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Originally an award winning career in the fashion industry, Nerida now works extensively designing and facilitating a range of successful workshops for business organisations and the disability sector to assist people learn how to present and market themselves for success.
Physical appearance speaks first when impressions are being formed. Knowing how to dress to suit your unique physical features empowers you by building self- confidence and self-esteem which then influences the other areas of your life; same holds true for persons with special needs
Quick general tips for dressing for people those shorter in the legs, rounder in the face or body or maybe have the more common features of a person with down syndrome.
Persons with Down Syndrome mostly have a rounder face shape, to balance it we need to make the face look longer and there are ways t do just that.
Hairstyles with height on the top e.g. high ponytail or high bun;
textured spiky cuts with flat or short sides;
The side parting is more flattering;
No fringe or fine side swept fringe;
long hair, pins sides back flat or tuck behind your ears with the hair hanging out at the back;
styles that sit flatter on the sides;
deep scoop, one shoulder;
narrow cuts in tops that sit close the base of the neck, the collars pointing downwards not widespread.
Earrings that sit in a long vertical shape. Necklaces that fall in a V or oblong shape drawing the eye down; this can also be created with the neckline pattern on garments.
WHAT TO AVOID
Turtlenecks, necklines that sit wide, choker necklaces that sit high on the neck, chunky earring styles
that sit on the earlobe
If you are on the shorter side of the body scale or a rounder body shape. To bring balance we need to elongate the appearance of your body.
WHAT TO WEAR TO APPEAR TALLER AND LEANER
Dress in one colour, or with few colour variations, to create a monochromatic look or one long vertical line;
vertical patterns or design lines such as vertical seams, or buttoned up through the centre;
Straighter leg pants that sit below the ankle or to the floor when shoes are
same colour shoes as your pants will make the legs look longer;
to give the leg a longer look, tapered or pointed toes and a U or V shape throat and low vamp (top part of the shoe) is best;
avoid ankle straps it shortens the leg unless in a similar colour to leg colour
shorts or crop pants worn above the knee;
pants over boots, not tucked in, unless both are the same colour.
open, straight or slightly shaped jacket, or low textured cardigan no longer than your hips;
for women dresses and shirts should end either above the knee, or be ankle to floor length
WHAT TO AVOID
Three-quarter pants or anything that finishes at the calve muscle as it will cut off your leg length;
ill-fitting, oversized clothes, as they will add extra bulk and widen you instead of elongating the body
pants that bunch up at the angle.
horizontal or big patterns, a fabric that has a lot of texture;
for women wide, full dresses or skirts
WHAT TO WEAR FOR A FULLER TUMMY AREA
layering with long lean or semi-fitted jackets, cardigans, or vests;
monochromatic looks. Same colour on top and bottom to create a vertical line. A long jacket over the top can add to the vertical line;
shirts, tops or dresses with vertical design lines, like seams, button-up shirts;
layered tops with an asymmetrical element;
darker colours over the tummy area on top of dresses;
flat front pants or skirts that sit just below your waist;
patterns, or embellishments on the top half of the body to draw the eye upwards;
simple buttons on jackets so attention isn’t given to your midsection;
WHAT TO AVOID
Pants or skirt styles that gathered on waist
stiff, bulky or tight fabrics;
belts around your waist. Under the bust can work to give shape if you are a woman
big tops, that can be worn on their own, that hang over the tummy and give no shape;
low-cut pants that make your tummy push out over the top.
Positive first impressions lead to social acceptance. Personal presentation is one area that we can make immediate changes to, creating a positive first impression. Physical appearance speaks first when first impressions are being formed.
“Love My Shape “ by Nerida Lamprill is a book that empowers you to create a positive first impression as a woman. Nerida conducts workshops for all sectors of the community and is a regular speaker at conferences and events