Showing posts with label & Other Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label & Other Stories. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Glitz and brights for a night out

Pink Satin Shoes & Other Stories (£79) and sequinned Turtle Neck Top & Other Stories (£49)

It's that time of year when those party dates are looming and it's time to plan what to wear. There are so many looks that I love for this time of year from a statement skirt, heels and a fine knit jumper, to silk joggers and a pretty blouse, p(l)eather leggings and a white shirt and then.....a little predictable I know...good old jeans.

The thing with jeans is that because they are a safe option, I feel that I can go to town with the colours and the sparkle, without feeling too conspicuous. Black, grey or navy trousers would enable the same look to be created but there's something about faded jeans in this "new" style cut that I like. "New" being a mixture of girlfriend/boyfriend/mom and straight jeans all rolled into one. No, I'm non the wiser either.

So, having selected your jeans, it's time to have fun. I've mixed dark sparkle on the top (link above), with bright shoes and a bright bag. But the options are endless - sparkly shoes with a bright top and bright bag, sparkly bag with bright shoes and bright top, bright shoes, bag and top - maybe work in a print, or stripes, or some fake fur.

I've been after some shoes in this style for quite while now. I'm a bit late to the "v-cut shoe" party but you know, it's fashionable to be late. The block heel is so comfortable too - really sturdy and, having put them to the test with a glass or two of fizz, and maybe even a glass or two of gin, I can confirm that they are indeed, very sturdy.  

I have to say that I was slightly worried that they might stain easily, with them being satin. But after I went to the loo and splashed water on them when drying my hands, they were fine. Bet you're all relieved to hear that aren't you?! 

The clutch I'm using is a Whistles one that I bought in the New Year - if you wait until the end of January they have amazing reductions. They don't currently have a yellow one but this one caught my eye - I really love the colour of it and it would work so well with the pink shoes :)

Part of my decision to wear jeans was because we were sitting down for most of the night, meaning that it was all about the top. But it's such an easy look to create for any event - chuck on some jeans, hunt down some bright bits and bobs - sparkly or clashing ones if you like - stick on some lippy and it's job done.

Monday, 20 November 2017

It's the sequinned top post!

OK - confession time, this is clearly an old photo - but I still have the top! 

If there's one top that screams Christmas it's my black - slightly naked of sequins - sequinned top from H&M, which must be going into its third or so year now.

True, it sheds sequins wherever I go but given that I love sequins - (not glitter....especially not when a child is shaking a pot of it. I still haven't got over our eldest spilling a pot of red glitter all over the house when she was about 4. I was still finding it in July) - then I don't mind at all.

Here's my round up of my favourite sequinned tops. Just add jeans, a pleated skirt, dungarees, wide leg trousers, coated skinnies, culottes - basically anything will go with one of these - and in any setting. Which makes it a really easy top to wear - despite it being all things shiny and not seeming, at first glance, to lend itself to anything other than fancy pants occasions.

Sequin top Warehouse (£42) which also comes in blue (below)

The trick to buying any sequinned top is to feel it on the inside before you buy it. Exfoliation is, as well all know, a good thing but not when you feel it being done all evening by something that resembles a brillo pad. Check for a lovely lining which will avoid that brillo pad feel. 

This same gorgeous top also comes in gold (below). I have given it a good once over and for me, this top is a real gem.

Now I love the idea of this asymmetric sequin top from Mango (£35) for a black tie event with some wide legged trousers and maybe even, dare I say it, with some trainers. Or if that's a step too far then some flat velvet shoes, if (more) sparkles aren't your thing. Then maybe wear it with jeans or with a skirt on Christmas day.

                               Assymetric sequin top | MANGO
Now there are sequins and then there are SEQUINS and this turtleneck from Other Stories (£49) definitely falls into the latter category. I love this top. It's just divine! Please someone buy it and send me a picture of you wearing it.

This Oasis sequin tinsel sweat (£38) is also a fabulous option. I first saw it when I went to visit the refurbished House of Fraser in Sutton Coldfield. It's slightly less fitted than some of the other options and maybe slightly* less bling than some of my other choices.

I cannot convey enough my love for a sequinned top, shining like a star in an otherwise dark and wintery wardrobe. It always holds such promise of a fab night out!

* this is a relative term because all sequinned tops, by definition, are bling.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Pleated skirts - my pick of the pack

Today I had a little wardrobe sort out. True, it was interrupted by the chap from Virgin who came to fix the phone as we couldn't make outgoing calls. As it transpired the phone wasn't actually broken. It was just that a call bar had been put on it due to overuse by someone in the family. We'll say no more about that but suffice to say that there is currently a rather large pile of clothes in the centre of our bedroom floor.

I was categorising each item into one of three categories. First, there was "couldn't live without" (arguably a little dramatic I know, but there you go). Secondly there was "don't love but don't want to part with" and thirdly there was "on its way out".

Without a shadow of a doubt my Topshop pleated skirt fell into the "couldn't live without" category. Arguably it needs to fall into the wash bin category as I'm not quite sure when I last washed it. If ever. What an admission. Have you seen how many times I've worn that skirt? Anyway, moving swiftly on.

Why do I love a pleated skirt? Well the silhouette is neat but there's still plenty of room in the skirt for a big stride - I guess that's pleats for you. They are swishy and feminine but work  with trainers (I know, I'm off again) and a leather jacket as well as with a silk blouse, blazer and heels. They wash and dry really well (ignore that. How would I know?) and they have been here for a while so they are a good investment.  Despite what people say, I believe that there's a pleated skirt for everyone.

These are some that I've found recently on my travels...

This red dot pleated skirt from Stories (£59) also comes in navy with white spots. It has buttons down the front and is a slightly shorter length than some that are around. It's quite fresh and spring like but I think we're going to see a lot of dots going into the winter and even if not, who cares? If you love dots wear them all year round!

This black pleated skirt from Stories (£55) also comes in light blue as well as a floral print. It's a good starting point for anyone who doesn't want to stand out from the crowd too much. The darker colour is good for slimming the bottom half and then you can have loads of fun on the top half with print and colour. 

Now in the run up to Christmas, a metallic pleated skirt is a great option. I had one from H&M last year which I wore on into spring and summer with a t-shirt and denim shirt. Again, this one is from Stories (£45). I like how the skirt is styled with a longer line jumper in this image. If the proportions feel a little off with flat shoes, a boot with a bit of a heel will help to redress that. 

Oooh and probably my favourite - the emerald Stories skirt (£69). It's a bit mermaid like really - metallic and green with a richness about it which is just gorgeous! 

Then for an every day cool skirt with a bit of an edge and touch of slouch, there's the Me & Em long jersey pleated skirt (£79). Some may find the jersey takes away from the girliness of a silky pleated skirt - making it more accessible for daily wear. The length is great too - layer those leggings underneath it when its chilly. And it has a lovely wide waistband too for extra comfort. I'm really tempted to try this one.

And finally, for something pink and frou frou, there's the Baltic pleated skirt from Finery (£89). There are quite a few pieces from Finery that are currently on a waiting list and I think that if the fashion pack pick this one up and run with it, it too will sell out quickly. Either that, or it will be heavily discounted in the sale at the end of the season.

I'm hoping to come across a velvet pleated skirt soon. H&M, Jigsaw and Topshop don't have anything right now but I don't think that it will be long before we see them appearing. And Whistles have these metallic options which might be of interest. 

So, there's my pleated skirt round up. Do many of you own one and if so how do you style it. And for those who haven't gone there so far, are any of you now tempted? 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

My favourite silk shirt - and when life throws you lemons....

Djungle print silk shirt & Other Stories (£69 down to £48)

I love a silk shirt. Not that I get to wear them often - but when I do, I love the feel of them. My other silk shirt was from Warehouse and it's ridiculously old now but this one I spotted when I was shopping in Other Stories in Leeds. Despite, or in spite, of its bold print and bright colours, I fell in love with it and bought it on the spot. Its first outing was to a pre-birthday, birthday party, with some friends a couple of Saturdays ago. We sat outside around a fire, drank rhubarb gin and ate cake in the warmth. It was perfect. Then life took a turn for the worse and I've since looked back at the photos of that night, wondering whether they were the last ones where I would be truly happy and free from worry.

Barely two days later I was in lots of pain firstly with pulled muscles in my neck, plus I'd got an infection and shortly after that, I found two lumps where really you don't want to find lumps. But this isn't really about that because all is fine, thankfully. What it is about though is how we deal (or don't deal) with the unknown. How we go to those darkest of places and how friends and family scoop us up and keep us going, promising that if sh*t is on its way, "we'll be in it together." 

But back to the shirt first. Can you see the lady drinking cocktails? That was me - well with my rhubarb gin! 

I've always known that I'm not good with uncertainty but no-one teaches you how to deal with potentially bad news, which may still be two weeks away. And there's no time for a quick hit of CBT during that time. And odd things happen - you become acutely aware of the word "died" or anything relating to it. Plus there are amusing things that happen. I couldn't get my neck sorted as I knew that it would be too painful to lie face down on the osteopath's table. Really I needed to put the bit of me that was sore, through where your head goes. But then I would have fallen off the table which would have been a great comedy moment. Then thoughts go around in your head. I kept thinking of a phrase that I'd seen on Instagram "When life gives you lemons, freeze them and throw them back." Well my freezer was full of lemons waiting to be lobbed at whatever was coming my way.

I also thought how lucky I've been in life so far and maybe it was time to take one for the team because statistics state that amongst my friendship group, one of us is going to find a lump somewhere that may not turn out to be good news.

[No doubt the youngest was asking for the first (and biggest) piece of cake. This is the cookies and cream party cake   The one that I made was half the size of the recipe!]

There were times that I wondered whether I would ever run again and whether the last long run that I had done barely a few days before would, literally, be my last. But then again, when a needle was inserted to drain the fluid off the lump, in my head I was running along the canal, counting herons. And whilst there are obviously other things more important than that, I'm keeping the children out of this or else we would all be in tears!

Two of my closest friends are committed Christians and both of them prayed that I would get an early appointment rather than have to wait for two weeks to be seen. And when that early appointment came, I did ask them both whether they had friends in high places. Equally I felt guilty for being so lucky as to get the appointment. It was a phone call at just the right time which resulted in me getting a cancellation so I didn't queue jump in one sense - but in another I felt that I had.

The Doctors and Nurses at the clinic were amazing and before too much time goes by, and before life returns to normal, I must thank them properly and let them know how much their compassion and positive outlook made a difference to me. What I experienced was the NHS at its absolute best. Oh and we have a lovely Doctor's receptionist too - I must take her some flowers and thank her because she swept me up on more than one occasion.

And the people around me who knew - particularly my wonderful husband - kept me going when really I didn't know what to do with myself. Now I feel a little beaten up and slightly emotional but I'm ready to run, which is a sign that all is well again.

Is there a point to all of this? Well I suppose that it's important for us to be aware that when we're least expecting it, life can suddenly throw us a curve ball - and it's amazing how quickly things can go downhill from there - so don't sweat the small stuff. I don't think that I handled my curve ball very well in some ways but others have reassured me that it's all perfectly normal.

I do think that it's important that we talk about these things and share them though, although of course everyone deals with things in different ways. But I like to think that if anyone came to me and they were in the same situation, I might be able to offer up some help, however small. So let's keep talking, and checking, and fund-raising and having positive thoughts. Luckily I didn't need to throw any frozen lemons and the freezer is full of peas for the sore neck - but if anyone ever needs a few frozen lemons lobbing, I've got a pretty mean throw.

Monday, 28 December 2015

What the future holds for Style Guile - and flashing the ankles whilst the tan remains!

Trying to keep the ankles out whilst they are still vaguely tanned...  

Trousers and knitted jacket: Boden, Blouse: & Other Stories, Shoes: Topshop, Bag: Whistles

During our return flight home I spent some time going through all of the photos on my phone. It's amazing the story that they tell, a lot of them relating to Style Guile.

I think that it's fair to say that recently I've been grappling with where to take the blog next. During the time that I've been blogging I've been so fortunate; I've been invited to some wonderful events, met amazing people, worked with some iconic brands and received some fantastic gifts - all of which makes me feel ever so slightly guilty.

Also, there are so many fantastic bloggers out there now and I do wonder what (if anything) I add to the blogosphere. I'm not very good at planning posts in advance, or covering the sales, or trawling sites for the perfect whatever it may be. Style Guile has always been a little more instinctive - a sort of "oooh, what do I fancy writing about today?" kind of approach, rather than a structured approach - a bit of an antidote to both work and life if you like (both of which I adore, of course.)

And then I thought about why I started Style Guile in the first place and sort of came full circle. I love writing and sharing my finds and I find it fun and rewarding. None of that has changed and I'm so, so grateful to all of you who have stayed with me over the years.

So, Style Guile won't be going anywhere but I feel that it's important that it evolves to reflect interests in other areas of my life as well as fashion. We will be having our house knocked around next year and from time to time I hope to write about that, sharing the progress and interiors that we choose. (This is my very rudimentary image board!)

I am also going to (hope to?) run the London Marathon, so I would like to write about the training involved and the nutrition side of things. Exercise is a big part of my life and over the years people have asked me about my training so I hope to share details of that too. There are lots of balls that us mid 40 year olds have to juggle so it will be good to write about those balls too as well as the fashion ones of course.

And as for beauty, that's not really my thing for now but if anyone wants to let me know about any wonder creams that stop your eyes from disappearing into your head, please do let me know!

I'm looking forward to fun times ahead and I hope that you will come along for the journey. If there's anything in particular that you would like me to cover, please do let me know. Beth x

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Neutrals and how to wear them if, as a rule, they don't really like you that much!

Today's post is just a quick OOTD. Generally I don't wear too many outfits made up entirely of neutrals. Many neutrals just seem to wash me out and I'm better with colours which have some depth to them, just as you might expect given my dark colouring. However I really like this Boden cardi/jacket that I bought in the sale last year (similar here) and it seems to work OK with this & Other Stories printed blouse (similar (ish) here (£45). It's all quite soft and muted but I think :) that I can just about get away with it. A bit of colour from the sun probably doesn't harm either.

I carried on the "light" theme with some white Whistles jeans and pale suede Jigsaw ankle boots (available here in a size 36) - but then stuck a navy Whistles bag with it all, in all probability just because it was handy.

On this particular day I needed a little warmth but I didn't want to head straight for the winter pile of clothing. Nope, for now I'm hanging on to those lighter shades for dear life.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday. I think that we have some sun due next week. Yipppeeee!  Beth x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

An outfit for any event or occasion - something we could all do with having a few more of.

[Boden waxed skinnies, Whistles boots, Kate Spade bag, & Other Stories top, Reiss jacket, Damart gilet] 

It's always the way isn't it? When I want to blog the most, I have the least time to actually do it, which is a shame as there are so many new clothes out there that I want to share with you. I've started putting a post together with some outfit ideas so hopefully I might get it out tomorrow.

This week I have been shopping for three events and the house looks like a small department store/tip!

In the conservatory I have 30 outfits for the "Camping, Caravan and Motorhome Show" which is on next week. I've always wanted to go to it as I love bijou spaces and seeing what you can get in them. I was asked to style and present the fashion/style element which is new this year but as we're away I couldn't, however I got to do the styling and shopping for it so it wasn't all bad. Shopping for 10 people (2 families of four plus two extras) has been great fun and a pretty mammoth task. I think that my longer than average arms are now even longer after all the bags I've been carrying.

At the same time I was shopping for a Style Party for seven, so that has seen me giving the shops a good going over. And at the same time as that, I was shopping for suits/work wear to take along to a talk that I gave to a group of soon to be sixth formers at a local school. The upstairs of the house is full of skiing gear as we're heading off on holiday fairly soon so although people are always welcome at our house, there isn't actually anywhere to sit.

Today has seen me undertaking various jobs from talking at the school this morning, to sorting and packing the outfits for the camping show, to preparing the notes for the presenter, doing several school runs and going to a parent's evening. I needed a "one size fits all" outfit and this one did it for me - although I must admit to swapping the trousers for Topshop tracksuit bottoms when doing the sorting, packing, crawling around on the floor and labelling all the outfits in preparation for next week.

The trick now is to find a few more "one size fits all" outfits. The boxes that it has to tick are quite long - comfortable shoes, easy to move in bottoms, warm layers but an outfit which isn't a Onesie and a pair of trainers. I think that I may have to give it some further thought.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Checking out some checks and a special invitation...

For those of you with your eye on the ball, or your ear to the ground - or just if you've been out shopping really - you can't but fail to notice that checks are everywhere.

Checks can have connotations all of their very own, depending on their size and colour way. From picnic blankets to Rupert bear, we've heard it all before and do we care? Hmmm, maybe, particularly if they're plastered across one's thighs, other than that? Nah!

Typically I'm starting with a coat that isn't even checked. It was written about in the press over the summer and I saw this wool blend coat in & Other Stories (£145) a few weeks ago now. Predictably the pink jumped out at me and I think that it was this coat that started me down the road of checks. This one wasn't right a) because it's not checked and b) the lack of joining up in the stripes department would drive me nuts - but I still like it.

Then I came across this checked coat in Warehouse (£95). Having spent a lot of time in the stores recently, it keeps jumping out at me. Pink and grey are a lovely combination and this coat would add a nice touch against darker winter clothes.

And then yesterday whilst working in M&S I came across this checked coat (£139). I spotted it from a distance across the store and went for a closer look. As they only had it in a size 20 or 22 I didn't think that I would get a true representation of what it would be like on me so instead I ordered it to our local store and I've just had the email through to say that it's been received. So guess where I'm off in a mo?!

The checked capes that are around can be harder to wear. The proportions need to be right and there is the danger that they will swamp but there is something that I find very appealing about them. For a start you could wear a million thick jumpers under them and there would be no issue about not being able to get your arms down the sleeves of your coat.  There's also something a bit "swishy" and dress like about them, even if they're being worn with jeans and boots. I keep gravitating towards this one from Warehouse (£30).
For anyone unsure about a whole garment made of checks, there are some great scarves around this season. I love the colours in this River Island coral blanket scarf (£22), which also comes in different colour ways. And Mango has more check scarves than you could even begin to imagine. Use one as a way of giving a new lease of life (otherwise known as tarting up) an older coat which needs a bit of va-va-voom.
Tomorrow I am spending the day in John Lewis who are kindly lending me some outfits for an event I am styling next week (invitation to follow shortly) but for now, here's the official Jigsaw invitation for the event we are running at the Birmingham store this Thursday. Please drop me an email at if you would like your name adding to the guest list. We'll have a 10% discount on the night and a chance to win a Jigsaw gift card for £100. I'll be covering lots of different looks and with fizz and canap├ęs on offer, I think we'll have a ball. For those of you who have already responded, I look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

An outft of spotty trousers - and pushing the fashion boundaries; just a little!



Spotty trousers - something I thought I'd never wear!

Today I wanted to write about a common theme that I have observed many times - and something that happened to me on several occasions, until I decided that life was too short not to take risks and be open minded about new styles of clothes.

Often women see other women (quite often younger than themselves) wearing a particular pair of boots, a certain style of jacket or a slightly different outfit combination and love it. Their heart skips a bit, it brings a smile to their face and then they think "But I couldn't do that, I'm too old/short/tall/"x" wouldn't like it/ people will laugh at me/I'm not trendy enough/it's just not me," so instead they stay in their comfort zone of safe pieces, feeling slightly deflated and demoralised - that heart skipping a beat moment having passed them by.

Now that's not a criticism but what I wanted to do in this post was to urge any of you who ever feel like that, just to go for it. It's better to try something new and decide that it's not right, rather than never go there in the first place and feel frustrated - and that doesn't mean being a slave to the latest fads.  Skinny jeans, a pair of heeled boots and a blazer for a night out - it's all do-able. Boyfriend jeans and heels or converse, a printed blouse, a coloured knit, a leather jacket, a sweatshirt, a bomber jacket, a statement necklace, a pleated skirt, a pair of culottes - give them a whirl.

The worst thing that can happen is that you decide not to go down that route but you may just wear your new things with a smile on your face and a spring in your step - slightly like someone from an advert for hairspray or laxatives - but hopefully not.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wearing Topshop spotty trousers and an & Other Stories quilted jumper for a smart(ish)/casual outfit

Many of you will recognise these Topshop spotted trousers which I have had for a couple of years now. For their first outing this winter, I wore them with this cropped quilted jumper from & Other Stories which I bought on my last trip to London. It's fabulously warm and the quilting on the back of the front (if that makes sense) effectively adds in another layer.
Being cropped, the jumper does need to be worn with something with a reasonably high waist. I layered a white shirt underneath it, just to lift everything a little and break up the blue.
Take a peek below to see some other quilted pieces available at the moment. I have seen all of them in real life and would happily wear any of them! For anyone wanting any guidance, I think that the Warehouse bomber style jacket is a nice introduction to quilting as it would slide fairly seamlessly into a wardrobe which already had some jeans and boots in it, plus a few brighter coloured tops.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

"& Other Stories" - the sister company of Cos and H&M - and what a nice sister she is!

A couple of weeks ago the opportunity finally presented itself for me to take a good wander around & Other Stories in London. A sister company of H&M and Cos, it was so different from what I had expected I can't even begin to explain it.  
I don't know why but for some reason I imagined it to be dark, foreboding and full of gothic pieces. My mis-conceptions must have sprung, I think, from a few of the pieces that I had seen in the press when it launched last year. However if I'd thought about it a little more, logic would have dictated that, being Swedish, it would be sleek, chic and bright.
I suppose it's a little dangerous to over-egg the pudding because just in the same way that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found, if I rave too much people may be disappointed on visiting.
Anyway, so here are some snaps that I took as I wandered around (sorry for the lack of links to these pieces) together with images, plus links, to some others that I like. So here goes:
& Other Stories had a really large range of shoes, boots and trainers from the classic to the quirky so if you're on the hunt for some footwear, it's worth adding to your list. I liked these because of their rich colour and the fact that they were a little different but still very "do-able".
There was definitely more colour than I expected to find. I loved the vibrant coral colour of this bag.

Silver boots for anyone who fancies anything a little futuristic. I think that these are very cool in a pixie boot kind of way!

Textured jumpers are a huge trend this season and the light and pretty colours on this jumper make a nice change from black or navy. It has a slight 80's look about it but as lots of things are just a re-hash of what has gone before, if we were put off by anything that we had seen before we would soon reach the stage where we didn't wear anything - or everything that we did wear would be very boring.

Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure about the neoprene look (it reminds me slightly of a kids' Superman dressing up outfit with the extra six pack padding) but variety is a good thing...

I love the print on these shoes, which is similar to the jumper. The appeal lies in the fact that the shoes have different prints on them. These would update a plain navy or purple dress really well and would look equally good with rolled up boyfriend jeans.

I know I've featured a lot of quilting recently....but here's some more. This jumper also comes in grey and a taupe colour. This navy one is hanging in my wardrobe, patiently waiting for a chilly day.

I love the print on this pretty handbag/purse.  & Other Stories is a treasure trove for little bits and bobs like this, plus make-up, jewellery and smellies. In fact it would be quite easy to get lost in there for a few hours - it's a great place for Christmas shopping.

I tried these mid calf boots (£95) in the navy - and they also come in black and brown. I loved the stack heel, together with the lighter coloured heel and sole. Definitely one for the list!

This long sweater (£55) is beautifully thick and chunky with a huge roll neck. There was also a lovely, oversized cardigan in the store with rounded shoulders - massively huge and warm which I loved but which would have been too heavy to carry, which was probably a good thing really!

Due to its structure, this triangle pleat skirt (£45) reminded me of a Cos piece. It's just a little different from the norm without being inaccessible.

And finally I could be very tempted by this wool bomber jacket (£125). I didn't particularly like them in the summer and the varsity ones are definitely too much of a statement but this one is quite understated. Plus it's navy which is always a winner.

The fact that the store was new helped with the whole shopping experience, which reminded me more of Anthropologie than it did Cos or H&M. In fact it definitely wasn't H&M like at all, which is a good thing because although there are some gems in there, it definitely doesn't offer a shopping "experience".  Well perhaps it does - but just not the kind we might like, especially when a collaboration with a new designer has just been launched (hold on to your hats (and everything else) for the stampede that will ensue during the Isabel Marant November launch). It's also a little less stark than Cos - more colour and print and softer around the edges. So anyway, in a nutshell, if you're in London and have a while to spare, I'd definitely recommend taking a trip there.