Lately I caught up with Owner of Cheshire Fashion Boutique, Labels & Love, Petrona Clayton.
Petrona exudes that utterly effortless glamour that most of us ladies want to achieve day to day, so I wanted to get Petrona’s take on some hot summer style topics that I am often working on with clients over the warmer months. Plus of course, I had a nosey had the Labels & Love summer stock for style solutions for my clients.
Check out Petrona’s Top Summer Style Tips, and also some of our favourite pieces from the collection….
When it comes to fashion, in your opinion, what do women want?
Hhhmm difficult to answer as it differs from woman to woman, some want to be noticed, others want something understated. But as a general rule people want something that is flattering and makes them feel good …whether that be a simple t-shirt in the colour of the season or a full on catwalk inspired outfit. At Labels & Love’s we hand pick our items to ensure that they are great quality, on trend fashion at prices that make looking fantastic attainable for all ladies.
When it comes to disguising flabby upper arms in summer, what do you recommend?
Cold shoulder tops are a massive trend this season and are perfect for disguising less than toned upper arms. Our chiffon frill cold shoulder top is my personal favourite, it’s so pretty and light but the frill across the top gives a bit more coverage than a full bare arm. See also our white cold shoulder top and our navy cold shoulder swing dress for pretty versions of this this flattering style.
Chiffon kaftans are also a great arm coverup when it’s warm, choose something floaty and wear it over a vest top, these look great with shorts or jeans!
Batwing tshirts can be more flattering on the upper arm. Typically cut a little looser and the arms drape lower down to the elbow, like our white & gold t-shirt. The loose fit of this also makes it ideal for warmer weather.
When it comes to pasty legs in summer, what’s your alternative to jeans?
Maxi dresses and harem pants …both are comfortable and stylish year after year, and cover up pasty or hairy legs!!!!
We typically stock empire line style maxi dresses as these flatter most body shapes. Harem pants now come in every colour or pattern imaginable so play around and find a style that you are comfortable with. We love our black and khaki versions, they are super light-weight and look great with flip flops, or put a smart top, some accessories and a pair of heels and the ever versatile harem is transformed for a glam night out.
You always look so effortlessly glamorous. Can you share your secret to effortless style with our lovely ladies please?
Feeling good about what you are wearing! Choosing clothes that fit properly, and that match your personality and lifestyle, if you really hate showing your midriff don’t choose a brightly patterned cropped shirt just because they are on trend right now. If you are running around the park after the kids, don’t wear s short skirt, or anything white!!!!!!
I also do not leave the house without doing my eyebrows and wearing mascara, and making sure my hair looks ok…I’m not talking full on bouncy blow dry, with 2 small children I definitely never have time for that, but wearing a ponytail that suits my face shape (high works best for me) on days when I haven’t got time to wash it, and dry shampoo is my best friend on those in-between days!
Petrona, you always take an amazing selfie!! Best selfie tips please!!
Ha ha, I’m not sure I agree with you however I get very excited when I get the right lighting and angle. Figure out which is your best angle (mine is definitely from the side!), natural light coming from behind the camera (not behind you), and don’t be too pouty… a natural smile is the most beautiful thing you can wear! Cliché but true.
What’s your best piece of style advice when you’re having a fat day?!
Skinny jeans to suck it all in, a looser fitting top, but not too loose or you can end up looking bigger than you actually are, and heels…wedges, boots, stilettos, whatever suits your occasion but add some height to your outfit! Heels make you stand taller, make your legs look longer and make you feel instantly leaner.
What’s your style and who inspires you?
My style varies, I’m pretty relaxed for the school run in skinny jeans and a slogan tshirt with leather biker jacket if its chilly. But for a night out I like to go all out glam with a dress and sky high heels. Olivia Palermo always looks fabulous for any occasion, she mixes high street with high end designer so well, she can do no wrong!
What’s the nicest compliment you ever had?
When people ask my style advice, I’m always flattered that people look at me and what I have created with Labels & Love and feel confident that I can help them look and feel great, and the feedback from customers is always fantastic!
I also LOVE IT when someone tells me I look younger than I am…puts a smile on my face for the day!!! What woman doesn’t like to hear that?!
What’s your desert island beauty must-have?
Sun protection & sunnies aside, now I’ve had my eyebrows microbladed I would have to say mascara, I use Benefit They’re Real mascara, it gives great length, doesn’t smudge and can easily be layered to create more volume. Nothing else I have used comes close!
Top style tips for dressing for unpredictable British summers?
Layering and cotton scarves. A vest top under a light t-shirt with a denim jacket over the top can be easily peeled off to suit the change in temperatures.
I never leave the house without a cotton scarf stuffed in my handbag. They are great for wrapping around my neck if it’s chilly, over my shoulders to protect from heat, and has been know as a picnic blanket when the temperature has risen and we’ve decided to catch some rays in the park!
Sunglasses are an absolute essential for me 365 days of the year, I cannot bear squinting in the sun even in the winter months I never leave home without them !
SUPERFIRE ROUND! Your best packing tip for summer holidays?
- Roll clothes so they don’t crease and you can fit more in.
- Make sure you have the correct underwear for each outfit…if you have packed off the shoulder tops make sure you have a strapless bra.
- If it’s a hot country choose light fabrics that don’t sit too close to the skin, these are more comfortable in the heat and if you get sunburnt and when you’ve indulged for 2 weeks on the cocktail menu and 3 course meals!!!
- For daytime, swimwear and a few gorgeous kaftans are perfect, kaftans are a great cover up but also super glamorous and ideal for going straight to the bar from the beach!
- If it’s a cooler or unpredictable climate, pack light items that you can layer and a couple of large scarfs (of the cotton or silk variey, not woollen unless you going somewhere snowy!) to wrap around several times when its cooler or use as a sundress if it gets really warm (google this, there are some wonderful demonstrations on how to do this)
- Don’t forget your sunglasses! They hide tired / hungover / jetlagged eyes and add glamour to any outfit.
Not sure what suits you? If you’re struggling with your body shape, check out our Body Shape Style Guides now!