Style Doctor Jackie Answers YOU
Style Doctor Jackie answers reader questions covering how to dress for different shapes, sizes and age groups.
I am 53 and have lost my confidence in dressing myself. Where is the best place to shop and what should my age group wear or not wear?
Style isn’t about age at all, so where you shop doesn’t matter too much – it’s more what you buy and how you wear it. You might not want to buy mini-skirts or maxi dresses for example, but there’s no reason you can’t be in skinny jeans (unless you don’t have a skinny jeans shape). If you’ve lost your confidence I suggest you begin by buying a couple of fashion magazines and just look through them to see what you like. I love and recommend ‘In Style’ as it lays the clothing out brilliantly (so you can see the garments) and is not for really young girls. Many of the items are available in NZ and if the exact item isn’t here, you can usually get something similar. After the magazines, I recommend heading to a few shops and having a bit of a play; try Max, Veronika Maine, Country Road, Kingan Jones, Vincent and Kimberleys but as I said – don’t feel you can’t stray into “younger” stores. Good sales assistants will help you – and no, you really truly don’t have to buy if you aren’t sure. Why not engage the services of a Personal Stylist? It’s money really well spent as a good one will help you find what works for you and give you not only a confidence boost, but a plan for your wardrobe.
What would you suggest for a very skinny girl to wear - who doesn’t have defined hips, has a waist and is flat-chested. I am very thin, (desperately trying hard to gain weight!) however, I still want to be able to look good.
Being skinny is as much of an issue for many women as being larger: somehow a lot of stuff doesn’t work. Add to that the fact that complete strangers feel like it’s OK to comment on your weight and I guess it’s not always a particularly comfortable way to be. I have a couple of very skinny gals in my extended family and they really can struggle (even though I envy their natural ability to eat cheesecake and not put on an ounce). OK, to add a bit of ‘curve’ to your frame you want to choose soft, floaty layers. Look for curvy prints (curves create the illusion of curves), go for little jackets with curvy lapels, curved necklines that cut higher (i.e. not deep scoops, but more jewel necks) or check this seasons military styling as the detail across the chest will add a little bit of oomph for you. Go for cardigans with ‘waterfall’ detail down the front, get a denim jacket. Seek out shirts or shirt dresses with chest pockets, garments with ruffles, gathers etc. to add to your bust and the rest of your body. Wear summer weight scarves to add oomph, look for textured fabrics too. Layering is your friend. Aim for a relaxed silhouette and show off your slim waist with belts or shorter layers. Resist the temptation to hide in anything too baggy or you’ll look diminished in your clothes
I'm hoping you can help me. I am in my mid 30s and am a size 18-20. My mum is getting re-married and I have no idea what to wear for my size or for the season or what would even be appropriate for her wedding.
Dresses are fabulous for weddings and they are definitely not size dependent! In fact, I love them for the mere fact that your weight can move a bit and they will never let on. So head to the dress rack, girl. If it’s cool you may want to think about layering a longer cardigan over the dress (longer layers are flattering to curvier girls), but if the weather allows – just the dress will be fine. Choose a gorgeous colour, add some great heels and rock the party.
Can you help? I am 5ft and 57 kg so am not the easiest shape to shop for. I’m also 50. Can you advise what the best clothes are for an hourglass figure and also where to shop for these? I, like many other women today, don't want to look like a nana.
Having an hourglass figure is a wonderful asset as most styles will work for your shape. Being 5ft is a little trickier! My best advice: alter everything. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than seeing a shorter woman wearing everything too long – it makes you seem even shorter. Wear shorter jackets and cardigans – the longest should be just below your waist, as these will visually ‘lift’ you. You look great in tone on tone dressing (so this seasons’ neutral palette will work for you) as this creates no strong visual breaks and makes you appear taller. Go for a slimmer silhouette by avoiding too much volume. Show off your figure with a belt – but keep it slim and in the same tone as what you are belting. Wear a slight heel, no ankle straps and pointed toes on your shoes. Where to shop? Anywhere and everywhere – but remember it will mean an alterations bill.