Queen Bee Style Blog

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.

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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.

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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