HOW TO GET DRESSED

FOUNDERS OF ROUS ILAND MEMBERS’ BOUTIQUE

Q.I have a winter ball coming up. The dress code is full length. I'm quite short and worried I can't carry it off.

A.Take your cue from actresses on the red carpet this awards season, who are working all the tricks in the book. If you are confident about showing your pins then a high split at the front of a long dress a la Jenifer Anniston is an effective way to break up length and show your silhouette. Alternatively find a slinky style to skim your shape to ensure your frame isn’t hidden.

A slight fishtail kick at the bottom of the dress will also help to elongate your body, as demonstrated beautifully by Anne Hathaway. A little belt always helps to nip in the waist and create proportion. Avoid chopping your body in half and opt for a belt in the same fabric and colour as the dress.

Finally, if you are feeling more adventurous, go for the new midi length for Spring/Summer and flash your ankles. To ensure you retain the drama of the occasion and stop this slightly shorter length looking too casual make sure the skirt of the dress has volume and is high waisted, nipping in to show your smallest point. You will see that full length and fabulous is achievable whatever your height.

Q.My work wardrobe is sorted and I have lots of pretty event dresses but I am at a loss when it comes to the weekend – how do I move away from my winter uniform of skinny jeans, long boots and knits?

A.The key at the weekend is to keep your look streamlined but interesting with elegant layers in contrasting fabrics. A chic alternative to jeans is a pair of good quality, structured leggings which are more flattering than denim and more comfortable than trousers. On your upper half, layer with fine tunics in hand-washable silks and jerseys all cinched in with a skinny belt worn high at your natural waist point. Because the overall look is lean you can then finish off, for extra snugness, with a chunky cardigan or cape. As for shoes, to keep it modern stay away from the full length boot and opt for either a flat ankle boot or, for more height, a wedge. Then have fun accessorising with long length chunky necklaces and hats.

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