Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A round up of new season HUSH!

Shall we? On this cold (and now snowy) January Tuesday evening, shall we treat ourselves to a peek at the new collection from HUSH? Oh the flip yes! Let's take a moment or two to cast aside those winter chills and turn our thoughts to warmer weather and lighter clothing.

This colourblock jumper (£110) is going to sell out in a flash, for sure. So if you're even vaguely tempted, I would secure one now. Is it not the perfect transitional jumper? Maybe it's something to do with the fact that it's pink. And navy. My two favourite colours ever.

And oh hello, Mrs Predictable strikes again with this printed silk shirt (£115) which just happens to be in midnight and pink. I am a huge fan of silk shirts. Easy to say I know but they feel so lovely against the skin and the older I get the more I appreciate them - which I think is a good thing. Sort of.

I love how it's styled here with the Amesbury shoe (£149) and these stripe bryce culottes (£59). I wasn't sure that I particularly liked this style of shoe when I saw it on its own but I knew that when I saw it as part of an outfit I probably would. And oh what a surprise. I do!

Oh hello puff sleeved sweat top (£59) aren't you the perfect piece to take us from winter into spring?

And I am absolutely feeling all the love for this asymmetric Veria frill skirt (£69) which will be brilliant with heeled ankle boots, or 70s style boots and a roll neck now, or with flat sandals or trainers plus a t-shirt and denim jacket once the warmer weather arrives. It's already limited stock so again, be quick!

Oh and how about this to completely fall in love with? The famous Hush Onyx leather jacket in Blush (£295). With its 166 reviews (albeit most are for the other colours of grey and black) this is a much loved jacket across the shoulders of many a women throughout the country.

And last but definitely not least, I'm over the moon to see these frayed star jeans (£79). They are really similar to a pair of jeans that I have from Mango and which people always ask me about when I wear them on Instagram. Up until now I haven't seen anything similar but these are so similar that hopefully they will make a lot of people really happy! It's made me happy just knowing that they may make someone else happy. And they're a relaxed style so you can get the same slouchy fit. Someone please buy them and tell me what they're like!

Well that's certainly brightened up my Tuesday night as I sit in front of the log burner with snow outside. Please go away soon snow. I can't stand any more slippery journeys to school. Oh and it is Tuesday isn't it? I said to my daughter's boyfriend earlier that perhaps they should consider going to a particular place for dinner as they did 2:1 on burgers on a Monday. He gave me a slightly odd look before gently saying "Is it Monday today? I thought it was Tuesday." The boy has tact.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


We are lucky enough to have a fabulous John Lewis in Birmingham and when I was sent the look book and press pack by the store about a new brand that was launching, I was really excited to write about it. 

The new brand, "PATTERNITY + John Lewis", is stocked within our Loved & Found section in the store, which is essentially like a boutique comprising lots of niche brands. The range can also be found online here.

PATTERNITY was founded in 2009 by Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham who had a drive to use pattern as a tool to "explore, innovate and inspire mindful living through design." The founders chose to collaborate with John Lewis because they felt that as well as being iconic, it is also super forward thinking, as represented by this collaboration which combines fashion with interiors, for the first time.  

PATTERNITY + John Lewis long line parka John Lewis (£99)

The brand is about laid back sophistication with pieces for the home, together with active wear and leisurewear which can be combined together, or with existing pieces in your wardrobe, for a really modern look. The strong monochrome pallet and geometric prints are striking without being overwhelming (unless you choose to make a real style statement with them.) 

I love the above parka. It caught my eye straight away for its print, length and volume. It's a real "throw it over" item of clothing and it doesn't really matter what's going on underneath because it's all about the parka. That's my kind of dressing. 

PATTERNITY + John Lewis Jumper Dress from John Lewis (£75)

This is a look that I'm pretty rubbish at. The off duty jumper dress over leggings and trainers. Actually, that probably means that I should try it because I always love it on others and then just feel a bit of a numpty myself. My friend did a similar look the other day and she looked really cool. I just look like I've forgotten to get dressed properly. 

PATTERNITY + John Lewis flow print roll neck top (£39)

Oooh now I really fancy this for when I'm running on a warmish day. The days of me running in cropped tops are long gone. I did it a few years ago in the Great North Run because it was baking. You have honestly never seen Mo Farah looked so shocked in his entire life as I approached him after I went over the finishing line and said "hello" to him. I wondered why he looked so horrified. And then I saw the photos. Mind you, it could also have been the ice pop sticking out the top of my cropped top that had been handed to me en route and which I'd forgotten about. 

Mo need fear no more. The coverage that this top would offer would deal with all of that, whilst offering something a little different from my usual sporting attire. 

PATTERNITY + John Lewis drawstring boxy top (£38)

Now this cool top could be worn in all sorts of amazing ways - either for an "athleisure" feel or for something smarter - such as wide legged trousers and trainers or with a pleather pleated midi skirt.

This product also supports "BCI" (Better Cotton Initiative) farmers. These farmers use water efficiently, care for the environment and promote fair and decent work. I think that we are increasingly looking to issues of sustainability and environmental impact when choosing which brands to buy from. I remember listening to Stella McCartney talking on Desert Island discs when I was on a very (long and lonely) run in the summer. What she said made complete sense but I do have difficulty with her prices. 

PATTERNITY + John Lewis signature print long length leggings (£45)

Some days I'm in the mood for a full on printed legging, other days I choose to hide behind my plain navy ones. These would definitely be for those braver days but oh boy, when those days arrive, you've just got to embrace them. 

PATTERNITY and John Lewis intarsia knit cardigan (£99)

And this is this a bold geometric pattern at its very best. I love how some people I know would buy this and just wear and wear it wear it with utter joy. The way that it is layered over culottes is just fab (and another look for me to pinch!) There's 5% cashmere in this long cardigan which adds to its softness. 

Quite a few pieces have sold out but there are new pieces which are due to be released mid-season. And if pattern on your person is not your thing, there's an option for pattern in your home instead - which can sometimes be easier. 

 These organic towels which would make a real style statement in a bathroom that needed a lift (varying in price from £8 for a pack of two flannels to £28 for a bath sheet). I love buying new towels. Even if everything else in the bathroom remains the same, they can just really pep up a bathroom up.
Or for a nod to something monochrome and printed for your soap, there's this soap dish (£12)

And I'm not sure about this fab tumbler for your toothbrushes (£12) being only for toothbrushes, I think that it would look great as a pencil holder on a desk, alongside something in rose gold. Yep, that's me sold. 

I think that there might be some bedding coming too and the pieces are such a good price that it would be a shame not to bag something that you like before it goes. I shall be heading to our store as soon as I can (ie as soon as I've done my tax return!!!) for a much closer look of all things PATTERNITY + John Lewis related.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

St Moriz Self Tanning Mousse

St Moriz medium self tanning mousse (£4.99)

This is just a quickie about some fab tanning mousse that was recommended to me by a friend way back in the summer. I bought some from the airport on the way to Crete in July and I haven't looked back since. The one that I was using before definitely had a green tinge to it. And I don't know about anyone else but I seem to be allergic to most fake tans. They make my nose run and I sometimes come out in an itchy rash. Anyway, this one has been dermatologically tested and I haven't had a reaction to it. It develops into a lovely golden brown colour too.

I am an absolute fake tanning imbecile when it comes to applying it. I do have a mitt now (albeit a holey one) but other than that I just slap a bit on my legs before I go to bed, wear some pjs and that's it. It dries really quickly so it's easy enough to apply it in the morning too but I find that the smell gets stronger throughout the day, so night time is better for me. But it's a personal thing.  

The reviews say that it's good for the face too so I think that I'll give it a whirl and see how I get on. I'll report back! 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Looking for the perfect flats? Introducing Rogue Matilda!

I know, I know! A picture of me in a pair of shorts is not what you might want to see right now. The thing is, I wanted to share with you these fabulous trainers from Rogue Matilda and I don't want the UK weather to cause them - or me - any distress. So I photographed them when we were away but for now they are safely in their box, at least until the less soggy weather arrives and then I will be wearing them non stop. I have no doubt that they could be worn out and about in inclement weather and that they would be fine but let's remember, we're talking about the girl who keeps all of her shoes in their original boxes here. Anal? Me? Never!

It's only right that I let you all know that these trainers were gifted to me by Katy from Rogue Matilda. You know me and trainers. When am I never not in a pair of trainers, or flats? Truth be told - rarely. Although I am currently sitting here in a pair of very high boots which frankly, are a pain in the a*se. Each time the doorbell rings - which it does frequently here - I balk at the thought of having to get up and answer it. Proof if ever it were needed that heels are not conducive to moving around a lot.

Trainers can be worn with everything from a pretty dress, which is what I did on Christmas Day (see below) after abandoning the heels, which lasted all of about 10 minutes.... shorts (see above) wide legged trousers, jeans, dungarees, a work suit, a tulle skirt - anything really. And the older I get, the more I need to put comfort above everything else.

I had followed Rogue Matilda on Instagram for a while before Katy approached me. I really loved the name of the brand - it's probably something to do with us having a "Matilda" of our own. And she is a bit of a rogue. That's the power of marketing for you - although in fairness Katy's middle name is also Matilda. If ever I see anything with the name "Florence", "Freddie", "Matilda", "Libby", or "Ellen", on it (amongst others) I have to think twice before turning away and not buying it. Yes I am that middle aged sucker with emotional attachments to many names, that the marketers love.

Katy created Rogue Matilda in a response to her inability to find the perfect flat shoes. She found pumps unsupportive, trainers unprofessional and traditional brogues unflattering. She wanted comfortable flats that would become the focal point of an outfit so she uses interesting textures, prints and bright colours for that classic and quirky look that she loves. Plus they have a memory foam inner sole which makes them super comfortable. They can literally be worn for hours without any problems whatsoever.  

If you're looking for an update on the classic brogue, there's also the Taffy (£179) which has a leather upper and leather pony skin details, together with a stacked sole. 

Or for a more traditional style but with a twist, there's the Pomme Noir brogue (£185) which I love for their edgy smartness. These would be amazing with some really wide legged trousers, or cigarette pants and a tux style blazer with a white shirt with a bow at the neck. Oooh yes, if I worked in an office I would so get a pair of these.

There's also a sale on over at Rogue Matilda and no doubt some new season shoes are on their way, so do hop over and take a look if you fancy it. These are, I think, my perfect shoes for a night out and they are hugely reduced in the sale. They are also currently residing in my basket.

Crazy Chic (now £45 instead of £169)

I've been lucky enough to work with some really amazing brands recently, so over the next few posts - and in amongst my usual ramblings - I will be bringing those to you. There's a whole world of new and exciting small brands out there for us to investigate together.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Who doesn't love a personalised bag?

Happy New Year everyone! It's been far too long since I've said hello to you all. I hope that you have all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year and that everyone is easing themselves back into the reality of everyday life. I always think that I'm ready to embrace routine again but then when it starts? Well, maybe not so much. There's a fine line between routine and Ground Hog Day.

And along with my thoughts of easing back into everyday life, I'm easing back into the blog with a gorgeous bag which is perfect for this time of year as it doesn't involve thoughts of squeezing into skinny jeans which frankly, we may just not be quite ready for.

Those who follow me on Instagram will know that we were lucky enough to go away for a few days after Christmas and I was kindly sent this personalised bag from Bev at Papillon Beachwear to take away with me. Bev has some great designs for bags over on her Instagram page that involve bobbles along with different colours, lettering and trims. Bags like this are so useful for a trip away so if you're ready to start thinking about the summer (who isn't?) do nip over and take a look at her page.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the New Year.

Beth x

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Christmas - The Seven Outfits of Christmas

 Skirt from Hush (£65), Boots Jones (now £120) sequin top & Other Stories (£49 - almost sold out) Earrings Kaaren Buchanan (£68 - gift)

I had such great plans for the blog this week but as you can tell from my absence - none of them came to fruition. However I didn't want Christmas to come and go without wishing you all a very "Happy Christmas." I also wanted to say a huge big "Thank You" for reading and for your support along the way. Style Guile will be going into its 8th year next year and I know that some of you have been with me from the start. Without you all it wouldn't be here - so thank you! Hopefully next year I will be able to make time to blog more (famous last words) so I should get to chat to you all a little more regularly. 

I love Christmas Eve - it's probably my favourite day of the year. But I'm really conscious that for many, Christmas can be a difficult time. A "first" Christmas after anything sad has happened must be upsetting, so I want to let you know that amongst the merriment tomorrow, I shall be taking a moment to reflect and to send out virtual hugs to those who need them.  

As I haven't managed to blog much - OK, at all - I thought that I would do a quick round up of outfits from the week, together with a couple of other shots. After all, Christmas is about friends and family as much as the outfits.

This week, I've managed to get out early most mornings with my running friends. Those times are so precious to us all and we love getting some fresh air, some exercise and having a chat. It really sets us up for the day. This shot was taken on top of a railway bridge near to my home, just as the sun was rising. It was such a beautiful sight and just stopping (phew) and taking a moment to think about the run that I had just had with my wonderful friends was a really special time. 

Last Sunday we went to see my Mum and her sister and that too was such fun. This is a photo of her sideboard, which she had set up for Christmas. I felt that it captured the essence of Christmas when I was young, perfectly. So many people liked this post on Instagram that I have wondered about handing my account over to my Mum. Forget the fashion - it's all about the mince pies, the cake frill and the Quality Street. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and so many people commented and identified with this post. The cake frill in particular had lots of love!

And this was my Mum's coffee table, complete with my Aunt's slippers in shot. You can tell that the children had been at the Pringles.

I seem to have been on my feet a lot this week so it was pretty much flats all the way. Dungarees and a new blouse from one of my favourite brands, Mercy Delta (which they kindly gifted to me) was a really comfortable outfit for a full day of Christmas shopping on Monday.

Our eldest daughter is working in John Lewis at the moment and we spent hours in there, taking every single item to her till just so that we could see her briefly. We also took her for lunch and although she was working, it was a really special day for us all. She loved having us so close. Sometimes people can be horrible to shop staff at Christmas (and some can be lovely) so it broke up her day and although I always chat to shop staff, it acted as a reminder to be super nice to them.

I took our youngest to see Alice in Wonderland earlier on Tuesday and I wore this outfit from Great Plains which I wrote about in my last post. This time however I wore it with trainers from Air & Grace together with a huge scarf from Jaeger which I've had for several years now. It just gave a slightly different twist to things. And I'm still quite traditional when it comes down to what to wear to the theatre/ballet/carol service. It would be wrong to pretend that I had made a huge effort but something other than jeans feels right on those occasions.

On Wednesday I was again in jeans and trainers, which were from Air & Grace. The weather has been so mild that the issue of socks (or lack of them) really hasn't arisen. This coat from Linea at House of Fraser is also perfect for this weather and it adds sharpness to an otherwise very casual and "un-tailored" outfit. Note to self - I must wear some more skirts and dresses.

More sparkles - this time from & Other Stories. And surprise surprise, I'm in (old, Gap) jeans (hence the lack of link) and Adidas trainers -again! On Thursday I had some friends come round for brunch and it was lovely to just sit and chat - particularly as they were my running friends and most of our conversations are interspersed with "Can't talk now, I can talk at the top" or "Ooh this really hurts today" or, as in the case of this morning "I thought that somehow running on Christmas Eve would be easy." Why? Who in their right mind would actually think that, let alone voice it?! (Well apart from me.)

And on Friday I was in....yup, jeans and trainers! These jeans were from Whistles a while ago now and are generally on the tight side, so the fact that I managed to get them on and keep them on all day was a result. I don't know why I decided to do double denim but I like this shirt from Zara and I haven't worn it for a while - so it kind of seemed like a good idea at the time.

We had 9 for dinner that night so there was lots of running around to do, hence the trainers. As we're going away on Boxing Day we had to start our Christmas food celebrations early, so as not to have any left overs. So, our Christmas pudding has already been eaten and the trifle already made and eaten too. I should have photographed it - the cut glass trifle bowl is from my Mum and it's a beauty. I figured that the trifle didn't quite look the same after the first portion had been served.

And look! I'm not wearing trainers! Although I am wearing jeans (Mango from nearly a year ago) and a sparkly top (again) - this time the Great Plains Suraya top (again limited in size). This is clearly not a place to come for outfit inspiration - unless you like jeans, a sparkly top and a splash of colour in accessories.

And then here we are at today and I'm wearing the first outfit. To set the scene, the children and their friends are watching Harry Potter and the Snowman will be on soon, which I love. The tree lights are on, the table is almost set for tomorrow and shortly we're off to Pizza Express before coming home when I will read "The night before Christmas" to the "children". On Boxing Day we're heading for some sun so next time I appear on here, it may well be in a bikini. And if that's not an incentive to keep off the mince pies then I don't know what is. Well, apart from turning a blind eye and breathing in, which is what I will probably do in reality.

I hope that you all have a truly special Christmas. Do come over and follow me on Instagram if you would like to see what I am up to - you can find me here And if anyone is feeling a little blue or in need of a chat, please do just drop me a line anytime. See you on the other side!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Sparkles and Crepe Joggers for Afternoon Tea....

Suraya sequins party top Great Plains (reduced to £42 from £85) and Crepe woven joggers from Great Plains (reduced from £65 to £32)

I was so excited to be going out for afternoon tea today at The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel with some girlfriends. How very civilised! (Well until I arrived.) And after a week of snow boots and jeans, it was a joy to have the opportunity to get dressed up. The pavements are still a little icy in places and I resolutely refused to walk, instead opting for a cab. The height of laziness really but there are just some days when compromising your outfit is absolutely not an option. 

The Edgbaston Hotel is a beautiful Georgian building which is decorated in an art deco style inside. This gorgeous Christmas tree greets you when you walk through the door. Sadly some things are just too large to slip into your pocket and wander off with *

As to the sequinned top and crepe joggers that I'm wearing, they were kindly gifted to me by Great Plains who asked if I would like to choose something to wear from their range of occasionwear.
They were interested to see what I might choose, how I might style it and how else I might wear it.

No one will be remotely surprised to find out that I chose a sparkly top - the Suraya sequins party top Great Plains (reduced to £42 from £85). I'm currently very familiar with quite a lot of sequin tops and what I think will appeal about this one in particular is that it's not too fitted. It has quite a relaxed shape to it so - and I can vouch for this having eaten an entire cream tea and then some - it doesn't get any tighter. And its relaxed shape means that it's a great one to wear at any time of year with jeans, with pleather leggings, under dungarees or with a pleated skirt. I know you've heard it before but sequins are definitely not just for Christmas.

The other thing that I think will appeal about the top are the length of these sleeves. They finish at a really good point on the arm, enabling you to pile up a whole lot of arm candy. And now that this top is in the sale, the price is really good too.

Now that's what you call a bar! 

In addition to the sparkly top, I also chose these Crepe woven joggers from Great Plains (reduced from £65 to £32) for that high/low outfit look. I have to say that the part elasticated waist was an added bonus and the side stripe gives them more of a modern feel. Just ignore anyone who says "Why are you going out for afternoon tea in your jogging bottoms?" BAD MOVE.

And the best thing about them? They are so versatile and can be dressed right down. On the Great Plains site they are styled with a Breton top and trainers, which is a look I will definitely be wearing. The more wear that I can get out of things the better. I also like the idea of these trousers with a pussy bow blouse and a blazer for a more dressed up look - either with heels or flats.

A sneaky little amuse bouche with compliments from the chef. He's my kind of guy. 

Again, can I please pretend that this is our house? It's soooo beautiful. 

The prettiest macarons I've ever seen! 

Afternoon tea Edgbaston Hotel style - you know that relaxed shape top I mentioned and the elasticated waist on the trousers? Oh yes baby. Mucho required. And once I'd kicked off my heels, they were both great for lounging around in when I returned home. That fire and sofa were certainly calling. 

Luckily I have plenty of stamina for many things in life. Including eating a cream tea. I never quite understand when people don't have a sweet tooth - it's as if they're talking a foreign language. Sarnies are nice and all that but really at an event like this, they're just a means to an end.

I'm totally inspired now as to how to decorate the outside of our house. Mr SG loves a little job of the DIY variety. Hmmmmm.

Disclosure: I think that we've all gathered that this outfit was gifted to me by Great Plains and it consists of the Suraya sequins party top Great Plains (reduced to £42 from £85) and Crepe woven joggers from Great Plains (reduced from £65 to £32).

* I would never advocate the theft of anything. Although if I did happen to be invited to the Palace I "may" wander off with an ashtray as per Denise Van Outen.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Glitz and brights for a night out

Pink Satin Shoes & Other Stories (£79) and sequinned Turtle Neck Top & Other Stories (£49)

It's that time of year when those party dates are looming and it's time to plan what to wear. There are so many looks that I love for this time of year from a statement skirt, heels and a fine knit jumper, to silk joggers and a pretty blouse, p(l)eather leggings and a white shirt and then.....a little predictable I know...good old jeans.

The thing with jeans is that because they are a safe option, I feel that I can go to town with the colours and the sparkle, without feeling too conspicuous. Black, grey or navy trousers would enable the same look to be created but there's something about faded jeans in this "new" style cut that I like. "New" being a mixture of girlfriend/boyfriend/mom and straight jeans all rolled into one. No, I'm non the wiser either.

So, having selected your jeans, it's time to have fun. I've mixed dark sparkle on the top (link above), with bright shoes and a bright bag. But the options are endless - sparkly shoes with a bright top and bright bag, sparkly bag with bright shoes and bright top, bright shoes, bag and top - maybe work in a print, or stripes, or some fake fur.

I've been after some shoes in this style for quite while now. I'm a bit late to the "v-cut shoe" party but you know, it's fashionable to be late. The block heel is so comfortable too - really sturdy and, having put them to the test with a glass or two of fizz, and maybe even a glass or two of gin, I can confirm that they are indeed, very sturdy.  

I have to say that I was slightly worried that they might stain easily, with them being satin. But after I went to the loo and splashed water on them when drying my hands, they were fine. Bet you're all relieved to hear that aren't you?! 

The clutch I'm using is a Whistles one that I bought in the New Year - if you wait until the end of January they have amazing reductions. They don't currently have a yellow one but this one caught my eye - I really love the colour of it and it would work so well with the pink shoes :)

Part of my decision to wear jeans was because we were sitting down for most of the night, meaning that it was all about the top. But it's such an easy look to create for any event - chuck on some jeans, hunt down some bright bits and bobs - sparkly or clashing ones if you like - stick on some lippy and it's job done.