14 voluptuous velvet styles to tempt, tease and titilllate!

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Velvet catwalk photos courtesy of vogue.co.uk: vetements, Valentino, Haider Ackerman and Akris

Can We Lesser Mortals look En Vogue in sumptuous velvet?

Delicious, sensuous, luxurious velvet. It says Christmas doesn’t it? The pile of the fabric makes it deep and rich in appearance.

“Fabulous, you say! But I don’t need any more special occasion wear, as I will only get to go out once over the festive period and I won’t get my money’s worth”.

A valid point, but apart from your obvious velvet party dress, there are many ways to tone down velvet. I’ll show you next week on Facebook (Vicky Smith Styling) how I style my velvet midi pleat skirt.

The tunic, shown below, can be  worn with jeans, and over a polo neck jumper for warmth.

The velvet body can co-ordinate with a leather skirt and knee boots or a denim skirt and Converses, or you could wear a kimono style jumper over the top.

Velvet jeans or trousers can be worn in exactly the same way as normal smart jeans or trousers – with ankle boots, chunky knit, blouse etc

Break up the suits, by wearing them as separates – the velvet jackets with denim jeans, the trousers with brogues and a leather jacket.

And lastly the pink velvet midi skirt can be worn with chunky knits or a bomber jacket.

So many women think that around the house, you should only wear jeans, but why not look nice when you are at home? You never know who will call, and you nearly always have to nip out for something. Obviously, if you are on your hands and knees doing chores, then you can change. ( and yes, I put my jog pants on in the evening! 😱 )

Velour or velvet? Velour is a knitted fabric, so has more “give” and is cheaper. You tend to get a lot of velour in the low end High St stores, but it can look really cheap. Velvet is a woven fabric and is sturdier and less stretchy, but looks more luxurious and is usually more expensive.

So my challenge for you this week, is to tell me in the comments box, what you think I would wear or buy?

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  1. Pleated velvet midi dress. £75. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. You can see this looks like it’s straight off the catwalk. The high neck won’t flatter big busts, so I think this will be best for hourglass, boyish, and smaller pear shapes.
  2. Feminine velvet dress DZ239. £170. Karen Millen.  Size 6-16. Silk viscose mix, dry clean only. The fitted shape will flatter hourglass, pear shapes and boyish.

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  1. Crushed velvet body. £29. Warehouse. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This can be dressed up for party wear, or you can wear with jeans/skirt and a bomber/blazer jacket for smart day time. This is good for boyish, pear and  hourglass ladies.
  2. Blythe devore print blouse. £59. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Nylon viscose mix, machine washable. An easy top to wear day or night. Best for pear, apple, and boyish shapes.

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  1. Katciat Velvet tuxedo trousers. £139. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane viscose mix. Dry clean only.
  2. Katcia tux jacket. £229. Ted Baker Size 6-16. Cotton viscose elastane mix, dry clean only. Buy as separates, or make a stylish entrance in a suit. You can get cheaper versions at say, Next, but you get what you pay for. The advantage of this suit, is you can wear it as separates too, and get more for your money, You can also buy different sizes top and bottom, if you are disproportionate. Will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.
  3. Long sleeve velvet jacket. £79. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only.
  4. Textured wide leg velvet trouser. £49.50. Marks and spencers. Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Again both these pieces can be worn separately or as a suit. A loose flowing suit which will suit most body shapes, but probably not boyish shapes.

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  1. Cotton corduroy trousers. £49.99. Mango. Size 6-12. Available in green and navy. Cotton elastane mix, machine washable. So although described as corduroy, they are a sort of velveteen. Shown here in a casual manner. These will suit boyish, top heavy and hourglass.
  2. Helvin snake croc velvet jean. £110. Reiss Size 24″-32″ (approx 6-16) Cotton elastane viscose mix. Machine washable. These will suit anyone who wears skinny jeans at the moment – probably best for boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies.

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  1. Velvet pelmet skirt. £35. Warehouse.  Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is reasonably straight, so will be best for top heavy, hourglass and boyish. Not great if pear shaped.
  2. Kitty metallic pleated skirt. £125. Whistles Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. If it’s out of your price range, don’t forget the M and S one I mentioned a few weeks ago. Great with knee boots and ankle boots, this will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass best.

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  1. Velvet tent make up bag. £14. Top Shop. Viscose nylon mix. What? Nailing 2 trends in one? Leopard and velvet. Way to go girl!!
  2. Suzie square toe platform. £52. Top shop. Size 2-9. 100% textile. 5″ heel. These will really lift a LBD and the chunky heel is more stable on a long night out.

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  1. Monda berry velvet sandals, £170. Reiss. Size 3-8. This doesn’t say if they are leather or fabric. Beautiful high heeled sandals for an evening out with skinny jeans, or the perfect party dress.
  2. Beau velvet clutch bag. £135. Reiss. Available in deep ocean suede(green/blue). The red is polyester elastane. Yep – I’m a sucker for a matching bag and shoes.

Will you dismiss velvet as a waste of money? I bought some velvet jeans last year and will be wearing them this year as well, so I’m getting value for money. Let me know you have an opinion, as I’d love to get some feedback.

Further reading:

20 style tips poe how to wear velvet: gurl.com

How to wear velvet: Harpersbazaar.com

How to wear velvet this fall: pop sugar

The cool way to wear velvet pants: whowhatwear

Trendy tweed to tickle you fashion mojo

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Photos of tweed courtesy of Vogue.co.uk : Chanel, Loewe, Balenciaga and Isabel Marant

Can We Lesser mortals wear tweed and not look like we’re wearing a car rug?

I am astonished this winter, by how many High Street trends have been around for a good few seasons. If you took earlier advice from this blog, you will still be bang on trend, and it hasn’t cost you a penny!! Lets face it, keeping up with trends makes us look younger, which is something we all want, whatever our age? Right?

Can we carry off tweed without looking like we’ve raided Granny’s wardrobe ( which is fine if you are 18 but not if you are 48)? Firstly, to keep tweed looking young and fresh, look at the style of the clothes it has been made into. The culottes and top are definitely modern not fuddy duddy styles. No granny points there. Secondly, you need to look at how you style it. The mini skirt is matched with a leather biker style jacket and the fringed coat is styled with ankle boots and a mini skirt ( if bare legs aren’t your thing, then opaque tights work too). Tweed jackets also look great with skinnies or flared jeans. No granny points there either. And thirdly what accessories? Cardi’s, pearl necklaces and Mary Jane shoes, are going to add about 15 years to your perceived age. I would wear knee boots, ankle boots, converses, heels etc. Chunky crop knits, pendants & cold shoulder tops are all very modern, so again, no granny points. Finally –  no 15 denier flesh coloured tights please.

So do you feel the need for tweed? Can you guess what I’d buy….? The culottes and the fringed coat are my kind of tweed. What’s yours? Answers in comment box below!!

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  1. Likka cropped trousers. £89. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester wool acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Wide leg trousers are great for pear shapes, hourglass and top heavy ladies. Petite ladies are better with a longer length trouser.
  2. Wide leg checked trouser with wool. £49.50. M and S. Size 6-22. Some sizes are available in short and long lengths. Wool acrylic polyamide mix. Dry clean only. These trousers look quite fitted over the hip area, so best for apple, boyish and top heavy ladies.

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  1. Houndstooth jacket. £79.99. Zara Size XS to L. Viscose acrylic polyester mix. Washable.  This stylish jacket/coat which will look fab with skinny jeans. Probably not amazingly warm though. This style will suit apple and boyish best, but other shapes can wear it too.
  2. Tweed coat. £325. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Alpaca, acrylic, cotton, polyamide, polyester mix. Dry clean only. This style will suit hourglass and pear shapes best. Top heavy may get away with it.

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  1. Fringed tweed skirt. £125. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, polyamide mix. Dry clean only. I  love that this is a feminine pink tweed, and the frayed hem keeps it modern, This will suit boyish and  hourglass best.
  2. Fringed tweed jacket. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyamide, cotton, polyester mix. Dry clean only. You could buy both these pieces, and have the option of a suit, and skirt and a jacket. On its own, this jacket is fab with wide leg trousers, flared jeans/cords and any skirt – leather? The high neck and boxy shape is not going to flatter big busts. So best for boyish, and pear shapes if they chose what they wear on their bottom half, wisely.

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  1. Black and white brushed check mini skirt. £28. Next. Size 6-22. Polyester, acrylic mix. Machine washable. (the jacket is £160 and green leather – a good price) It is a straight-ish fit, so best for boyish & apple shapes.
  2. Frayed tweed top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to Xl. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, viscose mix. Dry clean only. Suits most body shapes unless you are very busty.

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  1. Tweed floppy skater dress. £42. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester, viscose, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suits hourglass, boyish and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy harris tweed jacket. £145. Next. Size 6-20. 100% wool. As there are no care instructions, assume it’s dry clean only. The great contrast lining means when you roll your sleeves up, you can see a flash of stripe. This will suit hourglass, and boyish best. Pear shapes will depend what you style it with.

I hope you can see that tweed can be really stylish and isn’t old fashioned at all. It’s pretty timeless too, meaning you can wear it year after year without it dating. If you have any queries or would like advice for a particular event or situation, you can contact me through my website

Further reading:

11 ways to wear tweed without looking conservative: whowhatwear

Victoria Beckham in tweed: dailymail.co.uk

15 ways to style tweed: Brit and co

3 cool ways to wear a chanel jacket: whowhatwear

modern ways to wear Chanels iconic jacket: the Zoe report

 

10 metallic fashions to pack a punch

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Metallic images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Vivienne westwood Lanvin, Valentino and Saint Laurent

Can We Lesser Mortals wear a Metallic, without looking like we’ve just finished a marathon & are wrapped in a survival blanket?

Metallics are quite a scary trend aren’t they? They really draw attention to you, and oh boy, if you get it wrong……..SO – here is a little advice to help you work out whether you can carry off a metallic item of clothing, or whether you’re going to look like a Quality Street wrapper.

First of all – gold or silver? If you are freckly, red, auburn, chestnut headed, brown/green/hazel eyes, and generally warm toned – then gold is for you (this is a guide, not conclusive) If you are very pale skinned, have blue veins which show under your skin, have grey/blonde/black hair, grey/blue eyes – then silver is the colour for you. Also think about whether gold or silver jewellery suits you best, and use that as a guide.

If you have very strong features, and are dark skinned, or have bright eyes, then a bold shiny metallic is good for you, If however, your features disappear  without make up, and your hair and skin blur together, a flatter, toned down metallic will suit you better. Of course, you can avoid confusion and choose to wear the metallic item away from your face (i.e. trousers or skirt). If you choose to wear a metallic coat or jacket, then wear a coloured scarf that suits you.

If you are worried you’ll look daft – a metallic belt, handbag or shoes shows you know what’s in fashion, & can make you look younger. I would suggest that those older Lesser Mortals go less for the full on bling metallic anyway, and maybe accessorise with metallics as a way to express their inner fashionista!

Click here to see how I style up my metallic skirt and here to see how I style up a metallic T shirt.

Which outfit would you choose? Please let me know in the comments box, below.

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  1. Kendal pleated silver dress. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Hand washable. This dress has a V neck and fitted bodice, with a fluid pleated skirt, and will suit hourglass, and some pear shape or boyish shaped ladies.
  2. Pink metallic wrap slip dress. £32. River Island. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The bodice on this dress is much looser fitting, and therefore more forgiving. This will suit hourglass and some boyish and pear shapes.

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  1. Gold plunge wrap dress. £38. River Island.  Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in silver too. This ties at the waist, and the V neck makes it suitable for bigger busts and hourglass.
  2. Becca Batwing dress. £89. Phase Eight. Size 8-18. 9 other colours – viscose nylon mix, machine washable. A more casual style, this will suit boyish  shaped ladies.

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  1. Metallic pyjama shirt. £46. Top Shop. Size 4-16. and petite and tall sizes. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This relaxed shirt with V neck will suit most body shapes,
  2. Pewter pleated skirt. £46. Next. Size 6-22. Polyester elastane mix. I think this is machine washable, but it doesn’t say on the web site. This skirt is quite a heavy weight, and has a solid waist band. It will suit hourglass, top heavy and boyish. It may also suit some pear shapes, as the pleats fall nicely from the hips downwards.

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  1. Silver metallic super skinny jean. £24. Next. Size 6-22 , regular, long and extra long lengths. Cotton, polyester, elastane mix. Machine washable. These will suit top heavy and boyish best.
  2. Silver faux suede bomber jackets. Reduced to £30. River Island. size 8-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Running out of stock…!!! Bomber jackets can be worn just like a cardi, so will suit most body shapes.

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  1. Flatform penny loafer. £70. Dune. Size 3-8. Leather upper. Not so in “in your face” so will suit everyone!
  2. Mayfair chrome heeled boots. £82. Top Shop  Size 2-9. Leather upper. These are perfect if you find metallics all a bit much.

So go on – give metallics a go. So many ladies are set in their ways, or dress prematurely older than their age, and no-one wants to look 10 years older than they actually are. So push the boat out and experiment If you’d like me to come and help, or have a Skype chat, then contact me through my website. here

Further reading:

How to wear metallics 24/7: whowhatwear

25 ways to wear metallic flats: stylecaster

45 ways to style a pleated skirt: closet full of clothes

So heavy metal is in again: fashion tag blog

How to wear metallics during the day: the outfit.com

10 leopard prints to make you purr.

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Images of Leopard Prints, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, D and G  and Kenzo

Can We Lesser Mortals wear leopard prints without looking like we’ve been taxidermied?

The mercury is dropping, and Lesser Mortals everywhere are vacuum packing their Ibiza outfits away, dusting mothballs out of their cashmere blend knitwear and starting to plan their show stopping outfits for the next 6 months. So what will it be? A puffy meringue parka? Crusty old tweed twinsets? Rich, full of flavour velvets,  or are you going to sizzle sexiness in this season’s Leopard Prints?

Are leopard prints like marmite, or can they appeal to everyone? In terms of what personality you have – leopard prints can be translated into girly Mary Jane Shoes, urban ankle boots, floaty seventies gossamer maxi dresses, hard core T shirts and skinny jeans.If beige isn’t your colour, don’t wear it next to your face.  Choose shoes or bottoms, or go for another colour of leopard print, like those items shown below. It’s often regarded as a non colour, making it easy to blend with any other colour, from reds through to greens and blues. If you’re worried it isn’t age appropriate, remember to just give a little nod in the fashion direction, and stick to a belt, bag or shoes What’s good enough for the PM, is good enough for me!!

So go on……Roar don’t Growl – Keep it quality, and Keep it fake. We don’t need too many Bette Lynches out there.

Click the link to see my “3 ways to wear a leopard print jacket.

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  1. Grey Gemma wool coat. £249. Hobbs. Size 6-18. Wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. Most shapes can get away with this coat, but it will be more flattering on boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Animal print formal T shirt. £28. Oasis Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Best for pear shapes and  boyish shapes.

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  1. Biba printed leopard jumper. £65. House of Fraser  Size XS to XL. Nylon, viscose cotton mix. machine washable. The V neck flatters bigger chested ladies and hourglass best.
  2. Leopard print wrap midi dress. £59. Top Shop. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Available in tall, petite, and maternity sizes. The variety of dress fits on offer, means this dress suits most body shapes, but the low cut neck won’t complement flatter chester chested ladies.

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  1. Ruffle animal long sleeve blouse. £34. TopShop Size 4-16. Also available in a black and white animal print and in petite sizes. Polyester and metallic mix. Machine washable. Best for boyish, pear shapes and flatter chests.
  2. Snow leopard flock skinny jean. £80. French connection. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suitable for those who can normally wear skinny jeans.

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  1. Animal print pleated skirt. £35. M and S . Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Pleat midi skirts are EVERYWHERE this autumn. This style suits boyish, hourglass and large chested women.
  2. Leopard pony belt. £22. Top Shop.  Size XS-L 100% leather. If leopard is too much for you….use this belt to just add a hint of pattern on your jeans, trousers, skirts, or over a jumper, to show you are on trend.

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  1. Graduate slingback shoe. £56. Top Shop. I love that fact these shoes have an “on trend” cuban heel, are leopard print and have a slingback. Fantastic with bare legs or opaque tights, and with skinny jeans and wide leg trousers.
  2. Snow leopard drawstring bag. £199. Boden. Printed cowhide. This gorgeous bag will add a bit of style to a work outfit that needs to be demure and plain. And it’ll instantly make your jeans and overcoat look more eye catching.

So I hope these leopard print designs have inspired you to take a risk and try some on. Animal print is a classic design, which goes in and out of fashion, but will always be around long term. If you have to wear a uniform or strict dress code, then a bag or shoes can be a great way to express your inner tiger mum!!

Further reading:

style tips on how to wear leopard print blouses and shirts: gurl.com

Celebrity style wearing animal print: whowhatwear

9 ways to wear leopard print coat: babble.com

3 ways to wer leopard coat: fashion slave

how to wear animal prints: fashion fix

An essential Sneak Peek at Autumn’s Fashions

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Images from Vogue.co.uk: Bottega Veneta, D and G, Gucci, and Prada

Can We Lesser Mortals save money this Winter, by early buying Autumn’s Fashions?

How the heck are you? It’s been a long time since I tipped you off about the trends on the High Street, and it’s been a short summer in terms of sun and heat. I don’t feel I got my wear out of my high summer clothes, so I’m trying desperately hard to keep wearing them till at least the end of September, avoiding buying this autumn’s fashions just yet. Remember, you can keep warm by layering up – put shirts/T shirts etc on under dresses, and wear sandals with maxi’s and crop trousers to keep your legs a bit warmer.

If, however, you are totally bored with your summer clothes and can’t wait to go shopping, then here’s a quick heads up for what autumn fashions are to come. It’s by no means comprehensive, and High Street stores can sometimes ignore the catwalks, and carry on old styles from the season before, especially if they were best sellers. But at least, with this advice, you can be sure you’ll be fairly “edgy” for the next 6 months. Make sure you subscribe on the tab, to get my 2 weekly advice on what’s in the High Street shops to suit your figure!

All my resolutions to save money are flying out of the window…….

Luxury

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  1. Richmond Velvet jean.  £89. Whistles. Available in graphite, black and petrol. Size 24-32 (roughly 6-14). Machine washable. A stretchy jean in cotton elastane mix, cut in a 5 pocket jeans style. This jean is an easy style to wear, but still shows you know what’s in fashion. Suits boyish, slight pear, top heavy and hourglass ladies.
  2. Jagga Velvet shoe £46 Top Shop. size 3-9. 100% textile. Heel 3″. Colour teal. Velvet too much for you on top? Make a statement with these funky shoes. Will really brighten up a black evening ensemble. Avoid if you have chunky ankles.

Brocade

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  1. Harry jacquard ankle boot. £65. Top Shop Size 2-9. Heel 3.5″. Textile upper. Again, if you prefer to wear plain clothes or skinny jeans, why not add some funky ankle boots? These won’t suit you if you have very thick ankles.
  2. Geo jacquard cigarette trouser £35. Next. Sizes 6-22 in reg, long and extra long lengths. 100% polyester. These can be dressed up for work or evening wear, but why not wear during the day too, with a chunky knit and trainers or converses? Comments on the website suggest these are better on curvier women if you don’t want a saggy (not soggy) bottom!!

Military

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  1. Military knit coat. £99.99. Zara. Size S-L. Knitted long length coat. A striking lighter weight coat for winter. Perfect for hippy ladies who want to broaden their shoulders so will suit more proportionate pear shapes, and tall boyish shape ladies best. This coat is intended to reach to your ankles, and will look amazing with high heeled knee boots or over skinny jeans.
  2. Pleated cord skirt. £38. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% cotton, machine washable. Short flippy skirt which will suit most body shapes, but not apple shapes.

Animal

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  1. Leopard dress wrap dress. £99. Biba at H of Fraser. size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and the V neck and wide sleeves are flattering whatever your age. Fantastic with knee boots in winter. Suit pear shape, hourglass, top heavy and boyish. Probably not apple shapes due to rigid waist.
  2. Pony zip clutch. £32 Top Shop. Faux fur and leather purse. Great for day or night.

Tartan/tweed

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  1. Check wool blend coat £99.99. Mango. Size XS-XL. wool blend mix, dry clean only. This coat is quite chunky and boxy, so although most shapes can wear it, it will complement boyish and some apple shapes best.
  2. Check suit trouser. £49.99. Mango. Size 8-14. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Perfect for work or with a chunky jumper at weekends. Will suit boyish, hourglass and busty women best.

Quilting

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  1. Endo Baffle Quilt coat. £249. Barbour at H of Fraser. Size 8-18. Polyester amide mix. Machine washable. Stylish and warm, this will suit pear shapes, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Junni faux fur collar jacket. £199. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Nylon shell, faux fur collar (detachable) and down filled. Dry clean only. This style is best for hourglass and boyish.

Lace/sheer

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  1. Sheer spot pussy bow blouse. £99. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Available in red too. 100% polyester, machine washable. Don’t you just love a pussy bow? The bow draws attention upwards, so great for pear shapes, boyish, apple, and hourglass.
  2. Aubergine long sleeve friledl blouse. £19.99. Zara. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Size S-L. Before you freak out that this is see through, I just want to mention you should wear a vest top underneath (so no unsightly flesh on show) If you are very self conscious, then a long sleeve tight T shirt would do the trick too.. This cunning little blouse, has a discreet V in to break up the chest area, so is great for apple shapes and big busts. The muted sleeves, draw eyes away from chest area.

So did this titillate you and get you wishing the weather was colder, providing a perfect excuse to go shopping? I’ll keep you up to date with new styles coming in, and where to get them, as this quick peek is by no means comprehensive.

Further reading:

15 style tips on how to wear puff coats: fashiontasty

20 style tips on how to wear leopard print: gurl.com

8 ways celebrities are wearing brocade: nubry.com

7 ways to wer the military trend: allwomenstalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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