Q "I have sloping shoulders, as well as a 'Dowagers Hump'! Mmm! Very attractive! What style of neck line would suit me best?" (Rebecca, Wiltshire)
A It’s not really the neckline that will do the transformation here it’s the shoulder
line, however, the best neck line for sloping shoulders and ‘curved’ upper back is
broad neck lines such as a wide V-
Q “Why is it that I have so much costume jewellery that I love but as soon as I
put it on I don't like it and take it straight off preferring to see myself without
and yet I always admire it on other people?” (Ruth, Gloucestershire) -
A Perhaps you buy what you see on others because visual aids are important to your creativity rather than questioning if it suits you? Or, you might be frustrated when shopping for other items, such as shoes that you end up buying costume jewelry instead to fill that void, or perhaps you find it difficult to get rid of something that you haven’t worn. Whatever the reason I think a Style Profiling session followed by a Wardrobe Wisdom session would be a good investment. Because if your wardrobe personality and life style is Natural or Sporty then accessories need to be minimal to avoid getting caught or damaged in your daily routines. I think it’s time for some focused you time; to find who you are, what you want and where you are going – Be your Best!
Q “I’ve inherited a wonderful check blanket in light blue/brown and cream, from my Great Aunt, and it would make a wonderful coat. I’ve made a blanket coat before and seen a style in the McCall’s Pattern Book recently which I love, a cape with a belt around it, as capes are in this season.
I am a pear shape, but I see your Newsletter says:
‘Curvier shapes should look for straighter versions with less flare.’
Do you think this style will be ok, a bit longer or should I choose something else?
“ (Karen, Gloucestershire) -
A I am assuming that you are aiming to stay looking tall and slim? And, as you are a slight pear shape/ triangle you need to make sure that you follow your curves in what you wear. Most of us should avoid anything too wide since all things wide will make us look shorter. Unless a shortening effect is preferred. Your picture (supplied with question) shows a style that is very much in fashion this season. Be careful not to use a fabric that is too stiff or you will look wider than you are tall. As capes tend to add rather than subtract surplus you need to make sure that you emphasize your slim waist with a belt. Perhaps match belt with boots? And to maintain a good body balance I suggest that you wear this ‘over garment’ together with a hat or an up do as well as straight trousers and high heels, otherwise you might look out of balance and plump. Another point to notice is the position of the hem; it should finish at an area where you are happy for the onlooker to focus their attention. If you don’t want your fullest part to be on show then don’t display it. A three hour Style Profiling session or a one hours Trend Watch session might be useful to get a second opinion before you decide.
Q “When I look in my wardrobe it consists mainly of plain colours, but, how do I introduce some patterned items and sticking to the ‘rules’ of choosing deep colours, no small flowery patterns and no ‘maternity’ tops (the shops are full of them and I am 57 and so past all that!)”. (Jane, Wiltshire)
A Well done for building the foundations! Now is the time to ‘Express Yourself’, and be creative. Your choice of pattern should be in scale and balance with your facial pattern and body scale, and positioned in an area where you are happy for the ‘on looker’ to look. I suggest drawing attention to your face by allowing patterns and detailing at the neck and shoulder area. If you are happy with your legs then find a skirt with detailing round the hem. Vertical and diagonal lines are slimming whilst horizontal lines are ‘fattening’. Also, being that you are dominantly ‘Deep’ in your colour personality you should keep all base colours deep too. E.g. A pattern will look best if placed on a deep background. A Colour Consultation is a must and a Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.
Q “I'm short (5'3") but love wearing long sweaters, jumpers, cardigans, jackets etc over trousers as I think they make me look taller. Am I right? What style of jacket will suit me best and make me look taller?” (Sarah, Gloucestershire)
A To achieve a taller look, apart from choosing the best colour, you need to prioritize on cut, pattern and weight of fabric. Normally vertical lines are more elongating though long line coats will make legs look shorter, so if you are blessed with long legs then this will not be an issue as such. Wear a top that tone with your face and legs under your open long line jacket and you will look slimmer and taller too. Footwear in a colour that relate to your legs will also add height. Regarding style of jacket, this has more to do with cut. Anything that is either too small or too big will make us look wider, and therefore shorter. A single breasted, notched lapel, straight shoulder, slightly fitted at the waist type jacket that finish somewhere between upper and lower hip is a good safe style to invest in. Remember a good cut is everything! A Wardrobe Wisdom session would help you see for yourself how to put outfits together by dressing to suit you.
Q “I have put on a few pounds (and they have landed round my middle) I love wearing shorts in the summer (legs not too bad) please can you advise what type of shorts, shape, length would suit someone of mid 40’s ?” (Fiona, Gloucestershire)
A This question is not just about hemlines it’s more about age. I don’t want to assume but I am guessing that you want to look as young and vibrant as possible, yet not as ‘Mutton dressed as Lamb’? I was taught that if someone looks 20 from one direction but 40 from the other then the shock to the ‘on looker’ will register someone looking more like 60. It’s called the 20/40 formula (the difference between 20 and 40 is 20. Add 20 to the ‘actual’ age and you get the visual age). So, regarding shorts and hemlines, the best length is on the knee, or just below where the knee is the slimmest. This length is safe though not frumpy and leaves something for the imagination too. A slight mid crease will elongate the upper leg and a flat front will keep everything nice and tidy. Avoid gathered waists at all account if you want to stay looking young and slim for longer. A Style Profiling session followed by a Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.
Q “I've had very short hair for years; it’s fine but thick and I always have it cut and styled regularly. As I get older my jaw line is losing its tautness. Should I be thinking of a longer cut? If so, what would you suggest?” (Sarah, Gloucestershire)
A Ah, gravity! This happens to us all. As we mature our once prominent lines will start to go south. It important not to give up or get stuck in a rut, however, when it comes to hair very few women over the age of 40 will look good in long hair though most will look fabulous in a well styled short cut. The evidence of jaw and chin gravity will be most noticeable in profile so it’s important that you like your side view. There are ways to draw attention away from areas that you don’t want others to notice. This can be achieved with colour and cut. I suggest you ask you stylist. A good stylist will not force their opinion on you unless they think you are ready. A Style Profiling or Makeover session would help you see where your assets are and encourage you to ‘Be your best’.
Q “I have an ample chest and wondered how I can dress apart from wearing wrap around tops.” (Tricia, Gloucestershire)
A Wrap around dresses and tops work wonders on an ample chest. Perhaps we need to
ask why this is and then find alternatives. Look at the neck line, does it form a
Q “How can I best disguise my tummy?! I have a flat bottom, fairly slim hips -
A Confidence and clever disguise is my suggestion. Walk tall, invest in ‘shape wear’, scarves, make up and a good beauty products to draw attention to your pretty face. The idea is to intice the ‘on looker’ in trying to find something nice to look at. Trying to cover up by decorating tummy with a big top will make it look bigger and tucking tops in to your waist bands will make it look as if it’s trying to escape – a great way to draw attention to it! You can also try ‘shape wear’ such as Spanx to mould tummy in to place, one clothes size is easily lost by wearing this. However, your best friend is your face, so make sure to invest in good beauty and makeup products that suits your colouring, personality and budget. Borrow a Golden Arbonne beauty bag from us for three days to establish if this is for you and it might be the beginning of a new confident you.
Q “I'm 5' 2" and a size 12 on the bottom half and 14 on the top. What style of clothing will help me look taller? Any ideas for a flattering Christening outfit for my nieces christening in a weekend's time?” (Tricia, Gloucestershire)
A Make sure that you colour block in a vertical fashion rather than horizontal. The wider we look the shorter we are perceived to be. Tone feet, with legs and carry this effect upwards to tone with your hair by creating the tallest silhouette. Fabrics, colours and shades will work in your favour or against. Being that your ‘assets’ are ‘on top’ you need to think about balance too. Use lighter coloured fabrics below your waist and stick to darker shades on top. And add heals. A Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.
Q “What trousers or ‘bottom-
A This is one of the most ‘popular’ concerns for women of a certain age. There come a time where our middle seem to go north and our bust travel south and therefore creating a rounder middle. My suggestion is to draw attention to an area that you don’t mind showing. Disguise by clever colour blocking, put details such as accessories and stitching where you want the onlooker to look and wear ‘Shapewear’. Try Spanx -
Q “I am a Classic style. I am most comfortable with this style as I have spent most of my life in suits, which I love. But I have always admired the Euro Chic look, it's so fun and fashionable. I would love to change my style, is that possible? Or, perhaps I can just have a few key items that I could add to my Classic style, what would they be?“ (Linda, Cornelius, U.S.) – Published in ‘In The limelight December 2010
A Anything is possible! And since you ask you must be ready… The difference between
a Classic and a Chic is very slim. What you have to do is know what really suits
your body shape and colouring, invest in a small, high quality capsule wardrobe and
update this with new ‘trendy’ accessories every season -
“I’m struggling with belts! I have one or two trusty leather belts that are starting to look a bit tired – I’d like to buy some new belts to suit my shape but I find that they are expensive items – and plastic ones just don’t do it for me! Where would you suggest buying some versatile, figure enhancing belts? “ (Miranda, Gloucestershire) -
A Belts are such an important accessory and need to be in balance with your height and in line with your body pattern. I recommend that you calculate cost per wear. Though plastic is cheaper than leather, I'm yet to find a good belt made out of this man made substance. And I think the reason why leather belts are quite expensive is because you need a large piece of leather, that hasn't got too many faults, before you start cutting the length, and the buckles need to be of a good quality too. One of my favourite shops in Gloucestershire is Lola in Cirencester. Their belts are around £50. If you are unsure of the size and style I think a Retail Therapy session would get you on the right track.
Q “Lipstick -
A No don’t force yourself!! However, as we mellow with age our lips tend to recede
as well as everything else and therefore it’s a matter of choosing a colour wisely
and not to wear one that is too deep or draws attention to ageing teeth. This is
best explained in a Makeup lesson. Also, you mentioned in a previous correspondence
that you wish for a more ‘Chic’ wardrobe style. That means that you should apply
makeup in an understated manner. Apply tone-