Don’t you just love it when you find the perfect party dress in an unexpected place… Whether it’s from a new designer, or a well known brand that just upped the game with a new collection of limited edition pieces, it’s always nice to discover something that no one else has… yet! And that’s exactly what happened when Monsoon asked if I’d like to pick an outfit from their new collection to wear at an event to celebrate the art of gifting.
Having checked out their website I was really impressed, but I wanted to feel the fabrics and check out the fit so I popped into one of their London stores and ended up piled high with pieces to try on. Chunky intarsia knits, this beautiful embellished velvet jacket, a gorgeous printed midi which would be perfect with suede knee boots at the weekend, a printed velvet suit, which was so “un-me”, but I loved it all! I think it’s always worth going into a store you don’t usually shop at with an open mind, ready to mix things up. I don’t usually wear knee length dresses but I loved the jacquard star fabric of this dress so I’m planning on buying it and getting it taken up (ok, who am I kidding, I’ll most likely just hoik it up and belt it) at the waist, and it’ll be perfect for Christmas lunch parties with my favourite leather waist belt and thigh high boot.
So having dropped off a pile of things in the changing room I headed upstairs and found the limited edition pieces. Now these are a little more pricey but the detailing is amazing! After a good trying on session I decided to go all out with the party theme and I picked this velvet embellished dress with the black velvet embroidered cape I’d spotted online for a bit of drama! I love it as an evening coat, but it’s just as fab at the weekend over black skinnies and my favourite oversized cashmere sweater.
The next evening I headed out in my new outfit and met up with the other girls at Quill, where we were well and truly spoilt. We started the evening with drinks and canapés and then picked out the sweetest gifts from shelves laden with scented candles, embroidered bags, photo frames, and pretty candle holders. Check out the hand painted boxes that we got to take them all home in – how gorgeous and a relatively easy idea to make “the art of gifting” that little more special.
Next up was a lesson in modern calligraphy with the girls from Quill. I’ve heard about these classes before and now I’ve tried it, I couldn’t recommend it enough! The key is: pressure on the down stroke and off on the up stroke, and they give you a neat little guide to show you how the letters should look. It’s actually a really relaxing, almost meditative thing to do. The girls from Quill were so encouraging and we all came away with gift tags for our loved ones and everything we needed to carry on practising.
So this Christmas I’m going to be picking out my gifts and making them that little bit more special with beautiful packaging – after all, it’s the thought the counts. And in keeping with “the art of gifting”, keep an eye out for my upcoming guides with the perfect pressies for your loved ones!
Shop my look, and a couple of other favourite outfits I’ve put together below:
This post was kindly commissioned by Monsoon. All opinions are my own.