What to Wear When Your Body Isn't Perfect (Isn't that just about everyone?)

When you look at fashion magazines, the airbrushed models are breathtakingly beautiful -- their skin is taught and glowing, bodies are paper thin and buff, and muscles bulge in all the right places. 

But that's not reality! Real people have blemished, bumpy skin, baggy eyes, big bums, small breasts, large breasts, bigger on the bottom than on top.  That's the way life really is.  Most people are somewhere between looking trim and fit and carrying extra weight in certain areas.  

So, how can you dress in a way that accentuates your positive features and mitigates your flaws?

Here are 3 sure-fire ways to dress your natural shape in an attractive, balanced way:

Tip #1 - Create the illusion of a longer body shape with silhouette and color.

Your style aim is to create the illusion of proportional balance between your upper and lower half.  Where you are SHORT, optically lengthen, by wearing long, straight pants to lengthen your legs, or by wearing a longer top to lengthen your upper torso. Look how long her legs appear!  By layering pieces on top you'll give the illusion of longer torso and legs. One monochromatic color is another way to elongate your body, and you don't have to stick with the same, exact color, but rather mix and match with different tones of the same color.  Try a royal blue printed skirt with a chambray blue blouse and touches of sapphire accessories. 

Tip #2 - Accentuate the best parts of your body.

Whether you have a small waist, delicate facial features, shapely thin legs, or gorgeous feet, every outfit should celebrate your best features. 

The easiest way to call attention to a feature is by using a pop of color.  If you want to call attention to your face, wrap a beautiful, colorful scarf around your neck or wear a fabulously colorful necklace. Call attention to the smallest part of your body, such as your small waist, with a belt.  And adorn those gorgeous feet with bejeweled, strappy sandals!

Tip #3 - Divide your body into pleasing proportions.

Our bodies actually measure eight head lengths.  Really!  Take a tape measure and measure from the top of your head to your chin. That's your head length.  You are three head lengths from the top of your head to your waist, and five head lengths from your waist to your feet.  

A pleasing proportion to wear is 2:3, or 2 head lengths from shoulder to waist, and 3 head lengths from waist to knees.  A dress with a belted or tucked waist, or a blouse and skirt combination  follows this 2:3 proportion.  The dividing line of the outfit falls at the waist and draws attention there. 

Generally, it is more attractive and interesting to wear outfits that divide your body into thirds, not in half.  See the example to the right.  You can use color, horizontal lines or different shapes to demarcate between sections.

Have fun trying different proportions.  The goal is to visually alter your body proportions and create an illusion of perfect proportions with your clothing. 


Fall 2013 Trends for Women

Fall is already here, and the fashion magazines are two inches thick with "What to Wear Now" advice for women.  They want to get you excited to go out and buy NEW clothes and accessories, and you can do exactly that -- even on a tight budget!  Bottom line, ladies, continue to wear what looks good on you, and let the other trends go.  The key is to wear clothes that give you an elongated body, complement your coloring, and bring you comfort and joy.

Not all the new Fall looks and colors (emerald green, charcoal grey, hot pink) are going to look great on you, so you need to be selective when you adopt the new trends. 

And if money is a little tight for you right now, choose one new trend and go hunting for it in consignment and thrift stores:

Winter white and, of course, black, is hot this fall.  Remember my viewpoint on black?  It's not for everyone, but everyone has their own version of black.  Pantone's fall fashion colors range from Mykonos blue to Acai purple to Vivacious hot pink.  For those who are familiar with the True Color palettes, Mykonos blue looks great on COPPERS and PLATINUMS, but it has a wide appeal so try it on. Acai purple looks great on everyone (depending upon the tone). Vivacious pinks and emerald green are best on a SILVER.  Linden green is a great GOLD color.  Samba red will make a COPPER pop!  So everyone get out there and try on the new Fall colors.


Zoe Saldana is showing off a gorgeous leather coat over skinny leather pants. Leather is really in this season, and you'll find combinations galore -- leather sleeves, leather skirts, jackets, in combination with other textures.

Sweater and Skirt Pairing

Look for cable knit, ribbed and fine gauged classic sweaters. Wear them with a feminine skirt be it a slim pencil skirt or a flirty full skirt. What's makes this look new is a mix of the casualness of a sweater with an ultra feminine skirt. Hot tip: Borrow your boyfreind's cable knit sweater and wear it with your most feminine skirt!"
Look for cable knit, ribbed and fine gauged classic sweaters. Wear them with a feminine skirt be it a slim pencil skirt or a flirty full skirt. What's makes this look new is a mix of the casualness of a sweater with an ultra feminine skirt. Hot tip: Borrow your boyfreind's cable knit sweater and wear it with your most feminine skirt!"
Reminiscent of the 1940's oversized look, the best look is a chunky, cable sweater over a feminine, flowy skirt.  Play with the texture combinations, but keep it monochromatic or muted to give it a chic look.  What makes this look new and fresh is a mix of the casual sweater with an ultra feminine skirt.  Hot tip:  borrow your husband's cable knit sweater!  Be aware of your body shape, and don't wear boxy sweaters that add weight. 


This is such a put-together, flattering sophisticated look that plays up your waist.  The length, volume, drape and choice of fabric of the ruffle makes a difference. Here are some tips for different body types:
  • If you're short, choose peplum with less volume, a single color will help lengthen your frame
  • Boyish figure, structured or flared peplums create curves
  • If you have a slight tummy, choose a slightly higher waisted peplum with a streamlined, soft ruffle.
    choose peplum with less volume if you’re on the shorter side; the width of the flare should, ideally, be eight inches or less. A single colour outfit will also help lengthen your frame - See more at:

Faux fur
They're everywhere!  Check out Express, Old Navy, Piperlime, and even your local thrift store (I picked up a short faux fur vest at my local Goodwill in perfect condition!). Oversized, inspired by menswear. These animal-friendly vests can be layered over t-shirts to dresses and keep you snuggly warm!

Mixed and Matched Textures

Finally, tweed is back!  All you COPPERS out there, pay attention and go shopping.  They're mixing all sorts of textures, from leather, lace, wool, knits, tweeds, and furs.  This gives you a definite statement look, so take it easy!  My advice is to layer your looks tastefully, like this Marissa Webb tweedy short-sleeved tee, edged with leather details, worn over a silk blouse.