House of French

March 9, 2009

Fashion Classic #2 – The Pump

The only “shoe” that never goes out of the style, the pump is a very central part of your essential wardrobe. A great pump can be worn with anything for any occasion. It’s your go-to shoe that never fails, and can be found in endless varieties. There are few rules when it comes to who can wear certain shoes, the general rule is if you’re tiny stay away from huge clunky shoes; if you’re on the bigger side, avoid dainty heels, which will make you look bigger. When looking for a classic pump you want to find a style that is likely to carry on through many seasons and still look relevant – look for something in a versatile hue that isn’t trendy; neutrals like white, brown gray and black, and colours like red or navy blues. You want a cresecent toe – pointy and rounded-toed shoes are generally trendy. A great heel height would be in the 3-4 inch range. Small details are okay but a simple, classic style is your best bet. Check out the examples below for a better idea of what a classic pump looks like.



January 18, 2009

Classic: Fitted Jacket – How To Wear

Part one of “The Classics” series focuses on the Jacket.

Classic #1: Fitted Jacket

A great tailored jacket is every woman’s best friend, and a lot of women are freindless! Too many women just don’t understand how great a jacket can be for your figure. The key to making the most of your body is to make sure that jacket actually fits! A lot of women who are unhappy with their bodies don’t want to wear a fitted jacket because they don’t want to expose their figure. The result is they choose a loose, ill-fitting jacket that actually makes them look 10 pounds heavier! Since no body is the same, chances are you will have to look for a jacket that almost fits you perfectly, then have it tailored professionally to your body.

Hourglass Shape – The key to flattering your shape is a flawless fit. Close-fitted jackets work best because they will follow your natural curves. It is especially important that the jacket fits at the waistline, so steer clear of boxy, straight styled jackets which will only hide your beautiful figure. Details to look for in your jacket include:

Diane von Furstenberg $465 Nordstrom

Diane von Furstenberg $465 available at

– Single breasted styles that create clean lines. Double breasted styles create more boxy figures, so you will only add bulk and disrupt your natural silhouette. The key is to follow your natural curve lines, you don’t want to exaggerate or hide any part of your body.

– Princess seaming, which follows and accentuates curves, as well as helps lengthen the body.

– Fitted shoulders. Since your body is already balanced, you want to avoid exaggerated shoulders.

-Jackets with v-neck styles which visually lengthen your body, since curvy girls can tend to look stumpy. Avoid wide v-necks, which will widen the shoulders and break the balance in your figure.

– Look for hidden pockets, or none at all. Pockets will only add extra bulk.

– Stay away from styles that hit at or below the hip, which will only exaggerate big hips.

The jacket here is a pretty good choice for an hourglass. The deep v-neck with narrow lapels keeps the look streamlined, and the fitted style hugs but doesn’t exaggerate the curves. These pockets are not great but since they sit at the waistline, they wouldn’t widen the hips.

Triangle Shape – A jacket is one of your best wardrobe options, since it can visually balance your shape by providing you with a strong shoulder. Like an hourglass shape, you want to find a jacket that will give your waistline some definition, but you also want to incorporate details that will widen your shoulders. Here are a few things you should look for:

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania $840 at

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania $840 at

– Try to find something with shoulder pads. Now before you trash the whole idea due to the stigma of shoulder pads, keep in mind that today’s jackets do not have the same type of shoulder pads as the 80’s. A thin, carefully moulded shoulder pad in a fitted jacket gives definition that will balance your shoulders with your hip line. If you’re still not convinced, then try some sort of gathering at the shoulder, or if you’re real trendy, try a jacket with super chic bubble sleeves.

– Details at the top of a jacket (such as decorated collars, or those button up flaps found on most trenchcoats) are great ways to bring attention to the shoulder area, which will take the focus off the imbalance of your hips.

– Cropped styles and bolero’s are a great option for you, as long as they are worn over a fitted shirt, that allows you to see the definition in your waistline.

– Belted jackets and jackets with a band around the waist work well for triangle shapes, since they define the waistline. You should aim to create a natural waistline (above your belly button), because if you cinch your waist in right above your hip, it will only exaggerate the curve.

– Since a v-neck is universally flattering (unless you are really busty of course!), a jacket with a v-neck will always lengthen and slim your body, but try finding a wide v-neck as opposed a narrow one. The wide v will draw the eye upwards and apart, creating the illusion of a wider, more balanced shoulder line.

– Vertical lines such as paneling and princess seams always help visually lengthen the body.

– Avoid long jackets. The hem of your jacket should hit at your high hip, as opposed to across or below the hip. Also avoid any jacket that has pockets below your waistline, which will only add bulk to your hips.

Shown here, this jacket is perfect in balancing your figure. The wide lapels help define the shoulders more, and the bodice has an obvious curve to accentuate your waistline. The small pockets would hit at the small waistline and are flat to keep it polished.

Rectangle Shape – When it comes to jackets, you need to be extra careful when choosing one. Since

JON Sportswear $275 available at

JON Sportswear $275 available at

jackets are usually layered over other garments, it’s easy for you to lose any shape you may have, and you end up looking more straight than you actually are! Searching for the perfect jacket may seem like a never ending task for you, but when you do find that perfect jacket, it will all be worth it. Here are some tips to help make the search a little easier:

– You should always be looking for a jacket that defines your waistline. Belted jackets are your best option, and you want to find something that will help make your waistline the focal point of your body.  It would be very beneficial to find one or two classic jackets with belt loops at the waistline, then invest in a variety of flashy, unique belts to switch it up.

– Seamlines that curve in at the waistline also help create a waist that isn’t there.

– Avoid any jacket that hits below the top of your hip. You should only look for a jacket that will hit right above your hipline. Stay away from boxy type jackets (like the classic Chanel style), which will only repeat that straight, shapeless silhouette that you already have.

This jacket is perfect for any rectangle figured woman. The clean lines and simple detailing allows you to show off your tiny waist. The full sleeves and peplum detailing at the hip create curves exactly where your body needs them.

Inverted Triangle – Your figure is probably the hardest to flatter using a jacket, because you want to avoid too much layering, and anything that will draw the eye towards your upper half. A tapered jacket is a major staple in your wardrobe, since it will create a leaner line on top, and create more definition in you hip area. When searching for your perfect jacket, keep these tips in mind:

Elie Tahari $239; at

Elie Tahari $239; at

– Look for jackets with a deep v-neck, since they will slenderize your upper half. Steer clear of anything with a wide neckline, which will only broaden your shoulder more.

– With the most versatility in sleeve variations, you can get away with long sleeves, 3/4 length and cap sleeves. Avoid any sort of gathering or bubble type sleeve, that emphasize the shoulders.

– Avoid any jacket with detailing on the top half, and alternately, look for jackets with some detailing below the waistline, like pockets which will add bulk to the hip area and help balance your shoulders. Jackets with small collars are okay, but always avoid any type of dominant collar.

– A great type of Jacket to try is one that has either a real or faux wrap style. This type of jacket will cinch your tummy and create a curve from the waist to the hip, balancing out the shoulder. This will achieve that gorgeous hourglass shape you are looking for.

– For a younger, more trendy style, look for a short waisted jacket, unless you are already a short waisted person (check out the article on body types to find out whether you are short, long or normal waisted). A short, fitted jacket will cause your hip to start at a higher place, giving the illusion of a bigger hip. Be careful with this type of jacket, since a lot of short jackets are boxy and fall away from the body. If you have trouble finding a perfect fit, you can always take the jacket to a tailor.

The jacket above is a great piece for this body type. The small lapels and polished shoulder, especially in black helps to minimize the contrast of your shoulders to your hips. The cinched in waist and flared hem create curves exactly where you need them.

Apple – It may be frusterating to find a jacket for your body type, since it feels as though nothing will look right. Choosing one that is too fitted will make you look larger, while wearing a baggy jacket will do the exact same thing! Don’t worry, there are definately many great styles out there that will look great on you, it’s just a matter of finding them. You want to create the illusion of a longer,

Mac & Jac $129 available at

Mac & Jac $129 available at

leaner body, and you need to bring the attention up towards your face. You should look for:

– Details at the top, near your face and on the shoulders will bring the eye upward, giving the illusion of a leaner silhouette. It also helps even out your lower half with your upper half.

– Semi-fitted and loosely fitted styles work great for you. You don’t want to go too tight, where you may expose some bulging, but you don’t want to go tent-like or you will wind up looking much larger. Find styles that just skim the body for a perfect balance. Avoid belted waists, but consider styles like Mac & Jac’s with a faux waistband which will give the illusion of a cinched in waist.

– Low necklines, especially v-neck styles will draw the eye in a vertical motion, lengthening the body. If you’re very busty, like over a C-Cup, you should stay away from low v-necks that show too much cleavage, or else you will end up looking trashy.

– Longer jackets are better for you, as they conceal and create one long line. Jackets that hit at wider areas of your body visually cut you off and draw the eye to that unwanted area. Try for styles that are knee-length or longer. Avoid floor length styles, which will only look matronly.

This long jacket will help elongate the body; the detailing helps draw the eye upwards, and the colour block waist will give the illusion of a smaller tummy, without cinching it in close to the body.

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