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Underwear Essentials: Your Guide To Flawless Style

Good underwear essentials are the foundations of flawless style.

Get it right and your clothes will appear to fit better, you’ll look great and you’ll be comfortable!

Get it wrong and ill-fitting underwear will ruin your day and ruin your outfit.

Can you remember a time when your bra was digging into you so much that you couldn’t concentrate, it made you grumpy and as soon as you got home you threw it in the bin? And, what about when your undies were so tight they achingly dug into your skin creating lumps and bumps that had never existed before? Or undies that rode up and ‘disappeared’ because the elastic had given up the ghost?

Here’s how to stop these annoying situations ever happening again.

Underwear Essentials 1: Your Bra

History’s not clear about when the bra (as we know it) was first invented. In 1889 French born Herminie Cadolle separated a corset into two pieces. The upper part supported the bust using ‘rubber thread’ shoulder straps (the equivalent of modern day elastic). A few years later Marie Tucek introduced the forerunner to the underwire bra by using metal support plates in her design. But, it was Mary Phelps Jacob who patented her lightweight, soft ‘Backless Bra’ in 1914 that paved the way for the bras we wear today.

Underwear Essentials blog. Two ladies wearing 1950s bras.

I highly recommend having a professional bra fitting every year. Our breasts and bodies are constantly changing. Your bra needs to be comfortable, fit perfectly and support you every day. A professional bra fitter will ensure the band, cup size, straps, hooks and wires suit your body shape and proportions.

It’s amazing what a great fitting bra can do for the way clothes hang on your body. When your bust is lifted you look more youthful and, if you have a large bust, your waist looks slimmer. A few times during personal shopping trips I’ve recommended we start with buying a new bra. Clothes looked so much better when their bust was properly supported and shaped.

Large department stores like David Jones and Myer offer fitting services. Storm in a D Cup in Sydney’s Bondi Junction specialises in D to K cup bras.

Have you found that clothing sizes vary dramatically? Well the same applies to bras. ‘Try before you buy’ is my motto. A Berlei 14C will be different to a Victoria’s Secret 14C or a Simone Perele 14C.

Invest in a couple of ‘workhorse’ bras. They’ll have no lace or embellishments and will be nude in colour. Both practical and versatile, they can be worn under most of your clothes, even finer fabrics and tees.

If you’re prone to nipples that protrude, wear a slightly padded bra or invest in reusable nipple covers from B Free or Cotton On.

Underwear Essentials 2: Your Undies

Panties, undies, knickers. Whatever you call like to them, choose wisely. A visible pantie line (VPL) is a sure-fire way to ruin the look of your outfit. VPLs happen when the outer edges and seams of your underwear show as a ridge or depression in the clothes you’re wearing.

Underwear Essentials blog. Image shows 6 pairs of laser cut panties.

Laser cut panties

 

How can you avoid it? If you find g-strings and thongs uncomfortable the answer is laser cut underwear. No elastic in the leg, waist or sides creates a smooth, nearly invisible appearance under your clothes. For hygiene and comfort reasons look for brands that stock undies that have a cotton crotch like Berlei, Triumph and Uniqlo.

Laser cut undies come in all shapes and sizes.

Underwear Essentials 3: Your Shapewear

Underwear Essentials blog. Picture shows ivory silk satin and whalebone corset circa 1900

Excruciatingly restrictive whalebone corsets, and old-fashioned girdles worn from the 20s to the 60s have thankfully morphed into the shapewear we know today.

Think of period movies like Gone With The Wind, Titanic, Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette that give us an insight into how gruelling it was to get into these devices and how uncomfortable they were to wear. The options we have today trim, smooth or lift virtually any area of your body, encourage natural curves and are comfortable.

Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day version of a girdle - the OnCore mid-thigh bodysuit from Spanx.
Underwear Essentials blog. 1942 advert for a Berlei girdle.
Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day girdle: the Strapless cropped mid-thigh bodysuit by Spanx.

 

The most important tip I can give you is to buy the right size. Too small and you’ll create bulging lumps outside the shapewear area (and be screaming on the inside). Too large: you’ll add wrinkles to your outfit fooling no-one about what’s going on underneath.

Putting shapewear on is easy if you wait a few minutes for your body to cool down and dry completely after you shower. And a small amount of talcum powder dusted over your skin will help too.

These days there’s an abundance of underwear brands offering a huge choice of styles, fabrics, sizes and fits to suit your preferences and needs. Update and invest in your underwear essentials for ultimate comfort, confidence and flawless style.

What is your favourite underwear brand and why?

 

Image Credits:

vintagedancer.com

Philadelphia Museum

Lacy Hint

eBay

Spanx

 

 

 

Sticky
January 12, 2019

Palazzo Pants – How To Wear Them Well

Move over skinny pants, palazzo pants are back in!

Coco Chanel wore them in the 20s and Katherine Hepburn wore them in the 30s. But it wasn’t until the 60s and early 70s that palazzo pants were embraced and worn by the masses. One of the reasons they became popular is because some of the ritzy restaurants in Europe insisted on enforcing the rule that women had to wear skirts or dresses to their restaurants. The women wanted to wear pants, so they found a way around it by wearing long, loose, floaty pants that looked similar to the dresses and skirts.

If you’re keen to wear this latest fashion trend read on…

Palazzo pants can be tricky to wear for those of us who are ‘vertically challenged’ and for anyone who carries weight on their hips and thighs. The volume of fabric and the full, broad leg can make you look wider and shorter.

3 pairs of palazzo pants. The first pair features floaty fabric. The second pair of palazzo pants feature a hemline that covers the shoes. The third pair is too short. It makes the wearer look short and wide.

Soft, floaty fabrics and longer hemlines are best.

 

Here are my top 6 tips to wearing palazzo pants well:

  1. Wear heels to visually elongate your legs. Wedges are a comfortable option.
  2. Choose light floaty fabrics.
  3. Hem them as long as possible (but not too long that they’re a trip hazard 👍).
  4. Wear lighter or colourful tops, and jewellery to draw attention up to your face.
  5. Choose solid colours or small dense patterns.
  6. And, as well as the suggestions in point 4, you could also wear the same colour or a similar colour to your pants to make you look longer and taller.
Striped palazzo pants with a bright top. the bright top brings attention to your face.

Stripes elongate and the bright top brings the eye up to the face

Black palazzo pants teamed with a black top and high heels makes the wearer look taller and slimmer

Look taller by wearing a top in the same colour and heels

There are plenty of colours and styles at online stores like The Iconic

If you want more info on how to create stylish outfits using loose, baggy clothing like palazzo pants, you can read my article on the Principle of Volume.

 

Sticky
November 16, 2018

This Capsule Wardrobe System Will Make Getting Dressed A Whole Lot Easier

What is a capsule wardrobe, and why would you use one?

Do you ever waste time in front of your wardrobe wondering what to wear? No matter how organised you are, the chances are you have. It’s stressful! As you stand in front of your clothes you can feel time ticking away. All you want to do is create an outfit that looks good and get out the door.

That’s where creating a capsule wardrobe can help. Susie Faux, owner of the London boutique ‘Wardrobe’, created the phrase in the 70s. The concept is to build your wardrobe around a few core pieces of clothing: pants, skirts and jackets that are classic and timeless. Then add seasonal tops and accessories to keep your wardrobe up to date. So that your clothes can mix and match, they need to relate to one another. If you can do this you’ll be able to create coordinated outfits in record time.

Capsule wardrobes gained popularity in 1985 when Donna Karan released her 7-piece workwear capsule collection. These days it’s used as a popular way to get great versatility and functionality from your clothes while reducing clutter, creating space and helping with our planet’s sustainability.

I’m showing you just one example of a capsule wardrobe, but there are many different variations. You decide how many items you need to make it work for you and your lifestyle.

How to create your capsule wardrobe

This combination of 10 garments will give you 26 outfits. Mix those 26 outfits with the sneakers, ballet flats and sandals (I’ve left the thongs out) and you have 78 outfits.

Start by choosing 2 or 3 neutral colours like navy, grey, black, white, brown, beige, tan or khaki. Buy your jackets, pants and skirts in these colours. They could be matching pieces or separates. I’ve chosen cream, khaki and denim/navy. (See diagram below) All of these garments coordinate well together. Then you add 4 tops and a dress and the capsule wardrobe is complete.

A Capsule Wardrobe of Casual Wear with Accessories. It includes 10 garments, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 belts and a handbag as well as jewellery.

A Capsule Wardrobe of Casual Wear with Accessories

You can expand or subtract from the template I’ve shown here, but this is a great start. And, you can increase the outfit combinations from 26 to 32 just by adding 1 more top.

Stock up on smaller items like jewellery and scarves that can inject elements of interest if you’re a person who needs more variety.

Use the capsule wardrobe system for your work wardrobe too (if you don’t wear a uniform). It’s also handy to use when packing for a trip (Less in the suitcase = less to lug around and more room for shopping!).

If you have any questions about creating your capsule wardrobe feel free to email me ann@imageconfidence.com.au or call 0408 108 804. And, if you know anyone who could benefit from this article feel free to share.

What are your tips for a compact, functional wardrobe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
October 28, 2018

Women’s Accessories – Your Essential Guide

In this month blog, ‘Women’s Accessories – The Essentials’ I share the key items you need in your wardrobe to transform a basic outfit into a stylish one. The choice of colour, size, shape, pattern and style of these items is entirely up to you, so allow your personality and preferences to shine.

Women’s Accessories – Jewellery

– Real or fake diamond stud earrings. These are good all-rounders – you can dress them up or down.

– A pearl necklace or bracelet. These will always say style and elegance like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Women's accessories: Thomas Sabo fresh water pearl bracelet

Thomas Sabo fresh water pearl bracelet

– Some statement necklaces. These will turn any plain outfit into something ‘wow’ and interesting. Experiment with wood, metal and semi-precious stones.

Women’s accessories – Shoes

– Nude or black pumps. Select a medium to low heel so they match nicely with pants or skirts.

– Ankle boots. You choose the colour, style and heel height. Ankle boots will see you through autumn, winter and the early stages of spring.

– Stylish Sneakers – for dashing to the supermarket, travelling to and from work etc.

– A pair of nude coloured strappy sandals with medium to high heels will be very versatile and take your outfits from day into night.

Women's Accessories: Strappy sandals by Stuart Weitzman

NuNakedStraight Sandal by Stuart Weitzman

– Stylish low heeled sandals. Elevate a basic outfit of tee shirt and jeans from your feet up!

– Beautiful ballet flats. These are your comfy ‘go tos’ and like your pumps, they will go perfectly with pants or skirts.

Women’s Accessories – Bags

– Tote bag. Your everyday bag should be made of good quality leather to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Invest in another more structured bag for work.

– A beautiful black or metallic evening bag. Stick to these options as they will go with everything.

– A wallet that is in good condition. If yours is tatty around the edges or falling apart, it’s time to replace it. Think of cost per wear. If your wallet cost $300 and you used it for 300 days that equates to it costing you $1 a day!

Women’s Accessories – Other

– Sunglasses. These should suit your face shape, compliment your natural colouring and have good quality lenses.

– a silk scarf. These are the perfect weight: light enough to wear in summer and warm enough to use during the cooler months.

– 2 lipsticks: 1 for day and 1 that is a little bolder for night. Find your perfect shade here.

Women's accessories: Lipsticks on black background

– Shapewear. Not for every day use, but perfect for under clothes where you want to create smooth, sleek lines. Ensure your shapewear fits comfortably: it’s about flattering your figure, not about making you look a size smaller.

– A good quality leather belt. Use it with your pants and jeans or over a loose blouse to cinch in your waist.

– A Pashmina – Great to wrap around your shoulders when the nights get nippy or when travelling on any form of transport that is airconditioned to subzero temperatures.

– Leather gloves – a must for those who feel the cold, and they are a stylish addition to any coat and scarf ensemble.

– Hats. There are so many practical reasons for wearing hats, like protecting your face, hair and scalp from the harsh sun’s rays, but they are also a great opportunity to make a style statement.

Woman modelling accessories - sun hat and pearls.

Source credit: bikinimuse.tumblr.com

 

Want to know more about how to create stylish outfits using your accessories and a small capsule of clothes that all mix and match together?

SAVE THE DATE because 2nd June is the next Shop Your Own Wardrobe workshop. If you are ready to look and feel fabulous with less clothes and be able to travel lighter and still look stylish, this fun 3 hour session is a must attend.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get 25% off your Shop Your Own Wardrobe tickets when you book with a friend before 14 May 2018. This offer is only available if tickets are purchased directly through Ann: ann@imageconfidence.com.au (Pay just $112 each – saving more than $35 off the regular price of $149.75)

After this date, tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite for $149.75 per person.

I’m always interested to hear the style topics you would like me to cover. Send me your suggestions in the comment box below.

 

Sticky
April 26, 2018

Happy New Year!

Well, 2018 has arrived! I hope your Christmas and New Year was filled with happiness and fun, and shared with people you love.

I also hope that amongst all the rush and chaos that is ‘the festive season’ you’ve had a moment to slow down and contemplate what you’d like to do and perhaps achieve this year.

I’m feeling very motivated and optimistic about my plans! In January and February (in-between running workshops and spending time with clients) I’ll be working towards attaining my global certification with AICI (The international organisation for image consultants). I love learning, so I’m keen to broaden my knowledge and gain new insights into all things image related. I’ll be sure to share some of that info with you :-). Lastly, I’m expanding theShop Your Own Wardrobe workshops and introducing Colour Your Life (personal colour analysis) workshops – all of which will keep me ‘off the streets and out of trouble’!

Last year, many of you emailed me to let me know you were interested in coming along to future workshops. So I’m very excited to let you know that I’ll be running 3 x Shop Your Own Wardrobeworkshops and 4 x Colour Your Life workshops in the first half of 2018. I know how busy life gets, so I thought it would be best to give you the heads-up about dates, times and locations of the workshops as soon as possible.

‘Shop Your Own Wardrobe’ Workshop:

Lady is frustrated in her wardrobe.

If you’re ready to let go of items that have been clogging up your wardrobe, are keen on saving yourself time and money, and want to own less clothes but have more outfit options this workshop is for you.

‘Shop Your Own Wardrobe’ Workshop:

Date/time: Saturday, 17th February, 10am to 1pm, Norman Selfe Room Level 3

Date/time: Saturday, 7th April, 10am to 1pm, Carmichael Room Level 1

Date/time: Saturday, 2nd June, 10am to 1pm, Carmichael Room Level 1

 

Place: Sydney Mechanics School of Arts – 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Morning refreshments included

Group size: 12

NOTE: Please bring a piece of clothing that you haven’t worn in over 2 years.

Here’s what Kim said about my last workshop;

“…A very informative workshop which offered practical advice on decluttering your wardrobe, creating a capsule wardrobe and taking 13 garments and turning them into 64 outfits. WOW! Ann’s infectious sense of humour made for a fun evening. If you are thinking of revamping your wardrobe or feel your wardrobe is in a rut then talk to Ann.”

Investment:   $149.75

Tickets available through Eventbrite or contact me on ann@imageconfidence.com.au to secure your place.

 

‘Colour Your Life’ Workshop:

Colour fandeck

 

Do you want to transform your look and feel fabulous in 2018?

The quickest and easiest way to improve your appearance and give your self-confidence a boost is to wear colours that harmonise with your complexion, hair and eye colouring.

A personal colour analysis will help you discover the colours that give you a younger, more vibrant and healthier look without even trying!

Absolutely everybody can benefit from wearing colours that suit them.

Join us for an enlightening ‘Colour Your Life’ workshop. These small group personal colour analysis sessions are a fun and economical way to discover your best colours – the colours that enhance and illuminate you. In just three hours you’ll discover your own personal colour palette and how to use it. Shopping for clothes, accessories, shoes, makeup and even glasses will be easy and effective when you know which colours to look for. You will also receive your complimentary personal colour swatch (purse sized colour sample cards) and detailed colour information booklet to take home.

Start creating the new, confident and outstanding you by wearing colours that make you shine!

Group size: 6

Colour Your Life’ Workshop:

Date/time: Monday, 5th February, 10am to 1pm

Date/time: Saturday, 24th February, 10am to 1pm

Date/time: Thursday, 19th April, 10am to 1pm

Date/time: Thursday, 17th May, 10am to 1pm

Place: 69 Allen Street, Leichhardt

Morning refreshments included

Investment:   $230.49

Tickets available through Eventbrite or contact me on ann@imageconfidence.com.au to secure your place.

Start the new year by investing in you. Let 2018 be the year you make exciting, positive changes to your appearance and your wardrobe.

Warmly,

Ann

P.S. Watch your inbox for this month’s blog, ‘Improve Your Image With COLOUR’. I’ll be emailing it to you soon.

Sticky
January 01, 2018
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