Summer ruffles to frill you!!

Ruffles on the catwalk, courtesy of 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:

How to wear ruffles like a fashion girl: Stylecaster

Are you ready to ruffle: thefashhiontag


12 denim fashion finds daring to be different!

Denim fashions courtesy of Caroline Herrera Philip Plein Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini  Gucci

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish modern denim and not look like a rhinestone cowboy?

Yadah, yadah, yadah…blah blah more denim, Seen it done it, and ticked the box about twenty years ago! Why should we buy more denim, when it’s been knocking around for ever and a day? Surely those old baggy bootcut jeans are fine?

Seems like fashions are always re-inventing themselves, putting a twist on an old favourite, to create a new trend. The same applies to denim. Is it just a marketing ploy?  Could be, but we all know –  getting up to date styles will help you look younger, which is always good? Right?

Denim is comfortable, hardwearing and relatively cheap. Consequently, there are now many varied styles to suit every wardrobe personality and budget,  which means you don’t have to look shabby or casual – unless that’s your bag, baby.

For busy women and Lesser Mortals who are on the go, time poor and so need hard wearing clothes which wash well, then denim ticks the box. Get the right style and cut, & denim clothes can flatter and compliment. There is every style of jean out there from skinny to flares, cropped to full length, and in every depth of shade. Remember – high waists will make your legs look longer, but can make tummies and bottoms look bigger. Low waists can show muffin tops, but will make your body look longer and your legs shorter. Skinnies can make legs look chunky, whilst flares can add curves & balance out bigger hips. seek advice if you’re not sure what suits you.

Fundamentally, if  jeans aren’t your “thing”, then denim dresses and skirts as well as jackets and blouses, can keep you looking edgy. I shan’t show you bog standard denim jackets, mini skirts and  jeans, as there are tons out there which are easy to find. Rather, I’ll tempt you with some styles which I think are a little out of the ordinary. Why run with the flock? Remember –  if it’s out of your price range but you  like it, you could keep an eye out for the sales! Some stores are already offering 20% off spring styles.

My favourite……I’m quite attracted to the jumpsuit, the biker jacket and of course – I’m a sucker for the trainers!!


  1. Izzy denim dress. £299. Jigsaw. Size 6-14. Linen cotton elastane mix. This has a voile overlay and will be cool in summer, as it is not a heavy denim material. This shape lends itself well to pear shapes.
  2. Cotton strap jumpsuit. £39. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% cotton. Machine washable. A very easy piece to wear either with converses, or a silk bomber jacket and wedge sandals to dress it up at night. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and omit the belt for slight apple shapes.
  3. Indigo sporty shirt dress. £28. Dorothy perkins. Size 6-20. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Actually, Dotty P has a variety of denim dresses & a lot are reduced now, so you can pick some up for £15. This one comes in tall length too. The will suit boyish, and possibly hourglass and pear shapes if you aren’t too curvy.
  4. Edie denim shirt dress. £110. French connection. Or House of fraser  Size 6-16. cotton elastane mix. Machine wash cold. This is probably best for boyish shapes.

  1. Mower denim slim jacket. £140. G star XXS to XL. Cotton elastane, machine washable. Styled like a biker jacket but in a dark denim, this style will suit those with smaller chests.
  2. Belted denim jacket. £145. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester elastane mix. The pockets on this will make boobs look bigger, so best for boyish and pear shapes. However, if worn open, most body shapes will get away with.

  1. Ash wide leg jean. £85. FCUK.  Size 6-16. Polyester, cotton elastane. Most jeans this summer are skinny, cropped, or ripped to bits. So these will suit pear shapes and balance out those ladies who are top heavy.
  2. Denim top £42. Top Shop. Size XS-XL.  100% cotton. Machine washable. This top has fashionable trumpet style sleeves, and an empire style bodice. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and some apple shapes, but it’s not very stretchy.

  1. Flared midi denim skirt. £39. Warehouse. Size 6-18. This is so easy to wear in the summer. Wear it with converse or wedge sandals. Perfect for most body shapes.
  2. Long denim shirt. £24.99, H and M Size 6-18. 100% lyocell. Machine washable. This would be great worn as a dress, or a beach cover up. This shape suits most, but great for apple shapes. Belt in, if you are top heavy.

  1. Asda japanese Denim trainer. £98. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Made in collaboration with Japanese mill Kuroki. These will be fab with a floaty dress, jeans or shorts.
  2. Denim crop top £25.99 Zara Size XS – L  100% cotton. Machine washable. This boxy style with puffed sleeves, will suit pear shapes and boyish best.

So push your boundaries, and grab some of the up to date denim in the shops to add a youthful edge to your wardrobe. You can email me for advice, or book me for a consultation Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear a denim jacket:

8 do’s and font’s of double denim: Style caster

How to wear a denim shirt 21 ways: the refinery

How to style a denim dress: whowhatwear

16 fresh ways to wear a denim skirt:


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.


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



Where can I get a women’s wedding guest outfit?

weddin g photos nina ricci

Can We Lesser Mortals find a women’s wedding guest outfit that makes you look and feel great?

The wedding season is upon us, and throughout July and August, many of us will be swanning off to weddings, and want to look and feel fabulous, all day. I’ve enlisted a bit of help from Kyra at Firetree photography to tell you how to take a good photo on the day without squinting, and also Sue York from Sue York Make Up, to help make sure your make up stays on all day too. I shall advise you on the wedding guest outfits I would recommend – as gorgeous Lesser Mortals should be getting their own attention for looking stunning. Obviously, as an Image Consultant, I can’t recommend a boring dress, as that is what everyone else will be wearing. I want you to wear something stylish and up to date, which suits your body shape. The ones shown, are nearly all full price, to make sure you can still get hold of them, but if you have plenty of time, mooch around the shops, as the sales are on. You can wear all these outfits again on other occasions.

wedding karen millen dresswedding KM shoes wedding KM clutch


  1. Painterley splash floral print dress. £160. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acetate, polyamide, elastane mix. Dry clean only. Suit hourglass best. You could team with nude accessories, or to be eye catching as suggested, and add contrasting green.
  2. Ankle cuff mid heel sandal. £125. Karen Millen. Size 36-41. Leather.
  3. Brompton Clutch. £99. Karen Millen. Leather. Chain can be in or out.

Kyra,Firetree photographer says  “Top tip for having your photograph taken in bright light, keep your eyes shut until the photographer counts in the photograph and open your eyes at the last minute, you won’t squint! If there is nowhere else to photograph but full sun, I ask everyone to shut their eyes and open on the count of three… perfect picture every time.” For more from Kyra, click here.

.wedding fenn wright maxi wedding fenn wright cardiwedding sandal Kurt Geiger


  1. Blue skyflower dress. Reduced to £174. Fenn Wright and Manson at John Lewis. Size 8-18. 100% silk. A beautiful flowing silk maxi dress, but wear with a heel. Suits apple shapes.
  2. Sky blue cardi. Fenn Wright and Manson at John Lewis. Size S-L/ 100 % viscose. Hand washable.
  3. Klassy Carvela sandal. £85 at John Lewis. SIze 3-8. Fabric upper.

wedding ted baker skirt wedding ted baker top wedding ted baker shoes


  1. Torchlit floral midi skirt. £179. Ted Baker. 100% polyester. Cool hand wash. Worn with matching silk top, will suit pear shapes.
  2. Syna frill neck shirt. £109. Ted Baker. 100% silk. Cool hand wash. Wear with full skirt above, to complement a pear shaped figure.
  3. Pointed leather court shoe. £110. Ted Baker. Leather upper.

Sue, Make up artist says:”By applying either a fine loose powder or compact powder, over your base make up, including eye lids, it will ensure your make up stays in place all day. If you are prone to oily shine, make sure you apply a mattifier under your foundation. On photos it is very easy to look washed out, so you will need to apply more blusher than you would normally and make sure you’ve got a lipstick in your chosen colour to top up throughout the day”. For more info on Sue, click here.

wedding jigsaw suitwedding silk top jigsawwedding hat jigsaw


  1. Blue cotton stretch jacket. £149. Jigsaw. Cotton elastane mix. Size 8-16. Stand out from the crowds, with a stylish pastel suit and heels.
  2. Cotton stretch tapered trouser. £98. Jigsaw. Size 8-16. Wear with the jacket to suit top heavy ladies.
  3. Overlay sleeveless top. £69. Jigsaw. Size S-L. 100% silk. Hand washable. Wide enough straps for good bra support, if top heavy.
  4. Florencia Panama hat. £49. Jigsaw. Raffia – one size only. Makes for a rakish outfit with the suit.

wedding jumpsuit reisswedding belt reisswedding clutch reiss

  1. Liora polka dot jumpsuit. £195. Reiss. Size 4-14. Hurry, as they are running out of sizes on line. Polyester elastane, dry clean only. Wear it with a belt, and perfect for boyish figures.
  2. Belluci hammered cream metal belt. £70. Reiss. Leather and brass. Size XS to XL
  3. Faro cream clutch. Reduced to £69. Reiss. Polyurethane.

Hope this has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and try something a bit different. Frankly, I don’t want to look like everyone else which is why I choose something like a jumpsuit for a wedding. Would you? If you fancy a one to one session or you have question to ask about your clothes, contact me through www.vickysmithstyling,

Further reading:

100 best wedding guest outfits: you and your wedding

wedding guest outfits: one fine day

what to wear to a wedding evening reception: not dressed as lamb

what to wear to an evening wedding reception: fabulous after 40.


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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