Where can I get a clothes bargain in the sales?

sale raiil

 Can We Lesser Mortals find clothes in the sales, that we will get our wear out of, in summer?

Phew!! Christmas deco’s away, kids back at school/uni, back into a work routine….collapse. But don’t relax too soon, as the sales are on, and many retailers are now desperate to sell off old winter stock before they can bring their new spring stock in. And so they are furiously discounting, which means savvy Lesser Mortals, are getting out their credit cards, ( as they spent to much over Christmas) knowing that if they can bag a bargain now, it will save them money in the summer. In addition, they will thrive on the excitement of knowing that they have a lovely new item in the cupboard waiting for its first outing. But how do you know it’s going to be in fashion and you’ve not just wasted your money? That’s why a “fashion blog” written by an “image consultant” is so useful…..It’s realistic and only uses high street stores. And it’s current, because the consultant is always out and about in the shops.

So here are my choices for clothes which will be fashionable this summer, and many are under 50% of the original price!!!

sale KM red dress sale Reiss white dress

  1. Embroidered full circle organza skirt dress. Karen Millen. WAS £215 NOW £85!! Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean. This will suit most ladies, whatever your age, but will also flatter hourglass, pear shape and boyish figures.
  2. Jamie ivory fitted A-line dress. Reiss. WAS £179 NOW £75. sizes 6-14. Viscose, nylon and elastane mix, and can be cool hand washed. Due to the empire line shape, this will flatter apple shapes, pear shapes and boyish figures.

sale Boden pointed sling backssale zara skirt

  1. Jewelled pump. Boden. WAS £129 NOW £51 to £64 depending on size and colour (available in gold and navy and half sizes). Available in most full and half sizes 36-42. Suede upper. Don’t think of these as Christmas party – they are going to look fab with cropped jeans in summer and the pointed toe shape is bang on trend!!
  2. Maroon High waist skirt with belt. Zara. WAS £59.99 NOW £25.99. S-M but others  may be available in store. Polyester lycra mix. Waist belt and maroon colour. Skirt hems are going down, and this is a relaxed midi length which will float gently over hips and tummies. Suit most body shapes, but will lengthen your legs if you struggle with a long torso and shortish legs..

sale denim flaresale culottes Next

  1. Livier flare 0607D Jean. Diesel. WAS £110, NOW £77. Flared high waisted trousers and jeans are set to appear this summer, as trends embrace anything retro – 40’s through to 70’s! These are cotton polyester elastane mix.  sizes 24″ to 31″ waist and 30′ to 34″ leg length. Go Flare not bootcut.(bootcut is more fuddy duddy.) These flares can add curves, and balance out hippy ladies, so suits boyish, hourglass and slight pear shapes. If you are very heavy round the hip area, you’ll need a longer top.
  2. Culotte trouser. Next. WAS £25 NOW £12. Sizes 6-14. The fashion trends are towards wide leg trousers, crop trousers and culottes. Don’t be scared, they are just like skirts, but watch out for gathering round the waist if you have a large tummy. Polyester, viscose, elastane. Like an A-line skirt, these suit most body shapes.

So although you may be spent up after Christmas, it is certainly worth writing yourself a list of summer items you need, and head off to the sales, or on-line. Making a  list will stop you buying unnecessary items. If you want to book a consultation, go to my website www.vickysmithstyling. Booking a stylist, can save you money long term.


Further reading:

10 tips for fashion shopping on a budget: babble.com

11 style tips for the girl on a shoestring budget: whowhatwear

Top tips for avoiding sales frenzy: makemefabulousuk

Where can I get a nice winter coat?



 Can We Lesser Mortals find a stylish coat which suits our body shape?

Temperatures have dropped, and Lesser Mortals are feeling the need for a warmer coat, to keep their coccyx warm.( my Mum always said “wear a vest”).  It’s easy to be attracted to a cheaper fashion version, but you will only get one or two seasons wear out of them. I do think that it’s worth spending a little more money on a better quality coat, which will last longer. And we all know the first 20 seconds of some-one’s impression is the most important. What does a pilled, dirty, cheap fur trimmed coat say about your work ethic? And what will a sharp, well cut, quality coat say about your personality?  We all know the answer, but many of you will be thinking of the cost. SO this is what I do….I try on the exact size and style of the coat I want, and I sit with my finger poised on the computer keyboard, waiting for the first day they go on sale. Of course there is a risk associated, but if you heed my advice as an ‘image consultant” and have several lined up on your “want” list, then you are bound to score with one of them. And without the effort of fighting through the shops just before Christmas Day. And you don’t have to worry about returns, because you have already tried on the right size. Anyway, good luck – no-one said it was easy looking good…..!! And if it works?? Well, that’s why you follow a “fashionblog”.

Here are a few ideas I have clocked on my journeys round the High Street.

coat m and s top heavy 31017527_GO


  1. Collared neck overcoat. £85. Marks and Spencers Collection. Sizes 8-22. Polyester, viscose, elastane. Dry clean only. A striking long length coat with contrast detail, which folds at the lapels, to break up the chest area, and belts in underneath to slim the overall silhouette, so suits top heavy ladies. Quite long length, so suits taller women.
  2. Double breasted wool-blend coat. Reduced to £79.99 from £119. Mango. Sizes XS to XL. Wool, polyester, polyamide, acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Trench styles really suit hourglass figures, as they accentuate the chest, waist and hips, but they can also give shape to boyish and pear shapes.

coat ted baker boyish coat coast pear coat Coast boyish?

  1. Annamae double breasted wool coat. £369. Ted Baker. Leather sleeves, and wool, polyamide, acrylic, polyester body. Dry clean only. Sizes 6-16. I love the cheerfulness of this coat, with its mix of edginess. Why fade into the background?! It is cut slightly wider over the hips, so if it’s not too baggy it will suit boyish figures, and slight pear shapes.
  2. Maddison coat. £100 reduced from £150. Coast Available in blue and black, sizes 6-18. Wool, polyamide, cashmere mix. Dry clean only. This could suit boyish figures, but the puffed shoulders, mean it will suit pear shapes too.
  3. Avenue coat. £195. Coast. Sizes 6-18. Polyester, wool, acrylic, viscose mix. Dry clean only. Faux fur trim. A fabulous glamorous coat which you shouldn’t just save for “best” as it is so classic in its cut. Would suit hourglass and boyish, but other shapes may find it suits, if their hips or shoulders aren’t too big.


coat monsoon apple grey coat Monsoon apple


  1. Phoebe boucle coat. Reduced from £99 to £69. Monsoon. Sizes 8-22, but many sizes sold out on line. Wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. This would suit apple shapes, and is a good price. Make sure it fits snuggly though, or you’ll just make yourself look enormous. Wear with a bright scarf.
  2. Elsa boucle coat. £129. Monsoon. Polyester, wool, viscose mix. Sizes 8-22, though many have sold out on line, and you may have to locate in stores. Yes – completely impractical, especially as you have to dry clean it, but there is a “wow” factor to this lovely retro styling, with three quarter sleeves and funnel neck. Probably a sale purchase, for use in drier (less dirty) weather. Suit apple shapes and boyish.

So what do you think. Let me know which is your favourite. I won’t bite and it’s great to get some interaction going. And come on ladies – be brave. A cheerful coat really gives you confidence, especially on a cold rainy January day. Don’t forget to check out We Lesser Mortals in Pinterest and Instagram. They are really easy apps to use, not much effort, and great for stalking your kids on. Don’t fight the technology…you don’t want to be that old granny who can’t internet bank!! For a one to one, or GIFT VOUCHERS, then contact me through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk.

Further reading:

Best winter coats: Telegraph on line

womens coats: The chic fashionista

8 of the best winter coats: Etsy uk blog

cool coats for autumn: give as you live



What is this “dark fairytale” fashion trend?


Can We Lesser Mortals embrace the fairy tale trend without looking like The evil witch?

The trouble with all these fashion trends, is that Lesser Mortals can start to look ridiculous if you follow them to the letter. I should imagine you’d be sick of people shouting “Oi, Little Red Riding Hood”, if you were to go shopping in a red cape. It is, however, a very wearable trend this autumn, and most of us should be able to find something floral, embellished or darkly romantic to suit us. It is a lovely feminine fashion, and if you are beginning to get older and worry you can’t rock the younger androgynous look, it is ideal. Don’t leave these items for night time – the floral dress and skirt shown  below, can be worn with a jumper and flat boots to tone them down for a saturday shopping trip. The embroidered kimono can be worn with ripped jeans and Timberland type boots. Obviously the knitwear pieces are pretty versatile for day and night, and can be worn either with skirts or trousers. Don’t be scared of fuller skirts – they can hide a multitude of sins under them, but you should avoid if you are an apple shape. Let me know what you think of this trend in the comments box.

fairy tale monsoon dress fairy dress hobbs


  1. Lorena Lace dress. £89. Monsoon. Sizes 6-22. Dry clean only. Finishing just above knee height, and with lace sleeves to either hide upper arms, or add a little extra warmth, this dress will suit most age groups, and won’t drown petite ladies either. Suits pear and boyish shapes best.
  2. Invitation Guildhall dress. £189. Hobbs. Sizes 8-18. Viscose rayon, silk mix. Dry clean only. It finishes flatteringly at knee level, so if you have heavy legs, this is the right style for you. The flowing skirt will skim over bigger hips, and the narrow waist highlights your curves. It won’t suit you if you are too busty. Suits boyish, pear and smaller chested hourglass ladies.

fairytale monsoon jumper fairytale jumper hobbs


  1. Marianna embellished funnel neck jumper. £69. Monsoon. Sizes 8-18 but sizes 20 & 22 out of stock on line. Viscose, polyamide, wool, alpaca. Machine washable. Will suit most body shoes, but would particularly flatter pear shapes.
  2. NW3 Evelyn sweater. £69. Hobbs. Sizes XS-L (6-16). Cotton, lyocell, wool mix. Hand washable. This slim fitting jumper would suit pear and boyish shapes best.

fairy tale top shop kimonofairy tale ted baker skirt fairy tale top ph 8


  1. Embroidered velvet kimono. £68. Top Shop. Sizes 4-16. Machine washable. 100% polyester. These kimono jackets are really easy to wear whatever your size and shape. Your arms and hips are covered, and you can dress up or down, day or night. Suits any body shape, but will flatter apple shapes and larger busted ladies.
  2. Genna blooms of enchantment skirt. £179. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. Outer is 100% silk. Dry clean only. The contrast coloured waistband and full skirt are screaming out for 50’s hourglass shapes to wear. Wear formally at night, or rock it up with a leather jacket, black ankle boots, and opaque tights.
  3. Steph floral Sequin jumper. £79. Phase Eight. Sizes XS-L. Viscose nylon. Hand washable. Comes to hip level on 5’10 model. A good evening wear piece for wearing with smart skinnies, or a pencil skirt. Covers upper arms, and would suit boyish figures and apples shapes.

fairytale shoes boden fairy tale bag monsoon


  1. Jewelled pump. £129. Boden. Available in half sizes from 36 to 42. These are suede with leather liner and sole. If you don’t like heels, these are your “must” for Christmas parties. Available in god, navy and black. May make your feet look longer, so good for wide feet, less good if you already have overly long feet already.
  2. Morocco suede embellished bag. £59. Monsoon. Suede outer. 20cm x 30cm. Popper fastening.

It’s nice to see a fashion that flatters normal body shapes, and is more feminine, which I think suit more mature women. Let me know what you think, or if you fancy a session with me, Vicky Smith Styling, you can ask for vouchers for Christmas too!!

How do I wear white this Summer 2014?

Can We Lesser Mortals really wear white and not look…….inappropriate?


White is always in…. out……shake it all about, but Lesser Mortals have lots of dilemmas – Will my pants show through?(you’d be surprised…) Will I get ketchup on the them? Am I too pale to wear white? Who am I kidding that I am pure and innocent….? This year, it is fashionable to wear white and white and white-altogether.

As I always say, the fashionistas in London can get away with a lot, but you try trotting round Asda with white stilettos, white handbag and a white dress, and we all know who will have the last laugh. My advice would be to take hints of the trend – maybe add the white shoes/sandals at night time to get the whole look. (And yes, I know white shoes used to be tarty, but they are very on trend this year. They are very retro -think 60’s. Maybe a kitten heel rather than stiletto? And white sandals do go with everything). White jeans are easy to get hold of, so I haven’t looked at those. And be careful with white linen trousers – they can look like a dogs dinner. (and you do tend to see a lot of older ladies in them…….) Add a bright or dark cardi which you can stick on and button up when you are eating – it will save a lot of soaking when you get home……

Did I mention my other pet hate is cheap white polyester nylon. Just don’t do it. It needs to look luxurious and silk like.

cream all saints top cream next vest top cream top Jasper conran debenhams

  1. Amarro top – All Saints. £98. Sizes 4-14. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. A bit pricey, but may be on sale soon. The back is lower than the front. Suits apple shapes and anyone who wants to hide anything. The model is 5’11 so it will be VERY long on smaller ladies. Team with white skinnies for the full on “look”.
  2. Cream woven cami. Next £12. sizes 6-18. Bigger sizes sold out on line. A variety of comments on this being see through or static, but I thought it looked quite good for £12. Maybe it is just ok for under jackets. Suits anyone really-unless you have problem with your bra straps showing – lots of larger busted ladies wear co-ordinating coloured bras under strappy tops, or ones with see through straps.
  3. Ivory high neck top. J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams. £32. Sizes 8-20. Features a zip fastening at the back. A lovely silky feeling top for not a bad price. Best on boyish figures and pear shapes – depending on what they team it with.

cream linen jacket m and scream broderie dress jasper conrancream lace dress reiss

  1. Linen blend blazer Marks and Spencers.. £75 reduced to £50. sizes 8-22 regular length only. A lovely jacket at an affordable price. Chuck it on instead of a cardi. Suits most body shapes – apart from apple. To rock the “look”- wear with white skinnies, and heels.
  2. White broderie dress. J by jasper Conran at Debenhams. I was really surprised how nice this was. 100% cotton and machine washable. Has a side zip. This would suit hourglass, boyish and pear shapes. The length appeals to trendy younger ladies or more demure older ladies!! Go 50’s with coloured flat pumps, or rock it up with a black leather jacket.
  3. Jennifer white lace fit and flare. Reiss. £155. 100% cotton. Dry clean only. sizes 4-16. Would suit pear shapes and boyish, and perfect if you dislike your upper arms, or going to an event that require decorum. Model is 5’11 so will be longer on normal heights.

cream jigsaw bomber jktcream tommy hill sandals

  1. Cream silk bomber jacket. Jigsaw. £149. Sizes S – L. A delicate jacket but great quality. Available in black, fuchsia, pale blue , and coral, as well as cream. Dry clean only. Suit most body shapes.
  2. Emery 54D wedge sandals. Tommy Hillfiger at House of Fraser. £85. Leather and synthetic fabrics. They have run out on line. But available in stores.

If you like what you have seen, please take a look at my website or give me a call or text on 07976 635518

I would love any comments you would like to make – fill in the reply box underneath.

Further reading:

reiss blog: Wearing white SS14 trend

40plus style : the perfect asymmetrical white dress

instyle: what to wear with your little white dress.

whowhatwear: 10 stylish ways to wear white

Favulous Fashion Fix : how to wear the white dress this spring……..see – they do wear black opaque tights with white dresses!!


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