Capsule Wardrobe Guide

French fashion designer Coco Chanel once said that simplicity is the key to true elegance. Nowhere is this more evident than in a capsule wardrobe. Building a capsule or minimalist wardrobe simply means buying a few quality pieces of clothing, and using them as the basis for all your outfits. So, if you're looking to streamline your morning routine, start with our top tips on creating a personal collection using the clothes you already own, along with a few suggestions for key garments from our womenswear collection that you could include.

THE BENEFITS OF A CAPSULE WARDROBE
Flat lay of red Issa dress, lips clutch bag and make up

When every piece of clothing you own is strategically chosen to work with other garments in your closet, it minimises your risk of buying something you'll regret. You can bid farewell to the guesswork that goes into deciding what to wear every morning and approach your outfits with confidence, knowing that everything will look good together – even when compiled at the last minute.

SHOP YOUR CLOSET
Rail of bright coloured clothing

Before you head to your nearest high street to purchase more items, it always helps to 'shop' your existing closet for basic pieces you can use to build your capsule wardrobe. Not sure how to identify them? Simply ask these questions:


  • Does it have a neutral colour/print?

  • Is it something you regularly wear?

  • Does it fit well?

  • Is it made of quality materials?

If you own an item that meets a couple of these requirements, it could be a worthy addition to your new capsule collection.

ESTABLISH THE ESSENTIALS
Rail of winter clothing

When creating a collection, it helps to think of your wardrobe as the foundation for all your future dressing. After all, it's made up of staple garments that can be worn in a multitude of ways. You can still purchase unique items of clothing that catch your eye. Because you'll have so many items to wear with it, it won't compromise the versatility of your collection.

CHOOSE YOUR STAPLES

It makes sense to invest in the best quality clothing possible, as the key to making these staples shine is to have them fit as well as possible. If you sit between sizes, get them tailored for a perfect fit.


Here's a general outline of what a comprehensive capsule wardrobe could include:

Woman wearing cream coloured mac coat

Jackets


  • A formal blazer takes you from work to social functions with ease.

  • A trench coat or raincoat is a classy essential for cool and rainy days.

  • A denim jacket is a casual staple that pairs well with both trousers and dresses.

  • A leather jacket adds a fashionable edge, even to a simple white T-shirt and jeans.

Shop Coats & Jackets
Woman wearing white vest and navy jeans



Trousers


  • A few pairs of crisp, tailored trousers in neutral tones will serve you well for work and smart events.

  • Invest in a good pair of jeans. Choose a style that flatters your figure and makes you feel fantastic – get them made to measure if possible.

  • Some comfortable leggings are just what you need for hanging around the house.

Shop Trousers
Woman wearing cream jumper, black skirt and black boots



Skirts


  • Fitted or straight-cut pencil skirts are work-appropriate and flattering.

  • Find your favourite style, be it A-line, maxi or skater, and grab a couple in different colours.

  • A denim skirt is an excellent alternative if you don't feel like wearing jeans on a day that calls for this laid-back fabric.

Shop Skirts
Woman wearing white blouse and blue jeans



Shirts/Blouses


  • A well-cut button-up shirt pairs well with formal trousers and skirts, and can easily be dressed down with jeans.

  • Lightweight tank tops come in handy when you need to quickly throw an outfit together.

  • Beat the chill in cooler weather with long-sleeved jumpers or sweaters. Layering is everything.

Shop Blouses & Shirts
Plain black smart midi length dress



Dresses


  • A black dress is an indispensable item for both fun and formal occasions.

  • When it comes to the workplace, a structured dress in a simple colour and with a higher neckline will take you through any situation.

  • Dresses in heavier fabrics like wool are ideal for winter, while light summer frocks look great in a shirt dress or mini dress style.

Shop Dresses
Plain black Mulberry tote bag



Handbags


  • One unstructured carry-all tote or satchel is a practical and chic piece for daily use.

  • A structured handbag in a trapezoid or baguette shape will give your look a bit of a twist.

  • Evenings out or special occasions call for a slim clutch. A metallic finish is eye-catching, but still neutral enough to be versatile.

Shop Handbags
Woman wearing cream jumper, black skirt and black boots



Shoes


  • Flat boots are your go-to for any daytime event. Ankle-length styles go well with jeans – choose black or brown leather to give the look a polished edge.

  • Knee or calf-length boots look great when teamed with a skirt or dress.

  • For more formal occasions, opt for open-toed high heels or closed pumps.

  • Stock up on a couple of pairs of sandals – one pair of flip flops that you can easily slip on and off at the beach, and one more embellished style for summer evenings.

Of course, this is just a foundation. Build your wardrobe up using versatile pieces, and add accessories and one-off finds to make it your own and to follow seasonal trends. In spring, try livening up your neutral base with a bright floral scarf, or go for a statement necklace to bring a bit of sparkle. Winter is the best time to experiment with layering. You can wear your summer dresses in the colder months by adding a pair of thick tights, or mix a couple of different textures (think wool, silk and cotton) for a dynamic, thrown-together look.


Shop Shoes

Shapewear Buying Guide

Need some extra help for that special occasion? At House of Fraser we stock the best range of shapewear and solutions to keep you streamlined and elegant and give you ultimate body confidence.

THE TYPES OF SHAPEWEAR
Shapewear Types

Camisole

Perfect for slimming your torso, the camisole works with your figure to streamline and smooth out. Easy to wear, the camisole goes unnoticed under any top.

Slip

For a sculpted silhouette, opt for the slip. This comes in a range of levels of control and is perfect for that special occasion dress. Completely streamlining the figure, this will give the elusion of the hourglass figure.

Half Slip

Working like the slip, the half slip targets your bottom half smoothing out lumps and bumps while keeping a feminine shape. Perfect under a body con dress or skirt, the half slip will see you oozing body confidence.

Body Suit

The ultimate in body control, the modern day body suit streamlines without being restricting. New body suits come without cups to enable the wearer to wear their own bra, ensuring the perfect fit.

High Waist Brief

Primarily used as a non surgical ‘tummy tuck’, as well as cinching in the waist and comfortably holding in the tummy, they also lift the bottom to make for the perfect feminine figure.

Thigh Slimmer

High waisted and in a range of colours and lengths, the thigh slimmer smooths out your derriere and thighs and shapes where you need it most. Easy to move in and very versatile, the thigh slimmer is an essential if you’re lacking confidence in this area.

BODY TYPE
Apple Shape

Apple

If you have an ample bust, a rounder tummy and slimmer hips, you are an apple shape. Boost your bust by slimming your tummy and lifting your bum – the high waisted brief would be perfect for this.
Pear Shape

Pear

The pear shape means your hips and thighs are bigger than your top half. Opt for thigh slimmers to smooth your legs and streamline your hips, evening out your figure.
Hourglass Shape

Hourglass

If you're an hourglass, you have equal shoulder to hip ratio and a slimmer waist. Use shapewear to streamline and enhance your figure – choose a slip to really accentuate your curves.
Athletic Shape

Athletic

Often known as the 'boyish', 'straight up and down' and 'sporty', figure, an athletic stature normally has shoulders and hips of the same width, long arms and legs, with a slight waist, that may not be defined, and small boobs. The task is to create a more feminine figure, which can be achieved with the use of a waist cincher or bodysuit.
LEVELS OF CONTROL
Levels of control

Brands

Extra Firm

Extra firm control is made for the people that like to feel their shapewear working. These garments completely reshape and re-sculpt your body – often taking inches off where desired. Maximum results are achieved when opting for Extra Firm.

Firm

Setting the standard for shapewear, Firm Control is the most popular level of control. Still showing results without being restricting, shapewear pieces that fall under the category are made to target certain areas, achieving the look and feel the wearer is going for.

Light

Light is for the person that wants some control, but doesn’t want to feel like they’re wearing any shapewear at all. Consisting of maximum comfort and subtle results, lightly smoothes the desired area without completely flattening it.

BRANDS
Logos of Spanx, Maidenform, Wolford

Brands

Spanx

It is inevitable that when you think of shapewear, you think of Spanx. Finding fans in celebrities and non-celebrities alike, Spanx is a cult brand and a fashion staple for many. The brand vow to be the shapewear solution to any wardrobe challenge.

Maidenform

Maidenform shapewear is the perfect under-layer for all types of clothing. Designed to slim and shape your body whilst never compromising on comfort, Maidenform is both flattering and functional - from everyday control wear to full figure shapewear for special occasions.

Wolford

Wolford specialises in luxury shapewear - quality, high-class fashion in leg and body wear, primarily stockings, tights, bodysuits, swimwear and underwear.

Women’s Trainers Guide

Deciding to stay in shape is half the battle, the other half is finding the right shoes to wear. Here we summarise different kinds of women’s sports trainers for six of the most popular workouts around.

CHOOSING WOMEN'S SPORTS TRAINERS

Finding the right trainers for you is an accomplishment, but it's what's underneath that counts. Adding a pair of comfy trainer socks will make all the difference when you're doing sport, and some barely there pop socks will ensure no outfit is ruined by unsightly material.

How to style women's fashion trainers

Layer in style

Master the art of layering a dress over jeans and complete your look with your favourite pair of women’s trainers. Longer shift dresses and spaghetti straps are ideal for this retro look. Converse All Stars or another brand of comfy canvas sneakers complement this outfit perfectly.

Shop Dresses

Dress down a skirt

If you’re looking to make your skirts a little less formal and a little more uptown casual, add a pair of Ted Baker or Karen Millen originals to your ensemble. Now you have the license to feel comfortable while still looking polished. Similarly, team plimsolls with a white shirt dress for an effortlessly stylish off-duty look.

Shop Skirts

Make a statement with tailored trousers

One of our favourite statement looks is tailored trousers teamed with low-top sneakers. The unusual pairing will add a subtle feminine flair to a strong silhouette, while still enabling you to sport the pantsuit trend we all love.

Shop Trousers
CHOOSING WOMEN'S SPORTS TRAINERS

Deciding to stay in shape is half the battle, the other half is finding the right shoes to wear. Here we summarise different kinds of women’s sports trainers for six of the most popular workouts around.

Female athleisure model wearing patterned leggings and oversized jumper

Running

It's important to find the right pair of women’s running shoes to get you through early morning park jogs or that weekend workout. If you run with a light stride, opt for a neutral running shoe. Find one that offers you a little arch and just enough ankle support. For those with a heavier stride, more arch and ankle support will help reduce the chances of injury so you can focus on your form instead.


Distance Running

When you start clocking up the miles it’s important to look for a pair of women's running shoes that offers long-lasting durability. Women tend to have higher arches than men, so trainers where the arch support is detached or "floating" will help prevent strain to your feet and lower legs.


Trail Running

An ideal trainer will give you great traction on everything from slick, wet trails to loose, dusty routes. It should move naturally with your foot whilst still allowing you to feel like you’re in control of the movement. Find a shoe that holds your ankle firmly in place so that your foot doesn't wobble while you power through tough terrain.


CrossFit

Hooked on CrossFit? Look for a light and flexible pair of women's trainers so you can perform at the top of your game with less risk of injury. Those 400-metre sprints and handstand push-ups are challenging enough without having to worry about bulky trainers. A reinforced heel with help put your mind at ease so you can concentrate on all the heavy lifting.

Female athleisure model sat on grey exercise ball wearing grey hoodie

Cross-Training

For high-impact cross-training, rubber placed under the forefoot and heel makes a big difference. While training barefoot may be tempting, finding the right pair of trainers for your feet will make you feel as if you’re wearing nothing at all. A snug fit with ample support and just enough give is key.


Walking

If you prefer to slow down the pace to walking speed, find a comfortable and lightweight women's trainer that will suit your terrain. Firm grip is crucial in poor weather, while waterproof materials will stop you getting soggy socks.



Shop Trainer Socks

Finding the right trainers for you is an accomplishment, but it's what's underneath that counts. Adding a pair of comfy trainer socks will make all the difference when you're doing sport, and some barely there pop socks will ensure no outfit is ruined by unsightly material.

Jeans Buying Guide For Women

The key to unlocking your favourite pair of jeans is here. Find the best fitting jeans with our women's jeans buying guide.


We'll take you through the different types and rises of jeans, caring for your jeans and the easiest way to measure your size. Now you can browse with confidence knowing you will find a flattering addition to your wardrobe.

STYLES OF JEANS

It's no secret that the style of jeans you go for could change your whole look. From sleek skinnies to baggy boyfriend fits, there is a cut that will fit into any wardrobe.

Women’s straight leg black jeans

Straight

If you’re looking to tick all the trend boxes then opt for a pair of women’s straight leg denims. Ideal for creating sleek lines, the straight fit rests firmly on your hips through to your ankles, offering a leg-skimming design that lengthens your body and balances out your figure. If you’re wider at the shoulder than the hip, this style will work for you.


Shop Straight Leg Jeans
Women’s Ralph Lauren distressed boyfriend black jeans

Boyfriend

The laid-back boyfriend design is relaxed and naturally trendy. It’s usually worn low on the hips and typically suits a light wash denim. If you’re looking to add a bit of volume and shape to your frame the boyfriend cut is just for you. For those wanting a slimming design, go for a more fitted style with a tapered cut and a higher waist to flatter your figure.

Women’s indigo blue bootleg jeans

Bootcut

The bootcut is infamously on trend, with the power to turn heads. It has a snug fit from the waist down to your thighs, highlighting your legs. This style works best when worn with a pair of heels or wedges and, of course, with your favourite pair of boots.

Women’s blue 7 for all Mankind jeans

Skinny

Skinny jeans have become a fashion favourite. Whether paired with high-heeled boots, a pair of sports luxe trainers or stiletto heels, this style can be dressed up or down. You can find skinnies with both high and low-rise waistlines. Designs in stretch fabric will flatter your legs while staying comfortable all day.


Shop Skinny Jeans
Women’s Label Lab black high waisted jeggings

Jeggings

Jeggings are great for layering in the colder months. If you’re looking to dress up, simply pair them with a shirt dress, accessories and heels for a formal look. Jeggings offer endless comfort and will soon become your go-to-item for casual weekend attire.


Shop Jeggings
Women’s Lee high waisted light blue wash jeans

High Rise

High rise jeans rest just below the navel. 'Mom' jeans and other high rise styles will accentuate your curves with their retro chic silhouette.


Shop High Rise Jeans
Women’s 7 for all mankind dark blue mid-rise skinny jeans

Mid Rise

The mid-rise is considered to be the most universally flattering style, as well as the most comfortable. It sits on the hip bone and is the perfect medium – not too high and not too low. This denim staple is a must for any wardrobe.


Shop Regular Waist Jeans
Women’s Diesel black low-rise straight leg jeans

Low Rise

Looking to highlight your petite frame? Low rise jeans will rest just below your hips for a uniquely feminine fashion statement.


Shop Low Rise Jeans
THE WASH

Denim doesn't just mean blue. The wash will determine how dark or light your jeans are, as well as any pattern in the fabric.

Women’s dark wash jeans

Dark

The smartest denim tone, dark wash jeans are the most versatile as they can be dressed up with a blazer or paired with a simple tee. Some offices will even let you get away with wearing them to work.


Shop Dark Wash Jeans
Women’s mid wash jeans

Mid

Medium or classic wash jeans have the traditional deep blue tone. This style is pretty casual and best worn with an informal top or sportswear.


Shop Medium Wash Jeans
Women’s light wash jeans

Light

Light wash jeans are a summer staple. Pair with your favourite floaty top for a boho outfit, or smarten up with a dark fitted T-shirt and jacket for contrast.


Shop Light Wash Jeans
Women’s black jeans

Black

Black is a wardrobe essential: it’s slimming, sophisticated and can be worn with anything.


Shop Black Jeans
Women’s raw distressed denim jeans

Raw

Raw denim is left unwashed after the indigo dying process. If your jeans have not been pre-shrunk before wearing, soak them in the bath to remove any excess dye – the hotter the water, the stronger the removal.


Distressed

Distressing creates an aged look that will give your jeans a vintage feel.

SIZE CHART

Jeans size is written as the waist and leg length. For example, W32/L34 means a 32 inch waist and 34 inch leg.

Women’s illustration size chart

Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around the slimmest part of your natural waist.


Hips: Stand with your feet together and measure around the fullest part of your hips and bottom.


Inside leg / Inseam: Measure from the crotch down to the hem.

CARING FOR YOUR JEANS
3 pairs of blue denim jeans hanging up on washing line

Buying the right jeans is just the beginning. In order to make sure you get the most out of your favourite pair, follow these simple caring instructions.


  • Wash your jeans inside-out to avoid fading.

  • Choosing a cold-water spin cycle will give added protection against shrinking.

  • Washing jeans too often will make the colour fade faster, so only wash when dirty.

  • Avoid tumble drying. Instead, hang jeans upside down to dry away from direct sunlight to prevent shrinking.

Bra Size Fitting Guide

When you’re wearing a bra all day, every day, it’s important to know your stuff. Trust us when we say it’s a lot more common than you’d think to be wearing the wrong size, style and cup for you. Our fitting guide will show you how to measure yourself AND teach you your push-ups from your plunges!

THE STYLES
Bra Styles

Balcony

This style is extremely flattering and creates cleavage - perfect for your new scoop neck top.

Shop Balcony Bras

Plunge

A really comfortable modern shape that goes hand-in-hand with low necklines.

Shop Plunge Bras

Push up

This bra enhances both the size and shape of your bust. Opt for this bra style when thinking about eveningwear.

Shop Push Up Bras
 
T Shirt

The everyday bra. Comfortable and reliable, this bra creates a seamless shape. T-shirt Bras don’t have to be boring, look for pretty palettes and patterns.

Shop T-Shirt Bras
 
Full Cup

Fuller bust? This is the bra for you. The covering and shaping style will make this your go-to style.

Shop Full Cup Bras
 
Padded

Who doesn't want a perfectly pert bust? The padded bra is made to enhance what you already have.

Shop Padded Bras
 
Sports

This extra supportive style means you can play sports without worrying about movement, discomfort or damage.

Shop Sports Bras

Multi way

This magical style means you can wear one-shoulder, strappy or strapless outfits with ease by changing the way the straps lay.

Shop Multiway Bras
THE SIZE
Bra size

The size

Around 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. Getting the fit right is so essential for comfort, support and confidence - did you know a well fitting bra improves your posture and figure in an instant? Hello, figure we've always wanted.

How to Measure Yourself at Home

Underband

Measure around the rib cage, under the bust. The tape should be pulled firm around the body. Ensure tape is parallel to the floor all the way round. This is the underband measurement.

Cup Size

Measure over the fullest part of the bust. Ensure tape is parallel to the floor and not twisted. Subtract the underband measurement from the over bust measurement to ascertain the cup size.

BG-Womens Bra Fitting - Size Image 

 

TOP TIPS
Top tips

Top tips

The band should feel firm and supportive, as well as being horizontal across the body, being the same level as the front of the bra. The hook and eye should be fastened on the outermost hook, ensuring you can fit two fingers underneath it.

The Underband

If the underband ‘rides up’ it is too big. If the underband ‘digs in’ it is too small.

The Cups

The breast should be fully encased within the cups. The cup should offer good support and forward projection, creating a smooth silhouette. If the cups are wrinkling and loose offering no support, it is too big and if the breast is spilling over at the neckline and underarm, it is too small.

The Straps

Straps should lie flat on the shoulders, not slip down or leave marks. Straps help balance the weight of the breast, rather than provide support and uplift; this is generated from the underband.

Remember

Centre front sits flat against the body. The breast should be completely encased in the underwire, which should be following the natural crease of the breast.

IN STORE SERVICE

In store service

If in doubt, all House of Fraser stores are equipped with plenty of helpful and friendly bra-fitters that can help find your perfect size across all brands. A t-shirt or vest can be worn through out the fitting and our speedy fitters will make it a completely comfortable experience for you!

Find your nearest store

Lingerie Gift Guide For Her

Finding lingerie your partner loves is a surefire way to set off sparks in your relationship. However, many of us feel daunted about navigating all those lingerie types and sizes. We've created this guide to teach you how to buy lingerie for your special someone. It will help you show your girlfriend or wife how well you know her, and that's worth so much more than a bouquet.

FIND OUT HER SIZE
Close up of woman wearing a strapless black bra

You can't walk into a shop and guess at your partner's size. A woman's bra is almost like a second skin, so if you choose the wrong fit she'll never wear it. If you don't know her measurements and would like to keep your lingerie shopping a surprise, all it takes to is a little Bond-style espionage to find out. Simply take a look at the laundry when the lucky lady isn't around and make a note of her labels.


With bras, there are two sizes to keep track of. The first is the cup size, which can range from A to K. The second is a number, which relates to the measurement around the body and rib cage. It's important to note that the two numbers are linked: for example, a 32D will not have the same size cup as a 38D because the letter relates to the volume of the bust itself and the size of the cup in relation to the band. You won't be able to buy a 32D bra for a woman who wears 38D, even if you get it altered. Bra sizes can vary across lingerie brands, so it's a good idea to check a couple of bras that your partner wears most often – these are most likely to be the ones that fit her best.


If you're really struggling or don't feel comfortable peeking into her wardrobe, you could try and find a negligee or camisole instead. You don't need to be as exact with the sizing for these flowing garments.

PICK HER STYLE
Navy lace bra

There are lots of different shapes and types of bras out there. Here are the most popular:


  • Balcony bras – Lift the breasts to enhance the cleavage with straps that support from the bottom of the cup. Super seductive.
  • Plunge bras – Create deeper cleavage by plunging down, supporting from the centre and pushing the breasts together.
  • Full-cup bras – Offer the best support and shape by covering more of the breast. Usually worn by women with a larger cup size.
  • T-shirt bras – Best for wearing under a T-shirt. Made from smooth material and normally seamless, they are less likely to be seen through the fabric.

Shop bras
Close up of woman wearing silk pyjama shorts

Women's knickers also come in a tremendous variety of styles. Think about the underwear she normally wears and see if you can match it to the lingerie types below for an idea of what she likes. There are lots of different shapes and types of bras out there. Here are the most popular:


  • Full brief knickers – Offer the most coverage with a high waist.
  • Hipster knickers – Sit lower on the hips and usually cut away at the back.
  • Thongs – Well-known for their high leg which exposes the bottom.
  • French knickers – Usually made of lace with a high waist that sits half way across the buttock.

Shop knickers
TOP TIPS FOR LINGERIE SHOPPING
Flat lay of bra and mug of coffee on a knitted blanket

If you want her to be thrilled with your selection (so you'll be allowed to buy lingerie again) keep these final pointers in mind:


  • It pays to pick a colour that you know she'll love. Be observant and get to know her style, her favourite outfits and the colours she looks best in.
  • Use colour language to say something with your gift. Black is generally thought to be sultry and classic, white makes a wonderful wedding present, while soft pastel tones exude femininity and romance.
  • Pick a lingerie set to make sure the underwear matches perfectly.
  • Remember that this gift is for both of you. Keep her style preferences and comfort in mind, but make sure it's also something you'd like to see her wear. You'll both enjoy the gift more knowing that your partner is as excited about it as you are.
  • If you're unsure of her knicker size and don't want to intrude on her underwear drawer, check her dress size. The two are usually very similar.
  • Make a full ensemble by adding a waspie or suspender. Lingerie accessories are always exciting.
  • Surprise her! Leave a gift waiting for her when she arrives home.

Knitwear Buying Guide

Weekend walks through crisp autumn leaves, hot cups of tea and cosy moments with loved ones – they just wouldn't be the same without your favourite woolly jumper. Timeless and effective against the chill, knitwear makes the cooler months extra comfy. From chunky cardigans to luxurious cashmere sweaters, we’ve put together this guide in order to give you all of the information you need on styles and fabrics. We've also included tips on how you can care for your knitwear.

KNOW YOUR MATERIALS
Dark green cashmere jumper

Cashmere

Made from goat's hair, cashmere is softer than sheep's wool and is used to create elegant, fine knits. It’s not only long-lasting but has great adaptability to temperature; it's spun from delicate hairs which will keep you warm in winter and cool over summer.


Shop Men's Cashmere Knitwear

Shop Women's Cashmere Knitwear
Neutral woollen long cardigan

Merino Wool

Merino wool jumpers have a glorious shine and are extremely soft. Named after the Merino sheep, this wool retains heat while also being breathable, making it a versatile addition to any winter wardrobe.


Shop Men's Merino Wool Knitwear

Shop Women's Merino Wool Knitwear
High neck burgundy and pink jumper

Lambswool

Lambswool is made from the first shearing of a seven-month-old sheep. As you might expect, it's supremely soft and comfortable against your skin.


Shop Men's Lambswool Knitwear

Shop Women's lambswool Knitwear
black cable jumper

Sheep’s wool

Sheep’s wool is often used in jumpers and socks as it is extremely elastic and recovers its natural shape effortlessly. The breathable fabric will keep you warm during the chilly months, making it a perfect layer for crisp winter walks.


Shop Men's Wool Knitwear

Shop Women's Wool Knitwear
black and white men's jumper

Acrylic

This soft man-made fibre was designed to imitate wool. It is a low-maintenance fabric, so can easily be popped in the washing machine rather than individually washed by hand.


Shop Men's Acrylic Knitwear

Shop Women's Acrylic Knitwear
GET TO KNOW YOUR KNITS
three different knit styles including ribbed, cable and chunky

Different clans and cultures have created their own styles of knitting over the centuries, leaving you spoilt for choice. Here are some of the most popular options:


Ribbed

Featuring ridges on both sides of the fabric created through alternating rows of knit and purl stitches, rib knits offer lots of stretch. They're perfect for creating cosy tops and cardigans and feature an ideal amount of elasticity.


Cable

Derived from Ireland’s ancient knitting traditions, its trademark cable design remains a wardrobe staple to this day. Resembling braided ropes, cable knit sweaters are comforting against the winter chill.


Aran

Originating off the west coast of Ireland, this type of knit is usually off-white in colour and features symmetrical patterns in homage to cable knits. This textured knitting is also used to make socks and hats so you can combat winter in a matching set.


Chunky

When it comes to looking stylish in the coldest months, a chunky knit jumper is the answer. It’s not only warm but versatile – pair a dark-coloured design with a blazer for a wintery off-duty outfit.

HOW TO CARE FOR KNITWEAR
Basket with different coloured jumpers folded inside

Keep your knitwear looking its best with a few care habits:


Focus on the storage

When it comes to caring for your knitwear, storage plays an important role. Refrain from placing your cashmere and wool jumpers on a hanger and choose to fold instead. This will help prevent any unnecessary stretching and misshaping.


Don’t be afraid to shave your knits

It's hard to stop knitwear bobbling, but you can keep it looking good as new using an electric bobble remover. It acts in the same way as a razor and literally shaves your knitwear, leaving it smooth and revived.


Use a comb

You can also remove any bobbles from your knits before washing with a cashmere comb. Simply use the brush daily and gently rub down the item to remove any excess lint that has formed.


Dry knitwear flat

An effortless way to ensure your knitted sweater or cardigan’s shape remains intact is to dry it flat after washing. Stretch it out slightly and weigh down the edges to help it keep its original elasticity.

WASHING WOOL JUMPERS
Close up on woman’s hands, hand washing a jumper

Worried about shrinking your woollies? Here are a few tips to help your clothes last longer:


How to hand wash knitwear
  1. Fill your tub with warm water and add a mild liquid laundry detergent.
  2. Add the jumpers and soak for ten minutes.
  3. Remove as much excess water as possible. Gently press rather than wring out when rinsing, as this will prevent any misshaping.
  4. Once clean, dry the pieces flat out to prevent any stretching.

How to machine wash knitwear
  1. Place your knits into a mesh bag so you can protect the wool from the drum.
  2. Load into the machine and add a gentle laundry detergent.
  3. Set your washing machine to a hand wash cycle or a wool cycle. This will ensure it washes at a cooler temperature and reduce the speed of the spin cycle so as to be gentle with your knitwear.

How to care for cashmere

The best thing about investing in luxury cashmere is its endurance as a winter wardrobe staple. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to hand wash the knit rather than strictly dry cleaning. Simply hand wash your cashmere in cold water using a gentle, mild detergent. Wool wash or baby shampoo also works wonders as it has low-alkaline. Keep your wash times to a maximum of a few minutes taking care to remove it from the water so as to make sure they don’t fade.

HOW TO STORE KNITWEAR
Folded knitted jumper with a small pouch of lavender on top

Properly storing your knitted jumpers can add on multiple years to their life. The ideal storage spot is cool and dry. We recommend cedar hangers to be used if hanging is your only option. They're specifically designed for woollen clothing and not only help maintain the shape, but they actually act as a moth repellent, leaving your woollen sweaters and cardigans safe from nibbles.


Moth balls and lavender sachets will also deter moths. Lavender has the bonus of leaving your clothes with a lovely scent, so it's a win-win. Simply tuck a ball or a sachet into jumper pockets or between the layers of your folded clothes.

The joy of slipping in to your beloved cosy knitwear during the cooler months can't be beaten. You'll be able to keep yours looking and feeling lovely for longer with our useful guide – though with all of this talk of soft cashmere and chunky cable knit, we can't blame you for having half an eye on your next purchase now, too!

How To Choose A Mother Of The Bride Outfit

Helping your son or daughter to plan their wedding is a very exciting – and very busy – time. There's so much to think about about, from choosing a venue and designing invitations to composing a guest list and deciding on food. With all that to do, your own outfit might be the last thing on your mind.

However, if you want to look your best, don't make it an afterthought; put aside other considerations for a few minutes and focus on you! In this guide, we'll highlight some wedding outfit options for mothers, look at how to match colours and jewellery, and run through the dos and don'ts to ensure that you're looking your best when the big day arrives.

WEDDING OUTFITS FOR THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE OR GROOM
Metallic black sleeveless jumpsuit and Sleeveless v neck red midi dress

Even if their wedding plan is still in it's early stages, it's likely that your son or daughter already has a general theme or atmosphere in mind. This will help to define the style and formality of the day, so if you want to complement the overall feel of the wedding, ask the couple for this information to get a basic idea of the kind of outfit you should be looking for.


In terms of specific choices, you'll want to go for something that is practical and comfortable to move around in, as you're likely to be on your feet for most of the day. Knee-length dresses are always an elegant option, but you could go for something floor length if the theme calls for it; just make sure you avoid white! Heels, your favourite smart coat and a sleek clutch bag are fail-safe options when it comes to completing your look. For summer weddings, you could carry a light bolero or a pashmina to wrap up in when it becomes cooler in the evening.


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DECIDING ON COLOUR
Pastel Pink Navy Purple and White fascinator

The couple may already have an accent colour picked out to complement their theme, so it's worth asking them what this is if you'd like your outfit to fit in. You don't need to match completely – you don't want to blend in with the bridesmaids, after all – so choose a tonal shade. For example, if the colour is a rich purple, opt for lavender, lilac or heliotrope. You could also pick out the colour with jewellery, hair accessories or even a hat.


If there's no specific colour to work with, or a number of different colours, you can be a little more creative. Choose a print that incorporates several hues, or accent a bright dress with sharply contrasting shoes and a bag. If your preferred look is more understated, opt for pastel shades or neutral hues like pale pink, yellow or blue.


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SELECTING JEWELLERY
gold crystal brooch

As the mother of the bride – or the mother of the groom – you'll be a central figure throughout the entire occasion and there will be plenty of eyes on you. Feel polished and pretty with beautiful accessories that will add a little sparkle to your ensemble. When deciding which items to choose, consider which parts of you will be on show. The shape of your neckline should be a starting point when thinking about what kind of necklace to choose, for example.


If you intend to have your hair up, you could opt for a delicate pair of earrings with colours that match your dress and the wedding theme, or go for a classic look with a set of pearls. Using a shimmering brooch to draw attention to a sleek pashmina or shawl is another timeless choice.


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CREATING A WEDDING DAY MAKEUP LOOK
Mother hugging the bride

There aren't any rules for the mother-of-the-bride’s hair and makeup, but keeping your look subtle and timeless is always a winner. Having a trusted friend or makeup artist do your makeup on the big day will allow you to relax and focus on other things. Mothers of the bride or groom often overlook themselves in favour of their daughter or son; remember, it's your special day too. A lovely way to treat yourself is by getting a fresh manicure and pedicure on the day of the wedding. This will also prevent any last minute chips or scratches.


There will probably be lots of flash photography on the day, so be sure to pack a pressed powder compact to keep your skin looking matte. It might also be worth bringing some cotton buds to tidy up any teary eye makeup after the ceremony. For the same reason, it's a good idea to wear water-resistant mascara and to avoid eyeliner.


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Hearing the exciting news that your son or daughter is ready to say their vows is something that all mothers look forward to. Make sure you visit our wedding boutique for everything you need to look fantastic and feel comfortable on their big day – just don't forget those tissues!

Dress Codes For Women Explained

Between black-tie fundraisers, smart work events and weddings, there is an abundance of dress codes to decipher – and some common questions that often arise. What is a cocktail dress? What is a formal dress? Can a black-tie dress be short?


Choosing your outfit should be the fun part, so we've made a list of the most common dress codes: what they mean and what you should wear if they appear on your invitation. All you need to do is RSVP 'yes'.

COCKTAIL PARTY DRESS CODE
Purple sleeveless A-line dress

It's a term we hear often, but what actually is a cocktail dress? The modern definition has come to mean a shorter, above-the-knee style that's sophisticated yet 'party ready'. This could mean anything from a simple silk shift to an embellished skater dress – the choice is yours.


If 'cocktail dress' appears on the dress code, the event is probably stylish with a hint of formality, so it's best to keep hemlines and necklines appropriate. A midi dress is a flattering and comfortable length which looks great when balanced with slim straps or a halter neck.


Add interest to your outfit by playing with different textures. Try a sequinned dress with sleek satin heels, or some sparkling embellished flats with an understated crepe shift. Lastly, don't be afraid of colour – formal doesn't need to mean black. Saturated jewel-tones are a fantastic choice.


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BLACK TIE DRESS CODE
Sequined sleeveless maxi dress

Traditionally, your black-tie attire should consist of a formal, floor-length gown. Neutral colours are encouraged, as are ladylike up-dos and delicate jewellery. If the invitation says 'white tie', you can go a step further with a pair of long gloves. Sophisticated clutch bags tend to work best with this dress code, preferably in a colour that matches or subtly complements your dress.


While cocktail dresses are usually also allowed, they should be on the more conservative end of the spectrum; it's best to avoid anything that is too tight or falls more than an inch above the knee. Try a strapless gown with a pleated skirt, or a sleek one-shouldered design. Complete the look with a simple pair of stiletto heels.


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FORMAL OCCASION DRESS CODE
Electric blue sheath dress

What is a formal dress? Whether you're joining the wedding party or amping up the glamour for a day at the races, formal occasion dress codes are all about keeping it classic – but still having fun.


This dress code is broad and should be open to different interpretations depending on the nature of your event. Dresses can be full or knee-length, in a wide spectrum of colours and styles. If you're planning on dancing the night away, choose a simple sheath silhouette or a cute mini dress that won't restrict your movement. Try accessorising with a fascinator and an embellished clutch bag for a show-stopping finish.


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SMART CASUAL DRESS CODE
Black skater dress

A smart casual dress code is probably the most ambiguous in terms of formality: take your cues from the type of event and use your intuition. Although the style is more relaxed than other dress codes, you'll still need to look put-together. Any length of dress is suitable, as are polished separates and sharp trouser suits.


Playful details such as a cut-out back or bell sleeves are an effortless way to dress up understated outfits. A design with an off-the-shoulder Bardot neckline is a universally flattering option. Heels are typically encouraged, while jewellery and accessories can be kept to a minimum if you prefer.


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PARTY DRESS CODE
Sequined short purple shift dress

'Party dress' is another wide-reaching term that depends on the type of event you're invited to. Birthday parties usually call for an elevated take on your everyday wear; dressy without being too overstated . A work 'do', on the other hand, might require a tailored shift dress in a brighter hue than your usual work attire.


Parties often involve dancing at some point, or plenty of walking about to chat to different people, so best to choose something you can move in. Fabrics with a bit of stretch like silk jersey won't restrict you, and they look fantastic in draped or wrap styles. Avoid tight fitting pencil dresses and heavyweight fabrics which you might find uncomfortable and overly warm.


Make getting ready almost as fun as the party itself by adding plenty of sparkle in the form of jewellery, hair accessories and a clutch bag.


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PARTY-READY BRANDS
Sleeveless dark grey sequined maxi dress

  • For designer cocktail dresses, Ted Baker offers a range of both statement-making and pared-back designs. Discover bodycon silhouettes with lace panels alongside pleated mini dresses adorned with floral patterns.
  • The Phase Eight range has something for every occasion – from floor-length fringed gowns to sequinned cocktail dresses.
  • With eye-catching prints, playful textures and fun silhouettes, Yumi has a bold selection. Think embellished midi dresses and colourful skater silhouettes.
  • Perfect for black tie events, Adrianna Papell dresses exude elegance with their quality craftsmanship and flowing silhouettes. We love the range of metallic hues and full-bodied skirts.
  • For classic designs with an edge, Gina Bacconi is an elegant choice. Look out for long sleeved shift dresses with sequinned waistbands and embroidered cape dresses with sheer floral sleeves.

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Whether you opt for figure-flattering elegance or all-out glamour, you're sure to look fantastic as long as you're channelling your unique personal style. If in doubt, look to a casual dress you already own and love, and then search for a similar shape or colour in a more party-ready style.

Perfect Dress For Your Body Shape

Celebrate your best features with a figure-flattering dress that will fill you with confidence. Whether you have an hourglass, apple, pear or straight shape, finding the perfect fit is easy with our simple style rules.

DRESSES FOR APPLE SHAPES
Apple figure dress illustration

There are lots of tips and tricks for the apples among you, but the first is to accentuate those smashing legs. Go for a style with a shorter hemline – a mini if you're daring enough – to show off those pins. Short hems draw the eye away from the middle area and elongate the torso. V-neck styles further enhance this effect.

Empire dresses draw a subtle line underneath the bust for a streamlined effect. You'll also look marvellous in a tunic dress, as the structured shape lengthens the body and highlights elegant legs. Flatter the waistline with bold patterned fabrics, asymmetrical necklines and non-cling fabrics.

Style notes: Mixing different patterns and textures will accentuate and slim the upper half, although it's best to avoid horizontal stripes. When evening falls, opt for a dress with a gently flared skirt in a woven, more rigid fabric for a petticoat effect that will turn heads. Hemline embellishments and bold, statement detailing make a wonderful way to draw attention towards the lower part of the body that's appropriate for night-time.


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DRESSES FOR PEAR SHAPES
Pear figure dress illustration

Show off your slender arms in a strapless iteration of the classic little black dress or a maxi with a gently flared skirt. A statement collar and patterned or embellished sleeves will also work to highlight your upper half.

Opt for an incredibly flattering fit and flare dress to accentuate the smallest part of your waist. Try the style in a bold block colour, making sure you include a strong neutral shade on the lower body to draw attention upwards.

Style notes: Choose a cut with a Bardot neckline for a slinky off-the-shoulder look. Displaying the shoulders draws the attention upwards, creating a chic silhouette. For evening, go for a cocktail dress with a flowing skirt and a statement necklace to celebrate your best features.


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DRESSES FOR STRAIGHT BODY TYPES
Straight figure dress illustration

Long and elegant, your body type makes you ideal for a variety of different shapes, fits and lengths of dress. Complement your lean figure with a perky skater dress to flatter your legs and flare at the waist. Wear on its own in summer, or bundle up with a cardigan, thick tights and calf boots in winter.

When you need a show stopping look for a big party or event, look to the vintage-style flapper dress – it was made for your body shape. Sophisticated and slinky, the knee-length dropped-waist and boxy cut will highlight your slim frame effortlessly. Complete the retro look with a high scalloped hemline and a low-cut back. Make sure you go all out with sparkling lace, beaded adornments, fringing and tassels to really rock the twenties-inspired glamour.

Style notes: Dress-up a simple black or neutral-hued shift dress with some sparkling statement jewellery or flirty peplum for an evening-ready look. Alternatively, draw attention to your neck and chest with an off-the-shoulder neckline. Ruffles are optional, but encouraged.


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DRESSES TO SUIT HOURGLASS FIGURES
Hourglass figure dress illustration

An hourglass figure will suit many different styles with its curvaceous silhouette, but the figure-hugging lines of the classic pencil skirt are a wonderful choice for making the most of your best features. Keep an eye out for snug, tailored shapes or bodycon cuts to highlight your shapely lower half and balance the bust. A V-shape neckline in a more casual wrap dress is ideal for drawing attention downwards to accentuate the narrowest part of the waist.


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Style notes:Whichever dress you wear, you can show off your curvy middle by accessorising with a belt – it will add even further definition to that enviable waist. Keep your necklaces understated; you can subtly highlight your upper half with a colourful pendant on a V-line chain to match the neck of your dress.


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The dress is the main event, but finishing the look with a pair of killer heels is a sure fire way to make your legs look enviably long. If you're going to be running around all day and want to prioritise comfort, some elegant ballet flats will have the same effect. Just be sure you choose a hue that matches the rest of your outfit!


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A Guide To Activewear

Working up a sweat? Whether you prefer the meditative benefits of yoga or find that calorie-torching cardio is more your speed, you’ll need the right activewear to stay cool and comfortable.


Thankfully, there’s never been a wider variety of options in terms of sports and fitness gear. Our guide will help you choose the best gym wear for your fitness goals and training, so you’ll be ready to sprint, spin or swim your way to better health.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN RUNNING
White Michael Kors plimsoll trainers

Running is an easy way to boost your cardiovascular health without equipment or a gym membership. You're constantly in motion, which is excellent for your health but tough on your clothes.


To stay cool and comfortable, you’ll benefit from moisture-wicking and form-fitting gear. Pair shorts or leggings with breathable vests and shirts in warmer weather, or hooded tops and padded gilets when it’s cold.


Finding the right pair of men's or women's trainers is equally important. The pounding and joint impact associated with running puts significant pressure on your feet. Getting the correct running shoes can prevent you developing problems with pronation (the way your foot hits the ground), which will reduce your risk of future injury.


If you run at night, select your outfit with visibility in mind so passing motorists can spot you. Day runners, on the other hand, should spritz on sunscreen before hitting the track.


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WHAT TO WEAR TO YOGA OR PILATES
Woman sitting wearing bright blue patterned leggings and jacket

Yoga is a way to develop mindfulness and flexibility as well as strength. Pilates offers similar benefits, stretching and challenging your muscles, with the option of involving specialised equipment for a bigger burn.


The best yoga clothes support you through your positions and stretches comfortably, remaining in place in any pose you adopt. Bikram or ‘hot’ yoga, in particular, requires short, slim-fitting tank tops and yoga pants. Wondering what to wear for Pilates? It often takes place in an air-conditioned studio, so take along a layer or two to strip off once your muscles warm up.


In general, yoga and Pilates are practised barefoot or in socks, so no shoes are required here. Check with your instructor about suitable footwear.


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WHAT TO WEAR TO THE GYM
Woman in active wear running

Gyms offer dozens of options for meeting any health and exercise goal. The best workout clothes for you will depend on the kind of exercise you'll be doing. For cardio equipment, you can use the same sweat-wicking kit as for running.


Water sports call for swimming costumes that will allow you to butterfly and backstroke effortlessly. Don’t forget a pair of flip-flops for navigating the slippery areas around the water safely. Caps to keep your hair dry and goggles to protect your eyes will also come in handy.


When using the weights and strength-building equipment, opt for cuffed joggers, sweatshirts, sports shorts and sweat tanks. You want to keep your muscles warm while allowing for a full range of motion.


Remember to keep a towel on you while you work up a sweat. It’s a simple courtesy that anyone using the equipment after you will appreciate.


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WHAT TO WEAR TO IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE
Woman wearing gym bag and fit bit

Want to take your training session up a level? You might like to invest in a fitness or activity tracker. These smart devices can track everything from the number of calories you've burnt to whether or not you’re meeting your maximum heart rate.


You can customise your tracker completely to your body’s measurements and goals. It could be just what you need to supercharge your progress.

WHAT TO WEAR UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Woman wearing Tommy Hilfiger sports bra and matching leggings

While men can get away with wearing just about any underwear that's light and allows flexibility, the foundation of any woman’s exercise wardrobe is a good sports bra. A well-fitting and supportive undergarment can make all the difference between slogging through a session and beating your personal best.


As chests of any size are comprised of delicate ligaments that can be impacted by repeated movement, it’s worth your while to invest in a professionally-fitted sports bra. With an in-store fitting service available at all our locations, you can get this done at your convenience.


Find your nearest store for an in-house fitting.

WHAT TO WEAR AFTERWARDS
Woman in motif white t-shirt

Having smashed your gym session goals, you don’t need to squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans right away. Shower and slip on athleisure clothing for a cool-down, gentle stretching or relaxing.


Athleisure combines the best of both worlds – offering the practical functionality of workout apparel with the effortless comfort of leisure clothing. It’s the perfect transitional outfit to wear between your exercise session and the rest of your day.


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CONCLUSION
Woman wearing jacket

Once you get your body in the right gear, you’ll soon find that your mind follows suit. The right activewear could be just what you need to approach your next heart-pumping session with extra confidence.

Sunglasses Buying Guide

As the days get warmer and the sun starts to shine, it's time to find a great pair of shades to see you through the summer and beyond. Whatever your taste or face shape, our collection is bound to have something you’ll love. But how do you know which sunnies suit you? This guide is just what you need. We’ll help you to determine whether you have a round, long, oval, square or heart-shaped face. Once you’ve established the shape, you can start choosing which types of sunglasses will flatter your features –¬ with our top tips you’ll be able to find the perfect pair in no time.

MEASURING YOUR FACE
Face Measurements

The best way to figure out your face shape is to measure it. To do this you’ll need:


  • a tape measure

  • a mirror

  • a pen and some paper.

Step 1

Find the top of your cheekbone. Start from the outside corner of your mouth and measure all the way to your earlobe. Do this on both sides of your face.


Step 2

Your jawbone is next. Measure from one end to the other, meeting in the middle at the bottom of your face.


Step 3

Next, measure from the centre of your hairline straight down over your nose to the bottom of your chin.


Step 4

Finally, measure the width of your forehead from one side of your hairline to the other. Top tip: make sure the tape measure is exactly half way between the top of your hairline and your eyebrows.


You can now use these measurements to determine what face shape you have.

TYPES OF FACE SHAPE
Heart Face

Heart-shaped face

Heart-shaped faces tend to be widest at the forehead and narrower towards the chin, so go for a pair of sunglasses with a curvier shape to elongate your features.


Complementary styles: classic styles like cat's-eyes or aviators are fitting sunglasses for heart-shaped faces, or you could go for something quirkier with a rimless or butterfly shape.

Round Face

Round face

The widest point of a round face is across the cheekbones, so the most flattering sunglasses for this shape should have angular lines to help make the face appear slimmer.


Complementary styles: oversized sunnies look great on a round face – go for rectangular rims to define your facial structure and bring balance to soft features.

Square Face

Square face

A square face is characterised by a strong jawline, wide cheekbones and a prominent forehead. Curvier frames are a great choice, as they juxtapose the angular lines and flatter the face.


Complementary styles: round, oval, and semi-rimless styles will help accentuate your eyes, while butterfly and cat's-eye frames will add a flattering balance to a defined jawline.

Oval Face

Oval face

With its gently rounded and even features, the oval is considered the most versatile of face shapes. If you’re an oval, you'll have symmetrical features with a chin slightly narrower than the forehead.


Complementary styles: from sporty wraparounds to retro circular frames, round or square styles are an ideal choice of glasses for this face shape. Be sure to keep things in proportion if you have smaller features to make sure that your frames don't overwhelm your face.

Long Face

Long face

A long face, often referred to as an oblong, is longer than it is wide and generally has a straight cheek line.


Complementary styles: a long face works especially well with oversized sunglasses, as they sharpen otherwise soft features and create a bold focal point. Avoid small frames as this will underwhelm your facial features, and instead opt for tall or deep lens styles such as the classic wayfarer.

TOP TIPS
Different type of sunglasses

Consider your skin tone

Using sunglasses to inject colour can be a fantastic way to incorporate some individuality to your style. However, like clothing, particular colours can work against your complexion. As a general rule, cool skin tones look great in blue-based colours, while warm tones should look out for frames in yellow-based hues. Ultimately, experimenting is the only way to ensure you find the most flattering shade for your skin tone.


Keep the classics in mind

Classic frames (think wayfarers, aviators and clubmasters) are well-loved for a reason – they work for a variety of different face shapes and have played their part in decades of iconic outfits. Don’t discount these styles simply because of their popularity. Keep an eye out for limited edition versions or modern updates of timeless styles to put your own individual twist on the look.


Invest wisely

A great pair of sunglasses is worth the investment. Not only can a good set last you for many years, but quality frames and lenses are more durable, with a better overall fit. Quality sunglasses also provide full UVA and UVB protection, helpful in blocking horizontal glare and damaging sun rays.

Smartwatch Buying Guide

Your wrist is due an upgrade. Smartwatches are capable of so much more than just telling the time; they'll alert you to new messages, and some are compatible with a variety of apps, just like your smartphone. From fitness trackers to understated hybrids, this guide will help you find the most suitable smartwatch for your lifestyle and current tech setup.

TYPES OF SMARTWATCHES
Types of smartwatches

First, you'll want to think about which of the three basic forms of smartwatch you're most interested in.


Smartwatch

Straightforward smartwatches are notification centres on your wrist. While many have a high-tech design, other designer smartwatches look just like traditional analogue watches from a distance. Up close, however, you’ll see that their display is really a screen which shows pop-up messages from your phone.


Hybrid smartwatch

A hybrid smartwatch is a classic analogue watch with a twist. While they don’t have a screen, they do connect to your phone via Bluetooth. You'll receive alerts through the watch’s vibration and alarms. It’s even possible to programme them to point their hands to different numbers when you get messages from certain contacts, so you know to check your phone if it's someone important. If your watch suddenly points to six o’clock, it might mean your boss is on the line; half past four and your spouse is calling. Hybrids combine analogue style with tech sophistication.


Fitness tracker

Fitness trackers have much of the functionality of smartwatches – they all tell the time, for one thing – but their main focus is on keeping you healthy by tracking your activity and pushing you to achieve your goals. We’ll talk more about them later.

HOW TO USE A SMARTWATCH
Man resting arms whilst on bike wearing a fitbit.

Using a smartwatch is simple; you can have yours up and running in moments. Here are the basic set-up steps that most models follow.


  • Charge your new smartwatch and turn it on.

  • Connect it to your phone via Bluetooth.

  • Download the apps and features you want to use, just as you would on a smartphone.

  • If it’s a hybrid, programme the watch to notify you about new messages.

  • Keep your smartwatch battery topped up by charging it overnight.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WATCH FOR YOU
Two women talking about a smartwatch

It can be a tad overwhelming deciding which smartwatch you want. Before you jump on board the tech train, consider these factors to find the gadget that’s right for you.


Find a compatible device

The first thing to do is find out which watches your smartphone is compatible with – you don’t want to buy a new wearable only to find you can’t sync to it. Whether it’s iOS, Android or another kind of operating system, look for a watch to suit your phone’s software. You should also make sure your phone is sufficiently up to date to work with your new kit.


Check battery life

The many invaluable functions of smartwatches eat battery faster than a normal wristwatch. This is especially the case if you’re using your watch’s LCD display to view photos, read messages and respond to notifications. Some smartwatches require charging overnight, while hybrid models may last longer.


Shop for specific features

Nearly all smartwatches are designed to alert you to any notifications, diary appointments, calls and texts you may receive with a small noise or vibration. This can help you be more discreet about checking your messages without looking at your phone. Others offer extra functions, so shop around for the features you want.


Find your style

Watches have always been a subtle way to improve the look of an outfit. The size, colour and style of the piece is still just as important as the improved functionality. Luckily, smartwatches are as varied as standard watches, from ultra-modern digital displays to sleek metal and rugged leather.


Look for replaceable straps

To stand out from the crowd, look for models which allow you to change the strap. Stick to one which makes a personal statement, or swap it up depending on your mood.

USING FITNESS TRACKERS
Athletic woman running outdoors wearing a smartwatch

The majority of smartwatches include basic fitness features like pedometers and step target notifications. But if staying healthy is your main priority, you might want a dedicated fitness tracker. These specialised bits of kit include heart-rate monitors, calorie counters and much more. They can track a range of different activities based on your motion throughout the day and help you meet your goals.


The most well-known fitness tracker is the Fitbit. These devices are designed to help you exercise, eat, sleep and live better. They'll track your heart rate constantly throughout the day, observe your sleeping patterns, count your steps and tally up how many calories you've burned. You can monitor your progress on your watch, phone or online through the Fitbit dashboard. Then, compare your stats with friends and family, and create group challenges to inspire each other to get active together.


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Everyday Handbag Guide

When shopping for a new everyday handbag, we all want to find 'the one'. It should fit in seamlessly with your lifestyle – not to mention the rest of your wardrobe – and be practical as well as polished. Most importantly, your perfect bag for everyday should be something that you will cherish for years to come.


Taking into account style, colour, material and size, there's a lot to think about before you invest. Consider our guide a starting point in choosing the best everyday handbag for you.

CROSSBODY BAGS
Red Kate Spade cross body bag

The crossbody bag is ideal for keeping essentials at hand while multi-tasking on the go. This lightweight style has a long strap that can be adjusted to fit, sitting close to the body for added security. A hands-free design, it makes an excellent partner for busy days and long nights.


Crossbody bags tend to be on the smaller side, so check the dimensions beforehand to make sure it's large enough for you. Choose a simple square or rectangular shape that is structured to hold everything you need to go about your day. A zip-around style will allow easy access and achieve a more minimalist look, while fold-over designs give you the option of elegant hardware.


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TOTE BAGS
Blue Mulberry tote bag

For those days with a never-ending to-do list, a tote bag is the answer – and a stylish one at that. Large enough to be a work handbag, it can carry your laptop, commuter trainers and much more. Leather is an excellent option as it will hold up well against heavier contents. Choose a vibrant block shade with polished gold hardware for an eye-catching day-to-night look.


Check the interior of the handbag before purchasing to make sure you're happy with the amount of storage inside. If you're in need of more organisation, you could opt for a design with a removable pouch to help keep important items to hand.


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SHOULDER BAGS
Red small Calvin Klein shoulder bag

Stylish and spacious, the classic shoulder bag is one of the best everyday handbags for throwing bits and bobs into. With plenty of room for your keys, phone and purse, it’s easy to grab things when you need them. The over-the-shoulder straps tend to have a generous drop, too, so you can stay comfortable on the go. The liberal opening means you can quickly add whatever you accumulate throughout your day.


Consider a muted shade such as taupe or black for easy everyday styling; you can always attach a silk scarf or fluffy pom pom to the handles when you're in need of a pop of colour. Choosing a hardwearing leather such as Saffiano will ensure the bag is durable, scratch-resistant and water-repellent.


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BACKPACKS
Nude pink Michael Kors backpack

The most obvious benefit of the much-loved backpack is its hands-free capabilities. It sits neatly on the back to distribute its weight evenly, allowing you to go about your day in comfort without compromising on style.


The spacious interior and smart storage capacity mean this design will see you through family picnics, the commute, on adventurous holidays and beyond. Browse smooth leather designs in neutral shades for an understated finish, or go bold with contrasting colours and playful prints. Handy design features include top handles, easy-access zipped pockets, padded straps and wipe-clean interiors (especially convenient for those with little ones).


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GRAB BAGS
Turquoise handheld bag

It's all in the name: this chic bag is usually handheld, but can also be slung over the shoulder – choose one with a removable strap if you want to mix it up. The roomy construction allows plenty of room for your sunglasses, makeup and anything else you might need while showing off this polished design.


The sleek, squared-off silhouette of the grab bag has stayed timeless through decades of changing fashion. Jewel tones work especially well with its ladylike structure; you could opt for an eye-catching colour-blocked style in turquoise or ruby red. Try a textured leather to add a subtly luxurious twist.


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SATCHEL BAGS
Pale pink Mulberry satchel bag

The ultimate work handbag, a versatile satchel bag offers a sophisticated approach to functional design. One of the most appealing features is the amount of organisation available, with plenty of interior space alongside convenient slip pockets and a padded area for your laptop.


Get the most out of your investment and choose a style with an additional crossbody strap. This is ideal for when you need your hands free, navigating days in the office or collecting the kids from school. You could also opt for a vibrant print to counterbalance the simple design – and add some colour to your Monday mornings.


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Anchored on the belief that we all deserve a functional yet attractive handbag for everyday, our edit will help you find the style that's worthy of your investment. Whether it's a deceptively roomy tote you can throw over your shoulder or a sleek work handbag with an easy-access fastening, we've got all your bases covered at House of Fraser.

How To Clean & Care For Suede And Leather

Leather and suede clothing and accessories are truly timeless in style, and will age beautifully over the years if properly cared for. Leather's hard-wearing properties meant the material shot to popularity in the 1930s and 40s, along with the motorcycle trade.


While leather jackets, shoes and handbags are never going to look off-trend, you don't want them to wear out, get damaged by the rain or lose their colour. By following these simple tips you can ensure your suede and leather stays pristine for years to come.

HOW TO LOOK AFTER LEATHER SHOES AND BOOTS
Brown leather Chelsea boots

Taking care of leather footwear will help to ensure its longevity. Leather shoes need regular treatment with a good quality wax polish. This not only protects the material from moisture and stains but also adds a wonderful shine and looks smart. Use a stiff brush to remove any dirt and buff away scuff marks, then apply the polish with an old cloth using circular motions. Finally, add shine with a clean brush or rag.

Grey suede Chelsea boots

A shoe-tree will help hold the shape of your brogues or Chelsea boots, and stretches the leather slightly – ideal if you've just purchased a new pair and need to break them in. It's also wise to use a shoe horn when putting on and taking off leather shoes to maintain the heel's shape and structure for longer.


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HOW TO CARE FOR A LEATHER JACKET
Red women’s biker jacket

Leather jackets are more exposed to the elements and are subjected to a greater range of movement and stress than shoes. First, use a leather protecting spray to keep moisture away. If your jacket ever gets really wet, make sure you hang it to dry in natural air (not next to a radiator or other heat source, as this can bleach the leather).

Black men’s leather jacket

To restore the natural oils and shine, apply a leather conditioner. Simply rub it in with a cloth to prevent cracking or dryness and keep your jacket soft and supple. In winter months when it is particularly damp, you may notice small salt deposits forming on your jackets, but they'll be removed by wiping with a damp cloth. A great tip is to use a rubber to get rid of any small scuffs or stains.


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LOOKING AFTER SUEDE SHOES
Men’s blue suede brogues

Suede has a napped finish, which means it has a textured surface with small, raised bobbles. It is incredibly sensitive to moisture, so avoid wearing suede shoes in the rain as it may damage them quite severely. If you do get caught short, try using a suede eraser once the material has dried out to reduce the appearance of the watermark.

Red suede heels

Be sure to waterproof any suede shoes as soon as you buy them. Head to a well-ventilated area and apply a quick coat of the water stopper, holding the spray about four inches from the shoe. Apply between four and six coats to really protect your shoes, but be sure to leave it to dry in between and wait at least 30 minutes after the final coat before heading out into the drizzle.


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KEEP YOUR SUEDE OR LEATHER BAG LOOKING SHARP
Pink frilly suede bag

The steps for caring for suede and leather bags are much the same as looking after shoes or jackets. However, because bags are often adorned with clasps, straps and other embellishments, you should be more careful if you want to avoid damaging any other materials, such as metal.


When you decide to give your beloved accessory a spruce, be sure to check which other materials it is made up of. Sterling silver, for example, will tarnish easily so avoid harsh cleaning products. It's still a good idea to use waterproofing spray, so cover any embellishments with a cloth or masking tape before you begin. It's then easy to wipe any extra bits clean with a damp cloth for the finishing touch.


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HOW TO: CARE FOR SUEDE

Here are a few general tips for ensuring your suede clothing and accessories stay in top condition for as long as possible:

Illustration of how to care for suede shoes

1. Never clean suede with water as it will stain the material, leaving a watermark and ruining the look entirely. This will also reduce the texture of the napping, so be sure to use non water-based products. Instead, try sprays and shoe shampoo made especially for suede.

Illustration of how to care for suede shoes

2. If your suede begins to look tired or flat you can give it a soft scrub with a toothbrush to reinvigorate the texture. There's no need to get it wet, just use the head and brush in small motions, following the pattern of the napping. Don't use it to brush your teeth after, though.

Illustration of how to care for suede shoes

3. Try scrubbing small stains with a suede eraser. Larger stains pose a bit more of a problem, but aren't the end of the world. Simply blot a cloth with a small amount of white vinegar and then scrub the material gently.

Illustration of how to care for suede shoes

4. For liquid spills you should apply a covering of cornmeal or talcum powder when the accident happens. Let it set overnight and brush it with a suede brush to remove the covering. It should absorb moisture from the liquid spill away from the suede.

Don't be tempted to leave your suede and leather items for too long if they need a spruce up. Be proactive with your care to keep them looking great for many seasons to come.

Jewellery Care Guide

For many of us, our jewellery collection is our pride and joy. Whether it's a treasured heirloom or simply an everyday item that has become your go-to outfit addition, you'll want to admire your favourite pieces for years to come. 


Scrapes, bumps and the effects of the elements can all take their toll, but you can keep your jewellery looking as lovely as the day you received it with our handy guide. We’ve got helpful cleaning tips, innovative storage ideas and general pointers for keeping your sparkles in tip top condition.

HOW TO CLEAN JEWELLERY
Image of gold and silver rings, bracelet and earrings

Your jewellery deserves to dazzle and shine, so here’s how to effortlessly clean your jewels using a few everyday items from your house:



Gold

Wondering how to clean gold jewellery? An easy and effective way is to place it in a jar of white vinegar and leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove it and lightly scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush before rinsing and storing it safely ready for the next wear.


Platinum

Over time, a green or brownish patina may develop on your platinum pieces. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get rid of using mild soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Finish by gently rubbing it with a soft cloth and your platinum will look as good as new.


Sterling silver

Sterling silver can be cleaned using a thick paste made from 45 grams of baking soda and two tablespoons of water. Apply the mixture with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse and buff dry to leave your silver shining.


Diamonds

To keep your diamonds sparkling, soak them in a solution of 230 millilitres of warm water and 60 grams of ammonia for roughly 15 minutes. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub away any visible grime, especially any that’s hiding in the crevices of the setting and underneath the diamond itself.


Pearls

When it's time to clean your pearls you can use a dry, lint-free cloth. Try to refrain from spraying deodorant, perfume or any cleaning products directly onto the jewellery as pearls are delicate in nature and they need to be treated very carefully.

HOW TO STORE JEWELLERY
Simple Cream and Teal Wooden Jewellery Box

Your Jewellery deserves to dazzle and shine, so here's how to effortlessly clean your jewels using a few everyday items from your house:

Storing your jewellery correctly is the key to making it last a lifetime. Follow these top tips to keep it looking its best:

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Necklaces

It’s best to store necklaces individually so that they don’t get tangled. Try using a free-standing holder on your dressing table or hang them on a peg rack mounted to your closet door.

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Silver

Exposure to air will cause your silver accessories to oxidise and tarnish. For proper silver jewellery care, keep your pieces dry at all times and sealed in a jewellery box. Wrapping them in a tarnish-proof cloth can add an extra layer of protection.

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Bracelets and bangles

Bracelets don’t tangle as easily as necklaces so are a little easier to store. Opt for a counter top jewellery organiser for your dresser or invest in a jewellery box or stand to display your best bangles.

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Earrings

Keep your earrings organised by storing them in pairs in individual boxes and compartments. A drawer or jewellery organiser works best, or a jewellery tree on your bedside table.

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TOP TIPS FOR JEWELLERY CARE
Red Aspinal leather jewellery box

Here are a few general tips that will help you to get the best out of your jewellery:



Travel with care

Jewellery containing diamonds or gemstones can damage other pieces if they're stored in close proximity. Anything made of softer materials like silver will be particularly susceptible to scratches. Keep your favourite pieces in individual soft pouches to prevent any dents. If you’re packing for a last-minute trip and don’t have much time to prepare you could always place your jewels in a zip-lock bag to keep them safe.


Put jewellery on after your makeup

Cosmetics, perfumes and even everyday lotions can contain chemicals that might harm your jewellery. You can easily avoid this by putting your jewellery on after applying any products to avoid discolouration and residue build-up.


Remove jewellery before swimming

If you’re going to the beach, pool or spa, take your jewellery off before you enter the water. Chlorine and salt can react with the metals and change the setting or colour of the piece.


Remove jewellery before sport

Be sure to take all of your jewellery off before engaging in any sporty activity. Not only will your sweat have a similar effect to seawater, but wearing jewellery during contact sports can be dangerous. To be safe, leave everything behind in the locker room before working up a sweat.