Pass us a Pimms and a bucket load of strawberries (or tulips in Jo’s case), we’re about to make a racket about these wonderful tennis print dresses from She and Hem faves Carousel. Now the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that we’re obviously in different locations for these shots but, never fear dear reader, we aren’t consciously uncoupling! I (Victoria) have simply just been on my holibobs and we couldn’t wait any longer to feature these lovely frocks. Normal service to resume shortly.
So, whilst I’ve been sunning myself in glorious Cyprus, Jo has been skipping round the fields of Somerset picking flowers. If that doesn’t demonstrate versatility in a frock, I don’t know what does. Jo is hoping to write a post about her PYO tulips experience so you may well be treated to a lot of pretty photos soon.
I’m wearing the button-up 1940’s inspired Ingrid Tea Dress*, which I chose because I prefer to have a little something covering the tops of my arms. With the cap sleeves, cute collar and pockets, it ticks all of my dress desires. Thanks Carousel! Jo wears the equally lovely 1950’s style Brigette Dress*. I love the fit and flare shape of the Brigette, it looks excellent paired with her brown ankle boots from M&S.
It would be an understatement to say that since Poppy and Ada came along, a lot has changed. The girls are 15 & 16 months old now (I know, what) and, until a few weeks ago, in that time I (Jo) could count on one finger the amount of haircuts I had managed to have. It’s really not easy to find any baby-free time during the week and at the weekends we would much rather be hanging out with the family than disappearing to have our tresses trimmed. It’s tricky.
We were therefore intrigued when an invitation from Number Three hairdressers in Bath appeared in our inbox to come and try out their Mama Club. The idea, they said, was to bring the girls along to the appointment. We’d been a few times to Number Three in the past and loved it but couldn’t imagine how our boisterous toddlers were going to be compatible with their stylish, relaxing salon. The concern only deepened when we rocked up at 11am with two girls who had skipped their morning nap and were ripe for a whinge.
We needn’t have worried. Number Three have really thought this one through and have a whole private floor dedicated to the Mamas. There’s no pressure, no rush, and no need to worry about disturbing anyone as you are neatly tucked away on the top floor. We parked up our prams in the space provided and ascended the stairs!
The top floor is split between two gorgeous rooms with the first containing a kitchen area complete with bottle making and sterlising facilities, as well as what every parent needs, coffee on tap. We were then led through to the private salon area, which is perfectly geared up for Mums and their tots. Poppy and Ada were very happy indeed as it had toys, space to run around and biscuits. Lots of biscuits. And we were happy as it had lots of lovely comfy chairs for feeding, coffee and biscuits. Lots of biscuits.
Once the girls were nicely occupied, we robed up and sat in our chairs. For once, it wasn’t awful staring into the hairdresser’s mirror as instead of looking at our sleepy faces, we could instead keep an eye on our two trouble makers. Despite their lack of sleep, they were pretty angelic and it was really, really cute to watch them play. On the occasions they did need us, we were free to go to them without feeling awkward and both girls spent time sitting on our laps during the cut without our stylists batting so much as an eyelid.
It was actually all rather fun and at the end we both had lovely new dos! I just had mine tidied up but Victoria went for a proper chop and looked thoroughly gorgeous as a result. We skipped off for lunch (after saying hello to a very small baby arriving with his Mama for their appointment), agreeing that Number Three have really nailed it. Local Mums have got a real treat in store and we hope word spreads as to how great a service this is.
If you’re local to Bath and fancy checking out Number Three’s Mama Club it’s on every Wednesday and everything you need to know is right here.
Well what a tip top start to the week I (Victoria) have had! Spring has very much sprung in Bristol, and with the new season come the new cafe menus! One venue putting away their winter coats is Beets ‘n Roots Cafe on Cotham Hill, to which I was invited to try out their new Spring menu. And oh my, what a colourful culinary treat it was!
On arrival, I was greeted on their spacious sundeck with a selection of smoothies to try. Appetite suitably whetted, I was handed a brunch menu from which to order whatever I fancied. That’s my kind of menu. After some deliberation I chose the buckwheat pancakes with banana, Nutella and maple syrup. They were an absolute treat. So much so that I seriously cannot wait to get back to Beets ‘n Roots fast enough, or get the OH to up his buckwheat game. Gimme.
The event then saw nutritionist Rosie Letts tell us all about the healthy juices, before we mixed up some rather aesthetically pleasing rainbow smoothie bowls with fresh fruit, granola, berries and seeds, all of which you can see in my Instagram stories video below.
Tasty food aside, there was one other thing that I was super impressed (and quite surprised) with, and that was how child friendly the venue was. Fellow local mums have asked Jo and I for recommendations for places to take their babies and toddlers in Bristol, and this is going straight on our list. My little one was a big fan of the magnetic boards, children’s books and being able to wander around the decking in the sunshine. She also absolutely loved all of the colourful food and drink, much to the delight of the staff who made her feel very special – thanks guys!
You may think we are more Tai Cheese than Tai Chi, but oh my quads, how wrong you are. Nowadays, we spend most of our time running around after our toddlers, and boy do these girls have busy social lives! Come rain or shine you will find us pushing them for miles on end around Bristol to their music/sensory/swimming classes. Luckily for us, the lovely folk at JD Williams recently got in touch to ask to ask if we wanted to choose some items from their new Fitness range, so we could look half decent while doing so. So here we are bringing you some active wear realness, She and Hem style.
The Beast from the East hit us hard in the South West, so the items we chose could not have come at a better time. As you can see, we really put them to the test. We wrapped the girls up and tackled freezing cold winds and heavy snow and are pleased as punch to report that the jackets passed with flying colours!
I (Victoria) picked the Regatta Roanstar 2 Hooded Jacket in fig. I’ve been wanting a ‘sensible’ coat for so long, as all of my current coats tend to be more fun than functional and definitely not suited to snow. I am now living in this because it’s just so cosy (thanks Thermo-Guard insulation!). I was slightly concerned that it wasn’t going to be flattering because of the mid-length, so I was pleased to discover it has curved side seams, which you can tighten or loosen depending on how snug you want the coat to be. I shall now refer to this as my Yellow Weather Warning Winter Warmer. Catchy, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Jo wears the Tog24 Heaven Milatex Jacket in navy and pink. It’s designed for use in the mountains, so a snowy walk in Bristol was a breeze for this waterproof, windproof badboy. Jo finds the thumb holes and the handy inside pockets particularly excellent, and I think it looks great thanks to the groovy pink panel.
Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses and a very happy Easter to you all! It’s time once again for our frocktacular roundup of the dresses deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval. Let us celebrate the fact that it didn’t take me a year to write another post this time!
*FYI click on the image for a direct link to the dress*
First up is this incredible dress from Book of Deer. Quite honestly, this is up there with my favourite dresses ever featured on this here blog. Book of Deer put it better than I ever could by explaining on their website that this print celebrates ‘96 iconic women who have influenced the world we live in today. As well as depicting the more well-known faces of activism, academia, art and heroism, the print also features women who have achieved amazing things or overcome huge social obstacles that may have been overlooked in mainstream history‘. The result is magical and I want to wear it every single day! You can see a close up of the print here.
Next up we have a couple of fab prints from the new collection at Sugarhill Boutique. Both dresses are in the Adora shirt dress style which is a lovely 1950s button-up shape and has the most delightfully retro split collar. LOVE! The wild animal print features a stunning hand drawn safari scene that I am obsessed with and the swimmers dress is equally wonderful thanks to those quirky synchronized swimmers.
I have been majorly crushing on this yellow beauty from & Other Stories. It just looks so swooshy (not a word) and dreamy plus look at those gorgeous long sleeves.
Warehouse have some wonderful midi-dresses in this season! I find those blue chevrons deeply enjoyable and I am really into the buttons only starting below the waistline. It makes it a bit different and the result is a very nice looking dress indeed. I am also a big fan of their beautiful metallic gold midi-dress which, I think, looks super expensive. The website assures me that this ruffled frock shimmers IRL which only makes me want it more.
You will probably need to act fast if you want this super cheerful rainbow affair from ASOS as the £18 pricetag means it won’t be around for long. It’s the perfect dress for Summer which, apparently, is on the way.
Rejoice! She and Hem faves Boden have knocked a load of pounds off some pretty great dresses. I’ve been coveting the Armelle dress for quite some time so I think I might have to take the plunge. It’s just such a fun style! And as someone who really enjoys making a spectacle of herself, I feel the glasses print was always destined for my wardrobe. It’s such a ‘throw on and go’ dress which is what my life is all about.
It would be shellfish not to share with you this cray cray crab print dress from Lindy Bop. I am really diggin’ the vibrant pop of red and I it’s a real pinch at £38.
Last but not least is this perfectly picnic appropriate number from Topshop. I adore everything about this frock and am already imagining myself strolling through the park with a big hat and sandals, living my best yellow-loving life.
Since my daughter arrived last year, my style has taken a bit of a step towards quick and easy dressing, with the emphasis very much on comfort! Before motherhood, I would prefer to swish around in a novelty dress (as seen in pretty much all blog posts from 2013 to 2016!), than a more casual trousers/top combo. Although I do still really love dresses, I find myself saving them for special occasions or for times when I want to make a tiny bit more of an effort. Which, to be honest, as a busy working mum, really isn’t that often. Recently, I have been living in the classic ‘jeans and a nice top’, which has quickly become my go to soft play uniform. However, a new trend caught my eye at London Fashion Week last month and I want to get involved!
What is it? Why, Athleisurewear of course! It’s been popping up all over the high street and aims to combine fitness and fashion to create contemporary casual wear. Nice. What I am after in particular is something to swap my jeans for, for ultimate comfort. I’m off on a long flight with a toddler soon and I feel I need some something like the womens joggers seen above from Jack Wills, which will hopefully still come across as a stylish trouser, but feel oh so comfy. I think my family would much rather I rock up in these than my cat pyjamas, so I’m going to give them a whirl.
Late to the party, as always, I’ve also gotten into wearing trainers. This is probably something to do with having lots of young family members obsessed with street wear. I’m more of a yellow Gazelle girl than a Yeezy Queen, but I appreciate that you can wear trainers with pretty much anything and not have to worry about running for the bus or in my case, pushing the buggy for miles around hilly Bristol while my daughter naps. The question is, can I pull off the jogger and trainer combo? There’s only one way to find out! Check our Instagram next month to see what I’ve bought for that plane ride and do let me know if you have embraced the athleisure trend!
*This post was written in collaboration with Jack Wills, but words and desire to be comfortable is all my own*
Hello hello! Welcome back (at long long last) to Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted double thumbs seal of approval! First off, an explanation. I didn’t plan to have such a long break from writing these posts (I think it has been nearly a year?!) but between maternity pay and breastfeeding, I just haven’t been spending much time online lusting over dresses and checking-out my virtual basket. These posts have always been about the frocks I’ve fallen in love with when shopping for myself and, *insert tiny violins*, shopping for myself wasn’t really a thing for a long time! However, since returning back to work I now get to spend a lot of time on trains idly scrolling ASOS like old times. I have missed you, old friend! It feels good to be back and I can’t wait to start sharing my finds with you all once more. NO BANK BALANCE IS SAFE.
*FYI click on the image for a direct link to the dress*
I seem to have become obsessed with rainbows lately so this delightful dress from There’s Only One Amy Laws has naturally caught my eye! Amy is local to us (she’s based in Somerset) and all her pieces are handmade and screenprinted.
My friend Eva recently text me to warn me that I was going to want everything in Cath Kidston‘s new collection. To be fair, that’s not a massively unusual feeling for me but even I wasn’t prepared for how gosh darn lovely their new stuff is! The ice-cream print dress is just so summery and cute (although I can’t say I’m ready to think about summer just yet – Snowmageddon, anyone?) and the sunglasses print is very cool indeed. It’s definitely worth checking out their website right now as they have some really really great pieces (Victoria and I are OBSESSED with this coat).
She and Hem faves, Boden always know how to bring the fun factor. This super-flattering and super-easy to wear number comes in a number of fun prints (including sunglasses – they are obviously very in this year!) but the little ballet slippers are my pick of the bunch. Plie-se will someone buy it for me?
I find Zara so hit and miss but I spotted this dress on their website and fell for that super cool print! The dress looks a little short (for me) in a few of the pictures so I’ll be battling into town at some point to try and find it IRL.
Crack out the bunting, we’ve got a Royal Wedding to prepare for (what do you mean, any excuse?!). How jolly is this Sugarhill Boutique affair? The print was inspired by the colourful streets of Brighton and is rather lovely indeed.
Holy Snazzy Prints, Batman! I am totally diggin’ these super fun frocks from Traffic People, H&M and La Redoute! I couldn’t pick just one so, seeing as I’ve been absent for a year, I’ve decided to feature all three! You are welcome.
Who doesn’t love a stripey shirt dress? I really love the pop of bright colours in this Matalan number and am also quite into the grandad collar, which makes it a bit different from other dresses I have in this style.
CATS! It wouldn’t be Double Thumbs Dresses if there wasn’t at least one adorable cat print to get your claws into. Thankfully, both Next and People Tree have got puuuuuurfect dresses on offer and I am totally feline them both.
And last but not least is this absolute ball of sunshine from Topshop! We at She and Hem truly believe one can never wear too much yellow and thankfully the stylish folk at Toppers seem to agree.
*please note that this post does contain affiliated links if they were available*
We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ all month long in these stripey pieces from the new Sugarhill Boutique collection. Both are navy and white striped nautical niceties which will no doubt be seeing us through ’til Spring turns up! Jo’s Happy Days Breton Top* (above) is 100% cotton, so it’s pretty darn cosy and that rainbow coloured pocket detailing is a delightfully cheerful addition. My (Victoria) Stripe Navy Sweater* has some jazzy contrasting cuffs which, luckily for me, is just the way I like my cuffs! In all seriousness, the red adds a welcome pop of colour and makes it a bit more playful than your classic breton jumper. We always love how Sugarhill Boutique inject a bit of fun into their pieces and this season is no exception!
Because we are creatures of habit, we both teamed our outfits with Boden* skirts and boots from past collections. In our defence, their stuff just lasts so well! I’m sure a quick peruse of their website would see you find some similar styles but if not, hit us up as we like a fashion finder challenge! Our tights are from UK Tights* who we thoroughly recommend for all your legwear needs.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is seriously in the air at Cabot Circus! A quick stroll around our local Bristol shopping centre will see you surrounded with hearts, flora and a heck of a lot of red hues. It’s all rather romantic, innit. Now if, like us, you’ve never been particularly organised when it comes to the buying of Valentine’s day gifts then the good news is Cabot Circus have got you covered. They are offering free 30 minute personal shopping sessions this weekend (10th and 11th February) from 11 until 5. That’s TODAY, people! Just pop along and see them in the central space outside House of Fraser and their team of personal shoppers will help you find the perfect gift for your special someone, whatever your budget! Winner.
To get you all in the loved up mood, the team challenged the two of us to go head to head in the search for the perfect Valentine’s gift! We decided to go for a Galentine’s affair and choose gifts for each other (standard) and went well and truly wild in the Cabot aisles looking for dreamy ideas. If you fancy a serious shopping spree, check out how to enter our competition at the bottom of the post to win a £50 Cabot Circus Gift Card! A little Valentine’s gift from us to you.
We both had great success in Tiger, who have got a huge amount of Valentine’s gifts on offer to suit everyone’s budget. They’ve got everything covered from novelty socks, toiletries, confectionery and crockery! Even their boxes of plasters are romantic! It’s all there and it’s all festooned with hearts.
If you’re other half is a foodie then you’ll be pleased to know that Krispy Kreme have gone all lovey-dovey on us with special edition doughnuts on offer! You can pick up The Valentine’s Dozen for £13.45. Failing that, Hotel Chocolate have got some beautiful gifts on offer ranging from small bags of chocolate hearts to entire hampers of goodies.
Topshop, Monki and Urban Outfitters have all got some pretty cool gifts on offer. We both love the cute heart top from Topshop and bag from Monki. You can’t have too many hearts in February, can you? Neither of us had been into Monki before but my goodness, we are complete converts. Colourful fun clothes at really affordable prices, it’s pretty dreamy in there.
So what did we choose for each other, we hear you cry! Well, Jo is a librarian so those adorable children’s books from Foyles and her were always going to be a match made in heaven. The artwork is just beautiful and I was thinking she would enjoy reading them to Poppy too. I also had to pick up a copy of ‘Read This If You Want To Be Instagram Famous’ from Urban Outfitters so she can spend Valentine’s Day tackling Instagram’s Algorithm! In return, Jo picked up the ‘Love Always Wins’ tee for me from Monki and I love it! I can’t wait to wear it on the 14th of Feb. She also chose a wonderful Paperchase mug emblazoned with our favourite F word. I think we both did rather well!
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to get shopping for your other half (or your bestie!) this weekend. If you’re in Bristol, definitely pop along and take advantage of the personal shoppers, it will take away the stress of all that last minute gift buying! You can find out everything you need to know about it here.
Lots of love!
This post was written in collaboration with Cabot Circus
Bonjour & Aloha! If you are a regular reader or follow us on Instagram then you’re probably already well aware of our love for the wonderful world of Joanie. Their vintage-inspired fun fashion is right up our rue (little bit of GCSE French from the late 90s for you there). We are both big fans of their colourful dresses, novelty knits and, most importantly, their real inclusive vibe. Hell yeah. Check out their #joaniegals hashtag on Instagram and get ready to want all of the pretty things, we certainly do.
We’ve styled a couple of their cute slogan jumpers recently and they have been really popular, with so many people asking where they were from! We’re all about spreading the Joanie love! Which is super handy as we are teaming up with them in February to show their Instagram followers Bristol’s best bits and we can’t wait. We often feature our favourite parts of our colourful city on the blog (Bristol Archives here) and we’ve already begun discussing everything we want to show off to the Joanie gang, there is just so much good stuff to see. Roll on February and make sure to keep an eye on their stories.