Last night, I had a great time being on a panel about Asian American women and fashion (hosted by ASPIRE). It was my first time talking about blogging as well as my career path and goals, and it was a treat getting to meet so many interesting women and to hear about their aspirations as well. One of the questions asked was how to truly gauge if clothing fits and flatters your figure. A trick that’s worked for me is to snap photos of yourself from the front, side, and back and inspect for unsightly gaps, tugs, pulls, and bunchiness. Cameras pick up things that get overlooked when one gazes into a mirror. Clothing that fits should usually graze your figure – not constrict nor swallow it.
I initially realized this simple tip while drafting this oldie post, and have had many more “yikes” moments reviewing photos since then. One such occasion was with this H&M; dress. I fell in love with the print and convinced myself that shift style dresses were meant to be non-fitted. Only after seeing multi-angle photos did I realize how wildly unflattering and nightgown-esque it was.
A next step to understanding fit is learning about simple adjustments that can make a big difference. Thankfully, this dress just needed some slimming along the torso and sleeves…
…which made an immediate impact. Next, I chopped off the bunched arm openings to streamline the “shift” silhouette even more. I then shortened the length on the main dress and sleeves to show more skin and balance out the covered-up torso.
These small alterations made the dress feel so much more contemporary, and were simple enough to do at home. I left the original hem in to be let down as I age and grow more conservative : ) The length as shown worn with mid-heels was perfect for a spring dinner out.
I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing jackets draped over my shoulders (provides warmth, while preventing the elbows from rubbing constantly on a desk and wearing out). Unfortunately, a consequence is colleagues being stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of a four-armed woman.
Readers – What are your tips for gauging and understanding fit? Have you ever come to stark realizations after seeing yourself in photos?