Lets face it, we can all do with a bit of style advice – whether we have been stuck in a rut, want to try a new trend or just want a different look, it can be hard to know where to start. So we have got a fashion designer and a stylist to give you fabulous Belles About Town their top tips for looking gorgeous.
The Designer – Charlotte Hay from Stella & Alf
1. KNOW YOUR BODY SHAPE
No matter what age, it’s important to know your body shape and make the most of your best assets. Skinny jeans with a loose fitting t-shirt or silky blouse are our day-to-day staples teamed with a pair of flats for comfort as I spend most of my day running around the studio and hopping between meetings.
2. CLASSICS ARE THE BEST
Opt for well made classic wardrobe staples. These will stay with your throughout your life and work well with seasonal trend pieces. As part of our collection, we’ve worked really hard to create shapes that work on women of various body shapes and ages, that won’t age with time.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES
Invest in a pair of black pointed court shoes. These are the most flattering, versatile and classic style of shoes that will work with any outfit and elongate your legs whether you’re wearing a cocktail dress or a great pair of tailored trousers at the office. My favourite is the ‘Pigalle’, but you can always find a great alternative on the high-street at the likes of Zara.
4. LOVE TEXTURES
Load up on textures. My wardrobe has always been made up of a simple colour scheme, with lots of black, white and grey. If you tend to wear a lot of the same colour, mix textures to create an interesting look. A chunky knit will always look great with leather pants and a silk t-shirt or vest.
Update your wardrobe with accessories. Add a pop of seasonal colour with a clutch, or a statement piece of jewellery.
Charlotte Hay and Paris Hodson latest collection can be seen at Stella & Alf
The Stylist – SJ Martin
1. FABULOUS FIT & FEEL
The aim of the game is to reflect personality and feel confident in your appearance. Always be physically and inwardly comfortable in what you are wearing, once you’re dressed you shouldn’t need to think about what you’ve got on. Consider practical aspects too – occasion, weather and activities – amazing shoes are an amazing fail if you can’t walk properly in them. Identify your body shape and choose cuts to balance your proportions and complement your assets. Consider altering new or old pieces for a better fit – find a local dressmaker for convenience, adjustments should be relatively inexpensive and can make all the difference.
2. ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE, ACCESSORISE!
Experiment with different shoes, bags, scarves, jewellery, hair, nails and make up to multiply your wardrobe options. Matched vs mismatched, statement vs understated, contrast vs tonal. Change up your accessories each time you wear an outfit to embrace this art, it’s a great way to apply trends and add colour to wardrobe staples.
3. AVOID “OVER-DOING”
Bold statements can look fantastic but need balance. If in doubt, revert to less is more thinking. An easy method is to choose one statement as you focus, garment or accessory, and work everything else around it. Spot check your ensemble in the mirror adding, removing or replacing until it’s ‘balanced out’.
4. SPLASH OUT WHERE IT MATTERS, SAVE WHERE YOU CAN
Make wardrobe investments on a ‘cost per wear’ basis – the wool coat you’ll wear everyday this winter (and next) is worth a splurge, as is anything else you know for sure you’ll wear again and again, including underwear. If you’re splashing out keep it classic and spend less on seasonal trends. Save money and get a step ahead by charity and eBay shopping for individual
and unique items. You can bag some amazing pieces for a fraction of the cost you’d pay on the High Street.
5. GOOD GROOMING
Style is about more than just what you wear, so don’t let a unibrow, chipped nails, crusty heels or tatty hair let you down. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending lots of time or money – find products which work for you and allocate a couple of hours a week to preening yourself. Within this time it should be possible to exfoliate and condition what you need to, remove unwanted hair and give yourself a mani/pedi, there may even be time to spare! If you’re really stuck on where to start, head to a department store and seek advice from different brands, you can usually test products in store or take home samples before you buy. Chat to your hairdresser about day-to-day maintenance and visit for a trim at least every couple of months.
Sarah Jane Martin can be contacted at SJ the Stylist