Boring news just in: prepare to read yet another article on how fashionable pastel-coloured everything is this season. Soz.
Thing is, of all the articles I’ve read on the new-season pastels, not one has mentioned the important fact that sorbet shades can make the wearer look absolutely horrific. Take me, for example. My skin is so pale it looks blue, but when I talk or laugh, I flush bright red. In summer, my skin goes all mottled like a packet of cheap ham about to go off at the supermarket. Pop me in a perilously pink trouser suit and prepare for bad things to happen…
“‘Rules’ aside, one thing I do know for sure is if you can find the right shade, a pastel-coloured suit could be a v modern alternative to wearing a dress to a wedding this summer”
Like an ice cream loaded with additives I never let my kids eat, I actually quite like the slightly ‘off’ pale blue that’s around right now but, good God, it can unflattering. Ditto that weird yellow. But what if you have hints of yellow in your skin? Should you avoid wearing it – isn’t that the rule? When it comes to rules, honestly, I give up – there are just too many factors involved. Trying things on is the only way to figure out which pastel shade will suit you (let me know if you’re successful). How do I know? Well, I went to Zara last week and tried on all the pastels they had on the shop floor and, weirdly, a pale-blue dress that matched my pale-blue skin ended up looking quite nice (unless I’ve totally lost the plot). ‘Rules’ aside, one thing I do know for sure is if you can find the right shade, a pastel-coloured suit could be a v modern alternative to wearing a dress to a wedding this summer. Having said that, can we talk about Saoirse Ronan wearing Calvin Klein at the Oscars this season?
“I know my trouser-shape limitations and they are cut high on the waist and narrower on the leg”
If you fancy wearing pastel tailoring, let’s start with cut. Personally, I prefer double-breasted jackets with a stronger shoulder, as they work well worn separately with denim for work or at the pub at the weekend. Also, when it comes to what to wear underneath your jacket, you’ll need to experiment with necklines. I love silky camisoles under suiting, because the less fuss around the neckline, the better (avoid mumsy-looking pussy-bow blouses with suiting – too Maggie Thatcher). Then there’s the trouser shape. (Uh oh, here we go…) Nothing to do with having kids, my waist has always been much wider than my actual trouser size, meaning anything that fits on the leg and across the hips is too usually too tight on the tummy. With a straight-up-and-down figure like mine – ie a waist that refuses to go in, no matter how many side-crunches I do – I’d be a fool to wear wide-legged trousers with a boxy jacket, for fear of looking like a rectangle. I know my trouser-shape limitations and they are cut high on the waist and narrower on the leg. Shoe-wise, because I have short legs, high, open-toed sandals in plain colours or metallic shades flatter most.
If you’re lucky enough to possess a waist that goes in and hips that curve out, you could look great in wider-leg styles. Wear wide-legged, mid-rise trousers with chunky block heels. Add a pair of ginormous earrings in a clashing colour and a mismatched clutch bag, and that’s pretty much job done. Well, once you’ve found the right sorbet shade for you, that is. And if you don’t? Ignore the trend altogether and stick to what suits you. Or wear a dress. Or do whatever you damn well feel like. *Orders cocktail; vows never to try ‘weird yellow’ again*