Thursday, July 3, 2014

Offspring's Nina Proudman style: How not to kill your figure with that lace top.

Well, another episode in Ninaland (s5e8) & I am sure you all want the clothes.

So the purpose of this blog post is twofold:

a) to stop you doing harm to your wardrobe; and
b) to stop you doing harm to your figure

The jackets

Nina wore two jackets, a dove grey/blue linen look (day) and a black crepe (evening).

Don't they look like midgets here?

Both these were the same style, a moto style, which is everywhere atm. This style is a double breasted at top which tapers out to a single breasted at the hem. 

When a moto style is left unzipped/open, the "lapels" flap around. They make it look messy, just like any double breasted style which is designer to be worn closed. Both were worn open & frankly, they lacked polish as a result. 
The dove grey one also looked cheap. 

Both were waist length, both had a round neck.

The only real difference was that the black had a zip closure and the grey had buttons. 

I also think the grey wasnt lined but the black was. That would have contributed to its cheaper look. 

It was also interesting to note that both looked very long in the arms. If you look at the photos on my Facebook page, you'll see she had rolled the grey sleeves by hand. 

If you look at the black one, notice how long the arms were even when she had a bent elbow (talking on the phone when with Leo - above). She gets away with it in some scenes by scrunching up the sleeves (eg: when they were heading to the lesbian bar) - but for an elegant evening jacket, scrunched up sleeves don't cut it in the style stakes. 

Who does this style of jacket suit?

Basically, a tall person with an hourglass shape. 

They dont work the best for:

* rectangles - they don't create a waist
* pears - the short style will make a pear look larger than they are on the bottom half
* apples - the double breasted style isnt good for the voluptuousness of an apple
* busty - keep double breasted away from a busty girl as it makes the girls look even bigger
* petites - anything with excess fabric is not a good idea for a petite. So even though the length is great for a petite, the double breasted feature tends not to be. 

If you are not a tall hourglass, if you go for a classic single breasted style, you will be way ahead in the style stakes. For apples you may want to try something softer in shape with an empire waist. 

Whether its a linen look jacket or a black crepe jacket, single breasted styles are everywhere from discount stores (Target) to cheap & cheerful boutiques (temt, Forever New) to high street chains (Sussan, Cue, Veronika Maine, Portmans, Witchery, Country Road, Trenery, Jacqui E, Queenspark etc) to designer labels. The list doesnt end. 

Zara does terrific basic jackets and they are lined for example. 

There are also gazillions of black crepe jackets in single breasted styles.  

With or without lapels. 

Here is a Country Road one I spotted late last year & put it up as TODAY'S PICK because it looked like a winner for most body types and frankly it just looked expensive & classy.

Notice how it creates a waist both with the horizontal seam & the soft peplum? The lines are clean - its not messy - that's code for slimming in anyone's book. 

The plain top (worn with the dove grey jacket)

Plain front, plain back. Nothing fancy. 
easy to replicate in a woven fabric. 

Looks what I saw at Big W today....

A nice simple clean cut top - I loved the neckline binding as well as the curved edges at the hem. 

You can find white tops anywhere, so I'll let you do that search. 

But please note that Nina's length & width is overwhelming on a petite and a rectangle.

It would be blobby on a pear (it's too blocked) and a killer on an apple. 

The high neckline would kill a busty girl's figure. 

So basically that leaves hourglass shapes rocking it - as long as they are not petite.

The lace blouse

This is going to be the bane of my life for this episode. 

Every brand has done lace tops for the last 2 years. Everyone. I have no idea of the brand of this top, although a reader said they think its Zara. If that's true, you are not going to find it now as they turn over their stock like nobody's business. 

The missing tag in the episode was consistent with a Zara Woman tag. Which means its the expensive end of the scale for Zara (sat $110) but overall a cheap piece. 

What I dislike about this top is that the flowers are embroidered with very long satin stitching - that's a mark of a cheap garment & because the stitching isnt tight, it tends to pull quite easily. 

There was also minimal embroidery at the back - another sign of a cheap garment. 

The way it was clinging to Nina's back also made me think it's rayon (the cheapest of cheap fabrics), not silk. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. 

So, where to buy?

Stop asking me hard questions - I haven't a clue.

But I can tell you something more important than where to buy:

For the same reasons as the plain top, above, this will only suit an hourglass shape and preferably one that isnt petite. 

What proportion of us, who are on the wrong side of 30, are an hourglass? Not alot. 

So please look for another lace top.

Apples - empire waist & a neckline which exposes decolletage.

Pears - empire or something with a peplum, to hide the big pear bum.

Rectangle - you need extra waist enhancement - nothing blocky, so you really need to consider the rest of the outfit.  

Busty - lower the neckline & give it a bit of shape to show off your waist.

Petite - keep it close to the body & no longer than the top of hip.

Now, let's look at some pictures.

The traditional Nina brands all do lace tops.

Johnny Was

Johnny Was

Johnny Was

Johnny Was

Johnny Was
But please be careful - if you are thinking Johnny Was is a bargain and its rayon/viscose, that explains why the price is so "good". Cotton is the good stuff and Johnny Was prices it accordingly. 

4 Love & Liberty

Johnny Was has a cheaper diffusion label called 4 Love & Liberty. They do even more delicate lace tops than Johnny Was. 

4 Love & Liberty

4 Love & Liberty

Let's go designer....Lover do fabulous lace pieces.....

Lover calls this the White Magic capsule.
SIA calls it the Picnic at Hanging Rock collection. 

classic Lover dress

Lover (which is killing her waist)


Back to Zara....

Zara in the large satin stitch like Nina's top (that's code for cheap)

Zara - this guipure type lace is like Billie's black lace from episode 7. 

Zara - there's that long satin stitch again.....


Collette by Collette Dinnigan

The other brand that consistently does lace tops is Collette by Collette Dinnigan.

Collette by Collette Dinnigan

Collette by Collette Dinnigan

Collette by Collette Dinnigan

Collette by Collette Dinnigan

Collette by Collette Dinnigan often does alot of daisy laces - small sections of heavier embroidery than the Nina top. However she has also done quite a bit of those long satin stitch embroideries on gauzy fabric (code for cheap in cost but not necessarily cheap in price).

Te one thing I did see online was a broderie lace vest - which I think is perfect for Johnny Was....sure, Nina's style was different, but this vest will sing on a petite and that's what we want. Flattery for YOUR shape, not Nina's. 

A few randoms....

Random #1 in the same long satin stitch as Nina's top

Random #2

Random #3 in the same long satin stitch as the Nina top
If you google "white lace top", thousands will come up, both as inspiration and to buy. 
Alot of the available for purchase versions will be cheap. Please remember you get what you pay for. 

So even though this next photo looked nice, when you go to the listing & look at the details, for $16, I can promise you that you will get a ratty garment.  They look nice because these online cheap & cheerful sellers put time & effort into making the goods look spesh. 

Even brands like asos and boohoo - be careful.

A quick visit to Target....

I think this Limited Editions top can give that romantic soft Nina look. 

These would work well for a medium size bust so the girls puff it out at the top & you don't look bottom heavy with the softness at the bottom. Not great for a pear or a rectangle. 

Target Limited Editions
By some strange co-incidence, today I popped into Big W and I saw the following:

A lovely vest in the Big W equivalent of Target's Piping Hot brand, Wave Zone. 

TIP: Surfie brands have a boho feel about them & can be good sources of Nina pieces.

I would love to see this vest on a petite girl. 

Big W "Wave Zone" lace vest

Big W Vest close up

A gorgeous feminine pindot lace which coud work as an empire blouse, great for pears. 

A daisy lace fitted style (needs a cami underneath). Lovely. 

Here is a gorgeous delicate skirt in the Nina style satin stitching. Would have loved to have found a top in this lace - to to wear as matched - but as separates. 

Finally, this lace tee which is a great example of what not to buy. It was awful. It was viscose & clingy without any shape - avoid at all costs. 

I also saw a few other Nina pieces at Big W - separate post shortly. Plus I dont need to remind you that the prices at Big W are reasonable, so it may be worth having a look.

What shade of white? 

Please also be aware that different complexions suit stark white versus off white versus cream versus pearl very differently. 

COOL complexions (with pink undertones in their skin) usually cant cope with anything creamier than an off white. 

On the other hand, stark white & off white are hospital colours for WARM complexions (with yellow undertones in their skin). 

Before you invest in a white lace top, please make sure the version of white you are buying is your best, irrespective of the shade Nina wore.

If you are wearing a visible cami, you need to judge this with the cami on.

And the point is? 

So did I answer the question "Where to Buy?"
Absolutely not. I have no idea where to buy. 

But Nina's clothes in episode 8 really only suit non petite hourglass shapes. Don't know about you, but that certainly isnt me. 

Instead, you need to assess your colouring & your body shape & height - only then can you be clear on which of the millions of white lace tops (or whatever) out there, may be worth shortlisting.

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