Reader L e-mailed me this question:
I know this might be a question that applies to a lot of people, but in case it’s useful info, my specific body is like this: I’m about 5’7″, and I weigh somewhere between 145 and 150 lbs at any given minute. I have a very short waist (less than 2.5″ between my last rib and my hipbones), very small breasts (a-b cup, I rarely wear underwire bras) and a large ribcage–about 37 inches around. It’s not that I’m barrel-chested, which I know is an actual medical diagnosis, just that I’m really wide side-to-side. I’ve always struggled with those apple/pear/rectangle body classifications. I have the wide top half and super long legs that would make me an apple, except that I’ve never particularly had a tummy and my waist does come in a couple inches between my ribs and my hips (but it’s short enough to not particularly produce an hourglass shape). And while I have curvy hips and a big butt that mean I’m not really rectangular at all, my torso’s much shorter and wider than those shapes called pear.
Originally posted 2013-06-18 06:39:20.
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.
I moved to Minnesota after spending two years living in San Francisco. That was 13 years ago, and I am STILL re-learning how to layer. Although I’ve cooked up a post that contained my main layering tips, I’ve found myself dishing out this particular piece of advice to readers and clients recently and thought it was worth sharing.
Many layering issues arise from trying to fit sleeves inside of other sleeves. Even if your outer garment is lined in a slippery material – and that’s a big “if” – long-sleeved shirts shoved into long-sleeved blazers, jackets, and sweaters can feel tight and awkward. If it’s cold enough, you might not care. But in my experience, multiple layers over your arms don’t add all that much to your total body warmth. Warmth generally radiates outward from your core, so keeping your core warm will help keep your whole self warm.
Originally posted 2013-03-15 06:25:39.