Finding Wedding Guest Dress Solutions in The Summer Sales

 

A friend of mine is going to a wedding in Italy next weekend (lucky girl!).  Not only does it involve taking wedding-appropriate attire on a flight, the wedding is being held in a forest near Lake Como.

 

I mean, it sounds utterly divine.  The type of wedding we all dream of being invited to, or have ourselves, but it does throw up a challenge.  It’s going to be hot, hot, hot, but she will still want to keep her cool and definitely look like she is.

 

So ‘a friend in need’ and all that with just 14 days till flight, I thought I’d help a girl out!

 

Luckily the sales are on, so that’s where I’ve been looking this afternoon.  Who wants to spend any more money than they need to and as the weather hasn’t been great in recent weeks retailers have plenty of bargains to choose from.

 

The IG dm ‘briefing’ said that she would love a dress, below the knee (could be maxi), light-weight (cotton would be ideal) with sleeves.

 

All prices show full and sale price where relevant and please note pieces from And Other Stories are lower on their own website than they are in the links below. I don’t know, the software was having a moment!

 

Here’s what I found.  I’ve added accessories too so you get the full picture.

 

Before anyone says it’s not cotton, I know, but it’s a gorgeous colour dress, in a fantastic style and it meets the brief in length and arm cover!  Also, it would look super cute on my stunning friend who would rock this, showing off her fab curves!  I’ve added more colour, because why not and I really like the sandals I found in the sale.

 

Cotton is a good fabric to pick when temperatures rise.  Marks and Spencer is having a great season and their sales are closely followed by devoted fans, so be quick.  I like the idea of this maxi shirt dress because it ticks the box of having sleeves that my friend is looking for, but also it’s a nice length and I think you’ll get more than wedding wear out of it.  Yes, it’s slightly more casual and could easily be worn with trainers, but add a fascinator and some heels and you can take it up a notch.  I’ve paired it here with a green summer bag, but you could swap this for a satin clutch if you need a more formal touch.

 

 

I absolutely adore this next outfit.  A black and white kaftan, below the knee in cotton, so perfect for wearing in hot weather.  I love the idea of topping it off with simple, glamorous accessories – dark sunglasses and a headband – pop coloured sandals on your feet (my friend wants block heels), grab a swing bag and you’re good to go.

 

 

My last suggestion with another sale dress features a gorgeous tile print, matched with the latest beaded accessories trend.  For contrast I’ve gone with white, which is an easier option than trying to find colours that match or looking for pieces in Magenta which is the main colour in the dress.  It’s also easier on the eye and I couldn’t find a suitable hat or fascinator in the sales so opted for a pair of beaded hair clips (my friend has beautiful long, dark hair) and these will look magic as the day-time formalities move into evening celebration.

 

That’s it from me this gloriously sunny Friday.  I really need to hit the garden.  Hope you like the ideas.  Let me know if you  have any questions and if you’re going to a wedding and have some tips pop them in the comment space below.

Have a fab weekend.

Much love

Gail xx

The Long and The Short Of It

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.
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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