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 – itv 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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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!

 

Note To Self…

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I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I’m an avid reader of Vogue magazine (did anybody else catch the recent BBC documentary about life behind the scenes at British Vogue? I found it fascinating!) It’s my monthly indulgence and between family, work and life in general, it usually takes me a whole month to read each issue (if I’m lucky!)

October’s cover star, Victoria Beckham, has written a letter to her 18 year old self, offering her younger self advice on love, life and style. It got me to thinking about what advice I would give my younger self (and perhaps my daughter, when she’s old enough).

So for this week’s blog post here is my own letter to my 18 year old self.

Dear (18 year old) Anna,

So here we are, you’re 18 years old and about to embark on life at university in Bristol.

You don’t know it yet but in the next three years you will meet the man you eventually marry and make one of the best friends you will ever have in the whole world. You will also go through some tough times, but these times will make you stronger and help to shape you in ways you cannot imagine right now. 

What words of advice can I offer you that may help you along the way? So much of our character is built by experiencing things first hand, but hopefully the contents of this note will allow you to navigate your path with a little more confidence than maybe you would have otherwise.

My first piece of advice… trust your instincts. Whether it’s a new friend, a potential love interest or a pair of shoes. Listen to your heart and do not waver. Also, listen to your parents, their instincts are pretty great too.

Always, always act with integrity. Stay true to who you are, don’t waver from what you believe to be right and good, ever.

You will come across people in life who seem to have your best interests at heart, when actually they don’t. They will hurt you, but never lose your optimistic outlook and your belief that there is good in everyone, there is, in some its just hidden very well.

No good will ever come of drinking tequila or sambuca. Trust me on this one.

You have a beautiful figure, don’t scrutinise it, just appreciate it! In 15 years time, after 2 babies you’ll miss that flat tummy and trim hips and you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about! 

Throw away that misshapen green cardigan that you think looks really grungey and cool (it doesn’t and there is no way to ‘style it up’ I’m afraid).

Keep your Doc Martens, they make a comeback. You may not wear them again but they are your first ‘fashion’ purchase and should be kept for posterity.

Stop wearing black and grey and grey and black, all the time. There are other colours out there, you look good in lots of them. When it comes to style be more daring, be more creative and don’t worry what anybody else thinks. Just do you, and do it with confidence.

Embrace your not-quite-straight-not-quite-curly hair, just rock it. Never, ever get a perm, demi-wave or any of the above. Ever.

For the love of God, please leave your eyebrows alone (and tell your little sister to as well).

Follow your dreams, pursue that career in fashion writing straight out of uni (or sooner if you can), don’t wait! Hustle and work hard just like your parents taught you and you’ll go far.

And finally… trust me, all those people who look like they know where they’re going/what they’re doing in life, they don’t. So shine bright like a diamond, smile… and fake it till you make it (just like everyone else!)

With love,

Anna xx

I’d love to know what advice you would give your younger self, if you could!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Specs Appeal

I’ve worn glasses for reading and driving on and off since I was about 17. To start with my eyesight wasn’t awful and I would just wear them occasionally for lectures at uni or driving. However, as I’ve got older (and more sleep deprived) my vision has definitely got worse and I now wear my glasses a lot when I’m working at my computer, watching TV, driving etc. etc.

As you might expect from someone who is a personal stylist, my choice of glasses style was deliberated and considered at length. I decided that if I was going to have some, they should be a statement so I opted for quite a bold frame in a current style.

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Whether you need glasses to help with your vision, are looking for some new sunnies, or simply fancy wearing some for a different look, here is my guide to choosing specs which will work in harmony with your face shape and colouring; after all if you’re going to be wearing something that is on your face, for all to see, you want it to be right!

1. Face Shape

This has to be the biggest consideration when choosing glasses. I always say that opposites are attractive when talking face shapes and frame styles. So, for example, if you have a round face you want to opt for frames that are square or rectangular to balance things out. Those with a more angular, square face shape should go for a style that is oval or rounded as this will emphasise the gorgeous angles of your face.

2. Colouring

Use your palette to decide upon your choice of frame colour – its vital you choose a shade that is flattering. Those in the warm category could go for tortoiseshell frames, those who are soft should opt for muted tones. If you are a dramatic or creative style personality you may want to go for a statement colour, which is great – just make sure its one that suits you and flatters your colouring!

3. Occassion

If you HAVE to wear glasses (and contact lenses aren’t an option) then you may want to consider having a couple of different pairs. Maybe some for day-to-day and some for more special occasions or evenings out. If you wear them all the time its worth investing in two pairs anyway as it means you can change up your look a bit which is always nice!

4. Hair

If you have long hair that you tend to wear both up and down on a regular basis make sure you take a look at your new glasses on with different hairstyles. Wearing your hair up or down can effect how things look so its always good to check you love the look of your new specs however you may choose to wear your hair.

5. Sunglasses

The above guidelines are applicable for both reading glasses and sunglasses. If you don’t own a fabulous pair of sunglasses I really recommend you rectify this ASAP. You don’t have to spend a lot, high street stores like Zara have some amazing options at very purse-friendly prices. Go for some that really work for you and ROCK them! Nothing makes you feel more rock star fabulous than a great pair of shades, why else do you think all these celebs have constantly got a pair glued to their face (yes Victoria Beckham, I’m talking to you).

Currently lusting after these Celine shades - cat eye frames have got to be THE most stylish in my opinion.

Currently lusting after these Celine shades – cat eye frames have got to be THE most stylish in my opinion.

 

If you too adore the Celine Caty Sunglasses you can purchase them here.

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.

 

Weekend Style Files – The Denim Dress

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The sun is FINALLY shining here in Yorkshire and whilst it isn’t going to be sweltering this weekend, it feels like Summer is just around the corner.

I packed away my Autumn/Winter clothes weeks ago (despite the fact it still felt cold enough to wear most of them) and have been resolutely layering, upon layering, upon layering in an attempt to keep warm whilst also reflecting the season with more lightweight combinations.

It may even be warm enough this weekend to go bare-legged and I bought a gorgeous little denim shirt dress a few weeks ago that I can’t wait to wear. Denim has got to be one of the most versatile fabrics there are out there and it can work for all colour types (just go for a lighter wash if you fall into the Light or Warm categories and a darker shade if you’d Cool, Clear or Deep – Softs need to opt for something somewhere in-between).

Whilst it isn’t sweltering I’m going to be styling taking inspiration from the shot above – ankle boots or trainers, a colourful scarf and some complimentary accessories! I have a feeling this look may be my new Summer uniform!

Here’s to a great weekend – see you on the other side.

xo Anna

P.S Thank you so much to everyone who joined in with my Style Challenge last week – it was great to see all your pictures! A new challenge will be coming your way soon, so watch this space!

Top image source.

 

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?

 

Layering Love

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When the weather is as changeable as it has been of late there’s only one way to go – layers.

A lot of my clients shy away from layers as they fear it will add bulk to their frames but this needn’t be the case. Layering can look chic, understated and cool, you just need to select the right pieces to combine for the right look. Layers are also perfect when you’re going in and out of the car/house/shops as you can strip off and layer up as needed!

Here are a few layering tips to see you through until the warmer weather arrives…

1. Start with a good base layer… and by this I mean invest in some vests! Essential for keeping you warm and hidden from view. Get a tight fitting one so that you’re not adding any unnecessary bulk.

2. Get shirty… shirts are a great layering piece, wear them open over a tee, followed by a cardigan and scarf, or wear under an oversized jumper with the collar and cuffs peeping through to inject a different colour or pattern into your look. Denim, plaid or even a classic white shirt will all work well with your knitwear pieces now and see you through to Spring, making them a great trans-seasonal piece to buy now.

3. Don’t forget your accessories… gloves, scarves and hats can all look great as well as provide extra warmth, I’m loving Hush and Barts for my Winter woolies and they have lots in the sales right now so you can snap up a few pieces at some great prices now, get a bit of wear out of them and then keep them safe for next Winter.

4. Keep the rest of your look tailored… if you are layering up on your top half then opt for slim fitting or skinny jeans/leggings/skirt on the bottom half – these sleek bottoms will contrast with the top and help maintain your shape.

5. Think footwear… when you have a lot of layers on the top and the bottoms are skinnier then a shoe with a bit of volume works well as it helps to balance the look – so go for your biker boots rather than your sleek heels to keep this look balanced.

Happy layering! And here’s to warmer days ahead (we hope!)

 

Image source: Pinterest.

 

Shop Smart in the Sales

I’m not one for Boxing Day sales myself (I much prefer my PJs and some leftover turkey sandwiches on the 26th Dec), but if you’re braving the sale rails post-Christmas these tips will help you make the best selections for your budget, body shape and style preferences.

We all love a bargain, but don’t let slashed prices cloud your style judgment.  It is very easy to fall into the “buy it because it’s cheaper” trap for everything you see.  Discounted pieces that you will rarely or never wear can still be a fairly costly mistake.

 Ideally, you want to do some research beforehand.  Look at what your wardrobe is missing and try to go with an idea of what you need rather than a scattergun approach.   Obviously, there may be that unexpected item that catches your eye, but make sure it attracts you for the right reason


Beware of…

Hanger appeal
Just because it looks gorgeous on the hanger, it doesn’t mean it will look as good on you. Try it on!

What condition the item is in
Is it discounted because the fabric is damaged or the zip needs replacing?  You don’t want to spend money having it mended.

Fashion prints
Will you wear it in two months time, let alone next autumn/winter?

Colours that you know don’t work for you
When you know, you know.  Yes you would love to be able to wear fuchsia pink and it is such a gorgeous top, but every time you try on that colour you look dreadful in it. Put the item down!

Styles that aren’t ‘you’ 

Sometimes we are attracted to clothes for reasons we can’t seem to explain.   You never wear chiffon but this chiffon blouse is calling to you. And it is discounted. That’s not to say you can’t experiment and step out of your comfort zone now and again, but ask yourself “Is it really you?”. If you don’t feel ‘you’ in it, you will never wear it.

All that glitters
Leftovers from party wear collections.  It is always useful to invest in some party outfits and even better at discount. Just be sure that you genuinely like the style and that it’s a good look on you, don’t buy it simply because it’s a cheap(er) party dress.  


Winter sales pieces to look out for

Coats

Always a good investment. Make sure the cut works with your body shape and  stick with styles that are fairly timeless like the trench, parka and Crombie.   Don’t be afraid to buy a coat in a colour rather than the default black, grey or navy.  Choose a colour you know you look good in that will work with most of your wardrobe.

Workwear

Smart jackets, trousers and skirts are not the most exciting buys, all the more reason to get them at discount.   You still need to make sure they are suitable for your work place and look good on you.

Boots 

Winter can be fairly long in the UK so our boots get plenty of wear.  It is useful to have some casual and smart pairs but boots aren’t cheap, so take advantage of the sales.

Wording for this post has been provided by Colour Me Beautiful.

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