Ding Dong Merrily on High! The festive season is truly well upon us and, here at She and Hem, we strongly believe Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a novelty print or two to swan around in! Thankfully for us, we’ve teamed up once again with our faves Emily and Fin to style a couple of their seasonal showstoppers! Merry Christmas indeed!
Victoria is wearing the totally gorgeous Swiss Chalets Print* which features a sumptuous ski scene set in the mountains of Switzerland. The perfect retro winter wonderland! It looks super cute and the lovely blue and green shades really make it pop. The dress is available in two styles, with Victoria opting for the sleeveless ‘Penny’ which has a flattering fitted bodice and semi-full mid-calf length skirt. She teamed it with as many glittery accessories as possible, including a gold belt from Dorothy Perkins, sparkly polka dot tights from Topshop and glittery black pom pom pumps from Kaleidoscope*. Not a salopette in sight!
I had been eyeing up the beautiful Ornamental Lights Print* since I first spied it back in the Summer! I knew it was going to be the perfect Christmas print and oh boy was it worth the wait! Who doesn’t want to be festooned with festoon lights during the festive period?! It’s such a fabulous print and the colours of those delightfully decorative lights really work nicely against the cool grey colour of the dress. Again, this dress is available in two different styles (plus a top and some incredible pyjamas!) with this being the ‘Lucy’. I always love the ‘Lucy’ shape as the A-line shape is just so easy to wear and lends itself nicely to twirling. I styled my dress with some super duper shimmery tights from UKTights* and some gold flats from ASOS (similar here)
I should also add that we both sized up at least once for these dresses as we are now, drum roll please, 38 and 32 weeks pregnant! Can you believe it? I think these frocks do quite the excellent job of disguising the massive bumps! If you’re not epicly pregnant then these dresses do run true to size.
We didn’t need any encouragement to dip our toes in when Laura Ashley kindly asked us if we would like to style some pieces from their gorgeous St Ives Collection for their blog (which you can read here!). If you read She and Hem regularly you will know that we live for fun prints so naturally we fell hook, line and sinker for all of the Sunbathers and Swimmers pieces. It was love at first sight!
The Sunbathers print with its quirky parasol laden ladies all having a fabulous time at the beach is just the perfect print for Summer. We were both immediately drawn to the Linen Shift Dress* and were not disappointed when it arrived. It really makes a splash! It’s such a lovely easy style to wear and we love that it will look just as fab with sandals and a straw bag as it does with wedges and an evening cocktail. However, whilst we wait for the warmer weather to arrive, we opted to style it with some white polka dot tights from UK Tights*, red and white Boden* flats and a Laura Ashley Classic Crew Neck cardigan*. We think all the pops of red really tie this outfit together and makes for one smashing look.
It’s fair to say that we are both totally obsessed with the Swimmers Print Ankle Grazer Trousers*, which is unusual for a pair of self-confessed dress addicts. They are so beautifully made and, once again, really lend themselves to being dressed up or down. It can be hard to find novelty print trousers that don’t completely dominate an outfit but thanks to the subtly of those lovely swimmers these do the job perfectly. They are definitely a great way of testing the water when it comes to wearing patterned trousers! We love them so much that we are going to be synchronised swimmers having both since picked up a pair! We styled the trousers with the Bather’s Linen Vest* Top (don’t you love it when a great print comes in more than one style?) and some very SS16 silver metallic shoes.
A huge thank you to Laura Ashley for sending us our new Summer looks. We love the retro vibe of these outfits and can’t wait to see what they’ll be making waves with next. See you at the seaside!
We are loving the many colourful stripes of 2016 but there’s something so classically stylish about keeping things monochrome. It’s just such a delightfully versatile print dontcha think? However, being us, we like to throw in a few bright bold colours when putting together any outfit. Let’s make those black and white stripes really pop!
We each styled the beautiful box pleated Maggie Ottoman Skirt from Boden*. The skirt is available in both mini and midi lengths and is in the most gorgeous heavy jersey material (zero ironing required – bonus!), plus it has pockets and you know how much we love a pocket!
I (Jo) plumped for the mini length which I was pleased to discover isn’t realllly so mini and hits just above the knee making it work appropriate! Hoorah. I teamed it with a yellow Visual Cashmere jumper, also from Boden*, which I thought helped make quite a nice transitional outfit thanks to the 3/4 sleeves. FYI these photos were taken on the one day of the year that the sun was out in full force so I got a bit carried away and thought Spring had arrived! The white polkadot tights are from UKTights (although they don’t seem to exist anywhere in the world – if anyone knows where I can get another pair please leave a comment!) and my black boots are an old pair from THE WHITEPEPPER. I finished off by tying a polkadot scarf round my head which was in no way whatsoever a cunning ploy just to hide my roots.
Victoria is totally rocking the midi length with gusto (we both agreed we feel much more comfortable in some sort of heel when wearing anything this length) and when teamed with Boden’s* poppy red Everyday Jumper those stripes become extra eye-catching. It’s such a good look – so much so in fact that Victoria ended up wearing a variation of this outfit to London Fashion Week….but that’s a post for another day. She kept her tights nude and finished off with those amazing Orla Kiely for Clarks shoes that make me so jealous whenever I see them. Oh Orla, please please please do more high-street collaborations!
WARNING: Monochrome stripes will attract monochrome moggies.
Ever wanted to see us fight over a bunch of red roses? It’s your lucky day! It’s finally February and now officially acceptable to start dressing in all things Valentine related. Yippee! Break out your hearts, roses and stupid cupid accessories -it’s time to get soppy guys. These new Valentine’s dresses from Emily and Fin will be more than just a February fling! Thanks to their fab prints, summer appropriate cuts and pockets (for all your love letters), we will be sporting these all year round! It’s true love.
If you hadn’t noticed, it’s flippin’ freezing (brrrr) at the moment but thankfully both the Scarlett Heart* and Bed of Roses* lend themselves to being paired with winter warmers. Victoria has teamed her ravishing red frock with a black cardigan from M&S, a black belt, polka-dot tights from UKTights* and black flats from F&F. I (Jo) have also embraced all things black (to match my heart – jokes) by layering my rosy number over a sparkly black thermal top from M&S, a black belt, tights from M&S and Topshop pumps. My glittery heart bag is from good ol’ Primark. The roses were a gift from a passing handsome stranger*
What are your plans for V-day?
*Not really. We bought them ourselves (sob).
This post was written in collaboration with Emily and Fin. Who we love all year round.
Shoes glorious shoes! We were super pumped when the lovely folk at Clarks got in touch to ask if we would like to style some shoes from their new collection of shoes&boots for AW15! We couldn’t resist their latest collaboration with Orla Kiely, which we first saw in all its fabulous retro glory at the gorgeous #allquietinthelibrary London Fashion Week AW15 presentation. They are fun, quirky and playful! Basically, we like to think of them as the ‘She and Hem’ of the shoe world. That works for everyone, yeah?
We love how the famous stem print design is incorporated on to the sole of all of the shoes in the collection. It’s the little touches like that, the detailing of the straps and the exciting colours which make this collection so shoe-purb! All of Orla’s collaborations with Clarks have been pretty dreamy so far, but this one is definitely our favourite. From sparkly gold flats to groovy 70’s platforms, they are all blooming perfect! And comfy too! So very comfy.
Victoria plumped for the oh-so-sparkly navy and gold Orla Abigail* which, judging by the amount of times we have spotted these beauties on Instagram, are the must have shoe of the moment! It’s not hard to see why as they really are beautiful with such a lovely shimmer and, thanks to their perfectly formed chunky heel, are going to be just the ticket for party season! Victoria let her shoes do the talking and embraced a Sixties vibe with her black and white Primark dress, which is currently available in store if you fancy finding it. She looks so chic!
I (Jo) chose the Orla Angelina* because red and pink is my absolute favourite colour combination at the moment and with those lovely pink buttoned flowers, they were just too cute not to have! I couldn’t wait to wear them with my favourite Boden* skirt (seriously, I live in this skirt now) and, once I’d added some jazzy purple spotted tights and a pink pompom, I decided to try and tone down the madness by wearing a ballet dancer print blouse from Zara. That sentence makes complete sense in my head, anyway.
These shoes really are just fabulous and look so much more expensive than they are! Please carry on these fantastic collaborations, Clarks! We don’t want this to be the last.
You all know how much we love Cath Kidston (a quick glance at our Instagram should be enough to confirm that fact!) so we were on cloud nine when they invited us to style one of their gorgeous new prints! We love them all, naturally, but we’ve been truly smitten ever since we first caught a glimpse of the blue and white perfection that is the cloud print and decided the skies the limit in terms of how many clouds two girls can wear at the same time!
When we originally left the house to take our outfit photos we were slightly dismayed to see a sky full of grey cloud! How totally unfitting, boo! However, after a fortuitous stop for tea and cake (and more cake), the skies cleared to make way for the most beautiful spring day! The moral of the story? Always stop for cake! We decided to make the most of this unlikely change in the weather and headed to one of our most favourite spots in Bristol, Brandon Hill. Not only is it Bristol’s oldest (and prettiest) park but it’s also home to Cabot Tower, AKA Rapunzel’s home, which you can climb up for the most the most spectacular view over the city! We had a fabulous afternoon making friends with the local squirrels (who were totally nuts for the cloud print, obvs) and pottering around the park.
Victoria wore the Clouds Cotton Dress with Shirred Waist and teamed it with nude tights and her amazing white heels from ASOS. The shirred waist really makes this dress super flattering, especially as it’s so lovely and floaty! Hopefully this style is something we will be seeing more of from CK. I (Jo) wore the Cloud Cotton Skirt and Cloud Intarsia Jumper (which is in the sale FYI) and teamed them with white heart seam tights from UKtights and my faithful yellow shoes from Orla Kiely for Clarks. I also added an old hot air balloon necklace from New Look as I like to think it looks as though it’s flying through the clouds! Yellow is definitely a colour that makes this print pop and when it gets a bit warmer I will definitely be swapping my jumper for a yellow tee.
The cloud print proved the perfect spring attire and we received many a compliment (as well as the odd confused glance) about our matchy matchy clouds! It’s just such a cheerful print and the beautiful blue really make it stand out. Bonus points to Cath for always including pockets in dresses and skirts! Pocket power all the way!
When we first started She and Hem we certainly didn’t think about the many unexpected opportunities that would come our way. We didn’t think about the friends we’d make or the brands we’d work with and we definitely didn’t think we’d be dressed up to the nines on the back of a golf buggy in Wales. However, that’s exactly what happened after we received a letter (an actual physical letter!) from Bluestone National Park Resort inviting us to come try out their ‘adult packages’. Because, dear reader, WE are adults. Totally responsible grown up women. We at no point drove around in the aforementioned golf buggy blaring out Taylor Swift and giggling uncontrollably. At no point did that happen.
Bluestone, which you’ll find nestled within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, opened in 2008. It has nearly 300 (we didn’t count them so we’ll take their word for it) luxury lodges, cottages and studio apartments which are all set within their 500 acres (we didn’t measure it so we’ll take their word for it) of countryside. We felt rather jammy indeed living it up in our stylish upside down lodge. We couldn’t quite get over the novelty of having our living room and kitchen area upstairs!
As you can see, it’s pretty darn pretty and is naturally a haven for families making use of the many activities on offer. We, however, were there as ADULTS doing ADULT type stuff such as drinking beer, climbing walls and eating delicious pasties for breakfast. In your face, small children.
Bluestone offers four adult only packages, neatly known as Four Play. They aim to appeal in four different ways: Taste, Excite, Amuse and Relax. Luckily for you, we’ve tried them all out so you don’t have to. We’re good like that.
For Relax we went to the resort’s Well Spa Retreat and spent a glorious sunny morning relaxing in the hydro pool, hopping from steam room to sauna and lying around checking Twitter relaxing in the relaxation room. We left feeling very refreshed!
As part of the Taste package we were treated to an absolutely delicious meal from their well posh finest restaurant, Carreg Las. We honestly didn’t really know how to contain ourselves when dish after dish of outrageously beautiful food was put before us. Even our bread looked delighted! We would like to publicly thank our waiters Bryony and James for coping with us totally freaking out about how great it is to be bloggers. They were lovely!
The other two packages, Amuse and Excite, weren’t quite our cup of tea. But then, the Four Play packages are designed so that you can pick and choose which activities you do! Excite came in the form of the adrenaline filled High Ropes course through the woodland. Between us we had one dodgy knee and a fear of heights so it was never going to be one for us. It is, however, very impressive and was definitely being very much enjoyed by the other guests!
Finally, Amuse came in the form of a right royal knees up down at the beautiful Camp Smokey, reached via a boardwalk and hidden among the trees. It really is quite a scene! We were treated to hot cider, a banger filled BBQ and a live band. All of this was rather splendid but unfortunately we weren’t quite as on board with the enforced entertainment of dancing on the tables, party games and a wandering man with a microphone as some of the other guests. Again, this is purely a personal thing but we would have been very content with our jar of cider and a few marshmallows around the fire.
Those minor qualms aside, we of course had an absolutely fabulous weekend! As well as experiencing the Four Play packages, we also so enjoyed being able to hire our golf buggy and drive around pretending to be a low budget Thelma and Louise. It was excellent fun. We also found time to venture to their flume filled, wave-machine enabled, hot tub containing pool of wonder! See you guys at the adult swim, yeah?
A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest and 100% ADULT, obvs.