Trendy! Is that word only associated with models? Or folks who are slim, trim and cute-looking? Banish the notion! Shape, size or complexion have little to do with creating a trendy and classy image for yourself. All you need to know is how to dress well. Mumbai-based fashion designer Anjali Bhosle has put together some tips for women wanting to make an impact:
Dusky complexion? Go pastel
Light shades – If you have a dusky skin tone, you should look at light/ pastel shades.
Softer embroidery – Try selecting clothes that do not have too much embroidery. Choose outfits with subtle, sober embroidery and embellishment.
More contrasts – Include contrasts in your wardrobe. For example, contrast a light top with a trouser in a darker tone. A light lemon kurta looks best when complimented with a dark magenta salwar.
Try and stay clear of vibrant colours like oranges, mustards and yellows; they may not suit your complexion.
Do you have a fair complexion? Go vibrant
As occasion demands – Experiment with vibrant colours. Of course, don’t lose track of the occasion, irrespective of your complexion. For example, you may still want to wear black for evening parties and wear vibrant colours during the day.
Brighter the better – You can even try hues of blues and lemons. A fresh lime green colour is great for sunny days.
Overweight? Go black
Stick to vertical lines – Are you on the fat side? Fear not. You can look especially glamorous. Stay with vertical lines or prints. And try matching tops/ kurtis in light shades with bottoms of darker shades.
Fabrics that fall – Wear fabrics such as chiffon, crepe or synthetics as they fall evenly around your body. Wear kurtis and tops with broad necklines. Compliment your outfit with a scarf; it hides a heavy bust line.
The colour of night – Black is a safe colour to wear. It makes you look slim. You could also experiment with soft colours and pastel shades.
~ Horizontal prints/ lines are a strict no-no. They tend to accentuate the body’s width. Also, checks and tight body hugging tops should be avoided.
~ As far as possible avoid kurtis/ tops that have designs/ embroidery in the chest area. It will accentuate your bust line and make you look ‘top heavy’.
~ Avoid wearing tops/ kurtis that have heavy block prints. Keep away from whites; they will make you look big.
~ Stretch jeans, pedal pushers and tapering jeans should also be avoided. They will make you look top heavy, with your legs tapering like sticks below.
~ If you plan to wear a sari, avoid sleeveless blouses. Your flabby arms may not look good. Short sleeves will look good. Avoid 3/4th sleeves as those will tend to accentuate heavy arms. Avoid cap sleeves as they too can accentuate heavy shoulders. Even if you are wearing crepe, chiffon or a synthetic sari, cotton blouses are the safest to wear.
Hip cover – Wear kurtis that cover the hip line — knee length or below the knee is just fine. As far as possible, wear full-sleeved kurtis. High-collared and closed neckline tops should be strictly avoided. Avoid thick cotton fabrics and starched clothes; they won’t blend with your body type.
Thin? Go horizontal
Fluffy fabric – You need to opt for the very opposite of what suits overweight women. Try cotton, starched clothes. Play around with organza too; this is a luxury few body types enjoy.
Light colours – You are lucky, you can experiment with light colours. Wear lots of whites. Wear kurtis with half or 3/4th sleeves. Be bold; wear large block prints.
By the way, checks will suit you very well, but you must avoid synthetics, as this fabric can make you look skinny.
Tall? Go short
Wear short – Are you a beanpole? No worries. Try churidars as opposed to salwars.
Cut the length – If you’re fond of wearing skirts, make sure you try lengths that end at your calves. Avoid very long kurtas. This will unnecessarily accentuate your height. Also, avoid vertical lines and prints and high-collared tops/ kurtis.
Short? Go long
Wear long – Try skirts that go till the knee or an above-the-knee length. Opt for kurtas that end at, or slightly above, the knee.
Experiment – You can safely wear 3/4th sleeve tops. They will look good.
Depending on your complexion, body structure and height, try different permutations and combinations. Experiment with fabrics, colours and prints till you have outfits that complement your look and lend you a sense of style.
The accessories you choose and how you carry yourself is what will make you look trendy and fashionable.
The fact is: you can wear the simplest of outfits and sandals and still look classy if you’re able to carry yourself confidently.
Published in Rediff.com, 20th December, 2006.