Monday, 31 March 2014

Some lovely pieces from the High Street - sparkles, stripes, spots, sheer, denim and neon brights. Take your pick!

After my weekend working with the Touchwood Shopping Centre, I thought that I would bring you some photos of some of my favourite pieces, which I put together in (loose) themes in between presentations. Some of the clothes moved around in the breeze so I had to keep dashing to straighten them before running back to photograph them - so please excuse any wonkiness! I haven't linked to each piece but from left to right, I've listed the brands.
The QR code above was amazing. It was able to be scanned and went straight through to the Touchwood Look book. A really innovative piece of PR!
Pretty in (shades of ) pink
Next, French Connection (x2), Hobbs, Bravissimo, Office, River Island (bag)

Soft Citrus Sparkles

River Island, French Connection x3 and French Connection mules.

A type of monochrome

Next, Hobbs, French Connection x2, Bravissimo, French Connection mules

True Blue

French Connection, Hobbs, River Island, French Connection, Bravissimo, River Island (hat and bag) Office (cobalt shoes) Next (striped slippers)

Pale and interesting

GAP, French Connection, Hobbs, Next, River Island

Nineties throwback

All GAP other than jumper (French Connection) shoes and trainers (both Office)

Working Girl

Hobbs, French Connection, Phase Eight (dress and shoes underneath), Hobbs, Next, Office (blue and pink shoes), River Island (bag)

 Tropical prints

River Island, French Connection, River Island x2, Next, Office (pink, blue and green shoes) French Connection (mules)

Chic in White

Hobbs suit, River Island top and bag, Office shoes

I am hoping that there may be one or two pieces there to get you thinking about your spring/summer wardrobe, now that we finally have some sun. Ooh and there's a competition running at the moment, the prize being £250 to spend in Touchwood, which you can enter via their website. Don't let a small thing like distance put you off!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Printed trousers - Can I tempt you?

I'm having a bit of a trouser moment right now but I have to be quick as tomorrow I am up and out early, working at the Touchwood Centre in Solihull. I spent several hours last week selecting the clothes and many more choosing the outfits and topics I'm going to talk about. I'm there for nine hours tomorrow and only a few less on Sunday - and I was up late last night watching Jaws 3, which was so terrible it was brilliant. You can tell the husband was out last night as usually it's Top Gear, Wheeler Dealers, Man vs Food or something like that on the TV.

There's a whole array of printed trousers out there at the moment, including big floral prints (quite high on the scary scale if you're not used to wearing them), graphic prints (ditto), paint splash (ditto plus some), spots (slightly less so) and jacquard - less so for some, not for others. Personally I like a bit of jacquard and I particularly like these Topshop jacquard trousers (£42) - which is why I bought them. They're not dis-similar to these...

...J. Crew lattice trousers (£98) which I also like but not as much a) because the Topshop colours are more up my street and b) because they were a whole lot cheaper. There's no time to do clever collagey type things tonight so I'll just give you some tips on how to wear them....

  • Printed trousers can often lead to concerns about bottom/thigh coverage, so opt for a long line blazer or top and some heels for their elongating properties. This is a good look for work or for a night out. For those with long, slim, legs and narrow hips, crack out that crop top. OK, maybe not quite cropped but do go slightly shorter;
  • I'm liking the whole J. Crew preppy look for the spring, so for a more casual look opt for brogues or loafers and a crew or v neck jumper, or a chambray shirt, such as the ones featured a couple of days ago. Throw on a trench and that's the job done;
  • For a look that's more high summer, wear with a slouchy linen top and sparkly thongs (UK version, not US, thank you very much).
Can you be tempted?! Anyway, tomorrow I hope to post what I'm up to on Instagram and twitter so do follow me @BethGoodrham. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Having a moment in one of my favourite high street stores - GAP!

Now I have to say that these trousers aren't the easiest colour to wear - and I'm not sure that I've got them quite right yet, which is probably more to do with the time of year than anything else. Some will balk at the thought of pale pink/flesh/flamingo coloured legs and I totally get that but I liked the idea of them for a change. When it's warmer, there will be other options in my wardrobe that will work slightly better. I'm thinking that a slouchy cream jumper and heeled sandals will work well, or a printed silk shirt and silver sandals.

Anyway, these are the trousers in question, the super skinny GAP khakis (£24.95). They come in navy, khaki, grey (as well as flamingo colour) - oh and as you might expect from GAP, they are really generous so it's worth trying a size down. I've always found them to be really hard wearing and great value too.

I particularly like the biker style detailing around the knees and the panelling down the side. It just makes them a little more interesting.

I love all styles of GAP khakis and each season I take a good look at them. For those who don't like the idea of the skinny ones, the broken in straight style aren't so skinny, in fact they are more of a straight leg, so they can work really well as an alternative - love them with these brogues too.

I'm having a bit of a GAP moment right now. The sale is fantastic and it's so good for basics. In addition to the blue shirt that I have bought recently, I have also bought a couple of bargain basement items - a plain long sleeved top and a running top - and I also picked up this denim zip back top (£29.95), which with its discount was about £17. It will work really well with most of my non-jean casual trousers and it will make a great backdrop for a statement necklace. Luckily I have just the one to show you...really soon!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Chambray Shirts....the hunt is on for the perfect one!

To keep the event that I am doing over the weekend with Touchwood Shopping Centre interesting, I am doing a series of presentations on different topics. With it being Mothering Sunday, I'm going to do a presentation entitled "Like Mother like Daughter" during which I will take a selection of pieces and style them for both a mother and a daughter.
On a slightly different note, there are a few bits of clothing in our house that are fought over by said Mother and Daughter and the chambray shirt that I am wearing above is one of them. It was a fairly inexpensive shirt from H&M which, there is no denying, was bought for our daughter. Then I got my mitts on it for a while but then I felt bad so I handed it back and to be honest, seeing both of us scrabbling to get hold of the clean shirt as soon as it was dry just wasn't a good look.
You're probably thinking that you've heard it all now and really how could a chambray shirt be such an important part of a spring wardrobe?  But it is! Since the day that shirt walked itself back down the landing into our daughter's room, I've really missed it. It was just so soft and easy to wear. The fit was loose enough to make it comfortable but it was neat around the shoulders. I wore it over a maxi dress, tied at the waist. I layered it over vests and wore it with denim cut-offs. I liked the fact that because the fabric was so thin, on a hot day I felt cool but not exposed.  I've tried to replace it and failed but this year I will succeed. Maybe with this one... 

the Skye cotton shirt from Whistles (£75) - lovely but maybe slightly too tailored and formal for what I am after. So maybe it will be this one...

the H&M lyocell shirt (£24.99) it's a definitely maybe but the fabric could be too thick, although it will have the softness and drape that I am after. So maybe it will be this one...

the GAP boyfriend shirt (£34.95) the colour is perfect but I'm not sure about the button down collar. So maybe it will be this one...

the soft wash utility shirt from Banana Republic (£39.50). Yes, this could be it but I'm fussy about the colour of the shirt that I'm after so maybe it won't be.

It could also be the one that I bought from GAP at the weekend which for some reason isn't online. I couldn't possibly show you mine because it is pretty screwed up and you would all think that I was a tramp. But one day soon I will try it and let you know whether it is the shirt I have been longing for. There again I may throw my motherly instincts to the wind and just go and ransack the daughter's bedroom.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Baukjen Spring/Summer 2014 - Just a little bit of loveliness!

With some brands you have to do a bit of rummaging and hunting around and before you come across something that you like. That's not the case with Baukjen, where virtually everything I look at I can imagine incorporating into my wardrobe - it's stylish, simple, elegant and very wearable. 
Not only that but with my stylist's hat on, I have more time for those brands who think about their demographic and who reflect their customers wishes in the design of their clothes. That little bit extra length in the hem of a dress, the addition of a sleeve, some clever ruching, a scooped or v-neckline and a wide range of colours - it all goes a long way.
So with that in mind, here are a few of my favourite pieces from this season's collection.....

The Marseille trouser (£79) is a soft, draped, lightweight style of trouser. The choice of summer trousers which can be styled for both in, and out of work, is quite limited but this style fills that brief really well. With heels, a shirt and a blazer, they would work well for the office but with flats and a linen T they would equally well for the weekend.

The Madrid cropped jacket (£179) is made of ponte jersey which, for its warmth and comfort, is one of my favourite fabrics. I think nowadays, with a less corporate feel in the air,  many of us look for pieces that are super versatile and which can be worn both in and out of work. With our love of jeans, it's also great to be able to dress them up for a night out and this jacket does just that.

For me, the print on the Maya shirt makes it really accessible and not too challenging for those who tend to steer clear of prints. Whilst it has a presence, it's not too domineering and will quietly go about working hard for you, whilst you get on with what you need to be doing. This shirt also comes in a blazer (£195) and trousers (£105) which are shown below.

A patterned jacket is a great way of drawing the eye upwards, either as a means of attracting attention to the top half, or as a way of distracting it from the bottom half where sometimes, let's face it, heaven knows what goes on.

I love a printed trouser with a pair of heels and a simple top. The vertical design within the pattern makes them really flattering.

For anyone who hasn't yet tried a jumpsuit, I would seriously recommend that you give one a try. I know that I keep on saying this but as we move on in life (OK, get older) the choice of what's available for us to wear does change, if not reduce slightly, so it's good to keep ahead of the game and try something either new, or that we haven't tried for a while.

The Elisa jersey jumpsuit (£99) has that versatility that's so important and with a scooped neckline, a reasonable sleeve and with some room in the legs, it's a definite winner for lots of different shapes. Styling one with heels will make all the difference.

I sometimes think the search for that perfect, holy grail, of day dress is never ending! I love the cobalt blue colour of this Sabina wrap dress (£95). There are lots of fantastic styles of really versatile and flattering dresses with sleeves and in great colours too.

This outfit is a chic and stylish way of incorporating leather into a look in an understated way. It's not too rock chic, not too Cher, or too Sandy from Greece but just simple and elegant - with a bit of a kick ass feel about it! The Ravenna leather skirt is £309 and the Santorini Tee is (£55).

Finishing a long day with a relaxed feel is always a good thing! The summer joggers (£59) are pretty high up on my list of things to acquire within the next few weeks together with the Iona striped tee (£45). I have visions of long car journeys to Cornwall in mind, quite possibly with a Baukjen brochure on my knee as I plan another purchase - well, July is "birthday month" after all.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Time to put your feet up in some slip on trainers - I've plumped for the Jigsaw ones!

It would be nice to get a chance to do a little bit of this, this weekend. I hope that you all get the chance to do the same too!

For info, I'm wearing the Jigsaw slip on plimsolls, £59 in a size 5. If like me you are a genuine 5.5, the Jigsaw ones would be better than their Whistles counterpart (£135) as the Jigsaw size 5 is generous.  In the Whistles one, the 5 was too small and the 6 was too large. It's always a case of trial and error but with this style, any sort of gaping is a no-no as they can look a bit too much like a Grandad's slipper - which they're pretty good at doing on their own anyway!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Printed Zara scarf - taking a winter outfit into spring!


I'm not quite sure how it came about but I decided to mix camo print GAP trousers with several layers, a Boden jacket and then a bright Zara scarf. Because the print in the trousers is fairly subtle, and because the colours in the scarf (apart from the bright yellow) are the same as those in the trousers and the bag, it just about got itself under the radar of fashion crimes.

This was the first time that I had worn the new Zara scarf and I really like it - it's huge and a bit wafty and soft - so very spring like - and you can see how much brighter it makes the whole outfit.

Here's a closer look at the layering that went on - an essential part of my everyday life until the thermometer hits at least 20 degrees! First on was the long cobalt Jigsaw top, followed by a slightly shorter black Zara jumper, followed by an even shorter Boden jacket - a sort of stepped approach to layering - and it really doesn't matter that the jacket is the shortest of those steps!

Today I spent the day walking around the Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull, choosing outfits for a two day style event that I am running there next weekend. Please do come and say hello if you are in the area. For anyone who likes chatting about clothes it will be the perfect opportunity to do so, plus the PR Company have come up with a great idea on how it should all look, so it's quite hi-tec and interactive.  

Anyway, here's something to leave you with which I read in the 6 year olds R.E. book at parents' evening - it made me laugh:

"Jesus gave up his life for everyone. I wud give up costud (custard) for Amelie."

I'm not sure that it is quite the same level of sacrifice but I think that the intention is good.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dungarees and boilersuits - anyone fancy going there with me?

Unlike the chap who was convinced that he was going to win the lottery, I did not wake up this morning convinced that, by the end of the day, dungarees/boiler suits would have worked their way into my consciousness - but they have. Random!

It all started whilst waiting at the Children's Hospital this morning. It being Tuesday, I was flicking through my copy of Grazia when these Denim dungarees from Next (£35) caught my eye. I mentioned them to the eldest as we were leaving to see what she thought. Oddly the conversation turned to how she would quite like a short pair, which was probably for the best really, and I concluded that I wouldn't go there but then....

...whilst flicking through Marie Claire at gymnastics, this Tencel jumpsuit from Mango (£59.99) jumped out at me. Having tried the tencel chinos in Jigsaw recently, I'm a big fan of its softness and the way it drapes. This style is so much more versatile too - far less Andy Pandy!

And then whilst sitting at ballet, (I do a lot of sitting and flicking on a Tuesday, not that I'm a tiger mother or anything. After all our children only learn 4 languages each and play 3 instruments each to grade 8 standard) this Utility boiler suit from Topshop (£62) leapt off the screen at me. I was being ambushed from all sides.

So, how to wear them? If you're thinking "let's not wear them at all" you may not want to read on. On the other hand, perhaps you will be inspired! As I've said before, as we get older, the options of what to wear do start to narrow down, which is why I try to remain open minded about anything that has potential, whether it's because (in the case of shoes) they are flat - for example skater trainers - or in the case of clothing because something is fairly modest, or because it is a classic style, albeit in a bright colour or print. The fit of these will be crucial though. Too loose and they will scream Andy from British Gas. Too tight and they could become all about the camel toe, which is never a good look.

Having been lucky enough to have hung around this planet for a while now, there will be styles that I have worn before but I think it's important to try and look at them through fresh eyes and to style them in a modern way. There are just some things that we won't be able to get our heads around but to avoid getting stuck in a rut, keep on giving things a go or else we will all find ourselves in the same few styles and colours season after season.  Of course if you have a toddler who has a pair of these, rocking the same look perhaps isn't where you want to be.

Despite what I've said above, I think for now I'll leave the Next denim dungarees to one side and instead work with the Mango and Topshop jumpsuit/boiler suit styles. Here's how I would style them:
  • For a casual look, I'm thinking flat strappy gold or silver sandals, maybe skater trainers or converse, a selection of layered bracelets and that's about it. A coloured cami peeping through would also be a nice touch;
  • For a slightly smarter look I would wear a block heeled shoe, maybe a wooden or cork soled one as I wrote about the other day, a statement necklace and a fairly short swing style jacket;
  • For an evening look - which is where I really like the idea of these - I'd go for some high pointed courts and a printed jacket or printed courts and a leather biker jacket or a blazer, chunky jewellery and a clutch. At the moment I really like this one from Whistles (£55)

Hopefully tomorrow will not see me being ambushed by Ra-Ra skirts because despite trying to take my own advice, I think that they are something which (for good reason) I would not be able to get my head around.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Hunting for silver shoes for you (similar to my Zara ones) at Aldo, House of Fraser and Kurt Geiger


After posting this outfit I had a lot of people asking me where I bought these silver shoes, which has prompted me to do a post on similar styles. My shoes were bought from Zara about a year ago now. They weren't very expensive and they're not leather but they are a good heel height and the pointy toe was  bit different - then! I can't find any exactly the same but there are some that are pretty similar....

These Aldo shoes at House of Fraser (£60) were about the closest that I could find in terms of price, heel height (although they look a little higher than mine) and toe shape. The T-bar part is lacking but other than that, they are really similar.

The Kurt Geiger Yasmin courts at House of Fraser (£220) are similar in style too, with a crocodile print worked in there. Quite a lot of the Kurt Geiger styles are on sale on the KG site so it maybe worth looking there for a cheaper option if you really like them.

For a block version heel, also with a crocodile print, these Ella shoes at Kurt Geiger are a nice option, and they are down to £49 from £195.

The Mercada shoes at Kurt Geiger are down from £220 to £109.  They have a pretty jewelled strap, which would work really well with rolled up jeans.

The Maniah silver shoes by Kurt Geiger (£95) have the T-bar but not the closed in toe. I love the studded ankle straps and the heel height is good. Great for those with slim ankles!

The Millie sandal by Hobbs NW3 (down to £75 from£129) is just a lovely everyday sandal, rather than necessarily being similar to the style that I am wearing - although they could be worn in just the same way and with their block heel, they are probably slightly more versatile for the day time too.

And following on from my post on wooden and cork soled shoes the other day, I love these wooden silver shoes by Kurt Geiger (£120). They have a really great day time heel height to them and will instantly update jeans, utility trousers, cargos and chinos for the spring.

Finally, although this post is meant to be about silver shoes some prefer gold, so these gold shoes by Kurt Geiger (£55) have earned themselves a place for their price, heel height and shape and general all round versatility.

I really hope that you have enjoyed some sun over the weekend. It makes such a lovely change doesn't it? Tomorrow I am working on a short film/promotional video and I see from the call sheet that as part of that, I will be working with Hmmmm - I'm not quite sure which end I would rather be.   

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Saturday outfit of maximum strokability, thanks to Whistles and Zara


During a shopping trip in late January, I came upon these pony skin shoes in Whistles. They were the last pair in the shop and happened to be in my size, so I just thought that I would give them a go. Given that they fitted me, that I liked them and that they were reduced from over £200 to £60, they were just too good to pass on.

I haven't had much of a chance to wear them up until now so today, with the weather being warmer, I went for the full on strokability factor in my outfit by wearing not only the shoes but also a printed navy and black pony skin (not real) short sweatshirt style top from Zara.

In actual fact the shoes didn't stay on for that long. Not only did I have to hang the washing out but the six year old and I decided to head up to the High Street, with her on her scooter, which could only mean one thing - trainers!
For anyone interested in giving something similar a whirl, either these shoes from M&S Autograph (£55)....
...or these from M&S Collection (£39.50) are probably the closest.
Sorry for the short post but I've got a date with Mr SG and a film and it's a (very loose) rule that I don't blog at the weekend. However, having been away for a couple of days, I've really missed it!