I think that understanding proportions is the key to really embrace dressing. Once you can understand the 'shapes' and 'lines' that make up your body, I think that you can find it much easier to dress in items of clothing that are flattering for your figure. Friends are often declaring to me, ' I wish I could wear that, but I could never pull that off!', when in truth they absolutely could! They just aren't confident in what the proportions of their body are. I often dress to give off the illusion that my body is one long rectangle (or at least I try to!) when in fact, I have what they call ' baby making hips'. I love my hips, but I find that dressing to give off the illusion that my torso is longer, often hides my hips and the 'longer rectangle' appearance is much more flattering on me.
In theory, longer shirts and sweaters, ones that stop at my butt should be flattering on me because they should add to the longer torso appearance, but I had to learn the hard way that they do the exact opposite. By stopping mid way through my back-side, these shirts and sweaters call attention to the area that I am trying to hide. When I started taking pictures of myself each day for the blog, I started to see how different styles looked on me in the eyes of other people, and the longer shirt was the hardest lesson I had to learn. For years I had making my 'baby making hips' look more like an ' apple bottom' when the whole time I thought I was enhancing my shape. I was certainly enhancing it, but not in the way I had hoped to.
A few months ago, I was helping Johnny's sister around her house as she was on crutches following a surgery. I offered to make a return for her at Forever 21, since the time was running out on the return policy. She explained to me exactly where to find the replacement item, and I knew I needed to make the exchange the next day before it would be to late. Two days later however I hadn't made the swap. So I made my way over to the store, purchased her the correct size in the Cardigan and decided to keep the wrongly sized item for myself. I couldn't return it now so what else was there to do with it? Johnny's sister has the ability to wear longer shirts like she is every designer's muse. They always look amazing on her. In fact almost every style I can't pull off, she wears like a dream. The nice thing is that come holiday's I can shop for her like I wish I could shop for me, and occasionally she encourages me to step out of my box a bit. This black cardigan would have been quickly looked over in the store. It's to long for me, and it hits me in all the wrong places. When paired with a loose skirt however, the transition from one piece to the other is seamless, and the attention is on the clothes and not on any unwanted shapes. Johnny's sister proved to me again that sometimes you've got to bend your own rules to know that they've all got a little wiggle room. It's handy to know what works best on me, but it's also nice to know where there's a little room to play.