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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Your Autumn/Winter ‘Must Have’ List Starts Here!

Must Have No. 1:  The Trouser Suit 


(pictured suit by Vera Mont)

This season is about a no-fuss look and bringing back some favourite pieces.  So, number 1 on our list is the trouser suit. Tailored trouser suits are back on the fashion agenda, again. You only need to look at what Ms Prada wore at the latest Met Ball in NYC – evening brocade trousers with matching tunic.  Where she goes, everyone follows.

The new season’s look is more elegant and sleek, differing from the ladylike and demure styles of previous seasons.  Victoria Moss wrote in In Style magazine:  “The new fashion landscape is about strong, empowered control…There is a stylish sleekness going on.”
Whilst the trouser suit is a bit about ladies playing with menswear, you don’t have to look the tomboy.  A trouser suit can be one of the most stylish, modern and sexy outfits a woman can wear.

Some tips on getting it right: make sure you get the right trouser length – too long means a tripping hazard and a laundry disaster in winter weather, too short will ruin the elegant look.  Think of the width and the volume too as you will find cuts from cigarette slim to slouchy boyfriend.  The most modern way to wear them is cropped (or 7/8th as known in the trade) so you flash a bit of ankle.  This length looks good with flats or heels.  Maintain the look with a tailored jacket. 

Last tip: your jacket and trousers don’t have to be matching. Although a complete suit can look fabulous, it might be too coordinated for your tastes. If you mix up your top and bottom, make sure the fit is good for both and the overall look works.  


Monday, 3 September 2012

Does your man need some style advice?

The recent survey claiming that “37 is the age men give up on style” inspired some interesting responses from women: 37% buy their partner’s clothes, two thirds admitted preventing their partner from buying certain clothes, almost a fifth highlighted ill-fitting jeans as one of the worst offenders (here, here we say!).

Most men and women need a bit of style advice at some time(s) in our lives.  Our bodies change, our lifestyles change and fashions change. So, men are not alone in going for the easy option past a certain age when they simply don’t know what to wear anymore.  He can’t dress like a twenty-something at forty-something, he probably feels he doesn’t have a style ‘identity’ (classic, creative, sporty etc.) and quite honestly, he just don’t know what looks good on him anymore.

Generally, women enjoy clothes and ‘dressing up’ more than men. We like to take time to shop, browse and find the right piece at the right price. From our experience, both as women and as consultants, we find that men don’t enjoy shopping that much, they want to find the item they need, buy it and go home.  Also, let’s not forget that there is more style advice available to women, it may not all be suitable, but we absorb it and take it into consideration.  

Most women are prepared to put the effort in to look good and, most importantly, we are prepared to go and take advice if we feel we have completely lost our way in fashion. Men don’t like to ask for help. It is much like the “no, of course we don’t need to ask for directions, I can work it out” approach.

So, wives and girlfriends take on the styling mantle, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but it does take up your time. Plus, isn’t it nice to see your man dress well by himself? With a bit of knowledge and confidence, men can enjoy their wardrobe and express themselves through their clothes too.  They deserve to look good and find their style ‘identity’ just as much as we do.  And, once they get advice on how to dress to fit their shape, colouring, lifestyle, age and personality, it will make clothes shopping even easier and quicker than usual. 

Suits him sir!

Friday, 10 August 2012

How to choose swimwear


So the holiday is booked, your passport is valid now all you have to do is find your swimwear. Sadly the diet didn’t quite get going and you aren’t looking forward to bearing your body on the beach or beside the pool. What you need are a few confidence tricks that will help you look and feel your best.

My first tip is to add some glamour – if you want to draw attention away from your figure add a few pieces that will grab attention such as:
  • A fabulous pair of sparkly flip flops
  • A large brimmed hat – to add an air of mystery
  • Dark glasses – ditto
  • A beautiful beach bag – you can always place this strategically in front of your tummy until you lie down!
And always have a great coverup, whether that be a sarong or kaftan, to wear when heading to the beach bar.

When looking for your swimwear here are my top tips for balancing out any figure flaws:

The well endowed
Always choose a swimsuit or bikini with support designed for the larger bust. Good make to look for are Fantasie and Freya who both do cup sized bikini tops and you can buy the tops and bottom separately to ensure a good fit.



  

Small Bust
If you want to make a small bust look fuller, go for a padded bra top in a bright colour and make sure it fits well. Or give the illusion of greater width with a stripe.


Bigger Hips
Draw the attention upwards with frills or detailing at the bust, or a darker colour on your bottom half.



Tummy Disguise
If it’s your tummy you are worried about wear a one piece and again draw the eye up with bust detail or wear a swimsuit with ruching to conceal.





 Finally for those all important beach accessories:

Have you chosen your beachwear yet? Do you have any favourite brands that you always return to – I’d love to know.

Have a great holiday if you are escaping our ‘great British summer(!)’

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Essential Summer Wardrobe Pieces

There are some pieces that work in your wardrobe year after year whatever the current trends dictate. Three pieces that I wouldn’t be without in a capsule wardrobe are:

The White Shirt
Perfect on holiday as a beach cover up, whatever colour your swimwear or worn with shorts for sight-seeing. But it’s just as useful at home – wear to the office with a pair of smart cropped trousers and kitten heels.

A Large scarf
Take it on the plane when you go on holiday in case of drafts, then wear it to protect your neck from the sun whilst meandering, use it as a sarong on the beach, a shawl in the evening or to brighten up your white shirt for shopping.

The Jersey Dress
The perfect dress to travel with as it doesn’t crease. Wear it with flats and a hat when you are out and about, dress it up with metallic heels and statement necklace for the evening. When you get home slip it under a jacket for the office with a pair of heels.

Do you have any wardrobe essential you can’t live without?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

How to Wear – White

Now that we are heading towards high summer (?!) nothing signals holiday season better than wearing white. White is definitely a part of my wardrobe as soon as the weather improves.







And if the weather isn't up to scratch, then white is also so versatile. This year black and white was a major trend on the catwalk and I love the drama of a monochromatic outfit:



As this look isn’t for every one you have plenty of other options this season. White with one of the fluoro brights, with red and blue, or with other neutrals.

When it’s really warm and you have that gorgeous summer brightness I love to mix my white with metallics.

How will you be wearing your white when the summer (finally) arrives?

Wardrobe Staple – How to Wear the Crop Trouser

Crop trousers are now a capsule wardrobe staple, both summer and winter and come at all price points. Today I’ve featured a mid price pair from Isabella Oliver, they are a great flat front shape and come in the neutral beige (desert, shown) or in a gorgeous Azure blue.

As a wardrobe basic these trousers can be very versatile, from out shopping to dressed up for a glamourous evening so they are worth the time and effort to find a pair which really fit and are well made.

I’ve picked a selection of tops, shoes and bags but you probably have similar pieces in your wardrobe. If not these are the kind of items that work hard in any capsule wardrobe; a neutral tote, evening sandals, vest tops and T-shirts, a great pair of wedges and flat driving shoes.

Just one word of caution – if you have a long body and short legs a crop will cut up the leg and make it appear shorter. If you want to wear them stick to a neutral colour and make your shoes the same colour.

So three looks with your crop trousers:

Monday, 25 June 2012

What to wear to Look like you Mean Business

If you work in a corporate environment with a fairly formal dress code you’ve probably heard the saying “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” One of the best ways to upgrade your image is with quality, classic accessories. It’s amazing how many people notice your accessories, before they notice your outfit. You can make an inexpensive dress look designer with the right accessories but sadly it doesn’t seem to work the other way. It’s worth spending more on a bag and shoes that you wear everyday of the week than on a dress you only wear once a month. Here is where cost per wear really makes sense. You see all you needed was the justification to buy that beautiful bag!
 
Start building your accessory wardrobe with a great work bag or feminine briefcase in a neutral colour that goes with all your workwear basics. Add classic court shoes, a smart laptop or ipad case, a stylish watch and pen. Go for colours like black, navy, tan and cream that will go with most other colours. Once you have a main “capsule” of accessories start to build a second one in another colour, perhaps black or navy for winter and tan or cream for summer. These items will last for years and shouldn’t be high fashion, they are an investment in your business wardrobe. It’s a great time to buy now during the sales too.
Here are some options which I have deliberately teemed with an inexpensive and a mid priced dress:

I’d love to know if you have invested in one of these classics. Do you feel more confident at work when you “dress up”?