‘At 47, I’ve cut out a dress with these clever style tricks’

'I think playing it safe as you get older is the kiss of death for style,' says Hindmarch

‘I think playing it safe as you get older is the kiss of death for style,’ says Hindmarch – Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

If you’ve ever followed fashion designer Wiggy Hindmarch on Instagram, you’ll have come to appreciate her energetic approach to dressing. She talks directly to her nearly 60,000 followers, showing them what she’s wearing (from her own collection), and crucially how to style it. She also has no qualms about how she dresses to accentuate her figure – and deliver maximum Wiggy confidence.

It’s this confidence that is absolutely contagious – and makes you want to dress like her. Many celebrities feel the same way: her line, Wiggy Kit, has been worn by skin-confident celebrities, from Claudia Schiffer and Kirsty Allsopp to glamor queen Alice Naylor Leyland.

What makes Wiggy Kit so wearable for all age groups is the smart cut, thick fabric and well-placed straps and pockets. Although she founded the brand nine years ago, Hindmarch says she has never been more appreciative of the way she designs.

“I recently got into a dress, and it’s not exactly something I enjoyed, but it’s just that I’m 47, and my body is changing,” she says. “I was a dancer and I’ve always been lucky with my figure – despite not doing any exercise since I stopped dancing at 18. Now it’s coming up a bit. I know many people might not notice these changes – but trust me, if you see me in a bikini, you can tell. The thing is, I know how to dress so I can hide the bits I don’t like.”

Trimming a dress size with your clothes is all about the details, she insists. “Proportions are key,” she says. “Wearing clothes in a flattering way is all about managing proportions correctly. Often with mass-produced clothing, the seam is in a very standard position, but that’s not always the best place for it on a woman’s body. I play with those proportions to make sure the cut is really good.”

For example, there are big fans of high waists “to make the legs look longer” and dark on the hips “at a very specific angle, which helps narrow the hip.” A deep waistband helps to “narrow the waist” and helps balance out the width of the heavier lower half of the shoulders, “which often happens as we age”. Her jeans come with large statement front pockets, again to slim the hips.

This red dress with bow detail is not yet available from the Wiggy Kit websiteThis red dress with bow detail is not yet available from the Wiggy Kit website

‘I will always have a nod to something a little bit sexy,’ says Hindmarch – Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to cover more; “I’ll always have a nod to something that’s a bit sexy.” That could be a small flash of flesh just below the bra line (almost all of the dresses are cut to allow the wearer to still wear a bra), or more cleavage on display. She personally does not love her own hands in sleeveless dresses, but there are sleeveless numbers in the collection. “But I’ll put a big bow or something on my shoulder to help feel more covered and protected.” Similarly, she says she doesn’t like wearing shorts – “they don’t flatter my ass”, so she designed her own version, more of a skort, “which gives more coverage.”

Hindmarch started her eponymous line in 2015. As a child, she always had a “great interest in fashion and clothing”. After stage school, she went straight into retail, working for Capitol boutique, in Charlotte, North Carolina and then for jewelery designer Catherine Prevost in London. Many of her roles involved working directly with customers and advising them, as well as design, “so I got a really good foundation of what women want from their clothes and jewellery.”

It was only when she cleaned out her wardrobe that she realized “My everyday clothes were for summers in a city, and then holiday clothes were completely different. I thought it was ridiculous that they didn’t melt together. I wanted to create a holiday collection that could be worn just as easily on the beach as on the school run in the summer.”

Embroidered cotton top, £275 and skirt, £395, Wiggy KitEmbroidered cotton top, £275 and skirt, £395, Wiggy Kit

Embroidered cotton top, £275 and skirt, £395, Wiggy Kit

Embroidered cotton top£275 and skirt£395, Woven Pet

The first collection consisted of only 11 pieces, but it quickly grew as the items sold out. Unlike many brands, Hindmarch operates on an “if it ain’t broke” model; “I bring back old favorites in new colors or fabrics so customers can wear it in a different way.” The collection is now about more than holiday wear: her ss24 collection, which has a second “fall”, includes knitwear, tailored jackets and jeans, as well as a strong line of casual dresses to wear for summer events. One highlight is a cherry red halter neck dress next fall.

Wiggy Kit ditches traditional sizing and instead comes in small, medium and large (Wiggy has recently gone up to medium in its own range) all with very specific measurements listed for each garment, with waists “ average” tends to be approx. 77-78cm or 30 inches.

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy KitCotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy Kit

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy Kit

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Woven Kit

What’s clever about their size is that many of the pieces have a certain flexibility: trousers may have adjustable crown bands, with buttons on the side to cinch in or let out longer, the back of the dresses have hidden elastic panels, and looser garments. – linen dresses, for example, often come with built-in ties to customize the fit. “It’s essential because you can fluctuate sizes over the course of a month, or some days you need a looser or tighter fit than others,” she says.

Her direct communication with her own customers comes as a natural evolution of working on a shop floor. “Because I don’t have a physical store myself, it’s a great way for me to explain how to style a piece. I think so many women buy something online, it comes in a box, and then they don’t know how to make it look like the picture they bought. I want to show them exactly how to wear it and feel the best in it.”

She is talkative, honest and direct – eager to give all her tips. She generously reveals the product she credits for making her skin so bright, Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Face – “but not the fake tan one” – as well as places to stay in South Africa, where she travel often.

Jacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475;  Cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy KitJacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475;  Cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy Kit

Jacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475; Cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy Kit

Jacquard opera coat£765 and skirt£475; cotton shirt£225, Woven Pet

It is its own best advertisement. Mostly she wears her own designs but she still has some other favorite brands (mainly items she doesn’t – yet – produce herself). Uniqlo is great for basics like t-shirts, she loves Aquazzurra for shoes and Celine sunglasses. In addition to her own jeans, she loves Citizens of Humanity, especially their barrel “horseshoe” design.

So, doesn’t she believe in playing it safe with her fashion choices? “I think playing it safe as you get older is the kiss of death for your style. It’s not about being a sheep dressed as a lamb and trying to be young, but you have to be bold, get into your sense and go for it. Getting old is not a time to fade into the background.”

All Wiggy’s own shoes and jewellery

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