Forget everything you’ve been told about investing in a simple set of minimal wardrobe staples this year, because 2019 is the year of the jungle in which animal print has been dubbed “the new neutral.”
Leopard, tiger, snake, zebra… The concrete jungle has run positively rampant with variations of the bold and immortal animal print in 2019 (snakeskin boots, leopard print slips, silky tiger stripes and the rest!) and it looks as though that’s here to stay. Which is great, because if this trend is nailed correctly, it’ll add glamour, grown-up style, and some down right sexiness to your 2019 wardrobe.
Yep, high-octane femininity has reared its head in the form of exotic animal-print pieces this season and is set to stay here for next season, too. Perhaps that’s because at a time when female sexuality has never been more talked about, there is a comfort in this understated, subconscious rebellion.
It’s not the easiest trend to pull-off, however… an over-enthusiastic approach carries with it a risk of channeling the iconic (but unbelievably horribly-dressed) Pat Butcher. But the good news is that it’s very possible to wear the print in a chic, nearly subtle way (we said “nearly”).
So how can you pull off the animal print without looking like you stepped out of the 80s? Read on to find out.
Make it roar!
Image: Who What Wear UK
Image: US Weekly
Image: Getty Images via W Magazine
Animal print is one trend where more really is more, so take your styling cues from Bella Hadid and Lady Gaga (okay, so maybe not quite Lady Gaga level…), and work it from head to toe. Be prepared for your non fashion-following pals to look on in horror, but remember their faces when they first saw you wear skintight bike shorts outside of the gym… Who’s laughing now!?
Indeed, as we’ve learnt this season, anything goes, so going all out on your animal prints might feel a bit dodgy, but in days like these, you have to do a lot to stand out (as anyone who’s ever walked through central London on a Saturday morning will tell you).
But, no longer a fashion-forward move for bold and courageous fashionistas only, the 2019 animal print craze is most definitely a trend for the more conservative stylistas, too…
Or keep things minimal
Image: The Fashion Tag
Image: Fashion Gone Rogue
Image: Vogue Australia
Image: Style Caster
If you’re not wanting to make your animal print roar, and prefer a chic, minimal aesthetic then the first thing to do is to use non-patterned pieces that allow the animal print garment to play the starring role. Remember the fashion rule that “less is more”?
Choose only one animal print garment per look and avoid giving in to excesses. Harmonise your statement piece with garments in neutral tones that appear in the pattern, such as black, white or beige – all of which are very versatile and easy to combine. Denim, of course, always goes.
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 01: Giovanna Battaglia attends the Stella McCartney Spring / Summer 2013 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 1, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien Hekimian/Getty Images)
Image: Fashion Magazine
Image: Rebecca Laurey
Image: The Telegraph
Monochrome has now well and truly shaken off its Sixties connotations, as designers are playing with all kinds of decorative devices to give black and white a fresh, modern makeover — in fact, minimal, monochromatic ensembles have ruled among the fashion set over the past few years.
In the animal print world, monochrome variations are often overlooked, but zebra or cow prints offer a great alternative to leopard and cheetah prints and are perfect for those who prefer to dress in subtle shades of black and white. Stepping it up a notch, the monochrome prints also looks great contrasted against a bold dose of colour!
Image: Who What Wear AU
Image: Style Caster
Image: Huffington Post UK
Image: Who What Wear UK
Image: Global Blue
For the resolutely fearful among us (it’s ok, we understand this one), you can get on board with the animal print trend step by step. Ease yourself in with accessories; try a shoe cut from snakeskin or go for a leopard print micro bag — after all, it’s all in the details.
Avoid overloading on the accessories (one statement scarf, pair of boots, or clutch bag will do) and try not to wear more than three different colours in the same outfit, either.
Whatever you do, opt for quality
Steer clear of heavy fabrics like wool or cheap polyesters and opt for silks or light cottons, both of which will ensure the patterns look current. Opt for cuts that are in line with other trending shapes, like mid-length slip skirts or dresses, boxy button up T-shirts or oversized suits, all of which will ensure the piece says fresh.
And whatever you do, steer clear of the real thing…
Don’t abuse the print
Image: National Geographic
Animal print does not mean animal skin. It literally means a fabric that’s been printed, painted, or embroidered to look like the textures and patterns you see in nature, so don’t get that mistaken.
Abusing animals is of course the biggest no-no, which is why we’re only focusing on animal prints here, rather than actual furs or skins.
Careful whilst sipping that Pinot Noir, ladies, but these chic all-white outfits perfect for Spring 2019 are definitely worth the dry-cleaning bill…
Head-to-toe white is both understated and bold, and somehow manages to effortlessly take minimal to the max in all the best ways: It’s almost as low-maintenance as black, with the advantage of being particularly striking in the spring and summer months.
Yerp, the all-white outfit is the perfect canvas to show off that healthy golden tan we’ve been waiting all winter for, too, whether that’s a IRL tan from your latest romantic jaunt in the Côte d’Azur, or from that bottle of bronzer hiding in your bathroom cabinet!
It can also suit any occasion, including formal and casual events. So, why get bogged down in black when you could be ? All you need to pull off the look is a little inspiration, and we can help. Here are our favourite style tips to help you master the all-blanc ensemble…
Image: Harper’s Bazaar
Layering an outfit for early spring weather is a constant battle between Am I wearing enough layers and Am I wearing too many? Essentially, there’s a harmonious balance in dressing for between-seasons weather and — guess what — striking that balance doesn’t have to be tricky…
That’s because white ensembles require very little navigation. You either choose whites to match, or mix up shades and textures (see below). So break out the white pieces that have been hiding in storage all winter and be realistic about the temperature outside: Pile them on and go forth!
Match your whites
If you’ve ever spent a Sunday morning searching for ‘white’ paint in B&Q , then you’ll be very well accustomed to the truth that there are a billion shades of white: Winter, ivory, eggshell, and many more tones — but they don’t always compliment each other.
Whenever you’re going for an all-white ensemble, keep the shades in mind. You can totally mix them, but let your eye be the deciding factor and check yourself in natural light, as well as indoors. Do the shades mesh well together or does one white look so bright that it makes the other almost look mucky?
Experiment with texture
Mixing and matching textures will add some je ne said quois to an all-white ensemble and make this monochromatic a little more interesting. Add some white fur to a wool overcoat, or pair a white jean with a tank top and knit kimono for an all-white take on casual wear. T
The varying fabrics add style while keeping with the sophistication.in the sense that they draw focus and provide cool contrasts while remaining clean and crisp. Pair things together that you normally wouldn’t and take a risk while styling textures together – you can’t really go wrong.
Invest in THE dress
Image: Em Fashion Files
The LWD (little white dress) is the boho cousin of it’s black counterpart, and it’s basically all we want to wear during the summer months. A spring-summer staple, and a versatile one at that: Choose one in a style that suits you and this little number can be worn to garden parties, the office, or for a cheeky wine bar visit.
The LWD is not just for holidays; when worn with a denim jacket or a tailored blazer and cowboy boots or loafers, it’s city-appropriate too. Instead of wearing sandals or heels, keep it from veering into overly girly territory and try it with a sleek sock boot.
Nab yourself a neutral
Image: Vogue UK
If you’re the kind of person who finds all white (including shoes, bag, nails) a little bit daunting, then add some nude or neutral colours (a camel coat for cooler spring days does the perfect job!) to your get-up.
Nude, silver, and even millennial pink can amp up the outfit and tone it down while still preserving the monochromatic style. Accessories can also help transition your white-on-white vibe seamlessly from desk to dinner, and – if they’re well chosen – can telegraph uptown elegance or downtown cool.
Opt for easy-breezy classics
Airy coordinates speak to spring, but our forever-style crush Victoria Beckham didn’t forget a few fashion-forward twists with her look: her skirt sat low on her hips, giving off casual holiday vibes that matched her white leather toe-loop sandals; her white shirt was crisp and effortless; her chic leather clutch played contrast to the look.
Break it up with fun accessories
Accessories are gifts from the gods to make us feel special and show ourselves love. Okay, we made that up, but it sounds true, doesn’t it?
Accessories make or break an outfit. Let white attire be the backdrop and create art with compelling ad-ons. Add a pair of statement stilettos to keep it sophisticated (how cute are this pompom pair!?) or try subdued and dainty pieces for an understated look that keeps you as the focal point.
Tan a day or two before
Image: Mademoiselle Meme
White really pops when you’ve got a tan, but for us Londoners, fake baking is the only way to go. Stay safe and get glowing sans the sun with a self tanner at least a day before…
A few hours is not enough time for the tan to really take to skin, and you don’t want to end up looking like a white-hot mess. Plan ahead; keep your duds dazzling and your tan intact.
Which of these all-white outfit tips would you be willing to try for spring 2019? Drop us a line in the comments!
Lagerfeld in Berlin, 2015, with an image of his cat, Choupette. Photograph: Franziska Krug/Getty Images
The late designer spent 65 years at the top of fashion, but he was equally known for his put-downs, his personal style and even his pets
1954, wins the Woolmark prize
An overachiever and proud of it
Karl Lagerfeld moved to Paris from his native Hamburg as a teenager and, although he had no formal fashion or art school education, soon made his mark. At the second Woolmark prize, in 1954, he won the best coat category at the age of 21. While this achievement showed Lagerfeld’s precocious talent, his rival – Yves Saint Laurent – was already on the scene, winning best dress design at just 18. Throughout their lives, the two men were great friends and rivals in both work and love. Saint Laurent was the subject of one of Lagerfeld’s famous put-downs. “He is very middle-of-the-road French, very pied-noir, very provincial,” he said in 1984.
1965, joins Fendi
A designer with staying power
Lagerfeld spent an astonishing, world-record-breaking 54 years at Italian house Fendi, producing more than 100 collections for it. This is a lifetime in an industry where designers, like football managers, are ditched after only months in charge. The young designer was, at the time, a freelancer working for Krizia and Charles Jourdan. The Fendi sisters hired him to bring some youth to the fur-centric Italian brand and he delivered, with tufted, dyed and shaved fur coats, the opposite of the grown-up floorlength minks seen at the time. In the process – and over the decades – he became enemy No 1 of animal rights groups. Peta’s UK director Mimi Bekhechi called him “an undertaker”. Silvia Venturini Fendi, meanwhile, described him as “my mentor and my point of reference.”
1973, features in Andy Warhol’s L’Amour
Quite the scene
Karl Lagerfeld in the Warhol film L’Amour.
By the 70s, Lagerfeld was part of the Le Sept set, a group of Parisian bohemians for whom work and life – and often night and day – were happily blurred at the tiny Parisian nightclub. The designer was friends with Saint Laurent, the model Donna Jordan and the illustrator Antonio Lopez, and he met his lover of 18 years, Jacques de Bascher, about this time. Warhol, who could sniff out a glamorous set across oceans, immortalised Lagerfeld and friends in his film L’Amour. Some of it was filmed in Lagerfeld’s apartment, where the drama unfolds. Lagerfeld played a version of himself and french-kisses with Jordan at one point.
1983, joins Chanel
After Mademoiselle comes Karl
Lagerfeld joined Chanel on a part-time basis in 1983, continuing to design for Chloe, Fendi and others. It was, however, his work for Chanel over 36 years that made him famous. His first show didn’t wow the critics and was notable for its concentration on 20s silhouettes rather than the pastel skirt suits Chanel was known for. Women’s Wear Daily wrote that Lagerfeld “committed too many Chanel Dont’s and not enough Do’s” in the collection. Over the next decades, the designer proved the critics wrong, as he reinvented the brand’s double Cs, tweed and pearls time and time again. “The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things,” he said.
1994, pop culture comes to Chanel
Baggy silhouettes on Parisian catwalk shock
“Fashion is about today,” said Lagerfeld in a 2007 New Yorker profile. The designer arguably owed his longevity to his ability to tap into the zeitgeist way beyond clothes. His collections have referenced everything from climate change to Amy Winehouse and modern feminism. This show is an early example of pop culture on Lagerfeld’s Chanel catwalk. It featured the supermodels Kate Moss, Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell in bucket hats, baggy trousers and denim. One model wore overalls and roller-skates. It was a long way from Chanel pre-Lagerfeld, something the designer said was only worn by “Parisian doctors’ wives”.
2001, loses six-and-a-half stone
The Lagerfeld look develops
Lagerfeld with the Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane in 2001. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
Lagerfeld was one of the most recognisable fashion designers in the world – thanks to his uniform of black suit, white shirt, fingerless gloves, pompadour and sunglasses. This look came together in the noughties, combined with drastic weight loss. “I suddenly wanted to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane,” he said, referring to the Dior Homme designer whose suiting is notoriously made in tiny sizes. Lagerfeld stuck to his diet – no sugar, cheese or bread, around 10 cans of Diet Coke a day – continuously, with no temptation. “I’m like the animals in the forest,” he said. “They don’t touch what they cannot eat.”
2004, designs H&M collection
Karl’s look comes to the high street
Lagerfeld’s collection for H&M, 2004. Photograph: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images
In 2004, the idea of a designer collaboration with a high-street brand – now commonplace – was a new concept. Lagerfeld – forever the multitasker – became the first designer to collaborate with H&M in its now yearly collection. Taking inspiration from his own monochrome look, he also appeared in the advertising campaign with models. The collection was a great success, selling out within minutes. This was a one-off, however. Lagerfeld criticised the limited quantities of the items produced by the brand. “It is snobbery created by anti-snobbery,” he said. His response wasn’t entirely inclusive, however; a newly svelte Lagerfeld was also displeased that the chain had produced the collection in larger sizes.
2007, Fendi comes to the Great Wall of China Lagerfeld goes east
Western brands began to court Asian consumers in the noughties and Lagerfeld was ahead of the curve. He brought the Fendi show to the Great Wall of China in 2007, at a cost of more than $10m (£8.8m) and a year’s planning. It featured 88 looks – a number associated with prosperity in China – lots of red (for luck) and Chinese models. Asked where the brand’s show could go next, Silvia Fendi responded: “Maybe the moon.” You get the feeling Lagerfeld would have loved that idea.
2011, Choupette is born Lagerfeld’s furry companion arrives
The designer stands next to a picture of his beloved cat, Choupette. Photograph: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo
There can’t be many cats that boast a personal maid, travel by private jet, have their own book, an Instagram account, a Wikipedia page and a product line of their likeness. But Choupette is a special kind of feline. Given to Lagerfeld by the model Baptiste Giabiconi – who initially had Lagerfeld cat-sit Choupette while he was on holiday – she turned the designer into an alpha cat person. Lagerfeld told Numero magazine that Choupette stole his heart because “she is pretty to look at and has good poise, but her main quality is that she doesn’t talk”. In 2013, he proclaimed he would marry the cat if it was legal. Who will take over her care is as yet unknown.
2012, controversy over comments about Adele Lagerfeld’s barbs get him into hot water
As his career developed, Lagerfeld’s reputation for put-downs grew, too. Stella McCartney’s appointment at Chloé prompted the industry-famous comment: “I think they should have taken a big name. They did – but in music, not fashion.” Pippa Middleton, Heidi Klum and Lana Del Rey were all subjects of his criticism. Later, body size became a focus. Asked of his opinion of Adele in 2012, he said: “She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice,” prompting an uproar online. Lagerfeld became so famous for his barbs that a book of his quotes was published in 2013.
2014, the Chanel supermarket show The weekly shop gets chic
By the 2010s, Chanel’s fashion shows (of which there are a staggering seven annually) were known not just for clothes but for jaw-dropping sets. Taking the idea of experiential to the extreme, they somehow melded an art installation with a Disney-style theme park. These chimed perfectly with the social media age, when influencers attending fashion shows wanted way more than a snap of a model on the catwalk. Lagerfeld delivered – the Chanel supermarket, complete with double-C rubber gloves, cornflakes and cleaning products, is now the stuff of legend in fashion. It was only beaten by the Chanel rocket, three years later, which came with its own emoji.
2017, wins the Grand Vermeil medal The city of Paris says thank you
Lagerfeld is awarded the Grand Vermeil medal, Paris’s highest honour, in 2017. Photograph: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
German-born Lagerfeld spent most of his adult life in Paris, designing for the Frenchest of French brands. It could be said that his outsider view was his great strength – allowing him to use the tropes of French chic, from Breton stripes to the brasserie, without self-consciousness. Appropriately, he was awarded the Grand Vermeil, Paris’ highest honour, after a haute couture show that featured a 38-metre-high replica of the Eiffel Tower on the catwalk. Presenting the medal to Lagerfeld, mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “Paris loves you – you are Paris.”
Like lots of things at this time of year – supermarket shopping; prolonged periods of time with the in-laws; trying to get in enough exercise in to justify the incessant stream of mince pies – picking out the perfect outfit for Christmas Day can be stressful.
Whether you’re celebrating with a family dinner, indulging in a big festive party, or just having a quiet one, there are so many factors to keep in mind when choosing your Christmas Day attire. Some of us won’t be prized out of our pyjamas or dressing gowns, while others are going all out, decking themselves out like the halls (fa la la la la!).
Whichever Christmas Day fashion fad you’ll be embracing, with 5 days to go until the Big Day, you’d better start thinking about it! And with that in mind, here are 5 ideas on how to dress with a little sparkle at Christmas this year – from a cheery Christmas jumper to a perfect little red dress.
Paint the town red
Image: Style Caster
Image : Getty Images
This season, there’s one staple you can always turn to — and it looks like this!
If you want to make sure that all eyes are on you at your Christmas Day do, just slip into a notice-me-now red dress. Call it cliché, but there’s just something joyful about wearing red on Christmas Day. And hey, a dress means you don’t have to think too hard about coordinating tops and bottoms — that’s one less decision to make before your morning mimosa!
Tartan is also a fabulously classic choice. We defy you anything more festive to wear. Match your lips to your dress and keep it inherently festive.
Celebrate the Christmas jumper
Image: Stella McCartney via Vogue
If the idea of wearing a Christmas jumper brings you out in a rash, fear not –they don’t have to be the beacon of tackiness we’ve come to expect! They can actually be stylish.
This year, try embracing the festive season with open arms with your own take on a Christmas jumper, such as Prada’s jacquard sweater (pictured above) and pair with some bottoms that are loose enough to allow for the stomach stretch after countless helpings of Christmas pud… Cosy and stylish!
Have yourself a white (and black) Christmas
Image: The Trend Spotter
There’s nothing we love more than monochrome — and your too-many-glasses-of-fizz-last-night complexion will be treated to a healthy glow by wearing white this year. Give yourself an added boost of radiance, stay timelessly chic, and check out our range of beautiful white shirts here for a crisp, classic look.
We recommend sticking to straight, clean lines to keep it formal and look to subtle embellishments — be it shoes, jewellery, or a clutch — to add festive sparkle…
Beware the cranberry sauce, however!
Take it to Tinsel Town!
Shine bright like a diamond this Christmas in sequins, silver and gold!
If you like to indulge in sparkles during the silly season, you’ll take comfort in throwing all of the minimalism rules out the window. Go big or go home is the theme here, mixing all of the glitter and gleam. Sparkles in brighter colours and prints are perfect for dreary winter days and a great chance to show some personality in your wardrobe choices.
A merry, merry pyjama party
Image: Created Magical Beauty
If you’re not one of those people who dresses up fabulously for Christmas — or, in fact, you stoically decide not to change out of your pyjamas — then worry not! Lounging in luxury on Christmas morning with a glass of champagne in one hand and your loved one in the other is an oasis of unparalleled proportions, as demonstrated by the very lovely Mary Jane Russell (above) in Chinese silk pyjamas, posing for Vogue in 1953.
If your Christmas Day revolves around the traditional binge eating and box set combination then we’re not going to persuade you to get dressed. However, you can still make yourself feel special by wearing nicer sleepwear than usual in honour of the occaision — a feathered slip, a silk gown, and a dab of Chanel never went amiss!
Tis the season of Christmas parties, and for some of us the seemingly inevitable hangovers that follow. Is there anything we can do to avoid them? Short answer: No. But that doesn’t mean the entire office has to know about it, right?
Waking up to puffy eyes, blotchy skin, and wanting to reach for a litre of cold water are sure-fire signs you had one too many mulled wines last night. We’ve all been there. But you can get through this and fake it until you make it to home time.
However, ask a dozen people how to cure a hangover and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Eat greasy grub. Drink coffee. Pop over-the-counter pain relievers. So what’s the best way to mask your hangover in style? Here are The Shirt Company’s top 8.
Prevention is Everything
Image via Ezra Pound Cake
Yep, you heard. The best cure is to avoid alcohol altogether. But that’s no small ask – especially around the festive period. So, if you’re gonna go for gold on those Berry Mojitos, just be prepared and at a hearty meal before hitting the town.
While it may not be feasible to get your hands on a heaping plate of mineral-rich asparagus (which can help ease hangovers), whole grains prep your stomach for a night of debauchery and can be found on most menus. That way, you can ensure your body is full of the right nutrients and reduce the chances of grabbing a 2am burger. (Though any food is better than no food! And let’s face it: burgers are pretty delicious—especially after a drink or two.)
Prep for the Worst (and hopefully be pleasantly surprised!)
Image via Trims Unlimited
When you inevitably do wake up with that hangover (we warned you!), make sure you are prepared for the worst. Pack your work bag with aspirin, coconut water and antacids.
Nothing is worse than having to leave your apartment in this condition. You’ll thank yourself later. Those cold gel-filled face masks you keep in your fridge also come in handy!
Moisturise, Moisturise, MOISTURISE!
Image via Mr Essentialist
As well as depleting the body of vitamin A (which is needed for healthy cell turnover) alcohol also robs skin of moisture, which can leave it looking dull, dry and grey. What’s more, dry skin ages faster, which might explain why many alcoholics look so care worn.
You’ll need to rehydrate from the inside by downing plenty of water to restore some balance, obviously, but a moisturiser will instantly give skin a boost and improve its appearance too.
Dress Your Best
The Shirt Company
If you look the part, you’ll feel the part. A crisp, white button down shirt can be dressed up with a standout necklace or a lick of lippie to help offset any signs of dishevelment.
If you actually have to go into the office, we’d definitely recommend wearing a white shirt – everyone looks a bit more alive and healthy in a white shirt. White is also the most common colour worn to accentuate a tan – good news for when we’re feeling like Dracula. What’s more, when you’re in copious amounts of pain and can’t see straight, it’s important to keep things simple, minimal, and chic!
Sunny side up. Scrambled. In an omelet. When you have a hangover, certainly nothing is over easy!
Eating eggs the morning after provides energy like any other food, which is the primary benefit. They are extremely rich in protein, which helps raise mood-boosting serotonin levels as well as helping to reduce nausea. But eggs also contain large amounts of cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver’s easily depleted glutathione. Aha!
Fake Flawless Skin
Image via The Guardian
Pack on some extra bronzer today to add the glow back to your skin. As your body is detoxing from the alcohol, you face can tend to lose some of it’s natural sheen and colour. To combat this, add a few extra swipes of bronzer all over your face to perk up your look.
Image via Today
Drink ALL OF THE WATER… Obvious, yet essential!
Positive Mental Attitude!
Image via OMG I Heart Cats
Even though it may feel as if you are dying – stay positive. You will get through today, Cinderella!
Whether your head is pounding or you just keep sweating, your body is working hard to detox. This whole process is why you don’t look so hot when you’re hungover. It’s very hard to feel fabulous when you’re sweating profusely, let’s be honest. Just think of this as a way to put your beauty skills to the test – and you’ll be back in bed in no time, ready to face tomorrow a-fresh!
At The Shirt Company, we love to preach body positivity and health at any size. We encourage you to love yourself even when you’re having the most Bridget Jones of moments – battling with your thighs, huddling under your duvet with chocolate, and drinking wine in pints – and ask you: What more could you accomplish if you stopped focussing on your size?
There’s a thread of old feminist thought that says taking pleasure in being admired for the way we present ourselves just perpetuates our own oppression. But now, feminism has evolved to include (and embrace) feminine frivolities like heels and lippies and showing off our waists – whether or not our waist sizes conform to society’s often unrealistic standards or not.
So, we’re here to help you show off your beautiful shape without succumbing to feeling bad about your body, but instead embracing it! Autumn/Winter 2018 is full of new clothes inspired by empowering themes, but sometimes it’s an old feminine favourite that can feel like the biggest wardrobe win: We’re talking about defining your waist and showing off your figure — without any pressure to hit the gym — just as it is.
When you define your waist, you create a sense of balance between your shoulders or bust and your hips, whatever your size. Here are our top four tips to help you do just that… So go forth and look and feel beautiful!
These babies do more than just hold up your jeans…
It doesn’t matter if your feminine figure happens to be straight up and down – a belt will do the hard work, giving you the look of a defined waist even if there’s nothing there!
Image: Fashion Jackson
Image: Modern Legacy
Creating this definition is as easy as nailing the right belt for your body. If you’re on the slimmer side, choose a skinnier belt that sits comfortably under your bust line to create the look of a sleeker, longer torso (like the top image). If you’re on the curvy side, a chunkier belt looks super sexy worn just slightly under the waistline to balance your proportions.
Alternatively, a belted shirt is a chic way to work this style into your wardrobe. Featuring a belted waist and covered buttons, styles such as our Josephine shirt will give a shapely feminine look. Contrast the flared silhouette with a sleek pencil skirt for a sophisticated look.
Well-placed prints draw attention to your most slender bits with clever colouring and some eye-catching arrangement. The general rule of thumb is: if you are petite, more dainty prints will suit you better. If you’re a fuller-figured lady, bolder prints are your best option.
Image: Vanity Fair
Image: Getty / Christian Vierig
Image: Jessie Bush
Image: My Virtual Stylist
Image: Topshop Blog
Wearing a well-fitted printed skirt or pants with a white shirt, such as our crisp cotton Colleen, or our infintiely practical jersey shirt, Patricia, works as a visual trick to draw attention to one’s waist while making it look smaller. Prints create the illusion of volume, so sticking to one print on the bottom paired with neutral on top will help to balance proportions.
Add a Blazer with Bite
Introducing the hardest-working piece of clothing in any modern woman’s wardrobe: the blazer.
Immune to come-and-go trends, the blazer is a favourite staple of style icons like Meghan Markle, Mossy, Olivia Palermo, Victoria Beckham, Gwynnie, and Ines de la Fressange (we could go on!) and adds a polished touch to any look, whether that’s paired with distressed denim or a button-up blouse for the office.
Image: Victoria Beckham
Image: Meghan Maven
A well-tailored blazer can also work wonders for the female figure. Find one that’s specifically built for feminine forms, featuring a nipped in waist, a structured silhouette, or innovative darting that allows the fabric to take on a shape that fits your body well. The right one will add definition to your upper body.
Wrap Yourself in Style
The wrap shirt? A blouse of this brilliance could only have been designed by a female, and by a female in the 70s (that would indeed be Diane von Furstenburg in 1974, when her figure-hugging jersey wrap dress became a cult item – see photo with gorgeous mutt!).
Image: Marie Claire
Not only is the wrap style minimal and effortless, it is also astronomically elegant. Contemporary iterations like von Furstenburg’s leather wrap dress as seen on Olivia Palermo (below) put the classic waist-emphasising theory to use with fresher results.
Image: Patterson Maker Miller
Image: The Shirt Company
Image: Harper and Harley
Work a waist-defining wrap shirt or dress into your wardrobe and you’ll be sure to rack up all the likes.
Our easy-fit Miranda (pictured above in ivory) is a prime example – and your new best friend for date night, with a plunging neckline, high-contrast piping accents, a layered wrap front, and romantic bell sleeves. Alternatively, our best-selling Abigail works wonders at work, and looks fabulous teamed with fitted trousers for a smart-meets-sexy style win!
Do you have a favourite way to show of your femininity, or waist? Let us know in the comments below!
Sad to say, Summer has wound down and winter is just around the corner. It’s not quite time time to break out the head-to-toe thermals yet, but the sleek shirt dresses we’ve lived in for months certainly won’t cut it with the cold either… It’s a tricky time of year.
So, how can we make the shift and still maintain that feminine, minimal aesthetic that we live for at The Shirt Company?
When we think of minimal style we think of our classic style icons like Ines de La Fressange, Meghan Markle, Victoria Beckham (and the host of fantastically minimal Instagram influencers we love to follow). For these ladies, it’s all about having a minimalist aesthetic – this means sticking to a limited colour palette; having a simple silhouette to your clothing (no wild prints, for example); and keeping accessories to a minimum.
Image: That’s Not My Age
Image: Pop Sugar
Anyone who has been reading The Shirt Company blog for a while now, should be able to dress like a minimal mogul with their eyes closed. But, for those of us who need a reminder, consider this rapid-fire list…
Keep a monochrome wardrobe with accent colours of blush, navy, nude or tan
Image: Hungry Wardrobe
Have a black coat at the handy (a staple black handbag doesn’t hurt either)
Image: Fashion Blog
Adopt stripes as your print of choice
Image: Harper and Harley
Emphasise well-tailored pieces that look like they were made especially for you
Image: Designer Outfits
Keep your shoe collection mainly flats, slides or pumps and in neutral colours (we love these timeless Gucci ones…)
Keep jewellery simple — steer clear of too many colours and keep things coordinated
However, minimal fashion is more than just minimal style. Minimal fashion is more about the mental and emotional processes behind things than it is about the clean lines of your boyfriend shirt or your wardrobe’s colour palette (or lack thereof). And here’s where things get interesting…
A Minimal Approach
Having a minimal approach to fashion means that you approach your wardrobe with consciousness and intentionality. Your aim is to curate a wardrobe that works for you and is filled with high-quality pieces you absolutely love that will, hopefully, last for years to come (and since minimalism is the fashion that never really fades, you’ll be able to bring out that sleek silk shirt in SS21 as often as you do now!).
Imagine if every single day, you opened your wardrobe door and saw only things you absolutely love so that no matter what you picked, it would make you feel stunning, bold, and categorically you? That is what a minimal approach to fashion is all about. Get into the minimal mindset by trying these three (surprisingly undaunting) things…
Image: NYC Bambi
Yes, you already know a few hacks — if you haven’t worn it in a year, thow it out it (although, that rule clearly doesn’t apply to your vintage Chanel coat or that favourite Dior dress that you took out a mortgage to buy and that you know will be perfect for a future special occasion — hey, Prince Charming is coming for us soon, okay!?). But what else helps us to nourish that minimal mindset and declutter at home?
Firstly, set aside a few hours so you don’t have to do the decluttering in a rush (cleaning out your closet can be a tense affair at the best of times!) and grab yourself some empty boxes or bin bags, depending on how much you have to sort through. With a rainy Sunday afternoon ahead of you and endless cups of tea, this activity can actually be kinda fun — and definitely therapeutic!
Take everything out of the wardrobe and empty it into a pile. All of it. Yes, you might start to feel your blood pressure rising along with the mound of clothes, but remember it’s only temporary! When you’ve got a fully-formed wardrobe pile, separate the clothes into four piles: the “absolutely love” pile, the “definitely not” pile, the “hmm perhaps” pile, and the “seasonal” pile.
The “hmm perhaps” pile is only if you really, really can’t decide. Put them in a storage container for a couple of months and if you haven’t missed what’s there (or can’t even remember) then they’re best off in the charity shop. For the “seasonal” pile, wait for the seasonal weather changes and if they still aren’t filling you with joy then it’s time to say goodbye.
If it helps you, ask yourself these difficult questions to motivate your minimising: How did I feel the last time I wore this? Is it worth the dry-cleaning bill? Is this piece a representation of my ‘fantasy’ self or will I actually wear it? Can I wear it now or am I waiting for a new weight to wear this and feel good in it?
Two: Experiment with Less
Look, we all love the colourful array of garments that greet us when we open the wardrobe door, but we also love Jackson Pollock and it doesn’t mean we want to walk down Oxford Street covered in flecks of paint. Ask yourself this: How often do I actually wear that nice-but-not-quite-me bright orange jumpsuit from seven years ago? Most women have a signature look, but they’re keeping hold of pieces they never or rarely wear for the dream version of themselves that doesn’t really exist.
The answer? Experiment with less. Minimalist fashion challenges can work wonders in these cases. Project 333, for example, started by former advertising exec Courtney Carver, is probably the best known minimal wardrobe experiment and challenge. The challenge is simple: live with a wardrobe of 33 items for 3 months.
The way the project works is by choosing 33 items to wear — including clothing, accessories, jewellery, coats, and shoes — for three months. Since accessories are included, it’s a bit more strict than most other approaches to the capsule wardrobe, but because it’s a capsule wardrobe experiment, it’s a great starter for ten for figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you in a minimal wardrobe.
Project 333 will probably teach you a lot: That your wardrobe needs some serious organising; that jewellery makes a huge difference; that no one cares if you repeat an outfit; that you don’t need an unlimited wardrobe to have fun with fashion; and that you need to stop buying poor quality clothing…
Three: Embrace Quality
Image: The Shirt Company
On decluttering your wardrobe, you might find that a fair chunk of the mountain of clothes that are (or were) in your wardrobe are, how shall we say it, absolute rubbish! When we embraced Project 333, the clothes we found we didn’t wear anymore were mostly made of poor quality materials, had ripped or faded, or just looked, well, cheap.
Our generation of high street consumers is taught to buy £5 Primark shirts that wear out in a wash or two, even if they’re worn in rotation with a thousand other items. What’s more, when we wear these cheap items, we usually don’t feel special, which hinders the point of having a large quantity of wardrobe items in the first place.
When you begin talking about reducing your wardrobe and shifting from six button-up shirts to one, the question that comes up is, “how will my clothing last?” The answer to the problem, of course, is to evolve your buying habits to purchase items of higher quality. Yes, we understand that budgets come into buying fashion, but try focussing on buying less but of higher quality: Quality over quantity — that’s our new mantra, and it applies to more than just wardrobes!
Lasting, staple pieces for your wardrobe can be spotted by looking at the weave of the fabric, which affects how it lasts under multiple washes, and the seams, which show how well the garment will hold up after years of use.
So there you have it — our three failsafe approaches to living a simple life in minimal fashion. Breathe, and bask in the glory of your beautiful new minimalist wardrobe — so pure, so lovely!
Do you have a minimal wardrobe? Would you ever try the Project 333 experiment? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Fashion week has arrived in the city of romance, fashion, and full-bodied vino — so we’re bringing you all three (well, maybe not the wine!) in our favourite street style looks from PFW18 that you can take to the office this Autumn.
As Paris Fashion Week (or should we say Semaine des Createurs du Mode) begins, the street style of its attendees is definitely safe for work. With the muted colors and minimal patterns, the office-worthy looks worn by the street style stars of Paris bear so many lapels you’d think Paris Fashion Week was a business convention!
Some of these Shirt Company-approved styles make it difficult to discern whether these Paris Fashion Week attendees are headed to the office or the front row (a look that we can’t get enough of), but on the Parisian pavements of October 2018, it is a familiar story: the check suit reigns supreme, chic blouses, trenchcoats and cashmere can be spotted EVERYWHERE. And where previous fashion weeks have enjoyed warmer weather, the French capital is cooling down, so the layers are starting to pile on.
So, without further ado, let the City of Light’s finest inspire your style for the season ahead, as approved through the fashion conscious eyes of The Shirt Company.
A good chunk of women get hot weather office dressing completely wrong (sorry, ladies, but it’s true). The problem is mostly in our heads: you don’t want to be in the office all day when it’s a gorgeous 28 degrees outside and you can see people sunning themselves outside, and it’s hard to dress well for somewhere you desperately don’t want to be… Right?
Also – smart women like us need to consider our professional reputation (unfortunately in this day and age, sexism in the office and how women are perceived at work is still a touchy subject). Therefore, women who go to work half naked probably aren’t helping their “cool, calm, and collected” reputation.
Dressing for work is hard enough without the added element of serious summer heat. That’s why, we’re sharing our favourite tips for dressing for work when it’s… Well, this hot. So without further ado, become a pro at infusing chic, minimal style into a multitude of looks that are office-ready…
When temperatures rise, instinct tells us “so should the hemlines,” but a long, tailored skirt with strategically placed slits can have the same, wonderful cooling effect as a shorter hemline and look just as sexy.
The Dressy Tee
Don’t underestimate a casual cotton tee! Make it feel more polished by tucking it into a skirt or pairing it with a trouser suit and a clutch…
And understand that high quality materials like cotton and linen look as good as they feel.
A Midi Wrap Skirt
I don’t think we really need to explain why the tweed pencil skirt you usually pull out on default days is not going to cut it in this heat.
To keep things chic and flattering without showing off too much leg, go with a crisp, cotton midi wrap skirt. It looks architecturally interesting – and idea is to go for a look that’s less exhibition outing and more team meeting when buying into this trend!
Our Sydney skirt (pictured above) comes in white and black. Style it with a workwear appropriate top and cool slides or mules for minimalist chic…
Talking of mules, fashion’s current obsession is everywhere – in case you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the season! Catwalks and the high street have both adopted them – and they’re actually an easy way to signal that it’s summer without any toes being revealed.
Wear yours flat or mid-height (we love these Chanel ones, but make sure you can walk properly in your mules too!). They look best with a cropped trouser or a midi skirt.
Consider a Shirtdress
Synonymous with polished simplicity, shirtdresses are an essential, especially in crisp cotton, for hot summer weather. We love that shirtdresses can be styled in so many different ways: belted, unbelted, buttoned all the way up, or left a little loose.
Our Adelaide dress features a self-fabric belt that wraps around twice tying in a bow at the front and is cut from crisp shape fitting cotton. Classically practical and perfect for the office, it’s your ideal choice for the summer season!
Don’t Rule Out Breathable black
Black might not come to mind when dressing for a hot summer day, but when you do choose this go-to staple shade of ours, it’s best to opt for lighter fabrics and looser cuts – and pair with something sprightly to reflect the summer mood!
A White Shirt Wins!
There’s a reason that the white shirt is a classic – everyone looks good in a white shirt, without exception. And you can find a myriad of variations around this summer to help you reflect the heat from the sun (we can’t promise that you won’t also need the occasional Pimms!).
Our advice would be to go for quality; crips, breathable material that won’t age with washing or absorb the smell of sweat! Also, look for interesting details. Yours should have a tweak – a ruched sleeve, a twist in the middle, a bit of a frill – but still, essentially, it should fit with the corporate dress code.
See our selection of gorgeous summer must-haves here!
Vintage Dior is coveted for its glamorous, nostalgic aesthetic. Vintage diamonds are charming and special in their own unique way — and celebrated as such. Vintage wine? Don’t even get us started! Yet the vintage woman remains overlooked, and sometimes even shunned…
But is all that about to change?
Image: Grazia via The Pool
Have you seen Liz Hurley on the cover of the latest Grazia? The 53-year-old face of Estée Lauder is adorned in a black leather Versace cap and dungarees, without a pinch of exposed flesh — and not a safety pin in sight! She looks wholly irresistible…
And actually, Coco Chanel once quipped that “after 40 nobody is young, but one can be irresistible at any age.” But, until recently, we weren’t seeing anyone with delicate wrinkles appearing in the media… And certainly no celebration of the fact that older women are cool too. It was almost as if our favourite leading ladies were disappearing off the radar once they hit middle age.
Photo via Vogue Australia
Kylie Minogue turned 50 at the end of last month and, pending the big Birthday, celebrated with a shoot for Vogue. Doesn’t she look magnificent? She’s not fighting it, she says, she is “feeling it.” More and more in the media these days, this kind of sentiment is what we hear from ladies reaching the big half-century milestone, as well as hearing things like “I’m totally comfortable in my own skin now,” and, “This is the best I’ve ever felt.”
We can’t help but wonder, though, if what these gorgeous ladies are really thinking is, “Do not tarnish me with that fifty-something brush… I will not be associated with those other ageing women.” And can you blame them? When talking about a woman in her later years, people tend to use qualifiers when complementing them, saying things like “she looks great, for her age,” instead of “she’s beautiful, regardless of her age.” Frankly, it’s insulting.
At a time in our lives when we are still evolving emotionally and psychologically, we are rejected physically by society. And even worse: if we should attempt to slow down the physical aging process — botox, peels, “youthful” fashion — we are likely to be belittled for our efforts.
In fact, ageism is rife in Britain, according to a recent study from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). The study found that half of women felt pressure to stay looking young, and the Society called for a ban on use of the term “anti-ageing” in the cosmetics and beauty industry. Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of RSPH, said:
“If we can begin to remove the stubborn barriers that reinforce societal ageism, we can expect many more to look forward to later life as a period of opportunity for growth and new experiences, rather than a set of mental and physical challenges.”
A love for fashion, or simply wanting to look good, has nothing to do with the decade you were born in. But a vast majority of clothing aimed at middle-aged and older women is frumpy and boring. It consists of unflattering tailoring, elasticated waists, twinsets, lots of layers — all of which hints that mature bodies should be hidden away rather than celebrated, and is anything but inspiring for fashionable ladies of any age.
But, thankfully, we’ve witnessed the stirrings of change in recent years, with the Chanel’s sentiment finally having caught on (better late than never!), as fashion brands seem to be moving towards a somewhat older group of models. At 80 years old, author Joan Didion was announced as the new face of Céline… And she certainly isn’t the first older woman to have been chosen as a big brand ambassador.
Photo: Nars, via Vogue Australia
She joins other older models Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren for L’Oreal (despite Helen’s admission that their moisturizer “probably does f*** all” but that she wears whatever makes her feel better) , Charlotte Rampling for Nars lipstick, Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent, Lauren Hutton as the face of Calvin Klein lingerie, and Julia Roberts continuing as the face of Lancôme. But that doesn’t mean these models aren’t feeling the pressure:
“By Hollywood standards, I guess I’ve already taken a big risk in not having had a facelift,” Roberts has told You Magazine. “I’ve told Lancôme that I want to be an aging model – so they have to keep me for at least five more years until I’m over 50.”
The majority of women want to look good, regardless of age… I am 53 and simply want to look healthy, stylish and modern, not younger. And I want to be relevant, even with my wrinkles. We are important role models to younger women, and I love looking to older women who are leading the way. Finally, some brands are talking to me, but it took them a long time to catch on to the power of the silver spend.
Similarly, Allure took a brave, progressive step in declaring that they ‘will no longer use the term “anti-aging.”‘ Their statement revealed that changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging:
With that in mind, and starting with this issue, we are making a resolution to stop using the term “anti-aging.” Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray.
Photo: L’Oreal, via Telegraph Fashion
This brings into question what it means to be beautiful for the modern woman. For older models, it’s still important to have an element of aspiration: they must be exceptional looking – fit and healthy with glossy hair and clear eyes. Brands might not mind wrinkles as much these days, which is great… But if we’re to encourage real beauty perhaps we need to look to even more diversity in models.
I would still like to see advertising and marketing shift towards a proposition built on a wider set of values than purely appearance, particularly in that older market. I am slowly seeing a shift where marketeers are recognising attributes and achievements of individuals rather than just the way they look. By the age of 50, we have lived for a sizeable amount of time and most of us have had some incredible and interesting experiences, which mean so much more than sublimely coiffed grey hair.
Female models represent a change in how we think of women in general. Their presence in the media can teach little girls imagining their future as marriage and children that they can also grow up to have a career outside the home. It is more important than ever to see the important women from all fields in our society and hear their voices of experience.
Image: Celine, via The Independent
Yes, we know that our boobs don’t look quite as perky as they did when we were 18. And we definitely need a more intense facial moisturiser most days… But that doesn’t mean that we’re hurtling towards being absolutely hideous as soon as we hit our fiftieth birthday! And it also asks us to question things like: Who determines what beauty is, anyway? Is it the point at which other people can consider us attractive? Or is it something that we get from within?
A huge congrats to those in fashion who have already taken the plunge in representing older women and starting to question this judgmental anti-aging thang… The media plays nicely sometimes and every now and then we receive a smattering of assent rejoicing in the older woman and her graceful demeanor.
But real change comes about when we make conscious decisions to step away from the confines of what we are told we must adhere to. It’s time to let go of the stigma surrounding older women. It’s time to redefine the stereotype and let each individual claim their own beauty… For us, that means we need to make conscious changes for fashion to finally recognise middle age…
So, the next time you’re about to write off a trend as too young or old for you, do yourself and your fifty-someting peers a favour, try something modern and stylish: you might surprise yourself!