STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Sheer Sophistication

Leave lots to the imagination, but also entice the imagination — that’s my style advice for the week.

Nothing piques the imagination more than a sheer yet slightly oversized top combined with long legs. Baggy, sheer tops are seen nearly every where these days — on the runways, in top fashion magazines and on campuses everywhere. Often made of delicate materials, they almost float on the wearer’s body and dance with them upon movement. Furthermore, because these tops are a little on the baggy side, they are forgiving. Whether or not you have a little tummy to hide, even if they’re just those tiny folds you get when sitting down and wearing tight jeans, you can be sure your secrets will be well hidden without actually being hidden.

Another great look that’s making a name for itself these days is the collar. It was once thought of as a masculine touch but is now regarded as professional and seen on many female outfits. A collar draws attention to the face and its usual V-neck shape makes the neck look substantially longer. If you’d like to make a collar shirt with buttons seem a little more summery, casual and relaxed, simply leave a button or two at the top open.

This Fashionista displays these two spring/summer 2012 trends as she sports a fashionable, white, sheer, long sleeve collared shirt which yields the perfect combination of professionalism and sophistication. She pairs the top with a nude pair of shorts and a darker belt just below her waist line to create contrast. The combination works perfectly. A baggy top should almost always be complemented with a tighter fitting bottom and vice versa. This helps to create a well balanced and interesting, yet still feminine, silhouette. The top and bottom then work together as opposed to fighting for attention. Forever 21 has some lovely similar takes on this Fashionista’s look varying from crochet lace to embroidered to sleeveless. Nude colored shoes — whether they are 8-inch heels or flats — create the illusion of longer legs. While I love strappy heels, they won’t help, to the same extent, in creating the long-legged illusion as pumps and strapless flats. Aldo has an entire section of nude shoes that’s definitely worth looking into.

So if you must only remember one thing, remember this one simple equation: sheer and  nude = sassy, sexy and sophisticated.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Sheer Sophistication

With spring finally coming our way, it is a great opportunity to experiment with clothes. One of my personal favourite items of clothing is the blouse. Delicate and classy, blouses have an air of sophistication and can be worn in so many ways, like dressed up for an evening out or dressed down for casual city chic.

Being a big fan of blouses, it's no surprise that this Fashionista’s cyan blue blouse caught my attention. I love the shade of her blouse — an especially great, bold, bright colour for spring. The leopard and red scarf that she has paired with it clashes yet at the same time complements the blue tone of the blouse. This Fashionista has paired a leather jacket with her comfortable attire, as it was a windy day. The leather jacket is a perfect way to toughen up an outfit, adding texture and contrast against the sheer blouse. On a warmer day you could also pair your blouse with a denim jacket for that fresh summer feel. She has finished off the look with a pair of practical brown leather boots, perfect for walking to lectures.

Topshop has a wide variety of blouses, as do most of the high street shops, so there are plenty to choose from. Bold colour blouses like this orange sleeveless blouse and patterned blouse are especially great in this season. If you prefer something a little more subtle, pastel colours are also really big this season. Try something like this dropped back sleeveless blouse, perfect for pairing with jeans or denim shorts for an easy Uni outfit. For a dainty take on the look, wear your blouse under a floaty summer dress with dolly shoes or ankle boots and pair with a cropped denim jacket or a boyfriend blazer for laid back sophisticated look. For a nighttime attire, tuck your blouse into a pair of tailored pants paired with statement heels.

The blouse is the perfect all year round piece for making an effortless fashion statement. Whether you’re layering it up or letting it flow, you should definitely have some blouses in your wardrobe.

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