Spring Handbag Essentials

It’s time to re-evaluate what you have in your everyday handbag. As the temperature gets warmer, the items you carry around on a daily basis should be changed to ensure you’re prepared for the changes spring brings. Here’s what my handbag absolutely has to contain in those sunnier months.



I never leave the house in spring or summer without a stylish pair of polarised sunglasses! There’s nothing worse than spending your entire time outside squinting – not only does it ruin your fun, it increases the likelihood of wrinkles on the brow and around the eyes. Protect your eyes and stay safe on the roads by adding a pair of high quality sunglasses to your handbag.



On that same trend, sunscreen is another essential item for spring/summer handbags. Buy a small bottle that you can easily carry around so you’ll never get caught in an unpleasant situation. Sunburn isn’t just painful, it’s extremely bad for your health and causes excessive ageing to the skin. Try to keep your skin as youthful looking as possible by applying sunscreen every morning during spring and summer – even if it’s grey outside. Reapply at midday if it’s particularly hot.


Lip balm

An SPF lip balm is another item I always carry during the hotter months. Chapped lips are both unsightly and unpleasant, and can result in flaking for several days. By applying an SPF lip balm as a base layer each time you apply or reapply lipstick, you’ll keep your lips looking plump and healthy. I love Eco Lips’ Sport balm (SPF 30) and Hurraw’s Sun Balm (SPF 15) for natural, cruelty-free lip protection.



Carrying a mini water bottle is a move you definitely won’t regret. As women on the go, we often don’t pause to refresh and take a drink between lunch breaks. I find keeping a small water bottle on me at all times makes me drink, which keeps my body hydrated and energised. Fill it up whenever possible and your skin and body will thank you for it!



Last but not least is the headscarf, or neckerchief if you prefer. Functional and stylish, the headscarf is there to protect your scalp should the sun suddenly decide to shine full-blast while you’re outside for a lengthy amount of time. Fold it diagonally in half and tie it at the back of your neck for sweet vintage style – easy chic.


Your Summer Race Day Fashion Guide


Going to the races is a wonderful experience. Part of the fun is getting your girls together and dressing to the nines, but it’s important to remember that there’s a firm dress code stemming from the racing tradition. I’ve put together a few tips for what to wear this season, so read on.


Traditional, darling!

The races are all about elegance and sophistication. You want to look classy and glamorous, so keep the party frocks at home and wear your finest. Avoid anything too revealing, too short or too fitted. Keep your midriff covered and avoid strapless tops. If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about what to wear, a safe option is monochrome – you really can’t go wrong with a structured black dress paired with white heels and accessories.




The imperative for all racing attire – you simply have to have headwear! The good news is, there’s a range of options to choose from. The fascinator is a race day staple, giving your outfit a unique, stylish flair. Other lovely choices include embroidered headbands or floral hair accessories. I’m also a big fan of wearing actual hats to the races, especially vintage ones like the cloche, or my favourite, the pillbox. Widebrimmed mesh hats are another great alternative.



Florals and Lace 

It’s easier than you think to keep your racing outfit fashion-forward, while still adhering to tradition. This season floral and lace are here in a big way, and they make great choices for the races. Both are feminine and very striking when worn correctly. Lace looks amazing in white, cream or soft blue, while floral is lovely in yellows, mauves, and pinks. You can even incorporate floral into your outfit through your accessories, as below.




Never underestimate the power of accessories. These are what propel your outfit to that ultimate level of style and make you stand out from the crowd. Your accessories are a part of your overall look, so they deserve just as much thought as your dress, shoes and headwear. Make sure you have a purse or clutch large enough to fit your phone, sunscreen and lipstick. Small and simple is best for the races. Gloves also make an elegant and vintage addition to your outfit. Remember to bring sunglasses, as you’ll be outside in the sun for much of the day. Think big statement glasses or plain black for that uber-traditional look.




Shoes can make or break an outfit. You might have everything else down to perfection, but if your shoes don’t fit, your whole look is affected. Choose your colour carefully and remember that the races are about class and elegance. Your heels don’t need to be unreasonably high to make the cut. I’m loving chunky-heeled Mary Janes and peep-toe shoes this season, especially in black or nude suede. For a more fashion-forward edge, opt for some strappy stilettos, or wear heeled sandals to get a summery vibe.




As with everything else, keep jewellery simple and classy. It should complement the rest of your outfit, not outshine it. I recommend wearing just two or three pieces, rather than a whole lot. Try to keep the colours similar, too. If you’re wearing gold earrings, don’t put silver rings on. Race day fashion is all about the ensemble. Everything should flow and appear to have a place. If you’re feeling stuck, a helpful piece of advice is simply: less is more. Minimalism is better than excess for these circumstances.



Six Summer Trends for the 2016/2017 Season

Summer is here at last! Sunshine, swimming, fresh flowers and iced tea – what more could you ask for? As usual, the shops are full of the latest trends. Stay fashionable during those hot summer days by reading my favourite seasonal styles below.


Vibrant Colours

This summer it’s all about big, bright, happy colours. Add some orange, yellow, red or bold blue to your wardrobe. If you normally wear more subtle shades, try incorporating one item into your outfit to give it a splash of summer colour – shoes, a handbag, a vest or even lipstick. Doesn’t Blake Lively look stunning in her yellow dress?



Closed-Toe Shoes

While sandals are always in during the warmer months, this summer the closed-toe is here as well. Think covered sliders, brogues, oxfords, loafers and espadrilles. Alexa Chung shows us how it’s done below. For evening heels, opt for a vintage-inspired Mary Jane or chunky clog.




I love love love coordinates, and thankfully they’ve made a comeback this summer. Coordinates are uber feminine and can be either cute or classy, as Taylor Swift, the queen of coordinates, proves below. If you’re feeling edgy, wear them in a fun floral or geometric pattern. Otherwise, keep it simple and team with a pair of soft leather sliders.



The Slip Dress

The slip dress is elegant and feminine. Show off your figure with this simple yet striking piece. The best thing about slip dresses is that they look great worn alone and over other pieces. Try it over a funnel neck tee for a chic layered look. Doesn’t our girl Lorde look gorgeous in her silky slip with Jennifer Lawrence?




For the ultimate beauty, boho look you need an off-the-shoulder top or dress. Light, flowy and fun, as a top this piece is super easy to wear with just about anything – over a skirt, shorts or trousers. In dress form, through a crochet vest overtop and chuck on some espadrilles – summer style in five minutes! I love Olivia Palermo’s baby blue top below. Try it in a print for extra effect!



Statement Jewellery

As well as big colours, we want big necklaces, big rings and big earrings this summer. Stand out with some striking, bold jewellery. Don’t be afraid to try some coloured pieces, too. Here’s a pic of Claudia Schiffer modelling in the 80s and rocking some amazing statement earrings for inspiration.



Spring Fever: Your Season Essentials

Pastel Purse

It’s all about the accessories this season, and a purse in pastel is a must-have. Mint, baby blue, soft pink and faded yellow are all great choices. Choose a slim cross-body bag for practicality or a clutch for a more sophisticated look. If you’re like me and carry half your house in your bag, then an oversized handheld will be your saviour. Still not convinced? Get a leather satchel. Classy, sensible and perfect for work or study. Doesn’t Miranda Kerr’s bag look mighty fine on her arm there?

pastel bag miranda kerr


Prints and Patterns

As always, floral is in this season. What says Spring more than bright, flowery clothes? Wear it in a dress or blouse to give your outfit a burst of colour. If you’re not into big and bright styles, then get on board the gingham train. Gingham is here in a big way, and gives your outfit just the right touch of vintage-sweetness. Your third option is to stick with the ever-faithful stripes. Black and white, nautical, red and cream – whatever you prefer, stripes have got you covered.



Bare Shoulders

Off-the-shoulder clothing is the look of the season. Get some sun on your shoulders and pair a flowy sheer top with tapered trousers and oxfords, or go boho and wear it in lace with a flowing maxi skirt. For an evening out, make like Blake Lively and choose a fitted below-the-knee dress. Wear your hair in a messy side braid to show of your shoulders and neckline.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Blake Lively seen on the streets of Manhattan on June 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Pleat It!

Pleats made a serious come-back this year, and they’re here to stay for Spring. I love pleats – they’re flattering, elegant and add an element of texture to your outfit. The best thing about pleats is that they look great in most fabrics, so you can wear them in chiffon to dress things up or opt for jersey if you’re wanting comfort and casualness. A knee-length skirt with a fitted funnel neck sweater is retro-chic, and a pastel dress like Kate Middleton below is perfect for a day out in the sun.



Victorian, Darling

Whether you’re a fan of Jane Eyre or not, the fashion of Charlotte Bronte’s time is influencing contemporary style. Think high necklines, ruffles, collars and sheer or lacy fabrics. I love the femininity and vintage vibes of this trend. A Victorian-style blouse with wide-legged trousers makes for an elegant and modern take on this look, while a dress will really get the heads turning. Thankfully, no corsets or petticoats required!

<> on December 17, 2010 in Washington, DC.