Dressing for Your Shape – Hourglass Shape

A hourglass figure has well defined bust and hips which are balanced and aligned, being of the same size. The waist is also defined and in most cases the bottom is well rounded. This gives a well proportioned figure with killer curves. The upper body is proportionate in length to shapely legs. There may be weight gathered on the tummy so this will give some of the characteristics of the apple shape. Hourglass-body-shape-bella-naija-march-2016

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Dressing for Your Shape – Apple Shape

An apple shaped body tends to have a fuller middle with slim thighs and shapely upper legs. With fuller boobs, thinner hips and a flatter rear than most and that protruding tummy !

The main characteristics of an apple shaped body is a wide torso, broad shoulders, average to fuller bust, a flat bottom, an undefined waist with thinner arms and legs. You don’t have to have a large tummy to be apple shaped but that your extra weight gathers around the waist area.apple-body-shape (1)

The goal is balance – to make your torso look longer and your shoulders and waist appear slimmer and draw attention away from your tummy up to your face and top and all those other assets ! So you need to create the illusion of a waist, highlight your cleavage and create vertical lines. Wear clothes that add curves and fullness to your lower body and taper your top half helps achieve this balanced look.

Avoid big tops and jackets, shapeless garments that don’t show any waist or don’t use vertical layers. Bulky trousers with lots of pockets, high necklines and clingy tops are also unflattering.


Showing off your bust will not only emphaise one of your fab features but will also draw attention from your waist. So V necks, plunging necklines, strapless, scoop, or tops with narrow bodices.White Stuff Dusky Blue Paint Pot Print long Line Tunic

The tops should fall lower than your hip bone or long and flowing ending below the bottom. You can also wear tops that have feature sleeves that draw attention to your arms – embroidery, slits, flares but not puffy or full sleeves  – also pretty shoulder details such as sequins.

Tops with rouching around the middle give definition to the waist as do wrap around tops which are fitted but not tight. Especially in dark and small patterned fabrics – if you really want a large pattern then choose darker colours around the waist with pattern along the top drawing the eyes. Avoid bold patterns, large checks, and light colours above your waist.

Define your waist with a peplum top, fitted at the waist and flared at the hips.Or a wrap tops works well.

Cinch with a narrow belt but avoid wide belts which bring attention.

A cami or tank top with a matching jacket looks good.

Avoid halter neck tops, very high necklines, decorated neckline, off the shoulder cut or boat neck – these will make your shoulders look broader and draw attention to your chest. Keep away from clingy fabrics but choose textured or woven fabrics.


The right jacket should fit your shoulders perfectly so choose the size for your shoulders and not your middle. Wear a single breasted jacket without too much detail but structured so it creates curves in chest and hip area but minimises the waist

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Belted jackets are flattering but longer length. Crop jackets are also a great way of defining your waist.

Also try open cardigans or waistcoats or a duster coat which ends above the knee ( with a slim belt inside ).

Avoid excess fabric over the bust and around the tummy to trim the waistline to a minimum.


Fuller skirts look good as they fill out the hips and create balance as do pencil or straight skirts with peplum which give a smaller looking waist. Bias cut skirts, A-line and full circle skirts also flatter the figure and define.

Marks & Spencer Classic Navy Blue Print Flippy Skirt

Chiffons and silks make great skirts for Apples and try bold colours and patterns.

Knee length structured pencil skirts also show off your slim hips and great legs.

Find skirts with flat fronts, especially ones which clasp on the side and zippers at the side or back. Don’t be afraid to show off those great pins.

Avoid skirts which are perfectly straight and too tight. Also pockets, pleats and gathers near the waist because this will add inches to your waist.

Choose trousers and jeans which are tailoted and either straight or flared, again to keep balance. Wear pants with back pockets to create definition to your flatter bottom and balance out the waist.

M&5 BLACK Single Zip Pocket Straight Leg Trousers

Make sure they have a flat front and with a rise that is lower than your natural waistline avoiding tucks and button up jeans as they add bulk in the wrong area. Luckily you can choose from any colour – lighter shades look great.

Avoid skinny jeans, leggings and too tight material because this down plays your legs making them look smaller and  consequently enlarging your waistline. Avoid zips and bulky detail at the front.


There are a variety of dresses that can flatter the apple shape, go for for a dress that has a A-line which draws attention from the mid section.

Marks & Spencer PinkGrey Empire Fit & Flare Dress with

Or make the most of colour blocking with dark colour down the middle and lighter colour down each side.

When choosing the right dress go for drop waist which hit somewhere around the hipbone or empire waist dresses which skim the waist. Ideal are those with a good fit but not tight around the waistline.

Marks & Spencer Collection Ivory & Striped Shirt Dress with Belt Orig Price £39 ddd_clipped_rev_1

Draw attention to your bust with V necklines but not heavy adornment – you have a great bust already so don’t detract. Use the shape of dresses to create curves in the right places and disguise your fuller tummy.

Marks & Spencer Per Una Purple & Black Floral Skater Sleeveless Dress Orig Price £55

Choose fabrics which skim and not cling – flowing silks and soft cottons tailored in simple designs which give a soft silhouette.

Avoid dresses with built in waistline or are different colour on top and bottom or around the waistline. Halter necks and puffy sleeves should also be avoided. Stay away from skin tight and clingy fabrics.


With an apple-shaped body you need to create balance on your lower body by wearing shoes which emphaise your legs. Wear platform shoes, wedges, calf length boots, ballet flats, clogs and strappy sandals.

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Avoid kitten heels, buckle boots, Uggs or any shoes that will make your feet look too big – this in turn makes your legs look smaller and so waist bigger.


Larger breasts mean a well- fitted bra is essential for correct lift and support. Perfect for hugging in the tummy and control of any wobbly bits are wonder knickers and control pants.

M&5 FUCHSIA Jacquard Lace High Rise Midi Knickers


The ideal swimsuit will have a plain top which reduces the visual impact of the bust area and a patterned lower half which balances out the figure. Wider straps and unpadded inner bust with stomach support.

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Bikinis can be bought as separates allowing you to use design, pattern and colour to create the perfect bikini.


A Word About Online Payment

We have choosen to use Paypal as our method of collecting payment. PayPal is the world’s most popular ‘middleman’ service for online purchasing.

PayPal is guaranteed against fraud and identity theft. It guarantees 100% protection against unauthorized payments from your account. Every transaction is confirmed by email to the PayPal account holder. Any transaction you wish to dispute will give you access to a 24/7 support team of analysts who will sort out your problem for you.

Similar to an escrow service, PayPal acts as the middleman holder of money. Through its policies, practices, and business integrity, PayPal has earned the trust of both parties. PayPal implements guarantees so that both buyers and sellers have assurances that their money or goods can be recovered should the transaction turn sour.

PayPal sends payment without  revealing each party’s credit card and banking information. This is ideal for purchasing goods from strangers, and for transferring money to other private individuals.

It is easy to open an account and save your credit card details for hassle free future purchases all over the world. Anyone with a valid email address and credit card may apply.  Paypal can also be used for a one – off payment without opening an account should you need infrequent use.

Dressing for your Shape – Pear Shape

The pear body shape is the most common female body shape with hips wider than shoulders. Pear shaped bodies typically have smaller busts and defined waists but depending on overall proportions bustier pears can be an hourglass figure. Curvy hips, sturdy thighs and a full rear are also key characteristics.


The main goal is to draw attention to the torso , away from the hips and thighs and there are lots of tricks to keep proportions more equal.

The style challenges include finding clothes which fit a smaller waist but a wider hips.


Show off your collarbone – play up this attractive part of the body to draw attention to the neck and face area and away from bottom half.

Choose wider necklines like bateau, squared, scoop or cowl necks. Bust enhancing necklines like sweetheart necks draw attention to the bust, making it look fuller.

Strapless tops and dresses can also make your shoulders look wider.

Wear strong shoulder shape with clean lines especially in jackets

Patterns, bold colours or light colours  – pear shapes look great with patterned tops paired with dark denim on the bottom



Pay attention to the fit which may be difficult to evaluate. Tops are best tight around the waist. If choosing a loose top wear a longer length which skims the hips extending the torso and hiding the widest part of the hips. In general the fit should aim to be to highlight your waist and shoulders.


Layer tops because bulking up with layers adds substance which evens out the body’s proportions. Use layers of tank tops, blouses and cardigans to create visual interest. Use a thin belt to cinch back a smaller waist if necessary.



Embellished tops are a great asset for creating interest on the top half. Shirts that have adornment near the neck elongate the shoulder and neckline – beading, bows and collars can be large or small as they all accomplish the task of drawing the eye up. A scarf can also be worn to the same effect.


Wide sleeves add volume to arms giving a more balanced look so keep an eye out for bell and kimono sleeves. Rolled or tagged back sleeves also help.


Trousers and skirts which are flat fronted or softly pleated will emphasize a smaller waistline.

Avoid short, tight skirts which highlight problematic areas along hips and thighs. Skirts should hit the knee or ankle as they draw the eye to the end point rather than lingering on problem areas. Ruffles or beading along the bottom hem add to this effect without adding bulk to the hips.


Keep hems wide.

Avoid clingy fabrics like Lycra which will define any lumps and bumps.

Choose trousers in grey, black, dark green, brown or navy give a visually slimming effect as the eye tends to skim over dark colours. Easy to match up with tops as well.


Straight leg or flared mid – rise dark wash jeans work best on pear shapes as they create volume all the way down. Trousers or jeans should have equal or wider width on calf and ankle area to draw attention away from mid-section.Skinny jeans accentuate wide hips especially in light colours.


Avoid details at the hip or rear of trousers and skirts, even seams and pockets. Beading, embroidery, buttons, gemstones, sequins all draw the eye to least flattering area. For this reason also avoid glitsy belts. Also keep away from cargo pants.


The right dress can accomplish all requirements – draw the eye up the torso while creating a tight waistline and covering up midsection.

Look for dresses that are A-line or have a tulip skirt and avoid those that are tight. Banding around the waist and covered up shoulders are flattering. Wrap dresses are good for curves as they skim without adding bulk.

Marks & Spencer Per Una Plum & Navy Floral Skater Sleeveless Dress Orig Price £55.jpeg

Dresses with some kind of embellishment at the top – ruffles, pattern or luxurious texture – will add volume to the bust.

Strapless dresses are ideal or choose a halter neck which is fitted on the top to show off the waist. Dresses with spaghetti straps will give shoulders a broader appearance and help balance out the outline.


Keep hems wide.

Dark colours on the bottom are the best bet with light colours on top.


Statement necklaces which are bold and bright and hang low draw the eye to the upper half making the bust look fuller. A collar style necklace adds width to the neck and shoulder which again highlights the upper body.


Bold earrings also have the same effect of drawing the eye up the body, chandelier or dangly ones are the best.


Throw on a scarf to add volume and dimension to the upper half preventing focus on lower half. Try a variety of scarves in different ways to see what looks best – circle scarves without tails prevent the eye from travelling down.


Pointed shoes elongate the legs and make your hips look more proportional. High heels are a good choice as they sculpt the muscles of the leg. Bold and bright shoes have the same effect as a large necklace drawing attention to a smaller part of the body.



Wear the correct undergarments – the right padded or push up bra can transform the upper body and accentuate a smaller waist. Look for a natural style which can be worn under casual and dress clothes.

A lightly padded plunge or balcony bra helps enhance natural cleavage while balancing proportions.



Dark well fitted bottoms flatter a curvy bottom and boy shorts minimise large hips.

Shapewear can help with a smooth outline especially if it has side panels and extra support in the rear.


Tops are best in bold, colourful patterns with halter neck tankini tops, bottoms in matching plain dark colours.


A Word about Ex Chainstore and De-Labelled Clothing.

Ex chainstore garments are originally made for large highstreet stores such as Marks and Spencer, Debenhams,  Wallis, Topshop etc.

They are made available to independent wholesalers for a variety of reasons – late delivery, cancellations, overstock and factory overruns are the most common. It can also be issues with specifications of the original orders such as buttons used or dye colour being incorrect. Some garments can be ‘seconds’ but we check that imperfections are minimal and do not knowingly send out anything with a visible defect.

As a condition of re-sale all items must be de-labelled by the wholesaler which means that the original store names are either blacked or cut out. This protects the intellectual rights of the original high street shop and prevents unauthorised store returns for full price.Please be assured that the origin of the clothes are as described.

All garment should retain washing instructions and fabric content. So the main benefit is a substantially  lower price on clothing which will be equal quality to the original retailer.


Red Carpet Events

Links through to our Pinterest boards which showcase red carpet glamour

hhallison-williams_glamour_11jan15_getty_b_540x810              https://uk.pinterest.com/vanitycatwalk/grammy-glamour/








Necklines to Suit You

Wearing a garment with the wrong neckline for you will ruin the look of the garment completely. Decide on various factors : face shape,  body type, and bust size and then the most flattering neckline can be identified. Remember the aim is ‘balance’
Face shape  if your face is oval it is well proportioned  and you can wear most necklines.If your face is long and narrow choose necklines which are wider and more shallow to draw the eye to the horizontal so cowl and boat are best for you.
Conversely if your face is rounder you need a stronger vertical line so choose collars that are deeper than they are wide – v necks,  shirt/blouse collars.
Body type  again it is a matter of balance. Large framed women should look for necklines which give a more vertical line – v necks, scoop & sweetheart. Small framed women should look for necklines which give a horizontal line to help the narrower build appear wider.
Bust size   ladies with a small bust and narrow shoulders should go for boat shapes and round necklines whilst big busted women suit lower cut and v lines.

Study the different neckline styles below with a list of your attributes – the type of neckline which appears most on your list is the most flattering – remember the aim is ‘balance



Round & close fitting necks

These accentuate the bust and make the torso appear longer, they also make the face look longer and the neck wider. So they are best for women with narrow faces, long necks and short torsos. Women with large busts and round faces should avoid this necklineMarks & Spencer Autograph Short Sleeved Flower Print Top with Round Neck








Turtle necks

Turtle necks have an extension to the round neckline – it should be no higher than-2 inches below the chin.

They are especially good for women with narrow shoulder,           Marks & Spencer navy short sleeved fit & flare dress with turtle neck

long necks & long face.

Women with wide faces especially should avoid this.




V neckline


Dorothy Perkins multi coloured striped stretchy fitted dress with inset V




Universally flattering as it emphasizes  the oval shape of the face and lengthens the neck, accentuating collarbones. A wide V makes the shoulders look broader, and narrow V makes them look narrower.
Use to counterbalance a large bust, provided the neckline is not overly revealing. Make sure the fit is correct for best look.




Scoop neckline

Bon Marche Jade Green Short Sleeved Stretchy Top With Embellished Scoop Neckline


A rounded neckline which dips to show part of upper chest & has a similar effect to V-neck:  flattering as it  lengthens neck & accentuates collarbone. Suits all body types, but a wide scoop neck will make broad shoulders look broader. It is a good choice for heavier builds & wide faces because it keeps the upper torso proportioned.
Women with long necks & narrow faces should avoid scoop necklines making them look stick like and gangly.


Cowl neckline

Matalan Soon grey cowl neck short sleeved top with blue & green floral printing




A rounded neckline that hangs in draped folds, it has a similar effect to the scoop neck. It  highlights  the collarbone and lengthens the neck. Universally flattering, but women with big busts and broad shoulders should opt for a deeper cowl to avoid adding bulk. The small- build or petite woman should not choose a cowl neckline as the width will make her appear stumpy.



Square Neckline

The square-shaped neckline adds breadth to the torso and shows off collarbones and throat. Higher cut square necklines adds solidity to appearance of fine boned women and lower cut is good for average to larger built ladies because it offers balance and makes the neck look longer?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????





Boat neckline




It runs from one shoulder to the other with only a slight dip so accentuates the bust & makes shoulders look broader, showing off collarbones. It makes a wearer’s face appear rounder, elongates the  torso, and the neck look shorter.
Best for women with small busts, long necks, oval faces, and short torsos.. Also excellent for pear shaped figures as it balances the body. With a shawl like feature it is a very flattering, feminine and classic look.
A good choice for well proportioned ladies who want a more conservative look as it offers a flattering view of the chest without being revealing.

High Street Fashion from the Vanity House Outlet

A lovely blog post from the winter of our Winter 2014 giveaway. Thank you!

minibreak mummy

Teal M&S dress


I am so excited to have won two beautiful new dresses from the Vanity House Outlet, just in time for the festive season. The dress shown in the top photo is a teal viscose empire-line day dress and the bottom photo shows a plum velvet fit & flare party dress. Both of these dresses were originally made for Marks and Spencer and they are really good quality, but are for sale through the Vanity House Outlet online shop for just £24.99 each.

Vanity House Outlet sells ex high street clothing, shoes and accessories at a discount. They can do this due to cancelled orders, over-production or delayed deliveries. Labels are removed to prevent returns to the high street stores they were originally intended for, but apart from that these dresses are absolutely perfect (although my photographs don’t do them justice!).

As well as Marks and Spencer, there are fashion items available from other famous British high street stores include…

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12 Fashion Tips: Dressing For Promotion

Are you projecting the right image to get ahead at work?

The choice of your work wear wardrobe is paramount if you want to climb the promotion ladder. Is it time for a closet revamp? Try our Top 12 Tips to Dressing For Promotion and you don’t have to break the bank to jazz up your workwear essentials.

Classic smart black shift dress by Debenhams

A classic black shift dress never fails.


Bang on trend monochrome graphic print dress by Marks & Spencers – £25.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk

Your clothing reflects your attitude and signals to clients that they can trust you – first impressions are vital – styles, colours, lengths and fit will speak volumes about your ability to do your job. Office dressing has relaxed but there are still certain rules to which you should adhere unless your office is very casual.

TIP 1: If you are unsure of how causal/smart you should go, check out what higher level females are wearing and take a cue from them.



Make a statement with this gorgeous Dorothy Perkins shift dress – £19.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk

TIP 2: The more distracting , the less fit for the office – be remembered for a great piece of work not that great pair of shoes which were more suited to a cocktail bar.

Lynchpin pure linen pink long sleeve shirt with double cuff

Smart and feminine pastel pink linen shirt – £16.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk

TIP 3: Secure colours are greys, blacks and browns softened with pastel colours – the current monochrome trend is up to date and can be simple to mix and match.

TIP 4: If you are in an arty atmosphere bold colours and vibrant prints can add the necessary pop to darker staple pieces. However, avoid fluorescent colours. Invest in a few expensive classics and combine with cheaper, seasonal fashions.

Debenhams Collection smart black pencil skirt with narrow belt

Pencil skirts are flattering for any shape.

TIP 5: Keep pants and skirts a conservative shape and length, a fitted silhouette is fine but should not be tight  – they should also be loose enough to be Debenhams smart burgundy & black dress with slimming panels & cap sleevescomfortable when sitting and travelling.  And remember to check  VPL line and no visible thongs !


TIP 6: Try a new look with a more masculine trouser suit, soften it by wearing your hair long rather than scrapped back in a tight bun.


TIP 7: Jackets in striking colours can add a pop!  It is also handy to have a lightweight one in warmer weather to slip on for meetings. They should be buttoned and not gape when fastened.

Lynchpin good quality hand stitched navy linen & silk jacket

Classic shaped, navy blazer, is a work wardrobe staple.

Marks & Spencer ivory lace top with cap sleeves & scoop neckline

Lined lace adds interest – £14.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk

TIP 8: Save statement sheer tops, low-cut numbers or those with spaghetti straps for your leisure time. Also avoid the cardinal sin of showing off your bra!

TIP 9: Try to avoid wrinkled clothing, too many layers and baggy garments as it looks sloppy and conveys the wrong impression.

TIP 10: Heavy jewelry, dangling earrings and jangly bracelets should be avoided as they can be uncomfortable and worst of all, irritate close by colleagues when that fashion statement chunky bracelet clunks on the desk every time you type!


Natural fibres are more comfortable – £16.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk



Add interest with a different texture like this gorgeous navy A line skirt – £15.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk

TIP 11: Slouchy handbags and strappy high sandals look unprofessional  although sling backs are fine in warmer weather. Very high heels convey the wrong impression and think about your poor feet at the end of the day. Try adding a statement color with a cute belt.

TIP 12: It is important to keep up constant maintenance of manicures, hair, shoes and make sure your stockings are run free so you look polished and professional.


All that being said, don’t leave your personal style behind and find a look with which you are happy so you are confident in  your appearance and do not feel uncomfortable.

Keep it grown up, confident and sleek without being girly and you will achieve that all important positive first impression with your clients, colleagues and, of course, your boss.


Classic shift dress in monochrome diamond print by Marks & Spencer – £27.99 http://www.vhoutlet.co.uk


Kimono Krazy

Are you ready to go Krazy for Kimonos?

Kimonos have been the fashion hit of the summer and this Eastern trend shows no signs of slowing down.

From sleek summery silks and flowy chiffons or warm fabrics and cosy long sleeves, there is kimono to suit every weather.


Marks & Spencer kimono


Kimonos are loose fitting jackets based on the traditional Japanese garment and have proved popular at music festivals for a few years but have now impacted the high street.




Kimonos are very versatile working as a lightweight cover up or longer versions can be belted as a dress -it can replace a staple cardigan and look fresher and modern as well as being comfortable to wear.

Any body shape or size can wear the look and it is an easy and stylish way to update an outfit – to wear it right team with slimmer wardrobe items so as not to look too boxy.

They are easily mixed and matched with many items from jeans & tee shirts to the little black dress but stick to a slim silhouette underneath – skinny jeans, shift dress or pencil skirt.






To obtain most impact from your kimono keep to a solid colour column which also slenderises  or co-ordinate with top and wear over jeans. For warmers days go for a boho look with shorts and statement jewelry.

If you prefer plain colours, you can still address the kimono trend by looking for the clean shape and silhouette in a jacket which can be worn in the office or evening.

Whether your look is girly, edgy or anything inbetween you will find a jacket to suit.