Are you good at math? Mr. Mickey will laugh when he reads this because he knows that my eyes cloud over, and my mind starts to wander whenever I see numbers. But I can be reasonably good at math when it matters most, such as getting dressed or balancing my checkbook.
If you visually break down my best looks, you will see a mathematical formula in place. I often wear three pieces and vary the hemlines; otherwise, there is a single break near the waistline. In design, two is not as pleasing to the human eye as three. Depending upon where those two pieces intersect, you may be visually dividing your body in half, which makes you look shorter and broader. For example, a short top with a long jacket over straight-leg jeans makes me appear more balanced, slender and tall. When I wear a short jacket, I must wear a longer soft flowing top under it.
With my top-heavy figure, I absolutely must cover most of my backside… because I don’t have much of one. I never tuck in a shirt all the way around, and I have to be very careful about where a top or jacket comes to an end on my body. Please note: Acknowledging your shape and dressing to highlight your best features isn’t criticizing. You have to know the truth about your shape to dress your best. I discuss my shape only to show you how I dress to conceal and to create balance in my overall look.
This lovely jacket is an excellent example of what I should not ever wear. It fits me like a glove, it was on sale, and it is black. If you stop the analysis there, as I did when I got carried away and bought this one, you will make the same mistake. The fact that it ends just below my waistline, which is not much different than my backside in width and shape, makes this an abysmal choice for me. I need to wear a longer jacket or top, which does not show that part of my middle. It is a dressy jacket which should not be worn with a sporty longer top, so that means it has to go. If you have an hour-glass figure with a slim waistline and fuller hips, you will look fabulous in this jacket.
Now for more math. Three primary neutral colors make up my base wardrobe (black, white, and gray). Three accent colors complete it (red, royal blue, and denim blues). Wearing more than three colors at once can look cluttered and too busy. A top and pants or a skirt, along with a vest, jacket, or cardigan in your three neutral colors, is a great start. You can add other pieces in your best accent colors to create lots of looks while mixing and matching with six colors that work well together. It matters not what season it is. This same formula will work year-round, but it’s hard to use the rule of three in the heat of summer, so I will tackle that recipe in a future post.