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!

4.19.2017

Basket Bags All Jazzed Up

I like a good basket bag, I do and this one stopped me in my tracks. And not only because it's rather nice.



Let's just say that slowly. Five hundred and ninety five pounds. Gulp. For a basket. What is the world coming to? 

So shall we put our sensible pants on and trawl the High Street because I'm game for a new one (let's not mention the three that are in our basement lock up in Spain that I can't get at as we've rented the place out because our children refuse to holiday there).

Anyway, the basket bag has had a bit of a makeover. Pompoms and tassels are more than acceptable these days. In fact, chuck it all on, the more pompoms, the merrier. And there are lots to choose from. They're pretty practical too ie. not just for holidays. As long as they don't snag on your clothes. That's annoying! 

Kicking off with an interesting shape. This is a contender for me.




It would appear that Mango's plus size brand (available on the same website) has it's own selection of bags. Barking mad, why would they do that? A bag's a bag so why have two sections on the same website? Basket monochrome anyone? Love it.




Another interesting shape, slightly on the pricier side. Not sure I'd wear matching pompoms! And I think this is probably more practical as a beach bag rather than every day use. 




So I rang Mr Boden up and said, hey Johnnie how about naming a bag after me 😏




The new brand at John Lewis, And/Or have a nice little offering. I love wide base bags that stand up on their own.




This next one would drive me bonkers as it most certainly won't stand up on it's own (but I do like it, other than the major flaw).





Ok, stretching a point somewhat here, it's not strictly a basket bag but it fits loosely under the category of summer so it's made the cut. That white panel is crying out for your initials - these in fact which come in a whole host of colours, my choice would be red.






This would look great with jeans and a simple white t-shirt. Sometimes it's best to let your accessories do the talking.

Brakeburn Boho Beach Bag £43

So sweet. I love the shape and size of this one (it's smaller than the ones above but still not a bad size for daily use).

Joe Browns Roman Holiday Bag £29.95



Pimp my straw bag! If you're looking for a day bag to go with everything. This!!

River Island Gold Metallic Woven Straw Beach Bag £35



Round anyone? Try standing that one up!

Zara Pom Pom Tote £29.99



And very reasonably priced from Zara. You know that cute little cherry bag charm on the Joe Browns bag above, New Look have similar which you can buy and add on to any plain old basket. (Link here)

Zara PomPom basket £19.99



Don't forget Mango Outlet. You can grab yourself a bargain or two on there.

Mango Jute Cotton Blend Bag £17.99



Mango Embroidered Shopper £29.99



Mango Straw Bag £19.99



My idea is to buy now, use it, enjoy it and then it won't matter if I wreck it on holiday. But which one??? I can't decide.

By the way, if you're after a summer bag but don't want to pay too much, check out these from Mango Outlet. They're all less than a tenner. You can find lots more here.


Bargains or what? I've already got a couple of embroidered clutches (although that multi coloured one is very tempting) but I love the ones on the left hand side. They're £7.99 each!!!! Think I'll give the cream and tan one a go. I'll report back.




4.17.2017

Updating My Spring Wardrobe With A Jumpsuit

I've been much happier since I consciously decided to step off the fashion merry-go-round and create a wardrobe that's much more wearable on a daily basis. Jackets, jumpers, shirts and trousers are my staples in winter and I'm looking forward to getting back in to dresses when the weather warms up (when!!!). It's taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I don't need to buy in to every trend going. I mean look at Emmanuelle Alt, she sticks to a very simple uniform, rarely deviating from year to year. And yet, she's many a woman's style icon.

You don't have to be a slave to fashion to look good


Of course that red gingham picnic table skirt will court far more likes on Instagram but a few wears and it'll be consigned to the ebay pile. Except, no one will want to buy it because a) they've already got it or b) us fickle lot have moved on to the next new thing. We will not be defined by Insta likes!!!! 

I'm all about longevity these days. Boringly sensible maybe. Purse friendly, definitely. Picking simple pieces to make a very cohesive wardrobe. Maybe we'll revisit this when we've finished the body shape series. 

I've been working on my summer wardrobe and have kind of skipped spring altogether. Probably subconsciously thinking that my autumn stuff will do just fine. And yes, to an extent it will. Blazers and biker jackets over shirts and t-shirts, cropped trousers...you get the picture. Timeless pieces.

But hang on. In order to remain current, I do need to inject a few bits here and there. Shoes are brilliant updaters as are bags (let's all be basket cases this year - looking forward to finding a couple of nice ones. Blog post to follow). And this jumpsuit from Kaleidoscope which I've chosen from their spring collection to road test is a brilliant updater.

Denim Look Tencel Jumpsuit - Kaleidoscope £49
Bag - Fiorelli (old)
Sandals - M&S (past season)

It's most certainly current but not so in your face that you're going to see two, three, four other women in it. And more importantly, I'll be able to wear it not only through the different seasons but into next year too.  

- leopard print shoes and mustard cross body bag now
- tan sandals and basket bag in the summer
- ankle boots and blazer in the autumn
- big chunky cardi or coatigan in winter

It's Tencel which incidentally is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics around I know things (thank you Google). I like Tencel. I like it a lot. The fact that it irons beautifully, it's soft to the touch but still has an element of shape about it, it's cool to wear in hot weather and it doesn't crease.



Shall we do the technical bit? I'm wearing a size 10. I had a sneaky feeling that it might not be long enough in the body but it's fine. If you're shorter than my 5ft 8 1/2inches (that 1/2 is very important to me) then you'll be able to pouch it over at the waist, no problem. There's one of those tab things to hold up the sleeves but I'm not terribly keen on these so don't use them. The sleeves are just below elbow length by the way. Plenty of length in the leg but to be honest, it matters not as they look much better with a cuff.



Chuffed moi?



It's a fabulous spring update piece. 'Twas sunny and warm when I shot these photos. Pah, that soon changed so I swapped the sandals for boots and popped on a jacket and I was ready to go. That's what spring pieces are all about really aren't they? Versatility.



Thank you Kaleidoscope, I've really enjoyed road testing this jumpsuit.







4.14.2017

Dressing For Your Body Shape Series | Trousers & Jeans

Probably a wardrobe staple for 98.999999% of us (that's a made up stat but it feels about right). Thank goodness for Elizabeth Smith Miller. Who? You know, Lizzy Miller, the first woman to wear trousers way back in 1851. It would be another 7 years before Emmeline Pankhurst entered this world.

Thankfully, our choice extends beyond the bloomers that Elizabeth championed although sometimes the sheer number of different styles and lengths can be daunting. I hope therefore that you'll find the following information useful. You can find your body shape here if you don't already know it. Discovering your perfect shape of trouser is blueprint that you can store away for future use.

Neat Hourglass

Well lucky you, you can wear most, if not all styles of trousers and jeans preferably with a waist band because you should show your waist.

You can do pockets, flat fronts, pleats, boyfriend, skinnies, capri. Really the world is your trouser oyster.

You may want to swerve very wide leg trousers and jeans if you're petite in height as they will swamp you.

These fabulous trousers have capsule wardrobe written all over them. Proper staples that you won't be throwing away after a couple of months wear. Update each season with shoes and/or top. They're figure skimming but not tight which means that they'll be comfortable to wear. And of course you can do so much with them. Jumper and trainers during the day, blazer and shirt for work, heels and top for evening wear.

Next Navy Taper Trousers £25



Statement trousers anyone? Go for it neat hourglasses, you'll look amazing. I think the belt is fully removable for a slightly less dressier look. Check out those perfect pleats.

Mango Sash Linen Trousers £69.99


And a round of applause for white jeans. Because you can so do white jeans.

Boden Wellington Jeans £60



Full Hourglass & Triangle

(The rules are the same for you both) 

Ok, so sometimes you may struggle with certain styles. The curvier you are, the harder it will be. Let's take cargo pants for example. The baggy style will do you no favours whatsoever, and if the fabric is stiff, you'll end up looking a good size or two larger.

It's all about the fabric and cut for you. Look for fluid lines in stretchy material (lycra is your friend).

Do waistbands bag? Often, trousers and jeans aren't cut for your narrow waist. Look for flat fronted styles without a waistband if possible. You could try a jegging style in jeans because the elasticated waist will be a snugger fit although a straight leg is more flattering than super skinny. Alternatively try a lower rise. I know lots of women don't like this style but they do work. Finally look for a cut specifically for curvy ladies. The waist will be cut narrower than a general style but will still feel comfortable over your hips and bottom.

Avoid contrast stitching on the back pockets of jeans unless of course you want to hilight your bottom.

A bootcut is very flattering as it mirrors your own curves (park this information for now, they're bound to come back into mainstream fashion soon).

At first glance, this photo isn't doing it is it? But honestly, get the length right and you've got yourself a great wardrobe staples. Ponte is a brilliant fabric for curves. If you're in between sizes, go up because they'll swish with your body and look much more flattering. They're pull ons which not only screams COMFORT but will also fit your neat waist and curvy bottom.

Personally I think you need to go longer if you're wearing with heels.

V by Very Pull On Ponte Trousers £20 available in petite here



A great casual summer option from Baukjen. Although I say casual, I'd dress these up with heels too. It's really worth spending a little bit more on your bottom half. A great fitting pair of pants says a lot about a woman. The soft drape jersey that Baukjen uses is just brilliant.

Baukjen Neath Jersey Pants £55



I've included this next pair as my jeans choice for you because I was asked by the brand to try them out last year. They're comfortable, soft and hold their shape. The clever cut at the back under the pockets lift up the bum for a bit of a pert look! You'll need to check that the waistband doesn't bag but I'd definitely recommend that you look at them. They're true to size.
And look, no contrast stitching 👊

M&Co Lift & Shape Jeans £29 (also available in petite here)



Inverted Triangle

Trousers are your thing and you suit most styles: combat, palazzo, straight leg, boyfriend, girlfriend and culottes to name but a few.

Bum pockets and front pockets (especially with contrast stitching or embellishment) are good for balancing out your shoulder line.

Print and coloured trousers will draw the eye down away from your top half. And in jeans, you can do distressing, turn ups and washed denim. Although you might want to avoid a super tight skinny as it will accentuate your larger top half.

These culottes are ace. The flare at the bottom will balance out your shoulder line. Probably better illustrated in the ivory here. If you haven't tried culottes, I really would urge you to give them a go, they work a treat on inverted triangles. Also check out these purse friendly ones from ASOS. They've got everything going on for you.

Boden Nancy Culottes £80



And because stripes are everywhere this season and, you do them so well, how about these?

River Island Beige Stripe Print Trousers £35


Any kind of flare, even a small kick flare will help with the old balancing act. These are lovely.

Mango Flare Trumpet Jeans £35.99



Lean Column

To create curves, look for pleats or anything that builds up your hip area such as embellished pockets. Roundness at the bottom of your trousers also helps to give the illusion of curves so try cuffed trousers. 

Look for high waists with pleats, culottes in a stiff fabric, tapered trousers, kick flares boyfriends, girlfriends, capris, cargo pants and thicker fabric such as joggers. Anything that gives some shape to your frame.

I know we're looking specifically at trousers and jeans today but I couldn't not mention this whole outfit which is so amazing for you. The horizontal stripes and layering of the jacket gives the illusion of width. The half tuck and belt breaks up your body line as do the turn up. Finally, the over sized pockets and and loose cut fakes curves Just wow, so much to talk about. Anyway, you need to get these trousers!

Boden Brook Relaxed Pants £95 (navy reduced to £66)



A cropped kick flare is a great way to break up the body line so that you don't look too runner beany.




Similarly the interest at the bottom of these trousers breaks up the body line. 




Rectangle

If you're a rectangle, you won't have a waist and possibly carry weight around your tummy but have a flatish bum. I have just one word for you - uncluttered. That means no detail, trim, embellishment around the tummy area. 

Flat fronted trousers (definitely no pleats) work well. Think stretchy pull ons (I know they sound sad but reserve judgement for a moment).

Loose trousers will add pounds. These only work if you have a small waist. Structured, fitted culottes work though as we see the bottom of your leg which is slim so gives the illusion of shape.

Jeans with minimal detail at the front are good but a flap pocket to the back will build up your bottom. Try jeggings and straight legs. Honestly boyfriend jeans can be so hard to pull off. I feel I've exhausted that particular search. The loose fit around the hips and tummy add pounds to your frame. 

So, pull on trousers. Yes my Nan used to wear these but they don't have to be grannified. Do you remember these ones that I banged on about last year?

Jumper - Mango (old)
Pull On Coated Leggings - Next
Trainers - Next (similar)
Bag - Modalu (similar)
Scarf - Kettlewell Colours 

Well they're pull ons, flat fronted, no detail and so darn comfortable. This is why I have 5 pairs 😳 and wear them lots.

And they're still available in black and navy here.

This next pair are also pull ons and a perfect option for spring/summer. They're a nice stretchy ponte fabric which pulls everything in but still comfortable to wear. Might wear them tomorrow actually!

Winser London Emma Miracle Pintuck Capri Trousers £79 




Jeans-wise, you could look at jeggings, skinnies or straight legs. Let's kick off with the Edens from Dorothy Perkins. Why? Because they are my second favourite pair of trousers/jeans. You won't find yourself hoiking them up every couple of minutes because they don't get baggier by the hour. By the way, they're quite long. My regulars are almost full length.

Dorothy Perkins Eden Jeggings £18 (some colours reduced to £13.50)



Round

Wide legs and boot cuts will balance out the roundness of your upper body. Choose them as long as possible to give you a longer leaner look.

That said, you have fabulous legs so you might want to show them off. You may find it tricky to get the fit right though as often they'll fit around the waist but will be baggy around your legs. So, look for fabric with lycra. The pull up styles that I mention for a rectangle above could work. 

You may want to swerve low rises. The reason being that your hips are quite possibly smaller than your tummy which will obviously lead to the sliding effect! You really don't want to be pulling up your pants all day.

Soft draping fabric is a must unless there's lycra.

Because you quite possibly wear looser style tops, don't discount leggings. They can work really well.

And finally a crease running down the front will elongate the leg. 

Oh my goodness, these look so good. Soft drapey fabric, double waist band for comfort and security. The length should hit no less than 3mm above the soul of your shoe. I'm guessing there's a bit of flexibility and you can pull them up or down to get a length that works for you. Available in sizes 14-30

La Redoute Jazz Pants £19 (25% off with code SUMMER)



These next trousers are from a brand that I've worked with before, Mandy's Heaven and cater for the curvy figure. I haven't seen them in real life but Mandy knows her stuff and buys exceptionally well so you can guarantee that they'll be bob-on. 

They're an elasticated waist but sit flat on the tummy so no extra bulk where you don't need it. And of course there's built in stretch 👍

Available in this stunning shade of blue and beige up to size 20. Order soon if you want to try them as I know how popular some of her styles are. 

Mandy's Heaven Deck Trousers £50 (free next day delivery)




And finally, a jeans option for you. These are available up to size 32 and in various colours and lengths. Look, no contrast stitching!! Stretch fabric and elasticated back for comfort. A heck of a lot for your money - got to be worth a go (20% off your first order too). 




Phew, we made it! Hope that's useful and sorry if some of the items above are now out of stock. I've been researching and writing this since Monday (hey, Rome wasn't built in a day).

It's been a really funny Good Friday for me today. Husband has travelled to Woking for the football, I dropped the daughter off at the airport (lucky bugger, she's gone to Tenerife) and the little 'un has (should have) been revising. So a bit of a loner today. Which is fine by me. G&T by my side, remote control to hand and lots of catch up tv. 

Oh by the way, for those asking, these are the shoes that I wore over on Insta today and still available (they run true to size). 










Anyway, I'll be off. I hope you all have a fabulous Easter, whatever you're doing and wherever you are. 

Catch up soon.


4.13.2017

You Think You've Got A Bargain Until You Go In Store...

Thought I'd touch base as I'm currently working on the body shape series which is taking so long to write. I mean, it's proper work! But we've started, so we'll finish. Anyway, the trousers and jeans post is almost complete and should be ready for publishing tomorrow (I'm not saying what time tomorrow, it could be 11.59pm).

Hey, do you like the new blog style? You probably won't notice any difference if you're reading this on a phone. I've just had it freshened up a little. Still a few tweaks that I need to make but it feels like a nice, calm space. I like nice, calm spaces...they're few and far between in this household.

So. The son wanted to watch the new Fast & Furious film today. I ducked out and had a couple of hours browsing in the shops at The Trafford Centre while the husband did his daddy duties. He loves F&F too - that's Fast & Furious by the way not Florence & Fred. The only time he goes near a Tesco is to get his car valeted and pick up a Costa coffee.

I'm still on the 'dress for Wembley' mission and thought I'd kill time looking through the late spring stock. Pants, I'm telling you, pants. Everything is so samey. I tried on dresses ranging from £42 to £400 and nothing really grabbed me. That particular mission will have to wait for another day.

I did manage to pick up a few bits in the Gap sale though. There were racks of clothes with up to 70% off. As always, I got bored after flicking through half a rail but was delighted to find this culottes jumpsuit thingy. A lovely knitted fabric that's not too thick and hangs really well. Perfect for summer with trainers and a blazer. I bought it in a small. Looks nothing here, I'll grant you that.

Gap Softspun Knit Stripe Wide Leg Jumpsuit £29.99 (20% Off with FITGAP)  (was £39.95)




BUT HOLD YOUR HORSES!!

I picked them up for a mere £14.99. With the 20% promotion above, I still work that out at a smidgen under £24. Two very different prices. Can they do that? I guess so. To be fair, they are worth every penny whether you pay £14.99 or £23.99. I prefer the smaller one because the change bought me a Merino wool jumper.

This one. I'm a bit nesh and still in need of a bit of wool right now.

Gap Merino Wool Sweater £29.99 (20% off with FITGAP) (was £39.95)



And yep cheaper in store by lots. A mere tenner! The cream is sold out online but there are three other colour ways. I bought a large as I wanted a slouchy fit.

My final purchase was a black dress. Yes yes, I know I can't do black but it's a deep v-neck so there's no colour directly under my chin. It isn't online so I can't show it to you but it was reduced from £50 down to £14.99. I bought a medium so it didn't cling anywhere.

So the question is, do you want to sip coffee at your kitchen table and order a few bits from Gap, stress free, delivered directly to your door. Or, do you want to risk a trip into town or shock horror a mall (at Easter, are you crazy?), battle for a parking space, drag your sorry butt into the store and fight other keen bargain hunters for a spot in front of the 70% off rails?

Me? I'm still reeling over the shock of the price differential. And the sizing too. Did you notice, I bought a small, medium and large?

You can thank me later.

I put this on Instagram earlier as I haven't had a chance to show you this new blazer. It's a total game changer. Easily smartening up a pair of jeans and an old t-shirt. Magic that!!

Blazer - Next
T-Shirt - Ichi (Old)
Kick Flare Jeans - Next (similar)




4.07.2017

Dressing For Your Body Shape Series | Identifying Your Body Shape

Let's revisit body shapes. I've had so many requests and it's been playing on my mind since Christmas. Easter is knocking on my door so it's time I rolled up my sleeves and got down to business.

I thought we'd start by looking at the different body shapes in detail so that you can (hopefully) identify your own. Then over the next few weeks, we'll put this knowledge in to practice. We'll look at how to choose the best pieces of clothing for your shape:

1) Trousers and jeans - click here to find your perfect styles
2) Skirts
3) Dresses
4) Tops
5) Knitwear
6) Jackets and coats
7) Activewear
8) Swimwear

And anything else I (or you) can think of along the way.

I've written about body shape before and so rather than reinvent the wheel, I've regurgitated, sorry I mean updated this to kick off this series.

So here goes...

Google body shape and you're bombarded with pictures of apples and vases and funnels and cornets. Confused much. Basically it all boils down to the same things with different names. A bell, a triangle and a pear are all identical body shapes. For the purpose of this exercise let's keep it pretty simple and work with the following terms:

Neat Hourglass - Full Hourglass - Triangle - Inverted Triangle - Lean Column - Rectangle - Round



1. Neat Hourglass


The clue is in the name - 'neat'. Everything is neat...bum, bust, shoulder line. All evenly proportioned so you wear the same size top and bottom and typically you're a size 10 or smaller. Think Kylie Minogue. If this is you, I hate you.






You obviously have a cracking figure and so should show it off. I'm not talking Nell Gwyn naked or anything but your best outfits are those that hilight your figure (let's say skim as opposed to cling). Wearing sack styles will actually add pounds to your lovely frame. You don't need to correct any proportions as you're perfect in every way!





In summary

Look for:

- fitted styles to show off your figure
- belted styles to show off your waist

Avoid:

- clothes that hide or swamp your figure


2. Full Hourglass


So you're this shape if you are curvy and evenly proportioned. That means, shoulders and hips are the same width, you have a defined waist and a full bust. We're talking Marilyn Monroe and Kelly Brook.



You'll look your slimmest when you show your waist (look at Kelly above). I can't tell you how many ladies I've come across that cover up in baggy shapes because they're too embarrassed to show off their curves. Your clothes should follow your body line but not cling (yup, Kelly is normally a victim of the cling-on). And fabric is key. Stiff material will stand off your curves and add pounds to your frame. Look for fluid, soft fabric without too much volume or bulk (I'm looking at you Kelly ↓↓). You don't need to correct any proportions, your main aim is to concentrate on not building up any area at all.



In summary

Look for:

- clothes that follow the body line
- waist definition
- soft, fluid fabrics

Avoid:

- clothes that either cling or swamp your figure
- stiff fabrics


3. Triangle


Also known as a pear shape. You're this shape if your shoulders are narrower than the hips. You'll have a defined waist and full hips or thighs. Your top half will appear smaller. Beyonce is a typical triangle, her weight tends to go on her bottom half.

Right, there are a few secret tips that we need to discuss here.

What we are trying to achieve is a balanced top and bottom half, obviously you don't have this. So, we need to create the illusion. How? Easy. We can build up the shoulder line through use of wide necks, patterns on the top half, brighter colours, detailing on the shoulders such as epaulettes. One really easy fix is the cap sleeve which widens your shoulder line. Turning to your bottom now, you'll probably be quite curvy. A soft fabric is essential so it drapes over your bottom and thighs. Dark, plain colours are excellent as they minimise. Oh and show off your waist. Be grateful you've got one, some of us don't!! In essence, show of your waist, highlight your top and minimise your bottom half.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Hilighting the hips will emphasise the fact that they're wider than the shoulders. You don't want to do this! Kim K might be game, but it's not for real life is it? Take a look at this photo...


In summary

Look for:

- neck lines and shoulder lines that build up these areas
- plain dark bottoms
- clothes that show off the waist but drape over the hips and bum


Avoid
                                                                                                                                                        
- stiff fabrics on the bottom half
- clothes that stand off the hip

4. Inverted Triangle


You've probably guessed that this shape is the opposite to the previous one. Your shoulders will be wider than the hips. It's unlikely that you will have a defined waist and your bottom will be quite flat. Rebecca Adlington is this shape, quite typical for a professional swimmer.



This time we need to minimise the top half and build up the bottom. Forget wide necks and details across your top, they really will make you look wider. Look for plain, dark fabric with possibly a v neck that draws the eye down and away from this area. A simple, uncluttered top half. And, a straight, clean and sharp bottom half to hilight your bottom and hips. The dress above is perfect for Rebecca.

Emphasising the shoulder line will make you look very broad. Have a look at this!


I want to chop off the sleeves of that dress!

In summary

Look for:

- plain neck and shoulder lines
- uncluttered and clean cuts
- crisp fabrics with structure

Avoid:

- anything that hilights your top half such as embellishment on the shoulders
- drapey fabrics


5. Lean Column 


We're talking skinny gazelle catwalk models here. Narrow shoulders, small waist (possibly non-defined), narrow bottom and a small bust. Erin O'Connor is a lean column.

To be honest, some women love this look and will want to hilight it. But if you're hankering after a few curves, then there are a few tips you can take on board. If you're flat chested, look for tops/dresses with detail in this area - ruching and frills are good (as is pattern in fact, any detail). Use texture and layering to cut up your torso and play with proportions: cropped trousers/long jackets for example. Colour blocking is also good!





Wearing say a plain green midi pencil dress can make you look a little runner-beany, Soft drapey fabrics will literally hang from you as you don't have curves - avoid like the plague!



In summary

Look for:

- detailing such as frills
- colour blocking
- stiff fabrics

Avoid

- drapey fabric
- one colour top top bottom


6. Rectangle


I often hear ladies saying that they're an apple shape when in fact they're a rectangle. It's important to identify your shape as wearing 'apple' clothes will do you no favours at all. You'll have a straight shoulder line, flat bottom and straight hips, no waist and a straight and/or wide ribcage. You may carry weight around your tummy and have a defined bust. This is where ladies go wrong, they automatically think 'apple'. Sarah Ferguson is a rectangle. Oh and me! I am too.



Avoid detail at the waist, stomach and bust. Really this area should be kept uncluttered. Simple clean, straight lines. With regards to fabric, a drape will hang from your frame (in a bad way) so a slightly more structured fabric works best. BUT if you have a bust then you might want to consider a slightly softer material to accommodate. Tricky one I know. The most important thing is to ensure that the overall line is straight and that you feel comfortable in it.



In summary

Look for:

- straight lines
- no clutter
- fabric with structure


Avoid

- drapey fabric
- volume around the tummy area



7. Round


Also known as the apple shape. You'll have a rounded shoulder line, curved back and carry all of your weight around the middle with a flattish bottom. But oh boy, do you have great legs. Dawn French is a typical round.



The single most important point for rounds is fabric fabric fabric. It should always be soft and fluid that hangs well. Stiff material will stand off your curves making you look bigger than you actually are. Too much volume will of course add pounds to your frame. Keep everything simple and uncluttered but use lots of chunky accessories to make it your own. And show your wrists, we all have nice wrists and keep everything in proportion.





In summary

Look for:

- drapey fabrics from the shoulder line
- clothes that don't swamp the figure


Avoid

- stiff fabrics
- too much volume



But you know, all that said, there's always exceptions to every rule. Sometimes I look at women and and think, 'that's breaking all the rules, how on earth does it work?'. Because sometimes it does. But hey, you know me, I love a bit of rule breaking.

Something I'm asked regularly is, what happens to your body shape when you lose or gain weight. Well, there isn't really a straight answer to be honest. A full hourglass will become a neat hourglass but a triangle will always be a triangle because of bone structure. Something to bear in mind for the future as you may have to adjust the way that you dress. And this is also applicable to age because yes, our body shapes may or may not change.

I hope you'll stick around for this series of posts and do feel free to share things that have worked for you. We'll kick off with trousers and jeans, so watch out for that one.

Right I must zoom, off to see our daughter in London, just a quick 24 hour stop over. We're off to Theatreland tonight to see The Phantom Of The Opera. As it stands at the moment, I'm going nowhere as I'm still in bed writing this post.

Got to go, catch you after the weekend.