45 articles Articles posted in Fashion and Style

Styling the New Me

I’m still nowhere near the end of my weightloss journey, but I have lost enough now to notice that many of my clothes are now miles too big. This was okay when the weather was cold and I could just wear belts on the jeans and chuck a hoody on, but now it’s summer again (or at least pretending to be!) I’m finding it a lot harder. A few weeks ago, I decided to get my summer dresses out and all but one of them hung off of me like a potato sack! I’m not keen to to go and spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe but I think there are probably a few key items that I can buy which won’t look outrageous once I’ve gone down another dress-size or two.

The thing I’m really struggling with though, is HOW to dress. Since gaining weight, I tend to opt for The Mum Uniform which consists of a selection of t-shirts, skinny jeans and cardigans. Every single outfit I wear is some variation on this theme and while I’m not planning to get to a size 10 and suddenly start going out in hotpants, I don’t really know what my style even is anymore. The last time I enjoyed shopping and was even ABLE to shop in non-plus-size shops, I was in my very early twenties, newly married and child-free. Now that I’m a mother of two and in my thirties, I feel quite stumped.

For summer, I reckon maxi dresses are a good bet. Any that I buy now will hopefully be too big by next summer, but I’ve seen lots of people styling maxi dresses with a big belt, or even wearing ones which are really baggy, so I think that could be an investment worth making. They’re ‘girlie’ and summery but don’t bare loads of flesh which makes them ideal for school runs on a hot day.

I have noticed already that shopping is significantly easier JUST from loosing one dress size. Previously, shopping for an 18 meant that there were lots of places I couldn’t shop at all and my body shape made it impossible to find things which suited me. A few weeks ago, I went to a wedding reception and needed a dress. I was DREADING going shopping because it’s usually such an ordeal. I go from shop to shop, getting more upset and frustrated that I either can’t find anything I like or nothing fits me properly.

This time, however, I went to ONE department store, picked up about 5 dresses, tried them on and managed to find something I loved with just one trip to the changing rooms. It was probably the happiest shopping experience I’ve had in over a decade.

From now on, I’m going to try to keep a positive head on when I go shopping as I think it makes it much easier to find something I like, instead of getting into a funk in my head and not wanting to look any further. I may even take the liberty of using a personal shopper to help me find some items that I love at some point in the future!

What’s your shopping style? Have you had a body overhaul which has meant that you’ve needed a new wardrobe? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

 

Mainline Menswear – Top Brands and Great Prices

Recently, Mainline Menswear got in touch to see if we’d like to write about them in exchange for some new duds for Husband and being the lovely wife that I am, of course I agreed! Husband and I tend to vary when it comes to clothing. While I tend to buy cheap stuff which invariably ends up worn to death or covered in bleach stains, he goes for much higher quality items which he looks after and last a long time. It’s a running joke that he’s got clothes which are older than me (not literally…but not FAR off!) and he firmly believes that you get what you pay for, which means it’s worth paying a bit more for stuff which lasts.

The site itself is packed full of brands that Husband loves, such as Ralph Lauren, Levis, Armani and more, so after a little while spent browsing the site, this is what he chose:

Mainline Menswear

Paul and Shark polo – £80

Ralph Lauren Sullivan Slim Fit Jeans – £53

Adidas Originals California t-shirt – £23

The package arrived the day after we ordered the stuff, which is really good to know if you’re needing something to wear for the weekend and it’s already Wednesday! The items themselves were really good value and the usual high quality you’d expect for designer clothing. The site was really easy to navigate and each listing shows all of the available sizes at a glance, letting you know whether they’re in stock or not – I don’t know about you, but I HATE it when I’m shopping online, finally choose something only to discover it’s not in stock, but that wasn’t an issue here.

Originally, Husband actually chose a pair of trainers but because he’s a slightly awkward half-size, they were too small and needed to be returned. The return process with some online stores is really complicated but at Mainline it’s simple. All you do is use their online return form, enter your order number and it produces a pre-paid returns label which is deducted from your refund, meaning you just need to drop it off at the post office – simple!

All in all, we’ve been really impressed by our Mainline Menswear experience. Delivery was super speedy, the clothes were great quality, the prices were good and the customer service second-to-none. I highly recommend using Mainline Menswear if you’re looking to buy something for a Husband, boyfriend, male relative or anyone else who loves a label and I’ll definitely be shopping there for gifts for Husband in the future.

Alternatives to a Winter Coat

Alternatives to a Winter CoatOkay, so let it be said that I’m no fashionista – if it’s clean and it fits me, it’ll usually do and co-ordination be damned! However, at this time of year, one thing that I find tricky is outdoor wear, particularly big coats. I spend quite a lot of time driving and I hate feeling bunched up in thick layers, unable to move my arms properly, but I also hate being cold more than almost anything. I’ve been thinking lately about alternatives to a winter coat and thought I’d share some of them with you here:

Ponchos

Ponchos are actually super on-trend at the moment and come in a million different styles, from full-on South American print to sporty or feminine. One of my favourite ways to wear a poncho is with a roll-neck jumper, jeans and long boots, which works as a look for just about any casual occasion and can be easily glammed up with the right jewellery.

Merino Layers

Wearing lots of thick layers might keep you warm but it can feel very restrictive, so thinking about the types of materials that you layer can really help. Opting for a material like merino wool, which is light, very warm and breatheable will allow you to add more layers without feeling like the Michelin man, and merino is also very trendy right now.

Cardigans

On days when it’s not wet, chucking a chunky knit on top of your clothes can sometimes be enough to keep you warm and will usually allow you to still move around unencumbered. Cardigans come in all shapes, sizes and colours and go with just about anything but remember that the looser the knit, the less likely it will be to keep out the wind!

Rain Mac

Global warming means that our winters are seeming less chilly, which means that sometimes you can get away without wearing a coat, although with this being Britain the threat of rain is always real! There are some really funky rain macs around which can fold up to pretty much the size of a purse and can be kept in a bag or pocket in case the heavens open.

Gilet/Bodywarmer

This is the one that I opt for the most, as I have a decent quilted bodywarmer with a fur-lined hood which allows me to move my arms whilst driving but still keep my body warm. I tend to layer it over a fleece, and wear a t-shirt beneath which keeps me super warm on even the coldest days.

Do you have an alternative to a thick winter coat that you swear by? I’d love to hear your suggestions so please do leave me a comment below.

 

 

Kids Autumn/Winter with Petit Bateau

Something that I love about shopping online is that I can source things which are a little bit different to what you’d normally find on the High Street. This is especially great for finding clothes for Sausage and Burrito Baby as I do love dressing them to accentuate their unique personalities, which is why I was happy when Petit Bateau asked me to put together an outfit for each of them from their new Autumn/Winter range.

Sausage is pushing boundaries with her fashion choices at the moment. She loves to be a little bit different (hence the pink hair during the holidays!) and relishes bucking against what girls in her class would be wearing. BB likes to wear things that look “pweety” (yep, that’s how she says it!) but which also allow her to charge around and don’t impede her running/climbing/dog riding. Here’s what I chose for them:

 

Petit Bateau

 

Petit Bateau by jayne-crammond on Polyvore

Grey is one of my favourite colours for clothing at the moment and I think the grey jeans make such a nice alternative to blue or black, which is what you see on most people. Sausage and BB both look amazing in most colours, but Sausage looks especially fantastic in autumn/winter palates because of her wild red hair, while BB looks great in more neautral shades because of her blond locks and pink cheeks.

I actually wnjoy shopping for the girls SO much more than shopping for myself, so spending an afternoon scouring a site and choosing things for them is a real treat! Have you shopped with Petit Bateau before? Do you enjoy shopping for your kids? What would you choose from the Petit Bateau ranges? Leave me a comment below!

Men’s Armani Jeans at infinities.co.uk (review)

Not to be too reductive, but I think there are two types of people in the world – those who love clothes shopping and those who hate it. My Husband falls firmly into the latter category. He loves to buy new things, especially jeans, but spending hours trawling the shops is a personal horror for him so he does the majority of his clothes shopping online. I do think that shopping for clothes online is a LOT easier for men because their sizes tend to be a lot more standardised. As a woman, a size 16 in one shop can seem more like a size 12 in others, whereas for men, a 36″ waist is pretty much the same wherever you shop.

Just recently, Husband discovered Infinities, a shop which has 11 stores around the UK, as well as a big online presence, and sells all of the best labels for men, from Armani to Stone Island to Adidas Originals, Victorinox, New Balance and many more. They asked if Husband would like to choose something from their range to review, so he chose some new jeans (everyone always needs jeans!) from the Armani J21 range (click on the image to be taken to the website):

Men's Armani Jeans

In terms of men’s fashion, Husband is really not keen on a lot of the current styles of jeans as they all seem to be skinny in the leg, which makes them impossible to wear if you’re a lifelong cyclist with decent thighs, so he was really pleased to find a jean which was a regular fit with a straight leg. Obviously, being Armani, they were exactly as good quality as you’d expect them to be with a really dark wash and thick fabric. Husband is 5″10′ and these came up about an inch too long in the leg, but that’s not too much of a problem when your wife is handy with a sewing machine. They were a great fit in the waist though, exactly the ‘true-to-size’ fit we’d hoped they’d be.

Another thing Husband liked about these jeans is the lack of logos. There’s a tiny silver Armani logo on the pocket and a black leather belt patch sewn on the waistband, but other than that they’re very low key- Husband likes nice clothes but he hates feeling like a walking brand advert, so these were perfect.

Delivery was really quick and the website was really easy to navigate. There’s tons of bargains to be had on the site and there’s loads of stuff on there which would make lovely Christmas gifts for the males in your life.

Head over to Infinities.co.uk for more information and to look at their ranges.

Treating Myself with David Nieper

David NieperWhen it comes to buying clothes, Husband and I seem to be diametrically opposed in our attitudes. Whilst I tend to opt for cheap and cheerful, he tends to buy more expensive items and, in principle, it may seem like he spends more than me but his clothes are better quality and therefore last him a lot longer – he always jokes that he owns clothes which are actually older than me! He’s always encouraging me to buy myself nice, more expensive things but I can never seem to get my head around spending money on myself, however I recently discovered luxury womenswear from David Nieper and it’s making me change my mind!

David Nieper (who is actually a person, not just a faceless brand) has created a reputation for creating luxury womenswear which is all designed and made right here in England, so as well as getting homegrown talent in your wardrobe, you’re massively cutting the carbon footprint of your clothes by buying domestically because nothing needs to be flown halfway around the world.

One incredible detail, which I’ve never seen on clothes before, is that each garmet you buy is actually checked and signed by hand by the principle seamstress before it’s sent to you, giving you the ultimate personal touch.

David Nieper personal touch

Something which really caught my eye about David Nieper is the lingerie collection. Finding well made bras in large sizes can be a huge problem, but this store actually offers well-made bras which go up to an H-cup, giving women with a large bust a great option for buying their undies.

As if all of that wasn’t impressive enough, I also discovered that David Nieper offers an individual size service, where you provide your measurements (should they be different to ‘standard’ sizing) and they’ll provide you with garments which are made to your exact specifications. Not only this, but they also offer an alteration service for their clothes, so if you need something made shorter in the arm or leg, for instance, they’ll do this for you too!

If you have a woman in your life with discerning tastes, David Nieper also offer gift vouchers, starting at £25, which they will send to you with a luxury gift card (left blank for your message) and I think these would make brilliant presents for birthdays and Christmas – who doesn’t love being given the gift of being able to shop?!

David Nieper is different from pretty much any other shop I’ve ever encountered and it’s clear that the personal service they offer is why they’ve been in business for so long. Head over to the site to see their ranges and experience it all for yourself.

Review: Simply Be Women’s Clothing

For me, clothes fall into categories; things you need and things you want. Just recently, having found myself down a dress size, a lot of stuff has ended up in the need column because lots of my old clothes are now a little big. I’m not a natural shopper for SO many reasons; I don’t really like actually being in shops because I just get more and more disheartened when I can’t find anything I like and I never seem to be able to find anything I like when I’m under pressure so shopping from home is far easier for me.

Just recently, I’ve been trying to find a pair of well-fitting sports leggings to wear when I exercise and it’s been tougher than you’d think, probably because I’m a bit fussy. I can’t stand it when leggings aren’t elasticated enough to stay up properly when you’re moving around or when they get baggy knees after a few hours. I also, compared to the rest of my body, don’t have massive legs, so lots of brands come up okay on the waist but baggy in the legs – not a good look! A while ago, Simply Be asked if I’d like to try a pair of their leggings and also choose a few other bits from their range, and obviously I said yes! If you’ve seen my Instagram this week, you’ll have seen a few of the garments I chose:

Simply Be Ripped Skinny Jeans

Simply Be Light Grey Split Back Top

I also chose a shirt and some basic vests:

 

Weirdly, I haven’t got a picture of me in the shirt…I say “weirdly” because I’ve basically worn it to death since I’ve had it! Husband and I went to London last Friday to see one of our favourite comedians, Bill Burr, at the Hammersmith Apollo and the ripped jeans and t-shirt were the perfect outfit; comfy enough to sit in for a couple of ours (plus 4 hours driving and the stress of car trouble, but that’s another story!) but the little details like the ripped effect on the jeans that the split back on the t-shirt made it feel a little bit more than just a jeans and t-shirt.

Miraculously, the leggings are also a really good fit. They stay up without needing to be constantly hauled up at the waist and I wore them all day long without ending up with baggy knees, which is basically all of my boxes ticked!

I’m really impressed with the quality, sizing and also the prices of Simply Be clothing; all of these bits came to £92, which I don’t think is bad at all for 5 tops and two pairs of bottoms. I’d definitely recommend Simply Be if you’re looking for a good shopping experience from the comfort of your own home, high quality clothing at decent prices and some really pretty choices.

Celebrities inspired by Vintage Fashion

The golden period of time – the 1950s has given birth to many extraordinary things. These are the first modern credit card, first “Peanuts” cartoon strip, colour TV, cat seat belts, DNA discovered, first playboy magazine, opening of Disneyland etc. It was also during that era that fashion and style clothing emerged. Style clothing in the 1950s was a way to express conformity and individual identity.

This era saw an explosion with multitude of pleats, fabulous collar, excess fabrics and showing off intricate gatherings. This was especially for women’s dresses that were all made of the best rayon, nylon, leather, taffeta and wool. All were made in the boldest and brightest patterns and colours. Tight bodices and flowing or fitted skits, sexy undergarments and high heels were also part of the 1950s fashion that still has an appeal.

Despite being in the 21st century, the 1950s style is still present in our daily garments. Many vintage reproduction styles have stayed in vogue for years, worn by well-known celebrities. The essence of the 1950s has also been kept alive online at Bingo Extra. This bingo site sports a vintage-pastel look that will definitely seduce many. Every corner of this site has been designed to give all its members’ an electric and fun experience. What’s even better is that Bingo Extra offers a wide range of vintage games such as Bell of Fortune, Grease, Lucky Diamond and more.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monay An American musical recording artist and actress, Janelle Monae wouldn’t be caught dead in anything outside of her signature black and white! She explores vintage style with pearls, top hats, vests, oxford shoes and ruby red lips. This pixie-like firecracker seduced many with her look and vibe. She isn’t just another pretty face, but something new and fresh.

Outkast

Outkast

The American hip hop duo brought along a unique vintage look, with pastel coloured outfits together with hats. The famous artist loves bow ties, suspenders, bowler and newsboys hats and old-school patterns. This give him that electric edge when it comes to fashion. Despite wearing some weird outfits in the past years, leaving everyone in shock, Outkast has gone a long way to seduce fans with his style.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel

The favourite American goofy girl – Zoey Deschanel made her breakout role in ‘Almost famous’. She was lovingly dubbed as “adorkable”, with her vintage flair winged liner. It was perhaps her quirky retro style that has seduced everyone. Zooey sported a white peplum fit and flare dress at a FOX promo event, with pointy tweed flats and a black chain strap bag – the perfect vintage look!

Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese

The most glamourous lady history has known, Dita Von Teese is a model and actress. Not a day has gone without her looking fabulous and stylish. She sports the vintage look perfectly with her blue black hair, pale skin, red lips and burlesque getup. She cements the seductive pin-up girl image with lace and pearls, red and black dresses.

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is one of the impressive American songwriter, singer and model. She has brought along a fresh wave through her music and noting her music for its cinematic style and reference to pop culture. Mainly the 1950s and 1960s Americana. She often sports heart shaped glasses, red lips and nails and flowers and headbands in her teased hair. This 1950s look would actually be incomplete without the fiery redhead Lana!

Treating Myself with MandM Direct

One thing that I’m not very good at is buying clothes for myself. There are several reasons for this:

  1. I never feel hugely confident that I pick things which suit me or are very flattering. When I was younger I had a fairly distinct sense of style and knew what I liked and what looked good. Since having kids, my shape has changed and I always feel like I’m dressed all wrong.
  2.  I always feel guilty about spending money on myself when I could be spending it on the girls or the home.
  3.  I HATE going into shops and trying things on.

All of these things tend to add up to my wardrobe looking pretty tragic at the best of times and me never feeling like I’ve got anything to wear. So when MandM Direct got in touch and asked if I’d like to pick an outfit for myself, I FORCED myself to choose something for me! Here’s what I chose:

Brave Soul Women’s Shirt in Charcoal – £17.99

Levi’s Womens Classic Rise Demi Curve Slim 5 Pocket Jeans in Glacier Grey – £39.99

Havaianas Womens Top Flip Flops in Pistachio – £12.99

Husband will be immensely proud of me; he’s ALWAYS telling me to buy Levis and other quality brands, instead of supermarket own brand jeans. I know he’s right; you do get what you pay for with these things and it’s better to spend more on good quality items that will last longer than buy cheaply and need to replace it more often.

Havaianas are a bit of an addiction for me and a yearly treat, although I usually wait until my birthday in June and ask someone to buy them for me as a gift – I’ll have to think of something different for my birthday list now…or be REALLY indulgent and get 2 new pairs this year! To be fair, MandM Direct is one of the UK’s leading off price retailers, with up to 75% off big brands 365 days a year, so their prices mean that I CAN treat myself! What’s not to love about guilt-free shopping?!

I love the fact that the items I’ve chosen can be dressed up or down and will good just as good for a casual afternoon lunch or accessorised for an evening occasion and worn with high heels instead of flip flops. Apparently, my skin and hair tones mean that I’m a summer pallette and I should wear soft greys, blues and other colours which tone down the pink tones in my skin. What do you think of my choices? I’d love to hear what you think so leave me a comment below.

Dressing Girls for a Rubbish Summer

One thing that I’ve found quite tricky these last few weeks is getting the balance right when dressing the girls. The appallingly bad “summer” weather means that the usual dresses and sandals have been completely out of the question, but it’s also not quite cold enough for coats and jumpers, so it’s been a case of finding some middle ground.

Husband is a big fan of layering because it means that you can adjust what you’re wearing if your environment changes and we’ve been trying to adopt this for the girls, too. Instead of thick coats, we’ll give them a fleece and a shower-proof layer, and they can still wear dresses, but often wear a t-shirt and leggings underneath.

Recently, House of Fraser asked us to take a look at their Kids Clothing range and pick a few things for each girl that would make it onto a summer outfit wishlist, so we thoguht we’d put together a little board for each of them to show how we cope with dressing for any weather:

 

Layering for Summer

 

Layering for Summer by jaynecrammond on Polyvore

The items on the left are what we chose for BB and the stuff on the right are for Sausage…what do you think of your choices? I think they’d be perfect for a day out while the weather is so unpredictable. What would you choose? Do you have boys or girls? Do you find it easier to shop for one gender than another at this time of year? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.