Posts Categorized: Flatter Your Body

1 outfit, 3 body shapes: fall outfit idea

By IN Create Outfits, Flatter Your Body

1 outfit 3 body shapes: fall outfit ideas

Usually when I show how one outfit idea can be put together to flatter different body shapes, I keep it at the same outfit level across all of the shapes (and the same style, too).

This time, I started with the idea of a fall outfit with a white or light-colored top and khaki bottoms. But as I looked for pieces that would flatter the pear, apple and flute silhouettes, I found myself getting a little more creative.

Let’s take a look at the variations of this fall outfit idea.

For accessories, I decided to go with fun sneakers and backpack style bags for all three. The sneakers and bag vary by the outfit level and style, from Chuck Taylors for Classic (what else?) to metallic trimmed Adidas for Chic.

Less clutter, more joy! Learn how to edit your closet like a stylist and fill it with clothes that fit your style and your life with How to Build a Wardrobe You Love. Put a smile on your face when you open your closet. Get it today.

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1 outfit, 3 body shapes: travel outfit ideas

By IN Create Outfits, Flatter Your Body

1 outfit, 3 body shapes: summer travel outfit ideas

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, I find a sleeveless top and longer shorts, combined with a top layer for occasional spots of high-intensity A/C, to be an easy travel outfit. Here’s how to make this outfit combo work for 3 body shapes.

Complete your look with a fun pair of flat sandals and a colorful coordinating watch.

Learn more about how to dress for your body shape, clean out your closet and create outfits you’ll love in the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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What’s the difference between “dressed down” and “dowdy”?

By IN Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body

dressed down vs. dowdy

We all have our days when we want to be comfortable and casual. They might even be our every days.

But maybe you’re concerned that your everyday casual has veered from “dressed down” to Dowdy Town, or all the way to Frumpy-ville.

(Quick definition: “dowdy” is “unfashionable and without style in appearance.” Synonyms include “shabby” and “old-fashioned.”)

If you want to keep on the cute side of casual, here are some tips for where to draw the (sometimes gray) line.

Shape. The less flattering a shape is to your body, the closer it can move toward dowdy. Big and heavy if it’s shoes, loose and baggy if it’s clothes—shapes like these tend to read less stylish. Think of the difference between a big pair of clogs and a slim ballet flat.

Color and pattern. This can be a tricky one. Colors and prints come and go; there’s even a color of the year, after all. But if the palette of your clothes is very clearly from a past year or past decade, it will read as old to others, too.

Neutral colors can also communicate as dowdy if they are all over without coordination, or in a tone that doesn’t work with your skin. Taupe with splashes of color or print can be stylish. All-over taupe? Much less so.

Materials. It’s a lot harder to be dowdy in a nice cotton or linen, or even a fine wool, than in some synthetics, especially if the fabric doesn’t hang nicely on your body (see “Shape,” above.)

The differences aren’t always huge; sometimes it’s just a matter of degree. Try on one style of sneaker vs. another, for example, and see what your eye tells you.

Then there’s the easiest solution of all: embrace your possibly dowdy clothes and call it normcore! (And if you really DGAF? Here’s a spirited defense of dowdiness.)

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What does “flattering” mean, anyway? (And why should I care?)

By IN Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body

Flatter your body: love its shape

A fundamental component of most style advice is about figure flattery—how to choose clothes and create outfits based on your body shape.

Just Google “pear shape” or “apple shape,” for example, and you’ll find articles, books and Pinterest boards galore. Or flip through the articles here on Frantic But Fabulous in the Flatter Your Body section.

But recently there’s been pushback among some bloggers and writers who are concerned that “flattering your body” is really code for “making your body look thinner,” and that advice that is aimed at fixing the “flaws” in body shapes is a form of body shaming.

There’s a different way to approach figure flattery, however, that steers clear of these negative traps.

Let’s start by thinking of flattery as adulation.The goal is to dress in a way that makes you love your body more, not less.

And let’s remove size from the discussion of body shape.

As the second step of my 8-step style workshop teaches, each body has a unique silhouette. The goal of dressing that silhouette isn’t to make it look like a certain size, but to bring the shapes of that silhouette into balance—regardless of size.

Yes, that balanced shape is the classic hourglass, but that hourglass can be vivacious and curvy, tall and slender, petite and athletic.

And once you learn the fundamental concepts of balance and proportion, you are free to use them however you’d like. Empowered with the knowledge of how certain garment shapes work on your body, shopping gets easier. Whether you want your hips to look bigger or smaller, you’ll know which skirts to buy, and why.

It can also bring clarity to why some of your clothes hang in your closet, never worn. Maybe you don’t like the way you look when you wear them, and figure flattery may be a clue.

In the end, it’s just information to use when building your wardrobe, alongside style preferences, color taste and the needs of your lifestyle. Use it in the way that works for you.

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

The Little (Non) Black Dress

By IN Advice, Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body, Style Q&A

The Little (Non) Black Dress
[Little Red Dress, Anne Klein // Little Royal Blue Dress, Tahari // Little Bright Blue Dress, Calvin Klein]

A reader writes to ask:

If I get a non-black LBD, what colors/cut/fabrics would be a best bet for nearly year-around use?

While the non-black Little Black Dress may seem like a contradiction in terms, it’s not if you think of the LBD as being Your Wardrobe Staple Dress. Keep the “little” and the “dress,” but toss the “black” if it’s not your style (or if you want to mix it up with a second option).

For a year-’round fabric, you really can’t go wrong with a natural fiber. Wool crepe is often suggested because it has a nice drape, and I think it could work in summer, too, since you will probably be wearing an L(N)BD in the evening and/or inside and there’s not much fabric to one, anyway. (That would be the “little” part!)

As for colors, any jewel tone, such as an emerald green, royal blue or rich red, will work in the same universal way that black does. To get ideas, think about the colors you see celebrities wearing on the red carpet. My favorite L(N)BD is turquoise—but you could even opt for a Little White Dress in summer.

The cut is whatever works best for your shape. Alternatively, there are some universally flattering options: look for a style that fits across the smallest part of your torso, and a you can’t go wrong with a v-neck. (This is why the fit ‘n’ flare style works so well for most bodies.) The simpler the silhouette, the more likely it will be to stay in style—and in your closet—for a long time to come.

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits that are fab, not drab, in No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style, the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop. This easy-to-follow system includes how-to guides, worksheets and a checklist of wardrobe essentials. Get started today!

How to know when your wardrobe is “done”

By IN Advice, Create Outfits, Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body, How-To Tuesdays, Personal Style, Style Q&A

How to tell when your wardrobe is done

This reader has an interesting question about the process of building a clothing wardrobe:

What are the signs that my wardrobe is basically “established” (as opposed to an overall in progress) and I can pat myself on the back? What can I expect in terms of phases, time/effort?

For anyone in the midst of fashion frustration, the idea of having a wardrobe that’s done can seem like a faraway, even impossible, destination.

But you can get there, mamas! Here’s how to do it, and what to expect.

Signs your wardrobe is established

First, let’s talk about what the destination looks like. What is an established wardrobe, anyway? For me, this means a closet full of figure-flattering fundamental pieces around which you can build any kind of outfit you need. To put it another way: you no longer have “nothing to wear.” I call these fundamental pieces The Core Wardrobe.

The phases of wardrobe building

Getting to this delightful place happens in three phases: editing your closet to remove the stuff you don’t like and don’t wear; identifying what you need to buy to fill in the gaps between what you have left and what you need; and acquiring those missing pieces, whether by shopping, thrifting or making them.

The amount of time and effort it takes

Those first two phases—the edit and the audit—can sound like a lot of work. And in a way, they are. It’s no small matter to decide to get rid of things that may have been hanging in your closet for years. The time required, however, is not as much as you might think. These phases are Steps 3 and 4 of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop, and I designed the activities to be achievable in a single weekend. Because if it takes you a lot longer, you’re just not going to do it, right?

As for the final phase, filling in your wardrobe with what you need, that can vary a lot for a number of reasons, beginning with how long your list is. But it’s also usually the most enjoyable; shopping is a lot less exhausting when you actually know what you’re looking for and how to know when you’ve found it.

Here’s one more way I think of a wardrobe as being established: when you get to go shopping for things you want, not just things you need.

Ready to start building your wardrobe foundation? It’s easier than you think! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop, “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style.” Get it today!

It takes two: When it makes sense to buy multiples of the same clothing item

By IN Advice, Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body, Style Q&A

When to buy 2 (or more) of the same thing

A reader wants to know:

When should I buy multiples of the same thing in the same or different colors, and when should I pass?

This is a pretty common question, and a good one.

When it makes sense to double up on clothes

Style Q&A: Your personal style questions answeredHere are a few rules of thumb.

  • When it’s a wardrobe staple. Some wardrobe staples, like T-shirts, are worth getting in more than one color. And if you know you’ll wear the heck out of it, you could even get multiples of the same hue.
  • When it fits like a dream. Did you discover that elusive creature, the pair of jeans that truly fit you? Get two, in different washes if you can. Labels constantly retire styles, so if you love it now, get it now; it’s not going to be cheaper if you can only find it next year in the wilds of eBay. Or maybe you finally found shoes that are both comfortable and stylish: get two, in different colors if you want, or of the same one so you can have a backup when the first pair falls apart. (I wish I’d bought two of my favorite pair of Puma flats at the time; if only I’d known!)
  • When it’s one of a kind. OK, it’s not really “one of a kind” if there’s more than one of it, but if an item you fall in love with is so unusual you know you’ll never see it again, pick up its twin. Keep that one on reserve for the day when the original is finally worn to bits.

If you’re still not sure, the final tipping point can be price. If you know you’ll wear both and the second one is at a discount—or better yet, BOGO—take advantage of your good timing. And if you’re shopping online, remember to start at eBates first. (Just deposited another Big Fat Check today myself!)

The key overall is balance. If your closet is filled with nothing but multiples of a just a few things, you’re likely to get bored and feel like your style is in a rut. But if you know what your “me uniform” looks like, it makes sense to have more than one of those pieces on hand.

Or combine the two, like Steve Jobs, who famously had a wardrobe of nothing but the same black turtleneck, jeans and white tennis shoes. Now that’s style precision!

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits that are fab, not drab, in No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style, the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop. This easy-to-follow system includes how-to guides, worksheets and a checklist of wardrobe essentials. Get started today!