What’s next for Ben de Lisi?

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It’s certainly been a busy year for fashion designer Ben de Lisi. The New Yorker has been putting in the hours designing the new Debenhams Principles range, which encompasses not only women’s fashion but also electricals, furniture and other homeware.

How Ben quite found time to dedicate himself to another little project, then, we’ll never know. The Pratt Institute of Art graduate was recently signed up by Coral to design this year’s Royal Ascot dress, which will be worn at the event on 17th June to raise publicity for the bookmaker.

The dress, which is said to be “inspired by jockey silks” will be modelled by an as yet unknown household name, and will later be auctioned off, along with the original designs, to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Having noticed Ben’s keen eye for fashion on the Sky One series Project Catwalk, Coral first approached Ben in 2014 and asked him to design an exclusive dress for the prestigious racing event. It was modelled by Strictly Come Dancing Star Kristina Rihanoff and was made entirely of betting slips – later going on to cause a stir when Ms Rihanoff was turned away for breaking dress code regulations.

Needless to say Ben has learned from this experience and this year’s creation will doubtless be a little more conservative. But what else can we expect from Ben for the rest of 2015?

The 60-year-old describes his style as “American preppy with a quirky twist.” Look into any of his Debenhams collections and you will notice his signature bold prints and colours, be they women’s skirts or three-piece suites.

But could this American influence also lead him to his next style goal? Having worked with many big British names in the past including Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter, Ben admits there is one American starlet he would love to style.

“I’d love to style Angelina Jolie,” he admits. He also has nothing but praise for other American stars such as Julianne Moore, whose style he describes as “not overproduced.” He says: “Julianne Moore epitomises my belief that fashion should never be so loud that you do not see the person first.”

Clearly, the star wants to work with more American actresses, but despite being born in the Big Apple himself, could we see him producing even more for Debenhams? After his designs saw the company’s profits climb by more than 4 per cent, the chain store won’t want to be getting rid of him in a hurry.

Plus, if this year’s Royal Ascot dress raises as many eyebrows as 2014’s, it doesn’t seem like our Ben will be heading back to his native homeland any time soon.

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Why Accessories Are A Girl’s Best Friend

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Women are always up to date on the latest fashion trends, but accessories are just as important. Why are accessories so important, you ask? Accessories are some of the ways women can express themselves without doing too much. From necklaces, bracelets, earrings, to family heirlooms, here are the reasons why accessories are a girl’s best friend.

Self-expression

As said, women use accessories to express themselves. For instance, a woman with a boho chic style would probably prefer to wear wooded beads and hemp bracelets rather than pearls or gold jewelry. Women who don’t want to express themselves through the way they dress can easily turn to accessories to show off their personal style and taste.

Accessories can change a look

Using just accessories, girls can change their daywear to nightwear. If they have on a simple black dress, a few accessories can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion that they are attending. A few fancy bracelets and necklaces can turn a black dress into a party ensemble, while some pearl earrings can make the dress ideal for a formal date.

Draw attention to different parts of the body

Accessories are also a girl’s best friend as they can draw attention to different parts of the body. For instance, to accentuate the neck, a simple necklace could do the trick. A ring with a big stone could also easily draw attention.

Elevate simple fashion

A plain shirt and jeans can be elevated with a few accessories. A fashionable bag, bold jewelry, or a printed scarf can change your look. With just a few simple accessories, you can easily turn your plain clothes into something high fashion.

Heirlooms and special trinkets

Jewelry and accessories are also commonly passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. These heirlooms are typically made of real metals and have a high value. In other cases, accessories can be a token of appreciation or special trinkets to remind you of someone such as friendship bands and bracelets. Accessories are treasures that the owner can keep for a long time.

Provides opportunities for a simple outfit

Women only need a few essential pieces in their closet to survive – a little black dress, jeans, a crisp white shirt, and slacks are just a few of them. These basic pieces can easily be turned into ensembles of different styles with the help of accessories. Sunglasses, a bag, a hat, and some jewelry can turn your basic outfits into countless wardrobe opportunities.

Accessories are just as important as fashion. Not only that, you have plenty of accessories to choose from! From cheap and fancy jewelry to the more expensive ones, there’s no doubt that each piece can change your wardrobe. Read more about the latest trends in accessories and know how you can turn a simple ensemble into one that will make you feel more confident and special. You can get a bunch of wholesale costume jewelry or a few gold or silver pieces and you are all set!

Spring/Summer Fashion 2015: What to Expect

Winter hasn’t been here for all that long, but we’re already dreaming of a bright and sunny SS2015. If you feel the same, then you should prepare for what you plan on wearing. Next year, things are set to be kookier and more colorful than ever! The more you plan, the better you can expect your wardrobe to be. Dress to impress next year with this sneak peek of what to expect next year.

Suede

Suede is going to be the ‘it’ material of next year. You can wear it in the form of dresses, shoes, handbags, coats; it really doesn’t matter. Suede is a very 70s material, and that year is set to be massive in the coming year. This year it was 60s and 90s. Next year, it’s a 70s revival. Be prepared.

70s Patterns

70s patterns come in all shapes and sizes. You have strong geometric prints, and even big flowers. Keep your eye out for these types of patterns and snap them up when you find them. You can even go for polka dots, and anything that you would have found on a garish 70s wallpaper. Be brave with your patterns and you’ll make a huge impact.

Metallics

Metallics add interest to an outfit and make it look more special. If you mix both metallics and 70s, you’ll get a kind of ‘space age throwback’ look. While this may not be a look that has ever existed before, it’s what fashion is all about. Trying out new trends and then experimenting with them, any way you like.

Denim on Denim

Denim didn’t exactly go anywhere, but it’s back in full force this time around. The denim trend is set to see high waisted shorts and double denim aplenty, judging by the look of the catwalks this year. If you’re very brave, you could wear denim all over. All you need is plenty of confidence to rock this sort of look.

Playful Colors

Moschino, for one, loved showing off playful colors on the catwalk this year. Think Barbie pinks and all kinds of other bright shades. It was fun, eccentric, and could have been a scene right out of a little girl’s toy box. I don’t know about you, but this is one trend I want in on next year!

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Sassiness

Sassiness. Expect plenty of sassiness next year. How do you define sassiness? It’s the cheeky slogan t-shirt. The bold pattern trousers with matching blazer. Pom Pom earrings. Big hair. Clashing prints and colors. Sassy can be pretty much anything you want it to be, but it’s always fun. Never boring. Embrace all kinds of sassiness next year!

Now you know what to expect, you can hardly act surprised when you start to see these trends on the street. Start your preparations early and make sure you’re ready the moment the warmer weather sets in. Get prepared to be a sassy, 70s, space age, denim, playful fashionista. Leave a comment with your thoughts. See you next time!

 

Essential Guide To Party Purses

Tis the season for lots of parties! With so many invites in our calendars, it is hard to fit them all in. Let’s be honest, we’re not going to turn any of them down! It could be time to think about packing a bag just for these occasions. Packing light is never easy, and keeping our purses from bursting open is a life-long challenge.

First things first, keep your cash light and your cards out of sight. It’s unusual for us to have to use a credit card for a party, but you might need cash to hand for a cab at the end of the night. Can you pack your party purse without a wallet? Absolutely, but having no ID on you is not advised. Minimise the contents in your wallet and you’ve probably saved a few ounces straight away!

Next, think about essential makeup. Can you buy a small makeup wallet that contains a couple of brushes and applicators with your eye shadow, blush and foundation? Having everything loose in the purse helps it fit in better, but it doesn’t help you find it all in a hurry when you need a touch-up. A travel brush or comb may not be enough if your hair is prone to frizz so you should pack a small flat iron. Have a look at paul mitchell flat iron reviews to see if you can find a spare one to suit.

If you have to use regular medication, keep a small amount in your party purse in case you end up staying somewhere overnight. Also keep a small bottle of water in there in case you are ill and need to rinse your mouth. There are chewing gums that act like toothbrushes you could pack if you don’t want to include a toothbrush and paste. Also pack a couple of headache tablets for that inevitable hangover!

Fresh pants are a good idea, if you can find somewhere in that purse to hide them discreetly. One of those tiny travel deodorants to hide the exertion of dancing the night away is also handy. Spare pantyhose are essential too. We always get a run when we’re having fun, right? Grab one of those small packs of foot blister relief too. The shoes have to look good, no matter what the pain!

Now you have everything for a party, save one compartment of your party purse for things that need to be in every purse you use. These include your cell phone, house keys, wallet with ID, and cab fare home.

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Thanks to Flickr for pic

When you accept an invite to a party, be sure to let someone close to you know where you are going. If you plan on drinking alcohol, be sure you attend a party with someone you know well so they can let you know if you ought to go home. Most importantly lookout for each other, so nobody has an opportunity to take advantage of you while you are at your most vulnerable. Party safe for a happy night out.

How to Dress for a Wedding in The UK

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Long gone are the days when everyone knew what to wear to a wedding – There are now so many options in terms of venue and style of ceremony that the dress options too have inevitably expanded. After all, what is the difference between formal and black tie? What on earth is white tie? The most important piece of advice though is that if you’re in doubt, check it out – If the invitation doesn’t make the dress code clear then simply ask the hosts or even fellow guests what to wear. Having said that, there are some general rules that you should familiarise yourself with.

Black/ White tie 

For ladies, there is no real difference between black and white tie. Both require some form of elegant gown or classy cocktail length dress. For men, it is a little more complicated. White tie is just about as formal as you will get and means that you should be wearing tails with a white shirt and bow tie. Black tie means wearing a regular tuxedo with black bow tie. However, things can get complicated for men if the invitation states “formal.” This can be interpreted as a black tie event, but at the very least wear a dark suit and tie.

Lounge/ Cocktail

Men should opt for a suit and shirt, but feel free to choose whether you prefer a light or dark suit. It’s a good idea to be guided by the time of day and the season. Dark colours are generally more suited to evening and winter weddings while a lighter colour is usually a good choice for an afternoon or summer occasion. Ladies are expected to wear a cocktail dress or formal suit for a lounge or cocktail wedding. Again, colours are dependent on the context. A sundress for example is a great option or the summer. There are some really stunning evening dresses for mature women available online.

Garden/ Beach formal

With so many great venues out there, garden and especially beach weddings are increasingly popular. There is a real temptation to dress casually when you receive an invitation to one of these events. However, think twice before you dress down. Just because the happy couple are getting married outdoors doesn’t mean that they want their guests to turn up in thongs. In fact, footwear is a serious business for ladies on these occasions. Think carefully about what will be comfortable on grass or in the sand while still looking classy – Stilettos on the beach are more trouble than they’re worth! Men may still need to wear a suit on the beach, but you can usually dispense with the tie. Choose something light if possible.

Casual

Resist the urge to wear your favourite jeans (even if they’re your best pair). A casual dress code is not an invitation to wear whatever you want – This is still a wedding after all. Think of it more as a smart casual dress code. For men, this most likely means dress pants with a button down or polo shirt. Smart trousers are also appropriate for women too in addition to a skirt and top combination. If unsure, it is always advisable to over dress rather than under dress.

In addition to these broad guidelines, you should always be aware of religious dress codes if the couple are getting married in a religious venue. On these occasions, be prepared to dress more modestly than you might do otherwise.

How To Dress Sleek For That Next Corporate Networking Function

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If you want to get ahead in the corporate world, it’s important that you dress sleek and stylish. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t just about who you know – you also have to look the part as well. Follow this handy guide to dress sleek for that next corporate networking function and enjoy the limited increase in salary and substantial increase in responsibility that come with the joys of corporate life.

Ties

Unless your corporate networking function is for a company that does children’s parties, it’d probably be the wrong idea to wear a bow tie or one of you novelty ties. On the other hand, if you find an understated business tie with a stylish base colour and a good material that complements the rest of your suit you can’t lose. Brands like Politix do base colours along with high quality fabrics really well; take a browse through their online store to see what’s currently available for men.

Accessories

A European carryall might be taking it a little bit too far, but a little bit of time spent on your accessories can really make a big difference in the long run. Get a nice watch, some stylish cufflinks, and even a little bit of bling. They say you should dress for the job you want, but don’t go overboard with the bling otherwise it might look as though you want to be a pawnbroker from the eighties.

Blazer

Consider your blazer as the statement piece of your outfit. A stylish blazer really shows your boss you look the part and implies that you’d be an asset to the company. Put your boss in a position where they could visualise you delivering the critical section of an important presentation to investors. You never know, that corporate gig you’ve been working your butt off for might just fall into your lap.

Classic Sweater

Unless it is Christmas and your boss has given you the all clear, that reindeer sweater should be considered a bad option. Choose a sweater that say, I’m not clinically insane; something that matches the rest of your outfit and adds an extra understated element without taking away from the whole.

Black Shoes and Belts

This is one of the most important elements of the outfit. If your shoes and belt aren’t matching, there really isn’t any point in showing up in the first place. This is one of those obligatory investments for men looking to be taken seriously in 2014, so make sure you take the time and effort to have a set of footwear and a nice belt that looks the part.

What do you think of this list? Do you have any other suggestions? Do you agree with everything on the list? Be sure to leave any comments, questions or suggestions in the section below. And head to sites like Politix to find a great selection of corporate wear for the eager professional. It might just give your professional career the kick it needs!

The best summer styles that’ll change your frowns to smiles

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 Whether you’re run off of your feet at work, under pressure at home or just generally feeling in need of a little TLC, nothing can turn a frown into a smile quicker than when the sun comes out and you can dip into your summer wardrobe once more.

Like all seasons, this summer has seen a huge variety of trends and styles hit the catwalks, inspiring fashionistas across the country and getting everyone in the summer spirit.

Here we look at the best summer styles and trends that are catching eyes and turning frowns upside down!

Orange

You may have already noticed more orange hues appearing in clothes and accessories on the high street than in previous seasons and with orange apparently the new black, this is a trend that’s set to continue.

If you want to make a real impact with your outfit, choose a dress or skirt in a bold block orange. Alternatively, pick out some accessories that that have orange tones running through them for a subtler look.

Loose shapes

Forget tight dresses and skinny jeans, this summer is all about loose shapes and comfortable fabrics. Perfect for wearing out in town or for visiting your loved ones in a McCarthy and Stone retirement home, this floaty summer look makes a welcome change from the tighter, less comfortable looks of previous years. It’s also a great option for older stylists to try.

White blouses

This smart summer look is great for both the office and the high street and can either be dressed up with dark trousers and heels or dressed down with jeans and sandals. Look for white blouses with a necktie detail or other embellishment to add an extra touch to your summer look.

Pastels

Pastel colours have always been a popular choice for summer and 2014 is no different with a range of pastel coloured outfits appearing on the catwalk. Easy to match with your existing clothes, pastels are the perfect choice for warm summer evenings, beach holidays and hot days in the office.

Long skirts 

Another style hitting towns and cities across the country this summer is the long, full-bodied skirt. Giving the wearer a voluptuous silhouette, these 50s inspired skirts are great for all occasions.

 

If this has got you in the mood for summer, now’s the perfect time to hit the shops, restock your wardrobe and make sure that all your outfits are right on trend for the summer season. After all, we all deserve to have something to smile about!

Go Mad For a Midi Skirt

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When it comes to skirt lengths, we’ve been used to going to extremes with mini or maxi skirts interspersed with the occasional knee length when we need to look smart. This means some of us feel inclined to shy away from the new midi length. But rest assured, it’s easier to wear than it looks, and fantastically versatile with heels, boots or flats for all kinds of occasions. Once you’ve tried one it’ll soon become a wardrobe staple and you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without it!

Everyday Chic

 When it comes to easy, effortless school gate style, you won’t do any better than a denim dirndl skirt with button detailing to say a stylish hello to the new school year. When teamed with slide on sandals and a long-sleeved stripy tee, you’ll look casual but cool as you rush around doing all the various errands the day throws at you. As the days turn colder, wear it with boots, tights and a brightly coloured jumper for an on-trend autumn/winter look.

Work It

 Whether you opt for a flared floral midi skirt or a sleek sophisticated black tube skirt, your new midi skirt will be your best friend when it comes to looking sharp and switched on in the office. Wear it with heels and a pretty patterned blouse tucked in for the ultimate in polished, professional workwear chic. This is a look that will take you straight from the office to a cocktail bar with friends.

Holiday Style

 A flared denim, floral or brightly coloured midi skirt is an essential part of your to-pack list this summer. Wear it with a simple white T-shirt for family strolls to the ice-cream parlour, low-key dinners under the stars and shopping expeditions in unfamiliar cities. This easy-to-wear skirt length is also a much more comfortable alternative to jeans for travelling in style in hot weather.

Date Night

 If the man in your life is more used to seeing you in skinny jeans and heels when you’re going for a dressed-up look, surprise him into holding the door open for you by unleashing your ladylike side next time you go out together. A midi skirt from George at ASDA will give you an instant style update and the great prices at George will leave you with enough money left over to still enjoy drinks and dinner.

Hot Mama

 Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to massive T-shirts and leggings. Lots of the midi skirts in the shops come in a super comfy and stretchy jersey fabric, making it a no brainer for the designers to make a maternity version. If you pick up one of these skirts, you’ll sail through your pregnancy in style.

So go on, be the first of your friends to pick up a midi skirt and you’re guaranteed to have everyone asking you where you got it and emulating your super switched-on fashion savvy style!

3 Different Ways to Rock a Crop

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Let that midriff show! Gone are the days of playing it safe, it’s time to be daring and show some skin. A crop top is the perfect way to beat the heat and its versatility is unmatched. Dress it up, or play it down, it doesn’t matter! No matter how you wear it, the crop can be fit for any occasion. If you’re new to the crop style, here are some tips on how to break into the trend. Crops can come in varying lengths and styles depending on what you’re looking for. Check out the ones at Universal Store to stock up your closet with the best picks.

Pencil it in

The pencil skirt is timeless and can have as many uses as that old pair of thongs you can’t seem to get rid of. Pencil skirts can be a part of the corporate hustle, but pair it with a great crop, and you’ve got a chic look that is ready to grace the red-carpet, or be unveiled on date night! The pencil skirt and crop combo shows just that little bit of skin, leaving so much to be desired by the imagination. Play it up with mix-matching colours, or go down the Emma Watson road, by pairing the same colour together. Whatever way you wear it, the pencil skirt and crop combination is instantly sexy.

Choose comfort

Not in the mood for tight and sexy? Not a problem. Remember, your crop top doesn’t have to be tight and short. Find one that’s breezy and falls just over your belly button for ease and comfort. Bust out those comfy denim shorts you’ve had for forever, and break out the crop! A slouchy crop is perfect for weekend errands, a day trip to the beach, or fun outdoor activities that keeps you cool while you sweat! Planning on staying in this weekend? Not a problem, the slouchy crop is the ultimate couch surfing top of choice for movie marathons and popcorn for dinner.

Let it flow

Can’t decide between a more fitted look, and something a bit looser? A crop is perfect for a high-waisted maxi skirt with a little bit of flare. This combo screams good-girl with a little bit of an edge. It gives you a put-together look that also lets you remain comfortable. A crop paired with a maxi is the ultimate in boho chic. Wear it to a picnic, or a shopping trip out with your girlfriends. No matter what, you’ll look amazing while also staying comfy throughout the day!

When you pick a crop top, chances are you’ll be able to find something in your closest to wear with it. Word of advice: find a few crops in varying lengths and colours, then you’ll have every type of look sorted from here until forever! What it comes down to is that your closet needs at least one crop to be complete. What are your favorite crop top looks? What lengths do you find go best with everything?

Thomson’s new Sensatori Resort, Jamaica: a style maven’s haven

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With immaculate shores of pristine, white sand and the clear, blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, idyllic Jamaica sees temperatures reaching up to 80°F all year round.  Already boasting a seven mile stretch of coast, its beautiful town of Negril on the western coast now has another glorious feature, with Thomson’s highly-anticipated new 5-star Sensatori Resort.

No one needs convincing to visit Jamaica, but this contemporary resort with chic designer touches (more about that in a minute) is an alluring addition that can really turn holidaying into a luxurious experience. The resort performed an industry first, by projecting a video of model Nadja Giramata onto the waters of the Caribbean Sea, viewed from Negril beach. Innovative and stylish, the Sensatori has a lot of exciting things in store for guests.

A pool like no other

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 Every resort has a pool but a pool like this? Not a chance. Leading British fashion designer Jonathan Saunders took his first venture into interiors by designing and naming the exclusive Amber pool and beach area. Here you’ll find Saunder’s unique seal of approval on brightly colored cushions, patterned drapes and umbrellas. The vibrant turquoise, yellow and blue featured on the poolside’s Bali beds and loungers help create a relaxed, airy feel to this part of the resort. Think of it as your own aqua catwalk.

Designer beachwear

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 Negril’s famous beach calls for some seriously worthy beachwear, so it’s a good job that Saunders created a limited range for both men and women staying at the hotel. Throw on one of his unique pieces and you’ll feel on top of the world. Amongst the bold collection is a glamorous sarong, available in four striking color palettes. The perfect feel good factor for any holiday, pick your favourite (a hard task!) and get ready to show off it on the beach.

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 Rooms: take your pick

Fancy casually swimming up to your room after a quick dip? Swim-up rooms are just one of the many deluxe options that the resort has to suit all visitors, including families, couples and even honeymooners. Ranging from 2-bedroom apartments (that sleep up to 6!) to the beach front honeymoon suite, rooms come equipped with luxuries including a rainfall shower, iPod docking station and plasma TV. Fitted with the same panache as the rest of the resort, everywhere has a high-end feel.

Very fine dining

 Food is always a major draw when taking a holiday and the fine dining at Sensatori Resort Jamaica is impressive to say the least. Book the Gourmet All Inclusive package and you’ll be treated to breakfast, lunch and dinner in any of the four restaurants in the resort, not to mention a complimentary minibar in your own room. Want a taste of the local cuisine? Head to the Ackee Caribbean restaurant for locally inspired dishes or the Garfield International Beach House for seaside dining.

Cool, accommodating and a new way of experiencing Jamaica, the Sensatori Resort is a designer dream.