If I had a dollar for every question that comes in about why I don’t wear dresses or skirts, I could retire to the French Riviera. I’m exaggerating slightly, but I do get asked about wearing dresses very often.
I distinctly remember the announcement over the loudspeakers in eighth grade, “Girls are now allowed to wear pants to school.” I was thrilled because the previous rules forced me to fit into a garment not made for my body. Even at thirteen years old, I knew I looked frumpy in almost every style of skirt or dress unless they stopped at mid-thigh. (Not today!)
Wide-leg pants, gauchos, or culottes are a “dress” compromise for women built like me. When your top half is a size ten on a good day, and your bottom half is a size four on that same day, a dress will only succeed in making you look like you are wearing a tent.
Styling and fashion is fundamentally smoke and mirrors.
I use myself as an example because I hope that by honestly sharing my fit and style challenges, I can help you discover what suits your shape and style personality. The cool girls figured this out in high school or maybe the college years, the rest of us took the next forty years to discover what works best for us.
Today, I’m showing you the dresses and or skirts I’ve owned in the last decade. The skirt below is at least fifteen years old. Dark neutral colors are magical since they form a backdrop for anything else in my wardrobe.
Let’s address short legs with lots of broken veins and thick calves. Why would anyone want to show off their worst features while hiding the best part of their legs? My calves are almost as thick as my thighs. ( 19″ thighs, 16″ calves!)
When I wear straight leg dark jeans with dark pointed toe shoes or boots, and a cropped jacket, it gives the illusion that I am six feet tall and weigh much less than I do. The structure and style of great fitting jeans act as a full body slimmer. Bingo!
I know from living near New Orleans and spending lots of time in Florida, that dresses are the most comfortable option for tropical weather. With that in mind, I made a few recent purchases to wear while I am enjoying as much time as possible in the deep south.
I want to share these items with you now because when we need them, they will be sold out. That’s how retail works! (Swimsuits in January and winter coats in August.)
The tank dress above is available in navy or black. Style it with a cropped denim jacket, scarves, or a light color cotton cardigan. (Please imagine it with nude wedge sandals!) I bought the navy dress above here.
Any garment in wine, Bordeaux, or plum speaks to me. It is a vibrant neutral color that is universally flattering and feminine for almost every woman. I purchased this dress here in Blackberry Wine, Misses size small. (It is available in several colors as well as petites, talls and plus sizes.) I will enjoy wearing it all year round for the next decade. It is the perfect feminine foundation to wear with jackets, cashmere sweaters, and ruanas.
I also purchased the above maxi skirt here. It will look super with a V-neck cashmere sweater, a denim jacket, or a moto-style jacket.
The skirt and dresses above were selected because they skim the body without adding bulk from styling details. Seams, ruffles, gathers, or pleats add unnecessary girth unless strategically placed.
You will see me style all these purchases with moto, denim, or other types of short jackets or cashmere cardigans in the future. I wanted you to have a chance to buy them before they sell out.
I’m happy to share why I chose these new purchases. Note that they give me the option of wearing a close-fitting cropped jacket, cardigan, or button-front shirt tied near the waist. Cropped jackets provide the illusion of a more slender waist than the one I possess. My styling goal is always to minimize my top half while elongating my legs. These dress and skirt styles skim the body without adding bulk around the middle or at the bust.
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