Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

In media, male sex appeal is represented as being influenced by a huge variety of factors, such as humor, intelligence, charisma, athleticism, income, courage, etc., along with appearance. Female sex appeal is consistently and exclusively defined by appearance alone. That sucks.Beauty REDEFINED, Sex Appeal and Thin Ideals, February 6, 2012

It is a difficult conundrum. A book shouldn't be judged by its cover, nor should a person be judged by their appearance. All too often they are. Like it or not, what you wear sends a message. But how you look shouldn't define you.

One of the things that I've noticed in every single episode of What Not To Wear is that the hosts tell each participant that she is beautiful. Their goal is to help each woman to find beauty in herself, to flatter the figure that she has and to reflect her personality in what she wears. Over the past three or four years, I've been following their suggestions when I buy clothes. It is a little scary putting myself out there like this, but I find their “rules” really work. This is week three of sharing my little What-Not-to-Wear-distance-learning-on-a-shoe-string-budget experiment.

Making your clothes work for you involves optical illusions. This pretty pink top, which cost all of $4.20 brand new, has an elastic band that sits just below the bust, which brings attention to the narrowest part of the body and helps to create an hour-glass shape. This also makes your legs look longer, and therefore makes you look taller and thinner, because it appears that your waist starts higher on your body,. Straight-leg dark-wash jeans hide a lot. The hem should fall about ½” above the ground. And pointy-toed shoes help to elongate your legs.

Pink Print Blouse: Macy's
Retail: $24.00
Out-the-door: $4.20

Levi's 512 Dark Wash Bootcut Jeans, Macy's
Retail: $54.00
Out-the-door: $36.32
Yes, these are the same jeans I've shown you the last two weeks.

Grey Cardigan, Chadwick's of Boston
I've had this for four or five years, so I can't remember how much I paid for it.

Pointy-Toed Faux-Reptile Stilettos
I got these 3+ years ago at one of those traveling shoe parties in a trailer. I'm sure they were under $20.00

I made a few, simple alterations to the top. I almost always have to do some minor alterations {so not my favorite thing :yuck:} in order to make a piece of clothing work. I raised the neckline a bit by taking it up at the shoulder seams. I added darts at the bust and took it in on the sides in the ribcage area. I also hemmed it a couple of inches.

I mixed and matched the top with a few other pieces I had in my closet. I pretty much stayed with the same color palette; theme and variation, I suppose.

On the left:
Chelsea & Theodore belted jacket, Ross
Retail: $108.00
Out-the-Door: $19.99

Oatmeal Skirt by Jones Wear
I got this second-hand, but practically brand new, for free. I raised the hemline {:bug eyes: scandalous, I know} by several inches and love how classic this A-Line skirt is.

Royal Blue Suede Platform Heels, Payless Shoes
Retail: $27.99
Out-the-door: $17.99

On the Right:
Navy Shawl Collar Cardigan, Kohl's
Christmas Gift from my mom. She did good.

Faded Glory Jeans, Wal-Mart
Retail: $15.88
Out-the-door: $15.88

No Boundaries “Delancey” Flat, Wal-Mart
Retail: $13.87
Out-the-door: $13.87
Because if the shoe fits, you better buy it because it won't be there when you come back.

My quote for today came from an article by Beauty REDEFINED, which my sweet friend, Jenna, shared on her blog last week. I really thought it was a good article and pulled out about 50% of it to quote here. In the end, I decided to let you click on over and decide what you like in the article. I hope you'll take a look.


Barb said...

I enjoyed this post. I love "What Not to Wear"....and you did great in your choices.

Paulette said...

Those black jeans really do give you a lean and leggy look! Very nice. I am swooning over those blue suede pumps. (I'm tempted to run to Payless and try them on in my size, but I know the heel would be too high for me in real life.) I love the dark cardigan with that bright blouse under it. The second one hits you just a tad lower on the hip, which is nice with the longer blouse. I have always had a conundrum about the tapering under the bust. I think it looks good for my upper half, but in the total picture, I then look like I'm all legs. And I'm short-waisted to begin with. Having an outer layer, like a longer cardi, helps balance.

Jennifer Lovell said...

I like your "optical illusions" tips, and I just love that you are a shoe collector. You have great taste in shoes.

If anyone is reading my comment, I second the encouragement for everyone to read the article from Beauty Redefined, if you've ever felt insecure about your appearance. It is very empowering; one of the best articles I've ever read on the subject.

Michelle said...

You're looking good, Elizabeth! Those blue suede shoes in particular caught my eye.

QuiltNut Creations said...

loving the shoes! both pairs :) looking good Elizabeth.