The first time I wore a serape was with jeans and short wellies and it got a lot of lovely compliments. Since then, I’ve come to realise that it’s an incredibly versatile wardrobe addition. I didn’t know how many ways there are to style a serape! A serape is defined as a blanket-like shawl, often made from wool, which drapes around the shoulders. Ordinarily, I avoid wearing any type of wool, including cashmere and mohair, because it irritates. Therefore, it came as a pleasant surprise to find that this mohair doesn’t scratch at all. It’s incredibly soft and cosy. Like wearing a hug.

These are my favourite looks…

Look One: How to style a serape with jeans (casual)

This was the first time I wore the ecru serape. This is a very casual and cosy look and one that I’ll revisit over and over.  A serape is ideal for popping over jeans and wellies for an autumn walk.

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Look Two: How To Style A Serape With Jeans And A Blazer (Smart)

I love the equestrian look and I think this outfit has a nod to the ’90s which is enjoying a resurgence right now. This camel-coloured serape is understated and elegant and is an excellent neutral which can be teamed in a classic way, for example with navy. Imagine it though with leopard print or pale blue. There are very few colours or prints that camel doesn’t work with so this would be an excellent investment.

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Look Three: How To Style A Serape With A Casual Autumn Dress

When the weather is changeable, it can be difficult to know what to wear as an outer layer. I don’t feel quite ready to get my winter coat out but there’s been a definite need for an additional layer of late. A serape is less confining than a jacket and can be draped loosely around the shoulders and pulled tighter when required. It’s also a lot easier to carry than a jacket if the sun puts in an appearance. This colour of this one is divine. Rich yet subtle. That’s the beauty of top quality mohair; it takes dye beautifully.

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Look Four: How To Style A Serape With A Smart Dress

A serape in a darker colour such as navy or black is ideal for teaming with a smart dress for an evening look. It’s much warmer than a pashmina- perfect for the taxi ride home.

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Look Five: How To Style A Serape With A Belt

This is my favourite way of styling a serape. It’s a little unexpected. It’s elegant, not a word one would usually associate with wearing a woollen blanket! The key to styling a serape with a belt is to keep the bottom half slim and neat. It wouldn’t work as well with a dress for example because there would be too much fabric. From a practical point of view too, it means the serape stays in place, especially if walking and carrying a clutch.

I love how the mohair reflects light. If this were a flatter fabric such as felt, the black would look too austere against my fair colouring. For that reason that I don’t wear black very often, but the sheen softens the look and makes it very flattering.

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Samuel Tweed Fabrics: About The Brand

The mohair fabric is manufactured in the UK by a Yorkshire-based family business called Samuel Tweed Fabrics, a company synonymous with luxury mohair. They have shipped their apparel fabrics to Europe’s top fashion houses, including Dior, Prada and Ninna Ricci among others since the 1950s and to huge British brands Boden and Topshop. I relish collaborating with local brands. Here in the North, we do miss out sometimes. Most brand headquarters are based in London and that’s where meetings and press shows are held. It’s simply not commutable. Therefore, when company director John Harrison contacted me to see if I would like to meet, here in Skipton, to discuss this partnership, I was very excited He is a designer by profession and has worked in the fashion/fabric industry his whole career. It was his idea to style the serape with a belt actually! He’s a great guy and I’ve enjoyed every meeting and every moment working with him. It is such a privilege to meet people behind their brand and to get an insight and understanding about the company and its ethos.

Mohair Serapes, Throws and Scarves In An Array Of Colours

Samuel Tweed fabrics sells the most divine throws, mohair scarves and serapes in a range of colours- both plains and plaids. As I mentioned earlier, mohair takes dye beautifully, a fact evident in the richness of the colours.  The plaid scarves are timeless and the mix of colours is divine. Head over to their website to see the full range of scarves. They’re perfect for men as well as women and make a beautiful gift. The serapes are currently available in ecru, dark navy, claret, camel and black but Samuel Tweed Fabrics will manufacture one in any of the 40 plus colours they hold in stock.

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I’d like to thank Samuel Tweed Fabrics for commissioning and sponsoring this post. All of my opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. I’m very grateful that you support the brands that support What Lizzy Loves, especially when they’re local family businesses.

what lizzy lovesmarks and spencer constellation midi dress birthday outfit

I got this Marks and Spencer dress at the end of August. I was shopping with Poppy for sixth-form clothes and saw it, fell in love and bought it. In fact, I loved the print so much that I bought the constellation top too. (£29.50, in stock in all sizes). You might recall that I wore the top with coated skinnies on a recent date night. I knew then that I wanted to wear the dress for my birthday meal. I also knew that it would prove to be popular. Sure enough, at the time of writing it’s sold out in every size, but I know there are plans to restock. (Click here to see)

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I was going to team it with ankle boots but decided in the end to go for a pair of black suede bow heels. They were from Boden several seasons ago. I know some don’t like wearing black with navy, but to me, it’s an elegant combination, very French. Navy footwear would have looked too matchy matchy.

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My bag is the *Alex wristlet leather clutch bag by Label Lab at House of Fraser (£45). It’s a fabulous bag, made from very tactile, soft leather. The handle loops through a ring to make it into a wristlet, always useful if one needs to hold something as well as a cocktail. Usually a camera in my case. It’s a useful size and works with all manner of colours and styles.

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If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I love all things stellar and that I also have a small online accessories business. My silver double stars ring is from there (Danon at LizzyO, £25) and is available in gold too along with other matching items.

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I loved wearing this constellation midi dress and I know it’ll become a “go-to” option for various events. I love how swooshy it is. I’m going to try it with my silver Supergas for a more casual daytime look, perhaps with a denim jacket.

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Thank you very much for all of your lovely comments on my previous post, the one I wrote on my birthday, (which includes photos of the dress in action, rather than in posed shots). The archery I did with Ian and the children was really good fun, something different. I enjoyed every moment of what was a magical weekend.

It’s my birthday today and I love my birthday. I always have done. Partly, it’s because it starts a season of other birthdays and celebrations and of course, it leads up to Christmas. But mainly, it’s because I love nothing more than celebrating (anything) with my family and friends. I like to reflect on the previous year too, to remind myself of the privileged, fortunate life I lead.

The last year has been truly life-changing. Not just for me, but for my children too. We, the awesome threesome, our little family unit, is as close as ever emotionally. However, we’re no longer a threesome very often. Poppy’s waitressing job and Harry’s football mean we are rarely together at weekends. They started their A-level and GCSE courses respectively, so spend a lot of time doing homework during the week. They’re growing up. And quickly.

Sometimes though, we’re a foursome. It was around this time last year that I met Ian. Our relationship on my last birthday was at the very earliest stage; full of promise, excitement and anticipation. He sent flowers and I had to ‘fess up to my parents, (who were here when they arrived), that a lovely man had recently entered my life. Our lives. One year later I’m just as excited. More so actually. He still sends flowers, well brings them, almost every time we see each other and we’ve made what feels like a lifetime of happy memories already. Introducing a new partner to teenage children hasn’t been easy, but patience, understanding and unfaltering love have got us all through it.  And, in two weeks time, our two families are going away on holiday together. I didn’t see foresee that a year ago!

My work has changed too. Giving up my day job at Aspire Magazine was a difficult decision but it’s enabled me to focus on my blog, which is essentially my business; my brand. This year I went to the Chelsea Flower Show with the Over 40 Collective and to York Races and Scarborough with Ian. Just last month I went to River Cottage and to Berlin. Things that dreams are made of.

So last night, we had a fabulous family  meal at Le Caveau, one of our favourite restaurants. Poppy baked an amazing cake and the whole evening was wonderful from start to finish. I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.

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It was a fabulous and memorable evening. Later today, Ian, the children and I are going to do some archery and I’m so looking forward. It’s been an amazing year and I really really can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.