Punting on the Cam

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One sunny Bank Holiday weekend in last month, my friends Liv and Joe were visiting Cambridge for a spring staycation. Of course, I did what any self-respecting Cambridge-resident would do: rounded up my favourite Cambridge girl Caroline and her boyfriend, Oscar, and insisted on a picnic and an afternoon of punting on the river to kick off the summer.

I cycled across town to meet the gang at St John’s, where we all traipsed through the Bridge of Sighs towards the river to borrow a punt from Caroline’s college. We all piled in, the bottles of champagne outnumber the crew, and set off on the Cam with dashing Oscar and his master punting skills at the helm.

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The sun was shining gloriously, so the afternoon melted into dusk as we floated up and down the river more times than I could count until it was time for dinner. It is quite simply the best way to see all the grand colleges along the Backs, and the three of us recounted all the marvellous historical tales we could think of as we passed each college, and made up our own stories when we couldn’t think of anything better.

It wouldn’t be a Cambridge summer without at least a few adventures by the river, and there’s no place I’d rather be on a sunny Sunday afternoon than messing about on boats with friends.

Summertime in Cambridge, you’re alright.

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Wearing: Saint James for J.Crew top // ASOS jeans // Salvatore Ferragamo pumps // Ralph Lauren blazer // Chanel bag // Tom Ford sunglasses // Chanel brooches // Michael Kors watch // J.Crew necklace.
Beauty: Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick // NARS ‘Gaiety’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nailpolish

What are your very favourite adventures to kick off summer? I’d love to hear your traditions, old and new!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos of me by Joe Galvin

Weekend Stripes

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It finally feels like Spring here in England, and I couldn’t be more grateful. In between the weekly rain showers, it’s at last warm enough to throw off the coats, pack away the winter layers and go bare-legged.

I’ve been celebrating the new season by breaking out of my winter hibernation; picnics with friends by the river, Saturday brunch dates with my love, buying bunches of spring flowers for the home, and stocking up on a few new buys befitting the warmer weather.

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Given the fact I’d spent the past five months wrapped in layers of cashmere, I’d practically forgotten how to dress for those in-between months of spring. So, as is usually the case when I don’t know what else to wear, breton stripes to the rescue.

I bought this J.Crew dress the other week (I liked it so much I bought the top version as well) and it’s just right for running around town on weekends. I’ve so far teamed it with heels and a trench coat for casual no-meeting days in the office, or white sneakers and a denim jacket for weekend errands and shopping trips with friends. It’s the kind of easy throw-it-on-and-you’re-done piece that gets the most mileage in my wardrobe, and the dramatic sleeves do all the work for you (and so requires little more than some excellent earnings and sunglasses to look ‘done’).

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Wearing: J.Crew dress (also available in a top version + inexpensive alternative here) // J. Crew denim jacket (inexpensive alternative here) // Mulberry heels (old, but similar style here) // Celine sunglasses // J.Crew navy + clear necklaces // BaubleBar earrings (similar style here).
Beauty: Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick // NARS ‘Impassioned’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nail polish.

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Beth Morton

Bow and Arrow

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Confession: I despise the concept of fast-fashion. Of course I’ll indulge in fun, inexpensive updates to my wardrobe each season just like everyone else (and I must do an ASOS at least a few times a month), but generally I prefer to see my wardrobe as a collection of treasures which I curate, edit and build upon each season and love for years to come. Like any collector, I have my weaknesses that I’m drawn to again and again; give me a French detail (little black dresses, breton stripes, pearls and chain-strap bags), lucky charms and love talismans (cupid’s arrows, lip motifs, hearts and wishbones), or put a bow on anything (it must be chic, never twee) and I’m powerless to resist.

On this blog, you’re far more likely to see me wearing a mix of a new favourite items teamed with the pieces I’ve owned and loved for years and years rather than a head-to-toe look I’ve just bought that week and might never wear again. That’s not how I dress in my daily life, and it’s not how I like my wardrobe; I don’t believe in consumerism just for the sake of it, and will only buy things if I know I’m going to get mileage out of them. Whilst that probably makes me a bad blogger (I rarely post the latest trends just to drive sales), it does mean that if something appears on here, it’s because I genuinely love and wear that item (and think you might too).

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Take this outfit, for example: I bought this little Marc Jacobs ‘Stam’ bag about 12 years ago (I loved it so much I invested in three versions of the same bag and still bring them out each year, because to me they’re classics), these sunglasses were a gift from my fiancé about 10 years ago (they’re so classic that they’re still Chloe’s bestsellers every season), and I bought these Louboutin heels a few years ago and still love them (even though they’re entirely impractical). Throw in a dress which works as well on weekends as it does at the office (it’s both fun and classic at the same time) and some jewels which feel like vintage treasures, and it’s the perfect formula.

So my point is this: invest a little more in those labels and pieces that make you the happiest (they’re usually the items you are drawn to again and again, regardless of trends), treasure them for years and just add a few fun new things into the mix to keep things fresh each season.

If you embrace the items you can’t help but collect, then your wardrobe will always feel like a curation of treasures.

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A Girl, A Style _ Bow & Arrow 6Wearing: Carven dress (sold out, but similar styles here) // Christian Louboutin heels (old, but similar styles here) // Marc Jacobs bag (old, but available here) // Lulu Frost necklace (old, but similar styles here) // Lulu Frost earrings (similar style here) // Kenneth Jay Lane ring // Chloe sunglasses.
Beauty: MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Deborah Lippmann nail polish // NARS ‘Impassioned’ blush

Which pieces do you collect time after time? I’d love to hear about your most treasured items and talismans!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Amber-Rose

Je T’aime Jane

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I’m recently back from Australia (where the sun shone every single day), so I know I can hardly complain, but spring could not come soon enough around here! Honestly, I’m running out of ways to dress for winter, so rather than striving for originality when I dress each day, I have admitted defeat and have instead been investing in the best quality versions of the classic staples I reach for most days; a gorgeous coat, a cosy cashmere sweater, or great shoes I can actually walk in.

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My sartorial approach of late has either been to throw a coat over a great dress (just add jewels and winter accessories), or to team a favourite sweater with a little black skirt (and secret thermal layers underneath). I have about five favourite sweaters in rotation, but given my enduring Francophile obsession, this Bella Freud iteration (an ode to Jane Birkin + Serge Gainsbourg) is a probably my most treasured.

When paired with a crisp white Oxford shirt it’s a little more smart and preppy (and serves to break up an otherwise all-black outfit and therefore stop my from looking accidentally goth), and then I’ll either team it with opaque tights and heels for the office, or these over-the-knee boots (which are a revelation in themselves for being both custom-fit to your exact proportions and comfortable enough to walk around in all day long) for weekend errands, coffee dates and everything in between. It’s not groundbreaking, but there’s a lot to be said for finding your go-anywhere uniform each season. I call it zero-effort chic.

Or, as the French would say (to paraphrase): vive la sweater!

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Wearing: Bella Freud sweater // J.Crew skirt (similar style here) // Uniqlo shirt // Lulu Guinness bag (also in powder blue) // Ted&Muffy boots c/- (similar styles here) // Celine sunglasses (c/- SmartBuyGlasses) // BaubleBar earrings (similar style here) // Lulu Frost crystal ring // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring.
Beauty: Tom Ford ‘Cherry Lush’ lipstick // NARS ‘Amour’ blush // Chanel ‘Singulaire’ nail polish.

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Tell me, what is your winter uniform or the staples you rely on at this time of year? 

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Amber-Rose