How to know when a garment just doesn’t work

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style, How-To Tuesdays

How to tell when a garment doesn't work for you

Or: the tale of the discounted designer skirt

How-To Tuesdays: Style advice and answers for working momsOh, how I wanted to love this Opening Ceremony skirt. It’s stylish, it’s designer, it’s comfortable, it fits.

It should be right, but somehow it’s wrong.

I gave it my best shot. I tried it styled with a shrunken sweatshirt and booties. And I felt … bulky, in all the wrong places. I tried it styled with a bow-tied blouse, vintage heels and a wide belt. Better, but I still felt like I’d have to talk myself into wearing the outfit again.

The deciding factor was seeing the outfit photo. I had to conclude that the skirt may be great, but it isn’t great for me.*

So how can you tell when something you’re wearing isn’t right for you?

How to know when a garment doesn’t work

  • Take pictures. What you suspect when you look in the mirror is often proven in a simple outfit photo snapshot.
  • Ask a trusted friend. If you know someone who can give constructive criticism, not negative feedback, ask her or him. (This was actually the second factor in my decision; thanks, Jenn!)
  • Instinct. What do you feel like when you wear it? If you have to talk yourself into putting it on–don’t.

I took one final step: I tried the same Casual Friday outfit again, swapping out the iffy skirt for another long, black pleated skirt I already own. This skirt is made of a thinner material with narrower, sharper pleats. It’s also a little bit longer. To me, these proportions make all the difference in the world.

And off to the consignment store I go …

  • Fab mamas: How do you decide when it’s time to edit an item from your wardrobe?

*This is an important point to remember. If an item of clothing doesn’t work for you, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you—or even with the garment. It’s just not a good match of your particular shape with that particular item. There are plenty of sartorial fish in the sea. Keep looking!

Get fabulous. Be fabulous. Declare your right to discover your personal style with the Fab Mama Style Manifesto.

6 Responses to “How to know when a garment just doesn’t work”

  1. Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud

    First let me say- the new blog layout and design looks so GREAT! It’s clean, it’s sharp and it’s easy to navigate. Lots of love was put here, and it shows.

    Ah, the dread moment when your realize “its not for you.” It’s a tough moment but you’re right seeing in photos can’t hide the truth. And outfit two looks so good!

  2. Ellie

    Such a smallish change- and yet it makes all the difference in the world. Good point!

  3. Crystal

    I am constantly in this dilemma! Good post to bring awareness around fit. I think I often wear my clothes too loose, trying to create the illusion of bulk up top to match the bottom half. You’ve illustrated that so well here, although I would argue that your look is just as fabulous in the photo on the left. Just fabulous in a different way.

    • Heidi

      I appreciate that 🙂 Ultimately, since I had to talk myself into wearing that skirt, it meant it wasn’t right for me.