Sewing, Knitting, Dogs

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lessons from Start Close In

Saturday morning I had a virtual styling session with Ella of Start Close In.  I have been looking forward to this since Lynne first posted about her experience with Ella.  You can read about it here.   

One of the things I hoped to come away with was just looking more intentional - more put together with my clothes.  And to feel good.  See - again - I've gained some weight - thanks menopause! 

Ella and I discussed what the difference is between Joan from Mad Men with her little belly being drop dead sexy and if I tried to wear something similar - I would just feel exposed and like my clothes are too tight.  So - what's the difference?  Is it attitude?  Feeling comfortable in your own skin?  what?

The other thing I've known and apply to my sewing - is the rule of threes.  So, normally I would wear this denim pencil skirt with an untucked tee for running errands on the weekend.  Today, I tucked in my tee, added a belted cardigan and the shawl that I recently knit. 

I will tell you - in this second photo - what I notice first is the belly.  While the open, unbuttoned cardigan is comfortable - my mind says it's open because it's too tight.  What do you all think?  Do you like the trend to leave a cardigan unbuttoned?

The skirt is Simplicity 2154 in denim.  This is how I do jeans Friday's at work. 

So - talk to me please.  How do you feel about fitted clothing if your shape isn't model perfect? 

19 comments:

  1. We are our own worst enemies. You look exactly like you said you wanted; more put together. I do not see the negatives you do. Love the sweater with the belt and the whole combination. Ella is right, we all need to become more comfortable in our own skin. It is not your size it is your style and you are rocking this look. Keep at it and you will see people react to you with the positive, confident vibe I see here. Good luck! Karen in Illinois

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  2. Oh my gosh! You look drop dead gorgeous (and dare I say it? Sexy!) in that second photo!

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  3. Yes, we are our own worst enemies. There is a difference between tight and fitted. Your clothes in the photo FIT you, and this look is very flattering. The first thing I noticed was how small your waist is! The vertical opening of the neckline continues to the vertical opening of the bottom of the cardigan, and that is why this look is so slimming and so popular. This looks wonderful on you!

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  4. I think you look really put together in the bottom photo. Fitted clothing looks much better on us than baggy stuff. It just needs to be fitted in the places that flatter us.

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  5. I think you look great in your outfit.

    I seldom button cardigans: I prefer to have them open.

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  6. You look lovely and composed. The open bottom of the cardigan creates an arrow pointing to your enviable waist, drawing the eye past the belly despite the feeling of exposure. I think you bear a resemblance to Joan of Mad Men. Perhaps, with a little time, you will acclimate to the new style. I sure hope so--you look great.

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  7. You look great, especially that second photo! Big and draping scarves/shawls/cowls seem to be the in-thing to wear and you look completely fashionable and right up to date. I didn't notice the open-curtains-cardi revealing tummy until after you wrote about it, so it really must be just the way you see yourself.
    For me, I am all for doing up a cardi only to the waist, to help accentuate the waist. Maybe it's just a change of focus needed.

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  8. I think you look fabulous with the cardigan unbuttoned and the belt. I agree it draws the eye up to the belt and gives you such a nice shape.

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  9. You look put together and intentional in the photo. I think the addition of the cardigan, belt, and scarf make the outfit so. We do pick ourselves apart more than anyone else would. I find if my clothes aren't fitted I feel uncomfortable, dowdy or pregnant depending on the cut.

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  10. You look put together and intentional in the photo. I think the addition of the cardigan, belt, and scarf make the outfit so. We do pick ourselves apart more than anyone else would. I find if my clothes aren't fitted I feel uncomfortable, dowdy or pregnant depending on the cut.

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  11. Do I like the unbuttoned cardigan trend...well, since my pet peeve is FULLY buttoned cardigans, the answer is YES! I like the unbuttoned trend. I think it looks fantastic on you, too. You look great, and that little waist of yours is definitely enhanced by the belt.

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  12. Oh....and I do not wear much fitted stuff on top. I never have though, even when I was a skinny minny. Ive always preferred the big on top, skinny on bottom, which is why I tend towards leggings and tunics. Boots in the winter, flats in the summer. that is my uniform.

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  13. Well, no one except my absurdly skinny daughter Shannon who's an incredibly fussy eater is model thin, so don't feel bad about that. I really liked your first picture, with you looking at the sky. I think putting together an outfit, with the belt, cardigan and shawl, is a good idea. I don't think I'd wear the cardigan unbuttoned below the belt, because I'd feel like it emphasized the belly. I'd wear it unbuttoned above the belt, so your top and shawl show more. But then, everyone these days is layering their tops, and leaving strips of different color around their waists and hips, and I think that makes everyone look pudgy, even scrawny Shannon. I do think you'll feel more put together, and therefore happier, with the little extras like the belt. And don't wear clothes that are tighter than make you happy; you'll spend the day feeling awful. Straight skirts are good; skin tight doesn't work as well for those of us who take the 50+ vitamins.

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  14. I think the second look is good, but what I'd recommend is doing up *one* more button at the bottom. I do the pencil skirt - cardigan - skinny belt look often (and I have a similar shape to yours I think), and it makes a big difference just to leave 1 or 2 buttons open at the bottom, which means it's done up over the fullest bit of my tummy.

    See here! http://cashmerette.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-dotty-delight-from-drygoods-design.html

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  15. Gosh, I wish I did things the same twice so I could be helpful. The fact is, some days I tuck and belt, and some I don't. I do leave cardis and even a button-up tunic open on the bottom sometimes... but not always.

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  16. You look much smaller and more hip in the second photo. I don't wear a lot of cardigans (65-82 degrees here in CA this long weekend) but when I do they are unbuttoned.

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  17. I love this look on you, but being a woman with tummy I have tried it myself and felt the same, like my tummy is sticking right out there! Everyone is right about being kinder to ourselves, but if it doesn't feel right I feel self conscious and uncomfortable. Sigh! :)

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  18. I admit it's hard to wear clothing that I think shows my flaws but seeing the picture of you, I'm thinking we are too hard on ourselves. You look amazing in this outfit! I'm not liking the menopausal weight gain either. It's all around my middle. Gah!
    I hope you post more pictures from your style session - I think you will inspire a lot of us to be kinder to ourselves and we'll get to tell you how great you look in your "new" outfits!

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  19. I'm still learning to feel more comfortable in more fitted clothes so I sure understand the problem. :-)

    In the second pic, what I saw first was your beautiful smile !
    I do like the outfit and it looks really put together. I'm mostly always cold so a cardi is always handy but never buttoned up. I like yours with the belt and the shawl (pretty !!!).

    How did you like the session ? There've been a few posts recently about this and it looks so helpful.

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I appreciate you coming to see me. It may take me a bit to publish your comment - but I will get to them by the end of every day. If you leave a way for me to get back to you, I will. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions. g