Fashion is architecture; it is a matter of proportions. – Coco Chanel
What is your body shape, and what is it telling you?
Yes, fashion can be overwhelming, especially with the constant change in trends…but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you are looking for when you go shopping. Knowing your body type will save you time and money, and will also allow you to look forward to getting dressed no matter where you are going. Many of my clients have closets full of clothes with nothing to wear because they have mismatched pieces of clothing with no true flow, and styles that do not fit their bodies. Knowing how to dress to flatter your body type as well as being aware of which styles to avoid are essential in establishing your individual style and personality in clothing. The key to buying and wearing good clothes is the fit of each piece on your body shape. If the clothes are cut properly, drape and fall correctly on you, that means that they fit you well and will make you stand out. If not, then even the most expensive article of clothing will be a waste of money.
To look good and feel good, it is essential to determine your body type, body shape and skin color to see what suits you the best. Selecting the right type of fabric with suitable textures will also help in determining what looks good on you. Squeezing into a smaller size does not make you smaller; it will most likely make you look like you have gained weight. On the flip side, wearing baggy, bigger clothing in an attempt to hide things does not work either. You will undoubtedly make yourself look sloppy and larger. Don’t buy what you wish you looked good in, but what really does compliment you.
It is imperative that you buy undergarments that work for your body type. They are the foundation of any outfit, and can make or break the way you look. A great bra or pair of underwear can make you look ten pounds lighter instantly. There are countless products on the market today from spanx to body shapers that can instantly make the difference between good and poor posture, confidence and insecurity, well-fitting clothing or a disheveled look.
I had a client who went from people asking her if she was sick all of the time to people asking her if she was in love, all because she changed the colors in her wardrobe. Suddenly it seemed like her skin was glowing, her eyes were shining and she was well rested and ready to take the world by storm. People will take notice!
And remember, feeling confident about what you’re wearing is the most important fashion tip out there. There is NOTHING wrong with feeling pretty, sexy, and fabulous even if you are simply attending a sporting event for your children or shopping for groceries. If you are lost when you enter your closet, haven’t changed your look in years, or just need a quick update to your wardrobe; please give me a call for a complimentary consultation. I would love to help you find the true fashionista in you.
BODY TYPE TIPS!
If your hips have caused you years of tears, then buck up and start dressing around them. The following tips will allow you to minimize the pear shape that you have been cursing since puberty.
- Skirts: Fuller, below-the-knee skirts conceal wider hips. Avoid high-waisted pencil skirts and opt for A-line styles and skirts with hemline details, which balance your shape.
- Trousers: Sport fuller, wide-leg pants. Avoid cropped pants, which make your legs look shorter.
- Dresses: Well defined waists with fuller skirts can hide a multitude of sins! Try strapless or V-neck styles to draw the eye upward and away from your lower half.
- Jackets: Damn those shrunken-style jackets that are so in right now! They only draw attention to hips and backsides. Stick to longer jackets that camouflage the hip area.
- Tops/Sweaters: Whenever possible, go with halter styles and boat necks, which create the illusion of broader shoulders. Steer clear of clingy or tight tops. Tops should be fitted and focus the eye to your upper body (beautiful necklines, patterns and colors).
Not that diet and exercise aren’t good for you, but sometimes cutting down on the cheesecake just isn’t enough to get rid of that tummy you have had since, well, birth. Follow these simple tips to minimize your waistline.
- Dresses: Wear a wide belt over a dress to streamline your shape. Look for styles that have gathered fabric in strategic places, called ruching, which pulls you in at the middle, and V-necks, which draw the eye upward.
- Tops: Men’s-style shirts tucked into trousers and skirts camouflage the middle area and are always “Katherine Hepburn” chic.
- Layered Tops: Layered chiffon tops create the illusion of “lightness” around the belly area. As with dresses, try ruched tops to hold you in and V-necks to distract the eye.
- Jackets: Stick to slightly tapered jackets to create a slimmer waist.
You can only add so many inches with high heels. It’s true they look great, are slimming and make you feel taller, but they also absolutely kill your feet. When you want to give your tootsies a break, try these tricks.
- Trousers: Finding pants that make you look taller is easy. Long, wide-leg trousers lengthen legs. Pinstripes and front creases are also flattering for those who could use a few more inches.
- Skirts: Short skirts will make all women look taller. They don’t have to be minis; just-above-the-knee lengths work too. If you’re “vertically challenged,” longer skirts will make you look like you are standing in a hole.
- Dresses: Empire-waist dresses lengthen your bottom half. Try above-the-knee lengths here as well.
- Tops: Drop V-necks with a vertical stripe create the look of a longer torso. Long slim sweaters will also make you look longer.
- Jackets: Keep ’em short and sweet. Longer jackets will make you look shorter.
DON’T BELIEVE ME? LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE VIRTUAL MODEL
This model will demonstrate how significantly the cut of your clothing can affect your body shape. This model is based upon a woman who is approximately 5’8″ and weighs 190 lbs.
Above are two different styles of the classic work pant. The brown cut accentuates the hips because of the peg leg cut at the ankle. You should only wear the ‘peg-leg’ or ‘skinny’ pant style if you have a boyish thin figure. These styles create curves, and if already have them…you don’t want to accentuate them! .
The black pair create a slimming look through the hips and thighs while elongating the leg. The cut around the ankle is the perfect width, and creates a proportional look because the hips and the pant leg bottom are about the same size…If you have wider hips, do NOT wear pants that are slimmer at the ankle and foot. I would suggest this for almost any body type, unless you are a stick figure who can carry off the ‘skinny jeans’ trend…If you are curvy and beautiful, it is best to stick to pants that are not pegged in any way.
The cuts above apply to all styles of pants, they just happen to be jeans in this example.
Let’s begin with the ‘high rise straight leg.’ If you have jeans that look like this, please THROW THEM AWAY! This is the famous “MOM” cut which does not do anything for your body type, and only accentuates the widest part of your body while creating a shape that is unflattering. The high waist on her body type and pegged pant at the ankle create a ‘pearish’ look.
The ‘low rise flare’ accentuate the thighs more than they should because of the flared bottoms and the tightness of the jeans around the thighs. It is personal whether you like low or mid rise jeans, but I would suggest mid rise jeans 99% of the time. Any of these styles can be bought in low, mid or high rise…For this example we are simply looking at the cut from the hips down. Either way, you should have chosen the ‘boot cut’ pants as the best fit. The slim boot cut is a great option for a night out with heels…they add length because they are in proportion with your hips and elongate your leg. The regular boot cut jeans also work, but you have to be careful that the boot cut doesn’t teeter on ‘flare.’
Last but not least!!! Please pay attention to the ‘whiskered’ effect on the ‘low rise flare,’ and the ‘low rise slim boot cut.’ If jeans are distressed, bleached or whiskered’ in the wrong place it can add weight, make you look wider and highlight a problem area that could have been easily hidden with a darker more even wash. When in doubt go for an even jean tone!