6 alternative ways to tie a wrap dress belt (that’s not a bow)

A wrap dress is arguably the one dress which everyone owns.

Most people tie the belt in a bow, which is a bit like tying your shoes laces.

In fact, one of my clients contacted me recently to ask for my advice on alternative ways to tie her wrap dress belt which inspired me to create this video!

She had been using the traditional bow method for years and felt that it didn’t always look ‘tidy’ or as ‘nice’ as it could do.

Here are six different ways to tie the belt. If you have a long belt on another dress, it might be worth trying these methods out on it too.

The full video is available on my YouTube channel. Here’s the link to watch it: https://youtu.be/kShwWUyVZCw

Do let me know which one is your fave and if you’ll be giving it a go!

Tips on choosing swimwear

When it comes to choosing swimwear, here’s a few tips to help guide you just in time for your summer holiday.

Busts and Tummy

If you’re big busted, a good strap will give you a better shape and is far more comfortable to wear. Choosing one for your bra size will also ensure you have the support you need.

Are you conscious about your tummy? A double mesh panel will smooth out this area and give the appearance of a flatter stomach. A print will distract the eye and your tummy magically disappears! Much more flattering than a block colour. Go for a v neck or cross over style which can emphasise a bust and help detract attention away from your tummy area.

The swimsuit featured is from Pour Moi who have a great range of inclusive sizes.

Short legs & long bodies

If you want to elongate your legs, try and avoid shorts style and those that sit at the top of your thigh. Look for high cuts that will give you appearance of length in the leg. Be careful if you’re pear shaped as this can emphasise your wider hips.

Go for styles with detail on the top half to draw attention upwards. The stripes on the one featured are both confusing and interesting, so automatically the eye is drawn upwards.

If you’re longer in the body, you’ll already know that swimsuits can be uncomfortable. Opt for tankinis and bikinis. Make sure you have detail below the bust which will have the effect of lifting the natural waist line.

These are from Next who have a good range but feature more brands online.



Finally, opt for a flattering shade rather than black which can get very hot in the sun. Go for a cheerful and uplifting colour instead!

Try not to get daunted when shopping for swimwear. Shop by style personality, in colours and styles which flatter your features and you’ll be sure to make the right choices.

Holiday capsule wardrobe

If you need help shopping for a holiday capsule wardrobe, do get in touch. Look out for my new Holiday Capsule Wardrobe Workbook coming soon. Join the wait list and be the first to hear when it’s launched. Select ‘capsule wardrobe’ and register here.

Three tips when you get stuck in a rut

We all get stuck in a bit of a rut from time to time.

Clothing especially so and it’s something I hear of a lot.

Here’s a few simple tips so you can ensure that you’re dressed to impress every day and to help you feel a little better.

Add colour!

Come on, you knew I’d add this in at some point! Trust me, it really will help boost your mood. During the cold dark winter months in the UK, there is nothing better to lift the mood. Just imagine yourself in a lovely warm teal jumper or a pair of pink comfy joggers! It’s simple – think of your favourite colour and wear it!

A client recently bought the purple super soft scarf (see online shop) so she could “add colour and brighten up her dark winter coat”. Obviously I nodded in agreement as there’s no better, or easier way to transform your look or elevate an outfit. Simply wrap a colourful scarf around your neck to feel stylish, warm and toasty!

Try a new bag in a statement shade. I remember a client who came for a colour analysis some years ago now and the first item on her shopping list was a new bag in one of the shades from her new swatches!

If you’re the outdoorsy type, try a pair of colourful wellies for your walk! They really will up the style factor and make you feel great too!


All too often accessories get forgotten, but they’re actually an essential part of completing your look.

If you’re a natural like me or prefer an unfussy or minimal look, it’s easy to forget but trust me; try adding a simple necklace to your outfit and you’ll instantly see how it elevates your look.

Layer some necklaces over your favourite everyday top, cinch your waist in with a belt on your usual work dress or just switch out your stud earrings for something a little bolder.


Hands especially have had a rough ride with more hand washing (essential) and sanitiser. Treat your hands and feet to a little extra care. You can do it yourself or pop to your local salon. I love having a manicure and pedicure (even though no-one can see my feet!). You can choose a shade which is subtle like a nude or go bold to up the glam factor! If I doubt on the colour, check your swatches!

Try a face mask too as just a few minutes relaxing can make all the difference. I love the avocado face mask (available from the online shop). It smells so amazing and makes my skin feel so much smoother when I use it too.

With just a few small tweaks, you can instantly switch up your mood and how you feel in what you wear.

If you’re looking for a little more in depth assistance then you can always book a makeup lesson, colour or style session to really get the star treatment!

Book now to get yourself sorted for 2022.

Experimenting with detachable collars

I’m not big on being a slave to trends and fashions. But late last year, the detachable collars really caught my eye.

The idea of being able to switch up and smarten up a top really appealed. It was more like an accessory that you wear with your normal clothes and yet transform them so that you look different – especially on zoom!

Oversized, wide, long and pointed, embellished, lace; the array was appealing. Some were like half shirts that sit underneath, others were collars that you just wore round your neck.

Initially I thought it would be something that the creative types would like. As a natural/classic style personality, it wasn’t something which I was convinced I could style up and feel like me in. But, I was really intrigued. So much so, I did some research and bought one online to experiment. I have to say, I really like it! I went for a softer white with a little embellishment so that I could wear it over some sweaters and knitwear. Here’s just three items I tried it with initially.

Detachable collars

Style tips

There’s a few different colours and styles available. Different fabrics too so here’s a few tips from me to consider should you plan on buying into it yourself:


As it’s worn directly next to your face, choose a colour that compliments your skin tone and physical characteristics. For those of you who know the shades of colour that suit you, use your fabric swatches as a guide.

For many, pure white is too harsh so try a soft white or an off white colour as I did.

Triangles (pear shapes)

A wide collar will give the illusion of larger shoulders, which will balance out your hips.

Inverted Triangles

A long, narrow collar will draw the eye in, giving the illusion of smaller shoulders.

Larger Frames

A large collar will balance out your frame.

Short Necks

A long, open collar will elongate the neck.

Large Bust

An open neckline and floaty collar will complement your figure and curves

Where to buy

Amazon, Etsy and EBay have lots of statement collars at very reasonable prices. If you’re happy to buy from China and wait weeks for delivery; then Wish is another option. I found the high street brands and online retailers had a limited supply.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on!

How to get your mojo back

Are you fed up of wearing the same old things?

Starting to feel like you’re trapped in loungewear??

No idea about wearing ‘normal clothes’!

Here’s some tips to help you feel back in control and get some light back in to the wardrobe darkness!

Organise your wardrobe

It isn’t rocket science but a tidy, edited and organised wardrobe makes it easy to see what you have. You’ll be surprised sometimes at what you have forgotten about. Start wearing them and enjoying them! But, do move on anything that you’re unlikely to wear again. One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure as they say.

If this is a task that you find difficult to do yourself, rope in a friend or family member who you know will be honest about items that don’t suit you. If you can’t, then bring in the professionals and get in touch. Our Wardrobe Audits can be conducted face-to-face (when lockdown is lifted) or virtually by Zoom or face time. They are an excellent and fun way to identify what works for you, what doesn’t and what changes you need to make. If you’re determined to tackle it on your own, use our free declutter guide which you can download here.

Know your colours

There will be certain colours in your wardrobe that always seem to gain compliments. Actually there are many shades which will work for you. Perhaps you haven’t discovered them all, especially if you’ve never had a colour consultation with me! When worn, they will make you glow; you will look healthier and more vibrant. Who doesn’t need a bit of that! What’s not to love?

So look through your wardrobe with a critical eye. What colours seem to give you that wow? Make a note and build on these shades when you next shop.

I can show you up to 48 of your very best shades. Imagine that; a fabric wallet filled with fabulous colours which work for you. You will have a mixture of investment busting neutrals, and fashion colours that work together and on their own, with endless outfit possibilities.


Identify your must-have pieces

These are items in your wardrobe that must pass many tests to achieve this glory status:

1) The colours look great on you
2) The styles and shapes flatter your figure
3) They fit in with your lifestyle
4) You feel comfortable and enjoy wearing them

Once you have worked out a few key pieces, you will be able to build on these with similar styles and colours in the future. Before you know it, your wardrobe will be cohesive, stylish, lifestyle appropriate and have longevity.

Of course this is what I show my clients every single day, during my Consultations. So why not invest in yourself? What better way to emerge!

New from old

As you work through your wardrobe to discover your Must-have Pieces, take the opportunity to try on different combinations. Split up any skirt and trouser suits; try the jackets with more casual pieces such as jeans. Dress down more formal pieces. Be aware of trends; cardigans are huge this season. Can you wear yours in a different way?

Be you!

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of copying your favourite celebrity, Blogger or Instagrammer, and even when you’re window shopping, because the outfits look amazing. Sadly it doesn’t mean that this will work for you. We’re all different, and what suits one person, may not look great on you. It’s far better to take inspiration and make it work for you rather than emulate a look that’s just not ‘you’.

Spend time discovering your own style, and dress for you. Understanding your style personality is key as there’s very little point in putting someone in heels and pencil skirts, if they’re happier in jeans and fleeces. If you’re a business owner, this is critical. Check out our new programme for 2021 here: Authentically You

Avoid the lull of bargains

It’s very easy to be swayed by the amazing savings to be had. 70% off! Just remember; every item that has been reduced, is because no-one wanted it at full-price! So, before you part with your hard-earned cash, ask yourself, ‘would I buy this at full price’. How many times have you purchased something in the sale, only to find six months later, it still has the tags on it?

That said, sales can be a great time to stock up on wardrobe basics (jeans, shirts, t-shirts, jackets), and investment buys (coats, boots and premium fabrics such as cashmere).

Make a list of items that you really need in your wardrobe and stick to it.

Get a quick makeup routine

We’re not all blessed with flawless skin, but a simple make-up routine can make you feel and look amazing. It’s incredible what you can achieve in ten minutes.

1. Cover dark under-eye circles and blemishes with the correct concealer.
2. Use a foundation or tinted moisturiser that is a good match to the tone of your skin.
3. Apply a swish of bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face.
4. If you enjoy wearing eye-shadow, choose shades that complement your colouring.
5. Choose an eye pencil that works with your skin tone.
6. Define your brows.
7. Top off with mascara.
8. Multitask with a product for lips and cheeks.

Makeup example

If you have been applying your make-up the same way for years or don’t know where to start, get in touch.

How to disguise the extra bulge this winter

I’ve long been a believer that how you dress has an impact on how you feel.

It’s not just Christmas that can be blamed if you feel that you’ve got a little extra bulge and cushioning, but lockdown too!

Clever dressing can help.

As it’s much colder here in the U.K., we tend to reach for the knitwear which add layers to our bodies to help keep us warmer.

But, if you are carrying a little extra weight, especially around your middle or you’ve lost definition in your waist, then you may need a different approach to dressing.

One of the most difficult things to get right is knitwear as ‘bulk’ might not be your best friend.

Here are some tips to bear in mind when choosing your knitwear

1) Stay away from figure hugging jumpers. Especially if you’re wearing skinny or straight-leg jeans. Your silhouette will not thank you!

2) Watch out for chunky knits. These will add bulk to your middle area – often something you don’t want to do.

3) Asymmetric hemlines are excellent at tricking the eye. They take the focus away from any troublesome bits.

4) Jumpers that are longer at the back can be very flattering. They cover ‘flat’ bums but also add a little interest. Make sure the front isn’t too short. It should be at least as long as the bottom of your hip.

5) Oversized sweaters cut straight can be great shapes for those of you with straighter bodies and little waist definition. If you carry quite a bit of weight around your tummy, look for jumpers that hang from the shoulder.

6) Stripes can trick the eye. Horizontal stripes can be slimming especially if they are variegated. But generally speaking any other detail on the bust and torso should be avoided. Why? Because wearing pattern will draw the attention and the eyes. If you don’t want to draw attention to a particular area; don’t highlight it with pattern.

7) If you are busty, opt for an open neckline or a v neck. It’s much more flattering.

8) Fine to medium weight knits are your friends. Try something like Merino wool.

9) Add a long scarf. It will give the illusion of a slimmer silhouette and provide focus.

Style it out at home

If you need any help shopping for items or styling up existing ones, now is the time to experiment! Use the time in doors to try out different combinations. Take photos to refer back to as well – you’ll be surprised at how different you look in a photo compared to the mirror.

Finally, if you’d like any professional advice, why not get in touch? You can now schedule a quick chat with me here. I can help you virtually from the comfort of your own home. Both zoom and face time have worked a treat during lockdown and it might just give you the boost you need!

Choosing the right ‘big’ coat

‘Big coat’ time is surely now isn’t it? We’ve got darker nights and we want to wrap up warm! I feel like I’ve been wearing mine for months now!

I’m sure many of you own more than one winter coat; I know I do. Often your winter coat can be quite an investment so how do you know if it is fit for purpose? Should you be on the hunt for a new one when the shops re-open, what should you be looking for?

Before any purchase, I’d always suggest checking your wardrobe to see what you’ve already got to avoid buying another which is exactly the same – especially if you’re not wearing it.

What to look for

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it the right colour for you?
2. Does it fit?
3. Do you feel ‘you’ when you wear it?
4. Does it work for your lifestyle and how you spend your time?
5. Is it complimentary for your body shape?

Should you answer no, then I’d be questioning the purchase. If it is one you’ve had for a while, maybe it’s time to get rid – sell it or donate it if it’s still in reasonable condition. Can you make it work by wearing it differently or with a colourful scarf?

There’s a variety of coat styles in different fabrics and to suit all budgets. These are the three categories which I assess when I’m looking for a coat. You may find them too few or too many – it’s all down to your individual style and lifestyle.

Practical and casual

It might sound a little boring, but this type of coat is what I’d call the every day and all weathers. Think ‘duvet coats’ or padded coats which are great for walks, commuting or donning for the school run. Choosing a coat in a colour which suits and compliments you, especially as it’s worn near to your face is always high priority for me. Try either a neutral colour which can be accessorised with a colourful scarf or if you’ve had a colour analysis; choose one of your favourites colours from your palette.


This is the coat for the times when you feel the need to dress a little smarter and you feel the duvet style coat is a little too casual or ‘outdoorsy’. Perhaps it’s shopping or lunch with friends (tiering dependent of course) and you want to be warm but not hot running round or in and out of different venues.

A cocoon style coat could be more versatile and can keep you warm. Or a simple single breasted long line coat which is less bulky and often available in a choice of colours.

Trench coats are a good option here as well and versatile as they can take you through the seasons. They tend to come in lighter weight fabrics meaning you can layer up in winter whilst still remaining stylish.

Out out

Whilst admittedly this feels like a distant memory and may be one on hold for now. This is the much smarter coat you’ll wear for dinner, drinks or a party. Likely to be less practical but makes you feel like you’ve dressed up for the occasion! It could be a faux fur coat or one with a faux fur collar to add extra an wow factor (if that’s your thing). Or perhaps leather or velvet or animal print!

In a recent video, I share two of my coat styles and why they work for me so that it helps you to choose the right winter coat for yourself.Watch it here.

If you need help shopping or finding the right coat for you, get in touch for advice.

Is loungewear just for lockdown?

Is it just me accumulating A LOT more loungewear??

Are you putting your recent purchases down to isolation necessities or could you try incorporating these new items into post-lockdown wear too?

Personality matters

For me, this feels easy so if you’re similar with a Natural Style Personality, you’ll already have a fair few easy-wear comfortable pieces in the wardrobe.

I’m betting you Romantics might have felt rather alien in elasticated waistbands, hoodies and relaxed t-shirts.

Ask yourself if you can work any loungewear pieces into your existing wardrobe.

City Chics and Dramatics could try wearing a hoodie underneath a smart blazer for effortless chic. A more fitted pair of joggers or leggings, worn with a smart blouse and heels will create a preppy outfit. Or pair with trainers or flats if you’d rather skip the heels.

Speaking of trainers, wear with your dresses too, even if you may have normally have worn heels. I also have some classic personality and felt totally comfortable as you can see:

Dress and trainers

A sweatshirt or T-shirt can work really well over a summer floral maxi dress, giving the illusion of a skirt, and providing an extra layer on cooler days. Put your jeggings or thick tights underneath: think Alexa Chung. This is a look you creatives have being carrying off with ease.

Try a t-shirt with a skirt, tucked in, semi-tucked or un-tucked. The choice really depends on your body shape and the most flattering way to wear it.

Do you have anything in your ‘saving for best’ or holiday wardrobe that you can switch up to style differently?

If you’re joining my capsule wardrobe workshop next month or doing a detox with my five simple steps, then you may have a healthy pile to donate to charity.

Just make sure you’ve thought about restyling them or wearing them in a different way first. That way, you’ll get more outfits and wear from your existing items.

If you need any colour, style or wardrobe advice, book one of my online sessions during lockdown.

Guide to denim jeans

If you’ve found yourself wearing more denim lately, you’re not alone!

You could argue that Jeans are the most basic of clothing items. A wardrobe staple, but they can also be difficult to get the right fit and style too.

Here’s my guide to denim.

Fit and style

Like most items of clothing, finding the right fit and style for you is a must.

We are all different after all, which is why there’s so many different styles out there. But, having choice doesn’t always make it easier to find a pair which works for you. I always say that size doesn’t matter but shape does. It’s really important to remember this, as there is no uniform guide to clothing sizes. It’s not just your waist size but also think about your inside leg length and the rise (from the waistband to the crotch).


The skinny jean is made with stretchy denim so they have a fitted shape which stretches and finishes on the ankle. Also available in super skinny which has much more stretch and a much closer fit. Can be dressed up with heels or down with trainers.


This style can flatter the hips and thighs and they are fitted, with a straight, clean cut through leg and a looser ankle. Sits between a skinny and a straight jeans style.

Jeggings and leggings

Jeggings are leggings made of denim and are an alternative to skinny jeans as they tend to be less rigid than traditional denim jeans but more comfortable to wear. Designed with an elasticated waistband and are stretchy so they are fitted through the leg, with a skinny ankle and sewn-down pockets so they also avoid bulk at the hip. The more curvy you are, the more stretch you’ll need! Jeggings tend to have lots of stretch so give them a try as they’ll skim your curves rather than constrict them.


Designed to elongate the leg, fitted through the hips and thigh with a subtle kick at the knee so they are slightly wider at the ankle. Designed to fit over a pair of boots and so have extra width in the calf and ankle to accommodate the boot. If you’re more petite and want to appear taller, a boot cut or flare that skims the floor will do wonders.


Mention flares and everyone thinks of the 70s! They have a slim fit around the hips and thighs and flow into a wider hem below the knee.

Wide leg and culottes

These fit at the hips but fall down in a straight and loose style and fit. Much wider in the leg from the hips down the leg. Could be cropped in length like culottes or fall to the ankle.


Tend to be higher waisted with a slim fit through the leg. Relaxed, slouch and loose fitting. Like you borrowed them from your mum. Apparently.


A traditional style which has a simple straight cut with no stretch in the fabric. The width is the same for the length of the leg so they’ll fit more at your thighs than they do the ankle and calf.


Named assuming you’d borrowed your jeans from the boys; this fit is loose and slouchy for a more relaxed style. Tend to be low rise so they sit on the hips.


Another straight leg style but with a more relaxed fit. The girlfriend jeans have some stretch in them (unlike the straight styles) so they are fitted on the waist but relaxed fit in the leg.

The rise

This is the measurement from the waistband down to the crotch. Essentially, it’s how it will sit on your waist and hips. Not everyone is equal and balanced in their body proportions. Go for a rise which works for your shape and proportions so think where your waist needs to be visually in order to balance you out, if needed.

High rise or high waisted

Sits higher in your waist area. Typically, worn up to or above the belly button. If you’re long in the waist area, this style will trick you into thinking your waist is higher than it actually is. Might help you hide a tummy too. If your jeans gape at the bag, the fit and rise is too high, so try a lower rise style.

Mid rise or regular

This style sits on the belly button or slightly below.

Low rise

Will sit lower on the waist and hips and below the navel, often sitting on the hips.

Fit tips

If you happen to be conscious of your bottom and don’t like to highlight it, stay away from jeans with detailing such as contrasting yellow thread detailing the pockets. Instead look for a tonal blue or black trim. Detailing on any garment on an area you don’t want to highlight will have the opposite effect.

Pockets. Traditionally, jeans do have pockets but if you have wide hips that you wish to minimise, don’t opt for hip and coin pockets. A plain front will work so much better for you. Also check the placement of the pockets (the nearer together, the slimmer you’ll look).

If you need more help dressing your shape, why not book a style and shape session (also available online), so you can learn the tips and tricks for dressing your shape.

Guest blog – colours by Ell – let’s talk shoes!

Us women do love shoes don’t we! For me, shoes aren’t very different to clothes – you still want to find something that’s in the right colour, style but perhaps most importantly; fit. Sometimes, this can be the biggest challenge of all!

Earlier this year, I got chatting with the owner of a very niche shoe business here in the U.K. She is a champion of finding the right shoes to tick all the boxes – colour, style, fit and personality and so I asked her if she’d like to guest feature in our blogs and she accepted!

Introducing Helen Allen – Colours by Ell

After taking early retirement from my previous career, I trained to be a Colour and Style Consultant. When I first started as a Personal Stylist, I went to promote my business at a Wedding Fair. Whilst there, I was surprised to hear a number of women my age saying that they dreaded looking for shoes. Up until that point I hadn’t given much thought to the styles of shoes that women wore to weddings.

Then I found myself in exactly the same position – desperate to find these elusive coloured shoes to go with my outfits for both of my daughter’s weddings!


Style personalities

I have lots of Natural in my own Style and really struggled with the style of shoes that were available in the shops. I spent hours searching for shoes, but they were never quite right. Too high, too elaborate, too shiny or peep toes – all lovely, but frankly just not me at all!

Then one evening whilst looking for some navy shoes for a client, I found a picture of a Belgium based Brand of handmade, Italian leather court shoes in a variety of colours. I had to find out more! I rang the owner of the company the next morning and told them that I was a stylist and struggled finding shoes for my clients.

They suggested I go to see them and I didn’t stop to think about it – I booked a flight and went to Antwerp! They were fascinated by what I was proposing and sitting there surrounded by 88 colours of leather; I felt like a child in a sweet shop!

My shop was born!

As it turns out, that conversation was my light bulb moment and a turning point for me. I founded ‘Colours by Ell’ as a mobile shoe shop – a play on my christened name – Ellen.

It’s been a bit of a revelation and the experience and knowledge I have gained over the last seven years means I have become something of an expert! It’s great to be able to work with independent stylists around the country.

Noe shoes
Helen has a range of shoes and brands available through her online shop which you can browse here: 

If you’d like some assistance choosing the right colours and styles for you, either Helen or myself will be delighted to assist you.

If you get in touch with Helen directly, be sure to mention Toni Carver at TLC Style & Colour sent you.

Elasticated waistbands

Have you found yourself dressing more casually these last few months?

It’s been the subject of many conversations recently as many of us have gotten used to a more casual dress code.


Formal or casual?

With the kids back at school and many people returning to the workplace or socialising more; are you glad to ditch the elasticated waistbands? Or, are you dreading stepping into formal trousers, shoes and tight jeans?

It could be that you have found that your style has changed a little. But, this is ok as it’s so easy to incorporate this newer style of dressing into your wardrobe.

For the City Chics amongst you, with a more Parisian vibe; choose to pair your smart blazers with a sport-luxe style of jogger or trousers.

You Classics might prefer a more relaxed fabric such as Ponte, which has a little bit of stretch and becoming widely available.

Dramatics may well ditch the heels and pair their midi dresses with a cool pair of trainers.

Just think how you can incorporate what you’ve been wearing into everyday.

The more you can mix and match items in your wardrobe together, the more you’ll get your wear out of them and create more outfit choices. Winner.


Help is on hand if you need a little TLC, so don’t be afraid to get in touch and book a session with Toni.


In our video section, there are three easy tips to dress up a simple top which you can revisit here.


You’ll also find more styling tips on our Facebook page.

The wardrobe staple

A navy jacket (or cardigan) is often seen as a wardrobe staple for many people.

The trick, like many things in your wardrobe, is knowing how to wear it successfully and repeatedly.

Don’t worry too much if the jacket you have isn’t navy. It could be another neutral colour like black, brown or grey! In fact, if you’ve seen my recent video about dressing up a casual outfit, you’ll see that my jacket staple is a grey check. It’s the theory of how to wear it which you should think about, as this is still the same.

How to wear your wardrobe staple sorted by colouring type:

Lights: Balance the depth of the navy with a lighter colour such as pastel pink.

Deeps: Team with a darker shade such as teal for a sophisticated look.

Warms: Balance out this flat neutral with warmer undertones such as daffodil.

Cools: Add contrast and pink tones such as rose pink for a fresh modern look.

Clears: Contrast your navy with bright clear colours such as light aqua.

Softs: Wear tonal colours with little contrast such as sky blue for an elegant look.

If you’re not sure which category you fall into, or you’ve changed since you were first analysed then it’s worth making an appointment for either an online or face to face colour session.

Three ways to dress up your look

Have you found yourself dressing a little bit more casually now? You’re not alone!

If you’re finding it difficult to get out of the comfortable or casual clothes and you’re not wanting to go all out and be suited and booted again, this video is for you.

I am showing you three ways to switch up your outfit and look a little more dressed up.

Watch it here

Ways to define your waist or hide your tummy

When it comes to dressing, there’s two things I get asked all the time:

  1. How to show off your waist.
  2. How to hide your tummy area.

So, in answer to both questions, I featured my style tips on both aspects for a quick video over on social media.

To help illustrate the points, I wore a comfy / slouchy dress.

Hope you find it helpful and useful and if there’s anything else you’d like to see, just let us know.


Click here to watch our video on YouTube.

The three prints that don’t date

Do you struggle to wear prints and patterns or do you just LOVE them?
I often find that one of the challenges with prints is choosing something which you like (and likes you equally) and then, how to wear it. It’s something which I’m asked frequently.
There are lots of patterns and prints and it’s ok to say that you don’t like it, even if it is ‘fashionable’ or ‘on trend’. Don’t worry about it, choose what you’re comfortable with as when you do, you’re more likely to wear it.
Here, I’m going to name three prints that won’t date so that if you are going to venture into the world of prints and patterns, you can feel confident that what you invest in, can be worn time and time again. That’s £s per wear.

The stripe

The most popular I’d say of all patterns and something which many clients bring into the studio. The Breton stripe, is possibly the most well known but officially speaking, to be a true Breton, it should have 21 stripes, each representing a Napoleon victory because sailors were wearing stripes way back in 1858 (apparently the distinctive print made it easier to spot wayward sailors who had fallen over-board – who knew?)
Bar far the most popular retailer of the Breton top is Boden as featured in this image.
Boden top
Stripes can be used as a method of balancing out your figure. Triangles (pear shapes) can use stripes across their top half in order to visibly balance out so their shoulders look more in line with their hips. You can see this in the pic above how the shoulder area appears wider and at the same time, lifts the eye away from the hips.
Vertical stripes are excellent for lengthening the torso, so if you’re after a few extra inches without the heels, try this which is an easier fix.

Polka dots and spots

Oasis polka dot dress
Another pattern which always seems to be ‘on trend’. It doesn’t have to be black and white or navy and white remember! Use colour where you can as seen in Oasis.
If you have a larger frame, be sure to choose larger prints such as super sized polka dots. And for petites, tiny little spots will work well.
They are surprisingly easy to mix with other prints. Go for a preppy look by adding stripes or try a floral print of similar scale and colour for an interesting combination.

Animal Print

Not only for Bet Lynch! Animal print remains around but does seem to get reinvented each season to switch it up. If it’s a little bold or too out there for you, try to keep the pattern to just one item. It could be a pair of shoes, a top, scarf, coat or bag. Check out my brogues here. Bought a few years ago now from Clarks and still worn today.
Animal print brogues
Last year we saw more coloured animal print patterns emerge making it more versatile. Warmer skin tones will suit the more traditional brown leopard print but if you’re cooler with pinkier skin tones, try for other colours as there really are more versions out there. If you purchased anything last year when the trend really peaked, be sure to dig it out!
Of course, there are other patterns but these are my top three. Go on and check inside your wardrobe and see if you have them!

Dressing for your Job Interview – Guest article

I was asked what advice I would give to someone on what they could wear to a new job interview. It was a friend of mine working in recruitment for the financial services industry.

We agreed to put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) and co-wrote an article with hints and tips with our advice. It was featured on LinkedIn.

If you’ve got an interview coming up or want to improve your chances, have a read of the article here: Dressing for your job interview.


Choosing a new coat for the winter months

The colder months are beginning to set in. So, if you’re on the look out for a new coat this season, then read on.

Here are three essential styles that will see you through any occasion.


The Cosy Quilted Parka

This the coat for all-weathers!

It might not be the most stylish coat you’ll own but it will be warm and cosy and suitable for school runs or walking the dog!

Check out this Mango Quilted Coat, £139.99.

The Elegant Cape

This season, statement sleeves and interesting cuffs feature heavily.

An elegant alternative to a jacket is a cape – it offers a little warmth for more formal occasions but without ruining the overall look of your outfit.

Try out this Coast Hendy Cape at John Lewis, £99

The Statement Shade

If you’re looking for a smart/casual coat which can elevate an everyday look, try choosing a more formal coat in a stand-out colour from your palette to really make you feel fabulous!

How about this New Look Bright Orange Single Breasted Formal Coat, £34.99

If you need any assistance, get in touch. I offer colour analysis consultations, style analysis sessions and personal shopping trips.

Three items to buy now for Autumn

We are heading fast into Autumn, the kids are back at school and a sense of ‘normality’ can resume!

As the season changes, it’s often a time to look in our wardrobes and update with a few key pieces.

Here’s my top three items to buy now that will give your wardrobe an instant update.


The Print

Animal print is everywhere this season and in more colours which is nice to see. Try blue or pink if you have a cool undertone to your skin.

You don’t have to go all out if it’s not your thing; think a subtle belt, shoes or boots. If it is your thing; how about a statement coat?



The slouchy boot is here for the Autumn. Try tucking in skinny jeans or wear with a midi skirt for a bit more of an edge.



You will have heard me say that black is not everyone’s friend and this season is no different! Instead, I’m seeing two colours emerge – brown and green.



A great alternative to black and a versatile neutral shade too. With neutral colours, they mix very easily with fashion or accent shades which come and go with the seasons (think yellow and lavender in the spring earlier this year). Crucially, brown works particularly well if you fall into the Soft, Warm and Light categories.

As with any colour, it’s all about HOW you wear it.

If you have a cool undertone be sure to keep brown shades away from your face and break them up with some cooler tones on your top half.

Lights should opt for lighter shades of brown and could try combining it with pale blues and pinks. Keep a look out for Rose Brown too – a lighter, softer shade of brown. Warms and Softs can wear browns of a medium depth on their own or combine them with colours one or two shades lighter for a subtle contrast.

Deeps can mix it with rich reds, greens and damson and Clears will need to add some vibrancy and contrast with a colour pop.


Fifty shades of green!

There are so many different shades of green that if you are not a fan, I’m sure you’ll find one if you give it a go. If in doubt why not try teal? It’s certainly one of my favourites and a shade which tends to work for everyone.

Why not treat yourself to an eye pencil in the seasonal colours? I have a lovely coffee (lights, softs, warms), brown (deeps, warms), moss (warms, deeps) and teal (everyone!) available which are under a tenner and are lovely and soft so as not to drag on the delicate eye area.

If accessories are more your thing, how about a scarf? I’ve got atmosphere which is a lovely neutral beige colour in raw silk material for you warms, deeps, clears, softs and lights or teal which suits everyone. If you’re a light or a soft-warm then I have just one of the yellow-green pashminettas available in the studio.

Get in touch with me on 07958657032 or buy from my online shop (above). This month there’s half price postage.

Finally, if your interested in learning all about the new season trends and how you can wear them, reserve your place at my Autumn event – details to follow soon.


Is there a perfect heel height on shoes?

There is nothing more frustrating than wearing a pair of shoes and finding that they are killing your feet when you’ve barely worn them!

What makes one pair of shoes comfortable to one woman, is also very different to another.

Flat shoes do not necessarily mean comfortable shoes, but they will be for some. Wearing uncomfortable or ill fitting shoes can also cause damage to your posture so here’s a few tips for you to consider.


Block versus stiletto heels

Typically, a heel with a block is likely to offer much more support and possibly comfort versus a narrow heel as it will be more supportive and provide a more even weight distribution.


Too small versus too big

If your heel slips out of the shoe when you walk then they are probably too big. It has been reported recently that Meghan Markle wears shoes too big for her to allow her feet room to breath on account of her being on her feet during Royal visits.

If the skin on your foot sits higher than the shoe, it’s likely they are too small. Try either another size or a wider fit. Many shops do half sizes which could make all the difference.

Should your weight fluctuate, be aware of the impact on the fit of your shoes. Weight gain may mean you require wider fitting shoes.

Wedges are a good alternative as you can gain height and support, though they tend to be more popular in the summer months !



It’s reported that there are methods of measuring your foot in order to find the perfect height for you.

1) measure your foot from the ball of your foot to your heel. The ball is the padded part of your sole between the arch in your foot and your toes. This measurement is deemed to be your ideal height of heel and the most comfortable.

2) measure the full length of your foot from the heel to the big toe. Make sure you measure it in centimetres (or convert it) then divide it by 7. This is your healthiest heel height.


Style tips

You should always wear shoes which are comfortable for you but here’s a few style tricks.

  • A pointed toe will lengthen the appearance of your legs.
  • The more of the foot that is shown, the greater the illusion of longer legs and narrower ankles.
  • If you are petite, avoid ankle straps as they will visibly shorten the appearance of your height.
  • Avoid shoes with straps which fasten around the ankles if your ankles are wide.
  • Shoes can date quickly. If you choose a shoe trend that’s in fashion now, be sure to wear them – don’t be tempted to keep them for best.
  • As we enter the autumn and you move from sandals towards boots, make sure that the top of the boot stops at the narrow point on your legs.

Finally, the Autumn/Winter season is fast approaching. Look out for the dates of my seasonal updates which I’ll be announcing in September to run from October. Reserve your interest early and contact me: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk


Dressing for the beach

The holiday season is upon us but, are you beach ready?

Fear not ladies, it’s remarkably easy to feel glam on holiday with a fabulous beach cover-up.


Here are my tips for dressing for the beach

Ideally, you want a beach cover up that can be easily taken off. A tight fitting tunic may look great, but add sun cream to the heat and it can be difficult to remove and getting stuck inside your kaftan is a look to avoid!

Next, be mindful of volume. If the fabric is opaque and you can’t see through it, be careful going too over-sized as if it’s too tent-like, then it won’t necessarily be very flattering. If it’s sheer, then your body shape will still be visible through the fabric which means you can go big.

Natural fibres such as cotton are best in the heat, but be warned as they also crease. Try a thin viscose or polyester mix is lighter and much more versatile and can be screwed up in your beach bag and it will still look great at the end of the day. Plus, being lighter it can be easily washed and dried and you won’t need to spend time ironing!



There are lots of different styles to choose from and for all budgets. Work out what your preferred style of cover up is:

  • tunic
  • dress
  • kaftan
  • t-shirt
  • long
  • short
  • patterned
  • plain

Ask yourself – which one do I reach for over and over again? What do I feel the most comfortable in?

Pick your style and then choose different colours (from your palette of course) so you’ll always look and feel fantastic.

One final point; Accessorise. Finish off your look with something as simple as a straw hat, a colourful beach bag or flip flops.

Enjoy and happy holidays !

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 Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!

Choosing sunglasses

If you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses then read on!

Picking the right pair which suits you will depend upon your face shape. The general rule is to try and choose a pair which has a shape opposite to your face shape as these will be most complementary.



A cat eye shaped pair of sunnies works well as it widens the upper part of your face which also giving the appearance or narrowing your jawline.


Your face will be narrower at the forehead and jawline and widest across the cheekbones. Choose square shaped or rectangular shaped sunnies and avoid a round shape.


Whilst this is the most balanced face shape in terms of appearance, try choosing a pair which is shaped opposite to your face shape such as rectangular or square shaped.


The narrowest part of your face is at your jaw line so you want to give the appearance of width here to balance the look. Try rimless framed sunnies.


One final tip I learned was to take pictures whilst trying them on as it’s surprisingly different to see yourself in the photo than it is in a mirror!

Give it a go and remember to send me any pictures!!

Swimwear to suit you

Choosing swimwear to suit your body shape can be a challenge. There are lots of styles nowadays to suit all budgets but here’s my guide to picking the one to suit your figure so you can head to the pool or beach in style.



Choose solid colours which will be more flattering in something like a tankini style. V necked or cross over styles will help to emphasise your other assets and help detract attention away from your tummy area.


Try and avoid patterns or high cut styles on your bottom half and emphasise your top half instead. This can be done through pattern, jewellery or even a hat.

Inverted triangle

Plain top and patterned briefs will help create the illusion of a more balanced shape.


Try extra detailing such as bows or frills to create the illusion of a more fuller shape and curves.


A halterneck style or v neck will flatter your curves. Matching bikinis will keep everything in proportion and flatter your shape.


Finally, remember to choose styles in colours from your palette! Want to know your body shape and how to dress it? Get in touch to book a style consultation.

Top tips for wearing florals

Could summer finally be on it’s way??

Following on from my previous blog post on how to wear stripes, this one is all about florals.

When it comes to florals, some people find it easier to embrace this trend than others so this posting is for those who want some ideas on how to try it out.

Those with a ‘romantic’ style personality for example will breeze this trend (think Kylie Minogue). For everyone else, I’ve listed my top three simple tips so everyone can have a go!

Top tip number 1

Anyone with a curvy body shape will look great in floral patterns and detailing but think about the fabric of your clothes too. The more floaty the fabric; the better it is as it will drape across your lovely curves.

Top tip number 2

Wear your pattern when and where you want to draw people’s attention. Equally, don’t wear pattern where you want to minimise any attention either.

Those with triangle/pear or inverted triangle shapes will find this a useful trick and could wear pattern to give the appearance of more balance to their body shape.

Top tip number 3

Keep the size of the pattern in proportion to your scale. If you’re petite, you’ll want more delicate detailing and smaller prints for example. If you’re tall, large bold prints will work better for you.


I hope these simple tips help you dress confidently in florals, but remember to have fun and try things out!

If you need any help, just get in touch: Toni.carver@tlcstyleanscolour.co.uk

Stripes for all body shapes

If you’ve been out shopping lately, you may have noticed lots of striped clothes in stores and I’m not talking pyjamas!

Stripes tend to feature on both the catwalks and the High Street season after season due to their timeless appeal. Think of the Breton top – often seen as a classic item to own which rarely changes or ages.

Will stripes suit you?

In the main yes but there will be a better way of wearing stripes depending what your body shape is.

Remember that your underlying body shape rarely changes (sorry ladies – even with diet and exercise) so knowing how to dress for your shape and proportions makes shopping easier!

Lean column / rectangle body shapes

For those of you with straight body shapes then the good news is that stripes are made for you! (You’ll know your straighter as you’ll have fewer curves and rarely have any lines going in and out. Fitted and shaped clothes will often make you feel uncomfortable or restricted).

The clean, straight lines of your figure lend themselves perfectly to wearing stripes.

For those of you with a Rectangle body shape, vertical stripes will look great.

If you have a Lean Column body shape then try and have a play around; mix stripes with other patterns if you’re daring or perhaps look at wearing a combination of horizontal and vertical stripes to create the illusion of curves.

Triangle (pear) / inverted triangle body shapes

If you wear different sizes on your top and bottom halves then stripes can work wonders to give the illusion of balancing out your proportions.

If you have a Triangle body shape, try wearing horizontal stripes on your top half. This will balance out your figure and draw the attention upwards.

For those of you with an Inverted Triangle body shape, you want to wear your stripes on your bottom half. Horizontal, or vertical, the choice is yours. A striped skirt with a little fullness will even out your proportions beautifully whilst also showing off a slim waist.

Oval (apple) body shapes

Try to choose stripes that are softer, tonal or faded as they can be trickier to wear.

Full / neat hourglass body shapes

If you have a Full Hourglass figure, you may want to try avoiding stripes altogether; they will have to do a detour around your gorgeous curves! As an alternative; try a pattern that complements your shape batter such as florals. Opt for a stripey accessory (for example, a scarf or bag) to add a little interest to your look instead.

The neat hourglass can wear stripes, but note the curvy comments aboveboard.



As with any pattern, ensure you select stripes that complement your size.

If you’re petite, thinner stripes will work best as they won’t overwhelm you’re frame.

If you’re grand in scale (5 foot 7 or taller) then make a statement with bold stripes!

Be in the know

To learn about body shapes, proportions and dressing for your personality, you can book an individual or group style consultation with me.

Get in touch today to book your session.