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Monthly Archives: August 2015



By | Figure Flattery | 3 Comments

Madonna does it, Anne Hathaway does it and Oprah certainly does it.

From princesses to divas, heads of state to the girl next door, these days ‘mother’s little helper’ is not a pill it’s shapewear.

Shapewear has become an essential part of most contemporary woman’s wardrobe and why not when the right style ensures you have a streamlined silhouette? 


Girdles were the first piece of shapewear recorded in fashion history. Typically made with leather and linen, girdles were designed to support and accentuate the chest and were first worn by the Ancient Romans and Greeks.

During the Elizabethan and Victorian era, girdles made way for corsets, which were the most popular shapewear of the time. Most shapewear designs go with the fashion trends of the time, like always, shapewear is designed to complement prevailing fashion trends. As the 20th century approached, girdles became back in vogue while bras, panties, and camisoles also helped in enhancing one’s figure, and shapewear became a permanent part of women’s closets everywhere.

The fashion industry has progressed well beyond the traditional shapewear of yore. Now, you can find different levels of control and various types of coverage when it comes to shapewear. Other notable advancements are butt-lifting shapewear, multiple strap shapewear for versatility, a plethora of colors to match with your garment, and so on. Moreover, fashion and design technology has eliminated unsightly seam lines and better control panels too. Shapewear is now also made more fashion forward, and it has recently been designed to look sexier and designed to look more like lingerie.

PicMonkey Collage

Source: Image 1, Image 2

PicMonkey Collage

There’s something for every need

  • Body slimmer: These dress length body slimmers are designed to smooth and slim from the bustline to the knees. Made of comfortable, firm fabric that will not ride up. 
  • Bodysuit: This looks like a one-piece swimsuit. It has a built-in bra and tummy control all in one. Great when you want to trim the waist and control the tummy.
  • Cami Top or Cami Bra: A camisole-looking piece of shapewear that gives a seamless and toned look under knits and clingy tops. Perfect for eliminating bra bulge. Available as a cami or cami and bra.
  • Control Brief: A brief with a built-in front tummy panel. The solution when a flat tummy is desired. Very useful under straight skirts, knits, and flat-front pants. Also known as a tummy shaper.
  • Thigh Control Brief: Light to strong control brief that can firm the tummy, bottom and thighs. If large thighs are your problem, select style with light control at the leg hemline.
  • High-waisted Brief: A control brief with an extended waistband to give shaping and support to the waistline. Eliminates any line at the waist and gives a smooth shape to the sides.
  • Waist Control Bra: Similar to the high waisted Brief, this garment slims the waist but is connected to a bra. Often a better choice as it has less chance to roll when seated.
  • Footless Hose: A control brief with legs extending down the thigh. This smoothes the thigh-line and eliminates unwanted bulges and movement.


Shapewear 101

  • Shapewear is made to enhance your existing figure. Embrace your curves, and keep in mind that shapewear is made to reveal the best version of you.
  • Keep in mind the silhouette and type of garment you will be wearing your shapewear with. Choose control briefs or panties for midi skirts, full slip shapers for that little black dress and so on. Also, remember to think about exposed straps when wearing shapewear, there are strapless options available for that.


  • Don’t be tempted to buy shapewear larger or smaller than your real size, you can choose a higher level of control of your garment if you need more constriction.
  • Keep an eye out for cotton-blend options that makes shapewear more breathable and cool. 
  • Always step into shapewear, even camisoles, and pull the garment up over the hips to avoid trapping the head and arms in the shaper. Also, bunch up the shaper like pantyhose and pull it on while gradually releasing the fabric. Leave crotches hooked or snapped, as it can be difficult to get these fastened once the shaper is on. The trick is to go slowly and be patient. 
  • When fitting shapewear, bend, stretch, sit and walk around in it to ensure it fits well and doesn’t restrict your movements.
  • Buy the shapewear that suits the garment you’ll be wearing e.g., an all in one for a dress or cami top for under a light weight sweater.
  • Any shapewear that has even the slightly change of being seen should be in a color that becomes invisible with the garment. Nude works for light colored items while back is best for dark clothing. 

Notable brands

At the forefront of the shapewear revolution are two notable brands, Spanx and Nancy Ganz. Nancy Ganz revolutionized shapewear and introduced it into the Australian market in the 90s with its Hip Slip product. The Hip Slip is the modern version of the girdle and it cemented Nancy Ganz as a brand powerhouse when it comes to shapewear. Its new innovation, Nancy Ganz SLIMS, is 50% thinner than traditional shapewear. The brand also now offers swimwear with control options.

Spanx, on the other hand, is a brand and collection of shapewear created by Sara Blakely. With an almost cult following from celebs and regular women alike, Spanx has introduced the power that shapewear has to increase one’s confidence as well as one’s chicness. Spanx has a wide selection of shapewear, from jeans to undergarments to swimwear.



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Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Woman on vacation. Summer holiday and car travel concept


By | Travel | 3 Comments

For many women, packing to go away is the most stressful part of a trip. Giving into the fear of not packing enough means we end up stuffing our bags for every possible contingency only to return and realize we wore only a quarter of what we packed.

I’ve traveled a lot and have learned a lot of things the hard way. So here’s my advice to you on travelling light. Oh and, for it to really work you’ll need to start at least 2 weeks before your trip.

1. Plan every outfit

  • Aim for maximum outfits from a minimum number of items. If an item does not work with at least 3 outfits, maybe it’s not worth including
  • By ‘plan’, I mean:
    • Determine each complete outfit, including accessories you plan to wear
    • Record every item you need to take to complete your outfits
    • Remember to take your final chart with you
  • It’s best to opt for tried and tested outfits. Your vacation is not the time to experiment. If you feel the need to take a new outfit be sure to have worn it once to make sure it works
  • Comfort is essential, especially when it comes to the shoes
  • Pack non-iron items whenever possible 
  • Choose garments that can be layered for changing temperatures
  • Pack lightweight lingerie, sleep and gym wear – the type that’s easy to handwash and dries quickly

Travel Check List

2. Go travel-sized

  • From skincare to shampoo, these products are best decanted into small containers. These are available at most pharmacies. If under 100ml (3.3.oz), they can be placed in your carry-on
  • Place them into a sealed, plastic bag in case they leak

3. Get accessory smart

  • Accessories are an excellent way to change up your look and unify separates. However, like your clothes, they need to work with several outfits and not weigh more than your pants
  • Pack jewelry into a pouch in separate small zip-lock bags
  • Pack no more than four pairs of shoes. If you plan out your outfits, I promise you, this is achievable. If you need a dressy shoe, limit yourself to one pair. Black patent leather pumps are often the ideal choice
  • Take only two handbags – one you’ll use as your carry-on and one you’ll pack. Your carry-on bag is most useful when it is soft, spacious, and functional and will fit under your seat. When selecting a bag to pack, it’s best not to choose a heavy bag. Bags which can fold flat are best. If it’s a hard-sided bag, be sure to firmly pack soft items into it to ensure it does not get crushed

4. Stuff and roll

  • Place the heaviest items in the base of your bag
  • Fill all gaps with accessories and small items
  • Stuff your shoes and handbags with small items
  • Place all potentially leakable items in plactic ziploc bags.
  • Roll/fold your clothes. This saves space and prevents wrinkling. I’d read this suggestion many times but only recently tried it and it worked like a gem. Check out the video below
  • Place the things you’ll need first on top
  • If where you are headed is cool, save luggage weight by wearing your coat and heaviest shoes on the plane

packingClick to watch

5. Use your carry-on wisely

Few things are more distressing than lost luggage but it happens to travellers every day, so it’s best to be prepared.

Pack your carry-on with all the essentials you’ll need to get you through the first 24 hours, including medication and anything you may need for a presentation. From experience, I can tell you that arriving at your destination with only a few hours until a presentation, only to discover all your materials are in a lost bag, is not funny.

Now that you’ve read these tips you’re ready to pack light so you can bring back the spoils of your travels.

Happy travels!



By | Colour, Coordination, Wardrobe Savvy | No Comments

Is grey the new black?

Probably not but it should be here’s why…


  • works for more personal colorings than black
  • is kinder to complexions when you are over 50
  • is more versatile than most other neutrals and lends versatility and timelessness to a wardrobe
  • is a color that easily transfers from the office to casual outings
  • pairs perfectly with all colors
  • can be worn all year round

Not all greys are equal.

There are many greys in various temperatures, discovering your best grey is a great place to start.

Shades of grey1

There’s a Grey for Every Coloring

Grey_Cool and Clear

Grey_Cool and Muted

Grey_Warm and Clear

Grey_Warm and Muted

The Basics

  • Stick to one temperature of grey. Mixing different temperatures of grey can be tricky.
  • Wear darker greys around the problem areas in our body, and lighter colors around the areas you want to highlight.
  • Choose fabrics and silhouettes that reflect the current season.

Seasonal shapes and fabrication

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

  • Lighter shades are perceived as more casual than dark shades. To raise your authority wear medium to dark greys

Vales of grey


  • Greys in fine, smooth fabrics are dressier than those that are textured. Use this to tip to increase the formality of light grey. Structured shapes will also add to the formality/authority.



  • Grey marle has its origin in sport, making it the most casual version of grey and best left for non-business/casual occasions.


Source: Image 1, Image 2

Monochromatic Outfits

All grey outfits have the potential to look boring, to prevent this coordinate grey outfits garments in different depths of grey. This will unify you look and showcase your color knowhow. Max out at three depths, one light, one medium and one dark.

Grey Levels

Add texture or textural elements to create visual interest e.g, tweed, mohair, pleating, draping, print, fur etc.

Textural elements

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Mixed Color Outfits

Mix with other neutrals

This creates a minimalist and modern aesthetic. Black, camel and white all play very well with gray, and give you a hundred chic points for looking sleek and effortless. Overlaying a black garment with a grey item can soft black’s sometimes harsh effect.

grey and neutrals

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Pop a Color

From a subtle peek of bright color, to an elegant matching pink lip and heels combo, or even a shocking red maxi skirt, grey is the perfect color to serve as a canvas for a splash of strong color.


Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Pastel Paring

Pastels always turn heads when juxtaposed with tones of grey. The mix is elegant and feminine but don’t limit yourself to wearing it in the spring, these light colors are just as appropriate in fall/winter too.

Pastle pairings

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Turn Down the Volume

Greys are great for toning down a loud all-over print, impactful graphic or bold colored outfit.

Create Subtley

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Want More? He’s an interesting piece on the psychology of wearing grey.

So now that you know a little more about how to wear grey to look amazing will you be giving it ago?

I’d love to see you wearing grey outfits – why not post your photos on our Facebook page.  Add #MeInGrey