4.7.2007 + dressing for your figure, not the fad

4.7.2007

getting ready to go out on the town yesterday eve, for drinks and curry. this outfit is basically me in a fashion-y nutshell: a little clean, a little quirky, a little cute/demure, a little of the mixing up of eras with more regard to shape and color than decade. i’ve come to think of the super skinny, skinny jeans as more of leggings than jeans, per se. being that i hail from a perpetually chilly clime (san fran, ca), one has to dress with warmth in mind, and this is one of my favorite ways. dress over pants haters be damned to hell.

-red 80s blouse with frilly neck frill: beacon’s closet, williamsburg, brooklyn
-green empire waist dress: made by me from a 70s vintage pattern years ago
-black acid wash jeans, worn like leggings
-red leather strappy stiletto sandals: fornarina
-orange 60s earrings: salvation army, manhattan, NYC
-unseen orange cocktail ring: mission thrift, SF.

***

on the subject of wearing what’s right for one’s body:

wide leg jeans are a style that seem to be fast on it’s way back in the current and coming seasons, at the decree of some sour draconian fashion arbiters that are “sick of the skinny”/straight/anything resembling it.

i found a pair of such at my local thrift, and upon trying them on in the comfort of my own home and giving them a twirl in my bedroom mirror, i came to the honest conclusion that such wide-leggedness does absolutely nothing for a short-stuff like moi. i’m 5′ 3”, and curvy, and wide leg pants make me look stumpy and wide.

one has to be critical…the whole aesthetic picture has to be considered, and if a shape doesn’t work, it has to be canned.

straight or slim pants personally do me and my figure more justice…the slimmest part of my body is the bottom half (hips and legs). why not accentuate the positive? isn’t that what personal style is partially about?

YES. knowing what works and what doesn’t work is KEY, and TRENDS ARE MEANINGLESS, as far as “shapes” are concerned. not every trend or shape works for every body. it looks smarter to stick with shapes that work for your figure than to slavishly follow fads.

17 comments

  1. Ashley

    Your hair is growing out so nicely! I love the shape of your bangs right now.

    I feel very fortunate that, when I find the right pair of straight leg jeans (which is hard to do), they work well, and yet, since I’m tall and curvy, I can pull off Katherine Hepburn-esque wide leg trousers nicely. There are trends I love, and wish that I could pull off– wide waist belts (narrow ones work much better), tent style dresses, but being on the heavier and curvier side, they just make me look Amazonian.

    Knowing what suits your body is really a blessing in many ways, and it makes me sad when people feel that fashion is arbitrary and does not affect your life.

  2. Cindy

    I’m bottom-heavy, and imagine my sadness when I found that skinny jeans looked horrible on me – but instead of following the trend, I dressed for my body.
    I’m also on the short side (5’4″) and wide jeans won’t do me any good either.
    Go straight jeans!!

  3. Megan

    I think it’s a great idea to go with what looks good on your body. Not only is it expensive to buy new clothes every time the trend changes, more often than not those trends only look good on size 0 models. I just content myself with being happy when the trend swings back to what I’ve been wearing. 😀

  4. tricia

    megan: and the cycles of trends always will come back to something that has come before. ALWAYS. the only reason some trends are touted is to make consumers feel they need to purchase more clothing, in an effort to be “current”. trouble is, that can look slavish or forced…especially if it’s fundamentally inappropriate for a person and their station and physical form.

    i often find that the cycle abandons me at times, and other times, catches up to me, so to speak. something that i love comes eventually into fashion on a larger scale. that tickles me to no end…it’s rather entertaining to observe.

  5. McCall

    Absolutely, the skinny leg jeans which have been popular for a while is definitely more flattering for my body than the flare or boyfriend jeans of the past, the fact that they are trendy has just made it easier for me to find ones in the store without having to peg them myself!

  6. Josi

    I’m only 5’3″, and skinny jeans are my favorites… but, ah — I wear them to show off my rather round (for my size) heinie . I guess we have opposite aesthetics in that regard, because you think your slender legs and hips are for showing off, but if I had your boobage I’d put it on display.

  7. tricia

    josi: i just have always hated my chest…it’s the bane of my fashion existence. the legs on the other hand, i have no issue with those, and being that they’re short and relatively slim, i want to make the most of them while i can. plus…to be honest, i have less than perfect skin on the chestage area, so…i’m reluctant to put them on display…

  8. Erica

    It’s interesting to read your comments about wide-legged jeans, because I feel the opposite way for the exact same reason, and as far as I can tell we are the same height and somewhat similarly shaped! I love the way a wide leg balances my upper body. But not all items are created equal and design makes a difference. I don’t exclude the skinny leg, I find it flattering too. But I find that wide-legs work well for me :o)

  9. tricia

    erica: when you wear these wide legs, do you wear them with slimmer, closer-cut tops/jackets/sweaters? or loose on top, with wide legs? just curious. i think it might matter what is paired with what, proportion-wise, perhaps?

  10. erica

    Usually I rock the wide-legs with a closer-cut top for balance. Loose-fitting tops have to be really special for me to wear them, because I don’t find them flattering generally. I always like it when I can find an otherwise “no-no” item that looks good on me!

  11. jitterbean

    The good thing about trends is that when they go out, the thrift stores are flush with them, and if it was one that worked for your body (for instance, skinny jeans look great on me, and I love the skinny jeans as leggings thing), then it’s much easier to find! I’m excited to hear they might be going “out.” I feel like a raver kid or like I’m wearing pajamas when I wear wide legged jeans.

  12. ambika

    I think it has as much to do with the cut of the pants through the hips and thighs than what they look like below the knee. I’ve tried on skinny jeans that looked fabulous and skinny jeans that gave me instant saddle bags. I’ve also tried on bootcut pants that did the same thing–and I’m 5’1 and a total hourglass.

    I just bought a pair of wide-leg trousers that I love. They’re in a cream and brown stripe with a cuffed hem. When worn with these chunky clogs, they make my legs look miles longer. But they’re very tailored through the hip and thigh so I think that helps to make them look more 1930s Hepburn than 1990s raver kid.

  13. erin

    i have totally been on the ‘jeans as leggings’ kick too. i also live in the bay area and i’m always cold! i have a pair of really tight, skinny dark blue Cheap Monday jeans and they work super well under dresses.

    it’s funny, i used to be totally against pants under dresses but now i think when it’s done well it can be so cute (as your adorable outfit shows).
    the more layers the better i say.

  14. Amber

    I completely agree with you. Being extremely pear shaped with a tilted waist and a big ol booty, I mourn that skinny jeans just cannot work for me. Also being plus sized, anything that adds volume around the waist, like those cute little a-line jackets, usually doesn’t work for me. Ah well, there are still plenty of options, yay for wide legs coming back on trend.

  15. tricia

    to ambika, amber, etc.:

    that’s the great thing, that different things flatter different people. not everything works for every single person, and you know what, that’s okay! that was my essential point with this post. if i was a trend whore type, i might wear the wide leg pants regardless…but knowing that they don’t work, and wearing something that DOES work, accepting that certain shapes are more flattering is a positive thing, in the end, and in a deeper sense. it’s an acceptance, a love of who we are essentially, in a way!

    so while skinnies or wide legs don’t suit everyone, that’s ok…that was my main point. knowledge is power, in a personal sense, and a wider sense! 😀