My Style Tips for Real Women Like Me: Short, Overweight, Apple Shaped
Do you cringe when you look at yourself in photos? Do you have bumps and curves in all the wrong places? Is clothes shopping a depressing chore for you? Do people ask "when are expecting"?! Then, my friend, you and I have a similar dilemma.
It is an uphill battle trying to find appealing outfits for someone 5ft 3in, overweight, apple shaped and 50-something. My main source of advice has been the Internet. The tips I usually find are useful but when the examples are designer outfits for celebrities I don't have much to go with.
A petite size is a standard clothing size designed to fit women of shorter height, typically 160 cm (5 ft 3 in) or less.
Apple-shaped women are fuller around the middle. If they gain weight, it shows up around their belly and upper body. They’re usually larger-breasted and their upper arms and shoulders are broader, too. Their legs tend to be thin and their butts tend to be flat.
The ratio of bust:waist:hips is 4:4:3.
No wonder I've been frustrated with my appearance. I've come to understand that my short and round body type is the most challenging to clothe -- a fine line between frumpy and cutesy. I'm sure there are many of you who feel the same way.
After years of trial and error, I found a few nice pieces that I rely on, they never fail to make me feel confident. And I figured out why they work. So I hope my thoughts in this hub will help you out.
the low down
When I look up styling tips typically I see these recommendations:
«The main goal is to create the illusion of a trim waistline. Choose tailored tops, dresses and sweaters. They trim the silhouette, as opposed to boxy tops, which exaggerate a wider waistline. A plunging neckline lengthens the neck and minimizes the chest and torso. Tops and dresses featuring ruching or shirring at the middle or side define a large waistline. Wear straight wide and flare leg pants, which balance the bottom of the body.»
These tips are useful:
- Wear properly fitted bras that support the bust
- Dress in one color / hue / shade to give a uniform look
- Wear clothes that fit properly (don't sag or bind)
- Select garments with vertical lines
- Choose V- or U-shaped necklines
- Avoid bulky fabrics
- Avoid sheer or clingy fabrics
- Avoid styles with extra bulk: frills, pleats or ruching
- Avoid bright colors and large patterns
- Avoid belts altogether
- Choose pants without cuffs, bulky pockets, or pleats
But these I find are not practical for me:
- Avoid oversized handbags > I have a lot of stuff to lug around
- Wear high heels > having bad feet rules out high heels for me for everyday wear
- The empire waist top is often recommended for the apple shaped body. The idea is to emphasize the bust and therefore diminish the stomach region but it doesn't work for me. In fact the cinching or gathering below the bust draws attention to my rounded mid-section. It only works if you have a flat tummy, or if you can flatten your torso with a body shaper.
I highly recommend medium weight jersey and knit fabrics with a little spandex for tops, they provide maximum comfort and moveability. For apple shaped ladies, dark colors with no or small pattern is best -- sometimes a pattern can camouflage lumps and bumps. And it is true that hip-length tops are more flattering than waist-length tops (think of how waist-length tops slide upward when you lift your arms up, hmmm?)
Another tip -- "pants should be cut lower than the waistline" -- doesn't work for me either. I get a muffin top when I wear pants cut lower than my waistline. Loose fitting pants that sits at the waist and hang straight to the floor is better.
When shopping online, stay away from clothes that include the following phrase in the description: "emphasize your feminine curves" -- because you want to de-emphasize your curves. Descriptions that include "easy-care stretch fabric", "comfortable and effortlessly stylish" are good.
Wear shoes that are comfortable with good support. Sensible shoes don't have to mean ugly shoes, there are lots to choose from these days. But comfy is key because feeling good is essential to looking good.
The best news is you can wear dazzling necklaces to emphasize your neckline. Medium sized pieces that lie flat work best for you. Don't go too chunky -- this will make you look top heavy.
jackets and outerwear
my choice for everyday shoes
The plus-size fashion labels which are actually stylish http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/best-fashionable-plus-size-brands/
Plus-Size Workout Clothes: Brands That Are Leading The Way http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/04/plus-size-workout-clothes_n_11263842.html
How plus-size women are constructing a new normal http://www.thefader.com/2016/03/30/fat-shaming-is-dead
No longer ignored, retailers catering to curvy women http://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/30/plus-size-apparel-brings-opportunity-to-retail.html
4 Ways The Fashion Industry Is Embracing The ‘Plus-Size’ Movement http://elitedaily.com/women/fashion-plus-size-movement/1182723/