Crave Personal Styling

SHOP AW16 IN THE SUMMER SALES

Style, Fashion, AW16, Sale ShoppingEmma CarrComment

The summer sales are now in full swing and with prices still to be reduced by up to 70% there are some great savings to be made. As I mentioned in my Savvy Sale Shopping blog, it’s always good to keep an eye out for the next seasons big trends. I realise it might be hard to think about what you’ll be wearing in autumn/winter when we haven’t even had a summer yet, but if you shop smart you can grab yourself some of the key trends for AW16 now. So with that in mind, here are three of my favourite AW16 trends to look out for in the sales.

THE MAC

With everyone from Burberry to Celine featuring them in their AW16 collections, the mac is set to be the coat trend of autumn/winter16. There are so many great ones in the summer sales, I could have listed about twenty of them. Make sure to check out Zara, Mango and ASOS if this is a trend you want to buy into.

LEOPARD PRINT

Leopard print is going to be THE print of autumn/winter 16. Personally leopard print is always on trend for me, so if like me you wear lots of it, then the sales are always a good time to invest.

RUFFLES

Ruffles have been around for a couple of seasons now and are set to stay for AW16. Admittedly they are going to be heavier for winter (think knits and leather) but I still think it's worth looking out for lighter weight versions in the sales if you like this trend.

Catwalk images: via Pinterest

 

SAVVY SALE SHOPPING TIPS

S/S16, Key Pieces, Wardrobe staples, Sale ShoppingEmma CarrComment

For some, there’s nothing better than rooting through the sale rail looking for a bargain. We’ve all got that friend who whenever you ask them where something is from, they casually say it was bought in the sale for half price, leaving you green with envy. For other’s, it’s their worst nightmare and just the thought of it can bring them out in a cold sweat. Sale shopping doesn’t have to be scary and if you plan ahead, not only can it be enjoyable, you can actually make some of your best purchases. So for those of you that don’t know where to start, here are my top tips for savvy sale shopping:

1. Would you pay full price for it - this is the golden rule of savvy sale shopping. We all get caught up in ‘bagging a bargain", but it’s only a bargain if you were prepared to pay full price for it in the first place. If you apply this rule before anything else, then it will stop you from buying just for the sake of it. 

2. Set a budget - whether that’s an overall budget or a budget for individual pieces, it’s always best to set one. You’ll probably be looking at 20 to 30% discounts at the beginning, but they could go up to 50 to 70% towards the end of the sales. Obviously, if you hang-on you can run the risk of the pieces you want being sold out, but that’s when you have to weigh up how much you want something versus hanging on for the biggest discount. If there is something you really want and it has sold out, don’t forget to keep looking in-store and online as there are always returns. 

3. Do your homework beforehand - during the run up to the sales keep a note of the pieces you like in-store and online and make a “wish-list”. Also, take a look through your wardrobe and see where the gaps are. If a leather jacket is what’s going to pull all your outfits together, then this should be top of your list. 

4. Invest in your key pieces - these are the items you wear all the time, your wardrobe staples. For me that’s ankle boots, blouses and animal print, so these are always on my “sales radar”. 

If you know you always buy black suits and white shirts every year for work, then the sales are a perfect time to buy them. 

5. What are your aspirational brands - we’ve all got those brands that we’d love to covet, but may not be within our reach financially. The sales are a perfect time to grab a slice of them. Again, do your homework beforehand and make a note of which pieces you’d like and work out how they are going to fit with the rest of your wardrobe. If you’re going to invest in your dream designer brand you want to make sure you get maximum wear out of it. I’ve already mentioned setting a budget, but it’s even more important when looking at your aspirational brands. Just because it’s a brand you’ve always lusted after, doesn’t mean you should break the bank to get it. 

6. What are the big trends for next season - do your homework on which trends you want to invest in for next season. Ruffles, animal print and trench coats are all going to be big autumn/winter 16, so if you like these trends then these should definitely be on your sales shopping list.

 

PYJAMA PARTY

S/S16, Pyjama suitsEmma CarrComment

Wearing something that looks like your best pair of pyjamas outside of the house probably isn’t something you’ve ever thought about, but pyjama’s as daywear are having a moment. Now it’s easy to see how that works if you’re young, hip and happen to be a street style star, but how is everyone else meant to wear them? 

Personally, I think wearing the look head-to-toe takes a certain kind of confidence, but I definitely think this trend can be adapted by wearing the separates with other things. For example, you could add a silky pyjama top to some jeans and heels or you could opt for some silky pyjama trousers worn with a shirt and leather jacket. If you want to wear as a suit but don’t feel like you can carry off a bold print, then opt for monochrome or darker colours.

Finally, if you do go for the printed head-to-toe look, the key to not looking like you’re wearing your pyjama’s is paring it with statement heels and luxe accessories. With so many different ways to wear them, everyone can join the (pyjama) party.

Images: Pinterest

 

JIGSAW - SPRING SUMMER 16

Jigsaw A-line, S/S16, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

Last week I was invited to a preview of Jigsaw’s Spring/Summer16 collection at the Manchester Flagship store on King Street. It coincided with International Women’s Day, which turned out to be very appropriate as much of the creative talent responsible for the new collection are women.

Lisa Berridge is Jigsaw’s resident artist and is the creator of all their signature hand-painted prints. One of the Spring Summer 16 collections explores the theme of nature and every single print has been hand-painted onto a canvas first, before being digitally printed. This attention to detail has also been given to all the childrenswear prints too.

Jigsaw 1.001.jpeg

Jigsaw have also collaborated on three collections with New York pigment expert Audrey Louise Reynolds, which includes a limited edition run of 50 pieces featuring hand-dyed prints on soft cotton cashmere and silks, so every piece is unique. Audrey creates all her own pigment with anything from flowers to vegetables. 

New for Spring Summer 16 is The Creators Project which sees Jigsaw collaborating with Independent designers and artisans - starting this season with jeweller Corrie Williamson, milliner Jess Collett and bag designer Anna Pugh who have created bespoke pieces exclusively for Jigsaw.

Spring Summer 16 also sees the A-Line collection return for it’s second season and with every piece designed in-house, the attention to design, cut and fit is clear to see. 

From hand-painted prints to bespoke design and luxury fabrics the quality of Jigsaws products speak for themselves. So if you are looking for design led, high quality pieces that you’ll wear forever, Jigsaw would be a good place to start. 

MUM'S THE WORD

New mum, Wardrobe staples, Stylish mumEmma CarrComment

In my last blog http://www.cravepersonalstyling.com/blog/mind-the-bump I talked about maternity wear and how to look stylish with bump. Today it’s all about the new mum wardrobe.

Lots of things change when you become a mum, including what you need from your wardrobe. If my personal experience is anything to go by, you’ll be faced with lots of clothes and footwear that are no longer practical and end up wearing the same t-shirt and jeans most days. I’d say that’s pretty acceptable for those first few sleep deprived (life turned upside down) weeks/months, but those weeks will pass and when they do, it’s time to get your style game back on. 

We all need a style uniform, but even more so once you have a little person whose’s every needs have to be attended to first. First, you need to be able to get dressed quickly and there’s also comfort and practicality issues. White blouses and sticky fingers aren't a great combination, and it’s not until it’s raining and you’re pushing a pram that you realise you need a coat with a hood. Footwear also becomes a priority and comfort is key. Of course, all of this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sense of style… it’s all about having those key items - a stylish pair of trainers, a flattering pair of jeans, a leather jacket, coat (with hood), some mix and match separates and good basics. 

For me accessories are key and a printed scarf, belt or some statement jewellery can quickly add that extra touch to even the simplest of outfits - and lets not forget a bright lip. My greatest style saviour since becoming a mum has been a slick of pink, red or berry lipstick, which work wonders when you’re running on a few hours sleep and you’ve not got the time or the inclination to put a full-face on. So whether you’re hanging out at baby yoga or you’ve managed to grab a couple of hours you-time with the girls, you’ll always look and feel stylish.

Images: Pinterest

MIND THE BUMP

Body shape, Expectant mum, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

With Mothers Day only a week away I thought I would talk about expectant and new mum’s wardrobes, with the first instalment covering maternity wear. 

So many women struggle with how to dress during pregnancy, but just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel great. Gone are the days of tent dresses and unflattering dungarees being your only option. Maternity wear has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there are now some great maternity lines across both designer and high-street. There are many pieces you can cheat though, so if you shop smart you don’t necessarily need to buy “maternity” wear and can invest in pieces that you’ll be wearing long after baby has arrived. 

First, have a look in your wardrobe to see what you already have that will still work for you during pregnancy (jersey fabrics, drawstring waists, oversized shirts, tunic tops/dresses), then make a list of what new pieces you need to continue wearing them. As with your non-pregnancy wardrobe it’s about having a handful of key pieces that you can mix and match to create as many outfits as possible. First on the list should be maternity denim - these are the one thing you can’t cheat and are a must-have investment when pregnant. With many brands now adapting their lines, there’s lots of great maternity denim to choose from and I would always recommend buying a couple of different styles (one smart and one casual) as these will be the foundation of your pregnancy wardrobe. Finally, when it get’s to that last trimester and comfort is your main priority, look to accessories to add something different to your simple basics. 

The main thing is to stay true to your personal style, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t still look like yourself. You’re growing a new life inside of you, so if anyone deserves to look fabulous, it’s you.

Images: Pinterest

 

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE (AS FEATURED ON BODY CONFIDENTIAL)

Body shape, Personal Style, Wardrobe Detox, Wardrobe Hero, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

It’s that time of year, the beginning of a new fashion season when all the glossy magazines are telling us what we should be wearing for the next six months. As someone who loves fashion, there’s nothing I like more than working my way through the new-season fashion specials. 

If you follow my blog and social media you’ll know that I talk about current trends a lot, but as a Personal Stylist I also understand that great style isn't just about following trends alone. The women I find most stylish are the one’s who look current, but timeless at the same time. Women who’s style is really identifiable to them and yet always looks so effortless, which for me is what great style is. So here are my top tips for developing your personal style:

DEFINE YOUR STYLE PERSONALITY

Personal style is about knowing which clothes suit your look and personality. It’s fine to look to other people for inspiration but just because you admire someones style doesn’t mean it will look the same on you. Stay true your personality and you’ll never feel (or look) like you’re wearing something that you’re not comfortable in.

IDENTIFY YOUR BODY SHAPE

When it comes to choosing your outfits it is extremely important that you consider your body shape. Learning to wear what suits your shape, albeit curvy or boyish, will ensure you're flattering your best bits. After all, it won't matter how trendy your outfit is if it doesn't suit your body type. 

IT’S HOW YOU WEAR IT

Great personal style isn't just about what you wear, but how you wear it. You can give two people the same outfit but it’s how they put it together that will set them apart. The turn of a cuff, layering in an unexpected way or adding a simple accessory - it’s all in the detail.

GET A PARISIAN ATTITUDE

The french are considered super stylish, yet in a way they are anti-fashion. They rarely buy into every new trend each season. They stick with classic wardrobe staples like a great pair of jeans (always with heels), a well cut jacket, a silk blouse, a cashmere jumper and black, lots of black. So why do they stand out so much? It’s all about the ‘attitude’ they wear their clothes with. 

HAVE FUN WITH IT

I personally think there’s room in your wardrobe for classic staples and a latest trend - fashion should be fun, you should enjoy the clothes you wear and they should make you look and feel like you can handle whatever life throws at you. In the words of Vera Wang, “A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her own clothes.” 

Image: Pinterest

THE GRANNY PUMP

Footwear, S/S16Emma CarrComment
Granny Pumps .001.jpeg

When it comes to footwear, fashion doesn’t always favour comfort… but meet the shoe of spring/summer 16 - the glove shoe aka the granny pump. The glove shoe first appeared on the fashion radar last summer, courtesy of Celine and where the designers lead the high-street follows. Upon first seeing them, they don’t look like the most flattering of footwear choices and admittedly they won’t be for everyone, but worn the right way they will be a stylish addition to your spring/summer wardrobe. So, how to wear them? Always wear with bear legs and if wearing with trousers, show your ankle. Wear with a pair of cropped kick flared jeans and chunky knit now or add to a denim skirt and t-shirt in the summer, either way they add the right amount of granny chic and a whole load of comfort to your outfit. 

Main image: Pinterest & product images: Zara cream leather pumps / Topshop gold soft glove shoes / Topshop red soft glove shoes / Office Mia silver soft pumps

 

IT'S THE BOMB

S/S16, Bomber jacketEmma CarrComment

The bomber jacket appeared back on the fashion radar a couple of years ago and has slowly become a style staple again. With every Fashion Editor and street-style star worth their salt wearing one, it’s definitely the jacket to be seen in now. Here are a few of my current high-street favourites:

Images from left to right: New Look longline bomber jacket / Topshop airtex bomber jacket / Mango contrast trim bomber jacket / New Look stone bomber jacket / Zara oversized floral bomber jacket

If you’re looking for inspiration of how to wear yours head over to https://uk.pinterest.com/CravePS/bomber-jacket/

 

 

 

SHOP S/S16 KEY TRENDS IN THE SALES

Sale shopping, S/S16Emma CarrComment

The winter sales have been in full swing for nearly a month now, but with prices reduced by up to 70% there are some great savings to be made. As I mentioned in my blog http://www.cravepersonalstyling.com/blog/savvysaleshopping it’s always good to keep an eye out for the next seasons big trends. I realise it might be hard to think about what you’ll be wearing in spring/summer when it’s below freezing outside, but if you shop smart you can grab yourself some of the key trends for S/S16 now. So with that in mind, here are some of my top new season finds in the sales: 

PRINTED TROUSER SUITS: as seen at Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci - 70’s inspired floral trouser suits are the way to go this summer.

Zara floral print blazer was £69.99 now £29.99 / Zara floral print trousers was £39.99 now £12.99

METALLICS: high-shine fabrics are going to be everywhere this spring/summer and metallic footwear is the perfect way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. 

Office Tinker t-bar point heels was £70 now £20.80 / Office silver holographic block heel sandals was £48 now £14.40 / Office silver mirror sandals was £55 now £12.80

RUFFLES AND PLEATS: the quirky romantic vibe continues to be big for summer, so it’s a good moved adding them to your wardrobe now. 

Topshop animal print pleated midi skirt was £60 now £15 / Mango decorative ruffle blouse was £39.99 now £19.99 / Zara frilly blouse was £29.99 now £9.99

STRIPES: from horizontal to vertical, multi-coloured or monochromatic S/S16 stripes are bold and varied - grab them now. 

Mango flowy striped dress was £59.99 now £29.99 / Mango cotton striped blouse was £34.99 now £17.49 / Topshop striped wrap front midi skirt was £65 now £30

ALL OTHER IMAGES: VIA PINTEREST

WADROBE DETOX - DE-CLUTTER IN 4 STEPS (AS FEATURED ON BODY CONFIDENTIAL)

Wardrobe DetoxEmma CarrComment

For me January is a month for taking stock and planning for the year ahead. Detox’s and dark nights mean we’re all happy to be at home, making it the perfect month to de-clutter your wardrobe. Re-organising your wardrobe can be a daunting task, and despite knowing you’ll feel better once it’s done, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

The reality is you may not get it all done in one day, especially if you’re trying on your clothes as you work through your wardrobe. From my experience of wardrobe consultations with clients, three hours is usually the tipping point so I would break it up over a couple of sessions - that way you won’t give up half way through leaving it all in a pile on the bedroom floor. If possible I would get a portable rail, so you can pull-out your wardrobe in sections, making it easier to see what you’ve got. I would then look at each item and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does it need altering/mending - we’ve all got those pieces in our wardrobe that if we just had the waist taken in or the hem mended, we’d wear them. Pull them out of your wardrobe and don’t put them back in until they’re fixed. 

2. Does it still fit - it’s very tempting to hold onto those jeans that used to look amazing, in the hope that you’ll get back into them. Trying to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit anymore will do nothing for your confidence, so remove them from you wardrobe and make space for clothes that work for your body shape now.

3. You don’t have anything to wear it with - I see lots of clients with pieces in their wardrobe which they like, but then have nothing to wear them with. I would always recommend when making new purchases that you know you can style them in at least two or three ways with items already in your wardrobe. If you don’t want to invest in something new to wear with these pieces, then there’s no point in keeping hold of them. If you do want to invest, then write a list of the pieces you need to create the looks you want - these should be the items you buy with any money raised from items you sell from your de-clutter. 

4. When was the last time I wore it - there are many reasons why you might not have worn something for a long time (see points 1, 2 and 3 above). If none of them apply then the chances are it no longer represents your personal style. Again, it’s very tempting to hang on to clothes that remind us of a period in our lives, but your wardrobe should reflect the person your are now so let them go.

Once you’ve done the above, you should end up with four piles - keep, mend, charity and sell. There are lots of ways to sell your unwanted clothes - dress agencies, eBay and car boot sales. If you’re lucky enough to be selling any designer items take a look at www.vestiairecollective.com 

Finally, I would recommend that you hang all the clothes going back into your wardrobe by style and colour. This will make it far easier to see what you have in your wardrobe and make outfit selecting everyday a breeze. 

Image: Pinterest

ON YOUR MARKS.....

Active wearEmma CarrComment

With January now in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about getting back in shape. For some, you’ll be picking up where you left off, but for others you could be starting a whole new fitness regime. Splashing out on new gym-wear isn't the top of everyones list in January, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good quality active-wear, with H&M doing some of the best gym-wear available. 

It’s very easy to think that you can just throw on anything for the gym at the beginning and wait to invest once you’ve lost those few pounds, or toned up a bit more. I’m all for faking it, before making it and you’ll be amazed how wearing the right kit can boost confidence and give you a positive frame-of-mind. This in turn makes you more motivated while you're in the gym, helping you tone up and lose those few pounds that much quicker. Plus, the reality is you’re going to be heading to the gym in the dark and cold over the next few months and you’ll need all the motivation you can get. 

As with all your clothes, it’s about choosing the most flattering styles for your body shape. So if you’ve got great legs, but need to hide your tummy go for some fitted leggings and a looser t-shirt. If you’re lucky enough to already have a small waist, then don’t be afraid to show it off with a fitted vest. If you want to hold in those hips and thighs, look for heavier fabrics as picking the right ones can do amazing things to help streamline your shape. Getting the right sports bra is a must for ladies with a larger bust, not only to give you the support you need, but also to give you a better silhouette. Finally, don’t be afraid to wear colour - there’s no denying the sliming powers of black, but you’ll be amazed how a pop of colour can lift your mood and energy levels. If you look good, you’ll feel good and if you feel good who knows what you can achieve (in and out of the gym) in 2016.

Images: H&M sportswear

 

SAVVY SALE SHOPPING TIPS (AS FEATURED ON LA VIDA MAGAZINE)

A/W15, Wardrobe staples, Wardrobe Hero, Sale shoppingEmma CarrComment

For some, there’s nothing better than rooting through the sale rail looking for a bargain. We’ve all got that friend who whenever you ask them where something is from, they casually say it was bought in the sale for half price, leaving you green with envy. For other’s, it’s their worst nightmare and just the thought of it can bring them out in a cold sweat. Sale shopping doesn’t have to be scary and if you plan ahead, not only can it be enjoyable, you can actually make some of your best purchases. So for those of you that don’t know where to start, here are my top tips for savvy sale shopping:

1. Would you pay full price for it - this is the golden rule of savvy sale shopping. We all get caught up in ‘bagging a bargain", but it’s only a bargain if you were prepared to pay full price for it in the first place. If you apply this rule before anything else, then it will stop you from buying just for the sake of it. 

2. Set a budget - whether that’s an overall budget or a budget for individual pieces, it’s always best to set one. You’ll probably be looking at 20 to 30% discounts at the beginning, but they could go up to 50 to 70% towards the end of the sales. Obviously, if you hang-on you can run the risk of the pieces you want being sold out, but that’s when you have to weigh up how much you want something versus hanging on for the biggest discount. If there is something you really want and it has sold out, don’t forget to keep looking in-store and online as there are always returns. 

3. Do your homework beforehand - during the run up to the sales keep a note of the pieces you like in-store and online and make a “wish-list”. Also, take a look through your wardrobe and see where the gaps are. If a leather jacket is what’s going to pull all your outfits together, then this should be top of your list. 

4. Invest in your key pieces - these are the items you wear all the time, your wardrobe staples. For me that’s ankle boots, blouses and animal print, so these are always on my “sales radar”. If you know you always buy black suits and white shirts every year for work, then the sales are a perfect time to buy them. 

5. What are your aspirational brands - we’ve all got those brands that we’d love to covet, but may not be within our reach financially. The sales are a perfect time to grab a slice of them. Again, do your homework beforehand and make a note of which pieces you’d like and work out how they are going to fit with the rest of your wardrobe. If you’re going to invest in your dream designer brand you want to make sure you get maximum wear out of it. I’ve already mentioned setting a budget, but it’s even more important when looking at your aspirational brands. Just because it’s a brand you’ve always lusted after, doesn’t mean you should break the bank to get it. 

6. What are the big trends for next season - do your homework on which trends you want to invest in for next season. Ruffles, high-shine fabric (particularly silver) and pleated midi skirts are all carrying over into spring/summer 16, so if you like these trends then these should definitely be on your sales shopping list.

Image: Pinterest