So... drum roll..... it's none other than BHS. I don't think I've actually ever bought anything from there since the heeled ankle strap sandals (with heel of all of about 2cm) that I had for the party after my First Holy Communion so 33 years ago. Faint.
I have ordered homewares from there though, most recently a number of things from the fantastic Brighton range. Duvet cover, huge quilted bedspread, cushions and a lamp shade (the LOVE cushion that you can see in the back of the Mini, is honestly as good quality as any I've seen costing 4 times as much) All for Rugrat 1's new room - she'll be 9 when her room is finished - a tough age for a girl but this is what she chose and she's over the moon with it all. Sort of Cath Kidston but with a touch of punk thrown in.
But I've not had a look at the clothes and it appears I may have been missing a trick. It was whilst looking for maxi skirts - specifically ones that had pockets - that I came across this gem from BHS.
Khaki viscose maxi skirt from BHS £18 I love the fabric viscose. Hangs beautifully, washes normally like a dream and usually has great texture. I'd probably size up as I prefer skirts that sit lower on my hips as opposed to round my actual waist. Also available in black.
I happened to notice to the right of the screen whilst I was looking at the skirt details "things you might like" or something as informative as that, a rather cute looking sun dress.
On closer inspection, I was majorly impressed - 100% viscose and the most stunning embroidery for £22. Perfect for throwing over a swimming costume or for padding round the house on ridiculously warm days. (of which there are going to be loads this summer.....)
Grey embroidered Throw on Whilst the white may be slightly on the more transparent side to wear during the day (I don't know, fingers crossed not), I think the grey version could definitely pass as a day dress for the summer.
White crochet back dress £24 Now whilst this appears to have the dip hem that I was so uncomplimentary about in my maxi skirt blog, as this seems to only be a couple of inches I can possibly forgive, as I so so SO love the detailing on the back.
Blue crochet Back dress £24 Again, the blue could definitely work as a day dress in my book with a pretty spaghetti strap vest underneath. The ideal dress to pack on holiday to wear to the beach, go out for lunch or even dinner with a pair of heels.
Bright blue Two way skirt £16 Speaking of maxi skirts, I love the idea of doubling up on a skirt and a dress - fabulous for minimal packing options. I just need to decide which colours to get. If you look online there is the most fantastically wide selection.
Navy Jersey vest £8 100% viscose I love the fact these vests are a) viscose and not cotton and b) appear to have a shaped hem which I find so much more flattering than a straight cut across one. I would probably prefer not to have the little pocket but it really is hard to see in a darker colour.
Floral Peplum Top £26 This is very much out of my comfort zone but I actually reckon this could be pretty great over boyfriend jeans and a pair of fabulously strappy nude sandals. I'm thinking the contrast of the nipped in waist with the baggy jeans would make a great silhouette. Also love the juxtaposition of something so formal and verging on prim on top with an exceptionally laid back look on the bottom. And the colours and print is something very pleasing to my eye. I am totally talking myself into this one as I definitely have a "night out outfit" hole in my wardrobe this S/S.
With matching skirt £28 And wouldn't this be handy for a much dressier occasion? An instant dress!
Ivory 3/4 sleeve cowl neck top £14 This very much reminded me of my beloved Renoir tops from FCUK that I have lived in for years and find so useful. These from BHS are probably better actually as they're not as low cut - I have to wear a vest under mine as I don't usually fancy flashing my bra to all in sundry. The cowl makes the most flattering drape which extends down to the mumtum area.
Navy Sleeveless Cowl Neck top - £14 And for the summer in sleeveless. A gorgeous shade of indigo.
Blue Stud Detail top £15 100% viscose. Now last season, I tried on and didn't buy (and yes, it still haunts me. Gah) the most gorgeous (but expensive - hideously expensive) strappy, swing top from All Saints. This, I'm hoping is a loose swing top, that will work perfectly over skinny jeans or straight leg jeans rolled up. Again, a marvellous holiday purchase - as easy to wear over shorts for the day as over a pair of skinnies with heels for the evening.
White Chunky heel colour block sandal £20.80 I love the simplicity of these.
Navy Grecian Dress - £50 Gorgeous draping, great classic colour, guaranteed to be flattering. This is going on the list of dresses to try for the Dress Hunt. I'd team with quirky sandals to reduce the formal element of it - I've ordered a pair of strappy, multicoloured sandals for which I have (stupidly) high hopes.
So. What do we think? I certainly won't be doing all my shopping there, but for the few summer items I found, I'm really impressed. Seemingly great length on them (for some random reason, having hit 40, I'm after a beach dress that covers my bum. Call me crazy), interesting detail and great fabrics. And also items that you probably won't see many other people wearing (as opposed to a Zara dress/jacket/top that you can now depressingly spot at 20 paces) Very much looking forward to seeing the items in real life. Yes, should point out, I have seen NONE of these in the flesh so take zero responsibility if they're all truly vile.
Finishing with what I've been wearing over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Sunday for a great family day earlier on.
White jersey tee - Baukjen
Indigo real straight leg jeans - Gap
Quilted biker jacket - Zara
Secret Garden necklace - Stella & Dot
Rose gold metallic ballet pumps - Zara
Tan leather belt - Primark
Grey Cherelle cross body bag - Whistles
And late afternoon out for a party.
Lime and charcoal swing top - Cos
Metallic coated black skinnies - 2nd Day
Tan, black, snakeskin and lime block heel sandals - Zara
Pegasus necklace - Stella & Dot
Tan De Manta clutch - Alexander McQueen
Stunning day on Monday for lunch with friends, swim outdoors (not me, just the kids) ending up at the cousins for evening drinks. Perfect end to a great weekend.
Nude vest - Primark
Blush crocheted tunic - Zara
Distressed biker jeans - By Malene Birger
Rose gold Gigi sandals - Sam Edelman
Vanilla Roxanne - Mulberry
Sunglasses - Accessorize
Anyone else heading to BHS or will you be sticking to more familiar stomping ground? Or am I very late to the party and have you been shopping there for yonks? Is there more to BHS than cushions (at the very least, if you are after interiors bits, then honestly, it's definitely worth a look)