rb wanted to know: What to do when current fashion isn’t right for your figure – pencil skirts, skinny jeans.
As I’ve said many times and with great fervor, you do NOT need to wear anything that you do not like or that does not flatter you. Period. And part of me wants to end this post right there because there should be no force in this world capable of coercing you into wearing garments or styles that don’t suit you, don’t work with your natural assets, and don’t make you feel like your own magnificent self.
But I’m someone who loves riding the trend waves, and I know that sometimes other factors play in. Sometimes you love how a garment looks on OTHERS, but just can’t make it work for you. Sometimes you already own a trendy item and are all set to wear it … but realize you have no idea how to style it. Sometimes you are sick to death of your “classic” wardrobe and just want to add something fresh and current.
So here are some workarounds.
Check specialty retailers
If you’re a plus-sized woman who wants to wear skinnies, check Torrid first. If you’re a petite woman who is dying for a pair of leggings that don’t drag on the floor, check J. Jill’s petite’s section. If you’re a tall drink of water longing for a miniskirt that doesn’t expose your ladyparts to the world, check Long Tall Sally. Sometimes you just need to know where to shop to nab trendy items that actually fit your bod.
Get as close as possible
Pencil skirts look a MESS on some of us. But a similar skirt with a sliiiiight A-line flare will flatter nearly every figure. You might not like how your legs look if you stick your skinny jeans into a pair of tall boots. But pairing those same skinny jeans with a sexy pump can look quite different. Tunic tops might swallow up your slight frame, but a shirtdress worn open atop something formfitting will show off your figure, minus all that unnecessary volume. Trends are looser than we tend to realize, so don’t be afraid to put your own spin on them.
Take it to the tailor
Should you be in the fortunate position of knowing a trustworthy tailor, make good use of that tailor’s expertise. Bring in a trendy garment that ALMOST works and get some advice on how to perfect it. Or bring in a photo of something you’d love to wear and ask how it might be altered to work with your figure.
Go for accessories
OK, the short-necked might want to avoid chunky bib necklaces and the waistless don’t often do obi belts. But, overall, accessories have fewer fit issues than clothing. They’re also cheaper, and a fantastic way to add some trendy overtones to your wardrobe without throwing a bunch of money at garments that won’t appeal to you after a single year’s wearing.
Sometimes the reason a trendy item “looks wrong” is because you haven’t put enough effort into experimenting with it. Take that faux fur vest into the shop’s dressing room with a frock, some jeans, a ruffled blouse, a leather skirt, and a sweater. Mix and match until you love the look, and then decide if the vest is worth the investment. Did you have fun honing? Do you think you could cook up at least three or four more great looks with it? If you’re so afraid something won’t look good on you that trying it on isn’t even an option, ask yourself this: Will you spontaneously combust if it’s hideous on your figure? I have forced plus sized clients into pencil skirts and small-boobed clients into wrap tops, and watched them stare at their miraculously flattered figures in amazement. Just play. Clothes are fun, and they seldom bite.
Once more, with feeling: You need never wear clothing you hate simply because it is trendy. A woman can be perfectly stylish without owning a single magazine-endorsed seasonal item, I promise you. But if you long for a dash of trendiness and just don’t know how to incorporate potentially unflattering or challenging pieces, see if one of these five tricks won’t help ease the transition.
Images courtesy Banana Republic.eBay