I am really excited to be sharing the Stylish Thoughts of Devon UK based blogger Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb
What is the secret to great style?
Putting effort into your appearance and wearing it with confidence. Personally, I think anyone who makes an effort with their appearance is a stylish person… it may not be to everyone’s taste, but I think you can dress like a crazy person and still be stylish. I firmly believe that we should be able to dress as simply or as outrageously as we want (as long as it’s not offensive). If you love what you’re wearing and feel fabulous, who cares what anyone else thinks – in my opinion that’s style!
What’s the secret to looking polished?
Personally I feel untidy if my make up, hair and nails are in a mess. You can sort out your face and hair with quick natural make up and a hat, but nails you can’t hide! I have to have the minimum of a coat of nail protector and a white pencil under the nail tips otherwise I’ll feel grim, not matter what I’m wearing.
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look?
I like to make sure any new items I buy will work with the rest of my wardrobe; although I’m not a hoarder and always have a good clear out every 6 months or so, I do try to make sure my “big” purchases (coats, boots, etc) are of good quality and reasonably classic. I love vintage items and thrift shopping; with vintage items I always try to make sure the rest of my outfit is made up of more modern pieces. I think when you’re younger you’re able to pull off a full-on retro look, but when you’re a bit older like myself, there’s the danger of looking a bit fancy dress otherwise.
What is your current obsession?
During the winter it was the combination of a buttoned up shirt, preferably with a round neck sweater and a statement necklace or brooch; it was my staple look at work for several months! Now that it’s spring I can’t seem to get enough of greens and yellows, and I desperately want coloured denim in every conceivable colour, as well as a pair of floral jeans – so SS12!
Who inspires you?
If we’re talking celebrities, Olivia Palermo, Chloe Sevigny, Camilla Belle, Florence Welch and Jennifer Connelly are among my favourites. As much as I admire the chic, pared down look of classic dressing (that’s you, Jennifer Aniston), I’m always drawn to the mavericks. However, I am most influenced by other bloggers – it shows that you don’t need a stylist to have amazing style and that’s why I admire them all so much. My favourites established bloggers are Audrey of Be Frassy http://www.befrassy.com, Jessie of Style & Pepper http://www.styleandpepperblog.com, Kim of Eat.Sleep.Wear http://www.eatsleepwear.com, Keiko Lynn http://www.keikolynn.com and Aminta of Aminta’s Fashion http://www.amintasfashionblog.com/. The two up-and-coming blogs I’d recommend are Postgradchic http://postgradchic.blogspot.com/ and The Marcy Stop http://themarcystop.blogspot.com/… all totally fabulous. Fashion bloggers have the best, most innovative style in my opinion!
What’s your secret to making yourself stand out?
Bright colours, pattern, and accessories. When I was younger and couldn’t afford to shop a lot, I realised that cheap black clothes didn’t look particularly good – in other words, quality black items were out of my price range. So I made a decision to always wear colour as it always made me feel good and I could get away with cheaper brands; this has influenced how I’ve dressed for the last 15 years or so. My obsession with pattern mixing definitely gets people talking; some love it, some hate it but I’d rather that than indifference! And accessories: you only need to add a statement necklace to a simple sweater or wear a pair of incredible shoes with your jeans and immediately you feel fabulous… eyes are always drawn to great jewellery and heels.
What is your favourite current trend?
Pastels and pattern mixing. I already mix patterns heavily so I’m loving all the florals and tropical prints in the shops at the moment, and although I don’t really have many pastels in my wardrobe I want to change that this spring!
What’s your favourite short cut to style?
Personally, it’s accessories, accessories, accessories! I always think you can liven up a plain outfit with bold jewellery, a fabulous hat or statement shoes. But I love the classic look of red nail polish teamed with gold jewellery (which doesn’t have to be real gold) – it’s absolutely timeless and will always look elegant and fabulous.