Kathleen is a “graduate” of my Craftsy.com video class about wardrobe development. She immediately started out to develop her perfect Capsule Wardrobe and I thought you’d like to peek in on her progress, especially since she was kind enough to share some terrific collages of her selections. Kathleen is an avid sewing enthusiast, but her process should be just as instructive and inspiring to readers who buy their clothing ready-made. Here is her styling story …
Cecile emailed from the Netherlands with some concerns about the early steps of updating her wardrobe. She had taken my wardrobing class on Craftsy.com and was starting to apply the information to her own closet.
Cecile: After sorting my wardrobe I found that all colors that are even a little bit cool or lighter than my skin are unflattering. I love the remaining colors : dark brown, aubergine, dark red, dark, fiery orange and moss green, but after removing all the blues, light greens, greys and pinks I worry that the remaining color scheme might become boring … how do I keep things interesting?
What’s a woman to do?
I’ll suppress the impulse to recommend bicep curls – since I’m not signing up for them either.
Fortunately there’s a much easier solution, with a catchy name: Sleevey Wonders.
Many women – and especially those clients who want to highlight their green eyes – can build great wardrobe groupings around a Core Four in dark (and not too yellow-y) sage green. But we are usually frustrated by the total lack of that color in the retail marketplace. If you are one of those gals you’ll want to run – not walk – to your nearest Talbots store and grab coordinates in that color before they sell out. And grab some great accent pieces and linking accessories too.
First let’s consider horizontal stripes. Bold rugby-style stripes – especially in even spacing with bright colors like these and high-contrast combinations – can indeed draw the viewer’s eye across your body. But if you want to make your top half look more filled out to balance wider hips, that can be a good thing, not a bad one.
Of all the directions design line can move … diagonals may just be the most figure flattering. Graceful and sensual, they lead the viewer’s eye gently across your body and away from any figure challenges while adding visual interest to a basic silhouette. Each garment below takes advantage of diagonal lines to create the illusion of a smaller waistline and a shaplier figure.
Important Note: the closer a diagonal is toward vertical the more slimming it is likely to be. The closer to horizontal … not so much. Look for diagonal lines that create at least a 45-degree angle across your body.
While most women scrupulously avoid any and all horizontal stripes — unnecessarily in my opinion, but more on that another day — we often overlook other horizontals design elements — especially those low on the body — that can sneak up and saboutage a look.
Hemlines form unexpected horizontal lines, and the fuller the skirt, pant leg or top, the more horizontal the effect. Keeping garments narrower, dressing in color (or color value) columns and color-toning hosiery to the garment can minimize that widening effect.
Any area, divided vertically, looks narrower. That’s why vertical design lines are such a powerful way to look taller and trimmer in your clothes. A vertical can extend the length of your entire look, or can be used just on the parts you’d like to visually narrow.
The vertical strip of red sweater showing between the front edges of Donna’s jacket minimize the width of her upper body and make her inverted triangle figure look more balanced. That is one of the things that makes me such a fan of 2-layer sop combinations.
If your “get ready for summer” diet hasn’t quite gotten you to your ideal weight yet – take heart. This week’s lesson will show you simple dressing tricks to make you look at least 10 pounds thinner … instantly.
Most of these tricks apply to all the body types, so whether you’re an hourglass, triangle, rectangle, inverted or circle – get set to look and feel more sleek and svelte TODAY!
But first you may want to let go of a few things you already “know” about dressing slim – ‘cause they may not be as valuable as you have been led to believe.