Tag Archives: River Island

Bristol Fashion Week: Maternity fashion guide

17th April 2016

How to dress fabulously while pregnant – some top tips with a little help from The Image Consulting Company at Bristol Fashion Week.

1. Jacket, £55, River Island, 2. Aerin top in white, £48, People Tree, 3. Necklace £9.99, H&M, 4. Patterned trousers, £12.99, H&M, 5. Katy leopard sandals, £42, Dune, 6. Embossed shopper, £26.25, Warehouse

1. Jacket, £55, River Island, 2. Aerin top in white, £48, People Tree, 3. Necklace £9.99, H&M, 4. Patterned trousers, £12.99, H&M, 5. Katy leopard sandals, £42, Dune, 6. Embossed shopper, £26.25, Warehouse

Bristol Fashion Week is one of my favourite jobs of the year and, as PR and Social Media Manager for the event, it keeps me busy. This year, there’s even more reason to celebrate as I am expecting my first child this September. This does, however, present some fashion dilemmas for me since I’d like to be on trend for work but at the same time I need to dress for a completely different shape now. Finding something that’s stylish but comfortable and accommodates my bump was proving quite tricky, until I met Emmeline Stevens from The Image Consulting Company.

Emmeline Stevens (left) gave me some great advice at Bristol Fashion Week

Emmeline Stevens (left) gave me some great advice at Bristol Fashion Week

Emmeline and her team are on hand every Bristol Fashion Week to offer personal styling advice at The Mall. You can book in for a free 10-minute session, or get a special discounted rate on a 30-minute styling consultation. Then, if you need further support going forward, the ladies are available for private bookings. I popped in for a quick chat and picked up some great tips to help me shop a bit smarter now that I’m pregnant.

  1. Throw out your usual style rules and take a fresh look
    I wear belts with everything. They cinch in my waist and finish off every outfit I have perfectly. I even had a belt on my wedding dress. But nowadays belts don’t fit around my bump. This is a huge problem for me, because 99% of my wardrobe needs a belt to work, in my opinion. Without one, I feel a bit naked.Emmeline’s advice was to stop thinking about my outfits as I used to. I’ve got a new shape now and I need to dress for that. That doesn’t necessarily mean buying loads of new stuff, but it does mean reappraising the things I have and looking at how they can be worn differently. Instead of belting in those shift dresses as I used to, for example, I can now wear them loose – but I might need to add a jacket on top to streamline the look. She gave me a licence to look at everything with fresh eyes. “It doesn’t mean you have to be frumpy – it just means you need to think about your clothes differently and create some new style rules for yourself,” says Emmeline.
  2. Invest in waterfall shaped cover-ups
    If there’s one thing I took from the session, it’s that I need more waterfall jackets in my life. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to do them up, so you can buy them in the size you usually are and wear them over the top of maternity blouses etc. This means that from the back, your waistline is still visible, but from the front you’ve got room for your bump to grow. It also creates a vertical line over your outfit, which means you look slim, despite the bump at the front.“When you have a bump, many tops or dresses might skim over that and make you look bigger overall. Adding a waterfall jacket means you still have that slim fitting shape on the sides – it streamlines your whole look,” says Emmeline.
  3. Accessorize it
    One great way to draw the eye upwards and add interest to what might be a plain maternity top is to add eye-catching accessories. From experience so far, I’ve found the range of maternity tops to be quite limited – you don’t get many prints or patterns generally and the lines are very simple. Emmeline advised me to invest in a couple of key accessories that will jazz up these plainer tops and add some sparkle to my look.
  4. Be flexible with sizing
    While I have managed to pick up some great petite maternity jeans from ASOS in my usual size, finding fashionable maternity wear on the high street has been slightly trickier. Emmeline pointed me to H&M, which has a great ‘Mama’ range with some lovely simple shirts and palazzo pants – all of which I was able to buy in my usual size 8 and fitted perfectly. But not all stores have a maternity range and actually, you don’t need to invest purely in maternity wear just because you’re pregnant. Emmeline’s advice was to try standard ranges in other stores, perhaps in a size 10 or 12 to give myself room to grow. “For you at this stage it’s not about the size, it’s about the fit – so forget the label and try on shapes that flatter your body,” she said.
  5. Natural fibres are your friends
    If, like me, you’re going to pregnant over the summer months, it pays to spend a little bit extra and buy garments made with natural fibres, according to Emmeline. “You will feel hotter than usual when you’re carrying that extra weight and your skin might be sensitive at this time, so if you can try to invest in natural fibres like cotton – your skin with thank you for it!” After she said that, I became a lot more conscious of what things were made from – looking in a lot of the high street labels I noticed that lots of things that look nice on the hanger are actually polyester or viscose. I’ve got my eye on a few pieces from People Tree, and Emmeline also pointed me in the direction of Isabella Oliver, an online maternity retailer which has some gorgeous dresses – but the price tags are quite hefty so it might be worth waiting for the sale!

Finally, Emmeline’s advice was that while this is a great time to discover a new side of myself and dress for my changing shape, it doesn’t mean I need to forget who I am. “I know you love to wear bright colours and you’re all about blocking contrasting colours – don’t lose that spark! You can still do it now that you’re pregnant, but it’s just about finding new and exciting ways to wear it!”

P.S. I did actually buy a lot of that outfit above so you may see me around Bristol wearing this look soon!

Bristol Fashion Week is now finished for this season but if you’d like to book a styling session with Emmeline and her team you can find details and prices for her sessions at theimageconsultingcompany.co.uk.

 

Bristol Fashion Favourites: Trilby and Breton stripes

1st September 2015

This hat from Bristol boutique Fox & Feather has a bit of a 1970s vibe, but I’ve mixed it with a Breton stripe and jeans for a casual work-friendly look.

Trilby hat from Fox and Feather

Fox and Feather 1970s hat and Breton stripe top

The 1970s look is back for Autumn/Winter but if you don’t feel like going the whole hog with your outfit, little details like this hat can offer a subtle nod when styled with your old wardrobe staples. You might recognise this hat from my Christmas haul post – my mother-in-law picked it out and I’m so glad she did because I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of it so far.

Orange trilby hat from Fox and Feather

These pics might look like a London street, but in fact they were taken in Bristol’s Queen Square as part of a blogger collab with my pal Emily from Mermaid Gossip.

Autumn Winter 2015 1970s style hat

Outfit details: Hat – Fox & Feather; jacket – ASOS; top – H&M’ jeans – River Island

Like this? Check out my other outfit posts here

Hot street style at Bristol Fashion Week

25th March 2011

After watching a fab catwalk show for Bristol Fashion week, we took to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway to find out what’s hot on the high street with our Bristol Fashionistas. Here are our findings:

  • Hareem trousers are quite literally everywhere in all types of fabrics and colours. They’re being worn with basic tees or floaty blouses and statement handbags.
  • As the current weather is glorious, Bristol street stylistas are ditching heavy winter coats in favour of belted long cardigans, denim jackets and blazers. We saw a lot of girls accessorising with printed scarves.
  • Maxi skirts are proving to be hugely popular – in particular, soft fabric maxis from Zara.
  • As for footwear, pumps were the order of the day – ranging from simple ballet pumps to moccasins.
  • According to the girls we spoke to, their favourite shops are Miss Selfridge, River Island and H&M.

Take a look at our street style inspired gallery to see who’s wearing what and where to get the hottest key pieces in Bristol:

Thank you for all those who took part  – sorry if we didn’t publish your photo!

How to wear: palazzo trousers

23rd March 2011

The time has come to ditch your skinny jeans. There’s a new trouser in town.

Chic, comfortable and very cool, palazzo pants were once upon a time favoured by Coco Chanel and have dipped in and out of fashion ever since. For spring/summer 2011, palazzos are a wardrobe staple and the perfect item for working the Seventies trend.

We’ve really only seen this trend being rocked by skinny minnies on the catwalk, so the big question is ‘how on earth do you wear them for an everyday style?’ Worn in the right way, these trousers can be super flattering; leg lengthening and stomach flattening. Palazzos suit light, swishy, soft fabrics such as heavy silks and jerseys. They should be fitted from the waist and be wide legged from the top of the thigh, dropping straight down to the ankle.

Unless you are super tall, avoid flats at all costs – you don’t want to look like you’re floating and you will risk catching the soft fabric on the ground as you walk. If you’re unsure of your body shape, stick to loose – not baggy – tops. Breton t-shirts would work fabulously with black palazzos.

For those of who are blessed with a slender frame, athletic with straight hips, look for palazzos that are snug around the hip. You will be able to wear with pretty much anything on your top half (lucky you!), but graphic print t-shirts would give you a super-fashionable, edgy look.

If you’re petite (under 5’3), don’t go for uber voluminous styles as they will literally swallow you – stick to lighter weight fabrics. Wear with heels and a silky vest top.

For those of you who are naturally gifted in the bust area, you should opt for printed palazzos with a simple top.

If you are bigger on the bottom half than the top, you should avoid patterns and prints. Look for plain or block colour trousers and wear them with stripe tops or loose, short sleeved blouses.

Here’s our selection of lovely palazzo trousers, with a couple of tops thrown in the mix for those of you who are still unsure:

Store Spotlight: River Island

21st February 2011

Fun, affordable and stylish, River Island is a great place to get kitted out for Spring/Summer 2011.
So, whether the trend you’ll be adopting is 1970s, bright, floral, ballet, minimal, romantic, or just a glorious mixture of everything, River Island has got it covered!
Here are our picks from the collection: