Sophisticated party wear to add to your Santa list


Party wear images courtesy of – 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…..


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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:

How to wear coated jeans: glamradar

Best buys for brocade and jacquard trend: pop sugar


What maxi will suit my body shape?

maxi kenzomaxi tommymaxi blumarinemaxi etro

Photos of maxi dresses on the catwalk, courtesy of – 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:

Style tips on wearing a maxi skirt:

48 maxi skirt street style: allforfashiondesign

9 Summer Florals to stop you wilting!!

florals 2016 giambattitaflorals 2016 gucciflorals 2016 d and Gflorals 2016 armani

Courtesy of – Giambattista valli, Gucci D and G and Armani

Can We Lesser Mortals wear Florals and blossom this summer?

What do you think of florals? (would love your comments!) I guess some ladies think they are just too girly, whereas others will be hopping on the spot at the thought of a floral pattern. They have been on trend for a while, but they re-invent themselves every season, on the new styles “du Jour”. Don’t dismiss florals if you think they are just not your “thang” – they can be romantic, they can be urban, they can be dramatic – there is a bloom for whatever your personality. You can “rock” them up by selecting androgynous shoes and accessories, or embrace the whole romantic look with a pair of Mary Jane’s. Being so versatile means they will suit you, whatever your age. So in summary, you can do petal power, irrelevant of age, shape or style – what’s not to ❤️?

My favourite? Actually I would wear quite a few of them, depending on my mood. Probably the bomber or the midi black skirt. Put your views in the “comments” box at the end of the post. I won’t bite 👀!!

florals 2016 Zara jacketflorals 2016 M and S bomber jkt

  1. Long printed jacket £59.99. Zara. Size XS-XL. 100% viscose. Machine washable. Who doesn’t love a blazer? This is longer line, and a boyfriend fit, so it will work for most people. However, apple and large chested ladies will need to leave it undone to break up the chest area. Hourglass will need something underneath, which defines their waist.
  2. Jacquard zipped bomber jacket. £59. Marks and Spencers.  Size 6-18. Polyester and metallised fabric. Machine washable. Bomber jackets work for most shapes, but bigger busts, and apple shapes should leave unzipped. This one is best for boyish, pear and hourglass.

florals SS2016 zara floaty dressflorals ss2016 ted baker dress

  1. Long dress with floral print. £39.99. Zara Size XS-L. 100% viscose. Machine washable. I think this dress is quite romantic and mystical, with a gothic edge. Due to it’s high neck, this is best for boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Secret trellis contrast dress. £169. Ted Baker Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Cool hand wash. This is best for hourglass figures, but as it contains some elastane, smaller pear shapes or boyish may get away with.

florals 2016 top shop midi skirtflorals ss2016 KM skirt

  1. Floral pleated PU midi pleat skirt. £60. Top Shop Size 6-16 100% polyurethane. Cool hand wash. As this is PU is it not girly at all. Due to all the pleats, avoid this if you carry any weight round your middle. Best for top heavy, boyish and hourglass.
  2. Floral print maxi skirt. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Even though the pleats are softer here, be careful if you have a bit of a tummy. Best for top heavy, boyish and hourglass.

florals 2016 top coastflorals SS2016 boden wrap topflorals 2016 monsoon

  1. Costa rica printed top £69. Coast Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. A great cover up and also stylish for evening wear, this shape will suit pear shapes, and apples shapes best.
  2. Wrap jersey top. Reduced to £24.15  Boden. Size 6-22, petite and regular. Viscose elastane mix, machine washable. Perfect for hourglass and top heavy ladies.
  3. Lettie maxi dress, £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. The dress also has detachable straps. Maxi’s are always popular as you don’t need to worry about tanning your legs!! This shape is  great for apple, pear and boyish shapes.

So are you looking at florals from a new angle? There are so many colours and prints around – in shoes, and scarves and bags too. If you have a comment, fill in the box underneath, or ask any questions you might have – special events coming up etc that you want help with.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear floral trousers:

How to wear floral blazers: fashiongum

How to wear floral blazers/jackets: fame

Floral fashion trend – just the design



8 Unforgettable Winter Florals

florals 2015 burberryflorals 2015 rodarte

florals 2015 giambaflorals 2015 dolce

Photographs from – Burberry , Rodarte, Giamba and Dolce & Gabanna.

Can We Lesser Mortals find  a winter floral that won’t make us wilt?

Now some of you Lesser Mortals are going to be thrilled that florals are in fashion again this winter, and others of you are going to be moaning “not florals again”. I guess those of you who are partial to a bloom or two, probably like a feminine look, whilst there are those who regard petal power as too girly. I think it is perfectly possible to wear winter florals in a modern urban, contemporary way without looking in the least “pretty”. It is totally acceptable to rock winter florals with a biker boot , leather leggings or skinny jeans (those over 5o can now breathe again after I mentioned leather leggings). I would wear the Zara floral jacket, shown below,with a plain dress in camel, khaki or red to make it more edgy. The All Saints or Karen Millen dress would really compliment a leather jacket, and if you think you are too old for a leather jacket – has anyone told Twiggy or Helen Mirren?

So if you would like more ideas on how to style these clothes, put it in the comments box below and I’ll get back to you. As always, I’d love to know which one you’d buy. See if you can guess which one I’d buy, and I’ll let you know at the bottom of the post. Happy browsing 👗

florals 2015 shift lipsyfloral 2015 dress KM apple

  1. Lipsy floral shift dress. £50. Lipsy at Next. Size 4-18. Polyester elastane mix. 30′ wash. Love this fabulously “easy to wear” shift dress – perfect with knee high boots. Will suit boyish shapes best.
  2. Floral print midi dress. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Very flattering and stylish. Whilst following the 70’s trend, this is demure enough for most age groups, or for a work environment. Will suit hourglass & boyish best, but some pear shapes may get away with it too.

floral 2015 wrap blouse warehouse2015 florals silk top Coast

  1. Pretty florals 70’s wrap top. £35. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This 70’s inspired top will flatter a large bust and will work well with flared jeans, fitted skirts and the new seasons crop trouser.
  2. Anata printed calla top. £69. Coast. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Quite a glamorous top for ladies who need to balance larger hips. You can make it more versatile by wearing a polo neck jumper under it during the day. Will suit pear shapes best but boyish and apple shapes could get away with it too.

florals 2015 blazer Zarafloral 2015 ted trousers

  1. Floral print blazer. £69. Zara.  Sizes XS-L. Polyester elastane mix.  It looks a little scary on the website where they team it with matching trousers (!!!) I would keep everything else very simple and plain with this jacket and let the jacket do the talking. It will suit most body shapes, but it is good for pear shapes.
  2. Technicolour bloom legging. £99. Ted Baker. size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Hand wash at 30′. Although these are a bit pricey, they look thick enough to maintain their shape as well as holding you in, in the right places!! Good for top heavy, boyish and possibly hourglass figures.

floral 2015 sllsaints applefloral 2015 dress pear Ted baker

  1. Helle Yore Dress. £188. All Saints. Size 2-14. Also available in black floral. 100% silk, dry clean only. Lovely with opaque tights and knee boots, or styled up over jeans or leggings. Will suit apple shapes, boyish and if you belt it in, big busts and hourglass will get away with too.
  2. Twilight floral heated skirt dress. £199. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. 100% Polyester. Dry clean only. The short sleeves balance out the flared skirt, which will hide larger hips, so this will suit pear shapes, as well as giving curves to boyish figures. If you are hourglass with not too big a bust, then you can wear this too.

Did you guess right? I would buy the Karen Millen dress! How about you, what did you choose? Have my hints on how to style up winter florals changed your mind about wearing them? If you live in the East Midlands and would like me to come and look through your wardrobe giving tips and advice, you can contact me through Vicky Smith Styling website.

Further reading:

30 cool girls ways to wear florals: Stylecaster

23 ways to wear florals all winter: pop sugar

25 ways to wear winter florals: the frisky

8 ways to wear matching separates

2 piece catwalk Giambattista

Can we Lesser Mortals save money by buying smarter outfits?

It’s that time of year, when we are all saving like mad for our summer holidays, but the cost of the holiday has also got to include any new outfits. So how brilliant would it be, if, instead of buying one dress, you could get a dress, skirt, and top for the same price? That would be savvy shopping ( as Jack Sparrow would say). It also helps those Lesser Mortals who are disproportionate top and bottom, allowing them to buy different sizes (saving money in alterations). So what’s not to like about matching separates? As an “image consultant” I am always looking for ways to save money for clients, solve body issues and keep clients on trend, and this article deals with all 3 of those!! Enjoy!!

I was really pleased last week, when one lovely subscriber told me she’d bought an item based on my recommendation. 💕Thank you.

Don’t forget – I am offering a 2 HOURS FREE MENS STYLING SESSION for anyone who subscribes to this blog by 19/6 – just in time for FATHER’S DAY

2 piece `Coast 2 peice skirt and top Next


  1. Silvy skirt £75 and Silvy lace top £65. Coast. Size 6-18. Viscose polyamide cotton mix. The top is machine washable and the skirt, dry cleanable. This would be a perfect outfit for a wedding or christening. Then you can wear the top with jeans, or the skirt with a bright coloured top. As the top nips in at the waist and has a V design to show a modest cleavage, this will probably suit hourglass shapes best.
  2. Floral print tube skirt £24 and Floral compact top £25. Next. Sizes 6-22. Polyester elastane mix. The high mix of polyester makes this good for holiday packing without too much creasing. The boxy top will make small busts look a little bigger, so avoid if big chested. Will suit boyish, slight pear shapes, and some apple shapes best.

2 piece skirt and top Oasis 2 piece shorts and top Next


  1. Lime print pencil skirt £42 and Lime print crop top. £30. Oasis. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. I thought these were a bit of fun, and you can also get matching shorts. Perfect for hot sunny climes, or if you want to  chase the cold British weather away. The top is slightly cropped, so if you wear with other trousers or skirt, aim for high waisted, unless you have a 6 pack!! Will suit boyish, apple and slight pear shapes.
  2. Stripe high waist shorts £32 and woven stripe top £28 Next. Size 6-18 shorts and 6-22 top. Cotton viscose mix. On the top, the waist is nipped in and the stripes at the shoulders will broaden them, so avoid if you have a generous chest. The shorts are pleated but stitched down, so this is fundamentally an A line skirt. Due to the pleats, avoid if you have a tummy which stick out. So this will be best for pear shapes. The top will go with other pencil skirts or jeans and the shorts are perfect with heels or converses.

2 PieCE SHIRT AND SHORTS TED 2 piece karen Millen

  1. Demitra palm print shorts £48 and Branca palm print denim shirt £69. Ted Baker. Both Lyocell. Size 6-16. Both machine washable. Here’s a matching set with a difference. They can be teamed together as a playsuit or worn apart. Especially good for cooler evenings, when you could wear the shirt open as a jacket. Will suit apple shapes, boyish, and top heavy ladies can undo a few buttons to show off their décolletage.
  2. Floral print sporty trousers £115 and Silk floral print cami top. £90. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Top is 100% silk and the trousers are viscose. The shoe string straps won’t offer much support, and when the top is worn out there isn’t much shape, so these will suit boyish best. If you belt the top in, hourglass and slight pear shapes will get away with.

Now that I’ve saved you all that money, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to win a 2 hour mens styling session for Fathers Day. If you need help putting outfits together, then get in touch here

Further reading:

Matching prints:thefashionspot

Wear a matching 2 piece combo:allwomenstalk

effortlessly wear matching separates:

Why matching separates are a must have: whowhatwear

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