packing for a city break

Be Amazed At How To Pack For A City Break

A conversation at the gym last weekend sparked this post about how you pack for a city break.  My BoxFit partner was telling me about her forthcoming trip to Italy for 6 nights.

She hadn’t booked luggage and was unwilling to spend £60 with the airline (can’t blame her!).  But she was equally panicking that she wouldn’t be able to fit everything in a carry-on.  So she was plotting how she’d sneak some bits into her boyfriend’s luggage!

packing for a city break

Packing for a short city break is the easiest type of trip to pack for. There’s no need to pay for hold luggage. It’s an unnecessary expense, costs time at the airport and adds a level of anxiety.  If we do have to book hold luggage it’s always the most stressful part of a trip for me – the wait by the carousel!

So make it easy on yourself and with a bit of simple preparation you’ll find packing for a short city break is easy.

Where Do You Start Packing For A City Break?

This might sound blindingly obvious but consider the following:

  1. What are you going to be doing? Eg sightseeing, eating and drinking
  2. What’s the weather forecast?
  3. How long are you going for?

choose a colour palette when packing for a city break

Choose A Colour Palette

Pick a basic colour and ensure that everything you take will go with that.  I recommend no more than 3 colours maximum.

I’d recommend steering clear of black and white in hot weather.  Black because it will reflect the heat and white?  Well I just know how I can get in a mess wearing white. A white top simply tells you to throw chocolate ice cream over it!

How Many Nights Are You Going For?

Quick rule of thumb pack enough tops for each night you will be away.

You’ll see with my suggested packing list that I recommend wearing a top for slightly cooler evenings and then wear again the following day.

You don’t need as many bottoms as tops.

Shoes Take Up Space

I can guarantee that you will need half as many pairs of shoes as you think you do! The temptation is to take loads – I know I’ve been there!

you need less shoes than you think for a city break

You will need one pair of flats for walking and you can wear these for travelling to save space in your luggage.  Pick the pair that you know you can walk in for hours.  I really do recommend trainers for this as with the best will in the world you’ll get footsore in sandals or flip flops.

You will also need a pair of shoes for the evening.  At the risk of sounding like your grandmother think about what you take. Your feet will be hot and swollen after a day’s sightseeing.  Wearing tight strappy sandals that are really made for bar posing might not be your best option.

We went to Lisbon for our Wedding Anniversary several years ago.  The one abiding memory I have of the trip is the night I spent with my ankle wrapped in ice bags.  Why?  I’d worn daft shoes and taken a tumble on smooth cobbles as I’d got out of the tram.

Accessories Transform An Outfit

You probably get bored of me say this but accessories are perfect for creating different looks.

A scarf or two (I’m feeling extravagant!)  and/or a couple of necklaces will help create different looks. This works really well if you’re not sure about my idea to wear a top one evening and then again the next day.

If you’re planning to wear jewellery during the day just be careful – statement necklaces particularly metal can get really hot.  You’re better off not bothering or choosing something dainty or at least non-metal.

Don’t Forget ….

The Sunnies! If you do forget and need to buy a pair when you’re away, be sure not to just pick up a cheap pair from a street vendor.  You want the best possible UV protection for your eyes.

The same applies to sunscreen.  Always go to a pharmacy or buy a recommended brand from a supermarket chain you recognize.

Oh and while we’re on the ‘don’t forget’ list if you think the weather may break while you’re away a compact umbrella won’t take up much space.  If you need a jacket then wear this when you travel.

Recommended my List to pack For A 3-Night City Break

  • Tops x 3
  • Trousers x 1
  • Shorts x 1
  • Dress x 1
  • Scarves x 2
  • Necklace x 2
  • Flat Shoes x 1
  • Shoes for Evening x 1

Outfit suggestions packing for a short break

If you prefer, substitute top 3 for a second dress and wear this on the second evening and the following day.   Remember to pick dresses that you are happy to wear with flat shoes.

 

Scale It Up For A Longer City Break

If you’re going for a longer than 3 nights add a further top and pair of shorts or an extra dress.   You don’t need to add a complete new outfit for every extra night you’re away.  But the 3 night break is the basic capsule.

A LESS CLUTTERED LIFE…

Would you love to live a less cluttered life?  How would it be if you were excited about choosing your outfit every day?  What would it be like if your wardrobe only contained items that made you look good and feel fabulous?

In September I’m launching Become Consciously Stylish.  It’s a program to help you if you want to:

  • Look good every time you get dressed
  • Feel good every time you put on your clothes
  • Reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the planet
  • Learn how to adopt a more minimalistic approach to your wardrobe
  • Have more time and energy in your life

In September I’m launching the Conscious Style Challenge to help you create a wardrobe that works for you, expresses your style, saves you time and money in a sustainable way

BUT before I launch I want to test this program and that’s where I’d like your help If you’re interested please sign up and I’ll send you more information by 1st August.

Conscious Style Challenge

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how beachwear ready are you?

How To Navigate The Beachwear Jungle Sustainably

How beach ready are you?  I’m not talking about bikini bodies (everyone who wears a bikini has one of those!) but your beachwear look.

what is your beachwear styleHow do you like to dress to go to the beach?  Are you a shorts and T-shirt style – minimum fuss and maximum sun worship? Or do you prefer a more elegant style? Perhaps you’d love to wear a sarong but you’re not sure if they flatter your body shape.

Much as I have aspirations of being a style icon when we get to the beach, my beachwear is more practical.  We’ve often been out walking before we get to the beach.  So I’m often in denim shorts and a vest top.  As both are likely to be hot and sweaty (sorry too much info!) they’re purely for getting to the beach!  In the beach bag I pack a long cotton over-shirt.   Essential beachwear for the post swim bar visit!

In this post I’m going to give you some tips on choosing beachwear for your body shape and some ideas on where to buy sustainable beachwear.

BEACHWEAR FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE

Apple Body Shape

If you have a full tummy but great arms and legs then look for beachwear that will skim your figure and avoid voluminous styles.  I’d also recommend that you avoid skirts and sarongs that will draw attention to your tummy area.

Instead look for maxi dresses with an empire line.  An empire line has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust.  This will define your bust and skim your curves (providing the fabric is not too floaty).

Recommended brands: Aspiga and Thought

Pear Shaped Body

You have a small bust and defined waist, with larger hips and thighs.  So look for styles that show off your top half and don’t draw attention to your lower half.   Avoid sarongs, harem pants and wide legged trousers.   Instead look for kaftans or dresses with detail on the top half or around the neckline and sleeves.

Recommended  brands: Aspiga,  Chandni Chowk, La Mandarine

 

Hourglass Body Shape

You can choose what beachwear you like to show off your lovely curves!  But if you’re a petite hourglass shape then beware any styles with copious amounts of fabric as this will just overwhelm you.

Recommended brands: Aspiga, La Mandarine

Athletic Body Shape

Add volume and roundness to your shoulders and hips with your beachwear to create the illusion of curves.   A belt may be too much in the heat, but it will give you a defined waist.  Alternatively look for a pair of loose fitting shorts or trousers and a top. Another option is a playsuit which will be naturally waisted.

Recommended brands: Mamoq, Thought 

 

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

You want to balance your broad shoulders with beachwear that adds detail to the bottom half.  So sarongs, wide legged trousers or cut offs will look amazing on you.  Patterns on your bottom half, keeping things plainer on top.

Recommended brands: Ethical Superstore, Aspiga, La Mandarine

How beachwear ready are you?

Other Beachwear Items To Consider

If you’re looking to replenish your beachwear collection why not select more sustainable and ethical brands to do this?  But remember it’s not obligatory to simply buy new every year!  This is just a quick check list to help if you do need to replace or replenish your beach kit!

Beach Towels

Look for Organic Cotton such as the new beach towels by Rapanui.

Beach Bags

Check out the fabulous selection of bags woven from palm leaf and sisel at Edinburgh based brand Bohemia.

Footwear

Recycled tyres  from brands such as Gumbies, or beautiful sandals (while crafted from leather) that support local artisans from Aspiga. These are just a couple of the choices for summer footwear.

JUST IN CASE

You missed my last post about how to chose the most flattering swimwear for you, please  check this out here.

A Little Favour To Ask

If you’re enjoying my blogs can I ask a massive favour?  Would you please share the word on Social Media (scroll down for links below).

 

 

 

How to choose the best swimsuit for you

How To Choose The Best Swimsuit For You

My own experience buying the best swimsuit has changed over the years.Best swimsuit is the one that looks great on you

I’ve certainly been down the ‘buy it at the supermarket in the resort’ routine.  I’d say that 90% of the time I’ve regretted this approach.  My latest best swimsuit has managed to last the duration of the holiday and if I’m lucky the duration of the summer back home.

A fortnight in the sun, in and out of the sea, covered in sun cream and my best swimsuit is starting to look a bit jaded!  It’s not fitting quite as well, the colours are fading and let’s not mention the padding!

One such swimsuit I had to wash completely separately, as the magenta dye was not fixed. This wasn’t just the first wash but every wash!  I was worried that I was leaving a pink trail whenever I went swimming!  This disastrous purchase even turned a pair of shorts pink and all I’d done was wear them over the top of my bikini.

how to choose the best swimsuitThe best swimsuit is the one that looks good on you! Sounds obvious but not always so easy to put into practice.    Let’s start off by saying that choosing a swimsuit follows the general rules of any other item of clothing.  You want to create balance in terms of your body shape.   So  if you have larger hips smaller bust (pear shaped body) give the impression your bust is bigger and hips smaller.  This will create balance.

My best swimsuit for you guide below shows what to look for.

I will then round off this post by giving you an overview of brands to consider in the swimwear market.  Not only in terms of design, those that really think about women’s bodies but also those with high sustainability credentials.

So how do you choose your best swimsuit?

Let’s look at the key areas of body shape and your figure to give you some guidelines:

Small Bust

While you might not think it (I know I don’t) a small bust means you have a great choice of swimsuits, but if you’re looking to make your bust appear bigger look for:

  • Push up/padded styles
  • Horizontal patterns
  • Ruffles on the top half

Avoid skimpy triangle shaped bikinis with no support and solid colours on the top.

Full Bust

You want a swimsuit that will give you some support and be comfortable, so look for:

  • Thick straps
  • Underwired
  • V Neck or halter neck – both styles will flatter your bust

You will find push-ups and skinny straps uncomfortable.

 

Apple Body ShapeDorina House Of Fraser Swimsuit With Side Panels

You have a fuller tummy than bust.  While you may be conscious of your tummy you have fantastic legs.  Show off your legs and take attention away from your tummy area by looking for swimsuit styles:

  • One piece
  • Panel designs on the sides – as this will help define your waist
  • Printed centre panel – will create a vertical line and make you look taller

Avoid low-rise bottoms if you do prefer a bikini.

Pear Shape Body

Draw attention to your smaller bust and defined waist.  You may be conscious of your hips and thighs so play these down.   You can do this with:

  • Ruffles on your top half
  • Brighter colours on your top half
  • Consider Tankini or Skirtini styles

Avoid a bright coloured sarong or bottom half so you do not draw attention to your hips

Hour Glass Body Shape

Swimsuit with bold print

Monki Cares Swimsuit

Your curves look fabulous in a swimsuit.  Most styles will look great but remember to keep your look balanced

  • Bold prints will flatter your curves
  • If you are a curvy hourglass look for a swimsuit with some support – underwire or bandeau styles
  • A one piece with a v neck and or mesh tummy panel will look fabulous

If you want to go for ruffles and details – this will look best on top and bottom rather than either on the top or the bottom.

Athletic Body Shape

You have a straight and generally very lean body shape.  To create some curves you want to look for swimsuits that:

  • Have ruffles or horizontal lines to add some width to your bust and hips
  • Push up or padded tops
  • One piece with cut outs on the side will also create shape and definition

Similar to a small bust avoid skimpy triangle bikinis with little or no shape and shapeless one piece swimsuits

Inverted Triangle

Your shoulders are wider than your hips.  You may have a full bust.   To create some balance you should consider:

  • High waisted two piece swimsuits
  • A one piece with side cut outs will create an hourglass shape
  • Pattern or detail on the bottom half to create balance

Avoid tiny bottoms, a high neck and embellishment on your top half

Best Swimsuit Brands

Putting together this blog took more time than usual.  Why? I was determined to recommend some sustainable swimwear brands.  Almost everywhere I looked there was a compromise to be made either in terms of:

  • The range – in terms of being able to recommend to you a range of styles to reflect the ones I’d recommended
  • Quality – without paying the earth.
  • Sustainability rating

 

It was a tall order, but having narrowed it down below are some I’d suggest you check out.

 

Deakin And BlueDeakin And Blue

Rosie Cook founded Deakin and Blue when she couldn’t find a swimsuit for her twice-weekly swims in her local lido.  She found that most swimwear did not cater for women’s body shapes.

All Deakin and Blue products are made from recycled nylon fishing nets and are manufactured in London.

Empowering women to feel great in swimwear in a sustainable way is at the heart of Rosie’s brand values.  I was lucky enough to interview Rosie recently, click here to  watch.

 

Woodlike Ocean

Husband and wife team Mauricio and Sonja was started when Sonja was looking for a bikini that would suit her athletic lifestyle.

Woodlike Ocean offer customized sizing if a customer wants a bespoke fit.

All products are made from recycled plastic.

For every purchase you make a 1% donation to the Healthy Seas initiative.  This goes towards helping to fund the work to recover the plastic in our seas.

Monki

Part of the H&M Group Monki offers a swimwear in a range of different styles at High Street prices.  They do use sustainable fabrics in some of their products – look for their Monki Cares when looking at garments.

H&M are one of the biggest names on the High Street working towards improving their sustainability rankings.

Zoggs

If you swim as a sport or competitively Zoggs is a familiar brand.  Made for swimming rather than lounging.  Available online.  They are essentially a High Street name, sizing is standard fit rather than customized.  Look for their EcoLast range for sustainable fabrics.

Kiniki

Based in Shropshire supplying direct to consumers.  Kiniki offer locally produced products finished to a high standard. Every stage process is done in-house. They have also patented a ‘Tan Through’ fabric, but given it’s patented, understandably there’s not much information about how it’s made.

Kiniki have a detailed sizing guide on their website.

 

Finally….

Not sure about your body shape?  Check out my Body Shape Guide for reference.

If you are struggling to find a swimsuit that fits properly, is affordable and you would like an expert to help then look at local lingerie shops.   I have a very good one close to me.  A trained lingerie fitter will be able to give you great advice about fit and brands.

 

One Last Favour

Would you like to learn more about sustainable style?  Why not join my tribe where I share tips and information about how to make sustainable choices when it comes to our clothes.

 

 

 

talented seamstress Julie Brown

Inspiring Women: How To Enjoy Life To The Full

Meet my latest guest for my Inspiring Women series.  Julie Brown is a transformational writer and business coach.  Julie helps entrepreneurs get more eyes on their business through the telling of their own story.  But Julie’s had a fascinating journey from Nursing to management in the NHS before following her passion to write.   Julie is also a talented seamstress who has a passion for adrenaline hobbies!

talented seamstress Julie Brown

Tell Us About Your Background And Early Career

I left school at sixteen (wow that’s an age ago).  After a short stint in a council office I trained as a general and then psychiatric nurse.

At the height of the HIV/AIDS scare I became a counsellor working with affected men and women and their family and friends – such a sad time and very humbling.

After moving into NHS management, I worked for the Government as a hospital review manager.  I was responsible for awarding NHS trusts with quality stars or stripping them of existing ones, depending on what I found.

I studied for and achieved a first degree and MBA during my time in the NHS.

A Change Of Career 

 A lot of life changes come on the back of a particular event and this was no exception.

My mum died after a hard-fought battle with cancer and it made me see life in a different way.

It brought on a determination to follow my dreams.  I love writing, am nosey and live close to one of the biggest publishers in the country. Shortly after losing my mum, I saw a job for a writer advertised.

I applied and a few months later took my seat on a specialist magazine with an enormous pay cut to go with it.  I haven’t once looked back. I’d already learnt (from a spell as a single parent) that money wasn’t everything.  Enjoying what you do and nurturing your mental health is just as important.

That job was on Your Horse magazine, the UK’s number one equine mag, and as horses have been a lifelong passion, it couldn’t have worked out any better. I became an editor just five years later followed by a four-year stint as a magazine publisher.

inspiring women julie brown

Diverse publications 

I published a title called Back Street Heroes about custom motorcycles (choppers, as we used to call them) and the people and scene around them. The bikes were beautiful, but it was the people that made it memorable.

Not always easy to work with, but all of them were characters.  Under my guidance we reversed a decline in sales and increased subscription numbers too.

LEAP TO SELF-EMPLOYMENT

When I was getting ready to leave paid employment (scary!) I trained as a life coach after working with a coach myself.  I knew this was something I would enjoy doing and be good at.

Once I’d started down this path and people realised I was a journalist too, I found myself attracting business owners who wanted help with developing their writing skills or who wanted me to write for them – blogs, web copy etc.

This prompted a slight shift of direction and Write Little Madam was unleashed.

I am a transformational writer and business coach, which allows me to use the whole range of skills in my toolkit.

I help business owners get more eyes on their business through telling their own story. Coaching them in writing skills, getting into the press and online and communicating directly to the heart of their customers.

I still work as a journalist for publications and online, which continues to give me joy, credibility and carves me out as an expert at what I do.

talented seamstress inspiring women Julie Brown

A TALENTED SEAMSTRESS  

As a business owner it can be so easy to get sucked into working all day, every day. But I believe that taking time to do a bit of what you love is important and I make sure I practise what I preach.

I try to do a bit of sewing a couple of times a week in the evenings, then will spend longer on it at the weekend. Having a system helps. Cutting out patterns and fabric can be the time-consuming bit, so I do this in bulk, using dead time, like watching TV to cut out the paper patterns.

This means that at any one time I have two or three things ready to sew, so when I have a chunk of time I can whizz along and have a garment finished relatively quickly.

How would you describe your style?

 A little bit eclectic to be honest. I adore vintage clothes (I have a wardrobe dedicated to this) and so I make a fair few things that are vintage inspired. I’m on the look-out for a pattern for flared trousers right now!

At the moment I’m also enjoying Japanese styled clothes, which tend to be loose fitting, floaty and a bit quirky. I choose patterns where there’s room for personalisation. I may change the style of the sleeves or make something shorter for instance.

The big appeal about sewing is that I’m unlikely to meet anyone wearing the same thing. And it’s such a great feeling when people compliment me on what I’m wearing and ask where I got it from. Sewing is also a great distraction as it’s difficult to think about much else when you’re creating.

talented seamstress julie brown

when did you learn TO SEW?

 I didn’t do sewing at school although I was keen to – it just wasn’t offered. When I left I enrolled in night classes to learn, which I did for four years.

I continued to sew for a while and then stopped (family stuff, work etc.) until 2010, when I was working with a graphic designer who enjoyed sewing and was a  talented seamstress.

Through our chats, and her bringing in her recent makes, I caught the bug again and off I went. I bought a 1964 Bernina sewing machine from Ebay and started with an elasticated waist skirt. The joy of sewing soon came flooding back and I now have a much fancier machine!

I have a tendency to take things to the extreme!  While I was working full time as a publisher, I opened a sewing shop in the cute market town we lived in at the time.

I stayed in my job and employed two people to run the shop Monday to Friday. I worked there on Saturdays and also ran workshops to share my passion for creating with others. Sadly, I had to sell my lovely shop a couple of years ago when we needed to relocate. I’ll never forget my little vintage styled shop.

I still attend sewing classes to develop my skills and keep up to date. I have learnt to draft my own patterns, use fabrics in unusual ways, learn tailoring techniques and recently turned my hand to making a pair of trainers too.

MAKE UP DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BEIGE!

 I am very excited about this. I’ve noticed as I’ve aged that people’s expectations of how I should look has changed. I’ve always dressed individually and I adore make-up, but apparently at my age I should be more beige, with conventional make-up and old lady hair (whatever that is). Well, I’m not having it and I’ll continue to wear what I want and experiment with make-up till I can no longer do it (and even then I’ll probably ask someone else to do it for me!) My mission is to get other women feeling the same confidence to do this – to stay sassy until the end.

I’ve created a blog and YouTube channel to share my experiences and also review make-up and skincare to inspire women to try different things. I can help them make informed choices. Yellow eyeliner? Beach tousled hair? Bring it on!  I also write about fashion, vintage and what I call ‘interesting stuff,’ which could be anything I think the more mature women might want to hear about.

inspiring women Julie Brown Still Sassy

A PASSION FOR FREEDOM

 The two things that make my heart race are riding motorbikes and snowboarding.

I’ve been riding for around 25 years, owning a whole range of bikes in that time. I’ve ridden Route 66 (Chicago to Los Angeles), the West Coast of America twice, in France, Spain and Ireland. And done many, many laps of Britain too.

I know it’s a cliché, but the freedom you feel on a bike is overwhelming. When you get an empty road and you can open the throttle and let it go, it’s like nothing else.

Yes, I’ve been scared a few times and fell off twice in America, but the pleasure of riding outweighs the fear tenfold. When you ride you’re so much more involved with your surroundings.

You can hear, see and smell things you never would in a car. And of course, you can carve through the traffic with no bother at all. I always think that owning a fast car would be fab, but even the fastest get stuck in traffic. Not so with a bike.

motorbike inspiring women Julie Brown

LET’S NOT FORGET SNOWBOARDING!

Snowboarding is a relatively new thing – I’ve been at it for about 11 years now. I started when I was between horses and had too much time on my hands.

My son could ski and I joined him for a lesson. I was terrible at it but loved being on the snow (or false snow given we were at an indoor snow centre) and liked the idea of snowboarding more –  it looked so cool. So, I gave it a go. I can’t say it was easy to learn – I walked away from every lesson with bruises, but I kept going back and once it all came together it’s been one of the best things I’ve done.

Now I enjoy a snowy holiday at least once a year and it’s something me and my (now grown up) son can do together, which is fab. We leave hubby behind (he turned out not to be a natural on the snow) and blast around the mountains, laughing like loons the whole way. The mountains are an awe-inspiring place to spend some time. I highly recommend it. If you don’t fancy snowboarding, there are plenty of walking tracks to keep you busy.

To contact Julie

Julie’s transformational writing and coaching business can be found at  Write Little Madam

If you share Julie’s passion for not being beige and would like to learn more about wearing make up and taking care of your skin head over to her blog Still Sassy  or You Tube Channel  to learn more.

transformational writer and coach Julie Brown

 

Would you like to share your story? 

We’re all remarkable inspiring women whether we think we are or not!  Our journeys are fascinating to others and let’s face it we all love cheering each other on!  If you would like to share your story and inspire others then I’d love to hear from you!  Please click on the box below to contact me!

By providing your personal details we will only use this to contact you in connection with your enquiry about my Inspiring Women Blog and Vlog Series

de-cluttering your wardrobe

How To Enjoy Life After De-cluttering Your Wardrobe

If you’ve been de-cluttering your wardrobe recently then you’ve probably been thinking what’s next?  Maybe you have been wondering how you stop yourself needing to do another major de-cluttering session?

de-cluttering your wardrobe

Well there are several steps you should take after de-cluttering your wardrobe which I’d like to share with you here:

1. CELEBRATE!

Acknowledge your achievement – how does it make you feel? Proud? Happy? Fulfilled? More relaxed?

2. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

If you’ve spent some time de-cluttering your wardrobe it can be tiring physically and emotionally.  So do something to fill your self up whatever that looks like.

life after de-cluttering your wardrobe

3. DECLUTTER OTHER AREAS

Recognise that by regaining control over your wardrobe may encourage you to de-clutter other areas of your life.   Not just your living space, but perhaps your digital space as well.

4. FREETIME

We lose up to 2.5 days per year looking for stuff that we have lost. That’s a whole weekend away and you’ve earned it!  So remember to book that weekend away it’s time to reclaim those 2.5 days now!

5. ENCOURAGE OTHERS

Share your experience of de-cluttering your wardrobe with friends and family.  Help them see that de-cluttering is much more than simply getting rid of bags of unwanted clothes.

6. DONATION BOX/BAG

Have a box or bag in the bottom of your wardrobe for any items that no longer feel part of your much loved wardrobe collection.

7. SET REGULAR DATES for DE-CLUTTERing your wardrobe

Put them in your diary and stick to them.  Even if you find that reviewing your wardrobe means there’s nothing to clear out – just setting yourself regular reminders is a great way to stay on top of your wardrobe.

set dates for de-cluttering your wardrobe

8. SHOPPING

Now hopefully your approach to shopping will change as a result of de-cluttering your wardrobe!  You will know what is in your wardrobe and what might be missing. So when you go shopping there are three things you should remember:

  • Spend money only on items that you really love. If you’re seeking a second opinion in the changing room, the chances are it won’t make it to the tag removal stage in your wardrobe!
  • You know what’s in your wardrobe now so when you do see something think about how it will go with other items in your wardrobe – my rule of thumb is you should be able to style something 3 ways!
  • Be honest with yourself when you are shopping – why are you shopping?Are you unhappy about something and buying something to simply cheer yourself up – again unless the item passes the other tests then chances are it will languish unworn

de-cluttering your wardrobe making you more mindful about shopping

9. MONEY

Many of us are sick of Fast Fashion – cheap products, poor quality that don’t last.  Not only are they bad for the environment and are made by people who are barely paid a living wage.  BUT overcoming our attraction to buying from stores offering ‘bargains’ is sometimes more difficult.  Why?

Well it has a lot to do with how we value ourselves.

We know deep down that it’s better to buy quality pieces that will last.  They look better, are more durable and frankly with more care taken in manufacture will look better on us.

Those of us who shop in pre-loved boutiques know how fabulous it feels to find a unique piece with a designer label at an incredibly good PRICE – that’s very much the nub of it.

Buying quality means getting out of our own way on price. Many of us have hang ups about spending a lot on ourselves – often coming from a place where we’ve been conditioned to think ‘we’re not worth it’.

I work on a practical way of reframing the gut churning feelings we get sometimes when we look at the price tag.  We love it, it looks gorgeous and it will go with so much in our wardrobes but how do we justify it?

  • Consider the number of times you might wear the garment, envisage the ways you can make it work in your wardrobe (which is now a neatly curated closet where you know every piece in it)
  • Can you make it into a signature look piece – so you become known as the woman in the gorgeous blah label jacket for example?
  • Then take the cost of the item and divide it by the potential number of times you can see yourself wearing it. This is called the cost per wear.  All of a sudden it doesn’t seem so expensive does it?
  • Reflect on how long you might keep an item you really love and is a quality garment – 5 years, 10 years perhaps? Divide the cost by the number of years – again it doesn’t seem so expensive does it?

FINALLY REFLECT

What was difficult about de-cluttering your wardrobe?  It may make it easier to work out why you hang on to stuff.  What are the emotional ties – are they related to the money you’ve invested, a sense of guilt about cost v wear?

Perhaps there’s some anxiety that you have put on weight and can’t fit into some of your clothes? Maybe you have simply been hanging on to clothes because you don’t like shopping and hoping that you can put off the inevitable moment of having to buy more.

How do you stop those feelings recurring?  Well there are the steps to follow about shopping (as discussed) but do you need some practical help to understand what works for you in terms of colours and styles?

If you’re struggling with de-cluttering your wardrobe you might like to download my handy guide.

 

ali moore BeMoore

Reconnect Your Life & Find Your Roar!

Meet Ali Moore!  One of the most inspiring women I know.  Ali is inspiring on so many levels – ali moore reconnect your life
what’s she’s achieved in her life to date personally and for her business. How many plates she spins and doesn’t manage to drop a single one!   She’s an empathetic and engaging public speaker, as well as a published author of Reconnect Your Life.

She’s passionate about clothes and her signature style.  Ali also describes herself as a compulsive shopper who doesn’t want to be cured!  But that’s enough from me, let’s hear Ali’s story.

Ali – Please introduce yourself

Hi – I am Ali Moore, founder of Bemoore which is a private therapy and coaching practice; specialising in the science of self- esteem.  Working with women to restore that self- esteem platform and feel fabulous about being them.

I am a community Celebrant  and author of Reconnect Your Life – more about those later!

I am married to my Alfie and between us we have 5 children. My girls are 22 and 19 my step children 13 and 11. We also have our joint venture who is 4.5 years old!

Tell us about your childhood and your teenage years

My early years were really quite normal – a good middle-class family. Just before my teenage years however I experienced an awful period of bullying which led not only to me being home schooled for a while but also developing social anxiety and controlling my eating. It wasn’t a great time, but the homeschooling actually was a real blessing and I am forever in debt to the teacher I had and the introduction to topics such as mindfulness and yoga.

You met your first husband at just 15 and soon had two amazing girls while juggling a corporate career.  How did you manage to keep all the plates spinning?

I was fortunate that both sets of grandparents were fully involved.

I had to go back to work financially.  We owned our first home by the time I was 18,  I was young when I had the girls, so in those early days there wasn’t an option to be a stay at home mum.

I think like many women you just get on with it and make it work. You get organised and I did actually love working alongside being a mum.  I think the girls gained from it in different ways.

ali moore radio presenter

Sadly, your first marriage ended after 21 years, what was the catalyst for this?

We got together, as you said,  at a very young age, we had grown up and become different people.

Our son was still born in 2007 having diagnosed with a life preventing condition and I strongly believe that there is no relationship which cannot be impacted by this loss.

We grieved very differently, and I was forever changed as a person. I made a decision about 18 months after that it was best all round we separated.  He has remained very close to the girls and very involved in their lives.

What was your coping mechanism after losing your baby?

Initially my coping mechanism was work.  I went back to work 2 weeks after the funeral. There was no support really offered.

The GP never visited or checked in.  A midwife did come and visit in the first few days – but she was very newly qualified and out of her depth.  I made her a cup of tea if I remember rightly!

I didn’t know about any type of therapy or counselling and it seemed as though we were expected to just ‘move on’ with life!  After a while I was prescribed anti -depressants but overall, I just got on with it. It was later that I realized I hadn’t dealt with it at all.

When your first marriage ended, how did you build the next stage of your life?

I had never been on my own.  I didn’t really even know who I was outside of the marriage and relationship.

But I will be honest and say I threw myself into this next phase. Learning to manage bank accounts and the house things which I had never done.

I persuaded my boss to give me a project in a new role in a brand-new location .  I wanted a fresh start. To not be ‘the women whose life was a car crash’.

I totally changed myself as well, joining a gym and changing my hair.  I qualified as a Life and Business Coach. It was full on in those early years.

I needed to be financially stable to keep the family home for the girls – that was my driver.

ali moore reconnect your life

arrival of the chimp

I am very comfortable now with telling this.  It’s part of who I am and there is no shame in mental health challenges.

Firstly I was very happy at this stage of my life.  Most of the drama was all done. I went out to feed the cats one morning and had a panic attack.  Firmly believing that a chimp had escaped from the nearby safari park !  Convinced this chimp would be in the area and would attack the girls on the way to school.

I knew this was crazy talk, but I also couldn’t step away from the panic.   This wasn’t an isolated incident – it kept happening.  I would have to pull over to check the boot of the car, look under beds in hotel rooms.

We talk about ‘the chimp’  in people’s heads the chattering monkey.  But for me there was a real chimp out there and he meant business.  It was my (now) second husband that helped to persuade me I needed to get some help.

BTW I do know how crazy this sounds but that was the point really wasn’t it! :0)

What steps did your recovery take?

I contacted a local hypnotherapist who had advertised I the local paper for a number of years. I thought she could hypnotise it away!  But she didn’t, instead she made me talk about it.

My interest in therapy was starting to take shape.  I had explored counselling.  I was a trained mediator and of course coaching was now in my life.  But talking therapy and cognitive therapy was pivotal for me.

My next journey started as I decided I would look to train as a therapist.   That initial therapy helped me put the chimp away. But I have continued to explore therapy in different forms.  I  continue now to work on my sense of self.

2013 was a major year why?ali moore reconnect your life

It was a busy year!  The start of another new journey in my life.

My partner asked me to have a hand-fasting (pagan wedding) – I said yes.  A couple of months later we made a big decision.   We wanted a baby of our own.   Interestingly we’d not mentioned  living together neither were we planning our wedding.   But curiously  I felt very secure and it wasn’t even on my mind.

To have another baby was huge… to be able to trust someone that much, to risk allowing myself to be that vulnerable again.

Initially I wasn’t sure I could go through that again.  Or put my family through it again.  But when you trust someone and you are able to be really honest with them it is a wonderful feeling.

So, in 2013 I fell pregnant with our son who was born in the following May.

I also agreed to move my family into one house, sell my house that I’d fought so hard to keep.  I also accepted the change to my whole financial situation, by becoming a parent again after 16 years!

How did it feel to lose your financial independence?

Terrifying!

It was the biggest block for me.  It was the main reason I hesitated and didn’t launch my business initially.  I even took another employed role even after I had set everything up.

I need to be able to contribute.  It was also about feeling secure enough that I could trust this would work.

Previously I had been in a position to take on all the financial burden. If this relationship didn’t work out, then I would not be in the same place.

I like my independence and my own money.  I will not ever have a joint bank account again.

reconnection program

This actually started from a selfish point of view.

I had run a very early version of my FindYourRoar workshop, and the women mentioned about feeling like they wanted to stay together.

It got me thinking that I was really missing that community I had in my corporate life.  I wasn’t a coffee morning mum type of person, I loved networking but that was business.  I wanted someone where to meet new women and to have good conversation.

So, my women’s group open to women from all backgrounds started. It has been slow process to get set up.  This is probably because there is nothing else really out there like it in the evenings.

We pick a self-development topic every month. We chat, discuss, share book reviews and importantly make new connections. I now have an established group in Bedford and Milton Keynes and am considering the next steps to expand this community.

DESPITE A very BUSY LIFE, yOU STARTED A DEGREE in 2017!

I am always learning.  I always have a course going on!  But going to University was a real dream for me. I really wanted to have a Uni Campus experience.  It would be very 1960’s Cambridge in my head – but I didn’t have that option!

There was also the fact that I didn’t have A levels and was refused by a certain University!  Even though I had numerous higher diplomas and was running my own business.

So, I contacted the Open University and they were happy to support me so I’m now studying Clinical Psychology.   I want to do a massive shout out here for those that are learning in this way.

There is nothing easy about an Open University degree course. You are basically self-teaching, self-motivated and self-reliant. I do feel stressed as the schedule is tough.   But I am committed and I loving it!  The other major benefit is being able to help my clients through the additional learning.

celebrating life!

This has been another life changer actually. I have always had an interest in faith.  While I’m a   Pagan I’m hugely interested in other faiths and in the new form of spirituality that’s emerging.

I had attended a very dear friends funeral a couple of years ago and a Celebrant had conducted the service.  It felt really personal, but I was surprised that it contained religious pieces.  I thought it had to be Humanist and this would not be right for me. But I discovered you can be a multi-faith celebrant.   The primary benefit is to give your community a wonderful option of how to conduct those important life transitions.

I am now building up my business and my community, in which to practice.  Once agin I’m  connecting with some new and amazing individuals.

Reconnect your life

In December 2018 I became a published author as part of an amazing collaborative project.

Writing is something I love to do, so after being involved in a collaborative project,  I decided to write my own book; Reconnect Your Life, which has just been published.

I was discovering so many stories and bringing together some great material as I built out my Reconnection Programme it seemed like a wonderful way to share with a wider audience.

Determined not to write a book which just focused on my challenges, but to focus on  something that really gave something back in a useful way.

Reconnect Your Life isn’t meant to be aimed at an academic audience but at real people.  It is not designed to replace true therapy support, but it does give a great start to some of the cognitive practices people can do to improve their sense of self.

ali moore published author reconnect your life

Running A business Networking Group

Running two reconnection groups with everything else on your plate would be enough for most women, but you’ve also found time to take on running a business networking group too!  What is this about and what motivated you to get involved with this project?

I seem to just keep adding to my plate, but actually I see this a lot with business women.  We are used to juggling and we like to have lots of diversity in our days.

I was keen to take the word about my business further towards London. I love the Busy Women Networking groups I attended and love collaborating with the owner Aruna Rao.  So rather than join another new group it suited us both for me to open a St Albans based branch.

ali moore empowerment day

How do you maintain any level of self-care?

It’s a hectic life! But I thrive on this, ensuring I get time to myself during the day. Clearing my diary if needed and recognising the signs that mean I am feeling overwhelmed. I eat healthily and practise yoga most mornings.

I surround myself with people who are of a positive nature.

Plus, my husband is super supportive.  He enjoys cooking and I love eating so that’ s a winning partnership!  We share the home responsibilities … and sometimes nothing is better than a glass of bubbly in the bath!

If you had the opportunity to advise your 15-year-old self what would that be?

Gosh that is a big question! I would say … life is going to be an adventure- there will be wonderful moments and there are going to be times you feel you are drinking the bitterest of lemon juice … but you will rise, and you will shine … stay strong!

WHAT’S NEXT?

My overall dream for the business is to establish the Bemoore Foundation. A place for women of all ages and backgrounds to feel comfortable coming to, for support.   With teenage programmes and funding available alongside the private practice.

We are just launching our first Roaring4Life teenage programme in a local Milton Keynes school, so the future is already starting to emerge.

reconnect your life and connect with ali

As I said at the beginning Ali is one of the most inspiring women I know.   If you’d like to find our more about   Ali’s work then follow her at the BeMoore foundation

 

keep moth infestation at bay with lavender

Moth Infestation? How To Win The War

You know that beautiful cashmere jumper you put back in the wardrobe after Christmas?

You’ve been looking forward to wearing it to a family lunch. You take it out of the wardrobe and pull it on to admire yourself in the mirror.  Imagine your horror when you find the moths have been making short work of your precious jumper.

So what can you do about it? Sadly not a lot about the cashmere jumper but the good news is that you can eliminate a moth infestation from your wardrobe and home with a few simple steps that I’ll take you through in today’s blog.

Rapid Rise Of Moth Infestations

Last summer there were several reports that suggested that moth infestations were on the rise.  The weather was blamed but in fact the Butterfly Conservation charity suggests that moth infestations have been on the rise over the last 20-30 years.

Rentokil and English Heritage both report an huge increase in moth infestations too.

They are more likely to occur in houses built before 1950s.  These properties have more access to the outside (fireplaces, attics larders etc).

Alarming Rise Of Moth Infestations – Why?

There are a couple of reasons cited why there are more clothing moth infestations:

  1. Centrally Heated Houses – our homes are always warm, providing an attractive breeding environment for moths.
  2. Natural Fibres – ironically our move towards more natural fibres and away from nylon and polyester in clothing is more attractive to moths.
  3. Laundering At Lower Temperatures – moth larvae is killed off at 55oC – how often do you wash your clothes at this temperature?

dealing with a moth infestation

How Do You Deal With A Moth Epidemic?

The simple answer is that you need to eliminate the infestation and then take steps to prevent the moths coming back.  This is how:

Deep Clean Your Wardrobe

You need to deep clean your wardrobe and the only way to do this is remove everything.

Once you’ve removed everything you need to vacuum your your wardrobe – remember to do all the corners and drawers.

Wipe down the inside of your wardrobe with vinegar and water solution or soap and water.

Launder Everything

Wash or dry-clean all of your clothes.  Alternatively if you have the space you can put your clothes in plastic bags and freeze them for 48-hours.   You need to do this to kill off all the larvae.

Spring Clean Your Bedroom

Hoover and clean carpets and floors thoroughly.  Although moth infestations breed in your wardrobe larvae can get into carpets and surrounding areas.

Use Garment Bags For Out Of Season Clothes

When you no longer need your jumpers and warmer clothes store these in garment bags with cedar wood sticks.  Use cotton garment bags to avoid the risk of mould and discolouration.  Cotton garment bags allow your clothes to breathe.

Keep Moths At Bay The Natural Way

Moths hate thyme, lavender, cloves, mint and bay leaves.

Why not make your own natural repellent?  The added bonus is that it will also smell lovely in your wardrobe.

Place dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender or bay leaves into a small cloth bag and hang them in your wardrobe and place them in your drawers.

You can also use an essential oil diffuser with a blend of these oils in your room.

keep moth infestation at bay with lavender

Another Great Trick

Use cedar wood products in your drawers and wardrobes.  Clothes hangers, wooden balls for your drawers or discs to hang on clothes hangers are all great ways to prevent moths returning.

If you’re unlucky enough to have suffered a moth infestation then hopefully this blog will help you to get rid of the moths and stop them returning.

Beware Vintage

Vintage clothes, particularly this in the natural fibres that moths love may be a source of moth larvae.   If in doubt then it’s best to launder or dry clean your vintage purchases before you add to your wardrobe collection.

While You’re Here!

One way to ensure you reduce the risk of moths is to give them less opportunity to breed and feed on your clothes.  If you have less clothes in your wardrobe then the larvae has less to get its teeth into!  Why not take the opportunity to declutter your wardrobe either as a prevention against moths or simply as part of your wardrobe de-infestation.    Not sure where to start?  Why not join my FREE Wardrobe Challenge starting on 13th March – Clutter to Wardrobe Harmony in 7-days?  All you need to do is sign up here.

 

Join The Challenge!

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look and feel fabulous

What Has Love Got To Do With It?

To really look and feel fabulous you have got to love what you are wearing.  It increases our confidence tenfold (at least). If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous you’re missing out on an opportunity.look and feel fabulous

One of the first questions I ask my clients is what is your favourite outfit, piece of jewellery or item of clothing.

When they tell me, I ask them more about it.  Initially without them showing me because I want them to help me understand why it’s special.

  1. Is it the colour?
  2. Or the shape?
  3. Do you look and feel fabulous when you wear it?
  4. Does it evoke happy memories?
  5. Did you buy it for a special occasion?
  6. Was it an investment piece?
  7. Do you receive lots of compliments whenever you wear it?

Finally – how often do you wear it? Very often this will reveal that the item is hardly ever worn because it’s special.   While I’m an advocate of not keeping things for best I accept that not everything is suitable for everyday.

But the reason we do the exercise is to draw out the answers. When you know what it is that makes you look and feel fabulous beyond ‘this dress’ it’s so much easier to replicate.

So let me show you an example of my own go to piece that makes me look and feel fabulous every time I wear it.

The Necklace That Makes Me Look And Feel Fabulousthe necklace that makes me feel amazing

The Colour

I love the colour because it goes with anything.  When it catches the light it changes colour.   Because it’s a cool colour this helps my features stand out. So the colour really does make me look and feel fabulous.

The Shape

The shape certainly is an influencer because it hits most of my style keywords: dramatic, quirky, fun and passionate.  You can’t fail to notice it and it represents who I am and what my brand is about.

Does It Make Me Look And Feel Fabulous?

Oh hell yes!  Every time I wear it I feel a million dollars and for that reason it was worth every darn penny I spent on it.

I also bought a bracelet and earrings with the necklace.  I love the bracelet too and have worn it so often that I had to have it restrung.

Does It Evoke Happy Memories?do I receive lots of compliments when I wear my favourite piece

Not that I specifically attach to the necklace.

Did I Buy It For A Special Occasion?

No it was an impulse purchase at an exhibition of a jewellery designer I’d been introduced to. She had an open house.  I went along with the approach that I’d feel morally obliged to spend money.

Was It An Investment Piece?

At the time it was an investment. I’d recently finished my corporate career, had no money coming in.  I felt quite guilty about spending the money.  I even agonized over whether I should ask the designer for a refund!

Do I Receive Lots Of Compliments When I Wear It?

Yes I do and I take from this that it’s not simply the necklace, but it’s the way it makes me look and feel fabulous.   It ensures I feel more confident and that’s going to impact the way I walk in a room and present myself.

 

But What If You Don’t Wear Your Favourite Piece Very Often

The aim of this exercise is to see what it is about the item or outfit that makes it special.    With clothing in particular break it down further to include:

  1. Fabric – texture, print
  2. Details about the shape – hemline, sleeve length, neckline, the cut
  3. Details of the garment – trims, quality of manufacture

Then take a look in your wardrobe and see if there is anything else that is similar. Perhaps with a bit of help from a seamstress you could make it more like your favourite piece?   Or if it’s the colour and you don’t have anything else the same colour would you be able to use accessories to replicate the colour with other clothes?

But even if the answer is still I haven’t got anything else, what you have now got is a blueprint and a very clear idea of what makes you look and feel fabulous.  This is so important when you are shopping and helps you to avoid mistakes.  It doesn’t mean you have to clone your favourite outfit when you shop! But it does mean you have a better understand of what really works for you.

So that’s what love has got to do with it!  Happy Valentines!

 

If You Want To Look & Feel Fabulous Try This Exercise Yourself

Download my checklist to help you determine what is your favourite piece in your wardrobe.

Download My Free Guide Look & Feel Fabulous

Download My Free Guide

add colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

How To Re-Boost Your Winter Wardrobe In February

Are you sick of your winter wardrobe?  It’s about this time of year when the first shoots of spring appear, which is when I start thinking about changing my look.  I don’t have a huge collection of clothes, preferring instead to play around with different combinations.  So this makes me more aware of the value of accessories to help create different looks.  It’s key to think outside the box and experiment especially when you’re starting to get fed up with your winter wardrobe.

Spring Summer clothes are starting to make an appearance online and offline but the weather’s not right to wear them yet.  Of course the next round of fashion weeks is about to start and showcase what we’ll be wearing in SS20!

So what can you do to give your winter wardrobe a boost of sunshine?  In this week’s blog we look at some quick tips to help you feel that spring really is just round the corner.

Swap Your Handbagwinter wardrobe add a colourful handbag

Around 34% of women have lots of handbags, but tend to stick to the same one all the time. Why? They’re afraid of forgetting something if they keep changing handbags.

The best way to avoid this is to get yourself a bag liner that is big enough for all your essentials and fits in your bags.  Then make sure all the less valuable but nonetheless essential items are in each of your bags (tissues, pen, lipstick, business cards etc).

But I digress it’s my guess that you may have opted for a dark colour handbag for winter to blend in to your outfits.  Why not swap to a lovely bright colour bag or a beautiful pastel shade.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t match/blend in with your outfit.  So long as you’re not self-conscious about it, just make a statement instead!

Add A Belt To Your Look

Hands up if you don’t wear a belt because you think it will draw attention to the wrong part of your body?  28% of women don’t wear belts for exactly that reason!   But the irony is that a belt can help you create curves and definition to enhance your figure.

A belt is also a great way to change the look of a dress or top.  By wearing something with a belt that you don’t normally it will create a different look.   A sweater dress with a belt, tights and ankle boots is a great way to create a new look for example.  This helps you to extend your winter wardrobe.

Give Your Winter Wardrobe A Boost With A Brooch

How many of us wear brooches these days?  Not many I’ll guess.  We tend to think of brooches as a bit old-fashioned.  We associate them as accessories our grandmothers or aging aunts used to wear.

But if you are getting fed up with wearing your winter coat, adding a brooch is a great way to give it a new lease of life.  Add a pop of colour and statement sparkle to your look.   Check out your local charity shops or vintage stores.   Etsy also has a great collection of brooches.

Add Some Colour To Your Footwearadd colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

Most of us gravitate to dark footwear in the winter.   Lots of black, browns and dark greys.  It doesn’t show the mud or matter if it gets splashed so much as brighter colours.

But how about adding a pair of coloured ankle boots to jeans? Make them a feature of your outfit. I have a gorgeous pair of pink satin ankle boots that admittedly I wouldn’t wear outside this time of year. But I love wearing them so much that I’ll happily put them in a bag and take them with me to change into for events.

Bright colours are a great way to cheer yourself up.

Change Your Jewellery With Your Winter Outfits

I bet that you’ve got lots of necklaces you don’t wear in winter?

Either because you think the colours ‘aren’t right’ or you associate them with summer.  Well try a bit of mix and matching.    Add a more summery style of necklace to a winter outfit and see how it looks.

Add pastel colours to black brown or grey.  Just see how different they make your outfit look.use accessories to add colour to your winter outfit

Or taking from one of my tips last week.  If the weather does turn cold again, ditch the metal jewellery in favour of acrylic or plastic jewellery.  The metal will conduct the cold outside temperatures.  I found this out when we used to ski and I’d insist on wearing metal earrings and wonder why my ears were cold!

Accessories Are The Key

Hopefully these ideas are useful and may even inspire you to create some new looks and breath some fresh styles into your winter outfits?

The ideas I’ve suggested all involve accessories but if you’re not confident about choosing and wearing accessories you may be interested in my online course Accessorise with Style & Confidence.  Where you will learn how to choose and use accessories to suit you personally.  Learn how to create more outfits without buying more clothes.

Keep Warm In Style With A Pashmina

How To Keep Warm In Style

Hands up I’ve been the idiot who has tried to made the effort to Keep Warm in Style and got it all wrong.  Keep Warm In Style

Like the time we went to Norfolk in December when I insisted on wearing a furry jacket for a beach walk.  It looked glam but was no match for the horizontal wind coming off the North Sea!  Or the ski pants from the designer Italian boutique which looked fabulous but had zero wind protection especially on the chairlifts!

But I’m no good at the Teletubby look, buried beneath tons of layers.  It might be practical but it makes me feel rubbish and that’s never going to work!   So that’s why I love to use accessories and base layers to Keep Warm in Style without sacrificing either comfort or my look. Here are my top tips, hope you find them useful.

Keep Warm In Style With Inside and Outside Scarves!

Why wear one scarf when you can wear at least two?

I like to wear a scarf to complete my outfit and then add another heavy outdoor scarf when I’m heading outside.   This works really well when I’m out at meetings and not sure about the venue.

Top tip to keep warm in style: I also add a necklace.  If I get overheated I can take the inside scarf off and still feel accessorized. , so that if I do get overheated then I can remove the ‘inside scarf’ and still feel accessorized!

 

Think Thermal!Keep Warm In Style Bella di Notte Thermal Vest

Gone are the days when thermal meant looking old and frumpy!  I firmly believe that the rise in popularity of skiing holidays helped to take thermal fashion to another level.

Merino wool or pure silk thermals were perfect when Mark and I skied every winter.  But in the UK I’m going to overheat wearing those base layers.   But if you do feel the chill there are some fabulous styles available.  I particularly love this one from Bella di Notte. I find that simply wearing a light camisole as an extra base layer works for me on the top.

Top Tip To Keep Warm in Style: To keep my legs warm and toasty invest in a pair of fleece-lined leggings.  You only need to pay around £10 to get a really warm pair.

Gloves + Hand Warmers = Toast!

Seriously I’m the worst about wearing gloves.  I have really dry skin and am outside a lot with the dogs, but wearing normal gloves doesn’t work for me.   I also have very small hands and fingers so find that gloves always feel too cumbersome.

Flexibility is key with the dogs, clipping and unclipping leads, getting treats out (essential for dog walking!).  Gloves don’t do this and mittens are a disaster, so I wear fingerless gloves.   However, this doesn’t solve the problem of cold fingers!

Top Tip To Keep Warm In Style: By a pair of reusable hand warmers to put in your coat or jacket pockets.

I have a set that you activate by clicking the metal disc inside the hand warmer. The gel in the pack starts to crystallise and heat up.

They stay warm for up to around 30 minutes. This is enough time for me to get my body temperature up.   When you get home simply immerse in boiling water for 15 minutes and the crystals will become liquid again. Wait for the hand warmer to cool and it is ready to reuse!  The fact that they’re reusable, non-toxic makes them a winner in terms of their eco-credentials.

Who Else Hates Wearing Tights Under Trousers?

Wearing tights with trousers is a no-no for me. I hate the feeling of being warm and sweaty around my belly – sorry if too much information!

If you’re out and about in Winter particularly if you’re waiting for public transport trousers aren’t always warm enough.

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style: wear hold ups not tights under trousers. This will keep you warm in style and you won’t end up with a hot belly or worse still another layer to manage in the bathroom!

You can also try wearing hold ups under leggings for an extra base layer.

Keep Warm In Style But Don’t Overheat!

If you suffer from irregular body temperature such as menopausal hot flushes this one is for you.

You’re better to keep your base layer the smartest sassiest layer.  What do I mean by that?  Simply wear additional layers that you can take off and still look and feel fabulous.

You want to avoid ending up a hot and sticky mess!  Then you have the dilemma of do I go to the toilet to take everything off and re-dress without the base layer? Or do you brave it out and end up feeling really self-conscious?

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style:  Shawl scarves and/or pashminas are perfect for this.  Wear over your winter coat to finish off your look.  Then you have an extra layer should you need it indoors.   If you tend to wear a lot of dark colours in the winter then a brightly coloured pashmina there’s an amazing range at Absolute Exclusive very reasonably priced.

What are your top tips for keeping warm in style?

I’d love to hear them! Please pop them in the comments below.

 

Accessorise With Style & Confidence

Would you love to create more outfits from your wardrobe without buying more clothes?  Feel more confident about choosing and using accessories?

Acccessorise With Style & Confidence is a head to toe course, giving you the tools you need to transform your look from the ordinary to the extraordinary with accessories to suit your personal shape and style.

Built in bite-sized modules to help you look and feel fabulous every time you get dressed.