7 charming ways to wear chiffon

chiffon valentino


Can We Lesser Mortals wear chiffon, without looking like we’re wearing a net curtain?

Hey Lesser Mortals – how’s the week been? Before you get stuck in to this juicy article, have you taken time to look at my “3 ways to wear” tab. It shows you ways to wear some of the stuff I’ve blogged about in the past, and hopefully gives you ideas for different “looks”. They are free ideas.

Back to business – “chiffon”  is a fabulous way for Lesser Mortals to look sexy, without flashing too many varicose veins or crepey flesh, and as always, a hint of intrigue is much more enticing than showing your wares up front!! It works really well combined with this season’s midi length skirts  (brilliant for those living in the UK who haven’t self tanned yet, and for those of a certain age, who prefer to keep their legs covered as much as possible). Watch out for cheap nylon chiffon – or you will look like you’ve recycled your granny’s net curtains. If you prefer to steer away from feminine dresses, than try a T-shirt or jacket. And the Ted Baker suggestion below, gives you 3 outfits for your money. Look at my “3 ways to wear a 50’s dress” for other ideas on how to get more wear from a full skirted dress. Click Here

As always, why not leave me a comment below if you have anything you would like me to feature? Wedding outfits? Swimwear? Shorts? What have you got to lose? It’s a pleasure to help, and as a “personal shopper”, it’s what I do.

chiffon skirt dress coast chiffon skirt coast


  1. Cadence spot dress. £195. Coast. Sizes 6-18. The top is a viscose, modal elastane mix, with a silk over skirt. Dry clean only. Due to the style of the floaty skirt, this will suit pear shapes perfectly, but it may suit boyish, and hourglass too.
  2. Melo green skirt £129. Coast. Sizes 6-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. The Tessa skirt by Coast is virtually identical, but in grey. The fullness of the skirt means this will suit pear shapes, hourglass, top heavy and boyish shapes.

chiffon french connectionchiffon blouse KM

  1. Delilah midi ribbon dress. £180. French Connection. Sizes 6-16. Polyester cotton mix. Dry clean only. This fit and flare shape will suit boyish and pear shapes. I’d like to say hourglass, but the top looks very tight. It is also forgiving if you have a bit of a tummy, as the bodice is quite short, meaning the  flatttering skirt will drape nicely over your lumps and bumps.
  2. Dot devore blouse. £99. Karen Millen. 100% polyester. Hand washable. Size 6-16. A lovely modest blouse which will flatter larger busts, but most body shapes will get away with this.

chiffon full skirt Reiss chiffon T shirt ted baker

  1. Elsa devore midnight A line skirt. £120. Reiss. Sizes 4-14. polyester mix, dry clean only. Available in nude too. Make sure the skirt finishes at the narrowest part of your leg for a more flattering look. Suits pear, hourglass, boyish and top heavy ladies.
  2. Spiral night devore top -£120. Reiss. Size 4-14. Polyester viscose. Dry clean only. Available in nude. Quite a loose fitting top so this will suit apple and boyish shapes, but when worn with the skirt, it will flatter pear and hourglass shapes.
  3. Este lace front sleeveless blouse £89. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Viscose polyester mix. Machine washable. This will work best for boyish and pear shapes.

chiffon jakcet Zara

  1. Transparent striped blazer. £35.99. Zara. size XS – L. Viscose polyamide mix. Washable. Depending on what you wear with with, it should suit most body shapes.

Let me know if you have any funny stories about wearing chiffon. Was it a little more see through than you thought? Does it make you feel self conscious? I’ve got an old Zara blouse and I have to say I feel very sensual in it. DO you think you would benefit from a one to one session with Vicky Smith Styling? Click here for details.

Further reading:

15 ways to wear a loose chiffon blouse: the best fashion blog ever

How to wear a chiffon maxi skirt: 3 ways to wear

Your guide to wearing sheer tops the right way: who what wear


8 Suave Ways to Wear Suede

suede vogue loewe


Can We Lesser Mortals wear suede without looking like a chamois leather?

As an “Image Consultant”, I am always in the shops, and have noticed that due to the 70’s revival, there is a lot of suede out on the High Street. Most of it is in buttery or golden shades of suede.  You can get hot pants, bikinis, mini skirts and all sorts – “Totes Gorge”…if you are in your twenties with legs like Bambi. But for We Lesser Mortals, things need to be a little more forgiving and less in your face. There are obviously the ethics of wearing suede, involved -but I shall leave that to you. Equally, there is the problem of spilling your salad dressing on suede, and how to get it out. I have enquired and there are specialist leather dry cleaners around now, who can bail you out, but maybe you need to make sure you always have your serviette tucked under your chin, as well as having one on your knee!! I have looked at unusual colours of suede, as I think they suit more mature women. Most of the suede pieces here, will move seamlessly into winter, and look very stylish with knee boots and a polo neck jumper. Personally I ❤️ the green skirt and yellow sandals. How about you? Would you wear suede?

suede mix and match oasis suede skirt Oasis suede skirt All saints suede pini warehouse

  1. Suede crop top. £70. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% leather – dry cleanable. Other than with the matching skirt, I’m not sure when you would wear this on its own, without it looking like a tank top. However, I DO love it with the skirt. If you do go for it on its own, then you need to wear it with something high waisted. Suits boyish figures.
  2. Suede wrap pencil skirt. £85. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% leather – dry cleanable. I LOVE this skirt – it is a really sophisticated colour, and will work well whatever age you are. Again, this will look great in winter too. Will suit boyish and hourglass.
  3. Hale skirt. £198. All Saints. Size 4-14. Goat leather. Dry cleanable. Very fashionable with the buttons down the front  – will suit hourglass, boyish and slight pear shapes.
  4. Suede A line shirt dress. £110. Warehouse. Size 6-16. 100% leather Dry cleanable. Available in beige and a pink(ish) colour. Due to A line shape, pear shapes can wear this, as well as apple shapes.

suede coat LK bennet suede jacket warehouse

  1. Vivien edge to edge coat. £695. Lk Bennet. Size XS-XL. 100% leather. Dry cleanable. Fabulous coat – perfect for apple and boyish shapes.
  2. Grey suede biker jacket. £120. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% leather. Dry clean. Lovely alternative to a black leather biker jacket, this will suit pear shapes, hourglass, and boyish.

suede bage All Saints suede shoes Zarra

  1. Estate suede shoulder bag. £278. All Saints. Cow leather. Vintage look to this, and about 30cm high by 20cm wide.
  2. Suede high heeled sandals with bow. £59.99. Zara. Size 3-8. Goat leather. Aren’t these fabulous and unusual. Appropriate for any age (if you can walk in them)

Hopefully these beautiful soft suede garments have made you think about giving them a go. The leather trend has lasted 3-4 years, so maybe suede will be the next “thing”. If you need some help and advice on what colours and styles will suit you, have you thought about a session with Vicky Smith Styling?

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear suede this spring: gurl.com

Super easy ways to wear suede skirt : whowhatwear

trend watch: mode.com

6 ways to wear suede: Mydailyuk


10 Super Sunglasses to suit your face shape

faces Dame edna

Can We Lesser Mortals wear the right sunglasses without looking like Dame Edna?

It’s getting to that time of year, when we think about summer clothes, holidays and suncream. With the sun, comes the need for sun protection for skin and eyes, and so choosing the right sunglasses for you, is really important. On top of that, getting some which are reasonably up to date, can knock years off your apparent age. So as well as choosing the right colour of frame, you need to look at the shape of the frame, and here I’m going to give you some points to think about. If you aren’t sure of the colours to buy, you can get your colour analysis done by a colour consultant, to give you this information.(Vicky Smith Styling)

Generally the style of glasses for this summer, are retro – think aviator styles, large glasses ( a La seventies) and cat eyes styles (a la fifties). Frames are colourful (reds, white, blue etc).

I’m also a bit of a sunglasses snob, and believe it is worth buying more expensive glasses with proper filters in, as cheap plastic lenses just open your pupils and allow more sun in to damage your eyes.

Long faces – oval or rectangular

These faces have more length than width, and so frames which appear to widen the face are best. You also need to look at proportions, as very thin glasses, will make your face look longer.

faces jerry hallface ovalface sq frame

Jerry Hall has a long rectangular face, denoted by the long flat sides to her head, and the straight forehead. You need deeper frames, which will make the face seem shorter, and be more in proportion. Slightly rounded, will soften the hard edges of your face.

  1. Polarised black sunglasses. £10. Next
  2. Square frame glasses £75. Ted Baker.

face Nat portmanface oval rayface cat eye TEd

Beautiful Natalie Portman has a smooth oval shaped face. You can pretty well wear any shape. But very thin wide glasses are going to make your face look longer

  1. High street square RB4198 sunglasses. £125. Rayban
  2. Oversized cat eye sunglasses. £90. Ted Baker

Square and round faces:

Both have the same problem of equal length and width to the face, so that if you are not careful, you could end up making your face look wider than it is. So make sure glasses are no wider than your face. You want to draw attention upwards, to make your face look longer and slimmer.

face helena bonham carterface lengthen faceface red cat eye

Helena Bonham Carter has a strong jaw, giving her a square shaped face. Avoid really square frames, making sure they are always slightly rounded, and if there is an emphasis at the brow area, it will elongate the face. So the cat eye shape and the Club master style glasses from Ray Ban, draw eyes upwards elongating the face. Slightly rounded edges will soften a square face.

  1. Clubmaster sunlgasses. £143. Rayban.
  2. Sassy cat eye sunglasses £18. Top shop

face kirsten dunstface round face oval 3

Kirsten Dunst has a lovely full face. If your face is like hers, really round glasses are just going to accentuate the roundness of your face. As with square faces, any glasses with a stronger pointed edge at the top, will elongate the face. Make sure they don’t sit too deeply on your cheeks, or you’ll end up with chipmunk cheeks!! The first pair of these don’t sit too low on the cheek bones, and are a softish rectangular shape to counteract the roundness. The second pair have the bridge of the frame, low down, so the top of the frame sits high above the eyebrows, and makes the face look longer.

  1. Navy blue wayfarer. £125. Next
  2. Jacqui OHh sunglasses. £125-. Rayban

Angular faces – heart/triangular or diamond shaped.

Both of these face shapes have angles. Diamond shapes are the rarest, being narrower at the forehead and the chin area, whereas heart shapes faces are only narrow at the chin area.

face reese witherspoonface aviator heartface square


Reese Witherspoon has a pointy chin, giving her a heart shaped face. She has full cheeks. Avoid glasses where all the attention is at the top of the frame (like the club master ones above). The aviator shape is drawing eyes downwards, balancing the top heavy heart shaped face. Squarer shapes will have the same effect.

  1. Alice Aviator sunglasses. £10. Topshop.
  2. Pru Portugal Square sunglasses £16. Topshop.

face elizabth hurleyface diamondface diamond 2

The narrow chin, wide cheek bones and hair across a narrow forehead, give Elizabeth Hurley a diamond shaped face. The width of the eye area is narrower than the cheeks. Look for frames that widen the brow area or draw attention to eyes. You could use large square frames to balance the narrow brow area.

  1. Striped sunglasses. £17.99. Zara
  2. Two tone sunglasses. £15.99. Zara

Hopefully this has given an indication of the styles which are in the shops at the moment, as well as what shape will suit your face. You can book a one to one session with Vicky Smith Styling to help you work out what colour frames and what shapes will suit you best.

Further reading:

What do your eyebrows say about you: Oprah.com

Virtual try on of frames: frames.com

Expert style tips on glasses: vision express

why sunglasses are the ultimate street style accessory:whowhatwear

mirror mirror:outfit making sunglasses: style.com


8 damn good ways to wear denim

fendi fashions


Can We Lesser Mortals wear denim without looking like a school caretaker??

In previous posts, I mentioned the revival of the 70’s style fashions. And this, of course, means denim is going to be wardrobe staple for the summer. Everyone has a pair of jeans, and this summer you wear them skinny or flared. You can dig out your old denim skirts, but avoid the Yummy Mummy look if you want to be on trend, and of course, you can wear a denim jacket. All of those are quite heavy weight for high summer, so I want to look at alternatives which may appeal to ladies who don’t really like constricting non-stretchy denim fabric, and may want something a bit lighter for summer. I particularly like the clutch at the bottom. Would you wear any of these? Am I catering for all your body shapes and budgets?

Did you know the words for denim and jeans, comes from France? One certain  blue twill came from Nimes in France – “serge de Nimes” hence, denim, and jeans came from the word for Genoa – Genes – where the trousers were made!! Not just a fashion blog!!

denim dress Oasis denim dress karen Millen


  1. Dita tencel dress £40. Oasis. 100% lyocell. Size 6-16. Machine washable. Will suit hourglass and boyish figures best. You may get away with if you are a bit busty or apple shaped.
  2. Denim print soft sleeveless dress. £170. Karen Millen.  Asked size 6-16. 100% viscose. Dry clean only. I think the tie-belt is not attached on the dress, so you can choose your own belt, or leave it off and wear as a tunic. Suit boyish best.

denim T shirt gap denim shirt G star

  1. 1969 tencel denim shirt. £34.99. Gap. Sizes XXS-XXL. 100% tencel. Machine washable. Suit apple and boyish best.
  2. Midge dumont slim shirt. £90. G Star. Size XS-XL Cotton elastane mix, machine washable. This will suit boyish, medium bust size, and pear shaped ladies.

denim skirt oasis denim jacket jack wills

  1. Denim paper bag skirt. £35. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% cotton, Machine washable. This is tulip shaped, so best for boyish, and top heavy, but if you buy it to sit on the waist, hourglass ladies can wear too.
  2. Fairlawn blazer. £98.50. Jack Wills. Size 6-16. Polyester cotton elastane mix. Dry clean only. Suit hourglass, and boyish best, and some pear shapes can wear, but watch the hem doesn’t finish on the widest part of your hips.

denim shift All saints denim clutch whistles

  1. Kimney dress. £98. All Saints. Size 4-14. Tencel cotton mix. Delicate wash. How easy to wear this?? Suit apple shapes and boyish best.
  2. Clairmont clutch. £110. Whistles. 100 % cotton. Totally love this piece.

So let me know if you feel inspired to rush out and buy anything mentioned here. I like to think I am giving valuable information and helping you stay on trend and looking youthful. For a one to one, book me through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading.

8 do’s and don’ts of wearing denim on denim: stylecaster

How to wear the new denim: matches fashion

Trading in our jeans for denim dresses: Style.com

how to wear a denim dress: pop sugar


6 white-on ways to wear white this summer

white valentino


Can We Lesser Mortals wear all white this summer without looking like we’ve gone out in our nighties??

Aaaah. Summer is round the corner & we imagine ourselves like Timotei ladies with  Scandinavian blonde hair and floaty white dresses, skipping through fields of wild flowers …..?? Till your teenage son asks if you’ve forgotten to put your dress on, and your husband asks who you are trying to kid!!! But fear not – ‘fashion advice” from an “image consultant” is realistic, as most of our clients are normal women, with normal bodies, and normal expectations. (Although we are there to nudge you out of your comfort zones). So here are some lovely ideas for you. Don’t be afraid to dress all in white – it makes quite a striking impression on people. (just make sure it’s machine washable, and don’t go near the tomato ketchup….)

white waistcoat apple Karen Millen  white jumpsuit hourglass warehouse

  1. Tailored long line waist coat. £250. Karen Millen. Sizes 8-16. Acetate, viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. This jacket/coat is very striking and will slim down silhouettes. Best for tall and apple shaped ladies.
  2. Culotte bandeau jumpsuit. £75. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Handwash. Obviously you need a good rack for this to stay up, it will probably suit hourglass and pear shaped ladies with a chest. It may fit large chested ladies too.

white wide leg trousers reisswhite maxi dress FC


  1. Sorrento wide leg trousers. £120. Reiss. Size 6-14. Cotton viscose elastane. Dry clean only. I love a nice pair of white trousers but watch your VPL. These will suit top heavy and boyish shapes -you will possibly get away with if you have slight hips.
  2. Coachella embroidered maxi dress. £250. French Connection. Size 6-16. 100% nylon. Dry clean. A beautiful maxi dress, although it will probably only be special occasions, as it is dry clean!! Suit pear shape and boyish shapes best.

white zara topwhite Zara jacket

  1. Belted White top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to L. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Washable. Will suit hourglass, large chests, pear shapes and possibly apple shapes.
  2. Broderie anglaise jacket with pockets. £79.99 Zara. Size XS to L. 100% cotton. Washable. This will suit most body shapes, but leave undone if you have a largish chest.

So I am definitely going to be wearing white with white this summer. What about you? Ok so my kids may be a bit older, but if you are working, or your kids are at school all day, or indeed, you don’t have kids, then you can stay pretty clean, and since retro is all the rage, you can always wear a pinny whilst cooking tea!! For more help contact me www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

10 stylish ways to wear white: whowhatwear

7 tips on how to wear a white dress: all women stalk

How to wear a white jacket: 40 plus style

How to wear a white blouse: dress like a parisian