Every day when you select your clothes, you are telling the world who you are. Your choice expresses your personality, so choose pieces that will tell the truth. Looking good in your clothes is the key to having confidence which is key to having a positive self-image. Occasionally, include dresses and skirts for a feminine touch and make a change from slacks and jeans. Keep femininity in mind when choosing your clothes.
What sets a garment apart?
Interesting details — pintucks, embellishment, zip treatments, ruching, beading, embroidery, trims, unusual sleeves and hems. Lace detailing is very summer 2016.
The loveliness of fabric — silk, wool, cashmere, linen, cotton. High quality synthetics and blends!
Fine cut and excellent design.
A beautiful finish.
If you are retired and spend a good deal of time at home, put together a casual wardrobe which is smart, comfy and makes you feel ready to handle any situation at a minute’s notice. Respectable jeans and shirt are the obvious choice — quick change of shoes, dash of lipstick, scarf and jewellery and you are ready to go.
Low cost chic
You don’t need a lot of clothes to be stylish.
Because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. If it costs $20 and you hardly wear it, it’s $20 wasted.
Something expensive can be a bargain. If you spend hundreds on something that is worn frequently, it is money well spent.
Pay attention to the chains — Target, Kmart and so on are great. You need a good eye and you need to take time. Look, look, look. There has never been a better time to buy inexpensive clothes.
Price doesn’t dictate style.
The mantra for pants and jeans
Avoid three quarter length pants. Makes everybody except Elle Macpherson look shapeless and your overall appearance shorter and wider. Full length looks better, seven-eighths length looks better, shorts look better.
Pockets on the backside of jeans and slacks flatter the bottom and makes it look smaller.
Never wear pantyhose or elastic panties under slacks and jeans — makes you look upholstered. The exception to this rule is the fuller-figured woman.
A high waist will make you look taller and your legs longer.
A tailored waistband always sits and looks better than an elastic waistband.
Have all pants and jeans the exact right length for the footwear you are wearing — too short or too long will ruin the look.
Moleskins are thick and add bulk, they never look sharp. Velvet is nice, corduroy a bit workmen-like.
Of all slacks and pants, a well cut pair of dark blue denim jeans is hard to beat. Take a good look at the RM Williams range — my pick.
What to wear on top
Instead of a crew neck t-shirt, choose the Henley style t-shirt (a t-shirt with buttons halfway down the front; much more flattering than a crew neck style).
Buy two new white t-shirts or preferably Henley every summer — so smart with denim. Discard last summer’s t-shirt and Henley tops, which will now not be bright white.
Always buy t-shirts/Henleys with a lycra content for a snug fit.
Avoid gathered, smock style tops. In fact, avoid gathering altogether.
Skirts and dresses
Boots look best with flared skirt and the skirt should cover the top to the boots.
Skirt length should be either slightly above the knee or mid-calf. Never on the knee which can give a half-and-half look.
Keep a variety of pantyhose to suit all occasions and flatter your legs. Eight and 15 denier plus toeless. Black, tan and flesh coloured. If you favour bare legs, use some wash-off leg tan.
It may be hard to define the waistline these days. Try a low belt to give definition, match the belt colour to the dress colour.
Nude coloured shoes elongate the leg and set off skirts and dresses to perfection.
The wrap dress is the most flattering — wins hands down every time because it suits all body shapes.
I am quite fond of the straight cut, body skimming dress too — not too tight not too loose. Just right. This style cries out for the low belt.
Unless you are very tall, avoid border prints.
Avoid the fashion faux pas
Scan fashion magazines and when you see something that appeals and that you know will suit you, put together new clothes around that theme.
- Say three or four colours that mix and match.
- Or go with a floral theme.
- Perhaps move back to the 1970s and go bohemian.
- Maybe a casual, country look.
When out and about and you notice someone who stands out, study her in detail and decide what it is that makes her look so special. Work out what you can copy.
In shops or when studying catalogues or browsing online stores and you admire a combination of separates that has been put together by a stylist, buy the complete set – accessories and jewellery, footwear too and you can’t go wrong.
It is wise to wear ‘your’ colour near your face, but in a soft and flattering tone rather than the bright, vivid tone of the colour.
Make sure that your clothes fit well and that includes underwear. Too tight and you will bulge. Too loose and you will look as though you are living in a loose bag.
Boost your ego and dress your best all the time, not just for special occasions. Put thought into everyday and work wear.
Wear clothes which feel comfortable on your body, that you know are your style and suit you; that make you feel ‘just like me’.