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:


8 nautical styles you can’t do without this Spring!

nautical 2015 D and Gnautical 2015 armaninautical 2015 max mara

Photos thanks to – D and G, Armani and Max Mara

Can We Lesser Mortals wear nautical styles with looking like we should be swabbing the decks?

Ahoy there me hearties!! And shiver me timbers. Welcome to fashion trends 2016, and our first look at what you can get on the High Street currently. Most stores still have about 50% sale stock. New stock is coming into store, but it is a bit mixed and sadly, a bit deja vue. However, one look which is classic, timeless and stylish, is the one embracing nautical styles. You are best not to do the whole nautical  thing, or you will look like you’re on shore leave, but there’s nothing wrong with a nice stripe jumper, sharp cut navy skirt or wide leg trousers. These nautical styles are appropriate to most ages and body shapes, and you can wear them with any primary colour, for a bit of extra “oomph”.

Enjoy, and let me know which is your favourite. I love the Navy skirt.

Nautical 2015 stripe cardinautical 2015 oasis jumper

  1. Fine knit cardigan. £14.99. H and M. size XS/S and M/L. Very long so no good if you are short! Acrylic viscose mix and machine washable. Great for tall ladies, top heavy and apple shapes.
  2. Nautical stripe knit. £38. Oasis. Size XS to L. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. With small gold buttons and clever navy side panels, this jumper shaves an inch or two off your sides. Avoid horizontal stripes if you are big busted, so this suits pear shapes and boyish best.

nautical 2015 zara crop blousenautical 2015 KM tshirt

  1. Blouse with frilled hem. £25.99. Zara. Size XS-L. 100% viscose, hand washable. Whilst the stripe broadens the you on top, the frill adds too much volume around your waist, so probably best for boyish. If you are very tall, you may get away with wearing it, even if you are pear shaped. (the frill will then sit higher than your waist line)
  2. Striped sleeveless top £50. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% cotton. Machine washable. The high neck and stripe is better for flatter chests, so best for pear shapes and boyish figures.

nautical 2015 KM skirtnautical 2015 trouser oasis

  1. Button A line Skirt £125. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane mix, dry clean only. Although described as A line, this looked quite straight to me. Will suit top heavy, boyish and if it sits high on your waist, will suit hourglass ladies too.
  2. Sailor button trousers. £45. Oasis.  Size 6-18. Polyester, viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Maybe avoid a stripe top with these, or you will look like a sailor! Classic wide leg trouser, but these buttons are going to draw attention to your tummy. So best for pear shape, hour glass, boyish and top heavy – but only if your tummy isn’t too rounded. The high waist can disguise a small muffin top!

nautical 2015 boden dressnautical 2015 next dress

  1. Maggie Ottoman dress. £89.50 Boden. Size 6-22 in petite, reg and long length. Polyester cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. This is black and white, but it is also available in blue stripe, plain navy and plain black. This fit and flare style will suit pear shapes, hour glass and boyish.
  2. Navy sporty tipped tunic. £38. Next. Size 6-22, petite, reg and tall lengths. Polyester elastane mix, machine washable. This tunic is stylish, but also easy to throw on quickly. You could wear with a blazer for work, bare legs and flat pumps, or even over skinny jeans (go for a petite size if you want a shorter length). Will suit most shapes, but best for boyish and apple shapes.

So anchors away, and embrace the nautical styles in the shops. If you need help deciding your shape or sorting your wardrobe, you can book a one to one with me at

Further reading:

Sailor trousers for women: Become chic

10 ways to wear nautical stripes: makeup and

How to wear a stripe dress: redbook


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




9 rubbery ways to embrace the Scuba trend!!

Can We Lesser Mortals wear neoprene (Scuba) without looking like Jacques Cousteau?

Ok, another aged reference for Lesser Mortals, but you can find him on Wikipedia!! Anyhoo….has anyone else noticed this funny rubbery fabric in the shops at the moment? What is it? Is it safe? Can I wear it? Well, it’s a man-made fabric, and my sources in “the know” says it’s called “scuba” (kind of obvious, huh?) So, is it socially acceptable? Do I need to wear cotton underwear if I wear it? My advice as a “personal stylist” would be: It offers more support than normal jersey fabric (i.e. holds the wobbles better), but it is still as cheap – and it doesn’t crease, so would be great on holidays. Obvious down sides are, it is nylon, so could be sweaty in high summer. I guess it’s like marmite – you either love it or you hate it. Here are some suggestions.

scuba skirts ideas

  1.  Seamer crystal droplets skirt. £99. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. As this is virtually A line, it will suit pear shapes, hourglass, boyish and some bigger chested women.
  2. Jaymie Scube top. £45. Coast. Sizes 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Figure hugging, and a V halter neck style, this will flatter boyish and hourglass if you are not too well endowed. The bonus is, if worn with the skirt, it looks like a dress.
  3. Jaymie Scuba skirt. £55. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The black band draws attention to you waist, and so this will suit slight pear shapes, boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies.

scuba trouser ideas

  1. Striped patchwork tube dress. £45.99. Zara. Size XS-L (6-14). Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Due to the horizontal stripes, best to avoid if pear shaped, but better if boyish, or slightly busty. Would make a good work dress.
  2. Friyo geometric floral dress. £139. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Hand washable. I like that this will offer a little more substance for a body con type dress, as we’re all conscious of our tummies. Suits slight pear shape and boyish figures.
  3. High waisted pinstripe trousers. £39.99. Zara. Size XS-L. (6-14). Polyester viscose elastane mix. Machine washable. Crop trousers are all the rage this summer. Wear with flat pumps, ankle boots, or sandals in summer. Good enough for work. Best for boyish shapes.

scuba dress marks 2

  1. Aristo floral scuba body con dress. £55. Marks and Spencers. Sizes 6-22. Polyester elastane, machine washable. Don’t panic that this is body con, you don’t have to wear it skin tight, and as I mentioned, the fabric is quite robust. Suit boyish, slight apple and hourglass who are not too well endowed.
  2. Willow scuba shift dress. £45. Marks and Spencers. Sizes 6-24. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Possibly looser in style than the one above. Best for slight tummies and boyish shapes.
  3. Panelled scuba body con dress. £49.50. Twiggy for Marks and Spencers. Size 8-24. Polyester elastane. Machine washable. More flattering shape, as there is a V neck for larger chests, and slight rushing over the tummy to hie lumps and bumps. Will suit hourglass best.

Hope this has nudged your interest enough for you to think, I’ll have look next time I’m in the shops. If you want any more help – put a comment, or email me here

Further reading:

would you wear a neoprene dress?: College fashion

3 ways to wear a neoprene sweater: 3 ways to wear

How to wear a neoprene skirt: typical house cat

Neoprene must have pieces:



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