Many thanks to La Retrosessuale over at Shangri Law for this week's great Carnivale of Couture blog topic. "You are stranded at a lifelong party on The Island of Superfantasticness. What are the fashion items you simply cannot live without?"


1. The Perfect Pair Of Jeans
Sorry to be Mrs Predictable, but a girl's got to have her denims. I like mine mid-rise, dark but not indigo, long enough to wear with heels, and slightly bootcut (with thighs like mine, skinny jeans are only suitable for tucking into boots). On thin days I wear Paper, Denim & Cloth bootcuts. On the other 364 days of the year, I live in Seven7 5 pocket flare jeans (not to be mistaken for Seven For All Mankind, because I'm cheap). They look great with everything.


2.  A Knock 'Em Dead Dress!
Though I do believe every girl should have a simple black shift in her wardrobe for those times when nothing else looks right, in reality I'm not much of a Little Black Dress girl. I like my dresses bold, beautiful and floaty enough to hide the rolls. As always, Matthew Williamson is the man for the job. This dress might be from a past season, but it's still fabulous. And so it should be for over £400...on sale.


3. Gorgeous, Versatile Tops
They go with jeans, they go with skirts. In the day, they look smart/casual, at night they can be dressed up to look sexy and sultry. Every woman needs a few beautiful tops in her wardrobe. Slightly more exciting than a block-coloured tee or a classic tank, but not so sequinned and beaded as an evening-only design, these are perfect for just about every occassion. All tops shown are from Anthropologie.


4. Shoes For All Occassions
It won't be a surprise for you to know that I find it difficult to cull my shoe collection when I go away, but the truth is most women could survive with only four pairs of shoes. The first is a simple flip-flop in a plain colour (in my case, that means pink Havaianas from Igapost). They're comfy, easy to wear, and double up as slippers. The next is a pair of flats, for long walks and days when heels just won't do. I favour ballet flats (French Sole does them better than anyone else) but any flat-soled favourites will do. Then comes the espadrille or wedge sandal (like Michael Kors 'Palm Beach' style). It's a stylish look this season, but also a comfortable way to add some extra height. Plus, on a tropical island they're so chic!


Finally, there's the 'treat' shoes. Those gorgeous, impractical designer heels that make you smile the minute you remove the tissue paper. They might not be practical, but when was that ever an issue? Right now, I'm ogling Christian Louboutin's lace sandals, and Chloe's silver python sandals.


5. True Beauty Essentials
Hey, if I'm going to be on an island for the rest of my life, I'll need a few beauty essentials. Firstly, there's the all-important sun protection (I love the super girly Original Bombshell SPF products). Then, with temporamental skin like mine, a good cleanser is essential, so I'd be taking Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish with me. Then there's the three make-up items I can't live without. Mascara (I get through tubes of Rimmel Volume Flash like it's going out of fashion), cheek and lip tint (Sugarbaby Pink Ink) and lipgloss (Lancome Juicy Tubes, of course).  For everything else (chapped lips, dry cuticles, sunburn etc) there's Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, a true desert island product.