Q: I’m 75 and 5ft tall with a 38-inch chest and a bit of tummy after having four children. I don’t have a lot of cash and end up shopping in M&S or Primark, where I have to get a size or two bigger to fit my bust. Trousers are always too long and tops and coats too big. Can you help?
I recently did a makeover for a woman who, like you, is petite and big busted. She had the same concerns and was buying clothes that fit her boobs but not the rest of her body. She thought she was a size 14 but I put her in size 12 tops and bottoms and size 10 jackets. We reintroduced her to her figure and I think you need this, too.
First, check your bra – it needs to be on the tightest setting around your back and your straps should be tighter to pull up your breasts. Don’t worry, you’re not making them look bigger – you’re simply stopping your stomach and chest from merging into one another.
My rules for petite dressing are: buy cropped trousers (ankle length or a calf crop) as they’ll fall to your foot or ankle, and choose dresses that go in at the waist and have three-quarter-length sleeves. Embrace jackets with a V-shape to break up the width of your breasts. You don’t need to do the jacket up, so try it in one size smaller and it will create the impression of a waist.
There’s a current trend for jackets with ruched sleeves (to look as though they’ve been pulled up), which will be a lovely wrist length on you.
I also recommend the kids’ section at Zara. You might feel self-conscious trying on children’s clothes, but the pieces are well cut and the tops and jackets will hit your arms and shoulders in the right places.
Consider the following outfit: a pair of soft navy stretch jeans from Next – they’re cropped so will be the perfect length on you and the stretchiness makes them more comfortable around the middle. Wear with navy socks and white trainers (Matalan have some fashion-forward options at great prices). A navy and white striped top from Zara looks expensive, plus the style creates an illusion of a corset shape, creating a waist. Finally, this Boden blazer is bright and will look very chic as you head into autumn.
For more inspiration on petite dressing, visit Trinny’s YouTube Takeover Show
I can’t get enough of…
Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion (£22.50, victoriahealth.com). This is the best body lotion ever. I find it wonderfully hydrating – and it contains fruit acids, too, so it will help exfoliate your dead skin cells. It’s great for making sure that your holiday tan fades evenly all over, with no peeling.
I want to go grey gorgeously
Q: I’m in my 60s and have stopped dyeing my hair but the regrowth seems very coarse and dull. Is there anything I can use to ease the transition to grey?
There are some very good products out there – and I’m a big fan of Josh Wood’s Ice Blonde Shade Shot Gloss (£15, boots.com), which is fabulous – and not just for blondes. It will deep-condition hair and give it some life, while toning down brassy hues and bringing out the silver.