Tuesday, 30 October 2018

STYLE MATTERS - BY DONNA FROM @FASHIONQUEEN40S

Meet Donna from Hampshire for another edition of STYLED MATTERS - Donna is 47 and a medical co-ordinator for a rehabilitation company, although secretly she wishes she worked in fashion or the beauty industry - there is still time Donna!

Donna gives me daily inspiration particularly for office style, in fact she's given me confidence to wear more colours and patterns to the office, and here she is giving you her styling tips and advice, and one simple tip to remember... add heels to every outfit!

We hope you enjoy the interview, 

love Lizzi x






How do you describe your personal style?

My personal style is glamourous but with a hint of chicness.  I do like a heel, but only because I feel small and dumpy without the length they give my legs!


Why does style matter to you?  

It matters to me as it’s an extension of our personalities; sometimes what I’m wearing will bring me more confidence, which I do lack sometimes, so I have to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing.


Have you always been interested in style?  

Yes I’ve always been into my style; at school I was keen to wear the latest style of shoe or my school bag had to be the latest style, it was the only way to bring a bit of personality to the days of having to wear a uniform at a very strict school.  

I experimented with different looks, nothing drastic as in I was never a goth, but loved accessories and did go through a stage of thinking I was Madonna in the late eighties with lace gloves and pearl necklaces worn wrapped around my wrists as bracelets!   But I didn’t really find my style until my early forties. 






What would be your signature style look? 

Heels always a heel.


What’s your view on fashion vs. style? 

Everybody loves fashion but it’s how you adapt it to your style that matters.  I won’t wear something just because it’s in fashion I prefer to stick to my style and I think it’s style that has sustainability over fashion items.






What is your body shape? 

I think I’m an apple shape as I seem to carry weight around my tummy/hips.  I had breast reduction in May 2017 as I was very big chested too and this used to make me look even bigger than I was, especially as I’m short bodied. 

I feel so much more confident in myself with smaller sized breasts and this shows in my confidence with clothes, that I never had before.  I’m 5ft 6" which sounds tall but unless I’m wearing heels I feel short!  


Have you worked this out for yourself or did you get professional advice/training?  

I’ve never had personal styling advice, I’ve just learnt over the years what works for me and what I feel comfortable in.







What is the best thing about being apple shaped? 

Although I carry weight around my tummy, this can be disguised easily with a half tuck of a blouse or jumper in a skirt and the fact that heels make my legs look longer can help elongate my body.


What’s not so easy about your apple shape? 

I find jeans the hardest thing to wear for my shape, as they tend to make my tummy look bigger, so I will always buy a high waist, this is also why I avoid wearing trousers as they make me look bigger than I am.


What three styling tips do you have for apple shape?

  1. High waist jeans, they pull you in and are slimming
  2. Don’t be afraid to half tuck tops into your skirts or trousers, I find that it can be slimming
  3. A pattern really helps disguise a bigger tummy, don’t afraid of them.



What must you avoid (regardless of if it’s in fashion) for apple shape?  

I think that a square shaped jacket can make apples look bigger if they are waist length, always buy a longer jacket.


What are your three favourite stores to shop (bricks or clicks!)?  

I love Zara, River Island and H&M






What do you own that you will never ever give away? 

My Jimmy Choo shoes and Mulberry Handbags. They will never date as they are classics and I intend on keeping them for a long time!


You can follow Donna on Instagram at @fashionqueen40s by clicking here.



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Sunday, 28 October 2018

HOLLY WILLOUGHBY'S MUST HAVES FROM M&S

Holly Willoughby is back with another round of MUST HAVES with Marks and Spencer. My last blogpost on Holly's MUST HAVES proved very popular with you - it's a great price-point, easy to wear pieces that you can mix and match in with your existing wardrobe.





I've taken a look at the latest suggestions - these items showcase how a capsule range can be worked in numerous ways, this is important if you are not a confident shopper. Getting 'cost per wear' from any garment you buy is the most important reason to purchase, and this range truly offers versatile mileage out of each piece.

So the items I'm loving are below and first up it's the camel coat. If you've not yet purchased one you really can't go wrong with this colour, it is such a great neutral and can add a stylish chic touch to even the most casual outfit.

I'm loving this, especially the price-point too - great value for money.


M&S COLLECTION
Textured Longline Overcoat

£69





If you are looking for a new suit to the office, look no further than this two-piece. I really loved the quality and if you have invested in one of those chocolate brown or rusty red Teddy coats for this season, that would look absolutely fabulous worn draped over the shoulders with this.


AUTOGRAPH
Tailored Double Breasted Blazer - £129 
&
Tailored Straight Leg Trousers - £69








This dress below was a dream when I put it on, fabulous full angled skirt that drapes in such a flattering way, no pockets I'm afraid to say. Would be perfect to wear with stilettos, shoe boots or knee high boots - a very versatile piece. The blue colours did not suit my complexion... if this had been available say in leopard print or red tones I would have bought it! Great fit and true to size.

M&S COLLECTION
Checked Fit and Flare Midi Dress

£59









Next up is the M&S campaign outfit and whilst this has been designed for the hourglass ladies amongst us, I think you have to be careful. It didn't suit me, my bust is too big and I found the belt wouldn't cinch in tight enough to define my waist... it was sitting too high. I love this look but I think you have to be a slim hourglass with a petite bust line and quite long in the body to make this look good Or a straight body trying to add definition to the waistline. Great value for money and sizing true to fit.


PER UNA
Ribbed Button Detail Funnel Neck Jumper - £25
&
M&S COLLECTION
Checked Pencil Skirt - £39.50









I wasn't sure that this next dress would be my cup of tea, I didn't really warm to it on the hanger but I knew the colourings were perfect for those with warm skin tones (like me) which made me think I ought to at least try it. I was really pleasantly surprised with how much I loved it once I got it on, and better yet I had to downsize by one, which always makes you feel good! The sleeves are nice and flowy, I know that I will be able to get a polo neck on underneath if I need to layer it up, and again it can be worn with stilettos, shoe boots or knee high boots. Teamed either with a blazer for work or a biker jacket for date night, it's going to be a versatile piece. I didn't buy on the day, but I plan to buy it - it's a 10/10 from me.


AUTOGRAPH
Printed Midi Shirt Dress

£55








Now did you notice just how lovely the changing room was? Well the M&S in Westfield Shopping Centre in White City, London have the first of their Fit & Style studios; it's free to use and it's the perfect environment if you want to make a shopping experience extra special, say for someone's birthday or if you fancy treating yourself. It was lovely to have someone there helping, guiding and also having much more space whilst trying on. I highly recommend to use if you're there.





One final thought.... I did see that some of the last MUST HAVE collection is still in store, so if you want to recap or you didn't get a chance to read my previous post on Holly Willoughby's Must Haves from M&S Collection, then simply click here.


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Thursday, 25 October 2018

STYLE ST ALBANS - AW18 FASHION SHOW

Emma Collins - Lizzi Richardson
Lizzi Richardson of Loved by Lizzi - Front Row at Style St Albans
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/

My role as a style blogger who loves to write about current trends and the latest best buys, I take very seriously. It's important to me that I give you the most exciting content for each season so that you make the best purchasing decisions. The Style St Albans team invited me to be on the front row to capture the buzz and the excitement of the night - and what a night it was!

What can be more fantastic than a group of retailers talking the language of FASHION to their clientele in a stunning venue, whilst drinking bubbly and giving every lady in the room the chance to get dressed up. It was an absolute honour to be sitting with so many super stylish ladies, each with their own unique style, waiting to see what fabulous delights will be making its way down the catwalk.

I am a style blogger who loves to see how retailers mix up the trends, what colours combos the stylists have gone with and most importantly I am looking for those show-stopping pieces, because if they look fabulous on the model then can also look fabulous on you!

Style St Albans demonstrates that the city has so much to offer with local independents who search out new leading fashion brands whilst still offering the firm favourites - this mixed up with popular high street stores can only make for a winning combination.



FRONT ROW ACTION

These stunning photos are all by EMMA COLLINS PHOTOGRAPHY, a local photographer in the St Albans area - giving you a feel of how glamorous the night truly was.


French Connection
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/


Earleys
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/


Jo Sprowson modelling for Simply French
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/

Styled by Mel modelling for Chloe James Lifestyle
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/


Simply French
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/



Chloe James Lifestyle
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/



WATCH THE COLLECTIONS

I've produced a little film of all of the catwalk collections showcased on the night; all these shops are in the city of St Albans - however if you are not local some have online stores, so if you spot an item you love, then head down to the bottom of this post and you can see the links to all the Retailers. 

I do hope you enjoy it! - Look out for the metallic jumpsuit by Chloe James Lifestyle, the red tea dress by LK Bennett, my firm favourite of night was the sparkly silver dress by Earleys. I pretty much loved all the off-duty style by Sweaty Betty and White Stuff. And if you are looking for a fabulous new trouser suit, check out for the pink number by French Connection.



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THE VENUE

What better way to get the city buzzing then to hold the show in a fabulous room at St Albans Museum + Gallery - right in the heart of the city. The room was full (and I mean full) of super stylish ladies with a glass of bubbly in one hand and their phone cameras ready in the other to capture all the action!


St Albans Museum + Gallery
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/




A COLLABORATION

The city of St Albans may not be London, but they absolutely put the topic of fashion on their map! With a gorgeous mix of independent boutiques, popular high street brands and talented individuals of different crafts - what a fabulous night they all created! It's a city you should certainly consider as one of your shopping destinations!

  
Photo Credit: https://www.emmacollinsphotography.co.uk/

And in no particular order... for #StyleStAlbans

Chloe James Lifestyle
LK Bennett
Simply French
Sweaty Betty
Earleys
Atelier Ferrari Monti
White Stuff
Gladrags
French Connection
The Dressing Room
Bare Minerals
Lee Moran
Saks St Albans
Sanrizz
St Albans Bid




WHAT I WORE

Well what should a girl wear when you know the room will be full of stylish fashionable women....? COLOUR!

I'm absolutely loving this maxi dress from Zara. I've already worked out that the tie-belt can be used for a head scarf, come summer. I teamed this up with my red boots from last season and my recent purchase of my green cross-body bag with gold chain, both by New Look.


Style St Albans Lizzi Richardson
@Lovedbylizzi




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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

STYLE MATTERS - BY VICTORIA FROM @TOADYJANE

I'm back with another Instagram interview this week, by Victoria. I've been following and engaging with Victoria for well over a year now and I feel she does a fabulous job of dressing for the Apple body shape. 

Victoria is 48 and from Lancashire and she describes herself as a busy female professional with a love of all things stylish and determined not to drown in a corporate sea of black and grey. Amen to that!!

We both hope you enjoy the interview

Love Lizzi x




toadyjane
@toadyjane


How do you describe your personal style?

I’d say I’m a real mix – my personal style can change from day to day depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m doing. However I do love bright colours as they always lift my mood and apparently they make me look approachable.


Why does style matter to you? 

For me I have always used the clothes that I wear almost as a suit of armour. If I feel good in what I’m wearing it gives me a self confidence that I would otherwise have to dig deep to find. 

Over the last 12 months my weight has varied significantly due to health issues and that can really impact on self esteem. My Instagram account has given me a sort of validation for carefully planning my outfits and I absolutely love sharing my finds and getting inspiration from others via the squares.


Have you always been interested in style? 

Absolutely. I used to get a clothes allowance from my parents from starting secondary school and I would use my money to get as creative as I could with my school uniform. I’m not very artistic at all but there is something about styling outfits that fascinates me. I’m usually invited by friends on shopping trips or wardrobe clear-outs so I can give honest opinions and also get people to move outside their comfort zone.


toadyjane
@toadyjane


What would be your signature style look? 

I love to wear dresses with ankle boots, trainers or court shoes as they are the ultimate throw on and wear outfit. I’ve only recently been able to wear court shoes again so you will probably see me wearing them with everything now! For nights out I always used to be a skinny coated legging type of girl but I love to dress up for any occasion so will always make the effort right down to my accessories.



What’s your view on fashion vs. style? 

For me fashion is about items, but style is about how you put them together. I wouldn’t ever make huge investments into “fashionable” pieces – instead I’d spend small on things like earrings or belts just as a nod to the latest trend. If I’m buying a piece I want to know three different ways I can wear it before investing, and that it will have some longevity in my wardrobe.  


toadyjane
@toadyjane




What is your body shape? 

I’m 5’4” with what I would describe as a more traditional “apple” shape. Basically any weight goes onto my stomach and boobs and I don’t have a waist! 


Have you worked this out for yourself or did you get professional advice/training? 

I went to a Women in Social Housing event a couple of years ago where Colour me Beautiful were presenting the session. It really just confirmed what I already knew but it also made me think twice about some of my choices – like I shouldn’t wear khaki!


What is the best thing about being an apple? 

I have slender arms and legs and no hips. By wearing the right outfit, I can take pounds off myself. By wearing the wrong outfit, I can look like Mr Pickwick!!  


What’s not so easy about your apple shape? 

Finding shirts, blouses and dresses that will fasten over my boobs. I’m best with a v neck to elongate that area but I will wear high necks with the right jewellery to create the same effect of lengthening the neck. 



toadyjane
@toadyjane


What three styling tips do you have for apple shape?

  1. I would say that I have learnt that despite it going against every instinct of mine sometimes an outfit needs to be nipped in at the waist with a belt to give some definition. 
  2. Make the most of your slender limbs and embrace the skinny jeans – I don’t care if they aren’t of the moment. They look good!
  3. Don’t focus too much on what you think you should wear – go with what you feel best in.



What must you avoid (regardless of if it’s in fashion) for your apple shape?

I’m going to be bold and put it out there that if I see something I like I’m going to try it regardless of whether it fits in with the “rules” of being an apple shape. Our bodies and colouring change as we age, something that might not have worked, might now be the ideal purchase. If you love it buy it and wear it!



toadyjane
@toadyjane



What are your three favourite stores to shop? 

  1. I have to say that one of my favourite pastimes is to trawl charity shops and dress agencies for quality pieces that will add to my wardrobe and work with what I already have in there. My most recent purchase is an original 80s tea dress which I absolutely adore!  
  2. I also love @kemitelford colourful clothing which works for me as its mainly one size and so weight fluctuations don’t matter 
  3. Marks and Spencer who have really upped their womenswear game recently.



What do you own that you will never ever give away? 

I have a vintage faux fur coat that my mother gave to me and that will never be going anywhere! I wear it with a cloakroom ticket for a 1981 New Years Eve party in the pocket as I can’t bear to throw it away!!






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Sunday, 21 October 2018

MY BEST BUYS THIS AUTUMN

I've created a short film to talk through some of my favourite pieces that I've purchased over the last few weeks, these have been fabulous for this Autumn season.

I'd love for you to watch - thank you Lizzi x





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Thursday, 18 October 2018

BOOHOO STUD AND BUCKLE BLACK BOOTS

Boohoo Stud and Buckle Boots Lizzi Richardson
@Lovedbylizzi

Not very often do I post about one single item and just from the one brand. To be clear this is not a sponsored post and the boots have not been gifted to me. I am just simply in love with these stud and buckle boots, I've hardly taken them off since I got them last week and I just want to share this superb find.

This style of boot is all across the highstreet and online - for real leather you would be looking at a pair from around £90 but more typically I found £130. In my search for a cheaper alternative and I truly wasn't fussed about whether the leather was real or faux - I stumbled (and I mean stumbled) across these beauties from Boohoo via ASOS.

At £35 I was trying to see on my laptop what was wrong with them. In fact because of the price being so low I thought I wouldn't bother as they simply couldn't be that great at that low price.

But then as I was purchasing something else from the site... I thought why not, I can return them if I don't like them (although I like to avoid this kind of hassle).


Boohoo Stud and Buckle Boots Lizzi Richardson
@Lovedbylizzi


Well they are spot on! I loved them the minute I got them out of the box - they look real leather (which has super pleased me) the studs and the buckles are there enough to tick the box but it's not over-the-top like some you see (this of course is a personal choice and I personally wanted less). Super easy to get on and off because they have the side zip which is quite discreet on the inside so it looks like I've had to tie them.

But most importantly I have found them very comfy, and I've walked a lot of steps in them already - I'm pretty impressed over all.

If you are looking to add studded buckle boots to your Autumn/Winter look, well these are a 10/10 from me. Sizing true to fit.



ASOS
BOOHOO STUD AND BUCKLE BLACK BOOTS
£35





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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

STYLE MATTERS - BY MICHELLE LOPEZ FROM MINT SALON


This week STYLE MATTERS is by Michelle Lopez, a Hair Stylist and owner of a Hair & Beauty Salon, Mint Salonsituated in Steels Lane, Oxshott, Surrey.

Michelle is 43 and whilst we have not met in real life (yet), Michelle is fabulous about giving advice about how to look after your hair, what shoes to buy, and she's also the lady behind the hashtag #sundaystylevibe on Instagram. She's one 'Boss Lady' that has a lot of love to give and we both hope you enjoy her interview.

Love, Lizzi x




How do you describe your personal style?

I would describe my personal style as being very girly, individual and maybe slightly eclectic. I love to stand out and would always prefer to be overdressed for an occasion as opposed to underdressed.



Why does style matter to you?

Style really matters to me and in so many ways! It is a way of telling people who you are immediately. It is such an amazing form of expression and can lift your mood and improve your day, I never cease to be amazed by the way a certain pair of shoes or a piece of jewellery can make you feel. 

It is an almost magical way of showcasing the person you are and the way you feel to the world. Style is such a personal thing and I am always fascinated by the way other people portray it.
Have you always been interested in style?

My Mum was always into fashion and my Nan is one of the most glamorous women I know. At 93 she still wears heels and is always immaculate, I’ve definitely been influenced by the women in my family.

When I was about 6 years old I went to a restaurant with my parents and extended family for dinner. One of my Aunts had THE most incredible green sparkly high heel shoes, I literally remember that I kept glancing under the table at them and at the end of the night she let me try them on and clip clop around the table. I didn’t want to take them off, they were so pretty and I’d never seen anything like them. That’s definitely the moment my love affair with all things fashion (especially shoes) began and the fact that my Aunts shoes were her own personal style and she stood out from everyone in that restaurant!



What would be your signature style look?

Definitely very feminine, pattern, colour, a striking pair of shoes. I’d say current but with a twist.

What’s your view on fashion vs style?

Fashion is of course, hugely important but style is much more so because style is where you take what is ‘current’ or ‘on trend’ and you can make it absolutely and totally your own look. You can mix different fashions up to determine a style of your own. Fashion is an influence, style is a statement.

Style says I might like the same fashion as you but this is how I’m doing it, this is me. Style is wearing an item that might have cost £10 but people thinking it’s designer. Style has an energy all of its own.




What is your body shape?

I would say I’m a slight hourglass, where my waist isn’t quite as pronounced. I am average height of 5ft 4” but my legs are slightly longer in proportion to my body. I have worked this out for myself although I have been told the same by Stylists in the past.

The best thing about my body shape is probably that most of the time I’m quite lucky with sizing being true to size (except H&M) 😉 and usually if I’m wearing cropped trousers or a maxi etc they will fall on the leg where they are supposed to. Although I do quite like the different lengths on different people.

The worst things about my body shape is that I have to be careful not to look too straight up and down. I love wearing belts and really like the high waisted/paper bag style trousers, especially wide legged trousers as the help to make my waist look smaller. I do struggle a little bit with elasticated waists as although they are comfy, they aren’t the most flattering on me. I’d also love to be a tiny bit taller which is why I love wearing heels so much.
What 3 styling tips would give for an hourglass body shape?

  1. Voluminous skirts are fabulous for accentuating the waist and elongating the legs, I like to combine mine with a biker jacket to balance the outfit.
  2. Wrap dresses, one of my absolute faves! They can make your waist look tiny and are so flattering.  If like me, you are more of a slight hourglass then wear a slightly sturdier fabric to really add that definition. Team the dress with heeled knee high boots for A/W-Fabulous!
  3. V neck tops are very flattering, as long as they don’t show off too much cleavage and soft flows fabrics seem to work best if worn with fitted bottoms such as a pencil skirt or skinny jeans.



What 3 tips would give for an hourglass body shape to avoid?

  1. Any thing too loose which adds width to your waist area as you will look too boxy. You can always use colour, add a belt to add definition.
  2. Personally for me, I really don’t suit peplums or fancy waist details but they can work really well on some hourglass figures. I, however, avoid them.
  3. Be careful with wide belts as they can make your top half look squat, I usually stick to narrower belts. Then you are accentuating your waist but not cutting your body off in the wrong place.
What are your three favourite stores to shop (bricks or clicks!)? 

PrimarkI actually love Primark for its staples; vest tops, camis, jumpers, tights etc… Great value for money, fantastic range of colours and I think the quality just gets better all the time.

ZaraMy favourite shop. I literally love their clothes and their shoes are amazing. Not only do they have some beautiful classic pieces but there is always a good amount of edgy stuff to keep me happy. One of my favourite things in my wardrobe at the moment is my Zara blue sock boots covered in a lip print!

eBay - At any given time I will have several alerts on eBay for items that may have sold out or that I can’t afford full price at that particular time, if I see something on Instagram or in real life that’s last season or seasons past it goes the alert. I have picked up some amazing bargains and it also allows me to sell items from my wardrobe so I can have a guilt free splurge now and then. I recently got a pair of River Island tartan shoes I desperately wanted, currently £42 in store and I got them for £7.50 on eBay, brand new as they were too high for the owner.
Who is your biggest style influence?

I would say my biggest style influence would be my Grandmother who has always looked amazing and gets dressed up to go to the corner shop!

Victoria Beckham. I LOVE her style, she always looks so well put together, loves a heel or two and knows how to dress a woman with her designs.

The women around me are also a massive inspiration as there is such a different attitude to style now I think, anything goes really and it’s so fabulous to be in a room full of women who all have their own indeterminate style going on.



What’s the one thing you wouldn’t give away?

My Jimmy Choo shoes. For my 40th Birthday my friends had a collection and presented me with enough money to buy a pair of Jimmy Choo’s which I had always wanted. I was whisked up to Westfield for a champagne breakfast and then into Jimmy Choos where I was treated like a queen and walked out with the most beautiful pair of iridescent pink heels which are one of my most prized possessions!





Michelle Lopez Mint Salon Oxshott Surrey
@thestylish_mrsmint


To find out more about Mint Salon and the services they offer, then click here for the website. You can also follow Michelle on Instagram at @thestylish_mrsmint 

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