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…..
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
Tricks we use to hide our wobbly bits: daily mail
slim your silhouette: Lauren Conrad
3 style tricks to elongate your body: Ginger Burr