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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Swans Since Birth

No ugly duckling phase for these Russian supermodels apparently! The September 2008 issue of Vogue Russia cleverly juxtaposed current photos (taken by photographer Terry Tsiolis) and childhood photos (sent in by the girls' parents) of the Russian greats like Sasha, Natalya, Snejana, Anna and all those names ending in "a"!

Anna Selezneva

Diana Farkhullina

Maryna Linchuk

Natasha Poly

Olga Sherer

Sasha Pivarova

Snejana Onopka

Tanya Dziahileva

Vlada Roslyakova

Looks like they were born to model! And that I was born to blog about this, hahaha!

(Photos from fashionologie and snailscans)

Monday, August 25, 2008

So Bright and The Seven Scarves

Well, this post really is about scarves in general, but I just liked the word play on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, heehee!

See, lately, it's been so bright and sunny , I thought days like these would be perfect for bringing out my favorite scarves. I find scarves easier and cooler (temperature wise) to wear than hats, and I don't end up with a hat head when taken off. They look quite glam too, or at least I think so, hahaha!




They also make boring outfits look more interesting...

BEFORE:


AFTER:



Of course, there's always that risk of inadvertently looking like Axl Rose...


Not that that's a bad thing right?

(Photos courtesy of Harvey Dychiao, scarves from Pucci and Hermès)

Style SOS: What to Wear to a Morning Wedding?

Dear MFO,

Congratulations on your wedding. I saw some of your pics in Nelwin Uy’s blog. Just fantastic.

Anyway, just a fashion question. I will be attending a wedding in Manila in 2 weeks time (Im based in Singapore). The invitation said: Formal/Black Tie. The time is 10 AM. My cousins will be coming in long gowns aka Oscar’s red carpet style. I’m a bit confused with what to wear: Shouldn’t long gowns be for the evenings only? Can I wear a knee length dress? Do you have suggestions? Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

888 Guest


Hi 888 Guest! Thanks so much! We were very happy too with how our wedding pictures turned out! =)

Regarding your dress dilemma, I would have to agree with you, I think a knee length dress for morning is more tasteful! But you may go long too as long your dress is made of light fabric like silk, chiffon, organza or jersey! The reason being, these fabrics don't look ridiculous in the daytime. Slinky satin, shiny taffeta or a sequined dress isn't exactly considered the height of elegance in day wear. Here are a couple of daytime wedding dresses courtesy of instyleweddings.com!






Hope this helps! =)

City Slickers: Melissa + Alexandre Herchcovitch Boots

Now available at Anthem Rockwell, Anthem Shangri-La and Mia Bella in Serendra! Other authorized retailers will carry these beginning of September 2008.

Hmmm, I wonder if these could work as rain boots? Quite sleek for slick weather, these ones here...




Sunday, August 24, 2008

Style SOS: It's About Time

Hi i need a watch SOS too... TAG aquaracer - the one with diamonds even on the bezel, a Cartier Santos or Omega Constellation with diamond dial? Hope you can help. Thanks

Tag Heuer Aquaracer


Cartier Santos


Omega Constellation


Personally, I would have to agree with Debbie and Anon. I like the classic appeal of the Cartier Santos and no amount of diamonds on an Omega or a Tag Heuer can equal its timeless elegance. But if you really do have a weakness for bling blings, then go for the Omega Constellation, because it looks more feminine and timeless than the Tag Heuer Aquaracer.

But that's just our opinion. Not surprisingly though, during these recessionary times, even Style.com's Candy Pratts Price has been advocating a return to the classics and it just makes perfect sense. I say, stick to the classics because you always get more bang for your buck that way! ;-)

Shoe SOS: Her First French Soles

Hi! i need your help on which size and model I should get for my first ever pair of French Sole ballet flats! :=)...I wear a US size 7.5 (ked's sneaker flats). For local shoe shops, I wear size 8. Medyo malapad ang paa ko. Hehehe...also, do you have any idea how much it would cost me if I order it online? Salamat!

Sorry for the delayed reply! So I'll go straight to the point, if you want to order French Soles, I suggest that you go 1 full size up! In your case, since you are a US 7.5/local size 8 with wide feet, get a French Sole 39. My friend has the same shoe size as you do, and she recently ordered French Soles online here and she got the 39. Here's the size chart for your reference!



If you find it too tight initially, don't worry. The super soft leather molds to your feet with wear, and you can easily loosen or tighten (if you find it too loose) the fit of the shoes by adjusting the ribbons! Just like with real ballerina flats!

As for the model to choose, I personally like the India (formerly called Pirouette), which boasts "a rigid sole with a lowcut shape" that means "extra comfort with a beautifully balanced and light weight shoe". And I couldn't agree more!


Another popular model is the Henrietta. It has "a very similar vamp to the India style but with a slightly deeper plunge to the front of the shoe allowing more toe cleavage. They have included slim and subtle rubber soles for stability. "An extremely comfortable and very highly recommended shoe" according to the French Sole folks!


Lastly, the Lowcut. I haven't tried this model, but I find it intriguing because according to the French Sole website, "These little shoes have no left or right but quickly mould themselves to the shape of your foot within a few minutes of wear. This is a very young and sexy look! The vamp is cut very low and shows toe cleavage. The sizing is small and tight so please order a size up if you are worried. The heels are almost flat." (To be safe, I suggest that you get this in a 39, if you are a US 7.5!)



As for shipping charges, I know that French Sole (in London) ships out worldwide (maybe about $30) but you can also order through London Sole (the US division of French Sole which is based out of Santa Monica & San Francisco, CA and Miami, FL). It's the same company, except that they can't use the French Sole label in the US because another company (FSNY) has French Sole registered under their name! Confusing I know, so here are the links for your convenience!

French Sole of London
French/London Sole USA

If you can't decide, I have been very happy with the India/Pirouette style and it has lasted me for years, so that particular has my stamp of approval! Good luck on your first French Sole purchase!

Style SOS: LV Bag Lady

Need your help. I waited this long to get my first LV bag. I'm preparing to buy it in HK since it is a whole lot cheaper there than here in the PI since we have luxury tax.

I would like to ask your help on the best style for me. I'm 37, working in marketing, mostly into black, greys and brown.

I shun away from mainstream styles but I want a functional one I can love and be proud of without being to loud.

Please help! Thanks in advance!

LV dreamer


Thanks for your question LV Dreamer! I'm so excited for you! I love shopping for bags so thanks for having me in on the fun! Ok, here goes my assessment. You have a taste for low key luxe, meaning you shun anything that declares to the world how expensive your bag is. You like muted colors, ok fine, neutrals but that doesn't mean your taste for bags has to blend in with the rest. Since you are in marketing, you work in a fast-paced, exciting environment but still have to look professional. Right?

That being said, I agree with reader baglove and would like to suggest that you look into Louis Vuitton's Epi Leather collection. I particularly recommend the Bowling Montaigne and Passy styles! These are very funtional, can go from work to weekend and are classics that will see you through the years, or your next purchase at least! ;-) (I've included eLuxury prices for your reference as well!)

Epi Leather Bowling Montaigne PM, $1,500.00


-Beautifully textured Epi leather with smooth leather trim
-Shiny palladium hardware
-Engraved rivets
-Rolled handles with link attachments
-Padlock and key for security
-Zip top closure
-Fine textile lining
-Interior cell phone pocket and flat pocket
-Protective metal feet
-13"x 9.1"x 7.1"
-Comes in red (see photo above), cassis, black & ivoire

Epi Leather Bowling Montaigne GM, $1,760.00


-Beautifully textured Epi leather with smooth leather trim
-Shiny palladium hardware
-Engraved rivets
-Rolled handles with link attachments
-Padlock and key for security
-Rear patch pocket
-Flap with push-lock closure
-Zip top
-Fine textile lining
-Interior cell phone pocket and flat pocket
-Protective metal feet
-15"x 9"x 7"
-Comes in ivoire (see photo above), black and cassis

Epi Leather Passy, $1,460.00


-Beautifully textured Epi leather with smooth leather trim
-Name pays homage to the chic shopping street in Paris
-Polished palladium-finished hardware
-Rolled leather handles
-Adjustable buckle to increase bag's capacity
-Open top with snap hook closure
-Fine textile lining
-Gusseted interior features two compartments separated by a central zipped pocket; flat pocket and cell phone pocket
-Fits legal documents
-12.4" x 10.2" x 5.1"
-Comes in cassis (see above photo), ivoire, black and red

Epi Leather Passy GM, $1,710.00


Louis Vuitton's highly functional Passy GM, features a modern and refined shape with gusseted interior and comfortable rolled shoulder straps. Crafted from beautifully textured Epi leather with smooth leather trim, it will carry you through the workday with elegance and ease.
-Beautifully textured Epi leather with smooth leather trim
-Polished palladium-finished hardware
-Comfortable rolled shoulder straps
-Large interior fits a laptop
-Gusseted interior features two compartments separated by a central zipped pocket; flat pocket and cell phone pocket
-Interior textile lining
-Snap hook closing
-Adjustable buckle to increase the bag's capacity
-14.9" x 11.8" x 5.1"
-Comes in black (see above photo), red & ivoire

(Photos, prices and descriptions from eluxury.com)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopping SOS: Cold Weather Gear in Manila!

Hi MFO,

Can you tell me where I can buy opaque tights and boots here in Manila? I'm going for a long trip to a cold country for 6 mos! Thanks!

- Candie


Hi Candie! You'd be surprised, there are plenty of places to shop for opaque tights (although sheer tights are making a comeback this fall too!) in Manila! One time, we had a school trip to Shanghai and Hongkong, which we belatedly realized fell right smack in the dead of winter! My friends and I found ourselves unearthing our old scarves and coats, and scrambling for tights. Guess we got our tights? The socks and stockings section of Landmark Department Store! I think the brand I got was Lady President! Luckily, there's more than just one place to go to for winter gear. I've compiled a list of places where you will definitely find what you need:

- Landmark
- SM Department Store
- Robinsons Department Store
- Greenhills tiangge & Karl Edwards Bazaar (I got a pair of really thick grey winter tights for less than Php200 here!)
- Marks & Spencer (get at least 60 denier, oh and they sell thermals as well!)
- Debenhams

Although I would suggest that you just buy a few and get the rest in the country where you are going to since for sure, they have more selections to choose from! You might end up wanting colored, textured or printed tights and you don't want to be stuck with several pairs from home that you won't end up using! For instance, once you step foot inside H&M, you'd find yourself wanting to buy tights of all colors! In general, my parents often tell us kids, when it comes to shopping for cold weather gear, it's best that you do it in the place where you'll be staying. Just have enough to keep you warm, but the rest you can shop for as soon as you can! That way, you have plenty of room in your luggage for essentials like sinigang mix, polvoron and sampaloc (comfort food when you are far away from home, trust me!). My friends who live or have lived abroad often end up discarding the stuff they bought from Manila because once they see the options available to them, they easily find something way better than what they already have!

As for boots, I know that local shoe stores like Janylin sell boots as well, but I cannot guarantee if these are comfortable. Check out Zara and Mango I suppose, but also remember that you can just bring a normal pair of leather shoes (oxfords or hey, even Doc Martens from before) and just buy your boots when you get to your destination! More often than not, you'll have plenty of choices and prices could be way cheaper too! Best of all, you get to buy your tights and boots with an idea of how the locals dress, and it's up to you if you want to adapt or stand out!

Manila folks, if you know of any places to get cold weather gear, help us out please! =)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Love! Love! Love!

Got these scans (Glamour UK August 2008) from Punky B's blog! I have similar items from my wardrobe so I'm super inspired to re-create these looks!









Sunday, August 17, 2008

MFO Turns Two! We've Come A Long Way Baby!

Happy Birthday T(w)o Us! Yes, MFO turns two today and guess what, yours truly will be going to New York Fashion Week this coming September! Yes, as in actually working the circuit to go to shows and even backstage!!! Well, not to all the shows unfortunately, only the ones that I can get into for now, and can fit in my housewife schedule, hahaha! We can't leave the house dirty and Dear Hubby with nothing to eat right?

Check out the schedule below for a preview of what's to come! (click to enlarge)


Who knows, maybe next season you'll be joining me! Life is full of surprises and writing this blog never fails to surprise and amaze me! Two years ago, I was just sitting on a couch in front of the TV, writing out my thoughts to myself. Yes my audience of one. Fast forward to now and I'm actually taking short courses at FIT, meeting New York fashion industry insiders (from buyers to showroom owners, fashion label executives, sourcing consultants and soon, fashion event organizers!) and enthusiasts (fashion students, professionals looking to a career shift in fashion, etc), visiting showrooms and all that so that I may have something interesting to share with you all! Take my hand and let's look back to my previous posts just to see how far we've come (although the trip really, has just begun)!

AUGUST 17, 2006

Hello! Nice to meet you dahling!


Before anything, let me introduce myself: The Closet Fashionista

I first came across the F word over a decade ago as I was poring through the pages of British Vogue while waiting for my flight out of London Heathrow. It was the summer I turned 18, living on allowance but pretentiously into labels I could not afford, that I lived the life vicariously by buying fashion magazines. (To my parents' middle class sensibilities, it was a puzzle why I was into clothes & the styling life when I was neither socialite nor star. They could not understand my deep interest in fashion and I could offer no explanation.)

At that very instant, while staring at the italicized fonts, I understood why I was different. I belonged to a "cursed" breed, an army of connoisseurs who live for fashion; afflicted with an acute sense when it comes to spotting trends and appreciating details, that the idea of mainstream horrifies them.

Knowing I was a fashionista and coming out of my closet to admit that I was one posed a problem. Growing up in a no-nonsense, frugal home, exhibiting my passion for fashion would make me an obvious target for ridicule. However, I feel I have an obligation to explain the essence of a fashionista, skinny jeans, breezy frocks, oversize bags, dirty linen and all.

The Fashion Foibles

Fashion is an addiction I struggled with, forcing me into suspicious if not bothering behavior: tearing receipts so my mom wouldn't know how much I spent for another pair of shoes, foregoing savings for cult jeans, risking a traffic violation while checking out a lola crossing Kamuning road because I was inspired by her Marc Jacobs meets Prada look, buying a watch just because my style icon Madonna wore one herself, and spending six months of accumulated summers in London during my teen years scouring the streets (read: Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Bond Street), bumming in parks, going to museums, and watching people every day; rather than taking summer courses on finance at the University of London, as my dad had suggested, seriously believing that both activities were equally worthwhile.

Coming to Terms

Writing about this confession came at an opportune time. At best, this is my coming out letter, a published tell all of my fashion faux pas, an admission of a secret life. At the least, I have given my two cents worth on the fashionista phenomenon. This is not just about having the money to buy designer clothes, wearing what's hot or being in the fashion industry per se. As authors Dela Cruz and Robinovitz of The Fashionista Files puts it, it is acknowledging that fashion is a "form of art, self-expression, and a representation of more emotional roots". It is a serious field of study that Holly Brubach, a self-confessed Dedicated Follower of Fashion, likens fashion to architecture.

Simply put, a fashionista is not simply interested in clothes and trendy must-haves; she knows herself and wears clothes to express her history and individuality. Her passion extends to art, culture, and social issues and disproves the impression that her kind has cashmere for brains. A fashionista derives satisfaction in looking and feeling good, but knows that what matters most of all is who she is beyond the stylish clothes.


AUGUST 17, 2007

Birthday Blog! MFO Turns One Today!


Happy Birthday to us! Yup! One year ago today, I put up this blog to keep me busy back home while hubby was in Cambridge, MA taking up further studies in law. It also served as an outlet for me to document my observations and obsessions about stuff I liked, in the hopes that talking about it would satiate my urge to buy it! Which in a way worked! Hehehe! Its just a happy coincidence that in the course of keeping me occupied, it also entertained and informed my fabulous fashionista readers as well! Thanks to you guys, my fixation with fashion doesn't seem so frivolous anymore because I feel so useful when you ask me for advice and request for posts on stuff you'd like me to feature! It also makes me so happy when you tell me you enjoy reading my posts!

Looking back, I never expected that MFO would evolve into what it is now. What started as rambling musings turned into an advice column/recognizable shopping blog. What's best, in one year, I gained a lot of online friends and quite a following across the world! Not bad, not bad at all! I hope you continue to stay with me as I start a new chapter and a new year for this blog! Because I can guarantee you that there are more exciting things to come! I just know!

As I look out the window now to a fantastic view of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline from our apartment, I advise you to gear up for a fun ride because I'm taking you with me on another adventure as we take on the streets of Manhattan --Fifth and Seventh Avenues especially!

That is, when I'm not running errands or cleaning house! Hahaha!


Well, I'm still running errands and cleaning house, but true enough, my days have become very exciting indeed! At least now I get to do the things I would just read and write about before! And for me, that is quite a feat! I never would have thought back when I started, when I was just surfing the net and clicking on runway photos that I would actually get to step foot inside the Bryant Park tents during New York Fashion Week in just two years! I never expected that I would be invited into New York City showrooms and trade shows to see the clothes that will come out in stores a year in advance, and it still amazes me to observe buyers and boutique owners picking out clothes and accessories and seeing which taste jives with mine, hahaha! Hmmm, I may have a future in buying for posh stores or better, buying for my own specialty store! Hey, you never know, anything is infinitely possible these days!

I get this feeling, Manila Fashion Observer may pretty soon be a New York Fashion Insider! Hey, it's free to dream! Hehehe!

Thanks everyone for the comments and the emails all these years! Thanks thanks thanks! Mwah Mwah Mwah! For sticking with me kids, buckle your seat belts, I'm taking you all with me!!! We'll celebrate dear readers!!! We've got places to go to and people to see, it's gonna be one heck of a joy ride!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trigger Happy

I just wanted to share with you Dear Hubby's talent in photography and photoshop...



He just bought a couple of pieces of equipment for his home studio, and we were testing it. Sorry guys, I'm the only model! Hehehe!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Plueys News!



Something new might just be waiting for you! Check out the Rockwell Urban Bazaar this weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Good Dream



A couple of nights ago, I dreamt I was with Dear Hubby, my father-in-law Daddy Henry and a little baby! We wanted to go for a walk and we meandered by a river. After some time, we reached a door in the forest. Dear Hubby took out the door (yeah he didn't open it, he just grabbed it by the sides and pulled it out and set it aside), and next thing we knew, we were magically transported to a busy street market.

I told them I needed shoes before we could go any further. I was barefoot and I didn't want to walk through the market and get my feet dirty (as if it wasn't dirty enough from all that walking! Hahaha!). Luckily, I saw a lady selling slippers on the street. I slipped into a pair but discovered I didn't have any cash on me! To my relief, she said I could leave my cellphone charger (why would I bring a cellphone charger and not my wallet?!) with her and just pay for the slippers and pick up my cellphone charger when I was ready!

So we happily walked around the street market and I was surprised to see my friend Nina was there as well! She was standing on a bridge lined with cobblestones, surrounded by balloons and musicians, on the opposite side of the river so I waved hello and motioned for her to meet me on my side! She wouldn't budge though and told me to come and meet her instead! I was kind of upset that I had to walk across the bridge and leave DH, FIL and baby on their own. Nina and I then went inside a Fort Santiago like dungeon and she told me to get anything I want. "Anything I want of what?" I asked, the dungeon like setting creeping me out a bit. Then she pointed out the Ladurée pastries and macaroons laid out in front of us! In a flash, the dungeon lit up!



That's when I realized we were in Paris! So we happily munched on cakes and macaroons and I told her I was glad I met her on her side of the river! Hehehe! Suddenly we were back in our house and I worriedly told DH I forgot to pay the slippers lady and that my cellphone charger was still with her!

Before I could panic any further, I woke up!

First thing that popped into my head was "Thank goodness I don't owe the slippers lady any money!" I actually even felt relieved that my cellphone charger was safe at home with me, hahaha! But dreaming of Paris definitely put me in a good mood. The dream was so vivid and it felt so real. I tried to analyze what my dream meant and I figured it meant only good things right? Maybe something to do with food, culture or fashion because what else does a winding river, Ladurée, and cobblestoned street markets in Paris mean right?

Something close as it turned out! That weekend, I was invited to to go to the Brooklyn flea market by a lady who owns a showroom downtown, and very much a fashion industry insider! She wanted to look for antiques, and visit a friend of hers who had a booth there. So we went over to her friend, who was busily piling several pairs of barely used Giuseppe Zanotti heels and sandals, all at about $50-$70 a pair. We were wondering why she wanted to get rid of all her shoes, and apparently, she had just started with Miu Miu and well, office policy requires that they wear Miu Miu shoes exclusively! (Hmmm, that's an office policy I wouldn't exactly be forced to comply with, hahaha!) Minutes later, a lady was stuffing several pairs of her shoes into a Birkin bag! She practically bought the whole lot to resell in her high-end used goods/consignment shop somewhere in the city! Not a very common experience right?

A few days after, with the help RZ, I found myself making arrangements to go backstage to a show for S/S 09 Fashion Week this September! My new buddy Samantha also got me invites to watch some runway shows as well! And of course, I'll be going to the trade shows to see which clothes, shoes and accessories will hit the stores next spring/summer! Woohoo! Don't worry, I'll be sharing everything I discover soon!

(Photos from tanlee.com, amabilia.com)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Style SOS: Waist and See! You'll Look Great!

Hey Tin!

I'm an avid follower of your blog since a friend of mine "introduced" it to me by way of a link. I need your very stylish opinion. Can an apple-shaped lady follow the trend nowadays of wearing a belt, be it the skinny ones or the wide ones? Which one would work best for someone less on the slender side and more on the I-just-gave-birth-a-couple-of-months-ago frame (think boobs, hips, thighs with a hint of a waist)? Would love to read your thoughts = would love to get tips to apply to self. =)

Just call me,

The Black Belter....;)


Thanks for your question The Black Belter! Here's a tip on creating the illusion of waists for apple shape body types from the popular UK TV show "How to Look Good Naked" and I would have to agree =)



For all you juicy apple shapes, teaming up a knit dress with a big belt pulls you in at the waist and gives you the illusion of curves. The short length of this knit dress draws the eyes to your pins and brightly coloured shoes gives extra attention to legs and calves.

As an added tip concerning maxi dresses which are currently "in" as well...



For all of my apple shapes, this summer dress is perfect for you. A big, bold exaggerated print will always make your body look smaller in comparison. A dress that is cut on the empire line will instantly make you look curvier, as it hugs you at the smallest part of your waist. This dress is great for that because it is embellished and keeps all of the attention just there.

But I'm not happy with just these two tips. Let's go on further! I've actually used the site's Style Consulation Feature (which all you dear readers can tailor fit to your own body type!) and here are the tips I got for dressing the alluring apple shape! Read on!

Naked Advice


Girl, your legs are amazing! So many women get caught up in their body shape that they forget to look at their actual bodies, and honey you have luscious limbs to die for! All we need to do now is add in a few sexy curves.

You may have found it difficult to add curves in the past, but here you will find a few simple tricks of the trade and key wardrobe pieces to flatter and flaunt your sexy shape. So dive in, my Alluring Apple, and discover the secrets to your own stunning style.


Body Doubles

Drew Barrymore


One of the ultimate ‘It’ girls in Hollywood, Drew has embraced her figure and developed a style that is all her own. Whether she is surfing with Cameron Diaz or walking up the red carpet, you can be sure to see her in flattering dresses, wide-leg trousers or sexy skirts that show off her curves and sexy legs.

Kate Winslet


A true English rose and one of the most beautiful women in the world, Kate has perfected the red carpet look to flatter her amazing apple figure. With empire lines a staple, and demonstrating how the perfect chignon reveals an elegant neck, Kate really is the epitome of the Alluring Apple.

Coats
The cover-up of choice for you, my gorgeous gal, is simply a classic straight cut, single-breasted coat that finishes at the knee. This shape is going to elongate and slim that torso but still show off those sexy calves and ankles. Choose the coat in a darker, block colour for an added slimming effect: flattering shades are plum, chocolate or navy.

Top Tip: Still after more curves? Look for hip pockets and a higher waistband, as both of these details will add curves, or add a cute broach to your collar to draw the eye up.

Jackets
Here’s where we’re really going to start adding in those sexy curves. Structured jackets are the key to maintaining this shape.

Always choose a single-breasted jacket, as double-breasted is going to add bulk where you really don’t want it.

Look for jackets that button up underneath the chest; this will nip you in at your smallest point, and give the illusion of a tiny waist. The jacket should finish just under your hipbone, and keep your eye out for hip pockets again: these babies will be the key to adding that little extra curve to your torso.

Top Tip: Colour is crucial, but so is fabric. Keep to matt-looking fabrics and certainly nothing metallic or sparkly – you don’t want to look like you’ve been attacked by a Christmas tree, do you?

Tops
There are thousands of tops out there to suit you! It’s all about finding the right shape and detail. A little bit of exposure may sound risqué, but sweet cheeks, this is going to do wonders for your figure. Don’t be shy! Flash that décolletage in V-neck and scoop neck tops, which will break up your torso and create a slimmer shape.

Show off those arms too: cap sleeves, halter-necks or strapless styles will flash that skin in a subtly sexy way. Three-quarter-length sleeves will also add to the waist illusion on cold winter days.

Something a little more structured will do wonders for your shape, or look for tops that have a higher waistband so the material glides over your stomach. Tops should all finish just below the hipbone to elongate your body.

Top Tip: Wear a statement necklace or earrings to draw the eye higher up, but never even consider wearing horizontal stripes.

Dresses
Empire line sounds grand and on you, my beauty, it truly will be. The drop from just below your chest will lengthen your body and glide effortlessly over the rest of your figure, whilst drawing attention to your fabulous bosom, neck and arms.

Another key shape to look out for is the timeless classic, the wrap dress. The deep V will break up the torso whilst adding the illusion of curves. Here we catch a glimpse of that sexy décolletage while marvelling at the beauty of your gazelle-like limbs.

Top Tip: Printed fabrics will show your wild side, and avoid the dreaded straight silhouette that block colours can give.

Trousers
Here you can look truly elegant in flowy, wide-leg trousers that will balance out your torso and slim your waist whilst adding timeless sophistication. A mid-rise yet curved waistband will not only help to make your legs look like they go on forever, but will also add those secret extra curves to your silhouette.

Top Tip: A crease down the front of the leg will brilliantly divide your leg in half vertically; whilst a pointy-toe shoe peeking out from under the trousers will make those legs look never-ending.

Jeans
Once you’ve found those perfect trousers, look for them in denim too as this style is perfect for your jean needs.

Mid-rise with a straight leg is what you want but make sure that you look out for a dark wash as this is much more flattering.

A wide curved waistband will banish those builder’s bum moments forever, whilst adding the impression of a bootylicious behind.

Top Tip: High-set back pockets will give that bottom a lift and lengthen those legs.

Skirts
The perfect opportunity for you to get those legs out, flash those ankles and send the boys wild!

Choosing the perfect skirt is all about balancing out your torso and making sure that your top half flows effortlessly to your bottom half. A-line or softly-flared skirts are going to look the best, with length playing an important part, as balance is key. Knee-length will not only create this balance, but also make you look demure as too short is a no-no.

Have fun with skirts: colour, pattern, pockets, embroidery and sequins will all add interest to the area and draw the eye away from your middle. Not many girls can get away with such glamour on their booty, but honey, yours is ripe for a little embellishment!

Top Tip: Asymmetric and handkerchief hemlines are brilliant at breaking up the line of the body, and add a little flirty movement to your wiggle as you walk.

Accessories Again, the validation you've been waiting for! ;-)
Belts, belts and yet more belts. They really are the key to cinching in that silhouette and adding a curve where there isn’t one.

With so many different ones available, belts not only show off that sexy waist, but also your flare for accessorising. Place at your natural waistline to cinch in that top or if you are a little broader, place the belt just underneath your chest. This is the smallest part of your torso and will give you curves that those skinny girls can only dream of.

Top Tip: Wear heels! Even if it’s just a simple kitten heel, the added lift will elongate your legs and lengthen that torso.

Now that we've answered your question and armed you with tons of tips...Go and have fun with the latest in fashion Ms. Black Belter! And keep on checking the "How to Look Good Naked" site for frequent updates on how to wear the trends that flatter your shape! =)
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