Simply Suede...


Style Theory: In keeping with the 70s theme this season, suede is having a moment. Suede coats, short and midi suede skirts, dresses and accessories, it is time to welcome this soft and delicate fabric back into your wardrobe and add a 2015 twist by wearing your suede as bright and as bold as you dare...
Here are a few ideas of how to style:

Suede is a forgiving fabric worn as a skirt, the A-line shapes are extremely flattering on the legs but watch out for bold colour skirts if you are wider at the hip area as the bold colours can draw attention to these areas, if this is the case wear brown or black suede skirts and add your colour pop to your top. Wear suede skirts now with chunky polonecks, opaque tights and ankle/knee high boots and in the summer team with a white boho top and tan strappy sandals, an all year around winner...

Here are the best on the high street now...
Marks and Spencer Suede Skirt £199 (avail from May)
The skirt the fashion editors and celebrities are hailing as 'the' suede skirt of the season. A little on the pricey side but seeing as the likes of Alexa Chung (see above) and Olivia Palermo are fans it is worth having a look and trying on if you see one in store. The shape is super flattering with heels and the split takes it up a notch and away from a frumpy look.
Zara Long Suede Jacket £179
This suede coat is a 'grown up' style, layer up over a denim jacket, skinny leather ankle length trouser, stan smith trainers and a bright scarf for a touch of colour. In the summer throw over your denim dress, would look great with tanned legs and white pumps.
H&M Faux Suede Jacket £29.99
This jacket ticks this season's fringing and suede trend. Keep the rest of your outfit very simple to avoid detail overload, a grey tee, black skinny jeans and black pointed flat shoes would look gorgeous!
H&M Suede Skirt £99
This is a beautiful colour green, for the bolder of you out there clash with a hot pink/orange sweater and wear with black opaques and black shoes, throw a fur coat over for a real 70s vibe. If you are more reserved I would team with a navy cashmere sweater and brown knee high boots.
Asos A line Skirt £65
As above clash if feeling bold or team with black for a more subtle look.
Asos Wrap Skirt £65
A beautiful neutral skirt will go with all colours and be a hardworking item in your wardrobe.
Asos Fringe Wrap Pencil Skirt £75
A gorgeous statement skirt for a night out..I would keep the top simple and wear with a denim shirt and then put on a pair of gorgeous animal print shoes and a colour pop duster coat..outfit perfection!

If you would rather dip into the trend, the high street has some fab suede bags (and boots but that will be in a later post) I love the bright coloured ones as they will make a fashion statement but won't cost the earth and you don't have to squeeze yourself into them...
Warehouse Suede Bag £35
This is an amazing price for a suede bag, it also comes in a beautiful stone colour perfect for a more subtle approach to suede.
Topshop Suede Tassel Hobo Bag £65
Wear this with pinks, blues and greys..beautiful and retro with a modern twist.
Accessorize Suede Tote Bag £55
This is huge, you can fit everything in this bag and still look pretty cool! Real suede and again an affordable price.


Staying with the 70s theme that I am totally embracing, I resurrected my old Topshop denim skirt that I bought 5 years ago and mixed up some colours for a lovely lunch out with friends..
Coat: Zara
Shirt: J Crew
Skirt: Topshop
Bag: TK Maxx
Boots: Russell & Bromley
For a cold day, it was all about wool..!
Sweater: Boutique
Coat: M&S
Trousers: Zara
Trainers: Addidas
Bag: H&M
I really have my eye on that M&S skirt, it looks like such a perfect length and would be so useful for next winter too! What do you think of suede, is it your fabric of choice, do you have any suede skirts stored at the back of your cupboard you can wear this season?

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time, Frances xxx

Spring Spotlight on....Next

Style Theory: Sometimes a retailer just catches your eye with an item which then focuses your attention on a range that you may have not normally looked at. This season for me it is Next, I have to be honest I do not shop very often in Next but this season they have some really fabulous items that I could not resist. 

Here is what caught my eye and how I styled the items...

The first was these trainers, I was on the look out for a pair of black trainers and these fit the bill. Light, comfortable and really reasonable, they would give my outfits a little twist and would make the school run a breeze..
Next Floral Flexi Trainers £35
They are fab, really soft with a inner sole that supports your foot.

The Faux Leather Joggers:
Whilst in Next looking at the trainers I spotted these fab faux leather joggers, perfect for dressing down..
Sweater: H&M similar here
Faux Leather Trousers: Next £30
Trainers: Next £35
Or Dress up the trousers with a pair of heels..
Sweater: as above
Trousers: Next as above
Shoes: Nine West similar here
Not too Kanye, light and versatile these joggers have fabric inner so not too hot! 

The Spring 2015 look:
I am smitten with pale greys at the moment especially after spotting quite a few pale grey ensembles on the AW15catwalks for New York fashion week. 
This little lace skirt would look fab with heels but due to my adversion to be anything but comfortable at the moment I styled with my adidas Superstars and pink coat...
Jacket: M&S
Sweater: Next £45
Skirt: Next £45
Bag: TKMaxx
Trainers: Adidas Superstar 

I like the fine mesh of the skirt and lace details, it would look lovely in the summer with a grey T-shirt and silver strappy sandals. Or could be dressed up with a pair of silver heels and a pale grey blouse for a beautiful summer look.

So all in all Next did have quite a few gems in it's Spring collection, I will be able to use these key items time and time again in my wardrobe.

Are you a Next fan, do you shop there? This is not a sponsored post, I just was quite impressed with the range..

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time, Frances xx

Focus on Flares...

Style Theory: There is no getting away from it, the fashionistas are leading the way and have confirmed that flares are the Jean shape of 2015. 

images via Pinterest
I am talking flares in the true 70s way, they must be fitted/tight on the thigh and flare out to a bell bottom at the hem. These are the jeans to look out for, no doubt bootcut jeans/trousers will follow suit in the next year or so but for now stick to the flares to look truly on trend...

A few flared jeans rules:
Wear tight at the thigh and hips with the flare strictly limited to below the knee.
Size down as I have found they tend to come up bigger than skinnies (on all pairs I tried on, I sized down) and they do look better tight.
Keep your look truly retro by keeping your top as neat and fitted as possible, skinny roll necks, neat fitting silk blouses look great.
For a more tailored and smart look ensure your sweater or top end at the top of your hip, a longer sweater results in a slouchy look (also pretty cool but not as smart)
This is one look to wear with heels as high as you can bear because a) your legs will look so much longer and b) no one wants soggy hems.
Keep the length long, they look best entirely covering the heel of your shoe or boot with just a pointed shoe showing at the front.
For a slimming look buy a darker wash Jean with little or no lighter patches.

Here is my round up of the best on the high street and how they fit...
Marks and Spencer:

M&S Limited Edition Kick Flare Denim Jeans £35
As usual appallingly styled on the M&S website, I would not have given them a second look had I not seen them 'in the flesh' This is how they looked in real life..actually I was pretty impressed..

Dare I say, these were actually my favourite, the denim had a really good stretch, was comfortable and high waisted across my child-busted tummy and was a good colour blue. I also liked the pocket detailing at the front, very 70s. This was the regular length and was a good length for me (5ft2) I would have maybe had to chop off the very bottom but I like raw edges so would literally just lob them off. Well done M&S, I would highly recommend but with all jeans I would, if possible, try on a few sizes and see which one fits you the best, always try a size smaller than think, you may be surprised how flattering they are.

River Island
River Island Brooke Flare Jeans £42
Trying them on...

I liked this Jean especially from the back, the pockets were a good size, placed fairly close together to make your bottom seem a little smaller. A good basic and the wash a good colour but I preferred the M&S comfort-wise. 

Tophop Jamie Flares
Topshop Moto Jamie Flared Jeans £40
Possibly my least favourite on me,

These were the size 28 length 30 and were too short for me (they didn't have length 32) these were the least flattering on my little chunky legs. I should imagine on a tall willowy person they would work. Also, for me they do not have enough flare to flatter my hips and thighs.

Gap 1969 Curvy Boot Jeans
Gap 1969 Curvy Boot Jean £44.95
I tried these on in the darker wash, I prefer the lighter wash above..

These were ok, definitely good for ladies with hips and bottoms as they do curve and hug your figure. The dark wash is flattering but they do not have a huge amount of stretch. Again size down at least one size these do come up on the large side.

These are my flares, I have had them for 7 years, I bought them just after having my daughter and luckily I was encouraged to size down as small as I could possible go so they still fit (although when I wore them just after having J, I could not breath or sit down and felt like I may lose my internal organs!
J Brand 722 Close Cut Love Story Jeans £195.27
These are really expensive but they have lasted and lasted, every year they get dragged out and worn again. The style above are a slightly different cut with a lower waist but the leg shape is the same. I had to take my jeans up by about a foot, they so tend to be very long, great for all you tall ladies!

Coat: Topshop
Shirt: Zara
Jeans: J Brand (as above)
Shoes: Nine West
There is my round up of the flares I found on the high street and how they fit. It is definitely worth jumping on this trend as it really is here to stay, at least for a few years! The M&S jeans are a good way to try out the trend and not break the bank.

How do you feel about flares, are you ready to embrace them or are you holding on to your skinnies for dear life, which brands fit you best?
As always I would love to hear your thought and comments, until next time, Frances xx

2015..Your Denim Must Haves..

Style Theory: In 2015 denim is taking over, from the re-emergence of the 70s flares, to tailoring (with the most flattering shirt dresses and skirts) to embellishment and luxury trims. No longer is denim just about jeans and traditional denim jackets, it's time to fill your wardrobe with this cool, robust, child-friendly fabric..
The SS15 Catwalks were awash with denim in all forms...
Gucci SS2015
Left: Sonia Rykiel SS15 Right: Burberry SS15
Left: SS15 Chloe, Right: SS15 Fendi
My favourite denim looks from the Streetstylers..

The 70s and military influence permeates all high street denim designs along with the huge influence of Alexa Chung's collaboration with AG jeans (I would buy each and every item in this range if it were a little cheaper) denim is taking the lead this year so jump on board...

In this blogpost I will look at denim in it's tailored form, dresses, skirts and jackets, I will look at the best jeans on the high street in a later post. Here is the best on the high street now..

Whistles Silka Jumpsuit £295
This jumpsuit is utterly stunning, ticks so many Spring Summer 2015 trends: jumpsuit, raw edges, denim, tailored. Unfortunately it is also hugely expensive, this is going to be one of those items I will stalk until the sale!

Alexa Chung for AG Jeans @Net A Porter £245
Again, very pricey but such a stunning dress, the design details are perfect, the high neck, the pin tucks and the sleeves, I will be looking out for the high street 'homage' of this dress..Zara is normally pretty quick at producing similar designs, I'll let you know when I spot one!

Miss Selfridges Patch Pocket Denim Dress £39
A boat neck is really flattering and I love the shape of this dress, wear it over skinny jeans or leather leggings and flat pointed shoes now and in summer with white Superga style trainers.

Topshop Zip Through Pinny Dress £36
This is a key colour for SS15 very 70s, wear now with skinny black roll neck under, black opaques and a ankle boots. Or wear as a skirt with a chunky cream knit over the top. In summer wear with a white vest top under and white superga trainers. 
Levis Long Sleeve Dress £85
A fabulous, basic shirt dress can be dressed up with a trench thrown over and a pair of leopard print heels, in the summer pair it down with tan, flat strappy sandals.
Zara Denim Bib Front Dungaree dress £39.99
Another dungaree style dress, there is no getting away from them this year and they honestly are so comfortable, especially if you are like me and after having two kids I really cannot bear wearing tight waistbands! Wear with a breton top and some 70s style knee high tan boots. In the summer throw this over your bikini for a cool beach look.
Asos Girlfriend Shirt in Tencel now £21
A perfectly slouchy, grown up shirt, ideal to layer under a chunky cardigan now or wear with white jeans (as image) looks stunning!
Asos Denim Skirt £28
The skirt style of the year, Alexa Chung for AG jeans is the huge influence on this style. Look out for a similar style in Miss Selfridge and also a fab button through Alexa style dress, both are out of stock at the moment but due in end March.
M&S Button Through Skirt £25
A fabulous, basic skirt. Make sure you keep styling sharp with a trend edge to avoid this looking frumpy. Would look fab with a chambray/denim shirt tucked in and pointed strappy heels, or wear with a roll neck (slightly tucked in at the front) and heels with a long trench (see the streetstyle image above) 
Asos Denim Lab coat £38
Wear this over your little black dress with heels for a dressed up/dressed down look. This would work hard in your wardrobe, would look fab with leather leggings, a chunky sweater and trainers.

My Style:
The key denim pieces that will be playing a huge part in my Spring Summer wardrobe again this year!
Left: Denim Skirt - Topshop, Sweater- H&M, Coat-Zara, Bag & Shoes - M&S
Middle: Dress- Levis, Boots- Seven Boot Lane
Right: Jacket-Asos, Dungarees-H&M, Bag-&OtherStories, Top-Zara, Trainers- Stan Smith
Left: Sweater-Topshop, Top-Zara, Jeans-J Brand, Shoes-Nine West
Middle; Culottes-Chloe, top-H&M, Bag-Accessorize, Shoes-Acessorise
Right: Jacket-Zara, Jeans-Gap, Sandals-H&M
I hope this has inspired you a little, you may already have these denim pieces in your wardrobe this year so you can put a new spin on them. I love denim as it survives children's sticky hands, doesn't crease and it so comfortable!

What are your key denim pieces, how will you style them? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time, Frances xx