2013 November 27

Result_Ski_Hat_30_362A Girl Called Jack has become famous for living frugally, and she has a few tips on how to keep warm in winter, many of which are clothing related:

1.    Slippers – or fleecy foot things or even thick socks, buy them cheap, wear them from the minute you get home until you have to leave the house.
2.    Tights and leggings – these can take the place of expensive thermal underwear, and cost a lot less. Similarly old T-shirts or camisoles can be layered under other tops to create air pockets which keep you warmer.
3.    Jack also recommends that you “Wear a hat indoors. I know it sounds a bit daft but (apparently) a lot of heat is lost through your head, I’m not sure about the science but I certainly always feel warmer with a hat pulled down around my ears. In the coldest months I even sleep in my hat, and it’s the best warm and cosy feeling!” If you’re going to go for this, why not invest in a snug beanie and try the experiment for yourself?

Netmums also recommends layering and thick socks, but adds the idea of wrapping yourself in blankets and throws to keep warm … if you’re not quite that into layering, a onesie can be the perfect alternative. It’s a great way to keep warm either layered under outdoor clothing or with T-shirts and leggings layered underneath.

The Lincolnshire Echo has another idea – given that Lincoln is said to experience winds directly from Siberia, it might be worth pursuing. “Keep active. Move around the house at least once an hour and don’t sit down for long periods of time. Even light exercise will help keep you warm.” So perhaps the best idea is to put your leggings under other clothing to make layers and strip off the outer layers to jog round your home every hour!


2013 November 25

emeraldThis year’s top three fashion tips are extremely clear, which is rare.

1.    Trench coats and military detailing – both are big, but they are quite different. Trench coat styles are happening in soft colours: dove grey, camel, even powder blue, but the military detailing is much more inclined towards camouflage colouring and lots of shiny brown leather. Don’t combine the two as you will just end up looking like an activist for the Far Right.

2.    Emerald – it’s going to be a huge winter colour, apparently, which makes it even more odd that it hasn’t featured in any of the big Christmas adverts in the UK. Still, if it’s going to be big, know how to wear it. In formal clothing, emerald can only be teamed with black shoes, preferably suede or velvet: no gold, no silver, no dodgy ‘almost the same shade of green’. Just black. In casual clothing, emerald works brilliantly with faded denim and with charcoal grey, so consider a green hoodie with jeans or an emerald polo shirt with grey leggings.

3.    50 Shades of Grey – still big, as ever, but this year grey is layered. It’s an easy look to pull off, but if you’re wearing three shades of grey remember to add some colour to your outfit or you’ll look like a zombie. A yellow scarf gives grey jackets a pop of colour or a peach or mint camisole under a grey scoop neck T-shirt adds a layer of warmth as well as a welcome touch of brightness.


2013 November 6

Jerzees_Colours_Ladies_Hydraplus_Jkt_29_417Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmo, Vanity Fair … they all have their top tips for winter fashion and we’ve decided that, nice as their versions are, the average woman needs a capsule set of clothing a little less likely to cost more than the monthly mortgage payment!

Sadly, winter clothes are more expensive than summer, it’s down to heavier weight fabric, the need to make clothing wind and waterproof and the fact that summer clothes generally get worn for a few weeks only, while winter clothing has to make it through at least three months of dire temperatures.

So, here are our tips to get your fashion wardrobe at budget prices:

A simple but really well-waterproofed casual jacket adds comfort and style to your wardrobe. Our top tip is to buy a formal jacket in tweed or corduroy that will fit neatly under your big winter waterproof – that way you can dump the top coat when you get to your destination and look as smart as paint whilst feeling totally toasty.

Coloured boots are a big deal this winter – look out for red, burgundy and violet shades, rather than tan or black, as the brighter colours pep up a largely neutral winter wardrobe.

Layered T-shirts work brilliantly. Wear a short sleeved shirt over a long-sleeve T-shirt for a casual but cosy look. Layer a camisole under a scoop neck long-sleeve T-shirt for a strappy sassy look. In really cold weather, two long-sleeved T-shirts layered together give insulation without bulk.

Fur prints are still huge news, especially in metallic finishes. Invest in a big scarf of silver leopard print or bronze tiger stripes and learn fifty ways to tie it!


2013 July 31

Jerzees_Ladies_LS_Ult_NonIron_Shirt_27_962They used to be called blouses, but today they are simply women’s shirts. They can be a boon to the woman who needs to dress smartly for work but doesn’t have a huge budget as three or four shirts in different colours are much more adaptable than a similar number of less classic tops.

Here’s how to make the look work for you.

Under or over?

Whilst a shirt can be worn over a camisole top or vest to give a semi-structured look, it’s just as versatile worn under a plain pinafore dress or a pretty waistcoat to give a more feminine vibe.

Pick a reason

If you wear a shirt for work, there’s no reason not to make it do double duty for your leisure hours. A plain white shirt worn with trousers in a work environment can look really cute if you tie the top around your waist, rather than buttoning it and roll up the sleeves, it’s a perfect bikini cover up.

Consider your fabric

Pure cotton shirts are the classic style – they are hard-wearing but can be more difficult to launder than the blended cotton versions. Non-iron shirts are also available and take all the hard work out of wash time, although they don’t necessarily offer the same cool comfort in a hot office as 100% cotton does.

Play to your strengths

If you have bingo wings or skinny arms, a long-sleeved shirt will conceal their inadequacies whilst offering a nice tailored appearance that enhances your good features. If you have a traditional apple or pear shape, consider a shirt with a round tail, worn outside your skirt or trousers, and with a skinny slimming belt at the waist. It elongates your body and looks slimming.


2013 June 17

Just_Hoods_Girlie_Longline_Hoodie_74_204Kim Kardashian’s ‘healthy female’ baby arrived about a month early. Beyonce tweets pictures of herself with Blue Ivy, her daughter. Celebrity bumps are, or have been, everywhere.

Kim who is 32, said that she had found there were ‘awkward phases and stages’ to being an expectant mother, so how do women dress with a bump? Here are four key tips:

1.    Wear what works for you – our lives are going to change but our basic nature won’t. If you’re a jeans and a T-shirt woman, you’ll still be that after the baby arrives, so adjust rather than altering your clothing – a couple of boyfriend shirts and some elastic sided jeans will take you a long way.

2.    Avoid ultra bright colours – remember that the expanse is rounded and lime green or canary yellow can look surreal on a bump. Clear colours are great so swap the neon for rich shades of blue, burgundy and green and you can still wear camisole tops or even bikinis.

3.    Glam up – there’s no need to sink into the shadows either. You can wear a rhinestone studded dress, a deeply cut top or even strappy sandals if they work for you, just remember that comfort matters too, so don’t wear anything that feels too tight or causes feet or wrists to swell.

4.    Be happy – if you want to spend your entire pregnancy in a hoodie and leggings, that’s your business, nobody has to dress up, down or sideways just because they are pregnant. Pick something stylish, like our illustrated long line hoodie, and go for it!


2013 May 3

Mantis_World_Ladies_Hoody_36_758It’s the time of year when many women end up questing – new clothes, new summer shoes, the right accessories: the summer clothes we put away with such love and care last autumn look completely inadequate when we take them out again. It’s part celebration and part neurotic excursion into self-loathing, but it doesn’t have to be.

Few of us have the lifestyles to allow us to invest in haute couture, or to wear it all the time if we can afford it, so casual style needs to work for us, and while we want to look unique and have our own style, few of us want to be ‘out there’ in our personal look. Casual clothing has inbuilt versatility, it can be dressed up or down, and that’s invaluable in our changeable climate.

Casual wear has other advantages too: it tends to be kinder to real bodies and real shapes that high fashion and it costs less to maintain. Even so, knowing how to make it work with the year’s fashion trends can be difficult.

One example is the metallic finish leather that was seen on all the catwalks this spring, notably Burberry, Nina Ricci and Diane von Furstenberg – but finding the right balance between high fashion and high street can be difficult. Gunmetal, bronze, silver and gold leather all have their individual appeal, and work well with certain colours: denim, all shades of blue and white, for example. But they can look too much like evening wear if paired with black – so if you’ve got a metallic leather belt, one of this year’s embossed leather bags, or the metal finish leather high-tops that are a fashion rage, pair them with a pure white hoody and a long, draped white cotton skirt, or for a hot day, wrap the belt around a peach or cream coloured vest, worn over oyster leggings or white jog pants, for a summery relaxed feel.

Metallic leather flowers on grips or hairbands are a key feature and easy for most of us to wear, so if you’re updating your wardrobe, it’s good to get rid of things you don’t wear and replace them with a key new piece that is classic in style, and then add some accessories to make it work for this year – new T-shirts teamed with plaited metallic leather bracelets will work for next year too, if you invest in key accessories to bring them up to date.


2013 May 1

BC_Ladies_Patti_Classic_Vest_84_668May Day has arrived and most of us are experiencing some sunshine to go with it, but the changeable weather is by no means over.

So how do we dress for the best of the weather without being caught out by the worst of it?

Lightweight clothing

Many people confuse lightweight and skimpy – new fabrics make lightweight clothing such as polo-shirts much more comfortable without them having to feel insubstantial or overly tight. Tight clothing can make you really uncomfortable in the heat and encourages the appearance of sweat rings whilst in cooler temperatures it can leave you feeling clammy.

Layered clothing

Try to wear three or four layers: a vest, polo shirt and fleece work well for men, while a camisole under a dress topped with a shrug gives women more options to add and remove layers as the weather changes. Remember that until at least mid May, night time temperatures drop rapidly, so having a warm ‘final’ layer for evenings is wise. You might want to carry a lightweight hoody or choose the Rihanna option and wear a shirt that ties around the waist but still shows your summer style T-shirt underneath.

Colour choice

Lighter colours work well, and add a summery vibe to your outfit, so yellow T-shirts or peachy shirts are great, but add a darker colour for evening to bring your outfit in line with the lower temperatures: navy blue works well for spring evenings, so a dark blue jacket works well for men, while a teal or navy sweatshirt brings evening warmth to women’s summer wardrobes.


2013 January 31

Fruit_of_the_Loom_Lady_Fit_Rib_Polo_Model-549-662For women it’s even more difficult to dress for all occasions, but here’s a capsule wardrobe to get you through a week away.

1.    A formal jacket – try a blazer for maximum adaptability
2.    One long-sleeved shirt – in a pastel colour – wear it buttoned up with a scarf for a formal look and half unbuttoned over a camisole for a more casual style.
3.    One pair formal trousers in navy or black.
4.    One pair of cotton leggings or semi-formal jog pants in a dark colour. Jeans are not your friend as they are heavy to carry and it’s difficult for a woman to wear jeans well for interviews unless she is superbly well-proportioned. A pair of stretchy cotton jogging bottoms or yoga pants is a better bet, they can be dressed up with the long-sleeved T-shirt, scarf, belt and costume jewellery for a formal look, but worn with the polo shirt for a casual vibe.
5.    Two T-shirts in bright colours
6.    Two camisoles, one light, one dark
7.    One long-sleeved T-shirt in classic black or white, navy or cream
8.    A formal scarf – Hermes is ideal, but a good knock-off will get you through
9.    A fashion belt in black patent or similar, with a big chunky buckle
10.    One long skirt – viscose is good and doesn’t crease
11.    One swimsuit
12.    One pair mid-length shorts – too short is tarty, too long makes you look like a Carry On film extra!
13.    Trainers
14.    Ankle boots
15.    Sunglasses
16.    Gloves
17.    A lightweight casual jacket with good pockets – fleece is an ideal fabric as it can be rolled up without creasing
18.    Bed-wear
19.    Underwear.


2013 January 3

Uneek_Ladies_Tank_Top_82_418Between the flu and the norovirus, most of us in the UK will have had, or be having, some kind of illness right now. You might even be fighting New Year’s hangoveritis still! But for most of us there’s a requirement to get up and get out, whether to work or study or visit friends. So how can you look good when you feel like death? Here are four tips to help you look fine.

  1. Begin by putting some ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapping the bag in a teatowel and putting it over your eyes for about ten minutes to reduce the blood vessels in the eyes and make the whites whiter and the reduce the puffiness. This immediately makes you look healthier. Brush your teeth and then use mouthwash – it helps you feel better and reduces the risk of you spreading germs to other people.
  2. Wear natural fabrics and stretch clothing. It’s not a good idea to wear constricting garments when you’re ill, and belts and buckles can get in the way when you’re trying to get to the bathroom in a hurry, for whatever reason. Cotton tops, and lots of layering, will allow you to add and subtract clothing depending on your internal temperature and the weather conditions around you. A cotton T-shirt, hoodie and sleeveless jacket work for men, while women can layer a camisole top, cardigan and scarf, or a long sleeved t-shirt under a short sleeved one topped with a ballerina wrap. Elasticated waists are a really good idea, especially if you have a stomach upset.
  3. If you’re going outdoors, make sure you have a knit cap, beanie or slouch beret to keep your head warm, and choose a brighter colour than navy, black or grey as they can wash out your skin tones: a beige or green hat is more flattering if you’re under the weather.
  4. Wash your hands a lot, or use hand sanitizer to protect others from your illness. Remember to wash gloves too, as they can transmit germs and even reinfect you!