It's getting chilly out there, so it's time to bring out the knitwear. When you get it out, is it still something you're proud to wear, or is it looking a bit tired or dated? The chances are you might find you're in need of some new winter woollies, and the good news is that there's plenty to choose from, but you need to make sure whatever you buy suits you in order to get maximum cost per wear from it.

But how do you know what suits you? Well, there are various factors to consider, but firstly you need to consider your body shape...

Neat Hourglass – go for fairly fitted jumpers or crossover styles in a light to medium weight and texture. Avoid baggy styles as they’ll make you appear bigger.

Full Hourglass – soft, fine knits that drape well and are shaped work best. Avoid anything too chunky or baggy. Again, crossover styles work well on you. Try V-neck or jewel necklines.

This Merino Crossover from Kettlewell Colours will suit both hourglass figures well:

Kettlewell

Triangle/Pear – Details such as ruffles and slogans as well as patterns on jumpers, especially horizontal stripes work particularly well on you, (like this one from M&S below), drawing the eye to your upper half and therefore balancing your body shape.

Medium- heavy weight fabrics and texture work well. Light knits worn layered are also flattering.

Avoid raglan sleeves and anything tight fitting. Make sure the jumper finishes either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom. You could also try boat or slash necklines.

M&S

Oval/Apple – Go for soft, fluid knits that hang well from the shoulders and skim your stomach. Stiff or thick fabrics will only add volume where you least want it. Keep the lines simple and avoid any details below the bust line or above the hip line.

Next

Rectangle – Again, you must keep the lines simple and uncluttered. Avoid soft, floppy and fluffy fabrics as well as bulky fabrics which will hide your shape. Minimal texture or ribbed works well like this Cream Scoop neck ribbed knit from M&S.

Geometric patterns also work really well on your body shape, in particular vertical stripes and checks. Never tuck jumpers in.

M&S

Inverted Triangle/Athletic – As a straighter body shape, you must also opt for a simple, clean and uncluttered silhouette. So avoid any frills or flounces.

However, you must also avoid any details on the shoulders so avoid buttons or any other details here or the cold shoulder styles. Ribbed jumpers work well on you. Raglan sleeves are also flattering, as per this one from Max Mara.

Max Mara from John Lewis

As well as body shape, necklines and textures, you should also think about colour and pattern.

Winter always brings a lot of black, grey and navy, but there is plenty of colour around too! Look for shades that flatter you and that you will enjoy wearing.

Boden

Get a patterned knit to make a statement. Make sure it’s a pattern that compliments your style and figure and one that you really like as you will hopefully wear it for a few winters.

So when thinking about your newest addition to your knitwear, there's quite a lot to consider. Whatever you choose, make sure your knits are stylish and colourful and not just something to keep out the cold.

And of course, if you need any help, you know where to come.

 

So Autumn is finally here and although it’s still quite warm some days, now is the time to start thinking about coats and jackets for the months ahead. When you’re investing in a winter coat, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you get maximum cost per wear and you look your very best.

Body shape

Are you curvy with a defined waist? Or do you have a straighter body shape without much waist definition? If you are curvier and have a waist, make sure it’s not hidden. Ensure there is some shaping to your coats and jackets; that they’re not a boxy shape. Straighter body shapes can opt for straighter styles.

Consider the fabric too. Curvier body shapes need softer fabrics that drape well over curves. If a fabric is too stiff it will again hide your shape. Anything hiding the fact you have a waist will only make you look bigger than you are. If a coat has some sort of belt or tie at the waist, use it to define your waist. If you don’t have a waist or feel self-conscious with it fastened, try tying it at the back.

Ted Baker

Scale

This is a combination of your height and the size of your bone structure. If you’re quite petite, don’t go for fabrics that are too heavy or bulky and avoid too much volume as this could swamp you. Any details such as buttons, lapels, patterns etc should be kept smaller and more delicate. Conversely, if you’re larger in scale and height, heavier, bulkier fabrics will work better on you. Go for larger, bolder patterns, and bigger lapels and buttons.

Thought Clothing

Style Personality

This will dictate the style of coat you choose without you even really thinking about it. For example, Creatives will love this embroidered coat from Boden..

Boden

Dramatics will go for something more like this leopard print faux fur coat from Sosander...

Sosander

or perhaps a bolder colour...

Boden

And Classics will much prefer a more understated single breasted coat in a neutral colour.

Next

Colour

If you love a neutral like the Classics / City Chics, you will love a coat in a beautifully understated neutral that goes with many items in your wardrobe. Just try to avoid black, it can be very draining for many colouring types and there so many other great neutrals, (such as taupe, chocolate brown, camel, many different greys, olive, rust, pewter), that it’s worth trying something new.

However, if you prefer more colour you might like something bolder like red, purple, or even yellow, just be sure that whatever colour you choose is in your most flattering shade.

Boden

Length

If you plan to wear your coat over a skirt or dress, think about whether or not you’re happy for the skirt or dress to be longer than your coat. If you plan to wear it over anything that shows the shape of your legs (e.g. shorter skirts or skinny jeans/leggings), ensure the coat hem doesn’t finish at an unflattering part of your leg, e.g. the widest point on your calves.

So follow these tips when you decide it's time to shop for your winter coat, and if you would like more help in choosing a coat or any style of clothing to flatter you, please get in touch.

Does this sound familiar? Is this you? For many of us, this happens every morning when opening the wardrobe. It's rammed full of clothes and yet still you feel you've nothing to wear.

There's a variety of reasons why this may be happening, but fundamentally it will come down to one common denominator.. you haven't identified your true personal sense of style.

Your sense of style is the thread that pulls everything else together - the styles of clothes you like, how you wear your clothes, how you wear colour, how you do your make-up (if you wear it), how you style your hair, where you shop, how you shop, etc, etc.

I talk a lot (and increasingly), about style personality and our sense of style because it's so very important. It's the key to wardrobe happiness, it really is! When we truly understand our own sense of style, we feel that our clothes express who we really are and we feel completely comfortable wearing them.

Did you know that we spend an average of 287 days of our lives deciding what to wear? That's over 9 months!! What a waste of our precious time.

Imagine, you have a coordinated, flexible wardrobe that makes you happy every time you look at it. One in which you can easily see and reach everything. One in which everything mixes and matches easily with several other pieces. One where you can simply open the doors in the morning and quickly and easily put an outfit together and get dressed. Well this is possible. But you need to start with really pinpointing your own individual sense of style.

Once you've done this, you will then be able to create a wardrobe that works for you and kiss goodbye to spending hours staring at your wardrobe and trying to decide what to wear.

And who doesn't want that?

And it's not difficult to do either. So if you need help with this, get in touch and I'll help you start down the road to wardrobe freedom and happiness!

When you open your wardrobe what do you see?

Is it tidy, organised? Can you see and reach everything easily? Do you feel inspired? Can you easily put an outfit together that makes you look and feel comfortable and your very best?

Or is it messy, disorganised, crammed so full that you've forgotten what's really in there? Do you despair every time you open it? Do you find yourself wearing the same old few outfits over and over again and feel that although you have a wardrobe brimming with clothes, you don't really have anything to wear?

Do you dread sorting it out? No idea where or how to start?

That's where I come in.

Very few of us have the perfect wardrobe. We work with what we have. Mine is certainly not perfect. It's changing all the time, from season to season, if nothing else. The important thing is that your wardrobe suits you and your lifestyle now. Your clothes must reflect your personality, suit your colouring and body shape and fit you as you are now. Not how you were 10, 20, 30 years ago and not how you'd like to be in 6 months' time. So don't wait until you've lost weight, create a wardrobe you can use now.

I always think that two heads are better than one when auditing your wardrobe as it's so easy to get bogged down in "well, I'll just keep it until I've lost 4 pounds", or "I really can't afford to be getting rid of all these clothes", etc, etc. What you need is a fresh pair of eyes on it and someone slightly removed from the more emotional side of the task.

So, what should you expect? Well, we will begin by emptying your wardrobe completely and giving it a good clean out, (you'll need a duster and vacuum to hand).

We will look at every item in turn, assessing it in terms of:

These are all important factors to take into consideration. We may find you have some items that don't quite suit your body shape or colouring, or may be a little outdated but that you still love. Don't worry, I'm not in the business of forcing women to get rid of clothes they love, or changing their sense of style just because it may not be my particular sense of style. We will consider ways you might alter the garment in terms of fit or colour, or ways in which it might be brought more up to date through alterations or using different accessories.

And even if there are some items which really can't be salvaged, I still won't make you get rid of them if they have some sentimental value to you. But I will help you to streamline your wardrobe and move on from things that are holding you back and taking up space (think the skinny jeans you've never got back into since having children, or the expensive pair of shoes you've worn only once because they're agony). There's no point in holding onto these things when they're just gathering dust and could be of use to someone else, and may even earn you a few bob in the process.

It might be hard to let go some of these, but keeping them will only remind you of past mistakes (and who wants that?) Getting rid of such items will have the positive effect of streamlining and refreshing your wardrobe, and you'll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.

You'll then be able to live in the present and make the most of your current wardrobe which will be so much better because there'll be no regrets, it will be organised, tidy and you'll be able to see everything in it. Most importantly, you will wear everything in it.

It's no quick job, it'll take somewhere between 2 and 4 hours (on average) but everyone is different. Bear in mind that you'll probably also have drawers you'll want to go through as well as a wardrobe. It can be quite tiring, so be prepared, but it is also so very rewarding.

We'll try to mix and match items so you can get maximum wear out of them and create new outfits from what you already have. It's a good idea to take photos of these outfits to keep in a folder on your phone or print and stick inside your wardrobe so you don't forget. You don't want to start getting bored wearing the same few outfits again and again just because we didn't make a note of what we did on the day. It's amazing what you can create simply from what you already have!

Once, we've been through every item, we'll put back into your wardrobe what you'll be keeping. We'll order items by category and then colour so you can see exactly what you have. Any gaps we identify, we'll add to your shopping list.

Lastly, I understand that going through your wardrobe is very personal. Please be assured that I'm not there to judge you or discuss with anyone else, the state of your wardrobe, your clothing budget or even the state of your house. It's nobody else's business. I'm interested in only one thing and that is helping you to create your best and most versatile wardrobe.

Style isn't only for special occasions or for only when we're leaving the house. We may not have many places to go at the moment and we have only a very limited amount of people we can mix with, but that doesn't mean we should neglect ourselves and our personal appearance.

I think that now more than ever it's really important to look after yourself and feel your very best.

I miss seeing clients in my studio, and I'm sure one day soon, this will once again continue, but in the meantime, I can still help.

I have a range of online services to choose from. These can be mixed and matched and I'm also happy to tailor make packages to suit your needs.

Virtual Colour Consultation

Colour can have a huge impact on how we look, how we feel and how others perceive us. When we get it right, it transforms our look.

This begins with an introduction to Colour Analysis and an assessment of your dominant colouring type, and your personal style. We will discuss colours you already have in your wardrobe and how to wear them and combine them with other colours to best flatter your colouring. We’ll look at some neutral and accent colours to consider adding to your wardrobe, some colour combinations to try, and colours you should find in the shops and online for you this season. In addition, I will recommend some make-up shades for you to try should you choose to.

Following the session, you will be sent a 30 colour swatch wallet (worth £43), for use when shopping, some colouring and style personality notes and a Style Update guide for this season.

Duration: 1 hour approx.

Price: £85

Includes: Your Personal 30 Colour Swatch Wallet, Colouring and Style Personality Notes, and a Style Update Guide.

Virtual Style Consultation

Make 'bad clothes days' a thing of the past.

During this session we'll firstly establish what you'd like to achieve from the consultation. We will then discuss your personal sense of style, which we will have discovered following your completion of an online questionnaire emailed to you in advance of the consultation. Next we will assess your body shape and discuss the golden rules for dressing to flatter it most. We'll also look at how to dress for your proportions, height and scale. I'll show you how to make the most of your best features and how to take attention away from the features you don’t like so much. My advice will also cover tailoring, clothing styles, fabrics, patterns and accessories, as well as places to shop.

It's always useful if you can have several pieces of clothing to hand from your wardrobe for the consultation - some things you like and wear a lot, and some you don't. The aim is that by the end of the consultation, you'll be able to identify the whys behind this and see in practice what you have learnt throughout the session.

We'll make a note of all the tips and advice you receive, in a style workbook which I will send to you following the consultation so you'll have a record of all the advice you have been given. You will then have the confidence of knowing what your personal style is and how to choose the right clothes for you when shopping.

You will then have the option of a follow up session at my studio to review the online session if you feel it necessary and discuss any new items you may have. This will be a 45 minute session at a cost of £50.

Duration: 1.5 hours approx.

Price: £100

Includes: Your Personal 28 page Style Workbook, Style Personality Notes, and a Style Update Guide

Virtual Style Update

A Style Update takes the indecision and frustration out of looking up-to-date each season.

Prior to the consultation, I will ask you to send me some details about the brands you like, your budget, any challenges you face when shopping, (e.g. fit, proportions, etc), and any planned purchases you may have, (e.g. wedding, job interview, etc).

On the day, the consultation will begin with a presentation showing you the new season's looks and we'll discuss which ones work best for your personality, colouring and body shape and why. You will learn about the 'must have' items and styles, and your make-up shades for the season.

We will also discuss any recent purchases you've made and/or how you could re-style pieces that you already have and learn simple ideas for updating your wardrobe and accessorising to keep your look current. Following the session, you will receive a Style Update guide summarising all that you’ve learned in the session, and also links to some of the items we have discussed.

A Virtual Style Update session will show you:

Choose from:

Style Consultation

Make bad clothes days a thing of the past.

Have you ever noticed how some people always look effortlessly stylish? Looking good is all about understanding what suits YOU.

 Style Consultation will help you understand which styles flatter you and why, so you can select the clothes and accessories that suit your shape, personality, lifestyle and budget.

We'll start the session with a coffee and a chat about what you'd like to achieve from the consultation, whether that's creating a new wardrobe from scratch, feeling more confident, finding a more formal look for work, ideas for a special occasion outfit, or simply dressing to look slimmer, younger or more 'put together'. You’ll start by filling in a short questionnaire to help me determine your style personality. This is an essential part of the consultation as it dictates how you will put outfits and accessories together. Then we'll discuss your body shape and the golden rules for dressing to flatter it most. We'll also look at how to dress for your proportions height, scale. I'll show you how to make the most of your best features and how to take attention away from the features you don’t like so much. My advice will also cover tailoring, clothing styles, fabrics, patterns and accessories, as well as places to shop.

I encourage all clients to bring several pieces of clothing from their own wardrobe to the consultation - some things you like and wear a lot, and some you don't. The aim is that by the end of the consultation, you'll be able to identify the whys behind this and see in practice what you have learnt throughout the session.

We'll make a note of all the tips and advice you receive, in your style workbook so you'll leave your consultation with a record of all the advice you have been given. You will then have the confidence of knowing what your personal style is and how to choose the right clothes for you when shopping.

I will show you how to:

Seasonal Trends Update

Find your best styles and take the indecision and frustration out of looking up-to-date each season.

Prior to the consultation, I will ask you to send me some details about the brands you like, your budget, any challenges you face when shopping, (e.g. fit, proportions, etc), and any planned purchases you may have, (e.g. wedding, job interview, etc).

On the day, the consultation will begin with a presentation showing you the new season's looks and we'll discuss which ones work best for your personality, colouring and body shape and why. You will learn about the 'must have' items and styles, and some great colours for you this season.

A Seasonal Trends Update session will show you:

Choose from:

Colour can have a huge impact on how we look, how we feel and how others perceive us. When we get it right, it transforms our look.

Do you find yourself feeling bored or a bit fed up with your wardrobe? Do you find you wear the same old colours day after day? It could be that you just need an injection of colour into your wardrobe. Colour is a wonderful tool for giving your look an instant boost. Wearing colours that complement your colouring can make you look healthier, more vibrant and younger.

Full Colour Analysis

Whilst the main question you want me to answer is: 'which colours suit me?'; I will begin by finding out a bit about your lifestyle, clothes, make-up, shopping habits and what colours you like to wear. By looking at the way your skin tone, eye and hair colour work together you'll then be shown the range of colours that complement your unique colouring and ways in which you can wear them. You will learn how to bring the colours from your personal palette into your wardrobe and find out which ones really give you the wow factor. You will also be advised on your best neutral shades and how they can create your wardrobe staples such as suits, jackets and trousers.

Finally, I'll give you a full make-up in colours that complement your skin tone and features and supply you with a list of suitable make-up shades. A personalised colour guide and colour combination tips is yours to take with you for future shopping trips or use when shopping online, so you will always know which colours to wear.

Your colour analysis will demonstrate:

Colour Review

If you've had your colours done in the past but feel they're no longer working quite so well for you, it may be that you need a review.

Over the course of a few (or more) years, our colouring can change. Maybe you've decided to let the grey have it's way or perhaps you've completely changed your hair colour. This could mean that what were once amazing colours on us, no longer have quite the same effect. By the same token, over time, our skin tone and even eye colour an also change somewhat, and this will also affect which colours suit us best.

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Bring along your old colour swatches, if you still have them, and we'll begin by looking at these and chatting about which colours you're really struggling with now. We'll then assess your colouring and see if you might need some new colours.

We'll talk about which have been your favourite colours over the years and see whether these are still flattering on you. If they're not, we'll find you some new alternative shades from your new palette.

If we find your old colours are still the best for you, I'll remind you how to mix and match the colours in your palette, show you which colours are your best this season, and refresh your make-up look.

And if you have a new palette, I'll show you how to use and combine your new colours for the most flattering look, and do your make-up in your new shades. Your new colour guide will be available to buy on the day should you wish to.

Your colour review will show you:

Although many clients like to begin with a Colour Analysis, most find that they then only have half the story when it comes to looking and feeling their absolute best. A Style Consultation is the other half.

The Full Image Makeover provides you with all the knowledge you need to shop for your body shape, proportions, scale, height and your colouring with confidence. It will also include and make-up lesson and take into account your lifestyle, personality and budget when considering where and how to shop, and how to begin creating a wardrobe that works for you that you can enjoy using every day.

This is my most popular service for women because it combines my three core services of Colour, Style and Make-up to give you the complete image makeover.

I will give you all the advice you need from choosing your best colours in clothes and make-up to understanding your body shape and how to shop for styles that flatter you and your personality. A Full Image Makeover will give you all the advice you need to enhance and enjoy your personal image.

Colour Analysis - you will discover which shades suit your colouring and how to wear them.

Style Consultation - you will be shown the best styles for your body shape and your personal tastes as well as how to co-ordinate them.

Make-up Lesson - you will find out your best make-up shades and receive essential advice on application techniques and how to make your make-up last longer, together with advice for special occasions.

I was asked this week to choose my favourite colour from my palette. I have 3 or 4 that I love and wear a lot but Royal Blue is top of the list.

I've always liked blue, but this particular blue is perfect for my Cool/Clear/Deep colouring. Like most blues, it has a cool undertone, which is great for my sallow skin but it also has clarity and depth which complement the contrast between my hair and skin, and the depth of my eye colour.

Working remotely will be familiar for some, but a whole new experience for others. And with the advent of technology such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype, it means that we can connect easily with our work colleagues.

But how do we dress for online video calls? Follow these tips to ensure that you’re looking your absolute best in front of the camera:

1. Forget neutrals such as beige, taupe, camel and stone. This is certainly not the time to be shy! Insipid shades don’t fare well in front of the camera. Instead opt for a bold shade from your palette. Navy or charcoal grey would be better than black.

2. Busy patterns can be distracting, and stripes are a big no-no as they tend to strobe on screen. Block colours are much better.

3. If you can, sit in front of a plain background (neutral colours work well in this instance).

4. Accessories can be annoying particularly layered bangles that jangle; keep them to a minimum. Dangly earrings can be distracting so opt for smaller studs. Consider just wearing one necklace – a quiet one.

5. Check your buttons and neckline before going ‘live’ to avoid an embarrassing faux pas.

6. Make-up can look different online so it’s a good idea to view yourself via your computer screen beforehand. Shimmery eye shadows and highlighters can look just that… shimmery! Opt for matte finishes instead.

7. As tempting as it may be to wear loungewear all day, it would certainly boost your confidence (and your mood) if you wore something smarter. There’s probably no requirement to wear full business dress but dressing up will definitely make you feel better about yourself.

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