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

6 chic tweed styles you have to see!

tweed 2016 pradatweed 2016 chaneltweed 2016 miu miutweed 2016 chanel 2

Tweed images, courtesy of and PradaChanelMiu Miu & Chanel

 Lesser Mortals – do we need a nice bit of tweed?!

Tweed can be a marmite trend can’t it?  Lots of ladies are worried it’s going to make them look like a granny, especially if you are in your late 40’s and 50’s. But that’s part of the “look” really – a bit of geek chic, embracing a touch of retro. I think any age can get away with a tweed coat without too much difficulty. A tweed Jackie O style jacket is pretty timeless, and will work well with this summer’s high waisted flared trousers/jeans,  To wear in a modern way,  tweed garments can be co-ordinated with graphic patterns, big sleeves or ruffles and shiny metallics (all on trend this summer). I’m pretty sure Miss Marple never wore anything like that!! So give tweed a chance, and have a gander at the suggestions below!!

tweed biker coat warehousetweed top Zara

  1. Textured raw edge biker coat. £95. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Polyester, wool, acrylic, viscose mix. Dry clean only. This will suit most body shapes.
  2. Tweed top £29.99 Zara Size XS-L  Acrylic, polyester, viscose, cotton mix. This is a very boxy shape, so not good for busty women. It will be better on boyish and pear shapes.

tweed shift FCUKtweed KM dress

  1. Riviera tweed tunic dress. £150. French Connection. Size 6-16. Polyester cotton mix. Dry clean only. This will suit boyish and apple shapes best.
  2. Fit and flare strip tweed dress. £180. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester mix. Dry clean only. This cunningly patterned dress creates curves, but it won’t fit big busted ladies. Boyish and pear shapes, will be able to wear this.

tweed pencil skirt Nexttweed 2016 trousers top shop

  1. Navy textured skirt. £28. Next.  Size 6-22 in petite, reg and tall sizes. Polyester viscose mix. Machine washable. This style has a slight A line to it. Depending on the size you buy, this could sit on your waist or hips, but will still suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass best.
  2. Check peg trousers. £40. Top shop. Size 4-14. Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. The peg shape will give a bit of volume to hip areas, so these will suit boyish and top heavy ladies best.

tweed 2016 shorts and jackt zara

  1. Checked bermuda short £19.99 Zara. Size XS-L Polyester elastane mix.  Machine washable.  These high waisted  shorts are going to suit boyish, top heavy and hourglass. They are quite tight on the thigh, so will not fit if you have thicker legs.
  2. Short blazer. £49.99. Zara Size XS-L Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. This stylish jacket will suit boyish best, but pear shapes and hourglass can wear, depending on what bottoms they choose to pair them with. The boxy shape will make big boobs, look bigger.

I have to say, I quite like the peg trousers ( a real blast from the 80’s past) and the Zara top. What about you? Still not convinced? I Think it is very smart and classic if you are that kind of gal, but if you are more “out there” than it can also be a real fashion statement. If you fancy a one to one with me, then contact me through my website Vicky Smith Styling

Further reading: 

Modern ways to wear the Chanel jacket: the zoe report

Modern ways to wear Chanel tweed: Buggyblog

11 ways to wear tweed without looking conservative: whowhatwear

8 ways to wear tweed without looking lie your grandma: oprah

5 ways with springs must-have jacket: popsugar

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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What shorts are there this summer?

Can a Lesser mortal wear shorts and not look like Miss Trunchbull?

OMG you say! Shorts – you’ve got to be kidding…..! At my age, with my varicose veins, hairy legs, nobbly knees etc??? What are you – nuts? Yes, Lesser Mortals, they are a real possibility for the summer, and I don’t mean, the really knackered pair you wear to do the garden, nor the ridiculously short pair you wear on the beach in Greece. I mean proper stylish, going round town shorts. European ladies of many ages have been sporting this look for a long time (obviously weather driven) but we do seem averse to shorts over here. I’m not sure I see the problem, since most of us wear skirts. Are tailored short shorts any different to mini skirts? Are tailored knee shorts any different to pencil skirts? Are culottes any different to longer length gathered skirts? ( see my Facebook page to see me in culottes). The main focus for me, is leg prep. Obviously – hair removal is a must. I’m afraid I am a Lesser Mortal who doesn’t bronze and who is unbelievably lazy, so doesn’t spend hours fake tanning. What I do do, however, is use a moisturiser with fake tan built in. I like these because…1) it takes me about 3 mins every morning to slap it on 2) if I make a mistake and it’s gone a bit dark around my knees, I can scrub with a flannel and hey presto, back to normal. 3) I don’t have to spend hours buffing and moisturising beforehand 4) it is more subtle on my pilly wally skin 5) I don’t think I smell like a biscuit – at least no-one has offered to dunk me. It goes without saying to blot with a towel after showering, rather than rub, or you rub it all off.

My other essential point to not looking like a boy scout, is your footwear. Worn with crocs…well what can I say? Also Jesus sandals, converses, flip-flops are all fine for a casual look, but not the stylish urban look we should aim for. I think a heel can really up the style stakes. It doesn’t have to be ridiculously high – a kitten heel will make a statement.

Having spent many happy hours researching shorts for you…another subtle point is length of short and how wide the leg is. I bought some knee shorts recently and felt odd in them. Once I turned them up 2 cm, they worked really well. The crucial point is where they stop over your knee – I found just above the knee to be perfect. If you hate your knees, a crop trouser is probably better. Also, if the legs are really wide and baggy, I think they look less chic.

shorts Karen Millenshorts Jigsawwhistles-painted-linen-stripe-bermuda-multi_04


  1. Tailored cotton bermuda short. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Cotton, elastane, viscose. Dry clean only. These are slightly lower waisted, so perfect for boyish figures, or apples with wider waists.
  2. Cotton stretch sateen short. Jigsaw. £98. Cotton elastane mix. sizes 8-14. Low on sizes on line. Machine washable. Slightly wider around the leg, so suits  pear shapes.
  3. Painted linen stripe bermuda short. Whistles £125. Tencel linen mix. Dry clean only. sizes 4-16. Again the model will be quite tall here, but this style will suit top heavy ladies with long legs.

shorts whistles side leg shorts Next creamShorts Zara tropical print


  1. Belted wide leg shorts. Whistles. £195. Triacetate and nylon. Sizes 4-16. Sizes limited on line. Dry clean only. These will carry on into winter, to wear with knee boots, so a great buy. Suits pear shape and hourglass. Will add curves to boyish figures.
  2. Full pleated shorts. Next. £35. Sizes 6-18. Cotton, nylon, elastane mix. These pleats will open over hips to give an A-line appearance, so suit pear shapes. Avoid if you have a belly, as the pleats will accentuate.
  3. High waisted printed shorts. Zara. Reduced to £22.99. Sizes xs-l. Cotton elastane, machine washable. Perfect for hourglass and top heavy ladies with long lean legs.

Notice how all the city shorts are styled with heels. If you are not comfortable with heels, go for more of a low wedge, to give the illusion of heels. Don’t be afraid to take your shorts up slightly as most of these photos will be taken on very tall models.

Let me know your views and whether this has changed your opinion of shorts now (via the speech bubble near the top headings). I shall be showing myself in various shorts on my Facebook page, over the next week or two.

Further reading:

city shorts 3 ways: Debenham’s blog

5 best city shorts: All about you.

How to wear shorts with short stumpy legs: the chic fashionista

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