How to Dress to Impress This Christmas

 Christmas is a season for love, joy, and peace, and the season to let your hair down, get glam, and dress to impress. It is party season, a time when you have every excuse to get your glam on. Most work environments have an office Christmas party where the food and drink is generous,and then there are family occasions, nights out with friends, and a movie date night with the hubby. The time is right for getting out and about, even if you live in pyjamas for the majority of the year. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you may need to invest in your wardrobe. Relying on a dress that has been in your closet for five years might not be the fit of current fashion today, so a fashion investment for your Christmas party may be necessary. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good, you can find perfect vintage styles and preloved clothing that you can customise, or just wear as it is in a retro look. If you are buying clothes online, you certainly shouldn’t just but the first thing you see without checking you can get it cheaper, you need to look for voucher codes, special offers, free delivery offers, literally everything you can that will save you money. Dontpayfull has some great deals for clothing and fashion, these may help you to get the shoes and the bag as well as the killer dress.
christmas-and-new-years-eve-party-looks-inspiration-31Feel Good Look Good
What you choose to wear to a Christmas party can say a lot about your personality and how you feel about yourself. Dress for yourself and your outfit will display your confidence, but try to impress wearing something that you feel uncomfortable in and this can be counterproductive. You don’t have to opt for something revealing or too clingy, you will feel more confident if you are comfortable and love your look. Try a midi dress if you have a curvaceous body, or a crop top with high waisted trousers if you are naturally slim with a boyish figure. Long sleeves are also fine, it is Winter after all, and, as Lydia Bright proves, they can look amazing on the right dress.60e9e928457f9105cd3f2ac39b0ccde6rexfeatures_6908342ao-v2-745x1024abbey-clancy-1135807_h113606_l_w650Try Quirky and Different
If fast fashion is not on your radar, you might be interested in quirky or vintage fashion. Vintage fashion is not for everyone, but if you can carry off this look wear it with pride. Vintage items are about finding your own fashion style and era. Think polka dots, sixties style dresses, mini or maxi skirts, and colourful short fitted jackets. This look relies on a confident individual who will be complimented numerous times on the outfit. Difference is good with fashion. You might not always be the latest trendsetter, but a colourful outfit quirky or vintage outfit makes a statement about who you are and your signature style.floral-appliques-lovely-way-add-texture-charmDitch the Black
Black is the classic colour when it comes to style, Coco Chanel and many others that have followed know the allure of the Little Black Dress. Nothing beats the little black dress when it comes to elegance, and it can also be slimming’ which can add to your confidence, particularly if you don’t usually wear dresses. But whilst black can be slimming and elegant, it can also boring, especially at Christmas time. If you choose to wear black, you could opt for a sequined effort, or glamorous lace, or you could choose to add an item of clothing in a bright  shade to wear with your black jacket or trousers/skirt.
cbb_emmaWEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Kate Upton attends Michael Sugar, Doug Wald, and Steve Golin's Pre-Oscar Party hosted by GREY GOOSE Vodka at Sunset Tower on February 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Grey Goose)

Create a Perfect space in your loft

Many people have loft conversions on their properties these days, whether it be to create extra bedrooms for an extended family, an home office, an extra upstairs bathroom, even a space for a truculent teenager to exist in without having to see and mix with any other human beings. But if I was to transfer my loft into a living space, then I would love to create a dream haven, just for me.

Creating a Living Space

We have a rather large loft space that would be perfect for transformation, and what I would most like to make in the eaves of my house would be a personal dressing room, complete with space for all my clothes and shoes. It would need a fair few wardrobes, a glamorous dressing table (I’m thinking of the one my Sindy doll had in the 1980s) and a chaise longue. This would be a girls only space (Pete and Joe totally banned) and it would be made light and airy with a skylight in the roof, with a roof blind for those days when the sun is a little too blinding. (Not that many in the UK I know, but you have to think of all eventualities.)

Stuart Jones Ltd Athens Chaise Longue £619.99 click to visit Wayfair

Storage

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I would choose my wardrobes carefully and they would each have different uses. I would have one for casual/daywear and one for evening/formal wear – I may even have one just for dresses. The room would have a vintage feel, using retro style hat boxes for storing scarves, belts, maybe even a hat or two. I would also invest in some stylish storage from Homes Direct 365. They have French style storage boxes that resemble old style luggage trunks and storage trunks that you could find in granny’s attic, which is exactly the style of aesthetic I would be looking for. I particularly love the four drawer luggage trunk, which you can almost see sitting on a station somewhere many years ago, and the Bergman Set Of 3 Storage Trunks which look like they have stored many treasures over the years.

I love that the cases from Homes Direct 365 are often hand crafted, which makes them both practical, as well as beautiful and luxurious. The vintage style is perfect for a bedroom space as both a piece of furniture and as storage, and I love that these will help keep your space looking tidy and elegant, but also look elegant in themselves.

For additional storage that could slide either inside a wardrobe space, or under a day bed, I would head to Bed Bath & Beyond which is another great destination when it comes to storage that goes beyond the mere useful and practical. My favourite colour at the moment is pink, so a hot pink Jumbo Rhino trunk would be a definite first choice, I love the colour and the leather handles and the fact that it is also durable. There is also a smaller cube version which would be a great match and would work for jewellery or cosmetics. The organizer trays would also be very useful to make your drawers really earn their keep and add some sort of system to them.

Dressing tables and a Wardrobe

The dressing table would have fabulous glass jars and Art Deco style jewellery boxes, along with vintage knick knacks I have picked up over the years, like vintage Chanel bottles and original Biba make-up.

Stackers Glass Jewellery Boxes from £22-£30 Click to visit John Lewis

 Linea DAMASK GLASS STORAGE JAR £10 click to visit House of Fraser

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Set of 4 Red Hat Boxes with Cream Lining, Gold Cord and Old French Adverts to the front. 23cm, 28cm, 30cm and 35cm £49.95 Click to visit Amazon

Rather than modern, fitted wardrobes I would scour charity and antique shops for solid wood wardrobes, especially those you find with internal drawers and mirrors. I love the 1950s mirrors that hang from a chain. I wouldn’t particularly worry about matching items to one era or time, the mismatch would be part of the charm of the room.

These are beautiful.

These are beautiful.

This would be my dream space, a haven and a retreat back to past era’s of glamour.

What would you stick in your loft if you were to opt for a conversion to your property?

 

 

Crafty fashion: 5 top tips for designing your own clothes

We all want to express ourselves with our individual look but these days this is not as easy as it once seemed. Fast Fashion means that many stores on the High Street sell exactly the same designs, making original style more difficult to achieve. For creative people though, with an eye for fashion, this can mean that the idea of designing and making your own clothing, and, even selling on your designs through eBay and Etsy, is becoming more popular.

If you are thinking of designing and making your own clothing, then there are some items you should invest in. These will help you to create your own pieces, and also to help you to label and market your items so you can sell them on.

1) Colour dyes – Using colour dyes can be a little bit daunting at first as it can be messy if you’re not prepared but it’s a great way to give a new lease of life to your clothing. When dyeing clothes, it is easier to start with an item that is currently one solid colour and one made of natural materials as this most easy to dye. Choosing your dye needs to be based on the types of material you are using and the method used.

Dyeing in a washing machine is much easier when it comes to cleaning up. Make sure you put plastic down to help with the clean up as well. Don’t be afraid of dyeing your clothes with a blend of colour dyes to really give your clothes a unique colour.

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2) Care and Laundry Labels – These are very important if you intend to sell on your items through an online store or market store. You can add wash labels to your item, it will make it look more professional, are useful to the customer, and can also be a marketing tool as you can add the name of your brand to it.

Wash care labels can be brought in bulk, and can also reflect your brand in that they can also be recycled, a good feature if your brand is all about sustainable fashion.

3) Cut out sections – A very trendy look right now is to have gaps made of slits in your trousers and tops. It is a fashion that can be easily achieved by carefully making slits in your trousers on the knees or across the back of a T-shirt. Start off slowly when making cuts and always check that where the gaps appear does not expose parts of your body that you wish to keep covered!

4) Fabric brooches – If you are looking to add a subtle touch of personality to your look then try creating a fabric brooch. To make a brooch you will need fabric, a needle, thread and a brooch back. Brooches can come in all shapes and sizes and these can be completely unique to your own style.

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5) Draw and paint design Ideas – For those of you who love to draw and paint then why not use that skill directly on a garment? Whether you want to add a small logo to the sleeve of a top or you want to create a full top design then using fabric paints and pens are the easiest way to change the look of a piece of clothing instantly. Keep old magazines and interesting prints that you can use as inspiration.

Remember when designing to not always design clothes with just yourself in mind,  as your designs could help you to create your very own business.