12 denim fashion finds daring to be different!

Denim fashions courtesy of vogue.co.uk: Caroline Herrera Philip Plein Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini  Gucci

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish modern denim and not look like a rhinestone cowboy?

Yadah, yadah, yadah…blah blah more denim, Seen it done it, and ticked the box about twenty years ago! Why should we buy more denim, when it’s been knocking around for ever and a day? Surely those old baggy bootcut jeans are fine?

Seems like fashions are always re-inventing themselves, putting a twist on an old favourite, to create a new trend. The same applies to denim. Is it just a marketing ploy?  Could be, but we all know –  getting up to date styles will help you look younger, which is always good? Right?

Denim is comfortable, hardwearing and relatively cheap. Consequently, there are now many varied styles to suit every wardrobe personality and budget,  which means you don’t have to look shabby or casual – unless that’s your bag, baby.

For busy women and Lesser Mortals who are on the go, time poor and so need hard wearing clothes which wash well, then denim ticks the box. Get the right style and cut, & denim clothes can flatter and compliment. There is every style of jean out there from skinny to flares, cropped to full length, and in every depth of shade. Remember – high waists will make your legs look longer, but can make tummies and bottoms look bigger. Low waists can show muffin tops, but will make your body look longer and your legs shorter. Skinnies can make legs look chunky, whilst flares can add curves & balance out bigger hips. seek advice if you’re not sure what suits you.

Fundamentally, if  jeans aren’t your “thing”, then denim dresses and skirts as well as jackets and blouses, can keep you looking edgy. I shan’t show you bog standard denim jackets, mini skirts and  jeans, as there are tons out there which are easy to find. Rather, I’ll tempt you with some styles which I think are a little out of the ordinary. Why run with the flock? Remember –  if it’s out of your price range but you  like it, you could keep an eye out for the sales! Some stores are already offering 20% off spring styles.

My favourite……I’m quite attracted to the jumpsuit, the biker jacket and of course – I’m a sucker for the trainers!!


  1. Izzy denim dress. £299. Jigsaw. Size 6-14. Linen cotton elastane mix. This has a voile overlay and will be cool in summer, as it is not a heavy denim material. This shape lends itself well to pear shapes.
  2. Cotton strap jumpsuit. £39. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% cotton. Machine washable. A very easy piece to wear either with converses, or a silk bomber jacket and wedge sandals to dress it up at night. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and omit the belt for slight apple shapes.
  3. Indigo sporty shirt dress. £28. Dorothy perkins. Size 6-20. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Actually, Dotty P has a variety of denim dresses & a lot are reduced now, so you can pick some up for £15. This one comes in tall length too. The will suit boyish, and possibly hourglass and pear shapes if you aren’t too curvy.
  4. Edie denim shirt dress. £110. French connection. Or House of fraser  Size 6-16. cotton elastane mix. Machine wash cold. This is probably best for boyish shapes.

  1. Mower denim slim jacket. £140. G star XXS to XL. Cotton elastane, machine washable. Styled like a biker jacket but in a dark denim, this style will suit those with smaller chests.
  2. Belted denim jacket. £145. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester elastane mix. The pockets on this will make boobs look bigger, so best for boyish and pear shapes. However, if worn open, most body shapes will get away with.

  1. Ash wide leg jean. £85. FCUK.  Size 6-16. Polyester, cotton elastane. Most jeans this summer are skinny, cropped, or ripped to bits. So these will suit pear shapes and balance out those ladies who are top heavy.
  2. Denim top £42. Top Shop. Size XS-XL.  100% cotton. Machine washable. This top has fashionable trumpet style sleeves, and an empire style bodice. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and some apple shapes, but it’s not very stretchy.

  1. Flared midi denim skirt. £39. Warehouse. Size 6-18. This is so easy to wear in the summer. Wear it with converse or wedge sandals. Perfect for most body shapes.
  2. Long denim shirt. £24.99, H and M Size 6-18. 100% lyocell. Machine washable. This would be great worn as a dress, or a beach cover up. This shape suits most, but great for apple shapes. Belt in, if you are top heavy.

  1. Asda japanese Denim trainer. £98. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Made in collaboration with Japanese mill Kuroki. These will be fab with a floaty dress, jeans or shorts.
  2. Denim crop top £25.99 Zara Size XS – L  100% cotton. Machine washable. This boxy style with puffed sleeves, will suit pear shapes and boyish best.

So push your boundaries, and grab some of the up to date denim in the shops to add a youthful edge to your wardrobe. You can email me for advice, or book me for a consultation Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear a denim jacket: gurl.com

8 do’s and font’s of double denim: Style caster

How to wear a denim shirt 21 ways: the refinery

How to style a denim dress: whowhatwear

16 fresh ways to wear a denim skirt: more.com


8 chic culottes to go crazy over

culottes Bay city rollers

Can We Lesser Mortals wear culottes this summer, and not look like we wore them first time round….

Summer is not yet upon us…even though it should be, and it’s making clothes shopping very tricky. An item which I think works in all weathers, is the culotte. Oh no, you cry – I don’t want to look like I bought them in 1970…..or worse! If I mention culottes to clients, they shudder. Is this because they don’t know how to wear them? Do they suit all body types and all age groups? Will they look ridiculous? I hope to address some of these issues and maybe give you a little fashion push.

They work a bit like a maxi dress or skirt, in that they are cooler to wear than full length trousers or jeans, but you don’t need to have tanned legs. I think you can wear them what ever age you are, but the older you are, the more classic you need to look – maybe styled with some medium heeled loafers (not completely flat) and a blazer. Also, because they are cropped, they can make you look shorter, so you need to wear a heel.  Below, I have shown the sort of look we are trying to achieve, and the sort of outfits to avoid. Click this link to see how I style my denim culottes.


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Not so stylish.

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And this is what to buy wear…if you:

Are Short:

culotte petite warehouse

Squiggle print jumpsuit. £59. Warehouse. If you are short or petite, wearing a culotte style jumpsuit with a pair of heels will make you look much taller. A stylish blazer will dress this up for work, or a leather jacket or cardi, will dress this down. Sizes 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable.

Are busty:

culottes busty ted baker 1

Forget me knot culottes. £90. Ted Baker. The floral design at the bottom draws eyes downwards, and the wide leg balances the size of a large chest. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Cool hand wash

Are unsure culottes are for you: Are tall: Have short legs:

culottes unsure NExt

Black culottes. £18. Next. What a fantastic price point, which means you can take a risk buying them, and can see how much you wear/like them, before investing in some better ones. Available in petite, regular and tall lengths. Also in brick and stone colour. Size 6-22. Viscose, polyester and elastane mix.

Want to wear to work:

culottes work ted baker 2

Manta culottes. £139. Ted baker. How stylish are these? Wear with a blazer and heels and crisp shirt, and this will be fine for any office dress code. Size 6-16. Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable at 40′

Are apple shaped and have a big tummy:

culotte apple mango

Palazzo cheeky panty. £49.99. Mango. Really sliming and stylish, these go from a size 14-26, but to complement an apple shape, you need to look at the top you wear with these culottes, and of course, if you are short, you need heels. 100% polyester. Machine washable or dry cleanable. Style up with a neat blazer, accentuating your chest area.

For a summer look:

culotte holiday Karen Millen

Cropped wide leg trouser. £110. Karen Millen. Not all culottes are white or black – you can give a summery feel to your wardrobe with these tailored culottes. Great for ladies with a warm skin tone. Size 6-16. 100% viscose. Dry clean only.

For a night out:

culotte night out whistles

Edwina print silk trouser. £175.  Whistles. This slim fitting pair of crop trousers/culottes are so classy, you could even wear them to a summer wedding if you didn’t fancy a dress. Sizes 4-16. 100% silk, dry clean only. If you are radical, there is a matching pyjama top style blouse to go with it. All the rage in London, not sure how you’ll carry that look off in Cleethorpes.

For a holiday:

culotte holiday warehouse 2

Stripe culottes. £42. Warehouse. These light weight culottes are perfect for holidays – fine with flat sandals, and this seasons off the shoulder or cold shoulder tops. I would avoid a boring T shirt with flip flops, or you may look like a granny on a British promenade. Size 6-18. polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.

So, my Lesser Mortals, do you think you could get away with a pair of culottes? They are not so scary, and as I mentioned, you can wear in winter with knee boots, and a polo neck jumper and still look totes amaze balls. If you think a one to one with me, as an Image Consultant will benefit you, then give me an email. I have had fantastic success recently with ladies who struggled to clear their wardrobes outs, and ladies who thought nothing ever fitted them. Contact me here.

Further reading:

How to wear culottes: style caster

How to wear culottes: closet full of clothes

The denim trend you are about to see everywhere: pop sugar



Summer lace you shouldn’t be straight laced about!

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

Photos courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: 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.

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  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.

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  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 www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk 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 crazy stripes you need to wear this summer!!

stripes 2016 catwalk missonistripes ss2016 catwalk tommystripes 2016 catwalk pradastripes ss2016 chanel

Photos courtesy of vogue.co.uk – Missoni, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada and Chanel

Can We Lesser Mortals wear bold stripes without looking like a pair of curtains?

It’s SO exciting at the moment – the shops are starting to fill with the new Spring styles, and that always makes me feel like spending money and updating my clothes! Is this blog your little secret for keeping in the fashion “know-how” or do you share it with your friends? Because it’s time you were all aware of the stripes trend this summer. They are in all sizes and patterns, but stripes are in the shops and in your face! Bring it on, I say. I’m sick of drab greys, navy’s and blacks, and am ready to kick some serious summer butt, with bold and bright stripes. Can anyone wear them? Well, the stripes are great for hiding imperfections – which is reassuring!! For the more faint hearted, there are stripes in the stores which are more tonal – like the blue top below, and this may appeal to the older or shy-er Lesser Mortals reading the post. I would suggest the 2 dresses will suit more mature, or less bold readers, as would the long sleeve Zara top. I would only advise this based on the fact that, as you age, your hair may go grey, and your skin paler, therefore too bold a pattern could end up wearing you. But hell – if you’re game – then go for it!!

As always, I adore something bold and bright, so my fave is the Karen Millen coat!

stripe 2016 dress warehousestripe 2016 dress oasis

  1. Chevron stripe belted dress. £35. Warehouse. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. You could choose to wear a different belt with this dress or wear it loose, so it will suit most shapes. It may not fit though if you are very big busted.
  2. The new 9-5 dress. £46. Oasis. Size XS – L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Again, you can ignore the belt, or wear one of your own choice. The diagonal stripes, and cheeky black panels at the front and sides are very slimming, so this is great for apple and boyish, but hourglass may get away with it too.

stripe 2016 karen millen coatstripe 2016 river island trousers

  1. Striped wool and cashmere coat. £299. Karen Millen Size 6-16. Wool, polyamide and cashmere blend. Specialist dry clean. This is a limited edition coat, but I think it will be a timeless item. This will suit hourglass and pear shaped best, but it may fit boyish figures too.
  2. Black stripe high waisted wide leg trousers. £40. River Island. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. These fabulous trousers are selling out quick! They will suit top heavy, hourglass, pear shape and boyish!!

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  1. Frida stripe blouse. £59. Phase eight. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. With the misleading stripes and panels, this will suit most body shapes.
  2. Striped mini skirt £19.99 and top (not available yet) Zara Size XS-L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The cute mini skirt will suit boyish and hourglass ladies. It may suit some top heavy ladies.

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  1. A line stripe dress. £29.99. Zara Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is perfect for pear shaped ladies.
  2. Cinched waist sweatshirt. £17.99. Zara Size XS-l. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This is good for apple and boyish shapes.

So are stripes for you? They appeal to both classic and adventurous women. If you want more help, you can contact me through the comments box on this blog, or through Vicky Smith Styling

Further reading:

Stripes, trench coats and rain: fashionsta

10 stylish striped street styles: all women stalk

5 ways to wear bold stripes: parischerie

6 ways to wear bold stripes: blue is in fashion

How to wear a striped dress: girl.com

modern ways to wear the vertical stripe: whowhatwear

8 Suave Ways to Wear Suede

suede vogue loewe


Can We Lesser Mortals wear suede without looking like a chamois leather?

As an “Image Consultant”, I am always in the shops, and have noticed that due to the 70’s revival, there is a lot of suede out on the High Street. Most of it is in buttery or golden shades of suede.  You can get hot pants, bikinis, mini skirts and all sorts – “Totes Gorge”…if you are in your twenties with legs like Bambi. But for We Lesser Mortals, things need to be a little more forgiving and less in your face. There are obviously the ethics of wearing suede, involved -but I shall leave that to you. Equally, there is the problem of spilling your salad dressing on suede, and how to get it out. I have enquired and there are specialist leather dry cleaners around now, who can bail you out, but maybe you need to make sure you always have your serviette tucked under your chin, as well as having one on your knee!! I have looked at unusual colours of suede, as I think they suit more mature women. Most of the suede pieces here, will move seamlessly into winter, and look very stylish with knee boots and a polo neck jumper. Personally I ❤️ the green skirt and yellow sandals. How about you? Would you wear suede?

suede mix and match oasis suede skirt Oasis suede skirt All saints suede pini warehouse

  1. Suede crop top. £70. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% leather – dry cleanable. Other than with the matching skirt, I’m not sure when you would wear this on its own, without it looking like a tank top. However, I DO love it with the skirt. If you do go for it on its own, then you need to wear it with something high waisted. Suits boyish figures.
  2. Suede wrap pencil skirt. £85. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% leather – dry cleanable. I LOVE this skirt – it is a really sophisticated colour, and will work well whatever age you are. Again, this will look great in winter too. Will suit boyish and hourglass.
  3. Hale skirt. £198. All Saints. Size 4-14. Goat leather. Dry cleanable. Very fashionable with the buttons down the front  – will suit hourglass, boyish and slight pear shapes.
  4. Suede A line shirt dress. £110. Warehouse. Size 6-16. 100% leather Dry cleanable. Available in beige and a pink(ish) colour. Due to A line shape, pear shapes can wear this, as well as apple shapes.

suede coat LK bennet suede jacket warehouse

  1. Vivien edge to edge coat. £695. Lk Bennet. Size XS-XL. 100% leather. Dry cleanable. Fabulous coat – perfect for apple and boyish shapes.
  2. Grey suede biker jacket. £120. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% leather. Dry clean. Lovely alternative to a black leather biker jacket, this will suit pear shapes, hourglass, and boyish.

suede bage All Saints suede shoes Zarra

  1. Estate suede shoulder bag. £278. All Saints. Cow leather. Vintage look to this, and about 30cm high by 20cm wide.
  2. Suede high heeled sandals with bow. £59.99. Zara. Size 3-8. Goat leather. Aren’t these fabulous and unusual. Appropriate for any age (if you can walk in them)

Hopefully these beautiful soft suede garments have made you think about giving them a go. The leather trend has lasted 3-4 years, so maybe suede will be the next “thing”. If you need some help and advice on what colours and styles will suit you, have you thought about a session with Vicky Smith Styling?

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear suede this spring: gurl.com

Super easy ways to wear suede skirt : whowhatwear

trend watch: mode.com

6 ways to wear suede: Mydailyuk


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