packing for a city break

Be Amazed At How To Pack For A City Break

A conversation at the gym last weekend sparked this post about how you pack for a city break.  My BoxFit partner was telling me about her forthcoming trip to Italy for 6 nights.

She hadn’t booked luggage and was unwilling to spend £60 with the airline (can’t blame her!).  But she was equally panicking that she wouldn’t be able to fit everything in a carry-on.  So she was plotting how she’d sneak some bits into her boyfriend’s luggage!

packing for a city break

Packing for a short city break is the easiest type of trip to pack for. There’s no need to pay for hold luggage. It’s an unnecessary expense, costs time at the airport and adds a level of anxiety.  If we do have to book hold luggage it’s always the most stressful part of a trip for me – the wait by the carousel!

So make it easy on yourself and with a bit of simple preparation you’ll find packing for a short city break is easy.

Where Do You Start Packing For A City Break?

This might sound blindingly obvious but consider the following:

  1. What are you going to be doing? Eg sightseeing, eating and drinking
  2. What’s the weather forecast?
  3. How long are you going for?

choose a colour palette when packing for a city break

Choose A Colour Palette

Pick a basic colour and ensure that everything you take will go with that.  I recommend no more than 3 colours maximum.

I’d recommend steering clear of black and white in hot weather.  Black because it will reflect the heat and white?  Well I just know how I can get in a mess wearing white. A white top simply tells you to throw chocolate ice cream over it!

How Many Nights Are You Going For?

Quick rule of thumb pack enough tops for each night you will be away.

You’ll see with my suggested packing list that I recommend wearing a top for slightly cooler evenings and then wear again the following day.

You don’t need as many bottoms as tops.

Shoes Take Up Space

I can guarantee that you will need half as many pairs of shoes as you think you do! The temptation is to take loads – I know I’ve been there!

you need less shoes than you think for a city break

You will need one pair of flats for walking and you can wear these for travelling to save space in your luggage.  Pick the pair that you know you can walk in for hours.  I really do recommend trainers for this as with the best will in the world you’ll get footsore in sandals or flip flops.

You will also need a pair of shoes for the evening.  At the risk of sounding like your grandmother think about what you take. Your feet will be hot and swollen after a day’s sightseeing.  Wearing tight strappy sandals that are really made for bar posing might not be your best option.

We went to Lisbon for our Wedding Anniversary several years ago.  The one abiding memory I have of the trip is the night I spent with my ankle wrapped in ice bags.  Why?  I’d worn daft shoes and taken a tumble on smooth cobbles as I’d got out of the tram.

Accessories Transform An Outfit

You probably get bored of me say this but accessories are perfect for creating different looks.

A scarf or two (I’m feeling extravagant!)  and/or a couple of necklaces will help create different looks. This works really well if you’re not sure about my idea to wear a top one evening and then again the next day.

If you’re planning to wear jewellery during the day just be careful – statement necklaces particularly metal can get really hot.  You’re better off not bothering or choosing something dainty or at least non-metal.

Don’t Forget ….

The Sunnies! If you do forget and need to buy a pair when you’re away, be sure not to just pick up a cheap pair from a street vendor.  You want the best possible UV protection for your eyes.

The same applies to sunscreen.  Always go to a pharmacy or buy a recommended brand from a supermarket chain you recognize.

Oh and while we’re on the ‘don’t forget’ list if you think the weather may break while you’re away a compact umbrella won’t take up much space.  If you need a jacket then wear this when you travel.

Recommended my List to pack For A 3-Night City Break

  • Tops x 3
  • Trousers x 1
  • Shorts x 1
  • Dress x 1
  • Scarves x 2
  • Necklace x 2
  • Flat Shoes x 1
  • Shoes for Evening x 1

Outfit suggestions packing for a short break

If you prefer, substitute top 3 for a second dress and wear this on the second evening and the following day.   Remember to pick dresses that you are happy to wear with flat shoes.


Scale It Up For A Longer City Break

If you’re going for a longer than 3 nights add a further top and pair of shorts or an extra dress.   You don’t need to add a complete new outfit for every extra night you’re away.  But the 3 night break is the basic capsule.


Would you love to live a less cluttered life?  How would it be if you were excited about choosing your outfit every day?  What would it be like if your wardrobe only contained items that made you look good and feel fabulous?

In September I’m launching Become Consciously Stylish.  It’s a program to help you if you want to:

  • Look good every time you get dressed
  • Feel good every time you put on your clothes
  • Reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the planet
  • Learn how to adopt a more minimalistic approach to your wardrobe
  • Have more time and energy in your life

In September I’m launching the Conscious Style Challenge to help you create a wardrobe that works for you, expresses your style, saves you time and money in a sustainable way

BUT before I launch I want to test this program and that’s where I’d like your help If you’re interested please sign up and I’ll send you more information by 1st August.

Conscious Style Challenge

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look and feel fabulous

What Has Love Got To Do With It?

To really look and feel fabulous you have got to love what you are wearing.  It increases our confidence tenfold (at least). If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous you’re missing out on an opportunity.look and feel fabulous

One of the first questions I ask my clients is what is your favourite outfit, piece of jewellery or item of clothing.

When they tell me, I ask them more about it.  Initially without them showing me because I want them to help me understand why it’s special.

  1. Is it the colour?
  2. Or the shape?
  3. Do you look and feel fabulous when you wear it?
  4. Does it evoke happy memories?
  5. Did you buy it for a special occasion?
  6. Was it an investment piece?
  7. Do you receive lots of compliments whenever you wear it?

Finally – how often do you wear it? Very often this will reveal that the item is hardly ever worn because it’s special.   While I’m an advocate of not keeping things for best I accept that not everything is suitable for everyday.

But the reason we do the exercise is to draw out the answers. When you know what it is that makes you look and feel fabulous beyond ‘this dress’ it’s so much easier to replicate.

So let me show you an example of my own go to piece that makes me look and feel fabulous every time I wear it.

The Necklace That Makes Me Look And Feel Fabulousthe necklace that makes me feel amazing

The Colour

I love the colour because it goes with anything.  When it catches the light it changes colour.   Because it’s a cool colour this helps my features stand out. So the colour really does make me look and feel fabulous.

The Shape

The shape certainly is an influencer because it hits most of my style keywords: dramatic, quirky, fun and passionate.  You can’t fail to notice it and it represents who I am and what my brand is about.

Does It Make Me Look And Feel Fabulous?

Oh hell yes!  Every time I wear it I feel a million dollars and for that reason it was worth every darn penny I spent on it.

I also bought a bracelet and earrings with the necklace.  I love the bracelet too and have worn it so often that I had to have it restrung.

Does It Evoke Happy Memories?do I receive lots of compliments when I wear my favourite piece

Not that I specifically attach to the necklace.

Did I Buy It For A Special Occasion?

No it was an impulse purchase at an exhibition of a jewellery designer I’d been introduced to. She had an open house.  I went along with the approach that I’d feel morally obliged to spend money.

Was It An Investment Piece?

At the time it was an investment. I’d recently finished my corporate career, had no money coming in.  I felt quite guilty about spending the money.  I even agonized over whether I should ask the designer for a refund!

Do I Receive Lots Of Compliments When I Wear It?

Yes I do and I take from this that it’s not simply the necklace, but it’s the way it makes me look and feel fabulous.   It ensures I feel more confident and that’s going to impact the way I walk in a room and present myself.


But What If You Don’t Wear Your Favourite Piece Very Often

The aim of this exercise is to see what it is about the item or outfit that makes it special.    With clothing in particular break it down further to include:

  1. Fabric – texture, print
  2. Details about the shape – hemline, sleeve length, neckline, the cut
  3. Details of the garment – trims, quality of manufacture

Then take a look in your wardrobe and see if there is anything else that is similar. Perhaps with a bit of help from a seamstress you could make it more like your favourite piece?   Or if it’s the colour and you don’t have anything else the same colour would you be able to use accessories to replicate the colour with other clothes?

But even if the answer is still I haven’t got anything else, what you have now got is a blueprint and a very clear idea of what makes you look and feel fabulous.  This is so important when you are shopping and helps you to avoid mistakes.  It doesn’t mean you have to clone your favourite outfit when you shop! But it does mean you have a better understand of what really works for you.

So that’s what love has got to do with it!  Happy Valentines!


If You Want To Look & Feel Fabulous Try This Exercise Yourself

Download my checklist to help you determine what is your favourite piece in your wardrobe.

Download My Free Guide Look & Feel Fabulous

Download My Free Guide

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add colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

How To Re-Boost Your Winter Wardrobe In February

| HitchinAre you sick of your winter wardrobe?  It’s about this time of year when the first shoots of spring appear, which is when I start thinking about changing my look.  I don’t have a huge collection of clothes, preferring instead to play around with different combinations.  So this makes me more aware of the value of accessories to help create different looks.  It’s key to think outside the box and experiment especially when you’re starting to get fed up with your winter wardrobe.

Spring Summer clothes are starting to make an appearance online and offline but the weather’s not right to wear them yet.  Of course the next round of fashion weeks is about to start and showcase what we’ll be wearing in SS20!

So what can you do to give your winter wardrobe a boost of sunshine?  In this week’s blog we look at some quick tips to help you feel that spring really is just round the corner.

Swap Your Handbagwinter wardrobe add a colourful handbag

Around 34% of women have lots of handbags, but tend to stick to the same one all the time. Why? They’re afraid of forgetting something if they keep changing handbags.

The best way to avoid this is to get yourself a bag liner that is big enough for all your essentials and fits in your bags.  Then make sure all the less valuable but nonetheless essential items are in each of your bags (tissues, pen, lipstick, business cards etc).

But I digress it’s my guess that you may have opted for a dark colour handbag for winter to blend in to your outfits.  Why not swap to a lovely bright colour bag or a beautiful pastel shade.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t match/blend in with your outfit.  So long as you’re not self-conscious about it, just make a statement instead!

Add A Belt To Your Look

Hands up if you don’t wear a belt because you think it will draw attention to the wrong part of your body?  28% of women don’t wear belts for exactly that reason!   But the irony is that a belt can help you create curves and definition to enhance your figure.

A belt is also a great way to change the look of a dress or top.  By wearing something with a belt that you don’t normally it will create a different look.   A sweater dress with a belt, tights and ankle boots is a great way to create a new look for example.  This helps you to extend your winter wardrobe.

Give Your Winter Wardrobe A Boost With A Brooch

How many of us wear brooches these days?  Not many I’ll guess.  We tend to think of brooches as a bit old-fashioned.  We associate them as accessories our grandmothers or aging aunts used to wear.

But if you are getting fed up with wearing your winter coat, adding a brooch is a great way to give it a new lease of life.  Add a pop of colour and statement sparkle to your look.   Check out your local charity shops or vintage stores.   Etsy also has a great collection of brooches.

Add Some Colour To Your Footwearadd colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

Most of us gravitate to dark footwear in the winter.   Lots of black, browns and dark greys.  It doesn’t show the mud or matter if it gets splashed so much as brighter colours.

But how about adding a pair of coloured ankle boots to jeans? Make them a feature of your outfit. I have a gorgeous pair of pink satin ankle boots that admittedly I wouldn’t wear outside this time of year. But I love wearing them so much that I’ll happily put them in a bag and take them with me to change into for events.

Bright colours are a great way to cheer yourself up.

Change Your Jewellery With Your Winter Outfits

I bet that you’ve got lots of necklaces you don’t wear in winter?

Either because you think the colours ‘aren’t right’ or you associate them with summer.  Well try a bit of mix and matching.    Add a more summery style of necklace to a winter outfit and see how it looks.

Add pastel colours to black brown or grey.  Just see how different they make your outfit look.use accessories to add colour to your winter outfit

Or taking from one of my tips last week.  If the weather does turn cold again, ditch the metal jewellery in favour of acrylic or plastic jewellery.  The metal will conduct the cold outside temperatures.  I found this out when we used to ski and I’d insist on wearing metal earrings and wonder why my ears were cold!

Accessories Are The Key

Hopefully these ideas are useful and may even inspire you to create some new looks and breath some fresh styles into your winter outfits?

The ideas I’ve suggested all involve accessories but if you’re not confident about choosing and wearing accessories you may be interested in my online course Accessorise with Style & Confidence.  Where you will learn how to choose and use accessories to suit you personally.  Learn how to create more outfits without buying more clothes.

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Keep Warm In Style With A Pashmina

How To Keep Warm In Style

Hands up I’ve been the idiot who has tried to made the effort to Keep Warm in Style and got it all wrong.  Keep Warm In Style

Like the time we went to Norfolk in December when I insisted on wearing a furry jacket for a beach walk.  It looked glam but was no match for the horizontal wind coming off the North Sea!  Or the ski pants from the designer Italian boutique which looked fabulous but had zero wind protection especially on the chairlifts!

But I’m no good at the Teletubby look, buried beneath tons of layers.  It might be practical but it makes me feel rubbish and that’s never going to work!   So that’s why I love to use accessories and base layers to Keep Warm in Style without sacrificing either comfort or my look. Here are my top tips, hope you find them useful.

Keep Warm In Style With Inside and Outside Scarves!

Why wear one scarf when you can wear at least two?

I like to wear a scarf to complete my outfit and then add another heavy outdoor scarf when I’m heading outside.   This works really well when I’m out at meetings and not sure about the venue.

Top tip to keep warm in style: I also add a necklace.  If I get overheated I can take the inside scarf off and still feel accessorized. , so that if I do get overheated then I can remove the ‘inside scarf’ and still feel accessorized!


Think Thermal!Keep Warm In Style Bella di Notte Thermal Vest

Gone are the days when thermal meant looking old and frumpy!  I firmly believe that the rise in popularity of skiing holidays helped to take thermal fashion to another level.

Merino wool or pure silk thermals were perfect when Mark and I skied every winter.  But in the UK I’m going to overheat wearing those base layers.   But if you do feel the chill there are some fabulous styles available.  I particularly love this one from Bella di Notte. I find that simply wearing a light camisole as an extra base layer works for me on the top.

Top Tip To Keep Warm in Style: To keep my legs warm and toasty invest in a pair of fleece-lined leggings.  You only need to pay around £10 to get a really warm pair.

Gloves + Hand Warmers = Toast!

Seriously I’m the worst about wearing gloves.  I have really dry skin and am outside a lot with the dogs, but wearing normal gloves doesn’t work for me.   I also have very small hands and fingers so find that gloves always feel too cumbersome.

Flexibility is key with the dogs, clipping and unclipping leads, getting treats out (essential for dog walking!).  Gloves don’t do this and mittens are a disaster, so I wear fingerless gloves.   However, this doesn’t solve the problem of cold fingers!

Top Tip To Keep Warm In Style: By a pair of reusable hand warmers to put in your coat or jacket pockets.

I have a set that you activate by clicking the metal disc inside the hand warmer. The gel in the pack starts to crystallise and heat up.

They stay warm for up to around 30 minutes. This is enough time for me to get my body temperature up.   When you get home simply immerse in boiling water for 15 minutes and the crystals will become liquid again. Wait for the hand warmer to cool and it is ready to reuse!  The fact that they’re reusable, non-toxic makes them a winner in terms of their eco-credentials.

Who Else Hates Wearing Tights Under Trousers?

Wearing tights with trousers is a no-no for me. I hate the feeling of being warm and sweaty around my belly – sorry if too much information!

If you’re out and about in Winter particularly if you’re waiting for public transport trousers aren’t always warm enough.

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style: wear hold ups not tights under trousers. This will keep you warm in style and you won’t end up with a hot belly or worse still another layer to manage in the bathroom!

You can also try wearing hold ups under leggings for an extra base layer.

Keep Warm In Style But Don’t Overheat!

If you suffer from irregular body temperature such as menopausal hot flushes this one is for you.

You’re better to keep your base layer the smartest sassiest layer.  What do I mean by that?  Simply wear additional layers that you can take off and still look and feel fabulous.

You want to avoid ending up a hot and sticky mess!  Then you have the dilemma of do I go to the toilet to take everything off and re-dress without the base layer? Or do you brave it out and end up feeling really self-conscious?

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style:  Shawl scarves and/or pashminas are perfect for this.  Wear over your winter coat to finish off your look.  Then you have an extra layer should you need it indoors.   If you tend to wear a lot of dark colours in the winter then a brightly coloured pashmina there’s an amazing range at Absolute Exclusive very reasonably priced.

What are your top tips for keeping warm in style?

I’d love to hear them! Please pop them in the comments below.


Accessorise With Style & Confidence

Would you love to create more outfits from your wardrobe without buying more clothes?  Feel more confident about choosing and using accessories?

Acccessorise With Style & Confidence is a head to toe course, giving you the tools you need to transform your look from the ordinary to the extraordinary with accessories to suit your personal shape and style.

Built in bite-sized modules to help you look and feel fabulous every time you get dressed.


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Wardrobe DeTox Tips

How To Save Money On Clothes

You can save money on clothes and still have lots to wear.  How?  Well, you can spend hours browsing charity shops, dress agencies or browsing on eBay. Or if that sounds like your idea of hell why not use accessories to maximize your outfit potential?

There are so many advantages to wearing accessories and my favourites are:

Create More Outfits From Less ClothesAccessories save money on clothes

You do not need a wardrobe full of clothes to create more outfits!  I know it sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true.

Save Money On Clothes

Wearing costume jewellery and scarves is a lot cheaper than buying a new outfit because you’re bored with your wardrobe.

Avoid Packing Nightmares

Heading off for a short break and don’t want to check in luggage.  Use accessories to maximize your wardrobe choices.   They take up less space and give flexibility.   Another bonus:  your clothes are less crumpled when you arrive at your destination.

Rescue Outfits In The Wrong Colours

You can ‘rescue’ outfits in the wrong colours by wearing scarves and necklaces in your colour palette.

If you’ve recently had a colour analysis done, a few scarves and necklaces is a lot cheaper than getting rid of clothes you love.

Repurpose An OutfitAccessories Save Money On Clothes

Transform an outfit from day to night.  With Christmas party time approaching and after work drinks invitations this is invaluable.  So much easier than having to carry a change of clothes!

Dress Down An Outfit

Use accessories to dress down a smart look into something more casual.  Wear an ethnic style necklace with a smart dress for example.

Create A Signature Look

If you are running your own business and are attending a lot of networking events accessories can help to identify you. They can also become a talking point.

Do You Really Save Money On Clothes?

You may argue that by buying a few scarves and necklaces your clothing budget has not reduced that much.  Well that does depend where you shop.  If you buy designer labels.  I’d agree you might struggle to save money on clothes!

But I’d recommend popping into the various charity shops – you’ll find scarves and necklaces at ridiculously cheap prices.  Okay so they may not be designer labels but it will help you build a wide selection at great prices.  Most charity shops organize accessories in colours.  This makes it so easy to check if they have anything in your palette.

Just A Word About Belts

I’ve mentioned scarves and necklaces at length, but belts are another way to transform an outfit.

Many women worry that belts will draw attention to the wrong part of your body.  But in fact belts can be a great way to create definition and draw attention to the bits of your body you love.

Wear a top with a belt and then again without and you’ve already got two different looks for the same top.   If you have narrow hips then wear a belt slung low across your hips to add definition to this area.  A great bust and defined waist, wear a belt higher to show off your upper torso.

Just To Show You What I Mean

Here’s a case study of how I used accessories and a jacket to create a series of different looks from a couple of dresses.

If You’re Still Not Sure…

If you love accessories but are not sure how to use them to best effect?  I’m about to launch an online course to help you to accessorize with style and confidence.






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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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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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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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