When you’re clothes shopping, do you find it easy to head for what’s “you”, or do you have a sense of what fit flatters you?
I feel I’m getting better at what works for me, but it took decades to work this out. Fitted clothing seems to be universally flattering. It really doesn’t matter what your size is. Clothing should skim over the bumpy bits and cling a bit to our shapeliest parts. If you’re over fifty you’ll want to stay away from a skin tight fit. You may still have the body to get away with it but leave it to the young ones.
What flatters you: LENGTH
- What’s the right pant and skirt length for you?
- I always steer completely away from any short or cropped pant, one that stops somewhere between the knee and the calf. I feel it does no favors no matter what shape or height you are. A short cropped look will hit your calf and create an abrupt stopping point to the eye. What you really want is for the eye to see one long line where your legs are concerned.
- Unless you aren’t blessed with a proportionate ankle, I think skinny is the most flattering fit of all and the most versatile. You can pair skinny jeans or pants with either a flat, heel or tucked into a boot. If your ankles aren’t your best feature, by all means wear a pant that covers them, thereby giving the illusion of a uniform slim shape.
What flatters you: SHAPE:
- What shape creates the most flattering line on your body?
- Fitted is uniformly flattering. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can hide under a tent. It only makes you look like you’re camping. One shape I love is the dolman sleeve top, it’s fitted at your waist and loose above making it incredibly flattering and forgiving shape for most figures.
- Pants are a perfect opportunity to show off your curves, that’s if you can find a nice semi fitted ponte or stretch pant. Pleats and cuffs add weight and break the long line you want to create with your pants. I avoid these styles as avidly as the short cropped pant!
- I could live in jeans, but they have to be cut to fit my figure. You probably have a favorite brand too. I’ve tried on so many and finally realized not all jeans are created equal. Do you know which shapes flatter you? I was in luck when the low rise came back in popularity. Striking the right balance between below the waist and falling down over your ass is the trick. It’s all up to the manufacturer. Some brands have perfected the blend of lycra and denim that provide give without the sag.
- My favorite brands are the Gap/OldNavy/Banana Republic group, Joe’s Jeans, Kut from the Kloth. Find a brand that caters to your shape.
- Skirts are a little trickier. A nice pencil skirt is a great shape to work with. If it hits just above or below the knee I believe it flatters most of us. Knits are more forgiving and a drop waistband is too. Pencil skirts look great with a slim fitting top or shirt. Try pairing the dolman style top with your pencil skirt to create a slim silhouette below.
What flatters you: COLOR
- Do you have a favorite sweater or scarf you feel you can conquer the world in? Chances are those colors are the foundation of your palette. Anything you wear close to your face should bring out your eye color and your natural hair and skin shades. If you find a scarf you keep reaching for, it likely has your favorite color in it or works with a majority of your wardrobe. I have bluish gray eyes so blues and grays and even greens are a natural. If I wear brown or black I keep it away from my face as it can be too harsh to most colorings, especially older skin.
- Keep in mind your skin color and hair have changed a bit over the years. Dress for who you are now. Softer is better and more flattering. So instead of a deep red, how about a deep rose? Change your black to charcoal gray, or if your skin is warmer toned, a nice chocolate brown.
Color and shape are the key ingredients to getting our look pulled together and flattering. No matter what size or shape you are, you know what items in your closet you like the most. The ones you always reach for? Take your cues from their shape, fit and color and you can’t go wrong.
If they make you feel great when you’re wearing them, even better. If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous, why wear it?