Outfit: Autumn Basics

As my Instagram shows you, I've been on a couple of awesome trips recently - and haven't had enough time to talk about them all… Here's the first: Last week a bunch of us (Jemima, Joanne, Lindsay, Poppy and Emma to be precise) headed up to Scotland to visit Scotland Shop to see how tartan is made (and believe me there is a skill to it, as a future post with my favourite piece from the mill will show). We nattered and giggled all the way, in fact pretty much endlessly for the entire couple of days…

On the morning after the night before (wine + haggis + wonderfully eccentric hotel - say no more) Lindsay and I decided to make use of the gorgeous light and snap some pictures outside. I was wearing what I've been living in for the last two weeks, and don't expect anything to change anytime soon…

After deliberation from this post I took the plunge and got this Whistles jumper dress. I've never owned one before but now pretty much live in it. It's the perfect "I don't know what to wear" piece, so much so I think mine will soon voluntarily walk itself to my washing machine just to get a break from me. It's unbelievably comfortable and goes with everything. Just do yourself a favour and buy it.

I've banged on about wanting a denim jacket for months but couldn't ever find the right one. So when this landed on my doorstep I was delighted. I've never had any denim from J Crew before, in fact I haven't worn anything from J Crew at all recently - but expect that to change as am working on a little something over the next couple of weeks (which, wonderfully, means I've got to go to Limewood again  - sometimes my life is just a bit too hard…). If anyone has any doubts about their jean-stuff, let me assure you it's beautifully soft and the price point isn't at all scary - have a look here

The shoes are a bargain from Gap, bought when my heels decided to chop into my feet whilst in town a couple of weeks ago. I found them right at the back of the store in the sale and have worn them to death since. They don't seem to be in many stores any more but you can buy them online here. Sunglasses are "new in" from Tommy Hilfiger (a brand I haven't had anything from since the teenage perfume obsession) and I love them… Have a few new pairs to try but these are winning at the moment!


Love Her Look: Leather Dresses

Apologies for the blogging hiatus; I've been a bit manic with the day job. Lots to blog though, as having spent a lot of time on trains and planes recently I've had a lot of time to think and plan what I want to be wearing for autumn (my favourite time of year). If someone had told me five years ago when I started the blog that I'd not only want to be wearing a leather dress, but I'd ever be actively encouraging others to, I'd have laughed. Leather was for the skinny-littles of this world - certainly not for me. But I'm now the proud owner of two having hunted them down after seeing so many on my favourite people. It was this picture below that first had me hankering for one:

get the look: leather pinafore, here / white shirt, here

Granted, I wouldn't wear a white maxi dress under mine but it certainly made me realise that leather dresses don't have to be an enormous statement and can just replace cottons and denims and be worn in the same, relaxed manner. I sought out this one from Atterley to give the pinaford/office look a go and am so far extremely happy with it, pairing it up with my white shirts (this one from Hobbs is a winner if you havent got one already) and breton tees (this one from the new collaboration between Claudie Pierlot and Saint James is the bomb, and if you don't already own a breton I suggest you take a good, hard look at your life and assess why on earth you haven't adopted one already). As soon as I stand still long enough I'll take some pictures and put them on the blog… Of course, you can also "dress up" with leather as Olivia P shows off here…

get the look: leather wrap, here / dress, here / sunglasses (exact ones), here

This prompted me to invest in this Reiss leather dress, as it made me realise that you can dress for an evening in leather and not look like a hooker (no offence to hookers, you work it well). I guess what I'm saying is; don't me afraid of the skinned-stuff. I'm not the same shape as either of the above, but I feel awesome in leather. If you're trying it out for the first time (as I appreciate it can be quite an investment), check out this Topshop dress. I've tried it on for real and you'd never know it's faux leather - bargain!


Digital Down Time

I think most Londoners will agree that the city can feel very small and cramped after a while. I was beginning to find myself getting sick of all of the things I usually love (paying £3 for a hipster coffees, frantically hunting down wifi and waking up with Aperol induced fuzziness, etc) so we decided to take a proper break from it all and escape to Scotland for some proper rest and relaxation.

Scotland holds some very special memories for me as my family used to go every May when I was growing up and staying on the West Coast. I hadn't been back for a long time so it felt very weird returning as an adult and being in the front seat rather than the back of the car listening to Dire Straits whilst driving very fast sensibly through the Highlands (we were trying out the BMW 1 Series, which if you haven't done so, do). This time we were travelling a little further and after a day and a night in the car, a 6 hour ferry and a drive down the beach (pretty much the only way to get to the house) we arrived at our home for the week.

breton shirt, Saint James / jeans, Topshop 

When we first got there I panicked. No phone signal, no electricity in the house and certainly no internet. Then I looked outside the little wooden windows in the house and decided I would happily trade all of those "necessities" for the view. We spent our first evening barbecuing shrimps on the beach while watching the dogs run freely across the white sand. Safe to say I felt like we were on holiday...

jumper, Barbour

Mornings are pretty special as some of the photos show. A couple of times we woke up for sunrise, curled up in bed with hot coffee and big socks waiting for the skies to turn pink, purple and then blue. Breakfasts were kippers from the fish shop, chunky toast with butter and marmalade (also in bed). By this point Lopez would be itching for a walk so we'd open the door and let him run for it. Anyone who has a dog in London - or a city - will know the joy it brings to watch your little monster run free, without a collar or lead for hours on end. It was one of the major highlights of the trip.

my coat, Barbour / my shirt, Saint James / my sunglasses, Max and Co / his coat, Barbour / his jumper, Barbour

Clothing wise, current trends go out of the window and its all about the classics. We bombed around in our Barbours (Lopez included) for most of the trip, and the rest of the time it was jeans (the same pair all week), breton tees and big, woolly jumpers (his here, mine here). I finally found use for the cashmere socks I'd had since Christmas too, they didn't really leave my feet the whole time we were there (and pretty much walked themselves to the washing machine when I got home…).

my coat, Barbour / my shirt, Saint James / my sunglasses, Max and Co / his coat, Barbour / his jumper, Barbour

Other adventures included fishing (or rather drinking whiskey watching others fish), playing darts in the  pub, completing daily crosswords and cooking up the kind of food that almost hugs you back to life.  I completely forgot about the fact I couldn't check my phone or emails, in fact I dreaded going back to the real world…

my coat, Barbour / my shirt, Saint James / my sunglasses, Max and Co / his coat, Barbour / his jumper, Barbour / Lopez' jacket, Barbour

If you're after a complete break from "reality" then this really is a special place for it… I had the best time and would trade London life for it in a heartbeat (as long as Ocado can get there…).

This content is in partnership with Barbour.