Saturday, 17 November 2012

Leggings,not a substitute for trousers...but!

In a recent survey, I read that only 26% of the female public felt that is was appropriate to wear leggings to work and yet I live and die in them! So, I have been having a think about this one and of course, as I say to you all, no matter what the style dilemma, there is RARELY an absolute right or wrong!

A few absolute no, no’s may include no skimpy shorts in the corporate or medical world, no acres of flesh showing and no huge clanky jewellery or hair in everything!

But leggings, maybe they sometimes get too harsh a press! After all, if you are comfortable wearing a dress with tights, can it be so very wrong to don leggings instead? I prefer to save money and instead of buying footless tights, I would wear my leggings and I even layer them under skirts, a trick I learnt from ballerinas, who wear them rather better!

I think the angst about leggings may come from the picture, that some of us remember from the eighties, when the blouses were not so flattering or long and left rather dubious rear ends on display, with little left to the imagination!

Leggings are just so practical and warm, why would you buy thermal underwear to ski or do sport in when you can wear your leggings. Why would you buy tight trews to run in when you can wear your leggings? Why would you wear tight fitting jeans with an uncomfortable belt, when you can wear leggings? Why would you keep pulling your dress down for decency when you could wear your leggings underneath. Tuck ‘em in your long boots and you can pretend you are wearing tights when you are wearing leggings!

Ladies used to wear leggings under their crinolines to prevent chafing, as do soldiers and we all know how uncomfortable “chub rub” is!  Cowboys wore leggings of buckskin to protect from chapping caused by riding, wear and tear to their pants, and bites from animals, such as snakes or insects in the scruff, such as ticks.

Indian ladies wear their version with beautiful exotic tunic dresses and no-one could argue how glamorous this look is! And now, leggings are coming into the shops in all colours and slinkiness and shininess and yes, some maybe a bit tacky, but maybe we are just a bit envious of those beautiful young girls who wear them so well! 

No, I will not move with the times, this time my leggings are with me to stay!

What to wear with leggings

Something that covers your bottom
Long shirts that end a little bit below your hips/upper-mid thigh
Over-sized sweaters and tunics
They can be worn with ballerina pumps, high heels and most boots, but please don't allow the flesh to peak out if wearing ankle boots!

Layering up to give them extra weight but always cover your crotch area!

Only the really young and brave get away with wearing something tight-fitting with  leggings!

And REMEMBER, they are leggings not trousers so they are not to be equally substituted!

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Magic of Girl Talk

Taken from an excerpt of presentation given at Stamford is often said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed at the presenter, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time" help to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. The lecturer stated that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, it is the failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans that is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health, well, I suppose as long as you aren’t overdoing the drinking and smoking at the same time!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

You can easily achieve glamour and style!

My passion for colour and pretty things is overwhelming and in my role as an Image Consultant, I am well versed with the logic, process and amazing buzz and feel good factor that can be achieved by understanding your colouring and bodyshape, yet I remain perplexed!

What is glamour and style? I constantly ask myself this because of the bemusing comments that I receive from, both people I know very well and those who I don't know at all! Last night, at my running group, several people commented how I always looked so glamorous and yet I could easily question that! I arrived, hair in a scruffy ponytail, very old top now destined purely for running or gardening, a shrug which is reduced to holes, so again simply worn for a bit of warmth and I had a large safety pin, obviously attached to my top as a back-up plan! The trainers are, however, new!

I go out walking and running in the rain and the mud, enjoy really dressing down on my camping trips and feel really at home when battered by the sea and my hair is covered in salt, yet still I hear the words glamour and style. For sure, I do not have the figure to prance around in my neat running pants or swimwear and my tan is entirely "homegrown"! are my nails! In this given state should I not be scared to be seen by my pupils of style and image, you would have thought so!

More surprisingly, after the local carnival my friends decided to continue the party in town. The decision was taken that we either all changed back to our glad rags or stayed in fancy dress. I was not amused when the vote was made to head into town as Zombies!

Can you believe that even with my clothes in holes, my make-up purposely messy and fake blood all over me, I received compliments about how nice I looked and I was supposed to look dead!

I can only guess at why because I don't have the answer. What I think it must be is that over a period of years of knowing what colours and styles suit, even what is ancient, in tatters and I am wearing for really messy still works! I do not have the perfect face or figure or even a massive income, but something about understanding yourself really works, even when you aren't trying. There comes a stage when you don't feel right in anything that isn't really you, yet you can be as dolled up as you like or as dressed down as you choose.

Whoever you are or want to be, you can easily achieve glamour and style by learning how to simply be comfortable in your own skin and always dress for YOU!

These pictures are hardly glam!!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Court Complements

Court Complements

Ladies, why do you buy lovely clothes then leave them floundering hidden in the darkest depths of your wardrobes, waiting for a rainy day, sunny day, special day, holy day....??

Make every day a special day and wear your nice clothes and feel great whenever possible. I often hear the lament that it takes effort to look nice! Well, yes to an extent if you are going to wear make-up and accessories, but, as a basic rule, it takes no longer to put on a flattering top or an unflattering one! It takes no longer to wear a tunic top than a dull, lifeless t-shirt!

So remember when you reach for that shapeless garb that has been hanging around for years, you may just have something much more flattering and just as easy to throw on, lurking somewhere in the wardrobe, enjoy!

Alice Olivia peplum top

MuuBaa drape cardigan
$580 -

Dsquared pleated pants
$585 -

Miso platform heels
$64 -

Reed Krakoff snakeskin handbag
$2,530 -

Charlotte Russe hair accessory

House Plan 456-12

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Oh no....Banish that Camel Toe!

Shhhhh...Women have their beauty and fashion secrets and this is one of them. If you are an active, fashion conscious or contemporary woman then Camelflage panties are for you. These aren't your ordinary panty, they were specifically designed to smooth out your feminine parts under tight clothing. Yoga and exercise pants, leggings, tight shorts, skinny jeans or even some work trousers can have a shorter inseam. You have enough to worry about these days; the last thing you need to think about is your panties riding up during your cardio kick boxing class.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Collar these ones and you'll look fab!

The perfect partner for your wardrobes for all you lovely ladies who know that they need to fill in those rather saggy necklines or lift the impact from their shoulders upwards. Simply choose the best one for your face shape and you’re sorted!

If you’ve always wanted to look like a baby doll, this is your season. With 1960’s influences everywhere roaring, you can add a Peter Pan collar to the simplest oufit and be prepared to twist and shout.

With the attraction of being able to simply add a piece of bling, the collar trend could be a huge asset to your wardrobe adding  some great mix-and-match options over items which are tired, outdated or simply needing a bit of lift.

Choose from bib collar necklaces for the sweet approach, studded sharp points collars for the dramatic stronger body types or the fanciful beaded versions to add sparkle and bling for the party animals!

There are also lace options to enhance your vintage pieces and fanciful feathers to add fun and fluff!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Lime Dream

Lime Dream

Paul s Boutique satchel handbag

This is an entry I made into a competiton for the Perfect Pair! I just love both these items and the juxtaposition of  a really warm shade with something a little cooler! 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Celebrate Your Curves as a Figure Magician

Dear Clare: What happens when my body has adapted well to surviving an Arctic storm but I haven’t seen a snowflake in years?

Dear Jeans R. Bustin: Well, there are two options here.. One is to move...! Or simply to hold the and keep them guessing where you have hidden all that exciting flesh! Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising are essential, but let me share these useful tips on how you can be: Your own “Figure Magician”!

Black is always back! Providing the fabric isn’t too shiny, black absorbs light and, as long as the garment fits well, it’s an instant way to look a couple of pounds lighter - but, of course, always mix with your most flattering colours!

Monochromatic makeovers Top-to-toe dark neutrals are visually lengthening and slimming. Keep the eye up - down as opposed to across. Don’t wear too many high contrast colour combinations as your figure cuts up into more obvious pieces, thereby eliminating that illusion of slenderness.

Skim the Skin Skim the body, not painted on the body! If you can't bend over without hearing that scary strain on the fabric ( I know you’ve heard it! ) your trousers are too ... Petite!, just buy the next size and cut off the label!

Be fair and don’t share... that extra pound of flesh! Belly baring is in, but if you look more cuddly than beanpole then keep it all under wraps .... Why spoil the surprise!.

However...Do not try to hide your body under big, shapeless clothing! Masses of fabric doesn’t hide your body or size, it just hides your shape and can be very frumpy, even ageing! Instead, wear clothes that define the best parts of your body. Defining your waist with a belt, for example, can accentuate your curves

Lycra It takes more than your loved one to hold you tight, unless he’s called Lycra! As long as you can move and “it” doesn’t, then you are sorted! We all need a bit of support now and again and who says it can’t be from lycra!

Go trendier Stuffy styling adds years! Lighten up your image by dressing young at heart and you’ll feel lighter all over!

Sew simple! Keep styling simple, yet trendy, and leave the frills out. Fussier means fuller, fuller means fa.....! A few distractions is all you need!

It’s all in the balance! - If you find yourself looking bottom heavy, wear tops with broader shoulders or horizontal stripes to appear more visually symmetric! Sometimes shoulder pads can be a real bonus in creating balance if you have larger hips.

Reveal your beauty! Beauty is revealed, never applied! Pay attention to your face and leave the rest to its own fortune! You'll divert attention away from the cuddly bits!

Perfect Foundation! Supportive underwear is vital and can significantly affect your overall look. It is extremely important to have on a great-fitting bra and beautiful briefs. Feel good, look good!

Accessorise make the most of the fashion fab accessories - focus on your features, disguise the rest!

Don’t go flat out with an added inch to your heels you lift your bum to more flattering heights!

Love yourself! Find something you enjoy about yourself and flaunt it! Be proud of who you are and respect yourself! Anything goes - luscious legs, radiant skin, nicely trussed boobs, knock ‘em dead!
Here's a great dress that will hug your body but keep the curves neatly in place! Then you simply add your favourite accessories for the appropriate occasion!
Or you can try the the softer look and help to disguise the bits you don't want others looking at!
Try something like this which diffuses any lumps and bumps by creating distractions!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Colour Magic

This is a labour of love pulling together my ideas on various colour types and their characteristics. I hope you will have some fun looking through and enjoy discovering the magic of colour!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A Soggy Blog...embrace your macs and wellies!

Oh dear, why do the Brits always talk about the weather...well apart from the fact that it is literally in your face, it really can wreak havoc with our wardrobe choices! One minute sun, the next torrential rain...I think the concept of a summer and winter wardrobe will no longer suffice!

So my thoughts are that we should make the most of what we have and dress accordingly! While my flip flops have hardly seen the light of day I have decided that worthy investments in my current wardrobe should be colourful and cosy wellies and a pretty rainmac, with a cheerful umbrella thrown into the mix. The bonus with these investments is that we know that they will get a lot of use, we will feel dry and smug that at least we don't have to water the garden, face a hosepipe ban or hide indoors from the 40o sun! 


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Neon, Get it On!

If Neon colours are featuring big time on the fashion rails, I hear you ask..what about my make-up? Well, colour is definitely "in" for your face, but I know that this is a scary prospect for many of you! As with so many things it is best to gradually build your confidence levels, but you've got to make a start here goes and that means you too!

Cast your eyes in the direction of that wonderful violet or bright green and leave the brown for another day! Now the trick is always to apply the strong colour first then neutralise it if you need to, otherwise you will not be able to build up any level of impact.

Personally, I prefer going with the eye pencil first as this is wax based and therefore the eyeshadow will set it. If you try to colour the pencil over shadow you tend to tug the skin a bit more; liquid liner is a different consistency and is best applied over powder.

If you opt for a bright pencil/liner then you possibly don't need the bright shadow too, but then again, it could be fab, give it a whirl! Remember you have a back-up plan. This is not to wash it off and start all over again, that is tedious and rubs your skin. Simply grab one of your blender brushes and with a melon or opal, pinky/peachy tone you can wash this over the top. Or, even a light mint or soft gold can do the trick, although matte is naturally more subtle than frosted versions.

Here is a look created by Mel Arter for MAC, this stand-out spring/summer look is all about a playful hint of colour on the inside lower lash-line.

My all time favourite combination from the "Colour Me Beautiful" cosmetics range is Amethyst pencil with Tangerine eye shadow, but other options could be Teal with Purple or Amethyst with Peppermint. I don't often mix the same shade of pencil with shadow as the colours tend to lose themselves, variety in this case really is the essence of life.

If your prefer to add zest to your lips then now really is the time to experiment with your reds oranges, bright pinks or corals. Choosing from your colour palette you will have decided whether you are going for oranges or corals to look best on your yellow toned skin or cerise and fuchsia to look amazing with your pinkier tones. As always, very pale skin tends to ere more towards suiting pinks, while very dark skins can be more ambitious.

Again, if you really think you have gone over the top, don't rub it off all over your cheeks, either add a dab of gloss or pearlescent over the top or even a touch of highlighter! You can also soften the look by first applying either a lip base or a more subtle neutral pencil, such as Natural from the Colour Me Beautiful range.

Here is The Look: Created by Andrew Gallimore for MAC, this look is all about soft and sultry sex appeal: pure romanticism as seen in Glamour magazine.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Shrug it on!

One of my favourite wardrobe pieces has to be the "Shrug"! If you call this a cardi that's fine, I tend to think if cardigans as being a bit more formal but less than a jacket. Then again, we find some very relaxed cardigans so I leave it to you to decide when the shrug which drapes and covers your shoulders and some of your body, takes on the mantle of being a cardigan!

But, whether you choose a cardigan or shrug, remember you need at least one neutral and one colour to start building your wardrobe in a mix 'n'match way. I have gone for pink and off-white this season as it supposedly summer!

Now that I have my shrug, I can wear it with a short or longer skirt as long as there is some fullness and, of course, this can be plain or patterned...I personally enjoy patterned skirts for a really girly look, but a plain one with a petticoat under looks fab with this look!

You can now use this same cardi over various tunic tops  or dresses, whether plain or patterned. Obviously  if you choose a patterned tunic you would be more likely to wear plain trousers!

If you are brave enough to wear the fab new patterned trousers I would suggest a plain top!

The same cardi will work with a day dress or have some fun with your wardrobe by choosing from the fab maxis which can be dressed up with heels or worn in a relxed style with some flirty sandals.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Looking forward to summer...

With most of us now eagerly awaiting the summer sun after England's recent spell of great weather, most of you will have shared the same thoughts with me - as the climate improves, how do we dress to keep cool and still look 'cool'?

Having lived in Spain for the past year, this has been a real issue for me as the temperatures soar to almost 40 degrees during the summer months! I find myself rummaging through my wardrobe longing to layer my clothes to suit my body shape, as I would usually, but disavowing every outfit possibility and instead gravitating towards the lightest, and probably least flattering, item of clothing possible.

So as we approach spring, or begin to head off on our Easter and summer holidays, how do we dress appropriately without sacrificing style? It tends to be that as the temperatures rise, so do the hemlines. If you'd rather keep your legs under cover and are looking for something that offers 'breathability', a maxi skirt or dress is a great way to cover up but still stay chic. Their versatility makes them a great option for when the weather warms up and best of all, they are designed to suit almost all shapes and sizes. Pair up a maxi skirt with a simple white top to reflect the heat and add a thin belt for extra shape. Next has a fantastic range of both skirts and dresses in varying colours and patterns.

Pretty pastels are a perfect way to refresh your wardrobe this season! Spring and summer collections are awash with a palette of powder blue, soft pink, spearmint and yellow, from dresses and blazers to accessories. Pastel shades help to deflect the sun's rays and pale hues such as mint green and lavender are a great alternative to white. Check out the pastel collection on the ASOS page using the keyword 'pastel' in the search bar.

As we all know, finding something comfortable to wear in the hotter season depends largely on fabric choice. Opting for cotton allows body heat to escape and is soft and breathable. Linen is ideal for absorbing perspiration and is durable, yet cool and comfortable. A lightweight denim is also a popular choice for the slightly more bearable, balmy evenings! Again, Next has a large range of stylish items in these materials, including these tapered cotton/linen blend trousers.

And finally... the arduousness of accessorizing in the summer season! A hat is the key way to keep the sun off your face and head-wear is the hottest accessory trend for summer, adding an extra touch of style to any outfit. Straw stetsons, woven trilbys and floppy brimmed sun hats teamed with a simple dress is a great look and Accessorize and New Look have a wide online selection at excellent prices. A low, open toe wedge or embellished flat sandal also enables you to stay cool and feel comfortable but still adds impact to your outfit. I love these Zara Jute wedges, although they are a little high for everyday wear!

And one last tip: If, like me, wearing make-up in the sun can sometimes feel like an extra layer of clothing, remember to opt for a tinted moisturiser instead of foundation! 

Signing off for today from guest blogger...Freya Jane, I'll be back!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Splash of Colour for Spring

Every season, designers find colours which evoke a range of emotions and style options that we enjoy adding to our wardrobes. This Spring offers us the wonderful zesty shades turquoise, bright coral and citron which will brighten our mood and lift our spirits!

You can use as much or as little as you choose! Along with citron, lime is also featuring and the coral stretches as far as bright orange! And even the shades of blue will make you feel far from down!

Warmer colour types will struggle to know what to choose as there is so much out there but softer colour types will still find the gorgeous mellow pinks, beiges and some subtle lilacs.....look to Xile, Sahara and Sandwich and Bohemia.

Brighter, warmer types will find some choice is Sandwich and Sahara and shops like Wallis always like to be playful with colour. Topshop, River Island and New Look have a vast range of colour options, so there really is no excuse not to play!

And not to forget the most powerful colour of all, Red is making a huge impact this season. Whether it's shoes,accessories or crimson lips you really have got to give this a whirl!

Jenny Packham’s classy and chic gown is stunning in vibrancy, strength and femininity.

If loads of colour still scares you the start with the accessories and go from there!

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