'She looks tired, not trendy'

Last updated at 17:01 21 May 2004

Style gurus Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall are famously candid about people's dress sense. Each week they give a reader a makeover. This week it's the turn of Alexandra Johnson from London.

THE SUBJECT: Alex, 28, is a brands manager for the TV channel VH1. She lives in a one-bedroom flat in Wandsworth, South London, with her boyfriend of six years, Ronnie, 32, who is head of marketing at Reed Exhibition.

THE PROBLEM: My clothes are very uninspired. I would love to dress in a more funky and fashion-conscious way. I admire what my friends and colleagues wear, but I often end up looking dull in comparison.

TRINNY SAYS: Alex looked more as if she worked for Radio 4 than a trendy music company. Her clothes appeared tired and dull. Our goal was to bring out her funky glam side.

She has an apple-shaped body and carries most of her weight around her stomach area, although she does have a small waist. She also has wonderful skin: it's almost translucent on her chest.

We decided to put Alex in a wrap dress over trousers. This look is fantastic for her shape, and because of her height she can carry it off well. Taller people often have difficulty finding trousers that are long enough, but Zara is a good place to shop.

We put a black sleeved-top underneath the wrap dress to help emphasise her fabulous skin and cleavage.

The dress was patterned on the front and back but plain on the sides, which hid and lumps and bumps. A good similar look for summer would be a cotton dress over jeans, teamed with a denim jacket.

SUSANNAH SAYS: This girl is a woman in man's clothing, wearing the uniform of those who have no idea how to dress well.

A black jumper and jeans is the last resort of the uninspired and almost invariably looks unflattering. And her shoes could have come from the bottom of a schoolboy's sports bag.

Yet under those dull clothes was a truly pretty figure. Alex was like an exciting present wrapped up in dreadful paper. She has an amazing cleavge and very respectable legs.

To emphasise her best points we decided that a wrap dress over trousers would look sexy and individual. A hint of cleavge shows at the top of the dress, and the shape slims her down.

Rather than wearing her hair flat on her head we gave it a tousled look, which made her appear both taller and funkier.

Strappy heels add length to her legs as well as looking sexy underneath the black trousers. Everything about Alex is now brighter and cooler.

ALEX SAYS: The whole day was an amazing experience, and especially interesting as I work in the world of media myself. But I have to be honest - I wasn't 100 per cent happy with the final overall look.

I think I looked better in the pictures than I felt wearing the clothes. I thought the wrap dress made me look a lot bigger than I really am.

However, Trinny and Susannah have helped me no end. Before I met them I was an incredibly lazy dresser - I couldn't be bothered - but they showed me how to wear easy, trendy clothes that showed their full potential, as well as pointing out the better parts of my figure.

Black floral dress, £50 from Warehouse (0870 1122 8813); black trousers, £60 and black wrap jersey top, £35 both Phase Eight (0800 032 8808); large black stone necklace, £95 from Pickett (020 7493 8939); black patent circle-front sandals, £60 from Dune (020 7258 3605)

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