Showing posts with label Marc Jacobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marc Jacobs. Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Jumper Dresses - Why don't we go there?

M&S jumper dress, Reiss leather jacket, Zara sleeveless coat, Whistles gloves and boots, Marc Jacobs bag

From the various emails that I've had, I know that lots of you are toying with the idea of a jumper dress but aren't sure whether to take the plunge or not.  It may be slightly late for this winter but fear not they will be around next year, so I thought that I would share my thoughts.

Being a creature who feels the cold, unsurprisingly I really like jumper dresses. Warm and comfortable, they tick my boxes.  So what are the pitfalls and how do you go about styling them?

Firstly, I think that people are put off jumper dresses by the thought of having to wash them each time they're worn and wondering how they will fare on a long term basis. The solution? Lightweight layers underneath mean that the dress won't be next to your skin, so it won't need to be washed each time that it's worn (or ever, potentially!)

Secondly, not all styles are particularly forgiving, especially the fitted/ribbed styles, so make sure that you check from all angles before buying one. I like wearing mine layered with this sleeveless coat as it just gives me a little tum coverage. And in all likelihood when I get home I would take the dress off anyway, so preferring it styled in this way really isn't an issue.

Thirdly they can make you feel a bit "square" and bulky. I know, I'm really not selling them! It's more with the one that I'm wearing above than the navy Jigsaw one that I have (below) so again, the sleeveless coat, or a jacket, breaks the body up leaving just a narrow column on show, which is a great styling trick for narrowing a wider torso.

Jigsaw jumper dress, Karen Millen leggings, Adidas trainers, Whistles bag and gloves

This navy jumper dress from Jigsaw however is much easier to wear. Due to the fact that it is a looser fit and that it's darker, it is easier to throw on and go, rather than having to work a little harder at styling it.  The fact that it's shorter too means that coat lengths aren't so much of an issue.

But when it's a cold day as it was on Monday, only the grey ribbed one will do. It's probably the nearest thing that I have to a onesie in terms of warmth and comfort, so you can count me in big style. It was only through working with M&S on a blog post that I decided to try one in the first place but I'm so glad that I did.

What's your experience of jumper dresses - yes or no to the jumper dress? And if you haven't been there before, are you tempted? Hope that you're all having a lovely week. x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Adding warmth to your outfit - this time in the style of a kimono shaped jacket

For a chilly wimp bag like myself, I have to come up with new ways and styles of keeping warm. Quite often I will wear a jersey blazer over a finer knit jumper, or a boucle style jacket, of which I have a couple. However just before Christmas I ordered the Barcelona cardigan from Boden (£44), which also comes in navy and charcoal.

Liking the fact that I could wrap it around myself to keep myself snug, I went on to order this Rye Kimono jacket from Baukjen (reduced from £169 to £84). So much of the knitwear available at the moment is oversized so if like me you can't carry it off, or if a bit of waist definition suits your shape better, these style jackets/cardis are a pretty good option.

I think that I look a bit like I'm off to do my karate. I'm not quite sure how you translate the sound of a karate chop into words but I'll try "Haaaaaa Yaaaaa." How did I do?

Speaking of going off to do things, tomorrow a friend and myself are going to do a 12km mud run. The words "lung busting, lung burning and waist deep water" feature in the literature. Sounds fun don't you think?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

It may still be too cold for an ankle flash and I don't dare to bare my legs, so the only answer is to lighten the colour palette....

Zara coat, Boden jumper and jeans, Marc Jacobs bag, Whistles boots, Reiss scarf

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to those days when it's warm enough to go without socks or, just imagine this, tights! The thought of losing a layer is bliss but for now, that's not going to happen. Despite today's sun it was still only 3 degrees (cue a 1970's pop song) so whilst in my head it was sunny enough to be in a floaty summer dress, in reality it was anything but.

However, lightening the colours can lift the spirits, so after choosing a lighter coloured jumper I followed the trend with a lighter coloured coat and a scarf too. I drew the line at a bag of the same colour. That would have been a Duchess of Cornwall step too far.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Losing my shopping mojo - it can't be far away can it?

I've got to be honest, I'm not feeling the love for the shops, or clothes, at the moment which is so unheard of for me that it must mean that I've been taken over by an alien.  I've trawled my usual favourite sites and I'm feeling distinctly uninspired. In fact I even resorted to reading the "Runner's World" website and an article on tapering before a big race. That's how bad things are.

The majority of the new season's stock looks exactly the same as that from the last two seasons - a bit drab, a bit loose, very comfortable (not that I'm knocking that) but nothing that makes me sit up and go "Yes, I will happily do whatever it takes to get my cheeky little mitts on one of those."  The joy can come just from thinking about such things as much as owning them. And I miss it!

Now in some ways this is good because it makes it easier to stick to my policy of wearing what I own already. On the other hand I feel bereft. Like a part of my soul is missing. I've always said that I would hate to win the lottery. Where's the fun in life in being able to buy every thing that you want? Nope, a little retail lust goes a long way - even a little £5 retail lust can go a long way. And I'm hoping that one day very soon - Tuesday would do - it will return.

Until then I am going to share this outfit with you - a Jesire (anyone remember them? I really liked them until they went under) leopard print grey jumper, Cos grey jeans, Zara boots and a Miss Selfridge fur scarf. Cosy, comfy and arguably a bit drab and a bit loose. Oooops! But at least there's nothing better to tempt me. Well, not for now anyway.....

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The 12 outfits of Christmas, day 6 - One from Zara and & Other Stories for the rounds of Christmas jobs and chores.

"Are those jeans new?" Mr SG asked me a couple of days ago. To which I replied "Yes."
"What you bought them with those holes in? Please tell me you're joking."
"Yes I did and no, I'm not." The poor man was at a loss for words - incredulous and utterly confused by the whole thing but I think that it's fair to say that, on occasion, I suffer at the hands of his sense of humour so I didn't feel too bad.

As we all know, a new pair of jeans can work wonders at breathing life into your wardrobe. I saw these jeans in a magazine a couple of weeks ago so went to try them out in Zara (£29.99) earlier this week. They're a low rise but not ridiculously low and they're actually very comfortable plus I liked the frayed hem. I haven't bought any trousers or jeans from Zara for a few years now, since a pair I bought ripped right where you wouldn't want them to but I thought that they deserved another chance.

With this new blouse from & Other Stories (£45) which I bought in London last week, I was sorted for a day of Christmas jobs. As an aside, the fit of this blouse is lovely - not too tight and I also managed to get a long sleeved cotton T underneath as an extra layer.

More of a decoration than a gift, I'm currently loving Eric, our stag head from Cox & Cox (£25). He's probably the most decorated (and camp looking) stag that there is, adorned as he is with Monsoon Christmas glasses and decorations from Selfridges and John Lewis. When you have to relinquish control of the the tree to the children, you need a little bit of something to call your own - and on reflection, if this is what I do to Eric, it's probably just as well that I'm not in charge of the tree.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A few old some new(er) trainers

I was shopping all day yesterday and after my race the day before, I decided that my toes needed  a little bit of tlc. Oddly nothing really ached afterwards - keeping on the move definitely seemed to help - but nonetheless I wasn't convinced that six hours of heels would have been a good idea.

Sometimes firm favourites are a good place to start for an outfit and whilst these don't quite fall into the category of clothes that I've had since our (nearly) sixteen year old was a baby, they've been around for a good few years now.

So starting with the trousers, these wide leg ponte fabric trousers from Jigsaw are five years old now, the Oasis cream leather jacket must be about the same and the Topshop blouse too. My Marc Jacobs handbag was a 10th wedding anniversary present, so that's nearly 6 years old now. The newest addition are the Stan Smith trainers - comfortable to the end! So it's not always about new things - not at all - rather it's more about buying pieces in shapes that never really date. Not high fashion, just good quality staples.

And whilst we're on the subject of washing - which I seem to have been of late - today I made real progress. That was until I saw 6 year olds teacher at the chapel doors just before a Harvest service. "Oh" she said "Your daughter was a star today." Words which always start the bells ringing. "She tripped whilst carrying her lunch and ended up with it all in her lap. So then she went to get some more and slipped again. Yes, she was covered in baked beans, cheese, jacket potato and custard." So guess what's whizzing around in the machine as I type. One day I'll get there...

Monday, 26 May 2014

Time for a new Hush frock!


I was quite excited about wearing my new Lisa dress from Hush (£60) which I had ordered especially for our holiday. It was partly because wearing a new frock is always exciting and partly because it was a little bit different for me. I wouldn't normally choose an empire line (something to do with having had three children/wearing maternity dresses) but because the fabric beneath the empire line wasn't too voluminous it didn't create a bump, or make it look as though I was trying to hide/accommodate one. Well at least I don't think that it did!

For me the dress worked because it is slightly longer at the back, which for some reason always makes me feel a little bit safer. For info purposes, the one that I am wearing is an xs. One thing that I should say though is that the dress is utterly and totally see through - which I hadn't appreciated when trying it on.  A really long vest underneath it gave me the extra coverage required.

I'm still really fond of the bright red shoes that I bought from Topshop last year, so it was nice to wear them again, together with my Marc Jacobs clutch. 

One of the many things that I like about the hot weather is planning an outfit the night before - albeit a simple one of shorts and a t-shirt and knowing that's what I'll be wearing the next day. No last minute changes of plan due to rain/fog/hail or snow! We currently have a good game going on here which involves Mr SG putting the air conditioning on full pelt and me switching it right down. It's a bit like the game that we play all winter with the heating, only in reverse. Never let it be said that our household isn't full-time fun and games!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The 12 outfits of Christmas - Day 6 - Camouflage trousers and a Whistles Parka


We made it to Wales and guess what? It's blowing a gale and pouring with rain but secretly I'm quite pleased as I wanted to try out my new navy Whistles parka.  So far so good - it's warm, it kept me dry and the hood is brilliant, which sounds a ridiculous thing to say but it is substantial and doesn't blow off at the first sign of wind. Having looked online at both Whistles and John Lewis I can't see it, or else I would have included a link. And please excuse the dreadful photo - there are only so many times that I can ask the children to step outside into the rain and gales before giving it up as a bad job. I should add that the fact that I'm quite happy about the bad weather isn't at the expense of the rest of the family, who are equally happy to sit around the fire and watch films.
I also wore Gap camouflage trousers today to ring the changes from jeans and the cropped Other Stories jumper is probably one of the warmest that I own. The black ankle boots are from La Redoute and I didn't really have time to faff about with handbags today so I just picked up the clutch I used last night and brought it along for the ride.
As for today's gift  - either for your own Christmas list or to give to someone else - I love these cuffs from Aspinal of London. The top one is the Roma Cuff Bracelet (£79). It comes in several colour ways. The second one is the Venus Stingray Cuff Bracelet (£125). Aspinal has a seriously fabulous selection of cuffs, so much so that I have also included a link to the full collection.  A piece like this can really take an outfit from a plain one, to a fabulous one, so they are well worth the investment (especially if someone else is making it). I did not say that.  


Monday, 21 October 2013

Seven Boot Lane - A fabulous new boot brand, with a 10% offer to Style Guile readers

I really like that part of blogging where I get to find out about new brands that I wouldn't necessarily know about otherwise - and then share them with everyone!
Seven Boot Lane was established in 2012 so is a fairly new kid on the (boot) block. Having taken a good look at the site, and having read the about page - which I think reveals as much about a brand as anything else - I didn't hesitate in accepting their kind invitation to try a pair of their boots to feature on Style Guile. Actually that's not strictly true, I did hesitate just to double check that they were absolutely sure and after they said yes, I went ahead and chose the Abella boots in black leather.
The philosophy behind the brand is really appealing. The boots are made in Spain by traditional craftsmen and women using hand finished leather. The brand sees itself as an "antidote to modern throwaway mentality" and it creates beautiful boots that stand the test of time both in design and quality. Available not only online, take a look her to find local stockists

With slightly sore toes today and with the rain lashing down, I thought that it would be a great day to put the boots to the test. As soon as I put them on they felt lovely - and this time I did double check to make sure that there were no cardboard inserts before wearing them for a whole day.
Testament to their comfort comes from the fact that I still had them on until it was time to go upstairs this evening to bath the youngest. Up until then I had avoided going upstairs for any reason as I didn't want to take them off - cream carpets and rain swept boots don't work. How ridiculous is that? I know, off the scale in ridiculousness but I didn't really need to go upstairs for much other than the dirty washing and that won't be going far.
Like many, I am a sucker for lovely packaging and these boots were certainly wrapped beautifully - it's the small things that count! 

As I opened the box, the smell of leather really hit me. I even asked our son (poor boy, he's so tolerant) to come and smell them. When I asked him what they smelt like he said: "Proper boots." So they got his seal of approval.

These give a good side view and an idea of the height of the heel (flat but not dumpy feeling) and the height of the boot too.

This is the tan version of the Abella boot, taken from the Seven Boot Lane lookbook.
I love the Annie in charcoal leather (£175) which also come in khaki suede. They have that fantastic slightly beaten up look which works so well with jeans and a leather jacket, with tea dresses and thick tights, or with a short dress and tanned legs for a festival in the summer.  
The Alice charcoal suede (£150), which also come in sand suede are a great every day boot and are so versatile. A lovely alternative to leather, they add some texture to an outfit.
This photograph is taken from the Boots on Tour section on the Seven Boot Lane site, where people can post photos of themselves wearing their Seven Boot Lane boots, getting a chance to win a pair in the process.
The Angelica  charcoal boots (£175) offer a lace up work boot that can be worn up or down. They're a brilliant way of tapping into the grunge look, which is such a big look for the season.
See the Angelica's on tour! 
The Alabama in chestnut (£160) also come in black and there are biker boots, knee high boots and brogues too. There are so many lovely boots on the site that it's hard to choose a favourite.
For anyone tempted with a lovely pair of boots from Seven Boot Lane, there's a 10% discount for Style Guile readers, available with this special voucher below.
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A school run outfit of Nike, Boden, Gap and All Saints to help with sore toes!

You may remember that I mentioned that I had somehow inadvertently ended up training for the Birmingham half marathon. Well last night saw us run 14 miles in preparation for it - just to be on the safe side. The reason that I tell you this is because it directly impacted on today's outfit.
My purple Nike trainers were the softest thing to wear against my slightly sore toes for the walk to school this morning. Feeling the need for warmth, comfort and the clothing equivalent of a hot stew, I also wore my Boden cashmere striped jumper together with skinny jeans and an All Saints mac. The thought of a clutch also appealed more than a handbag, so I used my snake print Marc Jacobs neon clutch instead. I have to admit that I am coming perilously close to buying a onesie to wear after the event (but don't tell anyone).  

Having done only a few long distance runs, I can't pretend to be an authority on them but through trial and error, and taking on board what others have said, I have found a few things that help in preparation. So for anyone interested, here goes:
  • An hour's nap in the afternoon is a good plan (sneaky I know but I did our last 13 mile run after a six hour shopping day and that was really, really, hard);
  • Carb loading on fresh white home baked rolls and butter an hour and half before running seems to work and it is also slightly indulgent;
  • Jelly babies are good to nibble after about 10 miles and are a good distraction (but they make you really thirsty and your teeth feel horrible);
  • Chatting on and off makes the time go much quicker (we tried to convince ourselves that we were in our local pub, which worked to an extent but certain things were missing ie alcohol);
  • The Endomondo app is good for providing information of your speed for each km run, which oddly acts as a good motivator. It also enables you to see your speed as you are running. Naturally we concluded that it wasn't entirely accurate and that the signal failed somewhere along our tree dense route so that we were, in fact, actually faster than it gave us credit for;
  • Running in trainers which don't have holes in the bottom of them is probably a good idea (well, how often are you meant to check the bottom of your trainers) and good running socks are worth their weight in gold.
If anyone else would like to share their tips I would love to hear them. Anything and everything is welcome! I would particularly like to know how to convince yourself that you are running at night time (which I much prefer) even though you are running in the morning. I'm thinking about wearing sunglasses but I'm not sure that it will work.

Friday, 27 September 2013

I'll stop wittering on about Whistles soon but first just let me show you this scarf....

Remember the Whistles terrazzo print scarf that I showed you yesterday? Well here I wore it for my final shopping day of the week. Whistles does some great prints each season and a scarf is a nice way to tap into those prints without having to spend a huge amount of money, whilst at the same time updating your wardrobe.

Often Whistles will do a shirt/top/skirt/dress and sometimes trousers in a print - so in a way the scarf is at the bottom of the food chain but that's fine with me. I'm not averse to scurrying around on the metaphorical sea bed of a brand! But it's hardly a hardship - I love scarves for the way that they can pull an outfit together in an instant.

I wore the scarf with a pale green cashmere All Saints jumper which I bought from an outlet store over the summer (which has now closed, boo!) navy Cos trousers, Zara boots and a Marc Jacobs bag. My husband bought the handbag for me as a present for our 10 year wedding anniversary which was nearly 4 years ago now. Now there's a thought - do you reckon 15 years deserves another handbag? I have nearly a year to plan. Heavens knows what he deserves....

Later on in the day I swapped the cashmere jumper for a pale pink Zara knit and the trousers for khaki green Next coated jeans - for a cooler (in the temperature sense) and slightly more relaxed look. Then I got into the school run, cooking dinner and doing the washing though so no snap of that outfit. Sorry!

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The last hurrah of the summer maybe? A Cos skirt, bare legs and nude sandals.

Submitting to opaque tights means that winter is on its way. My steadfast refusal to wear them whilst there is any chance of a warm day means that for the last few weeks I have been wearing a lot of trousers. However, with the unusually warm weather today, I wore a skirt with bare legs - quite possibly for the last time of the year.
My favourite high waisted Cos A-line skirt is useful all year round. The length is good for me with, our without, tights - and that's quite a rare skirt length to find. With nude shoes, a cream leather jacket and a Zara print blouse with gold skull buttons (subtle to the point that I didn't realise the buttons were skulls until after I had got it home) I was good for my day in the shops.
Skirts are finally taking centre stage this winter. After many seasons without a great choice of skirts in the shops, they are at last featuring more in the collections. Keep you eyes open for a post about the options available!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Mum on the Run day 30 - Pinky but not so perky

I knew that today had the potential to be tricky.  After too many late nights I am tired (and it shows!) I had a meeting first thing and although I didn't need to be overly smart as it was a work meeting I wanted to make an effort.

I hadn't planned what I was going to wear but as I fell asleep last night I had the words in my head "keep it simple".  So I did - navy trousers, navy long sleeved top layered under my navy v neck bat wing jumper.  Can't get much simpler than that! Then I stuck on a long necklace, a bright coat and added my heeled ankle boots and Marc Jacobs bag - which I ought to swap but I love it and anyway I didn't have time!

Now that I am home for the afternoon with our youngest I have swapped the trousers and boots for jeans and converse and the necklace has long gone.

Outfit: Trouser and long sleeved top Cos, Jumper White Stuff, Boots Oasis, Necklace Jigsaw, Coat Benetton, Bag Marc Jacobs

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Mum on the Run day 29 - Not quite monochrome

This started off as a monochrome outfit but didn't end up that way, due to the addition of the bright shoes and teal scarf.  What can I say?  I like a bit of colour here and there.

Today was an unusual day for me as I had some time at home.  I did a quick gym trip, which was followed by a visit to Vintage Beauty to get my nails shaped and polished.  The lovely Kally did it for £5 and it was definitely one of the best £5 that I have ever spent.  You can find her at So, I now have nice bright pink nails for my meeting tomorrow and my Style Party on Saturday night. 

After doing some jobs at home (ie sorting out the rat man to come and sort out our rats - what a glamourous life I lead) Caroline from Caroline's Cake Company then visited for a cuppa.  If you need a special cake, she is the lady for the job.

This evening I am off to see our eldest in a dance production at school.  With lots of dashing around and four children for dinner tonight, I knew that I wouldn't have time to change .

So, has this outfit done the job for me today?  I reckon so - although I wasn't really demanding that much of it other than being warm, comfortable, casual enough for the day and smart enough to go out this evening - OK, may be I was being quite demanding!

The dress is comfortable and layering a long vest underneath stopped it from being too sheer.  The addition of a black cardi kept me warm whilst the scarf just injected a bit of colour next to my face.  I always like wearing my Reiss biker jacket - it just stops things from being too twee.  It's not my favourite but it was OK.

Outfit: Dress Coast, Cardigan Hobbs, Jacket Reiss, Shoes Kurt Geiger, Bag Marc Jacobs, Scarf Cos

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Mum on the Run day 27 - A wrap dress and ballet flats

Today I was shopping for the second of my Style Parties that I have coming up and in case you didn't know, there are some great sales out there at the moment. 

I decided to give my Gap wrap dress an outing and I jazzed it up a bit with a statement necklace, which I then "unjazzed" a bit with a scarf.  I added patent ballet flats, my leather jacket and my favourite Marc Jacobs bag (which has now dried out from its bath in Diet Coke - what a crime!)  I'm not too good with flats but the proportions of the dress, in terms of it being fairly fitted but with a bit of "swing" in the skirt, meant that I felt OK.  Even more importantly I was comfortable and warm - two things which, as you may have gathered by now, are really important to me!

My shopping trip was followed by a run and a cuppa with a friend before embarking on the various school runs and trips to tennis etc.  All in all not a bad day!

Outfit: Dress Gap, Jacket Oasis, Bag Marc Jacobs, Shoes Clarks, Necklace TopShop