Tagged as: effortless dressing

Magic Metallics – time to embrace metallic accessories!


metallic accessoriesEver since I had my first colour analysis done in my my mid 20’s I have been a fan of gold jewellery and accessories seeing how it looked really lovely against my skin making it look warm and burnished and really bringing out the the yellow undertone. This opposed to silvery coloured jewellery that made my skin look cold and unappealing.

I have bought gold coloured necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, toe-rings, ear cuffs …. you name it I have bought it. When funds or a birthday came along I might invest in real gold jewellery but in the main it was gold or copper coloured costume jewellery. I found that not only did it work with my skin tone but it was so versatile.. it went with  everything in my wardrobe.. summer or winter.. day or night…

metallic accessories


I slowly started investing in gold/copper coloured totes, clutches, shoppers, sandals, court shoes, flip flops, belts and scarves… eventually there wasn’t a single accessory that I didn’t have in a gold hue….


As with the jewellery I found that there wasn’t anything in my wardrobe that wouldn’t work with a gold bag or pair of shoes, scarves or belt. I believe I have found the ultimate neutral (an colour that works with the majority of items in your wardrobe).

In any holiday capsule wardrobe I put together either for myself or a client there will be at least 2 pairs of metallic shoes/sandals and a metallic bag or clutch. In every wardrobe audit and shopping list compilation there will metallic accessories on the list as they are an integral part of any fully functioning and cohesive wardrobe and are often overlooked by people so are rarely in people’s wardrobes until I come to visit!

The only issue here is working out what your metallic colour should be…if you have yellowy skin with greenish veins you have warm skin and as I do, should wear  yellow gold or copper shades of accessories. If you have bluey/pink skin with blueish veins then you have cool skin and should wear silver or pewter coloured accessories. This could also incorporate platinum, white gold and silver jewellery.

Around 70% of people in East Anglia have cool skin and silver coloured jewellery has been the metallic colour of choice for well over 20 years so if you are in any doubt stick with silver coloured metallic accessories as statistically you are more likely to have cool skin if you live in Essex or Suffolk. Alternatively, colour analysis session will definitively confirm which undertone of skin you have and therefore which metallic works best with your skin tone.

metallic accessories










Rose gold also works well for cool skins but I do believe that those of us with warm skin can get away with it metallic accessoriestoo.. I certainly wear it. Rose gold is having a moment right now so please do incorporate it into your wardrobe as I think it’s such a pretty colour.



One word of warning… metallics work best when you have a uniform look of colours so a gold coloured watch on one wrist and a silver coloured bracelet on the other wrist looks a bit odd so one solution that I have embraced for years is wearing two or three tone jewellery and watches to bring silver, gold and rose gold metallic shades together in a cohesive look. I invested in a three tone watch not long after finding out that I should be wearing gold coloured metallics . This enabled me to be true to my skin tone but also wear silver coloured pieces whilst I was building up my collection of yellow gold/copper coloured accessories… try it it does work!


Any questions or suggestions I’d love to hear from you.



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:


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.