Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Years! You get my wardrobe failures!

Hope everyone has had a fantastic midwinter celebration of their choosing.

Whew! The immediate holiday chaos over and of course I now have the inevitable vacation cold, so there's been ample time for poking at pictures and saving energy for the coming Birthday/NewYearspalooza.

I now have pics of the better part of a month's worth of outfits and as it happens I wore everything in this particular post to work. Collecting so many days of wardrobe shots has revealed a few points to watch and one heavily recurring issue.

What didn't work at all:

The worst are the are pics from the 10th, 16th, 18th, and 23rd. I feel I must point out for posterity that these were *the most flattering* of the shots I took for each of these days.

We have four hip length shirts each with a hip length (or longer) sweater, jeans, and flats. Oddly enough all of those shirts can be fairly flattering on their own, but in every one of these shots the primary visual line is DIRECTLY across the width of my hips with absolutely no upward distraction and no indication whatsoever that I have a waist.

I'm short and primarily pear shaped, and yet here I am drawing attention downward and toward the widest part of my body and cutting off my legs. Fail. I do think all of these days except the tee shirt day could potentially have been salvaged with neckline accessories or some manner of high waist belting.

I did eventually end up wearing an orchid coloured pashmina with that grey cowl neck shirt, though that was more about work appropriateness than fashion. Necklines are becoming an issue and that will most assuredly be a future post as well.

This was my first attempt at a logo tee shirt during this experiment and I don't really know what I thought I was doing, but clearly it didn't work. I have a LOT of tee shirts I'm not willing to abandon and I need to figure out a way to wear them well.

More after the jump:

What worked, kind of... I guess?

These are pics from  the 12th, 19th, 23rd, and 24th

All of these outfits feature some sort of upward attention on my body which definitely corrected the hip-line issue from above and for the most part reminded any potential onlookers that there is a waist present, but each also had a distinguishable point of failure.

I do like a good sack dress and I love the pattern on this one, but again that cardigan is the wrong length. I feel that wearing sack dresses requires a certain level of social contract. The wearer displays a fine boned wrist or the barest swell of a hip, and the observer understands that there is a female underneath.

The black I-shaped bands on the dress combined with black leggings and boots extended my bottom half nicely without requiring a scandalously short skirt, but that cardigan took the sack dress from structured to shapeless and negated a number of the "there's a girl under here!" signals.

I think the white shirt outfit would have been fine on another day but some days I'm just a bit muffin-toppier than others and those are just not the days to wear clingy white under a cropped sweater. It's not obvious from this shot but the white shirt has a double row of piping in aqua and navy along the neckline which coordinated well with the sweater. You live, you learn, you use white jersey more judiciously.

The boots are Born half calf boots in a tobacco pebbled leather. While they are not the sexiest things snow days is snow days. They are visually neutral, warm, and offer good traction. They've gone through a fair number of winters and boggy camping trips completely unscathed, and if other people can openly and unashamedly wear Uggs I think I can get away with these on occasion. I'm wearing them in a few of the pics up top as well.

Monday was the day I finally decided that I need to to take scissors and a sewing machine to that black top. It's got some really neat ultra feminine pintuck, lace, and button details along the bust and neckline which I feel are completely overshadowed by the maternity-tastic empire gathers. Empire waist garments are of course the go-to for baby bumps, but they can also really show off a non pregnant shape nicely. But ONLY if the fabric drapes from the underbust and clings to the body and/or any gathers are pushed to the side. Any kind of fullness in the front and you get... fullness in the front! Depending on how much fabric I have I may add a bit of a band between the bust and draping to make sure it really sits flat against the body (once again, neckline issues).

That final outfit I really thought I had nailed until I saw the pics. Too much skirt, not enough me. I have to either shorten that skirt or only wear it with higher heels.  Because I have a somewhat healthy Butt you can see a distinct length difference between the front and the back and sometimes that feels unkempt. That's a struggle I've had literally since early childhood so it's something I'm a bit sensitive to.

The Butt* makes it doubly hard for me to find skirts short enough to look good on my frame but long enough to remain decent AND separate me from my surroundings. Sitting on a subway seat in a miniskirt requires planning! I have noticed that skirts that hang from the shoulder or mid back (sack dresses and empire dresses for example) are far more forgiving than ones which hang from the waist.

I also spent the day fussing with the waistband as it sat EXACTLY over the waistband of my leggings and generally made a nuisance of itself. Nothing ruins a good wardrobe choice like fussing, which is only endearing in small children and bridegrooms.

*I'm half Puerto Rican, it gets pronoun status.
It's not quite a J-Lo level Butt, but I also don't do as many squats as she does. Or any squats, actually.

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