Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

If there’s one wardrobe staple during the summer months it has to be the simple maxi dress. It’s my go to outfit and so easy to style for day or night, the item I’ll reach for if I have a last minute coffee date or meal out in the evening. The maxi dress can look casual if I’m going out for the day or paired with a pair of heels and a clutch if I’m meeting friends for a few drinks in the evening. The maxi dress can look feminine yet feel really comfortable to wear and so many have found their way into my wardrobe. You can guarantee if I had a last minute invite with only an hour to get ready, I’d be wearing a plain coloured maxi dress, delicate gold jewellery, a clutch and pair of strappy heels and feel like a million dollars. It’s the style of dress that’s been around for years and never goes out of fashion. My very first maxi dress was a short sleeved version in blue with a tiny white floral print and I wore it so much until it literally fell apart.

It was the Bank Holiday Weekend and a few friends had asked me along for a late afternoon picnic at The Swiss Cottage in Bedfordshire. There was no last minute “I have nothing to wear” panic as I had the perfect dress for the occasion.

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

This navy blue wrap dress is such a simple design, the shape is incredibly flattering and the tie waist accentuates a wonderful feminine silhouette. The material is soft and flowy which hangs beautifully, I love the pretty cap sleeves and the deep neckline even though I did have to wear a modesty vest as I’m not one for showing too much cleavage. I’d been on the hunt for a wrap maxi dress for quite a while, although navy isn’t a colour I’d normally have chosen, I can see I’ll be getting a lot of wear from it over the coming months. It’s one of those dresses you can just throw on with minimal effort.

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

The straw bag screams out Summer and I’ve collected quite a few over the years. I fell in love with this cross body style as soon as it came into my possession. It’s a gorgeous camel colour and looks amazing with a lot of my summer outfits, especially next to the navy dress and paired with some strappy high heeled sandals. The strap sits comfortably worn on the shoulder or across the body and has a clasp that pops shut securely, so no danger of all your contents falling out. Inside it’s fully lined and is large enough for your mobile, keys and card holder, as well as a lipstick and compact for any touch ups throughout the day. This is a firm favourite already.

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

I kept it simple with the rest of my accessories and completed the look with a few of my favourite items of gold jewellery. I bought them last year, yet they seem to go with so many things. They totally transform a plain white t-shirt and jeans by just slipping on a blazer and pair of heels for an evening look.

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

When the temperature started to drop I wore my trusty denim jacket which gave the maxi dress a more casual look, even though I was wearing heels. One accessory I do not own is a pair of casual pumps or a pair of trainers, but I’m sure they’d look equally fab with this dress too.

Let’s face it, this dress has everything I need for any occasion, it’s comfortable for travelling in, looks great for a day out with friends, it’s smart enough for a garden party and still looks classy for an evening out.

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

Dress: Tobi

Straw Bag: Tobi

Denim Jacket (Old): Gap (Similar)

Necklace and Earrings: JewelleryBox

Bracelet (Old): Lylia Rose

You may also be interested in How To Style An Off The Shoulder Dress

Styling A Maxi Dress For Summer

*these items have kindly been sent by the PR team at Tobi, all photos and opinions are my own.

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An Off The Shoulder Dress

Every year I love to add at least one new dress to my ever growing collection. When I purchase each dress I like to know that I’ll pull it out of the wardrobe and it’ll go with the majority of my accessories. I want to be able to wear the dress to any occasion, day or night, without having to think too much about how I’m going to style it.  My style is mainly floaty and floral, and I very often stick to what I feel comfortable in. Yet there’s nothing wrong with trying something different once in a while, is there?

When I think of an off the shoulder dress, I imagine days at the beach and holiday destinations. I see women wearing them all the time, women who are confident and know exactly how to pull them off. I’ve always needed the security of at least a spaghetti strap to make sure I’m held firmly in place. I’ll always remember when I was on holiday in my late teens and wearing a brightly coloured bikini in the sea, a huge wave rolled up and dragged the bikini top down and, well, all I can say is I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.

So you see, I do expect miracles from one summer dress.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

In a moment of extreme braveness I came across this white Off The Shoulder Dress* on the Tobi website and thought, hey, why not give it a try. Not only did I choose off the shoulder but decided on a mini length as well, I would normally have gone for a maxi dress but oh no, I stepped well and truly out of that comfort zone.

There was something about this particular dress that I felt drawn to, maybe the delicate polka dot print made a welcome change from floral or maybe it was the fit and flare skirt that I knew I’d feel more comfortable in rather than a tightly fitting design.

When the dress arrived I couldn’t wait to try it on. It fitted beautifully in all the right places, not too tight or so loose it would fall down. The elasticated part across the chest enhanced my womanly shape, one I didn’t know was there before. It wasn’t low cut so I didn’t feel exposed and wanting to pull it up all the time. The website describes the dress as a skater style, measuring 72.4 cm length, I’m nearly 5 foot 8 inches and on me it reached to about my mid thigh. The skirt section has a sheer top layer and a soft satiny lining underneath. If white isn’t your thing, don’t worry, this dress also comes in red and black.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I love the extra detail around the neckline and the arms, the delicate frill gives a real girly feel to the dress. The tiny polka dot print gave the dress a simple, classic feel rather than being bold and in your face. The material was so soft and not in the least bit scratchy, the dress feels such good quality and looks well made, it could easily have come from a high end store. I felt absolutely amazing while wearing this off the shoulder dress, I felt a strong, confident woman while retaining my femininity. It suited both my shape and style without looking like I’d tried too hard.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I’d set myself a little challenge. I knew I could easily pop on a pair of pretty summer sandals and add a straw bag for a casual day look which would be ideal for a day at the seaside, but would it still look as good styled up for an evening event.

Accessories are a great way to completely change the look of an outfit, from shoes to bags, even jewellery can make a difference. A pair of brightly coloured tassel earrings would bring an element of fun for a day look, however I prefer to wear delicate gold or silver jewellery. With my neckline on show, I chose this beautiful gold layered necklace* to add a hint of glamour to a simple day dress. The smaller chain is in a choker style and the longer chain includes a disc pendent which sits perfectly just below the collar bone. I think it’s one of the prettiest necklaces I have ever seen.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

For my shoes and bag I’ve chosen two items I’d picked up from Amazon. For months I’d been searching for a dupe of the Chloe Nile Bracelet bag. I love that this one is practically identical, although it’s not made of leather and definitely doesn’t come with the hefty price tag. I was surprised at how well made it was, it has good quality stitching and doesn’t look or feel cheap. The bag can be worn cross body using the adjustable shoulder strap or as a grab bag using the circle ring handle. It’s the ideal size for an evening out, there’s a slot for a card holder, along with a larger section for a mobile and a few makeup essentials.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

My shoes were another amazing find from a brand called Rock On Styles and are a very similar design to the Valentino Rockstud pumps, but for a fraction of the price. The heel height is roughly 3 inches, so not too high if your’re going to be on your feet all evening. They’d also look absolutely beautiful worn for a prom or with a bridesmaids outfit. They are made of good quality faux leather, with studs along the straps and the front of the shoe.

To complete my look is a blush pink and rose gold watch from Anne Klein, which was a birthday gift from Adrian, he knows me so well as I simply adore these colours (it also comes in Chestnut or Navy). I slipped on an off white blazer from Anastasia (Similar), sadly mine’s out of stock but there are loads around like this one from Tobi.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I may have been going out for the evening but I wanted to keep my makeup looking quite natural and fresh. First I applied No7 Aqua Perfect Cushion Foundation, which is your base, concealer and powder all in. It’s also a handy size compact to pop in your bag. For my eyes I’ve used my trusty Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and Better Than Sex Mascara. To finish off the look I’ve used Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in the shade Insatiable Ivory and Essie Nail Polish in colour Bare With Me.

All I needed was a glass of Prosecco in my hand.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Dress: Tobi*

Necklace: Tobi*

Bag: Amazon

Shoes: Rock On Styles

Watch: Anne Klein

*These items were kindly gifted to me by the PR team at Tobi

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ASOS Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt

It was a typical warm sunny Spring day in my home town and we’d decided to pop out for for lunch and a spot of retail therapy. The very first item I reached for was this Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt from ASOS which I first featured in my Spring Trends post back in April. I hadn’t intended on taking any photos for my blog but I just loved the outfit so much, we found a quiet spot just by the market and snapped away. To be honest, I can’t remember when my last full on outfit post was, they were one of the main reasons I originally started my blog as Facebook wasn’t exactly the place to constantly share photos of me in my favourite outfit. For the first 18 months I absolutely loved styling up an outfit and sharing it on my blog, Then something happened that made all my confidence just disappear.

It started off with an invitation to an event which I sadly couldn’t go to, I started seeing amazing fashion bloggers standing for photos with other bloggers, underneath floral arches, pink balloons and all the selfie props you could think of. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to get involved with all that, not really, I let the fact that I am in a wheelchair and am unable to  stand get the better of me. The more invites I got, the worse I felt. Why? I hear you say. I felt the odd one out. Add that on to a couple of comments regarding the fact that I buy most of my clothes from Charity shops and those people felt they couldn’t relate to me because they weren’t able to purchase the exact same item. Thankfully it wasn’t anyone who follows me or who I follow.

I didn’t feel confident enough to share an outfit of the day post any more and I certainly didn’t feel good about myself.

Jump forward to 2018 and a lot of tears later along with a few choice words, I’m feeling like my old self again. I told myself so what if I can’t stand to show off what I’m wearing, there are other wheelchair users who want to look nice as well. Maybe I can give someone a tiny bit of inspiration on what they wear.

And let’s face it, this season was meant for me. Florals, pastels and lace are everywhere right now.

ASOS Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt

I stopped dressing for myself and I tried to dress in a way that I thought I should be as a fashion blogger. It just didn’t work. Then I came across some bloggers who had a similar style to me, oh my goodness, this made me so happy. It didn’t matter that they were posting either designer items, high street or charity shop finds, I felt inspired by what they wore.

Que MASSIVE wardrobe clear out. I’m talking 8 black bin liners of stuff that I didn’t feel good in or that didn’t suit my personal style. I sold quite a lot of it so I could invest in some new clothes, quite a lot was also donated to charity.

ASOS Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt

I completely fell in love with this beautiful Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt from ASOS and thought it would go perfectly with a lot of the tops I still had left in my wardrobe. It’s super floaty and has almost a metallic sheen to the material, this suits my feminine style right down to the last pleat. Here I’ve worn it with a cream lace top to make a pretty Spring Summer outfit, I’ve accessorised with a pair of cream, heeled straw sandals, delicate jewellery and a straw hat. I’ve also used my pink faux suede cross body bag from Topshop, which doesn’t leave my side at the moment. I had so many compliments the day I wore this outfit and believe me that certainly put a smile on my face. It’s the kind of skirt that will look equally as good with a casual T-shirt and pair of flat pumps for a more casual vibe.

ASOS Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt

Spring Trends

ASOS Pastel Pleated Midi Skirt

Skirt: ASOS (similar)

Bag: Topshop

Bracelet: Ted Baker

Lace Top: Old (originally H&M)

Shoes: Old (Originally New Look)

Watch: Bulova (similar)

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Spring Trends

Spring is practically on our door step and sadly it’s almost time for my knee high boots and chunky knits to go into storage until next year. It does mean new season clothes and making that transition from Winter to Spring. I thought you’d like to see the key trends that I’ll be wearing this year.

Spring is one of my favourite seasons when it comes to fashion, I get so excited to see pastels, lace and pink back in the shops. This year they were huge on the catwalk and now that high street brands have made them into more wearable, every day pieces I’ve been adding a few new items into my wardrobe so that I can start wearing some of the Spring Trends right now. I’ve tried following trends before, just because everyone else is wearing them, and I’ve bought things that simply don’t suit me. Last year I had a massive clear out, it was actually quite shocking how many items I’d not worn. The pieces that were left hanging in my wardrobe were things I felt good in, they were girly, feminine items and could be mixed together to make so many different outfits. I had followed my own personal style.

Spring Trends

Pastels

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s excited that pastels are actually a huge trend this year, yay my personal style is back in fashion. I’ve loved wearing pastels, pinks and nudes for so many years and I already have quite a selection of pastel knits, coats and accessories that work well together to make a pretty Spring outfit. I get my knitwear and tops from New Look, H&M, Topshop and ASOS, where I’ve found some affordable, good quality pieces. I’m also still in love with my pink cord mini skirt which I got for my Birthday, it look’s gorgeous with my new pink coat.

Accessories are a great way to bring your outfit up to date, if you don’t fancy head to toe pastel why not give a gentle nod to the trend by adding a bag or pair of shoes. I love this blush pink, faux suede bag from Topshop, it has a gold chain which can be extended into a single strap and worn cross body or pulled together to make two handles and worn on the shoulder. Considering it’s size, this bag is actually quite spacious so you can fit more than just your mobile and keys in it, and it doesn’t make your outfit look too bulky. I’ve also fallen in love with these round, block heeled shoes from Dorothy Perkins. They are super feminine and the rose pink shade goes with so many things I already own, they will be worn with my floral dresses and midi skirts over the coming months.

Spring Trends

Spring Trends

Lace

Lace was another Spring trend I was excited to see on the highstreet this year. There are loads of different styles of lace tops around and they can totally transform an outfit. I found this beautiful long sleeve lace blouse on ASOS, to make it wearable now I popped it on underneath a lightweight v-neck jumper as it’s perfect for layering. It looks gorgeous when worn alone with midi skirts or high waisted trousers. It’s the sort of top that instantly dresses up a pair of jeans, just add a cross body bag and pair of heels and you have a wonderful Spring outfit.

Spring Trends

Midi Shirts

I love wearing midi skirts, they’re a flattering length without looking too frumpy and it’s a style that suits my height (I’m just short of 5ft 8”). Midi skirts are a key spring trend that can be worn casual with a sweat top and trainers or pretty blouse and heels, whatever suits your personal style. I love to wear this pleated peach midi skirt with a high neck lace top, a thin knit and block heels, it will also look fabulous during the summer months with a camisole top and strappy sandals.

Florals

I was so excited to start wearing floral skirts and dresses again, I’ve been layering up with thin knits and a cream belted coat for a wearable Spring look. A floral dress is my go-to piece and it practically goes with anything, pair it with some ankle boots or block heels for a day look and a pair of pointed heels if I’m going out in the evening. This season I’ve been wearing my floral skirts a lot with pretty blouses and lace tops for a super feminine outfit and they will see me right through to the warmer months when I’ll throw on a t-shirt and a pair of sandals,

Spring Trends

Lilac

Lilac is another Spring Trend that I already have in my wardrobe. I found this beautiful lilac shift dress on Amazon last Summer, it’s probably not quite warm enough for me to wear it just yet but it won’t be long before I can style it with a cream blazer and nude heels for a fun girly outfit. These lilac shoes have been in my wardrobe for years and look amazing worn with a pair of white cropped trousers and a white lace top. I just need a bag like this one I’ve seen in Topshop and my look is complete.

Spring Trends

Trench Coats

Trench coats have been around for years and are the perfect way to transition your outfit from Winter to Spring. I absolutely fell in love with this blush pink wrap coat after seeing it on Katie Kirk’s Instagram. It’s slightly on the heavier side but just what you need for layering up on a crisp Spring morning, it’s a 3/4 length, making it a versatile piece to have in your wardrobe this season.

Then you have the more traditional style of Trench Coat which can make any outfit look chic and pulled together. I’ve been wearing mine with midi skirts and thin knits but this style of coat looks equally as good styled with a t-shirt, pair of jeans and ankle boots. Knowing the ever changing weather in the UK this coat will get an awful lot of wear over the coming months.

Spring Trends

Spring Trends

The Finishing Touches

Lets not forget those little extras that complete an outfit. If the rest of your outfit is quite plain, a pretty floral scarf will instantly give a lift to your look. You don’t have to spend a lot on accessories, I picked this pastel one up from Primark last summer for a grand total of £2. I adore wearing pretty gold jewellery with any outfit, most of the items I own are dainty, feminine pieces that work for day or night. I absolutely love wearing this rose gold Ted Baker Cuff Bracelet , no surprise it has a pink floral design at each end. To finish off my outfit, I’ll add a spritz of my favourite fragrance. My current favourite is Victoria Secret’s Love Eau De Parfum, it has a light, fresh smell with hints of juniper and apricot blush, making it perfect for wearing on a Spring day.

Spring Trends

Spring Trends

Victoria Secrets Love Eau De Parfum

I also have my eye on some check prints at the moment, there are some gorgeous over sized blazers and knee length skirts, which I can team with items I already own. Keep an look out on my Instagram Stories where I often share outfit of the day photos and you’ll see me wearing these items a lot over the coming months.

What’s your favourite Spring outfit? Are you ultra feminine like me or do you prefer a more casual look?

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chatty post and what I've been up to

My last two chatty posts went down really well and I personally love reading other peoples. I also find it’s a great way to look back on my blog this time next year to see all the wonderful things I got up to.

I’m counting down the days until Easter after finding out my half sister is coming over from Canada and staying for the Easter holidays. Can you guess how excited that makes me. Luckily my cousin, sister and I get on extremely well together, I’m sure we’ll all be doing some exciting stuff over the two weeks and taking loads of photos for our scrapbooks.

outfit of the day

chatty post with an outfit of the day

chatty post with an outfit of the day

If you’ve seen one snowy photo over the past few weeks, then you’ve probably seen a million. Unfortunately while most people were able to get out and enjoy making snowmen. have snow ball fights or generally have a moan about how cold it was, I happened to be stuck indoors for almost 5 days and could only look in wonder at this pretty white stuff through the window. The snow was just too heavy for my wheelchair to cope with, it would have got stuck within a few feet of my door. However all was not lost, I had an extremely productive few days and managed to write 4 blog post, yay, and get a load of admin out of the way. On the Saturday, the snow had cleared enough for Adrian to take me out for a coffee, we sat on “our” bench by the church where there happened to be just enough snow for me to get an outfit of the day photo and the all important photo of my feet. I was snuggled up warm in one of my favourite outfits including this beautiful faux fur collar I bought in the sale from Topshop and, apart from having so much, I think the fresh air did me the world of good.

Chatty Post and Pebble Art

A few weeks ago Adrian and I were out on one of our walks and stopped at our usual bench. Who’d have thought that we’d be sharing it with an Alien! He can spot a penny from a mile away, so when he walked off to pick something up from the other end of the bench I didn’t give it a thought. He came back with this pebble which has been painted to look like an alien. On the bottom it had the words Plymouth Pebble Art, it honestly put a big smile on my face considering the night before Adrian and I had both watched the film Paul. The idea behind these pebbles is that someone has visited Plymouth pebble Art, painted their own design on one of them and placed it somewhere in the country. You then take a photo and upload it to their Facebook page, you can then either keep it as a memory or place it somewhere else for others to enjoy, and they do the same thing. This isn’t sponsored, I just thought it would be a fun thing to share with you. Wonder where our alien has visited next?

chatty post and cuddles with my cat

Pepper is still going strong at the grand old age of 21 (roughly!), she’s super clingy at the moment and want’s to be near me all the time. If she wakes up and I’m in another room, she’ll start screeching really loudly. I don’t know if she’s feeling vulnerable, other than that Pepper is a healthy old lady. We adopted her 10 years ago from our neighbour, or rather Pepper adopted us. She used to come into our house while our neighbours were at work, then when they moved they asked if we wanted to keep Pepper. We of course said yes, she couldn’t get her little paws up on our our sofa quick enough and moved her little cat belongings in the very next day. She melts my heart every time I come home and her purring is one of the most relaxing sounds ever.

chatty post and an outfit of the day

How cute is this T-shirt which was designed by Jemma, she had a limited supply on her Etsy store and I was so happy when mine arrived in the post. I think it’s such a fun item to have in my wardrobe for Spring and Summer, the material is incredibly soft and it fits beautifully. I’ll be wearing mine with jeans and flats or a pair of jersey bottoms for slouchy days at home, although I think it;s way too lovely to be hidden away. I hope she designs some more pieces of clothing in the future, I’ll definitely be keeping and eye out for a hoody or sweatshirt!

Chatty post including a girls night in

charry post, what I've been up to

After having some bad news a few weeks back I try to treasure every moment I spend with my friends and family a lot more now. I think I always have, just every now and then something comes along as a gentle reminder that life’s too short. I don’t have a large circle of friends but I’m extremely close to those I do have. While I was snowed in my best friend arrived with some treats and we watched back to back episodes of Friends (again!)

Adrian and I finally got our new oven after our old one cooked it’s last ever meal, it’s not bad as we’d had that for 10 years and it belonged to Adrian’s mum when we first got married. This is the first one I’ve owned that hasn’t been second hand or a hand me down. Yes I was slightly excited when it arrived and the first evening we enjoyed a vegetable casserole followed by apple and blackberry pie, I must say it was divine.

chatty post with a monthly round up

I don’t often share a photo of me wearing glasses but I’ve been trying to get used to these new frames. I’d had my old pair for about 10 years and a week or so back they finally gave up and broke. It was the kind of day where everything went wrong all at once, the screen protector on my mobile cracked, the shower decided to stop working while I was in the middle of washing my hair and a whole host of other things. But hey, it’s all good now and I can look back and laugh about it. I’m sure everyone has days like those.

I’d like to say a huge, huge thank you for all the incredible support from everyone after I published a very personal and sensitive post. It was written in the style of a letter and had been in my drafts for well over a year. I’d never really had the courage to post it until now. Telling your friends and family is one thing, but putting it out there for the rest of the world to read is something quite different. I just hope if anyone who has gone through a similar thing and reads my story will know they are not alone and there will be help out there.

chatty post wearing my pink blanket scarf

I do love finding a bargain when I’m out shopping and if something doesn’t cost me a penny I love it even more.  I very rarely shop in M&Co but when I was given some money for my Birthday I went in store and bought a beautiful burgundy jacket with a faux fur collar. I have a loyalty card for M&Co and was excited when a £5 voucher arrived through my door at the beginning of the month. I totally fell in love with this pink blanket scarf, which was in the sale for exactly £5, it’s incredibly soft and snugly and goes with so many things I own already. My collection of hats is forever growing, well you probably noticed that. I absolutely love this grey and black fedora from Oliver Bonas. Keep an eye out on my Instagram stories as I’m sharing quite a lot of outfits on there too.

I’m really into Audio books at the minute, I find them so much easier to get through and can listen to them while I’m doing other things or just before I go to bed. Last month I read 100 Pieces Of Me by Lucy Dillon which I featured in my February Favourites post. I’m currently reading The Story Teller by Jodi Picoult, it’s got just about everything in it, love , war, murder, forgiveness, I’m only on chapter 3 and loving so far but I’ll let you know what I think when I get to the end.

Last, but by no means least, hurray for the return of The Walking Dead! I’ve watched every single episode, right from season one and I was seriously not ready for the emotional episode after the mid season break. Why, oh why, do I love Negan as the villain, someone please talk some sense into me. And if Daryl happened to roll up outside my house on his motorbike I’d definitely not be sending him back out into a zombie apocalypse.

How’s life treating you at the moment? What’s you favourite TV show or book you’ve enjoyed reading?

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