‘At 47, I cut a dress size with these clever styling tricks’

‘I think playing it safe as you get older is the death knell for style,’ says Hindmarch – Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

If you’ve ever followed fashion designer Wiggy Hindmarch on Instagram, you’ll be sucked in by her charismatic approach to dressing. She speaks directly to her nearly 60,000 followers, showing them what she’s wearing (from her own collection), and most importantly, how to style it. She also has no rules about how she dresses to accentuate her figure – and give maximum Wiggy confidence.

It’s this confidence that is totally contagious – and makes you want to dress just like her. Many celebrities feel the same: her line, Wiggy Kit, is worn by celebrities who feel confident in their own skin, ranging from Claudia Schiffer and Kirsty Allsopp to tablescape queen Alice Naylor Leyland.

What makes Wiggy Kit so wearable for all ages is the smart cut, the thick fabric and the well-placed straps and pockets. While she founded the brand nine years ago, Hindmarch says she has never been more grateful for the way her designs flatter.

“I recently went up a dress size, which isn’t exactly something I enjoyed, but it’s just a fact that I’m 47 and my body is changing,” she says. “I have danced and have always been lucky with my figure – despite not having exercised since I stopped dancing at the age of 18. Now it’s catching up a bit. I know a lot of people might not notice these changes, but trust me, when you see me in a bikini, you will. The point is that I know how to dress so I can hide the things I don’t like.

Cutting off a clothing size for your clothes is all in the details, she emphasizes. “Proportions are crucial,” she says. “Wearing clothes in a flattering way is all about managing proportions correctly. On mass-produced clothing, the seam is often in a very standard position, but that’s not always the best place on a woman’s body. I play with those proportions to make sure the cut is really flattering.”

For example, she’s a big fan of high waists “which make the legs look longer” and dark shades on the hips “at a very specific angle, which makes the hip look slimmer.” A deep waistband helps “narrow the waist,” and accentuating the width of the shoulders helps balance out a heavier bottom, “something that often happens as we age.” Her jeans have large, striking pockets at the front, again to slim the hips.

This red dress with bow detail is not yet available on the Wiggy Kit websiteThis red dress with bow detail is not yet available on the Wiggy Kit website

“I’ll always have a nod to something sexy,” says Hindmarch – Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to hide more; “I’ll always have a nod to something that’s a little bit sexy.” That could be a little bit of flesh cut out just below the bra line (almost all of her dresses are cut so that the wearer can still wear a bra), or more cleavage showing. She doesn’t like her own arms in sleeveless dresses, but the collection does contain sleeveless figures. “But I’ll put a big bow or something on the shoulder so I feel more covered and protected.” Likewise, she says she doesn’t like wearing shorts — “they just don’t flatter my butt,” so she designed her own version, more of a skort, “which gives more coverage.”

Hindmarch started her eponymous line in 2015. As a child, she was always “fascinated by fashion and clothing”. After drama school, she went straight into retail, working for Capitol boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina and then for jewelry designer Catherine Prevost in London. Many of her roles involve working directly with and advising clients, as well as designing, “so I gained a very thorough understanding of what women expect from their clothes and jewellery.”

As she was cleaning out her closet, she realized, “I had my everyday clothes for summers in a city, and then a completely different set of vacation clothes. I thought it was ridiculous that they didn’t merge. I wanted to create a resort collection that could be worn as easily on the beach as it could on the school run in the summer.”

Embroidered cotton top, €275 and skirt, €395, Wiggy KitEmbroidered cotton top, €275 and skirt, €395, Wiggy Kit

Embroidered cotton top, €275 and skirt, €395, Wiggy Kit

Embroidered cotton top£275 and skirt£395, Wiggy set

The first collection consisted of just 11 pieces, but quickly grew as the items sold out. Unlike many other brands, Hindmarch operates on an ‘if it ain’t broke’ model; “I bring back old favorites in new colors or fabrics so customers can wear it in a different way.” The collection is now more than just resort wear: her ss24 collection, which has just had its second drop, includes knitwear, tailored jackets and jeans, along with a strong line of occasionwear for summer events. A highlight is a knockout cherry red halter neck dress, which will appear in the next release.

Wiggy Kit does away with the unreliable traditional sizing and instead comes in small, medium and large (Wiggy has recently switched to medium in its own range), all with very specific measurements listed for each garment, with ‘medium’ waists being the tend to be around the size. 77-78 cm or 30 inches.

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy KitCotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy Kit

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy Kit

Cotton and silk blend dress, £395, Wiggy Kit

The clever thing about her sizing is that many of the pieces have a degree of flexibility: trousers can have adjustable waistbands, with buttons on the side to tighten or loosen them further, dresses have hidden elastic inserts at the back, and looser garments. – For example, a linen dress often comes with built-in ties to adjust the fit. “It’s essential because your measurements may vary over the course of a month, or you might want a looser or tighter fit some days than others,” she says.

Her direct communication with her own customers comes as a natural evolution of working on the shop floor. “Because I don’t have a physical store myself, it’s a really brilliant way for me to explain how to style a garment. I think so many women buy something online, it comes in a box, and then they don’t know how to make it look like the photo they bought. I want to show them exactly how to wear it and feel their best in it.”

She is talkative, honest and direct and is happy to give all her tips. She generously reveals the product that makes her skin look so radiant, Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Face – “but not the one with fake tan in it” – along with whereabouts in South Africa, where she often travels.

Jacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475;  cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy kitJacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475;  cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy kit

Jacquard opera coat, £765 and skirt, £475; cotton shirt, £225, Wiggy kit

Jacquard opera jacket£765 and skirt£475; cotton shirt£225, Wiggy set

She is her own best advertisement. She usually wears her own designs, but she does have a few other favorite brands (largely items she doesn’t produce herself (yet). Uniqlo is great for basics like t-shirts, she likes Aquazzurra for shoes and sports Celine sunglasses. In addition to her own jeans, she loves Citizens of Humanity, especially their barrel-leg “horseshoe” design.

So she doesn’t believe she should play it safe with her fashion choices? “I think playing it safe as you get older is the death knell for style. It’s not about mutton dressing up as lamb and trying to be young, but you have to be brave, dig into your sense of style and go for it. Getting older is not the time to fade into the background.”

All shoes and jewelry are from Wiggy’s own brand

Leave a Comment