HOW TO STYLE: THE STOMPER BOOT

This week I have been thinking more and more about all the unworn clothes and shoes in people’s wardrobes as lockdown in the UK continues (and in warehouses all over the country, as retail remains largely closed for now). More than ever, we should be working with an all year round wardrobe that lasts. This will mean slowing down the fashion chain, enjoying our purchases and having less seasonal changes with items that can be worn many ways. We may be staying home more at the moment but the day will come when we can start to socialise again and what will we do? Go back into the wardrobe of old items that have sat largely unworn, or go and buy more?

So, in this vein, I wanted to choose an item that can be worn now at the end of the Winter season and for the weeks to come into Spring. This should show that every purchase can be mixed and matched and tried for different occasions.

This week I have styled the stomper boot five ways. A fairly new chunkier ankle boot on the footwear scene, with a sturdier sole and bags of attitude. Comfort and style is a must have for me personally, so I knew I wanted a pair as soon as they started to pop up.

When getting out for the daily walk they can be worn casually to toughen up a simple jumper and jeans but what I love is how they also add edginess to a soft, fluid dress. They’ll be a purchase that can be worn over and over. We might not be stomping down the high street just yet, but go online and you’ll find these styles at Cos, Ganni, Mango and ASOS.

The pair I have featured are Stradivarius and cost £45.99.

LOOK 1: TOUGHEN UP PRETTY DRESSES

It’s simple fashion maths. Take a pretty, feminine dress and add tough chunky boots, you’ll get a look that is practical and cool.

Try mid, midi or maxi lengths. I particularly love the contradiction of this look so the floatier, more ruffled, ultra feminine the dress is, the better. (You’ll then go on to wear the dress with sandals when it warms up).

A lightweight denim jacket adds structure to the upper half and don’t forget to add a flash of colour with accessories or make up.

Dress @ Stella Nova / Jacket @ Arket / Bag @ Hill & Friends X Label Mix / Necklace @ Cult of Youth

LOOK 2: ADD EDGE TO SPORTY DAYS

And….this is how I am wearing these boots! ON REPEAT. (Yes, I have these actual boots. Leggings. Yep, and the t-shirt too).

I wanted to include a look that is really wearable and suiting a new shift in lifestyle right now. I am home more, with my children and I seek comfortable, practical clothes I can move in and also feel good in. I also like the switch up from trainers to feel more pulled together / stylish and less ‘gym ready’. Keeping a neutral palette in simple shapes ensures all of these items can be mixed with other outfits too. I can personally say that the leggings are perfect for any new mums too, a nice deep waistband and great price point makes them a great post-partum purchase (try saying that quickly!).

T-Shirt @ Monki / Jacket @ La Redoute / Bumbag @ Sandro / Leggings @ Mint Velvet

LOOK 3: CONTRAST WITH LIGHTER TONES

Could this be the ultimate work from home outfit? Smart, considered and chic. A definite step up from loungewear. This two piece is perfect for any capsule wardrobe. It’s classic enough to not date, feels modern when worn with the contrasting boots and a silk neck tie and can be worn together, or as separates. I would even recommend layering the top under shirts too… it offers so much choice. The boots bring it up to date and less prim, creating a monochrome look that you’ll stand out in.

Top & Trousers @ &other stories / Scarf @ Arket / Bag @ Mango

LOOK 4: COMPLETE UTILITY COOLNESS

The stomper boot with its attitude and cool edge is made for a utility style look. Perhaps the more obvious way to wear, I think this is a chance to layer up and play with texture to keep it interesting and new. A soft, fine knit with leather look trousers is the base to this outfit. Core styles such as these are perfect to build on with accessories and jackets. The formula for never tiring of your wardrobe! With the suede studded belt and a khaki parka, this outfit is an effortless way to do weekend style. Top tip: roll the hem of the trousers to show the narrowest part of the ankle as the boots are fitted.

Jumper @ Hush / Jacket @ Zadig&Voltaire / Belt @ AND/OR / Trousers @ Mint Velvet

LOOK 5: GROUND NEON BRIGHTS

A leather biker, blue jeans and ankle boots are the cool girl’s wardrobe heroes. The perfect canvas for adding pops of colour and incorporating a fun element into your outfit. Choosing well-cut styles will suit your shape and make you look balanced, whilst print and colour can show off your personality and incorporate the colours that work best with your skintone. This will make your face look brighter and healthier too. Opt for a cropped denim style to show off the boots!

Jumper @ Jumper 1234 X Label Mix / Jacket @ All Saints / Scarf @ Kettlewell / Jeans @ French Connection

Thanks for reading!

See you next week,

Charlotte X

How I became a Personal Stylist…

Hi, for those who are new here, I’m Charlotte and I thought it was time to share my story. I am met with alot of intrigue whenever I tell someone that I am a Personal Stylist. Some wonder how it becomes a career, others ask if it’s the same as a Personal Shopper? (Short answer: well yes, that’s part of it).

I see it as a service to help you be you and celebrate being you. That could mean educating you on why something looks good and feels great when it’s on. It could also mean taking you on a shopping trip to show you new brands that have launched. For the time poor I can even shop for you. and No! it isn’t just for the rich and famous. This is an inclusive service which helps so many different people.

The role of a Stylist is varied and this business of helping others is really special to me. I thought I’d share how I got here professionally!

My story goes…

I founded YOU ARE YOU around five years ago having been styling already for many more. I wanted to create a service to benefit others, excite clients about fashion and positively impact wellbeing by educating on how to achieve a great sense of personal style. I have the strongest belief that making one small change in life can lead to a whole new perspective and outlook.

The services on offer are tailored to you with bespoke, personalised advice. I like making people feel looked after and important. With expert direction you will be able to create perfect outfits for your lifestyle and will be able to find an outfit for any occasion (whilst still expressing your personality and ensuring you feel ready to take on anything!).

“Fashion and styling has always been close to my heart and influenced my career  (I started off in the fashion cupboard at Marie Claire magazine at the tender age of 17!) and I am fortunate enough that my fashion and styling career has taken me worldwide to see how people like to shop and wear clothes. I’ve seen the impact dressing well can have, from making the right impression, increasing confidence to rediscovering a new identity when moving onto a new life stage. “

I have over 15 years experience in the fashion industry and spent many years working for leading fashion and lifestyle brands.  Initially my path began as a Buyer then I moved into Fashion Styling and Photography Production working in house and agency side as a Producer, working on advertising campaigns, photoshoots, music videos and documentaries.

“I have loved curating looks for fashion brands, fulfilling a brief for a Creative Director or individual client. I reached a pivotal time in my life when I felt it was time to work one on one with clients to utilise my knowledge and help people feel their best.

How we dress is an extension of our personality and wanting to still be us, but also feel comfortable and suitable for the occasion.  With my experience, I want to take this to a wider audience and support people on a personal level, boosting self esteem and getting more people dressing well, shopping smarter and looking amazing.”

In 2009, I studied with the British College of Journalism to gain a Diploma in Personal Styling.  Following the birth of my first son in 2015 I decided to undertake further training with the leading BAC accredited London College of Style (and gained Distinction on their Personal Styling Diploma course).  This is when YOU ARE YOU was born!

I’ve gone on to have two more children and working around them to see many clients. I know first hand how hard it can be to maintain your own identity in the working world, when a mother and having a huge mental load.

I am keen to support and educate you on personal styling principles to promote positive wellbeing. YOU ARE YOU promotes feeling good inside and out – no matter who you are.

“I started YOU ARE YOU with the sole aim of wanting to help improve others lives. Styling is most definitely the start and can lead you on an exciting journey discovering and evolving who you are and how you feel.

I SO look forward to the opportunity to show you what a difference I can make.”

Fashion and dressing well is a chance to have fun and celebrate your uniqueness, so YOU ARE YOU fully embraces having a personality and not taking life too seriously! If you are looking for some positive changes to your lifestyle and want to be the best YOU there is, what are you waiting for?

Back in business

So…. I unintentionally stepped away from styling for most of the last year as I took on a freelance gig which turned into a regular ongoing arrangement. I ventured back to Producer life (which is what I did pre-small ones coming along). I cannot believe it has now been ten months!!

Whilst I LOVE my work as a Producer, feel really proud of the projects I’ve worked on, met some fantastic crews and talent, have been challenged in the best and fulfilling way, whilst still being with my boys most of the week too, it feels like I had the juggle working well…. I’ve also felt like something was missing. That thing was styling.

My need to help others through the power of dressing and improving wellbeing and confidence is stronger than ever.

The time away has helped me reflect on what I want to do with my business and what matters most.

It isn’t something I just like to do because of a life long passion for fashion and putting outfits together.

It goes deeper than that and from stepping away I feel completely compelled to empowering and helping others. It’s what I believe i am here to do. Like I said, it runs deep!

Personal Styling for me has always been so much more than being aware of seasonal trends and brands, it has been about supporting people to feel the best version of themselves. Where I think I can support clients most- with the styling advice and knowledge i have – is when men and women are going through big periods of change in their life.

At the time when everything is uncertain or new, getting up and facing the world can be the toughest hurdle.

I want to help the new mum trying to find a way to dress their post partum body (new shape or size, different lifestyle, potentially needing to nurse, change in budget and a drastic reduction in time!), the person returning to work or changing industries, women through menopause, those during a weight loss journey, the ones in the midst of a divorce / moving on from a break up, the warriors battling serious illness or mental health.

The relationship between Stylist and Client is so important, working closely together and feeling trust is vital. I’ve been in some of these situations myself so can really relate and others I’ve been side by side with someone who has. Being able to understand and listen is all part of the job. 

I’m here for those who don’t have the time or inclination to shop and I’m equally here for those who want someone to help them through a time when they want to reclaim who they are.

Knowing how it feels losing and rediscovering my own identity at times, having adjusted to big life changes myself and understanding how that affects how I dress, show up and represent myself to the world.

I have to say, the most important thing is that: to show up. Don’t shy away, lean in and learn to love who you are.  You are still you – no matter what life throws at you, no matter how different life looks, remembering who you are might just be the thing that gets you through and propels you to the next stage positively.

One small change becomes a big shift on your wellbeing so the powerful combination of personal style + improved wellbeing will see you become the best version of yourself.

So my intention is to get serious about building on this platform and in real life to reach out to those who need me most. Those who will feel the benefit of YOU ARE YOU, who are ready for empowerment, change and confidence.

Time to start planning how. I can’t wait.

Charlotte

Think Differently

Today, I’m talking how to think differently when getting dressed.

I have learnt from experience, that we can all buy something new and end up pairing it with the same pieces every time we wear it.  Dressing can sometimes (actually, quite often!) become a habit.  We all have to do it everyday as part of our morning routine.  However, with busy lives to lead, there isn’t always the time (or inclination) to break the habits we form or think any differently.

So, that new purchase finds its way into our wardrobe and becomes part of a predetermined outfit. Maybe we were inspired by how it was styled on a mannequin or online or simply we wear it with our favourite pair of jeans for ease.  Many approach dressing by wearing favourite pieces together and not necessarily giving any thought to creating a look or different ways to style one item.  The new outfit then has it’s place, i.e. it’s worn for casual outings, thrown on every Monday morning for work or its a go-to  outfit for Friday night drinks.  It finds it home and is called upon when needed like a trusty friend.

We all have our favourite outfits  to go to and a comfort zone when dressing but we can also become bored of what we wear.  A few weeks in and that new item doesn’t seem as exciting anymore, the shiny newness wears off and the familiar “I have nothing to wear” feeling, crops up one morning and there’s the sudden urge to go out and buy something new to fill the void.

This is where, considering the versatility of the pieces we buy is so important.  Also, excitingly, where a good dollop of creativity is needed to start looking at the different ways to wear one item.

My top tip would be: If you are looking to buy a new piece to add to your wardrobe, you’ve fallen in love with; a new jacket/jumper/pair of boots, try and think of 3 items in you existing wardrobe it will go with.  Think about different colour combinations, dressing up/down and also trans-seasonal too, to really get great value for money.  Having a wardrobe you can mix and match will mean you’ll not only stop wasting money on standalone items but will make getting dressed in the mornings so much easier (and fun!) as you’ll have more options to play with.

 

I’ve had fun this week styling a new Zara top.   It’s a simple crew neck, long sleeve style with a tonal silky front in a winter berry shade (Zara are calling it dark aubergine but it has a gorgeous pink tone to it which works with my yellow/warm skin tone – some winter shades are better suited to the cooler skin tones – more on this soon).

I have also been really hankering for a new lipstick in this shade, so it has been winter berry on repeat for me.  (I’ve just realised this is also what the model is wearing it with on the Zara website!) I bought Mac’s Rebel shade which is perfect.

I have been spoilt for choice with what to pair the top with,  from a khaki parka coat which is a strong autumnal palette, a leather biker which works with the sheen of the contrast fabric or leopard print for a statement look.

I’ve also tried it with indigo blue jeans (which is one of my favourite colours combos) for daytime, a leather mini for an easy (and comfortable) evening look or even my charcoal joggers for a dressed down daytime look.

I encourage you all to experiment and mix up how to wear some of your favourite pieces.  I would advise that simpler styles in block colours are a great place to start.

Versatility, creative styling and value for money are some key principles for  YOU ARE YOU, helping you to achieve the goal of a practical, capsule wardrobe which works for all occasions. Don’t forget, I offer wardrobe edits which focus primarily on finding new ways to wear items that are NOT being worn, being forgotten or unloved, it is a chance to breathe new life into the existing wardrobe and not all about spending money on more clothes!

Here are a few pics of me trying different ways to wear (below).  For only £12.99 this is a style that has a lot of legs. (I’ve since layered it up under a black cotton day dress too which is the best way to transition your summer wardrobe into winter!).

 

Hope this inspires you all to think differently next time you pull out an outfit.

Charlotte