Shop The Trend: Prim &Amp; Proper

27/09/2010 11:30 | Updated 22 May 2015

The female form was celebrated on the catwalks this season, with hourglass silhouettes and an emphasis on waists, hips and bustlines. Take your cue from Mad Men-style - it's sex appeal gone sophisticated and ladylike (think long gloves, kitten heels and a skinny belt).

Prim and proper needn't be boring; prints and bold colours add a modern dimension to classic items, while pairing full-figured skirts with mannish jumpers (see Paul Smith and Dries Van Noten for inspiration) offers a modern twist on retro classics. Cardigans and fitted jumpers, pussy bow blouses, pencil skirts and fitted tops (that corset you got to rock the underwear-as-outerwear trend last season will work beautifully here) are all items you probably already own. Also, feel free to ransack your mum and granny's wardrobes for retro-style handbags and wasp-waisted skirts - after all, you can't beat an original.,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=933306&pid=933305&uts=1284632080

Prim and Proper

1. A basic blouse (pussy-bow necklines and spotty prints are a plus) adds a bit of polish to any ensemble. The prim way to wear it? Tucked into your skirt, of course.

Paisley print top, £89, Hobbs NW3

Prim and Proper

2. Chic kitten heels are a great way to embrace the trend. Satin or patent are your best bets.

Satin sling back heels, £420, Lanvin at Matches

Prim and Proper

3. Button up: nothing says ladylike like a fitted cardigan.

Lace-trim cardigan, £215, Paul Smith Women

Prim and Proper

4. Party with this '50s-inspired prom dress which ticks all of the boxes of the designer versions (nipped-in waist, cleavage-accentuating and a great print) at a fraction of the price.

Fusion Gemma prom dress, £65, Monsoon

Prim and Proper

5. Want to really feel like a Joan or a Betty? A peach satin bullet bra will take you back in time and give you a sweater-girl silhouette.

Harlow bullet bra, £29.50, What Katie Did

Prim and Proper

6. Skirt lengths have dropped to the knee and calf this season (pencil shapes and fuller-skirted versions are both popular). Texture is also great, like the spot and ribbon detailing on this skirt, which calls to mind Prada's nubby versions on the a/w catwalks.

Spot textured skirt, £35, Oasis

Prim and Proper

7. The easiest way to do prim and proper is with a fabulous frock. Combine with a granny-style handbag and quirky knee socks for a lesson in eccentric ladylike.

Daulle dress, £1,020, Dries Van Noten at My Theresa

Prim and Proper

8. Accessories are key to the trend and the skinny belt with a bow buckle was a waist-cinching hit on many an a/w catwalk.

Pink belt with gold bow buckle, £3, Primark

Prim and Proper

9. Stay warm with this feminine coat - the camel shade knocks off two of the season's top trends in one.

Camel corelli coat, £80, Miss Selfridge

Prim and Proper

10. A handbag with a clasp closure embodies the '50s spirit and adds a ladylike finish to even a basic T-and-jeans outfit.

Patent leather croc Yo-Yo bag, £1,495, Prada

Prim and Proper


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