Fit For A Queen: A Royal Style Guide*

Having recently celebrated her sapphire jubilee marking 65 years HRH the Queen, Elizabeth II is our longest-serving monarch — and what an outstanding job she’s done; leading the country with grace, duty and dignity.

Throughout her reign her impeccable sense of style has gained much attention, always looking polished to perfection at each and every royal engagement. She’s left many of us wondering just how does she do it?

We shall ponder no more as here are some of the style secrets that keep her majesty looking so effortlessly sophisticated.

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The Great British Weather
We all know how temperamental the weather in Great Britain is — what starts as a promisingly sunny day can easily end with pouring rain and gales. During her many royal appointments- often taking place outside it’s important that the Queen’s wardrobe is up to the job.

Before she wears any outfit her team tests their fabric using electric fans which helps to establish how the material would move in a breeze. Small curtain weights are then sewn into the hem to give the fabric more weight where required to save any blushes if caught in a sudden gust of wind.

Of course the chance of a sudden downpour in the UK is high. The Queen’s umbrella of choice is a birdcage-style clear umbrella created by Royal Warrant holders Fulton Umbrellas. A transparent umbrella is essential so that crowds can see her.

Each of the bespoke umbrellas are perfectly matched to the colours of the Queen’s planned outfit. Ahead of an event her majesty’s senior dresser will send a colour swatch which Fulton Umbrellas then use to create an umbrella with a perfectly colour-matched trim.

Colour by occasion
She’s been spotted in a rainbow of colours over the years, but did you know each colour has been carefully picked to match the event it is for? Colours are chosen to reflect the nature of the event- e.g. for her Diamond Jubilee concert she wore gold influenced by the Queen Victoria Memorial statue that the stage was built around.

Likewise, colours will also be selected to avoid blending in. For example if an appointment is taking place in a park the queen will seldom wear green as she won’t be as visible to the crowds. In general bright colours are favoured to make sure all eyes are on her.

The colours that the Queen wears are monitored to ensure the same shades aren’t worn too closely together so, if she was to wear a bright yellow dress early on in the year then it would be avoided again for several months.

Perfectly practical
Staying flawless throughout lengthy royal appointments is no mean feat so practicality is at the core of each of her majesty’s outfits.

With visits that involve car journeys and long periods of sitting it’s vital that each outfit remains pristinely pressed. A stipulation given to each designer is that the Queen’s outfits must be made from wrinkle-proof material designed to withstand any amount of travelling or sitting down.

The Queen’s footwear and accessories are also incredibly practical. Her heel height is kept at 2.25 inches to ensure maximum comfort, often with added insoles. When it comes to handbags the Queen’s favoursLauner’s Royale and Traviata bags. These are designed with a longer handle so that they don’t interfere with handshaking or catch the cuff of her favoured 3/4 length sleeves.

What is inside the handbag is also meticulously planned. Weight is carefully considered and balanced depending on how long she is expected to be holding it for. Although nobody really knows for sure what the Queen carries in her bag it’s rumoured to contain reading glasses, mints, a compact mirror, lipstick and a fountain pen. She also only carries cash on a Sunday — and it’s always either a £5 or £10 note that is carefully folded!

Hats don’t escape the careful planning either. Designed by her milliner of choice- Rachel Trevor-Morgan, each hat is designed to not obscure her face. This means her majesty avoids wide-brimmed hats and height is restricted to ensure her majesty can easily get out of a vehicle.

With so many royal appointments to attend it’s difficult to keep track of the outfits the Queen wears. To help with this all of the Queen’s dressers keep their own handwritten wardrobe diaries which keep notes on what was worn and for what occasion. While the queen will occasionally wear the same outfit again it’s on a strict rotational basis to ensure it isn’t seen too often.

She makes looking impeccable easy and as her reign continues we can expect to see more of the looks we love- with the additional understanding of what goes on behind the scenes!

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In the Pink

The high street is a very tempting place right now. Everywhere I turn there are pieces that find themselves added to my ever-growing wish list and it’s a great source of frustration to me that I can’t afford the all out spending spree that I am so desperately craving.

A few weeks ago on my birthday I went over to Bath for the day with my Mum, Grandad and Brother and we found ourselves in Primark. I was trying my best to avert my eyes from all of the new season arrivals but there was one dress that I saw and couldn’t forget no matter how hard I tried. In the end Mum kindly stepped in and treated me (30th birthday perks!) and I’ve been waiting impatiently for the weather to be good enough to wear it.

Dress: Primark (and only £10) | Shoes: Long Tall Sally (gorgeous alternative)

Pink isn’t usually a colour I go for when it comes to clothing, although given that it’s supposed to be one of THE colours of the season I guess it’s going to get harder to avoid. There was something just so appealing about this dress, it’s girlier than most things I own and probably a bit dressier as well which makes it perfect for date nights and my ever growing social life.

It also has great potential to be dressed up further with some super high heels and jewellery, or taken in the other direction and worn as a casual piece with converse and a denim jacket. I’m still on the mission for the perfect denim jacket so if anyone has any suggestions then please do let me know.

For someone who has suddenly got a lot more happening in her life I seem to have very little to say for myself at the moment. I’m busier and happier than I have been for a very long, things are starting to move in the right direction in all areas of my life and at some point I’ll probably sit down and do a more in depth update on my recovery journey. In the mean time I’m taking things one day at a time and mostly loving every second. I didn’t dare believe it when people said to me that 2017 would be my year, after such a horrendous 2016. Five months in and I’m starting to accept that maybe they were right. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but things are certainly on the up and better than I ever dared hope.

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Athleisure: putting comfort first with Daniel Footwear*

Have you dreamt of a time when comfort would be fashionable? For years we’ve longed for a trend that puts comfort first— and it seems that time has now come!
Dig out favourite trainers because we can now step out in sports shoes, leggings, loose-fitting tees and even jogging bottoms all in the name of Athleisure – officially our favourite EVER trend.

It’s not quite as simple as rolling out of bed and throwing on some mucky trackies and suddenly looking like a catwalk model though. Whilst the basics of this look are comfort classics you’ll need to style it right to create a perfectly polished look. Here we explain the basics of Athleisure to take your look from slob to sleek.

Your comfort essentials:

Make sure these pieces are in your wardrobe:

Trainers: forget heels, this trend all about a great pair of trainers.

Leggings or joggers: we’re not talking any old gymwear here- invest in a pair of branded leggings or jogging bottoms that are tapered and cuffed for a close fit.

Sports tops: cropped tops and hoodies are perfect when paired with a pair of leggings or jogging bottoms and bomber jacket. If you’re not quite ready to show off your tum opt for a loose-fitting sports jersey with mesh detailing.

A bomber jacket: HUGE in 2016 and set to be even bigger this year the loose-fitting bulky shape of a bomber is a must for creating this look. For a feminine look choose fresh pastel shades.

These comfortable essentials can be combined together for the ultimate sports-luxe combo or worked into other outfits. Why not wear your trainers with a flirty feminine day dress? The juxtaposition will cement your status as the ultimate fashionista! Ash trainers are the perfect choice with a selection of sports-inspired styles to help you effortlessly conquer this look.
Whilst these are your essentials, this trend is fabulously versatile and you aren’t restricted to the above. Also, keep our golden rules in mind:

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! sportswear is generally quite plain so make your outfit pop with jewellery… think 90s throwback gold hoops and chokers or delicate gold necklaces.

Wear a coat: one of the easiest ways to take your look from gym to street is to wear a coat. Whether it’s a loose-fitting vintage-inspired denim or bomber jacket, or a longer open duster coat they’ll add to your look on cooler days.

Cover your bum! If the thought of wearing leggings fills you with dread tie a checked or denim shirt around your waist. Acting as a super-cool bottom-covering skirt, it’ll tie in with your look without cramping your style.

Keep your workout clothes separate: if you are going to the gym keep your workout wear separate to your athleisure wear so you don’t to cross-contaminate fashion with fitness.

What do you think of this trend? I’m all about the trainers right now and those star print Ash ones are top of my wish list!

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Spring/Summer transitional style wish list*

This time of year can be really tricky to dress for. Despite the fact it’s May it hasn’t exactly been the weather for bringing out the little sun dresses and yet wearing knits and ankle boots really doesn’t appeal.

There’s also the matter of under-pinnings. In spring and summer, we often wear lighter fabrics that can show up every lump, especially bra straps and hooks. Invest in a front fastening bra: not only are they easier to take off, but it gives a more seamless look from the back. With no hooks digging in either, they’re a much more comfortable option for warmer days.

I haven’t been inspired enough to start shopping for my Summer wardrobe yet- it’s hard to imagine myself wearing the camisoles and strappy dresses I’m coveting when I’m yet to shed my winter coat but nevertheless I’ve been browsing like a trooper and have popped together a little wish list of some (in my eyes) perfect transitional pieces from two of my favourite retailers.

Tee, Hoodie, Skirt and Camisole Dress: Monki | Loafers and Denim Jacket: ASOS

Layering is a life saver at this time of year and it’s something I’m trying to embrace myself. I’m absolutely loving camisole dresses at the moment and despite their flimsy appearance, with the addition of a t-shirt, denim jacket or even the humble hoodie you have the perfect way to wear it even when the chill in the air catches you off guard.

Midi skirts are also great at this time of year! I pop a pair of tights on with mine to keep off the chill- there is no way I’m braving bare legs right now (in fact, I rarely ever do). If the weather does suddenly hot up then you have a swishy, cool and laid back outfit ready to roll. Perfect with both a fine knit top or a pretty camisole and offering more coverage than the ever-popular mini skirt, for me the midi is a wardrobe staple.

Shoe wise I always struggle at this time of year. I’m sick of my beloved ankle boots by this point and not anywhere near brave enough for sandals. Loafers and trainers are good transitional shoes. Neither look too heavy but offer some toe protection against frostbite! Given that I’m a huge fan of the embroidery trend it’s no surprise that this ASOS loafers made it on to my wish list.

How do you combat the mixed weather at this time of year? It’s hard work when one day you have 20 degree sunshine and the first tan line of the year…and yet the next day it’s back to shivering and wondering why on earth you didn’t think to pack a jacket!

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ChloBo Jewellery Review

There are some jewellery brands I’ve admired from afar without ever owning a piece. ChloBo is one of these brands- they’ve been on my radar for a long time but somehow I’ve not managed to get my hands on any pieces.

This all changed recently when the brand got in touch offering me a piece from their gorgeous collection for review. Of course I jumped at the chance (who wouldn’t?) and started to make my selection- no easy task with such an extensive, and gorgeous range I can tell you!

In the end I decided on the mini noodle sparkle rice didi hamsa hand bracelet*. I’m a big fan of delicate pieces at the moment and this fitted the bill perfectly.

The first thing to mention about ChloBo has to be the amazing packaging. Bold, bright and in your face whilst still maintaining that high-end feel. The bracelet is made of sterling silver and does come up a little on the small side- perfect for me and my obscenely small wrists but for some people this could be a problem although it does have some stretch in it.

I’ve barely taken this bracelet off since it arrived. It goes with just about every outfit under the sun and pairs perfectly with much of the rest of my jewellery if I feel like changing things up. I’m not normally one for wearing multiple bracelets at once but the idea of layering up half a dozen of these on my wrist 100% appeals and I’m currently contemplating adding the peace and buddha charms to my collection once funds allow.

It’s not just bracelets that ChloBo do well- necklaces, rings and earrings are also available and also very, very covetable. I fear this review might have started a dangerous obsession for me- now I’ve finally had the chance to give ChloBo a try I can’t help but crave more!

Are you familiar with the brand? What pieces have caught your eye?

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