Unpredictable British Weather – Sensible Summer Style
In light of this season’s dismal weather a summer scarf is a must.
If you dinning ‘al fresco’ a silk or jersey scarf can just take the edge of the breeze. And if you’re sitting in the shade one minute then in sunlight the next just roll it up and
put it in your hand bag. There are some beautiful prints on the high street to cheer up every outfit.
A pashmina is great for both travelling and keeping cosy on a chilly evening and again can be easily stored away.
If you need something slightly more substantial,a heavy cotton jacket or a suede or a soft leather are a good options and will add style to cropped trousers.
Denim is huge this spring/summer so go for jackets that offer a casual, light-hearted appearance adds style and edge to a summer dress.
Layering is essential for our British summer, it enables you to still keep a summery feel to
your outfit but with a perfect under layer of warmth and comfort.
Finding your individual style, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Coathanger and we can build you a killer wardrobe for all seasons.
Plus Size Summers – Feeling Comfortable and Fabulous
Looking good for the summer should never be a problem, none of us are size 0s. Plus size or not, you can look fabulous so long as you dress for your shape, not your size. When choosing your summer outfit pay attention to the fit of the clothes, are they too tight or too loose? If that’s the case, don’t do it, put them back right now.
If you’re clothes are too loose, they’re going to make you look bigger and rather than accentuating your curves you’ll look shapeless. This doesn’t mean that you should go to the other extreme, wearing clothes that are clearly too tight or too small for you either though.
If you’re typically pear shaped, flaunt your thinner upper half with a fitted scoop or V-neckline.
If you want to hide your legs but want to feel cool a maxi dress will draw the attention away from your legs whilst showing off your slender arms and neck.
When selecting a dress to suit your figure, avoid horizontal stripes however you can still be on trend with the bold African prints on the high street this summer.
Embrace your curves by adding a belt to show of your shape. A slightly more tailored summer trouser will give you more support without loosing style.
If the tops of your arms are not your best point ensure the sleeve of your t-shirts are slightly longer.
Ensure you’re wearing the correct bra size. During Autumn/winter when you wearing more clothes in thicker fabrics we forget about the shape and outline of our bodies. But as soon as the weather turns warmer and we start wearing cottons, silks and linens, our body shape is on show. Get measured correctly, find the perfect shape bra and it will change the way your clothes hang from your body.
Thanks to Kim Kardashian wide hips and large bottoms are all the rage. The sexy voluptuous woman is fighting back and embracing the curves. Keep the lower half in a well fitting, good quality pair of structured trousers or a pencil skirt. Nip in the waist with a great belt then accentuate your smaller top half by wearing a fitted top. If your boobs are large add an edge-to-edge cardigan or blazer to narrow the chest area.
To balance out your shape, try to avoid boot cut or wide leg jeans, as they tend to look out of proportion. Narrow trousers or jeans make for a neater and trendier look.
Whatever you decide to wear this summer, if you’re not comfortable in it, it’s not you; it’s that simple. For more inspiration or some styling tips get in touch with us at Coathanger to find out more!
Stocking Up For Summer Holidays – British Style Abroad
With the school holidays edging ever closer, and with them the mass British expatriation to sunnier climes, we’re all beginning to look towards the high street and thinking about stocking up for our holidays. The Brits have a reputation for lacking in style when holidaying abroad. Whilst we can mostly blame this on the men who still think socks and sandals are a good look, we’ve all been guilty of a holiday mishap or two. Whether it’s the inappropriately small bikini at a family resort or braided hair that was famous for all of about five minutes some years back; proper preparation prevents poor performance when it comes to summer fashion in the tropics. If you know what’s coming into style, you can keep an eye out on the high street and bag yourself some fantastic fashion steals just in time for your flights.
Whilst almost all of us look forward to indulging in some well-deserved sun, sea and sangria; an equal number of us will be dreading our outfits for the beach. Ten years ago most of us had the choice between a bikini and a swimsuit; and nothing in between. Luckily the modern fashion market moves quickly to help us out, and women have a vast array of choices when it comes to beachwear in 2013; meaning every shape and size can find the perfect outfit.
Tankinis are fantastic if you have a fuller or curvier figure, whereas all-in-one suits and bandeau bikinis are there for when you need that added support. If you’re blessed with a slimmer body, you can opt for the ever popular string bikinis or the tan-friendly strapless.
Water parks can be the enemy of your swimwear, no matter how good you look in it. Steep slides can whip the speedos from even the tightest of waists, so make sure you’re well prepared for a bumpy ride! Supportive costumes or elasticated board shorts are going to be your best friend on the banana boat, but don’t be disheartened in thinking you can’t still look great; 2013 is bringing floral and metallic prints to even the most pedestrian of these outfits!
If you’re flying to destinations with a different cultural code to what you’re used to, it’s worth taking something to cover up in case of a fashion faux-pas! Particularly useful in areas of strong religion, a sun dress or sarong can alleviate any fears of revealing too much to the disapproving locals!
As ever, accessories are going to be very important in accentuating your own personal style when summer rolls around. 2013 is seeing a lot of animal prints come down from the runways and onto the accessories, including floaty feather earrings and leopard print sandals.
To find out more about what you should take with you on the plane, or to arrange a summer-themed personal shopping experience, get in touch with Suzanne and Coathanger today.
Summer Professional Wear – Staying Cool & Current in the Office
The Bank Holiday weekend has finally given us hope of having a British summer this year. Last season’s paltry week of sunshine put paid to all of our hopeful fashion ideas with a drab and mild August, but the outlook is looking much fairer this year. Our last blog post covered the fun we can all expect to be able to have with florals in SS13, but what do we have in store when it comes to professional wear?
The office can be a warm and stuffy place over the summer months, so staying cool is (almost) as important as looking good! Whilst it’s always important to keep one eye on the catwalks and runways to keep on top of your style, there are a number of rules that don’t fade with the seasons and that will always help you stay looking fabulous in the office.
Depending on how flexible your boss is, relaxing your look can be the key to staying comfortable during your 9 to 5. Lighter fabrics help you stay cool whilst still looking professional, cottons and linens in neutral colours are fabulous; creams and khakis being your best friends. Try wearing a looser t-shirt under a blazer for a ‘floatier’ and breezier effect. Be careful if you’re being inventive with your casuals though! Shorts are almost always a no-no, whilst wearing a bikini underneath your clothes might feel a lot more comfortable and summery; but if you look like you’re ready for the beach then you don’t belong at the office!
If you’re more of a blazer or trouser suit kind of girl, then now might be the time to familiarise yourself with the classic summer dress. Keeping you cool on the more humid days can help you feel more productive at work; keep an eye out for dresses which move well in the sunlight and the brighter shades with minimal patterns. However be careful of under-dressing and wearing clothes that reveal a little too much. Thin straps, or no straps at all, that show off your shoulders and backs should be saved for Saturday. Also be wary of the thinner material of sun-dresses.
It’s worth thinking about what sector you work on, when choosing a professional summer outfit. If you’re in the creative industries, the dress code is normally a little more relaxed so you can likely get away with sleeveless tops. But even if you work in the most liberal of offices, you should always have a jacket nearby that you can use when the area manager or an important client walks in.
If your options for creativity in your outfit are limited, then your footwear is probably going to be your best outlet. Wearing some stylish chunky heels or wedges can help you to feel summery and comfortable in an otherwise oppressive outfit. Just make sure that your feet are clean and your toenails well-manicured if you’re wearing open toes!
And no, flip-flops are never acceptable in the office if you want to be taken seriously!
If you’re looking for a style icon to give you some inspiration, Kate Middleton has excellent taste in professional, comfortable summer wear.
Spring Summer 2013: Fun With Florals
Despite what the British weather keeps throwing at us, Spring is well and truly here with the onset of April. Whilst we might not be seeing the daisies and daffodils blossoming right now, florals have hit the high street hard in the past month!
Full blooms are in every shop window at the moment, but not all flowers were created equal! There are a lot of matching tops and trousers this season, a brave fashion choice for anybody. Bomber jackets in black with colourful prints of petals are coming hand in hand with matching floaty trousers. The key to pulling off this difficult look is to keep it practical and casual, break the florals up with a plain top and wear the jacket open. Flats help keep the look casual too, heels are a no-no for co-ordinated outfits.
With so many floral pieces out there, the potential to clash can be huge; but you can make a clash killer by keeping it simple elsewhere. Floral blazers with a different style and colour of a floral top can be a mistake if you don’t keep your legs simple. Jeans, block coloured trousers or a simple skirt can work well to make the clash work well.
The same goes for the ever popular statement trousers, and statement floral trousers are going to be huge this season. Keep it simple up top this time, with a plain blouse or shirt to soften the look.
If you have your eyes firmly fixed beyond Spring and you’re assessing your Summer style already, make sure you pick up some slouching silks which are boasting the floral prints at the moment. If we’re lucky enough to have some sun this year, airy and floaty dresses will be your best friend and these are all appearing with Spring florals at the moment. Invest early and reap the rewards when July rolls around!
And finally, never get rid of florals! Despite our recent article on de-cluttering and clearing out your wardrobe, florals will always come back in one form or another. Last year’s florals might not be a hit this season, but they could be timeless in five or ten years’ time. They could even make you a pretty penny if you keep them long enough…
If you need advice working out a floral outfit, Suzanne and the Coathanger team are here to help. We can hit the high street with you to find the perfect complement to your skin tone, body shape or personal preference. Or we can help you with your wardrobe, sometimes it takes somebody outside the loop to spot those killer combinations, maybe you don’t even need to buy anything. Get in touch with us to find out more!
Wardrobe Detox: What’s Gone & What May Come Back
Despite our wardrobe space dwindling by the day, it can take us months or even years to finally commit ourselves to a detox. Whether it’s going through the clothes that you don’t wear, the ones that you don’t like or the ones that are well and truly passed it; a wardrobe detox can be a cleansing experience! We all know the feeling when one day it all gets too much and we come to realise that only a quarter of our clothes are actually ever worn.
No more “but what if the sun comes out” or “I love that dress, it’s perfect for an undercover secret agent 1950s party with a Spanish twist!” excuses. If there are clothes that you haven’t worn for six or twelve months, you’re unlikely to ever find the situation where you’ll want them again.
It’s time for a detox!
Take a good, long hard look at what you’ve accumulated over the years. Go through every garment, every shoe, every handbag, everything! When did you wear them last? If you can’t remember, you don’t need them. Are those to-die-for shoes worn out or pilled, do they need re-heeling, are they worth re-heeling?
Part of the wardrobe detox is (excitedly) making way for new purchases. Whilst it might seem like you’re defeating the object, there’s nothing wrong with having a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes that you wear on a daily basis. The sad pieces that never come off their hangers are the problem, they’re better off without you! Take notes of all the pieces you think you’re missing, accessories can make entire new outfits out of what you have; take this list shopping with you so you know exactly what’s needed to make your wardrobe a happy place again!
White t-shirts and vests become tired very quickly. Nothing less than perfect whites will work, there’s a reason why grey and beige are separate colours entirely. Once they start to lose their brilliance, get rid of them straight away! Old work suits with dated jackets need splitting up, team the trousers with a smart shirt or cardigan and use the jacket as a casual blazer.
If you have unworn garments that you never got round to wearing, you probably won’t ever wear them! Try taking them back, you might find yourself lucky and recoup your entire spend. Failing that, take photos of the tags and sell them as brand new, unused clothing on eBay. To avoid this in future, kick the habit of buying exactly the same pieces but in different colours.
Start experimenting with new styles, trying clothes on costs nothing but time.
After your wardrobe detox, you’re going to feel cleansed, refreshed and in control. It might have been hard work, but now you’re left with a big gap to fill and you can feel a trip to the high street coming on! If you can’t bear it alone, Coathanger can help with a wardrobe makeover and we can even be your high street sidekick and help you with rebuilding your collection.
Nothing says fabulous like a woman in this season’s style.
Paris Fashion Week – What We Learnt
For those amongst us who aren’t familiar with the must-see fashion event in Europe, Paris Fashion Week is held twice a year in the French capital. The dates change each year, but they always coincide with giving us a sneak peak at this year’s Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections. As the final show of the big four (following New York, London and Milan) the Paris Fashion Week has always had a romance and grandeur on the runways.
This year’s exciting event kick started on February 26th at Carrousel de Louvre and was home for a short while to the lines of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Balenciaga (to name a few!) This Autumn/Winter showing might seem a little early for these outside the fashion sphere, seeing as we’re only just now amassing our Spring/Summer wardrobes. But fashion moves quickly, and those ahead of the game are the ones who change it!
The first day in Paris showed a huge variety of seasonal collections, with Cedric Charlier going for pink oversized trenches (we expect to see an understated version of this!) and Julian David giving us some superbly simple daywear. The white blouse with cutaway biceps and minimalist collar screams style and the black ankle length trousers give professional wear a much-needed injection of modernism.
The second day in Paris was all about accessories, with Dries van Noten stealing the show with his sparkled styling. The overstated diamond jewellery offers the perfect statement piece and it’s very encouraging to see the simple stones on display; it all but paves the way for a high street renaissance of diamante!
Even Day Three was heavily accessorised, with Lanvin showcasing their incredibly creative and fun necklaces to lighten the mood as Autumn and Winter roll in.
Day Four harked back to the fashion pure, with the oversized outerwear and professional looks making a huge impact on the runways. Mikaye is pretty in tartan pink with her number, whilst Bruno’s and Dior’s monochrome simplicity continue the modern take on office and office dinner wear.
Day Five got daring with footwear. The nonsensical impracticality of Acne’s new flats reminds us of a number of things, none of them stylish. However in the same breath, Acne wowed us with these mesh stocking boots which scream Topshop.
Almost every outfit we saw on the runway on Day Six was sporting a tight, high crew neckline. Sweaters, dresses and coats alike all hugged the neckline very closely. As we previously pointed out with the spring lines, these types of neck lines are the perfect partner to small busts but can play havoc for the more buxom woman. With it being Autumn/Winter, we can hopefully look forward to seeing some fabulous scarves which can help to reduce the effect.
Day Seven showed us a surprisingly grungy side to the Autumn/Winter collection, with Saint Laurent going for some impressive, Courtney Love inspired throw-togethers. Dark tartan, with dark make-up and dark leather was the combination of choice; hardly what we need to cheer us up with the wind and rain!
The penultimate two days at Paris Fashion Week re-affirmed our suspicions that monochrome and block colours are really back. With a nod to formal and professional wear, the normally extravagant finale showed us some surprisingly wearable looks in what culminated to be a very exciting and promising week.
Professional Fashion – Striking The Balance Between Fabulous and Formal
Whether you’re starting a new job or you simply want to revamp your office attire, choosing a killer outfit for the workplace can be a daunting prospect. You want to convey professionalism without too much frivolity, but without showing your character you risk being overlooked. Striking the balance between fabulous and formal isn’t just important to help you look and feel great, but it can have a huge impact on your career progression. Our outward appearance is what most people judge us upon, so don’t give them a chance to think of you as anything less than fabulous!
If you work in a creative environment, you’ll likely find that you have far more license with your wardrobe. Graphic design, marketing and (of course!) fashion; often give their employees a free reign on their dress code. Your task here is finding the line between extravagance and overkill. Remember that less can be more, especially in the coming Spring/Summer season. All clues indicate that monochrome, particularly black and white, is going to be the killer style during the warmer months. Monochrome makes it very easy to tone down your overstated outfits with the inherent professional colour scheme.
The dress code of ‘smart casual’ is every fashionista’s worst nightmare. Whilst it offers an incredible range of outfits, it can be information overload and we all know the ‘steam-from-the-ears’ feeling when you just can’t make a decision. Think ‘smart casual’ as a formal dress code, but one which remains friendly and approachable rather than professional and intimidating. Accessories are a good way to make an outfit more casual. This season the maxi skirt opens up the opportunity of a fresh smart casual look but stick to block colours to avoid looking like your on holiday. Pencil skirts can take a print as the shape determines professionalism and look great when teamed with a textured blouse, but keep any frills to a minimum. When it comes to shoes, heels are there for you to choose with your comfortable height. Remember take your flat pumps for that walk to the bus stop, train station or car park or you may be fit for nothing when you arrive at work!
A fully formal dress code is a double-edged sword. It gives us a very clear style, but it offers little in terms of expressing our own style. Trouser suits or blazer and shirt combinations are the easiest to execute here, but only the shirt gives you scope for personality. Use your blouse wisely, with subtle but noticeable texture and detail to offer some offset from the grey and black blocks. Medium heels should be worn, whilst jewellery should be limited to a minimal amount of gold or silver alone.
Remember that across any workplace environment, there are still a few things that are never acceptable. Avoid revealing too much skin, particularly on the unnatural areas like your midriff. Avoid over-dressing but don’t risk under-dressing. No naked toes, peep toes in a bank or legal office is unacceptable and unprofessional. It’s easy to say that it may take you a while to find the balance but you want to get it spot on, first time. The most important thing to remember when dressing for your job is comfort. Tight blouses that gape at the bust look cheap. As do scuffed shoes that need re-heeling.
Part of dressing for a professional environment is feeling comfortable so that your productivity is at its maximum. Then both your body and your boss will be happy!
If you need some advice in professional style in the city, a personal styling day or corporate dressing day with Suzanne can be exactly what you need. Get in touch with us to find out more about quotes and availability.
How To Wear Spring 2013’s Hottest Lines
Every season we find ourselves bamboozled with fresh lines from the catwalks and runways. What we’re seeing in magazines and online one minute, we’re being bombarded with on the high street the next! It’s sometimes difficult to know how to bring all of the new lines into your wardrobe, and even more difficult to know what to wear, when, with what!
Spring 2013 will bring in new colours, prints and fabrics. To go with the bright new beginnings for warmer days and lighter nights, bright fresh oranges are going to land. Pinks, greens and yellows are going to be important for Spring days out.
But before you go dashing off for pastels, it’s clear that the biggest colours to take off so far have been black and white. They’ve come rolling straight off the runway and onto the high street, monochromes are taking us all back to the 1960s!
Representing the perfect transition from winter, Spring 2013’s black and whites are giving us a brand new look; a refreshing change both bold and dramatic. You can be as darling as you like with all over black and white prints or go understated with monochrome accessories. Handbags and shoes have joined the bandwagon and it’s easy to bring this exciting revitalised look into our lives this Spring.
As for the shapes of Spring, there’s a concern for the necklines seen on this seasons runways. Turtle and crew necks seem to be everywhere, on tops, shirts, dresses; everything. These are fantastic for women with a small bust but can be largely unflattering for anybody with more than a B cup. Opening up the neck line makes all the difference to your shape, if you can’t do this then try added a scarf to a crew neck to solve the problem.
If you’re struggling to choose the right combination this season, send your fashion dilemmas to email@example.com and let Suzanne help you out!
Valentine’s Day – Dressing For A Date
February 14th is just around the corner so we know that your eyes will be looking to your wardrobes and considering all your options. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who’s planning on taking you to a lovely restaurant, by now you’re going to be fretting! Valentine’s dates always have the disarming ability to make us feel like it’s our first date all over again, so let’s go through the basics of dressing for a date.
Peplum dresses offer the perfect combination of style, sexy and sophistication for any restaurant. You can control how daring you want to be by choosing the right kind of peplum dress. Cut out varieties can showcase your midriff above your hips, mesh and lace can provide a way to show a little more skin without having to go completely strapless. Remember that ruched peplum dresses can be an excellent way to divert attention from your waistline and hips, great for the pear shaped amongst us.
Remember that simplicity can be style, just as much as statement can be stunning. As we’ve all seen, black and white is making a huge impact again, enjoying another stint on the runways. Get ahead of the season and invest in a beautiful 2013 take on the LBD, the LB&WD. Your little black and white dress that you wear on Valentine’s can become your go-to outfit for elegance and style in Spring. A beautiful monochrome cocktail dress can make be a big hit for an evening in the restaurant or a daytime stroll in the park!
We haven’t forgotten about the shoes, your heels are going to make or break your date night outfit! Make sure you measure your shoes to the type of Valentine’s Day you’re going to be having. You shouldn’t find yourself choosing between stilettos if you’re heading for a picnic in the park, whilst those beautiful flat boots are not going to look great in the restaurant! The runway is showing us that Spring heels are going to feature a lot of ankle buckles, alongside a revival of the flat, pointed toes from the ‘90s. J Mendel’s line of sleek, thin straps epitomise sexiness.
If you need some professional help choosing or buying a Valentine’s Day outfit, contact Suzanne and arrange for a personal styling day or if you want a different yet thoughtful gift for your other half why not treat them to a few hours with a Personal Stylist to get them ready for Spring/Summer or even the next special occasion on the calendar!