How do you like them apples?

15 Mar

All right, are you ready?

I am about to impart all of the wisdom that I have picked up as an apple shaped girl. The best thing about carrying your weight on top is that we apple shaped girls have great racks. Call me crass, but there’s no bones about it. We are women and we carry it out front for all to see. As such we have to take care of those girls with a really well structured bra. In my experience Victoria’s Secret and the Cacique bras from Lane Bryant have been the most supportive and comfortable but you have to shop around and see what works best for you. Also, it’s absolutely essential that you get a fitting. Victoria’s Secret and all the high end department stores like Nordstrom have people who are trained to take your measurements and can point you in the right direction for a bra. If you’d feel more comfortable doing it at home click here for a link that will give you instructions for a DIY bra fitting.

So now that you’ve put the girls in their proper place it’s time to think about shirts. It’s tempting when you have a tummy to wear shirts that are loose and flowy (a temptation that I’ve succumbed to many, many times) but this can make you look bigger than you are. Instead look for shirts that either have some sort of darting (little sewn in folds or seams that create curves in a garment) or have a waist line with some gathering so the shirt pulls away from the tummy. Button up shirts can be a great option because they are often cut in such a way that they are very flattering for girls with a tummy and they’re made of a stiffer fabric so they hold their structure well. Plus, button up shirts with a slightly western or “prairie” feel are an emerging trend so if you buy one get ready to be the coolest girl on the block. Here’s an example and an outfit to go with it:

Nordstrom button up

To create even more of a waist try putting a belt over the shirt at the thinnest part of your torso.

Anthropologie Shining Double Strand Belt

You’ll also want to emphasize the thinnest part of you which is your legs. A great way to do this is with a pencil skirt. Remember, if it doesn’t fit properly you can always get it tailored. Just buy it so that it fits the largest part of you and then have the rest of it sized down.

Talbots Triomphe jacquard pencil skirt

Wearing fun socks is very trendy and looks super cute when you’re going with a more classic, preppy look.

Urban Outfitters Pointelle Sock

ModCloth Small College Town Wedge

Another thing to watch out for is shirts that make you look pregnant. You want to find shirts that have either a high natural waist or empire waist and pull away from your stomach, but aren’t so loose that you look like you bought the shirt with a growing tummy in mind. Make sure the fabric just skims your body. Here’s a great shirt that has a high, natural waist and gently gathers without looking tented.

ModCloth A Bushel and a Dress

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t think bigger girls or apple shaped girls can pull off skinny jeans but I don’t think that’s right. It’s true that if you’re not careful you can end up looking like humpty dumpty but I think if you wear a long shirt (or short dress) that hits at the mid to upper thigh then you can get away with it. (Like the shirt above.) But if you’re like me then you probably have a hard time finding jeans that fit. There are companies that do custom made jeans but they can be pricey. Jeggings are a pretty good option because they have a lot of stretch. And you can always try companies like Lane Bryant and Levi’s that have different fit options. The important thing is to try stuff on and see what works for you, and again you can always get them tailored.

Also, white jeans are fun right now but can look a little bit like you’re trying too hard to be a Gossip Girl so try rolling them up a few times in a sort of messy way, not a clean cuff, so they look beachy and modern.

Levi's Slight Curve White Jeans

As far as cardigans go, in my opinion the cardigans that are made of thicker fabric or have too many folds or lots of ruffles can ad girth that you don’t have. Also, if you’re not careful they can make you look boxy. My advice is to wear thin sweaters that hit no lower than mid hip or if they’re longer they need to have a sloped hem rather than a rectangular one. For example:

J Crew Cadabra Cardigan

Urban Outfitters Aztec Print Lace Up

Jackets are the best structural pieces you can have in your wardrobe (and by now you should know that I’m all about structure!) but you need to be careful about the cut. Look for jackets that are cut for a womanly shape, rather than being menswear inspired, and preferably find jackets with a strong shoulder. Why? Because strong shoulders can trick the eye into thinking that your waist is smaller than it is. By strong I mean it has a detail that will make your shoulders look bigger and straighter, like a particularly stiff seam or some kind of gathering. Also, if you can find shirts with strong shoulders then that’s awesome too, but please avoid shoulder pads unless you want to look like a linebacker.

Urban Outfitters Sparkle & Fade Maximilian Leather Blazer

For an apple shaped girl, finding pants and jeans can be its own special kind of torture so consider wearing more skirts and dresses on an everyday basis. They’re a great way to show off your awesome legs and they can be super comfortable. The principles for finding a great dress are the same as finding a great shirt: Look for extra seams and darting or a waist that hits you at your natural waist or higher, it needs to pull away from your tummy without being too loose (so as to avoid the pregnancy look), and try to find pieces with a strong shoulder if you can.

ModCloth Sketching Memories Dress

Urban Outfitters Over the Knee Pointelle Cuff Sock

Steve Madden Hitchike Boot

Steve Madden Hitchike Boot

Here’s a fun fact for you, did you know that during the Northern and Italian Renaissance period it was actually fashionable to look pregnant? In this portrait by Van Eyck the bride to be is holding her dress in a way that makes her look like she’s got a baby bump. Maybe someday the tides will turn and that dreaded pregnancy question will become a compliment rather than an insult.

Van Eyck the Arnolfini Marriage

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Bananarama

28 Feb

Somewhere someone was analyzing the different body types that people have and they said “Well, people with hips definitely look like pears.”

And the person they were with nodded in agreement.

Because this made so much sense the first person got caught up in the idea that people look like fruit so he continued on and said, “People who carry their weight on top kind of look like apples. You know, because pears are bottom heavy and apples are top heavy.”

The second person scratched his head and thought to himself, Some apples are just round, though. And some of them are pretty lopsided. Right? But in the end they remained silent.

The first person took this silence as encouragement and, caught up in his own brilliance exclaimed, “And if bottom heavy people are pears, and top heavy people are apples, then people who carry their weight evenly are bananas!”

And the second person said, “Now you’ve gone too far.”

But the damage was done and the first person went throughout the world spreading this idea about people as fruits. And just like the second man most people were with him at the idea of people looking like pears, and they were even willing to except the idea that top heavy people could be called apple shaped, but where most people drew the line was at bananas. Nobody really looks like a banana. We don’t curve that way. So instead they theorized that these people could be called rectangle. This is why fashion magazines are always writing stories about two fruits and a quadrilateral. So just to save anyone from future confusion, they are talking about how to dress your body type, not telling you a children’s story meant to introduce young’uns to the world of geometry.

Anywho, I would imagine that being rectangle (or straight) shaped is kind of awesome. Because this shape is in the middle you can really get away with any trend and look fine. But what I’m talking about in this series of posts is how to look awesome. So, let’s get started.

As with all body types the number one thing to remember is that if you want your body to look a certain way, you need to find garments that are structured to provide that shape. The common complaint among straight shaped women is that they can look a bit boyish so you want to look for garments that will increase the appearance of your hips and bust and be form fitting around your waist.

Jackets and blazers can be great structural pieces to add to a wardrobe but they can be cut in a highly masculine way. Try to look for something with princess seams or darts. This will give the appearance of a more womanly figure. Here’s a good example of one such jacket. It has darts in the front and princess seams in the back, and it has a ruffled yoke below the waistline which gives the appearance of hips so this one gets an A+.

And of course I’ve styled an outfit to go with it. The shirt has a gathered sleeve which gives the appearance of greater width through the shoulders and in turn a smaller waist. Any jacket or shirt with a strong shoulder is a good way to trick the eye into thinking the waist is smaller than it is.
These jeans are from Levi’s and are specially cut to fit women who have a straight shape.
Gathers and pleats are another great way to add volume to the bust and hips. Luckily we are going through a period in fashion where playing with volume is uber trendy so finding pieces to fit your needs is easy to do. Try to find pieces that hit at your natural waist. This is the spot on your torso that is thinnest and therefore the area you want to emphasize most. Luckily, this waistline is also uber trendy and easy to find and all of these outfits feature the natural waist.
This pleated skirt hits mid calf which can shorten the leg but you can turn this around by wearing tights and shoes in the same color and in the end your legs will look much longer.
ModCloth Don’t Steel My Skirt
Anthropologie Resonance Cowlneck
Anthropologie Resonance Cowlneck
Urban Outfitters diamond socks
So what are you going to do with all those baggy t-shirts and tunics that you love? Put a belt on them! No trend is easier to duplicate and no trend adds instant chic to an outfit like wearing a belt over your shirt at your natural waist. You can even put a belt on over jackets and cardigans.
Lastly, don’t make a face when you scroll down this outfit. I say this because it features a pair of tapered, pleated pants and this could give you horrible eighties flashbacks. But if you wear them lower on your hips, a little bit loose, and either rolled up or cropped then you will look ultra modern, fashion conscious, and best of all it will give you those hips you’ve been searching for. Remember, before pleated pants were all the rage in the eighties they were worn buy elegant women like Katherine Hepburn in the forties. Rectangle shaped women are really the only women who can get away with this trend so take advantage!

Forever 21 belted shirt

Anthropologie Pleaste Galore Crops

Also, I know this sounds weird but if you hop on the Oxford trend you’re better off not wearing socks if you wear them with pants or a long skirt. Somehow it just looks more feminine.

Deena and Ozzy Perimeter Oxford Shoe

Shopping is hard when you’re not a size 4

15 Feb

Here’s a shocking fact for you, I don’t love shopping. At least not for myself. I will gladly go out with my sisters and friends and help them pick out an outfit and I’ll have a great time. But when I’m forced to pick out clothes that I’m meant to wear the joy goes out of the process completely. I have an odd body type for a woman because I carry most of my weight on the front and have absolutely no butt (I call my butt Negatron because giving it a Transformer’s name makes it a little less pathetic in my strange brain) and as a result it is nearly impossible to find pants that fit and most shirts and sweaters are too clingy around my middle.

This was hard to deal with as a teenager because all I wanted to wear were baggy pants and tight t-shirts with cool graphics on them. I was so envious of those girls who could wear low slung pants that showed off just a little bit of their perfect tummies every time they moved. (Come on, I know you all remember the fashions of the late nineties. It was all about giving people a sneak peak of your abs)

Luckily my ideas about fashion changed. I opened my mind to skirts and dresses for every day wear because they fit me so much better than pants and I became willing to wear other things besides graphic tees and sweatshirts (although I still wear them around the house for comfiness sake). I also quit shopping in stores because it makes my heart hurt a little bit every time I go to a store and am forced to sift through all the beautiful clothes I’ll never wear in order to find the stuff that will fit oddly shaped me. Now I can get online and do localized searches for what I need and it brings back some of the fun. That way I’m focused on what makes me look good as I am, rather than wishing that I looked like someone else so that I could fit into certain styles. And isn’t that how life should be?

So for my next few posts I’m going to put up outfits that are specialized for certain body types. I’ll be ignoring price for the most part just because these are more to give you an idea of how to highlight the awesomeness of you, rather than show you awesome internet deals like I usually do.

The first body type I want to talk about is the pear shape. This is actually a great shape to have because it’s the most common shape for a woman, thus most clothes are designed with a smaller waist and larger hip in mind. Plus, butts are in! There aren’t too many rappers out there talking about how they like a jiggly belly. No, instead they are praising the apple bottomed girls. Frankly, I think my life would be easier if I were one of them.

Anywho, what you want to keep in mind when pulling together an outfit is de-emphasizing the parts of yourself you’re not crazy about and highlighting what you do like. So for pear shapes you’ll want to wear clothes that are tighter on top and looser on bottom. Dresses and skirts that hit at the natural waist and are gathered or pleated are a good way to achieve that. Most people believe in the old adage that a-line skirts are the most flattering but I would disagree simply because they tend to lack structure, and when you’re trying to hide a flaw you need something that holds its own shape.

Also, wearing heels is a good idea because it thins out and lengthens the leg. Even just a kitten heel can make a huge difference.

Here’s an example outfit:

Talbots Belle flower full skirt

J Crew Sequin Mist cardigan

ModCloth hours at the library heel

Another great way to slim and lengthen the leg is with a wide leg trouser. Make sure you’re looking at pants that are either relaxed or straight through the hip and thigh rather than fitted otherwise you’ll have major bell bottom action going on. Also, wear the type of shoes you’ll be wearing with the pants when you try them on and make certain you don’t get them too short. They should be about an inch from the floor when you wear them with your shoes (longer if you’re worried the material might shrink). Also avoid whiskered distressing whenever you buy pants because that will make the leg look wider.

Ann Taylor Signature Bergman Tweed Trouser

ModCloth Served With a Side of Character sweater

Steve Madden Dynastee Wedge

 

And of course there’s always the option of wearing a long sweater or jacket to cover things up. If you do this you can get away with most styles, even pencil skirts and skinny jeans. For skinny jeans try wearing jeggings or going to a store like Levi’s that make jeans for girls with different body types. Just remember, if it doesn’t fit in a certain area don’t be afraid to go a size up and then get the item tailored. I know that it feels like a sucker punch to the gut when you try on something in the size that’s supposed to fit you and it doesn’t, but wearing clothes that are too tight will make you look bigger than you actually are.

Anthropologie Twisting and Turning Cardigan

ModCloth Whitecap Waters Tunic

Levi's Bold Curve jeans

Forever 21 Buckle Up Combat Boots

Lastly, you can always just embrace your curves and wear whatever the heck you want! It’s hard enough being a woman in this world without being forced into these rules so feel free to forget everything I’ve said and just do your own thing. If you love it, wear it!

ModCloth Sale!!!

29 Jan

ModCloth is having a sale! Go! Go now!! Exclamation points!!!!

These are my favorites because they’re cute and in my price range:

ModCloth Family Vacation Dress

ModCloth The River Romantic

ModCloth House Show Jacket

ModCloth Shoulder and Tell Dress

ModCloth The Golden Ruler Dress

MIA no longer

24 Jan

Colors can be funny. Pick up a shirt that is on the in-between of blue and green and half the population will call it blue, the other half will call it green. It’s the same with lavender/pinks, purpley blues, buttery creams, and then of course there’s the whole khaki debacle. (Who decided that everything from light stone to olive green could be called khaki? They need a stern talkin’ to.)

But when it comes to orange there’s usually very little debate. Most people agree that orange is orange. Most people also agree that orange is among the least liked colors on our little planet. When you say the word orange it conjures up images of shag carpets, ugly and/or uncomfortable couches, dingy fast food restaurants, glaring Halloween decorations and signs that warn you of danger. It’s true that the interior designers of the seventies really didn’t do orange any favors (or avocado, mustard yellow and teal, but orange was probably the most abused) and the government really did a number on our collective subconscious by brain washing us into having anxiety every time we see a flash of orange. Despite this there is a small percentage of people who say that there is value in orange, who say that the past can be forgotten, that there is aesthetic beauty in this warm, friendly color, who say that it is in fact their very most favorite color.

And I’m one of them.

There are a lot of reasons that I love orange. I love the shade of orange that leaves turn in autumn. I love pumpkins and cheesy Halloween decorations. I love the way that orange stained glass windows look when light shines through them and I love that bright flash of color that a slice of orange brings to a breakfast plate. I also love that it’s an underdog. I’m really not much of a sports fan but I will sit down and watch an entire basketball game if you tell me that one of the teams is an underdog with a shot at winning.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this lately is because I’ve been looking over trend reports for the twenty eleven spring season and most of them agree that a pastel, washed out palette is what we’re looking at this year. I feel it myself. Whenever I look at yarns or fabrics or paint colors I am inevitably drawn to cream, blush, sea foam and lilac. But I’m also drawn to orange, which has no place in that palette. Colors trend in and out just like everything else, so why do I cling so hard to this little loved color? Am I genetically built that way? If people have a hard time seeing colors like red and green is it possible that I see orange more intensely than other people? I don’t know. But I do know that if I ever see an orange toothbrush, or iPod case, or skein of yarn you better believe I’ll be itching to buy it.

I wanted to find an outfit that featured orange to go along with my whole rant but I couldn’t find an orange piece I was really drawn to. So instead, here’s another outfit that proves that long skirts are back! And that just makes me smile.

Outfit total cost = $83

Urban Outfitters Pins and Needles Tulle Skirt

Forever 21 sweater

Anthropologie Basket Weave Tights

Mia Hannah Pump

I actually found something I hate more than housework

17 Nov

So you know that job that I’ve been complaining about for the last few months? The one that made certain I never had a good night’s sleep and caused me to endure daily verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of a bunch of teenagers? Yeah I finally quit. So now I’m unemployed and broke. Right before Christmas.

Way to be smart, Me.

In my defense there comes a point where the vortex of never ending darkness and exhaustion gives you so much anxiety that you snap at the slightest provocation and that’s an extremely volatile situation when you’re dealing with people whose one coping mechanism is uncontrollable hostility.

Really the worst part of this whole deal is that I’m moving again. This is my fourth move in eight months and I will most likely be moving again soon. Where to I don’t know. When I don’t know. My life is one giant question mark. My current strategy is to leave as much stuff in my car as possible. It’s so ghetto but I just can’t stand the idea of carting all my stuff out just to put it back in again a few weeks later.

You know those days when the house is wrecked and you think to yourself, maybe it would just be easier to move? Yeah, trust me, it’s not. Moving is the worst.

So for now I’m spending my days filling out endless job applications, hanging out with my nieces and nephews, feeling like a huge mooch and trying to decide what the heck I’m going to do with my life. Wish me luck.

This week’s outfit is one last desperate attempt to cling to fall. Also, I’m finally on board with jeggings. For some reason I thought all jeggings were just leggings with jean style stitching. I’m happy to be wrong. Anyway, I’m in love with this outfit. Hopefully you’ll love it too. Outfit total cost = $86

J. Crew Traversa Cardigan

Mossimo Jegging

Alternative Apparel Heathered Crew Tee

Sugar Women's Smokin Cat Wool Plaid Flat

 

Prairie Goddess

8 Nov

Long skirts are making a come back and it’s about freaking time! I’m really done seeing full grown women prancing around in outfits that make me think they are trying to live out their naughty school girl fantasies. (*vomit*)

Marc Jacobs was the first major designer I noticed to tap into this prairie/hippie/long skirt trend with his fall 2010 collection and I am thrilled to see that other, more accessible designers are hopping on the band wagon. Also it goes with one of my favorite songs from Hot Hot Heat’s newest album so it gives me an excuse to post the song on this here bloggy thingy.

What’s that? You demand an example outfit of the prairie trend? Well, I’m happy to oblige.

outfit total cost = $105

Urban Outfitters Lucca Couture Prairie Dress

Urban Renewal Cropped Corduroy Blazer

Charlotte Russe Lace-Up Work Boots