As I have neither the hips nor bosom to do them justice, I have always avoided wrap dresses. So, when Studio by Preen’s capsule dress collection for Debenhams launched in the Spring, naturally I paid little attention to the wrap styles. I prefer shopping a collaboration in person (to check the quality of materials) but by the time I made it in store for this one the styles I liked had either sold out or didn’t look quite so good on. So, I wasn’t expecting much at all from this wrap dress which I’d only tried on because I liked the print. What a fab surprise! Not only did it fit well but it helped me realise that by sticking to a few basic rules (see below) us boyish girls can carry off wrap dresses too.😌
My tips for making a wrap dress work for a boyish frame:
#1. A bold print. This gives the optical illusion of a less narrow frame. #2. Nothing too clingy. Actually I went up two dress sizes for this one. Going too clingy or bang on your size can emphasise our narrowness and general lack of hips which we want to avoid. #3. Busy hemline! A-line or slightly asymmetrical – the more it kicks out the better. This has the important job of showing off a narrow waist but without focussing on the hips. #4. Length. It’s got to be at least knee length, ideally just below. Not too long though or you’ll lose the proportions balancing effect we are looking to achieve.
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T-shirt dresses are great and easy but can get a little boring especially if you get into the habit of just wearing them with sandals. I know that most don’t come with a fabulous lace cape like this one(!) but you don’t need a cape to make things interesting again……
Here are 5 quick ways to show your t-shirt dress some love: #1. Bootie-up! Any ankle boots will do, flats or with a bit of heel, it doesn’t matter.
#2. Add a denim jacket or light parka for cooler days. If it gets too warm, tie loosely around the waist.
#3. Layer it. Add another dimension to your t-shirt dress with an over-sized shirt or light baggy knit.
#4. Lady pointy pumps. Go lady-like with flat pointed toe pumps. Tip: This works best with a plain t-shirt dress – no logos. Bag should be small otherwise carry a clutch.
#5. Smells like teen spirit. Get back in touch with your inner teen with Converse hi-tops. Actually, any hi-top trainers will do!
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Whether you like them long or short, fitted or loose, vest dresses are easy and forgiving to wear. And if you like to wear yours casually like I do, then you probably always pair them with flat sandals or trainers. But, laid-back and comfortable doesn’t mean having to loose out on the “chic factor” and some carefully chosen accessories can really help dial things up a notch. The key, as usual, is to keep things simple.
Here are five easy ways to take your vest dress from casual to casual-luxe….
#1. Fabric. Fine fabrics (silk, satin and their faux relations) give a more polished look than cotton or ribbed versions. #2. Cut. Try on different styles until you find what suits you. I like mine just above the knee and loose but if longer or more fitted works for you, go for it. Just remember that short and too fitted can sometimes come off a little cheap and long and too loose could wind up looking shapeless. #3. Feet. Give the flat sandals and trainers a break and go for a pair of backless loafers or flat/low-heeled mules. #4. Bag(gage). Keep it small to medium – strictly no extra baggage allowed! (If accompanied by a “junk generating mini person” get them to carry a rucksack.) See my last post for where to get some fabulous small totes at the moment. #5. Accessories. Low-key and understated.
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