Comfy casual- denim jeans
cut, color and length
use of tank or halter under cardigan or blazer
belts- thick belt with jeans!
belts used outside of sweaters, over longer tops
make sure “the girls” are high enough up if wearing a belt on the outside**
shoes- use a heeled shoe to dress up an outfit
jewelry- go bold, especially if outfit uses very neutral colors or is very plain or conservative
scarves as accessories, not just for warmth
pencil skirt in neutral
crisp white shirt-trendy flare with ruffles
blazer/sweater/cardigan with pop of color
pieces of suit don’t need to match in color or texture
The Basics- What every closet should have
Jeans (or denim)
Jeans are what you garden in, denim being the classy addition to your lower half.
Cut-should not cover navel, yet not too low- “plumber’s crack”
Color- darker denim creates that long and lean look. Not too worn.
Length- you should almost be able to step on the back hem.
Fit- they should fit at waist and hip and then flow through the end
Hard to fit in jeans?? Many companies offer custom fitting. Try fitting again.
Jeans should be borderline too tight when in the dressing room. They will stretch.
mid-rise jean—jeans that come up to somewhere right in between your belly button and
your hip—at around a 9" rise (that's the distance between the crotch and the waistband).
Either a pair of slacks or skirt with matching jacket or blazer.
Skirts and slacks- NO PLEATS
Neutral colors include gray, black, brown, tan
A belted trench- neutral color
Black 2 inch pump or boot
Long sleeved white button down, collared shirt
LBD- AKA “The Little Black Dress”. Can be tailored or cotton casual.
Accessories MAKE THE OUTFIT. They don’t come in “sizes”. They pull attention away from figure flaws.
necklaces- short and chunky vs. long and dangly
rings, bracelets, earrings
Alterations and customizations
Make a friend of a great alterations specialist. It is nearly impossible to buy a flattering, tailored suit right off the rack. It is a minor expense that will yield huge results.
Look for hem and seam allowances on clothing if you plan on buying something to have it
Wash all denim in cold water, turned inside out, with darks-specific detergent.
DON’T DRY DENIM!
Hand wash sweaters (if not dry cleaned) and lay flat to dry.
Dry clean those items that require it. Don’t go at it yourself.
Keep a simple shoe shine kit handy.
Wash all darks together (excluding denim) in cold water and special detergent.
Fold sweaters, don’t hang.
Use wooden or wide hangers for suit coats. ELIMINATE ALL WIRE HANGERS
Evaluate the items in your closet. Rules:
If you haven't worn it in over a year, it needs to go.
If you wore something when you were pregnant AND YOU’RE NOT NOW, either get rid of it or put it in the “prego pile” to possibly wear WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT!
If you’ve lost weight in the last little while, get rid of the old “fat” clothes.
Organize shoes on shoe racks or in boxes. If you choose clear storage boxes, remember to allow for air circulation. Leather shoes breathe and need to not be sealed up. Take pictures and attach to outer side of box for easy accessibility.
Remove clothing from dry cleaning bags and garment bags. Visibility is key in knowing what you have!
Separate blouses, skirts, sweaters, slacks, jackets in your closet.
A great fitting bra is absolutely key!! Go get fit if you haven’t been lately.
Try a different store from where you normally buy your bras.
A bra should last you about a year before elastic is over-stretched and spandex is worn out.
A bra fits when you have all breast tissue inside cup (gather it from the bottom and arm pit
SPANX- not your mama’s girdle. Use them under all dresses and skirts. Use under slacks
and under jeans if desired. Many kinds:! go generic!
For those panty wear-ers: find those panties that eliminate most of a panty line.
Leg-wear- the longer the hemline, the sheer-er the tight. Shorter hemline requires a more
opaque tight, it requires more coverage. A more opaque tight with a longer hemline
makes the calves and ankles look thicker.
Knock-off designs and stores that carry them
Many designers have caught on that not everybody can afford the pricy stuff they make, many of them have created the bargain level clothes.
Target, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyers carry great copy-cat or knock-off versions of hip and
Go into stores that you haven’t gone into for a while. You may be surprised!
Rise: The length between the waistband and the inseam. High-rise sits 1/2 inch above
your navel, minimizes curves, and holds in your tummy. Mid-rise sits at your navel or 1
inch below and enhances curves in your hip. Low-rise sits 2 inches below your navel
and flattens a larger bottom.
Inseam: Measurement of the inside of your leg, from the middle of the crotch to the
bottom of your jeans.
Band: Waistband of the jeans. Also, the measurement of your waist.
Bootcut: Widely known as the favorite (and most flattering) cut for most women,
bootcut jeans give your legs a longer, slimmer appearance, due to the slightly wider cut
below the knee. Generally fit close to the body.
Flared: Modern version of the bell-bottom; generally fitted through the hip, knee, and
thigh area, then cut wide below the knee.
Classic Five-Pocket: Skims the hip and thigh; slightly tapered with a roomy cut in the
seat to allow easy movement.
Loose: Most comfortable cut; extremely roomy in the hip, seat, and thigh area.
Straight: Cut the same width from hip-to-hem, best for toning down curves in the hip
area. Generally not fitted, but body skimming.
Tapered: The ankle is cut very slim, which creates the illusion of smooth curves in the
Relaxed: Fit with the most room in the seat area, typically with lower-rise waist.
Wash: The general color and texture of your jeans. Dyes, enzymes and stones are
used to achieve desired look.
Whiskers: Bleached marks and crease lines across the hip and knee -- looks similar to
Distressed: Jeans have a worn-in appearance; holes and fraying most common.
Tint: Jeans are dipped into diluted dye of various colors; gold and brown are popular
Sand-Blasted: Denim is washed with sand to fade material into a lighter shade.
Corded: Cross between denim and corduroy pants.
Frayed: Edges are loose strings of denim fabric, generally around the waist and ankle.
Generally, American jeans will fit according to these standards:
Size Abbreviation Full Name
00/2 XS Extra Small
4/6 S Small
8/10 M Medium
12/14 L Large
16/18 XL Extra Large
Size Waist Measurement (in inches)
Dress the largest part of you first, otherwise you look like you’re squeezing into things. By dressing the hardest part, everything else can be altered.
Just because you fit into something doesn’t mean you should.
An A-line skirt needs a more fitted top.
Metallics are neutrals.
Use your curves to your advantage.
INVEST IN A FULL-LENGTH MIRROR.
Spend more money on a few great pieces than lots of trendy pieces.
Cropping a sweater or jacket with a large chest makes you look really heavy.
Clothes that fit actually make you look smaller.
Use clothing to shape your body.
You cannot hide curves, otherwise you look a lot bigger than you are.
When you look good, you want to keep looking good.
More and more people can get away with wearing a skinny jean-when done right.
Jeans: a tapered leg means that the hem is narrower than the knee, creating width up top.
Flap pockets and pockets with a lot of embelishments add weight and emphasis to butt
Since wearing clothes that are too small or too big can make you look up to 10 lbs heavier, do
the work to find the right jeans. By wearing jeans that fit your unique shape you ensure that
you’re showing off only your best attributes.
Websites I love...
! zappos.com -fast, overnight delivery on most shoes, clothing, accessories.
! overstock.com (great for MANY of life’s must-haves!)
! piperlime.com - A GAP company, great for shoes. Low, flat rate shipping.
! garnethill.com- classic, well-made clothing, shoes, accessories
! bananarepublic.com - great selection of jewelry
! indicustom.com- a great place to design your own custom jeans
! amazon.com- great deals on clothing and shoes
! shopstyle.com- uses your search to recommend websites to purchase
! us.longtallsally.com- website for tall ladies
“Style on a Shoestring” by Andy Paige
“The Science of Sexy” by Bradley Bayou
In Style’s “The New Secrets of Style”!
October 1971 Ensign “Fads and Faith” - By Peggy Hawkins