Shaping Up Rather Nicely

I think I may have hit a new low. It started innocently enough, I was researching this blog and decided to check out the much talked about Alexa Chung collection for M&S. I already had my doubts having seen a few bits in the press but wanted to see for myself. As I suspected, there was nothing even vaguely tempting for the likes of me (I have a bust and some hips and stopped wearing school uniforms some time ago) so I was just about to move on to the Uterque website (far more grown up) when a link caught my eye. Editor’s pick on the M&S website was a gingham playsuit. Of course I clicked on it, why wouldn’t I? Gingham is hot this summer and I love a playsuit so the two combined sounded too good to be true. When it appeared on the screen I thought, oh how adorable, it’s gorgeous, I love it, it could be for a child!

Playsuit FOR KIDS £9-£12 at M&S

Then I looked across to the sizing chart. It was for a child.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just felt I needed to get it off my very non-Alexa Chung chest. So thank you.

This summer there is a wealth of lovely pieces to get your teeth into once warmer weather arrives and stays for longer than two and a half days. Unlike the past few seasons, there is choice across the board meaning no matter what your shape you can find something feminine, flattering and fabulous. If you’re not sure what you should go for to best suit your particular figure then look no further than these celebrities who have very kindly demonstrated what we should and shouldn’t choose.

Those With Curves… (Hourglass)

NO! Lisa Snowden: ruffles on top of boobs do not work

NO! Lisa Snowden: ruffles on top of boobs do not work

Not everyone has a waist so if you do have one then for goodness sake, show it off! Do this with belts and form fitting dresses and skirts and don’t do voluminous, it will simply make you look bigger. I’ve said it a hundred times before but an open neckline is always the best choice otherwise you’ll end up looking mumsy. Also best to stick to trousers and skirts without pleats, tucks or gathered waists as you probably don’t need the extra volume on your bottom half.


Those Without… (Rectangle)

YES! Kate Middleton creates the illusion of curves by adding a belt to this LK Bennett dress

YES! Kate Middleton creates the illusion of curves by adding a belt to this LK Bennett dress

Lucky you, if you’re a more straight up and down type. Not only are you slim but you’ll look great in this season’s slip dresses and floaty trousers. Anything which adds volume is fine for you and there’s a lot of this kind of stuff out there. Unlike your more buxom sisters you can rock ruffles and flounces without looking like a window pelmet. A full skirt will create hips and adding a belt to a dress will cinch you in at the waist too. Kate’s dress from LK Bennett is of course now sold out online but check out other similar styles on their website.


Those With More on the Bottom… (Triangle)

NO! Jennifer Lopez - it's impossible not to look isn't it?

NO! Jennifer Lopez – it’s impossible not to look isn’t it?

Keep it simple on the bottom and then go for it on the top. This season is made for you what with all the off the shoulder/one shoulder/cold shoulder tops out there. Experiment with lighter shades on your elegant top half and then keep the bottom half simple so attention is drawn to your gorgeous shoulders. It gets to a point when we spend most of our evenings sitting at a table anyway. Sparkle running along the outside of your hips is ALWAYS going to add inches and make everyone focus their gaze on the wrong bits.


And Those With More On Top… (Inverted Triangle)

NO! Kirsty Gallagher should swap the colours around and go for an open neck

NO! Kirsty Gallagher should swap the colours around and go for an open neck

The opposite rules apply here so keep the top half dark and clean and have fun on the bottom – in a manner of speaking. If you have athletic shoulders then avoid halternecks which will only emphasise the width here. However, you can wear a full skirt with complete confidence knowing it will balance out your shape, giving you a perfect hourglass silhouette. You’ve probably got great legs too so don’t cover them up!

Just one more thing, about this Alexa Chung for M&S collaboration. Be careful, it’s not made for you and me even if it is supposed to be inspired by the seventies archives at M&S. It’s designed by Alexa for Alexa and she is probably one of the very few people on the planet who will make it look cool. Just look at this dress:

Dress £45 by Alexa Chung at M&S

Dress £45 by Alexa Chung at M&S

Fancy giving it a go?

Thought not. ‘Til next time…


About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing).
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