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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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.

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!

 

Confessions of a Personal Stylist

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Whilst I was standing at the train station in Leeds this morning, waiting for my Starbucks and daydreaming about how little sleep I’d had last night (thanks 8 month old) a woman came up to me and said ‘I just had to tell you, you look amazing. I love your outfit, not many people can wear something like that, you look great.’

Honestly, I felt like giving her the biggest hug, because she can’t have known how much I needed to hear that, and I really did.

You may think that as someone who advises people on what they should wear to make them look and (more importantly) FEEL great, I would be pretty confident in the choices I make for myself when getting dressed each day. However lately this has not been the case.

After having my second child almost 8 months ago I have struggled to shift the baby weight. My tummy is now wobbly when it was once taut and flat, my hips and thighs have spread and, whilst I can squeeze into a good portion of my pre-pregnancy clothes, most of them are tight and uncomfortable. The result? Most days I don’t feel particularly happy with how I look.

So last week, when faced with a night out to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend I was forced to face the fact that I’d completely neglected my own image and sense of style. I had nothing to wear. Literally, not one thing that (a) fit properly and (b) was appropriate for the occasion.

It made me take a step back and I realised that since having my two children I had taken no time to review and refine my own style profile. I used the fact that I’m carrying a little extra weight as an excuse not to really bother too much with my clothes and image. As anyone with littles will know, its a HUGE lifestyle change so inevitably your style changes to fit the ‘new you’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been slobbing about in hoodies and joggers with baby sick on my shoulder! But I have been feeling a bit down on myself and that’s largely because I haven’t been wearing clothes that reflect my personality. It actually doesn’t matter that I’m not at my ‘ideal’ weight, its about feeling good as I am now, accepting that I’m a work in progress and that I deserve to look and feel my best.

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So last week I conducted a style consultation on myself. I created Pinterest boards, I chose my ‘style mantra’ and put together a list of items I needed so I could conduct a personal shopping trip on myself. Just going through the process of clarifying who I am now and the image I want to present to the world made me feel more confident and comfortable.

I took myself to get measured for a properly fitting bra (always start with the foundations, more on that in another post) and I shopped till I dropped. I didn’t get much, but what I got fit me beautifully (wobbly bits and all), fit with my style mantra and made me feel great. One of the items was an American Vintage jumpsuit from a boutique in Ilkley called Attic. I wore it out for my friend’s birthday and am wearing it today for work meetings in London. I love it. Its been a long time since I’ve had an item of clothing that I have worn and loved.

I feel comfortable, I feel confident and I’m finally starting to feel like ‘me’ again. There’s still a way to go until my whole wardrobe fits with my new lifestyle, but its a process I’m excited about and glad that I’ve started. Sometimes you have to invest a little in yourself in order to add value to others. As a Mummy to young people it can sometimes feel hard to carve out time to do that, but its so important that we do.

So theres my confession! Please don’t judge me too harshly ūüėČ its always so much easier to advise others than it is to take your own advice I find!

And to the lady at Leeds train station this morning – you made my day/week/month. Thank you for your kindness, I will certainly make sure I pay it forward!

xo Anna

You can read more about my style evolution since having children here.

To find out how I can help you rediscover your style vibe take a look at my website here.

 

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Smart Sales Shopping

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The January sales are already in full swing, with most stores announcing their commencement on Boxing Day. I’m all for grabbing a bargain, but it can be easy to impulse buy when something is reduced in price, only to get the item home and realise it doesn’t work perfectly with your colouring, body shape and/or style personality.

It’s so easy to be lured by the word ‘SALE’ and we convince ourselves we’re saving money as we’re not paying full price for something and therefore it’s fine if it isn’t perfect. I don’t believe in settling when it comes to the clothes we wear, even if they are ‘a bargain’ so to help you avoid the pitfalls of sales shopping I’ve¬†listed below the simple steps I follow to ensure I get the most out of sales shopping…

PLAN AHEAD

As with any other shopping trip, draw up a list of items you need, and stick to it. This will reduce the chance of you buying something on a whim, just because it’s reduced.

Also, be sure to take a little time to go through your wardrobe before you hit the shops and do a bit of an audit (so you don’t end up buying yet another stripey top when you already have five hanging in the wardrobe).

SET A BUDGET

Lots of small purchases can soon add up and before you know it you’ve spent more than you intended. Have in mind the total amount you have to spend as well as a maximum amount for certain ‘big ticket’ items ¬†(for example a Winter coat or new bag).

REMEMBER YOUR STYLE MANTRA!

When conducting style consultations with my clients I often ask them to choose three words or a ‘style mantra’ to describe their personal style and the image they want to project. This really helps to ensure that every outfit and every item you buy projects the image you feel is authentic to who you are. When you’re considering a purchase take a moment to consider if it fits with your mantra so that you don’t end up taking items home that you later regret buying.

CONSIDER COLOUR

I trained as an image consultant over five years ago and see clients for colour consultations weekly, yet I still carry my own swatch wallet around with me. It’s so easy to fall into wearing the same handful of colours day-in, day-out, that I find it’s always good to have a handy reminder of the plethora of shades I have at my disposal. Having my swatch wallet with me also ensures I don’t purchase anything that doesn’t work with my natural colouring.

IF YOU LOVE IT, BUY IT!

At the end of the day, clothes and fashion should be fun! If you see something you absolutely adore then go for it! As long as it makes you feel fabulous nothing else matters.

Happy shopping!

Anna x

Top image source.

 

Khaki + Stripes

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For me nothing says ‘Spring’ like stripes – I can’t get enough of them and it seems many of you are the same!

My Style Assessment & Wardrobe Detox sessions have been so popular these past few weeks and I can’t tell you how many of those wardrobes have been packed full of stripey tops in all shades and sizes – and why not? A simple striped tee is so versatile and also incredibly flattering. If you have a triangle body shape they balance out your proportions wonderfully, if you’re smaller busted they work wonders for flattering your top half and a striped top never, ever goes out of style.

From the days of Coco Chanel through to now, the stripe is a wardrobe staple. I love this simple combination of a striped top with denim and khaki but I also love to dress up a simple tee like this with a contrasting statement necklace (my Stella & Dot Coral Cay regularly gets paired with this outfit, as does my Norah pendant).

If you don’t already have a few stripes in your wardrobe now is the time to get stocked up. Here are a few things to bear in mind…

  • If you have Clear colour characteristics have fun with colour combinations, navy and white is classic but you could try and array of colours to give some added contrast to your look.
  • For those of you who fall into the Soft colour category go for more muted tones – nothing to clashing or bright for you as this will overpower your tonal look.
  • Triangle body shapes (like me) rejoice in the stripe and wear it on your top half only to balance out your proportions. Add layers like a denim shirt, necklace or scarf too if you like.
  • Be mindful of the size of stripe you choose – the grander in scale you are, the larger the stripe you can wear. Petite ladies should opt for thinner, more delicate stripes so they don’t overpower you.

Happy stripe shopping!

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I’m wearing…

Sunglasses – Rayban

Jacket and top – Zara

Belt – Ted Baker

Jeans – Dr Denim

Images by enb Photography

 

Fashion Friday on MummysGotStyle.com

Style Files – Judith Campbell, Personal Stylist

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This week’s Style File comes from a fellow colour me beautiful personal stylist, Judith Campbell.

Judith is based in Edinburgh and as a fellow stylist I’ve admired her from afar for a while. When I was first training to become a personal stylist, Judith was one of the consultants I took inspiration from but I didn’t get the chance to meet her until earlier this year when we both attended our annual conference in London.

As I expected Judith was warm, friendly and incredibly stylish! She was wearing a fabulous sequinned, slogan jumper and rocking a pair of PVC skinnies, she looked amazing! Judith’s business up in Scotland is extremely successful and you only have to check out her website (which you can see here, to see why). It was a joy to meet her and I’ve asked her to answer some questions about her own personal style which I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I did…

Your style in 3 words

A fashionable hippy.

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Colour you love to wear

Yellow

Favourite outfit of all time

Anything with faux fur makes me feel rock star confident

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Beauty product you can’t live without

Clarins ‘Beauty Flash Balm’

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3 things you’d take on a desert island

My child, my husband and my dog. If it has to be ‘things’ then my blusher, that’s it.

The most amazing pair of shoes you own

My Bertie suede wedge shoe boots. They are on their last legs, they are years old and I have never found a replacement for them, they go with everything

London, Paris or New York

London

City or country

City

Night in or night out

Out

Heels or flats

Both

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.