Whatever your style, creating outfits can be easy if you think of things in terms of balance. And whether you are working with a pant, jean, skirt or dress, your bottom-to-top proportion plays a key role in creating a flattering look. Now it’s important to note that today’s post is only a guide. Try out a few, or all of today’s tips for fun, and if it’s not for you, then go with what feels best and rock it all day long. I find a having a guide is helpful when I am rushed, and need to get out the door in a flash.
Being I am only one body type, I can’t possibly cover all silhouettes in this post. But perhaps today’s musings will inspire you to get back into your closet and try creating a few new looks of your own, using proportion play as a guide.
My Top to Bottom Style Guide
Fitted Bottom = Full Top
Full Bottom = Fitted Top
And don’t forget to add your 3rd piece (top layer or accessory)!
- I like to tuck my tee into my skinny jeans. Yes, you should! But consider adding a 3rd layer – perhaps a jacket, kimono, or cardigan to balance out the proportions.
- What about my pencil skirt? The pencil skirt uniform; a button down shirt or blouse, tucked neatly into a skirt, is considered an everyday work look for many women for a simple reason – it’s flattering. Perhaps you prefer to wear a fitted tank tucked into your skirt? No problem, for a more polished look – add a 3rd piece. A jacket or cardigan in a crop, hip or longer length – whichever length best flatters your body type.
- Leggings. Not to be confused with pants, I think leggings look best when paired with something full on top that covers the booty and crotch area. If you like your first layer to feel fitted to the body, consider adding a longer tank or tee UNDER your third layer. I always layer a longer fitted top under a flowy top or tunic when wearing leggings as you never know which way the wind will blow!
- I love the paper bag pant, but what do you pair it with on top? The paper bag, along with its friend the high waist pant are designed to show off the waist, so show it off! Start with a fitted top; then add your 3rd piece. A crop jacket or sweater…perhaps a long vest or cardigan if you are tall.
- Wide Leg Palazzo Type Pants: A statement piece on their own, I like to go fitted on top in order to balance out the full bottom-and let it shine. Another option is to make your 1st layer a fitted tank, then layer a kimono over the whole look. If this is the case, the kimono or long duster/cardigan could be tied or belted – to show some definition and show off your curves.
5 Bottoms That Can Be A Challenge To Style
1. The Wide Leg, High Waist, Crop Jean or Trouser
The high waist pant is designed to show off the waist, so show it off!
Start with a fitted top; then add your 3rd piece. A crop jacket or sweater – a long vest or cardigan if you are tall.
A cropped length or top tucked-in, will show off your waist as well.
2. Flare Jeans
Fitted through the leg, flare or bootcut jeans are wide on the bottom, so they work with just about anything on top. The trick to getting flare or boot cut jeans right, is the shoe. With crop boot or flare jeans, I prefer a mule, loafer slide, pump, lightweight sneaker or a pointed toe bootie. When wearing full-length flare jeans, a pointed toe bootie or pump is a fun surprise, peeking out from under your hem. For petites, add some height by wearing a platform like Rachel Zoe, for a long lean leg look.
With the crotch and bottom covered, try adding a scarf to draw the eye up. This will create fullness on your top half, balancing out your skinny bottom piece. Or, if you prefer less bulk and a shorter sweater, consider layering a longer piece underneath for booty coverage.
4. Skinny Jeans
A longer tunic sweater adds coverage, and once again, a full scarf adds volume to your top half. If you want to show off more of your waist, simply tuck or 1/2 tuck a fuller blouse or top, into your skinnies.
5. Pencil Skirt
Tucked neatly into a pencil skirt, a button down shirt, blouse, or cashmere tee is considered an everyday work look for many women for one a simple reason – it’s flattering. For a more polished look, create interest to your outfit by adding a cardigan, jacket or blazer.
Hopefully, these tips prove helpful the next time you go into your closet to create looks of your own. But at the end of the day, no matter what you read here or anywhere else, it’s important to stay true to your style (not trends) and body type. DO wear what flatters and makes you feel your best self, each and every day! Happy styling!
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