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….
We are absolutely loving all of the new Cath Kidston pieces which are hitting their website at the moment. How gorgeous is this colourful London print? The little buses and taxis (which are set in front of a picture perfect London skyline) are so cute!
You should, quite rightly, be going bananas for this fruity frock from Collectif! It’s such a fun print and the big pleated skirt makes it extra ap-peeling. I have noticed it’s currently showing as OOS on the Collectif website but don’t worry, I haven’t slipped up, as it’s also available from both Thunderegg and Modcloth.
Who doesn’t love a jazzy stripe?! This snazzy ASOS number is oh so cheerful and perfect for the warmer months. I really love pink and red together so this is the perfect colour combo for me! I’m really diggin’ the shoes too.
I love this little vintage number from Urban Outfitters. It’s such a great mustard colour and the intricate print detail is just splendid. Yet again I’ve fallen for a dress with a bell sleeve but I’d need to be prepared to bare some skin as this frock has an open back. Yikes.
I think it’s time for a couple of bargains don’t you? The first is this delightful retro number from Dorothy Perkins. The print on this shirt dress is just fabulous and it’s ticking all my required Mad Men style boxes. A winner!
Matalan have got some lovely bits in at the moment but this yellow floral dress really stood out to me. I think it’s screaming out to be thrown in a suitcase and taken away somewhere hot and sunny! Time for me to book a holiday….sigh.
Last but not least we have this super pretty candy-floss pink dress from ASOS. Look at all those bows! It’s like a never ending present. So so cute!
We aren’t the types to shy away from novelty clothing, especially when weaved with a damn good deed. So today, on the third annual Christmas Jumper Day, we have donned our most festive sweaters to make the world better and are donating to the Save The Children #xmasjumperday cause.
Christmas time, sausages and wine! What better place to wear our joyous jumpers than the very merry Bristol Christmas Market. Our knitwear of choice, is Ski* and Snowflake*, both are from Matalan and they did a fine job of keeping us toasty whilst enjoying a Bratwurst or two. And, as if that wasn’t Christmassy enough, whlist catching up over a mulled wine, the real life Father Christmas appeared. Unfortunately for us, there was no sleigh in sight and he was merely sheltering from the rain, not handing out presents. He gave us a hug, but it was a little frosty…
Find out more about Christmas Jumper Day and how to donate on the Save the Children website or text WOOLLY to 70050 to donate £2 (don’t forget to read the Ts & Cs)!
If you have read Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1, you will know that a couple of Saturday’s ago, myself and Jo went wild in the aisles and shopped until we dropped at McArthurGlen Swindon. And by dropped I mean, we both spent far too much money and promptly fell asleep on the train home. Our mission as part of The Gift Hunter Challenge was to find Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest. With the promise of The Cadbury Store, blogger (and personal!) favourite Yankee Candle and Ed’s Diner, and an eggnog latte or two, it sounded less like a challenge, and more like the perfectly indulgent girly afternoon out!
To fully embrace the Christmas spirit, I wore my snowflake jumper from Matalan* and subtly festive beret from Gallic Rooster*.
After a few hours browsing and admiring all of the lovely things, we made the difficult executive decision to head to Wagamama to have an in-depth discussion about Strictly Come Dancing what we wanted to purchase. Here are the items that are now patiently waiting under the tree.
The store I spent the most time and money in, and I’m not ashamed to say this, was Hornby. I am so ridiculously pleased with what I bought from the store and also, with the incredible customer service I received whilst there. Following advice from the very knowledgeable manager, James, I decided on what I wanted to buy for my dad, a life long model train fan. He often gets somewhat forgotten about at Christmas, his annual gift of a box of Liquorice Allsorts from every member of the family being hilarious to everyone but him, so I wanted to give the old boy something special this year. As soppy as it sounds, being able to give my dad the above gifts will be the highlight of my Christmas Day, especially as I am back to work on Boxing Day! I did blow over half of my budget in Hornby, but I don’t think any of the other recipients will mind.
My favourite auntie really loves Christmas and makes the whole family a small stocking every year full to the brim with small but uniquely personal gifts, which we open just before our Christmas dinner. It’s probably my favourite of our family traditions. To say thank you, I decided to put together a rather special stocking of treats just for her, including a gorgeous Bobbi Brown set from Cosmetic Company Store.
These two gifts are for one of my BFF’s. Although there are several specialist bag shops at the outlet, including Osprey London, Antler, Radley and Fiorelli, it was this gorgeous blue French Connection bag that caught my eye. I think it will make a perfectly casual but fun day bag. My friend has been super supportive this year, and as she is a fellow Yankee Candle obsessive, I couldn’t leave without popping in to purchase my last perfect present! I spent far too long choosing the most festive Yankee Candle from their vast selection, and I really hope I made the right choice. Just another 23 days to find out!
If all these goodies have got you in the mood for a little festive shopping, as a little Christmas gift from me to you, to get an extra 10% off during your trip to McArthurGlen, just click here!
Having grown up in a town that lies between Bristol and Bath, I can assure you that neither city was quite the shopping destination that they can now both claim to be. For myself and my friends it was either Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bath or, errr, Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bristol. Cheers, then. It was for that reason that we used to very often board the train to Swindon to visit their Designer Outlet where we would spend many a happy afternoon picking out our new knickers Kickers for school (showing my age terribly here) or buying the biggest, warmest GAP hoodie we could find.
It was a nice nostalgia filled surprise then, when an email landed in our inbox inviting us to come check out what’s new at the McArthurGlen owned centre. I probably hadn’t been back to the outlet since maybe 2004 and was instantly very curious to revisit this shopping haunt of my past. As it turns out, we’ve both been doing a lot of growing up!
The first thing I did on arrival was to appologise to Victoria for having never told her about the place. As she got massively overexcited at seeing a Cadbury factory shop and I lost my composure at the sight of a Ted Baker outlet, we both realised that despite having a lot of great shops on our doorstep, there’s always time for a good discount. We spent an embarrassing amount of time looking around all of the many (over 90!) stores on offer, only pausing for breath for a cheeky Wagamamas (soy happy). We left with so many bags we could barely carry them all!
We weren’t being completely self-indulgent though as we had in-fact been set the challenge of buying Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest for under £250…..as well something for ourselves for under £100. OK, that’s pretty darn indulgent but let’s go with it. So, without further ado, here are my results! Mum, if you’re reading this, STOP READING THIS.
I began with my other half who, as you might have already guessed, is a big kid. I knew the moment Victoria took me into the Hornby shop (more on that from her in part 2) that I wasn’t going to leave without some sort of train set for the railroad-tycoon-sorta-chap I married. It’s also, really, a present for my nephew (an actual child) as I know the two of them will be playing with it for years to come. I plumped for a Christmas themed set as a) it will look so cute around the bottom of our Christmas tree and b) I will only have to deal with tripping over train tracks once a year. SMART. On the hunt for another gift, I spotted the Cold Brew Bottle in Whittard and knew it would make the perfect addition to all of his tea and coffee related paraphernalia. I rounded things off with some chocolate from Lindt……..I am hopeful that I might get a few sneaky squares!
Next up for a bit of Christmas spoiling was my lovely Mum (WHO SHOULD NO LONGER BE READING THIS BY THE WAY). I knew before I arrived that I would be heading to Radley for her main gift as she is obsessed with that little dog and it’s not the sort of thing I would usually be able to afford for her! I spent quite a lot of time umming and ahhing over the range of bags and was so pleasantly surprised at the very heavy discounting on offer! I ended up paying under £50, which is a pretty good deal for a Radley! I had already picked her up some Lindt and decided a Christmasy Yankee Candle would finish things off nicely. Luckily for Mum (WHO HAD BETTER NOT BE READING THIS) I then spotted her beloved Origins GinZing eyecream in The Cosmetics Company Store for at least a fiver cheaper than it would be on the high street and threw that in for her too. What a nice daughter I am.
Finally it was the turn of my teenage cousin who also ended up with some goodies from The Cosmetics Company Store! The trio of Bobbi Brown goodies above set me back a cool £30 which is pretty insane value and I’ll admit I am very tempted to keep that lipstick for myself! I picked up the bow bag from M&S because I considered it to be well trendy and added a salted caramel Yankee Candle because everyone knows that it’s the absolute best.
It was then on to buying stuff for me! Hooray! I knew that I wanted to buy some sort of sparkly Christmas outfit and having narrowed down my options to about 34 different dresses I finally took the plunge in French Connection and bought the beauty you see above, along with a lovely gold bag to go with it. I had a little bit of money left over which went on another salted caramel candle for yours truly! It’s the best, remember? I buy myself the greatest presents!
What do you think of my choices? Will it be a very merry Christmas?
I will definitely be seeing you again soon Swindon Designer Outlet. Thanks for a great day! To see what Christmas goodies Victoria purchased, check out Part 2.
Hello hello! It’s Double Thumbs time again! Your weekly roundup of the top frocks we have deemed worthy of our seal of approval. Before we continue, I believe there’s time for one final shameless plea for any Company Style Blogger Awards votes. If you like our thumbs, please do take a moment to check out the website. We are on page 4! Voting closes on Friday. ONWARDS.
Ha! You thought you’d seen the last of my pineapples but here we are again, in what I am now calling the fashion world’s ‘pineapple agenda’, with another from There’s Only One Amy Laws. But WHAT a pretty 50’s style pineapple frock this is. I love everything about it.
Ha! You thought you’d seen the last of my pinea….yeah, it’s kind of getting a bit silly now isn’t it? I can’t help it though. I’m just drawn to the tropical. This lovely cami is fromRiver Island.
People can tell me all they want about how Marks and Spencer have lost their way when it comes to women’s fashion. I’m not listening. I have always been an M&S girl and from where I am sitting, they are consistently brilliant. Look at this sunglasses print dress? It’s marvelous! It’s on trend! It’s under £50! I will defend them UNTIL THE END! (bit of poetry for you there). Although I’m still waiting for a Percy Pig print dress. Sort it out, guys.
*update* currently showing as out of stock
Screw you, pineapples! There’s a massive lemon print on the block and it’s brilliant. I often overlook Banana Republic but they have got some fantastic pieces in at the moment!
Ah, we love a bit of Weekend Doll here at She and Hem so I was very excited to see their new collection pop up this week. This yellow puppy (!) dress, with it’s super cute print, is my favourite. It’s also got a whacking great bow on the back. Winner.
One of my favourite ever Double Thumbs Dresses is from 20th Century Foxy, so it’s nice to see them back with this bangin’ red stripe shirt dress. It’s even got hidden pockets. Dreamy.
My goodness, Matalan can be totally amazing. This perfect pastel pink floral shift dress is a tenner! A tenner!
Last up this week is this lovely floral tea dress from Peacocks. I love the shape and the pattern but the thing that truly seals the deal for me is that adorable Peter-Pan collar. You can’t really argue with that price-tag either.
Do you own any dresses that are just so perfect for you that you can wear them again and again and never get bored? Well I certainly do, and would jubilee’ve it, this is one of those dresses! This remarkably jolly, vintage inspired River Island number features teeny soldiers, blue horses and marching bands all having a right royal knees up and I just love it! Jubilicious!
Even though the dress is pretty jazzy, it’s still very versatile. On this occasion the sun was shining and I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to throw on as many colours as I could and head out for some larks, ending with a glorious sunset (the perfect ready made filter!). The red cardigan from Just Blue* works wonders for this quirky pattern by bringing out the bunting and the union jacks, as do the white Matalan tights. Even though this was a casual outfit, I couldn’t resist bringing a little razzle-dazzle with my silver sandals from Topshop and my absolute favourite Boden* bag. You can call me Queen V…
Howdy partners! It’s DT time! Your weekly *sideways glance* roundup of the dresses we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval. Before we crack on, I am going to make a shameless plea! The nominations for the Company Blogger Awards 2014 have opened and we would be chuffed as nuts if you would consider voting for us. There’s even a blogger duo category! Shameless plea over, it’s frock o’clock.
I have been waiting forever (at least 3 weeks) for this beauty to hit the Laura Ashley website and it sure was worth the wait. It’s got the most gorgeous old world map print, complete with big ships, whales and deckchairs! Yes, more deckchairs! I hereby declare deckchairs to be a SS14 essential.
Oh me oh my, ASOS are killing it with the dresses at the moment. They rather inconsiderately keep selling out before I have the chance to buy them (and by that I mean they aren’t hanging around long enough to go into a sale), which is a real bummer. This gorgeous vintage style dress has a beautiful off the shoulder neckline and sublime fit and flare shape.
Matalan are also bringing the pretty this season with some lovely feminine florals. This gorgeous organza prom dress has a super flattering silhouette and the all important mesh panel.
This postcard print dress from Great Plains is surely worth writing home about (unlike my jokes, eh). I do enjoy a shirt dress and this one happens to have a lovely rounded collar and a very pretty peach and blue pallet going on. It’s also got birds on it. So that’s nice. Continue reading Double Thumbs Dresses #33→
Hi! It’s DT time again! Your weekly round-up of the dresses we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval. I can tell you folks, this week’s list has been an easy peasy one to put together! No multi-tab browsing break down for me this week! No siree!
We begin with this floaty little number from Miss Patina. I love a good hot air balloon print and this, dear friends, is a GREAT hot air balloon print! It looks like it would be perfect for summer and I’m quite a fan of the skirt/top style (there’s probably a better description than that but it escapes me right now). Excellent work.
We haven’t had a cat dress for a while, have we? Hopefully not as I’ve got two for you this week! First up is this delightful monochrome number from Poppy. I love their signature 50s shape, truly perfect for twirling, and those black cats are nice and BIG. Declaring yourself as a cat lover should never be done subtly.
Whenever I fall for a dress on our beloved Modcloth (which is often), I always check that it isn’t actually from a UK based company before spending $$$$ on shipping (and tax! don’t forget the tax!). They stock a lot of great international brands and I’m betting I’d be pretty annoyed if I accidentally imported an Emily & Fin dress. Anyhoo, this map print dress isn’t from a UK company but it is from a Spanish one and, although my translation skills aren’t that awesome, I reckon people on this side of the Atlantic would find it cheaper to order directly from them. Nice Things has the dress for 75 euros (about £60).
This Modcloth dress, however, appears to be all American and proud. It’s also completely incrEDIBLE and covered in all of my favourite things! Eggs, bacon, PANCAKES, coffee, doughnuts and pears. Yes, pears! What of it? I am basically all about this dress. I don’t even care about the shipping (and the tax! don’t forget the tax!). Continue reading Double Thumbs Dresses #32→
Love is in the air today at She and Hem HQ, so as a Valentine’s gift to you, here are the accessories that have got me feeling smitten. If I had these accessories in my life, every day would be Valentine’s Day! Apologies that it’s only a brief round up today, everything has gone a little London Fashion Week crazy over here! I assure you, full service will be resumed next time.
It’s Double Thumbs time! Our round up of the dresses we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs Dresses seal of approval. If you’re a fan of a good collar then this, dear reader, is the post for you as not since Usher has one person popped so many in one place.
I have a feeling Cath Kidston and I are going to fall out. I mean, seriously, how is one person supposed to afford all of the pretty, all of the time? I can’t cope. They have been on an absolute novelty print roll over the past year with the trains, horses, mushrooms and cottages all taking up She and Hem wardrobe space. SS14 looks set to be even better with the safari and brighten up prints already looking dreamy. However, I’m going to kick off the CK loving with these two tea cup print frocks. The top one being my absolute dress crush of the week. I love the colour, the length, the print and the pockets. It’s an all round winner really. The second dress took me by surprise as I simply wasn’t expecting a dress like this to appear this season. It’s really rather lovely though, with another great print and a very pretty collar. I’m really looking forward to seeing both dresses in store. My bank balance, less so.
If you haven’t already checked out Ever Ours then you are in for a treat. This site always has wonderfully interesting pieces, especially when it comes to dresses. This retro print dress is slightly bonkers in the best possible way. It’s like looking at your Grandma’s carpet through a kaleidoscope. I don’t think I can give a higher compliment than that really.
If you’re tired of forgetting your umbrella then perhaps wearing 700 of them on your frock will help jog your memory. This lovely (and on sale!) dress from Great Plains is the perfect shirt dress shape. I adore those long sleeves and the flattering tie belt. You can thank @dinoprincesschr (who may well be my dress soul mate) for this one as I must admit to not being familiar with Great Plains before they popped up on her Twitter feed. Turns out the Great in their name is well deserved. Continue reading Double Thumbs Dresses #23→