Fashion, Demystified, Round 2

Last week, I shared some general style tips I’ve gleaned from reading. Now here’s what I found out about dressing the curvy body, AKA hourglass figure. (That would be me.) But if you’re not curvy, read it anyway, because I decided to leave in some of my general notes. Because I’m in a hurry today, that’s why. 😛

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Dresses: Avoid too loose or too fitted (including cinching the waist) and high necklines. Lower necklines, medium-weight knits, soft fabrics that drape well are good. Show some skin in the legs & neckline. Specific styles:

shift/sheath (simple cut, streamlined, fits close to the body and has more of a waistline).

Empire.

Bias-cut, in other words, cut on the diagonal line of the fabric, which allows the dress to follow the body’s curves.

Wrap or faux wrap in, specifically in nylon jersey fabric or cotton. (Next assignment: figure out what the heck nylon jersey is.)

Belted shirt-dresses and full dresses.

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Tops: Scoopnecks–the wider the better–flatter large busts. V-neck is universally flattering; the deeper the diagonal, the more slimming. Semifitted styles with seams and darts that end below the waist and can be worn out or tucked in. Avoid high, covered-up or button-up necklines; show more skin for balance. Try wrap styles, deep V-necks, small collars, narrow lapels. Minimal flourishes (i.e. ruffles, etc.). Shoulder pads are not my friend.

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Pants & jeans: look for boot cut with a flat front. No super tapered styles or cuffed hems. Stretch jeans with straight or flared legs are my friends. Dark colors make you look slimmer. Jeans should NOT dig in at the waist, and you should NEVER have plumber butt, even if you’re wearing hip huggers.

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Jackets: semifitted, hitting at the point where the hips start to curve out–or just barely covers the butt. Belted styles good. Avoid cropped shapes & styles that button to the neck. One good style is single-breasted with closure right below the bust. Narrow, longer lapels on a one-button jacket deemphasizes curves without hiding them.

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Skirts: pencil skirts hugs curves. A-line flares and slims the hips, hides the thighs. (Hey, look, I’m a poet.) Full skirts have pleads, tucks or draping, and are flattering for most women; pleats that fall from the hip are easier to wear than those that start at the waist. For curvy figure: pencil skirts that don’t hug too tightly, A-lines that fit gently at the hips. Avoid overly tight and full skirts w/too much pleating or draping at the waist. If you have a tummy, choose drop-waist styles; tuck in shirt or use belt to highlight waist. Best length for skirt is right at knee.

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Sweaters: Wide V-neck and cardigans, flat knit, with belt. Avoid fitted, high crewnecks and turltenecks with fitted, foldover necks. Chunky textures add bulk. Other flattering possibilities: soft cowl neck or shawl collar, as long as it’s not bulky; self-belted cardigan. A banded waistline will widen the midsection. (Like a big stripe.) Look for a “handkerchief” hemline–uneven at the bottom. I’ve tried this on. Trust me. Very flattering.

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Oh yes. And have you seen this?

(I know. I should have led with that.) Happy weekend!

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