Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Starry Eyed


Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

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You could be forgiven for having stars in your eyes with the micro trend of the moment taking hold of the high street.   Although stars have been around for a while now this season they’ve been taken to the next level and all things celestial.

As with all things trend a great way to get a taste of it into your wardrobe is to grab an accessory.  Jewellery is the place where celestial really took hold.

Moonstone Star Ring, Soru, £95

Moonstone Star Ring, Soru, £95

One of my favourite brands, Soru, is a master in this area, so hard to choose from their beautiful range but my favourite celestial pieces has got to be their Moonstone Star centre ring, which makes a statement.  If you want to be more subtle then head of their delicate bracelets (choose from opal and star or moonstone and moon).

Opal and Star Bracelet, Soru, £175

Opal and Star Bracelet, Soru, £175

If you are not sure about that level of commitment Lovisa’s range is brilliantly affordable and you can even work 2 trends in one with their red sunburst earrings

Lovisa,  £14.00

Lovisa, £14.00

The moon and stars come out to play with this gorgeous pendant stocked by Lilac Rose.

Lilac Rose, £14.50

Lilac Rose, £14.50

If jewellery isn’t really your thing try a handbag, New Look’s black star embellished clutch will bring a starry slant to any outfit.

New Look, £11

New Look, £11

As we head toward bonfire night, the night sky is acting as a print to rival florals, over at Topshop it’s in the form of this wrap dress, the v neckline being a flattering choice for hourglass and strawberry shapes.  However it is a touch on the short side so definitely one to be paired with opaques, knee high boots or even over jeans.

Topshop £36

Topshop £36

Get your starburst with the length of the season – the midi, M&S skirt ticks the boxes and can be dressed down  – M&S – dress down with trainers as well as up.

M & S, £45

M&S, £45

More comfortable in jeans and a tee?  You haven’t been left out And Other Stories have a galactical print tee which works just as well as any logo tee.

& Other Stories, £23

& Other Stories, £23

If you just want a slight nod to the look then your failsafe is this great cashmere jumper by Luella (also stocked at Lilac Rose), cosy and smart and makes you the star of the show.

Luella Fashion, £89

Luella Fashion, £89

For more galactic inspiration head to my Pinterest Board .  

Would love to see what’s making you starry eyed and how you are getting involved in this trend.

 

Five New Season Faves


Posted on: August 31st, 2017 by Emma No Comments

In the first of a mini series on the blog which will be featuring what I love from the shops right now as we get involved in Autumn. I am talking those few key purchases that will give your wardrobe an updated fresh feel. This week’s faves are from good ol’ M&S who keep bringing their A-game to affordable fashion.

Straight in at the top of the lust haves is this gorgeous grey jumper dress. There is a bit of nostalgia involved due a gorgeous brown (yeah I know) jumper dress I had when I was 18 that made me feel like I was so sophisticated.

Seamless Wonder

Seamless Wonder – £45, M&S

However this piece is more than that, it has no seams! This engineering feat along with the side tie detail and the cosy but not chunky merino equals a flattering dress to anchor your Autumn wardrobe. I’m seeing it with prim shoes, trainers but most of all boots, ankle or over the knee preferably in a shade of red or Oxblood.   Which leads us on to the next fave……

Red Alert - M&S £79

Red Alert -£79 M&S

These red ankle boots with metallic heel detail, look much more expensive than their £79 price tag, and will work beautifully with dresses, jeans (particularly the straight crop style that Autumn is ushering in) and even a faux leather legging which are not going anywhere (but more on those for next week’s Five Faves).

Tasseltastic - £35, M&S

Tasseltastic – £35, M&S

Sticking with shoes, tassels have not deserted us but they have graduated from blouses and earrings to shoes. These heels tick the key colour trend red but also come in black for those who prefer a neutral.

Check Out - £30, M&S

Check Out – £30, M&S

A nod to tweed and the suiting trend these trousers will bring texture and interest to your new season wardrobe and make a great alternative to your navy and black neutrals. Pair with a classic white shirt and some Oxblood courts for a smart look or red boots and a slogan tee for a more casual affair.

The Updated Parka

The Updated Parka – £79, M&S

Last but not least – THIS  jacket  it’s a parka yes but it features shearling and camo which bring this staple bang up to date. Pair with pretty much anything but black denim and a statement ankle boot will see you from the school run through to gin o’clock.

What’s caught your eye in the early Autumn drops? If you don’t know where to turn, think about booking a seasonal update session with me. It’s a mini wardrobe edit focused on the key trends for the upcoming season, quote “Five Faves” and get this service for just £70.

 

 

Transition Your Wardrobe


Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

One advantage of the distinctly unseasonal weather is that I am already actively plotting my new season wardrobe,  Usually I would be glossing over such things because I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to look at them in any form of heat

I’ve spied a few things recently that I believe qualify as anchor pieces.  Specifically those pieces that allow you to segue effortlessly into the new season because they work just as well for now in this transitional period as they do for new season proper.  To avoid disappointment I won’t be looking at soft suiting which is a key trend for next season that I can’t quite get on board with.  I think it’s something to do with coming of age in the nineties when going out out in a suit was the thing!  I had a pretty amazing silver suit from Warehouse which was worn on repeat including to celebrate my 21st birthday.  It was still hanging in my wardrobe when I met my now husband, where he promptly dubbed it my spaceman suit!!  I had clear early warning that he would not always understand my sartorial choices but I digress.

First up is this vibrant trench from H&M.  They are calling it red but for me it’s very much fiery sunset orange.  Either way it is the perfect slouchy silhouette and is heavy enough to be worn through even the chilliest Autumnal days. It also looks way more expensive than its £59.99 price tag which makes it a shrewd now buy.  Plus it’ll keep some of this endless rain off.

H&M Trench Coat - £59.99

H&M Trench Coat – £59.99

If you are a fan of this sunburnt orange then may I recommend this  French Connection dress. Still summery enough to wear now as a dress, later you can throw over your favourite pair of jeans with  a biker jacket or blazer.

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French Connection, £85

Pleated midis are not going anywhere but they have got bolder.  For an instant update add pattern, like Louche’s floral print version (which I may have just picked up at one of my favourite local boutiques Lilac Rose).  If you aren’t a floral lover then try Next’s midi with its geometric print.

Skirts earn their place as a transitional anchor because they can be worn now with a simple tee and sandals or trainers, just add boots and sweaters for Autumn proper.  If pleats aren’t your thing or you want to make the skirt your centre piece (it’s going to be mine) just go for print or patchwork.  I am coveting Second Female’s navy gold spotted version.

Also on my wish list is Numph’s suede zip front skirt, somewhere between slate and a softer hue.  I can see me wearing this now with a slogan tee (yup they are still here)  and with a jumper and boots for leaf kicking later.   Both Second Female and Numph are available from another local favourite boutique, Karabo.

H&M Hot Pink Slacks - £12.99

H&M Hot Pink Slacks – £12.99

Block colour is still current to make a statement.  I’ve opted for these slacks (slacks?!?! I know I was pondering who on earth who still used the term slacks the other week and now I know, it’s H&M).  Brilliant fit and stretch plus a side zip is always more flattering for those of us wanting a smoother, flatter tum.

H&M also has two more of my wants/must haves.  The first I picked up this weekend and have already worn twice.  It looks like a tee because of its soft cotton body but the addition of statement balloon sleeves compete with tie, in a cotton/poly mix elevate it to so much more. It’s a proper top with interest, pair it with jeans and some jewellery and you are ready to take it almost anywhere.   It’s also great to give balance to pear and apple shapes.  Please please can you do it in some more colours H&M?

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top

H&M Balloon Sleeve Top – £17.99

The other is this hot pink cotton jumper, weighty enough for cooler days but still able to wear now for those rainy summer days.

H&M Hot Pink Sweater - £34.99

H&M Hot Pink Sweater – £34.99

This kind of jumper always make me hanker for a beach house somewhere and imagine myself in white cuffed skinny jeans, on the beach with a dog, you know Jennifer Anniston rom com style.  Just me?

T Bar Shoes

So to footwear.  I have come to the stage where almost all of my staple, waterproof shoes have given  up the ghost at the same time, but I find buying more sensible shoes slightly dull and I am definitely not ready to crack out the boots yet, it is still officially August.  Enter the T Bar shoe, which are going to be everywhere.  They bring polish and poise but with a bit of fun and look great dressed up or down.

All the transition - H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

All the transition – H&M Balloon Sleeve Tee + Louche Skirt

Here’s me in the bolder pleat and paired with the statement sleeve tee, proving their transitional fashion points.  What are you most looking forward to updating your wardrobe with?

 

TV Wardrobes and the Shirt Dress


Posted on: July 16th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

 

Riviera Style

The House of Clios

Like much of the fash pack (yes I really just did use that term, shoot me!) I have become addicted to Sky Atlantic’s Riviera, despite the tad bizarre plot because of the stylish wardrobe – effortless chic set against the backdrop of the Cote D’Azur. The lead character, Georgina Clios (do you think the writers came up with that name by thinking of French cars?) has been firmly filed under the list of other fictional characters whose style I want.

Claire Underwood (Robin Wright in House of Cards)

Claire Underwood Style

Claire Underwood Style

but lets face it I just don’t have the body shape and angles to pull off those lines, although I think a healthy dose of her ruthlessness wouldn’t go amiss.

Alicia Florrick (Julianna Marguiles in The Good Wife)

Alicia Versus Diane

Alicia Versus Diane

More me (not just because of the legal aspects) however very formal corporate and Dianne Lockhart (Christine Baranski also of the Good Wife and more recently The Good Fight) but honestly she’s more who I want to be when I grow up and her style feels suitable for someone slightly older. Her statement necklaces though!

But Georgina’s style seems more everyday (if somewhat expensive) and key to this is her weapon of choice – the humble shirt dress, in Episode 1 she wears 3.  It takes her from Villa Carmella (now my dream holiday home – although curiously for such a big place seems to have more sun loungers than bedrooms) to stitching up Interpol and the art world and escaping nefarious baddies.

Already a staple for this season but its style points have been pushed up thanks to Riviera So what is the allure of the shirt dress? For me is that it suits all body shapes. Don’t believe me, here’s why….

Adjustable Neckline  – hourglasses, apples and strawberries – aka those blessed with boobage (technical style term doncha know!) can tweak the neckline for maximum flattery by undoing a few buttons. My advice grab one with the clever concealed buttons feature to avoid unsightly gaping.

Adjustable Hemline – likewise control how high the hemline goes from demure to dramatic split.  Useful to show off those legs if you are a slim rhubarb or also a strawberry/apple.

Waistline Wonder  –  create or disguise a waist as you wish. To bring focus to the waist cinch with a belt. My top tip is to switch out any fabric belt that comes with the dress for your favourite belt.  It adds better shape and brings a bit of your personality.

Flexible Fabric – Choose lightweight fluid fabrics for summer. This also helps to skim rather than hug the figure and avoids the swamping effect for both petite frames and those that want to gloss over any of their least favourite parts of the body. Go for thicker fabrics to create a more structured look for slim athetic builds or for a more utility feel.

To Sleeve or not to Sleeve – Use sleeve length and detail to add balance to your shape. A statement sleeve for pear shapes works brilliantly.

Slimline or A line – both look great and the A-line works really well on those that love more of a vintage style.

Multi Functional – Not just a dress but a great layering tool. Wear undone over a cami and jeans, this creates layers and shape but without adding bulk when trying to disguise tummy areas and hips. Be sure to go for a fluid fabric though.  Also wear as as a cover up at the beach or instead of a jacket.

Alas Riviera started to air when I was actually in/on (what is the correct term?) the Cote D’Azur,  so I travelled with not one shirt dress #stylefail!  Here are my picks so your summer wardrobe can avoid my mistake.

Riviera Chic - French Connection £35

Riviera Chic – French Connection £35

My favourite because it perfectly channels Riviera – elegant and longer at the back than front (one of my favourite designs in a shirt dress) best of all its currently in the sale at £35. My advice would be to size up.

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Marks & Spencer, £65

If you prefer more structure,  try this one from M&S, smart, great belt (which with this one I would keep) and tie sleeve details. Plus it comes in navy/black and tan.

F&F, £20

F&F, £20

Keep things interesting with print, Florence & Fred has this take complete with cold shoulder detail. Switch the matching belt for a metallic one for extra style points.

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Boden, £80

If you like a more vintage feel the Boden Sophia is for you, it has the advantage of being available in multi colour way prints and an A-line shape.

The White Company - £98

The White Company – £98

Easy to wear utility chic comes with this navy tencel version from The White Company. This lightweight fluid fabric is perfect for trans-seasonal dressing.

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Warehouse, £39

Give block colour a twist with some sculpted detail.

How are you wearing the shirt dress this season, I’d love to know.  If you aren’t sure about it for you, get in touch and book a styling sessions to find looks that suit you.

Spring Colour Trends


Posted on: March 26th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

Spring’s officially sprung and I feel the need to bring up the “C” word – yes colour.

I have lost track of how many times I hear “Oh I don’t do colour” or “I couldn’t possibly wear ….. Insert relevant colour”.  It seems evident from the sea of almost exclusively black and grey that I encounter on my regular commute (in all seasons) that this lack of colour could be an epidemic. With the high street awash with vibrant shades I challenge you to add some colour to your looks, I promise it will instantly update your look (and dare I say mood) for Spring.

Think Pink was the message loud and clear from the catwalks and its not just one hue will do but any type of pink you can imagine goes. From magenta through to the softest blush. You may not imagine yourself as a pink kind of person but it’s a very versatile colour and is much more than its stereo typical fluffy image.

Alternatively bring the sunshine into your wardrobe literally with another of the key colours of the season – yellow. One of the most frightening colours for a lot of people, perhaps because often the wrong shade can be unflattering. With the racks carrying the full spectrum from egg yolk through softest primrose to ice cool pastel it could be time to find the one that suits you.

How to Wear

It’s not what you wear but how you wear it. Injecting colour relies on the right placement for your body shape – it’s a bit like contouring in make up – wise placement of colour can work wonders.

Focussing bright and light colours on your top half with darker shades on your bottom half is a flattering way to use colour on pear shapes especially when combined with another of this season’s hot hits- a statement sleeve.

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Pleat Cuff Top, Warehouse. Also comes in yellow.

A block colour or pattern trouser really show off the slim legs of those with strawberry and apple shapes.

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Trousers, Boden

All over block colour works well on hourglass shapes, include texture and a v neck to ensure shape is enhanced not lost.

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Dress, Second Female available at Karabo

By combining colour and prints, athletic builds and rhubarb shapes can create curves on their frames.

Print +Colour=Curves

Print +Colour=Curves

A common question – if I wear colour what can I wear it with? Here are my tips for colour combos.

Blush + Neutral = Pared Back.

My choice at the moment is khaki/olive green, it’s an underused neutral and adds just the right amount of polish to a look.

Blush n Khaki

Blush n Khaki

Bright + Blue = Colour Pop

Bubblegum pink and magenta both play well against navy and gives a classic combo just the right amount of pop.

Top, Oasis; Skirt, H&M; Trainers, Jones the Bootmaker.

Top, Oasis; Skirt, H&M; Trainers, Jones the Bootmaker.

Colour+Layers = Chic Impact

Layer your pinks, starting with a blush base and adding hot pink accents or vice versa.

Blazer, H&M; Shell Top, French Connection; Dress, Oasis.

Blazer, H&M; Shell Top, French Connection; Dress, Oasis.

Yellow +Navy = New Nautical

I still love the freshness of a nautical vibe for Spring.  I think navy and yellow take it up a notch.

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Cabi Clothing – Grand Slam Blazer, New Stevie Blouse

Colour + Classic Details = Colour Lite

If colour is outside of your comfort zone, try combining with classic detail.  This Cos jumper is the perfect hack with its white shirt detail. Layer over a Breton stripe and wear with a cigarette trouser and trainers.

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Jumper, Cos Clothing

Pastel+neutral = Luxe

Yellow with grey particularly a pastel yellow is the perfect Spring combo.

Tulle T Shirt, Mango; Maine Biker Jean, Mint Velvet.

Tulle T Shirt, Mango; Maine Biker Jean, Mint Velvet.

Bright + Denim =Instant Update

Yellow begs to be a bright be brave. Throw this pretty Warehouse sweater with back strap detail on with your favourite blue denim. Guaranteed instant Spring.

Colour+Trend = Update Plus

Embrace colour incorporated into another trend to give your wardrobe a super boost.

Try a retro floral print incorporating one of the key colours like this pretty Emily & Finn shirt or  Warehouse’s Wisteria print (comes in a blouse and a dress too) or take get 3 in one with this shirt dress (key dress shape of the season, in double on trend yellow stripes.

Biker Jacket, River Island

Biker Jacket, River Island

Go Bold or Go home with this great neon yellow jacket.

Or you could be uber daring and wear pink and yellow together – did I go too far?

Biker Jacket, River Island Dress, Oasis

Biker Jacket, River Island
Dress, Oasis

If all of that seems a step too far and not really you -try coloured accessories, a great bag or show is a simple way to elevate your look.

So now the train platform will be brimming with colour, Right?

If you would like to embrace some colour or refresh your wardrobe or look – get in touch to book your styling session, I’d be delighted to hear from you. 

The 89th Academy Awards Fashion & Drama


Posted on: February 27th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

Now I have recovered from my once a year all nighter (this year fuelled by the superb espresso martinis at Ham Yard Hotel’s Dive Bar) and the incredible plot twist straight from a script I can share my take on the fashion.  The red carpet may have got somewhat overtaken by events, though it certainly had impact.

The trends saw a move to simplicity but the wow factor was kept high by drama being created through silhouette, bold blocks of colour and high octane jewels.

It was back to black for many of the attendees but that definitely didn’t mean boring.  Kirsten Dunst, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Aniston, Salma Hayek and my last year’s favourite dress winner, Brie Larson, all went for highly dramatic shape and detail for their black numbers.  The queen in this category, even though she used navy over black, and also for me a contender of best of the night was Taraji P. Henson.  She nailed the old school Hollywood Va Va Voom with a beautifully cut Alberta Ferretti dress complete with a stunning scooped sweetheart neckline.  Finishing touch were the stunning sparkles around her neck. Bravo and a million miles from Cookie Lyon.

Taraji P.Henson in Alberta Ferretti

Taraji P.Henson in Alberta Ferretti

With the ladies in black the men switched and wore white tie but for me it was only really pulled off by the ever impeccable David Oyelowo.

David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo

One of the other stories of the evening was metallic but again this was used simply to great effect, head to foot block metallic may sound bold but with simple silhouettes and shades of pale gold and pastel, many could have been mistaken for the statuettes themselves.  Those that stood out for me were Amy Adams, Isabelle Huppert and Emma Stone.  I especially loved the fringing detail on Emma Stone’s dress which kept the look fresh.  Also a runner for my favourite of the night.

Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture

Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture

Michelle Williams, who has my favourite red carpet style overall, decided to combine the 2 key trends with black and pale metallic sequins in one dress.  Louis Vuitton it may have been but the style was pure Michelle.

MIchelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Out of the block colour numbers it was Viola Davis in scarlet that was a revelation, coupled with her youthful swept hair she really  owned that dress.

Viola Davis in custom Armani

Viola Davis in custom Armani

Belts and the waist featured prominently in lots of the looks, the winner of the great Hollywood belt off though was Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson in Azzedine Alaïa

Scarlett Johansson in Azzedine Alaïa

So my Oscar for best dressed goes to…………………..  oh I don’t know its one of these 3, they looked equally amazing so you tell me, which one? 

Glitz & Glamour of the Golden Globes ’17


Posted on: January 9th, 2017 by Emma No Comments

January, grim? Simply not so.  For one its my birthday, so yay! (well for me anyway).   It’s also the start of the run up to the Oscars.  This guarantees gowns, glitz, glamour and the odd faux pas, what better way to brighten up the month.   First step on Red Carpet Road is the Golden Globes which took place last night.  So here’s my annual rundown of faves from the first red carpet of 2017.

There was so much to look at from belts with bows, embroidery and florals to art deco pleats and patterns via cold shoulder and even trompe d’oeil details.  However it was also a year where many of my favourites didn’t wow as they might and those that don’t normally rate with me, really delivered.

Colour Stories

With no one colour  sweeping the board (unlike the awards themselves).  I naturally gravitated to the clutch of amazing Yellow gowns.  All of these gowns let the colour do the talking by only using the most delicate of details to enhance them.  My ultimate,  was Viola Davis in Michael Kors, elegant simplicity at its finest. Almost my favourite of the night.

(L-R) Reese Witherspoon in Atelier Versace; Viola Davis in Michael Kors; Natalie Portman in Prada

(L-R) Reese Witherspoon in Atelier Versace; Viola Davis in Michael Kors; Natalie Portman in Prada

White featured prominently, unusual on the red carpet as you don’t want veer into bridal territory (yes I mean you, SJP).   Gillian Anderson avoided this due to the styling of her hair and minimal accessories.

Gillian Anderson in

Gillian Anderson in Jenny Pacha

Meanwhile Issa Rae also stunned in white due to the art deco beaded detailing of her gown.  Art deco was a key look on this red carpet, however few others managed to make it look flawless.

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Menfolk got in on the white act,  lead actor and best actor winner Ryan Gosling pulled off the white tie look best and was definitely a white knight after delivering his heartfelt winner’s speech. *swoon*

Ryan Gosling - gorgeous in anything but here it's Gucci

Ryan Gosling – gorgeous in anything but here it’s Gucci

His co-star, Emma Stone was my pick of the pastels channelling not only the feel and style of La La Land  but also showing us a preview of the Spring ’17 which sees pastels coming through strongly.

Emma Stone in Valentino

Emma Stone in Valentino

Any colour as long as its black universally works –  last night it was best on those  who added interest with plunging necklines.  I’m a big a fan of these, see my fave from last year Jamie Alexander.  It was Mandy Moore and Kristen Bell who were the winners in this category.

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Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan and Kristen Bell in Jenny Packham

Magnificent in monochrome was Michelle Williams working lace detail, black and white and cold shoulder.

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Rachel Evan Wood in custom Altuzarra nailed the girl in a tux look with aplomb by eschewing the usual plunging neckline used in this look.  Instead going for Fred Astaire old school ballroom style look, in keeping with the La La Land theme of the evening.  She kept the femininity with a large bow detail on the shirt.

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Rachel Evan Wood in Altuzarra

As mentioned art deco detail and pleats were a feature and Naomi Campbell stole the show in hers, the cut and colour being what made it work where others failed to.

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Naomi Campbell in Atelier Versace

My hands down favourite, Jessica Biel.  A complete shock to me as I normally find her style a little dull.  Her plunging neckline gown by Elie Saab featuring appliqué and embroidered floral detail against a monochrome backdrop had the drama and grace required for the red carpet.  For me – the look of the evening.

Jessica Biel in Elie Saab

Jessica Biel in Elie Saab

As ever there was too much to fit in the blog  so for more of what I loved and to see what I make of the BAFTAS and beyond head over and follow SYW’s Pinterest Board Red Carpet Road.

SYW Presents…….Your Festive Dressing Guide


Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

Some of you (although I appreciate very few) may like me be taking a well earned mid festive season night off to recharge before it really hits its stride and others may be nursing hangovers from the night before as you read this but thoughts will be turning to just how your wardrobe will keep pace with the varied events the next week is sure to throw at you.  With this in mind instead of an Outfit of the Month for Royal Priors thought would show you what’s in store with my guide to dressing right the way through from works do to the New Year.

First up the office or work do –  you want to look up to date but appropriate (best to avoid becoming talk of the workplace because of a wardrobe malfunction!) and still look good if you are one of the last ones standing at 3am.  You need an LGD – little glam dress!  This one from Topshop ticks the boxes, covered up but in molten metal texture.  To keep it on trend team with a biker jacket and a velvet heel.  Add some detail and fun with these fantastic fox studs from Pia Jewellery and an easily portable purse come handbag, impossible to lose a wristlet (yes they are a thing), the cheesy disco awaits.  Note: you can always double and use this look for New Year’s Eve too.

Dress, Topshop £39; Biker Jacket, M&S £55; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £18; Velvet Heels, New Look £22.99; Wristlet Claire's £16

Dress, Topshop £39; Biker Jacket, M&S £55; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £18; Velvet Heels, New Look £22.99; Wristlet Claire’s £16

With the main event itself looming, you need a look  for tucking into your feast, unwrapping those pressies, charades with the family and a good old Christmas Day walk.  I think this will do it.  Sticking with metallics but softening the look to make it daytime appropriate but remaining stylish all day long. The fun holiday season Alex and Ani bangles available from Fabulous Collections keep it Christmassy.   Layer up with this cosy but classy coat from Jigsaw,  thick tights and over the knee boots when you venture out.

Coat, Jigsaw £298; Metal Yarn Jumper, Topshop £42; Metallic Skirt, New Look £14.99; Alex & Ani Bangles, Fabulous Collections from £24; Velvet Heels as before

Coat, Jigsaw £298; Metal Yarn Jumper, Topshop £42; Metallic Skirt, New Look £14.99; Alex & Ani Bangles, Fabulous Collections from £24; Earrings, Pia Jewellery £15; Velvet Heels as before

The day after the over indulgence and the excitement, I think lends itself perfectly for a more casual combo.  Cath Kidston’s robin Christmas jumper works really well when teamed with Gap’s True Skinny jean with studded details.  Keep the festive feel by repeating the bracelets of the day before and finish with a metallic boot, these ankle ones will ensure that you can manage a walk to blow the cobwebs off and maybe a sneaky visit to the pub.   Keep toasty with M&S’ faux shearling (one of this winter’s key fabrics) wrap.

Robin Jumper, Cath Kidston £75; Faux Sheepskin Wrap, M&S £45; Stud front Jeans, Gap £54.95; Metallic Boots, New Look £29.99; Wristlet and Bangles as before.

Robin Jumper, Cath Kidston £75; Faux Sheepskin Wrap, M&S £45; Stud front Jeans, Gap £54.95; Metallic Boots, New Look £29.99; Wristlet and Bangles as before.

Just enough time to roll out the red carpet glamour to close out the festivities for New Year’s Eve.  This look works whether you are welcoming 2017 by staying in, going out or with  dinner a deux.  The full skirt has seen a real revival and this rich plum version from Roman Originals channels one of the colours of A/W 2016.  Keep it tonal with Jigsaw’s tie top.  Add interest with texture and print in your shoes and accessories but go for one full on statement piece in the form of these Soru earrings (available from Fabulous Collections).  I suggest repeating the biker jacket to give the look some edge but the Jigsaw coat from Christmas Day would work equally well.

Skirt, Roman Originals £50; Tie Top, Jigsaw £98; Block Heel Shoes, New Look £22.99; Leopard Print Clutch, New Look £17.99; Earrings, Soru from Fabulous £160; Jacket M&S as before

Skirt, Roman Originals £50; Tie Top, Jigsaw £98; Block Heel Shoes, New Look £22.99; Leopard Print Clutch, New Look £17.99; Earrings, Soru from Fabulous £160; Jacket M&S as before

So nothing left to say on this other than to wish you a happy and stylish Christmas and New Year.

Emma XX

Note: All items available at Royal Priors Shopping Centre.

 

 

 

 

Haircare goes Supersonic


Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by Emma No Comments
The future's supersonic

The future’s supersonic

I’ve seen various gadgets for our tresses come and go through the years, each promising to make the haircare of someone with thick moderately wavy hair easy peasy. Its fair to say though that I haven’t been this excited since the advent of the hair straightener.

So what was it about the new Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer that had me all hyped up? Was it the £50 million and 4 year investment in the development of the product by a brand that already revolutionised the way a lot of us undertake household chores? Perhaps. But mostly for me it was the genuine innovation.  All my life hairdryers have come as standard with motors in the barrel. Guaranteed to make your arm ache trying to recreate that perfect salon look or your favourite stylist to be off with hairdressers elbow. (Not sure if that’s an actual thing but they must have an equivalent).

Finally someone had considered that maybe there was a better way. So Dyson have put the motor in the handle, giving some big plus points – more balanced in your hand and a shorter barrel making directing the hairdryer at your barnet (when you haven’t been trained as a top stylist) much easier. It’s also much smaller which makes it easier to travel with.

Then there’s the hairtech – yes using ions to smooth the hair shaft is not new, but this time they have actually looked at the airflow too. Hold your hand above or below the air stream on the Supersonic and you can feel nothing, meaning instead of air-drying the room around you, its actually focussing on your hair.

An added plus for those of us who need to get ready, whilst other members of the household are slumbering – virtual silence compared to your standard model. It comes with 2 attachments, the smoothing nozzle to style and smooth as you go and the other styling concentrator for concentrated styling for those more intricate do’s. There’s a diffuser for those with curls.  Pretty standard, but Dyson have paid attention and instead of relying on plastic clips, which invariably break after a while, the attachments are fixed by magnets.

But the £50 million question is, does all this actually make a difference to drying your hair? More importantly, is it worth the £299 price tag? (I have to confess that would have been my  biggest stumbling block had I not had some John Lewis vouchers burning a hole in my pocket).

Although I was sceptical initially and had every intention of returning if it didn’t deliver, my answer is a massive YES. I have really thick hair that even in a short style takes an age to dry. Not so with the Supersonic. it takes me less than 10 mins to dry my almost bobbed hair, relying on a great variable speed and 3 heat levels. I haven’t used the top speed or heat yet, so no doubt it’s even quicker with those. The manoeuvrability is head and shoulders (excuse the pun) above your run of the mill dryer, no crick neck or dead arm. As a result of the smooth styling nozzle and the cool shot that is actually cool immediately, my straighteners have become somewhat redundant, surely better for the health of my hair.

Only a couple of points from me, I think the cool shot would be even better if you didn’t have to keep your finger on the button to operate it. The other is that it’s best not to wear a necklace whilst using it. It heats up the metal surprisingly high and I slightly burnt my neck the first time I used it, ooops!!

Hello indeed, where have you been?

Hello indeed, where have you been?

For me the Supersonic is a game changer. Yes, its expensive but then when I think how many sub standard hair dryers I have had and worn out over the years, its probably pretty good value.

For me there is no looking back, it’s the start of a lifelong love affair with the Supersonic.

Have you tried it out, what do you think?

Swim to Sunset – August’s Outfit of the Month


Posted on: August 8th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

Jetting off somewhere or making the most of the sun in the British Isles? One thing is for certain you need a wardrobe that can cover you from early morning swim right through to sunset, without compromising on style and definitely without lugging around lots of clothes.  As personal shopper at Royal Priors Shopping Centre, each month we select a look from the retailers at the centre – enter August’s edition taking you effortlessly through from dawn til dusk.

Look 1 – Swim

Built around this Marks and Spencer hot pink halterneck swimsuit. Not only a fab bargain at £35 but the secret slimming panel gives extra body confidence if needed.

Pick a swimsuit with luxe detail and a great neckline

Pick a swimsuit with luxe detail and a great neckline

Halternecks work well on hour glass figures and pear shapes in providing balance. However if you have broad shoulders, you can avoid the halter and go for a bandeau style, as the strap is detachable. This works equally well for athletic shapes who want to create some curves. The finishing metallic detail adding extra glamour that stands in for a statement necklace come sun down.

Base sorted, think about a stylish way to cover up from the midday rays and go for lunch possibly with a cheeky drink. I have chosen Jigsaw’s broken glass print blouse. The loose fit and elegant print are universally flattering.

Don’t neglect accessories – to complement the blue of the shirt and contrast with the hot pink, I have chosen one of Pandora’s double leather bracelets in electric blue.

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Cover Up (and dance, well maybe)

Also in the cover up club are a pair of classic tortoiseshell sunnies, like this pair from New Look and to keep the look from being boring, Claire’s Accessories, “Choose Happy” baseball cap. Finish off with footwear fit for the pool and beyond, Animal’s Napa sandals. Throw your sunset look pieces (see below) and other essentials in Superdry’s sky blue tote and you are ready for your day.

After a fun packed day, thoughts turn to after dark, be it a backyard BBQ or an Ibizan sunset, its easy, with a few swaps, to change up your look.

Smart but relaxed vibe with these Jigsaw trousers

Smart but relaxed vibe with these Jigsaw trousers

Add Jigsaw’s Broken Geo Drawstring Trousers over the swimsuit. I love the combination of pink and blue and this works really well. If you prefer a more relaxed fit of trouser then Jigsaw also has a slouchier linear leaf pattern pair in a paler blue.

Prefer more relaxed go for these.

More relaxed version

The details are what really make the difference in a look like this. The colour and metallic in the swimsuit mean it effortlessly doubles up as your top.  Next add some more jewellery to your leather bangle.  Pandora’s Essence silver bangle with Hope and Spirituality charms, provide just the right touch.  Don’t forget a ring too, as its August I’ve gone for the August birthstone ring.

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It’s all in the details

To finish swap your flats for these sparkly New Look wedges, although if you prefer flats you can stick with Animal’s Napa sandals.

Change up to wedges

Change up to wedges

Lastly tuck away your hat and blouse into your bag, keep those sunnies to hand though, the better to catch that sunset with.

All set for Sunset

Look 2 – All set for Sunset

Looking for a multi-tasking outfit to see you through your Summer days (or beyond)?  Get in touch to book your own 1 to 1 SYW experience, prices start from £45.