Sophisticated party wear to add to your Santa list

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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…..

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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

 

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

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

9 Lingerie Style fashions to lust after this summer!!

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Lingerie style fashions, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Celine, Alexander wang, Burberry  and Givenchy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear the Lingerie Style clothes, without looking like we’ve gone out in our underwear?

That’s it – we’re all so hard up now after the recession, we’re about to spend the summer going out in our underwear!! Or so it looks to the untrained eye. Catwalk designers have turned to lingerie style garments to inspire their summer collections, and this has in turn, influenced the High Street. It’s not the easiest of trends to follow if you need some serious scaffolding to support your chest, but there is a vast array of support underwear in the shops, for whatever your size and shape. Failing that, choose some brightly coloured bra straps and make a contrasting feature of the whole thing!! Can you wear slip dresses and camisoles whatever your age? Personally I would steer away from anything too white  and lace-y (lets face it, you are kidding no-one about the state of your innocence, and you don’t want to look like a bride) If you are older you may be conscious of your arms, but it is totally acceptable to wear T shirts or such like under your slip dress, or a shrug over the top. Having said that, they don’t give you much to hide under. It doesn’t really matter what size you are. Nowadays, it’s all about accepting yourself for who you are and embracing it, rather than covering it up. For me, I think the camisole tops are easy to wear on holiday or during hot weather, styled with a skirt or skinny jeans – and with a blazer or bomber jacket chucked over the top. Slip dresses are fabulous with flat converses or sandals, and a pashmina for evening (possibly avoid mules, or they’ll look like your slippers!!)

Let me know what you think, would you or wouldn’t you? And how would you style them up? Shall I do a “3 ways to wear” piece on lingerie style clothes? Let me know. Best bargain for what you get – the Ghost dress at the bottom.

 

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  1. Lace Doll Dress. £55. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Polyester cotton viscose mix. Machine washable. Perfect for a more modest look. This shift dress is inspired by the “lingerie” trend, but is much more user friendly. Best for boyish shapes.
  2. Lace Crepe Dress £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This has a fitted bodice and is straight to the knees so best for boyish shapes, although less extreme apple shapes or hourglass, may get away with this style.
  3. Lace trim dress. £39.50 Marks and Spencers. Size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. This is much looser and unstructured so anyone can wear, but it will suit boyish and apple shapes best.

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  1. Lace trim camisole top. £22.50. Marks and Spencers. size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. Also available in khaki. Loose fitting and flowing, this top fits most body shapes but will flatter boyish and apple best.
  2. Sage lace trim came top.£24. Next size 6-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Also available in black.  There isn’t a lot of shape to this top, but the black trim means this is a great top for boyish, and slight apple. Again, other shapes can wear, but it depends what you co-ordinate with.
  3. Emeline Camisole Top. £68. All saints. Size 2-14. Available in black too. No info on fabric and care. Nearly all of these tops, are just slip over, so not great for big busts. However, out of all the tops,  this V neck line is better for slightly larger busted ladies. Most other shapes can wear too.

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  1. Dress with lace hem. £35.99. Zara Size S-XL. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This flowing style is best for this with bigger busts, if they can find the right bra. The elastic waist band nips the dress in, under the bust line. It may also suit apple, pear and hourglass shapes.
  2. Janine Dress Lint green. £95. Ghost.  Size XS-XL. 100% viscose, hand washable. This bias cut dress, has the most structure out of all the items shown. Adjustable straps and bias cut skirt, make this suitable for pear shapes, hourglass and larger busted ladies.
  3. Miki monochrome high heeled sandal. £295. Lk Bennet Size 35-42. Leather. Inspired by the black and white trend. Also available in orange. A lovely high heel for special occasions. The fastening at the front allows for some lea way on width of foot.

So I think you can see, this lingerie inspired trend is best for more boyish figures, although there are styles to suit all body shapes if you like it. If you need help on deciding your body shape, and what styles suit you, you can always books one to one with me here

 

Further reading:

11 lingerie inspired pieces you could wear from dinner to the bedroom: bustle.com

How to wear lingerie styled fashion: Thefashionroom.net

lingerie inspired fashion for every occasion : my fashion.com.hr

celebrity style / the slip dress: whowhatwear

7 ways to wear a slip dress: style caster

How to style a camisole top 10 ways: fashion lady.in

Voluptuous Velvet you can’t do without

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Photos from vogue.co.uk  feature Armani, Christopher Kane, Emilio Pucci and Givenchy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear velvet without looking like an 80’s throwback (yes – remember those Ra Ra Christmas dresses??)

How many of you Lesser Mortals have been clothes shopping recently? Well, according to the High Street, I shall expect all of you to be sitting in offices or doing your shopping in the supermarket, wearing full velvet, sequins, shiny party dresses and blinged up to the eye balls……because that’s pretty much all that’s on offer in the shops. Try and buy a normal cardi and skirt, and you’re struggling. Come on High Street???? We’re not all clubbing every night from now till the Big Man slips down the chimney! (I meant Santa) So is velvet just for parties? Tricky – it inherently looks quite smart doesn’t it? There are basically 3 types of velvet you will find. Velour is much more fluid and floaty, but can look really cheap and nasty. Velveteen, which is kind of like cord, but no ribs in the fabric. This is much more wearable day to day. And proper velvet, which has a deeper pile, and is more lush to look at. (You won’t find much of that around as it’s quite expensive)  I would say that velveteen as a jean or skirt, is quite wearable – you can add a chunky piece of knitwear and boots and it becomes a day to day look. A velveteen pencil skirt would be fine for work, with a blouse or fine gauge knitwear. Velvet boots or ankle boots would be ok for work or day wear (with plain skirts) or with jeans. I would even say a velveteen jacket would be ok for day to day, over flared jeans, skirts etc, but it would depend what colour you choose, and your style. Red velvet jackets do scream “Daddy Christmas” unless you are a boho rock chick. Be really careful with velour. It can look rather cheap and nasty when made badly, and it nearly always has a sheen, making it more “occasion” wear.

As usual, I have raked around to find some titillating velvets to tickle your taste buds. Let me know your thoughts. (polite ones please) 😜

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  1. Velvet jacket £129 and trousers £69. Boden Sizes 6-22. Cotton elastane mix. Dry clean only. Available in red, black, beige and navy, so a colour to suit all skin and hair colours. It’s probably a bit much for a lot of you to wear both the jacket and trousers, but on its own, the jacket will look good over flared jeans or for the office, wear with a smart skirt of trousers. The jacket finishes at the top of your thighs, so not great for pear shaped ladies. The trousers have a low waist, so they are good for elongating your body length. However, as they are slim in shape, they are not good for hippy ladies. They will suit boyish best.
  2. Premium tux velvet jacket. £75 Topshop.  Size 4-16. Forest green colour. Polyester elastane mix- more velour looking. Dry clean only. This nips in at waist, and will suit busty women. Other body shapes will be able to wear, depending on whether you wear it fastened, and what you wear underneath.

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  1. Ginger velvet midi dress. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Viscose silk mix. Dry clean only. Although this is an lush looking fabric, I think you could dress this down with flat knee boots, as well as wearing it for parties. Due to its high waist band, it is suitable for apple shapes & boyish, but others shapes could wear it- it just may not flatter your body shape as much.
  2. High Heeled velvet ankle boots. £59.99. Zara. Sizes 3-8. 100% polyester. These are suitable for all!! (unless you have bunions!)

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  1. Embossed velvet skirt. £68. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The waistband on your waist, and is midi length. The fullness of the skirt will hide large hips so it’s good for pear shapes. It will give shape to boyish figures and compliments hourglass figures. Top heavy ladies will also suit this if worn with a fitted top.
  2. Velvet side zip pull on leggings. £39.99. Gap. US sizes 0-20 (whatever!!!!) and in tall and petite sizes. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in black, navy, grey, burgundy, forest green. Due to their stretchy nature, some hippy ladies can wear these, but they are better for boyish or top heavy and hourglass with slimmer hips.

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  1. Nicolette embellish lace velvet dress. £79. Monsoon. Size 8-22.Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in berry and black. A body con style dress, which is best on hourglass ladies, with flat tummies! Possibly suit boyish too, if you have boobs.
  2. Kalika velvet tunic dress. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix. Dry clean only. The V neck, 3/4 sleeves etc will suit apple shaped ladies best. Some boyish may like too. It can be worn over skinny jeans too.

I hope all that velvet has got you thinking. Would you wear it during the day, or do you think it’s special occasion only? If you would like a one to one session with me, see my website www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk. GIFT vouchers are a great idea to ask for at Christmas.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear velvet: Gurl.com

How to wear lush velvet: all women stalk.

fashion bloggers wearing velvet streetstyle: todayI’mwearing

velvet:fabric of the moment: styleadvisor

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