In the bridal fashion world, 2017 is history and Spring 2018 has sprung—and what a gorgeous season it is for brides-to-be! I had my kitten heels firmly on the ground recently for New York Bridal Week (#NYBW), where the wedding world’s finest including Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Berta Bridal and Reem Acra showed their dreamiest dresses for the upcoming season. Surrounded by tiers of tulle, miles of re-embroidered lace, oversize trumpet skirts, chandelier bolero jackets and oh-so-many capes, I noticed this was a season of chance and massive variety when it comes to bridal style.
Whether you’re a classic girl or a bohemian bride, there’s a trend for you—here’s seven of the best.
Black Ribbon Bows
This was the detail of choice for so many designers, but our favourite ribbon-trimmed gowns were at Reem Acra, whose collection was extra-dramatic and dazzling thanks to her collaboration with Tiffany & Co.
Cool Girl Bride
At Oscar de la Renta, a white jean jacket topped a little white tank and gigantic tulle skirt emblazoned with the late designers signature was one of the buzziest looks of #NYBW. We also loved the serious statement, rock n’ roll bijoux.
If you want a look that’s Kylie Jenner slick and red carpet sexy, Berta’s marabou feathered mini-dress with a plunging deep v-neckline is defo your dream dress.
The classic ball gown is back after several seasons out of the spotlight and we love the update on tradition with the inclusion of this modern design detail we spied at so many shows, seen here at Ines Di Santo.
As evidenced on the recent Met Ball red carpet, the naked dress is here to stay and still firmly has it’s place in bridal fashion too! This dress by Monique Lhuillier is on point with its subtle but sexy sheerness.
Skip the veil, wear a cape! Virtually every designer showed dramatic caped gowns but our fave is definitely this show-stealer at Naeem Khan.
Floral fabrics and embellishments have gone wild with three-dimensional details like these boho blossoms at Marchesa Notte. This Mother Earth trend is simple, modern and uber-dreamy.
If you’re looking for a new strength training workout, but don’t know where to start, search no further. Here, we break down three tried-and-true workouts that aren’t trendy, but they promise amazing results.
Ballet- and Pilates-inspired workouts are great if you want to build long, lean “beauty” muscles, but thanks to CrossFit, I’ve grown to appreciate the glamour of women who deadlift, pull up and muscle up—and not because the effort will shrink them into perfectly tiny packages of female beauty. No offence to pliés and jetés, but lifting heavy stuff is a rush.
Too many fitness classes operate along strict gender lines, with guys pumping iron in the hope of becoming Captain America-like in one room and women whittling themselves into McDonald’s french fries in another. CrossFit brings the sexes together—almost. “Our membership is about 60 per cent women,” says Rob Sinclair, owner, coach and general manager of CrossFit Solid Ground in Markham, Ont. “For many athletic women, this is an outlet for athleticism that hasn’t existed for them since high school.” It’s also a great place for a non-sporting nerd (I spent my high school career on the sidelines) to live out her wannabe jock dreams.
The workout changes every day (bye-bye, boredom), and you do everything from Olympic-style lifts (deadlifts, squats) to gymnastics (muscle-ups, handstand walks) to rowing, skipping and sprinting—all the while giving it everything you’ve got. One of the biggest pluses for me is that CrossFit doesn’t measure fitness using one standard—for example, cardiovascular endurance or how far you can run—but instead defines it according to a combination of factors, including cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, agility and balance. Translation: I track how many reps I complete and the weight I lift, so my gains speak loud and clear.
Though CrossFit has become big business for brand sponsors like Reebok, it has its share of detractors who argue that the focus on high reps and high intensity is a formula for injury. The truth is, injuries do occur. According to a 2013 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, injury rates in CrossFit are similar to those of gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting—both undoubtedly intense sports. I’ve dealt with epic muscle soreness, bruises and barbell-related blisters (the worst!), but I’ve never seriously injured myself. A good gym—you may have to shop around—prioritizes good technique and safety.
Beyond the physical and mental challenges, CrossFit is insanely fun. Getting sweaty and strong and having a laugh with friends while you do it is a nice escape from the mundane, often lonely realities of adult life. —Flannery Dean
Cardio and I haven’t always been friends, but that changed with spinning. Working out solo is a struggle—high-fives to those who fit in those five- and 10-kilometre training runs. But spinning is different; I book a bike and show up. There’s no “I’ll do it later” like with running. Plus, there is a serious calorie burn (an estimated 500 to 700 calories for a 45-minute class). Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about the legs; you can get a full-body workout. Not only has my cardio improved but spinning classes have gotten better.
Spinning started in Los Angeles back in 1989, when cyclist Johnny Goldberg held the first indoor cycling class in Santa Monica. Since then, spin rooms have been popping up everywhere. But despite its ubiquity, spinning is a trendy subculture of fitness right now. Some classes are candlelit (Montreal’s Spin Énergie, owned by Gilmore Girls’s Yanic Truesdale), while others have DJs spinning a playlist. For the competitive set, there’s The Pursuit by Equinox, which is a video-game-like bike class where your RPMs are used to play against others on a big screen.
Though people have been pondering what will become the “new spinning” for years (when I checked last, it was rowing), spin studios are having a growth spurt. Actually, the membership numbers at boutique fitness studios are growing faster than those of overall gyms, according to business magazine Inc. Within the past year or so, Toronto has seen the opening of a slew of spin studios, including Torq, SpokeHaus, SpinCo, CycleBar and cult-fave SoulCycle.
“Our riders are drawn to the killer workout and also to the community and support they find at our studios,” says Jenna Garofalo, an instructor at SoulCycle in Toronto, which opened on King West this past March and has plans for two more locations this year: Yorkville and Vancouver. “We truly care about what goes on in our riders’ lives outside the studio,” she says. “They are part of the SoulFam.” —Lisa Hannam
I’m someone who bores easily—let’s just say I was made for ClassPass. But I’ve never seen results—greater strength, more defined muscles—like the ones I’ve gotten with the latest back-to-basics fitness trend: functional movement. This approach is included in some killer classes, like F45, which combines high-intensity interval training, circuit training and functional training into a 45-minute workout (its founder, Luke Istomin, has trained Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman), and Animal Flow, which focuses on moves inspired by the animal world that help improve body movements. (The bear crawl, for example, activates just about every muscle in your body at once.)
Put simply, this training regimen incorporates basic exercises into your workout routine, such as squats, that emulate everyday, real-life movements, like getting up off a chair. It’s not the sexiest-sounding term, I’ll admit, but its purpose—to increase mobility while building lean, sculpted bodies—certainly has its perks.
At New York and Los Angeles’s ModelFIT, for instance—a boutique gym that attracts the likes of Karlie Kloss and Chrissy Teigen—functional movement is built into every class. “Our whole method is based on functional movement,” says Vanessa Packer, the founder of ModelFIT and a former fashion stylist-turned-health and fitness entrepreneur. “We train the body to be strong for everyday life: lifting up kids, bending over, stepping down off a curb. It’s about strengthening the small muscles around the big ones so that you’re less likely to get injured. With every movement, there’s a purpose.” The ModelFIT technique breaks down large movements, such as burpees and jump squats, into small ones so that muscles are working at maximum capacity without any strain on the joints. As Packer explains, clients move through multiple planes of motion to target small muscle groups; strengthening these muscles “sculpts and elongates” the body.
In Toronto, fitness instructor Jill Rubenstein-Saltzman teaches strength classes at both Spynga and BOD Studio that include everything from deadlifts to sit-ups. It sounds simple, and that’s because it is. For the first time ever, I’m seeing more benefits from 20 or so minutes of squats and the like done correctly than from 60 minutes of traditional cardio and boot-camp-style classes—which is exactly the point.
In a recent class, I walked across the gym floor carrying 30-pound weights in each hand—a move called “burden walk” that looks easy but is surprisingly sweat- and grunt-inducing. Later that same day, I felt like a rock star as I remembered to keep my chest up and engage my core while lugging crazy-heavy grocery bags into my house.
When you’re short every shirt is too long, and when you’re curvy a long shirt can make you look larger around the middle than you are. An easy way to fix this is to tuck it in. A good rule of thumb is that your shirt should never cover your zipper.
2.This is particularly important if you’re going to be cuffing your jeans.
3.Try an asymmetrical dress with heels to give you height.
I would never tell a girl that she HAS to wear heels because to be honest they’re the WORST. But when you wear an asymmetrical dress it is best to wear it with heels. It will help make your calf look longer.
4.Add a belt to elongate your legs and bring out your waist.
If a dress has a cross-seam, belt it! This helps show off your natural curves and will break up your body a bit. Also, it makes your legs look super-long, which is a major plus.
5.Pull in your waist with a dress or skirt.
I’m a major fan of the “bag dress,” but it isn’t the most flattering. Pull in your waist for a look that shows off what you’ve got. It’s the oldest trick in the book but it really does work.
6.Skip pants that bunch at the bottom.
They can give a “cankle” look and make you appear shorter than you are. Try a jean that cuts off at the ankle instead.
7.If you’re going to wear cuffed jeans or shorts, skip sandals with ankle straps.
Ankle strap sandals are great but they work best if you can’t actually see the ankle strap, because it can make your calf look bigger than it is and cuts off your legs in an unnatural way. Try something lower to help give your legs all the height that they deserve.
8.Tailor your shirts!
It’s unclear whom shirts are made for. But it’s not for short girls. If you have a racerback shirt, tailor it. Pulling up the straps to the correct position will help you look slimmer, and pulling the bottom of your shirt to the right length can cover your bra straps so you don’t have to purchase a special bra for your shirt.
9.Try a blazer over a boxy shirt to help soften your look.
10.Skip the bat sleeve.
Bat sleeves hit girls at the largest part of their arm and can be unflattering for most people, no matter their shape or height. Go with a longer sleeve to show off your guns in all their glory.
11.Always cuff long shirts.
Long-sleeve shirts can give a smaller girl way too much fabric to work with — you can end up swimming in them. Try cuffing your shirt to help break up the design.
First things first: “Petite” doesn’t just mean short and slim.
1.For bustier petites, balance is key.
2.Smaller frame? Depending on the brand, don’t overlook kids’ sizes.
This can also apply to standard sizes:
3.And the same goes for shoes.
4.Use layers to fake a perfect fit.
If an item is fine in some spots but too big in others, use layers to strategically cover the latter.
5.Get familiar with easy at-home alterations that you can do yourself.
6.At the same time, know when to invest in a professional tailor.
7.Cuff long shirts at the elbow.
8.Or cuff long jeans for a quick makeshift hem.
9.With maxis, pay extra attention to silhouette.
You can wear maxis, but be mindful of roomy cuts with lots of material, says Gordon. If something is voluminous on the bottom, balance things out by wearing something fitted or tucked on top.
10.The same goes for high-waisted bottoms and crop tops.
Again, balance is key. Pair a fitted crop top with high-waisted skirts or shorts, says Gordon. This can help balance both halves without sacrificing shape.
11.Invest in narrow, petite-friendly hangers.
Small-shouldered clothing doesn’t always mix well with wide, standard hangers — the hanger pokes into the fabric, leaving you with stretched material. Companies like Only Hangersmake slimmer and bendable versions.
12.Streamline a silhouette by getting rid of distracting details.
On a longer torso, the ruched sleeves on this H&M blazer would end closer to the forearm — but here, they awkwardly stop mid-wrist. A quick fix? Snipping the elastics.
13.Pair shoes and bottoms that are similar in color — like black heels with black tights — to elongate your legs.
The matched color scheme helps create the illusion of a longer line. “Look for shoes in shades of tan or brown similar to your own skin tone, and don’t be afraid to experiment with metallics which can surprisingly function as a neutral,” said Wang.
14.Lengthen your torso by wearing a longer fitted shirt underneath a cropped sweater:
The contrast breaks things up. (And a cropped top over a fitted or fit-and-flare dress works well too, says Gordon.)
15.Clothing that’s stretched over time or doesn’t fit quite right? Depending on the fabric, you might be able to (carefully!) shrink it:
16.Know which brands are petite-friendly.
Among the retailers that carry petite lines: ASOS, Topshop, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, Old Navy, Anthropologie, and more. For accessories, Pretty Small carries shoes starting in size 2. The Little Bra Company carries bras starting in 28A.
17.And finally — be confident in whatever you wear.
“Don’t believe that the goal of everything you wear is to make you look taller,” Tucker said. “Embracing your body and wearing what you love and feel confident in is always a better idea.”