Dressipi Blog

Archive for February 2012

QUESTION: Hi.I am 29 years old,Indian girl,married and living here in UK from the past 3 years. I work as a teaching assistant. I love wearing jeans and smart but comfortable clothing. I want a complete change of wardrobe(for work casual,social outings)! I want to look elegant and confident. Something stylish that I can wear to cinemas, restaurants, and picnics with friends.I don’t go pubbing too often.I have a limited income so don’t think I can afford anything too expensive at the moment.

ANSWER: So you want to spruce up your wardrobe and inject a bit of “something new” into your looks. A good place to start is with your Dressipi Must Haves, found in your Capsule Wardrobe section. From these you will see what styles suit your body shape and why. Getting the shapes correct, knowing what styles suit you, is the trick to building your confidence when shopping. For you it’s all about balancing out your hip proportions and accentuating the look of your defined waist. With that in mind here are some pieces we hope that you will love.

1. VERSATILE DRESS, Zara £39.99: I always tell people that a good place to start is with a versatile dress. You want the type of piece you can dress up or down without too much fuss. White is a huge catwalk trend this season. This white dress from Zara is perfect from both a style and shape point of view. The belt detail shows off your defined waist and the full skirt skims over and balances out your hip proportions. You can do so much with this piece. If you’re going to a restaurant add a bright coloured wedge or tan coloured leather sandal and fun clutch. Style the look with a tailored blazer. You can swap the belt for a coloured skinny belt. For a casual look, add a pair of ballerinas and a cardigan in an on-trend pastel colour or a bold bright. I have also attached the links to other versatile pieces that you can dress up or down.

2. TAILORED BLAZER, H&M £29.99: Every wardrobe needs a chic tailored blazer. A black one is always a great versatile classic. But, it’s spring, you want to spruce up your look, so why not add a colour. I’ve been conservative with a very stylish blue, but you could just as easily go for a bright pink or red. This single breasted style will nip-you-in-at-the waist. It will work with any of the dresses above, as well as with a skirt or pair of jeans. That’s what you want from your multi-tasking jacket.

3. COLOURED JEANS, M&S £29.50: You like to wear jeans, and whilst bootcuts are your perfect figure flattering style, in addition to these, why not push the boat out with a pair of skinny jeans in a seasonal pastel? Skinny jeans work with your figure if you remember to style them with a top that falls beneath the bottom to balance out your hips. Like your dress, you can wear these with the blue jacket, a top and heels or flats depending on where you are going.

4. TOP, French Connection shirt £67: This is a good wardrobe investment piece from French Connection. It will look fabulous with the skinny jeans (or any other jeans) as it is a longline cut and has that gorgeous waist-accentuating belt. I have also attached the links to some other pieces. For a picnic you might like to wear the Breton stripe top, your skinny jeans and a longline open cardigan. For the cinema, why not add a coral colour top to a pair of jeans or a skirt?

5. SHOES:  Have a bit of fun with your accessories. They are the best way to invigorate a wardrobe. These ballerina’s from Topshop, come in a lovely leather and a hot-off-the-catwalk snake print. Wedges are perfect for the summer and would look gorgeous with any of your pieces. Also use scarves to inject colours into your outfits, like this green heart print piece (£7).

I hope that this has helped with your fashion dilemma. Take your time putting your new look together. Most importantly, enjoy overhauling your wardrobe and your style.

Natalie x

QUESTION: Since as you can tell from my profile I am on the chubby side I am always worried how to pull an outfit together that is flattering. I plan to wear some nice black palazzo pants with a black 3/4 sleeve top. What can I wear to pull it together and look polished. Help please 🙂

ANSWER: Hello and thank you for contacting us, it’s lovely to hear from you. If you have a look at your Dressipi Must Haves you will see what style clothes suit your shape and why. I love the idea of your black palazzo pant combo and the 3/4 sleeve top. Here are some ideas to inject some polish and vitality into your look.

1. Zara shoes £59.99: Palazzo pants and heels go hand in hand. This partnership will elongate the look of your legs. Heels flatter the proportions of the wide legged fluid palazzo pant. Make sure the hem of the trousers is not flapping about your ankles but rather that it falls slightly longer over the shoes. These Zara wedges are fabulous and add a burst of colour to your look. They will be perfect for the summer.

2. Dune clutch bag £65: This stylish clutch bag has a chic art deco feel to it. It picks up on the colours of your shoes – but you could just as easily go for a pinky-red clutch. Failing that add a dash of pinky-red to your look with a manicure!

3. Anthropologie gold cuff, £28: Statement cuffs stormed the catwalks the season. Style your look with a bit of bling with this stretchy bracelet from Anthropologie.

4. Eileen Fischer at Nordstrom silk jacket, £239: Eileen Fischer is a great brand if you want good qaulity versatile pieces. It is stocked at Fenwicks on Bond Street, (even though this is from the US website Nordstrom). This silk jacket will add that finishing touch to your outfit. Or you could go for this pink nautical inspired number with lovely gold buttom detaling from H&M (£29.99).

I hope that this has shed some light on your fashion dilemma.

Natalie x

QUESTION: Hi:). I have been asking a lot lately.. sorry!!  I was wondering if you could give me a hand in creating a 24 piece capsule wardrobe for spring/summer 2012. Some examples and what are musts in my new wardrobe would be really helpful!

ANSWER: Ask as many times as you like -that’s what we are here for. Well, it’s very good to think of your wardrobe in terms of a capsule wardrobe. That way you get the best and the most wear out of your clothes. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and you certainly don’t have to rush out and buy 24 items or even 10 all at once. Also, we are at the beginning of a new fashion season, so over the next few months the stores will be filling up with some glorious new pieces. Building a capsule wardrobe is all about working with what you have already got and introducing a few gems to update your look. Use the ideas below as a guideline and see what you already have in your wardrobe that fits in. The whole idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that your pieces should all multi-task and work with each other – as well as flattering your shape. You also need to think what you need your wardrobe for. You are at school at the moment, so most likely your wardrobe revolves around weekends and hanging out with your friends.

DRESSES: Remember I mentioned to you in your first email to us that you should invest in a versatile dress. Something in a simple colour and one that you can change the look of with fun accessories and your shoes for example. If you have two of these in your wardrobe it’s a great start. This River Island sleeveless shirt dress (one of your likes) is great. Although it’s quite classic it channels the Safari trend because it has a cool utilitarian feel to it. Your beige fedora would look great with this, and leopard print ballerinas (or your long socks and lace up brogues). For a completely different look add bright bursts of colour with a fun scarf and coloured denim jacket. Have a look at H&M, they do fabulous inexpensive t-shirt dresses that are perfect versatile pieces.

JEANS:  Again in your last email, I suggested you have a bit of fun and buy a coloured pair of jeans. I explained how you could style those with a contrast coloured denim jacket. For spring/summer it’s all about pastels, but bright jeans are still here to stay. You can style a pastel jean with a pastel t-shirt or a t-shirt in a simple shade like black or grey. You should also have a regular pair of jeans in your wardrobe. Also snap up a pair of denim shorts (they come in every colour under the sun!).

JACKETS: This Forever21 denim jacket is from your first email recommendation. A fun coloured denim jacket is a must for your wardrobe. Candyfloss colours and pastel shades are key this season. This blue is great because it’s more of an ice-blue colour as opposed to a very pale blue, so you will have it in your wardrobe forever. This jacket can be worn with your versatile dress, with a skirt, jeans or shorts look. It’s also good to have a classic style jacket in your wardrobe – think Alexa Chung preppy chic. This grey jersey piece from Zara is both stylish and laidback. This jacket will give a versatile dress a completely different feel altogther. Imagine this piece with a versatile dress and lace up brogues. Or, the denim jacket with a pair of bright coloured high top trainers.

SKIRTS: Your beige Forever21 skirt is a good wardrobe piece. You can make it fashion friendly with an on trend print top. Pick another fun skirt like this Oasis polka dot number. It’s very cute! What’s more pencil skirts (and polka dot prints) are still here to stay thanks to the 50’s trend. This would look great with either of your jackets and a simple plain t-shirt. You could also do a fun head-to-toe polka dot look with the H&M spot blouse from your last email.

TOPS:  Hang on to any basic t-shirts and jersey tops that you have. They are essential wardrobe must-haves. Tees in plain colours work a dream with crazy colours or prints. Also, you’ll want to throw one of these on with a pair of jeans or your tracksuit when you come home from school. Tops are a fun way to introduce new season trends to your wardrobe, like the latest prints (think animal, floral, scarf, tribal) t-shirt or blouse. Also think of new styles that channel new trends. Another big trend this season is the Sports Luxe trend. Imagine athletics gear given a huge fashion glam-over. So, a silky like top with a racerback detail would be great, like this piece from Topshop. It would look fabulous with a simple pair of jeans or it will give an edgy touch to the polka dot skirt and a very cool spin to the Forever21 skirt. Dress up a pair of denim shorts with this cool top too.

You’ll also want a basic cardi and jumper like this H&M piece for those comfy days or to layer over t-shirt tops and your jeans.

ACCESSORIES: If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new season wardrobe, simply introducing a cool accessory will do the fashion trick. Even if your whole outfit is very neutral and low-key, if you throw on a printed scarf it changes the whole look. These two are gorgeous and completely different. The Dorothy Perkins oversized pink scarf is great when you want to brighten up a look or clash colours. So imagine the H&M dress in blue, with your blue denim jacket and this bright pink scarf and a pair of Converse. The River Island piece in a tribal print gives a subtle fashion touch to a look. Wear this with the safari style shirt dress and leopard print ballerinas. Or with a pair of denim shorts and a white shirt or t-shirt. You might also like to snap up a statement cuff. These oversized bangles in metallics or bright colours stormed the catwalks. If you’re having one of those “I’m just going to hang around in my jeans and t-shirt” days, popping on a statement bangle (like this piece from H&M) gives an instant fahsion touch without too much fuss. After all just because you’re taking it easy doesn’t mean you cannot do it in style.

SHOES AND BAGS:  Think about a pair of animal print ballerinas (or something in a wild colour), a pair of Converse trainers, maybe a metallic pair of flat sandals and lace up brogues – it really depends what you like wearing. You’ll want a bag that looks fabulous and keeps your bits ‘n pieces safe for when you go shopping with friends or out for pizza. This across the body bag from Topshop ticks all the boxes. It’s in a moc-snakeskin (a hot catwalk look) and is quite a ladylike style but still very cool. This candy colour will go with everything recommended here…remember it’s ok to go for a bit of a clash.

TO SUM UP:  A capsule wardrobe is all about playing fashion maths (see – those maths lessons are important!). The main thing about all of these pieces is that you can mix and match them with each other to create different looks. Use this as a template. It’s not a question of snapping up 24 pieces for your wardrobe all at once, it’s more about slowly building up a wardrobe that works with everything in it and that you enjoy wearing. Some of your pieces might also be investment pieces. For example, you might want to spend a little bit more on a coat (not now) or a parka. You might also think that you’ll need a good dress in case you have to go to a wedding or an important birthday party. Enjoy building up this wonderful wardrobe. Natalie x

QUESTION: I have a small bust (A/B size) and pretty much male type broad shoulders. I am 175 cm tall. What kind of dresses could I wear to look more proportional and disguise my broad shoulders?

ANSWER: In order to balance out your broad shoulder proportions, the most importnat thing to remember is to wear necklines that are not high. You want styles such as v-necks, cowl necks, scoop necks, that soften the look of your shoulders by drawing attention away from them. Another stylish neckline to try is an asymmetric one, as this works like an optical illusion breaking up the shoulder area. With that in mind here are some ideas for dresses we hope that you will like:

1. Two-tone Mango dressThe features in this dress work on many different levels for your shape. The v-neck detail softens the look of your broad shoulders by breaking up the area. The two-tone dress, with the darker shade in the skirt, draws the eye down and away from your shoulders. The tulip shape skirt balances out your hip-to-shoulder proportions by adding flattering volume to the lower silhouette. A skinny belt creates the look of waist definition. There is also chic ruching and draping around the bust giving the sense of fullness. Whew! So, you can see, that on many different levels the shape of this dress works for you.

2. Zara grey animal print wrap-over dress: Prints are a key summer look. An animal print is a timeless classic. It’s always in fashion come rain or shine. This leopard print dress is in one of your favourite colours – grey. A wrap dress flatters your shape as the v-neck wrapover softens your strong shoulders. The soft fluid skirt balances out your upper and lower proportions and the dress also creates shapelier looking waist definition. This is a fabulous piece with a gorgeous sleeve detail that has a girly and fun feel to it.

3. Topshop fit and flare dressA fit-and-flare dress works a dream on you and is very feminine. The top of this dress has a v-neck shirt detail so this flatters your shoulders. The snug fit will also create a good shape around your bust, fleshing you out a bit. The very full skirt balances out your hip-to-shoulder ratio. This piece is from the Topshop Tall section so it’s perfect for your height. What’s more is that it channel’s the spirng/summer 50’s trend, so if you’re looking for a piece that’ll leave you feeling womanly this is it. Designers also used lace and broiderie anglaise to make statement day dresses for a bit of glam.

4. ASOS red shirt dress: A shirt dress is always a great wardrobe basic and the perfect fashion must-have. You simply cannot go wrong with this no-fuss style. Wear the top few buttons open to create a v-neck detail. This will break up the look of your broad shoulders. This piece has a lovely waist-accentuating belt detail creating feminine definition. What’s more, the midi length complements your height and also draws teh eye down, balancing out your proportions. I’ve chosen this dress in one of your investment colours from your Fashion Fingerprint – true red.

Natalie x

QUESTION: Hi, I am 27 years old with two kids. I had my first baby in 2010 and then I got pregnant again with with my second one. Now I am 70 kg after giving birth 4 months ago. I haven’t done any shopping for myself because I am still losing weight as I am exercising and I want to get back into shape as soon as possible. I want something stylish and comfortable because I have the two little ones and I want to try new things. I love scarves, but I haven’t tried them out yet. I don’t want to spend too much money, because I like too many things and want to wear different things everyday. Help!

ANSWER: Congratulations on your little ones and well done on your post-baby weight loss! You are doing very well. You must have your hands very full. We get a lot of requests from young Mums who want to freshen up their wardrobes and feel fabulous again. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either – and as you say you are still losing weight, so you want to spend your money wisely. If you have a look at your Dressipi Must Haves you will see what style clothes suit your body shape and why. For you it’s all about balancing out your hip proportions. With that in mind here are some ideas for essential easy-to-wear pieces that will multi-task:

1. Snap up a versatile dress: A great every day dress in something like a jersey dress in a plain colour is key. This fabric is comfortable, perfect for when you are running after your kids. There are a lot of lovely styles out there. This blue piece from H&M (£7.99) has a flattering v-neckline and a hip skimming wider skirt. You can wear this with tights and lovely animal print pumps and throw on an open cardigan. It will also look lovely with a denim jacket, or for a smarter look with a tailored black jacket. This ASOS dress, £20 is also great. The wrap-style skirt flatters your hips and like the H&M dress you can dress it up or down as you like. Add a skinny belt for more shape as the weight drops off!

2. Have a bit of fun with your jeans: A classic bootcut is the safest style for your shape. But you are young so why not splash out with a coloured skinny jean. You can wear this shape as long as you always style it with a long tunic style top or blouse. This will balance out your hip proportions. These New Look jeans (£19.99) come in a whole range of colours…I’ve picked one of your favourites: purple. You could style these with this blouse from Dorothy Perkins (£25). It has a lovely waist accentuating belt and it’s the type of piece you can wear when you loose more weight (just cinch that belt in tighter) and it will look lovely with simple black leggings. You can also wear this with a crisp white shirt or a slouchy longline t-shirt in black or grey or go for a colour clash.

3. Sharpen up any look with a stylish tailored jacket: A figure-flattering black tailored jacket is a must. You can wear it with simply anything – over your dresses, with your jeans, with a skirt, etc. This piece from H&M (£24.99) is also in a jersey fabric, so it’s great for during the day as it has a more relaxed feel. Wear it with the sleeves pushed up to give a cool edge to your look. But, it will still look ultra-chic worn over your dresses or with your jeans and heels for a smarter look.

4. Try a catwalk trend with a printed scarf : These really are a fun way to add a catwalk trend to absolutely anything, from a white shirt and blue jeans to a little black dress! You can pick any print of the season that you think you might like and in a fun colour too. Some key prints to play with are animal prints, florals, scarf prints, tribal prints and paisley for example. I have chosen a simple and chic butterfly print scarf from F+F (£5). This piece would look lovely with any of the jersey dresses and a comfy cardi for a casual look. And …perfect with your jacket. You can pop this on, on top of your coat when you go out. If you go for the printed tunic and jeans/leggings option, it’s quite stylish to clash your patterns so don’t worry that the scarf is a butterfly print and the tunic top (or whatever else) is a different print.

Natalie x

QUESTIONS: Hi – I wondered if there was an option on Dressipi for Maternity wear. I really love the suggestions you send me and often purchase the clothes. Now I’m almost 3 months pregnant and am already struggling to button up my jeans. The maternity market is a minefield – do I stick with the brands that fit me well or is there a particular maternity clothes brand that do it really well.

ANSWER: Hello and thank you for contacting us and loving the site. It’s great to hear from you. Congratulations on your pregnancy that’s very exciting news! We don’t as of yet have a Maternity Section on Dressipi – but it’s something we are working on. However we get a huge amount of  requests for maternity wear so hopefully this will point you in the right direction.

GENERAL TIPS: Firstly, stick to the same kind of clothes that you wear normally so that any new pieces will integrate into your wardrobe, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need an entirely new wardrobe. A lot of High Street stores do a great range of maternity wear. As you are slim you will be able to buy a couple of inexpensive tops that aren’t ‘maternity’ clothes as such but will still work very well with your emerging bump. Showing a little skin is good, flaunt your new found curves with a low cut top, empire lines work very well as they fit at the bust but skim over the bump. It’s probably best that you’ve waited until the 3 month mark to sort out your wardrobe as a common mistake is to buy clothes that will be too large for you even in the last trimester. It’s a good idea to layer as your body temperature tends to rise so you can take off the layers as and when you need to. A waterfall or shawl collar open cardigan (like the one shown here) is a good purchase as you can wear it all the way through your pregnancy and afterwards too. Accessorize with patterned scarves that can later double as breastfeeding screens.

ESSENTIALS: You will need to get some new underwear, go and have a bra fitting at your local department store. Sounds horrible but it makes a huge difference to your comfort level.

JEANS: Topshop do great maternity jeans – well worth it as you will probably live in these. Have a look at these Maternity Moto Baxter jeans (£40). They have a great black pair too, perfect for a night out.  You could also have a look at one of your favourite brands Isabella Oliver (£99 – shown on left). She does a great range of maternity wear.

VESTS: Vests are great as a base layer, they need to be much longer than your normal vests. Try these simple but stylish pieces from Next. This comes in a pack of 3 colours: black, white and red (£6 per pack).

BUMP BANDS: For now you could get a “bump band”, like these from New Look (£8.99 per pack of 2). They go over your bump to extend the life of your normal tops, depending how much you are showing at 3 months.

DRESSES: For an every day look this gorgeous jersey dress (£14.99), from H&M ,comes in a black or a blue. It’s perfect with a pair of tights and waterfall cardigan. For a night out try this chic little number on sale from  Topshop  (£20) with its gathered detail. It would look great with a fab piece of jewellery. Or splash out on this gorgeous  Isabella Oliver  style (£105).

TIGHTS: It’s still very much tights season. A selection of maternity styles can be found at M&S and JoJoMamanBebe.

TOPS: When looking for tops, empire line style, fitted under the bust are ideal. This knit top from H&M (£19.99) mimics an empire line as it flares out of the tummy area. Also have a look at New Look for basic jersey tees. If you are looking to splash out on designer pieces try  Emily Evans (Nine London), stocked at Harrods in their maternity section. She has some gorgeous maternity wear blouses like this hot-off-the-catwalk printed piece (£175).

I hope that this has helped with your fashion dilemma. All the best!! Natalie x

QUESTION: I would love your input on what dress to wear to a work event – it’s an art fair coming up in March (London, therefore spring time!). I’m open to ideas but I love the idea of a polka dot dress, maybe 2 layers, silk on top of something else with capped sleeves (is that what they’re called?) just over the top of my arm. No longer than knee length. I want to look creative, fun, approachable but professional and I don’t like rigid cuts or anything ‘military’. I’d need a jacket / cardigan to go with it and ideas for shoes too…basically I need a whole outfit. My budget is £150…

ANSWER: Hello and thank you for contacting us, it’s lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the gorgeous pic – it’s always great to put a face to the fashion dilemma. An Art Fair is the perfect excuse to break out the polka dots. Prints are a huge trend this season from the wacky to the timeless. Polka dots (like animal print) falls into the latter category and gives the air of that certain French chic – that only the French know how to do. If you look at your Dressipi Must Haves you will see what styles suit your amazing slender silhouette and why. For you it’s all about injecting a bit of curve. With that in mind here is an idea for your outfit.

OLIVER BONAS CAP SLEEVE DRESS There are quite an array of polka dot dresses out there this season – and this one fits your bill the closest. It has that fun factor but is still chic. The combination of the cap sleeve (which draws attention to your shoulders) and the full skirt, creates wonderful balanced looking proportions, as well as accentuating the look of your lovely long legs. What’s more, the exaggerated waist detail creates gorgeous, shapely definition.

SHOE OPTIONS : You are going to be on your feet all day so apart from looking fabulous when it comes to your shoes you want a bit of comfort.

Zara red wedges :I think you should add a playful burst of colour to your outfit with your footwear. Red is the perfect match for this polka dot piece – and it’s also one of your favourite colours. A wedge gives the dress a bit of a fashionable edge but is also quite comfortable for someone who has to be on her feet all day.

Mango Red Shoes:  If wedges aren’t your thing, try these low heeled suede courts in a deep red (they also come in different shades)

COVER UP OPTIONS : If you go for a red shoe then stick to a blue cardigan. You could either get something classic and chic, like a cropped fitted cardi in a navy blue (see Kew who does a good range) or stick with the creative theme and mix and match your prints in the shape of this New Look heart print blue cardi.

HOBBS DRESS : This is a different style to what you have requested, but it is quite beautiful and it also means you don’t need to worry about a cardi or a jacket. This soft, fluid piece from Hobbs has a chic pussybow detail neckline and would look fabulous with the red Zara wedges. Finish off your look with a stylish deep red nail varnish manicure!  Natalie x