Summer ruffles to frill you!!

Ruffles on the catwalk, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: gucci D and G Burberry and Alberta Ferretti

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish ruffles and not look like Notting Hill Carnival?

Do ruffles frill you or make you tremble with horror? The trend is very reminiscent of the 80’s ra-ra styles, and can strike fear into the bravest fashionista. Images of ladies walking with bowls of fruit on their heads spring to mind and tiered peasant skirts a la 1970’s. Consequently many Mortals recoil at the prospect of sashaying along the aisles of their local supermarket, causing a minor incident as a result of their ill advised frill ensemble.

Despite this, I do think ruffles have their use for anyone who has a disproportionate figure. The size of the frill can add volume to areas that need bulking up, hence a small bust can be enhanced with a ruffle or two, and so create an hour glass figure out of a pear shape, and tiers of fabric on a skirt, can balance out a large chest.

What size of ruffle?

Shyer ladies can choose a small frill, whilst ladies with a large personality can select a more “in your face” style, to draw attention to themselves. I prefer ruffles on the small scale, so the outfits I am sharing are more on the subtle side. Ruffles don’t have to be girly. Look at the shoes or jacket you co-ordinate them with (see wedges with jumpsuit), or avoid floral fabrics and feminine style dresses. Consequently, on the “3 ways to style a ruffle” I style some ruffle clothes casually with converses, in a retro 70’s way, and lastly as a feminine floral look. Click here to see.

Why is your favourite- let me know in the comments box, and guess which one is my favourite!

  1. Asymetric ruffle jumpsuit. £69. Warehouse.  Size 6-18. Available in pale pink and light grey. Polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.  Ruffles across the chest area, will accentuate your chest, so this is best for slight pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Ruffle spot wrap dress. £55. Top Shop  Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and generally flatter larger busts so best for hourglass, and large chests.

  1. Penelope dress. £110. Boden Size 6-22 in regular and  long length. 100% cotton. Machine washable.  Quite fitted so best for ladies who aren’t extremely curvy, like boyish or straighter hourglass ladies.
  2. Ruffle midi skirt. £42. Top Shop. Size 4-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The ruffles here can create curves, and the high waist and vertical ruffle makes legs look longer. Good for boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.

  1. Ruffle sleeve blouse. £35. Next. Navy too. Size 6-22. 100% viscose. Suitable for evening or work wear, the ruffles on the sleeve broaden your top half, so this is good for pear shapes. It will also add curves to boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Blue ruffle shirt. £28. Next.  Regular and petite, size 6-22. 100% cotton with polyester trim. The bold V decoration will break up a large chest, so this will suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

  1. Rochelle broderie off shoulder blouse. £49. Monsoon. Size S- XL. 100% viscose. Machine washable. The shape really broadens your chest and shoulder area, so this tends to suit pear shapes and hourglass, but can add curves to boyish and apple shapes, depending on what you wear on your bottom half.
  2. Metallic detail trousers. £39.99. Zara Size 6-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Clearly best for ladies with slender legs – the frill can draw attention away from larger hips, or busts, so best for boyish or top heavy. They will suit hourglass ladies too.

  1. Leather block heel ruffle sandal. £45. M and S. Available in black too. Size 3-8 including half sizes. Leather upper, regular fit. Cute little sandals with not too high a heel – perfect for the summer with skirts or crop jeans.
  2. Ruffle clutch bag. £24. Next. In black too. Polyester. Cute little nod to the frill trend without being in your face.
  3. Ruffle shoes boot. £85. Next. IN black too. Size 36-42. Leather upper, 9cm heel. Lovely with painted toe nails peeping out. Again, great with skirts or crop trousers/jeans.

Finally,  have I made you a frill seeker? I think you can see they can be worn in a subtle, and don’t need to scream Copacabana. If you want to contact me, do so in the comment box or via Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

NYFW street style ruffles: Glamour South africa

How to wear a ruffle top: Gurl.com

How to wear ruffles like a fashion girl: Stylecaster

Are you ready to ruffle: thefashhiontag

 

Awesome Sale Bargains to snap up TODAY

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Sales Bargains Image courtesy of Buydesignerfashions.com

Can We Lesser Mortals grab Sales Bargains we will wear again?

Happy New Year! Did you rush to the sales and snap up some sale items? I didn’t. Partly I’m recovering from the expense of the festivities and gift overload, but the other factor is that I find the paltry reductions straight after Christmas, not worth getting out of bed for. Now, however, things are beginning to hot up, and with February pay packet looming on the horizon, it’s a good time to trawl the online sale pages, or trot to the shops.

Excited?

I was nearly palpitating at some of the savings you can get right now, from the more expensive High Street Stores. Some are resolutely hanging on to a maximum of 50% off, which on a leather jacket of £5-600 still costs a lot of money, but others are really trying to clear stock before launching their Spring range. And so there are some fabulous sale bargains to be had. I have picked out a few and couldn’t wait to tell you about them, as they are AMAZING!! If you click before tonight 24th January, Karen Millen is offering another 30% off.

What to buy?

First of all, you could tell yourself you’ll manage with the coat you’ve got, till next year. But trends don’t change that much, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will cost more next year. Consequently, on the run up to Christmas, with outgoings for presents, it will become less of a priority. Hence it’s good idea to buy more expensive winter items now, even moving towards the end of the season. Moreover, we will still have 3 months of cold weather. In addition, the other thing to look out for, are items you can wear in summer – pastel colours, new trends etc, and make your saving early. So to conclude, go on – have a look today. Most sizes were still available when I wrote this, but you’ll still need to be quick.

sale bargain jan 2017 coast coatsale gargains 2017 KM Coat

  1. Reah Mono Coat. Reduced from £179 to £79. Coast Sizes 6-18. Acetate wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. Great for boyish shapes
  2. Knitted Geo wrap coat. Reduced from £299 to £145 but till midnight tuesday 24th, another 30% off on line. Karen Millen  Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyester wool cotton mix. Dry clean only. Great for apple shapes, but good for other shapes too.

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  1. Fiona Leopard clutch. Reduced from £245 to £95. Lk Bennet 100% leather. Does leopard print ever go out of fashion?
  2. Harlow white jumper. Reduced from £110 to £40. Reiss  Size XS – L. Wool viscose nylon elastane mix. Hand wash. White is perfect for summer & white is a trend colour for 2017. This jumper is a relaxed shape so fits most body shapes but works well on pear shapes and boyish.

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  1. Ella Light apricot satin shirt. Reduced from £160 to £60. Reiss Size 6-14 100% silk. A silk shirt for £60???? Bargain, and this colour is great for work or for a summer shirt over skinny jeans. Suits most body shapes.
  2. Tarquin ice pink chain dress. Reduced from £180 to £50. Thats 70% off…..aaargh. Size 4-14. 100% polyester. Dry clean. A great colour for summer, and multi purpose uses. Great for boyish figures, but may suit other shapes too.(hourglass can fit, but it hides your curves)

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  1. Cropped wide leg jean. Reduced from £95 to £25. Whistles Size 24-34″. Denim – machine washable. This cut of jean is going to be big this summer. High waists won’t suit you if you have a large tummy. This will be suit most other body shapes.
  2. Teagen one shoulder dress. Reduced from £150 to £45. Whistles. Size 4-16 to order from store. 100% polyester dry clean. These jewel colours on trend this summer, so this dress is great for summer parties and winter ones too. The frill will add volume to your chest so the style is good for pear shapes, and maybe boyish.

sale bargains 2017 Carvela bootsale bargains 2017 KG brogue

  1. Petro low heeled ankle boot. Reduced from £160 to £49. Carvela 100% leather. Size 2-9. How can you not love these? They will be great in winter with jeans, but you can also wear with bare legs in summer ( depending on your age!!)
  2. Larissa white brogue. Reduced from £89 to £29. Kurt Geiger. Upper is described as snake print, but no idea of whether leather or not. Stacked soles are big this summer. And brogues are great with bare legs.

So get trawling, and make your massive savings now. Check the returns policy – no point saving on items if you have to pay to return. If you want any advice, you can contact me through my image consultant web site www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

Sales shopping guide: Vogue.co.uk

Ultimate guide to shopping sales 2017: savethestudent.co.uk

 

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?

velvet-2016-pleat-dress-oasisvelvet-2016v-karen-millen

  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.

velvet-2016-warehouse-topvelvet-2016-monsoon-velour-top

  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.

velvet-2016-mango-green-jeansvelvet-2016-jeans-reiss

  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.

velvet-2016-warehouse-skirtvelvet-2016-whistles-skirt

  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.

velvet-2016-topshop-velvet-bagvelvet-2016-topshopt-shoes

  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.

velvet-2016-reiss-shoesvelvet-2016-reiss-bag

  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

10 leopard prints to make you purr.

lepard-givenchy-2016leopard-dvn-2016leopard-d-and-g-2016leopard-kenzo-2016

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.

leopard-2016-hobbs-coat-appleleopard-t-shirt-oasis

  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.

leopard-jumper-hof-2leopard-wrap-maxi-dress-top-shop

  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.

leopard-ruffle-blouse-top-shopleopard-flock-jean-fcuk

  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.

leopard-skirt-m-and-sleopard-belt-top-shop

  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

8 marvelous metallics to model this summer

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Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Vivienne Westwood and Prada

Can We Lesser Mortals wear metallics and still get through airport security?

Is it just me, or are fashions not moving on very much? I think this is the third time I have written about metallics, which just goes to show, if you listen to my advice, you’ll get quite a lot of wear from you purchases. The other thing is HOW EXPENSIVE are clothes at the moment? I hate buying cheap tat, but some of the High Street Shops are seriously expensive at the moment. Anyway, I hope I can steer you towards some wearable metallic clothes, at reasonable prices, without you looking like Jennifer Beals in her shiny Pineapple track pants break dancing in Flashdance (ok if you are too young to remember, think sweaty shiny plastic trousers) Can you wear metallics whatever your age? Well, if you look at Prada (photo above) they stick to stripes of silver in the material, without going the whole “metallic” hog. The M and S skirt below just uses threads of metallic without going  “bacofoil”. Stick to silver if you have blue tones to your skin, and stick to golds, if you have a warmer skin tone. I have shown on my “3 ways to wear” tab, how to wear a metallic T shirt. Click here to see. Or to see a metallic skirt, click here.

As for me…..I love the silver slip dress, which is ticking a lot of boxes this summer. I have already worn my silver converses to death (you should have taken my advice….!!! Don’t you hate a smarty pants??)

metallics SS16 oasis dressmetallic SS16 tunic Zara

  1. Plisse midi slip dress. £65. Oasis. Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Slip dresses are all the rage this summer and are great for summer holidays to show off a tan. This one has a tie belt, so although best for boyish, hourglass can get away with, provided not too big busted.
  2. Long pleated tunic. £25.99. Zara. Size S-L 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is half white and half silver, so not too overpowering. It is versatile enough to be good for evenings and beach wear!! Best for boyish and apple shapes.

metallic SS16 Oasis T shirtmetallic SS16 T shirt reiss

  1. Wrap back wrinkle T shirt. £30. Oasis. Size XS-L. 100% polyester, machine washable. It has interesting back detail, but is also quite shapeless. Therefore is best for boyish, and pear, although other shapes can get away with.
  2. Maison pewter knitted metallic top. £60. Reiss. Size XS-L. Viscose, metallic, elastane mix. Hand washable. With a loose fit and batwing style sleeves, this will suit boyish and pear shapes best.

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  1. Metallic zigzag skirt. £49.50. The limited collection. M and S. Size 6-18. Polyester, polyamide, metallic mix. Machine washable. When you look at the photo, is it any wonder M and S is doing badly? Totally uninspiring image, but it is actually a nice skirt, building on the retro & midi length trend. Perfect for 50’s starlets!! This shape can be worn with heels or flats. Best for hourglass, top heavy, pear shapes and boyish. With all the pleats at the middle, apple shapes need to avoid!!
  2. Slim fit metallic effect cardi. £35. M and S. Size 6-18. Size 6-18. Viscose, polyamide, polyester and metallised fibres. Machine washable, Again, not very inspiring photo, but this versatile cardi will be great for summer, under jackets, or as an extra layer at night time. Best for pear, boyish, and hourglass.

metallic SS16 jigsaw trainersmetallic ss16 Boden bag

  1. Ayda leather trainers. £98. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Calf leather and rubber.  These can be worn with skirts, or jeans, and will suit anyone.
  2. Fearne slouchy metallic suede bag. £139. Boden. metallic finished suede. Suits anyone.

Hoping then, that these ideas will inspire you to try something a little different this summer. If you want more help or advice, contact me in the comments sections, or through my website, Vicky Smith Styling.

 

Further reading:

25 ways to wear metallic flats: stylecaster

How to wear metallic pieces: whowhatwear

How to wear metallic skirt: vogue.co.uk

Elle Mac person in metallic pants: whowhatwear

metallic trend street style: fashion gum

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