Simple Staycation Styling

Whether you’re dreaming of a mini-break or longer summer holiday, simple staycation styling will ensure you feel fantastic.

Great clothes aside, a few key accessories can really work magic.  They offer a finishing touch to an outfit, the chance to bring it bang up to date, and give it fresh new appeal.  What’s not to love?

A great shoe for the summer is the espadrille wedge.  It’s so versatile and is perfect for wearing with a skirt or trouser.  They look fab with flowing maxi dresses and are super stylish with cropped jeans, so here’s a few ideas to get your shopping brain a buzzing.

 

Two Simple Staycation Styling Ideas

Espadrille wedges

 

What I personally like about them, is the elevated height.  Hey, I’m just 5 ft 3 1/2 (of course, that half is important).  A nude or tan toe can elongate the leg which is great.  Just make sure, if that’s important for you, that you choose a pointed toe.  Rounded toes reduce the illusion of height.

 

Next up is the classic basket bag.  It comes under many guises – straw and jute – to name a few.

 

Basket bags

 

They’re just fabulous for the summer.  Adding the carefree attitude we’re so longing to feel.  They are also readily available and you should easily be able to find a design that suits your needs. I bought mine from Mango this summer.  It’s huge, so I can carry everything and the kitchen sink.  It also makes me feel like I’m on the French Riviera when in reality I’ll be on these shores.  Not that I mind this year.  Not one bit.

 

I’ve put together two other blog posts recently that have included accessories so you might fancy a gander at these while you’re here:

What to Wear for a UK Staycation

Quick Ways to Add Colour to Your Outfit

These include ideas for hats, scarves, belts, etc., and these can really jazz up an outfit.

 

As always if you want to have a more bespoke personal shop then do drop me a line via the contact page.

 

Happy shopping!

 

Gail x

 

What to Wear for a UK Staycation – Q&A

 

I recently held a Style Surgery Q&A on my Instagram account discussing what to wear for a UK staycation.  I received some really great questions from followers that I think will be really useful to lots of holidaymakers.  So, for those staying on British shores this summer here’s some of the questions I was asked, and the answers.

 

Q: Given the uncertain weather are you still putting away your winter clothes?

A:  Yes, absolutely.  If nothing else I want and need to enjoy the mind set that time has moved on and we have entered a different season.  Yes, you will probably need showerproof clothing and I’m keeping my wellies to hand, but heavy coats will be packed away.  Instead, I’ll be wearing thin layers that build up warmth and resistance to chilly and/or wet days.  I would suggest starting with under garments that offer support.  For example a great vest or camisole will keep you warm and can be worn under most tops.

 

Check out Uniqlo for its AIRism collection. The range helps you stay comfortable with its quick-drying cool-touch features.   The material used releases heat and moisture to keep you dry and  also neutralises odours, both of which can be handy for sticky days or walking workouts.  The collection is quite extensive, including tops and dresses, but here’s a link to the camisole bra tops that I think could be handy.

 

Uniqlo AIRism

 

Q: If you’re not a size 8 how do you layer without looking enormous?

A: Good question!  If you’re petite then piling on clothes can add unwanted volume.  You are wearing the clothes after all, not the other way around.

Follow these guidelines::

  1. Aim to wear just three layers
  2. Choose thin layers that build up a look
  3. The outer layer should have the longest length to ensure a smooth elongated look
  4. Choose one colour with garments in different shades for a tonal look

 

what to wear for uk summer staycations

Pic courtesy of Pinterest – outer layer is the longest, streamlining silhouette.

 

 

what to wear summer staycation

Pic courtesy of Pinterest – tonal shades of one colour offer interest and work together, softening depth of layering.

 

Q: How do I look stylish in a rain coat?

A:  If the weather isn’t going our way and we’ll need to wear a rain coat, there’s not much getting away from it.  My suggestion is to turn your attention to how the rest of the outfit is working with it.

 

Think about what you’re wearing underneath.  If wearing a muted colour, e.g., olive, then try wearing a bright, punchy pink blouse underneath.  If the rain coat is bright, turn it around and wear a darker, more muted colour, like a navy stripe.  Opposites attract and can work very well together.

 


Also, what accessories are you wearing to build an outfit that is stylish.  How about adding a pretty scarf.  See my recent blog post on accessories here for ideas.  Or, switch up your handbag strap to something more eye-catching.  Perhaps one of these replacement bag straps from Oliver Bonas:

 

Another option is to think about what you are wearing on your head.  Get a ahead, add a hat!  Take a look at the Rains collection of hats this summer.  See here

 

And here’s a reel of more options you can find online.


 

I hope you find this useful.  There is another ‘What to Wear on a UK Staycation’ Style Surgery this Friday (May 28th).  This time I’ll be focusing on what’s new to wear if you’re heading to the British seaside resorts.

 

Til then, have a great week.

 

Gail xx

Quick Ways to Add Colour to Your Outfit

A recent Style Surgery that I ran on my Instagram account – ‘Quick ways to add colour to your outfit’ – gained much interest.

People can really struggle with colour and feel intimated by it.  This could be more so now after we’ve all been indoors so long, but wearing colour can also make you look and feel great.  Perhaps now is the perfect time to try some colour on for size.

When choosing which colours to wear, it’s a good idea to ‘get your colours done’ by a personal stylist like me.  However, a general rule of thumb is to choose colours that illuminate your face.  The best colours will give you a healthy glow.

If you are used to wearing neutrals and don’t know where to start consider adding colour with something small.  Think belt, bag, scarf, shoe.

I used to wear a lot of black.  I still do.  So when I started to experiment with colour I started by getting the feel for wearing colour by using accessories.  This habit still works for me now.  If I don’t feel the need to be seen, but want to elevate or ‘finish’ my outfit then my go-to is a colourful bag.  I love bags anyway, so it’s not a real stretch for me.  That said, in recent years I’ve added yellow, red and bright green handbags to my collection and they’re on rotation far more frequently than I expected.

Here are some ideas from the four accessory categories.  Choose which accessory makes you feel comfortable, or perhaps fulfil a need.  If you need a belt, choose a brighter option than tan; heading on holiday, then why not pack a pretty scarf.  I love my bags, but I know a great pair of shoes are a real draw for some women.  The style and colours worn say much about the wearer, so why not have some fun with your feet.  It’s not too in your face, but can really show your individuality.

 

High street hits that will add colour to your outfits now

Bags


Belts


Scarves

Shoes

 

Hope you liked these quick ways to add colour to your outfit.  If you want to learn the exact colours you should be wearing then contact me on info@notgivinin.com or fill in the form on the contact page.  See my colour analysis and body shape consultation service here.

Have a great weekend folks!

 

Gail

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