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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? 

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Top Trousers 

After a couple of exciting but rather tiring weeks of moving house, I’ve finally had time to sit down and blog about my favourite subject again- fashion! I can never stay away too long! 

Following on from my blog post about what top styles we should be wearing for our body shape (which I’m chuffed to say got readers from all over the globe), this week I thought I’d move on to trouser shapes. 

Trousers are our everyday favourites. Easy to pull on and versatile enough to wear in the day through to the evening, I’m sure you’ve got a fair few pairs in your wardrobe yes? 

Although we may all own a lot of pairs of trousers, a large majority of women do confess that they find trouser buying the hardest out of all the garment types. 

The problem with trousers is that whilst they may look amazing from one angle, from another they may not look as good. They can also stunt our height and widen our appearance-boooo. Alternatively, they can lengthen our legs and slimline our figure- yippee! 

So what trouser types should you be wearing for your shape? 

The Bootleg Jean- Universally Flattering. 

Let’s start with the best first. If you’re anything like me, jeans will be at the top of your trouser list. I wear them almost every day and have all the styles from A-Z in every shade of denim. Their practicality is hard to beat. 

The best style for flattering your body shape is undeniably the bootleg Jean. 


The relaxed shape of the bootleg jean will do wonders for your figure, balancing everything out and not clinging on to anything that you don’t want them to. 

This style works well for ladies with bigger thighs and a tummy, because the top of the jean skims over you and the slight a-line cut at the bottom of the jean makes everything appear thinner whilst still maintaining a lovely shape. 

They also work well for petite ladies, giving them them curves to play with. 


Cropped Trousers. 

Cropped trousers are a great style for ladies with skinny legs and a bigger upper body (Apple shapes) who are looking to show off their lovely legs. 

Cropped trousers will show off elegant ankles and if you are very tall, can shorten your appearance slightly. 


The main thing to watch with cropped trousers is that the trouser doesn’t stop and cut off across the widest part of your calf, as this will widen the appearance of your legs.

 If you are larger on your bottom and thigh choose a slightly wider style and ensure it finishes just below your calf. 

As the ladies show above, this style looks fab with elegant heels. 

Wide Fit Trousers. 

This style worn with heels, as long as possible in length, are very flattering especially for ladies who want to disguise bigger thighs. 

Try to find a style with a side fastening as this with lengthen the leg and flatten the tummy. It’ll also make you appear taller. 


Team wide leg trousers with a slim fitting top to create a lovely flattering outfit! 

High-Waisted Trousers. 

This style suits ladies with long legs and little waists. If you are the lucky owner of a washboard stomach, this style teamed with a cropped top will look amazing on you! Or for a smarter look, copy Jessica’s style and tuck in a shirt with some. 


These are just some of the styles that are available to us. When you’re looking for your next pair of trousers, remember these little tips; 

1) Avoid too much detail on trousers such as large pockets if you are bigger on your bottom half as they will add unwanted weight to this section. Alternatively, detail and pockets can add volume to a boyish shape. See Mrs Beckham’s trousers below. 


2) Pleats are common in trousers but are notorious for adding unwanted weight to the thigh area so take care! 

3) Flat-fronted trousers and side fastenings are slimming to the figure. Holly’s flat-fronted, side fastening trousers show off her amazing waist and slim her legs. 


4) The longer the trouser, the more flattering appearance of your figure. As a result of this, heels are a pair of trouser’s best friend! 

5) When shopping, don’t be put off from buying if a pair of trousers are too long or big on the waist. They can easily be altered! Also, when trying on trousers, try to look at them from as many angles as possible to ensure they are right for you. 


Hope this has helped ladies. Happy trouser-shopping 🙂 

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 😊

Dressing you and your bump- pregnancy fashion!  

I’m fast approaching 28 years on this earth (yikes) and in the last couple of years I’ve seen friends get engaged and get married, move across the country, buy houses and become pregnant! It’s a very exciting time 🙂 

One of my best friends has recently announced her amazing pregnancy news and after a few discussions about her fast-growing bump and having to change her wardrobe to accommodate it, I thought I would write a little blog post about dressing for your pregnancy to both show off your bump but also importantly feel comfortable and of course still look stylish! 

Whether you’re pregnant or not, celebrities can have a huge influence on what you choose to wear. Blake Lively who recently announced her second pregnancy has been in the celebrity spotlight a lot at the moment as she is promoting a new film, giving her lots of opportunities to dress herself and bump up. I love Blake’s style- she’s not afraid to experiment with colour and unusual cuts, and pregnancy does not stop her from continuing with this. 


When she is pregnant, Blake utilises the empire line perfectly, and this is my first tip for pregnant ladies. The empire line is arguably the best style of dress to go for when you’re pregnant. This style has a waistline which starts just under the bust and flows down over the rest of your body, flattering a bump and enhancing your bust (in a good way!). It’s also an incredibly comfy style which is very important for obvious reasons. As you can see, empire lines can feature in many different dress styles, from Grecian-style maxi dresses to stretch midi dresses. 


For a casual day-time summer look, check out this empire line black midi dress from Topshop Maternity. This dress falls down from just under the bust and will give your bump room to grow meaning you can keep wearing it throughout your pregnancy. I’ve paired with some comfortable monochrome espadrilles from Zara and have completed with a pop of bright colour with this LK Bennett bag. 


Kourtney Kardashian embraces her bump with a stretch striped dress, finished off with a colour pop yellow tote. Get the dress at New Look for another daytime outfit. 


Or for a dressier summer look (perhaps for your baby shower), why not go for a maxi dress. I like this New Look One, similar to this lovely lady’s dress at her baby shower which I discovered on Instagram. 


Floral patterns are a great way to dress up your bump for summer and are always available in lots of different patterns and styles. A good way of keeping cool and comfortable but also keeping your style! 

Pretty dresses sorted, now for more practical work and casual fashion. If you work in an office and still need to wear dresses or suits, check out New Look and Next’s maternity wear section (a lot of it currently on sale). Dresses made in comfortable stretch materials in classic colours and patterns. I love the black and white colour block dress which is smart but still shows off your bump! 


And for much-needed relax and down-time, maternity jeans are the one. Elasticated waist for bump, flattering way to still show off your legs for mum! Lots  of high street retailers make them which is great as most of us wear jeans most of the time and being pregnant shouldn’t stop this. I have been told H&M and New Look make some excellent ones. Team with an oversized shirt and some very comfortable flats and voila, stylish mum-to-be look achieved! 


Whilst being pregnant shouldn’t stop you wearing heels, these flats from Toms, Converse and LK Bennett will support your feet keep your feeling comfortable throughout the day. All would look great with any of the below maternity dresses from Topshop for a stylish day-time look. 


Pregnancy is a whirlwind of experiences, and during this time you want to celebrate and show off your bump. Hopefully my tips and suggestions have helped you with your pregnancy wardrobe. If you would like any other tips or guidance with dressing your bump feel free to email me at charlotte@charlottebethstyle.com 

Xx 

Grey for a summer’s day?! 

The colour grey doesn’t traditionally conjure up exciting images does it? Rain clouds, concrete, that terrible book…it’s not really up there in the ranks of most popular shades to wear. But then again, black doesn’t conjure up the happiest of images either but is definitely in all of our wardrobes, the favourite shade to dress in to look timeless, sophisticated and slimmer! 

Do you currently own anything grey clothing-wise? Or is it something you’ve never really considered? Maybe you might need some persuading on this front!


Grey is a fantastic shade for so many reasons. Firstly, it suits all skin tones because it comes in (just as the book suggests) over fifty shades! Because of this, it’s so easy to work with and very versatile. Lucky for us the high street seems to have caught on to the grey trend and there is plenty of it there for us to lap up be it clothes, shoes or accessories. 

Grey clothes, accessories and shoes for all!

Grey is a great multi-seasonal neutral shade which can be worn in block (just by itself) for a sophisticated sleek look, or used to bolster and complement other colours. As mentioned, grey is the perfect shade to suit all types of skin tone and will always highlight and show off a tan too. Top marks! 
In summer, teaming with pure white will look amazing and effortlessly stylish. I’m a big fan of midi and maxi skirts at the moment so will definitely be on the lookout for a skirt to replicate these looks below,  finished off with a pair of wedges.


Grey is suitable for both casual and smart occasions too. Whether you want to wear it on the office, for a day out shopping or to a wedding or other special event, the high street has a lot to offer, from short suits, to Grecian style dresses and jersey t-shirt dresses. 

Casual summer days


Special Occasion Dressing

Stylish Workwear


If all-grey outfits are just not you, then you can always use grey to complement and highlight brighter colours which you already have in your wardrobe to show them off at their best. 

This beautiful coral Reiss shirt dress looks amazing with these grey accessories – either as a daytime  look with the flats or a pretty evening look with the heels. 

Or check out this feminine jumpsuit (also from Reiss) which looks fab with deep red and gold accessories. The perfect outfit for a wedding. 


grey and pale pink= perfection

As you can see from my outfit examples, grey works well with all colours and there’s really not one I can think of which wouldn’t go! 

So although perhaps traditionally viewed as a slightly bland shade to wear, I think you’ll agree that grey can be transformed into a flattering, feminine and ultra stylish look. Have a peek at these high street offerings below, all available at this very moment, just in time for summer! 🙂    

Will you be investing in any grey-wear this summer? And what colours will you be pairing it with? 

Navy Makeover. 

We’ve all got it in our wardrobes (no not that regretful expensive fashion purchase that still has the price tag on), and it’s the closest sister to the ever faithful black garment. Navy is a wardrobe staple, but unlike black, can often be hard to obviously team with other colours.

As a navy devotee, I tend to play safe and put with other neutrals such as whites and greys, and tan is a must for summer. But what are my other options to ‘shuzz’ up my navy collection? 

ORANGE 

Ok, so not everyone has this in their wardrobe, myself included, but have a look at these pics… 


I think orange perfectly complements navy which results in a strong outfit which is still simple but just says more. I particularly love the orange shoes, just goes to show if you’re a bit wary about orange clothing, you can just go with a key accessory. Accessory-wise, a scarf or bag would also work just as well when teamed with a neutral navy garment. 


Personally speaking, I think I’ll be investing in a little orange knitted cardigan which I can put over a summer dress or team with cropped trousers and a light top. 

GREEN 
During my childhood, lime green was a thing made of nightmares, I remember chavvy shell suits and trainers in this colour, enough to put anyone off for life. But now?  I love it! Especially with navy. This is a bolder look than orange but I think even more effective. Definitely a brave departure from teaming navy with neutrals but I think a good one.  


Whilst I love the dramatic poofy skirt outfit, I think I’ll be going for a more low key look, perhaps going for a jumper to team with some navy culottes or a maxi skirt. Lime green jewellery is also a good idea to start off with if you’re still a little intimidated by the colour! 


You can also opt for a different shade of green, such as emerald. This is a more sophisticated colour and would look good as part of an occasion wear outfit. 

Pink

And finally, the most feminine of the three, pink! This is the colour that we’re all most likely to already have in our wardrobes. I adore pink with navy and think it looks elegant and girly together. Navy stripes with pink is one of my go to looks, you cannot go wrong!  


Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought when it comes to livening up your navy pieces. What better time to add some life and colour with the arrival of summer? Here are some outfit ideas which I’ve put together to help give you some high street inspo! 

LK BENNETT

ZARA

REISS