Summer Hats

I have ALWAYS loved wearing hats, as you can see…

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There’s no need to fear hats and they are great for covering a bad hair day, as well as being much needed sun protection for our skin.

It’s a common misconception that you should choose a hat according to your face shape. I always recommend choosing hats according to your height and your hair style.

For example, I am tall, I have a large frame, I have large facial features and this means that I look a bit odd if I wear accessories that are too small for me, such as micro sunglasses, trilby hats or dainty jewellery.

Similarly, if you are short and you wear a large, wide brimmed summer hat with oversized sunglasses, we won’t see much of you underneath!

Wearing a hat can take a lot of confidence as it’s one of the largest accessories and if you feel self conscious, it’ll show. So take this opportunity during lockdown, to get used to wearing a hat in your garden, on your local walks and even around the house.

By the time lockdown eases, you will think nothing of wearing your hat to busier places or seeing other people.

To make your life simple, I have broken the hats down into categories to give you some guidance as to how they differ and who they will suit.

FEDORA

A fedora is a wide brimmed hat that suits women of a taller stature and can be worn with either long hair styles, mid length hairstyles, or even pixie cuts. I wouldn’t recommend this hat if you are under 5ft 5 as it will drown you.

My fedora has become a staple in my wardrobe recently and you can wear them in summer or winter. The wide brim makes them ideal for keeping the sun off your precious skin.

Fedoras look great with any outfit, depending on the look you are going for. Wear with a summer dress or midi length skirt, sandals or Western boots for a boho vibe.

ASOS DESIGN felt fedora hat with plait braid trim with size adjuster
Felt Fedora – £20 from ASOS
ASOS DESIGN straw fedora hat with light band
Straw Fedora – £11.20 from ASOS

TRILBY

A trilby is much better suited to women 5ft 6 and under. This is because the narrower brim will not drown your frame. A trilby works with any hair style and this style is typically best in summer as opposed to winter.

The trilby looks great with denim and the most simple of outfits. Keep the focus on the hat and wear with a tee and denim shorts or a vest and Mom jeans.

Tortoiseshell Buckle Trilby Hat
Trilby – £22 from Oliver Bonas
ASOS DESIGN straw trilby hat with size adjuster in brown
Trilby – £10 from ASOS

BASEBALL CAPS

Baseball caps suit all hair lengths and all heights. They are more limited with their styling as you can’t wear them with dresses or even jumpsuits. Choose a stylish baseball cap and wear with denim shorts and a vest.

Tommy Jeans all over logo cap in blue print
Baseball cap – £30 from Tommy at ASOS

BUCKET HATS

These are REALLY hard to get right and as much as they look cool on the fashionistas of Instagram, the reality could be closer to Kevin & Perry! If this is a style you like, I would urge you to choose this shape in straw. It will be easier to match with dresses and shorts and a tee, than, say a Kangol one…..!

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Straw Bucket Hat – £12 from Topshop
myReviewer.com - JPEG - Screenshot from Kevin and Perry Go Large

ALTERNATIVES

If, like me, you’re sporting a questionable lockdown hair-do, your best friend is a headscarf. I have had a love/hate relationship with headbands for years. The silky ones slipped off too easily and some alice bands hurt the backs of my ears.

As you’ll know I am a huge fan of Kaz Bands, and if, like me, you have a larger head, they will fit well!

I generally find that headbands with large bows work better if you have a high forehead.

Headband £11.99 – Kazbands

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There are alternative ways to wear a headscarf, using your own silky scarves at home (see my video below). Alternatively, opt for Alice bands or an elasticated headband secured in place with kirby grips. Headbands stay in place MUCH easier when your hair is a bit greasy, so they won’t work if you have freshly washed, fluffy, clean hair!

Aster Floral Print Knotted Headband
Headband – £19.50 – Oliver Bonas
Headband – £35 – Anthropologie

SUMMARY

Have loads of fun trying hats and headbands, and they are good for dressing up the most basic outfits!

If you struggle to get hats to fit you (I have a big head and also struggle at times!) I recommend Accessorize as their hats come in different sizes. You can also buy hats from male ranges and some of the women’s ASOS ones even have size adjusters!

Summer Footwear

Hi everyone, Susie here! So right now, we are all on lockdown in the UK at the same time as a beautiful heatwave has been with us. Well, I say heatwave, but I mean, continuous sunshine! As the temperature has gradually been rising, we’ve had lots of questions about summer footwear.

So here are some of my best tips for your most common problems.

Q: How can I wear a summer sandal when I hate showing my toes?

A: I’m not a huge fan of my toes either, but I refuse to sweat unneccessarily, so I tend to wear sandals now. However, as someone who hid their toes for MANY years, I totally feel this particular anxiety of yours.

A great tip for drawing less attention to your toes, is to paint your toe nails in a light colour, such as nude, silver or gold. It’s less likely to draw the focus towards your toes, than if you were wearing a bright red nail polish.

Here are some great summer sandals that will keep your feet cool with your toes less exposed than, say, in a flip flop.

Style Shoes Studded Slider
Sliders, £29 from Next
Tan Leather Beach Sandals
Sandals, £26 from Next
Caged Sandals, £23.99 from New Look

Q: What is a good alternative to sandals and trainers in summertime? Something not so 90’s!

A: It may seem like the shops are dominated by 90’s style trainers and sandals, but there are many alternatives if you prefer a more classic look, or something just that little bit smarter.

The beauty of a trainer (especially a white one) is that you can wear it with any item of clothing in summertime. The same goes for a classic tan or metallic sandal. So if neither of those are up your street, we need to find something that will work equally well with any outfit you wear.

Here are my top picks. These would all look great with summer dresses in particular, midi lengths. Many of these would be good summertime work shoes too.

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Luna Ankle Tie Shoes, £42 from Topshop
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Ada Silver Mule Loafers, £29 from Topshop
Oxford Flatform, £65 from Aldo
Marmalade Espadrille Wedges
Marmalade Wedges, £49 from Office
Fulfilled Square Toe Espadrilles
Square Toe Espadrilles, £30 from Office

Q: I’m curvy…What’s the deal with chunky shoes? Do I have to wear chunky sandals in summertime?

A: The whole chunky shoe thing, was born by Styled By Susie. It’s something that I stumbled across once I started working with clients and the topic wasn’t covered in my styling course.

I could never work out why most women looked off balance when we paired their outfit with skinny Converse trainers or ballet pumps, both of which were very fashionable in 2013 when I started my business.

One day, I tried a ballet pump on, with a chunkier trainer and the result was astounding. So many clients have said to me that they booked me based on this one, game changing photo.

Since then, clients have noticed huge changes to their outfits, when they have balanced them out with the right footwear. This doesn’t always work, particular if you have thin legs or you have skinny ankles. But on the majority of women, a chunkier shoe works better.

Chunky sandals are hard to come by, and they don’t always feel as dressy or as dainty. If a chunky sandal isn’t to your taste but you want to flatter curves, just ensure that your sandal is a lighter colour. This could be tan, metallic, white or as close to your skin colour as possible.

It will allow you to wear sandals with ankle straps if you have lighter coloured sandals, as the strap won’t cut your leg in half like a black one would.

If you are curvy and you like the idea of a black sandal, choose one with a chunkier sole, such as the ever popular DM sandals.

Gryphon Sandals
Dr Martens Gryphon Sandals, £110 from Office
Gold Leather Strappy Sandals, £15 from New Look
Rose Gold Espadrille Sandals, £25.99 from New Look
Voss Sandals
Dr Marten Voss Sandals, £89 from Office
Metal Ring Sandals, £8.99 from New Look

Q: I have skinny ankles and want to make my legs look more shapely. How do I do this?

A: Choose a bright or dark coloured sandal or trainer. It will add more shape to the leg than a lighter coloured one, and try to stay away from chunkier styles. In particular, stay away from Fila trainers and Puma Cali styles. Hi top trainers are great for adding shape to the legs.

Here are some good options for you to try.

All Star Hi
Converse Hi Tops, £52.99 from Office
Burgundy Lace ups, £9.99 from New Look
Slider, £45 from Aldo
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Black Leather Sandals, £19 from Topshop

Q: I have thick ankles and wide feet, what should I choose?

A: If you have thick ankles, you don’t necessarily have to stay away from an ankle strap. Just ensure that you choose a sandal that is light in colour.

Wide fitting ranges are everywhere, from Next, to New Look, to Dorothy Perkins and ASOS.com. If you need extra wide fit, try Clark’s, Yours, Evans or Simply Be.

Thick ankles are generally best with a chunkier shoe. Why not try some of these, particularly if you also have wide feet?

Canvas Slip On Espadrilles, £12.99 New Look
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Gold Piper Sandals, £19 from Topshop
Tan Forever Comfort® Double Plait Toe Thong Sandals
Forever Comfort Thong Sandals, £20 from Next
White Elastic Detail Espadrille Wedges
Espadrille Wedges, £39 from Next
Animal/Gold Toe Loop Mules
Toe Loop Mules, £24 from Next
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Inky Trainers, £15 from Dorothy Perkins

Q: I want to invest. Can you recommend some good chunky trainers?

A: Here are some of my favourites. I wear Puma Cali because I find they work with everything, from a trouser suit to a midi dress.

Disruptor 3 Trainers
Fila Distributor3 Trainers, £35 from Office
Sandblast Low Trainers
Fila Sandblast Trainers, £52.99 from Office
Cali Trainers
Puma Cali Trainers, £40 from Office
Superstar Trainers
Adidas Superstar Trainers, £79.99 from Office
Campo Trainers
Veja Campo Trainers, £105.00 from Office

Q: Are there any rules around flip flops and sliders? Can any shape wear them?

A: On the whole, they work well, but my advice would be for curvier ladies to choose lighter colours. They will flatter your silhouette much more.

Slim Flip Flops
Rose Gold Flip Flops, £24 from Havaianas
FitFlop™ Gold Sola Leather Sliders
FitFlopTM Gold Leather Sliders, £80 from Next
Accessorize Bella Beaded Sliders
Bella Sliders, £28 from Accessorize
White Leather Single Buckle Sandals
Single Buckle Sandal, £20 from Next

I hope you have enjoyed this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you all. Let me know which summer shoes are “a bit of you!”

Stay safe during these crazy times and we will all be back together again soon.

Love, Susie xxxxx

Myths about Styled By Susie

I took one of my really good friends personal shopping last Autumn. Before we shopped together, she told one of our other friends that she was worried I would make her wear white trainers!

While we drove up to Bluewater on the day, I put her mind at ease about a few things, and sometimes we hear that there are misconceptions or myths surrounding what we do and how we do it.

So….what could be more perfect, than writing a blog addressing some of them?

Myth : “I will be told to tuck everything in”

Truth : I’m not sure where it started that I told every woman to tuck tops into her jeans, skirts and trousers! In fact, it was only yesterday I was doing a wardrobe edit with a client, and I told her to untuck a top.

Tucking tops in works really well for some items of clothing, particularly skirts. The idea of tucking a top in, makes sure that the top doesn’t drown too much of the skirt, which can create the effect of a long torso.

The only time I tuck tops into my jeans, is when I am wearing Mom jeans, and even then, sometimes I don’t, if the top is short enough.

Just ensure that your top isn’t drowning your bottom half too much, and if you don’t want to tuck a top in, you don’t have to. Just bear in mind, that if you’re wearing a skirt, you’re much more likely to show off your waist!

Myth : “I will be told to wear big necklaces and big earrings”

Truth: Costume jewellery can make a big difference to your shape and it can be the finishing touch on an otherwise basic outfit.

However, in reality, most clients feel uncomfortable choosing statement jewellery, and I am more surprised when a client wants me to pick big earrings during a shop!

Statement necklaces and chunky jewellery can work really well if you want to slim the frame, and they can work really well on taller ladies too. I rarely wear dainty jewellery because it gets lost on my frame.

If you prefer smaller earrings, go for smaller earrings, but perhaps experiment with larger ones for nights out and see how you get on.

The fact of the matter is, that we never MAKE you wear or buy anything you don’t want to!

Myth : “I will be told to wear white trainers”

Truth: The reason we love white trainers so much (as do many visual merchandisers) is because they are so versatile. Look at the Hush catalogue or New Look website and you’ll see many outfits are paired with white trainers!

The reason many women struggle with putting outfits together, is because they never know what footwear to go for. The beauty of white trainers is that they save you buying lots of shoes as you can wear them with dresses, jumpsuits, jeans, shorts and playsuits. In short, you get more outfits from one pair of shoes, which means you spend less money and life is therefore easier getting dressed!

However, if you come out in a rash at the thought of white trainers, because they’re not your thing, there are other alternatives. A metallic trainers works just as well, as does an espadrille, trainer brogue or leopard print trainers.

The reason many clients in the Facebook Group recommend white trainers to each other, is because they have found how useful and versatile they are!

Myth : “I will be told to wear a biker jacket”

Truth : We have some clients that really don’t like biker jackets and they say to us that they’ve tried them and they just don’t look right. Instead, we look at alternatives, such as suedette jackets that will be a bit softer for them.

The reason we love biker and denim jackets, is the same as the white trainer rule. They go with EVERYTHING!

We are constantly questioned about our role in sustainability, avoiding waste and fast fashion. Rather than a cupboard full of different jackets and blazers, you could have just two jackets that will see you through every season, year after year.

Myth : “If I shop with Susie I will be told to dress like Noel Fielding and if I shop with Sarah I will be told to wear heels”

Truth: We don’t dress you like us! We do have clients that ask to dress like us, but that’s actually quite rare (rude haha).

A professional stylist is able to dress an individual as an individual, in the same way that your hairdresser doesn’t cut your hair like theirs!

I had a client last week who was really girlie. She disliked camo print, any form of animal print and didn’t want any form of faux leather. Do you think I shook her hand and left the building?……..

Instead, we encouraged her super girlie, Holly Willoughby style, with florals, pinks and softer fabrics.

Myth: “I’ve been told I am edgy but some days I don’t want to dress in that way”

Truth: You can change up your style personality depending on how you feel. Some days I feel like dressing in a more Parisian, chic way, where as others I dress like Eleven from Stranger Things.

The beauty of style is that you can use it to express your mood each day. One thing you will never see me in, is anything too girlie because it’s just not me.

Conclusion and a few more thoughts:

Our aim is to help women feel comfortable and confident in the clothes they’re in. We have less time in the morning as our lives get busier, so we want to take that stress away from your decision making.

Clients have saved hundreds of pounds per year, by shopping more efficiently, using our guidelines.

The Facebook group is an excellent space for you to share ideas, and remember any advice you are given in there is a personal opinion as opposed to a professional opinion.

We have an amazing admin team to ensure the group is a safe space where women don’t feel judged.

It can be very hard for the admin team because what doesn’t offend one member, will be reported as offensive by another.

The language in the Facebook group is encouraged to be positive. There is a big reason behind this. Say a member posts a photo of herself, saying “what do we think, ladies, I am a size 18, do these jeans make my fat c section tummy look huge?”.

Somewhere out there, a size 22 woman who has a bigger tummy than you will start looking at herself differently. She will start questioning if HER clothes make her c section tummy look huge, because her tummy is bigger than the other member.

Imagine you are a 6ft tall woman and someone posted “I hate being 5ft 8, it makes me feel like I stand out everywhere I go. I feel so self conscious”. The woman who is 4 inches taller than you is going to become self aware about how tall SHE looks. This becomes a new hang up for her.

This is the main reason we encourage positive language within the Facebook group. The last thing we ever want is for another woman to question herself or feel crap about herself. And by becoming more self aware of how we talk about ourselves, ultimately has a positive impact on others.

Sending love to you all during this anxious time and I hope you all stay well.

Susie xx

Shamed.

shame

NOUN

a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.

My counsellor recently said to me that the best way of confronting shame, is to disarm it immediately. To call it out. So here it is. 

On Saturday 15th February, I had tickets for London Fashion Week. I went up there, full of nerves and anxiety, being there on my own. When I arrived, there were girls in big groups or gaggles, and I was one of few there on my own. However, something within me dug deep, I found the confidence to show up as myself, talk to other people and enjoy the experience.

I left on a high and met my husband for dinner in Borough Market. Halfway through dinner, excitedly chatting about the day, I received a text from my friend Katie. Three words… “Omg. Caroline Flack.”

My heart sank. I felt sick. Before I even had the chance to open my news app on my phone, something in me already knew what had happened. 

I felt absolutely devastated and could barely speak. I immediately felt like I had lost a friend.

Those who have followed me for many years, will know what a huge impact Caroline Flack had on me. She gave me confidence years ago to chop my hair off into a blunt bob, to experiment with Dr Martens, camo print, leopard print and dungarees for the first time. 

When I had a big family wedding to go to in 2019, I treated myself to a rather extravagant Rixo dress that she wore.

When I had my first editorial photoshoot in December, I wore a Choose Love tee inspired by her.

You see, to some, Caroline Flack was just another TV presenter. But to me, and so many of my clients, she was a style inspiration.

I have never followed many celebrities on Instagram, but I always followed Caroline. I loved watching her stories where she was on girlie holidays in Thailand, juice retreats, sweating it out in the gym with a hangover or cuddling her pet dog Ruby.

When she launched her River Island clothing collection, I was on holiday in Devon. At 8:00am I found the one bar of 3G on my phone to order the shirt she had designed.

As I boarded a plane to Australia two years ago, I asked my friend to send me a photo of what Caroline wore in the Love Island final as I would miss it. It sounds extreme, but Caroline had a big impact on me and to me and others she felt like a friend. You could imagine going down the pub with her, telling her your problems and she would cheer you up with funny memes and messages.

To learn that someone so vibrant, so loved, privately and publicly, had felt lonely enough to take their life, absolutely destroyed me. I know she has a close family, a twin sister and a niece she doted on. 

People were quick to point fingers. They pointed fingers at her friends for not being there for her, the press, the CPS, her ex boyfriends, her management, and so on.

When someone commits suicide it’s complex. Sometimes they can be surrounded by people, surrounded by love and support, yet it’s still not enough to prevent the torment they feel.

To speculate on the “final reason” for it happening, is none of our business when we didn’t know her and we may never know. 

However, as an observer and someone who followed her on social media for a very long time, I saw a significant amount of hate increase over the months before her death.

Social media can show you the best of people and the worst. I have made good, close friends via social media who I see on a regular basis, I hear from people on social media every day who I may never meet, who support me, make me laugh and I feel on some level that I know them.

What has struck me over the last few days, is the overwhelming amount of posts out there about “being kind”. 

When I started my business and had about 5 clients to my name, I started to receive hate and abuse from an individual. She would post about me on Twitter 2 or 3 times a day. She would laugh at me, laugh at what I looked like, laughed at what my family looked like and told her friends she was going to attack me if she ever saw me. She used to post on Twitter that she saw me on the motorway driving to Bluewater and that she was “watching me”.

This went on for 2 years. I never posted about it, I never reacted, I suffered in silence, except telling close friends and family what was happening.

My anxiety got so bad that I had a panic attack on the motorway once, where I worried she could see me. I was driving in the middle lane and suddenly all I wanted to do was slam my brakes on and stop my car. I started shaking, I went dizzy, I nearly blacked out and I haven’t been back on a motorway since. I now drive through country lanes to get to Bluewater.

Two days ago, the individual who put me through this torment,  posted on Instagram about being kind, spreading kindness on social media and how unfair it is when people are treated badly. 

It got me thinking, how do the trolls see themselves? Do such people always somehow justify what they say and do?

I wonder how the people are feeling now, who posted hate on Caroline Flack’s posts, calling her every name under the sun, when she was allegedly dating Harry Styles. The people who said she had “dolphin teeth”, the people who told her she was skanky for always wearing the same “smelly boots” or “should put her legs away at her age”.

Where does this utter hatred come from? And how can they justify it?

Trolling doesn’t even have to be as blatant as that. In my eyes, trolling is anything you say that is less than kind.

By sending that message, will you make that person’s day better or worse?

I receive so many messages in my email and Instagram private inbox. The message usually tells me how “disappointed” they are with something I have said. I didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge to know the meaning behind every word out there, and most of what I am saying is in jest, usually about myself.

I actively never slate another woman on my social media, so much so that I only ever post the great outfits from red carpets. I have strict rules in my Facebook group that only positive comments are allowed on the women brave enough to share photos of themselves.

I am so often shamed by people. I am shamed about my business, shamed about what I wear, what I read, what I do and how I do it.

I have been threatened with comments such as “If you don’t email me back about this I am going to post about you and what I think of your business, that’s quite frankly, not worth the money, on Mumsnet”.

I am tired. I am sick of this open forum where people jump on your every move. I am sick of being shamed. I am sick of seeing other people shamed.

Laura Whitmore is a prime example. Only on Sunday she was labelled a hero for her (quite frankly amazing) piece on the radio about being kind, after her friend Caroline died. Everyone came out in support for Laura.

However, last night, Laura went to the Brit Awards. No sooner had her post gone up of her outfit, than everyone started tearing her apart, saying how insensitive she was for going. “She’s got over that easily” was the common theme.

Billie Eilish collecting her award at the Brit Awards last night, said she feels hated at the moment, and was close to tears. She feels hated because of the vile venom people comment on her Instagram posts. She’s an 18 year old woman with more talent in her little finger than the rest of us.

Her songs move me, make me want to dance and her style is just incredible. For this talented 18 year old who has won 5 Grammy awards to feel hated, terrifies the rest of us. “If people like Billie and Caroline, what hope is there for the rest of us muddling through?” is what someone said to me today.

None of us are perfect. None of us are complete, none of us are the finished article, and probably never will be. We all make mistakes, we all mess up, we all do our best. 

The tabloid newspapers will always be around and social media will always be around. The only change we can make, is how quickly we judge others and how we treat them. We need to be accountable for our OWN actions and words. 

When you point the finger at someone, whether it’s a person you knew in real life, or a celebrity, think of all the times you might have messed up, said something cringeworthy or been just a little bit flawed. Would you want someone judging you in the same way?

As I have been urging people since I started my business, please only comment if it’s kind. Please only message if it’s kind. Because we are living in a world where shaming people is the norm.

The answer isn’t to shut down social media, throw our phones in the bin or stop reading the news.

The answer is to be kind. Don’t send that message, don’t shame someone, don’t make their day worse. 

Make their day better. Make their day more positive. Make them look forward to opening their inbox, not hold their breath like I do when I open mine. I have sometimes held my breath while reading a message, just waiting to see if it’s good or bad.

We are affected by Caroline’s passing as she was only 40 years old, she seemingly had everything, we wanted to know her, wanted to party with her and never thought someone like her could be ground down to despair.

I think my life will always feel affected by Caroline Flack’s passing, the way others felt about Princess Diana. 

I will miss you Caroline. Thank you for bringing me confidence. I always hoped one day we could meet and I could thank you in person. I hope you have found peace, you have the sun on your face, your iconic Ray Bans on and Despacito playing on the radio.

I’m going to keep fighting for positivity and kindness, in the hope that just one person might change the way they judge others.

And you never know, maybe one day I might make it back on the motorway. Something I always have, is hope. 

Accessories – by Karina…

So here it is, you asked for a blog on accessories and that’s what I have done for you.

Accessories are key to any outfit and it’s amazing to see how they can really bring an outfit together or dress up a simple jeans and white t-shirt combo. Read ahead if you want to get some tips on how you can incorporate them into your everyday outfits.

I’ve always been an accessory girl, before kids I had boxes of the stuff, necklaces, earrings, rings, scarves, belts, hats and gloves. Every outfit was finished off with earrings and a necklace. Then I had kids and I became just a jeans and t-shirt girl, which was really like me, but I needed to be practical. I just got out of the habit of wearing jewellery.

And then I started my SBS journey and I’ve fallen in love again…..

Earrings

There are so many types, my go to are pearl studs and hoops (I know… one extreme to the other!). But I feel like it can really set me up for the mood of my day. If you are new to earrings, then start with some small ones until you become more comfortable. Earrings can really shape your face and are a great way to add a splash of colour, especially when you might be finding it hard to incorporate some of the colours from your analysis. Here I’ve worn some statement earrings just to jazz up a jeans and white shirt outfit.

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Necklaces:

This is one that comes up a lot. The length of your necklace will most likely depend on the neckline you are wearing, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Scoop neck and v necks look great with small length necklaces, but that you could also wear longline ones, as long as they sit lower than your neckline. If you choose to wear a high neck top, then I would suggest wearing a longline neckline and it works best if the pendent ends under the bust.

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Layered necklaces are also great and fun to play around with, don’t feel like you have to stick to the ones that you can find in the shops, you could create your own and play around with what you have at home.

Statement necklaces are great. They can really dress up a simple outfit, here’s mine with a grey dress.

With a statement necklace, keep your earrings simple. You could pick out a colour from your necklace to match your earrings with. But make sure the necklace the is key feature.

A question us stylists get all the time is can I hear a big necklace with big earrings? I would generally say no, it’s best to keep one the main feature of your outfit. So choose which one it is and stick to it.

Belts:

Belts are great when you need to cinch in your waist or create some definition. Again, I never used to wear belts and just never thought they’d suit me. But a belt with your jeans can really frame a silhouette, or simply keep them up!  Whether you have been suggested to tuck your tops in or not from your analysis they are a great way to add colour or print. And don’t forget you can wear them over clothing such as dresses to give them shape or a long line cardigan like I have done below.

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You can get belts in different widths I think standard and thin ones work well with jeans. For dresses you can wear either. But if you’re going high waisted belts over a dress then choose a thicker width so it sits nicely against your bust and tummy.

Scarves:

If you’ve had an online analysis with me and I can see that you might be a bit daunted by some of the colours I’ve suggested for you, then I will always suggest you start with a scarf from your colour palette. It just adds that pop of colour and as you ladies know once you get that confidence, you’ll start introducing more colour into your wardrobe. They’re also a great way to brighten up a jacket, so you can have fun creating some lovely colour combinations, here are two of mine.

There you have my guide to accessories and how you can try to incorporate them into your everyday outfits. Remember that they are a great way to add colour, change the style of an outfit and add some finishing touches. They don’t have to be expensive and they can be a great way to start your Styled By Susie journey!

If you have had an online analysis with us or a personal shop, you’ll know what works best for your body shape. And if you haven’t then you can book these via the website.

So get experimenting ladies – they’re so fun to play around with!

Karina xx

 

What to expect from a personal shopping day…

I am thrilled to bring you a blog from our Glasgow stylist, Mhairi. She started as a client of mine, where she had an online style session, followed by a personal shop in Bluewater.

As a previous client, who is now a stylist, she is in a great position to tell you exactly what to expect from a Styled By Susie personal shop.

Over to you, Mhairi……

Well, this is bizarre. As a former Styled By Susie Client I have spent many hours reading over the blogs previously written by Susie and Sarah; eagerly awaiting new ones being posted or scrolling back through the years worth’s of blogs if I find myself in a bit of a rut or looking for inspiration. And now here I am, sitting in my kitchen, typing one up for you wonderful people to all read.

When I thought about what subject to cover in my blog, I found myself thinking back to when I was a client and what ones I particularly found most useful. For me it’s the life after analysis blog. It was a real physical tool that answered questions for me. So, then I got to thinking what I would have enjoyed that wasn’t already in existence. Then it came to me. What to expect from a Personal Shop. I remember scrolling back in the Facebook group checking previous posts for any hints or tips. So I have decided to cover it all, including your questions sent to me through my Instagram page, to answer the many questions and thoughts about a personal shop using my own experience as both a client and a stylist.

So, pop the kettle on and read on.

So, there you are. You’ve booked your shop with one of the team stylists, you’ve paid the fee, popped it in the diary and suddenly you’re stumped. What now? You’re excited, nervous and have a million questions…then you start to panic that you are definitely going to be the person that leaves your stylist stumped and will come away with nothing. Fear not. This is everyone’s worry and never turns out to be the truth. In fact, my experience during my training week when I shopped with Susie, Sarah and Kim I discovered that they are as nervous as you. They want you to have a great time.

Your questions answered.

How much do I need?

This question was definitely asked at least 10 times and I see it getting asked lots in the groups and in Facebook live Q&A sessions. What I will say first of all is that when we ask what budget you have in advance of the shop, it’s so that we can have a rough idea of what shops to go to to suit your budget and it’s actually quite an important thing for us stylists to know. I would recommend always telling your stylist your top budget. Obviously if you are thinking “I have £400 but can stretch by another £20 if needed” then that isn’t too bad but if you were to say “I have £400” then half way through when we ask “how are you doing budget wise, what have you got left” you say “well I have already spent £300 but actually I can still spend another £300” then it means that you potentially won’t get the same shopping experience than if you had said you had a £600 budget to start with.

Remember that we aren’t on any sort of commission and won’t force you to buy things just because we know you have the budget for it.

A minimum amount I would recommend a minimum of £300 to get you a decent capsule wardrobe.

What should I wear?

This is an important question to ask. Not because we will be judging you on what you arrive in (I promise we won’t) but because if you wear a dress, then it makes it more difficult if we go to a shop and pick up mainly tees for trying on.

Jeans, a tee and comfy shoes for all the walking, that can be slipped on and off quickly enough are ideal. You could also bring a pair of tights if you were wanting to try on dresses that could be worn with black tights to be able to see how it looks it if you aren’t sure from simply visualizing it in your mind.

You don’t need a big bag filled with the many things us females tend to carry. Your purse and a drink of water will be more than enough. Remember you can also buy a Styled By Susie tote bag, perfect for popping in your hand bag then filling with all your goodies without having to buy the shops disposable bags.

If you are doing a shop in Bluewater, it gets really warm, so even if its 0 degrees outside in the winter, don’t bring a heavy warm coat with you as it will just get in the way. If you are doing a shop with me in Glasgow we will be outside for a short period of time but will mainly be inside so try a light weight jacket.

How long does it last? Surely that’s not enough time to get a full capsule wardrobe?

A personal shop lasts 3 hours with a coffee and chat taking place first. It doesn’t really sound like much does it? I used to spend 5 hours shopping and come away with one thing!!

Well, ladies, let me tell you…THAT is exactly why you hire a professional. From our pre shop coffee we get a good idea of your personality, what sort of items you need, we know what season you are and therefor what colour’s you should be wearing, we know your shape and what works best for you and what is best avoided. From this information, we know exactly what shops to take you to.

We know exactly where to find you the perfect jeans and we also know exactly what shops to avoid. We take out the guess work which cuts down on so much time.

If you know the area well enough then your stylist will maybe leave you to pay in one shop while she tells you to meet her at the next shop. This way, by the time you queue, pay and head to the next shop, the chances are she will have an armful of clothes already looked out for you to try on. However if you are in unknown territory then this won’t happen (so don’t panic!). On my shop Susie didn’t leave my side – I think she knew that even saying “I’m going to topshop which is literally opposite this shop” would give me anxiety.

Should I have a shopping list. Should I already have all the “Basic Bitches” TM in place?

Before you come on your shop you will send in some information including your budget and your shape and season (if you’ve previously been analysed) and what you are hoping to get. Some examples include “day time capsule wardrobe” “work wear for a teacher” if you had something you really wanted to get then mention that too. I think I included a biker jacket in mine. But other than that you can leave all the work to us. You don’t need to already have anything in place, if you have them that’s great, you can just tell us you don’t need something (for example if your drawers are already bursting with slogan tees then tell us and we won’t look for them).

Again, from my own personal experience I even needed plain tees, I believe I said “I need Basic Bitch’d oot ma nut” sometimes I like to revert to proper Scottish to make Susie laugh!!

Can I shop for a capsule wardrobe and occasion wear on the same shop?

This one depends on the type of occasion wear you want to go for. For example, most of you are already familiar with this image of mine.

I actually got this dress on my shop with Susie. It was only like £40 from Warehouse and actually we originally purchased it for wearing like this…

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Just casual with a denim jacket and white trainers. But it also worked for me for a wedding.

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If that’s the look you are going for then that is totally doable, however if you are looking for occasion wear as in a fancier/longer dress with a matching hat/fascinator and a bag etc then I would suggest that being done in a separate shop as generally more time is taken finding the perfect outfit and the shops we would visit would be different to the shops you would visit for a capsule wardrobe.

I struggle to find clothes in my size. Can I do a personal shop?

You would be surprised at how many shops have sizes that go up to sizes beyond a 16 (in fact Sarah did a blog not too long ago about her favourite shops for these) I would suggest emailing in depending on what area you are looking for to be advised. For me personally, I’m going round the shops on Monday before I officially start working the following week to really get an idea of the availability for certain sizes.

Do I need to do anything to prep for the shop?

Absolutely not. For my shop, it was a week after I had taken part in another show where we also tan quite dark so the spot lights don’t reflect off our pale Scottish skin. By the time I was shopping my tan was patchy and I resembled a loaf of tiger bread – but Susie didn’t notice or care. We aren’t there to note that your legs haven’t been freshly waxed or judge you for your bra being ill fitting. In fact we don’t even notice these things.

When should I book a shop for? Are weekend shops available?

I would recommend booking a personal shop as soon as you have decided you want to do one. All the stylists book out quite far in advance and you don’t want to be disappointed. If you are looking for items for a specific time, again get it booked early and for a while before it. For example, if you are looking for summer stuff then although we don’t tend to get proper summer weather until June/July time, you’ll find a lot of the best summer items (*cough* Next Boy Shorts *cough*) can actually be sold out by April time.

Karina is the only stylist that does weekend shops. However it is absolutely worth using up one of your precious annual leave days to get one midweek if you wanted a shop with one of the other stylists, especially for the likes of Myself, Emily and Fiona where there isn’t a weekend option available in our area.

I’ve not had an online analysis – can I book a personal shop anyway?

Absolutely, we will talk you through your body shape and what season you are while taking you round the shops. Explaining why certain styles, cuts and colours either work or don’t work for you.

Any general advice?

Have fun, trust us and relax.

Sometimes we will hand you things that make you think “that’s hideous” “that won’t suit me” “that scares me” but trust in us, we are there to help push you out your comfort zone a bit.

If it doesn’t look right we will be the first to admit it and won’t lie to you saying you look good in an item if it isn’t 100% right, there will be items that we both think look amazing but when you put it on it just doesn’t hit the right places. It’s trial and error so don’t panic.

It’s an amazing experience and a wonderful day out that is still one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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I think I’ve covered about all the questions asked. Phew time for a cuppa I think. Hope you all enjoyed my first blog.

Remember I am available to book for Personal Shops in Glasgow as well as Wardrobe declutters, Style Sessions and Style Parties too. Just email admin@styledbysusie.co.uk and we will get you in.

Mhairi xxxx

 

 

Style is evolving…

While stuck in bad London traffic yesterday, I had a great conversation with my black cab driver. He was asking about my work and we got on to the topic of modern day fashion.

He said he has noticed that there is increasingly less difference between men and women’s style these days, and he was asking my thoughts behind it and whether it’s something I had noticed too.

I said to him, firstly, that we are so fortunate, living in the UK where you can get away with dressing however you want. I feel British style reigns supreme because it’s natural, effortless and expressive. You only have to look at the difference between the style at Glastonbury, to Coachella, to see that festival chic comes much more naturally to us Brits. It never looks forced.

We style clients according to their body shape and colouring, but for me, the most fascinating part, is helping a client to express herself through her clothing. You can express feelings, emotions and personality through clothing, in a way that you can’t with anything else.

Your style should never stay still, it should never be “done” or complete. Far from it.

My style has changed so much over the years, even while having my business. When I started Styled By Susie, I was a huge fan of Kate Middleton’s style. I loved blazers with jeans, I straightened my hair and went for lots of eyeliner.

A few years later, I chopped my hair into a bob and loved a more edgy, Caroline Flack style. I felt like my confidence was growing more around this time. I was doing more video blogs, growing my social media presence and becoming more confident in my own skin.

Fast forward to 2019, when I have experienced the biggest personal growth in one year, than I ever thought possible. I have felt stress levels like never before, I have cried many tears, had many sleepless nights, yet also experienced so much joy and progress. 2019 has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions and has pushed me to grow, make myself vulnerable and remove any inhibitions I may have previously felt.

My style at this moment, reflects how I feel and who I am. I have never felt more at ease with who I am, how I dress and how I am with people. There’s something liberating about surviving people throwing rocks at you, because you ultimately come out stronger as a result.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and shoes

I went to see Charlie’s Angels at the cinema recently, and despite the terrible reviews it received, I absolutely loved it. I totally identify with Kristen Stewart’s style and I am really enjoying playing around with an androgynous look. If I feel I sway too far into masculinity, I add a bright lip and a dash of femininity.

kristen stewart in charlie’s angels is officially my favourite thing ever.Kristen Stewart warned against "holding hands with girlfriend in public"- HarpersBAZAARUK

This leads me onto the subject that me and my cab driver were chatting about.

He was asking me why women are dressing in a more masculine way these days. He wasn’t criticising, he was interested.

I said to him that I feel women are rising. I feel that women are realising their power, their true potential and that women more than ever, are supporting each other and building each other up.

We are realising that we can do so much, even though on some days we have NO idea how we get it all done.

Women are gaining strength and momentum, and I feel that we are moving away from the traditional views of how women “should” dress. We add strength and power to our outfits, we are shunning heels for trainers and brogues. The trouser suit has reigned supreme this season and will gain even more momentum next season.

Classic outfit ideas: checked trouser suit

More and more fashion houses are ditching gender specific lines. Gender fluid clothing is becoming more popular and it’s not unusual for teenage boys to buy Topshop jeans, and for women to buy Topman blazers.

I think that this will become the future, and it won’t go down well with many people, but I personally think it’s brilliant.

It shows true equality and the more open minded fashion houses and high street chains can become, the better.

This doesn’t just go for gender fluid clothing, this goes for other aspects too. I would love to see a day when we don’t have plus size ranges, and that they just include all size options in every store.

I want to see a day that any woman of any size can shop in any high street store and not feel alienated.

The key to enjoying and developing your style, is to be open minded. Don’t just stick to the same shops, don’t just stick to women’s clothing. My client recently got loads of floral dresses in Dorothy Perkins, but then we got her a fabulous tweed blazer from Burton’s. It was cut better than any blazer we had tried on, and had perfect structure across the shoulders.

I have read so many horrible comments about celebrities who have dared to change their style over the years. “How dare Taylor Swift go from that sweet girl with the guitar and country songs, to this unrecognisable popstar?”

 And I wanna tell you everything. The words I never got to say the first time around.

Who knows what Taylor Swift has gone through, and who the hell are you to even comment? Maybe Taylor didn’t like her old style and feels more herself now. Who knows, but I love the way she has evolved over time.

Try to never let your style stand still. It’s ok to develop it, it’s ok to change who you were. It might scare people, but if it feels right for you, it’ll bring you more joy than you have ever known.

like a butterfly, her wings unfolded  – butterflies rising

Tis The Season…

Well hey there! It’s been a while hasn’t it? The great thing about delegation is that it frees me up a bit to do more blogs and hopefully more podcasts. I did wonder about doing a podcast today but I felt I had nothing to chat about (I must be coming down with something!).

So, instead, I have gone back to basics and I’m blogging (does anyone even blog anymore or is it just me?!)

I have had the best weekend. As you may have seen from social media, I took myself off for a weekend away and it was amazing. I am missing my little hotel room as I sit here typing, while my credit card cries about the room service bill I had to pay yesterday!

I was also very unpopular at breakfast yesterday morning. I ordered kippers, and in all fairness, at this point, the restaurant was empty. As they brought out my smelly fish, a couple who were clearly on a romantic, sexual weekend away, sat behind me and I heard her ask the waitress for the vegan options. If you’re reading this, I apologise for stinking you out with my smoked kippers!

Anyway, now I have word vomited all over you and told you my weekend escapades, let’s get on with the show shall we?

So, it’s Christmas soon isn’t it. I wish I was one of those people I see on Facebook. You know the ones, who wear matching pyjamas, have their Christmas shopping done by November and have the neatest, tidiest Christmas tree, usually with a colour scheme.

Well, me that is NOT! I am disorganised, my tree looks like the inside of my brain (colourful, messy and chaotic) and I can’t even blame my child for decorating it badly, as it’s me that does it!

But one thing I do know how to do, my friends, is DRESS for Christmas, so I am going to share my wisdom with you all.

Now I am about to have a MAAAAAJE article come out in national press, on Christmas party dressing, so I can’t do a similar article on here I’m afraid. I’m doing the photoshoot for it next week so all will be revealed.

In the meantime, let’s talk what to wear on the day itself.

WHAT TO WEAR ON CHRISTMAS DAY

There are two types of people on Christmas Day. You have Type A (let’s call her Barbara) who goes for the Christmas jumper, flashing earrings, reindeer horns and greets you at the door with a mulled wine (you are my kind of lady…).

You then have Type B (let’s call her Sarah Lilly…cough…I mean Margaret). Type B decides to dress up on Christmas Day. She wears a sparkly dress, bold makeup and heels which she kicks off the minute she enters the house.

Let’s see if we can merge Barbara with Margaret this year, and come up with a comfortable yet stylish look for you to rock on Christmas Day.

Let’s call this winning combination, “Barbaret”.

CHRISTMAS JUMPERS

You can get a Christmas jumper for every personality and this year I have got myself the most awesome Wonderwoman one.

Go to Merchoid online as they have so many fun Christmas jumpers. I cried trying to choose between whether I wanted to be Wonderwoman or John Snow on Christmas Day, but in the end Wonderwoman won. If you like quirky Christmas jumpers, head there! Alternatively, Primark have loads of great ones this year.

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Don’t just pair your Christmas jumper with jeans – borrrrrrrrrrrring! – they deserve so much more than that!

Try wearing your Christmas jumper (like this one from Matalan) with coated jeans or leggings. The beauty of a coated legging is that it’s stretchy and won’t make you bloat after Christmas lunch.

Alternatively, go for the coated biker jeans from Next which have been a winner for my clients this season. Add a biker boot like these from New Look, and you can easily go for a nice walk in this outfit after Christmas lunch.

If your Christmas jumper is a more fitted fit (now you know why my PR lady checks my grammar on articles) then try popping over the top of a dress (like this sequin tee dress from Next).

This gives you the best of both worlds because you can be all Christmassey and festive during the day, and then when you are feeling a bit cheeky (hate that word) and full of booze, you can whip it off to be more evening appropriate for Cards Against Humanity.

HATE CHRISTMAS JUMPERS?

Some people just don’t do the Christmas jumper thing. No judgement, we are all friends here. Christmas jumpers can be very hot and uncomfortable for many!

How about adding sparkle in other ways? If you are a more of a Margaret, you could go for dressy wear, but add some festive accessories this year. If you don’t like Christmas jumpers, it’s highly likely that you won’t want to wear brussel sprout earrings, so instead, why not try dressing up a little black dress or jumpsuit with some accessories?

You can go for something really blingy and sparkly, like these statement necklaces from Accessorize….

Alternatively, if you have in laws that you’re not keen on, wear this necklace (from Sour Cherry) with your outfit, over lunch!

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Sour Cherry are really good fun for costume jewellery pieces, and if you like Tatty Devine (did someone say EXPENSIVE?!) then you will love them because they’re similar and cheaper too.

WANT COMFORT?

It’s important to feel comfortable on Christmas Day. I remember making the mistake of wearing a thick, waist cinching belt (circa Girls Aloud “Biology”) and I regretted it, the minute I had annihilated my first tube of Pringles at 10am.

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I love a high waisted jean but Christmas Day is probably not the best day to do this to yourself. Instead, look for dresses that you can wear with big, massive tights or even a jumpsuit.

Jumpsuits are one of the comfiest items of clothing you could ever own, and if they frighten you, just think that it’s literally just a top and trousers that have been sewn together (don’t try this at home kids, it won’t look good).

You can wear your jumpsuit with trainers, it’ll be forgiving for the mid afternoon bloat and you will have plenty of relatives around to help you out of it when you’re 5 sherries down (your poor uncle will never look at you in the same way).

These two jumpsuits are from Next and will give you mucho longevity next season when you can frolic around in springtime meadows in them.

I am going to finish off by telling you to chill the hell out this Christmas. I had a long walk with my best friend recently and we were chatting about the pressure we feel about Christmas.

Trying to book “the best” Father Christmas is like getting effing Glastonbury tickets and you have to do it in July. Don’t do Elf On The Shelf if it’s going to take away your sanity, don’t make a Christmas Eve box if you have too much shit to do, don’t worry about booking the best Father Christmas – your kids will probably cry anyway!

My memories of Christmas years ago, aren’t the material things. My memories are board games, fun conversations, Christmas Day walks, paperchains that gave you tongue papercuts when you had to lick them and singing Christmas carols at school.

Just enjoy it, do the things you want to do, not the things social media tells you to do.

And if you want a laugh, think about me when I was a teenager. There was a knock on my door one afternoon and one of the boys who bullied me at school, was standing there singing Christmas carols to earn money. It was too late for him to change his mind though and we both had to stand there for 3 painful minutes while he sang Jingle Bells to me.

Happy Christmas Barbarets! 😉

These boots were made for walkin’….

You’ve all been screaming at me to blog about boots since August, but there are 3 reasons I have put off doing so until now.

  1. August is summertime and I am a summer girl through and through. I don’t wear boots until it’s absolutely necessary as I believe the winter is TOO GOD DARN LONG, so we should prolong winter wear for as long as possible.
  2. I had to wait for the boots to actually come into the shops. It’s been a slow burner this season, but I can safely say that it’s well and truly boots season in the shops now.
  3. Let the girl have a holiday, purleeeeease!

I made the mistake of asking on Instagram the other day, “does anyone have any questions about boots they’d like me to answer in a blog?”. The response was like the scene in Bruce Almighty when Jim Carey converts all the prayers to emails and he spends all night speed typing ha ha!!

The Life Of A Marketer In 21 GIFs

So I am going to cover as much as possible. So don’t whinge at me cos I am a people pleaser and you will keep me awake at night wondering how you will survive without the boots for your specific shape! There’s literally thousands of you now, so I have broken down the most commonly asked questions….

  1. What boots should I wear for my cankles?

Now I don’t like using the term cankles because it’s a negative, but seeing as SO many of you used this word, I thought I would use it as the headline.

Not sure what a cankle is? A cankle is apparently where there is no definition between the calf and the ankle.

So what do we do about cankles? We look for boots that have a gap around the leg. This rule goes for slimming any part of the body you don’t like. Shorts with a gap between the leg or t-shirt sleeves with a gap are going to be much more flattering than something closely fitted.

You should ideally look for slip on boots, such as Chelsea boots. A laced up hiker boot is going to be less flattering as it will lace too closely to the leg.

You could go for Dr Marten’s but ensure you leave a couple of eyelets unlaced to create a nice little gap.

It doesn’t have to be a huge gap – just enough that we see some separation between the leg and the boot.

These boots would be good for cankles….

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Topshop

New Look

New Look

River Island

2) But Susie I love knee high boots? Do I have to walk around in bare feet this winter?

Listen, my advice is exactly that. Advice. It’s advice based upon an extensive qualification in styling, as well as 7 years of working with thousands of women. Don’t like it? Don’t take it 🙂

If you love your knee high boots, keep wearing them if they make you feel fabulous. You won’t set off any alarms and I won’t bungee jump into your house, Jason Bourne style, to rip them off you.

The Bourne Collection Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes

If an item of clothing (whatever it is) makes you feel confident then carry on wearing it.

The thing with knee high boots, is that they can look a bit dated (don’t shoot me) but if you like a classic look, you can keep them. They can also shorten the legs and make them look bigger.

That being said, there are clients who absolutely NAIL a classic style and wouldn’t look right in ankle boots. I have helped them choose knee high boots during a personal shop because it’s been right for them and their shape.

Knee high boots can work if you have skinny legs and ankles but try to ensure they have some kind of heel so you don’t look like you’re off to ride Black Beauty.

3) Do I tuck my skinny jeans into ankle boots? Or do I rest them on top? Help me, I am not sleeping I can’t decide what to do.

Chill out girl. You can do either. If I am wearing my Dr Marten’s I tend to tuck my skinny jeans in. If I am wearing a heeled boot or any other type of boot, I roll them up a bit and have them resting on top of the boot.

TOMS Toffee Suede Ella Booties • $119 • Groovys.com

 

It’s then inevitable that you will see your leg when you sit down, so you could go for a sexy little pop sock (never thought I would use those words together) or fishnet sock, depending on personal preference. Alternatively just go bare and show that lovely skin.

pin- @lillieataylor || insta- @lillieeataylorr

3) Can I wear boots with trousers or Mom jeans?

Yes but for the love of God, don’t do a flat boot with them! Make sure the boot has some kind of heel.

4) Can anyone wear Dr Marten’s?

They tend to work better if you have either curvy legs or you have a curvy frame overall.

They are a bitch to break in. I had actual blood on my heels the first time I wore them, and limped sadly to the school gate after a 3 hour personal shop. Once my feet recovered I could wear them again, and they are now soft as Utterly Butterly.

5) What do I wear for skinny ankles?

A chunky boot is no friend of the skinny ankle. Look, instead for zipped up boots, hiker boots or any style that is laced up. Topshop generally do great ankle boots that work well for clients with skinny ankles. Avoid Chelsea boots and Dr Marten’s.

These are all from Topshop and would work well…

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Western boots also work well. Try these from New Look…

6) How many pairs of boots do you need?

Well I am going to be getting my trusty Dr Marten’s out again (best investment ever) but I am also a lover of animal print boots. They jazz up any outfit, and animal print works as a great neutral that you can clash with any colour or print you’re wearing.

It’s worth having two pairs of boots – one casual pair that you can muck around in, with jeans, and another dressier pair that could work for evenings or work.

I have been to see clients who have 5 or 6 pairs of boots, which isn’t necessary. How many feet do you have?

7) Where do I shop for wide fitting styles?

Sooooo many shops have wide fitting options. So much so, I struggle to find shoes for my narrow, banana feet. Check out New Look, Next, Clark’s, Evans, Yours Clothing, Marks & Spencer, Simply Be and Dorothy Perkins.

So there you go ladies. Go forth and buy the boots. Have fun with it, don’t get hung up on it! Let me know what you end up buying!

 

 

Gorgeous and Curvy? How to navigate the highstreet brands by Sarah Lilly

One of the biggest pleasures of my job is I get to work with women of all shapes and sizes. The highstreet can be overwhelming and some times intimidating to navigate. We’re all guilty of writing off a brand based on ‘oh they’re too young for me’, ‘too expensive’ , ‘too girly’, but what if we’re writing them off because we’re too scared the brand wont go up to our size? Sound familiar? Not a very pleasant way to shop, is it? I’m here to guide you through some places to go, what to look for and best buys on the highstreet right now. Some you may know, some may surprise you!

New Look: Sizes 18-32. Best for ‘Edgy’, ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’ and ‘Boho’.

Although not in every store, New Look Curves is stocked widely, and ranges are listed online in Store Finder to help you find your closest. This is the place to head for edgy and cool pieces, with this season’s offering being full of boilersuits, slogan tees, camo jackets and acid wash denim.

New Look also stock a great range of shoes that go up to a size 9 and come in wide fittings. 

John Lewis: Please note brands may vary from store to store –

Max Studio: Sizes 18-24. Best for ‘Edgy’.

Hands down my favourite of the curvy ranges, Max Studio have the best range of high-end, good quality pieces ranging from fabulous wide legged culottes to team with blouses, loafers and blazers for chic corporate looks, or with a slogan tee and biker jacket for an edgy daytime vibe. 

Kin: Up to size 20* . Best for ‘Parisian’.

Kin is in a nutshell, achingly cool! Beautiful pieces made from  good quality fabrics, the vibe is slightly scandi and deconstructed in shape, the prints are fab and the colours muted and neutral. Look especially for their shift style maxis, printed poplin tops and shirted waisted tops.

*Kin is generous in fit, with pieces made with oversized and deconstructed tailoring that often works for sizes up to 24.   

Modern Rarity: Up to size 20*. Best for ‘Parisian’.

Another fabulous brand, exclusive to John Lewis, Modern Rarity are great for their tailoring, creating dramatic pieces such as floral print blouses and long line cams and shirts which look fab teamed with a smart trouser or a pair of jeans.

* Modern Rarity is another fab brand that creates beautifully crafted and tailored pieces which can comfortably fit sizes up to 24.

Evans: Sizes 14-32. Best for ‘Girl Next Door’, ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’ and ‘Edgy’.

Evans hides a fabulous little secret in store – and that’s the shoe gallery! As well as stocking some amazing clothing pieces and accessories, if there’s one thing that needs to be on your radar it’s the shoes.

Stocking sizes 4-10 in wide or extra wide fits, the styles are varied, fun and really reasonable! The brand is also great for tailoring, think cigarette trousers and long line blazers, wide strap camies and printed blouses. Team with sandals or a brogue for a stylish autumn look.   

Yours: Sizes 16-36. Best for ‘Girl Next Door’ and ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’.

Yours is a store I desperately want to re-merchandise… The layout is cluttered and confusing and as a result the clothes can look uninspiring and unappealing. But look past all this and there are some real gems to be found – great for stylish culottes, animal print midi dresses and tropical florals – a great destination for some key season pieces that will flatter and accentuate your gorgeous curves.   

Monsoon: Up to size 22. Best for ‘Boho’.

Monsoon is your one-stop destination for feminine and boho chic styles – full of floaty maxis, linens and funky paisley prints. Look for hanky hems – great for flattering the legs. Sleeves are either cap or wide cami straps – great for covering those bra straps. Monsoon also have a great online curve range, stocking sizes up to 24. 

Best of the Online stores

John Lewis I.Scenery: Sizes 18-28.

Amazing for corporate wear with a twist, check out their polkadot suit for a cool and edgy workwear update.

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M&S Curve: Sizes 18-32.

I’ll be honest, M&S are in my bad books at the moment. They’ve recently pulled their Curve range from in-store, which, to my mind, is unbelievably frustrating and short sighted. Their current range is a little on the safe side. They’re great for basics: look for tailored trousers, simple shifts and shirts. Put your own stamp on the pieces with oversized necklaces and chunky bracelets from their accessories range.

Mango Violeta: Sizes 14-22.

Best for edgy pieces, think animal print, camo and lace. Current pieces include lace trimmed or coated jeans to team with slogan tees and chunky trainers.

River Island Plus: 18-28.

I love this brand! Think bold and brave pieces, abstract prints, oversized houndstooth and faux leather pleated skirts.

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H&M Plus: Sizes L-4XL (16-24).

Edgy, cool and chic – best for wide legged culottes, printed blouses and bardot dresses.

Apricot: sizes 20-26.

In a nutshell, Girl next door! Think pretty floral dresses and kimono style tops to wear with pretty sparkly plimsoles and a denim jacket.

Lindy Bop: Up to Size 26.

The place to go for retro, glam and feminine pieces. Channel your inner Marilyn with their 50’s inspired swing dresses, Rockabilly dresses and funky hair accessories.

 

And finally…

There are too many amazing brands to go into detail on. I don’t want to be the cause of decreasing bank balances everywhere, so I’ve focused on the ones I think are the best right now! But some others to note are:

Simply Be, ASOS Curve, Flora Day, Elvi, Studio 8 and Dorothy Perkins Curve.

Remember, its all about experimenting. The above is aimed to inspire and encourage trying brands you might have overlooked or written off.

Happy shopping gorgeous ladies xxx