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

10 leopard prints to make you purr.


Images of Leopard Prints, courtesy of Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, D and G  and Kenzo

Can We Lesser Mortals wear leopard prints without looking like we’ve been taxidermied?

The mercury is dropping, and Lesser Mortals everywhere are vacuum packing their Ibiza outfits away, dusting mothballs out of their cashmere blend knitwear and starting to plan their show stopping outfits for the next 6 months. So what will it be? A puffy meringue parka? Crusty old tweed twinsets? Rich, full of flavour velvets,  or are you going to sizzle sexiness in this season’s Leopard Prints?

Are leopard prints like marmite, or can they appeal to everyone? In terms of what personality you have – leopard prints can be translated into girly Mary Jane Shoes, urban ankle boots, floaty seventies gossamer maxi dresses, hard core T shirts and skinny jeans.If beige isn’t your colour, don’t wear it next to your face.  Choose shoes or bottoms, or go for another colour of leopard print, like those items shown below. It’s often regarded as a non colour, making it easy to blend with any other colour, from reds through to greens and blues. If you’re worried it isn’t age appropriate, remember to just give a little nod in the fashion direction, and stick to a belt, bag or shoes What’s good enough for the PM, is good enough for me!!

So go on……Roar don’t Growl – Keep it quality, and Keep it fake. We don’t need too many Bette Lynches out there.

Click the link to see my “3 ways to wear a leopard print jacket.


  1. Grey Gemma wool coat. £249. Hobbs. Size 6-18. Wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. Most shapes can get away with this coat, but it will be more flattering on boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Animal print formal T shirt. £28. Oasis Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Best for pear shapes and  boyish shapes.


  1. Biba printed leopard jumper. £65. House of Fraser  Size XS to XL. Nylon, viscose cotton mix. machine washable. The V neck flatters bigger chested ladies and hourglass best.
  2. Leopard print wrap midi dress. £59. Top Shop. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Available in tall, petite, and maternity sizes. The variety of dress fits on offer, means this dress suits most body shapes, but the low cut neck won’t complement flatter chester chested ladies.


  1. Ruffle animal long sleeve blouse. £34. TopShop Size 4-16. Also available in a black and white animal print and in petite sizes. Polyester and metallic mix. Machine washable. Best for boyish, pear shapes and flatter chests.
  2. Snow leopard flock skinny jean. £80. French connection. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suitable for those who can normally wear skinny jeans.


  1. Animal print pleated skirt. £35. M and S . Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Pleat midi skirts are EVERYWHERE this autumn. This style suits boyish, hourglass and large chested women.
  2. Leopard pony belt. £22. Top Shop.  Size XS-L 100% leather. If leopard is too much for you….use this belt to just add a hint of pattern on your jeans, trousers, skirts, or over a jumper, to show you are on trend.


  1. Graduate slingback shoe. £56. Top Shop. I love that fact these shoes have an “on trend” cuban heel, are leopard print and have a slingback. Fantastic with bare legs or opaque tights, and with skinny jeans and wide leg trousers.
  2. Snow leopard drawstring bag. £199. Boden. Printed cowhide. This gorgeous bag will add a bit of style to a work outfit that needs to be demure and plain. And it’ll instantly make your jeans and overcoat look more eye catching.

So I hope these leopard print designs have inspired you to take a risk and try some on. Animal print is a classic design, which goes in and out of fashion, but will always be around long term. If you have to wear a uniform or strict dress code, then a bag or shoes can be a great way to express your inner tiger mum!!

Further reading:

style tips on how to wear leopard print blouses and shirts:

Celebrity style wearing animal print: whowhatwear

9 ways to wear leopard print coat:

3 ways to wer leopard coat: fashion slave

how to wear animal prints: fashion fix

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



7 fabulous cosy winter coats

coats vogue moncler

Vogue catwalk collections

Can We Lesser Mortals find a cosy winter coat that won’t look like the Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace?

It’s not cold enough yet to need a thick winter coat, but it’s getting close enough to be thinking about it. And as always, you have a choice……You can miss most of the cold winter weather and wait for the sales to buy your coat, with no guarantee of getting the one that you had your eye on, OR buy one now, and feel stylish the whole winter. Apparently, people make a judgement about you within the first 30 seconds of you meeting. So what coat you wear, could be very important, and a shabby worn out one, is not going to make a good impression. Here’s a quote I found from Coco Chanel…

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
― Coco Chanel

So I had a quick look at the High Street, and found these gorgeous, stylish coats. If you want to stand out in a crowd – go for a colour or pattern. After all – you may have to be demure for work, but surely you can pack punch on the way there? And a good coat, can hide a multitude of sins underneath!!!

What’s your favourite? I can’t choose between the black and white check from Karen Millen , and the red tartan one from Top Shop.

coats boyish karen millencoat tops shop

  1. Wool checked trench coat. £350. Karen Millen. sizes 6-16. Wool, polyester, acrylic mix. Dry clean only. How stylish is this? With its nipped in waist and wide open collar, this will suit most body shapes, but especially flattering for hourglass and pear shapes.
  2. Double breasted checked vinyl coat.£89. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Acrylic, Wool, Polyester, Silk, Nylon, & Other Fibres. Dry clean only. I TOTALLY love this coat!! And it will suit boyish figures.

coats apple marks and spencers coats pear karen millen

  1. Open front textured wool coat. £99. Marks and Spencer’s. Size 6-22. No info on fabric or care, but it is lined. The lovely bold piping down the front of this coat, makes it perfect for apple shapes.
  2. Wool longline camel trenchcoat. £350. Karen Millen. Size 6-16.Wool & Polyamide. Lining: 100.0% Viscose. Dry clean only. The wide open neck means this will suit larger chested ladies and pear shapes, but you need to be tall to carry this off.

coats apple ben de lisi coats strawb coast coats hourglass? Oasis

  1. Dark red military coat. Principles by Ben De Lisi at Debenhams. Was £99 reduced to £79. Size 8-20 and in petite sizes. Polyester, viscose, elastane. Machine washable. With the higher waist band, epaulettes and A line skirt giving shape, this will work for boyish, apple and pear shapes.
  2. Innsbruck pea coat. Coast at Debenhams. was £195, now £156. Size 6-18. wool; polyamide;cashmere. Dry clean only. The bell sleeves on this coat, add volume over your hips, so is best suited for top heavy ladies.
  3. Purple Amy clean belt coat. £98. Oasis at Next. Size XS to L. polyester viscose & elastane. I’d guess this could be washable. The shawl collar adds bulk to your top half, making this idea for pear shapes.

Hope this has got you chomping at the bit for a bit of cold weather, so you can wear your coat!! If you live in the Midlands, and would like a one to one session with me, go to my website VickySmithStyling

Further reading:

How fashion bloggers wear and style coats. fabfashionfix

12 bloggers with the best cold weather style: whowhatwear

Winter coats street style. ellle

9 street style ways to wear a pink coat: allwomenstalk

7 Canny ways to wear Khaki

khaki marc jacobs

Photo courtesy of

Can We Lesser Mortals wear khaki without looking like G. I. Jane?

Many Lesser Mortals are immediately going to switch off as soon as they read the word “khaki”. Trust me…it is a fantastic neutral colour which works really well with brighter colours like red, fuchsia, gold, orange, white etc – all of which I am sure you have worn?? Yes?? No?? So think of khaki as a handy neutral to provide a background for your highlight colours.

If you are lucky enough to have an olive skin, or a complexion which suits khaki, then brill – this is your season. However, if khaki doesn’t suit your skin tone, then use it for skirts and trousers. If you have kids and spend your time crawling round on your hands and knees, then it won’t show the dirt.(hurrah). And if you like drawing attention up to your top half, then khaki is the ultimate compliment for your favourite colours.

khaki crop jacket Next khaki beaded T karen millen


  1. Khaki cropped utility jacket. £38. Next. Size 6-22. Regular and petite. 100% cotton. A nice casual jacket for chucking on over jeans, or a maxi dress. Will suit most body shapes, but if worn done up, the big pockets will accentuate a large bust.
  2. Beaded jersey cami. £75. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% viscose. Machine washable. As the straps are quite flimsy, this will suit boyish figures best.

khaki trousers Zara khaki trousers next

  1. Camouflage cigarette jeans. £39.99. Zara Size 6-14. Cotton elastane mix. Washable. Mid rise. These will look fantastic with a bright top, and a pair of heels. Suit boyish and top heavy ladies best.
  2. Khaki geo harem pants. £22. Next. Size 6-22 regular and petite. Viscose elastane mix. Lovely loose fitting trousers, ideal for hot days. Wear dressed up with heels too, for an evening look. The looser fit at the top near the waistband will balance up larger chests. So suits boyish and top heavy best. Hourglass and pear may get away with too.

khaki skater dress Oasis khaki dress all saints

  1. D ring skater dress. £45. Oasis. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Machine washable. More of an every day or work dress. Will suit hourglass, boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Alize Ly dress. £118. All Saints. Size 4-14. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Loose and floaty for day or evening. Wear with bright accessories and heels for evening. Maybe orange or red? (see my Pinterest) Suit apple, boyish best, but you could belt in, for hourglass shapes.

khaki shoe karen millen

  1. Suede peep toe espadrille wedge sandal. £130. Karen Millen. Size 36-41. 100% leather upper. The wedge means they aren’t too high, and the peep toes will look lovely with bright toenails.

I like to try and push Mortal’s comfort zones, so give khaki a try – it will look fabulous in the summer with bright colours to co-ordinate, with or without a tan. If you think you would benefit from having your colours analysed, get in touch here. Next week, check out my 3 ways to wear, to see how I style khaki trousers.

Further reading:

6 easy ways to wear camouflage trousers:

8 new way to wear olive green:

5 ways to wear olive pants this summer: Bridgette Raes.

3 ways to wear khaki green: OPSH

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