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Bags of Plenty!

As avid readers of the Body Confidential fashion pages will know- I am all about colour!

Published on May 8th 2006.

Bags of Plenty!

As avid readers of the Body Confidential fashion pages will know- I am all about colour! So many of my clients have lived in black for years and it is my job to bring them out of the dark ages and into a new, bright style future.

One of the easiest ways to add colour is through accessories. A black suit can take on a life of its own when it has a turquoise top, bag and pumps thrown into the mix, and change the accent pieces to red - et voila! - another outfit from the same suit.

This season the bag takes on a life of its own with interesting shapes, textures and patterns making a major splash. Bags are an everyday part of our lives and if you’re anything like me you'll carry most of your life around in them! So why not give them the attention they deserve?

It’s so easy to think “I’ll get it in black - it will go with everything” when in fact coloured bags go with more than you think. And with so many of them under £30 these days- why not have one to match each outfit?!

This season femininity is back in a big way, with pencil skirts and waist cincher belts showing our curves off to the max. To carry on the ladylike theme get yourself this season's hottest evening accessory, the clutch. There are tonnes of styles around - Top Shop and H&M have hundreds, but this funky little number is from www.asos.com and is a snip at only £8! Add it to a classic little black dress to give your outfit some oomph- a pair of yellow, pink or blue heels and you’re away!

Green is everywhere at the moment - and is also my favourite colour, so imagine my delight when I stumbled across this little beauty - an absolute bargain at £12 from Dorothy Perkins. The bow detail gives it a really feminine feel and its slouchy style makes it a must have for your spring wardrobe. Try teaming it with a navy suit for work or jeans for a casual look and some green beads from the likes of Miss Selfridge would top it off nicely.

If you really want to push the boat out, you cant really go wrong in Accessorize. Their brand new Arndale store is awash with brightly coloured embroidered bags of all shapes and sizes. They really have got a knack of bringing texture and colour together to form some seriously stunning creations. This multi fabric option is great value at £25 and could be worn for so many occasions- casually with cropped trouser, dressed up for the races or a wedding, even as a funky alternative for work. Pick out one of its many colours and use it in your accessories for a really ‘put together’ look.

Animal prints are grabbing their fair share of the high street thanks to the spring/summer 06 African safari catwalk theme. But if head to toe in leopard print seems a bit OTT why not grab onto one of the many animal inspired bags currently scattering our shops. This exotic example is from Debenhams' own range and is a respectable £25. It comes with its own bag charms- another spring essential which can be replicated on your existing bags by heading down to H&M, New Look or Accessorize and picking them up for a couple of quid. I must just mention that Hobbs have the most fantastic animal print bags in at the moment - I did a customer evening for them last week and really had to restrain myself from smuggling one out!

So what do we do with all those black handbags out there? Well there are some simple tricks to funk them up a bit. Try tying a scarf around the handle - co-ordinate it with the same colour beads or shoes and you are style savvy in seconds!

For more tips and tricks stay tuned as I’m hitting the road for a summer of style sessions! Learn the tricks of the style trade at a venue near you soon! For more information email info@codeimage.co.uk with "style sessions" as your subject title.

See you soon!

Kathryn Whittaker

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