As a wardrobe consultant for A La Mode Wardrobe Consulting, I spend most of my days in client’s closets, shopping at the mall, or giving presentations on fit and style for corporations. I get asked many questions; some are common and some are unique. I always want to be ready with an answer, so the less common questions drive me to find answers. I enjoy it; I love learning.
Below are some common questions I get and a couple that are new to me.
Q: “What type of sleeve should I wear to cover my large arms?”
A: First of all, this is a common question and it’s a complaint I hear often by women that their arms are too large. Yet if you look around at women throughout your day, you will find that most women’s arms are similar in size. Yes, some women weightlift, creating a sculptured arm, but most do not. Some have extra skin that hangs below their arms and I’ve found that women loathe that extra skin.
We transform from teenage bodies to womanly bodies but, somehow, we’ve come to believe our arms should not change. Our thinking needs to change on this topic. I am not a weightlifter. Yes, my arms are thicker, but that thickness came as I matured into a woman and from years of carrying babies. That’s a beautiful thing. I believe we need to show our daughters acceptance of our bodies, including our arms, so they will accept themselves as they grow into their own womanly figures.
BUT, as we become more confident in showing our arms, I’ll tell you that a ¾-sleeve length is the most flattering sleeve a woman can wear. It shows off the wrist and it makes your legs (yes, I said legs) look longer. That’s because sleeves create a subliminal horizontal line across our bodies. We want our sleeves to end at a flattering spot, not not at the broadest part of our bodies, because it will amplify the width. A ¾-sleeve allows the subliminal horizontal line to land slightly above the waist or at the waist, emphasizing your waist rather than your hips.If you are wearing a third piece item, like a blazer, you can cuff the sleeves to give the same effect.
Q: “Often the kids are running late to school and my hair pays the price when I lack time, do you have an alternative to the office ponytail?”
A: Since I work only with wardrobing, I turned to my own hair stylist, Sam Jamison at Sola Salons. She sent me this and other fantastic, easy ideas found on THEBEAUTYDEPARTMENT.COM .
Q: “I have a fuller tummy. I don’t feel comfortable tucking in my shirts, but you say I need to create a waistline. How can I do that without tucking in?”
- You could start with just a one hand tuck-in of a shirt. That is literally one hand’s width of fabric tucked into a waistband. It could even be off-centered, but this would give a line at the waist and be a flattering way to keep wearing untucked shirts.
- Layers should always end in differing places, with one ending around the waist line. Wear your foundational top out and wear a short blazer over it that will land approximately at the waistline.
Q: Do you have go-to brands for comfortable shoes?
A: Everyone’s feet are different. One brand may be perfect for one and painful for another. You have to try them on. But there are plenty of ugly work-friendly shoes out there that are making women look frumpy. Here are black and brown shoe options that are supposed to be work-friendly yet have a more flattering style.
Please feel free to submit your own questions at the bottom of this blog.