nene local | helen dawson


Category: Dress to Impress!!

If I buy just one thing in the next few months…

Fashion – that word crops up so much… it’s a massive industry and each season it tempts us with the new ‘must haves’.

If you have a good basic wardrobe that works for your lifestyle you may only want to tweak it each season: replacing anything that has worn out or seen better days. You don’t have to be drawn into thinking you need the latest ‘this and that’. Sure, if you enjoy fashion and wearing clothes that you feel are more current, that’s fine, but I’d encourage you to get the right balance in your wardrobe for your body shape, fit and colouring first before spending more money.


Having said all that, it’s still nice to know what the new season trends are; so if you are thinking of buying “just one thing…” here’s my Autumn/Winter guide:



Boots have gone chunky, which is great for Doc Martin because they are just the style of boot others are emulating. These are being worn with longer skirts – not maxi or midi but somewhere in between and often pleated.


Zara boots £35.99


Block heels are still strong; they often come in a sensible height and are versatile to wear with most outfits.


Jigsaw suede block heel £129


Interesting trainers are still popular, so if you’ve got dodgy feet and struggle to find a pair of shoes that gives you the comfort and support you need this could be an option but be mindful that it will influence the rest of your style!


Office £60


We will also be seeing lots of detail in our footwear – embroidery, embellishment, bows and lots of colour, even bright metallic. So don’t stick to black or brown!


Topshop Zebra print sling backs £49


Boden £99.50


Office purple velvet £26


This example of the purple velvet shoes leads nicely into two other trends – the colour purple and velvet!

Purple is a great colour to think about livening up your Autumn/Winter wardrobe – it goes well with lots of other colours and if you get the right tone it will suit most people’s colouring.


Velvet crept in last year but will be around in force as the weather gets cooler – a luxury fabric that drapes well, so great in a jacket but you’ll also see it in footwear (I guess not so practical in the rain if you’re a commuter!). And velvet trousers will only work on the very few (i.e. if you’re tall and slender!)


M&S Velvet jacket £69


If you want something a bit more practical and ‘everyday’ go with cord.


M&S button through cord skirt £35

Tesco skirt £12 (don’t forget the model will be very tall so this will be shorter on the likes of you and me!)


If you need a new winter coat, think military – shoulder epaulettes, piping, and long in length.


Captain Tortue £89

A word of warning – that’s fine if you are tall, but if not, a ‘pea’ style coat would be an alternative as it would better balance your proportions. If you are looking for something more casual, puffers are big! And I do mean big (oversized!!).


Topshop £69


Other styles to keep your eye on –

Tweed and herringbone, anything heritage.

Pussybow blouses – wear with tapered trousers and block heels.

Embroidered detail on any garment. And a raw edge on your jeans.

Cross body bags – I’m delighted about this one because it’s so practical and great for your posture.


Skinny rib tops/knitwear – good for pear shaped ladies!


Next tweed trousers £36


Of course, if you’re not sure what ‘your one thingshould be I can help, so get in contact. You might even fancy getting a group of friends together over coffee or a glass of wine for a fun ‘Styling’ session!


Lesley Clarke

Style Advisor

t: 01604 696040

m: 07969516390


twitter: @LesleyStyle

How to Shop in the Sales by Lesley Clarke Style Advisor

Well, it’s sale time again and for a lot of retailers it started before we even thought about celebrating New Year!lesley

As a lot of you know, I have a retail background and I am very aware of the subtle psychological tricks retailers use to get us to part with our money, but this time of year they don’t have to try very hard! They just need to put a reduced ticket on and we’re drawn in – how many of you can remember saying something like ‘…it only cost me’ or ‘I saved…’sale

My question to you is, did you really make a saving? Remember, it’s only a bargain if you planned to buy it at full price. Most sale purchases are impulse buys but the same guidelines need to apply as always – how is it going to fit with the rest of your clothes in the wardrobe? What are you going to wear it with? Don’t compromise because of the price, it’s still got to be the right colour, fit and style for you, otherwise it’s not going to work regardless of the price tag!

And also, don’t forget how quickly trends move on – if it’s in the sale now, that means its probably been in the shops for quite a while, so it will soon be superseded by the new Spring/Summer collections that will very quickly be appearing (despite us not experiencing the coldest spell of winter yet!)shoppers3

So, remember those 3 magic rules:

Can you wear it with 3 different things already in your wardrobe?
Can you wear it to 3 different events?
Can you wear it for 3 years?

Love it madly, need it badly or put it back!!
Lesley Clarke Style Advisor
Telephone: 01604 696040
Mobile: 07969516390
Twitter: @LesleyStyle

Secret Spa in Thrapston – At The Bridge Hotel

Who knew?….  Athene Spa in Thrapston is based within The Bridge Hotel.

I went along last week for a full body massage, I have been seeing my massage therapist Lyn for years now and she manages to sort my back out relieving tension, aches and pains.becca2

The Athene Spa is also one of the marvellous Thrapston businesses who cater for the wedding market too.  Whether you have booked your special day to be held at The Bridge Hotel itself or further afield, Lyn and her team can do your hair and make up.

There are various packages including standard foundation or air brush foundation.

The most popular package includes -Hair & make up trial at the salon in the hotel, hair & make up on the day either at the salon or your home

There is also a Princess Package – including trial hair & make up at the salon, make up and hair on the day at the salon or your home, plus two fabulous treatments choose from either mini manicure, mini pedicure or neck and shoulder massage.

All pricing is on the Athene Spa website

They also offer Pamper Packages and Indulgence Evening both of which wold make great hen-night ideas, plus there is an Inch Loss Wrap that can be booked – which might come in handy just before the big day!

To book your appointment or for more information call 07740354465

Are your Legs as Long as Jerry Hall’s?

If they are you’ve got nothing to worry about; but for most of us they won’t be! We will have a longer body to leg ratio or a disproportionate rise to waist length…there is no such thing as the perfect body, so there will be something slightly out of kilter for all of us.jerry

Your proportions are as important as body shape. And if you know what these are you can then think about how to create a better balance with the clothes you wear.

So what if you’ve got a long body and shorter legs – use layers, these will help to break up the length. You also need to wear your skirts shorter, on or just above the knee. And don’t forget, if your skirt is full, to others it will appear longer because of the angle they will be looking at you. Likewise remember, a straight fitted skirt will ride up when you sit down. The length of your skirt/dress should be decided by your height and leg length (not just your age!).
If however, your proportions are the other way round; you have a short body and long legs, make sure the rise of your trousers isn’t too high and go for a longer line jacket. And avoid tucking in your top.amal

Amal Clooney…more leg envy!

I’d love to hear from you. So if you’d like to know more about how best to dress for your body shape and physique why not give me a call or send me an email.

If you have any individual questions I am always happy to help.

Or link with me on Facebook to get more tips and hints!

t: 01604 696040
m: 07969516390
twitter: @LesleyStyle