Fun, Fresh & Fabulous
How to fulfill your fashion resolutions
By Mary Avant
Whether you watched the giant acorn drop at First Night Raleigh, rang in the new year at a posh party in Cary or simply enjoyed the festivities from your Hillsborough home, chances are you made a resolution or two (or three, or six!) for 2011. For many Triangle women, at least one of these probably had to do with perfecting their personal look.
So what is it you want to do this year? It could be as simple as accessorizing everyday outfits or as challenging as dressing to your body shape.
Carolina Woman has a few pointers to help every fashionista conquer those resolutions and kick off her year in style.
If you want to dress thinner:
Want to instantly look longer and leaner? Add height to your outfit, whether it’s with kitten heels or pretty pumps.
To cover upper arm trouble spots, go for shirts with billowy or three-quarter-length sleeves. If hips are where you feel least confident, sport a tailored pencil skirt for work (this piece looks terrific on every body type) or toss on a pair of straight leg jeans — these babies work wonders for slimming hips and thighs.
Want to look smaller around the middle? Avoid pants or shorts with pleats since these add bulk to your midsection, and style your look with a cute belt to cinch your waist. Wider belts with some elasticity are great.
If you want to flaunt your body shape:
It’s happened to all of us: We see a gorgeous blouse or a to-die-for dress hanging on the rack, but when we try it on, it’s not as dreamy as it seemed. Chances are, pieces like these just aren’t made for your body.
To figure out your figure, here are some of the most common body shapes and tips on how to play them up:
• Hourglass: If your hip line and bust line are even and you have a well-defined waist (think Marilyn Monroe), then you’re likely an hourglass shape.
Make sure to keep your waist the focus of your look. You can easily do this by wearing a belt around the thinnest part of your midsection.
Flare-legged and bootcut jeans are great for this shape, while skinny jeans tend to enhance your curves even further (so try balancing these with a looser-fitting shirt).
• Pear: A smaller bust line than hip line, paired with fuller thighs, is often indicative of this shape. It's also known as an “A” shape.
Since your shoulders are probably narrow, make your upper body look broader by choosing shirts with scoopneck or boatneck styles.
Draw attention to this area with trendy details, such as sequined shoulders or puffed sleeves.
Steer clear of tight skirts or pants, and instead, go for an A-line skirt or bootcut jeans and trousers.
• Apple: Do you have a full bust line and is your upper body wider than your lower body? If so, then you’re most likely an apple shape.
The best move for you is to draw attention away from problem areas, such as your tummy. Tunics and shirts with an empire waist are perfect, and wide-legged pants even out the balance of your body. Also, skirts with a higher waistline look excellent on this shape.
• Rectangle: Like an hourglass figure, rectangle ladies have bust lines and hip lines that are even; however, these women lack a well-defined waist.
To create the illusion of curves, wear tops with details such as ruffles to draw attention, or try a tailored blazer with shoulder pads to add some definition.
Pleated and A-line skirts give your bottom half more fullness, while wide- and flare-legged jeans give you a more voluptuous look.
If you want to accessorize more:
This can be one of the easiest steps to creating a hotter feel for your outfits. Adding anything from a glittering earring and bracelet combo to a chic satchel can take your look from drab to fab.
Spice up a basic jeans and T-shirt ensemble by adding a pair of heels and layering on long necklaces to make your body seem like it goes on for miles.
Pick a bright color to work into your look. Whether it’s canary yellow or electric blue, pops of pigment always add pizazz. Headbands continue to be all the rage, so choose something that’s thin and flirty or thick and embellished.
Don’t forget that makeup counts as an accessory! Bold lips are a hit this year, so choose anything from a hot pink pout to a crimson red pucker.
To match these statement-making shades, go for a daring look on your lids, as well. Try an always-alluring smoky eye (in shades such as charcoal gray, soft black or chocolate brown) or go for an eye-catching hue like violet or turquoise.
If you want to never think, “I have nothing to wear!” again:
First, layer! Combine a pretty cardigan with a silky tank (but make sure they don’t match too perfectly), throw a fitted vest over an oxford shirt, or wear tights and knee-high boots with a shorter skirt.
Second, mix and match. Don’t be afraid to let different patterns mingle — try pairing florals with polka dots or stripes with animal prints — or to mix different fabrics — such as chiffon and leather.
Third, instead of wearing the same shirt with the same pair of pants every time, find at least three outfit combinations for each piece of clothing in your closet.
Accessories come into play here, too. A go-to black dress can look totally different when paired with a girly scarf or an over-sized bib necklace.
When you put these actions into play, you’ll never be stuck staring desperately into your closet again.