Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Accessorise Moi! The Acceptable Accessorising Manual!

I love jewellery! Fact! I am constantly seeking out new and wonderfully sparkly, chunky, delicate, big, small, feathery, gold, colouful, beaded gems. You name it, I find it! 

Now we all have our Primani bits, Claire's and charity shop finds (NEVER EARRINGS THOUGH PLEASE!) but we should also have our real silver and gold special jewels as well, and if you're lucky enough a few diamonds too! There's nothing more classy than a gentle plain silver bangle and decent watch. 

I am insanely lucky as since my 18th birthday I have been given a silver something every year. You can imagine the difficulty I have day to day which one or ones to wear! I love wearing about 5 silver bracelets on one wrist together. From the chain chunky ones to the simple thin bangle, it looks fun and rich and classy. 

So...what are the top tips for wearing accessories? As I have started with jewellery, I shall go on, coming to bags and hats after.


Less is more...only sometimes! I love wearing as many bits as I can. That's just me, but generally if you are wearing something formal (a work outfit or a ball gown for example) keep the jewels on the down low. Wear a simple diamond pair of earrings or small silver studs, a watch or one spectacular bracelet.

Rules...only pick two places to wear your jewellery: Ears and neck. Neck and wrist. Ears and wrist. Ears and neck. 

This reduces the clutter and over-kill of your gems.

Now if you are going out, party time, down-time or casual...this is when you can go wild. I wear big chunky necklaces, sometimes two at the same time with ridiculous amounts of bracelets...usually on both wrists. Because my style is quite outrageous, I can get away with this but if you're more gentle with your style, tone it down with a few less pieces.

At the moment I am loving wearing one very long dangly earring. It has feathers all over it and comes down past my neck. Lush! I wear a spiky earring in the other ear, no necklace as it would be too much fuss around my neckline. Then I pop on a few black sparkly beaded bracelets and add a massive bow ring on the same hand.

The thing to remember is that you can put anything on as long as the colours and style fit your outfit. If your style of the day is a little grungy - black leather, tight skinny jeans, booties, go with edgy punky jewellery too. If you're meeting the girls for brunch on a Sunday after a night out, and you've bunged on your tracky bums and a cute hoody, just add some big silver hooped earrings and a watch. For party time, add as much bling as you want...but keeping to the two places necklace, earring AND bracelet wearing please!


This is totally self-explanatory really. The bigger the better in my opinion! Ha! No, what I mean is if like me, you take everything but the kitchen sink in your bag, invest in a decent good quality leather bag for everyday. One preferably with an easy opening. When I am rushing out and about, I need to fit my make-up essentials, tissues, maybe an extra pair of ballet pumps, wallet, hair brush, water bottle, iPad and diary. Large bag!

I bought my classic Russell & Bromley about ten years ago. Yes it was a few hundred pounds, but it's lasted, it will never go out of fashion and it looks as good as new...well better I think as the leather is softer and more classic looking now!

As with my shoes, I do have way too many bags but we only really need three! Our everyday handbag, our over-night/going-away-for-a few-nights bag and a classic clutch bag for going out - datenight, dancing with the girls, a wedding etc.


Now this bit is tricky. You either are or you aren't the type of person that can get away with wearing a hat. And you know who you are! But the general gist to looking fab in a hat is...

If like me you have shorter hair above the neck line, bobble hats and large skater hats (the ones that flop at the back) are a big no-no. Stick to beret style hats, little bowlers, pork pie hats, fedoras and fur Cossack styles.

For ladies with luscious longer locks, you can pretty much wear all types of hat....perhaps leave the ones with added bunny and teddy ears on the shelf in the shop though!

With Warmest Swishes,

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Key Wardrobe Pieces- Staples Explained!

I thought I would collate a list of the key items we should have in our wardrobe. I was talking to a girlfriend over my soya latte the other day and it cropped up that she didn't own a denim jacket or have a plain white shirt! You can imagine my immediate interrogation! ' Do you have this? this? that? no? whatttt!!!!'

So here are the staple items every woman should have in their collection. It's a great way of filtering out all the clothes you don't wear and it can really help when choosing an outfit, or trying to add to it or make it look better. They are our 'go to's' if you like, our trusted 'I will always look good in this, no doubt' pieces.

Keep in mind these items are long lasting, classic, must haves, so investing a little more time and money over the quality is essential! They aren't items that will go out of fashion and so will last forever!

  • Denim jacket
  • Leather jacket
  • LBD
  • Best pair of skinny jeans- your fave choice on the cut of the leg though!
  • Crisp white shirt, can be embellished but stick to medium cuffs and simple buttons and collar
  • Plain scoop neck white cotton t-shirt. For bigger busted ladies you can opt for a v-neck!
  • Floral maxi
  • Fitted suit - preferably hand tailored. A strong smart jacket with either a pencil skirt or straight leg trousers
  • Club/ Take me out dancing frock
  • Cashmere jumper
  • Big knit cardigan, two sizes too big
  • A decent, soft and over-sized hoody and tracky bums
  • Underwear...comfort, 'help me squeeze me in' and finally 'for your lover'.
Shoes & Accessories
  • A 'phat' large, waist belt
  • Ballet pumps - classic black or go wild with a bow on the toe!
  • Small shiny clutch
  • Over-sized leather bag
  • 'They hurt my feet after a few hours' high heels, but they're exquisite and go with everything!
  • Sloppy shoes- flip flops, birkins or suede loafers
  • Knee high or over-the-knee leather or suede boots

The rest is how we add pieces and style ourselves to create that individuality. Pop on your tracky bums with a white t-shirt and add your leather jacket and flip flops - you're already in dress-down mode but still look effortlessly chic and comfortable! Throw on your skinny jeans, white shirt and heels and you have a casual sexy look. Don't forget your push up bra, silver chunky bracelet and big earrings for that extra va-va-voom!

I'll be letting you know where to find the best of these key pieces soon, so watch this space ladies!

Warmest Swishes,

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

You Buy, You Get Rid-Simples!

Your guide to sorting through your over-flowing wardrobe in a simple and calm way.

We all do it. We all go out shopping and buy another pair of black jeans, another handbag, knowing full well that the three we already have are perfectly fine and we don't really need the new purchase! But, maybe you're like me, I love to shop and that lovely feeling of 'Oh but this pair is just a little bit different from my other pair and would look fab with those shoes!' The only problem with this is that our wardrobe space gets more cluttered and things get moved to the bottom of the drawer and forgotten!

If I didn't do the following, my wardrobe would be as big as a small warehouse and I wouldn't ever wear the same thing....well shouldn't, because I have plenty to even change my outfit 5 times a day with more clothes to spare. We never wear everything in our wardrobe. It's only when we have a big clear out every 3 years, or when we move house, that we find 'oooh that top, and oh, I remember that skirt!'

To rectify this on-going palava just follow my helpful tip and you'll be on your way to a beautifully spaced out wardrobe - able to find exactly what you want to wear in no time. I also find that doing this makes us look after our clothes better; we fold them more neatly, hang them up as soon as we take them off, colour co-ordinate etc. The rule is..... less is more. I have another blog coming soon that tells you what your key pieces should be, so soon you'll definitely have a gorgeous wardrobe filled with clothes you love and more importantly take care of and wear! Now here's the science bit....

For every new piece of clothing or accessory you purchase (unless you're swapping that is!) you get rid of the equivalent. De-clutter in a simple, pain free and slow way.

The decision is made usually in the first three seconds so don't be scared, be ruthless. We just have so many things in our wardrobe we don't wear. We think, 'Oh but I will wear it, want to but..but...but....' and so it stays there, hidden, alone, sad, gone to waste! If you haven't said YES to the item within 3 seconds of picking it up, it's for the no pile. Golly, I told you I was ruthless!

Now there are actually two 'no' piles so don't worry! One 'no' is a real 'no'! The second 'no' pile is a 'I think I am a bit attached and really unsure so I will save and hold it.' Go away, have a cup of tea or a whatever, come back and then decide.

A really good tip to remember when you are throwing out, donating or selling your clothes, and the fear hits that you might miss them or wish you hadn't (which is why we hang on so much to things we don't wear!!!) is that there are millions of the equivalent thing out there still. Unless it's a sentimental item like a gift from someone or something you wore to a life-changing occasion, I am positive that you can always replace things that you once had or got rid of. It's ok! Nothing is ever as bad as it seems with the coming and going of clothes. The only bad thing is the faux pas in some of the styling some people have in wearing them! Hah!!

Now you know what I'm going to say next.....if you swapped your clothes and beautiful frocks, none of this pickle would be an issue now would it?! I'll be bringing you some awesome swapping sites for other things in the future, so we can all add to this fabulous idea of recycling our wardrobe...saving us money, time, being amazing to the environment and keeping us ladies looking and feeling great! 

Any further tips I can help you with just contact me directly and I'll be happy to help! Even a home visit to help you in person!

Happy swishing ladies!

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Pear Shape

This juicy, lovely shape is when your hips are larger than your bust and your waist is slightly smaller. We need to elongate your figure here so that you look less bottom heavy.  Bring out your best and balance out your delicious curvy bottom-half, with dresses that are bold and bright at the top and synched in at the waist. Or try dresses with large collars, lapels or sleeves - a wonderful selection of embellishments! 

Nine West Summer Holiday Frock 

Reiss Purple Frou-Frou Party Frock 

Ted Baker 1920s LBD

Whistles Strappy Number 

What dresses suit my Pear Shape?
  • Embellished frocks
  • Prints, checks, striped and floral frocks
  • Frocks with large lapels, sleeves and collars
  • Any frills or fancy bits

Best to, pencil and fishtail skirt dresses, especially tight fitting ones as they will only emphasise your hips and behind, which we don't want! Show off your cute and petite top half with daring patterns and lots of detail! Also avoid anything cut on the bias! 

You share this shape with the beautiful Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Shakira, Kim Kardashian and of course our very own stunning Sarah Caverhill! 

Warmest Swishes,

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Top Hour Glass Shape

Well, very lucky ladies! Your bust is larger than your hips and your waist is well defined- bish bash bosh! Not too different from the Hour Glass shape but you just have  bigger boobies! It can also be known sometimes as the 'strawberry shape' but we liked Top Hour Glass much better! 

LK Bennet Silk Cocktail Frock

Coast Classic Cocktail Frock

Choose frocks with fuller and wider skirts, bright colours on the bottom half with simpler details at the top. Of course go for lots of plunging v-neck necklines and wrap effects at the top and waist. Add your staple waist belt and remember to always wear the correct bustier! If in any doubt, I have the best place to go to and get measured properly! More on that soon! 

Choose dresses that cinch in at the waist and are fitting but not too tight! Stick to simple fabrics such as linen and silk and avoid super heavy and over sized styles.

What dresses to suit my Top Hour Glass Shape?
  • Low neck line frocks
  • Pulled in at the waist frocks
  • Prints and bold colours on the top or bottom half of the frock-remember to keep it more simple on the top!
Stay well away from anything with shoulder pads or a tapered bottom half.  Puff sleeves, epaulettes and halter-necks are a huge no-no!

You share this shape with....Jennifer Saunders, Dolly Parton, Charlize Theron. 

Warmest Swishes,
London Frock Exchange