Category Archives: Fashion

Maternity fashion basics: The stripe shirt

2nd May 2016

Vertical stripes are a key trend for SS16, which is great news if, like me, you’re looking for flattering prints to compliment your bump. This shirt from Gant is a great wardrobe staple that will see me through the next few months and still be wearable afterwards.

Jacket - River Island, Shirt - Gant, Jeans - ASOS Maternity, Bag - Kate Spade

Jacket – River Island, Shirt – Gant, Jeans – ASOS Maternity, Bag – Kate Spade

It’s from their new Rugger collection, which is full of versatile but luxe basics like jeans, polo shirts and jumpers that you can mix and match. While they’re on the pricey side (the PJ stripe shirt I’m wearing is £165) they are incredibly well-made – this one is made with 100% silk and the tailoring is fabulous. There’s certainly something to be said for buying fewer but better quality items.

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I wore it with jeans here on a recent shopping trip to Clifton Village, but it would work equally well with a little pencil skirt or some cropped trousers for work. I’m usually a size 8 but I got this in a size 10 to give me (and the bump) a little more breathing space, and also so that I could wear it undone with a vest underneath for a more casual look.

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I’ve decided that I don’t want to buy too many items during pregnancy because, while it is tempting, I won’t be wearing them for very long. At the moment I’m trying to be a lot more focused with my shopping to find a few key on trend pieces like this that can be worn with multiple outfits. I’m trying to create a kind of maternity capsule wardrobe – you can read more about this in my previous post, the Maternity Fashion Guide.

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Maternity fashion doesn’t have to mean smock tops and dungarees if you don’t want it to; invest in a few key basics and you can still be on trend and feel like ‘you’.

Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with Gant

Bristol Fashion Week: Maternity fashion guide

17th April 2016

How to dress fabulously while pregnant – some top tips with a little help from The Image Consulting Company at Bristol Fashion Week.

1. Jacket, £55, River Island, 2. Aerin top in white, £48, People Tree, 3. Necklace £9.99, H&M, 4. Patterned trousers, £12.99, H&M, 5. Katy leopard sandals, £42, Dune, 6. Embossed shopper, £26.25, Warehouse

1. Jacket, £55, River Island, 2. Aerin top in white, £48, People Tree, 3. Necklace £9.99, H&M, 4. Patterned trousers, £12.99, H&M, 5. Katy leopard sandals, £42, Dune, 6. Embossed shopper, £26.25, Warehouse

Bristol Fashion Week is one of my favourite jobs of the year and, as PR and Social Media Manager for the event, it keeps me busy. This year, there’s even more reason to celebrate as I am expecting my first child this September. This does, however, present some fashion dilemmas for me since I’d like to be on trend for work but at the same time I need to dress for a completely different shape now. Finding something that’s stylish but comfortable and accommodates my bump was proving quite tricky, until I met Emmeline Stevens from The Image Consulting Company.

Emmeline Stevens (left) gave me some great advice at Bristol Fashion Week

Emmeline Stevens (left) gave me some great advice at Bristol Fashion Week

Emmeline and her team are on hand every Bristol Fashion Week to offer personal styling advice at The Mall. You can book in for a free 10-minute session, or get a special discounted rate on a 30-minute styling consultation. Then, if you need further support going forward, the ladies are available for private bookings. I popped in for a quick chat and picked up some great tips to help me shop a bit smarter now that I’m pregnant.

  1. Throw out your usual style rules and take a fresh look
    I wear belts with everything. They cinch in my waist and finish off every outfit I have perfectly. I even had a belt on my wedding dress. But nowadays belts don’t fit around my bump. This is a huge problem for me, because 99% of my wardrobe needs a belt to work, in my opinion. Without one, I feel a bit naked.Emmeline’s advice was to stop thinking about my outfits as I used to. I’ve got a new shape now and I need to dress for that. That doesn’t necessarily mean buying loads of new stuff, but it does mean reappraising the things I have and looking at how they can be worn differently. Instead of belting in those shift dresses as I used to, for example, I can now wear them loose – but I might need to add a jacket on top to streamline the look. She gave me a licence to look at everything with fresh eyes. “It doesn’t mean you have to be frumpy – it just means you need to think about your clothes differently and create some new style rules for yourself,” says Emmeline.
  2. Invest in waterfall shaped cover-ups
    If there’s one thing I took from the session, it’s that I need more waterfall jackets in my life. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to do them up, so you can buy them in the size you usually are and wear them over the top of maternity blouses etc. This means that from the back, your waistline is still visible, but from the front you’ve got room for your bump to grow. It also creates a vertical line over your outfit, which means you look slim, despite the bump at the front.“When you have a bump, many tops or dresses might skim over that and make you look bigger overall. Adding a waterfall jacket means you still have that slim fitting shape on the sides – it streamlines your whole look,” says Emmeline.
  3. Accessorize it
    One great way to draw the eye upwards and add interest to what might be a plain maternity top is to add eye-catching accessories. From experience so far, I’ve found the range of maternity tops to be quite limited – you don’t get many prints or patterns generally and the lines are very simple. Emmeline advised me to invest in a couple of key accessories that will jazz up these plainer tops and add some sparkle to my look.
  4. Be flexible with sizing
    While I have managed to pick up some great petite maternity jeans from ASOS in my usual size, finding fashionable maternity wear on the high street has been slightly trickier. Emmeline pointed me to H&M, which has a great ‘Mama’ range with some lovely simple shirts and palazzo pants – all of which I was able to buy in my usual size 8 and fitted perfectly. But not all stores have a maternity range and actually, you don’t need to invest purely in maternity wear just because you’re pregnant. Emmeline’s advice was to try standard ranges in other stores, perhaps in a size 10 or 12 to give myself room to grow. “For you at this stage it’s not about the size, it’s about the fit – so forget the label and try on shapes that flatter your body,” she said.
  5. Natural fibres are your friends
    If, like me, you’re going to pregnant over the summer months, it pays to spend a little bit extra and buy garments made with natural fibres, according to Emmeline. “You will feel hotter than usual when you’re carrying that extra weight and your skin might be sensitive at this time, so if you can try to invest in natural fibres like cotton – your skin with thank you for it!” After she said that, I became a lot more conscious of what things were made from – looking in a lot of the high street labels I noticed that lots of things that look nice on the hanger are actually polyester or viscose. I’ve got my eye on a few pieces from People Tree, and Emmeline also pointed me in the direction of Isabella Oliver, an online maternity retailer which has some gorgeous dresses – but the price tags are quite hefty so it might be worth waiting for the sale!

Finally, Emmeline’s advice was that while this is a great time to discover a new side of myself and dress for my changing shape, it doesn’t mean I need to forget who I am. “I know you love to wear bright colours and you’re all about blocking contrasting colours – don’t lose that spark! You can still do it now that you’re pregnant, but it’s just about finding new and exciting ways to wear it!”

P.S. I did actually buy a lot of that outfit above so you may see me around Bristol wearing this look soon!

Bristol Fashion Week is now finished for this season but if you’d like to book a styling session with Emmeline and her team you can find details and prices for her sessions at theimageconsultingcompany.co.uk.

 

Bristol Fashion Week SS16

15th March 2016

It’s that time of the year again, Bristol Fashion Week will be back at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway on 6 – 10 April, presented by Denise Van Outen and Mark Heyes.

Bristol Fashion Week

For those who haven’t been before, it’s a fantastic event that brings together the best of high street fashion – so whatever your budget, you’ll definitely find something you can afford! And, like those Burberry catwalks where everything goes on sale right away, all the items shown on the catwalk are in stores immediately after the show, which means you can watch and wear it on the same day if you want to!

For such a vibrant and cosmpolitan city, there are actually very few fashion events in Bristol and no others on this scale, so for me it’s always a  highlight! Take a look at what happened last time here…

If you’re a blogger and would like to apply for a blogging pass for Bristol Fashion Week, email pr@mallcribbs.com.

If you’re not a blogger, you can buy tickets for Bristol Fashion Week here.

Disclosure: I am PR & Social Media Manager for Bristol Fashion Week.

Winter florals and spots

1st January 2016

You needn’t wait until spring to crack out those floral prints – this year those darling buds are coming out much earlier than May…

Polka dot cardi - H&M, T shirt - Vogue, skirt - vintage, boots - Ted & Muffy

Polka dot cardi – H&M, T shirt – Vogue, skirt – vintage, boots – Ted & Muffy

Winter can be a dull time for fashion if you stick with muted colours and knits all the time, so I like to mix it up a bit and use clashing prints to bring a ray of sunshine back to my wardrobe. This outfit was inspired by Dolce & Gabbana’s SS15 shows, where dark-based florals and polka dots came together in perfect harmony.

Florals and polka dots

Of course, I didn’t have Dolce & Gabbana levels of cash to spend, so this skirt was plucked from the rails at one of my favourite Bristol vintage shops, Bohemia on Picton Street, which I believe has now moved to another location – if anyone knows where it’s gone, please leave me a comment and let me know, it’s one of my faves! I love rifling through their rails as they have some real treasures and, for some reason, I find vintage styles tend to fit slightly better than today’s high street fare.

Polka dot top and floral skirt

Those of you with an eagle eye might notice I’ve added a slim leopard print belt to this look. For me, leopard print is the new neutral – this belt goes with pretty much every outfit I own! This is leopard print belt version 2.0 – the last one got worn so much I had to replace it and no doubt the same will happen to this one eventually, but you can never have too much of a good thing.

Will you be working those florals this winter? Tweet me some of your fab floral looks if you can on @GDyer! 

luxemme high neck dress

Christmas party outfit 2015: Back to black

8th December 2015

You can’t go wrong with a little black dress and, thanks to my pals at Luxemme, I’ve got this year’s festive party frock sorted!

luxemme high neck dress

This cute little LBD from Luxemme comes in at just £35 and is the perfect length for a work party – it’s demure enough to wear in front of clients, but the sheer fabric and swing style hem means I can dance in it as well, which is perfect!

For those of you who haven’t shopped with Luxemme before, they’re an online fashion brand combining Parisian chic with Manchester street style. Their signature look is cool, clean and classic, but with edgy cuts. I’ve been spotting them around on quite a few blogs recently, so was really excited to discover their glam style for myself.

Luxemme swing dress

Luxemme black dress

This quite a loose fit dress, so I’ve cinched in the waist with a studded belt from Mango, which gives it a bit more of a fit and flare look. It would look equally good in the summer worn loose with flat sandals, so I might be loaning it to my cousins in Seychelles after I’ve worn it, as I know they’ll go crazy for it at the beach bar with jewelled flats. Here in Blighty though, it needed a Primarni leopard print jacket and furs on top to keep out the cold!

Lulu Guinness bag

When wearing a simple dress, I like to luxe it up a bit with accessories – in this case I went with my trusty Lulu Guinness Izzy satchel which, as you can see, I’ve already worn to death! The fur stole is actually a detachable collar from a River Island parka jacket I bought recently, but I think it works well worn as a standalone piece.

Brantano shoes

These shoes look a bit  vertiginous but are actually quite comfortable because they fit me perfectly. Believe it or not, I found them in Brantano, which is not somewhere I would immediately think to look for stylish shoes, but in fact they have an amazing selection of smaller sizes. I am a size 35 (UK 2.5), which is almost impossible to find in most high street stores, so this was an amazing discovery for me!

The hat is a bit witchy, I confess, and all black doesn’t sound very festive, but with a red lip and a blingy belt, I think you can wear top-to-toe black and still have a holly jolly Christmas if you want to!

What are you wearing to your Christmas parties this year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Disclosure: Luxemme gifted me this dress, but all views are my own.

BIG thanks to Amie Kewley at CreditCrunchChic.com for taking my outfit pics for me! 

Bristol Fashion Week AW15 in pictures

4th October 2015

Autumn/Winter 2015 was probably the busiest fashion week ever here in Bristol, with fashion, fun and faux furs aplenty!

sequins from john lewis

This season’s shows were presented by Mark Heyes and Denise Van Outen – a dynamic duo who really made the event sparkle. As usual I was on PR and social media duty, but did manage to catch a few snaps between work duties to give you a little peek at all the fun we had.
YSL LE smoking style

For the press show, I persuaded the marketing team to dress up YSL style in some sharp tailoring inspired by the brand’s iconic ‘le smoking’ look. Some people thought we looked like the Blues Brothers but I think we were quite sharp! Suits and sharp tailoring are all the rage for this season, plus it was super comfortable to run around in. I think this outfit is a keeper!

BFW team

We create a lot of content for Bristol Fashion Week, but my favourite bit this season has to be #ModelCam. We gave the models a couple of DLSRs and let them go to town with them backstage. Some of the shots we ended up with were a bit too risqué to be published (!) but there were some real gems, as you can see….

backstage at Bristol Fashion Week

backstage at Bristol Fashion Week

backstage at Bristol Fashion Week

Hands down, the most memorable part of the show was the Devil Wears Prada inspired scene, which showcased this season’s heritage update trend. Fashion Live did an amazing job bringing this look to life with vintage Vogue covers and model Denise had Meryl Streep’s sharp look down to a tee!

heritage update at Bristol Fashion Week

Fashion-wise, black was big news on the catwalk – I’m really looking forward to dipping into M&S for some opulent faux fur and velvet separates to mix and match this season.

m&s noir trend

As always, I picked up loads of tips from Mark – he’s such a lovely person to work with and really knows his fashion, so when he says it’s time to invest in flares, I listen to him! Denise was also a delight and they made an amazing team together. Although it’s my job, it rarely feels like work because it’s just way too much fun. As soon as this fashion week ends, we’ll start planning the next one, so stay tuned for updates!

denise and mark bristol fashion week

Can’t get enough of Fashion Week? Check out the Mall Cribbs blog for all the latest trend updates.

Catwalk photos: Charlotte Stone/Bristol Fashion Week

Bristol Fashion Week preview night with Accessorize

27th September 2015

To celebrate the launch of Bristol Fashion Week AW15, Accessorize at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway hosted a blogger preview night where we got a sneak peek at this season’s key trends…

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Bristol bloggettes Lyzi from Being Little and Jo & Victoria from She & Hem get a tour of the new merch from Accessorize store manager Amy.

Accessorize AW15 preview

As you can see from the style sheet above, this season’s key looks include 60s monochrome illusion-style prints, as well as some YSL inspired suits and tailoring. A full round-up of the trends will be presented on the catwalk at Bristol Fashion Week next week. This season’s trends are varied – from ladylike luxe styling, to cute and casual – so there should be something to suit every size, shape and style. It’s actually one of the most inclusive seasons of trends I’ve seen in a long while, so I can’t wait to see how everyone interprets the looks for themselves.

Leather totes Accessorize

Another key look for this season is 70s inspired boho chic, and Accessorize have the perfect accompaniment to this trend – these buttery soft leather totes. As my colleagues will tell you, most of my handbags are the size of a small child because I can’t leave the house without making sure I’ve packed everything! I am thinking of downsizing though and perhaps opting for a sleek and stylish tote like one of these.

Clair from All About Clair

Interestingly, many of the girls turned up already wearing a couple of this season’s must-have trends. As you can see above, Clair from All About Clair is already working the 70s look with this suedette jacket from George at Asda – I loved this look and couldn’t believe the price for this jacket! (Under £20 for one of this season’s hottest looks?! Bargain!)

Rings by Accessorize

Kitsch bag Accessorize

As well as a seriously luxe selection of 70s inspired leather and suede bags, Accessorize also has a gorgeous selection of Anya Hindmarch inspired kitsch shoulder bags in various designs including this chocolate milk one, which all the bloggers were drooling over!

Accessorize goody bag

This season the brand has launched a whole new range of beauty products in a surprisingly huge variety of colours and shades, which they were kind enough to gift us as part of their goody bags. I can see these products making great stocking fillers because the packaging is just adorable and the price points are really reasonable, with lip glosses from £6. But of course, my favourite item was the pom pom keyring – pom poms are going to be huge this season, we’ll see them on bags and purses on the catwalk and all over the high street – you heard it here first!

Bristol Fashion Week runs from 30 September – 4 October at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, with 17 catwalk shows presented by Mark Heyes and Denise Van Outen. Get your tickets online at mallcribbs.com. Don’t forget to follow the hashtag #BristolFashionWeek for the latest updates from the shows. 

Disclosure: I run PR and social media for Bristol Fashion Week, but the views in this post are entirely my own. 

Bristol Fashion Favourites: Trilby and Breton stripes

1st September 2015

This hat from Bristol boutique Fox & Feather has a bit of a 1970s vibe, but I’ve mixed it with a Breton stripe and jeans for a casual work-friendly look.

Trilby hat from Fox and Feather

Fox and Feather 1970s hat and Breton stripe top

The 1970s look is back for Autumn/Winter but if you don’t feel like going the whole hog with your outfit, little details like this hat can offer a subtle nod when styled with your old wardrobe staples. You might recognise this hat from my Christmas haul post – my mother-in-law picked it out and I’m so glad she did because I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of it so far.

Orange trilby hat from Fox and Feather

These pics might look like a London street, but in fact they were taken in Bristol’s Queen Square as part of a blogger collab with my pal Emily from Mermaid Gossip.

Autumn Winter 2015 1970s style hat

Outfit details: Hat – Fox & Feather; jacket – ASOS; top – H&M’ jeans – River Island

Like this? Check out my other outfit posts here

Autumn/Winter 2015 Fashion: Metallic skirt

25th August 2015

This month we’ve been organising Bristol Fashion Week and there will be lots of opulent metallics on the catwalk for Autumn/Winter, which inspired me to put together this look…

Metallic skirt for autumn winter 2015

autumn winter 2015 trend Metallic skirt

You’ll never believe it, but this entire outfit cost me less than £20. The T Shirt was a gift from Vogue Netherlands, the shoes were picked up in the River Island sale and I got this Sugarhill Boutique skirt in a car boot sale in Bristol for just £3! Outfits like these are my favourites; I love thrown together pieces that shouldn’t work on paper but somehow do in real life.

autumn winter 2015 metallic trend

orange shoes from River island

These shots were actually taken by the Harbourside in Bristol as part of a little collab with fellow bloggettes Emily at Mermaid Gossip and Chloe at Love from Lucky. This time I thought I’d show you a couple of behind-the-scenes shots, taken by Chloe, which give you a peek into all the fun we had…

Bristol Harbourside fashion shoot

Fashion shoot at Bristol Harbourside

Harbourside was a great place to shoot as there were lots of diverse backgrounds to choose from and it’s lovely and light. You can see what Emily’s outfit post looked like here.

I’m hoping this little bargain skirt will get a lot of wear this party season – I plan to wear it with some jewel toned tops to parties and also perhaps with a little white shirt when I’m on PR duty at Bristol Fashion Week, too…

Blogger fashion shoot at Bristol Harbourside

Outfit details: Top – Vogue Netherlands; skirt – Sugarhill Boutique; shoes – River Island; Bangle – Dorothy Perkins; sunglasses – borrowed from Chloe

What’s in your shopping basket for Autumn/Winter 2015? Share your purchases with me, I love to shop vicariously though you! 

Bristol Fashion favourites: Cat shorts!

18th August 2015

Ever found an item of clothing that was just so totally ‘you’ that it may as well have had your name on it? Thank you H&M Cribbs Causeway Bristol, you gave me that moment with these cat shorts. My wardrobe is now complete!
H&M cat shorts

Cat print shorts H&M

I wasn’t looking for cat shorts when these came my way. Who goes out looking for cat shorts? But I was so happy they did. As you know, I am a huge lover of feline fashion and these ones are so versatile. I’ve styled them up here for work, but you could also wear them out for cocktails.

detail of h&m cat shorts

I bought them a couple of sizes bigger than I would usually wear as I wanted a bit more leg coverage. I think a slightly loose shirt gives it a more ladylike feel – I certainly wouldn’t have worn it with a vest top because I prefer it kept slightly more modest.

shorts with cat print H&M

blue shorts with cat print

These shots were taken on a little evening outfit post session by the Harbourside in Bristol with fellow bloggettes Emily at Mermaid Gossip and Chloe at Love from Lucky. I love doing outfit post collabs with other bloggers because you get a completely different perspective, which I think produces much better results. The background you see here was chosen by the girls, the photos were taken by Emily and the bag and sunnies belong to Chloe – so although it’s me in the photos, the creative process actually came from all three of us, which was so lovely to be a part of.

blue shorts h&m

H&M white shirt

Have you had a ‘cat shorts’ moment recently? Tell me about your shopping finds!

Outfit details: Hat – Dorothy Perkins, shirt and shorts – H&M, shoes – Kurt Geiger, bag – Therapy @ House of Fraser, Bath, bag – Dr Marten (Chloe’s!), sunglasses – borrowed from Chloe
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