Print rules

laura whitmore 2

Wearing prints successfully can be your key to creating a perfectly pulled together look. Knowing how to wear printed clothes is more important this season than ever before, with the current trend for all things printed. From blazers to dresses, to trousers – if it is printed then the fashion world is saying to you should wear it! Here are my tips for the best ways to wear prints, with a little help from Laura, Olivia and Diane…

Head to toe

Head to prints are usually a no-no, but it is a look that has been spotted a lot recently. The most popular interpretation of the trend is the floral blazer and trousers combination. This is probably the easiest way to wear this trend. Anchor the look by keeping your top and accessories simple.

olivia palermo 2

Neutrals

Neutral separates or accessories will allow your clothes to shine when it comes to wearing print. A strong print, paired with white, black or cream, will really pop.

olivia palermo 3

Colour code

Complement your printed item by keeping the rest of your outfit in the same colour scheme. Pair separates or choose your accessories by picking out a colour from the print. If you are feeling brave, and mixing two prints together (especially when going for the head to toe look) try and choose ones in similar colours.

diane kruger 4

Accessories

 

If wearing printed clothing seems a bit much for you, then try adding some prints to your outfit in the form of accessories. This is one of the easiest ways to try the trend. Add an animal printed belt or a tribal print clutch for an instantly updated outfit.

topshop £58olivia palermo 6

Bomber style

The bomber jacket is making a comeback this season and choosing one in an eye-catching print is a fun way to wear the trend. When wearing prints this way, balance out the sporty style by teaming it with a short shift dress.

topshop jump suit and bomber jacket £118

On the bottom

While we might be used to wearing printed dresses and tops, you could also try wearing them on your lower half. A pair of printed trousers or shorts will look fresh and perfect for work when teamed with a crisp white shirt (or a flash of tummy like Diane Kruger)

diane kruger 3

Careful clashing

Mixed or clashing prints have been a very popular look of late. However, it can be one that is quite difficult to get right. Make this look work for you by picking prints in similar colours, balancing out their sizes (big prints with small prints etc) and pairing funkier prints with timeless ones like breton stripes.

Diane Kruger

Show some skin

Big prints have a tendency to swamp the person wearing them. To overcome this, don’t be afraid to show a little bit of skin with your printed outfit. Bare shoulders, a low cut back or a little bit of leg is all you need to vamp up this season’s prints.

olivia palermo 5Laura Whitmore

 

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

Wishing for…Saint Laurent…

Hedi Slimane is in charge, and he is doing wonderful things…how amazingly rock and roll are these bits and pieces? All available from Net-a-Porter336445_in_l372101_in_l336444_in_l350476_in_l336422_in_l336438_in_l336435_in_l335532_in_l374857_in_l374849_in_l

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

This week’s column…what to wear to the races

pixie lott

Pixie Lott looking fab at Royal Ascot

Summer’s social calendar is always peppered with racing and polo events. It’s a time to get dressed up and pull on your favourite dress, experiment with a hat and try spending a day walking around in the highest of heels. If you will be attending the races or polo this summer, you will need to think of traditionally ‘smart’ when it comes to your outfit, not casual in any shape or form. But you can of course still look stylish, here are my top tips for race day dressing…

topshop wedges £45

Topshop wedges, £45

If you are going to be on your feet all day, it pays to wear shoes that have a reasonable heel (unless you are feeling brave!). what they may lack in height, they make up for in glamour. Wear dainty pumps with your favourite tea dress for an elegant, yet vintage inspired summer vibe. Wedges are a perfect choice of footwear when grass is under foot.

Lulu Guinness clutch £295

 

Lulu Guinness, Lips Clutch, £295

There’s not really much you will need to take with you to an event like these, so a clutch bag is just the thing. Add a touch of humour to your ensemble by opting for fun shapes, colours and textures. Though if you are wearing a flamboyant hat, opt for a simple bag.

It can get chilly when you are race-side, so a scarf, kimono or bolero jacket makes for a great cover up or additional layer.

topshop sunglasses £20

 

Topshop, £20

It pays to appear cool, calm and collected as you watch to see if your horse is in the lead. Sunglasses, then, are your best friend.

Royal Ascot - Day 1

 

Katherine Jenkins at Royal Ascot in a fab hat!

Now time for some fun. When you head to the races, a hat the borders on crazy is always an acceptable option. There aren’t many times in life that you can wear a mad hat, so why not embrace it when you can? Though of course, not all hats worn to the races need to be over the top. You can opt for something more sedate and simple.

ASOS prom dress £59.50

 

ASOS dress, £59.50

When it comes to dresses, a longer length will look elegant and fresh, a midi or maxi dress is the perfect choice. Skirts be worn only just above the knee or on the knee when attending most race events.

ASOS lace dress £95

ASOS maxi dress £60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASOS lace dress £95, ASOS maxi dress £60

The great thing about attending the races and polo events is that you don’t have to buy anything new. You can raid your summer wardrobe and just jazz it up a bit. Have fun with accessories to create a fashionable edge!

 

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

Back to it!

I haven’t been here in a while…got a new job in my favourite shop (have a look by clicking here) and so I have been working 7 day weeks in the lovely shop and also the coffee shop, leaving not much time for anything but sleep!

But now I am in some kind of a routine, hopefully things can get back to normal and I can get back to having fun on here…fingers crossed!!

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

This week’s column…how to wear the midi

Rosie 3

 

As the summer seems to have fallen flat on it’s face with yet another false start, a new fashion trend is one the rise. The midi-length, with a hemline which falls below the knee, and had previously been written off as dowdy, is on course to be the surprise fashion hit of the summer.

VB 2

Thanks to an unlikely trio of factors, including the blustery weather this spring has seen, Victoria Beckham’s much photographed personal style and an array of stars pictured at the Coachella festival in California, the midiskirt is being hailed as the skirt of the season.

The shape has even scored a red carpet appearance, fashion commentators praised Carey Mulligan’s appearance at the Met Ball in New York wearing a midi-length dress by Balenciaga at fashion’s most high profile event.

Carey Mulligan Met Ball

A big part of the midi’s success lies in its appeal across the fashion generations. Women in their 20s who are tuned into the celebrity style of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Keira Knightley are wearing the hemline, as are fortysomething women who are looking for a more grown-up look for the coming summer months.

Kiera 1Sarah Jessica Parker

Designers such as Rodarte, Celine, Louis Vuitton and Prada featured them on their catwalks, making midi-lengths all the rage for this season. The trend was originally popular in the early 1970s as fashion made the transition from flower power to seventies sleek. As always, fashion has repeated itself and so the midi has become the must have piece for summer 2013.

Unfortunately, this trend is not the easiest to wear. You will probably have noticed that the shops are full of them, but have been skirting the subject (sorry…) So hear are a few tips for those who would like to master the midi:

Consider your height; if you are petite, stick to a length that hits just above or below the knee. For taller ladies, any length will do so long as it doesn’t go below your ankles, otherwise you are moving into maxi territory.

Length is important; you can ruin the midi look if your skirt is a couple of inches too long or too short. Ideally, you want a midi to hit mid shin. If a skirt hits the thicker part of your leg, it will be less flattering. If needs be, have it hemmed to the appropriate length.

Perfect pair; if you are wearing your midi in a bold colour, temper it with a neutral blouse. If you opt for a pleated or full option, keep the top half simple.

Here are some of my favourite midi-skirts, all of which are available from Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters £28Urban Outfitters £35House of Holland at Urban Outfitters £90house of holland at Urban outfitters 2 £90

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

How to wear white…

cameron diaz

 

When it comes to putting together a sleek and sophisticated look, a good rule is to go heavy on the neutrals and light on the brights. While many ladies swear by their collections of trusty black basics, sometimes an all-white ensemble makes for a more refreshing statement.  It is easy to feel intimidated when piecing together a monochromatic look, especially one that is all-over ivory. But if ever there was a time to tackle this fashionable obstacle, it’s now.

simone rocha 1The Row 1Stella McCartney 2

catwalk images from style.com

The spring/summer 2o13 collections of designers like Stella McCartney, Simone Rocha, Alexander Wang and The Row showed white in trouser suits, separates and gauzy gowns, thus predicting that adding white to your wardrobe is a must this season.  Of course there are a lot of different trends to try out, but nothing screams summer like white…here are a few ways to create looks will last all summer long…

1. If you have more cream than white in your wardrobe, you can still achieve the same monochromatic effect. Cream can give a softer look than bright white, and is a perfect choice for weddings. Keep the rest of your look neutral with metallics or nude tones.

topshop £40

2. A great-fitting pair of white jeans will become a summer staple. You can team them with simple styles, like a plain black t shirt, floral tops, or bright tunics. Plus, they look great with every heel height from towering stilettos to basic flat pumps.

Topshop £180

3. Once the good weather has finally arrived, feel free to pull out your eyelets, lace and lined. Mixing and matching textures is something that works well with whites – lace and cashmere look just as chic as an all white ensemble that is 100% silk. Add a pop of pastel to break up your look, like a pair of mint green ballet pumps or a cornflower blue jumper.

river island £40

river island £45

4. There are many reasons why a white, lace dress will be a brilliant buy: it will never go out of fashion, you can dress it up or dress it down…the list goes on. Opt for shoes and accessories that complement your dress, but aren’t too matchy – white on white is a bad idea here.

Olivia PalermoCat Deeley

Posted in fashion, news | Leave a comment

The return of the 20s…

great gatsby

Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby will arrive in cinemas next month, and with it will come a renewed love for all things 1920’s, especially when it comes to fashion. The time has come to channel your inner Daisy Buchanan, get those T-bar shoes at the ready, and see how to bring Twenties style to your wardrobe…

Headband

If you are looking for the easiest way to pay homage to a decade that roared with exuberance, opt for the humble headband – though back then they were not that humble, bedecked with feathers and flowers and sparkles. Look to the high street for quick fixes, Topshop and Accessorize won’t let you down, or head to a specialist milliner for an investment buy.

miu miu headband 2

Miu Miu Headband from Net-a-Porter

T-bar shoes

Mary Janes and T-bar styles were the badge of footwear in the Twenties – with hems now higher, shoes were put on show and were all the prettier for it.

mulberry t bar

Mulberry shoes from Net-a-Porter

carey 5

Dazzle

There is no getting away from the razzle, dazzle and all that jazz of the decade. In fashion terms, this meant one thing: sequins, beads and embellishment galore..for there was always a party to attend.

Topshop embellishment

Dress from Topshop

Dropped-waist dressing

The Twenties were all about a dropped waist which worked to make silhouettes long, lean and boyish, moving away from the restrictive corsetry of the decades that came before it. And you can expect to see a lot more of the dropped waist this spring, whether in an evening wear incarnation, or via something more daywear ready and along more sporty lines.

red valentino embellishment

Red Valentino dress from Net-a-Porter

kenzo drop waist

Kenzo dress from Net-a-Porter

Evening elegance

Glamorous parties were the backbone of Daisy Buchanan’s existence, and so an elegant coat for evening was a must. Think easy and elegant lines, perfect for wrapping up in, movie star style, after the opera.

pucci evening elegance

Jacket by Pucci from Net-a-Porter

philosophy di alberta ferreti evening

Philosophy di Alberta Ferreti from Net-a-Porter

Pearls

Layer up on strands of pearls for the easiest way to get into the Gatsby way of thinking. To really look the part, wear with a flapper dress and feather headband.

Kenneth Jay Lane pearls

Kenneth Jay Lane Pearls from Net-a-Porter

Box Bags

Lavish ornamentation and bold, geometric shapes were the hallmarks of the Art Deco movement – something which translated beautifully onto the fashions of that time too. Box bags made for the most elegant of eveningwear options – a sartorial halfway house between jewellery and an accessory.

box clutch

Gucci box clutch from Net-a-Porter

Tiers and Pleats

Flappers flaunted tiers and pleats aplenty when it came to dresses to shimmy the night away in, or during the day for skirts that veered away from the sensible to show off some leg instead.

Vionnet tiers

Tiered dress Vionnet from Net-a-Porter

carey 3

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

Why I shop small

shakira pink 1

We’ve all been there…you strut into a party in your  brand new dress, feeling like loveliness personified, scan the room to find your friends, and then it happens.

Instead of your smiling best friends…you see a scowling girl wearing the exact same outfit. Fair enough, you may be accessorised differently, she might be the blonde to your brunette, the tall to your petite, but still. You are both at the same event in the same outfit.

same frock 1

 

same frock 2

 

same frock 3

On the various occasions when this has happened to me, I have found myself keeping my coat/scarf on in the summer, carrying my bag at an awkward angle to cover myself up, standing in odd positions, staying in my seat and sending others to get my drinks…basically looking so silly and awkward that I might as well hold up a big sign that says “THERE IS A GIRL HERE WHO IS WEARING THE SAME DRESS AS ME, AND I THINK SHE LOOKS BETTER IN IT THAN I DO, SO I AM GOING TO STAY HERE AND BE WEIRD”

I wasn’t always like this, I used to not care about the girls who were in the same dress I was in…until one night, I was wearing a heart print shift dress I bought in Topshop. I loved this dress, and couldn’t wait to show it off. So, out I go, hearting my heart print dress, and spot another girl in it. In a bid to disregard a potentially awkward situation, when the girl and I found ourselves standing at the bar at the same time, I smiled at her and said “I like your dress!” (thinking of these two, who have exactly the right attitude…sometimes you just have to laugh!)

shakira pink 2

She glared at me and said ” Just stay away from me please.”

Well that put me in my place. My place being very far away from her, and also slightly afraid of crossing the path of anyone who was in the same frock as me again.

As my life has moved on, and student loans have been taken away, real life salaries have kicked in, and so my appetite for disposable fashion has all but disappeared.

Now I long for something to invest in, for more than just a party dress to wear once and then put back in the wardrobe. I want to fall in love with what I wear, and wear it lots and feel brilliant each time. It is for this reason that I have started to spend all my hard earned money in boutiques, with just the odd high street spend.

There are some amazing boutique brands out there, with beautiful clothes, that aren’t too expensive! What could be better than that? Many of these brands do short runs of their clothing, so you are less likely to be in the same dress in the same dress, and more likely to be the girl who is wearing the dress that all the other girls wish they were wearing.

Here are some of my favourite bits and pieces from boutique brands…

Style Icon’s Closet

SIC1SIC 2SIC 3SIC 4

Sugarhill Boutique

(also available on ASOS, images from ASOS)

SB1SB2SB3SB4

Miss Patina

MP1MP2MP3

 

 

 

 

MP4Love Struck

LS1LS2LS3

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

Instagram…

421958_10200199684847324_1059358867_n207309_10200269531633450_1652383805_n579070_10200369605015222_692697629_n29012_10200389845321217_1599808995_n216742_10200412021475607_1353231241_n10196_10200430992709876_526117202_n539822_10200472109457769_424257371_n72604_10200439893812398_1070613705_n525429_10200502398934987_1754967647_n

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment

This week’s column…a Queen of style?

Queen 2

The Queen, we are told, is not much interested in fashion. But fashion is interested in the Queen, and though she may have turned 87 at the weekend, she remains as influential in fashion as ever.

“To design a dress for the Queen means you are creating something for the world’s most famous woman, who’s seen by more people on a daily basis than anyone else. She also has an image in people’s minds that you have to fulfil,” says Stewart Parvin, who is the youngest of the Queen’s designers, and has been working for her since 2000.

Parvin has to work around the rules; the Queen always wears a two inch heel, hemlines must be well below the knee, and she always carries a handbag.

“She has to wear strong colours, she’s very tiny, and in a block colour with a wonderful hat, she stands out – she’s a real focal point,” he adds.

The Queen is best known for her conservative ensembles, accessorised with sensible shoes and handbags, but she has been listed in Vogue magazine, alongside supermodels Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell, as one of the 50 most glamorous women in the world.

Queen 5

As the decades have passed, the Queen has had to detach herself from the fashionable spirit of the times, partly because by 1966 she was 40, an age by which many women in those times gave up on fashion and partly because the sartorial spirit became increasingly casual.

Transcending fashion, in any case, is what a monarch needs to do. Trends have a habit of looking ridiculous 10 years on. Therefore opting for something that was never that fashionable to begin with gives a photograph much more longevity.

Just as Elizabeth I did with her shock and awe jewelled dresses, Elizabeth II has had to construct a uniform fit for a Queen. Though in an era that requires its monarchs to be role model, yet also one of us, the current Queen had the more complex task.

Today, the majority of the clothes are made by a Liverpudlian docker’s daughter named Angela Kelly, who carries the title of “personal assistant and senior dresser.”

Kelly and her team make the clothes in the Queen’s private apartments at Buckingham Palace, including the primrose yellow dress and coat she wore to Prince William’s wedding, and much of the Jubilee wardrobe, including any hats that are not made by her current milliner, Rachel Trevor-Morgan.

Though she is avowedly not a fashionista, she is fluent in the language of clothing. From the moment she commissioned Cecil Beaton to take the official portraits of her with newborn Prince Charles, Elizabeth showed she was perfectly in command of the message. From touching pastel taffeta to the Jubilee choices, never has one woman illustrated the power of fashion for so long.

Queen 1

 

 

Posted in fashion | Leave a comment