Pre-loved Clothing

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Sell your pre-loved occasion wear with The Lady’s Maid.

Selling unwanted or unworn items in your wardrobe is a sustainable way of recycling your clothing whilst making room for clothes you actually wear. Photographing, listing, packaging and posting is time consuming so let The Lady’s Maid take care of the hassle for you!

How it works:

Submit a brief description and photo of your items to The Lady’s Maid via email: Please note I will prioritise dresses, formal day wear, and occasion wear (so no casual pieces) and favour classic, timeless pieces from recognised brands. All items must be in excellent condition. Knitwear will be accepted only if it is in excellent condition and from a high end brand. Any accepted items will be valued and selling prices agreed. Once the items have been posted to me I will take care of photographing them on a mannequin, writing descriptions and listing them for sale via my pre-loved instagram page @theladysmaid_preloved and via this website. Once a piece sells I will dispatch it to its new home and you will receive payment for the piece minus my selling commission (your earnings: 65%, my commission: 35%). Once an item has been sent to me you agree to leave it with me for a minimum period of 6 months. After that if it hasn’t sold you can request for its return free of charge.

Laurence Coste rose quartz earrings: £125 ; Stuart Weitzman Leigh suede heels in desert rose (Size: UK 6) £150.

Why choose The Lady’s Maid?

My commission fee is lower than most other clothing re-sale platforms and consignment stores who typically deduct 50% in commission fees. I also have an international social media following who favour classic, timeless style, and trust my style choices so your pieces will be seen by the right buyers rather than being lost in the big eBay sea.

For all enquiries please email:

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Top picks this week:

These two coats would be ideal for the Cheltenham Festival next month – a vintage tweed coat – £85 (no size label but would fit a UK Size 10/12) and a pink wool dress coat with burgundy grosgrain trim from Really Wild Clothing – £200 (Size UK 10). HT Hats Burgundy felt trilby trimmed with feathers – £90 (inner circumference approx 50cm).

The Cheltenham Edit

12 coats to cover up in style at the Cheltenham Festival next month

Top row L-R: Cordings, House of Bruar, eBay, House of Bruar, Latham & Taylor, Vintage tweed coat – The Lady’s Maid Preloved (email to purchase).

Bottom row L-R: Bella Freud, Monsoon, Katharine Hooker, Monsoon, Katharine Hooker, Karen Millen.

Wear it with:

The coat is the main event of the outfit at Cheltenham so you can keep it simple underneath – a merino roll neck paired with a tweed skirt is a good classic option. March weather can be topsy turvy so an extra thermal layer underneath is a good idea too.

  1. Tweed skirt – Really Wild Clothing
  2. Merino roll neck – Cos
  3. Thermal vest – M&S
  4. Opaque tights – John Lewis


I favour a traditional country look at Cheltenham but tweeds don’t have to be dull and old fashioned and can look stylish when worn with the right accessories. A silk scarf will add a touch of chic to the country look – I like this equestrian themed one from Holland Cooper or you could trim your coat with a faux fur collar. I love this chic burgundy felt trilby style had from Lock Hatters which would pair well with a tweed coat. A good pair of block leather heels is essential too – Fairfax & Favor have a wide range.

  1. Trilby
  2. Leather Gloves
  3. Feather Hat Pin
  4. Brown leather boots
  5. Tan Handbag
  6. Silk scarf

Hat matching:

Hats from left to right: Justine Bradley-Hill, Juliette Botterill, Camilla Rose, Sally Ann Provan, Sarah Cant.

Coat – Shrimps, Top – Cos, Earrings – Kiki McDonough, Hat – Rosie Olivia, Gloves – Mulberry, Boots – Fairfax & Favor, Skirt – Really Wild Clothing, Bag – Fairfax & Favor.

Wardrobe Detox

At least once a year I like to have a clear out to reorganise my wardrobe and get rid of things that I no longer wear. This January I had the biggest wardrobe detox ever and listed almost 200 items for re-sale. Initially I was motivated by raising extra funds to care for my poorly pug, Dorothy, who was diagnosed with a serious condition in October last year (protein losing enteropathy). Her vet bills escalated to £7,000 in 3 months. But the more I listed, the more I realised I wanted to let go of a lot of things in order to have a more streamlined wardrobe. So far I have raised £3,000 which will help fund Dorothy’s ongoing veterinary care. There are still lots of items left for sale, pictured and detailed below. Close-up photos of each piece are on my Instagram page @theladysmaid_preloved. Email: for more info or to purchase.

1. **SOLD** Kitri Studio – pink gingham dress

2. Laurence Coste – pink quartz earrings. £125.

3. Baukjen – blush pink cotton V neck jumper. £30.

4. Kezmay London. Pink tweed Alice band. £30. 

5. **SOLD** Monsoon – Pink tie neck dress.

6. Mango – pink and green cotton midi dress. Size: Medium. £30.

7. Mint Velvet – pink colour block top. Size: Small. £25.

8. 2 Birds Dubai – pink Chinese blossom wrap dress. Size: S/M. £35.

9. Really Wild Clothing – sweet pea pink dress coat. Size: UK 10. £250. 

10. Stuart Weitzman – Leigh 95 desert rose heels. Size: UK 6. £175.

11. Oasis – pink broderie cotton summer dress. Size: UK 10. £30.

12. HM – pink blossom print blouson sleeve midi dress. Size: Small. £25.

13. HM – pink cat eye sunglasses. £15. 

14. HM – pink/purple check tie neck mini dress. Size: Medium. £30.

15. Jewelled pink Alice band. £15.

16. Zara – Pink v neck dress. Size: L. £30.

17. Vintage silk dress. Size: UK 10/12. £60.

1.     Rixo – burgundy Elsie Dress. Size: UK 12. £200. 

2.     Hobbs – red leather loafers. Size: UK 6. £45.

3.     Zara – burgundy pleated midi dress. Size: medium. £30.

4.     Vintage Ciner earrings. £75.

5.     Vivien Sheriff – Burgundy wool felt baker boy hat. £100.

6.     HT hats Burgundy wool felt trilby style hat. £85.

7.     Ethereal London – dark floral silk midi dress. Size: UK 10. £175

8.     Zara – Burgundy leather high block heel boots. Size: UK 6. £40. 

9.     Warehouse – Burgundy silk swallow print dress. Size: UK 10.

10.   Camilla King Millinery – Burgundy velvet headband. £40.

11.   Greylin – burgundy velvet jumpsuit. Size: Medium. £85.

12.   Top Shop – Burgundy short sleeve top. Size: small. £20. 

13.   Burgundy jewelled headband. £15.

14.   Vaai London – Burgundy silk palazzo pants. Waist measures approx 40cm when flat – has drawstring to adjust smaller. £175.

15.   New Look – Burgundy faux leather clutch. £10.

16.   Oasis – red polka dot dress. Size: UK 10. £30.

17.   Top Shop – small red basket bag. £20. 

18.   Libelula – red jessie dress. Size: UK 12. £100.

1 . Suzannah London –  emerald silk tea dress . Size: UK 12. £285.

2. HM – green floral cotton summer dress with puff sleeves. Size: Small. £20.

3. Vintage earrings. £45.

4. Glossy Paris – mint green mohair mix tank top. £25.

5. **SOLD** Monsoon green gingham cotton dress.

6. Boden – emerald satin midi skirt. Size: UK 12. £75.

7. Jewelled headband. £15.

8. Jigsaw poppy print maxi dress. Size: UK 10. £60.

9 Top Shop tartan maxi dress with puff sleeves. Size: UK 10. £45.

1. The Pretty Dress Company – navy coat. Size UK 10. £75.

2. Zara – turquoise blue floral wrap dress. Size: Medium. £35.

3. Tropical animal patterned scarf. £40.

4. Zara – royal blue zip neck top. Size: small. £20.

5. William Morris & Co. x HM – blue floral printed shirt dress. Size UK 10. £35. 

6. ** SOLD** Luella – Baby blue cashmere/merino mix tank top. One size (fits UK 8-14).

7. GP & J Baker x HM. Floral midi dress. Size: UK 10. £35.

8. Guinea London – navy merino wool cardigan with velvet trim. Size: small. £50.

9. Dune – large navy mock croc envelope clutch. £20.

10. Mango floral mini dress – Size UK 10. £20.

11. Zara – Navy Peter Pan collar dress. Size: Small. £25.

12. Karen Millen – Navy/white striped mini skirt. Size: UK 10. £30.

13. Mango – royal blue dress with flared sleeves and notch V neck. Size: small. £20.

1. Top Shop – I saw a unicorn T-shirt (SOLD).

2. Warehouse – Little black dress with lace back panel, Size: UK 10. £25.

3. Zara – tweed midi skirt. Size: Medium. £25. 

4. Nine West – black leather flats. Size: UK 6. £15. 

5. Vintage 1920s sequin shrug. £50.

6. Black & white bandeau dress. Size: UK 10. £60.

7. Warehouse – Little black dress with lace panels. Size: UK 10. £25. 

8. Karen Milen – short grey coat with black leatherette panel. Size: UK 8. £35.

9. M&S – Black & white knitted midi dress. Size: UK 10. £30. 

10. Zara – Black and ivory patterned midi dress. Size: small. £20. 

11. Yosuru – black suede low heel shoes with detachable camellia leather shoe clips. Size: UK 6. £75.

12. Zara – black blazer. Size: small. £25. 

13. Mango – black and white V neck mini dress. Size: small. £20.

14. Top Shop – black / ditsy floral shirred bodice Bardot mini dress. Size: small. £25. 

15. Mango – polka dot dress. Size: UK 10. £20.

16. Pure Collection – houndstooth blazer. Size UK 12. £65.

17. Top Shop – vintage style black velvet top handle bag. £25. 

1. Miagiacca – ivory tweed jacket. Size UK 10. £250.

2. HM – V neck tank top. Size: Medium. £20.

3. Zara – faux patent leather shoes with large pearls. Size: UK 6. £15.

4. Zara – faux leather slingback flats with pearls. Size: UK 6. £20.

5. Zara – polka dot shirt dress. Size: Medium. £30.

6. Faber Novella – rose gold heels. Size: UK 6. £65.

7. Ethereal London – merino long line loungewear cardigan. Size: S/M. £60.

8. Dune – camel leather flats. Size: UK 6. £25.

9. Top Shop – ruffle high neck blouse. Size: UK 12. £20.

10. Zara – pearl bucket bag. £28.

11. Hobbs – ivory cotton jumper. Size: small. £20.

12. L.K. Bennett – gold glitter heels. Size: UK 6. £65.

13. Zara – peach/white short sleeve top. Size: small. £15.

14. Yosuru – gold leather flats with detachable Swarovski crystal buckles. Size: UK 6. £80.

15. Karen Millen – nude patent leather heels. Size: UK 6. £35.

16. Carvela comfort. White leather sandals with gold studs. Size: UK 6.

17. Jigsaw – gold V neck jumper with sequins. Size: small. £40.

18. Mango – nude leather slingbacks with block perspex heel. Size UK 6. £35.

19. Top Shop – Silver diamanté Alice band. £20.

20. Whistles – tiered silver sequin dress. Labelled size UK 12 but has been altered slightly smaller so would fit a 10/12. £100.

1. Vintage 1960s wool coat. Size: UK 10/12. £85.

2. **SOLD** Zara pearl slides.

3. Zara – polka dot wide leg trousers. Size medium. £35.

4. Jigsaw – A line mini skirt. Size UK: 12. 

5. **SOLD** Zara – sleeveless jumper.

6. Pure Collection – coral v neck dress. Size: UK 12. 

7. Zara – brown leather handbag. £50.

8. Accessorize – pink frame sunglasses with brown tinted lenses. £15.

9. Noa Noa – Brown mohair blend tank top. Size: small. £40. 

10. **SOLD** HM – floral maxi skirt. 

11. HM – sparkle knit jumper. Size: small. £20.

12. M&S – floral midi dress. Size: UK 10. £30. 

13. J. Crew – pink leather belt. Size: small. £20. 

Christmas Jumpers

A round-up of my favourite fair isles and novelty knits to wear for the festive season.

Ladies Shetland Fairisle Crew – The House of Bruar

Donegal fair isle jumper – Campbells of Beuly

Jacquard knit jumper – H&M
Ivory cashmere blend fair isle jumper – Hobbs
Fair isle cherry red roll neck jumper – FatFace

Camel fair isle jumper – Hush
Burgundy fair isle jumper – Baukjen (15% off with my code: ALICIA15)
Pink fair isle jumper – Justine Tabak

Emerald green colour block fair isle jumper – Brora
Fair Isle V neck cardigan – Marks and Spencer

Fair Isle funnel neck jumper – M&S

Willow Fair isle jumper – Rag & Bone
Ivory fair isle jumper – Nili Lotan
Tinsel Fair Isle knit jumper – Warehouse
Flower fair isle knitted jumper – Warehouse

Blue fair isle jumper – Molly Goddard

Navy fair isle jumper – Toast
Fair isle bear jumper – Ralph Lauren
And/Or at John Lewis
Fair isle crew neck jumper – Gant
Fair isle roll neck jumper – Reiss

Porcelain fair isle jumper – The White Company
Fair Isle Christmas jumper – Next
Cashmere mix robin fair isle maternity jumper – JoJo Maman Bebe
Blush pink star longline jumper – Next
Red Christmas Jumper – H&M
Black Christmas jumper – H&M
Sequin star jumper with cashmere – The White Company
Blue fair isle sequin jumper – Monsoon

Red star knit jumper – Monsoon
Teal star jumper – Monsoon
Green robin intarsia jumper – Joules

Black sequin star jumper – Monsoon

Embellished crew neck jumper – Jigsaw
Diana Red Women’s Sheep Jumper – Warm & Wonderful

AW dresses

18 dresses that have caught my eye for AW 21, featuring festive checks, cosy cords and luscious velvets – it’s hard to pick a favourite!

Leon & Harper Reglisse Dress – Leon & Harper. I have the tartan version of this dress from last year – It’s a really comfy soft cotton and easy to layer with a tank top for extra warmth. I love the patchwork mix of different autumnal fabrics.

Tartan Harrogate dress – Justine Tabak. I bought this dress a couple of weeks ago and have already worn it multiple times – I love the multi-toned tartan and the loose fit – the perfect casual dress for weekend walks.

Charcoal and ruby plaid shirt dress – Brora. A great casual check dress for the festive season.

Sophia burgundy check dress – Ophelia & Indigo. I love the burgundy/blue check in this easy-to-wear cotton dress – also available in a shorter version.

Checked midi dress – Monsoon. This brown/black check dress would be easy to dress up or down for work or weekend.

Raspberry Cord Dress – Pink City Prints. I love the frill shoulder detail on this prarie style berry cord dress.

Candy Vine Margaret Dress – Pink City Prints. The burgundy velvet trim on this cotton dress is so pretty

Spot mesh fit and flare dress – Coast. I love the sheer spot mesh sleeves to add a bit of fun to this classic dress from Coast.

Novella midi dress – Jane Atelier. An elegant dress for winter weddings with the prettiest frill detail around the neckline.

Calla burgundy velvet dress – Beulah. This dress stopped me in my tracks when I spotted it yesterday. Beulah have just launched a velvet collection of dreamy dresses and this is my favourite. I love the pearl buttons and balloon sleeves. I also like the slightly raised waistline which will be flattering on petite figures.

Cotton checked midi dress – Albaray. I love the burgundy / pink mix in this easy-to-wear check dress – a great weekend throw on number.

Shae cord dress – By Iris. The popular Shae style is back in a raspberry pink needlecord. I have this style in red from last year so can highly recommend!

Forest Cord Dress – Pink City Prints. Forest green is one of my favourite colours at this time of year. This needlecord dress can be worn loose for a more casual look or cinched in with the matching waist tie. I’d wear it with burgundy boots for weekend walks.

Tahlia Yoke Dress – By Iris. I love the velvet edging on this pretty teal cotton dress. Wear with a navy thin polo neck underneath for added warmth.

Circle print lace detail emerald silk dress – Brora. I love the black lace detail on this dress – it would look good worn with a black belt.

Yascoolia midi dress – Y.A.S. This dress looks way more expensive than it is. It reminds me of something by Erdem. I love the retro style and jacquard fabric. It would be good for a winter wedding or to dress up on Christmas Day.

Emerald and charcoal gingham shirt dress – Brora. I have the navy/green version of this style from last year. I love the frill detail to the neckline and cuffs.

Veronique velvet shirt dress – Monsoon. A gorgeous green velvet dress with pretty jewelled buttons – perfect for festive events.

Wimbledon Style

After a two-year pandemic-enforced break, Wimbledon is back tomorrow. I’ve always loved Wimbledon fortnight – tennis is my favourite sport and Wimbledon is the most stylish of the grand slams, largely due to the traditions of the All England Club and its Royal patronage – it’s the only tennis grand slam with a strict dress code for the players who are expected to wear all white. Respecting the principles of tradition, history and style are what makes the English carry off their seasonal events so well – not changing for change sake, and upholding certain traditions that are important to the attraction of the event. (The most important of these are strawberries and Pimms, of course! 😉 ) Ahead of opening day tomorrow, here are eight Wimbledon-inspired dresses fit for a sunny day out at SW19. 

  1. Dress
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Earrings
  4. Bag
  5. Espadrilles
Baukjen white broderie dress – 15% off with the code: ALICIA15
  1. Dress – 15% off with the code: ALICIA15
  2. Sun hat
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Bag
  5. Sandals

Royal Ascot Style

This week I played dress up over at @theladysmaid to celebrate the return of the highlight of the summer season – Royal Ascot, and in support of some of my favourite British brands. Thanks to all the milliners and brands who loaned me their pieces for the feature. If you spotted something you liked for your next fancy event, browse through below to shop the look. After the last year of zero events, small occasionwear British brands are very much in need of our support!

  1. Rainbow Headband – Sarah Cant
  2. Short sleeved silk dress – The Fold
  3. Long sleeved dress – Rixo – available to rent at By Rotation
  4. Bag – Lalage

I love this retro style headband trimmed with rainbow ribbons by Sarah Cant Millinery. Sarah Cant’s hats are a great option if you want something more striking and original as the crowning glory for your raceday or summer wedding look. I’ve paired it with 2 dress options here – firstly the Tivoli silk dress from The Fold. I love the cut and fit of The Fold dresses. The Tivoli has a really elegant draped neckline and the multicoloured confetti painterly print is fun without being too loud. The second dress is by Rixo and available to rent at By Rotation. Renting dresses is becoming really popular these days as a way of being more sustainable when dressing for events and enabling you to wear designer dresses at a fraction of the retail price.

  1. Headband – Juliette Botterill
  2. Coat – Katherine Hooker
  3. Dress – Katherine Hooker

Juliette Botterill’s headbands and hats are so elegant, I love the entire collection. She’s a top choice if you want a refined and regal look. I recently chose this pretty mint green headband for a wedding outfit I styled for a lady in France – for her I matched it with a green Beulah dress; here I’ve paired it with a sage green silk coat with beaded waistband from Kathering Hooker worn over a matching appropriately named ‘Ascot’ dress. This ‘Buxton’ dress coat is also available in blue and cream– both with great reductions in their current sale. They are really high quality dress coats for formal occasions, expertly made in their London workshop from the finest fabrics. A great Mother of the Bride or Groom look for summer weddings.

The designer Katherine Hooker says: “My aim is that your piece is the best item of clothing that your granddaughter and great granddaughter will find in your attic – it still looks and feels fantastic. That is the definition of a classic – it goes on forever.”

  1. Hat – Camilla Rose Millinery
  2. Dress – Saloni at Mojo & McCoy
  3. Bag – Lalage
  4. Shoes – L.K. Bennett

I stepped out of my colour block comfort zone with this fun colourful look featuring an eye-catching hat by Camilla Roseand multicloured dress from Mojo & McCoy. London based milliner Camilla Rose’s hats are characterised by their vivid colours and exciting shapes.  They’re particularly good for matching with multicoloured dresses that can be hard to match with hats like this one by Saloni – from Berkshire based boutique Mojo & McCoy. I’m wearing the Dosado in blue and magenta (available to hire) which I was a bit scared of when it arrived! But the blue base and magenta silk bow pick out the colours of the dress really well and I can’t imagine a better hat for this dress. Whenever there is a tricky patterned dress needing the right hat partner, Camilla is always the milliner I think of as her hats are perfect for providing the final flourish rather than competing with the dress too much.

Small boutiques like Mojo and McCoy have had a rough ride during the pandemic with the endless shop closures – they stock some great well-sourced labels from all over the world, so if you’re thinking of buying a special summer dress – consider shopping small from a boutique like this. Some of my other favourites from their summer collection are this white cotton daisy embroidered dress from Pink City Prints, a silk shiffon rose patterned dress from Temperley London and this bright and breezy cotton maxi from Heidi Klein. 

  1. Hat – Sally Ann Provan
  2. Dress – Suzannah London

This red sinamay saucer hat trimmed with handmade camelia flowers is by Edinburgh based milliner Sally Ann Provan.  A popular milliner with the younger royals, including the Duchess of Cambridge and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

I’ve styled it here with a powder blue poppy print dress by Suzannah London. A popular choice with the Countess of Wessex, Suzannah’s quintessentially British tea dresses inspired by the 1930s and 40s are a signature style of the brand and a great versatile option for summer events as they’re easy to dress up or down for a variety of different occasions. They’re available in a range of pretty summery prints – each exclusive printed textile is designed and painted by hand, and then digitally printed on Italian crepe-de-chine. The silk fabric feels very luxurious but comfortable too and the midi length of the skirt is really elegant – perfect for swishing through the summer season.

  1. Hat – Rachel Trevor-Morgan
  2. Dress – Jane Atelier
  3. Bag – Lalage

This look is a bit of an ode to one of my favourite colours – blush pink. The disc shape hat is a signature (and my favourite) style of Rachel Trevor-Morgan. Rachel’s hats are all hand made in her St. James Atelier in London. An expert in her craft – she has run her business for more than 30 years and knows the balance required for a hat to flatter and finish an outfit. She gets the royal seal of approval too –  HM the Queen has been wearing RTM hats for the last 15 years. I’ve paired the hat here with an elegant matching blush pink pencil dress from Jane Lewis Atelier who recently rebranded from Goat Fashion. I love the slightly puffed and gathered detailing in the sleeves. The classic, sleek and unfussy design of Jane Lewis dresses make them great investment pieces – timeless dresses for formal events and easy to match with millinery. 

The Fonteyn Mignon in blush pink is my favourite bag style from Lalage – it’s small enough to use as an alternative to a clutch bag for formal day time outfits but fits more stuff in, so it’s practical as well as pretty.They also come with a detachable strap so can be worn more casually too.

  1. Hat – Lock Hatters
  2. Dress – Hobbs London

This stylish blush silk rose trimmed polka dot hat is from the couture collection at Lock Hatters created by head milliner Awon Golding. It’s a perfect match for this palest of pink dresses scattered with spots from Hobbs London. 

  1. Hat – Jess Collett
  2. Dress – Hobbs London
  3. Bag – Lalage

I like the simplicity of this elegant floaty white spot jacquard dress from Hobbs with its fluted sleeves and black piping to give it a bit of shape. I’ve paired it here with a black side disc hat trimmed with white silk flowers and black ostrich quills by Jess Collett and a black clutch from Lalage.

Picnic dresses

With meetings of groups of six allowed outdoors in the UK from tomorrow and sunny weather forecast next week it’s time to throw your joggers in the wash and put a pretty frock on to re-enter society! We’re lucky that the pandemic has coincided with a trend for oversized dresses (got to look for a silver lining) as these are the perfect style for comfortably reclining on a picnic blanket with the added benefit of hiding the waistline so you can go wild on the sausage rolls. Other things to look for in a comfortable dress for outdoor meet ups are elasticated / drawstring waists, empire lines or smock style frocks for ease of wear al fresco. If the thought of what to wear outside your home is sending your head spinning here are my top picks for spring picnic dresses. 

Under £75

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A fresh spring green dress from Marks & Spencer. Love the puff sleeves and the elasticated waist panel for an easy fit. 

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I like the vibrant red/lilac stripe in this dress from Mango. The waist tie makes the fit easily adjustable – wear with for a cinched in look or without for free and easy style. 

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This cheery mustard yellow midi dress from Monsoon has flattering ruching at the waist and the puff sleeves give it a vintage 1950s look to add a touch of elegance to your picnic. Part of Monsoon’s S.E.W collection made with sustainable fabric.
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Gingham is always a classic for picnic style and this green check cotton dress is one of my favourites new at Monsoon. Love the cute little cuff ties.

Wear it with:


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A cute clementine orange check organic cotton dress from Thought clothing with handy pockets – practical and stylish – just what you want from a picnic frock.

Wear it with:


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An easy to wear throw on yellow gingham cotton dress from Mango

Under £200

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A pretty deep red cotton dress with peachy floral pattern from East – a good transeasonal piece that will last beyond spring/summer.

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This pretty blouson sleeve dress from Hush is embroidered with daisies so definitely belongs in my picnic dress edit.

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The spring bloom print on this floral dress from Baukjen is perfect for al fresco style situations.
15% off at Baukjen with the code: ALICIA 15
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The pretty embroidery on this linen dress from Boden gives an otherwise simple dress an extra special touch.

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Smock dresses are probably the most comfortable to wear. This broderie blue dress from Anthroplogie definitely ticks the practical and pretty.boxes.
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A pretty paisley print dress from Faithfull the brand.

Small British Brands

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This Dolly dress from Coco Fennell is a little more fitted than the others I”ve selected but with gingham and daisies in one frock it definitely deserves a place in my picnic edit.
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Another super easy style al fresco – the Camden passage dress from Justine Tabak. Love the multi colour check.
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Love the statement sleeves and oversized fit on this dress by Stoned & Waisted seen here on Emma Paton.

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A elegant wildflower print empire line dress from Yolke.

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This Jaiye Orimi dress by Kemit Telford has the prettiest ruffle detail and pink/yellow ditsy print. And that drawstring waist will make it easier to adjust so you have room to eat all the picnic bread!

Since I published this post I noticed Kemi Telford has these new check dresses which would also be great for picnics:

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I love Johanna Sands dresses – they have a loose comfy fit so really easy to wear. This is her latest one – the light blue floral Ana. She does very limited editions so you have to be speedy. Keep your eyes peeled on her Instagram page for new stock.

Splash the cash  

With minimal travel abroad over the past year and eating out a distant memory some people may have managed to save money during the pandemic so if you’re looking for a post-lockdwon splurge as you re-enter polite society these are my top pics for an extra special picnic frock :

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Jewellery – lost and found

This weekend I wanted a distraction from being cooped up in lockdown alone, so I asked followers of my Instagram page to send me their stories of lost jewellery (everyone has one). I was surprised by how many lost jewels actually turned up, and in the most random places – sometimes 10 years or more later. So often it’s the sentimental attachment that makes losing jewellery difficult, above the monetary value. A ring inherited from Grandma, a 21st Birthday watch – jewellery inherited or given as a gift can be the only tangible attachment we have with loved ones no longer with us, or symbolic of family bonds and milestones, so it is often irreplaceable. My favourite story was a lady whose husband lost his wedding band whilst preparing a cannon to fire during a military ceremony!

Another favourite was a lady retrieving a ring, lost for 15 years, on her gardening fork while digging up veg! It reminded me of this news story where a lady dug up a carrot and miraculously her diamond ring, lost for 10 years, was stuck around it.  I think sometimes the jewellery wants to be found and eventually you’re drawn to it. 

There were also lots of stories of children “playing postman” with Mama’s precious jewels and dropping them down floorboard cracks. I like hearing the random places where jewels turn up – biscuit tins, candle sticks, flower pots – and so many years later. Diamonds really are forever, even if they’re not with you! 

I rarely travel with anything too valuable or sentimental these days after I lost a St. Christopher pendant I bought on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence to bring me luck when I travel. The pendant wasn’t so lucky, sadly, as I lost it in Paris along with my watch. The watch turned up randomly in the bottom of a garment bag (it must have fallen off whilst I was packing), but I never found the necklace. Maybe one day it will re-surface like in your stories 🙂 

I’ve also been entrusted with extremely valuable jewellery with my work, so my focus is often on my employer’s jewellery rather than mine. I once worked for a lady who lost a yellow diamond earring when we were travelling in Japan (very rare and scarily expensive). We were travelling with a photographer, so I got his camera and looked through all the photos until I found one where she was wearing only one earring. The photo was taken in a clothing store where she was trying on scarves, so we called the store and they had found it! It was such a relief – and I got extra brownie points for my detective work 😉 I’ve also often had to retrieve a chain from a drain – blue tack on the end of a skewer works well for this! 

So remember – never wear precious rings when gardening or washing up! And never put your jewellery in a tissue or anywhere temporarily that isn’t a container – you will always forget it’s there!

With jewellery safe places and storage in mind – here are some ideas for trinket trays to keep near sinks, dressing tables and bedside tables, and portable travel jewellery organisers to keep your jewels safe and prevent future diamond dramas!

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To secure earrings these lock backs are good – regular butterfly backs often come loose when changing clothes – probably the most common way of losing an earring.