so you're going to a wedding...

There's nothing I find more challenging than dressing for a Wedding. I'm not really one for floral prints and full skirts and all the options catered especially for Wedding guests just never feel me. 

However, earlier this year my brother got married (on the most beautiful, sunniest day EVER!) which obviously meant a shopping trip was due. 

Jumpsuits are such a versatile piece and this striped one from Whistles is perfect to dress up for a special occasion. I am instantly more comfortable in trousers and the cropped, culotte style of these gives me that security without being too structured, keeping the look light and fresh. 

I also like investing in pieces I can wear again and again. Knowing that, come the next occasion, I will want to wear something new, making sure I have various ways of styling something after the event is important to me. Being 100% silk, you could easily pop this jumpsuit in your suitcase year on year, wearing as part of a holiday wardrobe with a pair of sandals or espadrilles.

For the Wedding, I paired with an 'easy to walk in' block heel in black and white with a patent finish. This along with the buckle detailing gives an eighties edge while the pointed toe keeps the overall look feminine.

Introducing another contrasting colour with the vibrant yellow bag adds dimension and a youthful element to the look. The addition of the tailored white jacket pulls the outfit together giving a formal yet alternative vibe.

If you are struggling to find an outfit for a Wedding, my suggestion is to look past what the shops promote as being appropriate and consider something a little outside the box. This might give you more scope to find something that feels like you that you'll also happily wear again. 

Shoes: Topshop | Jumpsuit: Whistles | Jacket: Topshop (Sold Out Online) Similar | Bag: Marc Jacobs

candy stripes

Spring and Summer can be a tricky time to dress in the UK but especially in Scotland. The weather is completely unpredictable and it wouldn't be surprising to experience all four seasons in a single day. Temperatures often don't reach the same highs that even England can experience which means you're often layering up knitwear and coats longer than feels appropriate for the season. In saying this, when the temperature hits double digits expect to see some shirtless men roaming the streets as 10 degrees or more is legitimate 'taps aff'* weather north of the border. 

For those sunny days when there is still a chilly breeze in the air, this style of dress is perfect. The 3/4 length sleeve covers the shoulders while the long line gives the legs a little coverage too, ideal if your pins have yet to see the sun since last Summer and are still a blinding shade of pale (most of the Scottish population). The buttons don't fasten the full length of the dress giving it movement when you walk and letting your legs peak through while the belt nips you in at the waist further enhancing your shape. 

The red and white candy stripe print while being statement also lengthens the body creating an illusion of height. While I'm not sure if I really believe the vertical stripe myth of making you appear slimmer I feel in this case, because of the shirt dress style and waist tie it at least compliments my curvy figure. 

The bold and colourful print is what gives this outfit a sense of Summer whilst being wearable in Britain's less temperate climes. Providing a bit more coverage than spaghetti straps and short shorts, it helps put you in gear for the season. Throw on a leather jacket for the evening or even style open with jeans, a white cami and a pair of slides for another way to wear. 

*Taps-Aff (Scots Vernacular) Literally "tops off." The removing of one's shirt or other upper body garments, most often in the event of warm weather. 1

Check here to see if it's 'taps aff' weather in your area. Currently it's 10 degrees in Edinburgh and I'm told it's 'taps oan' so maybe I was exaggerating slightly...

Trainers: Topshop (Old) Similar | Dress: Zara (Sold Out Online) still available in store | Bag: Zara

saved by the bell

If Kelly Kapowski was an item of clothing, I feel like it would be this jacket. I also fear that that reference will fall flat on an alarming majority after innocently referencing an outfit as being 'Kylie-esque' recently, to which my teenage client responded with a look of sheer puzzlement. I mean it's Kylie, Minogue - surely an institution!? After coming to terms with the fact that I'm old enough for my childhood to be a complete and utter mystery to the next generation, "I got to thinking"... why is it that so many women are unwilling to wear styles that remind them of eras past? (see what I did there?)  

In my job as a Personal Shopper I hear similar phrases repeatedly; "it's something my mum would have worn!" and "I wore that the first time around!" are popular favourites. I feel like I am now starting to experience what it's like for certain styles to come back, I remember wearing embroidered denim, gingham dresses and chokers when I was younger and now they've looped around again becoming stylish and in. However I don't share the same desire to avoid wearing them now either. Unless I had a bad perm, over plucked eyebrows or blue eyeshadow on, my outfit will always feel current because the rest of my look is in keeping with today's image. 

As I've said before, confidence is also a huge factor in 'pulling off' a certain style and getting the right fit in clothing helps with this immeasurably. After discovering the blog Shot From The Street, where undeniably stylish Lizzy puts on a pair of straight cut jeans and instantly makes you want to buy them I have been on the hunt for the best ones for my figure. And I think I have finally found them! These distressed jeans by H&M are high waisted with a button closure, they don't leave me with the tummy pouch (too much) and the darker denim racer stripe elongates my leg and slims the thigh. I often find straight jeans either look too skinny down my leg or create too much volume around the stomach, hips and thighs as I am curviest around this area that's something I want to avoid. The fit paired with the authentic looking frayed hems and distressing, have made these jeans my go to for an easy, laid-back weekend outfit. 

Aside from the jeans, this outfit is really all about the bubblegum pink jacket. The crop fit means it hits at the most flattering point on the waist, showing off the narrowest area and the bum which allows the slightly oversized fit to balance out by maintaining the rest of your figure (something I am all for if you have read my previous posts). I love the fun and girly vibe this gives but also enjoy the texture and roughness brought by the ragged hem. 

If you are still wondering what the hell I was on about in the first paragraph I suggest Sex and the City be your next binge watch; the phrase, 'I got to thinking' will haunt your dreams but you will also enjoy hours of Mr. Big so it's swings and round-a-bouts.

Another thing worth mentioning - baby pink makes you looked tanned! 

Jacket: H&M | T-Shirt: Topshop (Old) Similar | Jeans: H&M | Slides: Office (Old) Similar

life in colour

Colour can be daunting when it comes to dressing. So many women are unhappy in their bodies and when we are constantly told that black is the most slimming shade to wear it's unsurprising many of us are deterred from trying a brighter look.

If you were to rifle through my wardrobe right now, in general you would find a lot of monochrome, a lot of blue denim and a lot of shirts. Granted, it's peppered with a few accent colours; a mustard yellow here and there and maybe some pastel pink but up until recently I was a pretty neutral dresser too.

Lately however, I have been attracted to some more daring hues and it's funny how wearing a little colour can lift your spirits!  

For this outfit I have gone all out with fuchsia. I mean, if you are going to do a thing you might as well, you know, do it. The key, for me, is to incorporate some 'safety net' items like this casual tee and my Birkenstocks, both of which are easy, familiar pieces which help to create a more effortless look. I recommend this tactic to anyone trying out a different style as keeping the rest of your outfit close to your usual will ease you into the idea of seeing yourself in something new.

Keeping the rest of the colour palette minimal and in the same colour family also helps pair back and soften the vivid shade of fuchsia making it more relaxed and laid-back for daytime. A slight nod to the colour combo of the moment, pink and red also freshens the look, keeping it feeling contemporary and new.

Pink and red were never a pairing that previously screamed success and I'm almost certain it's in every list of 'fashion rules' ever written that it shouldn't be done but considering there was a time women couldn't wear trousers we can all surely agree rules are there to be bent or broken, at least when it comes to fashion.

I am loving the new possibilities introducing colour to my wardrobe is bringing and while I think I might always consider a minimal, monochromatic look 'my style' what's the harm in experimenting a little? And as for black being the most slimming shade to wear, maybe it is, but... who cares! I am all for my clothes being flattering but not if it means I can't wear whatever I want: wear something with confidence and it will look good (despite any rules you are breaking).

Shoes: Birkenstock | Skirt: Topshop | Bag: Topshop | T-Shirt: Topshop

girls rule

Statement tees are a wardrobe staple. They are the perfect styling piece, simple and easy to wear, there is undoubtedly one to suit everyones' taste or interest. 

I tend to go for one that feels relevant to me as l believe this makes an outfit more authentic and credible. I wouldn't buy a band t-shirt unless I could name at least a few songs that I like. Don't get me wrong, I think a grungy Metallica tee looks incredible tucked into a pretty, pleated midi skirt but the thought of someone asking me about their music and my bemused expression as a response makes me cringe

Here I've opted for Topshop's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, 'FTBC', t-shirt which features an embroidered rose motif and 'Girls Rules' expression. With 30% of the proceeds donated to support Breast Cancer research you can have style and substance knowing what you have to say (through your t-shirt) is helping an important cause - and who can't get behind that!?

Along with this cool tee the collection includes a distressed denim jacket and mom jean both in the colour of the moment, pink, which you can get here and here. There is also a 'Girls Rule' shopper bag and a real leather buckled skirt in white, perfect for incorporating into a British Spring/Summer wardrobe. 

For this outfit I have played up the slogan by styling with a masculine, oversized blazer. Often misconstrued as being difficult to wear, oversized fits can look stylish and alluring with a few tweaks. It's vital to show a little skin in order to maintain your figure, rolling up the sleeves of the jacket allows my wrist and the narrowest part of my arm to show through which balances the baggy fit of the jacket and wideness created by the shoulder pads. Without doing this, it kind of looked like the end of the night and a kind gentleman gave me their jacket for warmth. If I was pairing with something other than a skinny jean, i.e. a tailored trouser or straight cut denim I would suggest wearing with a heel to give height and elongate the legs, again throwing a bit of contrast to the more androgynous silhouette.


To finish I added a contrasting pop of colour with this yellow Marc Jacob's shutter bag which was a much considered purchase. Yellow is a colour I see coming back every Summer; I feel I will get so much wear out of this as in general, I have a very neutral wardrobe so this little guy brings a bit of fun to a monochromatic look. The earrings are different for me as I usually stick to the same jewellery but I fancied something with a little drama! There's definitely a bit of a trend on the high street at the moment with statement earrings in organic shapes like these so I thought I'd dip a toe in the water (turns out big earrings are heavy)! 

My trainers are another Topshop find from a couple of seasons ago. They are a great piece to pair with tailoring as it makes it more weekend appropriate and are the best at giving work wear a new lease of life. Currently I have my eye on the platform Supergas as I think they would look perfect with Summer dresses. With a holiday coming up they might be my next purchase. 

Earrings: Freedom at Topshop (In Store) | T-Shirt: Topshop (Sold Out Online) Blazer: Topshop | Bag: Marc Jacobs | Jeans: Topshop | Trainers: Topshop (Old - Similar)

hello world

I've almost started some kind of variation of 'The Style Companion' a billion times since the age of eighteen but for one reason or another, not quite managed until now. With cumulative encouragement from a fair few, from friends and loved ones to work colleagues I'm finally biting the bullet.

From a young age I have loved expressing myself through clothes. Having never been someone who felt full of self-confidence, the way I dressed was a means of communicating my personality to the world.

It started with Trinny and Susannah in 'What Not to Wear' which apparently first aired in 2001 which made me nine - somewhat hilarious as I seem to recall incessant use of the words 'tits' and 'ass' and a lot of groping of said body parts. It's worth noting I have an older sister who watched the show; she and my mum both despise shopping so it's quite a mystery how I discovered my love for it. 

From then, 'Gok Wan's How to Look Good Naked', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Project Runway' further instilled an interest in the world of Fashion, eventually leading me to study it at University. Since then I've worked as a Buyer's Admin Assistant, moved to London, moved back from London and finally established myself in Edinburgh as a Personal Shopper (my mum kind of enjoys shopping now she has someone to rifle the rails for her, officially). 

A really great outfit can give confidence, create happiness or even spark conversation between strangers. Whether people like to admit it or not, there's power in the way we dress; it's the version of ourselves we choose to present to the rest of the world and it says something about us. As a Personal Shopper I've seen this first hand; from as young as eleven to more mature women who desire a bit of help navigating the current trends to suit them, everyone loves to feel confident in what they wear.

'The Style Companion' is somewhere I can (hopefully) utilise my passion for personal style along with tips, tricks and advice that I've learnt along the way.  

These photos were taken last October but I will do my best to link accurate alternatives below. Going forward I hope to style items you will be able to get your hands on with ease!


Boots: Topshop (Almost Identical) | Skirt: Topshop (Similar) | Blouse: H&M (Sold Out, Couldn't Find Alternative) | Leather Jacket: Topshop (Very Similar) | Fedora: Topshop (Very Similar)