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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spiffy Today...




"I find it a great antidote... lipstick and mirrors and hairspray."
Joanna Lumley


So you get dressed one morning, head out the front door on your way to an unremarkably normal day.  Except that all day long everyone says to you ‘you look great today!’  ‘Have you lost weight?’ ‘Are you working out?’ ‘Did you change your hair color?’ and so on.  You look in the mirror, and they’re right- you do look good today.  Unusually good.  As the day goes on your confidence grows.
The next day, buoyed by all the good feedback from the day before, you dress a little more carefully- it’s nice being complimented.  But instead of more compliments, no one says anything.  Except the guy in the next office- he asks if you had a late night last night? No, why? you ask- you look tired, he says. 
What went wrong? 
The thing is, if you don’t know why you looked good the day you got all the compliments, short of wearing the same outfit every day you’re powerless to recreate the experience.  It was just a happy accident.  But if you know what colors and design lines make you look your best, then you can make this happen every day.
Many of us are aware which color family we look our best in- warm or cool colors (orange or blue, for example.) But have you paid any attention to whether you look good in the bright or muted versions of these colors?  If not, then go to a mirror with good lighting, no makeup on and hair pulled back and try putting both a bright and muted version of one of your best colors near your face. You’ll soon have your answer.
Now onto design lines- ie: ‘styles’ of clothing- the ‘shapes’ of various clothes.  Maybe you’ve always loved long, gathered, flow-ey skirts; but it may be the case that your proportions aren’t good for these skirts.  Again, at a full length mirror with good lighting really look at yourself in said skirt.  Now look at yourself a different kind of skirt- it may be that if you’re short a shorter, more tailored skirt will flatter your shape more.  (My mother had a long, gathered skirt that always made her look like an upside down mushroom.  Not a good look on anyone.) You can find skirts that have the ‘romantic’ feel of the flow-ey skirt, but in a less bulky version.  A shorter, bias cut skirt in a sensual fabric, for example.  There are always ways to suit your aesthetic preferences and still create a pleasing visual balance with your figure.
I’m not big on sweeping, generalized statements like ‘if you have curvy hips you should wear pants with flair at the bottom’ because my experience has been that all your proportions have to be taken into account before knowing if you look good in pants that have flair at the bottom. Or any other style of pants, for that matter.
You have to be willing to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.  It’s worth it!
After all, it’s nice to get compliments.
Oh- and a couple of simple rules to think about as well; clothes that are too big make you look bigger.  Clothes that are too small make you look bigger.  Doesn’t seem fair, but it is true.  Fit is as important as knowing what colors and designs look good on you.
Happy dressing! :-)