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Monday, 31 March 2014

Style trend: The White Blazer

I've seen some pictures of celebs recently, looking super stylish in white blazers, and suddenly I've gone from thinking this is a look that I might try at some point, to being completely obsessed with having one!

I have justified this purchase by telling myself it's a style staple that will see me through many years to come. (Yeah, right! In reality, it will have a red wine stain on it by the end of the first month). I will also wear it time and time again and whenever I throw it on I will look chic and sophisticated (apart from when my kids put their sticky fingers on it, our black kitten uses it as a bed etc etc)

Ignoring the above, it will go with pretty much everything - here are some pictures from Pinterest for inspiration:

You could wear it with jeans, ballet flats and a cami for a laidback look and I love white on white -   beautifully understated:

Over dresses for summer events, the ideal cover up:

Team it with tailored shorts and heels for a summer evening look (Obviously I won't be doing this but love the look!)

The monochrome look is a massive trend at the moment so I will definitely be wearing mine with black:

And white on grey is probably my favourite:

And here are some white blazers that I like in the shops:

Such a great price, could be dressed down over jeans or worn over a tailored dress for work.

This next one from L.K. Bennett looks so sleek on and is perfect for smarter occasions - it could easily take you from a work event to a night out:

If you are looking for something tailored but more affordable, then this jacket from Topshop is an amazing cut:

And another one that would be super smart for work with a pencil skirt but equally good with jeans:

Jaegar Edge to Edge Crepe Jacket £180

And a more affordable version in crepe:

Mango Violeta Crepe Blazer £79.99

I've always found that Zara blazers are a really good fit on me and I love this white one with the turned up sleeves:

Zara Turn Up Sleeve Blazer £79.99

And my absolute favourite, this gorgeous sateen blazer, made of stretch cotton, so it's comfortable as well as chic:

Banana Republic White Sateen Blazer £125

And finishing with me in a Zara one for a date night last week with Mr DF. Both of us had meetings in London and we managed to leave the small people with my Mum and stay overnight. We had such a fantastic evening, and I didn't do any shopping!

Zara Structured Jacket with Zips - here
White tee - Hush SS14
Zara Leather Look Jeans AW12
Necklace - Zara, borrowed from Mum
Grey bag - Nat & Nin at Yard
Black suede boots - Office

So will you be updating your wardrobe with a white blazer this spring? As always I love to hear your comments.
Abbi x

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Hix Oyster & Fish House

Last Friday I was lucky enough to have lunch on a sunny, spring day at the Hix Oyster & Fish House, perched high above the seaside town of Lyme Regis in Mark Hix's native Dorset. I have been to the restaurant a couple of times before, a few years ago, but only in the evening when it's been dark, and I have to say that the setting during the day is unbeatable with breathtaking views of Lyme harbour, the famous Cobb and, in the distance, the length of the Jurassic Coast to Portland.

My friend Mel was already sitting outside on the terrace when I arrived, and it was so lovely that we stayed there for a while to look at the menu, a real seafood lover's delight. In keeping with our British weather, it quickly clouded over, but we managed to get some photos!

Reg, the manager, greeted us warmly and took lots of time to answer our questions. Everything is sourced as locally as possible and they cure and smoke their own salmon. Inside, the relaxed dining room feels light and airy, with simple white wooden tables and chairs and floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the unique views.


The food was just as impressive as the stunning location.

Starters: Hix always offers a variety of seasonal oysters at any one time. Being in an oyster house meant that we obviously had to try them, so Mel chose the oyster threesome and they were truly special. The favourite was the scrumpy fried rock oysters served in their shell with ramson mayonnaise - heavenly!

I opted for a delicious salad of chopped Trill farm beets with a pickled Burford Brown egg and horseradish - a fantastic combination and look how pretty it looks, even the egg is pink:

Main Courses:  I ordered the fillet of Torbay hake with smoked salmon, cabbage and chive butter, which was beautifully presented. It was so deliciously fresh and I loved the delicate taste of the fish with the smoked salmon.

Mel ordered the whole Lyme bay lemon sole with capers, lemon and parsley, which she said was cooked to perfection. We also shared a garden herb salad and a side of buttered Pink Fir Apple potatoes.

The wine list is excellent and has some unusual offerings. We took Reg's advice and ordered a dry sparkling rose wine from the local award winning Furleigh estate, which was perfect.

The service was  so friendly and attentive and it was a lovely touch that Lin, the head chef, came and had a chat with us at our table. She suggested we bring our children next time, as they can eat for free from Tuesday-Friday from 3-6pm. Not sure she would be suggesting this if she had actually met our children, but actually it might work well as our husbands have a little fishing boat in Lyme harbour, so we do spend a lot of time here in the summer!

A pudding was sadly unthinkable after all of the above, but we would have chosen the Peruvian Gold chocolate mousse and the Sea buckthorn cheesecake, which looked amazing. Instead we had coffee, which is roasted locally, with Julian Temperley's exquisite cider brandy-infused truffles. Reg also let us sample a new cocktail that he has created for Mother's Day. Mum's the Word is a blend of Dorset based Black Cow vodka with cherry liqueur and orange juice and topped with Nyetimber sparkling wine. Such a treat and we were so tempted to stay all afternoon drinking them!


Pink Knitted Crop Jacket - Hush SS14
White sheer crew tee - Hush SS14
Boyfriend jeans - True Religion SS14
Grey Ash Jalouse Boots AW13
Heart necklace - Hultquist at Yard

White knit top from Marie Sixtine at Yard (also showing photo of the back of this top as it's so stunning)
Scarf from Miss Shorthair at Yard
Sexy Boyfriend Jeans - Gap
Burberry Handbag

If you have a special celebration or just happen to be in the area, then you should seriously head down to the Hix for the very best local seafood, in the most spectacular setting. It's a little pricey, but for the unique experience, it is totally worth it.

It's also worth mentioning that there's a feast night every Wednesday evening (excluding the peak summer months), with 3 courses for £20. This has to be the best deal on the coast, will definitely be going back!

Next week Dorset Fashionista will be reviewing The Stable in Poole.

Abbi x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mother's Day Treats from Yard

Treat your Mum to the mother of all Sundays this weekend with some wonderful gifts from Yard, my favourite Dorset boutique. I have rounded up my top picks from the inexpensive-but-thoughtful to the extravagant. And if you don't live locally, the lovely people at Yard will take your order over the phone and post your gifts to you.

Still my number one choice would have to be one of these beautiful and unique watches by Olivia Burton. I bought my Mum a classic gold one for Christmas and I have the big dial in rose gold with the mink strap. I have hardly taken mine off and have received so many complements on it. Here is a selection from Yard:

I love the new ones with the turquoise strap for the summer. Prices start at £62 for the smaller faces.

For a fun gift idea why not give your Mum one of these fantastic bone china mugs by Catherine Colebrook - just choose her favourite tipple and she can use it when a cup of tea or coffee is a more appropriate choice! £9.50 each.

Give your Mum's outfit a pop of colour with one of these beautiful bags by 1951 Maison Francaise. Simple, sleek and sophisticated, they feature a detachable shoulder strap and a zipped compartment to hold all your essentials. The perfect spring/summer accessory! £75

Treat your Mum to one of these luxurious hand creams, a very popular gift item at Yard. My favourite, the ginger and lime, smells divine! £7.50

Another best seller, these stunning antique zinc mirrors are sublimely elegant (£16.50). They are available in three sizes and each frame is strung with a recycled sari tie. They also co-ordinate with the beautiful glass frames stocked at Yard.

I bought my Mum a scarf for Mother's Day from Yard last year - they are always more special and
unique than anything you can find on the high street and make a lovely present. Look at this gorgeous selection below from American Vintage, Maison Scotch and Becksondergaard. Prices start at £33.

I adore this range of stud and drop earrings, new in at Yard, featuring colourful gemstones in gold plate. Elegant and original, they would make a lovely present.

Drop earrings  £46
Stud earrings £36

And for the Mum who has everything - this soft leather cobalt blue Maison Scotch travel wallet will keep her super organised (£160). Inside it has tabs for passports, documents, receipts and personal, plus a zipable coin purse and room for notes and 8 credit cards. Pictured here with matching credit card holder and iPhone 5 case.

And if you really can't decide, why not give her some Yard gift vouchers for the ultimate shopping treat?

What are you hoping for this Mothers's Day? My seven year old made me a bag at Beavers, with a big picture of our kitten on the front, so I'm all sorted!

Abbi x

Monday, 24 March 2014

Outfit post: Leopard Print Blouse from Anthropologie

I do love a flash of leopard print, it's a trend that never dates but is literally everywhere this season. Up until now I have added it to outfits in small doses - a pair of leopard print pumps, a scarf or the timeless Boden Mya Bag that I featured on the blog the other day. These classic items are almost like a neutral - they can always be incorporated into your wardrobe and will freshen up any outfit.

This season I decided I was committed enough to progress to an actual item of clothing in an animal print. I'm not brave enough to go for a leopard print dress or coat (yet), but decided I wanted to wear something more adventurous than my usual accessories. So, meet the leopard print blouse from one of my favourite shops, Anthropolgie.

Anthropolgie Sundra Top

This really caught my eye when I was in London in January - the neck tie is so chic and the pink in the blouse tones down the print and makes it fun and feminine. Somehow it came home with me to Dorset and I wore it for the first time on Saturday night as my sister was staying and we all went out for dinner. It's quite a statement blouse so I wore it with my black skinny jeans from Mint Velvet to dress it down and give it an edgier feel.

I wanted to keep everything else simple and neutral, so just teamed it with my black ankle boots from Office, grey leather jacket from Whistles and grey bag from Nat & Nin at Yard.

 I also wore minimal jewellery to let the blouse stand out - tiny earrings and my beloved rose gold watch from Olivia Burton.

So, what is your favourite way to wear leopard print? Or are you not a fan at all?

Back later in the week with ideas for Mother's Day treats, and with my first Dorset restaurant review.

Abbi x

Friday, 21 March 2014

New Spring Knits at Yard

I'm missing the wonderful sunshine we had last week, but you can still dress for Springtime on cooler days by packing away bulky jumpers and swapping them for lighter and brighter spring knits.

Yard has such a lovely selection at the moment that I thought I would share my favourites with you. (For any new readers - Yard is a very unique shop in Poundbury, Dorset, combining fashion with gifts and homewares - you can read all about it on my previous blog post here)

Knitwear is always my biggest weakness at Yard, the sweaters and jumpers are always more special than anything you can find on the high street, and this season is no exception. There are some gorgeous colours and beautifully soft textures that feel great and look fabulous. They are the perfect addition to your wardrobe to fight off the chill on those fresh spring and summer mornings.

First up are these sweaters from Maison Scotch which tick the box for the sporty trend this summer, crafted from a linen and cotton mix. Gorgeous shades of Hawaii pink and lavender to add a splash of colour to your wardrobe, I had to feature both as I can't decide which one I prefer! They are super comfortable and have a relaxed slim fit - I would wear with boyfriend jeans and sneakers or slip on trainers.

Maison Scotch sweaters £79
Maison Scotch Skinny jeans £120
Becksondergaard scarf £33

Next is this simple but elegant charcoal cardigan from Parisien label Marie Sixtine, with a pretty floral lining. It would go well with so many outfits but I would wear it over a dress or with capri pants for a more polished Audrey Hepburn look. The cardigan is pictured alongside a fine knit top in a stunning coral shade from Great Plains.

Marie Sixtine cardigan - £80
Great Plains knit top - £40
Great Plains scarf - £20
Maison Scotch Boyfriend Jeans - £130

A burst of seasonal colour, this Maison Scotch yellow sweater really stands out because of the incredibly soft fabric and the different texture on the sleeves. I would wear over a white shirt and with boyfriend jeans for an off duty casual look.

And a close up below of the different texture on the sleeve:

Maison Scotch Sweater £80
Maison Scotch Boyfriend Jeans £130
White Shirt - Soaked in Luxury - £35
Yellow Pocket Bag -1951 Maison Francaise £75

This next jumper is by Scandinavian label Twist & Tango and looks so beautiful on. In a very pale mint colour that looks so fresh for spring - I would wear with dark skinny jeans and ankle boots and a
scarf to finish the outfit. I also like stripey knits at this time of year and love this one in mint and grey from Great Plains.

Twist & Tango Jumper - £105
Great Plains Knit Top - £50
Scarf - Miss Shorthair, £22
Maison Scotch Jeans - £120

Saving the best until last, I am very tempted by this pullover from Part Two, which is plain navy at the front with a stunning blue and white print on the back. I would wear it with pale denim jeans like these from Maison Scotch.

Part Two Pullover £74.95
Maison Scotch Skinny Jeans £120

This is a good week to visit Yard with lots of goodies for Mother's Day also on offer - I will be back over the weekend with some ideas. The lovely people at Yard have also just told me that any of the above items can be purchased over the phone and posted to you. (Postage will be charged at £3 per order.) The number to call is 01305 757337. You will also be able to buy online very soon!

Finishing with a picture of me in what I wore to work this week:

Sweatshirt - American Vintage at Yard SS14
Black Jeans - Mint Velvet AW13
Grey Victoria Pumps - SS13

Have a fabulous weekend! My sister is visiting, so some much needed family time awaits!

Abbi x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The one-piece wonder that is the jumpsuit!

I have always been a massive fan of the jumpsuit, ever since my Mum bought me my first one circa 1985 - a pale pink number from Tammy Girl, which I proudly wore with fingerless lace gloves! They were a big trend a few seasons ago but are obviously making a comeback as they are EVERYWHERE. They can look super stylish and there is just so much choice out there to flatter many figures and to suit every budget.

Apart from being annoying when you're desperate for the loo, these are the reasons to have one in your wardrobe:

- They are a ready made outfit
- They can be the answer to transitional dressing between seasons
- Versatility - they can be thrown on at the weekend with a chunky cardigan and sneakers, dressed up with some court shoes for work or add statement jewellery and some strappy sandals for an evening out
- They make a welcome change from jeans

There are so many styles and shapes to choose from - think about which trouser shape is most flattering on you - cropped, skinny or wide - and try a similar one when jumpsuit shopping.

Here are some of my favourites:

First up is this striking tuxedo shape, a great alternative to the cocktail dress. Team this with a colourful clutch or shoes.

Cannes Tailored Jumpsuit, £450, L.K. Bennett

I had to feature a lace version, as this has been a major trend on the catwalks recently, and is a great option for a party. This one from Reiss really stands out with its lace panels, fitted bodice and wide trousers:

Orson Lace Pannelled Jumpsuit, Reiss, £245

This next one is so elegant it could also replace the little black dress. A timeless piece for any wardrobe, I would keep it simple with gold accessories and heels.

Strapless jumpsuit, £199, Invitation by Hobbs

This one below from Reiss ticks the boxes for the monochrome trend and I love the gorgeous snake print. Wear with a tailored jacket to tone it down and black platform court shoes.

Monica Print Jumpsuit, Reiss, £195

I think the next one from Baukjen might be my top pick out of all of them. So versatile, I could see myself wearing it to work with flat sandals and then swapping for heels and a statement necklace to go out afterwards:

Baukjen Elisa Jersey Jumpsuit, Baukjen, £99

The next one from Mint Velvet is my top choice of the relaxed, off duty jumpsuits on offer. I love the aztec print and it has an elasticated back section for added structure:

Liza Print Strappy Jumpsuit, £89

Jumpsuits with long sleeves tend to look more elegant and I absolutely LOVE this one below from Topshop. It looks so sleek and chic and it features the ubiquitous combination of navy and black.

Kimono Jumpsuit by Topshop Boutique, £90

I also love jumpsuits in a single block colour, like this pink one from Warehouse:

Warehouse Drape Front Jumpsuit £65

The jumpsuit below is perfect for work with its woven texture and unfussy style:

Warehouse Texture Print Jumpsuit £58

With the arrival of spring, floral jumpsuits are the latest style to land and this one below, from Topshop, is so pretty for the summer. Wear with a denim jacket thrown over.

Floral Print Jumpsuit, Topshop, £55

And another jumpsuit in a darker floral print, more suited to spring weather, with a chunky knit thrown over:

Floral Print Jumpsuit, £45, River Island

So will you be indulging in the jumpsuit trend? I am thinking about one for a 40th birthday party in a few months. Will report back!

Finishing with a very casual me, dropping off and picking up at school, trip to the supermarket and working from home:

Cardigan - Baukjen, SS12
Navy Tee - Whistles SS12
Jeans - Maison Scotch at Yard SS13
Grey Victoria Pumps from Yard

Back later in the week with some lovely Spring knitwear from Yard.

Abbi x