Getting one step ahead of the game

As opposed to leaving it till the last minute like I have done with the dreaded 80s costume for the weekend.  Firstly a huge huge thank you to everyone's advice the other day.  I should have mentioned (I *might* have forgotten.....) that it's your "Hero of the 80s".  I have a cunning plan though..... Needless to say I am not going the shexy route and there will be a wig involved......

Today though, I've got my sensible head on and I'm thinking about the Summer.  Which really is around the corner.  And trying to kill two birds with one stone as I have another party that has a "theme".  Of sorts... It's a Beach Party at our friend's house - a big party (ie a big birthday number involved...) and much planning has gone into this.  And the idea is that it's "beach attire". 

Well clearly the chances of me rocking up in a swimsuit are minus a gazillion.  Having not done any exercise for a year (as predicted the 30 day shred DVD might still be in the packet.... ) the chances of me wanting to wear a swimsuit at all are minus a gazillion minus one.  Fortunately we are going to the Suffolk for two separate weeks in the Summer and having been every year for the past ten years and never EVER having worn an entire swimsuit there (as in removing the obligatory shorts), I think I'm pretty safe in saying I won't be starting this year.  

But both the places we're renting are right next to the beach and (fingers crossed...) the weather should be quite good so I'm hoping that actually a Summer Kaftan top with cut offs and sandals will serve me well as a daily throw on outfit.  

And then, come the big day (the party actually starts from 6...) again, this sort of top with shorts and some strappy flat glads (I am actually so so so looking forward to being able to wear flats to a party.  Oh I know I could at any time but I do have a heel bee in my bonnet it seems) might be a pretty good laid back party idea.

It's also the perfect thing to have in your Summer wardrobe arsenal.  I have always bought cheap ones which means they haven't lasted and so I am very thin on this subject... I do have a couple of beach dress thingys from FCUK a couple of years ago but they are very beachy.  As in skimpy.  As in I should have paid the 30 day shred malarkey a little bit more attention to even contemplate these. 

However I am feeling the love for all things kaftan (if I could get away with it, I'd go as Demi Roussos... OOOH now was that 70s or 80s??) and think that at least one is a great addition to my Summer wardrobe. 

And some of these are in fact, dressy and so unbeachy that they could definitely be worn on a super hot day just because.  I shall still be wearing shorts under mine though...

Starting with some gems from Monsoon that I saw in store the other week.  And to be honest with you, Monsoon does seem to suffer from M&Sitis.  In that their products look a shed load better in the flesh. 

Admittedly she's not looking too shabby in this pic.

Koko Kaftan Dress £69 from Monsoon

I don't love this one below as much as the one above although the colours are super pretty (and I'm slightly concerned about fringing that long and a new puppy.  I do appreciate this will be the least of my puppy concerns come three week when she arrives... *hides shoes in attic*)
Nova Embellised Tunic Dress £49 from Monsoon

Other white options at M&S - where.. they have ANOTHER 20% off discount until Tuesday at midnight.  Of course I had a list of things as long as your arm that I was after and now?  I'm sure I'll be able to find something. 

Pure Modal Embroidered Kaftan from M&S was £35 now £28

If it's colour that you want (and I love the idea of a coloured kaftan with a host of plain black swimwear pieces) then this is really pretty, again at M&S. (they do also have matching swimmers....)

Weather Scape Print Kaftan was £29.50 now £23.60

Another great option from M&S - just add black (love love the hint of neon and again, matching cossies for that super put together look) 

V-Neck Tribal Print Kaftan now £22.40 was £28

Oysho Embroidered Kaftan £19.99  This one is more me I have to say - yes it's Boho but there's a hint of something a bit more English beachy with the colours and the striped edging (kidding myself here?  The Husband yesterday said he thought it looked like a napkin.  Men know nothing)

Stunning colours at Seafolly where they have an amazing range. 

Seafolly Soundwave Drummer Kaftan £54

And in the black £54   Yes it's sheer....

Seafolly Utopia Stripe Kaftan £49

Plain option in navy - this is great if you prefer print swimwear - something plain to throw over is super useful.  

John Lewis pom pom kaftan £25

Similar but with some added detailing at New Look. 

Black Textured Crochet Trim Kaftan £17.99

Another navy option at Boden and this is the first of some which I think you could wear as dresses.  Ok so when I say dresses - I probably don't advocate going to the supermarket in them, but certainly if you're on hols or heading down to the beach, then you could get away with these without wearing shorts underneath.  ie they're longer and generally not as see through as a kaftan

The Corsica Kaftan £69  Absolutely absolutely love this.

In fact, I love this in all the shades - the white with blue 

And the pink with neon

Freya Tunic from Boden £79 Slightly different here in that this one is a jersey.

Also available in a red but it's the navy that I love 

A couple of years ago, BHS had an amazing collection of beachwear - not so many this year that float my boat but this one definitely hits the mark. 

Black Hyper Ikat Embroidered Dress from BHS was £22 now £17.60

Dresses that can be worn over swimming costumes but could also double up as (very informal....) day wear. 

French Connection Floral Reef Beach Tie Dress £60

Another floral option at New Look - again, this could easily be worn as a dress. 

Blue Twist Front Tropical Print Kaftan £14.99

Embroidered Tassel dress from Topshop £34  I'm going to leave this for everyone else, this look.  Alas, there's just a whiff of national costume whenever I go near anything this traditional.  

So this one is a little more way out there and *perhaps* not quite so Suffolk as the rest but I have to say, it's ideal for a beach holiday somewhere warm and infinitely trendier.

Blue paisley print bardot dress from River Island £40

Back in the game at good old M&S.  One for the corner of the suitcase. 

Monochrome Print Shift Tile Dress at M&S was £28 now £22.40

I fear these would be exceptionally short but they are very sweet (which doesn't bode well when you're 42, 5ft 10 and has cellulite that's championing its own post code.
Lace Top Sundress £32 from Topshop

Crochet Tassel Dip Dye Dress from Topshop £34  Having said that, this one I just love.  Over a black swimsuit (a sucky all in one....there is research to be done on these, fear not) this is simply perfect.

My favourite options though are from Hush - their new beachwear range which they just launched last week.  I'm definitely going be putting an order in - absolutely love these in black and coral. 

Kaftan from Hush £75

And in the Hibiscus 

Or the Grecian dress which can worn with or without the belt.  A multitude of options with these. 

Grecian Dress from Hush in leaves £40

In the Hibiscus

Or the Petal Lapis £40 

My pick from Hush though would be this yellow beauty.   But I do know (having held it up against me) that it is on the shorter side for a dress dress.  Absolutely perfect for a beach cover up but for me, it's ever so slightly too short to do the school run in.  Which is a crying shame as it's double layered so that it's not see through - ditto the white version.  Foiled by my legs.  GAH.  We have a mum at school who wears dresses like this with little ankle boots as soon as the temperature nudges 23 degrees.  She looks amazing.  She is also the size of the tiniest doll in the centre of those Russian Matryoshka dolls (with me being the biggest stood next to her...) 

Bondi Beach Dress £55 in Butterscotch

And in the White Fluro 

And finishing with another random option but I have to say I love this.  It's especially perfect if you're going away in the UK like us - ideal to throw on faded skinnies underneath and even would work with a navy blazer for out to dinner with the kids.  Love this.  

Also found a cobalt blue one at M&S.

3/4 sleeve notch neck shirt were £35 now £21

And in the white - was £38 now £24

So do you already have a host of these to pick and choose from in your wardrobe?  Or are you on the hunt for new ones?  Another option would of course be the classic beach maxi which I shall be looking at later in the week. 

Finishing with outfits from the weekend.  Hugely busy day on Saturday - non stop with kids activities ending in a charity fashion show for the school with the children as models which was fantastic.  Great fundraiser. 


French navy shirt - Hawes & Curtis
Black dungarees - H&M
Navy Lille lace ups - Boden

And quick change for the evening for one of my closest friend's 40th birthday dinner at an amazing place in Tunbridge Wells.  


Leaf print dress - Topshop Tall
Black gladiator heels - Burberry

Yesterday was a total right off.  Seriously I couldn't function - I was so so tired.  Not even that hungover but just so exhausted.  Pathetic. 

However got back in the groove today although the 6yr old was off sick so a trip to the Dr and some antibiotics and new asthma inhalers and hopefully he's back at school tomorrow. 

I was tempted for all of 5 seconds to get the legs out. 


Embroidered top - Zara
Black skinny ankle zip jeans - Boden
White stud sliders - River Island 

And tomorrow I shall be back.  With what..??  Hmm well there are a couple of things which are SO eluding me, I am going to have do some research later. 

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36 comentarios:

  1. Love the dress ....hate the dungarees

    1. It would be such a dull world if we all loved the same thing! (and thank you x)

  2. The hush ones are soo lovely . I got one from select last year of all places, it was like the Topshop one, it looks really expensive . I am hoping the weather warms up soon. Love your Zara top, hope your little one gets better soon xx

    1. He's on the mend with his antibiotics, thank you! Oooh I don't think I even know what Select is - will have to check it out x

  3. p.s had a new H&m catalogue through today, there is a lovely cream one but it's part polyester :(

    1. And the problem there in is that it will look like crap after 5 mins of wearing it - DARN you H&M, honestly some of their stuff is so so great, but other stuff look rubbish after simply trying it on!

  4. You know Demis Roussos was a big fella with a beard, dont you? Nana Mouskouri maybe!
    LOVING the top shop dress!!

    1. I DO - I'm thinking alternative....!

  5. I have a ton of kaftans and cover-ups, mostly Boden that came from eBay in deepest Winter - that's when the bargains appear! I love the cut of them, so I was really disappointed by the Corsica when it arrived after I put in a preview order. It was just too shapeless :-( I do like the 'national costume' Topshop one, I think the tradtitional route is where I'm headed next! Love your Toppers dress - it's very DVF!

    1. oh that's such a shame (although I have to say, I do like the sound of shapeless.....!) And yes, the Toppers dress is v DVF for sure!

  6. Check out the fab beachwear on

  7. Love the topshop dress you look fab as always. What's the sizing like would love to try it, thanks

    1. Right - well I have the 10 on in the Tall but in the normal section, I needed the 12. The 10 looked like it was surgically attached to my body......!

  8. I don't have any kaftans, I would probably go for a little sin dress - like the tie die one from Top shop you showed. Live it. Lx

    1. I'm thinking you mean sun dress?!! Yes, that's what I normally wear but I have a kaftan hankering!

  9. This post makes me wish i was still living in Cyprus where we would wear these sort of outfits most days. missing the sun and the pool and eating outdoors everyday. :(

    1. I lived there too! Wonderful place :-)

    2. oh wow that just sounds too amazing!

  10. Haha, your remarks about your height always make me laugh! You wouldn't be tall in the Netherlands, did you know?! I'm 5'5" and I'm smaller than most here (when I lived in London I was very proud to be called tall by my English friends...)
    I bought a bathing suit from Seafolly, it is absolutely great for those who don't really want to walk around in one. Maybe you've seen it on
    Demi Roussos > LOL! Please show us the pictures, will you wear a pillow underneath? & a beard?

    1. oh god no I totally know - I have loads of Dutch family!!! (my aunt married a Dutch man!) And yes, I remember years ago having to go to Amsterdam to buy trousers. I need to check out that swimsuit thank you (although normally I balk at Seafolly prices - I prefer Primark prices... ditto for my underwear....! But then I am of pancake boobs!)

  11. Jumped on that Freya dress and ordered it this morning, thanks for the inspiration as ever x

    1. You are more than welcome. Hope you love it xxx

  12. I absolutely love the Hush Summer collection. Surely if I buy all their clothes I will look like 'the Hush girl', no? I live in Suffolk and am still waiting for it to warm up... whereabouts are you holidaying?

    1. HELL YES! That will be me if I keep buying them.... (I'm still waiting.......) We always go to Aldeburgh but this year we're doing another week in Dunwich as well.

  13. Way way too expensive for the beach, but utterly divine is this kaftan style dress from French Connection (currently 20% off with Stylist)

    1. OMG. That is amazing... apparently it's blue.... it so looks black! (deffo one for the sales list)

  14. TKmaxx have some great Kaftans - esp a lovely yellow linen one from Malvin; reasonable if you're buying two or three.xx

  15. Haven't seen your Hawes and Curtis shirt for a while. Looks good with the dungarees! Marie

  16. Do you really like Boden or are you just being *kind* to them'? 40+ women stay clear!

    1. No I really like the things I post otherwise I wouldn't post them......

  17. Definitely definitely definitely - I am LOVING the idea of the shirt, the more I think about it. And yes, the dress is pale pink and black. Really unusual! Definitely pink and not nude (as I tried nude shoes and it looked crap!)

  18. Aldeburgh is fab isn't it. Dunwich is lovely too - nice beach and there is a good trail for the children at the Nature Reserve. I must go back to Dunwich - haven't been since an unfortunate camping trip - I am not a happy camper at the best of times even with all my attempts to make it a fabulous glamping experience - where there was a very rowdy karaoke competition in the camp bar until 1am. It probably would have been funny had I not been trying to sleep in a tent with a cross husband and 2 small children but oddly enough I had a major sense of humour failure...

    1. aha, there is a reason we don't do tents...! We love the beach there and The Ship is an amazing pub. The children adore it and we'll be taking the dog this year so beyond excited!! (well, The Husband is less enthusiastic about the dog, it does have to be said. And by less I mean not remotely.....)