Cotswold Collections Journal

Inspire  Converse  Share

    Exclusive Preview of our Spring 2020 Collection

    We're revealing an exclusive preview of our Spring 2020 collection. Take a first look at the newest trends below.

    Our Spring 2020 collection features feminine spring patterns in a beautiful mix of both cool and warm tones. Revealing layering pieces and essentials to take you through to the next season.

    Watch the exclusive preview of our Spring 2020 video above.

    For more interesting updates and special offers, sign up for our email newsletters here >

    A day in the life of our Mail Order and Customer Services Manager

     

    Our Mail Order and Customer Services Manager, Paula, started with Cotswold Collections 15 years ago as a part-time customer services operator when she had two young sons at home. Today, she oversees the operations of the department and says that “no two days are ever the same! They are as individual and unique as the customers that call”.

    Supporting her in the day-to-day running is her Assistant Mail Order Manager, Natalie and Assistant Customer Service Manager, Sharman as well as a loyal, helpful and diligent team of 18. First thing in the morning, after grabbing a cup of coffee, Paula ensures that all the team members of the day have arrived and are organised for the expected days calls.

    Once everyone is happy and settled, Paula then begins her days tasks, including responding to any emails as well as reviewing the previous days sales to see if we have reached the daily target. Although each day is never the same as the last, Paula has a variety of tasks to undertake; from creating and managing ever changing rota’s, overseeing department operations, reviewing timesheets, liaising with all other departments, training on new system procedures, responding to enquiries and queries, and of course, answering incoming calls.

    Each member of the team also has their own individual tasks along with answering calls and these can include: responding to customer emails, requesting catalogues and arranging postage of them, processing returns and exchanges including the paperwork as well as requesting alterations and organising shipments of customer orders.

    Paula says “within each role here you have to be adaptable and versatile as each day brings new challenges and you can have requests of any sort arise at any moment. Every phone call can bring a different challenge to an operator, they need to have the ability to respond and adapt effectively and efficiently. Having good, reliable product knowledge and being up-to-date on product availability is vital to the smooth running of the department”.

    In customer services, as the first point of contact for many of our customers, the philosophy is ‘a smile within a voice’. This means providing friendly and welcoming first-class customer service to every individual. Whether they’ve been purchasing from Cotswold Collections for many years, or if they’re a first-time customer. Paula says “we want everyone to feel happy, confident and assured during every call. It’s important to us to identify with customers to provide a personal service and we pride ourselves on our fast response time, so our valued customers aren’t kept waiting even on our busy sale days! I’m very lucky to have such a brilliant team that are lovely, diligent and believe in our ethos”.

    The department has recently experienced exciting new challenges as Cotswold Collections has launched in America. Changes have included the growth of the team to include staff who work remotely in order to accommodate the time difference. “This has posed lively challenges for us as a whole and it’s incredibly exciting to be part of a new venture” says Paula.

    When asked what the best part of her role here is at Cotswold Collections, Paula responded “simply, it’s the customer. They are at the heart of what we do in every department. I love being one of the first points of contact for our lovely ladies and speaking to the vast range of customers we have. I  always enjoy being able to sort out any concern for them efficiently and promptly too”.

    Is there something you’d love to learn about what we do here at Cotswold Collections? Let us know in the comments below…

    Winter Sale | Up to 60% Off | Final Reductions

    Shop our Winter sale with savings of up to 60% off.

    Remember to take a look at our exclusive online selection, as well as our clearance section with items from as little as £10.

     Treat yourself and refresh your wardrobe with these amazing offers!

     Please be aware that stock is limited across all our sale items and that we may not have a full range of sizes in each garment.

    Shop by your size in our sale category: for an easier way to shop our sale simply select your size from the bar above the sale items (for example in a size 16 and size L). This will then show only the items with your size in stock.

    Please note: when ordering online, anything left in your basket for a long period of time is at risk of being lost due to high demand during sale day. Avoid disappointment and process your order all the way through as quickly as possible.

    HAPPY SHOPPING!

    New Year, New Season, New Patterns!

    Look forward to the New Year and revamp your wardrobe with the bright contemporary prints in our Early Spring 2020 collection!

    Patterns have been a staple part of fashion history, in East Asia the earliest surviving example of Woodblock printing dates back to 220AD. Then in 1860 William Jennings Demorest and Ellen Louise Demorest revolutionised the industry by introducing sewing patterns. Over the years there have been many revivals of the ‘classic’ prints and they have certainly sustained their popularity throughout each decade.

    This year is no exception to the trend, and we’re looking forward to bringing you key pieces, thoughtfully created by our designers in the heart of the Cotswold’s and styled to suit you…

    Showcasing a fabulously modern geometric floral print, these gorgeous jersey separates look beautiful paired together and can be effortlessly coordinated with pieces from your existing wardrobe.


    The classic polka dot motif has been refashioned on this intriguing French soft blouse, perfect for all occasion wear as well as a layering piece over a t-shirt. It also looks stunning with the complementing silk and cotton scarf, printed for us in England.


    Florals are always wonderfully feminine, and we have a lovely selection in our latest collection. For a lighter piece to wear throughout the season into summer and beyond, take a look at our soft, warm blouse featuring a charming French botanical print. Add a stylish layer to your ensembles with our luxuriously warm jacquard cardigan which showcases an eye-catching floral design in a bright spring hue.

    Chic and luxurious, our fully fashioned mélange jumper has a feature front panel of jacquard knit in three lovely colours creating a wonderful stripe effect pattern.

    Which print from our latest collection is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below…

    Transition towards Spring with ease with our latest arrivals

    Our lightweight insulating layers, natural fibres and attractive textures are all designed in easy, comfortable wear-me-now styles, perfect for easing the process of transitioning through the season change.

    Keep warm on those chiller days of the season in cosy, warming pieces like our pure lambswool cardigan, knitted in the softest machine washable yarn in a glorious blue shade and styled with a lovely chevon stitch fashioning.

    Be prepared for unpredictable weather changes in our practical and stylish coats, perfect for protecting you against the elements while being light enough to carry or pack if needed. Our reversible insulated down coat is brilliantly versatile with the two options for wear and is quilted for excellent warmth.

    Glorious, bright, spring inspired tones feature throughout the collection in a range of styles and will instantly transcend your look into Spring. Made in pure wool woven in a British heritage fabric, our gorgeous lovat hue tweed jacket has a subtle check weave and is a lovely, uplifting finishing layer.

    Beautiful feminine florals have been a staple in spring/summer fashion for a while now and this year we have refashioned these favourites. Our delightful Italian print chiffon skirt showcases a stunning hydrangea design in eye-catching tones of green and blue. The unique, almost geometric pattern of our floral jersey separates is a lovely alternative to the classic design and can be worn together for a pretty ensemble or paired with plains from your existing wardrobe.

    We'd love to hear which pieces are your favourites from our Early Spring collection, let us know in the comments below...

    Look forward to Early Spring 2020 with our new collection

    Start your new year in style with our latest arrivals that showcase our premium quality fabrics, easy-wear comfortable fits and striking designs. Look towards the fresh season and begin building the foundation of your wardrobe with our beautiful mix of cool or warm spring tones in natural fibres and blends.

    Enliven your outfits with our brighter hues and elevate your look in pieces inspired by seasonal trends such as bold geometric prints and feminine floral patterns.

    Keep warm in our wonderful lightweight layers, elegantly matched with essential separates which can be simply paired down for chic dressing when the weather warms.

    Finally, the gorgeous soft textures of the pieces emphasise their quality and luxury while also adding interest to their subtle colours.

    Our Early Spring collection has been carefully created to encompass and reflect the changing season, while sustaining our premium quality, stylish designs and flattering fits.

    Discover more of our wide array of easy-wear, figure flattering arrivals that you’ll want to wear time and time again. Take a look at the full collection and find that must-have item | Click here to view the new arrivals >>

    Watch our Early Spring video for some wonderful outfit inspiration.

    Become the face of Cotswold Collections! Have you been snapped wearing our clothes or accessories like the lovely lady below? For your chance to be featured on our social media platforms please send your photos to custserv@cotswoldcollections.com

    Take a look at our Pinterest to see what inspired our latest collection >>
    Follow us on Facebook here >>
    Tweet us on Twitter >>
    View our Instagram page >>

    Don't forget we offer FREE UK RETURNS and sizes 8-24 across all our new styles. Want help with sizing? Click here to see our size guide >>

    For more interesting updates and special offers, sign up for our email newsletters here >>

    Exclusive Preview of our Early Spring 2020 Collection

    The weather outside may be frightful, but hopefully this exclusive preview of our Early Spring collection will brighten your day!

    Build the beginnings of your spring wardrobe with ease while welcoming in the New Year. Glorious seasonal tones, including stunning pinks, neutral creams and cooler blues will gracefully brighten and add variation to your look.

    From geometric patterns to ditsy florals, make a statement in classic prints that have been refashioned in contemporary designs.

    Keep warm through the season and beyond in insulating lightweight layers which we have coordinated with essential pieces that can be effortlessly paired down with ease as the weather begins to warm.

    We’re excited to soon be sharing the full collection with you, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy a wonderful Christmas!

    Take a last look at our Christmas collection now >> 

    For more interesting updates and special offers, sign up for our email newsletters here >> 

    The Cotswolds at Christmas

    We love this time of year here at Cotswold Collections and we always feel so very lucky to call the beautiful Cotswolds home during Christmas time! The quintessential towns and villages magically glow from their festive light displays and there are so many events including Christmas markets to enjoy.

    Blenheim palace:
    Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and the only non-royal country house in England to hold the title of ‘palace’. Each year for Christmas Blenheim Palace has a spectacular illuminated trail through its festive gardens and also seasonally decorates its State Rooms, this year it will be transformed into the lavishly themed magical fairy tale fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland.

    Westonbirt Arboretum:
    Home to 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe and 5 national tree collections, Westonbirt transforms its magical woodland into a festive winter wonderland during Christmas. Enjoy the kaleidoscopic colours of the lights on the sensory trail that also includes Christmas choir singers serenading the crowds.

    Broadway:
    Often referred to as the 'Jewel of the Cotswolds’, Broadway is as beautiful as it is historic. Starting as a medieval town it became the main route from Worcester to London and today it sustains its popularity through the unique array of independent restaurants, artisan shops and welcoming accommodation. Showcasing a traditional, country-esque Christmas, Broadway’s buildings glow with festive lights and twinkling Christmas trees line the streets.

    Sudeley castle:
    Located in the village of Winchcombe and dating back to the 15th Century, Sudeley Castle boasts royal connections that span a thousand years and has played an important role in the turbulent and changing times of England’s past. Today, it is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds. Queen Katherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII lived and died at Sudeley but now it is the home of Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe and her family. At Christmas the gardens are adorned with magnificent light displays and this year you can follow Peter Pan and Wendy around the illuminated majestic castle, glorious gardens and romantic ruins.

    Cheltenham town centre:
    Like many of the towns around the area, Cheltenham brightens its streets with wonderful light displays that emanate the festive feeling of the Christmas market which sets up outside the iconic Cavendish house in the centre. The atmosphere is as enticing as the delicious food and hot drinks available from the stalls. We also highly recommend a cup of mulled wine while enjoying the live music too!

    Not sure what to wear to your festive occasions? Take a look at our handy journal for inspiration >>

    Will you be heading to see any festive light switch-on’s or illuminated trails this year? Let us know in the comments…

    12 Christmas traditions from around the world

    Christmas is such a magical time of the year and we all have our own traditions during the festive season. Whether it’s hanging a certain decoration on the tree, watching a film, going to Church on Christmas Eve, or perhaps even spreading joyful cheer while carol singing. Each celebration is wonderfully unique, and some are more commonly seen in different places around the world than others…

    UK - Stir up Sunday
    Popular in the UK, the centuries old tradition first started in the Victorian Era when each member of the family would take a stir of the Christmas pudding mix to bring good fortune to the household. Taking place on the last Sunday before advent, the Christmas pudding mix is made and stirred and is believed to be named after the words of the Book of Common Prayer: "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people". Learn more about this tradition in our recipe journal >>

    Wales - Taffy making
    The Welsh custom of taffy making takes used to take place on Christmas Eve while families awaited the Plygain service. Dollops of toffee that had been boiled in pans on the open fire would be dropped into icy cold water. It would then be watched in anticipation to see the shapes it would form and if letters were created, it was believed that the initial would be the name of the unmarried family members’ future betrothed.

    Sweden - Gävle goat
    A 13-metre-tall Yule Goat has been constructed in the centre of Gävle’s Castle Square during the advent countdown since 1966. Although this tradition has led to the creation of another, as people try to burn it down! Since it started, the Yule Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times, the last time of which was in 2016.

    Austria – Krampus
    A rather unusual tradition and one more reminiscent of Halloween than Christmas as St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus - a scary, beast like creature scares children and punishes the naughty ones.

    Iceland Jolabokaflod
    As paper was one of the few things that was rationed in Iceland during World War II, the tradition of gifting a book began. Today, all presents are gifted on the 24th of December, with a book being the final present opened. Then everyone grabs a cup of hot chocolate, snuggles up in a blanket and spends the rest of the evening reading.

    Philippines - Giant lantern festival
    Originally the lanterns for the festival were only half a metre in size and created from Japanese origami paper then lit by candle. However, today, they are around six metres in size, made in a variety of materials and illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle a kaleidoscope of patterns. Taking place each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve, the tradition takes place in the city of San Fernando, also known as the ‘Christmas capital of the Philippines’ and welcomes spectators from all over the world!

    Colombia - Day of the little candles
    This day, also known as Día de las Velitas marks the start of the Christmas season in Colombia, where people place candles in paper lanterns around their homes to honour the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary. As many traditions have, this has significantly grown with entire towns and cities now glowing with elaborate displays.

    Scotland - Burning branches of a rowan tree
    In Scotland, the branches of a Rowan tree is a popular tradition as it is thought that any negativity with friends or family are removed as the wood is consumed by the fire and ensures a happy year ahead!

    Portugal - Consoda
    As the table is set for Christmas dinner in Portugal, families celebrate the custom of ‘consoda’, laying out extra places for deceased relatives and is believed to bring good luck to the family.

    New Zealand – Pōhutukawa tree
    Much like the UK, New Zealanders celebrate Christmas in very traditional ways, such as decorating the tree, gifting presents and having a dinner with family and friends. However, much like Australia as its Christmas day falls during their summer time. As a result there are some very interesting variations including; having a Christmas dinner BBQ, decorating the Pōhutukawa tree and leaving beer as well as pineapple chunks for Santa and his reindeer!

    Japan – Unorthodox dinner
    Christmas isn’t a widely celebrated event in Japan and because of this, there are few traditions associated with the day. However, in more recent years the Christmas Day feast for many people has consisted of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The growth of the new custom is even being recognised by the fast-food chain as they launch a specific festive menu including a Christmas-themed standard bucket of a premium roast-bird feast.

    Make sure you have your perfect festive outfit planned! Take a look for inspiration here >>

    What are your favourite Christmas traditions? Let us know in the comments below…

    Winter Sale | Up to 60% Off

    Shop our Winter sale with savings of up to 60% off.

    Remember to take a look at our exclusive online selection, as well as our clearance section with items from as little as £10.

     Treat yourself and refresh your wardrobe with these amazing offers!

     Please be aware that stock is limited across all our sale items and that we may not have a full range of sizes in each garment.

    Shop by your size in our sale category: for an easier way to shop our sale simply select your size from the bar above the sale items (for example in a size 16 and size L). This will then show only the items with your size in stock.

    Please note: when ordering online, anything left in your basket for a long period of time is at risk of being lost due to high demand during sale day. Avoid disappointment and process your order all the way through as quickly as possible.

    HAPPY SHOPPING!

    Top tips for a restorative night’s sleep

    As wonderful as Christmas can be, it can also be a very busy and at times a stressful time of the year. Make sure you’re sleeping well to make the most of all the festivities with our five top tips for a restful night's slumber…

    1 – Make sure you wind down 
    Create a peaceful routine to help your mind and body wind down for bed. Taking a warm (not hot) bath or shower can aid this process by naturally encouraging your body to reduce its temperature. Follow with a pampering skin routine, applying a kind to sensitive skin cream such as our lavender and geranium lotion which is as luxurious as it is calming with its beautiful fragrance. Many experts also recommend reading before bed as a welcomed break away from the television, especially as technology emits an unnatural disruptive blue light. Also, spritzing a relaxing pillow spray, like our camomile slumber spray before you get into bed can also encourage relaxation.

     

    2 – Ensure your bedroom is sleep friendly 
    Design a sleeping environment that encourages some much needed shut-eye by excluding disruptive external factors such as light or noise. Black-out blinds or curtains, ear plugs and an eye-mask can simply ease this process, along with introducing a calming subtle scent such as lavender to benefit your sleep cycle. Our brand-new room diffuser is fragranced with essential oils of lavender and geranium, believed to promote relaxation and harmony.

     

    3 – Optimise the best temperature 
    When it’s too warm or too cold you can struggle to sleep as your bedroom should be around 20°C in temperature, and you should feel cosy and comfortable. The importance of being the right temperature has been proven by sleep studies which have shown that it can affect sleep quality more than external noise. If you’re susceptible to cold feet at night, try a pair of our superb soft and warming cashmere bed socks. The right bedwear can also help, opt for something breathable and comfortable like our Austrian cotton interlock jersey nightwear.

     

    4 – Try to avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bed
    Whether coffee or tea, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. If you do crave a hot drink, opt for a decaffeinated coffee or tea. Maybe even try something natural like camomile or fruit teas which can sometimes aid better sleep quality.

     

     5 – Eat well throughout the day, but especially at dinner time
    Having a large stodgy meal can impede sleep and certain foods can keep you awake too, if consumed late in the day. Spicy, high in sugar and acidic foods are difficult to digest and may cause uncomfortable indigestion. However, eating rice, oats and dairy products can actually produce chemicals that increase our desire to sleep.

    Do you have any tips or advice on how to get a good night's sleep? Let us know in the comments below…

    For more interesting updates and special offers, sign up for our email newsletters here >>

    What to wear: Festive occasions

    Ensure you have the perfect outfit at the ready for each and every plan you may have throughout the festive season this year! Brilliantly hassle-free, comfortable and warm each of our wonderful ensembles have been exclusively designed to seamlessly stand on their own as well as combine with your existing wardrobe!

     

    Whether you’re spending Christmas at home with family or friends, ensure you look chic and feel comfortable in our delightful long-sleeved jersey top. Featuring a stunning devoré check design on the front panel and a lovely georgette band to tie at the hip. Simply style with a pair of plain trousers for a classic and elegant look.

     

    Explore the beautiful Christmas markets this season while looking fabulous in our wonderful ensemble of warm knitwear and accessories. The beautifully detailed and luxuriously soft Aran knit cardigan is perfect for keeping cosy and it looks lovely layered over the insulating easycare rollneck that’s been knitted with the best quality Italian spun merino wool. Complete the look with the pretty and practical colour complementing accessories including the caramel wool blend gloves and beret style hat, as well as the attractive soft twill weave design scarf!

     

    Enjoy the crisp outdoors of winter while wrapped up warm in this quilted coat. Comfortably light in weight but very warm, it is brilliant for protecting you against the elements with its longer length and detachable padded hood too. Couple with your favourite pair of go-to comfortable trousers, like our softly tailored trousers and a soft knitted jumper for a considered, warm and sophisticated outfit.

     


    Embrace the festivities while keeping warm in this versatile soft jacket. This brilliant layering piece is smart enough for any occasion while being comfortable and soft for indoor wear too. Simply pair with a warm knitted jumper and casual trousers for a brilliant timeless go-to outfit perfect for any casual activity over the festive season and beyond.

     


    Eye-catching and glamourous, this stunning devoré tunic with its lavish pink overprint is perfect for any festive celebration. Featuring gorgeous sheer lace sleeves, full body lining and a button fastening at the neckline, it’s an opulent piece for hassle-free, effortless and graceful dressing. Plus, it will look equally as beautiful with plain trousers as it does with our velvet trousers and statement earrings.

     

    Treat your family, friends, perhaps even yourself to something special from our latest gift collection, which has been carefully curated to bring joy for years to come. Discover more here >>

    What have you got planned for the festive period? Let us know in the comments below...