Author Archives: Sally Smy

Party wear inspiration- what to wear if you’re tired of jeans and a nice top.

I’m still waiting for a ‘black tie’ invitation that requires me to purchase a new posh frock. My Christmas events are less formal affairs nowadays so in the interest of economising, I’m upgrading one key piece that will work with the items I already have in my wardrobe. The money saved can pay for the Prosecco! Whilst I am a massive fan of jeans and a sparkly top for my usual nights out out, I feel the need to up my game a bit at this time of year. There are a huge amount of gorgeous alternatives to jeans and a sparkly top in the shops at the moment that fill this brief perfectly. Choose the right one for you and they will add a new twist to your party wear. More sparkle, less denim and one new piece is my magic formula and here are my 3 key pieces……

Sparkly Bottoms

I love the way this whole outfit is styled from the logo t-shirt to the pop of colour from the shoes. The trousers can also be dressed up for a more formal look so they are ideal for any occasion.

Trousers from Top Shop

Statement Earrings

Pat Butcher would be having a field day with some of the earrings on the high street at the moment. I’m a massive fan as they are an inexpensive way to add a contemporary twist to any evening outfit or a daytime one if you’re feeling bold.

Earrings – Mango

Bold Boots

I can vouch for the fact that silver boots work with everything as my own pair are completely worn out. If silver isn’t your colour there are tonnes of other colours from which to choose, from brightly coloured jewel tones to every shade of metal.

Boots – Zara

If you would like more details on any of my styling services or to discuss how they can help you please get in touch. You are welcome to book a 15 minute telephone consultation free of charge.

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Have a fun November!

Sally x

‘I first met Sally a few years ago through a mutual friend at work and ended up hosting a ‘styling evening’ which Sally ran for a group of my friends. It was a really fun evening – we provided the fizz and Sally got everyone thinking about styles that might suit them and, more importantly, that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to build a decent wardrobe….read on’
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Coats, Confidence and Clothing

The link between these three ‘c’s’ isn’t as tenuous as it sounds. There actually is scientific evidence to show that the clothes we choose to wear can have a direct effect on our confidence. With the risk of sounding nerdy there is actually a term known as ‘enclothed cognition’ to describe the influence that clothes have on the way we think and behave. I’m going to quit while I’m ahead on the scientific stuff but the crux of the matter is that our clothes and style are a form of self expression that we can use to empower ourselves if we so choose.

If you ever needed a reason not to feel guilty about spending time on or caring about your appearance, then I would take a look at this blog from ‘The Step Up Club‘. They make a persuasive case that we can enjoy fashion and be respected for our intellect – sentiments very much after my own heart. Their email resonated me as I am always challenged by at least one person about the relevance of such a ‘frivolous’ topic when speaking at events or hosting workshops.

I realise this message isn’t for everyone – if you are happy, feel fabulous and comfortable even if wearing hot pants to the board meeting, then who am I to judge? What counts is how you feel on the inside. If however, you’re uninspired by your wardrobe and tired of your daily outfits this will more than likely have a negative effect on your confidence .The good news is that you don’t have to be a size 10, wear the latest trends or spend a fortune to look good. You do need to take a little bit of time, effort and hit the shops but you are worth the effort, aren’t you? You never know, you might even enjoy it!

Of course, I’d be more than happy to help if you haven’t got the time, effort or inclination. Please get in touch if you would like to chat about how my services can help you.

Here is a recent client review from a Personal Shopping trip……

‘…..I always get so many compliments when I wear the outfits that (Sally) has put together and have recommended shopping with her to all of my friends.’Read on

Failing all that, you can always cover up in a new fabulous coat – anyone spot the seamless link? It’s the article of clothing that is most visible in winter so it’s worth investing time and effort to get the right one. Besides, if you haven’t got time to sort out the rest of your wardrobe you can just turn on the air conditioning and keep it on all day!

Here are my top 3 Statement Coats Trends to look out for.

Red Coats

Red is officially the colour of the season and not just for coats. Anything red goes, from earrings to shoes and a whole lot of other stuff inbetween. Yep, head to toe red is really a thing!

New Look

Leopard and Faux Fur

It was a tough job choosing just one of the many beautiful furs around on the high street. My love of leopard print swung it for me in the end. If you’re not a lover of leopard print then choose one of the bold shades and prints and be sure to make a statement.

& Other Stories

Puffers

I’ve resisted the urge to put a checked coat here as, unless you didn’t read my last newsletter (tut, tut!), I’m sure you know they are a big trend this season. Puffer jackets are a style that, if I’m honest, I thought I’d never wear because they remind me of Arsene Wenger. I’ve changed my mind after coming across this lovely, pink, cropped one which is hopefully not one Arsene will be sporting on the sidelines!

Anthropologie

Have a great October!

Best wishes

Sallyx

All ‘Back to Work’ and No Play.

Autumn seems to have arrived very swiftly this year and along with it a huge array of fashion articles with ideas for our ‘back to work’ formal wardrobes. Of course, I am wholeheartedly in support of updating formal wear at this time of year. It is however, important not to overlook the rest of our wardrobes and life outside of work.

Nowadays, smart casual attire is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives. We require this middle ground look for everything from the school run, informal drinks, working from home and for offices that have a relaxed dress code – let’s not forget ‘dress down (but not too far down) Friday’. I could go on but you get my drift! Moving from jeans and a jumper to a contemporary, well put together outfit can be a struggle. I meet many women (and men) for which this is a major issue. It can be easier to concentrate on formal looks and avoid this challenge but I passionately believe that we should feel great in every part of our day-to-day wardrobes whether it’s for work, rest or play.

If you are someone that struggles to find the right outfit for those times when you want to look effortlessly chic and modern but not too formal, take note of my top 5 tips below:-

1. Mix it up!
The most important element is to mix smart and casual items together e.ga blazer and smart blouse with jeans, or a dress with boots or trainers. There is a massive trend for checked blazers at the moment and these look fabulous teamed with jeans and a crisp white shirt or slogan t-shirt. See below for my pick of the best three styles across the price points.
2. Get the basics right.
If, like me, you are a lover of jeans then ensure you continually update and refresh the style you wear. Likewise, this theory works for trousers, jackets and coats too. If you push yourself out of your comfort zone on these basic items they will give a new lease of life to the rest of your wardrobe.
3. Don’t forget the accessories.
A cool pair of shoes, scarf or earrings can make all the difference to an outfit and there are plenty of great new styles around this season. You can find everything from metallic boots to red suede shoes on the high street right now – go on I dare you!
4. There’s no Sunday best.
Don’t save the best clothes for high days and holidays. Wear your special items on a regular basis as you deserve to feel special every day. Clearly, I’m not talking about a ball gown but a smart blouse or pair of shoes should not be confirmed to occasional wear.
5. Don’t ‘make do’.
It is very easy to think that smart/casual outfits don’t matter or are frivolous to requirements. Whatever your role is don’t ‘make do’ with the same old clothes. Why shouldn’t you feel great everyday and wear clothes that you really love? You don’t need to spend a fortune and just a little bit of time and effort can go a long way.

Good luck shopping for your new wardrobe!

Sally x

If this still seems like too much time and effort, I would love to help you achieve a stylish, autumn wardrobe. I have a range of services designed to create the ideal wardrobe for any occasion and take the stress our of shopping. Please get in touch for a free consultation.

A recent review from a client….
‘….I have so many new clothes and even better, lots of outfits, which I love and have had so many lovely comments about. I couldn’t recommend her more highly and I cannot wait until our next shopping trip…read on’

Three of the best checked blazers across the price points

Check Mate

At less than £50 this blazer is excellent value – Zara

Worth Checking Out

This one is 80% wool so will be warm to wear. A useful style to transition from early autumn to winter – All Saints

Checkbook needed

There is no getting away from the price but if you look at cost per wear I’m sure it will pay for itself a few times over! Anine Bing

How to Keep Cool In the Heat.

My extremely rare grumpy moments (just don’t verify this with my husband) often occur when I am hot and bothered. Last week, a cold morning led to a beautifully hot day and I cursed the fact that I was boiling on a bus wearing trousers and a jacket made from a heavy fabric. If you work in a formal environment it can be extremely tricky to create a summer look that keeps you cool but still looks smart. If you are struggling to do this and would like a hand then please give me a call. To help you here is an outfit I put together as part of a presentation last week, along with some key tips to avoid any hot, grumpy moments – it’s not just me, is it?:-

Prints and Patterns

Printed skirts are having a moment which is fantastic news as they flatter most body shapes and keep you cool. Also, patterned fabrics are less likely to show perspiration so choose a printed top for times when you know you’ll feel the heat. The skirt in the outfit is made from a seersucker fabric which is light weight but not clingy so there is no need for a lining – another bonus  and you’ll find out why below.

Fabrics

Natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk allow the skin to breathe and keep you cool. Beware of any clothes that are made of natural fabrics but have polyester or synthetic linings as these will make you sweat more. Many brands do this because it reduces the cost of the garment but it’s worth paying the extra price for a breathable cotton lining.

Accessories

The right shoes, handbag and jewellery will make all the difference and give the outfit a summer feel. Heavy, dark accessories can ruin the most beautiful summer dress. I would suggest having a pair of smart summer flats or wedges to hand, as heels can be very uncomfortable when it is extremely hot. The bright earrings and shoes in this outfit demonstrate that point perfectly, dark shoes would completely change the look from summer to autumn.

Stockist – Skirt, Top Shop. Top, Mango. Shoes, Top Shop. Earrings, Anthropologie

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Queen Bee Styling provide styling services that are accessible to everyone, whatever your budget, body shape or lifestyle, we cut through the minefield of knowing what to wear and what not to wear for any occasion. The result being a de-cluttered, stylish wardrobe, achieved in an efficient, stress-free and friendly manner

 If you would like a helping hand to update your wardrobe please drop me a line at sally@queenbeestyling.

The Summer Shoe Edit

As a 40 (cough) something year old woman with, what I’ll politely refer to as, solid legs, I do have to take extra when choosing summer shoes. Winter pins can be disguised with jeans and opaque tights but you can’t, and arguably shouldn’t, keep legs under wraps in the summer. For this reason, I do struggle with some of the less feminine sandal styles around at the moment – see above image of furry Birkenstocks. I love them on the cool crowd but when I try them on my legs resemble Stuart Pierce’s circa Euro ’96. My summer shoe edit therefore, won’t be featuring any of these or crocs and flip flops for that matter.

Slip Ons

These shoes nail the red suede and fringing trend. Guaranteed to add glamour to any outfit. I love the idea of wearing these with a silk floral dress.

& Other Stories

Flatforms

These are great for adding a bit of extra height and elongating the leg whilst being more comfortable than heels. For this reason they would work well with shorts and midi skirts/dresses.

Castaner at Matches

Mules

A favorite style of mine as I can avoid showing my feet which is good news for everyone around me really. These look great with cropped trousers and jeans.

Mango

Cross Overs

There are so many different versions of this style on the high street from glamorous metallic ones to casual sporty styles. If you do have ‘solid’ legs like mine a style with a wedge or platform sole would be more flattering than one that is completely flat.

Top Shop

Espadrilles

They have come a long way from their Kate Middleton heyday. In fact, Vogue online have just featured their top 10 espadrilles this season which included a pair by Dolce and Gabanna at £485! These ones are a snip at £50.

Soludos at FarFetch

Do you feel your wardrobe is looking tired and in need of a helping hand to update it for summer?
Our styling services are the perfect way to overhaul your style and clear out the deadwood from your closet.

The Best Dressed Guest – Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Summer Event Outfit

To ensure you look your best at your summer event, whether you are going to Ascot, a Christening or a wedding, take a look at my top 3 don’ts for your do:-

1. Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes
Don’t be tempted to wear shoes that pinch and convince yourself that ‘it’s okay as I won’t be walking far.’ During the day you will be doing lots of standing and, if the mood takes you, maybe even some dancing. Kicking off uncomfortable shoes and scuffling from an event bare foot at the end of evening will not be your finest look. We’ve all been there!

2. Don’t Ignore Ill-Fitting Garments
It doesn’t matter how much you spend on an outfit, if it doesn’t fit properly your efforts will be wasted. Sometimes there is no magic solution off the peg and unless you are buying couture, I would advise you to make friends with your local tailor/seamstress. A sleeve, hem or waistline altered to fit correctly will make all the difference.

3. Don’t Forget about the Importance of Accessories
I would go as far as to say that this is the most important of the 3 tips and will make or break an outfit. This is the time to be bold and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t forget, you will be able to use them long after the event has finished. The bag, shoes and earrings in the outfit I have put together below would complete any look.

I’ve splashed out on a statement skirt and kept the rest of the pieces at a reasonable price. The beauty of this outfit is that all the pieces can be worn again separately. It is so easy to spend a huge amount on a dress you’ll only wear once. I’ve been guilty of this and I’ve seen these barely worn pieces in tones of wardrobes – it’s painful to look at them! Next time you shop for an occasion think about choosing versatile pieces you will wear again. It will save you lots of time, money and pain in the long run!

Stockist – Jacket, Top Shop. Floral top, Mango. Earrings, Mango. Shoes, Asos. Skirt, Essential Antwerp. Bag, & Other Stories

If you would like a helping hand to choose an outfit for an occasion or an update of your whole wardrobe our personal shopping service would be ideal for you. The shopping trip will refresh, recharge and renew your style and wardrobe, giving you confidence to know you always look your best. For more details of this and all our services please go to our website.

Enjoy the summer…when it finally comes!

Sallyx

The 3 Best Statement Sleeve Tops Across the Price Points

If you haven’t done so already, it is definitely the time to inject a little bit of Spring into your wardrobe. Now is the time to pack up the jumpers and coats (well, most of them, given the chill in the air today) and do an inventory of your long forgotten spring clothes. It is at this point that you may ask yourself what on earth you wore last year as you cast your eye over your old spring outfits! Fear not, if you feel uninspired with your current wardrobe just adding in one new item will give the other pieces a whole new lease of life.

One of the key trends for this season is the statement sleeve; coming in all fabrics, colours and shapes, they are a brilliant way to update any wardrobe whether the occasions is formal, casual or even special . Here are my top 3 styles across the price points:-

Steal: The Ruffle Wrap

This blouse will give your current navy and black trousers a whole new twist. Thus creating a perfect outfit to take you to the office and beyond.

Zara

Spree: The Lace Ruffle

Lace is one of the key fabrics this season so this blouse nails two trends in one. The sequin part of this look is actually a separate camisole but if sequins aren’t your thing you can team this blouse with any colour underneath that takes your fancy. A midnight blue camisole would look amazing.

& Other Stories

Beans for Dinner: The Cold Shoulder Ruffle

OK, so this blouse may not be appropriate for the office but it is a fabulous style to dress up with a skirt for glamorous occasions or wear with jeans when less formal attire is required.

Self Portrait

Do you feel your wardrobe is looking tired and in need of a helping hand to update it for spring?
Our Wardrobe Refresh service is the perfect way to overhaul your style and clear out the deadwood from your closet. For more details of this and all our services please go to our website.

You can also book a free no obligation 15 minute telephone consultation to discuss your needs and how our services can help you. Just click here to book yours.

If you think this will be of interest to your friends and colleagues please feel free to pass on this email.

Best wishes
Sally x

 

March Trend Edit – How to Work Pink

Pink is a colour I’ve always quite liked except when overloaded with it during my daughter’s Disney Princess period ,thankfully now passed. The fashion magazines are hailing it as one of the colours of the season and the high street is full of it. If you’re thinking, ‘How can a grown women wear pink without looking like Barbara Cartland or indeed a Disney Princess?’ please read on. It really is the perfect colour to take you from winter to spring as it will add a fresh twist to any outfit – much needed after the dull winter months. There are a huge amount of different shades around and there is a shade that suits all skin tones. I’ve put together two outfits below to show how one versatile piece can be used for a work and casual outfit thereby making your pounds go further.

Stockist: Blouse, & Other Stories. Jeans, Top Shop, Cardigan, Cos. Trainers, Office. Culottes, Warehouse. Shoes, Cos. Handbag,

If you feel your wardrobe is looking a bit tired and would like a helping hand to update it for spring, please get in touch. Our Wardrobe Refresh service can help you declutter, organise and simplify your style, It is guaranteed to take the stress out of the daily decision of what to wear. If the thought of shopping overwhelms you and you would like to break the cycle of buying and wearing the same old thing, then our Personal Shopping service is ideal for you. I will guide you through updating your look and help you achieve a contemporary wardrobe suited to your personality, lifestyle and budget.

You can also book a free no obligation telephone consultation to discuss your needs and how our services can help you.

 

The Long Sleeve Pretty Dress

It’s never too early to inject a little bit of spring into your winter wardrobe

We can’t change the weather but we can relieve some of the dullness of a bleak mid winter. Just one new item of clothing will make all the difference to your sartorial style and general well being. This is one spring trend that will do just that. I have bypassed bra tops worn over shirts and 80’s glam (yes really!) in favour of something I’m coveting; the long sleeve, pretty dress. Here is my selection of the best ones across the price points.

Stockists

From left to right. Pink poppy dress, Warehouse Meadow dress, & Other Stories  Patchwork ‘Tllly’ dress, Rixo .

If you would like some help to update your wardrobe please get in touch .

Winter Warmers For December

Chunky knits are, without a doubt, one of the hottest styles around at the moment and let’s face it we could all do with some heat during this cold snap. All you need is a pair of cropped jeans and ankle boots for a stylish, contemporary outfit. For extra fashion points (and warmth) layer a long white shirt underneath. They also make the perfect gift..if you can bear to give it away once you have it in your possession!

Here are my top 3 across the price points:-

chunkyknit3

Knit for All

Not strictly a cable knit but at just £14.99 I’m not complaining! It also comes in three other colours.

H&M

chunkyknits5

Knit For The Many

I love the clever design of this jumper which uses different cable sizes. The beautiful soft nude colour compliments most skin tones too. Fairly reasonably priced at £55.

Top Shop

chunkyknit2

Knit For The Few

It is not surprising that a Danish brand creates such a gorgeous, cosy jumper. There is no getting away from the £280 price tag but if you calculate cost per wear over the next 20 years it may well be worth it!

Ganni

If you would like some help to choose your perfect jumper or anything else for that matter please get in touch.