J Crew for holiday

If I ever have the funds for a start-up business, it will be in swimwear for those of us who have non-perfect (NORMAL) bodies who still want to be youthful! I am on a never-ending quest to find any swimwear which is supportive for the bigger bust and yet not frumpy or mumsy at the same time. I know exactly what I don't want - mostly from all the years of trying to find what I do want! You name it and I have tried the brand and moved on for many different reasons. 

This last holiday I was finally tempted to try out J Crew by a few other bloggers. I have to admit I had looked at their one-pieces for a few years and decided I was not keen on the ruching across the body and dismissed even trying them on. But as I became more and more desperate and my packing deadline was approaching, a sale email alerted me to them once again...

Ruched Femme One Piece £49

Ruched Femme One Piece £49

It really doesn't look much on the page, and is even less inspiring on the (very thin) model. But at that price, I figured it was worth a try. Returns are free, and you can even return in store if that is easier for you.  The style comes in regular, D-Cup, DD-Cup and long torso 

Colours available are: 

I added the navy and charcoal to my collection and found them true to size (possibly erring on the slightly generous size). After a week of wearing them, I am totally in love. Not the most supportive, I am the first to admit, but the comfort factor is high. No serious tummy control panel and no annoying boning to dig in. The fabric is incredibly soft and fast drying, although I did take the foam inserts out after the first few days and preferred the suits that way. No riding up. No tugging or pulling when the suit was wet or dry. I wasn't convinced I would like the thick shoulder straps as I prefer a halter neck, but somehow this style just made me feel good. These are keepers!

If you don't need the special cup sizes or torso length, here is a slightly different version. This shade of green is gorgeous in paler skins or for the beginnings of holiday before any tan appears.

Ruched Halter One-Piece £49

Ruched Halter One-Piece £49

I would highly recommend a quick browse on the website to see if there is something to fit your needs. It is not the easiest of websites to navigate, but if you type exactly what you are looking for into the search engine it seems to offer the most products!

And of course while I was already making an order it seemed rude not have a quick look at the beach cover-ups! I ordered this striped kaftan thinking I would definitely be taking it back...

Striped Kaftan £49

Striped Kaftan £49

A-Mazing! Very sheer, so you could possibly wear it out and about with a slip underneath, but as a beach cover-up it worked a treat. The fabric is so light and cool, and yet it gives decent coverage for the essential trip for lunch on the beach. The longer length means no hot sticky seat issues either! I would say it comes up at least a size too big though - I was too in love to swap mine and have a Small and am usually a size 10. I would happily try the XS or even the XXS. I am definitely tempted to try some other styles now...

Mixed paisley Tunic £89

Mixed paisley Tunic £89

This looks gorgeous, but I find sleeves just too hot when I am on summer holiday...if you are in the UK might be perfect though? And the ideal little boho white beach dress...

Sleeveless clip-dot tunic £69.50

Sleeveless clip-dot tunic £69.50

And for easy chic all holiday vibes I LOVE this dress:

Resort Dress £98

Resort Dress £98

Certainly food for thought. I can't recommend highly enough and will definitely be tempted in again. I would love to hear any other successes out there?

Thanks for reading,

Meg xx

Little Spring in your life?

I am sure the sunshine is having the same wonderful effect on you and yours? I am soooo looking forward to longer, warmer days and not having to wear coats and scarves. If you are needing a few brightening lifts for your summer wardrobe, look no further. Maybe the Easter Bunny could even deliver them for you?

I struggle with the debate of carrying a BIG handbag around with all my "necessities" in it, or ditching it for a small cross-body. I know - first world problems! I like to always be able to fit my sunglasses, purse, lipstick, phone, tissues and a few other bits, so the bag can't be tiny. Fitting my purse in is a struggle. For years I have carried a large wallet type purse (which I love) with unknown numbers of receipts and loyalty cards etc. But it has dawned on me, that I rarely need any of the extra rubbish in there and am more than happy when I use a small zip purse on holidays. So what better time to hunt down something bright and springlike to put into your handbag to bring a smile to your face every time you open it? I have one of these and the leather is butter soft, the zip smooth and perfectly sized. It is a little tricky fitting notes in it, but going cashless is the way forward when you have teenagers always dipping into your cash anyway.

Obviously there are plenty of variations on this theme, but I am taken with the little slogans and the gorgeous colours of these and need look no further. If you are also in the market for a cross body/clutch bag to fit this into, and a pop of colour and happiness to your daily outfits, then take a look at these... First up a bigger pouch version of the coin purse at John Lewis. I am a sucker!

Kin Across Body Bag in silver £59

Kin Across Body Bag in silver £59

Hopefully these suggestions have put you in the right mood for Spring? Are you a sucker for a slogan like me?

As always, thanks so much for reading,

Meg xx

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Sun?

If any of you are lucky enough to be heading off to somewhere warm over Easter, or if you are starting to shed your winter layers wondering if you should offer sunglasses to onlookers due to the gleaming white colour of your skin, then fear not as I have a solution! Ta dah...

St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tanner

St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tanner

When I first bought this last summer, I was incredibly disillusioned with the product. It is a very subtle approach to self tanning and most definitely doesn't give the same effect as a spray tan or self tanning mousse. I also found it a bit of a bore, waiting around wet for 3 minutes before I could rinse off.

But fast forward to a winter sun holiday, when you really don't need to be completely bronzed, and I gave this another shot. WOW! I was completely taken with it and am in love. Let me give you a few tips on how I made it work for me...

1: Exfoliate!!! Doesn't matter what you use to do this step, but make sure you get to all the rough skin patches.  If you want to make a treat of the exfoliation, my favourite products are Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub, and Ren Rose Sugar Body Polish.

2: After reading some people's tips on the 3 minute wait (planking and other virtuous activities), I now use the time - and I happily take 5 minutes or more with no untoward affects so far - to do my skincare and make-up and even clean my teeth. As long as you are standing on a bath mat you are good to drip a bit? Time flies like this :)

3. Moisturise profusely afterwards. You won't notice much of a change immediately, but by evening you will suddenly realise you have a tint of colour (or you just don't glow white anymore!)

I happily apply this 3 times in the next week and have enough colouring to feel more comfortable with my legs and any other bits on show. Saves the hassle of a spray tan (I hate that sticky feeling and the bad night's sleep waiting for it to develop properly!). If you are worried about how to do your back, I have a truly hilarious hint - apply the lotion to the backs of your hands and use a windscreen wiper action to apply to your back! Miraculous discovery! I have not had any problems with blotches as the tint is so carefully subtle.

Bring on the ankle showing weather.

Meg xx

 

In and out of love with Gap

As a small town kiwi girl arriving into Europe many moons ago, I was totally enthralled by the huge variety of clothing brands! Being a very simple style kind of girl, I was thrilled to see Gap featuring on every High Street, after already having taken a shine to the label on my travels through the US. I was in LOVE! But over the years, I have had a very on and off relationship with Gap as their various designers have also come and gone. As a Mum of young boys, it was a fab place to stock up on basics which could go in the washing machine and tumble dryer and still be passed on to other families once my lot had outgrown them. But for myself I would have seasons where I couldn't even get past the front door as it all looked so sad and drab.

Lately I have had to force myself back in there to look around - it doesn't help that my Inbox is filled with discount codes from Gap and the shop floor always looks a disaster with sales everywhere. In the nature of research I was in there recently and found an amazing collection of new denim. You all know how much I love Zara jeans, but I do find they wear out and fade very quickly if you wash them too often. This makes me very sad, when I find a "perfect" pair! So I will share my latest discovery with you...

Top of my list are these Girlfriend jeans...perfect for the apple shaped amongst us who just cant wear boyfriend jeans without having a very saggy bum! The denim is particularly soft and worn and feels like a much more expensive designer brand. There are a multitude of washes and colours/shades to please us all.

Best Girlfriend Jeans £44.95 

Best Girlfriend Jeans £44.95 

Or if you are having a go at ditching your skinnies, but still enjoy a slimmer silhouette, give the Real Straight a whirl. With the bottoms turned up to show a bit of ankle (the roll-up will slim down your legs too), you have comfort and style easily done.

I have to admit that as much as I love a bit of ankle flashing, I am not finding it easy to get the right footwear for an ankle crop jean. To be totally honest, the flare and crop seem to take inches off your leg, which is not my aim!  Even these models don't look amazing...they seem to be screaming out for heels, which are not part of my everyday situation.

So while I am still hunting for the perfect crop kick jeans to wear with flats , I would say that doing the roll-up yourself is just much easier. Pretty much all of your footwear looks great with them. 

Go in and have a trying on session, or even better order lots of different sizes and try on at home with your own tops and shoes at your leisure. I am not pretending jeans-buying is easy, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by these ones. 

Best of luck,

Meg xx

 

 

 

Top of my Wishlist

I have fallen in love with all things Spring - not difficult when it is still freezing cold outside at the moment?  Although I am not a big fan of wearing colours myself, I am always partial to a bit of Easter Pastel action...this Spring I "think" I am in the market for a blazer in a pale shade.  Maybe cream, white or blush pink?

It was this image which got me really looking...

Then I just HAD to look at what else is out there to fit the gap in my wardrobe...

I love the very casual nature of this creamy blazer...comfort but enough structure on the shoulder to help give you a nice shape. Comes in grey and black and navy also. Even better you can throw it into the washing machine, meaning it could be an everyday piece and not just for non-eating and drinking occasions!

This (above) looks like the perfect fit to me - and I am sucker for anything with a bit more stretch in it for everyday racing around. And the number below looks even easier to throw on as it is really a cardigan masquerading as a jacket. The short sleeves have me a bit confused, but perfect for our English summer when your Tee or camisole is not warm enough and this could dress you up nicely. The colour is supposed to be light grey, but it has a definite baby blue tint to it, which as much as I resist is a great colour for my skin tone.

Or maybe I could start with this version from Zara - easy on the purse and go from there? Just add some girlfriend jeans rolled up above your ankle, trainers, teeshirt  and bright coloured cross-body bag and everyday chic is yours. To glam it up for an evening, change up your footwear for a Granny block heel or strappy sandal, swap out your tee for a lacy camisole, add some dangly earrings, a cute clutch and off you go.

I will let you know how I get on!

meg xx




Sometimes it snows in April?

I guess it can't be that much of an anomaly if Prince wrote a song about it way back when, but it is definitely screwing with my need for Spring clothes. In the meantime I have a few ideas to keep us from going mad with boredom while we keep ourselves warm.

My winter uniform is definitely very predictable. I am not really complaining (maybe a little?), but I do tend to stick to my tried and tested uniform silhouette of skinnies and slouchy long top.  It certainly makes the most of my figure and hides all the chocolate I seem to be addicted to...plus it is cosy and warm. It does have a tendency to easily become too 'mumsy" though, and I have found a few tricks to avoid this trap.

1. Footwear : this winter I have fallen out of love with boots. The upside has been realising how much more flattering showing off some ankle is when you are encased in winter woollies up top. Who knew? It has been a revelation, and no I have not been too cold! As long as the rest of you is nicely covered, there is no problem (and with trainers I have been wearing thicker sports socks which keep my feet warmer than most of my boots do). Always try to give your skinnies a small turn-up to show off your ankle bone - it lengthens and slims the leg. I think you need your jeans slightly looser than leggings style to add in the skinny ankle effect too! On my wishlist to keep me going till Spring are: 

2. Earrings ; especially when your jumper is high necked! Add in some fun earrings. I am seriously fussy when it comes to earrings. I am only interested in silver (gold makes me look so pale and ill!) and they have to be so comfortable I don't remember if I am wearing them.I like the look of these:

Asos Mini Traingle £5

Asos Mini Traingle £5

Asos Sterling Silver Stars £12

Asos Sterling Silver Stars £12

3. A new hat: I have fallen in love with my Hush cashmere slouch beanie. No hat hair and no itching, only warm head and ears! Unfortunately no longer in stock, but here a few options to try.

3. A warm scarf: if you find a new one now, it will be a fabulous treat at the beginning of Autumn next year as well. Add a bit of fringe and a softer colour to hint at warmer weather ahead.

How are you coping with your winter wardrobe?

Meg xx 


 

 

 

 

 

Simple Spring Style

London Fashion Week was full of crazy fashions which may or may not trickle down to everyday reality. It is always such a shame to see how under represented the everyday woman is at these things.  Just give us some comfortable, well priced pieces which make us look and feel good! Is that really too much to ask? 

The few trends which I think might be adaptable are:

- the colour pink...how simple to add a pink tee or shirt or even a scarf. There is a shade to suit us all too!

Gap Vintage Tee £12.95

Gap Vintage Tee £12.95

- florals in any form to welcome spring 

Zara Printed Blouse £39.99

Zara Printed Blouse £39.99

- slip dresses and camisoles a la 1990s (as long as you cover them up a bit?)

Perfection from Miss Palermo as always

Perfection from Miss Palermo as always

- frayed hem jeans (any cut or colour)

- a bit of shoulder on display

Whistles Bardot Top £85

Whistles Bardot Top £85

- sleeve details: big cuffs, lots of pleats, lots of volume, lots of details

Zara Poplin Blouse £29.99

Zara Poplin Blouse £29.99

And if none of those grab you, you could just swap out your handbag for something a bit colourful, patterned or textured as a nod in the right direction?

&Other Stories D-Ring Crossbody bag £65

&Other Stories D-Ring Crossbody bag £65

Let me know how you are getting on with your Spring Wishlist?

Meg xx

I love Cos

On a wee shopping spree last week, I made a beeline for one of my favourite stores: Cos. Most of their clothing is quite baggy and minimal which suits me down to the ground. There is a great variety of clothing though and the quality is amazing. I love the pared down scandi vibe, but with an added everyday feel to suit my casual lifestyle.

My favourite piece was:

Cape with Zip Hood £125 

Cape with Zip Hood £125 

and without the hood!

and without the hood!

Despite the temperature dropping over Half Term I have been finding plenty of reasons to wear this cape/coat already.  So easy and hides a multitude of sins. Expect to see me in this A LOT! It comes in grey too, if you are feeling a bit lighter than me...

I am feeling bored of my coat wardrobe after the same old same old on rotation over the past months. The idea of a sort of hybrid cardigan/blazer/jacket for sunnier and warmer days coming our way certainly seems a good idea to me. Take a look at a few of these offerings all at Cos...

I would happily take any or all of these and wear them to death as Spring starts to show it's face (or is the blossom just way too early this year?)

Happy Shopping,

Meg xx





Is there such a thing as dressing your age?

Oh how times have changed! Do you remember your grandmother and the way she dressed in her 50s and 60s? How about your mother at the same age? Now take a look around and see how far we have come! Grannies in skinny jeans and ankle boots - yes. Middle aged Mummies in leather trousers and jackets - definitely! 

You can always find a magazine article which directs you to age-appropriate dressing. Evidently you can pull anything off in your 20s, should start investing in bags and shoes in your 30s, wear cashmere and flat shoes in your 40s, and in your 50s, it should be all about designer pieces which are timeless (and mostly fashionless also!). As if, once your 20s are over, so is any fun you might want to have with your clothes! Are we just meant to disappear into the background?! I think not! But as society comes to terms with who is the spending force these days, as well as the fact that at 40, some of us are only just realising and embracing our true style, the idea of dressing to any particular age is crazy.

Nowadays it is incredibly difficult to pinpoint a woman's age after she turns 35. As long as you are happy and comfortable, you can get away with anything. Take these gorgeous celebrities for example, who don't look anything like middle aged!

Julianne Moore 55

Julianne Moore 55

Helen Mirren 70

Helen Mirren 70

Judi Dench 81

Judi Dench 81

The Queen

The Queen

In 2016 women are more likely to worry about wearing anything which makes them appear older than they actually are!  While I am not at all a fan of any kind of surgery to reverse or slow down the effects of ageing, I do believe that how we dress can definitely make us feel and look more youthful. I am more than happy to embrace my advancing years, but I don't think I have to look "mumsy" or frumpy just because I am no longer 25. I am happy to leave a lot of the trends to the young girls (I am talking to you mini skirts, hotpants, super high waisted jeans and crop-tops), but I certainly think I can still dip my toe into many of the other fashions going on. And I hope I am still feeling the same way when I am 50, 60 and 70 years old. 

Keeping abreast of what the latest trends are means you can easily update your own style to keep you looking more youthful. You may decide the cut of jeans you like best and then wear them forever, but if you can adopt whatever the latest fashionable cut is, you will instantly help the rest of your wardrobe to look fresher. Likewise with any other item. If you are still wearing your mid-rise straight leg jeans from GAP circa 2000, then rejoice, as you can now just snip off the bottoms to ankle length and fray the hems, or leave a big single rolled cuff and you have magically joined the latest jeans for 2016. Plus all the other items in your wardrobe will take on a new look with your new shape jeans. Embrace the latest pointed toe flats and as well as adding some length to your legs, you are right on top of Spring footwear 2016. If you need comfortable shoes, look into some of the gorgeous trainer styles around and you can kill two birds with one stone. Don't be afraid to keep trying out new things! Not everything is going to suit everyone...

 One of the benefits of getting older, is that we are supposed to be wiser... hopefully we are learning that the more comfortable we are with our clothes, the more confident and appealing we can look. 

It can definitely be a good idea to retire the things in your wardrobe which just take too much effort to wear. If you no longer enjoy wearing high heels, then gift them on and embrace some fantastic flats instead. They don't have to be Granny style (although that is one of the major Spring Styles so you would be bang on trend!), but something you love to wear.

Whistles Kew Scallop Flat Point £115

Whistles Kew Scallop Flat Point £115

If your waist is slowly increasing, feel free to look for shirt dresses and leave the belt untied or take it off. 

FCUL Kruger Shirt Dress £90

FCUL Kruger Shirt Dress £90

 If you just can't keep your bingo wings at bay, let the sleeveless tops go and invest in a few gorgeous sleeved numbers which make you feel just as glamorous.

Pyrus Fern Silk Blouse £165

Pyrus Fern Silk Blouse £165

Investigate jeans or trousers with lots of stretch, but which still help you feel on trend. Mother Denim are incredibly expensive, but the waistbands are very stretchy and are cut for comfort and to flatter the female curves. I am not usually a fan of designer denim (my jeans heart belongs to Zara), but after trying these on I may be tempted to keep my eye out for anything in the sale. 

Mother: The Insider cropped straight jeans £243

Mother: The Insider cropped straight jeans £243

I hope you agree there is no such thing as dressing your age, just dressing to feel good about yourself and putting your best out there. And any excuse to keep on browsing and shopping is very welcome in my book.

Meg xx

 

 

 

Anything goes...

You are not alone in wondering what on earth to wear at the moment...our winter wardrobes seem a bit dull after wearing them for a few months. I am hearing it from so many people right now. The same old scarves and coats everyday!  But we are mostly driven by the media and find it hard to not get caught up in having the latest and a bit of new to cheer us up. Imagine if we could all just be content, and stop overfilling our wardrobes?

Take the super cool Emmanuelle Alt, editor of French Vogue, as an example. This woman is rarely seen in any colour other than black, navy, grey, white or khaki. She wears trousers and a shirt/ tee and jacket most days. Her shoes are usually to die for, but vary between heels, trainers, flats and boots - almost always in black). She seems to only ever wear two different belts. Her hairstyle has been the same forever and her jewellery is practically only ever a very chic Cartier watch and an understated Hermes cuff.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

And yet this woman is a major Fashion Icon.

I believe the secret is in her self-confidence (not forgetting her Frenchness though!). Emmanuelle has found the clothes that work for her lifestyle, that flatter her best, that she feels great in, and has happily taken any of the pain out of dressing each day. Do you think she worries if anyone has seen her in that outfit before?! We all have, at least a million times, but we still covet each and every outfit and want to emulate her. She just wears what she wants to, despite being surrounded by fashionistas and models constantly. I don't think I have ever seen her in a dress, and certainly never any bright colours. She lets all the latest trends pass her by, but manages to still look far cooler than most.

For some of you, this way of dressing is boring and too plain. But for me it is undeniably cool and simple. I love the idea of dressing to please myself, and find it much easier as the years go by to embrace my own style and just get on with it. If you can be happy with your own wardrobe and style, you will definitely appear more confident and put-together to others. It doesn't mean you don't love the current trends, or bright colours, or pretty dresses, just that you prefer them on other people! Or you pick one trend at a time and just dip your toe in slightly?

Try not to be concerned about the opinion of others (much easier if you have comfortable clothes on that make you feel good, than too tight or too short, or too bright!). One of my pet moans is girls who spend their time constantly fidgeting with their clothes and looking seriously uncomfortable in their own skin. Forget about copying the magazines and catwalks, until you have figured out what your best look is and go from there. Adapt a few current trends to suit your individual style and build up your basic uniform pieces to give out the message of who you really are. What do your clothes say about you? Embrace your body and learn to love it with all it's imperfections. 

Wear whatever you feel best in, because lets face it, we all need to feel great to battle everyday life!

Thanks for reading,

Meg xx

 

 

Pinch and a Punch

How can it already be February? I am still playing catch up after Christmas and yet Half Term is practically upon us. And what on earth is the Fashion World doing with so many different crazes and trends happening? If you are anything like me, most of the mags, and catwalk trends just don't really fit into my very small world...

Gorgeous, but not quite right for my school run?

Gorgeous, but not quite right for my school run?

Out of all the conflicting messages we got last month, the underlying theme seems to be that anything goes right now. There are so many different trends around, so that you can easily just pick and choose to find what best suits you and your lifestyle and personality.  I have picked my top three of the moment which can bring your look easily up to date and even manage to keep you comfortable at the same time!

First: Pink is having a moment...in interiors and in clothing. Many different shades (which is good news as you can tailor the shade to best suit your complexion), but blush and pastel pink are the top runners. Try to add in a harder, or edgier piece of clothing to offset the Disney Princess flavour.

Ripped denim toughens up this pink.

Ripped denim toughens up this pink.

Second: Granny shoes are the thing to wear on your tootsies. OMG you have to grab this trend by the throat. Comfort and fashion are not often seen together. These shoes can be tricky to pull off in a Mum's world, but as with the pastel pinks, just add some street style to your outfit and the shoes will tip you into Fashionista. It all started at Celine last year and has trickled down to the High Street, so that you can find the colour, heel and fit you love at any price point. Topshop is a great place to start.

Image from Honey Belle 

Image from Honey Belle 

Third: Cropped Flare Jeans are the new shape to embrace. Yes there are whispers of skinnies having had their day, but they remain firmly in my wardrobe alongside a few different shapes I am testing the waters with. I am not a big fan of flares - just so much of a statement for me, and they are not fun in the rain! But crop them to just above your ankle and they become a very different beast. A bit of ankle on show makes your legs look longer, allows any type of shoe to be worn, and avoids any soggy bottom issues. These will take you from winter into Spring and beyond, so bag a pair now. The pair most talked about as "the one" is the J Brand Selena. Next in line would be the Le High Straight High Rise from Frame. But if you have a pair of flares you didn't get on with, just chop them off and fray the ends yourself! Otherwise this style is hitting the High Street now and can be found everywhere from Topshop (the Dree) to Asos Weekday Flare Crop.

You can even put all three of these trends together. Go easy on the pink with granny shoes though - make sure you add in some distressed denim or a biker jacket or slouchy bag to avoid the frumpy side of dressing like a mum. 

Have fun,

Meg xx

Do you have FOMO?

I have to admit I do (cue embarrassed face emoticon)...

My latest FOMO has been the Hush Sample sale. Now I am NOT a very good sales shopper. I do not like the urgency, snap decisions, queues, lack of organisation etc etc. But I just needed a glimpse of their sale email and I was a goner. I knew I would be going before I had even read the dates. 

I learnt a few lessons there this morning from a lovely girl, that I thought some of you might enjoy, just in case you are still thinking of going for a wee nosy tomorrow (there are a lot of bargains and they seem to be bringing new stock out constantly).

The girl who had the whole scenario totally sussed let me in on her game plan. It seemed pretty perfect to me...

- She arrived at 10am first in the queue

- She had her own vast Ikea type carrier bag to throw all her picks into for trying on later

- She was in no rush and was planning to spend a few hours trying on and slowly sorting through her huge pile to eventually have a total wardrobe at sample prices!

- She was dressed "as if I am naked but really I am totally covered". Meaning she had leggings and a longline fitted vest on so that she could try all her new items over the top and not worry about flashing the crowds (there are no changing rooms!)

- She knew the brand and her sizes and had a vague idea of items she had her eye on

- She was happy to take her time and rummage through to the bottom of each box for that special find (and she had a few I was hoping she might let go of before I had to leave!)

- She was focussed and enjoying herself at the same time

Why not go and see what you can find for yourself and if you have the same talent this lovely girl had, you will definitely be in for some amazing bargains from one of my favourite online stores...

 

Good luck!

Meg xx

 

 

January blues?

Do you struggle with the come-down after Christmas? All that build-up and excitement and now all you are left with is a food-baby and short dark days?  Instead of drowning your sorrows in the Sales, how about taking some time to reflect and look after yourself? Personally I am not one for big resolutions or changes in January - more a little step in a better direction to help me feel more positive...

One of the most useful things to do in January is to have a big clear out of your wardrobe! Not only will you end up with more space and a tidier closet, but also you will be in fits of laughter as you go through some of your clothes and wonder why on earth you have been holding on to them for so long. It is a great idea to do a wardrobe detox with a friend - as long as that friend can be totally honest with you. Start by taking every single item out of your wardrobe and only allow anything back, once you have tried it on and LOVED yourself in it. Be ruthless...it needs to fit you NOW and make you feel happy.  Anything you can't make up your mind about, you should bag up and put away somewhere out of view. See if you missed it at all in the next 6 months before taking to the Charity shop or ebaying it. As you go through your clothes, try to figure out if there are any bits you really need to add in to help your wardrobe work a bit harder. Which colours do you constantly choose first? Which outfits come out the most? What makes you feel the  most confident? No doubt you are a  little bored with your current season clothes, but we haven't really even started with our winter woollies yet, so see what you have waiting for you and figure out some new outfits for the months to come. Take a few photos to remind you of these outfits on those days when you have no time to think! In the meantime, make the most of weather which still allows lighter coats and blazers along with bare ankles and 3/4 sleeves. Save your big coats and hats and boots for when the cold hits us!  

Looking ahead to the colder months, if you are still looking to grab a new coat or some snuggly boots in the Sales, you won't be disappointed. There are some amazing deals to be had...

A classic black coat will never go out of fashion and this 2 button style from Jigsaw will look just as good with a casual everyday outfit, as it will for the office or even over an evening dress. Something you can love forever. The single breasted lapels mean even the bigger busted amongst us can be flattered, and the length is just right for making your legs look longer!

Jigsaw Boucle Coat  now£215

Jigsaw Boucle Coat  now£215

Or maybe you prefer the latest dressing gown wrap style of coat? Take a look at Jaeger Outlet and you will have many choices. This double-faced version is so soft and will be another forever piece you can come back to every winter...

Waterfall coat now £119 also available in navy

Waterfall coat now £119 also available in navy

Or scratch that camel coat itch now at Boden with the gorgeous Sienna Coat £151.20

Or if you still haven't managed to bag yourself a parka (possibly one of the most important wardrobe pieces for any parent having to go outside in the coming months with their kids!) then look no further than my favourite one at Madewell. Not only is it waterproof (and most parkas are not!), but all the wintery fur can be removed for the spring rains we are also bound to have...only available in XS (8) and S (10) in the black, but still in all sizes in the Army green. 

Side Zip Parka £183.41

Side Zip Parka £183.41

if you are worried about freezing feet coming soon, you need look no further than the Hush website, where you will find a gorgeous lace up pair of shearling lined boots. Easy and warm for any stomping about once the freeze sets in, and perfect for the slopes too.

Ikkii Sneaker Boots £130

Ikkii Sneaker Boots £130

Or have a browse at SevenBootLane where there are a few gorgeous everyday styles of faux fur lined booties...

Eliza £165

Eliza £165

Eva £150

Eva £150

Keep your chin up and remember 

Meg xx



There is still plenty of time for Christmas shopping...

It feels like everybody starts their shopping earlier every year for Christmas (I know I am sounding like a grumpy old lady!) and so the panic of getting it all finished mounts by the end of November. I say just relax! Shut out the noise and enjoy choosing something to really show how much thought you have put into each gift. Take your time to get it right, and the smiles when your gifts are opened are worth every moment.

To help you out, I have a few ideas up my sleeve for some stylish gifts of the moment which are sure to bring delighted smiles to your recipients...

For Her: 

For Him:

Happy Shopping!

Meg xx

Thinking ahead...roomy Xmas Day outfits!

I love the way the Brits embrace a dressed-up Xmas Day, even if is spending the day at home stuffing yourself with turkey, drinking too much and then starting in on the old Family squabbles...but if you are anything like me (or most other people I know!), we need a little expanding room in our outfit? So I am here to help you with some options for eating your fill over the Festive Season and still being able to look fabulous in your outfit of choice!

A dress is always going to be the easiest option. If your usual attire includes jeans or leggings, then a dress will instantly lift your outfit into a new realm. I can hear a lot of moaning about tights - but I promise things have moved on so much that they are not nearly as uncomfortable as they used to be, and there are even some rather fun versions which are not too ugly. Check out this new brand on the market which has no seams or gusset and are getting rave reviews in the press....

Tights from Heist

Tights from Heist

If you can keep your dress slim, but not tight and hopefully without a waist in it - you will be able to consume as many brussels sprouts and gravy as you desire.

My top picks of the moment which are hopefully not too "evening"  are:

Depending on your personal style, add some appropriate tights and footwear. I am always the most casually dressed person I know and I would be opting for ankle boots to keep my dress on trend  - heeled if I am entertaining or going out, and flat for at home! But flat embellished shoes or a high court shoe would be just as good. Add a blazer if you are off to church first, or your thermals underneath if you feel the cold?

Another few styles I am loving right now are:

Poetry Silk Printed Dress £129

Poetry Silk Printed Dress £129

Wrap London Ella Dress £99

Wrap London Ella Dress £99

Me and Em Keyhole Dress £165

Me and Em Keyhole Dress £165

If you can't be persuaded into a frock for the Big Man In Red, then I would  suggest your stretchiest trousers, with a longline slim top. My favourite trousers this season have to be these from Zara - they are like wearing PJs!

Faux Suede Biker Trousers £39.99 Zara

Faux Suede Biker Trousers £39.99 Zara

Some great style tops for these trousers to help soften them up a bit so that the Grandparents aren't scared off  are:

Flowing Blouse with Embroidery £39.95 Massimo Dutti

Flowing Blouse with Embroidery £39.95 Massimo Dutti

Mao Collar Blouse £12.99 Zara

Mao Collar Blouse £12.99 Zara

Layered Blouse £29.99 Zara

Layered Blouse £29.99 Zara

Brooklyn Pullover £23.96 Gap

Brooklyn Pullover £23.96 Gap

Intarsia Word Pullover £27.96 Gap

Intarsia Word Pullover £27.96 Gap

Boiled Wool Tunic £65 &OtherStories

Boiled Wool Tunic £65 &OtherStories

There are so many great items out there right now and the sales are all starting, so grab something you can wear a few times and it will be totally  worth it for an easy and comfy Christmas Eating and Drinking Frenzy...

Love to hear how you get on!

Meg xx

 

 

 

 

Party Sequins

Are you having a few "what can I wear?" moments for the Christmas Season? Lots of "dos" in the diary and not quite sure if full on sparkle is required or not?  I have put together a few ideas to help you look up-to-date, on trend and still effortlessly cool - isn't that what we are all aiming for?

 First up, get yourself some sequin leggings or skirt. Once you have this item nailed, you can add so many different tops, you will never worry about a Xmas outfit again. If you like to be the Belle of the Ball, go all out and opt for silver or gold; if you are more a wallflower like me, then black sequinned fits the bill. You can buy these items at any price point at the moment, but keeping things sensible in case you are branching into glitz for the first time...

Sequinned Trosers £19.99 H and M (gold, black)

Sequinned Trosers £19.99 H and M (gold, black)

Sequinned Skirt £29.99 H and M

Sequinned Skirt £29.99 H and M

If you are brave, and it is not too cold, definitely try bare legs with your skirt. Instantly adds a casual air with flat pointed shoes, or mannish brogues. Or add some thick black opaques and black ankle boots (heel height can be to suit how much standing you will be doing). The trousers would look fabulous with the same flats or a slipper style loafer.

If sequins are just too much for you, try some party lace instead?

M and S geometric Sparkle Effect Lace Skirt £27.65

M and S geometric Sparkle Effect Lace Skirt £27.65

And now to go on top... keep things super simple to play down the sparkle a bit...a plain  fine knit jumper or sweatshirt is ideal. Depending on your shape, have a look at Uniqlo for a crew neck, v neck or polo neck in merino in black, cream, or grey. 

Uniqlo extra fine merino polo neck £24.90

Uniqlo extra fine merino polo neck £24.90

Uniqlo extra fine merino v neck £24.90

Uniqlo extra fine merino v neck £24.90

Or a plain tee and a blazer over it - flat footwear will keep you more casual. 


If you are not keen to add sequins or lace to your legs, then opt for your favourite plain skirt or trouser and add some sparkle to your top half instead... 

M and S Metallic Effect High Neck Top £20.65

M and S Metallic Effect High Neck Top £20.65

Boden Statement Sequin Top £119 in grey or navy

Boden Statement Sequin Top £119 in grey or navy

French Connection Broadway Lights Top £95

French Connection Broadway Lights Top £95

Zara Sequinned Blouse £29.99

Zara Sequinned Blouse £29.99

Jigsaw Half Sleeve Jumper £89 in grey and oyster

Jigsaw Half Sleeve Jumper £89 in grey and oyster

Hopefully you are no longer tearing your hair out trying to decide what to wear last minute? Remember to be comfortable in your outfit - confidence is what makes you look amazing!

Have fun out there...next time all about the dress for Christmas day which will allow some indulging of the food and drink variety...

Meg xx

 

 

 

a little something for me?

Look what found it's way into my Inbox this morning...

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While we are all busily ticking off our Christmas Shopping Lists, why not take a minute and see what you might fancy with a 20% discount at Whistles....To help make things even more tempting here is what I am currently loving...

Aith Three Strap Trainer now £100

Aith Three Strap Trainer now £100

I spotted these sublime trainers on a Mum at school and instantly fell in love. They are so soft and just the right amount of sole and leather combo. Not to mention they come in white, tan, navy and khaki. How to choose only one colour? I may even be going for the white pair, as it is a trend I have been wanting to embrace for a while now.

Leopard Snake Rivington Clutch now £68

Leopard Snake Rivington Clutch now £68

Such an easy way to update all your winter wardrobe from last year. Add a clutch bag with a bit of interest - but not too mad if you like to keep things simple. Perfect to go with all the black and grey I seem to be always wearing...

Aurelia Lace Dress now £176

Aurelia Lace Dress now £176

Very reminiscent of Mr Self Portrait who seems to be THE dress designer of the moment, but less than half the price. Stunning in it's simplicity, you could wear this time and again with different accessories to change up the look completely. Your friends will never be the wiser that you have this dress on constantly! Add some thick black tights and flat ankle boots with a crew neck jumper  and you have an easy daytime or casual drinks outfit. Or killer strappy heels with large crystal earrings and sparkly pedicure and you will be the Belle of the Ball. The looks are endless, and you will wear this LBD many times.

Lace Tunic Top now £112

Lace Tunic Top now £112

Do you have a few events over the Christmas Season which need you to look effortlessly thrown together, but not overdone?! This top is the one for you ... forget sparkles and sequins which just scream trying too hard to be festive. Instead add this leg-lengthening top which covers any untoned arms issues to your favourite trousers or jeans and you have an outfit to go anywhere in any season. If you are heading somewhere very cold, it would also look great peeking out from under a fine knit jumper.

Drape Front Slouch All in One now £128

Drape Front Slouch All in One now £128

For all of us who can never find the right top for the right trousers - all decided for you! Just throw on your chosen footwear for the occasion and off you ho ho ho in comfort and style! If you have yet to embrace a jumpsuit, this is definitely the one to go for. plus it will hide a multitude of over-indulging sins.

 

I hope I have helped you take your mind off your long To Do lists for a few precious minutes..any takers?

Meg xx

 

 

Are your boots made for walking?

All the rain last week has meant I have had to pull out the old ankle boots (or booties as they call them in the US). I LOVE ankle boots! If it weren't for my crazy, running around, chasing-my-tail lifestyle, I would definitely be wearing a heeled version everyday - anything to appear longer and leaner! But I have to admit that more often than not, I find myself reaching for the fast and flat pairs in my wardrobe... My all time favourite flat has to be the Susanna by Chloé, but they are destined to remain on my forever wishlist...

A pair of black ankle boots can be stylish for any and every occasion - add them to a dress or skirt to make your outfit more edgy, less formal.

Or if you are flying off for Christmas, wear them with your fancy joggers and tee for comfort and style.

I am sure you don't need any convincing on how great ankle boots look with jeans?

So what is out there in the shops for you to buy right now? Below is a little selection of flat, black ankle boots to help keep you stylish and able to manically race around in the Silly Season...

Top to bottom, left to right:

SevenBootLane Esmee £165     Whistles Roselle £150           Ugg Demi leather £155

Clarks Stanhope £120                Office Inca SideZip £48      SevenBootLane Emilia £175

Topshop Anger £75                   Office Dallas 2 £72                    HbyHudson Encke £150

                                                    Clarks Busby Grace £80

You can see I am a little bit obsessed with buckles right now - I hope you find something you like to help you pound the pavements this season.

Meg xx



Do you have "All Black" style?

I love black and feel great in it, and I don't feel the need to break into colour too often. I find looking at other people in colourful clothes is enough for me. It doesn't mean I don't love colour, just that most of them don't look great on me. Black is not supposed to be my best colour, but I bend the rules just enough to make it part of my palette!

It is also a very easy colour (or non-colour) to build up a capsule wardrobe with - everything will match and all the neutrals will blend in so easily! Black skinnies, black leather leggings, black blazer, black trainers, black boots, leopard ballerinas, white shirt, beige jumper, black jumper...you get my drift? As long as you know how to combine it with the correct tones for your colouring, I say everybody can wear black. I believe the same goes for any colour - there is usually a shade of any colour which will flatter you most, and it is really only the items which are directly near your face which really need to be "right".

I am not a strict follower of colour "rules", but the basis for them is a good place to start so you can always choose the most flattering shades (read between the lines as - help fade wrinkles, bags under your eyes etc!). A quick fix is to determine which metal is your most flattering. If you look better in silver, you are most probably suited to cooler colours or the bluer shades of colours. Your hair is probably blonde or lighter brown and your eyes blue. If you look better in gold, then chances are you are warm-toned with a peachy complexion and have darker hair (or red) and green or brown eyes. You will look best in colours which have warmer orangey undertones.  Often you can tell by the colour of the veins in your wrists - blue veins=cool, green veins=warm.  

So these rules are all very well, but I am guessing we really just want it cut down to how we can still wear our old favourites? Black, white, grey, khaki, beige, camel, blue...

Black is only your best friend if you have strong, clear features. The one forgiving thing about black though, is that it is so striking, the eye is drawn into the colour itself and not so much the face!  Black can look just as good on pale ivory skin as it can on deep olive skin - it is the clarity of the skin which makes it "work". If your skin and overall look is more muted, add a layer underneath your black in a tone which is more flattering (e.g. cream for warmer autumns or springs and white or pastel for summers and winters) or lots of jewellery in your tone of silver or gold. Another alternative is to up your make-up, especially your lipstick!

For wearing white, you are good to go if you are cooler toned (the ones who look better in silver). But make your white verge into creamy tones, if you are warm. Grey is much better suited to the cooler people too, but the shades merging into beige) are better for the warms. The yellow toned beiges, camels, and browns are for warmer toned people and the silvery greys, and taupe beiges for the cool toned. Khaki is for the warm, but wear it with other colours close to your face and you are fine. Blue is a cool toned person's best friend, it will do absolute wonders for your skin - inky, midnight blue is always going to be more flattering than black for you. But the yellow shades of blue like turquoise and teal are great on a warm skinned person.

The diagram below is one of the most simplified versions I have come across for defining your colour palette. (I believe you should go with whatever your current hair colour is- dyed or natural).

Image via Cardigan Empire

Image via Cardigan Empire

So get out there and wear your best colours - just make sure you are All Black for the rugby on Saturday?!

 

Meg xx




When it's 4 seasons in a day...

We have been experiencing all weather varieties imaginable, and sometimes they all occur before lunchtime! Trying to figure out what to wear is taxing enough when the weather forecast is correct, let alone when you are faced with unlimited possible outcomes. 

I quite like the change to a new season and the chance to bring out a different wardrobe again, but I like to take my time in changing over.  I am usually the last to embrace my boots in Autumn, and I am often not in a proper coat till December. But I love the slightly cooler days rolling in, as I get a chance to style up my outfits with scarves and long cardigans, all manner of jackets and shawls  and jumpers. The list is endless... I have found a few ideas out there for you to embrace too, as the days get shorter and you are stuck between your summer and winter wardrobes.

First up, keep the ankles out, but snuggle up with a cosy knit and have a jacket handy in case you need an extra layer.

Or, add in a scarf as big as a blanket...and a blazer is warm enough for your top layer.

You can even get away with a coat or a cardigan over a simple tee and still have bare ankles.

The combinations are endless and loads of fun... we are coming into the seasons where your outer layers are what most people see everyday. Learning to mix them up a little avoids the usual wardrobe fatigue and panic shopping December can bring.

My top wishlist items for this kind of dressing at the moment are:

Zara Checked and Striped Scarf £17.99

Zara Checked and Striped Scarf £17.99

Zara Oversized Checked Shirt £39.99

Zara Oversized Checked Shirt £39.99

& Other Stories Turtleneck £65

& Other Stories Turtleneck £65

Revel in the fact that your coat only needs to be an extra layer at present, not a great thick duvet to carry around. Have fun with simple unlined shapes and colours and then layer big jumpers (and thermals) when the colder months hit? Or even get on trend with the latest shape and embrace a cape...

Zara Wool Coat £59.99

Zara Wool Coat £59.99

Fingers crossed for more of this fabulous autumn weather...

Meg xx