“I have always had a love for clothes and fashion,” says Ashley Roberts, Showbiz Correspondent on Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden. “It’s always changing but I like to have fun with fashion, I like to have the freedom to express my different moods and personalities through my clothes.”
And it’s this lifelong love affair with fashion that means, despite her (very) early starts, the presenter ALWAYS looks incredible as she heads into work at the radio station’s HQ in London. She says: “For me, getting dressed up, putting on an outfit and feeling like you’re celebrating life, is fun.”
And right now, as we find ourselves in the middle of another lockdown, we couldn’t agree more. In fact, while clothes and fashion retailers have been deemed ‘non-essential’ forcing stores to close, we know that for many, fashion and dressing to feel good is ‘essential‘!
And that’s why River Island has curetted a whole collection that’s all about dressing up to stay at home. It’s called the ‘Essential Non-Essentials’ and includes everything you could need for getting gorgeous whether it’s a day at the home office or for your daily trip to the supermarket.
“Some days I do just chill in sweats,” says Ashley. “But I think it’s important, especially in lockdown with all that’s going on in the world, to have a bit of structure. And to get dressed up, it feels good. It just gives you a vibe.”
The essential knit
At this time of year, we’re all busy updating our knitwear with jumpers, cardigans and woolly accessories becoming our everyday must-haves.
But, if you want to give your knits a little something extra then this gorgeous jumper dress by River Island, which Ashley wore with these incredible slouchy knee-high boots, is just the thing.
Not only will it keep you toasty on a cold day, but we love the slinky fit, puffed sleeves and shiny button details on the cuffs.
“It’s super soft and manages to be comfortable and dressed up,” says Ashley, who admits to making an effort even when she’s home alone. “I’m dressed up right now and I’ve just done the dishes. Also sometimes I’ll put on a bit of music in my kitchen and all of a sudden outfits start coming out and I just start dancing in the kitchen by myself.”
The essential midi
We don’t know about you, but we’ve got a love thing going with the midi. It’s such a flattering and versatile length, making it a trend everyone can get on board with. So if you haven’t tried it yet, we say now is definitely the moment!
And a midi works at any time of the year.
It can be layered, styled up, dressed down and this polka dot version by River Island is sure to become a go-to this season.
Ashley styled hers with a pair of block heel ankle boots but the beauty of a midi like this is, it will look just as fantastic with trainers or high heel sandals. The options are endless.
“The shoulder detail is really cute,” says Ashley. “A thigh-high split can be both playful and sexy.”
Feeling good while we’re stuck at home is so important and a dress like this is ideal for making the mundane just a bit more special.
So why not dress up for an at-home date night? Or a video dinner party with friends and family? Or just to take the bins out?
With fashion that makes you feel good, there are no rules!
“It lifts your spirits,” agrees Ashley. “Just makes you feel a bit brighter and you can face the day. I love it.”
The essential mini
“My earliest fashion memory is that my mom had this box filled with 70s clothes,” remembers Ashley. “Bellbottoms, platform shoes and fringe jackets.”
So it’s no surprise Ashley chose this look from River Island’s Essential Non-Essentials collection.
This mini dress, in luxe velvet and with its high neck and embroidered cutwork detailing, is pure 1970s.
Especially when it’s styled so perfectly with a pair of knee high boots.
“Velvet always feels fun,” says Ashley. “And these boots are ideal for strutting around in, even it’s just from the kitchen to the living room.”