Sunday, April 26, 2009

summer fashion for real life

photo by Lawrie Brown

1. Hoisery is not always necessary.

In fact, I haven't worn hoisery, in public, for more than ten years. I love the look of opaque tights in the winter, and have seen some very dressy looks that require black stockings, but for a basic summer wardrobe, you don't need them.

In particular, if you are attending an outdoor summer wedding, I recommend a strappy shoe with bare legs. To achieve this, it is a must that your feet and legs be smooth, clean and slightly tanned. Self tanners are awesome these days, and you can even buy a moisturizer with self tanner that even a child could use successfully.

2. Dressy capri's are the new casual wedding guest attire.

And for good reason! Women are so tired of shopping for dresses that are comfortable and fit well, and they have really learned how to dress up a basic piece like this. Every single weekend I am dressing pluz sized women for showers and weddings, and capri's work for almost everyone.

They can be worn with blouses, jackets, or flowy tanks, and can be worn with flats or heels. After the event, they can be integrated into your every day wardrobe.

Younger women can wear city shorts with killer heels. (City shorts = bermudas in dressy fabrics)

3. I cannot stress how important a good bra is!

Here are some rules for showing straps.

a. All straps must be the narrower kind. "Comfort" straps (which are wider to support bigger breasts) should never be seen.

b. Clear straps look good, but can be a bit of a pain.

c. Coloured straps are best. White can be acceptable sometimes (picture thin, pristine straps) but beige is always a no-go.

d. Look for wider bands across your back to avoid bunching and back fat roll-over. You don't have to be plus-sized to have this problem.

4. Get the right undies.

I love white skirts and white shorts, but I cringe when I can see someone's thong. Last summer I shopped behind a girl in white capri's with a green thong and every time I saw her afterward (small city) I pegged her as an attention whore. (That sounds so mean, but it's what I thought)

Beige thongs, full backs or control garments work good under white.

*edited to add* that when wearing white, DO NOT go tightly fitted with white bottoms. Looser is always best.

5. The most flattering kind of shorts for every body type - bermudas.

6. A store here in Canada is now making sundresses with built in bras. Brilliant!

7.Keep your summer sandals fresh.

Men and women can keep their sandals fresh by using anti-bacterial wipes to clean the insoles. Works best every two to three wears. Keep a pack of wipes in your car, or your office, because they're good for everything.

8. Think skin tones when it comes to shoes.

Especially if you have short legs! I am always tempted to buy black, but in recent years have noticed how long my legs look in light coloured shoes. Heels, sandals, for men and women alike, this works.

♣ ♣ ♣

That's all I can think of for now. Bill is sick today and we're not sure if it is from the Irish Whiskey (and Tequila) from last night, or a virus. A virus would hurt my parents, so we're waiting until a little later to leave.


  1. Here I am rugged up and wrapped in a throw rug as we have a cold snap ( precursor to winter...). Here, in summer, noone wears hosiery anymore - it is simply too hot. Young girls, with enviable legs and youth on their side wear short shorts. Sundresses, with bikini tops beneath ( except at work) and at home it is cotton loose shorts and t shirts or bikini underneath a tied sarong. Most workplaces have ac so we need something we can fling a cardie over and keep one in our bottom drawer - as ac never is even is it? For shorter people, plus sized or not, capris would tend to make them look shorter and squat. Ankle skimming pants and a nice pair of strappy sandles would be a classic that works for all ages and body types. This is your Oz fashion update. LOL.

  2. What do you recommend for people with bird legs?

  3. I am slow at the capri game but now I love 'em! You are right.

  4. Totally agree with the sandal colour comment - I have tended towards tan the last couple of summers.

  5. These are great tips- I actually love capris- they are extremely popular in Europe. People wear them in the winter here with boots as well. Sometimes I like it- and other times. arghh.. It depends on the capris and the boots.


  6. KATE!!!!

    Oh man, I walked in on a ladies pow-wow...

    *Runs away*


  7. I wear some kind of long pants most of the year. My legs do not look that good so I keep them covered. Good tips.

  8. Built-in bras? Do they provide real support or just a dinky elastic shelf? I love sundresses but can't really do them anymore because I must wear a bra.

    Kate, you have such great advice to offer. Any boutique would be lucky to have you on staff! I think of a friend of mine who sells a fashion line through home parties and now is doing wardrobe consulting. She doesn't have anything close to your knowledge and gals are paying her to clean out their closets and advise them on new wardrobes!

  9. Irish whiskey and tequila would hurt your parents, too, so don't take any of that :-)

  10. Ooo thanks for the tip about sandals and wipes, I am definitly going to remember that!

  11. MM - For bird legs, I recommend a pencil skirt, because it'll draw more attention to your knees and your good butt.

    Girly - apparently they aren't shelf bras, but bra "shapers". I'll have to find a pic.

    Thanks everybody. Thanks for visiting Tanya!