Style in the City – what to wear in New York

Of all the wonderful cities in the world, it is New York that I truly wish to visit. Times Square, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, a Sex in the City Tour, Broadway, there are just so many things I want to do and places I want to visit, the Big Apple is absolutely top of my bucket list when it comes to travel and city breaks.

Travel giant Thomson recently asked me to create a fashion mood board for the city I would most love to visit, and obviously New York was my number one choice. I thought carefully about the theme of ‘party’ and decided that, in this most sophisticated of cities, party would mean cocktails and a night taking in a show on Broadway. I did think about using Carrie Bradshaw as my starting point, but, again keeping the sophistication of the city in mind, I decided to focus on Audrey Hepburn style in that most New York of movies. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

New York Mood Board



    New York Party Mood Board



My key choice was a Max Mara wool, silk blend dress that has both simplicity and elegance.  I love the fact that the dress is classic navy rather than black (Navy is a better choice for blondes). I would add a Jimmy Choo Agnes 100 glitter court in anthracite for a touch of glamour, with a Skinny Dip glitter clutch.  With all the glittery glamour of the bag and shoes, I would avoid Audrey’s necklace, but would give a nod to the pearls with some Tory Burch crystal pearl drop earrings.

The colour palette is stark, with the navy dress contrasted against the metallic glitter of both the shoes and bag, I think this works well as understated yet glamorous look that would work for cocktails, the ballet or Opera, or food in a top floor restaurant.

Have you ever visited New York?



Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the New Alexandra Theatre

It is an iconic book that became an iconic movie classic. Now ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ has been turned into a play that opened at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre this week, with pop starlet Pixie Lott stepping into the not inconsiderable shoes of Audrey Hepburn to play Holly Golightly. But fans of the Hollywood movie version may be surprised with the differences in the story, and, if you require a pre-requisite Hollywood happy ending, this may not be the show for you.


Fred (not his real name but we never actually find out what it is.) is an aspiring, but down on his luck writer, living in an apartment block with an assortment of kooky neighbours. Chief amongst these is the beautiful, effervescent Holly Golightly, a charming party-girl with a lot of secrets in her past. Holly has one aim in life, to be rich beyond belief, pursuing the odious Randy Trawler as a means to this end. But love has a way of getting in the way, and as Holly and Fred bond over their similar situations, it seems that maybe money isn’t everything. But as the past and present collide, Holly is forced to make choices that will change all of their lives forever.

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly and Naomi Cranston as Mag in Breakfast at Tiffany's (Sean Ebsworth Barnes)

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly and Naomi Cranston as Mag in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Sean Ebsworth Barnes)

This version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an altogether darker proposition than the Hollywood film, closer to the source material of the Truman Capote novel. There is no room for the Patricia Neal character, Fred’s trysts for money are with men, and you get the distinct impression that he is at least bisexual. Sex and pregnancy before marriage are all part of the story, and the action is transferred to World War 2 era New York, rather than the early 60s of the film. This makes the play interesting to compare to the saccherine Hollywood love story.

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly (centre) and the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany's Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly (centre) and the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

As Holly, Pixie Lott is an engaging, elegant presence – a little shrill and shouty at times, but with a graceful poise that makes her Holly very watchable. Her singing voice is strong and powerful and fills the theatre when she sings Moon River. You feel that her Holly is a stronger, harder person than Audrey’s version – more suited to the darker edges of the story, but it does mean that Lott as Holly is sometimes cold and hard to love.

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes (5)

Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes (5)

On the other hand I was really impressed with Matt Barber, who made Fred, warm and adorable. He narrates the play and pretty much holds the whole thing together with wit and charm. One of my fave scenes is when he has a drink with Doc – Holly’s abandoned husband. The scene is soft and charming and gives the play heart.

Matt Barber as Fred in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Matt Barber as Fred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

The costumes, sets of New York and the apartment block, and the use of newspaper reports to move the action along are great, and I loved the supporting characters Mag and Rusty. But ultimately, as someone who loves the romance and charm of the movie, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is just a little dark for me.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s New Alexandra Theatre

Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23rd April 2016

Click here for ticket information

M&Co are celebrating the shift dress this Spring

The shift dress is a design classic, an item of clothing that never dates and certainly never goes out of fashion. It first gained fame in the 1950s and 60s, when shift designs by Norman Norell, Lily Pulitzer and of course Givenchy, were worn by Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Jean Shrimpton. The simple design and clean lines of the shift made it a design that still remained vibrant and important even as the 1960s began to swing – the hemlines were just raised a little.

The design gained shoulder pads in the 1980s, and then worked with the minimalistic style of the 1990s, being the last fashion favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales. In face, the shift dress was the fashion item of the 1990s, being worn by Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham in the Spice Girls Wannabe video, and it was also a favourite of Kate Moss and the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

And it shows no signs of going anywhere soon. No modern-day fashionista worth her salt would be without this wardrobe classic. Mollie King, Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss have all been seen wearing the style staple to great effect. Whether it be in the guise of a little black dress, a pretty floral shift, or a bright, colour block number, the shift is perfect for so many occasions, and looks great whether teamed with flat sandals, stiletto heels or chunky heeled boots. High Street favourite M&Co have a gorgeous range of shift dresses this season, so if you are thinking of adding one to your wardrobe, this would be a great place to take a look.


Classic Shift Dresses

Annex - Hepburn, Audrey (Breakfast at Tiffany's)_02

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys



Jackie Kennedy in Lily Pulitzer



Jean Shrimpton



Princess Diana wore a lot of shift dresses in 1996/97



Posh Spice



Kate Moss and Johnny Depp when they were the most gorgeous couple in the world


12. carolyn bessette kennedy jfk jr

John Junior and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy



Amal and George Clooney



Mollie King



Modern day Mrs Beckham still loves a shift dress.



Kerry Washington


Shift Dresses at M&Co

So Jackie Kennedy…

Jacquard shift dress Details Product Number: 121369500600008 Colour: YELLOW £45.00 click to visit M&Co

Jacquard shift dress

Floral print shift dress Details Product Number: 121430600300008 Colour: WHITE £39.00 click to visit M&Co

Floral print shift dress

V neck shift dress Details Product Number: 121370900600008 Colour: YELLOW £35.00 click to visit M&Co

V neck shift dress

Floral print shift dress £35.00 click to visit M&Co

Floral print shift dress

Embellished floral shift dress £45.00 click to visit M&Co

Embellished floral shift dress

Diamond print shift dress £39.00 click to visit M&Co

Diamond print shift dress

Check print shift dress £39.00 click to visit M&Co

Check print shift dress

Textured shift dress £22.40 Was £32.00 click to visit M&Co

Textured shift dress
£22.40 Was £32.00

Guipure lace shift dress £85.00 click to visit M&Co

Guipure lace shift dress

Floral jacquard shift dress £75.00 click to visit M&Co

Floral jacquard shift dress

To view all the M&Co dresses, click here.

Further Reading

Brilliant blog posts on