You know the women. The ones that can walk into a room, turn heads, charm the room and induce envy in all her female onlookers. Including you.
But why can't you be one of them? While you might think the answer lies in a few years of counseling sessions, a lifetime supply of dark chocolate and a handful of anti-depressants, it might actually be more simple than that.
The answer might be in your closet, crumpled up with all your frumpy, outdated clothes.
"I can speak from my eight years of service to Macys, when I say a woman gains the most confidence through her clothes when they are comfortable, exhibit a certain level of current style and they are flattering to her figure," says Hyde Park-based Sarah Kelley. Here are some tips on flattering your figure, and thus, channeling the confident charmer within.
Pick Your Part
The biggest error Kelley noticed in womens shopping choices were the women trying to wear the hottest fashion even if it didnt flatter their body shape. "Just because a shirt comes in a variety of sizes doesnt mean it should be worn at all sizes or shapes," she says.
To be truly confident with your clothes, Kelley recommends accepting your body type. "Research cuts, styles and brands that will best flatter your shape and then look for ways to subtly incorporate the hottest trends from the runway," she says. "The evidence is in the mirror; women who see themselves at their best, will feel more confident."
Similar to the makeup world – where you don't accentuate your lips, eyes and cheeks – you choose one feature to spotlight. Wear fitted pieces on parts you wish to accentuate. So, the well-waisted can pair a fitted top with a loose wide leg trouser and the twiggy, curve-challenged women, will pair skinny jeans with a flowing tunic.
Trim your fuller waist with a one-button jacket. A cropped jacket diverts attention from a busty upper body by emphasizing the waist. And lose the pleats, as a flat front will minimize your tummy. Take advantage of the belt trend and belt a sweater dress or a long top to give the illusion of feminine curves.
Get a Leg Up
Elongate your legs in trouser-style flat-front jeans with pinstripes. Don't like your legs? Skip out on trends like leggings and skinny jeans, and opt to show your cutting-edge fashion sense with your top or accessories.
Don't automatically think that stripes, paisley and animal prints are out. You just have to know how to work them.
With stripes, the rule is to lengthen vertically, not across your widest place. For example, the vertical stripes of pinstripe trousers will bring out the length of Leggy Leigh Ann's legs, and draw attention away from her full bust. Take attention away from your muffin top with a solid color around your waist and stripes near your face.
The cheetah, zebra and leopard animal prints prowling the runways can work in your wardrobe if you put the print on the smaller places of your body. Draw attention away from your lack-luster legs by bringing eyes up top with an eye-catching animal print halter. Make this outfit fit for business by pairing it with a black blazer.
Pretty and Petite
According to the experts at Saks Fifth Avenue, Cincinnati, petite women should keep the following tips in mind: monochromatic, gently pointed toe shoes, use vertical lines like pleats, v-necks, open jackets and trousers. This creates an elongated look. Do not wear stilettos unless you are a taller petite. Flats are to be worn with short skirts or long narrow pants.
And direct from their doplar fashion radar center, Saks also has a future forecast for your wardrobe. Here are the top eight trends for Spring 2008:
- Bangles (Ippolita, John Hardy, Marco Bicego)
- Chic Shoulder Bag (Marc Jacobs, Chanel)
- Florals (Ellie Tahari, Valentino Roma)
- Luminous Face (Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent)
- Maxi Dress
- Slide (Prada, Chanel)
- Tunic (BCBG, Ellie Tahari)
- Vibrant Color (Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenburg)