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

Arm Candy you can’t do without!

totes michael Kors

Can We Lesser Mortals find eye catching Arm Candy to blow your socks off??

Two weeks ago I told you that you have 30 seconds to create the right impression. So you got the coat- right? But did you think about what bag to carry? It crushes the impression you give, if you have a scuffed knackered old shopper on your arm.  Any old person can buy a black or navy bag so I thought I’d tickle your taste buds with some super stylish Arm Candy, that’ll have you drooling into your prosecco. Cut all the rubbish about only dressing for yourself – it’s a dog eat dog world out there, and you want to be armed with the best weapons – so Ladies – I am arming you (ok – pun intended) with totes that’ll flatten the opposition!

Enjoy – and let me know which you fancied!!

tote jigsaw totes karen millen

  1. Sophia cream leather tote. £198. Jigsaw. Nubuck leather with polished metal handles, and compartment inside. “Tote-ally” gorgeous!
  2. Perforated bucket bag. £99. Karen Millen. 100% polyurethane. Swing pocket inside and contrast fabric underlay. Fantastic bag for work and looking chic at weekends.

tote boden totes superdry

  1. Berkeley zip bag. Currently reduced to £143.10 Boden 100% leather -the cowhide pattern is printed on. Comes with dust bag cover. Available in 3 other colours. You may have to dress demurely for work, but does your bag have to conform?
  2. Taka tote bag. £44.99. Super dry  100% polyester. How funky is this bag for the weekend?

tote next berry bagtotes mint velvet

  1. Berry suede bucket bag. £52. Next 100% leather and available in black and khaki. Fabulous price point from Next.
  2. Gunmetal leather shopper. £119. Mint Velvet. and JohnLewis. 100% leather – a funky distressed leather bag for a modern casual look.

So what do you think ladies? If you can’t justify a purchase now then stick it on your birthday or Christmas list. Yes – I have started mine ( my kids have, so why shouldn’t I?). Remember the size of bag you carry is dependent on your size and shape, so if you need help, then you can book me or any other image consultant for advice. Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

Designer handbag reviews: PurseBlog

Top 10 fashion blogger It bags: Cocorosa

Best handbags on the high street: Cosmopolitan



9 Striking ways to wear stripes this summer

stripes Balmain

Can we lesser mortals wear stripes without looking like a circus marquee??

Lots of people are afraid of stripes, in case they draw too much attention to themselves. Using my strengths as an “image consultant”, on a previous post on Jan 16th, we looked at how prints and patterns on garments can change the perceived proportions of your body to your advantage. Well, so can stripes. Garments with stripes on don’t have to be garish and in your face, but when they are bold, they can have a striking impact on your appearance. Still, if it’s all too much for you, you could always try a tonal stripe. I’ve lined(!!) some suggestions up to wet your appetite.

stripe dress copies

  1.  Jude stripe dress. £99. Phase eight. sizes 6-18. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Perfect for hourglass.
  2. Blue and white stripe dress. £50. Next. Size 6-22. Cotton mix. This adds width over your hips to balance out busty women, (but comments on Next website are: that it is reasonably short, so you’ll need to be petite or have nice legs!!)
  3. Stripe fit and flare dress. £45. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The flirty skirt makes this great for pear shapes.

stripe top trs & jkt

  1. Striped wide leg trousers. £50. Next. Sizes 6-22 in reg, long and ex-long. 100% polyester. Although polyester, these may be ideal for holidays because they don’t crease, and will dry quickly, if you are prone to sweating. Perfect if you want to lengthen your legs. Good for pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Stripe V neck woven cami. £12-£20. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester. Will suit boyish, and apple shapes, and if your chest isn’t too big.
  3. Stripe casual jacket. £149. Jigsaw. Size 8-14. A brilliant jacket for creating an impression without much effort. Cotton, acrylic, polyamide mix. Dry clean only. Will suit pear shaped and boyish best.

copy stripe shoes:dress

  1. Stripes satin dress. £59.99. Mango. Size 6-14. Acetate viscose mix. Dry clean only. Will suit boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Aubrey stripe high heel. £80. Miss KG. Size 3-8. Will suit feet that want to  look smaller.
  3. Ellie May stripe dress. £150. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This will suit boyish and pear shapes.

I hope these stripes have got you in the mood for some confident dressing. If you aren’t sure what suits you, or what colours to wear, a “personal stylist” can help to give you confidence. I work as a personal stylist, as well as blogging, and you can contact me here in the contact section of my website.

Further reading:

7 ways to wear stripes and make them work: all women stalk

10 ways to wear stripes on stripes: the glitter guide

The right stripes for your figure type: Hubpages

8 of the best ways to wear stripes this season: all women stalk

Is pink a good colour to wear this spring?

Can We Lesser Mortals, whatever our age, wear pink without looking like Barbie?

Pink is hardly a top fashion colour, as some men and women like to wear pink all the time, irrelevant of season or fashion. And why, because it’s Valentines Day soon, do we have to wear red or pink…???Still, if it suit you, why not? Even as an “image consultant” I do like a nice bit of pink, and it doesn’t have to be girly girly, nor does it have to make you look like you are 8 years old. You can buy leather and suede in pink, and if you accessorise with edgier pieces you can get a more urban, androgynous look. If you like being a retro chick, then candy pastel pink is your 60’s “go to” pink. Imagine the bag pictured below with a sharp work suit, and I don’t think you would say it was girly. Maybe it’s just a highlight with your jeans – Scarf? Belt? And don’t just dismiss pink out of hand…there are so many shades from bubblegum pink to pale candy pinks – one of them will work for you. You can get your”colour analysis” done if you are unsure, and this will help you work out which shade suits you best. Below are some high street versions I’ve seen in the shops this week. Let me know your favourite.

pink coat m and s 2 pink shoes boden

  1. Button safe Dolly overcoat. £59. Marks and Spencers: Sizes 8-22. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. M and S actually do 4 pink coats, all of which are different shades of pink, and one is a petite size range. All look to be a straight fit, but this one actually flares slightly over the hips, so will fit slight pear shapes as well as boyish shapes.
  2. Millie sling back. £99. Boden. Half sizes available from 36-42. They have some great reviews, and are available in blue, green, pewter, pale pink and black. The heel size means these are easy to walk in and I can see these working in a formal office environment with a dark suit, as well as with a sixties pencil skirt, fifties flared skirt or modern skinny jeans.

Pink lk bennet Jenna Bucket Bag pink jean karen millen

  1. Jenna bucket bag. £450. LK Bennet. Available in power pink as well as white, turquoise and navy. If you find wearing pink clothes too much, what’s not to love about this bag? As mentioned above, it’ll look great with suits or casually.
  2. Subtle floral skinny jean: £90. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Elastane, polyester cotton mix. Pale jeans are always in, in summer, so either totally 60’s these up with other candy colours, or make modern with converses and deeper shades. You can even glam them up with a leather jacket. Will suit boyish or top heavy ladies with slim legs.

pink dress phase eightpink ph 8 top

  1. Avalina fit and flare dress. £179. Phase Eight. Size 6-20. 100% nylon and machine washable. It is quite high waisted, so some ladies with tummies may find this suits them. It will be best on pear shapes, but hourglass and boyish may find it suits them too.
  2. Therese split back blouse. £69. Phase Eight. Silk overlay with viscose elastane lining.Hand washable. Size 8-18. A more delicate shade of pink this time. Suits boyish best, but other shapes can get away with if brighter bottoms, or worn with a necklace.

Hopefully this has made you re-think pink. I’d love to know which you like best. If you are in the midlands and want to book a one to one, then contact me through Facebook or my website

Further reading:

street style ways to wear pink coats: all women stalk

How to wear the hot pink trend:

11 ways to wear kitten heels: Le fashion

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