Monthly Archives: April 2014


If, like us, you’re repeating the mantra “next year I will be at Coachella!” then you’re just gonna love this post. Why? Because not only are we taking a dip into our ultimate festival style icon’s wardrobe, Gillian Zinser, we’re giving you a hard hit of fashion that’ll mean you can steer clear of green-eyed Instagram sessions (well, for an hour or two at least!).

Now, you might have missed out on the celeb-fest #coolchella, but there’s line-ups a plenty in the UK that’ll knock your socks and sandals off! So, if you’re planning a field trip to Glasto or you’ve already got your V tickets in the bag you’re gonna need to think WWGD*

*What Would Gillian Do?

90210 fans amongst you will have spotted that we’re talking about Ivy Sullivan, the bohemian babe who ditches clutch bags for surfboards and always has perfect beach locks that are almost impossible to copy no matter how much sea salt spray we spritz! The good news is, her laid-back Cali-cool style isn’t as difficult to emulate. Here’s how to get in style’s Ivy league…

First up, you need a pair of denim shorts – this is NOT optional! One style can look a bit samey-samey so channel free-spirited vibes right from the off by switching between high-waisted vintage and cheeky jean shorts (just not Cheeky Girl cheeky!). One of the reasons we crush so much on hippie Queen G is because she always manages to make make masculin feminin look effortless – and even the toughest of accessories look pretty! So, copycat that by pairing your shorties with tight-fitting band tees, ‘don’t speak’ slogans and oversized tops before introducing kimonos, hats and stacks of bright bangles and beads. Now for the beauty buzz…

Featured: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, Illamasqua Lipstick ‘Over’, NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder ‘Blonde’.

After a good squirt of mousse, try wrapping your hair around our Babyliss Boutique Soft Waves Wand for instant shaggy-chic locks that don’t look too prim. Then, backcomb your roots slightly to add a little va-va-! It may look slightly undone, but you could sweep always it up into a messy topbun if your curls drop out.

We all know that looking ‘au natural’ doesn’t come, well, natural (except to a lucky few!) so prep your skin with a little bronze glow then add pout-enhancing coral and a slick of powder to define your eyebrows.

Peace out x

Rio Gio graphics by Stephen Murray.

Celeb Style Steal: Get The Hottest Coachella Festival Fashion

Coachella is the first festival of the year and it set a high standard for every other festival coming up, didn’t it? There were tons of celebs walking round, there were big name acts on stage and the weather was so good, which meant that everyone could dress for fashion instead of comfort. Now I know you can’t guarantee the weather will be as good at the festival you’re going to – especially if you’re going to one in the UK – but the key to looking good at any festival is layering. At Coachella they only needed one layer but no matter what festival you’re heading to you can copy the base layer and add a jacket and boots to it if needs be.

Looking at the photos of everyone having a good time made me so excited about this summer of live music coming up! And it also gave me a few ideas about for my festival packing. My top three ideas are:

(1) Bold and bright like Beyonce and Solange Knowles

A festival is a celebration of all things summery so I really like how Beyonce and Solange express their bright, happy moods through their clothes. For printed dresses like Mrs Carter check out the Definitions check blossom print dress or the Resort strappy dress, and for a fiery colour like Solange, I love the Definitions crepe tunic dress.

(2) Denim shorts like Kendall Jenner and Vanessa Hudgens

I think denim shorts are essential for a festival because they’re good if its sunny (as you get a tan) and good if its rainy (as nobody wants wet trousers sticking to their legs). I like the Love Label denim shorts at Very.

(3) A leather jacket like Katy Perry and Poppy Delevigne

No matter how sunny it was in the day, there’s normally going to be a chill at night. A leather jacket works with hotpants (a la Poppy Delevigne) or over a dress (a la chart-topper Katy Perry). It’s versatile and it makes you look cooler than a pack-a-mac – what’s not to like? Poppy is actually wearing a jacket you can get from Very – the Superdy tassel leather biker jacket. Nice!

Are you going to a festival this year? Start planning the outfits now because the time will be here before you know it.

Love Zoex

PS For more fashion and celebrity gossip check out my celebrity lifestyle blog Live Like a VIP

Coachella Style Queens

The festi season has kicked off and the mecca for all the fashionable folk is Coachella, home of the immaculately dressed and beautiful. This seasons exceptional line up included some notable ladies who, aside from possessing supreme musical skills, are also pretty good at rustling up a mega-watt stage outfit – so with no further ado here’s our countdown of Coachella style royalty (and you can even snaffle a bit of their style for yourselves with my copy-cats from our new collection).


First up are the hippy dippy Haim sisters, who seem to be going their own way with a mix of cool laid back cali rock vibes. Normally seen in luxe leather jackets, killer kicks and suitably distressed vintage tees, this refreshing break-out look on Alana Haim ticked a major trend box with an almost sporty vibe.  The peek-a-boo red bra gives it a little edge and THOSE shorts! Definitely a brave move as they are insy-winsy to say the least, but when in California and all that! If you fancy copying this look then opt for this mesh crop top from the Kardashian Kollection – whether you dare to bare in the shorts is up to you! (Photo credit Alana Haim –



Next up is the completely gorgeous Solange Knowles who was joined on stage by her mega famous sibling – three guesses! She had us at this amazing orange outfit (often her colour of choice, we do like a girl who knows her own style) and we love the single minded simplicity of the look.  Normally she’s a mash-up minx with an unnerving ability to blend prints and accessories but this outfit is one of our favourites so far – we doff our caps!  If you fancy your own little orange crush then try out these Kimberley Walsh pleated shorts as a little nod to the look. (Photo credit Solange Knowles –


Ethereal pop princess Lorde made her desert debut in a crop top and flowing white trousers – and, of course, her signature dark lip.  This is another simple outfit choice, none of your flamboyant rock chick boho here thanks very much!  Crop tops are having a major moment right now (though admittedly they’re not for everyone) and we think this is the best way to wear them, with something a little looser to detract from the sportiness and give your outfit a luxe edge.  Try wearing this Kardashian Kollection white crop top to emulate the look and don’t forget the finishing touch – the purple lipstick! (Photo credit Lorde –

Lana Del Rey always surprises with her outfit choices, and we did not expect this shock of colour – we love the slightly 70’s feel to this dress and also the fact that she’s kept the rest of the look very simple.  Even her make-up is pared back and we’re loving the natural (albeit very sleek) hair.  If you look closely though she’s also sporting some major red nails, wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of those, ouch!  If you fancy rocking a bright floral then we’ve got a treasure trove lined up right now – our favourite has to be this Ditsy Floral Skater Dress from Oasis, it’s definitely got the LDR vibes going on, just add some chunky wooden bangles and you’re away! (Photo credit Lana Del Rey –

The last songstress in our line up is the enchanting Ellie Goulding – she’s fully embraced the rock chick vibe here in a ferocious leather outfit worn with trainers – go Ellie, flying the flag for us Brits!  This look is a million miles away from what we’d normally expect, but she pulls it off 100%, and she’s kept the rest of her look really fresh and undone and those beachy blonde locks are just amazing (more than a bit jealous!).  While you might not be quite ready to brave this particular look, you can always work a pair of shorts with something a bit less eye-popping – these luxe crocodile print shorts from French Connection are a good place to start, they’ve got loads of dress up and down potential! (Photo credit Ellie Goulding –

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little Coachella on-stage sneak peek – see you soon with more style inspiration!  x

Graphic Design by Stephen Murray

Introducing the Samsung F6320 Smart Full HD 3D LED TV

Are you ready for football fever? With the world cup only around the corner, Samsung presents the F6320 Smart Full HD 3D LED TV available in 40″ and 46″ the Samsung F6320 gives you a huge choice of viewing through the Smart Hub so you to enjoy a summer of sports.

Or would you prefer Britain’s Got Talent or catching up on the soaps? The new built in Smart technology searches through all available content including integrated catch-up services like ITV Player and BBC iPlayer, 4OD & Demand 5 – so you’ll never miss out on your fave show! The S Recommendation delivers something new every time you switch on your TV and keeps you up to date with all your shows!

You can also enjoy smarter connectivity too; the  Samsung F6320 let’s you stream and share music, photos, movies and other multimedia directly to your TV and even access content stored on the Cloud with Allshare Play so even if the weather is not up to scratch your TV can keep you entertained all day.

Shop the must have F6320 Smart Full HD 3D LED TV now and don’t forget Samsung have an array of gadgets for summer from sound systems to the latest laptops!

To shop the full Samsung range now click here.

Awesome Ombre!

Ombre hair is here to stay – which is very good news for people like me who are currently sporting the look! If you’re tempted to try and are considering doing it at home then stop umming and ahhing and just do it! It’s a great way to experiment without having to take the plunge of a full head colour, plus it’s the perfect look for the summer months. Before you dash off to grab the home hair dye read through this blog of top tips for getting gorgeous results, along with my personal recommendations to keep your locks looking fabulous!

Dip dying used to be the reserve of hairdressers – and those brave enough to experiment at home – however thanks to the lovely people at L’Oreal you can now go ombre without any hassle. If you’ve got lighter hair then L’Oreal, and myself, recommend that you go for a white blonde finish. If your locks are a darker brown then the warmer, more coppery tones are ideal. There’s a dye for each shade so you don’t have to spend ages mixing up batches and praying you’ve got the right formula either!


The kit comes with a handy brush, so you simply apply the dye and then run it through your hair. Obviously it’s your call on how high you go, but a good rule of thumb is to move from your jawline down, then bring a few streaks a little higher around your face. Once you’ve washed it out you can always apply more higher up and go full on Kim Kardashian or just opt for the ends a lá Leah Michelle. The comb separates your hair so you don’t have to worry about fading the dye gradually either, it just naturally creates a textured look without an annoying block colour effect. Wash it out, apply the conditioner, give it a quick blow dry and ouilla! Instant summer style.

So what now? Well now you’ve achieved the perfect look the onus is on maintaining your super shiny locks. Obviously dying hair can take its toll on our tresses, so try to deep condition it every few weeks (I just cover my dry hair with conditioner, leave it for a few hours and then wash as normal). To keep your blonde from going brassy, try a lilac shampoo with a touch of silver – like this one! Leave the conditioner in for around ten minutes in the shower before washing it out. It’s also fine to use across all of your hair, not just on the lighter sections, although try to avoid conditioning your roots as it can make hair a bit limp.

Now for the fun party – styling! Dip dye and casual waves go hand in hand to create instant beachside chic – did anyone say surf’s up?! Use your straighteners to create curls and then brush them through with a comb. You can also use a textured spray to add to the bed head effect.

For a more sophisticated finish go super sleek – perfect to show off the different shades – while a great daytime style is a fishtail plait to the side for an effortlessly cool finish.

So what are you waiting for?! Go get your ombre on!

Love Aimee x

P.s I also blog about my life as an Honorary Scouse, have a spy!

Images by Sara Yates (@Sara_Very)


Hands up if you’ve ever hair-brush sang to a bit of En Vogue? Too right! The 90’s was a treasure trove of R&B divas from TLC to Mary J Blige and with the 90’s suddenly swinging back into style focus with crop tops and sportswear galore I thought I’d give you a little fashion flashback for inspiration!

The TLC girls were the queens of co-ordinated dressing, and they sure knew how to rock a crop – the new mood for 2014 is a bit more understated but with a definite nod to this era.  Check out our pick of the crop tops here.  Sport inspired outfits are a HUGE trend right now, it’s moved right out the gym and onto the catwalks – one of the key elements to this is mesh detail, as seen on the Lacoste SS14 catwalks.  This is an easy way to give your everyday look (yes, even workwear) a sports inspired twist.

This look may be a bit extreme, but we’ve got a mesh insert dress from the amazing Definitions collection that gives you a short-cut to the trend without exposing too much flesh, and the Kardashian sisters have got in on the act with an amazingly 90’s mesh detail cropped top with matching skirt – we’re lovin’ it!

You can find a whole world of sports inspired treats on our trend pages – just click here to jump straight to it!

No R&B tribute would be complete without a reference to Aaliyah – beautiful, inspiring and taken too soon, her ability to look good in anything and unique tomboy style has been emulated over and over again since her untimely death. She often went for a feminine top and boyish bottom half, and her mischievous mash up of styles gave her a unique look that was effortless – like this too-amazing monochrome stage outfit .  Mono is one of the biggest trends this season and once again the catwalks were full of little nods to the nineties with unexpected twists, like this logo top worn with a statement skirt from Fyodor Golan, or this celeb-favourite top from Alexander Wang.


Get your own little quirky version of the mono trend with this smiley heart oversized knit from the Love Label Collection, wear with skinny leggings or sport inspired crepe trousers and finish with black and white geo print slippers or these YRU wedge shoes – add a slick of tomato red lipstick if you want to break it up a bit, and if you literally want it top to toe add this animal print paper trilby or a fedora (another 90’s R&B staple).

The last style star to inspire your 90’s look has got to be Mariah Carey – the ultimate diva with the biggest set of lungs on the planet and a penchant for figure fitting slip dresses (then and now), her look also cropped up on the catwalks with a plethora of spaghetti slip dresses on the catwalks. Easy to wear and easily the most feminine look to come out of the 1990s – Marni, Max Mara, Dolce & Gabanna and Roberto Cavalli all did their own take for SS14.

Hope you enjoyed this little 90’s moment – go and whack on ‘Vision of Love’ and remind yourself just how amazing these ladies were! See you soon with some more music to live your style by – next up, the one and only Stevie Nicks so lace and paper flowers at the ready! x

Graphic Design by Sasha L King


Photography credits:


Aaliyah –

Mariah Carey –

Lacoste Spring 2014 –

Dolce & Gabbana –

Fyodor Golan –

Alexander Wang –

5 Must-have Maxi Dresses for summer from

Summer is quickly creeping upon us, soon we will be relaxing in the sun and enjoying ice cold drinks outside. currently has some really beautiful maxi dresses in at the moment, as there tends to be a lot going on in the summer I have picked out my five must-have maxi dresses for summer, for different occasions and events.

Casual daywear

This racer back maxi dress looks great on anyone and comes in five different colours for you to choose from. It is great as casual daywear as it is light and can easily be accessorised to suit your style. I think it would look great with some sandals and an oversized summer hat.


This beautiful embellished maxi dress would be perfect for the evening, whether it’s going out for a meal or going out for a few drinks, this would be perfect! It has such a glamorous  feel to it and would look lovely with some heels, silver jewellery and a silver clutch to finish off the look.


The summer is the most popular time for weddings. The pleats on this maxi dress add elegance and are effortlessly chic. As there are so many different colours in the dress you can choose any for your accessories, just add some heels and a clutch of your choice to complete the look.


Vibrant colours look amazing on holiday with a glowing tan. What I love about this floral print maxi dress is that during the day it can be worn with sandals for a more casual look, but can also be paired with some wedges to dress is up for a casual meal in the evening.


When going to the beach, sheer maxi dresses are a must for me. This dress is very lightweight, sheer and floaty so can be easily worn over swimwear. It also goes in at the waist to show off your curves so would look flattering on anyone.

Overall, there are many different maxi dresses in stock to suit any occasion this summer for any body shape.

Find out more about Rebecca’s style inspirations on her lovely blog


Do you live in black and white or colour?

A bit like creating your wardrobe, when it comes to accessorising your home, chances are you either favour a blend of sophisticated monochrome and neutrals, or an invigorating burst of colour. At Very HQ, we like a bit of both so, whatever your home style, we can talk you through how to get it!

Black & White

If your home style is suave, sophisticated and smart (just like you, obviously!) then you’ll probably like a monochrome room, softened with shades of grey, taupe and dusky pink.

Make the most of classic style with crisp white bedding teamed with a soft grey throw and update the look with a cool tripod lamp. Imagine lazy Sunday mornings reading a fashion mag or your favourite book in bed (perhaps while the boy makes breakfast!).

Of course, sophisticated doesn’t mean boring. It’s so easy to  give this look a quirky twist with iconic Abbey Road and Oxford Street framed bus blinds or a vintage typographical canvas. Accessorising the look this way means you have a classic look that stays on trend.


Perhaps your home is more about fun colours and a relaxed atmosphere for a thoroughly modern, vivid look that suits your outgoing style and personality. Orange is the perfect colour to do this with – it’s easier to co-ordinate than you think and it looks stunning teamed with reds, black and hints of green.

Think cushions, cushions and more cushions to give your living room a summery makeover. Mix plain rusty oranges with bold patterns and throw in a boudoir cushion to create layers of texture. This look is all about relaxing with your girlfriends over a glass of wine and some tapas. It’s bright and stylish, yes, but soft and comfy too.

You can pick up the colour with your accessories too. Lamps, vases, baskets and throws are a quick and easy way to update an otherwise neutral room and to get a stunning, exotic look.

Both these styles work well on a neutral base so if you have a slightly dull room that’s yet to find it’s personality, you just need to decide whether you’re a black and white or colour girl and go for it. Although deciding will be the hardest part!

Love Sarah x

PS. I blog about my favourite books over at Sarah’s Adventures in Literature Land if you fancy it!

Banner designed by Sara Yates (@Sara_Very).


***Competition now closed – Thank you for entering*** Treating yourself to a new PC? You’ll find your Perfect Match with’s latest range of HP computers.

Whether you’re after a device that’ll make you feel like you’re at the cinema when streaming films, a high-quality all-rounder, the best specs or simply just something that can slip into your handbag, there’s something for everyone.

Now the really great news – we’ve teamed up with our friends at HP to give four amazing PCs away! Want to know more about them and how to win? Read on!

If you’re all about music and movies, we’ve bagged a stunning HP Recline Beats™ to give away – its full HD resolution means you’ll be streaming the latest blockbusters in breathtaking quality – who needs the cinema when you’ve got this in the comfort of your own home? Plus, integrated Beats Audio™ means the sound quality is amazing too, perfect for pumping up the bass line of the latest chart toppers.

But if you’re the type of girl that’s always on the move, how about winning a HP Split X2? It transforms from a laptop into a tablet with just one click, meaning you can catch up with emails, browse through photos and check Facebook while on the go. It also comes with two batteries so you don’t have to worry about running out of power!

If impressive power and performance are at the top of your list, the HP Envy would be the perfect prize – it has an inbuilt LeapMotion™ sensor, making the traditional mouse a gadget of the past as waving your hands controls this device’s desktop!

Finally, you could be in with a chance of winning an awesome all-rounder – the HP Pavilion.

This device ticks every box. Its Intel® Core™ i3 processor provides enough power to take on anything, the integrated HD webcam means that catching up with friends face to face has never been easier and its sleek casing is one of the best designs we’ve seen.

Find your Perfect Match today and watch our brand new videos by clicking here:

To #WIN one of the above – simply comment below and tell us which would be your perfect match and why?

Good Luck!

Kate x


1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.

2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment answering the question.

3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midnight 3rd May 2014.

4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed.

5. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.

6. The draw will be made by random selection from all valid entries before midnight on 10.05.14. Prizes available in the prize draw: 

1x HP Envy Recline – 444EY
1x HP Pavilion 15 – 3YGX6
1x HP Pavilion x2 – 3TH4T
1x HP Envy 17- 3YYRR

There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.

8. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.

9. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.

10. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328

11. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household.

Countdown to Rio…!

Football fever is beginning to grip us at Very HQ as the build up to kick off on June 12th starts to gain momentum!

We’ve got shirts for him, her, and even your little footy fan to get you in the mood for what’s set to be one of the greatest carnivals the world has ever seen! So whether you’re looking for some pointers or just want to spark up a debate down the pub; here’s our rundown of the team’s to watch out for in Rio…


One of the favourites to get their hands on the trophy this summer, Argentina are on South American turf and head to the tournament with Lionel Messi, arguably the world’s greatest player, within their ranks. With a resilient defensive and midfield axis, they’ll be hoping the explosion of pace and power from their forwards will spoil the party on enemy territory.

Very Verdict – No problems regarding the climate and with the quality in their armoury they won’t have a better opportunity to take home the top prize. Finalists.



The host nation will be hoping that they’ll be dancing to the samba beat as champions on July 13th. Weight lies heavily on global superstar Neymar’s shoulders, but the fanatical home support should ensure a safe passage through to the knockout stages.

Very Verdict – With five stars already on their chest, the nation expects. One of the favourites, its their lack of a consistent goal threat that is likely to haunt them. Semi-finalists.



Okay, there aren’t many of us that truly believe we can go all the way but there’s never any harm in showing support before the tournaments even started. Roy Hodgson and his boys haven’t set the world alight with their tactical approach recently but with a solid defensive unit and a fountain of youth waiting in the wings, you never know…

Very Verdict – Minimal chance of bringing back the trophy but we do have players who can make a difference. Getting out of the group stage would be measured as relative success.



It took a monumental comeback in the playoff against Ukraine to ensure the French booked their flight tickets to Brazil. Now they’re set for destination Rio, they’re not being touted as serious contenders, yet they still have the capacity to be dangerous. Could they summon the spirit of ’98 or is it going to be another dismal display from Les Blues?

Very VerdictWith a team of ageing mainstays, erratic superstars and untried performers, its doubtful France will prove to be anything more than quarter-finalists.



Oh not these again! Germany sailed through qualifying scoring an impressive 36 goals and look like one of the nations to watch in Brazil. Powerful, technically gifted and mentally strong, you could never rule them out, even when they weren’t any good! These days they’re packed to the rafters with talent and have the potential to be the first European winners on foreign soil.

Very VerdictDrawn in a tough group, once they navigate their way through the knockout stages it would be brash to write them off. Just remember, they are Germany!



Tournament specialists, Italy is a nation that always cause problems. Beaten European finalists in 2012, they’ve licked their wounds and are back on the big stage. With the unpredictable Mario Ballotelli fronting the attack, it’s guaranteed there’ll be fireworks. Consistently mean in defence and with a clear understanding of how knockout football works, it would be a scandal to dismiss them as potential winners.

Very VerdictGoing by their past performances, Italy certainly know how to win. However, this time theyre a team in the middle of transition. Quarter-finalists.



The Dutch crop come into the tournament a little unfancied for once. A nation packed with talent, they’re normally branded as dark horses for the trophy before a falling out in-camp. This time they have a real reliance on youth, especially at the back, and will need Robin Van Persie firing on all cylinders if they want to manoeuvre their way through the group stage.

Very VerdictQuestionable. Drawn in a difficult group, its unlikely the sea of  “Oranje” will even be around for the knockout stages.



Another unimpressive qualifying performance by the Portuguese but they do have the 2014 Ballon d’Or winner within their armoury. If he’s at his irresistible best, which he usually is – anything can happen. Cristiano Ronaldo is in his prime and thrilled as Portugal made it through the playoffs. His swagger on the pitch is enough to put the frighteners on defenders, even before the ball’s at his feet.

 Very VerdictStrong defensively but in reality if Portugal want to make it past the quarter final stage, they need the main man to step up on the biggest stage. All on CR7.



With a chance to become consecutive winners, the champions are back to defend their title. The dominance of the great Barcelona and tiki-taka passing might be on the wane, but they’re still brilliant and another win would confirm their place as the greatest generation of players of all time. And having the Brazilian-born Diego Costa up front, the foundations are set for the perfect fairy tale ending.

Very Verdict – Surely not again? The trademark sharp passing and interplay seems to no longer hold the key to dominance with the core of the team no longer at their peak. Semi-finalists.


All these football shirts are now available to buy on Very, so cop your favourite and gear up for the party in Rio


See ya!


Disclaimer – England images courtesy of Nike, Banner by Sara Yates (@Sara_Very)

Nautical but VERY Nice

Nautical chic is a look that comes back year after year, when days get longer and clothing layers are shed. When talking of nautical-inspired fashion, undoubtedly the first thing that springs to mind is the ubiquitous Breton top. A fashion no-brainer, the Breton is the perfect pick to pull on for a look that’s effortlessly cool when those panic inducing “what to wear” moments arise.

Traditionally known in France as “le matelot” or “la marinière”, the striped top in navy blue and white is a style staple during the warm weather months.

Not initially intended as a style statement, the Marinière was part of the French Naval uniform after a law passed in March 1858 declared that all mariners should wear a striped, white and blue top so that they could be easily spotted should they slip into the sea. The top was to have 21 stripes – one for each of Napoleon’s victories.

Coco Chanel wore her Marinière with belted wide leg trousers for a chic, fuss free and functional look.

It wasn’t until 1917 after Coco Chanel, a young avant-garde designer added the Marinière to her nautical collection that the Breton top became à la mode. Chanel, inspired by the fishermen and sailors of Deauville -the fashionable seaside town where she held her boutique – wanted to give womenswear a functional, borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic in opposition to the trussed up, bodiced fashions of the time.

Following Coco’s collection sailor-inspired chic made a big splash in the world of fashion where it has remained anchored firmly in place ever since. The traditional Breton top showed it’s staying power and versatility as it evolved into dresses, two piece suits, tunics, blazers and naval-style jackets.

When sporting stripes look to les Françaises for their nonchalant Gallic way of taking on the trend – think Brigitte Bardot reclining on the beach in Cannes, an insouciant Françoise Hardy leaning against a column in Italy decked out in a matching striped skirt and top, Jean Seberg in A Bout de Souffle, Vanessa Paradis or Emmanuelle Alt. This side of the Channel, Francophile Jane Birkin, Kate Moss and Marinière maven Alexa Chung also look effortlessly shipshape in stripy style.

Françoise Hardy

Françoise Hardy – Not one to play it safe Françoise took the breton to new lengths wearing it top to toe in dresses and matching skirts and tops. To get Françoise’s look wear your Breton under a distressed leather jacket for a dose of attitude or slip on a trench coat for cool Parisian chic. Oversized white shades will give your style that extra Françoise finesse.

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin – Rarely spotted sans her wicker wear basket, francophile Jane earned her stripes wearing her Breton top with denim, understated white linen trousers or chic navy capri pants. Make like Jane and wear your Marinière with patchwork denim jeans and navy or red espadrilles – don’t forget your basket (which Jane wore with every ensemble as her bag of choice) for that final touch of  “je ne sais quoi”.

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot – Never far from the French Riviera, BB is the ultimate poster girl for Riviera-chic. Be inspired by Bardot and pair your Breton with cropped trousers in red or navy. If you’re more of a landlubber at heart don your breton with cropped jeans and BB’s shoe of choice – a Repetto style ballet pump.

The main things to remember when setting sail on your sailor-inspired sartorial adventure are colour palette and not to go overboard (geddit?) on the theme. Keep your palette navy, red and white and make sure that your look is pared back for a sleek and effortless aesthetic –  each outfit should feature just one nautical inspired piece for a look that’s cool rather than caricature-esque!

Have fun trying out your stripy style and see you in St Tropez!

Love Lauren x