stylist shops: June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Currently Coveting

This embroidered Topshop bag is top of my must-have list this summer. It looks like something you'd pick up in a flea market in Bali, without having to venture outside the M25. 
And while I'm imagining myself on the beach, here are a few extra beach bag essentials....

Plus no trip to the beach is complete without a good book, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is a beautiful, heart wrenching story of life in India during the 1970s - full of rich cultural and political history and characters you'll feel like you've known all your life.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Sale Shopping

Dear readers, I must apologise for my disappearance of late. I've been spending every spare minute working on my house renovation which is requiring decisions to be made on an hourly basis - which is pretty traumatic for someone who can't make decisions! 
Once things start to get finished I will post some pictures on here as everyone loves a 'changing rooms' style before and after - and you can check out a couple of pictures of the kitchen which went in this week over on my instagram (@rachelingram14).

Now, sick of spending all my hard earned money on grouting and floorboards, I've been trawling the internet for some sale purchases to cheer me up as I remain homeless! If you have to live out of a suitcase at least make it a suitcase full of wonderful things....

First on the wish list are a pair of pointy flats that will carry me through to winter:

A statement sweatshirt is still on my 'to buy' list to throw on with denim shorts on cooler summer evenings....

And a few summer wardrobe updaters:

My final and ultimate sale finds come from the mecca that is &OtherStories on Regent Street. I could literally buy the whole store - but I've left some for you too. Check out the sunglasses - they're a fashion insider's high street trump card (as well as H&M and ASOS sunnies).

Friday, 13 June 2014

New Season Shopping : Dana Levy

Many years ago I worked at Red Magazine assisting their Fashion Editor on fashion pages and photoshoots. My job was to source all the clothes for the shoots she would style, and we would then fill suitcases and jet off round the globe shooting them on models, making beautiful pictures. 

One time this editor asked me to get some colourful, beaded bracelets in for a summer florals story and I contacted a jewellery designer I had seen stocked in Liberty - Dana Levy. Dana's jewellery was a resounding hit on the shoot, such a hit in fact that not only did we shoot it in pretty much every issue of Red for the next few years, I have since shot it for every magazine I have ever worked for after that! Dana's jewellery is not only in the pages of Glamour Magazine monthly, but adorns every fashion and beauty editor at the magazine too - she really is an insider's secret weapon.

So, the dilemma was, to share or not to share?! Part of me wants everyone to know about her cool, fashiony-without-trying styles and wear-all-summer-long pieces, but part of me wants to keep her to myself!

Ultimately though her jewellery is too good not to rave about, so here is a little look at some of the current summer collection, all available at

Click the images to shop the pieces or visit for more styles.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Summer Wedding Dressing

It has begun! 
The season is upon us. 
Our diaries are full of them, Facebook is full of them, love really is in the air. 
But what happens when you have 6 weddings in one year and a limited budget for buying shiny new things? You don't want to end up spending everything on evening wear you can only wear a couple of times before everyone's 'seen it already'. Seasonal clothing budgets are far better suited to expensive handbags and overpriced Chanel espadrilles.

So, in the words of Mrs Doubtfire, HELP IS ON THE WAY DEAR. 
I've trawled the WHOLE WIDE WORLD for you (read: internet), to give you my pick of the best summer wedding dresses at the best, accessible prices....

First up, these high street buys have an expensive looking bang for very little buck! Colour is a great way to make maximum impact, my personal favourite evening dress is just from H&M but in a neon yellow colour it really stands out. 

The alternative to the evening dress comes in the form of a tailored bandeau jumpsuit this season - the best being Topshop's version (£60) which comes in both blush and black. 
I'd suggest buying both!

Halston Heritage is especially good for full length gowns at around the £200-£300 price mark. I've mentioned new brand Self Portrait on here before but they deserve another mention for great affordable evening wear.

DKNY's collections keep getting better and better, and this invisible strap plunging back dress speaks for itself. Yes the price is a little steeper, but this dress will last the distance, and in black you can get away with wearing it more frequently without people noticing!

Richard Nicoll, Helmut Lang (and Theysken's Theory) are always brands I look to for fun, offbeat evening dresses that don't feel too grown up.

Whistles has pulled out all the stops this season and this silver top and skirt combo feels more current than a dress, but still has evening appeal. Plus you have the added bonus of being able to wear the two separately in a more casual way - skirt with a white tee and converse for work, slip top with a pair of boyfriend jeans and Birkenstocks. 

Top 5 places to pick up a dress:
1. The Outnet - Net-a-Porter's little sister The Outnet is a discounted designer dreamland filled with well edited selections of top brands for majorly reduced prices. Find a Philip Lim mini for 65% off - or even an Oscar De La Renta gown for 70% less than it's retail price. 
2. Bicester Village - Similar to The Outnet, Bicester is the perfect place to find an amazing designer evening dress at up to 90% off. Evening wear doesn't really follow the trends too closely so who cares if it's last season's Valentino if it's totally beautiful?
 3. H&M - Check out their bi-annual collections of premium pieces which tend to sell out in a matter of hours so you need to be on the ball! (check out a post I did on this summer's collection here). They always have a couple of amazing evening dresses and usually for under the £100 mark. Their 'Conscious Collection' usually throws another couple of great dresses in the mix too - so sleep with one eye glued to the site. 
4. ACNE - I've mentioned their evening wear before but it really is simple, minimal, fuss free and - well - just cool. 
5. The Sales - Summer sales really are the best place to find an amazing eveningwear bargain. Harvey Nichols is my personal favourite as they have such a good buy, and the mark downs are great too. A little heads-up,  Matches sale starts on Monday (16th) so I would guess that Harvey Nicks, Harrods, Selfridges and Net-a-Porter won't be far behind. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Stylist Shops : Mango part two

As the season of skimpy dresses and fine cotton layers approaches, I was drawn back into a shop I've already shopped on Stylist Shops, by the amazing summer-wear edit in its windows. 
When it comes to summer clothing I simply can't resist Mango's selection of bohemian basics -  that Isabel Marant feel at high street prices.
So lets see how I got on...

This white 70s style maxi dress (£117, size 10) is the perfect summer party piece (apart from weddings - no one likes the other girl in long and white at a wedding!).  Casual and understated yet totally elegant this dress runs a little large to size so I would suggest sizing down. It is sold out online but still available in Mango stores.

This black linen dress with rope detail (£29.99, Small) is that easy, throw on dress you bring out every time you don't know quite what to wear.  It comes in a variety of colours so you could probably get away with wearing it at least three times a week without people talking about you behind your back.

It's hard to see from my pictures the delicate beading on this embroidered tunic dress (£49.99, Medium), but it's the kind of detail that makes this dress look way above it's £50 price tag. Throw on with this seasons Birkenstocks, et-voila!

I'm not normally a fan of the 'girly dress', but this strapless floral piece (£19.99, Small) is more 'summers strolling through the lavender fields in a French farmhouse' than frilly princess. And for £20? A no brainer! Fits a little small so I'd suggest sizing up.

The final dress on my Mango-does-dresses-like-no-other Stylist Shops today, is this perfect crochet white tiered sundress (£34.99, Medium) Now, not only do I love it because it is a shameless rip off of this Isabel Marant dress I've ogled all season, but I also love it for its easy-breezy wearability. Can't you just imagine walking the cobbled streets of a Greek island in this dress, carrying a straw basket? 
Now, dresses chosen, it's time to book a holiday.

Shop Mango online at

Check out 5 more magnificent Mango moments....

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Prada Kisses

I took my trusty old Prada lip print dress out for a whirl this week. It's such a girly dress and so not 'me' that I tried to casual it up with a pair of New Balance trainers, See by Chloe leather jacket and a Uniqlo check shirt tied around the waist. Worn with my trusty Lulu Guinness stripe bag that seems to go with everything I wear at the moment. Im so enjoying using a pouch instead of a huge tote, everything is so easy to locate, although I do need to trawl a canvas bag full of essentials around with me at the same time!

Friday, 6 June 2014

New Season Shopping : Laurence Dolige

There's a brand I've had my eye on for a while now, a brand so low key you'll be hard pushed to find a stockist, but so cool you'll buy the whole collection once you do. 
Parisian label Laurence Dolige is the discerning girl's Sandro or Maje, the insider's Isabel Marant, delivering cool classics with a twist in the way that only the French really can.

The Autumn Winter 2014 collection launches end of July and I have a sneak preview of what's in store for you - think chunky turtlenecks, suede coats, checks, sequins and stripes, worn all together. 
Browns, burgundies and greys are this fall/winter's key colours and Laurence Dolige hasn't missed a trick with a colour palette an aesthetically appealing mix of autumnal tones .  

Shop the Spring Summer collection still online here, and wait with baited breath until you can indulge in corduroy and tailoring from Fall Winter.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Stylist Shops : Free People

If there's one brand that personifies the girl I want to be for summer, it's always American bohemian brand, Free People
Floaty dresses, perfect lace and 'picked it up at a vintage market' designs - Free People simply churns out those 'where did you get that?' pieces all season long. 
I've always seen Free People as a bit of an industry secret and stocked up each time I visited the States for shoots, but the secret is out and lucky for the UK they recently launched their new website. With a huge selection of product shot on gorgeous models, the site offers free delivery for orders over £75 plus (the best part) no duty charges at all. 
So, in honour of this, I headed over to their stunning head office hideaway on a mews street in Marylebone to shop the collection for you....

First up, a summer staple for me, the peasant blouse (£138, small). Although slightly pricey, the design on this is great, it looks authentic rather than 'high street vintage' and it also has an elasticated neckline so can be worn off the shoulder too. The cut off denim shorts (£58, 26) fit like denim shorts aughta - slouchy and unevenly frayed like you chopped them up yourself this morning.

If there's one thing I love, it's a white summer dress, and no one does these better than Free People. I totally fell for this beautiful lace dress (£168, small) with victorian detail, the perfect holiday throw-on. 

Next up, the printed jumpsuit (£98, small), yet another thing I fell in love with from Free People which is pretty impressive as I normally steer well away from prints. 
It fit slightly slouchy up top with a drawstring waist to size, and was light enough that you could throw it on over a bikini on holiday to venture out for lunch. 

This off the shoulder printed dress (£98, small) would look perfect stretched out on a picnic blanket in the park this summer. It's got that throw-on easiness that I'm always looking for in summer dressing. 

For days when your sartorial inspiration is Princess Jasmine, only this jumpsuit will do. A low scooped back keeps it feeling sexy (rather than The Genie) and the print is a perfect vintage washed paisley. It sadly isn't online yet, but I am assured it will be on there within the next week or so - so keep an eye on the What's New tab!

My final try-on at FP HQ was this amazing midi length white dress (£138, small) in the softest cotton with perfect intricate embroidery. Paired with this season's ubiquitous Birkenstocks, this would be the ultimate weekend dress.

This week also marks the launch of Free People's June campaign featuring one of my favourite models - Erin Wasson. Having recently interviewed Erin myself for Glamour magazine, I am a super-fan of her laid back, tomboy attitude and totally amazing style - so the pairing of her AND Free People is a dream!
She told me when we spoke how she loves shopping in vintage stores all over America from LA to Austin (and Brick Lane market in the UK) - so it's no surprise she's such a fan of the brand. 
Here are a couple of snaps of Erin rocking Free People to inspire you to make even more summer purchases...