Archives for category: evening dresses

How can We Lesser Mortals wear our summer outfits in winter, to get our moneys worth?

For Lesser Mortals, with modest incomes and little time on our hands, it’s a luxury these days, to have outfits which you can only wear in one season. We all have a few items which are for “hot holidays only”. Yes, your butt skimming hot pants and floaty Lady Di translucent skirts can’t really be worn in autumn, so need vacuum packing away till the next time you board your Monarch flight to Faro!! But some of the trends bought earlier in the year, can be worn into autumn, allowing us get more “wears” for our money. Here are some ideas.

Animal Prints:

ss14 to aw14 jumpsuit KM copy ss14 to aw14 animal Next

 

In summer, floaty animal print dresses were worn with bare legs and ballerinas or sandals (yes, I know she has black ankle socks, but she is only 19). In winter, these dresses can be styled with opaque tights and knee boots, or  stilettos. A leather jacket or blazer, can add an extra layer.

  1. Leopard print dress. £44.99 Mango. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Sizes 6-14.
  2. Animal print dress. £38. Next. Polyester/viscose/elastane mix. Sizes 8-18, reg, petite, and tall.

Floral dresses

 

ss14 to aw14 floral dress tedss14 to aw14 floral dress KM

 

Lots of Lesser Mortals, may think that florals are just a summer print, to be worn at weddings or on sunny days, with sandals. You can see here, how they translate well with leather jackets and ankle (or knee) boots in winter. Obviously, bare legs is a fairly “young” look. You probably need opaques.

  1.  Opulent bloom print dress. £159. Ted Baker. 95% polyester 5% elastane. Sizes 6-16.
  2. Dark floral print dress. £145. Karen Millen. 967 % cotton 3% elastane. Size 6-16

Jumpsuits

ss14 to aw14 jumpsuit top shop 2ss14 to aw14 jumpsuit KM

 

You may think jumpsuits are for the younger Lesser Mortals, but the Daily Mail did do a feature on older women wearing jumpsuits, who found them very stylish and comfortable. I also did  a feature on Facebook – and I’m no spring chicken. Vicky Smith Styling on 10th April. In summer, they were probably worn with sandals or flat converses, but in winter, sparkly party shoes, or ankle boots, can make them appropriate for winter parties, or for daytime.

  1. Strappy silk jumpsuit. £80. Top shop by Boutique. 100% silk. (yes 100% silk – most silk shirts are over £100 in some stores). Sizes 6-16. Team with an expensive looking belt.
  2. Fluid soft jumpsuit. £225. karen Millen. 29% polyester 71% acetate. Dry clean only. Sizes 6-16.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas of how to get more wear from your clothes.

For more help or advice, contact me via my website:www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

How to style a grey jumpsuit: Not dressed as lamb

The do’s and don’ts of wearing florals in winter: glamour.com

 

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Savvy Lesser Mortals save money now by buying winter clothes at bargain prices!!

I know…..I’m crazy in this heat, to be thinking about winter…..! But now is the time to get some really great bargains reduced by over half!! Should you waste your money on summer things, when you’ve had half the summer already? Or be canny and start planning for winter. The prices will almost certainly have increased year on year, and it’s always a shock after the summer prices, which are usually l0wer, due to the weight of the fabrics used. I like to look at the top end High street stores, which I normally find too pricey, and if you live in a town or city (like Leicester) where you don’t have a lot of the top end shops, then many mail order companies, have free post and package now. Here is my list of money saving ideas!!

sale karen millen blouse sale karen millen jacket

Ok – I know a lot of them are black…..

  1. Sheer silk and lace bouse. Karen Millen. Reduced from £125 to £35. 100% silk. Sizes 6-14 available on line. A glamorous top you can dress down with jeans, or wear at night with a skirt or trousers. Suit pear, apple and boyish best.
  2. Softly tailored jacket. Karen Millen. Reduced from £199 to £75. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. A lovely soft drapey jacket, with sheer sleeves, which can be dressed up or down for day or night, and even worn in the office. Sizes 6-16 available on line. Suits any shape.

sale lk bennet dress sale reiss jumpsuit

 

These 2 items take care of your christmas night out…..

  1. Setif bow back strapless dress. LK Bennett. Sizes 6-16 available on line. Reduced from £295 to £175. polyester cotton mix. Dry clean. Good for hourglass and anyone with a nice décolletage!
  2. Orson black lace panelled jumpsuit. Reiss. Reduced from £245 to £120. 100% polyester. Dry clean. Sizes 6-14. A great alternative to your LBD, this style will suit some pear shapes and boyish figures.

sale lk bennet boot sale jigsaw bag

  1. Dionne leather ankle boot. LK Bennet. Reduced from £275 to £140. Sizes 36-42 available on line. 100% leather. The belted ankle., means you can adjust to fit.
  2. Vancouver duffle bag. Jigsaw. Reduced from £129 to £64. A really good price for a leather bag. This style of bag featured recently in magazines.

I guess most of us don’t buy in advance as a result of the impatience to wear the items, and so waste discounted opportunities. But the way to save money is to plan ahead, and only buy what you NEED.

For more help or advice, contact me via my website:www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

 Further reading:

IS it safe to buy in the sales: mail online

more than half of Brits never wear clothes bought in the sales…This is money.co.uk

Can We Lesser Mortals wear organza and only show our modesty?

Organza can be tricky for older women, or those of us with less than perfect figures And it can be downright impractical whilst juggling kids, shopping bags and supermarket trolleys. Do you trust your friends or sales consultants to give you the right fashion advice for your age? (or are they secretly having a laugh behind you back!) Will a sales person give the right fashion advice if they are half your age? Well, I absolutely think you can follow fashion whatever your age, and shape. It’s just the degree to which we do this, that’s the tricky bit!! Here are some affordable High Street ideas, which I think will suit Lesser Mortals.

see through Zara jacket see through Zara white blouse

  1. Organza jacket. Zara. £25.99. polyester cotton mix. In navy blue. Machine washable. Sizes S, M, L. What a great jacket for slinging on over jeans, or over a delicate strappy dress or top at night time. Pretty well suits any body shape, depending on what you are wearing it with. PEAR shapes with wide leg trousers or A line skirts, HOURGLASS with some thing that draws attention to your waist, BUSTY ladies leave open, BOYISH shapes with anything, or highlight your waist with a belt, and APPLE shapes need to lengthen their bodies with heels and long flowing trousers, or an empire one dress.
  2. Striped poplin organza blouse. £29.99. Zara. 100% cotton and polyester stripes. Machine washable. available in XS, S, M L. The back has a small split up the lower back. This shell top looks daunting at first, but for those faint of heart, a little vest top should help cover your modesty. Obviously, avoid if your bra/vest top causes any flesh to squidge out over it! The stripes conveniently cover your bra, and it’s not too cropped. As it is a boxy shape, it will make your chest area look bigger, so will flatter PEAR shape but make busty ladies too top heavy.

see through Jigsaw dresssee through karen millen dress

  1. Watercolour organza dress. £198. Jigsaw.100% silk. Dry clean. Size 8-14. The model is 5’10” so petite ladies will find it comes below your knee. It is longer in length than a lot of fashion styles around at the moment. As it is 100% silk, you can’t wear it too tight, or it will split at the seams. It will suit slight PEAR shapes and HOURGLASS. BOYISH will need to try on, as the skirt may need hips to fill it out a bit.
  2. Flower embroidered dress. £215. Karen Millen. 100% polyester. Dry clean. Size 6-16. A more demure dress for special occasions. Suiting HOURGLASS and BOYISH figures. The 3/4 sleeves are perfect for women who hate their upper arms. Middle aged women sometimes find showing arms a touch indecent but I think the length should be fine with tights.

see through karen millen T shirt see through marks and spencers blouse

  1. Sheer back T shirt . £50. Karen Millen.  Viscose elastane mix. Sizes 6-16. Machine washable.  Also in peach and white. I lovely floaty T shirt which can be worn during the day with a vest top under so it’s appropriate for work or school runs, but can be worn with just a bra at night time for a hint of naughtiness!!  The colours reflect the pastel theme in fashion this summer. Team with dark colours (navy, berry) or try other pastels (whites, pinks, citron) or even orange!
  2. Collared neck long sleeve sheer blouse. Marks and Spencers. £29.50. Ivory. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Sizes 8-24. Hurrah, a top to cover all muffins and bellies!! It has an opaque panel over all the bits you may want to hide! And what can go wrong with white? (apart from ketchup, if you have kids)

If you are worried about wearing organza, ask me a question, or you can book a consultation with me. If you would like me to feature a particular trend you have seen, give me a comment and I’ll see what I can do. My faves are the Zara jacket and the Karen Millen T shirt. What are yours?

My Facebook page often shows me wearing different trends so you can see how a Lesser Mortal gets away with it.

If you like what you have seen, please take a look at my website or give me a call or text on 07976 635518

Further reading:

woman wearing organza jacket; gettyimages

Organza shell top: Fash Mob Blogs. scroll down to see the top.

Organza skirt: Imperfecti.

Organza blouse – I featured this in autumn! Chictopia.

Can We Lesser Mortals wear jumpsuits without looking like Andy Pandy or an 80’s throw back?

Lesser Mortals are probably thinking – Can I wear a jumpsuit at my age or is it too young? Is it practical if dragging a toddlers around? or even: With my pelvic floor, can I get to the loo quick enough? Jumpsuits have been around for the last 2-3 years, and I think they are highly wearable and comfy if you are a jegging type lady, and hate constrictive garments. I also think they are very stylish, as not many people have embraced them yet. I wear mine for special occasions, like weddings, as I like to be different, and you can guarantee everyone else will be in a dress. ( I shall be posting some images on my Facebook page if you want a laugh – Vicky Smith Styling) Anyway, here are some ideas for different shapes, sizes and budgets, as obviously with a jumpsuit, you haven’t got the flexibility to buy different size tops and bottoms (not least tall ladies don’t want to be cut in half, and petite ladies don’t want to trip over their trousers legs!!) I also prefer the jumpsuits that are the same pattern top and bottom, (for different patterns top and bottom, you could just buy separates). A belt is an essential accessory which can add quality to a cheaper jumpsuit.

jumpsuit phase eight pear shape jumpsuit long sleeve ph eightjumpsuit next petite

 

  1.  Brittany jumpsuit. Phase Eight. £110. Sizes 8-18. Polyester elastane. Machine washable. Fastens with a zip at the back. This will suit pear shapes, as the drapey wide legs flow nicely from the hip. Hourglass figures and larger busted ladies may find this fits them, as the V neck and stretch fabric will allow room to expand and the V-neck will break up that area. (NB – Next stocks this jumpsuit too!) Lovely with a Chanel style jacket.
  2. Saskia Lace jumpsuit. Phase Eight. £110. Sizes 8-18. Mixture of fibres. Dry clean only. Again, the wide leg flatters larger hips, the 3/4 sleeves are for those who hate their upper arms, and the wrap over top suits a nice bust. The gentle gathering over the tummy area, may also forgive a less toned middle area, but if store fat over your tummy, the gathers may accentuate too much. Will suit hourglass figures too.
  3. Pink jumpsuit. Next. £55. 100% polyester. sizes 6-22 reg, and 6-18 petite and 8-18 tall. How lovely to see a jumpsuit that isn’t black !!(believe me, there are a lot of black ones out there!!) This has the advantage of being scaled to fit whatever height you are. If you are petite, wear heels and make sure the legs drape over your shoes, to give the illusion of extra height.  Definitely wear with a belt.

jumpsuit next bigbust jumpsuit next - nice decollatage jumpsuit mango - boyish

 

  1. Navy print jumpsuit. £28. Next. 100% viscose. Available in sizes 8-22 and petite and tall. This is a good jumpsuit or wearing with flat shoes as well as heels. It will suit top heavy ladies with long slim legs. The slightly dropped waist will lengthen your torso and again, use a belt.
  2. Printed wide leg jumpsuit. £35. Next.  Only available in regular sizes 6-22. Don’t be a shrinking violet. This eye catching jumpsuit allows you to cover up on the beach, or dress up a night time with heels. You probably need a generous chest to suit this, but it will also expand round the waist, and apple shapes may find a contrasting belt around the middle gives a waist where there isn’t one. Use a coloured pashmina at night time.
  3. Palm print jumpsuit. £39.99. Mango. Xs- XL. 100% viscose. Handwash. Another lovely summery print. Suits a boyish shape, as the straps don’t allow much bra support. Wear with a smart belt. To dress up, use a gold belt and high heels.  For evening, a white tuxedo jacket will really add style.

Have fun shopping!! Don’t forget to see how I wear mine on my Facebook page. Vicky Smith Stying.

 

 If you like what you have seen, please take a look at my website or give me a call or text on 07976 635518

 

Further reading:

Fall 2014 runway trends: Fashion times

Jumpsuits: good enough to replace your LBD

2014 trend report – the jumpsuit and the romper

from Vogue.uk/fashion/spring-summer2014

from Vogue.uk/fashion/spring-summer2014

Monochrome has been a fashion trend for the the last 6-8months and is still forecast to continue this Spring Summer. That’s great news for We Lesser Mortals of normal age, shape and income!! It’s a really wearable trend and readily accessible with the only downside being, that as the weather becomes brighter and sunnier (I know…hard to believe at the moment – but I’m sure you’ll be able to buy waders soon in monochrome) it can wash us out a bit, if we aren’t the sort who tans. If that’s the case, accessorising is the key to lifting the look with pops of colour in the form of belts, shoes and handbags, and if you’re brave, a bold lipstick. Here are some  ideas in the shops at the moment.

karen millen silhouette dress Somerset by Temperley

  1. Stretch texture print dress. £160. Karen Millen. Sizes 6-16. This picture doesn’t do the dress justice, as it uses the illusion of black and white side panels to create more of an hour glass figure. It is quite body con (i.e. very fitted) but not too clingy as the fabric is quite supportive. Awful if you are flt chested as it just squashes you down. Great if you aren’t too pear shaped or would like to create/accentuate curves. And very striking to look at. Polyamide, elastane and acetate mix.
  2. Monochrome dress, Somerset by Alice Temperley. £150. John Lewis. Sizes 6-18. 100% silk. Dry cleanable. A very flattering shape for pear shaped ladies or hour glass figures, with a nice flowing skirt and nipped in waist. The black panel at the top broadens shoulders.

mint velvet monochrome top topshop leggings 2014 monochrome

  1. Billie print top. £59. Mint Velvet at John Lewis. Sizes 6-18. Silk and viscose mix. I think the model is 5’10, so this will be a lot longer on shorter ladies, thus offering some coverage of the derriere region!!A lovely striking T shirt, which you can chuck on, but immediately look stylish. Zip opening at the back, and hand washable,
  2. Textured floral flock tregging. £30. Topshop. polyester elastane mix. machine washable. Obviously, I wouldn’t team this with a crop top, unless you are anything other than perfectly formed, so I would wear a longer top (maybe a silk shirt and high sandals for a night time look, or brogues and a viscose T shirt for a smart day time look). But these treggings are surprisingly unrevealing (i.e. fabric has a bit of weight behind it, not thin jersey) and comfortable for curling up on the sofa. I think they would be quite nice holiday wear with a crisp linen shirt.

reiss jumpsuit 2014 monochrome karen millen monochrome coat

  1. Snakeskin jumpsuit. £195.Reiss. sizes 4-14. 100% polyester. Handwashable. Just pushing your boundaries a bit here. Jumpsuits are very stylish, and apart from the – I need to take it all off to go to the loo issues- are easy and comfortable to wear. I am assuming you won’t be night clubbing in it, and therefore running the risk of trailing it on an undesirable toilet floor. Not many ladies embrace a jumpsuit, so when I wear mine, I feel different and eye-catching (for the right reasons). It’s definitely  a good one if you want to be different at a wedding. You can belt them in, or let it all hang out underneath! Watch out if you are petite or very tall. I don’t think I need to explain why??
  2. Graphic tweed pod coat. Karen Millen. £250. Sizes 6-16. Yes I know I seem to mention Karen Millen quite a lot at the moment, and no I don’t have shares….but they are doing some really stylish eye-catching pieces at the moment. This coat is quite big and shapeless, but that is intended. It may drown a petite lady and hide a curvy lady, but will be brilliant on a more apple shape, or a super tall slender frame.

So apologies if these are all a bit pricey, but there are tons of monochrome out there, with Next and Top Shop having a varied range.

If you want to leave any comments or share on Facebook…….

If you like what you have seen, please take a look at my website or give me a call or text on 07976 635518

Further reading:

lace valentino

Lace has been around in the shops for a year or so, and still shows no sign of going away.  It is a really flattering fabric which suits most body shapes, and I have to say, other than hating cheap lace on top of cheap stretchy jersey fabric, even modestly priced lace clothes are stylish – I have a Gok Wan one from Sainsbury’s that never fails to get compliments. Here I present some lovely ‘going out’ dresses, as it’s that time of year, and have suggested some colours other than black to chose from. ( we may be Lesser Mortals, but that doesn’t mean we have to blend into the background??? – better to burn out …..)

red lace monsoonmallary lace dress coast

next lace dress

  1. Layla Red Lace Sleeved Embellished dress. Monsoon. £119. Nylon viscose. Dry clean only. Perfect for hour glass figures and nice cleavages! This is really flattering and classy. Longer length in keeping with the retro fashions of 40’s and 50’s.  Surely your conversation will get more attention than showing your knickers? Also available in black.
  2. Mallary Lace Dress. Coast £170. Viscose polyester, dry clean only. It’s nice to have a purple dress on offer, and would suit ladies with larger hips, or lack of tummy tone.  The dress floats outwards on its  own, so who knows what’s underneath??
  3. Lace strapless dress. Next £125 (need I say that the cheaper lace Next dresses were sold out?? There is a very similar one to the Coast one for £60, but you’ll have to search to find it!!) 100% polyester, but available in tall and petite lengths. Again, will suit hippy ladies, or a bit of loose tummy. May flatter big bust, but may hang of your chest..

french connection lace dressted baker lace dress8924546465822

  1. Daisy Chain Lace Shift dress. French Connection £170. 100 % polyester. These styles are great on waif like figures and more apple shapes. If you’ve got curves, why hide them?
  2. Elke Lace detail dress Ted Baker £149 Not great on larger busted women. Better on sticks and ladies with hips and tummies. Starting to run out of sizes. Lovely metallic lace detail on top. Darker skirt area to allow hips to fade into the background….
  3. Enid machine Lace sequin dress. Monsoon £69 Also available in red… and all in stock! polyester acrylic nylon. machine washable. Slightly more forgiving dress on lumps and bumps, but has some waist shaping

A lot of the dresses featured here, are pricier, but plenty of cheaper versions around, just starting to run out of sizes. Avoid cheap stretchy body con lace, and you’re good to go!

If you like what you have seen, please take a look at my website or give me a call or text on 07976 635518

Can we lesser mortals look better than the film stars at the Emmy's?

We all know the stars of today, have a team of make up artists, stylists and hair stylists at their beck and call, but can We Lesser Mortals, who have a lower budget, less time, bingo wings, flabby tummies etc look better? I think we can certainly give them a run for their money…..

Here are some of my suggestions.

1: Red Kate Maxi Dress £295 from Coast. 3/4 sleeves, and plunging neckline, will flatter some-one who wants to hide the top of her arms, and is larger busted.

2. Black super sheer chiffon maxi dress £395 Karen Millen. This gorgeous gothic inspired back lace maxi dress, will flatter someone who is boney around their bust, and who may have broader hips, as the capped sleeves at the top, will help balance out wider hips.

3. Cobalt blue Goddess maxi dress £180 Coast. Has a halter neck and empire line to flatter a larger figure, who may need support for their bust, and a tummy that needs hiding. It is also easier on the purse.

4. Lipsy  berry high neck baroque lace dress £58. This will suit a more petite frame, as maxi dresses can sometimes make smaller ladies look smaller. By elongating your leg length, you can appear taller.