An entire post dedicated to this beautiful hourglass woman

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Who art thou, most beautiful of women??!  Who knows, but thou canst rock(eth) the high waisted trouser like none other and your hairfacemakeupjewelleryoutfitbodyandaccessories is simply divine to behold(eth).  So, dearest lady, I salute you.    screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-04-38-amscreen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-05-08-am

And yon dearest readers, sorry for thine bank accounts after you see this inspirational post and go out and drop some serious k’$ on seventeen different shades of high waisted trousers.

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And lastly, an incidental aside as I analyse how thick the waistband is on her trousers, I think this lady has more of a ‘cello’ type shape, with a normal length waist area, so be aware a shorter-waisted hourglass may need to invest in trousers with thinner waistbands so that your damn waistband doesn’t take up the entire region between chest and hips.  Just sayin’.

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Which is your fave look?  My favourite is number one.  Speak soon xx

Emphasise Your Waist To Lose Ten Pounds, Part I

Body, Wardrobe planning

Slight disclaimer on the above title: I’m talking about the visual effect of losing ten pounds not the actual loss of ten pounds 😀 Although that said, I did do an article on tightening up your thighs that talked a bit about weight loss if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

For the rest of us however, grab yourself a coffee and biscuit and I’ll proceed :p

So, as I’ve said before, I’ve always struggled to feel like I look my best when wearing casual outfits.     They just look no more than ‘blah’ and I go walking around for the day feeling quite chunky and frumpy.  I believe I just haven’t been finding the right clothes for my body, and this is why this blog started in order to analyse this problem…aloud…in the company of you guys!  But my problem with casual outfits is compounded by the fact that I just cannot resist a good floaty, loose top.  The type that hangs from your boobs and floats about your body in an oh-so-casual, look-at-me-I-look-awesome-without-even-trying type of way.  In my head, I suppose I’m kinda idealising the type of look that Roxy often espouses, see pics below.

Just so you get an idea of what I’m referring to in my head.

Now I think that pink top looks fantastic on the model, who appears to have a fairly straight figure (I think this is her in a bikini outfit but could be wrong!)*.  But when I try the same sort of items on in the store, they never looked ‘cool, laid-back and surfy’ but just plain frumpy. xD.

I’ve used this image before but here’s J Law in dress-downs: jen-lawrence-062012-204

…and the feeling this image gives me is similar to what I get when I’m in dress-downs – like, her mate is doing practically nothing different but looks great and I can’t explain why (NB here is a pic with her actually rocking denim shorts, proving it’s about the garment itself and how you wear it)

Now I think it’s important for girls like me to change their mental image of casual outfits slightly.  It’s important to lose the idealism of the ‘super-laid-back’ loose/unfitted surfy outfit, and find a way to emulate the laid-back feel whilst emphasising the waist.  And it’s another challenge to do this without looking more dressed up than you want.  I find a lot of waisted garments have a more smart/casual feel for some reason, and this effect is sometimes compounded when you put them on a curvy frame making the overall look quite ‘womanly’ rather than ‘surfy’ or whatever you’re going for.

Below are some examples of small alterations to expectations that you can make to keep your beachy, surfy outfits flattering to your shape, meaning you look 10lbs lighter than if you didn’t flatter your shape.  I’ve focussed on the beachy look today, but the same principles will apply for, say, hiking or sporty outfits too.  I should cover those in another post at some point perhaps.  All my examples come from one of my favourite instagrammers, @gypsylovinlight – if you ever need to learn how to stack rings or accessorise a boho outfit, check out her pictures.  She’s not particularly an hourglass figure but the principles are what I’m trying to get at.  And a slight disclaimer, the rules for clothes are not exactly hard and fast so sometimes if you want that straight-up-and-down dress or top, you just damn well buy it and enjoy it because it’s just clothes at the end of the day!

Maxi dress

Look 1 is beautiful but obscures the waist, whereas look 2 clings to the waist more allowing a slimmer look on an hourglass figure.

Short beach dress

Cute look on the left, but bound to make a curvy girl look heavier than she is, whereas the gorgeous dress on the right follows the line of the body which is great for hourglasses.

Shorts and top

A straighter figure can look better with a floaty top paired with shorts, because often their hips and thighs are a very narrow point of their body to show off.  An hourglasses narrowest part is her waist, and if you play it up like the outfit on the right, you de-emphasise the thighs and hips which is our widest point, and avoid looking heavier than you are.

*Mid post I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment too when I tried to look for the same model who wore the straight T-shirts in the bikini section to see how straight her figure was – I realised they very craftily use a curvier shaped girl to model the bikini’s than they use for the clothing.  And where they did use a straight waisted girl, she looked worse in the bikinis than she did in the straight-hanging tops.  Even the tall slim models can’t suit all different styles of clothing and have their strong and weak points.

My hair is blue…

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Hi all, just a little update for you whilst I’m busy this week.  So, my hair got turned blue xD It wasn’t fully intentional but I’m starting to get used to it. Never been a non-natural looking hair colour before but I have a feeling this may get kinda addictive…hmmm.  Anyway, I now have to factor in co-ordinating colours to my outfits, as well as accommodate the boobs, short waist, hips, thighs, calves: EVERYTHING.  Black it is then….:/!!!

I’ll be back with something interesting soon, have a great week ❤

Musings on dressing a curvy figure

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So I’ve been planning a few more chatty and content-heavier posts for a while now, and time-permitting I’ll get some good writing time set aside soon.  For tonight, I’m sitting here in my rose-patterned dressing gown (oh yea, it’s quite a grandma of a dressing gown!), with laptop on my knees and ready to share some of my thoughts with you.

I wanted to give you an update on where I am with the casual style for hourglasses so far (given that this is the main aim of this blog!). I’ve noticed myself migrating back to the land of smart or dressier clothing lately, out of habit, and out of wanting to look my best, and I feel like I need to get back on track towards my goal for this blog which is to really explore the most casual looks.

I’m feeling pretty out of my depth currently with respect to really casual clothing, for a handful of reasons.

Firstly, I put on a bit of weight recently, and for me that goes straight to my legs (Cheers, Genetics) and I find that casual styles often depend on skinny-ish legs to look good.  My self-appointed task is to still find a way around that, taking into account our curvy shapes, but I suppose what I’m saying is I’M SULKING PEOPLE because it’s hard and I haven’t nailed it yet 😀 sulksulksulk

Secondly, you need to invest in slightly better cut clothing when you’re going casual and I’ve been saving the pennies by shopping at Boohoo lately, and I’m loving it still…so this ship has not yet sailed, and there will be more Boohoo stuff appearing in the OOTD posts no doubt.  But ultimately I’ll need to be exploring some more expensive brands that are tailored specifically to the casual clothing market, like your A+F and Hollister type of brands, so I can figure out which figure-flattering pieces are best to invest in, and which you can save your money on.

Thirdly, I was feeling a bit frumpy with the casual clothes I was wearing, and never feeling my best.  See reason 1 for this too, but also the fact that I just rarely feel my best in dressed-down clothes and flat shoes.  Again, the purpose of this blog is to find a way to make casual look good, so I’m going to keep working hard on that.

So that’s where I have been for the last few weeks.  I’ve also been musing and developing my latest theories on casual wear for us curvies, informed by the many different shapes and styles I try on in the shops and research online.

My current opinion on how women like us can pull off casual style is that we have to opt for the girly/feminine end of casual in order to make it look good.  So, skirts and dresses in casual fabrics and styles, may be the best way for us, even though I resent that and it doesn’t necessarily agree with my hypothesis on starting this blog.  But I’ll be exploring this opinion in upcoming weeks, and comparing and contrasting the girly/casual looks with more traditionally un-girly casual looks on my figure.  And of course I will be reporting back, so that you can benefit too.

Lastly, I think another reason I’ve been showcasing smarter looks lately is that I’m making a conscious effort to keep very gently abreast of trends, many of which involve smarter pieces of clothing.  For example, there is this cute-as outfit that I can’t wait to show you, but it’s basically palazzo pants, which never look casual in my opinion.  Despite the smarter outfits being a bit left-of-field for this blog, I hope you have been enjoying the more classic outfits too – I certainly value the variety.

To finish up, I’m pretty excited for my upcoming plans for the blog, the outfits and the content posts, and if you guys would like to see me tackle a particular curvy girl casual problem (like what to wear at a particular casual setting) then do let me know via the comments, I would love your feedback.

Have a great week and speak soon ❤

 

Paisley skirt for seventies-esque style

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits

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Hi all, thanks for bearing with me recently with the paucity of posts.  I’ve not had time to dedicate to blogging as much as I’d like to.  Hopefully in another month or two, I’ll be able to make more regular posts.

So here in the Southern Hemisphere we are entering Spring, and my outfits will likely reflect that.  I’m loving this beautiful paisley maxi skirt for its versatility and have worn it during the end of winter (with leggings underneath – I am actually becoming my mum!) and in sunnier weather as it’s so lightweight and easy to wear.  I bought it a couple of months ago from Boohoo – they are not selling the exact same one currently but below I’ve posted a few very similar, equally attractive maxi skirts.

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This skirt was very long when I first bought it – I’m 5’2 and in this shoot I was wearing 5″ platforms (sorry not very ‘casual’ of me….must do better) but I’m not sure Boohoo uses pre-shrunk cloth, as it was about 5 inches shorter after its first wash (I didn’t tumble-dry).  You can iron it back out a little, maybe gaining 2-3 inches back again, but now I’m wearing it with flats so that suits summer a bit better anyway.

I’ve paired the skirt with a simple navy vest top to bring out the background colour of the skirt, and the skirt came with a co-ordinating tan fabric belt.  I’ve got an adhesive silicon bra on here which adds a bit too much projection, hence the very-slightly Dolly Parton look here :/

I winterized the look by adding a V-neck cardigan from Glassons, which would make this quite summery outfit suitable for cooler evenings, or colder seasons.  As I mentioned above, tights and boots, or leggings beneath the skirt are an easy way to add warmth too.  Oh, this is also probably the best time to acknowledge that my facial expression in the cardigan pics above is odd, but I managed to do that in all the shots with cardigans so….!

Here are some similar boho maxi skirts on sale from Boohoo currently:

Luella paisley ruffle hem maxi skirt

Sari mono paisley double split maxi skirt (this one is on sale – only $14 currently)

And I love these boho maxi dresses (turquoise with pretty detailing on the upper back, autumnal colours), both of which would be lovely for autumn with the sleeves, and perfect for the hourglass figure being nipped in at the waist.  I find Boohoo waistlines to be in the right place for all the items I’ve bought so far (anyone else have that problem commonly where everything that is meant to sit on the waist ends up in an unflattering empire-line position?!)

Oh, and this one is bound to flatter an hourglass figure, being fitted all the way down, and is quite wintery too for my Northern Hemisphere readers.  Don’t forget Spanx if you have too many lumps n bumps xD (and who doesn’t, being curve-shaped…my entire body is a lump or a bump!).

So, are you guys still loving the seventies trend?  Not sure when it’s going to end but as long as they keep selling it, I’ll keep buying it!  Wishing you all a great week, I’ll be back soon.

 

Styling a culotte jumpsuit

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Culottes and jumpsuit all in one big ol’ outfit.  Sounds terrifying.  I’ll do it.

I just wanted to see how wearable the whole culottes trend is on someone with my figure and height, and whilst I was browsing Boohoo, I came across this jumpsuit.  I loved it on the model, and thought it was a nice, easy way to wear culottes – not having to worry about which top to wear, and just pulling it on like a dress.  The other essential for me in this outfit was the waist tie, allowing the other more controversial aspects (culottes ending at a midi length on my little legs) to be balanced and flattered more.

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This Boohoo jumpsuit comes in a thick, textured, slightly stretchy polyester fabric, which makes it a stylish but snug option for a cooler day.  The fabric is heavy enough to drape reasonably well (despite not being expensive) as hopefully the photo’s demonstrate.  The area around the waist looks a little cheap but when you wrap the waist-tie around once and tie at the front, you can’t really notice unless you’re looking.

Figure-wise, I was pleasantly surprised with this outfit.  I paired it with high platform heels in order to make my legs look longer and slimmer in spite of the culottes cutting them off at a fashionable-but-unflattering length.  I liked how flattering the 3/4 sleeves were, and they matched nicely with the 3/4 length trousers.  The mock-wrap V-neck proved super flattering for the chest area, minimizing the boobs.  The wide-leg look seemed to work reasonably well, despite hips being the widest point on an hourglass figure.

I’ve worn this to work a couple of times so far, once paired with bright pink lips and nails, and once as above with big gold chandelier earrings.  What I haven’t been brave enough to emulate yet is the look a lot of Japanese women are wearing in our city at the moment – culotte/groucho pants with flat brogues, paired with a cocoon overcoat and often a hat of sorts.  These girls tend to have very slim figures and pull it off with aplomb, but I’m not sure my hourglass frame would hold up to such a challenge – I’d need some nod to the waist in the outfit for it to work.  Still, I enjoyed trying out this outfit as a change, and a new silhouette, and I have a comfortable, warm, easy outfit to throw on when I’m running late now.  I’d definitely recommend trying out culottes if you’re interested in this silhouette, and the main take home point for an hourglass is to keep the emphasis on the waist in order to flatter that curvy shape.

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Grey wrap dress and boots for autumn

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Having a browse around Glassons the other day, generally looking for trouble (read: to spend money), I stumbled across this grey/blue marl wrap dress with long sleeves.  I haven’t had a wrap dress in years, despite them being touted as the ultimate flatterer of the hourglass figure.  Well, in short, I tried it on and loved it.  It’s a knit material, fits like a dream, flatters and drapes like a dream, has a cute little flippy A-line shape, and is warm enough to layer over a vest and tights (pantyhose) for winter.  I threw on an old burgundy scarf from Primark, but after looking at these pictures, the outfit would lend itself beautifully to a pop of colour like lime green or pink (or any other colours that suit your complexion – except I avoid pairing blue with grey, that’s not my fave personally).

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I am wearing Aristoc tights here, which I swear by.  I don’t bother wearing any other brand of tights if I can help it, I’m a believer in getting good quality hosiery to make your outfit look more put-together overall.  These have enough elastane in to follow the shape of your legs, without becoming loose. Also they have beautiful natural tones that last many washes, and a bit of a shine to them.  They give a little compression and tighten up your hips and tum.  Lastly, you can rip a hole in them and they won’t ladder or fall to pieces for many wears, they’re so durable.  I get mine online from sheerdeelites.co.nz – Debbie the owner is so efficient and responsive to orders.

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Other accessories I’m wearing here include a tasseled shoulder bag from Kmart (didn’t match this look terribly well, a more structured bag would’ve been better), an old black vest under the dress, Céline sunglasses, and an old pair of lace-up boots from Next (UK).  Any black knee high boots would complete this look.

I can see this dress being versatile in that it could be dressed up for work, but also easily dressed down for shopping, coffee with friends, Sunday dinner with family and much more.  One of my style resolutions is to wear more dresses on casual occasions, rather than relying on jeans all the time, and I feel this is one piece that’s going to come out again and again.

Yellow pleated midi skirt for late summer

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DSC_3061DSC_3053So sorry for being off radar for a while, life has been somewhat busy of late!  It’s coming to the end of winter in New Zealand, and me and my dear husb have been enjoying cosy wood-burner fires, sunny but cold morning commutes, and a lot of quite naughty food!  So we’ve both got a spare chin to show for our gastronomic indulgences I’m afraid – we need to get our summer body project going soon…

Before I move on, here is some of the evidence of what we’ve been like lately:

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This is me at Casa Del Gelato in Parnell, Auckland, next to our ‘freakshakes’, these obscenely chocolatey creations that have about eight million calories per bite – they were DELICIOUS.  If you’re ever in the vicinity, do pop in.  Oh and yes, I’ve got a disposable glove on – they provide them with each freakshake…and I’m surprised they stop there.  A disposable bib or bodysuit would’ve been welcome as far as I’m concerned; I was wearing 2/3rds of my shake by the end.

Anyway, enough of that, back to the clothes.  I’m loving the midi trend lately, and I swear I never thought I’d get into it, being a petite 5’2 gal myself.  I’m getting away with it in this outfit by balancing the proportions using some high platform shoes from ASOS (last year – some similar offerings here), and I felt this skirt is a little too long for flats for me.  If it was a slightly shorter midi cut, I’d also pair it with brogues when I couldn’t be bothered to wear heels.

My mustard yellow skirt is from Boohoo (100% polyester) – man I adore this colour.  I’m always drawn to autumnal colours such as khaki, mustards, olive greens, and rusts.  They don’t suit me however, so I’ll put them on my lower half, or interrupt the colour with a scarf or chunky necklace if it’s close to my face.  Another way to indulge my love of those colours is with accessories – I love me a yellow handbag for winter.  Like this one: 089010722723

Back to my outfit, I’ve paired my gorgeous skirt with an old black vest top and my tan platforms are surprisingly comfortable given the foot is saved from being at an acute angle by the presence of the platform.  I’m wearing a really good stick on bra from Bra’s n Things (an NZ brand) which comes in size DD; its a bit thicker than I’d like, I just prefer enough padding to prevent any lumps and bumps showing through, but this one adds about 1cm projection which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it.  It stays on like a beauty though and can create great cleavage if you stick it on right.  I don’t often wear too ‘cleavagey’ outfits, but what I do find useful with this bra is that it brings the girls together nicely, which makes my torso look quite a bit slimmer; so if I want to look a bit more petite in certain tops, even if the girls aren’t on show, this bra has a width-minimizing effect.

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Anyway, this pleated skirt look is right up my street at the moment – I’ve worn it to work (with a button down cardie, tucked in) and to the theatre, and found it to be pretty versatile.  I love the girlish but sophisticated vibe from it.  This skirt is a piece that could be worn perfectly in any season, just adjusting the top and shoes (plus tights/pantyhose) to winter or summer it up.  Apologies it’s a bit on the more smart side than casual, but again, if you’re a bit taller than me,  you can happily put some gladiator flats or flip-flops with this for summer, or brogues for winter; if you’re as mini as me, you could always have it taken up a couple of inches to wear it with flats whilst still keeping your visual proportions pleasing.

Workout gear inspiration

Outfits, Wardrobe planning

I’ve compiled a gallery of hourglass celebrities in workout gear for inspiration.  These workout outfits are incredibly versatile, so if you are looking for something to wear around Disneyland or for a walking holiday or for going to the gym or other sports event, this type of thing will multitask perfectly.  I suggest investing in 2-3 co-ordinating gym outfits and a good pair of trainers (sneakers) that go with all three, and you’ll never feel sloppily dressed when you need an activewear outfit.  You’ll see by the following pics that the general principle is to keep your workout gear mostly tight-fitting – an hourglass figure comes into its own when clothes follow the shape of the body.  I’ve tried to find links to similar items online in case anyone is interested.  But no matter what your budget, good quality workout gear is available from many cheaper stores these days (Walmart USA, ASDA UK, The Warehouse NZ etc) so there’s no need to pull on your fella’s shorts and a baggy old t-shirt to be comfortable any more.  The one thing I would make sure you pay money for if you’re working out is a good sports bra.  I swear by the Panache Sports Moulded Bra – it’s excellent at keeping the girls in place and minimizing bounce, and has a j-shaped catch on the back straps so you can convert it to a racer back whenever needed.  In my opinion it runs slightly small, but have a look at the reviews on Figleaves if you’re after a good sports bra.

So, first up lets look at the ever-gorgeous Halle Berry for some inspo.  She tends to keep her sports gear fitted, even when pregnant (see the grey/blue top with black trim below).  One thing that strikes me about her is that she’s obviously naturally curvy but she’s always maintained her figure extraordinarily well and has aged well as a result.  I’m sure her army of personal trainers and chefs doesn’t hurt but hey-ho….:D

I like the pop-of-colour t-shirts and note how well the necklines work with a medium/larger bust, despite ensuring her chest is covered up sufficiently.

Here she has gone for a slightly looser jogger-style cropped trouser, but kept the top relatively fitted to avoid looking too sloppy.  I find this style and length of jogger tends to work well with slimmer legs like Halle – if you’re carrying more weight, especially on the thighs, this style can add a bit more so be careful on that one and go for black if in doubt.

Next up, one of my faves, Kim Kardashian.  She sticks to an all-dark pallette for her workout gear usually and it works well because black is easy and flattering (generally).  She will usually stick to fitted top and leggings, but I found a pic of her with bootcut style joggers, and thought that looked pretty cool on her.  I’ve included one look that I wasn’t so keen on, for comparison sake, and it’s because her T-shirt is too long (the light brown top below), illustrating that the ideal length T-shirt for an hourglass is likely either just on the hip, or meeting the upper thigh like a micro-mini skirt length.

Next inspiration comes from Kelly Brook, a UK model who is about 5’11 and whose weight can fluctuate quite dramatically.  She’s very large chested and although her legs are about the length of my entire body (and I’m just referring to her tibia too…) she still provides great inspiration for what works, and doesn’t work, on an hourglass frame.  I think she may be more of what is called a ‘vase’ than an hourglass (basically a longer, sleeker version of an hourglass, according to Trinny and Susanna – bodyshapestyle.com is where I get all my info about body shapes from!) and that means she has a longer waist/midsection than an hourglass.  This means high waists and belts will work differently on her than us, but the rest of her outfits are likely relevant.

The first picture above is a promotional shot for Reebok from years ago, but I’ve been obsessed with this picture of her ever since I saw it – she looks phenomenal.  Its amazing how similar my hair looks when I workout too (and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything haha – I’m more…erm…drowned rat…shall we say, when I workout!).  Below is a couple of looks with hoodies, but I included the grey hoodie because it’s an example of how too loose tops disguise the waist and pack on the pounds visually.  Both the colour and cut of the purple top is better.

Last workout inspo lady is the curvy Amber Rose (an American model, actress and fashion designer).  She’s apparently 5’8 and has 36HH bust with extremely hourglassy measurements of 42-27-41.  Amber’s workout outfits are fairly classic in silhouette, generally featuring close fitting top and leggings.  I love the orange hoodie jacket below, would be a great outfit for jogging on a rainy day.

Below I’ve featured one outfit I’m not keen on – the yellow top/highwaisted cropped leggings combo.  I’m not sure why this doesn’t work for me, as I like the highwaisted grey leggings on the left picture.  But the higher waist of the black leggings on the right, paired with the sleeved t-shirt seem to heavily over-emphasise her lower half, unless she is just carrying a bit more weight in this picture.  As a general rule however, I find that it’s best for high waist to come below the belly button on a shortwaisted figure, and in fact I find on my body that often normal rise waists come up to high-waist level (just on belly button) and low-rise waists sit normally at mid-rise for me.

Anyway, that’s all for this post, hope it’s useful for you to have inspo like this compiled in one handy place.  Below are some links to similar items of clothing to those above in case you’re interested.  Workout gear is actually not all that difficult for an hourglass figure given that most of it is quite tight, but remember to keep things fairly close fitting (avoiding drapey, baggy tops and joggers) and not too high-waisted for the most flattering silhouette.

Halle Berry outfits

  1. Under Armour pink top, similar grey leggings, Nike Air Rifts
  2. Under Armour Red top, brown leggings (similar pair), Nike’s as above.
  3. Nothing like her top but equally cool (!), dark grey sweater, grey Aasics trainer
  4. Black jumper, grey cropped joggers
  5. Similar VS PINK joggers, white racerback tank, Nike’s as above.

Kim Kardashian outfits

  1. Brown longline vest, black cropped leggings, Sketchers
  2. Tight black hoodie, grey leggings (hers are a bit more slouchy at the ankle), Nike Air Max
  3. Zip up navy top (I’ve not bought from this shop before, but it seems to have legit reviews), yoga pants, Nike trainers

Kelly Brook outfits

  1. White sports bra (Reebok no longer doing 😦 ), black capris, Nike tennis shoe
  2. Grey tank, grey capris, Nike’s
  3. Red top, grey capris
  4. Patterned leggings

*I haven’t got round to finishing this list just now – will be working on it over the next day or so, thanks for your patience*