An Interview with Celebrity Stylist James Yardley

Freelance fashion, celebrity and commercial stylist James Yardley kindly agreed to be interviewed about his career. Based in London, he’s styled celebs including The Saturdays, JLS, Nicole Scherzinger, Kylie Minogue and The X Factor whilst working for Frank Strachan.

James now works independently with international and UK based-celebrities, including Rochelle Humes and Tess Daly, alongside commercial brands. He also works closely with suppliers such as fashion store Garment Quarter to achieve his on-point looks. We managed to squeeze in a chat with him amongst his hectic schedule…


Fashion Stylist James Yardley

We’d love to know how your career path progressed to get you to this stage. Could you give us an overview?

I started interning at 21 at Attitude magazine under the then Fashion Director, Frank Strachan. I was supposed to only be there for two weeks and then after two months finally left.

On my first day working at my new job Frank called me and asked if I’d like to start work as his assistant. I took a massive leap of faith, quit my new job and joined Frank the very next day.

Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion stylists?

It’s so cliché but work hard and be kind. It shines like the brightest light in this industry. There are so many people who want to work in fashion and sit at a pretty desk writing emails, but in reality it’s long hours, hard work and determination that makes you into an actual Fashion Stylist. What I mean by ‘actual Fashion Stylist’ is being one of the few who can pay their bills with it as a job, not just write it in their Instagram bio.

We imagine your job’s pretty varied, but what does a typical ‘day in the life of James Yardley’ look like?

I actually couldn’t answer this. Every day is different. Some days are sitting in front of my computer for hours sending emails, others are spent out doing appointments and loaning/buying clothes and other days are spent on set at TV/photo studios. Every day is different, some amazingly fun and some not so much.

Which celebrities have you styled? Do you have any favourites? If so, why?

I’ve styled a varied amount of celebrity clients now but I’d have to say my favourite is Rochelle Humes. She’s just a laugh and she’s become my friend after all these years too.

How do you approach styling a client for an event? Do you get to know them first, research the event or TV slot, or have an overall objective?

It’s a complete meeting of minds. Recently I styled Tess Daly for the BAFTAs and I had an overall objective in my head. I could see the dress in my head and had drawn the design, and with the help of the designer and Tess’ opinion we created the perfect gown for the event. Overall the dress made Tess feel confident, and also gained the best press of the night.

How do you approach different body types? Do you have any tips for dressing different shapes – hourglass, pear, apple, athletic?

Follow what you know, not the latest fashion trend. Respect your body and do it justice by wearing pieces you know suit you and overall give you confidence.

Do your clients ever come with preconceived ideas of what they want? How much input do they have?

The beauty of styling celebrities and not just models is they have a voice and I love that. I would never say I completely styled someone head to toe. As I previously mentioned it’s a meeting of minds and all my clients have opinions – and I work with that when I’m styling them.

You’ve picked the outfit, but what about the extras? ow impoAre accessories, shoes, hair and makeup your decision too?

In the case of working with celebrities I always voice my opinion on hair and makeup but it’s again more of a meeting of minds. We all like talking about an outfit, hair, makeup etc. and by discussing it all openly and brainstorming ideas, I believe that’s how you create a killer look!

We’ve had a peek at your Instagram and noticed you co-designed a dress for Rochelle Humes. Is that something you’re looking to do more of? What else have you designed? Any upcoming projects?

Yes, interesting you ask. I’ve done a few bespoke dress collaborations with designers for Rochelle and also Tess recently. I really enjoy the process and having an opinion so it’s definitely something I’m looking into doing. There are a few upcoming projects – stay tuned!

The industry has had a lot of media attention recently about the introduction of plus size models. We’d love to know your views on it as a stylist?

I really enjoy the fashion industry for pushing limits, and I’m all for plus-sized healthy models but I’m not for promoting obesity. There’s a limit, that’s not for me to call, obviously, but I would never support the fashion industry in promoting underweight models, so I don’t think we should be promoting over weight models either.

Tell us about your relationship with Garment Quarter – how do you work together? What do you like about working together?

I LOVE the team at Garment Quarter. I’ve had a long standing relationship with them since I was an assistant and I’ve always enjoyed the amazing selection across a varied amount of brands. There’s always something new and exciting, and something I’m dying to put one of my clients in.

Is there any reason you’d choose designer brands over high street when dressing your clients?

I personally love to mix up designer brands and high street pieces when styling my clients, however I do tend to lean towards designer brands when it comes to quality and unique cut and design. It’s something that only designer brands can offer and can’t be rivalled by the high street.

Quick-fire round – snap-decisions please!

Nickname? Yardley

Tea or coffee? Coffee

Instagram or Snapchat? Snapchat

Worst habit? Not replying on WhatsApp even when I’ve read the message…

Best habit? Saving money!

Mood right now? Excited. I finally get a holiday this week.

Last thing you ate? Protein bar

Last thing you texted? ‘Sounds magical!’ To my flatmate

Favourite saying? ‘At the end of the day…’ I love to summarise everyone’s conversations!

My Summer Handbag Wishlist

My addiction love of handbags has unfortunately had to take a backseat for the past four years since having a child, but it doesn’t stop me looking and wishing!

When the sun finally decides to make an appearance I want to be out on my local beach, walking along the promenade and strolling through the city’s shops with a gorgeous handbag on my arm.

So I’ve been having a little browse online and am impressed with the selection of tote bags House of Fraser have at the moment.

I am a Fiorelli ADDICT so bags from their current range are top of my wishlist. The last time I bought one of their bags was during my pregnancy as the last gift to myself before I became a broke single parent. I treasure that bag, as well as the other Fiorelli bags that these days hardly see the light of day.


My favourite Fiorelli’s are:

Mia Multicoloured Medium Tote Bag– I love the bold, diagonal lines on this bag and it is similar to a satchel shape with the optional shoulder strap which only adds to its favour for me. It is a good size, so I could fit a lot of my everyday bits in it as well as have room for more when I’m browsing the shops.

Emme Pink Medium Grab Tote Bag– Love the baby pink colour of this bag with the hints of gold on the handles. Pastel shades are my favourite for the summer months.

Trixie Multicoloured Large Tote Bag– I really like this bag purely because it is so different from the styles and patterns I’m used to seeing from Fiorelli. I have recently started to get into the more retro, vintage floral look with the tea dresses I have been buying so this would match them nicely!


My favourite Michael Kors are:

Selma Pink Tote Bag– I also love this one for it’s pastel pink shade.

Portia Pink Small Shoulder Bag– This is a bold pink which I would love to team up with a white maxi dress to let the colour pop out.

Carine Red Shoulder Bag– This is not my usual style but that’s why I love it. The deep red and the pattern works well when you want a handy, but pretty mini shoulder bag when out on a summer’s evening.

And last but by no means least, a DKNY bag…


DKNY Saffiano Orange Tote Bag-I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bold orange colour and that it resembles the satchel shape which many of my bags are.

I can see myself using this for pretty much all summer outfits I own, for night and daytime use as it is just lush!

What’s your handbag wishlist for this summer?

Giveaway: Pendeza Tights for Darker Skin Tones

Five of you lucky readers now have a chance to win a pair of Pendeza pantyhose in the size of your choice!

Pendeza are one of the first companies to have created hosiery for a range of darker skin tones and in a range of sizes including those for tall and/or plus size women. 10275413_10156395871055244_186784248555440848_o 12705597_10156508949990244_8396991835743335089_n

Their sizes range from S to XXL and Q (for taller women) and they have a selection of ranges including the Toned Collection and Black Secrets range which can help to enhance your curves.

There are five shades from Tone 10 (lightest) to Tone 50 (darkest). I tried a pair of the Tone 10 colour and was pleased with the result. My legs looked natural and the quality of the 15 denier tights is good for the low price, as my legs looked smoother.

And the most important thing it offers is comfort! They are nice and light unlike so many other tights I have had the misfortune to attempt to wear on nights out.

Pendeza tights can be bought online from companies such as Superdrug and their website can also give you addresses of shops you can purchase them in locally.

To win a pair of these fab tights simply complete the rafflecopter form here, good luck!

Girls Night In Bundle Competition and Review

Every woman needs some girl time every once in a while, even at my age, so when I was given the chance to try out a girls night in bundle with my friends I of course agreed!

The bundle contained everything I would want and need for a night in, such as two great chick flicks (Blended was about single parents finding love which gave a spinster like me hope!) face masks and of course chocolate.

girls night in bundle

My Girls Night In Bundle!


I loved the gourmet chocolate pizza because it’s something I’ve never seen before! Two of my favourite things together: pizza and chocolate, so was bound to be a great success!  Within the first few minutes of The Other Woman DVD we had gobbled up the pizza and made a start on some of the wine I had bought with the £15 shopping voucher- you cannot have a night in without some good wine, gossip and food!


The prize is everything a woman needs to have the ultimate girly night in, because let’s face it, every woman needs some quality giggle time with her friends.

This fantastic prize includes:

Brand new copies of Blended and the Other Woman on DVD from Cash Generator, the UK high street retailer of new and pre-owned DVDs. 

A 7” gourmet chocolate pizza from Qwerkity, the place to go for all of your unusual gift needs.

A bingo board game, 4 x face masks and a £15 supermarket voucher for a shop of your choice (so you can buy a bottle and some snacks) from Paddy Power.

To be in with a chance to win this fab bundle just go to my competition page on Single Parent Pessimist and fill in the Rafflecopter form!

I was given one bundle for the purpose of this review. No payment was given and all opinions are honest and my own. 

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Competition:Win a FabYouLess Card worth £49.95

Have you heard about the latest Fabyouless Card that gives you discounts on beauty, hair and fitness products and services?


The card gives you thousands of offers and discounts nationwide at many of the leading beauty salons, hair salons, tanning salons, gyms, nail bars, clinics and spas. You simply go onto the Fabyouless website, type in the area you live in and all of the nearby places that offer discounts are then listed for you.

I found quite a few places in Sussex for myself, and lots of them were offering 25% discounts and 2 for 1 offers which is really helpful whilst I’m looking at Christmas gifts to buy for people!

I have been sent a Fabyouless card and was so impressed that I am giving a 12 month subscription card to one of you lucky readers for free, worth £49.95!

I will also soon have a discount code if you want to buy a card, where you can get 40% off, perfect in the lead up to Christmas, so keep an eye out!

To enter the competition, simply click on the Rafflecopter below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given one card to use for the purpose of this review. No payment was given and all opinions are honest and my own.



Here  is my Xmas Beauty Gift Guide for those looking for a bargain! All this products are no more then £15 and are good as stocking fillers or a present on their own!

Click on the product’s link to see the most recent prices as some are going on offer coming closer to the big day!



1. Lovely Vintage Body Care Gift Set and Dead Sea Aromatherapy Bath Salts with Frankincense Oil and Rose Petals

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The Lovely Vintage Body Care set features three body butters in gorgeous, retro packaging. As well as leaving your skin soft and hydrated, they also leave you smelling divine as one is Hydrangea scented and the other two are Coconut.

This is a lovely stocking gift for any girl that likes to pamper herself and of course her skin.

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The Dead Sea bath salts contain aromatherapy oils, rose petals and therapeutic minerals which help to transform you bath into that quiet, relaxing space us mums rarely get these days. These salts are gentle for all skin types and will leave your body and mind calm!

Giving this gift to a mum will encourage them to take the time to actually relax and use them, so add this to your shopping list! There are many more varieties on the website.


2. Dartmoor Lavender Natural Artisan Soap

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Dartmoor have created a range of frangrant soaps including Orange & Cinnamon and Fig & Honey which are perfect for the Christmas season. These soaps were designed for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as they do not contain any irritating chemicals, instead including natural and nourishing ingredients. 

What’s more, for every bar sold the company will donate five pence to the Butterfly Conservation so do your bit for them!


3. Dove Men Total Care Gift Set & Vaseline Gift Sets


The Dove Men’s set is stored in a rather funky silver tin which could be used for something afterwards and helps the set to look of a higher value than the low cost of it! The set includes body and face wash and antiperspirant. It can be purchased at Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Tesco.


The Vaseline Pink Retro Lip Tin is a large version of the classic Vaseline tins, and it contains three lip balms. The Vaseline Rosy Lip Pouch has a cute buttoned-pouch with a mirror and vaseline balm inside so it’s ideal for your handbag.  With winter fast approaching and the cold already making it’s mark on me and my skin, hydrating the skin is so important and Vaseline is a great product to use. 

4.David Beckham Instinct Sport Gift Set and Cheryl Storm Flower Perfume


No crimbo is complete without smellies and toiletries, and my choices for his and hers are David Beckham’s Sport Gift Set and Cheryl’s Storm Flower perfume.

7008456 The Beckham gift set contains hair and body wash as well as body spray which has a fresh, light scent perfect for daytime wear and is a great gift for any man or teenage boy.

Cheryl’s Storm Flower is a blend of fruity and floral scents including mandarin, nectarine, vanilla and freesia which 8790518gives the perfume a modern and girly feel. This is something I would enjoy wearing in the summer on the beach or at work when I want to dream about being on the beach!





This is a definite must have! The NailKale superfood base coat can be used on its own as a strengthening, repairing treatment or as a normal base coat to prolong your choice of coloured polish. This superfood miracle contains extracts of aloe vera, lemon, ginseng, pomegranate and grape which nourish, smooth and brighten the nails. While its vitamins A, C, E, F and H provide nourishment and protection against breakage and splitting.

Keep a look out for the new colour polishes being added to the nailkale range too!

6. Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel

 2014-11-12 13.22.19 Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel works by dissolving and removing the dead skin cells on the top most epidermis layer, in a very easy and non abrasive way. There are no gritty bits in this soft cooling gel, it doesn’t drag or pull the skin and is so quick to do! Very good for those with little time in the mornings!

As it’s a lightweight gel it is very good for all skin types even the most sensitive of skins. In the space of a minute your skin is transformed to a more radiant, firmer, even toned finish!

Look on the website for more products within the Green Tea range.

7. Belissimo Lips

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Want to stand out at your xmas party?? then this is for you! Belissimo Boutique have created dazzling lip glitter in a range of colours to  create a sparkling new you.

The glitter is designed to last up to 12 hours and the water based adhesive is gentle enough for children to use!

Glitter lips is a new trend that has been featured in the  Ideal Home Expo , Magic of Christmas & Clothes Show last year.

I will be doing a separate review of this product, with  step by step guide, very soon!

Finally, Gloves That Fit!

As well as being tall, plus size and owner of some long feet, I also have long hands!

Finding women’s gloves to fit my large palmed, long and chubby fingered hands has always been impossible so I was really pleased to find a new company called TallFingers who cater to us longer fingered guys and gals.

TallFingers are an American company based Texas that cater worldwide and was created by a 6’5, size 16 shoe man who was sick of wearing ill-fitted gloves.  Like my sister and I, he only ever managed to find gloves that would leave him looking like he had webbed fingers, so he created TallFingers to help us all!

Whilst I have large, rugby-style chubby hands, my sister has long, slender hands and has always been told she has “piano playing fingers” but she too has never found any gloves to fit her dimensions.

TallFingers kindly gave me The Attitudes black leather gloves to try which have a gorgeous studded detail on them, and they gave my sister a pair of The Classics black leather gloves.

TallFingers: The Classics & The Attitudes Leather Gloves

TallFingers: The Classics & The Attitudes Leather Gloves

The Attitudes fitted my fingers perfectly and were a slightly tights palm fit, but due to being a good quality leather I know these babies will mould to my hand shape after wearing them a few times. For my sister The Classics were still slightly too small in the finger and again tight on the palms, but she felt they were a huge improvement on the many store-bought gloves she has bought. The lovely people at TallFingers were actually keen to find out more about my sister’s hands in order to start making gloves for people with her unique dimensions so I was very impressed!

These would make a great stocking filler for any men or women in your family with large hands so order now to get them sent in time!

Due to this recent cold, rainy weather we have been having in the South I have already been wearing these gloves a lot and I love them. Being black they will of course match anything I wear them with, and the studs give them a little bit of colour. Because they are leather they are likely to last a long time which of course is my favourite thing about them, and guess what…


TallFingers Competition: Win a pair of Mens or Womens Gloves.

To enter this competition simply visit the TallFingers competition page here, and good luck!

For the purpose of this review we were given two pairs of TallFingers gloves. No payment was received and all opinions are honest and our own.


Summer Fashion Tips for Bums, Tums and Thighs!

I love summer, but I don’t love wearing less clothes in order to cope with it!

Whilst I adore dresses and skirts, I rarely wear them when I’m this size as I get the famous ‘chub-rub’ which results in spots, soreness and at times even blisters on my thighs if I have done a lot of walking in skirts or dresses in summer.

But thankfully I’ve now found some things that can help with this, as well as with trying to flatter my shape in dresses more, and to feel comfy in general during the summer!



Bridget Jones-style underwear


Aldi Skin to Skin underwear

Aldi have recently launched a new clothing range (yes I didn’t know they did clothes either!) and they kindly sent me some underwear to review. Unfortunately the pants are a few sizes too big for me, so you (luckily) didn’t have to see me modelling them, but from what I can see they are good quality material and look like they would be very comfy, if not a bit Bridget Jones-like and old fashioned in style.
These would definitely be for days that I want to slouch around, or if it’s “that time of the month”, and they would also ensure no embarrassing panty lines or textures would be shown whilst wearing black leggings which is a bonus.




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Flax Emporium Summer Relaunch Party

My little boy and I were lucky enough to get invited to Flax Emporium’s summer relaunch, which included a glance at their fab new summer range.

The independent clothing emporium within the Brighton Laines features some very unique and gorgeous pieces from small, UK designers. The emporium’s owner, Clare Bryant, even designs and hand sews some of the pieces herself, as she has had her own bespoke label for 14 years.

Emporium Owner Clare

Emporium Owner Clare and her dog Nigel

Clare can create costumes, wedding dresses, corsets and even lingerie. For this summer range she created some stunning dresses, I just wish I could afford them!

The shop was decorated with balloons, and had some yummy cake, brownies, popcorn and even cocktails for us to enjoy as we browsed the products. My son was in heaven when he got some cake, and to be honest, so was I- not helping the diet!



Clare took the time to explain to me that she began in the business as a wedding dress designer, before moving onto making corsets for all shapes and sizes, before expanding into dresses and accessories. Clare can tailor each piece to your body, and the fabric is great quality, so it’s easy to see why they cost what they do.

Here are my favourite pieces, from both the men and women’s sections that are now on my wish list:


Men’s Jacket Inspired By Scarface- I Wnt!


Gorgeous Blue Summery Top


Punk-Inspired Jacket

For the party, Clare’s friend and fellow businesswoman Claire Montgomery brought her stunning handmade accessories for us to see. I loved her Carousel Collection, which was inspired by our very own Brighton beach. The pieces are laser cut, handmade and even hand painted and my favourites were the ice cream cones!

Cat A Cake Creations

Cat A Cake Creations

Overall, we had a lovely time, and I was even given a little gift, again handmade by Clare, and it was inspired by her dog Nigel, so he was drawn and even stitched onto the goodie bag, and there were some gorgeous earrings in there from Cat A Cake and a candle. It was such a lovely end to a fun party!

Gift bag!

Gift bag!


My New Yumi (Mummy) Necklace

I’m really starting to get into accessories, as they can really liven up an outfit without me having to make any effort!
YUMI Silver Chain Pendant with Sapphires

Harry Fay Boutique Pendant

I’ve always loved sterling silver, as it compliments my light brown skintone quite well, so when I was given the chance to review the Yumi necklace from Harry Fay Boutique, I jumped at the chance!

Yumi Necklace

Yumi Necklace

The heart-shaped pendant with blue sapphires was designed by the Boutique owner’s uncle, and produced by his father for the family-run company.
I love the design, and think it’s a bargain at just £35. The chain is good quality, unlike the thin, easy-to-snap ones you can get with some pendants, and the sapphires shine beautifully in the sunshine.
I would team this up with any low cut black, white or blue top, as these colours tend to make the pendant really pop out.
Love this necklace!

Love this necklace!

Harry Fay Boutique also sell rings which go up to a size Z+4, which is perfect for us curvier girls!
I love this pendant so much that I am going to offer you the chance to win one too!
To enter my competition, visit my competition post.
For the purpose of this post, I was given this item to review. No payment was received for this post, and all opinions are honest and my own.