Summer Style from Mamas & Papas

I can’t quite believe it but the time has come to update Max’s wardrobe, again. Another three months have flown by and his 3-6 month clothes are getting a little snug, so it’s time to kill two birds with one stone and buy him some summer threads in his new big boy size.
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Shop Small Gifts for Mothers Day

My first Mother’s Day coming up next week, and I have to say I am looking forward to it! Other than breakfast in bed (and ideally a little lie in), I have no expectation about what the day will bring for me, but I’m excited to reach this first milestone and celebrate being Max’s Mum for the first time.

So in honour of the impending day, I thought I’d round up a few of my favourite gifts from small shops – the kind of thing I’d choose if I were going to buy myself a Mother’s Day present (I’m not, so I won’t be getting any of these.)

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Top picks from Max’s Spring wardrobe

Max had some seriously cute baby clothes. My heart broke a little when I was packing up all of his newborn and 0-3 clothes to go in the loft (you know, just in case), and it reminded me how pleasantly surprised I’ve been over the quality and style of the boyswear I’ve found so far on the high street and from some fab small businesses which I seek out/stumble across on Instagram. Read more!

Foxy fashion for the little one

The fox is having it’s moment it seems. It’s the cool animal of the season and I’ve thrown myself (or should I say, Max) into it whole heartedly.

We’ve already built up a nice little wardrobe of foxy fashion for Max to wear now and to grow into – there’s just something cute, fun and a little mischevious that make the fox a fabulous fit for a little boy like mine.

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How the Aussies have nailed nursery style

Since starting From Day Dot and setting out on my mission to jump head first into the stylish side of pregnancy, I’ve come across so many small businesses and beautiful brands which make it so easy to find inspiration and ideas. Instagram is my go to place to browse, hunt for special finds and share what I’m up to (if you’re not following me, please do!) and that’s where I’ve come across the majority of these small but amazing brands.

While I’ve stumbled across loads of UK businesses who are doing brilliant things (I’ll do a post on a few of my faves soon), what really struck me is the amount of Australian brands which have been front and centre of so much of my nursery inspo-spotting.

The Aussies seem to have a slightly Scandi-style but with a really fun and soft side to it, not quite so clean and bold as the Scandinavians but just as beautiful and so well styled. It’s one reason why the Internet is so great, we’d never have even seen or heard of these guys before, let alone be able to share and shop with them!

So to show you what I mean, I’ve done a round up of just a few of the brands from Down Under which have caught my eye…

Fox and Wilder

Think natural woods, bright whites, soft colours and a bit of black, and you’ve got the Fox and Wilder idea. I first came across them and fell in love when I saw this musical mint green hot air balloon mobile (on Instagram, of course) which nailed two of the nursery decor trends I’d recently posted about – my Mint Green, Grey and Gold colour palette, and the Hot Air Balloon trend.

Fox and Wilder Hot Air balloon mobile

After a quick browse of their site I came across this Kids Clothes Rail which looked so cool and the set up was styled to perfection.

fox and wilder childrens clothes rail

And, Hot Air Balloon Mobiles aside, that’s what really caught my eye with Fox and Wilder – their amazing ability to style a nursery and make you want to regram it to death before buying everything in sight. And they must know this is a strong point since they’ve added a Product Styling Service to their website, to help other brands style up their products for photography to give them the best chance of having the ‘Fox and Wilder effect’ and selling out of everything they have in stock.

Little Connoisseur

Maybe not the best name for direct traffic (it took me a good few goes to spell the name before I gave up and copy and pasted it) but a gem of an Instagram account if you’re looking for some good inspiration for your nursery. I mean, can we just take a minute…

little connoisseur girls playroom

little connoisseur girls nursery decor

yellow and blue baby nursery

Little Connoisseur sell just a few products, which aren’t cheap but are clearly premium and perfect for gifts if you’re looking to splash out on a lucky friend or family member. Decorative cushions and old school wooden spinning tops, in plush fabrics, soft colours, gold trims and a bit of personalisation to make it extra special.

The Little Fox Designs

With a store on Etsy, this little brand sells handmade crib sheets with a range to suit Stokke size and a range for standard cot sizes. I came across them on Instagram (seeing a trend here?) and won my first every social media competition when I entered their giveaway to win this monochrome grid print crib sheet. Receiving this in last week’s post, all the way from Aus, was a highlight of my week!

the little fox monochrome crib sheet

And with so many other designs in fun prints and fabrics which don’t appear to be available anywhere on this side of the world (if they are, can someone point me in the right direction?) – the cactus print is a definite favourite of mine – I just wish they also catered for adult-sized beds!

Little Fox Designs Paint Drops Crib Sheet

cactus print crib sheet

Fillyboo

It’s not all about decor, Fillyboo are a boho inspired maternity fashion company who use loads of customer generated content (technical term there) on their social media and their website, which is inspiring in itself because boy do they have some good looking customers.

This was the image that brought Fillyboo to my attention…

fillyboo maternity

A regram from For The Dreamers, who has the most envy-inducing blog I’ve ever seen, the room is a stunner and so is the outfit – the whole thing is just a dream.

fillyboo maternity daffodil dress

So if you’re into your boho style, especially if your pregnant during the summer months, check out Fillyboo – who do worldwide shipping – to get a special occasion number or a see-you-through-the-season investment piece.

Do you have any other Australian brands on your watch list that I should know about?

Rhyming with Wine
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A few of the best… Maternity Swimwear

I’m on another maternity wear quest, not that the last five months have gone particularly well, but this time I’m after something specific. A swimsuit. Urgh.

I have two spa weekends coming up before baby arrives (hopefully a little ad hoc pampering and definitely some pedicures before then too) and so I need a swimsuit of sorts to see me through. The first one is a spa day with overnight stay with the hubbie at a place called the Kinmel Hotel in Abergele, Wales, so will be a nice relaxed affair. The second one is my best friends hen do at Rookery Hall, Cheshire, which will be less of a relaxed affair and at 7 months pregnant by that point I might not be feeling tip top, so I at least want to look the part.

Despite it being the start of summer, the shops are being naturally annoying and filling their shelves and online stores with transitional Autumn clothing – personally my favourite time of year but not when I need to buy swimwear. And I work for a fashion brand so am guilty of being a part of the problem, so who am I to complain.

So, it’s slim pickings for maternity swimwear as much of it is in the dregs of the sale (i.e. it’s shit) or there are very limited new lines to choose from. So, I’ve rounded up a few of my current favourites available for us mammas-to-be on the high street right now.

For me, the top three things I’m looking for – and won’t really know if these options have nailed it until I try them on – is; 1) support for the girls / Mitchell Brothers / boobs, 2) Coverage of the ever-expanding bum, an average swimsuit is now providing thong coverage, so the additional surface area needs to be catered for, and 3) I want to look nice. Simple.

So starting with this pretty whimsical number from Asos (it’s actually called the Asos Maternity Whimsical Print Swimsuit). It makes a pleasant change from black or stripes – a common theme across the board in maternity wear – and a nicely designed open back looks like it will give the support needed. Maybe a little to pastel for my pasty English skin and dark hair, but a winner all the same for it’s break-away from the norm style.

asos whimsical print maternity swimsuit

Love the style of number one, but not the print? Stick with Asos and go bolder with this monochrome stripe number. Diagonal stripes have to be the most flattering direction of stripe, no?

Monochrome stripe maternity swimsuit

Or if you love a classic stripe, go all out nautical with a narrow blue and white stripe and red rope detail. You can’t get more cruise-ready than this Mama.licious halter swimsuit. Mama.licious is also available at a number of department stores such as John Lewis and Mothercare, but credit to Asos for this image, I’m much more comfortable using an image which doesn’t cut off the model’s head.

It wouldn’t be a swim post without some classic black in there, and this Emma Jane number with cross back is a simple beauty. Again, high five to Asos for the image, so much nicer than anywhere else, but if you hurry you might also be able to snap this one up in the Figleaves sale.

emma jane figleaves maternity swimsuit

Of course if you’re not used to wearing a one piece and prefer something a little more flexible, but equally can’t face a bikini (if you can, then you go for it, be proud of that bump!) then you can’t beat a good old tankini. Perfect for mixing and matching, just make sure that if you do want good coverage get a top which fits well and is long enough to cover the bump and meet your bikini bottoms. This Blooming Marvellous tankini from Mothercare is bright and bold, the red will look amazing next to a tan!Blooming Marvellous Mothercare Maternity Tankini

And finally I’ve returned to Asos for a slightly different style tankini, actually quite a different style for maternity wear in general as it’s a strapless design. Obviously not suited or comfortable for a few of the larger chested mums-to-be, but if you’ve got a smaller bust, or are more of an ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ type, then this beautiful magenta top with a loose fitting peplum and matching bottoms is a good one to try and break away from the maternity swim norm.

For more options, definitely check out Asos (they’ve done well out of this blog post!) and also the likes of Tesco and Asda could be a good shout for more of a value option.

Either way, while you might not hit your normal style on the head with this, there are enough options out there for you to find a good balance between comfort and style. Now I just need to choose one for myself!

 

Celebrity Maternity Style: SS16 Red Carpet Hottest

While I’m on my search for the perfect maternity wardrobe (it’s not going well) I’m uncovering plenty of inspiration from the wardrobes of pregnant celebrities. If only I was gliding down a red carpet every day I’d have enough ideas to see me through to baby’s due date (5th November, how could you forget?) because yes, there are tonnes of beautiful bump-friendly gowns and outfits which enhance the bump but look super chic when worn with heels and a full face of make up (and tailored to within an inch of it’s life to fit like a glove). But there is a definite lack of off-duty inspo which is more helpful for the likes of little old me. I guess stylists deserve a day or two off just like the rest of us.

But, let’s keep things positive and look at all the loveliness out there lately, from Blake Lively using the Cannes Film Festival red carpet as her own week-long catwalk, to Ginnifer Goodwin’s angelic look at a recent LA Benefit.

So here she is, one of my original favourites from my first Pregnant Celebrity Style post, Blake Lively, pregnant with child number two to her hubbie Ryan Reynolds. I have to say, a few of her outfit choices were a little hit and miss for me (let’s not mention the red Chanel Couture duster coat) and she’s not quite nailed it yet as she did with her first pregnancy, but there were a few corkers.

Looking like Elsa in Atelier Versace
Looking like Elsa in Atelier Versace

This sky blue metallic Atelier Versace number wasn’t her first outfit of the week, but it was the one that made everyone go ‘hang on, where’d that bump come from?! It was fitting, daring and god damn gorgeous, and she pulled it off with total confidence.

Short and sweet in Giambattista Valli
Short and sweet in Giambattista Valli

Her Giambattista Valli mini dress was a particular favourite of mine as it was fun, age appropriate (she didn’t look like she’d raided her Mum’s wardrobe) and showed off her fabulous legs. I love the shawl effect which made it perfectly ‘Cannes’ and thanks to the dainty embellishment, ruching and pleating, bump or no bump, it was easy to forget she was pregnant in this dress.

blakelively-ferragamo

I’m not sure if it’s a dress or a coat but whatever it is, classic black with a plunge neckline is a timeless lesson in sexy but sophisticated. I hope Blake is enjoying her pregnancy as much as she is clearly enjoying playing dress up, and that in between the outfit changes and fittings she’s enjoying a tub or two of Ben and Jerry’s.

Liv Tyler is a classic beauty and she upped the glam for her recent trip to London where she attended the Elle Style Awards and picked up the statue for Best TV Actress. I actually attended the after party for these awards but didn’t do much serious celeb spotting unfortunately.

liv tyler elle style awards

Liv’s blue off the shoulder gown is sleek and bold and perfect for someone who ain’t afraid to show off their gorgeous bump!

Nicky Hilton Dennis Basso

Nicky Hilton is a name I never imagined I’d blog about. I forgot she was even a person to be honest. But then she suddenly popped back up on the radar wearing a stunning Dennis Basso gown for a recent gala and had us all hooked. Strapless, floral applique and flowing, it was a perfect dress for a super serious event, one that you and I can probably only ever dream of!

Ginnifer Goodwin Maternity dress

Finally, looking every inch the Snow White character she plays in Once Upon A Time, Ginnifer Goodwin proved that sheer and white should not be avoided just because you’re pregnancy. Lovely to see a celebrity wearing a maternity brand for a red carpet appearance, and this A Pea in A Pod number hugs her in all the right places. Isn’t she just the cutest!!

The Great High Street Maternity Let Down

My 14 week old bump has gotten to that slightly awkward pregnant/fat stage – you could forgive anyone for thinking I’d overdone it at the carvery, but it’s very definitely a little baby bump.
My arse seems to be expanding at the same rate, so with a bigger belly and bigger bum popping quite suddenly, I’ve been left in limbo with very few clothes which actually fit. So while I was off last week I spent a day in Liverpool scouring the high stet for purse and style friendly maternity clothes.

I was disappointed.

I came home with two items from Zara, neither maternity wear but both loose enough to house a growing bump. I’m lucky that my favourite store is going through a ‘the tent-ier the better’ phase, however as much as I love the clothes I’m not always a fan of the prices, and £60 on a dress and a top isn’t sustainable for a constantly changing shape.

My non-maternity Zara purchase. Sorry about the changing room selfie
My non-maternity Zara purchase. Sorry about the changing room selfie

The problem I found everywhere I looked was that the maternity ranges are embarrassingly small in comparison to the mainline ranges in the shops, and it seems to be all of the crap that they convert to bigger sizes. I say ’embarrassingly’ because that’s almost how they make you feel, by putting their whole two rails of maternity clothes on the top floor in a back corner, where no-one can see you.

New Look and Topshop were the worst offenders that I found, while one H&M store in Liverpool – the newer one on Paradise Street – didn’t appear to have a maternity section at all. I did find one dress that could be worn with a bump – ugly changing room selfie below – nice style, shape and print but even for me it took tent-chic to a whole new level. I wish you could see how much fabric there was to this dress…

A non-maternity dress in H&M. So. Much. Material.
A non-maternity dress in H&M. So. Much. Material.

And the bits I did find in Topshop either looked to be Autumn Winter product – a sea of ribbed grey and black in the middle of a Spring Summer tropical brights storm – or were basics. I’m all for a good basic, but when you only have basics to make up an outfit, you suddenly lose your personality and confidence, qualities that stand out for individuals when they get to express them through their choice of clothes.

Luckily Topshop’s maternity range online is much stronger and wider than what they have in store, but when you’re dressing an unfamiliar shape and need something now before you split a seam, waiting (and paying) for delivery to try on at home, rather than there and then in the shop, doesn’t always cut it.

As a side note, Selfish Mother is a brand I’d come across on Facebook and Instagram before now, and they do some great slogan sweaters – one of which is perfect for this blog as the slogan is ‘WINGING IT’ which is basically my strapline. I stumbled across a Selfish Mother concession in John Lewis, and it was great to see the product in person after all of those promoted ads filling up my news feed. The quality feels nice, which is the main thing I would have wanted to know considering a sweater is a relatively hefty £45.

Selfish Mother

I don’t want to live a completely casual life for the next 6 months (maybe the following 6 months I’ll feel differently) but I also don’t want to dress up like I’m going to a wedding every day. There needs to be a middle ground which the high street doesn’t seem to have cracked yet.

Next stop is Asos, who look at a glance to have a good range despite the online shopping frustrations that I mentioned earlier, so I’ll let you know how I get on.

If anyone has any tips for maternity dressing, without breaking the bank, please point me in the right direction!

Rhyming with Wine

Maternity Style Inspiration: My Favourite Four Celebrities

As my trousers are becoming more impossible to fasten with every passing day, and forcing the button shut for professional purposes (cos you know, it feels weird sitting at my desk with my pants undone, even if no-one see thanks to my well worn rotation of long-length t-shirts) gives me pains and aches that I can just do without, I can’t help thinking ahead to the days when I can let it all hang loose and wear clothes for comfort.

I’m trying not to think about anything beyond the next two weeks, until I have my scan and know if everything is present and correct, but if all goes to plan I’ll be seeing through my second trimester during the summer, which makes me all giddy at the thought of wearing cute summer dresses and long flowing maxi dresses. Anything that doesn’t have a waistband is my wardrobe dream right now.

So while I’m not browsing yet, I do have some style inspiration in mind, so thought I’d share some of my favourite celebrity maternity style, the women that I thought nailed it during pregnancy and will be my style icons during the next 6 months. They didn’t always get it right (but who the hell am I to judge) and it’s fair to say that the red carpet looks (i.e. when an expensive stylist has pulled the look together) are often stronger than the day to day looks… but all in all, these are my four fabulous celebrity maternity style crushes…

  1. Kourtney Kardashian

For me, Kourtney’s style has got better with the more babies she’s popped out. Her first pregnancy saw a lot of short dresses and slinky fabrics, while her second and third saw her step up her game and go for bright colours, cool fabrics and a real sense of sophistication (not a word often associated with the Kardashians, to be fair). One of the four whose day time style was often stronger than her evening style – she may well have had a round the clock stylist considering the filming for Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but she’s still shown us all how it can be done.

Kourtney Kardashian maternity style red pleated dress
Bright colour and mini pleats in all the right places
Keeping it smart in an Asos dress!
Keeping it smart in an Asos dress! CREDIT: AKM-GSI

This fab Asos pencil dress is a lesson in how to do work wear without being afraid of showing your bump. One of my favourite Kourtney looks.

2. Blake Lively

I mean, this girl could quite literally wear a bin bag and look like a goddess, she’s a real beauty and one of my style icons whether preggo or not. She was elegant on the red carpet, making her bump and her curves her key accessory, and took a different direction with her daytime style, covering up in lots of blanket cardigans and wraps, but avoiding the frumpy look by balancing it with bare legs or tight jeans to show off her pins.

Like she's just stepped off the set of Gossip Girl
Like she’s just stepped off the set of Gossip Girl
Blake Lively pregnancy style
Showing off those pregnancy curves

3. Reese Witherspoon

When Reese was pregnant with baby number three (Tennessee, yep really) she got comfortable summer dressing down to a fine art. Lots of loose dresses, bright colours and prints, she’s the ultimate Southern belle living in LA where the sun always shines. Not a waistband in sight, her casual wardrobe is what I’m currently dreaming of and her evening/work-friendly wardrobe was a reminder that she’s an A list superstar who just happens to have a cute bump.

Reese Witherspoon maternity style
Loose, light and extra points for the ice cream
image
Bright and breezy and meeting-friendly

4. Chrissy Teigen

I have to admit I have a bit of a girl crush on Chrissy, and that’s not something I can say about many celebrities. She’s so sassy and her Instagram and Twitter, and her passion for food, have me a little bit in love. She’s taken some style cues from her friend Kim Kardashian, who wasn’t my favourite maternity style star, but Chrissy has pulled off some very cute looks and has done it all while feasting on burgers and home cooked meals (her Instagram is a foodies dream). A signature look of figure hugging dresses and skirts to show of the bump,  under a long length duster coat for some extra coverage, has done her well during the past nine months.

Her signature figure hugging and duster coat style
Her signature figure hugging and duster coat style
image
A cape and a clutch was all it took…

No doubt I’ll be looking at these four more closely over the coming weeks, as well as any other pregnancy style inspiration I come across to help me navigate the bump dressing. Now I’m off to put a onesie on…

Rhyming with Wine