STYLE MATTERS – BY VICTORIA FROM @TOADYJANE

I’m back with another Instagram interview this week, by Victoria. I’ve been following and engaging with Victoria for well over a year now and I feel she does a fabulous job of dressing for the Apple body shape. 

Victoria is 48 and from Lancashire and she describes herself as a busy female professional with a love of all things stylish and determined not to drown in a corporate sea of black and grey. Amen to that!!

We both hope you enjoy the interview

Love Lizzi x

toadyjane
@toadyjane

How do you describe your personal style?

I’d say I’m a real mix – my personal style can change from day to day depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m doing. However I do love bright colours as they always lift my mood and apparently they make me look approachable.

Why does style matter to you? 

For me I have always used the clothes that I wear almost as a suit of armour. If I feel good in what I’m wearing it gives me a self confidence that I would otherwise have to dig deep to find. 

Over the last 12 months my weight has varied significantly due to health issues and that can really impact on self esteem. My Instagram account has given me a sort of validation for carefully planning my outfits and I absolutely love sharing my finds and getting inspiration from others via the squares.

Have you always been interested in style? 

Absolutely. I used to get a clothes allowance from my parents from starting secondary school and I would use my money to get as creative as I could with my school uniform. I’m not very artistic at all but there is something about styling outfits that fascinates me. I’m usually invited by friends on shopping trips or wardrobe clear-outs so I can give honest opinions and also get people to move outside their comfort zone.

toadyjane
@toadyjane

What would be your signature style look? 

I love to wear dresses with ankle boots, trainers or court shoes as they are the ultimate throw on and wear outfit. I’ve only recently been able to wear court shoes again so you will probably see me wearing them with everything now! For nights out I always used to be a skinny coated legging type of girl but I love to dress up for any occasion so will always make the effort right down to my accessories.

What’s your view on fashion vs. style? 

For me fashion is about items, but style is about how you put them together. I wouldn’t ever make huge investments into “fashionable” pieces – instead I’d spend small on things like earrings or belts just as a nod to the latest trend. If I’m buying a piece I want to know three different ways I can wear it before investing, and that it will have some longevity in my wardrobe.  

toadyjane
@toadyjane



What is your body shape? 

I’m 5’4” with what I would describe as a more traditional “apple” shape. Basically any weight goes onto my stomach and boobs and I don’t have a waist! 

Have you worked this out for yourself or did you get professional advice/training? 

I went to a Women in Social Housing event a couple of years ago where Colour me Beautiful were presenting the session. It really just confirmed what I already knew but it also made me think twice about some of my choices – like I shouldn’t wear khaki!

What is the best thing about being an apple? 

I have slender arms and legs and no hips. By wearing the right outfit, I can take pounds off myself. By wearing the wrong outfit, I can look like Mr Pickwick!!  

What’s not so easy about your apple shape? 

Finding shirts, blouses and dresses that will fasten over my boobs. I’m best with a v neck to elongate that area but I will wear high necks with the right jewellery to create the same effect of lengthening the neck. 

toadyjane
@toadyjane

What three styling tips do you have for apple shape?

  1. I would say that I have learnt that despite it going against every instinct of mine sometimes an outfit needs to be nipped in at the waist with a belt to give some definition. 
  2. Make the most of your slender limbs and embrace the skinny jeans – I don’t care if they aren’t of the moment. They look good!
  3. Don’t focus too much on what you think you should wear – go with what you feel best in.

What must you avoid (regardless of if it’s in fashion) for your apple shape?

I’m going to be bold and put it out there that if I see something I like I’m going to try it regardless of whether it fits in with the “rules” of being an apple shape. Our bodies and colouring change as we age, something that might not have worked, might now be the ideal purchase. If you love it buy it and wear it!

toadyjane
@toadyjane


What are your three favourite stores to shop? 

  1. I have to say that one of my favourite pastimes is to trawl charity shops and dress agencies for quality pieces that will add to my wardrobe and work with what I already have in there. My most recent purchase is an original 80s tea dress which I absolutely adore!  
  2. I also love @kemitelford colourful clothing which works for me as its mainly one size and so weight fluctuations don’t matter 
  3. Marks and Spencer who have really upped their womenswear game recently.

What do you own that you will never ever give away? 

I have a vintage faux fur coat that my mother gave to me and that will never be going anywhere! I wear it with a cloakroom ticket for a 1981 New Years Eve party in the pocket as I can’t bear to throw it away!!

You can follow Victoria on Instagram at @toadyjane

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