Fashion, Demystified. Sort of.

My idea of high fashion

I’m not a fashionable dresser. Never have been. But in the last seven years, gaining and losing thirty pounds, expanding and contracting, I discovered that I look much better when I’m pregnant…because the styles flatter me. I decided it’s time to find flattering styles when I’m not pregnant, too! When Elizabeth of That Married Couple had the audacity to suggest one day that it would be easy to check books out of the library, I was astonished. Call me dense; it had never once occurred to me that duh, of course someone has written books on this topic!

I went to the library. And I thought I’d share the general lessons I found out:


You want to balance the top and bottom of the body. So if you have a long waist, then look for high waistbands.


Prints on darker backgrounds are more slimming. Low-contrast prints attract less attention (i.e. pink on red, rather than yellow on black).


Any kind of detailing, i.e. ruffles, etc. draws attention to what’s underneath. (Which is why I’ve never been happy with my last purchase. It’s a blouse that’s all ruffles.)


In general, cheap fabrics don’t flatter as much.


Stark color contrasts between top & bottom create horizontal lines.


Cyan-Yellow-Magenta colorwheel, based on Image...
Cyan-Yellow-Magenta colorwheel, based on Image:Ryb-colorwheel.svg, with new colors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always been a “neutral-colors-go-with-anything” and “otherwise-match your-colors” kind of wardrobe person. Even though I adore bright colors and I love seeing people who mix up colors, I have never trusted my ability to mix them myself. That color wheel thing has never been my strong point. Here are three suggestions I gleaned from reading: navy with bright jewel tones (green, yellow, pink); gray with pastels; khakis with fall colors. (Well, I had that last one nailed, anyway.)


The rest of what I collected is for curvy bodies, but I’ll share that next week. In the meantime, my daughter keeps taking “BRAVE” stickers off her shirt and sticking them on my arms and my face while I’m typing. Talk about disracting! (And super cute.) (Call me Ms. Sticker Nose.)

Oh yes, and in case you wanted more lists to peruse, here’s a bonus take: a list of Catholic music–my newest post at Catholic Mothers Online.

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 177)