Be the ice cream

This weekend, I decided to get my pastel groove on.

Having purchased yet another mint-coloured item of clothing – (the 3rd in as many months – read my post from March), I decided that instead of using them to brighten up my usual black or navy jeans, I would pair them with my new sugar-pink jeans.

And just like that, ice-cream heaven was born!

The reception from my friends was generally positive, but with some inquisitive looks, scratching of heads and finally some practical questions. How can one virtually dress like an ice-cream? The answer is – like this..

Peach + Lemon

Peach Topshop Blouse and Carven Lemon TrousersPeach & white striped casual shirt, £28, Topshop
Carven yellow casual skinny chino, £160, Farfetch

Mint + Choc Chip

Mint Dorothy Perkins blouse and Mole spot skirt H&MMole spotted skirt, £19.99, H&M
Mint sleeveless blouse, £24, Dorothy Perkins

Raspberry ripple!

Spot cami, £25, Topshop
Pink jeans, £30,  River Island

And finally, if you can’t find a combo which works, you can always take things literally and wear it as a print! Eat me.

Sugarhill Boutique Shirt Dress in Ice Cream Print, £50, ASOS

Red skirt flirt

(Sunblaze, red lace skirt, Anthropologie, £148.)

My campaign for colour continues as the rain beats down on yet another day in London. Today, I’ve sourced some rather fabulous skirts for you to moon over. As this season is all about ladylike chic and looking well pulled-together, you can’t go far wrong with a statement skirt paired with a simple tshirt or cami.

(Aztec skirt, Monsoon, £42.)

From red-soled shoes to sporting a red dress to a wedding (a definite no-no), the colour is synonymous with sex appeal and flirtatious behaviour, whether intentional or not! So, to counteract this, I’d keep the top half simple or neutral and your heels below 8cm (think a K-Middy special), especially if you’re intending to work this look in an office environment. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re on the pull!

(Carven tweed skirt, Matches Fashion, £277.)

Rock the block

(Cross my heart midi dress, Three Floor, £118)

Need some inspiration for the weekend? Today, I’ve been taken by the colour-block trend. It’s grey outside so I refuse to wear a colour palette of dark, dingy colours – it’s our chance to fight back and reclaim the rainbow. French Connection recently devoted a whole promotion to breton stripes, Marni took on H&M and Whistles’ blog is awash with colourful combos. Fashion just got exciting and it’s all thanks to the block!

(Striped knit with block border, Jaeger, £114)

So, I’ve sourced some of the best colour block items around right now for your viewing pleasure. A few ground rules before you kit yourself out head to toe as Beetlejuice. It’s all about sophistication. You don’t want to look like you’ve had an accident with a paint roller so stick to a maximum of 3 colours or if you’re going for more than 3, keep it tonal. Also, don’t mix and match. Either a top or trousers, skirt or a jacket. Going all-out will result in bag lady comparisons. And nobody wants that!

(Colour contrast skirt, Karen Millen, £115)

Lemony lace in the place

(Yellow lace top, Matalan, £16)

It’s rare that something specific captures designers’ imaginations quite like the current trend for lemon lace which I have fallen in love with. Everyone from Stella McCartney to Valentino are showcasing this trend..and even the highstreets are getting in on the action.

I love this skirt below from Karen Millen. Team with white to rock the Christopher Kane look (at a fraction of the cost) or with a black blouse as below. Classy and fresh – love it!

(Cotton lace skirt, Karen Millen, £140)

Also loving this cute shift from Warehouse – nicely structured with a built-in waist, this is great for curvy girls and has a real 50s feel..wear with a cream blazer and neutral heels and you’re ready for anything!

(Lace dress, Warehouse, £58)

It’s the pleats!

As Ron Burgundy once said ‘I’m sorry… it’s… the pleats!’ Well this time I’m not referring to an unfortunate trouser incident, I am in fact referring to the array of fabulous pleated skirts which are filling up our highstreet stores right now. They are crying out to be purchased so to purge myself of these urges, I will instead share them with you in hope that I may not be rushing out tomorrow to snap up one of the below!

(Pleated Colourblock Skirt, Oasis, £45.00)

I can’t get enough of them..ever since Whistles launched the Carrie skirt last Summer in 3 different colours, they’ve been on my radar, gradually chiselling away at my resolve not to keep purchasing the same thing. (NB. Don’t look at the Lottie skirt if you found the Carrie irresistible!) Then tonight on my way home from work, I was drawn to the French Connection poster on the tube. The one with the flippy peach skirt announcing ‘The skirt is happy’ was speaking to me! Damn advertising – I WANT TO BE AS HAPPY AS THE SKIRT!

(Mariella Silk Pleated Maxi-skirt, Glassworks Studios, £275.00)

So here I am on the cusp of falling into a black hole of pleats once again, but this season there are loads of variations on the original midi-length we all wore last summer. There’s a nice mini, dip hem, maxi and patterned ranging from cheap and cheerful, right up to designer fantastic! I hope you’ve enjoyed these..I’m off buy any of them. Honestly!

(Cecile Stripe Pleated Midi-skirt, Whistles, £125)

Diane’s style lessons

I’ve never been one to cite specific celebrities as either an idol or style inspiration, but it has recently come to my attention that there is in fact one woman whose effortless style is something I have continued to admire subconsciously for some time. As a result, I wanted to share with you my favourite style moments from the beautiful Diane Kruger. I’ve never seen one of her films, but hey the woman knows how to dress…

What I love about Diane’s look is that she always looks well pulled together, but without having styled herself within an inch of her life. She uses good tailoring and complements it with sharp shoes, loose hair and simple accessories. The winning combination – easy!

This outfit is super cute – boyish, but without losing too much femininity thanks to the the placement of the bow tie and the expanse of toned leg on display! Also a huge fan of her two-tone shoes – very S/S 2012!

Now this is formal-wear at its finest! The gorgeous blue silk skirt and sequinned bodice make this a real showstopper. Diane works a structured top half, but softens the look with the flowing cobalt skirt. It’s classy, but again, not overly fancy or attention-seeking. LOVE!

And my two favourites – the killer red dress with excellent shoulder and belt detail which add interest. Contrast that with the off-duty slouchy shorts and lace top. Diane, we salute you!

To the Aztec zone!

I grew up in the 90s in the UK. This may explain my love of prawn cocktail (rife on many a restaurant menu circa 1990) and cheesy gameshows (the only thing to watch if you wanted to be cool at school.) Anyway, my gameshow of choice was The Crystal Maze. A hugely creative concept with 4 different game areas, I spent most Saturday nights wishing I could go to the Aztec Zone.

(The highly authentic Aztec Zone from The Crystal Maze)

Almost 20 years on and I still want to visit the Aztec Zone, but instead have settled for a more realistic alternative – I will be channeling it through my fashion sense. As such, I’ve found this graphic, sequinned skirt from Zara. It has a real exotic luxe feel to it and is the perfect example of Aztec styling in an elegant form. I can see it looking fabulous with a peachy vest and gold sandals come Summer..

(Printed sequinned skirt, Zara, £79.99)

For a casual weekend look, I’m rather taken with this cotton waterfall jacket in a vibrant black, white, red and orange ikat-style print. Be sure to steer clear of traveller / hippy territory by pairing with a chunky necklace (see All Saints or Marni’s new range for H&M – out mid-March) and some chunky Hudson boots. Hot!

(Free People Ikat Print Cardigan, ASOS, £43.50)

♥ for Equipment shirts

Anyone who has ever hunted for the perfect shirt/blouse hybrid will have inevitably stumbled across the french brand Equipment.

(Sophie transparent stripe blouse,, £104)

Originally set up in the 70s by Christian Restoin, his focus was introducing the classic tailoring of the mens shirt to a female audience. Taking inspiration from 50s movie stars such as Lauren Bacall, combined with french sophistication, Equipment shirts became a firm fashion staple in the wardrobes of stylish women in the 80s. Having disappeared from our conscience somewhat, the brand resurfaced back in 2010, bringing a whole new generation the joy of their signature silk blouses in a wide range of colours!

My current favourites are the patterned shirts they have released for Spring – with spots, stripes and flowers. However the original block colour shirts continue to be bestsellers due to the diverse combinations of outfits they can be paired with. This is great when you need to be on form for an important business lunch or just look the part on a date. No other shirts compare – they have completely nailed the stylish, understated french look which every woman wants to achieve. Génial!

(Signature Two Pocket Square Print Shirt, ASOS, £275)

Stocked in most good online shops, you can also pick them up in person from Selfridges and Browns. Sales highly recommended!

Putty is the colour

(See by Chloe April bag £345,

It may be snowing outside, but the shops are full of new season brights and pastels which are designed to get you spending and revitalising your wardrobe after a cash-strapped January.

However, I don’t know about you, but I can’t see myself popping out in the freezing cold in a pair of powder blue jeans right now. Instead, I will be working all things putty-coloured.

It may not sound glamorous, but putty is a subtle natural-beige colour which works with everything! From Anya Hindmarch’s Huxley clutch, to Topshop’s skinny grunge studded belt, there’s something for every budget. Pair it with your dark wardrobe staples now and pastels come spring – the perfect trans-seasonal shade.

I have fallen head-over-heels for this Zara leather jacket which fits the bill perfectly from my point of view. Race you to the tills!

(Leather jacket £149, Zara)