A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to my friend Alicia from Chic on a Shoestring (www.chiconashoestring.com). She and I used to work together during my talk show producing days.
The thing I love about Alicia is that she’s not your typical “fashion blogger.” She’s a wardrobe stylist who’s a teacher at heart. Her “Fit & Flatter” principles teach people to focus on the POSITIVE aspects of their body by learning how to dress to flatter their body type.
I think this post is going to blow you away when you see the difference a few expert tricks can make in the appearance of the same woman! :-)
Take it away Alicia!
I love Becky! She’s lost more than a few pounds through diet and exercise and now I showed her how to lose another 20 by choosing more flattering clothes for her body-type. These 14 small details combine to create a pulled together look that complements Becky’s outgoing personality.
Becky is 5’4” so she fits into the criteria of being petite, but this is a guideline and not a hard and fast rule. In Becky’s case, she has petite or shorter legs, but her torso is not petite, in fact, she has a relatively long torso. This is one of the reasons it’s critical to really understand YOUR body-type to learn how to dress so that you flatter your assets.
While Becky is thrilled with her weight loss, and deservedly so, she’s struggling to dress her new body. I gently showed her what she was doing “wrong” and how she could choose different clothes that would de-emphasize her struggles while steering attention to the areas that she wants to emphasize.
What Becky was wearing before her makeover:
1. The stark contrast of her dark jeans and white layering shirt created a horizontal line at her fullest part. This is not the optimal shirt length for her body-type, and the white horizontal line creates attention where she doesn’t want it. (Note from Jillee: I am SO guilty of this! yikes!)
2. She had a closure at her fullest part with her cardigan sweater, which creates an unwanted focus point. I like cardigan sweaters but you need to be careful that they don’t close at your fullest part so it doesn’t create a “barrel” effect on your torso. Where a sweater closes tends to be a focus point and you can use this to your advantage or disadvantage.
3. Because of her long torso, Becky didn’t look at herself as petite, but her legs are shorter, so she should keep that in mind when shopping for pants. Consequently her jeans were not the proper length, which resulted in an excess of fabric gathering around her ankles, making them look thicker. Truth is that she has nice ankles and I look at them as an asset.
4. The monotone, top to bottom, blue not only wasn’t the most flattering color for Becky’s skin tone and hair, but it does little to camouflage her “challenge” areas. Color use can be a powerful tool to hide “challenge” areas and bring attention to your body assets.
5. Her statement necklace is making an unwanted statement by hanging too low. This type of necklace, while longer than most, should frame the face and neck. The bottom of the necklace should hit mid to high bustline to create a crisp and sharp statement, rather than sagging toward her middle.
6. Becky has narrow shoulders and a bit broader through the hips and lower abdomen, but she hasn’t balanced the line between her hips and shoulders, which again draws attention to her abdomen, usually the last place where people lose weight.
What I changed with her makeover:
7. Not everyone can pull off this color of green jacket, but it looks great on Becky. It’s good for her skin tone and hair and matches her personality and draws attention to her beautiful face.
8. The shoulder line on this structured jacket helps to balance out her hip line. This helps to bring your attention upward toward her face.
9. This fitted, structured jacket helps to give her a higher waist, while the looseness of the top helps to camouflage the fuller part of the tummy.
10. Rather than an excess of material around her ankles, these cuffed boyfriend jeans show off her great ankles.
11. The pattern on top is much better at camouflaging her tummy than the horizontal stripes of the cardigan sweater in the “before” look. The floral pattern is also up-to-date and a flattering scale. She’s wearing the pattern instead of the pattern wearing her. Without the jacket the pattern may become “too much” but peeking through the jacket it’s perfect.
12. The mid-rise of the “after” jean is better at hiding the belly bulge than the high rise jeans from the “before” photo. Depending on your body-type, high rise jeans can garner that infamous “mom jeans” label.
13. The contrast of the bright green and orange floral print creates a strong vertical line, which again de-emphasizes her belly.
14. Her overall look is smart, casual and looks more up-to-date than her “before” look. The before and after photo were shot the same day with the same make-up, yet she looks happier and more confident in the “after” look.
All of Becky’s clothes in the “after” photo are available from the Ann Taylor Loft Outlet store.
What would you like to learn more about from Alicia?