How to wear a playsuit

BRONWYN WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:02 30/01/2013

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Playsuits are back in fashion. Apparently. But honestly, apart from pin-legged celebrities, who on earth would - or could - wear them?

The name conjures up toilet accidents at kindergarten, but let's drag ourselves away from the name for a minute - shall we call them 'short jumpsuits' for the sake of this story? - and think about what the playsuit can offer us other than a fiddly bathroom experience:

1. It's easy. It saves you fussing about choosing separates as it's an all-over cover-up; just pop it on and choose your shoes.

2. It can be leg lengthening. Styles with a high waistband (or belt loops) can make your legs look like they start much further up your body than they really do.

3. It can be chic for evening. Like the eternal elegance of a full tuxedo suit, this is a streamlined piece that's consistent from top to toe - or in the playsuit's case, from top to thigh. 

4. There's one to suit every body shape. Providing you're happy flashing your legs, they come in all sorts of silhouettes, lengths (from butt-flashing to knee-scraping) and top styles. 

HOW TO PICK YOUR PLAYSUIT

SIZE: Buy it to fit your body length, not your dress size. A tall size eight will get a wedgie and a short size twelve may end up with a nappy pant. 

STYLE FOR SHAPE: Pick the style that's right for you. Big boobs will benefit from a V neck or a shirt-style top worn with the first few buttons undone. If you're top heavy then also choose a style where the shorts flute out slightly to balance out your silhouette. Pear shapes should look for styles with volume or embellishment around the neckline and shoulders - this balances out the width of your hips. Hourglasses will look great with a form-fitting style and a contrasting belt. Petite bodies need to avoid large prints and look for sweet ruffles and soft folds to allude to more curves. Those heavy through the mid-section look great in a style that's loose and roomy in a solid colour to streamline the silhouette. A small tie belt is a great way to allude to a waist. 

ACCESSORIES: To take a simple playsuit from day to night, it's all about what you put with it. For the office, make it smart with a structured blazer, simple jewellery and classic court heels. For the weekend, make lounging look stylish with canvas sneakers or cute sandals, an armful of bangles and a floppy sunhat. For evening, glam it up with a pair of statement heels, a contrasting belt and a great evening clutch.   

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