Are polka dots cool again?

Some of the most iconic outfits of all time have been covered in polka dots. Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman; Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch; and 1950s Audrey Hepburn, to name just a few. But it’s been a while since polka dots were actually in fashion. But are polka dots cool again?

According to a recent article on Refinery 29, they absolutely are.

Are polka dots cool again?

“Polka dots become a massive fashion trend every five years or so, given the push-and-pull nature of our relationship with femininity, writes Connie Wang on Refinery 29. “Sometimes, we embrace it — from the recent apex of the Pinterest aesthetic to that brown dress from Pretty Woman, it’s trendy for women to perform as females. Polka dots come in fit-and-flared dresses and low-cut swiss dot blouses, swiftly providing us that sweet Provence look that’s quirky enough to not be boring. Other times, we like to skewer the notion that women should dress like ladies. That’s when you’ll see polka dots worn with tattoos and combat boots, or on giant clown-pant culottes and muumuu-like tent dresses.

“Which brings us to now — when “acting like a woman” means something beyond just the personal,” adds Wang. “The people we elect, the work we seek, the freedoms we flex, and the protections we assume depend on us claiming and protecting the things that make us women. The reactions have been all over the place; polka dots have been too. Reformation’s reinventions of vintage classics feel sexy, but also commanding; Jacquemus’ deconstructed pastoral peasant blouses and dresses are sweet, but also sinister. Some polka dots are 100% ladylike. Others are decidedly not. But as far as spots and femininity go, all manifestations are fair game in 2017.”

So there you have it – this year’s polka dots are not only cool again, they’re an investment in future trends as well.

What is jetleisure?

Just as we were all getting used to athleisure, another fashion term comes along to confuse us and spike our interest. But what is jetleisure?

Coined by Grazia writers (the same people who popularised the term athleisure to begin with), jetleisure is the latest fashion buzzword. It reers to the most insta-worthy clothing iteams that you could possibly pack for your holidays. Practicality is out, and bold colours, sculptural shapes and slogans are in.

Want to get on board with the trend? Here are the key items you need to find before you book your plane ticket.

The Beach Dress

Every blogger knows that finding the right beach dress for potential Instagram snaps is crucial. Whether they’re planning on using Santorini’s VSCO-effect views as a backdrop or Bali’s ‘#nofilter’ beaches, the dress is a must.

The Sun Hat

The sun hat is undoubtedly one of the most important accessories when it comes to perfecting the beach look this season. And one of brands to look out for is Eugenia Kim. With slogan-embroidered straw hats aplenty, there’s never been a more Instagrammable accessory.

The ‘It’ Swimsuit

We’re looking at Instagram heavyweights Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Never has there been such hype surrounding thigh-cut one-piece swimsuits (well, since the eighties anyway). So much so, that someone has searched for the cult garment every five minutes this year.

The Basket Bag

Yes, we’re still blabbing on about the basket bag. But who can blame us? While browsing the Internet for potential buys, words such as ‘fun’ and ‘bright’ crop up quite often so make sure to bag a basket number complete with pompoms and embroidered wording.

OK, so you’ve probably figured out by now that jetleisure is really just another word for ‘holiday clothing’. But the good news is that this is one trend that you can commit to without re-stocking your entire wardrobe. Just remember – it’s all about getting that perfect holiday snap. So plan your outfits around your surroundings, choose at least one stand-out piece, and pose, pose, pose.

The best petite lines on the high street right now

Sometimes it feels like designers have forgotten that short women exist. Waistbands are too high, trouser legs are too long, and midi skirts are maxi skirts when you’re 5 foot nothing. We’re always looking for the best petite lines on the high street. The lines which don’t sacrifice style for practicality, and don’t just run limited versions of the main collection.

Here is our pick of the bunch…

Topshop

Topshop was one of the first high street stores to offer a petite collection, and it has been expanded over the years. It caters to women who are 5’ 3” or shorter, and includes everything from jeans to coats, and even petite bodysuits. We particularly love Topshop’s petite jumpsuits and playsuits – a notoriously difficult product to get right for the petite market.

Asos

For sheer choice, it’s hard to beat Asos. When we last checked, there were more than 1400 different petite items in stock – each one more desirable than the last! The collection is topped up every week, so it’s perfect for serious shopping addicts.

Missguided

Missguided prides itself on its fast fashion. As soon as a new trend rolls around, Missguided has a cut-price version on its website. The brand is brilliant for cocktail dresses and ‘going out’ outfits, as well as up to the minute fashions. The only downside is that its petite collection only goes up to a size 14, which means it isn’t going to work for women with curves.

Next

The Next sale is popular for a reason. Year after year, this store delivers high quality clothes for a massive range of different body types – including petite. Great for work clothes or everyday basics, this is the place to go for perfectly-cut trousers of every description.

J.Crew

This American brand has only recently arrived in the UK, but it already has a cult following. Especially among petite women. J.Crew is a master of chic tailoring, and its petite collection more or less mirrors its main collection. If you want to find the perfect white shirt, or an impeccably cut trouser suit – look no further.

Choose the right shoes to wear with a jumpsuit

Love them or hate them, jumpsuits have entered the mainstream. But do you know the right shoes to wear with a jumpsuit?

Whether you are dressing to impress at a fancy wedding, or nailing the smart casual look at the office, it is crucial that you choose the right footwear. So read on for our guide to jumpsuits and shoes.

With work clothes…

If you are wearing a jumpsuit to work, it’s probably going to be either tailored and chic, or loose and modern.

Tailored jumpsuits look great with simple court shoes or stilettos. For wide-leg jumpsuits, block heels work best. Alternatively, hide a comfy flat shoe underneath a swishy hem a la Sam Taylor-Johnson.

At a wedding…

A jumpsuit is a great choice for a wedding. It’s different enough to stand out from the sea of floral dresses, but smart enough to suit the most formal dress code.

At a summer wedding, show off your pedi in the most OTT strappy sandals you can find. And in winter, go for sparkly, embellished or quirky heels that will help you light up the dancefloor.

At the bar…

There is an endless selection of club-ready jumpsuits on the high street at the moment. Think jumpsuits with ruffles, Bardot necklines, lace inserts, and sheer panelling – sometimes all at once! A loud jumpsuit needs minimal accessories. Invest in a pair of nude or black heels that you know you can walk in.

At the park…

It’s easy to dress up a jumpsuit, but not so easy to dress them down. However, the rising popularity of dungarees and pinafore trousers has made it more acceptable than ever to rock a jumpsuit at the park (or on the school run, or wherever you usually wear joggers or jeans!).

Choose a relaxed fit and pair with statement sneakers such as Adidas Superstar or Converse.

Key bridal trends from Paris Couture Week

Bridal fashion doesn’t change too often, but when it does, we pay attention. The key bridal trends from Paris Couture Week allow high-end designers to experiment with fabrics, colours and silhouettes, and the most successful ideas will start appearing in your local bridal boutique before the end of the year.

So, if you’re planning a wedding for 2018 or beyond, you’re going to want to have a look at the biggest hits from Paris

Lavender

Forget blush and pastel blue, the next big colour trend for wedding dresses is lavender. The couture runways were full of lavender gowns, while stylists praised it’s flattering tone and calming properties.

Fringing

Designers such as Monique Lhullier, Ralph & Russo, and Alexandre Vaulthier were all about fringing and feathers. Tiers of feathers created a flowing effect on an A-line lavender gown at Monique Lhuillier, and layers of fringe gave a Roaring 20s vibe on sheath dresses. At Ralph & Russo feathers were also lavender, but in a modern way mixed with metallics in tiers and on sleeves.

Volume

Romantic billowing sleeves aren’t going anywhere any time soon — Giambattista Valli, Rodarte, Chanel, and George Chakra all featured voluminous shapes on their runways.

Black and white

Modern and minimal are not the words that come to mind when you think of bridal couture. Yet more and more designers are experimenting with streamlined monochrome designs. Proenza Schouler is at the forefront of this trend, accenting bright white dresses with black accents. Très Coco Chanel…

Conclusion

As ever, Paris Couture Fashion Week takes all the bridal fashion rules and throws them out the window. But the good news is that there is an emerging trend to suit every bride-to-be. Embrace fringing if you plan to tear it up on the dancefloor after the ceremony. Choose lavender hues to complement an outdoor ceremony. And accentuate your curves with strategically placed ruffles and billowing fabric.

And don’t worry – we’ll keep you posted as soon as the next trends start to emerge…

Four ways to wear denim at work

Once upon a time, wearing denim to work was the ultimate fashion faux pas. But not anymore. Thanks to casual Fridays and flexi-hours, it’s not only OK to wear denim at work – it’s practically encouraged!

However, it’s hard to maintain a veneer of professionalism when you’re schlubbing about in yesterday’s jeans. Read on for a fashionista’s guide to wearing denim to work.

1. The denim shirt

Denim shirts used to be thick, rough and frayed. But they have been rebranded for the 21st century, in the palest blue chambray. Think of your chambray shirt as an alternative to the plain white shirt. Wear it under a sweater, with the collar poking out at the top. Or tuck it into a midi skirt for a fashion-forward combo.

2. The denim trousers (OK, OK – jeans)

Jeans come in so many shapes and sizes these days that you are bound to have a ‘good’ pair somewhere in the back of your closet. These are the jeans that you can wear to work. But only if you accessorise them properly. Create an office-friendly outfit by pairing your jeans with a feminine blouse and modest heels. Or tuck the hem into your favourite boots and balance the silhouette with a slouchy jumper.

3. The denim dress

Denim dresses have made a comeback this year, and there are umpteen styles to choose from. For work, layer a blouse or roll-neck top underneath a denim pinafore. Or choose a chambray shirt dress and belt for a no-fuss summer ensemble.

4. The denim skirt

A smart denim pencil skirt is a wardrobe essential. Comfy, versatile and modern, it is probably the easiest way to wear denim at work. Wear it with a Breton striped shirt and platform Mary Janes, for a young and preppy look. In the winter, pair it with knee-high boots and a classic cashmere sweater that will keep you warm.

Revolutionary Red is the new Millennium Pink

Even if you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll know ‘millennium pink’. The dusty salmon colour has come to represent the non-conformist, non-binary vibe of the younger generation. However, according to fashion writers, Revolutionary Red is the new Millennium Pink.  As Guardian fashion writer Morwenna Ferrier says: “Evidence is stacking up in favour of a rich, arterial colour we’ll call revolutionary red.”

So why has this primary colour suddenly hit the mainstream?

According to Ferrier, revolutionary red’s timing is on point thanks to the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The show’s heroines (the handmaids) wear red robes to represent their fertility. But the show – and the colour red – are symbolically fighting back. While millennial pink may be the colour of gender politics, revolutionary red is more closely associated with protests.

“It’s impossible to get away from red’s radical roots and the way it became part of the anti-establishment design canon,” says Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review.  “Its original meaning has been subverted and co-opted.”

Simply by wearing or using red, you can associate yourself with a movement without committing to it.

In fashion and in branding, red has always been popular. For a start, it’s cheaper to print with fewer colours. Plus, an strong shade of red is hard to ignore. Just ask female politicians.

Theresa May wore a red jacket to meet Donald Trump. Likewise, Hillary Clinton’s red Nina McLemore jacket took on a life of its own on the campaign trail. See also Ruth Davidson, Diane Abbott and Nicola Sturgeon, who all love bold red ensembles.

For female politicians, red represents power. It is about being a woman in a man’s world.

For the rest of us, Ferrier says, the change is welcome. Revolutionary red is a chance to wear a colour that means something other than “I’m young”.

Bold, affordable, feminine, and empowering – what’s not to like?

Super-modern bridal accessories that we love

Bridal fashion tends to move quite solely, but every year or so a few new trends start to emerge that take the wedding world by storm. Here are the super-modern bridal accessories that we love for 2017 and beyond. Get on board before they hit the mainstream!

• A feather stole

Move over fur, ostrich feather is rapidly becoming the cover-up of choice for autumn/winter brides. Feather stoles have been gaining popularity with bridal designers for a few seasons now. They offer cloud-like volume and a dash of Deco glamour. What’s more, they can completely transform your bridal silhouette in an instant.

Choose pastel-hued feathers to contrast with a white or ivory wedding gown for added impact.

• A green veil

You can thank Beyonce for this one. Queen Bey announced her latest pregnancy with an elaborate photoshoot in which she wore a pale green veil over her face and very little else. After her twins were born, she posed for another shoot, this time wearing the veil pulled back behind the crown of her head. And just like that, a new veil trend was born.

The simplicity of the fine-gauze veil juxtaposes with the unexpected hint of colour, making it perfect for non-traditional brides (or just devotee of the Bey-hive).

• Black shoes

White shoes have been the standard for decades, but modern brides have been experimenting with other colours for a while now. Think Carrie’s electric blue Blahnik’s at her (second) wedding to Big. Red, green, blue and purple shoes have all been popular in recent year, but the latest ‘in’ colour is good old faithful black. In keeping with the 90s revival, chunky black heels are back in vogue, and making an appearance at the coolest weddings of the year.

• No jewellery

This is one couture trend that is actually achievable to all brides. After all, why pull focus from your dress with a random necklace or brooch? The no jewellery look allows you to focus on the only bridal jewellery that really matters – your engagement ring and your wedding ring.

• Succulent bouquet

Succulents have been big in hipster homes for a while now, so it was only a matter of time before they made their way into bridal bouquets. Tillandsia, crassula, eucalyptus and echeveria all look amazing with thistle, ranunculus and roses. Plus, you can easily repot and keep them for years after your wedding!

Six ways to beat thigh rub on hot days

Nobody wants to talk about thigh rub. But for the vast majority of us, it is a very real – and very uncomfortable – summertime problem. Thankfully, journalist Lauren Bravo has taken up the cause and come up with six ways to beat thigh rub on hot days. Read on and never suffer from chafed legs again…

1. Talcum powder

If you’re happy using it, a good talcum powder can mop up sweat and keep friction at bay for a short while. Just be prepared to reapply regularly, and to leave a suspect trail of white dust in your wake. 3/5.

2. Dry shampoo

By the same logic of absorbing moisture and stopping friction, a powdery dry shampoo should be a thigh’s best friend – but although a spray can make application much easier than talc, one intrepid tester reports that “it turned into a paste really quickly”. And if the Friends episode with Ross’s leather trousers taught us anything, it’s to stop right there. Emergencies only. 1/5.

3. Body Glide the Original Anti-chafe Anti-blister Balm

A little like applying Pritt Stick to your thighs, Body Glide is a heavy-duty barrier balm that promises to resist sweat and protect your skin all day. It works a treat on blisters and under bra straps, but on tender thigh skin my tester found it more of a nuisance than a help. “I was just very aware of it at all times,” she says. Let’s not talk about the identical “For Her” version that comes in a pink tube, either. 2/5.

4. Lanacane Anti-chafing Gel

Working on the principle of keeping your skin slippy, rather than dry, Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel gives the same silky finish as a silicone-based face primer. On the thighs, it feels nicely soothing and reduced friction up to a point, but on a long, sticky walk we found it actually made things more uncomfortable. Best for short-shorts, where a fabric barrier would look weird. 3/5.

5. “Comfort shorts”

We’re talking long-line, microfibre pants, somewhere between Spanx and long johns. They give reliable protection, but the main drawback is that they add an extra layer of insulation to what is, frankly, an already sweaty situation. Best for cooler days and spontaneous cartwheels. 4/5.

6. Bandelettes

Like the lace tops of hold-ups without the tights below, Bandelettes were invented specifically to prevent thigh chafing and look vaguely sexy, not surgical. Much breezier around your nethers than cycling shorts or tights, once they’re on they stay put all day and a pair could last you years. I discovered them a few years ago and have never looked back – except to boast about my unchafed thighs as I hike cheerfully up hills in a midi dress. The Holy Grail. 4.5/5.

In conclusion…

It sounds like Bandelettes are the way to go, but in a pinch, it’s good to know that a few bathroom essentials can offer a bit of relief. As well as talc and dry shampoo, good old-fashioned Vaseline is a reliable cure for thigh rub. Keep a tub in your handbag while you wait for your Bandelette delivery to arrive.

Beach cover-ups – the 2017 edit

Say goodbye to your kaftan and sayonara to your sarong – the new breed of beach cover-ups are here to stay.

From mannish shirts to bohemian style crochet, we’ve put together our 2017 edit of the best beach coverups on the high street right now.

  1. The oversized shirt

Whether you are borrowing your boyfriend’s plaid shirt, or rocking an oversized white linen number – this is ‘the’ cover up of choice for 2017. Wear it with a bathing suit and denim shorts on your way to the beach, then use it to cover up burnt shoulders later in the day.

  1. Fringed dress or waistcoat

Fringing has come back with a bang this year, and the chances are you’ll see this trend all over the beach. Its bohemian and swishy, and just screams ‘holiday’. If you don’t want to commit to the full fringed dress look, choose an extra-long fringed waistcoat instead.

  1. Bardot dress

The off-the-shoulder look has been one of the biggest looks of the year, and it is perfectly suited for its job as a beach cover-up. It’s easy to slip on and off when you’re ready to tan, and pretty enough to take you straight from the beach to the bar. Look for a natural fabric such as cotton or linen so that you can wear it all day without suffering from the dreaded cling.

  1. Playsuit

It may seem like an odd choice for beach-wear, but the playsuit is surprisingly practical (and versatile). For one thing, it is an instant outfit. Add a pair of heels and some statement earrings and you’re ready to hit the town; or grab a wicker bag for a beach-ready look.

  1. Crochet

It was arguably the biggest trend at Coachella this year, and it just so happens to translate very well to beach chic. Crochet is pleasingly retro, with a boho 70s vibe. Thanks to its new-found popularity, you can find it in an array of colours, cuts and styles. Pair it with a floppy hat and a fringed bag for maximum effect.