Monday, 25 June 2012

Guest post: Style advice from the Online Stylist

I've been thinking about clothes and fashion more than I usually do, and instead of  my usual habit of  just throwing on the first clean/ironed outfit I can find, I'm actually trying to plan my outfits in advance. Hand on heart I can't say I always achieve that, but I am trying to make more of an effort.

Shortly after I wrote the post about my life as a slob I decided to contact some of my favourite fashion/style bloggers and ask for their help. First up is a blogger who has really reinvented herself. After years working in finance Amanda used a career break to set up a blog which has since developed into The Online Stylist, and I was thrilled when she agreed to write a guest post on the subject of capsule pieces. Over to Amanda.

I was really pleased when notSupermum asked me to do a guest post for her style advice series as she was one of the first people who used to read my old blog, 39 And Counting. If memory serves, we bonded over a post about a broken heel on my Louboutins…I think most women could sympathise with the pain of that!

When I read her post about dressing for comfort, I found myself nodding along  - it’s something that I hear lots of people say. After all, who wants to be tugging at their clothing in despair all day when you have a million and one things to do?

Whilst NSM referred to herself as “becoming a bit of a slob” which I’m sure is somewhat on the harsh side, I don’t think comfort has to mean slobbiness. My first piece of advice would be to persevere in finding brands that offer easy pieces that fit your shape really well and make you feel good by camouflaging your least favourite parts.

I’m a huge fan of draped jersey but it has to of a good heavy quality so that it falls away rather than clings. Try Isabella Oliver 365 – every season they bring out stunning collections with form and function.

Classic Wrap Dress by 365 Collection
NSM also replied to someone in the comments section that she’s planning on losing some weight and in the meantime is “dressing like a slob”. My advice would be never do this – go out and buy a couple of things now that you feel good in…and wear them! The boost that knowing you look your very best ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It kind of reminds me of the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. I think if you feel good, it can help you achieve all your goals.

I’m writing NSM a shopping list for the top three basics to get her started now - they include:

A dress to wear during the day – keep it casual if dresses aren’t the norm but go for a good, nipped in at the waist fit. She mentions having a fuller bust so I’d advise more of a dipped V neckline. You don’t have to go too low but it’s better than something that goes straight across the neckline. This classic wrap dress has been all over the press for its ability to flatter every figure.
Black Drape Collar Jacket from
 Dorothy Perkins
A jacket to throw on on cooler days – look at the other pieces you’ve decided to keep and make sure the jacket works with those too. Try a more casual looking blazer that you can push the sleeves up. This one, £40 at Dorothy Perkins, has a slightly nipped in waist and could be dressed up or down.

To get over the legging phobia buy some slim fit, cropped trousers to wear with the tunics you’re keeping. Better and smarter than leggings and far more flattering with longer line tunic tops. Wear with a lower wedge sandal to add height and elegance. These stretch slim leg trousers, £25 at Wallis won’t break the bank.

Black Slim Leg Trousers
at Wallis
When you’re out shopping, don’t do it all in a rush. Take time to experiment with styles you’ve never tried on before – you never know what you’ll find that suits.  Experiment with accessories – for me I find cuffs and a cocktail ring always works but others love a necklace – find what works for you and build up a small collection of favourites.

And above all….don’t save the good stuff for best – hang it up and wear it now!

The Online Stylist offers a Style Advice Service where Amanda will personally select outfits from online retailers to fit your specifications.