Changing shapes…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

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

The Power of Pink

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Despite hating the cold I’ve always been a ‘winter’ person – I love nothing more than getting cosy on cold Winter nights, layering and accessorising Autumn/Winter outfits and (of course) Christmas.

However, having spent my first Spring living in a truly rural area, this season is fast becoming my favourite. The changing scenery and in particular the Spring blossoms that have been shooting up all around us are truly spectacular. As a result I’ve found myself updating both my wardrobe and my living space with shades of apple green, zesty yellow and even splashes of pink (head on over to my Instagram account to take a look).

Pink seems to be a colour that is everywhere right now – with both politicians and celebrities embracing the colour in a myriad of ways (case in point, VB rocking a floral pink patterned skirt from her own collection in Singapore just yesterday). From accessories through to head-to-toe jumpsuits, everyone is making a statement in pink.

Far from being seen as ‘girly’ and ‘pretty, pretty’ pink has now become much more of a statement colour, signifying power and confidence in the wearer – it’s all in the styling.

Here I’ve put together some of my favourite pink looks that will pack a pink punch without feeling too young or twee.

Colour Pops…

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First up, as with any colour, you can do a subtle (or not-so-subtle) pop with your make-up or accessories. A pink mani, lipstick or watch/bracelet is an easy way to add a little colour to your look with minimum effort and expense.

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On days when I’m wearing a relatively neutral outfit I’ll reach for MAC’s ‘Please Me’ lipstick. It gives a subtle pop of pink that lifts the darker shades from my outfit – it also works brilliantly with white for a fresh, Spring look.

Be Bold…

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One of my favourite smart/casual wardrobe staples is a bright pink fitted blazer from Zara. The structure of the garment keeps it from feeling girly and when worn with denim (either skinny or ripped boyfriends) it’s a combination that feels fresh and professional for seeing clients.

Light and delicate…

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If pink and girly is your thing, then look no further than super-blogger ‘Gal Meets Glam’ – her site is a feast of delicate pink looks, from hot pink loafers through to baby pink lace dresses. Her look is distinctly feminine and perfect for those of you with romantic personalities! Take a look at her impeccable style on her site here.

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Images 1, 2, 3, 4.

Images 5, 6 and 7 all via galmeetsglam.com

Seeing Red

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s fair to say that the colour red is synonymous with it (and the theme of love in general). The colour red is a powerful one, it’s associated with energy, strength, power and determination, as well as passion, desire and love.

During my colour consultations I help my clients discover what their ‘best red’ is – everyone can wear red, it just has to be the right shade, be it bold, muted, a cooler blue red shade or a bright scarlet.

In honour of St. Valentine here are a few tips and top picks so you can rock a little red this Valentine’s Day and beyond…

The perfect pout…

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Red lipstick is iconic and timeless, there’s something very ‘old Hollywood about it’. Like anything you just need to find the perfect shade to suit you. Some people can be a little wary of a red lip, if this is you start with a subtler shade and work up from there. It instantly adds glamour to your look and I guarantee that once you get used to the pop of colour you’ll feel naked without it.

Hot foot it..

 

I have a gorgeous pair of red, patent heels that come out on high days and holidays, they’re not practical for every day use and a very much ‘car to bar’ shoes but I love, love, love them. I either pair them with denim and a simple tee/statement necklace combo or go for a monochrome look for evening. They elevate an outfit to ‘wow’ in an instant and I firmly believe every woman should have a pair of red shoes in her wardrobe (and if heels aren’t your thing go for red Converse or similar – sassy and comfortable in one hit!).

Nailed it…

One of my personal style icons, Olivia Palermo, always, always has an immaculate red manicure. I maintain my nails myself but it is very rare that I don’t have a colour on and I come back to red time and time again. It’s an easy way to add a little colour to your look and can be embraced whatever your personal style, age or colour category. Like anything else in this shade, it instantly adds a little glam (p.s. apparently Olivia’s fave shade is Essie’s Geranium).

Be bold..

If you do decide to incorporate a little or a lot of red into your look, be bold and have fun with it! If you need some advice on the best red to suit you, you know where I am!


Images 1, 2, 3

 

Winter Brights

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For those of you who don’t live in West Yorkshire, let me tell you – we’ve had rather a lot of snow up here the past couple of days!

Where we live is sooooo beautiful and it looks amazing in the snow…however, it isn’t very practical or pleasant when you’re trying to get out and about to do things!!

Today’s diary was jam-packed but unfortunately my studio (which is 700ft up and currently resembles a large ice cube/igloo) is snowed in! So admin/catch-up day for me, which includes writing some posts for the blog which has been a little neglected of late.

Often during Winter months I feel like all I see is grey skies, grey clothes, grey everything – there just doesn’t seem to be much colour around at this time of year. Over the past few years though I’ve consistently worn colour whatever the time of year or weather situation, it makes me feel (and look) so much better and definitely lifts my mood.

This beautiful Samsoe & Samsoe jumper has been on heavy rotation recently – it’s warm and cosy but also such a gorgeous bright colour that you’d normally expect to see worn during warmer months. I’ve been layering it over long-sleeved vests, my denim shirt and under heavy knits too.

The Winter sales are still going and before they finish to make way for the new Spring/Summer collections I have a little ‘style challenge’ for you all. Go along and hunt out a piece of knitwear in a bright, bold, fun colour that you don’t already have in your wardrobe.  Whether it’s a jumper, scarf, hat or just some accessories, injecting a little colour into your wardrobe will brighten even the darkest of Winter days! Make sure you report back and share pictures on my Facebook page of your bright and beautiful Winter ensembles!

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I’m wearing…

Jumper – Samsoe & Samsoe @ Attic Womenswear

Jeans – Dr Denim

Trainers – Ash

Rings – Pandora


 

Images by enb photography

Trend To Try – The Blanket Scarf

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Blanket scarves, capes and ponchos have all been having a bit of a ‘moment’ of late. Capes and ponchos have long been familiar fixtures at this time of year and I think they can be both elegant and understated, whilst having the added bonus of being incredibly warm (a must when you live in the North of England and it’s as blustery and cold as it has been of late!)

Blanket scarves on the other hand are a fairly new ‘trend’ and a tricky one to navigate at that. I’ve had several clients ask me how to wear them so I thought I’d share a few top tips if it is a trend you’d like to try this season.


I’ve had my eye on this Zara scarf for a while now and was over-the-moon when it turned up under the Christmas tree a few weeks back (thanks little sis!) I basically haven’t had it off since I opened it on Christmas day. Here are a few tips and suggestions for how to wear yours…

1. As always, opt for one in colours that compliment you and that work with the rest of your wardrobe (particularly your Winter coat). I love the bright, vibrant colours on this version but there are also lots out there in muted tones and neutral shades (greys, blacks, taupes etc.) if that’s more your thing.

2. The easiest way to wear a blanket scarf is to simply throw it on over your coat without much thought. They’re soooo big that is can sometimes be daunting to try and do anything else with them! However there are a couple of other options to try…

Belt it – add a belt around your waist (over your coat and scarf), this not only shows off your waist but reduces the bulk of the scarf too.

Wrap it – it can feel a little bulky to wrap a scarf of this size around your neck but go with it – it’s so snuggly and warm!

3. Whichever coat you wear your blanket scarf with make sure it is sleek and tailored. A scarf of this size adds bulk so avoid wearing with coats that are padded, hooded or have large/oversized collars. Simple is best.

And finally… if you’re petite then this a trend to avoid as it will swamp your frame. Alternatively try a cape or poncho in a medium-weight fabric that you can layer over long sleeved tops.

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I’m wearing…

Scarf – Zara

Coat – Selected Femme

Leggings – Vila

Boots – ShoeBiz Copenhagen at Attic Womenswear


Images by enb photography.

Check out my Pinterest board here for more ideas and inspiration for how to wear your blanket scarf, cape or poncho.

 

 

 

Vivienne

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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’.

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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