how beachwear ready are you?

How To Navigate The Beachwear Jungle Sustainably

How beach ready are you?  I’m not talking about bikini bodies (everyone who wears a bikini has one of those!) but your beachwear look.

what is your beachwear styleHow do you like to dress to go to the beach?  Are you a shorts and T-shirt style – minimum fuss and maximum sun worship? Or do you prefer a more elegant style? Perhaps you’d love to wear a sarong but you’re not sure if they flatter your body shape.

Much as I have aspirations of being a style icon when we get to the beach, my beachwear is more practical.  We’ve often been out walking before we get to the beach.  So I’m often in denim shorts and a vest top.  As both are likely to be hot and sweaty (sorry too much info!) they’re purely for getting to the beach!  In the beach bag I pack a long cotton over-shirt.   Essential beachwear for the post swim bar visit!

In this post I’m going to give you some tips on choosing beachwear for your body shape and some ideas on where to buy sustainable beachwear.

BEACHWEAR FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE

Apple Body Shape

If you have a full tummy but great arms and legs then look for beachwear that will skim your figure and avoid voluminous styles.  I’d also recommend that you avoid skirts and sarongs that will draw attention to your tummy area.

Instead look for maxi dresses with an empire line.  An empire line has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust.  This will define your bust and skim your curves (providing the fabric is not too floaty).

Recommended brands: Aspiga and Thought

Pear Shaped Body

You have a small bust and defined waist, with larger hips and thighs.  So look for styles that show off your top half and don’t draw attention to your lower half.   Avoid sarongs, harem pants and wide legged trousers.   Instead look for kaftans or dresses with detail on the top half or around the neckline and sleeves.

Recommended  brands: Aspiga,  Chandni Chowk, La Mandarine

 

Hourglass Body Shape

You can choose what beachwear you like to show off your lovely curves!  But if you’re a petite hourglass shape then beware any styles with copious amounts of fabric as this will just overwhelm you.

Recommended brands: Aspiga, La Mandarine

Athletic Body Shape

Add volume and roundness to your shoulders and hips with your beachwear to create the illusion of curves.   A belt may be too much in the heat, but it will give you a defined waist.  Alternatively look for a pair of loose fitting shorts or trousers and a top. Another option is a playsuit which will be naturally waisted.

Recommended brands: Mamoq, Thought 

 

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

You want to balance your broad shoulders with beachwear that adds detail to the bottom half.  So sarongs, wide legged trousers or cut offs will look amazing on you.  Patterns on your bottom half, keeping things plainer on top.

Recommended brands: Ethical Superstore, Aspiga, La Mandarine

How beachwear ready are you?

Other Beachwear Items To Consider

If you’re looking to replenish your beachwear collection why not select more sustainable and ethical brands to do this?  But remember it’s not obligatory to simply buy new every year!  This is just a quick check list to help if you do need to replace or replenish your beach kit!

Beach Towels

Look for Organic Cotton such as the new beach towels by Rapanui.

Beach Bags

Check out the fabulous selection of bags woven from palm leaf and sisel at Edinburgh based brand Bohemia.

Footwear

Recycled tyres  from brands such as Gumbies, or beautiful sandals (while crafted from leather) that support local artisans from Aspiga. These are just a couple of the choices for summer footwear.

JUST IN CASE

You missed my last post about how to chose the most flattering swimwear for you, please  check this out here.

A Little Favour To Ask

If you’re enjoying my blogs can I ask a massive favour?  Would you please share the word on Social Media (scroll down for links below).

 

 

 

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fat shaming will not work

How To Get Over Fat Shaming Right Now

Fat Shaming will not help cure the Obesity Crisis.   We need to remove the social stigma associated with obesity.  We’ve proven that making it easier for people to talk about stigmatized health conditions is enormously beneficial.  But we still have the barrier to break down in terms of obesity.  This week is National Obesity Awareness Week in the UK.  Hence I’m debunking some of the myths associated with the attitude towards obesity.

Fat Shaming Won’t Help

fat shaming is not the answerI despise any kind of body shaming whether it’s fat shaming or skinny shaming.  It’s bullying and downright harmful.

Fat shaming someone who is obese is unlikely to encourage anyone to change their lifestyle.   People who respond positively to being shamed are relatively uncommon.  If you doubt this my recommended reading is Gretchen Rubin – The Four Tendencies.

Fat Shaming is more likely to reinforce their feelings of low self-esteem and may lead to more comfort eating.

I was overweight as a teenager and was bullied for it.  I’d been underweight until I was 6 years old and had a tonsillectomy.  My parents so overjoyed that I was at last enjoying food encouraged me to eat and eat.  While my own unhealthy relationship with food then later manifested itself as anorexia, this had nothing to do with being bullied for my weight.

 

It’s Just A Matter Of Calories In Versus Calories Outfat shaming not simply calories in and calories out

It’s easy you don’t need to be fat you just need to consume less calories than you burn (Calories In V Calories Out  – CICO)

This is a more insidious attempt at fat shaming.  Implying that people merely need to eat less and stop being lazy.

Dr Jason Fung states before 1980 we didn’t count calories.  He argues that we ate without knowing how many calories we consumed. We expended calories without knowing how many we burnt.  He argues that myths perpetuated about CICO benefited the US corporations who drove these messages for the purpose of their own bottom line.

Is this a cynical view or simply reality?  This week I read that McDonalds, Taco Bell and Wendy’s had spent $1Billion on advertising targeted at Black and Hispanic youth.  If this wasn’t bad enough  they’d all pledged to support healthier lifestyles to deprived groups.

 

Fat Shaming Is the Same As Skinny Shamingfat shaming not the same as skinny shaming

No it’s not!

As above I don’t condone any form of body shaming.    But skinny shaming is not the same as fat shaming.  I have friends who are naturally petite and get upset when they are told – you must have an eating disorder.  But this is not the same as the every day discrimination and humiliation levied at obese people in every aspect of life.

Michael Hobbes – Huffington Post Highline Article ‘Everything you know about obesity is wrong’ . He cited how one reader told me that unsolicited diet advice from strangers feels overtly worse than direct comments about weight.   Another said she leaves the room when her colleagues start talking about their new diets.  This is because it’s only a matter of time before a woman smaller than her describes herself as “huge.”

 

Let’s Get Children More Active And They’ll Lose Weight

Well I would never disagree with more activity.  There are incalculable benefits to more activity including:fat shaming we must educate children

  • More face to face social interaction;
  • Team sports and events improving their people skills as well as exercise benefits;
  • Improved sleep patterns with reduced screen time;
  • Emotional wellbeing of being outdoors particularly in nature.

Interestingly a number of international studies looked at healthy eating and more activity within children.  They found that while the combination didn’t have a massive impact on weight academic results improved.

But we do need to educate and help children from an early age without creating issues regarding food.  My own mother was a habitual dieter.  She had a relationship with food that consisted of deprivation followed by indulgence.  She loved food but was on a diet whenever her weight crept up again.  Of course her body suffered.  Her disordered eating had, at the very least, a sub-conscious impact on my own relationship with food.

 

Featuring Large Models Glamorises Obesity

No it doesn’t.diversity representing society on the catwalk

I’m a huge advocate for diversity on the catwalk and within the media to represent Society.  It’s vital that people don’t feel discriminated against. They should be able to relate to what is on the catwalk and in the media.

The outcry in October 2018 over Cosmopolitan’s Cover featuring Tess Halliday last year got the fat shaming brigade ranting and raving.    Led by Piers Morgan whose argument was that the cover made it acceptable to be obese.

Everyone deserves to feel positive about themselves.  Equally everyone should have access to education, information and support to lead a healthier lifestyle.

What we need to do is create a culture where fat discrimination is ostracized. People are encouraged to have a positive attitude towards their own bodies, which is fundamentally the aim of the body positivity movement.

Summary

We need to de-stigmatize obesity in the same way we’re creating a culture that allows us to talk about Mental Health.

Last summer an electrician visited my house and the conversation turned to photography. He shared with me his passion for photography and painting.  When I asked if he’d always enjoyed being creative he said he’d never tried it until he started to use it to help with his mental health.   How many complete strangers (particularly men) would have opened up like that even a year ago?

Obesity isn’t simply about physical health it’s equally about mental health and emotional wellbeing.   We have made fantastic progress with regard to mental health let’s replicate that with obesity.

 

Like to feel more confident about your body?  Why not take a look at my 3 top tips to be body positive by clicking on the link below.

 

 

 

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inspiring women Claudia Crawley Bells Palsy

Bell’s Palsy Absolutely Made Me More Ambitious

How would it be if, within 24 hours, your face became paralysed? You could no longer eat or drink, your right eye would not close.

Imagine the terror and how those feelings would be for a young woman? How would it feel if doctors were initially unable to diagnose or offer treatment?  This is what happened to Claudia Crawley when she suffered from Bells Palsy.

For many women this would have been catastrophic. But if you’re an extremely capable and resilient woman like Claudia Crawley you don’t let Bells Palsy stop you!

Claudia enjoyed a successful career before setting up her own coaching business.   Awarded Mentor of the Year in 2017 by City University of London.   A published author and in her spare time Claudia is a stand up comedian!

Claudia Crawley suffered from Bell's Palsy

Claudia, Please Introduce Yourself To Our Readers

I’man Executive Coach, Career Coach, accredited Master Coach, Mentor of the Year, 2017 (City, University of London). A co-author of ‘Winning in Life and Work’, ‘The Power of Being a Woman’ and author of‘Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things: 5 Steps To Add Extra To Ordinary’.

I enable women to drive their own ‘careers’,whatever their challenges, current status, or feeling they have run out of road. I help them to get ahead and stay ahead.

What Inspired You To Set Up Your Business?

I’d been a trained social worker and manager with an MBA, for a long, long time, working mainly with women in a female dominated profession.

In the late 90’s I applied for my dream job as a diversity consultant.  I  failed to get it through inadequate preparation.  After that, very disappointed, I lost my way.

In 2009, I had a great job as a knowledge, learning and professional development manager.   This was in a social work organization called CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service).  But I was feeling unchallenged and down.   I’d become stuck in my career.

When a woman from another department took out a grievance against me, unsuccessfully I might add, I got myself a coach to help me deal with the stress.

She was a blessing in disguise. Because through this experience I found coaching and realised it was a powerful way of enabling change within individuals.

I decided to train to be a coach and used it to work with managers in the organisation.

When I was made redundant, in 2010, it seemed a no-brainer to use my newly acquired coaching skills.   I wanted to work with women like myself who were stuck or who were managers, dealing with challenges in the role.

What Do You Believe Are The Major Factors That Hold Women Back On The Corporate Ladder?

I support the findings of Tom Schuller in ‘The Paula Principles’.

He found that although globally:

  • Girls tend to leave school with better qualifications than boys.
  • Women graduate with better degrees than men
  • Women are more likely to develop themselves once in the work place

But generally women were operating below their level of competence.

He found a number of reasons for this:

  1. Discrimination – we’re denied jobs or higher pay because we’re women.
  2. Structural issues e.g. getting affordable childcare.
  3. Lack of confidence. Women often lack the confidence to put themselves forward for a job, even when well qualified for it. Men, on the other hand will go for it even when they don’t have all the requirements.
  4. Lack of networks. Women don’t have the same rich network connections as men that can help them climb the career ladder.
  5. Desire for a better quality of life. Women may not want the stress of being at the top. They may consciously decide in favour of a better quality of life and go for a lateral rather than a vertical career. Were the challenges women encounter at the top less stubborn, more women might opt to climb further.

What’s clear is that the world is missing out on the skills and talents of competent women. Studies have shown that the more women at the top the better the organisation’s health.

Can You Tell Us About Your Hobby?Claudia Crawley Stand Up Comedian

My hobby is stand-up comedy, which I discovered by accident.

My life had become a bit dull, full of hard work and long hours and very little fun. When a close friend encouraged me to do a stand-up course at the Comedy School in London, I was a bit hesitant.  I thought, ‘Moi, serious Claudia, do stand up?’

When my partner twisted my arm by paying for the course, well, I had to do it, didn’t I?

Doing my first gig, at the end of the course was like magic.  People actually laughed – a lot. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was incredible.

I well and truly fell in love with stand-up. I’ve done several gigs since then.  I’m currently on another course, which is helping me develop my skills further.

The key thing I’ve learned is that stand-up is not just about standing on stage making people laugh. It’s an art.  There are certain rules.  It has to be worked at and developed if you want to be a real success.

My aim is to use it to take my message into organisations, and make the unpalatable palatable.

 

You Suffered A Frightening Health Problem Can You Tell Us More?

It was a long time ago. I was in my mid-20s when I suffered from Bells Palsy.

The condition came on gradually over a 24-hour period.  It started with a severe headache at the back of my head.  This moved around to the right side of my face.

Simultaneously, I experienced throat paralysis. When I awoke the next morning one side of my face was totally paralysed. I could neither eat nor drink nor close my right eye. I looked as if I’d suffered a stroke.

It took the doctors a while to reach a diagnosis and at the time they had no way of treating it.  Had I been treated, I might now have 100% movement in my face. As it is, I have about 85% movement.

So, now, I can’t raise my right eyebrow.  My right eye is smaller than my left.  That same eye weeps when I eat. My mouth is a little lopsided, which affects my smile.

The nerves in my face seem to operate a bit weirdly. For example, when I blink with my right eye it triggers a tick lower down my face. This gets worse when I’m stressed or nervous.

 

Having An Asymmetrical Face Is Pretty Scaryinspiring women Claudia Crawley Bells Palsy

The whole experience was traumatic, all the more so, because in this image conscious world, your face is the first thing people see on meeting you.

Imagine waking up one day to find that one side of your face for which you’d been complimented all your life had dropped and was paralysed. Imagine the horror!

So, my self-confidence plummeted and for years I felt ugly.

The worse thing was that it took away my smile, which of course is crucial to forming new relationships. I learned to live with this new identity – I had no choice. But I had difficulty seeing past the damage whenever I looked in the mirror.  Looking in the mirror was something I hated doing.

I also hated being photographed and if the photographer insisted, it would have to be on my ‘best side’. This may explain why I’ve found doing videos a turn off – although I’ve done a few. Possibly a matter of needs must.

Last year I had a session of Rapid Transformational Therapy with Dr Cheryl Chapman. Whilst my face is slightly better, the key thing I gained was the confidence to finally accept myself for who I now am and for how I look.

I no longer notice my facial imperfections in the same way and I’m no longer obsessed by it.

Interestingly it never got in the way of my personal relationships. This is an indication that the problem was mine, rather than other people’s approach to me.

 

How Did You Deal With The Emotional Impact?

My husband at the time was incredible supportive. I couldn’t have got through it without him.

My first instinct was to hide away. But how can you live a life in hiding?

Especially when you’ve a large network of friends. I’d no choice but to be upfront with my friends and family about what had occurred. It’s not an illness you can hide after all. But by being open I gained their support.

Did Having Bell’s Palsy Impact Your Confidence And Self-Esteem?

I’ve often wondered why Bell’s Palsy happened to me. What did I do to deserve it?

It’s as if I lost my looks through a nasty cosmic joke. But it’s not the worst affliction I could have had.  Although I thought it was for many years.  Now I’m in a better place emotionally, I recognise that I’ve so much to be grateful for.

Did Bell’s Palsy Impact Your Career?

I guess that unconsciously my career success was compensation for ‘losing my good looks’.  I was ambitious and driven and put everything into climbing the ladder.  However, I couldn’t shake off the self-consciousness that a lop-sided face gave me.

So perhaps I may have been more successful had I not had this experience – who knows?

Has Bell’s Palsy Had An Impact On Your Role As A Mentor And Coach?

If anything, Bell’s Palsy has made me sensitive to the plight of other people, especially to those with disabilities.

I met a man recently who’d experienced Bell’s Palsy and I felt an immediate connection with him. I was able to share my story and empathise. We became good friends as a result.

What Is Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis. This is what I found on the internet: “Bell’s Palsy is a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. It is named after the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who was the first to describe the condition”.

What Causes Bell’s Palsy?

Here’s what I’ve learned about the cause of Bell’s Palsy.  It’s when the seventh cranial nerve becomes swollen or compressed, leading to paralysis or facial weakness. The reason why this happens remains unclear, but there seems to be a connection with viruses (including herpes, influenza and respiratory tract infections), stress and a run-down immune system.

The following groups are at risk of getting it: pregnant women; babies; those with diabetes or lung infection, or a family history of the illness. In my case, none of these applied.

Can You Make A Full Recovery From Bell’s Palsy?

Most people make a full recovery within three to six months.  It may take longer for more severe cases of Bell’s Palsy.

In rare cases, like mine, the symptoms may return or may be permanent.

I’m one of the unlucky few.

Did You Get Support From The Medical Profession And In What Form Did That Take?

I got very little support from the medical profession at the time.  The doctors weren’t terribly sympathetic. I felt that they saw it as a cosmetic issue. They did not seem to realise it was one that could affect a person’s mental health and sense of self.

In the absence of a structured treatment package, I was left to deal with it alone.

I tried alternative medicine over a number of years, including physiotherapy, acupuncture and cranial osteopathy, but nothing brought permanent change or enabled the return of my old face.

What Has Been The Most Challenging Thing You’ve Had To Deal With Regarding Bell’s Palsy?

My own feelings: about my looks and my resulting lack of confidence. I’ve only just got to a place where it no longer bothers me thanks to Rapid Transformational Therapy and Dr Cheryl Chapman.

Do You Feel That There Is Enough Awareness Of Bell’s Palsy And If Not What Could Be Done To Increase The Understanding Of The Condition?

Between 12,400 and 24,800 people per year are affected by Bell’s Palsy in the UK.

But there’s insufficient awareness of the condition and insufficient research.  More research is needed into diagnosing, treating and managing Bell’s Palsy and facial palsy generally.

What Would Your Advice Be To Anyone Who Is Diagnosed With Bell’s Palsy?

Seek medical advice and see your GP immediately.

Go to the website of Facial Palsy UK and get as much information as possible about the condition and how to manage it.

The absence of information was one of the most frustrating parts of the illness for me. Had this charity existed when I was first diagnosed, I believe it would have reduced my panic and despair.

Are There Any Charities Or Support Groups That Help Sufferers Of Bell’s Palsy?

The charity, Facial Palsy UK, was established in 2012 with the aims of:

  • Increasing awareness of the condition and its consequences;
  • Improving the physical and emotional health of those with facial palsy ;
  • Promoting diagnosis, acute and long-term management and rehabilitation of people living with facial palsy.

One of their roles is to fund raise for world-class research.  When Facial Palsy UK was launched in 2012, very few research projects investigating the prevalence, causes and treatments of facial palsy existed.

Facial Palsy UK has established a Facial Palsy awareness week that runs from 1-7 March each year.  Look out for it in 2019.

Click this link to find out more from Facial Palsy UK.

Winning Pathways Coaching

If you are inspired by Claudia’s story and would like to find out more her mentoring and coaching programs for women, you can find out more at Winning Pathways Coaching. 

Do You Have A Story To Tell?

I’m looking for inspiring women to feature on my blog for 2019.  You may think that you’re not very inspiring but I can promise you that the adversities we overcome and the challenges we deal with in everyday life are often the most inspiring.  If you’re interested in being interviewed for 2019, please click fill in the form below.

By providing your personal details we will only use this to contact you in connection with your enquiry about my Inspiring Women Blog and Vlog Series

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Positive Body Image

Positive Body Image Missing On Love Island

LOVE Island attracted another million viewers from last year’s finale.  It broke records on ITV2 – with 3.6million fans in total tuning in but it discouraged positive body image. 

positive body image missing on Love Island

Why am I interested?  Well frankly I’m not either in the TV series or the viewing figures.  Although I admit to feeling saddened by the number of people hooked on yet another vacuous reality TV show.

But I was interested in was the media spotlight on Body Image, which was in response to the series.

News coverage included fierce debates about cosmetic surgery and use of steroids. Kim Kardashian was under fire for her insensitive remarks about anorexia.  Huff Post also covered the #strongnotskinny perspective.

If you follow my blogs and social media posts, you’ll know that I’m an ardent campaigner of positive body image.

There are enough pressures in life without adding an unhealthy attitude towards our bodies.    I’m an advocate of a healthy mind and body.    Yes we do need to work on the obesity crisis.  We should exercise and not lead a sedentary lifestyle.  We need to eat healthily but at the end of the day we are all different shapes and sizes.

But as a result of so much media attention last week I want to discuss the topics discussed last week, share my views and hopefully get your thoughts too.

77% Of Women Believe Cosmetic Surgery Is Fine

positive body image not cosmetic surgeryWhy do we feel that looking different will make us feel happier?

It’s complex and I’m oversimplifying it here!  But it has a hell of a lot to do with seeking others admiration and approval for the way we look.

We see unattainable body shapes and looks in our celebrity-obsessed culture and on social media.  Many of us honestly believe the fairy tale that says we’ll live a charmed life too if only I look like that.

One woman interviewed last week, said of one of the Love Island contestants, ‘she’s so gorgeous she can have anything she wants’.   Seriously?

This was the same young woman who’d had a boob job after having children in her 20s, because they sagged a bit after breastfeeding.  How sad that she can’t change her perspective.  That she can’t see what an amazing job her body has done in giving birth and nurturing a new life.

Let me be honest here and say that I did have a consultation about having breast augmentation.

I’m anti cosmetic surgery and procedures apart from reconstructive surgery or helping someone with disfiguring scars.  So I was really at odds with my own principles when I booked a consultation to discuss breast augmentation.  It was probably the main reason I couldn’t get out of the consultant’s office fast enough when he leered at me!

I had a wake up call as he stared at my breasts.  Surgery was not going to make me a happier person.   Being accepting of my body was going to have a much greater impact.  I needed to have a positive body image.

 

Up To 1 Million Britons Use Steroids For Image

Despite the well-publicized health risks of steroids, it appears to be a risk worth taking for many.anabolic steroids health risks

The most common age group who begin taking steroids are between 20 and 24.  But teenagers as young as 13 and men as old as 70 are using steroids to improve their body image.

The health risks are extensive and the long-term effects may ultimately result in death.   Risks are of course increased if the source of supply is not reliable.  Given that Steroids are a Class C drug it’s not illegal to take them, but it is to supply.

While not physically dependent, users are psychologically hooked on the way the drugs make them look and feel.     Coming off steroids can lead to serious complications if not done properly. The body needs to be weaned off the drugs and suddenly discontinuing them can lead to serious health issues.

But again I really worry that the misuse of anabolic steroids is another consequence of the pressures we put on ourselves and others put on us.  It’s bad enough when sports people use them to enhance performance.  But when they’re used to improve image that’s another symptom of our image-obsessed society.  But it’s a society that does not have a positive body image.

#Strongnotskinny

#strongnotskinnyAn interesting article published in the Huffington Post last month considered the unhealthy heroin chic of the 90s.  Katie Bishop asked if Heroin Chic had simply been replaced by an alternative equally unattainable culture of #strongnotskinny.

The blog points out that for most of us, sculpted abs and well-defined butt muscles are not the norm.  While mermaid thighs are more realistic than a thigh gap; the #fitspo movement has created another unobtainable body form rather than a positive body image.

I largely agree with Katie Bishop, that positive body image is complex.  But for me it’s all about getting our mental and emotional well being right.

That basic education has to start in the home for young children, who need to be given positive role models and attitudes towards food and body image.   Fads about food and attitude to body image can and will be picked up by impressionable young minds.

As a Society we need to change our attitudes to many things so that young people have healthier role models to follow.    Schools, communities and media all have a part to play.

We’ll never totally eradicate our perception of an idealized body shape. We’ve got some very basic instincts that program us when we’re looking for a mate.

But we can choose to accept a positive body image and be more accepting of our bodies regardless of shape and size.   Let’s make this the new ‘style’ for body image and not a fashion.   Fashion fades style is eternal – Coco Chanel.

It’s ‘Simple’ Really!

The bottom line is that we need to retrain our thinking and learn a healthier approach to encourage positive body image.

If you’re struggling to love your body, why not download my 3 Awesome Tips to Body Confidence, which will help you have a much more positive approach.

 

 

 

 

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How To Be A Positive Influence On Body Image

chris hoy body imageLast week you may have seen my rant on FB against Sir Chris Hoy’s insensitive remarks about MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra).   I was outraged that Sir Chris, a great role model for sport, could be so crass.  How dare he criticise people who were trying to lead a more active lifestyle?

However, before I get overheated again, as the T-shirt I’m wearing is non-wicking, I should say that he redeemed himself 24 hours later! Sir Chris put his bike into reverse and admitted that his words were harsh. Thanks, Sir Chris, you went back up in my estimations for that!

Body image hits the news stories almost every day. This week seems to have seen particular frenzy but they all have all have a worrying theme. It seems like we’re spending a lot of time worrying about what we look like and obsessing over unhealthy body images.

Consequently Sir Chris’s comments prompted me to share some of this week’s stories, as I want to reflect on some of the issues.

Sir Chris Hoy: MAMILs Over 8 Stone Shouldn’t Wear Lycra

First of all I’d like to say that anyone calling out anyone for what they are wearing when they are exercising needs squashing fast!

These ‘Lycra Shamers’ need to think about what it’s taken that person to get into the gym, out running/training or in to the swimming pool. Consider how self-conscious they might be feeling about showing their bodies to strangers.

Gyms can be intimidating places apart from anything else many of them have walls full of mirrors. While these are not actually for self-adulation, they can add to any feelings of being self-conscious when you’re working out.

How people feel about the way they look in gym clothing does sometimes prevent them from exercising or scares them off from regular attendance. Instead let’s be inclusive and encouraging.

You Must Talk To Your Sons About Body Image

I’ve seen at least two articles this week about the alarming growth in muscle dysmorphia among teenage boys. It’s the male equivalent of size 0 where adolescents and Millennials are striving for the perfect ripped effect.

The concerns are that this is leading to a culture of gym obsession, overtraining, and an unhealthy relationship with food. Again this is about tipping points and what is a normal relationship with eating well and exercising to what becomes a emotional and physical health risk.

A friend commented on a post I’d shared on FB. One of her sons is a normal healthy looking boy who is panicking that he’s fat. As she said it’s such a difficult tightrope to walk for children and parents supporting them.

TO THE BONE POSTER BODY IMAGEDon’t Talk About Diets In Front Of Your Daughters

This story dominated the front page of the Evening Standard on Wednesday.

Deputy Headmistress Fionnuala Kennedy was compelled to write to parents of pupils at Wimbledon High School after watching ‘To The Bone’ (Netflix Drama). To The Bone, according to critics, glamorizes anorexia.

Ms Kennedy was horrified that teenage girls would watch this drama over the holidays and use social media to discuss the points it raised.

Consequently she also used her letter to parents to stress the pressures faced by young girls in regard to their bodies.

She urged parents to act as positive role models.  Furthermore her advice was that parents constantly talking about dieting or following a restrictive diet were not acting in the best interests of their daughters.

Pink Packs A Punch With VMA Speech To Her Daughter

Pop singer and crusader Pink used her acceptance of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this week to communicate a powerful message about positive body image.

Pink relayed a conversation with her six-year old daughter who had told her apropos of nothing “I’m the ugliest girl I know. I look like a boy with long hair!”

Pink is often criticized for being too masculine and she posed four powerful, questions to Willow. “I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, mama.'” And that’s how it’s done.

Images of Slim Women Distort Our Perception Of Body Imagebody image

We are continually bombarded with images of extremely slim or underweight women by mass media.

This is having a negative impact on women’s health according to researchers at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The researchers claim that looking at images of slim women for just 15 minutes changes our perception of the ideal female body.

So does this show that if we were exposed to less ‘thinspo’ and a more achievable body image that we’d have less eating disorders and negative body image. I suspect that the media has an influence on women who are already vulnerable – I don’t subscribe to a theory that we become anorexic or depressed simply by looking at images.

So What Does All This Mean?

Good question! My own views are:

  • Offer positive support to anyone making an effort to lead a healthier more active lifestyle. Encourage them and don’t make them feel awkward.
  • It’s our duty as parents, teachers and influencers to educate the younger generation. Offer them a safe environment to share their concerns and worries.
  • Don’t set a bad example. As a child I remember that my mother was often on a diet. This influenced me and was a sub-conscious contributor to my own eating disorder.
  • We shouldn’t blame the media for causing a distorted view of ideal body image. But I strongly believe is that the media is an influence. However, so does Society and our good old friend social media.

Now it’s over to you. Please share your thoughts and views on this. Do you agree with my comments? If not what are your views? How can we improve our perception of ourselves without obsessing about body image?

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Earrings to Suit Your Style

What You Need To Know About Earrings

Last Friday I met one of my gorgeous friends on our way to a picnic.   With a big grin on her face she presented me with two odd earrings.odd earrings

I’ve been doing some de-cluttering, she announced. I was about to throw these out as I’ve lost the other one to each pair. But then I asked myself who do I know who wears odd earrings?

Yep that’s me! I’ve been wearing odd earrings for about 10 years. Partly because I’m so good at losing earrings but more to the point it suits my quirky style!

Over the years I’ve found that my taste in earrings has really changed.     It used to be bigger and more dangly the better.   Studs? Why would I wear those, who will notice them? Small hoops what’s the point? Delicate styles – nah!

My gorgeous husband would regularly buy me some really dainty earrings. I would coo over them, silently cursing that they weren’t more blingy! But they were gifts of love, and not cheap. So I consigned them to the back of the drawer. Guess what I’m wearing now….

Today’s post will hopefully enlighten you!

In A Nutshell

  1. Colour
  2. Face Shape
  3. Scale And Proportion
  4. Your Style Personality
  5. Occasion

Now let’s look at each of those in more detail

 

Colour Of Your Earrings

drop earrings

Drop Earrings – Etsy

Stating the downright obvious, you wear earrings close to your face! Therefore it makes sense that you chose styles in your colour palette, but this does to some extent depend on the size of the earrings.

I am a cool colour palette. This means I should wear silver, but this doesn’t stop me wearing gold studs from time to time. Yes the ones retrieved from the back of the drawer!

What about the colour of your outfit? Does this matter? Well as you might expect from me, I’m not exactly in favour of the fact that your earrings should match the colours you’re wearing!

Particularly if you’re wearing mainly neutrals a pop of colour in your ears will look amazing and help to draw attention to your face.

That said I advocate some synergy in the jewellery I’m wearing. For example yesterday I was wearing pale grey, pastel pink and white. I livened it all up with bright blue jewellery in different shades of blue.

Earring Choices And Your Face Shape

This is probably the most important factor and one, which many of us find a challenge – what is my face shape?

lucite flower earrings

Flower Earrings – great for a diamond or heart face shape to offset cheeks or forehead

I’m going to give you some very general guidelines here:

Long Face Shapes

Beware earrings that are too long – they will simply accentuate the length of your features.

Round Face Shapes

Yep you guessed it – don’t go too round, but instead opt for longer shapes.

Heavy Jawline

Earrings that are chunky or wide across the bottom will simply make your jaw look broader.

Angular Chin

You want to consider shapes that are wider on the bottom to balance your face

 

Scale and Proportion

Ebbinghaus IllusionEbbinghaus Optical Illusion Circles or which circle is bigger.

The optical illusion of which inner circle is bigger – neither as they are both the same.

But we look for context when we see the circles. We want something to judge them by which is why we believe the inner circle surrounded by the smaller circles is bigger.  Okay so that’s good to know, but what does that have to do with earrings? So if a petite woman wears really big earrings she will look smaller. While a larger woman wearing small earrings will look larger.   So the message is to keep your earrings in proportion to your frame.   Of course there is a ‘but’ to this which I’ll explain in the next section.

So I like to think of it as the potential rule breaker! Your style personality should be the number one factor when you choose your earrings.  Remember what I said earlier about wearing odd earrings because it suited my personality?

What earrings help to express the real you? This is less complicated than it might sound. You can also ask yourself what styles, when you wear them, help you to feel fabulous?

If you’re not sure, why not take a look at your jewellery box and pick out a few earrings that you’re attracted to? Ask yourself why – is it the look and feel of the earrings: colour, material, shape, texture? Or maybe they remind you of a happy occasion?

You can juggle the physical characteristics once you know which of your earrings are ‘you’.

moonstone stud earrings

Perfect to dress up jeans and a T-shirt

Occasion

I’m sometimes asked if you should have specific styles to suit an occasion and my answer is no. But it is about feeling comfortable for whatever occasion you are dressing for.

For example I wouldn’t wear expensive earrings on the beach or for doing any physical activitiies. I would also be highly unlikely to wear reindeer or flashing Santa earrings in the summer ever!

Seriously I know I sound like a worn record on this but really it’s down to you.   You can use earrings to dress up or dress down an outfit.

For example: T-shirt, jeans and blazer will look really dressy with some classic earrings. Just add heels to finish the look. Or you can dress down a plain dress with some fun and quirky earrings.

Just To Round It Up!

Hopefully that’s given you a few tips about choosing and wearing earrings?  Whether you like to wear odd earrings or you feel they can only be worn in pairs!  If you’d like to know more then please feel free to pop a comment below the post.

Would you like to know more about how to make accessories work for you?

If so you might be interested an event I’m running in October. In collaboration with Karen Kennaby and her business Unique and Exquisite Events.

I will be delivering 2-hour Masterclass, which will be followed by a delicious 2-course lunch in London.  Also a great opportunity to meet and network with likeminded women.

If you would like more information, please click here.

 

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AW Trend Report

How To Make The Most Of The AW17 Trends

The school holidays are in full swing, the weather’s unsettled and the barbecue’s standing forlornly on the patio. That can only mean one thing AW17 trend alert: next season’s clothes and accessories are now arriving in the shops!

AW Trend Report

My mantra to my clients is to ignore trends and to focus on what’s right for your shape and personality. However, if a particular trend looks good on you and you want to invest in it, then great, but don’t be trend led.

However, you cannot totally ignore trends as they do have an influence on what’s available on the High Street. Buyers have to select their ranges a year in advance. So this means they have to make educated guesses on what will sell and what’s right for their customers.  While online shopping offers us a much wider choice it will often still be influenced to some degree by trends, as retailers want to see stock sell through!

The first trend reports for a season appear immediately after Fashion Week. So Fashion Week in February 2017 showcased the collections for AW17/18.  The reports published in March gave some insight into the AW17 trends.   For this week’s blog I want to do a round up of some of the key AW17 trends.  I will look at how these trends might be worn and some pitfalls to avoid.

Red Is A Big AW17 Trend

The catwalk shows included a lot of red garments: dresses, tops, skirts and trousers. Like most colours, red can be worn by anyone, but it’s important to wear the right shade and tone for your palette.  Red works well as a colour all year round, but seems particularly well suited to brightening the darker days of winter. Red is also versatile with neutrals.

Autumn: Rusty Reds, Poppy Red or Geranium Red

Winter: Cherry, Raspberry or Claret Reds

Spring: Coral Red, Watermelon and Tomato Reds

Summer: Cherry Raspberry but will also look great in Burgundy

Red AW17 Trend

The Kitchen Sink Is Back

While big bags are practical in some senses, how many of cart around stuff we do not need and let the junk accumulate?

If I have a big bag with hardly anything in it, then it feels like I’ve forgotten something and the temptation is to add from the ‘it might come in handy’ pile!

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a handbag is the size and how that relates to your scale. A petite person will look smaller with a large oversized bag.

aw17 trend big bags

Does It Suit Me?Grey Tailored Jacket

Grey suits were included in a lot of designers’ collections and is likely to be a popular AW17 Trend.

Recently I attended a workshop where the idea was to cover everyone else in paint! In one of the icebreaker exercises we had to indicate our least favourite colour and why. Most of the group said Grey.

Personally I love grey, particularly in the context of clothes.

Grey is smart without being too formal. Anyone can wear grey if it’s the right shade and tone. It is also so versatile when pairing with other colours. If you are looking for a suit this autumn follow my guidelines for dressing for your shape.

Twinkle Toes!

The AW17 trend of having sparkly toes is a great way to add a sense of fun to your footwear. This doesn’t mean you have to buy shoes with sparkles built in to the design to achieve the look.

There is a growing trend for detachable accessories for shoes that can be clipped on and removed. Just like clip on earrings.

This is a brilliant way to turn a look from day to night. Just pop the clips on to court shoes or pumps to liven up your look.   It also looks amazing with jeans and a blazer for a more glammed up daytime look.

AW17 Trend Shoe Jewellery

Oversized Jumpers and Floaty Skirts

This AW17 trend can look absolutely gorgeous. Add ankle boots or knee length boots and you’ve got a great Boho Chic outfit.

This look won’t appeal to everyone and I’d suggest avoid if your legs are shorter than your torso.  I’d also be wary of a jumper that’s too big and bulky fluffy jumpers will are more feminine.

Midi skirts are good if your shoulders are wider than your hips. But beware oversized sweaters that will just hang from your wide shoulders.

AW17 Trend Faux Fur

Walk On The Wild Side

Fur was big on the catwalks, from oversized shearling coats, vintage style full length coats and leopard prints.

For a more fun look designers were also showing ostrich style feathers in their designs for fringing and details.

This fringing detail looks great on skirts and cuffs, but you need to be comfortable making a statement with your look to carry this off.

This AW17 trend for fur and feathers will be embraced by some and shunned by others. In the research I did for Ufurria, I found that faux fur has a real polarizing effect on women.

 

Belt Up!

Whether it’s belts on coats to add shape or wide belts to wear with dresses or separates, there is definitely an AW17 trend for adding a belt to complete an outfit.

Many of my clients are nervous about wearing belts or tell me that they used to wear them but no longer do. They either are unsure about wearing a belt or feel self-conscious about their tummy and don’t believe they can wear a belt.

The good news is that most of us can wear belts, if we follow a few simple principles and they can really make an outfit look stunning.

 

In Summary

Hopefully this post will give you a few ideas and thoughts if you are looking to add to your autumn wardrobe and how to style AW17 trends.

But remember the basic principles when you are choosing clothes, particularly if you find shopping a chore.

What season do you find it most challenging to dress for? Some women find it more difficult to dress for Autumn Winter and others for Spring Summer. This is at least partly to do with the colours that are available in the shops. It may also be your own seasonal preferences (which goes beyond your wardrobe). It could also be a reflection on how you feel about your body.

 

If you’d like to find out how to feel fabulous every time you get dressed why not book a free 30-minute Skype Call with me?

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be authentic

Being Authentic Is Easy If You Know How

One of the current buzzwords is authenticity. Being authentic in the way we act, we communicate and do business. Hurrah! – I’m all for it!  I want to do business with people that I believe are genuine, have similar core values and the same kind of integrity that I hold dear.

Equally I want my clients to feel that they are getting the real me. For me being authentic is a whole lot easier than masquerading as a version of me! Afterall it’s so liberating to just be oneself?

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you – Dr Seuss

Being Authentic Dr Seuss

 

OMG don’t you just love Dr Seuss?

As a child every Saturday we’d visit the local library as a family. On arrival I’d rush to the children’s section, scouring the shelves for Dr Seuss books. It didn’t matter that I’d borrowed every one of them multiple times!

Now back to being authentic. Authenticity is something that we need to feel both internally and externally. So naturally this extends to the way we dress.

If we don’t feel authentic and true to ourselves with our style, we’re likely to feel uncomfortable.   If we’re not comfortable with the way we dress and appear to the outside world this will show up and we will not be confident. This impacts our life in many ways as I explained in my post last week Clothing Choices: How To Have A Great Day.

So how can we ensure that we are being authentic when it comes to our wardrobe?

Stop People Pleasing

Hands up if you remember as teenager being told: ‘You’re not going out dressed like that!’ What was your reaction?

Having spent hours getting ready you were probably pleased with the outcome.  So how did you react to that onslaught? No doubt you were angry or upset? You may have stormed upstairs to change or just rushed out slamming the door behind you. Neither option being a positive outcome!  Our early wardrobe influencers often have a lot to answer for!

stop people pleasing

My father hated green. Result was that neither my mother nor I owned a single green garment between us. Before I had my colours done and appreciated which shades of green really suit me, I’d acquired every type of green in my wardrobe after my father died! I’m still in a bit of a rebellious phase wearing the odd splash of lime green, which is not in my palette!

But seriously it’s about dressing for you and not for others. If you are being authentic in your style you will feel more confident.

Accept Your Ugly Bits

Being authentic is about accepting yourself for who you are. It’s about accepting yourself and loving the good bits about your body.

Stop being so critical and really look at your body. Embrace the positives about your body. Even if seems insignificant use it as a starting point.

Take for example the colour of your eyes. You can really highlight this by wearing colours that make your eyes stand out.

highlight the parts you love

Recently when I was working with a client I asked her to tell me which parts of her body she loved. She told me that she really embraced her curves, how she felt sexy and feminine. She told me how she hated her thighs and wished her legs were thinner. Then she stopped and started to laugh.

An ‘aha moment’ as she realised that if her legs were skinny she’d look out of proportion.

Live Your Truth

As your life changes you may feel that to be authentic your wardrobe needs a makeover.

If you are going through a major life change, it can be a catalyst for seeking help with your style. I refer to this as the Chrysalis stage, as the butterfly starts to emerge and spread its beautiful wings. You want them to shine out and be authentic to you.

being authentic living your truth

Working with one client recently, she proudly showed me her recent purchase, a biker jacket.  This was a statement piece that she wanted to embrace a new phase in her life.   But to be authentic she wanted to embrace her soft feminine style.

We worked with the jacket pairing it with various accessories and in addition to the jeans/boots and soft blouse look, we created outfits with jersey dresses to create a gentle rock chic style.

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes being authentic is simply about listening to the messages your body is giving you.

There are some days when I want to feel nurtured.  All I want are soft natural fibres close to my skin. I want to be in touch with nature and feel its healing powers. I find it difficult to do this if I’m wearing man made fabrics.

listen to your body

Equally to be authentic to the way I’m feeling I want bright bold colours and fabrics that cling to my body in the right places. I want to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes I’m drawn to certain colours and other days where the same colour won’t look the same.

Your subconscious is often more in tune with your wardrobe than you give it credit for! Don’t fight it and let it guide you.

Don’t Always Speak The Truth

You are asked by a friend what you think about her new dress.   Believing it to be awful how do you handle it?

Being Authentic and Speaking the Truth

Do you feel it is better to just state your opinion and would you expect that from your friends in return?

Many of us do feel it’s important to be honest with our friends but equally we don’t want to upset them.

But remember that often when we are asking for someone’s opinion it’s because we don’t trust our own judgment.  We feel that something’s not right or we want our decision to be ratified.

So why not ask your friend what she likes about the dress. Ask her how does it make her feel?   You may draw out of her what she’s uncertain about so that she then makes a decision on the dress.

BTW from a professional point of view I would then expand on what worked with the dress and what doesn’t work.   As I see my role as a style coach and educator.

I want to leave you with one more thought about being authentic

be who you are

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large bust styling tips

How To Embrace And Love Your Large Bust

This week’s post looks at how to embrace your large bust and how to dress to love your curves!

large bust wardrobe malfunction

A large bust can create a number of problems. Not least of all a desire to hide it away. Women with a large bust often suffer from;

  1. Unwanted attention, from men who are fascinated by a large bust;
  2. Not being taken seriously by others – particularly in the workplace
  3. The potential for wardrobe malfunctions
  4. Many women with a large bust suffer from back pain
  5. Women with a large bust sometimes find it difficult to lie on their back.

So how do you get comfortable with a large bust, not just physically but also in terms of styling it up?

large bust styling tips

A Good Fitting Bra

It goes without saying (or at least I hope it does) with a large bust you must wear a well-fitted bra.
It’s very important that you renew your bras regularly. Don’t just keep hanging on to a bra because it’s comfortable. Chances are that the more comfortable it feels the less support it’s providing.

This does not just apply to women with a large bust but I always recommend getting your bra fitting checked every time you buy a new one. Different styles, brands and your body all change. That’s a lot of variables to consider in terms of the fit.

For example I took a bra back recently that I’d only bought two weeks ago

I might have felt awkward had I not known that you can fluctuate bra sizes. This can be due to the a number of factors from the stage of your menstrual cycle to the temperature in the changing room

Large Bust Style Tips

Now that’s where the general advice for women with a large bust stops! Why? A large bust is not the only thing that defines your clothing choices. While it may seem like it at times! You need to primarily consider your body shape, scale and proportion. With these factors in mind you then need to consider your large bust.

I will share with you some key styling tips for women with a large bust. But I will point out, where applicable, the differences for body shape and height. If you are not sure which body shape you are check out my guide to determining your shape.

dress for a large bust marisota-jd-williams

Marisota – wrap over dress with V-neck

Dresses

If you have a large bust, you probably struggle to find a dress that fits? When you do find one to fit your bust, it’s likely to be too big everywhere else.

But hopefully I can show you that it’s not all gloom and doom. The first thing to consider is that you want to show off your lovely curves and so you do not want to hide in a big voluminous shapeless tent.

You want to consider stretchy fabrics that will flatter your figure and enhance your shape.

If you are an apple body shape and carry weight around your tummy then look for A line styles that fall from the bust line but have shape.

An hourglass body shape look for styles that will flatter and show off your curves. If you are an inverted triangle body shape, you want to create curves. For both body shapes a wrap dress is perfect.

With a V-neck and an asymmetric style this will show off your large bust and perfectly enhance your curves. You can also add a belt to emphasize your waist.

If you are comfortable wearing a one-shoulder dress this will look fabulous with a large bust. The asymmetric neckline will flatter your curves. However, you need to be comfortable that you have a strapless bra that will give you the support.

The most flattering sleeve length regardless of your body shape is three quarter length. Avoid sleeves that end in line with your bust as this will simply make you look broader.

Jackets and Coats

coat for large breasts curvissa-coat

Curvissa – single breasted coat

Keep lapels narrow on jackets.

You want to flatter your silhouette and show off your shape, but not add width. Single-breasted jackets are a good option with a deep v. neck.

Perhaps you find that a jacket that fits on your bust may be too big everywhere else? If so, choose styles that can be worn open, but still offer some shape.

For example an edge-to-edge shape jacket will create vertical lines to elongate your shape.

Avoid anything that has no shape, or is a chunky fabric, this will simply make you look much bigger.

In terms of jacket length, this will depend on your body shape.

Jackets should not end on the widest part of your body. Equally you don’t want a jacket that is too cropped and ends just below your bust. It will simply make it look larger!

For coats a similar principle applies. You want shape – cocoon or blanket coats are simply not for you. You want some structure. If you are an apple shape then look for the structure to come from just above the tummy. If you are an hourglass, you want coats with a belt to emphasize your waist. For an inverted triangle look for coats that have a belt to create a waist.

If you are petite then consider coats that end above the knee line.   If you are taller then wearing a coat with a hemline below the knee will elongate your shape.

 Tops

blouse for large breasts bounteousV-Necks are your best friends and will enhance a large bust.  V-necks will elongate your body and draw the eye upwards. A deep curve will also look good.

Figure hugging wrap-over tops are a great option and will flatter your shape if you have a large bust.  If the V-neck is a bit deep try wearing a cami top underneath.

Avoid anything with details around the neckline – ruffles, bows and cowl necks are not great looks for anyone with a large bust. Avoid breast pockets. These all add unnecessary bulk to your large bust.

I would not advise wearing a turtleneck. It simply makes your large bust look even bigger because of the expanse of fabric from your chest to your neckline.

The exception is to wear a turtleneck with a scarf or necklace, One potential danger of wearing a scarf, is that you get too hot with the turtleneck and remove your scarf.

If you have a large bust then blouses in a traditional shirt style are a real challenge and represent a serious danger of a wardrobe malfunction. Gaping or worse still a button coming undone will just mean total embarrassment.

One option is to invest in a handmade shirt, designed for a large bust. These are not a cheap option but if you want a tailored look for special occasions this may be an option.

Alternatively if you have a smaller frame with a large bust, check out my link below to Bounteous, as an option.

Choose fabrics that will show off your curves and avoid those that are too light and will create volume.

 

Accessories

Jewellery

You can also add jewellery to draw the eye upwards to your face, but avoid long pendant necklaces that sit in your cleavage and require fishing out! Also avoid big chunky necklaces, which lie on top of your bust.

You want to choose necklaces that finish above your bust line and add detail.

You don’t want anything that is too delicate. This will simply make your large bust look bigger as the necklace will look smaller. A large pendant from a short chain is a fabulous look.

 

Belts

Depending on your body shape, adding a belt may help to draw attention to your waist and away from your large bust.

If you have an inverted triangle body shape, a belt will help define your curves. Or if you are a curvy hourglass body a belt will help to further define your curves.

But if you are petite (regardless of body shape) avoid a belt in a contrasting colour as this will simply add a horizontal line and make you look shorter.

 

Handbagsbags for large bust zulily-handbag

If you have a large bust then avoid a handbag that sits on your shoulder and ends in line with your bust.

This will simply create width at your widest point. Instead look for will simply create more bulk at your widest point. Instead look for bags that end at your waist.

You will probably find cross body bags uncomfortable, but even if they do work for you they are not going to look great with a large bust.

 

Shopping Guide

Bras

Brands to consider for large busts are: Bravissimo Elomi Royce

Blouses

Handmade tailored blouses Cast

For a petite frame Bounteous

All Items

It’s also worth checking out a site called Zulily.

Zulily caters for all sizes, menswear and children. It is an American site which features up and coming designers.

The stock is heavily discounted (up to 70% off) and is only available for only three days.

Items ship from America, but they handle the import so you just receive items as a UK delivery. If you need to return goods you return to a UK address.

The lead-time is the only drawback, but from my experience the wait has been worth it.

Conclusion

Embrace your gorgeous curves.   You are beautiful and you will draw attention if you have a large bust, so make sure you’re making the most of your beautiful body!  If you have any shopping suggestions then please share them in the comments below.

 

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small boobs styling tips

How Excited Would You Be To Increase A Cup Size?

If you have a large bust then you’re probably shaking your head in despair at the thought of a bigger bust.  But if like me you have small boobs then you might be nodding enthusiastically?

I recently got fitted for a new bra and found that I’d gone down a chest size but up a cup size. As someone who spent years lamenting my pancake chest I was grinning like a Cheshire cat!

Over the past 18 months I’ve added box fit and weight training classes into my workout routine. One of the positive effects this is apparently having is to reduce my back fat.

boxing training and weight training

But as I’ve mentioned before in my recent blog how many of us wish we were taller, the grass always seems greener!

A survey carried out by the Daily Mirror in 2015 found that 30% of women don’t like their boobs. Interestingly 20% of those surveyed wanted smaller boobs and 20% longed for a bigger bust!

While surgery may be an option, for most of us it’s about embracing our bodies. By following and applying a few styling tips we can make the most of our lovely busts.

Regardless of whether you have a bigger bust or smaller boobs all of us should get fitted for the right bra.

I’ve got small boobs – why do I need a bra?

I spent years not bothering with a bra – after all I had nothing to put in them!  As I recovered from anorexia and gained some weight, I saw my shape change.

I still wasn’t convinced I needed a bra. A chat with a lingerie expert made me realize I was wrong.

It’s obvious when you have a bigger bust that you need the support but why do you need one when you have small boobs?

  1. Gravity – sorry but regardless of your small boobs, time marches on! As we get older the ligaments that hold up your breasts will start to sag.
  2. Posture – you carry more weight at the front. Even with small boobs! The result is that your shoulders will start to slump forward.
  3. Confidence – the right bra will enhance your small boobs. It will give you shape and definition.   A bra can offer a real confidence boost.

 small boobs buying a bra

 Styling Tips For Small Boobs

So if you have smaller boobs what are the best styling tips I can give you to help you embrace and enhance your assets?

This will depend on your shape scale and proportion but if you have small boobs you are more likely to be:

  1. An athletic body shape -slender shape with no real curves. Or
  2. A pear shaped body smaller on top with larger hips

My tips will indicate any differences for your body shape.

Jackets

You want to add width to your top half; so wide lapels are perfect for this.  Double-breasted jackets are another great way to make the eye believe your top half is broader

In terms of jacket shape, choose something structured that defines or creates a waist.  You can also use shoulder pads to add shape and definition to your top half.

Small Boobs - Look great in double breasted jackets

Karen Millen – Double Breasted Jacket

Printed fabrics are another great way to make enhance your small boobs.

In terms of jacket length, this will depend on your body shape:

Pear Shaped Body – you want to avoid jackets that end on the widest part of your hips, as this will simply create a horizontal line and make you look broader.   Your best shape will be something that ends just below your hips

Athletic Body Shape – you want a jacket that will create the illusion of curves, so look for a jacket that ends on top of your hips.

Tops

You may be self-conscious about your top half but you have a great opportunity to wear tops that show off your small boobs.

Add detail with cowl necks or high necks. The trend for ruffle blouses is one that really works for you.   Pussy bow blouses are another option.

small boobs ruffle neck blouse

Ruffle Neck Blouse – Topshop

You can also add jewellery to draw the eye upwards. Another great trend that works for you this season are the choker necklaces.

You can also wear slash necks or crew necks. Scarves can also add another dimension of interest and add volume to your top half.

A shirt with a traditional collar unbuttoned at the top will also draw the eye upward.  Gathers and details that create shape are a great way to add definition and shape.

Halter necks are another option if you have an athletic body shape. The narrowing effect of a halter will not work for a pear shaped body.

Dresses

If you have small boobs and are a pear shaped body you may struggle to find dresses that fit properly.

One option is to choose a vintage 1950s style. But be careful that the skirt is not too full or the fabric too stiff. As this will simply have the effect of making your hips look wider.   You want fabrics that will skim your hips.

If you are an athletic body shape then shirt-dresses are a good choice for you and accentuate your waist with a belt. Shirt-dresses will often have a breast pocket. This is great if you have small boobs, as this will add volume.

You  may also want to consider backless dresses. Backless dresses cannot be worn with a bra, but many styles offer shaping around the bust line and a level of support.

Articles that I’ve read recently suggest that women with small boobs should go for a plunging neckline.  You may suffer from unwanted remarks and be too self-conscious to carry this off.

small boobs warehouse shirt dress

Warehouse Shirt Dress

Nuggets

The following are a few quick tips you might find useful

  1. Handbag – if you like to wear your handbag on your shoulder, ensure the strap length means the bag finishes in line with your bust. This will add volume to your top half.
  2. Trousers – this is for tall athletic body shape – wear flares to help add width and balance to your overall body shape
  3. Stripes – Wider stripes will make you look broader. Just be careful if you are a pear shaped body that the stripes end before your hips.
  4. Keep colours on your bottom half darker and plainer. This is important as well if you don’t want to draw attention to your hips.
  5. Layers on your top half will help to create volume. Bolero jackets and shrugs work well if you have a pear shaped body.

Conclusion

Embrace your body and learn to love your small boobs. Remember you are beautiful. That’s really the best possible advice I can give you!  If you have small boobs and would like to share your tips in the comments below that would be perfect!

 

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