Hazel Wooten Vanita Sareen (Fashion Advisor) gives expert video advice on: When do I have to stop wearing jeans?; How do different cuts of trouser flatter different leg shapes?; When should I stop wearing mini skirts? and more...
When do I have to stop wearing jeans?
Never. I think as long as you're prepared to try every shape and size, you can always wear jeans. You can wear a relaxed jean, you can wear a skinny jean if you're a thin, middle-aged lady, but jeans worn with the right things can always be a part of your wardrobe. Yeah, I agree. Jeans always work, and again, I think you've got to look for a well cut jean. The fabric obviously has got to be the right fabric. Lycra is a blessing to all women when their skin begins to not have lycra in it. Also you go for the right cut; and another thing I think is the most important thing is to choose a dark color, because if you go for that, you've done washed out - the Levi's in the 1960's and 1970's that are shredded. It's not a great look because inevitably your skin is becoming a little bit raggedy itself. So don't do it with your clothes.
When should I stop wearing mini skirts?
Right now, if you are middle-aged. Not a good look with wrinkly knees, flabby calves, it's just a no-no. Mini skirts actually shouldn't be worn, because the first sign of aging that women have is that the skin on the kneecap begins to pucker slightly. That is when you know that you are losing the elasticity in your legs. It is not a great look, to be fair. Also, I think you have worn mini-skirts from early days so it is time now to move on. However, I think that if you play tennis, a mini-skirt is fantastic. I think if you are on the beach, it is certainly preferable to shorts. If you are doing a little cover up of your bikini, I would never wear a mini-skirt, shorts to the knee is a much better look. If you look at the newspapers and J Lo and cellulite, imagine if you are middle aged, what you are going to look like. Just look at the back of your legs.
Are most trends just for young people?
I think trends are here for everybody. You know, that's what makes you a person who feels good about yourself. The key being, though, is to take on aspects of the trend and then adapt them to your lifestyle, your age, and to your budget. There are lots of different ways that you could use a trend, but yes, I certainly think that you should wear one top in the color of the season or a part of the look if it is a print that's happening. You know, look hard, see and then take something of it and build it into your wardrobe and build it into something that works for you. I don't think it should necessarily be about your age, it should be about lots of other things as well. I would agree with you on that. Trends are to be followed.
I have a good figure but don't want to frighten people when I turn round, help?
You'll have to be your harshest critic, and if you are, you won't make that huge mistake. You know, look at yourself. I think you can have a great figure and I think you can show it off, but I think the key question is showing it off as a silhouette, in opposed to showing it off, showing it all off. Have a great figure, but be a little bit more subtle, be a little bit more elegant with it. Still look sexy, still feel great about your body, but don't have it, perhaps all on show. Show a little part of it. So wear a great pair of jeans like we talked about earlier, that fit you and show what a fantastic bottom you've got. If you're going to do something like a wider trouser, then wear a lovely sweater that's a beautiful colour, that fits to your curves. But don't do it all in one hit because it's like somebody putting a banquet in front of you. Instead of feeling that you are going to be tempted by it, you feel quite overwhelmed and don't even want to go there with it. So less is more. That's probably the motto on that one.
What clothes or fashions should I steer clear of?
There is a huge world out there. The most important rule to follow is that you should wear something that is comfortable to you. Don't wear anything that is too outrageous because it centers from fashion. Stay within your style. There you're asking, "what clothes should I take care to wear?" We've gone there with mini-skirts. It's fair to say that mini-skirts are a no-no. I think very low tops that reveal far too much breast is not a great idea. It's quite difficult because armpits again devolve women, so you don't want to be too put away. Tops like these tend to go a little bit baggy, and it's not an attractive look. Knees aren't great. Otherwise, there are a lot of things that you can do, but I would say that they are the most critical things, in my opinion. Armpits, breasts, knees.
I find people in clothes shops intimidating to talk to when I need advice, how can I get round this?
They're actually not there to criticize you. They are there to help, and I think if you come along with a friendly approach to the person in the shop, and in my experience, I've never minded a customer coming in and genuinely wanting some help. I think if you go in with that approach, as a customer, the person that's serving you is going to be delighted to help you. You know it's just a nice thing, it helps. You as a sales assistant are more than happy to do that. Yes, I know where you're coming from because I do think that sometimes you can walk in and obviously the people in shops are wearing, because the have to wear, what the shop is selling and it can be slightly intimidating. I think that you should go in and I think, actually the best way to think, is pick something up and see what they suggest. Now, if at any point you don't feel you are getting the service and you are uncomfortable with the service frankly why are you staying there. Actually, that's so true, to interrupt Bonita, because if you go into the Armani shops they look so intimidating because they look so glossy. But actually, they are so helpful, and I'm talking from experience, they are so nice. So, you know, you don't have to be afraid to ask. If you ask you'll be helped. Yes, I do ask, I do feel that if you don't feel that somebody is going to really be on your wavelength, or you're uncomfortable with them, then they're not right for you. You know, don't feel that they're doing you a favor, they're not, you are the customer and basically people who work in shops are working in a service industry and they are there to serve you. And I think, always remember that. They are serving me, this is a service industry and I think its lost its way somewhat. I do to, and I think that the person that approaches you and asks you, if you're not getting the feedback that you want, walk away and find someone who's going to help you in the way that you want to be helped.