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How to be beautiful for an Indian summer

Nothing beats the feeling of a summer dress.

My heart is pounding with excitement as soon it’s time to get dressed up for summer.  I am as excited as my five year old daughter when it comes to dressing up.  This summer is no exceptioSiobhan Young of WellStyled tips on how to be beautiful for Summern.

The catwalks promised a summer of billowy, floral, romantic, soft and feminine dresses. How many of us have invested in a SS16 dress?  There is still time.

I can’t wait to bid à bientôt to my jeans and expose my grey pins en plein air.  I leave behind my gamine style and when I feel the summer breeze on my legs, I feel feminine.

How to be beautiful for an Indian summer

Wear. A. Dress.

Now, I’ve said it.

A dress is very flattering for all generations for women.  While we age and sag, it can camouflage and forgive all those wobbly bits.

Before my life in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, I was a Sydney based personal stylist and shopper.  My life down-under spurned this thrill and passion for wearing dresses.  A cool summer dress was a basic necessity as the mercury climbed. In Sydney, every avant-garde girl experimented with a frock each summer and owned it.  Regardless of how eclectic or maverick you are, there is a dress style with your name on it.

Even in the British summer you have zero excuse to not be wellstyled for summer!  Dresses are the preserve of every girls’ wardrobe, so let’s do this!

Here’s my A, B, Cs when summer dress shopping:

  • A = Avoid certain fabric.

Avoid jersey, satin or shine in your dress fabric if you want a slimmer effect.  Avoid thinner fabric and textures that will draw attention to lumps or bumps. Shiny satins and jersey highlight everything, so avoid these if you wish to hide a mummy tummy or any other trouble spots.

NOTE: Black jersey dresses should be avoided.  They are not flattering.

  • B = Be body aware.

Get into your underwear and have a good look at yourself from head to toe in front of a mirror.  Examine all angles. The side, front and behind.  Take a photo for an extra perspective. Jump a little.  Watch that wobble.

This results will help you be more aware of your body. Knowing what you are physically gifted with will help you select dress styles to flatter your own silhouette and proportions.  Think like an architect. It’s all about keeping your shape in balance.

So, what are you best bits? Is it your slender forearms, great ankles or gorgeous boobs?

Consider a dress that flatters your best bits.  Try a mid length sleeve, if your upper arms are not in proportion to the rest of you body. Wear a low cut if you have great boobs, but possibly a shorter than average neck.  Wear a crew or Peter-Pan collar if you have a smaller chest.  Always show your legs if you have great pins.  If not, choose a lower neck to keep the top half on show but wear a maxi dress to hide legs if they are not your greatest asset.

C = Create curves.

If you are naturally slim (rectangular shape) go for styles that enhance your feminine side and create movement and curves.  This might be a feminine frilly or ruffled dress.  See Pippa Middleton’s dress below.

If you are already curvy, don’t hide it.  Work it.  More of us should embrace our gorgeous curves. Curves are womanly and some of us would die to have them! Consider a kaftan style. Great for curvy girls. Or invest in a baby-doll style that hides a mummy tummy.

Denim dresses are very flattering too. The durable tougher cotton fabric is great for cinching in and hugging the body without exposing the lumps and bumps.

Whatever your style aesthetics, from prim and polished, to timeless and classic, minimalist, chic, free-spirited and bohemian.  Find that dress and work it!

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, are both style icons expressing their spirit and personalities through their style. They consistently dress elegantly.  Without doubt, having a signature style and dress code helps them look and feel more confident.



Style Icons always WellStyled Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton.

Have a Beautiful Soul for an Indian Summer

It’s great to see Pippa Middleton wearing the same dress, by sustainable British designer, Beautiful Soul, twice to two separate public events: Wimbledon and the Bryan Adams Foundation Opera and Picnic at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.

Pippa is using her influence and sending out a subtle sustainable fashion message: it is Ok and totally acceptable to wear the same dress twice or even 30 times.  Invest in a quality dress and wear it all Summer long.  Well, until Autumn, which is not long now.  Then you can dress it transeasonally.  Think layering.


Pip Middleton in Beautiful Soul at Wimbledon 2016

Pippa Middleton wearing Beautiful Soul at Wimbledon 2016



Photo by Lara Arnott of Pippa Middleton wearing Beautiful Soul at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.


 Here’s 3 quick tips on how to prep for a summer dress:

  • Give your legs a scrub.  Exfoliate. Work it into your knees until they are smooth and shiny. And your heels.  A pedicure is a given.
  • Invest in a fake tan.  As tanned legs elude us in the UK, its OK to fake it.  If you don’t tan easily, you might have to spend more.  If you’re like me, with a yellow undertone, you can get away with a cheaper bottle of tan plonk.   I love Dove’s Derma Spa self tan lotion.  Smells nice and the tan builds up, so you can avoid streaky mistakes.  A win, win.

Wellstyled loves Dove’s self tanning lotion!

  • Find a dress that accentuates the positives.  See some of my earlier posts of how to measure your proportions which helps in dress style selections.

What are you thoughts on dresses?  Do you suffer from dress angst – feeling too dressed up? I say, always go glam, when in doubt.  Give me a call,or email today and we can talk about how best to work your current style and lifestyle so you can feel amazing while you get dressed up for an Indian summer.  I’ve love to hear your thoughts, so please write and share your comments.



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