AKG

Posts Tagged ‘fit’

On Dressing Hourglass Legs (Part 4)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 26, 2012 at 3:39 am

You could forget everything else as long as you remember these few rules:

  1. It’s important to CINCH and/or HIGHLIGHT the waist.
  2. For pants, and skirts, and dress bottoms – remember the goal, after waist definition, is to LENGTHEN. Wear heels to lengthen, or wear washes, prints, or pinstripe pants to lengthen. There are numerous ways.
  3. Streamline your silhouette, especially with fabric just flowing over to help the eye move up & down vertically.
  4. BALANCE is key. Not only do you want to balance your top and bottom, you want to make sure your pants are neither  baggy, nor “painted-on”. If you wear volume in one place, balance it off with a slimmer-fitting pieces.
  5. Dark shades and washes will help you look leaner. They minimize the lower half. Avoid versions that are bleached on the thighs.

Pants/Jeans/Trousers Styling

  • I love bootcut pants – trousers and denim. Not only is this style universally flattering, it accentuates the skinniness of an hourglass waist while simultaneously balancing top volume with the subtle flair it creates around the feet. Pairing heeled pumps, or booties with it will take off a few more visual pounds.
  • Mid-rise jeans are very flattering, while high-cut vs. low-cut circle in and out through fashion. Low-rise jeans may make hips look wider/legs shorter – so style with caution there. Add an attractive belt, especially with high-waist trousers to draw attention to the waist. Make sure the waistline is fitted to avoid the gaping waist problem.
  • Straight jeans will accentuate wide hips more. Whether that’s a look you prefer, relative to your upper half dressing is a personal style choice.
  • Tapered leg cut jeans are flattering when you want the eyes drawn to shapely hips, to accentuate curviness. They are also preferable for the petite hourglass, while the wide leg/flared (more than the bootcut) styles are better for taller hourglass figures.
  • Try skinny jeans tucked into knee-high boots (especially if the  boots have heels) – your legs will look longer, and this will balance your hips.
  • DO NOT wear denim without stretch. Make sure you can sit, jump, stand, hop, walk, run in the jeans before you commit.
  • Fabric in thick wools or bulky denim can widen the hourglass frame. LIKE fabrics that are drape-y – they should glide down the widest part of our hips. Clingy, spandex-cotton blend fabrics can also help for extra fitting.
Bottoms for the Petite & Hourglass

Bottoms for the petite & hourglass – take inspiration from what these petite and tall hourglass figures are wearing

Skirts/Dress Bottoms – use the rules above + these:

  • A line and pencil skirts are your best friends!! (See Scarlett Johansson)
  • Voluminous tulip and full circle cuts, especially when high waisted are great styles – just make sure that you’re balancing volume on bottom with fit on top. Dita Von Teese ^ does this beautifully.
  • Softer fabrics will love you. Stiff = boxy = non-flattering.

and you thought this was going to be hard..

AKG

On Rules for the Petite & Hourglass (Part 2)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

The rule-breakers in fashion are the ones that are often the most stylish. Wearing white after Labor Day. Wearing black to weddings. Wearing fun flattering clothes. Getting cute accessories, bags, and shoes that are stylish in solid, good-looking materials other than leather. All of these are rules we no longer have to worry about thanks to stylish women who decided to break them.

That being said, nobody knows the rules better than the stylish women, and they know exactly why and how they are breaking them. Let’s look at the rules for the hourglass body type!

1) A waist is a terrible thing to waste. And hourglass figures must make sure that their waist is always the focal point. Belt it, cinch it, wrap it, corset it – do whatever you have to do to showcase your waist.

2) Especially true for curvy hourglass figures, Do Not Go Baggy. Big shapes will only make you look bigger. Boxy shapes must be balanced with something drapey – otherwise, you will look bulkier than you are. If only I understood this in high school…

3) Choose figure flattering fabrics. Drapey, soft fabrics with a bit of stretch really accentuate and flow with your curves. Also, take into account the weather. It doesn’t matter how great you look if you’re going to be uncomfortable all day.

Meha Bhargava says, “Delhi weather cant do without Cottons and Linens.”

4) The art of camouflage. This actually helps in dressing in a fun way too. Strategically wear darker colors in the parts of your body you want to minimize. Use lighter, shinier ones to highlight.

5) V-necks. You need this slimming neckline, especially if you’re busty.

6) Keep details balanced in the upper and lower garments – you need to make the most of your curves without overemphasizing them.

Specifically, here are rules that the petite must be especially aware of.

1) Look taller and you’ll look thinner. Heels spread your weight out over a longer frame – making you look taller. Always own a pair of comfortable nude pumps perfectly matched to your skin.

“Being short, heels are my pseudo height. I swear by them and proudly own a massive closet full of shoes!”

~Meha Bhargava

2) Elongate the figure with vertical lines.

3) Oversized tops, too-long skirts that hit you mid-calf – Say Never!

4) Make monochromatic dressing fun by adding prints and varying shades of the same hue/tone. It will flatter you, make you look taller, and showcase your style & personality.

5) Small prints are always better for petite figures. Leave the large prints for your upholstery and bedding.

Now that you knows these basic rules, go have some fun! =)

Rules for the petite & hourglass

Rules for the petite & hourglass

AKG

On the Petite Hourglass (Part 1)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 16, 2012 at 2:39 am

Petite is not size 0. Petite is not skinny, nor is petite equivalent to small-boned.

“Petite” means shorter than 5’4″ because petite designs are made for women of that stature. Wearing petite clothing (if you are petite) means no more baggy dress tops, jeans and pants that aren’t dragging past your heels without hemming – clothes fit much better when the length is taken into account. It is also important for people who are taller than the standard height (5’4″) to take into account that they may have a petite torso or petite legs.

The basic petite figure types are similar to the body shapes listed in On the Inverted Triangle (Part 1), only shorter. There are petite inverted triangles, triangles, rectangles, pears, apples, and more.

Meha’s like a shorter Kate Winslet or legendary Marilyn Monroe. Many famous celebrities today are ‘petite': Salma Hayek, Rachael Ray, Dolly Parton, Eva Longoria, the Olsen twins, and even Kim Kardashian!

Specifically, Meha Bhargava has a petite hourglass figure, which women often try to emulate with clothing.

Here’s a checklist for you – are you an hourglass figure? It’s the same checklist, whether you’re petite or not.

  • The hourglass shape is equally balanced on top and bottom.
  • Most people assume they should measure their hips and bust, and forget to take their shoulder-width into account.
  • Hourglass figures gain or lose weight equally throughout their body. Lucky lucky.
  • Typically, the difference between the hip and waist measurement is more than 8″.
  • Relatively curvy hips and thighs.
  • A naturally defined waist, however long or short it may be.
  • There’s a huge misconception that you must have a large bust to be an hourglass figure. There are skinny, average, and curvy hourglass figures — it’s all about the relative size of your bust and waist.
Petite Hourglass Body Type

The Petite Hourglass Body Type

With a curvy petite hourglass figures, it becomes even more important to give definition to the waist – something Meha does fabulously. We’ll learn more from her in the upcoming posts.

AKG

On Bottoms for the Inverted Triangle (Part 3)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Inverted Triangles are lucky, that pants and jeans are primed for narrow hips and thighs. ALL, All kinds of bottoms look good on you, and there is so much space for experimentation. So you must experiment to find what you like, Miss Parker! The goal, again, is to build up your bottom to balance the upper part of your body.

Bootcut, flared, and wide leg jeans, pants, and trousers will do this for you. For more styled and in-the-moment looks, paper-bag waist, gauchos, harem pants, cargo pants, and cuffed jeans will also work.

Bottom Styles for the Inverted Triangle

Bottom Styles for the Inverted Triangle - notice how ALL styles are perfect for the inverted triangle, and how each style's length and width influence the way the body shape looks & balances.
Disclaimer: Image from a Google Search - not mine

Nina Ricci recommends tucking a floral blouse (and I know my muse likes printed shirts) into paper-bag-waist trousers and maybe adding a creative thin belt to the look. Finish with heels. This way you have emphasized your waist-line, added curve to your hips, and added height with those heels. Paper-bag trousers that are tapered or are wide-leg (that will go down to cover half of your heel) will also contribute to vertical length.

Tip: If you like wearing skinny jeans, jeggings, or anything that is slim-fitted, make sure you work on minimizing your shoulders. This is because you want to avoid a toppled look. Try straight and cigarette style pants instead for events that aren’t casual – they will balance out your body shape better than skinny’s do.

AKG

On Skirts for the Inverted Triangle (Part 2)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I really love skirts – they’re such a great element of style. The same skirt can be worn to a casual lunch, to work, for shopping, or to a formal dinner, depending on the blouse, styling, accessories, shoes, and makeup. Inverted triangles often, and especially Miss Soumya Parker, have great legs. Great legs? Must wear skirts.

The first thing you should know about skirts: All types of skirts that flare from your hips, or add any visual width to your hips are best for the inverted triangle body type (Examples: Full Circle, Tulip, Peplum, Bias Cut, Tiered Skirts, snug Pencil Skirts).

Skirt Styles for the Inverted Triangle

Skirt Styles for the Inverted Triangle Body Type: Bias Cut, Peplum, Tiered, Tulip, Snug Pencil Skirt

1) As discussed in “On P for Peplum”, the peplum creates curves around your bottom. It balances your upper body and gives you great style.
2) Tulip skirts, by definition, are fuller at the hips, and narrower at the hem. They are a perfect for the petite inverted triangle, worn as a separate, or as part of a dress.
3) Maxi skirts work well for inverted triangles, but beware if you are petite. Petite girls can look like they are drowning in excessive volume in the wrong maxi or full circle skirt.
4) The length and the flounce are key here – and minimalistic is the way to go for body types like Soumya’s. When wearing a tiered or ruffled skirt, please ensure that the tiers are not too full. An interesting print or colored tulle underneath will look stylish. Also, as is commonly known, skirts that fall beyond the knee will cut you off at an awkward length and shorten you – this is something petite girls especially should stay away from. Too much fluff will also drown you.
5) For my Muse: Just make sure the flounce is controlled and a length above or just at the knee. With so many skirt options today, only go the tailored route if you must – however, if you find the absolutely perfect skirt and need to get it hemmed to make it the right length, a little tailoring never hurt anyone.
6) Basic Pencil skirts that fit snugly will make you look curvier too, especially when they are textured or patterned. Jcrew’s recent collection is full of beautiful, creative details in its pencil skirts.

Tip: Pencil Skirts with side seams that drop straight from the waist down are also a better choice – they give you curve rather than emphasizing the narrow quality of the pencil skirt. A long A-line top will also fake curvier hips.

All kinds of prints, and textures will work really well for the inverted triangle. Textures with lace, applique details, ruffles, tiers, horizontal stripes and prints, pockets, pleats, or even denim skirts will work wonders. A great trend to try wearing is the nautical trend. Kate Spade and BCBG Maxazria, both, have presented a range of styles that are perfect.

Another note for petite inverted triangles: Vertical stripes are great for the upper body. However, beware of vertical strips on the bottom half. They will make your lower half look even slimmer. While it is true that vertical stripes visually lengthen, it is better for you to lengthen by wearing a monochromatic look, or to lengthen via fit. So, definitely beware of pinstripe suiting.

Textures, Colors, and Prints for Inverted Triangles

Textures, Colors, and Prints for the Inverted Triangle Body Type

Stay tuned to learn about the bottoms, which I recognize usually come first. But I feel that skirts are a must-have investment for inverted triangles – whether they are worn with or without tights. These “rules” also apply to the dresses (their bottom halfs). Once you experiment with these “rules” and see them work for yourselves, you will intuitively start to realize what works and what doesn’t. For now, knowing about these rules will help you understand why certain pieces of clothing don’t fit as perfectly as others. And they’re a time saver.

Until next time,

AKG

On the Inverted Triangle (Part 1)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Recently, there has been an increasing awareness about body shapes and dressing for your body type. With the large amount of information in the media today, it is becoming easier to avoid falling prey to fashion. Simultaneously however, we have been bombarded with imagery telling us what is “ideal perfection”, and it becomes a process to learn to accept that you are beautiful, exactly the way you are.

Let me tell you an important not-so-unknown-secret for dressing better; if the blouse, or dress isn’t fitting right, it isn’t right for you. You don’t need to alter something about yourself; you just need to find something that is perfect for you.

And that’s where stylists, image consultants, and/or shoppers come in. They will admit to you that though very few people are a particular model body shape, everyone has characteristics of common body shapes. The trick is to be able to objectively decipher yours, and build your wardrobe accordingly.

Professionals argue there are 6 body shapes: the triangle (also known as the pear), inverted triangle, lean column, rectangle, apple, and hourglass (neat and full). Others claim there are 8, or 12. Whatever the number of shapes there may be, I am inspired by my muse, Soumya Parker, to discuss the inverted triangle body type. (The other body types will be discussed in posts later this year.) While Soumya may not be a Perfect Inverted Triangle, I believe that she is most similar to the inverted triangle.

Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Sample Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Here is the checklist to think about whether you are also similar to an inverted triangle. (Please consider these objectively.) There is no right or wrong here, or better or worse. What is wrong is dressing an apple body type with clothes meant for a rectangle shape.

1) Do you have strong looking shoulders?
2) Are said shoulders wider than your hips?
3) Do you often get compliments about your great legs?
4) Do you have less obvious waist definition?
5) Do you feel/look like you don’t have, or have a very small butt?
6) Do your hips look straight, because your shoulders are broad, or your upper body is fuller?

Often, inverted triangles may have a wide chest and a full midriff – you may need some styling tricks from the apple shape, or you may have curves that make you lean towards the hourglass shape. Whatever it may be, great styling is all about wearing the right clothes for your body type – to play up your best assets, and minimize the rest. Like the stars do. Notice how they balance their upper and lower body.

Popular inverted triangles in the media

Popular celebrities who are inverted triangles- I'd argue you're in good company.

Soumya Parker, in particular, is a petite inverted triangle. Roughly speaking, the goals are: to elongate the torso, define the waist, balance the upper and lower body, and to add shape/curve to the bottom. Once we accept these, it’s time to go have some fun.

AKG

On the Bullet Bra

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Fashion History on February 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I always thought that the conical bra came from Jean Paul Gaultier and Madonna of the 80s. I was intrigued when I found that he was inspired by the “Bullet” bra – a highly structured conically pointed bra that was popular back in the 1940s. Also known as the “Torpedo” bra, it was designed for maximum projection – it was used for the ‘Sweater Girl’ image, the image of a busty, voluminous, ‘girl next door’ whose clothes accentuated her enhanced curves. The outer and under wires were prominent in these clothes – this bra actually has history.

It had all started during World War II, when there was this idea that bras and girdles were protective, and companies often strictly enforced that workers wear bras for 3 main reasons: good taste, anatomical support, and morale. Lizabeth Scott, an actress of the 40s and 50s, remembered also for her sultry voice, was the pinnacle of the lovely Sweater girl – the camera loved her. She had a unique quality – the audience would know what her character is thinking of feeling just be seeing her – no words necessary. Of course, the conical bra became more and more wearable and was featured through many ads. Late 40s/Early 50s fashion. The postwar boom in the economy thereafter obviously saw changes in fabric, padding, colors, and more – fashions changed, and the conical bra was left behind for more comfort and a natural look.

bullet bra - 50s

Bullet Bra, as seen in the 40s and 50s

In the 80s, Madonna brought the conical bra back – and since then, there have been many interpretations of this fashion style. Featured below is the series of sketches of the costumes that Jean Paul Gaultier designed for Madonna for her Blonde Ambition Tour  in 1990 – all with the trademark of the conical bra.

Jean Paul Gaultier's sketches for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour

Jean Paul Gaultier's sketches for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour 1990 - feat. the conical bra

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour 1990 - feat. the conical bra

Rihanna by Zac Posen - Grammy Awards 2008

Rihanna by Zac Posen - Grammy Awards 2008 - reinterpretation of the conical bra

While Zac Posen for Rihanna at 2008 Grammy Awards wasn’t nearly as severe as Jean Paul Gaultier for Madonna at the Blonde Ambition Tour, it makes it more obvious that the ‘bullet’ bra is certainly inspiring, and here to stay. It’ll be interesting to see how stylists and style icons reintrepret and recreate the ‘bullet bra’ in the future. Perhaps, this may be an idea for your Halloween costume this year, or maybe this style will be seen in more street fashion? Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this piece of history as much as I did.

AKG

On The Two Lists

In On Fashion, On Luxury, On Style on January 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The fur vest will not make me look more fabulous.  I finally realized this yesterday at BCBG Maxazria, where a beautiful white fur vest that I’d been eyeing since October went on sale for an additional 20% off (off of the already 60% off) – which is quite a bit at BCBG for real fur that’s also a fashion statement. I’ve noticed that ever since I tried it on back in October, I kept putting it back on the rack. No matter what I wore, the vest would always add 10 pounds. Yuck!

At my height, with my curvy shape, I was being ridiculous by not retiring this idea. I wasn’t accepting that this is exactly the kind of trend that works really well for some people – but it’s something that will likely never make me look better. Sure, it can work if it’s a lighter vest – but even then, I have better options in fur – like the fur coat, poncho, stole, or shawl, all of which add the touch of elegance I’m looking for without ruining my shape.

The capri pant is a similar trend. Sure, cropped pants looked great on Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (but then, what didn’t look good on these two ladies?), and look good on most models. But they cut my legs off unappealingly – shorts that hit at or above the knee do so much more for me. This, I realized a long time ago, before high school (thankfully). There is also the case of choker necklaces. They make me look awful – like I’m literally being choked. The shrug, the cropped shirt, or the shirt tied at the waist, will also never work me. I’d look like I was carrying the entire weight of the world on top.

This list can go on forever – in fact, it should. We should know whether loud prints or soft prints, or big prints or small prints look better on us. We should know if slouchy fits, or fitted fits, or both, look better on us. Keep track of which trends you’ve already realized don’t work for you. Sure, they may be fun to wear to a costume event, but even then – there is a whole list of things that look better on you, no matter what. Stylists swear by this – finding what staples look good. For example, the tutu skirt looks amazing on Sarah Jessica Parker – it reappears multiple times on Sex and the City. It also looked great on Jenny from Gossip Girl (before she became Gothic) and was used to add a splash of color underneath her dresses.

I digress. These are two lists, which I think everyone should make, honestly and constructively – in our heads (or on paper).

1)What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Make Us Look Amazing.

2) What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Don’t Work Well For Us.

If and when we live by these, our wardrobe will look so much cleaner, organized, and wearable. It also gives us initiative to try something new. Soon, we’ll have a wardrobe tailored to make us look amazing. And if that’s not the point, what is?

AKG

On V For Vanity

In On Fall/Winter, On Style on December 23, 2011 at 4:10 am

I always laugh a little when I hear or read about “the biting cold” my friends and family in California or India are facing. Try -6 and -12 temperatures, on good days. The sun is so deceptive, shining through the window in your home. Believe me; it does not mean you’re in for a warm day. The Boston winter is here. More posts about beautiful warm layers upcoming. Today, is all about my discovery of A&F sweatpants.

Abercrombie & Fitch makes sweatpants that have a perfect butt fit, with a banded hem. There are options for the looser kinds. But they have these skinny and super skinny sweatpants that are warm, comfortable, AND they look good – just like leggings. Believe me. It’s sweat-pant perfection.

(Take a look here if you’re interested.)

We were walking around one evening to get some fresh air during the week before finals week when a friend of mine joked that I was being “vain” – I had refused to walk into a restaurant wearing these.

I realized then, that, – vanity, in small doses, is important. If I didn’t have a little bit of vanity, I would never want to play with my clothes, and experiment with the different ways I could wear my new black sequin dress, or my sleeveless tweed dress. I wouldn’t care about what stared me back in the mirror.

Without vanity, I wouldn’t care about any weight gain, or about a bad haircut. While I strongly dislike the men, women, girls, and/or boys who are truly vain, I appreciate modest vanity. It’s what gives people the oomph.

C’mon people, have a little a pride. Try a new hairstyle – find a new nail color. Find something that makes you feel a little brighter, something that puts a bounce in your step. Like a new shoe? Or even if it’s the new Lancôme mascara. Sample something new. I found this fur poncho, a fitted blazer with a knotted back, and wine colored shoe – all by BCBGMaxazria. I’m in love.

Find out what makes you feel better about “you”. Perhaps change the light in your bathroom? What about taking a DIY tip to your old bag or shoe? Or experimenting with new eye shadow?

There’s a world full of options – have a little fun with this tempered vanity. Like the sweat-pants, it’s perfect in small doses.

AKG

On Coats a la Carrie Bradshaw

In On Coats, On Fall/Winter on November 9, 2011 at 1:11 am

There’s a kind of magic that Carrie brings to Paris. In the last two episodes of the show finale (Season 6 was the last SaTC season before the two movies), she wears a number of spectacular outfits. I cannot even attempt to pick favorites, because each of them was fabulous. There’s a different appeal that Carrie has in Paris, in her relationship with the Russian. She is classier and  more chic relative to her more daring look during the earlier seasons. The styling of Patricia Field and the “Carrie” style is still existent, but there’s a layer of sophistication.

What inspired me today is what she wears when she goes shopping into Dior. The umbrella, the boots, the coat.

Lesson 1: If you don’t want to embarrass or hurt yourself, do not wear stiletto heel leather boots out when it’s raining. The water makes any surface slippery and unsafe to walk on. Especially find alternative chic footwear to places where you know the floor has the possibility of becoming extra slippery with water, such as places with marble/granite/tiled flooring. (Doi?) I guess that was the comedic dose of reality that SaTC needed.

Regardless…

I really draw inspiration from the way Carrie balances the volume of the heavy coats. (Picture to left) She tucks her sweetheart neckline tube top into a black pencil skirt to create a fitted silhouette underneath the coat. There are many woolen skirts available now at retailers such as J.Crew and Zara, and in all department stores. It’s a great alternative that will still keep you warm.

Winter coats add a definite bulk, but another example of how Carrie balance this is in the center picture. The signature red umbrella stays. Her beautiful polka dot dress has tulle underneath. To balance this volume on the bottom, Patricia Fields draws the eye upward to the brooch/button at the neckline, and has a very fitted upper half.

 

I would like to add that my approach to these pictures is an example of the fact that not only does everyone see fashion differently, but the same person will see fashion differently over time. The last time I saw the show was over a year ago, and I distinctly remember that my focus during this episode was not on the belts or the volume. I don’t even think I necessarily noticed those things as much; I was more taken by elements such as color and tulle. As we change, so does our take on style and inspiration.

AKG

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