How to find clothes that are the right fit for you

Do you find it a challenge finding clothes that fit you correctly?

If you do, it can be tempting to blame yourself, but often, it’s that they aren’t quite right for YOU.

Unless you’re making your own clothes, or having them made specifically for your body, there might be certain features of a garment that don’t quite work for you. Rest assured, there’s tips and tricks to ‘correct’ many elements, it’s simply understanding and learning what to look for.

This quote sums it up perfectly for me:

The dress must follow the body of the woman, not the body following the shape of the dress. (Hubert de Givenchy)

Identify what’s right for you and work with your body shape, not against it. So, if you’ve got a curvy figure then a boxy shape to a garment will add pounds to your frame because it hides your frame and shape. Nobody wants that!

I meet a lot of ladies who feel that things don’t work for them and they dislike shopping as a result. This is totally understandable, especially if you don’t know what to look for because you’ll spend lot of time and money finding out.

With understanding, you’re able to make informed decisions about your clothes, rather than ill-thought through and impulse buys.

Right colour, right style, right fit and lifestyle-appropriate. Nail these, and you’ll be grinning like the cat that got the cream.

Let me go through these in more detail.

Colour

Have you ever put something on and noticed that the colour drains from your face? Or that suddenly your skin has gone a funny colour?

That need to add a brighter lipstick or slap more blusher on, is because the colour you’re wearing isn’t quite right for you.

The transformation to your overall appearance when you’re wearing the right colours for you, cannot be ignored! It’s a subject I cover frequently here on the blogs as well as on social media.

Colour analysis consultations are by far my most popular service and I never tire of seeing the transformation with clients. I work with a tonal colour analysis system, which assess the colour of your hair, eyes and skin tone to determine the three elements of your colouring type and colours which flatter you the most. My colouring type is soft, cool and deep which means that my core colouring type is soft (low clarity to my features overall, muted and mid-tone colours), with a cool undertone to my skin (blue toned shades rather than yellow) and with some depth (my tertiary as the light pale colours really do wash me out).

Wearing the right colour will visibly lift your appearance but unless it fits like a glove (or vice versa), it will never be perfect for you, so you’ll need to factor these next elements in as well.

Style

Your style is really what feels most like you. Sometimes, it can be hard to describe what your style is, or you may feel like you don’t have one! But, I can assure you that everyone does. Just think – what feels most like you when you wear it?

When you put something on that doesn’t feel like you, you’ll immediately protest as much and take it off! But, wear something which you feel happy, comfortable and more like you when you wear it, and you’ll be much happier. No point dressing like Paloma Faith if you’re really more a Jennifer Aniston type.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t dress differently, or try something new. I talk to my clients all the time about doing this and pushing your style boundaries, but in a way that feels authentic and still like you. Sometimes it can be the choice of fabric, but more on that shortly.

Patterns can be a real deal-breaker in the style department. For me, I’m not a fan of fussy patterns or stripes. They just don’t work for my style personality, so I don’t tend to buy them as I know I won’t get my £’s per wear or be happy in them.

Fit

We all know when something doesn’t fit right, but often associate this with the number on the label. The reason is often more about your underlying body shape, body line and proportions. Understanding these aspects will help you identify the right style, fit and fabric to choose. By way of an example, if you’re petite in height, with a long upper body and short legs, it will be harder getting the right fit. But, when you understand how to dress these features, you’ll make better choices with the styles and cuts.

Don’t forget the finer details like sleeves and necklines. A high neckline when you’ve a large bust will enhance the area. You’ll find a lower neckline (like a v-neck), will break up the colour and be more flattering. Sleeve lengths and shoulder seams can be corrective; like a ruffle sleeve when you’ve got small and narrow shoulders. On the other hand, they can enhance the area if you’re broader with wider shoulders by merely extending the shoulder line out, visually speaking.

Most people who come to me for a style and shape session don’t consider the fabric of a garment. Yet, it plays a crucial role in the fit of a garment. Different fabrics have different weights and feels, not to mention how it drapes. Whilst both light in weight, cotton and jersey have a different feel and structure to them. The same garment made from both will look and feel different when worn, depending upon the body wearing it.

Tailoring can be a game-changer in achieving the perfect fit and I often recommend clients have a good seamstress on hand, if they need one. Items can be transformed into bespoke pieces that fit YOU and make them a perfect fit! Which is a huge benefit when you do make your own clothes, because you can create the garment to take into account your own body measurements and adjust the pattern accordingly.

Not knowing what fits and flatters you means you can still end up making costly mistakes so it pays to understand these elements of your body.

Lifestyle-appropriate

Being able to tick all boxes with your clothes, or altering them accordingly, will make it so much easier to dress in clothes that make you look and feel good.

I’m a big believer in having clothes which work for how you spend your time. If you’re the outdoorsy-type and love nothing more, those knee-high, stiletto, velvet boots aren’t going to fare very well…

When your clothes suit the occasion you’re dressing for, you’ll feel appropriate and comfortable, especially when you know they tick all the boxes: right colour, right style, right fit and lifestyle-appropriate.

Get to know what works for you!

Gaining the knowledge can take time if you’re not sure what to look for and it can be costly if you keep making mistakes. My consultations are designed to guide you so that you understand what works for you, and why.

Discover the colours which enhance your natural features and how to wear your colours during a Colour Analysis Consultation. During a Style & Shape session, you’ll learn how to find clothes that tick all the boxes for you as we identify your style personality, shape and proportions.

Get in touch to book your session with me now!

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.

Tips on choosing swimwear

When it comes to choosing swimwear, here’s a few tips to help guide you just in time for your summer holiday.

Busts and Tummy

If you’re big busted, a good strap will give you a better shape and is far more comfortable to wear. Choosing one for your bra size will also ensure you have the support you need.

Are you conscious about your tummy? A double mesh panel will smooth out this area and give the appearance of a flatter stomach. A print will distract the eye and your tummy magically disappears! Much more flattering than a block colour. Go for a v neck or cross over style which can emphasise a bust and help detract attention away from your tummy area.

The swimsuit featured is from Pour Moi who have a great range of inclusive sizes.

Short legs & long bodies

If you want to elongate your legs, try and avoid shorts style and those that sit at the top of your thigh. Look for high cuts that will give you appearance of length in the leg. Be careful if you’re pear shaped as this can emphasise your wider hips.

Go for styles with detail on the top half to draw attention upwards. The stripes on the one featured are both confusing and interesting, so automatically the eye is drawn upwards.

If you’re longer in the body, you’ll already know that swimsuits can be uncomfortable. Opt for tankinis and bikinis. Make sure you have detail below the bust which will have the effect of lifting the natural waist line.

These are from Next who have a good range but feature more brands online.

 

Colour

Finally, opt for a flattering shade rather than black which can get very hot in the sun. Go for a cheerful and uplifting colour instead!

Try not to get daunted when shopping for swimwear. Shop by style personality, in colours and styles which flatter your features and you’ll be sure to make the right choices.

Holiday capsule wardrobe

If you need help shopping for a holiday capsule wardrobe, do get in touch. Look out for my new Holiday Capsule Wardrobe Workbook coming soon. Join the wait list and be the first to hear when it’s launched. Select ‘capsule wardrobe’ and register here.

How to choose the right dress

I’ll admit, I am a sucker for a dress. It’s an all-in-one outfit which means I have very little to think about!

There’s definitely a dress for everyone! But, that does not translate into one dress will suits everyone the same way (remember my rant from last year with the Zara dress??)

SS23 dress trends

 

Dresses feature again this coming season.

But, they feature every season!

 

So, what do you need to look for when choosing the right dress for you?

 

Lifestyle appropriate

It goes without saying that you should choose a dress which is comfortable to wear! Often when I speak about dresses to clients, they think they won’t work for them. This is what I call choosing lifestyle appropriate clothes. By way of an example, if you’re crawling around on the floor after a toddler then your choice needs to suit what you’ll be doing. Longer styles with lighter fabrics worn with leggings may be much more suitable than a PU short body con dress.

So, consider what activities you’ll be doing to help you decide on the most appropriate style of dress for the occasion!

Fabric

Throughout history and different traditions, men, women and children have all worn versions of a dress. In many warm countries, men wear tunics as a method of staying cool. I can guarantee that it won’t be made of polyester but instead, a lightweight and breathable fabric such as cotton!

If you’re shopping for a dress, check the label to see what it’s made from. In fact, it’s worth checking your wardrobe for the clothes you love wearing and compare the fabric to the ones you hate wearing! If you’re in the throws of the menopause then polyester will not be your friend! Choosing the right fabric can enhance and flatter your figure and shape. But, make a mistake and it can change your shape and add bulk which may not be flattering.

Shape (and proportions)

I’ve touched on this already. There are all sorts of dress styles, cuts, shapes and fabrics which will flatter your shape.  Essentially, choose something which flatters and mimics your shape and you’ll be onto a winner. It boils down to how the dress is made, where the seams are (empire, waist, dropped waist etc) and the cut and shape of the dress. If you don’t have a waist, or you want to detract attention away from a waist, then an empire line could be flattering (depending upon the fabric of course). That’s why it’s important to understand what suits you.

Style (personality)

We talk about style often in terms of how something might look or be seen. But, how you dress, where you shop, your choice of styles, cuts and fabric are all influences of your style personality. A dress can really showcase your style personality which is why if you wear something which doesn’t suit who you are, you won’t feel happy or comfortable! Those dresses that you constantly faff around with or pull or take off immediately? Partly down to your style personality influences. Learn this (during a style and image consultation) and where your style boundaries are and it’ll be the lightbulb moment for you saving you so many mistakes.

Colour

Colour is just as important of course as all these features mentioned above. You may well have chosen a dress on the colour alone. If this flatters you and makes you feel good, then it’s a winner. But, don’t hang onto it just because of the colour if the other boxes aren’t being ticked or you won’t get your wear out of it. If you’ve had a colour analysis consultation, then you’ll know your best shades of colour and can use your swatches as a guide in choosing the right shade.

Summary

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so why should your dress choices be the same? Yes, there’s certain styles which tend to suit most people (like a wrap dress). BUT, if this isn’t in the right fabric or length for you then it won’t flatter you!

Experiment with dress styles, prints, fabrics and designs. And remember, that the most flattering dress for you will showcase YOU the best.

Identifying these features can take time but if you need help then consider booking a colour and style session.

You’ll find me featuring some of my fave dresses on Facebook and Instagram on Monday 6 March in celebration of ‘national dress day’!

Three things to consider when choosing prints and patterns

When I ask my clients what their dressing or styling challenges are, this one comes up often.

Wearing, choosing and styling prints and patterns can be a challenge for many. Like most things, it’s all about learning how to make it work for you.

There’s often a reason (or many) that you put something on and take it off again – something about it isn’t working and doesn’t suit you.

The trick is to be able to identify what those reasons are! When you do, you’ll be able to make the decision about either leaving it and not wear it, or know how to wear it so that it does then work for you and suit you.

Here’s three things to consider when choosing prints and patterns:

Colour

There’s a reason that colour analysis consultations are my most popular service!

Being able to identify that the shade of colour isn’t right is easier to do when you know what your best shades of colour are and how best to wear them.

When it comes to pattern and print, the main or dominant colour in the pattern is what to focus on. This will have the most effect as to whether it compliments you or not.

For example, in this first dress, the main colour is green and in the second dress, the bulk is purple. Both colour tones compliment me well and suit my features. They harmonise with my characteristics and don’t cast any shadows or overwhelm me.

If they were in a shade of colour which didn’t suit me, then they would cast shadows against my features, stand out and overwhelm me and make me look tired, older or unwell. (and nobody wants that right?)

green flowered dress  striped dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style

The second aspect to consider is your individual style. Even if you can’t identify or articulate it, you’ve still got style! It has nothing to do with fashion. Or age, or size come to that.

If something feels too ‘fussy’, it flaps about, feels uncomfortable or doesn’t feel ‘you’ then it doesn’t sound like it’s suited to your personality type. However you try, it just won’t work (and that’s ok). Picking, prodding and pulling at things which aren’t working for you won’t make you feel good so consider what items you feel your most comfortable and happiest in.

Identifying your personality is the key to wearing pattern in my view. In the case of the flowered dress mentioned above – it was actually an unusual choice for me. I often find floral patterns are all a bit too much, fussy and ditsy for me. Due to the style of the pattern, the colours and the size of the print, this particular dress (from Rae at Next) has worked so much better for me and my style. In terms of pounds per wear, I’m less than £3 already!

Shape

Most people who come to see me have an idea of their basic body shape. What they struggle with is knowing how to dress their specific body.

Being able to identify specific cuts, designs, fabrics and styles which flatter your shape and proportions is the key to being able to dress with confidence. Knowing that what you’re choosing and wearing not only fits, but it flatters you.

It has nothing to do with size!

Your underlying shape and body lines will also determine whether a specific pattern or print will flatter you or draw attention to bits you’d rather people not focus on!

Consider the size of a pattern. Is it too big for you? Too small? Does it appear to ‘warp’ when you wear it, or does it look like it was made for you?

Conclusion

In my experience, these are the three things to consider when it comes to choosing and wearing patterns with success and confidence.

All these areas are discussed during a consultation so that you’ll learn and understand how to dress to suit you so you can look and feel good in what you wear.

You’ll find more information below:

Colour analysis

style & image consultation 

transformation package (colour, style and makeup lesson)

7-step online programme

Appointments are available virtually and in the studio in Wakefield.

BOOK NOW!

Ways to define your waist or hide your tummy

When it comes to dressing, there’s two things I get asked all the time:

  1. How to show off your waist.
  2. How to hide your tummy area.

So, in answer to both questions, I featured my style tips on both aspects for a quick video over on social media.

To help illustrate the points, I wore a comfy / slouchy dress.

Hope you find it helpful and useful and if there’s anything else you’d like to see, just let us know.

 

Click here to watch our video on YouTube.

Mini Shape and style workshop – Saturday 18th April

Back for 2020 by popular demand! This mini workshop focuses on shape and style.

Dressing for your body shape needn’t be difficult. Size does not matter, but shape does. Come along and learn the basics at this session.

Are you a Lady Gaga or Kylie Minogue? Your individual style influences the way you shop and how you combine your outfits together. Knowing who you are and how to identify this will save you time in the future.

This session, looks at how to dress confidently for your body shape and getting to know your ‘style personality’. Handouts with tips are included as part of the session.

 

WHEN

Saturday 18 April

10am – 12:30

WHERE

TLC Style & Colour HQ, Wakefield

 

COST

£20 per person including handouts and refreshments.

 

Places must be booked and paid for in advance.

To book your place, please email Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk or contact Toni on 07958657032.

Style and shape – Taster session – 13 July 2019

In this second of three workshops, I’ll look at shape, personality and style.

During this taster session, you’ll learn about your ‘style personality’ and how this influences the way you shop and combine outfits together. We’ll also look at dressing for your body shape, as size doesn’t matter, but shape does!

You’ll take away handouts with tips for dressing your shape and personality and a seasonal style update card which includes details on the new trends and the six spring/summer shades for your colouring which you’ll have learnt from the first workshop held on 15 June.

Book your place now! Email Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk to reserve your place or contact me.

 

When

13 July 2019

10am – 12pm

 

Where

Cedar Court, Wakefield

 

Cost

£20 per person

 

 

How to wear the midi skirt

The midi skirt has become rather popular. Spring/summer trends in the shops and online have seen a multitude of stores stock this item.

But how do you know which style to choose?

The style of the skirt is key to work with your proportions and body shape. See below for my suggestions including a video at the bottom too!

Hourglass

A full skirt will be the most flattering for your curves. Be sure to highlight your waist by using a belt or tucking your top in.

Triangle/pear

Try to keep your clothing lines simple. A panelled skirt style will work well for you. Remember to balance our your top half adding details such as pattern or jewellery.

Inverted triangle

Try a straight skirt or one with box pleats. To balance your proportions be sure to wear your detail on the bottom half of your body.

Lean column

Opt for an A-line skirt which will give the illusion of some curves.

Rectangle

Avoid too much detail around the waist.

 

Click to watch this short video illustrating these ideas. If you haven’t booked your style and image consultation, visit my page here and contact me to book. If you would prefer to join a style workshop then email me for more details at Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!

Learn to dress with confidence

Did you know that most women only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time?

 

If you want to learn about dressing in clothes which flatter your body and personality, then reserve your place at this small group session held at my studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

 

During the session, we will cover:

 

  • Dressing for your body shape
  • Assessing your proportions
  • Fun style personality quiz!

 

Come along and learn about clothing lines, fabrics and clever dressing tips so you can feel more confident about showing off your best bits and disguising the bits that you’re not so fond of.

You are encouraged to bring along one of your favourite outfits and one that you’re not so fond of so that we can see what does and doesn’t flatter you.

Each person will take away their own personal style cheat sheets and a Style Update handout showing you the key colours and styles for the current season.

 

Prices

These group sessions are limited for between 3 – 6 people.

£35 per person including handouts.

Optional extra!

An additional makeup lesson and scarf tying demonstration can be added to this session for just £5 extra per person. Please allow extra time if opting to include this.

Availability

Saturday 26th August – 10am – 12:30pm

To book your place please contact me.

Swimwear to suit you

Choosing swimwear to suit your body shape can be a challenge. There are lots of styles nowadays to suit all budgets but here’s my guide to picking the one to suit your figure so you can head to the pool or beach in style.

 

Apple/round

Choose solid colours which will be more flattering in something like a tankini style. V necked or cross over styles will help to emphasise your other assets and help detract attention away from your tummy area.

Pear/triangle

Try and avoid patterns or high cut styles on your bottom half and emphasise your top half instead. This can be done through pattern, jewellery or even a hat.

Inverted triangle

Plain top and patterned briefs will help create the illusion of a more balanced shape.

Rectangle

Try extra detailing such as bows or frills to create the illusion of a more fuller shape and curves.

Hourglass

A halterneck style or v neck will flatter your curves. Matching bikinis will keep everything in proportion and flatter your shape.

 

Finally, remember to choose styles in colours from your palette! Want to know your body shape and how to dress it? Get in touch to book a style consultation.

Stripes for all body shapes

If you’ve been out shopping lately, you may have noticed lots of striped clothes in stores and I’m not talking pyjamas!

Stripes tend to feature on both the catwalks and the High Street season after season due to their timeless appeal. Think of the Breton top – often seen as a classic item to own which rarely changes or ages.

Will stripes suit you?

In the main yes but there will be a better way of wearing stripes depending what your body shape is.

Remember that your underlying body shape rarely changes (sorry ladies – even with diet and exercise) so knowing how to dress for your shape and proportions makes shopping easier!

Lean column / rectangle body shapes

For those of you with straight body shapes then the good news is that stripes are made for you! (You’ll know your straighter as you’ll have fewer curves and rarely have any lines going in and out. Fitted and shaped clothes will often make you feel uncomfortable or restricted).

The clean, straight lines of your figure lend themselves perfectly to wearing stripes.

For those of you with a Rectangle body shape, vertical stripes will look great.

If you have a Lean Column body shape then try and have a play around; mix stripes with other patterns if you’re daring or perhaps look at wearing a combination of horizontal and vertical stripes to create the illusion of curves.

Triangle (pear) / inverted triangle body shapes

If you wear different sizes on your top and bottom halves then stripes can work wonders to give the illusion of balancing out your proportions.

If you have a Triangle body shape, try wearing horizontal stripes on your top half. This will balance out your figure and draw the attention upwards.

For those of you with an Inverted Triangle body shape, you want to wear your stripes on your bottom half. Horizontal, or vertical, the choice is yours. A striped skirt with a little fullness will even out your proportions beautifully whilst also showing off a slim waist.

Oval (apple) body shapes

Try to choose stripes that are softer, tonal or faded as they can be trickier to wear.

Full / neat hourglass body shapes

If you have a Full Hourglass figure, you may want to try avoiding stripes altogether; they will have to do a detour around your gorgeous curves! As an alternative; try a pattern that complements your shape batter such as florals. Opt for a stripey accessory (for example, a scarf or bag) to add a little interest to your look instead.

The neat hourglass can wear stripes, but note the curvy comments aboveboard.

 

All

As with any pattern, ensure you select stripes that complement your size.

If you’re petite, thinner stripes will work best as they won’t overwhelm you’re frame.

If you’re grand in scale (5 foot 7 or taller) then make a statement with bold stripes!

Be in the know

To learn about body shapes, proportions and dressing for your personality, you can book an individual or group style consultation with me.

Get in touch today to book your session.