Five on Wednesday #3


CREDITS: ‘Frances’ trench (available April 13th), Archive By Alexa at Marks & Spencer | Monogrammed breton, Mon Breton | Padded alphabet stickers, Topshop | Faux Sacramento cactus, Abigail Ahern | Shades of Grey: Decorating With The Most Elegant of Neutrals by Kate Watson-Smyth, Ryland Peters and Small at Amazon


If you follow me on Instagram, you will quite often see me post things I have spotted on my shopping travels. Last week I had half an hour in between meetings, so happily killed it in Topshop where I stumbled upon these amazing alphabet padded stickers. As I mentioned on Instagram, I am actually running out of things to monogram (#MonogramObsessionProblems) – but I couldn’t resist. And while I LOVE the more expensive leather versions from Anya Hindmarch, at £3 you can definitely afford to make a mistake with where you put these Topshop beauts.

Last Thursday it was the eve of London Fashion Week and also the launch party for a very exciting range for Marks & Spencer – Archive by Alexa. In-store and online on the 13th April, the collection of 31 archived M&S pieces has been carefully curated and handpicked by Alexa Chung and the M&S design team, bringing them bang up to date in modern fabrics and an updated colour palette.

Alexa at the launch party, alongside models all wearing the collection Image: Marks & Spencer
Alexa at the launch party, alongside models all wearing the collection
Image: Marks & Spencer
Alexa in the Marks & Spencer archives. Image: Marks & Spencer
Alexa in the Marks & Spencer archives.
Image: Marks & Spencer

I am pretty obsessed with the ‘Frances’ trench coat, in my collage shot above – and on Alexa in the party shot. A heavy twill cotton in khaki, it has a nod to its heritage with a classic check lining. And at £89, it is a very chic and totes affordable way to update your wardrobe. Love. It.

Plants make a massive difference to a interiors space – but the biggest trend of the moment is for faux. Interior designer Abigail Ahern, whose store stocks a huge range of faux plants, including a 3-metre high banana tree, says: ‘We have been selling fake flowers for a while and can barely keep up with demand. We bought a few as props for our home interiors shop, but customers were begging us to sell them. This is now the biggest part of the business.’

I’d love a group of the stunning, architecturally appealing cacti I featured in my collage above – they’re 60cm high, or you can go even bigger with an 126cm spiker. Gorgeous.

Faux plants from Abigail Ahern
Faux plants from Abigail Ahern

Talking of interiors, is anyone out there not having an obsession with grey? There can’t be many of us, which is why interiors journalist and award-winning blogger Kate Watson-Smyth has just written ‘Shades Of Grey: Decorating With The Most Elegant Of Neutrals.’ Now I was lucky enough to be on a little jaunt to Paris with Kate when she was just about to write this book, so am thrilled to finally see it on the shelves. What Kate doesn’t know about grey paint is definitely not worth knowing – she has already vetoed two of my possible hall wall choices! Buy it from Amazon here.

And finally, I think my love for stripes is pretty well known. Also monogramming. So the two together = happiness explosion! I received a lovely Valentine’s Gift from Gudrun Sjoden, which I posted here on my Instagram. I had a few comments from people who loved the idea, but as it was a one-off gift, I frustratingly couldn’t direct them to Gudrun’s site (although the stripes on there are brilliant).

BUT, a lovely reader called Emily alerted me to a brand new company called Mon Breton, set up by husband and wife team Charles and Isla Heller.

Some of the designs created by Mon Breton.
Some of the designs created by Mon Breton.

And Oh My Days. So basically, what they offer are various colourways (combinations of navy, white, ecru) of Breton top in winter weight or summer weight. You can then select whether you’d like an emoji embroidered on it, multiple emojis, your initials or a full name. I KNOW. Total heart eyes emoji. All services are for women, men and children – I’m just deciding whether to get smiley face with sunglasses for Charlie and the peace sign for Lila! Brilliant idea, check them out here.




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