Queen Bee Style Blog

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.

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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,

Top 5 Flat Shoes

It was during my first maternity leave that I realised I couldn’t actually walk more than a few yards in most of the shoes I owned, save for a pair of crusty gym trainers. I was the person who changed into heels under the desk as soon as I arrived in the office, none of which were very useful for my change in lifestyle.  The art of pushing a pram carrying a cappuccino whilst simultaneously texting called for shoes that were fit for purpose and these obviously had to be flats.

Thankfully nowadays flat shoes are an integral part of most wardrobes and in my case anyway, heels have to be relegated to high days and holidays. The recent furore over the receptionist who was sent home for not wearing heels proves this point, I haven’t spoken to a single person who isn’t astonished by this outdated dress code policy.

In honour of flats I complied one of my toughest (because there are so many styles to choose from) top 5s for the season below:-

  1. Cutwork – these are particularly useful if you want a lightweight summer shoe but hate showing your toes. I’ve chosen a slipper style here but there are many other cutwork styles such as espadrilles and sandals on the high street.

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  1. Lace ups – every brand has a version of these and they are a great contemporary update on ballet pumps. Beware though, think black laces can make legs look shorter and wider. Choose instead nude colour styles with thin short laces that only wrap the ankles once.

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  1. Espadrilles – you’ll find many versions of these from leopard print to floral and even studded versions. The latter from Valentino – a snip at £495. They have indeed come a long way from my childhood pair from Woolworths. Don’t be put off by the ties on this pair as you only need to tie them at the front.

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  1. Sliders – sometimes called slides. I would advise googling the former unless you want to shift though a lot of children’s toys! These work really well with boyfriend jeans as well as shorts and are so very comfortable.

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  1. Boho sandals – there are some amazing sandals around at the moment which are guaranteed to add life to any outfit. Look for multi-coloured poms poms, fringing and studs to name but a few!

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Stockists

  1. Top Shop
  2. Zara
  3. Manebi – Net a Porter
  4. Sliders – Carvela
  5. Sam Edleman

If you would like a helping hand to get your wardrobe ready for summer please get in touch.

3 Top Tips to Improve Your Work Wardrobe

I’m going to be optimistic and say that warmer weather has finally arrived which probably means you need an injection of Spring in your wardrobe. At this time of year our work wear, in particular, can seem tired and heavy. If we’re not careful it will make us feel and look the same way too – not the sort of impression you really want to make at work or anywhere else for that matter. I’m aware that not everyone can go out and buy a whole new wardrobe (if you do you know I’d be happy to help!) so here are my top 3 tips that will breathe life into any tired wardrobe (and human) :-

Add a pop of colour

Move away from the black, beige and dark grey and embrace colour. This is a scarf I bought recently which has given my wardrobe a new lease of life.

Mango scarf

Statement Shoes

 

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Plain black and nude pumps can suck the life out of an outfit, especially if worn with similar colours and black/nude tights. Alternatively, a vibrant pattern or colour will have the opposite effect and can change the whole look into one that is modern and contemporary.

Whistles shoes

Take a Risk

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I’m not suggesting here that you go to work in hot pants but we all get stuck in our comfort zone of wearing the same styles most of the time. The next time you go shopping challenge yourself to embrace a new style or colour. The best way to do this is focus on the styles you wear the most. For instance, if you usually wear slim leg trousers then consider culottes, cropped flares or even the same style but in a print/bold colour.

Finery trousers

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.

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