Like the idea of wearing a skirt but not sure what style or shape is going to suit you? Read my article for Vavista.com to find out all you need to know about how to wear all skirts from minis to maxis. Click on the image for the the full article.
I was contacted last week by someone who had used a Personal Shopper in John Lewis. It was a really interesting email because it highlighted all the things that make an Image Consultant a much better option for somebody who is looking to update their image.
I'm often asked by women "why would I pay for an Image Consultant when I can get it free in a department store", well, here's the answer:
"....So here's the thing. Last Sunday I bit the bullet and tried to go shopping at the Mall. A kind personal shopper in John Lewis took me under her wing, but she didn't know me, my personality, my work etc etc. I was desperate for a bit of an update to my wardrobe. I left having spent £800 on things - most of which I will be returning this weekend!? It was not a great experience. So, in a good way, it helped me make a decision. I have never enjoyed shopping, but I love having nice things to wear. And I need to shop for the body I have now, not the one I might have in the future. I have no time to shop and find things that suit me yet am in a high profile role where I have to look good. So - that's where I'm hoping you can come in......!"
At the end of the day, a store paid personal shopper is still a salesperson who is employed by the department store to sell clothes to you. They have no prior knowledge of your existing wardrobe to know whether or not the items they pick out are going to fit seamlessly into your existing collection. They don’t know anything about who you are as a person, your lifestyle etc. Their client isn’t you, it’s the store that pays their salary.
An Image Consultant is employed by you and works with your best interests at heart. They should be completely independent which means they have no monetary gains from any purchases you might make. A good stylist will already have been through your wardrobe and will have compiled a focussed shopping list that they know will work with everything you already own and is appropriate for you, your lifestyle and most importantly your budget. You won’t be under any pressure to buy if you don’t want to, making the whole experience stress free and enjoyable.
You might have to pay upfront for an Image Consultant but I promise you in the long run, they will save you time, effort, stress and money. AND you’ll have a complete collection of clothes that you look amazing in.
Florals once again are going to be big news come Spring/Summer. To be honest, florals never date so are a good item to have in some form in your wardrobe. They can be worn in a feminine, floaty way or you can edge them up by contrasting them with some tan ankle boots and a leather jacket.
Being a bit of a rock chic at heart, this is how I would incorporate this trend into my wardrobe by wearing it with a worn looking pair of ankle grazer jeans, a bright pair of heels and a gorgeous understated pale long coat which will see you through from now all the way to next Autumn.
What do you think, are you tempted to try this trend out?
Last year Marks and Spencer added a new designer (Belinda Earle, formerly at Jaeger) to their team with the hope that she would turn their fashion fortunes around. So far, so good, as this year the Limited collection is one of their strongest yet.
If you're thinking of Marks & Spencer in times gone by when it was guilty of going a zip or a frill too far, then stop. More along the lines of Cos with it's simplicity, interesting tailoring and on trend styling, there are pieces that everyone aged 20 to 70 will be wanting to wear. With pastels, yellow and monochrome sitting alongside floral and aztec patterns on skirts, dresses, trousers and coats - there really is something to suit all styles, ages and personalities.
One of my favourite looks is the collarless coat in black and white aztec print (top right) paired with the white crop top, yellow ankle grazers and leopard print shoes for a print clash. If you want to make a statement without having to put too much effort into it - this is the way to go.
Here are a few of the pieces I snapped earlier. What do you think? Do you think any of them will be making their way into your wardrobe and your life?
On a research trip this morning it was quite obvious that yellow is going to be a big colour for next season as it was everywhere.
The colour psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun but beware though as it can also bring about feelings of anxiety and agitation!
If you don't like the idea of wearing it directly next to your face (it can drain you and make you look pale and washed out), wear it on your lower half or mix it in with patterns.
If yellow is a complete clothing no-go, use it in your accessories instead and buy a yellow bag, belt, shoes or even nail varnish to add some zest and sunshine to your outfit.
I'm so excited to now have a regular monthly column in the the fab local mag Bishopstonvoice. I'll be writing about all things fashion, insider tips, local finds and any other stuff that crosses my mind! If you would like me to feature or discuss something in particular, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Jewelled necklace tees are big news this season and are such an easy item to wear as they eliminate the need for accessories. Wear them with anything from a pencil skirt to your faithful skinnies or for a smarter night out, a pair of cigarette style trousers and heels. For an edgier look, just add a leather biker jacket and patterned trousers.
Following on from yesterday's post about being more creative with your existing clothes, why not go to your nearest haberdashery dept and invest in a selection of sequins, beads and jewels and have fun creating your own unique neckline that no-one else will have. If you need a bit of sequinspiration, take a look at these from Dorothy Perkins (if you're not ever likely to sew your own and would like to buy one of these, use code DPFW25 for 25% discount).
I talked yesterday about red being the colour of the season, well now it's the turn of the print. Taking centre stage this Autumn/Winter is the mighty tartan in all its highland glory. Not just appearing in traditional reds, there are lots of alternatives in muted colours if you prefer a more subtle take on this print.
If you normally shy away from pattern and colour, step outside your comfort zone a little: there's a tartan out there
This season there's one colour that is going to overshadow all the others and it's bright, bold and beautiful. It's the colour of love and passion and is sure to get you noticed. Move over the LBD, this Autumn/Winter it's all about the LRD.
It's a brave colour so if the thought of head to toe scares you, break it up and use it in a jacket, a necklace or even a hat. I've done a quick round up of some items currently on the high street which includes Warehouse, Oasis, Hobbs, Phase Eight, Debenhams and M&S.
Two of my particular favourites are the double breasted coat (Hobbs) and the leopard print pencil skirt (Warehouse). If anything catches your eye and you'd like to know where it's from don't be afraid to ask. This season be bold!
I love a bit of TK Maxx and have picked up some great bargains there. You have to be in the right frame of mind for it with lots of time to spare and be dedicated to searching through the rails, but if you love a rummage, you can't go
My latest label spot there is Reiss available at brilliant prices. They've got some great things both online and in store, so if you love the understated modern sophistication of Reiss but don't like their prices - this is definitely one for you.
I'm a lover of all things fashion, style and image related, especially shoes with impractical high heels!
Bags are another fetish of mine as are jackets. Mmm, I also seem to own lots of pairs of black shiny jeans, leggings, leather items........
I'm also a mum to a daughter who seems to be following in my high heeled footsteps!