The Chic Spring Jacket


Style Theory: I have been looking for a quilted jacket for years but never found 'the one' until now...The Monsoon Aisha Jacket stopped me in my tracks as I walked through the store, it is such a beautiful print, well cut and just the right amount of padding so it doesn't look bulky (I have found so many do look puffer-like on me) It is is the kind of jacket that can work so hard for you in your wardrobe and can elevate pretty average clothes making them look stylish and 'put together'

Wear with a white T-shirt, jeans and trainers for a casual look or in the evening pop over a jumpsuit and heels for a laid back going out look. It is jacket I will be wearing to the airport when we set off on our summer holidays, it will look fab with a vest top, denim shorts and espadrilles and no doubt will be wearing it in the autumn over a fine jumper and jeans..
Jacket - Monsoon £79
Body - H&M £7.49
Jeans - Zara £29.99
Name Necklace - AnnaLou of London £52
Long Necklace - Cabbage White England (adore this!) £77
Bag - Gucci £650
Espadrilles - H&M £24.99
I kept things fairly dressed down today although I have to admit I have dipped my toe back into the 'body' trend..remember them from the early 90s?? I used to wear them all the time, not 100% sold but this one from H&M was cheap and cheerful so I couldn't resist. A slightly risque deep V, so if a little more chesty than me (I am not blessed in that area!) I would try before buying as it really does not offer much coverage. Bodies are the new bestsellers on Asos so it looks like they are here to stay for a while!

Loving these jeans from Zara AW16 collection, relaxed fit and great ankle length, they work just as well with heels as they do with trainers. I also could not resist these H&M espadrilles, I love my Castaner espadrilles but they are a little higher, so for day to day running around these are fab and super reasonable, thanks for the tip off The Frugality!! x

I am slightly smitten with my new jacket, are you a fan of the quilted jacket, I know they have been around for years, did you buy one a few years ago, have you worn it much? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time, Fran xxxx

Cherry Picking


Blouse - Marc by Marc Jacobs @Very Exclusive UK now £172
Jeans - Zara £17.99 (sale)
Shoes - Zara (sold out)
Bag - Spain - love this one
Bandana (in hair) - Topshop
Style Theory: Victoriana and cherries...yes please! Love this Marc by Marc Jacobs top from Very Exclusive uk, it is beautifully made with intricate lace and amazing puff sleeves, fits like a dream and will be worn non-stop by me this summer, Autumn and winter. Red is becoming my new pink....

A few extra items I have my eye on that I am hoping will complete my summer wardrobe...
Isabel Marant Etoile @Matches now £117
I have this in the dress version in black and it looks fab on, frilly and frivolous. I think this white tops would be fail safe, look amazing with jeans or denim shorts or the denim skirt below. A real beautiful item to own.
Urban Outfitters Vintage Re-Made Levis mini skirt £40
So it seems as with all things 90s it is time to ditch the denim shorts and get back with the old Levis mini skirt (I used to live in mine back in the day!)I think I will buy this mainly for holiday wear as a denim skirt is so useful to wear to go the beach and as where we go is fairly casual in the evening, it would look great with a pretty white top and flip flops. 
Mango Jumpsuit £17.99
I have ordered this after seeing on the very cool A Mother's Edit, not sure how it will look on me but I love the idea of this, I will let you know!
Mango Sandals now £17.99
Think I may 'need' these Chloe dupes - they look fab on and are very this season, the only problem is I am not sure if I will be mad on them next year?! They look incredibly chic and cool, if they are still in Mango next time I am in town they will be mine!

Obviously there is swimwear to add for my holiday, I will let you know my favourite pieces next week. Hopefully there will be some sun but for now jeans and cherry tops are where it is at for me. What have you bought for summer so far this year, any good sale buys? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxx

And it was called 'Yellow'.....


Style Theory: When it is officially summer and the sun is refusing to shine sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands and wear some sun! 
Jacket - Zara £39.99
T-Shirt - H&M £7.99
Trousers - Zara £17.99 (in sale)
Shoes - H&M (old season) similar here

I saw this biker jacket on Camilla Pihlo below, it caught my eye but I had no idea where it was from, luckily when I was walking through Zara there it was, in the 'new in' section. It is bold as brass, a real statement jacket, you certainly won't go unnoticed but it just added a much needed zing to my wardrobe. I will be dressing it down with jeans and trainers, it would also look fab over a floral maxi dress (and wellies for Glastonbury!) I think it looks so much more expensive than it's £39.99 price tag...I have a feeling I will be wearing this a lot! I also had to buy another pair of these khaki trousers, these are XS and are a neater fit than my other pair, they are the kind of trousers I wear non-stop in the summer as they are so comfy.

Camilla Pihl Instagram

Camilla looks pretty amazing in the jacket, love it styled with distressed jeans, a shirt and trainers #goals !

So what do you think, too loud? Are you a fan of a block coloured jacket? Are you like me and go to shop the sales and end up in the 'new in' section? As always I would love to hear you thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxxx

My 5 Minute Make Up Essentials


Style Theory: I have a super quick 5 minute make up routine, it is really basic but after years of trying different products I always return to these ones. I am no expert and really not great at applying make up (although I could do my liquid eyeliner on a roller coaster - have had 26 years of practice!) but I do have a few fail save products that I swear by and here they are..

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish £15.50
I love this cleanser, such an easy quick way to give your face a good cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. A couple of minutes and your face feels fresh and thoroughly clean. The only pain is washing the muslins but I guess you feel like you are getting your money's worth as you can use them again and again. I have combination skin and have without a doubt found this to be the kindest and most effective cleanser.

Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator £15.75
I use this exfoliator a couple of times a week, it is really gentle on my skin, gives it a really good cleanse and leaves it looking brighter. It smells pretty good too, really clean and fresh, I have not got super sensitive skin so I would be cautious if your skin is really sensitive. The exfoliating jojoba beads are soft and gentle, they do not scrape your skin as I have found other exfoliators to be too harsh.

Clinique Moisture Surge £34
I love this, make sure you buy the gel version, it is light as a cloud and absorbs into the skin in seconds. I have quite greasy skin over my nose and chin so this is perfect as it is not heavy and does not give me spots (so many moisturisers do) It does not have an spf in it which is the one thing I would really like them to add as I should be wearing an spf every day.

Now for my make up, I do not wear any foundation, I really really should but have not found one that I love so I just go straight from moisturiser to Clarins flash balm then bronzer, I feel my skin can breathe more without foundation but as I am getting older I feel I really do need a good one so any suggestions would be welcome.

Clarins Flash Balm £29
My mini facelift in a bottle, I use this when I am off out somewhere and need to look less than 100 years old (ie I dont bother with any make up for the school run etc) I use the tiniest amount over my face to make it look smoother and less tired. It makes bronzer go on flawlessly and evenly.

Rimmel Hide the Blemish £3.99
Basic but effective. This does a great job covering my spots etc.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick £33
Love this bronzer, this takes me from looking grey and washed out to alive and glowing (but not a sweaty glow) I always use with a huge bronzing brush and sweep along my cheeks, over my eyes and a little across my nose and forehead and down onto my chest. I also use it as eye shadow, the colour second from top all over my eyelids and colour strip at the bottom in my eye socket for definition (just use an eyeshadow brush)

Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner £5.29
I find this the best eyeliner, it goes on smoothly, creates a great thickness of line and never smudges, cheap and cheerful!

The Mascara
Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara £7.99
I have tried so many mascaras and this one is the one that never runs, smudges or ends halfway down my face. It creates thick eyelashes - I use only on my top eyelashes never on my bottom eyelashes as they are quite long and I end up looking like Aunt Sally!

Rimmel Lipliner £3.99
I used to always use the Clarins lipliner but have now just started using this cheaper Rimmel one in 'Indian Pink'. It matches my lipstick well and as long as I keep the liner sharp it does a pretty good job. I always, always use a lipliner, it stops my lipstick bleeding and keeps everything in place. I apply it pretty heavily and blot a few times on tissue.
Mac All Fired Up Lipstick £17
This is a deep shade of pink (more on the purply pink side than orange pink) It is a super matte lipstick so I always put this on after my lipliner, two applications (blot on tissue after each application) then a layer of the Rimmel lipstick below to stop my lips feeling dry and adds another dimension of creamy pink which makes my lips look fuller.
Rimmel Kate Long Lasting Lipstick 020 £5.49
This is the lighter pink lipstick, it is really creamy and glides on perfectly over the matte Mac colour. 
Lipcote £3.69
I am a hardcore fan of Lipcote, I have been using it since I was 16. I love it and use it every time I wear lipstick, it keeps my lipstick in place through multiple glasses of wine and dinner. I know lots of people find it dries their lips out, I think the formula is kinder now than it has been in the past and to be honest I have been wearing it so long I think my lips are used to it!
Dior Nail Glow £19.50
I bought this after Susie SoSo featured it on her Instagram, it is such a easy nail polish to wear and makes your nails look like they have had a very light french manicure, easy, simple and effective, completely up my street!

So there is my very cheap and basic make up routine, I do definitely need to find a really great foundation or tinted moisturiser so any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. What are your favourite products, which ones can you not live without? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxx

The Essential White Summer Top


All images above via Pinterest

Style Theory: The white top, possibly the most versatile, useful item in your summer wardrobe. Every year there is a little twist on the white top, last year it was the boho top, this year it is the fluted sleeve. I am a fan of both styles and also like a little lace and detail thrown in. 

It is tricky to keep a white top looking completely pristine white year after year so this time, every summer, I decide my wardrobe requires a couple more white tops. I wear them all summer, at the moment I am wearing them under fine cardigans and blazers with boyfriend jeans and trainers. When the weather warms up I will be wearing my white tops with denim shorts, my khaki trousers or culottes and white superga trainers or tan strappy sandals.

There are so many to choose from on the high street, especially now so many stores are on sale. Here is my edit of my favourites and quite a few will be making it to my shopping basket!...
Matches - reduced to £160
Sometimes it is worth investing in a more expensive white top as they keep their clean pristine colour longer. I love the shape of the one above, the lace detail and the shaping at the waist to flatter and conceal a tummy..perfect.
Matches Isabel Marant Etoile £117
The ruffles stole my heart on this top, I have bought this in the dress vesrion in black (now sold out) and cannot wait to get it. This top is sitting in my basket..hopefully it hasn't sold out as it is one of my favourites. It would look so stunning on holiday with a vintage levis denim skirt, tan sandals and straw bag, perfect for a laid back but super stylish look.
Matches Weekend Max Mara £105
Again I do love a peplum, it skims beautifully over my mum-tum and the band around the middle creates the illusion of a waist. The boat neck top is particularly flattering for those of us with a small chest and soft sleeve details looks amazing on the top of arms, a really stunning, delicate top.
Mango £29.99
Fluted sleeves are a 'thing' this year, this is a great twist on the basic white top, will bring your look straight into 2016.
Mango £35.99
Beautiful embroidery detail at the neck of this top, a good basic for this season.
Topshop £35
The frill detail on this blouse is stunning, it would look fab under a blazer or cardigan now and dressed down with city shorts and tan strappy sandals when it heats up.
Topshop now £18
I have been looking at this top for a while and now it is in the sale I think it is such a good buy, it will probably only last one season as it is not the most robust fabric but for £18 it may be worth it.
Jovanna @Topshop now £23
A little unique, loving the collar and the detail on the shoulder, this is a top that will get a lot of compliments.
River Island £26
The cold shoulder look is still going strong and the lace of this top makes it look soft and flattering.
River Island £28
So this is so not white but I love love this top, it has a real authentic boho look and the pale blue with red embroidery looks stunning. Perfect for slinging over a bikini with a pair of shorts and majorcan sandals.
River Island £25
Bardot tops always look so chic, I love this one.
Mango @Asos £35.99
Such a pretty, grown up, looking bardot top, tuck the front in your jeans and shorts to save the top looking too floaty.
Warehouse @Asos £32
An easy wear top, put a vest top underneath or wear over your bikini on holiday.
M&S £29.50
A pure cotton top will keep you cool on hot days and loving the arm length!
M&S £28
Another cute white top from M&S, love the frill neckline and edging on the arms. I wouldn't bother accessorising with a long necklace it looks too fussy,especially with the pintuck detail. Keep accessories to some fine gold bangles and maybe gold statement earrings. 

On a side note I would love love to style M&S online fashion, they have got so many amazing items which are sometimes let down by the if anyone can put a word in for me, I would adore it!! ;-) xxx

There were so many white tops to choose from, I love them all and do wear them so much on holiday (now my kids are a little older - I used to only wear black when they were tiny!) plus the fact I have just washed all my white tops and managed to dye them a pale shade of blue (rogue tie-dye T-shirt of Jack's in the wash..grrrrr!!) So time to buy a few new ones! Have you bought any white tops this year, which style is your favourite? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxx