Topical advice, brand advice, consumer advice
Latest advertisers, brand and consumer advice on Look.co.uk
18th June, 2013
Given that we’re seeing snow over Easter, most of us have probably put our summer style on hold for a bit. But not today ladies – oh no. Regardless of what the weatherman wants to throw our way it’s time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe; and even if it means holding off on wearing these looks for another few weeks, you’re guaranteed to be ahead of the trend this summer. So no matter if you’re looking for plus size UK fashion, tall or petite, below is a guide to the hottest summer dress style for SS13.
For the last few years it’s been a staple in our summer wardrobes and this season is no different for the maxi dress. Elegant, versatile and flattering on all shapes and sizes; it’s the perfect dress to see yourself into summer with. If you’re off to a summer wedding stick to one colour such as navy or plum for an understated yet glamorous appeal. Perhaps you’re looking for the ultimate holiday number? Lightweight, floaty material such as chiffon is a great fabric to go with and for the print think bright and bold – tropical neon pops or ethnic tribal prints will both work equally as well. Is there nothing this floor length go-to garment can’t do for us?!
Forget the saying; ‘less is more,’ this season’s dress style dictates that more length is a winning feature for SS13. All hail the midi dress! With the length falling just below the knee, the midi makes the perfect dress style for both in and out of the office. Smart colours like a bold red or fuchsia as well as black and white will all make great options for the midi, and don’t be afraid to dare to wear striking prints such as Aztec or geometric prints – they’ll look great on capped sleeved midi dresses and make a great statement for your weekend wardrobe.
When (if!) it ever heats up, and you’re looking for a floaty, lightweight summer dress then a tunic style dress is a great option. Tunics are great because their baggy, oversized style not only means that you’ll be kept cool when the sun shines, it also means that any so-say ‘problem’ areas around your tummy are glossed over with beautiful, billowing fabric. The Denim Dress Denim has made an absolute comeback this year – sure, it’s always been viewed as a safe fashion staple but this season it’s all about denim as a hot fashion must have. It’s boho, western and so festival chic and is the perfectly practical option for our typical British summer weather. Try button down shirt dresses or dungarees for a stylish approach to denim this season.
The floral print
Let’s move away from styles here and instead talk prints – floral is a sure fire way to create an instant summer feel; plus it’s really versatile too. Small, ditsy prints will work well with ‘cold’ floral colours like navy, white and daisy prints, where as big bold bouquet patterns are more suited to rosy reds, lush greens and fiery oranges.
All we need now is to get the weatherman on our side!
13th June, 2013
Calling all ladies! Iif you’re going to be attending a Christmas do this season then it’s fairly likely that you’ve started to comb the high-street for the perfect outfit to rock. But with so much choice and style on offer, how do you go about choosing the right outfit? You needn’t panic as Kaleidoscope are here to offer you their words of wisdom when it comes to picking your party piece, so read on to find out more. The dress
Why not be a bit daring this season and go for something a bit “unlike” you – this could be a style you’ve seen on a friend or in a magazine but wouldn’t usually go for, or choosing a dress in a bolder colour. We’re all guilty of having a go-to style of dress that serves its function time after time but if you’re really looking to wow then a whole new style can transform you.
Jewel colours are always a huge hit for the party season and this year is no exception – think jade, plum and sapphire all in silky satin which promise not to disappoint in the glam stakes. Rich reds and glitzy embellished gold designs are also key contenders for a hot party season look.
Winter time is the best time for accessories, don’t you think? From shrugs to studs and all the clutch bags in between, the party season is synonymous with sparkly add-ons that will really complete your look. You’re going to need to keep warm on chilly evenings out, so cover up with a bolero or shrug. They’re the perfect outerwear that won’t detract from your outfit. Sure, a coat might seem like the most practical option but it’ll detract from your glamorous entrance; a bolero strikes the perfect balance! Choose a tailored bolero if you’re dressing for a formal occasion, or perhaps you’ve opted for a classic LBD? In that case, choose a bolero that’s embellished with pearls or studs to glam up your outfit.
You’ll also need to think about jewellery. Party season is all about the jewels and the glitz so swap wooden bracelets for gems and pearls. Try to avoid pastel shades for your nails and instead choose deep, rich colours like maroon and opal.
What about your bag? As with the jewellery trend, tan leather and cotton are harder to work with glitzier outfits so it’s probably best to keep these items at bay and invest in a sparkly number that will see you through the party season. Think satin, silver clasps and lots of beading.
The impeding party season also means one thing for your feet: heels. Exotic prints glitter and sleek patent heels are all trends that will work well whatever your dress choice. Many people think that dressier means higher heeled but that’s not the case – kitten heels are also set to be a huge hit this season.
The party season is a great time of year for fashion and gives all you gorgeous girls an excuse to get glammed up – what’s not to love about it?!
13th June, 2013
It can be so easy to spruce up your wardrobe with new pieces of jewellery, scarves and bags; by accessorising you know that you’ll take your outfit from old-school to outrageously on-trend in no time at all. But what about your home? We love accessorising with fashion and clothes but how about giving your home the facelift it deserves? It’s just as easy to buy homeware such as curtains and cushions as it is to nip to the high street and get your fast-fashion pick me up. Ladies, it’s time to discuss the quick fix ways to transform your home in a matter on minutes, at prices that won’t break the bank. Let’s get started:
We all know how expensive and time consuming redecorating can be – not to mention having to live higgledy-piggledy out of boxes waiting for new sofas to be delivered for weeks on end. But updating your living space doesn’t have to be nearly half as stressful; it’s all about accessorising!
If you’ve had your sofas for a few years now and feel the print is looking a little dated then you’re in need of one thing – throws. Throws are a fantastic way of covering up a somewhat dodgy pattern and can be used to mix, match and contrast the existing colours in your room. Perhaps you’ve got a statement vase that you want noticed? Match the colour to a sofa throw for a seamless interior theme.Similarly, statement cushions will instantly update and add a touch of glam to your living space. A large print centred on a feature wall will immediately revitalise your living space. If you’re stuck for space, try a large statement mirror – it will create the illusion of a much bigger room.
Cheap homeware isn’t just available for sprucing up your lounge; it’s just as easy to update your bedroom with a few simple tips and tricks. For a really cool, effortless look that will give your room a whole new spin, try stripping back the carpet and start waxing those floorboards! If your budget allows, invest in a plush rug – it’s a sure-fire way to glam up your bedroom.
Patterned duvet sets and bed linen with multiple textures such as satin or embellished florals will instantly refresh your room. It’s the perfect accessory that won’t clutter your room!
Covering up white goods and appliances in wood or the material of your choice is a great way to ‘touch-up’ your kitchen. Simple things, such as an oversized wall clock or a vintage dresser will give your kitchen the new lease of life it needs. Coloured utensils and kitsch-patterned cake tins, coffee pots and bread bins are a great value-for-money way to inject style into your kitchen.
Bringing your home up to speed with the latest looks and styles isn’t hard when you know how to accessorise successfully. Hopefully after reading this you’ll know that it’s all about working with the styles that you’ve already got and understanding that it’s actually relatively easy (and cheap!) to update your home without getting the decorators in.
13th June, 2013
At the beginning of the year we all try to take stock of our financial situations. The heady days of spending over Christmas and New Year seem a long way off, and we’re all thinking about reigning in our expenses and becoming a little more frugal.
There are a number of ways you can cut down on your expenses such as comparing home and contents insurance online, as well as maybe looking to change energy suppliers and trying to stick to a monthly budget.
But what about going green too? There are a number of quick and easy ways you can save money in the home while doing your bit for the environment too. Here’s our guide brought to you by home and contents insurance provider Swinton Insurance.
Turning off appliances
On average, each year households up and down the UK spend £35 powering appliances that are left on standby mode. This could include your TV, computer and microwave being turned on at the mains, while not actually in use. By switching off your electricals each night, you’ll not only save money, can also cut down on your energy usage, which is great for the environment.
According to research, an average homeowner will lose around £390 worth of energy each year by not having their loft or cavity walls insulated .Yes, there may be initial outlays for this, but you’ll more than make up for that cost with the money you’ll save on your energy bills. Ensuring your home is fully insulated will help to keep the heat in, meaning your home will take much less time to warm up and will also retain the heat much better.
Change your boiler
When your annual energy bills are broken down, you can see that roughly 60% of what you spend in a year is accounted for by your boiler. Homeowners with older gas boilers are literally losing money for every day it’s in use. Replacing it with an A-rated high efficiency condensing boiler as well as improving your heating controls will result in a significant saving on your energy bills (potentially as much as £300 a year). In addition to this it will severely reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Small touches that can make all the difference
Installing insulation and changing your boiler will require money up front, but the savings are clear. However, there are many other small touches you can make to improve your energy efficiency at home. Buying energy efficient light bulbs and appliances is a great place to start, as is ensuring any small drafts are blocked up (this can range from draft excluders to fitting new double glazed windows).
Big changes that can save real money
January may be about saving money, while February is all about going green with “Go Green Week”, so this year, why not make some big changes such as getting started with renewable energy?
Low carbon technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and biomass boilers enable you to generate your own energy for your property. This will save you considerable amounts of money compared to what you would have spent on energy bills, and reduces your carbon footprint by using renewable energy. What’s more you can potentially export some of the energy to the national grid and be paid to do so by the government under the Feed in Tariff (FIT) Scheme. So if you’re making changes to your home, no matter how small, you too can help the environment – it’s time to go green!
13th June, 2013
Buying a new wardrobe shouldn’t be a regular occurrence, wardrobes, be they fitted or free standing are build to last. You need a wardrobe to be strong and sturdy but you don’t want to compromise on style as an ugly wardrobe will spoil the look of your bedroom.
When you buy a Barker and Stonehouse wardrobe, you know you are a getting a piece of furniture of the highest quality which will take you through a number of years and with a wide range of wardrobes to suit every taste you’re sure to find something you like.
Bedroom ranges, such as the stunning Giselle allow you to coordinate your bed, wardrobe and storage chests for a pulled-together look. Crafted from solid oak and featuring a subtle diamond joint detailing, the Giselle range includes the option of a three door full hanging wardrobe or a two door ‘gents’ wardrobe.
Value ranges at Barker and Stonehouse such as the pretty ivory painted Somerset collection include a bed, wardrobe and bedside table for a bargain bundle price.
But for the ultimate in contemporary wardrobe design, it’s got to be the Presotto - Technopolis Sliding Wardrobe with Dama TV.The ultra modern hi-gloss sliding door wardrobe is fashioned with a projection door, 100 mm thick, with an integrated television able to slide even when the screen is on. The wires go through the inside of the door to avoid any obstruction. With gloss grigio perla lacquered panels and panels with special reflecting glass for the TV this is a super slick wardrobe for someone living the high life. Now that you’ve got your wardrobe sorted, there are many ways to the make the most of the space you’ve got and increase your clothes storage.
Those lucky enough to have a walk-in closet should make the most of it, displaying their favourite clothes and dividing them into carefully collated sections – just walk in and choose from the lots separate pieces which you can put together to create different outfits.
Sadly for the majority of us, a single wardrobe and an over-abundance of clothes is closer to the reality.
Change the contents of your wardrobes with the seasons – in the summer pack away all your jumpers, thick trousers and winter woollies to make space for your summer clothes, then reverse the process during the autumn.
Under the bed is a great place to store vacuum packed bags of the clothes you’re not likely to be wearing for a couple of months and takes up the absolute minimum of space.
Clothes rails can give a room a fun retro look while at the same time providing storage. Clothes that only come out on special occasions such as formal wear should be stored away and protected with plastic wrapping or a clothes bag.
Pegs can be secured to doors or walls to hold coats or dressing-gowns which are bulky and can take up a lot of room in your wardrobes and shoes can be displayed on the top of your wardrobes or given pride of place on shelves.
13th June, 2013
If you live in a city you’ll enjoy all the benefits of cosmopolitan living. That boutique cinema showing the newest foreign films, just around the corner. The trendiest bars and the best restaurants right on your doorstep.
Whether you live in London, Manchester, Liverpool or Edinburgh you’ll know that certain sacrifices have to be made for the enjoyment of city living. Most notably your living space. Yes we’d all like a New York style loft apartment but we know it’s not possible, with most of us settling for a flat or apartment in a new build complex.
Space may be minimal and the furnishings sometimes a little impersonal. But there are loads of little touches you can make to ensure your city flat feels like home.
Treat your windows
Even if it’s a rental property you can change things up a little, with one of the first places you start being how you treat the windows. Opt for bespoke blinds from a made to measure blinds company such as Hillarys and they will be designed to fit perfectly with the size and shape of your windows and you’ll also be able to make all the decisions when it comes to colour and style. Perfect to really make a flat feel like home.
Whatever city you live in you’ll find a range of blinds from Hillarys due to their nationwide network of advisors. So, whether you want luxurious Roman blinds or rollers in this season’s hottest trends you can make all the decisions when it comes to style.
Pick your furniture wisely
Yes you may not have the biggest budget. After all city living can be expensive but it’s worthwhile picking your furniture very wisely. Too many people opt for the simple flat pack solution. Whilst it can look good it’s not always the most hardwearing. It also says nothing about your individuality. Try your luck in second hand shops or antique stores. There’s always the chance you’ll pick up a bargain on a unique piece. Giving this pride of place in your home says much more about you than the same coffee table all your neighbours have.
Whilst space saving furniture is great, it’s not always comfy. Remember, your aim is to make the place feel like home. By choosing comfort over space you’ll probably have to buy less to avoid feeling cramped. But you will be able to splash out a little more on what you do buy.
Get things on the wall, quick… but not too quick
When you move in somewhere, you usually deal with the walls last, waiting until you’ve got all the furniture in place before you start hanging pictures. Yes you need to pick the perfect spot, but don’t wait too long. Make it one of your first tasks and it will feel homely very quickly. Choose carefully and put things up that say something about you.
13th June, 2013
As festival season gets underway, with Coachella and Download under our belts, Matalan take a look at the top trends to be found up and down those festival fields. No matter where you’re heading for a spot of musical hedonism, whether it’s close to home at Leeds fest or on sunnier shores at Croatia's Soundwave, check out this fab style advice and you’re sure to give festival veterans such as Kate Moss and Alexa Chung a run for their fabulously fashionable money.
For easy breezy summer style, you can’t go wrong if you go long with a floaty maxi dress. Both bohemian and romantic, these dresses evoke a laidback air most befitting of festival fashion and will look great teamed with either gladiator sandals or a pair of wellington boots. To keep warm, opt for a leather jacket to offset the feminine feel and, just in case the sun is shining, take a look at Matalan’s cheap bikinis and wear one underneath at the ready. The ground may be wet and muddy, but hoist up your skirt and ready to get a little messy.
Anoraks are this summer’s answer to those pesky showers that inevitably blight Britain’s festivals. The good news is that this geek-meets-sports chic solution is particularly on trend right now, having been spotted up and down the Spring/Summer 2012 catwalks. What’s more, with the Olympics just around the corner, they’re the perfect cover-up for this season’s stylish sporty vibe. For a bold look, wear yours in neon brights or, for something a little more subtle, opt for muted earth tones.
Festivals are a great time to experiment with trends and inject your wardrobe with a little sparkle and, this season, it’s all about futuristic prints. If stripes, checks and polka dots no longer float your boat, these edgy, contemporary prints are the way forward, breathing new life into clothes with their sharp graphics and punchy pixels. Go head-to-toe in this techno trend or break it up with retro worn denim and chunky biker boots.
If bold out-there prints aren’t your thing, opt for the soft shades of summer and pick a pastel palette. Think chalky hues layered together, such as peppermint green and glacier blue, or candyfloss pink and mellow yellow worn on slimcut jeans or cut-off shorts. You might be rocking out in the mosh pit with the best of them, but these sorbet shades will keep you looking sweet and ladylike.
With limited space for several outfit changes, a capsule wardrobe will have to do and the best way to spice up a recycled look is with accessories. This year it’s all about donning your bonce with a signature piece to really turn those reveller’s heads. Whether it’s a hippie-chic headband or indie-cool trilby, headgear is your best friend when battling with rainy days and questionable shower facilities.
6th June, 2013
Plus size fashion retailer Curvissa have been getting into the swing of the summer season with a new TV ad showcasing their fab new holiday range, from plus size maxi dresses to swimwear! Here is a sneak preview of behind the scenes from shooting the advert:
9th January, 2013
It’s not all Scouse brows and miniskirts in Liverpool – events like Liverpool Fashion Week and the upcoming Liverpool Fashion Festival on 8th and 9th February can prove that. Plus with Liverpool’s style as unique and individual as the city itself, it’s a great place to do some fabulous clothes shopping. And as the city offers some great deals on hotels, why not take a trip to Mersyside for some retail-therapy to make dealing with the January blues that much easier?
With five shopping centres, two department stores and more than 400 shops, City Central offers partywear, gifts and goodies for everyone and every budget. Not only do its stores range from stylish independent boutiques and designer outlets in Metquarter, Cavern Walks and Bold Street to all the big names you’d expect to find on any high street, but there are also plenty of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants in the area for recharging your batteries.
There’s a great selection of specialist shops and unique boutiques in Liverpool, such as the Fab4Store which is the best place for gifts in the whole of the city, offering posters, prints and other Fab Four collectables. You could also check out charming Grade I listed arts centre Shop at the Bluecoat, which sells an array of contemporary craft and design pieces, while the monthly Pillbox Vintage Fairs, which take place in various locations around the city centre, offer vintage clothing, jewellery and other accessories, homeware and collectables and retro-inspired cakes and bakes.
High Street Shopping
A more traditional retail experience can be found at Liverpool ONE with its multitude of high profile stores or out of the city centre, in Southport. The main thoroughfare, elegant Lord Street offers unique Victorian arcades such as Royal Arcade and Wayfarers Arcade.
On a Budget
If you’re trying to keep a handle on the purse strings, but still want to treat yourself, you’ll be interested to know that Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet is only 30 minutes from the city centre, boasting more than 140 stores offering 60% off all day, every day.
Splash the Cash
Playing host to brands such as MAC, Hugo Boss, Jo Malone, A|X, Armani Exchange and Diesel, Whitechapel’s Metquarter provides a shopping experience like no other.So what are you waiting for? Book Liverpool hotels today and give yourself something to look forward to this winter.
21st December, 2012
2012 has definitely been the year of British knitwear, and wool has played an important part in encouraging consumers to support their country’s textile industry by buying British. It has also had a revival in the form of the cheesy Christmas jumper which has come out of the cold this year and made an appearance in the winter collection of most fashion retailers.
Rather than having a detrimental effect on the superiority of winter knitwear in terms of making a fashion statement, the brazen, novelty Christmas jumper has done much to enhance its image and popularity. Throughout 2012 Retailers such as La Redoute have caught onto the popularity of the knitwear trend have expanded their woollen offering from warm and cosy jumpers to chunky cardigans embellished with vibrant prints. Knitwear has become the statement piece of the season, and – like shoes and bag – is something that every girl should invest in.
Here are our recommendations of making the most of Winter’s number one trend:
The Chunky Cable Knit
Great big, oversized jumpers and cardigans are great in easing us through the cold, dark days of winter – everyone should have one! The traditional cable knit wear is certainly still the most popular and has become a winter staple this year. Smarten up with glossy skinny belt, or wear casual with skinny jeans and biker boots.
The Fun Knit
Aside from Christmas Jumpers, that should only really be warn up until the 25th of the festive month…why not add an element of fun to your everyday look with a jumper boasting a cute bunny or a fierce tiger? It’s very now, you know.
Cashmere is expensive – fact. But it is so very beautiful and so worth the investment. Whether you’re wearing boyfriend jeans or a tailored two-piece, a cashmere jumper or cardigan will instantly make you feel fabulous.
The Fine Knit
Even though 99% of the time it is usually freezing, the British weather is notoriously unpredictable and something that we should always be prepared for. When you’re hopping from the bitterly cold outdoors to the tropics of the office’s central heating all the while being wrapped up in your on-trend-but-unbearably-warm cocoon coat, a fine knit is the perfect accompaniment. Wearing a chunky jumper under a heavy coat can make us feel very hot and a flustered, a fine knit on the other hand is the perfect layering piece for keep us feeling cool and comfortable.
The Polo Neck
Not the easiest of trends to pull off, but when done well, this winter staple is can take you from fashion follower to trend setter. During the 1980s and 1990s, most of us lived in our faithful polo neck and usually teamed it with a pair of Levis; then all of a sudden our love affair stopped. We may be shy about reviving the flame but this year’s more sophisticated styling of the polo neck is definitely one to embrace. Pair under a crisp white shirt or with a satin bomber jacket for the ultimate chic winter look.