What to Pack For a Summer City Break

 

What to pack for a summer city break?  The answer is here.

I love a city break, whether its summer or not, but it does require a little consideration when it comes to packing.  The baggage weight limit and an aim to not spend precious hours in the airport, when I could be sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar, means I’m lean when it comes to packing.

I used to take far too much stuff, taking lots of pieces ‘just in case’. Well, those items never get worn, just lugged around, resulting in a sore shoulder.  Not the lasting memory of a longed-for trip that I wanted. So, less is definitely more.

First things first, to help narrow your holiday wardrobe pick a colour theme.  The one I’ve chosen below focuses on blues with some neutrals thrown in.  This means you’re more likely to be able to mix and match what you take. For example, I can wear the cream wide strap top, jeans and blue blazer effortlessly together, as easily as I can wear the printed dress with the blazer (there’s a little blue in the dress).

When it comes to shoes, I would take trainers for lots of walking in the cooler months, but a pair of flat/sturdy sandals that allow my feet to breathe in the summer are perfect. It goes without say, but don’t take new shoes as I’ve done before, because the chemist is often not as near as you think.  One pair of flats and one pair of heels will suffice.

You might wonder why I’ve included a jumpsuit, and I’ve opted for a short option here as this is definitely a summer wardrobe idea, but I think short or long they’re a good option because you can wear them casually or with lots of jewellery in the evening.  Go for a printed design to add some fun to your holiday options.

The swimsuit has been included for cities with beaches (e.g., Barcelona, Lisbon, Copenhagen) and for those who are staying somewhere with a pool.  Don’t forget, brilliantly, a swimsuit can also be worn as a body.  This design will look just as good under the blazer as it will pool-side.

What else could I have included?  I’ve kept this suitcase lean, but if you’re staying longer than two nights, you can include tailored shorts, a skirt in your choice of length, and a pair of wide leg linen trousers.  I would also suggest packing a white and/or black T-shirt and maybe a blue cotton or linen oversized shirt that can also be worn over the other pieces and tied at the waist if the weather cools.

Lastly, I haven’t added one, but there’s always space for a foldaway raincoat!  Just in case.

Happy holidays.

 

Gail xx

 

 

H&M Straw Bag, £34.99

Mango Cotton Shorts Jumpsuit, £35.99

H&M Single Breasted Blazer, £34.99

Next Stretch Flare Jeans, £42.00

& Other Stories Criss Cross Leather Sandal, £85.00

Warehouse Wide Strap Top, £27.00

Black Asymmetric Swimsuit, £55.00

Gingham Cotton Check Dress, £49.99

Zara Printed Midi Dress, £59.99

Zara Tied Heeled Sandals, £45.99

Mango Striped Knit Top, £22.99

 Marks & Spencer Broderie Long Sleeve Blouse, £29.50

H&M Blue Small Patterned Bag, £17.99

& Other Stories Ball Charm Hoop Earrings, £15

Mango Tassel Bead Necklace, £19.99

John Lewis & Partners Cat’s Eye Sunglasses, £18.00

 

 

If you would like a more personal, bespoke service please check out my services here, which include personal shopping in Bristol or Bath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing up this Christmas

 

Let the fun time begin!  The build up to this year’s yuletide festivities is apace and as a ‘professional shopper’ I’m seeing pieces come in quickly and go out just as fast.  So, if you’re planning to party this Christmas don’t dilly dally on planning, finding and pocketing your outfit as quickly as you can.

I’ve been looking at classic pieces for Christmas parties and get-togethers.  I’ve focused on velvet, sequin and satin pieces which will not only work for this year, but for years to come.  And, of course, these pieces can work for parties and weddings too.  You break them down and mix and match with other items in your wardrobe all year for a high/low look. Think sequin top, jeans and heels for an evening with girlfriends, and sequin leggings with a chunky jumper for a concert or date night.

You’ll find a few short dresses in the selection below.  If you want to cover up legs with something other than fake tan, go for 20 denier tights and wear them with ankle boots for the edgier party look.

Velvet pieces feel cosy and look elegant, while satin has a lustre look that party girls can have fun in.

I’ve chosen mostly black pieces as it’s a classic choice, but there’s some colour in here too.

Choose jewellery to suit your skin tone and add a pop colour with the addition of a clutch or small shoulder bag.

And most importantly, have fun!

Satin

Velvet

 

Sequin

Winter Coats to Suit Your Body Type

Is a new winter coat on your wish list, but you’re not sure which style suits you best?  Don’t worry, I’ve done the hard work for you.  Here’s a selection of winter coats to suit your body type.

 

We all want to wrap up and keep warm during the cold winter season, but we also want to look cute.  Am I right?  Choosing the correct style of coat that flatters your figure will do wonders for your confidence and appearance.  Let’s face it, you’ll be wearing a winter coat until the end of March, so make it a good one.  Here, without further ado, is a breakdown of the styles to look for depending on your body shape and what’s in store now.

 

Apple

Look for:

  • styles that skim the body
  • draw attention away from the tummy with pretty necklines and embellishments or low pockets

 

 

Strawberry (Inverted Triangle)

Look for:

  •  styles that flare from the hip or have pockets on the hips to draw attention and offer balance to wide shoulders
  • dropped shoulders to soften shoulder line

Pear

Look for:

  • styles with more detail on the top half (can include double breasted detail)
  • flared lower half

Rectangle

Look for:

  • as body is in balance this body shape can wear all styles
  • have fun with shapes and textures

Hourglass

Look for:

  • styles that show off a defined waist
  • balance eye-catching details such as wide or shawl collars with a flared lower half that can include pockets

 

Hope you like the ideas.  Of course, we all come in varying shapes and sizes. To learn more about your exact body shape and how best to dress and flatter it, drop me a line to discuss my personal styling services.  You can contact me at info@notgivinin.com.  See my services here.

 

Til next time.

 

Gail x

 

P.S.  Did you know there’s a group of like-minded women in my group on Facebook?  Click here and come and join us.

9 Stylish New Pieces in Marks & Spencer

Autumn is around the corner and I’ve already spotted ‘9 stylish new pieces in Marks & Spencer’ perfect for the season.

It really came in to focus for me during lockdown that I didn’t have all the necessary essentials for my wardrobe. Yes, I had some of the latest trend pieces, but what I really needed were key versatile pieces.

There are some super useful modern classic pieces to have in your wardrobe nowadays. These can really enable you to get dressed and get on with your day a whole lot easier. That’s why, post lockdown, I’ve focused on upping my seasonal capsule wardrobe game. Ensuring I have key pieces to get me through every quarter.

Marks & Spencer is always ahead of the game and they do try to please a wide audience, which is why they have great basics. They also do more trend-led pieces too, which I also love. These are the nine that have caught my eye recently with some ideas on how to style them.  I’ve added links to the website in the sub-headings.

 

9 Stylish Pieces

Black Wide Leg Trousers

personal stylist bristol - notgivinin.com

 

A wide leg trouser is one of the easiest to wear for nearly all body shapes.  They’re stylish worn with a top tucked in and can elongate the body if worn with a longline cardigan of the same colour.

 

This pair has the advantage of an elasticated waist, so they’ll be comfy.  They can be easily pulled on and worn with a shirt tucked in.  Simply pull out the shirt a little bit to overhang the trousers if you want to hide the waistband.

 

Dress down these wide leg trousers (£25.00) with a big jumper as the weather turns chilly, or dress with a blazer for work or drinks.

 

Faux Leather Oversized Long Sleeve Shirt

personal shopper in Bath - notgivinin.com

Faux leather has come a long way and many women have a few pieces in their wardrobe for the cooler seasons.  What I like about this shirt is that its oversized, so I think it is perfect for transition dressing. Wear over a cami, vest or T. Shirt in the next few weeks and then swop for a turtle neck when it’s colder. Priced at £35.00.

 

Denim Belted Midi Shirt Dress

 

image consultant - notgivinin.com

 

The denim dress (£45.00) is a classic for any season and this midi option is perfect for Autumn.  I love the nod to the classic western style collar and pockets.  Wear with a pair of tan boots and the leopard print cross body below and be super stylish all autumn long.  Don’t forget to try wearing it open with a thin layer top and jeans for a casual look.

 

Leather Cross Body Camera Bag

personal shopper Bristol

 

A cross body camera bag is a great accessory for the weekend, or if you want a smaller bag to hand while carrying a larger tote for work.

 

The cross body camera bag basically carries your essentials in an easy carry/access way.  What I love about this double zip, animal version from M&S is that it can really up your style game.

 

Leopard-print has been lauded as a neutral of late and I have to admit to having a fair few items in my wardrobe.  It basically goes with everything.  Wear with one colour ensembles or over a trench and jeans at the weekend. Priced at £49.50.

 

Animal Print V Neck Knee Length Shift Dress

shopping in Bristol

 

Dress and skirt lengths don’t have to be midi and maxi.  This knee length dress looks great for wearing now and into autumn.  A printed dress can be quite a statement piece in the wardrobe so choose your print wisely to get lot of wear out of it.  Like I said earlier, animal print is a neutral and comes back time and again, so this print makes for a versatile piece.  Wear with knee length boots when colder and over leggings for warmth when at home. Priced at £25.00

 

Corduroy Straight Leg Trousers

 

shopping in bath

Fancy something different from black jeans?  Why not try black corduroy.  They can offer warmth and has more chic appeal.  This pair in M&S comes in a quite a lot of colours and at just £22.50 they likely be very popular.  They offer a good wardrobe basic for autumn and winter and as they’re straight leg will look good with trainers or heels.

 

Faux Leather Croc Midi A-Line Skirt

image consultant bath

 

More faux leather, but it has a place in a capsule wardrobe.  This one would look great with a white or animal print shirt and I’d love to wear it with a denim shirt on a Saturday.  It has a place in the wardrobe, because its cute and chic dressed down with chunky boots and a big jumper, just as much as if worn with knee high boots, a red turtle neck and classic camel coat.  Definitely give a faux leather skirt a consideration, as it also won’t break the bank.  This one is just £35.00.

 

Floral V Neck Midi Tiered Wrap Dress

 

bath stylist

 

This dress is made with a lovely weight material, so it’s not too heavy to wear now or underneath a ‘big coat’ come winter.  I think the detailing is super feminine and the wrap style top helps define the waist, while the v-neckline elongates the neck.  Cute dress that you’ll wear all the time.  Priced at £39.50.

 

Pure Cotton Embroidered Long Sleeve Top

bristol stylist

 

Great for work and even better with jeans and tan accessories for the weekend.  That’s if you like neutrals, of course.  A great soft white top looks good with lots of colours and especially matched with soft autumnal shades for cosy days.  This top, priced £19.50, would look great with the corduroy trousers above and, I imagine, with a long tiered maxi skirt and boots this winter.

 

Hope you enjoyed the read and like the ideas.  If you would like a more personal approach to shopping with me then do take a look at my 1-2-1 personal shopping service where I identify pieces to suit your body shape, lifestyle and budget.  Check out the service here.

 

Gail x

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