power to the flower


I recently found myself speaking at a local event in Edinburgh called 'Life & Style'. It's not particularly unusual for me to be doing this as public speaking is part of my job as a Personal Shopper. The audience was perhaps around sixty people, however, I've spoken to upwards of a hundred before. 

I'm not an especially confident person and actually quite shy, but when it comes to work related things, I hate looking like I'm not capable so will always say yes and worry about the 'how' later. Feigning confidence is something I find I can do when part of a professional circumstance and the more I've done it, the more natural it feels. I really think that it's the key when it comes to getting good at something like this - there isn't a magic solution but forcing yourself to keep trying will mean you'll slowly become more comfortable in the situation. On this occasion, although I felt a few knee wobbles I could feel myself taking time over what I had to say rather than rushing through so it would be over quicker. 

This is the outfit I wore to the event. As I was talking through Summer trends, it felt appropriate to dress in ode to the sunshine regardless of it's current disputable existence. I've genuinely had tourists come into the shop over the last week asking for wooly hats, scarves and coats! 

I built the outfit around this ruffle, floral mini skirt which I have been loving. I was never a floral kind of girl, always preferring something a bit more geometric or classic like a breton stripe. However as of late, floral has had a bit of refresh being paired with star print or polka dots as you can see here. Teamed with a simple black top and black leather mules, the look still feels polished despite the ditsy print of the skirt. A heel always makes me feel more confident so as long as its comfortable and easy to walk in I'll wear a chunky heeled shoe when I'm public speaking to give me an extra boost (although I am the clumsiest human on Earth so this always comes with slight risk). 

In reference to the chilly, rainy weather we've been having (it is physically impossible for the Scots not to comment on the weather) I've finished the outfit with my Topshop PVC trench which I am SO pleased that I bought as I haven't seen anything similar apart from the Alexa Chung version (both of which are now sold out - sorry!) I love the traditional design made in an ultra futuristic/nostalgic 90's (is that possible?) vinyl fabric. This is totally my Buffy jacket and I'm not ashamed to say that is partly the reason I got it. 

If you were at the Life & Style event, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It was so inspiring to see so many people celebrate all the different brands and businesses Edinburgh has to offer!  

Mules: Topshop | Skirt: Topshop | Top: H&M (old) Alternative | Jacket: Topshop (sold out)
Alexa Chung for M&S version being sold here

Photography by Kirsty McLachlan

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

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)