Six Shackets for Spring



I’m hot.  And not in a good way.  But then we’ve all been hot these past few weeks.  And on that point, yes, it’s been lovely to feel the sun on my skin, but I’ve also been bothered by why we’re all stripping off in February. News that it was the hottest February ever recorded just brought on another hot flush.


While I try various medical routes to control my ‘hotness’ I’ve come to the realisation that light layers are the way forward.  I sadly put my winter woollies away a week or two ago.  What’s not to love about the utter pleasure of looking cute in a huge cowl neck while hiding the rather large Sunday roast that’s just been consumed in the soft folds of merino wool below, aye?


So this week’s fashion find is the spring shacket.  Not light enough to be a jacket, but heavier than a shirt, this little beauty is a godsend.  Wear thin layers underneath and if gets chilly pop another lighter coat over the top.  It offers an opportunity to play with fabric, colour and texture, so there’s no end of cute outfits you can create, again and again.


I’ve gone jungle deep with a camo number from New look.  I love camo.  I have a pair of camo jeans that I bought in Zara years ago, which I wear all the time. They’re a go-to piece in my wardrobe and I knew as soon as I spotted this shacket it would quickly become a key piece in my wardrobe.


Worn here dressed casually for the weekend, I love that you can add a T.shirt and jean, pick out some eye-catching accessories and go.


I also think, this shacket will look great with a long black pleated skirt that I have, worn with ankle boots or pumps and easily made classy with a black polo neck.  I’ve added yellow because it was just a quick outfit that I needed to bolt of the door, but red would look nice or perhaps some of the neon colours, such as pink, would make for a really stand out appearance.


Utility is a key trend for spring 2019, so the shacket fits very nicely within it as it commonly has pockets.  You’ll find quite a lot of denim and neutral shades in stores.  Below I’ve picked out my faves from New Look, Top Shop and Very.  See what you think?


As you can see a lot of these are worn casually with denim, but consider adding:
  • leather/pleather or coated skinny jeans – to upgrade your daytime look
  • bright pleated skirts and a snazzy pair of trainers – great for the school run, a casual day in the office, or meeting mates for a coffee
  • leather midi skirt, heels and a bright clutch – if you’re heading out for early evening drinks
  • a boiler suit in cream or khaki with a bright red cross body bag – ticking all of this season’s boxes
  • a breton top – stripes go really well underneath a shacket, even if you’ve chosen a camo pattern

There’s actually lots of ways.  Keep watching my Instagram page because I’m going to be trying out a few of these ideas myself this spring.


Have a great weekend.



Gail xx


Back to Basics


Hi!  How is everyone feeling about the start of a new month?  I’m feeling quite uplifted.  January was long and tortuous and March is on the horizon, so although it is still raining while I type this, I have hope.  I have just done a 5k run and the smell of bacon cooking is wafting up the stairs.  Things can only get better.


Clothes-wise, I’m finding myself looking at all the new styles coming through for spring, but still reaching for old favourites in the wardrobe.  Who wants to buy stuff that’s still going to sit in the wardrobe for another 6-7 weeks.  Flying by the seat of my pants or holding on to my hard-earned money, you decide!


So, what can we do for the next few weeks, while the last of the dreary days go by?  Well, I’ve been trying to plan what I’m wearing a bit more and making sure the wardrobe is fully in use and not just mine, SP’s wardrobe too.


Last weekend I borrowed Steve’s pea coat (admittedly slightly on the large side) to finish a black and white outfit.


Prompted by a desire to wear my white boots and a skirt (found at the back of the wardrobe) I didn’t have a coat that would complete the look and let’s face it, there’s a permanent downpour waiting to happen at the moment, so I grabbed SP’s coat.



Also on repeat is this striped jumper from French Connection (apologies for the wind swept mop).  Yonks old, I’m on the look out for a replacement at the moment and I think long sleeve T.shirt options are the ones to go for rather than wool, as they offer a lighter layer for wearing under blazers in the spring and solo with shorts come summer.  I’ve put a few options in the reel below if you’re interested.



Finishing off the look I teamed thick opaque tights with an A-line pleather skirt that again is years old from Zara, but it was quite nice to wear something above-the-knee for a change and the opaques cover up and keep us warm.


If you like the look I’ve popped similar pieces in the reel below.

Have a great weekend.
Gail xx
What are you wearing in this transitional period?  Are you waiting for the weather to change before making spring purchases?  Let me know in the comments below…

Legging It Into Spring

It’s Good Friday and I’ve woken up with a banging headache.  Doesn’t bode well, does it?  The first morning of a four day holiday and I’ve already taken two paracetamol and two ibuprofen.


I’m not feeling or looking my best, so in an attempt to brighten the mood I’m trying to put some goodness back into my face, from the outside in, with a gorgeous smelling Honey & Oat 3-In-1 Scrub Mask from the Body Shop.  I might be feeling crap on the inside, but I better be beaming from afar.


This week’s post is about loosening up on the trouser scene.  Now that we are in full Spring-time mode I really want to ‘stand down’ my jeans. Give ’em a break.  Put them in the wash for starters (!) and try to wear something different.


If you’re a fan of the old black and white movies you can’t but admire the capri pant, cigarette trouser and cropped chino of yesteryear icons.  Think Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot, because I can’t put their images on here or I’ll be sued.


There’s something so feminine about revealing a little ankle.  Worn with pointy flats, trainers that don’t see the inside of a gym, or platform sandals, a pair of cotton trousers can take you anywhere.  I’d like a pair to take me to the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast, but that won’t be happening this year.  Still, we can but dream…


Photo by linh-nguyen/Unsplash


So this week I started, in earnest, the swop over of clothing in the wardrobe from winter to spring/summer, with the aim of digging out the two pairs of cropped capri pants that I have (in blue and beige). Only they weren’t there. It looks like I’ve bundled them into the charity bag in a moment of madness. In truth I think the blue trousers were too small and the beige pair too big and it probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m caught short. Pun intended.


A very quick look in the shops has revealed that options include a roll-up hem, which I’m not interested in. I’m looking to slim and lengthen the leg and drawing attention three quarters of the way down will just cut it off.  No, I’m looking for a classic cut.  Something like one of these:


In fact any one of these, delivered to my door, would be fab.  So that’s the plan.  I’m off to check out sizes before I roll up my sleeves and hurtle towards the cooking fest that is Easter.  Perhaps I should order anything post chocolate consumption!

Have a great Easter everyone!

Gail xx

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion

So, it’s finally here.  Spring has sprung.  The forecast is good, with sunshine this weekend, and I’m ready for it.  Or am I?  Yesterday I ended the day hot under the collar for the wrong reasons and still in boots, raced to the shops post day-long meeting, to find shoes that didn’t go halfway up my leg.


You’re never quite ready are you?  Anyway, absolutely must not moan.  It was my own fault for not being prepared.  What I should have done is taken more notice of the forecast and followed some of the ideas that I saw at Bristol Fashion Week last Friday.


A showcase for the stores at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, the show is great way to spot new trends and ideas of what to wear in the new season and I have to say the retailer that really got my attention was Marks & Spencer.  It had the right mix of style and nod to the current trends, while being wearable for all age groups.  Though I don’t know if Gail Dibble, aged 21, would agree!  However, Gail Painter whole-hardheartedly loved it.


My friend and I hot-footed it the store after the show, keen to try on some of the styles, but unfortunately the key piece my friend wanted to try on was sold out, which on the second day of the fashion show, was a bit off.   Come on retailers, you know people are going to visit the store after the shows to buy what they liked, it’s the whole point.  Nevertheless, we pushed pass that obstacle and tried on some clothes.


Of course, once in store, I spotted a whole raft of clothes that I wanted to try on, so I was good to go.  Meanwhile, my friend went head first into the sales rack.  More on that later.


The first piece I wanted to try on was this dress.  I know it’s a popular choice as I’ve seen it on a lot of people and this gorgeous cotton blend striped skater dress is pretty eye-catching.


I know it doesn’t work on me, as my top half is too heavy and I’m spilling out in the wrong places, but please don’t be put off, this dress is really lovely, on everyone else.  It’s £69.99 and is a gorgeous occasion dress.  Don’t wear it with black boots though, eh!


Next up is this pure cotton striped shirt dress from the Autograph range (£59.99).

Have I ever mentioned that years ago I was part of a much larger PR team that launched Autograph?  I was and my colleagues and I used to joke that I got paid and would then give the money back as I loved buying the clothes.  So, I really do have a soft spot for this range.  I really like this dress (ignore my winter boots).  I like the colour and simple fit and flare style.  This is a 10, which as you can see is too snug across the bust, however the 12 is too big on the hip for me, so it’s a no-go, sadly.


This dress, was a random pull off the rail as I headed to the fitting room, choice.  I like floaty numbers.

It was too big (I tried on a size 12) and I’m not keen when there are layers of different sizes, but the print is pretty and I like the idea of wearing off the shoulder.  Does anyone remember the flake ad? LOL.  Anyway, I’ve looked and looked but I can’t find this dress on the M&S website, so I can’t share any more detail about it, I’m afraid.  Maybe it will go ‘up’ over the weekend.

Lastly, and I’m tempted to go back for it, is this pleated skirt.  I’m really loving the midi length this season.

This metallic pleated A-line midi skirt feels really nice on.  A little crisp to the touch, but I like being wrapped up like a chocolate.  It is £49.50 and I’m wearing a size 10 (slightly snug on the waist. I did say chocolate!).  Also, I have sourced very similar, cheaper versions in H&M for less than £30, but this one is of better quality.


That’s all I had time to try on, but there’s also a pair of orange wide leg trousers with a striped waistband that look fab, wear every wear mules for less than £30 (the gold ones will go with everything) and a pair of wide leg cropped trousers, that were not cropped on me, so I didn’t take a photograph.  Short female problems and I didn’t have time to go back and look for ‘short’ on the rail.


In the reel below are these and a few more ideas to scroll through.



Back to the fashion show and I headed back to dig my friend out of the sales rack.  She’s only gone and found me a striped shirt dress with tie sleeves for £10.98 in the sale hasn’t she.



Sometimes it pays to shop the sales.  Every time it pays to buddy up.  Thanks Maria!


Have a great weekend all.


Gail xxx


Don’t Give This Trend The Cold Shoulder



I’ve just been reading that the shoulder is the new erogenous zone?  When was it not!  The magazine is on to something though, showing a little shoulder is ‘hot’ and the look is everywhere this Spring.  Will you dare to bare?


It’s a bit of a classic, the old Off The Shoulder/Bardot look, but of course fresh young talent have added some new lingo and titled it The Cold Shoulder.   Sadly for me, some of the tops and dresses that I’ve seen with a ‘colder shoulder’, have given me just that.  I won’t be going there.  These are designs with shoulders cut out, which I’m not warming to.  If it’s cold enough to wear a cable jumper I think I’ll need both shoulders in place.


Still, rehashing fashion can be a good thing; perhaps like me you have few tops in the wardrobe that already fit the bill.  The orange one I’m wearing on my home page is from Warehouse.  I bought it a few years ago now, but I absolutely love the colour and I’ve worn it time and time again.


High Street stores have been quick off the mark to get in on this ‘new’ trend and there are some lovely Bardot-style dresses around if you fancy glamming up, but there’s also many nice tops to choose from.  I’m not in the market for dresses at the moment, but I wouldn’t mind updating the ever-present jeans ensemble for some low key nights out.


Having had a little ‘shop’ online, I’ve found a few good options that won’t buckle the purse.  M&S is steaming ahead with a timeless white Bardot style top that you can wear dressed up with a beautiful print midi skirt or down with cut off wide leg jeans, that should take you through to the end of Summer.   However, white can sometimes drain the face and I might opt for my second option from M&S, which is this blue top from its Limited Edition range, which I think will be kinder to my skin tone.


The third and fourth options, I think, are great for upping your look on informal nights out.  When you want to show that you’ve made an effort without going over the top. Then lastly I’ve added a classic Bardot stripe, though notably offering a fresh colourway than the standard navy and white top.  I think it’s a really eye-catching piece.


I think this look is here to stay girls, so perhaps keep an eye out for something that suits you and your purse now.


Happy shopping


Gail x