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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.

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

primadonna_swim-swimwear-padded_swimsuit-bossa_nova-4003232-red-0_3444469

Dare to bare! Which style and colour swimsuit should you wear?

Your summer holiday should be something to look forward to but if the thought of wearing your swimming costume fills you with dread, don’t panic, just follow these simple rules to achieve beachwear body confidence and ‘seas the day’!

A lot of women believe that the darker the colour of the suit, the more flattering. But that’s definitely not the case! When you’re flashing more flesh than usual, your costume needs to be in one of your most flattering colours. For example, if you have auburn hair, wear a green or turquoise bathing suit.

In fact it is also imperative to ensure that the details such as ties, prints and cut, flatter your body shape not draw attention to your challenges!

Small bust, straight body shape

  • Make the most of your dainty bust line by choosing tops with built-in padding – nothing says poolside glamour quite like metallic sheens in bronze, silver and gold this summer.
  • Halter-necks and bandeau work wonders by giving the illusion of a fuller bust.
  • Avoid solid colour, wear geometric patterns instead, the Aztec/Mexican prints this season are definitely for you.
  • Embellish to your hearts content with jewels, ties, ruffles and bows at the bust and hip line.

Full bust, curvy body shape

  • Spend as much as you can afford on swimwear – choose suits that have underwire or built-in support and wider straps – they’ll be more supportive.
  • V, scoop or square necklines will be most flattering.
  • Keep away from boy shorts, skimpy bottoms and styles with skirts – or you will draw attention to your widest point.
  • Embrace retro blooms and tap into your inner 50s siren and work that vintage-inspired feminine shape. Grace Kelly eat your heart out!

All you need now is a sunhat, a great pair of 70s chunky platforms to lengthen your legs, some chic shades and you’re ready for the beach or to look ‘cool by the pool’. Yes, you do want to look fab in those holiday snaps, after all, you will be looking at them until your next beach holiday!

Not sure how then email Shan to book a consultation on shan.williams@charismaeffect.co.uk

Bathing suit image from Rigby & Peller, London.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

stripes

Get in line with stripes to suit your body shape!

Stripes are featured on catwalks and in High Street stores season after season. Why? They have a timeless appeal to them whilst also feeling fresh and modern. It’s highly likely that many of you will already have a stripe or two in your wardrobe.

There is a way to wear stripes to suit all body shapes, just read on to find out how to wear yours…

Straight body shapes

If you have a straight body shape (for example, a lean column or rectangle body shape). Then stripes were made for you! The clean, straight lines of your figure lend themselves perfectly to wearing stripes.

For those of you with a rectangle body shape, vertical stripes will look great. If you have a Lean Column body shape then have a play around; mix stripes with other patterns or perhaps look at wearing a combination of horizontal and vertical stripes to create the illusion of curves.

Triangle or inverted triangle

If you wear different sizes on your top and bottom halves then stripes can work wonders to balance out your proportions.

If you have a Triangle body shape then wear horizontal stripes on your top half. This will balance out your figure and draw the attention upwards.

For those of you with an Inverted Triangle body shape, you want to wear your stripes on your bottom half. Horizontal, or vertical, the choice is yours. A striped skirt with a little fullness will even out your proportions beautifully whilst also showing off a slim waist.

Curvy body shape

For those of you with curvaceous figures, stripes can be trickier to wear.

If you have an Oval body shape choose stripes that are soft, tonal or faded. If you have a Full Hourglass figure we recommend avoiding stripes altogether; they will have to do a detour around your gorgeous curves! We advise opting for a pattern that complements your body shape better (for example, florals would be a great alternative). You could also add a stripey accessory (for example, a scarf or bag) to add a little interest to your look.

Petite or Grand scale

Be sure to select stripes that complement your size.

If you’re petite, thinner stripes will work best as they won’t overwhelm you’re frame.

If you’re grand in scale (5 foot 7 or taller) then make a statement with bold stripes!

How should I wear my stripes?

Not sure? A one-to-one style consultation will tell you everything you need to know about how to wear different patterns, styles and fabrics to suit your body shape.

Get in touch today to book in for a colour, style or full image makeover session. Shan.Williams@charismaeffect.co.uk

 

 

 

houseoffraser_63782005966641

Get your head around this! Fur hats to keep out the cold.


There’s a lot of great things about living in Swansea. I think one of the best is walking the Gower coastal path on those bright days. There was nothing like it on a recent walk! The sun was shining, waves breaking below on the cliffs and a bit of brisk exercise to blow those cobwebs away.
But – oh it has been sooo cold! So what does a girl wear to keep her head warm? A beanie or a balaclava or even worse a deputy dawg hat with sides? Oh no, not the Welsh lady in her true stylish way, she puts on her faux fur hat.
The coastal path is always very busy and so many of my fellow Welsh ladies looked fabulously stylish in their lovely siberian-inspired head gear.
They keep the cold out so well and you can choose from furry snoods and big hats – Cossack style – cuddling heads. Why not add mittens over paws or scarves draped over shoulders, both easy ways to add fur accents to your look?
If you want to move away from traditional fur colours then choose a colour contrast, the high street has rainbow bright numbers for a fun approach.
My personal favourite is my fur hat band, which I, of course was wearing on these walks. To let you into a secret I bought it for a friend for Christmas and ending up keeping it for myself I love it so much. This fur band keeps your ears warm but you don’t get too hot when your temperature builds as you walk.
So why not look in the last of the sales? You still get to wear it in the cold snap we are having. They are luxurious, comfy, warm, add a touch of the exotic and beautifully feminine, so why don’t you give one a try on the next cold sunny day we have?
Oh and one other thought. Why not go down to the Gower Coast to wear it? My recommendation would be do the coastal walk between Bracelet Bay and end up at Langland Bay for a sinful cake and hot chocolate in the café looking over the beach. Bliss!
Image courtesy of pantone.comImage courtesy of pantone.com

Greenery – the Pantone colour of 2017

Every year Pantone select a shade that they feel represents what is happening in our global culture and therefore serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. For 2017 that shade is Greenery;

“A refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.”

Most shades of green are associated with nature and Pantone’s ‘Greenery’, which is very similar to Apple Green in our colour me beautiful swatches, is a zesty, yellow green tone, making it perfect for those of you who fall into our Light dominant colour category and who have a Warm undertone!

The way you wear this shade will vary depending on your dominant colour category, here are a few tips from us on how to wear this stunning shade!

Deep and contrasting

If you fall into the Deep or Clear dominant colour category you ideally want to pair Greenery with a contrasting shade. Neutrals like Charcoal and Black Brown will work well. You could also pair Greenery with Damson for a rich, contrasting combination or Lapis blue to provide a striking pop of colour.

Light and delicate 

Those of you who fall into the Light dominant colour category will want to add a shade of a similar, or slightly lighter depth to Greenery, to complement your colouring. Try wearing it with subtle colours like Soft White, Shell or even Powder Blue, which will give a lovely, fresh feel to your look as we move into Spring.

Go green!

If you fall into the Warm dominant colour category you may wish to wear Greenery all on its own, or with some simple gold jewellery; either way, it will certainly complement your warm colour characteristics. Those who are Dramatic and Warm may want to try some more unusual colour combinations, perhaps a pop of Pumpkin or Turquoise to really spice things up!

Check out our Pinterest board for some more Greenery inspiration.

Not sure if Greenery is in your palette then why not book an appointment to have your colours done? Email me at shan.williams@charismaeffect.co.uk

mini-at-exhibition

Fifty years of the mini!

My visit today to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see ‘You say you want a revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970’ has inspired me to write this article.

It’s iconic, dates back to the swinging sixties and sexual revolution. It was the dramatically shortened hemline that marked the liberation of women – giving them permission to wear whatever they wanted.

However, five decades on the mini is still raising a few eyebrows.

Mary Quant is the designer widely credited for popularising the tiny garment with feelings of freedom and liberation in mind. She called the skirt after her favourite make of car. And to be honest it’s my favourite car too and I am the proud owner of one in Volcanic Orange with ‘go faster’ black stripes!

Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy are probably the most famous models photographed in the mini.

The mini skirt will never really date. Of course, hemlines will change from season to season but on the whole the mini has had longevity. The key to wearing the mini is ensuring it’s styled correctly. Wear with opaques and nice leather boots in winter and without tights in summer to ensure you get a tan. It gives you freedom of movement and you will feel liberated.

So, are you ever too old to wear a mini? The answer is NO, it depends on your legs, nothing more and nothing less. I think if you’ve got the legs show them off. If you are a little conscious of looking like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ then just wear your skirt just above your knee – that’s still a mini in my book. This will lengthen your legs and make you look taller and slimmer.

So the mini should still be a quintessential favourite in your wardrobe, fifty years on from the era-defining significance and impact of its appearance in the late 1960s. It’s still not too late to join the ‘revolution’ ladies!