Finding your dream wedding dress can be quite the mission, but if you’re on the hunt for the perfect bridal gown while pregnant, chances are you’re having a somewhat trickier time of it. While going down the bespoke route is of course one option—see our expert guide to commissioning a wedding dress—it may not suit all budgets. You could also check out some of the floatier options in core wedding dress collections (look for A-line shapes, empire waists and light fabrics like tulle or chiffon) which may skim nicely over your bump. But if you’ve already scoped out bridal boutiques with disappointing results, fear not—the search doesn’t end there. To help you find just what you’re looking for, we’ve used our sartorial sleuthing skills to discover the best places to shop for your dream maternity wedding dress—whatever your style, theme or trimester.
Based here in the UK, Tiffany Rose is an expert in special occasion maternity dressing and counts A-listers as well as royals among its clientele. Despite the star-studded fan club, however, its wedding dress collection is super affordable. Our favourites include the romantic Verona Gown, £199.
Etsy is a goldmine if you’re looking for something that’s a little more unique, especially if you’re leaning towards boho bridal styles. Sellers often offer customisations and tailoring for your specific measurements too, while you’ll find that prices are fairly kind to the wallet. Right now we’re obsessed with with this Bliss Maternity Gown from Design By C Boutique, currently £78. As sellers may be based internationally, check you have plenty of time before the wedding for shipping.
Bridal designer Tina Mak specialises in maternity wedding dresses, and though the collection may be small, it’s the place to head for fashion-forward touches like the (optional) black accent on this strapless silk chiffon Jean gown, £980. Based in the US, Tina Mak ships internationally.
If you’re looking for a colourful wedding dress, try the Maya Maternity occasion collection. Pastels are the key feature, while you’ll find floaty styles, sequinned sleeves and tulle skirts galore. Conveniently, ASOS carries a great selection, like this Sequin Cape Tulle Skirt Maxi, £120.
If you’re looking for something fairly traditional, try Spanish maternity label Paramamá. They ship internationally and offer an impressive collection of middle-priced wedding dresses, from strapless gowns to short lace frocks. We’re big fans of this pretty cap-sleeve dress, £352.
The Envie de Fraise bridal collection may be modest, but it’s perfect for the less formal bride-to-be, with plenty of shorter-length options. The sweet Cassandre Tank Dress, £79, gets our vote for informal summer weddings. Not to mention the sub-£100 price tag.
If a white gown was never for you anyway, try the bridesmaid or special-occasion dresses in the ASOS maternity section. From dusky pinks to plenty of embellishment, you’ll be spoilt for choice if “glam party dress” is more your style. We’re currently loving this Sequin Maxi Dress, £90.
Don’t be put off; Two Birds Bridesmaid may specialise in bridesmaid dresses, but the brand’s signature styles can be wrapped in endless ways to accommodate a growing bump and also come in cream or white. We’re fans of the Lace Ball Gown, £350.
Perhaps not the first place you’d think of when wedding dress shopping, fashion label Little Mistress does a super affordable, trend-led maternity collection with several bridalesque styles each season. The sequin bodice on this £65 high-neck maxi has caught our eye, and to make things even easier you can shop via ASOS.
Another bridesmaid focused label, US-based Dessy (you’ll find several UK stockists on their website) still has great options for brides who aren’t looking for traditional gowns. This strapless metallic gown is a perfect example, though it’s a tough choice between the silver and rose gold versions.
See a style that catches your eye? Now’s the time to grab it.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.
To me, this top feels very 2018 in the best possible way. If you told me it was Brock Collection, I would believe you.
Recently I was skimming through some episodes of Sex and the City and I realised just how good all the fashion was. This is a well-documented point, sure, and there is plenty of literature to back up the importance of Carrie’s wardrobe, but this is where I divert. When watching some of those classic episodes set in the early 2000s, it wasn’t Carrie who stood out to me but Charlotte—and it occurred to me just how underrated Charlotte’s style is.
She’s largely known as being old-fashioned and the conventionalist, which there is an argument for, but what struck me is how great some of her outfits are. In particular, she has a thing for classic styles like bustier tops inspired by corsets that fit with her proclivity for romance. And the decades-old pieces remind me a lot of pieces designers like Brock and Markarian are bringing to market today.
I’m personally a fan of bustiers—and even wrote a story about the “nouveau milkmaid tops” that are taking over 2018. Charlotte’s versions were just a precursor, but they are now ones I’m looking to as inspiration for what I’m wearing currently. Ahead I’m trying out the trend for myself and breaking down the tops I imagine Charlotte wearing in 2018, whether designed with a flouncy peplum hem, a sweetheart neckline, or covered in a delicate floral print.
Charlotte’s top here is embellished with lace. I want another version of this one to emerge now.
I decided to try out Charlotte’s look after watching some old SATC episodes. This top doesn’t have boning or any major structural elements, but it mimics the look of a bustier.
For round two, I went for the real thing. I wore a top that was structured with serious boning—and I felt like I tapped into a bit of what Charlotte was all about. This particular style is now sold out but there’s a similar piece you can pre-order below.
Kim Kardashian West’s style has evolved over the years—we know that. But the beauty of her wardrobe is that she often finds outfit formulas she loves and sticks to. This means that (in theory, anyway) they’re easy to re-create, although they’re often much more daring than we would usually go for ourselves. You have to admire KKW for being adventurous when it comes to her fashion choices, and while we might not be ready to wear her looks yet, we’re bookmarking them for later. Keep scrolling to see the Kim Kardashian West outfit formulas the style setter can’t get enough of.
1. Shorts and Over-The-Knee Boots
Style Notes: No stranger to an over-the-knee boot, Kim has lately taken to teaming hers with city shorts or lycra body suits that end mid-thigh. It’s characteristically bold, but a worthy alternative to boots and mini skirts or dresses.
2. Oversized Jackets and Dresses
Style Notes: Not since J.Lo circa the early ’00s have we seen someone being able to pull off this look. The trick to being polished while wearing a tracksuit is making sure it’s the same colour and is tucked into pointed boots.
5. The New Take on Power Dressing
Style Notes: Here’s where Kim K really shines—when wearing the most revealing but still trend-setting outfits. And how better to showcase this skill than via her love of leggings? From the sheer, knickers-baring pair to a blue glittery iteration, these a world away from the leggings we wear to the gym.
7. Bum Bags With Everything
Style Notes: Ah, the bodysuit. True, it was huge in the ’90s, but no one wears one better than Kim does. She always goes for super-simple versions, but there’s always a little sass in them. And she’ll often wear them with cutoffs.
What is it about easy outfit ideas that are just so hard to come by? Perhaps it's when we get swayed by trends or simply have too many options in a bursting wardrobe to think clearly (see our ways to clear out a wardrobe if you're really struggling on this point). Either way, we all have those days where nothing appears to work. So rather than get in a tizzy and find ourselves 45 minutes late for work (and still hating what we've chosen), our team has decided to compile a list of easy outfit ideas for us to all reference in the future—and we'd very much like to share them with you. They are the foolproof looks that work all spring and summer long, without being too much of a challenge or causing morning hysteria.
So the next time you're entirely bored of your closet, just revisit the looks below and see what you've got to play with. Should you closet be lacking in a particular area and you'd like to remedy it, we've also found the perfect shopping options to re-create these influencer-approved outfits.
Style Notes: You know the kind of dresses you tend to only wear on holiday? Well, I'd suggest you follow Bettina's lead and wear one in the city with strappy heels and a bold pair of earrings.
Style Notes: Dungarees are probably tucked away in the back of your wardrobe, right? Try digging them out sometime and smartening them up like Tamu.
Style Notes: Celeste got the co-ord memo—these really are the easiest 30-second outfits to pull together, especially in a nice fabric like satin.
Style Notes: You can re-wear a slip dress a thousand ways, but our favourite trick is to layer a white tee underneath, just like Charlotte did here.
Style Notes: The Breton-and-jeans combination never dies; it just changes a little now and then. Irina's updated combination with kitten-heel mules and a basket bag make for a very 2018 option.
Style Notes: The fastest way to dress down a minidress? Just add sneakers. See Erika Boldrin for a perfect example.
Style Notes: If sweet dresses and baring skin are not your vibe, then look to Jeanette's loose-fitting luxe separates for inspo. The evening-y shoes make all the difference here.
Style Notes: Lucy, Lucy, Lucy… Do you ever create an outfit we don't adore? This elegant blouse, jeans and tan accessorising is just perfection.
Style Notes: Just like the co-ords on Celeste above, there is something super easy about actually throwing on a summer suit like Maria here. Add simple shoes and a tee, and you'll be set.
Style Notes: Get some extra wear out of your white jeans all season long by relying on the shirt-and-strappy-sandals formula like Marissa here.
Style Notes: If you're looking for a laid-back outfit idea that still feels unique and quirky, try this white shirt and silky skirt out for size—you can thank Marta later.
Now that you know some easy outfit formulas, you'll never be stuck again!
The stars came out for the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards.Some shined brightly, while others may be wishing right about now that a dark shadow had been cast over their regretful outfit choice.Indeed, this yearly ceremony is set to air on Monday night, June 18… but it was filmed two days before that.
Hence the opportunity right here and now to analyze all that ever really matters at an awards ceremony: What the celebrities wore on the red carpet!
Scroll down and click all around to see the best looks, the boldest looks, and, let’s be frank, the most hideous looks…
1. Tiffany Haddish Arrives!
It’s the host with the most… jokes! Say hi to Tiffany Haddish at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards.
2. Zendaya Goes Brown
Welp. This is different. What do you think of Zenday’s fashion choice at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards?
3. The Black Panther
Wakanda Forever? More like Chadwick Boseman forever if he’s gonna keep looking this suave, right?
4. Kim on the Scene
Of course Kim Kardashian was invited to the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards. Did you think she would not be?
5. Kris in Black/White
Kris Jenner just wants racial harmony, hence her outfit at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards. What do you think?
6. Mandy Goes Sleek
This is her, folks. This is Mandy Moore on the red carpet of the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards.
Trends come and go, but when it comes to creating a timeless look that never loses its appeal, some brands nail it on the head. We’re talking, of course, about Chanel’s famous interlocking Cs. We’ve all lusted over Chanel logo earrings or the fashion house’s quilted leather bags with the interlocking C logo placed on the front. But while the branding has become almost as iconic as Coco Chanel herself, do you know what the logo really means?
While a common assumption is that it's Coco Chanel’s initials simply reversed and intertwined (though the designer’s real name was Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel), there’s actually a bit more to it than that.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
The prevailing theory is that the logo, arguably now one of the most recognised symbols in the world, was first conceived by the designer in 1925, some 15 years after first setting up her business. It’s said that Chanel came up with the logo following a visit to the Château de Crémat—a castle in Nice, France—where she often attended parties hosted by friend and socialite Irene Bretz.
The Château de Crémat, which you can still visit today if you’re keen for a little fashion history up close, has a set of vaulted arches decorated with beautiful stained glass windows. It’s the intricate artwork of these very windows that are said to have inspired the famous logo.
Featuring a series of geometric patterns and intertwined circles, the window has even been cited by the fashion house itself as the most likely source of inspiration for its now iconic interlocking C logo. How’s that for architecture inspiring fashion?
Keep scrolling to take a closer look at the famous Chanel logo, then shop our picks of the best Chanel pieces bearing the designer’s symbol.
You’ve booked your flights, compared reviews of your hotel and got your stocks of sunscreen ready to go, but what are you actually going to wear on holiday? We’ve all been there; the night before you’re set to jet off panicking next to your suitcase because nothing really goes together quite as well as you’d imagined, and last year’s vacay pieces have lost a little of their lustre. If that sounds like a scenario you’d really rather avoid, fear not—we’re here to help.
Keep scrolling to see what Instagram’s top influencers are wearing on holiday this summer, then simply click the links to bag the outfit for yourself. Wherever you're heading, we've got a dreamy vacay outfit for you.
Yet another new way to wear a kimono—as a glam beach cover-up, á la Karoline Dall. Leave it draped while you're strolling along the sand, then simply wrap it when you're heading for ocean-view cocktails.
Make like Lucy Williams and team chic linen trousers with a bikini on the beach, then swap in a camisole or silk shirt come evening.
If your plans involved a day full of sightseeing followed by a spot of dinner, take a tip from @ASOS_Lesley and opt for a sleek jumpsuit teamed with bright red slides. Glam yet comfy.
Poolside separates just got a co-ordinated make-over, courtesy of Lisa Aitken. Keeping the same colour palette running through the whole look lends an effortless sophistication to holiday loungewear.
Whether you're in Greece or Ghana, a satin slip dress is a must-have for drinks at sunset. If you're not into bold earrings, you can always keep your accessories simple—the plush finish of the dress will elevate the look all on its own.
Touring the island? Jumping aboard a yacht? A statement swimsuit paired with denim shorts makes for the perfect day-trip combo. Just add cool sunnies.
Freddie Harrel knows that a statement maxi can take you anywhere. Dress yours up with luxe accessories if you're heading out for a night on the town.
Learning how to dress if you’re short is a life skill that takes a while to master. As someone who’s under 5’3″, I’ve regularly found myself in fitting rooms trying on laughably long jeans or jackets that make me look like I’ve come straight from the ’80s (such is the unintentional oversized shoulder). If you’re nodding along in empathy, then rest assured that I feel your pain. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and it doesn’t mean you have to forgo all the latest trends.
While I think we should all embrace whatever size, shape or height we are, sometimes appearing and feeling a little taller helps with being more confident. I’ve looked to three petite street style stars (Courtney Trop, Lucy Williams and Aimee Song) to gather some tips on how to dress a smaller frame. Although all three have their own unique take on fashion, there’s one outfit they tend to avoid: anything overly layered. So, what are the guidelines? I’ve given a quick rundown of the key rules I always follow:
If you want to see these rules in action, keep scrolling for nine outfit ideas that are ready to steal. Plus, shop key petite pieces.
By not doing this, they don’t look swamped (which is a problem many of us vertically challenged ladies suffer from), and they often look much taller than they are in real life. Ready to see what we mean? Keep scrolling for nine incredible tips on how to dress when you’re short, and shop some key pieces.
When it comes to '80s fashion, we have a (surprising) amount to be thankful for. While the decade hasn't influenced our wardrobes for a long time, in recent months, we've come to the realisation that all the most current trends today are courtesy of the '80s. And if you're sitting there with a raised eyebrow, it's worth noting that at the end of last year, the trend had seen an 87% increase on Pinterest.
Now, if you're not too familiar with the nuances of this era, there are a few standout looks we're sure you'll recognise: big shoulders, white jeans, underwear as outerwear and oversized jewellery. It was the decade of the power dresser but also of punks. It gave us Madonna, Tina Turner and Cher, plus numerous other superstars whose sense of style influences many in 2017. Especially when the decade is being referenced left, right and centre for spring/summer 2018.
Don't believe us? From the fact that Princess Diana's archive is inspiring some of the world's most influential designers to the more basic resurgence in women wearing blazers with jeans again, we've found 25 A-list images that prove these '80s fashion looks are as current now as they were then. Keep scrolling to click through our gallery of iconic '80s outfits.
High-street wedding dresses have become something of a full-time obsession here in the Who What Wear office. We've sifted through A LOT—and continue to do so on a regular basis—in order to bring you a definitive guide at all times. But each season, it gets that littler bit easier because, each season, another trusted retailer or two actually steps up to the matrimonial bar and gets aboard the (lace) train. Once upon a time, there was no such thing as high-street off-the-rack wedding gowns. If you were looking to be savvy, you'd make your own, use a hand-me-down or purchase an in-store piece that kind of, maybe, perhaps could pass as bridal. Not anymore.
When Whistles announced the launch of its wedding dress collection last year, I felt miffed that I'd already bought my bridal dream ticket a year ago… and that my ceremony is still not until June. Knowing that I'm a super-fan of Whistles' regular frocks (it has so many best sellers it's hard to keep up) and that I'm a low-key bride who'd love nothing more than to spend the budget on something other than one really expensive dress… well, the offering seemed too good to be true. And perhaps a little late for me. But not too late for you.
They seemed so good, in fact, that I thought it only sensible to try them on for size. Considering that the team told me the sign up to the private fittings at the St Christopher's Place store that notched up 50 appointments on launch day alone and that 70% of women who have visited since have left with a Whistles dress in hand, all signs point towards a big, fat "I do."
Keep reading to see what I thought of each of Whistles's wedding dresses (and one jumpsuit)…
So you’ve booked the holiday, scoured the internet for restaurant recommendations and now it’s time to curate your all-important vacation wardrobe—beginning with what’s needed for the beach. If there’s one perennial holiday purchase we can’t resist splurging on, it’s a special bikini. Small but mighty in their effect on your holiday packing, it is important to feel fantastic in whatever your choice may be. Whether that’s a colour or print that lifts your spirits or a detail that highlights the favourite parts of your body, there are better options than ever out there for two pieces.
British-based brand Hunza G has already been nominated as the swimwear label of the season (by us, of course), and there are some key developments from long-time beloved beachwear brands Mara Hoffman and Lisa Marie Fernandez. The high street also has an array of trend-ticking iterations from polka-dot to posey prints in every cut from high-waisted to itsy-bitsy string styles—we’ve rounded up the best bikinis available to shop right now. Sorry in advance if you end up wanting all 14…
Not so long ago, the fashion world was buzzing about the concept of a capsule wardrobe—the kind of compact closet that only held a bare minimum of pieces that all perfectly matched each other with great ease and much time saved in the morning. Perhaps because the economic downturn was ramping up at the same time that a furious decade of fast-fashion shopping was taking its toll on the capacity of our closets, the capsule wardrobe appeared to be the solution to everyone's fashion woes. Around that time in 2014, Caroline Rector, a Texan fashion lover who'd had enough of the chaos, began to whittle down her closet to a mere 37 pieces, documenting the process on her brilliant website called Unfancy. Everyone paid attention to her method.
You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but North West is—no matter how much you might want to deny it—already a certified fashion icon. She’s the eldest of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s three children, and at just four years old, has already sat front row at New York Fashion Week with Anna Wintour, Beyoncé and more. North also has Riccardo Tisci and Olivier Rousteing as close family friends, and judging by the impressive threads we’ve seen so far, likely considers custom-made Alexander Wang an everyday wardrobe basic.
After all, she was wearing customized Wang—head to toe—before she’d even celebrated her second birthday.
But while Kim has revealed that North will occasionally reach for the princess dresses and mermaid costumes, you’re much more likely to find the sassy tot (who turns five this month) paying homage to '90s grunge or decked in minimalistic tailoring.
From slip dresses and chokers paired with chunky biker boots or Converse to military-inspired Balmain jackets worn over her ballet tutus, North West’s wardrobe is enough to inspire even the most seasoned of fashion lovers. And we haven’t even touched on her mini handbag and sunglasses collection yet.
Fact: Wardrobe staples never change. I mean, the clue is in the name, but the basic items that everyone looks good in stay consistent year after year. While I always love to buy a couple of trend-led pieces every season (statement sleeves and mules right now, if you’re asking), it’s the classic pieces I’ll never tire of.
Not only do these items work well with any new bits I’ve bought, but they also mean I never worry about what to wear in the morning. Simply put, they’re the building blocks of a perfect wardrobe. You know the ones: the jeans you wear on repeat, the leather jacket you layer over every wedding-guest dress and the black heels you wear to every meeting (to name a few). So whether you’re looking to start over or simply wish to update an old favourite, shop our picks now. Keep scrolling to see 15 of the chicest wardrobe staples.
If you own all of these items, then congratulations—you likely always look put-together.
We’ll admit it—we have a thing for French style. This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, as we’ve investigated everything from the swimsuit styles French girls avoid to the surprising outfit in their closets to the affordable denim they love. In other words, we’ve done our research narrowing in on how they achieve that je ne sais quoi, and now we’re diving into their summer wardrobes.
French It girls like Jeanne Damas, Sabina Socol, and Anne-Laure Mais seem to line their closets (and suitcases) with many of the same items and follow a few of the same rules. The guidelines are pretty straightforward. First, keep your palette neutral. Stick to classic shades like navy, white, and red, as well as earthy tones like tan and rust. You’ll have a hard time finding French girls wearing anything too jarring like neon. Next, when wearing prints, go for seasonless patterns. Much like an It bag that’s often associated with the time it debuted, prints can look tired after a few months. You can avoid making your outfit look like it’s dated by wearing prints like polka dots, gingham, and simple florals, which will always be in style. Last, you can never go wrong by following the lead of Jane Birkin. Whether it’s emulating her basket bag, cropped hemlines, or layered necklaces, she’s a constant source of inspiration for French girls.
Keep reading to see the eight pieces that define French summer style, then shop our favourite styles from Rouje, Réalisation Par, Reformation, and more.
These make any outfit pop.
2. Long Dress w/ a Bold Pattern
Throw on a worn-in leather or denim jacket, depending on the season. Available in sizes XXS to XL
3. Wiker Picnic Basket/Purse
Mix and match these bottoms with different colored bikini tops. Available in sizes XS to XL.
6. High-waisted Skirts
Wear a pair of mules with a classic denim skirt this summer. Available in sizes 24 to 32.
7. Gold-pendant Necklace
A gold necklace can easily be worn with all styles of jewelry. Mix and match with statement earrings or layer with other gold chains.
Some people can sum up their style in three simple words. “Athleisure for life,” “1970s silhouettes only” or “Scandinavian-inspired minimalism,” for example. But it’s not so easy when it comes to Margot Robbie. Trust us—we’ve been paying attention. One day the Aussie is embracing bohemian vibes, the next a mix of edgy separates. However, across the board, the results are feminine, simply assembled (no silly styling moves or excess jewellery, for example) and in a fairly neutral colour scheme—entirely approachable and easy enough for us to copy, and yet still with oodles of Hollywood glamour thrown into the mix. Her ability to keep us on our toes is always quite impressive, but there’s something so down-to-earth about the actress and producer that we know we could grab her for a pint in the local pub and she’d probably (hopefully) share one of her favourite summer dresses with us.
Ahead we rounded up our favourite ensembles and the style tips that Robbie relies on for piecing together her enviable wardrobe.
Once upon a time, the Spice Girls were my everything: I was a member of Spice Girls official fan club and bought countless Spice Girls–related merchandise (the Impulse can was a particular high point). I collated folders and folders of Spice Girls coverage for goodness knows what reason (early journalistic skills, perhaps?), and posters of the famous five plastered my walls. Their music made up the sounds of my childhood to the point where I even recorded a video homage of “Wannabe” with my friends as we walked backwards through her house in bubble platforms and lycra flares. Mel B was my icon, and I still love leopard print as strongly now as I did then. Obviously, the Girl Power mantra was key, but their fashion choices at the time always had me hooked.
With different options coming from Posh, Ginger, Baby, Scary and Sporty, a young girl could switch up her look in the flick of a ponytail—one day you could be wild and loud like Geri, and on another, you could be sleek like Victoria. These days, a treasure trove of their most outstanding outfits have been forgotten, with many of us only recalling the most obvious moments like VB’s little black dress collection or Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack mini. So much more exists in the archives, friends, so I encourage you to take a break and scroll through the gallery below to discover the best Spice Girls style moments of all time.
Last summer, unfiltered pictures of women of all ages and sizes wearing swimwear went viral. Judging by the sheer volume of shares and comments, these images struck a chord because they helped many feel more confident about wearing a bikini or swimsuit (which can be daunting).
We spoke to inspiring women to find out how they learnt to feel comfortable wearing a bikini—whether at the beach or in front of 3.3 million people on Instagram (as it is in the case of model and social media star Iskra Lawrence). Each of these inspiring women also revealed the swimwear pieces they always lean on and make them feel their best. Keep scrolling to see how Charli Howard, Iskra Lawrence and others feel confident in swimwear.
Iskra Lawrence is one of the models leading the body-positive movement, as she constantly reminds her 3.3 million followers on Instagram of the trickery that goes into those perfect bikini models shots you typically see. “I’ve always loved wearing swimwear,” she tells us. “I was actually a national swimmer in my teens, so I got comfortable quickly. I’m a huge fan of swimwear that makes me feel comfortable and supported, so that started off with my one-piece Speedos, and now I enjoy wearing bright colours, bold prints and have even been experimenting with ruffles. I also love a high-leg and high-waisted style for the bottoms. As for labels, nearly all of my swimwear is Aerie,” says Lawrence.
As for what makes her feel more confident on the beach, Iskra adds, “Knowing that everyone else is feeling the same way and not letting my body hold me back from enjoying myself and living life to its fullest—especially at the beach—which is one of my favourite places to have fun and relax.”
Two summers ago, an image of 60-year-old Gillean McLeod modelling a black swimsuit for H&M went viral. “People loved the fact that I—or anyone at the age of 60—would feel fine in front of a camera,” says McLeod. According to her, the photo was proof that “anyone can be in a swimsuit and enjoy themselves at the pool or beach. What if you woke up one day and felt terrible that you didn’t swim on your holiday because you thought your thighs or hips were big? It’s ridiculous, and no one cares. I received messages from women all over the world about that one image, all saying how it inspired them and that they were going to go to the pool.”
“I have always loved swimwear, both performance swimwear and fashion bathing suits. My school holidays as a child in Malaysia saw me either at the beach or at someone’s pool, and so it was what I wore every day,” says McLeod. “At 50, I joined a masters swim team at my local pool. Our workouts were gruelling, and because the focus was on the swimming and not body image, all insecurities were washed away. The plus side of swimming hard was a much more toned body. However, having been a swimmer my whole life, wearing a suit in public is totally normal to me.”
As for her favourite swimwear brands, Gillean tells us, “There’s a swimsuit line in L.A. called Robin Piccone that I love, Norma Kamali two-piece suits fit well, and a few months ago I bought one from Trina Turk. For practice swimwear, I buy Tyr, as that brand fits me so well and has a great selection of styles and sizes.”
In 2015, model Charli Howard wrote a powerful open letter on Facebook about being dropped from her agency when she was a size six. Since then, Howard has been fighting for wider representation in the industry. Last year, the model, who is now represented by Muse Models NYC, launched the All Woman Project, which created a campaign starring 10 diverse models wearing swimwear.
“Throughout my teens, I never wore a bikini. Not once,” Howard tells us. “If I went to the beach, I’d wear a costume with a T-shirt on top. It didn’t help that I’d constantly see perfect bodies in magazines or online, and if a celebrity had cellulite or wasn’t 100% in shape, gossip magazines would point those flaws out and make fun of them. These pictures didn’t encourage me to go out and do the same—if anything, it made me more self-conscious,” she says.
Howard says that her journey to confidence in a bikini wasn’t quick. She says, “I only began feeling comfortable wearing swimwear last year when I started the All Woman Project and had to wear a bikini in the photos. I realised my body wasn’t all that bad in a bikini and that life’s too short to worry about what other people think.”
Howard posts lots of unfiltered images on Instagram of her wearing swimwear. “I think that it’s very common to see beach perfect bodies on Instagram, and whilst these women are quite clearly beautiful, they don’t represent other women out there,” Charli tells us.
“I’ve been told that my bikini pictures are refreshing for a lot of women to see. It makes them feel ‘normal.’ None of us is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock your body in a bikini! Don’t get me wrong—sometimes you get a mean comment and it can totally ruin your day. I’m only human, and it’s human nature to want to be liked. But then I remember that my worth isn’t based on what others make of me. If I like how my body looks, then that’s all that matters,” says Howard.
As for the swimwear that always makes her feel confident, she says, “I love a new swimwear brand called Phylyda, which is where you can mix and match different styles to flatter your unique body shape. This is great, as a lot of low-cut bikini styles just don’t suit me and give me a muffin top or make me look bigger than I am. I’ve started wearing a lot more high-waisted styles, which give me curves in the right places and—most importantly—more confidence.”
French model and blogger Clémentine Desseaux, who launched the All Woman Project with Charli Howard, tells us of her relationship with swimwear: “It used to be a very traumatising experience like it is for most women. I felt like I always needed to hide my body that society didn’t qualify as a ‘beach body.’ I felt ashamed.”
“Now I love my body in any swimwear and am able to walk around proudly in it wherever I am. It all comes with time but also practice. You have to decide that you’ll wear whatever you love regardless of other people’s opinions or sometimes even your own judgments. I learned to take myself by the hand and say, ‘Yes, you are worthy and sexy, and you can wear that,'” says Desseaux.
“Modelling really helped my confidence and moving to Miami was the best thing for me,” she adds. “I saw women of all shapes wearing tiny bikinis, which was mind-blowing for me, coming from France where we’re so, so self-conscious!”
As for the swimwear that makes her feel most confident, Clémentine tells us, “I love brands that understand my curves without trying to hide them. I am a big fan of one-pieces, not because I can’t do a bikini, but because they are super comfy and I don’t have to think twice about jumping waves, running, doing yoga or anything else. It’s also chicer.”
Swimwear has become a career for fashion editor Lily Russo, as she is the co-founder of swimwear shopping site Beach Flamingo. “When I was in my early teens, I was always much taller than my friends and had wider hips than them, which meant I was always aware of being ‘larger,’ even though I was probably still quite a small dress size,” Russo says of her relationship with swimwear.
“Ironically, my most body-confident moments and memories are from my summer holidays in Puglia, Italy, on the beach in a bikini. In warmer countries, it is so normal to have your body on show—no matter your size—so I found it very liberating compared to London where I would always cover up. I’ve always been very active on the beach too, whether swimming in the water or playing bat and ball on the beach,” says Russo.
“My mother always gave us body confidence and always told us we had great bodies,” she adds. “She would always say enjoy your body now, as this is the best it will ever be. Which is so true. When you’re young, you can get caught up comparing yourself to others who have a completely different body shape, but I accepted a long time ago that there will always be someone both thinner and larger than me, so I should be happy with the way I am.
“Finding a way to exercise that’s fun is how I’ve dealt with turning 30 and realising you need to do more exercise and take care of your fitness as you get older. I’ve always danced, but three years ago, I started doing Brazilian Samba dancing and it has completely changed my body shape. I used to dance when I was younger, and after so many years taking a break, you don’t realise how rigid your body becomes despite going to the gym or swimming. Dancing is all about using every part of your body—it makes you feel invigorated,” says Russo.
Since Russo is a swimwear expert, I had to ask about the styles that make her feel the most confident. “Italians love wearing skimpy bikini bottoms, and like I said, having wide hips means there’s more bottom to cover. However, it was my mother who taught me that wearing a great-cut bikini bottom with a scoop cut is far more flattering than hiding under swathes of fabric,” she says.
“Buying swimwear, for me, was as important and as fun as buying any other item of clothing in my wardrobe, which it should be. My mum was all about the full outfit on the beach—bikini, kaftan, pretty sandals and earrings … the works. When I choose a bikini or swimsuit, it’s like I’m choosing any other outfit. A combination of all these factors is what has made the beach the positive place for me it is today,” says Russo.
As for brands, she advises, “Some of my favourites are Camilla, Eberjey and Lazul. Each of these pays a lot of attention to how they are cut and if they stay in place when worn, which is a must-have with swimwear. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying if you’re going to expose yourself when you’re meant to be relaxing in the sun.”
When it comes to finding a bikini that’ll make you feel confident, Russo says, “Don’t follow trends; just wear what you like and what best suits your shape. If you aren’t familiar with many swimwear brands, I always recommend buying a few to try on in the comfort of your own home. Trying on swimwear in department stores can be really depressing, as the lighting is always far too harsh.”
She also stresses the importance of doing research on swimwear before purchasing: “Familiarise yourself with the different cuts of different brands, and when you find one you love, stick to it. Part of my job is to try out every new brand before we decide to stock them on the site, so I can give advice and make sure we love the brand before we start selling it to our customers. Our team’s always on hand to give customers bikini-buying advice.”
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Until we discovered the body shape calculator, we didn’t have a fail-safe way of being able to find out what clothes suit our personal silhouettes. And thanks to our brilliant co-founder Hillary Kerr, we know that not every trend is for everyone, and that’s okay. Instead of panicking and buying in on every fashion trend, and dressing for your particular shape, rather than working against it, the body shape calculator will ensure you’re more comfortable and confident.
So how do we use it? Rather than comparing yourself to pictures of celebrities or fruit, which can leave you feeling unsure if you’ve arrived at the right conclusion, we’re using Oprah’s fashion expert Bradley Bayou’s foolproof technique. Bayou’s system uses maths—it is a little intensive, but we’ll walk you through it—to double-check that you’ve found your real figure.
We’re limiting this article to four common types for simplicity’s sake, but for a more in-depth look at every shape and size, check out Bayou’s The Science of Sexy, where he gives tips on how to dress 48 different figures. Also, keep in mind that no matter what your size is, you can have any of the below four outlines; it’s more about how your weight (whatever it may be) is distributed.
With that said, get out your tape measure and scroll down for the brilliant body shape calculator.
Shoulders: Have someone help you measure from the tip of one shoulder all the way around you. The measuring tape should be high up around your shoulders so it almost slips off.
Bust: Pull the measuring tape taut across the fullest part of your bust and around your back. Don’t pull the tape so taut that your breasts start to get squashed.
Waist: Measure the smallest part of your natural waist, just above the belly button.
Hips: Start at one hip (below the hip bone) and wrap the tape measure around the largest part of your butt.
Now that you have your measurements, you’ll use those numbers to calculate your body shape. You’ll notice the equations below allow you to use your bust or shoulder measurements interchangeably. Doing this accounts for those who have especially big or small busts or especially narrow or broad shoulders.
You may find that doing the equation with your shoulders versus your bust places you in two different body type categories. This means your body type may actually encompass more than one category; for example, you may find you’re more of a pear when using your bust measurement and more of an hourglass when using your shoulder measurement. If this is the case for you, you should consider both body types when shopping, and ultimately make purchases by seeing what looks best on you.
Scroll down to see which shape description matches your body the best, and then use Bayou’s equation to validate that you’ve found your true shape.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are an inverted triangle if your shoulder or bust measurement is more than 5% bigger than your hip measurement (shoulders or bust ÷ hips ≥ 1.05). For example, you are an inverted triangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your hips are 34.25 inches or smaller.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are a rectangle if your waist is less than 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist ÷ shoulders or bust ≥ .75) AND your shoulder, bust and hip measurements are within 5% of each other. Find this out by looking at your shoulder, bust and hip measurements. Call the largest of the three measurements t (it will usually be your shoulders) and the other two measurements y and z. Multiply t by 0.95. If y and z are greater than the result of t x 0.95, then your shoulder, bust and hips are within 5% of each other.
For example, you are a rectangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your waist is 27 inches or more.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are a triangle (also known as a pear) if your hips are more than 5% bigger than your shoulders or bust (hips ÷ shoulders or bust ≥ 1.05).
For example, you are a triangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your hips are 37.75 inches or larger.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are an hourglass if your waist is at least 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist ÷ shoulders and bust ≤ 0.75) AND your waist is at least 25% smaller than your hips (waist ÷ hips ≤ 0.75) AND your shoulder and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.
Find this out by looking at your hips and shoulder measurements. Call the larger of the two measurements t and the smaller of the two measurements y. Multiply t by 0.95. If y is greater than the result of t x 0.95, then your hips and shoulders are within 5% of each other.
For example, you are an hourglass if your shoulders and hips measure 36 inches and your waist is 27 inches or smaller.
Meghan Markle, the actress who plays Rachel Zane on Suits and is will soon wed Prince Harry, is our new source for minimalist style inspiration. The star also used to run lifestyle blog The Tig, so we know she’s more than just a fan of fashion. But recently we’ve noticed that her brand of chic and minimal looks is just what we might need for a wardrobe refresh. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that the star is set to be the UK equivalent of Olivia Palermo. True, she’s not British, but that won’t keep us from adopting her as our own. (Hey, the woman has good taste—what can we say?)
From elegant evening looks to more casual outfits, she’s got girl-next-door style down, with a little bit of the Duchess of Cambridge thrown in (just check out the matching shoes) To help you see just what we mean, we’ve come up with 17 style rules Meghan Markle sticks to that we know you’ll want to follow stat. Click through our gallery to see why Meghan Markle is the style inspo you’ve been looking for.
The spring/summer 2018 fashion trends are nothing if not bright, bold and really quite beautiful. In fact, it was a show season full of actual fashion moments, and that’s not hyperbole. I’m talking about the type that had even the coolest fashion critics reaching for their Google Pixel 2 cameraphones. And the one catwalk that really set the tone, impressed everyone and just so happened to tick off almost every S/S 18 trend under the sun was, of course, Versace.
This was the kind of collection that deserves to be attached to the word iconic, and that makes sense once you know that the whole glamorous affair was a tribute to Gianni Versace at the 20-year mark of his untimely death. His bold vision and original supermodels came back to the fore once more, thanks to his sister Donatella Versace’s creative direction.
Jaws dropped to the floor. Shopping lists were supercharged. Stylists and A-listers will have to fight it out for samples to wear before the collection lands next year. And we all remembered a time when supermodels really were quite super—just look at Naomi, Eva, Carla, Cindy and Claudia resplendent in gold chainmail below.
This Milanese moment was three weeks into a monthlong catwalk circuit, and it neatly tied up a few notions we’d been jotting down: Colour is key (whether bold or pastel), the ’80s won’t quit, and if you’re going to do power dressing in our current times, you don’t have to be all shoulders and stilettos—but the option is most definitely there.
Shifting gears from the street’s athleisure boom, there’s a prettier, softer mood in the air, and anyone who likes to dress up will be thrilled. Minimalists and tomboys have plenty to choose from too: Next year is trouser-suit and flat-shoe heaven. Keep reading to discover S/S 18’s fashion trends, from colours to prints, key pieces to new details.
There are two quite distinct ’80s camps this time around, and it may well be that the more casual looks of the decade appeal to you more than the delightfully over-the-top eveningwear options from the likes of Saint Laurent. Just a plain pair of high-waisted jeans wedged into white ankles boots and worn with a loose-fit top tucked in will suffice for spring.
And then there are certain spring items that not only act as the glue that holds all other, more transient trends together but are also investment pieces set to last a lifetime. Here are the more classic items that cropped up the most…
Whether deconstructed and warped into something quite unusual (see Balenciaga’s where the front is a trench while the back splits into a denim overcoat) or adhering to tradition, there was a trench coat on almost every important runway we could think of. To be worn with everything from bikinis to boardroom attire.
It was Nicholas Ghesquière’s futuristic, thick-soled trainers for Louis Vuitton that really got the crowds going during the tail end of Paris Fashion Week. However, many geeky sneaks existed in other influential places. Expect to see girls emulating the socks-and-Velcro of Prada any day now.
If there’s one thing worth spending some money on, it’s a perfectly tailored suit. These days you can find the style to match your personal taste because the concept is a now constant fixture on the runways. Whether you want to make a statement (Chloé’s horse-motif velvet suit is going to be a street style hit—mark our words) or opt for something subtler, there are 1001 versions out there. And the best part is they won’t date.
There’s a real gamut of bag trends for S/S 18, but if one stands head and shoulders (and waist?) above the rest, it is the bum bag, or belt bag, should you want to sound more sophisticated. So many iterations exist, from the sporty pouches you’ll see style setters wearing crossbody through to luxe leather options courtesy of—who else?—Gucci.
If you’re not so patient to wait for the collections to hit stores, shop the coolest belt bags and bumbags available now.
Should the past few years of leggings and track pants have destroyed your old-fashioned fashion soul, rejoice in the pencil-skirt comeback. This time around, they are longer-lined and therefore more flattering. They will replace your full-skirted midis for the time being but are always worth keeping for the future. Net-a-Porter has predicted this silhouette will be a big seller for them in 2018—you heard it here first. And if you’re wondering which way to style yours, get more info on how to wear a pencil skirt.
It doesn’t matter what kind of belt—just know that a waist belt is integral to the season’s bigger shapes and volumes. Belt jackets, sling a chain belt over a slinky dress, fasten a man’s shirt… use it, daily, without fail.
These aren’t so much microtrends as small but important shifts we’ve noticed filtering through many of the most significant designer collections. If you aren’t ready to commit to a retro getup or don’t fancy the below brights, tap into these subtler looks and ideas below.
Call it a backlash to this year’s omnipresent off-the-shoulder looks or just a calmer continuation of the 1980s trend we charted above, but big, big, big shoulders and sleeves are everywhere for spring. Most commonly, they’re rendered in soft blouses and shirts so that you can easily counterbalance the dramatic proportions with a miniskirt, like at Isabel Marant, or feel just fine ‘n’ breezy wearing a billowing outfit head to toe.
Crystals, clear PVC and silver sparkle skipped straight from the party season and into the S/S 18 offering. From the understated (a smattering here and there at Attico) to the downright dedicated (see Chanel’s fantastic plastics and bling jewels), there’s a veritable bounty to mine.
Think linens and sawn-off edges, washed cotton drills and woven leathers, all in an earthy colour palette of creams, oatmeals and off-whites. This is the new, more worn-in way to do minimalism. How I imagine it? The Little Mermaid‘s makeshift sail-and-rope outfit as she embarks on her land adventure, only far more luxe and costly, clearly.
Fendi! Gucci! Balmain! Versace! Balenciaga! Calvin Klein! No major brand could leave their own labelling alone for S/S 18, and we can’t blame them—if you’re spending the big bucks, you may as well shout it from the sartorial rooftops. Our money? Going all on that vintage-look Fendi monogram bag. Want to shop now? See our roundup of the logo fashion trend.
Just when you thought plaids and tartans were only for the colder months, along comes this charge of checked goods for spring. It’s partly in thanks to the fact that designers are considering the all-year-round use required of major fashion investments, so these power-print pieces have the long-game in view. Looking for styling ideas? Here’s some gingham outfit inspiration.
Carrying on from this year’s polka-dot popularity, you will find many a spotted item heading into stores for 2018. The memo? Keep it monochrome and keep it in cool, modern shapes to avoid looking like a 1950s housewife. Wondering the latest way to style the look? See how the street style set wears polka dots in winter.
Talking of housewives, there has been a resurgence on the runways for vintage-look florals, the kind women would have once worn in the ’40s and ’50s. Floral dresses are a surefire seller for retailers, so it’s no great wonder savvy brands are looking to how they can reimagine them within their individual aesthetics. Alessandra Rich’s tea dresses have already been adopted by the fashion set—you’ll see more of them soon. In the meantime, shop our edit of the best floral dresses.
Whoa, put some shades on because things are about to get high-octane in here. From primary shades through to neon accents, when designers committed to spring’s bold hues, they knew they had to go hard or go home. Expect to see vibrant pinks, reds, yellows and more worn in either monochrome blocks or artfully spliced together—apparently not to be toned down with a neutral or two. To get the look with your wardrobe, see our guide on how to wear colour in spring.
On the flipside, but still just as punchy, you’ll find mix ‘n’ match ultra-pastels being adopted everywhere from New York to London and back again. Hippest when worn together in the weirdest combos possible: See Céline for the lemon, lilac, purple and beige formula we’d like to copy. See Pantone’s colour predictions for more info.
And if there’s just one colour in one key item to really think about, it’s the yellow dress. Not for shy and retiring canaries, this trend is more Big Bird: Think full-coverage yellow, worn in even the darkest days of spring to cheer everyone else up. Luxury boutiques have seen sales of yellow dresses spiking this year, and more are coming to satisfy demand. And if you’re really into the look, check out our list of the most iconic yellow dresses of all time.
If you’ve ever thought about getting engaged at any point in your life, you’ve probably at least pondered how much you and your potential betrothed should be expected to spend on an engagement ring. While there is certainly no set-in-stone amount, there are so many different rules and expectations when it comes to the cost of the bling that it can be overwhelming, confusing and downright frustrating (especially for the person making the purchase). There are even online engagement ring cost calculators that have been set up to help you navigate the process—but we also have some pretty solid answers to help you on your way.
While it’s always great to pore over the best celebrity engagement rings for inspiration, dropping millions of pounds isn’t exactly a reality for many of us. Fear not, though, as we’re here to help. We’ve compiled as many different engagement ring price suggestions as we could and laid them all out for you so it’s easy to navigate and understand. Both you and your significant other will thank us if and when it’s ever the time to bite the platinum, gold or silver bullet.
Keep scrolling for the five rules on how much to spend on an engagement ring, and shop some of our favourite pieces too.
While it’s always great to pore over the best celebrity engagement rings for inspiration, dropping millions of pounds isn’t exactly a reality for many of us. Fear not, though, as we’re here to help. We’ve compiled as many different engagement ring price suggestions as we could and laid them all out for you so it’s easy to navigate and understand. Both you and your significant other will thank us if and when it’s ever the time to bite the platinum, gold or silver bullet. Keep scrolling for the five rules on how much to spend on an engagement ring, and shop some of our favourite pieces too…
According to an expert-fuelled report on Brides.com, the purchaser should spend about three full months’ salary on the ring. This is more a rule of thumb, however, and if the person buying the ring is “heavily in debt or concerned about job security,” he or she might want to scale back a bit.
You may have heard the more prevalent rule of thumb that a person should spend about a months’ salary on the ring—and you have diamond manufacturer De Beers to thank for that little wisdom nugget. Back in America’s Depression Era, De Beers started running an ad campaign suggesting that men spend one months’ salary on the ring to save money, and the idea stuck.
If three months seems like a stretch for your other half, but one month seems a little skimpy, there are some contemporary ways of thinking that suggest you compromise and spend two months’ salary on the rock. This can be a good option if you’re looking to spend a small fortune without potentially wrecking your finances.
In 2016, the average amount spent on an engagement ring in the UK is £573. You always have the option of presenting your potential fiancée with this information and suggesting he or she spend the average amount. It’s a fair number, but you should keep in mind that it has nothing to do with his or her own personal financial standing.
There are some pretty savvy things you can do to make sure you get the most bang for you engagement ring buck. Many would recommend shopping online (remember that at least you’ll find it easier to return something!), but there are also tricks such as opting for a lower-carat diamond (many stones look exactly the same, unless you’re an expert with a magnifying glass in hand) and deciding on a style that has a solitaire diamond rather than lots of little stones that add up.
If you’re concerned about authenticity online aim to browse retailers that are trusted and well-known (such as Ernest Jones, for example) and look out for brands carrying IGI certificates, as they are a sure-fire way to know that something is legit. Find out more information on being a confident diamond buyer from the International Gemological Insitute.
In our minds—and we assume the minds of many cash-strapped UK millennials—the amount spent on an engagement ring should be 100% up to the person buying it. Of course, the input of the intended is always welcome, but if you aren’t the person actually making the purchase, at the end of the day it’s not really up to you. “A lot of women wouldn’t want their fiancé to spend that much money on a ring,” Kit Yarrow, a former jewellery dealer turned professor of psychology at Golden Gate University, told AskMen.com. “Make it a personal decision.”
Go through the gallery below to shop eleven beautiful engagement rings in a wide range of prices.
T minus 15 days until the royal wedding. While Meghan Markle is leaving everyone guessing about her wedding dress, there’s no debating one fact: She makes pieces sell like crazy. To wit, our friends at Poshmark compiled data that revealed the most coveted items she’s worn since the engagement news. Poshmark analysed how purchases increased after Markle wore certain pieces, and the numbers are definitely impressive.
The number one item on the list, of course, was the Gucci bag she wore last month. According to Poshmark, purchases for the bag increased by a whopping 214% after she was spotted with it, while sales of her Mackage coat increased by 193%. Rounding out the list of most sought-after items: Markle’s Mulberry bag, which increased by 95%, and her Burberry coat, which increased by 80%. Scroll down to see how she styled all of these pieces, and shop the limited stock that remains.
Daring to utter the phrase “high-street wedding dresses” will no longer be met with indignation; with a rise in the market for well-priced bridal gowns, there’s zero shame attached to spending less on your gown. Affordable can now be incredibly chic.
ASOS now has a stellar bridal collection, following the success of its vast and brilliant bridesmaid range. It also stocks Needle & Thread—a British brand that specialises in intricately embellished occasionwear with a comfortable price tag. Then one of our favourite affordable red carpet go-tos—Self-Portrait—also offers a drop-dead gorgeous wedding range.
If you still need more persuading to head to the high street for your wedding dress, just ask yourself this: Would you rather drop a couple grand on a wear-it-once number or that designer handbag you’ve been lusting after for four seasons? Plus, wouldn’t you rather spoil your guests at your wedding than rip up £10,000 worth of tulle?
If you want some inspiration for shopping affordable high-street wedding dresses, just take a look at our pick of the most expensive-looking options that will cost you a fraction of the price of a traditional frock. From the specialised wedding dress collections from ASOS, Whistles and even H&M, we’ve picked out a selection of dresses from some of our favourite stores that can totally be worn for your big day.
Click through our gallery for our picks of the most affordable high-street wedding dresses on the market.
With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s sure-to-be-rule-breaking royal wedding just a few weeks away (stay tuned with Who What Wear UK for live coverage of all the most important fashion intel) we’re looking back through the history books to find clues about the all-important dress to come. On June 19 everything will become clear, but what if—bear with us—Meghan had seen Princess Anne’s statement sleeved-gown from her 1973 wedding to Captain Mark Phillips and felt inspired to recreate a modern version? It is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated wedding gowns of last century (keep scrolling to check it out).
When you come across the phrase princess wedding dress, a big poufy ball gown probably comes to mind, right? Well, based on our research, the actual princess wedding dresses throughout history aren’t always of the poufy ball gown variety—although there’s a decent amount of tulle and underskirts to keep those of you who like a dramatic gown happy. While Princess Diana’s wedding dress certainly put all poufy wedding dresses to shame (we’ll refresh your memory of it below), but that was the peak of ’80s extravagance, and many other royal gowns run the gamut from slim, lace, and long-sleeved to off-the-shoulder and satin. You’re probably familiar with a few of the below (has anyone on this planet not seen Kate Middleton’s dress a thousand times?), but many of the princess-style wedding dresses included below are significantly more under-the-radar.
Head below to see 24 stunning regal gowns throughout history, from 1925 via Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace of Monaco and many more up to now.
I’ve heard people saying time and time again that they’re too old to shop at Topshop. And, yes, I agree that at first glance Topshop is my 16-year-old daughter’s festival dreams right now, as it’s filled with crop tops, denim hotpants and sequins. But as much as I personally avoid those items, I can always emerge from Topshop with a few purchases that fast become wardrobe staples I’m really pleased to wear.
Some of my most-loved wardrobe items are Topshop that I’ve picked up over the years. And, yes, I have to admit that as I’ve reached my mid-thirties, my body’s changed, and my style has evolved, so it’s not always as easy as it used to be. I’ve been shopping at Topshop Oxford Circus since my early teens, and I can’t think of another store that I’ve been shopping in since I was 12 and still get as excited about visiting. So to convince anyone who may be assuming they have to throw in their Topshop towel, I’ve put together the five golden rules that Lou and I stick to when perusing our high-street favourite.
Some of my most-loved wardrobe items are Topshop that I’ve picked up over the years. And yes I have to admit as I’ve reached my mid-thirties, my body’s changed, and my style has evolved it’s not always as easy as it used to be. I’ve been shopping at Topshop Oxford Circus since my early teens, I can’t think of another store that I’ve been shopping in since I was 12 and still get as excited about visiting. So to convince anyone who may be assuming they have to throw in their Topshop towel, I’ve put together the five golden rules that Lou and I stick to when perusing our high-street favourite.
The high street has always been a place where you’ll run during your lunch break to pick up a few pieces or on your way home from work, but this is when you’re likely to leave dejected or make a poor panic purchase. The smash-and-grab process may have worked for us in our twenties, but it rarely does when you reach your thirties. I try to set aside an hour when visiting the Topshop flagship store in Oxford Circus (it is part of my job to research!).
It’s important to try pieces on in different sizes (two sizes if, like me, you’re in between the sizing in Topshop) and try to make use of the personal shopping service if available. You have the luxury of time, space, and somewhere to leave your belongings. And of course, the team is on hand should you need any advice.
I go around the store two times in total: My usual routine is to whizz around the shop floor quick, grabbing anything that catches my eye. I then head to Personal Shopping, leave my selection in a room and head back out for a slower, more extended look around. I’ll find a few more things, then go back and edit my rail, as I’ve then had a chance to take it all in. I have a good try on and usually only like a third of my edit, which I’m happy about, as if I loved everything, it would be a problem.
The cuts and shapes of pieces are so significant. I buy most of my midi dresses from Topshop, as I know they’ll be a modern, up-to-date silhouette, whereas if I was to wear a similar style from a different store, it could look mumsy. The fit of a blouse, the length of a skirt or the shape of a tee can make all the difference to your look. This is when it’s a plus point shopping in a store catering to a generally younger demographic.
With so many new-in pieces dropping daily, Topshop is always exciting. I try to get into the store every couple of weeks and check online daily (it’s my job!) so I don’t miss out on any must-have pieces that are sure to be a hit. That’s why online sites like Who What Wear UK and blogs like A Style Album are here—we check for you. Polka dots seem to be trending on Topshop right now. I popped in last week and picked up a cute polka-dot blouse and have my eye on a few other polka-dot pieces too.
Topshop is a great place to pick up your classic and basic pieces. I’m a huge fan of its khaki cargo jackets, which the brand tends to update every season. Its jeans are some of the best on the high street (FYI: I stay away from the Leigh, as I find the material way too thin, but I love the Straight-Leg, Dree and Orson).
Topshop simple T-shirts are the perfect shape and are a great value for £15. In store now, the brand has an asymmetric blouse available in so many colourways, which will look stylish whether you’re 16 or 60. And some of my favourite blazers have been from Topshop.
One of my favourite dresses is from Topshop Boutique—the brand’s more premium line that is more expensive than the standard collection—but I’ve had it for years and still feel special in it. I do believe the quality and design reflect the price, so don’t feel like you’re being cheated on the high street in this instance.
A stick-on bra probably isn’t high up on your new season shopping list, but as the social season gets into swing, investing in the perfect wardrobe foundations is a must, particularly if your head has been turned by a backless dress.
There’s a slew of brands specialising solely in adhesive underwear solutions, alongside offerings from lingerie heroes such as M&S. One of the standout names we keep getting recommendations for the former is Fashion Forms. At Selfridges, which stocks an impressive 44 different lingerie names, Fashion Forms is its best-selling stick-on brand. One of the most popular pieces in the range is the NuBra Push-Up (£46) which we’re told will ensure the perfect solution to any underwear issues. Stocked by John Lewis and Net-a-Porter, it’s got all the endorsement we need to give it a go.
It’s also worth shouting about InvisiBra, which offers a ming-boggling array of not just styles, but attractive finishes. If a flesh-coloured silicon cup isn’t your thing (and yes it caters to differing skin colours and tones) you can choose lace finishes in blue, magenta, black, and even matching underwear sets.
So it’s time to stop assuming that because you’ve never previously dares a backless dress, you can’t do so now. Get clicking, get ordering and get trying, because we’re sure there’s one in the edit below for you.
Selfridges’ best-selling adhesive bra.
If you’re after some lift, try this desirable style.
Cheap and cheerful, these cups can be trimmed to size and stick to your clothing rather than your skin.
Be sure to check out Inivisbra if you’d like your stick-on lingerie to work in harmony with the rest of your drawer.
M&S’s adhesive offering comes in sizes 1-6, with a clear explainer of what cups size is recommended.
This discreet style dines’t have sticky wings around the under-arm, so feels like you aren’t wearing anything.
Of a similar shape to the M&S style, this features underwire for added support.
If your dress boasts a plunging neckline too, this might be the ticket. Opening Image: Getty Images. Next up, discover what our editors would buy this spring with a £300 budget.
We would never expect Meghan Markle and Kim Kardashian West to share items in their wardrobes, however, last night, Meghan Markle attended a Women’s Empowerment evening in London, and she wore a piece from the KKW archive. Meghan wore a fitted black dress by Black Halo, which has a draped, statement neckline; cap sleeves; a zip down the back and a skinny black leather belt at the waist. The £280 dress was a celebrity favourite 11 years ago, as KKW and Blake Lively wore the dress in white with a skinny black belt. Meghan made the dress look more 2018 by pairing it with a black suede bag with a statement clasp with the brand of the year, Gucci. Keep scrolling to see Meghan’s latest look and shop the dress before it inevitably sells out.
On Meghan Markle: Black Halo Jackie O Dress (£280); Gucci Dionysus Suede Super Mini Bag (£625).
From creating Rihanna’s, Kim Kardashian West’s and Lorde’s most iconic outfits to cementing London’s best dressed It-girl scene, super stylist and creative director Avigail Collins is known for creating celebrities exciting new looks. But Avigail’s wardrobing skills extend even further: See her own streetwear-inspired line, Silver Spoon Attire, which was founded in 2013 alongside her husband (and fellow sought-after stylist) Damian Collins. The stylist’s high-profile music clients and global street style following make up a pretty impressive fan club. If anyone can spot the next big thing, it’s Avigail, which is why we’re thrilled to have her at Who What Wear UK to bring you a monthly column about what’s hot now
See? Shopping with big boobs doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Just remember to go with what suits you and reflects your personal style best.
Larger boobs can be a tricky thing to navigate when major trends such as off-the-shoulder tops are everywhere. That said, it’s wise to get to grips with the kind of options that feel easiest to swan around in when you’re dealing with a D cup or above.
I have experience in this department that I would like to share with you: Our bodies are wondrous things, so let’s have fewer style limitations and more fun. You can pick the most on-trend looks without freaking out about buying the almost-too-impossible-to-find strapless bra that works. Since I tackle this wardrobe hurdle often as a stylist, I’ve created a catalogue of options that work for every curvy figure. Keep reading to find out about the tops that I think are best for big boobs in 2018.
Top-quality (not flimsy) jersey bodysuits that stay in place allow you a lot of outfit freedom when you’ve got bigger boobs—they help define your waist (always key to show off) and will go with all of this season’s pencil skirts very nicely. I recommend this Wolford bodysuit below—it has a seamless thong string so you also won’t get any VPL. It’s a high price-point but it is a top that will last you a lifetime.
Top-quality (not flimsy) jersey bodysuits that stay in place allow you a lot of outfit freedom when you’ve got bigger boobs. They help define your waist (always key to show off) and will go with all of this season’s skirts and trousers. I recommend the Wolford bodysuit below—it has a seamless thong string so you also won’t get any VPL. It’s at a high price point, but it will last you a lifetime.
There’s a new wave of more bohemian bodice-style tops around for spring, and they’re not as stiff and trussed up as they sound. Think of soft sculpted shapes that help keep everything firmly in place, while revealing a little décolletage, should you feel like it. I love this Reformation top as it’s an amazing cut for larger boobs, and it’s it’s great that you can still wear a bra with it. Also, the subtle print will distract from your bust size and make them look smaller, if that’s what you’re looking for.
There’s a new wave of bohemian bodice-style tops around for spring—and they’re not as stiff and trussed-up as they sound. Think of soft sculpted shapes that help keep everything firmly in place while revealing a little décolletage. I love this Reformation top as it’s an amazing cut for larger boobs and can be worn with a bra.
As I’m sure you know the whole boho off-the-shoulder vibe or kaftan carefree look is a difficult one when your blessed like us with a fuller bust. The trick is to look for vintage blouse styles that nip in at the waist and have some shoulder coverage—that way you can still wear a bra and not be swamped in fabric. I found LoveShackFancy, an NYC-based brand, last summer and totally fell in love with it as everything looks so authentically vintage even though they are brand new pieces. This particular style below is great as its button up so you can undo a few if needed and it nips in the waist perrrfectly.
As I’m sure you know, the whole carefree off-the-shoulder look is difficult to achieve when you’re blessed with a fuller bust. The trick is to look for blouse styles that go in at the waist and have some shoulder coverage. (That way you can still wear a bra and not be swamped in fabric.)
I found NYC-based brand LoveShackFancy last summer and totally fell in love with it. Everything the brand makes looks so authentically vintage even though the pieces are brand-new. The particular style below is great as it buttons down and nips in at the waist.
If you feel like crew-neck tees are a bit too much coverage and V-necks a bit mumsy and old-fashioned, then I’d suggest looking for the kind of T-shirts and jersey tops that have an adjustable neckline. Brandy Melville has become my staple go-to for basics and this ribbed buttoned long sleeved top below literally works with everything—keeping the buttons open will ensure you don’t feel that your larger boobs are ruining the line of the top, and it looks so chic work with a suit and trainers or jeans heels and suit jacket. Ditto the result you’ll get from the zip-up Topshop number I’ve edited into this piece.
If you feel like crew-neck tees give too much coverage but V-necks aren’t your style, then I’d suggest looking for T-shirts and tops with adjustable necklines. Brandy Melville has become my go-to for basics and the ribbed long-sleeved top below literally works with everything. You can keep the buttons open (or closed) and it looks so chic with a number of pieces. A top fastened with a zipper in the front also makes for a cool, flattering detail.
You may have noticed the many new-season handbag collections popping up everywhere right now from ASOS to Topshop and Matches. There are many covetable buys to consider, but may we draw your attention to a more retro bag style? It’s the one to be seen with right now: the Louis Vuitton logo backpack.
Practical, durable and suitably statement-making, despite its miniature proportions, this number is trending—big time. The likes of Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin have each been snapped wearing their chosen monogrammed iteration of this throwback. We know, with prices starting at £1300, this is the height of indulgence, but the staying power of this hero purse does make it a worthy investment—a classic now and for years to come. Oh, and it’s as good for your back as it is for your street cred, obviously. Still not convinced? Scroll down to see how the A-list wears their leather LV-stamped rucksacks on repeat, and shop our favourite versions.