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


Bras & pants that promise to bedazzle!

Images of bras & pants courtesy of Alberta ferretiJohn Galliano,  Carven and Paco Rabanne

Can We Lesser Mortals find lovely bras & pants & not look like 50 Shades of Grey?

So its February. ☔️ Still not feeling motivated to go shopping? Me neither. I’ve bought all the sale stuff I fancy, but I’m nowhere near motivated to buy any summer stuff yet. Consequently, now is a  good time to go through all your underwear drawers and chuck out any bras & pants which are old and need replacing.

Why spend on something you can’t see?

Bras & pants are sorely neglected as it isn’t something which gets seen very often, and frankly, you kind of resent spending money on. As much as that is the case, I would say, that you feel unbelievably more confident, sexy, & powerful with a really nice set of undies on. I got some silk PJ’s from Xmas and I still feel satisfyingly indulgent when I put them on. And why not! We all deserve a little pampering.

What should go?

Any bras & pants which are grey(!!) but should be white, any bra which is on it’s tightest setting but you can pull a few inches away from your back, any bra which you don’t fill the cup, any bra which you over fill the cup (hello 4 boobs)

Additionally, any baggy pants, any pants you spill over the top, sides or bottom of, 😱 (remember – squeezing into pants which are too small for you, will make you look bigger than if you wore a larger size, which fits properly) any pants which are more appropriate for a hooker, any pants which are more appropriate for a toned, fit and slim body (unless you have one) and finally – fashions change.

What’s the secret to looking younger?

Keeping up with trends. Ok, you don’t need to get carried away – but anyone wearing a double breasted blazer & pearl necklace, is going to look older than someone wearing a bomber jacket ( and Mary Berry DID wear one on the Bake off) Since there has been a swing towards retro styles in clothing, & this has been carried through to bras & pants as well. Large burlesque style pants are very in vogue, and will flatter a larger lady or someone who is top heavy, whilst bras which are more longline or corset in style, can enhance  your boobs or balance out large hips.

Since loads of bras have various levels of padding, you can choose the appropriate style to compliment your assets! (RIP chicken fillets). Slight padding in a bra can give a great shape to any size chest, as well as hiding prominent nipples. (did you know in America, having your “headlights” on show can be offensive, or, considered a turn on – take you pick). Retailers are shaping up (ho ho ) to “post surgery” or non wired bras, giving a greater choice.

Additionally there is the appearance of bra-lets. These are lacy crop top style bras with no support or padding. Often, they have cross straps or lace panels at the back. Not ideal for those who were over blessed “up top”. Can you wear them whatever your age? Since there is a big trend this summer for sheer fabrics, bra-lets  may well solve the problem of what underwear to wear. Equally, leave a blouse open and flash a bit of lace.

Whilst they offer hardly any support, I suggest wearing a nude bra which will support your boobs, and then wear a bra-let over the top. If you are shy, wear the same coloured bra-let to match the sheer fabric i.e. grey bra-let with grey sheer top, black with black etc. Similarly, if you are wearing a strappy dress or top, a bra-let is ideal, as the straps are meant to be seen. No more see through bra straps or strapless bras. (see further reading below)

Matching bra & pants? Oh I think so.

Underneath is a selection of bras & pants which offer varying degrees of support. Embrace bold colours as they are designed to be seen. Don’t just stick to white and black.

After all it’s Valentines Day soon, and that’s the perfect excuse for new undies!!!👙

Good for boyish/athletic

  1. Lace plunge multiway bra. £38. House of Fraser Calvin Klein Various sizes 30 C- 36D Nylon elastane, wired, padded, moulded. Available in red, navy, black, nude. Some colours reduced.
  2. Seductive comfort thong £22  Calvin Klein Size XS to L. Only available in red at HoF
  3. Seductive Comfort hipsters. £26. Calvin Klein. Size XS-L Only red available at HoF. Some colours reduced.
  4. Guipure floral bra-lette. £18.50. Ted Baker at Debenhams Size 8-18. Polyester, elastane, polyamide mix.
  5. Guipure floral brazilian pants. £13.50. Ted Baker at Debenhams. Size 8-18 £13.50. Polyamide, polyester, elastane mix.

Good for longer bodies/broader shoulders

  1. Red Daisy Guipure non wired, non padded bra. £22. Next Size 32B-38DD. Nylon polyester elastane mix.
  2. Red Guipure high waisted pants. £14. Next Size 6-18 Nylon polyester elastane mix.
  3. Red Guipure light padded cami slip. £35. Next Size 32A – 38DD. Nylon polyester elastane mix.

Good for hourglass and big busts

  1. Rose print Phoebe longline bra. £20. Next. Size 32A- 38DD. Polyester nylon elastane mix.
  2. Rose print high waisted briefs. £12. Next. Size 6-18. Nylon polyester elastane.
  3. Rose print Phoebe DD+ balcony bra. £24. Next Size 30DD – 38G. Lightly padded bra. Nylon polyester elastane mix.

Good for pear shapes and boyish

  1. Janet Reger halterneck bra. £26. Debenhams. Size 32-36 cups A-D. Polyamide elastane mix. Underwired.
  2. Janet Reger dark lace brazilian briefs. £15. Debenhams. Size 8-18. Polyester polyamide elastane mix.
  3. Janet Reger lace bralet. £24. Debenhams. Size 8-18 Polyester polyamide elastane mix.
  4. Janet Reger lace bow Brazilian briefs. Debenhams. Size 8-18. Polyester polyamide elastane mix. Nice detail at the back.

Good post surgery with an option for larger busts

  1. Silk and lace post surgery bra. £27.50. M and S Size 32-40 A-DD depending on size. Viscose, silk, elastane, polyester mix. Full cup, non wired, padded.
  2. Silk and lace padded balcony bra. £26. M and S Size 30-40 A-E Polyester polyamide viscose elastane mix.
  3. Silk and polyester non padded bra. £26. M and S. Size 32-40 DD-G but running out of stock.
  4. Silk and lace high leg knickers £12.50. M and S Size 6-20. Polyamide silk elastane.
  5. Silk and lace brazilian knickers. £12.50 M and S Size 6-20. Polyamide silk elastane.

Good for very large busts

  1. Snake print non padded minimiser bra. £20. M and S. Size 36-40, cups C-G. Polyester polyamide elastane.
  2. Snale print brazilian pants. £12.50 M and S Size 8-20. Polyamide elastane mix.

Good for small/medium chests

  1. Lace bralet. £14.99. H and M Size 8-18, in black too. They have something similar with cup sizes and more support. This is lined, and no fasteners. Polyamide elastane.
  2. Lace backed super push up bra. £14.99. H and M. Size 32-36 A – D. Microfibre, padded and under wired.

Hoping that this has inspired you to get out of your bras & pants (!) rut and try something new!!

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear a bralet:

3 ways to wear the bralet trend: glamour

How do I wear a bralet:

underwear trends for this season you need to know about:

How to wear a high neck bralet:


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

Voluptuous Velvet you can’t do without

velvet armanivelvet chris kanevelvet puccivelvet givenchy

Photos from  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 GIFT vouchers are a great idea to ask for at Christmas.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear velvet:

How to wear lush velvet: all women stalk.

fashion bloggers wearing velvet streetstyle: todayI’mwearing

velvet:fabric of the moment: styleadvisor

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

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