Life Well Lived: How to dress for your size

May 5, 2012

This weeks Life Well Lived: Looking Your Best question has to do with clothing! Yay, we all love clothing. But the hard part is finding things that look great despite the crazy trends floating around. 

Here's the question: What are your favorite ways to dress well for your size and shape? How do you make your wardrobe work through transitions?

Let's break this post into two parts to make it easier to handle, at least easier to type:)

What is your favorite ways to dress for your size and shape?

To start, I'm 5'3'', depending on which doctor you ask. Some say 5'2" others say 5'4'',I just meet in the middle. I don't have long legs, but I am short waisted. This means I need any and everything to make me look longer legged and like I have a waist. 

Skinny jeans really do it for me, I was iffy about the trend when it first came out, but worn right they really help to make you look leaner and longer. Flared bottom pants can quickly make me look stubby. I like a flare, but not nearly as 70s disco flare as was popular when That 70's Show first hit our TV sets. 

I like my shirts to hit a little lower than my hips to give the appearance of my torso being a tab bit longer. At times I really like to wear button down with a belt and khakis, but it is rare. That look can quickly make me look shorter. 

Taller people can get away with longer dresses, but for my short frame I try not to wear too many dresses that hit farther than just below the knee. Tea length is hideous on me. Luckily the tea length bridesmaid dresses are not as popular, they just look dumpy on everyone. 

Now as much as I despise the feel of heals they do make you look much slimmer and make calves look amazing. If you are tall it is much easier to pull off a chunky dark colored heal, or one with just a lot going on. However, for my short frame I like to wear slimmer heals when they are dark, if that makes sense. I am absolutely in love with nude pumps, they give the awesome illusion of legs that go on for days. 

Cap sleeves are the devil. On the skinniest arm they can make a person look like they could use a good upper body workout. I prefer longer sleeves or sleeveless, but I do own a few cap sleeve items. If you wear a cap sleeve please do one that is a tab bit longer. That little chicken nugget boob piece that sticks out funny with an ill fitting bra or bad cap sleeve will likely run away any good intentioned single guy. That like bad teeth grab my attention and send me into a tunnel vision vortex I can hardly escape. 

Lastly, I don't care how nice your rack is, don't show a ton of boob. It garnishes the worst attention and unlike the 90's and early 00's, it is just not in. Think Kate Middleton. She rarely shows anything and looks amazing. Conservative can be just as stylish as the hoochies in Hollywood. A freakishly high neckline doesn't look that great, but then again looking like Ice T's wife Coco doesn't look that great either. Balance is key. Small children should not see you and think about nursing. If you have big girls wear a nice fitting bra and maybe spend the extra cash to get things tailored.

I think I got off on a rant...let's go to the next question. 

How do you make your wardrobe work through transitions?

Transitions are a funny thing here in Louisiana. Last year I really broke out the winter clothes and this year I was wishing we could get a sprinkler in my classroom. It just doesn't make sense to spend a lot on winter clothes when you live somewhere that doesn't have more than a two week winter. 

To solve that problem I layer. A long sleeve solid colored shirt can go under most spring/summer clothes and make them suitable for our so called winter. I have a ton of short sleeve and sleeveless shirts that I wear long sleeve shirts under. 

Pants can be year around though, I have maybe 2 or 3 pairs of white or capri pants that don't go all year but that is it. Everything work appropriate is some sort of khaki or jean (for those lucky jean days). In early spring and late fall I sometimes wear longer khaki shorts with a cute jean jacket, but that is the only season I can pull that off and it last maybe 3 days. 

I also like to add sweaters to my tops when it starts getting chilly out. But enough of that I'll just show you a few of my looks that transition between winter and summer, work and weekend. 
Warning massive phone picture dump, if you are wondering you've seen these all before on WIWW. 
Boots with dresses to for Winter, Fall, and Spring.
Scarves with skirts and Vnecks for Spring and Summer.
When I do a bit pattern on a dress I make sure it is always above the knee.
Button downs look good on everyone!
My trusty jean jacket, and a top that hits right below my hips.
Chunky wedges, but they aren't closed toe and makes my legs look longer. 
 Tunics with skinny jeans and nude heals
 A winter/fall staple, more sweaters. 
 Summer tops with long sleeve solid shirts for winter. 
 The fav shorts and jean jacket in the spring.
 Teacher wear...
 This is good for all seasons in you work inside. 
 button down, but not tucked in. 
 I love shirts with detail (that hit below the hip) with a great blazer. 
 more winter layering with summer tops. 
 My favorite look ever. I live for scarves. 
How to save a summer dress...add skinny jeans, boots, and layer a top under. 

I don't profess to be high fashion, or spend a ton of money on clothing. But I do believe you look your best with you buy pieces that you can mix and match and find a way to wear for every season. Everyone has their own individual style, the key is buying pieces that fit well and can transition not only between weather season, but through many fashion seasons. 

Hope you've gotten some ideas about how to dress for your size and transition pieces, remember when all else fails put on a jean jacket and a scarf. 

Don't forget to join in at and read and comment on the main post for this topic!

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