Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Stripes are on trend - thoughts on the horizontal

There are lots of striped items in the shops at the moment. The majority of these seem to have horizontal stripes. I keep being asked if these are right for everyone. The answer is a qualified no. We all have different body shapes and proportions and what can look good on one person can look disastrous on another, adding inches in all the wrong places.
Imagine a very slim petite figure ('if only' I can hear the words already!). 'Well, lucky her she can wear horizontal stripes' I guess you are all saying. Well, I'd say 'it depends'. It depends on how many stripes there are and how close together they are. The wrong stripes going side to side will chop our slim figure up - and then she'll look even more petite.
Well, let's think about the average British lady, size 16 with a bust of 38.5inches (96cm). How about horizontal stripes for a top for her? Well, the answer is unlikely to be yes, but the final answer again will need to take account of her scale and other proportions as well as the construction & design features of the top. The right horizontal stripes can be slimming- as Helmholtz illusion can show.
So tips for wearing horizontal stripes:
a. be cautious and think twice about the advice of friends, partners and shop owned personal shoppers- they all have a vested interest in your choice!
b. try on the item in front of a full length mirror
c. look at the effect on your height and width when you try the item on (if unsure turn the item round, so the stripes are in the other direction and look again)
If you love stripes, get yourself a personal style consultation, then you will know how to use stripes to really enhance your figure.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

What messages do our clothes convey?

Yesterday we were treated to the first of many appearances of the potential next Prime Minister's wife, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron choosing to be accompanied.
As the date of the election had been anticipated by the press, both Samantha and Sarah must have given some thought to what they would be wearing for the announcement yesterday. Sarah decided on a very relaxed casual look and Samantha chose a jacket. What messages were they hoping to convey?Both their husbands were suited! Which look most conveyed the wife of a leader?
Most will answer the jacket - many will expect figures, such as these, in authority to be dressed smartly. But perhaps the cardigan showed friendliness some might say.
I was thinking of this as I watched the TV programme about the cardiac team at Gt Ormond Street hospital and the excellent work they are doing with very sick children. The Doctors knew each day that they would be spending a large part of their time in theatre wearing scrubs. However, when talking to parents of their patients they were dressed formally and were very smart. I just wonder if they arrived in jeans and a jumper/cardigan to talk to these parents would they have instantly got the respect they so rightly deserved?
We can all take messages from this. Dressing for the occasion and for the impression you wish to give is so important. How you look speaks for you, before you open your mouth.
Do look at my website if you'd like to read more about this and how I can help you to get it right.