TSM Travel: Summer swimwear in the Greek Island of Crete – Part 1

Opps, it looks like someone forgot to put their out of office on the blog doesn’t it? Well hmm, about that … Can I start by saying that I had every intention to continue on with my weekly blog updates and take you guys with me on my two week Summer getaway in Europe but slowly, as the swimming, napping and constant grazing by the beach took over, I thought to myself “Is it a real holiday if I spend more time on my laptop than enjoying possibly my last real holiday EVER?”(slight exaggeration; it’s true, you can still holiday from Australia). In the end, the lazy in me won and two weeks of holiday bliss became, 3, 4 and 5 weeks away from the laptop. But not to worry – I’m back so let me share with you the sights of one of my favourite places on earth: The Greek Islands. A few years ago, we fell in love with Kefalonia, Santorini & Mykonos so we came back for another Greek fix, this time for the stunning beaches of Crete … Be prepared for a) a whole lot of pasty white skin (hey, it was the start of our trip) b) beautiful views of the endless Mediterranean sea and c) delicious, it still makes me drool, Greek food.

Pink sands elafanisi beach

15. Chania Elafonisi Beach pink sand island

16. Elaphanisi Elafanisi beach17. elafonissi beach beautifl cretan greece crete

21. I love greece

Elafonisi – An hours drive from Chania – famous for it’s pink sand and now one of my favourite beaches in the world…
1. Spinalonga island from domes of elounda hotel view

Domes of Elounda resort private swimming pool

The view from our private balcony and private swimming pool at Domes of Elounda – one of the best hotels we have ever had the pleasure of staying at.

9. Spinalonga from Domes of Elounda Beach

Have any of you read Victoria Hislop’s ‘The Island’? It’s a fictional story set over 50 years ago in Crete and focuses on life in Elounda seen through the eyes of a family affected by life on the island of Spinalonga (the island in the far left in the picture above), a former leper colony (before a cure more recently was discovered). Imagine being ripped apart your family and loved ones for being sick and living isolated across in an island so close yet so far from your home. Anyway, reading the book prior to coming to Elounda, Plaka and Spinalonga made it so much more fascinating for me.13. Best Tzatziki in Crete Greece 3. Elounda mousakka dolmades crete greece 2. Elounda town crete

We stayed in Elounda for a few nights and loved the local Tavernas there. We had such a romantic dinner by the port and gorged ourselves with Dolmades (stuffed leaves), tzatziki and moussaka – oh so much moussaka (eggplant and spiced meat type lasagna but without the pasta)
7. Knossos 8. Knossos Crete RuinsAncient ruins of Knossos 

Summer Swimwear

So along with jeans, swimmwear is my least favourite thing to buy. You almost have to be the right frame of mind and confidence to even feel like trying on bikinis sometimes so this year I decided not to waste any money on new swimming togs (the wear to cost ration is low low low) and stuck to my trusty old Seafolly strapless bikini (to avoid tan lines!).

I find Seafolly bikinis exceptional quality and their designs are contemporary and span across all age groups and body shapes and I love that they last several Summers and keep all your bits in tow. Everybody has a different shape and I think you can always have fun with swimwear. If you need extra support in the chest region, my advice would be go for underwire options (see below) and the halterneck bikinis are always flattering no matter what size you are. If you are conscious of baring so much skin, there are some stunning one-piece darker hued options that would be perfect for you (I wouldn’t mind one for a more retro themed look myself) and if you’re slightly less endowed, the ruffles on the bandeaus always help give you an illusion of not looking like a 12 year old so I’ve been subtly told :)

TSM Outfit Post: 1960s Inspired Modern Spring Work Wear from COS

Bridgette Bardot, Barbie and by way of a somewhat embarrassing admission, Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson. I wanted big blonde hair and blue eyes like these women and I would have easily traded in my ethnic features to look more like the kids did at school growing up. It’s funny to think about those thoughts now, having grown up to happily embrace my heritage and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of women of all nationalities.

When I picked up this shift dress from COS recently, it instantly resonated a 1960s vibe within me. Despite not having the trademark blonde Bardot-esque tresses and baby blues reminscent of this era, I wanted to create a fun fresh 1960s inspired look for Spring for the modern woman adaptable for today’s work hard play hard culture …

Celine red trio

modern 60s inspired looks cos work dress

CELINE TRIO MAGENTA RED PRADA SUNGLASSES60s inspired sunglasses PradaZARA PATENT SANDALS WITH ANKLE STRAP ROSE GOLD HEELS

I picked up this dress for £35 (50% off, woot!), ready for Spring (any day now London, any day now …) and it is my very first purchase from COS having previously been a bit daunted by the multitude of colour co-ordinated racks. While I’m used to more fitted clothing, COS’s minimalist concept and designs (think Scandinavian Country Road) means none of their pieces are overfly fitted, sometimes borderline shapeless, but always very comfortable.

Colour blocking is an easy way of introducing colour into your wardrobe for work if you’re inclined to go for black all the time. A nude coloured neckline like this dress elongates the upper torso and is really great for you if you have a full bust/figure. The dress was actually quite a bit longer so I had the hem and sleeves altered to fit my shorter frame but dresses like these will really suit you if you have an inverted triangle, hourglass and apple shape figure (body shape post here).

CELINE TRIO MAGENTA RED COS DRESS ZARA PATENT HEELS 60s inspired fashion

60s inspired modern fashion dress

COS Nude two tone Dressvintage inspired earings belle noel60S INSPIRED FASHION

modern 60s inspired looks

department of coffee and social affairs farringdon 60s shoot

 Outfit Details

Photos by Anna from Ausnippets Photography taken at Department of Coffee and Social Affairs (really decent coffee there Londoners!) Thank you for making me feel beautiful through your lens x

T-Styled Me Answered: Which type of boots suit me if I have short legs ?

Anonymous Asked:

Can you do post a how to style a petite size 6 figure with short legs and broad shoulders please? In particular how to overcome the short leg problem! And, what ankle boots would you recommend to elongate short legs! Ta! x

T-Styled Me Answered:

Among friends, I’m notorious for proposing hypothetical situations and one for the girls is always ‘If you could have plastic surgery on one part of your body, what would it be?’ You’d be surprised how often the answer is ‘Umm… Can I get my legs done so they’re longer?!’ Unfortunately leg extensions aren’t common like lipo/botox and there’s a much more simple way to create the illusion of being taller. A styling session on the inverted triangle body shape (broad shoulder and slim hips and bottom half) is still on my to do list but here are my top tips on how to balance out that inverted triangle shape for a petite figure and how to best elongate your pins:

To balance out broad shoulders …

  • Lean towards dresses and skirts which are full or have an A-line shape. This will create a fuller bottom half to balance out your shoulders. Add a belt to create an illusion of an hourglass shape.
  • As you’re petite, the skirts and dresses should end at least above your knee. Simple advice but you’d be surprised at what a difference this makes!

skirt for short girls

  • For Trousers, try a boot-cut denim or wide leg trouser pant that is dark in colour (visually this will create length).
  • Stay away from strappy heels that can cut off at at your legs or at least pair them with a shorter than usual hemline.
  • Nude heels are really great way of visually elongating your legs.

nude coloured heelsShoes that elongate your legs

Boot recommendations 

Kim Kardashian elongate legs black boots

  • Any ankle boots which have a stacked heel will instantly make you look taller.
  • Keep the ankle boots the same colour as your jeans help elongate your legs.

These are my favourite stacked heel boots which I would recommend to help elongate your legs:

Rag & Bone boots

boots-rag-and-bone-booties

I have these (in black) and not only are they comfortable but they go with everything!

Topshop Mighty Black Zip Boots

topshop might black zip bootsTopshop are great for more affordable ankle boots so have a browse and look for a pair that has height (that you’re comfortable with), that’s classic and easy to wear.

I hope this short post helped!

Tien xo

 

TSM Styling Session: How to style an Apple Shaped Figure

When I started this blog under a year ago, I wanted to differentiate it from other popular fashion blogs (by drop dead gorgeous model-esque bloggers) by featuring, well short legged non model-like me and other gorgeous everyday women who Tyra Banks would describe as ‘fiercely real’ with varying heights, body shapes, personalities and nationalities. What I’ve found along the way, however, is that most of my friends and clients either fall into the boyish straight body type or the pear shaped category (Recaps here) who are generally petite and super fun to style but not equally representative of the population or my vision.

I was therefore really excited to work with and style Zuzu who has a different body shape to mine and previous clients. What I loved about the sessions was that we started from the very beginning: In Zuzu’s wardrobe and worked our way up to the second shopping and styling session. Despite trying to find a suitable date for what seemed like forever (okay, just over 6 months), the timing could not have worked out better given Zuzu recently moved houses and de-cluttering to make room for more pieces to add to her existing wardrobe was a priority.

As with all my styling sessions, let’s get to know Zuzu a little better:

T-Styled Me Personal Stylist Azura client

Zuzu’s Profile Stats

  • Zuzu’s Height:  Approx 5 ft 3” (1.6m)
  • Skin tone: Fair
  • Build: Medium
  • Body shape: Apple. Refer to this post if you need a reminder
  • General Clothing size: Size M-L depending on cut, UK/AUS 10-12.
  • Lifestyle: Busy with work and furnishing her newly purchased home and this young lady has a BIG weakness for designer handbags!
  • Shopping preference: Wants basis
  • Shopping frequency: Regular, every few weeks
  • Style Preference: Casual, preppy, work orientated
  • Personality (in three words): Career driven, bubbly and & positive  (All in my opinion!)

Zuzu’s Styling criteria

  • For this wardrobe refresh and styling session, Zuzu wanted to discard items in her wardrobe that no longer fit her, having lost weight gradually over the past few years and identify items which required updating or that were missing altogether. For the shopping session, Zuzu wanted outfits that were different from her usual style and was open to a slightly edgier look.

T-Styled Me Personal Styling and Shopping Wardrobe Refresh London

And so the culling and list-making began …T-Styled Me Personal Styling and shopping London Melbourne

T-Styled Me Personal Styling and Shopping

Now, guys, I honestly thought I shopped a lot … but let me tell you something, this young lady could give Rebecca Bloomwood a run for her money!  😛 She had a lot of clothes and one of the recurring themes we discovered was that she had multiples of the same garment in several different colours and safe shades and items that only matched one or two pieces in the wardrobe. We talked this through and removed pieces which no longer fit Zuzu’s changing shape and lifestyle. One of the items we got rid of was her leather jacket.

T-Styled Me Personal Stylist

TSM London Styling Session AzuraLike most classic apple body shapes, Zuzu carries most of the weight in the middle region around her waistline and has enviously, slim legs, arms and hips and these were the areas we wanted to focus on and show off. The current leather jacket that Zuzu owned was both too large now and very boxy which didn’t suit her body shape and actually created extra weight around the mid-region. We decided that an updated leather jacket with simple detailing with a slimline silhouette, amongst other items, would make its way onto our shopping list to help create that definition around her waistline.

Azura Cos Green dress Apple shape

Tips for dressing for an Apple Shaped body

  • Wrap dresses which define your waistline and lower rounded and V necklines help create definition and highlight your bustline
  • A-line and full skirts will make your waist look smaller.
  • Show of your legs with skirts and dresses that are just above the knee
  • Opt for single breasted tailored jackets that create slimming torso

During our shopping and styling session, I chose a dress for Zuzu which cinched her waist (and added a thick belt to emphasise this) as well as a patterned v-neck dress with a full skirt which really gave the illusion of a hour glass shape. If you’re apple shaped, avoid cropped boxy jackets and gravitate towards the slimming single buttoned simple tailored jackets.

Tips on how to dress an apple shaped body

Great minds think alike and we both found the perfect leather jacket for Zuzu which was more current, suited her body shape and was both comfortable and within her budget. Here are few of shots post shopping session…

TSM Azura Reiss Kara Slim Cropped Biker Jacket Continue reading

TSM Outfit Post: Horizontal Stripes in the Zara Striped Dress

Do you have those days where you really can’t be bothered thinking about what to wear? Sometimes I just want to throw something on without spending more than 10 seconds thinking about what to pair with what and there’s nothing easier than a dress to do that on days like these. I bought my recent go-to casual Winter/Spring dress from Barcelona last December and I’ve worn it over a dozen times now; it is perfect for running around town on the weekend and I can also get away with wearing it in the office on casual Fridays too. It’s also, might I add, the perfect dress for pigging out at dinner!

Zara Striped Dress

Zara dress

I love stripes. If there are stripes in a store, I’ll make a beeline for them and usually have to stop myself from buying too many of the same type of tops and dresses. Horizontal stripes can visually make you look wider than you are and if you are particularly conscious of a certain area of your body, avoid wearing tight fitting horizontal stripes in that area or add longer cardigans or necklaces to balance out the stripes. My striped pieces are usually looser fitting or overized/slouchy tops that remain comfortable to wear and in darker slimming hues. Continue reading

TSM Answered: Should I be wearing leggings ?

Anonymous Asked:

According to your guide, I have a pear shaped body, as I have shapely
legs. I feel a little worried and self conscious about wearing
leggings as I feel, and am conscious that my legs and probably butt
look too big and awkward. Especially as I notice that many wear them
with tops that don’t exactly cover the butt. Any suggestions for how I
can wear leggings, with what and what type, or if I should wear them
at all?

T-Styled Me Answered

Hi there my fellow pear shape friend! I too am pear shaped, not necessarily because I have shapely legs (which I do) but because my hips and bottom half is wider than my waist and bustline. Personally, I think wearing leggings on their own can sometimes give you an unfinished look (unless you’re at the gym that’s ok) as they pretty much advertise ever lump and bump you have so I personally always ensure I wear a top that covers at least 65% of my bottom. If I don’t, I will always have a longer cardigan / jacket or blazer to ensure that I’m covered. That’s just my personal preference.

How to wear leggings

Seeing as the fabric of most leggings are thin, stretchy and in some cases see through – (you know what I’m talking about because there are definitley girls out there that must not realise that we’re getting a free show of all that’s underneath!) so whether you’re size 8 or a size 14, I personally don’t think it’s necessary to show it all.

I would team leggings with a nice neutral or bright coloured t-shirt with a cropped leather jacket and boots or alternatively a cropped blazer and a long flowy shirt. Opt for leggings that run all the way to the ankles rather than those that stop mid calf to elongate your legs and stick to closed toed shoes for a finished look. Ballet flats in Summer and long boots in Winter are a very popular option too and will keep you comfortable (bonus!).

I don’t think you need to be certain size to wear leggings but if you feel a little uncomfortable, try opting for thicker, more structured leggings and always go for darker colours. I bought a pair from Saba a few years ago which are a staple to me in Winter and I know you can find thick leggings in Uniclo and Zara as well. These heavy ones from Topshop are getting great reviews at the moment.

Here’s a lil casual outfit I put together for you from Topshop!

TSM Styling Session: Momo does smart casual

Does your workplace have ‘Casual Fridays’? My department does casual Fridays unofficially and I say unofficially because half the department still suits up while the other half (like me) takes full advantage of the situation by wearing jeans. The plan to continue to do so until we get told otherwise 😛

My previous workplace in Melbourne used to hold training seminars and offsites with a ‘business’ or ‘smart casual’ dress code often with the cavent of “no ripped jeans.” I always giggled at such an obvious exclusion; the thought of the Partners of the firm whipping out their ripped gardening jeans and slashed t-shirts was ludicrous. My colleagues and I would always deliberate on what to wear (strength in numbers or something like that), conscious of coming across as ‘too casual’ and drawing attention for the wrong reasons. Secretly I thought it was all a conspiracy to scare us into wearing business attire to be honest but in retrospect there may have been a bit too much paranoia on my part back in those days but that doesn’t mean it’s still easy to decide what to wear on casual Fridays…

My friend Momo shared a similar gripe a few weeks back about not really knowing what or how to dress on ‘smart casual’ Fridays so I thought it the perfect opportunity to do a TSM styling session with her and put together an outfit she could wear on a casual Friday. As with all my styling session, let’s get in context and get to know Momo a little better:

Momo’s Profile Stats:

  • Momo’ Height:  5 ft 4” (1.65m)
  • Skin tone: Medium (on the tanned side)
  • Build: Slim
  • Body shape: Rectangular. Refer to this post if you need a reminder
  • General Clothing size: Size Extra Small (XS) i.e UK/AUS 6
  • Lifestyle: Busy and active – Momo is career oriented often working long hours, loves spontaneous travelling trips (NY in particular), drinking bubbly and running.
  • Shopping preference: Wants basis
  • Shopping frequency: Frequently with purchases on average fortnightly.
  • Style Preference: Classic and definitely loves her designer brands
  • Personality (in three words): Smart, professional and uniquely-Momo xx

Momo’s Criteria:

Momo felt she always wore the same routine outfit each Friday: black jeans, black flats and a knit top. While she claimed she didn’t have anything in her wardrobe to wear, I begged to differ because the day I had the opportunity to review Momo’s wardrobe, I felt the need to knock some sense in her. She has a fantastic wardrobe that had ME drooling! It was filled with great basics, colourful accessories, bold statement jewellery (nod of approval) and shoes and handbags galore. Here’s the outfit I put together using Momo’s wardrobe:

Momo works in a very corporate environment; regularly consulting for external clients so keeping in mind the professional context, I put Momo in a pair of smart jeans to demonstrate that it’s ok to wear blue denim in the office on casual Fridays and how to dress them up to a chic and corporate level by adding a pair of heels and a smart fitted jacket/blazer. The striped top inside was a causual piece that Momo would usually only wear in Summer with shorts but by teaming it up with the fitted jacket and heels this instantly brought a bit of personality to the otherwise neutral outfit.

Depending on how casualness of your work environment, accessorise your outfit accordingly. For Momo’s professional enviornment, I added the ever classy YSL artsy cocktail ring to match her closed toe patent leather heels. I personally can never bring myself to wear open toe-d shoes in the office no matter how hot or relaxed a workplace is and I think it’s just a personal preference or that fact that I came from a relatively conservative work environment starting out. We added a chunky chain bracelet that I know Momo loves but doesn’t wear nearly enough to tie in the colours of her jacket and top and kept the rest of her jewellery minimal. Continue reading

ROCK a TSM Outfit for the NEXT wedding you attend !

Remember how a recent post on my favourite places to shop in London included ‘Next’ for affordable casual and work-wear? Well, I walked past the Oxford St store a few weeks ago and was drawn to a floaty 1950s inspired coloured tea dress that I found myself instantly justifying the need to buy. You could totally wear it to a wedding’ was the first thought that entered my head, quickly interjected by ‘Don’t waste your time justifying why you need it, the important question is which colour you should choose!’ I turned over the price tag and couldn’t believe it was only £40! Yay – A gem that didn’t break the bank! It was the first time I’d entertained shopping at Next for special occasion wear and I was honestly pleasantly surprised.

I’ve followed Kat William’s Rock n Roll Bride blog ever since a friend of mine shared her blog after attending Kat’s inspirational photography camp so when Kat announced a wedding fashion styling competition with ‘Next’ on her blog, I knew it would be so fun to enter, even if it were just to tell all of you about the new dress I’d fallen in love with!

The competition involves styling wedding outfits under £500 from the Next website so I’ve chosen to put together looks for wedding guests because while I personally love getting dressed up for weddings, it can also be a bit daunting for others – especially judging by the questions I receive from this blog for advice on what to wear to weddings.

If you’re a regular TSM reader, you’ll also know I believe spending huge amounts of money on designer brands doesn’t necessarily equate to looking stylish. Whether for work or weddings, good styling is about appreciating how to wear which clothes for your body shape. The great thing about the sizing at Next is that, as Tyra Banks would describe it, it’s ‘Fiercely real.’ Most clothes come in petite (UK Sz 6-18) – great for shorties like me!, Regular (Sz 6R-22R) and Tall (Sz 8T-18T) and they ship to over 59 countries! So here are the looks I’ve created to complement any body shape and size from Next. In case you want tips on identifying your body shape, simply refer back to my previous post.

Wedding Outfit Ideas For Pear Shaped Bodies

  • Tip: Ideal dresses are those that add volume & detail to your upper half (go for a lower neckline) and skim, rather than cling to your hips.
  • The tea dresses below have a beautifully feminine A-line skirt which is perfect for pears like me and by adding accessories such as the belt and necklace, this will visually create that coveted hourglass figure!

Daytime Garden Wedding Ceremony Guest Outfit Inspiration

Outfit Details: All available from Next (Click on images below for prices & details)

Wedding Outfit Ideas For Inverted Triangle Shaped Bodies

  • Tip: Dresses that emphasise the lower half and those that visually simplify your shoulders are ideal for those with a top heavy inverted triangle shape.
  • The elegant one strap on the Brocade dress below helps narrow your top half and the dress is fitted with special Body Shaper Lining for that svelte silhouette.
Evening Wedding Guest Outfit Inspiration
Outfit Details: All items available from Next (Click on images below for prices & details!)

Wedding Outfit Ideas For Rectangular Shaped Bodies

  • Tips: Most dresses will look great on your shape (lucky you!) so aim to create some curves.
  • All three dresses below I chose have common themes: They emphasise a waistline and the elements of pattern, peplum and a fit & flare skirt will instantly create visual curves.
Wedding Guest Outfit Inspiration
Outfit Details: All available from Next (Click on images below for prices & details)

T-Styled Me loves Elie Saab Fall Winter 2012/2013

The Fall Winter 2012/2013 collection looks very similar to Elie’s Saab’s previous collections, especially the sheath silhouette gowns with lace paneling and intricate beaded embroidery but the collection is romantic and beautiful nonetheless…

Sheath dresses suit rectangular body shapes and for gowns with less detailing on the top half, they also work beautifully for inverted triangles as well. If you need a reminder of knowing your body shape, refer to my previous posts for help.

The column gown on the left (above) is one of my favourites from this collection. It looks culturally inspired and I love the gold undertones in this pale blue – it’s so elegant and regal looking. Something K Middy would probably wear.

Continue reading

T-Styled Me: Understanding your body shape 101 (Part 2)

Following on T-Styled Me Body Shapes 101 Part 1 … here is Part 2:

Hourglass shaped

This is considered the ideal body shape due to its proportions and defined waistline and we strive to dress in a way to mimic this shape.

How do I know if I’m hourglass shaped?

  • Your hip and bust line measurements are the same
  • You have an obviously defined waistline (approx 8′-12′ less than bust/hips)
  • When you gain weight, fat stores proportionately in your curves
  • You generally have a rounded bottom and shapely legs
  • Note that you need not have a big bust and that hourglass shapes come in different sizes: skinny, average, curvy, petite curvy.
  • Also take into consideration your vertical body shape

Examples of Celebrities with hour-glass shaped figures

Can you think of any friends who have this body shape? I can and I’m always envious of their figures!
What to wear
  •  Fitted clothes and that accentuate your proportional body figure and make your waist the focal point.
What not to wear
  • Avoid baggy, loose shirts and bottoms that will hide your curves and avoid empire styled dresses that (i.e baby doll dresses) that hide your small waist.

Continue reading

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