Up the River


 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:


Yellow 3D floral lace midi skirt


Striped Bardot Top


Navy Heart Print Roll Sleeve Shirt


Red floral tile boxy cropped jacket

11 thoughts on “Up the River

  1. You’ve picked some lovely things here but meh…River Island…when I first moved to the UK I thought I would love them but I think that maybe one thing in my entire wardrobe is from them. The quality always disappoints me, I feel it’s worse than Asos. very hard to get a feel for that when shopping online!

  2. Oh, River Island have been around at least about 25 years! As a Londoner, I remember a pair of bright strong red denim hot pants jeans I had from there in 1991 (I was twelve). I know there were other things too, but those shorts I remember.

  3. River island has physical stores too, but they tend to not be on every high street anymore. The husband gets a fair bit of his clothing from there. I often force blue to be black & vice versa.

  4. Hi Lilli, I have a similiar skirt (winter white with black dots) and I prefer wearing it with a bright color like pink or grass green. Maybe that also works for you and your skirt.

  5. I think you worked magic, bc I honestly can’t tell that the skirt wasn’t bought to go with that sweater! And I love a purposeful mix of black & navy, so I think this is a win no matter what. I just love your styling!

  6. I hit up River Island when I was in London and found it so-so! Some cute stuff, some a little overpriced. Much like ASOS in general, I guess. One of my favourite black maxi dresses was from there, but I stupidly bought my regular Australian size, when I should have sized down.

  7. I’ve visited river island for many years and have always found their sizes to be very inconsistent and they do not stock plus size at all. There are UK fashion stores that do it much better for cheaper.

  8. I like the idea of green or pink with that skirt. River Island is very hit and miss, so good job finding the skirt! Super cute owl 🙂

  9. You could just buy a white/black stripe top and dye it a blush colour. Wash it on hot with something red/pink. It wouldn’t take change the black so would just look blush on the white sections.

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