Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Making it Work, Part 2

I got quite a bit of response on my "Making it Work" post the other day, so I thought I'd continue the discussion of dressing for your specific figure. This is something that everybody ought to have an opinion about, since we've already established that no matter what size you wear, you will always encounter specific problems dressing your specific shape. I always appreciate people taking the time to comment, so please stop in and share your thoughts. It's not just me you're talking to; the comments are there for everyone to read and connect with.

One of the commenters asked about height, and whether it plays a role in styling for your figure. Absolutely it does, especially when you're talking about things like cropped pants or the length of skirt hems. It can also influence where you should wear a belt; i.e., up on your ribcage, slung low over your hips, or at your natural waist. It influences how you should style boatneck tops vs. V-necks, and when to wear contrasting shoes vs. shoes that match your tights. Contrasting shoes might look great with certain skirt lengths but disastrous with others; a boatneck top might look terrible until you add a long scarf to elongate your torso. It's a good idea to figure out what shape you are so that you know what styles just won't work regardless of the accessorizing you try. If you're trying to look taller, then you should probably avoid most cropped pants; if you're already tall and trying to balance out your proportions, then you probably want to stay away from maxi dresses (which I think look terrible on everybody, but that's just my opinion). As for Ugg boots, can we just ban those entirely, please? Hello, they make your ankles look like tree trunks. But I digress.

Height, size, and shape aren't the only factors that should influence your style. A far too commonly-overlooked issue, and one that is absolutely within your power to change right this very minute is posture. Correct posture adds inches to your height and subtracts inches from your girth. Pretty nice equation, huh? Good posture is the one and only reason I can wear the outfit I have on today, which would otherwise make me look like I have no figure at all, not to mention accentuating my tummy roll (Yes, even size 6's have tummy rolls!). Good posture is also kinder to your back, and those of us who are nearing or beyond 40 know how important it is to take good care of your back.

The next time you're trying on clothes, try standing up straight, pushing your shoulders back and holding your head high, and pulling your stomach in tight -- don't suck it in, just press it towards your spine a little. See how much better that dress looks? Now add a belt in just the right spot, and voila! You just grew an inch or two, lost 5 pounds, and developed a tiny waist. It might feel awkward at first, but honestly it doesn't take long to get used to, and pretty soon you'll reach a point where it actually hurts to slouch. Posture is a universal truth for every shape, size, and height. Another universal truth? Tummy rolls. *sigh*

Today's outfit:
T-shirt: Michael Stars
Sweater: Tulle
Scarf: Banana Republic
Skirt: Moon Collection
Belt: ???
Shoes: Paolo
Hat: Vintage (thanks for the catch, slogoin' vws!)


lost said...

you didn't mention your hat today.

Nana Erin said...

I am so excited to discover you are a size 6. I am a size 6, and I love seeing how other people my size dress.

I actually have outfits that I only wear when I know I will be standing for the majority of the day or evening because when I am standing they are really flattering, but when I sit..I get a tummy roll.

Eyeliah said...

You are so right about posture, I ask my husband to 'gently' remind me when I'm a slouch!

Londyn said...

great post -- love the skirt and belt!