Everyone needs a stylist: part 2

I recently wrote that people often think it’s negative to hire a personal stylist. That by doing so, they’re admitting that they don’t know how to dress.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Politicians know that what they wear is vital to their ‘brand’, (Hillary Clinton has a styling budget) and our own PM is starting to pay more careful attention. But that’s another blog post entirely…

There are a number of very positive reasons that people hire me.  I offer honest and objective advice but there are other reasons too.  The fact is, I can save you both time and money, and reduce the stress of shopping or putting outfits together.  How?

  • I do the hard work (so you don’t have to).  I research the items you’re looking for and build relationships with the brands and boutiques that matter.  This results in better service from those retailers – and often a discount too!
  • I save you time.  By doing that research I’ve pinpointed the items that are most likely to work for you.  So you don’t have to try on loads and loads of stuff, or waste valuable time ordering and returning things.
  • I take away the pain of changing rooms, of endless searching, of being afraid to try something new. When you shop with me, I bring clothes to you ready for you to try.  No fighting with armfuls of items you’re not really sure about, getting all flustered.  You can relax in the knowledge that you’ll be getting your own personal ‘edit’.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some of my clients say:

Steve: I’ve never had the confidence to shop for clothes properly.  The small investment with Sam has paid for itself, preventing me buying the wrong stuff and my new style has already been positively noticed, even by complete strangers.

Katharine: It really is an investment in yourself.  I was hesitant to ask for help – surely by now I should know what suits me and what to wear.  Wow…what a difference Samantha makes.  She makes you feel comfortable with your own style offers ideas, recommendations and suggestions with integrity and honesty.

Susan: This is the first time I’ve ever considered working with a stylist.  After all, I could spend the money on new clothes!  I can say unequivocally that feeling great about my clothes has been invaluable.  I continue to hold Samantha’s advice in my head… it stops me from rash, impulsive shopping.  Money very well spent indeed. 

So what are you waiting for? Contact me today.

 

 

 

 

 

Guest blog: top tips for great holiday photos

This week, Susi Doherty, Creative Director of Vervate shares her top tips for taking and making the most of your holiday photos.  Thanks Susi !

Capturing in pictures those long-awaited days of great scenery, family, friends, amazing sites or simply just restful moments is something we all love to do – and many of us with do it with our mobile phones.  Here are my top tips for taking better photographs on your mobiles here.

There are other things that you can do that will really bring your images to life and keep those memories lingering for longer – here are just a few:

The journey

Holiday photos_AlpsLove it (or not), travelling is an amazing thing to be able to do.  These days your mobile’s GPS (and some cameras) will tag your location if you have put it on.  I really enjoy this aspect from an aeroplane – here’s a quick picture I snapped when we we travelling over the Alps recently.

 

A little thought

Holiday photos_thinkIt’s easy just to pick up our mobiles and click at something.  Each image is disposable and doesn’t cost us anything, unlike in the days of film (not that I remember of course – ahem) when a finger in front of the lens cost us one of the precious 24 pictures on the film roll (and a disappointed face when the photos came back from Prontoprint).  Here’s what can happen if you don’t think about it (see photo to the left)…

 

Holiday photos_pompeii..and here is a picture I thought more about.  It was taken at Pompeii, right at the edge of the excavation.  There were poppies and corn swaying in the wind over the unexcavated ruins:

Think about what it is you want to say in the photograph.  Don’t play down your experience by not trying to get in the moment. What is it you want to remember?  A feeling?  Remember that there is a reason you are inspired to take a photo of something or someone.  Get that inspiration in the photo and you will remember it far more intensely.  The photo above makes me feel the warm breeze, peace and melancholy for the once beautiful city that I felt when I was actually there.

Angles

Holiday photos_statuesDon’t follow the pack!  All the other tourists were taking photos of these stunning statues at Pompeii straight on.  Boof, here’s a statue.  Next…?  The artist had created the most amazing statues.  They were awe inspiring because of their size and the way they loomed over the ruins.  That’s why in this image I went for the ‘up’ angle so that you get a sense of their scale.

 

The incidentals

So many of us just take selfies or posed shots.  Get sneaky and capture the wistful smile on your partner’s face as they look at a view, or something funny happening, or even a sign or close up of the sea (unless you are in England, in which case that tends to give you a brown blob!).

Edit!

Take the time to edit a copy of your favourite photos with an app – there are so many to choose from but they do make a huge difference.  Enjoy your holiday, but don’t spend so much time looking at your screen that you don’t actually get a sense or feel for where you are!  The best photos come from those sensations.

At Vervate, we seek to work with all our clients to enable them to build their own visual portfolio. Have a chat with Susi, to see how we help you create your own bank of quality images.

Guys: the ultimate guide to shorts and sandals

Mr W in his chino shorts and funky trainers

Mr W in his chino shorts and funky trainers

After a positively autumnal start to the summer, the weather is finally warming up, and evidently we are due some serious sunshine in the next week or so.  And many of you will be thinking about shorts, sandals and other holiday wear as you prepare to jet off.

Unfortunately, we Brits do not have a great reputation when it comes to hot weather dressing.  As soon as the mercury begins to climb, all sense of decorum seems to go out the window, with acres of pale skin being inappropriately revealed.  We never quite manage to look ‘effortless’ in the sun the way our Continental cousins do, and men, unfortunately, seem to particularly struggle with shorts and sandals.  Here are my tips which I hope will help you up your game this summer, whether you’re heading to Bali, Barcelona or Blackpool.

Oh, and if you need anything, stock up now while the sales are still on (you’ll find links to the key items I mention below).

Let’s talk shorts

Shorts can be a sartorial minefield for the average British man. But here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. First of all, get the length right.  Your shorts should end just a couple of inches above the knee – in other words, neither too short nor too long, and ideally, if they suit your frame, they should be slim cut.  If you choose denim shorts, no rips please – you are not in a boy band
  2. Tailored shorts will ensure you look the part. Make sure to choose heavy cotton (chino) rather than linen, which will crease like mad. Scotch & Soda and HE by Mango do some great options.
  3. Wear your shorts, whether they are denim or chino, with a good quality t-shirt that fits. Not a huge holey, baggy thing with a Hard Rock Café logo circa 1987, but a slim fitting, good quality version in a complementary colour.  Add a fine knit jumper (keep it fine, you don’t want to add bulk) or a stylish sweatshirt (again, no logos) when the sun goes down.  Chino shorts, by the way, look particularly sharp with a Breton striped t-shirt – this is a classic look that never dates. You can also add a casual blazer to this look to dress it up a bit.

Sandals and socks – no !

It’s hard to believe, but sandals and socks had a brief fashion moment earlier this year as Bottega Veneta styled dual strap sandals with chunky socks.  Thankfully that moment ended.  So what are the best sandals a stylish man should consider?

  • Soft leather sandals will keep your feet comfortable. Choose classic Birkenstocks (which come in a range of shapes, styles and colours) or woven sandals, which can be worn with chinos, jeans and shorts
  • Rubber pool sliders are waterproof and comfortable. These have been around for the past couple of years and will take you from poolside to bar with ease
  • Thong sandals are more substantial (and less sloppy) than a traditional flip flop. Kurt Geiger’s navy leather sandals would look great with the chino shorts-Breton t-shirt look and they’re on sale, so grab them now !

If you can’t bear to bare your feet (or invest in a pedicure), choose breathable trainers, canvas deck shoes or luxe espadrilles.  A pair of classic Converse in white or navy is an easy starting point if you’re unsure.  And to keep things fresh, invest in some footie socks that don’t show – they’ll keep your feet happy and your trainers sweet.

And remember, if you’re in any doubt about how to wear any of your summer items, or need some help with shopping, get in touch !

 

 

 

 

 

Hats off to Wimbledon!

logoIt’s almost the end of the best fortnight of the year!  Yes – it’s Wimbledon – which surely remains one of the most civilised sporting events in the world.  And a great excuse for wearing hats!  As some of you will know, Mr W and I lived in the hallowed postcode of London SW19 for seven years.  During that time, we were really lucky in the ballot (they must have kept a batch of tickets specifically for local residents) and we had either Centre Court, Court One or grounds tickets at the All England Club for six years running.

texting in my hatThis year, although we are no longer SW19 residents, we were lucky in the ballot again (let me know if you’re not sure how the ballot works or how to apply…) and we headed to Court One on Saturday.

Given that this summer has been, frankly, autumnal so far, I was a bit worried about my outfit.  Which had been meticulously planned around my hat, designed and made especially for me by Joanna Zara at JZ Millinery.  Thankfully the rain held off for most of the day and I was able to wear the gorgeous Panama she had created.  Joanna shared her thoughts on the process and design:

CmHWH_JWEAAb10WI recently had the pleasure of creating a custom made Panama for the one-woman powerhouse that is Samantha Wilding of style&grace. She is going to Wimbledon and wanted something that would go with her outfit (and fit her – like most of the population her head is not a so-called ‘average’ size!!).

As with all my customers I started by looking at the best hat style for Samantha’s face shape, height and physique.  She is quite petite and has a slightly heart shaped face, so a very wide brim would not have been a good idea as this might have made her forehead look too wide and have swamped her. We could have gone for a classic trilby or fedora, but decided to be a bit different (there is always a sea of these to be seen at Wimbledon).  Down-turned brims are very fashionable at the moment – this is a style that works for Samantha.  So we chose a neat classic straight sided crown and a medium down turned brim.  The ribbon trim is custom made to pick up the orange and navy in the outfit, but as with any hat this can easily be changed at a later date.

I hope Samantha and Mark have a wonderful day (but I would have to say they should hedge their bets and take an umbrella).

So if you’re looking for a bespoke hat for your next special event, get in touch with Joanna. Her service, expertise and hats are truly unique.

carrying my hat