Crave Personal Styling

Wardrobe staples

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.

 

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

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

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

 

TOPSHOP UNIQUE - RESORT 2016

Topshop Unique, Resort 2016, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

Topshop Unique was the first premium collection available from a high-street brand and is now one of the hottest tickets in the Fashion Week calendar. The collections have been so successful theyhave gone on to add pre-fall and resort, with the Resort 2016 collection not disappointing.

From midi leather skirts, soft shearling coats and wool pinafore dresses the collection is full of retro references, but all with that Unique twist we’ve all come to know and love. With premium fabrics and design comes a premium price tag, but with such timeless pieces like these I think it’s an investment worth making. 

Images from left to right: Maida Wide Leg Trousers / Leather High Heel Courts / D’Arbly Chubby shearling / Windermere Silk Shirt / Romilly Leather Skirt /  Arlesey Long Sleeve Polo Top / Leather High Leg Boots / Inverness Wool Blend Pinafore Dress / Kensington Shearling Jacket

 

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

 

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

AW15 TRENDS - THE BLOUSE

A/W15, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

With the Seventies, Eighties and Victorian gothic set to be big for A/W15 the blouse is making a comeback. So what should you be looking for? If you want to go all Seventies look for silk pussy-bow blouses as seen at Gucci, or if you want to add a bit of Eighties into your wardrobe look for rounded, tied or high-necked collars, think Krystal Carrington in Dynasty. Finally, if you fancy going all Victorian goth then look for high-necked ruffled collars, gathered cuffs and lace. So how to wear it? Layer underneath a dress or jumper, or simply worn on it’s own with a great pair of jeans, whichever way you choose it will instantly update your look. 

Main Images: Pinterest & Blouses from left to right: Isabel Marant Uster printed silk-twill blouse / Mango contrast collar shirt / Zeus+Dione Phyllis pussy-bow embroidered silk-georgette blouse / Zara blouse with tie neck

 

IT'S A COVER UP

A/W15, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

With the final days of the September sunshine over, it’s time to turn our attention to one of our biggest wardrobe investments of the year - our winter coat. I have to say I’ve got a thing for outerwear, which is why I love autumn/winter style. You could be wearing the simplest of outfits, but add a great coat and it just feels all the more special. 

So, what to choose? There are the obvious classics which I think everyone woman should have in her wardrobe and which I’ve got in mine. The camel coat, grey overcoat, the classic trench, and the perfect parka. 

For those of you that like your coat to include some print I think animal print is always a good addition, as is tweed, plaid or check. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your coat has to be dark and dreary, so don’t be afraid to go for one in a bright colour. Just make sure you choose the right colour for your skin tone and one that will compliment the clothes in your wardrobe. As I mentioned in my blog ‘Seeing Red’ http://www.cravepersonalstyling.com/blog/seeingred I’ve bought myself a scarlet red coat recently, which will work with all the muted tones and animal prints I have in my wardrobe. 

It’s going to be one of your most worn items over the coming months and the first thing people see, so whatever you choose make sure it fits well and makes you feel great. Oh, and keeps you warm!

Images: Top row left to right: Kooples fur effect coat / Marc Cain leopard print coat / Mango cotton wool blend coat / Mango premium long wool coat / Cos rib neck wool coat / Zara handmade coat Bottom row left to right: Zara Alpaca coat / Mango boucle wool coat / Mango double breasted wool coat / Malene Birger Athenia wool coat / M&S checked coat / Topshop premium faux-fur lined parka

 

WARDROBE HERO - TRAINERS

Wardrobe Hero, Wardrobe staples, Stylish mum, FootwearEmma CarrComment

Gone are the days when trainers were worn solely by those that go to the gym. With the rise of the Sports Luxe trend, trainers have slowly become a wardrobe staple for the fashion conscious. They are certainly a wardrobe staple for me, which is why they are one of my Wardrobe Hero’s. The right pair of trainers can elevate your look in an effortless way, not to mention that they are incredibly comfortable - which is why I spend most of my time in them! Stylish and comfortable, what’s not to love? 

Images: Pinterest

 

WIDE LEG TROUSERS

A/W15, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment
Wide-leg trousers.001.jpg

With the 70’s trend continuing into autumn/winter the wide leg trouser looks set to be the must-have shape of the season. I’ve always liked a wide leg trouser, there’s something chic and stylish about them. Maybe it’s the fact you have to wear them with a heel, or that they can be incredibly leg lengthening, which always makes me feel that way when I wear them. Or maybe it’s because I’m a pear body shape and a wide leg is a great way to bring balance to my silhouette.

The good news is a wide leg is also great for apple and hourglass body shapes. The key is choosing the best fabric, colour and style for your body shape. Pears look great in high waisted styles and should stick to clean lines and darker colours to minimise your bottom half. Apples can experiment with colour and print and should look for flat fronted, semi low rise styles with some stretch for comfort. Hourglass body shapes are pretty balanced on top and bottom, but a wide leg will emphasise your great waist so look for high waisted styles in tailoring that move with your curves.   

From tailored trousers, kicked flare and culottes there is a wide leg trouser style for everyone, which means we can all give them a try this autumn/winter and beyond!

1.Sandro Push trousers / 2. Reiss Storm wide leg tailored trousers / 3. Topshop wide leg trousers / 4. Topshop Unique Mason cropped wide Leg trousers / 5. Zara polka dot trousers / 6. Whistles Renee wide crop trouser

Main image: Pinterest

 

SKINNY JEANS

Jeans, Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment

Skinny jeans have been the go-to-jean for the last decade now, but is the once style staple finally losing popularity? Don't get me wrong, I think there will always be a place for them in our wardrobes. Worn the right way they are surprisingly flattering on most body shapes and it's hard to give up wearing something we've relied on for so long now. Plus finding the perfect jean is like the search for the Holy Grail, so the easy option is to just stick to what we know, isn’t it..? I’ve found myself moving on to a slim-fit jean instead of a skinny these days and I’m also loving the new girlfriend jeans that are popping up everywhere. Of course, which new styles to try will depend on your body shape and your personal style, but it’s definitely time to step out of your comfort zone and give the great selection of jean styles out there a try. 

If you would like any help finding your perfect jeans please get in touch to see how Crave Personal Styling can help you. t: 07930 033889 / e: enquiries@cravepersonalstyling.com 

Image: Pinterest

 

WARDROBE STAPLES

Wardrobe staplesEmma CarrComment
Wardrobe staples image.001.jpg

We hear the phrases ‘capsule wardrobe’ and ‘wardrobe staples’ a lot these days when reading about fashion. They are the handful of items in your wardrobe that pull the rest of it together, the ones you go to time and time again. 

Some of my wardrobe staples are my Topshop high-waisted girlfriend jeans, a Mango nude blouse, a pair of black Kurt Geiger ankle boots, a black Mango satchel bag and my now very worn (but much loved) Whistles leather jacket. For you it may be different, but whatever your key pieces are this is where it’s worth investing. Choose pieces that are timeless style-wise and most importantly flatter your body shape. Once you’ve nailed your key pieces you’ll never be stuck for something to wear again, which for me, is an investment worth making.

If you would like help creating your capsule wardrobe then please get in touch to see how Crave Personal Styling can assist you. t: 07930 033889 / e: enquiries@cravepersonalstyling.com 

Images: Leather Jacket: Whistles / Jeans: Topshop / Blouse & Bag: Mango / Boots: Kurt Geiger