Archive for December, 2019

Emma Willis releases sportswear range at Next

Emma Willis releases a sportswear range with Next to make your 2020 workouts a stylish affair

After designing four clothing ranges for Next, Emma Willis is continuing this collaboration with a 2020 sportswear collection, inspired by a desire to develop “sportswear that looked really good but was functional, and didn’t cost the earth.”

The design process

For her latest collection, Emma adds another string to her bow. As a passionate advocate of healthy living, moving into sportswear design was a natural segue for her.

“Sportswear was something I really wanted to do…January just seems perfect because you have that month of indulgence for Christmas”.

Thinking back on her own experiences with sportswear, Emma’s aim was to design pieces that were all about functionality, style and affordability.

The collection

Emma has released a collection that has everything you need for an active lifestyle.

“With a hectic work schedule and busy family life, exercising is important to me; it really helps me to stay focused and feel strong. Adding sportswear to the collection felt like a natural fit, there’s pieces suitable for any workout and we’ve also included some super comfy hoodies and joggers too”. –Emma Willis

The leggings are the perfect example of functionality and style combined. A deep waistband, sweat-wicking fabric and four way stretch technology means the leggings stay comfortable for every twist, lunge, jump and squat. They come in two styles, one with a graphic print and one in neon trimmed plain grey.

There are also two swimsuits for those who are more into swimming lengths than sweating at HIIT classes. One is a textured square neck black piece with white piping detail and the other is a high neck racer with crossover back detail. They’ve both been designed for function and support and feature discreet built-in cups.

How Emma stays healthy

Emma takes a holistic approach to health, making sure to pay attention to both her physical and mental wellbeing. Working out is about looking after body instead of looking a certain way. “I’m doing it to stay strong and stay able as I get older”, Emma explains.

She also doesn’t put pressure on herself in terms of setting a strict routine.

“I start with being realistic, looking at fitness week by week and judging how much time I have available to train…so I don’t get stressed out by not doing as much every week as I’d like to.”

Variety is key, although Emma does have a few preferences. Morning workouts are better than evening sessions and boxing and reformer pilates are her favourite classes.

When it comes to looking after her mental wellbeing, the mum-of-three makes sure she sets time aside for herself and for self-care.

“Finding time for yourself every week is so important. Normally, other things that take up my week are for my family with household chores etc. so I do recommend having some time during your week which is just something for yourself.”

Emma’s approach to diet

A healthy diet is essential to Emma. After the indulgent holiday period, she makes sure she restores the balance by going sugar-free in January.

Her daily diet will usually consist of an omelette for breakfast, salad or soup for lunch, and a nutrient rich dinner, like homemade stews or roasted vegetables.

Her husband, singer Matt Willis, even created a foolproof recipe for avoiding chocolate cravings.

“I’m not sure if Matt actually invented or discovered this, but he came up with this dessert for me at night so I don’t eat chocolate: coconut yoghurt, almond butter and some cacao powder (just the tip of the teaspoon).”

Set your 2020 goals in motion with Emma Willis’ sportswear capsule range. The collection will be available in store from Tuesday 31st December.


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Next reveals the nation’s funny festive searches

If you’ve ever looked online to find your local shop’s opening times on Christmas Day or where to find a Christmas pudding outfit – you’re not alone.

With Christmas fast approaching, retailer Next has looked into some of the funniest things people are searching for on Google during the festive period. From rotating Christmas tree stands to gifts for a picky mother-in-law, they’ve uncovered some real crackers (excuse the pun) to do with gifting, décor and parties – three areas that we often turn to Google for when we’re stuck for ideas.

To that end, we thought we’d share a few of these with you – as well as give you some practical tips to get you through the festive period.


Christmas parties

The Internet often becomes our own personal stylist when we’re deciding what to wear to the work Christmas party. It is, after all, one of the most important events of the year – so it’s natural to turn to Google for ideas.

In Next’s quest to uncover our funniest search queries, they found that a few of us are certainly optimistic about December weather, Googling the phrase “open toe shoes for Christmas party”.

Meanwhile, others are keen to keep their festive season style cosy and casual, looking for advice on “how to wear a Christmas jumper on a night out”.

Our tips for Christmas party outfits:

  • Find out if there’s a theme or dress code. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party and realising you’re too casual or too formal. Ask around and get some ideas from your colleagues in the weeks leading up to the event, if you’re unsure.
  • Don’t be afraid to go bold. Christmas only comes around once a year, so it’s a great excuse to get dolled up to the nines and dig out all things twinkly and sparkly from the depths of your wardrobe.
  • Dress comfortably. For many of us, it’ll be a lively night with lots of dancing, so you’ll want to go for an outfit that’s comfortable but chic all the same.



Many of us turn to the powers of the Internet for gifting inspiration around Christmas time, particularly when dealing with fussy family members or a tricky Secret Santa recipient.

But aside from the typical “what to get my girlfriend” or “what to get my dad” questions, a few of us are more specific with our search queries.

It seems we look to the internet when dealing with pernickety family members, asking “what to get a picky mother in law for Christmas” and “what to get a fussy friend for Christmas”.

Our tips for gifting:

  • Consider getting some of your friends and family to fill out a wish-list online. There are a fair few sites (including Amazon) that offer this and it’ll save you time and the potential embarrassment of buying something your recipient doesn’t like.
  • Don’t leave present-buying to the last minute, especially if you’re ordering online as your gifts may not arrive in time for Christmas. Have a look at the Next Gift Guide online for some ideas or stop off at The Rock’s Next store.
  • Set a budget so you don’t end up spending more than you’d hoped. You might even benefit from using a budgeting tool or app to keep track of your expenses over the festive period.

For festive décor

The presence of cinnamon-scented candles, Nativity-style ornaments and fairy lights all make Christmas one of the cosiest times of the year. To that end, we put plenty of thought into our Christmas decorations to make sure our surroundings have the ultimate snuggle factor.

However, cosy can mean different things to different people and there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to Christmas décor. In fact, according to Next’s study, some of us are searching for very niche decorations such as “roman Christmas décor” and even “toilet paper decorations for Christmas”!

Our tips for decorating:

  • Stick to a specific colour scheme (this will help narrow down your choices and also look better). Think about the furniture you’ve got and try to find a theme that matches (Next have got some lovely décor if you’re stuck for inspiration).
  • Decide whether you’ll have a real or artificial tree. Real ones require more maintenance and can also be hazardous to curious pets and tots, so be sure to factor this into your decision.
  • Figure out a budget for your décor and try to stick to it. Second hand sites and platforms like eBay are great for finding hidden festive gems without spending too much (plus, purchasing second hand is a lot better for the environment than buying brand new!).


Christmas is just around the corner – so we hope we’ve given you some ideas for party outfits, gifts and décor. Thursday is late night shopping at The Rock (we’re open till 9pm) so make sure you stop by to get your Christmas shopping done!

We also heard from presenter Emma Willis on what Christmas is like in her household. You can view the video here and maybe come away with some tips on Christmas dinner prep too!


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