April 20th, 2011
by Seanna · Filed Under: Beauty and Style
I sort of know how to dress my figure but am clueless about bodies that are very different than mine. In fact I have two grown daughters whose physique are practically opposite mine and I’ve never been any help to them when it came to questions about clothes. This has been on my mind because younger sister submitted older sister to the tv show What Not to Wear. I had to talk to the casting person about her, her style, her clothing choices through the years, taste and body issues, etc. It was hugely uncomfortable and I probably got her removed from the running because I couldn’t say anything negative about her. As if I’m going to trash talk my daughter. Get out of here!
If she makes it on the show they will set her up with a new wardrobe and all the specifics about how to dress her body. She won’t need me to help her get dressed. But I’m on a mission to be able to (if someone actually wanted my help). Man there is a lot to know, but in general, here’s what I’ve learned:
The basic idea is to visually create symmetry. When I first started working with Jodi I was positive I had a big butt. Angel that she is convinced me that in fact, I had small shoulders. I needed a little width up top to balance the width below. This can be corrected in the gym (it was-thx girl!) but is also an easy fix with the right clothing.
And sometimes you want to visually create space. So if you have a short neck, you want to elongate it visually with necklines, jewelry and hairstyle. There are tops and necklaces that will make the neck shorter and tops and necklaces (and even earrings!) that will make it look longer. Ditto for short waists, short legs, short all over, etc.
There are ways to dress body parts that we wish were smaller than they are, like boobs, butt, thighs, ankles, arms, etc. Simple things like a solid color over a print, fabric type and cut, hem length, the width of a belt or the size of your handbag (!) can accentuate your shape for the better or draw the eye right where you don’t want it.
I figure a few ideas on how to dress what we’ve got as beautifully as possible, while we’re working towards looking great naked, would be kind of cool. There is a massive amount of info out there that I’ll pull together by specifics and present it in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Wear clothing that fits. You will either highlight chubby areas with clothes that are too small (stuffed sausage) or visually add bulk and size in clothing that is too large (and look frumpy and big).
- If you’re short, outfits in one color scheme elongate your body. Contrasting top and bottoms visually chop the body in half, making it look shorter.
- Bootcut and straight leg jeans work on wide hips because they visually create equal proportions between the hips and ankles.
- Belted dresses, tops and jackets are not the best choice of top on bellies.
- Heels that are close to the color of your skin (or tights) make the leg look longer.
- Please don’t wear leggings as pants. It makes people uncomfortable.
See ya soon.