Wednesday, 11 July 2012

On the Run - Life Begins at 40 (Part 2)

Following on from yesterday's post, in which I looked at some of the items you could include to kick start your wardrobe, today it's the turn of accessories.

For lots of women, accessorising can be tricky.  I think it's really important to love your accessories and for them to make you feel special - because really they are the icing on the cake which is your outfit. It may take a few years to build up a collection of accessories that you like. Some may be inhereited, some coveted and bought in sales, some collected abroad, at vintage shops or immediately that you see them because you just fall in love with them and can't walk away without buying them.

We all have our views on what we can wear and what we like. Some ladies don't like the feel of necklaces and some don't like the feel of chunky bangles.  Others don't feel that they can wear belts and one client told me that the best thing about becoming dis-engaged was taking her ring off because she hated wearing it!

So, here are some items which I think do a great job of pulling your wardrobe, and an outfit, together:

A silk scarf, tied like the one above which is from Jaeger (reduced from £99 to £35) has a modern animal print.  Essentially neutral, it has coral and turquoise in it and will work well with lots of basic colours.  Larger light wool or linen scarves are also a good way of adding interest in to your wardrobe in terms of colour and print but without committing lots of money to them. My favourite shops for scarves are Mango, Zara, Oasis (they usually do a great silk one each season which goes into the sale) Lola Rose and John Lewis.

Sunglasses - the Queen of the sunnies has to be Victoria Beckham. Not only functional, they can give an outfit a whole new look - and also attitude! I can't bring myself to wear them other than on very hot days because I just don't feel right (see above)! Some can carry them off all year round and have that cool sophisticated look to go with them - I just feel as if I am playing dress up!

A statement necklace can bring the most simple outfits together.  What works for you as an individual will depend on lots of things, including bust size, length of neck, width of neck and so on. Some ladies don't like swapping their "proper" jewellery for costume jewellery so it could be a case of finding something which works with a necklace that you wear every day or finding a brand which does jewellery which isn't too "costumey." Stella and Dot, Coast, Hobbs, Jigsaw and Red Online are all good for jewellery - but there are hundreds of brands out there.

Statement cuffs are another way of adding sophistication to a simple outfit. Leather ones are great if they are likely to bash on a desk or if you have young children (Reiss has some nice ones).  Otherwise the bigger the better - if you like that kind of thing. The above one is from Jaeger again.

Bags are another great way of adding some style and colour to your outfit.  The shopper on the left is from Zara and costs £15.99.  The middle one, which is a bowling bag style and which will be a huge style next season, is from Orla Kiely and has been reduced from £380 to £247.  It also comes in several different colours.  The green tote is from Zara reduced from £59.99 to £49.99 it also comes in pink. Bicester is a fantastic place to get a designer bag at a good price. If it is something that you plan on keeping for years, the fact that it may already be a season out of date is neither here nor there.

As an alternative to the Orla Kiely bowling bag, Topshop has this cut out holdall bag for £42.

Cutout Holdall Bag

A final word - when it comes to belts, just keep an eye on their proportions. Wide ones can be hard to wear if you are short bodied or have a very curvy bust. Skinny ones tricky if you are very curvy. If your trousers fit well, a belt can be used as a lovely accessory, rather than as a necessity to keep your trousers up! 


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