U asked, I styled: Round 2

>I’m really excited! No, I didn’t score a YSL downtown tote, nor did I meet my dreamboat. But, I received the following style inquiry, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting for a long time. I knew it was bound to come eventually, and what’s better is I think there are a lot of women who can benefit from this lady’s quandary. Read on and learn!

I am curvy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am happy with my hourglass, but I just don’t know how to dress it! I obviously can’t wear skinny jeans without looking like a triangle, but don’t want to fall into the cliché of empire-waisted tops and A-line skirts all the time (though I do know the value of a good A-line skirt!) What do you recommend as additions to my wardrobe? I need something updated, fun, classic – all the good things! Help!

Curvy Girl

Yay Curvy!
You are a very lucky girl! I’m glad to hear about your confidence and outlook on how you look. Many people don’t recognize being a stylish person is often far beyond what you throw on your back. While the perfect outfit can emit an image far better than the one hiding inside, there are several people who are hella fierce looking, but then open their mouths only to reveal they’re hella foul! Think Victoria Beckham. I can tell you’re MAJOR fierce, though, and I love it.

With that said, however, your entry did evoke a few red flags for me. I’m heartened by the fact you know to stay away from the skinny jeans – it’s not a jab at you, but this style is just simply not one for the masses. But the fact you love A-lines and empire tops is slightly scary. I know you fear looking like a triangle, but this shape is only exacerbated by the A-line, and that’s because of the synonymous volume to that of the empire top. The effect created by pairing these two together gives new meaning to the term “bag lady.” So I’d say, limit your A-line tendencies and when necessary, pair with a blouse or cardigan as opposed to something that mimics the shape.

Having an updated, fun and classic wardrobe as you so desire is every girl’s dream – well, and certain boys’ dream, too. But for your shape, let’s outline some key pieces your wardrobe needs.

1) Tulip or pencil skirt. While these two styles hug the hips, it’s much more updated than the typical, 1950s cheerleader A-line. I especially like tulip skirts for spring ñ they’re really flirty and are as versatile as A-lines.

2) Shirtdress. If I were a woman, I’d probably live in shirtdresses. They’re classic and combine so many great elements (shape, color, structure, etc.) that they’ve become a wardrobe staple. I suggest one in a neutral, not nude, with a skinny belt in a bright color. For cooler days, throw on a cardigan or bolero and jeweled flats and HOOPTA! Take Northrop Mall by storm.

3) Color and prints. One of the largest misconceptions about dressing larger women is that they should stay away from bright colors, espesh prints. Not so, ma soeur! Black isn’t any more slimming than any other color. What it boils down to is finding clothes that fit, and this can be done at any price point. Choose colors that complement your skin tone, which with this season’s palettes is a cinch! Likewise, your search for prints will be simple – but the prints, however, should be bold and smartly chosen, i.e., if you’re top-heavy, grab a printed pant or skirt; conversely, if you give new meaning to Apple Bottom jeans, go for a fun top.

On a parting note, don’t wear flip-flops until there is no snow on the ground. This goes for all of you! I know it’s tempting, but you look ridiculous. You’d best leave that category for the Ugg-ers.

As ever,

-Have your own fashion question? Write me at [email protected], and you too could appear in “Where Life Meets Style!”