Ladylike dressing has been popular again since Mad Men first popped up on our television screens in 2007 and although many trends have come and gone since then, embracing feminine shapes and beautiful details is still very much in fashion. However, that doesn't mean you have to embrace the strict corsetry and restrictive rules of days gone by, the new take on ladylike dressing is modern, comfortable and flattering.
1. Kate Sylvester has always excelled at feminine fashion and for the past few seasons she has produced elegant midi-length skirts in an array of fabrics. The silhouette has a classic, full look that is nipped in at the waist and flattering on most shapes, although if you're more petite-sized you might want to wear a knee-length version. Skirts like these can be teamed with many kinds of tops and I love how the above look has a casual feel due to the floral tshirt and boots.
2. Accentuating the waist is something Ingrid Starnes does particularly well and her vintage-inspired collections are wonderfully flattering while having a modern appeal too. The beauty of a drawstring waist such as the one on the Yui dress above is that you can wear it as tight or loose as you feel comfortable with and it's a quick way to draw attention to your waist. The demure length and elbow length sleeves mean this silk dress is a perfect choice for a contemporary lady.
3. Plunging necklines are not exactly practical and a more refined approach is to go for necklines that are a bit higher which is something Juliette Hogan does each season. Her chic collections are full of garments like the Award dress that are cut to complement the figure and keep a well-proportioned silhouette. The use of this beautiful silk print and a flowing skirt make this look a perfect evening choice.
4. A softly structured dress is a charming option for those who want to make their workwear or evening looks more feminine and this Helen Cherry dress is a great example. The gentle rouching on the bodice and sleeves adds not only interest but more of a shape under the bust and at the waist. It would be easy to pair this dress with a tailored blazer or trench for a lovely autumn look that could take you from day to night.
Lace top from Trelise Cooper (coming soon)
5. Lace is clearly one of Trelise Cooper's favourite fabrics as it makes an appearance in every one of her collections in some way. It's also an instant way to add a feminine touch to your outfit and this high-collared look with sheer sleeves is a delightful transeasonal look. Lace is a common theme in many designer's garments too as the sheerness of it lends itself well to layering and it's delicate beauty appeals to women of every age.
– By Evelyn Ebrey
Images from mentioned designer's websites.