Adele is a phenomenon. The double Grammy-winning singer has equalled music sales records previously held by Madonna and the Beatles.
Her second album debuted at number one in the US charts and hit the same spot in seventeen other countries. She’s made the best cover version of a Bob Dylan track ever. And she’s only 22.
So what else is interesting about this British-born pop singer? Let me see… She has lovely auburn hair. She has a beautiful pouty mouth. She has skin like a porcelain doll. She works a liquid eyeliner even better than Amy Winehouse. Anything else? Hmmmm, oh yes, she’s a little large-boned, isn’t she?
Her size and shape really are the least interesting things about Adele, but what is worth comment is how she dresses for her size. She’s living proof that trying to hide heft looks much worse than being out and proud about it.
What Adele shows here it that fitted clothes are the way for bigger women to go. Not seeking refuge in stretch and layers, or hiding away under Mama Cass marquees, but shoulders back, chin up in fitted clothing. Here I am. Take a look.
That’s fitted, not as in tight, mind you, but as in tailored to fit, describing the shape truthfully, but not making it bulge anywhere. It’s like good upholstery. Makes the lines of whatever it is covering look sleek and sophisticated.
Seen here collecting her Grammys in February wearing a gorgeous shiny, belted dress, she’s breaking at least two of the standard rules for larger sized women, but I think she looks amazing. She looked equally good at the UK Brit music awards in a fitted black lace knee-length shift over a plain slip.
In both cases, what could have been a lot of black acreage was lifted by nifty details; the diamante brooch and belt at the Grammys and the sheer areas of lace at the Brits, where her beautiful ivory skin could shine through.
The other secret to Adele’s generous glamour is her stylised grooming. That full-on make up, with the false eyelashes and the liner. The hair as tailored as her clothing. It all adds to the gloss of her look. She’s big and she needs statements in proportion to carry it off. She’s as mannered in her styling as the babes on Madmen, there’s just more of her to love.
The one word which would define her approach is unapologetic. She doesn’t look great despite being big, it’s an essential part of it.
The thing I would like to see her embrace next is some colour. Black is the obvious choice for the downsizing optical illusion, but having pioneered the unapologetic approach, with that beautiful hair colour, I’d love to see her in emerald green satin, or even burnt orange.
Of course, Adele has a big budget (and probably a major league stylist…) and going the tailored route would involve some investment with a dressmaker, who can adjust things to fit. But wouldn’t it be worth it to have a few amazing outfits that really do the job, rather than a wardrobe of depressing it’ll-have-to-do compromises?
Another way to go would be to source old sewing patterns – you often see them in op shops – and have vintage-style pieces like Adele’s, tailor made.
Precious things come in big packages too.