Do you need a fast food fashion fix? Check out my fun article for Vavista.com which won't pile on the calories but will leave you on a high without any guilt!
Check out my April column for BishopstonVoice which shows how to wear florals without spending a fortune.
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).
Oh my goodness! Have you seen the weather? I just got caught in it wearing suede boots but thankfully I had already sprayed them and my leather bag with rain guard so no wet feet or ruined bags here!
Now the seasons have most definitely changed its worth spending some time waterproofing your leather and suede shoes and bags. It will help to keep them looking as good as new and will stop unsightly water stains.
Most shoe shops and dry cleaners sell it and for around £4-£5 and it can mean the difference between keeping a great pair of shoes for years or having to replace them year in, year out.
I'm a lover of all things fashion, style and image related but more than that I believe passionately in the power of feeling good in your clothes.
I'm also a mum to a teenage daughter who is taller than me with legs longer than mine and a dog whose curls are glossier and bouncier than mine!!