By SolihullStyle      Sep 22, 2020

Well I think we can safely say that it’s autumn! It’s that funny time of year we call transition as we dig out our autumn clothes and maybe store away our high summer pieces.  Sometimes I find this time a bit weird. A time to feel a little unsettled as to what to wear. This year it’s not felt so strange? I’m not sure I can say why? Maybe the weather has been kind to us and we’re not straight to wearing  puffer coats! Thank goodness!

I’m hoping to not get seduced into buying too many new things. Often easier said than done as all the gorgeous new season coats, boots and knits hit the high street!

There will always be the odd piece that needs replacing with something similar that’s really worked out well. Often a chance to buy an updated classic? He he!!!!

So what’s on your radar? What you “need” we will very different to me. I say it all the time, however, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you enjoy seeing what’s out there! Maybe you’re looking for a little inspiration or maybe just enjoy a light hearted read? Let’s face it my blogs are rarely very long!

Sometimes it’s nice to realise we’re all going through the same thing and often asking the same questions?

I will confess to often being drawn to the same types of clothing. There’s nothing wrong with that because I’m drawn to them because I know what works for me, what I’ll actually wear and whether it fills a gap in my wardrobe to make other things feel fresh again. Every now and then it’s worth just stopping and thinking though whether you buy the same things ALL the time and feel frustrated or stuck in a rut? We’re all different as to how we answer these questions. Are we’re moving forward with confidence knowing what we really like and spending our hard earned pennies really well or are we just playing safe and missing out on feeling really amazing? It’s an interesting topic for debate!

This brings me nicely onto the point of this blog! Who’d a thought I’d write a blog about a denim shirt! Well maybe it’s long overdue! It’s a classic for sure! But why this one amongst so many? I liked the clean lines, the soft lyocell fabrication; the colour and the fact that, because of all these things, it had a blouse like quality to it that works for my feminine style. I’m a horror at buying a white shirt. Nothing wrong with this but the brighter blue denim just gave my neutral wardrobe a little transitional lift. This reflects my earlier points of discussion! A new white shirt or something different?! I realise that a denim shirt is hardly “out there” in the style stakes but it’s something that I’d never bought before so for me it was a tiny step out of my comfort zone into a place of freedom!!!! Ha ha!

So me being me, I had to do you a little styling video just for fun and hopefully show how versatile this little wardrobe staple can be! There’s obviously soooo many more ways to style it but there’s only so many that work nicely in the space of a palatable length vid! You could belt it or even wear it open as a jacket/over shirt over pretty much anything…..the possibilities are simply endless! 

top left – MASSIMO DUTTI

top middle – M&S

top right – BODEN

middle – ZARA

bottom right – ZARA

bottom middle – HOBBS

bottom left – MASSIMO DUTTI

H&M

GANT

H&M

I hope you enjoyed this little dive into the blue! There’s lots of exciting things ahead here at Solihull Style. It’s full steam ahead with all things social medium based and lots more Instagram reels coming you’re way which are great fun to do. The whole family has gonna involved and I’ll even rope in the nearest friend who’s willing! I’m been back to work as a stylist at Smart Works Charity in Birmingham which felt so good to feel normal again despite working under very different restrictions. the wonderful uplifting results for clients were the same which is the main thing. I’ve got new and returning clients over the next few months which is obviously amazing and I’m off to London for an exciting fashion event in October. PHOOOR so It’s all go! 2020 despite it’s faults is my year! 

Thank you for reading, and watching!

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Aug 28, 2020

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog about a dress! And this dress is more than likely sold out by the time this blog is published but it’s happening anyway!

I’ll be honest, partly because we got so many lovely pictures of it in a pretty location it just seemed a waste to not document it in some way! The handmade crochet bag came about because of this dress too! The dress is so amazingly neon bright that nothing was bright enough to work with it! It even made my neon bright lolly pop lady Zara coat look dull! Now that’s saying something! So the way to go was to put a neutral tone with it so Barbara at SistersByCraft ( Etsy shop here) made me this beautiful “cappuccino “ cotton crochet shopper in her chunky yarn. I love it and I think the heavy open weave works really well in this colour.

So this blog is about a dress. About a couple of amazing brands that you might not of heard of and all about buying things that you’ll love for a very very long time!

Justine Tabak. Designed and made in The British Isles with British fabrics where possible. Read all about the brand here. I have no affiliation what so ever to the brand, I just bought a dress that spoke to me! It’s that simple!

SistersByCraft handmade in London

COTTON NEON RAINBOW GINGHAM DRESS – Justine Tabak

WHITE LEATHER ESPLAR TRAINERS – Veja

ALPACA MIX CARDIGAN – The White Company (sale) KNITS

CHAIN NECKLACE – Fossil at Bicester Village

DISC NECKLACE – Lucy and Jane

COTTON CROCHET HANDMADE SHOPPER – SistersByCraft at Etsy

SUNGLASSES – Katie Loxton

Very short and sweet but still written with oodles of love.  I hope you all find your way through your own personal style journey. I think of late I’ve really embraced mine and enjoyed being different and liking different things to others. It might be that I no longer do the school run so I care far less how high eyebrows might go! HA HA! Not that I cared for me before but I think I played safe for my kids! But no more! xxxx

Thank you for reading. Things are going from strength to strength as I’ve had more time to focus on social media through this time of lock down. So, hello to lots of lovely new followers! I’ve been doing this fashion thing since I could walk so it’s lovely that finally I’m making a bit of headway and reaching more like minded women.  Those that enjoy a light hearted look at style, ways to make the most of their own wardrobes and hopefully get a bit of inspiration to push their own boundaries too and get onto happy street! We all know that something worthwhile is rarely easy but if we’re in a place where we feel we have some support that journey can feel easier and the challenge can feel fun rather than a mountain that’s too high to reach. It’s often not as hard as we first thought and you might not be as far off the path you want to be on as you think? So if you’re feeling a little lost, come and join the party!

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Aug 25, 2020

JUMPSUIT

Having another one of those moments here, when I realise there’s a lot of catching up to do!

Ok, right… SUMMER 2020 blog done, styling video done! Now there’s the styling video blog to be done! Phooor … it’s all go!

I do like putting the videos on the blog as it’s a chance to explain them a bit more and not everyone likes a long Instagram post. We’re all different and I get that!

Sooooo, what’s the deal with the linen jumpsuit then?!

Well…I first saw it on Instagram on the lovely Becca, the owner at Cristal Womenswear in Knowle. It was exactly what I’d been looking for for my holiday in Cornwall this year. Though said ship has obviously sailed, it didn’t put me off! It’s classic isn’t it? And actually will go nicely into the cooler months and great now with this unsettled weather. One minute it’s so humid, the next the heavens open!

To cut a long story short they sold out so I had to wait but every cloud and all that….Becca came back with the kind offer of gifting me one so I could post it. Once I’d gotten my sticky little paws on it I realised how lovely it’d be to style and how alive it would come if I could show you it in motion!

I’ve tried to use, as always, things you might have at home or at least things you could easily get yourself if there’s something that might work for your proportions. We’re all so different aren’t we! A white shirt? A denim jacket? Sneakers? A cardigan?…… the things you have will be a different fit to mine but hopefully the video is something that’s nice to watch at the very least! I’ve linked what Ican.

This jumpsuit is quite long in the body so maybe good if you’re tall. If you’re smaller it may work as illustrated in the videos, it may not but it’s impossible to style every body shape with one item. There’s no fixed waist point so there’s definitely some versatility there for fitting different body shapes and different proportions.

This video was also a chance to showcase a little brand I found by chance whilst searching on Etsy. It’s the cotton crochet shopper. I can’t tell you how much I love it! Check out her shop here on Etsy. All hand made by the lovely Barbara in London. They are so beautifully  made and I’m planning on buying more! There’s something so magical about buying something handmade from the person that’s actually made it! It came with a handwritten thank you card and a free surprise gift. Just so lovely. If there’s not a colour that works for you she’s happy to take commissions.

I hope you enjoy the video. Feels good to support a little local independent boutique and a small business on Etsy.

I have no idea what’s next! Already feel like I need another holiday! Te he he!

Have a good week… see you on the the squares!

LINEN JUMPSUIT – Cristal Womenswear Knowle

COTTON CROCHET SHOPPER – SistersByCraft on Etsy

STRAW MARKET BASKET – MMAA Social

TAN LEATHER SLIDES – Dune London

KNITTED WAISTCOAT – ZARA

BLACK WEDGE ESPADRILLES – CASTANER

other knitwear from previous season – The White Company

WHITE LEATHER TRAINERS – Veja esplar

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Aug 15, 2020

The start of the holiday was a little rocky to say the least. Firstly we had the issue that everyone has faced this year with the possibility of holiday cancellations and secondly we had to go later than planned whilst I had my tooth pulled out! Very glam ey?!

But after a period of convalescing we got there and were more grateful than ever to have a break and get away from our four walls!

If you know me well you’ll know we’ve been going camping to the same site in Cornwall for the past four years.

I like to write you a blog because I know lots of you visit the coast with your families and I love seeing everyone’s holiday snaps and find it helpful to know where they visited and why so hopefully this blog will help someone else to discover something new down South or reignite fond memories of their own trip away.

PORTHPEAN BEACH

We’re base at St. Austell. Our nearest favourite beach is Porthpean Beach. Like most British beaches it looks bleak on a cold day but picture postcard stunning on a sunny one!

Porthpean on a sunny calm day is absolutely beautiful and a real hidden gem frequented by the locals. It’s a shingle beach until the tide is right out. There’s a place to hire kayaks or paddle boards which my boys enjoy every year depending on the weather and the height of the waves. Being a small sheltered cove it’s rarely very rough but we did have one day when they were called in off their kayaks as the surf became too much. From time to time the seaweed can take over too so we rock up every year with an open mind to what we will encounter! If everything is in our favour it is hard to beat as it’s short drive from the campsite via Costa!

No life guard.

TROPICAL PRINT MAKEUP POUCH – PIPET Design

BEACH KAFTAN – John Lewis (old)

BASKET BAG and SUNGLASSES linked later in blog

CAERHAYES BEACH

This is not my favourite day out! The kids love this beach on a wet, windy day as it’s perfect for body boarding. I however either brace myself and get into the sea too or sit and watch under an umbrella! And let’s make it perfectly clear that it’s not just for half an hour! They are immune to the cold (ok they are in wetsuits) and stay in ALL day! We can’t get them out, however, jokes aside I absolutely love watching them having so much pure unadulterated fun.

No life guard

BRIGHT SIDE JUMPER – FUND Jumpers

RASH VEST – Sweaty Betty (old)

PALE BLEACHED JEANS – Levis (old)

CARBIS BAY ST.IVES

I love this beach. It has white sand and it has crystal blue water. Much quieter than Portminster Beach it’s become our family’s favourite destination. Granted it doesn’t have all the cobbled streets and cute little shops to look at on your walk down to the beach but it’s just so beautiful once you are there. We were obviously in no rush to join the crowds in small side streets or cram ourselves in amongst other holiday makers on the beach. We visited Carbis Bay instead of ST.Ives numerous times this year come cloud, come shine!

Though there aren’t gift shops there are places to eat and places to hire water sports gear from at Carbis Bay. Life guards on site.

I realise I haven’t mentioned fashion that much! I suppose because it’s the sort of holiday that is about relaxing and switching off and just feeling comfortable. I packed very little this year as I know that in the past only half gets warn and I end up washing everything anyway when we return! Who else dreads that huge pile of washing?!

I only packed two pairs of shorts and just lived in them both so please excuse the lack of different outfits!

This year I really delved into the depths of my wardrobe and revived some old favourites. I’d  been looking online at all the brands that do great holiday fashion. In particular I wanted an oversized slouchy 100% cotton chunky knit that would feel comfortable on sandy sun kissed skin, still giving a bit of warmth in the chill on the afternoon wind whilst wearing damp swimwear! I think you get my thinking? So? I dug out this really old Zara cotton jumper.  It’s naturally become lovely and soft with it’s own washed out patina. It no longer felt precious! I cut the stitches at the neck for a slouchier less boxy fit and viola! Yay, happy days!

DENIM SHORTS – River Island, as old as the hills

ZARA COTTON SWEATER – just as old!

BIKINI – GOTTEX at UK swimwear HERE

LINEN SHIRT – H&M current season but sells out fast online TRY 

or…. HERE

LINEN SHORTS – ARKET current season

LINEN VEST – H&M current season, again sells too fast online to link!

HAVAIANAS – widely available

FLORENCE SHOPPER – Bohemia Design I’ve had for years but still available

TOWEL WITH TASSELS – H&M Home current, similar HERE

SUNGLASSES – Katie Loxton

I absolutely love linen in the heat of summer. There are some great pieces from the high street to high end. I could write a whole blog on it and probably I will take note and do one at the beginning of the summer next year. There seems little point at present but maybe invest now if you see a timeless item in the sales? There are some amazing bargains this year. Try ARKET, Poetry Fashion, H&M Premium Quality Range, NRBY Clothing….to name but a few, even your local little independent boutique may have stock of interestung linen pieces? If you’re local to me pop to Christal Ladieswear in Knowle. Becca has some lovely linen jumpsuits and dungarees. I may have one that will feature on an IGTV video some time soon! Wink wink!!!

WHITSAND BAY

Well I messed up here because I left my phone on charge back at the tent! We chased the sun according to the weather forecast only to sit in cloud all day! The kids always enjoy this beach as usually there’s waves suitable for surfing. There’s a local surf school there too that’s happy to hire out boards. Life guards on site. It’s here where Mr.W stood on a weaver fish last year and needed their assistance. I featured this beach on last years blog…read it here.

MEVAGISSEY

MEVAGISSEY, I love Mevagissey! It’s a proper Cornish harbour town with lots of character and the most amazing fish and chip shop! It’s particularly lovely in the early evening for supper on the quayside watching the sun go down and the boys fishing. Seas Shells Cafe does a legendary crepe with Cornish ice cream in an array of different flavours and a great cup of coffee!

HARLYN BAY

This turned out more successful than the picture below might lead you to believe! The weather was better than it looks and the kids absolutely loved it here! They used their own body boards ALL day so we didn’t need to hire a thing!

Life guards on site.

I think that’s it this year? We kinda stayed where we felt safe and avoided the big touristy destinations. We did have our annual visit on a really wet day to Truro, one of Cornwall’s cities. It was fine and not overly busy to be honest. Maybe because of lockdown, I don’t know, I’m not 100% sure, but the beach trips came first and foremost this year? Maybe it was the need to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible? Though the weather was probably the worst we’ve had yet by the coast, it was by far our most enjoyable visit to date. Grateful. Quite simply, grateful x

OK, some fashion…..

If and when I want to up my game on the beach shorts front I may well try these? Denim shorts and beach wear in general size up! Tailored shorts get the right fit. Length…find your own “sweet spot!” and what makes you feel comfortable and confident.

DENIM SCALLOP SHORTS – WYSE Lndon

SCALLOP

BERMUDA

CUT OFF

PINK!

And the products?

Well here’s the thing! I’ll have to disappoint you all here. I was make up free all holiday bar factor 50 Ultrasun and factor 30 Tan accelerator which I discovered while away. The only make up I wore if I did was Trinny London Lip 2 Cheek in CHLOE. I blooming love this little pot of summer kissed glow on my pale olive self! Lip 2 cheek….hmmm, I stick it on as an eye shadow too!

Well I hope you enjoyed my little virtual tour of Cornwall? I’ll be back to the styling videos soon. I’ve got some great finds I want to ping your way!

Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoy some form of holiday this year. XX

Oh gosh almost forgot! 10% off for readers at UK Swimwear which has the most amazing selection of designer swimwear. Use code BEACH10 at the checkout. I can’t recommend my GOTTEX bikini enough. It is so comfortable and feels so secure on. You can see me nearly falling over in the waves but the bikini didn’t shift! Even when I wasn’t wearing the straps. I’ve had it a few years now and it’s as good at the first time I wore it and it’s been wore a lot!

TIP: Hand wash swimwear. As in really hand wash! Allow to air dry. No heat, no radiators and absolutely no tumble drying! To avoid saggy bums, loose Lycra threads and those see through patches that others can see when you bench over! Ha ha ha!

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Jul 10, 2020

The weeks are whizzing by and it’s not long until the school summer holidays kick in if they haven’t already for some. This year there’s not the big signing off and the blatantly obvious end of team. My kids have been home for over four months and I have to keep reminding myself that the hols will soon be upon us. It should’ve  been quite a send off this year as the youngest leaves his primary school. Such a shame for so many children for lots of different reasons.

Of late the blogs have revolved around the IGTV styling video. This one is no different!

It’s all about a skirt. I’ve used a bias cut slip skirt ( previous season)  but it could easily be any floaty or even pleated skirt that you might have in your own wardrobe. It could even be a wide floaty culotte or palazzo pant to be honest. As always it’s a mixed bag of my own clothes that I have at home. Ive included ideas for the summer, ideas for work ; a shopping trip or lunch with friends and some ideas to take you from desk to dinner with a “Mary Poppins” style bag!

I can get a bit funny about dress lengths with coats, maybe that’s why I love boyfriend blazers so much? As this particular skirt was asymmetric it kinda didn’t matter and made bringing you different looks with my own coats easier. Stuff like that is a matter of personal taste and will depend on what suits you as an individual. I’m afraid I can only dress myself for the purpose of these videos! Tweak the proportions to suit your own shape!

So once again I hope you enjoy the video. It’s a little longer than normal as I got carried away….I could’ve kept going!

I’ve linked some other skirts that are available at the moment, I’ve no personal experience of now they fit or what the quality is like but I’ve tried to find a few different price points for you and some sale bits! Most sizes were available for the sale finds at the point of writing this blog but stock sells fast as there are some incredible bargains out there.

SATIN SKIRT ABOVE – Massimo Dutti

LINEN VEST – H&M current season

CERAMIC MISS MATCH EARRINGS – Zara

RING – Nomination

BASKET SHOPPER – MMAA Social

TAN SLIDES – DUNE

BLACK SANDALS – & Other Stories

LINEN MIX COAT – Zara sale this season

CARDIGAN – Pure Collection London sample sale but LOVE this!

SKIRTS ABOVE – Both SALE at The White Company left right

SWEATSHIRT WITH SIDE ZIPS = ARKET sale (may be stock in stores?)

TRAINERS – sold out but I like THESE

TRENCH = M&S old

TOTE BAG – LK Bennett lots similar online HERE

COURT SHOES = LK Bennett HERE

SATIN SKIRT ABOVE – ARKET

TUXEDO POPLIN SHIRT – ARKET sold out …similar HERE

BLAZER – ME+EM options HERE

BLACK ANKLE BOOTS – Zara but styles widely available

JUMPER – The White Company lots HERE

TALL BOOTS – ARKET

LEFT – ME+EM 

MIDDLE – ARKET

RIGHT – ME+EM

Makeup throughout is Trinny London.

Thank you for reading and now I’m off to plan some outfits for holiday! Yay! XX

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Jul 05, 2020

Well I’m on fire!

We have blogs and styling videos coming out of our ears don’t we team!

As always it’s not about buying “this” dress or “that” thing though I always link everything that I can or try and find alternatives for you. It’s about thinking about what you like and what works for you. Sometimes it’s good to recognise that we can appreciate something works on someone else and is not for ourselves. There’s so much advice to read and imagery to look at these days which is obviously really wonderful isn’t it  but you can’t beat understanding what you like and more importantly what makes you feel great inside.

Nothing split the room quite like this “buffet” dress! And I love that! I love the fact that styling can make a difference to turn an “no way” opinion to “”ooooo, errrr, actually…..I quite like it like that!” At fashion college we learnt so much about the power of styling. The building blocks of an outfit don’t change that much but how you put them together and how you play with proportions can make all the difference. Mixing smart and casual. Mixing hard and soft textures. Mixing feminine and masculine. The list goes on…..

Also I wanted to highlight a brand. It’s for no personal gain. I’m not working with them and I’m not getting any commission, just a warm fuzzy feeling supporting a small company that’s doing great things. It’s MMAA Social. The market basket in this blog and video took 2/3 days to weave. MMAA Social supports the women and their communities in Ghana  that make these amazing works of art. If you’re on Instagram and can spare a follow?

So as always, a huge heart thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for watching the videos.

Hope you enjoy this one XX

MARKET BASKET – MMAA Social

SILK/COTTON DRESS – H&M

trainers featured in the video sold out but I like THESE

SLIDES – DUNE LONDON

PLATFORM SNEAKERS – Russel and Bromley

TALL BOOTS – ARKET

SUNGLASSES – KATIE LOXTON

The statement earrings featured in the video are old  – but LOVE these!

MAKEUP throughout –TRINNY LONDON 

I think I’m finally up to speed and everything thus far has been documented on a blog! Today should have been planning the next IGTV styling video but as usual life got in the way and we spent the afternoon as a family making mud pies and bike ramps out of dirt at our local park! I was feeling kinda smug and ahead of myself and then suddenly, out of nowhere, I’ve dropped behind!

Thank you again for reading XX

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Jul 04, 2020

And away we go! I have to admit it was a bit daunting doing the videos after what has felt like very long break!

We all got through the last few months in our own way. Some of us lived in our sportswear and some of us dressed up for dinner at home.

As life is moving forward and I felt comfortable buying non essential items online these videos seemed relevant again. I felt like I had the head space to give them the time they need to plan. The styling videos have never been full of new season pieces and have always been more about giving you ideas and something fun to watch using  clothes that you may well have similar to yourselves at home. For this reason they’re not always exactly as I’d like them to be but that’s not the point! It’s not about “that” dress or “this” thing….you’ll have different items in your wardrobe and you’ll suit different shapes and lengths. Hopefully it’s inspiration enough to show how versatile certain items, we’ve probably all got a version at home, can be. A logo top? A printed skirt or dress? A satin slip skirt? Trainers? Jeans? Shorts? 

Ironically this video is all about the FUND JUMPER. A new discovery found in lock down! I fell in love with everything about the brand when I saw one on a connections post on LinkedIn. It’s a small brand that’s giving back. Every jumper sold funds 100 school meals for children in poverty. Beautiful British wool/cashmere jumpers made to last and be loved. Each one lovingly embroidered with an inspirational or thought provoking quote. My son chose my quote for me which makes it extra special. I do admire small brands that are prepared to give back to charities and communities that are in need of help. Imagine what could be achieved if the big guns did this too?

You may have a logo T or sweater of your own that you can style different ways. For the beach, worn with print, for a day shopping or for casual drinks with friends. I’m sure you could all pull out a skirt or a dress that you could style this way? I’ve always loved how a piece of soft relaxed knitwear can make everything look a bit more effortless, like you’ve not tried too hard.

I hope you enjoy this one. I’m in dire need of the hairdresser and my hair just got bigger and fizzier under the lights as the video progressed! I’ve included make up and lots of different accessories on the video.

Thank you for watching.

JUMPER throughout FUND Jumpers

MAKE-UP used throughout – TRINNY LONDON

BASKETS throughout – BOHEMIA DESIGN

SUNGLASSES –  H&M

DENIM SHORTS –  UNIQLO UK

SLIDES –  DUNE LONDON

NUDE LEATHER MULES – M&S

JEANS – AGOLDE available at REVOLVE (I’m wearing a size 27″)

Trainers sold out sale but I like THESE

I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet little blog post? There’s another one coming soon to flag up another small but great brand that I found and fell in love with too over the last few months when I was able to slow down and spend some time looking at things that made my heart sing. I’m a bit like the no.19 bus through London…no blog for months then three come all at once! Ha ha! X 

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Jul 02, 2020

Never in a million years would you have ever thought that you might read a blog about life in lockdown. None of us could have ever imagined going through what has transpired over the last four months or so. To be fair we’ve lived in a bubble of very little personal discomfort and for that I am grateful.

I feel as I write this blog I’m painting a picture that it’s all over but over it is not in more ways than one as we lick our economical wounds and live in the shadow of a second wave. I do not want this blog to breed an air of complacency, quite the contrary I think I’m still living very much as we were at the start. Family has become our focus. To protect them physically and mentally. I have tried to live as “we”… for the good of “us” rather than living as “I” want to live and fear it’s consequences. Though if I lived like the the later I very much doubt I cared about the consequences and the impact on those that were fighting for our safety and indeed our lives.

My social media was a conscious decision to do my bit to keep us all sane as best I knew how! We were dealing with our own issues at home too but positivity seemed the only option. There was the home schooling of primary and secondary school children (and still is!), there was the pressure of feeding three men at home and the dynamics of everyone needing WiFi and computers! The “C” word was never mentioned on the “squares”. They were there to offer a lighthearted distraction amongst the sea of loo roll humour!

As life begins to kick and splutter back to some kind of “normal” I thought it fitting to write a blog and share some memories of our  time in lockdown. There were the bloopers, the photo-bombers, the silly pictures, the stylish pictures and the story board pictures of pretend trips to glamorous holiday locations! I’ve included a few pics that never made it to any of the platforms (for very good reason probably!)

I do wonder what changes we will all make. Will we revert to form as the school clubs and sporting events start again. As the parental responsibility to provide  all the extra curricular activities cranks back up will we forget the promises we made to ourselves to do less? Will we go for “more” of everything because life is too short?  Or will we strip it all back to doing less? Will we be content as we are or will we strive to make the changes that we never gave time to before? I think it will be a time of extremes… for the short term at least. Who knows? Time will tell as they say ….

And as we move away from living in jogggers or trying to feel like us by dressing up in the comfort of our home, I thought, right it’s time for the outfit styling videos to return on IGVT and return they have and will follow soon on the next blog!

If anything lockdown has shown me that to feel like me I still have to be creative so thank you all for letting me bombard you with my efforts! It look lockdown for me make friends with Instagram! Well we’re talking shall we say! Though I  think the first pic still sums up my feelings towards selfies!!!

SHALL WE START WITH “THE FUNNY ONES?!”

WE HAD GOOD DAYS!…..

……AND NOT SUCH GOOD DAYS!…..

……WE HAD RAIN!…..

…..AND WE’NT WE ALL GRATEFUL FOR SO MUCH SUN!

AND THEN THERE WERE THE TRIPS TO SUNNY LOCATIONS! IF ONLY……..

AND LOTS OF LOCAL EVENING WALKS!

We had flat tyres, punctured tires; sore hands; sore bums; hot children; cold children; too much XBOX children and over tired past their bedtime children! BUT…in the main I think we had happy children.

MY FAVOURITE PICTURE!

I didn’t want this to be a big read. There’s obviously no links to the latest dress or a new purchase for you to check out. It’s just a diary to capture a period of time in history and seemed a crime not to put pen to paper as it were. I’ve mentioned the IGTV videos are back and thank you those that have taken the time to watch them. I’ll be putting them on the blog over the next few weeks and as new ones happen.

It’s nearly business as usual as wardrobe edits are being booked in for the season ahead and shopping days are running from September. Let’s hope we can try clothes on by then!

The videos are back, the blog is back so there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Thank you for reading and if you like more frequent silly billy’s then head over to my Instagram.

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Nov 03, 2019

I have to say it’s tough ticking every box. Writing blogs, posting on Facebook and Twitter; filming IGTV videos and juggling the day job as well as family life.
I’ve always wanted my social media to be a safe place for readers to come and enjoy and feel part of something special that’s theirs as much as mine. I love making the blog pretty to look at with hopefully some creative flare in the imagery and not just about buying any particular piece of clothing featured.
The IGTV videos have become a fun way to show different styles in motion. The point was to hopefully encourage others to give different things a go. I absolutely love planning them and posting them. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to engage with them and comment. None of my social media would be worth while if others didn’t enjoy it and for your connection with it I am hugely grateful.
So this blog quite simply came on the back of rushing out the door to make the most of a special day.
Over the past few years I’ve made a conscious effort to invest in clothes I’ll actually wear! Classics with a bit of edge. What can be more classic than a camel coat! Pick your budget and the shade that suits you. Buy the best your budget will allow when it comes to coats and the fabric will reward you with years of wear. Great with animal print, beautiful beiges, brights or denim. Can be dressed up or down.

BODEN

Left MANGO Right H&M 

Left WHISTLES Right HOBBS

Left ZARA Middle JAEGER  Right WAREHOUSE

Left ZARA Right MARKS AND SPENCER

Left JIGSAW  Right MARKS AND SPENCER

Left ZARA  Right GESTUZ

So it’s full steam ahead with social media! On to the next IGTV video which I’m planning to feature my camel coat. If you follow me on Instagram please watch the videos and make any suggestions for ideas for topics to film. 

I hope you enjoy my musings about style and fashion. lots of love…and thank you for reading XXXX

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Sep 28, 2019

 

You kinda have to pick and choose the days when this works in the UK but when it works it’s a classy change from black in the winter or the rather predictable pop of colour somewhere in our outfit against a backdrop of more black that we all do as a knee jerk response to grey days.

I started doing the videos to show the diversity of different items in our wardrobes. To show how something could be worn different ways for different climates and different situations we find ourselves in through the seasons.

This Winter White video came about to show different ways of wearing ivory as the temperature drops. I love adding milky tones into my autumn wardrobe as it lifts even the dullest palette and works better with black than strong colour. The only thing is that it’s not particularly practical if the weather is rubbish! So I find adding another neutral shade stops things looking too precious or too weddingy! Let’s face it, EVERYTHING looks amazeballs on Pinterest but can look a bit costumy in real life?

Adding camel, beige or grey just seemed the right thing to do. A cream coat has to be the most impractical item of clothing ever closely followed by cream trousers! So I used ivory jeans which can be chucked in the washing machine with no dry cleaning required.  Also I wanted to flag this pair up. I’m pulling back from having a wardrobe full of Zara BUT I fell in love with these palazzo style pair. Not for everyone granted but I’m sure you could do the “look” with a shape that works for you.

There’s never been a better time to buy into neutrals. It’s been around for a few seasons now and never goes out of style. Think about textures to keep things interesting. Satin, sequins, ribbed knits, pleats…..the list is endless. Details too and proportions that work for you. You might swap the wide leg for a neat cigarette shape if you’re petite? Watch your creams too! If they’re too similar it can make one look dirty against the other. Cream and bright white sometimes works better together than trying to be too matchy matchy?

The purpose of the exercise as always is to be helpful. To inspire enthusiasm and encourage experimenting to find what works for us. Good luck team!

Just a few lovely beigey bits to wet your appetite below! There is just too much to choose from! I’m rather impressed with ARKET and COS this season who seem to still be able to deliver decent quality at a fair price. Investment pieces that can be enjoyed and worn different ways for years to come.

There’s a little Youtube video at the end of this blog using clothes from my own wardrobe

Ribbed Sweater – H&M

Wide worker palazzo jeans – ZARA

Wool blend coat – ZARA

Wool mix coat – H&M available in stores

Cigarette jeans – WEEKDAY

ribbed knit – ARKET

High leg boots – ARKET ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Caramel silk satin blouse – ME+EM

Cable knit sweater – The White Company

So thank you for reading. Every read, like, comment and share makes a little difference to my little home grown business that hopefully is becoming something that people enjoy and feel a part of. Please join the party on my other social media platforms and enjoy free styling inspo and shopping ideas, fashion and fun!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the blog!

Valerie

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