fashionHannah MacLeod

HIP TO BE SQUARE

fashionHannah MacLeod
HIP TO BE SQUARE

In 1959, Bridget Bardot wore a pink gingham wedding dress to marry actor Jacques Charrier.  So if it's good enough for Bridget.... 

Gingham for me is certainly a very nostalgic print, it reminds me of hazy summer days, school coming to an end and the excitement of the long holidays ahead.  

I think that most summers there will be a certain amount of it around but for this season, it has been particularly prevalent.  From Loewe to Balenciaga and Diane Von Furstenberg to Oscar de la Renta, the gingham check was all over the catwalks for S/S18 and has of course trickled down onto the high street.   Departing from the usual blue/white and green/white combinations, the fabric has been reimagined in a myriad of vibrant candy colours, making for a fresh take on a traditional style.    

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This dress by Monsoon is a masterclass in good high-street design.  Cut to suit the majority of female figures, it is fitted around the bust and v-neck providing a flattering shape for both smaller chested and much larger chested ladies.  Hurrah!

It has a flat panel just under the bust which accentuates most women's smallest part of their body and flares out from here, skimming over the more 'tricky' areas.  Monsoon have not skimped on the length (which is a massive bug bare of mine) meaning that the dress ends at a very elegant spot, just above the ankle.  Lastly, is has sleeves... it has sleeves!!!  When are designers going to understand that most women over the age of 35 (maybe younger?!) don't want to have the tops of their arms out???!  Unless you are someone that goes to the gym every day, then the tops of the arms are very rarely a part of the body that you want to show off.  It doesn't even need to be a substantial sleeve (like the ones on this dress) it could literally be a capped sleeve.  This makes ALL the difference.  I once asked a sales assistant in a well known high street shop (typically aimed at older women) why all their dresses had no sleeves.  She said, 'oh, it's because they want the customer to buy the jacket'.  What?  WHAT??  How incredibly stupid and short sighted.    

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My outfit is by Zara.  The minute that I saw it, I had to have it.  Feminine yet practical, on trend but not uncomfortable, smart yet not too smart- the prefect double act for me.  The best thing about this two piece is that you could wear each piece separately.  The top worn on holiday with a pair of high-waisted shorts during the day and a skirt at night would look fab, as would the cut-off trousers with a blouse or a jumper come Autumn.

Here, I have chosen to wear the top over a t-shirt.  It's such a great tip if you have those lovely strappy summer tops that only get worn on holiday because they feel a bit 'exposing' in the city.  Bung on a t-shirt underneath and you're away.

What I love about the shape of this top is the square neck.  I am obsessed by wide square neck-lines where the straps reach right across to almost under the armpits.  It is SO much more flattering than straps that start much further into the middle of the top.  Most women don't love the area between their underarm and their chest so this neckline conceals all that.  Princess Diana often wore this neckline, particularly for her evening dresses.  It is a detail in her dressing that has always stuck with me. The poster for Kensington Palace's new exhibition is a case in point (currently all over the Underground stations). 

My love for hairbands continues.  This is the Anthropologie one that I featured last week but I have since been into Anthropologie and picked up a gorgeous pink striped one (here in case anyone fancies a gander).  As seen here, they are a great way to add a touch of colour to an otherwise simple outfit.  And it is with this thought that I will leave you.  Until next time, au revoir friends. 

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SUE

Dress, Monsoon . Shoes, Castaner . Bag, Zara . Necklaces, Mum's own . Earrings, a gift from me brought back from Ibiza.  

HANNAH

Top and trousers, Zara . T-Shirt, Zara . Bag, Topshop . Trainers, Veja . Hairband, Anthropologie . Earrings, J Crew

Photography and artwork by Alexandra Mooney