Sunday 19 November 2017

Style Dilemma

Darren Kennedy


I have a graduation ceremony coming up and I have to wear black or black and white and I want to find a dress. I'm size 12-14, 5ft 5in with a chest, bum but unfortunately no real waist. Easy outfit to find you'd think but I can't find any out there. Any direction would be appreciated.

Emma (34), Limerick

If you don't naturally have much of a waist, wearing styles that help create one will give the illusion of making you appear longer, leaner and taller. Fifties fit and flare style dresses were first in vogue at a time when real women's figures were celebrated.

The 'Lila' floral jacquard dress by Phase Eight (€185) is a great example of this classic silhouette. With a detachable waist tie and tulle underlay it gives you the option of accentuating the full skirt.

Clever waist definition comes down to balance and proportion. Heatons' monochrome colour block dress (1 €25) with side-paneled detail is a purse-friendly option. While both the 'Illusion' dress at (€74.99) and Awear's lace side dress (2 €55) are more fitted options, the black trim detailing serves to visually shave inches off your waist.

The latest Peter O'Brien collection for Arnotts includes a stunning black tuxedo dress (3 €310) that I've no doubt will become a classic. You'll have to try it on to see if it works for your shape.

Another option is to wear a little black dress you already own and invest in a new coat. The monochrome print coat by Gallery at Dunnes Stores (4 €150) is a nice alternative to black.HELP... MY BOYFRIEND'S MOTHER WILL BE AT HIS BIRTHDAY BASHIt's my boyfriend's birthday next week and we're going for a meal with his family to celebrate. His younger sister and mother will both be there so I can't be too done up or wear anything too revealing. Could you please help me out and give me an idea on what would go best?

Ciara (23), Dundalk

It's all about striking the right balance between what you feel comfortable in and what's appropriate given the occasion and the company you're in.

Grid checks were big news last season and the vogue for all things geometric continues for autumn/winter.

Create a look with impact by doubling up your checks and wearing Dorothy Perkins' long sleeve collar top (1 €35) with the matching check midi skirt (2 €39) for a look that's modest yet on trend.

Similarly, pack a punch with some autumn blooms. Oasis's silk hummingbird shirt (3 €75) paired with the winter rose skirt (4 €50) is a winning combo.

If you'd prefer a frock, the nude-coloured 'Teatro Jasmine' dress at Littlewoods Ireland is embellished with shimmering jewels and comes to knee-length for a ladylike finish (was €87, reduced to €44.50).

Give it some edge and style with a studded biker jacket (5 €60,

Irish Independent

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