Category Archives: autumn winter

Fashion for all ages at M&S 

My favourite fashion season has finally arrived! And as much as I’m missing my summer tan and the light evenings, I am and always will be an Autumn Fashion Girl.

Pairs of boots, big chunky coats and cosy knitwear are my kryptonite when shopping, so as you can imagine, Autumn can be an expensive season! 


If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the last couple of years, it is to shop around. You don’t have to shop in expensive places to look amazing in your Autumn wardrobe. 

Of course, it’s definitely advisable to make some more expensive ‘investment’ purchases, mostly for the reason that you will get your money’s worth and these pieces will last you many years to come. These usually come in the form of coats and boots. 

But the odd bargain can work wonders for your wardrobe- it’s amazing how many compliments I’ve got from primark jumpers and dresses. 

Now that the AW16 collections have launched in the shops, I’ve been having a nosy at what they’ve all got to offer and thought I’d do a quick blog post about the new M&S women’s range which I was pleasantly surprised at! 

I’ve blogged about M&S before (https://lottiebeth.wordpress.com/tag/marks-and-spencer/) and now shop in there regularly. It definitely wouldn’t have been somewhere that I’d have thought to shop before but I’m pretty hooked now! It’s a hard thing to do but M&S have managed to appeal to women of all ages with their ranges. 

Cool Workwear. 

A lot of the AW collection focuses on classic pieces with a stylish edge added on. If you’re looking for some more stylish outfit ideas to ‘shuzzz’ up your office wear then this is the place to shop. 

I love this pretty blouse with a flared sleeve and also these wool ankle grazers which look great with shiny patent. 



You don’t have to wear crazy colours to make your outfits more interesting- it’s all about being experimental with styles and cuts. These wide cut trousers may make you wary at first, but paired with a slim fitting polo neck, it would make a really sophisticated but stylish work outfit. Buttons are also a key feature for AW16 so this military style jacket would surely go down well! 

Fun Coats. 

A staple coat is a must on everyone’s autumn winter list. It’s great to have some capsule coats, such as a plain black one or a parka, but a fun coat always goes down well in the fashion world! My advice with ‘Fun’ coats are to not go for anything ridiculously ‘trendy’, as the point of trends are that they will fade away to make way for a new one. Go for patterns that will stay popular such as leopard print or houndstooth. 


Shoes. 

Great news for high-heel lovers-the new range of M&S shoes are all made with ‘Insolia’ technology, which redistributes weight away from the balls of your feet, reducing pressure and increasing ankle stability. As a lady who sometimes has to wear heels all day, this sounds like a god send quite frankly! 


I can’t wait to try out some heels (I have my eyes on the leopard print boots), and maybe I’ll do a blog review to let you know how I get on. 

I’ve touched on just a few pieces of the collection, but hopefully I’ve inspired you to take a look in the shops or on the website. Come payday I’ll be looking to buy a cosy wrap and a leather midi skirt (last year’s suede version sold out and there was a waiting list!) 

What do you think of M&S clothing? And will you be buying any of their collection this Autumn? 

Shirts To Make You Smile.

A capsule wardrobe- its what we all aspire to own. A carefully compiled collection of all the basics which will cover all of our needs and which will also stand the test of time. The trouble is, what with all the temptation on the high street and trends enticing us in, its quite hard to achieve this! How often have you come home from a shopping trip with something that you probably don’t need, or something which you realistically know you will only wear once? But as emotional shoppers, we women usually find a good enough reason to justify our purchase, much to the bemusement of our functional male shopper counterparts!

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Personally speaking, I have fallen into the ‘impulse shop‘ trap many a time, but since training as a stylist, I have learnt to reign in my shopping habits and only part with my money if I know I can team new buys with items already in my wardrobe. In my mind there is a mini ticklish which I have to complete before reaching the till;

  1. Will I wear this more than once?
  2. Can I wear this item in more than one way?
  3. Will this item stand the test of time?

Inspired by my new shopping ways, this week I thought I would do a blogpost on an item which I think is one of the most important parts of a timeless capsule wardrobe…..

The Classic Shirt.

Yes, its the classic shirt! One of the most versatile pieces of clothing you will come across, but also a flattering and chic piece. The shape and fit of a shirt is designed to flatter a women’s shape- the collar frames the face, the shape of a tailored shirt pulls in at the waist and flows out, and a 3/4  sleeve length  can show off the most elegant and thinnest part of your arm.

If you’re looking for an easy piece of clothing to start off your capsule wardrobe, this is it. I’m going to look at three of the easiest and most popular shirt styles to wear.

The White Shirt.

A crisp white shirt teamed with denim jeans could not make for a more classic and timeless combo. This is an effortlessly stylish look and easy to achieve for a smart-casual look. Minimal accessorising is needed and the shirt shape will flatter your assets. Choose whether to go for an oversized ‘boyfriend’ version teamed with slimline jeans, or alternatively a tailored fitted shirt for a smarter look.

The beauty of a white shirt is basically that its a clean palette for you to do whatever you want with! As mentioned previously, you could pair with jeans for a day-time outfit, dress up with a pencil skirt for work, or glam up with a patterned skirt for a sophisticated night out. When shopping for a good white shirt, I would recommend shopping for a good quality one rather than going for a cheap and cheerful version. It is likely to look better, be more comfortable and will also stand the test of time. Remember to wash well, as there’s nothing worse than a white shirt that has turned into a grey miserable one!

Personally, I would choose to wear a white shirt with some skinny jeans, adding a pop of colour with some bright or patterned heels. I would also like to try pairing one with a pretty mid length A-line skirt. See these pics for some inspo…

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The Plaid Shirt.

This is the perfect easy-to-wear option to have in your wardrobe. I have had a plaid shirt in my wardrobe since my late teens and find that they are perfect to throw on for a stylish yet comfy piece. If you wanted to dress up your plaid shirt you could team with a skirt, be it a flowing maxi or a fun mini A-line. To complete this playful look, I would knot the shirt up at the hips . Alternatively, why not go oversized and wear over a dress or as a dress. Like the white shirt, there are so many ways to wear this timeless look and you’ll never find it hard to locate them in all different shapes and colours on the high street.

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The Denim Shirt.

Saving the best until last, the denim shirt is my all time favourite! For me, its one of the most easily stylish looks you can get and demonstrates the ‘timeless, versatile and easy to wear‘ functions of ‘the shirt‘ perfectly. If you’re feeling brave, denim on denim can look amazing-just make sure the shades of denim you use are slightly different to ensure your outfit has a bit of depth. Same rules apply as with the white shirt- for ultimate chic denim shirt inspiration, see Olivia Palermo who always teams her shirts with timeless neutral classics.

For me, the classic shirt will always have a place in my wardrobe, I just love how easy to wear they are and how I can match them up with so many other items already in my wardrobe.

If you would like any help getting your wardrobe in shape, or would like to create your own capsule wardrobe, feel free to get in touch with me, or visit my website http://www.charlottebethstyle.com to have a look at the services I offer to help you feel happier and more confident with your style!

xxx

Orange Is The New Black.

Boo! Halloween is fast-approaching, I’ve bought the pumpkin, the candles and the chocolate treats, now to address the costume. Of course, black and orange are totally in this week darling so these would  be the go-to colours to dress in surely?

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Halloweeeeen!

Now I must confess before I go any further that I myself may need some convincing on the subject of wearing orange . I’ve had a think and I don’t believe that I’ve ever owned anything in this colour- apart from an adidas shell suit when I was nine (arghhh faux pas!)

Orange is a vibrant and exciting colour, but not one which we necessarily rush to wear. For many, its a risky colour to pull off and people don’t tend to know what hair colours or skin tones suit this shade. So I thought that I would look more into this and actually work out if I can make this colour work for us and our wardrobes.

The first promising sign for this colour that I discovered was that Victoria Beckham (my ultimate fashion icon)LOVES this colour, both choosing to wear it herself and feature it in a number of her collections. From pretty apricots in her spring collection, to tangerine and tomato shades for A/W, Victoria shows that orange can be classy and sophisticated. From tailored two pieces to using it in colour block outfits, her collections show that orange can work on a number of different levels.

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Other fashion houses also used orange in their recent collections. Check out Celine’s flowing trousers, Burberry’s twist on their classic trench and Dior’s strapless asymmetric gown.

So we’ve seen the fashionistas work orange, but how can we work it into our every-day wardrobes effectively? I’ve come up with a couple of ways to get us all embracing orange all year-round.

Two-Tone. 

Orange is a fantastic way to inject some colour and life into your wardrobe. From  amber all the way to vermilion, there are around 46 shades of orange so definitely one to suit everyone!

If you want to start off subtly with orange, then why not go for a two-tone garment?

A subtle burst of colour

A subtle burst of colour

This is exactly how I would wear orange as I generally like to wear neutral colours but sometimes wish that I wore more colour. I love how this outfit isn’t overbearing, still easy to wear and practical but looks all the more fashionable because of the burst of orange.

You could use two-tone in a chunky knitwear piece as show above, or in accessories such as scarves and hats. The key to this look is to let that little bit of orange do the talking, keeping the rest of your outfit relatively simple. A great way to introduce this zesty colour into your life!

Make A Statement. 

Choosing two-tone garments are a great way to introduce orange in an understated way, teaming it with a more neutral, classic colour. On the opposite end of the scale, orange gives you the perfect opportunity to make a BIG statement with what you wear so why not go big with your newfound colour?!

When looking to make a statement, go for the item of your outfit that is most obvious. At this time of year, the obvious choices for statement-wear would be a coat or a big chunky piece of knitwear. Remember that to make this piece do the talking, team it with items that will complement and support. If you are bigger on top with slimmer legs, choose something on bottom which will draw the eye down. Alternatively, if you are bigger on your bottom half, choose a top or coat that will bring attention up.

Tweed, darker denims, greys and mossy greens all go fantastically with orange and will help you achieve a lovely autumnal look.

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As the above ladies show, orange can work on many levels, whether you’ve layered it over a shirt and jeans for a smart day-time look, or have chosen it for an elegant evening look like Emma Watson in her floor-length number.

In conclusion, I’ve managed to convince myself that I would like to welcome some orange into my autumn wardrobe! I will personally be on the lookout for a two-tone jumper and probably a chunky tangerine scarf. What are your thoughts on orange? Have you been convinced?

Happy Halloween all! To finish off, here are some of my favourite fashionable Halloween/ Autumnal looks!

Layering Love

Are you a summer dresser or a winter dresser? Floaty chiffon maxi dresses or a tweed shift dress? Bohemian sandals or chunky suede knee-high boots? Do you love the fact that you can leave the house in summer without a jacket or can you not bear to be without your cosy shearling coat?

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For me, winter definitely precedes over summer in the style stakes. The bobble hats, the blanket scarves, the array of coats, and definitely the layering of lots of cosy materials!

Whilst layering is not only a practical choice when the weather starts to get seriously chilly, its also a great way to to look effortlessly stylish. However there is always a potential with layering to add on weight to yourself with all the heavy knitwear.

Here are some tips to ensure that you layer yourself up perfectly this winter!

Layer contrasting materials.

The key to avoiding adding weight to yourself through layering is to use contrasting materials and textures. If you layer a cable knit jumper with a cable knit cardigan, there is no gradual layering, you are just going from thick to thick!

Always go from thin to thick- this way the most light-weight, breathable materials are next to your skin, and the thicker materials are on your outer body, protecting you from the winter elements. You’ll also keep a better shape and silhouette this way. Just make sure when layering your contrasting materials that each element does still work by itself, as you may need to take layers on and off throughout your day.

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Everyday Layering. 

A great idea for everyday layering is to combine a shirt with a jumper, completed by your winter coat and some cosy accessories. This is an effortlessly stylish look and a practical one. It’s also suitable for work or play- crisp whites with neutral knits make for smart-wear, whilst denim with striped or coloured knits make for great casual-wear. If you’re not that confident experimenting with colour or pattern, layering is a great way to introduce something more fun to your wardrobe. You can start with adding the colour or pattern to your under layer and once you feel more adventurous, you can move it to an outer layer. Saying that, this look can also look sleek and sophisticated when used with neutrals and monochrome!

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Adapt your dresses. 

If you love a good dress and pine for the summer days where you could wear your sleeveless one with no worry about the weather, fear not! Why not try layering your favourite dress to take it from summer to winter? The easiest way to do this is to use a blouse or a pretty shirt. Add some chunky cable knit tights with winter heels and finish off this feminine look with a little waist belt and a statement necklace. This is a great way to keep wearing parts of your wardrobe which you thought you couldn’t because of the season change.

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Don’t hide away! 

As we’ve seen, layering can look effortlessly stylish and flattering, but its also easy to hide your best bits and to add on unnecessary weight when layering. The key to avoiding this is to make sure you are still showing off a silhouette.

Blanket capes are everywhere this season (just as they were last year), and their fluid, draping style makes for perfect layering. To ensure you keep a feminine shape, cinch in your blanket cape with a waist belt and slimline your bottom half to balance out the cape. Skinny or slim jeans would work best here but the universally flattering bootleg style will also work to streamline your body.

These rules will apply to most other forms of layering too- where you are wearing chunky styles on top, wear slimmer styles on bottom and try to create a waist for yourself where possible.

So how will I be layering this winter? I’ll be wearing long sleeve striped tops under jumpers, belts over chunky knits, soft fluffy socks over knitted tights and peter pan blouses under shift dresses. I can’t wait!

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Pretty In Pink Winter 2015

So we’re into October! This is definitely my favourite time of year- my birthday is approaching (yippee) and so is Christmas (slightly scary), but most of all I love this autumn season because of the fashion!

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This year its a little different as we’ve been lucky enough to have experienced a mini Indian summer this week, causing us all to rush to get out our sunnies and strappy tops again. But usually it would be around this time that I would be unpacking and brushing off the knitwear, and replacing my ballet pumps with sturdier winter boots-much to the delight of my feet!

This October also welcomes the ‘Wear It Pink’ campaign in support of Breast Cancer awareness. This campaign encourages us to raise awareness and also lots of money for all-important research into fighting Breast Cancer through arranging events where we can all get together and sell baked goods, play some games, and all wear pink to show our support.

Autumn Leaves and Pretty Pink

Autumn Leaves and Pretty Pink

As we are just about to embark on this ‘Pink Month‘, I thought I would have a look at the best pink fashion pieces in the shops at the moment. The colour pink isn’t often associated with the winter months, but its a surprisingly easy colour to wear around this time of year and can be easily incorporated into your current wardrobe. It also appeared in several Fall shows including Sibling, Prada, Mary Katrantzou and D&G. As a delicate and light colour, it will definitely lighten your mood on those cold dark winter mornings when you have to leave the house for work at silly o clock!

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A winter coat is a staple for your wardrobe and often winter go-to colours include blacks and greys. If you are looking to inject a bit of winter pink into your wardrobe that is easy to wear with everything, why not try this jacket from H&M? This will work perfectly with winter neutrals already in your wardrobe such as blacks, whites and greys and also looks great with stripes. It’s smart style also means you could wear it over work-wear, or alternatively with jeans and some winter ankle boots on your weekends off.

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If you’re a ‘black is my happy colour’ type of lady then why not try accessorising with pink this season? A subtle burst of colour can transform and work wonders for a simple outfit. This magenta pink suede bag from Zara is in my opinion the perfect size, the perfect shade and the perfect statement. I think this would look amazing with a colour block dress or two-piece outfit. And it has room to fit all your winter essentials in, including an umbrella-which we will be more than likely to need soon, lets face facts 😦

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Finally, with this season comes lots of parties and with partying comes pretty dresses! I love this dainty Ted Baker ballerina-style dress with big bow feature which cinches in at the waist creating a very flattering feminine shape.

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So next time you are out shopping, why not have a look around for some pink garments which will add some warmth and romance to your winter wardrobe.

Additionally, a number of fashion and beauty brands are showing their support for ‘Wear It Pink’ month through donating proceeds from particular products to the cause. For example, Jo Malone is donating money from sales of their Red Roses floral cologne and ASDA’s ‘Tickled Pink’ campaign includes various products which donate money to the cause.

So THINK PINK this month and let me know what pink goods you discover!

http://www.wearitpink.org

shopping

New Season. New Trends.

Its transition time! We’ve had a fabulous summer full of 70’s vibes, round-the-world prints and pretty pastels, but now its time to wave goodbye to summer and welcome autumn/winter. As September arrives and a new fashion era is on the horizon, we all want to know whats set to be big this season and if its going to work for us.
This article will help you to seamlessly work in some of the biggest trends into your current wardrobe, and also show you what is going to work best for YOU!

1) Victorian Blouses

Romance has returned with pretty antique-style blouses back on the fashion radar. Teamed with slim jeans, or tucked into an A-line skirt, this look is versatile and easy to mix and match with staple pieces already in your wardrobe.

Typically, victorian blouse styles will be full of detail- ruffles, pleats and high necks will draw attention to your top half. This style is therefore perfect for petite, boyish shapes as it will create the illusion of volume and shape. Alternatively, this style also suits pear-shaped ladies with wide hips, as the detail on top will draw the eye up- colour block your bottom half to complete the look.

Often made in luxurious silks and chiffon materials which can add bulk to a frame, avoid this style if you are big on your top half as it will just make you look bigger.

A victorian blouse can be dressed up or down, worn to work or for socialising, so this trend is perfect for the ‘work and play’ type of lady who needs to transition from day to night easily!

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2) Vintage/Boho Dresses

The 70’s era refuses to be put back into the fashion archives just yet, with boho travelling from summer to autumn with ease. This season, the emphasis is on floaty dresses, often long in length with long sleeves- a bit more accommodating for the weather we will be expecting! Teamed with a statement leather handbag and some boots, this is a strong contender for best look of AW.

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Pattern is the signature feature of a boho dress, and the plethora of prints available will spoil you all for choice! Which also makes this trend very easy to wear and adaptive, whilst also helping you to express your individuality.

Following on with the 70s theme, many of these dresses have bell sleeves, making this the perfect choice for ladies who want to divert eyes away from their upper arms. A bell sleeve will draw the eye down to 3/4 length, and the thinnest and most elegant part of your arm.
Similarly the midi length of this style of dress will draw the eye down to the thinnest part of your leg and will highlight delicate ankles and pretty shoes!
Cinch in at the waist with a belt to add a flattering shape to these floaty dresses and to create a dressier outfit.

A boho dress again, can be dressed up or down, and because of the pattern and dramatic long-length style, will need minimal accessorising. This trend is perfect for a lady of any age who wants to add a bold and adventurous look to her wardrobe.

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3) Oversized Knitwear

When is knitwear ever out of vogue in autumn/winter?! This year its all about the chunky and the over-sized. This is a trend where comfort is key and is great to use for a casual but fashionable day-time look. Teamed with bootleg jeans and some statement accessories, you can easily work this trend into your current wardrobe.

The key to over-sized knits is to not let the knit alter your size too much.Too big and it will drown a petite shape, on the other hand, oversized knitwear can make a big-busted lady look bigger than she is. If you are bigger on top, look out for lighter fabrics in dark colours which could slope off a shoulder. For petite shapes, opt for heavier knits and define the look with a belt which will still highlight your little waist.

This trend is perfect for a lady who seeks an easy-to-wear look which also makes a statement. Comfy and practical, choose the level of statement you want by choosing knitwear with added styling, from traditional chunky cable knit to furry pom poms and cut-out shoulders! If you want a knit with a pop of colour, go for mustard yellows, burnt oranges and wine reds this season.

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4) Camel

Perhaps the most versatile trend to arrive, camel comes in the form of shoes, coats, handbags and more! Whether you want to go bold and colour block your entire outfit with camel, or simply want to add a few accents to an outfit you already wear, this trend is accessible and fun to play around with.

Camel is easy to combine with a multitude of colours as well as denim which can be found in most ladies’ wardrobes. This year it is being teamed with fresh white for a simple yet sophisticated style-perfect as a smart outfit option. The timeless camel coat defines smart glamour and is also back for you to snap up.

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Because of its lighter shade, camel can add weight to a shape, so is a good shade to use in conjunction with layering and adding volume. To avoid adding weight to your shape, using accents of camel with blacks and greys helps to maintain a slimming effect. Add a camel trench over an all-black outfit for the ultimate chic look. Alternatively invest in some camel-colour heels or a leather handbag which can be teamed with almost anything!

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There is so much scope with this colour meaning that this trend can work for all shapes of lady but will be your go-to trend for smartening up your style.

Hurrah, it seems that we have a lot to look forward to with these upcoming trends! Whether you want to smarten up your look, find a more fun every-day style, or simply find something to fill a gap in your wardrobe, these trends are here to help. Happy styling.