Style up the New Year!

So you’ve spent the last few months rushing around throwing wads of your hard-earned cash as useful gifts for Nana and cousin Vinnie. But I bet you haven’t paid too much attention to one person – you!

3 women celebrate new yearWell, now the Christmas shopping’s all wrapped up, it’s time to turn your attention firmly inwards and start thinking about your seasonal wardrobe. What are you going to wear to that New Year’s party?

I can’t bear the thought of you turning up in a moth-eaten snowman jumper – unless that’s your thang – so I’m here to help. New Year is your time to shine… so here’s what you should be wearing this season:

m&s top

M&S Embellished Top

Glitter, sparkle and brocade. I’m talking embellishment. From fine knits with bejewelled necklines, collars and shoulders to shunkly (is that a word?) fabric skirts and trousers and fully adorned sequin dresses.

The route you choose is down to your personal taste but I think that a simple, adorned top goes well with a tailored separate in a more textured or patterned fabric, whereas a dress can take a little more bling if you keep accessories and hair simple.

Take heed though, don’t put embellishments on parts of the body you don’t like as they draw attention to it, and fluid metallic or sequinned fabrics  are definitely not ‘lumps and bumps’ friendly.  They’re highly reflective and increase the illusion of surface area, eg they make things look bigger! This is great, though,

if you’re smaller up top than bottom (a pear shape) because it balances you out, so try sequins on a jacket or top.

http://www.coast-stores.com///coast/fcp-product/1344120

Coast Stores Fur Scarf

Faux fur, lace and velvet. This season’s fabrics are luxe and tactile, making physical contact even more attractive (ooh er missus). For a bit of sex appeal there’s lace-a- plenty in dress form on the high street in hues of berry and Sherwood green. If that sounds a bit racy, never fear, you can still show your provocative side in a shrug/bolero or through details on tops and skirts.  Lacy arms are great camouflage for fleshy upper arms – provided they’re not tight, otherwise they’ll look a bit strangled and not at all attractive.

Velvet can be super chic if worn correctly and Topshop have formed it into a tuxedo suit which looks amazing. Worn over a dress or with cami and pencil skirt or ankle grazer trousers with heels, it is just the ticket and it doesn’t have to be black.

Meanwhile, faux fur and fluff doesn’t have to mean a teddy bear onesie – it’s playful and can be great in a gilet worn over a long-sleeved dress or jacket, or even on an accessory.

Jacquard trousers

John Lewis Jacquard trousers

Prints. If you have a penchant for print then you’re in luck this season as there is something for everyone.  Dark florals for the romantic types, rich plaids for the traditionals and luxurious metallic jacquards for the more dramatic.

What’s jacquard, I hear you say?!

Well, it’s a rich, silkier version of Aunty Maud’s curtains, but not as heavy and definitely more chic.

Personally, I think they look best in a trouser teamed with a simple shirt/blouse and edge-to-edge jacket and heels. Or you can get matchy matchy and wear tops and bottoms in the same print for total impact or in a dress.  .

Colours. Rich greens and berry reds or oxblood hues (yes that’s a colour) are abundant and perfect if you’re darker in the hair and eyes department.

If you slide more to the pale and peachy there’s the winter pastels palette, and the whisper on the street is the pairing of camel and candy pink (you heard right!).  Brights are still around if you want to inject a pop of colour, but metallics are definitely the way to go.

Coast Stores Clutch Bag

Accessories. The key to finishing an outfit is the little touches, and this season we’re seeing delicate rings stacked and spread out over different fingers. Statement necklaces are still big news, but they’ve gone more lustrous gems and ornate than before and look great with simple garments.

If you’ve bought a backless dress then you need a ‘backlace’ which looks beautiful on a toned back. Don’t go out looking for one though, you can just flip a long necklace over and voila – perfect.

Feel free to bejewel your lustrous mane with neat ornate hair clips too, or go for an updo if you’re feeling Cinderella like.

Lastly, lets not forget our tootsies and of course our secret addiction…. shoes! Well, maybe mine anyway.  Metallics again, these are great and act as neutrals so they will always go with something and are definitely a good investment.

Statement shoes or those of a different colour to the rest of your outfit can look fantastic – and there’s really no need to match your handbag to your shoes.

I hope that’s given you some inspiration to take you to your New Year party and beyond. While the weather’s grey and dull, it’s time for you to sparkle.

Find out more…

Check out my Pinterest link for visuals and outfit ideas.

http://uk.pinterest.com/saralovescolour/festive-party-frocks-looks-2014

Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

About Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

I’m an image consultant which means I get to help women look and feel great – it’s my dream job! I became tired of seeing so-called ‘perfection’ portrayed in the media, and it’s my aim to help women feel confident whatever their body shape. You can find out more about how I can help you by visiting my website.