Gifts For The Discerning Gent

Buying a gift for a loved one can be the easiest task in the world, or it can be the most difficult – a minefield in fact. I tend to find it easy to buy for the female members of my family, my sister, my mom, my nieces and my sister in law are all fairly simple to gift, and I enjoy the act of shopping for them. But when it comes to the men in my family, particularly my father, father in law and my brother in law, I find is so frustrating. I think I’ve mentioned before that my father is very much of the ‘don’t want anything, don’t need anything school’, so this post is sort of a tribute to him, and his kind, with a few ideas for gifts that may please even the very hard to please. (Fingers crossed).

A Gift Experience

What do you give to the person who has everything, and wants for nothing? You give them a gift experience that they will never forget. Whether it’s a helicopter trip, enjoying the view from the top of The Shard, or a driving experience at Silverstone, there must be an experience that your loved one would love to take part in to create a memory made to last. You can find lots of great gift experiences at Virgin.

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Gourmet E-Liquid

If your loved one is a vaper, or is trying to give up smoking, you could treat them to the very best in Gourmet E-Liquid. Red Vape, which is based in Nottingham, have created a range of gourmet e-liquids that contain no artificial ingredients, flavourings or colourings. They also come in stylish packaging which makes them a great gift idea. You can find out more about the brand by visiting

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Beard Products and Male Grooming

Even the most alpha of males seem to be getting in on the act when it comes to male grooming. Beards are still the look of choice when it comes to men’s fashion, and so beard products – oils, tamers, combs and balms are a good and useful choice as a gift. A case in point is the Billy Jealousy beard product we got for my brother-in-law for Christmas last year. Yesterday he sent a message asking for a link to the product so he could re-order it. I guess you can say that was a hit!

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What do you buy for the hard to buy for?

Transitional Dresses at Simply Be

We are just about to enter the last month of Summer, but it seems like someone forgot to tell the weather. This weekend has felt decidedly Autumnal, and although I for one am hoping that Summer makes a reappearance as August arrives, I have to say I’m not holding my breath. With that in mind, it seems that a post all about transitional dressing becomes a post about dresses you can definitely be wearing right now. Tropical it ain’t!

Simply Be continues to go from strength to strength when it comes to its dress collection. The brand, which stocks dresses in a great range of sizes that covers the plus size spectrum, has a wonderful variety of styles, and includes labels like Scarlett & Jo, Little Mistress, Joe Browns and Glamorous. If you are looking for a new dress, from a floaty maxi style, to a short, flirty skater style, you will be able to find something at Simply Be.

So, when we talk about transitional dresses, what are we talking about? Transitional dresses can still often be in cotton, but the pastel colours often give way to darker shades or block primary colours. Longer sleeves to suit the cooler days are a good idea, and denim dresses are a real great look that work so well with tough looking ankle boot styles. Florals can still work well, with swing style dresses another look that works well when teamed with an ankle boot rather than a sandal. Bardot dresses still show no signs of disappearing, but for an Autumn look you can add a denim jacket or a leather biker style that will give warmth and coverage, without losing any edge of style.

Celebs in Transitional Dresses

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Olivia Palermo

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Selina Gomez

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Alexa Chung

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Nicole Ritchie

Here are some of my fave transitional styles that I think will take you from the end of Summer, and will hopefully work well even if we don’t get an Indian Summer, (Although fingers crossed – eh!)

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Choosing The Right Bra

No matter how amazing your clothing choices are, to look good you need the right foundations, and this means your underwear. Most women are aware that choosing pants with a non visible panty line can make all the difference to the look of an outfit, particularly if it is form fitting look. But the wrong bra can be equally perilous when it comes to looking your best, with women choosing the wrong style, the wrong shape, and even the wrong size.

Here are a few tips that you should consider when choosing your bra.

Is it the right size?

So many women wear the wrong sized bra due to not having a regular bra fitting. Yet many bra companies will do bra fitting for free, with most fittings no longer requiring the old fashioned tape measure method when it comes to sizing. A bra fitting is essential if you have had a child, have lost or gained weight, or if your bra is just feeling loose or tight.

To wire or not to wire?

The type of support you need from your bra depends on the size of your bust. Smaller busts may be able to get away with wearing a softer bra without underwiring. Larger busts may need the support and scaffolding that underwired bras offer.  These days underwired bras are as pretty and elegant as their non wired sisters, companies like David Nieper have glamorous underwired bras that come in a range of colours and fabrics.

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What style of bra do you need?

Is there anything worse than unsightly bra straps ruining an outfit? Two bra straps either side of a halter neckline? A bra fastening looking totally out of place with a backless dress? A multi ways bra should address all these issues, and allow you to get the support you need for your look to be flawless. Even if your look is one that doesn’t allow for a traditional style bra, there are now stick on styles that give you coverage and support from the front so that you avoid having nipples showing through your dress, especially important for formal occasions, or if you are a wedding guest.


A no brainer really. Make sure you are wearing the right colour bra for your outfit. Unless you are aiming to be edgy and make a statement, a white dress needs a white bra. If you are wearing black, you need a black bra, particularly if you are having photographs taken – flash photography can often reveal what you are wearing underneath your outfit.

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