When we spotted these gorgeous pink and blue dresses from Oasis via House of Fraser*, we thought it was about time that fabulous florals frocks made a very welcome return to She and Hem. They compliment each other so well, we just knew we had to style them, and boy did we pick the right day to do it! On the hottest day of the year so far, we took a very short stroll to a dreamy road in Bristol full of pastel coloured houses, cute doors and vintage cars. So, when can we move in?
I (Victoria) am planning on wearing my pretty organza skater dress to a family wedding on Friday. That’s if I can still fit into it with my ever growing bump! Keep your fingers crossed for me, as I don’t have a plan B! I’m a huge fan of the digital print flowers, the super stripes and the flattering sleeves. I felt it didn’t need any accessories other than these glorious gold heels (old, similar here), my trusty Boden* sunglasses and my BFF in matching colours! Jo’s maxi dress screams summer garden party with it’s long length, flattering slit and classic floral print. It’s just so easy to wear. She swapped the blue belt which comes with the dress for a yellow bow waist belt from Boden*, and kept the colourful vibe going with block heels from Kaleidoscope*. Jolly good.
Big thanks to House of Fraser for these fabulous summer frocks!
Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted double thumbs seal of approval! Let’s crack on….
Meow! How puuuurfect is this cat print dress from Louche at Joy?! I adore those cute colourful felines and they look extra striking against the darker background. There’s something just so delightfully playful about the whole look and, best of all, this frock has hidden pockets. Wizard.
Sometime I wonder just how poor I would be if I lived in America and had no shipping and tax woes to stop me ordering from Modcloth as often as I order from ASOS. I genuinely dread to think. This primary coloured chevron affair is a pure delight and I would love to swan around at work in it looking all fabulous.
Collectif consistently bring out fun prints in shapes to die for! This particular number features a whole host of adorable paper dolls who are ready to be dressed up in a range of fabulous 50s outfits – not dissimilar to those you’ll find on the Collectif website! Clever.
Anyone for a cuppa? This brew-tiful dress from Irish brand Carousel is just lovely. The 1950s shape makes it an instant hit in my eyes and the big bow is right up my street. They currently only have this available in a size 8 but fingers crossed more sizes will become available.
After I kept spotting people on TV in this marvelous polka dot number, I had to do some Googling before discovering it’s actually from Ted Baker (I was slightly dismayed as obviously I was hoping it cost £9.99 from Matalan). It’s just so nice and looks really striking on.
I am loving this poppy and daisy print wonder from Dorothy Perkins. It’s such a playful dress and has more than a touch of vintage charm about it. Those sleeves are fabulous too!
Every August, without fail, you can find us enthusiastically chasing hot air balloons at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Over the past few years we’ve really gone for it and wandered over to Ashton Court for several mass ascents across the weekend, including the amazing Night Glow. This year, especially as we are both expecting, we took it a little easier and chose to just pop over to the Sunday morning ascent. As luck would have it, it was the only morning ascent of the whole fiesta due to pesky windy conditions, so we definitely picked the right day to go along! We did also manage to watch the Saturday evening ascent with friends with a picnic in Clifton, and a great time was had by all. Nevertheless, there is something so magical about the morning ascents, they are definitely worth setting a 5am alarm for. Ballooning Marvelous! Thanks to the lovely folk at Red Letter Days, we were able to access the members enclosure (hello hot drinks and bacon sarnies) which gave us the perfect position for watching the balloons take to the skies.
We always think the colourful balloons make the prefect backdrop for a style post, so we took along a few of our favourite pieces from the new Boden collection to shoot. Although we did struggle to pick our favourite bits (it’s all just so good!), you probably won’t be surprised to learn that we both fell for the same cute combo of the Button Through Mini Skirt* in blue cord (Jo) and vintage denim (Victoria), teamed with The Classic Shirt* in multi autumn trees (Jo) and solstice blue spot (Victoria). The skirts are so versatile, that neither of us have taken these skirts off since, and we’re hoping that thanks to the stretchy material, will we be wearing them a few more months into our pregnancies! We also went for matching Sally coats* in delightful shades of pink and green. Forever twinning! They are going to be so fabulous once the weather gets a bit cooler!
As we are such keen balloon enthusiasts, we are often asked if you can go for a balloon ride during the fiesta and we have been reliably informed that you can! If you fancy going up, up and away on a balloon ride and you can’t wait until next year’s fiesta, check out the Red Letter Day flights.
How lovely are these new pieces from the Sugarhill Boutique AW16 collection? We always love seeing what they’ve come up with and were fortunate once again to be able to take our favourites for a spin!
Victoria fell head over heels for the Devra Scallop Collar Shirt*, declaring it to be the cutest collar she had ever seen. A bold claim indeed but it certainty lived up to the hype and looked super cute when paired with the tres chic Noa Apron Dungarees*. The shirt is such a great take on the humble plain white affair that we’ve all got lurking in our wardrobes and, despite it’s playful polka-dot print, will lend itself nicely to any outfit. I can see Victoria will be teaming it with everything! Such a handy go-to if, like us, you have waaaay too many loud colours and novelty prints and not enough nice basics to wear with them. The dungarees are also going to be hardworking (and will no doubt continue to be after the baby!), thanks to their super smart cut. We are always a big fans of anything that’s easy to wear but looks like you’ve made lots of effort! I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of the aforementioned loud colours and novelty prints being thrown on under these for a fabulous look.
I opted for the Jenia Floral Love Tie Waist Dress* in Navy thanks, mostly, to that adorable (and a tad Orla Kiely-esque?) floral love print. I’m always a sucker for a retro floral! It’s such a flattering and comfortable dress to wear as it just falls perfectly and nips in nicely at the waist to create a good shape. I also absolutely adore the long sleeves and the length, which will see this bad boy become an A/W work wear staple. The neckline is also super sweet and totally different to anything else I own. For an extra pop of colour, I swapped the matching tie belt for pink belt (old from Boden) which I think works well.
We were both in a new shoe mood and turned up in matching footwear from Boden. Victoria is sporting the yellow suede Patti Flat Points* whilst I continued my pink theme in Antique Rose Patent Wave Ballerinas*.
As you may be able to tell, we just can’t keep away from each other. So whilst I (Victoria) was in Manchester visiting friends and Jo was on her Northern Tour (as seen on our Instagram), we hatched a plan to meet up on the way home at Snugburys, our favourite ice cream farm. Yes, we have a favourite ice cream farm and no, we are not ashamed. Located in a beautiful old barn, it was the perfect place to shoot these gorgeous summer dresses from Trollied Dolly.
When choosing dresses, my eyes usually navigate to the brightest option available, so it was a surprise to no one that I picked the multicoloured bohemian beauty, the Easy V’sey Dress. Now that I have joined Jo in ‘the club’ (that’s the mum to be club, not the one frequented by 50 Cent), I’ve been on the look out for easy to wear styles that are not too figure hugging around the old bump. This fits that brief perfectly, as I was able to chuck it on in the morning with some simple sandals and sunnies and head straight out of the door without feeling self conscious.
Jo’s pretty Shifty Sista Dress is a floral dream that is perfect for dressing up for a night out, or down for a double scoop ice cream. Just look at those sleeves! To add to the versatility, it looks fab with either a splash of block colour or shiny metallics, but that’s up to you. As is the flavour of ice cream at Snugburys. Our favourite is Yum Yum. No prizes for guessing why.
It’s nearly time for our most favourite event of the year, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta! Running for four days from August 11th to the 14th, it’s truly one of the very best things about living in Bristol!
For the uninitiated, the Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, with over 150 descending on our city (and then repeatedly ascending) from all around the world. From Thursday onwards, every morning and evening (weather very much permitting) the balloons grace our skies during mass ascents that are beautiful enough to make even the most burly Bristolian well up with pride. IT’S THE ACTUAL BEST. Plus, if that wasn’t already enough, there are some novelty shaped balloons to gawp at too.
There are plenty of excellent vantage points around the city to watch the mass ascents (our personal favourite is just up by the Clifton Suspension Bridge) but we always like to head down to Ashton Court at least once during the Fiesta to soak up the atmosphere and to support this free (FREE!) event. For the past couple of years we’ve even gone as far as setting our alarms for silly o’clock to go down for a morning launch. Although it might not be much fun getting out of bed at 6am, there’s no denying the magical feeling that comes with watching the balloons fill the skies over our sleepy city (whilst clutching a cup of tea and a bacon roll of course!). If you’re Bristolian and you’ve not made it to Ashton Court for a morning ascent before, make this your year! We will see you there!
On Thursday and Saturday evenings, huge crowds descend for the spectacular nightglow and fireworks. The nightglows, which are rather legendary, see a field full of tethered balloons light up in time to music. You haven’t really lived until you’ve watched a load of hot air balloons dance to Olly Murs.
Check out the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta website for a full guide to what’s on this year (there’s entertainment all day) plus information about parking and the night glow. You can also check out our highly professional vlog from last year which should give you an excellent flavour of the Fiesta…
Nespresso has recently opened a pop-up boutique in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. To mark the occasion, those fine, caffeine loving folks hosted a coffee inspired dinner at the wonderful Lido Restaurant in Clifton. What does this have to do with us? Why, we were lucky enough to be invited along! Head chef Freddy Bird created an incredible bespoke menu, with all three courses infused with Nespresso coffee. The food was seriously good and looked almost too beautiful to eat. We were really spoiled rotten by the team at The Lido, and the tables full of empty plates was testament to the quality of the grub. Before we sampled the food, there was a tasting masterclass, as well as a talk on Bristol’s buzzing food scene with food and drink expert Andy Clarke, which made us feel especially proud and lucky to live in a city with so much choice and diversity when it comes to eating out.
The salmon starters were beyond delicious, thanks to a cheeky burst of vanilla and lemon zest. Oh and edible flowers of course! Next up was veal, slow cooked in a coffee and wine sauce, served on a bed of potato puree. To the surprise of no one, we both made short work of this delectable main course. However, that was all just a warm up for the main event; dessert. And they really saved the best until last, producing a true She & Hem favourite, an affogato! This wasn’t just any affogato mind you. This one was made with vanilla and cinnamon ice cream, heavenly rum and dulce de leche ripple and topped with a shot of (you guessed it!) coffee! Affo go on that! Truly, this was a Rolls Royce of desserts.
Thank you so much for inviting us along Nespresso. We can’t wait to check out the pop-up boutique very soon!
Festival season is upon us once again and although we are no strangers to the festival scene, we aren’t off to any this year (boo hoo indeed!). Nevertheless, we couldn’t resist waving our kaleidoscopic She and Hem wand over some of the awesome pieces from the Boohoo festival collection and styling them up a storm. If you’ve read our About page, you may know that we actually met at a festival in Oxford over 10 years ago (!!) and have been firm friends ever since, even though we were certainly not as well dressed. Festival fashion is a lot more exciting now. If only Boohoo were around back then!
For us, festival fashion is less about neon and feathers and more about being relaxed and comfortable come rain or shine, because if you are at a British festival, you are probably going to get quite a bit of the former! Denim hotpants are not really for us. We went for easy to wear smocks with billowing sleeves, with Jo choosing the beautiful Ari Embroidered Blousen Sleeve Dress, while I (Victoria) styled the cute Laura Embroidered Demin Smock. Worried about feeling chilly? Fret not, for layers are your friend. A colourful bomber like the Rebecca Printed Bomber, seen above, is an excellent option.
Don’t forget about accessories! Sungasses are great for tired (hungover) eyes, whereas flimsy footwear is a definite no. We find boots are great for walking around the festival site and are a stylish alternative to wellies. My blue beauties are from Boden and Jo’s tan lace up boots are from New Look. As twinning luck would have it, we also both chose rucksacks as our festival bags of choice. I picked up this white wonder from Accessorize last year and it’s proven to be a staple in my wardrobe, especially to take on weekends away. Jo’s gorgeous brown version from Aldo has unfortunately sold out, but there is a similar one here. Our glorious floral crowns are from Crown and Glory. Bubbles, fizzy pop and mega lolz are models own.
Over to you readers. What’s your festival fashion essential?
OK my hands are up, I am guilty. I have been meaning to write about this stunner of a dress for the longest time but thanks to a serious case of hyperemesis gravidarum (over the past four months – ouch), I just haven’t been taking as many outfit photos as I’d have liked. Thankfully, on a trip to beautiful York last week I was feeling in fine spirits and was able to swan around in what is, quite honestly, my favourite dress of all time. I promise to keep it a secret no longer!
This zoo print beauty is from She and Hem favourites Bryony* (formerly Poppy) and is aptly called ‘Walking Zoo’. It never ceases to amaze me how many people stop me in the street to ask were this frock is from – it’s definitely not one to wear when you’re feeling shy. On this particular day, no less than seven people complimented me and wanted to know where it was from! I can’t say I blame them.
It’s not just the stunning animal print that makes me love this dress so, oh no, it has a multitude of dress talents. Firstly, the bright red colour which is so eye catching and makes me smile whenever I see it hanging up in my wardrobe. It really is the loveliest colour and, having washed it many a time now, still looks as good as the day it arrived. I also love the long sleeves (although there is a capped sleeve version should you be so inclined) which guarantee i’ll be wearing it all year long! Finally, it’s has pockets. A true triumph.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what Bryony come up with next!
Hello and welcome to the 36th Accessories to Murder. Are you ready to delve into the world of amazing accessories? Excellent! Without further ado, here are the accessories that have made it onto this week’s She and Hem’s Most Wanted.
We start with a terrific twosome from Topshop. Both the Game Over bag and Mermaid Bag are made by Skinnydip and are a heck of a lot of fun. Being a lady of a certain vintage, I remember loving playing on my GameBoy when I was growing up, so I’m a big fan of the first bag. The second is dedicated to all of our aquatically minded followers, and I know we have a good few! What a catch.
It’s finally bright enough to wear sunglasses out without looking a bit odd. That’s never stopped us here at She and Hem, but hooray for the sun, and let’s hope it lasts! I spotted these whilst browsing the Zara website and while they aren’t as colourful as the sunglasses we usually feature, they look chic without being too sensible.
I’m really excited to have spotted this fab satchel from La Redoute, which also comes in a wonderful yellow version. I usually go straight for anything that comes in yellow, but I’m a big fan of the grey and pale blue combo on this beauty. It looks a lot like the more expensive brands, but comes in at about half the price at £35! Thanks La Redoute!
I haven’t featured anything from Modcloth in a while, so this week they are back with a bang with this incredible chevron swimming costume. It’s so pretty! The yellow piping looks so flattering, especially around the waist. Gosh, if I was going on a summer holiday this year, this would go straight into my basket.
Keep the doctor away with this fruity little number. Whether you have a fancy dress party coming up or you just love novelty bags, this apple bag from Primark is a right old bargain. This is the first time I’ve featured anything from Primark on Accessories to Murder because I have to admit, I do struggle with their website! Does anyone else feel a bit frustrated with it?
That’s all for now folks. Until next week, keep accessorising!