Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fashion dues....

personally, I encourage you to wear whatev' you wanna.
Some times you want to look a little more polished up.
My last post about some Great here.
Remember, these are my opinions...based on staring at billions of you...and styling you in my mind. I'm asked all the time for advice...Really! I know I dress like a Dickens character...but most folks don't want to...and when I used to spend a lot of time in very conservative circles, I learned a lot about dressing well. I can do it. And so can you.
OK then, let's go.

You need to figure out what body type you are. A Pear or an Apple (chunk of wood). I read that there are several types. It really only boils down to 2.

You either carry your weight at the bosoms/belly, or you carry it on your hips/butt.
If both are large, without a defined waist, then you are a chunk of wood, with apple tendencies...(kind of a #3..but really an Apple.)
Then ...either you're slim, or slim-ish, or you are wide, or wide-ish.

this chart is from
I think it's really just 2 basic shapes.... T & H are basically the same, that is, most weight is the bust/waist, whereas A & X are pear,curvy, and usually with a defined waist about 9" smaller than the bust and hips.

What's your best asset?
Back in the day, when I was a short flat board, I didn't know. And then I figured it out...I'm curvy, like a pear.
So, what the heck. I wore things that were lighter and brighter on the top, and darker on the bottom. All my fitted skirts and dresses had to have larger hips than what a garment manufacturer I ended up (still) with more separates than dresses.
This balances me out more, but never think that just switching up the colors and such is gonna really fool anyone into turning a 5 foot elf, into a 6 foot swan. Wanna look a little taller and slimmer? Put the bright color and pattern on top, above the hipline.

Be you. Be swell. Be comfortable.

If you have a nice torso, only more so....
fitted styles, fitted tops and full skirts, and easy fitting pants are probably your best friends. Show off that nice figure. Might as well, it isn't gonna last a lifetime.

Or, are you Kinda the same size all the way down?
You can wear all the unfitted oversized looks you want and look fabulous.

These looks can look real sloppy...the ol' Couch Potato look isn't attractive, so what to do?

The nice lady picture is via fashionmefabulous

The Best Casual Look Ever.
This lady is doing the right thing. She is using a cardy and blouse, the right kind of pants, and she uses the skinny belt to be on trend. This combo is gonna work on all body types. I'd hem or hike that purple shirt up an inch, tho.
Let's discuss why......

Rule #1.
The basics:
Good grooming...clean hair and skin, perk things up with a cute barrette or a scarf as a headband (not hippie style unless you are going to a hippie-theme party or attending TESC)

Clean clothes. No rips, tears or stains, unless it is a fashion statement. The older you are, the less of that you can get away with. Sorry. Otherwise, you look homeless. I'd save the "homeless" look for when I am actually homeless.
(btw, here's where to donate to help those less fortunate than we: Homeless Coalition)

A great look for almost everybody type...and there is really only 2--
or Block of Wood....either you're slim, or slim-ish, or you are wide, or wide-ish.
So,yes, the best look for almost everyone is......

the long top, with nice pants, Best Casual Look ever.
Whether you are tall or medium or short, the same suggestions apply.
Height variations are sprinkled in here and there.

Back to The Best Casual Look ever...
Rule #2.
Wear pants that are pegged only if you have no Big Hips, like leggings or those hipster things. If your top covers the hips/butt...then go for it, otherwise.....
Wear pants that have straight legs.
But No...Not ever....bad pants with Full thighs + skinny ankles. That look from the 80s was for teenagers and even they looked bad. Picture via TheFashionPolice.

Very tall chicks can wear bells. But bells, if not HUGE, can be worn by everyone.Scale is the key.
The older you are, the darker the denim. Younger gals can wear almost anything in the pants department.
The chubbier your bottom parts, the less tight you want, if the goal is to look nice.
Wanna look like a sausage? Go ahead. But ...don't.

OK, So now you got your pants just right.

Now, over your carefully chosen pants, wear a Tunic.
A Tunic. Simple.
Sorry for the letdown. A tunic stops at about the hipline or goes on to the knee point.
Why a tunic? Because it's easy to wear, no tucking in to chop you just above the belly, and covers all.

A tunic can be loose, flowing, structured or fitted like a long t shirt. If you are shorter, you can match the tops and bottoms in color. Taller, you can mix colors and patterns if you like.

Sling a loose belt around it at the waist or at the hip bones.
You'll look fab!

This is a great look for almost anyone, really.
Believe it or not, the key is The Ankles!
If you are wide, beware the skinny ankle pant. It will make you look like you are balanced on teacups.
Just choose pants that are wider down there.

Next, pay attention to your heel height. Sometimes a flat shoe is best, if the tunic is on the shorter side, or you are tall.
A small heel, nothing over 2", looks fab.
Nothing looks more ungraceful that a woman of any age tottering on heels over 3".
Trust me.....mincing little wobbly steps are stupid.
What, are you ancient Japanese women? No. Stop hobbling yourself in shoes that look like torture devices, and make you look as graceful as a drunk at 3 am on New Years Day.

Rule #3.
The one trend I really am not liking all that much, and this pains me....I don't like the cinched in the middle belt thing. Only the very slim can make it work well.
This observation pains me because I own a lot of really cute belts. I try to cinch it in at my waist....
And I observe one of 2 things happening........

Boobs that seem to fall over the belt, no matter what...
and accenting the big belly.
Not attractive, not artful.
A Reuters photo of Mrs. O.

I'm not liking this one at much better...with a skinny belt, a longer and looser top.

Mrs. Obama is tall and thin (pearish) and she usually sticks to skinny belts. If you are gonna do it, try a skinny belt and let it fall gently towards the hips.
Or just display your pretty belts.
I do wear belts to actually hold up my jeans, or around the hip bones for a casual look.

Here is a fabulous woman who is doing it well, via Fabulous After 40 (nice blog, but a bit uptight)

One color/layering trick that really does work pretty well as the nice lady in the picture just above demonstrates, is to wear a darker cardigan/jacket/vest with the same color for pants, and choose the brighter/lighter colors and patterns for the blouse. This works because the eye sees a dark frame, with attention-getting color in the center top of the body. The eye looks upwards and dismisses the outline, and like magic, you look a little taller and a little slimmer.

The trick is to make the cardy/jacket/vest longer than the blouse, or else you've defeated the whole fool-the-eye thing. The thing to pay attention to is where the cardy/jacket/vest stops on your body, and please, don't wear anything that's too tight.
Unless you just really love Sausage/Hooker as a fashion statement.