I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂



A plain black smock dress

Styling a black smock dress

This time last year Chris and I had our first campervan trip of the season to Cornwall, and it turned out to be a lot warmer than we expected! I feel that at the moment we’re in that hit or miss time – completely unpredictable – often looking warm and sunny, but then you find there’s a freezing cold wind, which stops at 2pm and then it becomes quite hot! Anyway, the black dress I’m styling for this blog post is ideal for now – as long as you have a cardigan handy!…

Styling a plain smock dress

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I bought the dress in Target, a large sells-everything type supermarket in America with a large clothing department. On our trips across the pond (where we usually stay in Stamford, CT for Chris’s work) I always allow a good amount of time to browse and try on clothes. I tend to really like the clothing in there; it’s good value; good quality and goes up to size xxl in most brands, so I can choose from anything I see, which is refreshing. This black cotton smock dress is by Who What Wear and I love it.

Styling a simple cotton dress

How to choose a smock dress

How to choose a smock dress

I love the lace-up detail at the front, which reminds me of the lace-up tops I had in the ’90s and gives what would otherwise be a plain black dress, a designer-esque touch. The fit of the dress is perfect – I like a smock style dress, but this one has gathers at the waist, which gives a more flattering shape without being uncomfortably tight. I do like patterned smock dresses, but if you find a plain one, then look for details like buttons or lacing which add interest.

Cotton dress with pockets

Yay! The dress has pockets!

How to style a smock dress

How to style a smock dress

Anything smart or tailored wouldn’t work with the relaxed style of a smock dress. I wore it with a simple grey cardigan recently to add a bit of warmth. It would also look good with a denim jacket or even a leather biker jacket for a rockier edge. As the dress flares out from the waist, a long-line cardigan or jacket wouldn’t look right.

How to wear a smock dress

Wearing a plain black dress

Which shoes to wear with a smock dress

Well, predictably, considering the location of this photo-shoot, I went barefoot for the photos. However, the rest of the day I wore the smock dress with my dark red Clarks sandals. Any colour sandals would work with black, or also relaxed-style shoes, or trainers or Converse all-stars would look cool. I don’t think this particular dress would work with boots though.

A black smock dress

The evening light was gorgeous when we took these photos, so I’m sorry if I have included too many for this fashion blog post – Chris got a bit carried away snapping away, and I struggled to leave out so many!

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The photos, by the way, were taken at Holywell Bay in Cornwall. If you’re a fan of the recent Poldark series, then you may well recognise it as Nampara cove – the one the men always stare at when they’re being moody. The one with the twin rocks in the sea. You can see it better in the photos we took for a dress I made for Threads of a Fairytale; or in my vlog I filmed at the time for my YouTube channel. It’s a beautiful beach and I hope we go back again soon.

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Here are some similar dresses you might like:

Here’s my look-book video that includes this dress:

Style Inspiration,
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This black waterfall cardigan was a charity shop find, and I love it! Not all waterfall cardigans are made equal – I like the shape of them, but some have too much fabric around the back of the neck, and some don’t have enough fabric at the front (do you balance the waterfall bit on top of your boobs, or let it fall to the side of your boobs?), but this one, originally from Marks and Spencer is perfect!….
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September 7, 2017
  If you know me, then you’ll know I am a person who happily trundles on in life, getting on with things as pleasantly as I can, doing as much as possible to avoid drama or confrontation. However, I think someone linked to a blog post I wrote over year ago, as I’ve come back from holiday to a flurry of angry comments on the post called OSHUN – THE STORY OF MY CLOTHING BRAND, AND THE YELLOW DRESS INSPIRED BY BEYONCE’S IN LEMONADE. I thought I would respond to those comments in a blog post, rather than reply to them individually, as hopefully I will explain myself and my opinions in a more complete and thought-through way. So to understand what I’m about to talk about, you might want to have a look at that post first and have a read of the recent comments below it. In summary though, it was written at a time when Beyonce appeared to be channeling the ancient African deity, Oshun, so I wrote a bit about her for those who hadn’t heard of her before, and explained how I came to choose her to name my clothing business and a dress after. I wrote a brief message a couple of days ago addressing this on my Threads of a Fairytale website, and if you don’t mind, I’ll quote it now as an introduction: “Hello! I’m back from holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Acropolis and other ancient remains and ruins around Greece and Albania and have come home full of inspiration. Three new goddess dresses influenced in design by ancient Greek attire will be appearing in the Threads of a Fairytale shop very soon – one in pink, one gold, and one in a mottled green and grey – all pure silk chiffon. I will continue to be inspired by religions and cultures from all around the world; ancient and modern, because that’s the way art grows, develops and nourishes one’s soul and interest. The term “cultural appropriation” seems to be more in fashion than fashion itself at the moment….If you’re a regular visitor to this page, you’ll know that I changed my clothing business name from Oshun to Threads of a Fairytale a couple of months ago and explained my reasons here. And no, the change had nothing to do with cultural appropriation because I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree that it’s a problem here. We have been influenced by our neighbours of all colours and heritage since time began and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Segregating oneself and not allowing this to happen comes from a place of ego, not from a place of good”. If you are going to comment here or on facebook (or anywhere), I would appreciate it if you take the time to read this whole piece to fully understand where I’m coming from, and hopefully even take a minute to think about some of my points. I haven’t written this to try to get anyone to change their opinions – of course we’re not all going to agree, but I want to say at the beginning that I have listened to your comments; looked into them further, and really given it some thought from all points of view before writing this……

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