When you search for articles about style and stocking your wardrobe with the classic basics, you will see select pieces mentioned almost every time. Some of those “Must-Have Items” decidedly do not work for me. Today, I will debunk the myth that every woman must have these items in her wardrobe, using myself as an example to explain why they don’t work for everyone. None of us is perfect, but wearing our best choices can help to take the attention away from our least favorite bits.
1. A plain white tee.
The problem with this one is that it is usually has a round crew neckline with short sleeves, which highlights the fact that I have a roundish puffy face. A tee-shirt with a short sleeve cannot be layered because those sleeves will show through and cause lumps under the sleeves of what you wear over the tee. A better choice for me would be a low scoop neck tank in a sleek fabric that stands away from my body rather than clinging to it. Chico’s Microfiber Contemporary Tanks serve me well all year round. Unlike slub cotton or ribbed knits, which are thinner and cling to everything on the way down, these have a heft to them and skim rather than cling to every dimple and roll. I go up a size in tank tops and button-front shirts to avoid pulling across the bust. The sleeves and armholes may be too long or too big, but I usually roll up sleeves a few times, and I never take my jacket off when wearing a tank.
2. A white button-front shirt.
A collared shirt is also not my best choice. Unless I leave several top buttons open, I am closing up the neckline and creating a roundish effect. The problem with leaving a few buttons open is that my ample bust is more than likely to pop a few more of those buttons open. This means I might be striding confidently through the airport terminal with my blouse open to mid-torso without realizing it. (Yes, that happened!) A better option would be the white tank top mentioned above under the white shirt and leave it mostly open and turn up the sleeves.
3. A tan trench coat.
First, the color is totally wrong for me. Second, all those tabs, buttons, epaulets, and the double-breasted effect with a belt are all wrong for my shape. They add bulk and details where I want verticle lines and smooth, sleek, simple closures. No more than two buttons with a deep V neckline is my best option for a coat style. Black, charcoal, or deep navy are much better color options for me.
4. A little black dress.
You lost me at dress. My legs have an OK shape, but the left one looks like a roadmap. I would rather not show that off even in pantyhose. Three silky black pieces, including straight fitting pants and an understated necklace, serve me much better than a dress, and I am so much more comfortable. The only dress I own is a black tank dress, which is long with a high slit. I can dress it up or down and layer over it.
5. Ballet Flats.
These shoes are just wrong for me, from the shape of the round toes to the very flat soles. A fellow once told me that I would be walking on my ankles if my feet were any smaller. I need a shoe with more visual weight than a ballet flat to balance my feet with my body.
6. Knee High-Boots.
Not with these wide calves! I prefer a short bootie style or an over-the-knee style with an accommodating wide elastic band at the back.
7. Khaki Trousers.
I have bought many pairs of khaki pants, but they never look or feel right on my body. Straight fitting pants are the only options that work with my shape. Pleats in front are a disastrous look for me. A good pair of straight leg white jeans is a much better color, fabric, and style option.
We went out to dinner on Friday evening, and I wore a long extender tank under a sparkly top (both by Clara Sunwoo) with slim-fitting black pants (by Lior Paris). These three items were gifts from ShopMyFairLady.com. A reversible animal print ruana was layered over the tops. The gold clutch and the ruana were gifts from Chico’s. The statement rhinestone earrings are by Ralph Lauren via Dillard’s.
We spent a long blissful weekend sitting in front of the fire, reading, and having homemade vegetable soup for lunch. I hope you had a safe and happy New Year’s celebration as well. Cheers! Happy 2018!