[HOW TO] Four Ways to Update Your Wardrobe For Spring Right Now

We’re counting down the days until spring. We realise that last weekend was officially the start of spring, but tell that to the weather – this week has been colder than it has been for a while!

Before we can finally pack away the winter woollies for the summer, we’ve been finding ways to put spring into our wardrobe right now:

nude nails

1. Beauty is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to update your look for spring. I’ve been swapping my dark nail colours for lighter, more nude tones.

orange lipstick

2. Add a splash of colour to your sombre winter looks with a swipe of coral or orange lipstick – it’ll brighten any outfit.

jacket

3. Shed the layers – throw on a jacket for warmth. A jacket will look a little less wintry than a big coat but will still keep any chill off, like a leather jacket with a big scarf.

flat print shoes

4. Swap your winter boots for bright flats. I’ve thrown off my knee high winter boots in favour of brightly coloured ballet flats.

How are you introducing spring to your wardrobe right now?

[HOW TO] Rules To Shop By

I’ve been trying for the past year or two, to streamline my wardrobe and create a collection of clothes that will see me from season to season.

There are a few reasons for this approach:

  1. Space. A lack of space has forced me to rethink how I shop and fill my wardrobe. Our new house (of 18 months) has a much smaller wardrobe space than my previous house.
  2. Moving house. Having moved house three times in as many years, I have used each move as an opportunity to edit my wardrobe.
  3. Money. Another lack of – this time, money. Those moves haven’t been cheap and we’re saving for a wedding, which never comes cheap. By choosing pieces that will last, I am saving money each season.
  4. “I-have-nothing-to-wear” moments. A streamlined wardrobe is much easier to filter through in the mornings and means I more often know exactly what I will wear. Plus, I’m trying hard to make sure that everything goes with everything else.

There are a few rules I’m sticking to when buying new pieces for my wardrobe:

rules to shop by

  1. Have I already got something like it? This isn’t always as simple as it seems. Sometimes buying multiples of something I know I will wear till it falls apart is actually a good idea. But if I’m buying something that I already have or that is very similar, I have to make double sure that I will wear both.
  2. Do I love it? If I don’t absolutely have to have it, I won’t be parting with my money.
  3. Do I have the money for it? I’m trying not to throw purchases on my credit card these days – no matter how much I really really want them. If I want it that much, I can wait till pay day, or save up my pennies for it.
  4. Does it go with everything else in my wardrobe? Ok, so not everything. That would be impossible. But I’m no longer buying pieces that I know I will need to buy new shoes/new jacket/new bag to go with! That is not frugal. Plus, it rarely happens and then the new piece sits in the wardrobe for months, before being donated to the local charity shop, tags still on.
  5. Does it come in black? I know, I know, some of you will be thinking, black? But frankly, if it’s in black, I’m far more likely to wear it. I love black on black outfits and so I know that it doesn’t matter what the piece, if it comes in black, it’ll go with nearly everything in my wardrobe.

Do you have rules you use when shopping?

[HOW TO] Dress For A Dinner Party

dinner party

This weekend we’re off for a dinner party with friends. The first obvious question before any event like this is, what to wear? So I thought I’d share my top tips for dressing for a dinner party:

how to dress for a dinner party

how to dress for a dinner party

1. Statement necklace:

Choose a statement necklace to accessorise your dinner party outfit. You’ll be sitting down most, or all, of the evening, so you want your top half to be the talking point. If you’re going out for dinner, it might seem like an ideal opportunity to wear sky high heels as you’ll not be standing or walking too much, but they will also be hidden away under the table most of the night.

2. Statement party top:

As before, keep the emphasis on your top half. Choose a blingy top – with jeans or leggings.

3. Party jumper:

If it’s likely to be chilly, a dinner party, or dinner out, is the ideal opportunity to choose a party jumper. Jewelled or sequinned jumpers will keep you warm and look like you’ve made an effort too.

4. Statement earrings:

If a necklace isn’t your thing, tie your hair up and put on your best pair of sparkly earrings. They are bound to draw attention of the right kind.

How do you dress up for a dinner party?

[HOW TO] Top ten tips for some savvy sales shopping

shopping

It might be just one more sleep until Christmas Day but it’s only two sleeps till the Boxing Day sales. In some cases, they’ll be starting tomorrow, or even today. Looking forward to snagging a few bargains? Don’t do anything until you’ve checked out these ten top tips for the sales.

1. Know your budget.

Make sure you know how much you have to spend. You shouldn’t be bankrupting yourself at sales time.

2. Is it really a bargain?

Just cos it’s reduced, doesn’t necessarily make it a bargain. Ask yourself, is it within budget? Even with 90% off, it might still be out of budget (see tip below from Sunday Times’ journalist, Shane Watson!). Likewise, it might be cheap as chips but that doesn’t mean it’s worth it.

3. Shop your size.

Don’t be tempted to buy something a size or two too big, just because it’s in the sale. Chances are, you won’t get it altered and it’ll never fit! Similarly, don’t buy smaller. You might be dieting or getting fit but you don’t really know what you’ll want when that happens.

4. Assess your wardrobe.

Check off what you already have. If you have five white shirts in your wardrobe already, you probably don’t need another. Even if it is 60% off! If you’ve been searching for the perfect black trousers all year but still yet to find them, the sales might be the ideal to get your hands on an even better pair than you’d normally be able to afford. Check the gaps in what you already have.

5. Make a list.

Once you’ve found those gaps in your wardrobe, make a list. I’m not saying you have to religiously stick to the list but it will help to keep you focussed and not go too far off what you actually need.

6. The three outfit rule.

You’ll have heard this so many times but it works. When you find something you love, have a quick mental recap of what you already own and how it will work with your wardrobe. It’s no good buying a new midi leather skirt, knowing that to wear it, you’ll also need a new pair of shoes and a top that will go with the skirt. Again, it’s not a bargain if you have to buy a whole new outfit to make it work!

7. Invest now.

Sales are the time to get your hands on a few slightly more expensive pieces that you wouldn’t be able to afford at other times. Maybe a leather jacket you’ve wanted for years? Or a pair of knee high leather boots? Or maybe a designer piece that you’ve been lusting after.

8. Check out #sssavings for additional money off codes and discounts.

We’ll be keeping out Twitter hashtag up-to-date with all the latest sales news and discount codes as we get them! Follow us @sugarandspiceSG

9. Return anything that doesn’t work.

If, in the unlikely event, after following these tips, you come home with something that doesn’t fit/suit/go with anything else in your wardrobe, make sure to return it. It stops being a bargain and becomes a drain on your bank balance if it just sits in a bag at the back of your drawer until you discover it in a year’s time and it ends up going to the local charity shop.

10. Shop sober. Wear flats.

Think about when you’re going to be shopping and where. If it’s online, try not to be doing it after Christmas drinks as you might end up with  a few extra bits you’d not bargained for! If you’re hitting the high street, think about your attire. Choose an outfit which is pretty neutral so that anything you try on should look ok. Choose an outfit without too many layers for trying things on. Wear flats to keep comfortable!

And finally, a few from the experts around the web!

Laura, of Wearing It Today, says:

“I have a little technique I’ve been using for a few years since I absolutely hate sale shopping, in shops and on line. A few weeks before sales time start I adding (quite indiscriminately) to my basket all items that I’ve been wanting that season, I get them ready in my chosen colour and size so the day that the sale hits I am (potentially) one click away from securing it at a better price.

“I keep them in there waiting till the price goes down to what I’m mentally prepared to pay for them and if they go.. oh well, it wasn’t meant to be!”

Shane Watson, at The Sunday Times’ Style magazine, says:

“Just because something is a fraction of its original price, it doesn’t mean you can afford it. The Louis Vuitton ankle boots that I’ve been lusting after all autumn, if reduced by 90%, would still be a cool £1,250. So, establish your price limit and focus on bargains, not whopping discounts.”

What are your top tips for shopping the sales like a pro?

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[HOW TO] Wear Red Lipstick

how to wear red lipstick

mac matte lipstick in lady danger

Wearing lipstick requires careful preparation. Cracked lipstick on chapped lips does not look cool, or sexy.

Having recently discovered red lipstick (see here), I have also discovered that my lips are dry (turns out this is a theme – at a recent beauty consultation I was also told my skin was dehydrated – this might all have something to do with my rather laisez-faire attitude to skin care! Oops!). But red lisptick really shows up your lip issues!

As per The Online Stylist’s advice in my post about finding the right red lipstick, exfoliation and moisturisation it turns out are key to ensuring it looks good. It’s a bit like fake tanning – the key is in the preparation.

bliss fabulips sugar lip scrub

I’ve been using Bliss’s Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub (when I remember!) to get rid of flaky skin. It is so easy, tastes and smells delicious (I realise I probably shouldn’t be eating it!) and leaves lips incredibly smooth. Palmer’s lip balm keeps my lips moisturised and smooth on a daily basis.

Of course, if you’re not wearing bright lipsticks, this method also works well to keep lips looking lush this winter!

How do you keep your lips in tip top condition?

[HOW TO] Protect Your Skin This Winter

winter hands

cold hands

The cold British winter weather can be disastrous for our skin. Harsh and rapid temperature changes, from the freezing outdoors to centrally heated homes and offices can leave skin looking flushed, red and weather beaten. We all make promises and resolutions to look after our skin but many don’t manage to keep them.

In the summer I find it far easier to add lotion into my skincare regime but in the cold winter months, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up the good work.

We’ve been chatting with Dr Bav Shergill, consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Trustee, who has some top tips for keeping skin in good shape this winter:

  • Make sure you’re moisturising regularly and using an emollient that’s right for you – keeping skin moist is imperative to avoid it getting cracked and infected.
  • Be careful with the kinds of clothes you wear. Some materials, for example, lamb’s wool may irritate skin and cause flare-ups.
  • One of the best and simplest ways to combat the winter effects on skin is to regularly apply moisturisers and lip salves. This will help replenish the lost moisture from the skin. All skin types benefit from a moisturiser.
  • Avoid harsh, alcohol-based cleansers and soaps. Stay away from cleaning products that contain alcohol and go easy on the exfoliation.
  • Protect skin with warm clothing (a scarf, hat and gloves) whilst outside. If the rain makes your clothes damp, ensure that you change into something dry as soon as possible and don’t leave wet clothes in contact with your skin which may cause further irritation or chaffing.
  • Whilst it’s natural to want to stay warm indoors, even the central heating can affect our skin. The drier air in centrally heated buildings means the skin can dry out, so try not to turn the thermostat up to maximum.
  • Avoid the temptation to have a long hot bath, as this can strip away much needed natural oil from the skin. Try and shorten the length of time and remember to keep the water temperature warm not hot.
  • Apply a moisturiser to skin straight after a bath or shower while the skin is still slightly damp. Drying your skin vigorously with a towel can damage it, so pat dry and don’t rub.

If you’re looking for some products to use this winter, we’ve put together a few of our favourites:

body lotions

Nivea Soft moisturiser is the perfect winter all-rounder. The thick cream is luxurious on your skin and doesn’t irritate. My legs are dry and chapped in the winter, particularly after shaving and many products sting my legs. This cream works to keep my legs moisturised throughout the day. It also works for dry and sore hands, as well as your face if you’re caught short. I always have a mini tub of this in my handbag.

Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter is a similarly thick and luxurious cream. This lotion smells delicious too!

How do you protect your skin in the cold winter?

Image via

[HOW TO] Style A Cable Knit Sweater

celtic & co cable knit jumper

Cable knit sweaters are the winter wear staple that never go out of style. I’ve been wearing my Celtic & Co cable knit jumper pretty much constantly since I got it and the cold weather hit. As I was searching my Pinterest boards for ideas to style my cable knit, I decided it might be nice to share my findings with you, so here are my 5 ways to style a cable knit jumper:

5 ways to wear a cable knit jumper

1. Over a dress:

Chuck an over-sized cable knit sweater over your favourite floaty summer dress to take it through the winter season with you.

2. Layered over a flannel shirt:

A flannel shirt is so easy to throw on for a casual weekend look. A cable knit looks great layered over for extra warmth.

3. With jeans:

Simple and sweet – wear an over-sized cable knit jumper with jeans for the ultimate in dressed down winter chic.

4. Tucked in:

Whether into a skirt or trousers, a cable knit tucked in makes for a different look.

5. At the office:

Wear with print cigarette style pants for a workwear look that will keep you warm.

How will you be wearing your cable knit jumper this winter season?