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Key pieces worth spending money on

How often have you spent money on a piece of seasonal clothing only to discover that after a few washes it doesn’t look half as good as it did when you first bought it? The trouble with buying cheaper items from the high street is that they often don’t have longevity so while you might feel like you’re getting a bargain at the time, usually you will end up having to repurchase a similar item time and time again. This season it might be time to consider some investment purchasing. Taking time to save up and purchase one item rather than spending the same amount of money on a number of cheaper alternatives will prove more sustainable and worthwhile in the long run.

These items will underpin your wardrobe and become the basis of 'your style'. Paring down your wardrobe in favor of fewer pieces that you truly love, rather than an abundance of clothes you may never wear. This is something that I do when I work with clients; to re-educate them on re-establishing a 'working wardrobe' that fits into their lifestyle and budget. I for one have become a huge advocate for this way of living as it’s made getting ready in the morning a hundred times quicker.

Below are the pieces that I believe are worth spending money on, the ones that will stand the test of time and you will still be wearing in years to come. The key thing to look out for when purchasing investment items is making sure that you don’t purchase a trend piece, instead go for a classic style so that it won’t date. This season make room in your wardrobe for the most trusted pieces that never go out of style.

These timeless pieces are wardrobe investments; season after season, year after year these are the pieces that you will be pulling out of your wardrobe with confidence.

1. Leather Jacket

While a real leather jacket won’t come cheap, nothing beats the feel and look of real leather. A jacket that will almost see you through all seasons so this piece is certainly worth the investment once you consider cost-per-wear. Leather jackets from Whistles and All Saints are top of the shopping list.

2. Jeans

The importance of a good pair of jeans is unrivaled, these are often the most reliable and well-worn item in your wardrobe. Brands will come and go but nothing beats Levi's for me at the moment, they have re-established themselves as a key player against expensive more fashionable brands. Go check them out.

3. Leather handbag

Perhaps the ultimate investment piece a leather bag is the everyday piece that you’ll carry for years to come. Designer handbags are also great investments as some even increase in value over time, such as classic Chanel bags. You don’t need to splash out on high end designer for a long-lasting handbag, but do aim for genuine leather as it will maintain its shape and appearance longer than any other material. I love British designers such as Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch and Sophie Hulme.

4. Coat

Once you know your body shape and what is the best coat for your shape then buying the perfect coat is key. Once you go for a great flattering style with not too many modern or ‘on-trend’ details this piece won’t date and will serve you well for years to come. Look at brands such as Max Mara, Joesph and Reiss.

5. Ankle boots

Not only practical but stylish too, the easiest way to sharpen up a casual outfit is with a pair of leather ankle boots. A pointed toe will give an added element of sophistication while a classic round toe or slightly square will also look stylish for seasons to come. Black is a classic but you can also go for brown, grey or deep burgundy, shades that will be hard workers in your wardrobe. Shop at Kurt Geiger or Whistles for some more affordable yet still sturdy, long-lasting options.

6. Shirts

I think shirts are a style staple and the most versatile item in your wardrobe as there is more than one way to wear a shirt. Easy pieces such a denim, checks, stripes and a plain white shirt will never go out of style, but you might change the way you wear them season to season. Look at &other stories, Zara and Boden for some good quality shirts.

7. Belts

Belts can be worn for waist definition or just an added outfit perk. By wearing belts with your jeans you could be rocking a statement in itself, or wrapping them around a chunky knitted jumper you could be using the belt to accentuate your waist. Whatever the purpose of the belt make sure it isn't boring. A leopard print belt or studded biker belt will change up your outfit taking it from drab to fab!

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how to wear gingham - Spring's most wearable print trend

Checks are always in style, they never go away each and every season. But gingham it seems has it's own print trend it follows and whilst it's been around for a couple of seasons, it just got bolder for 2016.

Audrey Hepburn made gingham a fashion staple with her gingham capri pants, a-line dresses and feminine blouses. Since then everyone from Marilyn Monroe, Bridgett Bardot, Alexa Chung and Amal Clooney have followed in her fashion footsteps.

This trend started on the SS16 catwalks, where we saw gingham fading into abstract floral print dresses appear at Marc Jacobs. DVF brought in some gorgeous works that gave gingham a softer, more amiable appeal, while Victoria Beckham's vision for the trend included more contrast, a bit more subtlety in changing colors and plunging necklines on dresses reaching around the ankles.

Photo of catwalks.JPG

 

The high street has now followed. Gingham is an easy two colour print trend that can be worn very casually with jeans, smarter under blazer jackets or as a statement on it's own in a dress. Which piece will you invest in this season? Here are my top 5 high street picks...

1. Mango gingham check pattern blouse £29.99

Follow my pinterest board for more gingham styling inspiration at - Gingham SS16 looks

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3 ways to wear the statement sleeve

All hail the statement sleeve! Roll up your sleeves girl and show some serious shoulder this season as this trend will dominate 2016...

The weather's finally warming up, which means its time to shed the layers and show some shoulder in this season's newest trend. Whether they're puffy, frilled, bell off the shoulder or cut-out, it's all about fancy sleeve styles for Spring; sleeves become the focus of the outfit. Bare shoulders and collarbones are proving to be the most popular erogenous zones in fashion right now.

The great thing is it's a trend you can get on board with now and wear with ease daily. It’s sexy without going overboard, head-turning but wearable, fresh and new but also good for any age.

Inspiration as has come from the SS16 catwalks such as Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem and Jonathan Saunders (seen below).

Roksanda Ilincic

Roksanda Ilincic

Erdem

Erdem

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders

There have been many fashionista's, models, actresses and style icons wearing this trend out and about attending the numerous fashion weeks or award ceremonies recently that we can take inspiration from.

Street style

Street style

Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack

Street style

Street style

Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore

Dermot and wife Dee

Dermot and wife Dee

Off duty model

Off duty model

But how does one make a statement with such an unusual part of the outfit?

By choosing sleeves big and even bigger, playing with bare shoulders or contrasting volumes, and by making sure we see the sleeves immediately. This new top silhouette is sure to instantly kick up the coolness factor of your Spring wardrobe. 

A bold full-on volume style on top calls for a subtle bottom half, so balance out the oversize proportions by pairing it with skinny jeans, cropped trousers or a midi skirt. My approach is that there really can only be one hero to an outfit, a ruffle sleeve for example needs to be completely played down by a streamlined outfit. See my 3 wears to wear this trend below and let me know which one you think you would adopt yourself...

1. Shirt from Marks and Spencer £29.50 - BUY NOW HERE

2. Top from Whistles £50.00- BUY NOW HERE

3. Top from Topshop £42.00 - BUY NOW HERE

For more inspiration and clothes to shop then check out my pinterest board - Roll up your sleeves

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what to keep for 2016

How's the new year, new you going? Keeping up with your new exercise regime? Broken any resolutions yet? Counting down the end of dry January? I've pretty much broken them all and its not even Mid-January yet! But, I'm not going to panic, infact I'm getting rather excited over the prospect of a few spring pieces being in the shops over the coming weeks.

The roll into January means it’s time for a wardrobe clear out (see last week's wardrobe detox post for tips), if only to make space for those fabulous sales picks you found. But unless you got lucky on last weekend's lotto draw, you will need to roll this season’s trends forward into 2016. If you open your wardrobe on a Monday morning and can't find anything to wear, then I'm here to help with your new year, new style list. These are my top 5 items that I endorsed last season to keep and re-invent for this season! Plus a couple of new pieces to buy along the way, hell why not?!

To find out what stays in your wardrobe and what to invest in to see you through the next season, then read on...

1. Shirts

Last season I hailed the shirt as my 2015 hero, but the shirt trend doesn't seem to be going away, neither is my obsession! I brought a new fab pussy-bow shirt in the sale pre-xmas but could not resist my first spring purchase last week in Topshop. It was a case of lust-after, a "I have to have it now" moment! Sending hubby into Topshop Oxford street in his lunch hour sealed it's place in my wardrobe as my favourite item of the year (so far!). Within my wardrobe I love wearing my denim shirt underneath a cosy jumper or sweater with the collar showing out from the top. Added detailing such as the pussy-bow, piping or button detailing gives it a fresh new look tucked into jeans. Simple, stylish and suitable for any occasion. Bring to the front of your wardrobe right now and don't be shy in buying just another one for the new season as this is one that is tried and tested and still as relevant as ever. Check out my pinterest board for more styling ideas - My style hero

TOPSHOP HEART PRINT SHIRT £38.00

TOPSHOP HEART PRINT SHIRT £38.00

ZARA POLKA DOT SHIRT £25.99

ZARA POLKA DOT SHIRT £25.99

TOPSHOP LONG SLEEVED HEART SHIRT £30.00

TOPSHOP LONG SLEEVED HEART SHIRT £30.00

2. Dungarees

Reinvent your summer dungarees for the cold and blustery days with shirts, knits and boots. I like to wear mine with a long sleeved breton stripe underneath, this is the easiest way to freshen the look up. You could like Alexa Chung, wear your shirt under the dungarees, a plain white one would also look stylish. As it has now finally turned cold I suggest a polo neck, or any piece of knitwear to get the full wear out of them this season. Footwear is where I was struggling as they are so comfy with flats and sandles. The best piece of footwear is casual, so converse boots, new balance trainers or biker boots, all work with this look. To get even more creative with your 'dungers' winter styling then check out my pinterest board - Dungarees

 

3. Culottes

I have loved wearing my culotte jumpsuit this winter with a polo neck underneath, but I have yet to invest in a pair of trouser culottes. Long thought of as dowdy and unflattering, the cropped, wide pants are suddenly many designers' favourite style of 2015. The most stylish person wearing them this winter has been Victoria Beckham (see picture below), but as you can see she doesn't obviously either feel the cold or doesn't like tights! I on the other-hand love tights so as per my culotte jumpsuit I will just add tights to the outfit to keep warm! I think that we will see alot more culottes out on the high street in spring summer 2016 and that the fabrics will differ, such as leather, suede and even silk. I know my love affair with culottes will grow over the next couple of weeks, mainly for their transitional versatility and they can more flattering than wearing a skirt. Watch this space for my culotte challenge coming soon!

4. Midi dresses

You might not feel like it now in the current weather, but if you do prise yourself away from your cosy wooly jumpers, there are some great midi dresses around to elevate the style steaks. I have had my eye on this dress shape for some time and brought a knitted one from Finery London in the black Friday sales. I love it and have worn it loads to many different occasions from Christmas day, to kids birthday parties! It is comfortable, stylish and not too dressy. For summer I highlighted to printed midi dresses as a massive trend and I think this is only going to get bigger and also easier to wear for Spring Summer 2016. Check out my pick's from the new spring collections to buy now.

Warehouse Silk midi dress £120.00

Warehouse Silk midi dress £120.00

&other stories animal print midi dress £79.00

&other stories animal print midi dress £79.00

Zara floral cami dress £29.99

Zara floral cami dress £29.99

5. Skirts

For me the skirt trend is just getting started. I even invested in another one in the sales from Warehouse in grey which I can't wait to wear! The look hasn't changed much since it fist came out last season, it's all about pairing the skirt with a more casual top, such as a sweater, polo neck or piece of knitwear. These can be cropped, or tucked in with ankle boots on the feet. As spring arrives, skirts will be worn with shirts and then into cami's, lingerie type tops for evening and summer. Don't be scared to buy a pleated skirt, because by summer 2016 they will be a wardrobe staple. For some more skirt inspiration check out the pinterest board - Skirts 2015-2016.

TOPSHOP PLEATED MARL SKIRT £30.00

TOPSHOP PLEATED MARL SKIRT £30.00


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