LynnieBee had this plea:
I was wondering if you could blog about some dressing tips for short curvy girls? Tips on how to elongate the line of your body, emphasize curves without looking lumpy, you know, that kind of thing. That would be awesome!
I had a few folks seconding the motion, so I could hardly refuse. Besides, just about ALL of us can use techniques that create long, lean lines, am I right? I’ll kick it off with a few suggestions, and then open the floor, as I’m hoping you all can provide further ideas for flattering a petite, curvy figure.
- Monochrome outfits: A petite woman looks even smaller when she divides her body into chunks, which happens when tops and bottoms are in drastically different color families. Nothing creates a flattering, unbroken line like a broad wash of a single shade. Now, don’t go thinking this can only mean “head-to-toe black.” Monochrome means one color, but it can be ANY color. Create an ensemble that is all shades of blue, or red, or gray, right down to the shoes. Mix in a few textures and multiple tonal values so you don’t look like you’ve been dunked in a tank of RIT dye.
- Belt and top in same color: Want to define that waist without halving yourself, which emphasizes smaller proportions? Try wearing a navy belt atop a navy sweater, or tying an olive green scarf around the waist of your olive green dress. All the cinching with none of the division. (Scarves and woven belts are more supple and forgiving, if you’re concerned about a stiff leather belt digging into your midsection.)
- Shoes and tights in same color: Ahhh, that old chestnut. But old and chestnutty for a reason! If you’re short and curvy, anything that elongates your legs is a no-brainer, and having your feet and gams in a single shade makes those gams look a mile long. Once again, this doesn’t have to mean black tights and black shoes. Bright tights and shoes are both great fun, and up the style quotient of any ensemble.
- Necklaces and scarves: Drawing attention to the top of your rack, right up near your face, will help keep the focus high on your figure. Especially when worn in conjunction with an elongating ensemble. So bring on the statement necklaces and colorful scarves!
- Subtle cleavage: Recommended for the same reasons as necklaces and scarves, a hint of cleavage draws the eye to the top half of your body. So if you’re petite and voluptuous, cash in on those great curves! I’m not advocating tops cut to the navel, obviously, but something that lets the girls peek out JUST a smidge? Absolutely. Add a chunky necklace if exposed cleavage alone makes you feel nekkid. And, of course, save this trick for weekends, nights out, fancy dress parties, and other appropriate settings. Cleavage is never office-appropriate.
- Heels, please: Now see here, people, there is no need to fear the heel. Do I own any pairs of 5″ Louboutin stilettos? No. Do I want to? Not a chance. Any heel in a storm, I tell ya. Even a kitten heel will elongate your legs somewhat, give your height a boost, and improve your posture. And if you just can’t heel it, try a wedge. Anything besides ballet flats, flat boots, gladiator sandals, or any other footwear that puts you right at sea level.
Those are the basics that I’m aware of, but I’m sure there’s more! Any petite women with curves out there care to share more advanced elongating techniques? Do you apply these rules, or think they’ll be helpful? What’s missing from this list?
Image courtesy unduex. (Dear unduex, Please start a daily outfit blog so I can see more of your amazing style and feed my rampant girl-crush. Love, Sal)