What to wear if you’re a brick

Isn’t that the most horrible name for someone’s body shape?  I much prefer the reference ‘lavender’: one of the four flowers Annah Stretton (quirky NZ designer) and her sales team use.   Anyway last weekend I had the most awesome invitation to help my friend Lara with her wardrobe.  It was so much fun and so helpful for both of us that I’ve decided to write it up as a series of topics over this week:

1. What to wear if you’re a brick,
2. Spring Colours,
3. Remixing your wardrobe, and
4. What shoes do you really, REALLY need.

Lara is a very beautiful petite lady (160cms), with lovely strong shoulders, a slim waist and great colouring (dark hair and striking blue/green eyes).   She has fantastic taste in colour and I think had got it absolutely right with the colours and tones she already had in her wardrobe.

She's a mum to an active toddler and has a full-time job that involves both desk work and crawling around in nature, so as you'd expect her wardrobe was extremely practical. 

I can't believe I was so nervous to be helping out a friend (massive self-confidence attack prior meant I had at least done lots of research before-hand)!  Anyway the first thing we talked about was body shape - we agreed that Lara was a Brick - here's a quick body shape quiz if you want to know more about shapes.

Main characteristics of the Brick are; straight up and down, often broad shouldered, little waist definition and thick thighs and/or calves - quite a boyish figure.  Often ladies with this shape are trying to hide their features, with baggy clothes or dark colours, meaning often they lose any shape at all.  Creating the illusion of curves is easily done with the right clothes.  Here's an example of a before and after that Lara and I devised.

 The lighter coloured top under this pastel purple cardigan with the belt added suddenly creates a lovely waist without ever even showing one off.  Another idea we discussed is doing up just one button on the cardigan to draw the shape into an hourglass.

Bricks should look for:

Structured coats (the right tailored clothes add shape and create excellent proportions)
V-neck tops or cardigans (can pair the cardigan with a high necked top and get the same shape illusion)
Keeping scarves open (rather than tightly wrapped around your neck)
Skirts and trousers that hang naturally and skim your hips (flare at the bottom of the skirt emphasises your waist)
Belts (draw the eye to your waist and can be positioned to balance proportions\)
Peplum tops (paired with a slim bottom half these will add shape and interest to your waist)
Trumpet, full, a-line skirts (all of which will narrow waist and create an hourglass without bulk)

Bricks should avoid:

Low rise jeans (make your torso look long and out of proportion)
Short skirts (again emphasising legs)
Clumpy masculine shoes
Sheath dresses (try styles that give you more shape in the waist)

Can't wait to share with you the rest of our awesome morning - including some of the things Lara bought after our wardrobe discussion!