As the dust settles on the ‘technical’ intro to 2017, let’s allow ourselves a little grace period to turn the motivation up a notch – truth be told, March is when those of us who toyed with a ‘new year, new me’ mantra start to gain some traction (let’s face it: intentions made on January 1 champagne in hand are less likely to stick). Which, funnily enough, is perfectly in sync with the annual fashion calendar – new season collections are hitting hangers as we speak, making it prime time to debunk any ‘hmmm’-inducing trends you’ve yet to participate in. In the spirit of never say never, here’s our how-to guide on styling this season’s trickier shapes without breaking a sweat.
(Statement Sleeves, Wide-Leg Trousers & Culottes)
Perfecting the art of dressing voluminously is one of the more intimidating wardrobe ventures, yet arguably the most elegant when done correctly. It’s all a lesson in balance – too much volume = sensory overload, so best to approach it in an opposing forces type of way and counteract the billow effect with sharp tailoring. Statement sleeves marry perfectly with a slick pencil skirt or cigarette trouser (or skinny denim if that’s more your flavour), and a delicate heel or strappy flat to keep your silhouette light. As above, so below, as they say – this rule also applies to those wide-leg trousers and culottes you may have been workshopping. Try a lightweight knit or tailored shirt tucked in to keep your waistline in clear view.
Remember you want to add drama to one area only, so steer clear of any heavy accessories as they’ll read as clunky back with larger shapes.
Country Road bell sleeve top, $99.95, Country Road
Kit & Ace Chatham culottes, $190, Kit & Ace
Veronika Maine slim leg trousers, $169, Veronika Maine
Isabel Marant Etoile wide-leg trousers, $425, Matches Fashion
The Mode Collective Tori heels, $279, The Mode Collective
(Backless Tops & Midriff Tops)
If you’ve browsed any shop floor in the past 6 months, you may have noticed a widespread epidemic of missing backs and midriffs amongst your top selections – just panels of fabric inexplicably gone. Which then begs the obvious question – how does one wear such a thing without looking like you’ve had a run in with the kitchen scissors? Simple – bring those waistlines up. High waisted trousers, skirts and denim is the perfect route to balance out exposing too much skin, adding the polish required to ensure you don’t look like you’ve plucked them from the kids wear section. While the option to go braless is available should you feel so inclined, you may want some support when you’re out and about – bear in mind your new backless or midriff number might require a visit to the lingerie section for the correct underpinnings to go along with it (no Janet Jackson-style nip slips on our watch).
Solace Frida backless blouse, $359, Farfetch
H&M suit trousers, $79.99, H&M
Tibi cropped top, $391.36, Shop Bop
Alice & Olivia Ciera high waisted skirt, $269.10, Neiman Marcus
Accessory-wise, the neck is having a bit of a moment – namely chokers, of both the jewelled and scarf variety. If you’re yet to dip your toe in, first things first: keep the rest of your outfit simple. Treat it as an upscale to a basic outfit. It may be tempting, but don’t dress around the neck-tie; it’ll come across in a contrived manner. A deep-v or low scoop neckline also ensures you’re not stumping that swan-like neck either.
YCL Jewels Stepping Stone choker, $120, YCL Jewels
Fendi reversible silk twill scarf, $251, net-a-porter
Pyjamas as Outerwear
Reworking your bed attire is completely warranted when running out to get a coffee Sunday AM, but things get slightly muddled when we’re talking within a 9-5 window. Much like your voluminous pieces need strict tailoring, any silky PJ-esque separates also need a stricter silhouette to bounce off in order to work this for daytime – tuck it into a structured skirt or trouser with a man-style blazer or coat over the top, then accessorise with a don’t-mess-with-me pump or loafer to tie it all together.
Natalija silk pyjama shirt, $99, Natalija The Label
Hope blazer, $590, and slim trousers, $195, My Chameleon
Gucci Princetown leather slipper, $715, Gucci
Overalls & Rompers
Herein lies your conundrum: how do you translate an inherently kid-like silhouette into adulthood? Firstly, it’s all in elevated fabrics – denim is often a go-to with this shape, yet silks offer a lot more payback on the wearability front. Either aim for contrast with a poppy separate underneath, or keep your whole look tonal to up the polish factor. Lastly, kick the innocence out of this shape with edgier accessories, like leather and hardware – a sure-fire way to dodge any throwbacks reviving your under-5 attire.
Pereira Fitzgerals silk overalls, $550, Pereira Fitzgerald
Boden denim overalls, $150, Boden Clothing
Senso Tracey heels, $275, Senso
Thigh High Splits
This is runway gone real-way to the extreme, so tone down the Basic Instinct sultriness and anchor your look with a loose knit or slouchy shirting up top – you’ll need to bring it down a notch to make it accessible day-to-night. Look for options with a higher waistline, as these tend to sit in a more flattering manner across the hips. Finally, if the height of the split is getting a little too dramatic once you hit a stride, run it to your alterationist and close it up around 3cm – this should do the trick to keep the split in check (and ensures no unintentional flashing on your behalf).
Jac & Jack Sanders sweater, $299, Jac & Jack
Dion Lee reversible split skirt, $450, Farfetch
Witchery sleeveless blouse, $99.95, Witchery
feature image via pinterest