We Were On A Break




It’s been a while since I was last on here and I apologise for my leave of absence, but I’m back and very happy to be re-launching Not Givin In with a new, hopefully impressive grown-up design.  Like I might know what I’m doing!


Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and my forced mini-break from blogging last summer, whilst giving me an out to toy with the idea of closing Not Givin In, made me realise how much I enjoy chewing the fat with you gals.


So, what’s new?  Well, I’ve turned fifty for starters and I’m sweating like a …….


Yep, right on cue the hot flushes have begun.  I’ve sat through quite a lot of very uncool moments of late so I’m pretty sure it’s the menopause.  A call to the doctor’s surgery, asking the receptionist, “Can I see a Dr please?  My body feels like its on fire for 10 minutes at a time and my tongue is savage,” resulted in vainly suppressed giggles, and an acknowledgement that the lady knew exactly what I meant and a booking to see the doc in February was secured.


I’ll let you know how that goes!  For now, let’s just assume I’ll be awake in my bed every night more than I’m actually asleep and my acid tongue will be glued to the roof of my mouth in the hope I don’t lose my husband.


So what else is new?  Well I haven’t been shopping as much.  Lack of time, little inspiration and a pretty full wardrobe has meant it couldn’t be justified and to be honest I’ve been really happy wearing last year’s closet and ramping up my pounds per wear holier than thou fashion tiara.


However, now that we’ve had our first flurry of snow, I’m starting to feel a little bored with winter and can’t wait for spring to arrive and with it some new togs.  With pay day just around the corner, the timing of freshly stocked New In sections of our fabulous retailers isn’t lost on me and I’m keen to wear something different.


Stores and sites remain heavy with sales stuff and you can still pick out bargains, but if you’re like me then you can peek your head into what’s coming down the track online or on the high street.


One item I want to bring to your attention as its firmly creeping through my Instagram feed, is the boiler suit.


I’ll be completely honest, the thought of wearing a one-piece that leaves my shoulders cold every time I go to the loo, doesn’t have as much appeal as it did in my twenties and thirties, and a look at some of the options out there does have me wondering if it’s a flash in the pan I can live without.


When I think of boiler suits, I think of this fella!  So to satisfy my curiosity I googled boiler suit and wikipedia threw up the clarification that a boiler suit is a loose-fitting garment covering the whole body except for the head, hands and feet.  So basically this fella!



Pic via Pinterest


I mean I can understand the appeal of a one-piece that covers all!!  Give me a kaftan any day of the week, but this is quite a utilitarian look and unless you’re going full on androgyny it will need, I think, some feminine touches.  Let’s take a closer look.


Here is one from Miss Selfridge.  Worn relaxed with white flats or trainers it’s a handy addition for casual dressing. Perfect for the weekend, I like how they’ve teamed it with large ear-rings and a statement bag.  I think it would also look great with a colourful handband (which is very In now), or even with a small crossbody bag, to jazz it up a bit.


I think the shade of denim on this version from Top Shop helps lift the look, quite a bit.  I also love the idea of wearing heels with a boiler suit and a bright accessory.  Bangles and a statement necklace can also work.

Better yet, move away from denim and choose a colour.  You can bet your Friday glass of Chardonnay on there being a sparkly version out for evening wear sometime soon and any number of stripes and prints will follow.  Again, I love it worn with heels.


Still, it doesn’t get around the fact that you won’t want to bust out the Chardonnay for the downside that is getting undressed in a public toilet cubicle as your evening progresses.   You know what I mean?  Or is it just me?   Perhaps I just need some warm weather.


What about you, are you going to step into the boiler suit trend? Please share your thoughts below.


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx

P.S.  Going forward I will be posting every other Saturday, instead of each Friday.  It gives me an extra few hours to write a post if I’m working on a Friday.

The Long and The Short Of It


Our trip to the Amalfi Coast was everything I hoped it would be.  Picture postcard scenery, beautiful weather, delicious food.  It was a real treat and I’ll write up a blog post with all the details of how we got on soon.  In the meantime, as I know a lot of people have their holiday plans ahead of them, I wanted to give you feedback on the clothes situation and in particular what I felt I didn’t have.


Obviously, I had done a little bit of shopping before I went away and had focused on dresses and swimming costumes mainly.  However, when I got there I found that the most worn item, apart from two blue dresses, was my trust pair of denim shorts.


They’re just the easiest item to pack and perhaps the pair above are getting a little short for me now (!), but I still reached for them nearly every day.


To be honest I wished I’d taken more pairs.


I didn’t expect that to be the case, but for sightseeing, general trudging to and from the beach, having a pair of shorts was the handiest, simplest and coolest item to pair up with T.shirts and strappy vests in the day and dressed up with light flowing blouses or crisp cotton shirts and piles of jewels in the evening.




Daisy dukes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I understand that. But I’ve taken a look around and retailers this season have taken this on board and introduced longer length denim shorts.


If you don’t want to reveal your thighs to the world then a length that ends just above the knee can give you a more flattering silhouette.  Takes me back to the cycling shorts of the eighties!


Marks & Spencer has even introduced a Sculpt and Lift Denim Short. Made in cotton, the denim has added stretch so that it is kind to your curves and helps accentuate your figure.  See the red pair in the reel below.


It’s worth trying on shorts with a nice pair of wedge espadrilles. The perfect summer shoe, they generally are easier to wear than strappy heels and can elongate the leg.


What do you think?  Fancy trying some on?  Here’s a selection of shorts on the high street.


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx

Summer Holiday: Part 2


Who doesn’t want to look nice on holiday?  However it can be tricky finding the right outfits and taking all the things you ‘need’ in a 20 kg suitcase.


At forty nine I’m also treading a fine line trying to find new pieces to add to my holiday wardrobe while avoiding pieces that only the girls on Love Island can wear (they really need some diversity on that show, not all women, young or older, look like that).   I don’t want to look frumpy either.


There are certain parts of my body I want to keep cool, but don’t want to have on show (chubby top half) and that is causing me a few issues, but ultimately I do just want to look and feel nice.


In last week’s post I wrote that I was finding it really hard to get what I needed, but on Friday, determined that I wouldn’t head off to foreign shores with a face like a slapped ass, I headed back to the shops.


Perseverance paid off and I came home with three new pieces that I’m delighted with.


First off is this Mango dress for £49.99.  I love the fine stripes, pale blue colour, midi length and belt, which I can pull in for added shape.  Also thankful for the sleeves, for a bit of arm ‘armour’.  I think I’ll be wearing this sightseeing and dressed up for dinner.





I bought this top, also from Mango (£29.99), which I originally thought would look great worn with my daisy duke denim jeans in the day.  Then I remembered I had a pair of linen trousers in the wardrobe, which are from Marks & Spencer’s Autograph range.  I bought these over 20 years ago, when M&S was a client of an agency that I worked for.  The office joke was I got paid by them each month and would then spend my hard-earned cash in their stores.  I loved the range though, still do.





Lastly, I’ve gone out of my comfort with this linen button through dress from Warehouse.  I don’t like showing my chest and top half, but the colour of this dress drew me in.  I love yellow and this dress is super cool with large pockets.





I think that’s it on the holiday shopping now.  Just a swimsuit to get and I’m heading straight to M&S.  My friend recently urged me to sign up for a Sparks card and it’s paying off, I’ve got 20% off on my card for swimwear this weekend.  Who doesn’t love a bargain?


Here’s some of the designs that M&S has in store and online.  I have my eye on the first one.


We’re heading off this week, so I’ll see you on the other side, unless you follow me on Instagram.  The next Not Givin In blog post will be on June 30th.  Until then, have a fab few weeks.



Gail xx



Summer Holiday: Part 1


Summer is here, she says, as rain washes over the garden!


May was fab, but it’s ended as a wash up, so I hope anyone who has managed to get away for the half term school holidays is having fun, either here or on foreign shores.


I can’t wait for my summer holiday.  SP and I are off to the Amalfi Coast in two weeks, for our ten year wedding anniversary.  Cue early morning runs and shopping like a madman, trying to find some things to add to the summer wardrobe, because the ten year-old stuff surely needs to be replenished now (any excuse).


I haven’t had much luck in the shopping department to be honest.  I spent two hours in town this morning and came home with nothing.  Maybe it was an off day, but my usual haunts aren’t inspiring me and I’m struggling to find pieces for me in other people’s favourites, like Mango.  That didn’t work either.


However, I am loving good ole M&S at the moment and bought this dress (£45) for my hols a few weeks back.  I had seen it on Instagram and ordered it straight away.



Pure Linen Half Sleeve Bardot Midi Dress


I love it Bardot-style, but also listened to another blogger, The Fashion Lift, who is wearing this style of dress as a one shoulder option too, copied by me on the home page.  If you like this dress, click here for more details.


Here are a number other dresses that I’m keen to try on in Marks & Spencer.  Some of which might be in a re-stock phase as they’re proving so popular.




Yes, I’m going for blues and neutrals for my holiday wardrobe this year.  Inspired by the new dress and loving the shades of blue around this season, I’m trying to include some more, and I’m trying to find more cotton and linen options as they’re both cool for when it gets hot.


After my poor performance this morning there is obviously more work to be done.  Follow me on Instagram to see how I get on and I’ll be back next week with an update.  I have to give myself a deadline or it won’t happen and I’ll end up in jeans in Italy!


Have a great weekend folks!



Gail xxx

Denim Jackets for Spring Styling


This week’s post is a short one as I’m hoping you’re out having fun, enjoying the four-day break.  Me included.


I just wanted to mention denim jackets.  Have you noticed that they are cropping up in the stores this season?



I have and it got me thinking: when was the last time I wore one.


It was in 2005, on a fabulous trip to Rome with my friend Louise.  Granted it was a while ago, but I can’t find that jacket anywhere now.  Doh – they’re backkkkkkk!


So here’s a reel of options.  You’ll notice that many are oversized in design, but you can still find the classic western style that finishes on the hip.  Some designs also have embroidery for a less masculine effect.  However, I like the classic design and cut, especially as I’ve just proved, it will come around again after this season, so it’s an investment purchase.


Meanwhile, I tried on this version in F&F Clothing in Tesco.  Obviously oversized, I’m wearing a size 12 here and it came quite low over my hips, too low for me, but I’m short.  I stupidly didn’t write down the price, but they have a number of options in store and online including this one here.
Go for double denim if that’s your thing, but I would avoid mom and straight jeans, unless you really want to go back in time, which to me always feels a bit icky.  Rather keep your style moving forward and pair with flowing skirts and cute trainers for a fabulous casual look or you can’t beat chinos cropped at the ankle for that girl-about-town style.
Have a great weekend!
Gail xx