Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mum on the Run - A couple of holiday outfits and does anyone fancy stepping outside our comfort zones for a minute? Anyone for sheer?

This post wasn't really meant to have turned out how it has but isn't that often the way with things?
What I wanted to do was to link to a top that I bought from Zara last week. The Manager was walking around the store with it in her hand and, having asked for a closer look, I promptly snapped it up, closely followed by someone else who took a look at the one I was holding. Suffice to say I can't find the flippin' thing on the site and with mine languishing at home right now, I can't snap it and post a picture.
However it got me thinking two things really. One, how often it is that I feature Zara (today being no exception). Sometimes I fear that it's a little too often but on the other hand for some things it just can't be beaten and it wouldn't feel right not to show great examples of things just because they're from Zara (again).
Personally I won't go near their trousers after having had two pairs rip on me. Fortunately the first time it happened I was in the car park of the Bullring, where I was doing a contortion act at getting a car seat strapped into a car. I nipped into Zara and they whizzed me into the changing rooms and gave me a new pair without question - so all was good but it could have been much worse. However for their prints, bright colours, blazers, shoes, bags, scarves and jewellery, they are hard to beat, especially if you choose judiciously.
The second thing that I was thinking was that it's always good to try something just a little outside of our comfort zone when it comes to clothes - even if it turns out to be a complete disaster, which chances are it won't. A few tweaks  can make all the difference to a simple wardrobe and really that's what it's all about - just adding a few bits here and there to keep everything fresh and up to date.
Anything that can be put with jeans to start off with (which are generally well within our comfort zone) is a good place to start. Whether it's a bright shirt, a printed blazer or a very OTM top, pairing it with something that we feel happy in is less likely to make us leave it hanging in the wardrobe, or feeling uncomfortable and waiting for that moment that we can dash in the door and whip it off.
Whilst I couldn't find the exact top, these are similar in style and two of them have sheer panels - which for lots of us could be just that little step away from what we would usually wear. Sheer is a big trend for the season and a few months ago I showed a white skirt from Topshop which had a sheer panel running around it just above the hem. Because the skirt was midi in length, the sheer panel wasn't too revealing. Always a bonus!
This Zara sheer studio top (£39.99) has its sheer panel in a place which, whilst challenging for some, may not be for others. Not all of us have had babies, not all of us have wrinkly tummies and for those who do, the wrinkles may be further down than this! Some are blessed with absolutely fabulous abs, others work hard for them and some have them on a good day - so this could be a way of showing that part of you which normally remains hidden but which could be on show, in a subtle way. (We can still wear jeans to hide the varicose veins and closed shoes to hide the bunions!)
This Zara layered top with seam at front (£25.99) is similar to the one that I have as it has a round neck and no sleeves but mine is slightly more futuristic looking - selling it well aren't I?! I like the layered look to this top. It's simple but works well.
And for those who wouldn't ever contemplate a sheer panel any further south than their upper chest, this Zara top with sheer stripe (£29.99) could be a good option. It's in the lovely colour that I wrote about last week and would work really well with lots of trousers including navy, white, black and denim. It's a shame that the model looks less than enamoured with life but then I might if I too had to try on about 300 outfits in one day.
Just a couple of really inspiring (!) outfits from our holiday....
Oooh, so that would be jeans, a denim shirt and a Warehouse sequin jumper then...

....and this would be jeans, another sparkly top, a cream knitted jacket, Mango scarf and Zara boots. It all worked OK for our various trips to ice cream parlours, the beach, out for lunch and all manner of other daft things we have been up to though and look at that, the sun! Incredible!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mum on the Run - An easy, breezy dress for every day. A real "snatch and grab" kind of outfit.

Oh boy, do we know how to have fun on holiday?! At 9am I found myself at the launderette in Bangor and that's also where I'll be at 9am tomorrow. Having listened to an article on Radio 4 a few weeks ago about how Launderette's are the hub of a community, I was quite excited about the prospect of getting our loose covers washed - and I wasn't disappointed.  And then - wait for the excitement - I spent a good half hour washing down a pushchair which we had stored in the shed and which had got mildew on it. (I say "we" had stored it but that's not strictly true - someone else in the family had stored it there but it would be unfair to let him take sole responsibility for the mildew situation). In fairness the whole washing down business was quite enjoyable. I liked wearing my wellies again and there's nothing like a bowl of hot soapy water and a pair of rubber gloves to make you feel as though you are achieving something (on holiday. Sad?!)
Sometimes all that we need is an easy breezy dress for a summer's day. This dress is easy in the sense that it is machine washable, has a good length to it so that you can bend over and not flash your pants, is made of a fabric that's not going to snag, catch or stain, is in a really flattering style and the print design (dark background, brighter print) works wonders for smoothing lumps and bumps. It's also good because it wouldn't need to be the height of summer to wear it, which is fortunate given what we're dealing with at the moment, which for us is rain, wind, low temperatures and the odd earthquake, just for good measure.

The dress is from French Connection and whilst I can't see it on the site at the moment, they are still available in store. They used to do this style in lots of prints and colours - no doubt many of you will own one - but it only comes in this one this season. Here it is sitting alongside Topshop clog sandals (£45) and a Zara bag (£39.99) but you could mix it up a little by working in some cream, navy, green - or whatever you fancy really.

It's a snatch and grab type of outfit. It's not overly trendy, not too try hard, just a pretty, flattering dress for everyday - something that all of us need from time to time.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Mum on the Run - Lovable rogues: pieces I have tried, spied and recommend from the High Street

When I am out and about on my travels around the shops there are lots of things that, for one reason or another, catch my eye. It may be that I haven't seen something like it for a while, that I can imagine it working hard for someone, that it would do a good job from a style perspective, or a trend perspective, or just because I like it.

So, here are some lovable rogues that I have spotted recently....

There's a definite move away from platform shoes, towards single sole shoes and these Topshop pointed shoes (£58) are simple and elegant. Many, if not all, are a suede finish and they come in a variety of colours both bright and more muted. Fabulous for giving a LBD a new lease of life, or for wearing to a wedding or just with jeans and a blazer, they look the part but won't break the bank.

I have written about the Whistles Bella dress (£140) previously. It's a staple style at Whistles and comes in several colours/prints each season. It's just one of those dresses that could take you anywhere from an interview, out to dinner, to a party, to a wedding. It's a fail safe, safety blanket kind of dress, but in a good way.
I have seen this dress on lots of different body shapes and it is incredibly flattering. However, I would just like to make a tiny appeal to Jane Shepherdson, the CEO of Whistles, (because obviously she reads this on a daily basis) could you just add another inch or so to the length please? When a style is this successful, I think it must be worth doing it in a couple of lengths. For me it's just that weeny bit too short but if it had an extra inch to its length I'd be there like a shot, as I'm sure many others would be. With a pair of the shoes above, it would be a cracking outfit.
Each time I see this Oasis bracelet (£14) it just makes me smile. I just love the combination of colours and it also comes in a necklace. In fact this too would work with the dress/shoe outfit above.
Now, it wasn't until last summer (did we really have one?) that I dipped my toe into the water of taupe/pale grey boots. They cost £30 and in were in the Zara sale. Being suede and having had a hard winter, they are starting to look a little worse for wear and whilst I wouldn't part with them, for me they are something that I can't imagine living with out. Well I can of course - that sounds far too dramatic - but I'd rather not.
Having appreciated their value to me, I would be prepared to invest a little more in a pair and I really like the All Saints Jonas boots (£175) which are particularly appealing because we have an All Saints outlet shop nearby and if they're anything like my other All Saints boots which I saw in there for £50 last week, yes £50, they too will make an appearance at some point. I'm happy to wait, however long it takes. I know that they're an imitation of the Acne Pistol boot, which has been superseded by the Acne Star, which will no doubt be superseded by something else before long - but I'm not fussed about that particular fickle feature of fashion.
I first saw this White Stuff parka (£69.95) in Guernsey when I was there in March. I liked it then and I still like it now. Spring coats are few and far between and looking out of the window at the black skies now, I could really do with this. Fat Face also has a lovely navy waxed parka which is worth looking at.
I love Lily and Lionel scarves and I have included it as it's a "dreamy" kind of purchase for me. This scarf is the Lana scarf (black, £100). Lily and Lionel scarves are like works of art, some of them are scenes and landscapes which are beautiful when tied. This scarf would be great for pepping up a predominantly black wardrobe.
The Zara printed cropped blazer (£69.99) is a beauty for anyone on the petite side. I saw it on a lady last week who was under 5ft tall and it looked fabulous. The proportions were just right for her. It was neat, fitted her silhouette and both the blazer and arm length were perfect.
In wearing a top and trousers in the same colour, with this blazer over the top, it would have a real leg lengthening effect as it creates the illusion that your legs start where the jacket length finishes. Now I don't mind where people's legs start or finish but lots of ladies ask me how they can make their legs look longer and this is one such way.  
On the other hand, for ladies who find it hard to find jeans to accommodate their long legs, the Ella dark denim jeans long (£29, save £50) could be perfect. I have also included a link to the Ella sale where there are some great finds - a leather skirt, a couple of winter coats, silk shirts and a leather jacket too.
And finally, for those ladies like a straight jean in preference to any other style, Jigsaw have an Indigo straight leg jean (£75). I have cast my eye over them and in addition to them being a nice Indigo colour, they have a good rise on them - so there's no danger of you going way one and your jeans the other when you bend down. Straight jeans can be hard to come by so I thought that they were worth including for that reason.
We were relatively lucky with the weather today, with the rain holding off until the evening. It wasn't warm but it wasn't cold so there's no complaining from these quarters. Although I have to say, whoever was responsible for packing my clothes wants shooting. Oh, that would be me then. I kept looking at my sparse offerings today and wondering what had happened. Did I leave a pile of clothes at home? Did I put them in someone else's drawers?  I kept on looking through the drawers in the hope that some would magically appear in a drawer that I had previously looked in but sadly no, so I will have to soldier bravely on. I must have been suffering from sun stroke when packing on Sunday night.
So today we were crabbing from the Pier in Beaumaris (and just in case anyone thinks what a perfect Mum I am, I must say that I was actually sitting on a bench reading Grazia whilst my husband dealt with the stinky bait and our son got nipped by a crab, to the extent that his finger bled.)

Given that we weren't sure what we were doing today, I just went with the wellie option on the basis that they would work on the beach, in the town, on the pier and....

...when playing crazy golf. Why of course?! Just for the record, I did participate in this activity but tried to distance myself from our eldest when she hit the golf ball with the force of a hockey stick and nearly took out the whole play area.

I had two people ask me where I got my scarf from and one chap say to me "Bloody hell, your willies (oops, that should say wellies) make my eyes boggle." To which I said "Just imagine how they'd look after a few pints then." So that was a short, and very sweet, conversation.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Mum on the Run - When is a cardi not a cardi?

Sometimes only a cardi will do. Something which is open fronted so as to show a flash of the top being worn underneath - but sometimes a traditional cardi just doesn't feel right. Slightly dated, too work like, something like my grandma once wore, something I have owned for ages. Time for a change I think....

Don't get me wrong, over the years I have had many cardis in my wardrobe. For a while I loved the silk ones that Jigsaw did and I had them in a whole host of colours. Then boyfriend cardis became the rage, and Zara did/does brilliant ones for about £20. Boden is fantastic for cropped cardis, either cashmere or otherwise and also for crew neck and V-neck ones in a whole host of colours.  I also had a couple of ballet wrap ones from Fat Face and although I hadn't seen any for a while, Jigsaw has a cashmere ballet wrap in three colours.  Hobbs and Monsoon are great for boleros and Pure is one of the best for cashmere but sometimes these types of cardis just won't cut the mustard.

So, what are the alternatives and when is a cardi not a cardi? (Yes, I know I'm winging it on some of them so is it OK if we just focus on the "alternative" part of the question posed above, as opposed to the "when is a cardi not a cardi" part?)

...When it comes in the shape of a biker jacket. Open or done up, this one from Mint Velvet (£89) is a slightly more edgy alternative to a crew neck, button up to the neck, pastel option.

....When it's a swing cardigan. This Mint Velvet lace cardigan (£59) has a slightly boxy style and it would look lovely with just the top fastening done up. Worn over wider jeans and wedges, it would give a real 1970's feel.

....When it comes in a soft blazer style, such as this woven slouchy front jacket from Jigsaw (£69).

....When it's a Chanel inspired tweed knit, such as this one from Jigsaw (£198)

...When it's floral. OK, so this one is pushing the boundaries as it clearly is a cardigan but it's a very pretty one at that and would make a nice change from a plain one. Warehouse printed cardigan (£38)

...When it's made of a "non-cardi" style fabric, such as this lurex linen cardigan from Mango (£29.99), which also comes in a neutral colour and has elbow patches on it. There's also a lurex one at Reiss (£89) and a sparkly one at Jigsaw (£89)

....When it's less formal than a cardi type cardi, such as this All Saints sago pirate cardigan (£98) which is a fixed wrap style with a draped collar in a typical All Saints colour palette ie neutral.

...When it's just too cool to be a cardi, despite being called one! French Connection palm knitted cardigan (£75). I love this shade of blue and the seam details and different lengths make it that little bit special.

As I mentioned yesterday when blogging in the blazing heat, today we came to Wales where it is very un-hot (I know that's not a word but it describes the situation well) and where it is very un-dry (ditto). The journey was good, with everyone going in the opposite direction to us because clearly they knew something which we did not - namely that it was un-hot and un-dry. But anyway, as I sit here blogging with the fire lit, all is well with the world and tomorrow should be better. I think....

I think that these shoes remained on for all of 30 seconds after arriving, before being replaced by boots. I'm also wearing Cos grey skinny jeans (love the fact that they come in in-between sizes) and a cowl neck jumper from All Saints with a neon t-shirt underneath. I'm confident that tomorrow will see me out in my bikini!!!!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Mum on the Run - An outfit to dress up with Zara silver shoes and a blouse, or down with a T and sparkly smoking slippers....

I like the idea of a versatile wardrobe. Pieces that work together and which can be dressed up or down, layered over or under other things and to which accessories can be added to give them a completely different look.
I used this outfit a recent event. Navy slim fitting GAP trousers are used as the basis, to which I added a sheer shirt with a pussy bow, silver shoes and a coral and silver bag to tie it all together for an evening out.

The fold over clutch was from H&M (£12.99) (although the coral/neon one doesn't seem to be on the web - just apricot or black). It also has a chain strap with it.

The French Connection blouse (£59) is lovely. It's sheer, so a cami needs to be worn underneath it and it's a really pretty colour. The pussy bow can be done up or left loose for those who prefer to do so. What I really like about it is that the hem scoops up at the sides, which is much more flattering than an even hemline, particularly if it is being worn outside of trousers. It avoids a blunt horizontal line across the hips, which can be a tricky look to pull off.

These Zara shoes (link below) are a great heel height and perfect for anyone who would rather keep their toes covered. They are flying out of the stores but are still available online. At £29.99 they are a great price and offer a nod to the futuristic trend without being too Star Trek like, or too scary!

As an alternative look, the same trousers can be dressed down with this blue dragon fly scarf from Zara (£17.99), these suede smoking slipper from Dune (£75) and a coral Zara draped top which is a really easy top to wear. It has a little weight at the front which goes inside and which is a great touch to ensure that the neckline sits properly. The ruching over the tummy is also a nice touch.

Some may argue that sparkly slippers aren't really dress down at all but you know me and sparkles. Equally they could be swapped for brogues, trainers, converse, ballet pumps or flat sandals for an easy, run around, look.
Here's a closer look at the Zara silver shoes (£29.99). Lovely for a wedding or christening where you may be on your feet a lot, or (predictably) with jeans too.
I really hope that everyone is enjoying the sun. We are off to Wales tomorrow. I can't quite believe the pile of jumpers and warm coats waiting to be packed, especially given what we have all be wearing today but I think that we may need them given the forecast.  I'm hoping to be able to post from Wales, especially as I spent 40 minutes last night sorting out my dongle, but we'll have to see on that one...


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mum on the Run - Trialling a good alternative to skinny jeans, thanks to GAP geometric trousers.

For any Geographer's out there - this one's for you! These trousers are the perfect representation of Christaller's theory. I remember learning about Christaller's theory for Geography A-level. My lecturer was unable to draw the hexagonal pattern and so for the class leaving present we had a wooden hexagon made for him to use as a template on the board - and his dodgy hexagons were no more.
With the light being so bright today, it's not that easy to see the pattern of the trousers on the photograph but you can do so better below. These trousers are from GAP and come in a couple of other colourways. I really like the fact that they are fitted without being skinny which means that they are better on a hot day than skinny jeans. They also have enough room to accommodate calves and thighs, which lots of narrower trousers don't.  As they don't have pockets there's none of that sticky out business going on. The material is thick enough both to offer support and to avoid any issues of VPL, all of which are good by me. Predictably for GAP their sizes are generous. The ones I am wearing are a size 8 and although I could have got away with the size 6 on a good day, I prefer to trade a smaller size for some extra room and more ice cream. 
I don't know if you have noticed but a lot of the jumpers this season are shorter and looser than in previous seasons. Whilst arguably the silhouette is not as flattering on my frame as something more fitted, sometimes I prefer a more relaxed look and provided the bottom half is fitted, the proportions work OK. Heels would also change the proportions but today Dune brogues were the best option for what I was up to with the family.

Here are some other combinations that would work well with these trousers and jumper, which is also from GAP but which I can't seem able to find online, despite buying it only yesterday.

These blue Zara heels look great with the outfit, as do these blue trainers which were from Schuh.  The trousers could go a bit "dress up/dress down" depending on your mood and what you were up to and are a good nod to the geometric trend, without breaking the bank. I know that GAP goes in phases but this season I think that it has some great pieces and both the quality and price are good. Of course if all blue isn't your thing, you could throw in a neutral coloured top and a shoe in a contrasting brighter colour. Either gold or silver would work well with these too for a night out. Look out for some silver shoes tomorrow!

I really hope that you are all having a great bank holiday weekend. I promise to try and respond to everyone's comments soon. I do love receiving them and I have so many things that I would like to write about but I am just struggling to keep up with everything at the moment. Sorry!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mum on the Run - 3 outfits for progressively colder days - at this rate I'll be in my long johns before long!

Be gone Shane Warne! That's sorted him out. I'm quite impressed that I managed to uninstall a program on my computer. I didn't even know that you could do such a thing but apparently you can, hence his demise.
Today's post is outfit based and shows just a few of the things that I have been wearing this week during the miserably cold and utterly pants weather we've been having. In actual fact that's not strictly true because the first outfit was taken on Sunday when the sun shone (ish). I'm really posting them because my Mum likes to see what I have been up to, rather than because anyone is likely to go "oooh, that outfit is great, I'll give it a whirl".
So this one was made up of a Topshop sparkly top, Gap boyfriend jeans and giraffe print converse. It worked for dashing around at home, especially as there were 9 of us over the weekend.

School run outfit of Gap boyfriend jeans again, French Connection striped jumper, Kew short trench, All Saints shoes and Boden sunglasses - because despite the cold the sun came out in the afternoon. It was the best that I could do given the temperature!

And yesterday I just thought "oh bugger it" time to get the fur back out. It was so cold that I put it on over a Whistles grey jumper with yellow sequins on it, H&M yellow necklace, Mulberry bag, Gap skinnies and Ash wedge trainers.  I had LOTS of shopping to do yesterday so needed to be warm, hands free (hence the cross body bag) and comfortable (hence the wedge trainers).

It would be lovely to bring you some amazing summer clothes (in whatever guise) for a change but it's just not happening - not yet for a while at least. However I will take some photos of outfits that I will be showing at tomorrow's style event which contain lots of print and colour so hopefully that will brighten everyone up a little.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Mum on the Run - A Whistles sparkle knit at a bargain price at Atterley Road and lots of nude shoes!

Recently I had reason to have lots of nude mid height court shoes in my possession, so I thought that I would share them with you. It's amazing how much the colours differ between them all and it becomes even more noticeable so when they are all lined up like this. 
Nude courts aren't for everyone, and the assistant in M&S who I know quite well, certainly made her views known on them when they were being returned! However, there's no denying that they have fantastic leg lengthening properties and they are incredibly versatile too.
From left to right there's the:
Mid heel patent court shoes M&S £15 - worn by many and sworn to be both comfortable and a great fit, not to mention a great price. The trade off obviously is that they're not leather but for some that's ot a trade off at all, in fact it can make them much more attractive.
Stiletto heel platform court shoes Limited Collection M&S £19.50 ditto above I would imagine, although I haven't checked but I want to get this published due to the great bargain below...
Leather almond toe court shoe Autograph M&S £49.50 (blush)
Sabira leather patent leather court shoe LK Bennett (£155 down to £95) in light taupe and they also come in latte.
LK Bennett is also known for its:
Sledge platform court (£195), which is the highest of their nude shoes and has a platform. I have a pair in taupe which I much prefer to the light taupe colour in the Sabira style above;
Shilo shoe (£170) lower than the Sledge and minus the platform;
Sybila leather platform court (£170) lower than the Sledge and with a platform - so a mini sledge really;
Florete point toe leather platform court (£170) lower than the sledge minus a platform but with a pointed toe.
Whilst in House of Fraser today I also came across another brand - whose name escapes me now but I will be back in there tomorrow so will take another look - and they do a great mid height court with a very slight platform. They come in a couple of nude colours, navy and red and cost £95. Although they're not cheap, for anyone who relies on a good mid heel court as a wardrobe staple, these could be a good option and they are less expensive than the LK Bennett ones.
Whilst in the process of acquiring nude courts, I looked to Hobbs but that's as far as it went as they aren't such a good colour this season.
Out of all of them, my favourites were the M&S Autograph ones at £49.50. The slightly pinky tone was really flattering but I remain a fan of the taupe Sledge too, despite the criticism levelled at those who wear them! 
If you're a size 10, tonight could be your night because I'm bringing you a Brucie Bonus! This Nell all over sequin jumper by Whistles is reduced from £110 to £65 at Atterley Road, whilst currently still full price in the stores. I have one and I love it so if you're tempted, I'd nip on over quick before they all go.
 Whistles Nell all over sequin jumper
I was planning on posting some outfits today but for some reason I can't. When I try and add an image to the post, a banner with Shane Warne pops up, advertising some casino or another. I think that bloke is a twonky head at the best of times but now he's really starting to irritate me. It's those perfectly tweezered eye brows and that too smooth complexion. It's just not right, especially for an Aussie cricketer.  Blimey, next we'll be seeing him in a sparkly jumper like the one above. That Elizabeth Hurley has a lot to answer for. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Mum on the Run - Style Event on Thursday 23rd May

Just in case anyone may be interested, here are some details of an event which I will be presenting this Thursday evening. If you would like to come along, contact details are at the bottom of the flyer. Hope to see some of you there!
Beth Goodrham Personal Stylist



Friends of Winterfold and Beth Goodrham, Personal Stylist and fashion

blogger, invite you to a style event for Summer Season ‘13. Designed with

busy women in mind, Beth will share her insider tips and fashion knowledge,

which will help you to see your wardrobe in a whole new light!

Using pieces that she has selected from well know high street brands,

Beth will:

  • Bring you the key essential items for your S/S ‘13 wardrobe, and show you how to incorporate them into your existing wardrobe;
  • Teach you how to accessorise your outfits;
  • Provide advice on how to create the perfect wardrobe;
  • Give you tips on how to style your body shape;
  • Answer your style dilemmas! 

THURSDAY 23 May 2013 – 7.30pm for 8.00pm

Winterfold House School, Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster DY10 4PW

Ticket price : £10.00 Admits One 

For more information or to book tickets contact the School Office or

Emma Hollingworth (07768 877578)


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Mum on the Run - Skirting around the issue. Skirt styles to tempt you into summer.

I'm sure that I have said this before but skirts can be tricky. Tricky to find in the first place, tricky to find the right tops to go with them and tricky because unlike a dress which is an outfit in it's own right, they require more thought in terms of shoes and accessories.
Separates are always billed as being the way forward but finding a good, everyday, skirt is no mean feat. Whilst pencil skirts are having a moment, they're not for everyone.
The skirt that I am wearing below was from Jigsaw last summer. It's their trench skirt and I liked it for it's length, its volume which allows me to move around easily, and for the fact that I can put lots of things with it - except tops with buttons as it then looks like there's a bit of a button fest going on.
For a skirt along similar lines, there's this Hobbs skirt (£69). It's an easy fabric in the sense that it's not too far a departure from jeans - it's just jeans in the guise of a skirt really - which can be a good starting point. With it's slight fullness, it is flattering over curvier hips and the wider hem has the effect of making legs look slimmer.

I like to be able to wear my skirts with lots of different shoes, from heels, to brogues, to converse or flat sandals (not asking much am I?!) and for me the Hobbs Millie Derby (£139) would be the perfect complement to this skirt. However for those not so fond of brogues, there are lots of other options that would work equally well. It goes back to this being the skirt version of jeans really.
This French Connection skirt (£65) has a great print on it. It too is fuller in the skirt and therefore requires a fitted top to counteract that, so as to keep the silhouette neat. Depending on your height, it's designed to be knee length, as opposed to mid thigh or midi. Again, one to be worn with heels or brogues, it could take you from a sunny day out with flats and a strappy vest, to a night out with heels and a silky top.

The challenges that tall ladies face in finding a skirt with enough length to it are just as great as those faced by petite ladies who find lots of skirts too long.

This Pixel python skirt (£95) from French Connection is more of the midi variety - depending on your height - and arguably requires slightly more styling to keep it out of frumpy territory. However, that can be done with the usual suspects which I use to "rescue" outfits from going down the wrong route. These might include a denim shirt, some neon jewellery, a biker style jacket, a silky fitted top and shoes in the shape/style of the season. We all know how the "right" shoes can make all the difference to an outfit.

The Crochet pencil skirt (£87) also from French Connection comes in dark blue as well as this pretty cream/ivory colour. When thinking about what types of skirts to include in this post, it reminded me of a navy Mango pencil skirt that I find really useful in both summer and winter. It's great in the winter with thick tights and a short fitted jumper and in the summer with lighter weight shoes and a denim shirt, breton style top or a pink vest top. There's also a cheaper one in Next - just go to the webite and search for skirts/blue and it should come up on that page.

I love this Zara pencil skirt (£29.99) for its print. It's so pretty and there are lots of colours which could be picked up in a top to go with it. The Zara blazer which I wrote about yesterday comes in a fantastic blue colour which goes with this skirt perfectly, for anyone needing a smarter outfit. It too has a decent length to it but don't be put off if at first instance it appears an inch or so too long. If heels don't take it to the perfect length for you, having it turned up even slightly makes it look completely different. For me, the length that it is shown at below is about right but sadly not all of us are as tall as the model!

This skirt is a great style and the polka dots keep it really young and fresh. The Next flippy skirt (£28) is a good price. It is shorter in length and the fabric and shape make it a really flattering style for ladies with curvier hips.

For those ladies who prefer to keep largely covered up but don't mind flashing a little leg through a side split, the Hush maxi tube skirt (£40) could be perfect. Some maxi style skirts and dresses have way too much fabric in them adding pounds and drowning out smaller frames. However the neater lines of this skirt avoid that and are good for those ladies who perhaps aren't quite so fond of their knees/lack of tan/blemishes/veins - and I include myself within this category - but who don't want to wear trousers all year round either.

Hopefully that may have given you some ideas as to where to head now that the warmer weather has, hopefully, arrived and because skirts are now, hopefully, going to be an option (as was mine until the sun went in and the jeans went back on)!