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

An essential Sneak Peek at Autumn’s Fashions

sneak-peak-bottegasenak-peak-d-an-gsneak-peak-guccisneak-peak-prada

Images from Vogue.co.uk: Bottega Veneta, D and G, Gucci, and Prada

Can We Lesser Mortals save money this Winter, by early buying Autumn’s Fashions?

How the heck are you? It’s been a long time since I tipped you off about the trends on the High Street, and it’s been a short summer in terms of sun and heat. I don’t feel I got my wear out of my high summer clothes, so I’m trying desperately hard to keep wearing them till at least the end of September, avoiding buying this autumn’s fashions just yet. Remember, you can keep warm by layering up – put shirts/T shirts etc on under dresses, and wear sandals with maxi’s and crop trousers to keep your legs a bit warmer.

If, however, you are totally bored with your summer clothes and can’t wait to go shopping, then here’s a quick heads up for what autumn fashions are to come. It’s by no means comprehensive, and High Street stores can sometimes ignore the catwalks, and carry on old styles from the season before, especially if they were best sellers. But at least, with this advice, you can be sure you’ll be fairly “edgy” for the next 6 months. Make sure you subscribe on the tab, to get my 2 weekly advice on what’s in the High Street shops to suit your figure!

All my resolutions to save money are flying out of the window…….

Luxury

sneakpeak-velvet-jean-jigsaw.sneakpeak-sandals-top-shop

  1. Richmond Velvet jean.  £89. Whistles. Available in graphite, black and petrol. Size 24-32 (roughly 6-14). Machine washable. A stretchy jean in cotton elastane mix, cut in a 5 pocket jeans style. This jean is an easy style to wear, but still shows you know what’s in fashion. Suits boyish, slight pear, top heavy and hourglass ladies.
  2. Jagga Velvet shoe £46 Top Shop. size 3-9. 100% textile. Heel 3″. Colour teal. Velvet too much for you on top? Make a statement with these funky shoes. Will really brighten up a black evening ensemble. Avoid if you have chunky ankles.

Brocade

sneakpeak-brocade-boot-top-shopsneakpeak-brocade-trousers-next

  1. Harry jacquard ankle boot. £65. Top Shop Size 2-9. Heel 3.5″. Textile upper. Again, if you prefer to wear plain clothes or skinny jeans, why not add some funky ankle boots? These won’t suit you if you have very thick ankles.
  2. Geo jacquard cigarette trouser £35. Next. Sizes 6-22 in reg, long and extra long lengths. 100% polyester. These can be dressed up for work or evening wear, but why not wear during the day too, with a chunky knit and trainers or converses? Comments on the website suggest these are better on curvier women if you don’t want a saggy (not soggy) bottom!!

Military

sneak-peak-coat-zarasneak-peak-skirt-oasis

  1. Military knit coat. £99.99. Zara. Size S-L. Knitted long length coat. A striking lighter weight coat for winter. Perfect for hippy ladies who want to broaden their shoulders so will suit more proportionate pear shapes, and tall boyish shape ladies best. This coat is intended to reach to your ankles, and will look amazing with high heeled knee boots or over skinny jeans.
  2. Pleated cord skirt. £38. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% cotton, machine washable. Short flippy skirt which will suit most body shapes, but not apple shapes.

Animal

sneakpeak-animal-bibasneakpeak-clutch-top-shop

  1. Leopard dress wrap dress. £99. Biba at H of Fraser. size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and the V neck and wide sleeves are flattering whatever your age. Fantastic with knee boots in winter. Suit pear shape, hourglass, top heavy and boyish. Probably not apple shapes due to rigid waist.
  2. Pony zip clutch. £32 Top Shop. Faux fur and leather purse. Great for day or night.

Tartan/tweed

sneak-peek-tartan-coat-mangosneak-peak-traouser-mango

  1. Check wool blend coat £99.99. Mango. Size XS-XL. wool blend mix, dry clean only. This coat is quite chunky and boxy, so although most shapes can wear it, it will complement boyish and some apple shapes best.
  2. Check suit trouser. £49.99. Mango. Size 8-14. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Perfect for work or with a chunky jumper at weekends. Will suit boyish, hourglass and busty women best.

Quilting

sneak-peak-barboursneak-peak-ted-baker-jacket

  1. Endo Baffle Quilt coat. £249. Barbour at H of Fraser. Size 8-18. Polyester amide mix. Machine washable. Stylish and warm, this will suit pear shapes, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Junni faux fur collar jacket. £199. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Nylon shell, faux fur collar (detachable) and down filled. Dry clean only. This style is best for hourglass and boyish.

Lace/sheer

sneak-peak-blouse-kmsnaek-peak-tunic-zara

  1. Sheer spot pussy bow blouse. £99. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Available in red too. 100% polyester, machine washable. Don’t you just love a pussy bow? The bow draws attention upwards, so great for pear shapes, boyish, apple, and hourglass.
  2. Aubergine long sleeve friledl blouse. £19.99. Zara. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Size S-L. Before you freak out that this is see through, I just want to mention you should wear a vest top underneath (so no unsightly flesh on show) If you are very self conscious, then a long sleeve tight T shirt would do the trick too.. This cunning little blouse, has a discreet V in to break up the chest area, so is great for apple shapes and big busts. The muted sleeves, draw eyes away from chest area.

So did this titillate you and get you wishing the weather was colder, providing a perfect excuse to go shopping? I’ll keep you up to date with new styles coming in, and where to get them, as this quick peek is by no means comprehensive.

Further reading:

15 style tips on how to wear puff coats: fashiontasty

20 style tips on how to wear leopard print: gurl.com

8 ways celebrities are wearing brocade: nubry.com

7 ways to wer the military trend: allwomenstalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 chic culottes to go crazy over

culottes Bay city rollers

Can We Lesser Mortals wear culottes this summer, and not look like we wore them first time round….

Summer is not yet upon us…even though it should be, and it’s making clothes shopping very tricky. An item which I think works in all weathers, is the culotte. Oh no, you cry – I don’t want to look like I bought them in 1970…..or worse! If I mention culottes to clients, they shudder. Is this because they don’t know how to wear them? Do they suit all body types and all age groups? Will they look ridiculous? I hope to address some of these issues and maybe give you a little fashion push.

They work a bit like a maxi dress or skirt, in that they are cooler to wear than full length trousers or jeans, but you don’t need to have tanned legs. I think you can wear them what ever age you are, but the older you are, the more classic you need to look – maybe styled with some medium heeled loafers (not completely flat) and a blazer. Also, because they are cropped, they can make you look shorter, so you need to wear a heel.  Below, I have shown the sort of look we are trying to achieve, and the sort of outfits to avoid. Click this link to see how I style my denim culottes.

Stylish.

culottes black goodculottes goodculottes white good

Not so stylish.

culottes bad 2culottes badculottes bad 3

 

And this is what to buy wear…if you:

Are Short:

culotte petite warehouse

Squiggle print jumpsuit. £59. Warehouse. If you are short or petite, wearing a culotte style jumpsuit with a pair of heels will make you look much taller. A stylish blazer will dress this up for work, or a leather jacket or cardi, will dress this down. Sizes 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable.

Are busty:

culottes busty ted baker 1

Forget me knot culottes. £90. Ted Baker. The floral design at the bottom draws eyes downwards, and the wide leg balances the size of a large chest. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Cool hand wash

Are unsure culottes are for you: Are tall: Have short legs:

culottes unsure NExt

Black culottes. £18. Next. What a fantastic price point, which means you can take a risk buying them, and can see how much you wear/like them, before investing in some better ones. Available in petite, regular and tall lengths. Also in brick and stone colour. Size 6-22. Viscose, polyester and elastane mix.

Want to wear to work:

culottes work ted baker 2

Manta culottes. £139. Ted baker. How stylish are these? Wear with a blazer and heels and crisp shirt, and this will be fine for any office dress code. Size 6-16. Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable at 40′

Are apple shaped and have a big tummy:

culotte apple mango

Palazzo cheeky panty. £49.99. Mango. Really sliming and stylish, these go from a size 14-26, but to complement an apple shape, you need to look at the top you wear with these culottes, and of course, if you are short, you need heels. 100% polyester. Machine washable or dry cleanable. Style up with a neat blazer, accentuating your chest area.

For a summer look:

culotte holiday Karen Millen

Cropped wide leg trouser. £110. Karen Millen. Not all culottes are white or black – you can give a summery feel to your wardrobe with these tailored culottes. Great for ladies with a warm skin tone. Size 6-16. 100% viscose. Dry clean only.

For a night out:

culotte night out whistles

Edwina print silk trouser. £175.  Whistles. This slim fitting pair of crop trousers/culottes are so classy, you could even wear them to a summer wedding if you didn’t fancy a dress. Sizes 4-16. 100% silk, dry clean only. If you are radical, there is a matching pyjama top style blouse to go with it. All the rage in London, not sure how you’ll carry that look off in Cleethorpes.

For a holiday:

culotte holiday warehouse 2

Stripe culottes. £42. Warehouse. These light weight culottes are perfect for holidays – fine with flat sandals, and this seasons off the shoulder or cold shoulder tops. I would avoid a boring T shirt with flip flops, or you may look like a granny on a British promenade. Size 6-18. polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.

So, my Lesser Mortals, do you think you could get away with a pair of culottes? They are not so scary, and as I mentioned, you can wear in winter with knee boots, and a polo neck jumper and still look totes amaze balls. If you think a one to one with me, as an Image Consultant will benefit you, then give me an email. I have had fantastic success recently with ladies who struggled to clear their wardrobes outs, and ladies who thought nothing ever fitted them. Contact me here.

Further reading:

How to wear culottes: style caster

How to wear culottes: closet full of clothes

The denim trend you are about to see everywhere: pop sugar

 

 

What maxi will suit my body shape?

maxi kenzomaxi tommymaxi blumarinemaxi etro

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.

maxi karen millenmaxi Zara

  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.

maxi Zara 2zara maxi 3

  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.

maxi monsoonmaxi oasis

  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.

maxi Nextmaxi FCUK

  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

7 cold shoulder styles to inspire you this summer

cut out proenzacut out Soniacut out balmaincut out kenzo

Courtesy of vogue.co.uk – Proenza Schouler, Sonia Rykiel, Balmain and Kenzo

Can We Lesser Mortals expose our shoulders with out getting the cold shoulder from our friends?

Have you been out in the shops yet? I know…it’s still really cold – but if you have, you’d be forgiven for thinking the retailers are keeping their prices down, by missing out half the fabric in their garments. Oh Ye Heathens! – it’s a new trend called “cold shoulder” or “cut out”- probably derived from some retro archive, as anything not “retro” is frankly, so last year!! It’s a great trend if you don’t like your arms much, as you can flash a bit of flesh without being too “mutton dressed as”, and so it works for most age groups, without being too tarty. The down side, is that these styles tend to draw attention to, and widen, the top half of your body. So it’s not the best style for ladies, who are already blessed in the “poitrine” department. Lesser Mortals who were at the back of the queue when boobs were dolled out, well – their cups can now overfloweth ( and yes, I did intend a weak attempt at a pun!) as these styles will broaden their chest and shoulders.

I’ve tried to find an item that would suit all body shapes (even top heavy), and I am modelling my 3 ways to wear a cold shoulder top, here. I quite like the hanky top from Top Shop, but which appeals to you? Let me know in the comments box.

cut out dress karen millencut out dress coast

  1. Stripe midi dress DY191 collection. Karen Millen. £160. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix, dry clean only.  This doesn’t have darts around the bust area, so won’t fit if you have big boobs. The stripes are slimming and there is lycra, so this will suit boyish and hourglass best. Also if you have a slight tummy, it should be slimming.
  2. Elina cold shoulder dress. £95. Coast. Size 6-18. 100% polyester, dry clean only. A much more subtle and flattering cold shoulder look for ladies that dislike their bingo wings!! A peak of the upper part of your arms instead. Best for hourglass, slight pear shape and boyish.

cut out blouse KMcut out shirt top shop

  1. Cut out shoulder blouse. £99. Karen Millen Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Due to the V neck on this blouse, bigger busted women will get away with this cut out style. Balance the shape with wide leg trousers or a full skirt underneath. Good for most body shapes.
  2. Chain print cold shoulder shirt. £40. Top Shop. Size 4-16. 100% viscose, machine washable. With just a hint of cold shoulder, this shirt will suit most body shapes, but is great for apple and top heavy ladies, who can leave it more open to break up the chest area, or belt it in to give definition.

cut out T shirt oasiscut out hanky top shop

  1. Cold shoulder stripe top/ £28.  Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This quite slim fitting top can be worn by anyone who would normally wear a T shirt, but it is best for boyish, pear and hourglass.
  2. Scarf floral cold shoulder top. £36. Top shop. 100% viscose. Machine washable. This boxy shaped top is best for boyish and pear shaped ladies.

cut out jumpser all saints

  1. Able open shoulder jumper. £128. All Saints. Size XS-L. Wool, nylon, alpaca mix. Hand washable. Also available in quart pink (muted) and black. Although it’s a jumper, lets face it, it’s not always so hot in the UK. Great with skinny jeans, this will suit apple, top heavy, and boyish best.

Would you wear this style of top? Do you think you shouldn’t wear it if you are over a certain age? I’d love your comments, and as always if you have a fashion query, put it in the comments box and I’ll get back to you.

Further reading:

The key pieces that look good on all ages: who what wear

How to wear cold shoulder tops: Audrey Salutes

Cold shoulder tops – t they’re hot: fabulous after 40

How to rock the cold shoulder look: MissMalini

Cold shoulder top + ripped jeans: Style my dreams

How to wear cut out shoulder tops this spring: fashionsy

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)