How to choose pattern

Patterns can be really tricky to get right. Often, when I see clients they either love wearing patterns, or they stick to block colours instead.

When it comes to shopping patterns, it can be difficult to choose the one that’s going to suit you. Do you go heavily patterned? Stripes or floral? Bold and bright? Or more subtle and toned down?

Ultimately, there’s no law that exists which tells you that you must (or must not) wear something! But, if you are looking for a few pointers on how to choose the right pattern for you, read on for some tips.


First up is the colour as this is the most visual element. Broadly speaking, assess what the most dominant colour is that you see. If you already know what colours suit you (because you’ve had a colour analysis consultation), this should be easy as you can use your colour swatches. If you don’t know what colours suit you, check your reflection and see if the colour appears to be wearing you and making you look washed out, or if it’s brightening your features. (Here’s some tell-tale signs that the colour isn’t right for you here).

My advice to clients is to check the background colour or the main colour of the pattern that stands out the most. If this flatters your own colouring, then it’s good for you. If it doesn’t look quite right, consider whether it’s too warm or too cool for you, or too pale or too dark. Or, if it’s a bold colour, the strength could overwhelm you and you may need to opt for a softer rather than brighter shade of colour.

With a multicoloured print, it can feel trickier to get right. Again, go back to my broad rule above – what’s the most dominant colour and does this work for you? Life’s too short to ponder over the petal or leaf colour in a floral pattern being the wrong colour for you, especially if you can barely see it!


The shape of the pattern should flatter your body shape and line. Those with a curvy body will be better suited to curvy lines and patterns rather than straight lines like stripes. For those with more angles and straighter lines and shapes, stripes will flatter you much more than a floral print.

Patterns can be a clever trick to draw people’s attention either to your best bit, or away from an area you don’ want attention. By way of an example, if you’re a triangle (pear) or inverted triangle body shape, you can use pattern to give the appearance of more balance to your body shape.


During my style and shape consultations, I talk to my clients about their scale. This isn’t to be confused with what dress size you are, because it’s your overall height and bone structure.

Petites will tend to suit a smaller size of print, because their scale (your height and bone structure), is smaller. Wearing a large scale pattern will simply overwhelm your delicate frame and features. Those with a large bone structure will find that a small or ditsy print will get lost on your frame.

Should you be neither small or large, go for an average size of print that’s neither too big or too dainty.


The type of print will tend to appeal to certain personality types. Take a look inside your own wardrobe and check out the array or patterns or block colours and the ratio. If you find you have a lot of patterns, but you don’t wear them, it may be that you’ve not quite nailed your style personality.

Your Style Personality is the real you, at your most comfortable. It will be the reason you naturally reach for a certain print, or not at all! Plus, why you feel like you struggle with certain designs. The more ‘romance’ you have in your style personality, the more you will reach for pretty, feminine and floral styles and designs. Someone who prefers to make an entrance, will prefer a bolder or abstract print which they can stand out in and be noticed!

What suits you?

These broad tips should give you a steer without going into the specifics of what actually suits you. So, when it comes to choosing clothes, understanding what actually suits you, flatters you and makes you look and feel good when you wear it. When your clothes flatter your colouring, your shape, and personality, they’ll be right for you!

Get in touch to book a colour analysis or a style and shape consultation. Alternatively, combine both sessions and receive a discount!

Secrets to layering, staying warm and looking stylish

Aside from the practicality of staying warm (heat the person not the home as Martin Lewis says), you can use layering to add interest as well as colour to your outfit.

It’s a very clever way of instantly looking more pulled together! It can also improve your £’s per wear on your clothes and help you get more wear out of what you already have in your wardrobe.

In the real world, it can feel tricky to pull off without feeling like Joey from Friends (the one where he wears all of Chandler’s clothes!)

Here’s my seven tips to help:

1. Choose fine, thin garments as layers

This avoids adding unnecessary bulk to your frame. Plus, it means you can add more layers if you need them.

As an example, think a top, jumper, with a blazer and a scarf.

2. Select your fabric wisely

Unsurprisingly, wool is a great insulator so a must for winter. In case you didn’t know; wool will keep you warm even when wet! Wool also comes from different sources and thickness. So, Herdwick sheep’s wool tends to be thicker and more course compared to merino sheep wool which tends to be finer (and therefore less irritating).

turtle dove gloves

Cashmere is another fab choice but is not sourced from sheep so it is different to wool. It can be expensive, so if your budget doesn’t stretch, consider it in your accessories. I love my Turtle Doves cashmere fingerless gloves (featured below) which help to keep my hands and wrists warm.

Synthetic fibres aren’t breathable which means they trap heat in. Polyester, nylon and non-wool fleeces are examples of such fabric. Use them as an outer layer rather than as a base.

Silk adjusts to your body temperature and works in both hot and cold months. Makes it a great choice for increasing your £’s per wear and wearing items all year round.

3. Add interest to your outfit using colour

There are lots of ways to wear colour (which you learn during a colour consultation) but here’s two ways.

Wear them tonally and in the same colour group (ie blues together, greens together etc.)

Or, wear them contrasting (ie a light and a dark colour). Here’s an example.

If you’ve had your colours done and looking for more ways to wear your colours, book an advanced colour session. Alternatively, register your interest here in colour analysis.


4. Wear different textures

Fabric will look and feel different depending upon the material. Using different textures in your outfit can add an element of luxury or interest. Try a cashmere jumper with denim jeans, a tweed jacket, leather boots and a silk scarf.

5. Be clever with your colours

Use them to colour block and take attention away from any problem areas you feel you have. So, if you’re conscious of an area, avoid wearing a light colour there as it can highlight it instead.

If you’re bigger busted, stick to lighter or brighter colours below the waist instead to draw the eyes and attention away from this area. You can also use print to detract attention though see point 6 below.

Those with an inverted triangle shape, wearing a short puffy jacket and chunky knit scarf will simply emphasise your top half with bulky layers. Instead consider elongating your height by wearing a longer line coat. By contrast, someone with a triangle or pear shape will find that layering on their top half will visually balance out their figure instead.

6. Finishing points like hems

Hems and edges which finish at narrow parts of your body will be much more flattering. Think sleeves ending at the wrists or just above. Hems on jackets finishing at your waist if you have a narrow, clearly defined one.

A horizontal line (even a stripe) which falls across your widest part like hips, bottom, thighs or shoulders can emphasise this if it’s one of your widest points of your body.

7. Strike a pose!

Whatever your shape, the best and easiest way to check if your outfit is causing you to look visually imbalanced or putting your proportions out is to take a picture. Ideally in a full length mirror, then check and see if visually, you are balanced and in proportion or out of proportion.


Here’s an example of layering:

Base layer: camisole, vest or thermal top
Second layer: a top, blouse, shirt or fine knit jumper
Third layer: blazer, cardigan or shacket
Fourth layer: gillet, coat*, jacket, poncho

*Finally, on the subject of coats, they are often one of your most expensive pieces. Revisit this video on choosing a winter coat where I share some coats from my own wardrobe and why they work to help inspire you.

If you'd like to know more about what suits you, book my colour and style consultations.

Schedule a call or send an email:

Sustainable fashion tips

The 2022 World Environment Day campaign #OnlyOneEarth calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet. (Visit for more details)

As I reflect on what this means, I suppose everyone needs to do something to help protect the planet. It feels rather big otherwise doesn’t it?

I don’t want this blog to become a lecture, but we do seem to consume a lot of things don’t we? Imagine if you bought only what you needed so that you wasted less. This could be food, clothes or makeup. It would have an impact for sure.

Everyone is more aware of the need to be more sustainable when it comes to style. But, it may also mean changing our habits too.

I like to think that my services help support this: Wearing things which suit you. Making things work for you if they’re not quite right. Passing them on to others to keep them in circulation.

Here’s my top tips for a more sustainable wardrobe.

1. Choose quality over quantity

If you buy well you buy once! Look for good quality material and well made clothes. These will last longer than fast fashion and cheaper buys made from poor quality material. If you have a lower budget, make sure you spend as much as you can on the key pieces for your wardrobe that you’ll wear all the time. This is where creating a capsule wardrobe really comes in. Revisit this blog Virtual guides – how to create a capsule wardrobe that works for you.

2. Explore pre-loved and vintage

There are so many options available with platforms like vinted and eBay as well as charity shops. If you would like better quality pieces or designers but can’t afford the price tag, these are often the best solution. That feeling when you find something in the perfect colour for you, wonderful quality and which fits beautifully is a winning combination. Knowing you’ve not only grabbed yourself a bargain, but you’ve also helped the planet is a very pleasing experience. In fact, it can be a bit addictive! It’s a great way of clearing your own clutter and making a little money too.

3. Upcycle your existing pieces to bring them up to date

If you’re great at sewing, then this is definitely for you! By changing your clothes to bring them up to date, you have a very inexpensive alternative to spending more money on new clothes you probably don’t need.

You could change the shape of a collar or neckline. Add some braiding, edging or the sleeve or skirt length to make it feel like a new item of clothing. I have had clients who have altered a dress they’ve grown tired of changing it into a top or a skirt. Cut down trousers into shorts. I’ve even upcycled buttons into jewellery myself!

Even if you aren’t adept with a needle and thread, others are. Switch up the buttons on a jacket to make it feel like new. Or, add a brooch which needs no sewing at all.

Another way to alter something is by changing the colour. Gone are the days of prodding clothes around with a stick in a bucket full of dye. Dylon pods can be used safely within the washing machine to quickly switch the colour of your clothes. It’s fun and simple to do, plus their dye is vegan and environmentally friendly. So many clients have taken my advice. £6 on Amazon. (If you make a purchase using this link, I will receive a payment).

4. Hire rather than buy

Before you buy a new outfit for that special occasion, consider renting one instead.

Check out the many rental marketplaces. Hirestreet, Hurr, By Rotation, My wardrobe HQ are all good options. They offer access to a wide range of premium brands at affordable prices.

5. Take care of the clothes you have

It really will make a difference. If you’re tempted to throw clothes over the bedroom chair, floordrobe or exercise bike, think again. Our clothes are never really as dirty as we think! Try and hang up items you can get another wear out of before throwing them in the wash. Washing at lower temperatures is recommended and simple these days.

6. Be more mindful

Consider each new purchase. Do you already have something similar? Does it fill a gap you have been able to identify? Can it be worn with at least three other items?

Consider them to be an investment as they can last you many years and see many wears. Remember my ‘pounds per wear’ motto. Clothes in the right colour and style for you which fit and flatter your shape will always be the best choices.

If we all do our little bit imagine the combined change we can make.

Race day dressing announced by Royal Ascot

Planning a trip to the races this year? You may need a tape measure and to check the dress code given Royal Ascot’s announcement.

I listened to the radio with some mild humour and agreement today when I heard the strict dress code for those attending a Royal Ascot race day this June. If you’re planning a trip; read on.

For the men

Anyone planning to attend bearing their “mankles” (that’s men’s ankles) may be refused entry. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of this look or why a man wouldn’t wear socks. Admittedly though, it’s very popular with Jude Law, Tinie Tempah and Idris Elba carrying off the look with some style.

Formal dress code generally states that socks are a must for gentleman.

No cravats allowed. If you’re in the Royal enclosure, wear a black or grey morning dress suit which means a waistcoat, tie and the same coloured top-hat. Choose a shirt and tie combo in your colour palette.

For the ladies

There’s significantly more rules for the girls than boys so I’ve broken them down to assist you in your race day choices.



Off-the-shoulder necklines have been banned. An example would be a Bardot style made famous by Bridget Bardot herself. This neckline is complimentary for most body shapes, so it’s a shame it’s been banned.

Straps are required and should be one inch or more on dresses and tops. Strapless, halter and spaghetti have all been banned. Don’t think you can cheat with a jacket or pashmina ladies as what you wear underneath must still comply!



Fascinators are not allowed in the Royal Enclosure, only hats and headpieces. Your headpiece must have a solid base measuring a minimum of four inches in diameter!

When choosing a hat, try to compliment it to your face shape. Choose a colour from your palette and if you’ve not had a colour analysis, choose a shade which compliments you. Avoid any colour which casts a dark shadow!



The jumpsuit famously allowed last year stays, but needs to be ankle length now, so similar to the boys.

Skirt lengths and dresses should be “of modest length” falling just above the knee or longer. Avoid having your hemline finishing at any wide parts of your leg. Choose a narrow point instead which is the most flattering.

Trouser suits must be to the ankle of course. They should also be of matching material and colour. All over colour gives the appearance of height so is good news for any petite ladies. City chic and classic personality types will be the happiest with this matching rule!

Finally, it should go without saying but no midriffs on show!


I can help you shop and dress accordingly choosing the right race day outfit. Just get in touch to book any of my services.


How to wear the midi skirt

The midi skirt has become rather popular. Spring/summer trends in the shops and online have seen a multitude of stores stock this item.

But how do you know which style to choose?

The style of the skirt is key to work with your proportions and body shape. See below for my suggestions including a video at the bottom too!


A full skirt will be the most flattering for your curves. Be sure to highlight your waist by using a belt or tucking your top in.


Try to keep your clothing lines simple. A panelled skirt style will work well for you. Remember to balance our your top half adding details such as pattern or jewellery.

Inverted triangle

Try a straight skirt or one with box pleats. To balance your proportions be sure to wear your detail on the bottom half of your body.

Lean column

Opt for an A-line skirt which will give the illusion of some curves.


Avoid too much detail around the waist.


Click to watch this short video illustrating these ideas. If you haven’t booked your style and image consultation, visit my page here and contact me to book. If you would prefer to join a style workshop then email me for more details at

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