Thursday, July 11, 2013

Does Nina Proudman's style suit YOU?

Open letter to all Offspring fashion fans:

Nina Proudman is a fictional character.

Her style is bohemian.

Her style is popular.

After all, she has a fabulous figure and the clothes/accessories are selected & styled by experts.

You can use her as inspiration for your wardrobe.

You can even seek out & buy the actual pieces she wears.

That’s if you want to look like a fictional character.

Lets go to your wardrobe.

I find a lot of women open their wardrobe door in the morning & aren’t exactly thrilled with what they see – even if there are many choices in front of them.

Lets face it, most women wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time.

Choices made on the spur of the moment during a television show are unlikely to increase that ratio.

The only way to increase that ratio is twofold.

Firstly, you PLAN your wardrobe based on your LIFESTYLE. 

  1. What activities do I do in my life (stay at home mum, school run, lunch with friends, career girl in the office, career girl with home office, drinks with friends, dating, clubbing, fitness etc)?
  2. What clothes do I need for each of those activities (jeans, pants, nice tops for day,  suits, party & cocktail, sexy tops for night, exercise wear, large bag for the kitchen sink, structured bag for work, small bag for play)?
  3. Hence where are the gaps in my wardrobe? But don’t even think about going shopping yet. At this stage it’s a GENERAL assessment of the gaps and general assessments are never good enough for shopping trips.

The chances of Nina’s clothes fitting into your wardrobe gaps is a longshot. All Nina’s clothes will do is reduce your ratio so you will wear 10% of your wardrobe 80% of the time.

Secondly, you must “KNOW THYSELF”.

1. What is my body shape (apple, pear, inverted triangle, rectangle, hourglass)?
2. What is my height (ie: am I petite)?
3. Am I long waisted or short waisted?
4. What colours flatter my complexion?
5. What’s my style (classic, dramatic, whimsical, bohemian, natural/sporty, minimalist etc)?

Once you’ve figured out “know thyself”, then you go back to the “plan” and identify the gaps in a more targeted and specific manner.

For example, lets say you identified that you needed more casual tops in the “planning” step.  “Know thyself” narrows it down & identifies the styles & colours of the casual tops. Yet, even if you have these specifics, its still NOT time to go shopping.

Let me give you some examples of the specifics:

A kimono top is the worst thing for a petite or a rectangle to wear. Unless they live in

Yellow is one of the hardest colours to wear. Unless you are a road worker. It is death on a complexion which suits burgundy, cobalt, watermelon or lavender, navy, aqua or fuschia. Unless you are in a television studio with light and make up people at your beck & call.

Long layered necklaces sitting below the breastbone on busty girls will emphasise the girls. All they do is move around over the breasts & make the girls the focus instead of the overall look being the focus. 

For large busts, a necklace like left is appropriate. The length of the
necklace on the right is very wrong. 

Slim jeans tucked into long boots don’t work for pears. Unless you want to look even more bottom heavy. A pear needs balance on their lower half (think boot leg) & they don’t need their silhouettes around the hips/thighs emphasized by tight clothes.

Maxi dresses aren’t the best for petite shapes or apples. But if you can find an empire waist dress, it may work for an apple or a pear.

Full skirt maxis don’t work on anyone except for tall inverted triangles or hourglasses. The chances of you being the exception here are miniscule.

There are MANY shades of ever colour. The complexions which suit soft muted colours will not suit the same colour in a vibrant clear version. So a mint green wont suit the complexions which look good in a soft khaki green nor those who look good in an emerald green. If you live in a TV studio with make up & lighting people all around you, this doesn’t apply to you.


Unless you invoke that TV studio scenario, if you suit aqua well, you wont suit turquoise as well. And vice versa. Nina wears both these colours as she invokes the TV studio exception. 

Clingy Henley style tops, unless used for layering, are not very forgiving on real bodies.

Only a very small proportion of women have a
figure that can accommodate this look. 

A cross body narrow bag wont work for a stay at home mum or a corporate girl unless you intend to use it casually. Don’t expect it to work for you seven days a week. It only works 24/7 in a TV studio.

Nina wears cream & stark white near her face. Thanks to the TV studio exception. Apart from that no one who suits cream will also suit stark white. Don’t just buy a Nina white top or a Nina cream top. Make sure its YOUR best shade of white.

Nina wears metals which can be gold or silver toned. No-one whose complexion  suits gold will suit silvers even remotely as well. Unless they take advantage of the TV studio ambience exception.

If your style is dramatic or structured (like Billie's) or minimalist, then Nina's numbers just wont work for you.

Nina loves cropped jackets over long tops. Kimono style, denim, flowy, the works. If you are pear shaped, forget this look. Alot of women are pear shaped. 

Women on the short side generally cant wear long, loose flowy styles. Ever. 

The Oneseason style top is not good for shorter girls. Get it altered or dont buy it.

So once you know what DOES & DOESN’T work for your lifestyle, body & complexion AND you have identified your specific gaps, then you can think about shopping. I can guarantee you that most of Nina’s clothes don’t fall into your shopping list.

In case you haven’t figured it out, Nina Proudman has a terrific figure & with the help of the TV studio exception will look fabulous all the time. If you copy her style, you will get it wrong for you body, colouring & lifestyle. Guaranteed.

Yes, so many women are filling their carts after each episode with things that don’t suit them or their lifestyle. I am seeing the same names again & again, every week. Not picking up the odd piece here & there, but picking up many pieces. 

Please step back & do some planning before you click after an episode.

Frankly, if you didn’t have gaps in your wardrobe for scalloped boots or yellow tops before the episode screened, I can guarantee you that those items will be a mistake if you bought them after the episode.

What do I mean by a mistake?

I am sure you’ll wear the mistake once or twice or even three times. You’ll get comments on the item because your friends will recognize it as a Nina piece. But its unlikely they will complement YOU. They will instead complement the ITEM.

When something is a winner, your friends say “Wow you look terrific”
When something isn’t a winner, your friends say “Wow, what a great top”.

Ultimately, the stuff that looks terrific, but doesn’t look terrific on YOU, wont be worn a lot. Do you want to buy stuff that sits in your wardrobe more than it sits on your back?

Nina Proudman style isnt for everyone. In fact it isnt right for over 50% of adult women. Be careful when you get excited every Wednesday night. I am worried about your wardrobe and your wallet. 


  1. Love this post :) I love Nina's clothes, but the reality for me is that I am too short to wear most the stuff she wears. I do love her "slim jeans into boots" style, but as boot-cut jeans suit me best, that puts paid to that look. As much as I try, I keep coming back to the "jacquie-e" look for me.

    1. Sarah, one thing that you can do is the scarves & necklaces. Just keep the necklaces fine & not chunky & the scarves not too long/wide. If you work JacquiE, I'd recommend Veronika Maine for a slightly more modern look. The downer is that they cut long in the body so you have to pick & choose. I'd also seriously recommend the petite sections in Myer & Djs , specifically Jane Lamerton & basque. Let me know how you go, Val

  2. What a great article! I've always wondered what the big allure of Nina Proudman's style is... too boho and definitely achievable for my little frame! I much prefer Keddie's "off-duty" style :)

    1. **UNachievable** is what I meant to say!

    2. I SO SO SO agree with you about Asher's off duty style Pie. She pulls together a sharp sleek look very different from Nina, doesnt she? If you are petite, that close to the body (skim not cling) is very important and the simpler styles help to not swamp a small frame. So glad you enjoyed the post. Val

  3. God, you're such a 'know-all'. Half of what you've said is completely inaccurate. What makes you the authority anyway. You're so annoying the way you think you're an authority on anything & everything Nina wears. Before you comment on her shape yiu should get it right. She's actually an hourglass shape which is simiar to a pear shape. This means a lot of what you've blabbered on about is inaccurate.
    Everything you've said about colours & complexions (aside from yellow being difficult to wear) is just your opinion & is again inaccurate. Perhaps you should research colour theory before commenting.
    Why are you sooooo against people buying Nina clothes like we're so "tragic". It's so annoying how every time someone posts a question on the Nina Proudman or Offspring Facebook page about clothing pieces and where to get something from you start your reply with "old season" like you get pleasure in the fact that it's old and no one can get it.
    You should get a life & get off Facebook & stop commenting on EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S fashion comments or questions. Stop being such an "authority".
    Lastly, you're so old and unattractive. Perhaps take a leaf out of your own book & stop dressing like a young person. You look like mutton dressed up as lamb in half your outfits especially when you try to dress like Nina! It's a joke!
    Why do you feel it's your "duty" to "educate" everyone about how they shouldn't buy Nina's actual clothes & how it makes them stupid if they do.
    I find your article very negative and condescending as I do all your posts about Nina's clothes.

  4. Oh my. That last comment was really uncalled for. Not very nice at all.


  5. I think it 's hilarious and accurate ..I'm referring to last comment, that is,the author of this scathing attack on women is no expert and no fashion doyenne , it's ppls right to choose which style they wish to pursue and I know many who can wear gold AND silver succesfully, I guess most women should just dress in burlap sacks then so they don't offend "la selfannoitedexpertofallthingswornandfemale". Burlap suits horses and is hard wearing also goes with most complexions and disguises all figure flaws , any shape can wear it and it requires no financial outlay and defs no drycleaning. Please forgive me If I be wrong but doesn't the camera ADD 20 % of body weight and show EVERY FLAW in detail...according to this "review" it conceals many problems which is a huge oversight of fact, I would say let women be , let them admire Nina's quirky and funky style, let them emulate instead of tearing down every look colour and piece thread by thread. Methinks the ppl sticking up for this "piece" is la style writer herself or maybe her 2 friends ..just sayin .....

  6. I enjoyed the honesty. Except from anonymous, which i gazed over, slightly.
    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Have been doing the Nina look on and off for years. And long before offspring. Except the boots with maxi dresses. I'm average height, (taller than avarage in heels) athletic/toned/hourglass. Fair skin. However my hair is dark rose beige blonde. Looks brown. Eyes change colour from light blue to light green. Depending on colours i wear, and lighting. The purple dress look works awesome. And the boots in jeans works too. I wear jeans that are high wasted to make my legs look longer. And usually do that with tops that are fitted or waist length. Or for the longer leg lines. Plus, my torso length is sufficent that i'm balanced. I dont wear yellow, white or orange. Mostly reds, pinks, purples, greens.

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