Here are the BIG 3!
1.Know your body
We come in all shapes and sizes: petite, average, tall, bigger on the top, bigger on the bottom, extra in the middle, curvy, not curvy and so on! No two of us are the same. You simply need to take your measurements and then match up your body type to the on-line size charts that all retailers provide on their websites. Know what they sell before you ever walk in the store because an uninformed shopper buys the wrong thing!
2. Like your body
I have always chuckled at the saying, “I am in shape – round is a shape!” It pretty much sums up the fact that we as women come in all shapes and sizes and each one comes with styling challenges. We are who we are, so let’s just embrace our genetics and work with what we have. Clothing can become our ally when we want to highlight our assets or conceal our less favorable features – that’s called ‘styling’!
There are many tricks to adding-to or reducing your curves so that you are proportionally balanced. Truth be told, the tailor is your friend! Many items will not fit off the rack. You have to ‘fit’ the largest part of your body and then tailor down the rest! We are not built like mannequins – just accept that you might need a nip in the waist, some sleeves shortened, a button or two re-aligned, skirts shortened and pants hemmed. Consider those the final touches to great style!
3. Dress your body
Let’s define the foundational pieces for building a purposeful wardrobe:
Blouses: We are talking feminine necklines to give a traditional business suit a pretty and modern spin or paired with a cardigan and jeans to update a more casual look. Blouses are also a great way to add color and prints to an outfit. When everything else is neutral, let the blouse bring some personality into the picture.
Knitwear: Choose knitwear in natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and cashmere as they will wear better and hold their color longer than artificial fabrics. Cardigans, wraps, crew necks and v-necks are great for layering and are a softer, more casual alternative to a blazer.
A-line Skirts: This classic shape looks great on ANY body type. It defines the waist while flaring subtly from the hips. Women with larger hips find the A-shape helps to conceal them, while those with minimal hip action are thrilled to discover this shape actually accentuates them.
Pencil Skirts: Pencil skirts can flatter almost any body shape when chosen carefully. For the more androgynous figure, look for a straight and narrow cut to hug and accent the hips. If you are shapelier, look for one with a thicker waistband that falls straight from the hip. This will help to create balance in your bodyline while still showing off your curves.
Fitted Jackets: There is a reason corporate executives always wear suits to important meetings. There is something very “smart” about a fitted jacket. It can elevate even a pair of jeans and a T-shirt into a more pulled together ensemble. A structured jacket accents the waistline, while small shoulder pads can de-emphasize a larger chest and balance a larger hip.
Suits: A pant or skirt suit is a required addition to any working woman’s wardrobe as they can be worn together or broken up creating more options. If you can find one with both pants AND a skirt, even better! Purchase the “best fabric” you can afford for longer wear, and if the fit is not the best, invest in tailoring.
Wrap Dress: A dress that wraps at the smallest part of your waistline or a faux wrap dress with a defined, banded waistline, will flatter most shapes. The dress that made Diane Von Furstenberg famous is as versatile as it is flattering. Wear it layered, best with thin fabric camisoles, for the office and alone with a great pair of heels for date night.
Pumps: Invest in kitten heels or one-to-two inch heels. Closed toes are more professional and can be worn all year long. Start with black and nude and add color as you build your inventory.
Your Perfect Pair of Jeans: It shouldn’t be about the latest trend. Look for the shape that looks best on your body. A straight leg or boot-cut with a mid rise are the best styles to start with, as they will flatter most shapes. A dark wash will give you the longest, leanest leg line. When you do find your best fitting jean, stock up. Keep a pair longer in length to wear with heels, while hemming the other to wear with flats.
Trench Coat: It doesn’t get much more timeless than a trench. While not quite “season-less”, you will get many more months wear out of this coat, than any other in your closet. Trenches come in a variety of lengths, choose the one that works best with your shape.
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