Two Sale Steals from LTS

I am a self confessed bargain-hunter. I like nothing better than shopping the sales – so when Long Tall Sally took an extra 20% off their sale stock a couple of weeks ago, I was helpless to resist!

It may well have been the first day of Spring recently, but Winter hasn’t shaken it’s grip on my part of the world just yet. I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of these pieces over the next few weeks.

The wool wrap jacket is exceptionally cosy with the perfect sleeve length. The fairisle print jumper may look a little out of season elsewhere in the world but with this lovely English weather behaving the way it is, it didn’t feel it. The black jeggings are an old faithful pair (if a little faded now) also from Long Tall Sally – in fact I think they were my first ever purchase from the original LTS Manchester store (you can read my review of the new store here).

The boots are another sale bargain – from F&F. Sadly these exact ones are no longer in stock (although I’m not surprised as they really were a great buy!) but they have something similar here.

Long Tall Sally’s New Manchester Store

If you’ve been following Long Tall Sally’s Instagram lately you’ll know they recently launched a new store in Manchester (my hometown) with a brand new design. What you probably don’t know is that they sent customers in the area a 10% off voucher to celebrate the opening. A new store and a new summer wardrobe at 10% off? How could a girl refuse?!

I took ‘Mum in the Pretty Dress’ along to explore with me and we were both impressed. The space did feel a little smaller than in the previous store but the layout made everything much more accessible. The most noticeable improvement though has to be the changing rooms – they are so much more secluded and private than they previously were with a lovely plush carpet under foot. Finally there was a very thoughtful inclusion of in-store seating. Initially I thought this was for trying on shoes but there were a fair few men folk using them during our visit while their other halves took advantage of those lovely changing rooms.

If you’ve been itching to see more of the redesign here’s a sneak peek. (Complete with racks of the latest TTYA4LTS collaboration which snuck into the store here early!)

Sneak Preview: F&F SS16

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to preview the F&F Spring/Summer collection in London. If you’re a fairly frequent visitor to this blog you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the F&F brand and have featured a fair few of their pieces in the past – so I was naturally curious about their latest collection.

On a chilly, rainy November day in London, the collection was a breath of fresh air and has already got me thinking about my summer hols next year.

The collection as a whole was heavily influenced by the idea of travel. The lookbook collection underpinned this by featuring linens and a nautical theme, interspersed with some corals, while the other collections all took inspiration from a different part of the globe (my favourite of which was ‘Latin Rose’). Delicate fabrics with intricate florals and watercolour inspired designs were interspersed with slightly heavier fabrics which leant themselves to the ongoing trend for 70s nostalgia.

The prices were all very reasonable – the suede jacket pictured below is priced at just £45 – but the quality hasn’t been compromised as a result. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the lingerie collection – which was exquisite in design.

The collection is scheduled to hit stores from March onwards.

The Girl In The Pretty Dress Guide to Vintage Shopping

One of my favourite purchases this year (and by no coincidence, one of my favourite outfit posts) was this fabulous canary-yellow vintage skirt. I was bitten by the vintage bug and I’ve been seeking out vintage sales ever since so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far…

1) Vintage shopping can be a tall shoppers heaven. The added length of yester-year’s dresses/skirts makes them perfect for those of us who are long and leggy. (Waist-height can still be tricky but it’s amazing what you can find if you’re prepared to rummage through the rails.) It’s also the perfect way to nail throw-back fashions like the current 70’s trends.

2) It’s about more than just the clothes. It’s a costume-jewellery paradise (I’ve never seen so many sparkly things in one place) and perfect if you’re looking for a one-off piece of furniture.

3) It pays to think about your underwear in advance of your shopping expedition. Most vintage sales have make-shift changing booths so make sure you’re covered just in case. At the last vintage sale I went to one of the booths was no more than a wicker screen…

4) There is always cake. I don’t know why but every vintage sale I’ve attended has had a cute little tea-and-cake cafe running in the corner. Which suits me just fine. The added bonus is that you can usually buy the seat you’re sitting on if it takes your fancy.

5) Do your research beforehand. Most vintage sales are one-off or annual events so it helps to follow vintage stores online to see where they’ll be showcasing their wares next. I’ve included some links below to get you started!

Vintage at Manchester Cathedral – Manchester (pictured below)
Pear Mill Vintage Emporium – Stockport
Rif Raf Furniture – Manchester
The Vintage Village – Stockport
Nells Loft – Liverpool
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair – Newcastle
The Vintage Furniture Flea – London
Portobello Road – London
Judy’s Vintage Fair – Various locations and dates

LV Series 3

I was walking down The Strand in London recently when something caught my eye… It had the words ‘Louis Vuitton’ and ‘free’ on it so I had to investigate further! What followed was a wonderful walk through the Louis Vuitton A/W 15 collection and the opportunity to see how it intertwines with the history of the brand.

In their own words: “Series 3 is a stand alone exhibition showcasing a designer and his creative process and influences. Far more than a simple collection it is a stream of consciousness, dreams and self-reflexive journeys. Inside a designers mind, muses intertwine with cherished memories and visions of new shapes, cuts and meticulous craftmanship. He sits between the past he embraced and the future. The designer’s careful thoughts pair with a delicate artisanal touch: a new moment of excellence born in this union. “Series 3” retraces Nicolas Ghesquiere Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 collection for Louis Vuitton. “Series 3″ is a sensorial journey, venturing deep into the designer’s soul and an artisan’s heart. An adventure along the emotional corridors of Louis Vuitton.”

There are regular tours through the exhibition (led by charmingly handsome tour guides in perfectly tailored suits) and along the way there’s the opportunity to meet one of the artisans who painstakingly manufactures each bag by hand.

This Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition has free admission (online reservation is recommended but not strictly necessary) and runs until the 18th October at 180 The Strand.

If fashion exhibitions are your thing, then you might also want to check out Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé exhibition which will run at the Saatchi Gallery from 13th October-1st November.

Castelsardo, Sardinia

When we left Isola Rossa, we headed south along the West Coast and on the way we decided to stop off at Castelsardo. The castle itself is 12th Century but the area’s history extends back much further than that.

There is some parking higher up but we opted to walk up the hill so that we could see more of the town and it’s charming shops (note to self – next time, do shopping on the way down). It was quite a climb but we were rewarded when we got to the Castle with a blast of fresh air at the top and the most stunning views of the harbour and the Sardinian countryside behind. Oh and there was a Gelato shop up there – so that helped too!

Giraffe print top (no longer available): H&M Conscious collection.
Shorts: Warehouse
Shoes: Primark
Sunglasses: F&F

Little White Dress

For the first part of our trip to Sardinia we stayed in the beautiful Hotel Relax Torreruja. Located on a rocky outcrop in the north of the Island it’s surrounded by stunning views – but be warned it can get a little breezy up there!

It’s a moment away from the small-but-perfectly-formed town of Isola Rossa. There isn’t a huge amount to do, but quite honestly that didn’t seem to matter as the days slipped by easily. I spent them laying out in the sun overlooking the sea, reading a few good books and slipping into the sea to make friends with the fishes whenever I needed to cool off.

I packed a lot of summer dresses for the trip and the Topshop one below is an oldie but a goodie. It’s very girly and flirty – perfect for sunny summer evenings. As it’s one from way-back-when it’s no longer available in stores but there are similar options here and here.

The Great Yorkshire Fashion Show

As promised here is a peek at some of the glorious outfits I got to witness at last week’s Great Yorkshire Show. The Fashion Show took place in the Fashion Pavilion and featured a mixture of graduate designers, high-street brands and couturiers.

With so many beautiful dresses on show I was hard pushed to say which was my favourite (though I think James Steward’s gowns may have just swung it!) Which do you like best?

Designers and Collections:

Batley College of Art and Design
Sheffield Hallam University
Charlotte Lucy
Phase Eight
Hull School of Art and Design
Hobbs
James Steward Couture
Beth Hirst (Millinery)

Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield Hallam University
Charlotte Lucy
Phase Eight
Hull School of Art and Design
Hull School of Art and Design
Hull School of Art and Design
Hull School of Art and Design
Hobbs
Hobbs
Hobbs
James Steward
James Steward
James Steward
James Steward

Mirror Mirror

I fell for this dress the moment I put it on. It’s the kind of dress that makes you love every bit of your body the way you should. The bold yet intricate print is cleverly designed to draw attention to the body’s curves in just the right way.

However, while the mirrored print is bold, the colour palette is understated – which means you can be very flexible when choosing accessories to pair it with. I stuck to neutrals for this post but it works equally well with metallics and pastels.

I have been meaning to photograph it for ages. Sadly I left it a bit too late and this dress is no longer stocked on the ASOS website. However I did manage to find some similar options herehere and here.

Dress: ASOS
Shoes: Next (Similar here)
Bag: H&M (Similar here)

Introducing Indi

Last weekend we had another uncommonly good burst of sunshine, so I decided to put my previous troubles with self-shooting behind me and photograph a post on my new ASOS Tall shorts. Unfortunately Indi had other ideas.

I’ve introduced my dogs once before on the blog but Indi is not the sort of girl who likes to be outshone – so after my last post she took matters into her own paws.

You would never know it but Indi is actually a senior citizen. The problem is, in her head she’s still 10 months old, rather than 10 years. We called her Indi after Indiana Jones, and she likes to live up to her name. 

Top: F&F (similar here)
Shorts: ASOS Tall (exact ones here)
Shoes: Primark
Sunglasses: Accessorize