Dress-less

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Top: Forcast

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Mel (similar here)

Belt: I Will Fly

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a dress, but it’s actually a skirt and top combined. The two blacks are just slightly different (different fabrics: The top is a stretchy jersey, the skirt a suiting fabric) so to soften the difference between the two I’ve added a feature belt.

This is a great way of getting around the issue of two items that almost but don’t quite work together, and I use it regularly. Not just to match blacks, but to marry two pieces – like two different colours, or two different patterns – together.

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The belt’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s an elastic belt with two fabric hearts that snap together, and I spotted it on Etsy a few years ago. I contacted the buyer about getting one custom-made to my measurements (don’t you LOVE Etsy? Clothes made to fit YOU, not YOU trying to fit clothes)

I bought the top at the end of last year, and its been one of my favourite recent purchases. I hadn’t heard of the brand Forcast before, as their Victorian stores are all in malls I’m not familiar with. I stumbled across them on a work trip, and I’m glad I did because this top is just lovely.

It has a wide flattering boatneck that adds length to my short torso, but miraculously doesn’t make me look ridiculously top-heavy. There’s a built-in shelf bra which is obviously useless for me in regards to bust support but does mean the top doesn’t ride up, and it also provides a double layer of coverage so the fabric doesn’t become sheer.

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The half-length sleeves are a new trend that I’m really starting to appreciate: very elegant and retro, with a vaguely balletic style, but the real killer feature for me is the deep scooped back:

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Lovely.

Pencil It In

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 Top: Asos

Skirt: Lane Bryant

Shoes: Chie Mihara

I’ve been looking for the perfect pencil skirt for a long time now, and I think I finally found it at Lane Bryant a few months ago when I went shopping with my little sister in their Harlem store.

The Zipper Slit Skirt is made from a ponte jersey and has a good weight. It travels well (ideal, since I’ll be doing a lot more interstate travelling for work this year) and is comfortable to wear. There’s a bit of stretch in the fabric, but not so much that you feel like you’re wearing a compression bandage. The midi length is elegant, and just a little bit retro. My favourite thing – and what I’ve found lacking in the pencil skirts I’ve tried in the past – is the fact that the silhouette is tapered at the hem.

I’m quite full in the butt, so pencil skirts that fall straight from the hips to the knee tend to look quite boxy. I’ve tried stretch pencil skirts in the past, but for some reason even if it’s tight around the hips and thighs it seems to kick out at the hem again.

It could be the length of this one that gives it that va-va-voom bombshell shape, and I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that it was easy to stride in; having the hem so tight underneath the knees means that even with the generous stretch I still have to take little mincing steps.

Fortunately, if I really had to pick up my heels and run I could unzip the barely discernible slit to the thigh and just leg it across town.

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(yes, that’s a peek of my Bandelettes BTW. I love them)

I’ve teamed it today with the aztec print top that I bought last year in the Asos sales. The boxy shape, and dense, tapestry-like fabric needs to be partnered with something that plays up my curvy lower half, and I think the Lane Bryant skirt fits the bill perfectly. DSCF4784_2