Posts Tagged ‘shape your wardrobe’

One in 10…………


Posted on: November 4th, 2018 by Emma No Comments

 

I’ve been following the conversations following the recent documentary,  Stacey Dooley Investigates Fashion’s Dirty Secrets. I wanted time to reflect on what I thought about it all rather than just wade in. Now I have some thoughts of my own that I want to share.

This really stopped me in my tracks,

One in 10 throw an outfit away after 3 photos wearing it

I have to confess this is such an alien concept to me that I hadn’t even know it was a “thing”. I am horrified to think that as a personal stylist I would contribute to this awful waste but more importantly to driving the desire and eternal chase to keep up with the very latest because that will somehow make you happy. Here’s a clue, it won’t.

One of the key things I talk to clients about is how it’s not about buying a whole new wardrobe and filling it with all the latest trends. It’s about looking at what you have with new eyes and finding new ways to wear it. The shopping comes in to fill genuine gaps, items you don’t have that would make your other clothes work harder, a key trend (or 2) to update what you already have and the occasional just love it piece.

 

Chiming with this one of the most positive outcomes I have seen is the way “influencers’ have brought “re-styling” to the fore of what they are talking about. Showing different ways to wear things or alternatives that may already be in your wardrobe that would achieve the same effect.   I think us personal stylists have a duty to take our own advice and show how we do this, social media posts about styling items really help towards this.

As with everything it’s all about balance and I am equally concerned about the way that some of the more knee jerk reactions have focussed on declaring shopping an evil pastime that must stop. Let’s not forget we are losing our high street, beloved established brands are diminishing or disappearing and if they are struggling, what hope for the independents? My thoughts on this are rather than embracing the alarmist stop shopping route, think about a more measured considered approach to shopping. Focus rather than on the fast fashion fix of buying 10 OK items (equivalent to that fast food hit that then leaves you with a crashing low) buying one thing you really love, that compliments items you already have, fits and suits you. You will wear and wear these things.

 

What can help with this is to try buying from actual shops, at least from time to time. Nothing beats seeing how something feels and hangs. Yes I know there is a long way to go in high street fitting rooms to beat your own home but what you very rarely experience online is service. That human connection and the experience of being valued customer receiving tailored advice and help can be a powerful one. Invariably I feel better about in store purchases because I have considered them more. It’s so easy to click “add to basket” often on things we aren’t sure about but think we will try out, often filling baskets to the brim to avoid paying delivery charges (guilty!).

One thing I advocate to clients when they are solo shopping is if they see something they like is to leave it and think about it and if you come back to it at least it 3 times only then purchase. Once things are saved into the virtual basket the act of taking it out of the basket is a lot harder.  What about once those deliveries arrive? It feels like such an effort to return, and they are kind of OK or you love them but no idea where or how to wear them but keep them just in case. I’m not saying this doesn’t reflect what happens in shops and changing rooms, haven’t we all purchased something we later regret? I do think the effort it takes to actually go to the shops and lug that stuff into changing room in itself makes purchasing more considered. Plus returning is done for you. How much of the fashion that arrives on our doorsteps that should be returned doesn’t because of the effort involved.

I am not suggesting that there is no place for online shopping either, just again that there is balance. I know online is easy, convenient and often cheaper. I also know for some people it’s a necessity and can help with sizing and stock availability. I’m just saying that once in a while making the effort to go an interact with the items you want to buy rather than a midnight virtual trolley dash on a Thursday evening might be a way to make your shopping more mindful. Bringing it back to the stat at the top though, I think without online shopping this may never have become a thing or certainly the numbers would be lower if people had to squeeze in the time in lunch hours or after work to go and get the throwaway outfit for themselves.

Retaining your individuality and spending time getting an idea of what you like as a base is also helpful. That’s not to say you shouldn’t occasionally shake up your style, it can be liberating. But do so in the knowledge of what makes you tick rather than simply hastening after that latest item. Time and time again I see people in things where they could be wearing something far more flattering but it’s the latest instamust have everyone is wearing so they have gone for it. If they love it then good for them but I do wonder how many aren’t so sure but do it anyway. Remember you are not less if you decide that the latest must have is not for you.  Curating your social media feed can really help with this. Look at what accounts you are following, ask yourself are they still bringing you joy, interesting images, information and opinions that align with your values? If not cull them and get some that are.

There is no easy, one size fits all solution (a bit like there isn’t for our wardrobes either). It’s about a more considered multi-layered and balanced approach. So follow the tips out there,

make more of your existing wardrobe,

make yourself look at something at least 3 times before you buy it to make sure you really want it (if it’s gone then it wasn’t meant to be),

don’t shop in a panic,

buy less but better quality,

engage a personal stylist to help you (sorry couldn’t resist the plug),

think about going into actual shops every now and then,

don’t be sucked into the latest instafamous item (unless you love it and it suits you)

After all who wants to be in a world where we all dress the same? Wouldn’t that be boring? (more…)

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.

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.