Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted an outfit from a holiday in Barbados where I extolled the virtues of the maxi dress. Well as I make last minute preparations to fly off to sunnier climes once more I thought I’d share some photos of the other maxi dresses that have become the mainstay of my holiday wardrobe.

I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset.

Most of my dresses I picked up for a song, either on eBay, in sales or charity shops. This silk one-shoulder dress is from Marks and Spencer but I bought it on eBay for about £10. It was brand new with the tags on. Because I have so many clothes from M&S I can buy without trying on, confident that they will fit. I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset. Most of my outfit photos were taken either at sunset or after dark because the sun sets quite early in Barbados (around 6pm) and getting the little one out of the pool before then wasn’t easy!

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

sunset at Surfside, Holetown, Barbados

Almond BEach resort, Speightstown sunset

night-sky-holetown

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

This dress is from Dickins and Jones, bought from House of Fraser in the sale at the end of Summer. It was reduced to just over £8! Even though it was only available in a small I had to chance it for that price (knowing I could return it if it didn’t fit) but to my delight it did fit! It’s very low cut so I needed to put a safety in it to spare my blushes, but the deep V means I can wear a big necklace.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

Barbados Holiday WardrobeMarks and Spencer silk-maxi-dress

Another M&S silk dress that I bought on eBay, again for less than £10. It’s a little small on the bust – the black part of the dress isn’t quite deep enough – but otherwise it fits fine. It’s lovely and cool, plus the straps are detachable so you could wear it as a strapless dress too.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe black-and-white-striped-dress

I’ve had this black and white dress for years and it’s been on quite a few holidays. It’s not the easiest dress to get into (getting my shoulders through the waistband is a bit of a tussle) but I love the design. I bought it from Asos, but with being so old it’s no longer available – this one is the closest match I could find.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms!

Now this dress really was a bargain; I found it on a clearance rail in Marks and Spencer (a long time ago) for the grand sum of £5! I didn’t have to think twice about snapping it up. I take it on every beach holiday because it’s cool and airy, doesn’t crease and feels fantastic on thanks to it being super stretchy. I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms! It has a built in top underneath the flowing sleeves so my sides are covered. I wore this dress on the last night of our holiday when we went to the Speightstown Sizzler – a little food and music festival where our friend Beveny was cooking traditional Bajan fishcakes. They were absolutely delicious and I want to go back for more!

Do you have a tried and tested formula for beach holiday packing? I’d love to hear how you prefer to dress on vacation 🙂

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress Speightstown Sizzler

 

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Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat

With Spring fast approaching and buds emerging it seems fitting to wear my green coat and a flower brooch. I found this Laura Ashley coat in a charity shop for less than £10…what a bargain! The colour really caught my eye, and apart from needing a dry clean it was in perfect condition. It’s fairly close on the colour chart to Greenery –  Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 – described as “the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature”. Strictly speaking, Greenery is more of a zesty yellow-green than this coat, but the sentiments are the same. Blending in with nature in shades of green and brown certainly seemed to be appreciated by the wildlife. We’d only taken a few photos when a little robin came to join in the fun 🙂

I tend not to wear brown very often, favouring black and navy instead as a base colour.

I dug out an old pair of wedge boots with a faux fur trim, thinking they’d keep my feet warm. How wrong I was! It was absolutely freezing and I was seriously regretting not taking some gloves with me. I may have been feeling the joys of Spring but the weather wasn’t. I had to brace myself before taking my coat off. The lace sleeve panels on the forest green top look pretty but they were a bit draughty! I paired the jumper with an old cord skirt from Zara which I haven’t worn for ages. I tend not to wear brown very often, favouring black and navy instead as a base colour. It’s nice to have a change sometimes.

I only have a couple of brown bags but this Sara Berman one is a good option for when I need to carry lots of stuff. It’s quite a heavy bag but plenty big enough to hold my essentials for travelling, including the camera. It can be made smaller by clipping the strap to the lower D rings and folding the top of the bag over. I love multi-functional accessories!

Do you love Greenery? How are you preparing your wardrobe for Spring? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to link up!

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat Pia flower-brooch

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green jumper

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green coat Pia flower-brooch carnelian-bracelet

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green jumper frog ring

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green jumper Sara Berman Tel Aviv bag

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green jumper Pia carnelian-bracelet frog ring

Shades of Green and Brown Laura Ashley green jumper

Coat and jumper: Laura Ashley | skirt: Zara (old) | brooch and bracelet: Pia | bag: Sara Berman (old)

 

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Vivderma Detox Elixir Serum and Restoring Moisturiser

Keeping my skin happy in Winter is always a challenge. When the weather’s grim I don’t spend much time outdoors, which often results in a dull, sluggish complexion. Luckily, I was sent the skin-saving duo Vivderma Detox Elixir and Restoring Skin Moisturiser just in time.

Our complexion can be negatively affected by hormonal fluctuation, seasonal changes, environmental impact and over-exposure to damaging UV rays. This serum tackles it all.

The Detox Elixir is an ultra-light serum that calms and rebalances skin in crisis. It sinks into the skin effortlessly to boost radiance, minimise the appearance of pores and regulate sebum production. Our complexion can be negatively affected by hormonal fluctuation, seasonal changes, environmental impact and over-exposure to damaging UV rays. This serum tackles it all.

vivderma-detox-elixir serum

 

One of the main ingredients is Sacred Lotus which has calming, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. The serum has a milky consistency, not the slightly greasy feeling some serums have, so it’s perfect for using day and night.

I’ve used the whole bottle of Detox Elixir and since it ran out my skin has been noticeably duller and generally lacking radiance.

When gauging the effectiveness of a new product I look not only at improvements while I’m using it, but also for changes after I’ve finished it. I’ve used the whole bottle of Detox Elixir and since it ran out my skin has been noticeably duller and generally lacking radiance. Clearly it’s been having a positive effect. I’ve been using the serum with the Restoring Moisturiser and the two work really well together. Both lasted about six/seven weeks so my skin was hit with the double whammy of both running out at the same time.

The botanical blend soothes, tones, balances and calms, leaving skin nourished and hydrated.

The Restoring Moisturiser is a concentrated blend that delivers powerful anti-oxidant protection, deactivates free radicals and provides all round anti-ageing care. It’s a beautiful rose quartz-coloured gel, fragranced with essential oils of Petitgrain, Palmarosa, Jasmine, Rose and Neroli. The botanical blend soothes, tones, balances and calms, leaving skin nourished and hydrated.

Vivderma Restoring Moisturiser

The Restoring Moisturiser contains Bioretinol and Gladbackto improve microcirculation and help redensify the skin. All Vivderma products contain Dermahealth Biomimetic Skin Complex™ which “mimics the natural biological conditions of healthy skin to ensure optimal absorption”.

My skin was plumper, smoother and more radiant while using these two products.

What surprised me most about both the Detox Elixir and Restoring Moisturiser is the level of hydration they deliver while mattifying the skin. My skin was plumper, smoother and more radiant while using these two products. Dry, flaky patches disappeared, fine lines reduced and my skin tone became more even. All this and no afternoon shiny T-zone. I will definitely be making room in my bathroom cabinet for these on a permanent basis. The Detox Elixir costs £85 and the Restoring Moisturiser £50. Vivderma has a wide range of products to suit all skin types and concerns.

Have you tried anything from Vivderma? What do you use to keep your skin happy during Winter?

vivderma detox elixir serum

 

 

*Disclaimer: I was sent the Vivderma Detox Elixir Serum and Restoring Moisturiser for review, all opinions are completely honest and unbiased. 

 

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Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

For today’s Style With a Smile link up I’m reminiscing about a wonderful holiday from a few months ago. Barbados is a very special place for us as we got engaged and married there, so we like to escape to our favourite island whenever possible. It was my husband’s birthday towards the end of the holiday so we dragged ourselves away from the beach and went exploring.

The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on 8 acres of a former sugar plantation.

Barbados is famous for rum (the rum punches are delicious!) so it seemed fitting to visit a rum distillery. The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on eight acres of a former sugar plantation.  This working rum factory is best known for its collection of spiced rums but it produces a wide range of rums including Doorly’s (the husband’s favourite). Entrance is free and you can wander around, learning about the various stages of rum-making. The aroma of molasses, yeast and spices is intoxicating. For a small fee you can sample some of the rums, but unfortunately we got there a few minutes too late. Lesson learned: not everywhere operates on a 9-5 basis! We made up for it by buying a couple of bottles at the airport.

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Before our ill-timed visit to the distillery we had lunch at Atlantis restaurant at Bathsheba on the East coast. The Atlantic coast is very rugged and breathtakingly beautiful, but a definite no-no for swimming. I had the best Bajan fishcakes ever for a starter, washed down with a spiced rum punch. Atlantis has the most amazing view so you simply have to take your time over lunch. No-one rushes in Barbados anyway…even if it does mean missing the rum tasting!

I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery.

We snapped quite a few outfits during the holiday, which I’ll be posting at a later date. I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery: job done. Trying to tame my hair in the humidity takes quite an effort (I usually give up and leave it frizzy) so I don’t want to be faffing with what to wear…that means missing valuable cocktail time!

I found this particular maxi dress in a charity shop for less than £10. It’s made of stretch jersey so it’s incredibly comfortable, while the embellishment makes it dressy enough to wear for dinner. For variety I do pack a pair of lightweight trousers (seen in this post with ridiculously frizzy hair!), a couple of skirts and some vest tops. Refining my beach holiday packing is still very much a work in progress but maxi dresses are always top of my list!

What’s your beach holiday go-to outfit? Do you prefer dresses or separates? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to link up 🙂

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados Atlantis Bathsheba

bathsheba

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados



 

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Leather Skirt and Statement Sleeves Peridot skirt

Statement sleeves are a really big trend at the moment and one that I love. I know big flappy sleeves are not the most practical things, especially if you’re trying to eat a meal or play the guitar, but sometimes allowances have to be made in the name of fashion! The sleeves on this Zara top are actually quite tame compared to some I’ve seen so they won’t cause me too many problems.

Pairing up a leather skirt and statement sleeves creates a bold and edgy look, especially in black.

The flared faux leather sleeves elevate what is otherwise a plain black top, which can be dressed up or down. I’ve got  a few pairings in mind for this top; it’ll look great with boyfriend jeans, cigarette trousers, maybe even a flared midi skirt…there are so many possibilities. However, for its debut I decided to turn up the volume. Combining a leather skirt and statement sleeves creates a bold and edgy look, especially in black. The mix of fabrics in the skirt mirror those in the top, and the faux fur bag adds another dimension. Of course I had to add a little bit of colour, this time with jewellery. I’m slightly obsessed with feathers, so much so that I have a Pinterest board just for feathery fashion!

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Leather skirt and Statement Sleeves Peridot skirt

This outfit is a bit of a Zara-fest – I bought the top, boots and faux fur bag flap in the sale just after Christmas. You may remember the bag in previous posts (here, here and here) looking a bit different. That’s because this bag has detachable flaps so you can change it to suit your outfit..genius huh? Zara also came up trumps (should we still be using that phrase?) in the footwear department with these gorgeous glitter boots. They are just sparkly enough to satisfy the glitter craving without being too ostentatious.

Are you a fan of statement sleeves? How would you wear them? Let me know in the comments!

Leather skirt and Statement Sleeves Peridot skirt feather necklace

pink-feather-bib-necklace

Leather skirt and Statement Sleeves Zara mix and match bag

Leather Peridot skirt (this faux leather one from River Island is very similar and only £34.99) | Zara top (similar) | Zara bag now reduced to £9.99! | Joe’s sunglasses (these ones from New Look are only £5.99) | necklace bought on eBay | ring bought from charity shop

 

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