Today I was very pleased to receive a message from a reader asking for style advice from little old me. Our anonymous lady has set me quite a challenge, and one I only hope I can fulfill, as no girl wants to feel like they're in style limbo! So, here goes!
"I love your blog & I love your style so I'm gonna ask you for some style advice... I work in a very technical job which means I have to wear work boots and clothes which I can do hard physical work in. This usually means combat boots, jeans and a t shirt I've been given for free. I'm really CRAVING to look just a little stylish and not like someone you won't want sitting next to you on the tube. I've tried looking round the shops and asking the in store style advisors but they don't seem to understand. The work boots are a health and safety requirement but the rest is up to me. I'm 5' 4" and a size 14. I currently have auburn hair... If you can help, I'd be soo grateful."
- First off, Hello and thank you for the humbling praise! This is quite the dilemma, and an unenviable situation, so I hope my tips will make you feel every bit the stylish fille 24 hours of the day.
It's clear that practicality has to be your main concern, and it's always hard to find a stylish way to include it. I'd start with a pair of jeans, even if you're used to wearing jeans and have grown to loathe them. Finding a pair that flatters you is the best way to feel great in your skin without being dressed up. I'd suggest a pair that snugly fits your bum (without being too tight, of course!) and with a bootcut leg. This will add an element of style and also serves to shape your silhouette well with your curves. They're great for ladies under 5'6" (like you and me!) and they'll cover up the work boots you seem to so dislike!
After you've found a good pair of jeans (I warn you, it is entirely worth trawling every shop you know to find the pair that makes you smile into a changing room mirror), I'd go for some fitted t-shirts. Instead of the basic tee that's loose and unflattering, a few fitted basics that show off your figure will do wonders and still be just as comfortable. If your job isn't so physical that the clothes will suffer then why not spend a little bit more on some cute casual blouses, or even smock dresses that you can easily wear over jeans? (Dresses over jeans always look funky, and are easy to wear without looking like you haven't made an effort.)
The main thing I'd suggest to you is to treat yourself to a good haircut. If you can afford it, just this once, get a restyle from a reputable hairdresser. I love auburn hair, so let a good cut bring out the vibrant shade. Whether your hair is long or short, a well kept 'do will make you feel a little bit special, I find, especially if you look after it with a good conditioner and maybe even a straightening iron once in a while. You can even invest in some great hair jewellery from any high street fashion shop if you need to tie it back for work.
Finally, if you can wear makeup then experiment. Day makeup doesn't need to be all out glitter, but a little bit of foundation and blusher will give you a fresh faced look that's fabulous, and you can stamp a little of your personal style on your look with some eye makeup or lippy. If not, then exfoliate and moisturise and your natural glow will do the job even better!
I hope I've helped a little, and given you some inspiration. I've included some product links to get an idea of what I'm talking about, so get clicking. And please let me know how else I can help you, or any other readers in a fix!