By JASMINE CUNNINGHAM.
AN overwhelmingly positive response to the ‘leggings as pants' blog - thank you, thank you, you're too kind - has encouraged me to go through a few more 'do's and 'don't's this week.
To give you some visual cues, I've roped in a small group of female models/self-confessed fashionistas to show the residents of Warrnambool a glimpse into some truly effortless and rather economical ways to flatter your figure and take several pieces from your wardrobe from day to night.
Hopefully these basic little pics will help answer some of the fashion questions I am faced with every day. But be warned: some viewers may find the following images offensive!
Warning: the following images may be offensive to some viewers!
Carrying on from the last installment of Dress Sense - How not to wear leggings.
As you can see, leggings should not be worn as pants. Yes the model has some basic cotton-lycra leggings on with her top up to show just how sheer some well worn leggings become. Enough said!
How to wear leggings:
Ahhh… much better! Her top is now covering her bottom.
Now we all love a pair of relaxed-fit, comfortable jeans that hide our inadequacies, and there are plenty of relaxed fit and "boyfriend" jeans out there in the fashion marketplace. Many of them have made their way back into celebrity closets of late. But be careful! While they come close to chocolate and coffee in decreasing the incidence of winter depression, they can make you look a few sizes bigger than you are… well, so can chocolate, but that’s a topic for another blog.
How not to wear relaxed-fit, comfy jeans:
This picture shows, quite possibly, one of the most comfortable and frequently worn supermarket/duck down the street outfits around! A simple formula to help remind you how to flatter your figure: baggy top + baggy bottom = Christmas tree. And Christmas trees have several layers graduating out to a much fuller base and unless they have tinsel, glitter and lights they are very boring.
So, it all comes down to the top half and as you can see from the before (above) and after (below) photos, try to aim for a top that is more figure-hugging. A great leather jacket is a fabulous key piece to add to any wardrobe and more affordable ‘pleather’ or polyurethane versions come very close to looking like the real thing. Here it comes down to personal choice.
If you are bigger busted and fuller on top, just make sure the neckline is low – lower necklines are great for minimizing the top half.
How to wear relaxed-fit, comfy jeans:
Enter... the slimmer top with the wide leg jean.
Please note: Same model and same jeans in both pics, but great slim-line leather jacket and she looks a few sizes smaller.
You do not have to look like your ‘boyfriend’ when sporting a relaxed fit ‘boyfriend’ jean or wider-leg pant. You also do not have to model a ‘mumzie’ ensemble either! I hear the term ‘mumzie’ used so often and I have come to the conclusion that it must mean ‘mum’ and ‘zombie’, all rolled into one. The most commonly used line when styling up an outfit for someone = “I don’t want to look like a mumzie”. Well I am a mum and there are times when lack of sleep turns to loss of vision equating in a not so great outfit for the day! Mumzies we forgive you…… you will get it right!
Some other great little tips on looking fabulous whilst remaining budget conscious are:
Take a casual dress and throw on some leggings. Add some ballet flats or canvas sneakers and team with either a cardi, leather or denim jacket.
For a dressier look add a full tight, beads or pearls around the neck, and throw on some heels or boots. Don’t be scared to add a blazer. Not only will it complete the look but you will get so much wear out of it. A great structured blazer dresses up most outfits easily.
You do not have to fork out millions to keep up with the latest trends and designer labels. A large number of multi-million-dollar manufacturing companies churn out replicas of haute couture fashion the second they step off the runway. These companies make magnificent and affordable quick-to-market fashion, inspired by runway trends and most are available in local stores and boutiques. Again the key to pulling it together is to keep it simple, add accessories and pick up pieces that you can wear to a number of different events.
The next edition of Dress Sense will feature more images of fine local females… and, yes, fine local males (haven’t left you out just running out of space), offering their bods to display ideas and tips on dressing up and looking terrific.
Plus, Street Style will be coming to Dress Sense shortly so make sure you look you best whether casual or dressy as our cameras may just capture you… every pavement is a catwalk!
The only way to truly know what looks terrific and flatters your body shape is to take the time to try, try, try it on! Have a go and be creative with your wardrobe.
Until next time - dress with a little sense!
* Jasmine Cunningham is the manager/buyer for Mix It Up and Mixture Boutique in Warrnambool.