On style, she rules
Most of my friends don't understand when I say I have trouble finding clothes that look good for my shape. I'm tall and my arms and legs are slim, but where I gain weight is around my middle and hips, especially since I had children. The thing is I wear a lot of trousers and would like to wear skirts, but anything with a waist only emphasises the wrong parts. What should I be looking for? I guess I'm an apple?
Not the Only Fruit, Tai Hang
The Dictator rules: You sound more like a lemon to me. Sorry, low hanging and all that. OK, I'm stopping now. You're in luck. Not only has the industry been offering un-waisted sack dresses for years now, but it's quite 'in' to wear tunic tops and dresses over slim trousers. You have the right body type for this retro look, which also happens to be a fab way to do the colour-blocking trend. It's nothing new at Marni. In fact, tops that reach below the waist and sometimes lower have become its signature, available in gorgeous, unique fabrics and prints whether they be sleeveless, short- or long-sleeved (about HK$4,700 and up; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2845 7632). The autumn-winter campaigns of several trendsetting brands illustrate how to sport the look with skinny trousers topped by said long-sleeved, minimalist tunics, such as: Balenciaga (about HK$17,800 and up; The Landmark, tel: 3428 8086), Jil Sander (HK$9,900; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 2505) and Celine (HK$14,000 to HK$21,500; Sogo, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2891 8865). Note that just because something is called a 'dress', it doesn't mean you can't wear it as a top as long as it ends well above the knee. Take, for example, Sandro's lovely sleeveless dress in black wool with leather pockets, and the punchy coral red wool mini dress from the same line (HK$2,425 to HK$2,800; Rue Madame, Lee Gardens Two, Causeway Bay, tel: 2972 2021). H&M has countless blouses, tops and jumpers that reach to the top of the hips and are worn over stovepipe jeans or trousers (HK$249 and up; 68 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2110 9546). Think of it like you're pregnant indefinitely. Ugh. If that bothers you, then consult professionals to create a diet and exercise routine that targets your problem areas.
Where do I get some of those two-in-one boots to bootie things? Sounds like a super way to cut down on costs and space.
Making Ends Meet, Sha Tin
The Dictator: You make it sound like everyone else is as enamoured with the concept of sensible 'two-in-one' footwear. Take it from me (and probably Christian Louboutin), they're not. I must grant you, though, there are some fabulous transforming specimens out at the moment. Juicy Couture's Carlton convertible boot (HK$4,290; Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong, tel: 2265 7633) comes in supple black leather and is designed as a sleek riding boot. Its upper shaft, held in place with discreet snap buttons, comes off to reveal a sort of Chelsea bootie with elastic sidings. Or could we, um, convert you to the Air Kennedy buckle boot by Cole Haan (HK$3,900; Festival Walk, tel: 2265 8386)? It is available in chestnut leather with tweed or, my favourite, dark chocolate leather with a grey felt shaft buckled at the ankle and calf. For comfort, the brand has incorporated concealed Nike Air technology. Before you buy, though, I highly recommend you go and have a fiddle with them.