Before reading the rest of this post, go stand in front of a mirror and take a look at what you see in your body's structure. What do you notice?
If you see roundness, lots of circles and ovals, and other curvy goodness, then a wardrobe of sharp corners and straight lines is probably not going to look quite right when you see it in the mirror.
By the way, I love the use of the word curvy to affirm that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that plus-sized fashionistas are beautiful too.
But not all of us who are plus-sized are curvy. I once spent a year I’ll never get back thinking that my extra fleshiness was creating curves that needed to be honored in the clothes I wore. I was mistaken.
So, on the other hand, if you have broad shoulders, straight hips, long arms or legs, and lots of rectangle or square-ish shapes, then those are the lines and shapes you will need to recreate in your clothes. The curvy circle-ness of it all may not flatter you.
But maybe your body is a free spirit that does what it wants where it wants & refuses to conform to expectations. If you are a rich combination of opposite shapes - a circle here, a square there; short lines here but elongated lines there - then, your clothes need to express that combination of opposites.
And I am just getting you started, to be honest.
I no longer think that getting dressed is as simple as deciding whether or not you are an apple or a pear, or a ruler or a spoon. Not only do I think that it often can be more complicated than that, I I suspect that it needs to be more personalized than that.
In fact, you do you may need to be a guiding theme!
How to Dress for Your Body Type
Most of the time, when style experts say that they are going to tell you how to dress for your body type, what they mean is that they'll tell you how to camouflage your flaws. They have perfect balance and/or the hourglass figure in mind, and their goal is to help you use your clothes to create the impression that that's what you look like.
I reject that intention. My goal is to share what I have learned about looking exactly like yourself, but at your most beautiful.
What do I mean?
I am solidly in the camp of those experts who suggest that once you understand what your body is doing - its shapes and lines and silhouette - you create outfits that do exactly the same thing, rather than opposing it in some way. Or trying to correct it.
I believe that you have the body structure you were meant to have. And that beauty, for myself, and for you, means dressing the body you have, not simulating the current cultural ideal.
Do you see what I mean? So, look for your shapes in the clothes, but also create them in the outfits you put together.
One More Thing: About Fit Problems
In the past, I have been gently accused of wearing clothes that were at least a size too big.
It was true! I was hiding in my clothes, primarily because I was trying to hide my poochy belly. But once I realized that I was making myself look sloppy by doing so, I began to try to gradually move closer to my actual size.
But just as it's not a good idea to hide in clothes that are too big, I believe it's a mistake to wear clothes that are too small, and I often see women doing that, unfortunately.
I think it might be some version of sticker shock. Or in other words, wanting to claim the smallest size possible.
But squeezing into the smallest size you can get into is not flattering. In fact, it draws attention to whatever is not smooth or flat, and sometimes creates problems where none existed before.
Are you plus-sized like me? You know we are the worst affected by anything that does that. But maybe we think that's the best we can do?
(Ladies, I am talking about rolls and muffin tops and saddlebags and all those other ugly-sounding descriptives. I say them just so I can be clear about what I mean here).
One size larger may completely eliminate those problems.
Now for those of us who need alterations: if going up a size to smooth things over will mean gaps or other parts of the outfit that are too big, try having the outfit altered or tailored to fit more perfectly.
I have that problem myself. Because I am rectangular on top, but a sort of inverted triangle on the bottom, if I buy pants and skirts that fit my waist, there is too much extra material in the hips and pant legs.
Getting the pants altered is a perfect solution.
But sometimes I can't afford to alter everything I own. One thing that helps is to buy leggings or pants that stretch well, so they are more likely not to just hang there in space.
What are your biggest fit issues? Let me know in a comment.
See you next time!
Daily uniforms are a limited set of outfits that align with each of your major lifestyle activities and make getting ready totally effortless. - minimalism.co
Creating a Daily Uniform
Creating a daily uniform is a great way to simplify a minimalist mom capsule wardrobe even further.
But it doesn't eliminate the need for a capsule wardrobe altogether. In fact, if having daily uniforms is your goal, then your capsule wardrobe becomes the collection of daily uniforms.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that each daily uniform needs to be one that flatters you. If you love the way emerald green looks on your best friend, but every time you borrow her emerald green cardigan, people ask if you're feeling okay, don't choose that color for your capsule wardrobe or to build a daily uniform around.
And if you want at least one daily uniform with a skirt in it, but aren't sure those cute tulip skirts flatter your hips, then choose a different style skirt for your uniform.
Start with a Color Capsule
Your color capsule should be a combination of neutrals and accent colors. If it is going to be a minimalist color capsule, limit your selection to one or two or each.
Choose one or two neutral colors, like black, dark brown, ivory, or grey. And one or two accent colors, like burnt orange, red, lime green or baby blue.
Make sure that the colors you choose not only look good on you, but go well together, so that you can mix and match them to create your capsule wardrobe & daily uniform.
Create a Minimalist Mom or Natural Style Capsule Wardrobe
The best place to look for your capsule wardrobe is your own closet.
Start by getting rid of anything you no longer love, or that you know doesn't love you back. If it's just going to hang in your closet, it's not a real part of your wardrobe, so you won't be able to depend on it.
Keep culling until what you have left is what you love dearly, that you trust to always look good on you.
Notice which colors are left and how much you have of the basics - tops, pants, jackets, cardigans, dresses, skirts, etc. If you have at least 5-10 pieces, you have your first minimalist capsule wardrobe.
If not, identify what's missing. Do you need more tops? Another pair of pants?
Make a wish list of what to add as you are able to do so.
Once you have your capsule wardrobe, you’ll be ready to choose a daily uniform or two.
Choosing Daily Uniforms
What you are looking for, here, are easy combinations of top and bottom, or one-piece outfits that you can wear in comfort again and again and enjoy. If you know you can count on them, there is almost no stress about choosing what to wear.
Because you are going to wear them over and over again, be sure to choose pieces that are of very good quality. You want them to last a long time.
Look for 2-3 daily uniforms in your new minimalist capsule wardrobe and organize them together in your closet. Choose the accessories you are most likely to wear with them, and make them easy to grab when you need them.
And let me know how it goes for you. I was thrilled to begin to identify uniforms I could count on again and again to look good on me. But also, to get clear on the compromises that were taking up needed space in my closet, so I could let them go.
Wishing you an easy, fun experience as you create your minimalist wardrobe and your daily uniforms.
What's Missing from Your Closet?
There was a time in my life when my closet was divided into the clothes I wore to work, and the clothes I wore on the weekends when I went out with my friends. If a special occasion came up, or I decided to go to church, I created an outfit from one of those capsule collections.
But ideally, your capsule wardrobe will have just the right amount of favorites for each of the categories of your life.
So grab a piece of paper and make a quick list of where you need your clothes to take you.
Do you go to church each week? Run errands on the weekends? Head for work each morning? Enjoy a weekly date night with your special someone?
Once you've made that list, it's time to decide how much variety you want in each category.
Do you want a combination of dresses and pants to wear to church each week, without having to repeat an outfit for at least a month? What do you want to wear when you're at home or running errands, and how much variety do you want there?
Do you want crossover outfits and if so, for how many different lifestyle categories?
For example, for my own capsule wardrobe, I wanted to create smart casual outfits that I could wear in several different situations. To church and then to the grocery store. To lunch with my best friends and then to run errands.
If that’s what you want as well, just be sure to think through the occasions where you may need to be able to uplevel your look.
In your life, what are the occasions that stump you? For me, it was an unexpected party or dinner invitation or any more formal gathering. What I needed was a few go-to pieces or outfit formulas I could count on when those occasions occurred.
What would you wear if something unexpected was added to your schedule?
We’ll take a more detailed look at outfit formulas as we continue with the blog, but for now, just keep in mind that as you create, choose and shop for your capsule wardrobe you want to make sure you don't leave anything out.
See you next time!
My mission is to help you discover, embrace and celebrate your own beauty and style.
Thanks for dropping by! I'll see you soon.
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