Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pattern mixing - yes or no?

Just lately I have seen some great pattern mixing going on and, while I like it on others, I'm not sure I would be able to pull it off myself. So perhaps the best thing to do rather than launch into full on pattern mixing mode, is to take it a step at a time.

It seems that stripes would be a good place to start. So let's start with this navy and ivory striped tee shirt:

Add a navy skirt:   

Now let's add a tartan scarf:

This is pleasing to the eye because there is blue in the top, skirt and scarf.

Instead of the scarf, we could add a leopard print bag and shoes:

These items don't have navy in them but they still would look fine with the basic tee shirt and skirt above because the pattern is quite small..

Let's get a bit braver and maybe try this combination:

Mixing a smaller pattern with a larger pattern can work whereas mixing two large patterns wouldn't work as well as, in my opinion, they seem to vie with one another..

 So can we mix two small patterns together? Let's see:

To me this looks too busy but again it's only my opinion and I most likely wouldn't wear this. I think also pattern mixing would work better in the summer than in the autumn/winter. 

If you want to see more about mixing patterns, prints and colours then blogger Hello Katie Girl does this amazingly!

Do you think you will try mixing patterns? I'm going to experiment and see what I think!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

My favourites from Boden AW '15

If money was no object and I could buy exactly what I wanted, here is what I'd choose from Boden this season:

Boden Velvet coat in Atlas Blue Currently £129

I really like this coat, which would be great for Autumn and Spring. You could add a scarf if you need the extra warmth. It comes in two other colours.

Breton Tnnic in Navy/Ivory Currently £34.30

I really love Breton tops and will probably buy this tunic as it will go with so many things in my wardrobe!

Elena Fixed Wrap Dress £89

To be honest not many of the Boden dresses really grab me this year. Some are too highly patterned and too short - I prefer mine knee length. On the plus side,this dress has long sleeves and you could wear a cami underneath it.

Navy Jacquard Top £59

I sense a navy and white theme going on here! I love the symmetry of this top and you could wear another layer underneath to keep warm.

Navy and Red Check Coatigan £129

 This would again be a very useful item to have in my wardrobe in the above colours (it also comes in grey and blue check) and can, of course, be worn instead of a coat when it's not too cold outside.

Red Mia Jumper $59

This Mia jumper caught my eye. It's a good everyday type of jumper that can be worn with jeans, a denim skirt (as above), black trousers etc. Available in lots of colours.

Keira Boot £119

Lastly, these boots have a lot going for them - the heel height is good, I like the touch of leopard print, the shape of the toe and the buckle trim.

There are a few more items I like and I may do another blog post about those sometime. What do you think about Boden clothes? Is there anything you like for Autumn/Winter?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What to wear if you are pear shaped

The definition of a pear shaped (or triangular shaped) body is narrow shoulders and larger hips. Usually you will have a small waist as well and the distance between the top of your hip-bone and waist is usually (but not always) quite long.

The obvious solution to balancing a pear shaped body is to emphasise the shoulders or top half of your body more than the hips. Here are some tips to do that:

1. Wear lighter and brighter colours on your top half, taking into consideration your own natural colouring. For example, darker coloured trousers or skirt with a bright red top.

2. You can go to town on patterns such as stripes and florals, frills, interesting sleeves etc.(if you have a small bust), which will draw attention away from your bottom half. Most pear shapes do have a small bust but of course there are exceptions.

3. Keep the bottom half plain with few details on trousers or skirts such as pockets, studs etc. The photo above is an example of what not to wear if you are pear shaped! Ideally, bootcut jeans are better than skinny jeans but you can wear slim legged jeans with a tunic top. Avoid straight skirts, which will be too tight around your hips.

4. On your bottom half wear fabrics which are soft and fluid and drape easily such as jersey, silks and bias cut fabrics.  On your top half wear medium to heavy weight fabrics and texture e.g. linen, cotton and woollen fabrics. Jewellery also draws the eye upwards.

I hope these tips will be helpful. Please let me know in the Comments if there is anything you would like me to blog about in future.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Autumn Shades

Later this month it will be the start of Autumn. In fact the Autumnal Equinox will be on 23 September this year, when day and night will be of equal length and then, a month later, the clocks will go back! As the evenings and mornings draw in and become cooler, I thought it would be interesting to look at the Pantone colours suggested for Autumn 2015 and how each colour direction can wear them.


Deeps mostly have brown eyes and dark hair, giving them a rich look. Marsala, Reflecting Pond, Stormy Weather and Biscay Bay will be fine. If you have a warm skintone then add Cadmium Orange and Oak Buff as they are warm colours. Wear two deep colours together or contrast a light with a dark colour.


If you are Light in colouring (pale skin, hair and eyes) then you can wear Cashmere Rose, Desert Sage and Amethyst Orchid. Add Cadmium Orange if you are warm skintoned. 


If you are Cool then Amethyst Orchid, Cashmere Rose, Biscay Bay, Stormy Weather and Desert Sage would be fine.


If you are a Warm, Autumn is indeed your season! Of the Pantone colours you can wear Oak Buff, Cadmium Orange and Dried Herb. However, there will be other autumnal colours around that would be great for you.


Brights will find it difficult to wear this year's Autumn Pantone colours as they are quite muted but they can wear Biscay Bay, Amethyst Orchid (if cool skinned) and Cadmium Orange (if warm skinned). If you wear Stormy Weather and Reflecting Pond as neutrals, remember to contrast them with a bright colour.


If you are predominantly Muted and Soft then all of the colours will be fine for you. Wear these colours monochromatically for a sophisticated look.

Of course, as I have found, it depends whether these colours actually are in the shops or not but I hope you are able to find some Autumn shades for your colouring.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

How to flatter a large bust

If, like me, you have been 'blessed' with a large/largeish bust there are various ways to wear clothes that will flatter what you have so that you don't look matronly!  Here are three tips to get you started:

Firstly, and most importantly, you must wear a good bra that fits you properly.  I have seen a lot of ladies who have a large bust and are wearing an old, ill fitting bra that does them no favours.  A good fitting bra will make you look instantly slimmer and younger because it puts your bust in the right place so that it doesn't look like your boobs are sitting on your waist. Go to a specialist underwear shop such as Bravissimo or to a department store where they will measure you or correctly estimate your bra size. Try on different styles to see which is best for you, as the sizes vary from one manufacturer to another.

Secondly, do avoid drawing attention to your bust by creating horizontal lines across that area.  So that means no to polo necks; high, round necklines; sleeves that end at bust level; wide horizontal stripes; pockets on bust.

But yes to v-necklines; boat necklines; vertical stripes; edge-to-edge cardigans or jackets creating vertical lines; necklaces ending above or below the fullest part of your bust.

Thirdly, fabric - don't wear stiff, structured fabrics (such as a stiff cotton button up shirt that will gape) over a full bust. Keep to medium weight, fluid, stretchy fabrics that drape well such as jersey, polyester, silk, fine knits and chiffon. Nothing too clingy though - you may need to size up if the top you want to buy is in a very clingy material.

The advantage those of us with a larger bust have over our more flat-chested friends is that we have cleavage, so let's aim to flaunt it without looking tacky!

I hope these tips will be of some help if you are well endowed in the bust department.