Style Counsel 306

06 Feb 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Dear Barbra, 

Now the weather’s getting colder, I need a fairly smart jacket for work. I recently spent the entire Saturday in Muscat’s malls looking for something to fit me. I’m a size 14 but I couldn’t get anything apt. Even when I went up a size, the arms were too tight. I don’t want to go for anything bigger or it’ll look ill fitting. Help!

Rihi, Muscat.

Imagine finding the perfect piece. It checks all the boxes for being the right cut, colour, length and size – except for the fact that you’re losing circulation in your upper arms when you move. What’s going on? Welcome to the wild west of fashion, where there is no requirement for standard sizing. Every designer can decide who or what shape their customers are. Most opt for the teen figure – and it’s easy to see why – they can use much less fabric and not worry about grading patterns carefully from a size 8 to 16. So don’t panic. You probably don’t have unusually big upper arms or a wide back. The entire problem lies in the grading of patterns. And nothing will change unless we stop buying clothes that don’t fit and tell the store ‘why’ when visiting. In the meantime, try buying a jacket with a bit of stretch or go for British or American designs, which are roomier than their European counterparts.

This super fashionable pink Stella McCartney blazer showcases her impeccable tailoring. Cut from stretch-cady, this sharp piece is lined in satin-twill to ensure it slips over lightweight knitwear or a crisp shirt with ease. Style yours with a pair of cigarette trousers.


If you’re on a budget, this Matalan number will look great with this season’s retro look, plus the trapeze cut gives it a bit more room. From RO10.


Trend Alert: The Abaya

Henry Ford’s quote about having any colour you want so long as its black no longer holds true when it comes to the abaya. This season, a pop of bold, bright colour is back in vogue, especially if it overlaps the traditional dark hue. Silhouettes have also become a bit more structured, with nipped in waists and greater flow in the hemline.


But don’t try too hard. “Always keep it simple,” says Misha Daud of Eye Candy Boutique in Muscat.

If you prefer to stay low key in all black, consider updating the look with a little lace or make a statement with your accessories.

Animal prints are still trending, particularly faux snakeskin.

“Try a python leather handbag,” concludes Najma Al Jamali, owner and creator of Jizdani handbags.

Report by Jehan Sultan

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