Check out these gorgeous gingham garments!!

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

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

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

How to wear gingham:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further reading:

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

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

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

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

Summer ruffles to frill you!!

Ruffles on the catwalk, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: gucci D and G Burberry and Alberta Ferretti

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish ruffles and not look like Notting Hill Carnival?

Do ruffles frill you or make you tremble with horror? The trend is very reminiscent of the 80’s ra-ra styles, and can strike fear into the bravest fashionista. Images of ladies walking with bowls of fruit on their heads spring to mind and tiered peasant skirts a la 1970’s. Consequently many Mortals recoil at the prospect of sashaying along the aisles of their local supermarket, causing a minor incident as a result of their ill advised frill ensemble.

Despite this, I do think ruffles have their use for anyone who has a disproportionate figure. The size of the frill can add volume to areas that need bulking up, hence a small bust can be enhanced with a ruffle or two, and so create an hour glass figure out of a pear shape, and tiers of fabric on a skirt, can balance out a large chest.

What size of ruffle?

Shyer ladies can choose a small frill, whilst ladies with a large personality can select a more “in your face” style, to draw attention to themselves. I prefer ruffles on the small scale, so the outfits I am sharing are more on the subtle side. Ruffles don’t have to be girly. Look at the shoes or jacket you co-ordinate them with (see wedges with jumpsuit), or avoid floral fabrics and feminine style dresses. Consequently, on the “3 ways to style a ruffle” I style some ruffle clothes casually with converses, in a retro 70’s way, and lastly as a feminine floral look. Click here to see.

Why is your favourite- let me know in the comments box, and guess which one is my favourite!

  1. Asymetric ruffle jumpsuit. £69. Warehouse.  Size 6-18. Available in pale pink and light grey. Polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.  Ruffles across the chest area, will accentuate your chest, so this is best for slight pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Ruffle spot wrap dress. £55. Top Shop  Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and generally flatter larger busts so best for hourglass, and large chests.

  1. Penelope dress. £110. Boden Size 6-22 in regular and  long length. 100% cotton. Machine washable.  Quite fitted so best for ladies who aren’t extremely curvy, like boyish or straighter hourglass ladies.
  2. Ruffle midi skirt. £42. Top Shop. Size 4-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The ruffles here can create curves, and the high waist and vertical ruffle makes legs look longer. Good for boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.

  1. Ruffle sleeve blouse. £35. Next. Navy too. Size 6-22. 100% viscose. Suitable for evening or work wear, the ruffles on the sleeve broaden your top half, so this is good for pear shapes. It will also add curves to boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Blue ruffle shirt. £28. Next.  Regular and petite, size 6-22. 100% cotton with polyester trim. The bold V decoration will break up a large chest, so this will suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

  1. Rochelle broderie off shoulder blouse. £49. Monsoon. Size S- XL. 100% viscose. Machine washable. The shape really broadens your chest and shoulder area, so this tends to suit pear shapes and hourglass, but can add curves to boyish and apple shapes, depending on what you wear on your bottom half.
  2. Metallic detail trousers. £39.99. Zara Size 6-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Clearly best for ladies with slender legs – the frill can draw attention away from larger hips, or busts, so best for boyish or top heavy. They will suit hourglass ladies too.

  1. Leather block heel ruffle sandal. £45. M and S. Available in black too. Size 3-8 including half sizes. Leather upper, regular fit. Cute little sandals with not too high a heel – perfect for the summer with skirts or crop jeans.
  2. Ruffle clutch bag. £24. Next. In black too. Polyester. Cute little nod to the frill trend without being in your face.
  3. Ruffle shoes boot. £85. Next. IN black too. Size 36-42. Leather upper, 9cm heel. Lovely with painted toe nails peeping out. Again, great with skirts or crop trousers/jeans.

Finally,  have I made you a frill seeker? I think you can see they can be worn in a subtle, and don’t need to scream Copacabana. If you want to contact me, do so in the comment box or via Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

NYFW street style ruffles: Glamour South africa

How to wear a ruffle top: Gurl.com

How to wear ruffles like a fashion girl: Stylecaster

Are you ready to ruffle: thefashhiontag

 

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.

velvet-2016-reiss-shoesvelvet-2016-reiss-bag

  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.

metallic-2016-monsoon-dressmetallic-2016-river-island

  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

10 fabulous footwear styles for summer YOU HAVE TO SEE!

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Images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk Burberry, Chloe, Gucci, and MacQueen

Can We Lesser Mortals find fabulous footwear for summer without looking like we have Hobbit feet?

Hi there Mortals! Have you rushed into the shops yet to bag your sale bargains? Crazy isn’t it, when we haven’t even started to wear our summer clothes yet, due to the weather? Well, in this post I thought I’d look at footwear, since, when the mercury starts to rise, even previously comfy footwear can start to rub. So it’s important to get a good fitting pair. By my definition, Lesser Mortals are women who are mums, working women and normal shaped(not Kim Kardashian/Cara Delivigne) women – and who may also, (dare I say it) suffer from corns, bunions, varicose veins, pronation, flat feet etc as well as the need to rush round supermarkets, stand on feet all day, or walk places. And for that reason I have chosen to l look at lower heeled shoes/sandals, rather than crazy skyscrapers – which bizarrely enough seem to be the majority of shoes when you look in a shoe shop.

Don’t forget when buying footwear, to look at how clumpy they are, compared to your size and shape. Petite ladies  – do you really look good in clumpy clogs? Statuesque ladies – are those delicate kitten heels really doing you a favour? There are some seriously ugly clumpy orthopaedic style shoes/sandals out there……do you really need those in your life?

Feast your eyes on these babies, and let me know if this article has prompted you to try a style you may not have thought about before.

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  1. Kola Mule Loafer £59. TopShop. Size 2-9. 100% leather. Everyone loves a mule shoe in summer – kick them off the minute your feet get hot (under desks or in the garden) Available in black too.
  2. Stain Away slingback mule sandal. £45 Marks and Spencers. Half sizes from 3-8. Padded soles for comfort. Black and khaki colours available too. Regular width fitting. Stylish mule but with a heel strap stopping them slipping off.

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  1. Scent sky wedge sandal. £50. Clarks Half sizes 3-8. Leather upper. Cushion soft technology on the soles. In black too. Despite having a wedge heel, the stacked sole, means the relative height of the heel is reduced and they are easier to stomp around in. Great for vertically challenged ladies!
  2. Gold leather lace up sandal. £38. Next. Size 3.5 to 8 ( or 38-42) Available in khaki suede too. This gladiator style embraces the metallic trend too, which might have been too much for you. These however, will be perfect with jean, maxis, white dresses and pretty much anything!

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  1. Suzette loafer. £70. Ugg. Available in navy, chestnut and  light tan. Cushioned sole, nubuck leather and sheepskin heel protector. Some half sizes between 3-10. Deliciously comfy and stylish with skinny jeans or a skirt/dress.
  2. Suede flatform brogue shoe £80. Dune. Size 3-8. Also in grey suede. Lets face it, it is the UK and you need a shoe sometimes, even in summer. These are soft and can be worn with bare feet. Fabulous with floaty dresses, pencil skirts and skinny jeans.

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  1. Isla embellished sandal. £28. Toyshop. Size 2-9. Textile upper. These embrace the ethnic/festival/aztec influence and will look great with denim of any type, and fabulous on a hot beach holiday (ok – less practical in wet Wales…)
  2. Chain detail jelly sandal. £12. Next. Available in navy too, size 36-41. Normally I hate jelly’s but the chain detail is funky.

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  1. Pink mid heel sandal. Reduced to £69. Carvela Also in silver. Size 2-8. Synthetic upper. This season it’s all about the shape of the heel. It’s short and blocky and often a different colour or with embellishment.
  2. All star low converse pink mono. Reduced to £35. Office. Half sizes from 3.5 to 7. Also in teal. Whatever your age or shape, you can get away with a pair of converses with your jeans. These are a lovely suede and you can get leather ones for winter.

Those are my summer essential shoe trends for this summer. Obviously these are not “the ones” you have to buy, but they all highlight trends in the shops at the moment – mules, suede shoe boots, chain detail, wedges, block heels and converses. Nip out and have a look or wait for the high summer sales (canny shoe shops are waiting)….you can look at the outfits I wear daily on my Instagram feed @welessermortals

Further reading:

Summer/spring shoe trends: Fashionisers

How to/and how not to wear converse: The Styletti

How tower wedge sandals: Fashionsy.com

25 ways real girls wear gladiator sandals: stylecaster

How to wear loafers: wardrobelooks

 

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