FrockChicks at White Stuff AW12

FrockChicks are at the Battersea store again offering free styling advice and consultations. Pop in or book to make an appointment for advice on what clothes to flatter your individual body shape, colouring, facial profile and style. White Stuff have expanded their ranges this season to offer something for everyone – even a tailored, pared down range, Penelope Tree, for those looking for something that could be worn to work.

I’m wearing the new Doll Dress from the Penelope Tree range. It’s a classy wool-mix fabric lined pencil skirt shaped, cowl-neck dress which will be a classic for years to come. This season I’ll be pairing it with Reds and Oranges for a zingy autumn pop of colour. The Nataniel cardi in Saffron is great with it, and of course, the finishing touch..the accessories: A Double layer Lariot necklace – perfect for rounded or more angular faces. Then, to top it off, trimmed with fine orange detailing is the quirky horse and teacup (that well known combo!) Rosie Lee scarf. Come and see for yourself and try on the ranges at your nearest White Stuff or, better still, come and meet Hilary at Battersea today!

Photos: James McCormick Hair: Jo Breuer

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It’s all about Autumn

Photo: James McCormick Hair: Jo Breuer

Autumn was my late Mum’s favourite season and as a young girl I could never understand why. I was always a fan of summer myself. How things have changed….there’s now nothing I love more than the clear blue skies, crisp mornings, autumn leaves and colours, juicy fruit, fireworks, bonfires and of course…toasted marshmallows.

The shops start filling up with lovely knits, cosy tweeds and velvets in autumnal hues and one can breathe a sigh of relief at being able to wear tights and boots again – now that’s definitely associated with ageing!

As a stylist, Autumn is heralded for me with Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. So last week, the new AW season began with being pampered at Jo Malone with their new autumn-inspired Blackberry and Bay fragrance. A friend and I enjoyed champagne and a goody bag of Jo Malone fragrances and some specially commissioned Blackberry and Bay Jam.

Smelling fresh and feeling chilled, it was time for this year’s main highlight of Fashion’s Night Out for me – meeting Orla Kiely at the launch of her second range for Uniqlo. And what a stunning range it is! I now have my Autumn wardrobe sorted for very little money – no item purchased was more than £20. A great choice of colours and styles…and the quality is excellent, as you’d expect for a Uniqlo range. You can see the video for the launch here….

Orla Kiely Uniqlo AW12

With 2 purchases from the range at the Oxford Street launch, you received a gorgeous jute tote bag and a beautiful autumnal posy – an added bonus, as if I needed one!

You can see my photos of some of the range on the FrockChicks Facebook page ?set=a.415102015219599.97127.107914815938322&type=1

Another highlight was the new flagship Burberry store on Regent Street where the service was impeccable and the ranges (sadly to oggle over only!) are just stunning.

Many shops, especially Zara and Warehouse are full of this seasons trend – studs. Now classy, rather than associated with Hairy Bikers – they are everywhere..even on Burberry’s coats and shoes!

There were many further highlights of the night…you can see more of my quickly snapped pictuureshere

I’ll just leave you with a few finishing touches to the Autumnal look. First, the new Lambrick nail varnish range from Jack Wills in the most stunning Autumn hues I’ve seen. The quality is amazing and the price is even better at £6.50 for a new look. My favourite is the Burnt Orange, which will go nicely with my new Orla Kiely purchases, thank you very much!

Now anyone who knows me can vouch that, in my book, no outfit is complete without accessories. On trend at the moment is the collar necklace, which I wasn’t too sure about at first. But it’s growing on me, especially as it’s a great way to transform a round necked jumper into a more angled look which suits those with more angular facial features and jawlines. There are a good range around to choose from. Cos do a lovely one, but it’s quite pricey at £25.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option (or you’ve spent all your Autumn budget on the new Orla Kiely range!) then check out this one for £5 at Primark. It isn’t too blingy, its a nice rose gold colour and it looks great with my green marl sweater (from Cos) and tweed shorts.

FrockChicks will be at White Stuff Battersea today so come and visit for more free Autumn styling tips and advice. Just drop by and get set for the colder weather….

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FrockChicks August News and Events

Dear FrockChicks Friends


I do hope you’ve all had a great summer and had some chance to recharge those batteries. I’m back from an amazing trip to the US, having picked up lots of new ideas for FrockChicks for 2012/13! For much of my time there, we were living in an apartment 10 minutes walk from the Anthropologie flagship store – dangerous!

Back in the UK, it’s great to see all the lovely Autumnal rust and mustard hues in the shops – and to enjoy the fact that quality British tweeds, wool and leather brogues still seem to be in vogue as the heritage trend remains . Lace, print, peplums, blazers, coloured jeans and pumps continue to abound which means those who invested in these items earlier this year can enjoy mixing and matching them with warmer items to see you through the cooler months ahead.

Image: Burberry, 2012

I only have a couple of bookings available left for September so do get in quickly if you urgently need some FrockChicks help …otherwise book in for October onwards and use our online booking form. We will also be offering a special deal on FrockChicks parties in the run up to Christmas with prices starting from £10 per head and a free 45 minute style consultation for the host. Again use the online booking form or email me if you’re interested.


The Little Frock Shop has 2 exciting events this week for you and your friends if you live within easy access of Surbiton! Lisa is back for the last of her summer holiday sales tanned and rested!

The Pop-Up sales of Pre-loved clothes will be at Rubicon Bar on Maple Road, Surbiton from 6pm on Thursday 30th August for late night shopping, with fashion tips for the new season from FrockChicks and handmade goodies from ROCCO Jewellery. Come and enjoy a cocktail with friends and enjoy a relaxed shopping experience. There are lots of “new” and gorgeous clothes at bargain prices, from high street to designer, to be had.

If coffee is more your thing, Rubicon Bar will be serving fresh coffee, smoothies and home made cake on Friday 31st August from 9am – 12pm. ROCCO Jewellery and FrockChicks will also be there. Don’t miss out – pop along, bring the children for a play in the secure back garden – we’ll have some toys too.

And finally….


FrockChicks are offering anyone who “Likes” us on Facebook, 10% off any bookings. Visit our page and Click on “LIKE” and you’ll receive a voucher. If you’re more of a Tweeter, do follow us on Twitter for tips, links to vouchers and offers for various stores and more…

Hope the reentry in to the Autumn Term isn’t too traumatic – and that we get a bit more sunshine before the leaves start falling….

Take Care


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Never mind Murray..what about Kate Middleton?!

Kate recycles McQueen

Kate does it again, dressing stylishly, appropriately and frugally for the Royal Box at Wimbledon this week. Sporting a recycled 2006 McQueen cable knit knee length, she gave a nod to the vintage tennis dresses of the 20’s.

Kate's inspiration?

She wore the same dress exactly one year ago to the day, on her Canada tour to Prince Edward Island, paired with the same LK Bennett suede court shoes. Good on her…no diva princess tendencies there.

And why not give the dress more airings? It works so well for her as, being deep in colouring she can carry off the navy and white contrast (and it’s a perfect match for her sapphire/diamond engagement ring!); being shorter bodied and longer legged, the neckline is deep, the sailor ties create a vertical line and the waistline sits low which all help elongate her top half; the dress ends at the perfect length – the narrowest part of her leg; the sailor shawl v-neck collar mirrors her combination of rounded and angular facial features.

The perfect length

The same dress in navy on SJP in 2006 - not such a flattering look or length!














And so…the Wimbledon Fashion Trophy goes to Kate!

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FrockChicks styling at White Stuff Battersea

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“Rain, Rain, Go away”..and don’t even think about coming yet another day! After apparently being in the midst of drought, it’s amazing how negative I (together with most of the UK) can be about the rain that God’s decided to pour and pour and pour upon us over the last few weeks. (If you’re interested in a refreshing theological take on rain..check this out

As someone who is supposedly able to help people “Dress without Stress”….I really have struggled in recent days to work out what to wear to keep me dry, let alone stylish! Oh….what to do? Can I bear to be spotted in my gargantuan Cath Kidston floral rain poncho..which, although rather practical (large enough to cover my whole body plus my bike basket and all its contents), does cause people to look at me extremely strangely and often just to laugh…with me right? Not at me, surely?!


Mine's a lot more flowery!

Or, I can turn up to a client to “help with their style” looking like a drowned rat (thanks to Gee, my colleague who confirmed it was an accurate description!) with mascara/eyeliner half way down my face, dishevelled hair, water tide-marked shoes and a wet patch in an inappropriate place from my bike saddle…(note to self: investment in floodproof makeup will be worth it and dont forget to actually USE my waterproof bike saddle protection).

So, FrockChick sartorial tips for rain survival?




  • Invest in a long waterproof that will cover your skirts/tunics and as much as possible of your legs (try to have hem falling at narrower bit of leg for the most flattering look – just above or below knee. I like the look of this Merrell one currently on sale.
  • Invest in an umbrella that doesn’t insist on turning inside out with the slightest gust of wind, or only just keeps the rain off your hair parting and that’s it. The larger feminine “Birdcage” variety often used by Royalty work well and enable you to see out, which is always useful! Lulu Guinness is on trend with the bird theme
  • Use a waterproofing  spray on your shoes/handbag/leather jacket…Kiwi do a good one….available in the supermarket

  • If you have a bike…Cath Kidston do a very good value Bike Seat cover in their Olympic themed “Be a Good Sport” print for just £3.50..which to my mind looks a lot better than a Tesco carrier bag tied in a knot.

As I write this, I’ve just received the “Flood Alert” warning for our local Hogsmill river – joy, oh joy. Time for the extra armour – colourful wellies. There will be a rainbow after all!


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Well..its been a while since blogging what with Easter holidays and the kids at home. Took my 2 boys (aged 8 and 10) for what I thought would be a cultural aesthetically interesting trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum on Monday…unfortunately, the only thing they said they were interested in seeing was the “EXIT” signs, exclaiming at the tops of their voices that it was the most boring day of their life – the spoilt brats! Toby commented that it was no surprise to him that there was “not one person queueing for the membership desk of that museum!” Well maybe it was a bit mean to drag them there, but I think its important to expand their horizons and give them a taste of a world that doesn’t involve computers and engines. Next time, the ballgown exhibition at the V & A?…I think my older child would literally follow through his threat to phone Childline at that point.

Allow me to indulge my feminine side for a bit here as it’s not had much of an airing with 3 males for 2 weeks of Easter holidays – and I’m avoiding the Nerf gun carnage and empty chocolate wrappers evident all around the house. (Do check out my latest feminine indulgence which I can occasionally snatch a few moments for, even when the boys are around – Pinterest – a brilliantly quick way to organise and share pictures, themes and trends that catch my eye)

Anyway, the theme for this blog is “Fashion Faux Pas”.  We live in an age of judgments about appearances. Grazia features a regular page of people being marked with tougher criteria than OFSTED inspectors, on their outfit –  from head to toe. Celebrities snapped make-up free are attacked for the bags under their eyes. People are monitored for their weight gain, weight loss, VPLs, muscle tone and adherence to the latest “trend commandments” – whether sufficient print is evident in their SS12 collection, if they’re wearing the right colour nail polish etc

Some of you were somewhat perturbed when I quoted the “Style Rules” mentioned on Women’s Hour during London Fashion Week..

  • NEVER wear anything above the knee once you hit 40
  • At all costs cover Armadillo  necks, Dinosaur knees and those dreaded Bingo Wings etc
If you identify with any of the above – or all 3, it can leave you feeling almost too scared to leave the house for fear of offending someone by failing to adopt this “advice”!
Poor Kate Middleton, who will always be the victim of the “fashion police”, was judged recently for reworking a dress her mother had worn! For someone who has endless resources and style at her disposal, I was impressed by her demonstration of exemplary restraint in the fashion department….and by abiding to one of FrockChicks key principles – finding an outfit that suits you and looks great, doesn’t have to cost you much energy or cash!
It’s not just women who the claws are out for, but the men too. This week, the Telegraph featured an article on the 20 things women hate about men’s wardrobes (think shiny suits, male hosiery, vest tops and my personal bugbear – slogan t shirts!).
This was in response to an article listing 10 (yes…just 10 for the ladies) items men hate in womens’ wardrobes – here…think dungarees, clogs, “Granny Chic” and shock, horror – leopard print and jumpsuits!

So,  does anyone have the right to tell us what we should and shouldn’t be wearing? Surely, any judgment should only be given if asked for – although it’s notoriously difficult to give the ‘right’ answer to “Does my bum look big in this?!” Taste and style are so subjective and culturally varied; there is no objective measure…so we have no right to judge each other, but we may, (or may not) value someone’s opinion on our attire..then we’ll ask for it.

It’s surely better to be wearing things that we like and that fit us (and to be honest, that cover our more unsightly attributes) than slavishly following the latest trends or trying to dress to impress others. It’s great to enjoy colour and sometimes fashion forces us (by the power of what it makes available to us in the shops) to try styles and colours we wouldn’t normally go for…and that can be fabulous. Think of when brown became the “new black” in the late 90’s  – that was a triumph for those of us with softer lighter colouring who to be honest look like death warmed up in black. And this seasons riot of colours available – in jeans, ballet pumps and more…might yet see the Goth teens accessorising black with a neon flash. And to be honest, we’re all cheered up by the rainbow of candy colours around this season. So let’s enjoy who we are and what we have been given in the looks department without too much worry about what others are thinking. But please, no visible G-string whaletail above your coloured skinny jeans – maybe that is an absolute fashion faux pas.




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FrockChicks @ White Stuff Kingston

FrockChicks hit White Stuff

FrockChicks will be at the White Stuff Kingston store all day on Thursday 22nd March from 9.30-4.30. We’ll be offering free consultations on body shape, colours etc (drop in during the morning or appointments in the afternoon. Phone WS Kingston to book in advance 020 8549 6934). FrockChicks special offers, tasty treats in store, goody bags from Space NK and Montezuma’s Choccies for any “FrockChicks” and of course special discounts for you on White Stuff clothes.

You might have seen this poster instore already?




Visit www.whitestuff.comto view the full range. There’s something for everyone this season. Here’s a taster…



Chinois - Pretty Doll shirt and cropped jeans

Chinois…a taste of the Orient. Statement prints and exciting colours

Tells a Story Tee shirt in Doe brown

Bridgehampton….great for those who prefer an understated, pared back palette

Embroidered dress in Coulis

Boca  Chica vintage florals and prints inspired by 50’s Riviera.

Your welcoming Kingston WS store


So pop along to the shop on Thursday for a cup of tea, FrockChicks signature body shape sweets (think pear drops, cherry cola bottles and ???) plus free style tips and money saving opportunities…. x

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FrockSwap update

Plans for Friday night’s Kingston Frockswap are coming along well. Visit our Specials page on the website for further details.

We already have some great clothes, in all sizes. Reiss, Boss, Boden, White Stuff, French Connection, Orla Kiely, Coast, David Emanuel, Hobbs and much much more.

Amazing jewellery from Lili Designs  and Stella and Dot will be on sale too…be among the first to get hold of the much reviewed jewellery trend sweeping the country       



Come and have a free hair consultation with Metropolis of Kingston plus vouchers and enjoy some free samples too.

Lovely Liz from Lancome will also be on hand with Lancomes new foundation range to sample and much more.

Our lovely friends, Lisa and Cara from THE LITTLE FROCK SHOP, Surbiton will also be there selling their gprgeous preloved clothes …Margaret Howell, French Connection etc

Bar open from 7.30. Bring your friends and clothes to swap or just come and browse the stalls. Raise money at the same time to save our lovely Parish Church building.


See you there

Carla and Hilary






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What would your “forever dress” be?

“It’s the wardrobe wonder piece that never lets you down; a go-anywhere, do-anything number to fling on for instant fabulousness.”

Read more:

We discovered this article recently and it got us thinking about “forever dresses” we’ve seen in clients’wardrobes…a beautiful Amanda Wakeley red full length dress bought as a wedding dress but so wearable for so many occasions afterwards; a simple black wool Jigsaw knee length dress worn by Emma for work, parties and more; a Karen Millen teal silk fitted sleeveless dress..and many other beauties. Discovering these in their wardrobes was pretty much always accompanied by a comment from the client something like “I LOVE this dress…It always works and I feel so special in it”. Sometimes spending that extra little bit or investing in a classic really pays off.

We thought we’d share our personal favourite “forever dresses” from our own wardrobes…


Although I’ve got some smarter dresses in my wardrobe, I’ve chosen this one, designed by Orion. With my lifestyle as it is, I find this dress works when I need to pull off something smarter than jeans but not be black tie..and actually that covers the majority of my social life at the this is definitely the dress I get the most wear from.

I love the colours, print and fabric of the dress. It’s so comfortable to wear, hides any lumps and bumps, especially my hips and has enough oomph on the shoulders to balance out my pear shape. I always get comments when I wear it because the colours work on me and it’s quite a striking print, in keeping with this years insect/animal print trend! I can dress it up with my fur coat, sheer tights and high heels, or for a slightly more casual look, wear it with leggings and boots. Black is a difficult colour for me to wear, and this is so light and bright (better for warm, light colouring!), I can pair it with all my taupes, browns and greens instead of black.


I love my sixties style red/orange French Connection dress. This fitted tunic style dress
suits my boyish body shape. I usually wear it with black tights & big block heels to create a
real retro look. I have a fab sixties handbag donated by Great Aunty Linda which finishes off the look perfectly. I also love to wear it with my biker boots & leather jacket when I feel like a dress down day.




So reply and tell us about your FOREVER DRESS and we’ll post it on our Blog….


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