Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Who can wear which dress Wednesday? #6 Bias cuts dresses

"The "bias-cut" is a technique used by designers for cutting clothing to utilize the greater stretch in the bias or diagonal direction of the fabric." Definition taken from Wikipedia.

In layman's terms, cutting fabric on the diagonal causes it to have much more stretch which results in it accentuating body lines and curves and causing it to drape softly. For example, a full-skirted dress cut on the bias will hang more gracefully or a narrow dress will cling to the figure.
Bias-cut garments began to appear in the 1920s and 1930s and were an important feature of the designs of French designer and dressmaker Madeleine Vionnet. She firmly believed, as I do, that "when a women smiles, her dress should smile too". Vionnet's designs rejected corsets, padding and various other structured tailoring of the day and instead should accentuate the natural female form.

With this celebration of the more natural female form  in mind, this Wednesdays post looks at which body shape best suits the bias cut, and which of Redressing's collections fall into the bias cut style!
 Although historically a popular choice for wedding dresses and silk or satin Posh Frocks, the bias cut dress doesn't have to stay there. A bias cut dress can also be worn as a more everyday option.

This particular dress is a cute, cap sleeved ditsy print dress with a slightly asymmetrical hemline. As it is cut on the bias it will softly cling to your shape. As bias cuts are usually a 'no-no' for traditional pear shapes, finding one with some sleeve detail makes it possible to balance out the bottom-heavy part of your figure and create the elusive hourglass one which bias cut dresses most readily suit.
Long bias cut dresses will give you the appearance of length and can successfully balance out if you have a longer torso and shorter legs.

Bias cut dresses most definitely do cling so you do need to be aware of that! However some of the most celebrated pear shaped celebs (like the lovely J.Lo) have made bias cuts part of their trade mark style!
Bottom line (no pun intended!) is that whatever your shape, if you are happy to let the bias cut of the fabric cling showing your fabulous female form then go right ahead and dress yourself in bias cuts!
here are some of Redressing's bias cut beauties...X
Sz 12 Dorothy Perkins £20
Sz 8 Bay Trading £15
Sz 12 Wallis £20
Sz 12 Topshop LBD £15
Find these and many others on our website

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My mission to bring back the frock

Redressing finally makes it into the paper! Woo Hoo! And what a great article it is too written by the talented and extremely beautiful Catherine Vonledebur for the Coventry Telegraph. Read it here

It's always funny when someone says they will put you in the paper- sort of exhilerating and scary both at the same time but having read Catherine's article today I had no reason to be anything but extremely excited and encouraged!

She has really managed quite successfully to pull out the heart of my business and to explain to Coventry readers what Redressing can offer! So, sincere apologies to those of you logging on for the first time as a result of the article- I have yet to load around 40 more dresses onto the website so do keep checking it! In the meantime, if you would like to host a Redressing Event or come to a monthly 'Pop-In-And-Shop' then please do get in touch!

In the meantime- here are a few of Redressing's current fab frocks that were featured in the article!

Warehouse, silk dress £20
1960s Inspired Wiggle Dress £15
Wrap Dress £10
The website is also home to some stunning, bespoke handmade jewellery- check out the accessories section. here's a sample of the latest collections from both local and international jewellery designers.
Handmade Necklace by 'That's Gnatty!', Sydney. £12.50
Handmade, bespoke Vintage Button choker, £12.50 by 'Tag & Button', Coventry.
Do follow us using google friend connect, subscribe to receive the blog via email or follow us on Facebook Networked Blogs.....join the Redressing mission to bring back the frock!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Who Can Wear Which Dress Wednesday? #5 Vintage Styles

Now we've covered the four main body shapes in this series of blog posts on who can wear which dress; Pear, Apple, Boy (straight up and down) and Hourglass, I thought I'd have a look at one of my favourite dress styles this Wednesday,-Vintage Chic!

This 1950s style halterneck dress is from a wonderful repro vintage website called Vivien of Holloway
They specialise in styles from the 1940's and 1950's and produce the most gorgeous rockabilly style dresses! This one is the full circle dress complete with netted petticoat underneath giving it that fantastic swing look.

While constantly on the lookout for an authentic Viv number for Redressing I do currently have a few similar alternatives in stock....
This 1950s inspired dress has detachable straps making it easy to wear as a strapless prom dress. The authentic 50s look could quite easily be recreated with a cropped bolero, netted underskirt and kitten heels- perhaps in red?!

Wearing Vintage Styles can be easier than you might think. The same basic body shape rules apply and many of the 1950s inspired dresses create that elusive hourglass shape with the help of elasticated cinch belts and netted petticoats.

Another favourite website of mine has got to be Tara Starlet. A clothing company making all their delicious repro vintage garments right here in the UK! One of my favourites in their current range has got to be these gorgeous 1940s style utility dresses.

I love the easy to wear appeal of a shirt dress like this and Redressing currently stocks this cute gingham version of the 1940s utility dress.
One of the biggest vintage style clothing crazes at the moment has got to be just about anything 'Mad Men' inspired. The classic 'Joan' dress as worn here on set by Christine Hendricks is a wonderful example of the  late1950s wiggle dress, designed to flatter your figure and catch your curves.
These styles are popular everywhere and here's a 'Joan' style one in Redressing similar in shape of cut, sleeve detail and length. Perfect for that voluptuous figure.
Just a few of the Vintage inspired selection curremtly available on Redressing. What's your favourite vintage decade and have you tried to recreate that vintage inspired look? Leave me a comment.....x

Monday, 21 March 2011

Dresses to Impress: The A-Z of Fab Frocks and Gorgeous Gowns...G

G is for Glitz and Glamour

Every woman needs some glitz and glamour in her life, no matter what the occasion. The opportunity to wear a gorgeous gown is always appreciated! I thought I'd show you some of the recent Red Carpet event dresses and then see what Redressing might have to offer from our 'Posh Frock' collection.
 Let's start with red! Some gorgeous Glam numbers here showing that red can be perfect for any age (if the sahde is right!) Here's a red stunner currently on sale at!
Coast.  Size 14.

This dress is from Coast and retails at £25 on The gorgeous pinky red is a great alternative to black for a special night out; a romantic meal or a spring wedding reception.

Topshop size 12
If classic black is more your glamour style then try this LBD from Topshop. Currently retailing at £15 on Redressing.

Black has always been a Red Carpet favourite and can give a slim silhouette if the cut is the right one for your figure!

 When Green looks this good on Christina Hendricks, perhaps it is time to move back into the world of technicolour!
 So how about this glamourous green  from designer Gharani Strok. A beautifully cut dress with a wrap style that suit most shapes and flatters the figure. This Posh Frock is currently retailing at £15 on Redressing.
Gharani Strok size 16
 Whatever you choose as your Glitz and Glamour fav just make sure the cut and colour are right for your skintone and your shape. If you like any of the dresses featured in todays blog then visit us at Redressing and Refresh The Way You Dress!

What have been some of your recent Red Carpet favourites? Leave us a comment!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Are you who you really want to be?

Just had a lovely interview with a wonderful reporter from the local paper and it got me thinking about why I do what I do..

In a nutshell, I believe all women are made to be gorgeous, courageous, strong and victorious individuals and that this confident, aware of our worth posture should most definitely be expressed both inside and out.

And Redressing can help with the outside!
What you wear really does say something about you, whether you meant it to or not. Restoring your sense of self-worth and redeeming your outward appearance isn't as difficult as you might think and does not have to cost you a lot of money; rather a lot of thought.

Have you ever asked yourself "who do I want to be?", not 'what do I want to do when I grow up', but "Who do you want to be".....Do you feel what you wear reflects who you want to be? Is who you want to be merely a long held hope or aspiration? Or can you actually become who you really want to be?
 I have recently undergone quite a significant transformation process in understanding my identity- I like to reflect this outwards as well as on the inside; after all, my process should be of help, support and inspiration to someone else shouldn't it?

What transformations in identity have you experienced? Do you feel you are who you really want to be? Leave me a comment.
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Who can wear which dress Wednesday #4....Hourglass

Hourglass figures- the one we should all have (apparently!)

The hourglass is so named because of the curvaceous wider bust and hip ratio and the nipped in waist. Think Marilyn Monroe for your typical hourglass.

Wildly popular in the fifties, this shape was achieved more easily with the help of some clever undies! The corset (now reduced to life in Burlesque) was once the mainstay ( no pun intended) of this shape as it pulled in the waist and gave structure to the bust, keeping everything in place. Today, an hourglass figure can be created with Spanx belts, push up bras and all sorts of other clever tricks.

An hourglass figure can pretty much wear any style of dress so long as it maximises the fact that the waist is considerably narrower than the bust or the hips. 

 This wrap style from the everyday glam collection is a great one for both a real and a perceived hourglass as the wrap ties accentuate the waistline and the cap sleeves and frilled hemline give a balanced shape and structure to the figure. Although padded shoulders are not everyone's cup of tea, they can be utilised well to achieve an hourglass, particularly on a more naturally pear shape, as they provide balance to the silhouette.

Dresses with a defined waistline are a must for an hourglass; if you feel your hips are an issue then choose a dress with a fuller skirt or wear layers of petticoats and create the structuring for yourself. Be careful not to bulk yourself unnecessarily though- especially if you ave neat pins; you don't want to hide them completely!

This 'mock wrap' dress has a defined waistline. The cap sleeves are great for balancing out the shape and the pattern is fantastic for smoothing the silhouette.

 There you go, the Hourglass shape made easy! Remember, you are gorgeous, no matter what size or shape; all you need are a few tricks and some confidence! Til next time...x

Monday, 7 March 2011

Dresses to Impress: The A-Z of Fab Frocks and Gorgeous Gowns...F

F is for Femininity

Being feminine is key. I don't mean 'girly girl' pink and frills but rather a knowledge of who you are as a woman; what your strengths are, what makes you gorgeous.

Femininity has been seriously distorted by society. Women appear to be restricted to one of two camps- full equality with men at all costs or the opposite end of the spectrum; weak, a bit pathetic and dependent on a Man. I'd like to redress this balance. Women were created to be fully complete as women yet were also created to have an interdependent relationship with men where both add to the strengths of one another, not feel a sense of competition, a fear of subjugation or no sense of their own individual identity. Much of the redressing of this balance needs to come from a re-scripted attitude within men, but as women we have to recognise that we are gorgeous, worth everything and highly relevant anyway.
So, femininity within clothing. Women choose their clothing for a wide variety of reasons; some for themselves alone, some in a way that pleases others. Dressing should be to represent externally what you value internally and what characterises you. Dresses have taken quite a bit of stick over the years and in my view have been mis-represented! Historically, dresses were saved for best; only came out for weddings, high days and holy days and were not viewed as everyday items of clothing. Fortunately the dress tables are turning and we can embrace the simplicity of a one piece garment and wear a gorgeous everyday glam dress all the time.

A dress is only a dress until you inhabit it with your personality- clothes, as they say, don't maketh the man (or woman!) Being feminine means understanding that you are beautiful as a woman in mind, body and spirit and that you are complete, not lacking in anyway, yet you also recognise the inter-relationship required for successful relationships. Femininity is an acknowledgment of every aspect of our sex and using these aspects maturely is what takes us from girls into women and better still, ladies. You don't have to be in one camp or another- I desire success to all women in whatever they want from life providing they are embracing their femininity accurately and don't disgrace the rest of us with female manipulation tactics or provocative dressing and the use of feminine wiles. We are designed to have self respect, embrace our femininity and understand we are gorgeous without the need for any of these tactics to find success.

So, dress yourself in a dress- let yourself and others know and see that you can re-script the wearing of dresses and release them from the trappings of 'posh do's' only! Be yourself in a dress and enjoy embracing your femininity!

Remember, you are gorgeous! 'Til next time....x

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Who can wear which dress Wednesday #3 Apple Shape


If you are an apple shape you will most probably be larger on your top and middle than you are on the hips. Apples shapes get the name from the rounder shape of the torso. Legs can often be extremely thin. Apples are actually quite an easy body shape to dress in a dress and what better dress than a girls best friend; the wrap dress.

The beauty of wrap dresses is that they come in a multitude of colours, lengths, and wrap styles. The reason wrap dresses work so very well on apples is that they create a sculpted look defining the waistline which is otherwise an apples most problematic area. Patterned wraps are best for apple shapes as the fabric will disguise any lumps or bumps as does the ruching created by the wrap itself.

Other good styles for apples include empire line dresses (scroll down for the which dress Wednesday post for Pear shapes) and dresses with lower slung waists. Dresses to avoid are anything with too much lycra- you don't want fabric clinging to all the wrong bits!

Longer length dresses can even out an apple shape whereas mini dresses can leave you looking even rounder. 3/4 length sleeves are also a great option for balancing your shape. The V neckline created by a warp dress will visually elongate the torso; the same is true of the low slung waisted dress.

There are always wrap dresses to be found so find one you like and let it love your figure!

Til next time...x