This week my fashion daydreams have been revolving around this cute little cat dress from H&M
I don’t usually wear much black but I would definitely wear this. Did I mention how much I love cats? 🙂
Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party of new pop up store Bella Sorella. Bella Sorella is a beautiful boutique run by Lydia Bright (star of ‘the only way is Essex’) and her sister Georgia. The girls opened their first boutique in Essex 18 months ago and launched an online store 6 months later. Now they are touring the country opening pop up stores in several cities. I attended the launch of their Bristol pop up store in Cabot Circus, which will be open for four days from the 26th – 28th July.
The launch party was a fantastic night. I loved getting a sneak peek at all the beautiful dresses before the store opens. I also got the chance to meet Lydia and interview her…
JJ: What first inspired you to open a boutique?
LB: Our flagship store in Essex was always a big dream of ours. Our family owned boutiques and so it was just something we always wanted to do, we were brought up around our family owning boutiques. So me and Georgia launched ours one year six months ago and then we did so well we decided to launch online six months later, which also went amazing. So for 2013 we decided to hold these pop up stores. It’s just a great way to bring it to everyone.
JJ: How many of these pop up stores are you doing?
LB: We are doing seven in total. We’ve already done London and this is our second in Bristol.
JJ: Are you having fun doing them?
LB: I am yeah. It’s a lot of hard work because me and my sister are the only partners in our business. We’ve got 6 employees but me and Georgia do all the day to day overall running with our expansion and our buying. It’s quite full on just for us two but we are so passionate about it that we are really enjoying it.
JJ: I didn’t realise you were so hands on with it
LB: Yeah it’s just us two that are partners so we do everything ourselves, we funded everything ourselves, we do all our buying, all our expansion, we run our site, we write our descriptions. Yeah we do everything.
JJ: What can people expect when they come into the pop up stores?
LB: They can come in and see our fashion and what we have to sell, we’ve also got our home ware and our jewelry. They can get a picture with me, chat with me if they want to. They can also enter our competitions. So there’s lots to offer even if people haven’t got the money and they just want to come in and just see what we are doing.
JJ: Do you have a personal favourite out of all the dresses?
LB: I’d probably say my favourite out of the stuff we’ve brought here would be the Florence dress.
JJ: That’s one of my favourites too!
LB: It is cute, it’s very fifties isn’t it?
JJ: Do you have any advice or tips for girls who dream of opening their own boutique?
LB: If you are prepared to put in the hard work,because it is very very hard, and take the risk then just go for it. Just make sure you do a lot of research beforehand. Make sure you do a proper cash flow and ensure that you can keep up with the rent and rates. Research your audience and market, what people shop down that high-street, just do loads and loads of research. Attend all the trade fairs as well which are great and they are free of charge. It’s great to go there and meet suppliers and to research what’s big on the high street and in boutiques that season. Owning a boutique is a 24 hour job, you just need to make sure you are that passionate about it and you’re willing to put in all your energy.
Lydia was lovely and an absolute pleasure to interview. Bella Sorella is a wonderful store, there were so many gorgeous items that I loved. I bought a silver and mother of pearl ring which I think is just stunning and
I’m also tempted to go back this weekend and pick up some super cute shorts that I spotted.
If you are in Bristol over the next few days you should definitely pop into the store. Also check out their online boutique you won’t be disappointed!
This is the ‘minimum wage dress’ from Shelikes.com. The dress went on sale on 20th June this year and only costs a measly £3.68, the minimum wage for under 18s in the UK. The dress is aimed at young girls who work hard for very little cash and are feeling increasing pressure to still look stylish and follow trends.
The more I have heard about this dress the more curious I have become. When the dress originally launched in June I read a few articles about it in the papers, most of which seemed to be suggesting that it was nothing more than a gimmick and questioning whether the dress was actually good value for money. I have also seen quite a few negative blog posts about the dress, again suggesting that it will probably fall apart after one wash, will look cheap etc. One blogger even claimed to be insulted by the very idea of it! However, none of these bloggers had actually bought or tried the dress before giving their opinions on it. That just didn’t seem fair to me. So I decided that I would purchase the dress and ‘roadtest’ it. I hope you enjoy my review, I have tried to answer some key questions…
How is it made?
My first thought was “where/how has the dress been made?” I had visions of some poor Indian child in sweatshop knocking up these dresses. After a small amount of research I discovered that they are actually made by Figa store, a clothing and fabric manufacturer in Leicester. I definitely favor brands who support British manufacturers and so Shelikes earns brownie points for that.
How does it look?
When I first saw the dress on the website I have to admit that I thought it looked a little cheap and nasty, as did the other bloggers I mentioned above. The main reason for this is that the model in the photo is clearly wearing a dress that is a couple of sizes too big for her. This creates the illusion of a badly fitting and therefore bad quality dress. You should not judge this dress by the picture on the website as it does not do it any justice at all.
The dress is shaped well and I love the way it looks. It fits me perfectly and the colour is bright and fun. I should probably also mention that it comes in four different colours.
Is the material good quality?
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the material. I was expecting something flimsy that would fray and unravel as soon as I even looked at it, but I am really pleased to say that I was wrong about that. Obviously it’s not the same quality fabric as a £80 dress from Lipsy but if I compare it to some of my other bargain dresses that I have bought in the price range of £10 – £20 then the quality is just fine, if not better. It has a lycra kind of feel to it which makes it quite figure hugging but I really like that.
Can people tell it is cheap?
I posted a pic of me wearing the dress on Facebook and asked my friends to guess how much it cost. Their answers ranged from £25 – £45 with the average guess being around £30. So clearly no it does not look cheap.
Is it wearable?
Yes! I wore it out to dinner with my boyfriend. We went to a nice hotel to eat and I can honestly say I didn’t feel out of place or underdressed or even embarrassed for wearing such a cheap dress as I really don’t think it is obvious that it is a cheap dress. I actually had a few compliments on it!
There were no snags or frays or anything. The one thing I will say is that it is quite short and would start to ride up a little as I was walking. However, I think that can be expected from most mini dresses.
Is it washable?
Exactly the same! The colour didn’t fade or bleed and there was no ‘bobbling’ on the material. I was very happy with that.
My overall opinion.
Despite my initial doubts and skepticism I can honestly say that I love this dress. I genuinely enjoyed wearing it. I think it is great value for money and will definitely be wearing it again.
I hope you enjoyed my review or even found it helpful. Have any of you bought the minimum wage dress? Would you? I would love to know your thoughts.
In this heat wave when I’m not at work I am making the most of the sunshine. I’ve mostly been rocking bikinis with casual summer dresses or long T-shirts thrown over the top. I actually already blogged this dress here but I forgot to take photos of the back. The back of this dress is lovely and definitely deserving of its own blog post!
A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend took me on a shopping spree as a birthday treat. It was a really great idea for a birthday present as it meant I got to spend the whole day with my boy as well as getting spoiled rotten. It has taken a while for me to get round to posting this because I have been crazy busy lately but now I finally get to share with you all the treats I bought that day!
I love, love, love this dress! As you all know by now I adore anything with loud, bright prints and the print on this dress is as loud as they come.
A pair of wedge sneakers have been on my wishlist for the last six months but I just hadn’t got round to buying a pair. I found these beauts in Republic. They had been reduced from £60 down to just £10! Steal!
Both these items are so bright, perfect for summer.
I’ve seen lots of bloggers wearing sports jerseys as dresses lately so when I spotted this one in Primark for just £6 I thought I would give this trend a go myself. Although as yet I haven’t been able to style this dress in a way that feels right for me.
This fab purse is handmade and quirky. I adore it!
I feel so spoiled to have gotten all these goodies, I haven’t even had the chance to wear them all yet. Keep an eye out for them in lots of outfit posts coming soon.
How amazing is this cut out galaxy print dress! I love it so much. The print is just stunning, I love galaxy print and this is one of the best I have seen. I’m also really digging the trend for cut outs, it feels so cheeky and fun to wear something that flashes a little bit of flesh.
I originally bought the dress to wear to my birthday party but I decided that it was just too good to hide it away in a dark club so I wore it as a day dress instead.
Dress – Daisy Street// Wedge sneakers – Republic// Bag – H! by Henry Holland// Flower crown, Ring and Bracelets – Primark// Necklace – Florence&Fred
I have to say I was extremely hungover when I took these photos so please excuse the frizzy hair and general lack of makeup and effort to pose.
Doesn’t everything look better when it’s been Instagrammed? 🙂
I had such a lovely birthday. I spent the morning opening presents and then visited Bristol aquarium with my family and boyfriend. It was so much fun and a wonderful way to spend the day.