Do you dress for your shape or wear what you like?
Ignore for a minute the fact that both clothing recommendations look basically identical. Do you think about your height and shape when you’re deciding what to wear?
You can find this advice everywhere, but I’ve never paid much attention, although I loved Trinny and Susannah back in the day (I always wanted to go into their magical 360 degree mirror cabinet. Admit it, how perfect would that be for fitting home-sewn clothes?)
This vintage fashion advice seems to be saying that tall girls can’t pull off girly clothing, which is basically ridiculous. And yet – I am sort of uncomfortable in super-girly outfits. I feel like I’m wearing a costume. For example, although I love this dress I made, I’ve only worn it about 3 times.
Things get even more complicated when you think about side-to-side shape, rather than just up-and-down. You enter the area of fruit based advice. You know, comparing ladies to apples and pears and carrots and what-not.
After doing some googling, I discovered that Caryn Franklin (yes, her off the Clothes Show!) has some pretty comprehensive style guides on her website. She even has a guide specifically for tall, pear-shaped ladies, which I promptly downloaded.
It says that pear-shaped ladies should avoid skinny jeans and instead wear black A-line skirts to disguise their shameful hip area, which is what these style advice people always say.
When it comes to tall women though, the guide gives exactly the OPPOSITE advice to the anonymous vintage style book author. She says that too often we wear dark, manly clothes to try and blend in, when we should aim for more ‘feminine, sensual styles’
Choose clothes that have softer features. Fitted blouses with shaping and feminine touches like pussy bows, for instance, still perform the same function as a plain shirt. For knitwear choose textured knits, like cable, where you can enjoy the soft rounded knitted stitching. This will add a level of femininity and sensuality and you can take it further. A soft wrap around style with a knitted collar will be far more interesting than a plain pullover. Designs that have a certain amount of volume in them will always feminise your silhouette, simply put, this means look for garments that have more material in them.
So what are you saying, Caryn? Should I be wrapping myself up in acres of frilled lace and cable knitwear? I thought I was supposed to avoid ‘little girl’ fashions!
Some of the recommendations make sense though. I tried on some maxi skirts the other day, and they actually looked awesome – and they are recommended wear for tall people.
What do you reckon? Do you try and ‘dress for your shape’?