Boston weather teased me last week, allowing for 2 days of bare legs before freezing cold took over again. I jumped at the chance to break out this dress that I painstakingly altered + hemmed over a month ago. The fresh mint went perfectly with my latest loves – blush pink & cream cap-toed Louboutins scored at a great price (pre-owned via eBay).
Blair of Atlantic-Pacific styled this same dress beautifully with an elegant mint tweed jacket and multi-strand pearls. Inspired, I delved into my growing tweed collection and came up with the following…
This example illustrates something that I’ve become very aware of over the years: proportions. As a petite woman working with under 5 feet of height, the key to looking streamlined versus stumpy often lies in the proportions and lengths of my garments…
Although I prefer the color/texture combo on the right, the hip-length jacket paired over a longer pencil dress makes me look top-heavy and short-legged (and much worse with flat shoes, which Blair pulled off effortlessly). The jacket on the left is only 2″ shorter, but that makes quite a difference if you are petite. The longer jacket on the right also hits my hips at the widest point, so when that line joins with the dress, it effectively creates the illusion of a boxy rectangle versus the hourglass figure that I want.
I also want to point out that the pairing on the left shows equal proportions of jacket, skirt, and legs, whereas the one on the right shows more jacket. This adds to the top-heaviness and makes me look broader, even though both jackets have the same shoulder width. An exception to this issue is when more leg is shown to counteract the longer top – ie. a long boyfriend blazer paired with a mini skirt and lotsa leg.
I’ve never tried a button-up shirt under a fitted pencil dress, but was inspired by my friend Ping in this post. The crisp collar and contrasting sleeves add a new dimension to the dress, but shirt lines underneath can get tricky. This probably works better with thin, sleeveless blouses.
While wearing this dress, I realized I needed to get some good shapewear, stat. I’ve been noticing strange lumps lately caused by un-toned flesh or ill-placed underwear lines, and also from the aforementioned shirt lines. I’m close to getting the Spanx Half-Slip Shaper, but am also curious about the Seamless Mid-Thigh Shaper from their less-expensive line, Assets by Sara Blakely (incredible, incredible businesswoman, by the way). From reading the descriptions, however, it seems that these pieces are more for slimming and not for concealing. If anyone has shapewear reviews or recommendations – please share!