I visited a Vintage Fair in Manchester a few weeks ago. It is usually difficult for me to get to events like this as they usually fall on a weekend when I am working. But this one was on Friday so I jumped at the chance and what fun it was! Everything from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s for sale – clothes for ladies and gentlemen, fabulous fashion accessories and even the odd retro kitchen appliance. You could even book a make-up and hair make-over in the style of your favourite decade. And best of all there was some proper dancing!
It was a joyful experience in terms of the variety of colours and styles of clothes but also the fabrics which have changed over the years with the introduction of lycra for instance. There were lots of cotton, silks, satins, lace and horror of horrors – crimplene! Does anyone remember it? It was one of the first synthetic, crease resistant fabrics we wore back then and it felt awful. I tried on a few dresses but nothing was quite right and I came away with a fabulous pair of sunglasses and some cute hair clips.
We often consider colours and styles when choosing our clothes, but how often do we really think about the fabric? As a Personal Stylist, one of the key things I am aware of is that fabric can make or break your outfit – not many of my clients are aware of this, so I am always pleased to offer my expert advice at a consultation or personal shopping trip.
The general rule is the straighter your body shape, the crisper the fabric should be. If you are curvy, the best fabrics for you are those which have some fluidity, lighter in weight and draping attributes. Another underlying rule is that smaller people suit less textured fabrics, whilst plus size and taller people will suit fabrics with more texture. Your scale, therefore, will determine the weight and texture of your clothes as well as your body shape.
If you are petite in scale
Select fabrics which have minimum texture, such as fine knits, needlecord and lightweight tweeds as these won’t swamp you. Chiffons, silk georgette, and taffetas are good too, although you have to think about your bodyline as well. For example, chiffons are very fluid, whilst taffetas are crisper and would therefore only suit women with straighter body shapes.
If you are grander in scale
You can wear more texture. Fringing and embellishment are for you this season. Beware of layering two lots of heavier texture at once as this will add the pounds. Also, if you have a full hour glass body shape then keep your textures fine so they hug those curves.
Consider your cloth.
A delicate fabric that is a favourite among Romantic Style Personalities and good for softening a classic look. As chiffon is very fine, the dainty blouses are generally best for the small to average scale figures. A stylish dress or blouse in this fabric will add femininity.
Cotton is a timeless staple that appears in many guises. There were many floral and polka dot, nipped in at the waist, 40s style dresses at the Vintage Fayre. In 2016, as in other years, the cotton t-shirt is a perennial that’s great for layering in summer months. It’s always worth investing in quality cotton T’s as they last longer and keep their shape. Shirts are wardrobe constants too, again, invest in good quality pieces with added polyester to help them stand the test of everyday wear. Make sure it fits properly though; there’s nothing worse than a gaping shirt!
Wool is a great staple fabric because it is so durable, doesn’t crease, and of course it keeps us warm in winter. With the weather in the UK, we tend to wear knits in one form or another most of the year. The High Street is offering both chunky and fine cotton knits this season, so be sure to select the right volume for your body shape.
The variety of lacy looks this season will attract Dramatic, Classics and Romantic Style Personalities, depending on how you wear it. With the right accessories you can create the vintage look, neat or demure or pretty and girlish. Lace requires very little accessories as it is decorative enough as it is.
If you’re a bit of a City Chic or a Romantic Style Personality you’ll love the satin blouses in smart, neat styles. Throughout the months they will brighten up a simple outfit by reflecting more light and giving your face a little lift.
As well as witnessing it at the Vintage Fair, the look on the High Street shows that we can wear some of the most unlikely fabrics together, even in one garment, such as leather with satin or cotton with chiffon. However much you mix it, is up to you, but be sure you know the best fabrics for your shape and how to wear them.
If you are NOT sure, you need to get in touch with me!
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