Wedding Outfits For All Body Shapes: Athletic

And so for the final post for this section I am going to write about the athletic shape, or slim as it is often referred to as. Many people, stylists included, think this is the easiest shape to dress because it is what designers work with and so clothes are possibly more readily available in that way. However, I would still say that, as a stylist, I find certain styles of clothes work better than others for a slimmer figure.

With there being so many types of occasion wear out there, you could be fooled in to thinking it’s easy peasy for this one. But think carefully when choosing. Athletic body shapes are straight up and down, with little bust or hips, so the key trick here is to create curves and accentuate the slight waist you have.

Top:

  • Strapless tops and criss-cross styles all work well for you as you have the arms and shoulders to pull it off.
  • Prints, when they are small are good at creating texture and giving the illusion of curves. Add to this any pleating, ruching, fluted sleeves and detailing and curves can be created easily. Fabrics like chiffon work really well on athletic shapes as they fall gracefully, as does anything cut on the bias
  • I always like to keep outfits tailored for athletic shapes as their frames are small. Adding belts to these outfits will also help this to happen and create a waist which will make more curves.

Bottom:

  • Maxi dresses will look amazing on you – as long as they are well fitted at the waist.
  • A-line and full circle skirts and dresses look fabulous on this figure too and at the moment there are some really pretty styles out there!
  • Peplums  are going to be around for A/W12, be it on skirts, dresses or as a belt. The tulip shape is also still going strong. These will accentuate your hips, making you look curvier. Result!

    Dark Orange Polka Dot Dress, Dorothy Perkins, £45

    Pink Ballet Silk Ciffon Dress, Jigsaw, £235

Long Bustier Dress by Richard Nicol, Topshop, £300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so it is fair to say that the athletic figure can wear the majority of styles more easily than perhaps other shapes can, but it is still important to create the illusion of curves. As a lot of clothes – both designer and high street – look great on you, try them out. You can go for the more daring styles that other shapes need to be wary of.
All in all, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first section and that it had shed some light on various body shapes and the styles that suit them. Why not have a think about how body shapes relate to other style occasions – swimwear, for example.
Please leave your comments and opinions and there will be another post soon!

x

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Wedding Outfits For All Body Shapes – Petite

The main features of a petite body shape are that you’re 5’4″ or under, will have broad shoulders and short legs, and are naturally toned. With this in mind your main aim here when looking for your wedding outfit is to create length and curves, while keeping your body in proportion.

Most clients that I meet who are petite want to create an illusion of looking taller and slimmer and usually have pear, apple or hourglass tendencies. So once you know your body shape, you can follow the dress codes for that shape and combine that of a petite shape, to get the best result.

The majority of shops on the high street have a petite section in them, usually with well tailored items for different petite shapes. Otherwise you can also look for items that can be altered, but make sure the proportions are right on you first before you get it altered.

My aim with petite clients is to keep the eye moving from top to bottom and create fluid lines, so as not to cut their figure in half. I always keep in mind four basic basic rules when shopping for anyone, but especially for petite clients:

  1. Proportion
  2. Line
  3. Colour
  4. Texture

Here are the best ways, I find, to achieve that:

Top:

  • Having the same colour on the top and bottom is possibly the easiest way to create length and proportion, while still giving you a great shape.
  • To give a petite frame even more shape and proportion, go for a dress that is detailed just under the bust, with ruching or an empire line.
  • If adding a cardigan or jacket to the outfit, make sure it does not fall below the hips and is well tailored. More definition at the waist is going to create more fluid lines and shape. Three-quarter length sleeves are also great for petite  shapes as they help lengthen the arm.
  • Layering is also a great trick for petites to use to create curves in their body, while keeping the line of their body clear. Sheer fabrics, like lace and chiffon are great for this, as are wrap over tops, so a shrug or pashmina can also be added to the outfit. Try to stay away from fabrics that are too stiff and this will just make you look boxy.

Bottom:

  • The best length for a dress or skirt is mini or just above the knee, as petite women have shorter legs, so it is really important to get the right length of hemline. If I have a client who wants to wear something floor-length, I make sure that is has a slit at the front, as this will draw the eye upwards, creating the length we need, or that it uses a sheer fabric on the bottom half so that the legs are still visible.
  • With shoes, a heel in a neutral colour or a peep toe really help to create length. Also, a heel that is the same colour as the outfit will lengthen the leg and help with the lines we are trying to create.

Here are some styles I think would look great on you:

Peach silk beaded vintage dress, Minuet Petite, £160

 

 

Petite Print Shift Dress, Dorothy Perkins, £39.50

 

 

 

 

 

Petites Flock Burnout Maxi, Miss Selfridge, £45

 

 

 

 

For petite shapes, darker colours are often more suited to because they have that slimming effect and make them look taller. They are also very easy to dress up and can look timeless and very chic. However, not everyone wants to wear dark colours to a wedding, so go for colour – just try to stick to one and not too big a pattern as it can swamp your frame!

Happy shopping 🙂

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Wedding Outfits For All Body Shapes – Hourglass

The hourglass figure, aka Christina Hendricks, has AMAZING curves that have to be shown off. Called an hourglass because your bust and thighs are wider than your waist, it is once again all about creating balance with your outfits. As a stylist, it can be great dressing an hourglass figure, finding nice pencil skirts and shift dresses amongst many other styles, but it can also be a real challenge. Many hourglass shapes have a larger bust and so, while the key thing to remember when dressing for this shape is getting well tailored and fitting outfits, it can be hard finding outfits that will accommodate those assets! Look for dresses that lift your boobs and elongate your waist.

So, for great wedding outfits that will wow everyone (without upstaging the bride!) there are some rules that I like to follow:

Top:

  • As with all body shapes, and like I mentioned with the apple shape, one of my first ports of call when working with someone new is getting some great underwear. I usually recommend going for a supportive bra that gives a bit of lift and with thicker straps.
  • Wrap around dresses and ones with cinched in waists are great for your shape as they show off your naturally slim waist. For extra definition, go for belts – but only thin belts. As an hourglass, your waist will be naturally short, so going for anything too wide will throw your figure off balance.
  • I also look for thin weight, semi-firm, matt fabrics when shopping  for hourglass clients, and so for wedding outfits make sure you go for something  that isn’t too bulky and this will not lend support in the way you need it or show off your killer curves! Fabrics with a bit of stretch in them are great for you too as they will be comfortable and supportive. You could also consider going for monochrome colours and muted tones as this will make you look really well proportioned. Though, for a wedding you might not want to do this – although black is acceptable for many weddings. Luckily hourglass figures can wear colours and mid-sized patterns really well as long as they’re not over the top.
  • A neckline with a V is the most flattering for you as they draw the eye down while slimming your chest. Going for anything with too high a neck will make you look top heavy. Keep the V deep enough to create the effect but not so low that your boobs are out – we don’t want the wrong kind of attention! If you do choose something that is more revealing than you’re comfortable with, simply put a camisole underneath in a varying shade or contrasting colour.
  • Another great style for you is a dress with a small draped sleeve. This will cover the top of your arms, which is usually slightly heavier than the rest, and will provide you with a bit more shape across your shoulders. Good sleeve styles for you are fluted, three-quarter and puffed sleeves, but avoid bat-wing styles as these will add bulk and make your chest look bigger.

Bottom:

  • For the bottom half, go for a dress (or skirt) that is straight and to the knee as this will show off the great curve from your hip to your knee.
  • If you decide to go for a skirt and top outfit, make sure they are both well tailored and in proportion. So, if the skirt is a fitted pencil skirt, make sure the top doesn’t have too much detail as this will make you look top heavy, which we don’t want!
  • Maxi dresses would also look fabulous on you – just keep them cinched in at the waist.

Some styles that will look great on you:

Modal Long Lace Vest, Jigsaw, £24.

Poppy Ruched Dress, Kaliko, £95

Invitation Vanessa Maxi Dress, Hobbs, £119

Sophia Dress, Reiss, £125

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Wedding Outfits For All Body Shapes – Apple

Firstly, apologies for not writing another post in over three weeks! It’s been a bit manic with work lately but I am ready to continue with wedding outfits, as there seems to be enough weddings going on this summer!

Apple shapes are bigger on top, carrying their weight on their tummy and bust, with slim legs and arms. As a stylist, I therefore look to accentuate your legs and balance out your body shape as a whole. The best way of doing this is by combining plain fabrics with prints or textures as this breaks up the silhouette. Our main aim here, as with pear shapes, is to create balance throughout your figure. You want your wedding outfit to emphasise your ‘best bits’.

Top:

  • One must for an apple shape (as with any body shape, really) is to get well-fitted bras that slim and define your shape. All too often we wear the wrong size and style of bra and this can not only lead to health problems but also ruin an outfit.
  • To show off your arms go for something with no sleeve and detailing around the shoulder or a capped sleeve to show off your arms.
  •  Another part to be accentuated is your bust, so look for styles that have small gathers on the top or a v-neck. Another great style for a dress is the classic empire line, as this will disguise any areas you want to hide.
  • Give shape to your waist, with cinched in tops, jackets nipped in at the waist and wrap style dresses.

Bottom:

  • To show off your great legs, shorter length dresses will work well for you here when they have a small flare or ruffle as this will create proportion throughout the body.
  • If you opt for a skirt and top, make sure you go for a skirt that fastens at the side and is flat fronted. Anything with pockets or detail at the front is going to take away form the balance and flowing proportion we are trying to create.
  • If you do want to go for something that has detail at the front, make sure it starts below the stomach.

Some styles that will look great on you:

Blue Paisley Print Dress, Dorothy Perkins, £39.50

 

Corin Dress, L.K.Bennett, £225

 

Bambury Print Dress, Monsoon, £65

 

 

 

As per, let me know your thoughts and opinions on these and what you’d wear them with. Any questions, please ask!

x

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Wedding Outfits For All Body Shapes – Pear

Being a pear shape means that your hips and thighs are the largest part of you, followed by your bust and then your waist. Your shoulders, in comparison with your hips, are usually narrower.

With this in mind, you benefit from wearing well tailored and proportioned clothes and work on balancing your shoulders and hips. As a stylist, my aim is to draw the eye up and elongate your legs.

Certain styles of dress are going to work better than others for this to be achieved, so it is worth taking note of these style rules for when you are shopping for your outfit. The key word for pear shapes is always balance – as long as you’re balancing your shoulders and your hips, you will find it easier to get styles that work for you.

Top:

  •  Wear shallow v-necks – this will balance out your shoulders and give shape to your bust. Detailing on the top is also great as it gives an illusion of fullness to your torso. This means, ruching, beading and excess fabric are winners here, which can be great for wedding outfits as there is usually some element of ‘fancy’ in it. Dresses with waist ties also work really well as they give you shape.
  • Another brilliant thing pear shapes (and few others) can wear is a strappy, strapless or halter dress, because of your naturally toned arms. This is always great for occasion wear, especially with prom-style/ 50s dresses, so if you’re comfortable showing your arms – go for it!
  • With weddings, cropped jackets, cardigans and shrugs are often an essential item, just in case it’s chilly or to finish the outfit. They are also one piece that works brilliantly for pear shapes as they show off your naturally slim waist and broaden your shoulders.
  • One of the best places to get shrugs is Monsoon: http://www.monsoon.co.uk/tops/shrugs/icat/bolerosandshrugs/&bklist=icat,5,shop,women,womenknitwear,bolerosandshrugs

Bottom:

  • Flared skirts work best for your shape as they help to define your waist and balance your hips and shoulders, so go for an A-line or full skirt with your dress.
  • Asymmetrical cuts also work well for pear shapes as do longer A-line shapes – think maxis for the summer!
  • Straight cuts can also work well, as long as they are in a darker colour to the top part of the outfit as they minimise the width of your hips but lengthen  your legs.
  • Aim for styles that finish on or below the knee, otherwise the eye is drawn towards the hips.
  • Avoid tulip shape dresses – they will just draw more attention to your hips and make your shoulders look narrower. Trust me, I have tried on enough to know!

Some styles that will look great on you:

http://www.hm.com/gb/product/98780?article=98780-A

Patterned Dress £14.99 H&M

http://www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0212-5432-3677L00&productvarid=0212-5432-3677L00-NAVY%20IVORY-16&refpage=dresses/occasion-dresses

Bridget Dress £229.00 Hobbs

http://www.frenchconnection.com/product/Woman+Collections+Dresses/71PV6/Planet+Lace+Dress.htm

 

 

The great thing about being a pear shape is that you can wear all the tops that other shapes can’t wear as easily, like strapless and strappy styles. And, you can wear tops with detail and so can even make this the statement part of the outfit, instead of your bag or shoes.

Let me know your thoughts and ideas about dressing for a pear shape – these are only some ideas. What works for you?

x

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Wedding Outfits for all Body Shapes.

As discussed in the previous post, it is safe to say that unless you are an immediate part of a wedding, shopping for an outfit is a nightmare. So, I thought, as a stylist, it would be a good idea to put together a brief collection of which types of outfit will suit which type of body shape. I want to make it so that there are both dressy and casual ideas as it is such a broad occasion to dress for, and outfits that are within a reasonable budget for the majority (i.e High Street). Each post will focus on one body shape and the outfits I feel would flatter your figure and show off your best features.

Don’t panic though if you think you do not fall perfectly in to one of these body shapes – everyone is different. This, for me, is where the real beauty of fashion comes in. Yes, there is a problem with the industry putting too much emphasis on waifs but the High Street does have a variety of styles once you know what your body shape is an how to dress it. I am not an exact pear shape, but I know that if I use it as a guideline when shopping, I will find something that suits me and then I can start to look at slightly different shapes and styles and see if they work too.

The Main Body Shapes:

Pear

Apple

(it’s not all fruit I promise)

Hourglass

Petite

Slim Athletic

Remember these are the main types but not all – everyone is different so use these briefs as ideas only not religiously and make sure you feel comfortable and confident in what you wear.

Enjoy!

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Weddings.

I had been invited to a close friend’s wedding a few months ago and so immediately starting planning what I was going to wear.

As I don’t attend that many weddings, I wanted something new so the search began.

Now, where I work, we stock occasion wear but it isn’t really my style and slightly too formal for what I wanted – it was only to be a small wedding after all. This got me to thinking that there are so many ways one could dress for a wedding, especially if you are a guest! I then remembered that this was the exact problem I’d had with 2 previous weddings. Everyone comes in something different and it’s only if you are part of the wedding or Mother of the Bride that there is a certain dress code, and even that is changing now. Black is even considered perfectly acceptable to wear. There really is such a wide scope, you can pretty much wear ANYTHING.

Also, as like so many others, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to wear. And like so many others, I was never going to find it. So, instead I started to look around and really thinking about the colours and shapes that would suit my complexion and figure. I am fair skinned with red hair, so unfortunately for me that excludes almost every colour that is ‘in’ at the moment – a common occurrence for the ‘English Rose’. I am also a slight pear shape, meaning my hips are bigger than my bust and so certain shapes – like bodycon – would do nothing for me.

Here, I should also add here that I was on a budget so, many of the lovely shops like Jigsaw, Hobbs, Whistles etc. were out of the equation, meaning I was even more limited. In addition to this, which I’m sure everyone can relate to, I wanted something I was going to be comfortable in and wear again. These are, after all, ‘tough times’, and so one wants to get more than a days wear out of a dress.

I had a red clutch bag that had been in my wardrobe for a good two years and not been used so I was adamant that I would be taking this, therefore basing the outfit around said bag.  This is not actually a bad idea, as not only is it one less thing to worry about buying,  it also gives you something to focus on in terms of colours.

I therefore spent many hours in the run up to the wedding scouring the internet and the shops – finding nothing. It wasn’t until I was with a friend of mine that she made me From http://www.hm.com/gb/product/98604?article=98604-C#article=98604-B - I do not own this content.try on a fitted shift dress from H&M (that’s right, sometimes us stylists like to have help and extra opinions too!) that I found something I could wear.

It is a great shape for me – a navy blue pencil skirt on the bottom of the dress, in a heavier fabric, with a white (with small blue spots) chiffon-style, loose-fitting sleeveless top on the upper half. This for pear shapes is great as draws the eyes up to the detail of the top and gives the illusion that your top half is bigger, while the darker colour on the bottom draws attention away from your hips. And, it was only £29.99 – perfectly within budget. I already had some shoes that happened to be the exact same colour combination. What’s more, I felt completely comfortable in it and would wear it again!

The wedding was lovely and, as predicted, everyone was wearing something completely different and that suited their personality.

In my next post, I will continue with this theme, and look at what styles of ‘wedding outfit’ will suit different shapes and complexions. With summer on it’s way, weddings happen almost daily and sometimes we all need a bit of guidance, be it from friends or stylists – or both! The key is to stay focused and open to all sorts of styles as some things look very different off the hanger.

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