Sunday, 27 November 2011

Warmth, Style and Sensitive skin.

I’ve been meaning to write this for some time now.  It was suggested to me by one of my lovely clients who suffers from psoriases. when I met her a few months back, she was finding it so difficult to find outfits that not only gave her the coverage she wanted, but that also made her look and feel fabulous.  It was really starting to get her down.   I suffer from Eczema in the winter months, I get red flaky patches on my face, arms and legs and cannot wear ANYTHING with wool in it as this just makes everything worse.  If you've got sensitive skin it can be almost impossible to keep warm and look stylish.  But not completely.  I’ve picked up a few tips over the years and have learnt a lot through shopping for my clients. 

Layering is crucial. Invest in a good selection of cotton tops in a variety of sleeve lengths and necklines.  These will act as a barrier between you and the irritating fabrics that are in abundance over winter.  I find a lot of clients struggle with layering, and to be honest it can be hard to master.  The proportions need to be right, colours need to work together and it needs to flatter your shape.  My advice is keep the ‘base layer’ fairly simple, and if possible, a similar colour palette. For example, if you're wearing black jeans then team these with a black camisole and then start to layer on top. This avoids the different layers looking a mess, creates a column (so can be slimming) and will tie your outfit together. H&M, Hanro, American Apparel and Whistles are all great places to source your layers.
Layering top, Whistles

Invest in a good blouse.  They’re everywhere this season and despite what you might think, there is a style to suit every shape.  It might just be one of the most versatile items you invest in this season.  It can be dressed up for night, dressed down for day, and is perfect for work. Silk is lovely against the skin, it’s soft, loose and so comfortable which is the most important thing if you’ve got sensitive skin.  One of my favourite outfits at the moment, is a feminine silk blouse teamed with a really chunky knit cardigan, it enables me to wear wool without it irritating me.  For work, team a pretty blouse with a pair of wide leg trousers.  And for night try a sheer number over skinnies and towering heels.

Dressed up.  Blouse from Apricot. Image courtesy of PR Shots
Dressed up. Tuxedo shirt from Warehouse.
Everyday. Blouse from Mint Velvet. Image courtesy of PR Shots.
Perfect for work.  Blouse from Warehouse.
Try to avoid wearing red or pink.  If your skin is red and angry wearing red will only enhance this.  Instead, opt for blues, greens or purples.

Invest in cashmere, it’s much softer than wool and doesn’t irritate as much.  Trust me, this isn’t just an excuse to indulge, it really doesn’t irritate as much.  Cashmere doesn’t cost the earth anymore either, try H&M and Topshop for  a less expensive selection.   Some cashmere is even suitable for machine washing!

Wrap up in scarves.  When you can’t wear wool it can be so hard to keep warm, so it's worth having a great selection of scarves to wrap up in.  If you're struggling to find non-wool ones then try doubling up some of your cotton scarves to make them warmer.

Star scarf Oasis, Pasley scarf, TK Maxx

Skull scarf Miss Selfridge, Floral scarf H&M

This huge blanket scarf from Urban Outfitters was such a great buy; it’s so cosy and can be worn umpteen different ways. I bought this last year, but there are some great ones in again this season, see here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Niki,
Its 5.33am here and I am wide awake... went to bed far too early after a tiring day at work. Anyway enough of that. I just wanted to say that I have been looking at your website and thought it was great. I really like the way you have put two scarves together to add extra warmth if not wearing a wool scarf. The choice of pattern and colour is perfect. I think it is something I could thanks.
Also I love the necklace you created out of recycled beads (so nice that they came from your Granny's necklace), lace and leather.
It must be wonderful to be surrounded by so many sights that can inspire your creativity. So good luck with all your endeavours.