I love shopping and in it, I enjoy window shopping the most. Window shopping is akin to enjoying a life that need not be yours, but one you definitely would like to live. Browsing through the various display aisles, checking out new trends, people’s expression, gushing over a friend’s choice, and helping your mom choose her perfect dress, window shopping is literally priceless!
Over the years I have seen myself transform from an anorexic to overweight to a not so big for my body state. I am yet to get to the optimum figure stats; nevertheless, I firmly believe we should dress in clothes that not only flatter us but what we enjoying wearing the most.
The pains and vagaries of fashion and trends bog down each one of us, whether we are sixteen or sixty. In my opinion, fashion is what you make of it. Basic mantra of the day, dress as you like it. I am not a size 2 neither am I size 18. I have fluctuated between those for a while now, with hitting a size 3 (if that exists) to a size 14 and I can tell you first hand, neither end stopped me from experimenting with clothes, colours, accessories or makeup. At each stage, I used Darwin’s theory and adapted to the trend that suited me the most. And if I couldn’t adapt, well then I stand out!
Make a statement and forget the fashion norms.
This for those of you who feel you don’t ‘fit’ in to fashion. My take on what works and what can be made to work in.
The LBD: Every female’s best companion is the little black dress. Black is a glamorous, dramatic and yet safe colour to choose. It is the pattern of the dress where the stumbling blocks appear. Not just the LBD but any dress you want to pick up needs to flatter you and boost your confidence. If you are evenly proportioned (according to fashion norms) then most styles would flatter your body shape, however if you are fighting bulges and on the border of slipping in to the plus sizes, then how you wear the LBD does matter.
Tips to make the right choice
- Wear light fabrics that don’t stretch or accentuate your pain points. Chiffons, georgettes, taffeta, light wool or the synthetic versions of these would be a good place to start with.
- Jersey, while extremely comfortable, tends to hug your curves and bulges and can make you conscious. Restrict jerseys to tees or casual tops.
- A ruched pattern in the neckline or bust area would give the dress a feminine feel and at the same time take away attention from the tummy.
- Wrap or swing dress patterns with cross over bodice are another way to achieve a flattering silhouette.
- Showing the shoulder is a huge trend this year. Show off your neck and shoulder in a boat neck styled or off shoulder dress. Wider or deeper necklines give an illusion of height and creates a distraction.
- Lace can be another embellishment. Try black or nude lace on the shoulder or sleeves or back to make you look sexier.
- Metallic colours are huge. Team up a metallic fabric with a lace or sheer overlay in black.
In short, don’t be scared to experiment with colours or patterns. Just pick the trends that would highlight your best features and wear your LBD or dress with an intense twist.
Layering: If you are in a place that is hot and humid, just the thought of wearing anything more than required would give you the creeps. For those of you who have distinctive seasons and do have to layer up, do it with a twist.
Layering works and can be done in a non-intrusive and cool way (literally and figuratively).
For you hot gals
- Team up your denims or shorts with a cropped tee and add a sheer or plain cotton or denim shirt and knot it at your waist.
- Wear a tucked in tee with shorts and layer a loose shirt/ jacket with rolled up sleeve.
- A sheer long shirt or tee can be made funky with a solid printed layer jacket or a cape overlay.
For the cool divas
- Wear your denim or solid shirts with a cropped sweater, plain or printed, to add the much needed oomph factor.
- Long tunic styled tops with fitted jackets and leggings/ jeggings with stylish boots is another option.
- Another great way to layer a cropped sweater is to wear printed trousers and a plain blouse.
Footwear: Our poor two feet help us hold our heads high! A comfortable pair of footwear is a top priority as we step out to face this big bad world. Stilettos and pumps are definitely chic, but can get uncomfortable and boring in the long run. Also for those who need to take the public transport to work or uni, your footwear decides your fate.
Here are a few ideas when you go shoe shopping next time.
Wedges: The ultimate height gainer, with less pressure on your back. Wedges can be coordinated with formal as well as casual wear. A neutral or black coloured wedges would look lovely with skirts, trousers and dresses. A bold colour or strapped one will lend a fresh and casual vibe.
Flats or sandals: An essential to every girl’s wardrobe, they give you comfort and style of the highest quotient. A must for summers, they can be thong styled, ballerinas in bright colours, metallic embellished ones in plain nudes, slip on with straps the list just goes on. Bottom line, your flats or sandals are your best bet for long standing days and a beach party!
Boots: From ankle lengths to thigh high, each serve a purpose and are very comfortable on a biting cold day. For those of us who have not so shapely calves or wider ankles, a mid rise boot is the best bet. It gives shape to those pudgy legs and also the much needed height. Boots can be teamed with almost any style of clothing and give your friends something to talk about… Pair your dress with knee high boots and a cute jacket and rock the party!
Loafers: What stops you from wearing these! Although considered masculine, women can wear loafers too. Bright loafers with ankle length denims or tan ones with a classic denim skirt and white shirt would be the perfect ensemble- A stylish twist to a classic combination.
Sneakers: Your safest best on most days. Try the colourful ones in neon shades to add drama to your wardrobe. If not so sure, team up your plain old sneakers with brightly patterned socks. Neon colours and patterned socks are quite a rage and can make other curious when they peep out from under your denim’s hem. A nice topic of discussion during boring lectures!
If you are bulky and want to distract attention from problem areas, you can add bangles or bracelets to your wrists, a long thin chain with a locket or long dangling earrings to create an illusion of softness and proportioned upper body.
Your bags and purses can make a difference too. A bright coloured or slender cross bag could also shift the focus from your problem area.
In terms of makeup depending on the occasion and time of the year do up your face accordingly. If it’s a day outdoors, too much of make-up would make you look like a runaway bride and wearing just moisturiser and lip gloss to a party is being highly under dressed.
Finding the right balance is necessary. Daily cleansing and moisturising your skin is essential. Drink loads of water and keep yourself hydrated for glowing and healthy skin.
At all times smell nice. Use a deodorant or perfume that suits your skin type. Test the product and let it settle in before you make the purchase. Also remember, smelling good adds to your appeal and confidence.
Some big No-No to keep in mind:
- Don’t wear things that are too tight on you. Never buy clothes that you hope to fit in. Too tight clothes would only highlight the problem areas and would be difficult to sit or move about in.
- Never buy footwear that just looks beautiful on your feet, but is not so comfortable to stand or walk about in. Shoes are for walking and distribute our body weight. Bad footwear can lead to a host of other issues.
- While spraying a perfume or deodorant, just concentrate on certain pulse points. Do not drench yourself in it. You are to smell pleasant, not like a flower shop.
- While combining two or more colours in your outfit, make sure they complement each other. Adding far too many colours would make you look like an eye shadow palette than a well-groomed lady.
Always dress well. A well-groomed person is always noticed and appreciated.