[HOW TO] Wear White

How to wear white

  1. Get the right underwear! Seems obvious but maybe not. Make sure to try on your choice underneath your white dress too. I bought the white dress above for my honeymoon, so threw my white wedding knickersinto my suitcase and figured I was sorted. Turns out, white doesn’t always work with white! Cue a quick trip to Italian lingerie store Intimissimi for “the right pair”!
  2. Be careful what you eat. I chose spaghetti for dinner in this white dress. Risky. But it didn’t have the dreaded tomato sauce – it came with mussels, garlic and oil, which don’t stain – so badly! I also used my napkin!
  3. Finally, don’t be afraid! For so long I’ve been terrified of wearing white but I think my wedding day may have cured me of that fear!
  4. Oh ok then, another two for good luck!! Toughen up your white look with black accessories à la Alex at The Frugality.
  5. For a more summer holiday look, team with delicate gold accessories to really highlight your tan.

Will you be wearing white this summer? Do you have any handy tips?

[HOW TO] Pack For Your Summer Holiday

Suitcase holidays travel

My hubby (still feels strange to write that!) and I have just got back from our Italian honeymoon. We spent two and a half weeks touring the islands in the  Bay of Naples and the Amalfi coast. It was wonderful. But moving around every few days with a heavy suitcase has made me reassess how I pack for my holidays.


This post from Garance Doré totally sums up my attitude to holiday packing. Wicker baskets – lovely idea but how?? Beach towels – great in theory, HEAVY and BIG in practice. Straw hat – stylish but impossible to pack. Toiletries – bulky, heavy but oh-so necessary! Souvenirs? How do you even begin to fit your holiday purchases in?

Holiday purchases carpisa purse

The answer to these holiday packing dilemmas? Here’s what I’ve learnt (if you want to read Garance’s take, you can find it here):

  • Wicker baskets – great for weekend trips and picnics at home, when taking the car! Not for holidays. Unless you can snag a really cheap version at your destination.
  • Beach towels – leave them at home! A Pareo or Hamman style towel which are much thinner and, therefore, lighter are the way to go – plus, as they are cotton, they work as a sarong/cover-up too. I spotted these everywhere on the Amalfi coast but my suitcase was already so full and heavy that even a light towel/sarong was too much. Instead, I’ve hunted out some reasonably priced versions at Notonthehighstreet.com.
  • Straw hat – wear it, don’t pack it. This is not the approach favoured by Garance but I am still quite attached to the look, so wear my hat for my trip.
  • Toiletries – if you can do without your usual brand, buy abroad. If you’re travelling with friends/partners/family, share the load and the bottles. Alternatively, order them online at Boots, to pick up at the airport, after security and ditch anything left before heading home.
  • Holiday purchases. This is a trickier one. Leaving space in a suitcase can feel like a waste but also means no room for those inevitable purchases. One way I do it, is ditching the toiletries I packed and making room for them. Alternatively, throw in a couple of rolls of loo roll – they’ll come in handy on your travels and are surprisingly big – you could certainly fill the space they leave with a pair of new holiday sandals and a few pieces of holiday clothing!

What are your top travelling tips?

[HOW TO] Shop Online

online shopping

Since moving to the country from the city just over a year ago, my shopping habits have had to change. Online shopping has become my most usual retail therapy and trips to the shops are more of a special occasion these days. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned a few things about how to shop online and thought I’d share them with you.

Shopping online is quite a different experience to shopping in store and it has it’s pros. The first is that you can try on the pieces with those you already have in your wardrobe and make sure that they do work before committing to them. You also have the bonus of being able to try on in the comfort of your own home which means no harsh changing room lights, no annoying queues and no awkward communal changing room experiences!

But there are a few tips for making sure that the cons don’t outway the pros on the online shopping front:

  1. Be prepared to make returns. If you’re not prepared to make returns when shopping online, don’t do it. You’ll end up wasting too much money as the chances of getting the right size and the right piece the first time are slim, particularly if it’s a new store.
  2. Look out for free delivery and free return codes. Delivery and return costs add to the price of online shopping and are costs that aren’t refunded if you decide to return an item. Almost all online stores offer free shipping and returns at some point, be savvy and keep an eye out.
  3. Sign up for newsletters and email updates from your favourite online stores. This is the best way to making sure you’re the first to find out about free delivery and return codes, as well as other discount codes. If you’re on twitter, follow our #sssavings for the latest discount codes that we can get our hands on too.
  4. Know your size. If you’re in the city, try to make it to the stores you shop in online and get trying on. Not only is it quite fun when you don’t often get the opportunity but it’ll also help you learn about the fit and sizes in the different shops and will, hopefully, cut down on the number of returns you have to make.
  5. If you’re not able to get into town for a good ol’ trying on session, order a few size options, if you’re unsure. This is where free returns come in handy. As with shopping in store, don’t be afraid to size up (or down) to get the right fit from a piece.
  6. Pay off your bills on time. Many online stores offer credit for their customers which is great – as long as you remember to pay them on time, otherwise you’ll end up stung with late charges and interest payments. If you can avoid credit payments, do.

Do you have any top tips for shopping online?

[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.


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


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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