I think it is fair to say, I have never been a girly girl. As a child I shunned, much to my Nana’s despair, the various dolls I was given, instead stripping them of their clothes and putting them on my beloved Roland Rat who in turn was pushed around in prams etc. I was never really into experimenting with my hair or make up and have never really bothered with heels and overly girly outfits.
Subsequently I am not great at things like accessorizing outfits and knowing what goes with what. My day-to-day clothes consist of jeans and tshirt/jumper or a tunic top with leggings. My hair is usually tied back and make up is rarely worn – saved for those days I look particularly exhausted.
Unlike my two sister-in-laws who I am sure have an extensive wardrobe of clothes to call upon and stacks of accessories such as handbags, scarves and jewellery, I have very little. I have the odd thing, don’t get me wrong, but I am not very good at matching things together.
I was recently invited to an event with a dress code of ‘dress to impress’. Cue panic! I haven’t really had chance to sort out my wardrobe since Emma’s birth and I still want to lose a bit of weight (which is my new years resolution!) so I really did panic about what on earth I could wear. I bought a couple of dresses but then had nothing, and I mean nothing, that I thought matched. I was thrilled to be contacted by Emma at Accessorize my Outfit to try out her service.
I will admit, I was a bit sceptical but thought I would give it a try. I was really impressed. You enter in some info about yourself and either a link to your outfit or you can upload a picture. You state what sort of accessories you’re looking for, when you need them by and a budget and then press submit. Your details then wing their way to a series of people Emma works with. It took me about 15-20 minutes to enter the information and attach the picture.
You then sit back and wait for your personal shopping service to work its magic. Very quickly I had responses offering me loads of advice about what would go with my dress (a red and black dress) and lots of ideas ranging from bags, earrings, necklaces etc. all within the budget I had set. Each email was personal to me, wishing me a nice night out and telling me why something would work and also what was ‘on trend’ – eg mustard colours etc.
I have to say though I fell in love with the first bags that landed in my inbox, these are made by Edith Cherry and are gorgeous. Angie, the maker, suggested a black or mustard clutch bag to go with my dress, and I absolutely agreed with her. However, I instead opted for a cross body handbag, partly because I don’t have that many occasions where a clutch bag would be used but I knew I would use a handbag much more. The bag arrived last week and is gorgeous. It is handmade and made very very well.
Angie (the owner of Edith Cherry) started making her leather bags and accessories just two years ago, having wanted to do something creative. As a mum of five I am in awe of how she finds time to make them! They are lovely and if you check out her facebook page you will see she has lots of lovely items.
And this is what I think is so brilliant about Accessorize my Outfit. In just under a year Emma has built up a hub of small UK accessory businesses that design and make custom items. I love that this site has supported UK artisans and that through this is promotes a lot of small business, many of whom are mums like me trying to earn a little money to support their families, but in a flexible way to fit around their children.
Accessorize my outfit is brilliant, it really is like personal shopping at the tip of your fingers. There is no way I could go into Manchester and look around for accessories like this, but a few minutes spent filling in the form and over a few days I have a range of things being suggested. It is great for me as I am useless with things like this, and I will definitely be using this site again in the future for events I am going to such as a wedding or Christening.
I really can’t rate this site highly enough – it has allowed me, for a short while at least, to unearth my inner girl and, attempt at least, to dress to impress.
I was sent this bag in return for a fair review of the accessorize my outfit website, All words and opinions are my own.