Monday, October 20, 2014

Let's Go Find An Adventure!

Alanna of Trebond for plus sized petites

It's hard being vertically challenged. I, myself, am not, but a great many of my friends are. Alanna of Trebond is a warrior maiden with a spin of adamantium and will that would make a mule clap with pride, not unlike one of my favorite people in the entire world, actually. She's 5' tall and has a dramatic hourglass figure that makes her look like she should be painted on the nose of a plane. This is also not unlike my Good Twin. This kind of figure, however, isn't always easy to dress. While my roommate, we'll call her Bombshell Bettie (I only use my own real name in the blog), can dress for her figure, it isn't always easy for others.

For Alanna I went with light grey's and added some lavender for her eyes and her magic, since they are the two (along side her swordplay) that she is best known for. The chiffon skirt has an elastic waistband and soft movement add drama to any outfit, but you have to watch the hem length. The skirt should hit just above your knee, it makes your legs seem longer without making the skirt seem short. If you can't find one the right length, get one a little long and find a decent tailor nearby. Most dry cleaners do hemming for a decent price, so shop around your house or where you work. I paired the skirt with a simple shell with nice darting and a curved silhouette so that when you tuck it into your skirt (yes, tucking in. this is why I chose a skirt with a nice waistband, even if it is elastic) it makes your curves more dramatic, showcasing them instead of masking them and giving you the illusion of being bigger than you are. No one likes to look bigger than they are, but thus is the downside to curves, you have to watch what you wear.

The skirt and top being relatively simple, you don't want to go too crazy with the blazer, but the blazer polishes everything up. The blazer, just like the skirt, needs to be fitted properly. Again, your local dry cleaner will be able to do most alterations on site, and if they can't they usually have someone on call that can. Jackets can't be too short, either, but neither can they be too long, just as the sleeve needs to hit the proper place on your wrist. In this case the blazer has a faux peplum effect going on that can be quite flattering to the right figure (ie: someone with hips - sadly this is another one of those things that I wish I could pull off, but can't.) The hem of the blazer needs to not go past your hips. Any longer and it lengthens your torso and shortens your legs, not something you want to deal with. Also, please note the neckline. Deep V's make you seem longer, taller, and bring attention to your face. Note also that I chose to do this with the jacket, not the shell, because this is a work function and the ladies need to stay contained.

Do not, I repeat, do not use a giant purse if you are petite. All it does is seem over sized and ruin the effect of the rest of the outfit. Choose, instead, a purse that is no wider than the length of your forearm, this is a simple measuring tool to use and not one that you are likely to leave at home. Shoes, too, are important. I went with flats here because I thought this pair was cute. Pointy toes help lengthen your legs, another optical illusion that you can use in your favor, and matching it to the shirt adds brightness to your legs. I love a pop of color, sometimes my shoes are the only thing I am wearing that isn't black, I think it's fun.

Hair should be simple, this is meant to be Alanna, she's a tough warrior chick. So leave it down, braid it back, toss it up in a bun, or pull it back in a tail. As for makeup, doll up the eyes. Make them the focus, as it should be, and keep everything else to natural colors in simple tones. In honor of sir Faithful, I have made all of the jewelry star shaped. Remember, the cat was actually a constellation and there to keep an eye on her, keep her safe. If only we all had a cat like that. Simple jewelry, simple clothing, effortless (sort of) look.

Alanna of Trebond for the Petite Athletic

I, personally, think the athletic petite figure is one of the hardest to dress. So often women in this category need to go into kids sections to find an appropriately fitting dress or spend twice as much as everyone else on alterations. I chose a dress for this one, a knit that is stretchy enough to hug the upper body and still drape and move around the legs. Some things are pretty universal with petite women, no matter their body shape, keep the hem of the skirt just above your knee. You want your legs looking longer than they are and let you seem tall. Well, I, at least, have always wanted my legs to look longer, so I like to pretend most women do. The soft grey is neutral enough that it will go with everything in your closet and gives you that core of steel.

I chose a bolder purple because the grey was so soft. The jacket should be fitted as close to the body as you can get while still having a range of motion (if you can't move your arms, it doesn't actually fit) and the hem should not fall lower than the hips. This lengthens the legs, the deep V of the jackets lengthens the torso, and suddenly you seem a couple inches taller, and this before you put on the pumps! A jacket can be the strongest item in your wardrobe if it fits properly. Get it altered so that the sleeves and the hem are at the proper lengths, and after that you can wear it with dresses, skirts, slacks, and even jeans. It will class up just about any outfit you have, and a bold jacket with simple, flattering, lines in a color you often wear will go with just about every neutral shade in your closet.

This time I picked slingback pumps with pointy toes, though I didn't make the heel all that high. You don't need extra high heels just because you are short. Pointy toes with nude tights and a properly hemmed skirt can go a long way toward long legs. With the dress I also paired a skinny belt, you'll want to wear it just above the swell of your hips, before the skirt starts to flare. This makes the flare seem more dramatic and gives you more curves. The purse is kept simple, the lines needed to match the rest of the outfit and the purse should be no wider than the length of your forearm, otherwise it seems too big for your body.

When doing your makeup keep the focus on the eyes, choosing simple, natural colors for the rest of your face. Keep the hair simple as well, don't spend too much time, just toss it in a neat bun or ponytail to keep it out of your face. Again, in honor of Faithful the Cat/Constellation, I went with a star theme on the jewelry, keeping it pretty simple for the most part. I am, as always, a big believer in less is more when it comes to jewelry and so I only do a few pieces.

Remember, the woman makes the clothing, not the other way around, but that doesn't mean we have to simply accept what society and the media tell us is "in" and "right" for us. Dress for you, because you are the one you have to make happy.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Sometimes I Just Can't Help Myself.

Those who know me understand that I have a mad love for pretty much everything that Joss Whedon has worked on, so today we are going to go with one of my favorite characters in the Whedonverse, Malcolm Reynolds.

Captain Mal inspiration set for "Y" shapes

Skinny jeans are always perfect when you want to wear knee high boots. Those of us without hips need to stick to the pants with the higher waistbands when it comes to skinny jeans, that way the pants don't fall down. Also, we need to make sure the pants fit. I cannot stress enough that you have to try them on. Trying on pants can be incredibly painful and emotionally draining for some people, and I get that. So take a friend, spend a specific amount of time trying on pants, say no more than half an hour in one store, and then take a break. Go get coffee or wander around outside for a while. If you don't love something, don't get it just because it's there and you want to stop looking. A pair of pants that fits right will go miles toward making you feel better.

Wearing a sheer over sized shirt can be flattering on the right body type, those of us with wider shoulders pull it off well so long as we have a cami underneath. Sheer + bra is something you should never wear to work. I have seen it happen, of course, there is always someone that tries to push the boundaries for fashion. Personally, I think the sheer top with a bold bra underneath is less fashion and more "look how hot I am." I am not saying it's bad to do that, in fact if I was a bit more toned I might be one of them, I just don't think it's write in an office setting. That is why we have under shirts.

Make sure all coats have good seams! Tug on it a little bit and see if they become loose. If they do, skip the coat, you'll need a new one in two months or less. I cannot stress this enough, especially with winter coats. Also, seams. Seams are very important. Princess seams can make almost any coat flattering. You want to try them on over a hoodie if possible because people (at least in Seattle) tend to layer. Heavy coats can look heavy and make you look shapeless, but they don't have to.

Stick to natural colors for your eyes and lighter colors for the lips. Mal, even when pretending to be a woman, didn't really do makeup. I suppose I will have to do a floral outfit in the spring though, in honor of his pretty floral bonnet. Keep the nails simple, maybe some french tips or a simple gloss, and put some stars in your ears. As for the necklace, I found two that I loved. With the Y shape, since I am that shape, I went with Rivers Reever Axe, because it is amazing and I want it.

Captain Mal Inspiration for "Pear" Shape

I like to carry over certain aspects of an outfit when it's the same inspiration character. Some things are a bit harder to do though. Like pants. If you're gonna go skinny jeans on a Pear shape you need to make sure A- your waist band is high enough. 2 finger widths below the belly button ladies, not half a hair over the pelvis. You also want to make sure it's not to snug over the butt or you'll have a split seam. B- it actually fits your hips and thighs. You have to try things on ladies! Skinny jeans can work for a pear shape, especially if they are wearing high boots. Mid-calf to knee high can be very flattering. Belts are your friend, even if no one can see them, they make the waistband not roll.

I paired the pants with a loose V-neck button up, neatly cinched at the waist to give definition and make dainty shoulders a touch broader so you've got the illusion of an hourglass. Pair it with a Cami for modesty (especially in the workplace.) The bright color helps draw attention up to your face and the overall effect makes you look even curvier. If the top you find is a little deeper cut remember to add an undershirt for modesty reasons.

When looking for a winter coat remember that seams are your friend! If a longer coat looks like it has a bit of a skirt thing going on? That could mean it's going to fall around your hips in a flattering way and keep you looking slender. Peplum is not a skirt thing, peplum should not be on coats. Also, princess seams are your friends! Try on your coats, though, not everything that looks good on a hanger will look good on a person. People have shape, after all, and hangers do not.

Simple jewelry again, I liked the idea of sticking with leather, kind of a nod to the rim planets and their way of life. I kept the makeup neutral, the nails clean, and then, the necklace. It might seem odd, to some, to have a six shooter on your neck, but it's so very Mal. He's either shooting or being shot (sometimes in the ass.) If you think that might be a little much you can either tuck it inside of your shirt, or go with Rivers Reever Axe.

Trying on your clothes is the first step to feeling confident!