How To Avoid Fashion Faux Pas – My Top Tips

This week dear readers I am going to be harsh, but it is for your own good! I am sharing my top fashion faux pas so you will never be caught out again.

Sometimes I think the faux pas occurs when we are not sure how to wear a style correctly, or no one has informed us the rights and wrongs of fashion.

Our own Richard Nylon, Melbourne milliner extraodinaire, is recognisable wherever he goes, as is the fabulous Iris Apfel.

The amazing New Yorker, in her 90’s, is a style maven and one of the most photographed women, truly fantastic!

These examples are perfect choices of individual style.

Then we have the classics, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Princess Grace and the classy Audrey Hepburn.

Instantly recognizable by their subtlety. They knew what worked for them, stuck to their formula and stayed timeless.

Now some might argue that fashion is an individual choice, so there is no right or wrong, this may be true, but there is good and bad.

Quite often someone is so eccentric with their look, it can be challenging, but it will work because they own it!

There is eccentric and there is bad!

The late Anna Piaggi, of Italian Vogue fame, always had shock value in her looks.

Blue hair, nearly always in headwear, she looked like a character from the mad hatters tea party, but she totally owned her style.

So, if you want to get noticed for all the right reasons here are a few tips to get you on your way.

First, avoid the muffin top under all circumstances! I don’t care if you are 16 or 60, this is a terrible look. With so many gorgeous brands at our fingertips, everyone can buy perfectly fitting pants.

Take the humble pair of jeans.

I would hazard a guess that 99% of the population owns a pair, we need to get this right.

We can’t be slavish to labels, it’s all about fit, take for example Levi’s.

They do a fabulous range called “curve ID”. First find your waist to hip ratio.

Contoured to the natural shape of your hips to ensure they hug your waist and don’t pinch or gape.

Then you work out how curvy your seat is. The back rise accommodates this accordingly, perfect fit for your tush every time.

I find Lee jeans great for petite boyish figures.

Lucky brand is great if you are a little more hourglass (these are my choice).

Second, size does matter. People, it is a number on a tag that only you, and maybe your dry cleaner sees! If it drives you mad, cut it out, because it drives me mad seeing badly fitting clothes!

Who really wants to squeeze into a size 8 and look like a reject from the sausage factory?

The right cut and size will shave inches off your figure and leave you feeling more confident. This leads me to the next problem, fit.

To see a man in a perfectly fitted suit, brings a level of class to his appearance, and also boosts his confidence, same for ladies. Be honest when you are in the fitting room and it will serve you well.

Don’t be a slave to trends. It is always great to feel on trend and “now”, but if that means denim cutoffs and a midriff chiffon shirt it could be a problem, unless you have the body of Rosie Huntington Whitely.

Even Elle Macpherson, who looks fabulous at 50, shouldn’t go there, except on the beach!

There is always a way to channel trends in a good way. Take for example, the neon trend that was SO hot last year.

Can’t see yourself rocking the acid green mini skirt, try a statement necklace on a ribbon of the same hue. That was my take, and for this winter, I’m going to change the fastening to black grosgrain. Accessories are the perfect way to be hip without breaking the bank, see FE armed with accessories.

Trends always come around every 20 years, in slightly different forms, so I never cull my accessories.

Too short hems.

Find your perfect length and rock it! I only wear mini’s in winter, paired with opaque tights and boots. My perfect length for the warmer months is just below the knee, where the calf comes in to meet the knee.

Australian based mathematician Lily Serna, has come up with a formula based on the golden ratio. Measure the length of your body from shoulder tip (cms), add heel height (cms) and divide by 1.618.

The answer will be your golden number. Use this to measure the distance from your shoulder tip.

This should be your perfect hem length. Give it a go and see if you agree.

Ill fitting or inappropriate underwear. I’m talking regular bras with halter tops or VPL’s (visible panty line). Wrong size bras are not only a bad look, they will be very uncomfortable and offer little, or no support.

Every woman should be professionally fitted, not just once but at different ages, post weight loss or gain. Just like our waistline changes so does our bust size.

You may have the most stunning dress, but the wrong bra can make or break the look.

One should have a range of colours to suit all wardrobe options.

My top three would include a sports bra, a great strapless that has detachable straps for versatility, perfect for that halter top, and a sexy black number. If you do find a bra that is a great fit for you, think of investing in more than one and maybe different colours.

Body suits with built in bras can give a fantastic line to the figure, and control wear, such as Simone Perele, Spanx, hide a multitude of sins!

G-strings known as thongs in the USA, should also fit well. If in doubt, go up a size, it will be much more comfortable and create a better line.

Hipster knickers and hipster jeans go together, ALWAYS! These could be a little pedantic, but I’m going to share anyway.

Belt loops are there for a reason, not just for decoration. You have them, use them.

Next, those annoying labels on the sleeves of overcoats, that say, for example, 100% cashmere or wool, take them off!

It is not part of the design, and I do not need to know what your coat is made from. Also, the little tags attached to handbags that declare them 100% genuine leather.

Please remove these after purchase, it doesn’t make your bag any more appealing knowing this information.

I think I am more annoyed with sales assistants that don’t point the last two mistakes out, as a lot of people just don’t know.

I feel better now that’s off my chest.

Bad fake tan.

Jessica Simpson has just seen her bad fake tan

If you are looking like an Oompa Loompa, or someone asks if you are a shade of Valencia or Navel, it’s time to have a good hard look in the mirror. Worn with sky high heels that are impossible to walk in, is possibly one of the worst looks. Nuff said!

Good grooming goes a long way.

A great haircut and colour, and the right shade of lipstick can enhance any outfit.

These things will give you confidence, so even if you don’t have a new dress for that important occasion, no one will notice. Another tip, with perfume, a light spritz is always best. Never bathe in your scent.

Money can’t buy taste.

I’ve seen celebrities in designer gear that does not suit or flatter their shape, and then others who have spent $40 on a dress and look a million bucks.

Take time to discover your personal style and know your body shape.

If need be, employ the help of a personal shopper or professional stylist (see FE are stylists just for celebrities).

A good stylist should give you a list of must have items, what colours and shapes are best, so you are armed for future snappy purchases.

It will be a fabulous investment of time and money.

Posture is so important. Please stand proud and confidence comes.

Finally, attitude is everything.

Being gracious and accessorising with a smile is always in fashion. Remember this, and you’ll never be out of style!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2013

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