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 BLAZER

anna mewes stylist leeds

In my opinion a blazer is a staple item for most women’s wardrobes. They’re timeless, chic and so very versatile.

I have to admit, I don’t get to wear this little off-white number very often, which is probably why I chose to shoot it for this post. The lighter shade is perfect for warmer months but sadly not practical with two young children running around so I wear this for work or when I’m out for a ‘grown-up’ lunch/dinner (no sticky fingers in sight!)

Whichever colour palette you fall into, there is a shade of White to suit everyone. It may be a Soft White, Cream or Ivory. For my colouring, lighter shades need to be worn with something contrasting, hence the deep navy cami I’ve styled it with here.

As a Spring staple I style my blazers in all sorts of ways. The more structured silhouette looks great in contrast to the relaxed fit of boyfriend/girlfriend jeans and heels for a smart/casual look. I also love mine with skinnies (what a shocker!), skirts and over jumpsuits/dresses. Opting for one that has darting at the back (as this one does) will give your silhouette a lovely shape (and emphasise your waist).

colour me beautiful anna mewes

A blazer in a darker, neutral tone (charcoal, navy etc.) will give it more of an outerwear feel, making it great as a substitute for a heavy coat on those days that have a chill in the air. Just add some accessories (scarf, statement necklace) or put lighter layers underneath (a tee and a soft denim shirt for example).

Also, with blazers in colours that are a more practical shade than white (!) I love to dress them down with jeans and trainers to give an everyday look at slightly more polished edge.

I’ve created a plethora of style inspo over on Pinterest to give you some ideas on how to style your blazer this Spring. Take a look here.

Photography by Emily Bailey.

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Spring Style – The Coatigan

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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 😉
  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 – the 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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New Year, New Style, Same Wardrobe

anna mewes personal stylist leeds Yorkshire

Wearing Hush parka, H&M knit & Maison Scotch jeans.

A lot of my clients get in touch because they have found themselves in something of a style ‘rut’. They feel like they wear the same uniform day-in-day-out and want to shake things up a bit. It’s a challenge I love to take on and for me the most satisfying part of the process is seeing the ‘light bulb’ moment when the information I pass on about dressing in the right colours, selecting clothes that fit and flatter and portraying an image that is reflective of who that person is, all clicks into place. Then follows the excitement about all the new clothes that person usually feels they ‘must’ go out and buy.

However, this is the bit where I might surprise you… you don’t necessarily need a whole new wardrobe of clothes to change up your style.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a personal stylist, I LIVE for shopping, it’s my life blood and I couldn’t do without my regular fix of retail therapy. However, I’m also a huge advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach and I certainly don’t buy clothes for the sake of it. I buy items that fill a gap in my wardrobe, all most of my purchases are considered and fit within my current collection so they can be worn immediately, without having to make further purchases of things to ‘go’ with them.

anna mewes personal stylist leeds west yorkshire

ShoeBiz Copenhagen biker boots

This month I’ve challenged myself to really switch up my style ‘uniform’ which of late has basically been a variation of the outfit you see here – biker boots, jeans, chunky knit, parka… and repeat. This outfit is easy, comfy, warm, I feel good in it. However, its become all I’ve worn over the festive period (its also great for hiding the holiday podge!) and its time to get a bit of variety going. At the same time though, I’ve also pledged not to buy anything for the month of January. In fact, I don’t intend to make any Autumn/Winter purchases now, instead I’m going to wear what I already have in as many ways as I possibly can.

This means digging out the skirts and dresses that I’ve been shunning in favour of jeans, layering up cardigans and blouses rather than just throwing on a chunky knit and getting back into wearing my scarves and necklaces. Initially it’ll feel like a bit of an effort, but I know that once I start to make more of an effort I will soon get back into my groove and it’ll become second nature once more.

Here are some steps you can take if you fancy taking on this challenge too…

1. Organise your wardrobe

If you receive my monthly newsletter (which you can sign up to on my homepage here) you’ll have seen my top tips on decluttering your wardrobe. It’s such a cleansing process and I guarantee that once you’ve done it you will feel like a new woman! You can take a look at the results of a recent wardrobe detox session I performed for one of my clients on my Facebook page here.

2. Put your accessories where you can see them

If possible have your scarves on a hat stand or hooks wherever you get dressed and pop one on before you leave the house. A scarf is a great way to inject some colour into your look and can make your outfit look instantly more glamorous and pulled together (they also offer a little extra warmth which I’m always grateful for as I’m ALWAYS cold!)

3. Get a style mantra

What do you want to say with your clothes? What image do you wish to portray to the rest of the world? ‘Just rolled out of bed‘ is unlikely to be top of mind. I always encourage my clients to develop their own style mantra, which can then act as a mental ‘check’ before they leave the house. For example, you may want to look colourful, bold and fun or, stylish, elegant and effortless. Say whatever your chosen mantra is in your head as you asses your outfit in a full length mirror, are you hitting the mark?

4. Plan ahead

I have two children under the age of 5 so the time I have each morning to consider what I’m going to wear is approximately 3.5 seconds. Generally speaking I decide what I’m going to wear the night before, particularly if I’m working the next day. I want to look my best and I’m not ashamed to say, it takes time! So give yourself that time, it’ll probably only take a few minutes, decide what you’re wearing the next day, make sure it’s clean/ironed and the next morning will be that little less chaotic as a result. Winner!

5. Experiment

Last but not least experiment with your wardrobe. Approach it like you would clothes in a shop. Select an item that you’d like to wear and then look at all the possible items that might work with it. Try things on, layer, accessorise, even if you don’t think it’ll look right, try it anyway – you might be surprised or it might spark another idea. Look at your clothes as if you’ve just seen them for the first time and get creative! I promise, you’ll have so many more outfits in there than you’d ever have thought!

I’ll be sharing how I get on over on my social media channels so do connect with me on Facebook and Instagram and please share how you’re doing too! I love to see your outfits and hear your feedback!

Anna Mewes personal stylist leeds style advice

Photography by Emily Bailey.

 

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I’m Dreaming of a Chic Christmas…

If you follow me on social media, or have followed my blog for a while, then you’ll know I LOVE Christmas!

This year I’ve managed to be reasonably organised with my Christmas shopping (mostly done online, so much easier as I just get distracted by all the shiny things if I go into stores!) and this has given me a little headspace to think about what outfit I’ll be sporting on the 25th.

This time last year I had an 8 week old baby and no clothes that actually fit me, so this year I figure I have a valid ‘excuse’ to treat myself to something new to see me through the festive season.

Christmas Day is usually quite a relaxed affair in our household and this year will be no different, however I do like to mark the occasion with an outfit that has a festive nod. Having said that, I want something that can be worn in the lead up to Christmas, on the day and afterwards too, i.e. it needs to be versatile and chic (no reindeer onesies here thanks!)

Here are a few inspo images and related items that I’m considering for the big day!

Sparkly Skirt + Lightweight Knit

Image via John Lewis Retail Instagram account

Image via John Lewis Retail Instagram account

Pleated skirts with a touch of sparkle are everywhere at the moment and its a look I love. However, a sleek pencil skirt is classically stylish and looks great adorned with sequins. This look is perfect if you have an inverted triangle body shape and have gorgeous flat hips/bottom that you want to show off!

As soon as I saw the above look on John Lewis’ Instagram account I fell in love and have ordered the different elements that make up the look! The skirt has the perfect amount of stretch to it and the grey knit is comfortable, lightweight and versatile, both elements can be styled and worn differently throughout the year meaning you get great cost per wear!

Buy the skirt here.

Buy the top here.

The Chic Christmas Jumper

Oliver Bonas

Oliver Bonas

Don’t get me wrong, a classic Christmas jumper, adorned with a Reindeer/Robin/Santa, in bright red or green, has its place and is loads of fun, but I want something I can wear more than once a year.

There are some great Christmas jumper options out there this year (check out Hush, Selfish Mother and John Lewis for some fab options). The jumper that has stolen my heart this season though is this gorgeous midnight blue ‘Make Believe’ option from Oliver Bonas. I plan on wearing it with a pleated skirt on Christmas Day and jeans/trainers in the New Year.

PJs All Day

Image courtesy of Sequins & Things

Image courtesy of Sequins & Things

If you prefer to keep it super-casual on Christmas Day then the choice of Christmas pyjamas is off the chart this year – they’re everywhere! We have a tradition in our house that everyone gets new Christmas PJs on 1st Dec, so we get maximum wear out of them in throughout December (truth be told, I wear mine way beyond Christmas!)

My advice – go super cosy and match your loved ones, it makes for the cutest family pics on Christmas morning!

Check out my top picks from Hush, Next and The White Company

I’d love to know, are you pyjamas all day or dressed up on Christmas Day?

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Link to image from Sequins & Things here

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