Check out these gorgeous gingham garments!!

Gingham fashions courtesy of 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

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear gingham clothes:

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

22 street style approved ways to wear gingham:

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

14 voluptuous velvet styles to tempt, tease and titilllate!


Velvet catwalk photos courtesy of 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?


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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:

How to wear velvet:

How to wear velvet this fall: pop sugar

The cool way to wear velvet pants: whowhatwear

10 fabulous footwear styles for summer YOU HAVE TO SEE!

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Images courtesy of 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:

25 ways real girls wear gladiator sandals: stylecaster

How to wear loafers: wardrobelooks


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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.


12 pairs of supremely stunning sandals

sandals Clhloe

Photo courtesy of

Can We Lesser Mortals find sandals to flatter our less than perfect feet?

OMG we’re all waiting for the sun to come out, but as soon as it does???? What about our feet? Have you been buffing the dead skin off and moisturising all winter? Have you trimmed and polished your nails? Hhhhhm – you’ve been lax ladies. Here are some suggestions if you have issues with your feet, which aren’t going to go away with  pampering, and which make you very self conscious. I’m sure half the problems are in your heads, but if they are bothering you, read on. You can help yourself, by making sure you fake tan your feet in the first place – look back at my articles last year.  I haven’t got hours to tan myself, but I do have 2 mins in the morning to slap a bit of tinted moisturiser on my feet and legs, and this will build up over a few days, preventing streaky marks if you accidently got it wrong one day, when you were half asleep. Toenails? Can you paint them on your coffee break and let them dry under your desk? Can you do them whilst reading bedtime stories? Good luck – where there’s will, there’s a way, and pretty toes hide a multitude of sins….!!! Get back to me if you try these and they sort out your problems. I hate to think of lovely ladies with hot feet, because they hate their Mortal bodies….

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  1. Flower burst sandal. £110. Boden. Sizes 36-42. Available in silver too. If you hate your toes, then the big flower will sit comfortably over them, hiding them, but  allowing your feet to remain cool and breathable.
  2. Karen wedge heel sandal. £99.Kurt Geiger. Size 36-41. Leather upper. These reflect the 70’s trend this summer, and will look great with A-line midis and flares. Perfect if you hate your toes.

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  1. Gylda 2 gladiator heels. £180. Carvela.  Size 36-41. Upper is suedette, therefore synthetic. How fabulous if you want to hide varicose veins on your legs, and still look cool – perfect even for a wedding outfit?
  2. Back view high gladiator sandal. £435. Russell and Bromley. Size 3-8. Leather upper. Again, will hide varicose veins, but will still look sexy with a white floaty dress or shorts.

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  1. Renee ice sandal. £50. Clarks. Size 3-8 and in half sizes too. Available in tan and black too. Leather upper. If you have veins on your feet, these will hide your feet, but still look fashionable. Perfect with maxis, shorts, skinny jeans etc.
  2. Honest black high heel sandal. £85. Miss KG. Size 36-41. Suedette upper (not leather). Again a glamorous heeled sandal which will hide disguise veiny feet.

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  1. Raina ladies. £95. Duo. Size 35-42 in narrow, standard and wide fit. There is help on their website to find the best size/width for your feet. The kilting on the tongue is very on trend, and will suit shorter wider feet.
  2. Lilypad sandal. £49. Dune. Size 36-41. Also in white and blush snakeskin effect. Leather upper.The thong running ankle to toe, creates a lengthening effect, so perfect for shorter wider feet that want to look longer and slimmer.

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  1. Mesh and suede sandal. £150. Karen Millen. Size 36-41. Suede and synthetic uppers. Gorgeous heels for evening, which will help disguise ankles, if they are thicker than you’d like!
  2. Tasseled leather roman sandal. £49.99. Zara. Size 3-8. Leather upper. As these are fully adjustable with the laces, and come slightly higher up than ankles, they are perfect for disguising ankles!!

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  1. Eye candy scrappy wedge sandal. £145. Russell and Bromley. Size 3-8. Suede upper. Available in patent, glitter and dark tan. Not a crazy height heel (due to wedge) and perfect with short, dresses, and jeans. Fabulous for perfect feet!
  2. Leather ankle wrap sandals. £48. Next. size 3-9 and half sizes. Leather upper. Love these gold sandals, which will suit normal feet!!

Image consultants can’t wave a magic want to make your problems go away, but they can spend the time researching and using past experience to solve issues. This month I am running a promo to offer a 2 hour mens styling session to a lucky follower of my blog. All you have to do is subscribe, and I will draw the winning name on 19/6 so you can give the prize to your husband/dad/son.

Further reading:

Still hate sandals?: XO

10 ways to disguise ugly

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