Do you ever build a picture in your head of how an outfit is going to look only to be bitterly disappointed? Ladies, I share this feeling and present you with ‘Gingham Part Un’. Gingham, monochrome, a Peter Pan collar and bows …a list of my favourite things, but somehow they just didn’t cut the mustard. To be honest, as I packed my bag to visit John, I could never have dreamed that I’d be wearing this outfit to choose my engagement ring in Saltaire.
Remember the spending ban wishlist, ‘What I Wish I Wore’ that I posted in February? You don’t? How rude! I jest, I jest. Well let me remind you, these Dr Marten Mary Jane style shoes featured highly. As in, I needed them and continued to do so, then forgot about them over summer as you do. When I managed to find them with a whoppin’ £30 knocked off, I took this as a sign they were destined for my autumn wardrobe. With interchangeable polka dot bows (I know, amazing right?), they’re the cutest shoes this side of Yorkshire, however I was not expecting them to be the chunkiest. I know, I know, what was I expecting from Dr Martens?
//Denim Jacket :: Topshop //
// Dr Martens :: Blue Banana //
Yes, the dress is new too. F&F at Tesco to be precise. Somehow, I strayed into the clothes section and this dress fell into my basket around the same time as the polka dot trousers. Apart from the fact it’s gingham AND has a Peter Pan collar, it was also reduced to £9. At that price, who would say no to a third gingham dress? Exactly.
I haven’t given up on my dream gingham outfit. Oh no! Recently, I received the most gorgeous coat from Warehouse. It’s so bright, it was made for monochrome gingham. Watch out for Gingham Part Deux, maybe I’m getting closer to my dream outfit?
How do you wear gingham?
What’s your gingham style?
As always, much love,
“Little charm bracelet, so lovely to see, little charm bracelet means so much to me.”
I’ve always been fascinated by charm bracelets. It all started with an inherited charm bracelet when I was young. It was incredibly heavy, made for a tiny wrist and had a clasp so secure, it was impossible to open. I couldn’t wear the bracelet, but I loved it anyway. It belonged to my paternal grandmother and told the story of her life. A grandmother who was born in the 1930s, lived through World War II and married the love of her life.
Her name was Dee, known as Dee Dee to her friends. She lived the most exciting life, a life of travel and looking fabulous in her hand-sewn creations. If you need proof of a life well lived, you should see her charm bracelet. Now under lock and key at my parents’ house (for safety!) it contains a number of charms including a book, a champagne bottle, an aeroplane, a ring and more! A life captured in jewellery. There’s something so sentimental about a charm bracelet, each is personal to the owner.
Now that I’m approaching thirty, my mother is keen to buy me my own charm bracelet so I can mark the occasion and start documenting my life in this way. Buying jewellery to mark key life events is a tradition we started years ago, it astounds me that it’s taken us so long to think of a charm bracelet. Although my birthday isn’t until next month, this weekend’s surprise means that we’ve started to look at modern charm bracelets and, of course, the charms to go with them. And then, just like that, an offer appeared in my mailbox from Pandora.
I’m looking for a silver charm bracelet as my engagement ring is white gold. To start my story, I have my eye on this cupid charm, this letter J charm or these champagne glasses.
The charms I eventually decide on won’t be modern charms. For me, they’ll need to tell a story and will need to be as chintzy as possible.
Do you own a charm bracelet? Charm school advice for a charm beginner?
*Post produced in collaboration with Pandora*
Life has a habit of surprising you when you least expect it. One minute, you’re weeping into your Assam tea then, in the blink of an eye, you’re crying with joy. On Friday, my life changed forever when John got down on bended knee, presented me with a beautiful ring and asked that all important question, ‘Will you marry me?’ It was so, so unexpected but the most wonderful surprise. So, of course, I said YES!
I haven’t stopped smiling since (it’s doing my fine lines no good) and already I have ideas for how I’d like our big day to look. Before I start getting carried away, there was one important job on Sunday that needed completing. Finding an engagement ring that fit. John had fit the bill perfectly, one gold ring with a solitaire. Unique, classy and timeless. It was what I’d always wanted, it was just a wee bit too small.
We woke early to make the journey to Saltaire Village, a Victorian model village within the city of Bradford, where John had purchased my ring. Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, the village oozed quirk. We happened to arrive on the final day of Saltaire Festival and so the heritage village was awash with colour and alive with the sound of music.
As it’s term time, sadly this visit was to be fleeting. We headed directly to Salts Mill as John had chosen my ring from a range by designer, Mirri Damer. Stocked at Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, we were merely there to have it re-sized… or so I thought. Once inside, I was given a different ring to try on for size. It was the perfect fit. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. When I discovered that this was the ring that John’s family had preferred too, I was swayed. This was to be my engagement ring. White gold and set with five diamonds, it sparkled as it caught the light. I was smitten.
It’s not easy choosing a ring that you’re going to wear for the rest of your life, so it has to be the right choice. To make sure I wasn’t acting on impulse, we decided to head to Salts Diner for a spot to eat and to mull over the choices. You see, my heart was tied to the ring John chose but my head was telling me white gold was more practical. I was torn.
I adore that my other half researched engagement rings and chose a designer he knows I will love for years to come. I adore that he chose a ring based on my tastes and preferences. But, life’s a funny old thing and sometimes the perfect ring is totally different to what you first thought. I believe the same is true about wedding dresses!
The weekend has passed in a blur of visiting family and speaking to so many people about my news. I’m so thankful for all of your kinds words and well wishes over on Instagram, I feel truly blessed. The Internet can be a funny old world, but a world I’m glad to belong to.
“Your hand in my hand is where it belongs.
Your hand in my hand as we walk along.”
Mark Sperring and Britta Teckentrup
Can you believe we’re midway through September and the sun is still shining? I adore September, especially when there’s a hint of an Indian summer around the corner. As a teacher, it’s always been a time of fresh beginnings, but the change of August to September feels almost as sudden as new year. With this confused weather brings time to re-evaluate the autumn wardrobe, dust off long since forgotten boots and to create new outfits with pretty dresses.
This year, I’m intent on adding key pieces to my wardrobe, pieces that will last more than one season, and here’s my favourite so far. Enter this beauty of a collared shift dress. Ladies, I present to you Zandra Rhodes for People Tree.
Zandra Rhodes’ eclectic style and iconic prints are legendary so you can imagine how excited I was to hear learn of her collaboration with People Tree. The Autumn/Winter 2014 capsule collection features patterns from Rhodes’ graduation prints from the 1960s. Featuring a galaxy of hand drawn stars, the dress I’m wearing was inspired by the 60’s craze for flags and pop art. The collection comprises of three styles: bodycon dresses, oversized print tees and collared dresses. There’s something for everyone.
Star prints and 60’s collar detail, it’s fair to say I’m absolutely smitten with this dress. What’s more? It’s made with People Tree Fair Trade 100% certified organic cotton, not only do you get great quality but you also have the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting ethical fashion. You can catch the first lady herself in this video as she journeys across India to meet the producers of her People Tree collaboration.
// Wedge boots :: Topshop (old) //
// Satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company //
// Faux Leather Jacket :: Jane Norman (25th birthday present) //
I’m wearing this outfit tonight for a murder mystery themed blogger event in Manchester. Although I have just spent the past hour trying on every dress, skirt and co-ord in my wardrobe. I keep returning to this dress. I’ve got a feeling this will be a firm favourite for years to come.
Are you a fan of People Tree?
What’s your favourite piece for autumn so far?
As always, much love,
*People Tree kindly sent me this dress after I contacted them to express my undying love for the Zandra Rhodes collection. Smitten opinions all my own.*
Linking up with Passion for Fashion,
A short while ago, I asked you to tell me your holiday traditions and you didn’t disappoint! From sending postcards filled with memories, to buying pic-a-mix on long journeys, it seems we all have our quirks when it comes to taking a vacation. Over the years, I’ve also accumulated a few traditions of my own (not surprising for a creature of habit) from collecting fridge magnets to eating an ice cream every day. However, there’s one tradition that follows me home from the flight, snuggling in bed looking at thousands of holiday pictures. It seems a trip away isn’t truly finished until we’ve looked at every one.
Essential is a mug of freshly brewed coffee, pyjamas and freshly washed sheets, there’s just nothing like your own bed after time away. I take a bath, remove all my make up and snuggle down ready to relive my holiday. With Instagram captures, DSLR photographs, mobile phone snaps and Sony digitals, there’s a wealth of electronic shots copied onto my laptop. So, it’s a bit of a crime to admit that that’s where they stay. A library of electronic memories gathering computer dust.
Whilst we were travelling, I decided to post snapshots from our trip on Instagram. It was a photographic diary, a way of keeping track of the place we’d visited and sharing them with family and friends. Whilst we were in Lake Bled, Claire from Printrbook got in touch to offer me a simple way to print Instagram photos, on the house!
For £10, and 3 minutes of your time, you can create a photo book of your Instagram snaps and have it posted too. By linking your account, it’s easy to upload your photos and you can also add the date and Instagram caption (provided it’s short). At 10cm x 11cm, it’s a great size to pop in your handbag ready to show off your memories. Sounds too good to be true?
Well, I guess it is a little. Although my book arrived in perfect condition, it wasn’t packaged well and arrived in a small paper envelope. Inside the book, the colours of the images were slightly duller and appeared slightly pixelated. I guess this is always the gamble when creating photographs from different digital sources. With pictures printed on matt paper, it all seemed a little basic. With more expensive rivals on the market, I guess you get what you pay for.
However, with that said, at £10 all in, it’s a nifty price and a no-fuss way to print your Instagram photos. And, for all Polkadot Pink readers you can grab 10% off with the code ‘polka10’. The most difficult part of the process? Choosing just 50 photographs to print!