9 Striking ways to wear stripes this summer

stripes Balmain

Can we lesser mortals wear stripes without looking like a circus marquee??

Lots of people are afraid of stripes, in case they draw too much attention to themselves. Using my strengths as an “image consultant”, on a previous post on Jan 16th, we looked at how prints and patterns on garments can change the perceived proportions of your body to your advantage. Well, so can stripes. Garments with stripes on don’t have to be garish and in your face, but when they are bold, they can have a striking impact on your appearance. Still, if it’s all too much for you, you could always try a tonal stripe. I’ve lined(!!) some suggestions up to wet your appetite.

stripe dress copies

  1.  Jude stripe dress. £99. Phase eight. sizes 6-18. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Perfect for hourglass.
  2. Blue and white stripe dress. £50. Next. Size 6-22. Cotton mix. This adds width over your hips to balance out busty women, (but comments on Next website are: that it is reasonably short, so you’ll need to be petite or have nice legs!!)
  3. Stripe fit and flare dress. £45. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The flirty skirt makes this great for pear shapes.

stripe top trs & jkt

  1. Striped wide leg trousers. £50. Next. Sizes 6-22 in reg, long and ex-long. 100% polyester. Although polyester, these may be ideal for holidays because they don’t crease, and will dry quickly, if you are prone to sweating. Perfect if you want to lengthen your legs. Good for pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Stripe V neck woven cami. £12-£20. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester. Will suit boyish, and apple shapes, and if your chest isn’t too big.
  3. Stripe casual jacket. £149. Jigsaw. Size 8-14. A brilliant jacket for creating an impression without much effort. Cotton, acrylic, polyamide mix. Dry clean only. Will suit pear shaped and boyish best.

copy stripe shoes:dress

  1. Stripes satin dress. £59.99. Mango. Size 6-14. Acetate viscose mix. Dry clean only. Will suit boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Aubrey stripe high heel. £80. Miss KG. Size 3-8. Will suit feet that want to  look smaller.
  3. Ellie May stripe dress. £150. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This will suit boyish and pear shapes.

I hope these stripes have got you in the mood for some confident dressing. If you aren’t sure what suits you, or what colours to wear, a “personal stylist” can help to give you confidence. I work as a personal stylist, as well as blogging, and you can contact me here in the contact section of my website.

Further reading:

7 ways to wear stripes and make them work: all women stalk

10 ways to wear stripes on stripes: the glitter guide

The right stripes for your figure type: Hubpages

8 of the best ways to wear stripes this season: all women stalk

10 Blooming way to wear florals this summer

Valentino (Vogue.co.uk)

Valentino (Vogue.co.uk/catwalkfashions)

Can We Lesser Mortals wear florals without looking like a shrinking violet?

I feel like florals have been around for ages, but they certainly reflect the mood of spring and summer. Often we feel more inspired to wear bolder patterns and colours in summer, than in winter. Florals don’t have to be girly. You can choose to sling them on with a pair of brogues or choose a bolder, more  aggressive print, rather than a pretty pastel. Even if I wasn’t an “image consultant” I’d be totally up for a flower or two – you can’t help being cheerful when wearing flowers! How about you? Which would you wear?

floral shift pear warehouse floral tunic apple warehouse floral hourglass ph 8

  1.  Pretty floral shift dress. £48. Warehouse. Sizes 6-18. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. It may look at little short (depending on your age) but on holiday it’ll be fine. This will suit boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Floral chiffon sleeve dress. £35. Warehouse. Size 8-16. 100% viscose. Machine washable. A loose shift style tunic, for easy wear around the house and on the school run. Great with footless tights and pumps or wearing over jeans too. Suit boyish and apple shapes best.
  3. Carolina dress. £130. Phase eight.  Sizes 6-20. Cotton polyamide elastane mix.  Machine washable. The sweetheart neck line flatters a larger chest, so is great for hourglass figures.

floral top and skirt oasis boy floral jumper Next floral T shirt Teb baker

  1. Digital floral pencil skirt and top. £40 and £40. Oasis. Sizes 6-18. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. This gives you plenty of outfits – dress, skirt, top. The top is boxy, so not great for big busts. Will suit boyish figures, and slight pear shapes. The skirt on its own, will big chested and hourglass ladies. Apple shapes may find this suits them, and the added value is, you can buy different size tops and bottoms.
  2. Daisy red bardot sweater. £15-£25. Next. Sizes 6-22, also in petite and tall sizes too. Cotton, nylon, viscose mix. Will suit most body shapes, but if you are large chested,  buy it small enough to nip in under your chest.
  3. Idris window blossom T shirt. £45. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. 100% viscose. A really pretty T shirt in a more subtle floral print which will make jeans outfits, look quite smart. Any body shape.

floral jacket next pear boyfloral blouse pepperberry chest

  1. Floral printed jacket. £65. Next. Size 6-22. Cotton polyester viscose elastane mix. The boxy shape means it is probably best for boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Sarah frill blouse. £39. Pepperberry. Sizes 8-18. As well as each size being cut in Curvy fit, through to super curvy. Viscose elastane with removable cami inside.Machine washable. Perfect for busty women.

floral jean french connectionfloral trousers reiss

  1. Flight of fancy floral jeans. £80. French connection. Size 6-16. cotton elastane. Cold wash. Slightly more subtle print, and suits anyone who normally wears skinny jeans.
  2. Olivia sugar floral trousers. £110. Reiss. size 4-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

Let me know if this has inspired you to try out some floral clothes. Keep looking at my Facebook Vicky Smith Styling, to give you ideas on how to wear clothes, or book a one to one with www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

20 style tips on hot to wear florals: Gurl

winter floral print trend: STylecaster

floral fashion trend: Just the design

9 rubbery ways to embrace the Scuba trend!!


Can We Lesser Mortals wear neoprene (Scuba) without looking like Jacques Cousteau?

Ok, another aged reference for Lesser Mortals, but you can find him on Wikipedia!! Anyhoo….has anyone else noticed this funny rubbery fabric in the shops at the moment? What is it? Is it safe? Can I wear it? Well, it’s a man-made fabric, and my sources in “the know” says it’s called “scuba” (kind of obvious, huh?) So, is it socially acceptable? Do I need to wear cotton underwear if I wear it? My advice as a “personal stylist” would be: It offers more support than normal jersey fabric (i.e. holds the wobbles better), but it is still as cheap – and it doesn’t crease, so would be great on holidays. Obvious down sides are, it is nylon, so could be sweaty in high summer. I guess it’s like marmite – you either love it or you hate it. Here are some suggestions.

scuba skirts ideas

  1.  Seamer crystal droplets skirt. £99. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. As this is virtually A line, it will suit pear shapes, hourglass, boyish and some bigger chested women.
  2. Jaymie Scube top. £45. Coast. Sizes 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Figure hugging, and a V halter neck style, this will flatter boyish and hourglass if you are not too well endowed. The bonus is, if worn with the skirt, it looks like a dress.
  3. Jaymie Scuba skirt. £55. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The black band draws attention to you waist, and so this will suit slight pear shapes, boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies.

scuba trouser ideas

  1. Striped patchwork tube dress. £45.99. Zara. Size XS-L (6-14). Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Due to the horizontal stripes, best to avoid if pear shaped, but better if boyish, or slightly busty. Would make a good work dress.
  2. Friyo geometric floral dress. £139. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Hand washable. I like that this will offer a little more substance for a body con type dress, as we’re all conscious of our tummies. Suits slight pear shape and boyish figures.
  3. High waisted pinstripe trousers. £39.99. Zara. Size XS-L. (6-14). Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Crop trousers are all the rage this summer. Wear with flat pumps, ankle boots, or sandals in summer. Good enough for work. Best for boyish shapes.

scuba dress marks 2

  1. Aristo floral scuba body con dress. £55. Marks and Spencers. Sizes 6-22. Polyester elastane, machine washable. Don’t panic that this is body con, you don’t have to wear it skin tight, and as I mentioned, the fabric is quite robust. Suit boyish, slight apple and hourglass who are not too well endowed.
  2. Willow scuba shift dress. £45. Marks and Spencers. Sizes 6-24. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Possibly looser in style than the one above. Best for slight tummies and boyish shapes.
  3. Panelled scuba body con dress. £49.50. Twiggy for Marks and Spencers. Size 8-24. Polyester elastane. Machine washable. More flattering shape, as there is a V neck for larger chests, and slight rushing over the tummy to hie lumps and bumps. Will suit hourglass best.

Hope this has nudged your interest enough for you to think, I’ll have look next time I’m in the shops. If you want any more help – put a comment, or email me here

Further reading:

would you wear a neoprene dress?: College fashion

3 ways to wear a neoprene sweater: 3 ways to wear

How to wear a neoprene skirt: typical house cat

Neoprene must have pieces: elle.com



12 inspirational ideas for wearing black and white this Summer

Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Balmain SS2015 ready to wear collections

Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Balmain SS2015 ready to wear collections, from www.vogue.co.uk

Can We Lesser mortals wear black and white, without looking like a negative?

First of all, those of you who grew up with digital cameras, probably haven’t got a clue what I mean by a “negative”, but then again, you probably aren’t in the “Lesser Mortal” bracket (age 30-60, less than perfect body, less than full bank account). Black and white may strike you as not being very summery, but it does have the advantage of never dating and working well in the colder months (spring or autumn). It also has the advantage of being very striking, so it works well if you are a complete exhibitionist! (like myself). If worn at a summer wedding, you could well get the award for “best outfit” as everyone else tries to look stylish in pastels and florals.The other thing is, there is masses of black and white out in the shops at the moment. Let me know what you think in the comments box at the bottom- would you wear it or not?

black and white reiss outerwear


  1. 1971 Radzi trench coat £245. Reiss. 100% lyocell. Dry clean only. Sizes XS to L. The belted style and wide lapels, mean this would suit pear shape, hourglass and boyish figures best.
  2. Pisa floral patterned trousers. £120 Reiss. Sizes 6-14. Polyester cotton nylon mix. Machine washable. Be aware they will look a bit longer on you, as the model in the photo is 5’10″!! The loud pattern means this will suit boyish and top heavy ladies best.
  3. Stripe textured blazer £79.99  Zara. Sizes XS to XL. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. These kinds of jacket are easy to sling on with jeans. The stripe pattern would suit top heavy ladies, apples shapes and boyish figures.

black and white floral skirts

  1. Floral pleat printed skirt £39.99. Zara. Size XS to L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. If you carry any weight over your tummy, avoid this, as the pleats around the front, will make you look bigger. However, if you have a flattish tummy, even some slight pear shapes can wear this, as well as top heavy and boyish figures.
  2. Mono floral cropped top £25 and skirt £32 Next. Sizes 6-22. 100%polyester. I do like a nice matching skirt and top – 3 for the price on 1, when worn as separates. This probably suits boyish figures best.
  3. Striped sarong skirt £39.99 and top £29.99 Zara. Sizes XS to L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This is really striking, and the diagonal stripes on the skirt, will make  legs look slimmer, with the top making your top half look wider. So worn together this will suit pear shapes, and boyish, but just worn on its own, the skirt may help slim down slight apple shapes.

black and white dresses


  1. Anna dress. £79. Phase eight. Size 8-20. Viscose elastane. Machine washable. This has a tiny white palm tree print on it. It has flattering rushing around the waist, and a generous V neck, so this would suit hour glass and large chested ladies best.
  2. Mira print Layer Jumpsuit. £129. Mint velvet. Size 8-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This comes with a short sleeved gauzy cover up crop top, for evenings or for modesty!! This will suit most body shapes – belt it in if hourglass, boyish or apple shaped. Wear with the top, if pear shaped, and for top heavy, you’ll need some good bra support.
  3. Celina check dress £79. Phase eight. Size 6-20. Viscose elastane. Machine washable.  The waist gathering will flatter an hourglass best, but it may also work for boyish figures too.

black and white accessoires

  1. Monochrome striped tote bag. £49.50. Marks and Spencers. 100% polyurethane. Although it’s not leather, it is a very striking bag, for work and weekends.
  2. Top with bow £29.99. Zara. Size XS to L. 100% viscose. Machine washable. The vertical stripes will help slim down a broad top half, so will suit some apple shapes and broad shouldered ladies, as well as boyish shapes.
  3. Buckle wedge sandals £39.95 Gap Sizes 4-8. Available in blue floral, grey marl and cream canvas, as well as tan and black leather. As they are a wedge, they aren’t too high and they look adjustable over the toe. Avoid if petite or short legs.

 I hope this has given you some food for thought. Do you like the new way of showing the outfits, or do you prefer the old way? Put a comment down and let me know which you liked/didn’t like and whether you would wear or not. If you’re not sure whether you can wear black and white, and want to get your colour analysis done, you can contact me through my web site by clicking here.

Further reading:

Get bold in black and white:whowhatwear

31 ways to wear black and white: Faux pas.

monochrome fashion trend: Just the design

The thing about stripes and tops: fashiontag

How to wear black and white stripes: natalieast


9 top ideas for wearing metallics this Summer 2105




Can We Lesser Mortals manage to wear metallics, without looking like a Barbarella throw back?

I seem to remember giving “fashion advice” that metallics were going to be in fashion, and wondering whether Lesser Mortals could wear them without looking like Christmas turkeys. Well if you did invest, good for you, because metallics are still a fashion statement this Spring Summer. I know a lot of you are wondering whether you can get away with it at “your age”. I think that as you get older, you will  look younger if you keep following the trends. But whilst young twenty somethings can wear the whole look from head to toe, and look amazing, as you get older, you should wear less and less, until your twilight years when it might only be an accessory or trim that keeps you up to date. So this is a brilliant time to pick up accessories which will instantly update a pair of jeans and a white T shirt, and make you look like you are bang on trend. You’re not telling me you haven’t got a pair of converses or pumps in your wardrobe? And if you nip to the pub of an evening, why not have a metallic clutch or purse?

metallic Jigsaw purse SS2015 metallic bag Boden SS2015metallic sandals Boden SS2015metallic converse schuh SS2015metaiic french sole Next SS2015


  1. Mini Pochette. £35. Jigsaw. In cow suede, leather trim, and polished metal. Great as a little evening bag on your summer holiday with your more casual holiday clothes.
  2. Maida Vale bag.£140. Boden. Available in other colours – navy, turquoise, orange and brown. Will smarten up a pair of casual skinnies and a T-shirt, as well as having room for all your bits and bobs. 100% leather
  3. Sophie wedge Sandals. £79-£89. Boden. Perfect if you want a bit of extra height, but don’t like heels or like to walk for miles. On holidays, I always come a cropper on those authentic rural cobbles…so these should sort that problem!! Size 36-42. In gold, navy suede and patterned. All leather.
  4. All star dainty metallic Ox Converses. £47. Schuh. Leather upper with moc croc effect. Sizes 3-8. Will work with leggings, jeans and skirts. You could wear with a really pretty floaty dress too.
  5. Henrietta pumps. £150. French Sole from Next. Leather upper. You  don’t have to spend this much on pumps, but cheap ones only tend to last a season at most, and you run the risk of them smelling. Sizes 3-8. Next does other cheaper metallic styles too.

metallic next jumper SS2015 metallic T river island SS2015


  1. Metallic back detail sweater. £22. Next. In white, silver, yellow and black. Viscose, polyester metallic mix. Size 6-22. This has 2 medium size cut outs in the back, to add a hint of sexy, but allow bra wearing!! A light cover up for summer.
  2. Metallic gold Asymmetric T shirt. £24. River Island. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane. Machine washable. As well as wearing with jeans, you could try belting in over summer skirt, or whilst it’s still cold – your leather skirt.

metallic Next T shirt ss2015 metallic dress Reiss SS2015

  1. Metallic layer T shirt £20. Next. Available in pewter and silver. Size 6-22. Outer is 100 % polyester over a viscose elastane vest top underneath. Again, an easy piece for slinging on with jeans, or smartening up with tuxedo style trousers and a smart jacket.
  2. 1971 Fava metallic shirt dress. £169. Reiss. Sizes 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This will be best for boyish figures.

Hopefully some of these have tempted you. The accessories are so stylish and easy to wear, and the metallic tops are virtually non creasing. For a smart look, wear with heels, but equally, if you wear the jeans with casual boots/sandals or trainers, then the T shirts stay looking casual. Look at my “3 ways to wear” tab to see ideas for metallic T shirts and metallic skirts. If you want more help or want me to look at a particular topic, then contact me through my website. www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

How to wear metallic accessories: inside out style

How to wear metallic fashions: everyday life – global 

Heavy metal is in again: the fashion tag.