Who are the UK’s most romantic grandparents?

Romantic Grandparents Walking Dog on Beach

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re on the lookout for the UK’s most romantic grandparents.

Have your grandparents managed to keep the spark alive in their relationship? Perhaps they still write each other love letters or maybe you find them slow dancing around the house to their old favourite records? Whatever it is that makes your grandparents so loved-up, we’d love to hear about them. Who knows? They may just be crowned the UK’s most romantic grandparents!

If you think your grandparents should be considered for the title, all you need to do is submit a photo of them together alongside a brief description (including their names and location) explaining what makes them so romantic. They could then be in with a chance of winning a £100 gift voucher for a restaurant of their choice as well as £100 to spend on an outfit each at Chums.

To enter, simply send your nominations to marketing@chums.co.uk or head over to https://www.facebook.com/ChumsClothing and add your photo and description in the comment section. A vote will take place to decide who will be crowned the UK’s most romantic grandparents and the winners will be announced on 10 February 2020.

How to pack light for a cruise

When it comes to experiencing complete relaxation, not much compares to a cruise. These trips give you the chance to experience some of the world’s most idyllic locations in comfort and luxury.

Choosing a cruise over simply visiting your desired location can mean balancing relaxation and the experience of a different culture without the need to tire yourself out walking or driving long distances. Between the option to go all inclusive, the variety of locations, and the selection of on-board activities and entertainment, it’s no surprise that cruises are a popular holidaying alternative for so many people.

As with any type of holiday, one consideration is what you’ll take with you on your cruise. In this post, we offer advice on what to pack - and importantly what not to pack - when you head off on these adventures.

What to pack for a 14-day cruise

Over the course of a 14-day cruise, you could reach a point where your options for clothing run thin, especially if the cruise ship you’re staying on doesn’t have any laundry facilities. But with some careful planning, you can make sure you cover all bases.


You should be prepared for all weather you might encounter over the course of your cruise, whether you’re heading to soak up some Caribbean sun or visiting colder destinations, such as Iceland, Norway or Alaska during winter.

For men -

Chinos are often a great option for these trips because they’re so versatile and can be dressed up or down. You should also bring at least one pair of smart trousers, a smart shirt and a blazer for formal evenings.

Rather than bringing several pairs of shoes, consider a pair of loafers, as they can be suitable for both formal evenings and casual afternoons. In terms of tops, pack a few pairs of lightweight short-sleeved shirts and polo shirts. By using these as alternatives to t-shirts, you’ll have more options for mixing and matching with your formal wear.

For women -

Try to pack items of clothing that can be used to work with different styles. This will help you to achieve a range of different looks without taking up too much room in your suitcase. For instance, a casual maxi dress could be used for a formal meal by simply adding a smart necklace and a pair of block heel shoes.

You’ll probably want to bring at least two pairs of shoes so you can look the part in both formal and casual situations. This could be as easy as taking a pair of smart shoes and a more relaxed pair of sandals. Light, loose-fitting blouses and shirts can be perfect for cruises as they tend to be comfortable and can look stylish. If you’re going on a cruise in a warmer climate but are concerned about it raining or becoming cold, you could bring a light waterproof coat or cardigan with you.

A fashionable older couple enjoying their cruise.

Other essentials

You should put travel documentation as a top priority for any holiday, as you may not be able to travel without it. This includes your passport, booking information and medical insurance. To avoid losing any of these items, consider keeping them safe in a plastic wallet.

After this, you should consider what you would normally need in a typical day. If you’re on medication, you’ll need to bring it, ensuring there’s enough for the entire time you’re away. Toiletries also come into this, such as toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen and hairspray. Fortunately, unlike airplanes, cruises don’t limit the amount of fluids you’re allowed to bring on board, so it’s one less thing to worry about when you’re deciding on what to bring.

Anything else you might think of packing is likely to be based on personal preference. This could be a camera to take pictures of the sights you’ll see, a mobile phone for keeping in touch with your family, or the currency of the destinations you’ll be stopping at to bring back a souvenir.

What not to pack for a cruise

While being prepared for every eventuality may seem like a good idea, there are some things that there's just no need to bring on a cruise. Free up space in your bags by leaving the following items behind.

More clothes than you need -

Showing a variety of styles to your shipmates might be something you’re interested in doing, but if you’re planning on bringing a completely different outfit for each day, you’re likely to run out of room fast. As mentioned previously, consider using clothing that will work with other items you’re bringing on board.

Creature comforts -

Avoid taking too many creature comforts and household items in your luggage. If you’re midway through your favourite book, it could be tempting to bring it with you, especially as a cruise is the ideal opportunity to read. You shouldn’t be put off from doing this, but if it’s taking up space and adding unnecessary weight, you could consider bringing an e-reader instead.

Household appliances -

Appliances such as irons and hair dryers may make you feel more at home and put your mind at ease, but as your cruise ship is likely to offer these appliances, there may not be a need to bring them with you. Check with your cruise company to see what they provide.

Bear in mind that bringing certain electrical items may be against the rules anyway. Also, if you’re concerned about creasing your clothes and the cruise doesn’t have irons on board, you could bring a wrinkle release spray.

Food and drink -

Bringing a kettle or coffee machine on board to save you money on refreshments will take up extra space and, more often than not, it’s against the rules anyway.

You might also be tempted to bring homemade food in your luggage, but it’s also likely to be against the rules unless it’s sealed and prepackaged. Alcohol is often confiscated during boarding checks and returned at the end of the cruise. However, oddly enough, wine is sometimes an exception. Check the rules to ensure you know what you are and aren’t allowed.

How to clean suede shoes at home

Known for being sleek in appearance, suede is a popular clothing material. It’s primarily used for shoes, but while it presents an appealing design, it’s also susceptible to picking up dirt, mud and other stains.

Obviously, this is to be expected from any shoe, but unlike leather and cotton shoes, there’s more chance of it becoming dirty due to its fuzzy, velcro-like coat. Stains are unavoidable, but finding the correct method of cleaning your shoes is important in the process of removing the stain completely.

How to clean black suede shoes

Black suede shoes are the perfect addition to any outfit, working with both formal and casual attire. However, the seamless appearance can be somewhat tarnished if the suede has become damaged by the elements. When this happens, the striking jet black colour can look closer to dark grey, ruining the look.

A priority for cleaning black suede shoes is to not cause further damage or discolour them by being too harsh on the material. Instead, use a soft brush to gently remove any dirt and only use more power when you’re suitably happy that it won’t cause any irreparable damage.

If they’re soaking wet, you can even use a light scattering of talcum powder to dry them without damaging the material. Once the shoes are dried, any excess talcum powder can be brushed off. You should then leave them to dry in a warm, dimly lit area.

Suede shoes that have been damaged and discoloured.

How to clean beige suede shoes

Lighter coloured suede has the same problems with becoming discoloured or dirty, but with the additional issue of picking up stains that are more noticeable and harder to ignore. To remove stains from beige suede shoes or similarly light colours, there are a few methods that should have a positive impact on different types of stains:

Surface stains -

If there’s clear discolouration on your suede shoes, cornflour can be an effective remedy. Simply scatter a generous amount over the stain, leave it to absorb for a few minutes and gently brush off.

Grease -

Finding a grease mark on your clothing can be frustrating as they’re often difficult to get rid of. Vegetable glycerine, when used sparingly, can counteract the appearance of grease, softening it to make it easier to remove.

Stubborn stains -

As a last resort, white vinegar is regarded as the perfect treatment for removing those stains that refuse to budge. To avoid ruining the material, it’s best to test it on a hidden area first, and as the smell is quite pungent, you shouldn’t use it in high doses. However, many people rely on it for stain removal.

How to clean suede shoes without a brush

If you don’t feel comfortable using a brush for cleaning your suede shoes, there are other items that can have an equally effective impact. For example, a simple pencil eraser has been known to work wonders on suede. When a stain on your shoes appears to have completely dried, it can feel like it’s too late to remove it, but by using an eraser, you can get rid of any small pieces of dirt and other unwanted elements. Just make sure you use a white eraser, as a pink eraser could discolour your shoe.

Alternatively, you could use a nail file or emery board to carefully chip away at a dried stain. If this is unsuccessful, try steaming the suede using a kettle or iron, as it should open the pores up, making it easier to clean the material.

What to wear to a funeral in winter

Deciding on what to wear for a funeral can be hard. You want to dress appropriately but, nowadays, all black isn’t always the answer. More and more people are choosing to don bright colours and patterns instead of a black shift dress or suit. And what about dressing for a winter funeral? You may need to consider both style and practicality to keep warm.

In this article, we provide advice for both men and women on what to wear to a funeral in winter.

How to dress for a funeral in the winter

For women

It’s a good idea to dress for every eventuality. The weather in the UK is so unpredictable that you need to be prepared, particularly if it’s an outdoor burial service.

Dresses and skirts are acceptable for a funeral, but obviously you’ll want to stay warm and comfortable too. Thermal tights could be the answer. Not only are they made from thick, 300 denier material, they are also fleece-lined with the purpose of keeping your legs and feet warm throughout the whole service.

If you’d prefer to wear trousers, you should consider a material such as wool as it has the best properties to help keep you nice and warm. Wool is able to trap air between its fibres. This trapped air can respond to fluctuations in your body temperature and works to keep your body at a good temperature.. Wool trousers also look both smart and stylish, making them a great option.

A smart coat is the most important part of your ensemble. If it’s raining, it may help to keep you dry. If it’s cold, you may not even take it off, which makes it a big part of your overall outfit. When choosing a coat to wear to a funeral, we’d advise that you keep the colour quite dark. Not only does this mean that your coat will likely go with any outfit, but it can look smarter than a light-coloured jacket.

Keeping accessories to a minimum is also a good idea - funerals aren’t the time to don your largest pieces of jewellery. A simple handbag is a good idea. Inside it, you should pack a pair of sunglasses and a small, foldable umbrella. You may also want to consider taking a scarf and a pair of gloves.

navy blue dress and jacket laid out with a bracelet and a lace handkerchief.

For men

Men should wear a full suit to a winter funeral, but the choice of colour is up to you. Black, navy and grey will all work for the occasion with a white shirt and a tie. Your shirt should be neatly ironed and your tie shouldn’t be too bright or overly patterned.

Jeans are a no-go, even if they’re relatively smart and of a dark colour. Depending on how formal the funeral service is, you may be able to wear a pair of dark-coloured chinos or corduroy trousers. Corduroy is a particularly good option for a funeral, as it’s a thick material that’s more likely to keep you warm.

Over your suit jacket, you should wear a smart, formal coat. A wool jacket may be a good idea to ensure you stay nice and toasty. You should also make sure that the jacket goes with the colour of your suit.

What shoes to wear to a winter funeral

When it comes to choosing footwear, comfort is key.

For women, if the forecast isn’t showing rain, a classic court shoe with a low heel is a smart and fashionable choice that will go with a dress, skirt or trousers. Otherwise a pair of black boots are a good option.

For men, whether you choose chinos or a suit, formal shoes are a must. Brown shoes may be a better option if you’re wearing a navy blue suit, otherwise choose black shoes. If your shoes are big enough, it may be worthwhile to wear a pair of extra thick socks to ensure your feet remain warm during the service.

If you’re at all unsure of how formal or informal the funeral will be, you could get in touch with the family of the deceased. They may be able to advise you on what to wear. Some families are choosing to wear bright colours to celebrate the deceased’s life rather than mourn it. Every funeral is different, which can make choosing an outfit quite difficult. We hope that our guide has given you some ideas on ways to look smart and stylish, while also staying warm and comfortable, when attending a winter funeral.

Magical gifts you can give this Christmas

The countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway but if you’re struggling to find family and friends that perfect gift this year, we’ve put together a guide that will help you discover presents that are sure to spread Christmas cheer.

Whether you’re looking for a fun game for all the family, something sparkly to make that special someone smile or a more traditional gift to put under the tree, we’ve got you covered.

Gifts for her

Dazzle the lady in your life with this gorgeous pendant set, complete with sparkly Swarovski crystals. We also have a wide range of fragrances to choose from, whether it’s a bold scent or something a bit more subtle, you’ll be sure to find her a perfume she’ll love.

A luxurious pair of leather gloves is always a great idea thanks to their timeless elegance. Or if she has a sweet tooth, we also offer a range of delicious chocolate and sweet treats.

Gifts for him

Whatever your budget, we have a range of gifts for the gentleman in your life. If you’re looking for a grooming present, there are plenty of scents and shavers to pick from, which make a great gift for any occasion.

Gadgets like a portable tablet make the perfect present for someone who loves to surf the internet or read books and watch TV online. For a winter basic, why not give him a full zip fleece lined zipper to stay warm on those extra chilly days.

Fun gifts for all the family

Christmas is a special time when all the family comes together, and so a food or drinks hamper is a great Christmas present that the whole family can enjoy on the big day and over the festive period.

If you’re looking for a gift that will keep the whole family entertained, why not choose from one of our jigsaw puzzles? Everyone can get involved in the fun and they’re guaranteed to keep you amused while you try to complete them!

Sentimental gifts

Show someone how much you love them by choosing a gift they can cherish forever. A sentimental gift like an engraved watch is something they can keep and wear every day – it’s personal and thoughtful while also being subtle.

Photographs always make a great present and they’re something your loved one can keep to remember a special moment in their life. For a gift that’s a little different, why not restore and colourise an old black & white photograph and bring the memories to life? It will make the perfect present this Christmas.

William Cecil Rowell

If you’re still unsure which presents to pick for your family and friends this Christmas, check out our full range of gifts - where you can find everything, from practical and quirky to meaningful.

What to wear on Christmas Day with family

Many of us make an effort to dress appropriately for December 25th, as it’s such an important day of the year and it would be a shame to spend a single second of it feeling uncomfortable.

Christmas Day can fill us with anticipation, and the excitement alone turns people of all ages back into children with the promise of great food, a television schedule full of nostalgic films and TV shows, and the opportunity to catch up with close friends and family.

Picking your outfit for the day itself can be a big decision, and it’s one that you might want to make in advance due to the busy nature of the festive season. Your perfect outfit will help you to feel comfortable and confident, enhancing the festive cheer that Christmas can bring.

Dressing for comfort and style

There's no shortage of options when it comes to dressing for Christmas Day. You might simply want to put on your cosiest slippers and a dressing gown, or you may decide to go all out and don your smartest party outfit, but if you'll be spending the occasion at home with family and friends, the chances are you'll want to strike a balance between comfort and style.

When you’re deciding exactly how sophisticated you want your outfit to be, you’ll need to consider the types of activities you’ll be doing on Christmas Day. You might want to steer clear of heavy materials such as woollen knits if you're going to spend the morning cooking as you may get overheated. On the other hand, you’ll want to wear thick enough clothing if you’ll be going outside for long periods of the day.

For men, a simple but smart combination of cotton trousers or chinos with a shirt can be perfect. If you start to heat up, simply roll up your sleeves. For women, cotton trousers or a skirt paired with an elegant blouse or top can be ideal for a busy Christmas Day. To avoid feeling uncomfortable after you’ve had your fill of all that delicious food, why not go for trousers with an elasticated waist?

As far as fun and comfortable crowd-pleasers go, it's hard to beat the classic Christmas jumper. Great for men and women alike, these garments embody the festive feeling and they can be supremely cosy. To avoid the risk of overheating, it's best to wear a nice shirt, blouse or top underneath so that you can remove your jumper if you need to.

If you plan on going out for a walk on the big day, you will need thicker clothing to brave the wintery weather. Depending on the area you could be walking in, you might need to wear walking boots. These will come in handy over winter as a precaution for all types of weather, including snow and ice. A thick coat is also a must, and as they come in a variety of styles, you’ll be able to pick one out based on your own taste. Why not choose a stylish bobble hat and a pair of gloves to tie it all together?

An over 60s couple having Christmas dinner with friends and family.

What do you wear to a casual family Christmas party?

If you have a casual family party on the horizon this Christmas, you might be wondering what to wear. Whether it’s welcoming in the New Year or simply enjoying a catch-up over the festive period, you might want to dress up and make an impression on everyone in attendance. You can choose to go entirely smart or add casual elements to make your outfit work for practically any occasion.

Breaking down the options for both ladies and men, here are our Christmas party outfit tips:

Christmas outfits for ladies:

You might want to use Christmas parties as an opportunity to dress up and wear all of your favourite accessories. This could be the ideal time to wear sparkly shoes and your most stylish clutch bag, topping it all off with a matching necklace and bracelet.

A longer dress can be ideal at this time of year to cater to the colder weather, especially if some of the party might be outdoors, for example if you’ll be heading out to watch fireworks. By wearing a sleeved dress, you can cover your shoulders, accentuate your lower legs and forearms, and avoid getting too cold during the party.

That’s not to say you need to dress up for a Christmas party. A family Christmas party will be a relaxed affair, so you could just as easily choose to dress casually, donning a cable jumper and cotton trousers for comfort. For an added feeling of relaxation, why not wear a pair of thermal boots?

Christmas outfits for men:

Once again focusing on keeping warm and looking good at the same time, there are different trends for men that nail the smart casual look.

Picking out some formal trousers will automatically tick the box for a smart element, and you can combine these with a casual shirt to balance out the smarter element of your outfit. You can then choose to cover up with a wooly jumper if you want to avoid the cold.

It’s at this point that you can consider accessorising, introducing a tasteful watch to add further style to your outfit. Finish off with a relaxed yet refined pair of loafers. Take your pick from many different colours, with brown or tan being particularly versatile options.

How to keep warm in a cold room at night

Adjusting to the wintery months can be unpleasant, and as temperatures tend to drop even further at night, keeping warm as you sleep is a top priority. It’s a proven fact that heat rises, meaning that bedrooms are often warmer than other rooms in the house when they’re situated upstairs, but if your bedroom has been left empty throughout the day, you might find it to be cold at night when it comes to bedtime.

If you experience this problem, the best solutions for keeping warm and comfortable include:

Heat your bedroom early:

In preparation for an especially cold day, you would set your heating higher, so why not do the same for your bedroom prior to a cold night? Whether you choose to solely heat your bedroom or you wish to heat your entire house, checking that where you’re sleeping is suitably warm before you get into bed should prevent an unnecessarily cold sleep.

Dress accordingly:

You might feel comfortable wearing shorts or a nightdress to bed regardless of the time of year, but if you’re struggling to persevere through cold weather like this, it could be time to reconsider your evening attire. By sleeping in thicker pyjamas or looking at options for thermal pyjamas that use materials capable of trapping heat, you should hold on to your body heat better through the night.

Change your bedding:

If you're still using the bedding that you slept under during the warmer summer months, it's time to make the switch to something thicker. For winter, you'll want a duvet with a higher tog. Goose feather and down bedding is especially good at trapping warmth, and it's lightweight too. For additional comfort and heat, it would also be worth considering a cushioned mattress topper.

Use a hot water bottle:

Traditional remedies for fighting the cold are often the best, and many people still use a hot water bottle during cold evenings. A hot water bottle won’t stay warm for the whole night, but it should heat you up for enough time to allow you to get to sleep. Extra long hot water bottles are a great option, providing warmth across more of your body.

A man in his seventies struggling to sleep in a cold room.

How to keep your feet warm at night

Keeping your feet warm is really important as it will help you to feel cosier and more comfortable overall. On the other hand, cold feet can prompt a feeling of coldness and discomfort across your body.

The most obvious way to heat your feet at night time is to wear socks. Any socks are better than sleeping barefoot, but for especially cold nights, it would be best to use thick, cushioned bed socks as they will be more padded and they often roll up your leg to help keep your shins warm. You could even leave your socks on the radiator for a while prior to putting them on, adding extra heat to your feet and lower legs when you get into bed.

Depending on the temperature of your bedroom, socks might not be enough to warm your feet. If wearing thick socks to bed doesn’t have the desired effect, you could give yourself a foot massage to get the circulation moving around your feet or you could boost circulation by drinking more fluids.

Looking at more obvious solutions, nothing heats up your body like a nice, warm bath. For maximum effect, do this just before bedtime. Or you could soak your feet in a bowl of warm water, as this should make your whole body feel less cold and it’s also a relaxing way of winding down at the end of the day.

Believe it or not, stress can also be a cause of feeling cold, especially if you’re feeling extremely anxious and worried. By giving yourself a few minutes to relax, taking deep breaths and making yourself some herbal tea, you should be able to calm down, and this could help to increase your temperature.

Memories in Colour: Bringing the past to life

We live in an age where photography has become so easily accessible. Without too much thought, we take our mobile phones out and capture a photo of an occasion such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or Christmas.

Photos allow us to reflect and remind us of times gone by, which is why many of us like to keep family photos around the home. They tell stories and help us remember the past.

Here at Chums we wanted to bring the past to life by colourising old black and white photographs for our latest #MemoriesInColour campaign. We asked you to send in your old photographs of loved ones from WW1 and WW2, as well as black and white photos pre-1960, so we could colourise and restore them. Here is the end result.

Celebrity Makeover

The stories behind the photos…

Before Colourised photo of Douglas Phillips
After Colourised photo of Douglas Phillips

Sergeant Douglas Phillips

Douglas was part of Operation Harling, a WW2 mission by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). He was tasked with destroying one of three railway viaducts in Greece and the mission was a major success. Sadly Douglas later died in Greece.

Before Colourised photo of Edward Lovegrove
After Colourised photo of Edward Lovegrove

Edward Lovegrove

Edward was born in 1903 and lived in Ealing. During WW2 he drove tanks in North Africa. This photograph was taken at Christmas in 1942 and Edward sent it to his wife who was at home with their baby. Their two older children had been evacuated.

Edward survived the war and many years later, he persuaded his son-in-law to let him drive his car - he had driven a tank after all. However, his son-in-law said it was one of the most terrifying experiences of his life and never let Edward drive the car again!

Before Colourised photo of May Roberts
After Colourised photo of May Roberts

May Roberts

The dress was found when relatives were sorting through their uncle’s farm. They came across a cupboard hidden in a wood-panelled wall and upon opening it, they discovered a huge wooden chest. After dusting it off, they joked that they were too scared to open it as they could find anything inside it.

They picked up the courage and opened the chest. Inside were old letters, Christmas cards and the dress worn by May Roberts featured in this photograph! She was the great-grandmother of the uncle whose farm they were sorting. Although a little torn, they were in good condition and were donated to a records office.

Before Colourised photo of Lewis and Florence Fletcher
After Colourised photo of Lewis and Florence Fletcher

Lewis and Florence Fletcher

Barbara’s biological parents, Lewis and Florence, gave her up around WW2 and it was only very recently that she found out she had two biological sisters, June and Edith, who were living in America and Australia.

Babara had never seen her biological parents before, so a Facebook group was set up by her extended family where this photograph of her mother and father was shared. After seeing the image, Barbara said the resemblance to her mother was uncanny.

Before Colourised photo of Margaret McDonald
After Colourised photo of Margaret McDonald

Margaret McDonald

Margaret McDonald was from Northwich and loved attending dances. She often attended as an excuse to dress up and have fun during the difficult times of WW2. This photo was taken just before one of the dances.

Before Colourised photo of Edward Martin
After Colourised photo of Edward Martin

Edward Martin

Edward was from Chepstow and stood at a towering 6’7’’, earning him the nickname ‘Tiny.’ During WW2, Edward fought in Dunkirk but was wounded and captured. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner.

Before Colourised photo of Ken West
After Colourised photo of Ken West

Ken West

Before the war began, Ken West was in the Territorial Army and had worked in the printing industry. He was from Reading but joined the Durham Light Infantry as a junior officer with his main skill being map-making.

Ken was involved in resisting the Japanese advance into India during the summer of 1944 and had some involvement in the Battle of Kohima. Subsequently, Ken advanced with the British into Burma and at some point, he contracted malaria and was invalided out of the army. He was sent back home in the middle of 1945 and married his wife in December that year.

Before Colourised photo of William Mascall
After Colourised photo of William Mascall

William Mascall

William first enlisted in the army aged 16 and served in the Dardanelles (Turkey). It was during this time that he picked up an infection which resulted in him being sent to a hospital ship. The matron deemed William to be too young and he was sent back home to England.

Upon arrival, William re-enlisted in the army, this time as a signaller for artillery. It is believed he was stationed in Hamburg until all the troops were recalled. William managed to survive the war and passed away in 1989.

Before Colourised photo of Eric Rubin
After Colourised photo of Eric Rubin

Eric Rubin

Eric Rubin was part of the Survey Regiment between 1940-46 and this photo was taken at the beginning of June 1944. Eric was getting ready to be parachuted into enemy territory in France just before D-Day.

He had to organise and prepare for a landing operation of the British Army and because of this and other similar assignments, he received four individual medals for bravery. Many years later, following on from his time in the forces, Eric worked at Chums.

Adding a simple splash of colour to a black and white photograph can really bring the past to life.

Colourising old photos allows the people featured in them to have their stories shared. We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who sent photos in and took the time to help us create this glimpse into the past

How to measure leg length for men’s trousers

Shopping for new trousers can be a minefield, particularly if you’re unsure of how they should fit or what leg measurement you are. Below, we’ve identified two methods that you can use for measuring your leg length so that you’ll never have a pair of trousers that are too short or too long.

How to measure your leg length

There are two types of leg measurements: inside leg and true leg length. The trousers in most retail shops will provide trousers sizes in inches and this is usually the inside leg measurement. Other shops might simply provide ‘Short’, ‘Regular’ and ‘Long’ trouser sizes. In either case, it can be handy to know your leg length so that buying the right size trousers is guaranteed.

Before you start, you should make sure that you have the right equipment. It’s more beneficial to have a clothing tape measure than a plastic or metal one. These are made of fabric and it’s likely that you’ll have seen them used by tailors. They can provide a more accurate measurement; however, you should be careful not to pull it too taut, as this can stretch it. Alternatively, don’t let it hang too slack when you’re taking your leg length as this result could prove inaccurate too.

It’s also advised that you have a second person who can take the measurements. If you do this yourself, the height could be incorrect. A second person will be able to check the tape accurately.

Measuring your inside leg

Inside leg measurements are the most popular for trouser sizes and it’s easy to find out what yours is.

You should place one end of the measuring tape on the inside of your leg as near to the crotch area as you can. Ask your helper to use the other end of the measuring tape to take a reading. If you do this yourself, you are likely to bend your leg and therefore the measurement will be wrong. Your helper should make sure that the tape isn’t too loose or taut.

Image alt text: tailor measuring a man’s suit trousers

It can be hard to know where to measure to and decide where your leg actually ends. This is usually on or just below your ankle joint, or where a pair of trousers would naturally finish.

Measuring your true leg length

True leg length is normally used by doctors to determine whether a person has one leg longer than the other, or leg length discrepancy. This measurement is best completed by someone who can help you. Doing it alone could result in inaccurate measurements.

You should lie down on the floor with your legs straight and your feet apart so they’re inline with your hips. Ask the second person to measure from directly under your hip bone to the bony joint on your ankle. Write down the results in inches and repeat for the other leg. It’s worth noting that some difference in leg length is normal, so don’t be alarmed if one is longer than the other. However, if the difference is more than half an inch, it could be affecting the way you walk and you may want to speak to your doctor about your options.

Do keep in mind that, if you’re measuring your leg length for a bike or cycling shorts, the measurements are slightly more complicated so it’s best to do this with someone who knows what they’re doing.

What is a men’s regular leg length

Occasionally, some shops will describe the leg length as ‘Short’, ‘Regular’, and ‘Long’ instead of specifying exact leg length. In most cases, a ‘Regular’ is around 32 inches. A ‘Short’ leg length is around 30 inches and a ‘Long’ leg length will be 34 inches. These measurements may differ depending on where you shop. At Chums, the range for formal trousers is 27, 29 and 31 inches. Some trousers are available in 33 inch leg length for taller men.

If in doubt, you could ask an assistant or call the shop to clarify. If you have unusually short or long legs, you may need to have your trousers tailor made.

Chums tailoring service

If the fit of your trousers, suits or blazers is not quite right, call us and for a small charge Chums will happily tailor these for you to suit your requirements. If you are local to our Chums main store, we will do it there and then for you. We also offer a free returns policy just to make things a little bit easier so you can rest assured that when it comes to adding another seamless addition to your wardrobe, we can help.

How to create a minimalist wardrobe

How many times have you opened your overflowing wardrobe only to decide that you have ‘nothing to wear’? Of course, you don’t really have nothing to wear - your wardrobe is full to bursting with clothes that you’ve owned for years. Instead, what you mean is there isn’t anything that you want to wear.

What you might be looking for is a minimalist wardrobe. Imagine being able to get dressed in the morning without having to think about what goes with what. Think about a world where you can spend less time worrying about putting an outfit together.

Minimalism teaches you to invest in things that you love, rather than buying things because they’re in the sale or because they’re a bargain. You can buy something that will become a staple and that will match every other item in your wardrobe. It could make your closet a neater and tidier place and you’ll feel good no matter what you put on. There are so many benefits of having a minimalist wardrobe.

Below, we’ve outlined what a minimalist wardrobe looks like and how you can create one yourself.

What does a minimalist wardrobe look like?

Whereas a capsule wardrobe is much more limited to how many pieces of clothing you can have, a minimalist wardrobe is about matching colours and patterns so that every item can be worn with every other item. This means that a minimalist wardrobe will mostly be similar in colour rather than limiting yourself to a set number of items.

Therefore, a minimalist wardrobe might be one that has a certain colour palette or uses many of the same materials or patterns to ensure that everything will go together, a little like the image below.

a large built in wardrobe with pastel-coloured women’s clothes on one side and grey and brown men’s clothes on the other

How to put together a minimalist wardrobe

Below, we’ve outlined exactly how you can begin to create a minimalist wardrobe of your own.

Sort out your current wardrobe

Before you can begin buying more clothes, you need to sort out the ones that you already have. Throw out any clothes that:

  • You haven’t worn in two years
  • Are damaged or are looking very tired
  • Don’t fit

Your wardrobe will likely begin to look much clearer and it’s easier to see what you already have and what items you may be missing.

If your clothes have some use left in them, they could be donated to charity to prevent them from going to landfill. If they’re damaged, then you could put them in the general bin, or you may be able to find someone who can reuse the material to turn it into something completely different, like a new cushion.

Minimalism is all about having good quality clothes in a lower quantity, instead of having bundles of very cheap clothes. This is why it’s best to throw out any clothes that are very worn and buy good quality replacements instead.

Invest in some classic items

Once you’ve got rid of some items, you need to have a think about what your wardrobe is missing. Maybe you’ve got multiple blouses but none that are white. Perhaps you need a pair of black boots that can be worn with almost any outfit. These staples are exactly what your minimalist wardrobe needs, so it’s worth investing in them.

It’s also a good idea to have a think about any classic items. Every woman’s wardrobe should contain a mixture of blouses, skirts, trousers and shoes in varying colours. For men, a variety of shirts, trousers, ties and shoes is a good idea. Remember to think about varying seasons too. Jumpers and a winter coat are a must. If you’re missing any of these staple items, it may be worth investing.

Choose a colour palette

The main perk of a minimalist wardrobe is the ability to mix and match any pieces of clothing and know that they will go together. This means that you should pick a colour scheme and stick to it. You may choose to go with a pastel colour scheme that will encapsulate lots of dusky pinks and soft greens. You may prefer a more monochrome colour palette and prefer to wear lots of grey and black. Whichever colours you love the most and wear on a frequent basis, make sure you incorporate these into your scheme.

Mix and match

Now that you’ve got plenty of classic items in your wardrobe that are all of the same colour palette, you’ll be able to mix and match nearly every item to create a new outfit. With three pairs of trousers, two pairs of shoes and five blouses, you could make 30 different looks.

How to wear prints and patterns

Wearing prints and patterns can be very daunting for a lot of people. Some women might stick to neutral colours and plain designs, whereas others may avoid pattern altogether. But we’re here to show you that you don’t have to be afraid of prints and patterns. We’ve identified some ways you can style prints, as well as how to fashion patterned skirts or trousers.

How to wear patterned clothes

The most important thing is to stick to prints that you’re comfortable wearing. It’s very important to feel happy in the clothes that you’re wearing. If you feel happy in an outfit, your confidence can brighten up any room. If you’ve never worn animal prints in your life, now might not be a good time to start.

You will also need to think about your size and shape. Patterns that are large can swamp you and this isn’t something you want, particularly if you’re short. Instead, small patterns such as delicate florals will flatter your shape much better. Remember that the pattern doesn’t have to cover the whole item. This ,flower print top in ivory contains lots of white space that makes the pattern appear much more subtle and soft, for example.

Image alt text: mature woman in a patterned blouse drinking wine with her friends

When you’re choosing a floral pattern, the individual flowers should be no bigger than the size of your fist. And if you’re big-busted or have a rounded tummy, these large prints should be avoided on your top half. Instead, choose a flattering solid colour and wear patterned trousers or a skirt.

Animal prints are particularly popular with women of all ages, and items such as snakeskin handbags or leopard print scarves can be both glamorous and chic. If you want to try wearing more of these patterns, we’d advise that you avoid mixing lots of animal patterns in one outfit. Choose one and stick to it.

Finally, you should keep your accessories simple, especially if you’re wearing a patterned top or blouse. A simple silver or gold necklace with a couple of rings will be enough to ensure that your outfit remains classy and stylish.

If you’re feeling brave and want to combine different prints and patterns, there are a few rules that you should follow. When mixing prints, you should stick to a maximum of two colours, otherwise the mixture of various patterns and colour can be too much. Monochrome always works well as the colours don’t clash and the black and white allow the patterns to take centre stage.

When you’re choosing which prints to combine, it’s a good idea to pick one very busy print and one more subtle print. For example, you may want to choose trousers that have a large stripe and a top that has smaller stripes. To divide the patterns up, you could don a scarf or a jacket that’s a solid colour to bring the whole outfit together.

If you have a capsule wardrobe and want to keep your patterned clothes to a minimum, you should buy patterns that will all go well together. Stick to similar colours, such as neutrals, blacks, whites, greys, etc. so that any patterned item can be paired with any other patterned item. Stripes, polka dots and florals will always go well with each other, so stick to these.

What shoes to wear with a floral print dress

Your choice of shoes may depend on the pattern of the dress. For a dress that is brightly coloured, shoes that are neutral in both design and colour might be a smart choice. Alternatively, if the dress is patterned but is quite a soft, pastel colour, you could have some fun with your choice of shoes and add some colour to the outfit. For example, red shoes always work well with a monochrome outfit.

How to wear printed trousers

The key with printed bottoms is to wear a darker pattern in the trousers, like these straight leg trousers, and pair them with a lighter top, blouse or jumper that is made of one solid colour. If you wanted to introduce more pattern, you could add a decorative scarf.

How to wear printed skirts

Skirts are versatile pieces of clothing that can be worn in hot weather with sandals or in cold weather with tights and boots. This means that your long skirt could see you through the summer and the winter.

The best way to style a patterned skirt is with a neatly tucked in blouse or a long-sleeved jumper that’s one solid colour or that has a very subtle pattern. In winter, you can add a scarf and coat to keep you warm, and in summer, you might choose a short-sleeved top instead.

Key pieces for your autumn/winter wardrobe

Dressing for the seasons can be fun and with the variety of weather the UK experiences, it allows us to use clothes from previous months as transitional pieces. While woolly hats and cable knits might not be within reach currently, our thoughts have turned to autumn and winter wear. We’re going to look at some of the staple pieces you need for your autumn/winter wardrobe.

As you get older, you realise what styles suit you and which ones you should avoid, but it’s good to stay on trend and it’s never too early to start picking up some key pieces for your autumn/winter wardrobe.

It’s interesting to see the different price ranges people in different cities were willing to spend on certain items of clothing, such as a new t-shirt, a jumper and jeans. Not surprising though was that people were willing to spend much more on items such as jewellery and trainers which are sure to last longer.

The changing of seasons doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a huge amount of money on an entire new outfit. Our recent survey found that the city willing to spend the most on clothes in the UK was Birmingham, who was willing to spend up to £361 on clothes. But if you buy clothes that will see you through the different seasons then you won’t have to keep spending as much on new outfits.

With a transitioning period, you should ease yourself into it by making use of your previous seasonal wardrobe and combining it with new season pieces.

Wardrobe must haves for women:


Checks are one of those timeless patterns that seem to be given a fresh update as the seasons change. From a sophisticated houndstooth during the spring, gorgeous gingham in the summer to festive tartan during the colder months, check is an all year versatile pattern and one that should be found in any wardrobe.

A staple piece for any autumn/winter wardrobe is a check shirt which looks great paired with jeans. Wear it unbuttoned with a vest top or t-shirt underneath for those transitional months and when it starts to get cooler wear it underneath a cable knit jumper for an on-trend look.

Chunky knits

Whether it’s a jumper or a cardigan, stay warm this autumn with a good, chunky knit. The perfect item for layering and a key piece that never goes out of style, pick up a knit in one of the seasons must have colours of golden brown, beige or mustard yellow.

For a more modern twist on the classic knit, opt for a jumper with some detailing such as embroidery or a knot on the front. A cable knit jumper is always a stylish choice and an essential item for your winter attire.

Midi dress

A midi dress is great transitional piece which will take you from those hot summer months all the way through to winter. The great thing about a midi dress is it can be dressed up or down, which makes it such a great versatile piece.

When the temperatures are high, pair your midi dress with some canvas trainers and when the temperature drops, switch for some black tights and boots for an instant cool outfit. Finish the look off by adding a cosy cardigan.

Trench coat

For a sophisticated look with your outerwear, choose a coat that has plenty of style and one that is still a big trend for autumn/winter. The trusty trench coat is a great option when it comes to unpredictable weather that the UK experiences.

The trench coat goes with almost any outfit; from a more laid back feel of jeans and a jumper to something a bit more glam with a midi dress so it’s definitely worth investing in. It’s a classic coat that you will keep reaching for time and time again.

Wardrobe must haves for men:

Polo shirt

A polo shirt is a staple piece for any man’s wardrobe. It’s the ideal shirt when you need something for a smart casual event as it’s comfortable but not overly formal. A polo shirt also makes a great everyday top and can see you through summer to autumn.

Wear your polo shirt with a pair of jeans and desert boots for an effortlessly cool look. For those crisp and cooler autumnal days, your polo shirt can be worn underneath a lightweight knit with the polo collar placed over the top.

Desert boots

Everyone loves footwear that can be worn either dressy or casual and a classic pair of desert boots are such a versatile choice. These can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt for a more casual vibe, or if you’re going for a bit of a smarter look, wear them with a button down shirt and trousers.

Not only are desert boots comfortable and sturdy, they never go out of style. With a variety of colours to choose from, we recommend an earthy tone like brown or tan which is perfect for autumn/winter.

Heavy blazer

You can never own too many blazers and a heavy blazer is a great choice for when the weather turns cold. Whether you opt for tweed, wool or a herringbone blazer, the heavy, thick fabric will keep you warm and stylish, making this an autumn/winter essential.

Adding a blazer to your outfit can give it a sophisticated vibe while still looking casual. The great thing about blazers and probably the reason why they’re still a popular choice is because you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion.


Perfect for a crisp autumn day, corduroy is a versatile fabric and comes in many forms from trousers, jackets and blazers. It’s a classic material that never really goes out of style. No matter how you choose to wear your corduroy, one thing is for sure – corduroy is an autumn staple.

Look your best while feeling the ultimate comfort in a pair of corduroy trousers, an alternative to your everyday jeans. Or opt for a tailored corduroy jacket which can see you through all your smart/casual events.

Having go-to items in your wardrobe makes picking outfits that much easier, which is why it’s important to have essential pieces that will see you through each season. Know your own style but don’t be afraid to switch it up and try something different. You can always rely on your seasonal essentials to help create a range of outfits whether you want something smart, casual or perhaps a bit of both!

Which UK city is willing to spend the most on clothes?

Fashion trends come and go quite quickly, so it’s no surprise that many people in the UK end up buying clothes to keep up with the different seasonal styles. If you’re purchasing a new item of clothing here and there you may not see the total add up or realise how much you’re actually spending. Chums wanted to find out which UK city was willing to spend the most on clothes. 1,000 respondents were surveyed* across ten different cities in the UK to establish how much people were willing to spend on each item of clothing. Respondents selected from multiple choice questions that showed various price ranges. The prices we have shown are the upper figures of that range. We analysed the data, breaking it down by city and gender to reveal the results. Find out which city is willing to spend the most on clothes by viewing the infographic below.

Which UK city is willing to spend the most on clothes?

The results are in and the city willing to spend the most on clothes is Birmingham, who was willing to spend up to £361. When it came to how much men were willing to spend, Birmingham also triumphed with a total of £401 which was £210 more than Cardiff, who would spend the least at £271. However, it was women in Manchester who were willing to spend the most on clothes out of everyone surveyed, with a total of £511.

It’s interesting to see the different price ranges people in different cities were willing to spend on certain items of clothing, such as a new t-shirt, a jumper and jeans. Not surprising though was that people were willing to spend much more on items such as jewellery and trainers which are sure to last longer.

How does your own spending compare to the cities that were surveyed? Let us know by using the hashtag #FashionSpend on social.

*survey was carried out May 2019.

What to wear to an autumn wedding

What to wear to an autumn wedding

Autumn weddings can be tricky when it comes to choosing what to wear as the weather at this time of year can be very unpredictable. This season can bring mild, sunny days but it is equally prone to damp, chilly conditions. One advantage is that the weather will be cooler than in the summer, so you can dress up in more formal clothing - should you wish to - without worrying about getting too hot. This gives you a little more choice.

So, if you’re heading to a wedding this autumn, but you’re not sure what to wear, keep reading.

Choosing the right clothing

When planning what to wear for the wedding, it’s a good idea to first take note of the details given on the invitation to determine how formal your outfit should be. If in doubt, ask. The venue is important too. Are you likely to spend a long time waiting around outdoors, or in a cold, draughty church?

Wear what you’re comfortable in

A wedding is a special occasion, and a celebration for the family and friends of the couple to enjoy. The key is to choose something you love to wear, ideally because it looks good and feels comfortable too. Many wedding guests spend all day and evening in the same outfit, so comfort is of prime importance.

Can you wear red to a wedding?

Colour is a major factor when deciding on clothing for any wedding. Red is in fact an ideal colour to wear when attending autumn nuptials, as it reflects the tones found in autumn foliage. Rich, jewel-hued shades like amber, amethyst, emerald, garnet and ruby are also perfect for an autumn wedding, as they echo the strong shades of the leaves that will no doubt be scattered everywhere.

An an example, ladies could wear such shades as a one-colour dress or just as part of the outfit, while gents may like to add a richly coloured tie, handkerchief or waistcoat to their ensemble.

Can women wear trousers to a wedding?

These days, women can wear whatever they are most comfortable in for a wedding. A smart outfit that includes trousers can look every bit as good as a dress or skirt-and-top combination. If it feels more comfortable - especially when you might be wearing it all day, in a range of different environments - go for it.

The layered look

An outfit consisting of layers of clothing is perfect for an autumn wedding as it gives you the option of removing a layer if it’s too warm, such as at an evening reception, or you can add one if you feel a chill, such as while waiting in church.

For ladies, appropriate options include a dress and jacket, skirt, blouse and smart cardigan, or a pair of formal trousers plus a pretty top and a shawl.

For gents, a suit may be the order of the day, but the jacket can always be taken off if necessary. If it’s a cold day, a smart overcoat could be worn over the top. Men could even don a waistcoat too for added versatility.

Such outfits are very adaptable, and you could wear as many layers as you please according to the conditions.

Do I need a different outfit for the evening?

Anything goes nowadays when it comes to an evening wedding reception. The bride may choose to stay in her wedding dress - after all, it’s the one day in her life that she will wear it. Many bridal gowns have the addition of a loop to be worn around the wrist or a button at the back, to be used for keeping the train out of the way when the dancing begins.

As for guests, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in the same outfit you wore for the ceremony itself, and many of those attending are likely to do this. It may be, however, that you don’t go to a lot of weddings and would relish the opportunity to buy and wear something new. If this sounds like you, then why not?

What suit should I wear to a wedding?

Firstly this depends on your gender, as women can also wear suits to weddings. Either a skirt or trouser suit is equally appropriate, especially when worn with a pretty top, such as a floral blouse.

Men have the choice of so many types of suit nowadays. Two piece suits include single or double breasted designs in all kinds of fabrics, some of which are heavier than others. For an early autumn wedding during fine weather, a summer linen suit would look the part, while a wool-based suit would be ideal for a ceremony held at the time of year when autumn quickly turns to winter.

For a more formal wedding, you could even wear a suit that includes a dinner jacket and team it with a bow tie. Occasionally couples do request that attendees wear formal dress, so if this is the case, why not seize the opportunity to try something new?

When to wear a three piece suit

Three piece suits can look ultra-stylish for a wedding and also provide you with an optional extra layer. If you want to look more formal for the ceremony, you can remove the waistcoat, as well as if you feel a little too warm at the venue. For the evening, a pair of tailored trousers and a crisp shirt - with or without a tie - will suffice, but you could always add the waistcoat for a more sophisticated look if you want to.

Waistcoats have become highly popular in recent years. There are a range of different styles available, and you can buy them as part of a three-piece suit or separately. The groom and best man often wear a waistcoat that complements the colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses for a wedding, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t do something similar and pick a contrasting colour you love.

A waistcoat in the same fabric as your jacket and trousers can help give you a tailored, streamlined look, while a contrasting waistcoat can add interest to an otherwise plain outfit.

Wear it well

Whatever you wear, wear it well. Choose something that you love, and that you’re comfortable enough to spend all day in. Above all, a wedding is a celebratory occasion - something to be savoured, treasured and enjoyed.

How to dress for your body type

How to dress for your body type

If you want to wear outfits that flatter you, time after time, you might find it useful to understand and dress for your particular body type.

The first step is to establish which body shape you most identify with. Are you an apple or a pear? A rectangle or inverted triangle? Maybe, like an hourglass, you’re all curves? Once you know which shape you are, it’s far easier to find just the right clothes to accentuate your natural assets.

Which body type are you?


An apple, like the fruit, is a rounded shape. Women with this body type tend to have a medium-to-large bust size, as well as fairly broad shoulders and upper arms. The ideal clothing for an apple will help define the waistline and make the most of those long, slender legs.


Another fruit that lends its name to a body shape, the pear shape is narrow at the top, gradually tapering down to a more rounded bottom half.. Clothing that skims the hips, thighs and rear, while showing off a slender top half, is perfect for pears.


A lady with a rectangular body shape has slender shoulders and slim hips. A rectangular body shape makes for a very sleek, streamlined silhouette than can look good in a range of different styles


An hourglass figure is shaped just like a real hourglass - curvy at both the top and the bottom, with a cinched-in waist. Hourglasses usually have generously and fairly equally proportioned busts and hips, and the best clothing choices will show off the small of the waist.

Inverted triangle

Just like an upside-down triangle, a woman with this body shape will have wider shoulders and an ample bust, tapering down to slender hips, thighs and legs below. The most flattering clothing for an inverted triangle creates the impression of a curved bottom half.

How to dress an apple shape

Apple shaped ladies have great legs and arms, so it’s wise to choose clothes that show off these features. A lot of detail, such as patterns, bows or belts around the midsection is best avoided, as are clingy or tight fabrics, as they draw attention to this area. V-necks or scooped necklines can be a good choice, as they draw the eye away from the waistline.

Shorter dresses or skirts that show off slender legs can be flattering, as can dresses and tops that expand outwards from under the bust. A well-shaped skirt can suit this shape, such as an A-line, full circle or bias cut.

How to dress a pear shape

Unlike apples, pears are well suited to wearing a lot of detail on the top half of the body. This draws the eye to the slim bust and shoulders. Beading, bows, frills and ruffles draw the eye to your upper body, so dresses and tops with this kind of detail are great choices.

To flatter the lower half, dark colours can help, as can avoiding anything that clings to the bottom, hips and thighs. Tops ending around this area can also draw the eye, so they are best avoided. Keep patterns and light colours for the top half, and darker, plain pieces for the bottom half, and you’ll be sure to accentuate your best features.

How to dress a rectangle shape

Rectangle-shaped women can suit a wider range of styles due to their long, lean silhouette. Garments that create curves while flattering the naturally slim limbs of a rectangular shape are among the very best options. Short and sleeveless tops and dresses meanwhile showcase those slender arms and legs. Scoop necklines can create curves, while details like ruffles, frills or other embellishments can help create the illusion of a larger bust.

The same applies to the lower body, where frills or full skirts can add extra shape. Dresses with nipped-in waists are also ideal, as they again create a more rounded figure, whereas shapeless dresses and high necklines are not usually the most flattering for this body type.

How to dress an hourglass figure

A lady with an hourglass shape is not short of curves. In fact, this is the curviest body type there is. Clothing that flatters this curvaceous figure includes anything that draws attention to the signature narrow, well-defined waist. Belted or wrap dresses are ideal, as is anything with a low neckline that draws the eye to the slim mid-section. Styles that are too structured or boxy, or are crafted from stiffer fabrics are best avoided as they can end up hiding those gorgeous curves.

If your aim is to look more slimline, then you can give the appearance of a more slender upper body by wearing darker shades and vertical stripes. Any clothing that follows your natural contours is usually a safe bet, such as dresses and tops that have cinched-in waists.

How to dress an inverted triangle

The best clothing styles for inverted triangles are those that accentuate the lower half of the body while minimising the top half. Skirts and dresses that have wider hemlines, such as maxi dresses or tunics will give the illusion of more volume around the hips, thighs and bottom.

It can be difficult to find dresses that will fit those with an inverted triangle shape, so garments in stretch fabrics can be ideal. Such styles can accommodate a larger bust, as well as creating the impression of a more defined waistline. Avoid anything that clings to the upper body as this can accentuate the already generous bust of an upside-down triangle.

If you’re keen to feel more confident in your clothes, it’s definitely worth establishing your body type and dressing accordingly. However, it’s also important to remember to wear clothing that you feel comfortable in too.

How to create a Capsule Wardrobe

How to create a Capsule Wardrobe

Deciding what to wear in the morning can be a chore for some people. Sometimes there’s too much choice, sometimes you just can’t decide and sometimes the weather dictates what you should put on.

What if you had a small collection of clothing you loved but that could be changed with each season and easily mixed and matched? Getting dressed would no longer be a chore, but a joy instead. You could spend less time picking out what to wear in the morning and you may even fall back in love with your clothes.

In this post, we explain how both men and women can create a capsule wardrobe that’s perfect for year-round use.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe usually contains a limited number of clothing pieces that can easily be interchanged and worn for multiple occasions. It’s a good tactic to take if you want to spend less time deciding what to wear. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is that you love every piece in your closet, so you’ll be happy with your outfit no matter what you choose.

The term was first used in the 1970s but it became even more popular when American fashion designer Donna Karan released her “Seven Easy Pieces” collection in 1985. Karan wanted to create a basic collection of work wear for women of all ages and sizes

Some people choose to include coats, active wear and loungewear, such as pyjamas, as part of their capsule wardrobe, but it’s down to personal preference.

Where do I start with a Capsule Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe is all about minimalism and simplicity, so you should start by having a clear out. Donate any clothes that you no longer love or that don’t fit, and bin any clothes that are past their best.

Once you’re left with your favourite pieces, you’ll need to work out what you need to buy. The general capsule formula is:

  • 10 tops
  • Five bottoms
  • Five shoes

The idea is that each item of clothing is different but can be combined in almost any sequence to create a new outfit. In theory, this should mean that you have 1140 different outfits based on just 20 items. When it comes to deciding what to include in your new wardrobe, you’ll need to incorporate some capsule wardrobe essentials as well. These might be basic items that every person needs, such as a pair of jeans, a casual pair of shoes or a white shirt.

Women should aim to have at least a couple of jumpers, a couple of blouses and a couple of tops. The blouses can be dressed up or down and jumpers are good for layering when it gets cold in the winter. A mixture of cotton trousers or denim trousers would be optimal, as well as a skirt and a pair of formal trousers. A dress could count as a bottom if you prefer dresses to trousers.

For your shoes, a nude-coloured slip on would go with most things and at least one pair of boots would be good for the cold months. A classic court shoe like our Comfort Plus Court Shoe by Karly is ideal for dressier occasions.

For men, the formula stays the same. It’s good to have a mixture of trousers in different colours and materials, like our Easy Care Classic Trousers which come in a range of five different colours. Chinos are another popular option. Make sure you have a casual pair of trousers as well, such as jeans. Your wardrobe should also contain a combination of short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, casual T-shirts and jumpers to make sure you’re prepared for every occasion. A classic white shirt is so versatile which makes it a must.

Once you’ve sorted out your current wardrobe, you might find that there’s a couple of items you need to buy. If you’re left with six of your favourite tops and jumpers, you may need to go out and buy four more to bring your total to 10.

You can choose to add accessories to your capsule as well. For men, this might include adding a couple of belts to the list. For women, you might want to choose some select pieces of jewellery that you can wear on a daily basis.

How to create a summer Capsule Wardrobe

Some people like to organise their wardrobe by season. If you think you’d struggle to get your everyday wardrobe down to just 20 pieces, you could split your wardrobe into Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, allowing you to have 40 pieces of clothing instead.

Your summer capsule could be full of sandals, shorts and T-shirts instead of heavy jumpers and coats. You should invest in a light cover-up or a raincoat for when those April showers begin to fall. Summer in the UK is anything but predictable, so your capsule for Spring/Summer should contain a couple of light jumpers.

Splitting your wardrobe like this might make it easier when you’re capsuling for the first time. It can be a bit daunting when you see how few clothes you have, so ease yourself in gently.

To really succeed when pulling together a capsule wardrobe, make sure the clothing you choose is timeless and versatile. They key is to choose pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways. For example, a large scarf could be turned into a wrap skirt and a short-sleeved shirt can be worn at a summer barbeque or a wedding. Capsuling isn’t for everyone, but it could become the best decision you ever make.

What to wear to the races: A Guide for Men

What to wear to the races: A Guide for Men

If you’re planning a day at the races this year, you might have already asked yourself what you’re going to wear. For years, the races have been a wonderful occasion to dress up. Women don their best fascinators and high heels and men dig out their sharpest suits.

This guide will give you some style inspiration for your next day at the races and help you out with some specific racecourse dress codes too.

What to wear to the races

You should always wear a two- or three-piece suit for the races, unless you’re attending a family day. Your suit can be any colour, style or pattern you want unless otherwise specified in the official dress code. There’s more information below that states which racecourses require a black or grey suit. For the warmer summer months, you might prefer to wear a lightweight material such as linen.

What to wear with a tweed jacket

You’ll see an increase in the number of tweed jackets worn during the winter races because they’re made from thicker wool fibres than standard suits. But some people aren’t sure how to style this material.

A misconception with this type of fabric is that it’s always green. Modern tweed jackets also come in brown or grey so there are more variations available than there were in the past.

A tweed jacket can be worn with a pair of suit trousers and brogues. For example, you could match brown tweed with navy blue suit trousers and brown brogues. For grey tweed, you could wear grey suit trousers and black shoes. You can wear tweed trousers with a tweed jacket but it can be difficult to make this look work.

To finish the look, why not add a pocket watch and a pocket square to your outfit?

How to wear a waistcoat

Three-piece suits are as popular as ever thanks to the likes of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. It’s a smart look that is so versatile and ideal for lots of occasions. But how do you wear a waistcoat?

On most waistcoats, there’s an adjustable strap at the back. Make sure this is as loose as possible when you first put on the waistcoat and then tighten the strap once you’ve done the front buttons up. Tighten the strap without making the fit too snug. There shouldn’t be wrinkles around the buttons as this suggests you’ve tightened the strap too much.

Do the first two buttons of your waistcoat up and leave the third undone as this allows more room for movement. If you’re wearing a jacket with a waistcoat, always leave the jacket undone.

You can wear a tie, cravat or bow tie with your waistcoat. Also, make sure your pocket square matches the whole ensemble.

What accessories do I need?

A suit isn’t complete without the various accessories that you can pair with it. The options include:

  • Tie/neck tie
  • Pocket squares
  • Cufflinks
  • Dress watch (pocket or normal)
  • Tie bar/clip
  • Sunglasses

It’s best to choose a maximum of three items from this list; too many accessories could be excessive.

Can you wear corduroy in summer?

Corduroy can be worn in summer, however, like tweed, it’s a thicker material so is better suited for cooler summer days. There are many variations of corduroy with different numbers of ridges. The number of ridges per inch is known as the ‘wale’. So the wider the ridges, the lower the wale and vice versa.

Needle cords made from a lightweight fabric with a high wale (lots of ridges) are a better option for warm days. It’s also the more formal type of corduroy.

If you choose to wear corduroy, you should stick to one item. For example, you could wear a corduroy jacket with suit trousers or corduroy trousers with a shirt and suit jacket.

Corduroy is a more casual style of clothing so it could be worn for the National Hunt (otherwise known as Jump Season). Flat racing tends to be more formal.

Dress code for the Derby Festival

Derby Day is a race day that’s renowned for its smart dress code. For guests in the Grandstand enclosure, the dress code is smart. The Jockey Club advises against sportswear, sleeveless vests and trainers

Guests in the Queen’s Stand must be at their smartest. Racegoers should wear a morning suit in either black or grey with a top hat, service dress or full national costume. Service dress could be worn by those in the British Army. A full national costume could include a kilt if you’re from Scotland.

Dress code for Cheltenham Races

Most race days at Cheltenham take place during winter. They advise that you dress accordingly for the weather, particularly as their public car parks are grassy. Gentlemen usually wear a suit.

Dress code for the Grand National

The Grand National takes place at Aintree every year. It’s one of the more casual horse racing events. There is no official dress code but smart is the preferred choice and is adopted by most people. Sports clothes and fancy dress are prohibited.

Dress code for Ascot

For the flat season, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, shirt and tie. During particularly hot weather, the dress code may be relaxed slightly, but you’ll be made aware of any dress code changes on the day. Tailored shorts are permitted but trainers are not. Ascot may be stricter than other racecourses and can refuse entry if you aren’t dressed appropriately.

The Jump Season takes place over winter. The dress code will be the same as above but you may want to consider a tweed jacket to keep you warm.

Royal Ascot has a much stricter dress code so don’t get the two mixed up. You should wear a grey or black morning suit complete with a waistcoat and tie and a top hat if you’re going to this race meeting.

If you’re attending the races this year, check the relevant racecourse’s website to find out about the appropriate dress code. Each racecourse will give a detailed breakdown of what should be worn in each enclosure.

7 of the best gadgets for seniors

7 of the best gadgets for seniors

Do you struggle to keep up with the latest technology? Maybe your children or grandchildren regularly update their mobile phones and televisions and you find it difficult to understand the jargon.

However, the truth is some technology could make your life easier. We’ve compiled a list of the top gadgets that could help you.

Big button mobile phones and handsets

As you get older, you might find it harder to read things than you used to due to eyesight deterioration. This means that screens and buttons on mobile phones can be more difficult to see. Chums offers a selection of big button mobile phones and handsets for ease of use and visibility. These mobile phones carry basic technology that is simple to understand and convenient for everyday purposes.

These phones have extra large buttons to reduce the risk of spelling mistakes or dialling the wrong number. The bigger buttons allow the text on each button to be larger too which means the numbers will be easier to read. These phones have excellent battery life which can last around eight days on standby.

If you often find that you’ve missed a phone call because you didn’t hear the phone ring, these mobile phones boast an extra loud ringer so you won’t miss an important call again. They could make staying in touch with your family and loved ones that bit more straightforward.

You can also get big button handsets if you prefer to use a house phone to a mobile phone. Just like their mobile equivalents, their buttons are bigger than standard and they’re louder than standard phones. These handsets are also compatible with hearing aids.


Whether it’s a newspaper, book or crossword puzzle, reading might be a big part of your life. However, if you’re struggling to see standard size text, then you may need a magnifier. A universal magnifier will make the words appear bigger and they’ll be easier to read. Some magnifiers also come with LED lights that can light up the page in dim rooms.

Grabbing tool

Bending to pick something up off the floor might not be as easy as it used to be and you could risk falling over. A grabbing tool is a metal stick with a handle that allows you to easily pick up socks and other objects that are on the floor.

They’re also useful for picking up items that are on a high shelf. Step ladders aren’t very stable and it’s easy to fall off them, so a grabbing tool would be much safer.

Automatic pill dispenser

If you’re taking multiple pills every day, it can be easy to get your doses mixed up or take the incorrect medication. Pill bottles are often small with tiny writing on them which can be difficult to read. Taking the incorrect dose of medication is one of the main reasons seniors end up in hospital. This hospital trip could be avoided with an automatic pill dispenser.

Dispensers come in a range of prices and styles. The pills can be loaded weekly or monthly depending on which type you buy. Some dispensers have a flashing light or an alarm which can alert you if you’ve forgotten to take a tablet. Some can text your carer to let them know that your medication has been taken correctly.

Certain models have a screen on the front that displays the date and the time that the next dose is due. This makes it almost impossible to miss a dose.

All dispensers are battery powered which means you can carry them on the go as well.

Automatic can and jar opener

As we get older, the function in our hands can diminish which means that simple tasks such as opening tin cans or using cutlery can be difficult, especially for those who suffer with conditions like arthritis. The good news is, there are additional gadgets for arthritis sufferers that you may find useful too.

For example, those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome often struggle to open tins and jars because of their decreased grip strength. If you live alone, this can become a problem.

You could invest in an automatic tin opener that uses a magnet to hold itself to the top of a tin. At the push of a button, the automatic tin opener gets to work and creates a safe, blunt edge to minimise the chance of you cutting yourself. It could save you lots of time and is a handy gadget to have at home.

You can also buy rubber devices that help you to open jars. For someone with reduced dexterity, jars can be almost impossible to open. Invest in a jar opener that slots onto the top of a jar and does most of the hard work for you.

Easy grip cutlery

If you’re always dropping your cutlery or you find it difficult to grip properly, you could benefit from comfort grip cutlery. It has extra wide handles that are made of rubber to give you a more stable hold, and they’re dishwasher safe for easy washing too.

You can buy weighted or unweighted versions. The weighted version could help you control the cutlery better and the unweighted design is ideal for those with a weaker grip.

Key turner

A key turner is a small plastic device that you can add to your house keys. They come in bright colours which makes your keys easier to find. They also make the surface area of the key bigger, making it more manageable to grip and turn in the lock. This reduces the chance of dropping your keys or spending a long period of time trying to fit them into the door.

There are so many gadgets on the market that have been designed to make your life simpler. In some cases, they allow people their independence and to keep in contact with family members more easily.

Ways to Wear a Scarf

Ways to Wear a Scarf

A scarf is an essential accessory for a woman’s wardrobe, however, it can be difficult to know how to style a scarf or what to pair it with. Perhaps you have an abundance of these accessories folded in a drawer that you don’t know how to wear.

With the right know-how, scarves can be worn for any occasion with a variety of outfits all year round. They’re a versatile accessory that can add the finishing touch to any ensemble. We’ve covered some of the easiest and most popular ways to style this piece of clothing.

How do I tie a scarf?

There are plenty of ways that you can tie a scarf and each method creates a slightly different look.

The reverse drape

It’s best to tie your scarf in this way if you want to create an elegant evening look. Simply put it around your neck, making sure that both ends are the same length. Flick the right end over your left shoulder and repeat for the opposite shoulder. This style works best with light evening shawls rather than thick knitted scarves.

A simple front knot

This is the most versatile knot and one of the easiest to tie. Drape the accessory around your neck and ensure that both ends are the same length. Cross both ends over one another before taking one end up through the loop around your neck. Adjust the scarf so that one end is layered over the other in a neat knot.

A basic loop

This style is best for people who may struggle to tie a knot due to limited hand movement. Place the scarf around your neck, making sure that one end is significantly longer than the other. Take the longer end and loop it around your neck. The length of the material will determine whether you can wrap it once or twice around your neck.

The loop through

The loop through is one of the most popular ways to wear a scarf. Simply fold the length of material in half and drape it around your neck. Pull both ends through the loop and tighten. This style is one of the most versatile as it will work with thick knitted scarves as well as lighter summery ones.

The infinity scarf

If you don’t have an infinity scarf in your wardrobe, you can create one using another scarf from your collection. Find two opposite corners of your scarf and tie them together. Put the scarf over your head. The knot you created should sit at the back of your neck. Then loop the material once over your head and adjust.

The necktie

If you have any small scarves in your collection, such as a pretty silk design, then you can create a chic necktie. They make an outfit look effortlessly stylish and it’s so easy to create this look yourself. Take a small silk scarf and, while holding one end, wrap the other end around your neck as many times as required, making sure it isn’t too tight. When both ends meet at the front, tie a sleek knot.

The French twist

To add a touch of Parisian fashion to your outfit, try the French twist. Fold a summer scarf in half to form a triangle. Put the point of the triangle at the front of your neck and take the other ends around your neck once and back to the front. Tie a simple knot and adjust the knot so it sits to one side.

How to wear evening shawls and wraps

If you’re attending an evening event, you may want to consider adding a shawl or wrap to your outfit. A shawl will keep you warm on chilly summer nights and it can also add glamour and sophistication to your outfit. So how do you decide which one to wear?

Firstly, you should choose a design that will complement your clothing. If you’re wearing a dress that’s adorned with delicate beading, a plain shawl would be the most suitable. A simple dress that’s a solid colour could look wonderful with a patterned wrap.

Secondly, you should check the weather forecast. You may want to choose a thicker material if it’s chilly with a breeze than you would if it’s sunny and still. If it’s going to rain, make sure you pack an umbrella too. The weather could also determine the colour you choose. A pastel coloured shawl could work better for a warm evening, while a colder evening may require a darker shade.

Finally, the shawl you choose may differ based on the other accessories you decide to wear. Silver jewellery would go better with a wrap that has a silver/grey sheen. Gold jewellery tends to go better with warm tones such as burgundy.

Once you’ve chosen your shawl, there are numerous ways you could style it. The most simple way is to drape it over your shoulders and let the ends fall down by your arms. For a more formal approach, you could use a decorative brooch to hold it in place. Find the middle of the scarf and put it against one shoulder. Take one end around the back to the other shoulder and then take the other end across the front. Where the two ends meet on your shoulder, do the shawl up with your brooch of choice. Make sure you have enough movement in your arms and that it isn’t too tight.

Scarves are usually considered to be something you wear when it’s cold outside. However, we think there are many other ways you can introduce these accessories to your wardrobe, even in the summer.

How to wear a tie

How to wear a tie

For an accessory so small, there are a lot of ways you can wear a tie. There are also many different colour and pattern options, as well as a variety of styles and knots to choose from. So, how do you pick the perfect shirt and tie combination to pull together the perfect outfit?

How to do a tie

There are over 20 different ways you can knot a tie, with each variation creating a different look depending on the occasion.

The most popular way is the four-in-hand knot. It’s usually taught to children because it is the easiest to manoeuver and looks the most casual.

To complete this knot, the small, thin end of the tie stays where it is and you just move the wider end.

Step 1: Take the tie over to the left
Step 2: Move the wide end under the thinner end
Step 3: Take the wide end left over the front again
Step 4: Put the end up through the neck loop
Step 5: Pull the end through the loop in the front and adjust

If you want to be able to wear a tie in multiple ways, the Windsor knot is another style that’s handy to know. It could be worn for more formal occasions and creates a wide triangular knot.

Step 1: Take the tie over to the left
Step 2: Take the wide end up through the neck loop
Step 3 and 4: Pull the wide end back down to the front and wrap it under the thin end to the right
Step 5 and 6: Bring the wide end up to the left and down through the neck loop again
Step 7: Bring the wide end around the front and to the left
Step 8: Take the wide end up through the neck loop for a third time
Step 9: Pull the end down through the loop at the front and adjust

A Windsor knot could take a few practice attempts to perfect the look. This kind of knot is quite chunky so you should avoid wearing a skinny tie with this style.

What is a tie clip for?

Many people think that tie clips are used because of how they look. However, they also have a specific purpose. A tie clip keeps your tie fastened to your shirt to stop it from moving in the wind or being dipped in your food. There are two main types of tie clip: a tie bar and a hinged tie clip

A tie bar is one piece of folded metal, much like a woman’s hair grip, that sits on your tie. A tie clip tends to have a hinge just like a clothes peg so you can pinch one end to loosen the clip.

The tie clip should be the same width as your tie or narrower. It should never be wider than your tie as this could look odd. It should be placed about three or four buttons down from the top of your shirt and should be horizontal (not at a diagonal angle).

For a more casual style, your tie clip could be a bright colour or pattern to add some contrast to your suit. The tie clip could even match the colour of your pocket square.

For more formal occasions, you should match the tie clip to any other accessories you might be wearing, including jewellery and cufflinks. For example, if your cufflinks are silver, keep your tie clip silver too. If you’re wearing a waistcoat, avoid wearing a tie clip. It probably won’t be seen and the waistcoat will keep your tie in place without the need for a clip.

What colour tie should I wear...

If you’re unsure which colour tie to go for we’ve listed a few popular suit and tie combinations below.

...with striped shirts

Many people will avoid striped shirts because they don’t know what kind will go with them. You want to make sure your tie complements your shirt. The best way to do this is to choose a solid colour with little or no pattern on it.

If you do want to wear a patterned tie, make sure the pattern is either bigger or smaller than the stripes in the shirt. A tie with big, thick stripes will go well with a shirt that has very thin stripes on it. The same theory applies to checked shirts too.

...with a white shirt

White shirts are the most versatile to dress and pretty much anything goes. The only hindrance could be the rest of your outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a blue suit with brown brogues, you might want to avoid a black tie. Instead choose something like maroon, which will complement the brown shoes.

...with a black shirt

With a black shirt, you should keep your tie dark too. Either choose a tie with a black and grey pattern or stick to a solid black colour. If you want to add colour, try a very dark red or blue. These tones will work without looking comical or out of place.

The easiest way to make sure your tie matches your outfit is to use a colour wheel. A colour wheel is normally used for home interiors but the theory can be applied to fashion as well. The wheel shows you which colours complement each other the most. You can either pair colours that are opposite each other or colours that sit next to each other.

If there’s only one rule you choose to pay attention to in this post, it’s that your tie should always be darker than your shirt.

There are so many ways to wear a tie. Most are down to personal preference but some are down to etiquette and more general fashion rules.

New Spring Collection 2019

Spring is in the air here at Chums…

Give your wardrobe a refresh with our new spring collection. From men's, ladies and home items to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice when exploring our new range.

We have some fabulous key pieces that are must have for any wardrobe. Take a look at our video to see our buyer’s choices for the season ahead. #ChumsSpring2019

For him
Update your wardrobe with a fabulous new blazer. Our Pegasus Cotton Blazer is perfect for the spring season and will carry you right through to summer. With its lightweight material, it can be dressed up or down for any occasion you have planned. Pair with a pair of cotton chinos and a check shirt to give you that ultimate look for a night out.

For her
We have some must have beautiful dresses that are a key wardrobe essential this spring. Choose from bold prints to flattering lace finishes, so whatever your mood we have a versatile collection that will fit in with any of your plans.

There’s something about the colours, sizes, shapes and styles in our new spring collection that’s got everybody talking, so go on take a look at our new fantastic collection today. #ChumsSpring2019

Items featured:
Ruched Panel Waist Dress (Length 41”) - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/ls599/ruched-panel-waist-dress-41-inches
Ruched Panel Waist Dress (Length 46”) - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/ls600/ruched-panel-waist-dress-46-length
Jersey Maxi dress - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/ls559/jersey-maxi-dress
Pegasus Cotton Blazer - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/mb111/pegasus-cotton-blazer-regular-fitting
Cotton Chino Trouser - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/mt288/cotton-chino-trouser
Short Sleeve Mini Check Shirt With Chest Pocket - https://www.chums.co.uk/products/mf109/short-sleeve-mini-check-shirt-with-chest-pocket

A Chums' Celebrity Makeover

Jeremy Clarkson rose to fame back in 1988 during the original Top Gear, and since then has hosted TV shows such as Robot Wars and The Grand Tour, and recently became the new host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

He’s known for being outspoken and opinionated, as well as hugely knowledgeable in all things cars and engineering. However, he isn’t known for being fashionable or a trend setter.

His typical outfit usually consists of baggy jeans, loafers, and some kind of bright and patterned shirt. He’s also a fan of mixing a suit jacket with jeans, something he says he adopted from Richard Hammond who’s ‘aware of trends much more than [Clarkson is]’.

But we think he could look much smarter. We’ve taken an image of Jeremy Clarkson featuring him at a red carpet event and we’ve improved his whole outfit. From adding a tie, to neatening his hair and shortening his baggy trousers, we’ve given him some well needed je ne sais quoi.

What do you think of our improvements? Watch the video below!

Celebrity Makeover

*The video above is just for fun and no celebs used in the making of it endorse our products or are sponsored by us. Fashion should be personal, stylish and should make you feel confident.

Come and take a look at the whole chums range. Items perfect for yourself and your home to keep you looking stylish and comfortable all season long.


Health Benefits of Knitting

With the winter months slowing creeping in it’s time to take up some in door hobbies. One which is becoming very popular with those old and young is knitting. From hats, to scarves, blankets to jumpers, there are so many things you can knit!

Here are some of the top health benefits that knitting brings!

1. Improving your concentration

Whatever your age, knitting is known to help those who have trouble focusing on one thing for long periods of time. It gives you something to focus on by shifting your attention to the present moment. In addition, as you see your progress instantly with what you’re making, your desire to concentrate is reinforced on the project you wish to complete.

2 Improves good habits

Knitting is the perfect way of keeping busy, especially when you can get bored easily. It is the perfect hobby to take up as it has no negative effects to your physical or mental health and doesn’t interfere with your daily life. Choosing to knit is a conscious decision with subconscious benefits because of the level of concentration required to finish off whatever you are knitting.

3. Helps memory

To knit the perfect items takes a lot of dedication and practice to develop the perfect skills to help you in your future knitting projects. Therefore, the trial and error aspect of knitting teaches you to remember errors made previously to avoid them in the future.

4. Building relationships

Even though knitting can be a solitary task there are many local groups, which you can join that are full of fellow knitters like you. Therefore, it will help you to make new friends who have similar interest s, which will help with your mental health wellbeing.

5. Help Improve on stress, depression and anxiety

The rhythmic actions of knitting can help distract you from the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Sitting still and knitting reduces your heart rate as it’s a relaxing experience so whenever you start to feel anxious or stress and reach for those knitting needles to help calm you down.

6. Help to prevent arthritis and tendinitis

Knitting isn’t just good for your mental health but your physical heath too. As knitting involves using your fingers it helps to build up cartilage, making them stronger instead of the cartilage wearing down.








Holiday Packing Tips

Along with the sun cream and beach towels you need to decide what your holiday wardrobe must contain. From shoes to shirts, shorts to lightweight trousers packing your holiday suitcase can be a nightmare! Don’t worry though Chums is here to help you decide what’s best to take away on your long awaited vacation.

For him


Make sure you pick tops, T-shirts and polo’s, which you will feel comfortable in throughout your sunny holiday. Why not take a look at our Pegasus classic polo shirt, great for keeping you cool on those sunny days. Coming in 9 different colours you can get one for each day of your holiday! Everyone needs a good pair of shorts when they go away, whether you’re on a city holiday or a beach break the perfect pair of shorts are key to looking and feeling great! Why not try our chino shorts, perfect for dressing up or down, or our stain resistant shorts the perfect cover for the day.



Everyone needs a good pair of shorts when they go away, whether you’re on a city holiday or a beach break the perfect pair of shorts are key to looking and feeling great! Why not try our chino shorts, perfect for dressing up or down, or our stain resistant shorts the perfect cover for the day.



A pair of chinos are a staple for the holiday season, pair with a smart shirt for the evening times for that evening meal with your family, or add a polo shirt for that sightseeing trip.




Don’t forget your feet while on vacation, with the sunny weather you need to make sure your feet look and feel great. A pair of sandals in the day are ideal or those walks along the beach or a adventure into town. If you’re looking for that perfect smart shoe for the evening time try our cushion walk boat shoe for that extra comfort.



Timeless Trends


Fashion conscious across the globe are always all looking for the next best trend, trawling through magazines and following fashion weeks to catch a glimpse of the upcoming trends to ensure their look is always on top. But, have you ever thrown your favourite item of clothing away, only for it to come back in fashion a few years later? You’re not alone! We’ve taken a look back at fashion through the ages, and the timeless trends that never go out of style.

Fashion through the ages

1920s –

The Flapper Girl

Known as the roaring twenties, the 1920s fashion trends are more commonly associated with the ‘flapper girl’ fashion. Throughout these years, women wore dresses all day, every day, through rain and shine.

1920s dresses were sleeveless, shapeless, ankle to knee length slip gowns accented with beading, sequins, fringe and feathers. Rich pastel tones and jewels made any gown expensive and most were matched with headbands, shawls, long pearl necklaces and arm bangles.

1950s –

The ‘New Look’

The ‘New Look’ trend was introduced by Christian Dior in 1947. The look celebrated the end of the war and gave women the opportunity to put some fun back into their wardrobe, the look itself focused on an hourglass figure, shoulders were soft not squared while fabrics and petticoats were used to create bountiful, calf-length skirts.

The Pencil Skirt

Another popular look of the fifties included the high-waisted pencil skirt, known for its sleek and slender look this suited those who didn’t follow the ‘New Look’ trend and is still a favourite today. Both looks incorporated delicate prints and patterns and were accompanied by the ever-popular ‘pin-curl’ hairstyle. This look can be seen on women today, who still replicate the 1950s look.

The Mini Skirt

The 1960s also known as the swinging sixties saw the debut of the ever-loved miniskirt, revolutionary to the women’s fashion scene, this design saw for the first time, hemlines being taken over the knee. The timeless trend has evolved over the years and is seen in many season collections today.

The Little Black Dress

Known and adored globally, the LBD (little black dress) is better recognised for its appearance in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s worn by Audrey Hepburn. The sleek, flattering and sophisticated style ensures that this ultimate classic trend will maintain its popular status for decades to come.

1970s –

Flares and platforms

The days of Cher and ABBA, were epitomised by two trends, flares and platform boots. Although flares were first introduced towards the end of the 60s they hit their peak in the 70s, with the trend continuing to fall in and out of the fashion scene.

The high-waisted flares were more commonly paired with platform boots, a trend that has been seen in very recent autumn/winter collections for a host of popular brands.

1980s –

Shoulder Pads

Whether you were a fan or not, the decade-defining shoulder-pads were a huge fashion trend in the 80s, used to create the illusion of a broader shoulder line, women indulged in this trend in all different styles of tops and jackets.

1990s –

Double Denim

From Justin and Britney to Bwitched, the 90s saw the trend of the double denim come to fruition. The pairing of denim shorts or jeans with a denim jacket to match. The look wasn’t for everyone; however, it has found its way back into our shops today and is adored by celebrities and adolescents alike.

The Pleated Plaid Skirt

The 90s also bought with it a fan favourite, the pleated plaid skirt, famously worn by Alicia Silverstone on the 1995 film Clueless and a favourite of Jennifer Anniston on her run in F.R.I.E.N.D.S the pleated plaid mini skirt was usually paired with knee-high socks and a polar neck jumper. Another timeless trend that is still seen in many collections today.

2000 –


The noughties saw Boho-chic, a look not too dissimilar to the hipsters of the 70s, this style saw women wearing floaty skirts paired with textured gilets and wide belts. The Boohoo look is still popular today with spring/summer catwalks still including those long floating items perfect for a summer getaway.




Where to wear

Ever find yourself with an occasion to attend and no idea what the dress code means? What even is smart casual anyway? And what’s the difference between a suit and a tux?

We’re here to help by providing you with five popular types of trousers and fabric, and advice on when to wear them.


Jeans are a wonderfully flexible piece of clothing that will suit any casual and smart casual dress code. It all depends on what you decide to style them with.

How to Style Them
For a fully casual look, wear jeans with either a t-shirt or a jumper with a pair of casual trainers or shoes. If you’re attending a smart casual event, you can dress your jeans up with a shirt, a leather belt and smart shoes.

If you do decide to wear jeans for a smart casual event, choose a pair that are darker in colour and without any rips or artificial fading.

Where to wear: Day festivals, shopping trips, informal lunch or dinners, visiting family.


Chinos, like jeans, can be styled in so many ways. They come in so many different colours, so you might choose a darker colour for an evening style, or lighter colours for daytime or summertime.

How to Style Them
Chinos are slightly smarter than jeans and would work well as a smart casual look as well. Wear them with trainers and a T-shirt, or smart shoes and a blazer. Unlike jeans, they also go with a shirt and tie, so they’re a great option for (almost) any smart casual occasion.

They come in tonnes of shapes, from slim-fit to stretch, with or without pockets,
elasticated waists, or straight fit. You’re bound to find a style that suits you.

Where to wear: A night out or drinking session, informal lunch or dinner, the office


Corduroy is a material that has been around for centuries. It was a popular fabric for school uniforms in the early 1900s and then was used for sporting and military wear. Since then it has become a fashionable fabric that comes in all kinds of styles and colours.

How to Style Them
You can pair corduroys with some smart shoes and shirt and tie, or equally dress them down with a casual jumper or t-shirt. The only time you can’t wear your corduroy trousers is for a formal or business occasion.

Where to wear: A birthday party, family dinner or day trips.


A tuxedo is for formal evening events, and it’s inappropriate to wear one before 5pm. There isn’t much of a difference between a tuxedo and a suit except a tuxedo has satin lapels, buttons, pocket trim and a stripe down the leg of the trousers.

How to Style Them
A tuxedo will almost always be worn with a black bow tie. You should polish up your best Oxford shoes and wear with black socks (no pink stripes in sight, please). Finish the look with your best cufflinks, a dress watch and a white silk pocket square.

Where to wear: A formal dinner party, an opera, ballet or orchestra performance, anywhere with a ‘Black Tie’ dress code.


A suit is a much more informal look than a tuxedo. You can have a little bit more fun with a suit, choosing mismatching blazer and trousers, an assortment of colours, slim fit, skinny fit, different trouser lengths, different coloured ties. Your options are endless depending on where you’re going.

How to Style Them
Brown leather always goes well with a blue suit, so pair a brown leather belt and shoes with your navy blue trousers. If you’re wearing a grey or black suit, then choose a black belt and shoes.

For a more informal suit look, leave the buttons undone, but if you’re attending a wedding, it’s best to keep them buttoned.

Where to wear: Job interviews, business events, a wedding, a first date

Return Of The Cords

Fashion is one big circle. Trends come into fashion, then go out of fashion, only to come back in twenty years later. Corduroy trousers have finally become popular again after almost two decades of being considered ugly and unstylish. Here we look at the corduroy trousers in more detail from their inception, to today.


The early years

Previously known as ‘Fustian’, the manufactured textile was originally produced in Fustat, Egypt circa 200 AD. In the 12th Century, Fustian became increasingly popular, and with the growth of the cotton trade, distribution throughout Europe began.

Imitations of fustian textiles were common, and by the end of 16th Century, fustians were being manufactured in London, Lancashire and Ireland.

Fast Forward to the 18th Century and the fabric was being manufactured as a practical, outdoor fabric thanks to its durability and warmth. A more expensive, longer brushed pile known as Naples Fustian was worn by the elite. Servants livery was also commonly manufactured from a cheaper version of the material.

By the end of the 18th Century, fustian became known as ‘cotton velvet’ or ‘corduroy’ as we now know it.

Why is it called corduroy?

The word ‘corduroy’ derives from the French ‘corde du roi’, meaning cloth of the king.

In the 17th Century, French royal servants wore a durable fustian-style fabric. The word corduroy was coined around the late 18th Century

Did you know? The Oxford English Dictionary cites 1774 as the earliest date of use of the word ‘corduroy’.

The 20th Century

Corduroy became a popular fabric for school uniforms in the early 1900s. It’s also popular for sporting and military wear—used for soldiers’ trousers in WWI throughout Europe.

Did you know? In 1918, Henry Ford chose a hard wearing corduroy for the interior of his Ford Model T.

Through the 1920s and 30s corduroy continues to be popular, not only for sporting and military wear, but also for suits, caps and jackets. The versatility of the fabric lent itself to the fashion of that time—workwear and active.

By the 1950s, cords had gone out of fashion several times. It was often mocked as old-fashioned and out of date, worn by pipe smoking college professors. Each time it went out of fashion, it returned with a refreshed look.

In 1982, popular fashion designer Gianni Versace introduced a whole line of corduroy clothing.




An active Summer style guide for men

Getting some well-needed fresh air and exercise during the summer months is great for both our physical and mental health. In fact, a government survey revealed that over half of the population make at least one or more leisure visits to the outdoors each week. But in order to enjoy the most of your outdoor activities, you need to be comfortable, prepared and dressed to go…

The UK is home to 15 official sublime national parks and numerous untouched nature reserves just waiting for you to experience them this summer. From distilled reflective lakes to the grounding peaks of Snowdonia, inexpensive summer walks are guaranteed to leave you feeling richer in mind, body and soul.

Cargo shorts
Emphasizing comfort, elasticated waist cargo shorts are both lightweight and utilitarian. Perfect for that midday summer heat, these cooling shorts are easy to travel with and machine washable for any unexpected mucky paw prints.

Breathable layers
If you’re heading out for a long day of walking, be prepared to sweat it out. Wearing a breathable fabric means your body moisture can be released, avoiding an uncomfortable damp t-shirt.

Reusable water bottle
Instead of opting for a heavy aluminum or tin bottle, hands-free, plastic water pouches are the perfect method of fuss-free hydration out and about.

Waterproof walking boots
The most crucial part of any walking outfit, a hard-wearing but comfortable boot, will ensure your trip isn’t cut short by aching feet. A breathable and waterproof shoe will battle the unreliable British elements.

According to a survey last year, avid UK golfers spend around £4 billion on their sport. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or a part time beginner, with around 3,000 golf courses here in Britain, there are plenty of courses to try your hand at this summer.

The iconic tank top/sweater vest
Marrying tailored fashion with sporting etiquette, the iconic golfing tank-top need not be an expensive or bold purchase. A simple cotton navy or grey sweater vest will team well with a smart trouser for a suave sporting look.

Elasticated chinos
Having a full range of movement is essential if you want to be on your A game. Restricting trousers will drive you insane and putt you at a distinct disadvantage. Consider taking a spare pair in case you get a hole in one..

According to Sporting England, just under half of UK respondents participated in their main outdoor activity with their parents/guardians/family. Fishing is a great way to spend quality outdoor time with friends or family in a serene backdrop. However, as it’s a waiting game, you’ll need to make comfort a priority, and prepare for a change in the climate.

A waterproof but warm gilet is staple fishing attire. Choosing one with multiple pockets to keep all your hooks and bait handy is favourable, but comfort and flexibility should be a key priority. Machine washable, lightweight cottons are highly recommended

Fishing hat
A hat will deduct glare, allowing you to spot fish more easily under the water whilst protecting you from the sun. Full-brimmed bucket style hats offer wider protection to baseball-style caps.

Fleece lined trousers
Despite the summer weather, spending long hours fishing means temperatures will drop dramatically leaving you to feel the chill. It’s a great idea to pack a pair of warm fleece-lined trousers to cover all bases.


Top ways to keep the grandchildren occupied this summer!

Are you on babysitting duty this summer? If so here are some cracking Ideas to keep the grandchildren busy!

1: Gardening

So many of you might think that children would find helping you in the garden this summer a bore. However, you can make it fun for the both of you. Why not give your grandchild a section of garden they have to look after themselves and see how proud they are when they can see their flowers blossom!

2: The beach

Why not take your grandchildren to the beach on those sunny days. Pack a little picnic and lots of sun cream! Go shell collecting or crabbing to ensure you have some perfect bonding time with the little ones while catching a tan too!

3: Museum

If you want to ensure that your grandchildren are still learning through the summer holidays then the museum could be the place for you. Visiting a museum is such a fun way for the children and yourself to have fun while you learn! With most entries, being free of charge it is a perfect cheap way to keep the children entertained.

4: Films

So you have the grandchildren over summer you look outside the window and the rain is pouring down. What a perfect opportunity to have some great quality time with your grandchild. Why not curl up on the sofa and put on one of their favourite films. The perfect solution to keeping them quiet!


Grandparent Day


Since mums and dads get their own special day each year, it only seems right that we acknowledge how great grandparents are too. This year, Sunday 2 October marks Grandparents’ Day in the UK – a time to celebrate, appreciate and shower your elderly relatives with love and affection. To make this day one to remember, here are some top gift ideas and great days out for you and your family to enjoy together.

Look your best with new clothing

  • So that you can celebrate in style, why not treat yourself to some new clothing?
  • From fashionable cardigans to stylish shirts and blouses, Chums menswear and womenswear offer a whole host of clothing items and accessories for you to choose from.

Kit out with gardening gear

  • If you are a self-proclaimed ‘green fingers’, you could kit them yourself with some new gardening gear.
  • From a pair of protective gloves, to a cushioned kneeling pad, to a handy trowel, there are a wide range of useful accessories to help you make the most of your time spent in the garden.

Treat yourself to a luxury food hamper

  • If you are a gourmand, a luxury food hamper could fit the bill perfectly.
  • To make it extra special, fill it up with your favourite treats and snacks.

Book a meal at your favourite restaurant

    • To get your taste buds tingling, you could book a meal at your favourite restaurant.
  • Whether you go to the pub for a traditional roast dinner or fill up on pizza and pasta at your local Italian.

Watch a flick at the cinema

  • To make this Grandparents’ Day one to remember, why not head to your local cinema to watch a flick?
  • Pick out a movie, stock up on popcorn and immerse yourselves in the full cinematic experience.

Take a trip to the theatre

  • Why not treat yourself to a trip to the theatre to watch your favourite show?
  • You could even dress up for the occasion – polish your shoes, dust off those binoculars and you’re good to go.


Top tips for getting holiday ready

For the majority of us, a summer holiday is something we look forward to all year long.

Yet year after year we seem to forget how fast they come around. According to a survey by the Post Office, 37 per cent of holidaymakers admit to being disorganised packers, so we’re giving a helping hand and sharing our top tips…


Before you go:

  • First things first, make sure you have your passport and check it’s in date
  • Holiday insurance – you can pre book your insurance in advance. Just select the dates you need it to be valid to and from. Here are some of our favourite sites to give you a head start http://goo.gl/yFNNVa, http://goo.gl/YkrAc, http://goo.gl/19SgP
  • Boarding passes – be sure to check in online and print off your boarding passes to save yourself some queuing time at the airport
  • Baggage – make sure you’ve added the amount of bags you intend to take with you to your booking. Double check the weight limits so you’re not surprised with any charges when you get to the airport


  • Getting started is always the hardest part – putting heavy items such as shoes on top of the wheels helps to balance the case out and stops any clothes getting squashed by them
  • Whether you choose to fold, roll or bundle your clothes into the suitcase, the key is not to over-pack! Squashed clothes become creased clothes
  • Don’t put anything valuable or irreplaceable in your suitcase; if it is eligible to go into your hand luggage keep it in there
  • If two or more people are travelling, split belongings between checked luggage so if one case goes missing, each of you will still have a change of clothes
  • Once you’ve put all your clothes in, make sure your beach towel is the last thing to go in and lay it across the top so everything is held in place
  • Add something memorable onto your suitcase handle – chances are most people will have a case similar to yours so it’s a good idea to have something to tell them apart


Once this is all done, it’s time to simply sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday!





Djokovic was crowned Wimbledon champion, but who won the style stakes?

As well as being captivated by the fast action tennis at Wimbledon over the past two weeks, we have also been keeping a close eye on the royal box to catch a glimpse of the summer fashions on show.

As the centre court draws to a close for another year, here are just a few stylish highlights we’ve taken from this year’s celebrity packed tournament.

Florals are a huge hit

Flowery patterned textiles were a favourite with Kim Sears, Pippa Middleton and Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, who brought a burst of colour to centre court with some eye-catching and timeless prints.
Floral dresses are flattering, comfortable and can be accessorised to suit a wide range of social occasions.

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The Royals tick all of the boxes

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge continued to turn heads as the fashion forward pair upped the stakes while showing their support for Andy Murray.


Kate wowed the crowds in a striking red midi dress, while Prince William proved that classic navy blazers are a safe but stylish option.

Game, set and match for the Beckhams


The adorable father and son, David and Brooklyn Beckham also opted for classic navy suit jackets for their bonding session at the tennis.


Roger Federer might not have won the men’s final this year, but with his crisp Swiss style we think he always takes the lead for having a classic sense of fashion. If Wimbledon has inspired you to dust off your racket, get the look with our own range of stylish shorts and polo shirts.