Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Red Carpet Road starts here


Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Emma No Comments

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Red Carpet road (as we like to refer to the road through each awards event until the Oscars) has started and here’s our annual Golden Globes post with our fave looks from the first taste of 2016 Red Carpet dressing.

Delicate and romantic details featured prominently, nowhere quite as well as with a masterclass of Red Carpet dressing from Cate Blanchett in Givenchy.  At first look I wasn’t sure but on closer inspection I fell in love with the dress although I can’t imagine many pulling it off in such style as La Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

The key to the romantic look was to keep the silhouette simple and let the detailing do the talking as in the case of Alicia Vikander – she may have missed out on winning her statuette but her red carpet look was a definite win.

or let colour be the star – Laverne Cox just made simplicity breathtaking

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

Always room in my heart for classics on the Red Carpet and no one was channelling old school blonde bombshell better than Lady Ga Ga.

Lady Ga Ga in Atelier Versace

Lady Ga Ga in Atelier Versace

My absolute favourite look though came from Jamie Alexander,  bold, gorgeous and completely flattering – clear winner for me.

Jamie Alexander in Genny

Jamie Alexander in Genny

For all the looks we loved  and to see what we think of the BAFTAS and beyond head over to SYW’s Pinterest Pages Follow Shape Your Wardrobe's board Awards Season 2016 on Pinterest.

Adventures in New York Denim


Posted on: November 21st, 2015 by Emma No Comments

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The excitement of the stylish black and white box that arrived on my doorstep containing every woman’s holy grail – a pair of perfectly fitted personalised jeans. How did we reach this fashion nirvana? Denim was firmly at the top of our shopping list during our NYC trip and when the Wallpaper guidebook directed us to 3×1, we needed little further invitation.  This little gem, in Mercer Street from the brains behind the Earnest Sewn, promised jeans to your exact specification from the weight of denim to the detailing.  As a pear shape with a small waist, jeans and trousers always need to tread that balance to be not too tight across the hip but at the same time not leave a gaping expanse at the waist. I was hooked with the thought of somewhere that could magic this problem away.

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Proclaiming it’s status as “one of the top 10 denim stores in the world” made a promising start. Entering the shop you are met with walls adorned with ready to wear jeans in limited edition styles, a huge glass worktop and rolls of demin in a range of weights and every colour from true faded to darkest indigo. The atelier which produces the creations is enclosed in glass to the rear of the shop. Where to even start? Luckily we were guided by the delightful Raymond Yook, who explained the options from bespoke -where you select every single detail from scratch –  to custom where you decide on the details to be added to one of 3×1 limited edition designs to off the peg – if you are lucky to fit into one of their ready to wear collection.

I wanted to go for something other than a skinny jean, based on this Raymond made some recommendations and even though I was sure I wanted a dark denim, I actually fell in love with these mid rise boyfriend cut in fleet wash,

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Me n Raymond and my new 3×1’s

Even better was that, Raymond was able to offer to adjust them to allow for the fact I fell between sizes. At the same time I got to add a custom detail in the form of rose gold hardware. This pair was ready for pick up within a couple of hours.

However that was not all before leaving I spotted a pair of “gaucho pants” (or denim culottes if you will) high waisted, tailored and offering so much versatility, I hadn’t seen anything that came close to how these looked. (The Karen Millen denim culottes I had my eye on at home paled into insignificance). I wasn’t sure about the colour – no problems said Raymond I could  pick a denim and the details wanted. Perfect. I set to work selecting denim, thread and hardware. I opted for a lightweight indigo denim to preserve the tailored look.

I really wanted to go a bit different for stitching and hardware so plumped for a strong burgundy. Raymond said that he would normally steer clients to the metallic hardware but actually approved of my choices.

Decisions made, all I had to do was wait the 4 weeks for denim alchemy to occur. They arrived last week

I am definitely in love, thinking might need another pair in a black denim. Would love to know what you think.

Me n my Gauchos

Me n my Gauchos

A massive thank you to Raymond for making my 3×1 experience one I definitely want to repeat. Visit Raymond if you are ever in New York or int he meantime you can check out the 3×1 website

If you find it difficult to find trousers or jeans to suit you, get SYW on the case.  We can recommend styles to suit your budget and shape, just get in touch by e-mailing or calling.   Quote “Blog15” to get 10% discount on any consultation or styling session taken by end of January 2016.

Small Business Saturday -Little Black Book of Leamington


Posted on: December 5th, 2014 by Emma No Comments

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This blog is a re-issue of an earlier blog I thought it a great opportunity to share again in light of Small Business Saturday this weekend.

As someone lucky enough to live in and be part of a town which has a large array of small and independent businesses, I am passionate about supporting it’s high street.  So here are SYW’s Leamington favourites, old and new. The key that binds them all together is that personal touch and service you get, one thing is for sure wherever you go in Leamington there is always a warm welcome.

Leamington at Christmas

Leamington at Christmas

Lilac Rose – 69 Regent Street, L.Spa www.facebook.com/lilacrosesshop
I cannot make a trip into town without stopping in at this gorgeous boutique (in fact if I try my husband asks if I am ill!) Offering individual vintage style clothing, accessories and gifts. Staffed by a lovely, friendly, team who are always prepared to help out, offer opinions and give further information on the ranges stocked, which include Closet, Darling and Emily and Finn. Will appeal to those who like classic with a modern twist. Perfect for sourcing that great little dress that will see you through a variety of events or for that go with everything pretty scarf. – Also has a shop in Cambridge.

Boutique Shopping

Boutique Shopping

Revolve – 88 Warwick Street, L Spa www.revolvefashions.co.uk
High on the glamour factor and great at bringing that feel to everyday outfits, that’s how I would describe this Leamington institution. Their window displays really stand out and I long for the lifestyle they depict, whether it’s a pair of suede ankle boots teamed with jeans and statement jacket or a selection of their evening gowns. Whether you are looking for an everyday outfit with that special touch or something more formal, you are in good hands with the Revolve team to help you look and feel a million dollars.

Karabo – 40 Warwick Street, L Spa www.karaboclothing.co.uk
Independent boutique focusing on brands that aren’t seen everywhere, mostly separates and casual dressing. One of my best purchases ever was a quirky take on the waxed jacket by the brand “Not the Same”, practical but still stylish. Great line in shoes and bags, one client I took shopping here bought the most comfortable pair of shoes she ever had.  I have an orange clutch purchased here that people often mistake for designer. They have a fab selection of branded jeans including “Not Your Daughters”. My go to place when I am looking for something that lifts me out of the plain old jeans and jumper rut.

Bejewelled Inspiration

Bejewelled Inspiration

Peter Stephan – 98 Warwick Street, L Spa www.peterstephan.co.uk
For jewellery and watches Colin and Sandy bring the personal touch and make you feel as if your purchase is worth thousands even if you are spending considerably less.  Extremely knowledgeable and skilled jewellers, they will always take the time to explain the differences in the pieces on offer. They will also help give ideas or even narrow down your choices when you can’t decide. Offering good value too, I sourced 3 bridesmaids gifts here well within my modest budget. Perfect for special occasions or just that little treat.

If you fancy something quirky or the latest must have in trendy & fashion jewellery, then Fabulous Collections, 20 Lower Mall, Royal Priors Centre, L Spa. www.fabulouscollections.co.uk a recent discovery is also worth a visit, stocking brands such as Nikki Lissoni, Folli Follie, Pandora and Chlobo.Leamington Parade

Clements & Church – 23 Park Street, L Spa. www.clementsandchurch.co.uk
The men of Leamington could do with a few more boutique offerings for casual wear but on the smart/formal side they are extremely well served by Clements & Church. Despite the rapid expansion (outposts in Birmingham, Solihull & Oxford), you always receive personal service and recognition along with expert knowledge when you visit this store. Offering formal wear including tuxedos, suits, shirts and blazers from tailors skilled in their trade. Only a limited number of each suit or blazer is produced, meaning you feel as though you have purchased a bespoke piece without the bespoke price tag.

Park Street  incl Clements & Church

Park Street incl Clements & Church

Sarah Horne – 86 Warwick Street, L Spa. www.sarahhorne.net
As a Chelsea Flower Show medallist you might think this would be home to the priciest flowers on the high street, not the case. The flowers are great value and are superior in quality to others I have purchased. The team are welcoming and happy to lend a hand in choosing from their array of, not only bouquets and flowers but innovative gifts such as the arrangements in china tea cups (a favourite of mine) to the outstanding range of own brand organic massage candles which I have gifted to friends and family and all have raved about them.

McIntosh & Paul – 133 Regent Street, L Spa. www.mcintoshandpaul.co.uk
A gift for that someone special who has everything or that hard to buy for relative, stop in at this local boutique and you are sure to be able to find something that fits the bill. As with all my favourites once again it’s the excellent friendly welcome and knowledge of their products that make it a hit with customers.

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When you need a rest from all that shopping, you are spoilt for choice for relaxing with refreshments….

Haddie & Trilby, 10 Regent Street, L Spa, www.haddieandtrilby.com
Billed as a Real Bakery and named after the L.Spa elephants, this is a real gem.  Freshly baked on the premises in full view with local and in season ingredients the choices of breads and cakes are seemingly endless.  The products are simply heavenly from my Saturday treat of fresh foccacia to the creative cakes coupled with the knowledgable and passionate staff, every visit makes you smile.  If only all food could be made and bought this way.  Highly recommend the Thursday night pizzas.

Afternoon Tea Vinteas style

Afternoon Tea Vinteas style

Vinteas, 16 Park Street, L Spa, www.vinteas.co.uk
has capitalised on the trend for tea, serving from an extensive menu in a retro setting complete with mismatched vintage china.  I always feel as though I should dress up 1950’s style with white gloves, a pill box hat and a Grace Kelly style handbag. It offers full afternoon teas or just a pot for two. In my opinion no visit is complete without a slice of their red velvet cake, heaven. If tea isn’t your thing you could get the South American vibe by visiting:-

Havana, 48 Warwick Street, L Spa. www.cafehavana.co.uk. Its Cuban inspired décor and small but perfectly formed outside area, make me feel like I am on holiday.  Serving sandwiches, salads and tapas and the best coffee in Leamington, it’s equally perfect for breakfast, lunch or a coffee stop in the daytime or sipping fizz and sangria and dinner in the evening.  Wednesday nights it hosts salsa classes.

Relaxing mid shop

Relaxing mid shop

Alternatively try
Restaurant 23 & Morgan’s Bar, 34 Hamilton Terrace, L Spa. www.restaurant23.co.uk for a taste of fine dining or early evening cocktails. A gorgeous setting in the form of a restored regency villa.  You can almost pretend the bar complete with table service is your own living room (well I can dream can’t I?).

Who would make the little black book of your town?  Share your favourites with us on FB, Twitter or the website.  If they are Leamington based use the #LoveLeam.

Make this weekend and beyond about supporting your local businesses.

Thanks to Leamington BID for the reproduction of the stock images used in this blog piece.

Capsule Wardrobe Part 1 – The Trench Coat


Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Emma No Comments

I thought I would start my series of blogs on creating a capsule wardrobe based around some key staple items, with the hardworking trench coat. It’s the perfect seasonal transition item – Winter/Spring and Summer/Autumn. It also has a darker side, all those movie seduction scenes built around the wearing of a trench and nothing else! If you get it right, it’s a timeless classic that you can just grab and go with almost any outfit.

The keys to picking a great trench (or for that matter any capsule piece) are:-

  • Spend as much as you can afford, it will make a difference to the quality and also should last you longer. Remember capsule pieces are about more than fast fashion.  If I could stretch the budget my go to would be Burberry (a girl can dream!).
  • Pick a style that suits your shape –

Be wary of the double breasted style if you are a Strawberry or Hourglass (larger bust).  Instead choose a single breasted option or better still one that simply ties.   Choose fluid rather than rigid detailing for the top half.  SYW likes  Jigsaw’s pink fluid trench http://bit.ly/S1QjBP & Malene Birger’s zip up trench http://bit.ly/1klu3vQ.   Hourglasses plump for a shape that falls from the waist in an A -line, Not The Same’s Sandra jacket does this really well http://bit.ly/1nyM6lS   

For those pear shaped among us you can go the opposite way and fully embrace the classic structured double breasted look.  Just focus on styles which emphasise your waist.  LK Bennett’s Boston in a timeless neutral http://bit.ly/1nVYZUv and Oxford Blue’s tweed version http://bit.ly/1hIXtzF achieve this.

Have a slim or athletic shape and looking to create curves?  Go for a swing shape in a bright colour like this orange one from J Crew http://bit.ly/1j8uWZ9.   You can also adopt the classic femme fatale look of a longer fluid line that looks elegant and smart or casual all at once. This works well on those with a taller stature too, Zara have a very covetable and budget friendly version http://bit.ly/1rx8XM9.

  • Don’t forget whatever you choose, imbue it with a personal touch, whether a flash of your favourite colour in the lining, swapping the belt for a favourite scarf or adding that vintage brooch. Classic does not equal boring.

There are some great trenches out there for all budgets but don’t simply ditch your faithful old trench if it’s working well but simply needs TLC.  It’s worth the effort to get it re-lined, mended or updated with your personal touch. Not everything needs to be a new purchase. On the other hand if the style and shape is no longer suited to you, the investment in a new garment will be worth it. See SYW’s Trench Coat Pinterest Board Follow Shape Your Wardrobe's board Capsule Wardrobe -Part 1 on Pinterest.  for my trench coat inspiration or for help starting your own capsule wardrobe get in touch to arrange a Shape Your Wardrobe consultation.