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

Cover It Up (Or Not)


“Four weeks from today we’ll be on holiday, ” were SP’s parting words as he left for work this morning.  Cue a scramble for trainers while shoving last night’s bed head into a semi-smart workout ponytail and heading outside for a pre-work run.

No joke, we all want to look our best on the  yearly vaca, don’t we?  Last week I talked about what not to pack in your pull-along (or in my case, backpack).  So this week I’m turning negative into positive and thinking about what to take on those hotly anticipated few weeks of the year when we don’t have to wear our daily uniform.

Next month  SP and I are heading for a week by the sea in Croatia and I can’t wait.  So the starting point for my holiday, as it will be mainly pool-side, is what to wear to and from the water’s edge.

Cover ups can be tricky.  I used to be a dress down kind of gal in my youth.  You know long/old T.shirt over short shorts.  This was not my best look; I dare say it wasn’t for many.  The late 80’s were cruel years for fashion.  The boxy shape of a T.Shirt does not lend itself to a woman’s figure, hell no, even men wear slim fit nowadays.

No, I’m relieved to say that when I got married I found my way into an Accessorize store looking for honeymoon garb and came out a (new) woman, realising that a) you could look feminine if you didn’t have a pronounced waistline and b) I could look feminine …. if I tried.

Pool-side, no make-up, hair slicked back and wearing a two-piece is, dare I say it, a challenge for anyone, but a cover up, now that’s a girl’s best friend.

Have you ever noticed that girl who looks like she’s just thrown herself together in a millisecond?  She’s likely to be wearing what appears on first glance a man’s shirt.  It’s cute, it’s wearable on anyone of any age and now you can copy this sexy little look with the help of Next.  See below, a lovely white shirt in 100% viscose, so it offers a gentle drape and doesn’t crisp up in your suitcase. Bingo. Here’s your chance to be that girl.

Next - Photo from Pinterest

Next – Photo from Pinterest.  White Shirt £25

Sticking with white and incorporating the trend for dresses that are off the shoulder, here’s another pretty option.  Great for the pool bar too.

Next - Photo from Pinterest

Next – Photo from Pinterest. White Dress £35

Personally, I spotted this cover up in one of Next’s ads and I love the design.  Though on closer look it’s quite thin material, so I’m not sure whether it’s for me.  I’ll need to try it on, but it’s a nice mix of colours, which could pick out the colour in any number of bikinis or one-pieces.

I could include lots and lots of ideas from Next here.  It’s definitely worth checking  them out this season.

Next - Photo from Pinterest. Multi Geo Print Kaftan £26

Next – Photo from Pinterest. Multi Geo Print Kaftan £26

Talking about see-through, this kaftan from Matalan is a gorgeous blue and on trend with the cold shoulder design.  Great choice if you have the confidence to carry it off.


Matalan - Photo from Pinterest

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest – Cut Out Shoulder Kaftan £10

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Matalan of late, particularly when it comes to beach wear.  They have tons of designs, including the following dresses, all at bargain prices.

Matalan - Photo from Pinterest. Floral Print Kaftan £14

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest. Floral Print Kaftan £14


Matalan - Photo from Pinterest - Printed Sequin Kaftan £14

Matalan – Photo from Pinterest – Printed Sequin Kaftan £14

Last, but by no means least, we have Accessorize. It has been my go-to store for beach wear many times (though Matalan might pip it to the post with their prices this year).

Accessorize, Xenia £59

Accessorize, Xenia £59

Accessorize, Harika Floral Lace Insert Kaftan £29

Accessorize, Harika Floral Lace Insert Kaftan £29

Accessorize, Rose Lee Ombre Dress £27

Accessorize, Rose Lee Ombre Dress £27

Accessorize, Lace Insert Beach Maxi Dress £37

Accessorize, Lace Insert Beach Maxi Dress £37


That last dress!  Just add large hat, straw beach bag and go…

I have to say that I absolutely love a long maxi dress, but it does bring me back to the issue of needing a heel, so this year I’m going thigh-skimming kaftan all the way.  My legs haven’t given up the ghost yet, so with a drawstring or nipped in waist it will give me some definition and show off my, erm, best bits!

Here’s hoping!  Happy holidays ladies.


Gail x