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

Summer ruffles to frill you!!

Ruffles on the catwalk, courtesy of gucci D and G Burberry and Alberta Ferretti

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish ruffles and not look like Notting Hill Carnival?

Do ruffles frill you or make you tremble with horror? The trend is very reminiscent of the 80’s ra-ra styles, and can strike fear into the bravest fashionista. Images of ladies walking with bowls of fruit on their heads spring to mind and tiered peasant skirts a la 1970’s. Consequently many Mortals recoil at the prospect of sashaying along the aisles of their local supermarket, causing a minor incident as a result of their ill advised frill ensemble.

Despite this, I do think ruffles have their use for anyone who has a disproportionate figure. The size of the frill can add volume to areas that need bulking up, hence a small bust can be enhanced with a ruffle or two, and so create an hour glass figure out of a pear shape, and tiers of fabric on a skirt, can balance out a large chest.

What size of ruffle?

Shyer ladies can choose a small frill, whilst ladies with a large personality can select a more “in your face” style, to draw attention to themselves. I prefer ruffles on the small scale, so the outfits I am sharing are more on the subtle side. Ruffles don’t have to be girly. Look at the shoes or jacket you co-ordinate them with (see wedges with jumpsuit), or avoid floral fabrics and feminine style dresses. Consequently, on the “3 ways to style a ruffle” I style some ruffle clothes casually with converses, in a retro 70’s way, and lastly as a feminine floral look. Click here to see.

Why is your favourite- let me know in the comments box, and guess which one is my favourite!

  1. Asymetric ruffle jumpsuit. £69. Warehouse.  Size 6-18. Available in pale pink and light grey. Polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.  Ruffles across the chest area, will accentuate your chest, so this is best for slight pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Ruffle spot wrap dress. £55. Top Shop  Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and generally flatter larger busts so best for hourglass, and large chests.

  1. Penelope dress. £110. Boden Size 6-22 in regular and  long length. 100% cotton. Machine washable.  Quite fitted so best for ladies who aren’t extremely curvy, like boyish or straighter hourglass ladies.
  2. Ruffle midi skirt. £42. Top Shop. Size 4-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The ruffles here can create curves, and the high waist and vertical ruffle makes legs look longer. Good for boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.

  1. Ruffle sleeve blouse. £35. Next. Navy too. Size 6-22. 100% viscose. Suitable for evening or work wear, the ruffles on the sleeve broaden your top half, so this is good for pear shapes. It will also add curves to boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Blue ruffle shirt. £28. Next.  Regular and petite, size 6-22. 100% cotton with polyester trim. The bold V decoration will break up a large chest, so this will suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

  1. Rochelle broderie off shoulder blouse. £49. Monsoon. Size S- XL. 100% viscose. Machine washable. The shape really broadens your chest and shoulder area, so this tends to suit pear shapes and hourglass, but can add curves to boyish and apple shapes, depending on what you wear on your bottom half.
  2. Metallic detail trousers. £39.99. Zara Size 6-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Clearly best for ladies with slender legs – the frill can draw attention away from larger hips, or busts, so best for boyish or top heavy. They will suit hourglass ladies too.

  1. Leather block heel ruffle sandal. £45. M and S. Available in black too. Size 3-8 including half sizes. Leather upper, regular fit. Cute little sandals with not too high a heel – perfect for the summer with skirts or crop jeans.
  2. Ruffle clutch bag. £24. Next. In black too. Polyester. Cute little nod to the frill trend without being in your face.
  3. Ruffle shoes boot. £85. Next. IN black too. Size 36-42. Leather upper, 9cm heel. Lovely with painted toe nails peeping out. Again, great with skirts or crop trousers/jeans.

Finally,  have I made you a frill seeker? I think you can see they can be worn in a subtle, and don’t need to scream Copacabana. If you want to contact me, do so in the comment box or via Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

NYFW street style ruffles: Glamour South africa

How to wear a ruffle top:

How to wear ruffles like a fashion girl: Stylecaster

Are you ready to ruffle: thefashhiontag


Summer lace you shouldn’t be straight laced about!

lace 2016 burberrylace 2016 oscar de lalace 2016 dolce & gabbanalace 2016 moncler

Photos courtesy of Burberry, Oscar de La Renta, Dolce and Gabbana and Moncler Gamme Rouge

Can We Lesser Mortals wear lace and not look like a crochet table cloth?

Lace often conjures up images of old maids in dowdy lace dresses or the primness of the Victorian era. In addition, there is the issue of cheap nylon lace looking like a net curtain which can be off putting. But times have moved on and a lot of nylon lace is quite authentic looking. When cut into an item of clothing where you can see through the lace, it can be quite a sexy summer offering. Nude linings hint at nakedness, but when manufactured into a midi length skirt, conversely suggests demureness. What a conundrum!! So below I have shown some of the many versatile ways that lace can be worn – from smart tailoring, to edgy culottes. What temptation!!

What tickles your fancy? I actually really like the Monsoon ensemble, and quite like the Boden blouse. If I hadn’t got a white midi skirt already, I  might have got the Zara culottes. Remember age is just a state of mind…..!

lace 2016 jacket KMlace 2016 zara jacket

  1. JX059 Sculptural lace jacket. £200. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Polyamide viscose mix. Dry clean. Low on stock, this is now reduced from £299 to £200. I have one from a few years ago, and it never fails to get compliments. Because this doesn’t close across the front, it will accentuate your top half, so suits pear, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Guipure Lace jacket. £59.99. Zara. Size S-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. A pretty little summer cover up, with long sleeves, this will suit most body shapes.

lace 2016 oasis dresslace 2016 next dress

  1. Limited edition lace midi dress. £150. Oasis. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Hand wash. A beautiful cobalt colour, this style will suit hourglass, and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy leaf dress. £75. Next . Size 6-22. In tall and petite as well as regular length. 100% polyester. Also available in ivory. A lovely dress, this will suit slight pear, boyish and hourglass best.

lace 2016 zara culotteslace2016 monsoon

  1. Lace culottes. £39.99. Zara. Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Now normally I hate the whole see through lace trouser thing, but maybe because these are fully lined they work… and come on ladies – culottes are not so scary are they? More like a crop trouser? Great for pear shape and hour glass ladies, but other body shapes may get away with too.
  2. Demi lace top. £49.Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix. Dry clean only. Quite a cheeky little skirt with a nude lining underneath to hint at sexy!! Described as green – I would say a lichen green colour/grey. Suits most body shapes, but not great if big chested.
  3. Demi lace skirt £69. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix, Dry clean only. What value – a skirt and top, which can be worn as separates or as an outfit. And not boring black!! Suits most body shapes, but may not suit very hippy ladies.

lace 2016 boden toplace 2016 whistles 2

  1. Floral Lace top. £89.50. Boden. Size 6-22. 100% cotton. Hand wash. In white and navy. Lots of fab comments on this top, on their website, from busty, apple shaped and slim women. Also, you can wear a clashing top under it & that will look good. Cut slightly A line, this will suit most body shapes, but beware big chested ladies.
  2. Meadow Lace top. £120. Whistles. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Described as pink but looks corally. This is best for pear and boyish, and for other body shapes, it will depend how big your chest is.
  3. Meadow skirt. £140. Whistles. Size 4-16.100% polyester. Dry clean only. The fuller skirt works on most body shapes, but won’t suit you if you have a bit of a tummy.

So do you think lace will be your “thang” this summer? It doesn’t only have to be a smart option – all these items can be dressed down with different footwear. If you’d like more ideas, you can contact me through or the comments box on this blog.

Further reading:

8 modern ways to wear white lace: whowhatwear

How to wear a lace dress: Just the design

Lace clothing at work: fashion gum

How to wear lace skirts: fashion gum

8 marvelous metallics to model this summer

metallic SS16 saint laurentmetallic SS16 isable marantmetallic SS16 viviennemetallic SS16 prada

Courtesy of – Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Vivienne Westwood and Prada

Can We Lesser Mortals wear metallics and still get through airport security?

Is it just me, or are fashions not moving on very much? I think this is the third time I have written about metallics, which just goes to show, if you listen to my advice, you’ll get quite a lot of wear from you purchases. The other thing is HOW EXPENSIVE are clothes at the moment? I hate buying cheap tat, but some of the High Street Shops are seriously expensive at the moment. Anyway, I hope I can steer you towards some wearable metallic clothes, at reasonable prices, without you looking like Jennifer Beals in her shiny Pineapple track pants break dancing in Flashdance (ok if you are too young to remember, think sweaty shiny plastic trousers) Can you wear metallics whatever your age? Well, if you look at Prada (photo above) they stick to stripes of silver in the material, without going the whole “metallic” hog. The M and S skirt below just uses threads of metallic without going  “bacofoil”. Stick to silver if you have blue tones to your skin, and stick to golds, if you have a warmer skin tone. I have shown on my “3 ways to wear” tab, how to wear a metallic T shirt. Click here to see. Or to see a metallic skirt, click here.

As for me…..I love the silver slip dress, which is ticking a lot of boxes this summer. I have already worn my silver converses to death (you should have taken my advice….!!! Don’t you hate a smarty pants??)

metallics SS16 oasis dressmetallic SS16 tunic Zara

  1. Plisse midi slip dress. £65. Oasis. Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Slip dresses are all the rage this summer and are great for summer holidays to show off a tan. This one has a tie belt, so although best for boyish, hourglass can get away with, provided not too big busted.
  2. Long pleated tunic. £25.99. Zara. Size S-L 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is half white and half silver, so not too overpowering. It is versatile enough to be good for evenings and beach wear!! Best for boyish and apple shapes.

metallic SS16 Oasis T shirtmetallic SS16 T shirt reiss

  1. Wrap back wrinkle T shirt. £30. Oasis. Size XS-L. 100% polyester, machine washable. It has interesting back detail, but is also quite shapeless. Therefore is best for boyish, and pear, although other shapes can get away with.
  2. Maison pewter knitted metallic top. £60. Reiss. Size XS-L. Viscose, metallic, elastane mix. Hand washable. With a loose fit and batwing style sleeves, this will suit boyish and pear shapes best.

metallic ss16 M and S skirtmetallic SS16 m and S cardi

  1. Metallic zigzag skirt. £49.50. The limited collection. M and S. Size 6-18. Polyester, polyamide, metallic mix. Machine washable. When you look at the photo, is it any wonder M and S is doing badly? Totally uninspiring image, but it is actually a nice skirt, building on the retro & midi length trend. Perfect for 50’s starlets!! This shape can be worn with heels or flats. Best for hourglass, top heavy, pear shapes and boyish. With all the pleats at the middle, apple shapes need to avoid!!
  2. Slim fit metallic effect cardi. £35. M and S. Size 6-18. Size 6-18. Viscose, polyamide, polyester and metallised fibres. Machine washable, Again, not very inspiring photo, but this versatile cardi will be great for summer, under jackets, or as an extra layer at night time. Best for pear, boyish, and hourglass.

metallic SS16 jigsaw trainersmetallic ss16 Boden bag

  1. Ayda leather trainers. £98. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Calf leather and rubber.  These can be worn with skirts, or jeans, and will suit anyone.
  2. Fearne slouchy metallic suede bag. £139. Boden. metallic finished suede. Suits anyone.

Hoping then, that these ideas will inspire you to try something a little different this summer. If you want more help or advice, contact me in the comments sections, or through my website, Vicky Smith Styling.


Further reading:

25 ways to wear metallic flats: stylecaster

How to wear metallic pieces: whowhatwear

How to wear metallic skirt:

Elle Mac person in metallic pants: whowhatwear

metallic trend street style: fashion gum

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



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