Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouJumpsuit (remixed): Missguided

Shoes: Steve Madden

Necklace: Modcloth

I like to think that I’m not really into following trends – or maybe it’s just that I find that so few trends actually suit me. Entire seasons will pass me by while I hit “refresh” on the new items button of all my favourite websites without seeing anything that tempts me. It’s usually when I start doing a lot of sewing, so it’ll probably come as no surprise to discover that the trends of the past season or so have left me a bit cold.

I don’t wear jumpsuits, and I DEFINITELY don’t wear culottes, so when I saw this culotte jumpsuit at Missguided (though also available through Asos) I was surprised to discover how much I wanted it in my wardrobe.

I remember my first pair of culottes when I was a kid. They were a Christmas present, and I remember being first really pleased with this pretty skirt, then a bit disappointed to discover that they were actually shorts masquerading as a pretty skirt. (Remember, I was the kind of girly-girl whose favourite colour was pink, and who would throw tantrums if Mum tried to dress me in trousers). I don’t think I wore them very often to be honest, but I think I’ve finally cottoned on to their popularity.

This jumpsuit is a dress that I can wear on a hot windy day without worrying that I’m going to flash my shorts up and down the street (I’ve got a couple of new recommendations on the short front, BTW. Stay tuned). In fact, I don’t need to wear shorts underneath it at all. Because LEGS.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’ll be honest: I still hate culotte pants – they can cut you off at the most unflattering place and unless you’re some magical culotte-wearing-genie (and they DO exist, and it’s nothing to do with size) they’ll invariably make you look a bit dumpy and short legged. But there’s something about the streamlined lines of a jumpsuit that kind of works OK.

I’ve tried jumpsuits before as well. I like the idea of them: all the convenience of a maxi-dress with none of the chafing; but I don’t have the height to pull them off and I always seem to end up looking like a Teletubby.

I ended up buying this one from Missguided, and if you decide to follow suit, I’d strongly recommend sticking to the size chart (I ended up having to send my first one back because I couldn’t get it zipped up over my boobs) and if you’re between sizes, size up. The jumpsuit style isn’t forgiving to curvy bellies when it’s snug.

The jumpsuit comes with “boning”, which are stabby little plastic strips inserted in the bodice to keep the thing up. They’re beyond useless, and sharp edged to boot, so I’d recommend doing the same hack that I did and removing them in favour of straps that you can make with a bit of ribbon. (Just make a little incision at the bottom of the lining where they’ve been inserted and they’ll slide right out).

I made sure that straps that I was attaching were in the perfect position to hide my bra-straps, and the whole effect is (IMHO) even nicer than the original.

Frocks and Frou FrouNecklace: Modcloth

If you’re looking for something a little bit higher quality (or if you can’t be bothered attaching your own straps) you can get a very similar jumpsuit from Dream Diva. The fabric’s considerably heavier and it has a shiny formal feel to it, but I’ve tried it on in-store, and can definitely vouch for the quality.

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with this one from Missguided though. It’s breezy, and super comfortable, and I feel pretty trendy wearing it.

Lust List: Books

Woooooooooooo. Well! It’s been a pretty full-on week in my new job.

I’ve come in just at the busiest period in the book trade, and have hit the ground running – but the role is one that’s very new to me so there’s lots of things to learn. I’m managing the digital marketing for Readings, and while I’ve been doing it consistently for the blog for the last nine years it’s a bit nerve-wracking to be doing it for a professional entity (especially one I love so much). I keep reading and re-reading my tweets and blog-posts in case I’ve accidentally dropped an F-bomb or linked to Fifty Shades of Grey instead of Pride and Prejudice, and that sort of thing.

Still, it’s beyond wonderful to be back in books, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a lust list with my favourite bookish items at the moment.

1545_olde_booke_pillowesThese classic-book styled pillows are to die for, amirite? They’re big too, and would look perfect scattered over the armchair in my sunroom/booknook. I can tell I’d have to fight Suki for the Alice in Wonderland though – she’s a secret Cheshire Cat fan.

Wizard of Oz bagOK, confession time: I already own this fabulous Wizard of Oz bag. My amazing sister had it made for me a couple of years ago, and I LOVE it. It’s big enough for me to carry everything I need: phone, keys, wallet, lip balm, book, the kitchen sink. The bag is made from felt, and the colours are wonderfully vibrant. It gets comments wherever I go.

PandPP clutchSo maybe you’re not a kitchen-sink kind of gal. These book-clutches are an elegant and portable alternative. You can get them fitted with a shoulder strap if you like to keep your hands free. I love her disclaimer that the books are made of printed cotton, not actual books because she couldn’t bear the thought of stripping a book of its pages A girl after my own heart.

Modcloth opening line necklaceI think “Once Upon a Time” is one of the most perfect sentences in the English language, so this fairy tale of a necklace is definitely one I’d be happy to have hanging around my neck. There’s something about it that promises happy endings, isn’t there?

library scarfSee, I’m actually old enough to remember the card catalogue at the library, so this Library Card scarf appeals to both the book fiend, and the nostalgia tragic in me.

harry potter leggingsLeggings-aren’t-pants be damned; these Harry Potter printed leggings can be anything they want, especially if they were in my wardrobe. I kind of fancy them layered under long tunics, and adding a bit of visual interest to an all-black outfit.

embroidered book toteI have this mantra. It goes: I have enough tote bags. I have enough tote bags. I have enough tote b- oh, that one’s nice. I shall buy it. This one is particularly nice, and the embroidery can be customized with whichever author or books that you fancied. Pick someone really esoteric for extra hipster cred.

Custom printed book dressShut up and take my money.

cats books teaCats. Books. Tea. That’s like my favourite way to spend a weekend, right there in t-shirt form. I want to wear this with this tiered tutu. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you why: it’s just a thing I want to happen.   book skirtMOAR CATS AND BOOKS. The two do go hand in hand nicely, don’t they? This skirt is part of Modcloth’s own range, so it goes up to a size 4X. And according to the reviews it has pockets. POCKETS.

Book-Shaped-Plates-Platters-DishwareI’ve had my eye on this book themed crockery set for a while, and I’d never buy it because the international shipping is prohibitive, plus the logistics of sending porcelain halfway around the world safely gives me palpitations. But maybe one day I’ll buy just the one platter for entertaining. And a set of the cups and saucers. And a few plates.

book vaseI can’t figure out how to buy this amazing bookplant, so if anyone feels like making me one, that would be swell.

book stepsOne day I will have stairs, and when I do they will look like stacked books. That is all.

  book ringThere’s a lot of book jewellery out there (as an object d’art it’s got a lot of fans). I like this brass book ring particularly, because it looks like you could pick it up and start riffling through the pages.

book on bookI’m guilty of doing a lot of my reading in eBook form over the last few years. One of the main reasons is that I like to be the Nigel-no-friends who sits in a cafe over her lunch break and reads. It’s hard to keep the pages open when you need both hands to wield cutlery, so the eBook suits the situation, but I find that it’s not nearly as immersive experience as a proper paper book, so I’m thinking of treating myself to one of these clever Japanese “Book on Book” thingies. Bonus points for keeping grub and flying ingredients off my expensive cookbooks when I’m in the kitchen.