Month: February 2012

Swimwear – not just for the beach?

Planning your next summer holiday can sometimes involve a significant amount of hassle – reading up on the hottest destinations, trawling the internet to find the perfect hotel or villa, booking flights and budgeting your trip – the list goes on. The upside of all this careful planning is, however, the excuse to go shopping for your new holiday pool-side attire. The first thing on your shopping list has to be the perfect swim-dress. As soon as the warm weather starts to make an appearance, swimwear will be flying off the shelves, so it’s a good idea to start looking now. This year’s trends include busy prints like Aztec patterns, tribal motifs, geometric themes and dreamy butterflies. When you’ve taken your pick of the trends, there’s no need to wait until you’re lying on a paradise beach to test out your new buys. It might sound like a slightly unconventional idea, but it’s actually very easy to incorporate swimwear into everyday casual spring/summer outfits. For example, a swim-dress in a fun print – like this Resort Shapewear swimdress from Very.co.uk – that works well as a beach cover-up could also make a great statement piece in an relaxed daytime look – try teaming it with a pair of high-waisted denim shorts and gladiator sandals, or add a bodycon skirt in a bright colour for a slightly more glamorous, dressed-up...

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Tips for layering on accessories

Every fashionista worth her Louboutins knows Coco Chanel’s famous advice about taking off “one thing” before you leave the house. But we’ve all seen girls rock armloads of jewels and other accessories and totally nail the look, while others look over-accessorized no matter what they wear. So how do you find your balance? Your first step is to study your outfit. Are you wearing patterns? Anything decorative? Anything that stands out and screams, “Look at me!” certainly doesn’t need any competition from a ton of accessories, so use your clothing as a guide when deciding where (and how many) extras to add. For example, if your shirt has a decorative neckline, don’t cover it with a scarf; add earrings instead to gently direct the eye to your collarbone. Next, think about how all of your individual layers of accessories will mesh together. No one wants to emulate a gypsy, walking around wearing her entire jewelry collection at once, but sometimes more is better. Several thin chain necklaces together can be pleasantly funky, where a single chain might be lost and under-looked. Ditto for an armload of bracelets. On the other hand, filling your fingers with rings might distract from the one or two really ornate cocktail rings in the mix, so you might be better off wearing those solo. You also need to consider how harmonious the accessories are...

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Tips for mixing prints

Spring is alive with wild, colorful prints, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to mix multiple prints into one outfit, now is the time! There are some basic things to keep in mind when mixing prints, but there are no hard and fast rules. In the end, you have to decide how daring you want to be and own your look! It’s easiest to mix prints if they contain similar colors, for example, two floral prints that both contain the same shade of blue. This gives the two prints a harmonious element that visually links them together for the eye, making the mixture less jarring. Following a common color theme throughout your outfit also makes the mismatch seem more intentional, since it’s obvious you did indeed look in the mirror before leaving the house. This is especially important if you plan on mixing two differing prints, like a floral and a graphic. Many people find it easier to mix like prints, but if you want to mix differing prints be sure to take into account the boldness of each piece. Two very bold pieces with very different prints can make you look horribly mismatched. (In other words, bold stripes with small dots, or vice versa, not both!) It’s also a good idea to follow a rule of scale when mixing two prints: the larger print covers a...

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How to make stripes work for you

Stripes are one of those perennially trendy patterns that are both fun and frustrating. Worn the right way, they add a dose of cool, casual flair; but worn the wrong way, they can visually add pounds and produce an altogether unflattering effect. Luckily, there are some easy ways to wear stripes so the look is more cool-girl, less cringe-inducing. First, if you’re really nervous about wearing allover stripes, that old accessory trick applies: find shoes or a scarf to add a small dose of stripey fun to any outfit. Skinnier stripes are more demure, while thick stripes are bolder and more attention-getting, so choose appropriately. Classic, nautically-inspired horizontal stripes look great on almost everyone. But if horizontal stripes are just too scary, look for diagonally cut stripes, which help give the illusion of a thinner you by wrapping around the body. Or enhance the nautical vibe by choosing stripes for a bikini, you can’t go wrong there! It’s no secret that horizontal stripes can add pounds, which is why many women avoid them. But you don’t have to fear them if you know how to adapt them for your body type. Stay away from shapeless tops and dresses, which will add bulk; a body-skimming (not skin-tight) cut is much more flattering. While it seems contradictory, bold, thick stripes can actually help balance a fuller figure, providing they’re cut to...

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How to wear a low-cut top successfully

It seems like our favorite celebs love to rock daring, draping, dangerously low-cut tops and gowns, both on the red carpet and in real life. But can you, a non-Hollywood citizen, pull off those same looks? Yes! Just use your favorite celebs as a guide, and you’ll know what to do or more importantly, what not to do, to make the look a success. First, let’s think about the obvious: deep v-necks that show off everything down to your navel. (Remember that infamous Versace worn by J.Lo?) For the street, stick to something a little more tasteful; a deep V is okay, but it shouldn’t linger on down past your bra line. You can find a wide array of bras designed specifically to fit under low-cut tops, but if you can’t find one to suit your dress, make sure to pick up an adhesive bra and double-stick tape to keep everything covered! A deep, deep neck is not the look for you if you’re larger than a B-cup. (Sorry!) But that doesn’t mean you have to be all buttoned up. Backless tops and gowns, or those with draped, low-cut backs, are hugely popular as well and you can easily wear a backless bra underneath. (You may still want to use the double-stick tape, just to keep the edges in place.) If you plan on going backless, sweep your hair...

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