Spotty Blouse

In the spot / stripe debate I’ve usually been firmly over the line on the stripe side. However, they’re both classic prints and I’m starting to realise that there is room for both in my wardrobe. Over the years my Mum’s love of all things spotty has slowly but surely been trickling down to me (her excitement at discovering a new polka-dot garment is only rivalled by my finding a chunky Breton top) and, after coming across a couple of specific items that suit my personal style, I’ve decided I’m now a lover of both spots and stripes (but maybe stripes a little bit more).

These photos were taken on our trip to Manchester this past weekend, which was such a wonderful experience. I’ve never been lucky enough to go before, although I’ve always wanted to, and it exceeded my expectations by a landslide! It was my first trip but certainly won’t be my last; the people were great, the atmosphere is so welcoming and inspiring and the city is full of so many cool places and hidden gems. We found something exciting round every corner and never got bored of just wandering and exploring. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which obviously has a massive part to play in the amount of activities you can squeeze in, and made it all the more enjoyable because we could bask in the sun in Piccadilly Gardens and sit outside bars and pubs all evening. The last days of this year’s summer were indeed some of my favourites.












BLOUSE Urban OutfittersJEANS Levis (at Urban Outfitters) | SANDALS Urban Outfitters | BASKET BAG Zara

I am totally in love with this outfit!!! I purchased most of the items on a recent shopping outing to Cardiff (where I clearly went a bit UO sale mad) and am super happy with the way they look as an ensemble. I’ve been admiring vintage-esque, spotty blouses like this and although it’s more than I would spend on an actual vintage shirt (at £39) it was worth every penny. The material is dreamy and the cut is flattering, albeit a little booby, and I think the bow sleeves add a really quirky, cute detail to the boxy shape. The button down front is amazingly retro and I feel so confident wearing it – the blouse reflects my own style so well and is ideal for my wardrobe. Even though it could be considered quite summery, I think it will hold its own throughout autumn teamed with a denim skirt, tights and boots or with a jumper layered over top.

The blouse is an ideal height to be teamed with such jeans (which I’m absolutely besotted with) as they sit above the hips rather than following my preferred high-waisted style. It saves it from losing character by being tucked in, without taking any limelight away from the jeans. I originally tried them on together in store and knew they’d make an insane outfit. These fab beige Levis were a £30 steal in the Urban Outfitters sale, and have torn me away from my beloved white Cos jeans! I’ve always been a fan of Levis; they’re good, durable quality, comfy and reliable and never let you down style wise. If in doubt? Chuck on the Levis. I really like how their exact hue depends on what kind of lighting you’re in – when I purchased them they seemed a coffee kind of colour, whereas here they’re more vanilla. My favourite asset, which I feel ties the look together, is their raw hems that cut off between knee and ankle giving off an urban vibe and rounding the shape off well.

The double bow satin sandals enhance the relaxed, unpolished city feel, and are what keep it within the realms of summer. They work smoothly with the trouser length, keeping it casual and more in proportion than my heeled mules that I originally planned on wearing. As we move into the colder months I’d swap these for converse or grey vans to sustain the right dimensions with the bare calves (until it’s necessary to cover my calves before I get frostbite). My trusty basket bag has also made what is probably its final appearance of the year, contributing to the neutral colour palette and of course working its textural magic before I pack it away to rest until spring.

These photos are some of my favourites in a loooong time, mainly thanks to the combination of dusky sunlight and cool Manchester locations – meaning we could just walk and shoot without finding a specific pinpointed spot (like usual). While in Manchester we stayed at the Principal hotel; a beautiful space which provided me with interior inspo to last a lifetime. Think indoor plants in perfect harmony with monochrome patterned tiles, plush, emerald green furniture amongst big snuggly armchairs, gorgeous grey carpets and a bed to match, heavy wooden chests and banana leaf print cushions… I was wooed by the pictures online but it didn’t even begin to do the real thing justice! The staff were lovely and couldn’t do enough for us, the breakfast was delicious and the location was central to everywhere we wanted to go. Genuinely the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in and I would highly recommend – we want to plan a stay again already!

Watch this space for more on our mini break!

Lily x

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