Norwich stylists give their tips on how to look good on a budget this summer
A new season can mean that you feel like changing your look. EMMA HARROWING finds out how you can become a style queen this summer without breaking the bank.
There is a lot of free style advice available to you in Norwich. Most department stores offer a free fashion advice and personal shopping service where you can get advice on what styles and colours suit you.
Many of us at one time or other feel that we lack style, we feel frumpy and too old to wear the fresh new trends that seem more suitable for young blood rather than the more mature lady.
Regular Life Matters readers will know that I've always got my eye out for a bargain, as I want to look stylish without having to spend a fortune. It can be done and it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to beat the crowds at Primark.
Each season many styles stay the same – the skinny jean or a good pair of jeans, a pair of trousers that flatter your shape, a white shirt or blouse and a neutral coloured dress. These are the items you should spend a bit more money on so that they last a few years, as these are the pieces you will wear a lot.
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However, make sure these basic pieces suit your body shape and that you feel good in them. Throw out anything in your wardrobe you no longer wear, doesn't fit you or doesn't make you feel good when you wear it. Then fill any gaps in your wardrobe with new pieces that suit you, if you are not sure, try a free personal styling service in one of the department stores in Norwich. You will then have a capsule wardrobe of classic pieces that will always make you look and feel stylish.
Next, look at the new trends. For spring and summer pastels, bright colour blocking, cut-out tops, 50s and 70s-inspired style and the classic tribal look are all the rage, but it doesn't mean you need to go out and buy an entire new wardrobe just so you look and feel current. Sometimes all you need are a few tweaks here and there.
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If you like the colour block trend buy a cheap pair of brightly coloured pumps and team with a clashing coloured clutch, or buy a dress that has two trends in one, such as a tribal print maxi dress which oozes 70s style and is perfect for capturing the print trend this summer.
Accessories are a good and cheap way of updating your look each season. Buy a tribal beaded necklace and bracelet, a bright coloured belt, a pastel coloured pair of shoes and a floral print bag and you will have four for this season's new looks. This way you can wear the fashion trends that you didn't think you could get away with such as summer's neon trend, which is tipped to still be on the fashion radar next year. Instead of wearing neon in a way dictated by the catwalk and the high street, buy a neon pink, green or yellow bag or a necklace which can be worn with a neutral coloured outfit, mixed with florals or stripes and worn with jeans and a top. To help you get a new look for summer, fashion stylists in Norwich give their top tips on how to update your look on a budget.
Karen James-Welton, The Fabulous Miss K stylist:
'Pastels were all over the catwalks this season, so why not pick up a pretty sorbet coloured 50s-inspired dress and combine two trends in one. The Vintage Americana trend seen in the Prada and Marc Jacob shows can be imitated with car and retro prints. Wear a printed blouse with your jeans or tie a retro print scarf in your hair or around your waist instead of a belt, or buy a cheap wicker bag to get a touch of this style.
'The safari/tribal look is a classic summer look and you can get this style by piling on bangles and wearing an animal print scarf. Look for an African print kaftan to wear over your swimsuit.'
John Lewis fashion advisors Ruth Bowe and Julia Kaluska:
'Coloured jeans and chinos are great for brightening up your look this summer. They come in a wide range of colours and are bang on trend. Warehouse and Oasis have some great ones that will not break the bank. Buying a pair of summer shoes will give your look summer style. Espadrilles are a classic buy and can be worn with anything from dresses to trousers. Wear with a pair of turned-up jeans to give yourself a 50s-inspired makeover.'
Claire Bunton, The Image Consultant:
'For an instant fashion update without breaking the bank treat yourself to a new shade of lipstick or nail varnish. This is a great way of wearing this season's pastel or brights trends. If you buy one summer shoe this season make it the wedge. Buy in a nude or tan shade as these will be the most versatile as this colour can be worn with anything.
'Adding prints to your look will make you look like you have your finger on the fashion pulse, but if you are scared of pattern update your look with a printed scarf. Look for florals or a tribal print.'