Author Archives: Sally Smy

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:-

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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

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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

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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.

Party Wear Outfit Inspiration.

If you are tired of the skinny jeans or black trousers and a sparkly top look, read on. I present the sparkly bottom, or otherwise known as gold lame trousers – yes really! In my quest to find something that works for my informal Christmas drinks do I stumbled across these. Surprisingly flattering, they look great on most body shapes. They are also extremely easy to co-ordinate as you only need a simple, plain top to make a fabulous outfit – they do all the hard work. I’ve teamed them here with a plain ivory top but they would also work with a black top and even a white poplin shirt. For the same reason, I’ve kept the rest of the accessories low key and chosen patent flat shoes because, well, life is too short not to be able to dance the night away!

Stockists: Metallic trousers, Top Shop. Coat, Top Shop, Ivory top, Mango. Beaded bag, Zara. Earrings, Top Shop. Shoes, & Other Stories

Tedx Whitehall Women

http://www.tedxwhitehallwomen.com/professionals

I had the pleasure of attending this amazing event which was hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by Simone Roche and her team. It was a great day of inspirational ideas, thought provoking speakers and brilliant performers, as well as being a chance to meet like-minded people. Make sure you book your ticket early for next year!

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Wrap up In Style and October News

If you are in the market for a winter coat then you had better get your skates on. According to some fashion gurus or other notable anonymous fashion people, you have already missed the boat as you should have bought it in August! Personally, I think that’s a bit of a ruse made up by retailers to boost sales. As we are now in October though, I can safely say that now IS the right time to buy.
According to a recent article in the online Telegraph, black is the colour most pinned on Pinterest. That’s a shame when there are so many wonderful colours and fabrics available. Coats are the article of clothing that you wear most days throughout the winter and choosing to wear a black coat can make you invisible. A move away from black to a stylish pattern or rich colour is guaranteed to make you feel great even when the elements are against you. It’s also a sure fire way to stand out in the crowd and that has to be a good thing.

Here are my top 3 coat trends and a sneaky jacket to help you wrap up in style:-

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Leopard Print
A glamorous edition to any wardrobe. You can’t help but look chic in leopard print even if you’re wearing scruffy jeans underneath.

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Military
You’ll always look well turned out in a military style coat – sorry! Khaki is one of the colours of the season so you can nail two trends in one.

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Tweeds and Checks
The heritage look is everywhere on the high street and there is a huge amount of quality fabrics and timeless styles to choose from. Look out for large checks and bold colour tweeds too.

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The Puffa
Yes, really! Hilariously called ‘Luxe Sport’ by some of the fashion press. They are practical, warm and extremely useful – enough said.

Stockists – Leopard print – River Island, Military Coat – Stradivarius, Tweed Coat – Zara, Puffa – Mango

If you would like a helping hand to achieve a stylish autumn wardrobe in a stress free, efficient and friendly way please drop me a line

You can find more details on all our styling services online or please contact me for a free no obligation consultation.

Queen Bee Styling Helping you find your style

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Top Tips to Help You Back to Work by Annabel of AC Executive Coaching

Top Tips to Help you Back to Work – By Annabel Cowley of AC Executive Coaching

Our guest post this month is written by Annabel Cowley of AC Executive Coaching. Annabel is a mother of two young children who has 20 years HR experience. Now an accredited coach, having trained at the Academy of Executive Coaching, she has decided to utilise her skills and knowledge through her own coaching business. As a working mum she has seen at first hand the challenges of trying to balance a career with family life and is passionate about helping individuals reach their personal and career potential.

A warm welcome to all local mums and dads reading this article. Sally and I are joining forces for our first event for local mums’ at The Florence on 14th October when I will provide support to all those uncertain about returning to work from maternity leave or simply needing support during a transition phase into a new career.  For some mums it’s a no brainer if you have a job to return to and once you’ve added up the costs of childcare but for others it’s an opportunity to review your old career and consider if it still makes you happy or whether to use this time to look at other avenues.  I can support you in bringing these ideas to fruition whilst adding structure and time management to your planning.

Here are my top tips to get you started:

Update your CV!

There will be plenty of templates out there for you to google… I always suggest keeping it to 2 pages with a small bio under your name to attract people to read more. When writing a cover letter with your CV try and find the name of the person that will be interviewing you rather than “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Networking!

The very word might make you shiver … but it is often who you know in this world. The power of the local mum network never ceases to amaze me and all the amazing jobs they do so keep connecting, collaborating and inspiring!

Work experience

If you’re planning to follow a new career path it’s worth considering some voluntary work with your chosen employer if they are open to it.  A few hours a week could make all the difference and you never know, it could lead to paid employment once the networking begins!

Social media

There is no escaping the digital world these days. We need to get on board with it and when you do there is no end of possibilities and opportunities!  If you do find yourself struggling with your skype, Instagram and Linked In this might be the right time to brush up on your skills.  Local colleges often run evening courses to help you get on your way …. Or even a local student could I’m sure help out!

If you are interested in hearing more on this please do come to our or if you’d like a complimentary chemistry meeting with me to discuss how coaching might benefit you do please get in touch.  My bio is below for your interest.

annabel@acexecutivecoaching.com  or +44 (0)7966 530137.

 

My Latest Vlog – Simple but effective tips to update your autumn wardrobe

My latest vlog with the inspirational Louise Webster from Beyond the School Run We discuss simple but effective tips to update your autumn wardrobe and personal style.

I’ll also be demonstrating how you can do this at the  Connect, Collaborate and Inspire workshop on October 15th, 10-12pm at The Florence, Herne HIll. Annabel from AC Executive Coaching will also be  talking you through steps to reconnect with the workplace. For more details and to book tickets please click here or drop me a line.

Connect Collaborate and Inspire

Friday October 14th 10am-2pm.
The Florence, 131-133 Herne Hill, SE24 0NG

Annabel from AC Executive Coaching and I have joined up to present Connect Collaborate and Inspire. A workshop that offers practical advice and support to help you reconnect with the workplace. It is a unique opportunity to focus on personal goals, understand the next steps to take and learn the power of networking!

Feeling confident in how we look is a vital part of getting yourself prepared. I will show you simple tips to re-energise your wardrobe and update your personal style.

Spaces are limited and cost £10pp, including coffee and biscuits. Please email us asap to book your place.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sally & Annabel

Out with the Old and In with the New

I love September, not just because it marks the start of a new fashion season but because it presents an opportunity for change and a fresh start in all areas of life. For me, it is like the start of a new year and a chance to make positive changes to my business and wardrobe. I’ll spare you the business synopsis and instead go straight to the subject of the wardrobe in which I’m slightly more knowledgeable.

As many of you will be heading back to work after a summer break the new season is the perfect time to shake up your work wear. According to a new study, well dressed people earn 20% more those who don’t. ‘Dressing well’ is subjective but it isn’t about wearing designer or the trendiest clothes. Being aware of your own style and body shape, as well as paying attention to grooming, is key. It ultimately comes down to being happy and confident in our appearance as individuals. This, in turn, will have a positive effect on us and how we present ourselves.

To shake up your work wear I would urge you to chuck out one item and add in one new item. This will make all the difference in refreshing your wardrobe. To help you decide which new item to add in, here is a list of my top 5 work wear items for autumn/ winter 2016:-

Statement Trouser

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In this case a pair or dogtooth culottes that will slot seamlessly into any wardrobe. If culottes aren’t your thing then choose from a number of new trouser styles out there, wide leg trousers, crops, palazzo pants and embellishment to name but a few. The whole point is to move away from the black and navy classic cuts.

Midi dress

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All I can say about this style is, ‘thank goodness’ as my exposed knees are best left to high days and holidays! A midi dress is such an easy option to wear. You can coordinate with ankle boots and no tights when the weather is mild and layer up with a roll neck in the colder months.

Crisp White Shirt

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Never out of fashion and having a much deserved ‘moment’ this season. My personal favourite is the longer line style worn with cropped trousers. They also look great with jeans and statement skirts as shown here.

Bow Detail Blouse

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There are lots of different styles around from pussy bows, oversized bows, finer ribbon ties and some crazy prints too. They offer a lovely, feminine touch to any outfit.

Full skirt

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Technically not the right description for this skirt, there are no pleats coming from the waistband. These types of full pleated skirts are very much on trend but they are not the easiest to wear, as they can accentuate the hips and tummy. I’ve chosen this one as it does the opposite; as well as being a stunning design, the a-line shape will balance our the hip and tummy area.

Stockists

Dogtooth culottes – Zara, White shirt – COS, Bow detail blouse – Max Mara, Midi dress – Uterque, Full skirt – & Other Stories

If you would like a helping hand to ensure your wardrobe is up to date for autumn please get in touch.

Holiday Wardrobe Essentials

I used to be the sort of person who could fill a large suitcase with just toiletries when going on holiday. Nowadays I fit my travel size containers into a very small soap bag and travel light. I’d like to pretend that this is because I’m not that indulgent anymore, but the real reason is the restrictions on luggage by most budget airlines. I also have to take the rest of the family into consideration and the fact they may need to wash and change their clothes every now and then too.

To my surprise, it has been a relatively painless experience and I have realised how few clothes I actually need – in case you ask, I haven’t switched to naturist holidays either! Just a few essentials can go a long way and the added bonus is there is less washing when you get back. If you find packing a pain, here are a few of my must have items that will ensure you can travel light yet still look stylish in the sun.

You can’t go wrong with a midi length dress, they are very flattering and perfect to take you from day to evening. It’s worth taking time to shop for one you love as you can keep it in your wardrobe summer after summer. These gorgeous statement shorts are brilliantly versatile. They can be dressed casually with the grey vest or with the ‘cold shoulder’ top for a smarter look. If you don’t like to wear shorts you can substitute them for a printed/patterned skirt. The yellow ‘flatform’ sandals work well with the dress and the shorts. They also offer enough lift to elongate the legs but are still comfortable enough to walk around in – bonus! Finally, don’t neglect the accessories; chose these wisely as they are likely to be the items you wear the most.

Stockists

Shorts –Top Shop. Sandals, Anthropologie. Dress, H&M. Sunglasses, Mui Mui. Vest, H&M. Blue top, Zara. Bikini, Top Shop, Hat,