I’m very excited to cover today’s Q&A Thursday question, which came in from our friend, Lisa. She’s been working hard to rebuild her wardrobe over the last couple of years but she’s gotten stuck. She’s found so much conflicting advice on the Internet about how to dress for her body’s shape and proportions that she has no idea what to do!
On one hand, it’s incredible to have information at our fingertips in this way and it is also completely overwhelming at the same time. It’s very frustrating when you’re on the hunt for a clear answer, but you’re coming across a million different opinions.
So in this episode, I’m going to tell you how to quiet the noise, hone in on the right advice for you, and know exactly what to focus on to build a wardrobe you love.
Shape VS. Proportions
First, let’s get clear on the difference between your body’s shape and proportions. Your natural shape is the outline or silhouette of your figure. Ideally, you want to create balance between your upper and lower halves.
It sounds like you might be a little top heavy since you mentioned being an inverted triangle and having a large bust. So to create better visual balance, you’re going to want to visually narrow the apparent width in your upper body. You can use diagonal lines to break up the space (wrap style tops, V-necklines) and darker colors which tend to make spaces appear relatively smaller.
And then, where you’re reading more narrow, you want to visually widen that space, again to create a good balance between your upper and lower bodies. So you’ll do the opposite on your lower half: use horizontal lines to draw the eye out, wear lighter colors, and add details and volume.
Now, you also mentioned some details about your proportions as well. The key to creating flattering proportions is in balancing the length of your upper and lower halves. Your body’s shape is all about balancing the top to bottom in width and proportions are about creating balance in your body’s length.
To visually stretch the appearance of your waist, you can opt for drop-waist tops, mid to low-rise pants, and lengthen the line with an overblouse, jacket, or duster. This is especially important when you have a large bust as well, because you don’t want to create a shelf between your breasts and your pants. We need to see your waist, so you want to avoid high-rise pants and skirts and create more length through your torso.
Then wherever you’re measuring long, you want to visually shorten that area to create ideal proportions. But keep in mind, if you’re doing things to visually lengthen your waist, that’s going to automatically make the area of your rise appear shorter. So you can effectively just focus on lengthening through your torso and that’ll be a total game changer for you!
Evaluate Your Favorite Outfits
I gave this bonus assignment to the ladies in HER Style Collective recently. Go through your closet and pull out your favorite outfits, the ones you feel most confident in or that you receive the most compliments on. Look at them specifically in terms of what they do for your silhouette and proportions. How does this align with what I just explained to you? What other qualities do these outfits have that you love or that make you feel amazing?
Don’t reinvent the wheel! Recreate these outfits with new colors or fabrics. Do more of what’s already working well for you.
Trust Your Instincts
You can find style sources that will give you all the conflicting advice in the world. If you want to tune it out, you need to stop looking everywhere for it. Choose a reliable source that resonates with you. If you’re hearing too much noise, you need to stop changing the channel.
There are two approaches you can take to this. Most stylists are going to tell you to do what works for them. They’ll give you outfit inspiration based on their style and offer up seasonal capsule ideas based on their preferences. That’s not a problem as long as you resonate with their style, are comfortable adapting it to your best colors, and have similar physical characteristics. You can also follow different style bloggers and influencers to get ideas, but you need to make sure they’re reflecting and aligning with YOUR style foundations (style, color, and figure).
Or you can turn to a professional image consultant who can explain the process of doing this for yourself in a personalized way. (👋🏼 Hi! That’s me!) I like to give information that everyone can take and apply in their own way. I want to help you figure it all out for yourself and build a wardrobe you love in a way that works for your unique body, budget, preferences, and lifestyle.
I also encourage you to trust yourself more. Most of my clients have pretty good intuition about what they like and what they don’t like. In working together, we can uncover the reasoning behind all of those instincts. Having some data and reasoning to back up their intuition gives them a major confidence boost. We could equate this to baking. I know the basic ingredients to make a chocolate chip cookie and I know I’m not going to throw chili powder or oregano into my batter. But I feel way more confident baking with a recipe in hand! I want to know exactly what and how much to put in to make the most delicious cookie I can.
All that to say, trust yourself about what you DO know. Find one amazing recipe — don’t bounce around on the Internet and put multiple cookie recipes together, just choose the one that sounds the best — and then run with it!
Hire an Expert
If you are SERIOUS about wanting to rebuild your wardrobe, then invest in the support you need. You can do a lot on your own. It’s just very likely to be a long, windy road to create the results you want in your wardrobe if you’re piecing it all together yourself.
I’d rather see you hold off on shopping for a season or two and invest in the style education and support you need to build your wardrobe in an easier and more efficient way. I don’t want you to waste any more money on clothes you don’t LOVE or that don’t flatter you as well as they could.
This is exactly what I support you with inside HER Style Collective, which is my 90-day group program to buy less, shop smarter, and build a wardrobe you love.
The next round starts in January 2024 and you can join the waitlist now for exclusive perks! Let’s start your New Year off on the right foot, shorten the learning curve, and work side-by-side to rebuild your wardrobe with clarity and confidence.
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