Ten fashion blunders to avoid this year

Most stylish people tend to stay loyal to a certain style.

Most stylish people tend to stay loyal to a certain style.

1. Wearing oversized outfits. Big may be beautiful but not if you are wearing pants which are way too large, a jacket which does not fit properly at the shoulders or a T-shirt which could happily accommodate your entire family. If you are generously proportioned do not make the mistake of hiding inside extensive layers in the hope of looking more svelte. Always dress to suit your size and make sure any clothes you buy in the sales fit properly and make the most of your figure.

2. Dressing younger than your years. You may have the figure of a 20-year-old model but that does not mean that you can dress like one, especially if you are on the wrong side of 40. Think twice before donning any item which is not age appropriate and avoid teen styles, novelty looks and short skirts, especially, even if you have legs that go on forever.

3. Choosing the same colours always. You have probably changed your hair colour and style numerous times so it makes sense to rethink your favourite fashion shades and find out if they still work well for you. Give particular attention to the ones you wear closest to your face because they will have the greatest impact on your appearance and can make you look drained, if you make the wrong choice.

4. Scuffed shoes. If there is a footwear faux pas that is worse than this it has to be being down at heel. Shoes or boots which look worse for wear and bear the evidence of too many close encounters with paved streets, uneven pavements or muddy driveways will destroy your image faster than you could say Jimmy Choo. Equally, not getting shoes reheeled on time or wearing ones which are not in keeping with the style of your outfit are other fashion no nos. Avoid at all costs wearing chunky shoes with a pretty dress. Opt instead for elegant heels. Many men wear classy suits but then undo the excellent sartorial impression they make by teaming their outfit with shoes which have seen better days. Good old fashioned shoe polish can restore many to their former glory. If they are beyond redemption head for the sales where there are still bargains to be found in everything from footwear and accessories to day and evening wear.

5. Wearing belts if you are overweight. They will appear to cut you in half making you look rounder. Choosing non slimming colours, such as white, orange, yellow and red are unwise moves too if you have had too much Christmas pud and your over indulgence is beginning to show on your waistline. Dress in one colour to make you look leaner.

6. Choosing tight fitting clothes and heavy fabrics if you want to look slim. Choose well fitting dresses which hang below the knee, tailored shirts, jackets and dresses. If your tummy is your problem area divert attention away from it by wearing tailored clothes. Outfits with a little shoulder padding broaden the shoulder outline giving the impression of a more evenly proportioned body.

7. Failing to have a signature look. Most stylish people tend to stay loyal to a certain style which works well for them and only take calculated risks with fashion when they are sure they are on to a winner. Take a leaf from their books and develop a personal style. Get into the habit of trying on clothes in different shops, even if you have no intention of buying, to find out what suits you. Be adventurous and experiment with shapes and shades you would not usually consider wearing. Expect to make mistakes along the way as you learn from trial and error and try to avoid costly blunders.

8. Anything that overwhelms. This applies to fussy necklines, ankle length outfits or shaggy coats if you are petite, a riot of colours or explosion of prints. Moderation is the key so if you like leopard print, for instance, remember less is more. The same principle applies to jewellery. Keep patterns small if you are a plus size and go easy on accessories. Simple earrings and a pearl necklace are always a winner.

9. Being a fashion victim. If you are trend driven then not only is there a high risk that you will make glaring fashion errors as you embrace each season’s top looks but even worse, you could end up broke. Aim to be a recessionista, someone who can look good on a tight budget and manage to incorporate the latest styles into his/her wardrobe without becoming a slavish follower of fashion. Accept that there will be some trends that you should avoid like the plague, such as a short skirt if you do not have the best pins or a long coat if you are a short man. Males who want to add an illusion of height should consider dressing in one colour and wearing matching shoes because this will give an unbroken line of colour. Those who prefer not to stand out in a crowd should veer towards simple, understated looks which will not accentuate either their assets or imperfections.

10. Overdoing it. This warning applies to everything from sunless tan to sequins, sparkles, the colours black and red, quirky fashion items, faux fur, and fake eyelashes. It is easy to get carried away with patterns and prints also, bright clothes and traffic stopping lipstick. Fancy hosiery is another area that demands caution. It can look great on the right person but will draw attention to any trouble spots. Soft leather boots which fit loosely around the ankle are perfect if you have thick ankles - remember you are aiming to make your legs and feet as unnoticeable as possible. When in doubt about any garment or look stop and think or look at yourself in a full length mirror or ask an honest but kind friend who will give you the truth but ideally with a little sugar coating.

If your sequinned top looks great on you then be sure to keep the rest of your outfit and accessories simple for maximum impact.

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