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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clothing choices confidence

Clothing Choices: How To Have A Great Day

 

clothing choices confidence

I left the house today for a series of meetings and wanted to make an impact.

It was hot and I was going to be spending a lot of time in the car and wandering around.  So I chose a sleeveless sundress which wouldn’t crease when I got hot.   There’s nothing worse when you’re wilting in the heat to think that your clothes are dissolving into a heap too.  I also chose some distinctive sandals.

But there were deeper reasons why I decided on this particular outfit.  The last time I’d worn it had been to a fashion event in London and I’d received some great complements.  I’d worn it before at a networking event and several people had told me I looked lovely.

Complements make us feel good and give us confidence.  While basing our clothing choices purely on the opinions of others isn’t a great idea, there’s nothing wrong in having our own decisions about our wardrobe ratified.

It worked! Five minutes after I’d parked the car I was stopped by a lovely gentleman who told me what a beautiful dress I was wearing.  He went on to say how he loved to see people when they really made an effort to dress well. Result?  I had a very successful first meeting (not with the gentleman who had commented I hasten to add!).

My second meeting was also a great success and by the time I got to my third meeting of the day I was flying high as a kite (nothing to do with the quantity of caffeine ingested!).

Conversely do you find yourself resorting to well-worn comfort clothes when things aren’t going so well?  Our clothes can have such a big impact on us that it can distort our thoughts and judgements said Professor Karen J Pine.

The clothes we wear affect our behaviour, attitudes, mood, confidence, and how others respond to us.  Termed “Enclothed Cognition“ by Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam.

clothing choices impact our behaviour

Let’s consider each of these elements in turn.

 

The Way We Behave

Take my example today.  I had just received a complement about my appearance, which reinforced my decision on my outfit, but more importantly made me feel fabulous.   The energy I exuded was positive and bubbly and helped to build the rapport quickly with the other party.

I’m not the only one testing this theory!  There have been more scientific studies have been carried out than my example today!

In one such study 50% of students taking a cognitive test were asked to wear a white coat. They were told that the coat belonged to a doctor. The students wearing the coat performed better in the tests than those who were not wearing the white coat.

We attach a symbolic meaning to our clothes. So using the doctors coats as an example. We associate doctors as:

  • Careful
  • Meticulous
  • Rigorous
  • Educated

 

Our Attitude

Today my outfit choice meant that I was feeling really positive.   I didn’t have to try hard I could simply be myself in meetings, feeling confident will automatically help us to relax.

Again this theory has been tested by psychologists.  In a study carried out at Harvard, this was tested by giving participants a pair of sunglasses.

Half of the group had been told they were wearing genuine designer sunglasses. The remaining members of the group were informed that their glasses were fake designer sunglasses.

The group was then given a competitive game as an exercise.  Those who were told they were counterfeit glasses were more prepared to cheat in a game that the group was assigned. They were also more suspicious of others!

Our Mood

How do heels make you feel? Most women feel more powerful when they are wearing heels, they act more confidently.  I certainly do although wearing heels was not even a consideration for  me running around between meetings in 27 Degrees!

So can our clothing choices have the opposite effect?

One woman I know has a ‘grumpy jumper’.   If she’s going through a low period she allows herself to put on the grumpy jumper and to allow herself to work through the emotions. When she is ready to face the world again the grumpy jumper gets consigned to the back of the drawer.

We can choose to dress for the way we feel when we get dressed. Alternatively we can dress for the way we want to feel.    I work from home a lot and my clothing choices around the house are pretty casual when I’m at my computer all day.  But when I come back from a meeting although I do get changed into jeans, shorts etc, I’ll usually leave my jewellery on.  It’s amazing how different this makes me feel.

clothing choices heels

Our Confidence

Who has heard of the Red Hat Society?   The idea originated from Sue Cooper in 1997.

Sue  bought herself a red fedora from a charity shop for $7.50 as a present to herself to celebrate her 50th birthday.

She immediately noticed how confident, liberated and playful she felt when she wore her red fedora. So Sue started to buy her friends a red hat for their birthdays. They added a purple outfit to their red hats and so the Red Hat Society was born.

With over a million members globally the Red Hat Society is a sisterhood. It’s a powerful social group which has helped to empower women. They spread their playful and positive approach to aging across the world.

A date for your diary – 25th April – The official Red Hat Society Day.

clothing choices red hat society

How Others Respond To Us

A study carried out at University of Hertfordshire, participants volunteered to have their photo taken in roughly the same body position.

The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their mood at the time they got dressed that morning.  After they had been photographed the research team pixelated out their faces from the images.

A second group were given the images and asked to determine the subject’s mood purely from the clothes they were wearing.

The study revealed a high level of accuracy in being able to determine the wearer’s mood by sampling looking at the clothing choices.

 

So how can we give ourselves a confidence boost every time we get dressed?

 

Know Your Colours

If we wear the right colours we look healthy and radiant. Other people are drawn towards us and want to engage with us.

They won’t necessarily know why they are drawn to looking directly into our eyes.

This can be really powerful if you’re meeting with someone and want to ensure their attention!

Conversely if we wear the wrong colours we can look tired or unwell. The colours may overwhelm us and people can be distracted by what we are wearing.

Have you ever been asked if you’re feeling okay, but until that point you’d been feeling fine?  What’s your reaction? Do you surreptitiously start feeling your forehead? Or do you make an excuse to disappear to the loo and poke your tongue in the mirror?

Well don’t – chances are that you’re simply wearing the wrong colours!

finding your style recipe

Understand What Suits You

Sadly most of us spend far too much time worrying about what we don’t love about our bodies.

80% of women are unhappy with their body image in the UK

87% of women opt out of an activity due to the way they feel about their body

These statistics are frankly frightening.  These findings are from the survey commissioned by Unilever as part of the Dove BeReal Campaign.

Wearing clothing that flatters your body is going to make you feel more confident. This applies to all of us, regardless of gender.

Style is a game of illusion. We can use styles, patterns, prints and textures to draw the eye in certain directions and change our shape. Conversely we can draw unwanted attention by wearing the wrong thing.

Take one very simple example. If you are a petite woman with an oversized handbag, this will have the effect of making you look even more petite.

Equally if you are a large scaled woman, and you carry a small clutch bag you will look bigger.

 

Clothing Choices Are Just About Colour and Style?

Not really we also need to think about our personality and how this is visible from our clothing choices.

With seconds to make that vital first impression, how much easier is it when someone ‘gets us’ immediately.

93% of communication when we first meet someone is non-verbal.

While our clothing isn’t the main factor in that non-verbal communication, it has more than a bit part to play.  So how do we express ourselves through our clothes?

By thinking about our clothing choices and what they say to the world.

Someone who is looking to appear calm and serene is hardly likely to rock up in a neon pink jumpsuit.   This is an extreme example but illustrates the point.

clothing choices reflect our personality

Discovering Your Style Recipe

When you’re thinking about the messages you want to communicate I’d recommend you start by doing this exercise. Keep a journal based on you, your wardrobe and your clothing choices.

The things you will be taking note of on a daily basis are:

  1. What Was I Wearing – remember how your clothing choices made you feel. Are there some pieces that are your ‘go to outfits’, in which you feel really confident?
  2. Do some items in your wardrobe attract complements when you wear them? They might not be clothes but could be accessories. Note these down too.
  3. Are there some colours that you wear that attract more complements or make you feel happier when you wear them?

Do this exercise for at least a couple of weeks.

When you’ve done this see what emerges. You will see some patterns emerging from your clothing choices. Whether it’s colours, shapes, fabric textures.

Take photos of the clothes that make you feel special and the ones you receive complements when wearing.

Look at the images – what words spring to mind? Become more mindful of the clothing choices that make you feel fabulous. This in itself will do wonders for your self-confidence!

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences of the way your wardrobe can help you to have a really fantastic day.

If you’d like to explore how I can help you to discover your style and make clothing choices that help you to feel fantastic, why not book a 30-minute call with me?

 

 

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how to wear a belt

How To Wear A Belt To Create A Stunning Look

When I ask my clients how they feel about belts, the answer I receive is often ‘not sure’. Or perhaps they will say that they don’t have the figure to wear a belt.

It’s frankly an urban myth that you need to be tall and lean or have a perfect hourglass figure.

Worn the right way a belt can add definition and enhance your body shape. A belt can also provide the focal point for an outfit.  .

We can all wear a belt. But as with most items in our wardrobes, it’s about making the right choices. Hopefully my tips will inspire you to wear a belt other than to hold your jeans up!

wear a belt with a jumpsuit

Wear A Belt To Flatter Your Shape

The elements of your body that you need to consider to determine what shape of belt to go for are:

  1. Are you short waisted?
  2. Are you long waisted?
  3. Do you have a defined waist?
  4. Do you have a full bust?
  5. Are your hips full?
  6. Do you have a thick waist?
  7. Are you petite?

 

If You Are Short Waistedkaren-millen-chain-belt

This means that your natural waist is closer to your bust than your hips. This may also be referred to as high waisted. So to wear a belt you should chose the following looks:

  1. A narrow belt
  2. Wear a belt across your hips
  3. Wear a belt the same colour as your top and in contrast to your bottom
  4. Select a belt that is the same colour as your outfit

 If You Are Long Waisted

This means that your torso is long and your natural waist sits quite low.   Consider the following to wear a belt

  1. A wide belt
  2. Wear a belt just above your natural waist. Do not allow it to sit on your hips, as this will emphasize your long torso.

Women who have a long waist will have shorter legs so you want to use styling tips to create longer legs.

Do You Have A Defined Waist?Desigual Statement Belt

If you have an hourglass figure or a pear shaped body with a defined waist, embrace it!   Wear a belt that shows off your waist and emphasizes your curves, giving definition to your shape. It doesn’t need to be a statement belt,  it can blend in to your outfit.

Conversely if you do not have a defined waist, but have slender hips wear a belt to create a waist.

 If You Have A Full Bust

Wear a belt that to show off your curves.

If you have a large bust you may find yourself having to buy a dress that fits your bust but may be too big elsewhere. Avoid a shapeless look, which will be really unflattering. Wear a belt to define your bust and flatter your voluptuous curves.

A full bust can create the illusion of a short waist, so consider a medium width belt.

 Are Your Hips Full?

If your hips are broader than your shoulders then you have a pear shaped body. But before you start despairing about your hips and thighs, embrace the fact that you have a defined waist.

Go out there and show off your waist. Wear a belt on your waist but be careful not to wear a belt too low, especially if you are wearing a cropped jacket. This will simply make your hips look bigger.

Do You Have A Thick Waist?

Women who have a thick waist often feel that they should not wear a belt. They are concerned that this will draw attention to their tummy. But for women who have a thick waist a belt can emphasize your lovely bust and show off your curves.   Wear a belt slightly higher than your natural waistline. Choose a belt that blends with your outfit in a stretch fabric and see the results.

Are you petite?

If you are petite then be careful if you decide to wear a wide belt.

A wide belt in a contrasting colour to your outfit will simply cut you in half. It will create a horizontal line, which will have the effect of making you look shorter.

You can wear a belt with a tie that sits low on your waist and hangs down. This will create vertical lines and help you to look taller.

how to wear a belt

How To Style A Belt?

Having determined what you should look for to suit your body shape, now it’s on to the fun part of how to wear a belt with style!

This probably sounds very obvious but a belt should be a reflection of your personality and your style.   The following are just a few ideas of how you can have fun with belts!

Enhance Your Body Shape

Show off the parts of your body you love!

If you are wearing a loose fitting top and tight trousers add a belt to enhance your silhouette.

An oversized top or dress will look finished with a belt slung around your hips.

A tight fitting top and baggy trousers will look good with a belt to complete the look and give some structure to your silhouette.

Dramatic Effect

Wear a metallic belt with a monochrome dress or jumpsuit for an occasion.

Look at belts with a statement buckle to create a real attention grabbing look.

A wide belt will make a bold statement.

Make this the focal point of your outfit. You can contrast your belt with shoes and handbag for a real impact.

Alternatively a slightly more classic dramatic look would be to wear a statement belt that matched your bag and shoes.

Be creative and have fun!

Wear a bright patterned scarf as a belt. This can look great with jeans – blue or white denim for a fun summer look.

If you have a coat, such as a trench coat, that has a detachable belt swap this for a patterned scarf for a quirky look.

Finally …

Do you wear a belt?  If so how do you wear belts, please share in the comments below.

If you are not confident about how to wear a belt or how to complete an outfit with accessories, why not join us for The Finishing Touch Workshop?

Shopping Details

Make a statement with a wide belt

Biba Belt Wallis Jumpsuit Carvela Shoes Carvela Bag

Subtle Style With A Wide Belt

Hobbs Belt Tunic Top White Stuff Biba Scarf Phase Eight Bag Phase Eight Boots

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How To Look Awesome In A Skirt

So what skirt styles are ‘in’ or rather on trend for Spring Summer 2017?

Anyone who knows me will be scratching his or her head in wonder at that one!

I don’t do trends!  While I’d love to claim Coco Chanel’s lovely quote for my own, fashion is not and shouldn’t be the primary reason for buying clothes.

Coco Chanel quote fashion

Whenever a client asks me about trends I suggest they simply ignore them. But depending where you shop this isn’t always possible.

It’s worth noting that when fashion buyers are looking what they believe will sell, trends play a part. Remember the buyers are now making decisions about what will sell in 6-9 months’ time so need to start somewhere!

Right now we’re in the midst of the fashion shows for Autumn Winter 2017. This is while stock is being unwrapped for Spring Summer 2017.  It’s an exciting and stressful time of year if you work in fashion.

It got me thinking about this week’s post and in particular which style skirts are going to be available. But more importantly who can wear them.

What To Consider With Skirt Styles

The factors you want to consider when choosing what skirt styles to buy, are broadly the same as other garments:

  1. Style – its fullness and cut. Which skirt styles are right for you will be determined by your body shape
  2. Length – this is important for your height, the shape and length of your legs.
  3. Fabric – texture and print – this takes into account the size of your frame
  4. Colour – the most important colours to get right are those close to your face. But as I tell my clients it’s much easier to co-ordinate your wardrobe if you buy from your colour palette.
  5. Details – the pockets, pleats and embellishments that designers add to finish a style

But at the end of the day, the most important thing to consider is whether the design is right for you and the message you want to convey through your clothes.

Let’s take a look at the key skirt styles that are showing up in the new collections for Spring Summer 2017 and who can wear them.  I want to warn you that this gets a bit frustrating!

We begin talking about what I call proper trends! These are obvious skirt styles. Then the collective changes more to skirt lengths, which cover multiple styles.

This drives me mad, as it seems like the goal posts have moved! My perception is that this is the fashion media’s attempt to group and order things in a logical way.

Ruffle Skirt Styles

Ruffle Skirt Top Shop

Ruffle Skirts

With the emergence of the throwback to the 1980s, it’s no surprise that ruffles are making an appearance.    On the SS2017 catwalks, ruffle style skirts were very popular. I’m delighted to say that this look has been toned down for the high street audience.

As much as I think the designs are superb, the look is much more of a catwalk style than something that translates to the High Street.

Who Can Wear Ruffle Style Skirts?  The simple answer is anyone who has narrower hips than shoulders. So this means:

An inverted triangle body shape looking to create balance on her lower half

An athletic body shape and is looking to create curves. Just be careful that the bottom half doesn’t become too out of balance with the top half.

If you are tall and have long legs a ruffle style skirt will look great. But if you have wider hips than your shoulders and your legs are not slender, avoid ruffle style skirts. They will add bulk and draw attention to the wrong places!

Tiered Skirts Romantic ‘Boho Chic’

With very feminine looks on the catwalk for Spring Summer, there were quite a few tiered skirt styles on the runway.

These do not appear in the new styles being released by retailers at the moment for spring styles. But I would not be surprised to see tiered skirt styles in the summer collections for the festival and holiday seasons.

Tiered skirts, like ruffle skirt styles, work most effectively for inverted triangle body shape.   They are also great for athletic body shapes. They are a very feminine look. Tiered skirt styles can be made to look more boho and less ‘girly’ with denim or leather jackets, and ankle boots. The latter providing it’s not too hot!

If you are a curvy petite frame or curvy hips or a tummy then avoid tiered skirts as they will not flatter your lovely curves.

If you are slender petite frame you can wear tiered skirts if they are not bulky. Bulky skirts will simply overwhelm your body.

Pencil Skirt Styles

John Lewis Pencil Skirt

Pencil Skirts A Return To The 1980s?

As we’re looking back at the 1980s there’s no escaping the pencil skirt styles.

Pencil skirts look fabulous on all body shapes. But you need to pay attention to the fabric, how tapered the skirt styles are towards the hem. If you are a pear shaped body and carry weight around your hips then avoid pencil skirts that are too tapered.

If you have an hourglass body shape, you will look particularly amazing in a pencil skirt that accentuates your curves and your waistline.

Pencil skirt styles in the 1980s were focused on power dressing and were often the skirt design for a women’s suit. Later they became more noticeable in eveningwear, clinging fabrics or sequins.

Style tip – if you feel overdressed in pencil skirt styles then dress them down with denim jackets or a camisole top and an over-shirt.

Midi Skirts

There is no prescriptive length for a midi skirt. The hemline can fall just above the ankle right up to mid-calf.

Midi skirt styles vary immensely. The most popular styles for midi skirts are: A line, full skirts, pencil styles, pleated skirts or wrap over.

But midi skirt styles are not for everyone.

If you are a slender petite frame then be cautious with midi skirts, unless they are slender styles. The danger is that they will overwhelm you.   You can play down the effect with high heels.

For curvy petite women midi skirt styles are not a great look. With a horizontal line across your calves making you look shorter and broader.

For taller women and in particular athletic body shapes or inverted triangle body shapes a midi skirt will look great to create curves and balance on your bottom half.

Desigual Mini Skire

Desigual Mini Skirt

Mini Skirts

Again not a skirt shape but they do refer to the length.

Like midi skirts the mini has no formal length. The hemline can rest anywhere on your thighs.     Mini skirts can be figure hugging, straight or pleated or a flared out skater skirt.

Great legs? Show them off with a mini skirt. If you are tall or petite, mini skirts will look fabulous.

If you have broad hips and thighs then mini skirt styles are not really for you.

Wearing a mini skirt is partly about making a statement and you need to have the self-confidence to do that.

In winter it can be easier. I will team a dark mini skirt with opaque tights and boots and will be incredibly confident.

I wouldn’t feel so happy to wear a mini skirt in warmer weather with bare legs.

Tips To Consider

If you want to wear a skirt but are not sure what suits you and really don’t have the patience to shop around, then consider:

  1. Flattering length for most women is around knee length. So the hemline finishes just above or below the knee.
  2. Straight to Pencil Skirts are broadly speaking the most flattering skirt styles for most body shapes
  3. If you have broader hips and thighs don’t try to hide this look under A lines or voluminous shapes. It will have the opposite effect
  4. If you are wearing skirts that are quite figure hugging, look in the mirror before you leave the house. You don’t want a VPL!
  5. Have fun with skirts! Skirts can be really versatile and great way to mix and match your wardrobe.

I’d love to hear about your favourite skirt styles in the comments below.

 

 

lines and curves magic

You Need To Know How To Create Wardrobe Magic

Now we’re going to talk about lines and curves, I tell my clients, offering to them the suggestion that we’re about to create some style magic!   It provokes an interesting reaction.

Some laugh, others smile politely wondering what’s coming next,. While others look slightly bewildered wondering if I’m going to get my Potterish wand out!

lines and curves magic

What Are Lines And Curves?

Once you understand your colour palette, it’s time to start working on what suits your body shape and your personality in terms of clothing styles.   In order to really make the most of this you need to understand lines and curves.

Let’s be clear lines and curves are not just about the fabric patterns or prints. As a fashion designer you would not be able to create a garment without lines and curves.

Lines and curves are created in clothing by:

  1. The shape/silhouette of the garment
  1. The seams and construction
  1. The fun stuff – finishes, details
  1. Fabrics – prints and patterns

The messages our brain and eyes exchange about lines and curves are always done in a split second but specific order.

Vertical and Horizontal Lines

LK Bennett – vertical and horizontal lines

How Do We See Lines And Curves?

Our eyes are drawn to horizontals first because horizontal lines help us to create balance. We then consider verticals, diagonals and then curves.  We can create illusions because of the way that our brains and eyes work.

Without diving down a fascinating scientific rabbit hole, let’s keep this simple. Our vision depends on our eyes to see and our brains to interpret what our eyes see. The brain receives messages from the eyes but also adds two elements: memory and interpretation (or perception). Optical illusions occur when the messages sent back from our eyes conflicts with what the brain is expecting. Result = confusion!

The bottom line is that this is great news for us as we can use lines and curves to guide others to see what we want them to see. This will enable us to show off the great bits and downplay the bits we are not so keen on!

So let’s take a look at how we can use the way we interpret lines and curves to our advantage.

Horizontal Lines

lines and curves

Desigual top

Most of us learn from an early age that you don’t wear horizontal stripes if you want to look slimmer and in most cases this is correct.

I’ll explain the exception in a moment!

Most of us are not looking to add width to our body, but if you have a small bust or a pear shaped body (hips wider than shoulders) you can create balance using horizontal lines.

You can do this by adding a horizontal line this can be in the form of:

  • Padded shoulders
  • Wide horizontal stripes
  • A different colour yoke on a top or blouse, bateau necklines
  • A shrug or bolero jacket in a different colour to the top underneath

Each horizontal line we create in an outfit will have a widening and shortening effect. This applies to hemlines, changes in colour, trims and decorative details.

If you want to add height and like wearing skirts or dresses the easiest way to do this is have tights the same colour as your shoes and outfit. This way you do not create a break of colour at your hemline.

Our eyes also take two short horizontal lines and ignore the gap. What do I mean by this?

If you have a large bust and wear short sleeves that finish at the level of your bust, our eyes will follow the line from one sleeve hem to the other and see it as one horizontal line.

However there is an exception and that is very narrow horizontal lines. When the horizontals are too fine for the eye to follow along one at a time, and when there are multiples of them, they can actually start working like a vertical line and become elongating.

 

Lines and Curves Vertical Lines

Karen Millen

Vertical Lines

Vertical lines lengthen, our eyes move along them more quickly than horizontal or curved lines. So anyone wanting to look taller or slimmer should look to include vertical lines in their wardrobe. The good news is that this is so easy to do, as I mentioned earlier you do not need patterns and prints to add lines and curves to your wardrobe.

You can define verticals simply by:

  1. The way you layer clothes, leaving a jacket open, wearing a sleeveless jacket are great examples.
  2. Accessories are a great way to create verticals too. A long pendant or a long scarf will add vertical lines.
  3. The structure of garments: vertical darts, pleats, trouser creases will all add vertical lines. Knitwear that is ribbed creates a vertical line.
  4. Details on garments – piping down the side of trousers, buttons in a contrasting colour on a jacket or blouse. Pussy bow blouses also add a vertical line.

But it is important to also note that just as horizontals can have an elongating effect, verticals can have a widening effect! Vertical stripes that are too wide in contrasting colours will add width.

You don’t want to add vertical lines to the widest part of your body, as they will draw attention to this area. If you have large hips or tummy then avoid verticals on these areas.

You can create a single vertical with an outfit and negate the effect of any horizontal lines by using the column of colour. An outfit all in one colour will have a lengthening effect.

Diagonal Lines

Lines and Curves Diagonal Lines

Joe Browns Top

Diagonal lines create movement and action.  They direct the eye from one element to another. We can have real fun playing with diagonal lines!

As we read from left to right, we tend to read diagonals this way.   So let’s take a one-shoulder top as an easy way to look at this.

If your left shoulder is exposed then the eye will follow the diagonal upwards towards your face and neck.

Alternatively if your right shoulder is exposed then the eye will follow down from your left shoulder towards your bust and body.

So clever isn’t it!

You don’t have to wear off the shoulder tops to create diagonals! You can create diagonal lines with the following details:

  1. Patterns and prints – look for designs that draw the eye in different ways – you’ll be amazed how differently you look at clothes. Joe Browns and Desigual are both brands that make good use of diagonals.
  2. Wrap-over tops and dresses. A really flattering way to guide the eye across your body
  3. V-necks. These do have diagonal lines, but depending on the depth and shape of the v-neck these lines can also be interpreted as vertical or horizontal lines.   A deep plunging neckline will act more as a vertical.   A wide, shallow neckline will create a horizontal.
  4. A cross body bag – great way to draw the eye up or downwards.
  5. Chevron stripe fabric. A lovely way to create a very slimming effect on a dress if the angle points downwards across your tummy.
lines and curves curved lines

Joules Dress

Curved Lines

The slowest line we see is the curved line. As our eye follows the curve it slows down and we follow the curve with our eyes. The effect is that curves add volume to our bodies.

Curves create a place for the eye to rest. Want to draw attention to an area of your body that you really love? Then add curves. Curves also add a feminine soft touch to an outfit.

As with diagonals our eyes will follow the line of the curve from left to right.

Curves can also soften the effect of straight lines. A curved hemline on a top will soften the horizontal line, particularly if this is ending on your hips.

We find curves in clothing in:

  1. Structure – necklines, hemlines and sleeve shapes, gathering and lapels (note how some lapels are very angular but some are rounded)
  2. Detailing – frills and lace are great examples
  3. Fabrics – patterns and texture. Softer fabrics will drape and naturally fall in a softer more curvy way than stiff structured fabrics.

Use curves to their best effect if you want to add balance to your body.

Again let’s take the example of a pear shaped body where the shoulders and bust are narrower than the hips. Add puff sleeves to add width to your shoulders.  If you have a small bust use a gathered neckline to make your bust appear larger.

Hopefully this post will have given you lots of ideas about how you can use lines and curves to create some real style magic with your wardrobe.

Give it a try…. why not try to work out what the lines on this dress are doing? Answers in the comments below!

 

Black Dress

What Fun Can You Have With One Black Dress?

I was inspired to write this after reading a friend’s Facebook post last week where she stated her intention not to buy any new clothes in 2017.  My ears were wiggling and my nose twitching with excitement!! I love nothing more than the challenge of mixing and matching items to create new looks.

woman wearing black dress

Working with a client this week were looking at some lovely dresses in her wardrobe. The dresses were perfect for her in terms of colour and shape. I asked about how often she wore them, she admitted not very often.

We explored this and it transpired she felt she needed an occasion to wear a dress.  Her current lifestyle was more relaxed and so wearing a dress felt uncomfortable.   She felt over-dressed and that’s not going to help any woman feel fabulous!

A career spent in uniform and early parental influence to ‘keep it for best’ had reinforced to her subconscious mind that dresses were for special occasions.

We were now beyond the nose twitching and ears wiggling stage, my pupils were dilating too!

So this week’s post is to show you how you can create a range of casual looks from one black dress.

First Take Your Dress

I am going to keep this one simple and use a black dress as an example. I have picked out a number of classic and simple styles that will suit different body shapes. I’ve also selected soft fabrics opting for jersey or viscose mix.  I’ve chosen black simply because it can feel quite formal, but this is not relevant to the looks and suggestions.

If you’re not sure what dress shape suits you, take a look at my body shape guide.

I’ve selected a ¾ length sleeve, as this the most universally flattering sleeve length. This length adds height and doesn’t end in line with your bust.

If you have a large bust you do not want sleeves to end level with your bust as this makes you look broader.   However, most of the looks I’m describing will also look great with a sleeveless or short-sleeved black dress.

Black Dress

Black Dress Selection From Debenhams

You can make a simple black dress, effectively into the backdrop for outfit by pairing with the right items to create some fabulous looks.

Denim Jacket

You can make a black dress look effortlessly chic and casual by adding a denim jacket. Denim jackets don’t need to be the bulky style of bomber jacket that look great on a handful of women (small bust, slim with a need to create curves).

Denim jackets can be more blazer style or like this example from Olsen a more structured classic look.

Denim jacket with black dress

Olsen Denim Jacket – House of Fraser

 

BTW It’s at this point I wish I hadn’t started researching this as I’ve just found the most amazing jacket from Desigual.

 

Denim Jacket with Black Dress

Denim Jacket From Desigual

 

Sleeveless Coat

The great advantage of gilets (aka furry ones) is that they add warmth. You can create a fun and funky look but when they get too warm, simply shed them!

 

Faux fur gilet with black dress

Joanna Hope Gilet

Or why not add a sleeveless coat (or a long waistcoat or sleeveless jacket). The fashion industry seems uncertain about what to call them!    These can make a dress look really striking.

 

Longline Sleeveless Jacket with Black Dress

Mint Velvet Longline Sleeveless Jacket

 

 

Add a Blouse

Wearing a blouse over a simple black dress is an effective way to change the look. You can either wear the blouse open to create a casual look or knot at the waist.

Your choice of fabric will have a major impact on how dressed up or dressed down the look becomes. A silk shirt styled over a jersey dress can take a look from day to night. Whereas a cotton or linen blouse will look more casual.

Shoes or Boots

Your choice of shoes will make a big difference to whether you have a dress up or dress down look for your jersey dress.

If you carry on the theme of the denim jacket then why not add boots? Take a look at my post on choosing boots for your body shape

winter boots

You could also pair with sneakers but it’s not a look that I’ve ever felt comfortable with personally.

 

In the spring when it’s warm enough to start bearing your toes but you may still want a jacket for cooler moments, look for low sandals or flip flops.

 

Shrug It Off

Shrugs can come in all types of fabrics from sparkly numbers to cardigan style or more formal bolero jackets and everything in between.

 

They may be best suited to sleeveless dresses, simply because the sleeves will hang better. But depending on the shape of the sleeve they can work for dresses with sleeves.

 

But if you have a small bust they are great for adding curves and volume to your top half. Pear shaped women in particular who have a small bust and defined waist will look great in shrugs and boleros.

 

Shrug over a black dress

Havren Bella Shrug

 Hosiery And Leggings

If you wear opaque tights or leggings with a jersey dress this will create a more casual look. Add boots and you’ve got a great dress down winter outfit.

If you are anything like me you have a love/hate relationship with tights and stockings. I hate wearing them and I think it’s because it makes a dress look more formal.

Adding nude or tan tights or stockings to an outfit the style is automatically elevated to a more classic look.   Equally if you wear a low denier (or more sheer) style of hosiery this gives a more elegant finish.

 

Scarves

Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I have a passion for scarves and am rarely found without one, unless it’s just too hot!

Scarves can transform an outfit completely.   If you want to create a less formal look, particularly with a monochrome dress then think about the:

 

  1. Shape
  2. Fabric
  3. Texture
  4. Colour
  5. Pattern

 

I will be doing a post about scarves in the next few weeks. But for the moment think about cotton/wool mix pattern scarves, possibly with tassels as a brilliant way to create a casual look.

So there’s some ideas and inspiration for you to try. If you do find yourself migrating to jeans, trousers or leggings as you struggle to put outfits together based on a dress, give some of these a try and let me know how you get on!
If you have any other ‘go to’ pieces that you like to use to create wearable looks with dresses, then please add to the comments below.

 

 

 

 

winter boots sophia webster

Winter Boots: How To Make The Best Investment

Winter boots for me are a wardrobe essential.

Personally I live in boots from the autumn right through to when I get my toes out for summer! They are versatile, looking great with daywear – smart or casual, or for a more glammed up look.

purple ankle boots
As a runner and step aerobic addict enthusiast, finding boots to fit was my worst nightmare! Boot styles were not designed for my muscly calves and so my boot collection was entirely ankle boots. This may go some way to explain my personal extended boot season!

Gradually designers have realized we don’t all have naturally slender legs. This is great news, but with more choice, what styles should we look for?

Our choice of boots depends on a number of factors:

  • body shape
  • height
  • leg length
  • width of calves

Far too many factors, when all you want to do is buy a pair of winter boots!

But I’ve done the hard work for you just follow my top tips for winter boots!

Post Christmas sales are a good source of ‘bargain hunting’ for boots. Why? Well retailers have one eye on incoming spring fashion and our recent mild autumns have not been great boot selling weather!   But don’t get seduced with the price tag! The fact you are getting a bargain is the cherry on the top, not the reason for buying!

My tips below cover the five body shapes and then I also cover tips for petite and taller women. If you’re not sure what body shape you are then check out my guide.

 

Apple Body Shape

If you are a luscious apple, you will have a full tummy and but lovely slender legs.  You want to create balance and so wedges are perfect for this.  Calf length boots will show off your lovely legs.

If you are an apple body shape with short legs then choose a more slender heel.  If you have longer legs then go for a chunkier wedge heel.

winter boots wedge heel

Very.co.uk – wedge heel boots

Pear Shaped Body

You carry your weight in your lower half.

Avoid calf length winter boots. These will simply make you look broader.

Instead look for knee length winter boots or ankle boots.

Choose boots that do not have a lot of embellishment and wear tights or leggings that match the boots and have an elongating effect.

Winter Boots Knee High

John Lewis Knee High Boots

Hourglass Body Shape

With your lovely curves, you will look great in a pair of ankle boots.

These will show off your lovely curvy ankles.

Rounded toes will also accentuate your curves. Heels should be stacked to show off your curves and add balance to your body.

You should consider mid-height heels, as the boots will be in proportion, low or high heels will look too clumpy.

winter boots cone heels

Mint Velvet Boots

Athletic Body Shape

You are looking to create curves.

Stilettos will add definition to your lower legs and in particular your calves.

You can also wear boots with embellishment and details that will add width to your lower body.

With regard to length of winter boots, you can wear all styles except for slouchy boots, as these will be disproportionate to your slim legs.

winter boots stilettos

Very.co.uk

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

You want to add definition and balance to your lower half, so consider chunky heels and winter boot designs for this.

Calf length, slouch boots or cowboy boots will look fabulous on you to balance your broader top half.

Boots with embellishments or details will also help to balance your body shape.

winter boots calf length

Mustang Boots – Zalando

Petite Women

Add heels!

If you are a petite woman with long legs then over the knee boots will look fabulous. Pointed toes will also help to elongate your height.

Avoid embellishments and details around your ankles as this will create a horizontal line and have the effect of undoing the illusion of height.

If you are petite with short legs, then go for ankle boots with a heel.

Winter boots over the knee

Carvela Over The Knee Boots

 Tall Women

Winter boots look fantastic on tall women, particularly if you are tall and slender.

You can wear heels but you will also look amazing in low heel winter boots.

Riding boots with a low heel will look really glamorous.

If you have large feet then go for styles with a more rounded toe to help balance the length.

So What About ‘Difficult Feet’?

Wide Feet

I have wide feet and find that Dune’s shoes and boots generally work for me and so do some Russell & Bromley styles.   Apart from that it’s pot luck and very often tears of frustration!

Narrow Feet

For me this was always one of those ‘nice to have problems’. That was until a friend who has very narrow feet told me that she struggles to find footwear where her feet stay in the shoe! James Inglis cater for narrow feet.

Brands that cater for different width fittings (not necessarily across their entire range) are:

Ted & Muffy

Clarks

Vince Camuto

Sam Edelman

Hopefully this will give you some ideas and inspiration for boot shopping!

Just One Last Thing…

One question I’m regularly asked is how to style ankle boots with jeans or skirts/dresses.

My simple answer is you need to feel comfortable and confident. You do not want to feel self-conscious or faintly ridiculous with your outfit. This goes much deeper than simply boots but winter boots are a great example.

Here are a few suggestions, which are generalist and don’t take into account body shape:

Jeans

Skinny or straight jeans are best with ankle boots.

You can either tuck jeans in to your ankle boots or you can roll them over the top or create cuffs to sit on the top of your boots.

Skirts

Ankle boots look great with mini, knee length or midi skirts depending on the style and design of each.

I’ve found that wearing ankle boots extended the life of some of my summer skirts.

Mini or knee length skirts – you can add opaque tights, the same colour as your boots if you want to blend your look.

Finally … A Huge Thank You

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads my blogs, either comments on the blog posts or on social media.   Your input means such a lot to me.

I would love to hear from you in the comments below what subjects you would like me to cover in 2017.

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.

 

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!

 

taller woman

Wouldn’t You Just Love To Be A Taller Woman?

Hands up those of us who are average height or below and have dreamt what it would be like to be a taller woman?

Many of us believe that those added inches would make all our style issues simply evaporate!

Well as we know the grass is always greener isn’t it?

grass greener taller woman

Now put yourself in the shoes of someone who is >5’10” (1.78M), so considered a taller woman. While it might feel great to survey the world from a different perspective; think about the challenges you face and if you’re stepping into those shoes you will probably find that they are too big!

Just for a moment envisage what it might be like to struggle to battle with jeans which appear to have a Mexican stand off with your shoes and sleeves that argue with your wrists!

Add to that a posture with a few legacy challenges; as you struggled not to be taller than your friends during that frenzied teenage growth spurt.

Like most style challenges if you are a taller woman it’s about following a framework. But as I will keep reiterating it’s about how you express yourself in a way that feels right for you.

Like my recent blog about petite fashion, if you are a taller woman you are not a unique body shape. Being tall is another dimension on top of your body shape. You are most likely to be either a slender athletic shape, an inverted triangle or a pear body shape.

I hope that the following tips and advice, along with my suggestions on where you can shop will be useful if you are a taller woman.

1. Jeans and Trousers

If you are a tall slender athletic body shape or an inverted triangle you are going to look great in most styles of trousers and jeans.

You will look fantastic in skinny jeans, but equally as good in flared jeans or trousers, which will add some width to your slender frame.

If you are a tall pear body shape, you want to look at trousers and jeans with a wide or straight leg but the key is to keep the area around the hips as fuss free as possible!

The real difference though comes around the detailing on trousers and jeans. Tall pear shapes should avoid adding bulk with pockets and pleats as this will add width at the widest part of your body.  But if you are a slender tall woman then you may want to add some detail and width at your hips to create a slightly curvier silhouette.

 

skinny jeans for taller woman

Bell Sleeve Blouse Taller Woman

Lipsy Bell Sleeve Blouse

2. Sleeves

I’m going to lump sleeves into a general pile rather than explore blouses, dresses, jackets and coats as separate elements.

The problem is the same regardless of garment – finding sleeves that are long enough for a taller woman and what to do when the sleeves are not quite right.

Bell sleeves look great on tall slender women. Flaring out from the shoulder and ending anywhere between elbow and wrist. The width of the sleeves will help to make your arms look shorter.

Regardless of your body shape, look for double cuffed blouses that you can create a slight boho chic look by wearing the cuff extended.

Sleeves that are just a bit too short can be pushed up to give a ¾ length appearance (versus finishing just shy of your wrists). Add chunky bracelets and a wide strapped watch to create balance.

 

Black Jersey Maxi Dress3. Hemlines

You will look great in mid-calf length skirts and dresses. This length is really difficult to pull off unless you are a taller woman. This is because it creates a horizontal line just where you don’t need it at the widest part of your calves.

Maxi dresses will look amazing. If you are very tall just check that the length is long enough! A fitted maxi dress with a split for a party will just make your legs look endless!

If the style is quite loose then consider making a waist if you are a slender frame. If you have a tall pear shape body then consider styles that skim your hips and drawn attention to your top half. Strapless or spaghetti straps are great.

You will also look great in skirts that finish just above the knee and for those with slender legs then you can opt for mini skirts.

4. Heels

Do not feel you are consigned to a life in flats if they don’t appeal!taller woman can wear heels

Like most style tips that I give, it’s about your own confidence levels and not about what you ‘should’ do.   If you feel good and want to wear heels then go ahead.

I’m forever giving women tips on how to make their legs look longer. I normally advise avoiding shoes with chunky ankle straps and details. These make the wearer look shorter as they create horizontal lines.   Guess who will look absolutely fantastic in chunky ankle straps?

I would however look at more rounded toes and styles – avoiding pointy toe styles, as these will make your feet look longer. If you have very slender legs beware of footwear that’s too chunky as it will have a ‘Minnie Mouse’ effect.

You will also look fantastic in over the knee boots with those lovely long legs.

5. Accessories

Belts – As a taller woman you will look fantastic in belts.handbag

They will create a horizontal line and add definition to your waist. If you choose contrasting colours this will create even more of a horizontal line.

Remember that every horizontal line will add width and reduce height to the eye.

Bags – large day bags are yours to wear and hold! Just a note of caution that any bag styles that are too chunky may still overwhelm you if you are very slender. So consider this when you are choosing handbags.

Large jewellery will look great on you, but again I will just say that if you are extremely slender be careful that the styles you pick are in proportion.

Choker necklaces look amazing on tall women as you have the height to really show off the look. If you are a pear shaped body then even better as you’re drawing the eye upwards.

Learn to love your height and not feel it’s a hindrance. I can guarantee that most women under 5’ 7” would love to be taller!

 

Shopping Suggestions If You Are A Taller Woman

Long Tall Sally – ‘At Long Tall Sally we don’t just sell clothes for tall women. We champion tall women.’ Since 1976 LTS has been specializing in sourcing clothing and footwear brands for tall women.

Legs For Days – only supplying fashion to long tall girls!

6 Foot Fashion – launched by Kelly Scott as a one stop shop for clothes and accessories for taller women.

Several High Street brands also offer a ‘tall range’ but their ranges are not as wide nor do they cater for the really taller woman as the specialist retailers I have listed.