Tea Dresses and Indian Summers

Have you been watching Channel Four’s Sunday night drama, Indian Summers? I’m not entirely sure I’m loving it that much, but the abundance of tea dresses is lovely.

This time of year is perfect for tea dresses. Yes, okay, it’s a wee bit colder than it should be, but but a pair of tights, a cardigan and a coat should help!

Tea dresses are also perfect, in my opinion, for Mother’s Day. I have a mum who is of the generation who loves seeing me in a dress, or a frock, as she might call it. And what nicer thing could you do than get your tea dresses on and go for tea on Mothering Sunday?

Of course, we’re not all into ditsy florals, Liberty-esque prints and pastels. But tea dresses don;t have to be such. Who said all florals were ditsy? Big bold florals might be your thing? They look fabulous on white and black. Perhaps a more modern floral works for you? Mix pastels and bold colours; mix floral prints – be bold with your style. And add a pretty little hat for a final flourish!

tea dresses twoClockwise, from top left: Modern floral dress, £29.99, H&M, white and floral print dress, £65, Debut @ Debenhams, butterfly bag, £32, Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams, garland trim straw hat, £9.99, New Look, yellow floral bag, £29.99, H&M, dark floral dress, £45, JOY, blue sandals, £39.99, H&M

Perhaps you do love pastels, and why not? They are perfect spring shades, perfect for tea dresses, and reminiscent of those vintage times we all seem to yearn for these days (probably just the look though, not the wars, political unrest, and, oh, wait a minute…). Anyway! The palest of baby blues, mint greens, pale pinks, lilacs, lemon yellows all combine wonderfully together. Mix up your pastels and add a white hat with a birdcage veil for a vintage finishing touch!

tea dresses oneClockwise, from top left: Pink leather bag, £220, pastel ribbons dress, £180, both French Connection, mint and white shoes, £24.99, New Look, floral print dress, £55, BHS, white hat with veil, £80, Top Hat by Stephen Jones @ Debenhams, blue belted dress, £49, BHS

Of course, you may run away screaming at the thought of pastels, so stretch the ‘tea dresses’ brief as far as you can with a bold stripe or a geometric print. Make sure your shoes are as bold and wacky, and add a novelty bag, and huge hat for a finishing flouncy flourish!

tea dresses threeClockwise, from top left: Orange and blue shoes, £29.50, Principles by Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams, black and white striped midi dress, £39.99, New Look, black sunhat, £??, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams, print shoes, £90, French Connection, graphic midi dress, £39.99, H&M

Of course, tea dresses doesn’t necessarily have to mean dresses. How about separates? Some of us just don’t love the dress, and that’s fine. Try a skirt and a co-ordinating top. Add a cutesy cardigan. You get the idea. Full midi skirts are huge again this season – embrace them! H&M’s yellow floral comes in scuba fabric so will stand out wide – we love it!

tea dresses fiveClockwise, from top left: Yellow floral scuba skirt, £29.99, H&M, embellished top, £45, White Stuff, bow detail cardigan, £35, JOY, embellished box bag, £24.99, New Look, pink V vest, £19.99, H&M, block heel sandals, £25, BHS, floral midi skirt, £35, Red Herring @ Debenhams

Bold florals work brilliantly with plain, lace or striped tops. Co-ordinate, or mix up your colours. Swapping tea dresses for tea dress separates gives you more scope to mix it up a bit! Swapping heels for pastel brogues is both great for your feet, and brings your look right on-trend.

tea dresses fourClockwise, from top left: Japanese blossom print skirt, £39, JOY, green top, £27.50, White Stuff, mint cardigan, £9.99, H&M, stripe linen mix Tee, £20, BHS, floral/geo print midi skirt, £60, Principles by Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams, lace overlaid top, £14, BHS, pink caged sandal, £27.99, New Look

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction


Cagney and Lacey Style!

I LOVE Cagney and Lacey. And Cagney and Lacey style!

For those of you not familiar, they were a pair of female NYPD detectives, operating out of the 14th Precinct, and on our TV screens, in the 1980s to the early 1990s. They’re currently showing re-runs on BBC2 in the afternoons (3pm weekdays, if you’re interested), and I’m hooked all over again.

Cagney & Lacey get the bad guys...

Cagney & Lacey get the bad guys…

But mainly for the fashion, not that the show isn’t great. But as I’ve been watching the repeats, I’ve noticed how autumn winter 2014 the Cagney and Lacey style is! Forget the legwarmers and shellsuits version of the 1980s, this is style from that decade that has stood the test of time, and we’re all embracing again.

Early 1980s fashions still had a hint of the 1970s about them, and Cagney and Lacey style in the early days reminds me of Ali McGraw in Love Story. There’s another one to Google if you don’t know it!

cagney & lacey style 8Think full midi-skirts, plaid, chunky knits, fine knits, hats, gloves, knee high boots and slouchy leather bags.

Cagney and Lacey style was all about style and comfort. Pockets in skirts for payphone change, slouchy bags big enough to carry all female cop essentials – lipstick, ID card, gun! Big wrap coats to keep out the winter chill (New York winters are COLD!), boots with a small heel, but not too high – they had to run in them, remember. Puff sleeve or pussybow blouses, thin leather belts. You get the idea.

Christine Cagney – played by Sharon Gless – was the single, hard-talking blonde, whose favourite colour was red, and who probably had the better wardrobe.

But Tyne Daly’s Mary-Beth Lacey – mother of two (later three), wife to Harvey, and softer than her partner – had some excellent outfits.

And, Cagney and Lacey style is easy to achieve at the moment. The shops are full of midi-length skirts. It’s winter – the perfect time for wraps coats or raincoats, knee high boots and chunky knits, no?

Cagney & Lacey style twoClockwise, from top left: Raincoat, £165, French Connection, chunky boots, £105, Red or Dead exclusive @ Schuh, crystal studded jumper, £32, Collection @ Debenhams, teal midi skirt, £24.99, H&M, satchel, £12.99, New Look, leopard print wool beret, £55, Debenhams

Bold red is on trend this winter, as is plaid – or tartan. Christine Cagney would be loving this look! She clashed her reds – true Cagney and Lacey style gurus would do the same!

Cagney & Lacey style fiveClockwise, from top left: Red wrap coat, £99.99, H&M, black fedora, £12.99, H&M, red pleated midi skirt, £25,  BHS, plaid pleated skirt, £45, JOY, knee high boots, £30,  BHS, cable knit jumper, £34.99, H&M

Softer pastels and pinks look great with grey – a fab winter alternative to black. Cagney and Lacey style showcased a lot of jumpers, Christine loved a cowl neck. Be more 2014 with a roll neck or a turtle neck.

Cagney & Lacey Style threeClockwise, from top left: Pink mittens, £14, John Rocha @ Debenhams, grey jumper, £17.99, New Look, black boots, £195, grey bag, £199, both French Connection, pink bobble hat, £16, John Rocha @ Debenhams, grey check skirt, £55, JOY

Oh yeah, and don’t forget your watch with this retro look – there were no mobile phones to check the time on back in the early 1980s! A key item is a slouchy bag, White Stuff have loads of fab tan leather versions.

Cagney & Lacey style fourClockwise, from top left: Navy midi skirt, £110, chunky cardigan, £95, both French Connection, chunky knee high boots, £120, Hush Puppies @ Schuh, tan bag, £37.50, White Stuff, neck detail blouse, £29.99, H&M, watch, £60, Komono @ JOY

Big chunky blanket wraps are the winter version of the kimono – time to add one to your winter wardrobe! Team with skinny jeans and a jumper, or a midi skirt and blouse for this Cagney and Lacey style.

Cagney & Lacey Style sixClockwise,from top left: Pink blouse, £39, JOY, blanket wrap, £24.99, New Look, leather bag, £59.99, H&M, patterned midi skirt, £20, BHS, belt, £25, White Stuff

The winter floral is a big trend. Make the most of a full floral midi during the day with a chunky knit, fantastic boots, and a cute blouse for when you’re in the station, er, inside!

cagney & lacey style sevenClockwise, from top left: Two tone boots, £110, Schuh, roll neck sweater, £34.99, H&M, floral midi skirt, £24.99, New Look, tan bag, £75, White Stuff, blouse, £49, French Connection, belt, £22.50, White Stuff

How will you wear your Cagney and Lacey style?!

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction