Monday, September 10, 2007

Dressing Slim: The Tops That Work

Fashion changes constantly of course, although it reverts to styles that were once in fashion years before. If you don't believe that's true, just wait until you're over 50, and to your surprise you will find that "something old is new again." Happens all the time. Of course, vintage is recognized as vintage because there's always a different take on the fashion: the material is very different, the colours are modern, the style is old but the length changes. This is why I cannot pass off the mini I got married in (the first time) for those that are in style now.
Of the newer styles, one that I almost passed on that would have been a great mistake is the Empire waist look, both in dresses and tops. Why was I going to pass on it?
First, because I remember wearing the Empire waist dresses in junior high - not my favourite time period (circa 1965). Secondly, I associate a lot of the Empire waist with clothing worn during pregnancy - not my favourite look either.
But I was wrong. Instead of making a woman look like she's pregnant or has a gargantuan tummy. the Empire waists today are cut subtly and naturally and give a pleasant shape to the body, often emphasizing a good bustline and making the most of a small one, and hiding a multitude of faults, including a protruding tummy and wide hips.
The tops (such as these from Anthropolgie, a favourite online store) have shape and give shape to a thickening middle. The long tunic you see above also have the virtue of de-emphasizing large hips and tummy. In a solid colour with good tailoring details, you will look fashionable and slimmer!
The second top perhaps really isn't an Empire, but has the same look in many ways. Its shaped with darts that lead the eye to the center of the decolletage ; its lacy neck is feminine and sexy rather than froufrou and it's almost 3/4 length sleeves hide the upper arms (which are sometimes a bit less than beautiful on some of us). Just make sure that it is not too low!
The cummerbund top (to the left) has the flattering (and usually slimming) V-neck, and sleeves that aren't skin-tight. The Empire waist is subtle, and the vertical lines of the bust area both lead the eye to the bustline and give the illusion of slimming. The blouse is cut so that the waist is shaped - which means that it will give you some shape instead of hanging like a square cut boxy tee. The wider sleeves give a feminine look, but once again without being froufrou.
The great thing about these, too, is that they work for any age. Even if you are over 60, you can still wear these tops and look age-appropriate.
Finally, dresses with an Empire waist can be even more slimming than the tops. Be careful about the length however since a too-short Empire dress can make you look like a sausage with a bit of twine tied around it. A longer length or below knee length is usually best if you are over 40, and wearing the dress with boots is even more flattering.
Also pay close attention to the neckline: low necklines with a V or a higher neckline look good. Both the red and brown Empire waist dresses here are flattering to the slightly overweight figure. However, the fuschia dress with the square cut neckline screams, "WIDE". If you're even slightly overweight or busty, run screaming from this one!
By the way, the best way to look slimmer? Get slimmer! Start your diet today, and start exercising, too.

Note: all the clothing on this entry from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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