Special Feature: F&F

F&F are, as I’m sure you are aware, also known as Clothing at Tesco but they are also, as you may not be aware, responsible for about 75% of my shoe collection! Yes, that’s right, pretty much all of my shoes are from Tesco and I am not sorry! They make blimmin’ lovely shoes that are cheap, comfortable and pleasing to the eye. This cannot be said for many of their more expensive competitors. I’m looking at you, M&S.

JF6

So when those kind folk at F&F offered me a £25 voucher to spend at my leisure, I naturally headed straight for the shoe department! This was going to be HEAVEN.  After putting together a shortlist of about 14 pairs, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I was missing an opportunity to try out some other F&F offerings. After all, I am rather partial to a nice dress! And so, after yet more shortlist making and a lot of sighing, I decided to blow the whole lot on an absolutely gorgeous black & white striped prom dress!

JF1
F&F Horizontal Stripe Prom Dress* £25.00
JF3
F&F Snaffle Trim Ballerina Pumps in Red £12.50

……and because I have no self-restraint whatsoever, I also bought myself a pair of new shoes. Hands up if you’re surprised? In my defence, they were only £12.50 and they have polka dots on! What was I supposed to do?

JF4

I’ve always had a bit of a thing about black and white striped dresses.  They just look so classic, elegant and at the same time fun. Can I also add in French? They look a bit French too. I’d quite happily stroll around Paris in this outfit.  If anyone would like to make this happen I can be reached on my usual email.

JF5

I will admit that I was a little skeptical about paying £25 for a dress from Tesco and, to be fair, this is most definitely at the upper end of their price range. Most dresses on the website retail from between a very reasonable £12 and £20.

I am very happy to confirm that the quality of this dress certainly reflects its price tag. It’s made from lovely material and the cut and shape of the dress are perfect. I love the matching belt around the waist that cinches it in so nicely allows me to have a great big bow! I also love that I can dress it up with a petticoat, heels and a bit of red lippy and look like I’m off out on the town, but equally with flats and a cardigan I will be wearing it to work. If you’re into your ‘cost per wear’ statistics, this one will certainly be earning its keep.

JF2

…..and as always, I love the shoes. The colour and design of these are so fun and they are just so instantly comfortable. I know these will be yet another pair that provoke gasps of ‘Tesco? Really?!’.

Double thumbs all around,

Jx

She and Home: Instant Vintage

DSC_0128

As part of a week of celebrations in honour of their 5th birthday, the boutique shop Instant Vintage kindly invited us to join them for an evening of canapés, drinks and discounts at their shop in beautiful Bath. Never ones to turn down a free glass of Pimms, we gladly accepted and hot footed it over there on the train last Thursday evening. And what a treat it was too! They had obviously been working very hard to ensure their guests had a dapper old time, even decking out a usually unused terrace area with fake grass, bunting and giant poms poms. It was a lovely space to sit and have a drink and eat delicious cupcakes! We would gladly have stayed  sat there all evening!

DSC_0081

DSC_0107

DSC_0084

DSC_0083

DSC_0099

DSC_0123

When we finally wrenched ourselves away from the seating area (and the Pimms), we duly took advantage of the 20% discount on offer!

DSC_0110

DSC_0117

Victoria: I am shamed to say that I’ve only visited Bath a handful of times, and I have never had the chance to visit Instant Vintage before. Boy, have I been missing out! The shop is light and airy, with plenty of space to browse. Considering how long Jo and I were browsing on Thursday, I felt no pressure from the friendly staff to buy or to hurry. In fact we were invited to stay longer for more Pimms! Instant Vintage’s ever changing line of pretty dresses, blouses and accessories will now be irresistible each time I am in Bath. Heck, I’d even make the journey to purchase something extra special from this brilliant boutique.

I kept my vintage inspired look quite simple and wore one of my favourite M&S dresses, which I cheekily picked up from a car boot sale several years ago for the outrageously low sum of £1. It’s certainly my best bargain to date. I find the peach polka dot dress to be rather  flattering, as the matching belt clinches in at the waist, creating shape to an otherwise simple dress. My tan shoes are from New Look and my amazing costume popcorn ring is from a boutique in Croatia.

8908_129451133925914_257156906_n

DSC_0130Jo: As a frequent visitor, and former resident, of Bath, I am a seasoned Instant Vintage shopper and was absolutely delighted at the prospect of spending an entire evening pursuing their wares. I already own quite a few of their items and find that they always draw compliments. I remember when it first opened, receiving a text from a friend to say that a new shop had appeared and that it “looked my sort of thing”. Oh how right they were! From the moment I set eyes on their window display of perfectly pretty vintage inspired offerings I knew that this was a shop I could get on board with! I was also quietly impressed with the prices as Bath boutiques, as wonderful as they are, aren’t exactly known for their affordability! This, however, was most definitely a shop which allowed me to buy something a little bit different but without having to feel guilty!

For the occasion I dug out a beautiful white Instant Vintage dress which I bought about three years ago. For me it completely embodies what I love about them. It is extremely pretty, made from great quality material and has those lovely vintage influences throughout. I wore it with polka-dot tights from M&S, Florence and Fred shoes and an Olivia Burton watch. My sunglasses (which have since been firmly packed away!) are from Red or Dead.

DSC_0098971017_129451370592557_812627704_n

Thanks for a great evening Instant Vintage and here’s to the next five years!

J&V

DSC_0126

Double Thumbs Dresses #3

Hooray! It’s time for our weekly round up of all those lovely dresses that receive the highly coveted She and Hem Double Thumbs Up seal of approval.

 First up we have these two beauties from Lady V London!

Hot Air Balloon Tea Dress £45 from Lady V London
Orange, Lemon & Cherry Fruit Print Tea Dress £50 from Lady V London

We are big fans of Lady V London here at She and Hem. In fact, if you are so inclined, you can currently give Victoria a literal thumb up over in their Facebook Hall of Fame competition. Speaking of Victoria, whilst she has been in Croatia – for what feels like actually forever – the only dresses she has been so hyped about, she had to send me have been the two above. I’m too ashamed to show you the actual transcription that took place but sufficed to say it went a little like this ‘OMG BALLOON DRESS’ ‘OMG I NEED IT’ ‘OMG ME TOO’ ‘OMG FRUITS!!!’. We both have degrees you know. Anyway, they will look simply marvellous with a great swooshing petticoat underneath and would make fabulous wedding outfits to boot.  Both of the dresses above are Lady V’s tea dress collection which I find to be a very flattering shape. However, if you aren’t a fan of a high neck then you can also try their super pretty swing dresses

Pendant Embroidered Skater £60 from Topshop

Topshop have done it again with their lovely sleeved dresses. It’s so purdy. I love the scalloped hem and the dainty cut out detail. I want to wear a big hat and stroll barefoot along the beach in this one. 

Limited Collection Tea Cup Print Dress £39.50 from Marks and Spencer

I am a not so secret lover of Marks and Spencers’ Limited Collection. I have been known to walk around stroking the clothes and muttering “lovely, just lovely” for hours on end. I also find a lot of their stuff to be perfect for work without being boring. This makes me happier than one might say is normal. One of my favourite and most complimented Limited Collection pieces (yes, I did just say piece) is an owl print dress (this owl print dress to be precise). Well recently M&S brought out another near identical dress which had simply swapped the owls for telephones (this telephone dress to be precise), I was intrigued. Could I really buy my beloved dress again? Eventually I decided that no, no, I couldn’t do this. People would talk. So what on earth do I do now that they have brought out the same  identical dress again but covered in teacups? This one is even more identical than the telephones! You are making a crockery of me M&S! I actually can’t not have this dress! It’s covered in tea cups for goodness sake! But please, PLEASE, just change the colours next time? Ta. 

Rebecca Fluro Stripe Skater Dress £80 from Oasis

Remember last week when I promised that this week would have more bank balance friendly dresses? Well I lied. Soz. I’m afraid we are just going to have to sit and pine together as there are just a lot of expensive pretty things around at the moment. This Oasis dress reminds me of a Habitat bedspread I once owned and if that’s not a reason to love it I don’t know what is. The colours are saccharine sweet and the cut outs are unusual in a good way, dontchathink? You can get 20% off dresses at the moment using the code 20MayDress so you could save yourself some £££ if you so choose.

Limited Edition Daisy Lace Shift Dress £28 from Florence & Fred

Oh I do love this 60’s inspired dress from Tesco’s Florence & Fred. I love the colour (although if you aren’t so keen it also comes in pink) and the giant daisies. It also has my beloved peter pan collar! You could just throw it on with some sandals in the day and then really go for it in the evening with fun tights and 60’s style accessories. 

That’s all for now!

Jx

Blouse power

Oh pretty blouses, why has it taken me so long to discover you?  I follow a lot (seriously, it’s obscene) of OOTD blogs, instagrams and tweets and recently blouses just seem to be popping up here there and everywhere. They are being worn with the obvious shorts/skirts/trousers combos but more excitingly to me they look so great teamed with cute pinafores and under dresses. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world of blouse wearing! Plus they look just as good being worn for work as they do for play. The blouse, dear reader, is an all rounder.

I finally took the plunge into blouse world after seeing this one from Ever Ours featured by Amy from The Little Magpie blog. Once I visited the Ever Ours website I went on a bit of a blouse buying frenzy and had to have a little sit down and a cup of tea afterwards. That website is full of such lovely things!

Umbrella Peter Pan Collar Blouse from Ever Ours

I mean seriously, this blouse has umbrellas on it and possibly the greatest collar I’ve ever seen and it’s only £18! What’s not to love?

After all this excitement, Victoria and I went on a little blouse wearing excursion over the bank holiday weekend. It was at this point we discovered that they are the perfect thing to throw on after a long day of basking in the sunshine.

DSC_0582

DSC_0576

DSC_0555

DSC_0573

DSC_0571

DSC_0554

Victoria’s puuurfect blouse (sorry) is from Modcloth and she wore it with shorts from Dorothy Perkins, tights from M&S, a satchel from Florence & Fred and shoes from H&M.  My heart print blouse is from Ever Ours and I wore it with a skirt from Bath based boutique Instant Vintage, an M&S satchel and shoes from Shellys.

 I am now trying to track down the perfect pinafore to wear with my new purchases!

Jx