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. 

Be sure to follow me over on my:
Twitter / Blog Lovin / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr
View Post


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

Be sure to follow me over on my:
Twitter / Blog Lovin / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblrn
View Post


What to wear to a summer wedding - in collaboration with ASOS

Ding Dong, Ding Dong... Wedding season is upon us, the invitations are rolling in, and if you have one coming up in the next few weeks; this post might be just the thing you need. Dressing for a special occasion is tricky in itself, but add the pressure of the fact it's during a potentially hot summer, you might be struggling to get the perfect look.

This is where I come in, always on hand to help you out...how nice am I? Ahaha but seriously, I understand how tricky it is to dress for a summer wedding, especially if it's a destination wedding.

There are a few things to take into account when dressing for a summer wedding. The heat, being the number one factor. Now, if you're anything like me, you might struggle with wearing overly synthetic fabrics when it's hot. I hate how hot and sweaty they can make you feel - gross!

Fabric type is key!

My number one tip would be to make sure you find a dress where the fabric is something light, airy and where possible, natural (such as linen or silk). This can be tricky as a lot of the more budget occasion wear options tend to be made out of synthetic fabrics, so my tip is to go for a dress that is either floaty or made from a lightweight material.

Recycle your dress

If you're heading to a few weddings this summer, you might want to think about recycling one dress. Weddings are expensive, right? A few summers ago, I had three weddings during the summer and boy can the costs add up! A printed maxi dress is the perfect option if you want to recycle your look. You can wear it with heels, glam earrings and a box clutch for a more formal wedding and then if you have a more relaxed one coming up, swap the heels for an embellished pair of sandals and you're good to go! 

Comfy footwear is a must!

You've found the dress, but now it's time to get the footwear sorted. The key thing here is the comfort. No one likes a hot, swollen pair of feet, so make sure you pick the correct fitting footwear for your feet. Try a wider fit if you struggle with standard sizing, think about opting for real leather instead of synthetic (helps with the rubbing) and think about investing in a slightly more expensive pair that you can re-wear. Opting for a lower, chunky heel is always a good idea, and I love wearing a closed, pointy toe heel - saves you from having to spend money on a pedicure!

Suits You, Sir.

Gone are the days when all you could wear to a wedding was a dress and a fascinator - thank god! Mix things up a bit and try out a suit! Suits are perfect for a more casual wedding, and jumpsuits are also a great option. I love wearing jumpsuits for special occasions, and I love the fact it's always a great conversation starter. Stand out from the sea of dresses and opt for something a little different.
My top tip is to dress your summer suit up with a silky strappy top underneath and a classy clutch bag.

Summer Accessories

Box clutches are perfect for a wedding. I especially love an embellished clutch bag, when you have opted for a more minimal look. Go for a statement bag if you want to jazz up your look! Changing your accessories is the easiest way to switch up a look if you are recycling your dress. Changing your shoes or your handbag is often cheaper than buying an entirely new dress.

You can't go wrong with a statement earring, and they are the easiest way to accessorise your summer wedding look. My top tip is to pick a colour out of your dress and try to a find an earring that matches.

Photography by Bethany Elstone

Shop My Look 

1. *Dress | 2. *Wide Fit Heels | 3. *Box Clutch

*This post is written in collaboration with Reward Style and ASOS 

Be sure to follow me over on my:
Twitter / Blog Lovin / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr
View Post
Blogger template by pipdig