4 Simple Hacks that'll help take your Summer wardrobe into Autumn

Is it the end of summer yet? Who knows?! I'm seriously lost and seriously struggling to understand what to wear when I wake in the morning! Do you need an umbrella? Is the sun going to burn you alive? Will you melt into a pool of sweat?! I can't be the only one who's a little fed up with our temperamental British weather, who's with me?

For me to feel like a slightly better human, I am trying to get more wear out of my clothes. Now, what I mean by this is that I plan on taking some of my summer fashion faves over into autumn and trying to get as much wear out of them before stashing them away until the sun next appears in 2019. This summer I have been buying pieces I specifically know I'll be able to wear long into the colder months.

A lot of things that you wear during the summer months can be rehashed and reworked for autumn/winter and here are my top 4 hacks!

1. Footwear

I have been wearing this beloved floral print dress A LOT these last few weeks. It's worked well when it's been hot and humid, and I have been wearing it with open toe sandals. Come autumn, switch the look up by wearing mules, ankle boots, platform trainers or even knee-high boots and tights. I bet if you had a look through your wardrobe now, you could find tonnes of summery dresses that would work just as well with a more autumny shoe! 

2.  Layer

Take that little shift dress you have and wear it over a white tee or striped long sleeve top. Grab a roll neck jumper and wear it under a strappy dress. Get creative! I love how a white shirt looks under a v-neck shift dress. There are lots of ways you can re-work a summery look just by building up the layers. Think thin and light - if you wear five thick, chunky layers you'll be a sweltering mess, OK? I LOVE wearing a long shirt dress over jeans and this is definitely something I am going to be doing a lot this autumn! This spotty shirt dress needs to be in my wardrobe immediately! 

3. Accessories

Come Autumn you'll still need those sunnies, so don't be ditching them any time soon. I go for chunky accessories when it starts to cool down. When it's hot, I like to wear fuss-free outfits, but something about autumn makes me want to pile on the chains, I love a good belt, hat, scarf, hair accessory... you name it! Pile them on! 

4. Underwear

Now, you might be wondering what this hack might be. Is she going to tell us about faux fur knickers, does she prefer velvet bras in the colder months, does she wear a hot water bottle shoved down her pants?! (No, no, yes are the answers to those questions by the way) but in all seriousness, I have come across a life-changing undergarment and thought it necessary to tell you all about it. It's a Reversible Slip Dress with Cool Comfort Technology which I wear under a lot of my dresses if they are a) a bit see-through b) I'm afraid of showing sweat patches on a dress or b) am feeling a little cold and need an extra layer.
This slip is soooooo good, I swear by it, and it's definitely going to help give some extra longevity to my summer dresses.

Photography by Bethany Elstone

Shop My Look

1. *Floral Print Dress | 2. *Wide Fit Mules - similar here,  here and here | 3. Handbag

Instagram Competition Time!

One of my greatest pleasures in life is putting looks together. Whether that's for myself, helping a bestie choose a killer date night look or styling other people...like you guys! As a way of saying THANK YOU to all of you lot for following and supporting me; I wanted to give something back. 

You might have noticed over the years, I am *slightly* obsessed with M&S and we have come up with a mega exciting competition which I am so excited to finally be able to share with you.

I am offering three followers (no matter your size) the chance to spend the day with me at the M&S PR Showroom in London. I will listen to a particular style query you have, put together a look for you and you'll be able to take that entire M&S outfit home with you. We're putting on a lunch and fizz, there will be tonnes of Percy Pigs to nibble on, selfies galore and a chance to pick my brain about...well anything you fancy really!

**Entry Requirements** - For a chance to win, simply make sure 1) you're following me on Instagram (@Daniellevanier), 2) you're following @marksandspencerfashionpr on Instagram, 3) that you comment below my competition picture, with a style query you would like help with. Do you have an event coming up and you don't know what to wear? Is there an item of clothing you'd love to wear but you don't know how to style? Is there a part of your body you'd love to celebrate more with the help of clothing? Let me know in the comments below the picture and I will pick three winners! 

**Competition Details** - Must be able to travel to London on Tuesday 28th August. The event will take place from 12pm - 5pm. I will contact the 3 winners via Instagram DM so please make sure your profiles are not set to private. The competition ends on Friday 24th at 3pm. 

                                          *This post is written in partnership with M&S as part of an on going collaboration. 
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My go-to Summer Look

Can we please talk about the abnormally hot weather that the UK has been experiencing for what seems like the last 4,340 days. I went away to Miami last week (wow it's beautiful but humid there?!) and when I came back, I thought the heatwave would have moved on but hell no, London is still a furnace, and the underground is even hotter than the sun.

This heatwave has lead me to wonder why I have ever worn polyester before, why EVERYTHING isn't just made out of natural fabrics and why the central line feels like you're on a non-stop train to the centre of the earth. It is warm here, let me tell you and the only fabrics I can bear to wear at the moment are cotton or linen... silk if I'm feeling fancy.

As a plus size woman, I am sadly not afforded the luxury of being able to wear cotton, silk or linen very often. We are often given synthetic, cheaper options, and if you're anything like me, I'd rather die than wear a synthetic fabric right now. They cling to me, they make me sweaty, and they always end up smelling musty under the armpits...is that just me?!

When I was growing up, I really struggled to know what to wear when it was hot or I had to go abroad on holidays. I do find it a lot easier now that I know I am only comfortable in cotton/linen and there is literally NO point buying other garments as a) I'll never wear them and b) it is a waste of money.

Natural fabrics are your best friend.

Shop my Natural Fabric Edit 

I am absolutely LOVING this LWD at the moment. A LWD is a 'Little White Dress', and everyone should own one. I have been wearing this particular style non-stop since seeing my own Mummy rocking it recently. We are both as obsessed with M&S as each other and we definitely inspire each other's wardrobes!

This LWD is so light, comfy and floaty and I have been wearing it a lot recently with either my tan or black sandals or my trusty white trainers. The dress can be styled up or down, and it's pretty much perfect for any summer occasion... except for your best mates wedding, wearing this white dress might be frowned upon then haha!

Photography by Bethany Elstone

Shop My Look

1. Linen Dress | 2. Sandals | 3. Earrings - out of stock online | 4. Sunglasses | 5. Clutch - out of stock  online 

*This post is written in partnership with M&S as part of an on going collaboration. 

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Packing for a city break

I have had the pleasure of going on a few trips recently, and when I mentioned online that I was going away, I received some messages about how I pack for trips, how I outfit plan and if I have any tips or tricks. Instead of replying to them all individually in depth, I thought I'd write a post for you all. Fingers crossed you find it helpful!

When you have limited time away, your packing needs to be condensed (sometimes you only have hand luggage space to contend with) and it needs to versatile. I like to pack items that I know will work with each other and that I can wear numerous times throughout the trip. If you are smart with your shoes/ accessories, you can make one item of clothing look different depending on how you style it for instance.

My travel attire

I often get questions about what I wear when travelling and my answer is always this: something comfy, elasticated and long. If the flight is relatively short, I will typically wear a comfy, elasticated maxi dress. I find my legs get quite cold and achy on trips and a maxi dress does the trick of keeping you cool in the airport, yet covered up on the plane. 

If I am flying further abroad, I usually opt for leggings, a long line vest or tee and a zipped up hoody. I am not one of these people that looks chic as hell in the airport... I am ALL about the comfort! I tend to wear everyday white trainers, no matter what I'm wearing to the airport. I can't walk far in flat sandals, and I need support on my feet, so trainers are perfect. I will generally wear these same trainers throughout the whole weekend, saving space in my bag for other shoes.

My handbag is always the same when I go away. I like to take a large shopper, with a detachable clutch bag inside. This clutch doubles up as a bag when you go out for dinner in the evenings!

How many days?

If you're packing for a long weekend away, you'll need your Friday travel outfit, and an evening look. Your Saturday day and night look and your Sunday daytime look (which is potentially your travel outfit as well)

I like to break the days down into day and night looks and I also see if I can use any of my staple wardrobe pieces, more than once. Basics such as Breton stripe tops, jeans and white shirts can be styled in SO many different ways; it is worth thinking about wearing items more than once. 

I also pack a pair of undies for each day and night look and one extra pair for good luck.

What's the weather like?

When you're going away, if you're anything like me, you'll check the weather every hour. I need to see how hot and sweaty it's going to be and if I need to pack a brolly or not. The key to packing for a short break is to pack thin layers that you can build up, instead of chunky knits that take up half your suitcase. Brollies are tiny these days, and sunnies are obviously easy enough to slide into your handbag or even wear on your head to/from the airport as I do. 

Travel size toiletries

One of my fave places to buy travel size toiletries from is actually M&S. They have great branded products like Pixi, Ren and Nuxe and I always do a last min, next day delivery shop for items before I go away. 

I am pretty lax when it comes to taking my entire skincare range with me when I go away. I would instead take minimal bottles to save weight, and I just like to make sure I have all the basics covered. I take face wipes for ease, and they're great in your handbag for freshening up on the flight. I take a little cleanser, a moisturiser with SPF in it and toner/make up remover. Controversially I don't take my eye cream when I go away as the air con in the hotel always makes my eyes puff up and its even worse if I've applied eye cream the night before.

I take my It Cosmetics Mascara, CC Cream, Concealer and I also take travel shower gels and shampoos/conditioners that I have pinched from the last hotel I stayed at.

Until last year, I never rolled my clothes; I just laid them out on top of each other. I am now an avid roller, and the difference it makes in my packing/space saving is huge. I also find my clothes are less creased and look a lot better when it comes to unpacking at the other end.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have changed my life. It's not just the cubes that I love, but its all the little zip-up bags and cases that these packing cube sets involve. I love them! I buy mine from Amazon and especially love the 8-piece sets. I keep my dirty laundry separate from everything else, I pack my toiletries in the larger ones, and I pack my jewellery and sunglasses in the makeup bag style ones. They are SO handy, and they honestly make packing so much easier. I even put my hand luggage things like lip balms, face wipes, earphones, chewing gum etc. into one and it saves scrambling around my big shopper bag trying to find all my things.

Mix and Match

When going away for a short break, it is important to pack clothes that you can mix and match and build various looks from. Take items that you can dress up or down by switching from trainers to heels. A cross body bag is great for the day, and if it has detachable straps, you can whip them off and use the bag as a clutch at night time.

The striped dress I am wearing is an excellent example of how you can wear something with flats for the day and then glam it up with a woven bag and white, red or navy heels for the night time.

Long maxi skirts are a great city break essential. You can wear them to the beach, while exploring in the day or glam them up with heels and a beautiful top for a perfect dinner/dancing outfit.

Classic shirts can be worn casually with trainers and tucked into midi skirts but then dressed up with heels in the evening.

Bardot style dresses are the perfect city break dress! They can be dressed down with flats for a more boho vibe and then glammed up with chunky heels when you're ready for dinner.

Act natural

When I go abroad, I try to take items made of natural fabrics as I can get very hot and sweaty when walking around a city. Polyester is NOT my friend. I hate it and hate wearing it abroad when it's hot. Linen, cotton and silk are my go to's, and thankfully they have a lot more items made out of these fabrics for us plus size women.

I've started to buy plain, handheld fans from Amazon for when I need to cool myself down and no matter where I go, people always ask where they're from. They look really chic and save me from melting! Pick one up here.

Photography by Bethany Elstone 

Shop my Look

1. *Dress | 2. *Trainers | 3. *Handbag | 4. Sunglasses 

*This post is written in partnership with M&S as part of an on going collaboration. 

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3 ways in which I recharge, re-set and relax - in collaboration with La Redoute

City life can be exhausting. Heck, life, in general, can be exhausting. It can be stressful, hectic and the weeks can speed past. Before you know it, you're worn out, feeling frazzled, and the only thing you seem to do is work, commute, sleep, repeat.

Now, that's not how life should be. Life is for living and obviously work is a vital part of existing, BUT it's so important to get a balance, so we don't burn out. As I have gotten older and I've learnt how to pace myself (because of my chronic pain condition), I've mastered the art of taking time out to just 'be'.

Taking time out for yourself is so important. You need time to recharge, reset and relax!

When was the last time you did something for yourself? More importantly, when was the last time you did something for yourself and felt no guilt? If you're a busy Mum or Dad or carer for someone, for example, you might find it hard to take time out for yourself.

If you can - I highly recommend booking in some 'me time' asap! Everyone deserves to check in with themselves, top up their physical and mental strength and look after their well being.

Here are a few things that I like to do when I feel like everything is getting on top of me, and I need some r and r time.

Spending time with my friends

I am fortunate in the fact that I live and work in London. Thankfully, most of my friends also live in this city which makes meeting up with pals, all the easier. I tend to bottle things up, which can then resurface in anxiety and worry. I know that if I meet up with a friend or my group of besties, I can share my fears, they can advise me on how to cope and also they do a bloody good job at distracting me from those worries.

I feel SO blessed with the friends that I have. I've been in London for approx 12 years now, and I've managed to collect the most AMAZING selection of friends. Uni friends, old work friends, blogging friends and even friends who I've met via social media platforms like Instagram.

My most favourite things to do with my friends are, chilling in a beer garden sipping on Aperol Spritz', grabbing brunch in one of London's fab food spots, dancing the night away at a gig or devouring a roast in my local pub.

Spending time with loved ones doesn't mean you need to spend any money. Some of my favourite 'friend time' is when they come over to mine, we snuggle up on my sofa, we order a takeaway, and we watch trash tv. It's the little things. I tend to gravitate towards this type of social time when my Fibromyalgia pain is terrible, my mental health isn't so great, and I don't feel like being out in the "real world".

Shop my look

1. *Dress | 2. *Denim Jacket | 3. *Brogues

Exploring London

One of my most favourite things to do, is exploring London on my own. I can go at my own pace, I can travel how ever I like and I can do what ever I like. Whilst I'm out and about, I like to stop off for food and drink in cute cafes, scout out places to shoot my blog outfits in, sit outside coffee shops and people watch and find undescovered places to add to my 'places I must go' list.

I like to have a go-to list of well loved places but my fave thing is finding a hidden gem and then recommending it to a friend. I love taking someone to a place they've not been to... I feel well smug ahaha!

Summer in this city is just so so amazing. It is hot and hard work when you have to commute every day and work in the city but when you can, taking time out to just lay in a park, have a bbq by a canal or sip drinks on The Southbank makes it all worth while!

Shop my look

1. *Trousers | 2. *Shirt | 3. *Trainers 

Re- charging with selfcare

My most favourite place is my house. I love being out and about in London, attending events, getting up to mischief with friends BUT I am at my most happy when I am at home, in my lovely little safe place. When I'm at home, I don't need to be "on", I can look like trash, and no one will judge me. I can look after myself, try to contain my chronic pain and totally relax.

Spending time on my own at home, in my garden, in a park...where ever it may be, is SO important to me. Having Fibromyalgia means that I am ALWAYS in pain and for anyone who knows what that's like, it's tiring... really tiring. When I am on my own, I can zone out and focus on myself and re-charge. There's no expectation from anyone, you feel like you don't have to have your 'best face' on and you can take things at your own pace.

My favourite relaxing things to do for self care are binging an entire Netflix series from the comfort of my sofa, reading or listening to music outside, pampering myself either at home or in a local salon.  

You have to remember, it isn't selfish to look after your well being. If you're feeling overwhelmed with life, it's so imperative that you learn to say 'no' once in a while and take time out for yourself. If you carry on pushing and pushing, you'll wear yourself out, and then you'll be no use to anyone!

Photography by JKGPhotography

Shop my look

1. *Denim jumpsuit | 2. *Trench Coat | 3. *Trainers 

*This post is in collaboration with La Redoute

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