Great dressing means using fit, fabric and color to lengthen your body, slim your figure and direct attention to your assets and away from your problem areas. Here’s what you need to know to make this happen.
A good fit means your clothes skim over your body. When your clothes are too tight or too loose, they add pounds. You want your clothing to show your figure without clinging to it. To judge if you have the right fit, all your buttons, lapels, pockets and seams need to lay flat. If your garment is too tight, pockets will bulge, seams will stretch, buttons will gap. Conversely, if your shoulder seam is 1/2 over the crest of your shoulder or if you have extra fabric under your arms when you lift them up, those are signs the item is too loose. You want the shoulder seam to sit right at the end of your shoulder before it begins to slope down into your arm. Having a poorly fitting shoulder will give the appearance of rounded shoulders.
Another key aspect of good fit is hemlines. Your shirt sleeves should come to your wrist bone and no further. When your shirt sleeve is too long, your whole top will look too big. Similarly, when your pant leg is too long, the fabric will be pushed up from the bottom of the pant, making the knee and legs of the pant fit poorly. I can’t tell you how many times I have been down on my hands and knees folding pants up so a customer could see that issue was not in the fit of the pant but in the fact the pant leg was just too long. It is amazing the difference that a properly fitting hem makes. It is worth the money and the time to get your shirts and pants hemmed to the perfect length.
Your choice of fabric will also make a difference in how your clothing flatters your figure. You want the fabric to fall smoothly over your body. Stiff fabrics will hold their own shape, and can add pounds. Too soft of fabric will cling to every lump and bump. Ideally, you want a fabric right in the middle of these two that is soft but beefy. Heavier fabrics will drape instead of cling. Remember that you get what you pay for in fabric. The better quality fabric, the nicer it will look on your body. It is helpful to understand cost per wear when you are considering more expensive fabrics and clothing. Read my blog post on that topic here.
It is also helpful to understand how to combine colors for optimum figure flattery. Anywhere you create a line of contrast between one color and another will draw attention to that area. For example, if you are hippy and wear a colored jacket that rests right at your hips over black pants, you will be drawing attention to your problem area rather than away. Monochromatic dressing (or wearing the same color head to toe) eliminates this issue and creates one, long, clean line from head to toe. This will slim you and make you seem taller. You can play around with adding two tones of the same color like black and charcoal, as this will still allow you to have the long line without having to dress in all the same color. Dark colors absorb light and make you look slimmer, so wear them over your problem areas. If you do create a contrast line by pairing a top and bottom of different colors, make sure the line is in a flattering place on your body.
You can join me for live videos on the topic of figure flattery each Friday at 9 a.m. on our Facebook Group Page Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas. Just join the group, and you will be able to see the videos live as well as ask questions during them. You can also view previous live videos on our website.
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