Christmas Party Outfits

Tis' the season to pull out your party frocks, and dust off your dancing shoes, for the Christmas party marathon is well under way. From the dreaded work Christmas do, to the mulled wine bash that always gets a little out of hand, you are going to need something to wear. Read on below for our advice on looking your very best this Christmas time.

Alice & Olivia xxx

The Lunch Party

An early Christmas lunch with all your boyfriend's relatives, or a lunch with friends who are decidedly more 'grown-up' than you (they have a 2 year old, you have a dead pot plant), Boden and French Sole are your friends here try these trousers, this shirt and these pumps, and you'll look tidy and trendy, perfect.

The Work Christmas Party

This is easy in some ways, all your colleagues will be discussing their outfits weeks before so you'll be able to gauge the appropriate dress code. We say, as it's Christmas, go full on sequins, and pair with an appropriate level heel, you don't want to be staggering at the beginning of the night.

The Drinks Party

Pull out the stops for this one, first of all this may be the only chance to see the boy you fancy who is friend of a friend of a friend - he'll for sure be at this party. Dress up because it's a good excuse too, and because when everyone else sees you they'll wish they had made an effort too.  It's also the perfect time to wear that dress that's too smart for going out but not wedding-attire appropriate.

The Birthday Brunch

The selfish friend whose birthday is in December, I mean really, don't they know how many other Christmas social engagements are already in your diary?  However off to the birthday brunch you must go, and looking good is a must, particularly when you haven't seen them in a while. A wool skirt with over the knee boots and a cashmere sweater is cool yet v casual.

The Winter Wedding

It's happening, you're nearly 30 and your friends keep getting engaged.  It turns out the wedding season is a season that never ends, ever - May bank holiday, the middle of the week, Easter Sunday - there isn't a single day of the year that is safe, even New Years Eve has been hijacked. Photos will be taken, and put on Facebook whether you like or not, so outfit recycling is just not an option, and beware anything from Zara, the girl two pews behind you will be wearing it. You are however, almost refreshingly, allowed to wear black, so for that winter wedding, try this dress and a bespoke hat.

Christmas Day Outfit

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It's important to make an effort on Christmas day, so plan ahead and make sure you pack something comfy yet chic.  It's the year of the metallic pleated skirt, we love it paired with a polo neck and ankle boots, and don't forget your Alex Monroe necklace and fun tights.

The Black Tie Party

Who even knows what 'Black Tie' means anymore, is it short, is it long, does it include jumpsuits and does it even matter? Really you can choose a dress you like provided it's not uber short / too revealing, and dress it up how you want, what fun. Any dress from Needle & Thread will do very nicely, and make sure you have a suitably snazzy clutch bag too.

New Years Eve Party

The big night of the year everyone dreads, WHAT to do for New Year (should celebrate, must celebrate), and certainly must look good. This year it's all about the glitter jumpsuit, surprisingly it works on most shapes, just pair with some magenta velvet block heels and your ready for 2018.

Words Alice Bray, Illustrations Olivia Dueser

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The Museum Gift Shop

I have a thing for museum gift shops.  They are full of such wonderful delights, you never know quite what you might find in these treasure troves. I always enjoy a quick unplanned pop into a favourite shop, and I often come away with an unexpected gem.  I like that books on far ranging topics sit alongside silly nik naks artfully inscribed with a museum's name, and that there is always an excellent selection of postcards.  I am a great appreciator of exhibition themed objects, am often tempted by a print or a pretty ceramic, and really love a designer collaboration printed scarf or pair of earrings.

I also think museum gift shop shoppers are a friendlier type, the shops tend to be calmer, less bustle, more quiet browsers.Most museum websites are looking pretty smart these days too and are very enjoyable to peruse.  I often think working for one of these sites would be the perfect combination of old and new - discovering, choosing and commissioning exciting art related products for these venerable museums and galleries, whilst delving into the intricacies of ecommerce and analytics.Recently I admired a fantastic pair of earrings, which were made up of one white pearl drop and one black pearl drop. It turns out they are from the Metropolitan Museum's shop in New York, and are after Rubens's painting of Venus, in which she is wearing one white pearl earring and another 'black' pearl earring that can be seen reflected in a mirror. It is likely Rubens painted the pearl darker to show it in shadow, but I love the concept and I love the earrings, there is just so much scope for art themed gifts.Museum shops are also the perfect place to find all manner of Christmas related things - that advent calendar not yet bought, a Christmas decoration for a God child, or a interesting book for a cousin.  So below are my Christmas present museum gift shop finds, just click on the images to find out more.

Alice xxx

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of my favourites, partly because Dulwich is very nice, and I love the setting of the gallery, but also because they always have interesting and fun collaborations.  The Tove Jansson exhibition is currently showing, and the shop is happily full of all sorts of Moomin creations.

Tate

The Tate has it all, I particularly like the shop in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, nice and spacious.

The V&A

A big favourite, great cards and great jewellery and the shop is located just off the sculpture gallery, so you can easily come back when you've seen enough of Canova and decided what you want.  Their Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition opens on 9th December, so even more of a reason to visit.

Royal Academy

I have to admit, I don't know if you can get into this shop without viewing an exhibition, but do go see Dali / Duchamp, it is on until 3rd Jan, and buy some postcards after, they always have good postcards.

The National Gallery

It's all about the shop on the ground floor of the Sainsbury Wing. While your there, nip up to the gallery to see the very distinguished Doge Leonardo Loredan by Giovanni Bellini who lives a couple of floors above. 

The British Library

There are two shops here, to your right is current exhibition curiosities, to your left is the book shop, it's bigger than it looks, keep going.  And go see the exhibition, it's just up the stairs and is currently 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic'  - what more could you want.

National Portrait Gallery

I like the shop in the basement, there rarely ever seems to be anyone in there, lots of time for happy browsing and situated right next to the cafe. And Cézanne and his Portraits are currently on show, a must visit.

The Wallace Collection

Situated right next to the Armoury Collection, ensure you have a wander around this museum first, there is a whole room of full of Venice paintings by Canaletto and Guardi, it's such a super place. Shop is small but good, there are two parts, so don't be disappointed if you don't find something in the first room, keep going!

Soane Museum

I haven't been here for a quite a while but they have a shop, and if you haven't been to this museum you really ought to. It's close to Holborn and so fun, wind your way through this town house and Sir John Soane's absolutely incredible collection of so many things.

Art UK

Online only, you can buy both prints and books, as well as image licenses of the UK's national art collection.  The best place to find an interesting lesser known print for that perfect Christmas present.

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The December Issue

Some Christmas fun now it's December.

Alice, Olivia and Emily xxx

The Advent Calendar

Ora Singers

Even if you haven't yet gorged yourself on all the chocolates in your advent calendar, the Ora Advent Calendar is absolutely the best calendar you will be opening this December. Every day this month you can listen to a brand new choral composition by this a cappella group, starting with Suzi's Carol by John Rutter.

The Wreath

Studio Smudge

This year Studio Smudge's beautiful wreath is designed with Christmas foliage, pink flowers, rose hips and gold flourishes - set the trend and adorn your door with this pretty in pink Christmas must have.

The Tree

Pines & Needles

Sam and Josh Lyle have been selling Christmas tree since the age of 13. If you need a tree, and you do, it's Christmas, a real one is essential, Pines & Needles is the place to get one, and a Nordmann fir is the one you want.

The Decoration

Liberty London

Liberty has the very best Christmas shop and of course wonderful Christmas tree decorations. We love this glamorous peacock.

The Cracker

Meri Meri

These are festive and fun and not trying too hard - a hat, a toy and a joke, all you need.

The Pudding

Nanna's Christmas Pudding

A pudding is important at Christmas time, and this handmade pudding comes wrapped in a festive tea towel.

The Stocking

Aeske

If choosing lots of little presents to go in a stocking is too much, Aeske have done it for you - they have one for Her and one for Him. I'm not convinced by the actual stocking itself, white linen isn't quite in the spirit, but the things inside are very nice indeed.

 The Chocolates

Amelia Rope

You could buy a tin of Celebrations, or even some Roses, or you could instead buy some of Amelia Rope's delicious creations. I am big into passion fruit and chocolate at the mo, and these are amazing.

The DressRixo

A dress is necessary and this year it's needs to be a Rixo dress. Pick from any one of their wondrous creations, I like this one, and I also love their new cosmic range.

The Jumper

hush

It's not lurid but it does sparkle, it's super cosy and nice and warm and you can wear it all year. Perfect.

The TrousersM & S

It turns out 13-14 year olds are quite big - yes these star print velvet leggings are from the kids range, they are SO GREAT, and yes I own them. Probably not for you if you are tall, I am 5ft4 and they fit wonderfully. SO HAPPY.

The Shoes

Boden

These are very very fun indeed, and flat shoes are always a good idea round Christmas time - all those carol services and drinks parties, so much standing up, and these will cheer any outfit up.  They also come as a pair of ankle boots, possibly even better.

The Present for You

Verheyen London

This is the one I am after, such a stunning colour, just perfect for cold wintry days.

The Thank You Letter Notecards

Angela Harding

Very important, I like Angela Harding's Winter Notecards.

And even more important..

The Sherry for Father Christmas

Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Black Friday Wishlist

I have yet to indulge in any Black Friday deals, but I thought I would share my wishlist with you.  It's a mix from dream wishlist (far too expensive, definitely a bit silly and will never own) to some fun Christmas presents type purchases. I'll let you guess which are which - click on the images to find out.

Happy Black Friday!

Alice xxx

  

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A Christmas Card Menagerie

Christmas card time is almost upon us!

I began this post with the idea that I would display my favourite Christmas cards below, a couple of snowy landscapes perhaps, a reindeer or two, maybe even a tasteful Father Christmas. However it turns out that I only have eyes for animal themed Christmas cards, with dogs definitely top of the list. So below is my Christmas card menagerie, hounds in silly poses mainly, a couple of rudolfs for good measure and of course a Christmas unicorn...

Happy Christmas card sending!

Alice xxx

V & A

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October Fashion Picks

Our favourite fashion picks for October, from (mostly) British brands. So keep scrolling, and happy shopping!! 

Alice, Olivia and Emily xxx

Alice 💁🏻

The first item on your shopping list this month should be these super cosy brushed cotton pyjamas by hush - they have mini gold stars and planets on them, AND with each purchase hush will donate £52 to the anti-domestic violence charity Refuge - which is the equivalent of one night in a refuge for a woman and her children.Carrying on the blue and gold theme, below are some other items which will all look perfect together - I am loving the Twin Set leopard print cape coat combined with the navy silk Katherine Hooker dress. Just add the wonderfully clashing accessories, ensuring you include the beautiful embroidered shoes by Miista and the Karine Assaf printed silk scarf. And don't forget your Rassin & Shen reading glasses...  

Olivia 💁🏼:

Trends are not for me. Style comes from knowing what suits your body, look and most importantly your personality. This month I have devised a plan of choosing items that can all be mixed and matched with each other and go from day to night. Example: Wear the dress, t-shirt, hoops, mules, jacket, hat and bag to work and for evening-glam, remove the t-shirt and hat - I got you covered, no matter the occasion!  

Emily 💁🏻:

Winter is coming. It's all about wrapping up and keeping cozy in Autumn. Little details can make a monochrome outfit a lot more fun - choose wisely...

September Fashion Picks

All three of us are a little obsessed with clothes and shopping. Dressing up is super fun, and a new and interesting find is even more fun.  Below are our favourite fashion picks for September, from (mostly) British brands. So keep scrolling, and happy shopping!! Alice, Emily and Olivia xxx

Alice 💁🏻

I am still holding on to the belief that summer isn't quite over yet, and so have chosen some fun summer holiday items.  I'm all about pink and red at the moment, and love Air & Grace's super tasselled espadrilles. The mini blue croc handbag by Subella London is also fantastic, and Skinny Rich Fairies ball gown made from vintage materials is quite wonderful, and I'm still hankering after an Alighieri gold piece of jewellery...   

Emily 💁🏽

It's good news for the fans as pom poms make the seamless transition from summer to winter this year! My fashion picks are all about keeping it casual with little details to add a bit of fun. Who doesn't love a glittery sock?  

Olivia 💁🏼:

Trends are so last season. For me, fashion is about making you happy and letting your identity shine through your clothes. This month I have picked practical yet quirky investment pieces that will keep you city chic over the Autumnal months. And yes, I have included a bikini, because who knows, maybe London will get a sweltering day (reaching for the stars, I know) or you may jet off across the Atlantic...enjoy!

Think Pink for SS17

The trend I am most excited for this coming season is the colour pink 💗💓💕 💖💘.The SS17 Catwalk was festooned with all sorts shades from deep fuchsia at Topshop Unique and Hermes, pale pastels at Celine, powder-puff pink at Molly Goddard, candy floss hues at Shrimps, shiny sequins at House of Holland, ballerina pink at Bora Aksu and striking contrasts at Valentino.  SO MUCH PINK 😍CelineHermesHouse of HollandMolly GoddardValentinoValentinoValentinoBora AksuIt is therefore definitely the moment to take advice from Maggie Prescott in Funny Face  and 'banish the black, burn the blue and bury the beige' and 'Think Pink!'.pinkI really do love a head-to-toe pink outfit, although it is very difficult to pull off, unless you are a character in a Hollywood film:

For date night, a pink tiara is a must

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

The off-duty look, bubblegum is the ultimate pink accessory

Pink Lady Didi Conn as Frenchy in Grease

Dressing up for the Office, a pink twin set and don't forget your hat

Natalie Portman as Jackie Onassis in Jackie

Off to afternoon tea, the pink ruffle dress (comes with matching hat)

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady

That night out on the town, pink fish tail dress and long gloves

Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

First day of term - tiny dog wearing matching pink jumper, check.

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

And for the big occasion, only a full length pink fur coat and matching up-d0, will do.

Shirley Maclaine as Louisa May Foster in What a Way to GoSo in Hollywood Land, head-to-toe pink is completely acceptable, but in reality it is pretty hard to pull off - I would love to wander around looking like Shirley Maclaine in What a Way to Go but I think, sadly, these outfits need to be kept in the fancy dress box, or just left to the likes of Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Grayson Perry and Barbie.But pink is so fun, and and as the high street is about to be awash with the stuff, now is the time to incorporate, even just a tiny pop of it into your wardrobe.  And you definitely want to be clashing your pink with red. So below are some ideas and I hope you have happy pink shopping 😍.Alice xxx 💓💗💖💕b53de4f78b9cd23b69b1393b7987bcc4-2 

The Outfit

Hush - Balzac Tweed Jacket and Frayed Tweed Shorts

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The Dress

Paper London - Luna Dress - £350

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The Heels

Sophie Webster - Lilico T-Bar Sandals - £495

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The Flats

Boden - Angelica T-Bar Flats - £85

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The Skirt

J Crew - Tulle Ball Skirt - £218

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The Jacket

Needle & Thread - Embroidered Rose Bomber - £235

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The Shirt

Bruta - Margharita Shirt - £120

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The Jumpsuit

J Crew - Wide Leg Jumpsuit - £250

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The Ring

Flora Bhattachary - Taxila Yaksha Ring - £520

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The Top

Zara - Contrast Plumetis Top - £19.99

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The Jumper

Oasis - Flamingo Knit - £40

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The Bag

Boo - Suede Rose Pink Rucksack - £92

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The Swimsuit

Pandora Sykes x Hunza G - Kerry Swimsuit - £135

Pandora Sykes x Hunza G - Kerry Swimsuit 

The Sunglasses

Cats Got the Cream - Work It Sunglasses - £20

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The Lip

Dior - Exuberant Matte - £26.50

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The Nails

FNUG - Short Skirt Nail Polish - £12.99

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The Coat

Shrimps - Adelaide Coat - £595

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The Drink

Pink Velvet Latte at Palm Vaults

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The Place

Pietro Nolita restaurant in New York

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 And a nice pink Wes Anderson shot to finish ☺️

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Interior Design Books

Working in an art and design bookshop I am constantly coming across new and very exciting books.  We primarily stock books on interior design, furniture, decorative arts and architecture (if you like country houses, you must give Potterton and visit) and I do sometimes get a spare moment to have a quick browse.I was already a big country house and architecture fan, but interior design is a fairly new interest for me and I keep coming across all sorts of delights, so thought I would share some of them with you.Alice xxxBen Pentreath English HousesI am a big Ben Pentreath fan, this is his most recent book.  I love his slightly eclectic country house style with splashes of contrasting colours, geometric patterns and a bit of ikat thrown in here and there.Barbara Sallick The Perfect Bath This book is too great, every bathroom imaginable, your perfect one is just waiting to be found.Derry Moore An English RoomA really fun book - English people share their retreats, and their treasured objects within.  It's got Benedict on the cover too, definitely a winner.Neisha Crosland Life of a PatternIf you are new to textiles, Neisha is a great place to start, and if you haven't discovered Neisha now is the time, her first book is full of her unusual geometric patterns in sumptuous colours and fabrics.Paola Navone Tham ma daPaola is an Italian interior designer, this is her first book, edited with Editor-in-Chief of Surface Magazine, Spencer Bailey.  It's vibrant and fun and the bright photos give a really good insight into Paola's intriguing and bold style.Philip Jodidio European HouseI want to live in one of these.  Contemporary residential architecture in Europe, all designed with sustainable and green elements.Linda Leigh Paul Casa BohemiaBright and fun interiors in Spain and the USA, with tropical foliage and sunshine, some really wonderful holiday home ideas.James Fennell & Josephine Ryan Hidden IrelandYou can both visit and stay in all the houses in this book, a fascinating look at country houses and retreats in Ireland.Andrew Martin Interior Design ReviewIf you are buying a house and are thinking about how to decorate it, this is a great book for inspiration.  Interior designers and their interiors, I particularly like Black & Spiro.Mark Girouard Life in the English Country HouseOne of my favourite country house books, it explains the architecture and interiors of eighteenth century country houses from the perspective of how they were lived in.Diane Dorrans Saeks Ann Getty Interior StyleA fascinating look at Ann Getty's rich interiors, an amazing style, she has it all, and you might notice a well-known painting or two in situ.Andrew Ginger Cecil Beaton at HomeA really interesting study on Cecil Beaton as interior designer, this has an amazing array of images of his life and the houses he lived in, with a whole chapter on the Circus Bedroom.Clive Nichols Paradise FoundAnd the gardens that go with some of the best country houses, this book is beautifully laid out and will leave you wanting to visit all these gardens.  

A La La Land Dress

I went to see La La Land yesterday and enjoyed it very much indeed 😊.  It is a wonderfully happy making film (although beware, the ending is a little bittersweet) and is the perfect mash of a modern day love story with a golden era Hollywood musical.  I have a lot of love for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as the leads (Ryan Gosling can currently do no wrong, see The Nice Guys and Drive).  They sing catchy tunes, they dance, they frolic in LA, they fall in love, and they even dance in a starry night time sky.  And the film is just so colourful, it's bright and cheery in primary colours, and Emma Stone has a truly excellent wardrobe.I am now currently on the hunt for the perfect La La Land dress, and I thought I would share some of my findings 😍👗👠.Alice xxx 💃💕The Yellow Dress LLL d 29 _5194.NEFI love yellow very very much, and I am hoping that this summer will be awash with La La Land style dresses.  For now, Young British Designer Georgia Hardinge has made a lovely dress in a nice bright warm yellow.  If you want something with a little more every day, try this dress from Anthropologie.Georgia Hardinge Yellow Dress The Blue DressLA LA LAND (2016) Emma Stone as MiaThe little blue dress.  This Miss Selfridge dress is so Emma Stone in La La Land, an ideal day to night, in cobalt blue. If you are after a more party party dress, this flicky number from Karen Millen will do the trick.Miss Selfridge Bow Sleeve DressThe LBDemma-stone-ryan-gosling-09-19-2015-2I like this little black dress by Maje a lot, a really great take on the LBD.  For simpler options try these dresses at & Other Stories and Ted Baker.Maje Bonded Lace DressThe Coral Dressmv5bmjc5njc4ndc1mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnza3nzu3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr0015051000_al_Karen Millen have an amazing range of dresses at the moment.  I like the orange mini below, but if you're after a more La La Land copycat outfit, try their Pleated Trench Dress in orange, or for a really sumptuous dress, their Taffeta Ballgown, which comes in three colours.Karen Millen Orange Mini Dress The Green Dress58497256120000dd00eee318Emerald green is such a great colour and this beautiful dress from P.A.R.O.S.H. is ideal 💚.  If you want something a little less fitted, this olive green satin dress from Cos is also great.P.A.R.O.S.H Flared Pleat DressThe White Dresslalaland-e1483294236187White is so hard to get right, you don't want to look too bridal or too tacky.  I think Somerset by Alice Temperley have nailed it with this flared lace dress (and if white just isn't your thing they have it in blue too 💙).  For a simpler option also try this dress by Marysia.Somerset by Alice Temperley Flared White Dress 

Wish List

Just a little note to say that my wish list's have moved!I am still posting them each week, if you click the menu button on the top right hand side of my home page (the one with three horizontal lines) and scroll down, you can see the things I am wishing for each week on Wednesdays 😃.The ring in the photo is by Disa Allsopp and is half 18kt gold and half oxidised silver, I rather like it.Alice xxx

Christmas Gifts

It is SO nearly Christmas ⛄️⛄️🎁🌲☺️ and I have almost finished my Christmas shopping, with only a few little things to find.I really do like shopping very very much, but even I dread the prospect of panic trawling the shops the day before Christmas 🎄 desperately hoping for inspiration.  The hoards of other people 👦👩, their children 👧, buggys and dachshunds 🐶 constantly getting in the way, the overwhelming amount of completely pointless STUFF 🎀💄👠 to sift through, and Michael Buble singing 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' 🎤everywhere you go is enough to make even the most experienced shopper wish they'd bought all their presents online 6 months ago 🙈.So, to help you out, I thought I would put together a few ideas for last minute present 🎁 shopping in London - whether you are nipping out at lunch time 🍴 tomorrow, or spending a day of shopping on Saturday, the key is to know exactly what you are looking for and where to find it ☺️.  I would also advise ringing in advance, don't fall into the trap of assuming the shop has the item in stock, just because they are displaying it on their website.Good luck, and happy speedy shopping.Alice xxxStocking FillersGo to Joy.  The shops are everywhere, and have all sorts things for girls, boys, random cousins and even your dog, don't be shy just get stuck in.  Books on silly and serious things, accessories at very reasonable prices, and  both useful and useless gifts.  Tiny stocking fillers will be near the till, and they have very good cards.ss16_gift_packshot6018For your SisterOliver Bonas is the place.  They have great not-t00-pricey jewellery, make-up bags, self-help books and scarves in fun prints.1079555_oliver-bonas_jewellery_amelia-travel-two-tier-jewellery-box-r7_3For your Great AuntZara Home is excellent - rather than giving her Duchy Originals biscuits again, choose something homely from Zara.  She probably hasn't heard of it, unless she of course is a proud older owner of #ThatCoat.6012703250_2_4_1Making it all look prettyPeter Jones.  You need to go to the 4th Floor, I would recommend entering from the King's Road and taking the lift to avoid the main Christmas mayhem.  They have one of the best selection of cards (they have the funny non-crude type), wrapping paper galore, and lots of ribbon. They also do an excellent selection of notebooks.235028854alt1 For your cousin who has just had her third childKikki K is great and they currently have a pop-up in Covent Garden.  I am totally sold on everything about this brand.  The perfect present for someone who enjoys stationery with inspirational messages, or needs a very specific diary layout.2017_a5_weekly_family_diary_inside_1To bring to Boxing Day lunchJohn Lewis Cheese Shop - you want to enter from Henrietta Place, go straight down the escalator into the food hall and on the right hand side is a wonderful room full of cheese, and they have all the right biscuits to go with it.231304693To Impress the In-LawsHumble Grape does very good wine, and the people working there know about wine, so this is ideal if you need a bottle quick sharp.  There is one in Battersea and one in Fleet Street.allimant_riesling Because you need something a little different this yearPotterton Books - books of all shapes and sizes, vintage and new, but more excitingly art work. They have prints and originals, big and small prices, you will definitely find something in this eclectic little shop.qzi2qjg3rum0nuyymduxndexneu6ymi1zmexogrjzwyzyziyotqzytkzmzg3zgy5mzg2mjm6ojo6oja Because you took After Eights last yearArtisan du Chocolat - there are so many great chocolate shops in London, so you really shouldn't be grabbing the most expensive looking chocolates off the shelf in Sainburies.  Artisan du Chocolat do all sorts of exciting things, and they taste great.  If you aren't near a shop nip into the ground floor of Liberty, entering from Carnaby Street and pick up a box of Prestat.gaia_sc_openFor your nephews and niecesTK Maxx, I know, I know, it sounds like agony - but it's just a quick nip in, grab what you want and out.  I would recommend the wallets / clutch bags, usually near the door on the ground floor on shelves - if you see Kate Spade buy it.  And the headphones, either on a table near the door or hanging up by the tills, not expensive, you might even find some wireless ones.36178010_large For your Aunt who is hosting ChristmasAppleyard London - bouquets and plants in pots, they do all sorts and they are still taking orders for Christmas.  Either take flowers with you or send as a thank you gift after.standard_azalea_1 For the Uncle with a beautiful homeAny bookshop, they do still exist.  Books are excellent, but don't just grab one at random, best to try and make it a bit personal.  A beautiful coffee table book is generally appreciated, as long as no one has to carry it too far.9780847848775The Intrepid GrandsonThe British Library - they currently have an exhibition on called Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, and their shop is full of map type things.  They have two shops, one on the left as you enter and one on the right, have a look in both.9781781315323atlasimprobable The Irresponsible GodparentTrotters - for smaller godchildren (age not stature) this shop has everything wonderful.  You could stick with clothes or a book, or you could make it really very fun.mic_mm002_1__3For the hostThe Conran Shop - there are many pleasing things in this shop, so if you are prepared to browse, you are sure to find something very nice.967426-le-soleil-candle For your GrandmotherPentreath & Hall - this shop has charming things in all shapes and sizes - pretty card sets, notebooks, mirrors and stylish lampshades.  And make sure you drop into the Poplin pop-up shop next door, they have THE best pyjamas.adv19For the person who has everythingThe New Craftsmen - they have the most beautiful selection of handmade pieces all made by British Craftsmen, you will absolutely come out with the present the person doesn't already have.michael-ruh-the-new-craftsmen-chelsea-jar-4-1Something a little more specialSophie Breitmeyer - Don't just go to Pandora and buy another charm or buy the first thing the sale assistant suggests in Tiffany's.   Do visit Sophie Breitmeyer and choose one of her wonderful creations.gold-natural-coloured-diamond-indian-tear-drop-pendant

Christmas Sparkle

I always like planning a Christmas Day outfit 🎁🎄🎅, I love the combination of evening party wear 👠with smart daytime dressing 👗.  It's the chance to wear fun heels all day, because, really, after all that turkey, you're not moving too far; to put on a bit of silly sparkle 👑 or maybe just all your sparkle 💎💎💎, to wear that dress you've had in your wardrobe all year and have been so wanting to wear 👗; and of course the opportunity to wear statement jewels all day long 💍.It can be tricky though.  Are you going to go for the pattern trouser, block heel, silk shirt look, or are you going to dress down your party dress with a polo neck and some glittery tights? 💄🎀👗👠I thought I would pick out some fun sparkly items for you and something to wear them with, hopefully just in time to buy them before Christmas, but you better be quick 🎅😘  I haven't decided on my outfit yet, but I shall keep you posted 💌 😍.Alice xxxThe Glitter HeelAsos - Show up Glitter Heel - £35image1xl

wear with

& Other Stories - Opened Back Dress - £65

0408648002_1_100011         The Glitter Detail Pump

J Crew - Collection Drake's For J Crew Pant in Midnight Unicorn - £198

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wear with

Mrs Alice for French Sole - Knightsbridge Suede and Glitter Pumps - £195

 kns13_z_3       The Jazzy Trainers and Sparkle SkirtBeam -  Silver Light Up Trainers -  £74.99silver_diagonal_1024x1024

wear with

Nobody's Child - Glitter Star  Velvet Skater Skirt -  £18

ts62f44kblk_zoom_f_1         The Glitter Polo Neck& Other Stories  - Glitter Rib Turtleneck -  £29

wear with

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Baia  Bags - Small Drawstring Bucket Bag - £240

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         The Statement NecklaceZara - Coat with Tassel Detail - £89.98326744800_6_1_1wear with

J Crew - Magnolia Crystal Necklace - £61

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And The Embellished Party Frock

BCBGMaxazria - Runway Leonie Dress - £258

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Sophia Webster - Chiara - £450

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Kate Spade - Cameron Street Glitter Small Birdie - £245

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A Velvet Crush

Something strange seems to be happening 👧.  After a satisfactory high street shop this week 👗👠, I came away with some velvet leggings 👖, and a velvet headband 🎀- yes a hairband for your head covered in velvet 👧🎀.I am almost annoyed at the AW16 inspired high street for tempting me with items 💗.  I thought they long been banished by my 11 year self - when I arrived at secondary school it was soon apparent that velvet leggings 👖 and hairbands 🎀were not in 👎, and they were quickly dismissed, in favour of flared jeans and Gap Hoodies 👍.But really I am secretly delighted 😃.The high street is awash with all sorts of velvet and velour 🎀 in any colour you can imagine 💚💜💙💛, thanks to Valentino, Roksanda, Ellery, Haider Ackermann and Sonia Rykiel who all paraded it down the catwalk this season💃.Everyone has gone quite overboard - Topshop have velvet underwear 👙(which does not seem practical or comfortable), there are many 'bodysuits' that greatly resemble tap dancing leotards 👯, and the range of velvet colours is quite fabulous - I am peculiarly tempted by a powder pink crushed velvet dress.I have to admit I am wholeheartedly embracing the arrival of velvet everything.  I seem to have discovered my inner 80s Sloane 👸, out with the skinny jeans and ankle boots and in with velvet leggings, over-sized roll-necks, headbands, smoking slippers and pearls 🎀.  Ok so obviously not dowdy dressing - my velvet leggings are covered in glitter, my headband has some fun diamante and my pearls are mismatched, I'm currently sporting one pale pink pearl stud and one silver.  And it's just so fun 💎🎀.And I urge you too indulge, it's far more satisfying than the 90s choker, croptop, flatform trend of last year 💘, and perfect for a little winter wardrobe update.Below are some fun velvet items for you to investigate, although I don't recommend you wear them all at once 😉 💕.And do have a look at my Wish List on my homepage (you need to click the menu bar at the top right) to see some velvet outfit inspiration.Alice xxxThe every day trouser:

Boden - Velvet Trouser - £69.50

16wwin_wm396_navThe every day shoe:

Sophie Webster - Renee Mary Jane Ballerinas - £325

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The hairband:

Miss Selfridge - Velvet Embellished Headband - £12.50

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The scrunchie:

Lulu in the Sky - Burgundy Velvet Scrunchie - £4

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The work to party dress 💙💙💙 and my Velvet favourite:

Whistles - Suzie Love Party Dress - £250

whistles-suzie-love-velvet-dress-navy_medium_03The work to party shoe:

Topshop - Velvet Jagga Shoes - £46

ts32j22ktea_zoom_f_1 THE party dress:

Coast - Kimberley Black Velvet Dress - £129

003067707Party dancing shoes:

& Other Stories - Sequin Heel Sandalette - £69

0403957002_1_100011The weekend trouser:

River Island - Black Glitter Velvet Leggings - £22

River Island - Black Glitter Velvet Leggings - £22The weekend shoe: French Sole - Hefner Black Velvet Smoking Slippers - £180French Sole - Hefner Black Velvet Smoking Slippers with Gold Bee and Honey Embroidery - £180The weekend hair accessory:

Candy Bows - Luxurious Velvet Bow Hair Clip - £4.25

original_luxurious-velvet-boutique-hair-bowFor dressing up:

Vjera Vilicnik - Rose Velvet Choker - £30

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 For smaller people (age and head size):

Trotters - Big Bow Velvet Alice Band - £15

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Winter Warmers

Yesterday felt like the first really cold ❄️ day in London, even though the sun 🌞 was out there was an icy chill 🌬 in the air and I suspect winter ⛄️ has arrived for good.I have to admit, I really don't love winter ❄️❄️❄️😔I know, I know, it means Christmas 🎄 is coming and now is the time to wear your cosy jumpers whilst sitting by the fire 🔥 drinking mulled wine 🍷 and playing scrabble 🅰 , and there might even be snow 🌨. And I do love crisp bright sunny mornings ☀️😀.I just don't like the cold ❄️❄️❄️❄️.  I spent 4 years in Scotland 💙, which was a nasty shock to the system, it really is COLD ☃⛄️🌨❄️🌬💨 🌪🌊 up there and the sun seems to barely come up during the deep depths of winter 🌥.  One semester I came back to find I had left my window open just a tiny crack over the Christmas holiday🎆, and my room was an ice box ☃. I slept under two duvets, two blanket and a coat 👚👕👗I am still recovering.So at this time of year it is very important to have as many antidotes 🔥🔥 as possible, and I have put together a list of cosy things to keep the winter blues away 💙💙💙😍.Alice xxx

Cashmere Roll Neck Dress - Hush - £220

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Evening Candle - McKinley & Paget - £22

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Sitwell Stripe Silk PJ Trousers - Poplin - £135

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Cashmere Socks - Johnstons of Elgin - £35

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Yellow and Grey Wool Throw - The British Blanket Company - £58

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Sky Blue Hat with White Fur Pom Pom - Amelia Jane London - £28

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Dark Chocolate Orange and Geranium - Montezuma's - £2.59

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Freddie's Flowers

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Naranja Amarga Lip Salve - Bendita Luz - £5

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Mrs Dalloway - Penguin Classics - £7.99

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A Katherine Hooker Coat, Please

Today I wanted to talk about coats, not #ThatCoat you will be relieved to hear, but as winter really is coming, it seemed a good time to share my general coat musings.(The thing is Zara, you are always very reliable, but sometimes a knock-off Chanel coat is just not enough, and your sizings can be a little dodgy.)What I have been yearning for is a well-made, properly fitting coat - the type that instantly adds elegance to an outfit.  To be honest I'm not sure anything beats a really good coat.  It is the item of clothing you wear the most in the winter, and more importantly the one people see you wearing the most.  I find putting on the right coat in the morning helps me to start the day in the right frame of mind.  And when leaving the office after a long day of work, a good coat is always reassuring - even if you don't feel so sparky, you know you look respectable.  I always think, if you can go to a winter drinks party and leave your coat on (not because what you have underneath is disastrous) but because the coat is exactly the right fit and weight, then you have found THE coat.The place to go for a good coat is Katherine Hooker, discovering her website really was love at first sight, her coats are the very best.  If you are able to look at her website and not fall in love with at least one of her creations I'm not sure we can be friends anymore.They really are the most beautiful, graceful and elegant designs - a coat that will make you happy every morning.  You will, I'm afraid, need to move the decimal point on a Zara price tag at least one place to the right.  But it will be well worth it, these really are coats you can wear anywhere, The Duchess of Cambridge is a big fan and Taylor Swift has been spotted in one.I couldn't pick just one (although the Contrast Coat in pink is currently winning - just look at that taupe collar, and I have always wanted a pale pink coat) - so I have chosen a few below - the Buxton Coat is the epitome of elegance, and the Jackson Coat in cream is so Audrey Hepburn - I love the way the buttons are to one side, and check out the colour contrast Jackson Coat, in comes in charcoal and red too.I have also included some frivolous coats below, some fun for whilst you are are saving up for your Katherine Hooker coat.. 😍😉Alice xxxKatherine Hooker Coats:contrast-coat-pink-front_grandejackson-jacket-cream_grandebuxton-coat-k931-black-wool_grandekambi-coat-red_grandejackson-coat-cream_grandeAnd in the meantime:

Whistles - Helvin Cow Shearling Jacket - £995

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Petit Bateau - Raincoat - £132

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Paper London - Serena Coat - £300

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Rejina Pyo - Kate Oversized Belted Coat - £699

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Rejina Pyo - Imogen Coat - £589

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Zara - Metallic Quilted Jacket - £59.99

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Miss Selfridge - Leopard Faux Fur Coat - £62.30

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Claudie Pierlot - Gatino Coat - £600

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Reiss - Franklin Cloud Belted Coat - £265

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Monsoon - Nikita Jacquard Jacket - £69

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Uterque - Waistcoat Cape - £215

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Matthew Williamson - Rainbow Black Fox Fur Jacket - £2,995

multi-fur-short_1And River Island currently have a range of leather jackets with fur trims which will make you look like the Rum Tum Tugger from Cats.... 😉 

Winter Style List

The cold has crept upon us quite suddenly, I'm sure I was wearing shorts last week, and now layering on the jumpers in the evening.  No matter, it is clearly the perfect time to choose some winter staples and wrap up warm in style.  Below are the things I would like to be wearing all winter ❄️❄️❄️

Alice xxx

J Crew Chateau Parka £365

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Paul Smith Giraffe Wool Scarf £135

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Saint Laurent Army Fur Trimmed Ankle Boots £535

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Miu Miu Crystal Embellished Sunglasses

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Wishing For

What To Wear With Your #ThatCoat

Yesterday I took a little trip to the Daily Mail offices as @ThatCoat is going to be featured tomorrow - all terribly exciting.  (El Mundo in Spain picked it yesterday and so did Vogue Espana - it's getting very Spanish).I arrived at the Daily Mail offices, everyone was very nice and I had my makeup done 👄(that was fun) and hair done 💇(I am seriously concerned I will look like D'Artagnan the musketeer in the photos - apparently the Daily Mail loves swishy hair and my hair is not doing swishy at the moment).  And then some snaps 📷 were then taken by Katie the photographer who was very patient ☺️.  So tomorrow it will get exciting😃  - and thank you to the Daily Mail team 🙏Camilla the stylist at the Daily Mail chose my outfit for the article tomorrow, and I wanted to let you know my current favourite #thatcoat outfit 😍, so here it is below.Alice xxx 💙💕The most popular coat ever? It's sold out but you can now buy it on ebay apparently... 

Ted Baker Zaralie Jacquard Dress £149

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Elia B High Track Loafers £160

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Alex Monroe Toucan & Cockatoo Hoop Earrings £195

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