Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Number 1 Trick That Makes All Your Clothes Look Good

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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There is one very easy trick to making all your clothes look good (even when you're wearing your own 34-year-old Duran Duran t-shirt - the oldest piece of clothing I own by a very, very long way).

That number 1 trick? Get your underwear right. Oh, I can't tell you how many years I spent wearing the wrong kind of underwear. The wrong size bra, ill-fitting knickers, the wrong shape bras... I've learnt a new trick just recently - but first, that t-shirt!

My original Duran Duran Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour t-shirt is mine - from 1983. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be wearing my most treasured t-shirt and oldest item in my wardrobe, an item I thought until recently was most probably lost. I knew I hadn't deliberately got rid of it, I just knew I'd put it somewhere 'safe' (that old chestnut!) and I'd been looking for it for years. In the end it was in a small storage box I'd forgotten about, found during a clearout of the spare room. Crisis averted.

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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To celebrate the rediscovery of this piece of memorabilia featuring my childhood idols I decided to actually wear it out, which I hadn't done in an incredibly long time. And as the founder of the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike, I will wear an 11 year old's t-shirt if I want to...!

The history of my Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour t-shirt

My dad took me aged just 11 to Wembley Arena to see them (goes without saying that I was a die-hard Duranie) and I can clearly remember looking up at the board at the back of the merchandise area and choosing which t-shirt I wanted. And yes, I know I haven't addressed this yet but OMG IT STILL FITS ME, PEOPLE! A t-shirt I had from age 11 still fits this 44-year-old body, and, more amazingly, this 44-year-old bust. Yet I can't fit into some things I bought last year... Makes no sense whatsoever.

Obviously it's a snug fit, but when you treat it like any other graphic tee and style it with your fave combo of a longline black boyfriend blazer (similar), lightweight peg leg trousers and the funkiest boots ever (already seen in this post), you'd really never know it was a kid's top.

The trick that makes this t-shirt look good

So, onto the trick I mentioned. Getting underwear that fits properly and is the right style and fit for what you're wearing is fundamental to making clothes look good - it doesn't matter what size or shape you are, get the foundations right and everything will hang beautifully and smooth over you properly.

However, something I'd never considered before was the fit of the back of my bras - more specifically the dreaded back fat from tight straps. Now, as someone who's got an incredibly small (and pretty bony) back and then large boobs, my back is not an area where I put on weight - all my weight goes to my hips and thighs.

Therefore when Shapeez contacted me to see if would test one of their smoothing and shaping bras, I was doubtful as to how much difference they could make to me personally because although I'm busty, back fat is not something I've ever worried about before. They say "they’re a second skin and provide a fit like no other" - time to put it to the test!

I was gifted the Silkee Long (a back-smoothing minimizer bra and body shaper) - I often wear a bra with a shaping vest top mostly because I'm always cold around my middle so the long version was perfect for me. Firstly we photographed me wearing my normal (correctly fitting, I've been measured) minimizer bra under the t-shirt, and then we photographed me wearing the Shapeez under it...

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
... Just look at that difference! To say I was stunned when I saw the two pictures is a massive understatement - I was SHOCKED to see that, despite having a very small, bony back, I still had pockets of 'fat' bulging over the top of my bra, and that it was clearly visible in the slim-fitting t-shirt (that's the picture above left, in case it wasn't clear...)

Then compare it to the image above right where I'm wearing the Shapeez.

Totally smooth. No pockets of fat, not even a line of a bra strap. And in case you think I've not been clear enough about exactly how smooth, here's a shot with my shoulders rounded to show you there is nothing visible:

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
It honestly looks like I'm not even wearing a bra from the back... that's nothing short of incredible for someone who absolutely cannot, under ANY circumstances EVER, go without a bra.

Shapeez Back Smoothing Minimizer Bra & Body Shaper
(Above: the Silkee Long)

This is what Shapeez have to say about the product (and my response to each statement):
  • Four-way-stretch provides ultimate support and freedom of movement [Me: it's very body-hugging but not at all restrictive]
  • Disperses weight evenly across the torso to relieve excessive pressure from the back, neck and shoulders and improve overall posture [Me: there's none of that desperation to take your bra off at the end of the day when it's been pressing on your rib cage]
  • Patented design and plush fabric provides ultimate comfort [Me: I'd agree that yes, the fabric is smooth and overall it's very comfortable - and the vest part doesn't ride up at all]

The beauty of this product is that you don't have to rule out certain tops when out shopping - silky and "hangy" fabrics (I know that's not a word, but you know what I mean) especially will not be a problem. I know that busty girls particularly need a lot of support with the right fitting bra - it's almost impossible to then avoid the industrial strapping digging into you and creating bulges. My bras obviously do (previously unbeknownst to me) and I'm pretty fat-free in that area.

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Would I recommend Shapeez?

The Shapeez range includes minimizers, push up bras, slips and sport bras, the bras coming in short and long (i.e. all-in-one bra and vest tops) and more. They have a unique sizing system which is explained on their website - but this was my only criticism: they don't produce quite the right size for me, which is a very small back with a very large cup size. I'm a 30F, and once I'd selected the right back size the cup size options didn't go up to quite big enough. Under the t-shirt my boobs look perfectly fine in the photos and in real life, but I could have done with some extra cuppage room for them. So larger cup size options for us tiny-backed girls please, Shapeez!

Otherwise, this product is 100% spot-on. They've done really well to produce something that I wasn't expecting to make much of a difference to me, when in actual fact I was shocked and ultimately delighted at the results. My treasured DD tour t-shirt lives on.

DO YOU FIND BULGES FROM YOUR BRA A PROBLEM? (OR WERE YOU A DURANIE LIKE ME?!) TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
T-shirt: Vintage (I like this one) | Trousers: Topshop | Blazer: F&F Clothing (similar) | Boots: Finery c/o | Sunglasses: Lulus c/o (similar)


Catherine

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Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayShoe and TellTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog PostsMy Refined StylePassion for Fashion FridayFun Fashion FridaySaturday Share Link Up

Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with Shapeez (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.
Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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20 comments

  1. I agree 100% Catherine, without the right undergarments nothing looks good! And I LOVE your Duran Duran tee! Those were the days...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kellyann, I just couldn't believe how well this worked to smooth out my back...!

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  2. You had me sold at there's none of that desperation to take your bra off!! This sounds like a pretty amazing product and of course loving that vintage tee.

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

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    Replies
    1. Oh Heidi isn't is the worst? I always feel like I'm wearing a corset by the end of the day and my ribcage just hurts. It was nice to feel so comfy and have none of that with this product...!

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  3. First, you look fabulous! Second, those Shapeez are a revelation! I do have the classic back fat issues and am a little reluctant to ditch the loose winter knits in favour of clingy, thin summer tops. I always gain weight on my top half and have been wondering if last summer's t-shirts will leave me feeling too exposed but I think I will give the Shapeez a try instead of investing in a lot of new, one-size-larger tees. If I can work out the sizing for a 34 back with ample boobage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rozanne - I think the pictures speak for themselves as to the difference the Shapeez made. I wasn't prepared to be bowled over, but bowled over I was most certainly was...! x

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  4. I love this outfit! What a fabulous tee! And those boots! Wow! I really should give my underwear much more attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes underwear has always been a number one priority for me Nancy ever since getting properly measured and finding out I was wearing TOTALLY the wrong size bra...!! Thank you hon x

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  5. I love the tshirt and I am suitably impressed you can still get into it for that I doff my cap. As far as the DD tshirt well I was never a fan but I still appreciate the styling. I am hankering after a jacket like the one you are wearing but can't stretch to the price range of the similar one listed. any ideas for sourcing a slightly less penny stretching version?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sara and thank you - I looked everywhere for a jacket this length but alas they're few and far between - the Reiss one I linked to was the only one that didn't stop at the hips (that I could find). The nearest I can now find is this longline bomber jacket: https://www.tesco.com/direct/ff-long-line-bomber-jacket/550-3045.prd - not a blazer style with lapels but it's the only affordable long black jacket that (at least) I can find...!

      Delete
  6. V impressed with your results so had a look on the site as I would give these a go. Sadly as a 34ff I'm well out of their DDD (E) sizing. Erm more cup sizes please Shapeez - prospective customers await!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm weird. Those shapers--they bother me! They feel incredibly cumbersome--especially under t shirts or any top. I discovered that Princess tam tam bras work well for me.
    But--I'm very much in agreement that the right underwear makes or breaks an outfit!
    Great read! Thank you!

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  8. Did the bra make you hot in the wrong way as well as the right way? I saw Duran Duran in concert but was more of an INXS fan.

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  9. Isn't it amazing Catherine? I was fortunate enough to try the Shapeez and I'm over the moon with it xx
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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  10. First off, I'm totally loving the DD Tshirt and those boots. Hungry Like The Wolf is now running through my head! As far as the bra issue. I have a narrow bony back and still get skin that pops up over the back strap. I guess it's inevitable no matter what your shape if you've got your bra snugly fastened. So I really like the idea of that Shapeez bra top. Though being hippy I would be concerned with it riding up on me if the fabric is too slippery. Will have to give one a try and see how it goes.

    Theresa

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  11. The bra looks great Catherine and I love that you still kept your concert tee! I wish I would have held on to my Whitesnake, Metallica and Journey tees now! Those boots are fabulous, I saw them on the website as well.
    thanks for linking with turning heads tuesday
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the look and tips. I still have this same t-shirt and I'm 47 next month! Duranie for life! Fun post!



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  13. OMG! Totally jealous of the t-shirt, featuring my first love, John Taylor! And to find him nestled right in the middle of your Shapeez clothed breasts, the cheat! Once the pain of this treason abates, I might have to go check those bras. And those boots!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't believe the difference in the two photos with Shapeez and without, WOW! I ALSO can't believe you have held on to a tee shirt that long! Very impressive. I love this whole outfit on you, from the tee to the boots... gorgeous! xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wear a lot of shapewear but always with a bra under so still get the back issues. However I have to ditch the shapewear come the summer, just when I need it the most as it is just so hot. I would love to hear that Shapeez are magically cool?

    ReplyDelete

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