Your style questions answered

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 32 Comments

Welcome to a regular post I feature here on Styling You.

Whenever I get a fashion or style question that I think others may be interested in, I’ll answer it in a blog post like this.

If you have a question you’d like considered for this, please email me: [email protected] – I can’t answer all personally but if it has a wider appeal, you may get ideas from these posts.

Please don’t message me via the Facebook page – the Styling You Facebook page gets hundreds of messages and it’s almost impossible to manage as I can’t file them away for answering.

You might also find answers to your questions in the search bar to the right of this blog post or ask for advice in the Styling You forum.

Let’s get stuck in and get your style questions answered.

Skinny jeans

I’m a 42-year-old mum of a four-year-old and a 16-month old. I work four days a week and manage to fit in two exercise sessions and I’ve cut down on snacks and eat reasonably well.  But… the baby tummy won’t budge. So, I need a pair of cool jeans that are forgiving on a flabby belly. I’m a size 10/12 or M. I have two pairs of Country Road elasticated pants but I’m looking for skinny jeans. I’m happy to wear loose tops but if the jean waistband cuts in too much, it leaves an unsightly bulge under the shirt. Have you any recommendations on a good fit of jeans in the more budget end of the scale? I suppose I’d be prepared to pay up to $150. Sam

Skinny jeans are definitely your most flattering choice Sam – and I should know, I’ve had a baby tummy since before I’d even had my first baby. The key to finding skinny jeans that fit and flatter and not create an unwanted muffin situation is to look for a skinny leg style in a denim that has a good amount of stretch – and a mid-to-high waist. Apart from wanting that stretch for comfort – especially if you spend your days running after small children – that stretch factor will mean you can opt for a firm fit without feeling like the waistband cuts in. The thing to remember is that the higher the stretch content in the denim, the more they will give with wear. You need to buy your stretch skinnies as tight as possible to allow for this. Here are some shopping suggestions. You might also get some tips from this post I wrote last month.

skinny jeans on a budget 2015

1. Sussan lift and shape jean $129.95 | 2. Target shape your body jeans $35 | 3. Katies relaxed rip and repair jeans $59.95  | 4. Country Road mid-rise torn jegging $99.95 | 5. Jeanswest Ilisa super skinny Prima jeans $120

Black skirts

I am looking for a short black skirt to wear with boots, jumpers and loose shirts. I am a 47 -year-old registered nurse from Hobart who wears scrubs to work so I’m not looking for that “office” look – just practical, comfortable and a skirt that could be taken from day to night. Kirsty

Kirsty, my suggestion to you is to look for a straight skirt style in a leather or faux leather. This is the perfect winter texture to take you from day to night – and there are plenty of options available at the moment for all budgets. For day time, wear with tights, flat ankle boots and knitwear. At night wear with heeled pumps or ankle boots, a silk or soft shirt and a coat. Here are some shopping suggestions.

black leather or faux leather skirts

1. Sussan seamed coated skirt $89.95 | 2. Seed leather skirt $249.95 | 3. Boo Radley faux leather skirt $99 @ Birdsnest | 4. Trenery leather skirt $379 | 5. Country Road leather-look skirt $99.95

Preppy look

I love the preppy look but I’m worried that when I dress like that I look 50 instead of 37! I love shirts and jumpers and wonder how to put them together in a young way. I also have a draw full of scarves. Sarah

Oh, I hear you … I am closer to 50 then 40 but none of us want to dress in a favourite style and have the end result make us look older than we are. The key is to add some edge to that style to reinvent it in its modern form. Yes, you have a wardrobe filled with shirts, jumpers and scarves but how can you wear them so that you look youthful. The key word here is CONTRAST. Yes, take a knit (make it over-sized if possible) and wear it over a tailored shirt (worn out or half-tucked) but team that duo with ripped skinny or boyfriend jeans and shoes with a kind of “toughness” or a non-preppy surprise factor. For daily inspiration, check out (and study) my friend, @redcliffestyle … she nails a preppy/edgy look like nobody’s business. Here’s a styling and shopping suggestion.

Modern preppy style

1. Seed jeans $89.95 | 2. Sportscraft shirt $99.95 | 3. JAG knit $99.95 @ Birdsnest | 4. Metalicus loop scarf $69.95 | 5. Zensu slip-ons $119.95 @ Styletread

Got a question? Email me: [email protected] Got something to add to my advice above, fire away in the comments below!

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Comments 32

  1. I always ask the shop assistant’s to help me when trying on jeans. They have the experience and knowledge as to what looks and suits my particular body shape. Don’t be afraid to ask for help x

  2. Sam, I recently bought a pair of dark wash Jag jeans. The style is called Jamie. They are awesome. Nice and slim bit not tight-tight around the ankles and not high waisted but enough to slightly tame my 39 year old middle and not have me paranoid about lifting my arms over my head and exposing my muffin top for all to see. The dark wash is dressy enough for me to wear with heels for an evening out and just to prove how versatile they are, I bought my 21 year old daughter a pair too and they look great on her as well, although different to how they look on me (she wears them differently, and dont worry, we don’t live in the same town anymore so it’s not a “Mommy & Me” thing).

    Oh, and they’re super comfortable and best of all, Jag do in between sizes. I bought size 11.

    I got them at Myer for $89. I think they were reduced but I don’t know the original price.

  3. Love the picks. I just picked up a fabulous black faux leather skirt from witchery, now I just need an occasion to wear it! Thanks for the styling tips.

  4. I would also suggest wearing a firm tank under your top with your skinny jeans. It does make a much cleaner line under your clothes and apart from the middle of summer, does not feel too hot.

    I find the shapewear camis roll up and create new bumps but I have worn the Country Road stretch tanks for years without issue. They bring out new colours each season if you want to add a pop, but they seem to have black and white all the time. They not only smooth out your belly but also work to diminish any back “situation” around your bra. If you have a spend and save offer and can’t quite reach the target figure I’d grab one of these, and then it’s free!

  5. Great post Nikki! Finding good fitting jeans is up there with finding the perfect cozi – very difficult indeed. If anyone is looking for great skirts in either plain black or faux leather, I bought both at Diana Ferrari. Their faux leather skirt is in a deep wine colour and works well with black or neutral shades. They also have great plain black ponte fabric skirts which are a great basic for winter.

  6. Love all the answers to the style questions Nikki,I like the preppy look too and like to wear brouges with it as well!
    I also love Katie’s jeans they are not too low waisted,to fit your mummy tummy in and love Susan’s jeans and NYDJ jeans as well.
    Great post Nikki Xx

  7. thanks nikki! … looking good! with everything covered as usual!
    I love my no zip = no bulk idea! … my favourites VASSALLI jeans that fit!
    also under garments that smooth are helpful while firming up!
    enjoy your day! love m:)X

  8. Hi Sam, i just bought 2 pairs of Amaze jeans from just jeans. I’m a size 10, but I’ve had 3 kids and my stomach is a mess! I got the skinny ones with a high rise in mid denim and black. The denim is quite soft and stretchy but they suck you in at the tummy without a muffin top. I paid $89 each. Hope that helps!!

  9. My two most fav jeans for comfort, style and hiding the baby bulge are my NYDJ Skinny lift and tuck jeans (bought on sale at Myers late last year) and Miracle Body tummy tuck jeggings bought online.

  10. Once I bought my first pair of J Brand (Maria) jeans, I promptly sent all my other pairs of jeans to the op shop. They are the absolute best and if you grab them on sale at DJs you might be able to get them for about $160. I have 2 pairs of the blue wash and 1 of the black wash. The black has more stretch than the blue, so I’d recommend sizing down.

  11. I had tried on lots of skinny jeans but didn’t like them on me, until I tried Cotton On High Waist Ankle Grazer, and the best bit was they were reduced to $10 so I had to buy them in two shades !!

  12. Mavi makes great stretch skinny Jeans which are very forgiving. I got mine at Belinda’s store in Yamba but look them up for stockists. Sacha Drake also does a wonderful stretch pant – not jeans, but incredibly flattering

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