Body Shapes

Last week I covered the topic of Colour Analysis, and hopefully answered many of your frequently asked questions.

This week I decided to cover Body Shapes. There are many grey areas when it comes to dressing your body shape. We all have that Trinny & Susannah book from the 90’s, but the advice in there is so outdated now, and I don’t agree with many of their suggestions either! I love a bit of Gok too, but as my Dad said yesterday “he always went too far. He would create a great outfit and then keep adding to it until you yelled STOP!”

So here is the Styled By Susie easy, fool proof guide to Body Shapes.

HOURGLASS:

The hourglass is the “ideal body shape”. The ideal body shape, means “in proportion”. The shoulders and the hips are in alignment with each other, and they have a visible waist. Usually this waist is concealed beneath a huge cardigan or a top two sizes too big for my client when I first meet her.

The key with an hourglass is showing off her waist. When I say this to my hourglass clients, you can see the colour drain from their face and the palms start to sweat. Before she runs away, I reassure her that she doesn’t have to draw the eye to her tummy, but it’s all about CREATING and ENHANCING her shape. Belts added to dresses, belted trench coats, wrap dresses, skater dresses – you name it, anything that shows off that waist.

By concealing her waist, she makes herself look bigger or shapeless in fact. Why wear a top tucked in, when you can wear a potato sack and feel comfy? If this sounds like you, you need to remember dressing purely for comfort can be your biggest downfall.

Famous Hourglass Women: Caroline Flack, Holly Willoughby, Kelly Brook, Nigella Lawson,  Marilyn Monroe.

PEAR:

“I’m a pear, I’m definitely a pear”, is what most women say to me. “No you’re not” is my response! It’s amazing how many women are dressing themselves incorrectly because they are not the body shape they think they are. 95% of my clients are a different shape to what they think they are. That’s a huge statistic, right?

The pear shape can vary. You can get pear shapes that are slightly broader on the bottom half, and others that are much broader. Technically, a pear shape should stick to plain on the bottom and party on the top. However, there are some pear shapes that can break these rules, and that’s where my bespoke analysis comes into play.

I’m a pear shape, but I am very different to my sister who is also a pear. She’s very narrow on her shoulders and waist, where as I am taller and broader. She looks much better in strapless than I do, and I’m better in v-neck/scoop neck.

Generally speaking though, you will 90% of the time see me in detail on my top half and plain on my bottom. Since hitting the gym this year, I am becoming quite proud of my big booty so I have been wearing lighter colours than usual on my bottom. If you want to draw the eye away from your bottom, it’s best stick to dark.

Famous Pear Women: Emma Willis, Kimberley Walsh, Kim Kardasian, Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, Kristin Davis.

STRAWBERRY:

The complete opposite to the Pear. The Strawberry is the least common body shape that I see, and I get very excited to shop with them because it’s fun to go for styles that I can NEVER dream of!

Strawberry ladies vary, much like any other shape. They are broader on the top than bottom, and many ‘Strawbs’ did lots of swimming as a youngster. They can have broad shoulders and a small bust, or they can just be full busted with narrow hips. Again, this is where my bespoke advice will come in, as there is no body shape that is the same as another.

Strawbs should wear party on the bottom, plain on top. Patterns can be worn but absolutely NO horizontal stripes whatsoever.

They have such great body shapes because they look amazing in any trouser or jean. The only item of clothing they generally struggle with is a dress, as their shape works better in separates.

Famous Strawberry Women:  Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Jessica Simpson, Salma Hayek, Billie Faiers.

APPLES:

The Apple shape is similar to the Hourglass, except they have a narrower body frame, and a less defined waist. The Apple lady carries bulk mostly around her middle (bust and tummy).

Apple shaped ladies look best when they show off their legs and necklines. Fitted clothing doesn’t work as well as the Hourglass, but they have more freedom when it comes to trousers and jeans.

Many ladies who have been an Hourglass can make the transition into an Apple, particularly post menopause, due to the changes in oestrogen. The Hourglass and the Apple shape are the only shapes that can be very similar. Otherwise, your shape is unlikely to change unless you have a major body transformation or any form of surgery.

Famous Apple Women: Catherine Zeta Jones, Pink, Jesy Nelson, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Drew Barrymore, Adele.

RECTANGLES:

The Rectangle shape has the most freedom when it comes to shopping, because their shape looks best in detail. It’s very easy to add detail with patterns, textures and accessories. It can make a big difference whether you go for large or small patterns, and many Rectangle ladies are doing the opposite of what they should be!

Their body shape is in proportion but lacks waist definition like the other body shapes. Wearing a head to toe block colour or baggy clothing can totally swamp a Rectangle body shape.

Most shop mannequins are Rectangles. This is the reason why many women feel disappointed trying on clothing they’ve seen on a mannequin, because the clothes have usually been pinned to create shape and are not a realistic view of how they look on any body shape (including Rectangles themselves).

Famous Rectangles: Duchess of Cambridge, Tess Daly, Ella Woodward, Fearne Cotton, Jennifer Aniston, Kylie Minogue.

FAQ:

Q: “I bet slim women have it so easy with shopping. They look good in anything”.

A: Nope. I shop with women of all shapes and sizes, and there’s not one body shape that has it easier than another. We all encounter problems shopping, but they are all different problems. Rectangle shaped clients struggle with issues such as clothes hanging off their shape, swamping their frame, and gaping on the bust. Most women struggle with confidence in one area or another, so we should never assume anything and we should never judge anyone.

Q: “Zara is for tall, skinny women”

A: Nope! This is a myth I absolutely LOVE to debunk. Zara fits more women than you think, and I’ve had clients who are a size 18 walk out with bags of well fitting clothing from Zara. Most of their tops are made of cotton or chiffon which means it’s actually a very generous fit. The jeans and trousers are cut for VERY narrow hips, but otherwise, please give Zara a go – just check the white tops for orange stains on the neckline 😉

Q: “I feel like I am too young for this shop”

A: Nope! (Notice a theme here? Ha ha!). It’s a case of using your common sense. I shop regularly in River Island, and I shop wisely. Avoid the crop tops and slogan tees saying “Born in the 1990’s” and you’ll be safe! And YES you can wear ripped jeans in your 40’s.

Q: “I’m too intimidated to go in there”

A: You shouldn’t be. Most shop assistants are friendly and helpful. They’re not guarding the shop door with pitchforks, only letting in women of a certain age. The only shop that I find hostile is Zara, but it’s not personal, they are moody with everyone. We all suffer from Resting Bitch Face every now and then, and I’m always being asked “what’s wrong with you today?” when I am actually just daydreaming about shoes!

Q: “Why are shops different sizes?”

A: I don’t have the big answer to this, I can only speak from experience. My general advice is, the more pricey the item of clothing, the more generous it’ll be. I size up in Primark, New Look and H&M as they are all budget shops. I don’t take it personally and assume my ass grew from the walk from Next to H&M. It’s just their fabric. Either that, or they have evil elves in their workshops, planning to destroy you all with their poor sizing. Be realistic. If it’s jersey, size up. If it’s skinny jeans, size up. If it’s chiffon, size down. It’s not a personal vendetta, it’s just shitty fabric sometimes!

Q: “Do you get tempted to buy yourself things when you are shopping with a client?”

A: No. To shop effectively for a client is to put yourself in her body. Not literally, like Patrick Swayze in Ghost….I mean it in a different way! I shop with her taste in mind, her size, her colouring, her lifestyle, etc. My own taste never comes into play. If it did, you would all be walking around like Susie clones. I have my own signature style I inject into my clients’ wardrobes, such as the emphasis on costume jewellery and colour. But to shop for someone else, literally means that. It’s personal styling, not Susie styling.

If you’d like to book a session with Styled By, check out the website http://www.styledbysusie.co.uk

Come and say hi on social media too. @styledbysusiehasler on Instagram is where the hive of activity is. I show you photos of outfits, ideas as well as my cooking (haha).

 

 

Colour Analysis

Colour Analysis is the process of finding colours of clothing, accessories and makeup to match a person’s skin complexion, eye colour, and hair colour. The goal is to determine the colours that best suit an individual’s natural colouring. Colour Analysis was extremely popular in the 80’s, which is why many ladies have already had their colours ‘done’ many years ago.

Styled By Susie determines your results using the “seasonal” colour analysis, which places individual colouring into four general categories: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Other ways include 12 or 16 categories, such as “Bright Winter” or “Muted Summer” for example. This can be helpful to match exact shades to a client’s colouring, and while I was trained to read colours in this way, I have chosen to use the Seasonal basis.

My reasons for sticking to Seasons, is that Colour Analysis can be very confusing and, at times, stressful. To be told to wear an exact shade can make shopping even harder than it is already, and I have always wanted to take the stress out of shopping!

By wearing a colour that flatters your skintone can make a big difference to your appearance.  Colours that are unsuitable can make you look pale, for instance, or draw attention to wrinkles or uneven skin tone.

I find it has been easier to tell my clients their Season, to give them a general guide. For example, I am “Autumn” which means when I shop, I seek out colours that are orange, mustard, khaki, brown, coral or navy. Shopping is easier for me because I completely avoid pale pastels such as light grey, and it narrows down the selection when I shop.

Here are some common questions I am asked by clients, and hopefully they will help guide you.

Q: “I don’t like the colours. Autumn looks so unappealing, being brown, sludgy colours. I prefer pinks and bright colours”.

A: There is a big difference between the colours that you LIKE and the colours that SUIT you. I love pastels such as mint green and lemon, but I know they make me look washed out and flu-like! Instead, I have chosen to use these colours for my interiors at home. A season may look unappealing to you, but if you just try wearing the colours you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many compliments you receive. People will say “you look well” and that will be your colours at work!

Q: “I love black. Do I have to throw all black clothing away?”

A: Many image consultants and stylists would say yes, but I say no. It depends on your reasons for wearing black. If you’re wearing black to hide away, then I don’t agree with black as a wise choice. If you’re wearing it because you think it looks chic, powerful and you feel confident in the colour, then by all means, wear black.

The important factor to remember is that black should always be worn with a pop of colour. If I wear black (which I do, as I am a bit of a frustrated rock chick), I wear a red lipstick with it, or a bright headscarf. You could add a bright statement necklace or scarf so that you still have some colour lifting your skintone.

Q: “If I dye my hair will my Season change?”

A: No. You should try and keep your hair colour changes in line with the advice though. I’m Autumn which means I have a yellow, warm based skintone. Warm skintones should stick to warm hair colours such as red, chocolate, caramel and honey. If I was to dye my hair ash brown (not hash brown ha ha), ash blonde or pastel colours, then it would severely wash out my skintone.

The only two seasons that grey gracefully are Winter and Summer as they are cool skintones. So you can dye your hair, but remember to keep in mind whether the colour is a warm tone or a cool tone. Your hairdresser can advise if you’re not sure.

Q: “Will my colours change as I age?”

A: Maybe. I usually find that a client can change Season but not tones. For example, if you were a Winter in your 30’s, then you could make the cross into Summer in your 60’s. Winter and Summer are both cool seasons. It would be very unusual to change from a Winter to an Autumn (a cool season to a warm season).

Q: “I don’t like my colours. *Strop*”

A: Hey, there’s no law to say you have to wear them. I’m not going to lock you up in jail if I see you out and about in grey with pastel tones.

However, if you are going to fully commit yourself to looking your absolute best, healthiest version of yourself, then your Season will work best for your skintone. If you dislike your colours so much that they make you feel unconfident, then you don’t have to wear them. The Styled By Susie advice is not legally binding, just advisory.

But be honest with yourself – there’s a reason you booked and paid money for a stylist. If you don’t want to take on the information then why did you book the session? Eh eh eh eh eh !!!!

Q: “Have you ever had a client who isn’t any Season?”

A: No. Some clients I can instantly know which Season they are. I have worked with 100’s of women since 2013 to know 90% of women’s colouring when I see them. If you served me a coffee in Starbucks I would probably be able to tell you which Season you were! But, there are many women it takes a little longer for me to work out.

This sounds corny, but as a stylist, I see myself as an artist. If I am looking at you and studying you when working with you, it’s not through critical eyes. Most of the time I am imagining you in colours, outfits and styles. I have to mentally put your look together, which takes concentration and a creative eye/mind. I believe that you can only be an effective stylist if you have the eye of an artist and the mind of a creative.

Q: “I bet you look at women all the time and study what they’re wearing”

A: Nope. I have my own life with my own mind that rarely stops, and I am much more interested in the person I am talking to, rather than studying her outfit. If someone starts questioning me too much when I am out for drinks or dinner, I usually tell them to book an appointment!

To book your online style analysis, please visit http://www.styledbysusie.co.uk

Topshop Holiday Accessories

The summer holidays are nearly here! Whether you are going away, or planning lots of nice daytrips closer to home, there’s an accessory out there for you.

Topshop are absolutely fantastic for accessories. Their costume jewellery is great quality and there’s something for everyone.

Remember how much a necklace or accessory can lift an outfit and add that final, polished touch. When I see an outfit without an accessory, it looks incomplete.

Here are some ideas to whet your appetite.

You can’t beat layered jewellery for a boho, summer vibe. Layered, multirow necklaces look great on any neckline and any body shape.

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“Multi-Drop Engraved Neckline” – £12.50

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“Multirow Tusk & Charm Necklace” – £14.50

The Fan Fringe collar necklace has been a favourite with my clients this Spring/Summer, and it’s an instant pop of colour to brighten up the plainest of tops. Try wearing with a breton tee and a big pair of sunnies.

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“Fan Fringe Collar Necklace” – £14.50

If you prefer something more understated, this Oliver Bonas inspired necklace would look great with a white tee, vest, or summer dress.

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“Abstract Necklace” – £14.50

The Earring has made a comeback this season. I have always worn big, colourful earrings as I find them so flattering for the face. If you have a long face, like me, try wearing a wide earring to add width, not length to your face. If you have a round face, wear earrings with angular, geometric shapes to sharpen your features.

 

Blue “Flower & Tassel Earrings” – £22.50

Orange “Tassel Drop Earrings” – £12.50

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“Engraved Drop Earrings” – £10.00

A headband is the most stylish way to keep your hair off your face in the summer. You can still have a greasy, 3 day old messy bun, but add a hair scarf or turban, and you’ve gone from oil slick to oh so chic, in seconds.

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“Multi Print Turban” – £12.50

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“Multi Print Turban” – £12.50

Update a tote bag, denim jacket or t-shirt with these iron on patches. Lots of designs to choose from online, but these two are my favourites.

 

“Pineapple Iron On Patch” – £5

“Elephant Iron On Patch” – £6.50

I love this bag – it screams ‘holiday’ and is big enough to chuck everything in, from your phone, suncream, wipes, snacks and toys for the kids. It’s chic and more stylish than your usual “Mum bag”.

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“Raffia Zigzag Shopper Bag” – £29.00

It wouldn’t be a Susie post without a bumbag mentioned! This one is great because it’s casual enough for daytime, when all you need is your purse, cash and lippy. It also works well as a day to evening bag as the mirror embellishments take it from ‘tourist’ to ‘trendy’. Warning, you will spend all day feeling like you have forgotten your bag!

This one is full price, but they also do the Mint and Lilac ones which are only £7 in the sale.

 

“Black Mirror Bumbag” – £18.00

“Purple Mirror Bumbag” – £7.00

CLICK BELOW TO START SHOPPING FOR YOUR SUMMER!



Dorothy Perkins (the return of)

Dorothy Perkins have really excelled this Spring/Summer and I hope their Autumn/Winter collection is just as good.

They are particularly great for their chiffon tops – great for ladies of all shapes, and their sizes range from 6-22.

Dorothy Perkins never fail to provide us with great chiffon tops, which suit all body shapes. Chiffon is a non clingy fabric that looks great with a pair of skinny jeans, and they offer a variety of colours.

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Try wearing your blouse with some ripped skinny jeans for an edgy look, or some patterned trousers, white jeans or just classic indigo skinnies for a chic look. You can even wear them unbuttoned with a vest underneath and a pair of shorts, for a holiday outerlayer.

I also love the Dorothy Perkins sundress that’s been so popular this season. I love the plain coloured ones, but if you’re looking to skim over lumps and bumps, go for a patterned one. It will be more flattering – just remember to tie that belt at the front to avoid the dress looking like it came straight from the maternity wear section!

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“Ivory Printed Sundress” – £17.60

I also love this denim shirt dress – great for summer with white pumps, or with black tights and ankle boots in winter.

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“Indigo Sporty Shirt Dress” – £22.40

We all know I love a jumpsuit and playsuit. This khaki playsuit is new in, and it’s so chic. Wear with gold strappy sandals or white pumps for a great day time look.

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“Khaki Shirt Playsuit” – £28.00

This jumpsuit is gorgeous and would suit all body shapes. If you are on the busty side, just add that long necklace to break up the neckline.

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“Navy Floral Print Jumpsuit” – £38.00

This dress from the Tall range is perfect for all seasons. Wear it for a wedding with strappy heels or wedges, and then black tights, heels or boots in the autumn.

A shift dress is great for Pear shapes and the sleeves add a stylish, current edge.

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“Tall Red Ruffle Shift Dress” – £30.00

If you’re petite, there’s a risk of dresses looking “little girl” ish on your frame. I love this Billie & Blossom print, as it’s grown up, edgy and the cut is great for Rectangles and Pear shapes.

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“Paisley Print Shift Dress” – £32.00

The Dorothy Perkins Curve range is fabulous as it ranges from a size 18-28, and these trousers are great for Apple shaped ladies. Keep the focus on your legs and wear with a brightly coloured chiffon top.

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“Black Tropical Joggers” – £28.00

If you’re pregnant and facing a long cold winter of maternity wear – don’t restrict yourself to leggings and stripey tops. The wrap dress is perfect maternity wear and looks great with black (maternity) tights. Really comfortable and supportive too.

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“Maternity Black Floral Ruched Dress” – £26.00

 

CLICK BELOW TO START SHOPPING! Let me know what you buy!