Winter Layering: and my New ‘Personal Styling/Shopper’ Services

Hello everyone! As responsible adults, we have all been taught that we should think things through before we embark on new ventures. However, as many of you can identify, there comes a time when it is time to stop thinking and take some long-awaited action.  Offering personal styling and  shopping services is something I have given a lot of thought to over the years and the ‘time is nigh’ to take the plunge.

I truly enjoy fashion and style and producing this blog for the last three years has brought me great joy and immense creative satisfaction. I have been shopping and styling for my friends and family for many years and these countless hours of practice have allowed me to hone my skills and cement my understanding of the building blocks of what makes for great personal style.  Helping ladies ‘up their fashion game’ and getting positive feedback truly makes my day every time I have the pleasure of doing it.

I sincerely believe that there are no hard and fast rules in fashion.  Individual styles and choices are to be celebrated and real-life fashion must be in sync with our individual style sensibilities for us to draw pleasure from it. However, like many things in life,  sometimes developing a standout personal style statement requires exploration, practice and a little bit of help. I have said it before and I will say it again – ‘effortless style’ is rarely effortless.

So if you are looking to fine tune your fashion statement – then I am your woman. I understand that sometimes the thought of a personal style consultant can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be. I can help you with simple styling ideas and easy to implement fashion solutions.  I see myself as more of a fashion buddy who can help to navigate the choice conundrum to help you elevate your personal and professional look, without losing sight of personal style preferences.

I can help in the following ways:

  • Personal shopping buddy – outfit selections for your lifestyle and work style
  • Encapsulate your current wardrobe and perform a ‘closet-edit’
  • Provide a ‘fashion refresher’ course to help bring your wardrobe up to date
  • Help you explore a more adventurous take on fashion than your current path

My friends tell me I am friendly and approachable and can tell a good joke as well. I can help over the phone, skype or in person. It goes without saying that a conversation with me is strictly confidential. I will be uploading details of what I can offer on the ‘Personal Styling’ page on this blog for ease of reference.

The above said, let’s move on to fashion.  Often, once cold weather hits, we naturally stop reaching for our short sleeve dresses.  I find that short sleeve dresses work surprisingly well in winter because they are perfect for layering. With a vest underneath, thick tights on my legs, a jumper on top, a coat on top of that and boots covering my feet – I am ready for every temperature eventuality. I am a huge fan of the Preen range of dresses from Debenhams – they are well designed and work well for both work and play.  Best of all – they do go on amazing sales and I bought this dress for £23.70 I believe.  If you have never checked out the range – I would recommend it as the whole collection is available on-line at http://www.debenhams.com/women/studio-by-preen

For those of you who may be visiting this blog for the first time and are wondering who this lady is:

I am Isha Sodhi the forty plus blogger behind this personal style and fashion blog ‘Isha’s Verdict’ (www.ishasverdict.com) In my blog posts I intertwine my personal life experiences with love for all things fashion. I try to combine my love of writing with my passion for style and ‘lookbook’ both western and Indian clothes on a regular basis.

Thank you for reading and have a great week ahead.  Please do get in touch if you are interested in chatting about personal shopping or styling services. You can email me at contact@ishasverdict.com and I would love to have a chat!

Clothes and accessories:

Dress: Studio by Preen at Debenhams, similar Preen dress

Clutch bag: And Other Stories

Jumper: Ghost

Coat: Zara

At St. Ermin’s Hotel: In Flats and In Heels

Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to do something we have never done before – take a ‘staycation’ in central London.  We stayed at the St. Ermin’s hotel (an Autograph collection hotel) in Westminster, a central London hotel with an amazing history and a stone’s throw from St. James’s Park station.

The remarkable history goes as follows: In 1940 Winston Churchill held a meeting at St. Ermin’s Hotel with a group of people and asked them to join him in ‘Setting Europe Ablaze’ – they were to become the founding members of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). This unit carried out covert operations during WW2, from their headquarters which were an entire floor of St. Ermin’s Hotel, whilst MI6 were situated two floors above. The SOE agents’ printed coded messages on pieces of silk, of which an original sample still hangs in the Lobby.  In the 1950’s the spy Guy Burgess (part of the Cambridge five) handed over secret papers to his Russian counterpart in the Caxton Bar. Furthermore, it is rumoured that a tunnel runs from underneath the grand staircase in the Lobby all the way to the houses of Westminster.

I absolutely loved the character of this hotel and the unusual lobby with its gorgeous staircases and plaster work that were designed by the famous Victorian theatre designer J.P. Briggs. There is a lovely boutique charm about the hotel and I particularly enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of the Caxton Bar.  I have to say that enjoying a drink by a warm fireplace (with a real fire) in the bar was a lovely treat! We also decided impromptu to indulge in the high tea served in the tea rooms above the lobby and I thoroughly enjoyed the fare.  I found the high tea service friendly, without being pretentious, and one that seemed very child friendly.  Of course, our decision to indulge was sudden (like I was really going to say no when my husband suggested it!) but they are happy to make special provisions for kids if you book ahead of time.

I have always championed the case of ‘fabulous flats’ and there is something very refreshing about dressing up and not wearing heels. I love the shimmery elegance of these flat ballerina shoes and I think they work exceedingly well with the frill-bottomed cropped trousers.  The oversized faux fur clutch is a stylish nod to winter and is amazingly versatile in terms of styling.

I have mentioned before that I have rarely met a shirt dress I did not like and this one was no exception.  I love the simple yet sophisticated design of this dress and how the waist can be drawn in from both sides.  It’s full sleeved and appropriate for work and play – what’s there not to love! Plus, I think it would also look great with a nice pair of white sneakers.

I hope you enjoyed this ‘lookbook’ and thank you for reading.  Have a great rest of the week!

www.sterminshotel.co.uk

(Clothes and Accessories: Silver Jumper – And Other Stories, Trousers – Zara (similar), Clutch – And Other Stories, Flat Shoes – SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, Shirt Dress – H&M, Grey Bag – Salvatore Ferragamo)