Saturday, 1 November 2014

Time for a new coat???

A new winter coat is the most exciting buy for winter (along with new boots) and the High Street is exploding with new colour palettes, textures and styles.

Whether you are looking for something versatile or something that makes more of a statement, here's our pick of this season's coats followed by some tips on how to narrow down the choice and find one that is just right for you.

The Season's Styles
Every winter we see the same styles reappear with a bit of an update, whether it be new colours and textures or twists in the detail. Favourites are the trench, pea coat, Crombie and parka. These are all great staples because they never really date. Whilst it's easy to go for the safe options, try to get out of your comfort zone and experiment with new shapes. You just need to make sure the style suits you and works with a variety of outfits. You also want to enjoy wearing it. The big coat stories this season are oversized/boyfriend, pared back tailoring, wraps and capes.

The New ColoursYes it is practical to have a coat in a neutral shade (grey, navy, camel or black) that goes with everything, but your coat is not just serving a purpose, it is part of YOUR style. If you choose carefully and get the right colour for you, a colour can be just as versatile. If you like something a bit different you might want to try some colour block pieces. The colour stories for coats this season are cobalt blue, pale pink, hot pink, orange, red and yellow.

Pattern and Fabric Stories

Tartan is THE pattern to go for and we're not looking at traditional weaves here. There are varying colours and big checks. Following closely behind tartan are Aztec-like patterns mostly in rich colours and fabrics in wrap and cape styles. Both themes make your winter coat more of a statement. Shearling is back along with faux fur and we are seeing these textures mixed with other fabrics too. The furs are fun but not in the least bit practical, but go for it if you dare!

Tips to consider when choosing your coat

What do you like?
Long, short, classic, on trend, creative, neutral shade, colourful, smart, casual? You want something that reflects your style and fits with your lifestyle. There is no point buying a long coat if you are in and out of a car all day, or a short one if you walk miles to the train station.

What do you need?
First and foremost it needs to keep you warm. Check what it is made of. It must fit well and make sure when you try on your coats that you wear a jumper or jacket underneath. Decide if you need it to be versatile or something different for particular occasions, perhaps a super smart or statement look.

Do you have a coat wardrobe?
You may consider having a few coats in your wardrobe depending on the occasion: one for every day, another for shopping (you don't want to overheat), one waterproof, and so on. You don't need to buy them all at once, but over two or three years you can build a coat wardrobe.

Don't be afraid to try new styles and colours!

Happy coat shopping!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn is blowing in...!

It must be officially Autumn now as my boiler has blown again,so I am thinking it’s time to get my wardrobe and self under wraps! I adore ponchos and capes, a hangover from my dalliance with those wonderful Bohemian styles of the ‘70’s. So words like Retro, Folk and Gypsy all have an appeal when allied to fashion terms. There are so many wonderful capes to drape, from sparkling to sumptuous, luxury to cosy, featherlight to blanket style and if that’s not your choice then a cocooning coat will be easy to find this season. Just think about your personality and scale before you invest. If you are a petite then you have to balance your consideration for warmth and practicality with that of the weight of the garment. You don’t want to be weighed down by lots of bulk and massive collars, so clothing which allows you to layer up will work to your advantage. The taller you are the more you can add the tassels, texture and bold patterning. Curvier ladies will benefit from the draping qualities while more angular body types can enjoy the duffle coats and heavy wraps.
The duffle coat reminds me of my winter school days and I just loved those toggles!
This cape reminds me of what I aspire to, crisp cold, no rain and no kids!
A swish of luxury, marginally practical but a very nice addition to a stylish wardrobe
And finally, this is when the invitation arrives to that lavish event in a top class venue where there is definitely central heating! Enjoy a warm and cosy and naturally stylish Autumn and Winter!

Monday, 3 March 2014


According to Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone, designers are taking a modern twist on the traditional for spring 2014 by pairing soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colourful equilibrium. Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad, and strong, confident women, designers are using colour to refresh, revive and defy conventional wisdom.

So, whether you make a statement wearing a head-to-toe colour, or bring different shades together, you'll be bang on trend. Having experienced the wettest winter in recent history, I think most people are feeling a bit blue at the moment! While Leatrice states that “This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium," the UK consumer probably needs a little bit of warming up! Luckily Spring’s palette includes freesia (yellow), celosia orange and cayenne (a soft red) which all work perfectly with blue.

You can choose from Placid Blue, Violet tulip to Dazzling Blue and make this your wardrobe staple. The more vibrant versions, as always, belong best to the Cools, Clears and Deeps but Warms, Softs and Lights will wear their blues in lighter and softer versions, the placid versions.

Add your warm tonalities of Fusion Coral, Azalea Pink, Pink Carnation and Sachet Pink and add a dash of sunny lime for good measure! Azalea pink evokes drama and glamour and is best suited to Cool colourings or Deep or Clear colourings with cool skin tones. Blush pink in a key piece or top-to-toe can be a statement look too. It is a great shade on all colouring (aka a universal colour!). The delicate pastel sachet pinks are made for the Lights but can be mixed with bolder pinks for those that can. A pastel pink in shiny fabric will turn a simple garment into something more special. Warms should go for more corally shades of pink (fusion coral) or head for or celosia orange! Peach Whip and Flamingo are also the delicious names of colours being bandied around... I am thinking of fun and sunshine for a change!

Radiant Orchid has been hailed the colour of the season and this sits somewhere between violet and pink so perfect for most colour types!

Are you ready for some sunshine? Then say hello to Yellow! It's a sunny, feel-good colour but you need to get just the right shade for you and have the confidence to wear it. Choose from the vibrant freesia or head towards precious amber for a richer tone. You can add this to pattern or go quite bold, but remember you will be seen, so choose your most flattering version.

And finally Spring wouldn’t be Spring without those lovely shades of green which remind us of everything fresh and full of life, saying that Hemlock is a fashion shade!

Friday, 28 February 2014

New Cosmetics - Colour Me Beautiful

Looks Magic introduces an exciting new addition to the Colour Me Beautiful make-up range and, number 1 best-selling product from Color Me Beautiful, America, our foundation primer is perfect for every day use as well as special occasion make-up.
Also, Hoorah for SIX NEW LIPSTICK shades : Mango Punch, Sueded Rose, Plumberry, Glam, Mocha Berry and Red Carpet and the NEW edition of the famous Colour Me Beautiful book, with even more tips and advice to ensure you look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.

Contact me if you would like any information about these products or would like to order them.

or go direct to to order on-line

Clare Greenwood is the Colour Me Beautiful Image consultant in Cornwall and Devon and trained as Colour Me Beautiful South West consultant. Feel free to contact her if you are interested in her colour and styling consultations.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Getting to Know YOU!

Getting to know you is all about understanding what it is that you have which is unique. We all follow certain patterns, but, at the end of the day we come together in our own way, so don't try to emulate...create!

Understanding Colour
Colour works like magic and gives you an instant boost, which can make you look younger and certainly makes you feel more vibrant - so that's your first step! Love yourself by choosing only those shades which love you back, it's a perfect relationship! Those nearest your face are most important as they quickly reflect on you, so that's your focus!

Love your Body! 
Caress those lines and curves with styles that match and embrace you. Too many women are scared of every lump and bump and end up hiding all their assets. You can critique yourself without being critical! Do you love it, do you wear it, do you get compliments in it? Do you feel comfortable or twitchy? Or, have you simply forgotten what it feels like to feel great!

Don't waste your time by not feeling fabulous... every day is worthwhile, not just those special occasions! Even your doggie walking gear and gardening stuff can be flattering...your old clothes should still be ones which you once worn as "best"!

You do not need to spend loads of money. Charity shops are a worthy source of unloved items which could just fill that gap perfectly! If you have some treasured clothes that you think are really very old now, just re-label them as "vintage" and wear with pride! It is not all about new or is about you and feeling good. Anything that you didn't like when you bought it...why?? Well, those should certainly head to the nearest source for recycling.

So, while the weather is dreary and unrelenting, take some time in and go through your wardrobe. Sort into your three piles - love it, doubtful and what was I thinking. The "love its" can be fixed up and placed reverently back into your wardrobe, either in colour order or garment order, I can never work out which I prefer! The "doubt its" may be simply that someone else has given you bad feedback, but you love it. Really think about what merits it has for YOU! If in doubt, leave it out. The bad mistakes are only filling your wardrobe and creating negative karma. But, before you relinquish them, take a fresh look at why they got there in the first place.

Was it a cast-off? These can be great, but not if you are just lending wardrobe space to someone else's mistakes! Were you shopping with the wrong friend? Perhaps she loved it because it would have suited her. Did you have that niggle of doubt before you even paid for it? Did you buy it in the sale thinking it was a bargain? Next time you may be better to buy something at full price which is of true value.

Work on all the bits you love and play down the others. Dressing well is all a game of balance, disguise and adding the touch of magic.

Dabble with fashion but be its mistress, play with it, tease it but don't be led too far astray! You may have been a Quant girl of the '60's, a Laura Ashley fan of the '70's, a Dallas fan of the '80's...perhaps you can still play with an element of that look which suited you then?

You don't need to choose one look, your lifestyle and personality can stretch across many trends, you simply need to be comfortable about expressing what you feel.

Style is...what is style? There is no answer! That is the beauty, the challenge and the fun, but you will know it when you find it!

Enjoy the magic!

Vivien Westwood knows all about style, colour and confidence!!

Favourite Style Books