Episode 61: Dress To Impress: How To Dress For Your Body
Do you ever just look at fashion bloggers on Instagram or stare at a really trendy girl in a coffee shop and think “how did you learn to dress so cute?” Yeah, us too. We may not be fashion bloggers, but we have learned a thing or two about fashion and shopping since the bleak days of layering Old Navy tank tops with our flared jeans and calling that “style.” This week we’re sharing our top tips for finding clothes that work for you, where to invest and where to skimp, and maybe sharing a few fashion mishaps along the way.
- Invest in quality basics, go cheaper for trends. Meaning, buy your staple black t-shirt at Nordstrom and get your floral bell sleeve crop top at Target. Also, don't buy a floral bell crop top, please.
- Similarly, resist the urge to be trendy unless that trend works for you. If you can pull off an off the shoulder top, then sister, work it. But if you can't, we give you the same advice Regina George gave Gretchen Weiners when it came to trying to make fetch happen: stop trying to make it happen, it's just not going to happen.
- To echo that sentiment, know your body type and recognize what looks good on you and what to avoid. As a tall, curvy, broad shouldered gal, I've accepted the fact that I can't pull off a t-shirt and boyfriend jeans and look like a petite, dainty, wisp of a girl who just threw on her boyfriend's clothes and looks adorable. I also can't wear an off the shoulder top and look beachy chic. I can, however, rock a pair of jean shorts or a v-neck shirt like some people can't. Embrace what works for you and let other people flaunt what works for them.
- Said another way, accentuate your exceptional body parts and draw away from the ones you don't want noticed. Use the shape and color of your clothing to your advantage.
- Cultivate a personal style and let that guide your purchasing and dressing decisions. Much like Buddy The Elf, I stick to the 4 main food groups... I mean, clothing groups. Black, gray, white, and pink. I love a solid colored shirt and jeans, some simple earrings or a necklace, and a swipe of lipstick. This sounds simple, but embracing my style has been revolutionary for me. I used to try to plan my outfits around who I would be around so I could conform to their standard of beauty, but as I've gotten older I've learned to lean into the style that I like. Not only has that saved me money from trying to buy clothes I'll only wear one time, I actually feel confident when I get dressed because I'm wearing what I like. Imagine that.
- Use accessories to your benefit. Cinch that belt around your waist to draw attention to your waistline. If you have a longer face, wear a choker to make your face appear shorter. Offset the shape of your face with a contrasting shape of glasses. There are so many ways to accentuate your best features and draw attention away from those you want to downplay, use them to your advantage.
- Mentally create at least 3 outfits with a piece before you buy it to ensure you'll get your money's worth. A leading cause of feeling like you have nothing to wear is having a closet stuffed full of clothes you bought for one occasion. Utilize the closet purge tips from episode 59 so you're able to clearly envision what you have. Then, the next time you're browsing the racks at TJ Maxx, you'll easily be able to take a mental inventory of what you have to work with and know if this new shirt will work with items you already have.
- Buy the bigger size. I don't think you heard me, so I'm going to say it again: BUY THE BIGGER SIZE. Meagan Bertoni touched on this in episode 24 with her white shorts anecdote, but this is such a tough concept to grasp. We cling to the size we were in high school or the size we were before we had kids and set ourselves up for emotional turmoil every time we try to squeeze into that old pair of pants that just don't fit anymore. This is something we know intellectually but can get so tied up in emotionally. Remember, no one knows what size you are except for you. Buying the next size up and being able to breathe comfortably instead of forcing yourself into the size 6 jeans and having to secretly unbutton your pants at the dinner table because you're afraid you're going to pop a button is SUCH a freeing feeling.
- Invest in a good bra. You could be having a great hair day, your make up is on point, and your outfit is totally Instagrammable, and it could all be ruined by the gaping strapless bra you have on under your scoop neck top. Not that I know this from experience or anything... it can feel like a bit of a bore to invest in quality under garments, but it truly will make such a huge difference.
- And while you're buying that bra, go ahead and pick yourself up a pair of Spanx. Yes, you'll like feel like your insides are being squeezed out of you, but it's going to keep everything nice and tight and smooth and you'll feel more put together. You don't have to buy Spanx brand, per se, but after you listen to Sara Blakely on How I Built This, you'll want to support her and everything she does.