Ready to wear: The empire strikes back

We've dedicated both Ready To Wear and Get The Look to empire line because it is such a fabulous look, but difficult to get right (the secret's in the underwear). Although empire line is a bit of a misnomer (see next page), it has entered our vocabulary now and easily explains this divine look - one that suits and flatters just about any age, height and weight. Because empire line dresses are rather higher waisted than normal, they fair skim over any problem tummy/hip/bottoms and concentrate all the attention on the cleavage. This is an excellent excuse to romp around country mansions with bits of chiffon falling off your shoulders.

Primrose floral empire-line dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 40, Miss Selfridge, 221-223 Oxford Street, London W1, and branches nationwide. Enquiries: 0171 495 2779. Lilac chiffon shawl, pounds 14.99, Accessorize, branches nationwide. Enquiries: 0171 313 3000

Chocolate patterned chiffon empire-line dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 190, Whistles, 15 St Christopher's Place, London W1, 0171 487 4484, and 15 Princes Square, Glasgow, 0141 226 5259. Glass amber necklace, pounds 30, Agatha, 4 South Molton Street, London W1, and mail order. Enquiries: 0171 495 2779

Antique slip dress with lace trim, pounds 38, from a selection at Steinberg & Tolkien, 193 Kings Road, London SW3, 0171 376 3660. Chiffon shawl, pounds 14.99, and necklace, from pounds 4.99, Accessorize, as before

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