By SolihullStyle      Jun 23, 2019

AN INVITE TO AFTERNOON TEA!

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a blog about cucumber sandwiches and Battenberg cake. Nope!

I was invited by Wing Wah in Birmingham to try their newly launched “Afternoon Tea”. A set menu of authentic handmade Chinese dim sum and treats all washed down with a choice of oriental tea.

Such fun to do something different. On a weekday too sans kids!  Just MR.W and I. I’d never tried dim sum before and neither had he. My experience of Chinese cuisine I’m rather embarrassed to admit is the traditional take away that’s very much tweaked to suit a western palette. I’ve consumed, even more embarrassingly, my fair share of “eat as much as you like” Chinese buffets as a student whilst living in London.

The Afternoon Tea selection was created to include many of the restaurants’ most popular dim sum and pastry dishes. All handmade using natural colours from beetroot and spinach. The three tiered platter is reminiscent of the presentation that one might see at many a cream tea venue. In the same way it’s contents were both sweet and savoury. All perfectly formed and beautifully made.

So a very different experience for Mr.W and I. A privilege to be invited and a wonderful chance to try authentic Chinese cuisine handmade by artisans of their craft. It’s something new to try, a real ice breaker amongst work colleagues perhaps on a corporate lunch or a chance to do something different in your own home city?

Mr.W did ask me as we started our meal if I’d only invited him as my royal taster! I did make him try everything before I took my turn! That’s not a failing on the restaurant’s presentation or service which was exceptional by the way, however, it was a dining experience that we had never had before. That’s just my limited western pallet that’s to blame. Or rather that I didn’t know what everything was before I ate it. Was it sweet or was it savoury? With the traditional English high tea I’m fairly confident we’d all know the difference between the main course and the dessert! It was all delicious I just needed a bit of guidance!

In short the Afternoon Tea set menu is a great way of trying something new; something truly authentic; something that normally you wouldn’t do or something that would usually take the trip of a lifetime to take the plunge to try and at no great financial outlay either. My advice would be ask for help; ask as many questions as you need; ask what everything is and enjoy the taste bud journey! I even asked for a fork! I know!!! We were the only people slurping soy sauce on our dim sum dangling from stainless steel cutlery! Ha ha!

DIM SUM AND DRESSES!

What to wear to a Chinese lunch? A kimono sprung to mind! You all know how much I love my dresses so I wore this traditional outer layer/ “throw over”  as a dress. While we’re on the theme of East meets West it seemed fitting to chuck on a vintage Levi studded belt to offset all the Oriental florals. It’s fair to say that you lovely lot have probably noticed all the sales are on now so I’ve thrown a few midi dresses out there at the end of this blog to wet your appetite. Sizes are limited as it’s the end of the season. Perfect timing to get dressed up and enjoy the sun!

REISS – EMMI midi dress WAS £235 NOW £165

TED BAKER – Narrnia midi dress WAS £229 NOW £114

SANDRO PARIS – WAS £315 NOW £157.50

GANNI – WAS £180 NOW £126

TOPSHOP BOUTIQUE – WAS £85 NOW £45

SANDRO – WAS £369 NOW £221.40

MAJE – WAS £315 NOW £157.50

NOT IN THE SALE!! BUT IT HAS CAUGHT MY EYE!

JOHN LEWIS – AND/OR – £195

Thanks for reading!!

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Apr 25, 2019

I’ve wanted to do a suit styling video for absolutely ages. We had all the grey check versions in the winter and no surprises but now it’s summer we’ve got an array of colour pop options to choose from on the high street.

The problem I was having, and it’s a common issue with buying a suit, is that I might love the blazer and not like the style of the trousers or visa versa. If I’d found a pricier one obviously I’d consider going down the alterations route but  if i’m being totally honest I was looking for a bit of a fashion fix without too much investment!  So I ended up trialling this bright blue baby from Zara for the purpose of the exercise. Now I’ve broken myself into the whole suit thing I might buy better for keeps? I can feel a trip to Bicester coming on!

The benefit (which I have to say I didn’t think of straight off as I was too suit obsessed!) is that of course you still have a blazer that you can wear with everything from jeans to dresses and a pair of statement trousers that can be styled alone.

You may have your own suit or separates that you can styling together to give a similar vibe. Pairing neutral tones of stone and beige together is a massive trend this summer. 

My videos are just a bit of fun. Nothing too serious and just ideas to get you thinking about your own wardrobe and the choices you make for yourself. Your lifestyle and your style will be completely different to mine but hopefully you enjoy watching my antics if nothing else! 

 

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Feb 28, 2019

You all know by now that I’ll happily do online shopping but in my defence it’s when I can’t find a particular something in store. I’ll use the store search first. I’ve spent so much time returning stuff over the years. Now I know the brands I love my online shopping is less and far more successful. There’s some brands that are only available in London or further afield and it’s here that online shopping really pans out for me. For the brands that are easily available on the high street I have to say I tend to just make a day of it and go shopping! Most of the time I can find the lion share of the things I was looking at on line in the store. I can try it on (OK sometimes in a different colour) and assess whether I love the fit, the fabric or the style.

There’s something really rewarding about coming home with things you really love and not having to go back again to return. That old school buzz! It feels like a real treat rather than just ticking a box. I don’t feel the same when that plastic bag or card box arrives. I appreciate we are all different. Shopping can feel a real chore if you’re busy in another line of work to fashion, if you struggle to know what you’re looking for so just hate shopping in general.

I’m not going to lie some of my best little finds have been online BUT they have taken so long to find! I don’t mind because I love it and it’s my job to know what is where but, honestly, some of the things I wear the most are things I fell in love with whilst out actually shopping.

I thought as the weather is improving I’d do a little high street edit. My local high street is Touchwood Shopping centre in Solihull. Everything in this blog is from the shop floor there. I realise we are all different and really it’s just a teaser to get you to think about the season ahead. We had some glorious weather over the last few days but today it’s back to dull old February. We all know though that the Great British weather will change over night and change again. How nice would it be to be prepared for when the sun shines! I expect you lovely stylish lot are already ahead of the game and have got it all sorted but if you’re feeling a little lack lustre then maybe a few ideas of what’s out there might give you a helping hand to feel inspired to have a look. I’ve touched on a few trends. Obviously trends are not for everyone, that’s not the purpose of the exercise, but I’d be a rubbish fashion blogger if I didn’t at least flag a few up! The point of this blog wasn’t just to take pics of everything on every shop floor either! That’s what websites are for but hopefully some of it’s helpful…if not just pretty to look at!

LET’S START WITH SNAKE!

Not going anywhere fast…..safari inspired prints are made for hot summer days. There’s still plenty of snake print and great big dollops of zebra.

BLOUSE H&M

BLOUSE H&M

OVERBLOUSE – ZARA

MESH TOP – ZARA and COBALT BLUE TROUSERS – ZARA

LEATHER COURT SHOES – ZARA

CROSS BODY BAG – ZARA

H&M

FUN BAGS!

While we’re on the subject of bags! Oh my goodness there’s some seriously fun arm candy out there! It’s over to you team on this one! There has to be something for everyone from sporty totes to natural baskets. Think tortoiseshell details too for a real 2019 fashion sugar rush!

PERFECTLY FORMED FASHION FIXES AT ZARA!

VINYL TOTE – ACCESSORIES

WOODEN HANDLE TOTE – ZARA

TORTOISESHELL TOP HANDLE TOTE – TOPSHOP

TOPSHOP

ACCESSORISE YOUR LOOK!!

Let’s stay on the subject of accessories shall we. The world is your oyster…quite literally! From all things natural like shells, pearls and tortoiseshell to seriously new age and neon bright. Just find something that suits your personality and makes you smile from the inside out!

CATSEYE SUNGLASSES – ACCESSORIZE

NATURAL MATERIAL EAR CANDY – TOPSHOP

TORTOISESHELL EARRINGS – H&M

OVERSIZED TORTOISESHELL HOOPS – ZARA

TORTOISESHELL HOOPS – ACCESSORIZE

SHELL EARRINGS – LOVISA

GREY STONE EARRINGS – H&M

MOCK CROC LEATHER MULES – ZARA
If you like these…be quick…they are going to sell out super fast! True to size

NEON HOOPS – LOVISA

NEON SPORTS SHOES – ZARA

TRENCH COAT!

The trench coat has made a reappearance. Less extreme and more classic than ever in all shades of neutral beige. If you struggle with the yellow tones of beige that most trenches come in, fear not, you can find your shade this Spring …. from stone to deep rust.

FYI: I’ve featured a fab dark beige trench on IGTV over on Instagram (@solihullstyle) ..available in store at H&M

STONE TRENCH – ZARA

TRENCH – ZARA with a generous fit…I’m wearing a size small

DETAILED TRENCH – BODEN at JOHN LEWIS

JOHN LEWIS OWN RANGE (really rather nice own range too!)

ALL DRESSED UP!

I’m always banging on about dresses. An outfit all in one. So easy. I love a midi dress. It just works super hard and I need less maintenance! Nuff said! You can pretty much pick your budget and just dive right in if it’s a look you love as much as me.It’s a dress style that works with sneakers, flip flops and on cooler days, ankle boots.

NEON SNAKE PRINT WRAP DRESS – KAREN MILLEN at JOHN LEWIS

left DRESS – WHISTLES right DRESS – MINT VELVET at JOHN LEWIS

….more MINT VELVET MIDIS!

FRENCH CONNECTION at JOHN LEWIS

DIFFERENT LENGTHS!

I could go on and on here as there’s so many beautiful dresses to choose from. If you struggle with the proportions of a midi dress then there’s a few brands that do a shorter length dress really well. If you need a true petite fit then they might not work but sometimes they do! If you’re shorter but still regular in the length of the body then often it’s still alright to go for a standard fit shorter dress. My advise…try them on! Rocket science here!

SHORT TEA DRESS – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

ZEBRA PRINT DRESS – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

DROP WAIST DRESS – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

COCOON DRESS – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

DRESS – ALLSAINTS at JOHN LEWIS

YOUR NAME WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!

Well at least something written, printed or drawn all over it! Yep, the logo top still reigns! Lifts the dull old T-shirt into new style status. My favourites are the embroidered variety. Sometimes coming with a heftier price tag but ….. it’s just a mater of taste. There’s no rules. anything goes.

ZARA

SWEATSHIRTS – H&M

HUSH at JOHN LEWIS

SWEATSHIRT – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

T-SHIRT – HUSH at JOHN LEWIS

SWEATSHIRT – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

EMBROIDERED T-SHIRT – TOPSHOP

There’s some brands that do things well. ZARA always pulls out all the fashion punches every season and it might take some serious sifting through but they never fail to deliver a few great pieces every season. What you love will be different to what I love. ZARA are great at doing co-ords. Co-coordinating pieces that work together in the same or similar complimentary print. How they fit and perform is in the trying on and what works for one body shape may not work for another. I’ve tried to give a flavour of the season in this blog rather than suggesting these pieces are for everyone to rush out and buy. I’m here to encourage those that want encouragement to go and try new things and see how they feel and buy what YOU love.

CO-ORD – ZARA

CO -ORD – ZARA

WHITE HOT SUMMER!

You can’t have summer without a bit of white cotton broderie Anglaise. Whether it’s frilled and flouncy and ever so slightly 90s or on the verge of Victoriana…it’s all there!

BLOUSE WITH FLOUNCE – ZARA

COTTON LACE BLOUSES – H&M

NAUGHTY ME!

I haven’t given any product links as it’s about going shopping. This isn’t a sponsored post and it’s quite simply a labour of love. I hope it’s of interest to those that enjoy fashion. There was lots of other bits and bobs I spotted out on my travels. There’s little point me trying lots of things on and posting pics. It’s not about me. It’s always been about helping you. What fits me might not fit the next person. Thank goodness we are all different. It’s why I love my job so much. The opportunity we all have to be able to express our own individuality. It’s a privilege to not take for granted. I’m not going to get all deep and meaningful! There’s a degree of urgency to get this blog done and out there! Fashion moves too fast for me to get all philosophical on you!

So the last little chunk of goodies is just the stuff that didn’t fit above! Ha ha!!! No, seriously it’s a few fun bits….a few more trends highlighted…a neon animal print shirt (two trends in one!), an oversized nude toned beige blazer… never a bad buy if the shade suits; a slip skirt; a colour pop sweater…or two to lift your basics out of the winter blues; a camo cargo trouser and a paper bag waist denim culotte! I think that’s Spring sorted! The season will develop over the next few weeks. There will be mid season sales and discount code incentives. There will be new style drops in store with more meat on their bones as the season finds it’s fashion feet. I hope you enjoy shopping. You can’t beat touching it, smelling it, trying it! Ha Ha!! You get my drift, I know you do!

TIE DYED T-SHIRT TUNIC – ZARA

BRIGHT YELLOW TURTLENECK – WHISTLES at JOHN LEWIS

COLOUR POP ZEBRA KNIT – HUSH at JOHN LEWIS

CROPPED DENIM – RIVER ISLAND

COTTON CARGO PANT – RIVER ISLAND

NEON LEOPARD BLOUSE – ZARA

ACID TONED SATIN PRIM BLOUSE – ZARA

OVERSIZED BLAZER – H&M I’m wearing a size small

BIAS CUT SATIN SLIP SKIRT – VARIOUS PRINTS at TOPSHOP

To round things up…. I’ve realised I’ve not mentioned THE BOILER SUIT! HE he! A marmite thing I feel! I love the idea of a no brainer outfit…A bit like a jumpsuit. It’s food for thought I guess and “IF” I found “THE” one I suppose I’d give it a go! I’ve learnt to say, never say never! You’ll see them across all the magazine editorials so it’d be very rude of me not to put this piece of utility clothing on our radar.

Thank you for reading this blog. I hope it’s made you smile, have a think about your own tastes and maybe what might work for you over the coming warmer weather we are going to get.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I’m posting videos on IGTV. I try and use new season styles mixed with my own existing wardrobe to hopefully give you some ideas as to how you can incorporate new with the old to update your style. Featuring simple ways to tackle tricky trends like neon. Thank you if you already follow…welcome to the party!

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Jan 07, 2019

STALKER!

A Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a lovely Christmas. The January sales are still on. They seem to get earlier every year and may well be out shadowed by Black Friday deals. You probably all know my mantra by now when it comes to sale shopping. I tread very carefully and try hard not to to be swayed by the reduced prices. I’ll “stalk” something I really wanted when it was full price and pounce on the first day of sale! I’ll buy a classic that I’ll get a lot of wear out of. The fashion items …well I’ll wait for the new season for that and buy a few high street finds to update my wardrobe. This year was no different. A black wool blazer from COS was my victim.  I’d tried it on before Christmas and I knew instantly I loved it. To cut a long story short…and trust me I can drag out a story, I waited and got it the minute it went into sale at half price. I’ll get a good pair of jeans too…the ones that I can NEVER in a million years justify the cost of. I’ll do my research before the sales and then hold my nerve for as long as I can! They are in the bag…literally!

BUY A BLAZER!

I love a good blazer. It’s up there with a good leather jacket. Pick a style that works for you and you’ll never look back. There’s every option available these days and it’s easy to celebrate your own style and look. I love a slightly oversized fit then a can wear a thin wool sweater underneath, it’s a nice way of dressing down a tailored piece, gives a bit of attitude and stops it looking like you’ve used your work blazer at the weekend! Great with jeans, obviously and I’ve worn mine chucked over a dress. Mixing casual clothes with tailored items can be great fun and slightly unexpected whilst stopping my biker boots looking too…errr..grungy! I think you know what I mean? There’s a few ideas for you below. The sales are leaving sizes very limited but I’ve tried to pick styles that still have a size range left. You know I’m a fan of actually going shopping and there’s still choice on the shop floor if you see something online you like but your size is out of stock. Maybe call ahead first? Stores might not hold sale items but at least you can find out if there’s a chance of trying it. The winter sales can offer something that can be worn now and into Spring at a fraction of the price and give you the chance to purchase something really special if you shop savvy. It doesn’t have to be the mistake that hangs unworn in the wardrobe with it’s sale ticket still swinging because it was only £….??

JOSEPH WAS £455 NOW £185

MASSIMO DUTI WAS £139 NOW £99.95 COS new season ZARA WAS £69.99 NOW £49.99

 

MASSIMO DUTI WAS £169 NOW £84.95 ALLSAINTS (sale) availble in stores GERARD DAREL WAS £ 355 NOW £177

GERARD DAREL WAS £ 325 NOW £130 ZARA WAS £79.99 NOW £39.99 ALLSAINTS WAS £228 NOW £127.20 on promo

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little post. I hope you managed to get yourself something nice? I’ve noticed there are still some great bargains in the leather handbag departments. I’ll be posting some new season trends soon I’m sure. Keep a look out on my Facebook page as I often post it there to be quick. I’ve invested more time in Instagram too so if you’d like to see more regular up to the minute fashion fun then please come and join the party. I’ve been doing this fashion thing all my life and I couldn’t do it without all your support, so thank you. Every share and every comment or like makes a difference.

Thank you for reading XXX

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Nov 25, 2018

BIKER BOOTS AND DAY DRESSES!

The clue is in the title. I LOVE my biker boots. I bought them to wear watching the boys play rugby on Sundays just to feel a bit more fashionable really. I spend a lot of time watching my kids and I just got sick of wearing the same dirty old boots! I now have a problem though.. I love then that much that I want to wear them all the time! With black jeans on Sunday is fine and does what it needs to do to keep out the elements. Anyone who stands pitch side in an open field now it’s got so cold will understand the clothing choices we just have to make. The rest of the time though I’ve been enjoying dressing them up! I like some femininity in my outfit when I’m wearing a style of boot like this. I wouldn’t wear combats or blue jeans. Obviously that’s a good look too…just not on me! I’ve worn mine with tailored trousers and a smart coat. I love the juxtaposition between biker style footwear and tailoring. Slightly unexpected. The obvious other choice would be to wear them with dresses and skirts. It’s far too cold now to wear mine with bare legs and a midi dress….come spring I’m in! I wouldn’t wear a midi with tights and ankle boots…it’s just not for me. I do get the idea of opaques and shorter dresses and ankle boots though. I’ve always loved it on other people but never taken the plunge myself. For some reason I woke up one day and decided just to do it! I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. Knowing what suits you and what you’re going to wear can be a very good thing….it’s our comfort zone. Today I stepped out of mine, to not do anything by halves, it was bright red too!

 

DAY DRESSES!

You all know I’m a fan of dresses. They make getting dressed super easy. They are an outfit all in one. The high street is a wash with options depending on your budget and your style. I’m a fan of ALLSAINTS for day wear with a bit off edge and there’s 30% off at the mo for Black Friday. Gap is fab too online for unexpected bargains. My dress was from Gap (previous season but similar online). Every shoe brand has done the biker boot too…short for time? Check out Zara or Topshop for budget friendly options or go all out at designer level if that’s your bag. Add your own leather belt to make a high street find look more expensive and to add your own personality. Mine is a vintage Levis studded belt from a car boot for £3 so wasn’t expensive in itself but adds interest and ties in the boots. I never thought I’d be in a shorter hemline again but you know what…. I don’t care as much what people think as the years go by and I’m enjoying challenging myself out of my own comfort zone.

 

Far left ALLSAINTS; middle two ZARA, and HERE; far right SOSANDAR available in red too but limited sizes

Well I hope you’ve all survived Black Friday. There are still some deals floating around and some may continue through Cyber Monday. The shops have definitely gone all glittery and Christmasy! Scary how quickly the winter season goes. There are sequins everywhere! I hope you enjoy the festive season ahead and I’m sure I’ll pop up with a post or two.  If you enjoy my musings and like seeing more regular updates then I’d love to see you over on Instagram. I’m looking forward to 2019 with lots of exciting new ventures on the horizon with more opportunity to meet people and talk personal style and fashion.  Thank you for all your support this year. I’ve seen my little brand grow and develop in these uncertain times so once again THANK YOU XXX

 

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Oct 30, 2018

A DRESS FOR ALL SEASONS!

It’s gotta be the best style of dress EVER. Love anything that can be worn lots of different ways. My days of buying something in haste for a Saturday night out are over. Don’t you just love items that you can wear with sneakers or dress up for work or a nice day out. This was one such day. It was my birthday and we were going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema. If you get a chance to see the film I can highly recommend it. Like most life stories of talented people it’s both sad and wonderful at the same time. Thought provoking and challenging. There’s a tragic dark side but his talent and his character were larger than life. He made no excuses for being talented and I loved that. It made me think.

LIMITED EDITION!

My dress has pretty much sold out. I know this can be annoying when bloggers post stuff you want but you can’t get anymore. I then wanted to write this blog anyway because actually it has made it more relevant to an individual. What do I mean? Well, often it’s better to find what works for you. I’ve been shopping with clients and friends and been asked where the good dresses are by lots of  people since I first posted this particular Mango dress and actually you can’t beat going out and doing some real shopping. It’s an easy style to style! But it’s not always as easy to find one that suits you. The length, the neckline; the colour and the “look” will all determine whether a certain one feels like your perfect dress. If you want to add curves to your torso you could wear a thin polo neck underneath. If you want to minimise a bust then maybe try a wrap style dress or a shirt style dress and unbutton as low as you dare. If you’re petite or feel some dresses swamp you then find a more tailored fit that’s not too long. It’s taken me what feels like forever to find mine. I’ve ordered so many on line only to hate them on arrival. It’s why I  tread very carefully when I post random items on my posts from the internet. I don’t want you guys to waste your time on something that in reality is just pants! Either the print is white and bleached on the back and clearly visible when you walk or the fabric is just cheap and nasty. You often can’t tell from online images. You’d think the price point would give you a hint to the quality of the product but sometimes this doesn’t always pan out. Sometimes, obviously not always ( some of my online punts have been great buys), it’s easier in the long run to go shopping and be able to touch it, feel it; smell it as it were!!!  It’ll depend on how much you want to invest in the look too as to where you choose to shop. Animal print, polka dots and floral prints are everywhere..just go with an open mind and try lots of different ones on. Try not to get frustrated, stay calm, stop for a coffee and have fun! You will instinctively know as a dress has a way of taking no prisoners. There’s nowhere to hide, you will either love it or hate it. I went shopping with a friend recently on a Sunday for a bit of a jolly to set me up for the half term! I was not on personal shopper mode…it was my day off …. I made her try lots of different ones on and she knew what she liked once the different styles were on. It boiled down to colour and length for her. Like me she loved the idea of being able to wear a dress lots of different ways for lots of different occasions. Be inspired and have a go.

FROM BEACH TO BAR!

Obviously not literally. Though saying that the theory works! I will wear mine with flip flops when the season chances! Wear with sneakers, ankle boots (flat or high… whatever style floats your boat), high boots or slides. Chuck on the cover-up of your choice from an oversized belted cardi to a biker, a blazer or a tailored wool coat. Adding your own belt can make a high street dress look more expensive.

 

DON’T JUDGE ME!

I have had birthday money burning a whole in my pocket. The past tense is a clue. I have to say I think this seasons’ styles have been particularly good and I’ve had a little bit of a splurge! I’ll share them over the next few weeks. Let’s just say I’ve fallen in love with COS. I never did very well there before as I find the fit a bit shapeless but this season I could’ve spent a small fortune in there! I hope you’re managing to stay warm in this cold snap. Thank you for reading. thank you for every like, comment and share. It means the world to my little home grown venture and to me… XXX

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Oct 25, 2018

A TRIP TO TRINNY!

I’m going to make this short and sweet so that you get yourself down to Selfridges in Birmingham ASAP! It’s that simple. Trinny Woodall of Trinny london make up brand is at her pop up store in Selfridges until the 31st October. I figured that if it’s your thing you’d just like to know it’s happening and be able to go rather than wait for a detailed blog and it be too late?! There’s a whole press release about all the products but I think you’re going to love the range as much as me and what you want to achieve with your make up will be as beautifully individual as you are. The team there will guide you through. You can make appoints online at Selfridges. I just turned up for a nose as I was lucky enough to meet Trinny at Bicester Village where I had my “match to me” profile done. She was so lovely today and so hands on I couldn’t quite believe it actually. She got stuck in and helped anyone that she could with the colours that would suit their complexion best, cool tips and the best way to achieve a flawless look. My favourite products are the BBF cream, the lip to cheek and the lip glow. All in little stack pots that are ideal for the gym, your work bag or travel. There’s a new warmer shaded highlighter too….but I’m not going to spoil your fun! Part of the excitement is in the discovery of something new! Once you understand your skin tone the world is your oyster. If I prattle on at length this blog won’t happen and you’ll miss the chance to go. Let’s face it (pardon the pun!)… if you want to know more have a sneaky peak online! Rocket science here!

A GILT FREE CHOCOLATE BOX!

 

 

 

I realise this blog hasn’t got it’s usual wit and attention to detail whilst showcasing my normal literary prowess but jokes aside this stuff is serious stuff with serious results so, seriously you’ll be glad I didn’t get on my soap box this time! Thank you for reading. I’d love to know what you think of the range if you manage to visit the pop up or if you’ve already bought anything. There’s a short video over on stories on my Instagram @solihullstyle.

 

Valerie

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By SolihullStyle      Sep 09, 2018

BIKINIS AND KAFTANS GO TOGETHER LIKE SWIMMING POOLS AND UNICORNS!

Finding the right swimwear is up there with finding the perfect pair of jeans. Our body shapes vary so much and it can be tricky to tick all ones boxes at the same time. I’m bigger in my top than my bottom which tends to be different to the average woman so more often than not I steer towards styles that offer a cup sized bikini top. Swimsuits can be less of a challenge but not always. I mentioned in previous blogs that I had planned to do a swimwear blog this year. I like to do one every year as It’s the one chance I get to take some really different pictures in sunny holiday locations and to highlight anything I think is helpful to readers. This spring I didn’t find anything that really floated my boat. I preferred the ones I had from previous years so you all know me by now and know I won’t buy anything I don’t really love and I’ll always wait until I find “the one”. Well now I have! I was recently approached by an online swimwear boutique and asked if I’d look at their swimwear to possibly write a blog. When I looked at the brands they stocked the answer was absolutely yes! I won’t post anything on my blog that I wouldn’t happily buy and wear myself. I can’t tell you how I wish I’d seen their website before I went on holiday in July. I’m not going to dwell on it anymore though as actually it doesn’t matter, I’ve found them now and I will continue to buy their swimwear and beachwear. I chose a bikini by GOTTEX  from a few different styles and brands that I ordered to try. The colours are gorgeous, it’s fully lined and is such a comfortable and secure fit. Popping in and out of the pool, swimming and lounging around it just didn’t move. I love the fact I can actually swim properly in it and it can be worn as a full bandeau, a halter (as pictured below) or from the centre and tied around the neck. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and I was totally in control of the styles I chose to feature. I have managed to get you guys a discount code!!! (all details at the end ). I’ve already got quite a wish list going on myself including a sun hat for next year and another kaftan! If you’re lucky enough to be going away for some late summer sun now the school hols are over then have a little look online. If you’re a gym bunny they stock a nice selection of Speedo. If you like “Miraclesuit swimwear” then there’s new arrivals to tempt you. If you love your spas and retreats or if you realise, like me, that there’s never a wrong time to buy the right thing and a lot to be said for being prepared, then have a mooch. It’s nice to find something a bit different isn’t it? Oh and they stock kaftans and beach dresses, fake tans; kids swimwear; mens’ swimwear and various other accessories. I’m wearing a kaftan by Aspiga… you may have heard of them? They stock cover-ups and bikinis (often designed to go together) which makes shopping online easy without excessive delivery charges.

 

 

 

 

 

BIKINI – Gottex Island Hoping Bikini (I’m wearing size 10E) – full GOTTEX range here

KAFTAN – Aspiga festival kaftan  (I’m wearing a size S/M) – full ASPIGA  range here

BASKET – mini pom- pom Bohemia design

FLIP FLOPS – Havaianas at The White Company

SUNGLASSES – Missoni at TK Maxx

JEWELLERY – Whistles

DISCOUNT CODE!

We all love a discount code. Readers of this blog can get 15% off at www.ukswimwear.com with code SOLIHUL (notice there’s only one L) for a year until 04/09/19. It’ll work on everything including sale items but not in conjunction with any other offer. The code can be used once per customer. Delivery charges will apply but there’s free returns.

So the bikini blog happened after all. Maybe not in the conventional way but I guess that’s me all over! We’ve had an amazing summer this year with glorious weather. I’m not buying into winter fashion just yet though it’s back to work for the new season with clients. There may be leopard print ahead!

Thank you to Becky for her help finding a location for this blog at short notice and Karen for the use of her pool. Thank you to Rachael at ukswimwear.com, I must’ve driven you nuts! Thank you to Emma for lending me your unicorn. A massive thank you to the long suffering Mr.W for taking the photos and his patience. I won’t let him use any filters or touch up any pics but we do remove the odd football or fence from the background! I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and manage to make use of the saving on your next purchase.

 

 

Valerie

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