Sunday, July 18, 2010

Go Out on a Limb: Arms & Legs

A wide cuff at the wrist shortens the look of your arm. If your arms are long, this is great; if they're short, avoid wide cuffs. An individual with long arms often has trouble finding sleeves that are long enough. Don't overlook the possibility of adding a cuff, even in a contrasting color.

Everyone can wear a long sleeve, but the three-quarter sleeve looks best on short persons or those with short arms. it is unflattering on long arms, or an individual with large hands and on tall people who want to minimize their height.

The short sleeve usually looks best if it falls one inch above or below the chest/bust line, rather than right at the point. (If you are small-chested/busted, it may not matter, however). A sleeve ending just about the elbow can look old, especially if it has a rolled cut or if our arms are heavy. In high-style clothing, this sleeve length can be attractive if you are slim and tall with average to long arms.

If your arms are heavy, avoid long sleeves that are tight or clingy-this accentuates fat.
Choose: Amply armholes, easy, comfortable, close-fitting sleeves. Three-quarter length sleeves or long sleeves. (Women add a scarf or stole for sleeveless styles).
Avoid: Sleeveless styles. Wide cuffs. Tight-fitting armholes and tight sleeves. Loose, flowing, wide or bulky sleeves.

Pants and long skirts are a great disguise for too heavy legs. Loose styles, like a gaucho pant, paired with boots work well. Keep fashion interest about the waist. The more going on at the top, the less desire to focus on legs. Tops lighter in color than skirts will also draw eyes away from legs. Pay special attention to shoes. The wrong style will make people look-just what you are trying to avoid. Choose simple shoes with enough bulk to balance leg. (Ladies avoid delicates shoes or stiletto heels). For short (and skirt) lengths just below knee is fine; try the mid-calf length if you like it; and wear ankle-length whenever its appropriate.

If your legs are short, avoid cuffs on your pants; wear shoes with heels to give the illusion of length; and keep your suit jackets relatively short--no lower than the crotch, and preferably at the break of your leg. Your shirts (if worn untucked) should be even shorter than your suit jackets for a balanced look. Remember, you are aiming for overall proportion. Many times in ladies fashion you will find garments with a high-waistline, these are excellent for giving an illusion of longer legs and height.

Although slightly long legs are an asset, too-long legs make it difficult to find clothes that fit and to achieve a well-proportioned look. Do wear pants with cuffs and wear jackets that end slightly below the crotch when viewed from the front. Avoid high-waisted styles in pants (skirts & dress) including wide belts. You can successfully wear tunics, low-waisted styles (if your hips allow) and trim on your hemline.

If your legs are of average length, your best suit jacket length with pants is at the crotch. For women, if wearing a knee length skirt, make sure your suit jacket is shorter in order to look proportioned.


Heavy thighs are common, but they are the easiest figure flaw to disguise. Pants that are too tight call attention to your thighs, revealing their shape and size, whereas an inch of easement is slimming. So make sure your pant fits with ease over your thighs. Avoid pants that taper at the ankle, as this silhouette emphasizes the heavy thigh. The most flattering pants line is a slight flare or a straight leg with a hint of taper at the knee. For women, skirts and dresses with an A-line or slight fullness provide easy camouflage.

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