Start breaking the rules our experts separate the fact from fiction
w&h’s team of experts bust some myths and separate fact from fiction – with fascinating and useful results…
MYTH: ANKLE-STRAP SHOES SHORTEN LEGS
WE SAY yes, they can shorten the leg but they can also lengthen it. Choose a strap that’s slim and in a colour close to your skin tone. but if the strap is thicker in a contrasting colour, like black, then this has the opposite effect. If you want to wear thicker straps in a bold colour, keep your hemline below your knees – no one will know where your knees start.
MYTH: BLACK MAKES YOU LOOK SLIMMER
WE SAY stop the press! It can actually bulk you up. Dark colours are often referred to as heavy – so a loose black dress can make you look bigger and heavier. It’s because black recedes into the background, so it’s hard to define where your body width stops and the background begins. If you love black, flash some flesh to counteract the heaviness – think a V-neck top, threequarter sleeves or cropped trousers.
MYTH: BLUE AND GREEN SHOULD NEVER BE SEEN
WE SAY this sartorial old wives’ tale has been well and truly backed into a corner. there’s never been so much available on our high street. Make colours such as midnight blue and forest green your entry point into this trend for the chicest colour combination.
MYTH: ACCESSORIES ARE SIZE-LESS
WE SAY Who cares what size you are when you have the hot new Chloé bag, right? Wrong. It’s a case of proportion. a micro bag may be on trend but if you’re tall or have strong curves, it will just look wrong. the same goes for heels – a point-toe shoe with a spindly heel will emphasise bigger calves, while a block or stack-heeled shoe can make slim legs look like sticks. so buy accessories in proportion to your height and size.
MYTH: HORIZONTAL STRIPES MAKE YOU APPEAR WIDER
WE SAY If this were the case, breton tops would not be in your arsenal of wardrobe classics. Here, it’s down to the thickness of stripe and the style – yes, a thick-striped jersey body-con dress will make you look bigger, but a sleek striped breton top won’t.
MYTH: AN INVESTMENT COAT LASTS A LIFETIME
WE SAY Don’t be fooled into this sales pitch. Just think about how much your coat has to go through – extremes of temperatures, rain, wind and snow… this is the workhorse of your wardrobe. that doesn’t mean you should scrimp, though – spend as much as you can afford and it will last longer. Just don’t expect it to become an heirloom.