Back to School (for Grownups)

A Girl, A Style _ Back to SchoolClockwise from top: Apple laptop (I just this week replaced my last iPad and MacBook Pro after 5 years of faithful service) // Anthropologie stapler (sold out, but identical version available here) // Kate Spade coaster c/- Magpie Decor // Kate Spade pencil case (also comes in a notebook version) // Rifle Paper Co. notebook + to-do list + notecards // Parker pen // Kate Spade 2015-16 agenda // Teapot c/- Magpie Decor.

Alright, let’s be frank: I’m hardly going anywhere near a school gate this year (I graduated high school – insert scream face emoji here – over fifteen years ago). But regardless of the fact I’m a grown woman in my 30s, I still derive as much pleasure from a few back-to-school rituals and a new set of stationery as I always did.

Although thankfully these days the stationery is from Kate Spade, the new school shoes are replaced by Ferragamo’s and the knee-high socks by Wolford opaque stockings, some things stay the same: I always start each season with a big organising and de-cluttering session (spring cleaning the entire house, making a list of what needs updating, and going through my wardrobe to remove anything worn out, the wrong size or no longer loved), re-stocking the basics and moving the out-of-season supplies to storage.

So whether you’re 15 or 35, the start of new term is always the perfect time to take stock of your progress during the year, set new goals, have an almighty organise + de-clutter session at home, and re-stock your supplies with a few lovely things for the new season. And there’s always room for excellent new stationery. 

A roundup of my favourite back-to-school supplies (for grownups):

I’d love to know: do you still start the new season with a few old back-to-school rituals? What are your favourite things to do + re-stock this time of year? 

Have a great term!

Love, Miss B xx


The Perfect Pair

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 13 (small)

The weather in Cambridge is being frankly bi-polar at the moment (glorious one day, drizzly and grey the next), so I’m trying to make the most of every bit of sunshine before summer disappears. My in-laws are visiting from Australia for a month, so we’ve been spending our weekends and evenings after work playing tourist in the city. The other Friday, I finished work an a little early (the perk of everyone except me being on vacation in August: less emails to deal with!), so decided to head straight to Kings College for an hour of downtime and lazing on the riverbank before the others arrived for our evening of picnicking and punting on the river (my favourite Cambridge summer pastime).

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I knew I wouldn’t have time to go home to change after work, so reached for this preppy-casual look that could take me from the office to a picnic. I teamed it with heels and an old favourite blazer during the day (to make it just polished enough for casual friday), and then just kicked off my shoes for punting.

For the sake of full disclosure: although I’ve bought my fiancé a few pairs of jeans and some great check shirts in Hollister (and honestly they wear better than most other brands in his wardrobe), I haven’t shopped there myself in years. But when they invited me into store to pick out my favourite pieces, I happily accepted on the basis that my best friend swears by their jeans and seems to be wearing a pair whenever I say she looks especially great.

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 6 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 3 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 9 (small)I bypassed the super-destroyed denim (too trendy for my taste) and the ultra-thin legging jeans (that don’t work if you have curves), and went for the classics. This gingham shirt is exactly my style and a wardrobe essential; I had spent a year hunting for the right one and have already since worn it tucked into navy chinos at the office and teamed with a little black a-line skirt on the weekend. I’m trying to incorporate different denim styles into my wardrobe (instead of reaching for the same three favourites), and these skinny blue jeans (I also bought a clean version without the ripped knees) are perfect for that preppy collegiate look I love, the same the quality as all my designer pairs (minus the price tag), and so comfortable (even while messing about on boats and cycling around town).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be lazing by the river…

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 2 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 5 (small)Wearing: Hollister shirt c/- // Hollister jeans c/- // Sportsgirl blazer (old, but similar style here) // Rebecca Minkoff clutch (sold out, but similar style here) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style here) // Karen Walker sunglasses // Mimco necklace (old, similar style here) // Michael Kors watch.
Beauty: NARS ‘Grace’ lipstick // Clinique ‘Soft Peach’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Like Dreamers Do’ nail polish. 

This post is in collaboration with Hollister. Photos by Beth Morton

7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ 7 Things for the Weekend

Hello lovelies! Although most of you follow my everyday adventures over on Instagram, I thought I’d start a new regular series on here where I can share the things I’m reading, buying and enjoying each week. I never want this blog to be just about fashion, so this is hopefully a new way to share some things that don’t warrant an entire post (whilst also allowing me to post more frequently, too). As always, I’m so grateful for your feedback and advice on what you want to see more (or less) of around here, so please do let me know in the comments!

This week we have family visiting from Australia (hurrah for deliveries of Haighs chocolate and dried peaches to cure expat cravings), so evenings have mostly been spent exploring Cambridge, picnicking in the botanical gardens and working our way through our neighbourhood restaurants.

1. Even though I’m still trying to stay in summer mode (I don’t want to let the last of the season pass me by), I definitely have that ‘back to school’ feeling that always seems to arrive towards the end of August. Although I now add all my appointments to my iPhone calendar the moment I confirm them (otherwise: goldfish memory), I still love a hardback planner for all my daily ‘to do’ lists and things I need to remember. I just bought this perfect Kate Spade 17-month agenda (I buy one every year and I love that they start in August and run to the following December) and am spending this weekend getting myself organised.

2. I loved seeing this lookbook my BFF Nicolette shot around LA for Target’s AVA&VIV collection (proving that style is never defined by a shape and size).

3. Although I’m trying to read more novels (any suggestions? I’d love to hear what you’ve enjoyed recently), I always favour interesting biographies and non-fiction books. I’m fascinated by the tech industry, and have just devoured ‘How Google Works’; it’s a fascinating insight into this game-changing company and why they’re so successful (confession: I dream of working there one day).

4. It is a sad day when peony season comes to an end (I bought the very last bunch from the market last weekend and felt smugly victorious). Head to the market this weekend and treat yourself to a giant bunch of hydrangeas or dahlias instead.

5. Did you spy my pictures over on the Coach Instagram account? I’m obsessed with their entire blush pink collection (and this one is similar to my favourite Mulberry Lily bag, minus the price tag).

6. I’m usually sleep-deprived, and this guide to getting a better night’s sleep is an excellent reminder (note to self: stop staring at my iPhone in the dark at midnight!)

7. I loved this post by Garance on how women’s careers and lifestyle influences their style. It’s something I think about often; my day job in politics requires me to be fairly corporate when I’m in the office (you’ll usually find me in a tuxedo blazer and heels during the day, but always with a little sparkle and my own feminine spin), so I love letting loose and being extra feminine or playful with my style when I’m off-duty. I’d love to know how your lifestyle influences your own style?

As always, you can find me over on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more day-to-day updates in between posts.

Happy weekend, lovelies!

B xx



How To Ace Summer

A Girl, A Style _ How to Ace SummerWe are half-way through August, which means there is just over a month left until the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the best season of the year, so don’t let it pass you by without extracting every last drop of fun from these long, sunny days. Here’s my guide to how to win at summer (even if you don’t have a vacation booked):

1. Have an adventure. Travel to a new place or have a fun weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Explore a new city, go to a festival, spend a weekend on the coast, or go camping in the countryside.

2. Get outdoors. Make the most of these long summer evenings and get outside whenever you can. Cycle to work instead of taking the subway, dine al fresco at sunset, watch an outdoor play, visit an outdoor cinema for to see a favourite movie beneath the stars or listen to a jazz band in the park.

3. Dance all night. Every summer should include at least one extravagant party. Get all dressed up, drink champagne, kiss beneath fireworks and dance until the small hours.

4. Play tourist. Don’t let the tourist have all the fun in your own city. Visit the sights, go to the zoo, take in a show or try the hottest new restaurant or rooftop bar in town.

5. Throw a picnic. I take any excuse to have a picnic outside, but every summer I try to have at least one especially wonderful version complete with the best food, good company and a round of croquet or punting on the river afterwards.

6. Build the ultimate summer playlist. Make the perfect soundtrack to accompany those summer adventures. Mine is filled with everything from the Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot to Phoenix and Vampire Weekend and evokes fond memories of summer bike rides and beach days (and my imaginary summer in California).

7. Take to the water. Head to the pool to practice your swan dive (or cannonball), rent a rowboat on the lake or, better yet, make friends with someone who owns a yacht and set sail into the sunset.

8. Host an impromptu dinner party. On an evening when you have no other plans, gather your favourite people for a summer party at home. Decorate with bright flowers, put together a make-your-own taco or pizza bar, play your favourite tunes and serve up homemade lemonade or frozen cocktails.

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9. Work on your green thumb. Even if you only have a tiny windowsill or balcony, make the most of the sunshine and try growing your own basil, mint or hydrangeas. Guaranteed smugness when you make a salad with your own herbs.

10. Have a beach day. Grab your brightest towel, your strongest SPF and your favourite swimsuit and spend the day splashing about at the sea. Bonus points for beach hair and silly photos.

11. Visit the farmer’s market. Go for brunch at your favourite cafe and then head to the farmer’s market to stock up on summer berries, peaches and the biggest bunch of hydrangeas or sunflowers you can find.

12. Ride a bike. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, rent a couple of bikes and spend the day cycling out to the prettiest spot outside your town (I’m planning to cycle to the Grantchester meadows or the Hitchin lavender farm in Cambridgeshire).

13. Find the best lobster rolls or ice cream in town. I’ve taken this one step further and bought an ice cream maker with my neighbour so that we can make our own ice cream flavours as often as we want (my favourite so far is peach and orange blossom).

14. Make like an aristocrat. Head to the grandest estate near where you like and spend the afternoon strolling the gardens, having tea in the orangerie or playing croquet on the lawns.

15. Spend a day in the park. Feed the ducks, watch the clouds drift by and and make a dent in your summer reading list.

I’d love to know your favourite things to do in summer! How do you plan to spend the rest of the season?

Love, Miss B xx