Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here's Lookin' At You Kid ...

While at the spiritual home of Bergman & Bogart, Rick's Cafe in Casablanca last week, I took a sip of Kir Royal, sat beneath a mirror ball at a table beside the grand piano and ate figs with goats cheese, served at a clothed table that was bedecked with Moroccan lamps. I felt like Ingrid Bergman herself -  alongside Mr MB, my very own 'Humphrey'.

I love vintage - the real thing and anything with vintage styling.  If your grandma wore it then I would probably love it. 

Today the neat hourglass is considered ideal and is the shape that all the clothes we buy are made for.  Supermodels today however tend to be lean columns with an athletic look.  I believe that we can all look good in vintage lines of most era's but some are just our very best.  So what film era would you be a shining star in?

The favoured fashion silhouette has changed over the years; from the flat 1920's flapper to the corsetted wasp waist - think Dita Von Teese - favoured by 1930' s and 40's.  Then there was the busty movie pin-ups of the 50's, the emergence of the waif in the sixties to the power shoulder / slim legged look of the 80's,  before coming full circle back to the androgyny of 90's.  Practically every variation of body type has been 'a la mode' at some point in fashion history - it's just a case of dressing to your era.

Neat & Full Hourglass
Ahhh, the Hourglass.  The most desired shape; defined bust, clear waist and curved hips.  The key here is that you are in proportion either in a neat way or a full some way.  Your shoulder line will be the same width as your hip line and it's likely you'll buy the same size top as bottom. Think Marilyn or Mad Men (my favourite drama, possibly of all time).  On that note I'm just going to drop in that Joanie and Dita are my style heroines and I aspire to dress like them every day in life - but don't!

Vintage periods that showcase that waist are the winners as are V and sweetheart necklines.   Wrap dresses work well and if you are neat a wiggle dress, a la Joan in Mad Men is perfect.  I am so envious! Steer clear of the 1920's flapper dresses and box jackets, unless the latter are of the very cropped variety.   Also best to avoid 1960's A-line or trapeze shift dresses which make you look wider than you actually are and may hang from the bust line. 

The Triangle or  Pear  
That's me.  A triangle.  With a narrower or slimmer upper body than hip, you'll be bigger around the bottom, thighs and hips but possible not the tummy.   You tend to be smaller busted than bottomed but you can be full on the bust too - like me.  The key is in the shoulder to hip ratio.

And so the 1970s maxi dresses are red carpet winners for you as they highlight where you're slim on your upper body and skim the "problem areas".  Also us triangles tend to be shorter in the leg so we've got to love a wedge or platform shoe that gives us height and evens out our proportion. 

In the same way, strapless 50s gowns with sweetheart neckline give shape to your upper half while hiding big bottoms.  Boat necks are also fabulous for the triangle as they balance out the silhouette.  Any period that favours the shoulder pad - 1940s and 80's and maybe the 2010's are great. 

Not so much love for our figure in the days of figure hugging flares of the '70's and our boat definitely sailed when the mini-mini mod dress was in favour.  

Column & Rectangle
You're straight without much definition and as such 1920s styles are your Oscars moment.  The 1960's shifts, mod and tunic chic are also perfect for you as is the mini.  You have great legs! 

If you are 'too old' for the mini just think ever slightly 'above the knee' instead.  For brave rectangles the wild swirling patters of the 1970's are fantastic for adding movement and curve to your straight lines and for the slimmer columns you'll find that the figure hugging flares of the period love you.  For all you straight up and down starlets the 1940's & 50's would not have been your glory days but with the right layering or tailoring you can create the illusion of that nipped in waist.

And so back to Casablanca, back to Rick's and back to ..... the GIN!

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