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

 

 

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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.

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

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

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