What clothes will flatter my body shape?

sculpture image NExt

Can We Lesser Mortals find clothes that trick people into thinking we have perfect bodies?

A good “image consultant” or “personal shopper” should be able to find clothes which flatter your body shape, disguising any areas you dislike and drawing attention to your assets. This may be the boost in confidence that you need, to make yourself motivated enough to start eating healthily and enjoy exercising. Sometimes all it needs is a compliment from a friend or stranger, that cheers you up, and nudges you to take control of your own health. Equally, body confidence issues are not always about weight loss, but are just due to your own unique body shape. All is not lost – I have some ideas here for clothes which are like “trompe l’oeil” – they trick your eyes into thinking they see something which isn’t true. See what you think? I’d love some comments – it gets very lonely writing here…..

scultpture boden 3sculture tummy dress next.lipsy

  1. Pall mall dress. Boden. £89. Cotton, polyamide, modal, elastane. Sizes 6-22 petite, regular and tall lengths. 2 colours available. Slightly A line, and darted through bust, so perfect for hourglass figures. The the vertical centre stripe will slim and lengthen you, and the middle band, narrows your waist. It could give shape to apple and boyish shapes, as well as the top band broadening the shoulders of pear shapes.
  2. Lipsy VIP print shirt dress. Lipsy at Next. £80. Sizes 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Hand washable. The fabric has a bit of structure to hold in a few lumps and bumps, and the black side panels and waist highlight your waist and narrow your hips. Monochrome is still on trend, so perfect for summer and winter. Would flatter hourglass figures, but will also add curves to boyish ladies who need to add a waist line, and if it fits, may trim down hips on pear shaped ladies.

sculpture metallic dress TEd sculpture dress Next

  1. Decadent jacquard midi dress. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. polyester, viscose, cotton, elastane, metalised fibres. Generally Ted is cut for slightly hippy ladies, but this dress will narrow your waist and shave off width at your hips. So it flatters slight pear shapes and if it isn’t too flappy over the hips, will also suit boyish. There doesn’t look much give for big busts.
  2. Pink colour block body con dress . Next. £40. Available in sizes 6-22. Polyester viscose elastane mix. The side panels are going to disguise any love handles round the middle, but beware as it does say “body con” so won’t be too forgiving. This dress will give you shape if you are boyish, or Miranda shaped (but maybe smaller chest) as it is going to give you curves. The longer length helps ladies with heavy upper legs. Will also suit hourglass shapes like Kate Winslet, but need flattish tummy (body con).

sculpture boden 2 sculpture hip dress

  1. Milano dress. Boden. £129. Sizes 6-22, petite, regular and tall lengths. This fit and flare dress, has some great reviews, and is available in 3 colour ways. Machine washable. Doesn’t give fabric comp, but seems to be knitted, so comfortable. Perfect for any size pear shapes, as the top red vertical lines slant outwards, making shoulders look bigger.
  2. Black and white stripe perry dress. Coast at Next. £95. Polyester elastane mix. The A-line shape here, suits pear shapes, and the vertical panelling in the middle will make you look taller and slimmer, by drawing eyes up and down. If you are thicker round the middle (apple shaped or boyish), then this may also suit you, as it is slightly “shift” shaped, and the stiffer skirt will give shape if you have no hips..

sculpture dress Boden sculpture dress big top half sculpture Reiss shoulders

  1. Eliza tunic dress. Boden. £99. Viscose silk mix. Machine washable. Sizes 6-22 regular and long. 2 other colours but they don’t have the front panel, which flatters apple shaped ladies by slimming and narrowing them. 3/4 sleeves hide heavy top arms. Will fit boyish shapes, but won’t add any curves for them.
  2. Eliza textured black and white dress. Reiss. £159. Size 4-16. Dry clean only. This will really flatter top heavy ladies, by narrowing big chests, and adding volume to the hips to balance the chest out. Cotton polyester elastane mix. It will also add shape to boyish or ladies with wide shoulders and slim hips. If you have a big bust, you may need to go up a size, and possibly add a belt to nip in under your chest. ( or get alterations done)
  3. Felicity cut out detail black dress. Reiss. £195. Viscose nylon elastane mix. Hand washable. Size 4-14. Can you see how this broadens the shoulders? Perfect for pear shapes to balance them out. If you are very pear shaped, the Coast dress above may be a better option, as the fabric is more rigid.

I hope this has made you think about how patterns and shapes can change how you look. It is very difficult to put someone in to just one category, as you could be a tiny pear shaped lady, or a 6 foot pear shaped lady, and that changes things dramatically. Equally you could be a petite boyish shape or an extra tall boyish shape and that affects what you can chose. For a real insight into your own body shape, you really need a one to one consultation to get personal advice on your own requirements. People worry it may be invasive, or embarrassing, but even Image Consultants have their own problems – hence the title of my blog. For an enquiry, contact me at www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk. I don’t bite, and I’m actually really down to earth.

Further reading:

Tricks we use to hide our wobbly bits: daily mail

slim your silhouette: Lauren Conrad

3 style tricks to elongate your body: Ginger Burr



Where can I get a clothes bargain in the sales?

sale raiil

 Can We Lesser Mortals find clothes in the sales, that we will get our wear out of, in summer?

Phew!! Christmas deco’s away, kids back at school/uni, back into a work routine….collapse. But don’t relax too soon, as the sales are on, and many retailers are now desperate to sell off old winter stock before they can bring their new spring stock in. And so they are furiously discounting, which means savvy Lesser Mortals, are getting out their credit cards, ( as they spent to much over Christmas) knowing that if they can bag a bargain now, it will save them money in the summer. In addition, they will thrive on the excitement of knowing that they have a lovely new item in the cupboard waiting for its first outing. But how do you know it’s going to be in fashion and you’ve not just wasted your money? That’s why a “fashion blog” written by an “image consultant” is so useful…..It’s realistic and only uses high street stores. And it’s current, because the consultant is always out and about in the shops.

So here are my choices for clothes which will be fashionable this summer, and many are under 50% of the original price!!!

sale KM red dress sale Reiss white dress

  1. Embroidered full circle organza skirt dress. Karen Millen. WAS £215 NOW £85!! Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean. This will suit most ladies, whatever your age, but will also flatter hourglass, pear shape and boyish figures.
  2. Jamie ivory fitted A-line dress. Reiss. WAS £179 NOW £75. sizes 6-14. Viscose, nylon and elastane mix, and can be cool hand washed. Due to the empire line shape, this will flatter apple shapes, pear shapes and boyish figures.

sale Boden pointed sling backssale zara skirt

  1. Jewelled pump. Boden. WAS £129 NOW £51 to £64 depending on size and colour (available in gold and navy and half sizes). Available in most full and half sizes 36-42. Suede upper. Don’t think of these as Christmas party – they are going to look fab with cropped jeans in summer and the pointed toe shape is bang on trend!!
  2. Maroon High waist skirt with belt. Zara. WAS £59.99 NOW £25.99. S-M but others  may be available in store. Polyester lycra mix. Waist belt and maroon colour. Skirt hems are going down, and this is a relaxed midi length which will float gently over hips and tummies. Suit most body shapes, but will lengthen your legs if you struggle with a long torso and shortish legs..

sale denim flaresale culottes Next

  1. Livier flare 0607D Jean. Diesel. WAS £110, NOW £77. Flared high waisted trousers and jeans are set to appear this summer, as trends embrace anything retro – 40’s through to 70’s! These are cotton polyester elastane mix.  sizes 24″ to 31″ waist and 30′ to 34″ leg length. Go Flare not bootcut.(bootcut is more fuddy duddy.) These flares can add curves, and balance out hippy ladies, so suits boyish, hourglass and slight pear shapes. If you are very heavy round the hip area, you’ll need a longer top.
  2. Culotte trouser. Next. WAS £25 NOW £12. Sizes 6-14. The fashion trends are towards wide leg trousers, crop trousers and culottes. Don’t be scared, they are just like skirts, but watch out for gathering round the waist if you have a large tummy. Polyester, viscose, elastane. Like an A-line skirt, these suit most body shapes.

So although you may be spent up after Christmas, it is certainly worth writing yourself a list of summer items you need, and head off to the sales, or on-line. Making a  list will stop you buying unnecessary items. If you want to book a consultation, go to my website www.vickysmithstyling. Booking a stylist, can save you money long term.


Further reading:

10 tips for fashion shopping on a budget: babble.com

11 style tips for the girl on a shoestring budget: whowhatwear

Top tips for avoiding sales frenzy: makemefabulousuk

What is this “dark fairytale” fashion trend?


Can We Lesser Mortals embrace the fairy tale trend without looking like The evil witch?

The trouble with all these fashion trends, is that Lesser Mortals can start to look ridiculous if you follow them to the letter. I should imagine you’d be sick of people shouting “Oi, Little Red Riding Hood”, if you were to go shopping in a red cape. It is, however, a very wearable trend this autumn, and most of us should be able to find something floral, embellished or darkly romantic to suit us. It is a lovely feminine fashion, and if you are beginning to get older and worry you can’t rock the younger androgynous look, it is ideal. Don’t leave these items for night time – the floral dress and skirt shown  below, can be worn with a jumper and flat boots to tone them down for a saturday shopping trip. The embroidered kimono can be worn with ripped jeans and Timberland type boots. Obviously the knitwear pieces are pretty versatile for day and night, and can be worn either with skirts or trousers. Don’t be scared of fuller skirts – they can hide a multitude of sins under them, but you should avoid if you are an apple shape. Let me know what you think of this trend in the comments box.

fairy tale monsoon dress fairy dress hobbs


  1. Lorena Lace dress. £89. Monsoon. Sizes 6-22. Dry clean only. Finishing just above knee height, and with lace sleeves to either hide upper arms, or add a little extra warmth, this dress will suit most age groups, and won’t drown petite ladies either. Suits pear and boyish shapes best.
  2. Invitation Guildhall dress. £189. Hobbs. Sizes 8-18. Viscose rayon, silk mix. Dry clean only. It finishes flatteringly at knee level, so if you have heavy legs, this is the right style for you. The flowing skirt will skim over bigger hips, and the narrow waist highlights your curves. It won’t suit you if you are too busty. Suits boyish, pear and smaller chested hourglass ladies.

fairytale monsoon jumper fairytale jumper hobbs


  1. Marianna embellished funnel neck jumper. £69. Monsoon. Sizes 8-18 but sizes 20 & 22 out of stock on line. Viscose, polyamide, wool, alpaca. Machine washable. Will suit most body shoes, but would particularly flatter pear shapes.
  2. NW3 Evelyn sweater. £69. Hobbs. Sizes XS-L (6-16). Cotton, lyocell, wool mix. Hand washable. This slim fitting jumper would suit pear and boyish shapes best.

fairy tale top shop kimonofairy tale ted baker skirt fairy tale top ph 8


  1. Embroidered velvet kimono. £68. Top Shop. Sizes 4-16. Machine washable. 100% polyester. These kimono jackets are really easy to wear whatever your size and shape. Your arms and hips are covered, and you can dress up or down, day or night. Suits any body shape, but will flatter apple shapes and larger busted ladies.
  2. Genna blooms of enchantment skirt. £179. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. Outer is 100% silk. Dry clean only. The contrast coloured waistband and full skirt are screaming out for 50’s hourglass shapes to wear. Wear formally at night, or rock it up with a leather jacket, black ankle boots, and opaque tights.
  3. Steph floral Sequin jumper. £79. Phase Eight. Sizes XS-L. Viscose nylon. Hand washable. Comes to hip level on 5’10 model. A good evening wear piece for wearing with smart skinnies, or a pencil skirt. Covers upper arms, and would suit boyish figures and apples shapes.

fairytale shoes boden fairy tale bag monsoon


  1. Jewelled pump. £129. Boden. Available in half sizes from 36 to 42. These are suede with leather liner and sole. If you don’t like heels, these are your “must” for Christmas parties. Available in god, navy and black. May make your feet look longer, so good for wide feet, less good if you already have overly long feet already.
  2. Morocco suede embellished bag. £59. Monsoon. Suede outer. 20cm x 30cm. Popper fastening.

It’s nice to see a fashion that flatters normal body shapes, and is more feminine, which I think suit more mature women. Let me know what you think, or if you fancy a session with me, Vicky Smith Styling, you can ask for vouchers for Christmas too!!

How do I wear 60’s retro clothes?

Can We Lesser Mortals wear 60’s retro without looking like an extra in Quadrophenia??


60's quadrophenia


Now I’m not saying I’m old enough to have watched Quadrophenia, but some of you will be, and are probably cringing at the thought of copying the fashions, or are possibly lusting after memories of Sting. Well, as is always the way, some people ( probably in their 20’s) will be trawling the charity shops and embracing the trend whole heartedly, but modern retailers will just take inspiration from the idea and apply it to the 21st century. I think Louis (Vuitton- photo above) has made quite a desirable range of clothes, even for Lesser Mortals (all shapes and sizes and ages)- I mean the models aren’t wearing dustbins on their heads or anything, and so I reckon I can embrace this trend. You may have noticed that the 60’s were an era when the hems were short – so perhaps you need to tread carefully. They were also a time for square cut or shapeless shifts, so although hourglass figures may get away with wearing these styles, as an “image consultant”, I need to say they may not be the most flattering shape for you. Pear shapes Mortals can eat your heart out! If you’ve got nice legs, then “30 plus”,”40 plus”& “50 plus” age groups – go for it!!  (there are always opaques….). Oh – and do I need to mention you can wear flat shoes with them?

60's bistro trs Boden 60's A line Hobbs skirt

  1. Bistro crop trouser. £59-£89. Boden. Sizes 6-22, reg and long. Don’t confuse with the non crop version- I find they’re a bit too mumsy for me. 11 different colours, plain and patterned. Team with flat pumps, sling backs, loafers. Embrace a chignon! Cotton/elastane mix, dry clean only. Half lined. Suit boyish and top heavy best.
  2. Tian A line skirt. Hobbs. £99. Sizes 8-18. Wool nylon mix, dry clean only. Available in pumpkin and bluebell. For the full 60’s vibe, flat knee boots and a jumper with pockets at front! Suits pear shapes best, but boyish and top heavy may get away with too.

60's T bar shoes Top shoop 60's knit cardi karen Millen

  1. Joyful glitter T bar heels. Top shop. £45.  sizes 36-42. 100% polyurethane.  The modern translation would be to wear with trousers, but for a 60’s vibe, an A line shift or skirt with coloured tights is perfect. You can wear any colour with these, including black. (I know – it may seem odd, but honest, it is acceptable these days)
  2. Woven pocket knit cardi. £99. Karen Millen. Sizes 1-4. Nylon viscose mix, hand washable. I remember my Grandad having a cardi like this, that my big sister kept nicking. Pretty well any body shape could get away with this, and wear with skinnies, crop 60’s style trousers, skirts.

60's shift Hobbs shift 60's fuschia shift Next

  1. Nancy Dress. £139. Hobbs. Sizes 8-18. 100% wool.  Dry clean only. Suits pear shapes.
  2. Sleeveless roll neck dress. £38-£40. Next. Sizes 8-22. Sold out on-line.  Polyester viscose elastane mix. Available in yellow print and black. Best for pear shapes, and possible boyish and apple shapes.

60's black shift warehouse60's collared shirt Ted baker

  1. Button detail shift. Warehouse. £50. Sizes 6-18. Polyester, viscose, elastane mix. Machine wash. A 60’s inspired shift, with gold button detail, which you could wear a shirt underneath. Probably a bit too office-like for every day. Suit boyish figures and slightly pear shaped.
  2. Currie lace tunic. £139. Ted Baker. Sizes 6-16. Viscose, polyamide, elastane mix. Cool hand wash. Great if you get cold or hate the top of your arms. Suits pear shapes and boyish figures.

Which one could you see yourself wearing? I like the colour of the Next pink dress, but would probably go for the Grandad cardi or crop trousers. (but remember I’m a different shape to you) Is there anything you’ve seen in store, but aren’t sure how to wear, or whether it would suit you? I’m happy to reply to comments.  I have  just started a Welessermortals Pinterest account. For any more info about me www.vickysmithstyling.co.uk

Further reading:

Dress like you wherein the 60’s: wikiHow

Although it was posted a year or two ago, it’s still relevant – 60’s revival in todays fashion: thefashiontag

2014 trend alert – the new 60’s. SimplyQ




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