Where can I get a nice winter coat?




 Can We Lesser Mortals find a stylish coat which suits our body shape?

Temperatures have dropped, and Lesser Mortals are feeling the need for a warmer coat, to keep their coccyx warm.( my Mum always said “wear a vest”).  It’s easy to be attracted to a cheaper fashion version, but you will only get one or two seasons wear out of them. I do think that it’s worth spending a little more money on a better quality coat, which will last longer. And we all know the first 20 seconds of some-one’s impression is the most important. What does a pilled, dirty, cheap fur trimmed coat say about your work ethic? And what will a sharp, well cut, quality coat say about your personality?  We all know the answer, but many of you will be thinking of the cost. SO this is what I do….I try on the exact size and style of the coat I want, and I sit with my finger poised on the computer keyboard, waiting for the first day they go on sale. Of course there is a risk associated, but if you heed my advice as an ‘image consultant” and have several lined up on your “want” list, then you are bound to score with one of them. And without the effort of fighting through the shops just before Christmas Day. And you don’t have to worry about returns, because you have already tried on the right size. Anyway, good luck – no-one said it was easy looking good…..!! And if it works?? Well, that’s why you follow a “fashionblog”.

Here are a few ideas I have clocked on my journeys round the High Street.

coat m and s top heavy 31017527_GO


  1. Collared neck overcoat. £85. Marks and Spencers Collection. Sizes 8-22. Polyester, viscose, elastane. Dry clean only. A striking long length coat with contrast detail, which folds at the lapels, to break up the chest area, and belts in underneath to slim the overall silhouette, so suits top heavy ladies. Quite long length, so suits taller women.
  2. Double breasted wool-blend coat. Reduced to £79.99 from £119. Mango. Sizes XS to XL. Wool, polyester, polyamide, acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Trench styles really suit hourglass figures, as they accentuate the chest, waist and hips, but they can also give shape to boyish and pear shapes.

coat ted baker boyish coat coast pear coat Coast boyish?

  1. Annamae double breasted wool coat. £369. Ted Baker. Leather sleeves, and wool, polyamide, acrylic, polyester body. Dry clean only. Sizes 6-16. I love the cheerfulness of this coat, with its mix of edginess. Why fade into the background?! It is cut slightly wider over the hips, so if it’s not too baggy it will suit boyish figures, and slight pear shapes.
  2. Maddison coat. £100 reduced from £150. Coast Available in blue and black, sizes 6-18. Wool, polyamide, cashmere mix. Dry clean only. This could suit boyish figures, but the puffed shoulders, mean it will suit pear shapes too.
  3. Avenue coat. £195. Coast. Sizes 6-18. Polyester, wool, acrylic, viscose mix. Dry clean only. Faux fur trim. A fabulous glamorous coat which you shouldn’t just save for “best” as it is so classic in its cut. Would suit hourglass and boyish, but other shapes may find it suits, if their hips or shoulders aren’t too big.


coat monsoon apple grey coat Monsoon apple


  1. Phoebe boucle coat. Reduced from £99 to £69. Monsoon. Sizes 8-22, but many sizes sold out on line. Wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. This would suit apple shapes, and is a good price. Make sure it fits snuggly though, or you’ll just make yourself look enormous. Wear with a bright scarf.
  2. Elsa boucle coat. £129. Monsoon. Polyester, wool, viscose mix. Sizes 8-22, though many have sold out on line, and you may have to locate in stores. Yes – completely impractical, especially as you have to dry clean it, but there is a “wow” factor to this lovely retro styling, with three quarter sleeves and funnel neck. Probably a sale purchase, for use in drier (less dirty) weather. Suit apple shapes and boyish.

So what do you think. Let me know which is your favourite. I won’t bite and it’s great to get some interaction going. And come on ladies – be brave. A cheerful coat really gives you confidence, especially on a cold rainy January day. Don’t forget to check out We Lesser Mortals in Pinterest and Instagram. They are really easy apps to use, not much effort, and great for stalking your kids on. Don’t fight the technology…you don’t want to be that old granny who can’t internet bank!! For a one to one, or GIFT VOUCHERS, then contact me through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk.

Further reading:

Best winter coats: Telegraph on line

womens coats: The chic fashionista

8 of the best winter coats: Etsy uk blog

cool coats for autumn: give as you live



Ideas for jewellery for Christmas




Can We Lesser Mortals find some lovely subtle jewellery , without looking like Madge or Mr T?

When you’re a Mum, or working, or just too tired to be bothered to think about yourself, after thinking about everyone else that needs presents, then the last thing you’d have thought about, is “What Would You Like For Christmas?”. So your fairy “image Consultant ” and “fashion advisor” is on hand to give you a few suggestions. Let’s face it, you’ve probably covered all you essentials like undies and woollies well before December, and no-one wants to unwrap a dishwasher on Christmas Day? So why not treat yourself to some medium expensive jewellery? Costume jewellery you can do yourself, as these are just “grab” pieces found at the supermarket or High Street shops. It is probably a bit cheeky asking for diamonds (unless you are VERY VERY lucky) – I’m still waiting, but not holding my breathe. These are all top end High Street. Personally, I like to invest in these sort of pieces, and I haven’t really worn costume jewellery for a long time. I only have a few pieces, built up over time, at birthdays and Christmases, but I always get compliments when I wear them.

Here are a few ideas.

jewellery thomas sabo ring jewellery thimas sabo pendant


  1. Glam and Soul feather ring. £89. Thomas Sabo Sterling silver. Ring size from 50 – 60. Even if you have a wedding or engagement ring, it’s nice to have a statement ring on another finger or hand, to add an edge.
  2. Glam and Soul feather Pendant . £105. Thomas Sabo. Sterling Silver. Don’t forget you will need to buy a chain too. 5.2cm long. If you are buying a pendant, don’t buy one so small you can’t see it.

jewellery reiss cuffEbony-Braided-Leather-Wrap-Bracelet-i1140455W240


  1. Darcy print calf fur cuff. £49. Reiss. 100% brass. 5.5cm width. If you feel “full on” trends are too much for your age, then this is a brilliant way to give a nod to a trend without being overdone, The fact it is brass, means it will feel heavy and solid, not wimpy. If you have delicate wrists, it may drown you.
  2. Ebony braided leather wrap bracelet. £45. Chamilia. This is quite a minimal leather wrist band, which any age could wear, and will look good with black outfits in winter, or will add a slightly rock edge in summer, with maxi’s. You can add beads if you want. Chamilia beads are available in most jewellers.

dkny 2 hoopshope pendant links of london

  1. Two colour stainless steel chain hoop necklace. £69. DKNY at Ernest Jones Jewellers. Stainless steel and rose gold plate. Includes the chain. Available in department stores too.
  2. Hope pendant. £275. Links of London. Sterling Silver. Nice heavy quality necklace, which will sit nicely at the neck of a blouse, or over a jumper.

Hopefully you can point the relevant “purchaser” to this blog and show them what you would like. Have you thought about Pinterest? It’s dead easy to sign up to – it’s like a pin board, and I pin as We Lesser Mortals, giving you ideas of other items I like currently in the shops. You don’t get spammed or junked on either. If you want to contact me, you can do through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk or through the comments section below. I’m quite friendly, so say “hello”.


further reading:

what necklace length is best for me: my little gems

earrings to suit your face shape: inside out style

rings for the middle finger: Fashion le Passion



What can I wear instead of a little black dress?



Is there an alternative to an LBD for Lesser Mortals without looking like a Christmas bauble?

If you’ve been invited out for a Christmas meal, office party, New Year’s Eve bash or generally just want a nice party dress for Christmas Day, then many of you may find an LBD (Little Black Dress to the uninitiated) a tad boring. I do agree – I mean, you may be a Lesser Mortal, but why blend into the background?? All the newspapers are telling us we are at our most confident once we’ve had kids/crossed 40/juggled teenagers and ageing parents etc so why fade away? Why look like everyone else? Why not look better? So using my skills as an “fashion advisor”, and my knowledge as an “Image consultant”, and my “obsession with shops” (ok, and Costa coffee, and spending money and hanging round changing rooms…..) I’ve found some nice dresses in the shops to suit everyone. Remember as we age, black doesn’t suit all skin tones, and it is often mis-construed that black will make you look slimmer – I mean come on – there’s limit to how much magic a colour can perform. So, love what you’ve got, shout about who you are, and be bold. Is this the bit where I put a disclaimer….?

party monsoon top heavy party monsoon boyish


  1. Ville Dress. Now £64. Was £89. Monsoon. Also available on line in coral. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wide straps, allow good bra support, and the floaty skirt bit, hides any lumps and bumps. Good for top heavy.
  2. Lolita lace party dress. £99. Monsoon. Size 8-22. 100% polyester. machine washable. The lace at the top disguises bony chests and the floaty skirt adds curves. Best for boyish shapes, but pear shapes could wear too, and hourglass if not to big on the chest.

party pear oasis skirt party pear oasis top


  1. Blurred floral midi skirt £55. Oasis. sizes 6-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Available in 2 colours, but only 1 matches the top.
  2. Blurred floral top. £40. Oasis. cropped boxy top 100% polyester. Machine washable. Available size 6-18. Buy these 2 together and you have the illusion of a dress when worn together, but the extra value of a top for wearing with other trousers and skirts, and a lovely skirt to wear with plain tops. Great value for money. The boxy top makes your bust look bigger, so worn together, this would suit pear shapes and boyish.

party hourglass debs coastparty coast apple dress

  1. Rona maxi dress. £66.50 reduced from £175. Coast exclusive for Debenhams . Sizes 6-18. Can I say BARGAIN loud enough?? Acetate, polyamide, elastane mix. No wash instructions given. This would suit hourglass shapes, but others may get away with it too.
  2. Valeria red dress. Now £80.50 from £115. Coast at Debenhams. Size 6-18.  This picture doesn’t do it justice – it has beautiful diamantees at the neck & arms. 100% polyester. It doesn’t give wash instructions, but it is nylon. On a normal person, this is probably knee length. Would suit apple shapes and boyish.

Black Friday….The only thing black I can see, are the bags under my eyes!!!! Jokes aside, there are bargains galore out there, and if you don’t need a party dress for Christmas, are there other special occasions coming up in the summer? Because, current retail trading is down, and the sales will be really good, and some sales have already started. Hopefully I have inspired you with my ideas. If any of these are out of your price range, use the shapes to help you look for similar items. For more help, you can book me one to one, or find We Lesser Mortals on Pinterest, Instagram, twitter (although I still have L plates on here) and…drum roll…..You Tube!! For “personal shopping” and “wardrobe detoxes” www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk


Further reading:

How to wear a party dress through the day: whowhatwear.

Christmas Party dresses: A modern mummy’s world.

Christmas party dresses: Heart fm

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 www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk for more details.


Further reading:

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

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 www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

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