straw tote.

Which was your favourite piece this month?
_______________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!


Stylish Rainwear - the New Look Anorak

Let's be honest, one of the downsides of living in the UK is the weather. Rain is such a big part of life here whether we like it or not, so i am pleased to see the highstreet embracing it and giving us some options that look cute but also keep us dry. I am normally an advocate of the umbrella and will avoid wearing a coat in the spring at all costs, but even i think i will struggle on a wet day trying to use an umbrella and push a pram at the same time, especially if its windy too!!

This post was inspired by this great lookbook shot - found in the New Look SS17 trend guide.
I came across this image and was struck by the rainbow of colours along with the mix of texture/prints...particularly loved the metallic lilac style at the front. A simple waterproof coat given a modern twist with the use of patents, metallics' and print - perfect to throw on and who says we can't be stylish and dry.

Here are my top picks, for staying dry during the inevitable spring showers we British know and love.
Stylish Rainwear - my top picks

Black Spot Print Clear Anorak - New Look | Petite Ivy Rain Mac - Topshop | Coast Waterproof Jacket - Joules
Yellow Nautical Jacket - TU@Sainsburys | Tall Pac A Mac - ASOS | Longline Metallic Rain Mac - Topshop
Pink Matte Anorak - New Look | White Button Trim Stripe Hem Anorak - New Look
Striped Hooded Anorak - M&S | Rain Mac - Topshop | Hunter Original Smock Raincoat - ASOS

I opted for the classic cream with navy stripe trim style from New Look, not too expensive and looks really cute teamed with jeans and a tee - has come in useful already, on those days where there is no point in even attempting to put up an umbrella.

Which is your favourite style - or would you rather get wet?
__________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!


TGF Edit: Stylish Rainwear

Stylish Rainwear - the New Look Anorak

Let's be honest, one of the downsides of living in the UK is the weather. Rain is such a big part of life here whether we like it or not, so i am pleased to see the highstreet embracing it and giving us some options that look cute but also keep us dry. I am normally an advocate of the umbrella and will avoid wearing a coat in the spring at all costs, but even i think i will struggle on a wet day trying to use an umbrella and push a pram at the same time, especially if its windy too!!

This post was inspired by this great lookbook shot - found in the New Look SS17 trend guide.
I came across this image and was struck by the rainbow of colours along with the mix of texture/prints...particularly loved the metallic lilac style at the front. A simple waterproof coat given a modern twist with the use of patents, metallics' and print - perfect to throw on and who says we can't be stylish and dry.

Here are my top picks, for staying dry during the inevitable spring showers we British know and love.
Stylish Rainwear - my top picks

Black Spot Print Clear Anorak - New Look | Petite Ivy Rain Mac - Topshop | Coast Waterproof Jacket - Joules
Yellow Nautical Jacket - TU@Sainsburys | Tall Pac A Mac - ASOS | Longline Metallic Rain Mac - Topshop
Pink Matte Anorak - New Look | White Button Trim Stripe Hem Anorak - New Look
Striped Hooded Anorak - M&S | Rain Mac - Topshop | Hunter Original Smock Raincoat - ASOS

I opted for the classic cream with navy stripe trim style from New Look, not too expensive and looks really cute teamed with jeans and a tee - has come in useful already, on those days where there is no point in even attempting to put up an umbrella.

Which is your favourite style - or would you rather get wet?
__________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!



Have been thinking about this for idea for a while - I always see these photo a day challenges popping up on my Pinterest/Instagram feeds and decided I would challenge myself to do one in February.....after a slow start to the year, this would be the perfect way to shake up my Instagram game.

I spent lots of time looking at challenge lists that already exist in the social media world but none seemed quite the right fit for me and my photography style, so I decided to to come up with my own list incorporating a good mix of fashion and life.
Below is my list, feel free to save and take the challenge for yourself.... 

Just in case you don't follow me, or would like to see more click on the link above to go straight to my Instagram feed....now onto my 28 days of February.


Setting myself a challenge like this really helped to focus my efforts to post an image everyday as well as sharing images I wouldn't normally. The only downside I found is if you are the kind of person who needs your feed to stick to a theme, it becomes a little trickier with the variety of images in a monthly challenge, but if you create your own list then you could work round this...and it would really push your creative boundaries.

Which is your favourite image of the month? Please leave me a comment below..
- ❤ -
Have you taken a photo a day challenge before?

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!

A Photo a Day Challenge


Have been thinking about this for idea for a while - I always see these photo a day challenges popping up on my Pinterest/Instagram feeds and decided I would challenge myself to do one in February.....after a slow start to the year, this would be the perfect way to shake up my Instagram game.

I spent lots of time looking at challenge lists that already exist in the social media world but none seemed quite the right fit for me and my photography style, so I decided to to come up with my own list incorporating a good mix of fashion and life.
Below is my list, feel free to save and take the challenge for yourself.... 

Just in case you don't follow me, or would like to see more click on the link above to go straight to my Instagram feed....now onto my 28 days of February.


Setting myself a challenge like this really helped to focus my efforts to post an image everyday as well as sharing images I wouldn't normally. The only downside I found is if you are the kind of person who needs your feed to stick to a theme, it becomes a little trickier with the variety of images in a monthly challenge, but if you create your own list then you could work round this...and it would really push your creative boundaries.

Which is your favourite image of the month? Please leave me a comment below..
- ❤ -
Have you taken a photo a day challenge before?

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!

Sophia Webster AW17 - Inspiration

For Autumn Winter 2017, Webster transformed the basement of Soho record shop "Phonica" into an ice-cold winter wonderland complete with a giant igloo bubble. What better backdrop for the chilling but beautiful "I scream for Ice Queens" collection. Embracing the traditional Sophia Webster take on fashion week, the venue was decked out to tell a story. With towering models - bundled up like the abominable snowman, with super furry winter boots or like they had stepped straight out of Narnia, adorned with mystic crowns of shimmering jewels and ice inspired crystals, surrounded by the fairytale collection of shoes and bags. 

"The collection is inspired by Frozen, because I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, so Elsa was the main inspiration. And Harbin ice-festival in China which is a life-size iced village that they build every year. They light it up at night – it’s like a magical, colourful ice kingdom. And the main square there is called Sophia square – so it’s destined to be!" - quote taken from Marie Claire interview.

Sophia Webster AW17 - Inside the Iglo
Sophia Webster AW17 - Narnia Queen
Sophia Webster AW17 - Pastel perfection

A pastel take over with icy lilacs, baby pinks, pale shades of blue and lots of white, set against silvery metallics and sumptuous furs. A combination of textures adding extra depth to the pieces - velvet, glitter, crystals, pearls and smooth supple leathers to name a few - with these delicate details flowing through into the room decor and model outfits.

I really enjoyed the softer side to this collection, especially all the beautiful shades of pastel pinks but also the slightly more simplified styling (more wearable styles), this was a nice change of pace from the designer. My favourite pieces would have to be tiara heels, combing beautiful beading and pearls with the pale pink velvet upper and the typically ornate heel. I also really liked this years take on the sneaker, a very practical piece but given that Sophia twist to make it both feminine, functional yet still a statement. 

Sophia Webster AW17 - Ice Queen

Finally the Glacier sandal bootie (below) with dramatic starburst crystals was hands down my favourite pair of the whole collection - something very dark and mysterious but beautiful about them, love the drama!

Sophia Webster AW17 - The Glacier Bootie

If it is still available be sure to head over the the Sophia Webster Facebook page and check out the live video - a great way to experience the presentation and learn more about the beautiful collection.
All imagery used in this post from Vogue, unless stated otherwise.

Which was your favourite style??
______________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!

Sophia Webster AW17 - “I Scream for Ice Queens”

Sophia Webster AW17 - Inspiration

For Autumn Winter 2017, Webster transformed the basement of Soho record shop "Phonica" into an ice-cold winter wonderland complete with a giant igloo bubble. What better backdrop for the chilling but beautiful "I scream for Ice Queens" collection. Embracing the traditional Sophia Webster take on fashion week, the venue was decked out to tell a story. With towering models - bundled up like the abominable snowman, with super furry winter boots or like they had stepped straight out of Narnia, adorned with mystic crowns of shimmering jewels and ice inspired crystals, surrounded by the fairytale collection of shoes and bags. 

"The collection is inspired by Frozen, because I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, so Elsa was the main inspiration. And Harbin ice-festival in China which is a life-size iced village that they build every year. They light it up at night – it’s like a magical, colourful ice kingdom. And the main square there is called Sophia square – so it’s destined to be!" - quote taken from Marie Claire interview.

Sophia Webster AW17 - Inside the Iglo
Sophia Webster AW17 - Narnia Queen
Sophia Webster AW17 - Pastel perfection

A pastel take over with icy lilacs, baby pinks, pale shades of blue and lots of white, set against silvery metallics and sumptuous furs. A combination of textures adding extra depth to the pieces - velvet, glitter, crystals, pearls and smooth supple leathers to name a few - with these delicate details flowing through into the room decor and model outfits.

I really enjoyed the softer side to this collection, especially all the beautiful shades of pastel pinks but also the slightly more simplified styling (more wearable styles), this was a nice change of pace from the designer. My favourite pieces would have to be tiara heels, combing beautiful beading and pearls with the pale pink velvet upper and the typically ornate heel. I also really liked this years take on the sneaker, a very practical piece but given that Sophia twist to make it both feminine, functional yet still a statement. 

Sophia Webster AW17 - Ice Queen

Finally the Glacier sandal bootie (below) with dramatic starburst crystals was hands down my favourite pair of the whole collection - something very dark and mysterious but beautiful about them, love the drama!

Sophia Webster AW17 - The Glacier Bootie

If it is still available be sure to head over the the Sophia Webster Facebook page and check out the live video - a great way to experience the presentation and learn more about the beautiful collection.
All imagery used in this post from Vogue, unless stated otherwise.

Which was your favourite style??
______________

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with new posts!

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