Want the Hitchcock Blonde look? No pain no gain
In case you hadn’t noticed, this season’s must-have is a waist so small that it can be encircled by your dashing suitor’s hands. Suddenly, after hiding our lumps and bumps in a waft of gypsy inspired regalia, we are supposed to unearth the hourglass figure that enables you to pull off this winter’s pencil skirts, silk pussy-bow shirts and tailored jackets to convincing effect. We are encouraged to take the lead from the Hitchcock Blonde. This is a tall order. Not only does that mean we require the Barbie genetics of beauties such as Grace Kelly and Kim Novak, we need an immaculate peroxide up-do and, of course, an air of cool, disinterested self-possession or loathing.
Quite how far you want to take the cinched-in Hitchcock Blonde look depends on your starting point. Do you think you have the internal reserve to keep your head while those around you are losing theirs during the Christmas party season? There are several ways you can achieve this Coca-Cola silhouette in less than two months. You could follow Liz Hurley’s lead; the model/actress’s diet tips are said to include using doll-sized cutlery to make meal portions look bigger and binging on raisins. Or you could embark on the severe corset “training” that was common in the 1860s and reduced waists to breath-taking measurements using whalebone engineering, with the only downside deformed ribs and internal organs.
Alternatively you can take the path of least resistance – or, rather, more resistance – and invest in some reinforced underwear. According to lingerie website Figleaves, “controlwear” is no longer a taboo, with women of all shapes and sizes turning to body-shaping pieces. It might be hard to banish the Bridget Jones “big pants” scene from your mind but the retailer says its range of corsets and bustiers can serve as both under and outerwear.
But for those who like to walk the middle ground — and are single/confident their boyfriend will never see it — I’d opt for the Flexees waist-shaper brief. The device is the least barbaric solution as the high, supportive panel flattens the stomach and nips in the waist — the perfect foundation for the calf skimming pencil skirt — and is a snip at £21. If you are feeling bolder, the Vollers under-bust corset, at £89, can be worn over a tailored shirt to accentuate the waist.
Having a cantilevered midriff will have the added benefit of improving your posture as well as curbing your appetite — you can’t breathe. Alternatively you can declare Hitchock an old perv, proclaim that you are a “natural” woman, then mutter something about feminism under your breath.