Personal stylists working with women of all ages, shapes and sizes. We help you to love your body just the way it is, while helping you to look fabulous. We can be found on all social media platforms and our website is www.styledbysusie.co.uk
On Monday morning we all woke up to the wonderful news that Sex and the City would be returning. Just the kind of excitement we all need to get us moving on a Monday morning (especially in January of 2021!). Not only that but it answered my question that night after the kids went to bed of “What show should I binge watch now”. I made my way through quite a few episodes last night and have fallen back in love with it all over again.
Although the clothes are usually designer and not necessarily looks that would work every day, I still love taking inspiration from all 4 ladies on the show. I love just how different all their looks are and how they have all evolved well over time too.
In this blog, Karina and I will look at the characters staple looks and show you how to recreate them for everyday wear from the High Street.
Samantha Jones is the queen of the power suit. Infact, it’s not just that she nails wearing suits, she does it with so much colour and WOW factor.
She embraces OTT accessories, matchy matchy looks as well as colour clashing and quite often will have either an 80’s feel or a 50’s Hollywood glam touch to the cuts she chooses too.
I think one of the reasons that she pulls it off so well is because she goes all in with the looks. She doesn’t just match a handbag and shoes, she also matches the jewellery and belts to them. She doesn’t just do colour clashing with 2 colours, she will use multiple colours as well as mixing prints and textures.
Ah Charlotte, she is just always so impeccably beautiful.
She is a 50/50 split of Girl Next Door and Parisian rolled into one. Her pieces are classic cut, well fitting and fuss free yet she never looks boring.
When I started watching Sex and the City as a teen she really was that real life (although in a TV show) Princess. This was before the likes of Kate Middleton (or Sarah Lily and Fi) were gracing our screens and magazines with her classic look and it was so lovely to see this style being portrayed on a relatable character and in such a beautiful way.
I love, love, love the style of Carrie Bradshaw! She’s classic, eccentric, bold and edgy. She always dressed with such confidence that no matter what she wore she owned it. Her style over the years was always distinctive and there were so many outfits that stood out for me.
Her style was a big influence on my wardrobe and with so many looks to choose from, it might seem a bit hard to recreate them for an everyday look. But with bold prints, colours and even some heels, it is possible!
Miranda’s style evolved massively during the show. She went from a corporate androgynous style to wearing a colourful array of structured dresses, showing off a more feminine side. One thing you would always find in all her outfits were bold accessories such as statement earrings, belts and fun handbags creating some standout looks.
Miranda’s style particularly evolved after becoming a mum, her looks softened to a more feminine and casual style. Her wardrobe also took a turn with colours she wore, and they become bolder, complementing her gorgeous hair.
It’s a common misconception that you should feel able to fly the “style nest” after your analysis with us. Some clients feel able to, but many have questions, queries and worries, which are perfectly normal.
Before I get started with some FAQ’s we receive, I wanted to reiterate that we are always at the end of an email for any client we have worked with, so please don’t struggle alone, when we can often help with a few emails or even a phone call.
We often hear the same questions, so I thought putting them in a blog post would help as your first port of call!
I don’t like the colours that you have sent me!
This is a tough one because there’s a difference between the colours you like and the ones that suit you. It takes me back to a style party I attended in 2015. My client loved pastel colours, shopped in Mint Velvet (which is notorious for using a muted, soft colour palette).
However, my client suited Autumnal, warmer colours. It would have been so much easier to tell her to stick with her favoured colour palette, but that’s not what I’m there for!
To say she didn’t like the Autumn colours, is putting it mildly and no amount of persuading her, showing her in the mirror how they looked, seemed to reassure her. My client left the style party feeling deflated (not how we want clients to feel!).
2 weeks later, I had an email from her, telling me that she had gone to Accessorize on her lunchbreak in London, and bought a mustard scarf in the sale. This was a HUGE step for her as mustard was one of the colours she really didn’t feel drawn to. She wore it when she saw her friends that weekend and they all commented on how fabulous she looked. She was amazed, and somehow hearing it from friends gave her the reassurance she needed.
My client then went on to purchase even more Autumnal colours and is thrilled with how they look on her.
It can take a while to get used to a colour palette that you’re not usually drawn to. Try a new scarf or lipstick to dip your toe in the water, and the confidence is likely to follow.
2) I feel so overwhelmed. There’s so much information, I don’t know where to start?! I feel more lost than before.
Your style analysis is a meaty document that is full of HEAPS of information. We talk about body shapes, pattern sizes, cuts, necklines, colours, makeup, accessories, shoes, style personalities and even more.
Grab a notepad. Write down the buzz words in there that appeal to you. You can start small, by trying a new colour, or start with a different pattern size. Making too many changes at once will lead to overwhelm, and it’s important to connect with your style and build it slowly.
It’s never an overnight process and certainly something that will never be “complete”, so take your time with it and try small changes at a time, at a pace that suits you.
3) I can’t find clothes in my shape and colour. I walked into a shop today and came away with nothing and felt so deflated!
One of the reasons we keep our colour analysis method as simple as possible, is to help clients feel less overwhelmed. Advising a client to opt for soft, pastel colours is less likely to overwhelm them, than telling them to look for a certain shade of berry!
If you are struggling to find clothes in the right shape and colour, just ensure that the item of clothing ticks just ONE box from your analysis. For example, it’s the wrong colour but the right neckline – TICK! It’s the right pattern size but the neckline is too high – TICK! Now, obviously, the more boxes you tick, the better the overall look will be, but if you use this as your guide, you won’t feel quite so lost.
It’s particularly helpful to those clients who want to stay wearing black. If you love black and can’t part with it, just ensure that the neckline, cut or pattern works.
4) I’m not keen on the suggestions you have sent me in my online shop.
So the online shop has arrived in your inbox… you open it with all the anticipation of a child on Christmas day!
You open it and are met with an array of styles, cuts and colours you might not have ever considered before, and if you’re being honest, it’s maybe not quite what you expected!
That’s OK. You’ve put your inspiration in somebody else’s hands – someone who might not have even met you before. ‘Do they really think I’ll wear a leather trouser on a school run?’, ‘culottes look awful on me… why are there 2 pairs in there?’.
I do have a point here – I’m not trying to talk you out of buying a service with us! Bear with!
Firstly, we must stress how helpful it is, to provide us with a Pinterest board when you submit your questionnaire. It will give us a better idea of your style and how you would like to dress.
I want to give a little insight into how we build your shop, how we select and choose items that we know will suit your shape, your season and – most importantly, ‘you’.
The simplest way to describe this is to walk you through an online shop, how we go about creating a bespoke collection just for you.
We will have read through your questionnaire and noted your season, shape, height and size. These make up the first considerations. Its worth adding here, if there’s anything you want to add, ‘I walk 5 miles to work each day’ or ‘I already own a biker jacket and a belted trench coat’, add it in, the more we know the better!
Next we’ll consider the purpose, if it’s a capsule wardrobe you are looking for, we’ll look for a selection of pieces that’ll give you a variety of outfits that can be created from teaming together the separates (trousers, skirt and tops) or form stand alone pieces like the dresses and jumpsuits.
We’ll also be looking for a variety of cuts so you have a good selection to choose from. This may be with the skirt, providing different length options, or for trousers, both tailored and fitted or a wide leg – everything in the document has been selected because we know it’ll work, but we know that you’ll also have your own preferences for styles so we like to give you options!
We’ll also provide you with a variety of colour. We’re pretty au fait with where to head for the best colours. Whilst it’s true that trends will dictate if a certain colour or print is going to be everywhere this season, lots of brands* have their own moodboards and trend interpretations which make them more appropriate for one colour then another brand will be.
Finally, we know our brands. After years of experience, we know where to head that takes into account budget, fit, colour, style and quality. That’s what you’re paying us for. We’re familiar with the cuts that brands roll out season after season. If you’re 5’1”, we know where the petite sections are. If you’re working in a classroom, we know where the pieces are with the more appropriate hemlines and necklines. We also know where to find the best basics – jeans, maxi, midi, mini dresses – because thats our job. And while we obviously can’t guarantee that the sizes will be available for months after we recommend a garment, we always check the stock in your size before including a piece in your online shop.
Now it’s over to you!
The first thing to do when you get the shop through is to open all of the links, this way you’ll see the item on a person in most cases, and this in itself really helps to visualise the look, a flat lay piece won’t do the item justice.
It’s a good idea to make a bit of a list, so grab a pen, jot down the bits you love and the prices, that way you can keep a tally of your spending!
Start looking through and thinking about the pieces. Think of them practically – how much wear will you get from them.
Next look at the pieces that excite you or that at least make you curious, always wanted a jumpsuit? Or a pair of dungarees?
Finally look at the pieces that you weren’t expecting, here you have to be really honest with yourself, and also brave. We are all guilty of walking through a shop and seeing nothing that jumps out and making assumptions on how we think it’ll look. This is a really tall order, but these pieces, the out-of-comfort-zone pieces, can be the real gems. The number of times I have seen a slightly worried look on a clients face when she’s presented with the array of pieces to try, I can guarantee, those pieces that had them wondering if I really did know what I was doing, were the ones that got the whoops, the twirls and the ‘I don’t want to take this offs’.
Once you’ve received the pieces and tried them on, styled them together or with existing pieces you have at home you’ll have a good idea of the outfits you can create.
5) Am I really that body shape?
Many clients try using size calculators online to determine their body shape, but this isn’t always accurate, and we never use them as stylists.
By looking at your body shape photos, we can see your shape with fresh eyes. We didn’t know how you used to look, how you looked in your 20’s or how you looked when you felt most confident. Quite often we as women, look at ourselves in a negative light because we are either missing the shape we used to be, or longing for a different shape.
This isn’t always the case, but it often is. So if you feel your tummy is obvious, it’s likely that we haven’t even noticed it, because we see your tiny waist.
It can be hard to identify with the assets we are seeing, that perhaps you didn’t even know you had!
It’s worth looking at your photos again, to see your shape objectively. Don’t stare at the photos. Glance at them, don’t over analyse them.
It’s a great exercise because it will show you that the parts you feel self conscious of, are not as obvious when looking at yourself objectively.
If you have any questions we are ALWAYS at the end of an email for you, and if you would like another of our stylists to take over for a second opinion, we would never take offence!You also have the option to choose which stylist you work with.
We have a new customer service policy that has been implemented since September 2020, which you can shortly find on our website, for more information on how to give feedback or ask questions.
I know that many of you had hair transformations this summer when the hairdressers re opened! I have had short hair since summer 2019 and something that surprised me, was how much my style had to change as a result of my new haircut. Gone were the floaty, pretty styles, and in their place came more structured, simple lines.
How many of you have had a change of hairstyle and it’s felt like none of your clothes work anymore? This can sometimes lead you to dislike and resent your new do, and it can take a while to get used to.
As short hair is the biggest change you can make with your hair, there are some handy tips I can give you to make the most of your hair!
Earrings are perfect for short hair styles. If you have a long shaped face (like me) then choose hoops, discs and wider shaped earrings. Stay away from long styles that will lengthen the face. Have fun with bold colours or anything that appeals to your personality. If you have a round face, look for longer earrings or tear drop shapes that will lengthen the face.
If you’re a pear or rectangle shape, go wild with collared tops and blouses. This could be anything from a plaid shirt to a pussy bow blouse or Peter Pan collar.
In winter, layer a shirt under your jumper or if this feels too uncomfortable, you can buy a collar just to pop underneath your jumper, to give the same effect.
If you are a strawberry, apple or hourglass, blouses and shirts will still work, but perhaps choose a chambray or denim shirt instead. Layer underneath a v-neck jumper to flatter your top half.
If you like a boho look, go for a fedora hat this season and if you prefer something more casual, try a beanie or bobble hat. Just slide it back slightly so you can see some of your hairline. Any hat should sit slightly further back on the head, if possible.
Scarves are great for adding structure and framing the face. Choose bright, patterned scarves, or thick, snuggly blanket styles.
Don’t over wash:
If I shampoo my hair too often, it goes a little fluffy! I wash my hair with shampoo every 2 weeks and in the meantime I just wash using conditioner. My hair still feels clean but the texture is better and I can move it around more and mess it up a bit.
Don’t be afraid:
Don’t fear short hair. It can be liberating not to hide behind your hair and more often than not, it’s better for framing the face.
Not sure what style suits you?
If you would like to find a short hair style to suit you, book a hair analysis with our stylists Poppy or Terri who will work with your bone structure to offer visual ideas of short styles to suit you!
You can get a new look for a fresh new year, when the hairdressers re open!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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…
Just casual with a denim jacket and white trainers. But it also worked for me for a wedding.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.