Thursday, 23 December 2010

7 tips for achieving glitz, dazzle and wow for Christmas parties

Wearing Black
Having been to parties recently most people – well ladies - seem to be wearing black! I've chatted to several about this and the reasons behind wearing the black seem to be related to ‘it goes with anything’ and ‘I wear this when I don’t know what to wear and often then follow this will ‘I know no-one should wear black next to their face’. Well the latter is not true! Some people look great with black near their face but for others this is not the best for them. If black is not your best colour next to your face and you still want to wear it then be careful about the fabric, add some sparkle, ensure it is lower cut style or try and put some colour by it. However, wearing black is likely to ensure you merge into the background.
Colour near your face
Part of the wow factor is wearing colour near your face. Getting the colour right will really make a difference to your overall look. There is a great misconception is that if you know if you have warm or cool toned skin then you know what colours to wear near your face. This is very simplistic and can land you still looking decidedly ill! Three factors are important when choosing this colour : the undertone (warm to cool), the depth (light to dark) and the clarity (bright to muted). Once you know where you sit in each of these ranges then getting a great colour is easy! That’s why a fully personal colour analysis is such a great aid for you.
There’s nothing like sparkle to add to the wow factor at the Christmas/New Year party time. Knowing how colours work for you will enable you to decide whether silver or gold is best or which sparkly colours will add the dazzle factor. Do think where you are adding the sparkle – sparkle and shine can enlarge and a bold sparkly cuff might draw attention to those hips that you have tried so hard to disguise!
When choosing your outfit, don’t forget to include the accessories too. It is the overall look that will wow, so think about the bag, for example if you will be holding this all the time.
With evening temperatures (and day time ones too) well below zero, keeping warm without compromising your overall look is important. A shawl /wrap/ scarf can be just the thing. You can gain added warmth but choosing one with a high percentage of wool/cashmere/mohair. Try and find a limited edition or unique piece to help you stand out from the crowd. My cobweb shawl weighs only 88g, is so fine it goes through a wedding ring and is SO warm – details of more of my unique quality items can be found at
Overall impression
Aim to check your overall look the day before – this gives you time for some tweaking! Include the accessories too; then check from head to toe. Look in a full length mirror – where does your eye go first? Is this where you want it to go?
While you’re looking in the mirror, do you like what you see? If the answer is ‘not really’, this is the message you will be giving to others at the party! Your appearance can only say so much, your body language and how you talk will speak for you too! The final wow for you will come from ‘your energy’, if you have this too then perhaps you feel you would like to be with you! If this is so, others will too.
Have a great party! If you need help with your image- your appearance, your inner image of yourself or would like to learn how to develop a unique wardrobe, or purchase special pieces then contact me.
Happy Christmas to you all, the next post will be tips on making effective buys at the sales.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

7 tips for keeping warm and stylish when inside, at work or home

The key to all these tips is in maintaining a layer of insulating air around your skin.

1. Layers: The more layers of clothes you have the more layers of air you have. Generally it is better to do several layers than just one thicker layer. This is true in terms of warmth as well as looks. Try and ensure that the outer layer is smooth. One way is to work out what the outer layer is going to be then work out how many and what the invisible sub layers could be. It is smarter to have several invisible layers than several visible ones.

2. Silk: Silk is incredibly insulating as a fibre and is chosen by polar explorers over synthetic fibres. It is also light to wear, 'breathes' and can keep you warm even as a thin item. A long sleeved top even under a skinny polo neck can make such a difference and not be at all noticeable.

3. Opaque tights: Being of a higher denier than thinner ones, they are going to be significantly warmer. A block of colour on the legs can look very striking and when taken together with the skirt and shoe colour can appear to elongate or shorten the leg! So make sure you know how to make opaque tights work for you.

4. Warm fibres: Some fibres have greater insulating properties than others. Cashmere and wool would be at the top of the list with acrylic lower down when comparing similar construction. Get into the habit of looking at labels if you are looking for a jumper that will not only look good but also keep you warm.

5. Neck: Many people find that if they are warm at the neck then they feel warm. A low or loose neck allows cold air to circulate. A polo neck is ideal and is often smarter than a crew neck. Rather than just folding it down try more creative ways – have a go at ruching, adding a necklace or a brooch. If you can't do a polo neck, then how about a cowl or a scarf?

6. Texture: The more texture the more air is trapped, so a ribbed jumper will be always be warmer than a plain one - all other things being equal. Do watch how much texture you have and where you wear it as texture can so easily widen and enlarge.

7. You: It's easy to think warmth not style when it is really cold. It is possible to be both warm and stylish. It's probably more important than ever to allow a few extra minutes to check the overall look in the mirror and do any minor adjusting necessary. Above all smile and be happy, that cheers people up and makes everyone feel better. For more advice on making the most of your image look at my website:

Monday, 6 December 2010

7 Tips for keeping warm with style - when outside

It's too long since I've posted - I am aiming to add a post each week from now on!

The cold weather has caught many of us by surprise this winter but that is no excuse lacking style when we are out and about.

1.Head : A staggering amount of heat (up to 30% has been quoted) is lost through our head; it makes sense to wear a hat. A beret is much more stylish than a beanie or similar pull on -try both on and look in a mirror.

2. Body: When it is very cold there is nothing better than a fleece below an outer windproof & waterproof layer. Both of these can now be found in quite stylish colours such as purple. When this is just too casual a coat is the answer. If purchasing a coat look carefully at the content label for the type and weight of the fibre - some will not be very warm. Do think carefully about the colour and style, you won't wear a coat that you don't like. It could be an expensive mistake.
However, the choice of coats in the shops is small- I presume that these have not been popular purchases in the past few years! If you can sew then making your own might be a sensible alternative. There are some 'easy' patterns available ( see Vogue) and you can chose your own material. Wool is an excellent choice for it's insulating properties.

3. Hands: keeping your hands warm is essential if you want to be comfortable in the cold. Sheepskin mittens are great for extreme conditions: coloured leather gloves are more stylish and likely also to gain in the warmth stakes over knitted ones that tend to let in the wind - unless of course they are lined.

4.Feet: Keeping these warm will enable you to feel more comfortable overall. Leather boots are more stylish than sheepskin ones which can seriously change the proportions of your body! Wearing socks inside will help to keep your feet even warmer. This is something you could think about next time you buy a pair – take a pair of socks with you.

5. Neck: A scarf that is both warm and stylish is likely to be woven. Again looking for one with a high wool content will ensure warmth. Failing that one that is brushed will also trap air. Do look in a mirror when trying on a scarf - check it ticks all the boxes - colour good for you as it will be so near you face, doesn't add too much bulk to the wrong area if you have it tucked in your coat and also attracts attention where you want it.

6. Bag: You might need to carry a bigger one to carry emergency rations, spare shoes etc but it can should still complement your overall look and be carried with style. There is a big range of bags available to suit all budgets.

7.You: Lastly but just as importantly is you, your overall image depends to a great extent on how you feel about yourself which is portrayed by your body language and confidence. So, if despite the cold weather you are warm and know you have style this will show in you face. It helps considerable if you are able to smile even if the weather is challenging.

Look out for my next post will give tips on how to be stylish when inside!
If you need more advice in any of the areas mentioned above then take a look at my web site to see how I can help:

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Looking after your face and skin in the sun

We all know our face is important to our appearance and many of us spend a lot of time on looking good before we go out, but are we taking the right actions in very sunny weather?
Many moisturisers have a SPF (sun protection factor), often about 15. However, if you are out and about you should not rely on one of these instead of sun cream on your face. Which have recently conducted a survey on these and found that of the 15 products they tested 3 did not come up to their stated SPF in the Which tests. They also found that the best moisturisers with an SPF factor were not the most expensive.
We all know that suntan creams have an SPF factor and that the higher the number the better. But, other than that do you know what the SPF tells you? The SPF factor gives you an indication of how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning. As a rough guide SPF 15 means 15 times longer and SPF 50 means 50 times longer – but see later!
If you are using a sunscreen then look for one with both UVA and UVB protection. Even if the sun does not feel strong using a broad spectrum sunscreen between M arch and September will help give protection against premature skin ageing and skin cancer.
The effectiveness of the SPF depends on you, where in the world you are, the time of day, the weather conditions and how long you are in the sun as well as how long the active ingredients in the sun cream take to degrade.
Although the skin does a great job for us, the sun does cause damage. Protecting the skin, particularly the face from the sun’s powerful rays makes sense, not just for now but for the future. Learning more about SPF, UVA and UVB makes great sense.
If you rely on the SPF of your moisturiser or foundation to give you protection over the summer then it’s worth reading more about these by following this link:

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Stripes are on trend - thoughts on the horizontal

There are lots of striped items in the shops at the moment. The majority of these seem to have horizontal stripes. I keep being asked if these are right for everyone. The answer is a qualified no. We all have different body shapes and proportions and what can look good on one person can look disastrous on another, adding inches in all the wrong places.
Imagine a very slim petite figure ('if only' I can hear the words already!). 'Well, lucky her she can wear horizontal stripes' I guess you are all saying. Well, I'd say 'it depends'. It depends on how many stripes there are and how close together they are. The wrong stripes going side to side will chop our slim figure up - and then she'll look even more petite.
Well, let's think about the average British lady, size 16 with a bust of 38.5inches (96cm). How about horizontal stripes for a top for her? Well, the answer is unlikely to be yes, but the final answer again will need to take account of her scale and other proportions as well as the construction & design features of the top. The right horizontal stripes can be slimming- as Helmholtz illusion can show.
So tips for wearing horizontal stripes:
a. be cautious and think twice about the advice of friends, partners and shop owned personal shoppers- they all have a vested interest in your choice!
b. try on the item in front of a full length mirror
c. look at the effect on your height and width when you try the item on (if unsure turn the item round, so the stripes are in the other direction and look again)
If you love stripes, get yourself a personal style consultation, then you will know how to use stripes to really enhance your figure.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

What messages do our clothes convey?

Yesterday we were treated to the first of many appearances of the potential next Prime Minister's wife, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron choosing to be accompanied.
As the date of the election had been anticipated by the press, both Samantha and Sarah must have given some thought to what they would be wearing for the announcement yesterday. Sarah decided on a very relaxed casual look and Samantha chose a jacket. What messages were they hoping to convey?Both their husbands were suited! Which look most conveyed the wife of a leader?
Most will answer the jacket - many will expect figures, such as these, in authority to be dressed smartly. But perhaps the cardigan showed friendliness some might say.
I was thinking of this as I watched the TV programme about the cardiac team at Gt Ormond Street hospital and the excellent work they are doing with very sick children. The Doctors knew each day that they would be spending a large part of their time in theatre wearing scrubs. However, when talking to parents of their patients they were dressed formally and were very smart. I just wonder if they arrived in jeans and a jumper/cardigan to talk to these parents would they have instantly got the respect they so rightly deserved?
We can all take messages from this. Dressing for the occasion and for the impression you wish to give is so important. How you look speaks for you, before you open your mouth.
Do look at my website if you'd like to read more about this and how I can help you to get it right.