How To Layer And Look Stunningly Stylish

How To Layer And Look Stunningly Stylish

It’s that time of year again!   I call September the How To Layer Month!  When it’s starting to feel a bit chillier in the mornings and evenings but the middle of the day can still feel really warm.

You can pull on a jacket over your summer wardrobe, which will work.  But there’s a sense many of us feel, that September marks a new beginning.  It’s the start of the academic year and that means a new term.  We want to mark that in our wardrobe as much as we loved new pencil cases as a child!

For me I’ve got to the point where I want to ring the changes with my style. Equally I don’t want to feel too hot in heavier clothes.  Transitional dressing has become a recognized ‘season’ in the fashion industry as the traditional seasons have become less distinct.

Layering is one of the easiest options.  This enables you to extend the life of your summer wardrobe and still be a bit warmer at the chiller ends of the day.  The question I’m asked most about transitional dressing is how to layer.

Chunky jumpers slung over cute summer dresses look fabulous on tall slender women. But the art of how to layer for most of us is about not adding bulk to our body shape.  It’s also about creating a coordinated stylish look that doesn’t look as though you’re simply recycling your summer wardrobe!

Here are my top tips for how to layer


Colour PaletteHow To Layer With Colour

Keep it simple.  Stick to either a monochromatic look (same colour in different tones).  If this feels too restrictive then stick to 2-3 colours at the most.

If you want to wear prints and patterns keep this to one layer only and make it a feature of your outfit.

Why? With the column of colour principle you will look taller and more slender.  This will help to detract from extra layers you may be adding.

Pop On A Waistcoat

Gareth Southgate did a fantastic job of making the waistcoat popular again this summer.  But for autumn a slightly different take on the waistcoat may be a good plan.

Sleeveless jackets and gilets are a great example of how to layer. Add a stylish touch and a bit of extra warmth.

With the faux fur trend being so huge why not add a faux fur gilet to get that extra warmth.  This will look fantastic over a dress or jeans and top combination?

Why?  A gilet will add warmth without helping you to overheat!

Add A Camisole

Remember when your mum nagged you to wear a vest?  How uncool was that!  But in fact Mum was not so far wrong!  The most obvious way of how to layer your clothing is to add a discreet base layer.

You can add a camisole under a favourite lightweight summer dress.   Just be mindful of textures and weight of fabric.  I’d recommend silk or viscose.  Worried about getting too hot? Look for a lightweight bamboo top.  Bamboo has natural wicking properties so that any moisture is dispersed and you’ll feel less hot.

Why?  Adding a camisole will extend the season of a summer dress.

Change Sandals For Boots

A pair of boots can look amazing with a flimsy dress or skirt. Add a leather or denim jacket and if boho is your thing, you’re there!

If Boho isn’t your style consider swapping sandals for ankle boots with trousers or jeans.  I appreciate this is not strictly how to layer but it’s another great way of adding a touch of warmth.

Just be mindful of wearing natural breathable fabrics.  If it does get hot in the middle of the day, full on winter boots are going to be much too hot.

Alternative footwear options at this time of year are shoe boots. Think ankle boots with cut out toes and sometimes ankles.  If you’re not sure what style of boots then check out my post.

Why? If your feet are warm enough then you’ll be able to wear lighter weight clothes for longer.

AccessoriseHow To Layer With Accessories

My favourite way of how to layer is to use accessories.  Seriously adding a scarf to an outfit can definitely turn a summer outfit into a transitional one.

You may want to throw on a pashmina or oversized scarf as an alternative to a jacket or coat.  These can be quickly removed and don’t add bulk.   Especially useful if you’re commuting and get overheated (as I do) on public transport!

If like me you’re likely to want to tear the scarf off halfway through the day, then wear a necklace underneath.

Why? You will still feel your outfit’s complete and accessorized if you remove your scarf.

So Now You Know How To Layer

Hopefully this post has given you a few ideas of how to:

  • Extend your summer wardrobe when it’s too warm for autumn clothes
  • Avoid overheating in September
  • Create some fresh looks for September


Online Accessories Course

I’m considering setting up an Online Accessories Course.   In the first instance I’m asking for feedback so I can plan the content.  A minute of your time to complete a quick survey would be amazing.  There’s no obligation beyond that.   The survey’s anonymous.  But if you add your name in the comments to say you’ve done it then I’ll be saying thank you with a gift!




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Healthy Spending Habits

Healthy Spending Habits Or Emotional Spender?

Do you have healthy spending habits or are you an emotional spender who shops impulsively?healthy spending habits or emotional spender

Are you consciously spending when you need something?

You have the money or at least know that you can cover the bill when your card payment is due.   You have identified a gap in your wardrobe and are consciously looking to fill it.

Or are you simply doing it to make yourself feel good?  When we see and buy something that we like, there’s a release of Dopamine – the feel good hormone.

Shopping can be harmless fun and an enjoyable hobby, providing you have healthy spending habits but it can also become a serious problem.  We crave more of that ‘feel good’ feeling and are using shopping to cover emotional pain or anxiety.

Sometimes we use shopping to paper over other cracks in our lives:

  • Relationship problems
  • Unhappy at work
  • Money worries – yes seriously!
  • Lack of confidence

A hobby can turn into a habit and an addiction if not checked and controlled.  Leading to financial chaos and potential conflict with partners as spending habits get out of control.

Sadly the idea of a shopaholic is still a bit of a joke and indulgently joked about rather than seen as the serious problem that it can become.

The Sun recently ran a story about Carla Sosenko who spent £84,000 in six months. Carla’s spending got so out of control that she started to use her pension fund to feed her spending habits.

Healthy Wardrobe Habits

Healthy Spending Habits

  • Regularly review and detox your wardrobe. Think about items you intended to wear and haven’t.  Are you able to work out why: it might be the colour, shape or you simply don’t have the occasion.
  • Give yourself time to ‘play’ – try on and create new outfits – take photos of your new outfits, so that you remember what to put together. Don’t forget to include scarves and jewellery when you’re experimenting.
  • Keep a journal – note when you received complements what were you wearing? Think about outfits that make you feel good – what is it about them that you like
  • If you have something that’s really not in your colour can you dye it to transform it to a colour that’s right for you?
  • Can you alter something to either get more life out of it or to transform it into another garment. If you’re not good with a needle and thread look for a local dressmaker or alteration shop to help you.   If you have some nice quality pieces then it can be much

Healthy Spending Habits Online

  • Don’t save your credit card details online – it’s too easy to hit the buy button this way!
  • Unsubscribe to newsletters – constant reminders and discount codes from your favourite stores are simply a temptation to buy
  • Don’t go online shopping when you have a glass of wine in your hand! – I speak from personal experience on this one!
  • Put items you like in a basket or make a wish list. Don’t hit the buy now button immediately.  I’m often amazed to find that I’ve saved something that I’d forgotten about. Clearly I was not that keen to own it if I forgot about it that easily!  It’s one of the best healthy spending habits online that I’ve found!

Healthy Spending Habits However You Shophealthy spending habits

  • Know your colours –you know those clothes you try on from your wardrobe and something’s not right? They’re often the ones in the wrong colours for you!   If you’ve not had your colours analysed it’s a really worthwhile investment.
  • Ask yourself if your intended purchase will go with anything in your wardrobe (ideally you can make 3 outfits). This takes some discipline, but really is one of the best healthy spending habits as it makes you stop and think before you buy.
  • Do you need to buy anything to make your planned purchase work if so how will that fit into your wardrobe
  • Ask yourself what else in my wardrobe might be a great substitute for whatever I’m intending to buy
  • Buy clothes that fit you now. Some people buy clothes that they intend to slim down to fit into.  My hairdresser proudly told me that he’d invested in a complete holiday wardrobe two sizes too small as an incentive to get ‘beach ready’ – I can only hope it worked!
  • Spend on quality clothes that will last. You will get a much better return on your investment.   I was stunned to learn last week that some people buy a holiday wardrobe from Primark and abandon it when they leave their holiday destination.
  • Looking for an outfit for a special occasion? Consider renting rather than buying.  The suggestions below are very much designer dress options.  Also look for local dress hire companies.

Healthy Spending Habits

As per last week’s blog we need to think far more about the environment.   No one person can save the planet, that’s just stuff of Marvel comics.   We all need to help save our amazing planet and looking at our own consumerism is a great place to start.  Adopting healthy spending habits with regard to our wardrobes is a step in the right direction.

If you would like to take the first step and detox your wardrobe why not check out my top tips for doing it yourself here?

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keeping cool in style

Keeping Cool In Style: How Are You Doing?

While the hot summer is amazing and I’m not complaining, keeping cool in style is a challenge! In this post I’m going to give you some quick and easy tips to help you enjoy the sun in style.

keeping cool in style this summer1. Keep It Natural

It goes without saying that natural fabrics will keep you cooler than synthetics.  So I recommend natural cottons, linen (with caution – my issue with linen is that it can end up looking like you’ve slept in it!).  Look for bamboo clothing, which also has the added advantage of being eco friendly.   Bamboo has incredible wicking properties (pulls moisture away from the body) and is a natural UV Protectant.  Bamboo cuts out 98% of harmful UV rays!

2. Structure is Good

Fabrics that are too flimsy while they may appear light will end up sticking to you and I can assure you it’s not a good look!  Silk although a natural fibre is not the best as it retains heat and moisture.  You can end up feeling very damp if you’re wearing silk clothing in a hot environment.

3. Worried about wet patches?

The last thing you need when you are keeping cool in style is to be worrying about wet patches under your arms or under your bust.   Either wear patterned fabrics on top or white to reflect the heat away.  Colours to avoid are greys and pastels as these will really show any damp patches.

4. Maxi Dress – A Girl’s Best Friendkeeping cool in style maxi shift dress

One of best ways of keeping cool in style is to wear a maxi dress which allows the air to circulate and will keep your legs cooler than shorts. Direct sunlight on your skin raises your body temperature.  The best styles to look for are either A line or a shift dress style.   Floryday have some great cotton dresses in different styles at the moment.

5. Swap Pads For Underwire

Wearing a bra that’s underwired is a lot cooler than a padded bra in the heat.

Look for styles with mesh panels and open backs, for extra airflow. Look for natural fabrics such as cotton jersey or bamboo.  Again synthetic fabrics will just retain heat and may even cause chafing.

6. Ditch The Jewellery

As someone who loves statement jewellery even I’ve given up and swapped to beads from metal and lighter styles of necklaces.

I’ve also changed my choice of bracelets and am only wearing the lightest loosest bangles to ensure I’m keeping cool in style.

7. Avoid The Narrow Strapskeeping cool in style Marista Lara Suede Sandals

Strappy sandals can be a nightmare in summer when your feet swell and bulge out between the straps.  Not a good look and guaranteed to feel uncomfortable!

I’d recommend either toe peepers or mules as the best styles. Unless your dress code at work even prevents even this look.

8. Loose Fitting Clothing

It may sound obvious but loose fitting clothes and even tops or dresses with sleeves will be a lot cooler than anything fitted.

A dress will also be your best friend compared with separates that will make your waist area warm.  But if you’re not sure what style of dress to choose for your body shape then take a look at my body shape guide to help you.  If you’re still not sure then please feel free to contact me about my Creating Wardrobe Magic Program, part of which will help you with your body shape.

9. Time To De-clutter Your Handbag?

Do you really need to carry that tote or oversized handbag?  How much of what is in your bag do you actually need?

Why not take a look at your bag and see if you can trim it back for the summer?  Exchange it for a smaller or at least lighter bag until the weather cools down.

Keeping Cool In Style

I hope some of these tips have been useful,  but I would love to hear from you if you have any others.  Please share them in the comments below.











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My Mission In Life Referral Program

How To Stop Wasting Money On Clothes

Perhaps I’m becoming more environmentally conscious or am keen to rid myself of clutter? Whatever it is  I hate wasting money on clothes.

Whether it’s buying items on a whim, which rarely look the same in the fitting room and in the cold light of day!  Alternatively buying clothes without a purpose.

Before I take something to the cash desk or hit checkout online I go through a mental checklist.   How can I style this, what have I got that works with this?

Wasting money on clothes is something that doesn’t sit comfortably with me.   I get much more satisfaction from thinking through my wardrobe and putting a ‘new outfit’ together from my existing clothes.

wasting money on clothes

How do you stop wasting money on clothes?

Ensure that everything in your wardrobe is within your style personality

Your style personality is how you express your personality through your clothes.   If you reflect your style personality every time you get dressed you will:

  • Feel More Confident
  • Look fabulous
  • Be empowered – you’re expressing your true selfUnderstanding Your Style

Do not buy on price alone (even if it’s a bargain!)

You will simply be wasting money on clothes. It’s not so much a bargain if you then have to go and buy more pieces to complete an outfit!  I know how easy it is to be seduced by price tags, but before you buy, ask yourself

  • What will this go with in my wardrobe?
  • Do I need it and what would happen if I didn’t buy it?
  • What could I use in my wardrobe to create a similar look?

De-Tox Your wardrobe

I guarantee that an afternoon spent clearing your wardrobe will help you to:

  • Discover hidden gems you’d forgotten about
  • Eradicate the sense of overwhelm you feel when you open your wardrobe and see ‘so much stuff’
  • Help you create some more outfits with those hidden gems

Know Your Colours And Wear Them!

For anyone that’s not had her colours analyzed I strongly recommend that you get this done.    Why?

  • You stop wasting money on clothes in the wrong colours and wonder why you put them on and they don’t ‘look right’
  • You need fewer clothes to create more outfits, as your wardrobe is coordinated and you can mix and match more easily.
  • If you do have clothes in the wrong colours you can get better use from them by wearing accessories in the right colours. This ‘corrects’ or ‘dilutes’ the impact of the wrong colour.

Dress To Flatter Your Shape

If you show off the best bits and down play the bits you don’t love, you will feel more confident.   By ignoring your body shape you are not playing to your strengths.

  • Like colours, clothes in the wrong shape, may look okay in the fitting room but get them home and they ‘don’t look right’
  • Clothes in the wrong shape will spend most of their days hidden in your wardrobe
  • Don’t simply discard them if they can be altered. Find a good local alteration shop or dressmaker to give their opinion.

Shop In Charity Shops

Be careful with this one, as it’s easy to get carried away and find yourself wasting money on clothes because you are getting a bargain.

You have to know what’s going to work for you and what won’t when shopping in these types of stores, as seduction by price tag is even more likely. Plus that charity shops mean you’re supporting a good cause.

I use charity shops to search for costume jewellery.  You can pick up great necklaces between £1.50 and £2.50 and totally transform an existing outfit.

Discover A Dress Agency

Dress agencies can be a great way of making some money from your wardrobe as well as finding some interesting pieces at good prices.

Pre-loved boutiques or Dress Agencies work by taking your clothes renting you hangar space.  Taking a commission on the sale of your clothes.  The good ones only take what they’re reasonably sure will sell.

They are often a good source of designer labels as well as High Street brands.  Again though if you’re buying in dress agencies you need to be very self-disciplined.


Has That Given You Some Ideas?

I hope that’s given you a few ideas on how to stop wasting money on clothes.

I’d love to hear more about how you shop.  Please share your tips in the comments below to stop wasting money on clothes.

If you’re struggling to discover your style personality, know the right colours for you or dress to flatter your shape then check out the posts below.

Perhaps this all feels a bit overwhelming and you’d like some guidance, if so then why not sign up to my ‘Creating Wardrobe Magic Program’ [link]











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playing with colour

How To Have Fun Playing With Colour

Last week I walked into a networking meeting and realised once again the power of playing with colour!

Wow you look well! Have you been away on holiday was the greeting I received.

The truth was I hadn’t slept well.

I’d battled wind and rain to take the dogs for a decent walk before leaving the house and had rushed around to get ready.

Then I’d had one of those ‘what am I going to wear moments’ – yep even stylists have these occasionally! Before deciding the KISS approach was best – (Keep It Stylishly Simple).


A pair of black jeans, black long sleeved top, grey jacket and burgundy boots. As black is not in my colour palette this was potentially a disaster. The black was overpowering my tired face etching even deeper lines into my cheeks! The pewter grey was simply not enough to lift the black.

But accessories to the rescue! An orchid pink scarf, a bold necklace and by playing with colour I let my accessories lift me and help me to look radiant!

Hot Tip: even if I’m using a scarf as a feature accessory, I’ll usually add a necklace too. Why? If I get too hot I can take the scarf off but won’t loose the impact that the accessories are having on my outfit!

Such is the power of colour! It really can make you look healthy even when you’re struggling to feel at your most radiant.

I often talk about the power of colour to help you when you want to get and maintain someone’s attention.

While most people aren’t consciously aware of this, if you are wearing the right colours, people will automatically be drawn to making eye contact with you. How powerful is that when you are giving a presentation or a talk to know that you have people’s attention.

Equally if you get it wrong, then you’ll find that you have to work much harder to get people’s attention as they may be distracted by what you’re wearing. It may be that the colour you’re wearing ‘clashes’ rather than reflects your own personal colour and can overwhelm you or you overwhelm the colour.

Once we understand our colours the whole process gets a lot easier or does it?

Playing With Colour And Using the Colour Wheel

‘I’d never have thought of putting those colours together’ exclaimed Janet as we worked through her wardrobe, creating new outfits. This is a phrase I hear quite a lot from my clients.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will have heard me talk about style ruts.

It’s easy to get into ruts with the clothes we wear, which includes the colours not just that we wear but that we mix and match.

So today I’m going to challenge you to regain your sense of adventure with colour.  I will show you how playing with colour using the colour wheel can be fun!   You don’t need one of these wheels there are apps to use as well. I’m pretty tactile and get more from the wheel.  But why not play with the apps and see what works for you.

Colour Wheel Apps For iOS Playing With Colour Color Wheel App

Color Wheel For iOS

This is not particularly instinctive.   I struggled to see how you could learn about the differences between  tone, tint and shade (ie the inner sectors of the wheel).    However by clicking on the information symbol it does give a clear description of the types of scheme.

Playing With Colour - Pocket Colour Wheel

Pocket Color Wheel for iOS

This makes more sense and goes into more detail with a top bar of options showing how by adding different colours you can understand the tint, tone and shade.  Then on the bottom selection you can check the different colour schemes, although there is no detailed description of this.

Haute On iOS and AndroidPlaying With Colour - Haute

Apologies for not being able to test out this e Android App on an Android device, as I’m an Apple Girl.  But looking at this App it’s much simpler in the sense that the app gives you different ways to play with colour based on a photo you take of a colour.  So it helps to give you outfit inspiration without the theory.









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Earrings to Suit Your Style

What You Need To Know About Earrings

Last Friday I met one of my gorgeous friends on our way to a picnic.   With a big grin on her face she presented me with two odd earrings.odd earrings

I’ve been doing some de-cluttering, she announced. I was about to throw these out as I’ve lost the other one to each pair. But then I asked myself who do I know who wears odd earrings?

Yep that’s me! I’ve been wearing odd earrings for about 10 years. Partly because I’m so good at losing earrings but more to the point it suits my quirky style!

Over the years I’ve found that my taste in earrings has really changed.     It used to be bigger and more dangly the better.   Studs? Why would I wear those, who will notice them? Small hoops what’s the point? Delicate styles – nah!

My gorgeous husband would regularly buy me some really dainty earrings. I would coo over them, silently cursing that they weren’t more blingy! But they were gifts of love, and not cheap. So I consigned them to the back of the drawer. Guess what I’m wearing now….

Today’s post will hopefully enlighten you!

In A Nutshell

  1. Colour
  2. Face Shape
  3. Scale And Proportion
  4. Your Style Personality
  5. Occasion

Now let’s look at each of those in more detail


Colour Of Your Earrings

drop earrings

Drop Earrings – Etsy

Stating the downright obvious, you wear earrings close to your face! Therefore it makes sense that you chose styles in your colour palette, but this does to some extent depend on the size of the earrings.

I am a cool colour palette. This means I should wear silver, but this doesn’t stop me wearing gold studs from time to time. Yes the ones retrieved from the back of the drawer!

What about the colour of your outfit? Does this matter? Well as you might expect from me, I’m not exactly in favour of the fact that your earrings should match the colours you’re wearing!

Particularly if you’re wearing mainly neutrals a pop of colour in your ears will look amazing and help to draw attention to your face.

That said I advocate some synergy in the jewellery I’m wearing. For example yesterday I was wearing pale grey, pastel pink and white. I livened it all up with bright blue jewellery in different shades of blue.

Earring Choices And Your Face Shape

This is probably the most important factor and one, which many of us find a challenge – what is my face shape?

lucite flower earrings

Flower Earrings – great for a diamond or heart face shape to offset cheeks or forehead

I’m going to give you some very general guidelines here:

Long Face Shapes

Beware earrings that are too long – they will simply accentuate the length of your features.

Round Face Shapes

Yep you guessed it – don’t go too round, but instead opt for longer shapes.

Heavy Jawline

Earrings that are chunky or wide across the bottom will simply make your jaw look broader.

Angular Chin

You want to consider shapes that are wider on the bottom to balance your face


Scale and Proportion

Ebbinghaus IllusionEbbinghaus Optical Illusion Circles or which circle is bigger.

The optical illusion of which inner circle is bigger – neither as they are both the same.

But we look for context when we see the circles. We want something to judge them by which is why we believe the inner circle surrounded by the smaller circles is bigger.  Okay so that’s good to know, but what does that have to do with earrings? So if a petite woman wears really big earrings she will look smaller. While a larger woman wearing small earrings will look larger.   So the message is to keep your earrings in proportion to your frame.   Of course there is a ‘but’ to this which I’ll explain in the next section.

So I like to think of it as the potential rule breaker! Your style personality should be the number one factor when you choose your earrings.  Remember what I said earlier about wearing odd earrings because it suited my personality?

What earrings help to express the real you? This is less complicated than it might sound. You can also ask yourself what styles, when you wear them, help you to feel fabulous?

If you’re not sure, why not take a look at your jewellery box and pick out a few earrings that you’re attracted to? Ask yourself why – is it the look and feel of the earrings: colour, material, shape, texture? Or maybe they remind you of a happy occasion?

You can juggle the physical characteristics once you know which of your earrings are ‘you’.

moonstone stud earrings

Perfect to dress up jeans and a T-shirt


I’m sometimes asked if you should have specific styles to suit an occasion and my answer is no. But it is about feeling comfortable for whatever occasion you are dressing for.

For example I wouldn’t wear expensive earrings on the beach or for doing any physical activitiies. I would also be highly unlikely to wear reindeer or flashing Santa earrings in the summer ever!

Seriously I know I sound like a worn record on this but really it’s down to you.   You can use earrings to dress up or dress down an outfit.

For example: T-shirt, jeans and blazer will look really dressy with some classic earrings. Just add heels to finish the look. Or you can dress down a plain dress with some fun and quirky earrings.

Just To Round It Up!

Hopefully that’s given you a few tips about choosing and wearing earrings?  Whether you like to wear odd earrings or you feel they can only be worn in pairs!  If you’d like to know more then please feel free to pop a comment below the post.

Would you like to know more about how to make accessories work for you?

If so you might be interested an event I’m running in October. In collaboration with Karen Kennaby and her business Unique and Exquisite Events.

I will be delivering 2-hour Masterclass, which will be followed by a delicious 2-course lunch in London.  Also a great opportunity to meet and network with likeminded women.

If you would like more information, please click here.




















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repurposing jewellery

When Was The Last Time You Just Played Creatively?

A Pile Of Clutter Gave Me The Inspiration For Repurposing Jewellery

When the pile of ‘stuff’’ piled on the blanket box finally tumbled off burying the lurcher crashed out on the floor, it was a guilty Mum moment!  decluttering procrastination

The de-cluttering session I’d been procrastinating about for months couldn’t wait any longer.

Once I get my teeth into de-cluttering I actually really enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong I always love helping clients de-clutter their own wardrobes, but my own toot? That’s a different story and BTW this was not my wardrobe.

However, I do keep my costume jewellery in the spare room. I’d let my jewellery stand get to tottering stage and if said Lurcher had been lying underneath…

Evidently I needed a good sort through and found an embarrassing number of pieces I’d been meaning to get round to fixing but had never quite got there!   No wonder I rotate the same three or four necklaces so often!

So I decided to search online for some inspiration by typing in repurposing jewellery.   Wow! I’m now planning to have so much fun! …

Earrings To Necklaces

How many earrings have you thrown out when you’ve lost one of a pair?   Or more likely how many odd earrings do you have that you haven’t quite got round to throwing out?

A few years ago, I started to wear odd earrings. It was more about my quirky style personality than consciously thinking that it was a good use for odd earrings, but it serves a dual purpose for me!

But if odd earrings are not your style, then perhaps turning a single earring into a necklace would be an option?

Check out this video for a step-by-step guide



How To Up-cycle A Leather Belt

Repurposing Jewellery Leather Belt To Cuff

Image Courtesy of The Sits Girls

What a brilliant idea for a tired leather belt. I’m going to be scouring the charity shops for belts now!

This post gives you a step-by-step guide to turning the end of a leather belt into a cuff in a few easy steps.

BTW I just love the idea of reupholstering an old footstool with leather belts as shown in this post

But if you have a tooled and punched leather belt why not go one step further and turn this into a beaded beauty?

Or add a brooch or decorative buttons. Use the punched holes as a tapestry board and sew with coloured threads.

Repurposing Jewellery Denim Cuff

Courtesy Of Denim ReDooz Etsy

Denim Up-cycling

This has got to be my favourite though. When your jeans or denim jacket are past their sell-by date … upcycle!

You can use a number of parts and find lots of repurposing jewellery ideas

  • Cuff of a denim jacket or shirt
  • Bottom of the legs of skinny jeans
  • Section of waistline

Simply sew on some beads from a broken necklace, some scraps of lace an old brooch or pendant.

But I’m wishing I hadn’t searched for repurposing old jeans… I’ve now set up a Pinterest board for the great ideas and been shopping on eBay for Denim Jackets!.


Don’t Chuck Out Your Zips

So you’re about to chuck out that piece of clothing, which is ruined and not fit for recycling? Don’t! Well at least not before removing the zip.

Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of zip jewellery? Well I’ll let you into a secret – neither had I until I was researching for this blog.

There are some fabulously creative people out there who have turned simple zips into awesome and unique pieces of jewellery.

While this tutorial doesn’t use recycled materials it’s a great way to see how to make a simple zip bracelet

repurposing jewellery zipper necklace

Image Courtesy Of Bling Beaded Baubles

I’ve also got to try this idea of sewing beads on to a zipper tape to create an amazing necklace. You can use up old necklaces to do this

Kitchen Utensils To Jewellery

Why stop at up-cycling broken jewellery or re-purposing jeans belts or zips when you’ve got cutlery!

This involves a bit more equipment and you may need a few items to practice on but why not give it a go? I’ve posted a link to a series of videos here that run on from each other.

But if you are inspired then I’d suggest taking a look at the comments below the videos as they give advice on what materials work most effectively.

I first saw spoon and fork jewellery a couple of years ago and thought that it was a great idea.

The Downright Bizarre! Bra Wires Into Necklaces!!

Repurposing Jewellery Bra Wires Into Necklaces

Image Courtesy Of Little Treasures Blogspot

This has got to be the most inventive idea I’ve come across to date!

Using bra wires, crochet wool and whatever else takes your imagination!

As you’ve heard me say before it is essential not only to wear the correct fitting bra but also to replace regularly.   If you wear bras with wires then this project might be one you want to try.

This website has some good ideas as well as easy to follow instructions.


What About Those Inherited Pieces?

You may have inherited costume jewellery from older relatives, which you like but is either not really your style or looks too dated.   Or perhaps you simply don’t want to throw away as they have sentimental value?

If you don’t want to tackle these yourself I would look round for someone who has the skills to do this.

Particularly if there is any value in your inherited pieces, languishing in a drawer is one thing but how upsetting would it be to make a mess of doing this and ruining the jewellery?

An amazing jewellery maker that I know, Sarah Dorans, offers this service.


So I hope you’re inspired? I know that I am! I also appreciate that the only limitation now is my imagination!

Pinterest and YouTube would have me believe that I’m late to the party on this one! Maybe you’ve done some up cycling, or are an expert at repurposing jewellery?

If you have done any fabulous projects I’d love to hear about your creations and if you’d like to share some photos on Facebook? If you haven’t given this a go why not have a fun afternoon just playing?

Please share in the comments below.
























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be authentic

Being Authentic Is Easy If You Know How

One of the current buzzwords is authenticity. Being authentic in the way we act, we communicate and do business. Hurrah! – I’m all for it!  I want to do business with people that I believe are genuine, have similar core values and the same kind of integrity that I hold dear.

Equally I want my clients to feel that they are getting the real me. For me being authentic is a whole lot easier than masquerading as a version of me! Afterall it’s so liberating to just be oneself?

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you – Dr Seuss

Being Authentic Dr Seuss


OMG don’t you just love Dr Seuss?

As a child every Saturday we’d visit the local library as a family. On arrival I’d rush to the children’s section, scouring the shelves for Dr Seuss books. It didn’t matter that I’d borrowed every one of them multiple times!

Now back to being authentic. Authenticity is something that we need to feel both internally and externally. So naturally this extends to the way we dress.

If we don’t feel authentic and true to ourselves with our style, we’re likely to feel uncomfortable.   If we’re not comfortable with the way we dress and appear to the outside world this will show up and we will not be confident. This impacts our life in many ways as I explained in my post last week Clothing Choices: How To Have A Great Day.

So how can we ensure that we are being authentic when it comes to our wardrobe?

Stop People Pleasing

Hands up if you remember as teenager being told: ‘You’re not going out dressed like that!’ What was your reaction?

Having spent hours getting ready you were probably pleased with the outcome.  So how did you react to that onslaught? No doubt you were angry or upset? You may have stormed upstairs to change or just rushed out slamming the door behind you. Neither option being a positive outcome!  Our early wardrobe influencers often have a lot to answer for!

stop people pleasing

My father hated green. Result was that neither my mother nor I owned a single green garment between us. Before I had my colours done and appreciated which shades of green really suit me, I’d acquired every type of green in my wardrobe after my father died! I’m still in a bit of a rebellious phase wearing the odd splash of lime green, which is not in my palette!

But seriously it’s about dressing for you and not for others. If you are being authentic in your style you will feel more confident.

Accept Your Ugly Bits

Being authentic is about accepting yourself for who you are. It’s about accepting yourself and loving the good bits about your body.

Stop being so critical and really look at your body. Embrace the positives about your body. Even if seems insignificant use it as a starting point.

Take for example the colour of your eyes. You can really highlight this by wearing colours that make your eyes stand out.

highlight the parts you love

Recently when I was working with a client I asked her to tell me which parts of her body she loved. She told me that she really embraced her curves, how she felt sexy and feminine. She told me how she hated her thighs and wished her legs were thinner. Then she stopped and started to laugh.

An ‘aha moment’ as she realised that if her legs were skinny she’d look out of proportion.

Live Your Truth

As your life changes you may feel that to be authentic your wardrobe needs a makeover.

If you are going through a major life change, it can be a catalyst for seeking help with your style. I refer to this as the Chrysalis stage, as the butterfly starts to emerge and spread its beautiful wings. You want them to shine out and be authentic to you.

being authentic living your truth

Working with one client recently, she proudly showed me her recent purchase, a biker jacket.  This was a statement piece that she wanted to embrace a new phase in her life.   But to be authentic she wanted to embrace her soft feminine style.

We worked with the jacket pairing it with various accessories and in addition to the jeans/boots and soft blouse look, we created outfits with jersey dresses to create a gentle rock chic style.

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes being authentic is simply about listening to the messages your body is giving you.

There are some days when I want to feel nurtured.  All I want are soft natural fibres close to my skin. I want to be in touch with nature and feel its healing powers. I find it difficult to do this if I’m wearing man made fabrics.

listen to your body

Equally to be authentic to the way I’m feeling I want bright bold colours and fabrics that cling to my body in the right places. I want to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes I’m drawn to certain colours and other days where the same colour won’t look the same.

Your subconscious is often more in tune with your wardrobe than you give it credit for! Don’t fight it and let it guide you.

Don’t Always Speak The Truth

You are asked by a friend what you think about her new dress.   Believing it to be awful how do you handle it?

Being Authentic and Speaking the Truth

Do you feel it is better to just state your opinion and would you expect that from your friends in return?

Many of us do feel it’s important to be honest with our friends but equally we don’t want to upset them.

But remember that often when we are asking for someone’s opinion it’s because we don’t trust our own judgment.  We feel that something’s not right or we want our decision to be ratified.

So why not ask your friend what she likes about the dress. Ask her how does it make her feel?   You may draw out of her what she’s uncertain about so that she then makes a decision on the dress.

BTW from a professional point of view I would then expand on what worked with the dress and what doesn’t work.   As I see my role as a style coach and educator.

I want to leave you with one more thought about being authentic

be who you are




















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shopping for clothes

How To Make Shopping For Clothes Fun And Simple

Do you feel a sense of overwhelm when you think about shopping for clothes?

shopping for clothes

Perhaps you set off to the shops with good intentions, but come home empty handed, feeling tired and grumpy because you can’t find anything you like.  Alternatively you buy something wear it, once before consigning it to languish in the back of your wardrobe.

Or maybe you decide to shop online but get overwhelmed with the choice. Type in Women’s Clothes Shopping to Google and you’re presented with 19, 100,000 results!  Oh to make shopping for clothes online, simpler!

Talking to my friends I find that the sheer amount of choice means they stick to stores or brands they know when they shop online.   Many of them don’t want to waste precious time browsing for clothes. We are so time poor that if we shop online we want the experience to be simple.

How much easier would it be if someone else has done the grunt work for us?

Would it encourage you to shop online more or be more adventurous if someone had:

  • Browsed multiple sites and collated a collection from a range of retailers
  • Created a platform to help you collect items you really like to review
  • Be able to check stock instantly and create a seamless purchase experience

Does that sound fun? Check out my reviews of three apps that do exactly that the make it easy to shop online. Install one on your phone today and give it a try!



‘Slick and Stylish’

This App is really well thought through and well designed.   It is looking to build a fan base and act as a social media platform if you chose to use it to its full potential.

As you click on the App for the first time you are asked to choose three boards from a selection. These are collections of different types of styles.

By doing this the App will refine your feed. In practice I set up a couple of accounts with different looks and got the same feed!

The feed is a mixture of individual items and boards created by users.

Polymer Feed Shop Online

Polyvore Feed

Individual Items

You can click on individual items to like, shop online or use them to create your own style boards.

Style Boards

You can create boards or interact with other users’ boards.

Polyvore Style Board

Polyvore Example Style Board

Like, share or comment on style boards. Tap on the board and this will take you to the individual items you can click through to buy.Or be more specific with your browsing requests – picking trends, garment types and adding filters to narrow down the field.

Polyvore Items on Style Board

Polyvore Items On Style Board

You can also add your own photos to the items to enhance the style boards, which allows you to upload images from your wardrobe to add to outfits. These images are coming from your photos and will not be cut out images on a white background.

Using the search function on Polyvore allows you to look for some very specific long tail search terms or type in your own search.  You can then apply filters to create a more specific search.



When you sign up to this shopping app you’ll be taken to a screen showing the latest collections. On average three collections are built per day.

Grabble Daily Online Collections

Grabble Daily Collections

Go into the collections and Tindr style (so I understand!) swipe to the left if you don’t like an item and to the right if you like an item.  The App doesn’t tell you how many items there are in the collections (see Mallzee)

If you select the browse option at the bottom of the screen you can also browse by category or by brand.  Or you have the choice to determine the way the items are sorted (recent, by price, on sale).   However you look at individual items and either like them, buy or simply ignore them (so no Tindr style swipes here!)

This will build up your collection. You can then:

  • View your collection,
  • Filter it by item type,
  • Remove items you don’t like
  • By tapping on individual items you can shop online for any items you like.

You are shopping on one interface (rather than being taken through to the retailer’s site that you’re purchasing from).

The upside to this is that you are not having to input details such as your address which you would be ordering from different retailers.

However, by paying for each item separately a delivery charge is applied to each item. This doesn’t allow you to build a basket to a value where free delivery might apply.

Unlike Polyvore it’s not possible to build up your own style boards and put outfits together, so it is purely a shopping site



My brain wasn’t in sync with this app when I tried to set it up!  But Malzee’s customer service was very helpful via the chat function.

Within your profile you can set up your own size chart. When you then go to search for items the default is to use your size profile settings. You can remove this filter if you are looking on behalf of someone else.

I also like that within the collections you can shop online selecting from Mallzee’s Instagram feed.

Mallzee Shop Our Instagram Feed

Mallzee Shop Our Instagram Feed

The browse menu allows you to select categories, brands, colours and a price range.

When you view the category you then have the option to discard, like or view the items. It gives you an item count for your search.

By dismissing or liking the item the total item count goes down, so you know how many more items you have to browse. You can go back to the last item too (whether you discarded or liked it).

If you view the item, a quick stock check is done. You can pull up the product details and have the option to look at other colours.

Mallzee Item Details Shop Online

Malzee Item Details

By confirming the size you can then purchase. An interesting difference was that testing this on my iPad the app appeared to hang. But on my iPhone a helpful message came up reminding me to select the size.

To look at the items you’ve saved click on the heart icon. By clicking on the filter symbol top right of the screen you can look at this by category.

You cannot create style boards with this app.


So Are You Ready To Try?

Each App has some great features. All of them want to send you notifications, particularly about items that reduce in price.   You can elect whether to receive these of course.

These are just some of the Apps out there for you to check out to simplify your shopping experience online.  Check them out here:




There are also a number of Apps that help you to organize your existing wardrobe (would be nice if they did the laundry too) and I’ll be taking a look at these very soon.

In the meantime if you use any other shopping apps I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

If all of this still sounds a bit daunting why not have a chat with me about a Personal Shopping Experience?























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Off The Shoulder Top

How To Embrace The Look: Off The Shoulder Tops

Off the shoulder tops are a trend that is showing no sign of going away.   A really big trend that started to emerge in 2014/15 and has just got bigger and stronger for 2017.

While I’m not into following trends for the sake of it, fashion does to some extent govern buyers choices.  Therefore it’s useful to look at what’s available to buy and think about how to wear it.

Nordstrom Off The Shoulder Top

Nordstrom Off The Shoulder Top


A hint of hedonistic summer fun and a slightly hippie vibe is one picture that off the shoulder tops conjure up.  They suggest festivals or summer holidays with sun-kissed shoulders!   Off the shoulder tops can be a great way to show off some skin, without feeling over-exposed.

However, despite reading a few blog posts suggesting this style is for everyone I am yet to be convinced and this week’s post gives the reasons why.

I’m also going to give you a quick trip round the shops and some styling ideas for off the shoulder tops.


Top Tips For Off The Shoulder Tops

strapless bra house of fraser

House of Fraser – Ultimo

Strapless Bra

You need to feel comfortable wearing a strapless bra. For women with large bust wearing a strapless bra is simply not comfortable. Equally women with a very small bust may struggle to find a strapless bra that works.   One option is to look at a bra with clear straps but personally I’m not convinced this looks good!

Skin Tone

Good skin tone is helpful self-confidence is even better! If your shoulders and neck area are toned then an off the shoulder top will look great. But if you’re self-conscious about your neck and décolletage then off the shoulder styles are not for you!

Keeping Your Cool

If you do feel comfortable wearing sleeveless tops or showing off your upper arms then off the shoulder tops are a fabulous option for warmer weather.  They will help you to feel cool as your shoulders are exposed and avoid you feeling self-conscious about your arms.

Go Cold Shoulder

Coast Cold Shoulder Top

Coast Cold Shoulder Top

If off the shoulder tops are not comfortable, because you can’t find a strapless bra that feels good or you’re too self-conscious, why not consider cold shoulder?   Cold-shoulder tops, depending on the style, will allow you to wear a bra with straps.   They are also not as revealing as an off-the-shoulder top.

Stop Your Top From Moving

So how do you keep an off the shoulder top in place?   Off the shoulder tops are great for standing around and not using your arms! But do something with your arms and the top rides up around your ears. Not a good look! This tip with hair ties is a tried and tested method.


So Are Off The Shoulder Tops Just For A Medium Sized Bust?

Oasis Off The Shoulder Top

Oasis Off The Shoulder Top

No, providing you are comfortable that your bust is supported and that you have the confidence to wear an off the shoulder top, just bear in mind these basic points:

If you have a large bust

An off the shoulder top with added ruffles really isn’t going to be a great look. This may be stating the obvious but I make no apologies for that. Instead look for off the shoulder tops that flatter your lovely curves with more shape. Alternatively cold shoulder tops are a good option.

If you have a small bust

More detail around the top will look good. Detail will add volume to your top half. It will also balance your shape, if you have larger hips.   If your shoulders are narrow also look for puffed sleeves, as these will broaden your top half. Just be careful if you are petite that the details around the neck are not so big, as to overwhelm your frame.

Can You Wear Off The Shoulder Tops For Everyday Wear?

If you want to wear off-the-shoulder tops they can work for most occasions.   It’s a case of pairing them with the right clothes to complete an outfit and following a few basic styling principles.

At the end of the day, though, it’s still down to your confidence and if off the shoulder tops make you feel fabulous.

Off The Shoulder Top - Office

Office Suggestion – Buying Guide Below

For The Office

Not recommended if you work in a bank or a professional office. If you are going to feel remotely self-conscious wearing an off the shoulder top in the work place simply don’t do it!

However, if you are a in a relaxed office environment then off the shoulder is fine, unless you have an HR policy stating differently.

My recommendation for styling an off the shoulder top in a work environment would be to pair with tailored skirt or trousers and smart footwear.

Looks For Weekends

Off the shoulder tops look fabulous with jeans.

If you are wearing a full off the shoulder top then this will look best with skinny jeans. They give jeans an instant glamorous look. Add a pair of ankle boots or fun sneakers and this is a great look.

An off the shoulder top can also look amazing with an A line or full skirt to give it a real vintage rockabilly look!

Team with a straight maxi skirt for the ultimate festival or holiday vibe.

Off The Shoulder Weekend Look

Weekend Look – Buying Guide Below

Evening And Occasions

Wearing a plain off the shoulder top with the same colour trousers will create a jumpsuit effect. Try this look for a summer party.

For a glamorous look wear an off the shoulder top with culottes or ankle grazers and heels.

Palazzo trousers and an off the shoulder top is a really relaxed look for a summer evening.

The best way to create a really glamorous look for an off the shoulder top for the evening is to wear a statement necklace to really finish off the look.


I’d love to hear from you.

If you like to wear off the shoulder looks, what styles and outfit combinations do you go for?

Do you prefer cold shoulder tops? If so what’s your best look?

Do you dare to bare your shoulders this summer?


Buying Guide

Office Suggestion
Off The Shoulder Top – Nordstrom  , Culottes – Warehouse Shoes – Karen Millen , Handbag – Karen Millen Necklace –  Nordstrom
Weekend Look
Off The Shoulder Top – Mint Velvet, Jeggings – River Island, Ankle Boots – Elia BBag – Oasis   Necklace – John Lewis 



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