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My tips on how to dress for the party season

This time of year is always crazy busy, just navigating your way through the diary is enough to drive you to alcohol before 10am on a weekday! Let alone having to think about and plan what to wear for the many events or night's out you have in the coming weeks.

So, in effort to avoid the pull towards buying new elaborate party pieces that only make an appearance in the festive season, I have vowed to not buy anything new and re-use what I already have in my wardrobe. If you invest wisely in your wardrobe throughout the year, there should be plenty of style staples that can be pulled out time and time again and updated with accessories or pulled together in different ways that it looks fresh again.

Read my top tips below in what to invest in and how to pull the look together for an altogether stylish party season...tell me what your favourite piece is?

1. THE JACKET

I have to confess I love a good jacket! I have lots of them in my wardrobe that transcend any trend, any season and any style in the calender. From a black tux to a printed cropped jacket, a mannish blazer and an all over sequin number, I'm always on the lookout for one that's versatile for my wardrobe. In summer, pair over a t-shirt and come winter it’s the perfect party cover up. You can throw it over a shirt or statement top, alternatively, as I’ve done here, smarten up a basic slip vest and jeans. I like the way it nips in my waist and covers my arms no matter what I am wearing underneath.

2. THE JUMPSUIT

Jumpsuits have been my party-wear favourite for the past couple of years and it doesn't look like the trend is slowing down. So if you haven't 'jumped in' head first and invested in one yet, now is the time to do it, as you will get loads of wear out of it this party season and throughout the summer teamed with flat sandles and a denim jacket. Jumpsuits are universally flattering and I guarantee you'll find one to suit your body shape. Also – and this is a massive plus – wearing trousers in a room full of dresses makes me feel kick-ass.  For this look I am wearing my @topshop boutique black belted jumpsuit with metallic accessories to style it up for evening.

3. THE FUR COAT

I got my faux fur coat from @riverisland about 10 years ago now and every year I bring it out in the winter. Every winter the catwalks and the high street bring out fur in volume so I never feel like I am out of style when I wear it. It is the warmest coat I own, so perfect for those freezing cold nights out and walks home! Plus it adds just something else to your outfit, it can be used to dress up any look such as leather leggings, boots and a white shirt, or can be thrown over a dress with thick black tights. I even layer mine up over my black leather biker jacket as below.

 

4. THE ACCESSORIES

A great pair of heel's, a fab clutch bag and a bit of sparkle round your neck never goes out of style! Clutch bags really help 'finish off' an outfit and I think you can be as daring as you want with adding that extra pop of colour to contrast your outfit, bringing it all together with matching tones or adding bling for the evening. Every women has a secret (or not so secret) obsession about shoes, and that feeling that you get when you buy a new pair will never get old! I love spicing up my outfits with my leopard print heel's @topshop or bringing out the glitter @reiss and sparkly numbers @kurtgeiger out when I want to dance the night away. A new necklace or earrings is a very inexpensive way of updating your outfits. The large necklace trend doesn't seem to be going away but it's all about balance. A big necklace, earrings and cuff will look too heavy and ruin your style, make sure it's all in moderation and you can't go wrong.

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The week that was the skirt challenge

I must confess I don't have alot of skirts in my wardrobe. Infact at the last count there were a very lonely two! With them being one of the hottest items this season, I thought it was time to dust them off and pull them out!

All season I have been tempted to buy a new one. Perhaps a leather one, a fringed one, a pleated one or even a sequin one. So this week with the festive season and lots of evening's out in mind I have taken the plunge and brought a new skirt! But it got me thinking, I don't want to limit my now three skirts to evening-wear so how can I get my money's worth and wear them more often?

So this week I set myself the challenge of wearing all three skirts in one week and to prove to myself that they are versatile enough to wear in the daytime just as much as evening.

Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to give up wearing skirts. With the help of a cosy scarf, classic coat or leather jacket, some warm tights and boots, you can look stylish and be ready to face the cold.

Scroll down to see how I did this week with my challenge, which look do you like the most?

1. Appointment with potential client. Wearing black leather pencil skirt @topshop with burgundy polo neck @zara and fedora hat @fcuk. Warm black tights and chelsea boots finished the look.

2. JCrew Sloane sqaure party in London. Wearing forest green pleated skirt @zara with flamingo motif sweater @thisiswhistles. Burgundy brogues from Carvela @kurtgeiger and bag from @sophiehulme

3. Personal shopping in London with a client. Wearing Bright yellow skirt from @topshop with classic breton stripe tee @gap, @thisiswhistles leather biker jacket. My new @jcrew check scarf and navy velvet jewelled flats from @kurtgeiger.

For more inspiration follow my pinterest board here - AW15 skirt inspiration

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Edits guide to the best coat for your shape

Firstly it's true to say that I am totally obsessed with coats!

As an ex-coat buyer I am full of joy when every winter comes around and I can but yet another new addition to my collection. My wardrobes are unfortunately not getting any bigger whilst my coat collection is slowly getting out of control!!

Not all outerwear is created equal, and if you’ve ever dressed up for an evening out, only to then toss on your everyday puffer coat, then you know what I'm talking about! There are actually tons of options for your winter-wear; an amazing coat can upgrade a less than stellar outfit. At the same time, the wrong coat can ruin a best-dressed list worthy look.

When it comes to outerwear, fit and proportion are everything –  whether it’s a £5000 designer label, or a £50 vintage find, if it's not the right coat for your body shape (paired with the wrong outfit), all you’ll be left with is a big zero! So whilst checking out the trends for this season on coats I also had to ask myself, which coat style would suit my body shape best?

To make things simple, I've separated body shapes into 4 general categories: Apple, Pear, boyish and hourglass. With also some tips for Tall and petite gals too.

Here are my tips so you can rock the right coat for your shape -

APPLE - broad shoulders & narrower hips

Coats that nip in at your waist or are belted will give the illusion of a smaller waist and trim your tummy. Look for coats that have a deep v neck line as this will draw attention up top and distract from the roundness of a fuller figure. The right length coat for an apple should fall right below the waist to mid-thigh and never at the widest part of your hips because it will make your hips look wider. Another tip is to stay away from shoulder pads as you don’t need to accentuate your shoulders further.

PEAR - narrow shoulders, wide hips & thighs

Pear shaped body types tend to have sloped shoulders so coats with shoulder pads will enhance your shoulders and balance them out with your hips. Pear shaped gals should stick with coats that are fitted around the top half and looser around the bottom half. Double breasted coats will draw attention upwards and the fitted styling will give the desired balanced look. Avoid shorter coats that end at your bum as this will draw the eye to your large middle section with a horizontal line.

BOYISH - narrow hips & smaller bust

For women with a small bust size, look for tailored coats with exaggerated collars. A coat that's cropped to mid-thigh and has beautiful little tailored shoulders and big curvy lapels will give you a feminine shape. If you want to give the illusion of wider hips, then wear a coat that flares out from the waist and stops at the hip. Using a belt on your coat will also give the same affect.

HOURGLASS - bust&hips nearly the same size

Fitted, tailored coats will be one of the best choices for an hourglass figure. It's well fitted shape will slim down into the waist and will emphasize your figure beautifully. As an hour glass, you are able to pick any length tailored longer coats especially with belts or small pleated waist detail.

TALL

For Tall shaped gals, I recommend looking for a longer, loose, oversize drop-shoulder or cocoon coat, which works best on a taller frame, whether you're curvy or boyish.

 

PETITE

Petite girls should do the opposite and make sure you avoid the voluminous shapes. A cropped fitted Peacoat is the ultimate shape if you are on the shorter side.

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the most useful thing in your wardrobe right now - the polo neck

Use it to layer or wear on its own – either way, a roll-neck jumper is one of the most useful things you can own

Roll necks made their most recent revival a few autumns ago, after they were done by Celiné and Stella McCartney. Layered under suit jackets or with knee-length skirts, they reintroduced a way to wear a jumper but still look chic. Unlike a lot of catwalk trends, this one really does work. Put one under a sleeveless dress and it means you can wear said dress when it’s cold. Or, wear one under a blazer for a non-iron work option. OR, with slouchy jeans to balance out proportions. If you’re considering wide-leg trousers or those pleated midi skirts that everyone’s banging on about, then I’d suggest putting a roll neck on your top half. If you are layering, they work best under things with round or V-necks. Anything sleeveless is good too, like a long-line waistcoat.

The best thing? They keep you incredibly warm without adding bulk. 

My tip would be to choose a style that’s fitted. This is particularly good if you are busty,  it’s far more flattering. I would suggest, when wearing one, to avoiding very tight trousers, which can look a bit après ski. I brought my black jersey roll neck from Atterley and can be found here - Selected Femme £25 or there is a fab one at Topshop Boutique £30 but if you are looking for colours then I suggest Uniqlo £12.90

Here's my styling tips on how to wear your polo neck.

1. Casual day time style. Wear your roll neck with jeans under a shirt, jumper or coatigan, paired with a hat you will look stylish for any autumn day.

2. Smart day to evening style. Wear your roll neck under a dress or jumpsuit to utilise it from your summer wardrobe. Add winter boots and a leather jacket or coat and your roll neck is doing all the work for you.

3. Evening style. Wear your roll neck tucked into this season's must-have; the skirt. Add thick black tights, heel's and a fur coat to keep warm and you will be the most stylish gal on the town.

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