Guidelines help us make the most of our shapes and wardrobe budgets, so I prefer to work with style guidelines instead of strict rules. As a visual tool, I created a collage of a few favorite looks showing my style guide put to use. Please keep reading to learn how I apply these tips to save money and dress comfortably with minimal effort for any season or situation.
Long ago, I learned that gathers, front ruffles, and fabrics with lots of texture never worked in my favor. Based on my body’s silhouette, some tips are best consistently applied. My shoulders are the widest part, and the bust is fuller than the hips. My inverted triangle shape also includes a short thick waist, straight hips, flat behind, full calves, and short legs. This explains why wearing a jumpsuit has never been a good look and pant legs are always too long. Realistically analyzing your shape is helpful because dressing in harmony with your form and features allows you to capitalize on your best attributes.
I avoid design details that exaggerate or draw attention to areas I do not want to bring to focus. The sketch below includes tips I use to build outfits that look best on my features and shape.
Hemlines are usually straight lines that draw the eye to the point where they land, so I keep that in mind no matter where on the body the hemline is. For example, I avoid anything with a line across the bust or short sleeves which end at the bustline.
Capris, crops, leggings, tunics, knee-length dresses, and skirts do not suit my proportions, so I do not wear them. However, if I still wore four-inch heels, I could get those items to look OK. But, classic straight-leg, slim-fitting pants almost always work with the lower block heels I wear now.
A delicate flat shoe style with a rounded toe, such as ballet flats, is never a good option for me. My thick calves and ankles require a shoe with more structure and an arch to create visual balance and comfort. In addition, a rounded or square toe stops the eye, making the legs look shorter and the foot wider.
A pebbled leather structured bag with minimal hardware or logos and top handles always serves me well. I own similarly structured crossbody bags, but they are not my best style choices. The strap across the bust area can create style challenges for most of us, but sometimes hands-free is most beneficial.
I adapted these guidelines about five years ago and began buying fewer but better for me and higher quality items that are more cohesive. When I stopped randomly buying things that caught my eye or the latest trend, I was shocked to realize how much money I had previously wasted on whims. Additionally, I often missed the mark with my style because those purchases were not usually well-thought-out items that were right for me.
I hope using myself as an example for applying guidelines helps you discover more of what serves you well. The goal is to focus on what you like about your shape so that you can build a wardrobe and put together looks that flatter your best features.
Shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.