Saturday, August 02, 2008

Stylish Fashions for the Petite Frame

Hi SheShe! I'm a seventeen-year-old high school student and I'm about 5 ft 6.5 in. Because I was overweight for most of my life, I was never one of the fashionable girls I lived in hoodies and loose jeans. But now, after losing 50 lbs, I can wear all the things I've wanted to for the last six years. My problem is I just don't know how to be fashionable, how to combine things. My second problem is that in comparison to my long torso my legs are quite short. (inseam 30) I'd love to dress to make them appear longer, but I just don't know how. Could you offer some tips, please? Thank you so much! Love, Vanessa

Hello Vanessa darling!

First of all, big snaps all around for losing 50 lbs (which of course you will keep off by continuing with a sensible eating plan and regular exercise)! That is quite an achievement, and now you can reward yourself with some great new styles.

Putting together stylish ensembles may seem like an overwhelming and frustrating chore, but it really doesn't need to be that way. Just take a simple and straight forward approach, and in no time at all you will be knocking them dead with your stylishness. I would highly recommend TiVo'ing "What NOT to Wear" on TLC. The advice from Stacey and Clinton is spot-on EVERY time, and they will answer tons of your fashion questions on each episode.

That said, let's lay down a few standard ground rules for you. First of all, to accomodate your long torso and short legs I have one word for you: HEELS! And since you have been living in hoodies, sweats and jeans forever, don't let this intimidate you. Heels do not have to be uncomfortable. I would strongly suggest buying platforms with chunky heels or wedges to begin with, to ease yourself into the feel of higher heels. Wedges and platforms are more stable and therefore easier to walk in, as well as wear all day. They are also much more age appropriate for a high school senior, as well as extremely fashionable. A great pair of open toe wedges to wear with skirts and dresses, a pair of platform ankle boots for jeans and trousers, and a pair of platform Mary Janes should give you a great start in the heel department. These three basic styles can mix and match with everything in your wardrobe. (When you get used to the feel of the added height, you can add the skyscrapers.)

Next, determine your basic style. Sophisticated or Sporty? Preppy or Nature Girl? Romantic or Funky? Classic or Bombshell? An easy way to do this is to look toward some of today's fashion icons to help you determine which style would best suite you. For instance, Katie Holmes is a definite Sophisticate. Blake Lively is Preppy. Penelope Cruz is a Romantic. Kate Hudson is a Nature Girl, but can pull out all the stops and go totally Sophisticate. And Scarlett Johansson is a classic Bombshell.

Once you have determined your basic style, you can look for separates to fill your wardrobe. Since your wardrobe up till now has consisted of baggy sweats, a great starting point for you would be a classic wardrobe: Navy, black or khaki blazer and crisp button-down shirt, classic designer jeans, heeled ankle boots and a hobo bag. Very crisp, very classic. A more trendy version of this would be a cropped sweater or jacket worn with a sleek turtleneck and wide-legged trousers. Give the ensemble a pop of color with platform wedges and a fun shoulder bag. For dressier occasions, a sleek and simple dress worn with platform pumps is perfect. Add a funky necklace or bracelet to give it a little more edge.
Also, one final rule of thumb: if you are wearing a figure hugging top, you should off-set it with a looser bottom. For instance, a great fitted top would look fantastic with a pair of wide-leg or trouser jeans, or a floaty skirt. The same rule applies for the opposite: if you are wearing a loose top, you should wear a more figure hugging bottom. A loose fitting cami looks fantastic with skinny jeans, or belted over a pencil skirt.
Hope this gets you headed in the right direction! Remember, happy girls are the prettiest girls, so stay happy darling!

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