Supposedly it’ summer and it certainly looks like it in the shops even if it doesn't always feel like it . Wafty chiffon tops, linen baggy sweaters, bold jungle prints, bold bright prints – I have a feeling some of you are exhausted and maybe just a tidgy, widgy bit disappointed by it? If you’re not and you’re zooming round the shops in a blaze of excitement, read no more – go SHOP!
If, on the other hand shopping has been a real let down then I have some suggestions based on shopping trips with real live clients recently and a top tip that might just make a difference as you face yourself in the changing room mirror.
· There’s a lot of wide, seemingly androgynous stuff around at the moment -street style. Think Alexa Cheung and Kate Moss. If your silhouette requires that you give yourself a little bit of a waist without your hips looking like they have gone up a size pick carefully. The peasant style neckline can help by taking eyes wide at the shoulders and if the material drapes nicely it will fall in at the waist and gather in a flattering way round the tummy – much nicer than clingy t- shirts! - Beware the fact that cap sleeves can widen the top of your arm though - go longer or sleeveless.
if you're more of a straight shape, you will feel and look better in something a little more structured - choose your top carefully so you don't drown in it. You may find that it looks better if it's a bit shorter too - especially if you are long waisted. You're likely to be able to carry off something more voluminous with skinny jeans beautifully without worrying about what your rear end looks like too much
Peasant blouses are particularly good for the romantic style personality and some naturals will like the simpler styles too. Check where the bottom of the garment ends – if it ends on your widest part it’s going to make it look chunky. End it either above or below the widest part – and if you are short waisted the top needs to come down so your top half looks longer. We found peasant style blouses at Wallis earlier in the season. Topshop have them too and on line Marisota, Asos and Shopstyle UK will throw up a variety. Massimodutti – on the high street and online is also worth a look. Another favourite this summer has been Poetry and Wrap – both online, very natural, a touch of the romantic – and the natural/ classic and at times a hint of drama.
· If your style personality is classic and you've been used to wearing wrap tops, you may be finding the wider styles challenging. Typically the classic type doesn’t easily do change and trends and will be most in a spin about this. I have shopped with two classic ladies recently who couldn't get their heads around not having wrap styles at all to begin with but gradually a top tip made all the difference – take a long pendant which you like with you and when you try on tops, try the pendant with it. It takes the eye in and down and is immediately more flattering. – The length of your pendant depends on your individual proportions – raise it up and down on your neck to determine yours.
· If you are on the romantic/dramatic end of the style personality spectrum, Mint Velvet and Halhuber (House of Fraser) have some pretty and original styles. Phase Eight have some good cuts for curvy ladies which are worth a look. You classic ladies - try Jigsaw – online or in store though you’ll find more selection on line and Wall.com.
· I may be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here but one final tip – unless you’re tall and dramatic the rule is that if the top half is loose, the bottom half needs to be a slimmer fit. Some of you slimmer curvies will get away with Phase Eight’s jegging and slim line trousers, true curvies head over to Jigsaw for their Bi-stretch jeans or NYDY where you go down a size! – And please… get over the price. You have to pay those people who've worked out how to give you quality of fit for your curves!
Staying contemporary requires adapting – something Charles Darwin said about the species that survives is the one which adapts most readily to change…? Whatever… you have to go with a mind willing to be open to possibilities. A friend who ‘gets’ your style personality helps too and an understanding that you have to ignore the sales assistant who sees everything looking nice on ‘madam’ and the friend who likes a particular style but doesn’t get yours. And of course the ultimate is too have someone who’s worked to understand your style and shape and you take shopping with you! - My prices are reduced by almost 15% during the summer and you can call for a no obligation chat to see how we can work things to suit your budget.