Hannah2 popped this request into the suggestion box:
I was hoping you could do a post on how to come to understand and appreciate what looks and makes us feel good—without having to buy the clothing and hang it all first. I feel like I’m starting to make progress in understanding myself but because of small weight gain (just enough to make lots of stuff fit wrong) and because of deeper appreciation for my body, even things I bought with concern and attention after purging my wardrobe fit funny, feel funny.
Originally posted 2012-07-26 06:09:45.
Sometimes you want to wear something that’s intentionally off-kilter. Sometimes it can be tough to create visual balance in a figure that has extremes. Sometimes balance just isn’t a priority. But for many women, balance is a key concept in dressing, and there are many ways to approach it so I’d like to examine a few common practices!
Balancing clothing volume
When I first became truly interested in style and dressing theory, one of the first things I learned was to balance voluminous clothing with fitted clothing. Wanna wear a loose, drapey, voluminous top? You might consider balancing that volume with a close-fitting bottom garment. This also works in reverse: A voluminous bottom can be balanced by a fitted top. If you do volume all over, the observing eye fills in body fullness where there is none. By wearing a voluminous top with voluminous bottoms, you mask the curves and contours of your figure and may make yourself look big all over. By pairing loose with fitted, more of your true figure shape is revealed.
Originally posted 2012-10-04 06:04:10.
I talk a lot about traditional figure flattery. In no small part because that’s what you folks tell me interests you, and because the questions you have are typically very specific and include topics not covered by style books and magazines. I find it fascinating to learn about the challenges you face in dressing your personal best, and love to explore options with you.
I’m also fascinated by the F*ck Flattering movement which was more or less sparked by a tee shirt designed by Gisela Ramirez, and have read with interest the responses to this conscious rebellion against fashion rules and dressing norms. In common use, “flattering” means something that “makes your body appear tall, thin, balanced, and hourglass-shaped.” It also implies limiting jiggle, covering cellulite, wrinkles, and scars, keeping a large bust in check, and lots of control-related mandates. Traditional ideas of figure flattery are rooted in a very narrow beauty ideal, tied to the male gaze and heteronormativity, and extremely exclusionary. Looking past the obvious sizeism, consider that some petite women will never appear tall and some thin women will never appear hourglassy. “Flattering,” in common use, tries to force a marvelously diverse population of women into a very specific idealized shape.
Originally posted 2013-07-22 06:02:00.