DO make the effort to understand your proportions. As a body shape expert, I think one of the single most important things you can do is to learn about your proportions. So many women don’t even know what shape they are, let alone understand it. Once you’ve nailed it, you can stop wasting time, money and effort on shoehorning yourself into looks and styles that simply don’t suit you. Life’s too short for that.
DON’T wear the wrong bra size. I recommend getting measured once a year – lots of us are in the wrong size. It is really ageing to have the bust sitting too low. Hike up those straps.
DON’T dismiss styles you once couldn’t wear. Shape can change later in life – women often lose their waist definition. If you had a waist (lucky you!) it is hard to know how to dress once you become straighter through the torso, usually post menopause. Consider print – a master of disguise – avoid horizontal waist seams and use diagonals and asymmetric lines to enhance the waist.
DON’T forget that lengths matter. They can make or break an outfit. Ensure your lengths are specific, never ever in-between. An ankle crop should show the whole ankle and a bit of leg and a midi is always best just at the edge of where the calf meets the lower leg. Always have your hem hit at the smallest part of your leg.
DON’T be swayed by trends – only embrace things you really like. A good way to buy into a trend and to stay modern is to buy into one or two “of the moment” shoe shapes. That always does the trick.
DO think about texture – what we wear close to the face matters. Silks, fabrics with a sheen, cashmere, soft brushed cottons and wool/silk mixes are always more flattering than flat fabrics like cotton poplins and merino wools.
DO try on at least two sizes – so many women wear things that are just too big for them thinking it is better to hide under more volume. Please try not to. This is especially important if you are petite.
DO mix up your beauty routine. Have you been wearing the same combination of make-up for the past ten years? Go online for a zoom make-up lesson (sounds tricky but they’re brilliant) or book in to see a make-up artist when lockdown lifts and let them show you some new tricks. You’ll be surprised how much it can change your look.
DO cull regularly. It is ironic that the more clothes you have the harder it is to get dressed. Have a session with a stylist to hone that wardrobe so it’s full of pieces you love but streamlined to save you time. An objective eye makes such a difference.
DO shop with a conscience. It’s been said before but please try to buy less and buy better. This may seem an odd thing for a fashion stylist to say but I believe we all need to be responsible for our world. Now is the time. Try rental sites like MY Wardrobe HQ and Hurr, invest in great classics and think carefully before buying. Always spend the most you can afford or save up instead of just buying bulk fast fashion.