The fast track to femininity

Bird print top �25; circle skirt, �30; both Gok for TU
Bird print top �25; circle skirt, �30; both Gok for TU
Great white shark Picture: Shutterstock

SHORT STORY: Reality TV, by Keith Baker

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Tomboys take cover – fashion is embracing all things feminine with the ladylike trend.

Perfect for transition season, womanly styling looks equally as pretty in summer or autumn – just add a coat or cape when temperatures drop.

‘There’s nothing like a favourite dress or skirt to make you feel oh-so-feminine,’ says Gok Wan, who plays on elegant silhouettes for his latest Gok for TU collection at Sainsbury’s.

‘I’ve applied a Forties American twist, seen in the fit, flared hems, long, plunging necklines and billowing fabrics, for a look that’s sophisticated, smart and chic.’

From hourglass curves to cinched waists, flaunt your female form with some grown-up glamour.

Look to the runway of Dior for the ultimate in ladylike dressing: billowing full skirts that gracefully skim the shins, pointed heels and neck scarves to really raise the retro glamour factor.

Full skirts with maximum volume have an instant ladylike appeal from the moment you secure the zip.

‘Layer up with net underskirts to add as much volume as you want,’ recommends Gok.

Say hello to the hourglass silhouette with curve-clinging frocks that enhance the waistline.

You don’t have to have perfectly-proportioned curves like Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks to pull off this look.

Seek out dresses with pull-in panels around the middle or bottom for a figure-boosting cheat.

If your bust is your best asset, look for scooped necklines but always balance out the decolletage on show with a longer hemline.

Separates are more flattering for those who are top or bottom-heavy and need to vary sizes.

Gok describes pencil styles as ‘the sexiest skirt shape on the planet’.

Try teaming one with a wrap-blouse to achieve the form-fitting effect and stick to darker colours on the half you want to slim down.

Pleats are still in fashion. Forget the fine and dainty pleats and aim for the catwalk’s box-fresh versions.

Pleated dresses and skirts are still ladylike, but the box pleats look more powerful than pretty, making them ideal for the office.

‘Sophisticated A-line skirts flatten a bigger bottom and balance out curvy cleavages,’ Gok advises. ‘Balance out the volume by keeping everything else as simple as possible.’

For top-to-toe demure, accessories will complete your ladylike look. Gok says: ‘For a Grace Kelly look, team a fine-knit sweater with a pearl necklace and mid-height heels or ballet flats.’