Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Super Swimwear

Greetings to all and a very happy new year. I hope you have all had a great break and managed to stay DRY! Goodness me! Who would have thought the summer in our wonderful city of Wellington could have been quite so nasty?

But its not over yet and there are plenty of day and hopefully sunshine to go. Therefore I am going to stay positive and still post about swimwear - even if we haven't managed too much outdoor swimming.

As always a logical approach is needed when buying swimwear. You need to break your body down into two sections - upper and lower. The considerations you need to take into account are as follows:

UPPER - what is the size of your chest? if its above a cup size C, you need to have medium to large sized straps, a plunging neckline in V or round and great support. A block colour may also slim down this area as will great panelling if you are opting for a one-piece. How is your tummy looking? (loaded question I know considering so many of us have had kids!) but if its an area you want to hide, then opt for that one-piece, and try and find rouching on the side of the costume. Pattern is your FRIEND when your tummy is bigger so go for a medium sized pattern.
Those that have a smaller upper body and chest size need to go with a higher neckline or a padded bikini or suit. There seem to be a lot of them around at the moment (yay!)

LOWER - if you have larger thighs than your upper body then go for the 'boy shorts' rather than a higher cut pant. This is much more flattering. Boy shorts are also quite good at being a little higher on the tummy if you are going for a bikini. Those that don't have thighs should do the opposite and wear a higher cut bottom.

Use pattern to your advantage. For instance a smaller chested woman can wear a patterned upper 'tankini' and a block coloured pair of boy shorts if she also has some curves below. The opposite being a larger chest woman having a block top and if she is smaller below than above, then a patterned or floral pair of bottoms would be idea.

There are many great swim-wear shapes out there suited to ALL body shapes. So just step back, assess your body, break it into sections and deal with each section rather than trying to look at the whole body in despair and thinking nothing suits you. It does!

Happy swimming! Happy holidays!
Trudi www.wardrobeflair.com

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretty Party Frocks

Great word isn't it. Frocks. And, contrary to what a lot of people think, dresses are just SO low maintenance. No matching needed. All in one. Easy peezey I say, but most of you would disagree and say it's a nightmare to find the right one.

However I am here to help you with a few rules when perusing those racks of shiny, shimmering numbers.

Here we go, pretty frocks rule 101.

If strapless, then wide straps - you can always put a bolero or tie cardigan over them so don't be afraid of buying them.
A nice fitted band under the chest. This nips your waist in, even if you don't have much of one. It does the same job of creating an hourglass figure. Out with chest, in with waist and out again with hips.
Generosity around the tummy. It might be a fold, a bit of rouching. Anything that skims the tummy is great.
Gradual A-line skirt that falls to just below the knee. Covers hips, balances out larger boobs.
If stuck on colours, silver for cool tones, gold or bronze for warmies.

Favourite shops for dresses. At the moment there are a few. I particularily like Jacqui E dresses. Well-cut, good shapes, always usually have a good amount with the above critera.

If the dress is plain, then bling it up with a great, chucky necklace - see www.wardrobeflair.com if you have problems with this. Colour shoes are also a great way of giving an outfit a boost.

Patterned dresses, keep the accessories simple.

Most of all, enjoy wearing it! Stay away from boring black. Choose colour. Accessorise. Feel comfortable but stylish in your dress.

Happy and safe festive season everyone. www.wardrobeflair.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Warm tones can't find clothes

Just a quick note to all those Warm tones.

Can't find any clothes? I just wanted to say, it's not you, have haven't suddenly lost your knack for scanning and finding warm tones. There just ISN'T ANY!

It is pretty dire. Take heart, the new season stuff should filter down into the shops in the next few weeks and maybe, just maybe, it will have some warm tones.

If not, its operation Savemart, Salvation Army and Trademe. When the seasons are not kind to a particular palette, it just means we have to find other ways of sourcing our clothes.

Good luck warmies! Fingers crossed we shall get some new season clothes soon. Cool tones, enjoy your moment. The shops are FLOODED with colour for you.

Always plenty of new stock jewellery for both warm and cool tones online at www.wardrobeflair.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Green - great or gross?

I know these seems like a bizarre post. About a colour? But over the many years of looking through people's wardrobes and hearing reactions to certain colours and shapes, what stands out is that SO MANY people have a real dislike/hatred/phobia towards the colour green.

I can almost guarantee you that at some stage this week, I shall drape a green cloth over someone and they will say 'oh yuck green, I never wear green, I just really don't like that colour."

Why is this? If I ever went back to school to study, I would do a thesis on why people dislike the colour green. What most people don't realise about colour is that there is a warm and cool counterpart. If you drape a cool tone in a warm khaki green they stick their tongue out and pull a face. They should! It looks awful. HOWEVER if we drape them in a bright, clear green, it looks amazing.

Here are 2 of my rather silly theories about why people don't wear green.
1. Too many of us had green uniforms for school. It put us off. We had to wear it for so many years we had a lifetimes worth of green.
2. NZ is a very green country. Maybe we don't want to blend into the bushes? (I know this is getting silly... but there has GOT to be a reason!)

If anyone else has any other theories as to why people dislike green, send them to me. I am strangely interested in the weirdness of this! I almost feel like I have to get to the bottom of it. The people who say they don't like green often can't tell me why. But then they see the RIGHT green on and can SEE it look great, but they still struggle with it. Its like its ingrained in them that they can't wear it? Strange but true.

Me, I LOVE green. The reason is that I have hazel/green eyes. When I wear green it makes them look greener. I also LOVE green on people with blue eyes. I believe it even looks better than blue on blue-eyed people. Its the contrast of the blue eyes on green near the face. Looks sensational.

So people of NZ. Wear more green!!! there is the right green for you out there. You won't blend into the forest - unless you are in camouflage gear and NEED to blend in.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Banish those bingo wings

Have you ever been waving friends off from the driveway and while you stop waving, your upper arms continue on? Hmmmm. Many of us have. It was never a surprise to me after nearly five years of talking to people about their body shape, that one of the most disliked part of the body is the upper arms.

So many women would not even look at a sleeveless top. To them, its just not an option. That saddened me as there are so many lovely sleeveless tops and dresses out there. Step forth the humble tie cardigan.

In particular a nice little three-quarter sleeve version, with the right length - please do not pull your tie cardigan tight up under your chest..... it ends up cupping your boobs and becoming too much of a focus. The tie needs to knot at the middle of your tummy, and not have TOO much material. Get it right and the tie actually distracts the eye over any fuller tummies. Get it wrong and it adds the dreaded bulk we talk so much about not added to areas that don't need it.

Around this time of year there are a few options around in the shops. But do be aware of the above rules. Some will fall down in these areas. If you are unable to find a great tie cardigan (everyone needs at LEAST one in their wardrobe) then check out my site www.wardrobeflair.com I searched long and hard to find these tie cardigans.

Firstly they are one size fits all. I have size 6 clients and size 20 clients easily fit them. They have three-quarter sleeves and come down to a good length, without too much material. One of the reasons I love these so much - yes my darling husband I DO need 5 in my wardrobe - is because they are fitted at the waist. They just cling in the right places. Always giving you that all important indentation.

If you were buying one in the shops, go for that easy base colour that will go with all your other colours. Grey or dark blue for cool tones and brown or khaki for the warmies. If you need more than one, then a base colour plus a vibrant colour would be ideal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My bum looks brilliant in this

Karen Nimmo's psychology for weight loss is very much in synch with what my psychology would be on how people dress themselves - if I was a psychologist! I do not profess to being one, but I do get to see the inner workings of many people's minds in relation to their perception of their body image.

Written in a logical and somewhat light-hearted way, Karen challenges you to look at the big picture, or "the whole package". I completely agree and often find myself telling people the same thing regarding their body shape and colouring.

Part of my business is about giving people the tools to understand their shape and balance out different parts of their body. Ideally people's eyes glide over someone and see a great outfit that fits their body shape and excellent colour making them sparkle with confidence.

The reality is the people you meet are not stopping for a whole 10 minutes to stare at your bum/hips/stomach. They give you a staggering 3-5 seconds during which time they have scanned 'the whole package' and have an impression of you.

Karen's message is clear that if you focus your energy on your full potential of being a happy, fun, interesting person, the weight loss can become an added bonus. We all need to try to be the best we can be, and use tools to look the best we can look. Both will give you confidence that in my experience - as in Karen's - has a wonderful snowball effect on the rest of your life.

Great book Karen!

Monday, November 9, 2009

FIN Clothing moving

Just a little update about FIN Clothing - a great NZ company whose trousers and skirts have excellent cuts.

"Hi Trudi, went into FIN in Lower Hutt on Saturday (on your recommendation) and bought a great skirt - I'm not sure if you knew they are moving to Newtown. Just thought I'd let you know in case you weren't aware."

FIN also have a store on Cuba Mall as well. Its great to support NZ fashion. I have a FIN denim skirt and pair of trousers that I love.

Thanks to my client who sent me the update. I am always wanting to hear about clothing stores or items that you have found or like.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wardrobe Flair clients receive latest newsletter

Isn't it lovely when spring is in the air? Especially when you head into the shops with SO many beautiful colours!

This season is very much about pretty, feminine, floaty, floral and frills. Lots of Fs! Most of these styles can be adapted to suit most bodies, you just need to know what you are looking for and WHY it suits your shape.

Those dreaded three-quarter and five eighths trousers everywhere. Be careful of those lengths!! Those under 5ft 5 or 160cm need to adhere to the rule of keeping those three-quarter pants at just below the knee. If they fit well up around the waist and bum, then just have them shortened. Trust me, it makes all the difference to get that length right!

There are lots of long, hanging cardigans around at the moment. Beware the 'lost waist'. Remember that when that best part is gone, you will look bigger. So if you can (because you are taller) wear the longer cardigan, then make sure it clings nicely to your form showing your waist. Otherwise there are lots of other cardigan options. One I really like is the bolero. This suits pretty much most people and because of its cut (its the cardigan that covers your arms but then cuts away just under the armpit). This allows for all the lovely beading and intricate details of necklines to be shown and not hidden by other types of cardigan. The good old tie cardigan is also a fab option - if you can't find one in the shops, check out www.wardrobeflair.com as all our accessories are now online!

Over dresses and tunics are HUGE this season. Many are very billowy, so make sure you get that nice wide belt and clinch that waist in. Also make sure the line of the tunic does not cut straight across the widest part of your thighs.

Finally, the maxi dress continues on again this season. There are so really pretty ones around and its all about assessing them individually. The straps, the neckline, the pattern. Do they fit your body size?.www.wardrobeflair.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To whom it may concern

Dear person who decides what colours will be in this season.

On behalf of all the cool-toned people out there, I would like to thank you for this seasons colours. In particular the luscious lemons and apple greens. Added to those are some bright pinks, soft greys and bold blues. It lovely to walk into shops and see the plethora of colours, and even more so to see people wearing them!

However I must have a word with you about us 'warmies'. Yes the cappuccino browns around are very pretty, and the small bursts of burnt orange are always welcome. But what has become of the gold and mustards, the flood of cerise limey green that the fashion pundits have been saying will be coming? Where are they?

As are warmie myself and having had to use words to describe our colours to my fellow warm-tones such as 'dusky, sludgy, muddy and murky' I think it only fair that you deliver some bright, sparkling warm tones to this seasons palette.

Thank you for your kind considering and please feel free to flood the shops with these said colours. I look forward to seeing both warm and cool-tones fully decked out in an awesome array of summer colours.

Yours faithfully
Trudi Bennett.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Frolicking Frills

The shops are awash with frills. On shoulders, down dresses, on skirts. Horizontal, vertical, cascading. You name it, frills are flowing. So who can wear this pretty, feminine symbol? Luckily most people, but in varying different ways.

If you have a good set of shoulders on you, steer clear of any frills off the shoulder-line. No need to add bulk to an area that already is wide enough. Therefore think about the diagonal frill across the chest (but only if you don't have huge boobs as well....) OR even better, a nice vertical frill down the skirt or at its outer edge.

Those who are not well-endowed, think about using those frills to your advantage. Frills down the chest add that little 'extra' that is really flattering. It essentially hides the fact you don't have much in the chest department.

Those who consider their hips a focal point and have smallish shoulders, consider doing the opposite of our broader shoulder friend and widen this area with pretty frills.

Life is about balance. Dressing for your shape is about balance too. Fashion phases come and go and its handy to know how to use each different aspect to best suit YOUR OWN shape.www.wardrobeflair.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

STOP! no really I mean STOP! - Hammer time

You may be aware that the 80s are back. What mystifies me about fashion is not that an era's fashion sense returns, more that what was pretty awful back then is revived again! Seriously, we checked out those low-crotched hammer pants back then and they were ugly. Guess what? They are STILL ugly!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE fashion. I just happen to have that logical and practical eye that sees the shapes and designs on REAL bodies. Hmmm.... Who suits the Hammer/Harem/Carrot top pants this season??? wait for it..... NOBODY!

If you are a stick thin model and you wear Harem trousers, you are likely to look like a stick thin model with great big thighs. If you have thighs, you are going to look like someone with BIGGER thighs. Obviously some versions are not quite as extreme as others. If you must, then at least choose that tamer option and make sure you balance out the upper half of your body.

I have also seen a huge comeback with the Cargo trouser. The shops are loaded with them. Men and women's versions. Cargo pants can look great, but women who have those aforementioned thighs, beware of stitching AND where those pockets sit. On the side of the largest part of your thighs is again not a good look. Pockets that are at the front of your trousers do not need to draw attention to these areas either.

If YOUR eyes are drawn to your thighs, so will everyone else's! So trust your instinct. If you FEEL 'hippy', its not right for you. If you feel great, and take the time to scrutinise yourself well, then you will enjoy them. I am all for finding alternatives to wonderful - but overused - jeans.www.wardrobeflair.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The September Issue

If you haven't been to see this facinating documentary about the trials and tribulations of getting American Vogues biggeset issue of the year out, you should. There are no surprises with Anna Wintour - she is the ice-maiden and we learn her father's father was Victorian which may go a way to explaining this 'coolness' During the movie she says of her grandfather's realionship to her father 'I don't think he ever actually spoke to him'.

I thought Anna had very expressive but sad eyes, which is why I think she always wears sunglasses. If the women is bored my word do you KNOW about it just from a look. She doesn't suffer fools gladly and can make a decision in a split second. She does however melt once during the filming and that is when she is with her daughter. It is lovely to see.

As all the reviewers are saying, and rightly so, the spotlight does however fall on Anna's sidekick Grace Coddington. She of the sacky clothes, frizzy triange red hair and stomping clunky granny shoes. Once a gorgeous model, now a creative genius, the relationship between her and Anna is interesting and funny. It was amazing to watch her work. How she visualised the fashion shoots, the models, every single detail was perfect and inspirational.

All in all a real eye-opener to the inner workings of the elite fashion magazine world. Facinating, scary, frantic and taken very very seriously. www.wardrobeflair.com

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Wardrobe

Its personal I know, but this is my wardrobe. Full? Yes. Perfect? No. When I was featured in the Dom Post last November, it was stated that I love every piece in it. Yes, this is true. Why have a piece if you don't love it? What is the point in having 'fat' clothes, or the ones you wear because everything else is in the wash? Why step out the house feeling bad about how you look and start your day that way?

You don't have to have as many as I do (occupational habit...) If they are right, they will mix and match. You will have basic pieces which you team with funky, fun pieces. You will have classic staples and designer goodies (from designer shops, Savemart or Trademe).

As important as this, you will also have great accessories. As you can see from my photo, I have all my necklaces at the end of my wardorbe with my bags so I can select them WITH my outfit. Unseen are my shoes (below) and at the door end of my wardrobe I have my scarves (many) and other accessories. Don't underestimate them. They add that extra finishing touch.

My wardrobe is hung colour-coded - this enables me to see what colours I have too much of, need more of, and what goes with what. Don't have skirt, top, trousers blocks. If this sounds anal, it is! LOL. BUT it helps you every single morning when you are racing to get to work/school/anywhere! So lets say HOORAY to anal and boo hiss to messy, unco-ordinated colours and clothes. www.wardrobeflair.com

My FIRST post!

Hey everyone. I am really excited about starting this blog up. I have so much I see on a day to day basis that I would love to share with you. Great clothes, fashion trends - what's hot and what is NOT!!! Who I'm working with, what Wardrobe Flair is up to.

I plan on adding handy hints of everything from clearing out the deadwood from your wardrobe to choosing a great piece of jewellery. Speaking of jewellery - have you checked out the brand new website??? This has been 8 months in the making and many many hours of work! All credit to the awesome designs of Leyla and Paul Bennett (no relation!)http://thingsilearn.wordpress.com/portfolio/, who makes it work (crucial one might say...)

More posts to come soon! Look forward to hearing from you. Any of my wonderful clients who have found fabulous pieces of clothing - let me know!!! I will put a posting up about it so we can spread the word and making shopping even easier.