Collar Me Beautiful

The neck has become the focus for accessories and detail in recent seasons with scarves, draping fabric and this winter, the polo neck.  The neck trend for Spring/Summer is the collar, and more specifically the Peter Pan collar. As the name Peter Pan suggests it can have a playful feel about it, but it can also look very grown-up and ladylike.

Romantic personalities will enjoy styles in pretty lace, chiffon and rounder edges which add femininity to an outfit.  Alternatively, you could try a little colour clashing and find a garment in one strong shade with the collar in a different bold shade.  It can also look very simple and neat in a neutral shade and with a pointy collar it can really smarten up an outfit.

Neck decoration isn’t for everyone and generally isn’t recommended if you have a short neck.  The Peter Pan collar can be very subtle or it can be the focus point of your outfit. It can be a great way to add interest to the top half of a triangle shaped body.  If you are fuller in the bust make sure you choose a soft, rounded collar as oppose to a stiff, starched pointed one.

If you’re very crafty and creative you can design your own and attach it to any garment you like, a la Gok!

Samantha Cameron is a lady who knows how to dress well. It’s true that even after her fourth child she still has the advantage of a neat figure, but her wardrobe success is down to her knowing what suits her. She dresses well for her figure and her personality whilst combining understated elegance with current looks.

For the Children in Need event at Downing Street this week she chose to wear a high street piece, as she often does, which she apparently bought last summer. She chose well. The green patterned shift dress ticks all the right boxes;  it is the right shape for her with modest sleeves and the length is a sensible just below the knee making it appropriate for the occasion. The cut, colour and pattern are all in line with current trends.  The contrast of the greens against the cream background of the dress and the vibrant shade of green in the pattern also work well for her ‘Clear’ colouring.  

Deobrah Arthurs of the Daily Mail summarises her style perfectly: “She is very aware of what suits her, choosing narrow silhouettes, round necks and simple accessories, and although she is adventurous with designers and prints, she never strays into fashion victim territory.”

It may not be Mrs Cameron that needs to impress us, but we can appreciate that it is important for her to dress appropriately yet still wear what she feels is right for her personality (we think she is more or less a ‘City Chic’) and her age.  Most of us have to consider this every morning when we get dressed for work; we want to look appropriate and up-to-date and we still want to feel like ‘ourselves’.  It’s not always easy and requires practise but once you know how, you will save yourself time and money and feel more confident knowing you look good because you’ve got it right.

 

We all reinvent ourselves in various ways throughout life and a new year inspires us to ‘renew’ ourselves. It might be changing a small part of our weekly routine, getting more exercise, trying something new or giving our home or personal look a bit of an update.

One of the easiest new year pick-me-ups is a style update but where do you start? The best place to begin is your wardrobe; so, before you go out and make the most of the high street discounts, see what’s on trend and assess the old before you start buying the new. 

Shapes and Styles
Midi and maxi skirt lengths are sticking around, as are feminine fabrics such as chiffon and silk. There is a still a vintage forties/fifties influence with looks that flatter the female figure such as full skirts, cinched waists and curve-flattering shift dresses. Dresses are everywhere so pull out all your dresses and work them with different separates, colours and accessories to make them feel renewed.

Patterns
Unusual graphics, banding and floral patterns appear with a new twist.  Mix up your patterns for a more current look.  Unless you are very creative or fashion-forward, go with as much as you feel comfortable with; it should suit your personality and overall look.  Texture is as almost as popular as pattern including embellishments and overlays such as lace, devore, metals and sequins.  If you don’t own any, you might want to make that a new little purchase.

Colours
If you do one thing with colour in 2012, make sure you invest in your best red shades, it’s the colour of the year.  With colour still being a big story you can keep all the good colours you already have and, if necessary, tweak them for a more current look.  Key shades for next season (apart from red) are pink, green, blue and orange, so hold on to these. Wear an entire block of colour or mix two strong colours if you can carry it off. Alternatively, mix a colour with a neutral such as cream, grey or camel.