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

What maxi will suit my body shape?

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Photos of maxi dresses on the catwalk, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Kenzo, TommyHilfiger, Blumarine and Etro

Can We Lesser Mortals get maxed out in a maxi, whatever our age or shape???

To wear a maxi, or not to wear a maxi? That is the question. And “Heck yes”, is the answer. Lots of lovely ladies are saying “oh no, I am too old for a maxi”, but I don’t remember that stopping anyone in the 70’s? (ok, I may only just be able to remember what everyone was wearing in the 70’s, as I was still into knee socks and short skirts…but wait a minute – I do remember having a very fetching maxi dress for a 9 year old birthday party I went to – it matched my sister’s.) Anyway, the Brits love a maxi, because in this country, there is the eternal problem of white legs and whether to wear tights or fake tan, and did you shave your legs? A maxi dress or skirt, can solve that problem in a trice! If you are still slightly worried, there are loads of dresses in the shops at the moment, which stop just above the ankle bone, so not quite a maxi, and these may ease you gently into longer lengths. Other Mortals may feel out of place in a maxi dress, which to be honest, I do. But I love to wear a maxi skirt, and this gives me the ability to de-femininise it by wearing a denim shirt or leather jacket. Maxi skirts also solve the problem of having tops and bottoms which are different sizes. Can you wear a maxi dress if you are tall or small? Well, vertically challenged ladies, need a dress with very little volume in (like a column shape) and are best wearing some heels or flatforms (sandals with a thick sole) to elongate and lengthen them. (see the Next dress below). Very tall ladies who want a full length maxi need to look at the ranges for tall ladies ( see Next dress below, but I also noticed Top Shop have a range for ladies 5’10 and up!!) otherwise it can look like your dress has shrunk in the wash! I just want to add that the nylon maxi dresses can be very cool and airy compared to very heavy T shirt fabric. On the other hand, the knitted or crochet dresses below can add a bit of warmth for a British summer. Unsure of your arms – a silky bomber jacket or shrug works well with a maxi.

Do let me know what you think? As always, guess which my favourite is! Follow this link here to see how I style my maxi up.

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  1. Floral print maxi skirt. £175. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This is good for most body shapes, but the 3 tiered skirt adds volume over your legs (not hips), so will balance out a big bust, and allow you to choose a top to fit you. And a top like the one shown, will work to balance out pear shapes.
  2. Striped maxi dress. £49.99. Zara Size S-L. Not in store yet – keep an eye out! The stripes on the bottom will broaden your hips, and the thick stretchy shoulder straps allow for good bra support, so this will suit top heavy and hourglass best. Try adding a belt to emphasis your waist.

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  1. Multi coloured stripe dress. £49.99. Zara. Size S-L. Viscose polyester mix. Machine washable. This dress is good for hourglass ladies as it nips in over your waist. Boyish can wear, if you have a decent bust.
  2. Tie dye maxi dress. £89.99 Zara. Size S-L. 100% viscose. Dry clean only. The top part of the dress is eye catching so this dress will suit pear shapes and boyish figures.

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  1. Rhiannon jersey maxi dress. £69. Monsoon Size S-XL. Viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. The clever print on this dress, makes bodies look longer and slimmer, and it nips in just under the bust. So this dress is good for apple shapes.
  2. V & A placement print maxi dress. Was £95 now £76. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machines washable. The red panel in the middle draws attention to the hips. and the cut of the top, shows off shoulders, so this will suit boyish best.

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  1. Grey print maxi dress. £28. Next Size 6-22 in Petite, and Tall lengths. Viscose elastane mix. This dress will suit ladies of any height, and the long column shape makes petite ladies look taller (NB – wedge sandals??). It can be worn with a belt, to break up the height of tall ladies
  2. Kiki Palm rushed maxi dress. £160. French Connection Size 6-16. 100% viscose. Dry clean only. This will suit tall ladies, as the model is 5’10” and the dress still touches the floor. Also great for big busts, and it tucks neatly under the bust line and has wide shoulders for good bra support.

So are you a maxi convert? Have I persuaded you to have a try? Do you disagree with anything I’ve said? Do let me know. Or if you want a one to one with me as an Image Consultant or advice on line, contact me here.

Further reading:

The right way to wear a maxi dress: who what wear

21 ways to wear your maxi dress: babble.com

Style tips on wearing a maxi skirt: girl.com

48 maxi skirt street style: allforfashiondesign

Summer lace you shouldn’t be straight laced about!

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Photos courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Burberry, Oscar de La Renta, Dolce and Gabbana and Moncler Gamme Rouge

Can We Lesser Mortals wear lace and not look like a crochet table cloth?

Lace often conjures up images of old maids in dowdy lace dresses or the primness of the Victorian era. In addition, there is the issue of cheap nylon lace looking like a net curtain which can be off putting. But times have moved on and a lot of nylon lace is quite authentic looking. When cut into an item of clothing where you can see through the lace, it can be quite a sexy summer offering. Nude linings hint at nakedness, but when manufactured into a midi length skirt, conversely suggests demureness. What a conundrum!! So below I have shown some of the many versatile ways that lace can be worn – from smart tailoring, to edgy culottes. What temptation!!

What tickles your fancy? I actually really like the Monsoon ensemble, and quite like the Boden blouse. If I hadn’t got a white midi skirt already, I  might have got the Zara culottes. Remember age is just a state of mind…..!

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  1. JX059 Sculptural lace jacket. £200. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Polyamide viscose mix. Dry clean. Low on stock, this is now reduced from £299 to £200. I have one from a few years ago, and it never fails to get compliments. Because this doesn’t close across the front, it will accentuate your top half, so suits pear, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Guipure Lace jacket. £59.99. Zara. Size S-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. A pretty little summer cover up, with long sleeves, this will suit most body shapes.

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  1. Limited edition lace midi dress. £150. Oasis. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Hand wash. A beautiful cobalt colour, this style will suit hourglass, and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy leaf dress. £75. Next . Size 6-22. In tall and petite as well as regular length. 100% polyester. Also available in ivory. A lovely dress, this will suit slight pear, boyish and hourglass best.

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  1. Lace culottes. £39.99. Zara. Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Now normally I hate the whole see through lace trouser thing, but maybe because these are fully lined they work… and come on ladies – culottes are not so scary are they? More like a crop trouser? Great for pear shape and hour glass ladies, but other body shapes may get away with too.
  2. Demi lace top. £49.Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix. Dry clean only. Quite a cheeky little skirt with a nude lining underneath to hint at sexy!! Described as green – I would say a lichen green colour/grey. Suits most body shapes, but not great if big chested.
  3. Demi lace skirt £69. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix, Dry clean only. What value – a skirt and top, which can be worn as separates or as an outfit. And not boring black!! Suits most body shapes, but may not suit very hippy ladies.

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  1. Floral Lace top. £89.50. Boden. Size 6-22. 100% cotton. Hand wash. In white and navy. Lots of fab comments on this top, on their website, from busty, apple shaped and slim women. Also, you can wear a clashing top under it & that will look good. Cut slightly A line, this will suit most body shapes, but beware big chested ladies.
  2. Meadow Lace top. £120. Whistles. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Described as pink but looks corally. This is best for pear and boyish, and for other body shapes, it will depend how big your chest is.
  3. Meadow skirt. £140. Whistles. Size 4-16.100% polyester. Dry clean only. The fuller skirt works on most body shapes, but won’t suit you if you have a bit of a tummy.

So do you think lace will be your “thang” this summer? It doesn’t only have to be a smart option – all these items can be dressed down with different footwear. If you’d like more ideas, you can contact me through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk or the comments box on this blog.

Further reading:

8 modern ways to wear white lace: whowhatwear

How to wear a lace dress: Just the design

Lace clothing at work: fashion gum

How to wear lace skirts: fashion gum

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