Guest blog from Beth Goodrham www.bethgoodrham.com ** www.styleguile.blogspot.com
Summer is here, or nearly here. The weather is warming up and the layers of winter clothes are slowly being removed to reveal - what? Well, if we are lucky, our worse problem is our lack of colour. The feet could probably do with a pedicure and a bit of waxing might be in order but once those things have been dealt with hopefully we can step out of our front door without feeling too much like Shrek. However that’s just the underneath part – what about our clothes?
Our wardrobes say a lot about us. As Mother’s, our children will almost certainly come first, whilst our own needs are relegated way down the list. We may feel that we do not justify spending any time on ourselves or that even if we did, we wouldn’t know where to start with our wardrobes. Whilst our children’s clothes may not be expensive, I am fairly certain that they will be sporting some new attire this summer.
What about your own wardrobe? Does it contain a few random ill fitting T-shirts (possibly your husband’s cast offs) some not too flattering loose and baggy shorts (because they are comfortable) and some flip flops which scrub up OK if they are put in the dishwasher with the dinner plates? If so, don’t despair. Most of us operate within some sort of confines – largely related to time – and revert to a “uniform”. It takes the hassle out of deciding what goes with what, what’s trendy and what’s not and whether something might make us look as mutton dressed as lamb.
So, here is my quick check list of items to update your stay at home wardrobe in an instant, working from the bottom up:
- Shoes – Let’s go for something bright! Jewelled flip flops, coloured converse, patent ballet pumps and a wedge if you are feeling brave. All fairly flat and comfortable and not brown or black;
- A knee length skirt – a denim one with buttons up the front is a great nod to the 1970’s and is really your skirt equivalent of jeans. If you prefer a print, a swish or a stripe don’t be afraid, just put it with a plain top;
- Jeans – these don’t need to be expensive. Next, TopShop and H&M all do great ones. Dark boot cut are the most flattering but opt for white to be right on trend this season;
- An alternative to jeans – Bright coloured jeans (Zara) linen trousers (Monsoon) Peg styles (Oasis) Cropped (M&S) are all good alternatives this season;
- Tops – A selection of camis are essential to add colour and add a bit of coverage where required. Coloured ones are best and a bit of lace is even better;
- T-shirts do nothing to flatter most figures – look for tops or blouses instead. A v-neck top is flattering if you have a large bust. A slight gather under the bust is flattering if you have a bit of a tummy but avoid smocking or anything that feels even vaguely maternity like. Boden has some good styles for ladies with a bust and a tummy;
- Dresses – Maxis are everywhere but if you don’t like those look to River Island and Warehouse for prints, Mango if you prefer something not too short and Zara for stripes and spots;
- Cardigans- Waterfall, cropped, twin set, wrap over –the choice is yours. Hopefully one or two in a neutral colour will suffice;
- Coat – A trench coat is instantly smart and practical. River Island, Topshop and Zara have a surprisingly good selection of “sensible” but stylish coats and jackets which would be perfect for the school run at this time of year.
- Accessories – A bright bag is a must – Accessorize, Cath Kidston, M&S – anything as long as it makes you smile. To top it off some sunglasses, a belt or two if you like to wear them and a big cotton scarf (to use as a picnic blanket, to keep you warm, cover a grazed knee, keep the sun off – it will be your most versatile item ever.
- Most importantly – experiment. Do it from a distance to start off with (a printed bag, some sparkly shoes) and when your confidence has increased, move it onto your clothes. You will be surprised at how nice it feels to be noticed (for all the right reasons!)