Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Love My Body

Australian book cover from Guardian Faber Publishers.
Click publisher link to take you directly to their site.
There's a new book out written by a former Australian Vogue editor Kirstie Clements about the world of modeling. In a nutshell, it writes about how runway models torture their bodies to stay slim.  The book is called The Vogue Factor, and it's currently available on Amazon. I think more of these kinds of books need to be published and given ample publicity to help debunk the so-called glamor-obsessed commercial fashion industry. I love beautiful things, and fashion is one of those beautiful things, but I am reminded every time I see a fashion cover or a runway model this: "How high is the cost?"

About three or four years ago, I cancelled all my fashion magazine subscriptions. It wasn't a protest against emaciated cover models, but because 70% or more of the magazines were and are about advertising. I know it is their bread and butter, but advertising can be an evil business because behind those perfume ads, it's all about the money for every one. Watch Mad Men to see a fictional (but how fictional really?) portrayal of the corruptibility of American media.

I posted on my Google+ community today about teaching our daughters (and even sons) how to sew because it can empower them to appreciate their bodies by customizing their clothes to look and feel good on them. Yes...let the high-fashion designers continue to inspire us with their creativity but bring that inspiration closer to our very own cutting tables. People are taking charge of their food by growing it themselves, why not as much of our own wearables and have some creative fun at the same time?

Tips On Making Our Bodies Look Good All The Time

We're all shaped different.  Some of us are short, tall, apples, pears, triangles, and squares. But whatever shape we think we are or are not, I've found some basic rules when it comes to fashion that really applies to everyone.  Everyone? Yup, everyone.

Good fit is the key.  
Don't buy clothes that fit us poorly. Get the most comfortable piece, and then get it tailored or altered to fit. If you're sewing the garment, then, there's no problem at all. Measure the largest part of your body. (For me, it's my waist. I check patterns to make sure they fit my waist first, and the rest I can take in, make shorter or longer.) Oh, by-the-way, big clothes just makes us look bigger and tight clothes makes us look a little bloated in the wrong places.

For women: wear a well-fitted bra.
I don't wear well-fitted bras all the time. I like my girls to be loose and free the majority of the time. But when I'm wearing a nice outfit or have a date with my husband, I will put on a bra with good support. A good bra makes EVERY outfit drape better, and can make us look five to ten pounds lighter. I own two good bras: a nude strapless, and a regular nude underwire.

Cap sleeves can make a chubby arm look thinner.
I learned this ages ago. I didn't like the tops of my arms as much when I was younger, but I'm mostly used to them now. I think it's a little too fleshy looking in general. Adding cap sleeves or any sleeve will create a more slender looking arm. Make sure there's no pinching in the arm holes, then we're back to item number one on this post (see above).

V-Necks make everyone tall and thinner.
I tend to purchase a lot of v-necked pieces because I know that the shape elongates my neck. If you don't believe me, try on a few things with different neck shapes and take a picture of yourself. Wear a good bra too!

The right hem line will make your legs look great.
High heels also makes our legs look great, but I hate wearing them. Next best thing is to make sure that the hems of your blouses, skirts, and dresses are proportional to your body. I like my blouse to fit right above my hips (if I am not tucking them in), and my skirt or dress lengths to hit an inch or two above the knee. Yes, there will be times when fashion will dictate our hemlines, but I'm speaking about the "classic" hem line. Oh, but a little drop-waisted top or dress can hide the post baby-bulge too.

A-line skirts are good for our bodies.
Hands really doesn't matter what size you are. This is just a great cut. Not sure what an A-line skirt is? Do a search on Google, and check out the images. Feeling bloated? Ate too much over the holidays? Wear an A-line skirt and all your worries will fizzle away. This guideline extends to dresses too. Just a quick sentence about hosiery, if you ladies still wear pantyhose, nude is the best color.

Dresses and skirts look better than pants.
This has nothing to do with women's liberation. Skirts and dresses just hide more. So if you want to look a few pounds lighter at your next event skip the pants. If you must wear pants, then wear pants that have no pleats...kind of a no brainer...I'm just say'n.

Clothes with darts can be our best friend.
I hate sewing darts. But they make my girls look better, my back and hips more (or less) shapely. Look at quality, tailored clothing...those pieces are meticulous about darts. This is really a repeat of item number one.

Monochrome dressing makes us look taller and thinner.
If you wear a floral skirt with a solid blouse, you might look heavier on the bottom, unless of course it's intentional. Dressing non-monochrome can help us in the reverse as well. Small busted and wide hips? Floral top and a dark solid skirt will balance your proportions. I wear a lot of black...just a city thing I think. But I'm starting to get a lot more colorful these days, especially when I care more about looking "fun" than looking thinner. It's just a basic rule of thumb when it comes to dressing in one color.  I might add that, it doesn't have to be exactly the same shade, various shades of the same color can have similar effects. I don't even want to justify another item by reminding folks that the darker the color, the thinner you look...that's just given right?

Cuffed pants stunt our growth.
We don't need to eat badly for this to happen, we can wear cuffed pants, and it will happen instantly.  I will admit that I love the look, but in reality, the cuffs cut us right at the ankles. I am not tall enough to carry it, and "good-for-you" if you are five-feet-ten-inches or that case, please milk those cuffed pants to death. On the flip side, pants with a little flare like bootlegged jeans can make our hips look smaller. Straight legged pants are always more pleasing than tight fitted pencil pants. I don't need to write about leggings right or worse, jeggings.

Just a little final tidbit about the shoes.
Yeah, if you wear similar color shoes with your pants, you can get your legs a bit longer (granted that you're not wearing cuffed pants), but who really does that these days?

With all these points written and committed onto the WWW, I want to now recant everything. At the end of the day, none of these things really, really matter. But just in case there's a day where it might, I hope the information was useful.