My name is Joanne Hegarty and I'm a London based fashion journalist turned blogger and stylist gun to hire. Here on The Stylist And The Wardrobe you will find lifestyle and fashion posts to ponder and hopefully enjoy.
So far it’s been the Summer Of All Summers – and what better way to celebrate endless days of sunshine, than a carefree white lace dress.
Nothing encapsulates those balmy sunshine filled days than a selection of white dresses but like the perfect pair of jeans, ‘the one’ can be quite tricky to find.
I had a special occasion to go to recently and I wanted to find something that extra special to wear. However, if I was going to invest a little more in the cut and quality, I also wanted it to be something I could wear all Summer long.
Keeping something for ‘good wear’ is something I firmly don’t believe in at all.
Rather, if you love something, wear it until it falls apart, that’s what I believe in.
The Designer White Dress
LoveShackFancy’s ‘Flora’ dress couldn’t be more perfect for summer. Cut from breezy broderie anglaise cotton, this maxi style is detailed with pintucks and pretty pointelle inserts.
The waistband is elasticated at the back so it’s comfortable even on particularly warm days. Unfasten a few of the mother-of-pearl buttons at the neckline to showcase layered necklaces.
Ancient Greek Sandals’ handmade leather shoes are built to last. This ‘Eleftheria’ pair has braided straps that wrap around the ankle to ensure a comfortable fit. The versatile sand hue will work with everything from summer whites to white and dark denims.
Last summer, two prints captured everyone’s hearts and wardrobes – gingham and polka dots. And this year, both these prints show no hint of fading.
Today I’m concentrating on Gingham and have selected a few of my favourite pieces that are still available to buy if you’re still hoping to jump on the checked style train.
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*Some of these items are now on sale but reductions will only be shown when you click through*
Instagram is inundated with the tablecloth-check print which conjures up images of care-free Summer days and wafting around in tall grass and a straw hat.
Checked off-the-shoulder tops, cropped trousers and strappy dresses – the options are endless.
Of course, gingham isn’t new, as the print loved by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and was a major player in the swinging Sixties and Seventies loved by icons like Bridget Bardot. In fact it has been around for centuries.
It’s thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and was later seen in the 18th century in mills in Manchester.
Through the years, the print has been used for everything from furnishings and home decor ― you’ve definitely seen a gingham tablecloth or picnic blanket at least once in your life.
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Fashion-wise, the fabric really took off after audiences saw Judy Garland wearing her Adrian-designed frock in the classic 1939 film and kept gaining popularity during World War II.
It girls like Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot, who sported a pink dress in the print for her wedding to actor Jacques Charrier also promoted it to the forefront of fashion.
The box print most popular in black or red check can fit into any wardrobe and is easy dressed up and down in a stylish appealing way.
The easiest option of course is a dress, which with the right accessories can look amazing. Gingham tops also work effortlessly with denim and I love a cropped pair of gingham trousers with a black or white blazer.
I’ve been adding little additions here and there at home recently. No big renovations but just little touches in the form of soft furnishings.
This bedroom is a guest room, and a sort of over-flow room. What I mean is by that is, I’m hanging some of my clothes here, until somebody comes to stay over and then I’ll be embarrassed into moving them.
I also use this rail from @thelittledeer to move my favourite wardrobe pieces around for Instagram and blog shoots. This helps me keep track of what I need to shoot.
Rugs And Things
This natural Nourison Fasntasia Rug from Frirth Rugs, easily blends in with the white walls, floor boards and neutral bedlinen of the room.
Handmade in India, the cream tones and textures create a lovely effect, and it would look right at home in most bedrooms.
The pink chair from Cox and Cox which ‘kind of looks like a shell’, as my five-year-old blurted out, is my revenge on a male dominated World Cup obsessed household.
They’ve ganged up on me and I find days and weekends are being manipulated for
It’s so soft and it makes me smile every time I look at it. Often in a home, it’s the small touches that make the biggest difference – don’t you think ?
You sent out the invitations and everybody wants to come – don’t panic, you can you do this.
Organising that special brunch at home is such a fun thing to do, but it does take a little time to plan. Leave nothing, especially styling your table, to the last minute and as the host, you’ll enjoy it as much as your guests.
I love to cook for family and friends, but as well as a tasty menu, presentation is also key to a successful gathering.
Remember to leave plenty of time before cooking to set your table for your guests.
Great food and friends deserve some great tableware – so invest in something special that will not only woo, but will last time and time again.
The best memories are created with your tableware and your loved ones around your table.
Pick A Colour Theme
I always apply the Monochromatic Scheme when styling my table for that perfect brunch. This sounds terribly complicated and difficult but it simply means using the same colour, but different shades and tints of that colour.
This makes life much easier for the over burdened host, and it also keeps a table look interesting without being monotonous, or overwhelming and distracting from the Menu.
For my special brunch at home, I styled my table with the gorgeous blue and white Monsoon Fleur By Denby
Because the pattern is so pretty and versatile and easily accessorised, I decided to focus on the blue and white Fleur pattern, and I style the rest of the table around its blue and white colour theme.
Compliment your tableware with your linen and soft furnishings
I’m a lover of calming colours – so the Monsoon Fleur By Denby, was a perfect choice to mix my light blue table runner and dark denim napkins with.
The fresh crisp blue and white tablerange which comes in family friendly sizes and doesn’t chip, looks really stylish and flattering on natural materials like dark wood or marble table tops.
A little texture also adds interest to the table. In this case, I added some natural weaved place mats.
Our chairs are a pale grey which blended in well with the overall colour scheme.
If you feel that your chairs need some tlc – you can always add a cushion or tie a complimentary blue or white flower to your chair.
Little special touches
I decided to add tiny little touches of copper and marble with my serving dishes.
These details tied in with the overall crisp and fresh feel of the Monsoon Fleur By Denby tableware range.
Attractive Place Names And Cutlery
Handmade place names or a ribboned knife and folk are always the sweetest and most intimate option in my opinion.
Guests normally really appreciate or remark on these little touches, they make people feel special and will melt hearts in the room.
Your lucky loved guests will leave thinking you are the best hostess in town.
Harnessing Flower Power
Floral arrangements are such a powerful wonderful feel good tool. It’s always a really lovely idea to include seasonal arrangements to style the perfect brunch.
Keeping my colour scheme in mind, I used seasonal blue and white wild flowers, supplied by the talented Hattie, that complemented the Fleur tableware wonderfully.
Another idea when it comes to flowers is chose just one neutral colour – for example in this case – other flowers of the moment – all white roses or white daisies would have worked very well with the Monsoon Fleur By Denby tableware range.
If you’re on a tight budget – use fresh flowers from the garden or your green fingered neighbour’s, or use single stalks in small vases dotted around the table .
Keep Your Room Light and Bright
Have your brunch in the sunniest airiest corner of the house or apartment.
Light and bright is such an important factor when styling your brunch and for general guest happiness.
If it’s a Summer brunch, and you have the option where you live – don’t hesitate to open windows and doors. I opened our doors onto the garden to incorporate that whole Summer vibe.
It sounds simple but often people forget to do this when things get busy.
Choosing A Menu And Drinks
When choosing a menu for your special brunch, it’s always really important to incorporate ingredients and flavours that take the time of year into accout.
Nobody wants something heavy and wintery on a July morning. During Winter months, take into account that your body needs something more substantial to keep warm and happy. This time of year, use lots of fresh fruit and flower garnishes for your food and cocktails.
Give me a high-five, the weather has been rather great of late, hasn’t it ? Most days I’m in skirts or dresses, and if you told me this would be the case a few months ago, I would have made a ‘I don’t believe you face.’
But here I am, strolling through South Kensington in my blue stripe Midi Maje Skirt and not a jacket sleeve in sight.
Long may it last – fingers and toes crossed – I’m planning lots more fun things to do and it involves sunshine, only sunshine.
Floaty and feminine, this blue stripe midi skirt from Maje is perfect for Summer strolls. The light cotton blend has slimming diagonal stripe detailing – hurrah for that, and tonal oversized buttons to the centre.
The flowing silhouette pairs effortlessly with a crisp white shirt and sandals for a more dressed up affair or with a T-shirt and sneakers for a pared-back daytime look.
This stylish 18 carat gold plated mini squint necklace on a short ball chain is from Renne jewellery
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There is something very fresh about blue stripes and this easy to wear midi skirt from French middle of the road Maje has it in spades.
This skirt made me feel at ease the minute I popped it on and it’s a great Summer staple that won’t date for next season either.
Stripes never go out of fashion and like blue or white jeans are a great classic chic wardrobe staple to pull out time and time again over the Summer months.
I’ve paired mine with this V-neck top made from lightweight stretch-cotton poplin with a frill detailed V-neck from Scandi high-street favourite Cos.
The subtle A-line shape, has a button-up front and it goes wonderfully well with a selection of my midi skirts.
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A Wing Ring
I’m wearing a special chunky wing that wraps neatly around your finger. Handmade in sterling silver or 24ct gold plated vermeil, by the talented Jana Reinhardt this little feathery design is a treasure and I love it .
The wing measures 8mm at the base and 11mm wide on top, and it is recommended you choose one size up as chunky rings tend to feel tighter.
I’ve been slowly adding little touches to this bedroom over the past few months. Gone is the safe grey option and two of the largest walls have been painted Cinder Rose. The others remain white.
This calming rose shade makes a refreshing change and is probably a more versatile colour than you’d initially think. It goes terrifically with wood or wicker furniture and sits well with white or cream bedroom soft furnishings.
This cosiest Moroccan style Beni Ourain rug from Wayfair Uk has really brightened the space and the old floor boards up. I love stepping on this squishy peace of soft wool heaven everyday, and it has been a great hit with the entire family.
I love it’s contrasting texture and print against the room’s wooden furniture.
There’s a terrific selection of stylish rugs on their site to suit every budget and they have really impressive customer service .
Prints with natural wood frames, and white pottery vessels tie the look together and keep the room light and airy. I love giving a space a little Spring-Summer make-over. It’s just having the time and energy fit it all in.
I’m quite the restless person and am always changing furniture around and trying to improve the space we have.
When going on that much anticipated holiday, the most important things to remember other than your passport of course is a stylish and hard working capsule wardrobe.
Nobody wants to have to face paying extra luggage allowance at the airport, so pack a few favourite show stoppers than can be easily mixed and matched.
Also never underestimate the power of some great accessories to see you through, and to give your holiday wardrobe that extra sparkle.
Why I Love This Skirt
I adore this Kempton Lace Skirt from Hush’s new Summer collection. Light and airy with a cut-out star hem in crisp white lace, it is definitely a hero versatile piece that you can wear from beach to dinner.
How to wear it
With it’s button down front, it works wonderfully as a clever stylish cover-up over your Swim-wear. Wear it down to breakfast and head straight to the pool to bag that precious sunlounger.
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Wear it Day Tripping or On A City Break
I teamed this gorgeous skirt for a relaxed day time look with this Love Will Save The Day V-Neck Tee.
The gorgeous embroidered t-shirt with its subtle slogan adds effortless cool to your day time look and it is made for fun filled Summer days.
For a more glamorous look – perfect for heading out in the evening to dinner – I switched up the look by wearing my skirt with Hush’s Caro top. In a shimmering blush pink, this chic Metallic top will add on-trend elegance to your holiday wardrobe. It sits beautifully against the crisp white lace of the skirt.
Add heels and a clutch bag and you are ready to go.
The Power Of Accessories
Never underestimate how the right accessories can impact your look. I love this Panama hat from Hush’s new Holiday collection. Hand Woven by experts in Ecuador, I adore its simple black ribbon details. It exudes effortless cool in and is super lightweight.
It can be worn with everything from t-shirts to denim and it works effortlessly with both these looks. The good news is it can be shaped to your desired look and will travel well in your suitcase.
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Sleek in style, the flattering The T-Bar Eleanor Sandal is a summer capsule essential. Both stylish and comfortable, it’s sleek design makes your ankles look slimmer and they work very well for both evening and day-time looks.
Let these capsule pieces work hard for you on your Summer holiday ensuring that you look stylish from Morning Until Evening.
All you have to worry about is what to have from the cocktail Menu.
If I had to choose one favourite wardrobe staple, it would always be a blazer. For me, blazers are the ideal piece to add structure and style to any outfit.
They are extremely versatile (there aren’t many pieces that you can wear to the office that will still look cool and casual paired with jeans at the weekend) and they are quite the clever wardrobe piece.
A white pinstripe blazer is a great Summer wardrobe asset.
Stitch Detail Trousers
ME+EM’s Stitch Detail Slim Crop Trouser offers an instant update to their best-selling cut.
Their on-trend stitch detailing is a terrific nod to this season’s biggest trend, whilst also serving to flatter your silhouette.
The good news for all busy people out there is that they are also crafted from genius crease-free, stretch fabric.
The Joy Of The Blazer
Those of you who have been following me for a while will be familiar with my love of a white blazer. These work for every season but they really shine during the Spring-Summer months, adding freshness to trousers and dresses.
Also shrobing – the act of wearing a blazer casually draped over your shoulders – see Megan Marckle – looks so cool and is fun and chic to do on an evening out.
The double breasted white pinstripe I am wearing in these photographs is from high-street chic hero Massimo Dutti and
ME+EM’s Pinstripe Summer Tux Jacket here is also a favourite of mine.
Theirs offers a deconstructed take on the classic formal blazer.
Unlined, it is crafted from luxe, light-weight satin in timeless monochrome pinstripes and finished with statement black buttons.
Have you heard about Dragon Diffusion ?
Tap the bucket bag trend with the new cool brand Dragon Diffusion and their white leather Cannage style linked right right here.
It’s handmade in India by the label’s team of expert artisanal weavers using traditional methods, and features a single braided top handle and an antiqued-gold metal charm engraved with the logo.
Hold it alongside any Summer dress for a day well spent.
Over the Summer months, I love nothing more than having my loved ones around me and making them something special to eat and drink.
To celebrate Denby’s gorgeous collaboration with Monsoon, I have been asked to create a floral brunch themed menu at home with my family. Monsoon Fleur By Denby, is a beautiful new stylish tableware range which combines a modern cobalt blue shade with intricate floral detailing and a warm silver shimmer decoration.
Its beautiful and charming designs made styling my table and creating a laid back brunch a joy.
I found it incredibly easy to mix in the Monsoon Fleur By Denby collection with my existing tableware, as it’s a perfect family and friend friendly size – (width and length both 28.5cm each).
The soft cream china plate is hugely versatile and can be mixed with a variety of other colours, napkins and table runners.
The beautiful blue and white collection has all the elegance of china but its refinement does not mean it is not tough, very useable on a daily basis and chip-resistant.
I also used some beautiful seasonal floral centrepieces by the talented florist Hattie Fox From That Flowershop to further style my table and her creations using fresh flowers of the very moment complimented all the blues wonderfully.
I wanted to create a fun family friendly tasty menu which celebrated the beginning of a new sunny season. It is laid back but fresh and bright, and I wanted to feel like we were sampling a little of Summer on our gorgeous new Fleur tableware by Denby Monsoon.
Tips For Choosing The Right Brunch Menu
1.Pick Something That You Feel Comfortable Cooking
2.Do as much preparation as you can earlier that morning, so you won’t feel rushed and panicked when your guests arrive.
3.Set your table a couple of hours in advance, tidy your space and give yourself plenty of time to cook and enjoy the preparation.
4.Choose a menu that compliments the colour and style of your table-ware and settings.
So, without further ado, here is my Brunch Menu comprising of a main course, a dessert and a treaty cocktail for the grown-ups.
TWICE-BAKED CITRUS-ALMOND BRIOCHE ROLLS
Ingredients – 1 1/4c. sliced almonds
A pinch of salt
1 large egg
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/4c. orange juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1. tbsp Thyme leaves
6 3/4 inch-thick slices brioche or rolls
Sliced citrus, for serving.
How To Make :
1.In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup almonds, 1/4 cup sugar and add a pinch of salt until finely ground.
Add egg and butter, and then process to form a thick paste. Add extract and pulse to combine.
2.In a small saucepan, simmer orange zest and juice, 1/4 c. water and remaining 1/4 c. sugar on medium-high, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
Then remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, thyme, and the remaining 3⁄4 cup almonds and add your pinch salt.
3.Heat your oven to 400°F. Arrange bread on baking sheet. Brush each slice with syrup until very moist. Spread with even layer of almond paste (about 2 heaping tablespoons). To finish, top with almond mixture.
Bake until toasts are caramelized on edges and almonds are golden brown, keep a close eye that they don’t burn but normally takes takes between 20 to 25 minutes.
4. For presentation purposes – I decorated this dish with sliced oranges, sweet and tangy physalis, fresh mint, additional orange syrup and viola petals.
Buttermilk Pancakes With Fresh Strawberries And Mint
My five-year-old son adores homemade pancakes and if we’re honest, so do we – his parents ! This brunch with Denby Monsoon seemed the perfect opportunity to rustle these brunch favourites up and incorporating seasonal fruits and fresh mint from the Garden.
375g plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
75g butter, melted
Prep: 15min › Cook:10min › Ready in:25min
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter.
Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
2.Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. A good tip is you can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready.
3.Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together. Do not over-stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan in small batches. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
To garnish – I used fresh strawberries, strawberry syrup, icing sugar and mint. They went down a treat with everyone.
Cranberry Orange Mimosa Bellini
For a cheeky tasty brunch cocktail for the adults – it would be rude not to – I chose an old favourite of mine. And there’s something so special about drinking a mimosa for brunch isn’t there. This Champagne or Prosecco cocktail combines 3 easy ingredients and is also crammed full of Vitamin C.
For One Cocktail
– 2 ounces of fresh cranberry juice
– 1 ounce of fresh orange juice
– Champagne or prosecco, to fill the flute.
Directions – Tilt glass, drink and enjoy !
*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Denby*
Back in my Trousers today but I don’t mind – variety is the spice of life and all that. The weather here does like to keep us on our toes and in and out of our sandals. But we’d be bored other wise wouldn’t we and also what on earth would we talk about !
Me & Em’s stich detail cropped trousers here are smart, versatile and chic.
They don’t crease either which is a great joy and a bonus in a busy life. That’s Archie artist impression of me on the fridge by the way, I can see the likeness. Hope you had a nice day whatever you got up to.
Wear them to work with a shirt or blazer or for the weekend with a simple knit or t-shirt. Also add white or tan accessories and you are all sorted.
ME+EM’s Stitch Detail Slim Crop Trouser offer an instant update to their best-selling cut. The British stylish company is known for their great trousers.
On-trend stitch detailing is a nod to this season’s biggest trend, whilst also serving to flatter your silhouette. They are crafted from fab genius crease-free, stretch fabric. I hate ironing – so these are perfect.
High – Waisted Crop Trousers
(Featured On Today’s Insta Stories)
I also love these khaki High-Waisted Crop Trousers, a style of the moment and these are also from Me & Em.
They are lovely with stripes, a white shirt or a white blazer. They are also crafted from 100% crease-free fabric – hurrah for that – making them ideal for work, play and travel.
The high-waisted cut is finished with an invisible side zip and removable belt for a super-flattering fit and which means you easily layer a longer top or jacket over them.