Gok Wan has always been one of my inspirations for Shelley Kelly Style. For ages I have been looking forward to this - a trip to Bristol for Gok’s One Size Fits All – Secrets to Style and Body Confidence roadshow . I was to learn from the man himself. Gok Wan - fashion expert, award-winning TV presenter, author and all round national treasure.
From watching How to Look Good Naked to Gok’s Fashion Fix, his TV shows have always focused on styling women to be who they truly are. Not what the media or society as a whole says they should be. But to be true to their likes, dislikes, their beautiful bodies. And Gok was as clear at this event as he always has been - you are giving out messages with how you look – there’s no denying that – but those messages should be truly reflective of who you are, where you’re from, your self confidence….your personality.
And he was true to his word.
He was wearing very low slung trousers.
You know the ones you see when you’re walking behind someone and you just want to hoik them up so you can’t see their pants any more (you could probably have seen Gok’s pants but he had a long shirt on!)?
During the Q&A he was asked “why won’t you pull your trousers up?” Good question all those in to room above a certain age thought to themselves. Lots of laughter!
But he had a great answer. It was about him and who he was. As a youth he was into skater culture and wore lots of baggy clothes, vintage Adidas hoodies and low slung trousers.
He continues to wear them as the kid inside him has not really grown up and it means he still gets to be a bit naughty! Perfect.
That’s why he’s on TV!
Its so clear that Gok loves women – he said it a few times and its what drives him in the projects he does. He loves his dog Dolly too who was with him (although he’s convinced she hates him!). And top it all off, my favourite stylist and I pretty much wore the same thing!!! Come on, that’s got to be worth a few brownie points!!! Love you too Gok.
“Dress sizes don’t mean shit”
This was one of my favourite Gok-isms. As a gender, we females are hung up on trying to fit into the smallest size we can. I admit that even I find myself saying “… and they’re a size 10” when I come home with something and my “size” ranges from 10 to 14.
However he’s right. Every store has their own take on sizes – we know this as fashion consumers – a size 12 pair of trousers in Zara never fasten for me; size 12 in Next will be too big. On the top half I’ll need a size 14 in H&M but size 10 in Jigsaw (more on the bangers later!)
Gok’s point is that it doesn’t really matter if you’re size 10, or 16, or 22 – no matter what you wear, one of the biggest reasons a piece of clothing will look good on you or not is the fit. It has to fit – regardless of what the label says. Gok is great at getting women to accept that the number on the garment is irrelevant. What really counts is what’s inside the garment and that the inside fits the outside.
At last - what Gok's famous for! Lets talk about boobs! One of the other biggest factors in a piece looking good is underwear. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – without getting the foundations right, no garment is going to look at its best. You’re not going to feel at your best. Go for a bra fitting!! Please, if you want to do something amazing for your wardrobe – go for a professional bra fitting.
So no sooner had he said bangers than we all had our thumbs under the bra strap on our shoulder to see how far up we could pull it. Up to an inch is good – that means we’re getting the right support from the bra. Sitting right next to the stage – I breathed sigh of relief! There were straps stretching up to 20cm though which had the room in stitches! It was such a simple lesson - go on, try it.
We moved onto support pants, girdles (no self-fitting here thank the Lord!) and he used models of all shapes and sizes to get over his point that, if you want to, you can all “clean up your silhouette” with key area underwear - bum-lift, sides, upper tummy, lower tummy, thigh smoothing. But Gok was explicit - it’s not about hiding these areas for vanity’s sake – it’s about how you feel. If this helps you to feel sexier because your tummy is flatter then why not? I think we’ve all put flesh coloured support pants on, looked in the mirror (if we dared) and though eurgh!
But for Gok, it’s not really about how it looks in your mind – it’s about how it makes you feel when you’re fully dressed in that cracking outfit. You’re not doing it for anyone else, you’re doing it for yourself. For how you feel. For how confident it makes you feel. End of. No other agenda. Feel sexy for you. Not anyone else.