wrap it up

Wrap Tea Dresses are this years Summer essential and here's why. 

1. Comfort.
Generally made from super soft fabric, tea dresses are light and flowing with no zips, buttons or other uncomfortable fastenings to dig into the tum after indulging in another obligatory Summer BBQ.  

2. Flattering.
If like me you are always considering what shapes will flatter 'the girls' the wrap around style and 'V' neckline complement a bigger bust and synch in the middle (adjustable to wherever is best for your body) meaning eyes are drawn to the waistline. This is further enhanced by the sleeves which are longer, bringing the eye down to the narrowest area, in line with the waist while also covering the tops of the arms which is a bonus if you are not keen on showing off this area. Finally, the ruffle hemline not only keeps this classic style of dress fresh for this season but also creates movement and a sense of youthful fun to the design. 

3. Lightweight.
Thinking of Summer Holidays? This piece is ideal if you are attempting a hand luggage only trip. The lightweight fabric means it takes up hardly any room in your case! 

4. Transitional.
Thinking in the same vein as packing sensibly, the tea dress is an easy transition from day to evening. Wear as I have here with a block heel sandal for evening or throw on over your bikini with a pair of Birkenstocks and a tote bag for a day at the beach. One of the best tips I have acquired for holiday packing is to first wear an outfit for evening before downgrading it for day wear; that way you don't need to pack two outfits per day.

5. Options
Finally, tea dresses are having a moment this season meaning there is an array to choose from, from high street to high end. Depending on whether you prefer block colours, floral prints or something more geometric there will be a style out there to suit your preference! 

I can't end this post without an honourable mention to the red finishing details; my suede Zara bag (which I've already featured and has been one of the best purchases I've made this season) and these sandals. At first I wasn't sure they were anything special but they are so comfortable! I can wear them all day at work (bearing in mind this means around 9 hours of being on my feet including a twenty minute up hill walk to get there)! They work so well with so many outfits and with the ankle strap sitting low on the foot they don't cut your legs off at the wrong spot. 

Hopefully the weather grants Scotland at least one day hot enough for me to wear this in the coming couple of months! 

Dress: Topshop | Bag: Zara (on sale!) | Sandals: Topshop also in Black & Tan

Thank You, Honey

Although The Style Companion is only a little under a month old, I wanted to express a genuine thank you for all the kind words and support I've been given so far. As I've mentioned before, I was always so fearful of what others would think of me writing a fashion blog but after experiencing such positive feedback I only wish I'd started sooner. 

This outfit is a mix of old and new; the suede mustard harrington jacket is Topshop Boutique from last S/S. Boutique is a premium collection Topshop create with longevity and quality fabrics being the crux of it's concept. Paired with the "Gucci" print tee everyone is currently obsessing over, it creates a contemporary, luxe look for day to day. 

When I first wore this jacket I worried over the smallest mark but now I've come to terms with that inevitability and I'm embracing the worn in look! I love the warm ochre shade and I think it will always look fresh and new with blue denim and a white tee each time Spring roles around! 

Jacket: Topshop (Old) Alternative | T-Shirt: Topshop | Jeans: Topshop | Belt: Topshop | Bag: Zara

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

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)