AKG

Posts Tagged ‘rules’

‘Tops’ for the Petite & Hourglass (Part 3)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Shopping, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The hourglass figure is what many stylists and women aim to emulate. While this is true, hourglass figures can quickly end up looking askew – top-heavy, shapeless, or bottom-heavy – if the clothing is not chosen correctly.

You wear ‘tops’ & blouses with jeans, skirts, shorts, pants, leggings, and more. Let’s look at the attributes of the blouses that will be sexiest or most slimming for an hourglass figure. All of these qualities are based on these ideas:

  1. The top should not have elements over-emphasize your bust or shoulders. Remember, you want to dress so that your top and bottom are balanced – not top-heavy.
  2. It should elongate your neckline as much as possible.
  3. It should end above the widest part of your hips. You gain a few pounds when the top ends at your hips because you lose your waist. Tops and jackets that come to the top of your hip bone are the most flattering for the hourglass body type.From “On Nine Rules  – ‘Tops’ for the Inverted Triangle”, the rules are similar except for Rule #8. Because hourglass shapes have curvy hips, tops that extend past the hips will not slim hourglass shapes down the way they will an inverted triangle. Shorter blouses are actually preferred to better define the waist. Petites, shorter tops will also lengthen your legs. 
  4. It shouldn’t be too loose, that you look shapeless. It should flow with your natural shape. Baggier is not better.
  5. Make sure your waist is defined. Define your waist. Define your waist. I cannot stress this enough. Consider this: without waist definition, you look heavier than you actually are. And who wants that?
  6. Fabrics with a finer gauge are less bulky, especially for curvier hourglass figures. However, thicker fabrics camouflage problem areas where clingy knits emphasize. Generally, favor fabrics with body – no flimsy fabrics. Whether the fabric is fine or thick, balance your top & bottom.
Tops & blouses for the petite & hourglass

Tops & blouses for the petite & hourglass – look for the rules in what these petite and tall hourglass figures are wearing

Based on the rules, AVOID these features.

  • Do not – I repeat – Do NOT wear tops with gaps open between buttons or tops that cling to any lumps/bumps (most of us have them, if not all). Make this a pledge, and also pledge to wear fitted tops that allow you to move freely.
  • Large ruffles
  • Puffy sleeves
  • Thick shoulder pads (think 40s and 80s) – think subtle Balmain-style slightly extended shoulders, if anything.
  • Over-emphasized cowl necklines (a little bit is alright)
  • Straight-shapeless cuts
  • Length ending at the widest part of your hips
  • If sleeveless, no spaghetti straps if you’re busty – they will make your shoulders look wider.
  • Large prints
  • Baby doll styling
  • Sleeves that widen below the elbow will add inches to your midsection.
  • Steer away from turtlenecks as much as possible.

LIKE these features in blouses:

  • V-necklines show off your collarbone = sexy. (Layer a tee or camisole underneath if busty and cleavage is inappropriate)
  • U-necklines
  • Scoop necklines
  • Sweetheart necklines
  • Surplice construction
  • Wrap styling
  • Semi-fitted/Close-fitted styling (looks especially great with a fitted waist and full skirt)
  • Small prints
  • Solid color
  • Princess Seaming (will accentuate your waist)
  • If sleeveless or one-shoulder, choose straps that are proportionate to your size. Also, choose this sleeveless-ness based on personal preference, cultural reference, tonal quality of your upper arms and the climate.
  • Nipped in the waist
  • 3/4 sleeves are less bulky than full length sleeves.
  • Full empire waists are definitely a bad idea – but empire waist tops that hug your chest and flare out over your torso will look good if you replicate a kind of A-line skirt under the bust seam.

All that being said, look for pieces in your wardrobe, and then add pieces into your wardrobe. Check for oxford shirts, basic tees, camisoles, sweaters (v-necks), bowed blouses. and then more. Most importantly, have some fun!

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 Nine Rules – ‘Tops’ for the Inverted Triangle (Part 4)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

They say every gift comes with a curse. While the inverted triangle is often gifted with long legs and an ample bust, the inverted triangle (especially the petite) is “cursed” with a short torso and a lack of curve at the hips. So Rule #1? An inverted triangle must define the waist. This is key for ‘tops’ – by which I mean pieces for the upper body: blouses, shirts, dresses, sweaters, and jackets. Examples are: flare hems; nipped and waist paneled styles; belted outerwear; vertically pleated styles; wrap styles such as wrap cardigans and sweaters. Waist-defining pieces will also add curves to your hips.

Indian Kurtas, as Soumya Parker correctly notes, are a very forgiving choice of clothing. A kurta is typically a loose tunic shirt worn in India – it may be collarless, or with collar. Worn at a hip to knee length and form-fitted, kurtas soften the shoulders and nip in at the waist to create a cleanly defined waist. This leads us to Rule #2. Kurtas and Western knitwear made out of cotton fabrics, linen fabrics, and/or silk fabrics with a fine gauge will be better because thick knits will add bulk to your upper body.

Rule #3. Widening necklines bad. U-neck, V-neck, and scoop necklines are good. Especially compared to the wide scoop, square, and other widening necklines, they will slim down and elongate your torso. Keeping the top relatively simple and smooth will help you avoid drawing attention to your upper body. Wider necklines must be accessorized with something slim and vertical down your chest. Try a long pendant necklace or a simply styled scarf. Rule #4. Showing more of your skin, as with a deeper neckline, will elongate your frame. There’s less contrast to visually cut you up. Conservatively, try wearing clothing similar to your skin tone or wearing a fitted camisole (also similar to your skin tone) underneath; these will give you the same long and lean look.

Rule #5: soft and drapey fabrics will soften the shoulders. Raglan, dolman, dropped shoulder point, shoulder slit and cutout sleeves will all minimize your shoulders. Try to stay away from shoulder pads and strong shoulder details, unless it’s for costume. In a professional setting, make sure your sleeves aren’t even half an inch shorter than your arms. It’ll distort the length of your arms visually to make them appear shorter. Showing off some skin makes you look longer and leaner, but not when the extra skin is your wrist in what is supposed to be a long-sleeved blouse.

Have you ever noticed that thin straps make your shoulders and upper body look relatively wider? So for sleeveless, Rule #6 – try wide or large straps, or even multiple thin straps. You could layer a few tanks in complimentary colors one on top of the other to achieve this look.

Strategically work with prints, shapes and details to make the eye go up and down. Trust me; vertical details are your best friends. And that’s rule #7. This means: Zip fronts, cable knit patterns, pleats, visible vertical stitches.

Soumya Parker mentions, “I always wear long tops or layer with a long camisole. Other wise, my torso looks too short; this, at least adds an illusion of length.” She is absolutely right. Rule # 8. When these ‘tops’ extend past your hip-line, they balance out your wide shoulders by drawing attention away from that area, as well as elongating your torso. She’s also right about putting short tops on her list of things that don’t work that well for her, unless worn with high waist jeans as a look. There are better alternate options that would balance Soumya’s body type because these both would deter from elongating the torso. Her two lists, as mentioned in On the Two Lists, already look pretty sound.

Of course. Last but not least. Rule #9. Simplicity is key. Less is more. You’ll look taller without too much fuss. This matches Soumya’s personality and style anyway – classic, simple, and fuss free.

Celebrity styles to inspire the Inverted Triangle Body Type

Celebrity styles to inspire the Inverted Triangle Body Type: try to observe the nine rules here.

AKG

On the Great Debate

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Style on January 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

No, I’m not talking about what came first – the chicken or the egg – or about how the universe was created. I’m talking about Colors vs. Neutrals.

Everyone has a list of staples. Every designer, stylist, celebrity, and/or stylish individual talks about how one can never have enough black dresses, nude or black pumps, diamond studs, etc. (I’m still working on my list.)

My question is something I’ve wondered for over a year now, and have yet to answer. Suppose someone is buying her first dress –  the first dress in her wardrobe. One would recommend that she buys an investment style – such as a sheath dress, an A line, or a cocktail dress, depending on her lifestyle and purpose. Something lacy, blingy, or an evening gown would limit the number of wears that she would get – and would probably not be a cost-effective recommendation.

This is where my question arises. Why should I recommend someone to invest in a black dress over investing in a solid red or blue sheath dress? The color, which would be decided upon based on her coloring, would be an investment that would help her stand out. If she accessorized a simple silhouette well, she could wear it to the office, an event, a cocktail party, an art gallery, a luncheon, and/or to brunch. A color may even be the beginning of the creation of her signature look.

Zooey Deschanel wears a red dress multiple times in the show, The New Girl, to many different places. Nina Ricci talks about how the “little white dress” should also be one of the staples in a closet in her book, “The One Hundred.”

My two staple trench coats are in a beautiful red, and a lovely pink. I get compliments for them every time I wear them out without fail. I’m thankful my mother recommended we buy them instead of the typical khaki and black trench coats. This is not to denigrate neutrals. I would be the last person to do that, since underneath the colorful trench coat I’m usually wearing all black, or at least mostly neutrals. Obviously, a wardrobe is going to have a mix of both, colors and neutrals. But the question about the list, and the investment dress remains.

And the great debate continues.

AKG

On the Evolution of Personal Style

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Style on November 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Prepare to laugh, and perhaps enjoy yourselves. Because I have decided that I’d like to share a secret with you all today.

Due to my background in medicine, I was never much interested in fashion or design until my second year at NIFT. In my first semester at fashion school, I learned that my mom’s red Burberry raincoat was actually a renowned classic. And that the bag she was excited about that she had to coerce me to carry was Dior’s iconic saddle.

I was, quite literally, fashion-stupid.

I spent the next few years religiously soaking up information about fashion and style from classes, books, experience, shopping, and the people/friends around me.

I realized that fashion isn’t baseless. Still, fashion and its “rules” still eluded me. Even today, I question the existence of these so-called “rules”. I’ve come to the conclusion that people have to make their own rules to a certain extent. There’s such a variance that there is no concrete definition of what’s fashionable, or stylish, or ‘classy’.

Victoria Beckham’s taste is different from Edith Head, who is different from Blake Lively, who is different from Patricia Fields, who is different from everyone else. And yet, these are all stylish women who style themselves and others very well. And the men. Have you seen the constant reinvention that is Andre Benjamin, and how different he is from George Clooney, who is different from Tom Ford? And what about the variation geographically? What’s ‘elegant’ in Paris will not be be as perfectlly ‘elegant’ for Los Angeles.

It’s enough to make one’s head spin.

Anyway, the secret? Have you ever taken a look at celebrities’ style evolution? Ever seen witnessed how wrong many well-dressed people today can be – even when on the red carpet? Take a look.

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I took an immense amount of comfort in seeing the style evolution of celebrities. People seem to be most glamorous in their early 30s. That’s when they figure out what really works for them. I was 18 when I thought this, at the beginning of my second year in fashion school.

I figured I have time to experiment. If Anne Hathaway, Eva Longoria, and Tyra Banks could look like that and decide to wear those dresses, I’m only human.

That’s the secret.

So what if I paired the wrong shoes with the wrong tshirt? Or looked completely laughable because I matched my green shoes to a blue bag? Trial-and-error was the only way I’d learn. And people had looked funnier in the past, on-camera! Obviously, even the Greats have had their questionable days.

My friends could tell you stories for hours (but they won’t because they’re good friends) about my more than questionable fashion choices. So far I’ve decided that I like the word ‘classy’ more than ‘experimental’, and have slowly found myself becoming more and more so. This “secret”, this decision I made has helped me immensely in slowly, but surely, finding my style. I hope it might help you.

AKG

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