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Nicky Hambleton-Jones answers your style questions


 6. Hi Nicky,
I'm 26, 5ft 5" and have a bit of a flabby tummy. I really dread this time of year cos I can't cover my extra weight up with thick sweaters or dark colours. Are there any styles/colours I should be adopting that will help to draw attention away from my tummy area?

Nicky says:
Hi Gemma, so know what you mean.  Summer-wear often leaves little to the imagination and it’s harder to keep lumps and bumps under wraps.
The first thing I’d suggest is investing in dresses or tops in a bold print.  Probably the last thing you’d imagine choosing, but the beauty of print is that they’re the master of disguise by confusing the eye.
Another option is layering.  Wearing a plain top on its own is often less forgiving.  Layering a fitted top under a jacket or even a waistcoat will help to define a waist and conceal a tummy.  Or, go for volume, select dresses and tops that are purposefully voluminous and layer over leggings - as you’re really young I think you could carry this off. 
Good luck! 

7. Hi Nicky!
I'm off to Spain this summer so I'm looking for a nice new bikini. I'm 19, slim but my main concern is that I'm very flat chested. I've seen a lot of lovely bikinis in the shops but I'm worried that they'll look silly on me as I have nothing to put in them! Have you got any advice?

Nicky says:
Hi Cheryl,
I wouldn’t stress too much about your flat chest, it’s certainly a lot more practical than being top-heavy. There are, however, a few options for you:
1.  Wear a bandeau-style top. These are ideal for flat chests and to be honest only suit a flat chest. The ruching detail in the middle helps create the illusion of a bust. Figleaves have some fab styles :
2. Plunge-style bikini tops will add padding and plump up chest. Have a look at Little Women -
http://www.littlewomen.co.uk/products.asp?d=8 who specialize in swimwear and bras for small chests. They also have a liquid padded bikini top which would do the trick.
3. Triangle bikinis and halter necks are another good swimwear choice for you. The flattering halter neck draws the eye up and adds the illusion of width to the bust, while the plunging front makes a focal point of your cleavage, subtly enhancing it. The adjustable bikini straps allow you to tie it to suit, while the triangle shape of the bikini top offers all the necessary lift and support a small bust needs.
4. If you want to enhance your bust further, go for styles with horizontal stripes on the top as this is a great way to make your bust look fuller, or go for bikini top styles which have an attention-grabbing trim or focal point such as an asymmetrical print, or a central bow to draw attention to your bust.
5. Wearing a darker colour on the bottom half of your swimwear can also make your small bust seem bigger.

That should give you lots of ideas. Hope you find a fab bikini!

8. Hi,
I have a fashion dilemma brought on by new boyfriend! The problem is that I'm a huge fan of heels, but I tower over him when I'm wearing them. I'm willing to make an effort and buy some flat shoes or ones with very small heels (the sacrifices we make for love!), but I've not found any I feel sexy in. I've become so used to wearing big heels for a few years now. Do you have any suggestions for a girl with a phobia of flatties?!Thanks

Nicky says:
Hi Kirsty,
This is a very difficult dilemma. I completely relate as I also find it hard to feel sexy in flats. On the one hand I’m inclined to say if you’re really serious about this guy, it’s important to be true to yourself and be who you are. If that’s towering over him in heels, then so be it. Look at Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum! It’s more important that you feel confident and sexy in a relationship than worrying about height differentials.
As it's summer though, there are some pretty flip-flops and sandals on the market – ideal for day but perhaps not evening. My favourite mid-heel of the summer has to be Vivienne Westwood's Dragon Shoe available here -
http://www.my-wardrobe.com/vivienne-westwood-anglomania/blue-lady-dragon-shoes-by-vivienne-westwood-anglomania - that should help to make you feel sexy. If not, I’d suggest you try www.lkbennett.com and www.office.co.uk for some ideas, although I fear that nothing is going to float your boat quite like a pair of sexy heels! 

9. Hi Nicky,
Hope you can help! I've just got a new job with a travel company which I am over the moon about!! The only problem is that I have to dress smartly. That doesn't necessarily mean suits, though some women in the office do wear them...but I'm 23 and would look a complete gimp in a suit. At the moment I turn up for work in jeans, trainers, gym gear and flip-flops. I could rock up in Shaun the Sheep pyjamas and no-one would bat an eyelid. Please can you give me some ideas of what to look for and where to shop for work outfits and smart accessories to jazz them up with? I like earthy colours, can't walk in high heels and don't suit anything that's pink, fussy or daring, or anything that drowns me. I'm just over 5'3 and a size 10, and all I can seem to find in the shops at the minute is long baggy tops.

Nicky says:
Hi there
You know sometimes I think if companies made everyone wear a uniform it would solve a lot of stress all round – not very sexy, mind you, which is definitely a consideration when you’re 23. So, the best alternative to the suit is separates: for example, a colourful blouse with a pencil skirt, a knit top with a pair of cropped or slim leg trousers. As you’re petite it's important to wear fitted clothes as any excess volume will simply drown you. I think you could probably even get away with a smart pair of white/indigo blue jeans with a cropped tailored jacket. Another safe bet is always a dress, although you will need to make sure the proportions are right. I’d opt for block colours and stay away from bold prints as these will tend to swamp you too. I’m not sure where you live, but my first port of call in London would be Banana Republic
http://www.bananarepublic.eu) who really do smart/casual work wear well. They also have a petite section, so you might find it easier to find something that actually fits. They also have a good selection of accessories. For something more affordable check out ASOS Petite - http://www.asos.com/Women/Petite/Cat/pgecategory.aspx?cid=4177. Some of their clothes may be a bit dressy for work but they do have some nice pieces, so definitely worth checking out. If you are struggling with baggy tops on offer, invest in a few waisted belts which usually does the trick and helps to create shape. For fun, affordable accessories try Freedom at Top Shop.

Hope that helps and all the best with your new job.


Nicky Hambleton-Jones


Nicky Hambleton-Jones
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