Check out these gorgeous gingham garments!!

Gingham fashions courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Peter PilottoD and G, Michael Kors and House of Holland

Can We Lesser Mortals wear gingham and not look like we blew in from the Windy City? (Doris Day)

Whip crack away, whip crack away, whip crack away!! Howdy partners! Gingham I hear you say…well I’m either going to look like Dorothy, without the Wizard of Oz, or I’m going to look like an extra from Calamity Jane (Doris Day don’t you know) Not so – the modern twist on gingham means you can find mature styles which are appropriate to your age and life style. Additionally, I would recommend that you take care when you find it styled up with frills, ruffles and embroidery, as you may start to look like a pair of curtains in a transport caff or in “Allo Allo”!

How to wear gingham:

Do think about what colour suits you best – most of the styles in the shops are black and white, which I find drains me. As a result, I’ve looked for other colours to flatter your skin tone. The check pattern will attract attention to it, so wear it over your best feature (boobs if you like them, bum if you like that) The off the shoulder styles are very fashionable this summer, and this can make shoulders look broader. Full frilled skirts can draw eyes downwards away from larger busts. So think about where your best and worst features are before you try on.

Finally, gingham can be smart and casual. The Boden trousers featured below can be office appropriate when worn with a blazer, and the Warehouse gingham dress would be perfect for a formal lunch.

So don’t ignore gingham this summer….check it out ( get it? check..gingham??)

  1. Off the shoulder gingham blouse. £17.99. H and M Size 6-20. 100% cotton. Machine washable. This blouse will make shoulders look broader so is best for pear shapes and boyish figures. Apple shapes and larger chest, may get away with it too. Hourglass ladies could wear it belted in. or tucked into trousers or skirts which show off their waists.
  2. Richmond gingham trousers £59.50. Boden Size 6-22. Petite, regular and long length. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Drawing eyes downwards, these trousers will suit top heavy, boyish, and some hourglass ladies,

  1. Gingham dress. £56. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. This A line style will work perfectly for pear shapes, as well as boyish figures.
  2. Gingham ruched sleeve blouse £35. Warehouse. Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Slightly loose in shape, this will suit boyish best, but apple shapes can wear it, and some pear shapes – watch the trumpet sleeves don’t accentuate your hips.

  1. Gingham check cardi. £59.99, Zara Size XS-XL. Cotton polyester elastane mix. Hand washable. These little jackets from Zara are very popular and easy to wear. Best for pear and boyish. Other shapes will get away with it if worn undone.
  2. Gingham frilled skirt. £29.99. Zara Size XS-XL. 100% cotton, machine washable. Adding volume to the lower part of the body, this skirt will balance a large chest out nicely. It can add curves to boyish figures.

  1. Nina Gingham dress. £149. Coast  Size 6-18 100% polyester. Dry Clean only. This dress will highlight your shoulders, and skim over hips, so is good for pear shapes, and boyish ladies. If your bust isn’t too big, it will suit hourglass shapes too.
  2. Wendy bow wedges. £39. Top Shop  Size 3-8. 100% textile. Specialist clean.How cute are these? Perfect for beach holidays and casual occasions.

  1. MOTO gingham shorts £32. Top Shop Size 6-18. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Ok, so you’ve got to a have a cute butt for these or long slim legs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them if you’re over thirty!! Best for long legs and boyish figures
  2. Gingham check shorts. £25.99 Mango. Size S-L. polyester cotton, Machine washable. Stylish shorts with a slightly longer cut. The retro shape means these will suit hourglass best, but will also work on top heavy, boyish and pear shape if the hem doesn’t sit on the widest point of your hips.

Do you think you could wear gingham? Have you looked at it now with a fresh perspective? It wasn’t something I was immediately drawn to, but since looking, I’ve seen quite a few styles I would wear. If you want help you can ask me in the comments box, or email me via my website Vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

20 style tips on how to wear gingham clothes: gurl.com

30+ ways to wear gingham style (sans Dorothy): Closetful of clothes

22 street style approved ways to wear gingham: fustany.com

How to wear the Gingham outfits in a fashionable way: Styles Weekly

Summer ruffles to frill you!!

Ruffles on the catwalk, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: gucci D and G Burberry and Alberta Ferretti

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish ruffles and not look like Notting Hill Carnival?

Do ruffles frill you or make you tremble with horror? The trend is very reminiscent of the 80’s ra-ra styles, and can strike fear into the bravest fashionista. Images of ladies walking with bowls of fruit on their heads spring to mind and tiered peasant skirts a la 1970’s. Consequently many Mortals recoil at the prospect of sashaying along the aisles of their local supermarket, causing a minor incident as a result of their ill advised frill ensemble.

Despite this, I do think ruffles have their use for anyone who has a disproportionate figure. The size of the frill can add volume to areas that need bulking up, hence a small bust can be enhanced with a ruffle or two, and so create an hour glass figure out of a pear shape, and tiers of fabric on a skirt, can balance out a large chest.

What size of ruffle?

Shyer ladies can choose a small frill, whilst ladies with a large personality can select a more “in your face” style, to draw attention to themselves. I prefer ruffles on the small scale, so the outfits I am sharing are more on the subtle side. Ruffles don’t have to be girly. Look at the shoes or jacket you co-ordinate them with (see wedges with jumpsuit), or avoid floral fabrics and feminine style dresses. Consequently, on the “3 ways to style a ruffle” I style some ruffle clothes casually with converses, in a retro 70’s way, and lastly as a feminine floral look. Click here to see.

Why is your favourite- let me know in the comments box, and guess which one is my favourite!

  1. Asymetric ruffle jumpsuit. £69. Warehouse.  Size 6-18. Available in pale pink and light grey. Polyester viscose mix. Machine washable.  Ruffles across the chest area, will accentuate your chest, so this is best for slight pear shapes and boyish shapes.
  2. Ruffle spot wrap dress. £55. Top Shop  Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Wrap dresses suit most body shapes and generally flatter larger busts so best for hourglass, and large chests.

  1. Penelope dress. £110. Boden Size 6-22 in regular and  long length. 100% cotton. Machine washable.  Quite fitted so best for ladies who aren’t extremely curvy, like boyish or straighter hourglass ladies.
  2. Ruffle midi skirt. £42. Top Shop. Size 4-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The ruffles here can create curves, and the high waist and vertical ruffle makes legs look longer. Good for boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.

  1. Ruffle sleeve blouse. £35. Next. Navy too. Size 6-22. 100% viscose. Suitable for evening or work wear, the ruffles on the sleeve broaden your top half, so this is good for pear shapes. It will also add curves to boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Blue ruffle shirt. £28. Next.  Regular and petite, size 6-22. 100% cotton with polyester trim. The bold V decoration will break up a large chest, so this will suit boyish, hourglass and top heavy best.

  1. Rochelle broderie off shoulder blouse. £49. Monsoon. Size S- XL. 100% viscose. Machine washable. The shape really broadens your chest and shoulder area, so this tends to suit pear shapes and hourglass, but can add curves to boyish and apple shapes, depending on what you wear on your bottom half.
  2. Metallic detail trousers. £39.99. Zara Size 6-14. Cotton elastane mix. Machine washable. Clearly best for ladies with slender legs – the frill can draw attention away from larger hips, or busts, so best for boyish or top heavy. They will suit hourglass ladies too.

  1. Leather block heel ruffle sandal. £45. M and S. Available in black too. Size 3-8 including half sizes. Leather upper, regular fit. Cute little sandals with not too high a heel – perfect for the summer with skirts or crop jeans.
  2. Ruffle clutch bag. £24. Next. In black too. Polyester. Cute little nod to the frill trend without being in your face.
  3. Ruffle shoes boot. £85. Next. IN black too. Size 36-42. Leather upper, 9cm heel. Lovely with painted toe nails peeping out. Again, great with skirts or crop trousers/jeans.

Finally,  have I made you a frill seeker? I think you can see they can be worn in a subtle, and don’t need to scream Copacabana. If you want to contact me, do so in the comment box or via Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

NYFW street style ruffles: Glamour South africa

How to wear a ruffle top: Gurl.com

How to wear ruffles like a fashion girl: Stylecaster

Are you ready to ruffle: thefashhiontag

 

12 denim fashion finds daring to be different!

Denim fashions courtesy of vogue.co.uk: Caroline Herrera Philip Plein Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini  Gucci

Can We Lesser Mortals find stylish modern denim and not look like a rhinestone cowboy?

Yadah, yadah, yadah…blah blah more denim, Seen it done it, and ticked the box about twenty years ago! Why should we buy more denim, when it’s been knocking around for ever and a day? Surely those old baggy bootcut jeans are fine?

Seems like fashions are always re-inventing themselves, putting a twist on an old favourite, to create a new trend. The same applies to denim. Is it just a marketing ploy?  Could be, but we all know –  getting up to date styles will help you look younger, which is always good? Right?

Denim is comfortable, hardwearing and relatively cheap. Consequently, there are now many varied styles to suit every wardrobe personality and budget,  which means you don’t have to look shabby or casual – unless that’s your bag, baby.

For busy women and Lesser Mortals who are on the go, time poor and so need hard wearing clothes which wash well, then denim ticks the box. Get the right style and cut, & denim clothes can flatter and compliment. There is every style of jean out there from skinny to flares, cropped to full length, and in every depth of shade. Remember – high waists will make your legs look longer, but can make tummies and bottoms look bigger. Low waists can show muffin tops, but will make your body look longer and your legs shorter. Skinnies can make legs look chunky, whilst flares can add curves & balance out bigger hips. seek advice if you’re not sure what suits you.

Fundamentally, if  jeans aren’t your “thing”, then denim dresses and skirts as well as jackets and blouses, can keep you looking edgy. I shan’t show you bog standard denim jackets, mini skirts and  jeans, as there are tons out there which are easy to find. Rather, I’ll tempt you with some styles which I think are a little out of the ordinary. Why run with the flock? Remember –  if it’s out of your price range but you  like it, you could keep an eye out for the sales! Some stores are already offering 20% off spring styles.

My favourite……I’m quite attracted to the jumpsuit, the biker jacket and of course – I’m a sucker for the trainers!!

.

  1. Izzy denim dress. £299. Jigsaw. Size 6-14. Linen cotton elastane mix. This has a voile overlay and will be cool in summer, as it is not a heavy denim material. This shape lends itself well to pear shapes.
  2. Cotton strap jumpsuit. £39. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% cotton. Machine washable. A very easy piece to wear either with converses, or a silk bomber jacket and wedge sandals to dress it up at night. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and omit the belt for slight apple shapes.
  3. Indigo sporty shirt dress. £28. Dorothy perkins. Size 6-20. 100% cotton. Machine washable. Actually, Dotty P has a variety of denim dresses & a lot are reduced now, so you can pick some up for £15. This one comes in tall length too. The will suit boyish, and possibly hourglass and pear shapes if you aren’t too curvy.
  4. Edie denim shirt dress. £110. French connection. Or House of fraser  Size 6-16. cotton elastane mix. Machine wash cold. This is probably best for boyish shapes.

  1. Mower denim slim jacket. £140. G star XXS to XL. Cotton elastane, machine washable. Styled like a biker jacket but in a dark denim, this style will suit those with smaller chests.
  2. Belted denim jacket. £145. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester elastane mix. The pockets on this will make boobs look bigger, so best for boyish and pear shapes. However, if worn open, most body shapes will get away with.

  1. Ash wide leg jean. £85. FCUK.  Size 6-16. Polyester, cotton elastane. Most jeans this summer are skinny, cropped, or ripped to bits. So these will suit pear shapes and balance out those ladies who are top heavy.
  2. Denim top £42. Top Shop. Size XS-XL.  100% cotton. Machine washable. This top has fashionable trumpet style sleeves, and an empire style bodice. This will suit pear shapes, boyish and some apple shapes, but it’s not very stretchy.

  1. Flared midi denim skirt. £39. Warehouse. Size 6-18. This is so easy to wear in the summer. Wear it with converse or wedge sandals. Perfect for most body shapes.
  2. Long denim shirt. £24.99, H and M Size 6-18. 100% lyocell. Machine washable. This would be great worn as a dress, or a beach cover up. This shape suits most, but great for apple shapes. Belt in, if you are top heavy.

  1. Asda japanese Denim trainer. £98. Jigsaw. Size 36-41. Made in collaboration with Japanese mill Kuroki. These will be fab with a floaty dress, jeans or shorts.
  2. Denim crop top £25.99 Zara Size XS – L  100% cotton. Machine washable. This boxy style with puffed sleeves, will suit pear shapes and boyish best.

So push your boundaries, and grab some of the up to date denim in the shops to add a youthful edge to your wardrobe. You can email me for advice, or book me for a consultation Vicky Smith Styling.

Further reading:

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

8 do’s and font’s of double denim: Style caster

How to wear a denim shirt 21 ways: the refinery

How to style a denim dress: whowhatwear

16 fresh ways to wear a denim skirt: more.com

 

14 voluptuous velvet styles to tempt, tease and titilllate!

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Velvet catwalk photos courtesy of vogue.co.uk: vetements, Valentino, Haider Ackerman and Akris

Can We Lesser Mortals look En Vogue in sumptuous velvet?

Delicious, sensuous, luxurious velvet. It says Christmas doesn’t it? The pile of the fabric makes it deep and rich in appearance.

“Fabulous, you say! But I don’t need any more special occasion wear, as I will only get to go out once over the festive period and I won’t get my money’s worth”.

A valid point, but apart from your obvious velvet party dress, there are many ways to tone down velvet. I’ll show you next week on Facebook (Vicky Smith Styling) how I style my velvet midi pleat skirt.

The tunic, shown below, can be  worn with jeans, and over a polo neck jumper for warmth.

The velvet body can co-ordinate with a leather skirt and knee boots or a denim skirt and Converses, or you could wear a kimono style jumper over the top.

Velvet jeans or trousers can be worn in exactly the same way as normal smart jeans or trousers – with ankle boots, chunky knit, blouse etc

Break up the suits, by wearing them as separates – the velvet jackets with denim jeans, the trousers with brogues and a leather jacket.

And lastly the pink velvet midi skirt can be worn with chunky knits or a bomber jacket.

So many women think that around the house, you should only wear jeans, but why not look nice when you are at home? You never know who will call, and you nearly always have to nip out for something. Obviously, if you are on your hands and knees doing chores, then you can change. ( and yes, I put my jog pants on in the evening! 😱 )

Velour or velvet? Velour is a knitted fabric, so has more “give” and is cheaper. You tend to get a lot of velour in the low end High St stores, but it can look really cheap. Velvet is a woven fabric and is sturdier and less stretchy, but looks more luxurious and is usually more expensive.

So my challenge for you this week, is to tell me in the comments box, what you think I would wear or buy?

velvet-2016-pleat-dress-oasisvelvet-2016v-karen-millen

  1. Pleated velvet midi dress. £75. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. You can see this looks like it’s straight off the catwalk. The high neck won’t flatter big busts, so I think this will be best for hourglass, boyish, and smaller pear shapes.
  2. Feminine velvet dress DZ239. £170. Karen Millen.  Size 6-16. Silk viscose mix, dry clean only. The fitted shape will flatter hourglass, pear shapes and boyish.

velvet-2016-warehouse-topvelvet-2016-monsoon-velour-top

  1. Crushed velvet body. £29. Warehouse. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This can be dressed up for party wear, or you can wear with jeans/skirt and a bomber/blazer jacket for smart day time. This is good for boyish, pear and  hourglass ladies.
  2. Blythe devore print blouse. £59. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Nylon viscose mix, machine washable. An easy top to wear day or night. Best for pear, apple, and boyish shapes.

velvet-2016-suit-ted-bakervelvet-2016-m-and-s-suit

  1. Katciat Velvet tuxedo trousers. £139. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane viscose mix. Dry clean only.
  2. Katcia tux jacket. £229. Ted Baker Size 6-16. Cotton viscose elastane mix, dry clean only. Buy as separates, or make a stylish entrance in a suit. You can get cheaper versions at say, Next, but you get what you pay for. The advantage of this suit, is you can wear it as separates too, and get more for your money, You can also buy different sizes top and bottom, if you are disproportionate. Will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.
  3. Long sleeve velvet jacket. £79. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only.
  4. Textured wide leg velvet trouser. £49.50. Marks and spencers. Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Again both these pieces can be worn separately or as a suit. A loose flowing suit which will suit most body shapes, but probably not boyish shapes.

velvet-2016-mango-green-jeansvelvet-2016-jeans-reiss

  1. Cotton corduroy trousers. £49.99. Mango. Size 6-12. Available in green and navy. Cotton elastane mix, machine washable. So although described as corduroy, they are a sort of velveteen. Shown here in a casual manner. These will suit boyish, top heavy and hourglass.
  2. Helvin snake croc velvet jean. £110. Reiss Size 24″-32″ (approx 6-16) Cotton elastane viscose mix. Machine washable. These will suit anyone who wears skinny jeans at the moment – probably best for boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies.

velvet-2016-warehouse-skirtvelvet-2016-whistles-skirt

  1. Velvet pelmet skirt. £35. Warehouse.  Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is reasonably straight, so will be best for top heavy, hourglass and boyish. Not great if pear shaped.
  2. Kitty metallic pleated skirt. £125. Whistles Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. If it’s out of your price range, don’t forget the M and S one I mentioned a few weeks ago. Great with knee boots and ankle boots, this will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass best.

velvet-2016-topshop-velvet-bagvelvet-2016-topshopt-shoes

  1. Velvet tent make up bag. £14. Top Shop. Viscose nylon mix. What? Nailing 2 trends in one? Leopard and velvet. Way to go girl!!
  2. Suzie square toe platform. £52. Top shop. Size 2-9. 100% textile. 5″ heel. These will really lift a LBD and the chunky heel is more stable on a long night out.

velvet-2016-reiss-shoesvelvet-2016-reiss-bag

  1. Monda berry velvet sandals, £170. Reiss. Size 3-8. This doesn’t say if they are leather or fabric. Beautiful high heeled sandals for an evening out with skinny jeans, or the perfect party dress.
  2. Beau velvet clutch bag. £135. Reiss. Available in deep ocean suede(green/blue). The red is polyester elastane. Yep – I’m a sucker for a matching bag and shoes.

Will you dismiss velvet as a waste of money? I bought some velvet jeans last year and will be wearing them this year as well, so I’m getting value for money. Let me know you have an opinion, as I’d love to get some feedback.

Further reading:

20 style tips poe how to wear velvet: gurl.com

How to wear velvet: Harpersbazaar.com

How to wear velvet this fall: pop sugar

The cool way to wear velvet pants: whowhatwear

Trendy tweed to tickle you fashion mojo

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Photos of tweed courtesy of Vogue.co.uk : Chanel, Loewe, Balenciaga and Isabel Marant

Can We Lesser mortals wear tweed and not look like we’re wearing a car rug?

I am astonished this winter, by how many High Street trends have been around for a good few seasons. If you took earlier advice from this blog, you will still be bang on trend, and it hasn’t cost you a penny!! Lets face it, keeping up with trends makes us look younger, which is something we all want, whatever our age? Right?

Can we carry off tweed without looking like we’ve raided Granny’s wardrobe ( which is fine if you are 18 but not if you are 48)? Firstly, to keep tweed looking young and fresh, look at the style of the clothes it has been made into. The culottes and top are definitely modern not fuddy duddy styles. No granny points there. Secondly, you need to look at how you style it. The mini skirt is matched with a leather biker style jacket and the fringed coat is styled with ankle boots and a mini skirt ( if bare legs aren’t your thing, then opaque tights work too). Tweed jackets also look great with skinnies or flared jeans. No granny points there either. And thirdly what accessories? Cardi’s, pearl necklaces and Mary Jane shoes, are going to add about 15 years to your perceived age. I would wear knee boots, ankle boots, converses, heels etc. Chunky crop knits, pendants & cold shoulder tops are all very modern, so again, no granny points. Finally –  no 15 denier flesh coloured tights please.

So do you feel the need for tweed? Can you guess what I’d buy….? The culottes and the fringed coat are my kind of tweed. What’s yours? Answers in comment box below!!

tweed-2016-crop-trousers-coasttweed-2016-m-and-s-trousers

  1. Likka cropped trousers. £89. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester wool acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Wide leg trousers are great for pear shapes, hourglass and top heavy ladies. Petite ladies are better with a longer length trouser.
  2. Wide leg checked trouser with wool. £49.50. M and S. Size 6-22. Some sizes are available in short and long lengths. Wool acrylic polyamide mix. Dry clean only. These trousers look quite fitted over the hip area, so best for apple, boyish and top heavy ladies.

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  1. Houndstooth jacket. £79.99. Zara Size XS to L. Viscose acrylic polyester mix. Washable.  This stylish jacket/coat which will look fab with skinny jeans. Probably not amazingly warm though. This style will suit apple and boyish best, but other shapes can wear it too.
  2. Tweed coat. £325. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Alpaca, acrylic, cotton, polyamide, polyester mix. Dry clean only. This style will suit hourglass and pear shapes best. Top heavy may get away with it.

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  1. Fringed tweed skirt. £125. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, polyamide mix. Dry clean only. I  love that this is a feminine pink tweed, and the frayed hem keeps it modern, This will suit boyish and  hourglass best.
  2. Fringed tweed jacket. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyamide, cotton, polyester mix. Dry clean only. You could buy both these pieces, and have the option of a suit, and skirt and a jacket. On its own, this jacket is fab with wide leg trousers, flared jeans/cords and any skirt – leather? The high neck and boxy shape is not going to flatter big busts. So best for boyish, and pear shapes if they chose what they wear on their bottom half, wisely.

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  1. Black and white brushed check mini skirt. £28. Next. Size 6-22. Polyester, acrylic mix. Machine washable. (the jacket is £160 and green leather – a good price) It is a straight-ish fit, so best for boyish & apple shapes.
  2. Frayed tweed top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to Xl. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, viscose mix. Dry clean only. Suits most body shapes unless you are very busty.

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  1. Tweed floppy skater dress. £42. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester, viscose, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suits hourglass, boyish and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy harris tweed jacket. £145. Next. Size 6-20. 100% wool. As there are no care instructions, assume it’s dry clean only. The great contrast lining means when you roll your sleeves up, you can see a flash of stripe. This will suit hourglass, and boyish best. Pear shapes will depend what you style it with.

I hope you can see that tweed can be really stylish and isn’t old fashioned at all. It’s pretty timeless too, meaning you can wear it year after year without it dating. If you have any queries or would like advice for a particular event or situation, you can contact me through my website

Further reading:

11 ways to wear tweed without looking conservative: whowhatwear

Victoria Beckham in tweed: dailymail.co.uk

15 ways to style tweed: Brit and co

3 cool ways to wear a chanel jacket: whowhatwear

modern ways to wear Chanels iconic jacket: the Zoe report

 

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