20140523-121100-43860245.jpgHello I’m Grainne McGarvey and welcome to my column which spots local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I will have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @pulseprni or email

As I write this I’m listening to the weather boffins talking about the heatwave meant to be coming our way very soon. The summer is my favourite time of year and I’ve already started buying my holiday clothes to look my best when I’m out enjoying some fun in the sun.

However some of my friends that have just had children aren’t looking forward to the summer and we’re often chatting about the struggles they have with what to wear. For them, dressing for the beach can often be a challenge as body shapes may change during pregnancy, making their existing wardrobe not suitable for their new shape.

Despite not having a baby myself, I do know a thing or two about choosing clothes, and as I’m helping style yummy mummy’s next weekend (Saturday 31 & Sunday 1 June) at Fairhill Shopping Centre’s free 3D body scanner and shaping event, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s G Spots! to summer dressing – whatever your body shape.

Hourglass: Aim to show off curves and emphasis a small waist. Choose tops that are slim fitting and dresses of almost any style – shaped, belted or short. You can be flexible with skirts – straight, A-line, pencil skirt, panelled, bias cut, will all look good as long as they have waist definition. No restrictions on choice of swimwear, but keep in mind that the best styles are the ones that underline your feminine curves. Select solid shades and colour-blocking, add brights in the right places and avoid eye-popping patterns.

Triangle: This is defined as shoulders and torso that are narrower than the hips. Aim to draw attention away from a larger bottom half by detailing your top half and keeping the bottom simple. Choose empire or wrap dresses; separates work better. When it comes to swimwear, triangles need a bikini that keeps detailing above the waist and pulls attention to the décolletage. Separates work well, but keep the bottom simple and in one colour. Summer styles to avoid: skinny jeans and skirts in a flimsy, curve-hugging fabric, like silk.

Inverted Triangle: Aim to make your bottom half appear broader to balance out the top half. Keep details, fuss, or anything that creates volume to your lower half, while the top half should be clean and uncluttered. To make your upper part of your body appear smaller, wear shirts and tops in colours that are darker or more muted than what you wear on the bottom half. Your best dresses add some volume at your hips to balance your shoulders – one strap dresses are great, as are strapless that will show off your beautiful shoulders. Wear your skirts in bright colours, horizontal stripes and patterns.


Rectangle: The key is to create womanly curves and definition, whether it’s with a dress that cinches or a top with a drop waist, trick the eye with details. Wide belts and ruching will give a touch more roundness to your shape. Don’t shy away from bold and intricate patterns – florals, stripes, and graphics will give depth and character to a silhouette, but remember not to go overboard. Look for a one-piece swimsuit with an overall bold bright colour and darker colour in the waistline to give the illusion of waist is a great look for a rectangle.

Round: Aim to slim bust, tummy and hips – solid hues in lights or darks will serve you well, but don’t avoid brights altogether.  Big prints aren’t the best, go monochromatic to create the slimmest line. Avoid any details, fuss and volume near bust, tummy or hip area and choose skirts above knee length. A halter neck is suggested for swimwear and wear underwired cups and thick straps to help with bust support – try a tankini or vest top that covers the middle and isn’t too figure-hugging.

If this has inspired you to update your summer wardrobe, I’d love to see you in Ballymena at the Yummy Mummy Summer Style Station Saturday 31 & Sunday 1 June from 1 pm-5 pm. The scanner is totally private and you can get your individual measurements and then get ideas on the best style of outfit to suit your shape.

I’ll be working alongside skincare and make-up beauty experts, so between us all we will hopefully help you sizzle whatever the weather!

More information can be found at

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