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Kings Road Cocktails & Body Confidence

Encouraging body confidence for young disabled adults with Embargo 59 & Flamingo FoundationEmbargo 59 and Find My Style

At Find My Style we are super excited to announce our new collaboration with Embargo 59 and the Flamingo Foundation where we will be making a difference for young disabled adults over London Fashion Week in February 2014.

In a couple of weeks, Embargo 59 will be launching their special cocktail collection to raise funds and bring the catwalk to life for young disabled adults. The cocktail collection will be available for seven days only and each drink sold will raise £1 for the styling project run by charity Flamingo Foundation to fund personal styling sessions for young disabled adults.

The personal styling sessions will be led by Find My Style’s Hannah Jean, who will be working with participants to explore fashion, style and body confidence and adapting items of clothing. Hannah says, “Image and confidence in what we wear can make a huge difference, but young disabled people can feel removed from the fashion scene and find it difficult to find on-trend clothes that suit their style and their body. This project is a fantastic way to open up the world of fashion and demonstrate that everyone can find or adapt clothes to show off their individuality and tastes.”

Our favourite cocktail on the menu is ‘Shake Your Tail Feather’ – if you want to make it yourself, this is what you need: 

1 Peach
12.5ml Briot Peche de Vigne
37.5ml Bacardi Superior
20ml Lime juice
10ml Monin Gomme – To taste
15ml Mercier Champagne

To get the perfect cocktail you simply: 

• Cut a slice off the peach for the garnish.
• Put the rest of the peach and all other ingredients except the champagne into a blender with crushed ice and blend.
• Pour the drink into a glass, top with champagne and cap with crushed ice and garnish.

 

A word from Embargo 59

“Bringing together fashion and cocktails to support this wonderful project is a real privilege for us,” says Simon Downwood, General Manager at Embargo 59. “The new drinks taste and look amazing and we’re excited that young disabled people will be able to explore and enjoy fashion trends with the help of Hannah and Find My Style.”

Embargo 59 has become an institution among Chelsea’s elite clubbers and is one of the hottest nightclubs for spotting the latest fashions. With its unique and heady combination of glamour, serious partying and must-have style, it is the place to be seen. Find My Style is proud to be associated with Embargo 59 to work on a project that makes a difference.

 

Golden Rules for Bargain Lovers

Bargain lovers sales shoppingOn 26th December 2013 we spent £2.7 billion in stores and at online retailers across the UK, with many shops reporting their busiest Boxing Day to date. While the January sales are a great time to pick up those items that you have been secretly (and not so secretly) eyeing up while doing your Christmas shopping, here are a few golden rules for bargain lovers to keep in mind while rummaging through those rails.

Take your time and check the quality
Our enthusiasm for bargain-hunting means that we often forget to sense-check our shopping. Always look for fabric pulls, garment stains, construction faults and missing buttons in the clear light of day before you part with your hard-earned cash. With stores like M&S you can also check online to see if the garment has any product reviews, as knowing what other people think can be pretty helpful. Sizing can be haywire, so always check the garment label rather than the hanger and in terms of footwear make sure that both shoes are the same size before leaving the shop.

IMG_0504Have a coffee break
Shopping is hard work so remember to pace yourself and pencil in a juice/coffee/lunch stop where needed. That way you will be able to think straight about your purchases and your shopping should prove to be less tiring as you won’t be trying to run on empty.

Remember – true bargains are the ones you need 
We can easily justify buying a top in the sale if we think that there is any remote possibility that it will be worn. Always buy tops with the same level of caution as you would a coat, as it it doesn’t matter whether an item is £5 or £500 – you don’t want it taking up unnecessary wardrobe room and brain space as you try to figure out how you can possibly make it work. Always ask yourself if you would still buy it, even if it wasn’t reduced, and if the answer is ‘no’, then try to avoid it!

Try it on when you get home
Always try on everything when you get home – this is a great way to see how you can wear your new purchases with your existing wardrobe and it also provides a sense check for any of those impulsive buys!

Be honest with yourself
If it doesn’t work for whatever reason or it doesn’t quite fit, then always be honest with yourself. The likelihood is that you aren’t going to wear it or use it, so save your money and take it back while you still have the receipt to hand!

Images: Find My Style

 

The ‘Little Black Dress’ Dilemma

The ‘Little Black Dress’ Dilemma: Tips on how to dress for the Festive Seasonlbd

This post first appeared on the Beyond Chocolate Blog earlier this week and was followed by a live Q&A on the forum throughout the week for BC members. We had so much fun writing it that we thought to share it on here too! Enjoy!

In my previous life before becoming a stylist, the office party was one of the highlights of my social calendar and was usually preceded by several frantic (lunch break) shopping sessions to find the perfect outfit. As the party season approaches, here are some styling tips that I wish someone had told me back then in terms of what to wear…’

Keep it simple – it’s about you
Today psychologists know that the art of successful dressing is about understanding what your clothes say to you, not about you. The main person you have to please with your outfit is you. This can be as simple as knowing that you don’t have to wear a dress. A classy top and trousers is often more versatile when it comes to day to night style.

Wear great underwear
Choose a bra that fits, gives great support and makes you feel good. Get fitted properly and remember lace looks good but doesn’t give a smooth finish. Ultra soft stretch knickers or thongs will help avoid those VPLs. I’m not an advocate of spanks; if you wear the right clothes then you don’t need them.

audrey-hepburn-actress-moments

Buy something new/wear something ‘non-work’
Whether it’s a pair of shoes, some earrings or a dress, try to wear something that puts you in a fresh mind space. Equally remember that wearing something ‘non-work’ that has been re-interpreted by the washing machine may not be your best choice – my ex-go-to leopard print dress from last year springs to mind!


What part of your body are you ok with? Go show it!

Showing a bit of skin is sexy. It doesn’t matter if it is your neck, your arms or your ankles. Most people are generally ok with at least one of those, so think about what styles will suit you best. In terms of our bodies most people tend to carry their weight either on their stomach or their hips. Where you carry yours will be defined by the genetics of your skeleton. I carry mine on my hips and bum, therefore I always opt for clothes that emphasise my waist and hide my hips. My best friend carries her weight on her stomach; therefore she always goes for clothes that cut at her empire line (under the boobs) or hip line (1920s style) and shows off her great legs.

Be comfortable
Wearing fabrics with stretch (like jersey, wool or anything with some flexibility) ensures that you get a good fit and stay comfortable for the night. Stiff fabrics with no stretch can sit tight and ride up in uncompromising ways! Also there are plenty of sparkly party pumps out there, so don’t feel that you need to stress your feet in a night out in heels if it’s not your style!

Go for pattern rather than black
If you are conscious of your body, then going for a print rather than black can be a good option. The simple reason is that print confuses the eye. Block colours make areas look larger and patterns shrink them. Just make sure that the pattern scale is just right for you.

Final thoughts…keep the perspective
While it’s fun to dress up and make an effort (and there will be photos emerging on Facebook) remember that it’s unlikely people will be noticing much by the time they have made it through the free beer and wine! Simply go ahead and enjoy your night by owning the dance floor!

Want to know more…
If you would like to know more, then please feel free to connect with Hannah online. If you are looking for a special present for Christmas, then do visit our Christmas Gifts section and have a browse too. All our gift packages are gift wrapped and ready to go under the tree!

Personal Style & Wearable Technology

The original version of this blog post is available here and was written by my incredible cousin Debbie Stocker for the Stocker Partnership blog. She has kindly given me permission to share it on Find My Style. 

Walk-in-wardrobe

Wearable technology is an evolving marketplace. Although some would argue that the market is not new—Thomas Stuermer, senior executive with Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech group, observed that the term ‘wearable device’ was used as early as the 1990s and the first watch with a digital display was unveiled in 1972—advents such as Google Glass are thought to be the start of a present day wearable revolution.

Earlier this year, Credit Suisse predicted that the wearable technology market will increase tenfold to as much as $50 billion USD over the next 3 to 5 years. Others also believe that wearable devices will explode in popularity over the next year. Whether you agree with the figures or not, it’s inevitable that wearable tech is here to stay.

That said, I read an interesting article earlier last week in which John Holt Ripley, Front End Developer at Linney Design, wrote: ‘Wearable technology—things like Google Glass and the Nike FuelBand—have a bit of a problem in that they’re not particularly wearable. They’re designed as devices rather than accessories to clothing. Even the Samsung Gear isn’t that big an improvement on the calculator watch I had in the eighties.’

Ripley instead showcased the new, and rather beautiful, Shine by Misfit Wearables.

Shine is a waterproof, wireless, activity and sleep monitor that can be worn as a discrete accessory anytime, anywhere. In Misfit’s words, it has been “built to last a lifetime,” in a “timeless, award-winning design” that is “precision-crafted from aerospace grade aluminium”.

Stylised photo of a woman wearing a bright yellow, tasselled dress, standing in front of a theatrical mirror applying lipstick. She is wearing a Shine necklace.

What impressed me as I flicked through Misfit’s website is that, in many photos, Shine is almost imperceptible—it’s a button hole, a necklace (above), a brooch, a badge.  Admittedly the bracelet form is more similar to other devices, such as the Jawbone UP, but in its essence, Shine seems more akin to jewellery than another wristband.

Many consumers no doubt embrace wearable devices in a recognisably technological form—Peter Brown observed that an estimated 8 million Britons already don some form of wearable device and 39% intend to use wearable tech when it becomes more widely available. Some consumers even wear the technological form as a statement in itself. However, it is likely that wearable technology will not become a day to day reality until it becomes a subtle and integrated part of our lives.

Do I like the idea of a smart watch? Potentially but I’d rather wear a time piece that suits my style and femininity. Several commentators have similarly pointed out that Google Glass is great but they don’t wear glasses. Rosella, who worked as a designer for Valentino, observed that: “Google Glass is asking us to change the way we look on a daily basis…It might be fun in a work environment, but why would you want it to become your everyday style?”

Three photographs of different people wearing Google Glass. From left to right: 1) A man with a beard wearing a black leather cap, light grey cardigan and dark grey T-shirt; he is standing on a street and holding the index finger of his right hand to a white Google Glass. 2) A woman with short, reddish brown hair, wearing a red dress and standing in an office environment; she is wearing a blue Google Glass. 3) A young man and woman, both with blond hair and wearing grey T-shirts. He has his arms folded and she is holding a cup of coffee.  Both are wearing blue Google Glass'.

Does that mean that we’re not target market? Perhaps but wearable tech also faces other, more practical challenges. For example, if I purchase an item of wearable clothing, inevitably the technology is only embedded into that particular piece. Say this item is a jacket, to avoid wearing the exact same jacket day after day, I need to purchase more than one of the same wearable device in different colours and styles. But even if I do this, I’m still locked into buying the same brand.

In contrast, my wardrobe today contains only one such item and that is a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans in two different shades—everything else is unique. Different brands, different styles, different colours, and even vintage. Understandably, this is why many devices are sold as an accessory but this returns us to the fact that they’re not very wearable.

Innovations in sports and cycling, such as the truly brilliant Hövding (described as an invisible bicycle helmet), the Sporty Supaheroe (a cycle jacket embedded with LEDs that sense body movement and directionality), and NuMetrex’s range of heart monitoring apparel (sports bra, men’s cardio shirt or women’s racer tank) seem to be a little more wearable but these devices are not designed for everyday activities or use. Several still also require additional transmitters.

Three photographs of people wearing sports technology. From left to right: 1) A woman holding onto a railing and standing astride a white bicycle. She is wearing a black and white striped dress, a coffee coloured smart jacket and around her neck she is wearing a Hövding airbag. 2) A man sitting on a stool wearing sunglasses. He is also wearing a Sporty Supaheroe jacket and the white LEDs are lit either side of his chest. 3) A woman standing with her hands on her hips. She is wearing a blue NuMetrex sports bra.

In the longer term, and as argued by Liat Clark in Wired, it seems likely that for wearable tech to survive and thrive it will need to become as much a part, if not more, of the fashion industry as it is part of the technology market today. But again, for wearable tech to become truly mainstream, it needs not to get stuck in haute couture but to transition into something that the everyday (wo)man on the street is happy to wear.

As technologies both advance in capability and shrink in size, such a future becomes increasingly likely. At a recent Internet of Things Midlands Meetup, Neil Chilton, Technical Director and Co-Founder of Printed Electronics Ltd, shared that circuit boards can now be printed on some fabrics. With some such circuit boards being wafer thin, I imagine a day where I could pick out a dress and embedded in its fabric is imperceptible tech. Would I wear such a dress…just because it has tech in it? No. Because it looks fabulous? Oh yeah!

Image credits

Custom open dressing cabinets by ANYWAY doors on Flickr
Shine by Misfit Wearables

Google Glass by prae on Flickr
Google Glass and Future Health by tedeytan on Flickr
Google Glass OOB Experience by tedeytan on Flickr
Hövding Airbag for Cyclists
Sporty Supaheroe Jacket
NuMetrex Heart Rate Monitor Sports Bra

- See more at: http://www.stockerpartnership.com/blog/i-have-a-style-and-wearable-tech-isnt-it-not-yet-anyway/