buckleupAfter a bit of a style dry spell on the belt front, the humble accessory is back with a bang. So, step forward with a pirate-inspired ‘swashbuckling’ belt – think, Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean.

But before you buckle up, let’s explore the ups and downs of wearing belts.

A great belt can make or break an outfit. It can add a stylish touch to any outfit, so be sure to invest in at least one for your accessories collection. Accentuate your shape and create a feminine silhouette with a waist-pinching belt, or add an extra splash of colour to your jeans with a skinny belt in bright, pop colours. From classic plaited to chunky with metal letter detailing, you’ll be sure to make a style statement.

Some belts are made to be seen like this season’s offerings with cut-outs, metallic finishes, studded or stretch to cinch-in that lovely waist. At first glance a belt can look quite casual but added to a posh frock or smart trousers – celeb style, lifts them from a regular accessory to a mega-glamorous update.

Alexander Wang showed us how to wear a grommeted belt in the pre-Autumn 2016 collection – around the waist of a classic trench, re-purposed it on a tailored grey jacket and used the grommet design for crisscrossing straps on an evening gown. The secret to not looking like you’re having a mid-life crisis when wearing one is keep the rest of your ensemble classic and pared-back.

So what are the styling rules?

The size of your belt needs to match your scale (based on the size of your bones), if you’re petite you need to wear narrower belts or the belt will wear you, if you’re average scale (around a size 4 – 6 in a shoe) you need a belt of about 1.5 inches wide, if your shoe size is 7 and above you can really go for it and wear a 2.5 inch wide belt. Keep the buckle size in keeping with your scale too.

So all this is great if you have a waist to show off, but what if you don’t? My expert advice is don’t bring attention to a part of your body that maybe your biggest challenge. Keep away from belts and invest in another gorgeous accessory that will draw the eye to your best assets, like a great pair of shoes if you have superb legs or a fabulous necklace if you have a great bust.

Belts are one of the best and cost effective ways to update your look this season, so if you have a great waist – you’re in! Otherwise just use one to hitch up your trusty old denims.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

For further inspiration, see our https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/buckle-up/

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

bittersweet colours, colorful coats, culottes, Joe fresh, JUMPSUIT, mules, Spring trends, street style, yellow, yellow coat, floral prints, ...: “Colours this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute.

Interestingly, for Spring/Summer 2016 there are truly no perceivable distinctions in colour choices between the men’s and women’s collections. Many of the colours transport the wearer to more tranquil and calmer environs which encourage relaxation. Examples include pastels of pink, peach, rose brown and blue.

However, in contrast there are also colours that are inspired by artists such as Matisse and Picasso – two being yellow and red. Both vibrant colours that can bring a feeling of fun, optimism and passion to our lives.

We have all just survived the all-encompassing red and pink Valentine’s Day marketing. With Easter approaching now, we are surrounded by all things yellow e.g. yellow chicks, yellow eggs and, of course, the beautiful Spring flowers like daffodils and the more pastel coloured primroses. And don’t they look a picture! I don’t know about you but as soon as the daffodils start to flower I feel more positive and look forward to the lighter evenings approaching.

Enough of the chat about flowers, this is a fashion blog! So let’s talk about wearing ‘not so mellow yellow’ and this is quite another thing.

At colour me beautiful we are experts in all things colour and have advised millions of women and men over the years about the colours that suit them best. One of these colours will be yellow.

The decision as to whether you can wear yellow or not is based around the colour of your skin tone. Are you a warm or cool skin tone? It is essential to know this because to create harmony and balance the colours you wear need to complement your skin tone as well as your hair and eye colour.

Yellow is a warm colour so looks best on people with warm skin tones. As we know when you wear a colour on your top half it reflects on your face and with yellow if you haven’t got a warm skin tone it can make you look less than your best. So if you have a cool skin tone (ie. it is pinker in tone) my advice is avoid yellow at all costs.

If on the other hand you do have a warm skin tone then then this cheery hue is shining on every trend this season, from cropped pants and sheer dresses to bathrobe-style coats and billowy skirts, all designed to put you in the spotlight.

If you have a cool skintone or can’t bring yourself to wear it head to toe, then choose some ‘sunshine’ accessories like Nike’s retro sneakers.

So wear it well, sunshine! Sunglasses not included, but recommended.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

For more inspiration please see our Pinterest board https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/sunny-side-up/

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

A button down pencil skirt is so '70s and so cool.: Getting a new pair of trainers at the beginning of the year is like getting a new pencil case for the start of school. This season whether you are a gym fan or have a gym phobia, the choice available will really put a spring in your step.

It’s fabulous to be able to give your tootsies a break from those heels, so I for one am pleased that the trainer trend isn’t going anywhere. What could be better than a shoe trend that is so comfortable you could jog all the way to work in it and I know a few ladies who do? However, finding a pair that fits into your wardrobe can be surprisingly tricky.

Choose from ‘the wedge’, ‘high top’, ‘slip on’ or ‘low rise’. Designers like Givenchy have a fabulous silk-twill floral ‘high top’ for around £400. Jimmy Choo a hot pink glittery ‘slip on’ or if it’s more your budget you can find lots of ‘cool kicks’ on the High Street with Converse, Nike and Adidas leading the way.

It is also acceptable to wear trainers pretty much anywhere and at any age, so there’s no excuse for not getting involved. So here are my thoughts for you.

Make light work

If you are on your feet a lot at work or have a long walk to work then why not invest in a pair of commuter trainers. Londoners and commuters to any of our large cities have been wearing them for years. This season though, why not leave them on at work, it will save you lugging around an extra pair of shoes in your handbag.

Use them to dress down a posh skirt

When they’re showing trainers on the couture catwalks at Dior and Chanel, you know that gives you permission to go a little more comfy with the footwear. If pairing with a posh skirt or frock, choose a matching shade and your trainers will blend perfectly into the rest of your outfit. I’ve even heard of a bride wearing them to her wedding!

Show them off

If you have invested in a designer pair then make sure you wear trousers with turn-ups to show them off. As well as showing off your gorgeous trainers it will bring attention to your lovely ankles – another tip for a more flattering line, together with your wrists they tend to be the slimmest part of your body.

Girlie girl

Not only are brands starting to make their ranges in smaller sizes they are also lots more femininity in their lines too. Liberty have collaborated with Vans and Nike to produce trainers covered in beautiful prints and Chanel have designed lady-like tweed ones. So your trainers can now reflect your romantic style personality.

AND FINALLY

Anyone for tennis?

Wear tennis shoes with tailored slacks for a new chic spin or if you feel you are too short in the leg to wear a flat trainer then the ‘wedge’ design is the one for you.

So if you are a heel-loving newcomer, why not get into training or do I mean trainers?

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

For further inspiration please see https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/fashionista-in-trainingtrainers/

image courtesy of Pinterest.

Photography: Ashley Caroline Photography - www.ashley-caroline.com: He’s popped the question, you’ve said yes, everyone is delighted – now the most important thing is choosing your wedding dress.. or is it? Shouldn’t you be looking at the whole bridal party? You wouldn’t arrange a vase of flowers with colours that clash and the same goes for your wedding group, not least of all the two other very important women at the ceremony – the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom.

Every bride wants everyone including herself to look amazing on her wedding day, but creating your wedding day ‘look’ takes lots of planning, hours of shopping and oodles of patience.

It should be one of the most memorable days of your life but there is a lot to consider, if you really want to ensure you end up with the wedding of your dreams.

Even the simplest weddings cost a small fortune and the photographs last a lifetime, so it is imperative the bridal party look their very best. Don’t leave this to chance, instead, visit one of our qualified stylists who offers tailor made colour and styling advice for wedding parties. Our relaxed consultations are popular with brides and mothers alike who have found our help invaluable at finding out what best to avoid and what has been tried and tested and will work for them on the big day.

When dressing the bridal party you need to choose colours for everyone’s outfits that will suit the individuals and which will all look good together. This is no easy achievement – members of the bridal party may all have different hair colour and skin tone which means different colours will suit them. For example, a bridesmaid with blonde hair would look overwhelmed and very pale in a dark dress, she needs to wear a lighter or brighter colour to make the best of her natural colouring. Whereas a bridesmaid with dark hair will look great in a darker colour. The secret is finding a colour that will look amazing on them all!

It is also a momentous day in a mother and mother-in-law’s life and they should be confident, happy and relaxed when that day finally comes around. You don’t want the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom clashing so badly they can’t stand together.

We suggest that mothers should wait until the wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses have been selected. They might then think about bringing some of the bridal colours into their own outfits, but they must be colours that make them look stunning.

As if colour isn’t enough to think about, as we know, ladies shapes vary and a dress design that looks great on someone with a curvy shape will not look as good on a lady who has a straighter body shape. Also different patterns and fabrics suit different body shapes. Other considerations are height and scale, which effect whether you should dress head to toe in one colour and what size pattern and accessories you should wear.”

We strongly advise any woman in the wedding group not to walk into a shop and announce they are looking for a wedding outfit or they are likely to emerge in something coral or periwinkle that they might never have dreamt of wearing before…and are unlikely to wear again.

The biggest mistake people make at weddings is to try out a brand new look on the day or opt for an outfit that they think looks “suitable” but is going to be uncomfortable. That’s a recipe for misery!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

So don’t leave the most important day of your life to chance and take away some of the stress by calling in the experts. Visit www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email.

Further inspiration can be found at https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/blushing-brides/

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Red Puffer: Yes this winter, you don’t have to call in sick to have a duvet day – just buy a duvet jacket or coat – then every day can be a duvet day.

Built for comfort and warmth over style, they are not the most obvious of fashion garments but bulky puffer jackets in all lengths have become the A-listers must have item. Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Julianne Moore and Katie Holmes to name a few have been photographed wearing them.

Not only are they great for keeping out the chill, they are light-weight, don’t crease and best of all they disguise any post-Christmas indulgence. The other thing, of course, is that providing you don’t take it off in public, no one will know what you have got on underneath so you could still have your pyjamas on. Perfect if you are a dog walker or taking the kids to school and it’s too much of a rush to get dressed.

What started as a ‘I wouldn’t been seen dead in one of those’ sort of coat is now readily available from every High Street retailer. From Sainsbury to Zara take your pick.

From a styling point of view I would just advise that these Michelin Man type coats add bulk and look great on tall and/or slim ladies, however, if you are on the shorter size and edging towards a size 14/16 please ask a friend you can trust when trying one on, for her honest opinion before purchasing.

With regard to the best colour to buy, then my advice is: if you have blonde and light brown hair opt for a soft brown or light pewter, if you have dark hair then black or navy will work, should you have red tones in your hair then choose a khaki or brown and if you have silver locks then navy is best and black will look great too.

After all, it’s the ‘coolest’, warmest coat for the season – if you know what I mean!

 

Written by Personal Stylist, Shan Williams

For further inspiration please see our Pinterest board https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/duvet-day/

Signature Lace Bodysuit by Naked Princess. French Leavers Lace.: According to my great friend Google, way back in the ancient mists of time, the Roman Emperor Claudius II decreed that young men should be forbidden to marry because single men made better soldiers. A romantic young priest named Valentine defied Claudius, secretly marrying young couples. For his troubles he was martyred in 496AD and Saint Pope Gelasius set aside 14 February to honour him.

So as the day fast approaches, you will notice men in suits and men in jeans wandering around with troubled looks unsure whether to buy you the dozen long stemmed roses, the heart shaped box of chocolate liqueurs or the red satin nightie and negligee. The latter was my husband’s gift of choice last year – both in two sizes too big. Two sizes too big! As you can imagine the rest of 14 February was a fairly frosty day.

In my experience men want to buy lovely underwear for their partners but are troubled by it and don’t know how to go about it. Whilst I feel that women should buy their own underwear, preferably using their partner’s credit card! If you think your partner is going to be tempted to go the lingerie route with the gift buying, then show him this article first which is about things he needs to consider when buying your bras and knickers.

The colour

Choose lingerie in her favourite colours – don’t be tempted by red or black (both too temptress!) or white (boring!).

The brand and type

Do have a look in your partner’s underwear drawer. What brand does she favour – is she and M and S lady? Does she favour Empreinte, Victoria’s Secret, Bravissimo? The label will tell you the brand. Check out if she wears a full cup or balcony, underwired or not.

The size

We ladies go to a lot of trouble ensuring we are wearing the right size bra, we usually get measured by professionals. The rules here are the bridge or centre of the bra should rest on the rib cage and the breast should fit within the bra cup fully (otherwise the cup size is wrong). Also, you should only be able to get one finger up the back of the bra and under the strap (otherwise the bra size is wrong). Again look at a recently purchased bra and the size and cup size will be on the label. They vary depending on the brand so you need to buy the same brand and size/cup size as on the existing label. Take it with you, if in doubt.

The knickers

The first point here is they have to match the bra – again in a favourite colour. Secondly does she wear a full brief to cover her tummy (more Bridget Jones) or does she favour a mini-brief or thong (more Pamela Anderson)? Buy what she wears most, based on more research from her underwear drawer. Always buy at least three pairs so she can wear matching underwear on a number of days. It’s amazing how fabulous a girl feels when she knows she is wearing matching underwear!

So, in conclusion, your partner should be a bit wiser now – fingers crossed! If when you open that red tissue wrapped parcel on Valentine’s Day expecting some luxury lingerie and find he was still tempted to buy you a fluffy dog with ‘I wuff you’ embroidered on its belly (more sinner than saint), blame Saint Pope Gelasius not him!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

If lingerie doesn’t appeal then ask for a consultation from one of our consultants click here to look up who is based in your area. http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

I found the perfect outfit for winter road-tripping, lodge lounging, and base-layering... | Use Instagram online! Websta is the Best Instagram Web Viewer!: In the UK we just love our boots! Boots are more than just staple footwear for winter; they can be practical or uber-stylish and are extremely versatile for dressing up or down. Investing in a couple of pairs will see you through from workdays to weekends to evenings out.

As they are usually a big investment, buying the right ones is essential, simply follow my tips below and you’ll be beautifully booted in no time!

Go long?or short?

The important thing to remember when buying your boots is not just what fashion is dictating but what suits your personal style and your leg length and shape. It’s so easy to fall in love with a great- looking pair of boots, but are they going to look great on your feet and will they flatter your overall look? The good news is that with such a fabulous choice this season in the sales you will find several styles that work for you.

Ankle boots and shoe boots

The ankle length styles with a flat heel are practical and cute. If you are shorter in the leg, however, they can be unflattering if worn with a skirt so make sure you keep your tights the same colour to avoid ‘chopping’ your legs to look shorter.

The shoe boot is perfect for a smarter look when worn with trousers and the elegant styles could even be worn with your work suit. The more funky styles will work with jeans or for evening wear so you can wear them as an alternative to heeled shoes on a night out.

The knee high

If you wear knee highs with a skirt then make sure it is an appropriate length. If you have nice knees then you can wear a skirt that finishes just above or on the knee. If you have bigger knees then the skirt should finish just below them where the leg is slimmer so that you won’t draw attention to them. If, like many of us, you can’t find a pair of knee highs that fit your calves then check out specialist boot makers such as duoboots.com, the shoetailor.com, both who offer a wider fit or stretchy inserts.

The UGG boot

Who would have thought Australian sheepskin could be so stylish – even in the hot weather? I have spotted many young girls wearing them with a cute short skirt. They are ever popular with some new versions appearing and are perfect for slouchy comfort in style.

The key to knowing which boots are best for you and how to wear them is understanding your body shape, scale and style personality.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not ensure you make the right decisions when investing in those boots by treating yourself to a consultation with one of our consultants http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/

Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping.

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/boot-it/

Ha ha! But only buy it if it's right for you!: Who can resist the lure of the sales? With everything you never needed at eye-wateringly low prices, it can be difficult not to splurge on unnecessary items.

Come on hands up – how many of you have got items in your wardrobe with the ‘sale’ tag still on?

Despite the sales starting just before Christmas there are still some greatly reduced items to be had in January.

Here are some tips on how to avoid breaking the bank on those ‘bargains’ and most important of all how to have fun while you’re doing it.

What to expect

When you hit the shops there will be lots of items in the sales from this season’s hottest colours. But it’s worth taking a minute to consider if you will want to wear ‘volcanic orange for example or a red sequinned jacket next year when everyone else has moved on to another colour that is more fashionable. If you are going to invest make sure it is one of your best colours. If you don’t know which colours those are, then instead of rash spending invest in a colour analysis. For around £115 it’s one of the best investments you can make.

Make a list

Before setting off, make a shopping list of everything you wish to purchase and set yourself a budget.

There is no point in buying something that is heavily reduced if you don’t really need it. Don’t be swayed by any amount of saving. If you will never use it or wear it, what’s the point? Try to make sure you only purchase items that are on your shopping list as you know they will be put to good use – be strong!

Getting started

Go out on a day when you are feeling positive and energised – we all know this varies. Any purchase made to cheer you up will undoubtedly be a mistake.

Shopping is tiring so:

  • Wear comfortable and easy to remove footwear
  • If you are shopping for a dress, take some higher shoes and tights with you. Don’t try and imagine how it would look with your pop socks on.
  • Be sure to apply some make-up so you look your best
  • Wear a good bra and decent underwear. You want to look respectable if you are stripping off
  • Keep a watchful eye on your handbag – thieves love crowded shops and distracted ladies
  • Take a few coffee breaks and of course have a delicious lunch – don’t forget the diet starts tomorrow

Know your rights

Before you make a purchase be sure you know the store’s refund and exchange policy during the sale period. This will differ for each company, so to avoid misunderstanding always ask or read the signs that are usually displayed at the till point.

Enjoy!

Most importantly, have great fun at the sales – it can be a great day out. And remember those words of wisdom from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City: “I like my money right where I can see it – hanging in my closet!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not ensure you make the right decisions when shopping the sales and start the New Year by treating yourself to a consultation with one of our consultants http://www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/

Afterwards you will know exactly what suits you and make wise decisions when shopping in the sales.

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/how-to-shop-the-sales/

I love a good hot stone massage, I love learning to give them more though!: How may ladies reading this blog paint that grateful smile on their faces when opening that present from their husband/partner? After all it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?

I expect if we counted up the cost of the number of unwanted or inappropriate gifts we have received from our husband/partner over the years the amount would be quite frightening. Whether you have a subtle approach, hinting often as to what you would like, as I do (the hint never seems to work though) or write a list to be more explicit – getting it right in terms of gifts for you is an annual challenge for a husband/partner.

Well ladies, let him read this and ensure that this is the first year you get what you want.

So gentlemen, this is for you. Research, look and listen!

Underwear

Research. Yes, we know you would like to see us in some sexy underwear. We would quite like it ourselves in fact. Two things here – we won’t wear it if it’s red and black and yes, it has to be the right size – a too small bra cup which shows four boobs not two is not a good look! So, research – go to her underwear drawer – look at the labels on her bra and knickers. What make does she favour? What size does she wear? Go to the relevant shop and buy something similar in a lovely colour – even take the original articles with you so the shop assistant can help you make the right decision. Wrap in tissue and put in a gift box. We love unwrapping surprises!

Jewellery

Look. You’ve probably been taking your partner/wife out for a while now. What jewellery does she wear? Does she favour delicate pieces or a more dramatic approach? Does she wear silver or gold? These are all important things to observe before hitting the jewellers. A friend of mine recently had been bought a really chunky silver necklace by her husband. She was disappointed because she couldn’t understand why he hadn’t noticed that she always wore delicate gold necklaces and feels guilty that she doesn’t like it because it cost a lot of money. As a result, she will tuck it away in a drawer and never wear it. I don’t think she’s alone, do you?

Perfume

Listen. When you are going out and the love of your life is getting ready listen for when she sprays on her perfume. If she’s going on a special night out with you the chances are she is spraying a perfume that’s special to her and she wears with pride. Quickly look at the perfume she has used and note its name – this is the one to buy. We ladies tend to have more than one, maybe a daytime scent and an evening/special occasion one. We tend to be a bit aspirational buying/wearing designer brands like Chanel, Prada, Gucci or Marc Jacobs because we can’t afford the clothes and they make us feel good about ourselves.

Kitchen gadgets and slippers

Guys don’t even go there. Even if she says she wants one of these items, she doesn’t!

A gift experience voucher from colour me beautiful if the perfect gift for a loved one! Order yours here http://colourmebeautifuldirect.co.uk/list.php?subCat=90: Chocolate or a spa day or colour me beautiful consultation

All winners in most ladies books.

So now is your chance to get it right based on our advice. As we will know most of us get as much from giving as receiving and we know she will love you even more!

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not hint to your husband to treat yourself to a colour me beautiful gift experience, it will be advice that last’s a lifetime not just for Christmas. Please visit http://colourmebeautifuldirect.co.uk/list.php?subCat=90 

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://www.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/mens-guide-to-gift-buying/

Main image courtesy of Pinterest.

1920's Fashion.Beauty How I would want my hair: With the final series of Downton Abbey behind us, many of us are considering what we are now going to do between 9pm and 10pm on a Sunday evening. Not only have we enjoyed the breath-taking countryside, the intrigue of what goes on upstairs and downstairs but also to ogle at the elaborate costumes that most of us can only dream about. I for one am feeling a trifle bereft having watching every episode of every series.

Downton Abbey has long been revered for its show-stopping costumes and this series does not disappoint. With elaborate accessories and hues of mystical romance, it is providing enough fringe, pearl and lace detail to satisfy even the most hardened of style critics. So, banish those corsets (so passé, darling) and bring on the flapper silhouette.

Out on the streets, sales of long silk gloves, pearls and empire waisted dresses have soared since Downton Abbey aired. The popularity of Downton Abbey and its beautiful costumes has inspired a whole new demand for 1900s fashion accessories like hats and shrugs too.

British hunting parties and opulent candlelit dinners of bygone eras have inspired a return of the county and glamorous looks.

So how can we bring a little Downton into our daily lives without having to have our maid’s available to dress us?

 

  1. Wear a long string of pearls.
  2. Invest in a long pair of gloves and wear with a short sleeve dress for added glamour.
  3. A lacey number with sheer sleeves will flatter and feminise.
  4. How about a bow at the neck of your blouse for that prim ‘Lady Edith’ look?
  5. Dress in clothes with embellishment and detail.
  6. Don’t forget a dropped waist dress to be in tune with this series.
  7. Find a cloche style hat to keep you warm this winter.
  8. Add hair accessories to your locks to add sparkle even for the daytime.
  9. Buy that wax or heritage inspired jacket you have been meaning to get.
  10. Find a simple striped blouse. Oh, maybe not – I am sure we would all rather look more Lady Mary than Daisy.

 

The choice is yours.

Remember, in the words of the Dowager Countess of Grantham (played by Maggie Smith) – “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

_________

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Why not find out which of the Downton Fashions are for you by booking a style consultation? Drop waist dresses are not for everyone! Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/downton-fashion-inspiration/

Image courtesy of Pinterest