A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!



One of the very first things I leant when training to be a stylist is how to dress slimmer. It's just a matter of understanding your body shape and dressing accordingly.

However, there is one rule that I believe is the god of all slimming rules and that's columns! Hmmmm how can these help? Actually I'm talking columns of colour - wearing one colour top to toe. Simples!

Not only does a single colour give the illusion of height, it also takes pounds off your frame, not literally of course but in the eyes of the beholder. With me so for?

Let me explain....a pear shape (wider at the hips than shoulders) wears a pair of jeans and a black top. The eye is immediately drawn to the contrast of colours. And where is that? At the hemline, her widest part!! She has succeeded in drawing attention to her 'worst' bit!

This also has the same effect for ladies carrying weight around the tummy, knees, bottom and calves. So by having a contrast of colour in these problem areas, it immediately draws the eye down - a big no in the art of dressing slimmer.

Oh yes the eye is a fickle thing - it needs to settle on something interesting, a column of colour is so not interesting, it therefore seeks out something else - a necklace or pretty neckline maybe. Result! You have succeeded in directing the eye upwards.

So what should these columns of colour look like. It could be a top and trousers or a dress with hosiery and shoes - all in the same shade.

So let's see whats on the High Street at the moment.

A maxi dress is an obvious choice for the slimming column look.

Next Embellished Drape Maxi Dress

I really rather like this dress from Next. The drape is excellent for skimming over curves and a great price too. Ladies who carry their weight around their tummy may struggle with the elasticated waist. Pair with some sky scraping black sandals and knock 'em dead at the Christmas party.

Sticking with the black theme, I think this combo from Mango would suit most body shapes. You may wish to substitute the leggings with a pair of matt black ones if you carry weight on your legs.

Mango faux suede leggings and shirt

The long line floaty blouse covers a multitude of sins and there is of course no where for the eye to settle. Team with black heeled ankle boots for an even more streamline look.

So that's great if you have black in your palette (Deeps, Cools and Clears). Let's move on to some more shades....

Mint Velvet Tabard and Jeans

Not quite a seamless column but this Mint Velvet combo would work as there's very little difference between top and bottom and where are your eyes settling? On the stripy sleeves???? Told you they look for something interest.

Next have made this easy for me, mid blue top and jeans, a perfect combo for casual wear

Next scoop neck top and jeans

Grey, one of my favourite colours, so contemporary. Love this Wallis studded shirt teamed with the Moto Grey Jamie Jeans from Top Shop. Again, the floaty shirt will serve to cover up!

Wallis studded shirt

Top Shop Moto Jamie Jeans

With these Mint Velvet ankle boots (I could get soooo much wear out of these)

Mint Velvet shoe boots
Dead easy foundations for you to jazz up as you please - go crazy with necklaces, scarves, earrings, anything to lift the eye from those not so perfect bits! You take control of what the eye sees with these simple tools of the trade.

Finishing with a very grainy Iphone photo (I've lost the Nikon charger) of me doing a kind of column look in neutral shades (the top and jeans are actually much closer in colour in real life)

Nude and Snake Print back top: Mint Velvet
Necklace: New Look
Pewter coated Skinnies: M&S
Nude sling back shoes: Christian Louboutin
Pewter Clutch: Dune

So what do you think? Am I talking a load of twaddle or do you think the column of colour is actually slimming. Have you adopted any of your own slimming tips. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time

Donna x

15 comments on "Columns!"
  1. You look stunning in the nude and grey Donna!! Love the whole outfit!

    I shall be trying out the column theory.....I need all the help I can get x

    1. Thanks Michelle. I would imagine that you so do not need the column theory!!

  2. Great post! I too will be trying this very soon! Lynne x

    1. Thanks Lynne. You can do it with any colour really, even lighter ones (eg white) although they aren't as slimming as deeper colours x

  3. Hi there! Really great tips, the first set of photos really do show how effective this is! Love your outfit, the colour pallette is lovely!

    1. Thank you Sharon, that's really kind. Glad you enjoyed the post! I do keep telling people that colour is magic!

  4. You look lovely! Such great advice too! I have to wear black to work & although I'm bored of it already I always feel super slim when I'm there! Lol! Ax

    1. Thanks Andrea. Yep black is definitely slimming but so is grey, brown, navy, aubergine.....

      You're lucky that black is in your colour palette - I would be thoroughly, thoroughly miserable in black as I look like death warmed up x

  5. I can see it makes sense and although I like to mix up colours I love the look of the mango outfit and you look amazing in yours! x

    1. Thank you that's so kind. Do you know what, this is just one rule to look slimmer. I have lots up my sleeve! I am so not evangelical about following rules to the nth degree. It's all about being comfortable and confident in what you wear. Feel confident and boy, do you look fantastic x

  6. First of all: great blog! So glad that I found it, as I love colours!
    I definitely think that the column theory works, and I also like to wear black but wouldn`t wear it allover as I know that people would wonder if someone has died (at least here where I am living, not sure about other countries) and I`m not yet brave enough to wear tops and bottoms in the same/similar colour... The more I think about it, I realize the column theory might be the reason why I like wearing dresses!

    1. Thank you so much Evi and pleased to meet a fellow colour fanatic! I totally agree, black isn't for everyone nor is the column look (although it is fantastic for adding those extra inches to our lovely petite ladies). What I didn't share with everyone and I'll let you into a little secret is that you can actually do the column of colour and then throw on a bright jacket over the top (just as long as the hem line doesn't finish at your widest point). I was keeping that for a jacket blog that I have planned somewhere down the line. Donna x

  7. Having recently started posting pics of myself (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!) on my blog of outfits that I am wearing, I have notices that when I wear a column of colour, it is definitely more slimming! I am so glad to have stumbled across your blog! Can't wait for more posts!!!

    1. Ah thanks Karen. Just had a look at your blog, love your outfits x

  8. WOW what amazing colours on you - love love love love love
    You know where you need to be #stuckrecord