42 Dresses to Live in this Spring


We’ve been ‘lounging’ indoors for a while now, so here’s 42 dresses to live in this spring.


While a lounge wear two-piece has been the outfit de jour for months, a nod from the PM and I’m scrolling fashion sites.  I’ve taken worn on repeat as far as it can go.  Black has been my primary colour for months now.  So it’s no surprise that a roadmap out of lockdown married with first sign’s of a blue sky and I am loopy for lighter, prettier dresses.  Who’s with me?


We’ll obviously be indoors a little while longer so there’s time to plan a fresh new look for April.  Here I’ve researched some high street dresses you can order online now.  I’ve actually found 42 dresses to live in this spring!  These will take you from school gate, to park bench, home desk and back again.


I love a denim dress all-year-round to be honest, but for spring it’s perfect.  Such a versatile piece in the wardrobe, you can dress it up, down or somewhere in between.  Simply add an ankle boot and trainers this spring and you’re good to go.  The Marks and Spencer denim shirt dress below is fave.  Design-wise it has a classic American feel to it, with the added benefit of an A-line skirt that flatters legs on display.

Meanwhile, if florals are your kind of print, you’re in luck.  There’s a bunch of dresses out there, sporting ditzy prints or large blooms.  A note if you’re petite, the latter could drown you, so opt for smaller prints.  I found the most fantastic choice in Mango see below.


Perfect for outdoor afternoon tea, the easy-to-wear floral dress is fab with a blazer.  Perfect a slightly edgier look?  Put a leather jacket over your shoulders.  You can still keep your kicks on, to make it playful.  A floral dress also looks nice under a trench, paired with heels, or if you want to less formal, throw on a light jumper or sweatshirt.



This last set of ideas, include a number of oversized options.  It’s a less formal approach, for sure, but a trend I am loving.  Just be mindful that it can overpower your figure.  You can add a belt and cinch in your waist if you want.  Avoid wearing small accessories too or it will throw the overall look out of balance.  If you’re going for a voluminous dress, keep your bag big, add chunky soled shoes, like platform sandals.  Jewellery can be large too, think statement necklaces, earrings or a wide-brimmed hat.


If you like the oversized shirt styles below then these can also be worn open with a cami underneath and fluid wide-leg trousers, for a stylish look that suits most people.  Draw attention or shade away with the use of clever colour choices underneath.  Light colours draw attention, dark add shade.


That’s it from me this weekend. Hope you like the ideas.  If you are feeling out of kilter after being in lockdown, and not sure where to start with your coming out wardrobe, see my services page.  I am starting in-person appointments from the middle of April and there is an option to have appointments with the help of zoom video calls.


Have a great weekend.



Gail xx

Shopping For An Apple Body Shape


This week’s post is all about shopping for an apple body shape.  If you watched the Style Surgery with the GP on Friday (see here), you will have seen that the focus of this week’s Dressing for Your Body Shape was apple.

Defined by the following characteristics, the apple body shape has some great features that can be highlighted to make you feel and look great.

Common characteristics:

  • Bigger bust
  • Less definition around the waist
  • Narrow hips
  • Slender legs




Let’s Go Shopping for An Apple Body Shape

Okay, so when it comes to shopping we are always looking to not just make our lives a little easier, we want it to be more stylish!  It’s easy to do this when you know how and dressing an apple is easier than you might think.  Follow these simple tips to get you started.

  • Draw attention to areas you want to show off
    • this could be a great pair legs
    • or it could be highlighting a gorgeous bust
    • and let’s not forget a beautiful face
  • Skim the mid-section or focus on the narrowest part of the body, e.g. underneath the bust

With this in mind, let’s go shopping.  I’ve visited online retailers to pick out some key pieces that are currently available.

  1. The Shift Dress.

A shift dress is a go-to for the apple.  During the summer a sleeve-less design will show off arms and legs and winter styles include this year’s knitted option.  Wear with chunky ankle boots to be totally on trend, or if you want a little height add knee high boots.  I would choose a boot colour opposite to what you’re wearing, e.g. tan knee highs with a black knitted dress, to draw the eye down.

Here’s an idea from Top Shop.



2. Tunic-style top and wide leg Trouser combo.

When shopping for tops look for longer length versions.  Ideally, they should be below the hip.  I spotted this sequin version in H&M and it comes with wide leg trousers.  Both flow together well, skimming curves, but offering excitement to the overall look with a ton of sequins.  No-one puts baby in the corner!  Perfect for Christmas.  Not a bad price either.


Note. if you’re a tall apple this top might not work as it must come down below the hip.



3. Statement Accessories.


Ooh I love accessories.  They are such powerful tools in either playing up or playing down an outfit.  For an apple, who perhaps wants to draw attention away from the mid-section, a good pair of eye-catching shoes will do just that. I spotted these on Gillian Anderson, who is currently the star of the Dune London Autumn/Winter shoe campaign.  They are FAB.



Just a couple of tricks here for you to take-away.  Like to see more ideas?  Visit my October Shop Pinterest board, where you’ll find the rest of this morning’s shopping for an apple body shape.


Of course, if you want a more bespoke shop please do drop me a line at info@notgivinin.com and I’ll walk you through how I can help you wear better clothes that suit your figure and ultimately make you feel more confident.


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx

Top Tips For Dressing A Pear Shaped Body


If you don’t know, I’m a strawberry body shape. This week, however, I’m going to pretend that I’m the opposite and share my top tips for dressing a pear shaped body.


This is part of my series on social media about dressing for your body shape.  See last week’s hourglass shop here.


As a personal stylist I dress women and men and honestly we come in all shapes and sizes.  Through this series I’m hoping to share with you some tips to make the most of yours.  So, if you’re a pear, it’s common for you to have wider hips and thighs and a smaller chest and shoulders.  You’ll also have a defined waist.


What this means when it comes to dressing is that your top and bottom half will likely be two different sizes. It is easier to wear separates, for sure, but even so, you’ll want to create a more balanced silhouette.  Here’s some clever tricks.


My Top Tips For Dressing A Pear Shaped Body


The idea here is to lessen the width of the heavier part of your body.  Draw the eye upwards by being more creative on your top half and ensure you keep the definition of your narrow waist.


I’ve picked out a few tops to help you do this from what’s currently available online.


First up, this gorgeous red jumper from H&M.


You can’t miss a puff sleeve, it will draw the eye up and widen your shoulders, lessening the appearance of a wide hip.


It’s also the perfect colour to take you through the festive season.


My second choice today is this simple yet fabulous top from Mint Velvet.


If you’re a pear you can really go to town with embellishment on the shoulder.  This is super pretty and makes a great addition for the night out ‘jeans and a nice top’ combo.


Also good if you are looking to get yourself seen on a zoom call!


My third choice today is a double whammy when it comes to dressing a pear body shape – off the shoulder with lots of frills.



A bardot-style top is a great option for someone who wants to balance out a heavier bottom.  The addition of frills is pretty, feminine and simply grabs your attention with both hands.


Lastly, tapping into a current trend couldn’t be easier.


Peter Pan collars are everywhere this season.  This version from Mango with its exaggerated pointed tips offers a very fashionable neckline.  It’s super feminine, of the moment, and you’ll find this style everywhere this season.


As promised, those were my ‘top’ tips. If you’d like to learn more about your body dress and how to dress it do get in touch.  I am currently offering in-person and online services here.  Why not make the most of a free call to have a chat about your wardrobe frustrations and how I can help.  Drop me a line info@notgivinin.com and let me help you look and feel great.

Have a great Sunday.

Work With Your Body Shape



Wearing clothes that work with your body shape rather than against it is key to looking and feeling great.  This week’s focus is the hourglass.


If you watched my Instagram stories yesterday you will have seen that my Style Surgery helped viewers  identify if they were an hourglass and gave some tips on what to look out for when shopping.  You can still watch it in my highlights here.


Meanwhile, I’ve done an online shop for an hourglass ‘client’ and want to share with you a few key pieces.  Of course, we’re all individual, we have different body shapes.  You could be a narrow hourglass, a petite, or a tall hourglass.  For a bespoke fitting work with me, but do take a look at the full shop on my Pinterest board for ideas.


My Top Three Tips below…


The Trench.

Okay, so first off, it’s raining.  We’re in the middle of a storm, but hey it’s the UK, there’s always a shower heading our way.  So what better way to stay showerproof and stylish than with a trench coat.

What I love about the hourglass body shape is that you can really tune is to the classic trench cut – fitted, neat, and belted.  You can see from my example below, that this style ensures you don’t lose your waist.

Avoid cape style, oversized trench trends.  They’ll drown you.

A double breasted Trench Coat currently in Marks & Spencer.



The All Occasion Dress.

There is definitely a trend for dresses with a built-in cinched waist this season that I would make the most of if an hourglass is adding to her wardrobe this season.

Some retailers call it a knot, but you’ll notice a gathering around the waistline and it’s just brilliant for anyone who has a narrow waist, or for someone who wants to create more of a defined waist.

Zara has some great options, but I’ve focused on this design from Hush.  I’ve seen this dress in real life and what I love about it for an hourglass figure is that it also has a small print so it won’t overpower the silhouette.  Hourglass figures are one of the few body shapes that can wear one colour or print from top to toe, because they have balanced proportions.

Hush, Saskia Twist Shirt Dress.

The Cute Knit.

A wrap style is the easiest top for an hourglass to wear, as long as it’s covering the bust.  On the latter point, size up, or use hidden fastenings to ensure you don’t have gaping necklines.

This season, knits are a key look and to narrow it down further, a cardigan is THE piece to wear.  The retailer, & Other Stories has introduced a range of soft, fluffy cardigans that are perfect for the hourglass figure.  See below, Turquoise wrap cardigan.



Really fluid and effortlessly pretty, this aqua coloured top will softly support those fabulous curves, and, as you can see, works really well with denim.  I’d also love to see it with culottes, worn with knee-high boots underneath.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these key pieces.  Got the bug to shop some more?  Head to my Pinterest board for other ideas.  Want more help?  Please see my in-person and online services here.  I offer a free half hour consultation, so make the most of it and let’s have a chat about your wardrobe frustrations and how I can help.  Drop me a line info@notgivinin.com and let me help look and feel great.

Have a great weekend.



Gail xx

Six Coat Trends To Spot This Season



The most important piece of clothing you’ll wear during the next six months has had an update.  If you want to make a statement during the next few months here’s six coat trends you’ll want to get ahead of now.


I know we’re all rinsing out our light clothes as summer strings out towards the end of September, but the fact remains a new season is upon us.   Getting ahead of the curve is actually quite easy as you can’t move for winter coats in the shops.


There’s a lot of camel (as you would expect) and quite a bit of black leather (that you might not). Quilted khaki is having a moment, but large checks are the way to go if a statement coat is the one update you’re looking to make.  Here’s a snapshot of what’s around.


The Belted Coat.

Possibly one of my favourite styles because it affords the body some shaping, unlike other styles (puffa, etc.).  Not so great if heavy cable jumpers are your thing, but tying the belt behind your back can create a narrower shape around the waist if you don’t want to wear the coat done up.


The Check Coat.

The choice and leaders in this trend are focused on big check. I’m loving browns and lighter colour options over dark versions.  Wear this trend with a paired back outfit underneath.  Simple silhouettes will work and flares/wider leg trousers will offer a relaxed 70s vibe.



Cape and Poncho options.

I think a cape or poncho has marmite appeal. You either love em or hate em.  If worried about your top half looking bulky go for a cape.  They mostly have arm holes to break up a heavy top line.


Ponchos in fine knits could be good if you’re WFH and need an extra layer before booting up the heating to full blast during the really cold months.  Go for neutrals; stripes will take over the conference call.


Cape-wise, I love these two from Zara.  Note how each is worn.  Pic 1 balances out a wider top half with slim knee high boots and not much else, while pic 2 is long and lean and worn with boot leg legs for a relaxed look.


Not Givin In - Personal Shopper in Bath



Not Givin In - Personal Shopper in Bristol


Best of the Rest.

A couple of other options include boucle and long shackets.  I mentioned on my Instagram Style Surgery that boucle styles are around this autumn/winter.  I’m loving the trench ideas here from Topshop, which are belted and smart.  Great for work, but also adding style to weekend outfits.  H&M has lengthened its shackets, which won’t see you right the way through winter, but with clever layering a good way through the next few weeks.  Nice with straight leg trousers as well as jeans and trainers at weekends.


Lastly its leather (look).

A couple of Matrix-like ideas have been introduced this season.  I think I prefer the orange tan options, but black leather and its friendly faux options are firmly here, for those who perhaps really want to make a statement and be easy to clean.


Have a great week.


Gail x