Is it possible?
When I work with clients, a common theme of discussion is that they want to look stylish, but comfortable and practical for the school run/standing on the sidelines/crawling around on knees/dog walks etc. Basically the reality of all our lives as busy mum’s is that we end up doing a hundred different things each day, often multi-tasking and the easiest option is a baggy jumper and jogging bottoms, or the same jumper and jeans 3 days in a row. But I believe that no matter what your lifestyle is or how busy you are, you can still feel stylish and at least start the day looking relativity smart. And the difference that this will have on your mood, self esteem and confidence is hard to put down into words, but life changing is about the right sort of level. I have personal experience of this and I have seen it time and time again with the clients that I work with.
A question that I ask every client and always put to workshop guests is, ‘can you describe your style?’ In truth is that this is a deliberately difficult question because it is not that easy to answer in words. But it is the start of the process because working out what direction you want your style to go, requires looking at what you wear now. Most people use negative words like boring, frumpy, typical mum etc. But this can so easily be changed. Just having some inspiration or some style ideas on how you can dress in a practical way but still feel good can fire up a desire to dress better, even if it’s been hidden for a while. And I love nothing more than to reignite that passion for clothes again.
So I wanted to write a blog post to give you some ideas for creating that comfy and practical outfit but in a more stylish way. Hopefully this will inspire you and be super helpful at the same time.
This is a trend that has been around for a couple of seasons now, and does not look like it is going anywhere, which is great as this essentially allows you to look a little bit sporty but smart as well. Typically a ‘sports luxe’ trouser will have a jogger style shape but will be of a smarter fabric and with sometimes with a stripe down the side. The stripe if you buy some trousers with this on is great at making the leg look longer and leaner so a bit of a win win. My favourite place for sports luxe is Me & Em. I have a pair of their joggers and wear them frequently. They are made from a good quality jersey that does not cling and keeps it shape really well. So no baggy bum or sticky our knee area.
Here are a few examples. I literally love this khaki and red combo. A bit different and a flash of colour which makes them more fun and stylish. I would style with a cream coloured thin knit jumper and smart trainers, a bit like the picture but not such a chunky knit (unless it was a Sunday :))
The black are also really sleek and good for those who feel a darker colour on the bottom half suits them better.
Smart (star) Trainers
I think I have probably mentioned this before but a smart trainer (not a running trainer) is a wardrobe staple. It can literally go with anything. Skirts, dresses, trousers…you name it. And having an item of footwear which is so versatile will be a complete savour when it comes to putting outfits together. A trainer won’t take you into the deepest of winter weeks when it’s super cold, but it will do for a good portion of the autumn and the spring. Don’t feel frightened to try a trainer with most looks. Here are a few of my favourites.
Golden Goose…not cheap but oh so lovely.
Hush gold stars for a bit of bling
And/Or for more subtle star
Styling a shirt casually
So the simple button down shirt which you thought was only suitable for the office can actually be used in a casual way to dress either with jeans or a sports luxe jogger, as explained above. I love to use them as a layering item so try with a stripy polo neck on underneath for example and a leather jacket over the top. You can also wear them under a thin knit so you have a bit of cuff and collar showing. Which makes it smarter than just a t-shirt bout still quite practical. Me and Em again do these amazing layering blouses which are a comfy jersey material on the body but have detailed cuffs and collars.
Dressing down a dress or skirt
You definitely don’t need to save your dresses and skirts for best. Style skirts with a slogan t-shirt, jacket and trainers to make them suitable for daytime. And pop a leather jacket on over a dress and ankle boots/trainers to get more wear out of dresses. This kind of styling might not be something that comes that naturally as for a long time, dresses or skirts with a trainer would have been a big no, but now style is much more experimental meaning that you can put two previously clashing things together and it will works. Same goes for military and sequins, or tweed and silk. Have fun and mix it up a bit. Here are a few examples.
Popping on even the simplest of necklaces or a pair of colourful earrings, a patterned fun bag or some funky flats will all help to give your look a bit of style personality. It’s easy to buy a few key items to smarten up a number of outfits. A leopard print crossover bag for example is a great item to have. Think of the leopard as a neutral and clash it other colours, patterns and stripes. Earrings…this season it’s go bold or go home. Pop a pair on and forget that you are even wearing them but the impact they make on an otherwise ordinary outfit is worth the stepping out of your comfort zone. These below are the Riva tassels from Stella and Dot.
And scarves can make a huge difference. Not only can they keep your neck warm which I find very comforting, but the right colours can really impact how you look and feel. For warm skin tones this is my current favourite from Whistles. The blues and mustard yellows are beautiful and I have seen this one in real life so I can say that with confidence.
My week (In outfits)
Well it’s actually been about 2 weeks since I last posted, and time in front of the computer has mostly been spent responding to clients one way or another. I’m almost fully booked for shopping trips now until Jan as I have decided not to go out after the first week of December because I think it will just be far too busy with not much available in the shops. It’s likely that the sales will have started then too which does not make my job very easy. I will however, continue on through Dec with wardrobe edits.
In the last 2 weeks I have met so many amazing women either through one of the workshops I have presented at or via one to one work. Every single person I work with is unique in their own way which is why I know that I will never get bored of this job. I also still get as much of a thrill when a client sends me feedback or pictures of them wearing their clothes as when that happened for the very first time.
And some big news is that I have booked in my first male client for shopping at the very start of Dec. I am very excited about this as I think this will add a whole new angle to my work and also means that any one out there who thinks that their husband might need a bit of styling you can now consider me with confidence.
I now have one more work commitment ( a triple colour consultation which is going to be lots of fun) until I have 2 weeks off. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to a bit of time to reflect and recharge. With an amazing Nov to look forward to, and a special celebration at the start of Dec (Fine Styling is turning 1) I can’t wait to see what the last part of 2017 brings and then 2018 as well!!
Have a great week.