Check out these gorgeous gingham garments!!

Gingham fashions courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Peter PilottoD and G, Michael Kors and House of Holland

Can We Lesser Mortals wear gingham and not look like we blew in from the Windy City? (Doris Day)

Whip crack away, whip crack away, whip crack away!! Howdy partners! Gingham I hear you say…well I’m either going to look like Dorothy, without the Wizard of Oz, or I’m going to look like an extra from Calamity Jane (Doris Day don’t you know) Not so – the modern twist on gingham means you can find mature styles which are appropriate to your age and life style. Additionally, I would recommend that you take care when you find it styled up with frills, ruffles and embroidery, as you may start to look like a pair of curtains in a transport caff or in “Allo Allo”!

How to wear gingham:

Do think about what colour suits you best – most of the styles in the shops are black and white, which I find drains me. As a result, I’ve looked for other colours to flatter your skin tone. The check pattern will attract attention to it, so wear it over your best feature (boobs if you like them, bum if you like that) The off the shoulder styles are very fashionable this summer, and this can make shoulders look broader. Full frilled skirts can draw eyes downwards away from larger busts. So think about where your best and worst features are before you try on.

Finally, gingham can be smart and casual. The Boden trousers featured below can be office appropriate when worn with a blazer, and the Warehouse gingham dress would be perfect for a formal lunch.

So don’t ignore gingham this summer….check it out ( get it? check..gingham??)

  1. Off the shoulder gingham blouse. £17.99. H and M Size 6-20. 100% cotton. Machine washable. This blouse will make shoulders look broader so is best for pear shapes and boyish figures. Apple shapes and larger chest, may get away with it too. Hourglass ladies could wear it belted in. or tucked into trousers or skirts which show off their waists.
  2. Richmond gingham trousers £59.50. Boden Size 6-22. Petite, regular and long length. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Drawing eyes downwards, these trousers will suit top heavy, boyish, and some hourglass ladies,

  1. Gingham dress. £56. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. This A line style will work perfectly for pear shapes, as well as boyish figures.
  2. Gingham ruched sleeve blouse £35. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Slightly loose in shape, this will suit boyish best, but apple shapes can wear it, and some pear shapes – watch the trumpet sleeves don’t accentuate your hips.

  1. Gingham check cardi. £59.99, Zara Size XS-XL. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Hand washable. These little jackets from Zara are very popular and easy to wear. Best for pear and boyish. Other shapes will get away with it if worn undone.
  2. Gingham frilled skirt. £29.99. Zara Size XS-XL. 100% cotton, machine washable. Adding volume to the lower part of the body, this skirt will balance a large chest out nicely. It can add curves to boyish figures.

  1. Nina Gingham dress. £149. Coast  Size 6-18 100% polyester. Dry Clean only. This dress will highlight your shoulders, and skim over hips, so is good for pear shapes, and boyish ladies. If your bust isn’t too big, it will suit hourglass shapes too.
  2. Wendy bow wedges. £39. Top Shop  Size 3-8. 100% textile. Specialist clean.How cute are these? Perfect for beach holidays and casual occasions.

  1. MOTO gingham shorts £32. Top Shop Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Ok, so you’ve got to a have a cute butt for these or long slim legs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them if you’re over thirty!! Best for long legs and boyish figures
  2. Gingham check shorts. £25.99 Mango. Size S-L. polyester cotton, Machine washable. Stylish shorts with a slightly longer cut. The retro shape means these will suit hourglass best, but will also work on top heavy, boyish and pear shape if the hem doesn’t sit on the widest point of your hips.

Do you think you could wear gingham? Have you looked at it now with a fresh perspective? It wasn’t something I was immediately drawn to, but since looking, I’ve seen quite a few styles I would wear. If you want help you can ask me in the comments box, or email me via my website Vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear gingham clothes: gurl.com

30+ ways to wear gingham style (sans Dorothy): Closetful of clothes

22 street style approved ways to wear gingham: fustany.com

How to wear the Gingham outfits in a fashionable way: Styles Weekly

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

sale bargain jan 2017

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.

sale bargains 2017 clutch lk bennetsale bargains 2017 reiss jumper

  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.

slae bargains 2017 reiss shirtsale bargain 2017 reiss

  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)

sale bargains 2017 whistels jeanssale bargains 2017 whistles dress

  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

 

Sophisticated party wear to add to your Santa list

xmas-2016-mui-mui-coatxmas-2016-haider-ackermanxmas-2016-slavatorexmas-2016-john-galliano

Party wear images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – MiuMiu Haider Ackerman Salvatore Ferragamo and John Galliano

Can We Lesser mortals find sensible Party Wear to lust over

Are your baubles up yet? Have you started popping your Christmas corks? And is the only festive spirit you are feeling, the liquid trickling down your throat? I don’t know about you, but I get massive Party Wear envy at this time of year. I lust after all the sparkles and sequins in the shops. day dream about sweeping into a cocktail party in a beautiful low cut velvet maxi dress surrounded by Daniel Craig look alikes, and then wake up to the realisation it’s going to look totes out of place at the “Nags Head” surrounded by men with beer bellies!!! How frustrating.

Can you get round this dilemma?

I would always say to wear your Party Wear as much as you can. It’s nuts that our most expensive clothes are saved for best, where they will date and  you won’t get your money’s worth? Haven’t we all got something we loved, but only wore a handful of times? What a waste. And ok, you won’t look like all the other women storming round Tesco with their trolleys overloaded – but then my philosophy is – why not look better?

Here are some Party Wear ideas which I believe you can dress up or down. For Christmas add a velvet or silk top and heels, and for normal wear, add a jumper and flat boots or brogues. One of the tabs on this blog, is “3 ways to wear”so have a browse at the different ideas, to get inspiration there e.g. metallic skirt or velvet pleat skirt.

My favourites? I like the green jacquard trousers, and the floral velvet blazer. Let me know in the comments which you like best…..

xmas-2016-berry-coated-legging-nextxmas-2016-next-1

  1. Berry coated legging. £24. Next Size 6-22 in various leg lengths (petite and tall). Viscose nylon elastane mix. Super stretchy, so perfect for a meal out at night. These leggings can be worn with jumpers and boots for normal day wear or with a super sexy top at night. They will suit anyone who normally wears skinny jeans. (boyish, top heavy, slight pear shapes, hourglass)
  2. Green jacquard taper trouser. £42. Next Size 6-22 with some long lengths available. Polyester cotton elastane mix. These stylish cigarette style trousers would look lovely with a silk blouse for evening wear, or a blazer jacket for work. They will work in summer too, with a cami top or floaty blouse. Suit busty, boyish and hourglass best.

xmas-2016-black-dress-coastxmas-2016-dress-zara

  1. Leonoria lace panel dress. Reduced to £69. Coast Size 6-16. Polyester polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This simple dress with super flattering side panels will be great dressed up for a party with sheer tights and heels, but will also work with opaque tights and knee boots for a lunch do. It may work in some work environments. This will super flatter straighter boyish figures by giving the illusion of curves. It will also suit some hourglass figures, but not if too busty.
  2. Frilled sleeve guipure lace dress. £29.99 Zara  Size XS-L Cotton polyamide viscose mix. Machine washable. This lovely flirty dress will look darling on Christmas Day with some opaque tights and high heeled shoes or boots. It will look equally as good after Christmas, with a leather jacketr or a jumper. This will be best for flatter chests, so boyish or pear shape will look best in this style.

xmas-2016-velvet-jacket-monsoonxmas-2016-jacquard-jacket-monsoon

  1. Florence printed velvet jacket. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Viscose nylon mix, dry clean only. Super stylish jacket which can be tarted up over sequin trousers, velvet skirts etc or easily worn over a jumper and skinny blue jeans. Suit most body shapes depending on what you style it with.
  2. Mia jacquard jacket. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Polyester cotton. Dry clean only. I love this long length jacket, which works to break up a big bust or big tummy. This will be fantastic over a work suit, or velvet trousers, or even with blue jeans!! It will suit apple  and boyish shapes, but will also suit other shapes, again depending on what you wear it with.

xmas-2016-metallic-savannah-miller-next-skirtxmas-2016-leather-skirt-coast

  1. Metallic pleat skirt. £45. Nine by Savannah Miller at Next. Size 4-18. 100% polyester. Machines washable. Available at Debenhams too. These skirts tend to skim the tummy, and flare out over the hips so are flattering for hourglass figures and pear shapes. They can also suit boyish and top heavy ladies. Apple shapes beware of the gathers over your tummy.
  2. Lela PU skirt. Reduced to £59. Coast. Size 6-16. 100% polyurethane, dry clean only. The extra detail, makes this fun leather skirt quite special for the festive season but equally will work well with opaque tights and woolly jumpers after the New Year. This pencil skirt will suit hourglass and slight pear shapes.  Top heavy ladies may get away with too.

xmas-2016-blouse-m-and-sxmas-2016-satin-top-warehouse

  1. Thistle bloom Long Sleeve Blouse. £35. M and S Size 8-22. 100% polyester. As florals are set to carry on into spring, this silky blouse will be perfect dressed up with a party skirt or trousers, or on a normal pub night out, with blue jeans. So lots of opportunities to wear this. This will suit most body shapes.
  2. Tie back T shirt. £45. Warehouse Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable.Wear this silky top with coated or velvet jeans for a night time look, or wear over a polo neck jumper during the day, where the split is not so obvious. If you are shy, then wear a blue vest top underneath it at all times. This will suit boyish and pear shapes best. It will also disguise a bit of a tummy, but it’s not a very long length.

So be a savvy shopper and choose things you can wear more than once. Keep an eye out for the sales…..they ARE going to happen soon. New Year is a great time for reflection, particularly on clothes, body and image. A consultation with me may only cost £100-200 and can totally help you to refocus and gain confidence with yourself. It may even be what you need to be more organised with your wardrobe – if you haven’t done it for the last 5-10 years on your own, the chances are, you’re going to need some help. Contact me through comments or Vicky Smith Styling. Skype consultations are possible too.

Further reading:

ways to wear a pleat skirt: whowhatwear

The velvet trend this fall: thefashiontag.com

How to wear coated jeans: glamradar

Best buys for brocade and jacquard trend: pop sugar

 

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.

leopard-slong-backsleopard-bag-boden

  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

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