3 tips for Incorporating Statement Jewellery into your Life

If you follow my Instagram account, then you’d by know that I’m obsessed with 2 things in my life. Maya and Jewellery.

I have a thing for big bold bright jewellery, and there is never such a thing as too much in my world when accessorizing.

I realize not everyone is as hardcore as me:-

  • When I have to travel I have a special case for my jewellery
  • When there is a jewellery sale my heart starts to palpitate
  • When I know there is a set to the ring I just bought, I go a little crazy and want it all
  • If I cant see it from a mile away I don’t want it
  • When I get dressed I choose my jewellery first
  • I think of jewellery as Art – of which I am an avid collector.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember during the London backpacking days, I wore the tiniest earrings and ring you ever did see. But when you’re living out of a suitcase with not much money to buy new outfits you start searching for ways to improvise. And so my jewellery obsession began.

I found it to be like anything else new, all you have to do is like it, want to wear it, put it on and get on with life.

So here are my 3 tips for incorporating statement jewellery into your life.

  1. Start with wearing only one bold piece to stand out and keep the rest minimal. You could wear a gorgeous statement necklace and keep your earrings/rings/bracelets small or wear none at all.

    starring maya how to wear statement jewellery
    Gorgeous Peter Lang necklace with stud earrings
  2. Pair bold jewellery with simple outfits. If you’re wearing a lot of prints and patterns, it can be hard to find something that goes if you are not a seasoned jewellery wearer. On the other hand if you are wearing, say a white shirt or tee with jeans, virtually any statement piece would look amazing. Keep it Simple.

    Starringmaya how to wear statement jewellery keeping it simple
    Alesha Dixon in a classic white shirt and jeans making for a great canvas for bold jewellery. Earrings and necklace by Peter Lang. Image of Alesha found on Pinterest.
  3. Choose jewels within your own personal style. If you only wear silver, then go for a statement piece in silver so you feel more comfortable. If you’re favourite colour is blue, try a turquoise piece. Or, if you’ve only ever worn earrings and no other piece of jewellery, then just start with statement earrings.

    starringmaya starter pieces
    Some great statement jewellery ideas to inspire you. All these beauties are from Peter lang.

I wear bold jewellery because I love looking at it, I love the way it feels. I love it period. I never for a minute ever wondered if it suited me or not, I just wear it because I like it.

Go ahead and try it. Do it with conviction and confidence. Take a selfie even!  No one will know it’s your first time anyway. They’re all too busy taking their own selfies

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 6 – How to Know your Body Shape and Create your Personal Style

Working out your personal style and what suits your body can seem quite daunting especially with so many fashion magazines, fashion shows, fashion blogs and of course social media.

Messages of what you should buy, confusing articles and tv shows telling us it’s better to be skinny but dangerous to be obsessed about it, love your body no matter what size but try to loose weight, be your own person but wear what everyone else wears and so on and so on.

Let me just say that the only thing that matters is your health and looking after the body that is keeping you alive. So as long as you’re healthy, you eat delicious food that hopefully nourishes your body and soul( im talking about chocolate here) and excercise to keep the old bones from falling apart, don’t worry so much about the number on your clothing.

When I was a size 1o, I never exercised, and I ate a chocolate bar and drank coke for breakfast most days. I was at my most healthiest when I was a size 12/14. I was toned, I went to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, I ate healthy most of the time with lots of naughty stuff too but I never dieted. Perfect score at my annual doc’s check up every year so I knew I was healthy.

Right now I’m pretty unhealthy and overweight, something which i need to get under control so I can keep up and play with Maya when she’s a little older and be around a lot longer. That’s another challenge I need to get on to as soon as I can.

Now, on to what you clicked on to read.

 Step 1: Work out your Body Shape

There are the 5 basic shapes with lots of variations in between. The easiest way is to either measure yourself or stand in front of a mirror and imagine yourself as a 2D outline.

For each basic body shape there are general Guidelines on what to wear and what to avoid.

starringmaya body shapes

You are an Hourglass if your boobs and hips are around the same width with a narrower defined waist. This is the holy grail of shapes, picture Marilyn Monroe. Clothes always look fantastic when worn on an hourglass body because of the perfect proportions and balance. Play it up by emphasizing your waist, accessorizing with belts and  pencil skirts.

Triangle – this is where the top half of your body is wide,  narrowing down to a smaller hip and bottom. To balance out your shape, bring focus to the bottom half with prints, textured fabrics, A-line skirts, bright colours. Downplay the top half with darker tonal colours, minimal accessories and small prints.

Pear shape is the opposite – small boobs, narrow shoulders, wide hips and booty. Here you need to bring all the attention to the top half of your body by statement necklaces or earrings, print or bright colours, tops with gathers, pleats or as many sequins as you desire. With Your bottom half, An A-line silhouette will be most flattering, in plain darker colours or small prints.

Rectangle is a pretty common shape whether you’re slim or curvy. Its when chest waist and hips are almost similar in measurement. To give you some shape, the best and quickest way to do this is to accessorize with a belt. The idea is to give your waist some definition. Flared or A-line skirts are also flattering.

The Apple shape– is where the middle section  of your body is wider than chest and hips. Usually this would mean that you are short-waisted as well. Lucky me. Take it from me this is one of the hardest shapes to dress. To lengthen the torso and bring attention to the shoulder and chest area, wear statement accessories like scarves or chunky necklaces and earrings.  V necklines are great, and the tailored jacket or vest will be your best friend. On the bottom half wear body skimming straight or slightly flared/Aline skirts in darker colours or smaller prints. Emphasize the smallest area of your body which is usually just under the boobs (empire line), and show off your legs by wearing knee-length skirts.

 Of course, as I mentioned earlier, there are other variations like:

  • Long torso – balance this out with high-waisted skirts/pants and belts.
  • Short waist – layer your tops. Tops with collars add height and wear skirts/pants low on waist or hips.
  • lovely saddle bags – A line skirts or straight leg pants are best.
  • Big boobs – V or low scoop necklines, long necklaces and wrap tops/dresses are great for minimising.
  • Small boobs – you can wear high turtle necks, any high neck tops, tops with ruffles, gathers or chunky necklaces to add volume.
  • Short legs – knee-length skirts or  pants/skirts/dresses worn long to cover the heels of shoes.
  • Thick legs/ankles – avoid ankle or calf length boots, wear skirts ending at narrowest part of leg, usually just below or on the knee.

Hopefully now you have a little clarity over what body shape you are and the silhouettes you need to look out for when shopping.

Step 2: Work out your Personal Style.

Remember week 1 when you had to collect images and styles of clothing you like and create a mood board? This is where it come in handy.

mood board starringmaya

Pick out the essence of the style, it may be that like me, you like the tuxedo look which means that a black tailored jacket, and white shirt is the essence.

It may be floaty romantic dresses, or leggings and tees with leather jackets. Or it may be just the classic blue jeans or bohemian style jewellery.

Whatever it is, adapt it to your shape and you’ll not only have your open style, but you’ve made it your own by making it work for you and your life.

My personal style is relaxed loose fitted tops worn with jeans or skirts, blacks, whites and statement jewellery. I like to have a black jacket in tjhe closet for the days I feel like dressing my jeans up, and scarves are the ultimate winter accessory, not only good for upifiting outfours, but for covering up little finger prints of food left by cheeky 1 year olds!

Hope you enjoyed  this week’s wardrobe challenge.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:


If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: the finishing touches

xxx shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 3 – Accessories and Makeup

The 7 Step Wardrobe Challenge: Step 3 – Jewellery, Makeup and Accessories

Hope you’ve all had a pretty productive week, maybe even gone through a few clothes from last week’s challenge? Maybe?

It’s been a strange kind of week at my end, heartbreaking news of the late and great and utterly divine Mr Robbins, and a poor little sick girl to look after have kept me busy and emotional.  Hence why this is a few days late, but nevertheless, here I am, as promised with some hopefully great tips and tricks to get your accessories and makeup sorted.

Part 1 – Makeup

This should be really easy because I guarantee you that more than half your makeup needs to go in the trash bag right now. Did you know that makeup has a shelf life?

Just like a bottle of milk in the fridge, it goes off, and essentially what you are doing is putting on stale and bacteria ridden product on your skin. Disgusting right?

So let’s go – culling your makeup:

1. Throw away any makeup you have that are way past the use by date – products don’t usually have a use by date stamped on them but here is a guide to how long makeup lasts approximately from when you bought it:

  • Powder products like eyeshadow, blush and powder foundation – 2 years
  • Liquid foundation and concealer – 2 years
  • Mascara- 6 months
  • Eyebrow pencil, lip liner, eyeliner- 1 year
  • Lipstick – 1 year
  • Makeup sponges – 6 months

I had to throw out jars I’ve had for over 5 years. It’s easy to do when you know that it actually harms your skin and causes blockages and breakouts.

2. Once you’ve thrown away the stale makeup, go through remaining items and throw away any of the following:

  • Samples given to you that you’ve never used, and are using up valuable real estate on your makeup shelf
  • Crusty nail polishes
  • Things that were an impulse sale buy or because a salesperson insisted that you look fab in blue lipstick and you didn’t want to let her down.
  • Broken or cracked palettes of eyeshadow or blush

Part 2. Jewellery and Accessories (Including Scarves, Belts and Hair Adornments)

I’m a firm believer in ‘jewellery is for life’, unless its cheap and cheerful and easily disposable. If you have any jewellery that is expensive and well made, or sentimental, keep it always.

I’m hoping that one day Maya will treasure all the jewellery I’ve been collecting. If not, I’m sure I’ll find somebody to love it!

Anyway, I digress…back to part 2:

Sort every item of jewellery, scarves, belts and hair accessories into the following stacks:

  • Keep – as mentioned above, all valuable pieces plus any current accessories that still have a few more months of fashion shelf life
  • Throw – anything broken and unfixable
  • Repair – things that need a new clasp/buckle, polishing or missing stones replaced
  • Charity or sell – these are pieces that you don’t like anymore, are unwanted gifts or fashion fad pieces you bought cheap.

*Goes without saying I hope, that the charity, repair and throw piles need to go straight in the bin or car to be taken to where it needs to go.

starringmaya - how to store rings in a howard storage world perspex drawer
I could never part with any of my beloved rings and after so many years of looking for a home for them, I finally found it. This fantastic perspex drawer is deep enough for my chunkiest of rings and lets me see all of them at a glance without rummaging through. And it looks so pretty! Perfection. You can find them at Howard Storage.


Extra Tips on Taking Care of your Accessories:

  • Keep a jewelery polishing cloth to shine up crusty jewellery. Available in supermarkets or jewellery stores.
  • Invest in a jewellery repair kit with small pliers, earing backs and hooks, jump rings and clasps for a quick repair job. (All available at Spotlight)
  • Avoid getting perfume or hairspray on jewellery to keep them in good condition
  • Keep silk and wool scarves in a well ventilated area with a cedar ball to repel moths and silverfish who loves to eat through natural fibres
  • Treat leather belts as you would bags and shoes – give them a condition with leather cream every few months.
  • Wash and disinfect your makeup brushes regularly to keep them free of pimple causing bacteria. I use Shampoo and a little bit of dilluted dettol.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:


If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #7stepwardrobechallenge so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Shoes and Bags.

xxx Shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 2 – Culling your Clothes

The 7 Step Wardrobe Challenge: Step 2 – Culling Your Clothes

starring maya culling illustration
My bedroom was way too messy to show you, so I’ve done a completely unrealistic sketch of what it should look like while you’re culling.

This week, this step truly will be a challenge for me, with a super clingy 1-year-old and a job to go to every day I am going to need to be extra creative about finding time.

I need to keep reminding myself why I’m doing this – (more space and more things to wear).

By now hopefully you spend at least a couple of minutes thinking about last week’s challenge, and have a pretty good idea of what you want your wardrobe to look like and what your style is heading towards.

This challenge will probably take you the longest because you will have to go through every single piece of clothing and underwear you have and be utterly ruthless. I promise you though, it will be well worth it when you see lots of empty hangers and a wardrobe with only the good stuff.

I find this highly therapeutic and liberating, it’s a form of meditation.

So, before you begin, let me just say that I realize not everyone’s life is as black and white as most wardrobe decluttering guides would like to think. I do know that sometimes you really are loosing weight and you will have to account for that, or that you might be breastfeeding so can’t throw away all your bras.

Sometimes, like me, you might have seasonal work where you need to keep that ugly old raincoat and gumboots for long cold wet days while filming. Some people, like me, are very sentimental, especially when they have a little girl and would like to keep all the special things for the day when she’s old enough to wear them.

And, sometimes, tastes change. I go through phases where I will wear only maxi dresses and then abandon them for jeans for a couple of years. And so on and so on.

I can’t tell you what clothes to keep, but I can give you advice on how to get rid of things that don’t do you justice.

A 10 Step Guide to Culling your Clothes:

1. Throw everything (apart from socks/bras and undies) on the bed, and I mean everything. empty the hangers. empty the shelves. This way you have no excuse  to not finish before you need to go to bed.

2. Divide your hangers in half. Keep one half on the bed and stash the other half for now. The ones on the bed are the ones you are allowed to use at the most to     hang everything back up.

3. You’re now going to make 7 piles of clothing.

  • Keepers – These are items you wear regularly and/or you know look amazing on you. 
  • Trash – Yellowed whites, faded blacks, stained and ripped clothing that you should never wear.
  • Charity – Clothes that you have not worn in a long time, you no longer love, and doesn’t look good on you. 
  • Alteration – Does a button need replacing on a loved shirt? Or a hem that’s come undone? Or a new dress waiting to be hemmed?
  • Seasonal Storage – Store away summer, winter or maternity clothes that you know you wont be wearing for a while.  
  • For your babies – Anything amazing you don’t wear but know will be cherished and even vintage by the time they grow up. 
  • Sell – Anything with tags or good condition can be sold on Ebay or at local second-hand markets so why not make some cash for new clothes? 

       While going through each item ask yourselves the following questions

  • Does it flatter you? does it work for your body type?
  • When was the last time you wore it?
  • Is it too small?  Or too big?
  • Is it outdated – consider that a 19 year can wear the current trend of the 80’s pant and look great but a 40-year-old will look outdated.
  • Is it falling apart?
  • Can it be salvaged with new buttons/zip, or altered to make it more flattering?
  • Is the colour one that everyone compliments you on or comments on how tired/sick you look?
  • Is it uncomfortable? a Fabulous knit wont look so hot if you’re always scratching yourself while wearing it.
  • Do you feel like yourself when you wear this or do you always think of a friend who looks great in it but it just doesn’t hang right on you?
  • Is it a classic piece that will never date or a fashion fad item (My neon yellow necklace come to mind – definitely fad. Fun, but fad)

4. Go to your ‘keep’ pile and hang everything up making sure you do a second round of culling as you go. You don’t need to be too perfect, this step is just about                                            getting rid of clutter. Be ruthless. you don’t have room for things that don’t add to the quality of  your life.

By now you probably need a break and your room looks like a bomb hit it, so go make yourself a cup of tea and watch a movie or have some chocolate.

And then continue..

5. Put the trash pile in a bag and in the bin straight away.

6. The charity pile goes in a garbage bag and out by the front door or in your car to drop off on your next trip out.

7. The alteration pile can go on the couch if you’re planning to do it yourself or in your car to drop off at the tailors. The sooner you do it the sooner you get to wear your broken clothes again.

8. Storage and future clothes for the babies should be stored appropriately to protect the fabrics (more on this later) but for now they can live in a tub under the bed or in a neat pile somewhere in your room that wont drive you mad for the next 2 to 3 weeks while you finish your wardrobe challenge.

9. Once your bed is clear move on to your undies and socks draw. This should take you no more than 10 minutes – remember, we are not organising, we are just throwing away the bad and keeping the good.

For each bra or undies, ask yourself, would you be embarrassed of it if a salesperson busted into the changeroom while half-naked? Would you let your girlfriend share your changeroom with you while trying clothes or would you not want her to see your sad-looking delicates?

Undies and Socks:

Throw Away:

  • Anything old, worn out or stained
  • Bras you havent worn in the last 12 months
  • Laddered hosiery and single socks


  • Beautiful lingerie that still fit and look great on
  • Bras and knickers in good condition
  • Store long boot socks with your winter clothes
  • Store any maternity bras if you’re planning on having more babies, with your maternity clothes.

By now your room will be back to normal and your head and wardrobe should feel a whole lot lighter!

The last step is something you can do in your own time, preferably before the shopping challenge so you have some extra cash.

10. Photograph everything in the Ssell’ pile and hang them all up together in a garment bag so they are out of sight. If you iron or steam them before you photograph, the clothes will look so much more beautiful to buyers. Use a mannequin or shoot them on yourself or a friend. If you want to sell at markets, book a date at your local ones.


Just remember – this week’s challenge is just about decluttering – not organising,keep it simple.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

Need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comment section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #7stepwardrobechallenge so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Jewellery makeup and accessories edit.

xxx shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

The 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 1 – Get Inspired

The 7 Step Wardrobe Challenge: Step 1 – Get inspired and get to know yourself.

The very first thing to do before starting any big project is to know where you’re going.

Ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to do this? Maybe it’s because you’re sick of your clothes, never know what to wear, or maybe it’s because your wardrobe is small and you need to reassess to work with what you’ve got.
  2. What would your dream scenario be?
  3. Whats your end goal? Is to be able to pull out anything from your closet and know that it looks good? Do you want to have a better idea of what suits your shape? Do you want to reinvent yourself? Is it to have more space? Or is it to have a prettier more organised wardrobe?

You can answer these on your head or on a piece of paper ( I love my ‘notes’ app on the iPhone for jotting down anything and everything) Knowing these will help you during the next few challenges to keep focused and really enjoy the experience.

Now, create a mood board.

Thankfully in this digital age we don’t have to spend hours cutting and pasting magazines unless you want to, there are plenty of resources online to help you. The easiest way I know how is on Pinterest.

If you don’t already have an account, I highly recommend it, but I warn you, it’s very addictive!

A mood board helps you identify your style. After a few hours of going through images, you’ll find a common theme that attracts you. It’s also great to keep referring to when you need a hit of inspiration.

I’ve created a personal style mood board for myself with images I’ve found online.

mood board starringmaya

It’s pretty obvious that I love the shirt, and classic clean lines with a bit of colour here and there. My inspiration has always been the greats like Katherine Hepburn with her masculine style and Audrey Hepburn’s feminine and classic blacks.

Personally, I’m not so much as reinventing myself as just reminding myself of who I am and what I love. It’s easy to forget when you’ve spent almost 2 years wearing marquees.

So get on your computer or find that stash of old magazines and collect a few images that inspire you.

Here are 4 tips on creating a mood board:

  1. Collect anything that you are attracted to.
  2. Don’t limit yourself: you don’t have to buy or wear it, you just have to love it. Dream big. 
  3. Look to celebrities and their street styles for some great style ideas.
  4. Find pictures of your perfect wardrobe space – it doesn’t have to be realistic. The one on my mood board certainly isn’t!

Hope you have lots of fun with this one!

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comment section below or on Facebook. If you feel like sharing your mood board on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #7stepwardrobechallenge so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: culling your clothes.

xxx shereen



PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen