Bras & pants that promise to bedazzle!

Images of bras & pants courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Alberta ferretiJohn Galliano,  Carven and Paco Rabanne

Can We Lesser Mortals find lovely bras & pants & not look like 50 Shades of Grey?

So its February. ☔️ Still not feeling motivated to go shopping? Me neither. I’ve bought all the sale stuff I fancy, but I’m nowhere near motivated to buy any summer stuff yet. Consequently, now is a  good time to go through all your underwear drawers and chuck out any bras & pants which are old and need replacing.

Why spend on something you can’t see?

Bras & pants are sorely neglected as it isn’t something which gets seen very often, and frankly, you kind of resent spending money on. As much as that is the case, I would say, that you feel unbelievably more confident, sexy, & powerful with a really nice set of undies on. I got some silk PJ’s from Xmas and I still feel satisfyingly indulgent when I put them on. And why not! We all deserve a little pampering.

What should go?

Any bras & pants which are grey(!!) but should be white, any bra which is on it’s tightest setting but you can pull a few inches away from your back, any bra which you don’t fill the cup, any bra which you over fill the cup (hello 4 boobs)

Additionally, any baggy pants, any pants you spill over the top, sides or bottom of, 😱 (remember – squeezing into pants which are too small for you, will make you look bigger than if you wore a larger size, which fits properly) any pants which are more appropriate for a hooker, any pants which are more appropriate for a toned, fit and slim body (unless you have one) and finally – fashions change.

What’s the secret to looking younger?

Keeping up with trends. Ok, you don’t need to get carried away – but anyone wearing a double breasted blazer & pearl necklace, is going to look older than someone wearing a bomber jacket ( and Mary Berry DID wear one on the Bake off) Since there has been a swing towards retro styles in clothing, & this has been carried through to bras & pants as well. Large burlesque style pants are very in vogue, and will flatter a larger lady or someone who is top heavy, whilst bras which are more longline or corset in style, can enhance  your boobs or balance out large hips.

Since loads of bras have various levels of padding, you can choose the appropriate style to compliment your assets! (RIP chicken fillets). Slight padding in a bra can give a great shape to any size chest, as well as hiding prominent nipples. (did you know in America, having your “headlights” on show can be offensive, or, considered a turn on – take you pick). Retailers are shaping up (ho ho ) to “post surgery” or non wired bras, giving a greater choice.

Additionally there is the appearance of bra-lets. These are lacy crop top style bras with no support or padding. Often, they have cross straps or lace panels at the back. Not ideal for those who were over blessed “up top”. Can you wear them whatever your age? Since there is a big trend this summer for sheer fabrics, bra-lets  may well solve the problem of what underwear to wear. Equally, leave a blouse open and flash a bit of lace.

Whilst they offer hardly any support, I suggest wearing a nude bra which will support your boobs, and then wear a bra-let over the top. If you are shy, wear the same coloured bra-let to match the sheer fabric i.e. grey bra-let with grey sheer top, black with black etc. Similarly, if you are wearing a strappy dress or top, a bra-let is ideal, as the straps are meant to be seen. No more see through bra straps or strapless bras. (see further reading below)

Matching bra & pants? Oh I think so.

Underneath is a selection of bras & pants which offer varying degrees of support. Embrace bold colours as they are designed to be seen. Don’t just stick to white and black.

After all it’s Valentines Day soon, and that’s the perfect excuse for new undies!!!👙

Good for boyish/athletic

  1. Lace plunge multiway bra. £38. House of Fraser Calvin Klein Various sizes 30 C- 36D Nylon elastane, wired, padded, moulded. Available in red, navy, black, nude. Some colours reduced.
  2. Seductive comfort thong £22  Calvin Klein Size XS to L. Only available in red at HoF
  3. Seductive Comfort hipsters. £26. Calvin Klein. Size XS-L Only red available at HoF. Some colours reduced.
  4. Guipure floral bra-lette. £18.50. Ted Baker at Debenhams Size 8-18. Polyester, elastane, polyamide mix.
  5. Guipure floral brazilian pants. £13.50. Ted Baker at Debenhams. Size 8-18 £13.50. Polyamide, polyester, elastane mix.

Good for longer bodies/broader shoulders

  1. Red Daisy Guipure non wired, non padded bra. £22. Next Size 32B-38DD. Nylon polyester elastane mix.
  2. Red Guipure high waisted pants. £14. Next Size 6-18 Nylon polyester elastane mix.
  3. Red Guipure light padded cami slip. £35. Next Size 32A – 38DD. Nylon polyester elastane mix.

Good for hourglass and big busts

  1. Rose print Phoebe longline bra. £20. Next. Size 32A- 38DD. Polyester nylon elastane mix.
  2. Rose print high waisted briefs. £12. Next. Size 6-18. Nylon polyester elastane.
  3. Rose print Phoebe DD+ balcony bra. £24. Next Size 30DD – 38G. Lightly padded bra. Nylon polyester elastane mix.

Good for pear shapes and boyish

  1. Janet Reger halterneck bra. £26. Debenhams. Size 32-36 cups A-D. Polyamide elastane mix. Underwired.
  2. Janet Reger dark lace brazilian briefs. £15. Debenhams. Size 8-18. Polyester polyamide elastane mix.
  3. Janet Reger lace bralet. £24. Debenhams. Size 8-18 Polyester polyamide elastane mix.
  4. Janet Reger lace bow Brazilian briefs. Debenhams. Size 8-18. Polyester polyamide elastane mix. Nice detail at the back.

Good post surgery with an option for larger busts

  1. Silk and lace post surgery bra. £27.50. M and S Size 32-40 A-DD depending on size. Viscose, silk, elastane, polyester mix. Full cup, non wired, padded.
  2. Silk and lace padded balcony bra. £26. M and S Size 30-40 A-E Polyester polyamide viscose elastane mix.
  3. Silk and polyester non padded bra. £26. M and S. Size 32-40 DD-G but running out of stock.
  4. Silk and lace high leg knickers £12.50. M and S Size 6-20. Polyamide silk elastane.
  5. Silk and lace brazilian knickers. £12.50 M and S Size 6-20. Polyamide silk elastane.

Good for very large busts

  1. Snake print non padded minimiser bra. £20. M and S. Size 36-40, cups C-G. Polyester polyamide elastane.
  2. Snale print brazilian pants. £12.50 M and S Size 8-20. Polyamide elastane mix.

Good for small/medium chests

  1. Lace bralet. £14.99. H and M Size 8-18, in black too. They have something similar with cup sizes and more support. This is lined, and no fasteners. Polyamide elastane.
  2. Lace backed super push up bra. £14.99. H and M. Size 32-36 A – D. Microfibre, padded and under wired.

Hoping that this has inspired you to get out of your bras & pants (!) rut and try something new!!

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear a bralet: gurl.com

3 ways to wear the bralet trend: glamour

How do I wear a bralet: herapparelintimates.com

underwear trends for this season you need to know about: huffingtonpost.com

How to wear a high neck bralet: gurl.com

 

Summer lace you shouldn’t be straight laced about!

lace 2016 burberrylace 2016 oscar de lalace 2016 dolce & gabbanalace 2016 moncler

Photos courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Burberry, Oscar de La Renta, Dolce and Gabbana and Moncler Gamme Rouge

Can We Lesser Mortals wear lace and not look like a crochet table cloth?

Lace often conjures up images of old maids in dowdy lace dresses or the primness of the Victorian era. In addition, there is the issue of cheap nylon lace looking like a net curtain which can be off putting. But times have moved on and a lot of nylon lace is quite authentic looking. When cut into an item of clothing where you can see through the lace, it can be quite a sexy summer offering. Nude linings hint at nakedness, but when manufactured into a midi length skirt, conversely suggests demureness. What a conundrum!! So below I have shown some of the many versatile ways that lace can be worn – from smart tailoring, to edgy culottes. What temptation!!

What tickles your fancy? I actually really like the Monsoon ensemble, and quite like the Boden blouse. If I hadn’t got a white midi skirt already, I  might have got the Zara culottes. Remember age is just a state of mind…..!

lace 2016 jacket KMlace 2016 zara jacket

  1. JX059 Sculptural lace jacket. £200. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Polyamide viscose mix. Dry clean. Low on stock, this is now reduced from £299 to £200. I have one from a few years ago, and it never fails to get compliments. Because this doesn’t close across the front, it will accentuate your top half, so suits pear, boyish and hourglass best.
  2. Guipure Lace jacket. £59.99. Zara. Size S-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. A pretty little summer cover up, with long sleeves, this will suit most body shapes.

lace 2016 oasis dresslace 2016 next dress

  1. Limited edition lace midi dress. £150. Oasis. Size 8-18. 100% polyester. Hand wash. A beautiful cobalt colour, this style will suit hourglass, and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy leaf dress. £75. Next . Size 6-22. In tall and petite as well as regular length. 100% polyester. Also available in ivory. A lovely dress, this will suit slight pear, boyish and hourglass best.

lace 2016 zara culotteslace2016 monsoon

  1. Lace culottes. £39.99. Zara. Size XS-L. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Now normally I hate the whole see through lace trouser thing, but maybe because these are fully lined they work… and come on ladies – culottes are not so scary are they? More like a crop trouser? Great for pear shape and hour glass ladies, but other body shapes may get away with too.
  2. Demi lace top. £49.Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix. Dry clean only. Quite a cheeky little skirt with a nude lining underneath to hint at sexy!! Described as green – I would say a lichen green colour/grey. Suits most body shapes, but not great if big chested.
  3. Demi lace skirt £69. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Viscose nylon mix, Dry clean only. What value – a skirt and top, which can be worn as separates or as an outfit. And not boring black!! Suits most body shapes, but may not suit very hippy ladies.

lace 2016 boden toplace 2016 whistles 2

  1. Floral Lace top. £89.50. Boden. Size 6-22. 100% cotton. Hand wash. In white and navy. Lots of fab comments on this top, on their website, from busty, apple shaped and slim women. Also, you can wear a clashing top under it & that will look good. Cut slightly A line, this will suit most body shapes, but beware big chested ladies.
  2. Meadow Lace top. £120. Whistles. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Described as pink but looks corally. This is best for pear and boyish, and for other body shapes, it will depend how big your chest is.
  3. Meadow skirt. £140. Whistles. Size 4-16.100% polyester. Dry clean only. The fuller skirt works on most body shapes, but won’t suit you if you have a bit of a tummy.

So do you think lace will be your “thang” this summer? It doesn’t only have to be a smart option – all these items can be dressed down with different footwear. If you’d like more ideas, you can contact me through www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk or the comments box on this blog.

Further reading:

8 modern ways to wear white lace: whowhatwear

How to wear a lace dress: Just the design

Lace clothing at work: fashion gum

How to wear lace skirts: fashion gum

9 Lingerie Style fashions to lust after this summer!!

black and white 2016 celineblack and white 2016 alexander wangblack and white 2016 burberryblack and white 2016 givenchy

Lingerie style fashions, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Celine, Alexander wang, Burberry  and Givenchy

Can We Lesser Mortals wear the Lingerie Style clothes, without looking like we’ve gone out in our underwear?

That’s it – we’re all so hard up now after the recession, we’re about to spend the summer going out in our underwear!! Or so it looks to the untrained eye. Catwalk designers have turned to lingerie style garments to inspire their summer collections, and this has in turn, influenced the High Street. It’s not the easiest of trends to follow if you need some serious scaffolding to support your chest, but there is a vast array of support underwear in the shops, for whatever your size and shape. Failing that, choose some brightly coloured bra straps and make a contrasting feature of the whole thing!! Can you wear slip dresses and camisoles whatever your age? Personally I would steer away from anything too white  and lace-y (lets face it, you are kidding no-one about the state of your innocence, and you don’t want to look like a bride) If you are older you may be conscious of your arms, but it is totally acceptable to wear T shirts or such like under your slip dress, or a shrug over the top. Having said that, they don’t give you much to hide under. It doesn’t really matter what size you are. Nowadays, it’s all about accepting yourself for who you are and embracing it, rather than covering it up. For me, I think the camisole tops are easy to wear on holiday or during hot weather, styled with a skirt or skinny jeans – and with a blazer or bomber jacket chucked over the top. Slip dresses are fabulous with flat converses or sandals, and a pashmina for evening (possibly avoid mules, or they’ll look like your slippers!!)

Let me know what you think, would you or wouldn’t you? And how would you style them up? Shall I do a “3 ways to wear” piece on lingerie style clothes? Let me know. Best bargain for what you get – the Ghost dress at the bottom.

 

black and white dress 2016 top shopblack and white dress 2016 karen millenblack and white 2016 dress m and s

  1. Lace Doll Dress. £55. Top Shop. Size 4-16. Polyester cotton viscose mix. Machine washable. Perfect for a more modest look. This shift dress is inspired by the “lingerie” trend, but is much more user friendly. Best for boyish shapes.
  2. Lace Crepe Dress £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This has a fitted bodice and is straight to the knees so best for boyish shapes, although less extreme apple shapes or hourglass, may get away with this style.
  3. Lace trim dress. £39.50 Marks and Spencers. Size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. This is much looser and unstructured so anyone can wear, but it will suit boyish and apple shapes best.

black and white 2016 top Mand Sblack and white 2016 nextblack and white 2016 all saints

  1. Lace trim camisole top. £22.50. Marks and Spencers. size 6-18. 100% viscose. Machine washable. Also available in khaki. Loose fitting and flowing, this top fits most body shapes but will flatter boyish and apple best.
  2. Sage lace trim came top.£24. Next size 6-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Also available in black.  There isn’t a lot of shape to this top, but the black trim means this is a great top for boyish, and slight apple. Again, other shapes can wear, but it depends what you co-ordinate with.
  3. Emeline Camisole Top. £68. All saints. Size 2-14. Available in black too. No info on fabric and care. Nearly all of these tops, are just slip over, so not great for big busts. However, out of all the tops,  this V neck line is better for slightly larger busted ladies. Most other shapes can wear too.

black and white 2016 top Zarablack and white 2016 dress ghostblack and white 2016 sandal lk bennet

  1. Dress with lace hem. £35.99. Zara Size S-XL. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This flowing style is best for this with bigger busts, if they can find the right bra. The elastic waist band nips the dress in, under the bust line. It may also suit apple, pear and hourglass shapes.
  2. Janine Dress Lint green. £95. Ghost.  Size XS-XL. 100% viscose, hand washable. This bias cut dress, has the most structure out of all the items shown. Adjustable straps and bias cut skirt, make this suitable for pear shapes, hourglass and larger busted ladies.
  3. Miki monochrome high heeled sandal. £295. Lk Bennet Size 35-42. Leather. Inspired by the black and white trend. Also available in orange. A lovely high heel for special occasions. The fastening at the front allows for some lea way on width of foot.

So I think you can see, this lingerie inspired trend is best for more boyish figures, although there are styles to suit all body shapes if you like it. If you need help on deciding your body shape, and what styles suit you, you can always books one to one with me here

 

Further reading:

11 lingerie inspired pieces you could wear from dinner to the bedroom: bustle.com

How to wear lingerie styled fashion: Thefashionroom.net

lingerie inspired fashion for every occasion : my fashion.com.hr

celebrity style / the slip dress: whowhatwear

7 ways to wear a slip dress: style caster

How to style a camisole top 10 ways: fashion lady.in

6 Victoriana fashion pieces to die for!!

vogue:alberta ferretivogue:alexander mcQ

Photos courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – Alberta Ferreti & Alexander McQueen

Can We Lesser Mortals wear Victoriana without looking like a Suffragette?

Which came first? The film Suffragette? or the Victoriana trend? It’s a close call, as neither the film, nor the clothes, were knocked up overnight. What is Victoriana? Well, it’s pretty much like it sounds. Lots of lace in various colours, high  necks (which  may not suit big busted ladies) and midi length skirts. They were always going to make an appearance sooner or later, as we’ve had micro mini skirts for so long, and there always tends to be a kick back against fashions that have been around for donkeys years. It’s a bit like high rise flares versus hipster skinny jeans. So how does that affect a Lesser Mortal? I say “bring it on’. Midi lengths are fabulous for ladies who are less than happy about their legs, and high neck, long sleeve lace tops work wonders if you have bingo wings, or are less than happy with your decolletage. And if you are a proud owner of a fabulous rack, then great – wear a lace skirt, or find a lace blouse which opens at the neck.

Enjoy these “amuse bouches” and let me know what you think – I’ve really enjoyed getting a few comments recently!! ( I’ve got my eye on the red dress from Karen Millen – I’m a scarlet woman underneath!)

victoriana blouse hobbsvictoriana blouse Zara

  1. Clarice Shirt £99. Hobbs. Sizes 6-18. In red and navy. Made from polyamide and polyester. Dry clean only. It looks quite neat fitting, so suits pear shapes and boyish figures best
  2. Plumetis blouse with lace trim. £39.99. Zara. Size XS – L. 100% cotton. Hand washable. This would work with 70’s flares, or any of the new midi length skirts. Again, probably best for pear shapes or boyish shapes.

victoriana ruffle dress karen millenvictoriana devore dress Zara

  1. Red ruffled lace dress. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. 100 % polyester. Dry clean only. With its pussy bow and floaty skirt shape, this style again suits boyish and pear shapes, but hourglass may look good in it too.
  2. Long velvet midi dress £79.99. Zara. Size XS-L. Viscose and silk mix. Dry clean only. A beautiful draping dress, which will suit apple and boyish shapes best, but other shapes can get away with. With its high neck, avoid if you have a large bust.

victoriana lace jacket Karen millenvictoriana skirt m and s autograph

  1. Lace jacket £299. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Viscose polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This jacket doesn’t fasten, so with the right top/neckline underneath, will suit most body shapes, including larger chested ladies.
  2. Lace skirt. £55. Marks and Spencers. Size 6-22. Sadly no information about the fabric or care instructions. This will suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies best.

So whilst not daring and revealing, I think the Victoriana trend is very stylish for winter, and will suit most age groups. I guess the modern take on Victorian styles, is far from frumpy, but if in doubt, a pair of heels tackles most issues. If you need more help on a one to one basis, then contact me through my website here

Further reading:

How to wear a victorian blouse: style hub:styloko

How to pull off the dark victoriana trend: glamourmagasine

Victoriana trend: champagne girls

How to wear Victorian blouse: Vogue.com

6 white-on ways to wear white this summer

white valentino

www.vogue.co.uk

Can We Lesser Mortals wear all white this summer without looking like we’ve gone out in our nighties??

Aaaah. Summer is round the corner & we imagine ourselves like Timotei ladies with  Scandinavian blonde hair and floaty white dresses, skipping through fields of wild flowers …..?? Till your teenage son asks if you’ve forgotten to put your dress on, and your husband asks who you are trying to kid!!! But fear not – ‘fashion advice” from an “image consultant” is realistic, as most of our clients are normal women, with normal bodies, and normal expectations. (Although we are there to nudge you out of your comfort zones). So here are some lovely ideas for you. Don’t be afraid to dress all in white – it makes quite a striking impression on people. (just make sure it’s machine washable, and don’t go near the tomato ketchup….)

white waistcoat apple Karen Millen  white jumpsuit hourglass warehouse

  1. Tailored long line waist coat. £250. Karen Millen. Sizes 8-16. Acetate, viscose elastane mix. Dry clean only. This jacket/coat is very striking and will slim down silhouettes. Best for tall and apple shaped ladies.
  2. Culotte bandeau jumpsuit. £75. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Handwash. Obviously you need a good rack for this to stay up, it will probably suit hourglass and pear shaped ladies with a chest. It may fit large chested ladies too.

white wide leg trousers reisswhite maxi dress FC

 

  1. Sorrento wide leg trousers. £120. Reiss. Size 6-14. Cotton viscose elastane. Dry clean only. I love a nice pair of white trousers but watch your VPL. These will suit top heavy and boyish shapes -you will possibly get away with if you have slight hips.
  2. Coachella embroidered maxi dress. £250. French Connection. Size 6-16. 100% nylon. Dry clean. A beautiful maxi dress, although it will probably only be special occasions, as it is dry clean!! Suit pear shape and boyish shapes best.

white zara topwhite Zara jacket

  1. Belted White top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to L. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Washable. Will suit hourglass, large chests, pear shapes and possibly apple shapes.
  2. Broderie anglaise jacket with pockets. £79.99 Zara. Size XS to L. 100% cotton. Washable. This will suit most body shapes, but leave undone if you have a largish chest.

So I am definitely going to be wearing white with white this summer. What about you? Ok so my kids may be a bit older, but if you are working, or your kids are at school all day, or indeed, you don’t have kids, then you can stay pretty clean, and since retro is all the rage, you can always wear a pinny whilst cooking tea!! For more help contact me www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

10 stylish ways to wear white: whowhatwear

7 tips on how to wear a white dress: all women stalk

How to wear a white jacket: 40 plus style

How to wear a white blouse: dress like a parisian

 

 

 

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