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Britain’s Best Baby Bag?: Designing the Perfect Mum Accessory with Cooper & Hill

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For fashion conscious women, there is nothing quite so frustrating as the baby bag dilemma.

It’s a pretty stark choice – buy a practical changing bag, which stores everything you need, but is designed to coordinate only with canvas prams and baby toys instead of the Jimmy Choos (dream world, moi?) or forego practicality with coordinated fashion totes but destroy the yummy mummy illusion every time you throw a dirty nappy over your shoulder while you hunt frantically for your phone and purse!

UK bag manufacturer, Cooper & Hill, want to do something different, making stylish bags designed with function in mind. I’m currently working with them on an exciting project to “crowd design” a brand new baby organiser based on your feedback. These organisers will simply pop into a fashion tote bag and transfer from bag to bag easily so you never forget your essentials or have to wave a nappy around in public again.

Over the next couple of days, I will be collecting feedback to send back to Cooper & Hill which they will use to adjust and improve their designs – even the colour range will be decided through your feedback!

Here are the initial designs – please vote on your favourites below (clicking on the images will let you look a little closer) and let us know what you like and what you don’t in the comments – the more detailed the better!! Let’s make this the best baby bag ever!

OPTION 1:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-1 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-2Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-3

OPTION 2:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-4 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-5 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-6

OPTION 3:

Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-7 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-8 Cooper & Hill Baby Bag 1-9

Please vote below and share wherever you can!

Which design do you prefer?

Sophisticated Mum 1
Sophisticated Mum 2
Sophisticated Mum 3
What colour would you like?

 

Please pick a maximum of 2 colours

Black

Grey
Brown
Beige / Neutral
Red
Blue
Pink
Purple
Green
Turquoise
Yellow
Other
Please Specify:

 

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Vintage Style Nursing Dresses

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If you like to rock a vintage vibe, don’t let a little thing like breastfeeding get in the way of your style. Leave frumpy nursing dresses behind and check out these retro designs which should work just as well as specialist nursing clothes.

This gorgeous fifties style comes in 3 shades and while the wrap front is “mock”, the fabric is stretchy so you should have room to manoeuvre. Go for a size up from your usual and wear with a net petticoat for added va-va-voom!

These lovely dresses also have that fifties feel. With a button front or stretch down neckline, breastfeeding access is simple – just layer over a nursing vest or add a cardigan worn cape style if you prefer to stay covered:

You don’t have to be a fifties fan to work a vintage look. Here are a few more of our breastfeeding friendly favourites:

Collectif Dana Navy Fitted Linen Vintage 50s Nautical Sailor Pencil Wiggle Dress

Sailor Style Blue Wiggle Dress
£38.99

Find lots more vintage inspired nursing clothes on the shop pages.

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Bristol Giant Bra Boosts Air Ambulance

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Earlier today, this giant chalk paint bra appeared in Cribbs Causeway for Bristol Fashion Week, in support of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC). Fashion Week organisers are asking local shoppers to donate their unwanted bras, which will be recycled to help keep the helicopter in the air.

Giant Bra - Cribbs Causeway

The GWAAC helicopter is based in Filton, just north of Bristol, and is part of the regional 999 emergency response service. It receives no funding from the government or National Lottery, which means it relies entirely on the generosity of local people to continue operating – a cost of £1.75m annually.

“Within five minutes of a 999 call to our base the aircraft is in the air. No more than 20 minutes later and the team are anywhere within the region that we cover. The result? One patient in five – a patient otherwise expected to die – survives.”

20% of cases the Air Ambulance attends involve children and babies under the age of 16 and you can read more about their work here.

Get involved

If you’re near Bristol and have some old bras sitting at the bottom of your underwear drawer, why not use them to give an “uplift” to a really great cause. Just look for the pink bins around The Mall throughout Bristol Fashion Week (24th – 28th September) to donate.

All donated bras will be collected by their recycling partner, Bag it Up, and shipped to Europe and South Africa to provide women with affordable support. GWAAC will receive money for the bras they recycle, which will go towards keeping the air ambulance in the sky.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity Collects Bras

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Ador(k)able anoraks

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Great news ladies – the anorak is cool at last!

Worn with everything from jeans to chic dresses, anoraks and pac-a-macs are having something of a fashion moment. Thanks to Miu Miu, the AW14 Paris catwalks were filled with practical looking waterproofs in all shapes and styles.

From cover all ponchos (did I mention fabulous breastfeeding access for rainy days?) to curve friendly Pac a Parkas, these lightweight lovelies are suddenly a fashion essential.

Despite the labels, this look is definitely more hiking than haute couture and I can’t promise that the elevation to high fashion is going to increase your elegance quotient as you run for shelter in this autumn’s downpours but, as life with young children means that you will spend more time in waterproof clothing than you ever thought possible and the high street has a fabulous selection (check out the range at ASOS!), why not find something you actually like before the fashion pack move on?

Here are a few of my favourites from across the web:

Love Label Floral Mac

Love Label Floral Mac, Was £18 Now £11

Breastfeeding Tips: Many of my early breastfeeding in public experiences were at the side of a rugby pitch full of teenage boys and in my experience, if you’re likely to need to actually feed outside in the rain, ponchos offer the best rain protection versus nursing access – you can wear pretty much anything you like underneath. They are however difficult to get fully on or off one-handed so a mac you can keep fastened cape-style at the neck (double ended zip or neck poppers) is a good compromise.

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Movember Madness

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Show your support for Movember with some fabulous fashion for the mini Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in your life…

Moustache Dummy
Notonthehighstreet, £12
Moustache Hairclips
George at ASDA, £2.50
Moustache Jumper
Tesco, from £6
Moustache Dress
George at ASDA, £8
Moustache T-shirtM&S, £6
Moustache Bodysuit
Notonthehighstreet, £16
Soft toy with moustache
Notonthehighstreet, £18
Moustache Slogan T-shirt
George at ASDA, £2

Why not sign up as a MO Sista and help fight the good fight for men’s health.

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