Top 5 Style Mistakes Not to Make This Summer


Choose the right footwear for your summer outfits 

Summer footwear is a huge topic and rightly so. After all, we need something on our feet each and every time we leave the house. When I’m planning an outfit for myself I often start from the ground and work up. This is not only because I know the importance of the right shoes to help my outfit flow, but also because comfort is now an absolute priority for me. 

When I’m in a client’s wardrobe we always start with footwear too. This is because by the time we start mixing and matching separates, I need to have an idea of the available footwear for each type of outfit. And, almost as importantly, I need to be able to identify if a particular type of shoe is missing which is causing a block on more outfit options. 

Contrary to popular belief, unless shoes are your ‘thing’ and you enjoy having a huge collection, you don’t need loads of pairs. A few carefully selected pairs will make finishing your outfits so much easier.

Where to go if you have foot issues

I’ve had foot issues all my life which have dictated what I can and can’t wear. From very narrow feet where even Clarks wouldn’t sell me a pair as a small child, to bunions as an adult. I used to put up with painful feet but once I’d had children I decided comfort was the only option.

Luckily we no longer have to choose between comfort and style because these days there are so many fabulous footwear brands who understand our desire and need for comfort.

My favourite by far over the last couple of years has been a fabulous sustainable brand called Vivaia. I’ve added several pairs of shoes, sandals and boots to my collection since I first discovered them. Take a look if you too have problem feet.

How to make your legs appear longer (or all of you look taller)

The trick here is to match the tone of your footwear to the colour of your legs. So, whether you are wearing trousers, a maxi dress or a skirt, you could match the footwear to the tone of the fabric. Matching the tone doesn’t necessarily mean the same colour (gone are the days of buying matching shoes for each outfit thank goodness), more that if you were to imagine your outfit in a black and white photo, you are aiming for a similar shade of grey for whatever is on your legs and your footwear (rather than high contrast which stops the flow). Black trousers and white trainers isn’t wrong but it might foreshorten you. 

If you have bare legs, the best option is a nude shoe – and remember nude isn’t one colour – your nude will be the one that matches your skin tone. This will always make your legs appear longer because the line from the hemline of your shorts/skirt continues to the tip of your toes without interruption.

Beware of ankle straps

Ankle straps might help to keep your sandals on but they create a horizontal line around your ankle. If you are self-conscious of your ankles (which many women tell me they are), you’ll do well to avoid an ankle strap. Think of them as like drawing a highlighter pen around your ankle. Our eyes are drawn to horizontal lines and they can make that part of your body appear wider. A nude coloured strap is easier to wear but a black strap on a very pale leg or a white one on a deep skin tone will make your legs appear shorter with this abrupt disruption to the line of your legs. 

Low fronted shoes

The lower the ‘upper’ of your shoe, the longer your leg will appear. Again this is because the line of your leg isn’t interrupted. So, a low fronted ballet flat, court shoe or sandal might feel better when you have bare legs than a loafer or a trainer that covers most of your foot. This isn’t an issue when you wear trousers and for some women, won’t feel like an issue at all, especially if you have long legs.

Square, round or pointed toe?

The optimal toe shape for your footwear depends on your bone structure (and your outfit). If you have a curved bone structure (identified by a smaller waist and larger hips) you are likely to suit a round toe over a square one. And if you have a straighter figure type (a thicker waist and slim hips) you’ll probably feel best in a square toe. 

Pointed toes tend to work best under wide leg trousers, when round or square can make your legs look shorter.

Coloured shoes – throw the ‘rules’ out of the window

I’m a big fan of a coloured shoe for a pop of colour in an outfit. This is a style statement and needs to be used deliberately and in a way that throws the ‘rules’ out of the window.

In a Mix and Match session with my client Kate Wolf, we used a pair of orange sling backs in almost every outfit – when you know your best colour palette and you have footwear that complements it, a coloured shoe can be a great way to add pizazz to your outfits.

And finally, please note that whenever I give advice on style, my intention is always to share new ideas and different options rather than saying something is ‘right’ and something else is ‘wrong’. 

How you feel in an outfit is the only thing that matters. Always check in with this first!

If you’d like my support in learning more about your personal style for the summer, read on to find out more about the fabulous online masterclass I’m running on Tuesday 23rd July. I’d love to help you uplevel your wardrobe for the season ahead – and beyond!

How to Create Your Functional and Fabulous Summer Wardrobe


When did you last have a review of your wardrobe? Do you even know what you have that will work for your lifestyle if and when the sun decides to shine and stick around for a while?

If you know you are in need of a wardrobe review, come and join us at my upcoming online masterclass – ‘How to Create your Functional and Fabulous Summer Wardrobe‘ (without having to buy loads of new clothes).

I’ve planned a 90-minute class to walk you through my wardrobe planning process which’ll see you getting super clear on what you have, what you need and what can go. You’ll get inspired around how you could be making more use of the clothes you already own as well as understand what is missing from your clothing collection that could help you to create a whole load more outfits that feel fabulous.

I’ll run a 30-minute live Q&A after the teaching so you can bring your summer wardrobe questions and hear my thoughts and ideas.

Book your ticket below: 

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