Just about anything goes this Spring-Summer! There are stripes, florals, sheers, ruffles galore, floaty tops, cinched in waists, wide- and narrow-leg trousers – you name it, it’s out there! Given this vast array of choice, for this post, I’ve decided to confine myself to looking at a few key colours and sleeves, which are a real feature this season.
There’s an absolute riot of colour. Not just single bright blocks of colour but also clashing colours and unusual colour combinations like this ensemble from Rochas.
Three of the key colours to look out for are: all sorts of pink (but particularly fuchsia), yellow in shades ranging from mustard to bright sunshine yellow, and khaki.
Pink should work well for you if you have cool colouring ie a pinkish skin tone, ash hair (blond, brown or grey) and perhaps blue eyes, pink should work well for you. The stronger and deeper your natural colouring, the stronger and deeper the pink you’ll be able to carry off. If you have bright eyes and dark hair, you’ll also be able to work some strong colour contrasts like the bright pink with cobalt blue shown right.
For those of with warmer colouring (golden tones to the skin and hair), yellow can be surprisingly wearable. If you have fairly soft colouring (ie not more contrast between hair, skin and eyes), mustard can work well, whereas those with more vibrant colouring will look good in a bright sunshiny yellow. This dress from Top Shop Unique is a good illustration of a number of key trends (perhaps one too many in my view, but that’s probably because I’m a fairly classic dresser – those with a dramatic style personality will probably love it!) – statement yellow, ruffles, asymmetric hemline and full sleeves.
Khaki popped up everywhere on the catwalks and never really goes out of fashion so it is a good option for investment pieces like this trench from Hobbs. Khaki works particularly well for people with soft and warm colouring and darker shades also look good on those with dark hair and eyes. It can an be treated very much as a neutral and, teamed with a cool colour like fuchsia, mulberry or navy, it can even work for people with cool colouring.
Sleeves are very much a key style statement this season, which has to be good news for those who prefer a little arm coverage (ie about 90% women over the age of 35!) Sleeves are split, flared, fluted, puffed and ruffled so you’re pretty much spoilt for choice. They can be particularly flattering for pear/triangular shapes as they can add volume to your top half, and thereby balance out your shape. If you’re full busted avoid short voluminous sleeves like those shown in the Zara blouse (left) and go for longer length sleeves with detail at the cuffs. Beware of full sleeves with “boxy” tops (there are a lot of them about!) unless you are tall and thin. A top that provides a little shaping at the waist will be make you look slimmer and more shapely.
What will I be buying?
Well, I have already bought this neat little dress with a split cuff from Warehouse (right). I like the elegance and practicality of the sleeve length and the fact that the dress’s bodice is quite fitted. Incidentally, my daughter bought the same style in plain navy for her Assessment Day with BMW. She teamed it with opaque navy tights and court shoes (mine – must get those back from her!) and she not only looked looked chic, smart and professional, she got the job!
(Yes, some styles can work for both mothers and daughters, it’s just a case of getting the styling right. I think I feel another blog post coming on – watch this space!)
I love this top from M&S (left). It doesn’t seem to be available in store yet so I haven’t been able to try it on but the yellow will work well with my colouring, the high neckline flatters a small bust and the cinched in waist will give it the shaping I need. Rather than teaming it with black, I’ll probably go with chocolate, navy, cream or even pine. Whilst I love the idea of wafting around in it though, I have a nasty feeling that, in practice, I might find the overly long flouncy cuffs annoying. Added to that, I may not be tall enough to carry off the long tails of the tie waist. Definitely a case of trying it on and being totally honest with myself as to whether it works for me and when I’d actually wear it.
Have fun trying out some of the new season styles. It’s good to try something a bit different now and again and you may surprise yourself . Before you buy though, think carefully about how and when you will wear this particular garment . Think about what jewellery, tops/bottoms, shoes etc you will team it with and where you are likely to be when you’re wearing it. What type of occasion will it be and who are you likely to be with? If you have trouble picturing this, then don”t buy it because the chances are you’ll never wear it!