Posts Tagged ‘print’

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.

Summer Cover Story

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Emma No Comments

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With the mercury not so much rising but yo-yo-ing, SYW is predicting the summer of the jacket.   Capable of transforming a look in an instant, every summer wardrobe deserves one (or a few) of these………..

Crisp white jacket – Perennial favourite & very much this season’s jacket. It’s easy to see why, versatile enough to add polish to any outfit – work or play.  I’ve worn my new Top Shop number so often its price per wear must only be a few pence! We also love, H&M’s version and  Zara’s Waffle Blazer.

SYW’s favourite way to wear it – with jeans and a T shirt, complimented by standout clutch and statement heels, Summer soiree sorted.

T-Shirt, M&S Indigo; Jacket, H&M; Girlfriend Jeans, Gap; Pom Pom Clutch, Hush; Alice Heels, Boden

T-Shirt, M&S Indigo; Jacket, H&M; Girlfriend Jeans, Gap; Pom Pom Clutch, Hush; Alice Heels, Boden

Classic Twist – Take a traditional blazer & twist, subvert the classic colour palette of navy, black, neutral and go neon.  This one from Vilagallo (available in Coco Rose, Warwick) works because it keeps the cut and details classic.

Classic with a Twist (Available in Coco Rose, Warwick)

Classic with a Twist (Available in Coco Rose, Warwick)

Stand out by pairing it with your summer season outfit for that day out at the polo/regatta/races.

Dress up your Summer social calendar -(All Dresses, Karen Millen; V&A Print Culottes, Oasis).

Dress up your Summer social calendar (All Dresses, Karen Millen; V&A Print Culottes, Oasis).

Bold Print – Use a bold print jacket as a focal point of your outfit. This season the jungle print is where it is at, think Ted Baker’s palm print bomber jacket.   River Island’s Blue Jacquard beaded jacket & Étoile Isabel Marant Nadia Jacket make great statement pieces.

SYW is taken with this vibrant pink  Harris Wilson number (available in Karabo, in Leamington Spa)  and has been throwing it on with everything from ladylike skirts for the office to white jeans for weekend styling.

Harris Wilson Pink Tribal Print (Available in Karabo, Leamington Spa)

Harris Wilson Pink Tribal Print (Available in Karabo, Leamington Spa)

Slouchy Tuxedo Jacket – Spotted recently and we just couldn’t resist, relaxed sister of the true tuxedo.  Perfect match for cigarette pants & statement heels for cocktails in the city or denim shorts for a summer BBQ.

Vest Jacket – For balmier eves or days when you just need that little extra but not a full on jacket – go sleeveless. Laid back and on trend, this River Island version fits the bill.

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River Island Blue Sleeveless Jacket

Shape of Autumn

Posted on: October 12th, 2014 by Emma No Comments
Colour inspiration from Autumn Leaves

Colour inspiration from Autumn leaves

It’s customary to look at the trends before the season starts but I prefer to do it slightly later, when the high street has revealed it’s stock and more importantly you feel like buying season appropriate items.  This blog is timed to coincide with SYW’s own half yearly seasonal switchover, where forgotten pieces come out of storage and a refreshed wardrobe appears often with no purchases necessary.  If you too have been meaning to get around to checking out what’s in store for your wardrobe or working out what will survive your own switchover this season, look no further, I have trawled the catalogues, magazines and fashion blogosphere to help you out.

First up, just because it’s Autumn does not mean you should ditch the colour from your wardrobe (unless you want to).

The colours making a strong impact in your Autumn wardrobe take their cue from nature and are likely to be red and mustard.  Wear as a block, part of a pattern or simply use as an accent.

If you are loathe to say goodbye to the brights and neons of the summer, don’t!  Use them as your pick me up to see you gently through Autumn into winter.   Pair them with your greys and blacks, seen here to great effect at Hush Or use to break up the monochrome look.  Here at SYW we are all over the graphic prints in various colour ways as our early transition wardrobe shows.

It's all about the print

It’s all about the print

We’re in love with our H&M number which ticks the boxes for pear shapes and hourglasses by accentuating the waist whilst skimming hips and thighs

Print and Mustard in one piece

Print and Mustard in our H&M Dress

Jewel type prints provide an alternative route way to the embellishment trend – Ted Baker’s gem woven front top is one of our faves.

Turning to a couple of the key looks from amongst the Autumn’s offerings


Key pieces and patterns collide meaning this look is easy to achieve. Hardworking it covers office chic  through to saturday afternoon casual.  Classic houndstooth is a brilliant way to do this, see Somerset by Temperley knitted jacket or Phase Eight’s Samina Skirt (it’s A-line shape is perfect for those with a strawberry shape).  Accent  a dogtooth with red accessories like Therapy’s Fiona Frame handbag et voilaThe pencil skirt, ideal for most shapes, is also a great canvas for dogtooth, block colour and if you are feeling a little decadent try a leather version, go pastel like this one from River Island or go Ox-blood or emerald green.  I’ve lived in my Reiss Oxblood version since last Autumn as it’s so versatile.

Kilts are all over the high street from Sainsbury’s to Karen Millen and can be the perfect embodiment of ladylike.  With so many on offer you will find one to suit your shape whether it’s a long mid  A line like this one from The Fold London, mid length but square like Ralph Lauren’s Crisbalyn or for a mini version try Sainbury’s  or Karen Millen’s,   team with your boot of the season (look our for our forthcoming blog) and a plain knit in a striking contrast colour.

Magical Gothic

A complete contrast  to the ladylike look but also a great way to ease into Autumn Winter.  It is based on taking tactile and snuggly fabrics and weaving gothic imagery and colours to create drama and comfort in one outfit.  Channel an inner gothic flair with the florals that were a big hit in SS14 but set them against dark back drops for added drama.  Closet has this great dress  whilst LK Bennett’s silk sleeve Tee brings an easy way to introduce the florals.  M&S also has a great pencil skirt in its Limited Edition range but currently it’s only available in store.

Fluffy gilets and jumpers introduce the touchy feely element.  Our pick from the high street are Jigsaw’s faux fur version and M&S’ fluffy cardigan.  Wear with jeans or a great pair of trousers in a sumptuous fabric like this velvet pair from Zara.  Alternatively a pleated skirt such as this pale burnt orange one from M&S which keeps the romantic feel.

For a full look at SYW’s picks follow our Pinterest Board.

Follow Shape Your Wardrobe's board Shape of Autumn on Pinterest.

So that’s your weekend of reshaping your wardrobe to meet Autumn, handled!  Still feeling stuck?  Get in touch to arrange your seasonal switchover consultation.  Watch this space for companion blogs on the anchor of your winter wardrobe – The Coat and another on winter boots to see you through to Spring.