Category Archives: best looks

Necklines Nailed. 

Tops- we wear them everyday in all different styles, but are you really aware of what your neckline is doing for you and your body shape? 

It may sound rather trivial but your neckline can determine how good you look! Get it right, you’re showing off your best assets to perfection, but choose incorrectly and the wrong style can emphasise something you’d rather disguise and ultimately leave you unhappy with your outfit choice. 

So what necklines should you be wearing for your shape? 

The Round Neck.

Olivia Palermo


Let’s start off with the hardest one- the round neck top is a common choice with us all. The biggest issue with round neck tops is how they can highlight big or small busts and also our necks! 

If you’re big busted, round neck tops can make you appear square, and if you’re small-busted, they can highlight a flatter chest.

Round (crew) necks are ultimately most suited to slim ladies with long elegant necks (Olivia Palermo we salute you!)

If you still want to keep a round neckline in your wardrobe though, the best style to opt for is a scoop neck. This lower neckline flatters your bust and also shows off just below your collarbone and mid chest- the last area of a woman to age! 


The V Neck. 
One of my absolute favourites, and should be yours too as it flatters most body shapes! 


The degree of ‘V’ that you choose to opt for basically depends on your face shape. If you have a longer face and neck, go for a shallow V, otherwise your features may be drawn out. Alternatively, if you have a rounder shaped face and shorter neck, go for a longer V. This will slim your face and lengthen your neck. 

Blake Lively


Good news for big busted women too- a V neck style will slim down your upper body and also flaunt your assets! 
The Polo Neck. 

The polo neck can be slimming and incredibly chic, but the main thing to remember when wearing a polo neck is to wear a well-fitted bra underneath as the fitted shape of most polo neck tops can be unforgiving! 

An oversized polo knit jumper in winter looks amazing, just make sure your bottom half is fitted to balance out the chunky knit on top. 

Victoria Beckham


The Wrap Top. 


My current favourite, much like the V neck top, a wrap top flatters pretty much all body shapes, drawing the eyes down in a slimming fashion and gathering in at the waist to create a lovely curved shape. Looks amazing in dress form too. 


The Tailored Shirt. 


The smartest neckline in town, the shirt style makes for an excellent framing device for your face with its collar. The fitted style of a shirt also creates a waist (or the illusion of one), and disguises a tummy. It can also create the illusion of a bust.

 For big busted ladies, make sure the buttons don’t pull across your chest, or wear a camisole under a shirt and wear your shirt slightly open as an alternative. 


Hopefully you’ve identified a couple of styles for yourself, it’s amazing the difference a lil ol’ neckline can achieve after all! 

The midi skirt- anything but midi-ocre 🙊🙊🙊


They say (or rather Yves Saint Laurent famously said), that fashion fades but style is eternal. But I believe that there are definitely a few fashion styles that really have stood the test of time and have brightened rather than faded. 

The LBD, the Bootleg Jean, the Trench Coat…all of these styles have been knocking around for a pretty long time but show no sign of going anywhere. 

I love to see people wearing styles from past eras but with their own modern day twist. This week’s blog post centres around my current favourite fashion piece, the midi skirt- otherwise known as The Social Skirt. A skirt of mid-length, the middle man between a knee length and a full length skirt, the midi skirt tends to end just above the ankle and sits on the waist. 


Here we see the Queen herself rocking an amazing social skirt which flatters by drawing attention to her (tinnnnny) waist  and falling down gracefully, ending around her very slender ankles. And next to her we see actress Sarah Rafferty rocking the same style but several decades on, showing the true fashion presence of this skirt style. 

Now I’m a great jeans-lover, wearing them almost daily for day-time casual or pairing with a nice top and heels for evening glamour. I didn’t own many skirts and didn’t tend to particularly look out for them when I used to go shopping. That has changed! 

 In the last few years there was a real emergence of the ‘maxi-skirt’, the midi length’s longer, bigger sister if you will. This was a result from the popular boho fashion era where long, floaty and floral was the look everyone wanted to emulate to look like Sienna Miller and co. 


I was fully on the maxi bandwagon for a long time and still am, though now I’m mostly style crushing on the midi skirt which I partly discovered through working for L.K Bennett- a fashion brand now  very well known for their signature social skirts. 


Now you may be thinking this style looks fairly hard to pull off and that you have to be a certain body shape or height to wear. That does apply to some extent.

 If you’re tall, you definitely have an advantage as the midi skirt’s longer length does look good when paired with long legs. London blogger ‘London Tall Girl’ Marsha Campbell shows us how amazing tall girls can look in a midi skirt. I love her colourful and playful sense of style- she really knows how to make the most of her skirts. 


If you’re petite, you can still wear midi skirts but must take care that you don’t appear too ‘swamped’ in the garment. Pairing with fitted pieces or pieces which draw the eye down in a straight line can help balance out the fullness that comes with a maxi skirt. 

One of the best body shapes to work with this skirt to flatter and accentuate is the pear shape- the midi skirt will accentuate a little waist, skim over the hips and fall gracefully to the slimmest part of your leg. 

Similarly, hourglass figures look great in this style because of the waist accentuation and for rectangle shape girls, these skirts do well to add more volume and shape to their figure with the fullness of the skirt (pick a patterned skirt to really amp up the volume). Check out these styles from New Look, all under £30! 


I may be biased of course but L.K Bennett really do seem like the forerunners for this skirt style on the high street, creating some beautiful styles with the most amazing patterns and textures. 


These skirts also make a wonderful alternative to dresses for special occasions. You can dress them up or down and are in many ways more versatile than a dress because of this. How many times have you bought a dress for an occasion, promising yourself that you’ll wear it again to get your money’s worth, only to never wear it again as people have already seen you wear it?! 

These skirts can be changed and altered just by what top and accessories you choose to team them with. I’ve seen ladies wear trainers with them, and others incredibly glam Jimmy Choos or Louboutins. 


I have a couple of weddings coming up this year and next so will definitely be investing in some more midi skirts to dress up in. I’m already very proud and astonished at how quickly I’ve managed to accumulate a collection, and very much look forward to continuing to add to it. After all, I highly doubt that this style will fade into obscurity any time soon 😊

Cut It Out! 

Gosh this erratic weather at the moment is really testing our fashion ways! One day we wake to glorious sunshine and the starting signals of spring,then the next day decides to bless us with rain and gales and we’re catapulted back into winter. 

In past years this would traditionally be the time to start transitioning to our spring wardrobes- the shops are certainly sticking to this regime. Window fronts have literally blossomed into spring, with light colours and floral patterns starting to adorn many a mannequin. 

  I’m still finding refuge in my big cosy coats, lined ankle boots and knitwear,though I long for the days where you can go outside without needing a jacket and tights on! 

I’ve recently discovered a great way to still keep warm but bring something new to my spring wardrobe-cut out clothing! 

 Not as weird as it sounds I promise. This trend has been seen on many a celebrity recently and also in both designer and high street collections. Take a traditional knitted garment and simply cut out the shoulders or parts of the sleeve. The result- a trendy twist on an otherwise fairly normal piece of clothing. 

  
  
This trend is actually very flattering for all body shapes too, highlighting little sections of the upper body body, breaking up bigger frames or showing off petite frames by highlighting delicate features such as shoulders. Sometimes just the littlest flash of flesh can be more attractive  than showing off a lot of it too! 

  
Celebrities including Selena Gomez and high street brands such as H&M, New Look and REISS demonstrate how versatile this trend can be using all sorts of clothing styles and colours. 

Selena’s simple black jumper is instantly transformed into a slick and sexy number with just a few choice slashes! Black is a great colour to go for with this trend as it can always be dressed up or down. All you would need to do to the below outfits is to add some heels to take from day to night. 

   As you can see, this trend can easily be worked into all of our everyday wardrobes, and can be used as a fun twist on the everyday knitted jumper.   
Take a look at this outfit idea for the office (or just for a smart trendy look), all from New Look:

 

And if you like the idea of cut out tops, you can transfer it to a more well-known trend, the ripped or ‘cut out’ jean. Again, a great way to keep your everyday look but add a fun twist. 

And there is no better time to buy, as sales are still going strong in the shops. You can get a cut out garment for a cut price- perfect! 

   

  

  
  

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

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.

READY TO WEAR FALL WINTER 2005_06 Aider_Akerman_ Paris Fashion week february 28th to march 7th 2005

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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Stylish Not Just On A Saturday- Rochelle Humes

*Hoorah, I’ve finally had time to blog!! As I’m sure all you fellow bloggers know, balancing both a full-time job and a blog can be quite the challenge. Throw in organising a change of job and a new flat in a new City and you find you’re even more pressed for time! But I’m happy to say I eventually  found some free time to do what I like to do best- talk fashion!*

I heard a crazy statistic on the news today (please don’t ask me to remember the exact statistic as I heard it not long after I’d woken up very early, let’s just say it made me listen), that we all spend a HUGE part of our day trawling through various apps and websites on our phones. Whether its Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or the Daily Mail showbiz app (guilty pleasure of course), we are constantly aware of everything going on around us. This suits me fine as I get to nose on what everyone is wearing!

Internet browsing and walking on a busy street- the ultimate multi-task!

Internet browsing and walking on a busy street- the ultimate multi-task!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week my celebrity style crush has to go to Miss Rochelle Humes of Saturdays girl band fame. She brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘yummy mummy’! At the start of the week she appeared on TV wearing a very on-trend pink PVC pencil skirt. When Lady GaGa wore her own pink PVC skirt a couple of years ago, little did she know that her ‘out-there’ look would eventually catch on for the mainstream market! Spotted on other celebs including Kim Kardashian and some of the Towie girls, these skirts are incredibly statement. Be prepared to dazzle onlookers with the shine for a start! Wear with a cropped top and heels in the evening, or teamed with cute knitwear for a more casual look. Why not invest in a stunning statement necklace too, just like Rochelle’s pretty flower one. So jealous of that girl! If you’re looking to pocket a PVC skirt off the high street, ASOS is the place to look.

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And for her appearance at the Pride of Britain Awards alongside fellow Saturday band mates and husband Marvin, Rochelle took the crown for best dressed girl-band member in her simply beautiful nude embellished floor length gown. This rather ethereal dress teamed with gothic lips, a loose plait and metallic clutch looks amazing I think! Embellishment is always en vogue (see my previous blog post on embellishment at LFW 13), and the trend is set to stay with designers including Christoper Kane and Burberry using it heavily in their new collections. River Island have some lovely embellished designs- I absolutely love this dress shown below. So well done Rochelle, you can have 100 house-points for your fashion efforts this week! And I’ll give myself a pat on the back for finding some time to blog!

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London Fashion Week- Crazy In Love With Embellishment

Last week it was Paris, this week it was London, now its Milan- oh what a glamorous life the fashion pack live! This week I’ve been relying on the likes of Elle editor Lorraine Candy, IT girl Alexa Chung and Model Suki Waterhouse’s instagram accounts to get my fill of all the catwalk shows as they happened (all from a front row perspective of course). I wowed at the structural creations at Peter Pilotto, cooed over the delicate dresses in Burberry and envied the models that got to wear Erdem’s wondrously white designs.

One trend that I LOVED from the London collections was embellishment. I’ve always loved a cheeky bit of embellishment- it’s an easy way to smarten up an outfit by adding a touch of glamour and sparkle. Think less TOWIE dresses embellished with sequins so that their life depends on it, more subtle yet statement. Small but mighty if you will. At Burberry, arguably the most anticipated LFW show, embellishment was seen on tops, dresses and accessories. And at Christopher Kane, the embellishment was ever so cute, featuring on shoulders and delicate straps. If it’s possible to fall in love with a jumper, then I did.

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Embellished skirt Burberry

Embellished Skirt Burberry

Embellished Pink Coat Burberry

Embellished Pink Coat Burberry

Embellishment on Cara at Burberry

Embellishment on Cara at Burberry

Embellished belt completes a Burberry outfit

Embellished belt completes a Burberry outfit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily for us, embellishment is almost always available to us on the highstreet. Try Zara for embellished statement necklaces- they can be pricey but well worth the investment. Wear over some chunky knitwear. Better still, invest in some embellished knitwear- what a way to kill two birds with one stone ey! Embellishment is not restricted to one item of clothing- whether it’s a beautiful dress, a smart casual jumper or a waist belt over a neutral dress, embellishment is a sure fire way to jazz up an outfit. What will you choose to wear?