We all know by now that I rely a little bit too much on the whole ‘put on tights, add dress, throw on some shoes, leave house’ approach to getting dressed in the morning. But in order not be quite so predictable in the way I dress, I’ve been trying to move away from that. It hasn’t gone particularly well – mostly, I’ve been wearing more coloured tights (oooh, innovative!) and trying to wear a pair of earrings for more than half an hour before I get bored and remove them – but I’m also trying to stop myself from going directly to the ‘dresses’ page when I’m browsing online. I’m finding myself increasingly drawn towards separates – mostly blouses, skirts and shorts – and great statement accessories. Here are just a few of the things I’ve discovered by making that tiny little change…


– I’m really hoping Miss Selfridge restock these shorts or have some biggers sizes left in store, because I’m completely in love with them. Not only are they the colour of the season – rust – they’re a much easier shape to wear than the shorter, tighter cuffed shorts of previous seasons. They’d work now with tights and brogues, but could also be worn with bare legs if the Sun ever shows its face again.


Absolutely predictable for me, I know, but this bargain cherry print skirt will be killer with a black top, Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes and a pompadour hairdo. The more I see of Henry Holland’s range for Debenhams, the more I love. Lots of great prints, pretty dresses and a big dash of quirky is right up my street!


I’ve had my eye on these shoes for ages, since I saw them in a magazine as part of a purple and coral outfit (with purple tights). They looked amazing – like something off the Miu Miu catwalk – and since then they’ve been high up on my wishlist. They’re the perfect example of something that I wouldn’t look twice at while browsing, but having seen them styled to perfection, they suddenly become a must-have.


I would never really look at a white coat because of how ridiculously impractical they are, but there are times (weddings, for example) when you need something a little lighter and more special. And let’s face it, at £20 this baby is an absolute steal. If I didn’t think it’d be grubby grey within five minutes of me putting it on, I’d be snapping this up right away.


All I can say is Oh My God! If you’re an online friend or you’ve been following me for a while on twitter, you may know about my obsession with a particular Linea Pelle handbag range called Dylan that featured the perfect slouchy leather foldover bag with a cross-body strap. At well over $400 (plus shipping and import fees) it’s well out of my price range, but I lived in hope that someone would do a decent homage. And here it is! River Island have totally pulled it out of the bag – and done so in leather. I’m headed straight in store to get a proper look!


I’m absolutely loving these Topshop vests with scalloped edges. It’s a lovely way to make a basic item a bit more on trend (ugh, even if you hate the phrase ‘on trend’) and the shape is really adaptable. I’d go for a bit of colourblocking and wear the rust coloured one tucked into those lovely Miss Selfridge shorts with a big chunky pendant necklace.


And for those who don’t fit into Topshop’s teeny sizing, this gorgeous cami from ASOS curve is another lovely Spring update on a classic. I like that the ruffles are a bit softer than those double-layer tops and dresses currently floating about (via Halston Heritage) which can be a bit much on anyone with more than a C-cup bust. This would look great with a couple of long, delicate gold chain necklaces, skinny jeans or cuffed trousers and wedges for a night out. Just add a kimono cardigan / shrug for the finishing touch.


Oh look, a retro swimsuit. How very predictable of me! We all know I love a good bit of 40s or 50s inspired swimwear, and this gets my vote for two reasons. Number one – it costs less than £50, unlike most of the more specialist offerings. Number two, the sizing goes up to a 22, which is a blessing for the many women who’ve got in touch with me because they’re looking for easily accessible, curve-flattering vintage style swimwear. Three cheers for Monsoon, who’ve really pulled it out the bag with this baby.


Childish peter pan collar? Check! Loud, slightly OTT print? Check! What’s not to love about this top? I’d quite like to team it with something really unexpected, like an electric blue pencil skirt (tucked in) or a pair of tan shorts, rather than going with the obvious and using it for a pop of colour in a black ensemble. If I had the guts, I’d even try teaming it with something in a clashing floral for a catwalk-inspired look.


Magazines have been extolling the virtues of ‘crayola courts’ for this Spring, and I don’t think you can get more ‘child doing colouring in’ than these platforms. Yes, they’re a little bit crazy, but life is too short to wear boring black shoes all the time. These babies combine two of my favourite colours, and though I might not have much opportunity to wear them, I’m sure I’d enjoy the rare chances! Plus they’re only £35 and come in lots of other colourways.

  • Adele

    the swimsuit is to die for!

  • http://www.foreveramber.co.uk Amber

    I *need* to stop reading your blog, Gemma! Too many things I have to have! That swimsuit is amazing, especially for the price. I used to only ever wear bikinis, but since discovering that this particular shape of one-piece is so much more flattering, I’m a total convert!

  • http://www.domesticsluttery.com Siany

    “but I’m also trying to stop myself from going directly to the ‘dresses’ page when I’m browsing online”.

    Guilty.

    Also, those green and pink shoes are fabulous. And might well make their way onto Domestic Sluttery next week.

  • http://shoegalfi.blogspot.com shoegalfi

    I love River Islands leather bags. I go and look at them every time I’m in a store.

  • Emily Jayne

    Ack, you are correct, those camel and coral shoes are perfect. Must not buy shoes. Must not buy shoes…

  • http://www.gemmacartwright.com Gemma

    Sorry, I’m an enabler! I love that swimsuits are stylish again, though. I have no problem putting a bikini on when it comes to showing off my body, but I like to swim / snorkel and they’re not very practical for that. Love a good retro cossie for something a bit different!

  • http://profiles.google.com/testybrunette Kaye Hubbard

    I love the cherry skirt!

  • http://profiles.google.com/funfash.com FunFash .com

    Really nice picks! A fine Blog you have here. Check us out – 29 new styles this week! Pics already uploaded, items listed over next 3 days. As always FREE shipping to US and Canada! http://www.funfash.com

  • http://www.twitter.com/thekeletubbie Kelly-Marie

    I need the poppy top. There’s no want.

    I had a new cossie last year, so no excuse to buy that. And thank you for confirming that other people fantasize about having white coats, but realise they’d be grey in moments :)

  • http://twitter.com/evarley Elizabeth Varley

    Oh dear, thanks Gem. I’ve been trying so hard to find low-heel shoes as I rarely wear my heels anymore, and now I think I need those pink and green ones!

    And the bag. And the poppy top. And the coat.

  • PlusSizeMa2

    I like all the stuff. They are so cute and attractive. Probably most girls love them too. They are so adorable, I wish I could have them.

  • jane

    beautiful bag!! i’ve just bought a similar on the shop online “il bisonte”..
    http://shop.ilbisonte.com/it/borsa-stromboli-salvia_A2062XXSCXUXX448NX.html.

  • http://www.CurvyGoddessLounge.com The Curvy Goddess

     WOW I love your style. So vintage but not stodgy. Just alot of fun and happy happy happy! I’m thinking of changing my image/look and going for the pinup siren kind of thing which means I’d have to wear a girdle. Ugh…

  • http://www.fashioncheapjewelry.com/ jewelry wholesalers

    Ali that’s so great to hear! What a powerful mindset shift for you! :)