Dressipi Blog

Archive for May 2012

I love it when a red-carpet star a) knows how to work her body shape and b) knows how to work a red carpet look in a designer dress that works her body shape. It’s a match made in heaven. Here at Dressipi we’re all about helping you understand your shape and your style and playing fashion matchmaker. Last night the great and the glamourous (and the not so glam too) were out in full fashion force at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition VIP party. Alexa Chung worked a gorgeous A-line Moschino mini dress that flaunted her long limbs and was a perfect match to her slender frame. But it’s Tracey Emin, the artist we’ve come to know best for her errmm knickers and unmade bed who really understands the concept of dressing to suit your body shape. Year after year she opts to do the Royal Academy red carpet in a curve-boosting Vivienne Westwood number. Usually in red. I love that Westwood’s pieces are cut to work a curve on those who have them and magic up curves on those who don’t. They also go up to a size 16. Last night Emin sported a Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Hop ‘n Skip red dress (from last season.) Scroll down to see what Westwood piece I’m loving from this season. Natalie x

Here’s an idea that I think is just sooo Dressipi. Imagine this. You have your Dressipi Fashion Fingerprint – at your finger tips, engrained in your memory,or on a touch screen near you – so you know exactly what suits you and why. Not to mention what size you are. You can’t get to Oxford Street, because you happen to live in Aberdeen. And you really want that Mary Portas dress at House of Fraser. And that Polo Ralph Lauren Jacket. And you want them now. So what do you? Step into the first ever House of Fraser.com store. In fact it’s the first such Buy and Collect store in the UK. Order a complimentary coffee (skinny cappuccino with chocolate on top for me thanks). Sink into a plush velvet chair and browse away on one of the iPads, computers and interactive screens provided. It’s like Argos – but for fashion. Once you’ve placed your order online you can collect it the very next day. And just to be on the safe side you can try on your purchases in the fitting rooms provided before you take them home. Of course because we have all the lovely House of Fraser product on our site you’ll have your Dressipi Fashion Fingerprint … so hopefully you won’t need to return anything! (Launching in Aberdeen, 1 The Atrium, on 21st October and in Liverpool ONE 23rd November).

In the meantime, we had a great morning last week browsing through next season’s beautiful offerings at the House of Fraser press day. Think animal prints at Biba, gorgeous vibrant coloured clutch bags at Pied A Terre and some fabulous “pick me up pieces” at Mary Portas. Her animal pendant necklace and snakeskin courts will inject a lot of va-va-voom into even the quietest of outfits.

This season I seem to be championing an ultra-chic pink Whistle’s skirt, £85 from House of Fraser…but for a casual weekend look. Whistles is going down a storm with our 30-something fresh on the block yummy mummies who are looking for pieces to take their wardrobes out of the “I look like my mum” doldrums and into the “I feel like a hip 30-something” stratosphere. It works really well with a little biker style leather jacket, slouchy t-shirt (tucked in) and a great pair of flats or a sexy summer wedge.

Another wardrobe saviour at House of Fraser is this purple MICHAEL Michael Kors dress. I love that this piece a) goes up to a size 16 which I feel strongly that so many more designer brands should do and b) offers a great alternative to a chic look for Ascot, or weddings, that’s not too frumpy and spans a number of ages.  What’s more when it comes to occasion dressing I am all for picking a multi-tasking piece that you can wear over and over again. Style this with a straw tote, oversized sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, embellished sandals and voilà you’ve gone from Ascot race course to poolside posing in a fashion flash. Natalie x

It was all hands on deck at Dressipi HQ when Sarah (one of our lovely CEO’s) broke the news that the ever charming Charlie had popped the question. Sarah chose a truly exquisite tiered lace figure hugging gown and fairytale tulle shrug from Ulrich Engler that left Natalie and I a little teary eyed when she shimmied into the dressing room at that “should I, shouldn’t I” moment before you commit to the one (we are talking dresses of course!).

So with the gown in place the fashion department were asked to help with the bridesmaids. Luckily for her sister Georgie and best girlfriend Katie, Sarah’s brief was that they weren’t to look too bridesmaid-y, ideally the girls should want to wear their dresses again and that they were to look hot! What was Sarah thinking? Had she not heard of  “doing a Pippa Middleton”? Nevertheless, she was adamant so we agreed to steer clear of the peach puffballs and to choose dresses that were similar in tone but different in style to reflect each best ladies personalities and tastes.

Having begun my own career on You and Your Wedding magazine a hundred years ago I can safely say that I have more experience than most in the layers of satin and tulle and all things fussy that go with traditional wedding parties. The key to keeping things fresh and modern is to let your grown up bridesmaids go for gorgeous cocktail style dress that are a world away from frumpy full length matching versions that lots automatically pick. After all these ladies are your friends and you ideally want to keep it that way after your the event. You’d be amazed at how resentment builds when you’re forced to wear a Barbie pink leg-o-mutton sleeve satin dress on your best friends big day … take it from me!

With this in mind we cast our net far and wide, checking out the high street and traditional bridesmaid labels. Our favourites came from Coast who have a fabulous range of glamorous dresses in beautiful tones and the U.S. who seem to do an array of cool dresses that wouldn’t look out of place worn on a first date but are sensational for bridesmaids. Some of our favourite labels that don’t sell in stores over here are Jenny Yoo and ML Monique L’Huilier which we bought from the amazing Nordstrom website. We were thrilled too to find J Crew who have a gorgeous wedding collection and now ship to the UK.

For Katie who has a petite figure with an heavenly bust that made us all a little green with envy we wanted to flatter this area and highlight her slim proportions. We picked three dresses with necklines that revealed her decolletage and balanced out her shape.  All featured illusion necklines that flattered her bust and fitted at the waist to define her petite frame.

For Georgie we chose to highlight her neckline drawing the attention up to balance and show off her enviable silhouette featuring skirts that sculpted or had an element of drape and fluidity:

So here are the girls  at our fitting in all their bridesmaid glory. We hope you’ll agree that Georgie looked stunning in her ML Monique L’Huilier dress and Katie in Coast‘s Alva dress.

On the day both oozed just the proper amount of va-va-voom but the real seal of approval is in their promise to wear these gorgeous gowns out again very soon. TARA x

QUESTION: I’m really keen to give my wardrobe a boost. I’ve got a one-year-old baby and have got my figure back, but in the morning on my way to work, I invariably reach for: flat pumps, black trousers, long-sleeved white t-shirt and a cardigan. I’m really bored and look boring! How can I get dressed without fuss but looking a bit more special? I’m 37 and don’t want to dress like a teenager. But at the moment, I’m just dressing like my mum. Please help!

NATALIE ANSWERS: Hello and thank you for contacting us. Congratulations on your one year old – you must have your hands full! Don’t worry we’ll get you looking like a young (which you are) stylish mum with a couple of careful wardrobe solutions.

1. Whistles jersey dress £95 
The best wardrobe solution is a fabulous versatile dress. This jersey piece from Whistles will take you from work-to-weekend. A wrap v-neck will flatter your bust and a soft tulip skirt balances out your proportions. Cinch in your already defined waist with a skinny belt. Whistles has some great pieces that take classic shapes and gives them a modern twist. It’s easier and much more chic to run out of the house and throw on a dress, great flats and a cardigan. You could style this piece with your cardi and skinny belt too.

2. Zara tailored blazer £69.99 
Every wardrobe needs a great tailored blazer. This sharply tailored black single breasted piece from Zara would look great over your dress, with your black trousres and with a pair of jeans. It has a very subtle shoulder detail which gives it a cool modern touch. (pic above)

3. French Connection silk blouse £79: Add a burst of colour to your look with this silk blouse. Style it with a pair of fabulous straight leg jeans for the weekend or your trousers for work. For an evening look I have given you this black v-neck long Zara blouse. Pair it with your skinny belt to show off your defined waist.

3. Carvela snakeksin flats, £29.95: There are flats and then there are flats. Animal print is a timeless classic and this soft snakeskin print is a chic addition to your wardrobe. These (very small) kitten heel slingbacks are very Stella McCartney and complement your height.

4. Zara leather jacket £149.99: Think of adding a stylish casual jacket to your wardrobe. A leather biker jacket will give a bit of edge to any look and is great for the weekends for day and night over a little black dress or a fab jersey dress. A denim jacket would do the trick too and so would one of the myriad of gorgeous boucle jackets that the high street has gone crazy for at the moment.

It’s also a good idea to freshen up your denim wardrobe. The best way to do this is with a pair of straight leg jeans. (They work perfectly with flats and boots too). I hope that this has given you some fashion inspiration.  NATALIE x

“Capsule Wardrobe” – such a clinical name for such a magical concept! Simply put it’s how to shop wisely so that a) you can create the most outfit choices from a selection of fabulous hard-working and versatile pieces and b) you know what to snap up to update your wardrobe in a flash whether you are after a trend piece or in need of a fashion fix. In today’s emails we’ve picked three trusted fashion friends the tailored blazer in a neutral colour, a fabulous day-to-night-goes-with-anything dress and a pair of run-around-but-still-look-stylish flats. Every week we will talk you through a capsule wardrobe piece.

The whole point of your blazer is that it will work a dream with jeans, style up a day/work dress, sculpt a gorgeous evening gown ….get the idea…? Which is why we’ve recommended you go for a neutral shade and pick one of your must-have figure-flattering styles. Here’s Sarah in her Dressipi purchase: A Mango blazer of which Sarah says, “I bought this because the Dressipi stylists told me it was one of the key items from my wardrobe I was missing. The black blazer I already had in my wardrobe for ages was not the most flattering shape on me and my cool Zara grey cropped jacket was not versatile enough.”

“I never thought I could wear a black blazer outside of work – but you told me to roll up the sleeves to give a bit of a cool edge, so it looks perfect with jeans at the weekend.” Sarah’s other Dressipi purchases Mint Velvet top, Paul & Joe sister skirt from last season, Aldo courts. Keep checking back for our Capsule Wardrobe updates. Natalie x

Dripping in embellishment next season promises to be a thrilling one at River Island when some of the heavenly pieces we were lucky to get a sneak peak at hit the stores. As the temperatures drop (if they ever really go up!) then the fashion team at Dressipi are looking forward to snapping up some of the gorgeous pieces that oozed texture, faux fur, gems, metallics and embroideries. The River Island press day was a true treasure trove proving that you don’t have to be a gazillionaire to inject a bit of high fashion into the most mundane of wardrobes.
From ladylike tweed Miss Marple-esque tailoring that would look heavenly worn with jeans and killer heels to a more gothic embroidered world of brocade fit and flare dresses , delicate bias cut lace slips, wet look leather bombers and gauzy knits there are pieces here to suit every silhouette and taste. Whether a die- hard fashionista that will love the kooky mis match of vintage style with exaggerated accessories or a more elegant uptown look of layered metallics in a form fitting silhouette then River Island is brimming with inspiration.
For me I have my eye on the multi-coloured mongolian fur stole that will jazz up my safe black tailored coat from last season and will be definitely taking a visit to River Island’s ever amazing shoe department. The last time I bought a pair of their towering ankle boots I was stopped a record number of times to ask where they were from…. I feel like their footwear is one of the best kept secrets for those that don’t already know. R.I. you give good accessories, perfect for that seasonal quick fix update.
So in the spirit of the looming Jubilee bank holiday there seems no better time to celebrate the essence of River Island’s autumn / winter 12/13 collection  and that’s to recognise how we really do have the best high street fashion in the world. It’s incredible that such an amazing array of cool directional pieces are available at a fraction of high-end prices… hooray … it’s good to be British… and if you’re not lucky enough to be here then there’s always online! Tara x

The Hunger Games’ and ‘What to expect when you are expecting’ actress, Elizabeth Banks, sported a picture perfect Matthew Williamson autumn/winter 2012 dress in plum to the Lucky Magazine FABB Bloggers event in LA. It’s actually available to buy now at the London store (£825). The dress has a fabulously seductive name – “The Liquid Python Slit Mini Dress”. It very cleverly sculpts and defines a shapely looking waist thanks to its peek-a-boo cut-away effect that flashes a bit of flesh. The contrast of a fitted bodice with fuller side peplums on the skirt give a shapely double whammy. What this does is amplify Banks’ fabulous figure, but it’s also a great technique for those who have a straight up-and-down silhouette and after a bit of curve.

We’ve found two pieces on the Dressipi site that create a lovely optical illusion giving the effect of a more defined waist. When going for shape-by-optical-illusion, the key is to think of things that clash on the eye. This dress from Sportmax clashes the direction of the same pattern to sculpt definition. You sort of feel like you have to do a double take to settle your eyes …

Whilst this Helmut Lang dress is less structured it has the same effect. It’s the contrast of the fitted black side panel with the softly draped white fabric that pencils in a waist for those who don’t have one, and accentuates it on those who do…