Monday, July 19, 2010
For large hips
Choose: Darker pant (skirt) than your top top, unless you are too short. Box jacket to balance hips. For women, gored skirts or princess styles. Also pleated skirts that avoid bulk and hang well. Emphasize a small waist when possible.
Avoid: Tight, straight and tapered pants (tight & straight skirts). Contrasting bright plain or plaid/patterned slacks (or skirts). Trimming and pockets below the waistline. Long, fitted jackets. Bulky (or flimsy fabrics on skirts). Contrasting bright plain colors or prints, solid and smooth is much better for your bottom half (pants or skirts). Heavy gathering and pleats will only add weight visually.
Narrow hips allow you to wear high-style designs and any boy-cut fashion. But if you hips are considerably narrower than your shoulders, you need to strive for balance by adding dimension to your hips. Wear hip pockets, cargo pants, pleats and more on the lower half of your outfit. For ladies, a full or gathered skirt will create balance with your larger upper half. Women, you are also one of the few who can wear a straight, boss jacket, but you must balance this line with a pleated or flared skirt.
If your hips are too wide, avoid pockets or excessive fullness at the hip-line. Often a loose vest works well to camouflage a wide hip. Avoid cinching your waist. For women, an a-line skirt works as long as it doesn't ride up, but an even better camouflage is a modified dirndl—not the lamp shade, but a very gentle gathering, about three inches more than the waistband, eased in evenly. Some slight fullness in a skirt or dress is always good on you.
To flatter all hips, choose briefs/panties that give a smooth line to your garment. Bikini/speedo style panties/briefs leave a ridge under slacks, unless you buy the kind with a wide band at the top. Smooth lines are youthful and sexy. The dent caused by your underpants isn't flattering. However, if you are wearing loose garments this is not necessarily an issue.
For a smooth line and best effect under slinky, revealing outfits, wear control-top panty hose or a whisper weight panty girdle.
This information is geared towards women. However, the same principles of creating portion apply for men. If you don't have a large chest than add visual weight with heavy fabrics, colors, prints, details, pockets, etc. If you have a large chest, than do the opposite to avoid drawing attention to your chest area. The idea is to look balanced in your appearance, not too heavy or too small in one area.
Best Bets: Loose tops (not too full), V-necks, open collars, silk shirts.
Risks: Tube top, dolman sleeves, tight knits, tight blouses, princess lines, patch pockets on shirts or dresses, lightweight fabrics that reveal bra lines, clinging fabrics, puffy sleeves.
Best Bets: Easy flowing blouses.
Risks: Tight shirts (especially if full hipped).
Your bra can make or break the line of your outfit. Bra-less is fine for the woman with a youthful bust, but for the rest of us a bra is sexier and smoother. When you are wearing a bra, your nipple should be no more than three inches below your armpit (unless you are very full busted). Take a good look at yourself to be sure your bra is doing its job. It may not be.
Many women make the mistake of buying the cup too small and the band too large. Get the snuggest fit around your rib cage that is comfortable, and the largest cup that still fits smoothly. In addition, women are built either far apart or close together, and bras are designed in both fashions. Be sure you are buying a bra cut for you. If your breasts are slightly different sizes, still buy a bras with the snuggest fit around your rib cage and a cup that covers your slightly larger breast, then use a bit of padding/stuffing to fill in the other cup.
If your bust is very small, you will have to avoid necklines intended to show cleavage. But take heart. It is much easier to dress a small busted women that a large one. You can wear high-style clothes and all the wonderful blousy designs that the large-busted women must avoid. Be grateful for small blessings. There is no escaping the fact that a large bust is a difficult figure problem, partly because it is hard to find clothes that fit.
Here are some tips for the busty lady:
-Avoid sleeve lengths ending at the bust.
-Avoid horizontal lines at bust level—no seam, stripe, piping or similar details.
-Avoid a low yoke (or smocking) at the bust-line.
-Try garments that taper gently under the bust-line. Too much fullness adds bulk, whereas an outfit that is too fitted will accentuate your bust. Pass up a peasant blouse, which makes the figure fuller, in favor of a tailored blouse, which makes it slimmer. It is worthwhile to tailor or alter garments by adding a seam under the bust-line, thus slimming the midriff, removing excess fullness, and adding the illusion of length between the waist and bust.
-Avoid high-waisted looks.
-Keep your belts small, and if possible, the same color as your skirt/pant/dress. A self belt is good.
-Wear your collars open, and wear V neckline with lapels rather than high necklines with no detail, such as turtlenecks or crew necks.
-Vertical lines—a necklace, a seam, a slit, small button—all help to minimize a large bust-line.
If you have an over-waistline bulge, jackets and cardigans are your friend. Avoid tight waistlines, tuck-in styles, closely fitted styles and contrasting or wide belts.
If you have a small waist, you're the lucky one who can have fun with belts. For the women: if your tiny waist is in the middle of an hourglass figure, with large bust & hips, take care not to look too nipped-in, or you will accentuate those other features. A gentle taper, with perhaps a tie belt, is your best look.
If your waist is wide, there's no point in calling attention to it. Use belts audaciously, keeping them narrow and the same color or fabric as the garment. Make use of the one-waist look with an over blouse or perhaps a second layer such as a loose vest or sweater. For ladies: Simply have a seam at the waist with no belt on one-piece garments. Look for princes styles or high- or low-waisted dresses.
A short-waisted individual would be wise to use a narrow self belt or no belt. If your waist is high, you need to leave as much room as possible between your chest and your waistline. For you, a gentle taper under the chest is effective in lengthening your midriff. When you wear separates, choose your belt to match your top, rather than your pants (or skirt). This trick adds length to your waist. Pants (and skirts) cut without a waistband are your best bet.
For a long waist, do the opposite. Unless your waist is large, use wide belts that match the color of your pant (skirt), thus bringing the eye up. Choose pants (and skirts) with waistbands, including high-waisted bands. You can also cheat a little with your waist seams, raising them half an inch or so above your real waistline.
An ample derrière limits the number of styles you can wear, but is a fairly easy figure problem to cover. Be sure your pants fit properly, so they do not cup under the seat. The fit should be loose enough over your thighs to allow the fabric to flow smoothly from the fanny to the leg. For women: choose skirts with some fullness or an A-line, rather than a straight skirt.
The style of your jacket is important, and a softly fitted jacket, moderately tapered, is always your best bet. A box jacket, with its straight lines, will not work with a large derrière (Women, you may be able to wear the box jacket but only if it is short, above the crest of your fanny, and worn with a pleated or flared skirt). Avoid a box jacket altogether with pants. A tightly fitted jacket is equally unflattering, because it accentuates the curve of your fanny. Never wear a too-long jacket as an attempt to “cover up”. The length of your jacket must be determined from the front; it should be proportional to your total height and the length of your legs. A jacket that is too long for you only succeeds in making your legs look short and your body look to-heavy; you will ruin your total look. Instead, look proportioned and be sure your pants fit properly in back.
If your problem is a derrière that is too flat, you may wear a tapered or box jacket, but a closely fitted jacket is too form-fitting. Why not let the taper of your jacket suggest what is (or isn't) really there. (Of course, there are undergarment products if you really need to add some padding). Women, another option for you is to wear a skirt or dress with some fullness or a two-piece outfit that adds extra layers where it counts.
If you have a flat derrière, one that drops, or a curved (sway) back, you will need to alter your pants (and skirts) by removing excess fabric from the waistline in back. A pant (or skirt) that droops or cups in back is unflattering to any problem fanny.
One final note on the fanny: by the time you are thirty, gravity has usually worked its will and your fanny has dropped three inches or so. Check your shorts (and for women tennis dresses) for length in back as well as in front!
Next week, I'll be sharing more tips for other body curves-hips and bust/chest.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
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.
Shoulders come in three general types: square, average-tapered, and sloped. Any neckline that is horizontal and shallow, such as a bateau, will make your shoulders look broader, even more so if they are square. Conversely, the opposite line, deep and narrow, such as a V-neckline, will make shoulders appear narrower and less square. (Ladies, avoid a halter top if you have either too-broad or too-narrow shoulders, as this line is unflattering to both). In summary:
Too broad or square shoulders:
Best Bets: Deep and narrow necklines. Raglan sleeves, drop shoulders, dolman sleeves, full coats, V-necks, strapless tops.
Avoid: Wide and shallow necklines. Full-cut big tops, largish coats and jackets, turtlenecks, bulky fabric.
Too narrow or sloped shoulders:
Best Bets: Wear shallow and wide necklines. Extend the shoulder line by slight padding. Set-in sleeves, small collars, boat necks, halter tops.
Avoid: Wear narrow and deep necklines. Raglan sleeves or too-tight sleeves. Limp, dropping fabrics. Strapless tops.
A lapel is always more flattering than a plain neckline if your shoulders are not your best feature. Lapels that point up and out broaden the shoulder, while lapels that point down narrow them. Buy whichever kind is appropriate for you. Scale the size of your lapels to the size of your body. A large lapel on a tiny body is overwhelming, but a flouncy collar that extends over the shoulder bones is flattering to all shoulders and is appropriate even for the small framed person if the fabric is not bulky.
Your shoulder seam is extremely important in creating the illusion of a good shoulder. A set-in sleeve is most flattering and can be adjusted to create a slimmer or wider look, depending on your need. For the broad of square shoulder, keep the placement of the shoulder seam right on the shoulder bone. You may even cheat by moving the seam in a quarter inch if you have enough fullness in the sleeve to allow arm room. The overweight individual can look slimmer in clothes with a crisp, narrow shoulder line and judicious placement of the shoulder seam.
Your shoulder treatment affects the look of your entire silhouette. For the sloped or narrow shoulder, let the seam extend a bit beyond your shoulder bone, to widen. the seam will give your shoulders the definition of shape they may lack. (A woman with a very large bust also may use this trick to call attention away from her bust and draw the eye up and out).
Such sleeve styles as bat wing, kimono, and raglan require a broad or squarish shoulder. The raglan, especially, tend to drop the shoulder downwards, so if you have sloping or narrow shoulders you should avoid this line. It is even chancy on shoulders with an average taper, though you can alter the line of these styles by adding a lapel or collar that points up or out.
In sleeveless tops you should follow the same principle as with the shoulder seam. Keep the edge of the garment on the shoulder bone for broad or square shoulders, slightly beyond the bone for narrow or sloped. A sleeveless top with the line inside the bone will accentuate either problem. This line is best for individuals with good, average shoulders.
Any detail on a shoulder with broaden or accentuate it. Epaulets, for example, should be removed from your outfit if you wish to minimize your shoulders, but they are great for adding dimension to shoulders that are too narrow, assuming an epaulet is your type.
There is no such thing as a right or wrong shoulder line, simply whatever is right or wrong for you. Remember you are creating balance: your hips and shoulders should visually look the same width (though men often want their shoulders to look broader). Perhaps the upward-pointed lapel is okay because it is balanced by pockets on the hips (or by a skirt with some fullness). The exception is the overweight individual, whose hips usually are wider than their shoulders and arms. It would be best to create a "slim" shoulder look rather than extending their shoulders to balance our their hips. Later, after they loose weight, they can compensate for a too-narrow shoulder.
Don't be afraid to be creative. Your tailor or your sewing machine has the power to improve the line of your outfit. Remove or add shoulder detail, change the direction of a collar, or change the placement of a shoulder seam. These are not difficult alternations, but do remember that you may need to lengthen a cuff if you're nipping in a shoulder.
Next week, find out about visual illusions using clothing for those arms and legs!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Most of us are rarely satisfied with our current body weight. Some of you are trying to gain weight while the rest of us are trying to loose. Whilst you are working on your healthy diet and exercise plans you can make the most of your current weight with some inside fashion tips!
My blog posts the past two weeks have already addressed specific issues like tall/slender, tall/heavy, short/heavy, etc. So let's discuss some other body types (and body weights) and how to best dress what your parents gave you.
Tiny Petite Frame
-Go along with the scale that you are for the best look. That's in size and patterns.
-To create proportion have a hair cut that is cut close, a smooth cap about ear length to keep the head small.
-Choose styles with few details. Keep details small (avoid high pockets or big cuffs)
-Make sure your color key separates so they relate to each other. One color-head to toe but different ones for interest.
-Look for raised waistlines and fitted short pockets.
-Soft, light weight fabrics. Like silk and other fabrics that move with the body.
-Dainty prints in bright colors or pastels.
-Concentrate on simplicity and long linear design
-Styles like long leg, fitted waist slacks. For women, pleated skirts with sharp vertical lines.
-Medium width belts.
-Subtle vertical stripes.
-Flared boxy coats and long jackets.
-Bulky, rough fabrics or very stiff angular fabrics.
-Widely flared slacks
-Women: bouffant styles; widely flared smocks; clutter-too many ruffles, bows, or jewelry.
Large Body Frame
-Softly tailored style with flattering necklines.
-Plain fabrics with sufficient body to hang well without adding bulk.
-Single breasted styles with vertical emphasis
-Unbroken silhouette with straight or slightly flared fullness.
-Full-length or 3/4 sleeves.
-Middle values and lowered intensities.
-Ladies: matching Channel-type jacket worn with contrasting blouse.
-Men: If you are having trouble with wearing your pants (either have to wear belt at top of stomach/high waisted or below your stomach) opt for braces (similar to suspenders but more stylish). This is especially easy to do when worn underneath a jacket or blazer. Polo sweaters and vests in darker colors than your shirt will bring attention to your face and not your stomach.
-Severely tailored suits
-Fitted long jackets
-Shiny or stiff fabrics
-Nubby fabrics or rough, masculine tweeds.
-Contrasting or wide belts.
-Short-waisted or bolero styles.
-Bold colors or large prints.
-Pastels and black.
-Sleeveless or very short sleeves.
To decrease your weight:
-Choose garments that fit well, but have sufficient ease.
-Full length or three-quarter sleeves.
-Vertical emphasis: vertical seams, narrow panels or gores
-Fabrics with enough body to drape and hang well.
-Smooth rather than nubby fabrics.
-Medium to dark values and lowered intensities.
-Wear colors that flatter you and will draw the eye upward to your face and away from your body.
-No sleeves or very short-sleeves
-High or bulky collars
-Crisp, still or bulky fabrics.
-Transparent, or limp, clinging fabrics.
-Brilliant hues and very light values.
-Wide or contrasting belts.
-Double breasted styles.
-For the ladies: too-slim skirts without any fullness.
-Lots of black, contrary to popular belief it makes a body look larger.
-Women: tent dresses
To increase your weight:
-Horizontal emphasis; wide gores and paneling
- Prints and details
-Visually add weight to your outfit-think bulk, texture, print, accessories.
Next week I'll provide tips for specific body parts that anyone may want to flatter or hide despite their height or weight, such as shoulders.
Last week I listed some do's and don'ts for tall people can create a proportionate look without placing emphasis on their height. Now for those of you who are short and want to visually create an illusion of height read the tips below. For everyone else I have reveled secrets to hide an imperfectly balanced neck. If you feel your neck is too short, long or wide than be sure to read the neck section in this posting.
Tips if you are too short:
-Choose smooth fabrics
-Wear matching (or close) colors for jacket and trousers
-Wear trousers with plain rather than pleated front
-Investigate jacket styles that have a slightly higher waist
-Wear narrow belts
-Look for shirts that don't have a wide spread collar
-Choose smaller, rather than bolder, plaids if you wear them
-Medium tones are better than very light or very dark for suits
-Straight handing skirts, princess style waistlines, center pleats
-High waistlines (shorter-length jackets & vests); bolero jackets
-One-color ensembles (with neck emphasis)
-Center front emphasis
-Accessories or trim near the face, anything that draws the eye up, is good.
For the heavy and small:
-Choose clothes that give an illusion of height; lines should be vertical, not horizontal.
-Hair should be above shoulder so neck is not obscured.
-Don't wear clothes that chop you in two, such as contrasting top and skirt. Keep colors monotone or related.
-Belts should be soft, loose-fitting, not wide and stiff.
-Accessories should be correctly scaled; bags should neither be too big nor ridiculously small.
If you want to increase your height make sure you avoid the following:
-Long bulky jackets
-Horizontal contrasting bands on shirt, jacket (or dress)
-Large patch pockets on pant/skirt
-Just for the ladies: Bouffant skirts
Speaking of body lengths, if you feel your neck length is a flaw here are some tips to create proportion:
If you have a short neck-make the neck seem longer with a low, open collar. Choose scoop or v necklines. Short of up-swept hair styles, tapered hairstyles. Women-long necklaces or pendants, unless you are a fully-bosomed.
If you have a long neck-cover up length with a turtle, boat or cowl neck. Mandarin and oxford collars. Wear neck accessories like chokers and scarves. Heavy or long hair styles, that cover nape of neck. For ladies-one-shouldered evening dresses.
Lastly, if you feel like you have a wide neck:
-Keep a jewel or crew neckline close to the base of the neck on both sides. You don't want to have a gap on the sides (between your neck base and neckline of your shirt) that will add width visually.
I just wanted to mention facial shape since we are discussing necklines here. If the shape of your face is extreme in any way, avoid repeating this shape in your neckline. For example, a round face looks more round in a rounded scoop neck; square jaw is emphasized by a square neckline; and a long, thin face, especially one with a pointed hcin, looks longer in a narrow V-neck. A contrasting neckline balances your face.
So today I gave you information to camouflage any neck flaws add to add height for the vertically challenged. Next week I will discuss an issue that applies to everyone-weight! Whether you want to add weight or visually reduce your weight tune in next week for fashion tips!
We previously discussed what colors will compliment you (October 2008 blog posts). I reviewed with you about the different body shapes so you could identify which type is yours (see July 31st-Sept. 13th 2008 blog posts). I even informed you how to choose swimwear that best suits you (April 25, 2009 blog post). Now I want to do a series of blogs that will inform you how to best camouflage any flaws you have. The idea is for you can create visual proportion in your appearance. In turn you can step out feeling more confident about yourself. So embrace what God gave you and you decide what to emphasize and hide on your body with these fashion tips!
Let's start by addressing those of you who are tall:
The tall and slender person can get away with wearing a lot of styles. This is why most of your catwalk models are tall and thin.
What you can wear that's look great for your height & weight:
-Soft silhouettes and fabrics; curvy lines
-Bulky/heavy fabrics; bright colors, bold prints, plaids.
-Double breasted coats and jackets
-Bold, contrasting separates
-High necklines (jewel, boat shaped, round, square)
-Long blouses or jackets
-Softly crushed cummerbunds or wide contrasting belts
-Exaggerated set details-large pockets, big buttons, etc.
-Over blouses, bloused tops
-Bags and hats can be large but be careful not to overpower a too-tall frame
-Specifically for women: sheath dresses, full skirts (gathered, full-flared, pleated), slightly shorter hem lines.
-Tightly fitted or too loose clothes; severely tailored
-Close, vertical lines
-Deep v necklines
-Straight, severe lines of any kind
-Particularly for women: "little girl" clothes, ruffles & frills, too slim & short skirts, sleeveless dresses
What if you are tall but heavy, this is what will look best on you:
-Simply planned clothes
-Simply decorated clothes
-Vertical & diagonal lines
-"Gentle" soft lines
-Soft flattering collars
-Set-in sleeves and 3/4 length sleeves
-Just for women: two piece dresses; eased straight, softly flared skirt
-Anything skimpy or severe
-Youthful, "little girl" or "little boy" clothes
-Too large or too dainty small designs
-Deep, round necklines
-Sleeves cut in one with the bodice
-For the ladies: Ruffles, frills, scallops, princess lines and all around pleated skirts
Some tips if you are too heavy:
-Avoid roped shoulders; wear a natural shoulder
-Wear trousers a bit wider
-Have set-in pockets on jackets
-Wear darker colors more often
-Pick small, allover patterns
-Choose matte textures over lustrous ones
-Don't wear anything too tight
Some tips if you are too tall:
-Wear pleated pants
-Wear jackets with flap or patch pockets when you can
-Think about plaids when picking suits
-Look for fabrics with depth: flannel, tweed, or linen looks
-Avoid high waisted lines; including short, waist-length jackets and vests
Next week, those of you who feel short I'll be writing for you! Don't forget in the next few weeks, I'll be providing tips for creating visually proportionate shoulders, facial shape, hips, arms, waist, neck, thighs, fanny, legs and more.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Be in style this summer season by ensuring you have the latest trends in your closet!
* Accessories are bright-sold in neon and primary colors. Such as shocking pink bracelets and bright red wedges.
* Retro style rompers (jumpers, jumpsuits) are a seasonal hit.
* Tops designed with feminine features like ruffles, pleats, lace, embroidery, flutter sleeves, etc.
* Shorts and skirts-are very short at mid-thigh. Skirts also have feminine detailing like ruffles and pleats.
* If you prefer a longer hem for your dress, choose from an array of patterned maxi dresses. The alternative is, sleeveless and spaghetti strap dresses cinched at the waist with a hem just above the knee.
* Patterns-everything from floral and butterfly prints, to stripes.
* Lots of use of belts, outfits being cinched at the waist.
* Ethnic, semi-precious stones and chunky jewelry to add bling to any ensemble this summer.
* Shoes: Gladiator flat sandals, platform shoes & sandals, wedge sandals & shoes are the top picks.
* Don't forget to top off your summer wardrobe with a comfortable summer hat.
Enjoy the sunshine in style this summer!