Is there a Little Black Dress to suit my body shape?

Can we Lesser Mortals find the ultimate Little Black Dress, without looking like The Grim Reaper ?

It’s that time of year isn’t it? We’re starting to panic about what we’re going to wear to “work do’s”. And even if we don’t work or have a full blown Christmas party to attend, we may want a new dress for New Year’s Eve, or something we can wear again during the year, when going out for a meal. How are you going to fit in finding one, when you have already starting to panic about buying presents for everyone? (alright Smarty Pants, if you’ve already finished and wrapped yours) What you need is some fashion advice from a trusted source, and who better than your Lesser Mortal Image Consultant. Since no-one spoke to me last week in “comments”, I have decided to do black dresses this week, alternative dresses next week, and maybe winter coats, and finally jewellery as ideas for presents (for yourself, of course!!) If you have any clothes you are struggling to find, either for your body shape or budget, feel free to ask. (comments box below) You can spend a little more on an LBD as they don’t date that much. And lastly, don’t feel sequins are only for Christmas – tone down with a leather jacket, or a coloured cardi, or flat boots. I tried looking in the cheaper shops, but frankly, I didn’t see anything that didn’t look tacky. Remember my moto – “It can be cheap, but it mustn’t look cheap!!” Any way, here are some suggestions….

party black phase eight hourglass party black monsoon pear


  1. Merilee Sequin Dress. £149. Phase Eight. This fitted lace dress, has a waist band and gentle ruching over the tummy, to help disguise any lumps and bumps. Fully lined. 100% polyamide. Dry clean only. Size 6-20. Suits hour glass best.
  2. Amaris Embellished Dress. £149. Monsoon. Embellished with pearl, embroidery and gems, this has a draped bodice and floaty skirt in 100% polyester. Size 6-22. Dry clean only, Will suit pear shapes best.

party black reiss boyish party black karen millen apple

  1. Indra Embellished Dress. Reiss. £125. Size 4-14. Viscose poly-urethane composition. Cool hand wash. Simple and eye catching, this would suit boyish best, and maybe some apple shapes.
  2. Patchwork lace dress. £235. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyamide. Dry clean only. A beautiful lace dress which will suit boyish best, but some smaller pear and apple shapes may find it suits them too.



party black dress top heavy monsoon party black apple monsoon

  1. Cath Maxi Dress. £119. Monsoon. Size 6-22. Draped jersey, which nips in nicely under the bust.  Machine washable. Composition not given, but it looks like jersey. As this is a stretchy dress, it will suit larger busted ladies, breaking up the décolletage, and flattering the  tummy area.
  2. Abigail long sleeve dress. £69. Monsoon. Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This has flattering sleeves, and the length shows off skinny pins. If you think it’ s a little short, wear opaques and knee boots. Will flatter apple shapes best.

It’s really exciting to go shopping at the moment when all the Christmas decorations are out, but remember, if you are short of time, a Style Consultant can save you time, and financially can save you from making mistakes. Ask for vouchers for Christmas? Look at my website for more details.


Further reading:

Seen on the Kashieka run way:ways to wear your LBD:

14 ways to wear your Little Black Dress: Fashionabout .com

Finding the perfect Little Black Dress for my shape: buttons blog





Is khaki on trend this winter?

Can We Lesser Mortals wear this military trend without looking like we’re on manoeuvre?

Hi everyone. Have you checked out my Pinterest account yet? I’ve only just started using it, but I’m posting other things I’ve seen and liked, so if you want to see other stuff that’s my style, give it a look. I am also thinking of having a look at Christmas party/going out wear. Do you have a preference for Little Black Dresses or would you like me to look at alternatives? Put your comment in the box below, and I’ll feature it next week.

Khaki? Well, it brings back fond memories of buying ex army stuff in my teens, and pogo-ing round the under 18 disco’s. If I was in “image consultant” mode, I should advise you to take care when putting this colour next to your skin as it doesn’t suit everyone. It  looks fab on olive and darker skins, but other than that, hold it up near your face, and see what it does for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a coat or trousers in khaki, as you would nearly always be wearing a colourful scarf or jumper anyway. Here are some things, that took my fancy in the shops this week.

military super dry bridge coat military stripe trouser karen millen

  1. Bridge Coat. £124.99. Superdry. Size 6-14. Available in khaki, navy and black. Nylon, wool, acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Personally, I prefer the navy and black which look smarter than the khaki version. A coat like this is fairly timeless. Would suit pear, and boyish best.
  2. Side Stripe Trousers. £130. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. elastane, wool, polyester mix. Dry clean only. These look pretty long, so you definitely need heels. I think they could be dressed up with a tailored jacket, or with a big chunky knit like this. Perfect for pear shapes and hourglass, but boyish and top heavy may look good in these too.

military jumper jigsaw military cargos Zara.

  1. Zip neck jumper. £98. Jigsaw. Size S-L. Lambswool, viscose, polyamide, cashmere mix. Can machine wash. This will suit boyish shapes best and maybe apple, and depending whether it drops over hips and what bottoms you wear with it, could suit pear shapes.
  2. Zipped army cargo trousers. £39.99. Zara. Sizes 6-14. Available in khaki and light khaki. Cotton, polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Most people think these would only suit boyish shapes, or ladies with skinny legs, but on slight pear shapes, the thigh pockets sit just under the hips, and sort of diminish the whole hip thing. So don’t rule them out – try first.

military jumpsuit monsoonkhaki knitted scarf


  1. Haidee jumpsuit. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-18. 100% cupro. I would ignore the fabric belt it comes with and use an expensive looking leather or gold one. If belted in, to accentuate the waist, this will suit most body shapes, but petite ladies – be careful – you don’t want to look like Andy Pandy.
  2. Khaki plaited snood. £20. Top shop. 100% acrylic. Cosy scarf to wear with reefer style coats.

As usual, I hope this has nudged you from your comfort zone. You may even give your kids a shock when you look more up to date than them!! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments box, what you’d like me to look at  next week. If you want to get gift vouchers for a Christmas gift, you can contact me through

Further reading:

Khaki Green – the colour that goes with everything: Daily mail

what colours look good an me: love to know women fashion

how to wear military style: Huffington Post

What colours are fashionable this winter?

Can We Lesser Mortals wear red, without looking like a Scarlet Woman?

As a ‘fashion advisor’, I read all the magasines about what’s “in” and what’s “out”, and then wander in to town, in Hicksville UK, and wonder if anyone has told them what was on the catwalk. Sometimes it feels like the shops are just churning out the same stuff they had last year.  Well, one colour trend has hit the UK shops big time, either because we all have a crush on Father Christmas, or we want to appear romantic whilst we dance to Chris De Burgh’s “Lady in Red”. Yes – red is on trend and in the stores. I suggest if you want to steer away from being a scarlet woman, you avoid the red lycra lace minidress, with easy access poppers…..

Lots of women wonder if they can wear red. I used to think that red heads couldn’t wear it, but I have seen some gorgeous auburn haired ladies rocking a range of red clothes. I would suggest there is a shade of red for every skin tone – you just have to find it. Roughly darker skin tones suit bright acid reds, red hair suit more deeper scarlet/crimson reds, fair skin with brown hair probably find berry reds and pale blondes may find pillar box reds suit them. But there are so many types of hair and skin colours, and so many different types of red, that it’s hard to describe just using words. It’s best if you hold the red item near your face and look in a mirror – if it drains your face – get rid. If your eyes start to sparkle – it’s a good match. Lots of ladies avoid red, because they just want to disappear from view. Why? Better to burn out than to fade away………….If you are at all worried, about drawing too much attention to yourself, maybe just a red dogtooth scarf, which has a hint of red, mixed with black, so it doesn’t dominate. Or some red shoes??

Or you could just wear every colour on one go, as the above picture demonstrates!!

Anyway, here are some of the lovely things I have found in the shops this week

red sequin dress Ph 8 red reiss dress


  1. Angele Sequin Dress – Phase Eight at John Lewis – £120 but got 20% price reduction due to price matching. Sizes 8-20. 100 % polyester. Dry clean only. This fabulous dress will suit hourglass ladies best, but boyish can wear too.
  2. Roman Floral Lace Dress – Reiss – £245. Sizes 4-14. 100 % polyester. Dry clean. This dress is pricey, but absolutely beautiful. I think you will get a lot of wear from this, as it’s quite timeless. Will suit pear shapes and boyish figures, but hourglass figures may get away with.

red monsoon dress red boyish dress ted baker

  1. Cath Short Dress – Monsoon – £79. Size 8-22. Viscose polyester mix. Machine washable. This nips in just under the bust, so will suit big busted ladies and apple shaped ladies. Due to the fabric, it should be comfy with lots of “give”. Also good for women who don’t like the top of their arms.
  2. Edline slash neck zip front tunic dress  – Ted baker – £149. Sizes 6-16. polyamide viscose mix. Dry clean only. Lots of shapes can get away with this, but it will flatter boyish and slight pear shape best.

red top Coastred knitwear jigsaw

  1. Aliba Top Coast – Coast – £55. size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. A fab little top, which can be slung in the washing machine after spilling gravy or red wine on it. Will suit apple shape, boyish, and if it just covers your hips, pear shapes.
  2. Luxury blend cowl neck jumper  – Jigsaw - £69. size S, M, L. polyamide, viscose, wool, silk, cashmere mix. Hand washable. This beautiful jumper will drape beautifully over large chests, and the draping may disguise smaller chests. Available also in navy, blue, fuchsia, green and yellow.

red shoes Hobbs red trousers reiss

  1. NW3 Nancy shoe – Hobbs – £129. sizes 36-42. Gorgeous vintage inspired shoes – these will draw eyes downwards. Not so spangly that they can’t be worn during the day. Leather and suede, and available in pewter.
  2. Londra straight leg trousers – Reiss – £95. size 4-16. Cotton elastane polyester mix. Dry clean. Ideal for boyish and top heavy ladies. Also available in navy and black. Marks and Spencers also have a great pair in Autograph, but sold out on line.

Hoping that this has inspired you to stand out this Christmas. I think a little red dress would be just as timeless as a little black dress. And it does cheer you up to wear colour!! If you want any more help, you can book a session with me Vicky Smith Styling, OR ask for vouchers for Christmas!!

Further reading:

Does wearing red make you sexy?: Psychology today

what colour shoe can I wear with that?: whowhatwear

How to wear red: Bridgitte Raes

Red heads should never wear red and other fashion commandments to be broken: daily mail

the long red dress:





What is this “dark fairytale” fashion trend?

Can We Lesser Mortals embrace the fairy tale trend without looking like The evil witch?

The trouble with all these fashion trends, is that Lesser Mortals can start to look ridiculous if you follow them to the letter. I should imagine you’d be sick of people shouting “Oi, Little Red Riding Hood”, if you were to go shopping in a red cape. It is, however, a very wearable trend this autumn, and most of us should be able to find something floral, embellished or darkly romantic to suit us. It is a lovely feminine fashion, and if you are beginning to get older and worry you can’t rock the younger androgynous look, it is ideal. Don’t leave these items for night time – the floral dress and skirt shown  below, can be worn with a jumper and flat boots to tone them down for a saturday shopping trip. The embroidered kimono can be worn with ripped jeans and Timberland type boots. Obviously the knitwear pieces are pretty versatile for day and night, and can be worn either with skirts or trousers. Don’t be scared of fuller skirts – they can hide a multitude of sins under them, but you should avoid if you are an apple shape. Let me know what you think of this trend in the comments box.

fairy tale monsoon dress fairy dress hobbs


  1. Lorena Lace dress. £89. Monsoon. Sizes 6-22. Dry clean only. Finishing just above knee height, and with lace sleeves to either hide upper arms, or add a little extra warmth, this dress will suit most age groups, and won’t drown petite ladies either. Suits pear and boyish shapes best.
  2. Invitation Guildhall dress. £189. Hobbs. Sizes 8-18. Viscose rayon, silk mix. Dry clean only. It finishes flatteringly at knee level, so if you have heavy legs, this is the right style for you. The flowing skirt will skim over bigger hips, and the narrow waist highlights your curves. It won’t suit you if you are too busty. Suits boyish, pear and smaller chested hourglass ladies.

fairytale monsoon jumper fairytale jumper hobbs


  1. Marianna embellished funnel neck jumper. £69. Monsoon. Sizes 8-18 but sizes 20 & 22 out of stock on line. Viscose, polyamide, wool, alpaca. Machine washable. Will suit most body shoes, but would particularly flatter pear shapes.
  2. NW3 Evelyn sweater. £69. Hobbs. Sizes XS-L (6-16). Cotton, lyocell, wool mix. Hand washable. This slim fitting jumper would suit pear and boyish shapes best.

fairy tale top shop kimonofairy tale ted baker skirt fairy tale top ph 8


  1. Embroidered velvet kimono. £68. Top Shop. Sizes 4-16. Machine washable. 100% polyester. These kimono jackets are really easy to wear whatever your size and shape. Your arms and hips are covered, and you can dress up or down, day or night. Suits any body shape, but will flatter apple shapes and larger busted ladies.
  2. Genna blooms of enchantment skirt. £179. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. Outer is 100% silk. Dry clean only. The contrast coloured waistband and full skirt are screaming out for 50’s hourglass shapes to wear. Wear formally at night, or rock it up with a leather jacket, black ankle boots, and opaque tights.
  3. Steph floral Sequin jumper. £79. Phase Eight. Sizes XS-L. Viscose nylon. Hand washable. Comes to hip level on 5’10 model. A good evening wear piece for wearing with smart skinnies, or a pencil skirt. Covers upper arms, and would suit boyish figures and apples shapes.

fairytale shoes boden fairy tale bag monsoon


  1. Jewelled pump. £129. Boden. Available in half sizes from 36 to 42. These are suede with leather liner and sole. If you don’t like heels, these are your “must” for Christmas parties. Available in god, navy and black. May make your feet look longer, so good for wide feet, less good if you already have overly long feet already.
  2. Morocco suede embellished bag. £59. Monsoon. Suede outer. 20cm x 30cm. Popper fastening.

It’s nice to see a fashion that flatters normal body shapes, and is more feminine, which I think suit more mature women. Let me know what you think, or if you fancy a session with me, Vicky Smith Styling, you can ask for vouchers for Christmas too!!

Is fur fashionable this year?

HONEY_08122009sb_0118_small copy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear fur without looking like the “honey monster?”

It’s winter again, and with it comes the spectre of cheap acrylic fur gracing the hoods of many bargain parka coats. I’ve written blog before about fake fur, because as a style consultant, no matter what the fashion is that year, I can’t stand scratchy artificial fur that looks like you’ll get an electric shock if you touch it!! This year there are some lovely fur items out on the high street, and they don’t need to look real. It’s fine if they aren’t expensive, and are all different fur lengths and colours. This year, I think some of the shorter haired versions are much nicer and softer. You can wear your fur item on a black tie “do”, but you can also sling it on over jeans for a casual “look” or even when you’re off to the office or on the school pick up.

Here are some I found in the shops at the moment.

fur Next coatfaux fur Dotty P coat

  1. Wavy faux fur jacket. Next. £78. A very casual coat made of acrylic and modacrylic, it is very slim fitting on the body and sleeves with a funnel neck. Available in regular, petite, and tall lengths, and in sizes 6-22. Due to it’s slim silhouette, this is probably next for boyish figures.
  2. Longline faux fur coat. Dorothy Perkins, £59.  100% polyester. Available in port and peacock colours. Cream is available in petite and long too. Sizes 6-22. Dry clean only. Will suit boyish and apple shapes.

fur Next short jacketfur ted baker jacket

  1. Animal faux fur jacket. £35. Next. For those less keen on the flu on fur thing, this is more like a cardi with interest. It has a V neck to break up chest areas, and is soft and floppy like a cardi. Worn with the right shape bottoms, this could suit pear shape, top heavy and boyish figures.
  2. Faux astrakan jacket. £199. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. Acetate, polyester, cotton mix. Dry clean only. Again, a good alternative to a cardi. The block cut, means it probably won’t suit ladies with large chests, but will suit boyish, and depending on what you wear underneath and on the bottom, may suit pear and apple shapes.

fur gloves Ted bakerfur long scarf nextfur whistles clutch

  1. Jannia Faux fur trimmed gloves. £69. Ted Baker. 2 sizes available. colours: black, grey, navy, beige, and mid red. The outer is leather, and the inner a wool/cashmere mix. The trim is faux fur. These stylish gloves would look great making a statement with a black leather jacket.
  2. Navy long faux fur scarf. £20. Next. Acrylic, modacrylic, and polyester. Who doesn’t like a soft fluffy fur around their neck?
  3. Faux fur clutch. £50. Whistles. Available in pink, blue, black and leopard. 20cm x 33cm. 100% polyester. The classic black is not too scary for anyone at a New Year bash, or simply sitting on the table whilst you have a nice meal out with your partner.

It’s important for Lesser Mortals to look up to date, but not ridiculous. And there is so much fur around, that you won’t stick out like a sore thumb, but will look stylish and elegant. Since a lot is man made, you should be able to chuck it in the washing machine if you get baby food on you! Yes – you can be a stylish mum with a buggy! Hoping this has brought out the inner animal in you. If you want any more advice, or wish to comment, then the comment bubble underneath is good, or via my website

Further reading:

Top 50 faux fur coats:

Did faux fur just become the biggest trend out there?: the fashion tag

How to wear faux fur vest: Fab fashion fix