Tagged as: effortless dressing

Giving your outfit the Wow Factor – how to create really stylish outfits!

stylish outfits

 

So with Christmas rapidly approaching it’s time to consider what to wear for a non-stop round of drinks, dinners, parties and family gatherings.  Before you select your outfit(s) for all of these festivities consider how you can inject some glamour into your outfits using some of the following pointers so that you have some really stylish outfits to wow everyone over the coming weeks. Tips apply year round not just at Xmas!

 

  1. Go monochrome

stylish outfits

Far from being boring – an entire outfit in one colour can look very chic. Be it black, burgundy, green (as shown here), navy, chocolate brown, grey, camel or any other darkish colour your fancy.  It is possible to do monochrome in any colour you fancy but tread carefully with brighter shades ie red, purple or jade green etc. When starting out with monochrome outfits stick to darker more neutral shades. I wouldn’t advocate a monochrome outfit on a daily basis but from time to time it can look really great. Think black jeans, black sparkly top, black heels or boots and a black jacket or furry shrug at this time of year. Pair with some silver or pewter coloured costume jewellery and you are ready to go.

 

2. Show off your back.

 

stylish outfits

 

As we get older we are rightly less inclined to show off much cleavage or leg but a flash of back can be equally alluring and quite unexpected especially if you are talking to someone face to face at a party in a high neck top and then you turn to mingle and your back is on display..subtle  but very attractive and our back ages less than our face or neck….See my dress at a ball.. very demure from the front but a different matter from behind. Another idea for Xmas dos is this fab dress from Finery (shown up) …even comes in a seasonal colour!

 

stylish outfitsstylish outfits

 

3. Wear eye catching shoes or boots.

stylish outfits

A simple outfit – be it jeans and a top or a simple shift dress can be given the wow factor by the addition of some great shoes or boots. Certainly doesn’t have to be a new pair.. have a good look through your wardrobe and see what you can find that will give your outfit a lift and create a talking point. EVERYONE loves an interesting pair of shoes. and during party season what you have on your feet can become a useful ice-breaker. This pair (shown above) from Zara are similar to some I have pinned on pinterest and they have been repinned countless times as everyone loves a metallic shoe… always classic and chic and provided you chose the right metallic colour – silver/pewter for cool skin and gold/copper for warm skin will look good until they wear out!!

 

4. Carry an unusual bag

stylish outfits

As with the shoes or boots pairing a simple outfit with a great bag.. be it a clutch for party season, a tote or day bag or straw or cross body bag can give some extra ooomph to your outfit. It doesn’t have to be a new or recent purchase..get your outfit together then have a rifle through your wardrobe to see what bags you have that could lift your outfit. It certainly doesn’t have to match as long as there is some correlation with pattern/colour or style with your outfit then it will look great. As with the shoes or boots it can become a talking point or ice-breaker at a do and will get lots of oohs and aaahs.

 

5. Add interesting accessories

stylish outfits

 

Adding any interesting accessory to your outfit…statement necklace, bracelet or bangle, hat or even furry snood will give what you are wearing the wow factor.  It shows you have thought about what you are wearing and the impact you want to make and as with the shoes and handbags can become a talking point. Even paired with the simplest outfit it makes a huge impact.  As a big fan of accessories I definitely believe in wearing something with oomph every day – making me look like I have made a big effort meaning the rest of my outfit can be simpler. My motto is you can never have too many accessories! I particularly love the above necklace from Boden.

 

stylish outfits

 

For those of you with dramatic style preference you will be comfortable wearing your clothes and accessories as a kind of art to get attention and to stand out. For those of us who don’t have this style preference wearing a statement piece may push you out of your comfort zone slightly but it’s good to push your boundaries and sometimes its essential to move out of your safe zone to get the wow factor into your outfit!. If you aren’t sure what your style preference is read my blog on the 5 style tribes here.

 

6 Mix your patterns

stylish outfits

 

Not at all as hard as it may look to mix your patterns.. an easy one to start with is spots and stripes. As long as the 2 patterns are the same colour way  ie navy and white as in the photo of me with stripes on top and tiny spots on the trousers then it is easy to do. Ensure that one of the patterns is bigger/bolder than the other and away you go. As your get more experienced with mixing your patterns you can beyond 2 colours and 2 patterns. The more you experiment the easier it gets.

 

As a final note if in doubt then add another wow item to your ensemble. I don’t believe less is more especially at this time of year..if you don’t think you are going to make a sufficient impact then add a furry jacket, statement piece of jewellery, cool shoes or even a hat.

 

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my regular newsletter on my homepage.

How to look expensive (when you’re on a budget)

dressing classy on a budget

The holy grail of dressing once you are past 30 is to look smart, elegant and stylish without actually spending much nor putting too much effort in…. but how do we look like this without spending a fortune? It’s presumably relatively easy to look a million dollars if you have a massive budget to hit Bond Street, but for the rest of us mere mortals follow my easy tips to ensure we look more high end than high street…

 

  • Wear natural fibres; wool, cotton, leather, silk, linen, suede. Whatever you buy and wear doesn’t have to be expensive but if you buy these fabrics wherever possible, your clothing will look better quality than if you buy synthetic fabrics. I’m all in favour of a mixture of fabrics but in general items you have in natural fibres will last longer and last better. A merino wool jumper from M&S or a leather jacket from Zara won’t break the bank will look like an expensive and quality item.

 

  • Wear different shades of the same colour – this tonal dressing always looks elegant especially if you wear a neutral colour. Depending on your colouring this could be navy, gray, black, camel or chocolate brown.  The darker the colour you go for, the more streamlined you will look.

 

  • Carry a plain bag – either in leather or suede. When it comes to handbags pleather or suedette isn’t enough – it needs to be leather or suede. Not having any logo or metal ware could mean the handbag is from a brand so exclusive it doesn’t even need to have any branding on it or it could be from M&S, John Lewis or Aldo… either way it will look great but without the need to have cost a fortune.

 

  • Replace cheap buttons with more expensive buttons from a haberdashers. An easy and very inexpensive way to elevate an item.

 

  • Mix low end high street with high end high street i.e.. don’t wear an entire outfit from one place – mix it up i.e.. top from Cos, trousers from H&M, shoes from Kurt Geiger and jacket from Monsoon… also a mixture of newer pieces with some older staples always works well.

 

  • Add one designer element into the mix – the easiest and most cost effective and lowest cost per wear is if it is an accessory such as a handbag, pair of sunglasses or a watch (with subtle logo).

 

  • Have regular mani-pedis and keep hair well maintained with regular cuts and/or colour.

 

  • Metallic items – be it jewellery, shoes or bags always add a touch of luxe to an outfit. Silver or pewter if you have coolish colouring or yellow gold or copper coloured if you have warmer colouring.

 

  • Get items tailored to get them to fit just so and keep them stain free. Have items that require it dry cleaned regularly and use an iron or steamer every morning

 

  • Keep shoes heeled and soled, clean and scuff free.

 

My personal recommendations for high street shops that deliver great style, modern trends and classic pieces all at fantastic prices would be H&M and Zara. For other shops that help you to look expensive on a budget click the below link:

http://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/how-to-look-expensive-online-shopping

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.

 

What to buy, what to wear – Spring Summer 2016

Catwalk to Closet – My recommendations for what summer styles to buy for Spring and Summer 2016

 

culotte dungarees and bardot top

culotte dungarees and bardot top

It’s that time of year when I do my bi-annual what to buy and wear for the coming season blog. Spring and summer is definitely my favourite time of year so I can’t wait to be ditching the coats and boots and getting some lighter weight clothing on again and getting some skin out! So what to buy over the next couple of months to last through until September?

Summer styles for 2016

Still big this year is fringing on bags, jackets and boots. Culottes, jumpsuit and boiler suits are still around after being very on trend last year.  The sleeveless waistcoat – both long and short,but particularly with a tied waist, is very much here to stay which is great news as it create such an elegant silhouette and makes even the simplest top and jeans look amazing.

tie sleeveless waistcoat

tie sleeveless waistcoat

 

Bomber jackets are big business as well this season and are the perfect transitional item to get us from cold winter to hopefully warm early summer. Plain or patterned, bright or muted – there is a style and pattern for everyone. My personal favourite is the mustard one from H&M. Although they also do a great khaki one too which taps into one of this years key colours.

 

bomber jacket

bomber jacket

 

New (to the high street at least) this season are cropped flares.  They look amazing on models but are a tricky trend for most of us to wear as they make the leg look shorter and unless teamed with the right items can look odd… probably one trend to avoid unless tall and slender or have a dramatic style preference.

 

cropped flares & ankle tie flats

cropped flares &             ankle tie flats

 

Another key look is the off the shoulder top, also known as a bardot top, and cut away shoulder tops. Bardot tops are definitely a flattering trend for us all to buy into as they make the shoulders look wider and our hips and thighs narrower as a result. Cut away shoulders are also very flattering as they allow us to show show flesh but keeping most of us covered –  a great shape for 50+ women..

 

cutaway shoulder top

cutaway shoulder top

 

Shirt dresses are also everywhere in 2016.  These are a very versatile item of clothing that can be worn with bare legs and sandals or over leggings/skinnies and are great beach cover ups over bikinis and cossies instead of sarongs or kaftans. Worth investing in for this season but will last for years.

shirt dress

shirt dress

 

Key colours this year are khaki and pink. Khaki is  particularly good for those of us with a warm undertone to the skin. Pink is also everywhere and is better for those of us with cool undertone to the skin.  Flat shoes with lace ties and again very popular, as are multiple buckle shoes and metallic block heeled shoes. Mules are also having a bit of a renaissance. Available flat and heeled in all types of patterns and styles.

block heeled multiple buckle shoes

block heeled multiple buckle shoes

 

Denim in all sorts of permutations, washes and cuts remains very much with us.  The perennial classic.

 

My personal favourite look of this year so far is the culotte dungaree hybrid (as pictured). Successfully combining 3 key trends; dungarees, culottes and denim. I’ve already ordered this pair!

 

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Ways to Create a Stylish Capsule Wardrobe Cost Effectively

stylish capsule wardrobe

Women often to think to dress well and look effortless they need to spend a fortune but that is definitely not the case. If you follow these basic steps you too can look amazing without breaking the bank and have your own stylish capsule wardrobe.

  • Firstly, have a good understanding of what colours, shapes, patterns and style clothing best suits you and why. Get a friend/relative to help you or take some expert advice. This will save you a fortune in the long run as you will only buy what suits you, everything will get worn and everything will go with everything else in your wardrobe.

 

  • Secondly, sign up for newsletters from your favourite shops. This will keep you updated on all sales, discounts and offers coming along. Follow a couple of fashion bloggers who resonate with you and read fashion magazines for advice/style inspiration.

 

  • Thirdly, go around preloved shops and charity shops to look for items. There are ALWAYS hidden gems to be found in these places especially once you have a clear idea on what you should be looking for.

 

  • Do a swish or clothes swap with friends on a regular basis or go along to a locally organised one.

 

  • Shop only at outlets. The one in Braintree is excellent now as are the ones in Bicester, York, Chester and Ashford.

 

  • Only buy online or in shops when there are discounts on. If you sign up for the newsletters you will always be aware of who is discounting and when. Certain brands are continually in discount mode ie Boden/Phase Eight.. great for us the consumer!

 

  • Create a pinterest board of a virtual shopping list of items you would like to try on/buy. This will keep you focused when you are shopping and be less likely to impulse buy.

 

  • Put items in your online shopping basket and ensure you are logged into your account and come out of the site. Often this will prompt the retailers to email you and remind you to complete your purchase and sometimes they will offer you a further discount as an incentive… worth a try.

 

  • Finally, start building a capsule wardrobe of @30-40 classic items which you can wear year after year.  Add a few key pieces each season to keep looking modern. This will massively reduce your spend on clothes but will ensure you look elegant and stylish and current…. Don’t we all want that?

 

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.

4 Style Tips Beyond Thirty

whatshewore1There are so many articles written about looking good beyond 40 as if at this magic age we turn into pumpkins who have suddenly forgotten how to shop and dress well. I don’t think there is any difference between 40 or 50 or indeed 60 when it comes to our appearance.

I think the main issue arises when we are no longer single carefree child free 20-30 some things. Our figures have changed either from having children or from the natural rhythm of weight gain and weight loss that many women go through in a western lifestyle.  Sometimes illness and/or surgery can also cause changes in our body shapes. Possibly, we have changed job and lifestyle from the life we led between 18 and 30 and that combined with the change of body means the ability to just sling something on and scrape our hair back and look good is gone….

When we no longer have natural slimness and youth to rely on when dressing, then we need to put a little more effort into what we are doing. I believe that there are only 4 steps we need to take to look effortlessly stylist and elegant in the middle years i.e. between 30 and 60.

These are:

  • Invest in Modern Shapes.

This autumn/winter that could be a sleeveless waistcoat, a furry gilet, a floppy hat or a blanket wrap. This isn’t about slavishly following fashion trends but rather having an understanding of what is currently on the market and choosing a handful of items to combine with your current wardrobe.  This keeps your look modern without looking like a fashion victim. Provided the items you chose are the right colour and style for your colouring, body shape and natural style they won’t be just one season wonders but will work for seasons to come . This one is critically important and is the one that is probably most overlooked by women when considering how to go about dressing well.

 

  • Have a well-maintained haircut and colour and always wear make up (when out in public)

This doesn’t have to mean an expensive salon cut and colour it means have a style that suits you and your lifestyle but have a style. As we get into our 30’s and beyond, long hair pulled back with a clip or bobble just doesn’t work any more. Colouring hair either to hide grey or to lift the natural colour is an intensely personal decision. In my empirical experience, hair tends to look best if it is left au natural as it works best with eye colour and skin tone especially when cut into a modern and flattering style. However, if you do chose to colour your hair then go a couple of shades lighter than your natural colour and highlights are much easier to maintain than one block colour.

Make up undeniably makes your face look better.. I wish it wasn’t true but it is! Wear it whenever you are going out in public…the older you are the more important it is! Having your nails (and toenails in summer) painted also helps present a more polished (excuse the pun) and stylish look. Shellac/Gellish etc last for 2 weeks and if you can get a mobile beautician it can be done very inexpensively at home.

 

  • Always wear accessories

Often women say they don’t have time to add accessories to an outfit but it makes or breaks an outfit. Build it into your morning routine so that it becomes a habit like brushing your teeth or putting your make up on. Have your necklaces, bracelets, scarves, bags, hats and belts etc. all to hand so that once you have got your clothes on you can play around with a few items until you are happy with the finished result. A full length mirror close by is also essential. One of my bugbears about hotel rooms is how often there isn’t a full length mirror… how can you check if you look nice if you can’t see yourself from top to bottom?!

 

  • Build up a collection of classic, timeless pieces

This includes items like a leather biker jacket, converse, mac or trench coat, heeled ankle boots and/or flat biker boots, cashmere jumpers and cardies, a wool coat, shortish denim jacket in a dark wash and metallic high heels amongst many others. These combined with the accessories and the modern shapes will keep your look stylish, elegant, modern and effortless, especially when worn on a body with an attractive hairstyle and make up. They will work year round and for years to come. The cost per wear will be low even if you spend a fair amount on these items as you will wear them time and time again.

 

The above 4 pointers are obviously just my opinions but I am asked time and time again by clients  “How do I begin to look good?” and after working with dozens of clients I can definitely conclude that these are the 4 things you need to do and they are the 4 things that I attempt to do on a daily basis (I must confess the makeup doesn’t always get put on for the school run though).

 

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.

 

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