Bingo Wings

Bingo Wings

This months blog is the third in my style series and looks at the challange of how to disguise the problem area of upper arm flab, or simply put, “bingo wings”. Bingo wings are the name given to those jiggly areas of fat and extra skin under the arm that we all develop as we age. Funny name, not so funny problem, but there are plenty of fashion tricks that you can use to hide them so lets take a closer look at what can be done.

Avoid cap sleeves as these finish at the widest part of your arm which causes the arm to look heavier. Instead, consider a more flattering alternative such as an elbow length sleeve or even a bracelet length sleeve. Avoid adding more volume to this area with a puffed sleeve as this can result in even more attention drawn to the problem that you’re trying to disguise. If you are choosing sleeveless options in tops and dresses then cut aways, exposing the shoulder area is the most flattering option to elongate your arms and to create a sleeker appearance overall.

Off the shoulder and cold shoulder styles that expose your shoulders but still have sleeves to disguise any under arm heaviness are great options. Clothes that have the option of exposing the shoulder on just one side can also be hugely falttering as it cretaes a diagonal line that helps to create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. Be cautious when choosing short sleeve options as you need to ensure there is plenty of “give” in the fabric. Avoid elastic or tight knits as these will only accentuate your wider areas. Think flowing and forgiving fabric options instead.

Use striking jewellery, an over sized bow, or choose an alluring neckline to move the focus away from the upper arms and draw the line of sight elsewhere. Add oversized bracelets to the wrist as this is the slimmest part of the arm and again a great distraction to draw the eye away from the upper arms. Finally there are many accessories out there on the market that can be teammed with a top or a dress to accomondate a heavier upper arm. My favourite when researching this blog are the arm tights range by Spanx providing an instant confidence boost. These “tights for your triceps” come in the form of a soft silky cropped top with hoisery style sleeves that flatter the upper arm. Designed to be worn under sleeveless dresses they come in a range of colours and can even be used to extend your summer clothes in to your autumn and winter collections by adding another layer of warmth to your pre existing wardrobes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this months blog, if you’ve liked what you’ve read then why not sign up to my monthly newsletter at and enjoy the monthly tips that I share in all manner of topics related to colour, styling and making the very best of yourself.

Style Hacks – How to disguise your belly of jelly?

Style Hacks – How to disguise your belly of jelly?

So this month see’s the launch of my brand new “style hacks” series where I’ll be targeting various body hang ups and giving you some simple styling solutions to ease your anxieties and to create a more flattering self image. Many of my clients worry about their belly area, despite the fact that according to research, men actually like a small female belly as they find it more natural than perhaps what we are all aspiring for in the Holy Grail of all body desires, the Jessica Ennis-Hill abs of perfection. However, if this research is not enough to convince you and you’re still looking for quick and simple ways to hide your belly under your clothes then be smart about it, otherwise there’s a chance you could make it appear even bigger!

Wearing a single colour from head to toe can really elongate your silhouette and in turn this can be extremely flattering over a larger tum. Black doesn’t necessarily make you look slimmer, it will only work if it’s a colour in your palette. There are many other colours that can create the same effect, think navy, brown, pine, purple or even charcoal.

Look at your assets objectively and then accentuate these areas when you’re selecting outfits. That way, you’ll switch attention from your belly and redirect the eye to a fabulous shoulder line, a great pair of boobs, a neat bottom or even a great pair of legs. If you’re lucky enough to have more than one asset then try to highlight all of these areas in the clothing styles that you choose.

Loose tops, T-shirts and tunics are a great way of disguising what lies beneath, be warned though, if you oversize too drastically, it can actually make your whole body look bigger. Try low level layering underneath your tops by choosing a thin camisole one or two sizes smaller than you would normally wear to give you that toned silhouette.

Elongate your torso by choosing an open jacket or a long line cardigan which will create a vertical line that will lengthen and straighten your body. If an open jacket appeals to you then why not try one in a size smaller than you would ordinarily wear, as this will give the overall appearance of a smaller silhouette. By choosing dresses and skirts that are a little longer than knee length you can also elongate your frame and lengthen your body outline. When choosing dresses, have a go with a trapezoidal or gentle A line shape which widens towards the waist and legs, be careful if you’re petite as it will need to be tailored to your size and scale to avoid swallowing you up.

When choosing tops, try longer options that don’t finish on the widest part of your tummy. Avoid clingy fabrics that will just accentuate your rolls. Ensure that they end an inch or two below your widest area. Avoid tucking tops in to your waist band as this breaks the outfit at your widest point and can be rather unforgiving. Should you want to carry off a more tucked in look then blouson the top over the waistband which will be far more flattering.

Low rise jeans and trousers should be avoided, instead try mid to high rise options so that the belly can be contained! Avoid detailing around the waist area in the form of stitching, buckles or belts as these will just draw attention to that area.

Finally, accessories can be a great adjunct to any outfit and can draw all the attention to the right place. A longer line necklace again will have the effect of elongating your torso and will in turn diminish the appearance of a larger tum.

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Last but not least, it’s the turn of our City Chic’s!

Last but not least, it’s the turn of our City Chic’s!

Our final installment in my style personality series is dedicated to the City Chic’s within us, or for my male audience, the International. With this being the last blog in the series I thought I’d just give you a little reminder about what your style personality is and how it can affect your buying decisions. Your style personality is that inner voice that pulls you to an item whether it be a car, a house, a shoe or a handbag. It comes well before the colour of said item, the shape and whether or not it will suit and flatter you. Generally speaking you will relate to elements within 3 or 4 of the categories but will have a real connection with at least two.

If you find yourself in this category, you may feel that you are a little bit of all of the other five categories, all wrapped up in one, this is the true ability of a City Chic or International, adapting your style to suit your location and the occasion. You enjoy clothes but are not fanatical about them. You dedicate time and thought to the way you look and you love to accessorise, often spending more on bags and shoes than the outfit itself. You could be described as a minimalist in both your home and work environments.

You tend to follow trends rather than High Street fashion and keep updated with the latest fashion staples by reading appropriate magazines and newspapers. Having tried out most of the other key styles and experimented with lots of different looks, you now know what suits you and you know how to use this to your advantage. Shopping is done with care and precision, never making rash purchases and ensuring that whatever you buy co-ordinates with other items in your wardrobe. You use bright colour with caution, tending to opt for a tone on tone look instead.

A word of wisdom, tone on tone does not work for all colouring types so if it’s dating you or washing you out, try adding a pop of colour in accessory form such as a statement necklace or handbag or shoe.

Think George Clooney, Halle Berry, Pierce Brosnan and Freida Pinto.


It’s back to basics for all you naturals!

It’s back to basics for all you naturals!

In the 5th installment of my monthly style personality series, it’s time to focus on the naturals amongst us. Feeling comfortable in your clothes is the most important factor for you when choosing what to wear, anything that digs in, constricts or pinches is simply not an option. You have a very relaxed attitude to life in general and in keeping with your no fuss attitude, clothes must be easy-care and ideally non iron. If you are ever forced in to a formal environment where a formal wardrobe is required, your jackets or wraps spend most of the time hanging on the back of your chair! An uncluttered look with simple clean lines are your most preferred options. You out of all six style personalities, struggle the most with formal business wear.

Your make-up is minimal, so all in one products like our face creams containing an SPF or our tinted moisturisers are perfect for you. Good haircuts are essential, as you don’t like to spend vast amounts of time tending to your locks. A great cut can allow your hair to dry naturally with little to no styling. You have many interests but pouring over fashion magazines is definitely not one of them. Your wardrobes appear disorganised and you will often just wear whatever is to hand that morning. Trousers worn with flat shoes are your go to staple for maximum comfort and practicality, alongside minimal jewellery (if any at all) that wont jangle about and make unnecessary noise.

A word of wisdom for all you naturals out there, your look can occasionally appear a little care worn or dishevelled. To avoid this, book yourself in for regular “maintenance” work on your tresses, hang your clothes up at the end of each day and make sure that your footwear is well maintained.

Think Jude Law, Emily Blunt, Jamie Oliver and Kate Winslet.

Are you a Classic?

Are you a Classic?

The 4th installment in this series relating to the six different style personalities is centered around our classics. Remember, you wont necessarily fall neatly in to just one category, generally speaking there will be aspects of 2 or 3 style personalities that resonate with you, with some characteristics rearing their heads at transitional moments in your life, be it a change of career, post children or following on from a significant life event. Our style personality is that driving force that narrows down your buying decision and that pulls you to certain items or certain looks that you see on the high-street, on the catwalk or even on your friends.

The classics are all about tradition. Your wardrobes are neat and tidy and your look is well co-ordinated. Our classics are not life’s risk takers, once they find something that works they stick to it so they could still be driving the same model of car that they fell in love with at the age of 21! Whether it’s your desk, your kitchen or your garden shed, you keep it organised. You shop only when necessary and it tends to be in stores that you know. Your wardrobe is fairly formal with even your casual clothes displaying an air of tradition.

Your look is timeless and neat with an air of elegance about it. You tend to stick to the same hairstyles year on year and hate nothing more than your hairdresser moving away! Your make-up routines are fairly fixed and dare I say, a little unadventurous. Co-ordinated separates form the basis of all your looks. When putting an outfit together you love nothing more than matching accessories, along side shoes, handbags and even belts. You plan your outfits in advance so will always look appropriately dressed for any occasion. You do not follow fashion and the very idea of mixing textures or wearing daring colour combinations can cause your pulse to race for all the wrong reasons!

A word of wisdom for all you classics out there, taking risks is not something that features high on your agenda and therefore you can occasionally look a little dated. Try and modernise it by adding a splash of colour or a statement accessory to give your outfits an instant boost.

Think Barack Obama, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Bill Clinton and Mary Berry.

It’s the turn of the Romantics

It’s the turn of the Romantics

My third installment in the style personality series highlights everything about our Romantic family, friends and colleagues. Remember your style personality dictates your individual style which is your own interpretation of fashion and how you wear clothes. The clothes that you choose and how you wear them are governed by many factors including culture, lifestyle, age, build, environment, budget and personal preference. The way that you project yourself maybe influenced by your upbringing, the way you wish others to see you or simply how you see yourself. Knowing your style personality will give you the starting blocks on which to project yourself in a more organised way and to feel more confident in your choices no matter the occasion.

As a Romantic, you have a sense of security in your look and you’re not afraid to make others aware of your interest in looking after yourself. You love everything about dressing up and planning your wardrobe. The female Romantics love everything pretty with all manner of details from bows, to ruffles, to fringing, whilst the male Romantics enjoy the luxury fabrics like cashmere, velvet, tweed and washable silk. Your clothes are well maintained and are hung up at the end of every day. You take pride in your appearance and are not afraid to invest a little money and time in to self grooming with a tendency to want to experiment with new skincare and body care products.

You tend to have a regular exercise regime to keep yourself fit and healthy and your gym wear will follow your style rules and will be colourful or adorned with decorative details. You like luxurious and comfortable modes of transport and you care about the environment you occupy whether that’s at home or at work.

A word of wisdom for all you Romantics out there, you spend longer than anybody else looking after yourself and grooming so if you’re in a relationship with a natural this may cause a little friction unless you’re wiling to make a few concessions!

Think Sting, Kylie Minogue, Donald Trump or Penelope Cruz.