How to wear and style a jumper to create a waist (and avoid a shapeless look)

Have you ever found that a jumper can look a little bulky or shapeless when you’re wearing it?

Sometimes what you need to do is wear it with a little tweak to style it in a different way.

I’ve talked about tucking in a jumper previously (so that you don’t look like a sack of spuds). It’s all in the styling and creating shape. You can revisit that video on YouTube here or click on this blog.

But, have you thought about the sleeves?

Rolling the sleeves up slightly will draw attention to where your waist is. Or, where you’d like it to be if you don’t have equally balanced proportions! It’s simply a clever trick!

It’s not just a yank up either and hey presto. You’re looking for a smoother line rather than a gathering of material.

This is a visual trick to draw the eye line into a waist and highlight more shape to your frame.

Just a simple adjustment of the sleeve area can help to create the illusion of a waist, if you don’t have a clearly defined one too.

In the video, you’ll be able to see how my silhouette looks better as a result of just a couple of tweaks and how to style it.

Watch it on YouTube here:

Should you wait to lose weight before buying new clothes?

I hear this a lot and my heart goes out because it’s a vicious circle. You don’t want to buy clothes that fit you now, because you don’t intend to be remain the same weight. Yet, feeling like you don’t deserve to buy something nice because you’re not your ideal weight, means you compromise on your clothing.

Granting yourself permission to buy new clothes when you’re thinner, sends a message to yourself that you’re not worth it if you’re carrying a little extra weight. This leads to wearing clothes that you don’t feel good in, and your self-belief is knocked down further. You end up trapped in a circle of despair.

Shape not size

I see very few people who are 100% happy with their body. Most people are too concerned with their own body to be looking at yours! Everyone’s body changes anyway!

With no universal sizing, it means you could be one size in one shop and another elsewhere. Unless you make your own clothes, garments you buy aren’t specifically being made for you, so you might have to make them work for your body (rather than the other way around). Size is just a number after all – it’s dressing your shape that matters.

If you’ve found a garment and it’s perfect for you in all other aspects (colour, fit, fabric), but the number on the label isn’t, will you really deny yourself the item?

Clothes can be altered or styled differently. They can be sold, swapped or given to charity. Waiting until you hit your goal weight is commendable, but it’s absolutely fine to feel good and look good whilst you’re working towards it. You don’t have to lose weight to look good or feel good. But, wearing clothes which are comfortable and which suit you will make a vast difference.

If you’re reading this thinking you won’t be able to pull something off, let me assure you it has nothing to do with your size. It’s all about your confidence and self belief. Many people end up reaching for oversized garments hoping to hide their body. Unfortunately, it often just makes you look bigger than you are. There’s better ways of doing it.

Too many clothes

Having a wardrobe full of clothes in multiple sizes, which don’t fit can lead you to keep beating yourself up. These clothes can end up taunting you every day, making you feel frustrated. They’re an unhelpful reminder of your former self rather than who you are NOW or, could be in the future.

Remove the clothes that you don’t wear because they don’t fit you and store them away. Most people need far less clothes than what they have in my experience! Curating a small wardrobe of clothes that fit you and which you can happily wear will make you feel good too.

Do you know what actually suits you? Not everyone is clear about the colour/style/shape/fit/fabric. Knowing what suits you will improve your confidence and help you to feel good in what you wear, right now as well as in the future. So, don’t put off booking a consultation because you’re waiting to lose weight.

Wearing colour is not limited to size! Using colour is a clever way to enhance your features and provide an instant boost to your confidence.

Remember, clothes don’t just cover your body, they tell a story.  What story are you telling the world?

If you’re not sure where to start or what package is right for you, get in touch with me first so we can have a chat.

The Zara sizing code you need to know

It’s well known that if you shop at Zara, the sizing can sometimes be a little off.

Without any standardisation to sizes in the UK, they aren’t exactly on their own though.

In fairness, Zara do have a good sizing guide to assist when shopping online. Simply enter your height, weight and how you want the garment to fit (tighter, perfect, or looser). Then, it gives you your ideal size for the item you’re looking at.

Lots of online retailers offer similar sizing and fitting guides (for example, Boden use True Fit). Plus, I highly recommend reading the measurements to improve your online shopping experience and reduce returns. I’ve talked about this in my blog: How to shop with success.

The Zara sizing code

zara label symbols

zara symbol label guide


On each garment label, it shows the size of the garment (in EU, USA and MEX) with a symbol.

This symbol relates to fit and you’ll see one of three symbols.

Square fits true to size, a triangle means it fits on the smaller side, and a circle on the bigger side.




Worth noting is that it hasn’t been confirmed by Zara. Instead, it’s rumoured the symbols indicate the different clothing collections rather than sizing.

What I found

From my personal experience of the garments I checked, broadly speaking, the symbols are a good indicator.

Here’s my examples:

Zara dress label

zara dress label


This Zara dress was the one I dyed here and is a size small with a circle.

I always found this was on the larger side but it has a tie belt I use to pull the garment in at the back for a better fit.






My Zara coat I bought in XS with a square symbol.

Interestingly, I originally sized down for this one as I felt it drowned me in the next size up.

The style however is more of a loose fit with an open front and I prefer a slimmer line so went for the smaller size.


zara zig zag dress label

zig zag dress label

The cult zig zag dress from the blog a few months ago was XS with a circle symbol.

Of the many reasons why this dress didn’t work was the fit.

Despite it being XS it totally swamped me so was definitely an over-sized fit.






Finally, another dress which I found at the same time as the zig zag dress was this blue one. A size small with a square symbol.

It was for me, a perfect fit, it just wasn’t my ‘style’ but I would agree that it was true to size.


On the whole, I would recommend using the symbols as a guide when buying in store and using the measurements and fit guide online.

Why not check your own garments against the symbols and let me know?

Just remember that size doesn’t matter. Learn to dress for your shape in garments which fit and flatter your shape and your proportions and you’ll always look fab. (especially in the right colours for you!)

But, if you need some help and advice, get in touch about booking a colour or style session.