I talk a lot about traditional figure flattery. In no small part because that’s what you folks tell me interests you, and because the questions you have are typically very specific and include topics not covered by style books and magazines. I find it fascinating to learn about the challenges you face in dressing your personal best, and love to explore options with you.
I’m also fascinated by the F*ck Flattering movement which was more or less sparked by a tee shirt designed by Gisela Ramirez, and have read with interest the responses to this conscious rebellion against fashion rules and dressing norms. In common use, “flattering” means something that “makes your body appear tall, thin, balanced, and hourglass-shaped.” It also implies limiting jiggle, covering cellulite, wrinkles, and scars, keeping a large bust in check, and lots of control-related mandates. Traditional ideas of figure flattery are rooted in a very narrow beauty ideal, tied to the male gaze and heteronormativity, and extremely exclusionary. Looking past the obvious sizeism, consider that some petite women will never appear tall and some thin women will never appear hourglassy. “Flattering,” in common use, tries to force a marvelously diverse population of women into a very specific idealized shape.
Originally posted 2013-07-22 06:02:00.
Waaaaay back in 2009, I cooked up this tutorial on pairing necklaces and necklines. And, looking back, I still agree with virtually everything I wrote. However, since this is a question that comes up fairly often I figured it was worth revisiting and discussing.
As I said back in the day, I believe that a necklace should ideally:
- NOT compete with the neckline of your top
- Fill the visible neck/chest area
- Or, in the case of closed necklines, create contrast
Let’s start with a scoopneck for our first example:
Simple neckline, simple necklace. This pairing adheres to the criteria listed above – necklace and neckline aren’t fighting each other and the necklace fills the space. Notice, too, that the scoopneck and chain mirror each others’ shapes. A pendant would have created a v-shape, but this unadorned chain is rounded just like the visible neckline. (Secondary, but something to consider.)
Originally posted 2012-12-19 06:08:52.
Bubu e-mailed me this question:
I realize ever more that almost all models have narrow shoulders and long necks — but many of us mortals don’t. It doesn’t bother me, per se, but makes it harder to visualize how things will work on me — often things that look flowy or edgy on a model-type or in a catalog just look boxy and stuffy on me, e.g., most blazers, turtlenecks, necklaces, scarves, etc. I have worked hard to improve my posture and pull my shoulders down so they don’t rise up to my ears, which helps significantly, but any more tips/advice to flattering looks and things to avoid?
Originally posted 2013-06-03 06:36:04.