Going on a holiday trip is often an excuse to invest in new clothes. If you’re going somewhere special, you do want to feel like what you are also wearing different looks to your everyday wardrobe, right? But with opportunities also come costs… And I usually end up spending all the money I supposedly had saved for the trip (I never actually save. I work in finance yet I am the worst budget planner on earth) in brand new shiny clothes. But unusually, this time round, as we were preparing ourselves for our short Italian break, I forced myself to buy exclusively from the high street. And it does pay off, literally and figuratively. First, for once I did not go away with the haunting feeling that my bank might block all my credit cards. And second, I also felt suitably dressed.
So anyway, if you’re either looking for a refresh in your summer wardrobe or planning to go somewhere sunny and in need of the right things to pack, and your budget limit is about £100 then search no more. Here is the solution you’ve been looking for, and it’s all photo ‘proved’. On this point actually, I should mention that all pictures were taken by Mr Cover Mum who happens to be a professional photographer (check out his website, mysweetfamilyfoto.com he’s amazing for family portraits).
The first dress I am wearing, from H&M, is my current favourite (Chiffon Dress, £19.99 but £12 in store in the sale), a modern classy cut in a lovely powder pink. It’s also very flattering: legs enhancing, sufficiently tight at the waist, and showing the right parts of the shoulders. Can’t recommend this dress enough. Will really make a great impression for an evening occasion. Fit-wise, I took a size smaller than my usual size but it depends whether you prefer tighter or looser fits.
The only recommendation I would make is to accessorise this kind of dress. In particular, best to wear it with a belt. I used a twilly scarf as a belt because a) I happened to have one whose colours worked perfectly with this sort of pink and b) it brings out the softness of this dress (more than a normal leather belt would in my view). I normally invest in Hermes (£125) or Fendi (£125) for twillys because I wear them all year round as belts, but also hair bands, bracelets, bag charms... (it’s an incredibly versatile accessory that can bring an outfit to life). But I have noticed some cute ones from Zara (Scarf pack x 2, £9.99). And for those interested in very expensive bags, the one I am wearing on most photos is from Loewe (Hammock, £1,725).
In terms of shoes, I am a big fan of platform espadrilles come summer. They’re as comfortable as trainers, only better suited for higher temperatures, and obviously perfect for winning a few welcome centimetres if you’re very averagely tall like me. Win all around. The ones I am wearing are from Chloé and were extremely popular last summer (Lauren Wedge Espadrilles, £435). I found them 50% off in some small designer shoe shop in south of France. But would never buy them full price. Especially as there are many similar styles available now which are much more reasonably priced, such as from their sister brand See By Chloé (Leather Espadrilles Wedge Sandals, £160), Sezane (Ilda Espadrilles, £80), or even Dune (Head over Heels, £53).
The second dress I am wearing, also from H&M and also under £20 (Off-the-shoulder dress, £19.99), is perfect for wandering around as a tourist, for normal weekend activities (brunch, shopping of course), or even for work, as it can be dressed up (with heels) or down (with trainers) as required. And it is dressy enough to pretend that you’ve tried but uber comfortable too. The material is also incredibly light which means it’s perfect if you’re very sensitive to the heat. Size wise, it is quite roomy but I kind of liked it that way considering it has a rather boxy shape.
This black dress (again H&M, and even cheaper than the others, Short Satin Dress, £17.99) I wore for an evening out with some black sandals and a cute black handbag (the ever so popular bag among bloggers but also 5 year-olds apparently, the Lou bag by Sandro, £280). It’s just the perfect little black dress with a cute bow detail at the back. I was trying hard to show that detail on Insta and ended up taking selfies in the hotel lobby. That was a rather embarrassing moment with hotel staff looking away and hotel guests totally baffled while my husband was trying to catch me at my most narcissistic moments… The life of a fashion blogger is not necessarily glamorous. Anyway this petite robe noire is on point for a cocktail party for example.
A more casual outfit I was also wearing, and which tends to be my weekend uniform when I am not wearing jeans (see previous post), is a denim mini / trainers / tee-shirt combo. This is exactly the sort of outfit you want to be wearing when going for a long city tour. The skirt is from Topshop (Moto Rip Stud Denim Skirt, £36. Only a few left in blue but there is more stock in store, including in black). Love the studs detail. The tee-shirt is once more from H&M and the trainers are from Saint Laurent. I have noticed they’re on sale on Matches Fashion (Court Classic badge-appliqué leather trainers, £297).
Finally, for the actual travel (eg to sit sort of comfortably on a plane, and do your best to carry your luggage in style), my go to choice tends to be made of a pair of skinny (extra stretch) jeans, a (lace) tank top, a cotton over-shirt and trainers. You can’t go wrong with that. There are some great linen shirts at the moment at H&M, striped or plain (Linen Shirt, £29.99). Love wearing those unbuttoned and with sleeves rolled up. As for the jeans, I am afraid they’re also a reflection of my current obsession with H&M. Honestly, I find the cuts, shades and comfort amazing given the price range.