Part 2. Styling tips from Anne Benshaw

Auckland based personal stylist, Anne Benshaw (Bio linked below) has a passion for helping women look and feel fabulous. EA Inc. and Anne will be partnering for an event in the New Year to bring you a not to be missed personal branding session. In the mean time, to tide you over, Anne has shared some wardrobe and trend tips with us. Read on to find out more....

Download PDF • 3.10MB

Part 2: Trends: What's in fashion this season

So, what’s in fashion for this season??? This is a question I often get asked and it really bothers me. It does not bother me that people might think I have a wee crystal ball in my wardrobe. I actually research overseas trends and the International Fashion Weeks really closely, so it is quite easy to predict trends and have an idea of what we are going to see in our stores for the coming season. Rather, this question bothers me for the simple fact that just because an item is “in fashion” doesn’t mean it suits us or that we should invest our hard earned money in the latest trend!!

I am a big believer in working out your body shape and wearing whatever suits our shape best. Knowing your colour profile and mostly sticking to colours in it. And finally, understanding what your style personality is. So, when I see a client who is a soft spring/warm complexion, classic pear, or triangle shape (a smaller top half and heavier bottom half), wearing an “in fashion” minidress in bright clear colours, I know we have some work to do.

Power to anyone who wears what they like and doesn’t care. However, for most of my clients they want to wear clothes that suit them and most importantly clothes that make them look and feel good. Putting workplace rules or guidelines aside there is something infinitely powerful in knowing you have a wardrobe full of clothes that suit you making it easier to get dressed for anything life throws at you. Most of us have friends who always look well dressed. They just have something that makes you think (or better yet say) “you look amazing”. These are typically the women (and men) who know their best clothing shapes, colours and express a consistent style vibe. I have clients who have bought exactly the same pieces of clothing one of their well-dressed friends owns only to find out it looks terrible on them. It is usually because they have shopped outside their style personality.

Let’s look at each of these sections in a bit more depth:

Body shape.

Apples, pears, triangles, rectangles whatever you call the 5 basic body shapes they are the same thing. Some people have bigger top halves, or bottom halves, some people have no waist while others have fabulous hourglass figures. If you dress to suit your body shape your clothing will flatter the good bits and hide the “other bits”.

source: Pinterest

Above is an image from Pinterest that I pull out all the time. It clearly shows the different body shapes. Just while we are on the subject of Pinterest there are sooooo many great articles about dressing for your body shape which you can research. If you are interested have a look and I’ll see you back here is 4-5 hours!!

Simply put the most visually pleasing body shape is an hourglass. Where you have shoulder and hip measurements that are similar, and you have a waist measurement that is at least 10% smaller than your shoulders or hips. The hourglass figure is the easiest to dress. It is also the shape that we try and achieve, with clothing when you have one of the other body shapes. So, if you are a pear or triangle body shape (small top larger bottom), you are best to wear slimmer and darker items on your bottom half. Add to this lighter colours and shoulder defining pieces on your top half will create balance and the visually pleasing proportions between your shoulders and hips. Take a look at these images: