In the fashion jail-house of my mind, the all-in-one has its own high-security cell for crimes against the female figure. A baggy bottom, an ill-fitting top and a distorted hourglass shape are the tell-tale signs of the poorly constructed all-in-one, the most serious of offenders. Never mind that the more honourable amongst them have graced the figures of such fashion-savvy females as Jessie J, on the high-street this look is much harder to pull off and I was in no rush to give it a go.
So it is still a mystery why I pulled from the sale rails at Miss Selfridge this asymmetric one-piece wonder. Perhaps a little self-indulgence from retail therapy brought out the worst in me as the ten pound price-tag lured me into committing my first fashion offence.
Victoria's view: As complicated as it makes going to the bathroom, this is an easy look to pull off if the basics of a flattering cut and colour are in place from top to toe. This outfit made me realise how safe I tend to play it. I’m normally just a wear-whatever-suits-me-and-my-shape kind of girl, but the jumpsuit was to me what the glass slipper was to Cinders, the chance for a new kind of you - even if just for the night. And I learned that it can be fun to shake things up a bit.
So I plead guilty to the all-in-one trend, go ahead and lock me up because the black and white stripe prisoners’ onesie is hardly going to faze me now.
JK's verdict: I'll admit I tend to think F1 or skydiving when I hear the word 'jumpsuit,' but hopefully that will soon change. I prefer the plain black to the floral pieces I see so often - this looks a lot classier, especially with that asymmetric cut.
#2 Block colours
|Top - £6|
I am a firm believer that black is always the new black - it’s flattering, it’s classic, and my wardrobe is full of it. But I guess it was time to break the habit, and I never realised that until I went shopping with a canary-yellow-loving friend of mine, who was popping pieces of all shades and patterns like she needed a colour fix to carry on living. But now I get the addiction - colours really can make you feel good about yourself. And anybody who has taken any notice of Zara’s window displays lately knows that the brightest shades are the ones to be seen in this season.
Victoria's view: Never in a million years would I picture myself in this shade of orange (JK thinks it's red but we've agreed to disagree). In a wardrobe of charcoal, ink and petrol shades, where would I find something to team it with?
This simple ensemble with jeans and summer wedges was the pathway into unknown colour territory for me but I think I’ve managed to find my footing. I may have gone for sophistication in all-black before, but wouldn’t I rather be thought of amongst the fun and vitality of eye-popping brights? Pick the rights ones and colours can be a real compliment to both your style and your personality.
JK's verdict: As someone who ebraces colour, I'm somewhat shocked that Vikki has never worn brights before. They liven up an outfit instantly (but by the way, I'd say the top is definitely red).
|Navy shorts - £10|
#3 Shorts as evening wear
Tree trunks, thunder thighs… call them what you will but some legs just aren’t made for shorts and mine are no exception. Never would I attempt this trend unless a five-inch lift to the legs was an option and now, as luck would have it, it is.
Whereas before shorts were confined to the beach or the poolside, they are now catching up to the classic black body-con skirt to become the best way to show some leg in evening wear. It may be daunting for those of us who normally wait with baited breath for summer to get out our maxi dresses, but where there’s a will – and in this case a heel – there’s a way to work the new season favourite.
Victoria's view: I love these buttoned navy shorts for their simplicity in the detailing – the gentle turn ups at the thighs and subtle pleating at the hips make them look worth far more than the ten pounds that I paid for them.
JK's verdict: As Vikki demonstrates in the photo, shorts can look sexy on a night out, but make sure they're not too casual. Wear with tights if you're self-conscious about your thighs.
#4 The hair hankie
In the fashion world, history has a way of repeating itself. You only have to look around you to see here and now that the nineties-born girls are sporting everything from 80’s crop tops and cut off denim to 70’s palazzo trousers and 60’s maxi skirts.
Big lashes, tiny waists and red lips may look showy to some, but in reality they represent the ultra-femininity of the old pin up girls with curves in all the right places. But the hair hankie reminds me of a different aspect of war-time life, with the celebration of women’s capability, not just their curves. I saw this trend and I was immediately reminded of the famous ‘We Can Do It’ poster of WWII. The ability to encapsulate an entire era – in this case in just one accessory – is, I think, one of fashion’s biggest selling points.
Victoria's view: Fashion should be fun, and I like a little hint of vintage in any look. My only worry with this one is the potential for it to look slightly like you’ve tried to make a statement with a kitchen tea towel, but to be honest as far as re-inventing old classics goes I think you could do a lot worse. And that will remain true until the very moment that MC Hammer pants vanish from the high-street for good.
JK's verdict: I think hair hankies are cute, personally. I adore ones like these with the patterned detail as they add a little bit extra to what you thought was a complete outfit.
|Midi-skirt - £3 in the sale|
I have just turned twenty and have no intention of dressing like somebody four times my age, so the midi-skirt was dangerous territory. An ill-fitted midi worn with flats or this season’s androgynous brogues will look particularly granny-ish, but the most flattering varieties can do wonders for the female physique. So, as with a lot of tricky trends, there is definitely a right and a wrong way to wear the midi-skirt. Needless to say, I did not want to get it wrong, and given the success of finding this summer must-have for a spectacular £3 in the sale section, I had hoped to be off to a good start.
Victoria's view: I actually took this skirt in at the seams to bring it tighter at the knees for that all important hourglass silhouette – it’s feminine and fashion-forward without being too ‘out there’ and the cost of having to wear it with heels or wedges is one I am willing to pay for the end result. This is the sort of style that I really love. It may be figure-hugging, but it’s got that element of subtlety that makes it all sophistication and no sleaze. All lumps and bumps can remain well hidden, so don’t be afraid to give this one a go.JK's verdict: What can I say? I love her skirt! Very sexy and very flattering to her figure.