Spring Fashion: Pale Blue

How can it be March and still so gloomy? It’s raining on our heads and in our hearts as we’re engulfed in concerns for our health and those around us. I know it may seem trivial to talk about fashion right now, but it could also be the escapism we need! For sure, I worked with three clients this week, each having a Wardrobe Reboot, and sorting out their clutter helped them feel more in control, lighter and brighter.

Of course it’s not the answer to all our problems. It would be amazing if it was, but if we use spring as a platform to dive into a bluming good clear-out or add some fresh colours that lift our mood, it’s something! I think keeping busy is important to our mental health, so if you do find yourself with time on your hands indoors (wellness withstanding), then consider giving your wardrobe a make-over.

The Sky is the Limit for Spring Fashion

One of the prettiest colours for spring 2020 is pale blue. It’s such a beautiful shade, reminding us of lighter skies, and they’ll come, they have to! I’ve seen lots of lovely pieces, from fluffy cardis to flat mules and lace tops to sophisticated dresses around this season already. See below, street style.

Pic via Pinterest

Here’s a selection that I’ve found online that you can dip into, brightening up outfits, or splurging on head to toe if you have a special occasion coming up.

Let’s start with a selection of tops. I’ve chosen lightweight cardigans as the weather is still poor, but also an asymmetric top that is a gorgeous colour and a lyocell-blend shirt. Don’t forget to dig out any pale chambray shirts in the back of your wardrobe and put them to good use.

All the ideas featured this week are from Reiss, &Other Stories and H&M.

Dress-wise there’s plenty of options out there, from floaty dresses to smart office wear. Take your pick to suit your lifestyle. Personally, I’m loving the sophisticated Reiss options below.

Lifting the mood a little further and you could dress head to toe in a pale blue suit or wear trousers and skirts with tops in the other colour of the season – beige. Or keep it crisp with white cotton and linens.

Still want to wear what you have in your wardrobe, but fancy a nod to the current trend? Here are some accessories. Also a swimsuit or two, just in case….a girl got to dream.

Hope you like these spring fashion ideas ladies.

Have a great weekend.

Gail x

What To Wear If You Don’t Fancy Puff Sleeve Tops


Puff sleeve tops.  The trend has been around for a little while and they seem to be everywhere right now.  Personally, I’ve tried them, because I love the oh-so feminine touch they offer to your outfit, but I don’t find them that flattering on me.   Professionally, it’s got me scouring the net looking for alternatives, because I need to know where I can find great alternatives.  Following the trends doesn’t work for every body.


Unsurprisingly, as a personal shopper I’m on the high street a lot. I’ve been looking for weeks for new tops.  A great top and jeans is a fail-safe combination to lever you out of the house post-winter.  Like a lot of people, I’ve been feeling the sinking feeling of this never-ending winter so I’ve been looking for a new top to lift my own spirits.  It can be the quickest and easiest piece to find and add to your wardrobe.  However, I’ve found it really tricky.


Everywhere I go however, there are puff sleeves and they just don’t suit me.  I  carry my weight on the upper half of my body, so all I’m doing is adding more width.   Call it inverted triangle, strawberry, or whatever, this body shape doesn’t suit a puff top that well if you want balance in your body shape.  I don’t think it’s that great if you have a short neck either #justsaying.


Of course, go for it if you are strawberry and you are aiming for a dramatic look.  Go all out Lady Gaga-like if you so choose.  You can really make an entrance and New Look has an abundance of puff sleeves that are ‘well-puffy’ if you’re interested.   But what if you want a bit more balance to your overall appearance, like me.


Well don’t worry, my conundrum has led me to do some searching online and I thought I would share what I found with you.


So, what’s new in &Other Stories



I absolutely adore these shapes, particularly the utility blazer that you don’t even need to wear a top underneath.


Blue is a fantastic colour for spring, and it’s the colour of the year, so why not go all out.  I’m partial to a pussy bow.  It draws attention to the neckline, away from the shoulders and this top comes in a few colours.


Here’s a selection from Cos

I am a fairly new fan of Cos, but I’m liking what I see.  I think their sizes can come up quite big, aimed at taller folk, but I’m going to try some of these on soon.  There’s a large in Cabot Circus if you live in Bristol.


I think adding simple cuts to your wardrobe can extend the use of some other pieces you might already have. Bold colours and prints can brighten up a blazer, or wear with simple wide-leg trousers and bright heels for more impact.


There’s a wash of colour in Boden

These are great for adding some colour to the top half of your body.  Worn with denim, linen or cotton trousers they can really elevate an outfit.  Taking you from the dark neutrals of the winter into a much brighter spring.


N.B.  Hold coloured fabrics up to your face and look for a lift in your complexion.  Get the glow, it’s green for go!


If it’s a light knit you’re after, then head to Mango.

Perfect under a blazer or biker jacket now, these thin knit layers softly drape the body and can carry you into the summer with ease.  Feeling brave?  Whip out the fake tan and don’t forget to add some jewellery.  Layers of fine pieces will work well with delicate these, or simply a statement pair of earrings or ring.


That’s it from me.  Just a quick Saturday morning post.  Hope you like the ideas and if you’ve seen some pieces while you’ve been out shopping do share them  in the comments below.


Gail xx

P.S.  If you need help shopping then drop me a line.  See my personal shopping services here.


A Bodysuit To Flatter Your Body Type


The bodysuit is back.  It was a classic for me during my clubbing days in the nineties, and you might remember it before or since then, but it can be a real marmite piece of clothing for many. Love it or hate it, this (sometime fiddly) little garment can also be a handy piece in the wardrobe so I thought I would investigate which style of bodysuit can flatter your body type.

I started to notice bodies appearing in brands’ collection a while ago and momentum is gathering apace as we near Christmas.   I did some story posts about a couple of bodies that I liked on my Instagram feed recently, to which the dms were mostly negative. Feeling a bit sorry for the body I started to wonder why it was getting a bad wrap.

Nuisance poppers is primarily the problem.  These can sometimes undo when you least expect or want them to. However, if you head to a retailer that stocks clothes in your sizing that shouldn’t be a problem.  And the good news.  It’s not like a onesie, where you have to almost get naked to use the bathroom.  The poppers come in handy.

With Christmas very rapidly heading our way the number of bodies you see in stores and online is set to increase.  Mostly worn snug to the body, the materials used tend to be soft, like velvet, or with lycra for added support.  You can find embellished, cut-out, puff-sleeved and even shirt style available.

So, which bodysuit will flatter your body shape?  Below I’ve compiled a handy guide on styles that I’ve seen and which body shapes they will flatter the most.


Bodysuits to flatter your body type



Great for: anyone who has rectangle body type, straight up and down; those with a smaller bust

Wear it with: high-waisted jeans (as in picture), A-line, full skirts, paperbag trousers or skirts


Great for: those who have a smaller bust, neat hour-glass figure, petite rectangle body type
Wear it with: simple trousers (jean-style or narrow cut)


Great for: petite inverted triangle (strawberry) body types
Wear it with: balance out proportions with jeans, trouser or skirt that is light or bright in colour or has a pattern

Great for: inverted body types (strawberry)
Wear with: paperbag style trousers, wide-leg trousers, full, maxi skirt


Great for: for fuller hour-glass figures
Wear it with: high-waisted skinny jeans for va va voom; pencil skirt and tailored jacket


Great for: anyone with slim shoulders; neat hour glass
Wear it with:


Great for: those who have a pear-shape figure; anyone who wishes to create a more visible waist
Wear it with: make sure whatever you below is dark if you are pear-shaped, pencil skirts, maxi column-style skirts


I’ve loved pulling these thoughts together for you and if you would like more help don’t hesitate to get in contact with me as I now offer a 1-2-1 bespoke personal shopping service.  Just click here to read more.


Speak again, soon.


Gail xx

Why It’s A Good Idea To Have A Wardrobe Detox


wardrobe detox


If you have a closet full of clothes but feel you’ve nothing to wear its time for a wardrobe detox.  An efficient working wardrobe should align with your personal style and current lifestyle.  I mean, wouldn’t it be great if every time you got dressed it was quick, easy, comfortable and ultimately confidence-boosting?  Well, it can be that way for you.


Our lives constantly evolve and the wheels of time march on.  What worked for us clothes-wise 10 years, months, or weeks ago, may not now.  That’s not to say all is lost and your money mis-spent.  A wardrobe full of clothes will hold some real gems, they might just be hidden out of sight right now.  Equally, if you can’t get dressed effortlessly, it’s very likely your wardrobe, full or not, doesn’t match your needs.


A wardrobe detox supports your life now


There’s no point in having a wardrobe full of ball gowns if you never go to a ball.  Likewise, Cinders can’t go to the ball without a knockout gown, so this is a cautionary reminder, it’s really important to think about what you need for your life and customise your wardrobe accordingly.


I know it seems super obvious, but a lot of people just skirt around the edges.  Only wearing 20 per cent of your wardrobe, can just mean the other 80 per cent is gathering cobwebs.  If your lifestyle has changed then so must your wardrobe.


My life, for example, has changed lots in the last 12 years. I lived in London for three years where I worked in an office.  After I met my husband I moved back to Bristol.  I started to work from home as a freelance, then went back into an office for a couple of years and now currently do a bit of both.  Meanwhile I swapped weekend bar-hopping for bake dates and swimming lessons with the step-children for some years and am back to day-dating again now the kids have grown up.  It’s all change, all the time, and so has my wardrobe.


De-cluttering unveils the good stuff you already have and saves you money


I have to admit that I’m not good with clutter.  For me a clean environment helps me think clearly.  That said I know others don’t feel the same way.  In fact I can get quite envious of people who enjoy creating a more lived-in feel to their surroundings, including their closet.


However, it can lead to too much clutter.  It’s really easy to build up a large amount of stuff if you’re not careful.  One client that I worked with recently ‘warned me’ that I would be welcomed by ‘the jumble that I call my clothes’ and she asked for some serious help clearing out the JUNK.


She of course didn’t have junk at all, but there was a lot of clothes.  In two wardrobes, under a king-size bed, coming out of side drawers and stuffed in boxes.  However, we methodically went through everything piece by piece and my client gained some much needed clarity.   We checked that clothes fitted her, and not just physically, but was fitting of her lifestyle.


Some clothes did go into a charity bag.  They were no longer of any use to her.  The clothes that remained were all ready to wear now.  We then drew up a short list of  clothes needed to create the perfect wardrobe.  Of course, what truly pleased her was identifying all the really great pieces in her wardrobe that she already had.  It was clearly a win-win situation.


It helps to identify the gaping holes in your wardrobe


As well as identifying what is no longer working in your wardrobe, a detox also highlight pieces that are missing.  These missing pieces can complete outfits and help create the perfect wardrobe for you.  For example, when I did a wardrobe detox a while ago I found that I clearly didn’t have enough tops.  An area of my body that I struggle to buy for, I realised that I had either avoided it (so I had some really great trousers and skirts), or purchased a style that I quickly became disappointed with and given it away.  Either way this left me with few options.


Still, with the problem staring me in the face I was able to rectify it and I really put all my attention in finding solutions and building a capsule wardrobe that stopped me from sitting on the edge of the bed pulling my hair out.  It also stopped me from stock-piling a lot of bottom pieces that I didn’t really need.


It gives you back more time to do other things


There’s no doubt a wardrobe detox will give you more time to spend on other things.  Once you’ve cleared the clutter and purchased any pieces to complete your wardrobe staples, you can see clearly what you’ve got to wear and your daily routine will be simplified.


You can design your wardrobe around the pillars of your life – work, rest and play.  Or, you can divide your closet by colour or season.  Just choose a way that works for you and stick to it.  Ultimately, the goal is to make your life easier, particularly in the morning.  No more standing in front of the wardrobe, head in hands, eyes-rolling over what to wear.  The answer should be very clearly in front of you.  A well-constructed closet simply gives you back much-needed time.


More time for that walk in to work you’ve been promising yourself, perhaps a 10 minute cardio workout, or writing up the food shop!  In your dreams it will be a soak in the bath, catching up on the social media gossip, or watching a bit of morning TV.  But we all know it’s really going to be eaten up with putting the washing on, pulling out the bins and running after the bus.  Still, it is more time and definitely one less stress to worry about.


It helps you create a personal style


A wardrobe detox offers you the perfect opportunity to start your style journey afresh.  Clearing away outdated looks for newly-styled outfits that work for you now, not only acts as a deep-cleanse of past life chapters, but helps you develop a style of your very own.


What you wear says a lot about you and how you want to be seen, indeed it can inform others of who you are and what you’re about without saying a word. So if that’s the case then it’s good idea to work on your own personal style.  Of course finding that style is developed over time and we all make mistakes, but regular detoxing helps to curate the perfect wardrobe that reflects you.


For starters you will only be wearing clothes from a wardrobe that you clearly love, feel confident in, and allows you to shine.


If you want my personal touch please do click here and find out more about my Wardrobe Reboot service.  Let me do the detox for you!



Gail x




Summer Holiday Packing Tips


The holiday had been planned a year in advance.  I had booked our flights in February, spent hours researching various places to visit and finding the right accommodation.  So how come, with all the preparation under my belt and time in hand I found myself on holiday with a badly packed suitcase?  Not planning my suitcase properly was a harsh lesson and one I didn’t enjoy, but it did re-focus my efforts going forward.  Now I’m sharing my Summer Holiday Packing Tips so you won’t make the same mistakes I did.  Please read on and have a great holiday.

Note: this post has been updated from its original posting Holiday Wardrobe Wars, May 2016.


So what went wrong?

Back in 2016, I had, or thought I had, quite a good wardrobe of holiday clothes.  Built over many years, I had gradually got rid of items that were passed their sell-by date, didn’t look as great as they once had, or were so out of fashion it aged me.  In my head I had what I  thought was a decent number of pieces that were perfect for a summer holiday.

So when the time came around for our trip away I gave shopping for new stuff a miss.  I just bought one gorgeous cover up in River Island and an on-trend one-piece swimsuit, like one of these  for those stylish boat trips, oh and a new hat.  That was it.  A busy period at work meant that I didn’t have the head space or energy to give it any more thought and anyway ‘I had a wardrobe full of clothes to get me through the holiday’.

I was also trying to lose a little weight.  However, I hadn’t got to grips with The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan that I had been following (review of that plan here) and was struggling to drop the pounds. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking to lose half a stone before a summer holiday (don’t leave me hanging here girls!) so I simply doubled down my efforts to watch what I ate and hoped for the best.


There Was Trouble Ahead


You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know what happened next. Yep, I went on holiday with a bunch of stuff that I would literally carry on my back (sadly in a backpack) for the duration of the holiday and not wear.  It either wasn’t what I really needed, unsuitable for the trip, or worse still, didn’t fit properly.  Over the next two weeks I would curse my lack of planning and attention to detail on a daily basis.


Back home I vowed that this would never happen again.  I had a big wardrobe reboot (I can help you with this too) and made a list of items that I keep pinned in my closet which I refer to each and every time I am going away.  It gets altered to suit each trip and with new additions, but I know all the items I can choose from depending on whether its a city break, long haul exotic destination or a week in Europe.


The Not Givin In No-Nonsense Summer Holiday Packing Tips

Since the experience I’ve also studied as a personal stylist so I can add to my original list of tried and tested summer packing holiday tips.  So here’s my 2019 Summer Holiday Packing Tips.  I learnt the hard way so you don’t have to…




  • Don’t take the same colour garment that’s cut in three different ways.  You don’t need five pairs of beige shorts in varying lengths.  Don’t pack for just in case, pack for what you need.


  • Don’t take something you have in the wardrobe and always pack, but never wear. (I’m the Queen of this).   If you take it each year, but don’t wear it, you don’t really like yourself in it, so pop it in the charity shop and use the space in your suitcase more wisely.


  • Don’t take a suitcase full of heels if you can help it.  At 5 ft 3 (and a bit!),  I do wear heels constantly, but they can take the joy out of relaxing and aren’t great walking across sandy beaches.


  • Don’t bother buying a hat before you go. It’s a pain in the bum carting it around.  Particularly in departures when you need 12 pairs of hands.  There will be plenty of hats at your destination, that can be worn and left to a new owner.


summer holiday packing tips



  • Make sure you get your holiday wardrobe out for ‘investigation’ at least three months in advance.


  • First off, take everything you didn’t wear last time that you went on a similar trip to the charity shop.  Chances are it’s been building up dust for years.


  • Give some serious thought to where you are going and what you will be doing.  Look at your itinerary and think about how you will spend your days. If it helps I would write down what you will be need for each day. Or simply write down what you can wear under headings, such as day-time, beachwear, night-time and sightseeing trips.


  • Check that everything fits, comfortably (cause that holiday gelato-a-day habit will bite you in the ass).


  • Take a mix of holiday classics and perhaps buy a few new on-trend pieces to go with them.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your look so that it’s current yet sophisticated.


  • Plan how each outfit works together, include shoes and accessories.  You can see how these overlap and reduce items like (heavy) shoes as much as possible.


Help Is At Hand


So that’s my top tips for making sure you start your holiday on the right foot.  I hope it’s helped.  If however, you’ve still got concerns, I can help more with a Holiday Wardrobe Reboot or we can go shopping together to find the pieces you need.  Simply drop me a line info@notgivinin.com.


Wouldn’t it be dreamy to arrive at your destination, unzip your suitcase and have the best holiday wardrobe of your life?  Trust me, you can.



Gail x