My best style tips are something I'm often asked about as a blogger, and I've usually been quite general with my suggestions. In the past, my tips have included always using a full length mirror, studying your outfit from a photo, and dressing occasion-appropriate (rather than age-appropriate). However, I thought it would be nice to share a more specific style tip with you after La Redoute asked me to enter their competition to become one of their brand ambassadors for a year - how much would I love to do that? They're one of my favourite brands so it would be an amazing opportunity...!
La Redoute recently published their secrets to French style:
... and they tie in really nicely with my style tip. French style is very much about classic basics: a trench coat, ballet pumps, Breton stripes; I love neutral classics but sometimes I miss the mark with them. If I find myself putting an outfit together that just isn't "doing it" for me, I'll look for one extra thing to transform it entirely.
STYLE TIP: If you think your outfit looks bland, always add at least one statement piece. It'll make your outfit go from "nice" to "WOW".What can I say, I'm a sucker for statements. And COLOUR. That's why you'll always find me in front of my wardrobe pulling out every bag, scarf and bright pair of shoes to give my outfit that "je ne sais quoi" we're all after. So - to demonstrate!
I chose a really neutral outfit that would be entirely appropriate for the office (a lot of people wonder how to dress with personality when you've got to look smart). It's stylish but basic: a tailored blazer and cropped trousers, with fabulous, flattering black pointed heels and a real leather, nude bag. However, it needed colour, a bit of zhuzhing up - so I experimented and tried a few accessories. Luckily I have the photos to really decide which looked the best, which brings me back to my previous tip about using photos to judge your outfit objectively. It never fails.
So I tried bright heels, two different clutch bags, and a scarf. The heels just weren't enough by themselves (despite their multitude of pinks and purples), and the studded clutch was fabulous by didn't do enough to add colour. The orange clutch was brighter and draws your eye up more, but the one I liked the most was the scarf, draped round my neck and belted at the front. This is a way to wear a scarf I've seen many times but never tried, and I think it really works. In fact I was reminded of it when I saw this classic outfit on Carine Roitfeld (who may just be the epitome of French chic I think).
So in the end I decided on the studded clutch (for a bit of attitude) and the scarf (for a bit of colour). This time I tied the scarf loosely round my neck - it was enough of a statement by itself when belted in the previous picture. The outfit remains entirely office-appropriate, but it has colour and more of that "wow" factor: it's now become chic with just two extra items. These statement pieces needn't cost the earth, either: I paid only £4 (really) for the studded clutch in the New Look sale, and the scarf was no more than £15 (Pieces at Asos). Experimentation is key - and above all, have fun.
What statement pieces are your go-to accessories to make your outfit go from "nice" to "WOW"? How do you zhuzh up an outfit? How do you spell "zhuzh"... zhuzh, jooj or jujj?! I need to know!
Update 25/04/2014: I did it - I won!!! I'm going to Paris in May! Plus I get to be a brand ambassador for La Redoute for 12 months... I'm so excited!!!!!!
The Statement Pieces: Pink heels: Very, Studded clutch: New Look, Orange clutch: Asos, Orange scarf: Asos
Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday Monday, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, All Things Thursday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites, Sunday Style Link-Up