Hello again! To those who don't know me, I'm Keira. I'm not a girl who always has her nose in a fashion magazine, and often is found in jeans and a pair of comfy shoes. Although I do love fashion and its potential artistic beauty, I love the simplicity found in practical, applicable fashion. And that is what I am writing about today.
Since this series of articles are about fashion for the everyday woman, and the everyday woman is BUSY, each article is a bite-sized treat ("chic morsel") for the fashion-minded, but not necessarily the fashion-savvy, woman. :)
This series of articles contains the knowledge of basic fashion I wish I would have had when I was twelve years old to consult through my teenage years and early adulthood. Although it may be very rudimentary knowledge to some, I hope everyone can benefit from a little bit of wisdom imparted in this and upcoming articles.
In case you missed our last installment, here is the link to the first step in down-to-earth, but elegant, fashion: defining one's self. And now, to pick up from where we left off:
Now that you have some ideas of the personality you would love to define through clothing, we have to define two things that you cannot change, and, in order to adhere to elegant practices, must use guidelines for accordingly: body shape, and age. I apologize ahead of time for bringing them up. :)
First, body shape. You must find your inflection points. They are usually described like an object:
Apple: Curvier on top.
Pear: Curvier on bottom.
Banana: Not very curvy at all.
Hourglass: Equally curvy on top and bottom.
Be honest, but not brutal with yourself. You want clothes that accent you and fit you well, right? Then let us enhance what you have, draw attention to it!
Scroll down to find your shape, and have fun shopping accordingly. :)
Apple: You’ve got the bosoms some girls die for. A little bit of décolleté (or "cleavage") goes a long way for you! Whether it is implied or actual décolleté is up to you. Implied can be through V-neck shirts and sweaters with the layering of a shirt or tank underneath, vests, button up shirts (depending on your size, you can leave the whole shirt open with an undershirt, or leave it half open), and cardigans. Anything that creates a line from your neck to your chest.
If your derrière (your behind :) is not as proportionate to your other assets as you’d like them to be, wear tighter fitting jeans or skirts. Create long lines, if possible. The reason for this is your one side-effect of your asset: you tend to look rounder or fuller because your chest happens to be near your face, and all people upon first meeting you look at your face. You could be banana-thin, but with an ample bosom, you look curvy. Try to create long lines, vertical lines, to draw out a little of that attention.
Pear: You are lucky in the areas your apple friends are not—you can look very thin in the frame of your face and shoulders when meeting the first time, but have curves when walking away. :) Because you have more room, you can wear empire-waist dresses so well; you might as well have been born in Jane Austen’s time.
But alas, when walking away with sass, you want to impress as well, so let’s accent what you have. First, fun and colorful A-line skirts will juice up the area, but not too much. A-line dresses with almost any neckline are great for you. Cap sleeves, ¾ length, even strapless look great on you, you lucky dog! If you do want to show off your ample derriere in something tight: black is best, as are most neutral colors. I wouldn’t brave banana yellow pleather pants if I were you, or if I were me! Pantsuits are best when possible, and try and keep a consistent line from your waist down.
Banana: Honestly, why are you reading this? What can you NOT wear? I wouldn’t often suggest tights as pants or skinny jeans, but they were made for you! Tanks, short skirts, flats or heels, heck, walking down the street in a ballerina’s outfit, you could probably get away with! The only advice I can offer is that accenting your waist is never a bad thing if you want the illusion of curves for a softer feminine touch.
Hourglass: Ah, the men-can-make-a-hand-gesture-for-it figure. You probably have enough in each spot for the best of both worlds. Natural waist dresses or blouses, especially if accented by things like a sash, bow or embroidery, are flattering on you. Long lines are always becoming, especially if you have such a figure, but you are short. High heels and boots are your friend - they add authority to your curves!
Secondly, age. Before I begin, I would like to preface all that I suggest about age and fashion by asking you to not take offense. Times are changing quickly, and women are becoming mothers later in life, and grandmothers even later. Whether it be an easier lifestyle or plastic surgery, many women look young for their age, compared to generations before. So when reading over these guidelines, please note that most of my information comes from one of my favorite authors on the subject, as well as a little cultural experience. I could be wrong, or you could look young for your age and thus "get away" with younger styles. Take these suggestions with a grain of salt.
I doubt many who read this are under twenty, but if so, never you mind—you can wear almost anything, depending on your type—any color, almost any length (although I would not suggest very short), modern or classic styles.
For the rest of us: the more conservative, the better.
Before and during the thirties, knees shown are acceptable, as well as quite a bit of décolleté. Arms exposed to the shoulders are generally more acceptable. This can depend on where you live and your lifestyle--being a soccer mom or a New York commuter can greatly influence what you prefer to show off. :)
Forty is a gray area, because, as aforementioned, many are not becoming mothers nowadays until about this age. But generally you begin to have older children by forty or fifty, and this marks the advent of a new kind of beauty. An emphasis on your chest is acceptable for the motherly look—but generally you should become more conservative in dress and in colors.
Nothing is more becoming than a beautifully aging and elegant woman. Nothing is more revolting than someone who refuses to age gracefully and continues extreme fashion.
I hope this article helps those of us who need guidelines to choose wisely, and unlocks a type of fun in selecting outfits and shopping.
My next article will be on your basic wardrobe for different seasons and how to select accessories. Thank you all for reading!