FASHION | Happy (& Pretty) Feet

Sandals that look good AND feel good are no longer the foray of your Great Aunt Gertrude.

There's some seriously stylish, non blister-inducing footwear around right now - and bargains to be snapped up if you're quick. I've done the legwork so you don't have to, with a shortlist ranging from high street to luxe. So whether galavanting around Galway or roaming the French Riviera, slip on some slides and walk this way for all the Summer shoe inspo a girl needs.

Next £40

Next £40

Next £40

Next £40

Bertie Kalette Flatform -£60.

Bertie Kalette Flatform -£60.

Boo hoo strappy leather sandals -£15

Boo hoo strappy leather sandals -£15

Office Shoreditch -£32

Office Shoreditch -£32

Chanel quilted ‘Dad’ sandal

Chanel quilted ‘Dad’ sandal

River Island quilted sandal £45.00

River Island quilted sandal £45.00

Prada tech sandal

Prada tech sandal

Dune Loupe Smart Slider -£85

Dune Loupe Smart Slider -£85

Gucci slider £450

Gucci slider £450

Step up neutrals by introducing animal print or a pop of colour to your shoedrobe, with gorgeous slides from Next (which have the most amazing summer shoe collection & lots for the little ones too!), Hush, Ted Baker and Kurt Geiger.

NEXT £26

NEXT £26

Hush Brigstock Leopard Slider £99

Hush Brigstock Leopard Slider £99

Moda in Pelle Navasi £69.95

Moda in Pelle Navasi £69.95

Kurt Geiger Summer Slides -£39 (sale)

Kurt Geiger Summer Slides -£39 (sale)

Prada sandal

Prada sandal

Moda in Pelle Norena -£39.95 (sale)

Moda in Pelle Norena -£39.95 (sale)

Next older girls black sandals £17-£20.

Next older girls black sandals £17-£20.

Add texture to your staples with glitter, embroidery, metallics or mock croc, from Sophia Webster (yes please!), Bertie and Carvela.

Sophia Webster Butterfly -£275

Sophia Webster Butterfly -£275

Office Glitter Slides -£32

Office Glitter Slides -£32

Carvela Kupkake -£39 sale

Carvela Kupkake -£39 sale

Bertie Luchia Canvas Embellished -£50 sale

Bertie Luchia Canvas Embellished -£50 sale

Ancient Greek Iris -£155

Ancient Greek Iris -£155

M&S leather studded sandal -£45

M&S leather studded sandal -£45

CHLOE £206.50

CHLOE £206.50

Pair said shoes with denim cut offs, a maxi or jumpsuit, and you're good to go strolling, shopping or sipping rose...

 

FASHION | TV BAFTAs 2019

As stars of the silver screen took to the red carpet for the 2019 TV BAFTAs, we were delighted to see one of the best TV shows in like, forever, scoop multiple awards. Killing Eve nailed best drama series and best actress for Jodie Comer, who's performance was breathtakingly impressive. In a heart-warming acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to her nanna, dressed in a floor length, one shoulder magenta dress by Stella McCartney. (Jodie, not her nanna!)

Sidenote: if you haven't yet watched Fleabag by Killing Eve writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, you really must - it's both hilarious and touching. The same talented lady has also co-written the next Bond film. Dressed in a cornflower blue dress with cape detail by A.Teodoro at the BAFTAs, she also scores high in the style stakes.

 We also loved the Derry Girls’ support of Irish designers including actresses Saoirse Monica Jackson and Louisa Harland both wearing dresses from renowned Irish designers.  Louisa opted for a black puff-sleeve midi-dress from Natalie B.Coleman while Saoirse chose  to go short and sweet, with a tiered floral embellished dress with tulle underlay by Helen Cody.

Tess Daly in bespoke trouser suit by Suzanne Neville & Kurt Geiger shoes

Tess Daly in bespoke trouser suit by Suzanne Neville & Kurt Geiger shoes

Camilla Kerslake in Gyunel

Camilla Kerslake in Gyunel

Billie Piper in Dundas & Jimmy Choo

Billie Piper in Dundas & Jimmy Choo

Ellise Chappell in Alberta Feretti

Ellise Chappell in Alberta Feretti

Helen McCrory in Alberta Feratti

Helen McCrory in Alberta Feratti

Jodie Comer in Stella McCartney

Jodie Comer in Stella McCartney

Jodie Whittaker in Jasper Conran and Luly Guinness handbag

Jodie Whittaker in Jasper Conran and Luly Guinness handbag

 

Keely Hawes in Suzanne Neville

Keely Hawes in Suzanne Neville

Kimberley Garner in Kristensen Couture

Kimberley Garner in Kristensen Couture

Lolly Adefope in Kitty Joseph

Lolly Adefope in Kitty Joseph

Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith

Phoebe Waller Bridge in A. Teodoro

Phoebe Waller Bridge in A. Teodoro

Rochelle Humes in YSL

Rochelle Humes in YSL

Ruth Wilson in Alessandra Rich

Ruth Wilson in Alessandra Rich

Suranne Jones in Alexis Mabille

Suranne Jones in Alexis Mabille

FASHION | Pink Carpet Style at Met Gala Ball 2019

The red carpet was swapped for a sugary pink walkway at this year's Met Gala Ball, the Oscars of the fashion world. In celebration of the theme, 'Camp: Notes on Fashion', A-listers arrived at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art draped in extravagant style ranging from eye poppingly playful to drop dead glamorous.  

The theme "Camp: Notes on Fashion," is based on Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp.'" In Sontag's essay, she provides 58 definitions for camp. Among them is "The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers." So the Kardashian sisters def got that memo.

It was all a bit high-low. High art clashing with pop culture. It was about going over the top just enough to make a statement and look cool, but not so over the top that you've jumped into the kitschy category. Hamburger dress, anyone?  

Gemma Chan's shimmering Tom Ford chainmail caped gown was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor in 1968 thriller, Boom, while Saoirse Ronan's striking dragon and flame embellished Gucci gown channelled Game of Thrones. Cara Delevingne's rainbow-striped Dior ensemble and custom-made headpiece reflected her theory that 'camp is an expression of your most outrageous'... a theory we can't argue with!

After a genuine struggle to narrow down our fashion favourites, here are some of the best...

Madeline Petsch in Jean Paul Gaultier

Madeline Petsch in Jean Paul Gaultier

Awkwafina in Altuzarra

Awkwafina in Altuzarra

Bee Shaffer Carrozzinni in Alexander McQueen

Bee Shaffer Carrozzinni in Alexander McQueen

Cara Delevingne in Dior

Cara Delevingne in Dior

Cardi B in Moschino

Cardi B in Moschino

Ciara in Dundas

Ciara in Dundas

Doutzen Kroes (designer not shared)

Doutzen Kroes (designer not shared)

Emma Roberts in Gaimbattista Valli Couture

Emma Roberts in Gaimbattista Valli Couture

Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors

Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors

Irina Shayk in Burberry

Irina Shayk in Burberry

Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano

Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano

Kendall Jenner in Versace

Kendall Jenner in Versace

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Laverne Cox in Christian Siriano

Laverne Cox in Christian Siriano

Lily-Aldridge in Richard Quinn

Lily-Aldridge in Richard Quinn

Salma Hayek in Gucci

Salma Hayek in Gucci

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci

Saoirse Ronan in Gucci

Serena Williams in Atelier Versace & Nike

Serena Williams in Atelier Versace & Nike

 

FASHION | How to say ‘What? This old thing?’ and genuinely mean it

Belfast born image consultant, Ciara Lowe-Thiedeman now located in London guest blogs for us today about this season’s fashion trend “Conscious Consumption” – resurrecting the old, reducing the need for new!

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Clearly fast fashion is not a new issue but it has been catapulted smack bang into the public eye this past year, with massively increased media attention like Stacey Dooley’s doco ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secret’. But change isn’t happening fast enough and the shocking statistics behind the mass production of clothing is far from sustainable.  The problem is global but the solution is local. We need to stop and question our part in this... and what we can do to hit back…

A long time promoter and host of upmarket recycling charity events, I got a little giddy when I saw Cathy’s insta story about #TheKindnessCollection. Showcasing and promoting recycling and encouraging people to ‘bring it back’ is a key way stylists can effect change in the fast fashion crisis. And hats off to Cathy for doing it large on the @BFW stage. Educating people how to update classic pieces in your wardrobe through styling may seem ‘small scale’ but if it makes us stop before we shop, it can only do some good –for the environment and for the charities that stand to benefit too.

 It was my 40th birthday that first sparked my idea to do something with my guilt of excess and my passion for recycled fashion, so I decided to celebrate this milestone by raising money and awareness for suicide and mental health charities – a cause close to my heart. A little idea to dig into my privileged friends’ wardrobes for their unloved high end items that grew arms and legs and raised over £30K, generated two trucks full of donated clothing and spawned a little documentary into the bargain. We had Beyoncé’s costume designer, Ruth Tarvydas attend and top end stylists queuing to style up old pieces for the catwalk. It was clear this kind of fashion fundraiser provided an opportunity for people to do their part to help more than one growing problem – excess consumption and underfunded charities.

I have subsequently run smaller, more intimate ‘Bring and Buy’ events which I call “Excess Baggage Girls Nights In” where a group of 20 or so women gather at my house with their unwanted high end bags and clothes and we again rid ourselves of excess and buyer’s remorse while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for mental health. These nights always generate more than £2K and immense feedback about the opportunity to do good with our excesses – and bag a Balenciaga bag among other designer bargains!

 So it turns out Cathy’s decision to take action on dealing with ‘what to do with the old’ is perfectly timed. ‘Bringing it back’ and resurrecting vintage pieces sitting idle in your wardrobe (or someone else’s) is absolutely the new trend happening this season – bigger than ever before.

I look forward to seeing what Cathy can do with the pieces she has gathered for #TheKindnessCollection and how she’ll style them up.

But here is my top tip for SS19 season to help you resurrect the old and reduce the need for a constantly revolving new wardrobe:

 Invest in a stylist. The rewards will last you a lifetime.

 A good stylist will get to know you and won’t recommend you spend your hard earned money on cheap, eco-unfriendly items, but will teach you how to ‘shop your wardrobe’ and get better use from what you already have. You’ll learn to pair or fill in gaps with quality styles and colours that suit you and best match your personality. A good stylist will encourage you to consider buying secondhand and give you tips on how best to do that. Your investment in a good stylist will ultimately save you significant time and cash, and quite possibly be a positive step towards helping save the planet.

 Ciara Lowe-Thiedeman

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FASHION | A DECADE OF IRISH DESIGN

Last week, F Words contributor and all-round stylist-slash-model- slash-design-queen Melissa Elliott took to the launch of the tenth Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, an annual event which celebrates the ever evolving Irish fashion industry by showcasing the newest and most innovative Irish designers, alongside Ireland’s most established designers.  Check out her report here:

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 The Morgan Hotel in Dublin City Centre was the setting for the tenth anniversary press launch, and guests were greeted with delicious breakfast nibbles, fresh juices and warming coffee by the gallon, while we previewed some of the upcoming collections and had a chance to meet a few of the designers showcasing at the main event. There is nothing I love more than being in a room filled with passion about Irish design, sustainable fashion, craftsmanship and creativity.

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 Knitwear made a strong statement, particularly in the work of Colin Burke who has featured in Elle magazine. He showcased an array of highly skilled hand crochet and knit alongside innovative design development. An exploration of texture is always a winning trend and Colin has unsurprisingly been named in the One to Watch category alongside Charlotte Lucas, who showcased part of her elegant, effortless and luxurious bridal capsule. A beautiful mix of flirty feathers and bespoke tailoring.

Credit: Colin Burke

Credit: Colin Burke

 In addition to the several competitive categories in Fashion, Accessories, Millinery and Jewellery, the evening will feature “The Perfect 10” – which will comprise of ten leading Irish designers featuring their unique designs. Meaning this ten-year anniversary is sure to be a stand out night with a spectacular display from Ireland’s more promising designers, a platform to showcase to the industry experts whilst most importantly generating public support that will last for years to come.

 It is one of the highlights of our fashion calendar and this year  - on 14 March - it will be showcased at the stunning Galmont Hotel & Spa in Galway City.

 Tickets are on sale now via https://galwaynow.com/irish-fashion-innovation-awards-2019-tickets/

GOLDEN GLOBES - MY TOP FIVE RED CARPET DRESSES

As Business of Fashion so brilliantly put it earlier today, last year’s #GoldenGlobes were something of a coming out for the #MeToo movement, with women eschewing the usual red carpet glitz for all-black ensembles to draw attention to Hollywood’s mistreatment of women. The campaign, plus fiery speeches at the ceremony from Oprah Winfrey and others, brought unprecedented attention to the problem and emboldened victims and activists to take on some of entertainment's most powerful men.

One year on we saw some powerful and empowered women serving up strong looks on the red carpet.

For me, Lady Gaga completely stole the show in her lilac gown by the house of Valentino - an homage to Judy Garland’s dress in the original A Star is Born movie back in 1957. I also loved Lupita Nyongo’s purple/electric blue number which looked stunning with its touch of sparkle. Julia' Roberts’ caped trouser suit and Susan Oh and Constance Wu’s dresses were worthy of note.

FASHION | PANTONE PREDICTS… SPRING 2019 COLOURS...

Global trend forecaster and colour consultancy the Pantone Color Institute has named the 12 top colour trends for Spring 2019.

THE 12 COLOURS PANTONE PREDICTS WILL BE BIG THIS SPRING!

THE 12 COLOURS PANTONE PREDICTS WILL BE BIG THIS SPRING!

A warmer palette is set to dominate the upcoming spring 19 season, reflecting shoppers’ desire for a confident, more optimistic future, the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report Spring/Summer 19 suggests. Energetic shades more traditionally associated with autumn – such as orange-red Fiesta, deeper Jester Red and vivid orange Turmeric – are set to fill collections and consumer’s wardrobes. The season’s warmer tones will be offset by splashes of zesty green, sunny yellow and more traditional spring pinks. Which one is your favourite??

Of course, here at the F Words we like the yellow ones, especially that lemon butter shade… dreamy!

FASHION | BEST DRESSED AT THE EMMY AWARDS 2018

Hollywood’s most stylish celebrities were out in full force as they rocked the red carpet at the 2018 Emmy Awards this week.

We saw everything from sophisticated evening gowns to power-dressing couples and even bold-as-could-be rainbow stripes make an appearance… Yes, really!

Scroll through the gallery below to see our top picks from the night:

FASHION Haute Couture and Millennials

Haute Couture and Millennials

As the key buying force of the world, Millennials have been a target demographic for all fashion brands, high and low, for quite some time now. Their innovative spirit paired with the fact that their lives are intertwined with technology delivers a mixed bunch of shoppers who were once thought to never ever dip their fingers in the beauty that is haute couture. 

And yet, designers have found a way into the minds and hearts of Millennials, and their ever so complex relationship is still growing and developing. Brands have changed their catwalk ways to meet halfway with Millennials, who truly know what they want both from fashion as an industry and trends and their style preferences. Clearly, there has been an impact on both ends, helping reshape this bond into a new stage we have yet to experience.

Luxury embraces sustainability

 

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Photo by Caleb Lucas on Unsplash

So much buzz has been created around some of the most recent Earth-friendly movements, that even the highest-ranking fashion labels were bound to take notice sooner or later. Those who have responded to this Millennial need and call sooner have earned perhaps the most coveted spot as the top names Millennials will gladly wear. They see it as an investment, both into their look and authentic expression, and into the future of our planet, so the price tag is not a concern.

Although Millennials firmly believe that sustainability should not be a luxury in the modern world, they appreciate that it’s necessary for these labels to take a stand for others to follow in their footsteps. For example, names such as Stella McCartney are doing their part by introducing new sustainable policies. 

Trends that tend to last

Where does true luxury of fashion shine the brightest? At the fashion shows in the capitals of the globe, where the runways every season are brimming with new designer ideas waiting to conquer the world. And yet, luxury brands are looking to introduce a more durable way of making their seasonal outfits, so that they can be worn for years on end, both in terms of quality and trend-wise.

It’s no wonder then that luxury labels that make long-lasting items with timeless design in mind are much more appealing to Millennials than those who behave like a typical fad diet: they are exciting for a while, only to be replaced by another temporary mix. 

Emerging brand collaborations

 

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Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

Utility paired with authenticity is something every Millennial dreams of in their wardrobe. When you examine a typical designer runway, you’ll see a plethora of garments not a single living soul would wear in real life. More luxury brands are switching to the more purpose-driven side of fashion, where wear-ability actually plays a significant role in design without sacrificing design ingenuity in the process.

Unconventional brand names such as Junya Watanabe join forces with utility and lifestyle brands such as the North Face to deliver a slew of products that are so much more than gorgeous. They perfectly reflect the values of every modern Millennial who strives to lead a healthy, fit life, explore nature and stay comfortable while doing so. These wonderful pieces belong both in your capsule wardrobe and in a collection of real-life wears that can never go out of style, as they are made to serve a purpose. 

Minimalist in nature

Millennials have reinvented minimalism to suit their innovative needs and style preferences. To put it in perspective, this fashion direction is no longer constricted into a predetermined set of garments that are rarely ever seen on runways. On the contrary, haute couture is finally letting the spirit of a true Millennial infuse their collections with rebellion and simplicity – without depriving them of flair, of course.

Although Rihanna’s Fenty Puma collection scream anything but minimalism, they have somehow become the staple of not only athleisure, but of essential statement fashion almost every closet will own sooner or later. Streetwear paired with high-end names delivers items such as simple black leggings, clean white sneakers that can be worn anywhere and anytime, but also a wide range of colorful heels, printed hoodies, and the like. 

Modernization of the oldest brands

 

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Photo by Dmitriy Ilkevich on Unsplash

On a final note, old brands have been stuck with their old ways for a very long time. They have persisted with their luxurious brick-and-mortar businesses, fashion shows, and a limited online presence, until the era of Millennials. 

Now, even some of the oldest stars of haute couture such as Gucci have embraced the changing digital landscape to accommodate their Millennial customers. Suddenly, you see them strutting their models and brilliant outfits on Instagram, boasting celebrity collaborations, and pursuing online engagement on many social networks out there. 

 

References:

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/millennials-coutures-biggest-clients 

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/millennials-luxury-spending-10417737/ 

https://vmagazine.com/article/a-millennials-contribution-to-couture/ 

http://www.noragouma.com/the-place-of-luxury-brands-in-the-millennial-approach-to-fashion/ 

THE BIG BOOB BLOG - FASHION TIPS FOR THE BUSTERISTA

BUSTY AND BAFFLED: Style Tips for Big Boobs

Blessed in the boob department? Chances are you’ll be aware of the typical advice for us booby girls, but I’m so over all the big-bust-style-advice which tells you to cinch in your waist or use minimizer bras. 8 out of 10 ladies with big busts these days are no longer the natural hourglass figure, they’re more apple shapes, and so cinching in of a waist that doesn’t exist is just non-advice! And some of those reading the advice won’t actually want to wear a minimizer, they want to celebrate their bosoms – and rightly so!

However, having a big bust shouldn’t mean a compromise in confidence or style. If you’re reading this because you’re busty and baffled, then bear with me and read on. I can’t say I have every solution, but I have seen enough to help me create my own set of rules and regulations which help optimise my ‘girls’ instead of them getting in fashion’s way.

Full disclosure: I totally love my boobs in the bedroom (or bathroom, or wherever I am naked) as they are pretty nice and pert it has to be said, but I have to admit that I don’t love them when I am choosing fashion. Big boobs and most fashion – in my opinion – are not great bedfellows. I mean, even in the 90s when boobs were what asses are today (thanks to the Kardashians), the only thing boobs really suited in high fashion was the original Hervé Leger bandage dress and the odd crop top with ultra low rise boot cut jeans – but these styles also required taut tummies, something which I, for one, no longer possess.

So I’m coming from a place of not really embracing my boobs if we’re honest, and I know that when I try to ‘hide’ my boobs, they look their worst – (peek-a-boob from a cool shirt or blouse anyone?) and so do the clothes I’m trying to use as camouflage tools; however I also know LOADS of ladies who are generously proportioned in the chest area, who embrace their boobies and dress them with pride and joy, so I will try to recognise the gripes & boasts of both types of big boob dresser in my TOP TEN TIPS for big boob dressing. Enjoy!

1.    BRA-VO FOR THE RIGHT BRA!

Let’s go back to basics and acknowledge that we can’t talk about dressing for a busty frame without addressing bras. But finding the right one — one that’s comfortable, supportive, and flattering — is half the battle. I mostly live in plain black or nude T shirt bras with NO EXTRA PADDING (why do so many brands ADD PADDING to bras for big boobs?!) It’s not like we NEED any more!  

A good bra should be one that covers the whole breast and gives your chest shape without giving it an additional boost (unless that's your preference). It’s important to invest in at least a few full-coverage options that will provide the most supportive base beneath all your outfits. Even if you are certain what size you are, it’s always a good idea to get measured by a fitting expert every time you purchase a new bra.

Thankfully, this doesn't require backpack-size straps and bland colours only. I got measured up at Boux Avenue in Victoria Square and went from wearing a 34DD to a 34F(!) after being measured properly.

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2.    V NECKS GOOD, ROUND NECKS BAD – BUT NOT ALWAYS!

One of the original rules for busty girls was always ‘V neck good, round neck bad’. But whilst V necks are super flattering on larger busts, (because of the triangulation from shoulders and the elongated line down towards the waist), I refute the claims that round necks are all bad. If you hove toned arms à la Michelle Obama and a slim enough waist line/obliques silhouette, then a fitted, round neck t shirt can be perfect, especially if you have big hips as well and you’re choosing to go wide or baggy on your skirt or trouser silhouette.

That said, we’re all for ‘if you’ve got it, FLAUNT it’ here at the F Words (FLAUNT does begin with an F after all) so we believe that displaying a bit of your well-endowed cleavage is every busty girl's right – and V necks definitely do it better.  But if you think a V neck is too severe, go for a scoop neckline, which is always flattering when it hits your chest at just the right places.

The same can be said of turtle necks and polo necks. If you’re busty with an hour glass figure, a polo neck over big boobs with a high waisted trouser or pencil skirt is classic and cool.

In eveningwear, a sweetheart, off-the-shoulder neckline a la Susan Sarandon creates the ultimate time to shine while swimwear in a plunge cut to suit your shape and size is also flattering.

 

3.    WRAP IT UP!

Whether in the form of a dress or jacket, a wrap silhouette complements every body type and bust size, and the natural V created from the wrapping is always super flattering, plus the tie belt goes just under your bust, usually the slimmest part of your upper waist. (Thanks, Diane Von Furstenburg!) Again, I’d suggest that you think of your overall figure before choosing the skirt shape in a wrap dress. If you’re short and apple shaped, I wouldn’t advise an A line or full skirted wrap dress, go for something straighter but a little bit shorter in the hem line and in the arm, to show off those slim limbs.  

Double breasted jackets fall most definitely OUTSIDE of this rule and can look really frumpy on busty figures as they tend to cross over right across the bust and not under it like a well fitted wrap dress. Plus, they move funnily when you and/or your boobs move to articulate your speech - or raise hands for any gesture. (Sleeveless tuxedo jackets are a good alternative if you want to feel suit-y).

           4.    PUSSY GALORE – Try a Pussy Bow Blouse

A high-neck pussy bow blouse makes for a flattering cut to style with high-waisted pants or a skirt—especially for those moments you want to hide your cleavage. Because of the elongated neck and the focus up there, this is an occasion when you can afford to go bulbuous on the blouse shape and not look pregnant, even if you drop your skirt/trouser waistline a little. I would also suggest shorter sleeves on the blouse, above the watch & bracelet line, to show off slim wrists & bring the focus to nice jewellery. (Don’t be afraid to use your local tailor or amendments shop to do this – sleeve length can make such a difference and I am forever asking my guys at The Zipyard to alter everything!)

**NECKLINE KNOW-HOW

On the subject of necklines, be careful to steer clear of too much detail – especially frills and ruffles - because they can make the bust look even bigger. It’s better to stick with simple colour combinations and clean lines.

 

5.    CINCH IT! – DON’T WASTE YOUR WAIST, USE IT!

If you have a waist, or the semblance of one, then take note from Ashley Graham and cinch your look at the waist with a corset, kimono wrap belt or a wide buckled belt. Instant hourglass! Every woman with a shapely figure has probably received a recommendation to cinch her waist as it accents the bust and creates a pinup-worthy frame instantly. I’m kind of tired of this advice, though; it feels overdone, plus a significant proportion of the female population is more likely to be apple shape these days, so cinching in a waist which doesn’t exist will create muffin tops – not hourglass shapes!

6.    USING YOUR WAIST #2 - Have A Bare Midriff Moment

Much like a corset belt, a hint of a bare midriff helps to create that hourglass figure—and draws attention to your waist if you have a slim enough one to bare it. I only discovered this trick in my forties and a cropped top which is cut just below the bust but above the slimmest part of the waist will create a trompe d’oeil – drawing attention to the waist and away from the bust. I don’t actually expose any flesh personally (not intentionally anyway!) but I team a cropped top with a high waisted pencil skirt to very good effect.

 

7.    DON’T GET SHIRTY WITH YOUR BIG GIRL’S BLOUSE…

The Peek-A-Boob is real. Yes, that occasion when your button-boob combo fails you and your shirt buttons gape (or pop out entirely) to reveal your boobs and/or bra (not always your prettiest). Of course with Sod’s Law, it’s usually when you’re speaking to a stranger. Or presenting at work. Or out with a new date. Often we’re told to go up a size in the blouse to avoid this, but that just creates extra fabric elsewhere and adds to a silhouette which (on me anyway) doesn’t need extra inches added by loose fabric. If I do have to do that, I end up getting the blouse altered. But here’s my advice – get the blouse that fits and take it to your local alterations store (I use The Zipyard) and ask them to add in a couple of strategic popper buttons between the regular ones. IT WORKS! It takes a bit of a pull to pop the popper buttons and they reinforce your own buttons, however pretty or practical they are.
 

8.    COLOUR & PRINT

A more subtle way to create a similar effect is to use dark colours as belt equivalents.  A dark shade across the torso will give the impression of diminishing a body part's size, while light or bright hues draw attention to an area. Colour blocking is a clever way to balance out proportions. With a black top half and colour block hem, a two-tone dress will minimize a larger chest and draw attention to your bottom half. Colourful seaming and piping can also help, so remember that colours and wide stripe prints can completely define your shape without any additional buckles and belts. But on that note – another tip is to learn to STRIPE RIGHT:  Wearing vertical stripes on your top half will lengthen your upper body and slim your torso therefore making your chest appear smaller.

Prints are by no means out of bounds - opt for smaller style patterns or, if you want to go bold, a black background to florals, polka dots etc will stop you looking heavier up top. Use a strategic placement formula here too – if you want to distract from your chest, wear them on the bottom, if you want to flaunt your bust, vice versa.

9.    THE DRESS VS THE SEPARATES

If you’re boobie, you’ll know that changing room feeling of trying on a dress and experiencing relief when the zip glides up past your waist AND bust without a struggle. Stretchy fabrics can be flattering because they fit a greater range of body shapes, but if you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, or you’re an extra at a hen party in Vegas, so choose fabrics and sleeves/necklines to suit too.

We often need to go up a size to accommodate our widest measurement which can create a bit of a potato sack syndrome where the dress is tight at the bust and hanging loose and smock-like all over. Unless I’m pre-menstrual and bloated or going for an eight-course tasting menu and need the extra room, I dislike this shape. But on those few occasions, this kind of loose, hanging style is actually liberating and, if you choose the right fabric/shape, you can totally rock an androgynous look, (a look which usually looks much better on women with a straight-lined frame) especially when you’re no longer worrying about defining your waistline.

Choosing to choose separates over a dress allows you to accommodate different sizes on top and bottom. It also allows you to play with print and pattern. (see Point * above). A nifty trick is to create the illusion of a dress with co-ordinated block colour tops and bottoms. When choosing tops for a big bust, make sure they’re sufficiently long, as having a big bust can shorten the length, and pop any buttons. And if you’re a T shirt kinda gal, I hear ya! Anyone with big boobs knows that T-shirts are hard — the slightest V-neck can give you cleavage overload, and anything baggy looks like you're wearing a tent. But the solution is all about what you pair it with — a loose, crew-neck T-shirt still looks cool when it's tucked into a slim skirt. Remember length and fit is important too, so crop it or knot it if you have to/want to!

One of my go-to dresses for work in summer is the shirtdress, which will nip you in at the waist before flaring out to balance out your bust, but I often get extra buttons added (see point 7 above). Unbuttoning it as low as you can go is another option. As is adding a statement belt. Just remember, it’s important to highlight your waist, more so if you are petite.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to play with playsuits and jumpsuits. I have found that they are one of the most flattering and easy-to-wear silhouettes for me and my boobs - but not every style, so it pays to play with shapes and styles here too.

 

10. THE JACKET DILEMMA

Biker style jackets are brilliant for big busts because the lapel design ensures the jacket actually lies over your boobs when open instead of just falling off to either side. This cleverly makes your chest area appear smaller. And don’t worry about being able to zip it up - we guarantee you’ll rarely want to wear it that way. Also, the cropped length of most motorbike jackets helps make your top half look smaller and more proportional, especially when you're not super tall.  The same ‘wear it open’ rule applies to blazers – don't worry about buttoning up. Wear them open with crop tops and high waisted bottoms or wear wide belts over clean-line tops underneath for best effect. In short, when it comes to most jacket styles for big boobs, remember one thing: single breasted and slightly open is your friend.

 

 

 

 

FASHION I SAY YES TO YELLOW!

We know it’s the colour of our blog here at the F Words, but YELLOW is also the hottest (and happiest) colour to wear this summer. Whether you are a lemonade and lime punch type, or you're a more full-bodied colour kinda girl, and prefer a rich egg-yolk hue, there is a shade of yellow for all skin types.

This week, I tasked our German intern Nikolina Baulch with finding her faves, from bananas to buttercups and sunflowers to sweetcorn. Here are her top picks of the bright cheery colour that sweeping insta with sunshine

Rihanna-In-Oscar-de-la-Renta-Fenty-Beauty-by-Rihanna-Launch.jpg

Rhianna who sets the yellow trend wearing a yellow twinset by Oscar de la Renta.

Here are some of our fave yellow items right now… Click on the pict