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

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

An A-Z of New Season Style

There are many people out there who feel that a new season means a completely new wardrobe.  Indeed, this is one of the main criticisms of the fashion industry, in that it promotes mindless consumerism.  However, I don’t believe that this is the case.  It is for the designers to come up with brand new collections several times each year, and it is for us to look at what we can pick and choose to insert into our existing wardrobe.

With this in mind, here is a brief synopsis of this season’s key trends.  Happy shopping!

A – Androgyny.  Each season this trend takes on a new guise, and this time round it’s all about slick tailoring teamed with slick hair.  Keep it feminine with a touch of red lipstick and colourful shoes.

B – Bomber jackets, the new must-have piece of outerwear.  Boots are also an essential item for anyone’s autumn/winter wardrobe.  This season sees the classic knee-high take centre stage once more.

C – Capes.  Wear with skinny trousers and high heels for a longer silhouette.

D – Dresses.  Whatever the weather, find one that makes you feel like you never want to take it off.

E – Evergreen.  Pine-needle green works as a great alternative to black for work wear.  Try it in the form of a blouse or court shoe.

F – Florals.  Usually the reserve of spring and summer, floral prints have made an unseasonal appearance.  Think less ditsy Liberty print, more big and bold statement.

G – Gold.  Whether it’s your accessories or clothing, it’s time to get your shine on.  Just be wary of turning into a bad 80s throwback.

H – Hats.  Arguably the must-have accessory of the season, hats add that little bit of drama to an outfit.  Fedoras, cloches, caps… the choice is yours.

I – Indigo.  Nails, bags, shoes or suits: all suit this versatile colour

J – Jewellery.  Autumn colours are naturally a bit more muted, so make your jewellery do the talking with bright splashes of jade, turquoise, silver and garnet.  Layer chunky necklaces for a modern update over workwear.

K – Knitwear.  Chunky knits, cable knits, slim silk knits… they’re all for the taking.  An elegant piece of cashmere is the perfect way to dress down a silk maxi skirt for day wear.

L – Legs.  Yes it’s getting a bit colder, and our summer tans have worn off, but that’s no excuse to hide behind trousers for the next six months.  Get your legs out in an array of brightly-coloured hosiery to set off that brand new pair of boots.

M – Men’s shoes.  If heels are a bit of a struggle, then why not try some brogues, Chelsea boots or loafers?  Best worn with skirts to keep the look more ladylike and less ladylump.

N – Neoprene.  The surprisingly successful fabric of the year.  Don’t go all out and wear a wetsuit; keep it subtle with a clutch bag or shoes.

O – Origami.  Structured shoulders, peplum waists and cocoon silhouettes are all key looks this season.

P – Pencil skirts.  This is not just for those sitting behind a desk.  When teamed with an embellished top and a pair of killer heels, a pencil skirt makes ideal evening wear.

Q – Quilted jackets.  Available at every price range, there’s nothing cosier than snuggling down into a padded collar and soft sleeves.

R – Regal.  You’d be hard-pushed to find a brand that hasn’t got something with a crested breast pocket or mini crown motif.  Tongue in cheek required.

S – Scarf.  So long summer silk, hello winter woolliness.

T – Trousers.  Yet another season of different shapes is upon us.  Palazzo pants make a great alternative to maxi skirts, and you can hardly move at the moment for the glut of seventies-style flares in ochre, plum and teal.

U – Umbrellas.  A true British staple, not to be left at home.

V – Velvet.  This fabric makes a comeback each year.  My personal favourite would be a velvet body teamed with cigarette pants.  Understated glamour at its best.

W – White.  How to convey luxury and glamour in one item of clothing.  Just watch out for buses and large puddles.

X – X-rated.  The fetish trend was going strong on this season’s catwalks.  While feather dusters and bondage boots might not be to everyone’s taste, there’s always room for a little lace or leather in your winter wardrobe.

Y – Yellow.  Less sunshine, more mustard.

Z – Zoo time.  Animal prints are still everywhere, albeit in a slightly more subtle way.

Summer Loving

It’s that time of year again – hemlines come up, necklines go down, and the opportunities to hide our lumps and bumps under thick and forgiving fabrics become more and more scarce.  So, what are our sartorial options this summer?

My personal favourite is the decorative day-wear trend that was prevalent at Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada.  Dresses with lace overlays, embellished lightweight coats, and floral prints in abundance all give daytime dressing a smarter sheen.  Think ladylike as opposed to girly, so choose glamorous accessories such as gloves or a chic hat.

Pastels were on every catwalk for this season, and designers have finally succeeded in creating clothes in sugared hues that don’t look like wither nightwear or something from the bottom of a seventies bargain bin.  Through use of fine fabrics such as silk and lightweight cotton, dressing all pale and interesting just got a whole lot easier.  Pastel pink is a suits-all shade, whereas minty green is slightly harder to work with and should generally be avoided by those with a complexion similar to Casper.  Various grades of blue and aqua look great when teamed with metallic accessories, and if you can’t decide which bit of rainbow sherbet is your favourite, then there’s always colour blocking.  A lot of detailing can go into pastel colours without looking ostentations – lace appliqué, feathers, embroidery… with a neutral background, these delicate additions can go a long way to making an outfit go up a notch or two.

On the subject of detailing, it looks like the peplum trend is here for at least another season.  I personally am a huge fan of this – what better way to show off your waist and conceal your hips?  The key with peplums is to keep things simple.  Think colour blocking, minimal patterns and detailing – let that flare do the talking.

Of course, you could go extreme in terms of simplicity and adopt the all-in-white look that was seen at Celine, Calvin Klein and Jil Sander.  Whether you go graphic or girlish, this is a high-maintenance look that won’t tolerate spaghetti Bolognese or smeared lipstick.  The appeal is in staying as fresh as possible, so low-key hair and makeup are a must.  It might also be an idea to get the St Tropez out in order to avoid the all-in-white look extending to your limbs.  Just don’t use the instant stuff – trust me it’s a nightmare to get off fabric.

A slightly more avant-garde trend that graced this season’s catwalks is the one for high-shine fabrics such as lame, PVC and leather.  Perhaps opting for Chanel’s plasticised swing coat and trousers isn’t quite what one might do on a rainy day, but a glimpse of glistening silk organza will go a long way to updating an evening outfit.  And then there’s what the magazines are calling Vintage Americana, which seems to pop up ever four years or so to remind us how great the fifties were, not that any of us can actually remember them.  Cat’s eye sunglasses, rich and glossy leather skirts, nipped in waists and retro prints all make dressing up an every-day activity.  For the slightly more daring, there’s the option to expose an inch or two of (preferably toned) midriff by teaming together a high-waisted skirt and a pretty bra top.  Now where’s that drive-in movie?

A/W ’11 – Wardrobe Pieces To Buy

This season is all about forties glamour, the return to the seventies, tartan, continuing with colour blocking and of course prints!

If you don’t fancy being a slave to fashion but would like some key pieces that are sure to spice-up your current wardrobe for the coming winter, then I recommend the following pieces:

1. A watch
A good watch is a classic fashion statement. As an accessory, they can make a simple but bold style statement. Often over-looked, so many watches I see today are middle of the road and just plain dull. Instead, why not make a style impact by looking at the ladies watch range from Michael Kors. It simply will not disappoint – it’s such a strong range that you are bound to find something to suit your taste.

2. Dress
A lime green belted dress, at £60 from Julien MacDonald at Debenhams adds a touch of 70’s to your look, and is set off by the gold metallic belt. This dress has lovely detail: the bow, the button down shirt and long sleeves with fitted cuffs.

3. Polka Dot
A shirt in polka dot is such a snazzy look. It’s both classic and very up to date. I like the Polka Dot shirt from Zara at £39.99. You can easily wear this shirt under a gilet or boyfriend blazer jacket. Alternatively, opt for a simple black and white polka dot tshirt, with black dots. Such a strong look for this season and can be worn off-duty and on – how you wear is up to you!

4. Blouse
Mint Velvet has some lovely blouses that are good for updating a wardrobe, making you feel very feminine. These are so soft to wear but also have the added benefit of covering your arms, whilst being see-through. This is a grown-up sexy look that a lot of my clients absolutely love!

5. Shoes
Kurt Geiger has the ultimate shoe selection for when you can’t find anything. I adore these Sooty boots, £190. They are good for elongating your legs with jeans, dresses or skirts.

6. Colour Blocking
Wallis do a lovely violet tier tunic that is on sale currently for a bargain price of £20. This is lovely item to wear with a purple bolero, as this colour combination is very striking! Worn with a pair of skinny jeans and pumps and you will have perfected the effortless day-time chic look.

7. Pencil Skirt
Lastly, invest in a classic black bandage skirt, from Mint Velvet at £79. The pencil skirt is the epitome of 40’s glamour. It is not only beautiful to wear but is hugely complementary on almost anyone. My clients love wearing this skirt and it really is the best pencil skirt I have seen in a few years! If you go for this, you won’t regret it, as it’s a good investment piece too.

Enjoy getting key pieces to update your Autumn Winter wardrobe? Buying less and getting it right is essential for getting a wardrobe that works for you. For any style questions or queries regarding getting a wardrobe that works around your current life then contact Cambridge-based personal stylist, Katie Bowen at or on 07855 754487.

Images reproduced from, and

Autumn/Winter 2013/14 Trends

The bright colours we have seen over the summer  have cooled down for winter and designers  have created new trademarks that are unleashing into the retail stores as we speak. The development of winter pastels have caught the attention of many to keep this winter sweet, while daring biker coats are available to look like a snug rebel this winter. There is something for everybody this winter, and these are just small examples of the autumn/winter trends.

Oh so Velvet! There is something about velvet that reminds us all of winter. Perhaps its the thickness of the fabric that warms us up when we wear it, or the luminosity it brings when it is exposed to the winter light, that reminds us of the festivities that happen during this season. Velvet is already a rich fabric so it’s best worn to a minimum-one item of clothing within your outfit is enough  to create that all winter outfit. To avoid the velvet piece from clashing with the rest of the outfit, try to choose similar colours or compliment with minimalistic colours such as black, navy blue or white. Topshop’s lookbook is a great example to show us how to wear velvet in style.

Clash of the Tartans Just like Velvet, tartan can be overwhelming when deciding how much is too much. With this trend it’s all about being able to complement the material- as tartan checkers range from soft to bold. The most common colour with tartan is red to act as a signal to Christmas. Don’t be afraid to mix checkers together as this creates a modern look- so long as they are the same colours or same texture. To create an effortless look, simple colours such as navy blue, wine red, black and white will do the trick.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s 2011 collection proves to still be in trend with his use of soft tartan material

Faithful Fur 

Fur will always continue to be a winter accessory and is manipulated in forms to keep up with the trends including a fur handbag  or it can be simply be worn as a hat or coat. The best thing about fur is that it is now affordable and with the right eye for quality it can still give you the same warming effect without stretching your pockets. Nothing spells cosy like a fur hat or headband. It is the best accessory to have especially if your constantly on the go- and they have become more inexpensive as well as warmer! Price ranges from £7.00 and vary in the length of the fur. Fur coats can stretch your pockets a bit but they are worth it. It’s best to save up and buy after Christmas as the weather usually becomes more cold around that time.

Buy John Lewis Faux Fur Head Band Online £15.00

College Fashion: Sixth Form Prep

River Island encourages warmth with fur and long draped jackets. This is an effortless look for sixth form.

River Island encourages warmth with fur and long draped jackets. This is an effortless look for sixth form.

Going to college means more independence as you wave goodbye to the boring plaque uniforms and say hello to the energetic clothes that were once hiding in your wardrobe. Even though there’s more flexibility with what you wear, in 6th Form schools you might find your choice of outfits are limited. With the imposed uniform rules it makes us automatically think we are expected to dress up like our teachers (with unflattering flared trousers and long sleeved shirts, week-after-week) when this is not necessarily the fact. This is the very reason we must be pro-active in thinking of the style we want to pursue for the next few years.

Common Uniform Code:

6th Form schools want to be differentiated from colleges, not because they think they’re academically above, but because the  a-level students are associated with setting an example to the younger years. This makes it all the more difficult in wearing our favorite high-waisted shorts… but with the 3 Rs we can get through 6th form with no problems:

  • Respond well to the rules- you’re already going into a new learning environment so don’t add more stress than necessary 
  • Respect the code- it’s not the end of the world- in fact- your are challenging your fashion ability rather than playing it safe by just wearing simple jeans to school
  • Replace the disapproved clothes with this years A/W trends, that encourage the “less is more” stamina. Such is shown in River Island’s collection- who promote the his-is-hers 2013 trends of oversized coats and hats, also pursued by designers such as Alexander Wang and Stella Mcartney.

It may be quiet expensive to buy a bulk of clothing from high street shops such as River Island or Top Shop, however their cosy collection offers quality over quantity that is sure to last you for a long time. Perhaps buying coats, bottoms and shoes from high end shops, while buying simple and affordable tops elsewhere such as Primark or Select will do you advantage.

Here is to wishing you the best of luck in your results and settling in 6th form!

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Hot Fashion Trends for Summer 2012

City Connect welcomes Emily Kissock as our latest Features Writer on Beauty and Fashion. In her first article, Emily – an experienced make-up artist, model and fashion writer – takes a look at the hot trends this coming season and shares some key style advice on what to wear in Summer 2012 to stay fashion forward.

Emily Kissock – Style Writer

Summer is coming up and what better to challenge the dull weather than to introduce some light pastel colours into your wardrobe. Beautiful pastel shades are everywhere at the moment and the ability to wear different colours without looking like you’re about to hit the “nu-rave” scene is possible in these shades. Think 1960’s, geometric prints and pop art – yes, pastel pop art! Keeping in with the theme of pastel shades, sheer garments are a real winner right now too. It’s the ultimate ‘fashion oxymoron’ – sexy but innocent, perfect for any occasion and if you pick your sheer-shade right it will go with almost anything.

Little Mistress Embellished Waistband Dress – £50

If you like to go bold and the soft pastel-marshmallow hues just don’t do it for you then you must take a dive into ethnic prints – they are making waves again in fashion, don’t just think of the typical mass printed ‘Aztec’ & ‘Navajo’ as this time round there’s a multitude of mixed ethnic influenced prints available. H&M currently have a brilliant cause – it’s “Fashion Against AIDS” collection – and if you want to add a splash of bold print they will fix that craving and you get to help a great cause in the process.

H&M Fashion Against Aids Skirt – £7.99

Of course not forgetting those needing that touch of edge, denim is one of the on-trend fabrics. Think of it as a canvas and stamp your own personality onto it, for example what’s trending currently with the ladies and gents is to simply teaming denim with hoodies or, if you’d like to really make it your own, adorning it in studs and/or patches for that rock-out-loud look. Denim is such a versatile piece of clothing and wearable by all types of people. You could be as drowned in denim as B*Witched or rocked up like an old school metal head… you catch my drift here, it’s versatile.

ASOS Colour Blocked Denim Shirt – £30

If that’s still not tipping bold on your Richter scale, don’t forget that we have the Diamond Jubilee AND the Olympics in the UK this year and there’s a fabulous range of subtle to downright tacky Union Jack covered garments available! So if you want to show your support by being a walking flag (no pun intended) or just want that Ginger Spice 90’s Union Jack dress it doesn’t matter, stuff like this isn’t usually readily available so grab it while you can and have fun with it!

Religion Union Jack Body – £35

Finishing off today’s article in the same way you would finish off an outfit, let’s look at accessories. Get ready for summer and unleash those futuristic crazy sunglasses, enjoy the mouthwatering sweet colours mixing into the accessories – meringue whites and pixie stick pastels, and not forgetting the tribal touches slithering into those little rectangular clutch bags, big bangles and dangly drop earrings. Bags and shoes share the more than necessary strap look with chunked heels. Hats are dominated right now by big slouchy wide brimmed hats, straw hats and fedora hats. And with that I tip my hat to you and bid you good day until next time.

ASOS Wide Brim Straw Fedora Hat – £14

Images reproduced from and

Maxi Dresses for Maximum Impact

The maxi dress has been adorning the red carpet and the high street for a long time now however we have taken it upon ourselves to highlight a few of our favourites for you to experiment with this summer.

If you’d like to sizzle in style as the lady in red, this evening maxi dress look by Elie Saab was worn exquisitely by Catherine Zeta Jones at the Tony Awards in New York.

Taking it from demure to sexy, Heidi Klum rocks a Michael Kors thigh high split dress that reminds us of Liz Hurley-esque with a dangerously low plunging neckline that makes even Versace shudder however this mother knows how to work this turquoise maxi at a prestigious gala event in New York.

Diane Kruger goes for demure in an off white partially lace number by designer Alessandra Rich. At the forefront of fashion, Diane knows how to maximise her maxi with a neon tangerine (colour of the moment) belt to make sure she is a show-stopper at the gala event in Paris where she was photographed.

The film festival in Shanghai highlighted two of this month’s hottest A list frocks. Fan Bing Bing emulates an exotic beauty in this light lavender George Hobeka maxi which is a personal favourite of mine. However I was pleasantly surprised to see Mischa Barton at the same event looking fully recovered from her “time out”.

If these dresses are not enough to maximise the green-eyed monster in any girl, Blake Lively rocks the most amazing white maxi Chanel wedding dress layered with Lorraine Schwartz jewellery and with her long luscious locks she’s as beautiful as ever.

For those of you with a more modest pocket, Lisa Snowdon stepped out in a beautiful 100% silk maxi dress by Autograph at Marks and Spencer bringing new glam to Sunday casual.

Even cheaper still, Jennifer Metcalfe was not only seen out in a yellow Miss Selfridge strapless maxi dress (£50) but she also accessorized with this season’s hottest look gold, gold, gold!

Again we are spoilt for choice as Colleen Rooney’s latest line for Littlewoods also contains a fabulous red bird print maxi dress with the added feature of it being a halter neck which will add the va va voom to any occasion. This dress can be snapped up for just under £100.

Look luxurious in lace. This sheer black lace maxi is only £85 from A skin coloured slip will keep your modesty whilst still looking fabulous in one of this season’s key looks.

The latest in maxi dresses is a deep V front cut which is more flattering to curvy ladies. Our two favourites so far are an animal print from Jarlo at just £70 and a purple pleated maxi from Asos at just £65. The best thing about the Asos dress is that it is rumoured that pleats will be massive for autumn so you’d be hitting two hot trends (the maxi and pleats) in one fell swoop.

If you’re looking for a real bargain, look no further than the labels Fuse, Apricot and Isabel where you can pick up maxi dresses for under £50. The quality is not as good but you can still keep on trend.

Images reproduced from and

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.

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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.


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

Buyers Guide: Top 5 Home Accessories

There is so much choice out there when it comes to accessorizing the home that deciding what items to go for can be a bit of an interior design headache. Debenhams has an excellent range of home accessories and I’ve chosen my top 5 must-have items that highlight the best of their selection. Whether you’re going for the vintage look or contemporary style, there’s something to suit any taste at Debenhams with many items now reduced in their Easter Extravaganza sale.

Retro Telephones
Add some retro style to your home with a classic telephone. This Wild & Wolf trim telephone takes you back to the 70s with its bold turquoise colour and funky design. Create a chic vintage look by coordinating it with other retro accessories or position it on its own as a bold statement piece.

Union Jack Cushions
With the Royal Wedding and St George’s Day both coming up this month, there is a visible patriotic influence appearing in home accessories. Union Jacks are on everything from teacups to plant pots. Cushions are a simple way to reflect this style trend in the home and they can be a talking point amongst your guests. This BDL by Ben de Lisi cushion has a trendy Union Jack design on the front with a bright red back and a contrasting yellow trim.

Lacquer Photo Frames
Bright colours aren’t just a trend for your wardrobe – update your decor with bold photo frames in glossy bright colours. Add accents of colour to a room using brightly coloured frames. The Butterfly by Matthew Williamson lacquer frames in bright blue are a personal favourite and is available in two sizes – 4” x 6” and 6” x 8”.

Artificial Flowers
Flowers help make a house a home – but using fresh flowers can be costly as they are usually past their best after a few days and often need replacing. A great alternative is to use quality artificial flowers to decorate the home which last for years and never need watering! Artificial flowers already arranged in a vase will add instant colour and warmth to a room. Top florist Jane Packer has designed a beautiful plastic floral collection for Debenhams. The prettiest and most unusual item from the collection is this blue hyacinth in square glass vase.

Decorative Table Lamps
Lighting has always been the ideal way to transform a room and table lamps are perfect to add atmosphere and decoration to the home. The best designs to go for are lamps that look just as decorative when they’re off as when they’re on – which is why I love these stunning rocha.john rocha cut out lamps. They are subtle as well as stylish and look like an attractive ornament when not lit. The lamps are available in small and large.

All these home accessories plus many more are available from the Debenhams website or visit your nearest store by using their Store Finder.

Images reproduced from

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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