So there I was, minding my own business, when an email pinged into my inbox from the lovely team at Littlewoods.
How would you like to take part in our Style Challenge? it read. Pick out your favourite child-friendly ensemble from our Summer 2011 range, and we’ll chuck over a few smackeroonies to say thanks for your time. (Or something to that effect).
Wait a minute, I said (in my head). Let me get this straight – you’re offering to pay me actual money to surf the Littlewoods website for summer clothes, when it’s something I do already, for free?!? HELL YEAH!
But I didn’t want to seem desperately keen, so I replied: Sure, yeah, I think I might be available. Let me check my diary… wow, you’re in luck! It just so happens I’m free.
So, with my fashion eye sharpened, and my mouse finger twitching, I began my on-line assault on Littlewood’s Summer 2011 range of women’s clothing.
This time last year I was preggers with Lil Sis, so this is the first Summer I’ve had to deal with covering up a body stretched beyond repair by not one, but two anklebiters.
There’s nothing like a good maxi dress to mask all the lumps and bumps, while still looking uber-stylish.
Being a child of the 70s, I felt irresistibly drawn towards the disco frills and softly shirred bandeau.
Being a mum, I was attracted to the super comfy, easy clean viscose and elastane mix material.
Being an eagle-eyed bargain hunter, I was swayed by the price – just £28!
There’s no faffing about either – just pull it on with flip-flops for a casual lunch, or add some bangles and hoop earrings and some beaded sandals for an evening look.
These yummy little Ravel sandals (L) will set you back £60, and would look amazeballs…
The length is long enough to cover my pasty white legs (who has time to sunbathe when you’re a WAHM with two kids under the age of three? I consider it an achievement if I manage to brush both my hair AND my teeth in the same day!) and the frills give flattering shape to my battered, post-breastfeeding cleavage.
Best of all, the soft gathers of the skirt conveniently hide those belly bulges I haven’t quite got around to losing yet (next month…)
And, when the baby ends up smearing carrot puree over you, or the pre-schooler uses your hem for a hanky, you can just chuck it straight in the washing machine. Doesn’t need ironing either, which makes it pretty close to perfect, as far as I’m concerned.
In the years BC (Before Children) I favoured bikinis. Now I wouldn’t dare, for fear of Greenpeace galvanising a team of volunteers, and trying to roll me back into the ocean.
Which brings me to my next tasty little selection – from the swimwear range.
How delish is this?? I just love the colours, and the tankini design.
If I suck in hard enough (stopping just shy of passing out) my jelly belly remains firmly trapped within its elastic-y confines.
This is bit more pricey, £55 for the top, and £30 for the bottoms, but with the money you save on the dress, you’ll practically have cash to burn!
Course you can’t have the swimsuit without the pool coverup… et voila!
This one is just £18, and can be quickly thrown on when you’re grabbing a poolside snack, or need to take the toilet training toddler back to the hotel room – quickly!
It also doubles as a flirty (and very forgiving) sundress, teamed with flip flops.
So there it is – my top picks from the Littlewoods Summer 2011 range.
I could’ve kept going… and going… but I needed to leave some energy for the Autumn 2011 collection… (hint hint!).
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