A great transitional piece in your wardrobe is the midi skirt. The high waist, the longer length, just the right amount of body covered for the weather.
But midi skirts can be hard to wear. And so to today’s top styling tip – it’s all about balance. As always, in order to decide if something works on your body shape you must first try it on. It’s the styling tip that gets the most sighs when I mention it, but you can follow every rule and still get the balance wrong so a try on has to be done!
So how do you balance it to make it work?
- The length of the skirt dictates the footwear (shoe/sandal/boot)
- The height of the waist dictates the top (tucked/crop/wide/tight)
- The shape of the skirt dictates the outerwear (structured/length)
In the past I put a midi skirt on and felt it straight away on my hips. For a long time I avoided this shape until I understood how to balance it properly on my frame. Normally with a cropped t-shirt or top tucked in, a short jacket or jumper (something reasonably figure hugging) over the top and the shoes depend on the length (but generally the length that suits me either suits sandals or trainers).
I’m currently writing school reports with my break time involving midi skirts and styling tips! On the next break I’m off to refuel with coffee and snacks, meanwhile you can browse an amazing selection of midi skirts from my go-to browsing website Shop Style…
Styling Tip for today…don’t spend too much on on-trend pieces, as often they can be worn this season but do not carry well into another. Thankfully over recent seasons we have seen many trends stick around, moving smoothly into the next season with an added touch, but ultimately meaning we can re-wear and still keep up with the trends.
Our wardrobe is generally filled with a mixture of basics, workwear, dressy and casual styles, and a selection of pieces that were bought on a whim, fitting in with a seasonal trend, but that we no longer really wear.
My worst shopping habit is that I never plan to buy. I am that person who buys things on a whim – but as soon as I buy, I integrate the piece into my wardrobe (labels straight off and worn the next day!!). I am proud to say I have worn everything in my wardrobe at least three times (many pieces have been worn hundreds of times *see my 15 year old shirt on Instagram;) ). I also do not spend a lot of money on any one piece, I often seem to get lucky with my purchases.
And so to a few on trend pieces introduced to my wardrobe over the last month or so.
First up…my new trainers, bought in the Next Outlet minutes before our movie was about to begin in the Omniplex;) I eyed up the Stan Smith version when they first came out but I didn’t have a place for them in my wardrobe then, so paying over £70 just wasn’t worth it. I recently saw them on a pre-loved site I follow for £50 but still couldn’t do it. They are a velcro close, something I knew I may fall out of love with. So at £10 (from the Next Outlet), I happily made a brand compromise!
Next, my new trousers. Wide legged trousers have always been a favourite of mine, even though I spend most of my time now in skinnies. So whenever they are revived on the catwalks, I happily pick them up. But these are sports luxe so have to be carefully styled. These are also from Next and purchased on the sale for £12!
Worn dressy with my Gucci style loafers (bought in Topshop for £7 in the New Year sale).
Or casual with one of my favourite printed t-shirts made by local designer, Gordon Donaldson.
And finally for now, on a wander around Forestside I dandered into Warehouse to have a look at their final sale items (always look out for this sign!). I noticed this cold shoulder top, the perfect transitional piece as the weather brightens up. Marked down to £8, an extra 20% off. A bargain! You may notice in the photo that the straps are a little long for me (I am quite short between neck and bust) but this didn’t stop the purchase – a quick stitch will easily fix this!
Any bargains you have got lucky with recently?
Search online for ‘Body Shape’ and you will find an array of websites guiding you towards selecting the size of your hips, the width of your shoulders, how well endowed you are in the chest area and so on.
To any female, this is a good guide for how to shop. But as a lover of personal styling, identifying which category you come into is not where it ends.
So technically, I am a pear shape because my hips are wider than my bust. That means I should wear tops with fitted waists, off the shoulder or wide at the neck. I should wear flat fronted wide legged trousers and avoid tight trousers and pencil skirts. That wardrobe clear-out I was doing, I may need to start again?!
The idea of the body shape guide is to balance each part of your figure, with the aim of a flattering look. I agree with the aim, but if I wear tops tight at the waist I look short, if I wear wide neck tops, I just look wide all over, and as for the suggestion of strapless tops – an impossible style for me because of the length (and size!) of my chest area. I love wide trousers, but they need a pleat to extend my leg length, and my favourite jeans and skirts are tight! On the other hand, I know another ‘pear’ who could stick to every rule!
It’s not just your chest, hip and waist measurements that define your body shape – if you really want, you could measure your neck to chest, the length of your stomach, the length of your legs, in fact, even the length of my hair determines some styles I wear! Of course, some of the rules will work for you, but what is important to remember is to not limit yourself! We are all different.
Unfortunately, if you are not a shopper, here comes the bad news. The only way you will learn what suits you, is to try it on – all of it. But never fear, tips at the ready!
- Start by using what is already in your wardrobe to build a picture of what you feel most confident in – and the biggest tip, if you don’t feel confident in it, it probably doesn’t suit you.
*However, just a quick story to go with that point…on my final day helping out at Fashion Week, taking the heat backstage and the ‘black’ rule into account (I own very little black!), I decided to wear a pair of vintage palazzo trousers and a little blouse – you can see the image here. I felt this style worked best on me after trying a few tighter tops and loved this when I left the house, but as soon as I was walking, I felt uncomfortable. I wore the same trousers and top the following day, only with different shoes – different feeling; I loved my outfit the whole day! So don’t discard straight away, items may need a few attempts!
- Think about what you need your clothes for and try them on as you would be wearing them.
I’ve said it before, I wish I wore heels more often. But as this has never happened, there is no point in me trying on an outfit for work, or for an afternoon out shopping if I will never wear it. Be practical!
If you are happy with an item, take a picture and keep a separate file stored on your phone or computer. If you area anything like me, I generally do this photo shoot at the end of a long day and therefore take the picture without a head, these are not posing shots but rather think of it like a catalogue to your wardrobe – and you don’t have to spend any more money to look this fabulous;)
- When you shop, try something new
We often develop our style and get so comfortable it is hard to divert from this but our body shape and colouring changes over time and between seasons. What may not have suited you even a year ago, may suit you now – so if you like it, have a go!
And again, if you are not sure how well a piece of clothing, or an outfit suits, feel free to tag me on Instagram, message on Facebook or Twitter or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss. Remember, its all about ‘style that works for you…’.
Reality began for me again on Monday as I started back to work after two weeks holiday. I always find it hard getting back – not only do the early nights and mornings take their toll, but I get the feeling again that ‘I have nothing to wear!!’
For the last two weeks, I have been enjoying raiding my wardrobe and finding the forgotten pieces that I love wearing. And I’m a little addicted to my wet look leggings – definitely not appropriate for work!
Day one, I wore a new blouse I bought from the sale from Warehouse, my black trousers and black knee high boots (these may be on ebay next winter, my most expensive boots but I’m just not convinced). Day two was easy, trackies were on for a day of sports. By day three I was stumped!
I am so ready for no socks and only one layer, but that is not practical at the moment so I had a little hunt..and what did I find..but a floral dress (for anyone who hasn’t read this blog before I have referred to my attempt to buy florals on two previous posts so this find is perfect!)! Getting dressed that morning I added two vests, a pair of navy tights, and a navy woollen cardigan. Surprisingly this worked perfectly!
These are all wardrobe finds, some of which aren’t even last season but from a few years back. Shops range from Matalan to Miss Selfridge, Primark to River Island. I attempted to have my photo taken to show off this look but I haven’t quite achieved the ability to do this so I hope this will do for now…
Today I braved it – no socks, but still two vests! I wore my black skinny trousers, a chiffon blouse with lace collar, a coral cardigan and silver pumps. By 2 o’clock I appreciated the alternative coral item hidden in my handbag – a woollen jumper!
I’ve directed you to your own wardrobes a few times before – the challenge this time, find your favourite spring/summer item and style it for this cold weather. And remember the layers!!