7 cold shoulder styles to inspire you this summer

cut out proenzacut out Soniacut out balmaincut out kenzo

Courtesy of vogue.co.uk – Proenza Schouler, Sonia Rykiel, Balmain and Kenzo

Can We Lesser Mortals expose our shoulders with out getting the cold shoulder from our friends?

Have you been out in the shops yet? I know…it’s still really cold – but if you have, you’d be forgiven for thinking the retailers are keeping their prices down, by missing out half the fabric in their garments. Oh Ye Heathens! – it’s a new trend called “cold shoulder” or “cut out”- probably derived from some retro archive, as anything not “retro” is frankly, so last year!! It’s a great trend if you don’t like your arms much, as you can flash a bit of flesh without being too “mutton dressed as”, and so it works for most age groups, without being too tarty. The down side, is that these styles tend to draw attention to, and widen, the top half of your body. So it’s not the best style for ladies, who are already blessed in the “poitrine” department. Lesser Mortals who were at the back of the queue when boobs were dolled out, well – their cups can now overfloweth ( and yes, I did intend a weak attempt at a pun!) as these styles will broaden their chest and shoulders.

I’ve tried to find an item that would suit all body shapes (even top heavy), and I am modelling my 3 ways to wear a cold shoulder top, here. I quite like the hanky top from Top Shop, but which appeals to you? Let me know in the comments box.

cut out dress karen millencut out dress coast

  1. Stripe midi dress DY191 collection. Karen Millen. £160. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix, dry clean only.  This doesn’t have darts around the bust area, so won’t fit if you have big boobs. The stripes are slimming and there is lycra, so this will suit boyish and hourglass best. Also if you have a slight tummy, it should be slimming.
  2. Elina cold shoulder dress. £95. Coast. Size 6-18. 100% polyester, dry clean only. A much more subtle and flattering cold shoulder look for ladies that dislike their bingo wings!! A peak of the upper part of your arms instead. Best for hourglass, slight pear shape and boyish.

cut out blouse KMcut out shirt top shop

  1. Cut out shoulder blouse. £99. Karen Millen Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Due to the V neck on this blouse, bigger busted women will get away with this cut out style. Balance the shape with wide leg trousers or a full skirt underneath. Good for most body shapes.
  2. Chain print cold shoulder shirt. £40. Top Shop. Size 4-16. 100% viscose, machine washable. With just a hint of cold shoulder, this shirt will suit most body shapes, but is great for apple and top heavy ladies, who can leave it more open to break up the chest area, or belt it in to give definition.

cut out T shirt oasiscut out hanky top shop

  1. Cold shoulder stripe top/ £28.  Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This quite slim fitting top can be worn by anyone who would normally wear a T shirt, but it is best for boyish, pear and hourglass.
  2. Scarf floral cold shoulder top. £36. Top shop. 100% viscose. Machine washable. This boxy shaped top is best for boyish and pear shaped ladies.

cut out jumpser all saints

  1. Able open shoulder jumper. £128. All Saints. Size XS-L. Wool, nylon, alpaca mix. Hand washable. Also available in quart pink (muted) and black. Although it’s a jumper, lets face it, it’s not always so hot in the UK. Great with skinny jeans, this will suit apple, top heavy, and boyish best.

Would you wear this style of top? Do you think you shouldn’t wear it if you are over a certain age? I’d love your comments, and as always if you have a fashion query, put it in the comments box and I’ll get back to you.

Further reading:

The key pieces that look good on all ages: who what wear

How to wear cold shoulder tops: Audrey Salutes

Cold shoulder tops – t they’re hot: fabulous after 40

How to rock the cold shoulder look: MissMalini

Cold shoulder top + ripped jeans: Style my dreams

How to wear cut out shoulder tops this spring: fashionsy

The modern way to rock 70’s suede

suede catwalk balmainsuede catwalk coach

Photos courtesy of www.vogue.co.uk Balmain and Coach

Can We Lesser Mortals be per – SUEDE – ed  to wear suede?

How many of you were brave enough to buy leather in the last few years? Not just a timeless jacket, but a skirt, leggings. coat? Did you worry you wouldn’t get your wear out of it, and now, 3-4 years later, you’re still able wearing said item? That’s getting good Value For Money. Well, suede is set  to take over from leather this summer- in every shade possible. But if you invest, will you get your moneys worth? A jacket is a fairly safe timeless option, but what about the other choices? I would say that you can get reasonably priced 100% suede skirts on the High Street, and there are really good imitation suedette options available too. The advantage there, is that they are easy to bung in the wash if you spill your salad dressing on them, probably lighter weight, and less likely to crease in your suitcase. Still, it’s never the same as the real thing. Here I give your shopping mojo a kick in the pants, and show you what’s in the shops at the mo!

Can you wear suede whatever your age? Maybe avoid the mini skirts!! But a trench coat or long length A line skirt, is ageless. Still not convinced? Then a pair of suede ankle boots, or a suede handbag, maybe with a few tassels to show you know it’s in fashion. Remember, a small nod to fashion can knock years off your apparent age. After all, unless you’re into vintage, no-one is wearing twin set and pearls…….

suede coat mangosuede next sleeveless coat

  1. Suede trench coat. £289. Mango. Size S-L. 100% goat leather. Not washable or dry cleanable. This is a great colour, and will suit tall ladies – it can be worn open or fastened, so will suit most body shapes, but will flatter on apple shapes the worn  undone.
  2. Grey sleeveless suedette jacket. £45. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester, dry clean only. Again, this will suit most body shapes, but the vented pockets on the hips, mean you should avoid this style if you are hippy.

suede crop jacket Nextsuede shirt whistles

  1. Berry suedette pocket jacket. £50. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. A short crop jacket on regular ladies which means it will suit hourglass, pear (if worn with wide leg trousers) and boyish figures.
  2. Griffin suede leather shirt. £350. Whistles. Size XS-L. 100% leather. Dry cleanable. Don’t be put off by the short sleeves – you can get more wear by putting a jumper, or blouse on underneath. This is quite a shapeless shirt, so it can be worn undone to suit lots of body shapes, but is best on boyish figures.

suede long skirt all saintssuede long skirt warehouse

  1. Emme suede skirt £198. All Saints. Size 2-14. Colour chocolate and sand available.  100% goat leather. Dry cleanable. This is a fairly straight style, so will suit boyish, top heavy and slight pear shapes best.
  2. Burgundy suede midi skirt. £80. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Also available in a blue colour. 100% leather – dry cleanable. This A line midi shape will suit pear shape and hourglass figures best.

suede short A line skirt warehousesuede button through skirt Oasis

  1. Berry suede A line skirt. £55. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Available in teal blue too. 100% leather dry clean only. This A line shape work well on most body shapes but best for pear and hourglass.
  2. Suede button through skirt £39. Oasis. Size 6-16. In natural and black. 100% polyester, machines washable. Again this will suit most body shapes but best for pear and hourglass.

Hopefully this will tempt you to think about popping into the stores soon, to get an early lead in the fashion stakes!! You always feel so much better when you have something fresh to wear, and have a spring in your step. I can do one to one sessions in the Midlands area. If you are interested, click here

Further reading:

How to wear suede this spring: Fashion Gum

Massive trend alert – suede: the fashion tag

Patchwork suede: we wore what

Suede trench coat: fashion agony

Street style trend suede: fashion fade magazines

8 nautical styles you can’t do without this Spring!

nautical 2015 D and Gnautical 2015 armaninautical 2015 max mara

Photos thanks to Vogue.co.uk – D and G, Armani and Max Mara

Can We Lesser Mortals wear nautical styles with looking like we should be swabbing the decks?

Ahoy there me hearties!! And shiver me timbers. Welcome to fashion trends 2016, and our first look at what you can get on the High Street currently. Most stores still have about 50% sale stock. New stock is coming into store, but it is a bit mixed and sadly, a bit deja vue. However, one look which is classic, timeless and stylish, is the one embracing nautical styles. You are best not to do the whole nautical  thing, or you will look like you’re on shore leave, but there’s nothing wrong with a nice stripe jumper, sharp cut navy skirt or wide leg trousers. These nautical styles are appropriate to most ages and body shapes, and you can wear them with any primary colour, for a bit of extra “oomph”.

Enjoy, and let me know which is your favourite. I love the Navy skirt.

Nautical 2015 stripe cardinautical 2015 oasis jumper

  1. Fine knit cardigan. £14.99. H and M. size XS/S and M/L. Very long so no good if you are short! Acrylic viscose mix and machine washable. Great for tall ladies, top heavy and apple shapes.
  2. Nautical stripe knit. £38. Oasis. Size XS to L. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. With small gold buttons and clever navy side panels, this jumper shaves an inch or two off your sides. Avoid horizontal stripes if you are big busted, so this suits pear shapes and boyish best.

nautical 2015 zara crop blousenautical 2015 KM tshirt

  1. Blouse with frilled hem. £25.99. Zara. Size XS-L. 100% viscose, hand washable. Whilst the stripe broadens the you on top, the frill adds too much volume around your waist, so probably best for boyish. If you are very tall, you may get away with wearing it, even if you are pear shaped. (the frill will then sit higher than your waist line)
  2. Striped sleeveless top £50. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% cotton. Machine washable. The high neck and stripe is better for flatter chests, so best for pear shapes and boyish figures.

nautical 2015 KM skirtnautical 2015 trouser oasis

  1. Button A line Skirt £125. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane mix, dry clean only. Although described as A line, this looked quite straight to me. Will suit top heavy, boyish and if it sits high on your waist, will suit hourglass ladies too.
  2. Sailor button trousers. £45. Oasis.  Size 6-18. Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Maybe avoid a stripe top with these, or you will look like a sailor! Classic wide leg trouser, but these buttons are going to draw attention to your tummy. So best for pear shape, hour glass, boyish and top heavy – but only if your tummy isn’t too rounded. The high waist can disguise a small muffin top!

nautical 2015 boden dressnautical 2015 next dress

  1. Maggie Ottoman dress. £89.50 Boden. Size 6-22 in petite, reg and long length. Polyester cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. This is black and white, but it is also available in blue stripe, plain navy and plain black. This fit and flare style will suit pear shapes, hour glass and boyish.
  2. Navy sporty tipped tunic. £38. Next. Size 6-22, petite, reg and tall lengths. Polyester elastane mix, machine washable. This tunic is stylish, but also easy to throw on quickly. You could wear with a blazer for work, bare legs and flat pumps, or even over skinny jeans (go for a petite size if you want a shorter length). Will suit most shapes, but best for boyish and apple shapes.

So anchors away, and embrace the nautical styles in the shops. If you need help deciding your shape or sorting your wardrobe, you can book a one to one with me at www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

Sailor trousers for women: Become chic

10 ways to wear nautical stripes: makeup and beauty.com

How to wear a stripe dress: redbook


8 booty-liscious women’s boots to lust after!!

boots roberto cavalliboots givenchyboots ralphboots dior

Photos from vogue.co.uk – roberto cavalli  Givenchy, Ralph Lauren & Dior

Can We Lesser Mortals find some eye catching gorgeo-liscious women’s boots?

Who doesn’t luuurve wearing a totes gorgeous pair of women’s boots in the winter? I love wondering round shoe shops with nice quality boots on sale, and inhaling the smell of fresh leather….(ok – I might have bit of a fetish….less said the better), or lusting after a pair of coloured suede women’s boots even if I always end up with black!! I’m attracted like a magpie to heeled ankle boots…till I realise I can’t walk round town for hours in them. But maybe the January sales is a good time to “re-boot”? (ok, bad pun – been at the sherry too much)

If you’re like me however, it can be a nightmare, getting a pair to fit your calves. I’ve noticed loads of women wearing knee boots which are, quite honestly, too big for them, and look like wellies. That’s ok if you are going for a biker style, and tucking your jeans in, but not a good look if you are wearing opaque tights. I think ladies with more muscular calves struggle too, and quite often burst the zips, which is frustrating. There are a few ideas you can look at. A good cobbler can take the zip out, and take your boots in a cm or two, and that’ll cost about £25-£30. Or, and very short pair of leg warmers can fill in a little gap around your calves if worn over opaque tights. The same problem can apply to ankle boots, as some of them are designed to fit snuggly round your ankles and not gape. Ladies with wider calves may fine ankle boots solve their particular problem, and they are still a trend item, looking fab with a pencil skirt. Jones Bookmaker offer a couple of women’s boot styles with a slimmer leg option, Next also offer a wider calf fitting with their wider fit range of shoes and boots. But if you can afford it, my favourite for women’s boots, is Ted and Muffy. There are branches in London, Bath and Edinburgh, or available on line. They offer 11 different calf widths on every shoe size, so you will DEFINITELY get pair to fit you perfectly. They aren’t cheap, but they have some styles available on their Duo outlet page, for about £130. And if you have a beautiful pair of boots which fit perfectly for 5-8 years, is that better than having to buy a cheap badly fitting pair that have fallen apart, every 2-3 years?

If I have been a good girl this year I’m hoping Santa is buying either the snake print ankle boots for me, or the red suede knee boots. However, I’ve had a sneak preview of the “naughty list” and I’m not holding out much hope!! Tell me which are your favourites, in the “comments” box below. 🎅🏻 Merry Christmas to all Lesser Mortasl!! 🎁

boots duo slimboots red or dead shuh

  1. Feronia dove grey knee high boot. £275. Ted and Muffy  Size 2-10. In standard and wide fit widths on the foot. Vintaged leather look. Suit all calf widths
  2. Black rioting Rita boots. £120. Red or Dead at Schuh. Size 3-8. Available in black and tan. 100% leather with rubber sole. Suit a wider calf.

boots ted and muffy ankle slimboots Office Vagabond

  1. Medusa ankle boot. £200. Ted and Muffy  Size 2-9 with 3 foot width fittings. Snake printed leather. Suit all calf widths.
  2. Haley mid boot £120. Vagabond at Office.  Size 3-8. Suede upper. Also in black. Suit a narrower calf.

boots russel and bromleyboots office velvet

  1. Luana-dry ankle boot. £275. Russel and Bromley. Size 3-9 and half sizes. Weather resistant calf leather & snake print panel at back, padded foot bed. Available in black and navy suede. Suit medium calf widths.
  2. Ink block velvet boot. £80. Office. Size 3-8. Velvet upper. Also black, grey and tan suede. Suit slim to average calf width.

boots Next wide fitboots LK BENN

  1. Black wedge long boots. £40. Next. Size 3-9 in reg and wide foot and leg fit. made from textile uppers. Suit a wider calf width.
  2. Keri knee high suede boots. £325. LK Bennet. Size 35-42. Available in grey, blue and black too. 100% stretch suede boot. These are totally gorgeous and quite slim fitting around the calf.

I hope you liked these styles, and are ready to hit the sales with your Christmas money clutched in your sticky mitts!! If you want any help, contact me through comments, or my website VickySmithStyling.

Further reading:

27 ways to wear your favourite boots: whowhatwear

How to wear ankle boots: thefashiontag

How to wear Timberland boots: stylecaster

7 ways to wear knee boots: glamour,com

How to wear ankle booties: theeverygirl

Voluptuous Velvet you can’t do without

velvet armanivelvet chris kanevelvet puccivelvet givenchy

Photos from vogue.co.uk  feature Armani, Christopher Kane, Emilio Pucci and Givenchy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear velvet without looking like an 80’s throwback (yes – remember those Ra Ra Christmas dresses??)

How many of you Lesser Mortals have been clothes shopping recently? Well, according to the High Street, I shall expect all of you to be sitting in offices or doing your shopping in the supermarket, wearing full velvet, sequins, shiny party dresses and blinged up to the eye balls……because that’s pretty much all that’s on offer in the shops. Try and buy a normal cardi and skirt, and you’re struggling. Come on High Street???? We’re not all clubbing every night from now till the Big Man slips down the chimney! (I meant Santa) So is velvet just for parties? Tricky – it inherently looks quite smart doesn’t it? There are basically 3 types of velvet you will find. Velour is much more fluid and floaty, but can look really cheap and nasty. Velveteen, which is kind of like cord, but no ribs in the fabric. This is much more wearable day to day. And proper velvet, which has a deeper pile, and is more lush to look at. (You won’t find much of that around as it’s quite expensive)  I would say that velveteen as a jean or skirt, is quite wearable – you can add a chunky piece of knitwear and boots and it becomes a day to day look. A velveteen pencil skirt would be fine for work, with a blouse or fine gauge knitwear. Velvet boots or ankle boots would be ok for work or day wear (with plain skirts) or with jeans. I would even say a velveteen jacket would be ok for day to day, over flared jeans, skirts etc, but it would depend what colour you choose, and your style. Red velvet jackets do scream “Daddy Christmas” unless you are a boho rock chick. Be really careful with velour. It can look rather cheap and nasty when made badly, and it nearly always has a sheen, making it more “occasion” wear.

As usual, I have raked around to find some titillating velvets to tickle your taste buds. Let me know your thoughts. (polite ones please) 😜

velvet trs and jacket bodenvelvet jacket green top shop

  1. Velvet jacket £129 and trousers £69. Boden Sizes 6-22. Cotton elastane mix. Dry clean only. Available in red, black, beige and navy, so a colour to suit all skin and hair colours. It’s probably a bit much for a lot of you to wear both the jacket and trousers, but on its own, the jacket will look good over flared jeans or for the office, wear with a smart skirt of trousers. The jacket finishes at the top of your thighs, so not great for pear shaped ladies. The trousers have a low waist, so they are good for elongating your body length. However, as they are slim in shape, they are not good for hippy ladies. They will suit boyish best.
  2. Premium tux velvet jacket. £75 Topshop.  Size 4-16. Forest green colour. Polyester elastane mix- more velour looking. Dry clean only. This nips in at waist, and will suit busty women. Other body shapes will be able to wear, depending on whether you wear it fastened, and what you wear underneath.

velvet ginger dress monsoonvelvet shoes zara

  1. Ginger velvet midi dress. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Viscose silk mix. Dry clean only. Although this is an lush looking fabric, I think you could dress this down with flat knee boots, as well as wearing it for parties. Due to its high waist band, it is suitable for apple shapes & boyish, but others shapes could wear it- it just may not flatter your body shape as much.
  2. High Heeled velvet ankle boots. £59.99. Zara. Sizes 3-8. 100% polyester. These are suitable for all!! (unless you have bunions!)

velvet skirt top shopvelvet gap

  1. Embossed velvet skirt. £68. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The waistband on your waist, and is midi length. The fullness of the skirt will hide large hips so it’s good for pear shapes. It will give shape to boyish figures and compliments hourglass figures. Top heavy ladies will also suit this if worn with a fitted top.
  2. Velvet side zip pull on leggings. £39.99. Gap. US sizes 0-20 (whatever!!!!) and in tall and petite sizes. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in black, navy, grey, burgundy, forest green. Due to their stretchy nature, some hippy ladies can wear these, but they are better for boyish or top heavy and hourglass with slimmer hips.

velvet dress monsoonvelvet monsoon tunic

  1. Nicolette embellish lace velvet dress. £79. Monsoon. Size 8-22.Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in berry and black. A body con style dress, which is best on hourglass ladies, with flat tummies! Possibly suit boyish too, if you have boobs.
  2. Kalika velvet tunic dress. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix. Dry clean only. The V neck, 3/4 sleeves etc will suit apple shaped ladies best. Some boyish may like too. It can be worn over skinny jeans too.

I hope all that velvet has got you thinking. Would you wear it during the day, or do you think it’s special occasion only? If you would like a one to one session with me, see my website www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk. GIFT vouchers are a great idea to ask for at Christmas.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear velvet: Gurl.com

How to wear lush velvet: all women stalk.

fashion bloggers wearing velvet streetstyle: todayI’mwearing

velvet:fabric of the moment: styleadvisor

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