Sometimes when a fair or festival comes to town it brings with it lion tamers or strong men. Not so the Mary Poppins Festival which brings with it Annah Stretton stylists!
As I was browsing through the activities on offer as part of Maryborough’s Mary Poppins Festival I was excited to see two evening ‘styling’ sessions – also providing one-on-one appointments with stylists Belinda and Nina. And, given my weight-issues, I particularly liked the ‘dress for your body shape not your body weight’ focus.
For those not in the know Annah Stretton is a New Zealand designer who – fortunately for me – designs and sells clothes for those up to a size 20(ish).
Naturally on meeting the very lovely Nina and Belinda I felt obliged to confess that I’ve gained 10-15kg since finishing work late last year (when I already needed to lose 20kg) but Nina from NZ and Annah Stretton’s (AS) principal stylist who speaks at Weight Watcher NZ events wouldn’t let me ‘diss’ the body I’m in.
“The sexiest thing you can wear is your confidence,” she reminded me, before telling me that – when it comes to dressing and looking chic, classy and sexy, it’s all about proportions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 120kg or 60kg, it’s about dressing for your shape.
Historically I’ve been pear-shaped… a rosebud in AS-speak (see, far prettier!). At the moment my stomach is (and certainly feels) bigger than it once was but despite this, I apparently have bluebell (hourglass) tendencies. “We need to all be aiming to look like Nigella Lawson,” suggested Nina. (Sans neck-groping hubby obviously!)
Detailed advice about how to dress for your shape can be found on the AS website and I love the empowering language and approach that the brand chooses to use. In essence it’s all about balancing our look. If we’re bottom-heavy, or a rosebud, then we need to minimise the bottom half and draw attention to the top half. Tulips and Lavender-shaped peeps need to give themselves a waistline / some shape and bluebells need to emphasise that perfect hourglass figure.
Later in the session, blonde bluebell Belinda and dark-haired tulip Nina actually switched their outfits about so I could actually see the marked difference that the right clothes can make.
After talking a little about me and my life, we talked about my ‘signature style’ – black, black and more black. Fitting (but stretchy) trousers with loose long shirts, accessorised by lots of funky jewellery so I don’t look like such a nanna.
We agreed that I dressed for ‘comfort’ and to feel ‘safe’. My clothes don’t show my body (lumps, bumps and curves) – particularly the area from my chest to my thighs. I confessed that I’d ‘like’ to change that and be brave enough to wear more ‘shapely’ clothes. (Despite my far-from-perfect body. Because, bizarrely enough, I do realise that some of the shapeless things I wear actually make me look worse!)
So, as well as making the usual apologies for my weight and body I did acknowledge the fact that – while I need to lose weight and get fitter and healthier (etc) – I would also like to better appreciate / value the body I’m in now. I mentioned the recent post I did about the Aussie Curves girls and how I’d love to emulate those at the recent Full Figured Fashion Week in the US.
I’d already told Belinda and Nina I wanted to blog about the styling experience but we were already well into the conversation when I learned that I would be playing dress-ups and donning a range of clothes. (Yes, WTF?!)
“I don’t appear in photos!” I yelped, wondering how on earth I could share this ‘styling’ session without actually sharing before and after pictures. And… in all good conscience, I can’t. I am delaying the inevitable, however, so tomorrow I’ll share some before and after pics from my own styling session. *Deep breaths*
Do you know what body shape you are?
Do you know how to dress for your shape?
* Intended to be sung to tune of Abba’s “Knowing Me Knowing You”
PS. This is not a sponsored post.