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Fashion and the Older Woman

Age and Fashion – Who Makes Up the Crazy Rules

I’d like to meet the people who police our wardrobes telling us what we can and cannot wear, especially when women reach a ‘certain age’.

As for the certain age, I’ve noticed its changes like the weather; one minute 40 is the new 30, then 50 is the new 40 and so it goes on.  The other interesting discussion I was having recently, is the terminology used to describe older women, take for example the word mature, it’s also used to describe ‘cheese’, then there is ‘seasoned’, what’s with the food and cooking connotations?!

I know lots of women of varying ages, I find it amusing that an 18 year old wants to look and dress older, yet nothing is said; but heaven forbid an older women dresses to suit herself in a style that is considered for a youthful teen only, and she is considered to be ‘mutton dressed as lamb’.  Have you noticed how the phrases used to describe older women have some negative undertone attached to it?

So just to set the record straight, a woman in her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s plus, these women, they know stuff, and some of us are still figuring things out; newsflash, that’s called Life, we are constantly figuring things out.  However, back to our wardrobes and what we can and cannot wear, lets start with the obvious, I know you’ll catch on:

  • If its too tight and you can’t get into it, guess what you can’t wear it, but hey that applies to all ages.
  • If its bright yellow and you don’t like bright yellow at all, what’s it doing in your wardrobe?
  • If its tired, bobbled, and faded in colour then do the garment a favour and lay it to rest.
  • If you are uncomfortable, wearing a dress or skirt that is too short for your taste then don’t wear it.  Trying to lengthen the hemline by constantly pulling it down is not going to change anything, except draw attention to the fact that you are constantly trying to pull down your dress or skirt, you will feel miserable in the process, as guess what you are uncomfortable!

Simple facts not rules.

I’m now going to hand you over to one of my favourite women in fashion, Iris Apfel who at 96 and has no intention of retiring her wardrobe anytime soon.

Curvey Women: Compliment Your Curves


By Coral Turner, Couture Fashion Designer

Naturally, we all want to look beautiful, and too right!   As a couture designer, I work with clients who are of all shapes and sizes.  The myth of being ‘model’ thin to look beautiful in couture fashions is just that, a myth.  There are designs that need curves, in fact some styles cry out for curves.  Kim Kardashian is renown for being able to fill column inches in both media plus what she wears, and fair play to her.

Clothing size

So what helps and what hinders? Wearing clothes that are too large or small will result in you looking heavy.  Tight clothing clings to every fold and crease of your body, and baggy clothing hangs on you as though you are a lampshade. Clothes that fit you, however, make you look curvaceous and attractive.  I know I have talked about fit before but as a couture designer, it can make me a little cranky to see an ill-fitted garment on a woman, because it takes away from her beauty.


A patchwork quilt looks great with its mishmash of colours however it doesn’t translate so well when worn as clothing, not the look you are aiming for.  There is the ‘school of fashion thought’ that says  wearing the same colour from tip to toe is slimming.  Notice, I’m not saying to wear all black or beige!  You can easily wear colour-bright bold and beautiful colours. To inject an accent colour to contrast the outfit accessorise  your main outfit.


As a rule of thumb, wide horizontal stripes make you look wide, and thin horizontal stripes do not make you look either wide or slim. Vertical stripes can make you look tall and thin. However, use them sparingly, as they can be overwhelming especially if you are a petite woman.


Well cut jeans, those that fit on the waist look great on all figure shapes, what you don’t want are jeans that you are constantly pulling up because the crotch is too short. Boot cut jeans are slenderising , they also make your legs look shapely.


Elastic waistbands are so comfortable I know, but they can also be your enemy.  If you want to create a slimmer look, have part elasticated and part flat fabric. Thick waistbands that sit just above your hips but not around your actual middle are beneficial.


Ankle boots suit the majority of women, however what you want to look at is whether it is too wide at the top of the boot drawing the eye away from the style of the boot and leaving the focus on the gap!  In addition, shoes and sandals with a broad ankle straps can be more complimentary than a thin ankle strap, which can often look as though it is cutting into your ankle as opposed to complimenting your ankle.  Long boots and peep-toe shoes with heels are also favourable.


Did you know that depending on your stature, carrying a small bag can make you appear larger?  Yes I was quite surprised at that, however when amply curvaceous, carrying a large bag will have the opposite effect. Additionally, the same applies with regard to belts and jewelry. Wearing a large belt and a big, long necklace creates the illusion of smaller. It is about ensuring that everything is proportional to your body-shape.

I celebrate curves, as I do a body-shape of straight up and down, they all have their own uniqueness when it comes to design.  That’s the beauty of bespoke and its not just for special occasions, when your clothes fit in all the right places, you smile, the clothes smile, and those looking at you smile!

Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Bra

Young woman wearing braAs a couture designer, the overall fit is what makes a garment look fabulous, however in my experience, a poorly fitting bra can often be found to be the culprit if this happy medium is not forthcoming. For clothing to look optimum especially if you are buying one of my exclusive jersey fashions, it does you and your dress wonders to have a  properly fitted bra; it not only lifts your assets but your confidence also. Finding the right bra is not difficult; you just have to do a bit of homework first. Once you know the basics you can determine your correct size and decide what kind of style you want. Correct fit is the most important aspect of a bra, not just for comfort, but also for the best possible support and overall look. Styles and fabrics are important, too. These needs can differ with your body type, personality and dress.  So ladies, take her is some advice from this couture designer who has been happily dressing women for over 20 years, how to  have a proper bra.

Measurement and Fit

Many women wear the wrong size bra. Don’t just guess and don’t go by feel alone; spend a few minutes with the tape measure and you’ll find bra shopping and fitting much easier. Be sure to measure in the right places to guarantee the best fit:

Place a tape measure at the middle of your back and around the top of your bust. This your band width. Most stores carry bras with band widths from 30 to 40 inches around that have three different hook placements for wiggle room.

Next find your bust size by measuring around the fullest part of your bust (around the nipple) parallel to the ground. Bust size is accommodated through strap adjustment.

Determine your cup size by subtracting your band width from your bust size. The number difference between band and bust should range from 0 to 6 inches. This number than corresponds to the regulatory letter cup sizes (AA-DDD).

Band width – Bust size = Cup size
0 = AA
1 = A
2 = B
3 = C
4 = D
5 = DD
6 = DDD

Coverage style

There are different levels of coverage, from total to scant, depending on your body, personality and what you’re wearing.

Full coverage
Offers the most possible coverage and support; best for full-figured and/or busty women.
Provides half the coverage of a full; better for smaller, slender women.
Multi-wayThis style has movable straps that can be manipulated to accommodate asymmetrical or “complicated” tops and dresses; perfect for halter tops, racer backs and one-shoulder tops.
The push-up creates lift and cleavage when you want it; great for evening wear.
Features no under wire, for comfort with flexible, light support; best with blouses and sweaters.

Different bra fabrics behave differently under clothing. Some work better than others to complete your look. The rule of thumb is to match the bra material to the clothing material. A satiny bra, for example, will look more seamless and natural under a silk top than a cotton bra, which may cause the top fabric to cling and stick.
Works best under other cotton tops (T-shirts) and linen blouses.
Best with like tight and/or clingy dresses, tops and sweaters.
Blends (nylon, rayon, etc.)
Works well with most all clothing fabrics including jersey fabrics that I use.

Best for the bedroom; it often does disrupts the line of the clothing.

Whether you’re small, busty, perky or a little droopy, the right fitting bra is equally essential for all women. Ensuring the best bra fit will benefit you, both physically and psychologically! I hope you enjoy these tips to help you look and feel great.

Remember, I am happy to meet with you to design and create a wardrobe for your holidays or for that special occasion that you have this summer.

Plus Size Fashion Tips by Coral Turner, Couture Fashion Designer


It seems everywhere you look: there are skinny fashion models sporting the latest looks and designs. It can be frustrating to those who do not fit into the ultra-skinny clothes that seem to be the rage. In fact, the majority of us are not 5’10’ and 110lbs.  Recently, I gained a new customer after I posted a picture of my mother who is not the skinny model type wearing one of my designs.  My mother is elegant, regal and curvvy which is like the majority of women.  I was surprised when the customer stated to me she was surprised that I dressed curvvy women.  As a couture fashion designer, I design for women of all shapes and sizes.  Style does not see size or age.

However, I wanted to give you a few fashion tips on dressing if you do have a plus size figure.

  • Wear the size that fits your body. If your clothing is too big, it only makes your body look bigger. If it is too small, then it will amplify curves and will make you feel uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable in a garment will show, even if you think you look fantastic. 
  • Shoulder pads are in if you are a plus size woman. They look fabulous and give you more confidence in your walk. Do not worry about what the fashion bloggers say about them. Wear them with pride.
  • Get a tailor to fine-tune your clothes. If that blazer does not quite button up at the front, and the next size up looks like it would fit two of you, a tailor will be able to adjust it, so it is just right and looks terrific. 
  • Forget the rules the magazines state you must follow. You can wear horizontal stripes, bright colours, and short skirts. Just make sure they fit properly and go with your body style. 
  • Black is a colour that goes with everything and looks fabulous. Remember, you are not a funeral director, so add a splash of colour to the black.  
  • Your undergarments should flatter what you are wearing.  A proper fitting bra will make you look better and feel better.
  • Your outfit is not finished until you have a pair of shoes that compliment your outfit. A bright colour with a dark dress will make you and your outfit come alive. Just remember, if you cannot walk in heels don’t punish yourself it will show in your walk.  There is nothing wrong with a good pair of flats to avoid making you walk like a wounded gazelle. 
  • Try a different hair do. Do not be afraid to get a little crazy with some colour, or try a shorter look. Remember, you create your own trends let others follow you! 
  • Do not keep your sequined outfits hiding in the closet until you go out at night. They will work for you during the daytime as well as at night. Sequins will add a much-needed splash to your wardrobe that people will notice. 
  • Wear a belt to add some shape to your outfit. A belt can take that dress that simply hangs on you, to one that looks like it was custom made just for you. 

Make this summer one that changes your life by changing your fashion.  Start your own trend make a statement that people will notice and enjoy. Remember, if wearing it makes you feel good inside, then it will reflect in the way you wear it, giving you more confidence in yourself, and your fashion.

And I am always available for consultation if you want to design a piece that is one-of-a-kind, perfectly tailored, never to be repeated creation.