Dreaming of beautiful houses

I often find myself dreaming about where I would live if I won the lottery. Now, this is a little silly in many ways, not least in that I rarely buy a lottery ticket, let alone win more than £10 (and that gets me excited – a win is a win, after all), but we can all fantasise, and I find most of my dreams concern houses and apartments, and even superyachts that I have seen on TV and films.

The country cottage

One case in point is my dream of a cottage in the country. I can’t be the only one who browsed cottages and country houses for sale after watching Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet house swap in The Holiday. This was the definitive chocolate box cottage, beautifully rustic in the midst of a perfect country setting. I loved this cottage, totally falling in love with it on the big screen, but the reality is that I already live in a semi-rural area and that sometimes drives me to distraction, so this cottage, although looking idyllic, would probably not be for me in reality.

The luxury New York Apartment

Much more suited would be Carrie and Big’s apartment in the first Sex and the City movie. You all know the one I mean, the one with the HUGE walk in wardrobe. Now, this one ticks so many boxes for me in terms of storage for my clothing and shoes, which do have a tendency to take over all available space. And of course, New York would be an amazing place to live. But, the lack of a garden is a bit of a deal breaker, even in my fantasy world, so it is back to the drawing board once again.

The Super yacht

Watching all the beautiful celebrities currently jetting off to Cannes, and then appearing on the decks of luxurious super yachts makes me long for a life on the ocean wave, full of sun soaked days of swimming, sunbathing and docking in interesting, cosmopolitan ports. Kate Moss seems to spend every summer doing just that, and maybe that’s the point – a great option for spending some part of the year, but not 365 days of it.

Desperate Housewives?

So then I come to the house that ticks all the boxes. Beautiful, with gorgeously decorated and furnished rooms and pretty landscaped gardens, the houses on Wisteria Lane are just perfect…although the murders that seemed to occur there at an astonishing rate are not such a plus point, so it could be back to the drawing board. Maybe I’ll take a look around the beautiful, peaceful village that is Midsummer…

Reviewed – Roland Klein Spot dress from Marisota

Marisota is one of those companies that I have heard about, but I’d never actually tried any of their products. But recently I was asked if I would like to review an item from their site, so I spent a lovely night browsing through a really impressive website in order to choose an item. Marisota has a great range that is stocked in sizes 12-32, offering high fashion and style classics to suit all tastes, as well as a great swimwear and holiday collection from Melissa Odabash.

Somewhat predictably, I chose a dress. It came from the Roland Klein range that is a Marisota exclusive. Roland was formally an assistant to Karl Lagerfeld, and his Marisota collection is full of very grown up, sophisticated pieces, perfect for weddings, the races and other glamorous summer occasions.

Roland Klein Spot Dress £45.50 click to visit Marisota

I chose the Roland Klein Spot dress. This is the sort of elegant dress that makes you feel very grown up and ladylike, even on those days when you wake up feeling quite slobbish. The skirt has a chiffon style dotted layer over a black skirt, whilst the waist is elasticated and creates curves without actually needing a belt.  This dress reminded me of Carrie Bradshaw in ‘An American Girl in Paris’ and I couldn’t wait to try it for size.

I have to say I loved this dress, and totally enjoyed wearing it. It is a dress for woman who want to look feminine and elegant without showing off acres of leg or skin. The skirt is a gorgeous length, the arm holes are snug without being tight, no gaping sides to show off the bra in this dress. The elasticated waistband is a great feature, although this made the dress more empire line on me due to having a larger bust than the model.

As it is still fairly chilly at the moment, I teamed the dress with opaque tights and heeled shoes from Clarks. I wore this with a black cardigan for a business meeting and thought that it addressed both feminine and formal, which was the balance I was looking for. The print is large polka dots and yet is still a soft print, kept subtle by the use of coral as a base colour. This is an ultra flattering colour that would suit many skin tones.

With thanks to Marisota for this beautiful dress.

 

Style on the Small Screen featuring Carrie Bradshaw, Mad Men and Hayley Atwell

I must admit to being a bit of a telly addict. (I did consider naming this post Telly addicted, but then I couldn’t get thoughts of Noel Edmonds and his interesting jumpers out of my mind, so I thought better about it.) I watch all sorts of programmes, from Eastenders to Scott and Bailey, from Broadchurch to The Village, and I also love quizzes and documentaries too. But the programmes that will always catch my eye will always have an element of style to them. From the sumptuous early shopping experiences of ‘Mr Selfridge’ and ‘The Paradise’, to the stunning Arena documentary series about Norman Parkinson that was shown  on BBC4 last week, there is always at least one programme per week that is a feast for the eyes of fashionista’s. The good news is that there are currently some great BT Vision Packages available that not only allow you a great range of channels, and the option of accessing BBC I-Player on your TV, but are also currently offering a Sainsburys voucher when you subscribe.

My favourite TV programmes always seem to be playing on a random channel at any particular time. ‘Sex and the City reruns’ are played over and over, but never seem to grow old, Carrie’s style and sass is timeless and never less than relevant. And certain episodes are just so perfect that they are always a joy to watch, in particular Carrie Bradshaw as fashion roadkill in that New York fashion show (with Heidi Klum of course), or the ‘The Way We Were’ break up with Mr Big.

Another fashion classic is ‘Mad Men’. It is hard to think of a recent series that has been as influential in terms of fashion. Banana Republic has even had a highly successful Mad Men clothing range that has been influenced by the 1960s looks showcased by January Jones, Elizabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks. Megan Draper, as played by Jessica Pare, has added a new dimension with her slightly carefree, younger Pucci print ethic. You can shop all the Mad Men style with a Banana Republic credit card. Mad Men is television where sometimes the plot is of secondary importance to the clothes…and to the dashing Don Draper of course.

There are so many programmes where I sit and drool over the clothes that I have set up a special Pinterest board that is just for stylish television. Recent additions have been the 1930s elegance of ‘Dancing on the Edge’,  Hayley Atwell just killing 1940s dressing in ‘Restless’, and Romola Garai as the ever impeccable Bel in ‘The Hour’.

Bel in ‘The Hour’

Hayley Atwell in Restless

Dancing on the Edge

Do you have a TV programme that has influenced your wardrobe? Let me know your small screen style stars.