How to freshen up any outfit by accessorizing

Michel HerbelinAs the new year gets into full swing, many of us are starting to think about how to add a dash of excitement to our outfits. The summer season may be a long way off yet, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring your look well up to date by giving your wardrobe a bit of an overhaul. Luckily though, you don’t have to buy a whole new selection of clothes to dress to impress. Accessories are a great option, and can totally transform your look. Let’s take a look at how to brighten up your attire with just a few simple additions.


Firstly, consider adding an element of Spring/Summer with a scarf in the latest print. Graphic prints, for example, are set to be huge news in 2014, and you don’t have to go overboard to introduce the look into your wardrobe. Team a pair of simple trousers and your favourite winter coat with a bold graphic scarf to perfectly bridge the gap between the seasons. Best of all, this approach will be kind on your finances, so you needn’t worry about breaking the bank in your aim to look a million dollars.


A classic watch is also a great addition to any outfit. The perfect timepiece will add a touch of style to your look, and of course is also highly practical. It goes without saying, but if you’re a busy professional, it’s always wise to keep your finger on the pulse, and what could be better for this than wearing a good watch? If you’re looking for something that gives off all the right vibes, check out the selection from Michel Herbelin.


Finally, consider how you can use accessories to bring colour to your wardrobe. At this time of year, the high street stores are still awash with dull hues, though this is no reason for you to play it safe. Buy a new handbag in a bold tone, treat yourself to a jazzy necklace, or even just add a splash your usual work wear by adding a beautiful brooch. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your overall look, as well as your mindset.


So if you’ve been thinking about adding a fresh touch to your wardrobe, why not start with accessories? It’ll cost you a fraction of buying new clothing, and the impact can be just as stunning.

How Important is Your Handbag Choice? [infographics]

Women make fashion statements every day with their choice of clothing, footwear and accessories. The handbag is a particularly important choice as it is both useful, and can complete and complement an outfit perfectly. Many celebrities can be seen with their statement handbags, and we can be eager to rush out and copy their style, but did you know your handbag can say quite a lot about your personality?

If you are a tote woman, for example, you are practical and like to be prepared for anything that might be thrown your way. If you prefer the small clutch, however, you are confident that you will handle said thrown thing without any help. If you like going around with a backpack you are outgoing and adventurous, whilst a preference for satchels signifies an ambitious and career-oriented personality.

These and other handbag types, and their significance in revealing your personality, are shown in this infographic.

How Important is Your Handbag Choice?

This infographic is designed by and created from research they have conducted into handbag types and how they fit in with personality types.

£10 million restoration unveiled at Bailbrook House Hotel Bath

A £10 million restoration has transformed Grade II* listed Bailbrook House Hotel in Bath ollowing its acquisition last year by Hand Picked Hotels, the award-winning collection of country house hotels.




Bailbrook House, set within 20 acres of private grounds with glorious views over England’s only world heritage city, was originally built as a private residence in the early 1790s and then spent more than 190 years as an institution. The restoration programme has transformed the hotel into a leading four star destination, with a sympathetic restoration and refurbishment of the original Mansion House and a total refurbishment of Bailbrook Court.


Julia Hands, Chairman and Chief Executive of Hand Picked Hotels said: “The mansion house had been used as a school, a residential home, a training centre, and latterly for conferences, with people passing through but never staying to appreciate the grandeur of the mansion. Our main aim was to restore life into the building and bring it back to its original status as an elegant country house.”


Executive Bedroom - Lights Off

Throughout the building, fireplaces, original sash windows, plaster mouldings, internal doors and staircases have been restored. In the basement, the space has been converted into the stunning Cloisters restaurant, creating a feature of impressive stone coffers that were meticulously cleaned and repaired by specialists, who took three months to restore every single block of stone. Windows have been unblocked and the loggia properly glazed to flood the area with light.


The restoration in the Mansion House has created 13 prestigious feature bedrooms, many with stunning original features, a new fine dining restaurant, three large lounges and a conservatory bar. The Cloisters fine dining restaurant offers delicious modern British cuisine and excellent wines.  Afternoon tea, a great tradition at Hand Picked Hotels, is served in the lounges.


The country house setting provides a magical backdrop for weddings, with Bailbrook House Hotel holding a licence for marriages and civil partnerships.

Bailbrook Court, next to the Mansion House, has 81 classic and executive bedrooms, all of which have been completely refurbished to a high standard. Bailbrook Court has the Lansdown restaurant, with a brasserie-style menu, excellent meeting and event facilities, with a selection of boardrooms, training suites and syndicate rooms.  The Brunel Suite is the largest function room, with a capacity of 160.


Julia Hands, who created Hand Picked Hotels in 2001 from a collection of hotels purchased with her husband, city financier Guy Hands, said:  “We are proud of the grand restoration undertaken at Bailbrook House Hotel. It can take its place once more as a fine example of Bath’s architectural heritage, as a first-class destination for people visiting the city and also for local people to enjoy our superb Hand Picked hospitality.”


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The 6 Biggest Fashion Faux-Pas Of The 2013 Emmys


A night watching the Emmy’s is a must for any fashion diva, as the to die for gowns worn by the celebs are particularly drool worthy at this star studded event. However, some ladies really missed the mark at the 2013 awards, with some bizarre, unseemly ensembles gracing the red carpet this year. These are the six worst faux-pas we witnessed, hopefully for the last time.

Overactive Prints

A print can be a nice, modern way to update a basic gown, but some ladies on the red carpet took it to the extreme at the Emmys this year. Perhaps the best example of this was Lena Dunham, who donned a busy green frock with orange-red flowers that were much too large for the dress. Lena’s “Girls” co-star Zosia Mamet didn’t fare much better, wearing a pink gown with a strange floral pattern that was just confusing to look at.

Sheer Madness

Sheer can be sexy, in moderation. Unfortunately, Julianne Hough went way overboard this year in her silver gown, if gown is even the right word for what Julianne showed up in. Her sheer bottom allowed viewers to see all the way up to where her legs met her pelvis, making outsiders wonder if it was a gown or a bathing suit. The strange straps around her upper arms in lieu of sleeves didn’t help matters at all.

Cleavage Galore

We are all for showing off the girls, particularly if it helps accent a dress. But some ladies took it much too far at this year’s Emmy awards. Sofia Vergara, a bombshell of a woman, could have used perhaps a few more inches of fabric to hold her bust in. And Claire Danes, while not nearly as well endowed as Sofia, chose a strange cut line that showed of the majority of her bust and torso.

Embellishments to the Max

Listen, embellishments can be beautiful, and we’ve got nothing against them. But whoever said embellishments should be stuck on a gown any which way? Mayim Bialik’s green gown was lovely from afar, but a close up inspection showed some sort of weird floral stick ons around the empire waist and sleeves. It almost looked like an arts and craft project. And Julianne Hough was guilty of this fashion crime as well, with some sort of strange beading going up and down her barely there dress.

Out of this World

Obviously, Heidi Klum is gorgeous, and just about any sort of shapeless nonsense would look amazing on her. But does that mean she has to stop trying altogether? Heidi’s bizarre red Emmy gown looked like something from another planet, and not at all in a good way. The majority of the gown was fine, but the neck piece that looked like she had joined some sort of intergalactic space army could have been pared down a bit.

Metallic Meltdown

Finally, we have Paula Abdul. Oh Paula. We’re not even sure what you were doing at the Emmy’s, except trying to look like the little statuettes actually being handed out to the winners. The 80’s icon’s gold ensemble was bad from head to toe, which is approximately the same area her high necked dress covered up. Paula would have done well to take one step forward, two steps back from this gown.

Holly Nichols is a gossip columnist who loves sharing her thoughts on celebrity fashion. If you enjoyed this article, Holly recommends checking out the ChicMags blog.

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