Up the River

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 Top: Maison Jules at Macy’s

Belt: Dream Diva

Skirt: River Island (via Asos)

Shoes: Comfortview “Regina”

I bought this skirt some time ago from Asos, but haven’t worn it much due to the cold weather. I’m also having a bit of trouble understanding what best to pair it with (my dirty little secret? I mostly wear dresses because you don’t have to worry about what goes with what!)

I tried it with black t-shirts, and that didn’t work. Blouses and cardigan were OK, but a bit fussy-looking. I can’t find a blush top that works properly with the creamy blush of the skirt. I dream of wearing it with a blush and black striped top, but one hasn’t presented itself to me yet.

It seems to like pale grey though, so I thought I’d pair it with the cashmere owl sweater I bought over Christmas in New York. The dots are actually black, but with a navy belt and the navy detailing of the owl on the sweater I can sort of force an optical illusion to make suggest that the polkadots are blue too. Because – as you know – matching is important to me!

I don’t mind the skirt – I hadn’t bought anything from the River Island brand before, but took a punt that the size chart on their website was a better guide than the generic one on the Asos website which would mean sizing up, and I’m glad I did. They run about half a size (maybe a full size) smaller than Asos’ own brand clothing, but are very similar in style and quality.

The skirt is made of a non-stretch woven fabric and it’s a bit crush-prone, but it’s cottony to the touch and will be nice to wear on hot days when (if!) summer ever comes. The manufacturers seem to have made an effort to match the prints on the different panels of the skirt, so you don’t get that annoying thing where there’s half-dots on the seam line which I appreciate. Not all companies do this, and it’s annoying as hell and a hazard for people like me who a) shop online and b) like printed fabrics.

I didn’t actually realise until recently that River Island had their own website; I just thought they were a subsidiary house-brand at Asos. Actually Asos only stocks a selection of their full catalogue, so these days I’ve got River Island bookmarked for virtual browsing too. Like Asos they offer free shipping to Australia (on orders over $50) and regular discount offers.

Some of my favourite lust-worthy pieces at the moment include these:

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Yellow 3D floral lace midi skirt

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Striped Bardot Top

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Navy Heart Print Roll Sleeve Shirt

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Red floral tile boxy cropped jacket

Namesake

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 Shirt: Country Road

Skirt: DIY

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Chie Mihara

At the start of last year I was invited to attend the launch of a new hosiery company named Sonsee Woman. I was hugely impressed with the product that the team presented, and have been delighted to watch the fledging brand go from strength to strength since then.

Sonsee just celebrated their first birthday and I’m certainly not the only person singing their praises anymore – almost every day I read another positive review on their Facebook page, or stumble across a blog post rhapsodising about Sonsee’s comfortable fit and extraordinary “ultra stretch” technology. From their decision to use actual plus-size women on their website to the way they interact with their fans and customers on social media Sonsee seems to be a company that are kicking goals at the moment, and I’m proud to have been there right from the beginning.

I couldn’t believe it when the team at Sonsee told me that one of their gorgeous new pairs of limited edition embellished tights was named after me! Behold, the “Lilli”s!

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Aren’t they gorgeous? Oh my God.

Those pretty little bows on my ankles have been embellished with Swarovski crystals, and they sparkle most bewitchingly. The tights are Sonsee’s almost opaque 60 denier tights and also come in the Forest, Shadow and Midnight colours. If you’ve already tried Sonsee’s range I don’t have to tell you how comfortable they are (ridiculously) or how resilient (very). I’m still wearing the first pair of tights I got from Sonsee over a year ago. No sags, no snags. I’ve had less luck with their sheers, but mostly because I have a special skill for walking into every thorny bush/exposed nail/ splintery park bench in a five metre radius to myself, and even Sonsee’s magic ultra-stretch technology is powerless against my clumsiness.

I wore these tights for a full day on my feet at the Reed Gift Fair this week, and I didn’t have to adjust the position of the bows once. They added a bit of discreet glam to my all-black outfit, and were hilariously comfortable to boot.

I honestly can’t say enough positive things about Sonsee - both the product and the team get two enthusiastic thumbs-up from me, and I can’t tell you how honoured I was to be able to lend my name to an ultimate piece of frou-frou. Thanks, Sonsee – you guys are the best

If you’d like a pair of the “Lilli’s” for yourself – or some of the basic pairs of tights – Sonsee are offering free shipping on orders of two or more with the code “BIRTHDAY” until the end of August.