Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Underwear as Outerwear: Brand Profile and Top Picks - For Love & Lemons

Hello there lingerie lovers! :)  I am so pleased with the success and the feedback I gained on my Underwear as Outerwear post (if you haven't checked it out yet, read it here).  It is a style that I covet often but most of all I love the blurring lines between ready-to-wear and intimate apparel of recent times.  I really enjoyed writing about something a little bit different for the blog and a little more fashion-led while still staying true to my lingerie roots.  Due to the success of the post, I am starting a series based on the idea of underwear as outerwear and profiling my top brands for creating this look.  Today we start with a fantastic brand from the beautiful Los Angeles - just wait until you fall in love with 'For Love & Lemons'.

I am not 100% sure where I first found out about For Love & Lemons but my first recollection of seeing their pieces was from a pin that kept darting about my Pinterest feed of their Bat for Lashes Bralette (more on this piece later).  I remember falling for the lace (I know, I know - I am a sucker for all things lace) - it was unique and it was neon yellow, it intrigued me.  I finally found the brand on Twitter and Instagram when I started my blog and their images are very inspiring, fashion-forward editorial kind of inspiring but with a rebel twist.  For Love & Lemons is lustworthy to say the least.

The Credentials:
The brand was created by designers, owners and best friends Gillian Mahin and Laura Hall.  Both founders are originally from Wyoming with the brand now based in Los Angeles.  If you are not a follower of L.A. style, it is laid back, super chic and just ultra cool (want more L.A. inspired fashion check out Sincerely Jules here - she is seriously stylish and has L.A. style down to a T).  With this style in mind, I can see the L.A. influences in their collections, a little bit fashion-forward with a whole lot of rebel mixed in - it is ultra sleek and their editorial work gives them the edgy, cool look that increases their brand identity to an incredible high.  The brand boasts underwear, ready-to-wear and accessories lines which all emit the sleek and edgy image of the company.  The ready-to-wear lines including dresses, skirts and tops have clear undertones of lingerie with barely-there pieces, a heavy use of lace which looks just as heavenly in black and white as it does in their signature neon yellow tone and lots of skin on show through the use of nude panelling.  The lingerie is fashion-forward with some pieces emitting a sports luxe vibe while others are just so beautifully sexy with cuts of lace and embroidery that you will just want to laze in them with your morning coffee in the sunshine.  There is a very sultry yet ultra cool vibe from the lingerie that just makes me want to wear it. Actually to be honest looking through the pictures I just want to pack my bags and run off the L.A. - it is a vibe I am just lusting over recently (I love the style of the city and I want more sunshine - one weekend is just not enough for me Scotland!).

Top Picks:
It wouldn't be an 'unpublished' post if I didn't let you know my top picks from the brand.  The pieces I have selected are reflective of the underwear as outerwear tone of this post/series.  The ready-to-wear pieces I have selected have connotations of lingerie with sheer panels and covetable lace.  The lingerie picks have been selected with styling in mind.  I imagine these piece paired with high-waisted shorts, jeans or Levi cut-offs or under sheer tops.  Let's get to it!

First up is the Vienna Dress from For Love & Lemons.  This piece is available in sizes XS, S, M and L and retails at $207 U.S. Dollars which is approximately £123.27 sterling via the For Love & Lemons website.  I am attracted to this piece by the use of ornate lace (surprise!), the white and sheer combination is subtly sexy but the off the shoulder cut and delicate straps adds an ultra sleek look to it.  It could be worn casually during the day with sandals or western style boots or dressed up for the evening with a sleek pair of court shoes in a bright pop of colour shade like neon pink which would create a stand-out outfit without being too obvious.
Vienna Dress from For Love & Lemons
Image source here
Vienna Dress from For Love & Lemons
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Next up is the Grace Dress from For Love & Lemons.  This beautiful, gypsy-esque dress features the brands signature scalloped, sheer baroque lace which looks so chic and cool with the nude panelling. Showing a little but not too much, it's alluring but in a cool girl kind of way - totally L.A. all over.  You can tell why For Love & Lemons was all over Coachella!  The Grace Dress is available in sizes XS, S, M and L and retails at $246 U.S dollars approximately £146.50 sterling via the For Love & Lemons website.
Grace Dress from For Love & Lemons
Image Source here
Grace Dress from For Love & Lemons
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Moving on to intimate apparel we have the beachy cool Dream Girl Lace Robe in Yellow.  I can imagine lounging in this with my morning coffee, as a beach cover up over a bikini or rocked with a pair of cut off shorts and a t-shirt for the underwear as outerwear vibe.  I adore the spider web style lace which creates a relaxed and edgy vibe about the piece and the colour selected is beautiful.  It is bright but not in an in your face or offensive way - it's just right.  The flowing arms and relaxed fit just scream to me - let's go to the beach, this robe deserves some serious sunshine.  The Dream Girl Lace Robe from For Love & Lemons is available via the For Love & Lemons website in a one size option with a retail price of $162 U.S dollars approximately £96.47 sterling.  Let's all grab our Dream Girl Lace Robes and head to the beach!
Dream Girl Lace Robe from For Love & Lemons
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Dream Girl Lace Robe from For Love & Lemons
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Dream Girl Lace Robe from For Love & Lemons
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Now for the loungewear option of the Dream Girl Lace Robe, the look wouldn't be complete without the matching lingerie.  I give you the Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra - the brands best known piece and high up on the best seller list with celebrities covetting this piece on a regular basis.  It would look great as a loungewear look with the matching Cheeky Pant and Dream Girl Lace Robe but could also be worn with something high-waisted with a kimono or a leather jacket thrown over it.  The bra also looks super cute worn under a cropped t-shirt with the scalloped edges of the Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra peeking out the bottom - ultra cool.  This is definitely up high on my to-buy list and I would rock it under a crop top with my dungarees for a relaxed look with the option of adding heels for an evening look.  The Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra is available via the For Love & Lemons website in sizes XS, S, M and L at the retail price of $125.00 U.S dollars approximately £74.44 sterling.  The matching Cheeky Pant is also available from the For Love & Lemons website in sizes XS, S, M and L at the retail price of $63.00 U.S dollars approximately £37.52.

Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra from For Love & Lemons
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Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra from For Love & Lemons
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Bat Your Lashes Underwire Bra from For Love & Lemons
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Up next is the Little Lolita Bralette a gorgeous white/ivory scalloped edged bandeau-style bralette with delicate straps.  For me this is the ultimate piece for underwear as outerwear because it is not sheer over the bust area and covers more than just the bust so can easily be worn as a top without any double-takes.  I adore the scalloped edges in the crisp white colour which makes the sheer lace edges look even more beautiful and adds a delicate feel to the piece.  This would definitely be rocked with high-waisted jeans, Levi cut-offs for the beach or with dungarees with the top part hanging down over your legs for a relaxed and chilled vibe.  This Little Lolita Bralette is available via the For Love & Lemons website at the retail price of $74.00 U.S dollars approximately $44.07 and is available in sizes XS, S, M and L.
Little Lolita Bralette from For Love & Lemons
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Little Lolita Bralette from For Love & Lemons
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Little Lolita Bralette from For Love & Lemons
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Now this piece is a little bit daring - just a little.  The Basically Backless Bodysuit in Cobalt from For Love & Lemons is exactly that - backless.  I love backless pieces, there is something so alluring about showing the skin on your, something seductive but not as overly sexy and blatant as say a low cut top.  The colour is beautiful, it is strong and bright and would look great against all skin tones.  The full lace body is approriate for the underwear as outerwear post as the bust area is covered, it is not sheer so can happily be worn with dare I say - nipples sticking out!  That is definitely not the look we are going for here.  Of course this is a bodysuit so we will need to cover up our bottom half to rock this as outerwear - grab some boyfriend jeans or dungarees for a relaxed yet sultry cool look.  The Basically Bacless Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons is available via the For Love & Lemons website at the retail price of $103.00 U.S dollars approximately £61.31 and is available in sizes XS, S, M and L.

Basically Backless Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons
Image source here
Basically Backless Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons
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Basically Backless Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons
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While we are on the bodysuit tone, I have to show you the Boy Crazy Bodysuit (I know, how cool is that name right?) from For Love & Lemons.  This white panelled bodysuit covers in all the right places so this could be rocked tucked into some jeans (boyfriend style or dungarees for an ultra chic look) or dressed up for the evening with a pair of black cigarette trousers and a classic court shoe.  I really love the sheer panelling on this piece, it shows a little but not too much and the cut is very flattering.  The Boy Crazy Bodysuit is available via the For Love & Lemons website in sizes XS, S, M and L at the retail price of $135.00 U.S dollars approximately £80.36 sterling.
Boy Crazy Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons
Image source here
Boy Crazy Bodysuit from For Love & Lemons
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Another famous piece from For Love & Lemons is the Infamous Plunge Bra shown here in the colour Sorbet but also available in other colour ways throughout the seasons.  It is simple, no lace, no embroidery just a classic cut crop top that you can easily work it's way into your everyday wardrobe and loungewear attire.  The fabric is smooth and offers a sheen which makes it more than just a plain crop top.  It is low cut but not too low and the bralette shape offers versatility when it comes to wearing this piece as top.  That being said this is definitely a hot climate, on holiday or on the beach kind of piece.  Rock it with a floaty maxi skirt or some jeans for off-duty cool.  The Infamous Plunge Bra is available via the For Love & Lemons website and is available in sizes XS, S, M and L.  The piece retails for $63.00 U.S dollars approximately £37.52 sterling.
Infamous Plunge Bra in Sorbet from For Love & Lemons
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Infamous Plunge Bra in Sorbet from For Love & Lemons
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Infamous Plunge Bra in Sorbet from For Love & Lemons
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Infamous Plunge Bra from For Love & Lemons
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I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post and will continue to enjoy this series because I have some absolutely gorgeous brands to show you!  For Love & Lemons is a stylish, L.A. cool, fashion-forward brand that I just adore for their lingerie and ready-to-wear pieces.  I want to take this time to say a big well done to the founders of For Love & Lemons, Gillian Mahin and Laura Hall for creating such a strong brand image, ultra chic and beautiful products alongside the beautiful editorial images that feature on the website - you deserve every success in the future!

Come and follow me and keep up to date with my everyday antics over on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Bloglovin!

Speak soon,
Claire x

This post is not sponsored and I am not affiliated with For Love & Lemons in any way - I just love the brand!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Underwear as Outerwear: How to Rock it the 'Unpublished' Way

Frequent readers of the blog (new readers - hello and welcome!) will know of my constant reference and love affair with this look but I am yet to write a post about my thoughts on underwear-as-outerwear and my own personal spin on this fashion statement.  This post will illustrate when my love affair began and my influences including tips and tricks on how to rock this trend the 'unpublished' way e.g. not-walking-around-in-just-your-underwear!

First and foremost, I use the term 'trend' very loosely and simply to address that it is linked heavily with the fashion industry.  I don't really think of underwear-as-outerwear as a trend now (it possibly was when it first came into the headlines around 2008/09 - when I was far too young to appreciate it) instead I see it as a way to style outfits with a delicate nod to the appreciation of the female form and dare I say it feminism that has stuck around for so long now that the word 'trend' is becoming much more obsolete in relation.  Taking underwear-as-outerwear when read very literally alerts us to the fact that this look certainly has varying levels of 'daring' and simply put could be a disaster if pursued at the top degree of daring for everyday wear.  For me, the look is an opportunity to show a little hint of something through something sheer or to nod to the undertones of lingerie with a lace trimmed slip.  It is not (for me) walking around in your underwear and classing it as a fashion statement.  I actually think the beauty of this look is that it is discreet, it shows a little but still leaves room for some imagination and your dignity also.  I relish in the secretive nature of lingerie (hear me expanding on this in a previous post here) and this look is an opportunity to give a hint of what lies beneath in a very chic and demure fashion.  It is not only about lingerie or nightwear garments being on show but also lingerie inspired clothing.  I am talking the lace-trimmed lingerie slips that graced the rails of Zara for Autumn/Winter 2013 - it is clothing with lingerie connotations.  I really love this quote from Maria Williams, head of lingerie buying at Net-a-Porter which was featured in a FT article about underwear-as-outerwear: "What we're seeing is a breaking down of boundaries between ready-to-wear and intimates.  Ultimately, it's a trend that is about bringing the focus back to the woman's body" (FT.com, 2013).

So how would I break down the boundaries between ready-to-wear and lingerie?  Let me show you through my favourite underwear-as-outerwear images....

Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2007
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Christopher Kane:
Now, for me, this is where my love affair began with underwear-as-outerwear.  It may not have been dubbed to nod towards this look at the time but this catwalk show illustrated clearly how lingerie details could be openly used in ready-to-wear.  The lace trims, the strap detailing, body-con fit of all the dresses in the collection and the focus on the features of the female form all scream to me underwear-as-outerwear. This beautifully crafted dress (and all the dresses from this collection for that matter) from Christopher Kane's Spring/Summer 2007 debut collection will forever be an inspiration for me and a reference point as to the beginning of the underwear-as-outerwear look in the twenty first century.  This collection is important to me as it also marks my interest in high-end fashion and the fading boundaries between ready-to-wear and lingerie.

Layering to achieve underwear-as-outerwear
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Layering:
This is the next way to incorporate underwear-as-outerwear into your look.  Layering your nightwear pieces (not too sheer now) with outerwear pieces is a great way to rock this look as it is discreet and subtle.  What I love about the look above is that it is predominately casual but the hint of silk and lace at the bottom add such a fashionable and alluring detail taking the look from everyday to fashion-forward in a chic and feminine manner.

Zara Lingerie Slip Dress worn by Collage Vintage
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Now it does not need to be actual nightwear, it can be a lace trimmed slip (see image above), shorts or top you have picked up from a clothing store or a silk camisole - it is about taking inspiration from your lingerie pieces and adding them as details to your outerwear attire.

Sheer with Sparkles
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Sheer back - show a little something
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Dare to sheer.
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Sheer fabrics and gorgeous bras:
Now this is a little further up on the daring scale however if done correctly, this can be a fashion-forward statement without the look-at-my-breasts connotations.  First things first, the sheer layer should be chic and demure, preferably loose fitting to create a contrast between the feminine statement beneath and to allow a little imagination of course.  Secondly, the bra.  Now I do love me some lace cup bras but this is probably not the time or place for a bra that is so sheer that your nipples are showing.  Look at the examples above, the top image features a sparkly and a true statement piece but look at how the bra shape selected covers the entire bust as to make the focus about the beauty of the lingerie and not the here-are-my-breasts image that could be created if you select a bra that shows a little too much and no room for the imagination.  The image in the middle shows the back of the bra only, a discreet nod to the look that is subtly sexy - I really am a big fan of less is more especially regarding this fashion look.  The third image is definitely the most daring however note the boxy shape of the t-shirt that adds a masculine edge to the black, lacy soft cup bra that is worn below.  The key with a statement like this is to cover up the other areas so this is definitely not a look to team with a short skirt, it would be more of a pencil skirt, smart trousers or jeans type of look unless you are at a festival or other event which makes it more appropriate to wear a little less clothing than normal (thinks of all the Coachella images that have been filling my social media feeds all weekend).  The great thing about this look, be it daring or not, you get to show off your beautiful and sophisticated taste in lingerie!

Show a little leg....and lace
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Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2013
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Lace trim worn by Collage Vintage
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Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2013
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It's all in the details:
Lastly, it's all in the details.  Be it strapping detail, a bright pop of colour from your bra strap peeking out from under a top or a lace trim - the details make the difference.  I am such a fan of outerwear pieces that have strong connotations of lingerie garments illustrated clearly with my love of the Spring/Summer 2007 Christopher Kane collection.  I feel like it adds a sensuality and strong feminine yet powerful edge to clothing and is also at the same time ultra fashionable.  I love added details in my clothing and always try and add a little twist to my outfits, something that would catch the eye and make you think 'I wish I had thought of wearing it that way'.  And when the details reflect the thing I am so passionate about in this world - lingerie - well, I am just head over heels!

I hope you have enjoyed this fashion inspired post from me today.  Next week is going to be my hit list of places to shop to ace the underwear-as-outerwear trend so stay tuned!

Speak soon,
Claire x

p.s. keep up with my daily antics, posts and inspiration over on Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin and Pinterest!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fleur of England: Gorgeous Stripes and Sumptuous Silk - Let's Go to Brighton!

Well hello there my lingerie lovers!

I am going to make a suggestion today - let's go to Brighton! No I am not suddenly changing my subject matter to travel, I am my lovelies talking about the beautiful new Brighton collection from Fleur of England.  I spotted this gorgeous collection on Pinterest (if you don't follow me already on Pinterest click here) a few weeks ago through the Fleur of England Brighton board here and have not been able to stop thinking about it e.g. constantly checking the website to check if it was available yet and of course lusting over the beautiful images available via Pinterest until it was.  I resisted talking about it until now as there is nothing worse than reading a blog post about something that you actually want but don't know how much it costs, when it is going to be available and only have glimpses of the pieces available - that's not how I roll!  I need to give my readers details, lots and lots of lovely details and pictures (of course!)......

Brighton Silk Camisole and Lace Derriere Brief
Fleur of England
Brighton Silk Camisole and Lace Derriere Brief
Fleur of England
I know, it's beautiful right? Correction.  It is truly stunning!  I adore the print, the undeniably luxe feel and the versatile nature of the pieces in the collection (underwear as outwear my friends!).  The collection is described by Fleur of England as "quintessential British beach deck chair" (Fleur of England, 2014) which I just think is adorable and totally on point.  The lace detailing is French in a beautiful ivory hue with ivory and deliciously dark navy stripes printed on sumptuous yet at the same time comfortable silk-satin. This collection is luxury, like all of Fleur of England collections but the print and lace detailing of the Brighton collection just really makes my heart pound - I love how classic it is yet so current in today's trends and in lingerie terms it ticks all the right boxes - quality, fit and aesthetically pleasing in just a 'yes, yes, yes' way!  In the above photos the Brighton Silk Camisole and Lace Derriere Brief are shown.  The Brighton Silk Camisole retails at £140.00 on the Fleur of England website and is available in sizes Small (8-10), Medium (10-12) and Large (12-14).  This of course is a beautiful nightwear piece teamed with the brief shown or the matching trousers (see below) but imagine this with some sharp black tailored trousers and a classic white or black blazer, now we are talking!  Add a classic court shoe and I am just....speechless!  This is what I mean about versatile - who on earth is going to know that it is actually nightwear? And also who cares? I will wear my Fleur of England Brighton Camisole however I want!  Rant over.

The Brighton Lace Derriere Brief is also a delightful piece of the collection.  It's clear attention to detail adds to its smouldering appeal.  Just check out the lace panel at the back!  In a beautiful heart inspired shape to accentuate and flatter the derriere, it adds a touch of sexiness without being too obvious - it's all in the subtle details!  The brief retails at £69.00 from the Fleur of England website and is available in sizes Small (8-10), Medium (10-12) and Large (12-14).

Brighton Boudoir Bra
Fleur of England
Brighton Boudoir Bra and Silk Pyjama Trouser
Fleur of England
Brighton Boudoir Bra and Silk Pyjama Trouser
Fleur of England
So now it is time for the ultimate in bedtime luxury - the Brighton Boudoir Bra (I would totally rock this during the day too) and the Silk Pyjama Trouser.  This combination is just gorgeous - throw on over the Brighton Camisole too for the ultimate in luxury and a serious Fleur of England love-in!  The Brighton Boudoir Bra retails at £79.00 through the Fleur of England website and is available in sizes Small (32B/C 34A), Medium (34B/C 32D) and Large (36B/C 34D).  I adore the delicate yet subtly sexy lace triangle cups and the beautiful, luxurious silk printed stripe underband which fastens at the back with two silk covered buttons - a Fleur of England favourite!  The fine straps on this bra are also adjustable, allowing more or less room at the top of the cups for varying bust sizes in this non-wired design.  The Brighton Silk Pyjama Trouser retails at £280.00 and is available in sizes Small (8-10), Medium (10-12) and Large (12-14) through the Fleur of England website.  The classic print, luxurious fabric and fashionable cut of these trousers just make them so lust-worthy that I am seriously considering adding them to my Fleur of England basket as we speak!  Team this with the camisole for the ultimate in luxury nightwear - imagine slipping in to these after a long hard day - bliss!

Brighton Silk Balcony Bra and Lace Thong
Fleur of England
Last but by no means least is the beautiful Brighton Silk Balcony Bra and Lace Thong from the Fleur of England Brighton collection.  The Brighton Silk Balcony Bra speaks to me on so many levels: lace cups - check, classic striped print - check, wide silk straps - check, luxurious fabrics throughout - check, check and check again!  This is such a beautiful bra and at the same time supportive.  I adore lace cupped bras - regular readers will be well aware of this fact and in this light ivory hue - Fleur of England you have just done it again!  The Brighton Silk Balcony Bra retails at £90.50 on the Fleur of England website and is available in sizes 30D-F, 32B-F, 34B-E and 36B-D.  The matching thong retails at £55.00 and is available in sizes Small (8-10), Medium (10-12) and Large (12-14) also available through the Fleur of England website.

Overall this collection ticks all the right boxes for me.  First it is a full collection, two bra options, two pant options and a nightwear set - there is nothing better than falling head over heels for a print and realising that is available in both underwear and nightwear with lots of options in between (sorry bank balance!).  I adore the print, it is classic and chic in the most beautiful light ivory hue and deep navy with the most luxurious lace trimming and details.  I really appreciate the heavy use of luxurious fabrics which is always the case with Fleur of England but the combination of lace cupped bras, silk-satin material and fashionable cuts just takes this range right to the top of my wishlist!  Well done Fleur of England on such a beautifully crafted collection!

I am off to Brighton now!
Speak soon - Claire x

p.s. come and follow my daily antics over on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Bloglovin!

This post was not sponsored - I just love me some Fleur of England!

All images used in this post were taken from the Fleur of England website here.