Our wardrobe is no hiding place for dull cardigans and leggings - how can that be any fun? Skinnies are all skinny in the same way but for the rest of us our curviness is varied. This can make shopping very hard.
My own shape is big in the middle so tunic lines are good for me and I have to have my trousers altered so they fit at the waist. Then there are women who have a full bust but the small waist means they have the real hourglass figure. Small on top but heavy on the thigh, that is a different challenge. The real truth is many of us find it difficult to find the perfect fit.
August is a good time to assess our shape and think about what we need for the new season. The good news is there are lots more options for curvier women than there ever have been. At Winser London many of the wonderful pieces have a modicum of stretch and are sold in realistic sizes.
Here are a few thoughts to keep with us while we have fun shopping for Autumn.
1. The first rule is there are no rules. There is nothing worse than dreading the idea of shopping. We should wake up and feel excited about what we are going to wear and have fun with it.
So don’t let’s get boxed in, we should never be afraid to try new styles.
2. Start with the right foundation. Choose seamless lingerie in a colour that matches your skin tone. It’s not always the sexiest thing but it really helps the silhouette of the clothes. I advise keeping the line of undies super streamlined and simple underneath clothes.
3. The belt is not the only slimming tool. A cinched belt is fine for the small of waist but it is a bit of a cliché and usually complicates a look. It’s worth thinking about your best body parts to accentuate. Narrow ankles, wear skirts and cropped trousers. Pretty back or décolleté, show it off. Our wrists are our slimmest asset, so however nice the garment you are planning to buy is, if it doesn’t show off your favoured parts give it a miss.
4. Don’t buy things too small clothes that skim are better than those that cling.
5. Plain is better than print. Wearing print is popular but consider choosing plain colours. Front draping is very flattering. On fat tummy days trick the eye and wear a long scarf - plain bright colours, fine cashmeres, velvets and ethnic silks.
6. Proportion is the key. The silk blouse, cashmere sweater or tunic must be the right proportion with the trouser or skirt. Ditto jackets. A good blazer is my secret weapon. It’s important to remember the power of good alterations because raising a hemline on a dress or trouser, moving a button an inch, or trimming a cuff can make all the difference.
Style Agenda by Vanessa de Lisle - www.thefashioncupboard.com