Defining your personal style (2)

“Fashion is architecture: it’s a matter of proportions.” Coco Channel 

Personal Style

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Now where did we stop in the journey to defining your personal style…body types. In The Pocket Stylist, the author, Kedall Farr, focused on discovering one’s body-type and dressing to enhance the same.  She introduces her readers to the concept of the invisible unbroken line, which means silhouettes and proportions should create the longest-looking body line for the wearer. The author describes 6 major body styles (I actually believe this is an oversimplification but it serves as a good start):

  1. Body Type A – The width of your torso is smaller than the width of your hips
  2. Body Type B – Your shoulders and hips are roughly the same width, with a defined waist
  3. Body Type C – The width of your shoulders is the same or wider than the width of your hips, with little definition at the waist
  4. Body Type D – Same as Type A but in Plus-Size
  5. Body Type E – Same as Type B but in Plus-Size
  6. Body Type F – Same as Type C but in plus-size

Different clothing types flatter the different body types. The key is finding the body type that most describes you and finding outfits that are best suited for you.

According to Farr, certain clothing items enhance each of the body types and they include:

  1. Body Type A – straight trousers or jeans, crops and capris, a-line or straight skirts, wrap tops, fitted tailored shirts, jackets with nipped waists, empire dresses etc. The goal will be to create the “longest looking line” by selecting shapes and proportions that slightly widen the appearance of the upper body against the lower body.
  2. Body Type B – dark stretch jeans (flare or bootcut), pencil skirts, jackets with nipped waists, belted jackets, nipped-waist sheath dresses etc. The goal will always be to make the waist a focal point to balance the width of the shoulders and hips.
  3. Body Type C – wide-leg trousers, gored skirt (i really don’t know what this looks like lol), banded bottom tops, cropped jackets, wrap dresses etc. The goal will be to create a longer looking middle, define the waist, or balance out the width of the shoulders (if you are blessed with broad shoulders).

I am a Type B kind of girl and I am learning how to work with my proportions.

Caveat: I didn’t take all the advice given hook line and sinker…I only accepted the ones I believed worked for me.

Have any thoughts on body types, fit and proportions? Please share in the comments section.

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Defining your personal style

I was a broke student. In all 6 years of college and grad school. I had to make ends meet. And to tell you the truth, they never met. Landing my first (and only) corporate job meant I now had the means to shop. And shopping I did. I shopped and shopped and shopped (get the message…OK good). I bought clothes and shoes of all sizes, shapes, and colors, with no rhyme or reason. However, I still faced the age-old problem that has plagued most women:

personal style

The problem was not the lack of clothes and shoes, I just didn’t have the creative juice to style them. Which is why I have embarked on this journey.

Now that my closet is all cleaned out, I need to rebuild. I need a functional closet. But what is a functional closet and how do you create one? To answer those questions, I turned to books (yes, I love big books and I cannot lie).

personal style

my first attempt at designing

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Although I read them all, only a few were very meaningful. I Love Your Style focused on defining your personal style. The author, Amanda Brooks, categorized different style options into different groups. Some of the popular ones include:

  1. Classic: The classic woman sticks to tried and true silhouettes and shapes, with a slight infusion of personality. This doesn’t mean she ignores all fashion trends, she just has a bias for time tested styles and pieces she will wear for a long time. You may find her rocking the following:  little black dress, cream silk blouse, pencil skirts, tailored jacket or blazer, tailored trousers and the list goes on!

  2. Bohemian: Two words, laid-back! The bohemian chic places emphasis on self-expression. You might catch a glimpse of her in her free flowing floral frock. Her closet is full of color and prints. She can easily transition from day to night without looking out of place.

  3. Minimalist: Simplicity is key. Her go-to pieces are a simple black dress, solid colored tees and shirts, and a favorite black handbag. (To honor her, I will keep this to 2 sentences).

  4. High fashion: Average does not define her. She always takes each outfit up a notch. She can make a white tee from Walmart look expensive (OK…maybe that’s a stretch). While she is in the know of major fashion trends, she usually doesn’t fall victim to them. This style is pretty risky, but done right the risk is always worth it. Her favorite pieces may have these elements: sequins, fur and leather.

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For me, this was like taking one of those behavioral tests. I read through the different styles and thought about my style history. I remember pictures I tore up just so no one would ever see them. I started by experimenting different styles to figure out which I felt the most comfortable in. I looked through magazines and Pinterest (you have no clue what that is…click here) for style inspiration. I tried out different clothing items from different stores to see which items resonated with me. Over and over again, I was drawn to the classic and minimalist styles. However, I know I have my high-fashion moments.

So there you have it! That’s my journey thus far. Next up is body types. I hope to share some of what I have learned about dressing unique body styles soon.

PS: The summaries above are in no way all encompassing. For more information on all the styles, please refer to the book.

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So much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Source: 320 Sycamore

Source: 320 Sycamore

I promised to write about what I did with the items I took out of my closet, and writing this on Thanksgiving Day seems so fitting. It makes me realize how blessed I am!

So here it goes:

Gifts

I gave a few pieces I loved to friends, both in-town and out-of-town friends. I know I would be proud to see them rocking the outfits.

Charity

I took most of the clothes and shoes to the wonderful Salvation Army, in the hopes others will benefit from them. I considered other organizations such as Dress for Success, but they didn’t have a need for the items at the time.

Thrift store

A friend introduced me to a thrift store in Dallas so I took some of the clothes and shoes there.  I washed and ironed the clothes to increase my chances of selling them; and even took a couple of pieces to a tailor to get the hems fixed. I sold most of the items. I also scored a few nice pieces (including a vintage black coat…will share pics soon).

I also hosted a closet swap party. Will post details on that next week. So stay tuned!

Have any other ideas of what you did what your items, please share in the comments section below.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast!