Author Archives: Shan

wellies liquorice allsorts

Give it some wellie!

From Halloween to firework nights, long walks through woods and parks, roasts on a Sunday and snuggling under a cosy duvet, there are many things to love about winter.

Whether you get caught in a sudden downpour, it’s a week when it never seems to stop raining or you are the first person to leave footprints on a snow-covered street, wearing wellies is one way to embrace all things winter.

The Wellington boot dates back to the 18th century and they have been worn all over the world ever since as waterproof protection for work and latterly pleasure.

In Australia they are know as gumbies, the USA gum boots and here the humble wellie.

Maybe the most famous wearer other than the Duke of Wellington himself is Paddington bear. I was given a toy Paddington bear complete with duffle coat and yellow wellies for my 18th birthday. I can’t bare to part with him – pardon the pun!

What’s exciting about wellington boots now is that you can buy some fabulous ones, different colours, patterns and even florals – the choice is yours.  In fact Havaianas, famous for flip flops have spotted a gap in the market and have launched their own range. Joules also have a great range and don’t forget the more colourful the better! I even spotted some with heals on them recently – now you are talking, I thought.

I like nothing more than seeing young children enjoying wearing their wellies by jumping and splashing in every puddle on a walk. There is none of this having to be grown up for them. Sometimes – when no one is looking – I too jump in a puddle in my wellies! We can be too responsible as adults, you know, don’t you think?

So instead of dreading the drop in temperature and forthcoming British weather, why not compile a list of all the best things about winter – cold bright days, piles of autumn leaves, casseroles and my personal favourite mulled wine – not forgetting wearing wellies, of course.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

Liquorice allsorts wellies image courtesy of coolwellies.com

 

animal print

Making trends work for you – animal print

We love fashion and taking inspiration from the catwalk, but it is important to ensure that they fit with your style personality, colour category and body shape so that you look and feel fabulous.

So what about ANIMAL PRINT, which is everywhere this season? Here are the things you need to be mindful of if you’re looking to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe

PATTERN SIZE

There are many different sizes of animal print and if you choose the wrong one it can have a big impact on your overall look.

The taller/grander you are, the larger the print you can wear – something small and delicate will be far too ‘busy’ on you. Conversely, if you’re petite, avoid the large, bolder prints that are popular at the moment as these will overwhelm you. It’s all about keeping prints relative to your size; so the grander you are, the bigger the print you can wear.

COLOURWAYS

Traditional leopard print in shades of browns and taupes will flatter those who fall into the SOFT, LIGHT, WARM and DEEP categories best. If you’re CLEAR or COOL we would suggest adding a colour pop (like a bright lip) or opting for a bolder colour combination next to your face.

This season animal prints are coming in a plethora of colours so don’t feel you have to go for the usual suspects. Take your colour swatches to the shops and see what they have from your colour palette that you could try. If you haven’t got a colour wallet then book a colour consultation.

STATEMENT or ACCENT

At colour me beautiful we consider six style personalities. If you’re DRAMATIC or CREATIVE you may well want to go all-out with the animal print trend – try mixing a animal print dress with animal print boots for an all-over look that as been showcased by many fashionistas and instagram style stars of late.

ROMANTICS will be drawn to prints too, but will need a little sparkle or embellishment to give them a lift. There are also some beautiful textures available in animal print this season – look for sheer blouses and super-soft knitwear.

CITY CHICS will only wish to do a small ‘pop’ of print and the choice is yours in this area – a belt, boot, bag or scarf are all great ways to give a simple look a lift.

CLASSICS and NATURALS are unlikely to be drawn to this particular trend but if you are, take a leaf out of the CITY CHIC’s book and try a subtle accent at first (there are some great animal print trainers around for you naturals!) and build from there.

Unsure what your signature style is and want to get sorted for Autumn/Winter? Get in touch and I can surely help.

Pictured – Wallis Ivory Print Flute Sleeve Top, £35

sunglasses

Selecting stylish sunglasses

At this time of year the accessory that tends to get the most wear is usually our sunglasses.

It’s certainly true that the addition of a pair of sunglasses to your look gives you an undeniably cool edge – but how do you go about finding the perfect pair for you?

With a plethora of shapes, shades and sizes to choose from we’ve put together our definitive guide to choosing the right sunglasses for your face shape to make your next sunglasses purchase your savviest yet.

Defining Your Face Shape

The first thing you need to do is DEFINE your FACE SHAPE, so here goes…

Round - the width and length of your face is roughly the same (like Emma Stone)

Square – strong jawline and broad forehead (like Jennifer Aniston)

Oval - balanced face shape with a chin slightly narrower than your forehead (Julia Roberts)

Inverted Triangle – your forehead will be significantly wider than your chin (like Reece Witherspoon)

Rectangle – your cheek bones, forehead and jaw will be in-line and your face is longer than it is wide (like Meryl Streep)

Opposites Attract

The key thing to remember when selecting your sunglasses is that in order to balance the shape of your face you generally need to choose the opposite style of frames.

So for example, if you have a square face you are better choosing sunglasses with a more rounded style of frame as this will soften and complement your features. On the other hand, if you have a round face shape then a more angular frame will work best for you as it will offer some definition and balance.

The exception to this rule is for those of you with a heart shaped face – you actually need to mimic your face-shape with your frames.

The Key Styles

Here’s a round-up of the most common glasses styles and who can wear them…

Wayfarers – the classic Rayban style, Wayfarers have been a staple sunglasses style for decades. This style will work for you if you have a ROUND face shape.

Round – another classic sunglasses shape, from big bug glasses to the smaller-styles, round glasses tend to come in a wide variety of sizes. They will work best for you if you have more angular features so those with a SQUARE face shape will look great in these. If you have a RECTANGLE face shape a more oval style will work for you with wider arms that break up the length of the face. Do remember to keep your proportions in balance too; the larger the face, the larger the sunglasses should be.

Aviators - from the days of Top Gun to now, Aviators will never go out of fashion and will work beautifully for you if you have a INVERTED TRIANGLE face shape as they follow a similar shape. Be aware of the weight of your frames with this style. If you’re petite/have delicate features then avoid heavier frames as these will over-power your face.

Cats Eyes – add an instant touch of Hollywood glamour with the timeless Cats Eye style of sunglasses. The upward angle of this style works beautifully to balance a ROUND face shape and if you opt for a frame that has a softer curve (rather than anything to angular) then they will also work well to add width to a RECTANGLE face shape.

If you have an OVAL face shape then you can wear whatever you like, so mix it up and have some fun! Your only considerations are the size and weight of your glasses to ensure they harmonise with your features.

A Final Word On Colour

Whatever your face shape, do think about the COLOUR you choose for your sunglasses and use your colour palette to guide you. As your glasses are worn on your face it is vital they’re in a shade that perfectly complements your colour characteristics.

For one-to-one colour and style advice get in touch so we can ensure you look cool by the pool!

festival chic

Festival chic!

If you thought that Festival dressing was all about wellies and waterproofs, think again. A girl (or boy) has to consider at great length what she (he) is going to wear to this year’s festivals. It isn’t just about bunging a few things in a rucksack and off you go any more. There is a ‘chic’ side to looking festival fabulous. I love festival dressing – you can get away from your everyday wardrobe and be someone else for a weekend. Before now, I have been spotted at one, in a turquoise tutu and walking boots – not quite the wardrobe for a personal stylist!

Whether you are choosing to go to Reading, Hop Farm, 3 wishes Faery festival, Bestival, Latitude or WOMAD, it’s time to party, grab your backpack your tent and get some style inspiration. Visit https://www.festicket.com/magazine/top-20-music-festivals-in-the-uk/ and take your pick.

Tribal

Ethnic print trousers are practical and stylish. Keep the tops plain and you will be able to mix and match all weekend. Team with a cross-body embroidered bag to hold all your valuables.

The shorts

Denim cut-offs have always been a festival staple. Wear with gladiator sandals and a shirt if sunny, or coloured wellies and a waterproof, when the inevitable happens.

The all in one

These are everywhere in the shops in floral and geometric designs. They are so comfortable, especially when you are jumping around in a field all day to music. My only reservation on this one is the challenges when venturing to the portaloos!

The maxi

Be ready for any weather in a stunning print maxi. Great with comfy flat sandals and a denim cover up to rock the look.

The cover up

A necessary item to pack for after dark. The choice is yours, parka, mesh top, or padded jacket. Or you can really up your look with a beautiful kimono-style long wrap.

The accessories

It goes without saying that we will pack our hat, sunnies and of course our wellies. Though if you don’t want to carry wellies I’ve got the best news for you yet. Check out these great cover-ups http://www.feetz.co.uk/ . They even have non-slip soles if you are having to wade through inches of mud!

If you are wondering which festival I will be going to this summer it’s WOMAD. What a fabulous family oriented festival it is! See you there.

Image courtesy of PInterest.

jeans

Jean Genie, let yourself go!

May 20, 1873 marked an historic day: the birth of the blue jean. It was on that day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained a U.S. patent on the process of putting rivets in men’s work pants for the very first time.

The history of blue jeans is a quintessentially American story, with working class origins, entrepreneurial spirit and an egalitarian attitude towards fashion which we have embraced and loved.

If you could take the hand of an angel and fly back to your own best day (the day you felt your most comfortable, free and full of energy), it’s doubtful you would be wearing a suit. The chances are you would be wearing a pair of jeans – trousers that gain comfort and character with age.

At my capsule wardrobe workshop I ask the question of the ladies attending – how many pairs of jeans do you have – the answer is usually at least 5 pairs each. Even when they don’t fit any more or look dated, we are loath to part with them as ‘they were so comfortable’.

The three main designs in the shops are:

Boyfriend
Skinny
Bootcut

Everybody looks good in classic, fitted bootcuts, especially if you are a triangle. It is your go-to style for balancing your curvy hips. Dress them up or down – there’s nothing these won’t go with.

If you have curves then always buy denim jeans with stretch, this will help banish gaping waistbands if your waistline is smaller than your hips.

Boyfriend
Comfy but far from boyish, these are meant to look a bit loose and worn. The shape is relaxed at the leg, so suits ladies with straighter body shapes. Roll up hems to show off slim ankles – jean-ius! They should be loose around your legs but not so baggy that your figure is lost in them and be sure to tuck in your blouse to avoid looking shapeless.

Skinnies
A fashion staple now for years – but they are on their way out, so be warned, ladies. One of the reasons they have been so popular is that you don’t have to be skinny to wear skinnies. Team with long-line tees, tunics and oversized jumpers to hide wobbly upper legs. The darker the wash, the more versatile to transform from day to evening wear.

My top tips for today are:

When shopping for jeans try on loads of pairs to get the perfect fit and when you find them, buy two pairs.

If you are no longer wearing skinnies then the tops you had to go with them will have to go too. It’s all in the silhouette and the proportions. Wider leg jeans = shorter and tighter tops. The longer and fuller tops you used to wear will definitely not work anymore, alas.

shop the sales

Shop wisely in the sales!

It’s that time of year again – SALES, SALES, SALES!

Some of us love them, others loathe them. If you’re lured by the possibility of a bargain-buy this January be sure to check my top tips for navigating the sales to ensure you really are saving money.

Assess what you already own
Ever got home from a shopping trip with a new purchase only to discover you’ve already got several other items that are similar? It’s happened to most of us at some point or another. To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, assess and organise your wardrobe before you hit the shops. Store items together so you can see just how many pairs of blue jeans/purple jumpers/red shoes you own. This simple exercise will remind you of the items you already have and highlight where you may need to add something new.

Don’t impulse buy

Plan your shopping trip and make a list. Buying things on impulse will lead to items not being worn or discovering you already own something similar (see above!)

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you make that purchase decision:

Is it in my colour palette? If it is then it’s likely to work well with other items in your wardrobe.

Does the style suit me? Don’t settle for something that doesn’t fit properly just because it’s reduced. You need to look and FEEL great in your clothes. If they are ill-fitting or uncomfortable they will soon be relegated to the back of the wardrobe.

Do I feel FABULOUS in it? Your clothes should make you feel like a million dollars, don’t buy anything that falls below the mark.

Is it really value for money?

Check the quality of the item and ensure if has no defects. Sometimes stores will reduce items because they have faults with them. This may not always be a deal breaker, but it doesn’t hurt to check first.

Would you pay full price for it?

You may have had your eye on something a little out of your price range that has now been reduced by 50% – hurrah! This is what true sales shopping is all about and you should certainly grab that bargain! However, if this isn’t the case ask yourself whether the quality, cut and style would be worth the full price. If not, why not? Perhaps you’re not getting a great deal after all.

Buy less, choose well

You don’t need lots of clothes to look good, rather you need a capsule collection of clothing that can be worn in a variety of different ways in colours and styles that work for you. Don’t be tempted to fill your wardrobe with lots of ‘bargains’. Most of the time it is better to invest a little more in each item and have fewer pieces of good quality clothing to choose from.

Image courtesy of the colour me beautiful website.

tafetta

On a night like this …

Decorate and be dazzling – think embellishment with everything this season.

The most sociable time of year is almost upon us in Swansea. It starts with Beaujolais day in November (one of the few UK cities that still celebrate the coming of the new wine each year) and then the endless Christmas parties in December. Here in Wales, we love any excuse to dress up and have fun! So here’s my advice to help you shine!

As they say ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’. This also applies to our party dresses this season. For the confirmed clubbers amongst you, you will have been wearing glitzy dresses every Saturday night, as they are so fashionable. So why not wear one of them to your Christmas party – a party dress is for life, not just for Christmas (well for this season, anyway)?

This age of glamour means we can wear metallic dresses, luxurious velvet, trophy cover-ups and glitzy embellished accessories to give your party wardrobe instant wow factor.

Dazzling details

Polish up your accent pieces in the wardrobe with flourishes of jewels and embroidery.

Add a 20s spin to your LBD with a little or a lot of embellishment. Think about your body shape and where you need to wear that detail.

If you are petite and need to look taller wear your embellishment the length of your dress, to make your shoulders look wide and balance your hips details on the shoulders and neck will work. If you have a bit of a tummy, avoid your twinkle in that area, as it will accentuate.

There is lots of fringing about too, which is great for hiding our challenges and they look great on the dance floor.

Sequins

Get Christmas ready by wrapping yourself up in sequin overkill in as many colours as you like. Choose from dresses, tops and yes, you’ll never guess – sequinned trousers!

Buy in your best colour, great colours this Christmas are a teal that reminds me of mermaids, reds and of course black, if you prefer a more chic look.

I love sequins myself, being a bit of a drama queen. My husband is not so keen as he says they make his hands sore when we are doing a smoochey dance – bless! (Please don’t let my grown up sons see this bit, they think we are far too old to smooch.)

Lurex and all that glistens

If sequins and jewels are a bit much for you and you want to look more understated than shiny bauble, then try a dress with a metallic mix fabric instead or invest in a metallic knit that can be dresses up or down.

A trophy jacket is a wardrobe staple and will keep coming out of your wardrobe for years to come. Team your biker jacket with an elegant skirt for a different take on party wear.

Don’t keep it for best

So, think embellishment with and on everything. Embrace your inner romantic and wear pretty details on bags, shoes, hats, jumpers, skirts and in your hair. For once don’t think of the practicalities of – how will it wash?

Throw caution to the wind and decorate and dazzle in the daytime too – it will really add some Christmas cheer at the office.

Make sure you’re getting the perfect colours and styles by seeking expert advice from yours truly, or why not treat someone you love to a gift voucher for any amount you can afford? Shan.Williams@charismaeffect.co.uk

red top

Red Alert – This Season’s Must-Wear Hue

The story of fashion is the story of colour. More than any other single factor, colour gives a garment (and the person who wears it) impact – both visually and emotionally. A woman walking towards you in a red dress tells a very different story than the same woman in blue. Red is associated with confidence and passion, blue subconsciously says trustworthy and authoritarian.

So, associated with strength, power and confidence, red is a colour that turns heads when you wear it. After spending 13 years in the personal styling business, my experience is that most ladies are nervous of wearing this ‘oh so bold’ colour.

Often this is because they don’t know which red suits them. Believe me, reds do vary in tone and intensity, so make sure you get the right red for you before you invest in this season’s hottest shade.

The idea is that the red tones with your hair, skin tone and eye colour and complements your natural colouring. If you wear the wrong red you will look older and overpowered in it – in other words it will wear you.

If you have a cool skin tone you need a blue red and if you have a warm skin tone you need an orangey red. Should you have muted tones in your hair you need a soft red, not a vibrant one – think claret!

In a sea of dark neutrals, red is fashion’s standout hue of choice this season.

This isn’t just an accent, it’s a top-to-toe red takeover – think varying tones clashed together for a stop-and-stare statement look.

However, there are still many other ways to wear it:

  1. Tonal tactics – mix different tones of red for a more sophisticated take on this trend.
  2. Texturise – contrasting textures is another key way to lift an all-red ensemble. Think of direct opposite finishes for the most successful clashes; leather with faux fur, or woolly knits against silk.
  3. Go solo – sometimes all you need to work a colour trend is one killer piece. As previously mentioned, pick the right red to flatter your skin tone in a dress, trousers and top or coat.
  4. Statement accessories – if you are having a less confident day then how about a red shoes or boot moment. I took a client personal shopping on Friday and on my suggestion she bought a pair of red ankle boots from M and S. She was delighted as she would never have dared pick them herself. I bet she is wearing them as you read this!

To book a colour or style consultation please contact me on shan.williams@charismaeffect.co.uk or 07976 576176.

school gate fashion police

Beware the school gates fashion police!

Is there nowhere to hide from the eye of the fashion police? My clients tell me that all they want to do is wake up in a daze, climb into crumpled jumper and jeans and get the children to school with their hair and teeth brushed.

But no. The school run has become the place to look stylish and be judged.

Do you think this is a result of ‘celebrity culture’ again? Not only have we all got to be waiflike, we have to look chic but casual. We see them in magazines dropping off their off-spring not a baby sick stain in sight!

The interesting thing about school-gate style is that, like hockey or netball it is terrifically competitive. Of course there are mum’s who are not bothered – in true Catherine Tate style, but it’s what women do. We size up, we compare and as with any place where women meet, there’s a little bit of one-up-womanship going on.

You see them rushed-off-their-feet, working mums who ditch and run (that was me – along with the guilt), then you get the fitness fanatics in their bouncy trainers and lycra, forever on their way to a keep fit class or Zumba.

You will be wondering what to wear this week when you drop off the kids, my advice is a statement coat or raincoat which is practical and you can put over any of your more casual clothes to lift your look. One more tip, wear a colour of the season that really suits you – that way you will look up to date, more vibrant, energetic and less tired, even if your baby has kept you awake all night.

To book a colour or style consultation please email: shan.williams@charismaeffect.co.uk

Image courtesy of Boden

black lady in yellow

Sunny side up!

Yellow; the colour associated with all things happy and bright, is often viewed as a ‘tricky’ shade to wear. It is certainly true that yellow doesn’t suit all skin tones, but that’s not to say it isn’t still a fabulously versatile colour which can enhance both your complexion and your mood when you wear it.

If you have a Warm skintone then Yellow is a colour that will suit you as it will balance and harmonise with your natural colouring. Depending on the depth and clarity of your colouring, different shades of Yellow will work better than others.

So which yellow is for you?

The fairer you are, the lighter the shade of yellow you can wear on its own. If you have a fair skin tone and blonde hair try a delicate yellow like Primrose worn with Light Grey or Stone (or on its own).

For fair skin and dark hair add some contrast by combining Lemon Yellow with Chinese Blue for a bright Summer time combination.

If your skin tone is more of a medium depth, with hair that is mid-brown, then Light Gold worn with Light Navy, Rust or Charcoal Blue will balance your colouring beautifully.

Oriental skin tones can sometimes be difficult to categorise as being Warm or Cool – just because the skin tone may appear more yellow, does not necessarily mean your undertone is Warm. Experiment with Cool colours like Fuchsia and Cassis to see how they affect your pallor before diving into wearing Yellow.

Darker and black skin tones look fabulous in a deeper shade of Yellow like Mustard, or a lighter shade like Primrose worn in contrast with another colour (for example, Dark Navy or Damson).

If you don’t have a Warm undertone you can still wear yellow away from your face. A pair of yellow shoes or a yellow bag will give your outfit an instant injection of sunshine. If you like prints then opting for one that is predominantly in your colour palette with some flashes of yellow will also work well.

Unsure which colours are right for you or whether you are a cool or warm skin tone?

Colour analysis will tell you what your dominant colour category is and how this determines why certain shades complement you. You’ll discover which shades work best for you and how to combine them to maximum effect.

Please contact me on 07976 576176 to book a 1.5 hour consultation which will give you all the answers. www.charismaeffect.co.uk