FASHION: Perfecting your winter wardrobe

Ralph Lauren Fall 2012 feather detailed jacket.Winter has always been an exciting time of year for me, and it has nothing at all to do with the cool weather.
HangZhou Night Net

Forget hot chocolates and DVD days snuggled in a warm blanket – winter is when you hit the streets in the sexiest of attire.

Think layered scarves, fur coats, and come-hither booties.

There is nothing mode seductive than that hint of sexy leg through your sheer stockings, for that element of intrigue as your clothing covers the rest up.

Yay for winter!

OK, OK, I am aware that it is not yet winter, but hooray for the first signs of winter weather.

And there is never a better time than now to prepare your winter wardrobe – a mini dress and cashmere sweater will simply not cut it when the cold weather arrives.

First stop to winter fashion paradise: coat and jacket shopping.

These little miracles keep you warm, create a flattering silhouette and add a splash of vibrant colour to your look.

Winter fashion runways have been overflowing with amazing feature pieces in pop colours, gorgeous patterns, colour blocking, sequinned embellishments, fur, feathers, textural tweeds and beautiful waist belts to round them all off.

See the link for a gallery of stunners I have put together, which will get your inspiration flowing.

This winter I encourage you to give black a rest and step into the realm of fashion frivolity.

EVERY GIRL NEEDS A COAT AND JACKET

As you begin to browse the clothing racks keep in mind that (particularly in Tasmania) the weather can be freezing cold one day and mild the next.

This means that you cannot rely on one staple layer, you must own both a coat and jacket to suit the weather.

FIND A FEATURE COAT THAT FLATTERS YOU

When shopping it is easy to get carried away with the wonderful and exuberant fabrics, but be mindful of the fact that with extra detail comes extra width to your frame.

We all have small points and large points and points that need balancing out and the below advice will help you to select a coat that flatters your figure.

Keep the heavily coloured, patterned and embellished features to the part of your frame that could use the extra bulk and the neutral solid blocks of colour for the parts that don’t.

SMALL TOP HALF, LARGER BOTTOM HALF

Pear shapes, and all similar variations, need to balance out their bottom half by adding bulk to their top half. They also need to do so in a way that still highlights their small waist (or creates one) for the most balanced proportions

– Jackets should feature large and chunky lapels (collar) and a wide-cut neckline which will broaden the shoulders.

Go crazy with colour, pattern and detail.

Pears can wear a feature jacket like no other, showing off their tiny top half and distracting from a bigger bottom half. Have fun!

– Select a coat that is fitted around the top and waist, and double buttons which will create the appearance of a larger bust.

The cut should then flare out below to give a feminine silhouette while covering a larger bottom or thighs.

Make sure the cut ends at the smallest part of your thighs to give the illusion of endless slender legs.

For bright colours, patterns and embellishments keep it to the top half of your jacket and a solid block of darker colour below to draw attention to your smallest parts.

NO WAIST – APPLE AND BRICK SHAPES

Women with no waist, whether large or small in overall size, can create the illusion of one without adding unnecessary weight to their figures.

– Go for a fitted and cropped jacket with an open V-neck.

Fasten with a tie or belt around the waist which will draw the attention there and let the tie flow down to cover a larger tummy.

Large pockets below this will create the illusion of a small waist.

You can feature a solid block of colour on the jacket, but nothing too bright which will add weight to the frame.

– For coats take a different approach and split up your frame into three sections to avoid featuring a solid block of material.

A duster coat is your best option, which looks like a cardigan that has been fastened with one button at the top and then flares out to show the clothing underneath.

The idea here is to create three blocks of fabric: the left side of the coat, the top you are wearing underneath, and the right side of the coat.

Make sure the coat features a pattern and the clothing underneath should be in a contrasting colour.

This breaks up your figure, encouraging people to look at one of the three sections as opposed to your mid section as a whole.

– Another great and completely different approach is to opt for a coat with an empire waist.

These plunge down to the end of the bust and have a heavily defined waist through an extra piece of material that runs around it, sometimes with buttons, and then from here the coat will flare out slightly creating the illusion of hips while covering your extra weight.

HOURGLASS CURVES

There is a wide variety of shapes even within the hourglass parameters.

All need to show a balanced silhouette of a curvy top half, defined waist, and curvy bottom half.

But petite versions must elongate their waist to achieve this balance.

– For petite frames I would first suggest selecting a jacket or coat with a long lapel that comes down to the waist and fasten it here with a single button.

This will balance the width of bust and will elongate waist with minimal detail.

– For average-sized hourglass frames select a jacket that features double buttons at the waist.

A curved lapel and curved hemline plays up your natural curves.

– Coats with a deep V-neck that continues to the waist will cut the bust in size for balance.

A defined waist and pocket flaps positioned on the hips will play up the curvy shape.

– For all types of hourglass figures, select sleeves as these show off small wrists and thus add extra femininity to look.

BROAD SHOULDERS

– Jackets and coats should feature wider, but not chunky, lapels that stretch all the way across the shoulders which will decrease the appearance of width.

A single button at the waist will keep the focus there.

– Coats should balance you out below: creating the illusion of hips or heightening these.

Select one with large pockets at the hips and a slight flare below.

NO SHAPE

This is a figure that you can really go to town with, wearing all sorts of fabulous angular elements to create curves while playing up your long, thin legs.

– The lapels, and hemlines on sleeves and bottoms of jackets should all be angular and pointed to create shape.

A defined waist – and single button – will create the illusion of having one.

– Coats that look best flow down to a hemline to show off your lovely legs and feature a belted waist and hip pockets to create curves.

LARGE BUST AND NOTHING ELSE

Almost an hourglass but not quite, with a few clever moves you can show off your wonderful bust and create the illusion of a curvy bottom half too.

– A jacket with an open lapel that plunges down to your waist will balance our bust while also showcasing it.

Select one that has a single button which sits at the end of your ribcage (the narrowest part of your mid section) and a rounded bottom, this will create a waist.

– The best coat options should take a similar approach but feature a tulip skirt which is tailored to flare outwards around the hips then inwards just below, which creates curves for those who don’t have them.

Damita Lamont translates the latest fashion trends into workable wardrobes with runway style.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


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