Thursday, 27 November 2008

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

As it says in one of the songs from my favourite childhood musicals Annie "Hey, hobo man, Hey, Dapper Dan, You've both got your style. But Brother, You're never fully dressed,Without a smile!"

I love getting dressed up and one of the most important things for me about fashion is that it is fun! I like to wear clothes that make me happy and make me smile. If you want doom and gloom and misery, just watch the news. Fashion should not be taken too seriously. Try adding something a bit fun or a bit wacky to your outfit and see what a conversation starter it will be.

A great way of adding a bit of fun to your outfit is with colour and pattern. On a wet and windy dull grey, nothing makes me smile more than a bright pink top or some eye catching red shoes. Unusual hats are also great for a bit of fun (although not great on very windy days), they won't just brighten up your day but also everyone around you.

In case you are still not convinced here are some great reasons to smile:

1. Smiling makes you attractive - people will be instantly drawn to you
2. Smiling helps to relieve stress
3. Smiling is contagious - once you smile, others around you will smile too
4. smiling makes you look younger (no need for a face lift, just smile)
5. smiling reduces blood pressure
6. Smiling boosts your immune system
7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin- so you will get a natural high
8. smiling will make you happy
So now there is no excuse, choose something fun to wear and don't forget your smile.

funky copper jewellery and rings 2
funky copper jewellery and rings Selection of Funky Copper Jewellery and Rings at Munique Fashions

coloured tights

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Black Polo Neck Jumper

Top of my list of must have items for this winter is the black polo neck jumper. Not only is it lovely and warm in the cold weather, it is also extremely versatile. Black is a flattering colour that suits most people and also can help you lose a pound or two (in appearance). But the best thing about the black polo neck jumper is that it can be layered with other clothes or accessorised in lots of different ways for an interesting and trendy look.

Some of your favourite summer clothes can gain extra mileage by wearing with tights and a polo neck for the winter. Try wearing a floral summer dress with a polo neck jumper for your own take on this seasons winter florals. The Autumn Winter 08 catwalk shows were awash with black polo neck jumpers. At Prada, they were layered under lace. At Givenchy, they were teamed with black leather trousers, a tailored jacket and layers of chains and crucifixes. At Yves St Laurent they were worn with just about everything in a minimalist style.

louis vuitton statement necklace 08
A great reason for wearing a polo neck is that it is a great way to show off a gorgeous statement necklace as seen at Louis Vuitton. (picture from
Purple Amethyst, Swarovski Crystal and Silver Necklace and Bracelet

This Purple Amethyst, Swarovski Crystal and Silver Necklace and Bracelet will look amazing with a black or charcoal grey polo neck jumper.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Find your own style

Style is not about fashion, as once famously said by Coco Chanel “fashion fades, style is eternal. Your style will not change form season to season. It is something that is unique to each person, it is something that says something about that person and who they are. When looking for your style you should think carefully about your personality, what you look and feel good in.

The real key to finding your own style is finding clothes and accessories that make you look and feel great. If you feel great you will exhibit a confidence that says you are ultimately stylish. A truly stylish person dresses for themselves, they know who they are and are happy with it.
In your quest to find your own style, you should search high and low to find clothes and accessories that really say something about who you are. Look for clothes that really suit your body shape and colouring then accessorise to suit your personality but remember not too play it too safe. Try lots of different options and combinations, have fun and see what you like best. If you have always played safe with your clothing and never allowed your real personality to show through then start small, perhaps some different jewellery that shows your love of the unusual or a fun handbag that shows your sense of humour.

When it comes to style, the rules are that there are no rules. You should wear what ever suits you and makes you feel great. There is no need to follow the latest trends however you can always pick and choose items from them that suit your style if you like. Style is not about how much money you spend on clothes. Some of the most stylish people you see around will not be wearing expensive designer clothes and some of those wearing expensive designer clothes do not look at all stylish. When trying to find your own style, always opt for clothes that fit beautifully as these are the clothes that will look beautiful and very stylish no matter what your style is.
Miuccia Prada was right when she said “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is an instant language.” So find the style that really represents how you want the world to see you be it Yummy Mummy, business woman or artist bohemian.

oval leather handbagCelebrate your own unique style with this Oval Leather Handbag.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The art of accessorising

Accessories add interest to an outfit, they make it look special and they also hold the whole look together and make it look finished. You will notice some people are masters at accessorising and can make a very plain outfit look really amazing and stylish by adding the right accessories. But how should you choose which accessories to wear with which outfit?

There are so many different accessories to choose from. They include shoes, bags, jewellery, belts, gloves, scarves, hats and tights. How you choose to accessorise each outfit will depend on the look you are trying to create. For example a simple little black dress may be accessorised for a party with patent black shoes, a silver clutch bag, a sparkly silver necklace and bracelet. A more casual sweater dress may be accessorised with some thick tights, boots, wide belt and chunky beads. The key to accessorising is not to over do it. Only wear one accessory that really makes a statement teamed with maybe two or three other more subtle accessories.

When choosing accessories, you need to think about the outfit that you are accessorising. An eye catching dress may look too much with statement accessories as well. Some other considerations when choosing accessories are:

· Mood – Do the accessories match with the mood of the outfit and the look you are trying to create? Unless you are a real trendsetter a gothic style scarf will not look great with a power suit.
· Colour – Do the accessories match or compliment the colours of the outfit? – Contrary to popular belief black does not go with everything. Accessories are a great way to add colour to an outfit and experiment with different colour combinations.
· Silhouette – How will the accessories that you add affect the overall shape of the outfit? eg wearing a belt will completely change the look of a loose fitting top or dress.
· Drawing or diverting attention – do your accessories draw attention to your best features and draw attention away from your worst features? If not they should e.g. draw eyes towards a pretty face with a neck scarf, a neat waist with belt, long legs with some gorgeous patterned tights.

As with any fashion and style advice the only real way to find out what something is going to look like is to try it on. Try on two or three different accessory combinations with an outfit and choose which looks and feels best.
This chunky Onyx and Lava Stone Bracelet is really unique and intersting and looks great with black, grey or white outfits.

onyx and lava stone bracelet

Thursday, 6 November 2008

9 Top Winter Wardrobe Must Haves

Winter is nearly upon us and while it may be getting darker and colder outside we can still brighten up our winter wardrobe with a few well chosen accessories. Take your cue from this season's number one colour - RUST - and add your own unique glamour to it. This season's colours are made up of russet hues incorporating brown, saffron, ochre, bronze, caramel and chestnut tones. Magenta and plum are also popular. These are colours that can accentuate any wardrobe and are almost timeless.

In my article on "The Credit Crunch and Your Wardrobe" I talked about building a timeless wardrobe over time and buying quality as opposed to quantity when it came to fashion and accessories. The same principle applies for your winter wardrobe basics which include coats, hats, handbags, scarves, jumpers, crisp white shirt, tights, gloves, and boots. Quality basic clothing lasts a lifetime and usually remains fashionable.
alpaca wool wrap

Commit to buying one good winter coat every year or every two years depending on your budget. A well made high wool blend quality coat will keep you warm winter after winter after winter. Denim and tweed are also timeless combinations. Use this season's colours in your accessories to accentuate and create an essential look for this autumn/winter.

If you already have a few coats in your wardrobe then wrap up warm in a luxurious alpaca wool wrap in brown or black - versatile choices for most outfits. Handmade alpaca wool wraps from Peru are very popular and of good quality. For the fashionista in you, choose one that fits in with this years russet hues and match up with a soft suede handbag.
When it comes to the fit of your coat to suit your body shape, check out Gok Wan's guide to coat at Dorothy Perkins or any other reliable shape guide you can find.


Decisions on what style hat to wear are made based on face shape which is the content of article on its own. For winter your ideal requirement is warmth, colour, texture and how well it pairs up with your other winter accessories. Also invest in some waterproof hats for those rainy days.


This season's accessories speak to creativity and making fashion statements with big, bold, look-at-me-colours. Go for oval leather handbags in vibrant colours. Fashionistas who like the folk trend will appreciate a leather and goat skin handbag.


Use your scarf around your head, neck or even tie it around your handbag straps as an accessory. Again a scarf is the ideal fashion accessory for introducing this season's trendy colours into your wardrobe. To brighten up a basic black or grey coat go for a royal blue woollen scarf. Have a look for some unique handcrafted scarves that will add both texture and colour and have people asking you "where did you get that?"


Go for a selection of jumpers that reflect this season's colours as well as those that offer unique designs. Select sweaters, vest, and pullovers ranging from the classic argyle pattern to solid coloured V necks with double layered cuffs. Alternate between waisted fit to comfortable fit. My preference of quality fabrics includes 100% cotton, 100% wool, fine cotton/cashmere mix; or a cotton, polyamide, cashmere and elastane mix. Remember to include a long knitted cardigan if you don't already have one.

The crisp white shirt is every winter must have. This timeless piece fits well under most jumpers. Try wearing light summer blouses over long sleeve fitted sweaters for added texture and colour or wear long sleeved shirts and blouses under short sleeve sweaters.


Let your tights and leggings do the walking and talking this winter. Stand out from the crowd with a few fun leggings to pair with dresses, skirts, and even shorts. Tartan is very popular this season. Accentuate your legs and outfits with trendy, colourful and chic looking tights. There is plenty to choose from. Just say tightsplease.


You can't go wrong with the classic leather hand glove - again a useful winter accessory for accentuating this season's colours in your winter wardrobe.


For the sexy and sensational look, go for the over the knee or knee high boots. The slough ankle boot looks great with jeans and cowboy boots have made a comeback. Whichever is your hot pick, a good quality leather or suede boot will go a long way to building a timeless wardrobe.