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


12 denim fashion finds daring to be different!

Denim fashions courtesy of 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:

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:


6 white-on ways to wear white this summer

white valentino

Can We Lesser Mortals wear all white this summer without looking like we’ve gone out in our nighties??

Aaaah. Summer is round the corner & we imagine ourselves like Timotei ladies with  Scandinavian blonde hair and floaty white dresses, skipping through fields of wild flowers …..?? Till your teenage son asks if you’ve forgotten to put your dress on, and your husband asks who you are trying to kid!!! But fear not – ‘fashion advice” from an “image consultant” is realistic, as most of our clients are normal women, with normal bodies, and normal expectations. (Although we are there to nudge you out of your comfort zones). So here are some lovely ideas for you. Don’t be afraid to dress all in white – it makes quite a striking impression on people. (just make sure it’s machine washable, and don’t go near the tomato ketchup….)

white waistcoat apple Karen Millen  white jumpsuit hourglass warehouse

  1. Tailored long line waist coat. £250. Karen Millen. Sizes 8-16. Acetate, viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. This jacket/coat is very striking and will slim down silhouettes. Best for tall and apple shaped ladies.
  2. Culotte bandeau jumpsuit. £75. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Handwash. Obviously you need a good rack for this to stay up, it will probably suit hourglass and pear shaped ladies with a chest. It may fit large chested ladies too.

white wide leg trousers reisswhite maxi dress FC


  1. Sorrento wide leg trousers. £120. Reiss. Size 6-14. Cotton viscose elastane. Dry clean only. I love a nice pair of white trousers but watch your VPL. These will suit top heavy and boyish shapes -you will possibly get away with if you have slight hips.
  2. Coachella embroidered maxi dress. £250. French Connection. Size 6-16. 100% nylon. Dry clean. A beautiful maxi dress, although it will probably only be special occasions, as it is dry clean!! Suit pear shape and boyish shapes best.

white zara topwhite Zara jacket

  1. Belted White top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to L. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Washable. Will suit hourglass, large chests, pear shapes and possibly apple shapes.
  2. Broderie anglaise jacket with pockets. £79.99 Zara. Size XS to L. 100% cotton. Washable. This will suit most body shapes, but leave undone if you have a largish chest.

So I am definitely going to be wearing white with white this summer. What about you? Ok so my kids may be a bit older, but if you are working, or your kids are at school all day, or indeed, you don’t have kids, then you can stay pretty clean, and since retro is all the rage, you can always wear a pinny whilst cooking tea!! For more help contact me

Further reading:

10 stylish ways to wear white: whowhatwear

7 tips on how to wear a white dress: all women stalk

How to wear a white jacket: 40 plus style

How to wear a white blouse: dress like a parisian




10 modern ways to wear 70’s fashion

70's catwalk fashions Gucci70's catwalk fashion ralph lauren

images from

Can We Lesser Mortals wear 70’s fashions without looking like an “extra” in a Charlie’s Angels episode.

Have you noticed how much denim and suede there is in the shops at the moment? It was inevitable that flares were going to come back in to fashion after skinnies have been around for years. During that time we have all aged….. and are now worrying people won’t realise we are bang on trend, rather than showing off that we can still squeeze into jeans we last wore when we were 18!! (Congratulations if you can!!) But of course, as a “personal stylist” I’m not going to influence you to wear extreme fashions if they don’t suit you. After all, these 70’s trends are responsible for lower hem lines, which is great for those Lesser Mortals who have varicose veins!!! I’ll show you various ways to exploit the trends without looking OTT, and as always, if you can find time to drop a little comment to me, or persuade any of your friends to follow my blog – fabby dabby ( or has that just shown my age….)

70's suede jacket jigsaw70's suede

  1. If you just want a hint of trend… Suede utility jacket. £350. Jigsaw. 100% leather. Sizes 8-14. This lovely green jacket, will look fab with contrast sleeves showing under the 3/4 sleeves of this suede jacket.
  2. If you want to follow the trend more closely, try this Suede jacket £149.99. Mango. 100% goat leather. This is a great price for proper leather, though of course, there are loads of man made options around. Sizes S-XL

70's denim flare maxi skirt karen millen 70's denim skirt karen millen


  1. How many of you like maxis in the summer? Well, this will hide your legs as well as looking 70’s inspired- denim print maxi skirt. £199. Karen millen. 100% polyester. sizes 6-16. Dry clean only.
  2. But if you prefer to get your legs out….patchwork denim A line skirt. £80. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable.

70's blouse next 70's cheese cloth blouse next


  1. Off the shoulder top. £26. Next. Size 6-22 in reg, petite and tall sizes. 100% polyester. Also available in orange and black. A more traditional style of 70’s top – great for festivals and BBQ wear.
  2. Poet top. £30. Next. 100% viscose. Sizes 6-22. Not too OTT, this floaty cream top (also available in blush and floral) will look fab over a swim suit on the beach, or with jeans – (flared or skinny).

70's sandal Miss selfridge 70's wedge sandals jigsaw


  1. Francisco tan high sandal. £45. Miss Selfridge. Size 3-8. 100% polyurethane. A very traditional 70’s style sandal, with stacked sole. Team it with a denim skirt.
  2. Lia open toed wedge sandal. £89. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Leather. A slightly lower sandal with a  more modern twist. They will look great with flares or denim skirts.

70's suede bag jigsaw 70's suede fringe bag Next

  1. Diamond quilted slouchy hobo bag. £149. Jigsaw.  Soft suede bag. Available in navy and damson. A nod towards the fringed bags of this season, but not too trendy. Tassel is detachable.
  2. Natural leather suede Hobo bag. £60. Next. 100% leather. Much more trend driven bag with full on fringing.

So you can see how there are more on trend pieces for younger Lesser Mortals, and more classic pieces with a nod to the trend for slightly more conservative mortals!! What do you think of them? You can book me for one to one sessions as a “personal shopper” by clicking here

Further reading:

celebrities wearing 70’s fashion: glamour magasine

decoding the 70’s fashions: fashionisers

we love the 70’s:

top 10 women trends from the 70’s: trendznstylez 

Nail that 70’s trend: stellar


10 Blooming way to wear florals this summer

Valentino (
Valentino (

Can We Lesser Mortals wear florals without looking like a shrinking violet?

I feel like florals have been around for ages, but they certainly reflect the mood of spring and summer. Often we feel more inspired to wear bolder patterns and colours in summer, than in winter. Florals don’t have to be girly. You can choose to sling them on with a pair of brogues or choose a bolder, more  aggressive print, rather than a pretty pastel. Even if I wasn’t an “image consultant” I’d be totally up for a flower or two – you can’t help being cheerful when wearing flowers! How about you? Which would you wear?

floral shift pear warehouse floral tunic apple warehouse floral hourglass ph 8

  1.  Pretty floral shift dress. £48. Warehouse. Sizes 6-18. Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. It may look at little short (depending on your age) but on holiday it’ll be fine. This will suit boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Floral chiffon sleeve dress. £35. Warehouse. Size 8-16. 100% viscose. Machine washable. A loose shift style tunic, for easy wear around the house and on the school run. Great with footless tights and pumps or wearing over jeans too. Suit boyish and apple shapes best.
  3. Carolina dress. £130. Phase eight.  Sizes 6-20. Cotton polyamide elastane mix.  Machine washable. The sweetheart neck line flatters a larger chest, so is great for hourglass figures.

floral top and skirt oasis boy floral jumper Next floral T shirt Teb baker

  1. Digital floral pencil skirt and top. £40 and £40. Oasis. Sizes 6-18. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. This gives you plenty of outfits – dress, skirt, top. The top is boxy, so not great for big busts. Will suit boyish figures, and slight pear shapes. The skirt on its own, will big chested and hourglass ladies. Apple shapes may find this suits them, and the added value is, you can buy different size tops and bottoms.
  2. Daisy red bardot sweater. £15-£25. Next. Sizes 6-22, also in petite and tall sizes too. Cotton, nylon, viscose mix. Will suit most body shapes, but if you are large chested,  buy it small enough to nip in under your chest.
  3. Idris window blossom T shirt. £45. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. 100% viscose. A really pretty T shirt in a more subtle floral print which will make jeans outfits, look quite smart. Any body shape.

floral jacket next pear boyfloral blouse pepperberry chest

  1. Floral printed jacket. £65. Next. Size 6-22. Cotton polyester viscose elastane mix. The boxy shape means it is probably best for boyish and pear shapes.
  2. Sarah frill blouse. £39. Pepperberry. Sizes 8-18. As well as each size being cut in Curvy fit, through to super curvy. Viscose elastane with removable cami inside.Machine washable. Perfect for busty women.

floral jean french connectionfloral trousers reiss

  1. Flight of fancy floral jeans. £80. French connection. Size 6-16. cotton elastane. Cold wash. Slightly more subtle print, and suits anyone who normally wears skinny jeans.
  2. Olivia sugar floral trousers. £110. Reiss. size 4-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

Let me know if this has inspired you to try out some floral clothes. Keep looking at my Facebook Vicky Smith Styling, to give you ideas on how to wear clothes, or book a one to one with

Further reading:

20 style tips on hot to wear florals: Gurl

winter floral print trend: STylecaster

floral fashion trend: Just the design

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