Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tummy Troubles?

Sarah Nichol and I have been working with Westfield Queensgate as stylists for their Walk in Wardrobe campaign for 4 years now. So as you can imagine we see a LOT of women of all different shapes, colouring and sizes. I wanted to share a common theme we found at our last session a couple of weeks ago.

I shall begin with a question. How many of you go up an extra size in your clothing because you are highly conscious about your tummy? I reckon I would see a lot of hands in the air on this one. We also found this isn't age dependent. We see every age from teenagers to 60+ and this seemed to be the issue - other than covering their arms, yes another topic for another day - that women were really struggling with.

Our advice to them, and to you is to not go down the road of buying an extra size up to 'hide' your tummy. Categorically what then happens is you just end up look like that extra size ALL OVER. Bigger arms, shoulders, chest and in most cases you loose your most precious feminine asset, your shape.

No matter how small or non-existent your waist is, you still have shape under your bust. If you loose this you will look 1 or 2 sizes bigger. The key is to finding pieces - whether it be via the cut of the clothing or the drape of the fabric - that shows your shape down the side of your body, and falls gently over your tummy in a way that doesn't add fabric, but also doesn't cling.

Impossible I hear you shout! It really isn't. We were able to show many people different cuts and fabrics that do just that. So while it isn't easy, it is worth putting the effort in to make sure your clothing fits you properly on your shoulders, arms and bust. Rouching under the bust or at the side is another tip on keeping they eye distracted so it is unknown as to what is a natural lump or bump and what is the fabric.

This seasons trend for sheer fabrics is also another easy way of showing a bit of shape, as you can see through the fabric, but wearing something a little bit floaty and not clingy over the body. Good luck ladies. Don't let your worry of a certain part of your body stop you from for doing the best with the great assets you have.

Stay colourful!

Friday, November 2, 2012

NZ Style

I have been fortunate enough to spend the last month grabbing the last of the summer rays in Europe. On my travels I visited London, Paris, southern France, Monaco, and Italy from the lake district to Rome via Venice and Tuscany. I kept my 'eye on the style' the whole time.

Europe is of course a season ahead of us so what we are seeing now in NZ such as patterned trousers and sheer blouses, was not very prevalent on the streets of London, Paris and Rome. I was saddened to see that in the shops of Europe for Autumn/Winter 12/13 there was a heck of a lot of black. Sigh. Just what we don't need, especially here in Wellington! Colour jeans and trousers were still a very strong trend, as was lots of sparkly gold.

My observations did highlight that as a nation, we can be very casual dresses. I had to smile when I saw the ladies of France tottering down cobbled streets in their high heels on the way to the local market to buy their daily fruit and Veg. Bless them they looked so well put together in classic, well cut styles. I was particularly impressed with the 50+ age group of ladies. There is no such thing as 'letting yourself go' in France or Italy for that matter. It made for very enjoyable people watching.

The men and women of Europe do seem to have more of a consistency in dressing. It is not often you see anyone looking really scruffy in Europe. Styles vary, but there is an overall culture of dressing in current trends and looking well put together. I was really impressed with how trendy many men were. Scarves were really big and this went across all ages. I saw pre-teen boys plus all the ages up to about 50 wearing scarves. I don't see this becoming a big look for NZ men, certainly not these types of fashion scarves instead of practical woolly ones.

We are a practical, sporty wee nation and this is definitely reflected in how many of us dress. It was a lovely to come home and be greeted with shorts and jandals at Auckland airport. I think we can take inspiration from how Europeans dress but there is also much pleasure, - like a pair of comfy track pants you don't leave the house in (take note!) - in a more relaxed, less manicured but individual way of getting dressed each morning.

Stay colourful!