Darren Kennedy fashion file: style dilemma
I recently had my second daughter. She's now 16 weeks and I'd say I have 2st to loose before I'm back to myself.
I'm roughly a size 14 at the moment and I still have quite a large belly. I need help finding a reasonably priced dress for a New Year's party. I need something that'll conceal my stomach as best as possible and that comes to at least knee length.
Darren replies: Styles such as empire lines, crossover V-necks, wrap dresses and anything that's designed to provide structure and shape tend to be the most flattering when trying to distract from the tummy. For instance, the (1) black lace trim dress from Preen/Edition (reduced from €105 to €52.50, Debenhams) is a chic wrap-style midi dress that channels a vintage flair. More importantly however, the floral lace stripe detail is a very clever design feature which optically cuts a super flattering form. The V neckline and gentle ruching accentuate the silhouette of this effortless evening piece. For something a little more trend-led, check out the folk-inspired (2) midi dress from ASOS Premium (€125). This empire line dress gently cinches just below the bust, raising the natural waistline to the thinnest part of the body. The detailing is exquisite with mirror embroidery offering flashes of colour and semi-sheer sleeves. It's worth bearing in mind that an outfit of separates can be just as effective. The (3) red skirt at Next (€43) is a figure friendly A-line shape that provides structure and proportion to ensure the silhouette is balanced. Pair with a fine knit sleeveless black top or rollneck, worn tucked into the skirt, and ramp up the glam with (4) New Look's black fringe heels (€49.99) and a party clutch.
Charlotte Olympia kitty-embellished perspex clutch €795, net-a-porter.com