Changing shapes…

f57290fc95bdce9d6a550933e220d1b3

As anyone who has children will know, they change everything – in ways that you could never possibly have imagined. Until you have children you can’t really comprehend it, and even now, almost five years after having my first child, I’m still adjusting to life as a Mum.

Another thing I’m still adjusting to is my new ‘figure’ (if you can all it that). I haven’t quite accepted that it will never be the same again, but despite regular exercise and healthy eating I’m still not back to my pre-baby body (or anywhere near it for that matter). Sometimes it bothers me that my once flat stomach now has a distinct roundness to it, other times I simply look at my two babies in amazement and feel blessed and grateful that my body was able to grow and birth them so efficiently. It’s pretty mind-blowing when you think about it.

However mind-blowing and amazing having children is, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m currently carrying a ‘muffin top’ and whilst I’m in the process of reducing it, I am having to dress cleverly to hide it in the meantime. As I see a lot of new Mums for style consultations who want help with dressing their new shape I thought I would share some of my top tips here so if you too are facing a similar ‘changing shape’ situation you can get a few tips on how to still look and feel your fabulous best, no matter what your shape, size or stage of weight loss journey you may be at!

1. Go High Rise

I was a slave to the low-cut skinny jean pre-baby but post-baby, oh my! NOT a good look. Not only are low-rise jeans less than ideal when you spend your day bending to pick up your baby or crawling on the floor to play with them, they also allow nowhere for a little weight gain to hide! Enter the high rise jean. I can’t tell you how comfortable high rise jeans are! They are also super-flattering as they smooth out all the lumps and bumps. I’m a complete convert. I urge you to give them a try, I doubt you’ll ever go back to any other rise afterwards.

I basically live in this pair these days.

waven jeans personal stylist anna mewes yorkshire leeds

2. Good Foundations

Now we’re not talking corsets here, but a good foundation layer goes a long, long way. I typically now always way a foundation layer underneath everything (I’m also always cold so this helps me keep toasty too!) I’m obsessed with the base layers from Hope Fashion and have their long sleeve scoop tops in every colour. They are comfortable, breathable, warm and just feel like they’re smoothing everything out beautifully. I also love their foundation skirts for an alternative look to jeans which is still super-comfy and practical (they come in two lengths so you can opt for whichever is best for you).

If you decide to invest in some items from Hope (and I highly recommend that you do!), enter code STYLE32 at checkout to receive 10% off your next order!

hope fashion anna mewes personal stylist leeds

 

3. Layers

At this time of year layering is an ideal and practical way of hiding any lumps and bumps (also perfect if you’re breastfeeding for easy, discreet access). A look I’ve been wearing a lot lately is a tee or vest with a denim shirt and chunky knit cardigan over the top. It keeps everything covered, its warm (you see a theme here, I like to be warm!) and I love the look of layering. My current fave denim shirt is this little number.

anna mewes personal stylist leeds blogger

4. Don’t Hide

Rather than swamping your frame in oversized clothes to try and hide your figure, think instead of drawing attention to the parts you DO like. Wear colour and patterns, accessories etc. on your top half if you’re conscious of your bottom half – that way when people look at you their eyes will be drawn upwards to where all the action is! Wear dark shades on your lower half but keep things fitted – wearing clothes that are too big for you or don’t fit properly will only make you look bigger than you are. Treat yourself to some properly fitting items, even if you only plan to wear them for a short time whilst you lose your baby weight, you deserve to look and feel fabulous whatever your current shape or size may be. Embrace it, enjoy it and rock it!

 

Friday Fix – The Coatigan

827ff6ae18a1952f798d0aed5d19b6ee

Whilst there have been a couple of days this past week where the weather has been mild, there is certainly an Autumnal chill in the air and, as someone who gets woken by a toddler alarm at around 6am every day, I can confirm that the mornings are now getting darker.

I’m sad that the Summer months (and hope of sun!) are coming to an end, but I’ve always loved getting dressed in Autumn/Winter. The opportunity to layering and accessorising always appeals!

As my baby isn’t due for another few weeks I’m holding off on any major new purchases for a while, with the exception of a ‘coatigan’. Last Autumn I lusted after several chunky outerwear options but didn’t take the plunge however, as this year I’ll be able to wear one both with and without the bump I’ve already made the purchase! The coat/cardigan hybrid is the perfect solution to those chilly Autumnal mornings where a Winter coat would be too much but just one layer isn’t enough.

Coatigan styles generally tend to be loose and baggy – they’re supposed to be cover-ups so don’t concern yourself too much with showing off your body shape when it comes to purchasing one. Instead, concentrate on getting one in colours that really work with your palette and will complement you as I guarantee once you snuggle into one of these bad boys you won’t want to take it off!

My Top Pick

11131546-1834319990057253

This gorgeous Samsoe & Samsoe Kimy Cardigan arrived this week and I cannot wait to wear it! The colours are so scrumptious yet really versatile and it’s super-snuggly. I’m planning on layering it over leather skinnies and biker boots as well as denim and tan ankle boots throughout Autumn.

Buy Now, Wear Now

image1xxl

The boho trend that was prevalent throughout Summer in the form of flares and fringing is continuing into Autumn and a furry gillet is the perfect way to nod to it. Opt for something in a neutral shade like this Vila version for maximum wearability. If the weather warms up you can throw this on over a vest or lightweight dress and when temperatures drop layer over your comfy knits and pair with skinnies (or flares to keep the 70s vibes going!)

For The Weekend

78ECS_5_1024x1024

This cosy Fairisle cardigan is the perfect casual cover-up. Wear over your boyfriend jeans or skinnies, with trainers and a lightweight knit with a scarf for maximum snuggle-factor. Tones of navy and dark tan will work beautifully with this neutral cardigan and will really complement those of you who fall into the Soft colour category.

The Smart/Casual Option

11124933-1384321532901207

If you need something warm but a little smarter then this Selected Femme Colour Block Cardigan will work beautifully for a slightly ‘neater’ look as it doesn’t have the soft cocoon shape that many of these styles favour. I love the graphic print of this cardigan and having seen it on can testify to the fact that it looks equally good with cigarette pants and heels as it does layered over a more casual ensemble!

For Those With Light Colouring

CAR23-ING-01

This time of year can be very difficult for those of you who fall into the Light colour category as shades tend to be so dark (and if you have fair hair, skin and light eyes you look best in light, delicate shades). It’s inevitable that you’ll need to look at shades that are darker than you’d ideally wear during Autumn/Winter but the good news is that shades of blue, including powder and baby blues, are set to be very popular this season and should therefore be easily available.  This Hush Nessa Cardi is a great combination of lighter shades whilst not feeling too Spring-like. Wear with light blues, soft whites or pale grey underneath to keep everything working together to ensure you look glowing and fresh rather than weighed down by tones that are too dark!

Top image source.

 

 

 

Vivienne

CHC_3737

Today’s post is taking a closer look at the rather fabulous ‘Vivienne’ hat that is part of the ‘Icon Collection’ that Beth Hughes and I have collaborated on together recently.

As you’ll have seen from previous posts about the collaboration, each hat has been designed with different colour categories and style personalities in mind and this hat is for all the wonderfully creative ladies out there!

This hat doesn’t really follow any colour guidelines and that is actually one of the reasons I love it – sometimes we just need a bit of black in our lives don’t we? After all, black is a staple colour, a sophisticated colour and an all-time classic. To give the darker colour a bit of a pop though we decided to mix fabrics and textures to add interest and these stunning feathers that Beth had sourced inspired us to add a bright, orange trim which I think works beautifully.

We named this hat after Vivienne Westwood and I’m sure you can see why! Quirky, fun and slightly crazy, this hat embodies everything the amazing Viv stands for. I’m imaging it paired with a boyfriend blazer, leather leggings and heels for the ultimate statement look. This hat is definitely for ladies who do style by their own rules and love ‘dressing up’.

CHC_3735

 

Each hat in the Icon Collection can be customised to suit you – you can select colours, trims and size. For more information get in touch with Beth via her website – www.bybetty.co.uk

Photography by Clare Chojnowski

 

 

Pleated Skirt & Ankle Boots

CHC_3651

I generally don’t do muted colours and it’s rare that I wear black, but every once in a while it’s nice to change things up a bit.

This leather jacket has been a staple in my wardrobe for some time now and it goes with everything. I love how it toughens up this floaty, pleated skirt. The addition of boots makes this a perfect Autumn outfit and I’ll just add some black tights and boots now the weather really has taken a turn for the chilly! I’ve also been wearing it with this jumper of late for extra warmth and comfort.

CHC_3654

 

CHC_3652

CHC_3648

CHC_3653


 

Jacket – Topshop (similar here)

T-Shirt – Maison Scotch at attic womenswear

Skirt – Vila at attic womenswear

Boots – Sol Sana at attic womenswear

Photography by Clare Chojnowski.

 

The Icon Collection

CHC_3750

Welcome to a new week – and a new month!

I can’t quite believe we’re in November as the weather has been so mild of late, however I hear it’s set to get cold this week and I have to say I’m looking forward to really wrapping up warm and embracing Winter at last.

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen a few teaser images/tweets for a project I’ve been working on with the fabulous By Betty Bespoke Headwear and I’m delighted to be able to do the ‘big reveal’ today!

The Icon Collection is the brain child of myself and Beth Hughes, a miliner based in Burley In Wharfdale.

Combining my expertise in colour and style analysis along with Beth’s talent for designing and making beautiful headwear, the Icon Collection comprises of three different hats, each with their own unique inspiration and each named after different female fashion designers, who we drew inspiration from during the design process. Drawing on the style personalities and colour categories that I work with as part of my consultations, each hat is designed to suit women with different colour characteristics and styles of dressing.

Wearing colours that flatter you is vital if you want to look and feel good and when colour is close to your face it is even more important. Beth and I wanted to create a collection that was diverse and a bit different. What we wear says something about us and all of the hats in this collection are a statement, designed to suit women with different colouring and personalities. The beauty is that with Beth’s skills any of these designs can be customized with different colours and details, meaning that no two hats are the same.

You can see a glimpse of the three hats above and I’ll be featuring each hat, along with the story behind it, on the blog in the coming days.

Photography by Clare Chojnowski.

 

Sunday Style File

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Cosy and comfy doesn’t have to equal bulky or baggy. This season go for softly tailored chunky knits balanced with slim/skinny jeans and low-heeled boots. Top off with a hat (the fedora is THE shape of the season) and you have a laid back Sunday style that is equal measures stylish and snuggly.

Get the look…

Hat – hats are an investment piece and to get maximum wear out of yours I would recommend getting one made for you to ensure you get the right colour, size and shape. Locally you can’t beat Beth Hughes of By Betty Hats.

Coatigan – the coat/cardigan hybrid is perfect for those in-between days when it’s not quite cold enough for a Winter coat. I love this one from Zara and this ASOS version.

Tee – opt for luxe fabrics that feel soft and warm against the skin to layer with. Hush and Baukjen both offer great quality basics in some beautiful colours.

Denim – Dr Denim offer the perfect skinny fit whilst also being comfortable and soft. I have recently discovered and loved their ‘Regina’ jeans which are available from attic womenswear.

Boots – I recently bought a pair of Sol Sana boots in dark grey and they’re the most versatile piece of footwear in my wardrobe. Ankle boots in neutral tones will serve you well during winter months as they go with everything from jeans to skirts and dresses. Tan or grey will also ensure that they combine well with a range of colours in your wardrobe too. These Sam Edelman booties would be great for Autumn/Winter and in the Summer with whisper-thin dresses and flippy skirts.

Image credit here.

Scarf Selections

scarf4

The weather this past weekend was just glorious up here in Yorkshire. The days have been cold, crisp and bright and my family and I made the most of it by spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Whilst the weather has been cooler it isn’t quite winter coat cold just yet, meaning a couple of warm layers and a big scarf are sufficient to keep warm whilst we’re out and about.

I LOVE scarves and once we get to October usually start to wear them with just about everything. Not only are they perfect for keeping warm, I also think they can pull together any look, making even the simplest jeans and t-shirt combo look elegant and pulled together. They’re also great for injecting a bit of colour or pattern into your look.

Below I’ve pulled together a few scarves that are great for this time of year along with some suggestions for how to wear them…

zarascarf

A statement scarf in vivid colours from Zara means your outfit needs little else. Wind it round several times for extra warmth and wear with a simple white knit, boyfriend jeans and heels.

whistlesscarf

If you’re fair-haired or have a cool undertone, this enlarged check scarf from Whistles will work wonderfully on you. Wear with a light grey cocoon coat and coated skinnies.

massimodutti

If neutral tones are more your thing then this charcoal snood from Massimo Dutti offers a softer alternative to black. Mix with a denim jacket over a plaid shirt for a laid-back weekend look.

Top image credit – here.