9 Tips for the Ultimate Wardrobe Spring Clean

The start of a new season is the perfect opportunity to get organized and Spring Clean your wardrobe.  It gives you the chance to take stock of what you already own and understand what ‘gaps’ you have in your wardrobe that can be updated with pieces from the new season or what areas you can invest in more.  It can help you to realize if you have brought a lot of the same piece (do you really need ten pairs of skinny black jeans) and can help you evaluate the direction your Style is going in and if you want to make any key changes to your look.

But clearing out your wardrobe can also be something that causes a lot of stress for us ladies.  We are all guilty of hoarding pieces for a “just in case” and the task of emptying out an overstuffed wardrobe can be a daunting one to start.

But I promise, getting rid of old clothes and updating your wardrobe is really freeing and empowering.  So here are my top ten tips for the Ultimate Wardrobe Spring Clean…

9 Tip for the Ultimate Wardrobe Spring Clean

1 – Get your Equipment on Hand.  Before starting your Spring Clean get together a bunch of plastic laundry hampers to use to depose your clothes into.  You can use different bags for different purposes and it stops your room looking like a bomb has exploded during the process.

2 – Get All Your Clothes Together.  If you have clothes stored in other places in your house bring it all together so you can see how much stuff you really have.

3 – Remove Pieces that Need Altering or Dry Cleaning.  It’s easy to store up the pieces that need altering at the tailors to taking to the dry cleaning and then never getting around to taking them in.  So grab those first and put them in a bag by your front door ready to go.

4 – Remove any ‘Trash’ Pieces.  By this I’m talking about any pieces with holes or rips, non-removable stains, pieces that have seen better days.  Anything that isn’t in good condition – get rid of it.  You can also make a list of the pieces you are throwing away here so you know what gaps you need to fill on your next shopping trip.

5 – Get Rid of your Wardrobe ‘Frenemies”.  These are any pieces you own that DON’T make you feel amazing when you wear them.  I mean pieces that no longer fit, pieces you think make you look fat.  Anything that doesn’t make you feel like your beautiful self – get rid of it because it isn’t serving you positively.

6 – Consider Which Pieces you have Never Worn.  Think about why you have never worn them and if you are likely too.  If it’s because you don’t have anything to wear it with, make a note to complete the outfit on your next shopping trip.  And if you think you will never wear it, get rid of it.

7 – Organize your Accessories. A lot of us don’t have so much time in the morning and often grab the same accessories time and again.  So to maximize the pieces you have & to make sure you use them, display or organize them so they are on hand.  I divide all my accessories by color so I can quickly see which pieces work with my outfit and keep everything on display – jewellery in trays and bowls, bags in open boxes, shoes on racks.

8 – Order your Clothes.  Put all your clothes in order so pieces are easy to find.  Put all tops together, skirts together and dresses together.  And order them by color (light to dark) or purpose (formal to casual).

9 – Divide & Donate.  Finally go through the pieces you are getting rid of and decide which can be sold and which can be donated to a local charity.  Pieces with a high value (eg. designer) can be sold and low value but still wearable pieces can be donated.

PS.  Want to spring clean your wardrobe with focus and purpose and start building the wardrobe you always dreamed of? Download my FREE Style Guide for the Ultimate Wardrobe Spring Clean HERE.

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Packing for a European Mini-Break…

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I am really excited because this week I travel to rural Southern France to visit family and work with some new Image Consultation clients.  It will be my first holiday of the season and I couldn’t be happier about spending five days relaxing in the sun, exploring crumbing, rural villages and eating delicious French food.  It’s going to be beautiful.

As you know I love traveling and everything that it brings, except one thing – the packing!  I am a terrible packer!  Being a total fashion girl I want to take my whole wardrobe away with me every time and almost always end up over the weight limit and/or sitting on my suitcase to try and cram everything in!  This is especially difficult when, like for this trip, I only have carry on luggage so I really am limited to one small suitcase only!

As I have a few trips lined up this summer I decided I needed to get my packing skills down and after using the wonderful world of Pinterest and BlogLovin to get some inspiration, I am happy to say my little suitcase it packed perfectly! Yay! I figured I can’t be the only girl who has this problem so I want to share with you the top tips when packing for a European Mini-Break…

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Create a Capsule Wardrobe.

Capsule Wardrobes are a life saver when you are short of packing space.  It basically means planning outfits where all the pieces mix and match with each other to create multiple outfits.  A great space saver and ensures you wear everything you bring.

Plan Your Holiday Activities and Create Capsule Wardrobes Around Each One.

My holiday is going to be split into three main activities; 1 – chilling by the pool, 2 – sight-seeing, exploring rural villages and meeting clients and 3 – going out for dinner.  So I need to create three capsule wardrobes to go with these.  And anything that I can’t see myself wearing while doing those activities has to go.

Be cleaver with Accessories.

The way you accessorize an outfit can really transform the way it looks.  So be clever with the accessories you pack.  Think about ways from turning you summer dresses from day to night looks by adding different jewellery or shoes.

Get Mini-Sizes for all your Toiletries.  This is a great space saver and means you can throw them away at the end of your trip, leaving you more space for shopping items.  If you can’t find your favorite cosmetics in mini-sizes buy small plastic bottles and transfer them across.

Make Technology Your Friend.  Instead of taking piles of books, notepads, laptops, cameras, phones and tablets plus a ton of wires to charge them all, combine everything into one and limit the amount of technology & papers you need to bring.  Load books onto your tablet or phone, download useful apps so you don’t need to carry things like maps or notebooks, keep digital copies of your tickets and keep up with work on your tablet – leave your laptop at home.

Want to know what fashion items to pack? Check out my post Must Have Pieces for Your Summer Wardrobe…

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(all photos taken from pinterest.com)

Must Have Pieces for Your Summer Wardrobe…

Temperatures are soaring here in Milan and summer has most definitely arrived.  I love the start of summer because it means holidays and travel are just around the corner and I am getting busy planning our summer trip.  But with it also comes the opportunity to inject some life into your wardrobe and add some key pieces to experiment and have fun with.

Here is my lowdown of six on-trend pieces to add to your wardrobe this summer.  Mix them in with your existing wardrobe for an easy trend update and use them as the foundation for building a new outfits.  It’s up to you! The important thing to remember when styling your summer outfits, make sure you have fun with it!

1 – Off-The-Shoulder Blouses

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These babies were also on my Must Have Items for Spring post too and I have included them again because they really are a top player this season! Choose from styles with elegant shoulder-ties to ethnic, embroidered tunic styles and wear them with everything!

2 – Denim Pieces

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It might be to hot for jeans but you can still rock this fabric of the season in the form of retro denim dresses, dungarees and statement jackets.

3 – Graphic Sunglasses

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This summer is all about eye-wear for getting noticed! Choose from futuristic, plexiglass shades, irregular, graphic shapes or maxi to mini frame sizes!

4 – Straw Hats

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Through them on over maxi-dresses while you are going around town or wear with a bikini pool side.  Straw Hats are the perfect way to add some chic to your summer looks while protecting your skin from the sun at the same time.  My favorites are the ones with tassels and colorful woven straw!

5 – Embellished Tops & Dresses

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Embellished tops & dresses are everywhere this season and adding an ethnic flare to our summer wardrobe.  With ruffles and flounces in bold, block colors, ethnic printed fabrics, or white embroidered gypsy tops.  Dress them up with oversized flares or team with a floaty skirt for beachy vibes.

5 – Tasseled Sandals

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Lace up sandals can be seen everywhere this season but take the trend one step further and invest in a pair of lace ups with tassels.  They match perfectly to this summers ethnic trend or add a bit of bohemian style to a chic summer look.

6 – Cute Skirts

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This Spring it was all about the Suede skirt, but as temperatures begin to soar its time to switch up this heavy fabric for something lighter.  Choose from crisp linen skirts, maxi gingham’s or feminine lace styles.

Which of the summer trends are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below…

Want to give yourself a total re-style this Summer? Or feel like you want to update your wardrobe with some key pieces but aren’t sure where to start? I am here to help! I LOVE sharing my fashion knowledge with you and helping you create a wardrobe that makes you feel confident, stylish and beautiful when you get dressed in the morning.  Book an Image Consultation session with me this Summer and feel stylish and incredible all season long!

(all photos taken from pinterest.com)

 

 

Must Have Fashion Items for Spring…

I love to see the new trends at the start of every season and I think it provides a great opportunity to experiment with your style and try something new.  A great way to do this is to choose some of the seasons key pieces and add those into your wardrobe for an easy, on-trend update.  You can mix them into your favorite outfits or use them to breath some life into your wardrobe staples.

Here is my lowdown of eight beautiful on trend pieces for Spring…

1 – White Blouses with a Twist
White Blouses are a great wardrobe staple and this Spring it’s all about white blouses with a twist.  Invest in styles with special details like extra-wide sleeves, off the shoulder necklaces or unique draping.  Dress up with a pretty skirt or pair with jeans for casual cool.

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2 – Wrap Skirts
The Wrap Skirt is the skirt of the season.  Chic and flattering, choose from styles in soft colors, suede finishes or side belt details.  Wear with soft silk blouses for a pretty feminine look.

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3 – Fringe Bottom Jeans

Denim has been the material of choice for a few seasons now and this Spring sees no exception.  But this season the denim see jeans coming with details of patchwork and fringe bottoms.  Dress up with a pressed white shirt and heels for easy Spring cool.

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4 – Block Heels
The Block Heel trend kicked off last season and this Spring it’s still going strong.  Great news if you like comfortable low flats! Choose from tradition mules, lace-ups or sandals and wear with your favorite spring outfits for an easy update.

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5 – Bold Earrings
This season is all about bold accessories.  And the boldest of all – earrings! Its an easy way to add a flash of color to your outfit or experiment with a new style without going all out.  Try earrings with colorful beads, ethic details or rich jewels and feel beautiful!

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6 – Off-The-Shoulder

Include some Off-The-Shoulder tops and dresses in your wardrobe this Spring for chic and sexy appeal.  Feel bohemian and feminine with lace style dresses or go for off-the-shoulder tops in structured fabric and wear with a pair of culottes for easy elegance.

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7 – Bomber Jackets

Adding a Bomber Jacket to your outfit adds a cool and effortless appeal, plus they are a great trans-seasonal jacket for the sometimes unpredictable weather of spring.  Wear with jeans & sneakers, or casual tee and cut off shorts.

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8 – Neck Scarfs

A perfect accessory to pair with those off-the-shoulder tops or an elegant silk blouse.  Tie the scarf tightly around your neck and leave an extra piece of fabric hanging out of the knot.  Go for scarfs in bring colors or bold prints to add some pop to your outfit.

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Which of the news trends are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below…

Want to give yourself a total re-style this Spring? Or feel like you want to update your wardrobe with some key pieces but aren’t sure where to start? I am here to help! I LOVE sharing my fashion knowledge with you and helping you create a wardrobe that makes you feel confident, stylish and beautiful when you get dressed in the morning.  Book an Image Consultation session with me this Spring and feel stylish and incredible all season long!

(all photos taken from pinterest.com)

 

How to Define your Personal Style…

I have always believed developing unique personal style is more important than following the latest trends and buying into the newest craze.  That’s because, for me, personal style is a representation of our identities and lifestyles.  Really great personal style is special, unusual and timeless. It allows the wearers personality to shine through and doesn’t always involve the most high-fashion or on trend pieces.

It is a key area I always help my Image Consultation clients to develop because once you have a clear idea of your personal style you feel more confident in your fashion choices, find shopping for new pieces easier and feel the real you shining through in every look that you wear.  But defining your personal style can be tricky and its sometimes difficult to know where to start.  So today I decided to share with you three tips for rookies who want to define their personal style…

AllegraGhiloni_DefiningYourPersonalStyle

(during milan fashion week 2016)

Get Some Style Inspiration. Start off by taking note of the style you are drawn to and save the images on a Pinterest Board.  Focus on celebrity style, the fashion pages from magazines, street style photos and individual pieces all of which you love, and build up a collection of images over time.  Once you have a big enough collection, think of some keywords to describe the mood of your style collection.  Is it hippie & bohemian, classic & elegant, sporty & urban.  This will help you to have a focus point to build your personal style from and reference back to in the future when buying new pieces and planning outfits.

Take Note of What you Already Have. Before rushing to the shops to buy all new clothes, organize your wardrobe and take note of what you already have.  Is their a clear mood connecting to an overall style?  Do you tend to buy lots of the same style of pieces and if so why? Which outfits make you feel your best? And which your worst? – Banish those!  If you can see a few different moods try grouping them in your wardrobe to keep everything clear and divided.  This is when it is good to have that Pinterest Board handy to reference back to.

Photograph Your Strongest Looks.  Remember when you were organizing your wardrobe and you considered which looks made you feel you best? Well take snaps of those outfits and put them on a cork board in your wardrobe so you have a useful library of outfit ideas.  It’s important to build your personal style based around outfits that make you feel amazing and beautiful and building up a knowledge around this will allow you to understand what works for you best so you can focus on that.  Feeling natural and confident in your outfit choices will allow your personality and identity to shine through and is the first step to cultivating your personal style.

So there you have it, my three tips when beginning to define your personal style.  I love sharing my style knowledge and advise to help you become the best version of yourself and feel amazing in everything you wear.  To get more tips on defining your Personal Style download my FREE eBook ‘Look Great Feel Amazing’ or book yourself an Image Consultation session with me today.

With that, I wish you a beautiful Sunday friends…

Big love x

Want more Style Advise… Check out my post ‘A Fashion Stylist’s Guide to Dressing with Confidence’.

A Fashion Stylist’s Guide to Dressing with Confidence…

When I am doing my Image Consultation sessions the main thing my lovely clients tell me is that after our makeover they want to feel more confident.  More confident in choosing new clothes, more confident in knowing their style and more confident in themselves.  Helping people to boost their confidence and feel amazing is my favorite thing about the Image Consultation side of my business.  I think its such an important thing to feel good about yourself and when you feel amazing it radiates out of you and makes you shine.  So I thought I would share with you today my three top tips for dressing with confidence….

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Dress to enhance your assets.  I truly believe everyone is beautiful in their own way and its the things we have which make us different that create this beauty.  So often I see people dressing to hide their flaws and cover up the things they don’t like about themselves but for me this is wrong.  Instead you should focus on the areas your love about your body and dress to enhance these.  If you have lovely long nails where colourful nail polish, if you have a curvy waist wear something fitted to show off your beautiful shape, if you love your long legs where some killer heels… Enhancing your assets will make you look at yourself in a positive light and this is a major confidence booster.

Feel comfortable.   More than looking good its super important you feel good in what you are wearing.  If the shoes hurt, the skirt feels to tight, the jacket makes you feel boxy or you just don’t feel that special ‘I look amazing’ feeling in what you are wearing your not going to feel confident.  Make a rule to only wear things that make you feel amazing for two weeks and see the difference in how you feel.  I also recommend purging your wardrobe of any frenemies (clothes you brought because they looked nice on the rail but every time you wear them they make you feel bad) leaving you with a closet full of pieces which make you feel amazing!

Know your Style.  Rather than following the latest trends, focus on creating your own style and think about wearing clothes that reflect well your personality and lifestyle.  Its good to look to the new season for inspiration but always think about how the trends can relate to your style and who you are.  If you aren’t sure what your personal style is yet take some time to think about colours you love wearing, what type of clothes you normally wear and how you want your clothes to make you feel.

So there you have my three top tips for dressing with confidence.  I love sharing my style knowledge and advise to help you become the best version of yourself and feel amazing in everything you wear.  To learn more about dressing with confidence download my FREE eBook ‘Look Great Feel Amazing’, book yourself an Image Consultation session or say hello in the comments below.

With that, I wish you a great weekend friends…

Big love x

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Beach Bag Essentials…

So far this holiday we have spent lots of long, lazy days relaxing at the beach.

So in the past two weeks I feel like I have become an expert in what to bring along and what is dead weight in my beach bag.

Below is my list of Beach Bag Essentials…

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– Sun Cream. I always use factor 30 or above when I am in tropical places.

SPF Lipbalm. To protect your lips.

Argan Oil Spray. To spritz in your hair to protect from the drying effects of the sun.

– A good book.  To see what I’m reading this summer see my Summer Holiday Reading List post.

– Chic Sunglasses.

– Cute Straw Hat or Head Scarf. To put on when you are in the full sun.

– Flip Flops.

– A big Sarong to lie on. I love to buy a new one every time I go away so I have a mix of colours and patterns to choose from.

– Kaftan. To cover up in if you start to burn.

– Snorkle Mask. It is so much fun seeing all the fish underwater and a great way to get some exercise too!

– Camera. For snapping you and your friends and the pretty beach sunsets. I use a GoPro which is waterproof and amazing for making photos in the sea!

– Something to drink. It’s HOT so bring something hydrating like a frozen water bottle or coconut water. Better still if you are somewhere tropical buy some fresh coconuts and drink the milk. So yum!

– Healthy snacks. It’s hot so bring something that can survive the heat like dried fruits and nuts, granola bars or fresh fruits.

– Mini Portable Speaker. If you have space in your bag mini speaker are great for playing your favourite summer songs while chilling in the sun.

– Waterproof Make-Up Bag. Use this to pack your natural summer make-up like Bronzer, Waterproof Mascara and Lip Gloss so you can look pretty if you decide to go for cocktails at a nearby beach bar.

What Essencials do you always bring along to the beach? Let me know in the comments below…

Staying Chic on a 15 Hour Flight…

When flying to Sri Lanka we were in transit for 15 hours! That is a mix of flight time and waiting in airports because there was unfortunately no direct flights from Milan. We were in a similar situation last year with our flight to Costa Rica and when we finally arrived at our destination, it took me several days and a lot of strange sleeping patterns to feel normal again. So this year I decided to be prepared and make an emergency beauty plan to bring with me on the plane to feel more healthy when we arrive.

In case you have some long-haul flights scheduled this summer too I have shared it with you here – I hope it can help.

Staying Chic on a 15 Hour Flight

– Stay hydrated. Drink as much water as possible, and then drink more! And avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks which are dehydrating.

– Bring healthy snacks with you on the plane to eat when you get hungry mid-flight to help you avoid the salty junk food that is available. Ideas could be fruit, raw veg sticks like carrot/ celery/ cucumber, nuts and seeds or granola bars.

– Pack some relaxation teas. If like me your are scared of flying, it’s good to have something comforting to keep you relaxed and de-stressed. I love this Relaxation Tea from Pukka.

– Look after your skin. The night before your flight do a hydrating facial so your skin is in tip-top condition.  Once on the flight I like to remove my make up so my skin can breath. I pack a mini cleanser and moisteriser and regularly apply them to keep my skin hydrated during the flight.

– Apply Hydration Gel to your under-eyes. Again do this regularly. For long flights I love Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels from Skyn Iceland. Just stick the patches under your eyes for ten minutes and let them work their magic.

– Keep your lips and hands soft too by bringing a lip butter and soft hand cream. If you don’t think you have enough space in your bag for everything, transfer the products into mini-bottles so you only carry on the flight what you need.

– Bring a sleep mask to block out the light so you can get some proper sleep. Try to keep you body insync with your timezones. If are travelling at night try to get a full nights sleep, if you are travelling in the day try and stay awake with a few little naps if you need. You can sleep in the evening when you arrive at your destination.

– Pack fresh clothes. By the end of your flight you will be grateful for something fresh to wear. I always change just before the flight lands so I arrive at my destination feeling renewed. At this point I also reapply my make up and spray on some perfume. If you don’t have space in your hand luggage for a whole new outfit bring the essentials like a new top.

Do you have any tips for long-haul flight? Let me know in the comments below…

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What living in Italy has taught me about style…

I have been living and working in Milan for just under two years now.  Before moving here I had done a lot of travelling (mainly around South America and Asia) and these experiences have taught me a lot about the world and who I am.  But I think by actually living in a country for a long period of time you can learn so much about the culture and way of life.

Being in Italy has taught me about food, the language (though I still have a long way to go on that front!) emotion, creativity and new perspectives on how to live life.  Living in one of the fashion capitals of the world has also taught me a lot about Style.  In no particular order, below I share with you some of the best things I have learnt.

Italian Style Tips

1. ALWAYS wear good shoes.  May it be boots, heels, loafers or sandals – invest in high quality leather shoes.  They last much longer than anything from the high-street and lift your outfit up to another level of stylish.

2. The same applies for Handbags.  Ok they are expensive, but instead of buying 10 high-street handbags at £40 a go, buy one designer bag for the year.  Having a beautiful bag and pair of shoes as the base of your look makes a huge difference whatever you team it with.

3. Shop in Sample Sales and Outlets.  Being all about fashion, Milan and the surrounding area is full of outlet stores and secret Sample Sales and they are absolutely amazing for bagging designer pieces at 50-70% off.  I like to buy my key pieces here to get something beautiful and timeless and then mix these with cheaper, trend focused pieces from the high-street.

4.  Minimal make-up is more beautiful.

5. But always have painted nails and lipstick to add that flash of colour.

6. Don’t use fake-tan, just spend more time outside in the sun.  Its better for your skin and gives you a more natural glow.

7. Look at quality and craftsmanship when you shop.  It doesn’t matter if the piece costs £10 or £1000 or what brand it is.  What matters is how it is made and the quality of the fabric.  If something is well made from a beautiful material it will look one million dollars even if it really only cost ten. Especially when worn with your beautiful shoes and bag…

8. If something doesn’t fit perfectly take it to a tailor and have it adjusted to your size.

9. Independent shopping is the way forward.  At home I used to always shop in the big, chain fashion stores but in Italy most businesses are still independently owned.  This means there are more pretty boutiques and unique fashion brands and when you buy something you know everyone else won’t be wearing the same as you.  Check small boutiques, cool weekend markets and shops in the artsy neighborhoods to discover some special pieces.

10.  Its all about looking elegant but effortless.

Catch you soon for more of my Italian adventures. xxx

Want to learn more about my thoughts on Style… Check out my post ‘A Fashion Stylist’s Guide to Dressing with Style’

SS15 Trends and My Key Pieces to buy…

Here is Italy the weather has started to get hotter and there are sure signs that Spring is on its way. This makes me excited about the arrival of sunshine and longer days and also because it means it is time to welcome in the trends of SS15.  This year spring has seen a huge throwback to the 70’s with florals, flares, hippie dresses and retro looks and I am loving this.

As a Styling Assistant I need to make sure I am looking on trend but also need to consider my budget. I find the best way to do this is to buy key pieces from the season and use them to update my existing wardrobe.  If like me you are the same, then look below for Part 1 of my SS15 trends breakdown found on the high street for a steal! Enjoy!

Denim

Seen in the shows of Burberry, Stella McCartney, Marques Almeida and Gucci to name a few, denim is the big material of the season.

Key Pieces: Statement Jackets, Patchwork Jeans, Shirts and Tunic Dresses.

 

DenimIndigo Shirt £19.99 Zara, Bellfield Denim Dress £38 ASOS, MOTO Vintage Wash Pini Dress £32 Topshop, Angel Denim Dress £58 Topshop, Printed Panal Jacket £65 ASOS, MOTO Raw Indigo Western Jacket £39 Topshop, MOTO Utility Pocket Skirt £28 Topshop, Tapered Colour Block Jeans £55 ASOS.

Suede

Suede was seen all over the runway this season used in a variety of ways.  See 70’s styles at Chloe and Darek Lam alongside a more modern approach at Chanel, choose whichever styles suits you best. Bonus points if you also wear it with fringing!

Key Pieces: Button Down Skirts, Belted Jackets, Dresses and Fringe Bags.

Suede

 

Front Shift Dress £60 Topshop, A-Line Skirt £65 ASOS, Fringed Shoulder Bag £38 ASOS,  Pompom Belt £19.99 Zara, Two-Tone Faux Suede T-Shirt £25.99 Zara, Faux Suede Cross Back Top £29.99 Rare at Topshop, Fringed Vest £38 Forever 21, Fringed Bum Bag £25 ASOS. 

Bold Florals

Vivid floral prints with strong Japanese influences were seen in the shows of Marni, Fendi and Valentino. An updated twist on summers floral trend.

Key Pieces: Kimono Tops, Bold Bags, Floaty Tops.

Bold FloralsFloral Long Line Kimono £39 Oh My Love at Topshop, Floral Print Clutch Bag £18 ASOS, Sleeveless Tunic Dress £17.99 New Look, Floral Printed T-Shirt £25.99 Zara, Floral Print Kimono Shirt £25.99 Zara, Top with 70’s Floral Burnout Print £25 ASOS, Pendulum Platform Shoes £45 ASOS, Flare Trousers with Rose Print £30 ASOS.

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