Hot Furnishings in Cool Pastels

Pastels are making a comeback this season, so buying new home furnishings or decoration in these cool colours will add some hot style to your home and update the look of your favourite rooms.

The latest interior design trend is an explosion of ice-cream shades that look simply delicious whether they’re on walls, furniture or home accessories. This uplifting colour palette is perfect for the start of the new season and is very versatile as you can choose from a whole spectrum of colours from the palest of pastels to soft sorbet colours and bright fruity shades that are so juicy that you’ll want to squeeze them!

Rooms can look chic and sophisticated when you use these subtle hues to enhance the appearance of furnishings. Choose colours that suit your personal style or taste – if pastel pink is not your thing, why not try a dusky darker shade. Soft citrus colours will make a bolder statement if you want to go for design with more of an edge.

This colour trend isn’t just for walls and furniture. Add instant retro style to any room in the house by choosing fabrics and accessories in neopolitan shades of pale pinks, yellows and creams. Marks and Spencer sells a gorgeous 50s-inspired range called Country Pastels which adds a touch of retro charm to your home. Injecting this season’s cool gelato colours around the home will make your interiors look fabulous and this palette works very well in the living room or bedroom. Pastel bedlinen adds a fresh crisp touch to the bedroom and is a calm and spirit-lifting colour.

Cool pastel colours are ideal for smaller rooms in the house as they make interiors look bigger by creating the illusion of more space. Pastels are also great way of adding a crisp and clean look to the home for people who like to keep things clutter-free and simple.

Psychologically, the on-trend pastel palette is good for your wellbeing as well as making your home stylish. Think back to the last time you lay on soft green grass on a sunny day with a cloudless blue sky above you. Or try and remember when you watched the turquoise ocean from a sandy golden beach. How did that make you feel? Research has shown that cool light colours like blues and greens are more calming than darker strong colours like red and black. The most calming colors for interior design schemes are light blue, green, pink, yellow, lilac, lavender and – not surprisingly - white and beige.

So if you want to brighten up your home and your mood this Spring, choose cool pastels and gelato colours for new purchases and bring a little sunshine into your interiors.

Image courtesy of modmani.com

To Snood or Not to Snood?

Summer is just around the corner but the vagaries of British weather mean that you should ensure you can quickly lay your hands on something to wrap around you on cooler days. One way to be warm AND fashionable this season is to wear a lightweight scarf. Summer scarves are on-trend accessories that may sound unusual but then isn’t fashion meant to be fun and different?

Buying a summer scarf will definitely be a wise addition to your Spring/Summer 2011 wardrobe if you want to keep up with the latest fashion trends whilst not sacrificing functionality. As long as you go for lightweight fabrics rather than heavy knits, you’ll find that a summer scarf keeps you looking super trendy without making you hot under the collar… literally!

There are four ways to wear a Summer Scarf.

  • Parisian Knot – looks great on short jackets with notch collars kept down
  • Once-Around Knot – excellent for everyday casual outfits or with a fitted blazer in the evening
  • Loose Once-Around Knot – go for a rakish look with a duffle coat or any hooded snorkel jacket
  • Twice-Around Knot – perfect for crew necks and short jackets with Mandarin-style collars

Snoods are also a huge trend this season. The snood is basically a cross between a scarf and a hood but it is only worn around the neck and shoulders. The snood was first seen in the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections as a statement piece which added softness to the harder fabric of the winter coat. This look was slow to take off on the high street but was seen on male celebrities such as Andrew Stone. It’s a very different look to what you’d normally see other men wearing out and about – but if you want to stand out from the crowd and stay on top of the latest trends, then you should invest in a snood (or two) for Spring/Summer 2011.

The fashionable snood is not right for everyone and you need to watch your styling to make sure you wear it in the most flattering way for your size and build. Below are some top tips to help you look trendy, not terrible!

  • Shorter men should go for thinner styles to avoid being overpowered by lots of fabric. The most flatterring style is to keep the fall of the snood just below the collar bone – this will elongate the neck.
  • Taller men can wear the snood in more ways. It is best worn in a chunky way. Avoid thinner snoods to steer clear of the unflatterring lanky look. To maintain the focus upwards, twist it more than once to create volume around the neck – just don’t make it too thick.
  • Muscular men need to keep the snood thin to highlight the chest. Why hide those perfect abs you’ve spent months working on in the gym?

There are plenty of options for this hot new trend currently available on the high street. If you prefer online shopping, try Asos as they sell a wide range of summer scarves and snoods to suit all styles and budgets.

Images reproduced from Asos

Wedding Fashion Tips

With Kate and William’s nuptials looming, wedding fever is definitely upon us.  I am really looking forward to seeing Kate walk down the aisle and marry her prince. I love her sense of style and am really looking forward to seeing all those lovely frocks! A real fashion feast! But as a guest at a wedding, what do you wear to a summer wedding to make sure you get it just right? Well here are my fail-safe wedding tips.

This season
The hot look for this season is for the bride to wear white, ivory or cream and the bridesmaids to wear nude or taupe tones.

Bridesmaids
Wedding photos last forever, so it’s best to wear a Spanx slip, so this enhances both your figure and the outline of your dress. Also, static electricity often causes problems, so add anti-static spray to your ‘getting ready list’. You will be very thankful for this on the day.

Mother of the Bride
At least 3 months before the wedding date, book an appointment with a specialist shop, which are used to giving high quality service and can advise you through getting the right outfit and accessories that will go with both the style of wedding and the bridal party’s dresses.

Shoes
If you are going to a garden wedding, then get a pair of Heel Stoppers, as they let you walk easily across the lawn and help you avoid ruining your heels.

Wedding Dress
For the bridal dress, I recommend you:

  1. Hang your gown the night before and steam and fluff out any layers, so it looks lovely and fresh on the day.
  2. Enjoy your dress. It’s best to enjoy your day and not be too precious, as you can get it mended and dry-cleaned afterwards.
  3. Use a specialist wedding dress dry cleaner. Have it boxed (with acid free paper) or hung.

To be a well dressed guest:

White Tie
Opt for a full length evening dress, ideally with some delicate sparkle.

Black Tie
Wear a bold coloured or patterned long evening dress.

Cocktail
Wear a pretty short dress with carefully chosen bold accessories.

Smart/casual
Wear a smart pair of trousers, with a fun/elegant top, with a clutch bag.

Garden wedding
Choose a flowing, short or mid length floral dress.

If you are confused as to dress code, call the bride or groom and clarify what’s required so that you dress appropriately. As it’s their party, I am sure they would appreciate you honouring their wishes and dressing correctly for the occasion.

Accessories
You will need a clutch with a strap, as you may be standing around a bit and need both your hands free for holding a drink in one hand and then nibbles in the other! Other key items you should consider in your bag are: blister plasters, a safety pin, powder set, a lipstick or lip-gloss and a little camera ready for those key photos.

Final Preparations
For a polished look, have your nails French polished. And then, match your hair style with your dress eg. vintage hair to go with a vintage dress. However, if you are planning on wearing a hat or fascinator, I strongly recommend putting your hair back in a pony tail, this looks sleeker and more finished off. I have seen so many ladies wearing their hair down and this makes their overall outfit look unfinished.

And finally, it is often a good idea for a summer wedding in particular to add just a hint of self tanning lotion. If you can, go for ‘St Tropez’ as it gives both a
natural and even tan thus avoiding the tangerine look!

Top image reproduced from Mario Testino / The Telegraph
Bottom image reproduced from healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fashion Trends for Summer

Whether you love floral prints, tropical prints or block colours are more your style, our English summer (when it’s behaving itself!) is allowing you to show off the hot looks this season. The top seven must-have items for your wardrobe this summer are as follows.

Block Colour Blouses

Thanks to Gucci and the comeback of bright colour in gorgeous textures such as silk, chiffon and sheer fabric, block colour blouses have allowed us to bring sexy back to our wardrobe.

During the day they team well with plain shorts – denim – or if you’re more daring florals. Or for a fabulous look at night, team with skinny jeans and killer over-sized heels to die for.

Rock T-shirts

Our American A listers have been donning Rock T’s for ages, with our British companions having always loved the T-shirt with a cool slogan or a funny saying. David & Goliath is no long the order of the day. It’s the rock T’s that are adorning the celebs either side of the Pond at present. The look is cool grunge and is best paired with drain pipe jeans, leather minis and of course the staple killer heels. With regards to accessories the chunkier the better.

Tropicana Camisoles

Although we loved the silky one colour sheen of the camis last season we are loving the exotic twist of floral and tropicana prints. We suggest you wear these camis tucked into a day skirt for the afternoon and the fabulous mini for the evening. This way you can choose big and bright prints as they won’t overwhelm you yet will look gorgeous at lunch or dinner sitting across from your hunky beau. This look is best teamed with nude heels or even flats for daytime.

Sexy Bustiers

If you want to step up the sex factor a notch while keeping in theme with the bold florals or even geometric designs, choose a strapless bustier to sculpt your shape and make all the boys heads turn. If the weather holds this style makes for a pretty festival option and can be paired with a maxi skirt and funky wedges. If on the other hand you want to make an impression in the evening, team it with a short skirt and cinch in your waist with a fabulous belt to give you the hourglass figure that every girl would die for. KIller heels also work well with this option. The trick here is to match them to your belt especially if you’ve been brave enough to go for a spot of colour.

Smart Tank Tops

This simple look has lasted through the ages and is especially useful for the office when paired with simple black trousers and a matching jacket when necessary. If you want to stay on-trend there are many bold block prints out there, our favourite one being from Topshop as it’s in tangerine – this season’s hottest colour. The high street is also adorned with floral and tropical prints in this style so be sure to pick one up. The best part about this top is its versatility as when rushing out of the office for after-work drinks it can be easily teamed with a fashionable black skirt, be it ruffles, lace or even pencil. The trick to pulling off this look is to keep the neckline high sitting just below the collarbone and as our summer has not been that kind to us, if you have time an instant tan on your arms to contour them for a quick slimming fix would make this outfit go from great to fabulous.

Retro Crop Tops

We’ve watched the 50s come back, the 60s, the 70s and God forbid the 80s. We now see the return of the 90s with the relaunch of summer retro crop tops.

Personally we feel this is better as a day look in horizontal and vertical stripes to still keep the bold coloured fashion theme however Jaime Winstone was seen partying into the small hours wearing a white and purple bold print retro crop top with beautifully tailored white trousers. A chic pencil skirt would just about carry off this look for evenings.

Polka Dots

For those of you who have seen the film “Because I Said So”, you may remember the scene between mother and daughter where the mother forces the daughter to wear a red dress with white polka dots. Although in this particular film it got her the “wrong” guy, work this look correctly and have men fall at your feet. Again a perfect combo to rock both at work and at night is bold tangerine with black dots (Dorothy Perkins £28) is a good look with classic tailored black trousers for work. If you are in a daring mood, go for a sheer polka dot shirt with a camisole underneath and when darkness falls follow Amelia Fox’s style by removing the camisole for a sheer and sexy look. Do remember to team this with a sexy but not too revealing bra. As all the attention is on your torso, if not at work keep it simple during the day with black shorts and to make sure you look demure rather than tacky for night-time endeavours team any sheer polka dot shirt with a long black evening skirt – less is more when it comes to skin.

We look forward to your comments about which style suits you best or tweet us directly @CityConnectNews – don’t forget to use the hashtag #todayimwearing.

Image reproduced from asos.com and fabsugar.com

Men’s Fashion Trends for Spring 2011

Make sure you’re in style this season with our guide on how to update your wardrobe now that Winter is over. The Spring/Summer 2011 designer collections were shown at the end of last year in London, Paris, New York and Milan. These couture creations have filtered down to the high street and now everyone can get their hands on the latest looks to keep up with the ever-changing world of Men’s Fashion. The woven belt below from Ralph Lauren is just one of the hot new styles which have now reached the high street this season.

Here is a full list of the key trends every well-dressed man about town should be sporting this Spring.

LEATHER

  • Every man should have a woven belt in his Spring wardrobe – team with jeans or chinos for a casual relaxed style.
  • Stay on-trend with leather strap sandals – stick to simple designs to avoid that “gladiator” look!

DENIM

  • Avoid the double denim look – pair denim jeans with soft knitwear or denim jackets with block colour trousers.
  • Go for vintage, faded and worn denim to keep up with the latest trends.

TAILORING

  • T-shirt with a suit is a key look this Spring but make sure it’s a good quality plain dark t-shirt to keep things smart.
  • A linen suit is essential and best kept relaxed so don’t worry about the creases.
  • Sports jackets can be worn for a super smart casual look – choose from single breasted or double breasted styles depending on your build.
  • Key colours are navy blue and khaki this season.

JACKETS

  • Fisherman’s jackets are very in season and are both trendy and practical for those Spring showers.
  • Trench coats and stylish macs are also fashionable this season.
  • Choose from navy, khaki or bright primary colours.

KNITWEAR

  • Bright and bold knitwear makes a statement this season – choose from either colourful knits (red is a key colour this season) or bold stripes.
  • Cardigans follow the statement look and are best worn unbuttoned over a plain t-shirt if you have a broad chest.

COLOUR

  • Wear coloured chinos to stay on trend – ditch khaki in favour of fresh bright colours perfect for a summery look.
  • Grey jeans were featured heavily in the S/S 2011 collections so buying a pair will keep you part of the in-crowd.
  • Smart shirts work best kept paler than pastel – wear with contrasting ties or button up right to the neck to copy the catwalk look.
  • Red is hot this season so make sure you have one or two key items in this trendy colour.

Image reproduced from Ralph Lauren

Women’s Fashion Trends for Spring 2011

The catwalk collections for spring/summer 2011 were full of fabulous trends that have now hit the high street and every trendy girl about town will want to get her hands on the key trends this season. City Connect’s Fashion Guru, Alan Philippe, brings you the hottest Spring looks that are guaranteed to add some sunshine to your wardrobe on even the cloudiest of days. Check out his recommendations for what style-savvy ladies should be wearing this season.

TANGERINE
This zesty shade of orange is the hottest colour this season as it was all over the spring/summer 2011 catwalks. If head-to-toe orange is too bold for you, tone it down with a contrasting colour like hot pink or turquoise. Or use tangerine as an accent colour on accessories such as shoes, bags or sunglasses. The ultra feminine orange dress below is from J by Jasper Conran and is exclusively available from Debenhams.

LACE
The delicate beauty of lace adds a feminine touch to clothing this season. Lace dresses are totally on-trend and look great in a range of bright summery colours. Lace details are also very fashionable and add tasteful elegance to your style. Barely there shades of cream and taupe are also a hot look to go for in lace.

RAINBOW BRIGHTS
A rainbow of zingy colours has flooded the high street and everywhere you look there are bright blues, citrus yellows and hot pinks. Tangerine is the hottest shade of neon brights as previously mentioned but you’ll be on-trend in any bright colour this season. Trousers in vibrant shades are very hot at the moment. The best way to carry off this look is by using block colour in your outfits.

STRIPES
Bold stripes are a key trend for Spring as seen in the Prada spring/summer 2011 collection. Horizontal stripes are the way to go in a variety of colours including the classic black & white. This can be an unflattering look if worn badly so choose your stripes wisely to avoid a fashion faux pas.

WHITES
Almost every designer showed white in their spring/summer 2011 collections so whether you go for a cool, crisp blouse or a stylish tailored trouser suit, you’re sure to stay on-trend. Just be careful not to spill anything!

FLORAL PRINTS
It wouldn’t be Spring without floral prints making an appearance. This season’s look takes on the Orient and the beautiful flowery designs reflect this chinoiserie influence right through from lingerie to blouses and dresses in light floaty fabrics.

TRIBAL PRINTS
There is a lot of animal print available but also look out for designs inspired by every corner of the globe. Tribal prints are bold and funky which makes a confident statement this season. These trendy patterns can be found in harem pants, batwing t-shirts and the season’s hottest fashion item – the jumpsuit.

SEVENTIES STYLE
The decade of glitzy glam and platform shoes is a defining trend and a must-have look to wear this Spring. Flares, palazzo pants, floppy hats, round-rimmed sunglasses and bold prints are all making a comeback. Don’t forget the big hair to top off this hot look.

Image reproduced from debenhams.com