Posts Tagged ‘personal style’

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.


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.


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.


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.

Fabulous Garden Party

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by Emma No Comments


Regular readers of the blog know what a fan I am of Fabulous.  Their Annual Garden Party always sells out rapidly, but this year, I managed to snag a ticket, yay! So with a garden partyesque dress lined up  all that could spoil it was the rain.  Thankfully it didn’t.  Arriving at Mallory Court, the gorgeous venue for the event, we were bathed in sunshine.   Brilliant to get started checking out a host of the designers featured at Fabulous, not before we had a glass of Pimms in hand of course.

Enjoying the Pimms

Enjoying the Pimms

First stop Reeves and Reeves, the husband and wife team who are helping Fabulous to design their new own brand – Life’s Journey bangle collection.  I can’t wait to get my hand on one of these bangles but in the meantime I was drawn immediately to their chunky leather cuff in vibrant colours.  The perfect piece to stash in the suitcase for holiday or to simply bring that holiday feeling to any outfit.  After I tried it I just couldn’t take it off, especially as it matched my handbag.  It had to come home with me.

Well how could I not?

Well how could I not?

Even better than the jewellery though was all the beautifully put together outfits. I had picked the dress in my wardrobe that makes me feel most like Audrey Hepburn and I wish I could wear all the time.  It’s from Katherine Draisey in Solihull and I know will be one of those forever dresses.


If I click my heels will I become Audrey?

It was particularly everyone’s the shoes that stood out to my stylist’s eye, both the favourite pairs we spotted were from Dune’s summer collection. Jo, Fabulous’ founder had this amazing metallic pair with intricate detailing on the heel, another one to bring a hit of instant summer to any outfit.

The ultimate holiday sandal

The ultimate holiday sandal

Whilst introducing my friend Clare, my guest for the afternoon,  to Fabulous’ own brand Mantra, I was able to get the mantra necklace I was already sporting engraved.  The mantra is Life is Beautiful so I thought it was only fitting for my engraving to be the date of my wedding.

My Special Date

My Special Date

Jo’s welcome and run through of all the designers at the garden party, made us realise there was still lots for us to see, but first lunch.


But first lunch

This included chance to swap styling stories with Lynn Bromley and to find out about the sartorial challenges faced by Leamington’s deputy mayor.  Oh and not forgetting the most delicious dessert, the mint, lemon and raspberry flavour combo was Summer in a glass.




Post lunch was more browsing.   Most exciting was 2 of the new brands coming to Fabulous.  Take What You Need – the concept is a changeable bar necklace which uses magnetic bars which can be personalised.  One of them is definitely finding its way to my wish list.  The other was Suzannah Key, a young designer just out of college who won Fabulous’ futures awards.  I am already in love with her spinning pendants, designed as a result of women’s tendency to touch and fiddle with their jewellery, I can just imagine spinning the compass one around.

Talented Suzannah Key spinning pendants

Talented Suzannah Key’s spinning pendants

All good things come to an end but another great Fabulous event and now I am sat at home, Betty Draper style, awaiting the return of my husband.  I really don’t want to take my dress off, maybe he’ll take me out when he see’s me in it.


If you have an event or occasion coming up and need a hand pulling together you look, get in touch we can shop with you or for you.  Our express shop service aims to find the outfit or finishing touch in your lunch hour.  Available in Leamington or Solihull for £75.