Suit Up or Cover Up? That is the Question…

swimsuits

Yesterday I needed to distress and unwind. Like all the Fashionistas that came before me, nothing makes me feel better faster than walking through a department store. The sights, the smells, the sales!!!!! I start on the bottom floor (or wherever the shoes are) and worked my way up. I was finally starting to feel relaxed…that is until I stumbled into the swimsuit department. I haven’t purchased a new suit in a few years and since my last suit I’ve lost some weight. Yea! I deserve a treat for my success, right? Well at that time of the month with my extra five pounds of bloat-age, I found that going to the swimsuit department was a definite mistake. With my hormone levels spiking up and down faster than the stock market, I get slightly emotional with a touch of self-loathing on the side. In other words, major melt down in front of the dressing room mirror.
I know by nature women can tear themselves down faster than the electronics sell-out of Wal-Mart on the Black Friday sale. I am pretty sure it is woven into our DNA to hate ourselves. In celebrity interviews they ask “What do you like most about yourself?” I can honestly say “nothing”. I constantly find a flaw that I cannot fix and focus on that for days. Instead of praising my long eyelashes or I fit into my skinny jeans again (and could button the top button PLUS sit down!) I focus on my bubble butt, my muffin top, or that my boobs are too big so much so that I cannot button the top button of my pea coat. Can anyone else relate?
We all know that the lighting in the dressing rooms are the LEAST flattering form of illumination ever, but with the girdle area (from mid thighs to the smallest part of waist) extra bloated, trying on half priced bikinis was bad juju! After a thirty minute melt down convincing myself the reason I am single is because of my love handles, I gather myself up, throw the bikinis into the discard pile, and continue through the store. Perhaps I should revisit the shoe department. There were some BCBG’s I didn’t try on…
As I walk through the store I begin to notice the clothing, or lack thereof. I see the short, skimpy shorts, the tight body hugging mini dresses, the low cut tops – which of course are sleeveless exposing my untoned arms (which is most definitely the reason I do not have a boyfriend). *sigh*. The short shorts and tank top season is here and I still have 15 more pounds to lose before I even attempt to squeeze into any of the afore mentioned items. I know how to pair items together to make a fantastic fashion statement. However, these styles are made for the stick thin models who are either blessed with fantastic genes or simply don’t eat. For me, my genes are not those of Heidi Klum and the not eating thing doesn’t work. So comes the universal question: suit up or cover up?
It takes a deep breath, a Starbucks frappaccino, and my mantra to clear my head and go toe to toe with the bikini department. I size myself up in the mirror and try my hardest to see myself as I truly am versus the chubby version my mind creates in the mirror. I let go of all my pre-conceived ideas and tell myself I need to take a chance on fashion. I recall the countless articles I read about “dressing for your body”. I remind myself that as a curvy girl, I am NEVER going to pull off a shapeless tunic that the Kiera Knightly’s of the world can work. I should stay away from ruffles on shirts and stick to belted dresses/tops that accentuate my waist. There are even tips for navigating through the swimsuit department! I just have to realize that I am never comfortable going half naked in public and I am never going to find a positive reflection staring back in the mirror while I am in a swimsuit. But with a few tips and tricks, I could feel better. I could suit up instead of cover up this summer because everyone knows you look thinner with a tan!

Below are the tips and tricks I have discovered for every body type. Hopefully you too can suit up and leave the cover behind…unless it is a super cute one!
 

~Boyish Shape
Celebrity Icon: Kiera Knightly, Sienna Miller
Tricks/Tips
•If you are small chested, wear tops and swimsuits with ruffles. They create the illusion of bigger bust an d draw the eyes to the spot. *See Julianne Hough’s swimsuit
•If you have a flat butt, wear jeans with flap pockets. This gives your rump an extra oomph.
•Wish you had curvier hips? No problem! Just pick dresses that has details around the hips    * See  Blake Lively  red Chanel dress pix
•If you want to wear a cute statement belt, make sure it is slung low on your hips versus your waist to create curves.
•For skirts, stay away from fitted, tight skirts. Instead go for the minis (you’ve got the legs!) and pick skirts with details around the hips and thighs (think ruffles, rhinestones, pockets) to create the illusion of curvier hips. •You’ve got a skinny body so show it off! Pick a feature to showcase such as your legs in a cute mini or your arms in a one shoulder or strapless top. Curves we can create, but your slim appendages we can’t. Show it off girl!
Items to Avoid:
•Fitted items. They overemphasize your slim body and lack of curves.

 

~Curvy
Celebrity Icon: Any Kardashian Sister, Christina Hendricks, Marilyn Monroe, Sofia Vergara
Tricks/Tips:
•Showing off your figure starts with under your clothes. Invest in shapewear such as spankx. They make everythi ng from tummy control to whole body. Don’t be ashamed to wear shapewear…it does not mean you have turned into an old lady! I promise every Hollywood Celebrity is wearing shapewear under their garments at the red carpet! Go to places like JCPennys or Macys in the intimates department for various degrees of shapewear at a lower price. Also, look for coupons to save even more! (BTW, Victoria Secrets does not carry shapewear; this is dumb, I know). *See pix of hip/tummy shaper
•Stick with V-necked items. Most likely you’ve got a large bust. High necked articles can make you look frumpy or matronly. Depending on your comfort level, you can show a bit of cleavage depending on how low you want your V-neck to go.
•Stick with cap sleeves vs. sleeveless. The cap sleeve is more flattering to your arm.
•Go for boot cut jeans.
•High-waisted pants with wide legs are flattering because they highlight your slimmest parts, which are y our waist and ankles.
•Use a strategically placed belt to highlight your thin waist! Cinch your waist with a belt on a tunic, dress, or long top. *See pix
•Wear fitted A-line or pencil skirts that hit just above or just below your knee.
•For swimwear, try a tankini with a tummy control element or a full coverage bikini for extra support. If you want to cover your legs, look for bottoms that have a skirt that hits below the top of your thighs.
•Remember dark colors, such as black, navy, and charcoal, are slimming. Try and use dark colors for your bottoms (and swimsuits) to make your hips look slimmer.
Items to Avoid:
•Shirts/swimsuits with ruffles…your chest will draw enough attention on its own, no need to enhance your natural assets with frills that might make you look matronly
•Embellishments on her hips including ruffles, pockets, and belts
•Shapeless tops… A big tent will enhance your figure in an unflattering way.

~Petite
Celebrity Icon: Kristin Chenoweth, Kristen Bell, Reese Witherspoon
Tricks/Tips:
•Lucky you, you get an excuse to wear heels everywhere! Wedges are a perfect blend of comfort and height in the summer. To elongate your legs, try and keep the shoe the same color as your bottoms (whether that be a nude to match your bare legs or black to match your black tights/pants.)
•Stick with vertical lines versus horizontal. The vertical lines make your body look longer.
•V-necks: they make your neck look longer thus making you look taller!
•Skirts: Pe ncil skirts that follow your body’s lines (but not too tight!) is most flattering. If you choose to wear a mini, wear it with flats *See Reese Witherspoon pix
•Swimwear. Lucky you, you can pull off almost any style. Just be sure to avoid horizontal stripes!
Items to Avoid:
•Bulky fabrics. Opt for a cashmere sweater versus chunky cable knit sweaters.
•Mid-calf skirts
•Horizontal items: obviously avoid horizontal stripes on clothes, but also avoid wide bell bottoms and Capri’s that open wider at the bottom.

~Plus Size
Celebrity Icon: Melisa McCarthy, Queen Latifah, Brooke Elliott (from Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva)
Tricks/Tips:
•Showing off your figure starts with under your clothes. Invest in shapewear such as spankx. They ma ke everything from tummy control to whole body. Don’t be ashamed to wear shapewear…it does not mean you have turned into an old lady! I promise every Hollywood Celebrity is wearing shapewear under their garments at the red carpet! Go to places like JCPennys or Macys in the intimates department for various degrees of shapewear at a lower price. Also, look for coupons to save even more! (BTW, Victoria Secrets does not carry shapewear; this is dumb, I know). *See pix of full body shaper
•Stick with V-necked items. Most likely you’ve got a large bust. High necked articles can make you look frumpy or matronly. Depending on your comfort level, you can show a bit of cleavage depending on how low you want your V-neck to go.
•Dark colors are slimming. Try dressing in one color to look extra slim and add pops of color with awesome accessories such as belts, statement necklaces, scarves, shoes, and purses.
•Stick with tailored clothing. Fitted garments actually make you look thinner! Trying to hide under baggy make you look larger than you are. Just make sure you have the proper size. Too small doesn’t do you justice either.
•High heels. These babies will do a great deal for you! They will lift you up in all the right places and help balance you out your width.
•Posture. It is a little known fact that if a person stands up straight, you will automatically look five pounds lighter! (It also helps prevent back aches and hopefully avoids the dreaded “hump” women tend to get as they get older from osteoporos is…so take your calcium too!).
•Low Rise Pants: This style is the most flattering. It makes your butt look smaller and helps avoid the “muffin top” all women fight. Also, boot cut is the most flattering. *See Queen Latifah
•For swimwear try a tankini with a tummy control element or a full coverage one piece for extra support. If you want to cover your legs, look for bottoms that have a skirt that hits below the top of your thighs.
• Vertical lines: They slim you down and lengthen you.
Items to Avoid:
• Stretchy fabrics. They tend to cling in all the wrong places. Especially avoid silk, rayon, and jersey fabrics.
• Shirts/swimsuits with ruffles…your chest will draw enough attention on its own, no need to enhance your natural assets with frills that might make you look matronly.
• Embellishments on hips including ruffles, pockets, and belts.
• Shapeless tops. A big tent will enhance your figure in an unflattering way.
• Horizontal lines. They make you look wider.

Hope these guidelines helps you suit up and save the cover up for those cool evenings at the beach. Until next time…
XOXO
Girl in the Pink Shoes

3 Comments

  • Sterker
    June 26, 2011 - 10:55 pm
  • Jenzing
    October 21, 2011 - 10:59 am
  • Ehantelle
    October 21, 2011 - 11:54 am

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