How to wear...
Fashionista and Signature Style founder Jackie O'Fee shows us how to wear this season's trickier new trends.
Most of us know the disappointment that comes when you fall in love with a new look in the magazines that tempts you to try it on, only to find it looks really bad on you. There's more to this than not being size six and 5'10", although some garments really only work well on those proportions (Don't believe me? Check the sales rack at the end of every season for the fizzers the buyers picked).
Sometimes it's more that yes, you can wear the trend, it's
simply a matter of how you wear it.
For this article, I've picked a few key trends that you'll be finding in store this summer and deciphered them with a stylist's eye. Want to know how to wear it well? Here's the details of how to make that trend work for you.
First up - the Maxi Dress.
These have been popping up for two or three summers now, but get this look wrong and instead of looking all BoHo chic you will simply look like you've left the house in your nightgown. The main rule here is that these really do look better on a tall girl, so if you are shorter than 5'2" then best to leave this trend alone altogether.
Otherwise the keys wearing the maxi dress trend are -
1. Wear with a heel unless the maxi hits just above your ankle - then a jandal or flat sandal will suffice.
2. Accessorise with cropped cardis, earrings and detail that keeps your eye on the upper part of your body - anything too low will drag you down.
3. Keep the print in proportion to you - i.e. if you are petite, go with a smaller print and finally -
4. Keep the volume (as in gathers etc that add width) low, particularly if you are not tall.
Next Big Thing - Print.
Actually, print isn't a new trend - it is simply more prevalent
in summer. Prints are gorgeous, feminine and pretty. They also
attract attention, so that's why there's a few secrets to wearing
1. The main colour within the print or the whole look of the print should be in one of your colours - that is, a colour that works for you and your toning.
2. Wear your print where you can afford to attract the most attention. That means, if you have a larger bum & thighs it may work better for you to wear your print on your upper body.
3. Make sure you team your print with colour. There's a real kiwi gal tendency to team a black T shirt or top with a print skirt. Not only is this boring, but it can also focus all the attention on the print while the black T will recede into the background. Instead try teaming your print skirt or top with a colour - it looks fresher and your figure will be better balanced. And lastly -
4. Make sure the print garment doesn't wear you - that is, keep it in perspective with your proportions. Rule of thumb; larger women can wear larger prints while petites need to seek out smaller versions.
Then there's the big swing towards Safari/Tribal styles. Not too much to say here except sometimes in fashion it's better to "play" with a trend rather than go all out to embrace it. So that would mean a leopard print scarf will be an easier way to wear this well than say, a leopard print jacket. Try to keep it to one animal print at a time otherwise you run the risk of looking like something from the Jungle Book.
Finally, we've got the hardest trend of all.
The newest skirt on the block is the high-waisted dirndl. This is gathered at the waist and is worn short. I predict there will be much evidence around this season to graphically illustrate why this is an extremely difficult look to pull off. This is going to be this year's "muffin top" as we will see countless young things walking through the streets looking like little puddings. How to do this well? Good question.
Key advice - you do need to be slim, plus it pays to have a
decent set of pins. Keep your volume/gathers fairly minimal and try
to team with a slimmer top half. These do work OK with a boyfriend
blazer, as the blazer will give the whole outfit some structure and
team that look with a heel as this is the best way to create length
to your legs rather than a ballet flat which can make you appear a
bit stumpy. Don't even think about trying this particular look if
you are busty or short waisted as it will look Really
There's always loads of new looks to play with - the secret to doing it well is knowing how to wear it for who you are.
If you'd like some real advice as to what works for your shape, why not book in for a Bodyshape Analysis at Signature Style? We'll create a "how to dress" manual just for you that you can refer to season after season.