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Fashion Formulas – Making Style Simple

I was kvetching (complaining) to a friend the other day that I seem to buy, sew and wear the same things over and over.  Then I suddenly realized that’s not a bad thing!  We all have certain colors, styles, etc. that look best on us — so why would we choose less-enhancing ones just for the sake of variety?  Let’s stop thinking of it as “being in a rut” and think of it as “finding my groove”.  I’ll show you mine if you’ll reply and show me yours …

Being an hourglass shape, on the short side, busty and a bit chunky, all my formulas are geared to be body-conscious and have vertical emphasis. If you are a different body type, of course your formulas will be different, but I’m betting you’ll spot some patterns when you look in your closet — at least in the things you most often choose to wear.

For me, Formula #1 is the shaped dress.  I love the way a dress makes me look polished and is still as comfy as my favorite PJs.  I do that formula in two variations – the first is jersey print with some drape for camouflage and a surplice/wrap bodice to minimize my bustline. They aren’t always easy to find, so when I spotted several in my color range this spring I stocked up, suspecting that they won’t be as prevalent next year:

 

These 3 are ready-to-wear; I’m still searching for the perfect pattern to sew my own.  Check a review of  my best attempt HERE if sewing is your thing.  BTW – can you see how the green one in the middle isn’t quite as good on me because the color isn’t quite as strong as the other two?  More on that HERE.

My second variation on Formula #1 is a basic sheath dress with some sort of vertical detailing to break up visual width and elongate my stature.  The ones below I sewed myself from our ST Ponte knit – read details  HERE and HERE if you’re interested.  Talbots and Ann Taylor are my go-to for ready-made sheaths for clients. 

For casual looks, Formula #2 is a skinny bottom – pants, stretch jeans or a tapered pencil skirt – with an under-layer shell and a lightweight cardigan over — ideally duster length or with a shaped hemline.  The open edge of the duster makes an emphatic vertical and the length gives me a stronger presence somehow (makes me feel like a tall girl, maybe?) and the body-skimming bottom and lightweight top avoid adding any bulk.  I try for color continuity between the bottom garment and either the shell or the cardigan (these were photographed over a black legging and shell to showcase the sweaters) and add an attention-grabbing scarf or necklace to anchor attention up near the face.

Now it’s YOUR turn!  What’s your body type, what fashion formulas work best for you and WHY?  I really want to hear, so snap a selfie and email me – [email protected]  Can’t wait to share all your collective brilliance in a new post soon.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

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