plus side“I never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I am very proud of that.” Adele.

Well said Adele, I am sure there are lots of us that agree with you.

Research shows that the average size for a British woman is a curvy 16 and nearly half of UK women are a dress size 16 or above.

So why are we still bombarded by the media with waif-like models and celebrities? More than one popular magazine each week can be criticizing celebrities because they have put on as many as 8 lbs!

The real thing that concerns me about this is the effect it has on our teenage daughters. Isn’t it more important to be happy, have body confidence, think of a successful future than being body conscious at that age and dieting?

Though things are changing slowly, on my recent visit to the Fashion Show at Bristol Fashion week we had two models that were size 16 out of the 10 on the catwalk. Also Debenhams are using size 16 mannequins to merchandise their clothes.

My style advice for those of you who on the plus side is to find out what your body shape is. A lot of High Street retailers assume that if you are a size 16 and over, your body shape must be ‘oval/round’. The danger with being sucked into this is that you will wear baggy clothes that will make you look bigger especially if your body shape is a full hourglass or rectangle.

Many of my clients have been eternally grateful to me for letting them know their correct body shape and what style clothes they should therefore wear enabling them to look their slimmest.

My friend Jenny (who is a plus size lady), has a fabulous full hourglass figure. She always follows her rules of wearing shaped clothes and looks amazing as she travels around the country to attend meetings for the UK’s largest training provider. Jenny is a lover of comfort too and teams her black trousers with outstanding jackets and tops in her best colours.

I think Jenny would agree with Dawn French’s quote:

“If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush!”

Take these words to heart the next time you get frustrated with current concepts about what makes a beautiful body. What Dawn French is saying, is that concepts of beauty are entirely subjective and change over time. In the 16th century, when Peter Rubens was a painter, unnaturally thin women were considered both unhealthy and unattractive. So, what matters is that you are accepting of yourself and see yourself as beautiful.

On a final note, my last quote for this article:

“If nature had intended for our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.” Elmer Rice, American Playwright.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist

For more inspiration view on Pinterest board https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/on-the-plus-side/

Why not find out about the best styles and colours to suit you by contacting one of our consultants for a full make-over? Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

material girlI visited a Vintage Fayre this weekend. What fun! Everything from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s for sale – clothes for ladies and gentlemen, fabulous fashion accessories and even the odd retro kitchen appliance. You could even book a make-up and hair make-over in the style of your favourite decade. Whatever the decade you started to be interested in fashion and clothes, it was a real trip from memory lane.

It was a joyful experience in terms of the variety of colours and styles of clothes but also the fabrics which have changed over the years with the introduction of lycra for instance.  There were lots of cotton, silks, satins, lace and horror of horrors – crimplene! Does anyone remember it? It was one of the first synthetic, crease resistant fabrics we wore back then and it felt awful.

We often consider colours and styles when choosing our clothes, but how often do we really think about the fabric? As a personal stylist, one of the key things I am aware of is that fabric can make or break your outfit – not many of my clients are aware of this, so I am always pleased to offer my expert advice at a consultation or personal shopping trip.

The general rule is the straighter your body shape, the crisper the fabric should be. If you are curvy, the best fabrics for you are those which have some fluidity, lighter in weight and draping attributes. Another underlying rule is that smaller people suit less textured fabrics, whilst plus size and taller people will suit fabrics with more texture. Your scale, therefore, will determine the weight and texture of your clothes as well as your body shape.

If you are petite in scale
Select fabrics which have minimum texture, such as fine knits, needlecord and lightweight tweeds as these won’t swamp you. Chiffons, silk georgette, and taffetas are good too, although you have to think about your bodyline as well. For example, chiffons are very fluid, whilst taffetas are crisper and would therefore only suit women with straighter body shapes.

If you are grander in scale
You can wear more texture. Fringing and embellishment are for you this season. Beware of layering two lots of heavier texture at once as this will add the pounds. Also, if you have a full hour glass body shape then keep your textures fine so they hug those curves.

Consider your cloth.

Chiffon
A delicate fabric that is a favourite among the romantics and good for softening a classic look. As chiffon is very fine, the dainty blouses are generally best for the small to average scale figures. A stylish dress or blouse in this fabric will add femininity.

Cotton
Cotton is a timeless staple that appears in many guises. There were many floral and polka dot, nipped in at the waist, 40s style dresses at the Vintage Fayre. In 2016, as in other years, the cotton t-shirt is a perennial that’s great for layering in summer months. It’s always worth investing in quality cotton T’s as they last longer and keep their shape. Shirts are wardrobe constants too, again, invest in good quality pieces with added polyester to help them stand the test of everyday wear. Make sure it fits properly though; there’s nothing worse than a gaping shirt!

Knits
Wool is a great staple fabric because it is so durable, doesn’t crease, and of course it keeps us warm in winter. With the weather in the UK, we tend to wear knits in one form or another most of the year. The High Street is offering both chunky and fine cotton knits this season, so be sure to select the right volume for your body shape.

Lace
The variety of lacy looks this season will attract dramatics, classics and romantics, depending on how you wear it. With the right accessories you can create the vintage look, neat or demure or pretty and girlish. Lace requires very little accessories as it is decorative enough as it is.

Satin
If you’re a bit of a city chic or a romantic you’ll love the satin blouses in smart, neat styles. Throughout the months they will brighten up a simple outfit by reflecting more light and giving your face a little lift.

As well as witnessing it at the Vintage Fayre, the look on the High Street shows that we can wear some of the most unlikely fabrics together, even in one garment, such as leather with satin or cotton with chiffon. However much you mix it, is up to you, but be sure you know the best fabrics for your shape and how to wear them.

Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.

To find out about the best fabrics for you, why not contact one of our consultants for a style consultation? Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!

For further inspiration please see our Pinterest board https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/material-girl/

Image courtesy of Pinterest.