In consideration of seating

During a recent binging of The Graham Norton Show (how funny is that guy?) a recurring thought kept coming to mind about the women guests’ outfits – ‘Didn’t they consider the couch situation?’

I just don’t see how their stylists or assistants didn’t say, “You are going to be sitting for the entire interview; let’s really put the focus up top and show off your wonderful collar bone/arms/neck/hair…”

Case in point, Jennifer Lawrence points out early on in her interview that she wishes she’d worn a different dress and says later that she’d like to go change. And she’s wearing tights!

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It’s not something the men have to ever consider because, at this current time in Western fashion (mark my words, this will change one day), there isn’t the option to play with how much of their legs they put on show.

I’ve quoted him before but Tim Gunn says in his book,  A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, “Look at your itinerary for the day, see which appointments you have and with whom, and dress for the highest level of expectation for that day”. This is such a useful habit to develop; take a moment before getting dressed to think ahead and imagine what each event will demand of you and your outfit. When I’m getting dressed to go out, some outfits get vetoed immediately because I know that they won’t suit bar stools or sitting on grass for example. A few of my dresses are strictly for dinners with table cloths ONLY or events where standing for the entirety is an option.

To illustrate my point, I’ve taken screenshots of guests who I consider have taken Norton’s couch into account. They look great on the couch and the overall picture is one of balance and elegance.

The recipe seems to be keeping the dress loose and about knee length or wearing pants or a top that show off the shoulders and/or cleavage.

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Gemma Arterton

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Saoirse Ronan

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Emily Blunt

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Kiera Knightly

And on the flip side, here are some gorgeous guests that I just think have wasted the opportunity. So many of these outfits look great when they first walk out but once seated, the flow is disrupted and the overall story of the outfit is lost.

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Anna Kendrick

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Emilia Clarke

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Tamsin Greig

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Taylor Swift

Below is, I feel, a mixed line up. Kylie Minogue’s dress flows and has the effect of blending her legs to the couch; she looks comfortable throughout the interview. In comparison, the lovely Cameron Diaz’s dress creeps up throughout the whole interview (which becomes incredibly distracting as she has to keep pulling it back down) and the stark contrasts of colour leading away from the couch trip up the eye.

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Compared to the line up above, I just think that this one is perfection! Natalie Portman’s flowy dress sits nicely on the edge of the couch and Katy Perry’s long gown encourages the eye to relax all the way to the ground (plus it’s a great print!).

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So if I’m ever invited to sit on Norton’s couch, I’ll be sure to consider the couch factor. This, I’m sure, will be a weight lifted off of my shoulders because I probably wouldn’t handle my discomfort as elegantly as Jennifer Lawrence!

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