TODAY   |  September 03, 2010

Ladylike style, curves return for fall

Style expert Stacy London shows how to achieve this season’s curvier, sexier silhouette without looking like you’re wearing a costume.

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ANN CURRY, co-host: This morning on TODAY'S STYLE , the " Mad Men " look. That early '60s feminine silhouette is back in a big way this fall, so if you have -- are a lady with curves , you're going to be very happy. We've got Stacy London , she is a lady with curves , and who's also our resident style expert and the co-host of TLC 's "What Not to Wear ." And by the way, everybody, she's also appearing in the current off- Broadway show "Love, Loss and What I Wore." Stacy , congratulations.

Ms. STACY LONDON: Thank you so much . Last night was opening night, it was fantastic. We're going to be doing it for a month. I have an amazing cast. And it has just been such an honor to be in it.

CURRY: And I heard you're fantastic in it. So congratulations on all that. My goodness.

Ms. LONDON: Thank you.

CURRY: But you still got up this morning...

Ms. LONDON: Yes.

CURRY: ...to show us how to do this " mad Men " kind of inspired look. It's really -- we -- I would say probably you describe it as curvy? What would you say ?

Ms. LONDON: Well, look, I think that -- here's the thing, the great thing about " Mad Men ," and Christina Hendricks in particular is an actress who plays Joan , is that we're celebrating curves again. Now even women who don't have curves can get the illusion of curves with this look. I will say you are doing a perfect Betty Draper right here. Everybody take a look at Ann. It is about creating curves or accenting curves .

CURRY: OK.

Ms. LONDON: So we'll show you how to do that.

CURRY: Well, thanks for that nice sweet compliment.

Ms. LONDON: Yes.

CURRY: Let's take a look at our models, though, I'm sure they've got it together much more than I do. We've got our first lady look being worn by Serena . Good morning, Serena .

SERENA: Good morning.

CURRY: So how -- did you make this with a belt, is that was creates this?

Ms. LONDON: Yes -- now -- yes -- this is what's important, here is a perfect way to either get curves or show off your curves , you want a sheath dress that has this kind of princess seaming detail, the belt accents the waist, right? Look at the attention paid to the color. So if you have a smaller chest, this could still accent your chest, but here it also de-emphasizes a larger chest but still keeps the curves .

Ms. LONDON: You always want to make the waist small, knee-length is the ideal in terms of silhouette length just to create those curves on the body. A pointy- toe shoe always elongates the leg.

CURRY: Mm.

Ms. LONDON: And most important, get a bra fitting because the girls have to be up and high in order to get this look right.

CURRY: Oh! All right.

Ms. LONDON: That's all I'm going to say.

CURRY: OK, Stacy! Thanks, Serena . That's beautiful. OK. We've got our next look by Maryann and -- come on our, Maryann . Oh, that's very nice. I like that. That's -- it's very Jackie O , I think.

Ms. LONDON: It's very Jackie O. It 's still based on that early '60s inspiration. Now a lot of women think that that " Mad Men " thing can only be achieved by wearing skirts or dresses. You can do a skinny pant here, that is the pant for the season.

CURRY: Mm.

Ms. LONDON: And I have to say if you don't have curves , if you've got a narrower shoulder or a smaller bust, a swing cardigan like this. And look at the peplum on this Ann Taylor top.

CURRY: Mm-hmm.

Ms. LONDON: That gives you the illusion of a hip.

Ms. LONDON: And it gives you a little bit of curve where you don't have any.

CURRY: What is peplum? I'm sorry.

Ms. LONDON: Peplum is the trim around the hem of the top.

CURRY: I see.

Ms. LONDON: So it's a -- gives you a little bit more volume.

CURRY: I see, I see.

Ms. LONDON: Yeah.

CURRY: Oh, that's really cute?

Ms. LONDON: And this is easy, easy to wear for day or for weekend. And you'll see the knit itself is kind of that nice flat knit, easy to pack, easy to take with you to travel.

CURRY: Again with the pointy shoes.

Ms. LONDON: Yes, always, the pointy shoe. And notice the kitten heel , this is a very short heel, this is the new style for fall. It's not about the sky-high platform anymore, even though we both love it.

CURRY: All right. OK. Now our next model -- thanks a lot, Maryann -- Dawn is showing off some very serious curves because she's also expecting a baby.

Ms. LONDON: She's expecting a baby. Can you believe that?

CURRY: No.

Ms. LONDON: I mean, look at this body with expecting a baby, I mean, shut up. But what I love -- what I love is this is the new length skirt. Now a lot of people are afraid of this because they think they can look dowdy, but I really like to think of this as long as you are accenting the waist, as I said, with a wider waistband, doing some visual interests here with the plaid, which is also very big for fall, and the nice pointy- toe shoe , this is ladylike, it doesn't have to be dowdy.

Ms. LONDON: Keep it light with something tighter on top so that the volume is only in one part of the body, otherwise we lose the body's shape. And this is how you accent curves again. If you didn't have hips, this is a great way to give yourself the illusion of hips because it looks like you have a small waist and a larger hip.

CURRY: This also plays into the neutral theme of this year all on top.

Ms. LONDON: Absolutely. Neutral . Camel in particular is the new neutral. But you will see color as well. I'm actually showing these in neutral tones because when you're doing a plaid this big, if you did it in a bright color it might feel a little overwhelming. Neutrals are always a great base, they're a great investment, and then you add color as you go. Jewel tones are very big this season.

CURRY: Dawn, thank you so much . Our next model is Zoe .

Ms. LONDON: Now this is Zoe , who is one of my best friends and works with me. And we had to put her in something, she loves a beehive! But animal print is super important this season. And I wanted to talk about that because this is an H&M cardigan, around $24.

CURRY: Hm.

Ms. LONDON: You can get animal print inexpensively and do it even if it's a bolder animal print, but don't be afraid. Animal print doesn't go out of style. So even it's much more popular this season, but it may not, you know, be as popular and you can always have this in your wardrobe, great investment.

CURRY: Let's bring all of the models out. And so the bottom line on a lot of this is that we're accentuating the waist as much as possible.

Ms. LONDON: That is correct.

CURRY: And also, we're channeling our '60s kind of little cartouches, again the pointy shoes.

Ms. LONDON: That is correct. Pointy- toe shoes , accented waists, and you will have curves all season long.

CURRY: Stacy London , such a pleasure. And congratulations on all your success.