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Caryn Franklin’s Facebook takeover style tips


Caryn FranklinJust before Christmas, fashion expert and The Style List creator Caryn Franklin took over our Facebook page and answered your style and fashion related queries! We were thrilled by the questions that came up on the page and Caryn not only responded to every single one but she even made suggestions for the types of garments you should be wearing to make the most of your figure.

If you couldn’t make the live Q&A session, fret not for we have compiled the questions and answers below – there’s something to suit everyone. And remember to keep an eye on our Facebook page for further Facebook Takeovers in the future.

I have a fur jacket with cropped sleeves, is it ok to wear long sleeves underneath?
Absolutely, these jackets were designed to create a layered effect and longer sleeved knitwear underneath is perfect but as it gets warmer you can substitute for longer sleeved blouses, especially the kind that have volume in the sleeves to give it a 70’s diva twist.

Should you cover your bum when you wear leggings?
Personally, I think it is more flattering if you wear a tunic top that skims the top of your thighs, unless you have a pert bottom and fabulous thighs.

Black velvet maternity dress

I’m 4 months pregnant and getting bigger by the day (currently a size 12). Is there any clothing that I should invest in to help me from looking like a dumpy egg on legs?
You need to use an age old practise for minimising your tummy which is done by wearing dark colour through the centre of your body. Find a maternity top or dress that is darker with a colourful longer length cardigan to go over your shoulders to create a dark panel through the middle of your body. Try this Black Dress

I want to be ahead of the game for Spring, can you tell me what colours I should be buying?
This Spring is all about colour blocking choose garments that have a mix of bright colours in bold blocks. This is quite a statement look so pare is down with neutrals. In the summer for a heads up floral prints are once again popular!

Is velvet going to be in fashion for a while longer? I impulse bought some navy velvet shoes which I fear will go to waste!
The great thing about current styles is that they are very eclectic, I’m sure you can make your navy shoes work in a situation by combining different textures which is currently this winters way to work in a variety of fabrics.

I am struggling to find smart work clothes for the winter that look professional, yet keep me warm! Any suggestions?
Knitwear has had a high fashion makeover and the camel knitted dress or a combination of black and camel stripes looks thoroughly up-state but also authoritative in the workplace. Add knee length boots and wear thick socks inside or create a layering effect by choosing knitwear that is more at a tunic length and team with smart black high waisted flares and heels. Try this tunic length camel cardi as recommended on the Style List.

Herringbone suit jacket

I have broad shoulders and big boobs – can I get away with a high neck?
Use your own judgement in the fitting room, take in quite a few versions of the look you are attracted to. My general feeling is that you do need a softer lower neck but you’re looking for balance. It may be that you can wear this look with an extra layer over the top. I found this. What do you think?

What would you recommend for me to wear to jazz up my work wardrobe next year? I am size 14-16 with large chest and hips, and seem to live in high waisted skirts and tops, what else would suit me?
Try a softer approach, the current high waisted trousers look great on curvy figures. You could add fine guage knit wear to add femininity but still retain authority. I love all the latest camel colours currently in Debenhams!

Have you heard of the new fashion trend for spring ‘loungerie’; this is when you can wear your underwear as everydaywear such as stockings, camisoles and teddies but team it with a cardigan or tights if you feel more comfortable. Will this take off?
I’d say that’s much more about fashion magazines and designers looking to make an eye catching statement and apart from Madonna who has been known to wear underwear as outerwear I’d say this is one best left to models in photographers studios!

Origami shell top

Before I was pregnant I was a curvy size 12, now I am a size 10 with no shape. What can I wear to enhance my bust and bottom?
Invest in some great underwear, a correctly fitted gel filled bra will make the most of your shape and accentuate your waist to create the shape of an hourglass figure either by using a belt to draw the eye in to the waist and cinching clothes around you or by investing in a high waist skirt that flares at the hip. You can also add volume to your bust by choosing tops and blouses that have extra fabric in them like ruffles or frills.

What are your fashion tips for petites this season? I’m 4ft 11!
Keep the silhouette as streamlined as you can by using one tone throughout your body. I love the high waisted trousers with flare which allow you to wear a pair of heels underneath to elongate your leg and for the top prioritise little cropped jackets which will make your legs look even longer. The key thing to remember here is don’t cut your body in half with colour, so steer clear of the colour blocking trends or the large voluptuous prints.

I would like to know what colour best suits ‘wheatish’ complexion with black hair and dark brown eyes.
You can wear bright colours – lovely reds and pinks to go with your skin and hair, avoid neutral colours that are too similar to your skin tone. Basically go for drama!

mix and match dress

I turn 30 next March and want to update my wardrobe to say something about the confidence I now have. As a busy Mum to a 2year old and work part time in a law office what would you recommend?
For formal wear make a bold statement. Panel dresses are popular this spring add a touch of tailoring like a cropped jacket that’s nipped in at the waist and a pair of court shoes for maximum glamour. And for down time the maxi dress is really key – it’s high fashion but it’s fantastically comfortable to wear at the same time with boots or sandals. Experiment with layering and accessories when you are redefining your look you need to spend a bit of time in front of the mirror to create the right proportions.
I’d recommend these items below as seen on Caroline’s page from the Style List: Black suit jacket / Black ‘Mix & Match’ Dress / Black stripe knitted maxi dress.

I’m 61 and partially disabled but I like to keep my self looking good as much as I can I do buy a lots of clothes and jewellery etc from Debenhams. I Bought some black and white outfits in few different designs with costume jewellery to match as I like the black on its own with things to match or black and white also I wear red and black to my hair is black and I’m 5ft 3 is this the right attire for me to be wearing or maybe I need something else too.
Dramatic colours work with your black hair, you clearly have a vibrant personality but how about trying neutrals with a flash of bright colour. Khaki with bright pink is a modern combination. Valerie, our model in Style List is 67. She looked great in khaki with a splash of purple. You don’t have to wear bright colours on your body, a playful bag or pair of shoes will do the job. Hope that helps,

How do you feel about the subject of one size never fits all, for example one shops size 10 is another shops size 12, do you feel this effects women?
There’s no standard sizing because each customer demographic is different. That’s why I always advise trying clothes on for fit. What you’re referring to is vanity sizing where retailers feel they can attract women to clothes that have smaller numbers in the back of the labels. So the responsibility lies with us and it’s about loyalty to brands or stores that have given you a good fit in the past. Debenhams personal shopping service is a great way of experimenting with a large variety of designer items to get the right fit for you.

I am 5′ 8″ but I am quite skinny, with thin legs, though I have good hips…’wheatish’ skin tone, what would you suggest me to update my wardrobe? I love skirts but I am confused which ones to go for.
Why not try the new calf length skirts that are flared from the hips. These will give your slender frame more definition. You can add volume to the top of your body with layers – try the faux fur gilet over some brightly coloured knit wear.

If breaking style rules make your wardrobe progressive, what would you say are the basic rules to making sure you’re more avant-garde than en garde when it comes to timeless fashion?
Enjoy any fashion trend no matter how fashion forward it is but always bear in mind that it needs to suit your individual body shape. High fashion is quite extreme and can sometimes look gimmicky if you haven’t considered it within the rest if your wardrobe.

I am petite 5’2″ and must say that am heavy at the bum and hips area (had a baby 5 months ago). What tops, trousers and skirt styles would suit me?
We need to minimise your hips and tummy and as you are a petite also solid dark colours will work to streamline you as well narrow down this a part of your body. Add volume to the top of your body so look for tops that have ruffles and frills like this. Brighter colours will also create attention at the top of your body and draw the focus away from your hips. I recommend boot-cut jeans or trousers that have a slight flare to balance your hips like these trousers from the Style List and high waisted knee length skirts with a flare will be your main choices for bottoms.

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  • maternity black dress

    Unsure if mixing colors is the way to go , although the black white dress above looks good and could be a winner , i think simple black or white dresses are fine during maternity : )