Beach to Bar

I don’t know about you but I am so fed up with this grey wet weather. I am desperate for some sunshine. Which is supposedly arriving next week. I will believe it when I see it.

Until it arrives all I can do is dream about my holiday to Italy in May and browse the shops for beachwear.

It’s been a few years since I last had a proper, lay on the beach, type of holiday. In fact I think it was my honeymoon, nearly three years ago.

I am in desperate need of new holiday clothes and beachwear as I am two stone lighter than I was back then. I have the basics sorted. Denim shorts, simple tees and vest tops and plenty of summer footwear. But I need dresses for both the day and evening.

First I am concentrating on daywear. And simple dresses to throw on over a bikini. To wear to breakfast and so that I can walk from beach to bar with a little dignity. You know the type of dress I mean.

Normally I am quite conservative in my style but on holiday I am always happy to be a little more adventurous and I have found some fabulous dresses online.

The first selection are all from Asos, which I think is THE best place to look for something different for holidays.

I would wear any of these dresses and I currently have four sitting in my basket waiting for me to decide which one to buy.

I haven’t seen as many that I love on the High Street. But here are a small number that I think are lovely.

I have bought the dress above from Accessorize. It’s red for one thing and I wanted a short dress as well as a midi/maxi. It really is a gorgeous dress. I absolutely love it.

Next are always a good place to shop for beachwear. They always haveva great selection. These are just a few. I saw the first dress below earlier in the week. It looks better in store than on the website. It’s quite vibrant and also roomy. Just what you need to hide the holiday belly. And for £18 you can’t go wrong.

I absolutely love these three from River Island. Look at that yellow. Pure sunshine.

I wouldn’t really opt for black as daywear on holiday but I know plenty do. I thought this dress from Matalan was nice if you prefer darker colours. It has lovely detailing on the neckline and a hanky hem and is a bargain at £16

Matalan have a large collection of Kaftans at very reasonable prices including this full length version for £18.

Lastly something completely different from Zara. This looks stunning and very expensive but is only £29.99. I can just picture it teamed with gold sandals and lots of bangles.

So now all I have to do is decide which one (or maybe two) to buy. Which is your favourite? Or have you found something that I have missed. If so please share xx


Melanie xxx

Sleep Deprived in Style

We started Christmas Eve with a two hour drive to Luton Airport. Our flight was leaving at 6am and rather than sitting around at home trying to stay awake we headed off to the airport early. This gave us time to tuck into a big English breakfast at 4am.

I am not a good flyer. Not because I am scared. Because I struggle with having to sit still in a confined space for any length of time. So with this in mind I opted for comfort over style when deciding on my travelling outfit. I also used some leftover Birthday money to buy some new trainers and a sweatshirt for my holiday.

This is what I wore to travel to Portugal.

Slouchy Boyfriend Jeans – old from Next

Oversize Slouchy Stripe Tee – old from La Redoute

Oversize Cream Sweatshirt with sleeve detail – current from

White Trainers with black glitter star detail – current from

We are staying in an apartment at the Four Seasons in Vilamoura and we couldn’t have been happier with the welcome or the facilities at the hotel.

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve wandering around picking up a few essentials at the local supermarket. We didn’t venture far to eat opting for room service as I had been up since 5am on the 23rd December. After the most amazing burger, a small local beer and a soak in the spa bath it was time for bed. 40 hrs without sleep had finally hit me.


Melanie xxxx

100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe

I had a successful clearout of my wardrobe at the end of August and am pleased to announce that I have halved the amount of clothes and shoes I own. This is a big achievement for me. In the end a total of four bags went to our local homeless charity and I have a large sack remaining, that I will eventually pop onto eBay.

I have been ruthless and careful to only keep those items that I truely love and that compliment my body shape and colouring. I have finally accepted that my lifestyle has changed, so out are a large number of going out clothes and skyscraper heels and in are jeans, knitwear and trainers. I am also embracing my signature style that generally consists of jeans, shirts and blazers. I am no longer going to keep trying to wear florals and maxi dresses. They don’t suit me. Never have. Never will. It’s time to stick to the classics that I know I look good in.

Now that I have a more streamlined wardrobe I want to make sure that I actually wear all of the clothes I own. What is the point of having a wonderful selection of great clothes if it sits in the back of the wardrobe not being worn. I have actually discovered some gems tucked away that may have only been worn once in the last 2 or 3 years. Now that is a waste of money. And at this moment in time I need to be more frugal and make sure I am getting the most out of what I have.

I have had a wonderful idea of setting myself the challenge to wear every item of clothing I own at least once. so I am developed the “100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe” challenge.

There are 100 days until the new year (that’s a little scary) so this is the perfect time to start. The aim of the challenge is to wear at least one different item of clothing each day. I will only be wearing what I already own. There will be no new purchases. The last shopping haul I had delivered was mid August which included a couple of Autumn/Winter goodies including boots, jumper and jeans from Next. I haven’t shopped since.

I have made a list of all the items I own (excluding Summer clothes) so I can tick items off when I wear them. This will help me keep track and make sure I wear everything. I am actually looking forward to this challenge so much and can’t wait to be inventive with my wardrobe to create outfits that give a nod to the new season trends and also look good.

I will be posting my outfit on Instagram every day and will also follow up with a weekly blog post detailing the items I have worn over the week.

I’m sure there are lots of you out there who, like me, have too many clothes to wear and end up wearing the same outfits over and over again. Why not be a little adventurous and join me in the #100daysofshoppingmywardrobe challenge and fall in love with old clothes all over again.

Thank you for reading.
Melanie xxxx

Wardrobe Overhaul – Part 4



This final part of the series is about how head and heart compete when making clothes choices. It talks about the reality of styles you see in pictures and want to emulate and if they would really work on you. A trap we all fall into on a daily basis on Instagram. We see those pictures of our favourite style icons wearing the latest it skirt /dress and they look amazing. So we buy buy buy and then wonder why it doesn’t look as good as the image we had in our head or why you never find the right occasion to wear it because to put it bluntly, you don’t have the same lifestyle as that Instagram fashion blogger you follow.

So what is a girl to do? Do you abandon your dream of looking as stylish as those gorgeous pictures on social media.  Definitely not. We all deserve to look as fabulous as we dare to dream. We just have to apply a smidgen of reality. I am calling it “Style & Sensibility”… And yes I made that up !!

This is where the use of Pinterest comes into it’s own. I have a vast number of Pins of the styles I love. Feel free to wander over to Pinterest and take at look at my boards here. Please don’t judge my Pin organisation…. I am a OCD neat freak. I have a very tidy mind and I really can’t cope with mess, and yes that even extends to my Pinterest Boards!!

Like many other women, I use these pictures as inspiration and then adapt them for my everyday life.

I love the effortless casual style of Parisian women. such as those in the pictures below, which are a couple of my favourite looks.




I spend most of my time at work and I want to incorporate my dream style into my everyday outfits but many of these are not suitable for my work attire so I need to tweak them slightly whilst still trying to retain the original style element.

It is not appropriate for me to wear jeans to work (which is why it still baffles me as to why I think I need to own over 20 pairs – but I love them and most styles suit me so they are staying). So to replicate this style I need to replace the jeans with skinny fit ankle grazer trousers. I can wear the same style tops to work which is great as I have a wardrobe full of shirts, fitted jumpers and blazers.

Footwear is the main issue for me. I love wearing heels and absolutely hate flats, probably because I am a shorty, but sky high stilettos are so not practical for me on any level other than date night. So I tend to opt for a mid heel or a wedge. I also love trainers (my husband hates them) and I have a small collection which I wear with jeans and skirts or dresses when I am out and about or at my local pub. I love the laid back smart casual look. And so I can emulate the Parisian style with a few minor tweaks.

I also love the images of on Instagram of ladies in boho dresses and floral maxi dresses but as much as I have tried I cannot pull off this style and I have now stopped depressing myself by attempting to emulate those beautiful slim, usually tall, ladies who just look so effortlessly gorgeous in long flowing dresses. Sometimes it is necessary to admit defeat.  I am never going to look like that so I should really concentrate on dressing in what looks fabulous on me.

So now I have more items to add to my “Wow Wardrobe” list….. Skinny trousers, shirts, blazers, mid-heels, simple stylish easy to wear items. And to be thrown on the OUT pile…. Wide leg trousers, comfortable shapeless tops in an array of colour and pattern that are always worn with black trousers.

This weekend I am starting the physical clear out. I am excited but also a little scared. I have always been a clothes hoarder and it will be hard for me to accept that I do not need to own as many clothes as I currently have. But I need to be honest about the clothes I own and how many of them really do very little for me. The only way to stop wearing clothes that do not look amazing on me is to get rid of them.

So how do you manage the draw of wanting to emulate what you see on others? Do you have a dream style that you aspire to wear. Maybe you have already managed to find your signature style. As always I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.


Melanie xxxx


Note : The original version of this post first appeared on in August 2015