Statement Shoes For Spring

Since returning to work from a semi-maternity leave six months ago I have rediscovered the joys of shoes!

I’ve always been an accessories girl; bags and shoes in particular have always caught my eye. However, since I’ve had children I unsurprisingly spend very little time in heels and most of my life in trainers. Don’t get me wrong, I love my trainers. They’re comfy and practical and I have a nice collection of fun, colourful kicks that are perfect for the school run or playing in the park.

When I’m working though I do like to elevate my outfits with a statement shoe. Whether that’s a leopard print flat or a bright, bold heel like these from Mint Velvet.

I bought these on a complete whim and was so pleased I trusted my gut. I always advise my clients to shop with a list, to only buy items when they meet certain criteria etc. However… sometimes you just have to buy the shoes!

Since purchasing these little beauties I’ve found myself drawn to bright, statement footwear. It’s a great way to add a touch of quirkiness to your outfit without breaking the bank, as well as incorporating the latest trends in a really easy way. Shoes this season come in a range of hues and with a variety of embellishments; from frills/ruffles to pom poms, studs, buckles and everything in-between.

Footwear is a great way to have inject some personality into an outfit and have a little fun. Here are a few ideas as a starter for ten…

Pink Lianna Chunky Strap Mule

 

 

Jezebel Frill Stud Heel Sandals

Office Fuzzy Pom Pom Lace Up Trainers

 

Leather Mules with Frill

 

Top two images photographed by Emily Bailey Photography.

Click images to shop each shoe online.

Spring Style – The Coatigan

personal stylist leeds, anna mewes

A couple of weeks ago a Facebook follower and client of mine messaged me to ask for my advice on how to stay warm in Spring whilst still looking ‘Spring-like’ (and not cover up the gorgeous tops that start to surface at this time of year).

Today’s post is the first in a series looking at my top Spring outerwear picks. As you may have guessed, the coatigan is the first in the spotlight, simply because it is the one I reach for most at this time of year.

A couple of years ago I purchased my first coatigan and I haven’t looked back since, my collection has grown to include different colours and lengths but this Samsoe & Samsoe one is my all time favourites.

 

Its a bit of a departure from my usual style and I think that is why I like it so much. The colours instantly make it feel appropriate for Spring, but it has enough weight to it to keep me really warm on chillier days. I love it with yellow (such a happy colour), as well as red, navy, black and white. Despite the boldness of the print it is actually really versatile. I always par down the rest of my outfit when I wear it though; this coatigan is always the ‘hero’ so I let it do the talking and keep everything else simple.

Here are my top tips if you fancy adding a coatigan to your wardrobe this Spring…

  1. The style of coatigans is generally more relaxed, so if you prefer structured and tailored then it probably isn’t for you. I have gone against the general guidelines I use for dressing my body shape here, its not a style to ‘show off’ my waist or emphasize my curves and that’s fine, as long as we know we’re breaking the rules it’s all good ūüėČ
  2. Go neutral (charcoal, navy, stone etc.) or go bold. A neutral shade is great for versatility as you can add lots of accent colours underneath however I do love a bold coatigan that makes a bit of a statement (as you may have guessed!)
  3. If you’re petite beware of this style; it may overwhelm your frame. Opt for an oversized cardigan instead to emulate the look in a way that works for you.
  4. If you’re grand in scale (I’m 5’11”) then go for a big, bold print if you like. The taller you are the larger the print you can go for so embrace it and have fun!
  5. Play with textures. I love chunky knits with leather trousers and silk camisole tops – soooo gorgeous and add a touch of sass to an otherwise everyday outfit.

This Samsoe & Samsoe coatigan is around a year old now but I’ve linked some others below that you may like to try (just click the pictures to be taken straight to buy):

Lina Cardi, Hush, £95 Рthe Brown Sugar colour is perfect for those of you who fall into the Soft colour category and is a great neutral piece for Spring.

 

Circle Knit Cardigan, Anthropologie ¬£138 – LOVE this! If you’re Warm or Clear & Warm, snap this up and wear with Dark Navy underneath. Gorgeous!

 

Textured Knit Cardigan, Cos ¬£79 – green is the colour of the season and this more structured style will appeal to those of you who fall into the Classic or City Chic style categories. Also available in Navy if the green isn’t your taste/colour.

 

Photography by Emily Bailey.

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Say Hello To Violet

Social media is a huge part of many of our live’s these days and I am no different. My go-to platform is most definitely Instagram. I love how visual and creative it is and have found new friends, discovered new brands and been inspired by so many of the people I’ve connected with on there.

A few weeks back an Instagram feed for a new store in Harrogate caught my eye. As I scrolled through their page I was immediately enticed by the beautiful clothes and warm, friendly tone that came across on their posts. I knew I had to find out more.

Violet, 14 Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate

A couple of Insta-messages and a rainy car journey later I met with Sara, the owner of Violet, over a lovely brew in her gorgeous store. Sara’s idea for¬†Violet was born out of her own experience of seeking out premium clothing, that fits, flatters and is made beautifully, but sold at accessible prices. This idea immediately struck a chord with me. As I’ve got older I have learnt the real value in paying a little more for certain investment items as the workmanship and quality really is second-to-none.

In today’s post Sara tells us a little more about Violet…

Sara – owner of Violet, Harrogate

The story behind Violet…

I have always loved fashion and design and following a career in financial management and fashion retail, I saw a gap in the market for a store offering a premium shopping experience in luxurious surroundings and providing the kind of personal customer service that is often lacking on the high street.

Shopping should be a positive and fun experience. I work very hard to give an honest, friendly and knowledgeable service. The stock I hold is hand picked to reflect the season’s trends and are pieces that I would love to have in my own wardrobe.

Taking the leap..

I truly believe that access to fabulous cuts, fabrics and designs should be available to us all and mixing luxury label pre-owned pieces in with basic items can create a much more interesting and long lasting wardrobe. The existing outlets offering pre-owned clothing just weren’t offering the kind of environment that I would want to spend any time in – there had to be a better way!

Finding inspiration..

I love Instagram! I follow fashion editors, bloggers, designers, tastemakers…I’m pretty obsessed generally with good design!

I’m really interested in street style fashion – I find it exciting, evolving and inspiring. There are no rules and I like that. I’m not a rigid rules kind of person!

Sara’s style

Relaxed and a mix of high/low, for example, a great pair of worn-in boyfriend Levis with a mans shirt, rolled up sleeves and a pair of Gucci low heels. Or, my staple leather bike trousers with a kitten heel or trainers, a slogan tee and a Stella McCartney blazer.

Favourite SS17 trend…

Pyjama dressing. Its a trend thats been around for a couple of seasons now and is perfect for trans-seasonal dressing. A slouchy PJ style top with boyfriend jeans and a trench is my Spring go-to look.

Visit Violet at 14 Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate and check out Violet‘s Instagram here.
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Making A Statement

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There are some items that, once you’ve seen them, you just know they’re coming home with you. This coat was one of those items.

I’d gone into Attic Womenswear for an entirely different reason, not knowing at the time that my wardrobe was missing an electric blue cocoon coat, but oh my it was!

The gorgeous vibrant blue colour winked out at me from the rails and I tried it on ‘just to see’, and…it was love at first site. I adore everything about this coat – the colour, the shape and the warmth it offers. It’s the perfect piece of outerwear to take me into Spring, but because it’s so cosy, with lots of room for layers, I can happily wear it now.

I have to admit, once I got it home I faltered slightly because it is bright and as someone who typically doesn’t like to stand out too much from the crowd, it was out of ¬†my comfort zone.¬†Having said that, it still felt very much in-keeping with my personal style and fitted with my style mantra* so even though I felt a little self-conscious the first time I wore it, I went for it, and I’m so glad I did. It really elevates my everyday wear; throwing it over a striped top, jeans and boots instantly makes me feel more dressed ‘up’ and polished. In the past I’ve always been one to opt for neutral outerwear that I then add pops to with accessories but I think I may be expanding my statement coat collection soon, I’m a convert!

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Make A Statement

My top tip if you fancy taking the plunge with a bright coat or jacket it to make sure it is in a colour from your palette as this will guarantee it’ll look good next to your skin. Make sure its one of your favourite shades so you don’t fall out of love with it a few months down the line (lots of people love to opt for a shade of red, which is a very powerful, passionate colour and one I’m liking for my next statement coat purchase).

The shape of my coat isn’t designed to show off or flatter my figure, the cocoon shape is what I call a ‘current classic’ – the shape is very popular at the moment but will never go out of style completely, so its a safe bet to make an investment in. Before I decided to purchase I considered what I could wear this with and on what occasions it would be appropriate to wear it – always do your fashion maths (cost per wear) before taking the plunge as you don’t want something sitting in your wardrobe that never gets worn.

Finally, how does it make you feel? This coat puts a smile on my face when I wear it, I stand taller and feel fab in it. All your clothes should elicit positive feelings from you when you wear them. Accept nothing less!

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* a style mantra is a phrase or set of words that I give my clients to express their personal style (how they want to look and feel when they dress), it comes out of understanding what suits, flatters and fits you best and knowing what type of image you want to present to the world. To discover your own style mantra book in for a full image makeover or style consultation over at www.imagebyannaelizabeth.com

I’m wearing…

Coat – Samsone & Samsoe

Top – Great Plains

Jeans – Waven

Boots – Mint Velvet

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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As Seen on TV!

Anna & Nicola

Last night I made my TV debut!

I helped the lovely Nicola declutter her wardrobe and style some new outfits as part of itv Tonight’s show ‘Keep, Chuck or Clean?’ which looked at people who hoard things and how simple changes can cut clutter, keep us healthy and save (or sometimes even earn) us some cash.

It was a wonderful experience to get involved with the project as its something I’m really passionate about. I genuinely don’t think you need a lot of clothes to look and feel your best each day.

You can take a look at the episode here  Keep, Chuck or Clean Рitv Tonight

If you’d like to book a similar service to the one featured on the show take a look at my business website here for more details or simply drop me an email to anna@byannaelizabeth.com.

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Be Seen In Green

greenery title

Every year Pantone selects a shade that they feel symbolises what is happening in our local culture.

For 2017 that shade is Greenery, a gorgeous yellow-green colour that I LOVE! I’m so pleased they’ve chosen a shade of green; often the colour that Pantone picks for the year then flows through everything from fashion to interiors, so expect to see a lot of it in coming months!

When I see clients for colour consultations we always discuss what colours they wear a lot of and green is NEVER mentioned (black, blue and grey are the most popular choices!), for some reason its just not a colour that people wear a lot of. I think this is such a shame as not only is it incredibly flattering (providing you choose the right shade), it also has such positive associations.

Greens can be really¬†versatile and look great with a variety of other shades, it’s the colour of life, renewal and energy and it symbolises freshness. So it seems fitting to have green as the topic of my first post in this fresh new year!

If you already have some green in your wardrobe then there are a multitude of shades you can wear it with depending on your colour category and style personality. Navy, cream, turquoise, yellow (primrose in particular looks so pretty with this shade of green) – the list goes on!

Don’t have any green? Then consider getting an item in this colour, even if it’s just an accessory (a bag, bracelet or earrings are all subtle ways to incorporate colour and instantly update your look very inexpensively).

Make 2017 your year to be colourful!

Remember, the key is to ensure you select the right shade – Greenery might not work for your colour characteristics, but another shade of green might (you know where to find me if you need some help with this!)

GREEN COLOUR COMBINATIONS

In the picture at the top of this post you’ll see I’ve worn my green Cos top with a cream coat, quite a ‘safe’ colour combo for me. My all time favourite colour to wear with green is actually navy as a I feel it gives the colours more depth and warmth, for me black flattens the green a little and I prefer a softer contrast.

Below is a little montage to give you some inspiration for how you may like to wear your greens, if you’d like to see more head on over to my Pinterest page here.

All images sourced on Pinterest.

All images sourced on Pinterest.

 

Need some colour advice? Take a look at my colour consultation service here.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Jeans For Genes

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As someone who basically lives in her jeans (hello Mum uniform!) I thought it only fitting that I do a jeans-related post this week in support of ‘Jeans For Genes’, which raises money for children with genetic disorders (‘Jeans For Genes’ day is this Friday).

I have been a slave to my skinnies for several years now but discovered boyfriend jeans a couple of years ago and have loved adding these into the mix. For Autumn I’m keen to add some more variety to my day-to-day uniform so thought I’d share my high street finds and recommendations…

The Girlfriend

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The cut of girlfriend jeans tends to be slightly slimmer than that of boyfriends, meaning they’re a great first step away from skinnies if this is your comfort zone. When I first tried boyfriend jeans I felt a little scruffy, however girlfriends are more flattering and I love the wash of these from Gap (pictured above), which are available in petite and tall too. I also love the styling in this shot; a simple shirt and either trainers or heels works so well and demonstrates their versatility.

The Kick-Flare

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I’m tall, and this style of jean makes me feel as though I look like I can’t get a pair long enough, however if you’re petite I think they’re a lovely look. The kick-flare is definitely the ‘cool girl’ jean for Autumn and when styled correctly (see above) they can look great. I’m still to be convinced I have to admit – I mean what footwear would you put with these in the winter?! On the plus side, they’re great for showing off your ankles; the slimmest part of your leg and therefore a very flattering point at which to wear your hemline. (p.s. extra cool-girl style points if yours have a frayed hem)

The Bootcut

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Bootcut is back (did they ever go away?!) This style of jean is incredibly flattering on most shapes, in particular those of you with curves. If you have a Triangle body shape (that’s me) they are your best friend as they will balance out your hips, hurrah! I wore them when they were first ‘in’ and am considering revisiting them this season, with a wedge trainer, simple tee and statement necklace.

The Skirt

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I recently purchased this skirt¬†(pictured above) from Monsoon and have already got loads of wear out of it. Whilst the weather has been warmer I’ve been pairing it with simple tees/vests and either trainers or sandals. Once the weather turns cooler I’ll be switching to ankles boots and knits. A perfect trans-seasonal piece to add to your denim collection! The length is great too as I can still be messing around with the kids and retain my modesty!

Get Involved With Jeans For Jeans

If you’re in need of some new denim then head to GAP this week as they are donating ¬£1 from every sale of jeans bought between now and the 23rd Sept to the Jeans for Genes campaign!

OR

My favourite local Ilkley boutique, Attic, are getting involved on social media! Just post of picture of yourself wearing your favourite jeans on your social media channel of choice this week using the hashtags #jeansforgenes and #atticwomenswear and Attic will donate £1! They will also donate £1 for every pair of jeans sold in-store this week. You can check them out here.

Image sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Pattern Play

Image credit: A Little Dash of Darling

Image credit: A Little Dash of Darling

If you follow me on Facebook¬†or¬†Twitter then you’ll know that I re-launched my style challenge series this week, encouraging you to try mixing at least two different patterns into one of your looks over the next few days.

I’ve found that since I’ve had baby number two I’ve definitely been in a style comfort zone. At first I opted for stretchy jeans and loose tops with scarves because that was all that fit me, now that I’m back in most of my regular clothes though I’ve found myself in something of a style rut. So I’m challenging myself here as well as you!

Mixing patterns is something I have become more comfortable with the more I’ve done it. It can seem a little daunting at first and there is certainly an art to it so you avoid looking like a crazy person! However, once you start to play around with patterns it can really open up so many more outfit combinations that really allow you to put a personal stamp on your outfits.

I’ll be sharing snaps of my style challenge outfits on my social media accounts (links are on my blog homepage if you don’t already follow me). If you feel like taking on the challenge too then I’ve put together a few tips on how to mix patterns to perfection…

1. Leopard is a neutral

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Image credit: Sincerely Jules

Leopard print goes with everything!

So if you have anything in your wardrobe with this print on, go and find it immediately and then simply start trying it out with different items in your wardrobe. I have a pair of leopard print flats that I LOVE and wear with everything. My favourite print to pair with leopard is checks, usually a plaid shirt, tee, jeans and leopard print flats. Boom.

2. Colour code

Image credit: The Quarter Life Closet

Image credit: The Quarter Life Closet

When mixing patterns the trick to keeping your look cohesive is to ensure you have a unifying colour running through your outfit. Pick a colour from the boldest pattern you’re going to be wearing and carry this through the rest of your outfit. There’s already going to be a lot going on when you’re wearing different prints, so keeping the colour palette of your look simple is key.

3. Size matters

Image credit: Something Navy

Image credit: Something Navy

Don’t wear two large prints together, or two small ones together as it could potentially look really busy. Combine a large print with a smaller one to create balance. My advice; wear the bolder print where you want the eye to be drawn (so if you hate your bottom half, go big and bold on top to draw attention upwards).

Also, keep in mind your own scale – if you’re petite don’t go tooooo over the top with big prints as they’ll swamp you. Similarly, those grand in scale should avoid very small patterns as they’ll look too busy.

4. Rock it!

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One of the phrases I find myself repeating to my clients most often is ‘confidence is your best outfit’, because its so true!

Wearing just one pattern will be daunting for some of you, so mixing two may feel crazy, but rest assured, if you follow the guidelines above and like what you see when you look in the mirror then step out with confidence! Throw your shoulders back, walk tall and rock it!

Let me know how you get on – I’d love to see your pics which you can either post on social media using the hashtag #glamupnorthstylechallenge or send to me directly at anna@byannaelizabeth.com

Images 1, 2, 3

 

 

 

Graphic Stripes

Those of you who caught my Cold Shoulder post a couple of weeks ago will have guessed that I’m pretty excited about the start of the new season.¬†I’m going crazy over on Pinterest at the moment (you can follow me here) seeking out new looks to inspire my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

One trend I’m particularly giddy about is graphic stripes. I LOVE stripes and have so many clients who love them too. They’re classic, flattering (when worn correctly) and so versatile. So you can imagine my joy when the catwalk collections for SS16 had stripes of all shapes and sizes wafting down the runways.

The great thing about stripes is you can dip a toe in the trend with a simple tee, or really embrace it with a bolder print from from head-to-toe. If you are thinking of adding some striped items to your wardrobe this season then remember to wear them on areas you want to draw attention to. For example, as a triangle body shape I like to wear horizontal stripes on my top half as this balances my proportions and draws the eye up (and away from my bottom half). If you have fabulous legs and a flat bottom go for striped trousers or skirts to really show off your best bits!

To truly indulge my stripe obsession I’ve put together some styling ideas for different occasions shoppable via Farfetch. I hope they inspire you to try stripes this season, but be warned, once you get the stripey bug, you’ll be hooked!

Weekend Chilling…

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This Etre Cecile sweatshirt is the perfect go-to for casual weekends and I love the bold red stripe combined with the slogan on this top. I’d wear this with denim shorts, white kicks, a messy pony and minimalist make-up for the perfect laid-back look.

9-5 Styling…

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I generally advise my clients to wear vertical stripes on their bottom half, no matter what their body shape is, as horizontal stripes tend to add width, which none of us want on our lower half, am I right ladies? These Dondup Striped Trousers are so chic and classic, all they need is a simple navy blouse and a sleek pair of ballet pumps to complete an elegant office look.

Wedding Wear…

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Make a style statement at a wedding this summer in a gorgeous graphic striped dress. This Missoni Optical Effect dress is on my lust-list, the print and colours are stunning and all it would need is a nude heel and clutch, loose waves and dewy make-up to complete a show-stopping look.

Shoes, Studs and Stripes…oh my!

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A stripey shoe! I couldn’t resist! The Valentino ‘rockstud’ ballerinas have become pretty iconic over the past year and I love this stripey version – they’d certainly elevate a simple jeans and t-shirt combo, don’t you think?

 

How will you be wearing your stripes this season?

 

 

 

 

Shades of Grey

Happy New Year!

So the first working week of 2016 is in full swing and rather than feeling down I’m actually really excited for all that the New Year may bring.

Our little lady is now 11 weeks old (where did that go?!) and we’re starting to find our groove as a family of four. I hope to be blogging more (taking every chance I get – I’m writing this from the nursery whilst little miss has a nap!) and am also seeing clients on a part time basis from next month, so do get in touch if you’d like to make a booking as slots are filling fast!

To kick off the new year I thought I’d start with a colour post. The skies here are shades of grey, grey and more grey at the moment so I thought I roll with that and collate some grey outfit inspiration for you all. I think grey can be such a chic, understated colour to wear head-to-toe as well as looking fabulous with a bright colour pop added too. Just because it’s grey doesn’t mean it has to be dull!

Here are a few grey toned looks I’m loving and some tips on how to wear them yourself…

Grey Shoes + Grey Bag

Grey accessories can really lift an outfit – the colour is as versatile as black (in that it goes with everything) but the addition of a grey bag or boots can really make for a welcome change to darker shades that so often dominate at the time of year. Grey suede in particular looks so luxurious.

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Grey Leather

A leather jacket in a shade of light grey is the perfect choice if you fall into the light colour category (blonde hair, fair skin, light eyes). This time of year is so difficult to dress for colour-wise for Lights so grey is the perfect option. Combine with blues, dusty pinks and whites for a fresh Wintery look.

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Chunky Grey Knits

I went through a phase of buying nothing but grey knitwear, I just kept getting drawn to gorgeous, snuggly grey jumpers! This season I’ve purchased very little so far (still working off the baby weight!) but I’m very tempted to add a new grey knit to my wardrobe as they’ve been such a staple in the past. Just add dark denim, boots and a bright lip for an easy, understated everyday look.

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Top tips…¬†if you are looking at adding some grey pieces to your wardrobe be careful about the shade you opt for.

Those who fall into the Warm colour category (freckles, auburn/copper tones to the hair) are best advised to wear this shade away from their face – so go for accessories rather than knitwear. If you’re a Cool or Light then grey is in your palette and will flatter your natural colouring. Deeps should go for darker rather than lighter shades of grey to ensure they don’t look washed out. Finally, if you’re a Clear (like me – bright eyes, fair skin, dark hair) then add some contrast to your grey look to maximise it’s impact.

And with that I’m off to do a little more ‘research’ into some grey knitwear (it’d be rude not to hey?!)

Image sources: 1, 2, 3