Showing posts with label Air & Grace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Air & Grace. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Packing for a weekend away with Cove Knitwear

Like any family with older children who are revising for exams, the Easter holidays have become a time where we stay firmly at home. Last year it was Flo's A-levels, the year before that it was her AS levels, the year before that, her GCSEs. My memory doesn't go back any further than that! This year it's the turn of Freddie and his upcoming GCSEs - so Brummie bound we are.

As you can imagine, when I was approached by Cove Cashmere and invited to write a post about packing for a weekend away, to include a couple of their gorgeous cashmere jumpers, I was only too delighted to jump at the chance.

There is only one place that I would go at this time of year and that would be Guernsey. I've been going for over 40 years now and there's nowhere else I'd rather be. Take me for a crab sandwich at Cobo Tea Rooms and a walk along the West Coast beaches and I'm happy as anything. Throw in a piece of carrot cake or some ice cream by the time we get to Pembroke and then we're talking! 

Philly cashmere jumper from Cove £185 - denim with pink and orange stripes

Whilst I may be firmly rooted in our living room, in my head I'm driving along the coast road (top speed 35 mph) in an open top Fiat 500 with Don Henley "the Boys of Summer" on the radio. BBC Radio Guernsey play the best tunes!

Philly cashmere jumper from Cove (£185)

At this time of year, or indeed at any time of year, cashmere is the perfect addition to my "Guernsey" wardrobe. There wouldn't be much heat in the sun and with a chilly wind, both the Philly jumper, above, and the Esther jumper, below, would be perfect for layering with all sorts of pieces. And let's all guess what really appeals to me? Yup, the splashes of pink and orange neon, plus the stripes.  Bright and nautical in one fell swoop - what else could we ask for?

Esther jumper from Cove (£159)

Everyone has their own ideas about packing, so I shall keep my choices and comments short and sweet. I like to wear my heaviest items when I'm travelling and take plenty of accessories to ring the changes - but I'd love to hear your tips too.


Now I don't know about you but I like enough choice to cover any eventuality but not so much that I have to spend too long thinking about what to wear. Two pairs of jeans (one skinny, one straight), a pair of smarter wide legged trousers and a maxi skirt would do me just fine at this time of year. I may roll up a pair of leggings for underneath the skirt in case I was cold and I may also take a pair of yoga pants for lounging around in. But otherwise, we're good! 

I'll come to accessories later but bright bags are good for adding some colour and ringing the changes. I'm a huge fan of cross body bags - both the yellow and the red ones above were from Kate Spade, they weigh next to nothing but make me feel a little better put together. I know that there's always a toss up between opting for a darker/neutral/classic bag that goes with everything, or a brighter one. I'd advise on a brighter one every time. 


I would take a "proper" coat with me, something like a puffa with plenty of room to get layers underneath and also a navy jersey jacket from Whistles, just in case we went out for dinner.

Then three lighter weight jackets would be perfect for those warmer days but they could also go under my puffa if it was really cold. The camo jacket and the khaki jackets would work well with jeans to avoid "double denim".  The denim jacket would work with the wide trousers and the maxi skirt, or the jersey jacket could be a smarter option. 


Well luckily they're easy! Two cashmere jumpers and one big sweatshirt from Hari & the gang (£42)and I would be done. The sweatshirt is large enough to go over the Philly jumper, if required. The Philly jumper would be fine with all of the bottoms and the Esther jumper would be great with the jeans - so there's plenty of variety. 

Tops and Tees

There are some Ts that go with everything, even if they don't really "go" with them at all and the above three Ts work across the board. I would wear the beautiful white embroidered shirt from Aspiga (£68) with everything other than the printed skirt. I would also layer it under the Esther cashmere jumper. I love it when it's time for a white embroidered shirt to make an appearance. It's a sure sign of spring.

Coming back to the Ts and them not really "going" with things, the red lips T from Bricks & Stitches (£25) could go with any of the bottoms that I'm taking with me. The outfit below may be considered a bit of a random mix but I love the T with the printed skirt even though none of the colours reference one another. Anyway, a red lippie, or the red bag, would really pull everything together for anyone who felt the need.

The star slub V Tee from Hush (£35) is another one of those T's that just goes with everything and doesn't require too much thought. The metallic stars just help to make it that little more interesting though and with cashmere being so soft, it doesn't matter that my tops don't have sleeves in them.  


When it comes to packing, I quite often have more accessories than I do clothes. You can ring the changes so easily with a different bag, or a big pair of earrings, so things can always feel fresh and different, even if your core wardrobe is essentially only a small variation on a theme.

I was gifted this multi coloured pouch from Cleverly Wrapped (£36 - below) a few weeks ago now and I'm dying to use it. As you've probably noticed, I'm very much a "try it and see" type of person when it comes to putting outfits together. It's more important to me that there's some colour and texture going on in an outfit, rather than things "matching". People who wait for the "matching" train to arrive often miss the boat! 

It's the bits around the edge that make all the difference - not only to how we feel warmth wise, but also to how we look.

The cashmere wrist warmers, also from Cove (£39), the big scarf with bobbles (old from Boden but similar here from neon beach club (£15), the studded wrap around cuff from Aurora London (£25 - bottom centre), the stack of bracelets from Bella Jane jewellery (bottom right) the neon Copelands Air & Grace (£149)...

- none of them take up much room but they can be twisted, stacked, alternated, layered and worn in so many different ways that really, all you need when you go away, are a few bits and bobs and a couple of pieces of cashmere.

As you can tell, shoes haven't featured too heavily in my weekend away wardrobe. But the thing is that when you're in Guernsey, you're never far away from a beach or a rockpool and I would hate to be hampered by my footwear - so it would be trainers all the way. 

Then again, if like me you have children who are revising for exams - maybe you will be staying put.  But there's always next year! 

House keeping: This post was written in conjunction with Cove Cashmere, for which they gifted the two cashmere jumpers featured in this post. 

Monday, 19 March 2018

How do we feel about these? Do they remind you of your student days?

They're like a brain worm that won't go away. Try as I might, I can't stop thinking about them. DM boots. Perhaps the cold weather has frozen my brain, perhaps it's a mid-life crisis. Or perhaps it's just because I genuinely really like them and I can see how they would work with my wardrobe.

We all wore DM shoes at University. Come rain or shine, summer or winter, we all wore DM shoes which we bought from Sheffield market. The only variation was that in the summer we would wear them without socks and everyone over the age of 35 would ask whether they hurt. But they never did. The cost per wear of those shoes over the 3 years was peanuts - and they carried on long after the 3 years were up too. 

Now it's not so much the DM shoes that I'm attracted to because "street" trainers have largely taken their place. No, it's the boots that I really like. Especially the pink, navy or silver. Well I'm nothing if not predictable in my unpredictability. True, they wouldn't go with everything but most skinny/straight/girlfriend/boyfriend jeans would work with them and maxi dresses and skirts too. 

Iced Metallic (£110)

So why now? Maybe it's because I'm looking for something different but which is still wearable. Having not worn DMs since I  hit about 20, they definitely tick that box. But they're still comfortable and practical too. That doesn't mean to say that I will be re-visiting my multi coloured polka dot ra-ra dress from Tammy Girl circa 1983, or my mini kilt, ruffle blouse and white tights combo circa 1985 - but then again I just might.

I'd like to do a post on brands which are hot on environmental and social responsibility issues. Luckily this is something that most new brands take seriously as part of their ethos.  Dr Martens have a really detailed Social Responsibility page on their site covering everything from child labour, to working hours, how they source their leather (they also do a vegan range here), the materials they use in their packaging and the charity work in which they engage. 

So my question is this. Can any of you imagine going down the DM route or are they a big fashion "no-no" as far as you're concerned? I would love to hear what you think. 

From the feedback that I have received, I know that many of you would like to see more outfits posts, so I will try and include a few outfit pictures at the end of each blog post (if the post itself doesn't constitute an outfit post.)

I wore this outfit to an event that I went to on Friday. I thought that people may appreciate the macarons (by the Crow Kitchen) and biscuits (by Juliet Sear) - if nothing else. I know that I did.

Same outfit - different shot. The trousers are from Mango. I wrote about them here, the trainers are from Air & Grace, the blouse is from Mercy Delta and the bag is from neon beach club

OK so this was me being brave in a skirt that I thought that I might return but which I decided to keep. It's from ASOS and is the floral pansy skirt. The trainers are as above and the jumper is an old one from Topshop.

Oooh it was chilly this day. I was lucky enough to be sent a fab sweatshirt from Hari and the gang (£42) which I layered under this Topshop coat and wore with Gap jeans, Topshop boots, an LK Bennett bag and frilly socks (all past season.)

So that's it for now. I'll see you anon and hope that you all have a fabulous week. xxx

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Christmas - The Seven Outfits of Christmas

 Skirt from Hush (£65), Boots Jones (now £120) sequin top & Other Stories (£49 - almost sold out) Earrings Kaaren Buchanan (£68 - gift)

I had such great plans for the blog this week but as you can tell from my absence - none of them came to fruition. However I didn't want Christmas to come and go without wishing you all a very "Happy Christmas." I also wanted to say a huge big "Thank You" for reading and for your support along the way. Style Guile will be going into its 8th year next year and I know that some of you have been with me from the start. Without you all it wouldn't be here - so thank you! Hopefully next year I will be able to make time to blog more (famous last words) so I should get to chat to you all a little more regularly. 

I love Christmas Eve - it's probably my favourite day of the year. But I'm really conscious that for many, Christmas can be a difficult time. A "first" Christmas after anything sad has happened must be upsetting, so I want to let you know that amongst the merriment tomorrow, I shall be taking a moment to reflect and to send out virtual hugs to those who need them.  

As I haven't managed to blog much - OK, at all - I thought that I would do a quick round up of outfits from the week, together with a couple of other shots. After all, Christmas is about friends and family as much as the outfits.

This week, I've managed to get out early most mornings with my running friends. Those times are so precious to us all and we love getting some fresh air, some exercise and having a chat. It really sets us up for the day. This shot was taken on top of a railway bridge near to my home, just as the sun was rising. It was such a beautiful sight and just stopping (phew) and taking a moment to think about the run that I had just had with my wonderful friends was a really special time. 

Last Sunday we went to see my Mum and her sister and that too was such fun. This is a photo of her sideboard, which she had set up for Christmas. I felt that it captured the essence of Christmas when I was young, perfectly. So many people liked this post on Instagram that I have wondered about handing my account over to my Mum. Forget the fashion - it's all about the mince pies, the cake frill and the Quality Street. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and so many people commented and identified with this post. The cake frill in particular had lots of love!

And this was my Mum's coffee table, complete with my Aunt's slippers in shot. You can tell that the children had been at the Pringles.

I seem to have been on my feet a lot this week so it was pretty much flats all the way. Dungarees and a new blouse from one of my favourite brands, Mercy Delta (which they kindly gifted to me) was a really comfortable outfit for a full day of Christmas shopping on Monday.

Our eldest daughter is working in John Lewis at the moment and we spent hours in there, taking every single item to her till just so that we could see her briefly. We also took her for lunch and although she was working, it was a really special day for us all. She loved having us so close. Sometimes people can be horrible to shop staff at Christmas (and some can be lovely) so it broke up her day and although I always chat to shop staff, it acted as a reminder to be super nice to them.

I took our youngest to see Alice in Wonderland earlier on Tuesday and I wore this outfit from Great Plains which I wrote about in my last post. This time however I wore it with trainers from Air & Grace together with a huge scarf from Jaeger which I've had for several years now. It just gave a slightly different twist to things. And I'm still quite traditional when it comes down to what to wear to the theatre/ballet/carol service. It would be wrong to pretend that I had made a huge effort but something other than jeans feels right on those occasions.

On Wednesday I was again in jeans and trainers, which were from Air & Grace. The weather has been so mild that the issue of socks (or lack of them) really hasn't arisen. This coat from Linea at House of Fraser is also perfect for this weather and it adds sharpness to an otherwise very casual and "un-tailored" outfit. Note to self - I must wear some more skirts and dresses.

More sparkles - this time from & Other Stories. And surprise surprise, I'm in (old, Gap) jeans (hence the lack of link) and Adidas trainers -again! On Thursday I had some friends come round for brunch and it was lovely to just sit and chat - particularly as they were my running friends and most of our conversations are interspersed with "Can't talk now, I can talk at the top" or "Ooh this really hurts today" or, as in the case of this morning "I thought that somehow running on Christmas Eve would be easy." Why? Who in their right mind would actually think that, let alone voice it?! (Well apart from me.)

And on Friday I was in....yup, jeans and trainers! These jeans were from Whistles a while ago now and are generally on the tight side, so the fact that I managed to get them on and keep them on all day was a result. I don't know why I decided to do double denim but I like this shirt from Zara and I haven't worn it for a while - so it kind of seemed like a good idea at the time.

We had 9 for dinner that night so there was lots of running around to do, hence the trainers. As we're going away on Boxing Day we had to start our Christmas food celebrations early, so as not to have any left overs. So, our Christmas pudding has already been eaten and the trifle already made and eaten too. I should have photographed it - the cut glass trifle bowl is from my Mum and it's a beauty. I figured that the trifle didn't quite look the same after the first portion had been served.

And look! I'm not wearing trainers! Although I am wearing jeans (Mango from nearly a year ago) and a sparkly top (again) - this time the Great Plains Suraya top (again limited in size). This is clearly not a place to come for outfit inspiration - unless you like jeans, a sparkly top and a splash of colour in accessories.

And then here we are at today and I'm wearing the first outfit. To set the scene, the children and their friends are watching Harry Potter and the Snowman will be on soon, which I love. The tree lights are on, the table is almost set for tomorrow and shortly we're off to Pizza Express before coming home when I will read "The night before Christmas" to the "children". On Boxing Day we're heading for some sun so next time I appear on here, it may well be in a bikini. And if that's not an incentive to keep off the mince pies then I don't know what is. Well, apart from turning a blind eye and breathing in, which is what I will probably do in reality.

I hope that you all have a truly special Christmas. Do come over and follow me on Instagram if you would like to see what I am up to - you can find me here And if anyone is feeling a little blue or in need of a chat, please do just drop me a line anytime. See you on the other side!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The coolest collab on the block - Air & Grace and Zoe De Pass

Me with Claire, the founder of Air & Grace (Photograph by Dana of Dana and the Red Shoes)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to Stylist Live at Olympia in London. I'd not been before but this year, I decided, was my year and having kindly being offered a ticket by Air & Grace I felt that my ducks were being well and truly lined up for me.

Yesterday also coincided with the launch of the collaboration between Air and Grace and Zoe de Pass of Dress Like a Mum - and these are the two styles that the Queen of shoes and the Queen of cool designed together. First of all there are the rainbow leopard print (£169), along with the fuchsia leather (£149).

Both styles are available for pre-order, with the rainbow leopard print being ready for dispatch on November 27th and the fuchsia leather on 13th November. And the thing with these is that once they're gone, they're gone. So if you're even vaguely tempted - and I'm not trying to whip everyone up into a frenzy here - get your order in quick!

If like me you're finding heels increasingly uncomfortable and annoying to wear, I can't recommend Air and Grace shoes or trainers enough. Other than the odd pair of boots, if I'm walking more than, say, 1km I'm in trainers. I love my flutters and wear them pretty much non-stop and with a pair of the cow print Copelands on the way I'm pretty sorted. Well nearly.....

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Revealing a brand new design from Air & Grace...

Earlier in the week I was in London and I took the opportunity to nip along to the Air & Grace studio in Brixton. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, or who read the blog regularly, you will know that I'm never far away from my shimmies which I absolutely adore. They have seriously revolutionised my life! True, I'm not wearing them in this shot - I decided that they were just too good for the streets of London.  


Michelle, who helps Claire in the studio, took this photograph whilst standing on a chair, which is why I look spectacularly small. But to be honest I would look spectacularly small standing next to Claire in any event, because she is beautifully tall.

The studio is serious shoe heaven! Everything apart from the espadrilles are made in Spain (the espadrilles are made in Portugal) subsequent to which they are shipped to the UK. Claire was fabulous, talking me through her designs for A/W '17 as well as for S/S '18. She showed me her sketches and fabric swatches, as well as the details such as tassels and pom poms and I had a good feel of the three layer memory foam insert that goes into each shoe. We talked about stockists and finances and all things relating to small businesses and it's amazing how hard Claire has worked to get where she is.

There are some fabulous designs coming our way ladies and without wishing my life away, I can't wait for the S/S '18 collection to arrive. Let's just say neon, metallics and even heels may feature.

You see the boxes in the white packaging on the right hand side of the photograph? Well these were all waiting to be sent out to lovely customers.

And ta-da! A new shoe! This is a new design of Claire's and it's called "Flutter". The Flutter comes in navy, white, grey and pink and is sleeker and has less padding around the ankle, compared to the Copeland  - which means that people now have a greater choice. It's not yet available but it shouldn't be too long now.

Claire's background is in shoes and she has worked for many well known High Street brands such as Office, Fit Flop and Aldo. Essentially Claire designs shoes that she loves and it just so happens that her customers love them too. Her attention to detail is amazing. She tweaks the eyelets, laces, colour of the soles, colour of the leather - everything in fact - until she gets it just how she likes it. And because she only ever wears her own shoes, she knows exactly what else is needed in the range to make it complete.

In particular I loved the shearling high tops for the winter but as yet the design isn't quite to Claire's discerning eye, so we will all have to wait for the big reveal. What I can say, however, is that they come in tan and khaki and I think that once anyone puts a pair on, they won't want to take them off again.

I currently have my eye on the Copeland trainers (£149)

Claire was due to make a day trip to Portugal the day after I saw her, to check on a trailer of shoes that had temporarily gone AWOL thanks to some friendly local bandits. Luckily it had turned up again but in true Claire style, she had to check that everything was just so. And it's that kind of commitment that has made Air & Grace so successful in such a short space of time. Claire, I take my hat (and my shoes) off to you!

Friday, 23 June 2017

An alternative to jeans - the Hush Monaco trousers

Monaco Trousers Hush £45

I think that I'm probably very late to this particular party but I've just discovered the Monaco trousers from Hush (£45). They're a great alternative to jeans and let's face it, we're often on the look out for a good jeans alternative at this time of year.

The reviews of these trousers are worth taking a look at and the grey have sold out. What I love about them is that they have an elasticated waist (great for travelling in and fab on warm days) they're a silky material which is lovely and the cuff at the bottom anchors them back into the leg, making them a flattering shape. Also, for anyone on the petite side, they may well come up full length, which is no bad thing if you prefer a full length trouser, rather than a crop.

I think that you've seen my pineapple t-shirt on here before - it's from Gift pop boutique and costs £22 and you've seen the espadrilles for sure! They're from Air & Grace (£99).

I'm off to Leeds tomorrow for a good old shop, cake, a lovely lunch and a good catch up with my friend from Newcastle. It's our annual meet and I can't wait! Have a super Saturday everyone!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Can I tempt you with an off the shoulder dress from Whistles?

Embroidered jersey dress from Whistles (£60 down from £99), Ear-rings Alice's Wonders (£5) Shoes Air & Grace (£99)

Phew! Today has been a scorcher hasn't it? And if it's a case of "No Vest Required" for me, then goodness knows how hot some of you must be.

For anyone on the hunt for a "not too challenging" off the shoulder dress, then I can thoroughly recommend this one from Whistles. I say that it's not too challenging because, other than its neckline, it is fairly sober in terms of its sleeve length, hem length, fabric, colour and detailing. Which doesn't make it boring - far from it - it makes it a great backdrop for lots of different looks. And if you're going to be spending pennies on something that might have a limited life span in your wardrobe (although to be fair "trends" tend to come and go less frequently than they used to - once they're here they stay for quite a while) then a black jersey number is a really good bet.

Along with this great, dress, I'm wearing these gold tribal drop ear-rings from Alice's Wonders which are £5.00 and totally gorgeous. If you haven't nipped over yet to see what Cathy stocks on Alice's Wonders, then I recommend that you do. She has some absolute gems!

And here's a close up of the dress, for anyone tempted to dip their toe in an off the shoulder style dress.  

Long may the "No Vest Required" weather continue!