Sophisticated party wear to add to your Santa list

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Party wear images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – MiuMiu Haider Ackerman Salvatore Ferragamo and John Galliano

Can We Lesser mortals find sensible Party Wear to lust over

Are your baubles up yet? Have you started popping your Christmas corks? And is the only festive spirit you are feeling, the liquid trickling down your throat? I don’t know about you, but I get massive Party Wear envy at this time of year. I lust after all the sparkles and sequins in the shops. day dream about sweeping into a cocktail party in a beautiful low cut velvet maxi dress surrounded by Daniel Craig look alikes, and then wake up to the realisation it’s going to look totes out of place at the “Nags Head” surrounded by men with beer bellies!!! How frustrating.

Can you get round this dilemma?

I would always say to wear your Party Wear as much as you can. It’s nuts that our most expensive clothes are saved for best, where they will date and  you won’t get your money’s worth? Haven’t we all got something we loved, but only wore a handful of times? What a waste. And ok, you won’t look like all the other women storming round Tesco with their trolleys overloaded – but then my philosophy is – why not look better?

Here are some Party Wear ideas which I believe you can dress up or down. For Christmas add a velvet or silk top and heels, and for normal wear, add a jumper and flat boots or brogues. One of the tabs on this blog, is “3 ways to wear”so have a browse at the different ideas, to get inspiration there e.g. metallic skirt or velvet pleat skirt.

My favourites? I like the green jacquard trousers, and the floral velvet blazer. Let me know in the comments which you like best…..

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  1. Berry coated legging. £24. Next Size 6-22 in various leg lengths (petite and tall). Viscose nylon elastane mix. Super stretchy, so perfect for a meal out at night. These leggings can be worn with jumpers and boots for normal day wear or with a super sexy top at night. They will suit anyone who normally wears skinny jeans. (boyish, top heavy, slight pear shapes, hourglass)
  2. Green jacquard taper trouser. £42. Next Size 6-22 with some long lengths available. Polyester cotton elastane mix. These stylish cigarette style trousers would look lovely with a silk blouse for evening wear, or a blazer jacket for work. They will work in summer too, with a cami top or floaty blouse. Suit busty, boyish and hourglass best.

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  1. Leonoria lace panel dress. Reduced to £69. Coast Size 6-16. Polyester polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This simple dress with super flattering side panels will be great dressed up for a party with sheer tights and heels, but will also work with opaque tights and knee boots for a lunch do. It may work in some work environments. This will super flatter straighter boyish figures by giving the illusion of curves. It will also suit some hourglass figures, but not if too busty.
  2. Frilled sleeve guipure lace dress. £29.99 Zara  Size XS-L Cotton polyamide viscose mix. Machine washable. This lovely flirty dress will look darling on Christmas Day with some opaque tights and high heeled shoes or boots. It will look equally as good after Christmas, with a leather jacketr or a jumper. This will be best for flatter chests, so boyish or pear shape will look best in this style.

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  1. Florence printed velvet jacket. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Viscose nylon mix, dry clean only. Super stylish jacket which can be tarted up over sequin trousers, velvet skirts etc or easily worn over a jumper and skinny blue jeans. Suit most body shapes depending on what you style it with.
  2. Mia jacquard jacket. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Polyester cotton. Dry clean only. I love this long length jacket, which works to break up a big bust or big tummy. This will be fantastic over a work suit, or velvet trousers, or even with blue jeans!! It will suit apple  and boyish shapes, but will also suit other shapes, again depending on what you wear it with.

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  1. Metallic pleat skirt. £45. Nine by Savannah Miller at Next. Size 4-18. 100% polyester. Machines washable. Available at Debenhams too. These skirts tend to skim the tummy, and flare out over the hips so are flattering for hourglass figures and pear shapes. They can also suit boyish and top heavy ladies. Apple shapes beware of the gathers over your tummy.
  2. Lela PU skirt. Reduced to £59. Coast. Size 6-16. 100% polyurethane, dry clean only. The extra detail, makes this fun leather skirt quite special for the festive season but equally will work well with opaque tights and woolly jumpers after the New Year. This pencil skirt will suit hourglass and slight pear shapes.  Top heavy ladies may get away with too.

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  1. Thistle bloom Long Sleeve Blouse. £35. M and S Size 8-22. 100% polyester. As florals are set to carry on into spring, this silky blouse will be perfect dressed up with a party skirt or trousers, or on a normal pub night out, with blue jeans. So lots of opportunities to wear this. This will suit most body shapes.
  2. Tie back T shirt. £45. Warehouse Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable.Wear this silky top with coated or velvet jeans for a night time look, or wear over a polo neck jumper during the day, where the split is not so obvious. If you are shy, then wear a blue vest top underneath it at all times. This will suit boyish and pear shapes best. It will also disguise a bit of a tummy, but it’s not a very long length.

So be a savvy shopper and choose things you can wear more than once. Keep an eye out for the sales…..they ARE going to happen soon. New Year is a great time for reflection, particularly on clothes, body and image. A consultation with me may only cost £100-200 and can totally help you to refocus and gain confidence with yourself. It may even be what you need to be more organised with your wardrobe – if you haven’t done it for the last 5-10 years on your own, the chances are, you’re going to need some help. Contact me through comments or Vicky Smith Styling. Skype consultations are possible too.

Further reading:

ways to wear a pleat skirt: whowhatwear

The velvet trend this fall: thefashiontag.com

How to wear coated jeans: glamradar

Best buys for brocade and jacquard trend: pop sugar

 

An essential Sneak Peek at Autumn’s Fashions

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Images from Vogue.co.uk: Bottega Veneta, D and G, Gucci, and Prada

Can We Lesser Mortals save money this Winter, by early buying Autumn’s Fashions?

How the heck are you? It’s been a long time since I tipped you off about the trends on the High Street, and it’s been a short summer in terms of sun and heat. I don’t feel I got my wear out of my high summer clothes, so I’m trying desperately hard to keep wearing them till at least the end of September, avoiding buying this autumn’s fashions just yet. Remember, you can keep warm by layering up – put shirts/T shirts etc on under dresses, and wear sandals with maxi’s and crop trousers to keep your legs a bit warmer.

If, however, you are totally bored with your summer clothes and can’t wait to go shopping, then here’s a quick heads up for what autumn fashions are to come. It’s by no means comprehensive, and High Street stores can sometimes ignore the catwalks, and carry on old styles from the season before, especially if they were best sellers. But at least, with this advice, you can be sure you’ll be fairly “edgy” for the next 6 months. Make sure you subscribe on the tab, to get my 2 weekly advice on what’s in the High Street shops to suit your figure!

All my resolutions to save money are flying out of the window…….

Luxury

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  1. Richmond Velvet jean.  £89. Whistles. Available in graphite, black and petrol. Size 24-32 (roughly 6-14). Machine washable. A stretchy jean in cotton elastane mix, cut in a 5 pocket jeans style. This jean is an easy style to wear, but still shows you know what’s in fashion. Suits boyish, slight pear, top heavy and hourglass ladies.
  2. Jagga Velvet shoe £46 Top Shop. size 3-9. 100% textile. Heel 3″. Colour teal. Velvet too much for you on top? Make a statement with these funky shoes. Will really brighten up a black evening ensemble. Avoid if you have chunky ankles.

Brocade

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  1. Harry jacquard ankle boot. £65. Top Shop Size 2-9. Heel 3.5″. Textile upper. Again, if you prefer to wear plain clothes or skinny jeans, why not add some funky ankle boots? These won’t suit you if you have very thick ankles.
  2. Geo jacquard cigarette trouser £35. Next. Sizes 6-22 in reg, long and extra long lengths. 100% polyester. These can be dressed up for work or evening wear, but why not wear during the day too, with a chunky knit and trainers or converses? Comments on the website suggest these are better on curvier women if you don’t want a saggy (not soggy) bottom!!

Military

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  1. Military knit coat. £99.99. Zara. Size S-L. Knitted long length coat. A striking lighter weight coat for winter. Perfect for hippy ladies who want to broaden their shoulders so will suit more proportionate pear shapes, and tall boyish shape ladies best. This coat is intended to reach to your ankles, and will look amazing with high heeled knee boots or over skinny jeans.
  2. Pleated cord skirt. £38. Oasis. Size 6-16. 100% cotton, machine washable. Short flippy skirt which will suit most body shapes, but not apple shapes.

Animal

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  1. Leopard dress wrap dress. £99. Biba at H of Fraser. size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and the V neck and wide sleeves are flattering whatever your age. Fantastic with knee boots in winter. Suit pear shape, hourglass, top heavy and boyish. Probably not apple shapes due to rigid waist.
  2. Pony zip clutch. £32 Top Shop. Faux fur and leather purse. Great for day or night.

Tartan/tweed

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  1. Check wool blend coat £99.99. Mango. Size XS-XL. wool blend mix, dry clean only. This coat is quite chunky and boxy, so although most shapes can wear it, it will complement boyish and some apple shapes best.
  2. Check suit trouser. £49.99. Mango. Size 8-14. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Perfect for work or with a chunky jumper at weekends. Will suit boyish, hourglass and busty women best.

Quilting

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  1. Endo Baffle Quilt coat. £249. Barbour at H of Fraser. Size 8-18. Polyester amide mix. Machine washable. Stylish and warm, this will suit pear shapes, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Junni faux fur collar jacket. £199. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Nylon shell, faux fur collar (detachable) and down filled. Dry clean only. This style is best for hourglass and boyish.

Lace/sheer

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  1. Sheer spot pussy bow blouse. £99. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Available in red too. 100% polyester, machine washable. Don’t you just love a pussy bow? The bow draws attention upwards, so great for pear shapes, boyish, apple, and hourglass.
  2. Aubergine long sleeve friledl blouse. £19.99. Zara. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Size S-L. Before you freak out that this is see through, I just want to mention you should wear a vest top underneath (so no unsightly flesh on show) If you are very self conscious, then a long sleeve tight T shirt would do the trick too.. This cunning little blouse, has a discreet V in to break up the chest area, so is great for apple shapes and big busts. The muted sleeves, draw eyes away from chest area.

So did this titillate you and get you wishing the weather was colder, providing a perfect excuse to go shopping? I’ll keep you up to date with new styles coming in, and where to get them, as this quick peek is by no means comprehensive.

Further reading:

15 style tips on how to wear puff coats: fashiontasty

20 style tips on how to wear leopard print: gurl.com

8 ways celebrities are wearing brocade: nubry.com

7 ways to wer the military trend: allwomenstalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer lace you shouldn’t be straight laced about!

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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…..!

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  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.

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  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

9 Lingerie Style fashions to lust after this summer!!

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Lingerie style fashions, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Celine, Alexander wang, Burberry  and Givenchy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear the Lingerie Style clothes, without looking like we’ve gone out in our underwear?

That’s it – we’re all so hard up now after the recession, we’re about to spend the summer going out in our underwear!! Or so it looks to the untrained eye. Catwalk designers have turned to lingerie style garments to inspire their summer collections, and this has in turn, influenced the High Street. It’s not the easiest of trends to follow if you need some serious scaffolding to support your chest, but there is a vast array of support underwear in the shops, for whatever your size and shape. Failing that, choose some brightly coloured bra straps and make a contrasting feature of the whole thing!! Can you wear slip dresses and camisoles whatever your age? Personally I would steer away from anything too white  and lace-y (lets face it, you are kidding no-one about the state of your innocence, and you don’t want to look like a bride) If you are older you may be conscious of your arms, but it is totally acceptable to wear T shirts or such like under your slip dress, or a shrug over the top. Having said that, they don’t give you much to hide under. It doesn’t really matter what size you are. Nowadays, it’s all about accepting yourself for who you are and embracing it, rather than covering it up. For me, I think the camisole tops are easy to wear on holiday or during hot weather, styled with a skirt or skinny jeans – and with a blazer or bomber jacket chucked over the top. Slip dresses are fabulous with flat converses or sandals, and a pashmina for evening (possibly avoid mules, or they’ll look like your slippers!!)

Let me know what you think, would you or wouldn’t you? And how would you style them up? Shall I do a “3 ways to wear” piece on lingerie style clothes? Let me know. Best bargain for what you get – the Ghost dress at the bottom.

 

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  1. Lace Doll Dress. £55. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Polyester cotton viscose mix. Machine washable. Perfect for a more modest look. This shift dress is inspired by the “lingerie” trend, but is much more user friendly. Best for boyish shapes.
  2. Lace Crepe Dress £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This has a fitted bodice and is straight to the knees so best for boyish shapes, although less extreme apple shapes or hourglass, may get away with this style.
  3. Lace trim dress. £39.50 Marks and Spencers. Size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. This is much looser and unstructured so anyone can wear, but it will suit boyish and apple shapes best.

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  1. Lace trim camisole top. £22.50. Marks and Spencers. size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. Also available in khaki. Loose fitting and flowing, this top fits most body shapes but will flatter boyish and apple best.
  2. Sage lace trim came top.£24. Next size 6-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Also available in black.  There isn’t a lot of shape to this top, but the black trim means this is a great top for boyish, and slight apple. Again, other shapes can wear, but it depends what you co-ordinate with.
  3. Emeline Camisole Top. £68. All saints. Size 2-14. Available in black too. No info on fabric and care. Nearly all of these tops, are just slip over, so not great for big busts. However, out of all the tops,  this V neck line is better for slightly larger busted ladies. Most other shapes can wear too.

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  1. Dress with lace hem. £35.99. Zara Size S-XL. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This flowing style is best for this with bigger busts, if they can find the right bra. The elastic waist band nips the dress in, under the bust line. It may also suit apple, pear and hourglass shapes.
  2. Janine Dress Lint green. £95. Ghost.  Size XS-XL. 100% viscose, hand washable. This bias cut dress, has the most structure out of all the items shown. Adjustable straps and bias cut skirt, make this suitable for pear shapes, hourglass and larger busted ladies.
  3. Miki monochrome high heeled sandal. £295. Lk Bennet Size 35-42. Leather. Inspired by the black and white trend. Also available in orange. A lovely high heel for special occasions. The fastening at the front allows for some lea way on width of foot.

So I think you can see, this lingerie inspired trend is best for more boyish figures, although there are styles to suit all body shapes if you like it. If you need help on deciding your body shape, and what styles suit you, you can always books one to one with me here

 

Further reading:

11 lingerie inspired pieces you could wear from dinner to the bedroom: bustle.com

How to wear lingerie styled fashion: Thefashionroom.net

lingerie inspired fashion for every occasion : my fashion.com.hr

celebrity style / the slip dress: whowhatwear

7 ways to wear a slip dress: style caster

How to style a camisole top 10 ways: fashion lady.in

The modern way to rock 70’s suede

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Photos courtesy of www.vogue.co.uk Balmain and Coach

Can We Lesser Mortals be per – SUEDE – ed  to wear suede?

How many of you were brave enough to buy leather in the last few years? Not just a timeless jacket, but a skirt, leggings. coat? Did you worry you wouldn’t get your wear out of it, and now, 3-4 years later, you’re still able wearing said item? That’s getting good Value For Money. Well, suede is set  to take over from leather this summer- in every shade possible. But if you invest, will you get your moneys worth? A jacket is a fairly safe timeless option, but what about the other choices? I would say that you can get reasonably priced 100% suede skirts on the High Street, and there are really good imitation suedette options available too. The advantage there, is that they are easy to bung in the wash if you spill your salad dressing on them, probably lighter weight, and less likely to crease in your suitcase. Still, it’s never the same as the real thing. Here I give your shopping mojo a kick in the pants, and show you what’s in the shops at the mo!

Can you wear suede whatever your age? Maybe avoid the mini skirts!! But a trench coat or long length A line skirt, is ageless. Still not convinced? Then a pair of suede ankle boots, or a suede handbag, maybe with a few tassels to show you know it’s in fashion. Remember, a small nod to fashion can knock years off your apparent age. After all, unless you’re into vintage, no-one is wearing twin set and pearls…….

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  1. Suede trench coat. £289. Mango. Size S-L. 100% goat leather. Not washable or dry cleanable. This is a great colour, and will suit tall ladies – it can be worn open or fastened, so will suit most body shapes, but will flatter on apple shapes the worn  undone.
  2. Grey sleeveless suedette jacket. £45. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester, dry clean only. Again, this will suit most body shapes, but the vented pockets on the hips, mean you should avoid this style if you are hippy.

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  1. Berry suedette pocket jacket. £50. Next. Size 6-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. A short crop jacket on regular ladies which means it will suit hourglass, pear (if worn with wide leg trousers) and boyish figures.
  2. Griffin suede leather shirt. £350. Whistles. Size XS-L. 100% leather. Dry cleanable. Don’t be put off by the short sleeves – you can get more wear by putting a jumper, or blouse on underneath. This is quite a shapeless shirt, so it can be worn undone to suit lots of body shapes, but is best on boyish figures.

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  1. Emme suede skirt £198. All Saints. Size 2-14. Colour chocolate and sand available.  100% goat leather. Dry cleanable. This is a fairly straight style, so will suit boyish, top heavy and slight pear shapes best.
  2. Burgundy suede midi skirt. £80. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Also available in a blue colour. 100% leather – dry cleanable. This A line midi shape will suit pear shape and hourglass figures best.

suede short A line skirt warehousesuede button through skirt Oasis

  1. Berry suede A line skirt. £55. Warehouse. Size 6-18. Available in teal blue too. 100% leather dry clean only. This A line shape work well on most body shapes but best for pear and hourglass.
  2. Suede button through skirt £39. Oasis. Size 6-16. In natural and black. 100% polyester, machines washable. Again this will suit most body shapes but best for pear and hourglass.

Hopefully this will tempt you to think about popping into the stores soon, to get an early lead in the fashion stakes!! You always feel so much better when you have something fresh to wear, and have a spring in your step. I can do one to one sessions in the Midlands area. If you are interested, click here

Further reading:

How to wear suede this spring: Fashion Gum

Massive trend alert – suede: the fashion tag

Patchwork suede: we wore what

Suede trench coat: fashion agony

Street style trend suede: fashion fade magazines

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