Puberty is a weird thing. The earliest memory I have regarding this bodily change is of me and my girl scout troupe on a hot summer's day. Hanging out by the suburban man-made pond seemed like a smart idea. We wore our swimsuits, sipped on juice bags and talked about teenage boys. At some point, one of the girls decided it would be wise to steal her mother's camera to take pictures of us in our suits. How scandalous!
You may be wondering what the big deal was. Well, I was a shy girl. And seeing those prints of myself weeks later, well... it made me want to dress modestly forever! I was the odd shaped one with the unpronounced chest. My friends walked on thin stems, had handsome pillows for breasts and couldn't find their bellies with a magnifying glass. So as someone that was naturally fuller-figured, I began to hide myself behind my clothes.
It wasn't until high school that the more feminine curves began to surface. But I had no idea how to dress myself! No one my age wore skirts or dresses. Just terribly unflattering clothing that could never make a self-conscious girl feel fabulous. Things that showed the midriff, shirts with missing backs, jeans with waists so low that you'd need to do some trimming before wearing...
Fast forward an awkward decade and all I have to say is: THANK GOLLY FOR MAD MEN!
See, I've always loved old movies. What girl doesn't?! Getting a glimpse at how lavish life used to be (or at least how Hollywood made it seem). Men wore slacks and shined their shoes. Men took their belt off BEFORE slipping out of their pants. They tucked their undershirts in. They wore socks. They combed their hair and had tie racks. They put on aftershave and clipped their nails. Basically, in the movies they took great care of themselves.
And the women! With their full skirts, pinned up hair and little day gloves! All of it was such a delight to watch. Especially when your youth was surrounded by slovenly dressed adolescents, baggy EVERYTHING and way too much khaki.
But on to my point! When the television series, Mad Men came onto the scene it really got noticed. It seemed as though the whole world forgot how great everyone used to dress. It took a popular little TV show to remind them that sweat pants didn't exist for a reason. That looking presentable wasn't a chore, it was just what you did before leaving the house.
And because of this show, a remarkably flattering style of dressing is so much easier to come by! Women are realizing that they don't have to hide their full figures. They can drape them quite beautifully. And show them off in ways they never knew possible!
How to Use Those Curves Safely:
Tips We Learned From First Hand Experience, Our Grandmothers and Old Hollywood...
1. Avoid baggy, bulky clothing. Before putting something very large on, imagine wearing it while walking in a windstorm. There's no way to hide it all so you might as well put it on display, in a classy way.
2. Decide what your best assets are and let the fabric hug those places. Don't hide anything that you want to show off. Unless, of course you're spending the day camping with the in-laws... Sometimes dressing in rugged apparel helps to avoid an awkward outdoor situation.
3. Horizontal lines are fashion's way of slapping on a bull's eye. If you MUST sport those things, make sure they're adorning the parts of you that can stand to be magnified. Vertical lines, on the other hand create length and trick the eye into seeing a hotdog rather than a hamburger!
4. Choose your sleeve wisely. Despite what you may believe, short sleeves (not to be mistaken for cap sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves) are the least flattering to a woman's arm. They tend to accentuate any bit of flab and can give one a peek into that weird inner arm area if the fabric is looser.We recommend the elbow-length sleeve, the cap sleeve or be brave and just go strapless!
5. Women wore halter dresses for a reason! Because they accentuate the femininity that oozes out of us! By drawing the eyes upward to our sweet smiles. Wearing an old-fashioned halter (not to be mistaken with the tiny halter tops that were popularized in the 90's, with naked midriff) is like wearing a yellow brick road; it leads right to the mecca that is a woman's face! Making shoulders look fantastic on the way.
6. Tuck it in, tuck it in! Magical things happen when you tuck your shirt in, Ladies! Bulges disappear, your outfit will look more tailored and you can hide those weird coffee stains... It's strange how it works. When we look down at our tummies after tucking in, it may not be the best view. In fact, things may look hilly! But take a look at yourself in a full length mirror and you're bound to do a double take. The art of tucking one's blouse into their pencil skirt has long been a Hollywood tradition. If wearing tights, we recommend tucking your blouse straight INTO the tights. This keeps it from looking like you're hiding a pigsty in your clothing.
|Just look at how happy Marilyn is when showing off her lil tumtum!|
7. The underthings make the thing! When sporting something form-fitting, choose your undergarments wisely. Wear the right size panties. You'd be surprised how many of us think we're smaller than we are (me included) when shopping for rump covers. A too-tight panty not only distracts from the rest of the dress, it's also uncomfortable. Same goes for the brassiere! There are plenty of boutiques (or Victoria's Secret if you're into the whole mall thang) that will let you know what your actual bra size is. A bra that doesn't squeeze and accentuate our back mass is one we truly cherish.
|Even Betty Page knew how to fit her undergarments accordingly...|
8. Low-cut waisted anything is only for the six-pack packer. If you know what a muffin top is then you know the terror that comes from a low-waisted pant. Same goes for the skirt. Putting a waistband directly below your gut is not going to be a flattering situation. You need to find where your natural waist is (think of Doris Day in a dress and where it starts to bell out) and then find a pair of pants or a skirt that rests itself there. It's amazing what hiking it up can do! And don't worry. No one is going to think you look like Steve Urkel. As long as you avoid the cropped pants, shaved head and huge glasses...
|BELT PLACEMENT! Liz knows where it's gotta be.|
9. Belts can turn the dowdiest of dresses into a curve-hugging commodity! Belts come in all shapes and sizes, as do dresses. Pairing the two is all in the eye of the beholder as long as you remember one simple rule: Placement Is Key.
While helping ladies build ideas into outfits, I've noticed that most everyone makes the same belt mistake: They want to put it way lower than it should ever go. If you're pairing a belt with a skirt and blouse, put the belt nearest the top of the skirt's hemline or through its belt loops. If you are putting a belt on a dress (and it's a well-fitted, waist-cinching belt), I like to place it just below my ribcage or so. The higher the waist, the curvier one appears!
I'm slightly tipsy right now but I just have to say that... We are the reason this world exists. Our hips birth children and our lips can speak sonnets. We are mothers and lovers and best friends and creators. If we are not proud of who we are then we must discover what it is that can immediately change that. Because we are the dress forms for which fashion was created. And if we don't like what we see then let's become what we dream.
Like I said before. Curves are a dead sexy weapon. Use them to your advantage. Drape them in what you wish and be the person you've always known you will become.
|curves: it's an epidemic!|
We love you.
Andrea & KT