Women

Women

It’s hard to believe the newest lady in my life has already been in the world five months. Life with Lucille so far has entailed endless nappy changes, crying, cuddles, rocking, bouncing, lots of firsts, lots of questions and not a lot of answers. At times I feel my heart is going to explode with happiness and all the other times it feels like my head will explode with the ‘what ifs?’.

It really is amazing to watch Lucille develop. I describe it as one of those beautifully shot David Attenborough films. Every day there is something new. A new movement, a new discovery, a new expression. And then there are some expressions that I recognise. A cheeky glance, a smile, an inquisitive stare and even an evil eye! For someone I’m still getting to know, this familiarity can catch me off guard and I can’t help think of how lucky she is to have these characteristics but even more so, how important it is for her to know who gave them to her.

Before Lucille had even arrived I was astounded at the kindness, generosity and love shown to me and her by the incredible women around me. I often think of how these women will fit into Lucille’s life and how it is my responsibility to ensure that they have a role. I’m determined for her  to be surrounded by intelligence, empathy, humor and strength. By women who will support, encourage and challenge her. I need her to see that these are not exceptional women; they are simply women and I’m very fortunate to know them.

But what about the women who have left us, who I see in her daily? How will she know what they gave her? My mind has gone back to a piece I wrote some two years ago for a jewellery company, Song of Jewellery. A lot has happened since I wrote that piece. Just as I had to say goodbye to more amazing women, I said hello to another. I’m sharing this piece again as this is just one example of memories I will share with Lucille. Memories of women that will become familiar to her, even if through my eyes. If she has their qualities she sure is going to know who she got them from!

Wonderful Woman, Wonderful Jewellery

It’s hard to start this piece about my late Nonna’s earrings without saying ‘I feel she is with me when I wear them’. For someone who is not religious or spiritual, I find this statement conflicting yet true.

I inherited many things from my Nonna, that’s grandmother in italian. Her generosity, stubbornness, I’d like to say her charm, her love for cooking, her plastic turquoise powder container and her earrings. A woman so influential on my life that I am spoilt with endless memories of her. Memories of time spent with her, watching, listening, laughing, at times disagreeing with her ways and her with mine.

Life has moved on and I have taken a path that means I am now living away from my family. Physical reminders of Nonna are limited and my memories are even more precious. Her earrings, a pair of small diamonds encased by gold that fall just below my earlobe ignite such love and longing it at times can be overwhelming. I close my eyes and see her wearing them, standing in the kitchen, preparing a meal fit for royalty and in her mind, that’s what her family was. I can see her smile as I arrive to her house and hear her voice calling my name in her own inimitable way. She would ask if I’ve eaten and in the space of our usual greeting of hugs and kisses, the coffee was on and I was going to be fed whether I was hungry or not.

Just five months ago I married my Irish love in New York. Just the two of us on an adventure which has been the nature of our entire relationship. Even though it was just the two of us, we had reminders of our loved ones including Nonna. Before any decisions were made for such a momentous day I knew I would be wearing her earrings, regardless of what the rest of my outfit looked like. I did wear them and they were perfect.

As precious as these earrings are I don’t just save them for special occasions. I wear them often because I want to share their beauty and hers with anyone who asks, ‘Your earrings are gorgeous! Where did you get them from?’

xo

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Would You?

Would You?

Sustainable fashion, slow fashion, recycled fashion, repurposed fashion, upcycled fashion; all terms that have been at the forefront of my mind lately. I’ve spoken about this topic many times before so please bear with me while I explain why I’m talking about it again now. Before I do that from here on in I’m going to pile all those terms together under the umbrella of ‘slow fashion’ as anything that contributes to slowing down production, reducing waste, improving conditions to workers and consumers to me is slow fashion. Ok so last year I was having a crisis of inspiration. If you need a reminder read about it here. This lead to an unexpected personal shopping ban and despite my love for shopping, surprisingly I managed well. Then came pregnancy, during which I relied heavily on hand-me-downs, charity shops and borrowing clothes. Again if you need a reminder click here. Now post-pregnancy and breastfeeding I find I’m in a similar position. Some clothes in my wardrobe either don’t fit or are not breastfeeding friendly and I have no intention of spending money on clothes that are not going to be permanent features in my wardrobe, so I continue to look and not buy. I’ve bought the odd thing of course but my shopping habit continues to be somewhat subdued and I’m rather happy about it. Continue reading

Time’s Up

Golden Globes 2018

TIME’S UP

 My wrap up of the 2018 Golden Globes is going to be a bit different this year because they were different. If you saw or read anything about the night you would have realised that the night was like no other. This year the TIME’S UP campaign took over and for very good reason.

If you haven’t heard about the TIME’S UP campaign you should take a look. You can read all the details here. In a nutshell, given recent events in Hollywood a gang of women are doing something about the inequality that women face in the work place.  What does all this have to do with the Golden Globes? Well as part of the campaign, in a show of solidarity, women graced the red carpet in black attire. Continue reading

Maternity Fashion

lovetomtom

 and a maternity wardrobe

I started writing this post months ago and haven’t been able to finish it because well, things change so quickly during pregnancy, so honestly it’s been hard to keep up! I’m entering another phase now (that’s code for getting bigger) and while I feel like I’ve been wearing the same clothes for weeks now I’m going to share what I’ve learned about trying to dress my bump before it changes again.

When I first found out I was pregnant there were of course a million things running through my mind and one was, how was I going to dress like me with a bump? I started looking at maternity clothes and decided I was having none of it! I turned to Pinterest and felt a little reassurance in other people’s creativity and I was able to develop an image of how I was going to style myself during pregnancy. Are you laughing already? I now laugh at myself as you can probably guess that things didn’t go to plan. The other thing that didn’t go to plan was that I wanted to capture my ever-changing body and style with some beautiful photography but life has moved so quickly that you will have to put up with some less artistic selfies.

I made a few mistakes early on that have had a big impact on how I felt during the first few months. Normally, when I shop, I treat every piece like an investment but being pregnant meant it became the complete opposite. I couldn’t get my head around this and it didn’t seem financially sensible or practical to buy clothes that I would only be wearing for a few months or even a few weeks! As a result I didn’t buy any clothes. I persisted with what I had, squeezing (literally) into my existing wardrobe, leaving buttons open with the help of a DIY hairband-come-expander. Most days I was uncomfortable and very conscious that my options were getting fewer by the day. What I should have done, and this was my first mistake, was to buy a few basics such as leggings and vests. This would have allowed me to be more comfortable and get more wear out of a number of items already in my wardrobe. Lesson learnt.

By the time my bump was an actual bump and not just the result of a carbohydrate-fuelled meal I was a little more relaxed and happy to show it off. Like my ‘buy as an investment rule’, I had to reverse how I normally dress as my body shape was completely different. My waist had vanished so no more high-waisted skirts and I found that figure hugging clothes created a nicer silhouette in comparison to something a little looser which I was more comfortable with. This is where some basics came in handy. A decent pair of maternity jeans are a must, however I would suggest buying these once your bump is established. Any earlier and they just won’t make sense. I also bought some stretchy bodycon type maternity dresses (H&M, Lidl and New Look) which I have gotten the most wear out of as they have stretched with me. I initially wore them on their own and now in the cooler weather I layer up with leggings and cardigans.

Other pieces that have been huge fashion-savers have been some outer wear. If you can get your hands on a blazer, do so. I was fortunate enough to be given a black blazer with silk trim and it has worked wonders to give the illusion of a figure. Similarly I got my hands on a maternity coat in my local charity shop that is double-breasted and warm with a lovely exaggerated collar that doubles as a hood. It’s not waterproof or even anything I would buy if I wasn’t pregnant but it does the job.

People had suggested buying a size or two up and for some things this worked but for the majority of the time I found there was room for the bump but too much material everywhere else. I did buy some non-maternity items that have been useful in my maternity wardrobe that I will be able to wear once bubs is here. A few dresses and some plain stretch long sleeve tops that act as a base under blazers have been practical and also give way for a bit of fun. This blazer I mentioned earlier is great with a tee and one I wear often as I can mix things up with shoes and accessories. Speaking of which in an attempt to recreate my wardrobe I have relied heavily on existing accessories and some of my favourite pairs of shoes. At least these for the most part are non-pregnancy related and help me feel like my style hasn’t completely vanished.

Just when I was feeling on top of things, my body has changed again and so too has my wardrobe. When talking to other women, I get the sense we are lucky that maternity fashion is now a ‘thing’ and more stores are jumping on board. But not enough. Imagine, there are only four reasonably priced brands available to you and each brand has the mentality that all women look the same and wear the same clothes. For me that sums up maternity fashion. I’m looking to brands that I would never normally buy and none of my shopping decisions have been based on style or quality, mainly price. That is no way to shop. Thank goodness for charity shops and people’s generosity. I have been given some great pieces and I look forward to returning the favour when I’m done with them.

No doubt things are going to change again and again in the last ten weeks. I have a sense that the ‘loungewear’ part of my wardrobe is going to be worn more and more.

If you are pregnant and want a few more specific tips please get in touch as I have a lot more to say on the topic. Even if you aren’t pregnant and want to revise your wardrobe or need some styling for a particular event you can contact me at lovetomtom@outlook.com.

xo

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Paris is always a good idea but even more so when there is the chance to see the works of Christian Dior in person. The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs was the central focus to my last visit to Paris and I’m going to say it straight out; if you have any interest in fashion and art go and see this exhibition! Continue reading

Shopping for a cause

I broke my ‘no shopping ban’

But for a very good reason

I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. Actually I managed my personal no shopping ban for longer than expected but it has come to an end and all for a good cause. For the next few months I’ll be shopping in the maternity and children’s section! Baby B (that’s what I’ve named it) will be joining Mr B and I in early March and we are both thrilled and terrified. Continue reading

Wish List #39

Wish List

#39

As Fashion Week continues I’m still pinning away like mad, ogling all that graces the catwalk. I’m rather fond of Paris Fashion Week mostly because of its backdrop and the amazing locations for some of the shows. Each city clearly has a place in each designer’s heart and I’m sure it is taken into consideration when deciding where to present their collection. New York, Milan, Paris? Tough choice!

There have been some surprising highlights for me from each city. I have some of my favourites that I would skip a meal or two to watch live; Delpozo and Gucci, Valentino, now under the solo stewardship of Pierpaulo Piccioli and Dior where Maria Grazia Chiuri, former creative partner of signore Piccioli, has taken the reigns. Alongside my favourites,  I love discovering new designers and getting different interpretations of the season ahead. And of course you are then left with some familiar names that are unfairly forgotten.

Check out the likes of Paskai, Dries Van Noten and Undercover Lab. There are many more I’ve  ranked as favourites, a high accolade indeed and you can check them out in my Wish List below. Take a quick look here or a closer look over on Pinterest and read why I pinned each beautiful ensemble.

If you’re getting Fashion Week fatigue fear not as this week’s Wish List will be a mix of the last remaining days of Paris Fashion Week and all sorts of other lovely bits.

xo

Wish List #38

Wish List

#38

As Fashion Week continues I’ve hardly moved from my computer keeping up with all the shows coming out of London and Milan. If you’re not up to speed, check out last week’s Wish List to see why I love Fashion Week so much, regardless of the city.

No surprises really that a lot of my favourite designers, collections and pieces are a mix of stripes, monochrome, clashes of patterns and there’s even a few in there for my minimalist side. Here are some of my favourites. Continue reading

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion

lovetomtom style

Some of you may have heard about Stiall, a fantastic creation by Linda Conway. Stiall is a place that looks to ‘de-mystify sustainable fashion.’  It really is such a clever, informative and necessary tool in today’s world of high-speed fashion and well worth your time. The reason I’m talking about this is because Stiall, more specifically the Stiall Challenge has put my brain into overdrive. Continue reading

Wish List #37

Wish List

#37

I know it is the start of a new week but I’ve been glued to my computer screen keeping up with all the shows from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week so I’m a little behind.

I have saved all my favourites from New York Fashion Week and the start of London Fashion Week and you can check them out below. I’ve added a small note in each pin, usually describing the outfit as ‘beautiful’ or ‘fabulous’. If you’ve followed lovetomtom for a while now you will know exactly why an outfit has made it to my Wish List!  Continue reading