24 Stylish Shirts and Blouses For Spring

It’s the wardrobe go-to; a nice top and pair of jeans.  But what if your wardrobe is lacking in top half options.  Here’s a bunch of stylish shirts and blouses for spring offering a solution.  Some add a bolt of colour to liven your outfit (and mood), others offer a touch of femininity with softer lines.  Sometimes only an oversized boyfriend shirt will do, so there are a couple of options here too.

 

If you want to choose styles and cuts that can flatter your figure here are my top tips.  Pear-shaped ladies can go bold up top with colour and frills, while strawberry shaped aren’t looking for anything as dramatic, for these ladies the attention is better drawn to the bottom half.  If you’re hourglass don’t forget to tuck in  or use a belt to define your waist and apple shapes will look good is figure skimming and longer length options.  When it comes to rectangles, you’re looking to add shape and texture, so interesting designs and patterns are a great choice.

 

Hope you like the ideas.

 

Gail x

 

 

Silk Shirt, £130, Boden

 

 

Relaxed Cotton Shirt, £85, Boden

 

Satin Print Blouse, £35.99, Mango

 

 

Basic Fitted Shirt, £29.99, Mango

 

 

Buttoned Flowy Shirt, £35.99, Mango

Mango Bea Floral Cropped Blouse, £35.99, John Lewis

Per Una Floral Tie Neck Blouson Sleeve Blouse, £35.00, Mark & Spencer

 

 

Geometric Print Shirt, £28.99, Zara

Floral Print Shirt, £28.99, Zara

 

Bow Shirt, £27.99, Zara

 

Flowing Shirt with Rhinestones, £28.99, Zara

 

 

Florence Seersucker Shirt, £65, Hush

Violette Printed Spring Blouse, £69,99, Hush

 

AND/OR Cindy Gingham Ruffle Top, £49.99, John Lewis

Mango Ford Relaxed Shirt, £35.99, John Lewis

 

Kalisa Embroidery Blouse, £138.00 Reiss at John Lewis

 

Jigsaw Ruffle Trim Denim Shirt, £95.00, Jigsaw at John Lewis

 

Noa Ruffle Collar Cotton, £69.99, John Lewis

 

AND/OR Darwin Animal Print Blouse, £49.00, John Lewis

 

Boat Necked Satin Blouse, £17.99, HM

 

Pleated Blouse, £24.99, HM

 

V-Neck Blouse, £12.99, HM

 

Oversized Cotton Shirt, £17.99, HM

 

 

Oversized Poplin Shirt, £29.99, HM

 

Need help finding clothes and accessories to suit you and your lifestyle?  Check out my Wardrobe Reboot, Personal Style Development and Colour Consultation, and 1-2-1 Personal Shopping services.

Nine Things on my Wish List

 

In need of some inspiration as we get through these winter weeks?  Here are nine things on my wish list.  These are pieces I’d love to add to my wardrobe as I plan for spring work and social get-togethers.

 

Let me kick off with a dream purchase and by that I mean it won’t happen any time soon.  A designer bag.  Visiting the Inside Bags exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum recently has  made me love handbags all the more. I saw some beauties there.  I have a few Mulberry bags that I adore and use daily, but now I’ve set up sights on adding a Louis Vuitton or Dior bag to my collection. Anyone fancy buying me one?

 

I have been booked for a few style talks this spring and want to add a few statement pieces to my wardrobe to make me feel confident at the podium.  I’m thinking of adding a colourful dress that will be easy to wear and simple to style.  A blouse that will brighten a black trouser ensemble (and jeans when I’m off duty) and a glamourous pair of heels.  I blame And Just Like That  and the return of Carrie Bradshaw for the last piece.

 

Meanwhile, I’m feeling chilly as I’ve got rid of a cardigan that has seen better days.  It was making me feel dowdy when I wore it and that won’t do!  I need a new backpack, as my last one, which I used constantly during lockdown walks, has finally given up the ghost.  I’d like some new floor-length straight or wide leg jeans as mine are all cropped and I’d like a new pair black rimmed glasses. Again, I’ve been influenced by AJLT.  Lastly, I fancy a beret.  Too much TV you think?

 

So, here we go.  Here are nine things on my wish list.

 

Gail xx

 

Louis Vuitton, second-hand so prices vary, circa. £600 – £800, Vestiaire Collective

Dior, Medium Bobby Bag, £2,800, Dior

Packable 2-Way Backpack (can be carried as a tote), £39, Arket

Floral Swedish Clash Dress, £89, Never Fully Dressed

Leather Slingback Court Shoes, £90, Dune

Satin Shirt, £29.99, Zara

Pure Cashmere V-Neck Button Cardigan, £119, Marks & Spencer Autograph

Blue High Waisted Straight Jeans, £42.00, River Island

Judd Large Acetate Glasses in Black, £125.00, Cubitts

Black Wool Beret, £23.00, Other Stories

 

Selecting a Staycation Swimsuit To Suit Your Body Type

notgivinin | personal stylist

 

If you’re staying home this summer let me make selecting a staycation swimsuit to suit your body type a little easier with this guide.

 

Apparently, we’re going to be blessed with more gorgeous weather towards the end of August.  So, with more beach or, if you’re like me, garden sunbathing time ahead, now is the time to grab a new swimsuit if you don’t have one.

 

Even though we’re a fair chunk of the way through British summertime there are still some gorgeous swimsuits available.  Wherever you are catching the rays, it’s still very important to feel confident in what you’re wearing, so I strongly suggest choosing a costume that works well with your figure first, and follow what’s popular second.

 

To that end, here are my suggestions on which to choose depending on your body shape.  I’ve included some guidance on what to look for and some ideas that fit the bill.

 

Selecting a staycation swimsuit

 

Rectangle

The aim of the swimsuit here is to help give you the appearance of curves.

Look for: strategic cut outs, higher cut legs, pleats/frills/embellishment on the chest and hips.

 

 

Hourglass

The aim of the swimsuit here is to support your curves.  You don’t want to lose your waist.

Look for: built in boob support, retro styles, belted swimsuits, wider straps, one colour elegance.

 

Pear

The aim of the swimsuit is to help balance out the hips.  Draw the attention upwards.

Look for: more fuss on the top half, halter necks with thin straps. Frills and flounce on the chest.  Horizontal necklines.

 

Apple

The aim here is to elongate the torso, create more of a waist and show off legs.

Look for clever ruching, darker colour panels down the sides and tankinis.

 

Inverted Triangle

The aim here is to balance the broader shoulder shape with the hips.

Look for V or sweetheart necklines to add focus away from the shoulders.  Padded or underwire cups give support to bust and asymmetric styles break up the neckline.

 

 

Hope that’s useful!  It’s little tweaks that can make a big difference to help you look good and feel great.

 

There’s lots of information there to let you make wise choices, but if you’re feeling confused about your body shape, don’t worry everyone’s shape is different.  If you want to learn more do drop me a line and sign up for my Body Shape and Colour Consultation.

 

Whether you are going away or not this year.  Have a great time.  You deserve it!

 

To get more styling tips, do come and join my new Facebook group – Style with Gail.

 

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

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