Showing posts with label cocobay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocobay. Show all posts

Monday, 22 January 2018

What to wear when running? It's the eternal question!

One of the subjects that I'm most frequently asked about is running: what to wear, what to eat and how to get out there and do it in the first place!

Well luckily, the issue of how to get out there in the first place (and hopefully quite a few other things besides) is addressed in this post here which I wrote back in October. I've written several running posts over the years, which you can also read here and here (there may be a little overlap. Sorry!)

But as to what to wear? Well that seems to be something that causes much discussion if not a little distress. So I'm going to identify some of the things that you might want to think about and then have a chat about them. Oooh but first, I should just say that I'm not able to include images from GAP and M&S for some reason. I've tried for hours but I'm just going to have to get on and post, or else abandon the whole thing!

So here goes....
  1. Layers
  2. Underwear 
  3. Socks 
  4. Leggings
  5. Tops  
  6. Jackets
  7. Hat and gloves

Layers are, if you like, the holy grail of getting it bang on temperature wise. Layers of fairly well fitting pieces made from sporting fabrics that are of similar thickness and which can be taken off and on again as needed, are essential. Anything heavy, such as a sweatshirt (non breathable) or with feathers in it such as a puffa (too hot) will leave you feeling uncomfortable and heading for home before you've finished your first km.

And the point of the layers being fitted as opposed to baggy is that they will fit underneath each other without getting ruched up and becoming uncomfortable.  

Even on the coldest of days, such as today when it was snowing, I'm only in 3 layers - and I'm an utter wimp. I always wear a fitted no sleeved vest as a basic. Then when it gets colder I'll add a long sleeved top and from about mid October onwards, a jacket. The only thing that changes during the winter is the weight of my jacket. I have one heavier one that I wear when it's really cold and rest of the time (if a jacket is needed at all) it's a lighter weight one.  And apart from your first layer of a vest top, in my humble opinion, all of them should have long sleeves so that they can be tied around your waist.


Irrespective of your bust size, I would absolutely say that a sports bra or cropped sports top is necessary. They are made for comfort and offer the best support possible. They can be padded or not, underwired or not. They can have racer backs, wide straps, narrow straps - anything that you like really but I would say that the right underwear is key. We've all seen those women running in the wrong bras and I'm not sure that any of us wants to go there.

Personally I love the M&S ones but I think that I'm inherently lazy and I just can't be bothered to try other brands. Plus I guess if they work, there's no need to look anywhere else. They have great prints, colours and styles, all of which you can take a look at here

There are special pants that you can buy to run in but I've never ventured into those. My everyday pants have always served me just fine but if they're your thing by all means give them a try (and let me know what you think.)


This sounds dramatic but the thought of running in "normal" socks fills me with horror. I don't know why - maybe it's a security thing. I like nice, soft, well padded, sports socks. Some of the best are, for my money, in Primark. I like them cut quite low too - they're just more flattering around the ankles, especially if you're wearing capri leggings. 


Oooh now there's a subject with legs. Capri or full length? Low rise or high rise? Fabric composition? Thermal or not and how about compression? 

I would say that I've probably tried most of them and my favourites are high rise capris. Full length thermal tights are great for when it's really cold and compression tights do feel lovely on a very long run but both of those are pricey. So on the whole, if you're just starting out and don't plan on over investing in them, capris seem to do the trick 90% of the time.

Some of my favourite capris are the high rise sculp capris from GAP (£62.95)  I have to say that I've never paid anywhere near anything like that for a pair of Gap capris. Usually I pay no more than £25 in the sale or with a 40% friends and family discount. But see the high rise and the wide waistband? That's what I really like about them.

Or for a legging, there's the high rise Winterbrush print leggings from GAP (£59.95).

There's even a 7/8th legging which is longer than a capri but shorter than a full length legging. There's so much choice, so I've linked to them all here

I've also had great leggings from Victoria's Secret as well as these Body Glove Active Wear leggings (£69.99) that were gifted to me by Cocobay this time last year. 

Oh and on a really, really cold day, full length tights with shorts over the top can stop you from getting a chilly bum on a long run. 


I've already mentioned vest tops. This is the kind of fitted vest top that I like but it all comes down to personal preference. If it's a really hot day I might wear a slightly looser vest as I won't be putting another layer over the top. Otherwise it's fitted all the way. 

H&M sports vest top (£8.99)

This top is fab. It comes in 8 colours and whilst they're not necessarily very "shouty" that's fine if you don't want to stand out too much. If you do, then there are brighter ones at H&M or Primark again is good for running vests. 

As to long sleeved tops, again I prefer them to be fitted but it's all a question of taste and what works for you. I also like them to have a thumb hole in them so that I can cover my hands on colder days. 

Seamless sports top H&M (£17.99)

This is a great top in four different colours. I love that there are bright printed pieces out there at places like Sweaty Betty and Lululemon but I think that it can be too easy to get sucked into the mindset of thinking that it all has to look super cool. If you're trying to impress in a central London yoga class then maybe - if you're running along the canals in the urban hinterland of Birmingham - not so much! 


This is my absolute favourite lighterweight jacket. It's the Seafolly Flower Festival windbreaker jacket from Cocobay and it's now in the sale, reduced from £82 to £49.20.

The best thing about this jacket is that it's cropped, so it offers all of the warmth that I need over my arms and upper torso but there's not too much flapping around, should I need to take it off and tie it around my waist. I love the print too and the fact that I can put my keys in my pocket. 

Hat and gloves and bits and bobs

Hats can be a real love, or a real hate item. One of my friends goes a bit woozy if ever she wears a hat, however cold it is. Others get earache - in which case a hat can be essential. A head band (not Bjorn Borg style I hasten to add) can be a great idea and if you've got long hair and they can also look fab. 

One of my favourite places for those extra bits and bobs is Sports Direct. They have all manner of things from the obvious hats and gloves, to reflective strips, head torches, and armbands for your phone. I've gone through many armbands over the years and this neoprene Karrimor X-lite reflect armband, which comes in four colours, is my favourite by far. 

Karrimor armband (£8.75 instead of £19.99)

It's great because first, it doesn't come undone, secondly there's room for a key and some money in it and thirdly, unlike the plastic ones, it doesn't chaff if it's against bare skin in the summer.

And I still think that this is a great place to start if you want to know the ins and outs about running. I get it out every time I'm about to run a race, returning to my favourite pages for the hints and tips. 

I hope that this post helps but if you have any questions or queries, you know where to find me! 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A stylish (and supportive!) swimsuit from Cocobay - plus a 15% discount

Seafolly Castaway Stripe Bandeau Maillot Swimsuit (£118)

For some people, floating about in a swimming pool with cool cans of coke being brought to them by an inflatable flamingo is a regular occurrence. For me, less so. But for this post I can at least pretend can't I? 

Can I also pretend that I wear a sunhat and sunglasses in the pool too? Because of course it's not likely that some little (or large) monkey is going to come along and tip me off now is it?

But enough of that. What I really need to talk to you about is this fabulous swimsuit that I referred to in an earlier post. Without a shadow of a doubt some women would rather wear a swimsuit, preferring the coverage and support that it offers over the tummy area.   

There are a number of reasons that I love this swimsuit. First, I love the look of it and that's the most important thing because if it doesn't look great, it's not going to get any further with me. It makes an impact but in a subtle way. The stripes are cleverly designed in such a way that they flatter and narrow the torso, cutting into it, rather than widening it as full width horizontal stripes tend to do. This indigo - or navy - colour is also one of my favourite colours that there is. So that goes in its favour too.  

Secondly, the fabric is really supportive so everything feels well contained and you don't feel in the least exposed. It does take a little bit of a wriggle to get it on but that's testament to how supportive it is once on. Once in place, it doesn't move an inch - and neither does anything that's inside it. I loved wearing this swimsuit. I'm generally more of a bikini girl but this sort of felt like an "outfit" and if I was staying at a resort where there were lots of people, or if I was away with a group of friends, I would definitely feel more "dressed" even though I was in swimwear.  

In terms of detailing, the cups have a hidden underwire and they are moulded, plus they have gripper tape so that everything stays firmly in place.  The swimming costume also comes with a detachable halter neck strap. To me it also felt a little bit like a glamourous swimsuit from the 1950s that had been brought up to date. 

There's also a clasp across the strap at the back of the swimming costume too. 

At £118 this is definitely an investment piece but Seafolly are not just about a tag. This swimsuit really does have something to offer, namely longevity, style and a great fit. I've worked as a stylist for many years now and there are some things, that for some women, it is worth them investing more in - whether it's because of the fit, or because it does a particularly good job, or because of the way that it makes them feel. I am definitely a high street girl at heart but having been lucky enough to wear bikinis and swimsuits from Cocobay for three years now, I absolutely understand what they are about. My advice would be that if you think that this may be the holy grail of swimsuits - the one that you've been searching for and which so far has eluded you - try it just to see how you get on. 

The Seafolly swimsuit from Cocobay also comes in a white/black combination for those who prefer a different look.

The lovely people at Cocobay have set up a 15% discount code which is valid until the of September, just enter BETH1517 at the checkout. Happy shopping! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Toasty whilst running in the snow, thanks to Cocobay

We awoke on Saturday morning to a sprinkling of snow, which I really love running in. It was so pretty out, although it didn't last long and by the time that we got home, the snow had nearly disappeared.

I was so toasty and comfortable in what I was wearing, thanks in part to these bodyglove leggings from Cocobay which are totally brilliant in this weather. They are made from moisture wicking fabric and one of the great things about them is that they kept me at a constant (warm) temperature for the entire run - and have done so on previous long runs too.

Somehow these leggings look so more exotic in the sun!

One of the other things that I love about them, is the waistband. When I first tried them I wondered whether they were a bit snug around the waist but in fact they're not. After a minute or two I'm totally unaware of the waistband, which is wide and fitted and it doesn't shift, not even a millimetre, on a really long run. So whereas before I was stopping and hoiking (I'm not sure if that's a proper word - but you know what I mean) my leggings up every few miles, there's no shifting with these whatsoever. And I know that they must be good because now when a long run is suggested, these pop into my mind as being the leggings that must be washed and ready for action.

I'm also wearing the Seafolly Flower Festival Windbreaker hoodie, also from Cocobay. I really love the print and styling of this jacket and the hood offered perfect protection from the elements without making my head over heat, which hats can do. There are toggles on the hood so that it can be pulled tight enough so that it doesn't fall off. It really is a most attractive look from the front!!! When the warmer weather comes I will be able to lose my heavier jacket but for now at least, I like to layer them up together.

I shall be interested to see how the leggings feel in the warmer months and whether they adjust to the heat. They will definitely be coming skiing with me next week as I think that they will be great under salopettes....that is if I get as far as the slopes. But if not, they will be great for running in (if the conditions permit) or for HIIT training (am I allowed to say whilst watching Joe Wicks without his top on - which is actually quite a pleasant sight)?!

Oh and don't forget that you can get 15% off Cocobay's new range of Activewear with the code BETHACTIVE

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Coco Bay Beach Dress

Coco Bay embroidered maxi dress

I think that one of the lovely things about being properly "grown up" is having a few nice beach dresses to go over your swimwear. For me it was one of those things that arrived in my wardrobe later on in life (like about three years ago) along with decent swimwear, properly fitting bras and nice pjs, rather than an old t-shirt. These are the sort of thing that as a student you wouldn't think twice about but which now take on a much greater significance.  

This black and white embroidered maxi dress was kindly sent to me by Coco Bay to wear whilst on holiday. I wasn't sure whether the weather would warrant a beach cover up - other than a tent and a wind break - but we've been lucky and with the sun shining, I've had the chance to wear it.

This dress actually feels very glamourous for a day time dress, quite possibly because of its bandeau top, full length and because it is black - but it doesn't feel too OTT.  It could also quite easily be worn in the evening as well as the day with the addition of accessories. What I really like though is the fit of the dress. The gathered waist gives a little definition without being tight and it has a lovely column shape about it which is flattering without being restrictive, either in terms of movement or what you can eat when wearing it - which is always a bonus on holiday. I love the embroidery on the back too, which is so pretty and the cotton that it's made of is light and soft.

For anyone contemplating a last minute holiday or a winter cruise, I can definitely recommend this dress. I really love it and would have no hesitation in making it work really hard as part of a warm holiday wardrobe.

For anyone tempted, remember to quote BETH20 at the checkout for a 20% discount. The team at Coco Bay really do know the ins and outs of all of their stock and give a really personal service, so for swimwear or beachwear queries just give them a call. (I know that sounds like something from an advert but it really is true. And as I've said before, I hate swimwear shopping so I'm very happy to describe my requirements and for the team there to tell me what will work best for me!)