Friday, April 30, 2010

Working With a Difficult Shape

This was a casual Friday outfit, and despite its simplicity I had to play around with it quite a bit before I was happy with it. I just love the details on this top, but its multi-layer bulk combined with its difficult shape and length puts a lot of emphasis on my upper thighs. I did a few things here to counter this effect. First, I tied bows at the shoulders rather than letting the ties hang down; this gave a little more width to my narrow shoulders to help balance the bottom of the shirt. Next, I added the long scarf to slim my middle section. Finally, I slipped a narrow belt between the top and bottom layers of the shirt to define my waist a bit more; though the belt got a bit lost among all the layers of fabric, I still thought it helped.

Though I was able to effectively work with the shape of the top, there's just no denying that this color is deeply unflattering to my skin tone. I think I might try to overdye the top, perhaps giving it a dark tie dye effect if I can figure out how to do it. I'm not willing to give up on it at this point, but I do want to find a way to make it more flattering.

The big move is happening this weekend, so I'll be out of the blogging loop for a few days. I've got outfit posts lined up for early next week, but there will be a gap in internet access during which I won't be checking in on your blogs. I'll be back mid next week; until then, have a great weekend everyone, and happy May!

Shirt: Manuela Roth
Scarf: Banana Republic
Belt: Lazaro
Jeans: Acne
Shoes: Fly London


Peacock's Hat said...

Those shoes look amazing!

Jessica said...

I don't think the color is bad on you at all. I like how it picks up the red in your hair.

Rebecca said...

I'm impressed with your ability to accessorize a casual outfit so well. Your blog has really inspired me to put more thought into my own accessories.

ReaderRita said...

I don't think the color comes across as unflattering (via internet) at all.. maybe in person you are getting a different read. Anyway- Happy Move! Isn't it exhilarating? So many possibilities with a new home...Best of Luck!!!!
Sending you a figurative broom and loaf of bread... (meaning: always clean and problem free; always food on the table)

Kelly said...

I appreciate that you explained why you chose the details you did - so often I put something on and I don't like how it looks but...I can't put my finger on why. So your explanation about things like that help me figure things out for myself!

I agree with Rita that, at least online, the color doesn't look bad on you. But if you're unhappy, maybe you could do a tie-dye sort of thing with a darker color, so you could still have touches of the red color but it would be more based in a dark color you like?

Kate Tatar said...

I like the color... and I have no idea what upper thigh problem you are talking about. Are they too skinny? ;)

I love the whole outfit. And the new shoes! <3

Rad said...

Great styling of this awesome top. Like the previous commenter, I don't see the thigh issue either (but I get how our own perceptions of ourselves shape our comfort levels). I think you're one of those lucky ones who looks great in a tunic this length!
I really like that scarf too. Who knew BR had such nice pieces?
Also, continuing to drool over those shoes!!

Jean said...

Good luck with the big move, hope it all goes well. x said...

I think you look stunning! Love, love, LOVE the colour.

Anonymous said...

to begin, i can't believe you're posting so much during a about organizational skill!! yowza!!

this post brings up an issue i've wondered about regarding your 'wardrobe philosophy'. for practical and financial reasons i tend towards a wardrobe with a smaller number of highly edited clothes. every single piece is one that looks good on me without fuss or adjustment: color, shape, fit, style, texture, even fibre (poly makes me sweat and itch). when shopping i end up passing up A LOT of things because they won't work for me on ALL criteria.

so i guess my 'styling' takes place while shopping or designing ( i make a fair amount of my own clothes). i have fewer clothes, but since (literally) everything goes with everything else, i can't count the number of outfits i can come up with. each piece can be worn 10-20+ different ways.

it seems that you take the tack of being really open to acquiring pieces that work on one or two levels (detailing in this instance) but maybe not on other levels (color and shape here), and then using accessories, other pieces, scarves, belts, etc. to make it work.

so i'd just be fascinated to know, first, if i got your philosophy correct : ) , and second if you could talk about how you came around to approaching your wardrobe this way. what do you get out of this approach, what does it take to make this approach work (physical/time resources, creative resources or skills), etc.

needless to say, i love your blog and really appreciate all the thought and creativity that's gone into it. Thank you so much!!! steph

Healthy and Homemade said...

Pshhhh what "upper thighs"? I just see super slim sexy legs, and I'm jealous of course. The colors look great on you!!

WendyB said...

Good luck with the move!

Monica said...

I think there should be a new rule that no one under size 18 is ever allowed to comment on how "big" a body part is. Audi, you are a beanpole so please shut the heck up about having big thighs!

Good luck on your move!

Audi said...

Now now, I never said my thighs were big, only that I didn't want all the emphasis placed on them. Totally different things! Placing emphasis on the upper thighs means that my top half looks smaller by comparison; it's all about keeping the proportions correct. Thanks everyone for the good wishes on the move; we're still getting settled but it's coming along!

ReaderRita: I had never heard the broom and loaf of bread thing before; how charming! Thank you!

Kelly: Yeah, I was thinking that I would tie dye it with a darker shade of red, so that the lighter and darker shades are mottled together. Because I do love this shade, just not quite so much of it against my pasty skintone.

Anonymous (Steph): I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head with your assessment of my philosophy. I look for interesting details and uniqueness first and then worry about how I'm going to make something work in terms of fit or color. I think this philosophy has evolved for many reasons. First, it took me quite awhile to figure out what actually works well for me and what doesn't; in the meantime I had amassed a fair number of pieces that I liked but didn't really work for me, and I wanted to figure out how to wear them anyway. Along the way I learned that there were a lot of different tricks I could use to make a difficult item work. Another reason is simply the fact that I had a lot of closet space, and I didn't really need to edit my wardrobe so carefully. And finally, since I look for uniqueness first and uniqueness can be a difficult thing to find (at least in my eyes), I have been willing to sacrifice in other areas. And sometimes I just enjoy the challenge of a piece, because I feel that it builds my skills. But honestly, I do try to find items that meet ALL my qualifications; sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. The times that I don't tend to be when I come across something I consider to be really special (such as this shirt) and I am simply blinded to the difficulties it might present to me.