I don’t own a lot of blouses, possibly because there’s a level of chic formality to them that isn’t often required in my life. I don’t have a job that allows me to wear my pinup clothes to work, so I only own a handful skirt suits and blouses for the rare occasion when I get to channel all my vintage secretary sartorial dreams. Saying that, this mindset of mine does do a great disservice to the humble blouse, which, like most things, can be styled up or down just as easily if only the wearer has a little imagination and style. The Estelle blouse by Heart of Haute definitely benefits from such generosity of styling and wear, because it is doooppppe.
One of the things I love most about Autumn is how warm and rich all the associated colours are, even while it cools down outside. We’re not quite there yet but when the leaves begin to turn and the world slowly becomes orange and red and yellow and a bit gold, it fills me with joy. For now, when I look out at my garden there’s only the hint of fall touching just some of the leaves, while our apple trees remain laden with their last offerings.
As it happens, this new outfit from Heart of Haute, with it’s plummy plaid goodness, makes me feel just like picking apples, as well as sipping hot chocolate or snuggling down by a log fire, all in nostalgic sepia tones.
I always get excited about two features of Autumn-Winter fashion every year when the season comes around and those are plaid and tartan. I suppose there must be people out there who don’t buy new colours of plaid every winter but really, who are these people, and can we really even trust them? Personally I suspect anyone who isn’t tempted by a new shade of tartan come September might just be a pod person–or, I guess, just very self restrained. I am neither of those things.
Every year I’m excited to pull out all my old winter prints from their summer storage and every year I go on a thirsty hunt to acquire more, because never is there enough. Nevermind that also every year I ask at least one person ‘what’s the difference between tartan and plaid?’ in a sort of curious but redundant way, because the answer is somewhat unimportant, given my equal love and ceaseless hunger for them both.
Well with this post I get to cleverly avoid the baffled and reproachful queries of my friends and family who wonder whether, surely, I have enough of both, because technically, technically, this piece is neither a plaid nor a tartan. This is a buffalo gingham. That’s what Heart of Haute say, anyway, so that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
I’ve been into black clothing much more this winter than I ever have in the past. It’s always been chic and smart to me, but suddenly I’ve been more interested in black clothes of different textures, fabrics and finishes. Anything black with an interesting design detail has been more likely to catch my eye, so when I first saw images of this Heart of Haute Inspiration top I suddenly became a YES SIREE SIGN ME UP OYESOYESOYES THATS IT RIGHT THURR GOOD LAWD MA’AM HOT DAMN internet meme reaction of a person.
As with the HoH Divine Jacket I reviewed last week this top immediately jumped to the top of my wishlist, but with pre-Christmas budgeting in action I didn’t purchase it until several weeks later during Cyber Week from Deadly is the Female, UK stockist of many of the best quality vintage inspired brands. The moment it arrived it jumped to the top of another one of my lists, the Super Comfortable But Also Really Chic Clothing To Wear list. That’s one of my favourite lists because it means the items on it don’t require my squishy bits to suffer for my glamorous tastes by way of cinching and pinching, so right away this top was a winner.
Divine by name, divine by nature, this faux-fur trimmed jacket first caught my eye at London Edge previews back in September and hasn’t left me since. You might think, considering that, that I had planned to buy it, but I actually talked myself out of needing it in an unusual spurt of very adulty budgetary conscientiousness. (Yes, because I’m sure real adults say ‘adulty.’ I also say ‘Growed-ups.’ I’m not kidding anyone, am I?)
Yes, it’s a gorgeous piece that can be worn both as top and jacket, but I have more than one faux fur trimmed coat and rarely wear wiggles, with which I felt it would pair best, so it just made sense to let it pass me by.
…Buuuut then UK favourites Deadly is the Female began to stock it and OH WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT MUMMA’S GOT HERSELF A SEXY NEW FLUFF JACKET. Whoopsie! #sorrynotsorry
It’s that time of year again, babycakes! Time to make lists, begin hoarding chocolate and, most importantly of all, pick your party frock. Whether you’re looking for something festive but still comfortable for Christmas day, something chic for your office holiday party, or something glitzy for New Year’s Eve, I’ve got you covered with 5 of my top picks from some of the leading reproduction and vintage inspired brands, across a variety of budgets. There’ll be some sequins, a little tartan, a few metallics, some slinky LBD action, and a heavy dose of timeless vintage glamour.
So let’s kick it off with a dress that has immediately become one of my all time favourites, the Heart of Haute Monte Carlo dress in the Flourish Smoke print. Ladies, get ready to swoon.
I’ve reviewed the Milan dress by Heart of Haute before. It was much earlier on in my blogging career so the way in which I detail sizing and fit specifics have altered since then, allowing for, hopefully, a more helpful and accurate review that makes it easier for you to figure out if an item of clothing is for you and in which size.
When I reviewed the Milan dress in the red cotton sateen colourway, I found it had tons of give, although even then I didn’t stretch so far as to giving you the most helpful flat measurements (for reference, my L measured 32 inches flat in the waist, and up to 35 stretched.)
When spring came and I began eyeing the beautiful Bouquet floral colourway of this dress, I first assumed I could order it in the same L as my red Milan and come up smelling of roses (ba dum cha!) I noticed, however, that the size charts for the Bouquet on different stockists noted that the dress sizes smaller and that between sizes should size up. Considering this, I did what I could to determine the best size for myself, ordered the pretty, and decided it was worth giving this dress style and colourway its own review to pass on the information I learned to ensure you all end up with the best fit as well.
If you read the blog on Monday then you will have seen me reviewing the Heart of Haute gingham Sarah dress. The first time I saw a picture of that dress I fell in love, wanting it in both the coral and teal green colourways, but since I’m (supposed to be??) a responsible, restrained adult I thought I ought to be a sensible and limited myself to buying only one dress.
…And then I ended up with the teal gingham print Picnic Circle Skirt as well anyway, so life is good and adulthood really isn’t as bad as everyone says it is so what’s the big deal??! (Remind me of this joke in a couple weeks when I have to pay all my bills. I won’t be laughing then.)
Spring and summer, to me, is all about gingham. I do love florals, the occasional polka dot, and other fun, bold prints, but gingham is not only summery and fresh, but it’s a timeless and less innocuous way of rocking a print for those who fear or dislike novelty. It’s cliché to wear gingham on a picnic because red and white picnic blankets are over presented in picnic pictures and scenes, but damnit, some clichés are just worth fulfilling–because they’re just so good. It’s a classic. And who am I to knock a classic? So, yes, we’re picnicking again, darlings, crack open your pop bottle and pass the cake.
If you’re on social media and you follow your favourite clothing brands then I’m willing to bet this has happened to you: you’re checking your feed, scroll scroll scroll, when you see a picture posted by a brand of their newest release, with which you immediately fall so in love that you rush to their website to place an order, blood pumping, because you’re half terrified it’s going to sell out in those few seconds it takes to load up their page–who even KNOWS how many other ladies just saw that exact same Instagram picture and are scrambling to buy too?! You know, at midnight–and half pumped because you are about to buy yourself a new love of your life.
This happened to me with the Sarah dress by Heart of Haute, only I was slightly delayed by the fact that I wanted to put both the coral and the teal gingham dresses into my cart. The recent bill for the work I’d had done on my car’s brakes said really that wasn’t going to happen, so a choice had to be made between the two. BUT WHICH COLOUR? I wanted both. I’m more drawn to blues and teals as a rule, and I was a bit worried the coral might secretly be a true pink only pretending to be coral–pink and I do not get along. Buuuut if it really is truly coral, I reasoned, that’s an unrepresented colour in my wardrobe compared to my plentiful selection of blues. Oh but wait, they also do full circle skirts in the same ginghams though. Do I buy one skirt and one dress? Why is shopping so hard? Why aren’t I rich?
A few hours later, I was a big girl and bought only one dress, feeling slightly panicked as I did so because an Instagram follower warned me the coral dress was selling out in many sizes. But it was okay, I got her. I got the coral Sarah. And you guys. She’s just lovely.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times; I’m not really a novelty, kitsch kind of girl. I say that as a base rule so people can understand that my taste tends to lie in the more classic area of the spectrum and not often in the red-cherries area, but there are times here and there where I find myself liking something that’s distinctly more cute than it is distinguished. I can get down with select Erstwilder brooches. I can appreciate a candy cane hair accessory at Christmas. I wouldn’t turn down a cottage print circle skirt in winter. I like a good souvenir print.
And I instantly fell in love with the Meadow Daisy Print Sweetie dress by Heart of Haute.