Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A New Look bag of the season for £19.99

I've looked at the Whistles verity backpack (£295) on many occasions but even with the pretty impressive mental gymnastic skills that I possess when it comes to justifying purchases, I still can't make it add up - either literally or metaphorically.

But the silver formal backpack from New Look (£19.99) on the other hand, is a completely different matter. For something that isn't go to be an investment purchase of one's life, £20 seems a much more agreeable amount to pay. Plus the thought of saving £275.01 (not that one would have ever spent that amount in the first place) leaves one feeling perfectly justified in making another purchase.... or two.  

Monday, 29 September 2014

Jumpers of the striped, and Christmas, variety!

I'm writing this in the sun, sitting outside a café waiting for someone and I can't see the screen at all, so I have absolutely no idea what I'm typing - which probably means that it will make way more sense than usual.

I think that there are a lot of us out there who have a bit of a thing for stripes.  Well that is unless you're my sister. Wide stripes give her migraines so if you're wearing them, she can't look at you which is all a bit disconcerting - especially if you happen to be her boss.

I first wore this jumper when on holiday in Guernsey but it's been too warm to wear it since. Actually it was really hot when we were in Guernsey so why I was wearing it there I have no idea - but what's new?  I bought it from Reiss in the sale, at a point in time when I felt that it was a reasonable amount to pay and since then I've pretty much stashed it away. Here I'm wearing it with Zara boots and Jigsaw jeans, together with my Clover Oushka silver handbag which is now on sale, with 50% off, making it £77.50. I love a metallic handbag as it goes with just about anything. It's the same with metallic shoes too. Quick and easy styling is definitely what it's all about.

For anyone after a metallic handbag there's also this lovely one from Boden. It comes in bright coral too and as someone on the hunt for a bright bag, this is definitely a contender. But we all know what I'm like with my lists of things that I could do with, and things that I actually end up buying. Knowing me I'll probably end up with the metallic one.

One thing that was on my list and which I didn't go off piste on, were some navy ankle boots. Given that practically everything that I own I have in navy, I'm not sure why I didn't have any navy ankle boots but it was a glaring gap (OK, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration - maybe it was more of an amoeba sized gap) which I filled firstly with the Boho boot from Boden

but which I replaced with the Petra style of boot from Dune (£89). These also come in  black, natural and tan for anyone who likes the style but not so much the colour. Our eldest looked at them and said "Oooh I like those, they're the kind of boots that Harry (Styles) wears. " Now given that he's a 20 year old bloke and I'm a 40 plus female, I couldn't work out whether that was a case for keeping them or not. But I like them, so I am.

I'm not one for embracing Christmas earlier than is absolutely necessary - and certainly not before bonfire night but today I did make one Christmas purchase. Last year I felt bad that our youngest missed out on the Christmas jumpers and ended up with a Primark one from the boys' section. It wasn't the Primark bit that bothered me, more the boys bit. So this year, and for once slightly ahead of the game, I've been and bought her jumper (also from Primark). And here it is.....

I may also have bought her a "Frozen" t-shirt because who needs to be stylish when you're 6? Or at any age for that matter. And if you should ever hear that I was seen standing in Primark holding a Frozen t-shirt up against myself to see if it would fit, it was a lie.

You know how you can go orange from eating too many carrots? Well do you think that the same is true of Wotsits? I think that I may have over-dosed on them. Tomorrow's photos could prove interesting.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sparkles - you can never get enough of them (that's my excuse anyway)!

H&M shirt, Jigsaw jeans, Dune shoes

Having taken a good look through my wardrobe a few weeks ago now, I started to make a mental list of the things that I needed to add to it. As you might imagine this list changed on a daily basis, depending on the weather, what I saw, what I liked and so on. But one thing was very clear - although I needed to add more tops, I DID NOT need any more pale blue ones.

So what did I add? Yep, a pale blue top - the H&M  denim shirt with sparkly gems (£29.99), to be precise. Having written about it the other day, I thought that it would be good to share what it's like in real life. In fairness I ordered it not knowing whether I would keep it or not but then I decided that I liked it and now it is firmly ensconced amongst the other pale blue tops and shirts that reside in my wardrobe. I will wear it with jeans (wow, radical), coated jeans, printed trousers, a tube skirt and full midi skirts too. So hopefully it will earn its keep.

Thank you to those of you who have added your name to the guest list for the Jigsaw event that I invited you to yesterday. We've been talking about it for a couple of years now but finally it has been signed off. Yippee! An official Jigsaw invitation will soon be out but for now we just wanted to ask people to save the date. Hopefully I'll see lots of you there for what will be a really fun event.

Enjoy the start to your week.  Can you believe that we are there again already?!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Save the date - you are all invited!

You are invited to a style event at Jigsaw, Birmingham!
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Save the Date!

On Thursday 9th October I will be holding an event with Jigsaw Birmingham.

Come along from 6.30pm for fizz, canapés, a style presentation of the new season's trends, plus a 10% discount on all purchases.

There will also be a raffle with fantastic prizes, the proceeds of which will go to Edwards Trust.

Places will be limited so to get your name on the guest list, please drop me a line at

Can't wait to see you there!  



Copyright © 2014 Beth Goodrham - Personal Stylist, All rights reserved.

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Friday, 26 September 2014

A very naughty Whistles purchase....

Everyday autumn/winter dresses are tricky, tricky, tricky. Unless they're really thick, even the wool ones aren't warm enough for me so I'm cold in them - and they can be a bit itchy. And the silk/viscose ones are as thin as tissue paper and I need two layers under them, two layers over them, and it's all a bit of a dog's dinner really.

A fur dress might offer me the warmth that I need but I would probably look slightly odd in it. A leather one might be good too - but I might just look like a chair or sofa and someone would probably try and sit on me. Neoprene works for wet suits but to be honest I've never been convinced when it comes to "proper" clothing. However thick (soft) denim - aha, now we're talking!

My mistake was trying this dress on because as soon as I did, I was hooked! It was warm, soft and comfortable. The sleeves were a good length, the skirt was a good length and I liked the shape of the skirt part of the dress.

I first spotted this Hannah utility dress from Whistles (£*) online a few weeks ago now. It then appeared in our local store but only in larger sizes. However the lovely girls there nipped over to Selfridges, picked up my size, whizzed it back to the store and held on to it for me until the Grazia offer started a few days later.  Now that's pretty impressive service.
The reason for so many pictures of me wearing it (note that one was taken on a sunny day and one on a not so sunny day)? To justify its very existence in my wardrobe. I've worked out that I probably need to wear this dress every day for about the next five years to justify buying it - which could prove problematic when it comes to trying to offer new outfit ideas to people. But hey ho, I'll just need to get inventive.
(£*) I haven't included the price of this dress because my Mum reads my blog and if she had any idea just how much it cost it wouldn't be good for her health - and whatsmore she would probably chase me with a wooden spoon and give me a whack.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A nod to the sixties with Dune patent shoes and a Jaeger Boutique dress


We all know that there's a bit of a 60's thing going on at the moment and it's an easy trend to tap into without looking too try hard. Many will already have some block heeled shoes and if not, there are plenty of them around this season. One option is to wear them with some cigarette pants and a fitted jumper, maybe with a Peter Pan collar or, as I'm wearing above - an A-line dress which is slightly above the knee.
Here's how to re-create the look:
Take one Boden Ottoman shift dress...

add in a Cos rounded collar mock shirt (£29) - which will give any round neck dress, or crew neck jumper, a 60's feel (don't tell anyone but I was in Bon Marche today with my Mum and they had some lovely crew necks - 2 for £20 no less! Oh and did anyone else realise that David Emanuel, as in Princess Diana's wedding dress designer, did a range for them?? Random!)

and the Dune Affina court (which has a little block heel)....and there you go. Job done!

Of course I appreciate that this look may be the last look that anyone wants to recreate but I wanted to copy one of those recipes at the back of the Saturday supplements which show you how to take three ingredients and cook a five course gourmet meal for 25 people in 10 minutes and you think "yeah right, do us a favour" - but seriously, my version is actually achievable!

Monday, 22 September 2014

An outfit for a black tie do.....


I realise that I blogged about pleated skirts only a few days ago but I thought that a little update may come in handy. Sometimes seeing something on a "real life" person makes it easier to relate to - either as a way of giving it the thumbs up, or as a way of confirming any "not in a million years" thoughts that you may have been harbouring!  

As I mentioned on Saturday, Mr SG and I had a black tie event to go to. Initially I was offered a choice of dresses by a dress hire company and that would have been great but then a week or so beforehand there was a problem with their system, so all blogger bets were off.

Being busy with work and other things, I didn't really give it any further thought until Thursday morning when I dug the sparkly Dune shoes out. Then I got to thinking about what to wear. I didn't really want to buy a new dress of the "black tie" variety because I knew that I probably wouldn't get a huge amount of wear out of it. In fact much as I was looking forward to the event, I didn't really feel like wearing an outfit of the "black tie" variety at all, which was all well and good but it didn't leave me with any answers. (Also, funds have already been committed to a Whistles dress which is currently on hold for me - more about that another day.) 

But then....well, you know how it goes....whilst in Topshop on Friday, I saw a beautiful white sequinned top which would have worked really well with a high waisted H&M midi skirt that I have and which I half had in mind to wear. The top was similar to this Whistles one (£135).....

...but at £48 it was much more within my price range and as I could have worn it again, I could have justified it.  However all of the ones on the shop floor were damaged - to the point that they shouldn't have been there really. Neither was it available on line and in other stores it was only available in a size 12. So that put me back to square one - minus a bit. And by now it was late Friday afternoon.

Saturday was taken up with an early morning run, followed by a 5k race with the children plus the usual Saturday jobs and with only five minutes before the taxi was due I decided to try the long pleated Zara skirt with an Oasis beaded top. And that was about as far as it went. I'm not sure that I even got a chance to check it out properly. In an ideal world I would have preferred a shorter top but I'm happy not to have made a last minute rushed purchase as they can be the ones that gall most if they're not right.

So, this was the Zara long pleated skirt (£39.99) that I wore and which I will continue to wear during the winter with shorter fitted jumpers, longer line chunky ones and block heeled ankle boots.

I also have this pleated midi skirt Zara (£39.99) at home which is a great option. It's shorter than the other one so probably better on someone who is on the petite side. Having said that, I sometimes think that the "drop" on longer pleated skirts helps the pleats to fall slightly better.

There's also this Whistles faux leather pleated skirt (£135) which I haven't tried, largely because the Zara options are so good but also the pleats in this skirt are sharper, which somehow makes it a little too structured for what I am after.  Nonetheless there will be some who prefer the sharpness of the pleats so it's worth a closer look.

So are any of you tempted by pleats or do they just bring back the horrors and memories of your school uniform?!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mustard, mustard, mustard - one way or another it's going to get you!

This season it's out to get you. Unless you try really hard, one way or another, mustard is going to feature somehow, somewhere, in your wardrobe. It is literally everywhere. I don't think I've seen a colour come from nowhere and dominate the High Street since brown did it in about 2002/3 (and wasn't that a season to remember?)

For me it started with a Topshop T-shirt that wasn't actually mustard at all, but when I was trying to find a jumper in the same colour, I held up a mustard coloured one and you know, it looked OK. Being of a slightly brighter hue it works with black, navy, grey and even purple, plus white. And you know, it's just nice to have a change.

The jumper in question was the textured sleeve jumper by Warehouse (£36). See how good it looks with denim? And let's face it, we all have denim don't we?

This Zara printed T (£19.99) is a subtle way to tap into the colour. Admittedly it's not so subtle on the 1960's design but if you like the 60's trend, it too is a great way to tap into that. Mixing mustard up with other "safer" colours makes it more accessible for those mustard newcomers out there.

The geometric print trousers Zara (£19.99) are also another good way of wearing mustard for those who don't like the colour next to their face. The print will attract attention to the legs so for anyone with great pins, these could be for you. I also like that it's mixed up a little with black and white, rather than being a block colour.

These trousers look great on but they do have a couple of small pleats at the waist band (you can see them more clearly on a close up photo on the site.) They do sit pretty flat  and as they're so high up a jumper would cover them but they won't to be everyone's taste. There's also a top in the same print.

For those who like the comfort blanket that grey offers, mixing mustard with it as in this Boden woven front jumper (£70.31) makes it much easier to wear. The sweatshirt styling and raglan sleeves also keep the look fresh - much more groovy than granny!

And finally I loved this Zara printed shirt (£25.99) so much that I made a special trip into town on Friday to take a closer look. The royal blue works really well with the mustard and being a fan of blue I could imagine feeling happy with this colour combination. Sadly the background was too grey for me but on some else it could look fab. It has small ties up the back but in the grand scheme of things, these are pretty insignificant.

So, is anyone tempted to go there? For many I think that it may well only be a matter of time.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

And tonight, I will be wearing my....dancing shoes

Remember these days?

Mr SG are off to a black tie event tonight so yesterday morning I pulled out a couple of things that I had it in mind to wear - one of them being these Dune sparkly shoes.

Remember how a couple of days ago I said that there were certain things seemed to go down well with lots of people? Well when these were produced, the girls were like bees around a honey pot. No sooner had I prized them off the feet of the six year old, when the fifteen year old appeared and put them on.

Then there was some sisterly sharing where they opted for one each...

Before admiring themselves in them. See what fun we have in the mornings (!!)

Personally I would be equally happy in these - my new Saucony running trainers.  Although I have to admit, they're not as sparkly.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Something for the weekend (and the dark winter nights)

For a while now I've been doing a little bit of groping - of the acceptable variety I hasten to add. Whenever I see a pair of joggers I have a good feel of them, not only of the outside but more importantly, the inside. I've felt the ones in GAP, Whistles, H&M, J. Crew, Banana Republic, White Company and Cos, to name but a few but today? Oh today I came across the best by far.

I was taking a little jaunt around Topshop and I came across these Topshop neppy joggers (£25) in the petite range - which is also a bonus in my book. I then came across them elsewhere in the store, although sadly not in my size. However, I will be going back because they are really, really soft inside and this is borne out by the reviews of them online which are fantastic. If I thought about it too much, I could be slightly put off by the white cord - so I'm just not going to think about it. These things can always be dealt with somehow.  The colour is good too. The black ones I have come across are too dark, some of the grey are too light but these are just that perfect in between shade.

The bottoms are also accompanied by the Topshop neppy hoodie (£22). So, for the sum of £47 you could have your "at home" winter wardrobe sorted. I'm sure that the various cashmere options out there are truly wonderful and for someone with another life, maybe. But to be honest, right now, I would so love some of these in my life!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The juxtaposition of a smarter jacket with jeans and trainers

Outfit: Mango jacket, Nike trainers, New Look skinny jeans, GAP clutch
Golly I've got gremlins in my computer today. Nothing is loading properly, things keep on crashing and it's all generally a bit of a dog's dinner but nevermind.
I was in town for most of yesterday working and (as usual) I wanted to be able to dash here there and everywhere.  Compared to shoes, trainers are just a million times more comfortable and I hate my speed being impeded by my choice of footwear, so the Nikes made another appearance.
For something similar, I really like these New Balance 574 pop safari trainers from Schuh (£70) and even more I love their year long returns policy, which is great for those who are indecisive/live a long way from town/need a while to locate their lost receipt. These trainers also come in more muted colours as admittedly these aren't for the faint hearted.
The Mango jacket that I am wearing was nearly returned several times but now the jacket and I are good pals. It doesn't get a huge amount of outings but whenever it does, people always comment on it (usually in a positive way!) It just seems to catch people's eyes and I always find those things really interesting. Whenever I do an event there are always a few things that pretty much everyone, without exception, gravitate towards. Anyway, that aside, I like wearing a smarter jacket with trainers - it's that whole juxtaposition thing that it so big right now - and more importantly a smarter jacket stops me (well almost) from feeling such a scruffy bum!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

When there's a hair disaster there's only one thing for it.....a hat!


Outfit: Whistles Ella jacket, Hush jumper, New Look jeans, Aldo shoes (I'm sure I'll write Aldi one of these days!) Oushka bag

I think that "disaster" is probably too strong a word to describe my super short hairstyle but whenever I look in the mirror I do think to myself "Ouch, that's short." And then to top it off I decided to colour it but to pass the time quickly I blogged at the same time, leaving it on for much longer than I should have done - so not only is it slightly shorter than I would have liked but it's slightly darker too. Having said that, I did ask for it to be cut shorter partly because I seem to have to get it cut so often and also because I'm running/swimming a lot at the moment so it's constantly being washed or getting wet.

So, when it came to the blog I had two choices. First, to disappear for a few weeks until it had grown and lightened OR to share it with everyone and just get over it. I decided on the latter a) because I like blogging and b) because....actually I don't think that there is a b).

Anyway, I decided that now is probably a good time to have a hair disaster - well a couple of months time might be even better - because there are so many lovely hats around this season. From the Reiss Ava and Hattie (is that a great name for a hat or what?) (£69) to the Fedoras at Topshop, which at £28 are a good place to start for anyone heading (get it??) for the first time into trilby/fedora territory, to the Zara wide brimmed felt hat (£19.99) or the trilby (£25.99).

The Jigsaw bridget fedora (£39) is also a great choice...

as is the Jigsaw Isabella trilby (£39) which comes in a variety of different colours.

Hats really are just one of those things that you have to try on and just because one brand doesn't work, it doesn't mean that another brand won't. Often it comes down to the colour, the width of the brim, the height of the hat - and confidence too.

I saw this "Love You" beanie in Zara (£12.99) today and I think that it would look great with my New Look jumper which has "love" written across the front. It would take matchy matchy to a  whole new level.

The Hush star jumper (£75) that I am wearing is from the summer collection but they have done this winter version, for anyone who fancies having a star plastered across their chest.

I am also wearing the Ella Ponte jersey jacket from Whistles which is £45 or £95 depending on the colour. If you're tempted, do have a hunt around the site for a bargain. For anyone unsure, they do tend to come up quite large so if only the size below yours is available, don't be put off. It's a jacket that I find hugely useful and easy to wear, largely because it is made of jersey.

So, although it's only early I'm off to bed - I think that hair grows more quickly when you're asleep!

Monday, 15 September 2014

A trip to London, a peruse around J. Crew and some cheaper alternatives.....

On Saturday I went to London to meet my friend who lives in Brighton. Whilst there, I tried on this Reiss quilted jumper in ivory (£79) (below). We both really liked it but, after thinking about it, I concluded that it was too much to spend on a top that I would probably wear in a really casual way and anyway, I already had a white sweatshirt  (above) which would do much the same job.

Roll on Sunday and I decided to wear my white sweatshirt just to see what I thought. As the end of the day was nearing, I concluded that the Reiss one would, in fact, be very handy to have and as it was a bit smarter than mine I could wear it in a slightly different way.

So we sat down to our evening meal of home made burgers, home made rolls, salad and home made ice-cream (all thanks to Mr SG), the latter of which I doused liberally with salted caramel sauce (the ice-cream that is, not Mr SG). The trouble was that before it even reached the ice cream, I doused myself in it - and what I mess a made. And then, in taking the sweatshirt off to give it the fairy liquid treatment, I managed to get the sauce everywhere - up the sleeves, down the back, on the inside. By the time I had finished with it the top looked like a baby had projectile vomited (and the other) simultaneously and it was at that point that I realised that for once, just for once in my life, I had actually made a very good decision in not buying the Reiss top for had I done so, I would most definitely have been wearing it at that point.

Obviously whilst in London, a visit to J. Crew had to be on the agenda. Now I don't want to be a party pooper, and more than anyone I understand the joy that clothes can bring, but we did enjoy our game of spotting where else we could find less expensive alternatives to what they had on offer. Banana Republic, GAP, Zara and Topshop featured. Of course some of the things are lovely and it's great to see a successful brand but as with anything that has such a strong brand identity, it's important not to get seduced by that, rather than the clothes on offer.

Now one of the items that has featured quite a lot recently is this J. Crew jewelled bib shirt (£495). It's pretty much sold out on line so there are obviously plenty of people who can get their heads around spending that much on a shirt and I have to say, not being one of them, I'm pretty impressed by that.

But for those who can't imagine spending that on a shirt, this H&M  embellished shirt (£29.99) would probably do just fine.

You could even sew a few more embellishments on it to make it sparkle a bit more AND, it would leave £465.01 to put towards this Dulcie coat from Shrimps (£595) which is very covetable.

Anyway, whilst in London I wanted to try this H&M beaded sweatshirt (£29.99) which I had seen in the window of our local store last week but which I hadn't had time to try. When I put it on my friend said "Oh my God, you look like you've been inflated." Which naturally left me very deflated but on looking in the mirror I couldn't argue. The fabric was stiff and the shape wide but on others I wouldn't rule it out - it just might work.

And whilst I'm on the subject of embellished bits and bobs, this H&M  grey beaded sweatshirt  (£24.99) could do a good job of adding a bit of bling as the nights draw in.