The key to effortless layering for Autumn

Layering! The art of adding extra garments on top of each other to keep warm. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it’s an aspect of styling and dressing everyday that many struggle with. And it’s easy to see why. Adding layers adds bulk and heaviness, it can feel restrictive and awkward, so how can you layer in a way that feels comfortable AND stylish?

It’s easy to layer when you know how. Choose the right layering pieces in appropriate fabrics and your Autumn/Winter outfits will be transformed. Layering adds weight and fabric but it also adds texture and interest to every outfit. It allows you to play with volume and shape and it gives you more opportunities to combine colours.

When it comes to layering consider this – you can add layers on top of your dress or top or alternatively you can add layers below. The key is to choose light layers that give warmth without the extra bulk.

Thermal Tops

My go-to practical piece is a mid to long sleeve thermal top. They are a saviour on cold days, are discreet and lightweight and they layer under everything. Choose a scoop neck that is invisible under most necklines and you’ll be able to style some of your Spring/Summer pieces throughout the year. The Heattech tops from Uniqlo are an affordable and versatile option. They come in a range of colours and necklines so will layer effortlessly under any top or dress.

Alternatively, I like the Marks & Spencer long sleeved thermal tops. They come in packs of 2 and are great value for money. Unfortunately I can’t see them on the website just yet, I imagine they’ll be available soon.

Knitted Vests

Or knitted tanks, they are a great addition to the wardrobe for Autumn/Winter. I’ve gathered up a little collection now, some in neutral tones and some slightly brighter. They add a lightweight layer without the bulk of heavy sleeves so they style easily under coats and jackets. I also love that they don’t completely hide your top half, so if you have a pretty sleeve or some shoulder detail it doesn’t conceal it in the way a jumper would.

Think carefully about the neckline you choose. Bear in mind that a V shape is always more flattering on a fuller bust and it will accommodate a shirt collar more easily than a crew neckline. Cable knits and busy patterns will also add bulk to the top half while plain darker tones will minimise curve. My advice is to experiment and have fun. Layer over dresses, blouses and even under dungarees!

Here are a few that I’ve spotted recently. Click on the name of the store below each item and it will take you straight to the website.


For a dressier, more tailored look, try adding a waistcoat to your wardrobe. Waistcoats are on trend this season and look great styled with a matching suit, but for a more relaxed look, try styling yours with a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans.

Here are a few that I’ve spotted online.

And if you prefer a more relaxed option for casual days, consider a padded gilet. Layer over a leather biker, hoodie, denim jacket or your favourite sweater. As these are bulkier than the previous layering pieces mantioned, add these as outerwear.

Here are a few options.


Remember that there is always the option to layer jumpers over dresses and cardigans over t-shirts. The key is to keep layers light and bulk to a minimum!

I hope this was helpful. If you need any help with finding Autumn/Winter wardrobe essentials that suit your body-shape, colouring, lifestyle of personality, get in touch. I offer an online personal shopping service, ideal for building a capsule wardrobe. Alternatively I can create a shopping board for a single outfit or a collection of new season pieces . Details are on my website.

Have a stylish and colourful September.


Winter Coat Style

I don’t know about you but I hate the cold. There’s nothing worse than heading out for a walk and feeling shivery and miserable. This is me in one of my ‘practical’ walking coats, because let’s face it, as much as I love my colourful blazers and stylish coats, we all need practical outerwear too!

Our clothes need to suit our lifestyle. I enjoy Sunday afternoon walks with my family. My boots are normally filthy and my jeans scruffy but that’s good, because then I can enjoy the walk without worrying about the dirt! So whether you hang out at Parisian cafes at the weekend, push a shopping trolley around a supermarket or chase kids at a play park, feeling warm and comfortable is key! I’ve included a few options here from online and High Street stores, and as I always say, make sure that your coat is versatile and that it works with many outfits in your wardobe!

My advice is to start with a neutral coat. It will mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe with ease. Spend as much as you can afford on an investment piece like this and it will last for years. Introduce brighter coats and jackets once you have the basics covered!

Boden £220

First up, is this beautiful coat from Boden. Versatile and neutral, this would make a great addition to any wardrobe. The buttons create some shape at the waist but wear with caution if you have curvy hips as these pockets could add unwanted bulk!

Boden £240

Elegant, chic and so wearable, this Boden coat is super flattering for so many body-shapes. The single-breasted style is great for fuller busts and the colour is a great alternative to black. Style with denim and add pops of red or orange for a striking look!

Boden Puffer Coat £240

This Boden Puffer coat ticks all the boxes. Colourful, warm and practical, it’s perfect for anyone with a warm skin – tone.

River Island £79.20

This double-breasted beauty will add a touch of elegance to any outfit this Winter. Style with jeans, leather trousers or a midi dress in shades of blue, charcoal or peach for a put together, effortless look!

River Island £80

Is there anything more sumptuous and gorgeous than a faux fur coat? This rich chocolate shade is the perfect addition to your wardrobe this Autumn/Winter. Softer then black, it will add texture to your look and will pair beautifully with neutrals.

Mint Velvet £199

For a nod to the 70s, you could add this beautiful longline aviator coat to your wardrobe. The simple zip and minimum fuss makes this a good option for many body shapes.

Mint Velvet £229

Or maybe you’d like to add a pop of pink to your wardrobe this year? Pink is on trend this season and without any doubt, this beauty will brighten the dullest of days. The simple clean lines add a classic touch to this piece. Style with shades of green and this coat will take you anywhere!

Jigsaw £365

Perfect for cool skin tones, this burgundy coat will add a touch of glamour to your wardrobe this Winter. Perfect for the office or weekend this is an investment piece that you will enjoy for many years to come!

Albaray at M&S £220

Practical and warm, this is a wardrobe essential. A puffer coat, like this, will be worth every penny! Perfect for walking the dog, trips to the park or shopping on a cold Winter’s day! Note of caution, black can be draining, so unless you are Clear, Cool or Deep, avoid black and opt for flattering navy or charcoal instead.

Marks & Spencer £79

Relaxed and casual this khaki green car coat will add an effortless touch to your wardrobe this season. Style with shades of brown and tan for a ‘country’ vibe!

Oasis £77

I love this Oasis coat! Such a striking colour combination, this will style beautifully with lots of neutrals including camel, white, cream, charcoal and even navy. I’ve a feeling that this will be a best seller. Also available in petite. I’m top of the queue for this one! Run don’t walk!

I hope you found this blog useful. For personal styling and colour analysis enquiries, contact Instagram @simplystyledcat

Catherine Jackson, Personal Stylist & Colour Consultant, Northern Ireland.

Catherine Jackson: Personal Stylist & Colour Consultant Northern Ireland

Let me introduce myself!

My name is Catherine Jackson. I’m a mum of 2 and I live in County Down, Northern Ireland. At the beginning of the pandemic, I took the plunge and trained as a Personal Stylist and a Colour Consultant. I love clothes and style and feel passionate about colour and how this can impact not only appearance but also emotional wellbeing. But the ability to empower women, boost confidence and alleviate the stress of dressing everyday is primarily why I trained as a Stylist.

‘Image and style is an important element of self-care’

I have worked in the NHS for the last 13 years and before that I was a teacher. Helping, guiding and supporting others gives me the greatest joy and satisfaction. I recognise that in a world where there is war, poverty and an alarmingly high rate of poor mental health, that style and clothes can seem in some way indulgent and frivolous. But to me, image and style is an important element of self-care. It’s often the first thing to deteriorate when someone feels stressed, anxious or over-whelmed. And without doubt, this decline often leads to feelings of low self-esteem and frustration.

I remember how ‘lost’ I felt after having my first child. I didn’t know how to dress for this new life and I didn’t know how to create a look that was stylish but practical too!

Which is why I see my role as a Stylist and Colour Consultant as so important. With empathy and a non judgemental approach I can empower you with the skills to dress confidently. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mum, a business leader, recently retired or feeling stuck in a rut, I can give you the knowledge and know-how to dress your shape and discover your signature style. It’s normal for this to change throughout the course of our lives. Illness, weight change, becoming a mum/carer, change in role and profession can often lead to confusion about how to dress and what to wear. I’ve been there myself. I remember how ‘lost’ I felt after having my first child. I didn’t know how to dress for this new life and I didn’t know how to create a look that was stylish but practical too! Change can be difficult, but moving forward, updating your look and investing in yourself will ensure that you don’t get ‘stuck’ in that style rut!

‘All of my styling services are online and available worldwide’

I offer a range of styling and colour services. All are worldwide and online. So whether you want to discover your best colours so that you make better choices when shopping or you’re feeling frumpy and bored with your look, I can help to get your style ‘back on track’!

You’ll have;

Clarity – no more confusion about what to wear

Guidance – you’ll know the exact shapes and styles of garments that will flatter you most

Inspiration – you’ll understand how to wear colour to flatter your shape and make your outfit interesting

Ease – no more panic buying or stress in the mornings. You’ll recognise what you need to invest in so that your wardrobe becomes cohesive and easy to navigate.

Your own style that works for you, your personality and your lifestyle! There’s no point having a wardrobe full of heels and dresses when in reality you’re spending your days walking the dog or caring for children. Your wardobe needs to work for the life you have now!

My advice is realistic, achievable and specific to you!

Are you stuck in a rut?

Are you bored with your look?

Do you have lots of clothes but nothing to wear?

Do you feel frumpy & ‘down’ about how you look?

Do you feel stressed everytime you open your wardrobe door?

If the answer is ‘YES’, Get in touch! I’d love to help you!

All of my styling and colour services are on my website


You can follow me on Instagram @simplystyledcat


Personal Stylist & Colour Consultant – Northern Ireland

Simple Oufit-Building for Summer!

Marks & Spencer dress £29.50

Take one simple, tunic-style linen dress and create many looks for Summer!

So what’s so good about this dress?

Firstly, it’s made from a mix of linen and viscose, so cool and loose for warmer days.

It’s a fantastic style for many body-shapes. The V-shaped neckline is perfect for anyone with a fuller bust or broad shoulders as it breaks up the top half and prevents you from looking too top-heavy!

It has sleeves. Great for those who are conscious of their upper arms.

It’s a great length, not too short. Apply some tan and you are good to go!

It’s a fabulous neutral shade that suits everyone! And there are other colours available. So, all in all, its a fabulous dress!

How can this be styled?

The styling of this dress is dependent on many factors. Height, body proportions and style personality will all need to be considered, but it is very versatile. The absence of a waist-line means that it will be flattering on those who have more curve in the tummy area. So if this is you, keep it simple. Add a pair of wedges, a great pair of earrings and a straw bag and you’re ready for anywhere!

Wedges Jones Bootmaker £89.99

Choose a neutral colour like the ones above for maximum styling options. Alternatively choose a colourful pair for a bit of drama.

Marks & Spencer £29.50

If you have a slender/athletic body shape, you could add some definition to the waist by adding a belt like the one below.

Zara £32.99

For ease, choose a colour scheme. I’ve chosen tan here but you could choose metallic accessories or colour pop with orange.

Marks & Spencer £15
Marks & Spencer £29.50

This oversized linen shirt, also available in white, could be styled over the dress. Roll up the sleeves, tie at the waist or button up and belt. This will add a new dimension to this dress and create a new outfit. Style according to your dimensions and body proportions and if you are unsure what suits you best, book a style consultation with me and I will guide you with this.

Layer with a blazer, denim jacket or trench. Choose one that fletters your skintone and body proportions. If you have more curve on your top half, a single breasted blazer or trench will be more flattering. Style your trench with the sleeves rolled up and the belt tied to the back. This is a Summer wardrobe must-have! So versatile and easy to style. If you are petite, ensure it doesn’t swamp your frame and remember that trench coats can be worn at hip length, mid thigh or longer. This one below is perfect for petites or those who prefer a shorter style.

Marks & Spencer £49.50

This longer length one is an investment buy, classic and gorgeous!

Jaegar at Marks & Spencer £250

Or alternatively, layer a denim jacket for a more casual look.

Hobbs at Marks & Spencer £99

Choose a denim jacket like above. Shorter styles that are slightly fitted will create the illusion of a waist and will be more flattering than looser boyfriend styles, particulrly if styling over this dress. If you fancy adding a pop of colour, opt for one like this below.

Marks & Spencer £35

I hope this has been helpful and that it has provided you with some styling inspiration for Summer.

Catherine x

How to create a holiday capsule wardrobe!

The sun is shining and we’re all starting to think about city breaks and holidays.  It might have been a couple of years since you were last away,so how do you get your holiday wardrobe refreshed and updated?  What are the key pieces for a holiday in the sun and how do you create a capsule holiday wardrobe that works for you?

This month, I’m sharing some tips for creating your capsule holiday wardrobe and will share some of my holiday essentials.

It’s all in the planning!

  1. Take a look at what you already own. Ask yourself, does it suit you? Does it fit? Do you like it? If the answer is ‘Yes’, add it to your holiday pile. If the answer is ‘No’ add to a pile for re-sale or charity.
  2. Identify the gaps. What key pieces are misssing? Maybe it’s a cover-up for the beach? A pair of sandals or a flattering swim suit?
  3. Are you planning a particular theme? Maybe you want to pack neutrals that style easily together or maybe you’re choosing a colour scheme? Having a colour scheme helps as it gives you focus when choosing outfits. Choose your pieces carefully and they should be able to mix and match with ease.
  4. Choose clothes that suit you and your style personality. You want to feel comfortable on holiday. Maybe you are prone to sunburn or bloating? Consider this when choosing your key pieces.
  5. Think outside the box. Could your swim suit double up as a top with a midi skirt and jewellery for evening? Could your shirt dress work as a beach cover-up? The aim is to pack less but to make each piece work more!
  6. Think about the fabrics you choose. Natural fabrics like linen and silk will be more comfortable than synthetic fibres.

So what should you pack?

  • An oversized linen shirt or tunic. This will double up as a beach cover up and a will dress up for evening with sandals and a bag. Choose a neutral one in one of your best shades so that it works with other pieces or choose a brighter shade to make a statement. This one from Boden ticks all the boxes and is perfect for cool skintones.
Boden Linen Tunic Dress £85
  • A casual jumpsuit. Simple and oh so stylish, choose the fabric carefully and this will take you effortlessly from beach to restaurant. This black one below is perfect. Style with espadrilles and a basket bag for day and add jewellery and a clutch for evening. Ideal for Cools, Deeps & Clears.
Hobbs Linen Jumpsuit £89 (on sale)
  • A straw-bag. There’s nothing that shouts ‘holiday’ more than one of these beauties. It’ll add interest to your linens and will transition easily from beach to restaurant. Buy an oversized one! There’s nothing more annoying that a small bag when you have suncreams, sunglasses and everyone elses bits and pieces to carry! This one from Marks & Spencer will go with everything but check the dimensions before you buy!
Straw Bag Marks & Spencer £29.50
  • Comfortable Footwear Choose your footwear carefully. Shoes can be bulky and take up a alot of room in your luggage, so opt for a couple of pairs that will mix and match easily. I always choose neutral colours like tan or metallic. Decide if you want sandals, trainers or wedges. Think about how you’ll be spending your time and choose accordingly. These leather sandals from Jigsaw are perfect. The colour, contemporary block heel and simple style make these a great addition to your holiday wardrobe.
Sandals Jigsaw £110
  • Linen Trousers Comfortable, cool and a great cover-up, a pair of loose linen trousers is a great addition to your suitcase. Choose a neutral colour and mix and match with other neutrals. These linen trousers from Marks and Spencer are perfect!
Linen Trousers M&S £29.50
  • A Maxi dress Elegant, stylish and verstaile, a maxi dress is a holiday must-have. Choose one that flatters your shape, frame and skintone and it will be a staple piece for your holiday. Change your footwear and bag and it’ll be perfect for sight seeing or dinner! This one from Marks and Spencer is gorgeous. The v-shaped neckline is flattering while the long, loose sleeves are perfect for cooler evenings. Its also available in regular or long length.
Maxi Dress M&S £45

If you’d like some help planning your holiday capsule wardrobe, get in touch. Knowing the styles that flatter your body-shape makes outfit planning so much easier!

Enjoy your break away!


It’s Blazer Season!

I love Spring! Bright days, longer evenings and the chance to ditch those heavy Winter coats and replace them with a blazer. Tailored, chic and oh so versatile, a blazer is a must-have this season.

But how do you choose one that’s going to suit you and give you endless styling options?

  • Choose a colour that is flattering to your skintone. Black is a good option if you are a Clear, a Cool or a Deep but navy, charcoal, ivory or fern green are good neutral alternatives.
  • If you want to make a statement, choose a brighter one! There are so many striking colours this season to choose from but make sure it is in harmony with your look and that it doesn’t ‘wear you’!
  • If you have more curve on the top half or broad shoulders consider a single breasted blazer as additional buttons, epaulettes and breast pockets can all add additional bulk.
  • Think about the length and choose one that will balance proportions. One that finishes at hip length is flattering for most petites. Ensure it isn’t too oversized as it could swamp your frame!
  • Don’t be afraid to belt your blazer to add shape to your waist. This is particularly effective for rectangular body shapes.
  • Experiment with shapes, colours and print. If choosing to invest in a blazer opt for a neutral shade as it will never date!

If you fancy adding a blazer to your wardrobe this Spring, here’s a little inspiration and my top online buys, all are guaranteed to make you smile!

Mango Double Breasted blazer £69.99

This stunning blazer from Mango is perfect for warm skintones and will look fabulous on Warms! Pair with blue or charcoal grey trousers for work or style with jeans at the weekend. I love Mango blazers. Great quality and value for money!

Mango Blazer £69.99

Chic, stylish and understated, this is a fabulous blazer. Perfect for work, it will also elevate your weekend style. Layer over a breton t-shirt and style with cropped jeans for an easy, classic look!

Zara Blazer £59.99

This textured Zara blazer is perfect for Cools & Lights. Dress up with white trousers for work or style with a simple white t-shirt and jeans. Blazers can look great layered over dresses and jumpsuits too, just make sure that your proportions are right! If in doubt choose a short textured Chanel inspired jacket instead. There are lots of options on the high street.

Massimo Dutti £140

How gorgeous is this short sleeved linen blazer from Massimo Dutti? Understated and so versatile, this will layer effortlessly over everything! Add a belt to cinch in the waist and style with a pop of coral or other neutral shades. This shade of green is perfect for warm skintones and will flatter Deeps & Warms.

Boden Blazer £190

Fancy a statement piece? This monochrome print ticks all the boxes. Elegant, striking and very versatile this will transition easily from desk to bar. Dress up with a classic black shift dress or black capri trousers or dress down with jeans and trainers. Perfect for Clears, Deeps and Cools.

Baukjen Blazer £249

Add a splash of yellow to your wardrobe this Spring/Summer with this pale yellow blazer from Baukjen. Pair with a breton stripe or tones of lavender for a pretty, feminine look. This will pair effortlessly with florals and is ideal for Lights and Warms. You are welcome to use my discount code Jackson15 for 15% off.

I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you are unsure of the style and colour that will flatter you most, book an online personal style assessment with me. All details are on my website.

Have a colourful and stylish Spring!

Catherine x

The Spring Jacket Edit

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the outlook is bright! After a difficult year with limited social gatherings or trips out, it looks like Spring/Summer 2021 may be a time for celebration. Restrictions are being eased, vaccines rolled out and at some stage this season we may even have the opportunity to get away for the weekend! In the meantime, picnics in the park, alfresco dining and coffees on the street will be welcomed with open arms; so now is the ideal time to invest in a Spring jacket!

Whatever your style, whether it’s a trench, biker or denim jacket, blazer or bomber style, there’s something to suit everyone. I’ve had a browse online and found some perfect pieces!

The Trench

Classic, lightweight and stylish, a trench is the perfect addition to your wardrobe. For a casual, pulled together look, layer over a striped Breton t-shirt or white shirt. Add a pair of your favourite jeans, a pair of wedges or some comfortable sneakers and you’re ready for anywhere!

Consider the colour carefully. Warm skin tones will shine in camel, khaki or cream while cooler skin tones will look radiant in navy, white or blush. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour. A pop of yellow, red or green can add fun and interest to your Spring/Summer outfits.

A single-breasted trench will flatter those with a fuller bust while a trench with a belt will add definition at the waist for athletic body shapes. The length is important too. Too long and it could swamp a petite frame!

The Biker

Perfect for adding an ‘edgy’ touch to a romantic or classic style, the biker brings versatility to your Spring/Summer wardrobe. Whether faux or genuine leather, there are many colours and styles to suit your personality and lifestyle. A classic black biker will never date and can be worn for years while other shades and styles can add a stylish dimension to your seasonal wardrobe.

Leather Biker Jacket – All Saints £299

A biker style jacket in suede adds a soft luxurious touch to your Spring/Summer outfits. There are many colours on the market at various price points so decide if this is an investment piece or a seasonal on-trend purchase. Choose a neutral for an understated look or add a bright pop of colour in a flattering shade that suits your skin tone.

The Blazer

Classic, timeless and versatile, the blazer is the perfect transitional piece. Whether styled casually or formally, it adds a stylish touch to any outfit. A blazer will take you anywhere! Office, to bar, park to theatre, it’s a key piece for any wardrobe.

When choosing a blazer consider the button placement. Double-breasted styles can add bulk to a fuller bust, while oversized or boyfriend blazers can swamp a petite frame. A blazer in a flattering neutral tone will be invaluable and offer may styling options throughout the seasons. Try tonal dressing in various shades of the same colour; great for creating a ‘column’ of colour and the illusion of height!

My favourite look is a blazer dressed down with jeans, a simple t-shirt and sneakers. Understated, classic styling at it’s best! Below are a few of my favourites!

The Denim Jacket

For a laid back, casual look there’s always the denim jacket! Style over dresses or pair with wide-legged trousers, but choose the fit and colour carefully! Cropped styles will add definition at the waist and look great when worn over midi and maxi dresses. They will look equally as flattering when styled with high waisted trousers while other longer, baggier shapes will look cool and casual worn over our favourite loungewear, hoodies and sweatshirts. Faded, ripped styles will add an urban feel to your outfit while darker, cleaner styles will give a smart – casual finish to any look this Spring!

You can use my discount code CAT15 for 15% off any full priced items at Baukjen.

Whatever your choice of jacket this Spring, keep smiling and only buy what you love!


Are you ‘red’-y for Christmas?

Red is everywhere at Christmas! Fairy lights, Christmas bobbles, holly berries and even Rudolph’s red nose. It’s a colour often associated with love, energy and passion but at Christmas it’s jolly and fun! Often people choose to wear red during the festive season, but how comfortable are you when it comes to wearing this vibrant, eye-catching shade?

There is a full spectrum of reds to choose from. From pillar box red, to burgundy, wine to mulberry, coral-red to tomato red, there’s a shade to suit everyone! So what should you consider when choosing a red garment for your wardrobe?

How do I know which shade of red is best for me?

Red is a primary colour that sits beside blue and yellow on the colour wheel. Some reds will have elements of blue and will be ‘cool’ while others will have yellow components and will appear ‘warm’. Cool-toned ladies will look fabulous in blue reds. Burgundy, wine and ruby red tones will look rich and luxurious, allowing cool skin tones to look radiant and healthy. Tomato red, coral & scarlet will look striking and alluring on those with warmer skin tones.

But if red feels too hot to handle, you can still inject some colour and festive fun by following my tips below.

  • If head-to-toe red is too much for you, try adding denim or leather to give it a casual look. A red top or blouse in a flattering shade will add brightness and radiance to your face while jeans or leather trousers will keep your outfit fresh and modern.
  • Try mixing it with neutrals! Add a crisp white shirt or a neutral toned blazer to a vibrant pair of red trousers or skirt and hey presto! Colourful and stylish for your next meeting!
  • Pink can be worn as a softer alternative and can look amazing on cool skin tones but for colour clashing at it’s finest wear with red for maximum impact!
  • Consider adding red accessories to a neutral outfit. A pop of red will add interest to a classic look. Try a red bag, an eye-catching pair of boots or a statement pair of earrings!
  • For instant glamour, wear a red lip! A red nail polish will keep your look elegant and chic.

Here are my favourite red pieces from online stores & the High Street!

Baukjen Aileen dress £71 (on sale)