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

My top 10 Tips on How to Dress like Strong Confident Woman.

how to dress like a stong confident woman starring maya

I’m having one of those weeks where I just want to bury my head in the sand and deny that I have anything to do. If only I could go on strike for a day, but I don’t think anyone would care. My little boss Maya wouldn’t have a bar of it.

But anyway, I’d been trying to think of what style-ish posts I can write that might be useful and I had a vision of Maya as a young  woman going out into the world as her own. It’s a very, very strange and scary thought seeing as she’s only just turned two.

I like to imagine one day she will ask me how to know what to wear and how to put it all together. At least I hope she asks me, god help me if she buys one of those ridiculous girly fashion magazines to educate herself from and learn a hundred ways how she is lacking.

This is what I would tell her.

My ten top tips on how to dress like a strong confident woman.

  1. Strong posture. It doesn’t matter how you feel inside, how nervous you are, how much you wish a black hole would open and swallow you up. In nerve-wracking situations which could be anything from walking into a bar alone, to a job interview all you have to do is lengthen your spine, shoulders back, head up and smile like you know something no one else does. Technically that’s true anyway. Great posture, or carriage as they used to call it in the dark ages can make you look composed, confident and strong even if you’re a trembling mess inside.
  2. Know what you like. Ever since I saw Katherine Hepburn in a white shirt  in an old 40’s movie, and Audrey Hepburn in a black long sleeve top and pant, I’ve incorporated it into my everyday style . I love the simplicity of it. When I dress in what I love, I feel great. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s in fashion or not. Black and white never lets me down. Your thing might be bohemian, or vintage, or the classic jeans and t-shirts. All that matters is that you love it and you own it.starringmaya audrey hepburn
  3. Dress for your shape. Knowing what suits you will help you find gorgeous designs to flatter you. I would love to be able to wear body con dresses but alas, my body doesn’t look good in them. Why would I make my poor body unhappy and uncomfortable? On the other hand a dress I recently purchased from Asos looks great on and I feel so damn good in it! The amazing Sophia Loren said that a dress should serve it’s purpose without obstructing the view, which is true of my lovely wiggle dress. Although, I don’t always follow this rule. Most of the time I run around in oversized shirts dresses and oversized tops with jeans. I love the feeling of loose fabric swishing around me but I also know that I’m tall enough to carry the extra volume off. So, know what suits you.

    starring maya asos wiggle dress
    Wiggle dress from ASOS
  4. .Choose one bit of skin to show. This one is simple, show off either your boobs or your thighs. Trust me you can look amazing even all covered up. As shown by Audrey Hepburn above.
  5. The ‘one fitted one floaty’ trick. If you have a two piece outfit a really flattering way to style is to pair a loose top with a fitted bottom or vice versa. For example a fitted top with an a-line skirt, tunic with leggings or fitted pencil skirt with a shell top.  This rule helps to show of your curves and always makes for a lovely silhouette

    starringmaya fitted floaty
    The fitted jeans and floaty top – one of my favourite looks. This look is from Asos.
  6. Make only 1 item the hero. It could be a statement piece of jewellery, a sequined jacket or an amazing print dress. Let everything else compliment that one piece instead of competing with it. Ofcourse I wont be following that rule when I’m a little old lady. I fully intend to wear all my big rings at once, huge necklaces and earrings, red lipstick and Chanel suits. Bring on the eccentricity of old age!
  7. Start and end your outfit in the same colour or theme. This is a really easy formula for instant polish if you feel like you need something extra. If you’re wearing a plain outfit of white tee and blue jeans, layer on a couple of long bohemian-ish necklaces (start of outfit) and a pair of bohemian sandals (end of outfit). Or, with the same outfit a black jacket (start) and black shoes (end). My favourite look at the moment is a gold and silver statement necklace with jeans and a tee, finished off with a pair of gold flats.
  8. Choose your shoes wisely. Do your back a favour and don’t wear heels that you can’t walk in. I always see impeccably dressed girls in their mega heels tottering precariously along. It doesn’t make you look confident or sexy when you are wobbling like a hunched unbalanced toddler. I used to only wear the super 10 inch heels when you know you’ll be sitting or standing in them for most of the time. For walking I used to carry flats. I knew my limitations.
  9. Shop well. Dont spend your money on clothes that look cheap. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to shop smart. Look for good fabrics that will launder well and always try everything on. Most internet shopping sites allows free returns in order to allow you to try on at home. Indicators of ‘cheap’ clothing are usually ill-fitting garments, puckered seams, baggy shoulders and sleeves, loose threads, uneven hemlines, blacks usually have a reddish our brown tint to them, and stretch fabric doesn’t bounce back after you stretch it. If you only get one wear out of it before it falls apart it’s a waste of money. Consider Cost per wear.
  10. Build your perfect capsule wardrobe. Meaning each item should be able to create many outfits. For example a fantastic jacket – one of the most versatile and worn pieces in anyone’s wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses. Nikki from styling you has just done a great example of creating a capsule wardrobe with 17 pieces creating 28 outfit combinations.

    capsule items via styling you - starring maya
    17 piece capsule collection via Styling you the blog.

.And please for the love of all that is good in this world, don’t hide yourself for the sake of fashion rules. If it’s a hot day and your arms don’t look thinner than a hungry catwalk model, go ahead and wear a sleeveless top because your comfort should always come first. Also because really, no one cares. Everyone is too busy with their own lives and their iPhones anyway. The people who look up and judge negatively are either secretly wishing they had your confidence or are just dicks.

Have I forgotten something? Do you have any more wise tips I can pass on to my child one day?

sophia loren quote starring maya

 

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

Why Women Find it Hard to Change Thier Wardrobe

Sometimes I’ll meet a client who wants a different wardrobe but she doesn’t want to change. They like the idea of a new style or look but when it comes to actually creating a new wardrobe for them they can’t bring themselves to go through with it.

Why is it so hard for some women to change their wardrobe style?

I have a few theories. I could be wrong, has happened many many times before so tell me to shut up anytime.

Do any of these reasons/excuses sound familiar?:

  • You try on lots of styles but insist you don’t like anything new.
  • You don’t think it will have any real benefit so what’s the point.
  • It can be too expensive.
  • You don’t want to stray far from what you normally wear.
  • You’re afraid that you’ll become different inside – for eg you work with children and are compassionate and dressing too well might change that perception.
  • you’re worried your new clothes will make people think you care more about yourself than anything important.

I get it, I really do. But you have to get over it!

Having confidence in yourself in how you look is a pretty powerful thing, whether you are into high fashion or alternative, it doesn’t matter. If you truly  don’t like it, do something about it.

Change is not easy.

I grew up in a home and community where we were encouraged to take pride in our appearances, but to never seem that you tried too hard. Never wear too much makeup, or really fancy clothes because people will think that you’re vain and conceited. Look good but look plain, don’t try too hard but do your hair. Oh is that a new coat? Look’s expensive – how lucky you must be not to have to worry about anything but pretty things for yourself. Aka – you’re vain youre selfish… who do you think you are?

Pretty fucked up yes?

It’s taken me a long time to get over it, and still I wonder if sometimes people see me as self-centred because I splashed out on expensive shoes, or even just new shoes and I’m pretty sure my mother thinks I’m substituting the baby’s food money for my jewellery addiction.

Anyway, to change your wardrobe is not a simple matter of buying new clothes and dressing like one of your idols. You have to go through a bit of a  psychological change.

You got to be prepared to let go of the old and see someone new in the mirror.

You have to let go of the notion that people might think you are now a follower or a fashionista (god I hate that word) and not yourself.

I once had a client, who after a day of buying beautiful clothes, stop when it came to accessories  because it would make her look TOO good. Yes really.

Whatever your reason is for wanting a change in your wardrobe, make sure it’s a good reason, somewhere along the lines of it giving you more confidence, making you happy etc, and hold on to it.

And know that even though your outside appearance will change, you will still be who you are.

Life’s too short to live with what you hate.

What do you think? Do you find it hard to make the changes that you really want? Tell me in the comments below.

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 7: The finishing Touches

Whether you now have a fantastically organised wardrobe, or a bit fat proud mess, it’s all good. I may spout the merits of a perfect wardrobe but in reality, it will stay tidy for a few days at best and then back to mayhem.

Although it’s great having the extra space and beautiful storage products, my wardrobe is always, unashamedly going to be messy.

Always has been. always will be. And ive made peace with. It’s who I am.

At least now when I do tidy up it really does look like a very creative organised and intelligent woman’s wardrobe. Not really.

So now on to the last step of the wardrobe challenge – thank goodness it’s over because I’m exhausted!

To finish of your wonderful wardrobe challenge, here’s a few little tips to make your life easier:

 Create Outfits:

Play dress ups in your closet. Whether it’s for work or play, put together whole outfits that you know work really well and take a selfie in the mirror so you can see every item clearly.  Try on everything and create as many outfits as you can. You might even find that you can cull a little more.

Keep the images on your phone and on the mornings when you’re running late or your brain can’t compute what goes with what, go through your photos and choose an outfit. Easy.

Make a Shopping List:

While you are creating your outfits, you’ll realize that maybe a couple of singlets, a jacket or a fresh white shirt is a much-needed item to complete a look. Write down your wish list and whenever you have time or money, add these pieces to your wardrobe.

 Create a Check Station:

Have an area in your home where you keep just a select few basic bits of jewellery and makeup so that you can quickly sort yourself out as you’re leaving.

My check station is right by the front door where I keep a few earrings, a couple of scarves, lip gloss, sunglasses and perfume. Just enough to give me a little boost in 10 the seconds I have before little Maya pushes me out the door. Oh and a mirror helps… many a times I’ve had to suck it up and go back to at least brush my hair or get a clean unstained top. I may have  let standards slide in some areas but I still have a little pride left!

 Double Up on Basics.

This is of course a luxury, but if you can, I highly recommend having a downsized version of the check station like above in your handbag and car. In a little case keep basic makeup like powder and gloss, maybe a pair of earrings and a necklace, needle and thread, safety pins, hollywood tape, bobby pins and hair tie.

You never know a hem or button will rip, or a last-minute catch up with friends might pop up, i promise you’ll be grateful for the stash in the car!

 

starring maya check station
My bits of jewellery by the front door

starring maya perfume bottles

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.

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 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. Before you Begin…

image via HBO
Carrie’s wardrobe from sex in the city – image via HBO

This post takes me back to my first business as a personal stylist where I used to hold cosy little workshops on how to dress for your shape amongst other topics.  Its been a long time since those days and I’ve missed it!  Which is why it’s been so much fun creating this online interactive workshop.

This is my 7 step wardrobe makeover challenge. It’s one step a week for 7 weeks where I give you loads of tips and ‘how to’s’ on culling, organising your closet, and working out what shapes, styles and silhouettes suit your body shape.

I promise I won’t tell you that you need to spend hundreds on a neon trapeze swing dress just because it’s in fashion. You’re the best judge of what looks good on you and what you can afford.  I’m just here to give you a few ideas and inspiration.

It sounds like a massive challenge, and while it certainly is in-depth, I’ve made it easy and fun to do.  A little bit each week where you give your love and attention to just one task at a time without being overwhelmed, and still have plenty of weekend time to go out and play.

Also, anyone with a child can tell you that a whole weekend dedicated to yourself is never gonna happen!

I’ll be doing this for myself as well, and believe it or not, I’m not a supermodel/celebrity/fashion plate so my advice is based on my real life, my 15 years in the fashion and film industry, on living with a sweet little baby and on my pretty ordinary budget.

In the last 2 years my body has changed so much. It’s been enormous while making a baby and then nursing for a year means it still is not even remotely back to its normal self.

Now, I have no illusions that it will ever go back to the same, and I’m okay with that. Small price to pay for having my beautiful girl to cuddle for the rest of my life.

But I do need to re define my style, figure out what suits me now. Not just for my shape but for my lifestyle. I can hardly strut around all day in 9 inch heels while carrying a child! I need to do a huge cull, let go of the old and embrace the new.

My 7 steps to creating your perfect wardrobe

Each week I will go through all the steps to help you cull and decide what to keep, throw or stash. How to look after your precious items and great ideas on storing and displaying your favourite things. Most of all, I’ll be going through how to work out your personal style and getting to know your body shape and what suits you. Starting next week.

 

Step 1 will be on the blog next Wednesday, meanwhile please feel free to share with friends who might enjoy this too.

Does this sound like something that you’d benefit from?

If you have any more ideas our questions I’d love to hear them in the comments section below. or you can post them on my InstagramTwitter or Facebook accounts.

xxx

 

 

 

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

How to choose the perfect boots for you

A few days ago a friend asked me what style of boots she should wear for her short legs and busy life… no heels.

In answer to her question, here are some things to think about when shopping for new winter boots.

1. The most important one – choose the correct boot height. Wherever the top of the boot ends, is where the eye will stop. So, if the boot ends at the widest part of your leg, that’s what area will stand out most. If you have chicken legs ( very skinny legs), wear boots that end at your calf, giving you some shape. If you have wide calves you don’t want to highlight, choose boots that end at the narrowest part of your leg –  either below your knee or just below the calf.

Below are drawings i did of an average height girl and a tall girl, both left and right are exactly the same height and width. They illustrate how different a body can look. You can see how the ones ending at the widest part make the legs look wider, and shorter.

curvy girl boots
Average height girl – boots ending at widest part on left, boots ending on narrowest part on right.
Tall girl – boots ending on widest part of leg on the left and narrowest on the right.

2. To elongate legs keep the eye travelling from heels up.  If you’re wearing a dress, wear tights along the same tones as your boots. If you want to tuck your jeans into your boots, wear skinny legs in the same tone. For example, wear black or dark denims with black boots. If you wear light denim with dark boots you’re just cutting your legs in half. (Which is fine if you are already tall)

3. Another trick to elongate legs is to buy shoes that have a pointy rather than a round toe.

round pointy toe
The same body in both illustrations look so different with the rounded toe on the left and the pointed toe on the right.

4. Slouchy boots can look great but they do make legs look thicker and shorter. Slimmer cuts are the most flattering.

5. Ankle boots are one of my favourites – if you have thick ankles i’d steer away but if you must, then wear them with tights/jeans along the same tone as the shoe. For example – chocolate-brown leggings and dark tan ankle boots.

You don’t always have to wear heels to look taller. Unfortunately for me, working on my feet as a buyer and as a mummy, it’s just not practical , although I do admire some of my more glamorous mummy friends for wearing heels everyday. Now my pretty shoes just sit on the shelves staring sadly at me… right now. that’s what they’re doing.

Here are some boots I’ve grabbed of the wittner website to illustrate further the above points.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 9.54.44 pm
This is a great example of a slim boot that ends just under the knee and has an elongated pointy toe
Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.00.01 pm
I love these boots. I know they’re not flats but its perfect in its height and the pointed toes. Worn with dark jeans or tights/pants these would look stunning on anyone.
Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 9.55.37 pm
This one has a wide opening and a short rounded toe, making it much harder to flatter

I hope you got something out of this post, but if you have any more questions come along to my Facebook page here and ask away. I will do my very best to answer 🙂 xxx

 

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