Posts Tagged ‘#LoveLeam’

Transition Your Wardrobe


Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

One advantage of the distinctly unseasonal weather is that I am already actively plotting my new season wardrobe,  Usually I would be glossing over such things because I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to look at them in any form of heat

I’ve spied a few things recently that I believe qualify as anchor pieces.  Specifically those pieces that allow you to segue effortlessly into the new season because they work just as well for now in this transitional period as they do for new season proper.  To avoid disappointment I won’t be looking at soft suiting which is a key trend for next season that I can’t quite get on board with.  I think it’s something to do with coming of age in the nineties when going out out in a suit was the thing!  I had a pretty amazing silver suit from Warehouse which was worn on repeat including to celebrate my 21st birthday.  It was still hanging in my wardrobe when I met my now husband, where he promptly dubbed it my spaceman suit!!  I had clear early warning that he would not always understand my sartorial choices but I digress.

First up is this vibrant trench from H&M.  They are calling it red but for me it’s very much fiery sunset orange.  Either way it is the perfect slouchy silhouette and is heavy enough to be worn through even the chilliest Autumnal days. It also looks way more expensive than its £59.99 price tag which makes it a shrewd now buy.  Plus it’ll keep some of this endless rain off.

H&M Trench Coat - £59.99

H&M Trench Coat – £59.99

If you are a fan of this sunburnt orange then may I recommend this  French Connection dress. Still summery enough to wear now as a dress, later you can throw over your favourite pair of jeans with  a biker jacket or blazer.

IMG_0006

French Connection, £85

Pleated midis are not going anywhere but they have got bolder.  For an instant update add pattern, like Louche’s floral print version (which I may have just picked up at one of my favourite local boutiques Lilac Rose).  If you aren’t a floral lover then try Next’s midi with its geometric print.

Skirts earn their place as a transitional anchor because they can be worn now with a simple tee and sandals or trainers, just add boots and sweaters for Autumn proper.  If pleats aren’t your thing or you want to make the skirt your centre piece (it’s going to be mine) just go for print or patchwork.  I am coveting Second Female’s navy gold spotted version.

Also on my wish list is Numph’s suede zip front skirt, somewhere between slate and a softer hue.  I can see me wearing this now with a slogan tee (yup they are still here)  and with a jumper and boots for leaf kicking later.   Both Second Female and Numph are available from another local favourite boutique, Karabo.

H&M Hot Pink Slacks - £12.99

H&M Hot Pink Slacks – £12.99

Block colour is still current to make a statement.  I’ve opted for these slacks (slacks?!?! I know I was pondering who on earth who still used the term slacks the other week and now I know, it’s H&M).  Brilliant fit and stretch plus a side zip is always more flattering for those of us wanting a smoother, flatter tum.

H&M also has two more of my wants/must haves.  The first I picked up this weekend and have already worn twice.  It looks like a tee because of its soft cotton body but the addition of statement balloon sleeves compete with tie, in a cotton/poly mix elevate it to so much more. It’s a proper top with interest, pair it with jeans and some jewellery and you are ready to take it almost anywhere.   It’s also great to give balance to pear and apple shapes.  Please please can you do it in some more colours H&M?

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top – £17.99

The other is this hot pink cotton jumper, weighty enough for cooler days but still able to wear now for those rainy summer days.

H&M Hot Pink Sweater - £34.99

H&M Hot Pink Sweater – £34.99

This kind of jumper always make me hanker for a beach house somewhere and imagine myself in white cuffed skinny jeans, on the beach with a dog, you know Jennifer Anniston rom com style.  Just me?

T Bar Shoes

So to footwear.  I have come to the stage where almost all of my staple, waterproof shoes have given  up the ghost at the same time, but I find buying more sensible shoes slightly dull and I am definitely not ready to crack out the boots yet, it is still officially August.  Enter the T Bar shoe, which are going to be everywhere.  They bring polish and poise but with a bit of fun and look great dressed up or down.

All the transition - H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

All the transition – H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

Here’s me in the bolder pleat and paired with the statement sleeve tee, proving their transitional fashion points.  What are you most looking forward to updating your wardrobe with?

 

SYW Presents…….Your Festive Dressing Guide


Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

Some of you (although I appreciate very few) may like me be taking a well earned mid festive season night off to recharge before it really hits its stride and others may be nursing hangovers from the night before as you read this but thoughts will be turning to just how your wardrobe will keep pace with the varied events the next week is sure to throw at you.  With this in mind instead of an Outfit of the Month for Royal Priors thought would show you what’s in store with my guide to dressing right the way through from works do to the New Year.

First up the office or work do –  you want to look up to date but appropriate (best to avoid becoming talk of the workplace because of a wardrobe malfunction!) and still look good if you are one of the last ones standing at 3am.  You need an LGD – little glam dress!  This one from Topshop ticks the boxes, covered up but in molten metal texture.  To keep it on trend team with a biker jacket and a velvet heel.  Add some detail and fun with these fantastic fox studs from Pia Jewellery and an easily portable purse come handbag, impossible to lose a wristlet (yes they are a thing), the cheesy disco awaits.  Note: you can always double and use this look for New Year’s Eve too.

Dress, Topshop £39; Biker Jacket, M&S £55; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £18; Velvet Heels, New Look £22.99; Wristlet Claire's £16

Dress, Topshop £39; Biker Jacket, M&S £55; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £18; Velvet Heels, New Look £22.99; Wristlet Claire’s £16

With the main event itself looming, you need a look  for tucking into your feast, unwrapping those pressies, charades with the family and a good old Christmas Day walk.  I think this will do it.  Sticking with metallics but softening the look to make it daytime appropriate but remaining stylish all day long. The fun holiday season Alex and Ani bangles available from Fabulous Collections keep it Christmassy.   Layer up with this cosy but classy coat from Jigsaw,  thick tights and over the knee boots when you venture out.

Coat, Jigsaw £298; Metal Yarn Jumper, Topshop £42; Metallic Skirt, New Look £14.99; Alex & Ani Bangles, Fabulous Collections from £24; Velvet Heels as before

Coat, Jigsaw £298; Metal Yarn Jumper, Topshop £42; Metallic Skirt, New Look £14.99; Alex & Ani Bangles, Fabulous Collections from £24; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £15; Velvet Heels as before

The day after the over indulgence and the excitement, I think lends itself perfectly for a more casual combo.  Cath Kidston’s robin Christmas jumper works really well when teamed with Gap’s True Skinny jean with studded details.  Keep the festive feel by repeating the bracelets of the day before and finish with a metallic boot, these ankle ones will ensure that you can manage a walk to blow the cobwebs off and maybe a sneaky visit to the pub.   Keep toasty with M&S’ faux shearling (one of this winter’s key fabrics) wrap.

Robin Jumper, Cath Kidston £75; Faux Sheepskin Wrap, M&S £45; Stud front Jeans, Gap £54.95; Metallic Boots, New Look £29.99; Wristlet and Bangles as before.

Robin Jumper, Cath Kidston £75; Faux Sheepskin Wrap, M&S £45; Stud front Jeans, Gap £54.95; Metallic Boots, New Look £29.99; Wristlet and Bangles as before.

Just enough time to roll out the red carpet glamour to close out the festivities for New Year’s Eve.  This look works whether you are welcoming 2017 by staying in, going out or with  dinner a deux.  The full skirt has seen a real revival and this rich plum version from Roman Originals channels one of the colours of A/W 2016.  Keep it tonal with Jigsaw’s tie top.  Add interest with texture and print in your shoes and accessories but go for one full on statement piece in the form of these Soru earrings (available from Fabulous Collections).  I suggest repeating the biker jacket to give the look some edge but the Jigsaw coat from Christmas Day would work equally well.

Skirt, Roman Originals £50; Tie Top, Jigsaw £98; Block Heel Shoes, New Look £22.99; Leopard Print Clutch, New Look £17.99; Earrings, Soru from Fabulous £160; Jacket M&S as before

Skirt, Roman Originals £50; Tie Top, Jigsaw £98; Block Heel Shoes, New Look £22.99; Leopard Print Clutch, New Look £17.99; Earrings, Soru from Fabulous £160; Jacket M&S as before

So nothing left to say on this other than to wish you a happy and stylish Christmas and New Year.

Emma XX

Note: All items available at Royal Priors Shopping Centre.

 

 

 

 

Swim to Sunset – August’s Outfit of the Month


Posted on: August 8th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

Jetting off somewhere or making the most of the sun in the British Isles? One thing is for certain you need a wardrobe that can cover you from early morning swim right through to sunset, without compromising on style and definitely without lugging around lots of clothes.  As personal shopper at Royal Priors Shopping Centre, each month we select a look from the retailers at the centre – enter August’s edition taking you effortlessly through from dawn til dusk.

Look 1 – Swim

Built around this Marks and Spencer hot pink halterneck swimsuit. Not only a fab bargain at £35 but the secret slimming panel gives extra body confidence if needed.

Pick a swimsuit with luxe detail and a great neckline

Pick a swimsuit with luxe detail and a great neckline

Halternecks work well on hour glass figures and pear shapes in providing balance. However if you have broad shoulders, you can avoid the halter and go for a bandeau style, as the strap is detachable. This works equally well for athletic shapes who want to create some curves. The finishing metallic detail adding extra glamour that stands in for a statement necklace come sun down.

Base sorted, think about a stylish way to cover up from the midday rays and go for lunch possibly with a cheeky drink. I have chosen Jigsaw’s broken glass print blouse. The loose fit and elegant print are universally flattering.

Don’t neglect accessories – to complement the blue of the shirt and contrast with the hot pink, I have chosen one of Pandora’s double leather bracelets in electric blue.

IMG_0076

Cover Up (and dance, well maybe)

Also in the cover up club are a pair of classic tortoiseshell sunnies, like this pair from New Look and to keep the look from being boring, Claire’s Accessories, “Choose Happy” baseball cap. Finish off with footwear fit for the pool and beyond, Animal’s Napa sandals. Throw your sunset look pieces (see below) and other essentials in Superdry’s sky blue tote and you are ready for your day.

After a fun packed day, thoughts turn to after dark, be it a backyard BBQ or an Ibizan sunset, its easy, with a few swaps, to change up your look.

Smart but relaxed vibe with these Jigsaw trousers

Smart but relaxed vibe with these Jigsaw trousers

Add Jigsaw’s Broken Geo Drawstring Trousers over the swimsuit. I love the combination of pink and blue and this works really well. If you prefer a more relaxed fit of trouser then Jigsaw also has a slouchier linear leaf pattern pair in a paler blue.

Prefer more relaxed go for these.

More relaxed version

The details are what really make the difference in a look like this. The colour and metallic in the swimsuit mean it effortlessly doubles up as your top.  Next add some more jewellery to your leather bangle.  Pandora’s Essence silver bangle with Hope and Spirituality charms, provide just the right touch.  Don’t forget a ring too, as its August I’ve gone for the August birthstone ring.

IMG_0080

It’s all in the details

To finish swap your flats for these sparkly New Look wedges, although if you prefer flats you can stick with Animal’s Napa sandals.

Change up to wedges

Change up to wedges

Lastly tuck away your hat and blouse into your bag, keep those sunnies to hand though, the better to catch that sunset with.

All set for Sunset

Look 2 – All set for Sunset

Looking for a multi-tasking outfit to see you through your Summer days (or beyond)?  Get in touch to book your own 1 to 1 SYW experience, prices start from £45.

Fabulous Garden Party


Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

IMG_0003_2

Regular readers of the blog know what a fan I am of Fabulous.  Their Annual Garden Party always sells out rapidly, but this year, I managed to snag a ticket, yay! So with a garden partyesque dress lined up  all that could spoil it was the rain.  Thankfully it didn’t.  Arriving at Mallory Court, the gorgeous venue for the event, we were bathed in sunshine.   Brilliant to get started checking out a host of the designers featured at Fabulous, not before we had a glass of Pimms in hand of course.

Enjoying the Pimms

Enjoying the Pimms

First stop Reeves and Reeves, the husband and wife team who are helping Fabulous to design their new own brand – Life’s Journey bangle collection.  I can’t wait to get my hand on one of these bangles but in the meantime I was drawn immediately to their chunky leather cuff in vibrant colours.  The perfect piece to stash in the suitcase for holiday or to simply bring that holiday feeling to any outfit.  After I tried it I just couldn’t take it off, especially as it matched my handbag.  It had to come home with me.

Well how could I not?

Well how could I not?

Even better than the jewellery though was all the beautifully put together outfits. I had picked the dress in my wardrobe that makes me feel most like Audrey Hepburn and I wish I could wear all the time.  It’s from Katherine Draisey in Solihull and I know will be one of those forever dresses.

IMG_0005_2

If I click my heels will I become Audrey?

It was particularly everyone’s the shoes that stood out to my stylist’s eye, both the favourite pairs we spotted were from Dune’s summer collection. Jo, Fabulous’ founder had this amazing metallic pair with intricate detailing on the heel, another one to bring a hit of instant summer to any outfit.

The ultimate holiday sandal

The ultimate holiday sandal

Whilst introducing my friend Clare, my guest for the afternoon,  to Fabulous’ own brand Mantra, I was able to get the mantra necklace I was already sporting engraved.  The mantra is Life is Beautiful so I thought it was only fitting for my engraving to be the date of my wedding.

My Special Date

My Special Date

Jo’s welcome and run through of all the designers at the garden party, made us realise there was still lots for us to see, but first lunch.

IMG_0033_2

But first lunch

This included chance to swap styling stories with Lynn Bromley and to find out about the sartorial challenges faced by Leamington’s deputy mayor.  Oh and not forgetting the most delicious dessert, the mint, lemon and raspberry flavour combo was Summer in a glass.

 

TWYN

TWYN

Post lunch was more browsing.   Most exciting was 2 of the new brands coming to Fabulous.  Take What You Need – the concept is a changeable bar necklace which uses magnetic bars which can be personalised.  One of them is definitely finding its way to my wish list.  The other was Suzannah Key, a young designer just out of college who won Fabulous’ futures awards.  I am already in love with her spinning pendants, designed as a result of women’s tendency to touch and fiddle with their jewellery, I can just imagine spinning the compass one around.

Talented Suzannah Key spinning pendants

Talented Suzannah Key’s spinning pendants

All good things come to an end but another great Fabulous event and now I am sat at home, Betty Draper style, awaiting the return of my husband.  I really don’t want to take my dress off, maybe he’ll take me out when he see’s me in it.

IMG_0025_2

If you have an event or occasion coming up and need a hand pulling together you look, get in touch we can shop with you or for you.  Our express shop service aims to find the outfit or finishing touch in your lunch hour.  Available in Leamington or Solihull for £75. 

December’s Outfit of the Month – Desk to Drinks


Posted on: November 30th, 2015 by Emma No Comments

With the festive season kicking into gear this week, December’s OOTM for Royal Priors is a great look that takes you from desk to drinks.

9-5 Look

9-5 Look

Built around New Look’s simple but elegant jumpsuit (the jumpsuit is the item for your party wardrobe but more on that in our party pieces blog…coming soon).  To take it to the office layer over M&S’ black and white blouse complete with new romance details – ruffle collar and flounce sleeve.  The bronze version of  Jigsaw’s Milly Court’s  are pared back enough to grace the boardroom but their cheeky sparkle comes into their own when you hit the bar.

Accessories remain minimal, to be amped up come cocktail time.

To take you to drinks and beyond, ditch the shirt and add divine details and sparkle with pieces from Swarovski, Lola Rose, and Nikki Lissoni – all available from Fabulous.

Finish it all off with faux fur, the key ingredient this party season.  Now you are ready to be stylish and fabulous wherever the night takes you.

Cocktail O'Clock

Cocktail O’Clock

See the look at the Royal Priors Shopping Centre now.

Book one of our express shops and let us find you the perfect outfit or finishing touch in your lunch hour. Drop us a line to find out more – emma.mascall@shapeyourwardrobe.co.uk

See more of our picks for the festive season over on our Party Prep Pinterest Board
following Shape Your Wardrobe's board Party Prep on Pinterest.

Full Look Details
Marks & Spencer, Faux Fur Striped Coat – £99.00; New Look, Strappy Notch Neck Jumpsuit – £22.00 ; Marks & Spencer, Romantic Tie Neck Blouse – £29.50; Jigsaw, Milly Court Shoes – £149.00 ; Gap, Mini Cross Body Bag, Gold – £24.95

Jewellery available from Fabulous
Folli Follie, Classy Champagne Ring – £60.00; Nikki Lissoni, Rose gold stud earring carriers – £25.00 worn with Sky Full of Stars Coins (Drinks) – £35.00; Swarovski Stardust Light Multi Single Bracelet – £49.00; Lola Rose Holiss Necklace Chocolate Montana Agate – £95.00

SYW’s Little Black Book of Leamington


Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Emma No Comments

When friends and family visit, they all praise Leamington for its varied and different shops and individual feel. I am always proud of my adopted town (I have lived here 11 years) and am passionate about supporting our high street with its unique mix of boutiques, independents and larger retailers. The Love Leamington campaign www.loveleamington.com is an initiative which I hope will help prevent more independent retailers being forced out as a result of the recession (I am still mourning the demise of Comme Ci Comme Ca and Tiger). So here, as part SYW’s response to the #Love Leam challenge is a run through some of my Leamington favourites, old and new. The key that binds them all together is that personal touch and service you get, one thing is for sure wherever you go in Leamington there is always a warm welcome.

Lilac Rose – 69 Regent Street, L.Spa www.facebook.com/lilacrosesshop
I cannot make a trip into town without stopping in at this gorgeous boutique (in fact if I try my husband asks if I am ill!) Offering individual vintage style clothing, accessories and gifts. Staffed by a lovely, friendly, team who are always prepared to help out, offer opinions and give further information on the ranges stocked, which include Closet, Darling and Emily and Finn. Will appeal to those who like classic with a modern twist. Perfect for sourcing that great little dress that will see you through every summer event or for that go with everything pretty scarf. – Also has a shop in Cambridge.

Revolve 88 Warwick Street, L Spa www.revolvefashions.co.uk
High on the glamour factor and great at bringing that feel to everyday outfits, that’s how I would describe this Leamington institution. Their window displays really stand out and I long for the lifestyle they depict, whether it’s a pair of suede ankle boots teamed with jeans and statement jacket or a selection of their evening gowns (currently I am coveting a rose gold sequin number). Whether you are looking for an everyday outfit with that special touch or something more formal for a prom, posh wedding, or a day at the races (their recent Cheltenham window was genius), you are in good hands with the Revolve team to help you look and feel a million dollars.

Karabo – 40 Warwick Street, L Spa www.karaboclothing.co.uk

Small independent boutique focusing on brands that aren’t seen everywhere, mostly separates and casual dressing. One of my best purchases ever was a quirky take on the waxed jacket by the brand “Not the Same”, practical but still stylish. Great line in shoes and bags, one client I took shopping here bought the most comfortable pair of shoes she ever had. I have an orange clutch purchased here that people often mistake for designer. They have a fab selection of branded jeans including “Not Your Daughters”. My go to place when I am looking for something that lifts me out of the plain old jeans and jumper rut.

Peter Stephan – 98 Warwick Street, L Spa www.peterstephan.co.uk
For jewellery and watches Colin and Sandy bring the personal touch and make you feel as if your purchase is worth thousands even if you are spending considerably less. Extremely knowledgeable and skilled jewellers, they will always take the time to explain the differences in the pieces and products on offer. They will also help give ideas or even narrow down your choices when you can’t decide. Offering good value too, I sourced 3 bridesmaids gifts here well within my modest budget. Perfect for special occasions or just that little treat.

If you fancy something quirky or the latest must have in trendy & fashion jewellery, then Fabulous Collections, 20 Lower Mall, Royal Priors Centre, L Spa. www.fabulouscollections.co.uk
a recent
discovery is also worth a visit.

Clements & Church – 23 Park Street, L Spa. www.clementsandchurch.co.uk
The men of Leamington could do with a few more boutique offerings for casual wear but on the smart/formal side they are extremely well served by Clements & Church. Despite the rapid expansion (outposts in Birmingham, Leamington, Solihull & Oxford), you always receive personal service and recognition along with expert knowledge when you visit this store. Offering formal wear including tuxedos, suits, shirts and blazers from tailors skilled in their trade. Only a limited number of each suit or blazer is produced, meaning you feel as though you have purchased a bespoke piece without the bespoke price tag.

Sarah Horne – 86 Warwick Street, L Spa. www.sarahhorne.net
As a Chelsea Flower Show medallist you might think this would be home to the priciest flowers on the high street, not the case. The flowers are great value and are superior in quality to others I have purchased. The team are welcoming and happy to lend a hand in choosing from their array of, not only bouquets and flowers but innovative gifts such as the arrangements in china tea cups (a favourite of mine) to the outstanding range of own brand organic massage candles which I have gifted to friends and family and all have raved about them. Also Sarah has teamed up with garden designer Debbie Cooke and they are designing a garden to represent Leamington to be displayed in the Grand Pavilion at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (www.bloomingleamington.com ), how fab is that?

McIntosh & Paul – 133 Regent Street, L Spa. www.mcintoshandpaul.co.uk
A gift for that someone special who has everything or that hard to buy for relative, stop in at this local boutique and you are sure to be able to find something that fits the bill. As with all my favourites once again it’s the excellent friendly welcome and knowledge of their products that make it a hit with customers.

When you need a rest from all that shopping, you are spoilt for choice for relaxing with refreshments
As proclaimed by this week’s Stylist magazine, tea is the new coffee and Vinteas, 16 Park Street, L Spa, www.vinteas.co.uk
has capitalised on this trend, serving from an extensive tea menu in a retro setting complete with mismatched vintage china, I always feel as though I should dress up 1950’s style with white gloves, a pill box hat and a Grace Kelly style handbag. It offers full afternoon teas or just a pot for two. In my opinion no visit is complete without a slice of their red velvet cake, heaven. If tea isn’t your thing you could get the South American vibe by visiting Havana,
48 Warwick Street, L Spa. www.cafehavana.co.uk. With its Cuban inspired décor and small but perfectly formed outside areas, I always feel like I am on holiday here. Serving sandwiches, salads and tapas and the best coffee in Leamington, it’s equally perfect for breakfast, lunch or a coffee stop in the daytime or sipping fizz and sangria and dinner in the evening, on Wednesday nights there are even salsa classes. Alternatively you could
try Restaurant 23 & Morgan’s Bar,
34 Hamilton Terrace, L Spa. www.restaurant23.co.uk for a more formal lunch or early evening cocktails. A
gorgeous setting in a restored regency villa, you can almost pretend the bar complete with table service is your own living room (well I can dream can’t I?).

So what are your Leamington favourites? Share them here and on the #loveleam campaign. Don’t know your favourites? Take the Love Leam challenge this weekend. Let’s keep Leamington as a high street to be proud of.