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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The Cold Shoulder

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Today I’m launching a new series of posts in preparation for Spring/Summer. I definitely feel like Spring is in the air, despite that air having a distinct chill about it currently!

Rather than lamenting the British weather though, I thought it would be more fun to plan my new season wardrobe instead. This time last year I was in the early stages of pregnancy so it’s ages since I’ve really bought anything new (aside from maternity clothes), so you could say I’m pretty excited to be shopping again (my husband, not so much!)

A trend that is most definitely on my radar right now is the ‘off the shoulder’ top/dress. I love this look!¬†I think for me, its appealing because it allows me to show off a little skin in an elegant way, whilst also hiding my post-baby belly. Its suitable for day-to-day wear, instantly elevates a simple pair of jeans or shorts and is practical too! No danger of flashing any cleavage.

Its certainly a look more suited to those of us with smaller busts as a strapless bra is obviously key, but there are also some lovely cut-out shoulder tops that will allow you wear a normal bra with them if you really don’t want to go strapless.

Here are a few of my top finds and some tips on how to style them…

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Stripe Bardot Top, £32, Oasis (click here to buy)

If you have a triangle body shape (as I do) then this top is a dream come true. Horizontal stripes balance out your proportions, as does the dropped neckline. The colours on this particular top will work perfectly if you fall into the Clear or Cool colour categories. I’d style this with jeans and trainers during the daytime, denim cut-offs and gladiator sandals in the summer and for evening I’d pair it with some flared black jeans and wedges. So versatile, so in love – and only ¬£32!

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Off-The-Shoulder Top, £29.99, Zara (click here to buy)

Zara have got quite a few off-the-shoulder tops available at the moment so I’d definitely recommend taking a look in store or online if this is a look you’d like to try. The fact that this one has longer sleeves appeals to me. It balances out the exposed neckline and makes it feel slightly more formal – this could even work in a casual office environment I think, pair with skinny cigarette pants, a pair of ballet flats et voila!

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Top With Off-Shoulder Detail in Slouchy Rib, £14, ASOS (click here to buy)

I love the the subtlety of this top – perfect to throw on over leggings with a denim jacket at the weekend. You could even layer a bright bra underneath a top like this so the colour pops from the straps become a feature rather than something you’re trying to hide.

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Long Sleeve Bardot Top, £50, Whistles (click here to buy)

Opting for a neutral shade like navy means this piece would be so versatile as navy works with most other colours and feels so much fresher than black for Spring/Summer. If you have an inverted triangle body shape and want to try an off-the-shoulder look, then I would recommend going for a solid colour on your top half and then pairing with patterned trousers (you could do palazzo pants with horizontal stripes if you have the height or skinnies with some sort of pattern on them if you prefer). I love how classic this top is Рdefinitely a stylish addition to any Spring/Summer wardrobe.

I think my mind is made up on the Oasis top as I adore stripes and with my body shape it will be the most flattering. I’d love to know whether you’re planning on trying this look for Spring/Summer?

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

Spring Greens

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So I think we’ve established that it’s officially Spring – but the temperatures are still being somewhat temperamental here in Yorkshire.

I’m typically a ‘cold’ person, often still in several layers even when everyone else is stripping off, so some versatile layering pieces are essential to ensure I stay warm.

I recently spotted this longline cardigan in Oasis whilst personal shopping with a client and immediately went back to purchase it after we’d parted ways. The colour is decidedly Spring-like and works perfectly to make an an all-black outfit feel appropriate for the warmer season and I’m also planning on wearing it with breton stripes, simple white tees and cut-offs when the weather hots up.

This was the last outing for the biker boots and they’ve since gone into storage until next Winter, which means I’m now on the hunt for some Spring/Summer footwear… more on that in a future post!

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I’m wearing…

Cardigan РOasis  (also love it in orange and navy)

Scarf – Zara

Vest & Leggings РVila at attic womenswear 

Bag – Marc Jacobs

Boots – ShoeBiz Copenhagen at attic womenswear


 

Images by enb Photography.

 

ASK THE EXPERTS – ARE YOU READY FOR THE CHOP?

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As you’ll know from¬†this¬†blog post and my Facebook/Instagram accounts , I recently had several inches chopped off my hair.

I have to say, I feel so much better for it! I wouldn’t say that I experiment with my hair a lot, but I do get bored with it and go through phases of growing it and keeping it long which is then eventually followed by me having it cut shorter.

This is the shortest I have been for a long time so it’s a big change but it just felt like the right time. I often see a new season as an opportunity to change my image or style a little and having a short, blunt style for Spring/Summer felt fun and fresh (unfortunately the weather here in Yorkshire hasn’t got the memo that it’s Spring yet but I’m trying my best to ignore that fact!)

I actually went shorter in stages – my hairdresser took it up to just above my shoulders a few weeks back and then last week we went even shorter. It was great to transition gradually into a shorter style. As it was so long before, it gave me the chance to try it out for a bit and decide if going shorter really was what I wanted to do.


 

I asked my fabulous hairdresser, Danielle, owner of¬†Hollis Hairdressing, to share her top tips on going for a shorter style. She advised there are several things you should consider before going for the chop…

Danielle, owner of Hollis Hairdressing and hair magician!

Danielle, owner of Hollis Hairdressing and hair magician!

  1. Lifestyle – are you always at the gym, do you need to tie your hair up for work? Do you have fun experimenting with different styles which you wouldn’t be able to do if you had shorter hair?
  2. Clothes – they’ll look different with short hair! Necklines in particular will have a very different look/feel so you may need to buy some new accessories (a great excuse for a shopping trip!)
  3. Your Current Style – if you currently have a longer look with a lot of layers and shape through the front it may be better to grow this out a little first (depending on the look you’re going for). Midis and bobs look fab at the moment worn sharp and heavy through the bottom so growing our layers first will help to achieve this. Also, if you have a fringe take this into consideration – especially if you’re looking at images that don’t have a fringe.
  4. Colour – talk to your stylist about colour, it can make or break a style!

When you get to the hairdressers make sure you take lots of pictures of what you love – and also what you don’t love, so your stylist can see what you have in your mind. They will be able to guide you if it’s suitable for your hair type and face shape.¬†

Bob shapes can give fine hair the illusion of being thicker (like Karlie Kloss) – try working a very loosed unstructured wave through a blunt bob to achieve this.

 

If your hair is very thick, an undercut is sometimes a great option to create more texture – it also looks fab when pinned up a la Sienna Miller.

 


I’d love to know – are any of you considering the chop this Spring?