Tips & Tricks

Where to find petite clothing on the UK high street

If you’re shorter than average, finding petite clothing can be a bit of a challenge. 

Oh, there are plenty of retailers who stock petite clothing, of course, so it’s not like it’s impossible to find it. The problem is that many of the petite clothing sections tend to be pretty limited: you’ll rarely find the same pieces you find in the “regular” section, and when you do find something you like, it’ll often come in a very limited range of colours and prints, leaving you with very little choice.

Don’t despair, though: finding petite clothing might be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some of our favourite UK fashion retailers with great petite clothing sections:

5 places to find petite clothing on the UK high street

Miss Selfridge

Not only does Miss Selfridge’s regular section go down to a UK size 4, making it suitable for the smaller shopper, the petites section is a particularly good one: in fact, we frequently spot items in the petites section that aren’t available in regular sizes. Their petite clothing section runs from size 4 – 14, and is updated often, so there’s always something new.

New Look

New Look also has an extensive petites section, and a slightly wider sizing range, running from UK 4 – 16. If you don’t find anything in women’s clothing section, however, the teens section is also worth a look: while many teens and children’s sections are unsuitable for women in terms of the cuts and patterns, this selection is more “grown up” than many we’ve come across, and some of the the larger teens styles will also work for petite women.

ASOS

Is there ANYTHING you can’t find at ASOS? Probably not, and while their petite clothing section doesn’t contain all of the same styles you’ll find in ‘regular’, the site also carries plenty of petite clothing from other brands, too, making it a good place to see a lot of different options in the same place. ASOS’s main line also goes down to a UK size 4, so some pieces may be suitable for petites.

Chi Chi London

One of The Fashion Police’s favourite eveningwear brands, Chi Chi London has extensive petite and curve sections, offering many of the same styles they do in ‘regular’.

Topshop

Topshop’s petite section can be a little bit hit and miss, and we really wish they’d start offering their petite jeans in the same range of washes and styles that are available in the regular section, but it’s still better than average, and, as with Arcadia stable-mates, we’ve occasionally stumbled upon awesome petite clothing which isn’t available in regular, so it’s always worth a look.

How to...

4 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe on a Budget

 Feeling like you’re stuck in a style rut? Don’t have the spare cash to get out of it?

Luckily, you don’t actually have to spend money to refresh your look: here are four easy ways to do it, without spending a single penny…

how to refresh your style without spending a penny

01. Let someone else dress you 

We’re not talking literally here: we’re sure you’re perfectly capable of putting your own clothes on, after all. But if you feel like you’re stuck in a style rut, handing the reigns to someone else for a while can give you a whole new outlook on your wardrobe on your style. Invite a friend round (ideally one whose style you admire!), pour a couple of glasses of wine, and let her loose in your closet: chances are, she’ll pick out items you’d long since forgotten about, and style them in ways you might not have considered. You don’t have to commit to actually wearing what she chooses for you if you really don’t like it,but seeing your closet from whole new perspective can be an easy way to refresh your style.

(Of course, this can also go horribly wrong: see what happened when our editor let her husband choose her outfit, for instance…)

Oh, and speaking of friends…

02. Do a clothes swap

When you reach that stage when you’re just sick to death of everything you own, it’s time to bag up a few items you don’t think you’ll want to wear again, take them to a friend’s house, and do a swap. You’re probably not the only one who’s feeling a little uninspired, and as we’re fond of saying, one woman’s crime of fashion is another woman’s most wanted item. You can even make a night of it, and invite as many people as you like – the more choice you have, the better!

03. Photograph your outfits for a week

This is another tip that might sound a bit pointless at first, but it’s really easy to lose objectivity when you’re wearing the same clothes all the time: we get used to throwing on the same things, in the same combinations, and we rarely shake things up, because if it works, why fix it? The problem is working out when it’s NOT working any more, so, as an experiment, try photographing what you wear for a week, then look back at the photos. For some reason, the camera can often help to highlight things you don’t see when you look in the mirror (strange but true), and when you know you’re going to have to look at the photos, it’ll also help inspire you to up your game.

04. Join a style challenge

You know all of those fashion blogger challenges you’re always coming across on the internet? The ones where you have to remix a particular item, or wear a certain colour on a certain day? You don’t actually have to be a fashion blogger to join in with those, and while you might feel a bit silly at first, it can be a lot of fun – and will also help inspire you to come up with outfits you might not have thought of. What do you have to lose, after all?

POPULAR, Style Basics

5 Items of Clothing Worth Investing In

At the start of a new year (or a new month, or a new school season…) a lot of people resolve to start spending less on disposable fashion, and more on the so-called “investment” pieces. But what kind of clothing is actually worth investing in? 

The answer to this will obviously depend on your lifestyle, and what you actually wear day-to-day, but here are some things we think are worth spending a little more on – although that’s not to say you shouldn’t ever try to grab a bargain if you can find one!

five items of clothing you won't regret investing in

01. Underwear

We touched on this in yesterday’s post, but a lot of people have the idea that if unless it’s on show, it’s not worth investing in in. We personally believe dressing well (even when no one but you will see it) is a great way to give yourself a confidence boost, but it’s particularly important with underwear, because it can completely change the appearance of your clothes. As much as we love pretty PJs, for instance, it doesn’t REALLY matter what you wear to sleep in: an ill-fitting bra, however, or underwear that creates lumps and bumps where you don’t actually have any, can ruin the line of your clothes, and also change your figure. We’re going to keep on re-itterating in this post that you don’t necessarily HAVE to spend a lot of money in order to find supportive undies that fit perfectly – but if you can’t find them on a budget, they’re definitely worth investing it.

02. Sportswear

As with the point above, it’s easy to convince yourself that an old t-shirt and pair of saggy leggings are OK to work out in, given that you’re just going to get them sweaty anyway. Appearance aside, though, you can actually end up spending more money this way, because if you’re constantly wearing and washing that old t-shirt, you’re going to have to replace it much sooner than something made specifically for the job. Not only is “proper” sportswear designed to be washed frequently without losing its shape or colour, it’ll also keep you cooler during your workout, thanks to the sweat-wicking fabric most modern sportswear is made from. Oh, and it goes without saying that a supportive sports bra and pair of sneakers are well worth the investment!

03.  Outerwear

 

We get it: coats and other outerwear are expensive enough as it is – and now we’re telling you to spend even more on them? Well, no, not necessarily: if you’ve found a source of low-cost coats that last for years AND keep you warm, then we want to know your secret, is all. Too often, though, you’ll find that cheap coats might look the part, but they won’t last as well or feel as warm as something that might cost a little bit more. And when you wear something every day for months on end, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth out of it!

04. Shoes 

Be honest: what did you think when you saw the shoes in our image? Did you love them – or did you think they looked just a little bit… well, cheap? The problem with cheap shoes, you see, is that it’s much harder to make them look more expensive, so while you could put a cheap t-shirt, say, next to a more expensive one, and barely be able to tell the difference, with shoes you can almost always tell. It can be hard to resist the lure of the inexpensive ballet flat or party shoe, but when it comes to shoes you’ll be wearing to work, or which you expect to be able to wear for a long time, plastic uppers and thin soles are not the way to go!

05. Jeans

Now, we know not everyone actually wears jeans, so feel free to skip this one if it’s not relevant, but if you DO wear jeans on the regular, you probably know how hard it is to find the right fit and wash, right? For that reason alone, when you DO find the perfect pair of jeans, it’s worth paying whatever they cost – trust us on this. If you’re lucky, your perfect jeans might not cost too much (We love Topshop denim, for instance…), but if you’re NOT lucky, and your perfect jeans cost a little – or a lot – more, then we’re sorry, but you’re just going to have to suck it up: we promise you won’t regret it.

[For more fashion advice, check out our sister site, Forever Amber!]

Wanted!

Fashion Police Picks of the Day: Cute nightwear from New Look

inexpemsiove nightwear from New Look

All items: New Look

One of the new year’s resolutions we forgot to tell you about was to dress better ALL the time: not just when other people are going to see what we’re wearing.

We’re sure most of you don’t mind investing in a new dress every now and then, for instance: or a pair of jeans, smart top, or whatever else makes up the “public” part of your problem. How many of you, though, have a drawer full of greying undies to wear underneath those cute new clothes? Or a ratty old dressing gown hanging on the back of the bathroom door? We’re pretty sure more than a few of you are looking a little bit guilty right now (And you shouldn’t, by the way, because we’re right there with you on that one: well, it’s not nearly as much fun to shop for new pyjamas as for a pretty new dress, is it?), so this post is for you.

Refreshing your lingerie and nightwear collection every now and then is an easy way to give your confidence a bit of boost, and feel that little bit better about yourself: which is what fashion is all about, after all, isn’t it? At the same time, though, we totally hear you when you say you don’t exactly feel like breaking the bank over pjs and lingerie, which is why all of the items in the collection above are from New Look – and all are priced between £7-£14.99. We’re actually big fans of New Look for lingerie and loungewear: they’re one of those budget fashion chains which a lot of people look down on, but they have a surprisingly nice selection of nightwear in stock right now – and like we see, it’s all very affordable, too.

While you’re there, check out the lingerie, too: we don’t think you’ll be disappointed…

POPULAR, Style Basics

6 Wardrobe Staples to Start Your Closet from Scratch

6 closet staples to build your wardrobe from scratch

trench / dress /  jeans  / sweater / cami shoes

Anyone else starting the new year with a renewed determination to clear out their closet and start again from scratch? 

Sometimes a good old closet clear-out isn’t enough. Sometimes a complete change of style is what’s needed, and if you’re still trying to work out exactly what YOUR style is (there’s some advice on how to do that here), a good place to start is by building up a solid foundation of basics: the so-called ‘wardrobe essentials’ that allow you to get dressed every morning without having to think too hard about what to wear.

Now, we’re not saying these items will be wardrobe staples for EVERYONE – far from it. It goes without saying that everyone has different taste and different requirements, but if you’re a fan of classic style (and as you’ve probably worked out by now, we ARE fans of classic style), you can’t go too far wrong with these six pieces, all of which can be worn in lots of different ways, and form the building blocks for a wardrobe that will work for you for many years to come.

They are:

The classic trench:

The mainstay of many an “items all women should own” list: we DON’T believe that ALL women should own a classic trenchcoat, but we don’t deny that it’s a handy item to have in your closet anyway.

The simple dress:

It doesn’t have to be black, but a plain dress, that fits perfectly, and can be dressed up or down as required, will see you through many an occasion.

The perfect pair of jeans:

What counts as the “perfect” jeans will be different for everyone: some people love boyfriend jeans, while others stick to skinnies, and still more people swear by the good ol’ bootcut or flare. Whatever your perfect pair, making sure you own at least one version of them will allow you to solve many a wardrobe dilemma, with just one item.

The Breton stripe:

It might be just a causal sweater, but it will add instant style to anything you wear with it.

The silk cami:

So much classier than a tank top or t-shirt, the silk cami is an easy shortcut to grown-up style.

The black patent pumps:

Don’t like heels? A classic ballet flat will work just as well!

 

What To Wear

Fashion Police Picks of the Day: Clothes for a rainy day

rainy day outfit

If you live in the British isles, we’re sure you’ll have noticed that it hasn’t stopped raining now for, ooh, about 50 years, give or take.

Not only is this pretty depressing for those of us who live here, it also creates all kinds of sartorial issues, so for today’s Pick of the Day, we present you with this emerald green shower-proof trench coat from F&F.  The classic trench coat never goes out of style (that’s why it’s a classic, obviously), but if beige is too boring for you, the bright green of this coat will brighten your day – and if you don’t fancy that, perhaps the bright red will be more to your liking? (And it also comes in beige, just in case you really DO prefer to keep it classic…)

This doesn’t have a hood, so you’ll also need this heart-print umbrella – and maybe a pair of glitter wellies, too. (Don’t worry, they’re subtle enough for you to still feel like a grown-up while you’re wearing them…)

Of course, once you’ve got the outerwear sorted, you can wear pretty much anything you like underneath. We’ve picked this polka dot wrap dress from Uttam Boutique, just because we like it (It also helps that it’s the kind of dress you can wear to work AND out for drinks afterwards…), and because we’re pretty sure you’re not going to want to walk around in your wellies all day, we’ve also included a bag large enough for you to pop your regular shoes into, so you can wear them later.

None of this will change the weather, of course: we’re The Fashion Police, not God. But if it’s going to keep on raining anyway – and it very much looks like it is, unfortunately – you may as well look good, and have a bit of fun in the process, no?

 

Opinion

Why We Don’t Follow the Red Carpet Any More

red-carpet

Amber writes…

Last night’s Golden Globe Awards made me heave a huge sigh of relief: not because of who won, or what they wore, mind you – I actually don’t have a clue who won, or what they wore. No, I was relieved simply because this year, as with the past couple of years, I don’t have to pretend to care about it.

No more late nights, trawling through image agencies, trying to work out who designed each celebrities dress, and get a blog post up about it ASAP. No more scratching my head and wondering what on earth to say about a sea of evening gowns that all start to look identical after a while. No more waiting for the backlash that always followed the expression of any kind of opinion whatsoever – negative OR positive – on a celebrity’s appearance. No more of any of that.

I realise I’m the odd one out here, and that my position is a particularly strange one given that I own a blog called The Fashion Police, but the fact is, I’m just not particularly interested in red carpet fashion. Oh, there’s the occasional dress that takes my breath away, and makes me wish I had a reason to wear something like it, but the fact is, I don’t – which is why I don’t find it all that interesting. What celebrities wear on the red carpet has no more relevance to my life than what sheep shearers wear in the outback: sure, I can admire the outfits from afar, and there’s some fun to be had in that, but I know I’m never going to have to wear any of them – and even if I did, I wouldn’t look like those immaculate women, with their perfect hair and makeup, and their figures honed through hours of workouts with an expensive personal trainer.

I understand that red carpet fashion appeals to people in a “how the other half live” kind of way  – or even just in a “look at the amazing clothes”, kind of way, which is why it’s important to say here that I’m not knocking anyone who loves this kind of stuff, and I do understand why they like it. But for myself, I’ve always been much more interested in what REAL people wear, in situations I can relate to. Or even what celebrities wear in their down-time: the clothes they picked out themselves, with the hair and makeup they threw on before heading out the door.

On the red carpet, you don’t see any of that. You see celebrities wearing borrowed clothes (not even they can afford to buy a different couture gown for every event of awards season, knowing they’ll never be able to wear it again without being ridiculed in the fashion press), and with professionally done hair and makeup: and, for me at least, that’s just not relatable. I said earlier in this post that I wouldn’t ever look like a celebrity on the red carpet, but that’s only true if you assume I had to buy my own dress and do my own hair. I guess if I was lent a gown by Oscar de la Renta, and had a top makeup artist and hair stylist to get me ready to the cameras, I’d have a much better chance of looking OK – and none of that would be anything to do with me at all.

That’s why I love the airport outfits over the red carpet gowns. I’m fascinated by what an actress or model wore on a quick Starbucks run, but not so much on what she wore to an event which she was “dressed” for. More than that, I’m interested in what people like you and me wear to those places: to the airport, to the coffee shop, to work. Those are the outfits that inspire me: the ones I might draw some inspiration from, and maybe even end up buying, because they’re much more likely to be in my price range.

And that’s why you won’t find any more red carpet coverage here at The Fashion Police. There hasn’t been for a while now, I know, but I figured some of you might like to know some of the reasoning behind that decision. There are plenty of sites out there offering that kind of commentary, after all, so if you love looking at red carpet looks, you’ll have no shortage of options: and when you’re done, don’t forget to come back and check out some everyday fashion, for people like us.

Wanted!

Fashion Police Picks of the Day: Black and white stripes at Boden

Boden Maggie Ottoman dress

Boden Maggie Ottoman dress, £89.50

The Boden spring / summer 2016 collection hit the website earlier this week, and there’s a whole lot of stripes going on. There are other colours and patterns too, you understand – in fact, all of the items we’re about to show you come in a selection of other colours – but it’s the black and white stripes that jumped right out of the page at us, and those items are the ones we’ve selected for our Picks of the Day.

The abundance of stripes, you see, is a very good thing, as far as we’re concerned. There’s just something about bold stripes that manages to be both classic and contemporary at the same time, and although many people refuse to wear horizontal stripes, thinking they’ll make them look larger than they are, we’re here to tell you to set aside that fear and give them a go: you might just be pleasantly surprised. The Maggie Ottoman dress shown above, for instance, will actually make your waist look smaller, thanks to the stripe pattern: and the fit and flare shape is one that flatters many different figures. It’s not the only stripe item to have caught our eye, however: we also love this structured top:

Boden Maggie Ottoman top

This is the kind of thing you can throw on with a pair of jeans or cropped pants for easy, effortless style, which will allow you to look like you made an effort, even when you didn’t.

stripe midi skirt

Finally, the Maggie Ottoman midi skirt uses that same, distinctive stripe pattern, and attaches it to a full skirt, with pleats at the waistband. It’ll be as easy to wear as it is on the eye, and there’s even a pair of stripe shoes to wear with it, should you happen to be a fan of the matchy-matchy look.

Wanted!

Fashion Police Picks of the Day 04.01.16

In this new series, we’ll be bringing you a selection of our favourite items, available to buy now, on the UK high street. Starting with…

Topshop Baxter jeans in mid-blue

Topshop Baxter jeans in mid-blue, £40

Topshop’s ‘Baxter’ jeans are the perfect skinny jeans for people who don’t really like skinny jeans. By that, we mean they’re definitely skinny, but they’re not skin-tight, so they won’t create that “sausage-casing” look that’s become so familiar over the last few years. It’s been increasingly hard lately to find skinny jeans that aren’t super-skinny, and sometimes it feels like there’s no middle-ground between the legging look and boyfriend jeans – which can also be hard to pull off. These jeans, however, are everything you need: we just wish they’d stock them in more washes!

pink coat

Pink double-breasted coat, £85

Pink coats were big in winter 2013, but they still look just as cute now, and this one comes in the kind of classic shape that will continue to look good for years. Oh, and it would look good over those jeans, too…

black rib dress

Miss Selfridge black rib dress, £35

It can be hard to find dresses that are casual enough for everyday wear, but smart enough to make you look like you’ve made the effort, but we think this little Miss Selfridge number checks all the right boxes. It’ll look good with boots and tights for a causal, daytime look, but won’t look sloppy if you decide you want to dress it up a little.

midi skirt

Eva Franco ‘Epoque’ midi skirt, £168

Finally, it’s no secret that The Fashion Police are fans of a good midi skirt, and this one by Eva Franco is a very good midi skirt, as far as we’re concerned. Sure, it’s on the pricey side (As you’ll probably know as soon as we tell you we found it at Athropologie…), but it’s unusual enough to turn heads anywhere you wear it – and we love the sweater shown here, too.

Fashion Trends, POPULAR

5 Terrible Fashion Trends We’d Like to Leave in 2015

It’s a new year, which means we can expect a whole new set of fashion trends: some of which we’ll love, some of which we’ll hate so much we’ll instantly want to throw them into fashion jail. 

Before that happens, though, and in the spirit of a new start, here are some of the fashion trends of 2015 which we’re hoping will stay there, rather than following us into 2016…

I woke up like this

01. ‘I Woke Up Like This’ on everything 

It wasn’t particularly clever the first time we saw it, and it definitely wasn’t making us laugh by the 67,556th time, either.

the 70s look

02. The 70s look

Although the retail world beat the 70s look to death this year, we actually didn’t see too much uptake of it on the streets, which makes us wonder if this one was really as popular as the fashion magazines and clothing stores would’ve liked us to believe. We’re not saying the 70s look can’t work if it’s done right (the problem is that it rarely IS done right, unfortunately…), but we’ve had it thrust upon us for almost two years now, so we reckon it’s time for a change. Anything would be better, really…

goat hair slippers

03. Furry shoes

This is another one that was all over the fashion press, and the shoe sections of Neiman Marcus, Net-a-Porter et all, but we’d be really interested to know how many pairs of these shoes were actually sold: and who to. Let’s all just agree to leave these in 2015, and never speak of them again. Deal?

bad denim by Cheap Monday

04. Ridiculous denim

We’re not sure how 2015-specific this one is, but denim has been getting out of control for a while now, and we think it’s time to get it back under control. Denim, you’re on your last warning: if we have to speak to you about this again, you’re going straight to Fashion Jail, you hear?

05. Awful overalls

overalls

We realise we’re fighting a losing battle here (and also that the example we’ve used here possibly owes more to the 70s trend than the overalls one), but as long as retailers keep making clothes that look like this, we’ll keep fighting the good fight. Don’t worry, Fashion Force: we won’t abandon you to Overall Overlords…

What To Wear

How to Wear a Red Pleated Skirt 3 Different Ways

red pleated skirt from Topshop

Pleated skirts go in and out of fashion all the time: but for every woman out there who somehow manages to look effortlessly elegant in them, there’s another one wondering why she just looks like a little old lady, rather than a Pinterest Princess. 

The pleated skirt can take a bit of careful styling to get right: to help you on your way, here are three ways to wear this red pleated skirt by Topshop…

Red Pleated Skirt, Take One: Dramatic

red pleated skirt with matching sweater and leopard print shoes

sweater / shoes / watch

Some might dismiss this look as too matchy-matchy, but when you think about it, if it was a red dress, rather than a sweater and skirt, you’d probably have no issue with it, so don’t let the fear of being “too matchy” hold you back! Actually, looks which concentrate on just one colour can have tons of impact, despite being super-simple to pull together. For this look, we’ve added a pair of leopard print pumps, for added drama, plus a swipe of bright red lipstick – simple but stylish.

red pleated skirt with stripe top and black flats

top / shoes / sunglasses / bag 

Red pleated skirt, take two: classic

Black, white and red: it never gets old, does it? There’s something about a stripe top with a red bottom that instantly looks classic, so we’ve paired Topshop’s red pleated skirt with one of H&M’s off the shoulder tops (they’ve been releasing these all year, in a variety of colours, and they’re an awesome – and inexpensive – wardrobe basic) for a classic, chic look. Just add a pair of pointed flats and you’re good to go.

red pleated skirt and white t-shirt

t-shirt / sneakers / jacket / bag

Red pleated skirt, take three: casual

There are those who believe skirts can’t ever be casual, but this outfit is here to prove them wrong: it doesn’t really get more casual than sneakers and a t-shirt, and it’ll be just as comfortable as any other “casual” look you can throw together too: we promise.

Style Basics

5 Five New Year’s Resolutions for a Stylish 2016

New Year's Style Resolutions

Happy New Year, Fashion Force!

We hope you’ve had an excellent start to 2016. If you’re anything like us, we’re sure you’re starting the year the way you mean to go on: and that means resolutions a-plenty. Here are some style-related resolutions to help you on your way to your most stylish year yet…

01. Stop caring what people think 

One thing most stylish people have in common is the fact that they exude confidence. Think of the most stylish person you know: can you even imagine her/him standing in front of the mirror and agonising over that outfit? Probably not: because truly stylish people know what they like, and they don’t really care what other people think of them. It can be hard to get into this mindset, but once you stop constantly seeking approval from outside sources, you’ll be able to start wearing what feels good – and that’s normally what LOOKS good, too.

02. Stop buying clothes you won’t wear 

It can be so tempting to blow your budget on an amazing party dress or fabulous pair of shoes – especially if it’s on sale. It’s only a bargain if you’re actually going to wear it, though, so unless you have the kind of lifestyle that requires a constant stream of party dresses, your wardrobe will be better off if you invest in the type of clothes you’ll actually wear on a day-to-day basis. Spending the most money on the items you’ll wear most often might not give you the same buzz as those one-off purchases that you’ll never wear again, but it WILL result in a more stylish wardrobe in the long-run.

03. Clear out your closet once every season…

… or at least twice a year, if possible. Aim to go through everything you have for spring/summer and for autumn/winter, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or flatter, and work out what you need to buy to fill any resulting holes.

04.  Try something new

We’re big fans of the concept of the signature style, but it’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut, and to keep wearing the same old things, even if they no longer suit you. We all change constantly, which means it’s good to re-evaluate our core closet every so often by trying something new. That doesn’t mean you have to buy it, or even wear it – just trying it on in the store will tell you everything you need to know – but every time you go shopping, try taking something you normally wouldn’t wear into the fitting room with you: you might be surprised by how much you like it, and if you’re not? Well, at least you know!

05. Create a capsule wardrobe, even if you don’t intend to stick to it

The capsule wardrobe was super-popular in 2015, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Even if you don’t want to restrict yourself to wearing the same collection of clothing all the time, however, we recommend taking the time to pull together a capsule wardrobe consisting of the items you consider to be absolutely essential. Doing this will not only help you work out what your style really is, and to identify any items you need to buy, it will also make sure you always have something to wear – even on days when you’re absolutely lacking in inspiration.

Here’s to a stylish 2016!

What To Wear

5 Alternatives to Dresses for New Year’s Eve

We love dresses. And, chances are, you probably love dresses too – or like them, at least. 

Sometimes, though, no matter how much you like something, you just feel like a change. Here are five things to wear on New Year’s Eve – and not a dress in sight!

tuxedo jacket

A tuxedo jacket

A menswear-inspired tuxedo jacket is dressy enough for just about anything, and makes a really nice alternative to a dress. Wear with tailored trousers if you want to keep it classic, or over leather/sequinned leggings for a more contemporary look.

black jumpsuit

A jumpsuit

We never thought we’d see the day when we’d be actually recommending you wear a jumpsuit, but jumpsuits have come a long way from the days when they were mostly denim and/or so baggy you could probably parachute in them if you really had to. We’d willingly wear this one from ASOS, which would look fantastic with a pair of killer heels, some simple jewellery and a bold red lip.

Culottes

red culottes

Culottes have been trendy for a while now, but don’t let that put you off: they offer all the comfort of your favourite pair of loose trousers, but all the style of a skirt or dress: and, OK, the ones shown are technically a jumpsuit, so there’s a little bit of crossover with the previous option, but you’ll also find them on their own, ready to be paired with a sparkly top, or other evening-appropriate item.

Dress shorts

dress shorts

Yes, you heard us: dress shorts. It’s time to ditch the idea that shorts are only for summer, only for casual wear, or only for the under 20s. If we had legs like this girl, we’d wear short-shorts all the time, and nothing you could say would stop us, but even if you don’t have long, model legs, shorts can can be a surprisingly dressy option, as long as you go for a pair that are tailored, and wear something not-too-revealing on top. Yes, you’ll need a bit of extra confidence if you’re not used to showing of your legs, but if ever there was a time to try something new, the start of a new year is definitely that time…

Fancy Pants

Boden party trousers

Finally, there’s no shortage of dressy trousers on the market for those who don’t want to wear either a dress OR any of the above. We love Boden’s party trousers, which come in three different colours. 

Dresses

6 of the Best… Little Black Dresses

little black dresses

Where would we be without the little black* dress?

It’s chic, it’s easy to wear, you can dress it up or down as required and there’s pretty much one for every taste. With the Christmas party season well under way, the little black dress is about to get a serious workout, so here are six of our current favourites from the UK high street…

01. Rare London bustier midi dress, £55

Tulle skirts have never been trendier, but they also have a classic glamour to them that’s hard to beat. This one is just £55, and will make you feel like a movie star: or a ballerina, as the case may be…

02. Ted Baker bardot neckline bodycon dress, $195

Simple and elegant, this bodycon dress by Ted Baker is the kind of dress you can wear many different ways, without anyone realising its exactly the same dress.

03. Chi Chi London jacquard midi dress, £62.99

If you love dresses, you probably already love Chi Chi London, but if you haven’t heard of them, this is THE brand for special occasions. This jacquard midi dress is black with a touch of gold, to make it a little more interesting. A fitted bodice and full skirt complete the retro-inspired look: just add red lipstick and a great pair of heels and you’re good to go.

04. Lipsy embellished prom dress, £68

From a midi-length dress to a midi one: Lipsy’s embellished prom dress has a sweetheart neckline without the hassle of going strapless.

05. Coast ‘Kimbly’ bow cocktail dress, £49

If you DO want to go with a strapless option, however, Coast’s ‘Kimbly’ cocktail dress is down to just £49 on sale: there are still some sizes left, but you don’t want to wait too long to grab one!

06. Gaynor Maxi dress by TNFC, £80

Finally, for those times when full-on glamour is the only way to go, TNFC’s sequin maxi dress makes us want to invent an excuse to wear it. Any excuse’ll do…

*Or navy, or red, or green, or blue, or whatever your signature colour happens to be.

Fashion Police

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for the Fashion Blogger in your life

Christmas gift guide for fashion lovers

OK, ‘fess up? Who still hasn’t finished their Christmas shopping?

Well, worry not: thanks to express shipping and the good ol’ internet, there’s still time to pull this thing off, so here are some suggestions for what to buy the fashion blogger in your life…

01. Absolutely anything by Kate Spade

Fashion bloggers love Kate Spade: partly because the stuff is super-cute, of course, but also (mostly) because it looks good on Instagram, let’s face it. John Lewis has an awesome selection of Kate Spade stuff – take your pick!

02. Ban.do stationery

Another one for the “looks good on Instagram”set, Ban.do makes cute stationery, often with slogans which fashion bloggers just can’t resist – and we speak from personal experience, here. This pen set is available at ASOS, and would make a nice stocking filler or Secret Santa gift.

Speaking of ASOS…

03. An ASOS Premier Subscription

An ASOS premier subscription costs £9.95, and gets the recipient free next-day-delivery for a year – absolutely essential for those last minute outfits they just can’t live without.

04. A Michael Kors watch

If you’re feeling particularly extravagant (or just need to score some major Brownie points), the statement watch is always a safe bet: Shopbop’s selection has something for everyone.

05. A Starbucks gift card 

Help her get her Pumpkin Spice Latte fix – and also provide her with a handy prop for outfit photos, with a Starbucks gift card and /or travel mug. It might seem impersonal, but for some of us, there’s no greater gift than coffee. Except maybe wine and shoes…

06. A subscription to Vogue magazine

It’s the fashion bible, and even if she doesn’t have time to read it, it will – once again – make a hady backdrop for all of those flatlays on Instagram…

What’s that we hear you say? You don’t actually know any fashion bloggers? Don’t worry: these will all work for just about anyone with an interest in style and an Instagram account!

Christmas gift guide for fashion bloggers

What To Wear

5 Style Mistakes Not to Make at the Office Christmas Party

5 style mistakes to avoid at the office Christmas party

Ah, the office Christmas party! A time to connect with your colleagues over canapes and cocktails, celebrate the end of another working year, and maybe get to know them a little better, away from the stress and formality of the office.

The office Christmas party, however, can also be a sartorial minefield for those who secretly quite like having a dress code to stick to, and don’t have a clue what to wear when their trusty tailored dress or trouser suit is off limits. To help you along, here are 5 style mistakes to avoid at the office Christmas party…

01. Dressing like you’re going to the club afterwards

Even if you ARE going to the club afterwards, it’s not a great idea to break out that bodycon mini dress in front of your boss – and your boss’s boss. And your boss’s boss’s boss. And so on an so forth. You might not be at the office, but you WILL be back in the office after the holidays, and you’ll be seeing all the same people who are now seeing your cleavage in all its unrestrained glory. You don’t have to be quite as buttoned-up as you would be in a totally professional setting, but it IS a good idea to still try to present a professional image – so if you’d wear it to the club, maybe stash it in your bag and change into AFTER the office party.

02. Dressing like you’re at the office

If your office party is just a few drinks around the photocopier at the end of the working day, then you’re obviously not going to have much of an option here, but if the Christmas party is taking place off the premises, and you’ll be going home to change first, don’t just turn up in something you’d wear to work. You might think it’s the safest – and therefore best – option, but while it will at least ensure you don’t make mistake number one, it will ALSO make you look like a bit of a party pooper, who resents being forced to have fun. Even if you ARE reluctant attendee at the office bash, and are just waiting it out until you can make your exit without causing offence, it’s a good idea to keep those thoughts to yourself, and try to at least LOOK like you’re joining in. So put your game face on – and your party clothes, too.

03. Wearing the same thing every year

We all know that person who has just the one party outfit, and who rolls it out every year, and to every special event. We’re not saying you have to maintain a closet full of sequins, or invest a lot of money in clothes you’ll hardly ever wear, but if your little black dress has started to become a standing joke, and your colleagues are taking bets on whether or not you’ll manage to get one more year out of it, it might be time for a refresh.

04. Wearing something totally over the top

The office party is a good opportunity to let your colleagues get to know the ‘real’ you, as opposed to the work version of yourself which you present Monday – Friday. It’s NOT, however, an opportunity to show off and make yourself the centre of attention, so even if you think it’ll be hilarious to turn up dressed as Santa Claus, or wearing a sweater that plays Jingle Bells, try to resist…

05. Not making an effort

At the opposite end of the scale are those people who REALLY can’t be bothered, and who don’t mind showing it. Even if you’d rather be somewhere else, try to remember that your employer has made the effort to do something nice: it’s only fair that you ALSO make an effort, and leave the sweatpants at home…

What To Wear

What to Wear on Christmas Morning : cute loungewear and sleepwear options

Most of us will put a bit of thought into what we wear on Christmas day – but we’d argue that what you wear in Christmas morning is just as important. Well, no one wants to look back at photos of themselves in a ratty old dressing gown or worn out pair of PJs, so here are some smart-but-comfortable options for a stylish morning with zero effort required: any time is a good time to invest in some new nightwear/loungewear, and the best thing about these pieces is that because they’re not “Christmas” themed, you can wear them all year round…

loungewear

chritmas morning outfit

joggers / sweatshirt / slippers

We never thought we’d see the day when we’d be calling jogging pants “stylish”, but joggers have come a long way, and these cashmere ones from Topshop will add a luxury touch to your loungewear: in fact, you probably won’t want to take them off, and hey – that’s OK, too. Well, it IS Christmas, after all…

loungewear outfit for Christmas morning

leggings / cardigan / cami / slippers

A cosy cable-knit cardi (Which will be a useful addition to your wardrobe for other occasions, too), a comfy pair of leggings, and snuggly slippers : because you CAN be comfortable and stylish at the same time…

nightwear set

pyjamas / dressing gown / slippers

Because sometimes you just don’t want to get dressed. And you shouldn’t have to.

loungewear outfit

socks / PJ bottoms / hoodie 

Finally, a loungewear look so cosy we wish we were wearing it right now…

Oh, and if you’re wondering why you should even care about what you wear around the house or to bed, the answer is you shouldn’t… if you don’t want to. But taking the time to find clothes that make you feel good – even if no one will see them but yourself – is a really easy way to feel a little better about yourself, so it’s worth that extra bit of effort: promise.

Knitwear

6 Christmas Jumpers We Don’t Totally Hate

Here at The Fashion Police, we’re not fans of Christmas jumpers. 

No, not even when they’re being worn “ironically”. Yes, it’s OK that you hate us for it, because seriously: who WOULDN’T want to wear a hilariously ugly sweater with a cartoon picture of Santa Claus stuck on the front? Er, we wouldn’t. And, more to the point, we wouldn’t want to waste our money on something we’d just be wearing for the sake of “joining in”, so assuming that we absolutely HAD to wear a Christmas jumper, here are some of the jumpers we’d choose…

6 stylish Christmas jumpers

01. H&M ‘Honey It’s Cold Outside’ jumper

We’re fond of a good ol’ slogan sweater, and although the slogan on this one is definitely Christmas appropriate, it’s not so specific that you couldn’t go on wearing it all winter long. Because, let’s face it, it’s ALWAYS cold outside at this time of year, isn’t it?*

(*In the northern hemisphere. Yes, we know it’s summer in Australia…)

02. Dorothy Perkins glitter bow jumper

Now THIS one we’d consider wearing all year round. Well, we DO love a bow – and a sequin bow is even better.

03. Boden ’25’ jumper

Boden can always be relied on to bring a touch of class to the Christmas jumper party, and this one is so subtle we almost missed the reference altogether. (It’s December 25th, obviously. But you knew that, of course.)

04. George sequin snowflake jumper

We know that all of our selections so far have been grey or beige, by the way. We know… we just don’t care, because if that’s what it takes to get us into one of these things, then that’s what it takes.

05. Collectif Chrissie Deer Jumper

Just for you, here’s one that isn’t grey or beige: it isn’t baggy or oversized either, like so many Christmas jumpers are, so that naturally makes it our favourite.

06. Oasis Stag jumper

We’re not sure this one even counts as a Christmas jumper, but hey: it’s sparkly, it’s wintry and we’d wear it – so we’re counting it.

 

Fashion Police

Sales season has officially started…

sales season

Attention, Fashion Force!

Black Friday might still be a few days away, but the sales won’t wait, and there are already tons of bargains to be had. You don’t have to be in the US to take advantage of the discounts either, because while Black Friday and Cyber Monday used to be associated with the Thanksgiving holidays, they’ve recently spread to the UK, too, with many international retailers jumping aboard the bandwagon, and claiming Black Friday as their own. (Yeah, we know it’s weird, but if it means we get a discount on that coat we’ve been eyeing, we’re not going to complain…)

One of the first brands to get sales season underway is Shopbop, whose sale started today, offering savings of up to 25% on all full-price and sale items: can’t say fairer than that, can you? Sale details are below: just click here to visit the site, and enter the code GOBIG15 at checkout to claim your discount!

shopbopsale

Shirts & Tops

5 Tops to Wear With Leggings

When we talked about what to wear with leggings, we mentioned that the number one rule to bear in mind is that whatever you wear, it ideally has to cover your crotch. 

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, yes, it does: but sometimes the simplest items of clothing can be the hardest to find, so, with that in mind, we’ve sent our officers out to comb the world of fashion and identify some tops to wear with leggings, to keep you on the straight and narrow…

Topshop neat-fit chambray shirt

01. Topshop neat-fit chambray shirt

Longline shirts are always great tops to wear with leggings, and the humble chambray is something of a modern classic. Topshop’s neat fit chambray isn’t too baggy, but is cut long enough to cover the crotch: wear with boots or ballet flats for a classic, casual look.

mulberry tunic top

03. Dorothy Perkins mulberry tunic

When you’re looking for tops to wear with leggings, anything described using the word “tunic” is usually a safe bet. Tunics are basically mini dresses in “top” form, so they’re almost always going to be long enough to wear with leggings. This one by Dorothy Perkins is a great colour for autumn/winter: add a camel coat and plaid scarf for an extra cosy look.

Boden cashmere sweater

03. Boden relaxed v-neck

Words like “relaxed”, “slouchy” or “boyfriend fit” are also good indicators that a top will be suitable to wear with leggings: when you’re wearing something as skintight as leggings on your bottom half, you want to go for something a bit less form-fitting on top. Soft cashmere is always a good decision, and will help add a touch of luxury to your casual looks: Boden’s v-neck sweater would look particularly good with leather-look leggings and heeled ankle boots.

Oasis cami top

04. Oasis dip-back cami

Although leggings generally work best as casual wear, you can dress them up if you want to – particularly if the leggings in question are leather-look, velvet, or have a slight sheen to them. This cami top from Oasis is cut fairly long, so should just cover the crotch: wear it with a black blazer and a pair of killer heels.

Finally…

05. H&M fine knit dress

OK, so this is technically a dress, not a top. It’s short enough to give the same kind of effect as the tunic top above, though, so we won’t tell if you don’t…