November News

My book Wardrobe Wisdom is not released in the USA until 15 January 2019 so if my American/Canadian/rest of the world followers would like to see a signed copy under the Christmas tree this year then you can order from me via email 💌: All orders from now until Christmas will be gift wrapped! 🎁




In other news The Lady’s Maid is nominated for the UK Blog Awards 2019 and I would appreciate your vote! You can cast your vote here.


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Have a good week – don’t spend too much on Black Friday!


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Christmas Style – Bombshell HQ

The festive season is just around the corner, and The Lady’s Maid loves a Christmas  party frock!

In this post I have picked my top five festive dresses from Bombshell HQ – a London based dress label designed by Katya Wildman who specialises in elegant dresses for curvy ladies.

Mother of the Bride – Christmas Wedding


Forest green was one of the most popular colour choices at the recent Royal wedding this year. It’s a great colour for brunettes and perfect choice for a Christmas Wedding Mother of The Bride. I’ve styled Bombshell’s Confident dress in dark green here with a feathered hat by Bundle Maclaren, available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club, green velvet clutch and heels from L.K. Bennett and vintage star earrings by YSL available from Vestiare Collective.

Winter Wedding


All shades of red have to be the most popular choice for the festive season. If you like your reds a little more mature and discreet, as opposed to a standout scarlet, then this mulberry hue is the one for you. Pictured is the Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress in wine accessorized with a matching pill box hat and kitten heels from Phase Eight, clutch from Hobbs and vintage earrings by Jennifer Gibson.

Christmas Party

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without some burgundy velvet. I’ve picked out the Stretch Luxe ¾ length sleeve in wine velvet as my top choice for a Christmas party frock. Accessorized here with matching velvet heels by L.K. Bennett, bag by Dune London, earrings by Susan Caplan and a winter white coat from Hobbs.

Christmas Day

Christmas_Day.png The Midnight Tartan on this Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress is a great choice if you want to dress up on Christmas Day. I’ve accessorized it here for a trip to church on Christmas morning – winter coat and faux fur scarf by Hobbs, bag by Aspinal of London, gloves by Mulberry, heels by Rupert Sanderson  and earrings available at Vestiare.

New Year’s Eve Ball


You can’t wear too much glitter on New Year’s Eve! If you have a fancy ball to go to over the festive season then this Gold Sequin Gown will put you at the top of the best dressed list. Glam it up to the max with a glitter clutch from Wilbur & Gussie, snake hoop vintage earrings by Susan Caplan and sandals by Dune London.


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Wardrobe Wisdom

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered my book Wardrobe Wisdom which was officially published yesterday!

I’ve had a lot of enquiries about how people can purchase the book in countries outside the UK. If you’re in the USA the book will be available from on 1 January 2019 or you can order via Amazon UK or The Book Depository now. All other countries – The Book Depository deliver worldwide.

If you want to buy it from a good old-fashioned book shop it is available at larger branches of Waterstones, Foyles and all National Trust book shops.

Signed copies can be ordered from me. Email: for details.

In other news I did a Q & A for which you can read here.

Here is my book on the shelves at Waterstones in London yesterday!



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Designer Clothing Charity Sale

Designer Clothing Charity Sale

There are several pieces left from the Charity Clothing Sale I started a couple of months ago on behalf of a lady who is having a big wardrobe clear out! All pieces are either new or worn only once or twice so are in excellent condition. Click on the garment pictures below for more pictures and full descriptions at Vestiare Collective. 75% of proceeds from the sales will go to charity.


moschino red dressbalenciagamoschino floral dress coatmoschino white dressmoschino dress coatmoschino cotton dresslanvin black blouselanvin burgundy blousemoschino dottymiu miu minivalentino white shirt






Royal Wedding – Best Dressed

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An autumn wedding is always going to be tricky when you’re planning an outfit in advance. The gusty winds in Windsor yesterday saw plenty of hats fly off the heads of guests filing into St. George’s Chapel, revealing those who had and had not utilised the hat pin! The most successful headwear on a day like yesterday were the small discreet pill box style hats/headpieces, secured with an elastic band, or the alice band style headbands that are more popular lately, as worn by the Maid of Honour, Princess Beatrice. For dresses – heavier fabrics, longer hemlines or fitted dresses/skirt suits were the best choices to avoid any unfortunate Marilyn Monroe moments. Autumn/winter weddings are a great time to wear rich jewel shades and there were a lot of them on show – forest green being the most popular, worn by Princess Anne, Autumn Phillips and Pippa Middleton – also berry pinks and burgundy reds. My top three favourite outfits go to those who seemed to nail the autumn wedding look in colour, style and appropriate headwear.

Alessandra de Osma

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Alessandra de Osma wore a forest green midi dress by Andrew Gn, with ¾ sleeves and scattered floral embroidery. This was definitely my favourite dress of the day amongst the guests. I love the deep green colour, the slightly fluted sleeves and flounce hem and the floral scatter embellishment adds just the right amount of autumnal floral detail to glam it up a bit. Forest green was a really popular colour at the wedding but I like the combination of green with berry pinks here. Alessandra picked out the berry of the embroidery in her headpiece by Mimoki, with burgundy velvet clutch and patent heels.



The Duchess of Cambridge


The Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits are fairly predictable at formal royal events as she rarely strays from her two favourite designers for formal wear – Alexander Mcqueen and Catherine Walker. For yesterday’s wedding she opted for Mcqueen – wearing a lovely raspberry shade of pink, matching it with a velvet veiled headpiece trimmed with handcrafted flowers – a bespoke variation of this velvet calotte from the AW18 collection of Philip Treacy. If Alessandra wore the best dress this is definitely my favourite hat from the wedding – a variation of the style was also worn by Kitty Spencer at a wedding earlier this year and on Michelle Dockery at Royal Ascot in June. Kate’s dresses by Mcqueen tend to be variations on a theme, but I’m not holding that against her as the hat was the standout element in this ensemble anyway, so it needed to be set against a simple block colour to shine. Her burgundy velvet accessories were the perfect final touch to the look.

Cressida Bonas














Cressida Bonas wore a blue devoré velvet dress by Tory Burch. The dark velvet fabric could have drowned her delicate frame if worn with the wrong accessories but she matched it perfectly – with a velvet headband by Juliette Botterill and contrasting burgundy shoes by Rupert Sanderson. The hemline and fabric were perfect for the weather and season and the headband adds a touch of youth to freshen up the look. Big ticks all round from The Lady’s Maid.

Other Best Dressed Guests:

Demi Moore

I think Demi was the “Amal” of this wedding – dressed head to toe in burgundy red. Dress: Stella McCartney, hat: Philip Treacy, bag (appropriately named “Demi”): Gabriela Hearst, shoes: Malone Souliers.

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Princess Beatrice

Princess Bea has never looked better – loved this royal blue skirt suit by Ralph & Russo with lilac suede accessories, also by Ralph & Russo, and a blue/purple headband by Sarah Cant. The bee brooch is adds a nice elegant touch too.

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Jane Gottschalk

I love this belted blush/burgundy shirt dress by Luisa Beccaria – I featured it on my Instagram page last week so I’m glad to see it make an appearance at the Royal wedding!

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Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs

Loved the autumnal florals of this midi dress matched with a dusky pink hat by Laura Cathcart.

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Alice Naylor Layland

A bold and beautiful teal floral jacquard tiered coat by La Double J with hat by Laura Cathcart.


Ayda Williams

A stylish silver look – love the patent pewter accessories. Suit: Armani, hat: Philip Treacy.

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Autumn Phillips

Dressed in the colour of the day – a forest green jacquard dress by Suzannah.

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Caroline Sieber

Chic in lilac Chanel.


Lydia Forte 

There were a lot of veiled hats at this royal wedding – and this one by Jane Taylor was one of the chicest – love the statement brooch too.


Anya Rowland

Monochrome chic in a tailored ecru dress from The Fold with hat by Jane Taylor.

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Lady Gabriella Windsor

Here comes the next royal bride – Lady Gabriella Windsor in turquoise Claire Mischevani.

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Nicky Malone 

Beautiful in burgundy by Claire Mischevani with matching floral headband by Juliette Botterill

Clare Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford-Haven

Wearing an elegant navy blue Claire Mischevani dress coat.

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Royal Wedding – what to wear

With Princess Eugenie’s wedding a couple of days away I’m rounding up my series of Instagram outfits that I would like to see some of the royal party wearing!

The Queen

I’m thinking pink for HM. It’s a colour she hasn’t previously worn at a royal wedding and one that would suit this time of year. Most likely to be by her milliner and couturier dream team Rachel Trevor Morgan and Stewart Parvin although she could choose something by her senior dresser, Angela Kelly, who designed the green hat she wore at the last royal wedding. One thing that’s easier to bet on is HM’s accessories – she may be known for dressing in a kaleidoscope of different colours for her formal events but her accessories rarely change: black patent shoes by Anello and Davide, black patent bag by Launer, classic pearl and diamond stud earrings – a wedding present from Queen Mary, a triple strand of pearls, and a diamond brooch. Her pearls are part of her regal uniform and I can’t imagine her not wearing them can you?!

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Mother of the Bride – The Duchess of York

It will be a big day for the Duchess of York next Friday, welcomed back into the royal fold in her prominent role as Mother of the Bride. Fergie made two public appearances with the royals this year (at the Royal wedding in May and at Royal Ascot in June) wearing classic navy blue head to toe both times, but I’m expecting her to up the style stakes a little as MOTB. I think she might dress in Roland Mouret or Vivienne Westwood with hat by Philip Treacy and I’d love to see her in gold  –  she’d look great in a dress coat like this one by Claire Mischevani – classic still but with an edge of glam.

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Hat: Rachel Trevor Morgan, clutch: bottarga Veneta; pearls: Annoushka; heels: Jimmy Choo; brooch: The Antique Jewellery Company.

Maid of Honour – Princess Beatrice 

Princess Beatrice was spotted leaving Ralph & Russo in London earlier this week carrying what looked like a shoe box I like to think it might have inside these gorgeous Empire pink suede and rose gold pumps – they look right up Princess Bea’s street. The York Princesses are known for their lively sense of style – who could forget the infamous pretzel hat Beatrice wore at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Her style has got more elegant and classic in recent years but still with a quirky edge, like the white tweed boater hat she wore to Easter Sunday service this year or the teal headband for the last royal wedding. If she was picking up R&R accessories then that could be a big clue as to who has designed her Maid of Honour dress…and possibly Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress too. I’d love to see her in something like this divine vision in blush from Ralph & Russo – perhaps a bit glitzy for a Maid of Honour dress but I’m sure they could tone down the sequins a bit so as not to steal the scene from Eugenie too much! I’ve pictured the dress here with R&R accessories, morganite earrings Kiki McDonough and a ceramic rose headband by Fi Graham Millinery.

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The Duchess of Cornwall

As with many of the female royals The Duchess of Cornwall has go to designers for formal events like weddings. She almost always wears Anna Valentine dresses/dress coats and Philip Treacy hats, so I think this will be the combination she will choose at next week’s royal wedding. You can always count on Camilla to wear a proper hat – she wore a fabulous wide brimmed pale pink feather trimmed hat by Treacy for the last royal wedding so I’m hoping he will have designed another spectacular hat for this occasion too! Wide brimmed hats don’t suit everyone but it’s great to see them still worn by those that can carry them off. The Duchess tends to wear pastel colours in formal daywear so I’m imagining her in silvery grey this time. Something similar to this stylish “Michaela” graphite silk dress coat by Lalage Beaumont perhaps, pictured here with a hat by William Chambers, clutch and shoes by Emmy London and vintage jewels by Susan Caplan.

(N.B. since I wrote this post it was confirmed the Duchess of Cornwall is not attending the wedding due to a prior work engagement.)

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The Countess of Wessex

Sophie always rings the changes with the style of her event outfits – at the royal wedding in May she wore separates: an elegant short sleeve ice blue silk top and matching midi skirt by Suzannah, and at Royal Ascot this year she was the first royal to wear a jumpsuit in the royal enclosure. I love how she’s not afraid to take risks and try new things with her clothes. She’s worn dressy shirt dresses in the past and I think the style really suits her so I’d love to see her in something like this burgundy/blush belted midi dress by Luisa Beccaria –  featuring a blush velvet collar, burgundy floral jacquard pattern and flared midi skirt. Elegant and formal but still a bit of a style statement. The Countess always wears hats by Jane Taylor (the one I’ve pictured is by Juliette Botterill and available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club). Burgundy/blush is a great colour combination for autumn too – holding on to the blush from summer and dipping into some wintery burgundy! Other accessories: antique garnet earrings from The Antique Jewellery Company, velvet burgundy clutch by Jimmy Choo and blush velvet heels from Prada.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t usually stray from her tried and tested style formula of a fit-and-flare dress coat with matching hat for formal events like weddings, usually from her ‘go to’ designers Alexander McQueen and Catherine Walker. She also usually prefers not to make too much of a style statement at weddings so as not to draw attention away from the bride. So I’m expecting either a repeat wear from Kate or something fairly neutral/classic. I really like this Catherine Walker beige tweed dress coat with peplum detail at the waist. I’ve accessorized it with a beautiful oyster silk pillbox hat by Juliette Botterill, pinky beige clutch by Loefflerr Randall, suede courts from Gianvito Rossi and morganite earrings by Kiki McDonough.

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The Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex has shown a preference for neutral colours in her working wardrobe as a member of the royal family. Her last appearance at a royal event in formal daywear was Prince Louis’ christening where she wore a khaki green dress and hat. I think she’d look great in this jewel green pleated silk dress by Gabriela Hearst. I’ve matched it here with an elegant saucer hat by Edwina Ibbotson, her black accessories by Givenchy and Aquazzura and diamond stud earrings from Birks.

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Zara Phillips

Zara wore a teal dress coat by Claire Mischevani at the last royal wedding so I think this sapphire blue colour and cut by the same designer would also look good on her with a matching blue velvet headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Other accessories – heels by Manolo Blank, bag by Amanda Pearl and opal earrings from Annoushka.

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Autumn Phillips

I’ve been studying the fashion form and Autumn tends to favour the fit and flare style of dress, similar to the Duchess of Cambridge. She wore an elegant ice blue coat by Suzannah Fashion with matching hat by Juliette Botterill for Easter Sunday in Windsor this year and for the last royal wedding she wore a beautiful turquoise dress coat by Hen House HQ with matching hat by Juliette Millinery, so she may well repeat this design duo next Friday. She isn’t afraid of wearing bright colours and often contrasts the colour of her hat with her dress so she may not go for a matchy-matchy look. I’ve picked out the Princess dress coat in flag red by Suzannah here and matched it with a silk bow headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Red is sometimes considered a bit of a taboo colour at weddings but I think it’s fine to wear it these days, especially in autumn/winter. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn red a couple of times to weddings. You can always tone down the look by adding nude accessories or a darker shade of red – like I’ve done here. The unwritten rules are that a guest should blend in as much as possible and not wear anything that detracts too much attention from the bride – red is often considered a bit of a scene stealing colour so I think that’s why many people steer clear of it at weddings. But if we’re talking about scene stealing then canary yellow a la Amal will do it just as much! As will any other brights. The only colours that are a no go are black and obviously white!

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The Countess of Snowdon 

The Countess of Snowdon doesn’t get much media coverage at royal events compared to the more senior royals, which is a shame because she’s one of the most stylish. Often opting for chic pill box hats all “Lady Lucan” style! I think Serena would look great in a floral headband like this one from Laura Cathcart Millinert teamed here with a navy Ballerina dress by Suzannah and jazzed up with some gold/navy brocade shoes by Rupert Sanderson.

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Recycle Week

Recycle Week

This week (24-30 September) is Recycle Week so I’m encouraging people to help lower the amount of clothes that end up in landfill each year by recycling or donating their unwanted clothing. According to Wrap it is estimated that £140 million worth of clothes end up in landfill each year. Oxfam estimates that 9,513 garments are thrown into landfill every five minutes. These are really shocking statistics that can easily be reduced by recycling or donating your unwanted clothing.

Retailers and Recycling Initiatives

Marks & Spencer launched an initiative with Oxfam in 2012 called Schwopping to encourage people to recycle their unwanted clothes. You can bring along any unwanted clothes (not just those that are from M&S) and put them into one of their “Shwop Drop” bins in exchange for Sparks points. M&S then donate the clothes to Oxfam, who resell the garments online, in their stores or in international markets. Alternatively, you can go to an Oxfam store where you’ll receive a £5 M&S voucher if there’s an M&S item in your donation. Since the initiative was launched, 7.8 million garments have been “schwopped”, which is worth an estimated £5.5 million to the charity. If initiatives such as these are adopted by more retailers, it will significantly reduce the amount of clothes sent to landfill each year. See their website for more details and participating M&S stores.

Other stores that now run similar schemes include:

H&M (all brands of clothing in any condition welcome).

&Other Stories (all brands of clothing welcome).

Levis (all brands of clothing welcome).

John Lewis & Partners is currently trialling a scheme which will enable them to buy back clothes from customers through an app in exchange for an e-giftcard to use online.

You can also donate unwanted clothing to:

T K Max in partnership with Cancer Research UK

Zara (currently only available at selected stores). If you live in Spain they will also collect clothes from you if you have made an online purchase.

Donating to Charity

As well as regular high street charity shops, there are a few charities that specifically accept donations of work appropriate clothing which they then offer to unemployed people, to help them dress to impress at interviews. They also provide styling advice and interview tips which is a great way of helping people that may have been out of work for a long time.

Smart Works (Branches in London, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh)

Dress for Success (London)

Suited for Success (Birmingham)

Designer resale sites

If you have designer clothing that you don’t wear anymore, there are many designer clothing resale sites where they can find a new home. Vestiare Collective based in France is the most popular one for use worldwide. There’s also Hardly Every Worn It and Cudoni based in London.

Recycling worn clothing

Damaged clothes and shoes that are beyond repair can be recycled along with other household textiles and made into new textiles, such as household insulation or mattress filling. Check with your local council to see if they collect clothing for recycling, or look out for clothing recycle banks in supermarket car parks. Refer to the website to find out what you can recycle and where.

Love Not Landfill is a new campaign set up to encourage young people in London to dispose of old clothing responsibly. They have distributed textile banks across London where you can drop off unwanted clothes.

Love Not Landfill
Image: Love Not Landfill


Remember: no textiles need to be thrown away – even your old bras, socks and pants can be recycled!