Let it never be said that I don’t know what I like. Trends come and go – and whilst I’ll sometimes experiment with a new style – it’s those classic, gorgeously feminine pieces I always reach for. Or put more simply, red lipstick and Louboutins always trump #normcore (unless you’re my friend Alex of The Frugality, who wears boyfriend shirts and Birkenstocks like no one else and makes me wish I were half as cool as her).
I’m pretty powerless against a dark floral dress, but I always prefer a dark, winter version (as seen here and here) vs a lighter spring iteration, which can feel a little too twee or predictable. I bought this neoprene version in Anthropologie before Christmas, and it it looks instantly glamorous, but is actually completely effortless (exactly what I like in a dress). I teamed it with my sky-high red Louboutins for date night, but it looks just as good with a mid-heel (this Kate Spade pair are a perfect substitute because, let’s be honest, those Louboutins are strictly taxi shoes only) for dinner, or teamed with black boots or a ballet flat for day. Just add red lipstick and a jaunty beret and voila: the perfect coquettish winter look that will work for just about every occasion.
This weekend was exactly what I needed. I’ve finally recovered from the election (I haven’t stayed up literally all night like that since I was at University and had six essays all due in my final week before graduation) and a frenetic few months in Parliament and have finally been able to relax for the first time in ages. The Clever Fiancé was overseas for work, so on Saturday I made the most of my first day with no plans in weeks and headed to Notting Hill for an all-day date with myself (every girl needs them occasionally): a much-needed primp and polish session at my favourite salon (Taylor Taylor on Portobello Road for those who ask), lunch at Ottolenghi, a little shopping at Aesop and Diptyque and treasure-hunting on Portobello Road, and wandering around those gorgeous leafy, pastel streets in the sunshine.
On Sunday – he fresh off the plane and in need of caffeine and sustenance to help stay awake all day, me in need of juice and weekend newspapers – we headed out for the kind of long, lazy dates Sundays were made for: lunch, sunshine (which, in typical English fashion, lasted until precisely the minute we took these photos) and a walk through a few of our favourite colleges.
I threw on my ‘lazy weekend’ uniform (when it’s too warm for tights but not yet warm enough for breezy dresses, it’s always an iteration of the easy top, blazer and denim combination) that always feels like Sunday. It takes 5 minutes flat to get ready and you’re good to go wherever your weekend plans take you; I just add heels (only if I’m cycling instead of walking, and otherwise it’s chic ballet flats or ankle boots), sunglasses (these Miu Miu cat eye sunglasses seem to go with every single thing I own) and bright lipstick to yesterday’s hair and the most comfortable clothes I own to make it look as though I have made an effort, when really I haven’t.
Gloriously lazy weekends; you’re really rather wonderful.
The students are all making their way back to Cambridge this weekend, all wide-eyed and enthusiastic ahead of the start of term this week. I love the sight of them wheeling the wooden trolleys through their colleges, laden with books, cases and all their worldly possessions for the year ahead. Although it is years since I graduated myself, every autumn I still crave that preppy back-to-class look (which seems to suit life here in Cambridge so well).
I had to wear almost this exact outfit (navy blazer, kilt, bow-tied shirt) all the way through school and so really should be over it by now, but there’s still something I love about that uniform. Though truthfully, the preppy look is a lot more fun as an adult when you can swap the knee-socks for ladylike red-soled Louboutins, the tartan kilt for a leather skirt, and not be hauled into the Headmaster’s office for wearing lipstick (true story).
I suppose there will come a point where I’ll have to stop dressing like Blair Waldorf at prep school, but for now, while I’m in Cambridge, I still take comfort in pulling out my preppy uniform each autumn.
Decking the halls for the holidays + filling my home with festive sparkle. My new Louboutin heels that look like presents for my feet. Pink champagne and cocktail hour by the tree. The sounds of the Rat Pack Christmas album. Kate Spade cocktail rings + J. Crew crystal earrings. Curling up with tea and Gatsby on rainy evenings. Fairy lights + golden owl candles from Anthropologie. Wrapping presents. Wearing these sequinned heels to holiday parties. A shiny new bow purse from Kate Spade. Gingerbread men. Christmas movie marathons.
London all dressed up for the season. Festive sparkle and department store Christmas windows on Oxford Street. Sale shopping at Selfridges. Mulberry’s fairy tale pop-up at Harrods. Wandering through Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery after work. An evening at The Nutcracker (my favourite annual Christmas tradition). Old London glamour and the best lobster rolls in town at The Delaunay. Stella McCartney‘s Christmas lights (and this pink silk dress of dreams). Cristmas loveliness with family. Wintery walks around Mayfair. The glow of The Ritz at sundown.