Tag Archive for 'spring'

Here comes summer – how to buy dresses

One of the best things about fashion in recent years is the resurgence of dresses (and I’m talking here about upmarket tailored ones that you can wear in the office or in the evening, rather than the short, frilly varieties available on the high street).  And it’s a trend that has continued this Summer.

Quite apart from anything else, dresses are easy as you don’t need to worry about putting a top under them – but because of this, they need to fit properly – the cut, as well as the cloth, has to be exactly right.

Here’s what to look out for:

I’ve written recently that lengths of dresses and skirts – unless you’re very young – are to the knee (or even tapered and just below). This is a bit longer than in recent seasons and, now that I’m back from buying trips for next season, I can tell you it will continue into the Autumn/Winter season.

Interesting necklines feature strongly and I personally will always try to buy dresses with back zips as it involves less creasing and a lot less effort when putting them on.


A little tip with dresses with straight skirts is to always look from the side view as sometimes women with a flatter bottom may need an adjustment involving lifting the back of the dress at waist level which will improve the overall appearance.

Remember to make sure there is a triple mirror available so you can see the back of you and ensure the fit is perfect.

Although the magazines are showing bright colours, I think it’s really short sighted at times like this to invest in brightly coloured clothes that will be dead in six months – colour, particularly bright colour is the most fleeting of fashion trends. However, you might want to invest in a bright coloured handbag, cardigan or shirt/top to get the feeling of the season in a way that complements your own longer term style.

There are varieties of muted colours around (blues, greens and even summer greys) that flatter most women so much more than the flashy ones.

Also, if you want a bit more colour, there are some geometric prints around, but be careful they don’t look too girly.


Age has to be an issue with colour – if you really want the brights, save them for the beach as most of our continental peers do.

Aside from dresses, jackets remain tailored – and will continue to do so into Autumn/Winter with a lot of detailing (often tone on tone) and the last vestiges of bling barely visible.

Chunky necklaces and bangles are still strong this season – I’ve found some very beautiful leather necklaces which look a little bit different. Belts feature quite strongly this season as an accessory to the dress. Finding a good quality buckle is very important, which is why I’ve developed a close collaboration with one of the best Italian belt manufacturers to ensure that we can always provide simple but high quality buckles that complement our dresses.



Style dilemma: Managing the Winter to Summer transition

With the hot snap last week and the return to a more British April this week, a number of people have asked me how to manage the transition between their winter and summer wardrobes.


It’s always a problem in the UK.  You can go out of the house into a sunny morning and find it’s freezing by mid-afternoon and vice-versa.


Here are some ideas:


  • wear layers. A summer cardi over a tailored dress under a summer coat or raincoat. A lightweight suit, with a sleeveless cardigan as an option for early morning. Or a Wolford body (‘cos it fits well) under a shirt is a good layering tip
  • always take a spring coat or raincoat and a summer scarf – once you neck is protected you’ll always feel warmer
  • long sleeve cotton shirts are warm, but not as wintery as a sweater; but equally there are some lovely lightweight wools and cashmeres that look good and won’t be too warm under a lightweight suit at this time of year
  • this year in particular a trend has emerged of tailored dresses for day wear.  There’s a lot of fabulous tailored dresses with three-quarter sleeves in wool/silk or wool/linen mixtures which are not too heavy and can be worn for eight months of the year with a jacket or summer coat. Here are a couple of examples: 


  • if you’re worried about you pale wintery skin tone, I recommend you buy some Nivea Self Tan Lotion. Exfoliate first – in fact I recommend exfoliating once a week even during the winter months – and after a couple of applications you’ll look like you’ve had a weekend in the South of France.  The Nivea lotion is one of the least expensive on the market, but don’t let that put you off – I’ve tried a lot of them and so far this one for me is the best.


The arrival of warm weather always raises the bare legs issue – can you go without tights?  Generally, I think if you want to be taken seriously, you shouldn’t be showing off bare legs in the office and you should wear tights or trousers whatever the weather.


If you really don’t want to wear tights, wear a fitted straight skirt, or a cotton dress, below the knee and sexily cut.  You can probably get away with it with supertanned legs and a shoe with a heel.


A floral skirt, flat shoes and no tights will look like you’re on the way to the park or the supermarket.