Talking to Arms and Shoes As Spanners: Meet Suzanne Smith

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In January 2016 Suzanne decided that it was time to leave her management accounting role in the Insurance Industry and  pursue a passion for helping people as a holistic therapist. After experiencing the benefits of Kinesology for herself, Suzanne decided to help others bring their body back into balance, allowing them to boost their energy, revitalise their body and feel great again. 

Suzanne's speciality is in helping those suffering from illnesses such as ME and Fibromyaligia which lead to symptoms of chronic fatigue. Here's Suzanne's Story:

 


Suzanne's Business

Working her magic with a client

Working her magic with a client

What made you start your business?

It didn't start out as a business decision, I wanted to pursue my interest and knowledge with health kinesology as it fascinated me, the whole concept of talking to your arm! It snowballed from that. Eighteen months on and I'm increasingly business focused and it's growing.

Who inspires you?

The women that I meet, who are all at different stages of progress in their business. It makes me realise that I can do it. Everybody's out there trying their damnest to do their best and succeed on their own terms.

Best piece of advice you have given or have received?

I was told by another therapist it would take three years to build up a client base. This gave me a rule of thumb to work to, knowing that it took time to build up a client referring sustainable business. I'm half way there and it keeps me going. I'm also a fatalist, you bump into people at the time you need to bump into them.

What’s your must read book or resource?

I like two different genres, I like to immerse myself in fantasy books, like the Twilight series which I find easy to read and take me away from reality. I also enjoy personal development books; I've read two books recently which are One Big Thing by Phil Cooke and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, both about getting the best out of yourself. Both are slim books that didn't take long to read but the contents really made me sit up and think.

Do you have a go to look or outfit for work?

My style has changed a lot, it varies now depending on my mood. Previously it was mix and match trousers and jackets which created quite similar outfits. Nowadays, I continue to wear trousers for practicality as I move around a lot during treatments. I team the trousers with a smart jacket, a blouse or a cardigan, as I don't feel dressed otherwise! I usually wear a scarf to finish the outfit.


Networking online or offline?  

Offline.

Facebook or Instagram? 

Facebook.

Paper diary or digital?

Both, which is a bit mad! Paper for when I'm with client's and digital for on the go so I can check what I'm meant to be doing!

Phone call or email? 

Phone call.

Coffee or tea? 

Always tea!


Suzanne's Lifestyle

Enjoying family time

Enjoying family time

Favourite way to de-stress and chill?

Being with friends or reading.

Do you have a secret passion or hobby?

I love walking and connecting back to the world. We're so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country.

Ideal holiday location?

It varies so much! I love cities and the buzz, I try to spend a lot of time in London; ideally I'd like to spend two or three days a month there if a could.

What one ‘bucket list’ thing would you love to do this year?

Go to a resort with a blue-green sea, a white beach and hammock, with accommodation being a stones throw away. I don't care about the location, just the setting, 

Three things you’d take on a desert island?

A desert island cookbook- 1001 ways to eat coconuts or something! A radio to connect with the outside world if you wanted to and/or something to listen to or play music on.


Suzanne's Style

Treasured pieces from Suzanne's wardrobe

Treasured pieces from Suzanne's wardrobe

What's the best bargain in your wardrobe?

Over the years, shoes. I love shoes! I a pair from Majorca with the girls about 20 years ago [on the right]. I thought they were fabulous! But they were a bit ridiculous as I kept tripping over the pointy ends!  Probably time to let them go.

Most treasured or oldest item in your wardrobe?

I bought a fab belt with a rhinestone buckle on it [on the right]. The leather belt it was attached to has since disintegrated but I love it and can't bear to part with it!

Latest wardrobe addition?

I've got a formal ladies dinner go to next week, I bought a jacket in royal blue, bright red and black stripes. I just need to find a little top to sit underneath it.

What’s on your wish list at the moment?

Some winter trousers, preferably not in black!

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

According to my husband too many! Probably about 15- 20. I told my husband it's like have different spanners for different jobs, you need shoes for different occassions!


Heels or Flats?

Flats.

Shoes or handbags?

Shoes.

Skirt or trousers?

Trousers.

Lipstick or smoky eye?

Lipstick.

Hat or scarf?

Scarf.


Thank you Suzanne! You can find out more about Suzanne and how she can help revitalise your energy on her Facebook page or website.

Flexible Working and a Yearning for Quiet Time: Meet Melissa Bainbridge

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Mel's warm and charismatic personality instantly puts you at ease when you meet her. She is supportive and compassionate, balancing her business with two young boys.

Mel is a business partner at FM Cosmetics and Fragrances and is focused on building her team and spreading awareness of the FM products. It was Mel who introduced me to the fabulous FM mineral make-up that I now wear ever day and recommend to my client's!

Here's Mel's Story:

 


Mel's Business

Experimenting with her FM Make-Up kit

Experimenting with her FM Make-Up kit

What made you start your business?

After having my eldest son, Jack, I decided to leave my career in marketing for a more flexible lifestyle around my son and family. I discovered FM two years ago whilst I was in another network marketing business, Stella & Dot. I immediately loved the FM products and accessible price point. I initially juggled the two but then decided to solely concentrate on FM about a year ago.

Who inspires you?

My family whom I am building my business for. I also enjoy the teachings of Eric Worre a networking marketing specialist, aswell as my upline Justina, whose passion is inspiring.

Best piece of advice you have given or have received?

Just do it! Just begin and stop thinking about it!

What’s your must read book or resource?

I’m reading The Secret at the moment.

Do you have a go to look or outfit for work?

Jeans, a nice top, shoes with a bit of a heel and a jacket.


Mel's Lifestyle

Mel's must-have Phenomonal Mascara

Mel's must-have Phenomonal Mascara

Favourite way to de-stress and chill?

Gin or a bottle of wine after the children have gone to bed, in silence with no distractions! Sometimes I read, I like thrillers, I last read a Girl on the Train and I also like Jojo Moyes.

Do you have a secret passion or hobby?

Pre-children making jewellery, which I hope to get back into in the future.

Ideal holiday location?

Spain, Costa Blanca which we last visited in June.

What one ‘bucket list’ thing would you love to do this year?

In business, getting to the next level in my business. Personally, read another book, it took me a year to read the last one!

Three things you’d take on a desert island?

Phenomenal Mascara by FM. A book, which I’ll actually get to read without distractions. A toothbrush.


Mel's Style

Date-night outfit, in a Zara coat she bought on our first shopping trip together

Date-night outfit, in a Zara coat she bought on our first shopping trip together

What's the best bargain in your wardrobe?

£28 leather Office boots which I wear loads!

Most treasured or oldest item in your wardrobe?

A spotted black and cream floaty silk skirt I bought in Paris with my now husband. I will probably never wear it again but will always keep it, because of the memories.

What’s on your wish list at the moment?

A summer dress, I live in shorts and jeans.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

20-30 including flip flops and things.


This or That?

Relaxing and enjoying down time

Relaxing and enjoying down time

Heels or Flats?

Flats.

Shoes or handbags?

Shoes

Skirt or trousers?

Trousers

Lipstick or smoky eye?

Lipstick

Hat or scarf?

Scarf


Thank you Mel! You can find out more about Mel and the FM Cosmetics and Fragrance range on her Facebook page or the full product range is on her website, I love the FM make-up range and use their foundation, concealer, mascara and eye shadows, so give it a try!

Awakening Your Dreams Whilst Wearing a Red Dress: Meet Joanna Butler

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Joanna is one of the most passionate people you can hope to meet, her smile, enthusiasm and determination to help  others radiates from her. 

Having had a fast paced career in technology and marketing, Joanna burnt out and realised that she needed to rebuild her career and reevaluate her purpose. During her journey back to health, Joanna discovered life changing tools which enriched her life and helped her refocus her energies. Joanna now helps others shift their personal limitations and establish a mindset to allow them to achieve their own goals. Here's Joanna's Story:

 


Joanna's Business

Awakening dreams

Awakening dreams

What made you start your business?

A very strong desire to help people and make a positive difference in their lives on a personal level.

Who inspires you?

It doesn't matter where someone is along their journey in life, I'm always inspired by people who have the tenacity to continue to identify and chase their dreams.

Best piece of advice you have given or have received?

"Set your intention and let go of the outcome." I set intentions at the beginning of every day plus any other significant activity including client sessions, classes, even rest time. Letting go of the outcome is crucial, though. This allows an even better or more suitable outcome than you could have imagined. It opens up infinite possibilities. It also allows you to go with the flow when things don't go as planned and do whatever is needed rather than getting too upset. 

What’s your must read book or resource?

The Diamond Cutter - The Buddha on managing your business and your life, by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally - has literally changed my life AND my business.

Do you have a go to look or outfit for work?

I would have to say the red dress from Blonde and Wise that is becoming part of my business's branding right now. It represents so many dreams coming true for me: the dress itself, the trip to Paris for New Years Eve and the soul mate who I met and went with and wore it for. But day-to-day it would have to be smart-casual clothes or probably yoga clothes since I work from home and am studying yoga.


Joanna's Lifestyle

Seeing the culture and making memories

Seeing the culture and making memories

Favourite way to de-stress and chill?

Has to be yoga or walking in nature or the two combined!

Do you have a secret passion or hobby?

I have recently taken up pencil drawing again and am absolutely loving it! It takes me a while to find things I want to draw and the time, but when I do, I adore it. It's so relaxing!

Ideal holiday location?

Literally anywhere. Including at home. But usually wherever my loved ones are so we can make great memories and share experiences together. If there's sunshine, gentle warmth, some culture to explore too... then I'm in heaven!

What one ‘bucket list’ thing would you love to do this year?

I must admit I don't really have bucket list items anymore as I just seem to DO them as fast as I dream them up! My latest ones:

  • Spend NYE in Paris with my man, celebrating in a red dress (done already!)
  • Visit Wales in the springtime (going in a few weeks!)
  • Study yoga (in training right now!)
  • Build up my aerobic fitness / stamina to do some leisure cycling and gentle jogs with my man by late summer (on track so far!)

Three things you’d take on a desert island?

Raw cacao / chocolate. Isagenix chocolate shakes (there's a theme here!). Oh, and my man! 


Joanna's Style

Red Blonde and Wise dress

Red Blonde and Wise dress

What's the best bargain in your wardrobe?

Probably the leather boots from Dune that have endured thousands of miles of travels, lots of plane rides, snow and winter weather down to -20 deg C. They've only been re-soled once and still polish up well! 

Most treasured or oldest item in your wardrobe?

At the moment it's probably the red dress, 'Anna' by Blonde and Wise that I mentioned earlier. 

Latest wardrobe addition?

A beautiful handmade moonstone and gold necklace by Jess from Jess Kay Designs. 

What’s on your wish list at the moment?

I'm dreaming of some more bootleg or even flared jeans that I used to own years ago. Super comfy and I love wider leg styles.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Probably about 20 which sounds like a lot! 


This or That?

Complete as one

Complete as one

Heels or Flats?

Always love heels, but most of the time I go for flats because of my active lifestyle.

Shoes or handbags?

Shoes.

Skirt or trousers?

Always prefer how I feel in skirts but, again, trousers just suit my lifestyle most of the time!

Lipstick or smoky eye?

Smoky eye.

Hat or scarf?

Scarf although I adore hats! I just never seem to find an opportunity to wear one!


Thank you Joanna! You can find out more about Joanna and just be inspired with her passion and insights on her Facebook page. Or if you would like to find out more about how she can help you awaken and align your dreams and life goals, head over to her website.

Follow Your Instincts and Make it Fuchsia Pink: Meet Jacqui Rogerson

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Jacqui is one of those ladies that you meet who automatically draws you in with her bubbly personality and radiates with positivity! Jacqui's own personal story is inspiring having come through personal traumas and loss, but she embraces those experiences and intends to use them to help others in the future in a series of books.

Jacqui is a trained florist and started to use her crafting skills twelve years ago to create jewellery, candles and greetings cards. This evolved into making luxury wedding invitations and Stationery and the last three years have seen a massive growth and uplevelling in Jacqui's wedding business. Here's Jacqui's story:


Jacqui's Business

Expert at work

Expert at work

What made you start your business?

I was asked by a friend of a friend to make her wedding invitations after she had seen the quality of greetings cards and DIY invitation kits I was putting together. I then received more and more requests which gave me the confidence to push forward with establishing myself solely as a Wedding Stationer.

Who inspires you?

I get inspired by the people around, those who go out there and get it done. It gives me the push to know that if they can do it so can I. One such friend is Jo Wakefield, Iced and Spiced by Cakey Wakey, who has a brilliant business ethos running a cake design and decor business with her husband and gives a lovely personal touch to her work. I have also recently been lucky enough to find my soulmate and he inspires me in everything he does, he is amazing! I also wouldn't be where I am in my business without the support of my business coach Emma Etheridge, The Wedding Biz Coach, or in my life now without Emily Hill, Manifest Like a Goddess.

Best piece of advice you have given or have received?

Don’t do something because someone says it’s a good idea. I’ve followed people’s advice in the past as it worked for their business, but it didn’t necessarily work for mine.  I learnt from them, but once I decided to do what I wanted to do with my business, it flew! Also, although something's been done before it’s never been done by you, it’s not about copying someone else it’s about putting your twist on it.

What’s your must read book or resource?

The Universe Has Your Back, by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Do you have a go to look or outfit for work?

I keep it casual at home as I like to be comfortable. At events I wear clothes that reflect my personality. After up levelling my business I considered whether I should be wearing 'posher' clothes, likes suits, to reflect my high-end stylish, elegant brand but I knew that just wasn’t me. My work is different to who I am and as long as people are clear on the high-end quality of work I do, I will be true to my personal style which is quirky and a bit random!


Jacqui's Lifestyle

And Relax!

And Relax!

Favourite way to de-stress and chill?

Meditation, swimming and chilling in sauna and spa. My favourite way to spend a Friday night! Also just being with my perfect man.

Do you have a secret passion or hobby?

Jewellery making and swimming.

Ideal holiday location?

An all inclusive, not too quiet, just enough going on. I don’t want to feel like I have to follow an agenda and go off every day exploring. I just want to chill out. But I like to visit new places, countries and love city breaks. I'm keen to visit New York soon. 

What one ‘bucket list’ thing would you love to do this year?

I’d love to go on a cruise!

Three things you’d take on a desert island?

Something scented, like a oil as I like smells. Tragically, sun tan lotion otherwise I will just burn! Oh and a nice bottle of gin.


Jacqui's Style

At a friends wedding in her signature style

At a friends wedding in her signature style

What's the best bargain in your wardrobe?

A Joe Brown maxi dress, it wasn't a bargain in price terms, but I could wear it to any occasion and it would work, whether it be a wedding or just around the house. Therefore it’s the best value piece I own.

Most treasured or oldest item in your wardrobe?

A pink dress I wore to my son's graduation, because it has a lot of symbolism to it after loosing a lot of weight.

Latest wardrobe addition?

Coral shoes from Debenhams blue cross sale, which make me feel really girly!

What’s on your wish list at the moment?

Nothing at the moment, I want to maximise what I already have in the wardrobe.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Around 30, but I don’t wear around ⅔ of them!


This or That?

Getting her sparkle on at Splendour

Getting her sparkle on at Splendour

Heels or Flats?

Flats.

Shoes or handbags?

Handbags

Skirt or trousers?

Skirts

Lipstick or smoky eye?

Lipstick

Hat or scarf?

Scarf


Thank you Jacqui! You can find out more about Jacqui and her luxury wedding invitations and Stationery on her Facebook page or  website, prepare to be dazzled!

Your Swimwear Dilemmas Solved!

 

 

I recently asked my Facebook followers, what are your main swimwear issues and what do you struggle to find? I received a great response and a varied list of struggles. Given the approaching  school summer holidays, I have tracked down some of the best styles on the High Street and online to assist you and give you some ideas. I hope that this post helps you to choose your perfect swimwear and help you feel confident in it.  


Figleaves £55

Figleaves £55

Get Balance

  • First thing to do is to identify your body proportions, are you smaller on the top half and bigger on the bottom half or vice a versa?
  • To create balance in your swimwear, put colour and details on the smaller half of your body, keeping the larger half in darker or plain colours. This will visually re-balance your proportions.
  • The swimsuit on the left will minimise a larger bottom half, whilst maximising a smaller bust and highlighting the waist. Perfect for those with a pear shaped body.

V By Very £25

V By Very £25

Swimwear that creates curves

  • Look for swimwear with patterns and colour variations that will keep the eye moving and divide up the torso. 
  • If you prefer a solid block colour, choose suits with other details like cut outs, belts, frills or buttons which will provide a visual break and create curves.
  • The stripes on the left create an optical break in the torso and will break up a rectangular or longer body.

ASOS £36

ASOS £36

Swimwear for Bigger Busts under £50

  • You want the support of good swimwear, but want to find something contemporary and affordable.
  • ASOS have a great selection of styles in their DD+ section includes bikinis and swimsuits from their own Fuller Bust range aswell as those from independent brands such as Poi Moi and Wolf and Whistle. There is a great selection ranging from a DD cup to a G. Prices start at £20 for a swimsuit and £12 for a bikini top.
  • Boux Avenue have some very on trend bikinis from a 28DD to a 38G, with tops at £30 and bottoms at £16.
  • Figleaves have good classic styles and Debenhams Gorgeous range have an extensive range of colour and prints.

Hunkemoller Eur49.99

Hunkemoller Eur49.99

Tall Swimsuits for those over 5'8"

  • A few high street brands have their own 'Tall' ranges, but like many 'specialist ranges'  now tend to be available only online. 
  • Marks and Spencer and Boden stock classic style longer length swimsuits. ASOS tall range has more trend led styles and beach cover ups. 
  • Also try Dutch based brands who tend to come up longer in the body to accommodate the averagely taller population, such as Espirit and Hunklemoller who ship to the UK.

Next £26

Next £26

Swimwear with Tummy Cover

  • There are many ranges which have been developed with 'secret' support and sculpting panels which keep the tummy supported. If you want to wear a bikini, a retro style higher waisted brief will keep the lower half of your tummy supported. Ruched details or patterns will provide a distraction to a heavier tummy.
  • Try high street brands Marks and Spencer, the Speedo Sculptural range (around £50) and Miraclesuit (around £130).
  • The swimsuit on the left has the look of a tankini with the benefit of it being one piece so there's no worry about the top half riding up.

Curvy Kate £60

Curvy Kate £60

Fashionable Plus Size Bikinis

  • ASOS Plus Size range include seasonal trends in a range of colours and on trend patterns.
  • The Boohoo Plus Size and Curve range have bikinis and swimsuits from £20 for sizes 16-26.
  • Curvy Kate has a colourful range of directional swimwear with contemporary styling. Bikini tops from £35.

Floozie at Debenhams £45

Floozie at Debenhams £45

Enhance a Small Bust

  • Higher 'sporty' style swimsuits will visually enhance the size of a bust, as will voluminous details such as ruffles.
  • Alternatively enjoy the freedom to not require underwire and go for a swimsuit with a plunging neckline. 
  • The frill on the left will add volume to a small bust and the bardot neckline will add width to narrow shoulders.

Phase Eight £44

Phase Eight £44

Large briefs and a non-underwired bikini

  • Large briefs have become very popular over recent years thanks to a retro comeback and so there are many higher waisted styles around. 
  • Just beware of the style of leg, although you may wish to get as much cover as possible for your bottom, a very lower 'boy' leg or boxer style will actually make your bottom look larger because of the amount of fabric. Opt for a mid to higher leg instead.

Biba at House of Fraser £55

Biba at House of Fraser £55

Swimwear for the over 60s

  • There are no specific guides or ranges for different age groups and it really depends on your proportions and preferences. 
  • If you prefer a classic swimsuit that covers and brings control to your torso, see  'Swimwear with Tummy Cover' above.

Next £45

Next £45

Stylish Cover Ups

  • For ultimate flexibility on holiday, aim to have one plain and one patterned cover up to coordinate with the colour palettes of your swimwear so that you have a piece for each item.
  • Next and House of Fraser always have a good range of kaftans and beachwear online.
  • The best instore ranges can be found at Primark and Debenhams.

Seraphine, £35

Seraphine, £35

Non-Mumsy Maternity Swimwear

  • The maternity specialist Seraphine have timeless style bikinis, swimsuits and beachwear from £35 to £45.
  • For fashion forward budget swimwear try ASOS Maternity who always have a colourful selection and on trend details.
  • For classic neutral swimsuits, Figleaves have styles with hidden bust support for under £32.

I hope you have found this guide useful. Don't forget if you have any swimwear dilemmas not covered above, get in touch and I'd be happy to help.

Whether you are at the beach or poolside in the Caribbean or in the UK, have a fabulous summer holiday!

Hayley x

Client Experience: Sarah's Personal Shopping Trip to Birmingham

Sarah is a busy entrepreneur, running the successful and expanding  Naylor George Recruitment and balancing this with her love of coaching individuals through Live, Love, Life Coaching.  She has also just finished writing her first book and undertaken an additional coaching qualification, which has meant she has been an extremely busy lady of late! A shopping trip down to Birmingham was a treat to herself to give her some downtime.

The Brief

I first had a wardrobe consultation and personal shop with Sarah back in 2015 when her personal circumstances had just changed and she wanted her wardrobe to reflect her new self! After getting her core pieces sorted Sarah's wardrobe continued to evolve. However with her limited spare time Sarah found herself making quick, unplanned purchases which began to become a bit 'samey' and boring.

To get Sarah back on track we did some Style Identity work, which identified that Sarah had a long standing love of relaxed boho style elements, mixed with a splash of shiny metallics, an eclectic mix! We also found her celebrity style inspiration in Trinny Woodall, who shares similar characteristics and style to Sarah.

Shopping Trip

Having regularly shopped in Nottingham, Sarah wanted to try somewhere different and so we ventured down to the Bull Ring in Birmingham with it's impressive selection of department stores and shops which we just don't have locally. Within 10 minutes of arriving we had found Sarah two perfect pairs of shoes in Selfridges which underpin all her outfits, she also discovered her dream Issey Miyake bag, but the budget didn't stretch quite that far! 

Outfits

Here are a selection of Sarah's outfits, which mix with existing pieces that Sarah had, most of which we had picked up on a previous shopping trip:

Outfit 1

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 3

Outfit 4

Outfit 4

Outfit 5

Outfit 5

Outfit Details:

Outfit 1: Top, Whistles (last year); Culottes, Monsoon; Espadrilles (last year).

Outfit 2: Top, Oasis; Skirt; Karen Millen; Shoes, Clarks.

Outfit 3: Top, Monsoon; Leather Jacket and Denim Culottes, Whistles; Shoes, Carvela.

Outfit 4: Top, Joules; Skirt, existing piece; Shoes, Clarks.

Outfit 5: Dress, Warehouse; Sandals, Carvela; Cat (models Own!).

Feedback

Here is what Sarah said about the experience:

Many thanks for ALL your help – it was a fab day even if I was totally knackered! Loving my new clothes. I would never have been able to achieve all of that without your fab help!

Style Question... How To Style Jogging Bottoms For The Spring

Hi Hayley, I really like the casual look of smart jogging bottoms and just haven't managed to find the right ones. I am also not sure exactly how to wear them and what to team with it. I would really love to nail the trend for spring, can you help?!

Of course I can! The staple sportswear item has been given a makeover over recent years and is now a great casual contemporary alternative to jeans and oh so comfy! Here are Olivia Palmero, Emma Stone and Emily Blunt sporting the trend.

Top Tips

To look contemporary and avoid veering into Vanilla Ice or Vicky Pollard territory follow these top tips:

  1. Slim cut pair. For a contemporary silhouette, no MC Hammer crotch! 
  2. Neutral shade. Will give you maximum styling options.
  3. Keep it simple. Team with t-shirts, vest tops, relaxed knits.
  4. Cover up. Try a leather or denim jacket.
  5. Choose the fabric wisely. Go for a pair with a tailored element to them in a good quality jersey or light weight cotton. Avoid the thick heavy material of traditional sports wear. 

How to Wear

One of the trickiest things most people find with wearing a sports inspired trouser is what footwear to team it with. Keep it casual in line with it's sportswear roots, by teaming it with trainers, sandals, espadrilles or Toms during the daytime. If you want to wear them for evening, you can swap them for some heels for a nightime look. Here are some ideas:

Outfit Board

The black jogging bottoms featured below are from Hush (£49.50) and also available in khaki and charcoal so a neutral to co-ordinate with every colour palette. All the other pieces are from the High Street, simply click for all the details.

Do You Have a Style Question?

Get in touch, or if you would like some personalised advice for you check out my in person and online services. In the meantime, head over to my Facebook page for regular style tips and ideas.

Hayley

Client Experience: Gemma's Occasion Fix

Gemma contacted me after buying some glittery silver jeans in the Black Friday sale, but being unsure how to wear them for an upcoming works Christmas party. Gemma wanted a relaxed evening look, without being too dressy.

Morgan Glittery Coated 7/8 Slim Jeans, £49

 

Here's are some image I used to inspire the outfits:

Gemma Inspo.jpg

 

Outfit Boards

To offset the sparkle of the trousers, I included simple, casual elements, using the same cool colour palette to complement Gemma's colouring.

The Outfits

Here's Gemma in her outfit, inspired by the boards:

Gemma_Outfit1.jpg
Gemma_Outfit2.jpg

Feedback

"I bought the trousers without thinking about what I was going to wear with them. I got a bit overwhelmed and was running out of time so decided to ask Hayley for some ideas.  My favourite outfits were Look 1 and 3, I decided to mix up and inspired me to use some similar pieces which I already had. I found the outfit boards really helpful, it took the worry out of what to wear. I liked the outfit so much I actually ended up wearing for my birthday night out the week before my works night out! My friends really liked my outfit and I got lots of compliments.'

If you need some help with an outfit for a special occasion, check out my Online Special Occasion Fix.

Hayley

Client Experience: Elaine's Online Capsule Wardrobe Fix

Elaine had a colour and style consultation a few years ago with a different consultant. Elaine has always followed the advice given to her, but has found it difficult to always find pieces in the shops which tick all the boxes, whilst still looking contemporary.

THE BRIEF

Elaine works four days as a Legal Executive spending most of her time seeing client's in the office, but occasionally having to go on last minute hearings to court with little notice. Elaine therefore requires a flexible business casual wardrobe, with the option to upgrade to a suit when required.

OUTFIT BOARDS

To complement Elaine's cool, deep Winter colouring I chose basics in neutral colours of black and grey for a skirt, trousers and jackets, combining them with accents of deep forest green, deep fuchsia and aubergine. This ensured that everything worked together to provide as many outfit options for Elaine as possible.

OUTFITS

Here is Elaine in a couple of her new outfits:

Elaine_Home3.jpg
Elaine_Home1.jpg
Elaine_Home2.jpg

FEEDBACK

"My work wardrobe had become dated and I hate shopping for work clothes. Some pieces I have had for longer than I care to think about, there may even have been a few maternity pieces left from when I was pregnant with my son, 4 years ago! Although my wardrobe was full, I only wore a few things to work and felt that I didn't have anything to wear, I'm sure my colleagues were bored seeing me in the same old things! I owned a lot of suits from a previous role which I no longer use, but had not got around to replacing them with a new more casual wardrobe.  To complicate matters, I currently have a foot injury which means that my old shoes were uncomfortable and I had reverted to wearing slippers whilst sat at my desk!

I have been looking at Hayley's outfit boards for a while and when she launched the new Capsule Wardrobe Fix, it was the perfect solution! I asked Hayley to source me a Capsule Wardrobe with a budget of £400, to include some comfortable shoes and nothing that needed dry cleaning, it's a pain!

I was so excited when I received the first outfit board, I couldn't believe I could get a months worth of outfits from twelve pieces! I just loved how it all worked together. There was a pair of shoes which I wasn't keen on, so Hayley substituted them for me. My favourite piece is the dark forest green blouse with a jewelled neckline, which I would never have looked at in the shops, but I absolutely love it!

The process was so easy, I liked being able to order everything myself when I had time. There was a couple of pieces that didn't fit me when they arrived, but Hayley suggested alternatives which work really well. I feel so much better going to work and have had so many compliments. I can't wait to get Hayley to help me with a new Capsule for my casual wardrobe next year! "

How to Choose the Perfect Christmas Party Dress for Your Body Shape

It’s that time of year when party season is upon us, whether you have one or more occasions to go to, it can be stressful if you have nothing to wear. Most of us have a few occasion dresses lurking in the back of the wardrobe, but often they no longer fit, are outdated or you simply don’t really like it anymore!

For most of us it’s a rare opportunity to get glammed up, so you want to look good, feel confident and have a good time! Getting the shape of the dress right is key to finding the perfect fit and feeling comfortable in it. You want to find a dress that balances your body by accentuating it’s positives, flatters your natural shape and features.

To help you find your perfect shape dress, follow these simple guidelines. 

 
Little Mistress, £70

Little Mistress, £70

 

 

 

Heavier on the Bottom Half

If you carry your weight around your bum and thighs, a fit and flare shape or A-Line dress will skim and flow over your bottom half. Adding details on the top half will draw the attention upwards. Looks great teamed with a classic black heel and clutch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuller in the Middle

Elongate your torso and draw attention away from your waist. The sparkle on the neckline of this navy blue dress creates attention above your bust, whilst the asymmetric hem creates interest below. Just enough sparkle to be festive and wear it through the year too.

Mint Velvet, £129

Mint Velvet, £129

 
Coast, £69

Coast, £69

 

 

 

No Curves

If you feel that you want to add curves to your silhouette, try a dress with patterns which move the eye around the body. The horizontal bands on this dress will create the illusion of varying widths, adding curves to your body. The classic lace will be timeless.

 
The Pretty Dress Company £149

The Pretty Dress Company £149

 

 

 

Defined Curves

You have a balanced top and bottom half and proportionately smaller waist. Follow the natural curves in your body, by choosing a dress that nips in at the waist. This forest green dress comes in a stretch velvet to fit your curves and comes in a number of different colours.

 
Monsoon, £109

Monsoon, £109

 

 

Wider on the Top Half

Draw attention down to your hips with shimmering fabrics and details on your bottom half. The pleats in this velvet dress will add volume to your hipline, balancing it with your shoulders. The beautiful teal blue of the dress will work well for most colourings.

I hope that helps! If you need any further help and guidance or simply don't have time to shop, check out my new online Special Occasion Fix service, handpicked head to toe outfits especially for you! 

Hayley x

 

Client Experience: Alison's Wardrobe Update

Alison is a busy mum to two gorgeous daughters both under three. Due to Alison's recent pregnancies and demands of motherhood, she hadn't invested in her wardrobe which had meant that it had become dated and worn out. Alison called on me to bring her wardrobe back up to date!

The Brief

Alison wanted to create a contemporary and sophisticated wardrobe, which was practical for days with her daughters, but also a few pieces for work and evenings out.

Alison had a few items in her wardrobe that she still loved but that she had nothing to wear with them, such as a sequinned skirt and charcoal grey blazer. 

Together, we came up with a selection of images to inspire our shopping trip, which would then form the basis of Alison's new wardrobe.

You can see from the images that Alison prefers a neutral, muted palette of colours, with a mix of classic pieces and contemporary details. From this, I compiled a shopping list. This included updated basics which would form the backbone of Alison's wardrobe and finishing touches, such as a blanket scarf, a fedora hat and animal print ballet flats.

Shopping Trip

We headed into Nottingham and hit the High Street shops including H&M, Zara, Next and Oasis.  We found Alison lots of pieces that she could layer over the winter, rediscovered her love of hats and found an amazing festive outfit! The one thing we struggled with was finding wide fitting shoes. As is common in the shops, they have plenty of choice if you are a standard size/height/fit, but if you require tall/petite/wide fittings the stock in the stores is low or non-existent, so it's often a case of popping online to order some additional pieces.

Outfits

After a long day, including a stop off for lunch and an afternoon carrot cake to keep us energised we found some perfect outfits, here are just a few:

Outfit 1

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 3

Outfit Details:

Outfit 1: Coat, Zara; Top,Jeans and bag all Oasis; Boots, Next; Necklace existing piece. 

Outfit 2: Scarf, Jumper, shirt and Gloves, all H&M; Coat, Warehouse; Jeans, Oasis; Boots, Next.

Outfit 3: Top, Skirt and necklace, Next; Bag, Oasis; Shoes existing piece.

Feedback

Here is what Alison said about the experience:

My wardrobe took a back seat for effectively three years after having two children. I was left with a few well-worn favourites, very dull and dated staples and the odd pieces which didn’t go with anything else so still had price tags on!! The task of updating was daunting and I wanted to spend my limited time and money wisely so I got in touch with Hayley.

Hayley is friendly yet professional, she gave me lots of useful tips and advice on everything from how to organise my wardrobe to the best way to accessorise my clothes. Whilst out shopping Hayley kept me focused on what we were looking for and had a plan in place so that we could make best use of time. As well as finding completely new outfits, we picked up pieces to wear with items I already had, but had not yet worn so that I could make the most of them. It was  a really fun experience and I now have a wonderful selection of clothes which all work really well together, that I love. Thank you Hayley xx 

 

CLIENT EXPERIENCE: AMANDA'S PERSONAL SHOPPING TRIP

I met Amanda back in 2015 when we worked together on a fashion show. Amanda is a talented lifestyle photographer, specialising in commercial photography. As a busy entrepreneur, mum and wife, Amanda was ready to update her look and find out what really suited her.

THE BRIEF

Amanda’s primary objective was to find outfits that she felt comfortable in and were practical for her busy lifestyle, predominantly on the school run, on location as a photographer and at business events. Amanda was most at home in clothes with bohemian elements which reflected her artistic flair and passion for nature.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

We had an initial consultation in 2015 when I showed Amanda the 'spring' colours which made her glow and the style of colours which would flatter her body shape, we even got to have a mini personal shop in a local boutique when Amanda found a sassy dress and shoes for an event she was going to.

OUTFIT BOARDS

To reflect Amanda’s requirements I created a number of spring and summer outfits boards for her with inspiration of outfits to wear for different occasions, which she could just click and shop. She loved them!

SHOPPING TRIP

As the colder weather set in Amanda realised that her Autumn/Winter wardrobe was not up to the same standard as her new outfits for warmer months and so we booked in a shopping trip to Meadowhall to find her some perfect pieces. Amanda’s priority for this trip was clothes that she could wear for networking events and client meetings.


We shopped in Amanda’s go to brands of Debenhams, Next and Marks and Spencer. I also introduced her to White Stuff which I knew would have plenty of patterned skirts and dresses she would love!

THE OUTFITS


After a fun few hours we had found plenty of pieces which all worked with each other, giving Amanda plenty of mix and match outfit options.

Outfit 1 

Outfit 1 

Outfit 2

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 3

Outfit 4

Outfit 4

Outfit Details:

Outfit 1: Top, Oasis. Skirt, Amanda's own.

Outfit 2: Dress, Mantary at Debenhams. Boots Amanda's own.

Outfit 3: Top, Marks and Spencer. Gilet, Marks and Spencer. Skirt, White Stuff.

Outfit 4: Top, Marks and Spencer. Skirt, White Stuff.

FEEDBACK

"If I'm honest, I was a wee bit anxious about my personal shopping trip with Hayley as I wasn't sure whether there would be enough choice to suit me in the shops. But I needn't have worried, Hayley knew where to find everything and I was surprised by the amount of choice I had!  

My aim for the shopping trip was to find pieces that could be mixed and matched to make up several different outfits that I could wear on different occasions . Hayley showed me how to put different combinations together whilst we shopped and I am really pleased with the selection that we found which enables me to do just that.

Working with Hayley was lots of fun, she's very easy to get on with.  Hayley picked lots of pieces up for me to try on which I wouldn't have chosen myself. It was fab as it allowed me to experiment and try new things and I loved her choices!

Having a personal shopping experience is an investment in yourself and one that will give you value for many years to come so if you've been thinking about doing it for a while now's the time to do it so you look and feel amazing in time for the festive season! "

HOW TO FIND YOUR STYLE PERSONALITY

Do you prefer neutrals or bright colours? Statement pieces or understated elegance? Minimal or embellished? Or do you feel overwhelmed and not really sure what you like, let alone how to turn it into an outfit that you can actually wear?! Don’t despair, read on!

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

Having a clear idea of what you like will really help you to create outfits that you love and wear. I think it’s one of the areas that is the most important to me when I am advising clients, because everybody has their own tastes, likes and dislikes. One look definitely does not fit all, although some key wardrobe basics definitely help!

The more you know about what you like, your style and the image you want to portray, the easier it is to find and create outfits that you love. As a stylist, knowing this make it easier for me to advise my client's about how to use those elements in your own wardrobe so that you can create your perfect outfits. 

FIND YOUR INSPIRATION

The simplest and most visual way to do this is through Pinterest. If you haven’t used Pinterest before, it’s effectively an online scrapbook of millions of images to inspire you, no old style sticking and gluing required! Pinterest is an amazing tool for getting inspiration. Accounts are free and you can sign up here with a few easy details. But warning, you may find it a bit addictive and hours can easily pass by!

  1. Simply create a ‘board’, you can find out how to do this here. You could call it something like ‘Outfit Inspiration’. In the category, choose ‘women's fashion’.

  2. Want to keep you board a secret? When you create a board it defaults to a public board, so that anybody can search and see what you have created. If you want to keep it a secret so only you and I can see it, simply click the option ‘Secret’ below the category. You can change the boards privacy options at any time.

  3. For my client’s, you can add me as a collaborator Hayley Eleanor so that I can see the board and suggest outfits for you.

  4. Start pinning! To help you get started to find images you like, here are a few options:

    1. Take a look at my profile and pin images you like.

    2. Use the search feature to input details such as ‘women’s casual outfits’ or ‘women’s coats’, etc.

    3. Use the ‘home feed’ feature next to the search bar to search images in Women’s Fashion.

    4. You can also upload images you find on websites or images you have taken or stored. Find out how to here.

THE ANALYTICAL BIT...

Once you have created an outfit board, now is time to analyse it. Don't worry it's nothing complicated, no science or math degrees required! Simply list the things that the images you have pinned have in common, to get you started:

  1. Colours are they bold, soft, neutral?
  2. Prints/ patterns, do you have lots or stripes, busy patterns?
  3. Details, do the pieces have lots going on or are they minimal?
  4. Fit, are the looks tailored or loose?
  5. Pieces, have you pinned a lot of trousers or skirt?
  6. Accessories, do the images contain lots of statement jewellery or is it barely there?
  7. Statement, does one statement pieces crop up repeatedly, such as shoes or bag?

TRADITIONAL STYLE PERSONALITIES

To assist you, I have summarised eight of the traditional style personalities below. It may be that you wholeheartedly align yourself with one  or that you find yourself associated with elements of a few. No matter which you fall into, it's important that it represents you so that you feel confident in your choices. There is no right or wrong. 

 

Classic.

You like co-ordinated basics, in neutral colours which combine for an elegant, timeless, sophisticated look. Celebrity followers: Elle McPherson, Kate Middleton and Anne Hathaway.

 


 

 

Romantic.

You like to look feminine with accents of lace, embellishment or sparkle, sometimes with vintage elements. Celebrity followers: Taylor Swift, Emma Watson and Naomi Watts.

 


 

Relaxed.

You want to feel comfortable in your clothing, preferring simple, casual looks which are easy to pull together. Celebrity followers: Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts.

 


 

Eclectic.

You like experimenting with unconventional and creative looks, by using patterns and playful combinations. Celebrity followers: Lady Gaga, Rachel Zoe and Lana Del Ray.


 

Bohemian.

You're free spirited and like clothing with an ethnic and bohemian vibe in natural fibres, paisley and florals. Celebrity followers: Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman, and Nicole Ritchie.

 


Fashionable.

You are a trendsetter, confident and bold in your choices ready to try out the next new thing! Celebrity followers: Beyonce, Blake Lively and Rihanna.


 

Dramatic.

You are confident in your clothing choices and like to stand out from the crowd. You show of your feminine form in bright or figure hugging clothing. Celebrity followers: Kim Kardashian, Dita Von Teese and Sharon Osbourne.

 

 


Rock.

You love to look edgy wearing leather and plaid with flourishes if lace, studs and metal work in deep moody hues. Celebrity followers: Kate Moss, Rita Ora and Pink.

 

 

 


PUT IT TOGETHER

Now that you know what you like, have a look in your wardrobe and see what key pieces you have identified you are missing to create the look, it may be a biker jacket for your rock chick days or some statement heels to add some vavoom to your outfit! Whatever it is, go forward and wear it with confidence!

I'm always posting easy to follow style and outfit inspiration over on my Facebook page, with ideas as to how to wear current trends so go and give it a 'like' for your daily dose of inspiration! If you're still struggling, get in touch for a one to one consultation where I can help you find your style mojo!

Hayley x

 


Style Question... Help! I Need Some New Ankle Boots for Work

Hi Hayley, I'm looking for some ankle boots for work. I would like a bit of heel that I can wear under my longer trousers instead of court shoes, but also something that would look nice with skirts. Can you help?

Ankle boots have become a wardrobe staple over the past few years. They're versatile, going with anything from skirts, shorts to jeans. They're much more flattering on most people than mid-calf styles and it's much easier to find a pair to fit than knee high styles which have to fit around your calves aswell, which can be a challenge in itself!

Here are a few quick tips to bear in mind when choosing ankle boots:

Your Scale

Choose a pair which replicate the size of your legs. If you are slimmer legged, a pair of chunky wedges or thick platform will make your legs look twiggy and feet  boat like, so opt for a lighter weight pair. If you have heavy legs, a delicate heel will make them appear thicker, whereas a chunky heel will balance them out.

Your Proportions

Broader on the top half? A pair of statement boots with colour, pattern or embellishment will distract and draw attention away from your top half.

Larger on the bottom half? Opt for simple styles which will not draw attention. Try to match the colour of your boots to your trousers or hosiery which will provide the illusion of a longer and therefore slimmer bottom half.

Your Style

Basic boots in  neutrals colours will go with everything and are a good start to your wardrobe. It’s ideal to have a dark pair such as black and taupe or brown and tan to wear with tights in the winter or bare legs when it’s warmer. Also consider incorporating details which reflect your style. So if you like bold and dramatic, try a bright colour. If you like rock inspired elements, look for zips, studs and metal details. A cowgirl at heart? Go for a contemporary western inspired boot.

High Street Finds

Colour block to add a statement! Oasis, £45.

Colour block to add a statement! Oasis, £45.

Sassy open front! With added comfort sole. Also available in Black and Grey. Carvela, £130

Sassy open front! With added comfort sole. Also available in Black and Grey. Carvela, £130

A bit of a twist with a shoe boot and open back buckle. Also available in Grey. Clarks, £50

A bit of a twist with a shoe boot and open back buckle. Also available in Grey. Clarks, £50

60s inspired! Also available in Black, Navy and Leopard. Dune, £90

60s inspired! Also available in Black, Navy and Leopard. Dune, £90

Love the bow detail on this suede boot! Also available in Beige. Aldo, £90

Love the bow detail on this suede boot! Also available in Beige. Aldo, £90

Glamorous ankle wrap with an on-trend metallic detail. Carvela, £130

Glamorous ankle wrap with an on-trend metallic detail. Carvela, £130

Do You Have a Style Question?

If you are looking for an item, send me a message  and I'll be happy to help! In the meantime, head over to my Facebook page for regular style tips and ideas.

Hayley

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Style Question... What Footwear Do I Wear With These Khaki Crop Trousers?

I recently had a query from one of my lovely client's who had picked up these fab cropped khaki trousers from Oasis but wasn't sure what footwear to wear with them. 

Cropped trousers can be a bit daunting if you haven't worn them before and people often think they can't wear them if they are shorter or heavier in the leg as they create a visual break in your leg line. However, with the right footwear this needn't be a worry!

Three Easy Ways to Wear Them

1. With Trainers

Stick to simple low or slip-on styles, rather than high tops to maximise the length of your pins!

2. With Boots

Channelling a 70s vibe,  perfect for winter. Just ensure that when you sit down that the boot comes up high enough so that you continue to see the boot or alternatively some hosiery in the same colour as the boot to continue it's look.

3. With Heels

Dress up your crops for the evening with a simple court shoe or heel. Avoid any details around the ankle or lots of strap details and elongate with lower cut styles.

High Street Finds

Given the warm khaki colour of the trousers, the trousers would look best with a warm neutral, such as camel, tan or brown. The footwear would then compliment and work with other pieces in your wardrobe. Here are a few options...

Converse, Office £59.99

Converse, Office £59.99

Next, £55

Next, £55

Debenhams, £78

Debenhams, £78

Do You Have a Style Question?

If you have found an item and you are not sure what or how to wear with it, send me a message  and I'll be happy to help! In the meantime, head over to my Facebook page for regular style tips and ideas.

Hayley

Masterclass...How to Colour Block

I recently spotted this photo of Chrissy Tiegan in a fab berry and orange colour blocked outfit. It looks so chic and effective and is perfect if you like to keep details in your outfit minimal but like to wear colour!

What is Colour Blocking?

It's a method of wearing multiple solid colours in an outfit. The outfits is usually limited to a palette of two or three colours, often in contrasting shades. There are no patterns in the outfit as this would take away the 'block' effect. It was very popular in the 60's and 80's but looks just as contemporary today. 

How Do I Use it in an Outfit?

There are a number of ways that you can use colour blocking in an outfit:

1. Use the same colour throughout the outfit, but in different shades. 

2. Use separates in two or three contrasting colours. 

3. Buy an outfit off the shelf where the garments have been blocked for you.

Which Colours Should I Use?

This is where a good old colour wheel comes in handy! The most popular choices for colour blocking are by either using two colours which are opposite each other in the colour wheel, known as complimentary colours. Or as Chrissy has done above, use colours which are next to each other in the colour wheel, known as analogous colours. You could also use one colour but in different shades, known as monochromatic.

How Do I Accessorise an Outfit?

It depends on how brave you're feeling! With so many colours going on in one outfit you may want to tone it down with neutral accessories to ground the look, such as black, navy or tan. If you're feeling brave and have stuck to a monochromatic or analgous combination, you could try a contrasting accent.

I hope that gives you some inspiration, let me know how you get on and don't forget to like my Facebook page for regular style tips and inspiration. 

Hayley 

What to Wear on A Night Out... Embellished Jacket

https://uk.pinterest.com/hayleyesmith7/photos-for-blogs/

Are you going out this weekend, but at a loss what to wear? Keep it simple and take inspiration from Olivia Palmero and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's tried and tested formula of jeans, heels, a classic top and stunning statement jacket.  Here are some of the best embellished jackets from the High Street at the moment:

Pretty Little Thing, £30

Pretty Little Thing, £30

Zara, £89.99

Zara, £89.99

French Connection, £99

French Connection, £99

TopShop, £120

TopShop, £120

Just Landed... High Street Finds from 2 August 2016

The first of the new season Autumn collections are beginning to appear on the High Street. Whilst I was out and about today in Nottingham I found these slightly preppy and Victorian inspired pieces:

Zara, £89

Zara, £89

  • Zara always have great jacket and coats. 
  • Wear with some slim legged trouser and a blouse for work.
  • Team with some skinny jeans an a basic tea for smart casual.
Ted Baker, £99

Ted Baker, £99

  • Inspired by a traditional man dinner jacket this navy, white and pink top will be sure to make an impact in the office or out in the evening.
  • The thick lined material means it will be better worn out than tucked in.
  • Wear with dark wash denim for evening chic.
Paul Smith, £85

Paul Smith, £85

  • Not the purple/pink version I spotted in store, think I may just be 'ahead' of the game!!!
  • When choosing a hat, make sre the brim isn't wider than your shoulders so you're wearing it rather than it wearing you.
  • If you only purchase intend on having one hat, choose one in a neutral so that it co-ordinates easily will other items in your wardrobe.

Until next time, happy shopping!

Hayley x