Crave Personal Styling

A/W15

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

CHRISTMAS PARTY WEAR: FROM DAY TO NIGHT (AS FEATURED ON A-MAGAZINE)

Christmas party wear, A/W15Emma CarrComment

With the Christmas party season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about what to wear. We’ve all got that impulse buy dress, that we’ve worn once and put to the back of the wardrobe, never to be seen again. Party wear is so much more than a little black dress these days, so if we shop a bit smarter and think about what we’ve already got in our wardrobes, we can invest in key pieces that can be worn long after the office Christmas party is over. 

So what should you be looking for?

The Statement skirt - A statement skirt is a great investment piece whatever the season and can be styled in endless ways, for both day and night. Thanks to Gucci, the long pleated skirt is huge this autumn/winter and spring/summer next year too, so investing now is a smart move.

KEY PIECE: Reiss metallic bronzed pleated skirt £135

DAY French Connection slogan jumper £60 / Topshop faux-faux pom beanie £14 / Kurt Geiger ankle boots £95

NIGHT Zara studio peplum top £39.99 / Mango Beaded panel clutch / £29.99 Topshop snake-effect sandals £50

The wow trouser -  from leather to patent the wow trouser is perfect for both day and night. They look great styled with knitwear and trainers for that laid back sport luxe vibe during the day, making them the perfect alternative to jeans.

KEY PIECE: French Connection patent skinny trousers £80

DAY Mango ribbed edge sweater - £39.99 / Mango suede backpack - £39.99 / Nike dunk wedge trainers £85

NIGHT Topshop sequin polo top £75 / Reiss fringed clutch bag £135 / Zara mesh lace up shoes £49.99

The Jumpsuit - this go to one-piece is perfect for layering up in the colder months and is a style staple in any fashion savvy girls wardrobe, so will always be a good long-term investment.

KEY PIECE: French Connection braces jumpsuit £85

DAY: Topshop ribbed funnel neck top £16 / Office snakeskin boots £90 / Next suede bucket bag £52

NIGHT: Zara Shimmer pleated top £25.99 / Topshop limited edition court shoe £85 / Next quilted clutch bag £22

ROLL WITH IT

A/W15, Wardrobe staples, Knitwear, LayeringEmma CarrComment

The roll neck always used to remind me of my childhood and I’ve got many pictures as a toddler (in the late seventies), wearing one. Since last autumn/winter the roll neck has slowly but surely become a style staple again, and I have to say I’m on board. It’s not a trend everyone can wear, but if you’re a pear shape or slim-athletic, you’re in. If you’re a slim athletic with a bigger bust, think about wearing it layered underneath something - great under a shirt, jumpsuit or shift-dress. Using them to layer is not only good for staying warm, but a great way to add more colour and texture to your outfit too. For those of you that can wear them on their own, wear with a full midi skirt and knee length boots for that 70’s vibe, or high-waisted jeans and Mary-jane shoes for that 60’s look. It’s also worth remembering that as a roll neck comes right up to your face, you need to pick the most flattering colour for you. So if you do go for black, add a bright lipstick or a statement necklace. 

Images: Pinterest

 

VELVET CRUSH

A/W15, Velvet, Christmas party wearEmma CarrComment

From sequins to metallic, Christmas party season style is all about texture and sheen. For me, the standout fabric this Christmas is velvet. The high-street has fully embraced this trend with Zara, Topshop and Reiss really hitting the mark. From wide-legged trousers, tuxedo jackets, jumpsuits and skirts in every length and style, there is something to suit all body shapes. If you’re not quite ready to wear the full trend, there are plenty of beautiful velvet accessories and shoes, which will add that touch of luxe to any party outfit too. 

Images: Mango velvet shorts / Oasis velvet trouser / Mango velvet gown / Reiss navy velvet blazer / Zara velvet platform sandal / French Connection Jet velvet jumpsuit/ Topshop premium velvet jacket / Topshop green velvet skirt / Zara velvet bucket bag

 

THE STATEMENT SKIRT

A/W15, Statement skirtEmma CarrComment

Thanks to Gucci the pleated midi-skirt is THE skirt shape of autumn/winter 15. A flimsy pleated skirt doesn’t exactly scream autumn/winter, but when styled with tights, knitwear and knee length boots, you’ve got yourself the perfect winter outfit. There are some gorgeous metallic Gucci “lookalikes” on the high street right now, but have look in the vintage stores too. I picked myself up two beautiful print ones from a vintage fair last weekend, and with them appearing again in Gucci’s resort and spring/summer 16 collections, it looks like they were a good investment to make.

Images left to right: Topshop animal print pleated midi skirt/ M&S faux leather pleated skirt / Reiss metallic pleated midi skirt / Topshop silk satin pleated midi skirt  

 

ACCESSORIES EDIT - FRINGING

A/W15, Accessorising, FootwearEmma CarrComment

The fringing trend has been around for a few seasons now and it’s set to continue this autumn/winter. Accessories are the perfect way to wear this trend and for me it will always be a good addition to your wardrobe. I have a fringed handbag and leather jacket, both of which I’ve had for over five years and they always add that something special to the most basic of outfits. For me, that’s the key to wearing fringing - keep the rest of it simple and let your fringing do the talking. 

Images: Pinterest / fashionedchic.com / fashiongum.com 

 

WINTER WHITE

A/W15, Jigsaw A-line, Perfect combinations, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

Head-to-toe winter white popped up on my radar last autumn/winter and this year I’m converted. There’s something stylish and expensive looking about head-to-toe white in the winter - maybe it’s the layering of all the different textures that come with winter fabrics like wool, cashmere, mohair and sheepskin or the fact that it’s such a contrast to all the dark clothes people wear at this time of year. As I’ve said before, bright white isn’t for everyone and for me winter white is that slightly warmer off-white/cream which is far more flattering on most people. If wearing it head-to-toe feels too much, mix your winter white with camel and beige tones or add a coloured accessory - think leopard print bag, burgundy boots. Or alternatively just add a red or burgundy lip/nail for that fail safe finish to any autumn/winter outfit. I think once you give it a try, you’ll be converted too. 

Main images: Pinterest & product from left to right: Zara long coat with drape neck / Whistles Langly Roll Neck Knit / Topshop Zip front midi skirt / Jigsaw A-line Bess culottes / Reiss Karolina bonded knitted jacket

 

ACCESSORIES EDIT - THE 80'S TREND

A/W15, AccessorisingEmma CarrComment

Next up on my AW15 Accessories Edit is the 80’s. Now this isn’t necessarily a decade everyone wants to wear head-to-toe, but with the right accessory you can easily pull it off 2015 style. From polka dots to fishnets, sheer tights are back and a great way to add an 80’s vibe to your outfit. Oversized 80’s-insprired belts and statement earrings are also everywhere this autumn/winter. Alternatively add a pair of metallic stilettos or clutch and you’re sure to bring some 80’s sparkle to whatever you’re wearing. 

Main images: vogue.com & product from left to right: Topshop fishnet tights / Mango appliqué elastic belt / Office irresistible point shoe boots / Carvela Kurt Geiger Glow clutch / Topshop double open disc drop earrings / Mango wide leather belt / Topshop Rumour cross-stop sandals / Reiss Kyla cracked leather clutch / Marni resin geometric earrings (available from selfridges.com) / Next tan slouch point boots

 

JIGSAW A-LINE

A/W15, High Street Hero's, Wardrobe staples, Stylish mum, Jigsaw A-lineEmma CarrComment

Last week I was lucky enough to be involved in a photoshoot at the beautiful Jigsaw, King Street store in Manchester. During the shoot I got to take a look at their new A-Line collection and what a treat that was. From beautiful wool culottes to cashmere knits the 40 piece limited-edition collection is full of timeless pieces you’ll have in your wardrobe forever. The luxe fabrics and well cut designs mean we can all have a taste of affordable luxury. 

The mainline collection didn't disappoint either, in particular the outerwear and accessories. From perfectly tailored overcoats to gorgeous faux-fur stoles, Jigsaw is definitely hitting the mark again. 

Images: Jigsaw, King Street Manchester & A-Line marketing campaign

ACCESSORIES EDIT - ANIMAL PRINT

A/W15, AccessorisingEmma CarrComment

Next up on my Accessories Edit is the animal print trend. Personally, I think animal print accessories are a good addition to your wardrobe whatever the season. Head-to-toe black with some leopard print shoes, or a grey t-shirt and jeans with a snake skin belt, are just two of the many ways you can add something special to a simple outfit. From leopard, croc and zebra there are plenty of ways you can add some animal print into your wardrobe and with so much great choice out there right now, this Autumn/Winter is the perfect time to do it. 

1. Kurt Geiger Bailey Snake Clutch / 2. Zara leather high heel shoes / 3. Mango leopard leather cross body bag / 4. Aldo Goods bag / 5. Mint Velvet Sami kitten heel ankle boots / 6. Mango leather fur belt / 7. Topshop leopard print scarf / 8. Etassi knee high boots / 9. Carvela taupe combination heeled boots / 10. John Lewis Collection Weekend Pony Slip On Pumps