How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Look as good as Martha does in just your cossie
- Shane Watson shares how you can look as incredible as the glam US chef-star
- READ MORE: Martha Stewart, 81, dazzles in a gold gown at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch party in NYC
You may have seen that Martha Stewart, 81, has just become the oldest woman to grace the cover of the iconic American magazine, Sports Illustrated.
This is remarkable, partly because Martha Stewart isn’t a model, an actress or even a rockstar and partly because in the images from the shoot she looks like a well-preserved sixty-something, and that’s without most of her clothes.
But aside from being a significant moment in the rolling back the years experiment, what’s interesting to us normal civilians is what we learned from the swimwear shoot about how to look good in a one piece when you’re old enough to be a grandmother.
Get yourself a team of beauticians and dermatologists and fitness trainers and dieticians and doctors.
Or, alternatively, do the following:
Martha Stewart, 81, has just become the oldest woman to grace the cover of the iconic American magazine, Sports Illustrated
- WEAR a matching sarong.
In roughly a third of the nine or so shots Martha is wearing a matching sarong knotted at her hip so that you barely recognise it as a sarong and it seems almost like a graceful continuation of the costume.
I’ve always felt there was something a little bit matronly about a sarong, but these look sophisticated not frumpy and it’s clearly worth having one in reserve. For a good black cotton sarong try Seafolly (£29.99, zalando.co.uk).
- RUCHING ruching ruching.
A miracle eye deceiver on dresses as well as swimsuits Martha in her £300 Isa Boulder swimsuit (isaboulder.com) reminded us that all-over ruching will disguise all-over lumps and bumps and also has the effect of drawing the eye to the line where the ruching starts — an inch or so in from your sides — giving the impression you are that much narrower in the trunk.
For something similar try Marks and Spencer’s ruched, tummy control, square-neck swimsuits (£29.50, marksandspencer.com).
- GET a beach cover-up.
Martha is wearing long, pale, lacey beach cover ups in a few of the images and, again, if you generally think of beach cover ups as short bright kaftans that remind you of Julie Walters in Mamma Mia!, Martha might inspire you to go for pale and floaty (£139, thewhitecompany.com).
Martha, pictured, is wearing long, pale, lacey beach cover ups in a few of the images for the iconic shoot
Black is sometimes good and sometimes institutional. Dark blues can be boring and often look better with some white or green. But the Martha ‘never say never’ rule is always try it and see
- LOW-CUT can look good.
Needless to say on octogenarian Martha it seems like no extra support is required, but still the low-cut costumes that look best on her are the ones that allow you the option of an an extra hoik if necessary, by adjusting the halter neck. Try Boden’s Kefalonia halterneck (£75, boden.co.uk).
- Look for ruching
- Get a thick gold chain
- Try a maxi pale cover-up
- Go for block colour
- STICK with block colour.
Never in a million years would I have considered a biscuity metallic fabric for a swimsuit. You’d assume this would just blend into the background and make you look bigger, but that’s the thing about swimwear, it obeys its own colour rules. Khaki is usually good unless it’s too olive.
Black is sometimes good and sometimes institutional. Dark blues can be boring and often look better with some white or green. But the Martha ‘never say never’ rule is always try it and see — though stick with plain, not pattern.
- GET a costume with a wetsuit-style zip-up front.
You may remember the Lamb’s Navy Rum ads back in the day (Martha certainly would), but either way the point is a neoprene look and wetsuit details like chunky quality zips give a structured quality. Boden does a neoprene one-piece (£90, boden.co.uk), albeit long sleeved and more North Sea-friendly than Martha’s swimwear, but for something lighter with a wetsuit vibe try Seafolly (£95, selfridges.com).
- WEAR a necklace.
You may have a chain you never take off, but it is undoubtedly true that a thick chain (very fine has the reverse effect) breaks up the expanse of naked chest above the neckline and just . . . helps. For thick gold chains try Accessorize.
- IT’S one-piece all the way.
In among the designer costumes modelled by Martha, I couldn’t help noting that there was not a single tankini. These seem like a good idea — a one-piece you can split into two — but they have none of the advantages of a one-piece, namely smoothness and corseting and all over support, and unless you are going to roll up the top in order to tan your stomach you’re far better off with a plain old swimsuit.
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