17 September 2012

Rockin' Whatevs

I know I shouldn't, but sometimes when I see people wearing things that don't quite work for their body type, my mind can't help but to think "oh, honey, no ..." and come on, I can't be alone here, can I?

 pink & green

One of the rules about style that I think has been ingrained in most of our heads since birth and passed down for generations is that we should dress to "accentuate the positive" (aka, cover up that stuff you don't want people looking at). So for me, I play up my legs with skirts and dresses, try to lengthen myself with heels, fake a waist with belting and cover up my lack of boobage and football player-size shoulders and upper arms. And admittedly, this rules works like a charm for me.

But what does that say about women who choose to wear pieces that they like but may not necessarily work for their body type? I had a really good gal pal in college who was pretty petite, built with a long slender torso, short stocky legs and a generous booty. She was well aware of her figure, and what she loved to wear more than anything in the world were ankle-length print dresses that hugged all her curves with sensible flats for comfort. She was never dressed inappropriately, but in one simple outfit she managed to throw out the cardinal rule of dressing I abide by - and she did it with confidence.

 pink & green   pink & green

I am probably more of a traditionalist when it comes to dressing. I try to wear what is most flattering for my body shape, and in turn, it makes me look better and feel better about myself. But part of dressing to "accentuate the positive" parts of my body means that at the same time I am pretty much camouflaging the other areas I don't like so much.

So in a way I am in awe of those gals who may be a size 16+ but love that body-con style and wear it with pride. Or the petite 4'11" girls who live for wide cropped pants with flats. Granted, sure, some of them may just plain not know what looks good on them and their low-waist acid-washed super-flare jeans with flip flips are a silent cry for a fashion intervention. But some, some seem to be completely comfortable what what they shaped like and choose what to wear based simply on what they like.

I don't think one is exclusive of the other, but what do you think is more important - how you look in something or how you feel in something? What do you think about the people who love rockin' styles that don't necessarily fit their bodies?

 pink & green

pink & green

Sweater: J.Crew jackie pullover (sim, cashmere)
Skirt: J.Crew pleated crepe (sim colorblock, pricey, as dress)
Necklace: J.Crew tessellate (worn here - sim)
Bracelets: Asos spike & stone (sim silver), Target (sim)
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (worn here - sim, flap, wallet)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim, sim, luxe)

62 comments:

  1. This is quite possibly my favorite look! I love all of the colors and you have incorporated my favorite, stripes! Plus a little leopard action going on. And last, but not least, the jewels! This is perfection. You look amazing! xoxo

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  2. What a fun combination of colors!

    While I'm all for being confident in what you wear, sometimes I feel like people do such a disservice to themselves by wearing things that don't flatter their best assets. I have a girlfriend who works out like crazy but hid her hard work and tiny waist behind shapeless tops and pants that were too big. After some coaxing into try a different silhouettes, she has come to realize that wrap dresses and blouses nipped in at the waist look so damn good on her!

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  3. Ditto to what biscuitsandnavy said! Love everything about this!!

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  4. Great outfit. I know my flaws all too well. My hips and thighs would be better hidden in skirts, but I love to wear ankle skimming, tapered pants. I only have one pair, but they are the replacement for a pair I wore to pieces. I'm most comfortable in that style of "dress" pant. Trousers feel too corporate for me. Most of all, I like comfortable and easy for everyday wear-boot cut jeans and boots with a sweater-boring but lately I'm just too busy for much else.

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  5. As long as it's appropriate to the occasion, I think how you feel in something is infinitely more important than how you look.

    I think magazines and blogs are definitely obsessed with accentuating what they think are the positives and hiding what they think are the negatives - but it's disheartening for me to see magazine article after magazine article telling pear shapes like me how to disguise my big hips, when I actually really like my big hips and want show them off.

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  6. I personally feel like it's about how you feel. There are of course some instances where the item just does not work at all but you love it anyway but really you shouldn't purchase it. People are ultimately the ones that have to deal with what they are wearing and if they have the confidence to rock something that doesn't accentuate what is best, more power to them, I think they will be happy!

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  7. tough question, Lisa! I'd like to say it's how you feel, but then I remember my dear friend M's search for the perfect dress for an Important Family Event. I kind of tuned out after the first few weeks, only hearing that finally she'd found something perfect and unique. OK, three layered shades of lovely grayish-greenish-blue chiffon, but then: the fishtail! the capelet! the ruffles! the ruching! the hand painted detailing on the underskirt! Maybe if she'd been 8 inches taller? or not... so I think yes, you should feel confident and pretty, but not delusional.

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  8. Love it all!! The colors are great together! Love the clutch and bracelets too! I have a problem with skinny jeans...I love them, but they make me look extra skinny! Not a great look...

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    Replies
    1. I have a problem with skinny jeans as well, but for the exact opposite reason, haha!

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  9. I never thought that green and pink can look this beautiful together, Lisa! Love your arm candy and the subtle mix of prints!
    Love
    Juneli from Fashionably Yours

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  10. This is a favorite for me!! I love the colors, the stripe clutch, the touch of leopard! And I want that adorable skirt for myself:) You look fantastic!
    xo, amy
    www.dreamingincashmere.com

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  11. I am often guilty of wearing stuff that isn't maybe the *most* flattering, just because I like it. I don't always *want* to have to give myself a waist, or try to de-emphasize my shoulders or hips or thighs.

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  12. I always feel like the perfect fit makes you feel infinitely better about your body and the clothes you put on it! I do admire the women that wear whatever they love because they are super confident, because confidence is always the first thing others notice about us. But still, dressing for the body we have just instantly projects even more confidence I think. An outfit can be the wrong print or color on a person but if the fit is there, chances are it's going to look good and put together regardless! So yeah I would say I err on the side of wear what looks good, and by so doing you will probably feel good as well :)

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    Replies
    1. I know that I should just act confident regardless of what I wear, but you're right, part of feeling confident for me is looking good, and to look good, I've got to be in clothes that fit me right. I'm not gazelle-like enough to pull just anything off.

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  13. Love love this color combination!! You look super cute!!

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  14. Great color combo! I think fit and feel go hand in hand, if it looks great on you then you're going to feel great as a result. When I wear something that I know really fits and flatters my shape, I project way more confidence than I do when I'm wearing something that isn't quite right. If you're confident and comfortable with what you're wearing, then others will see that too. I've learned to accept the fact that some things are going to look great on the hanger and not great on me, so instead of buying something because it's pretty I focus more on investing in things that really fit.

    Stephanie

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  15. You always raise such good questions. I don't know. Sometimes I want to follow all the rules and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I judge others and sometimes I have to remind myself not to. I think some people have styles, even if they look good, that are just plain weird. Each to their own judgements and tastes, I guess. If you dress out of the norm, prepare to be judged for it. And if you're okay with that, more power to you.

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  16. I do the oh honey no in my head too! Not that I'm walking around being judgemental but I hate to see women wearing things that are inappropriate or not quite so flattering.
    You pose an interesting question. Confidence is a major factor in feeling good about what you wear but there is a line where you should also know what works for you body. If those two things are working together then you probably look like a million bucks.

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  17. I also do the "oh, my! Did she look in the mirror before she left the house?" thing! I think alot of people just don't take the time to think about what an outfit actually looks like on their body. I also think that over time a body changes and sometimes people don't want to change along with it. I have a dear friend who has outgrown some of her clothes from her college days and she still wears them! Man are those things tight, but I don't have the heart to tell her.

    Keep it coming Lisa!

    Lisa B

    lifeandstylebylisab.blogspot.com

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  18. I love bright pink skirts. It is so crazy when you see people wearing shirts that don't fit or pants that make them look bigger. I personally always buy clothes that make me look thinner or at least that is always my goal.

    Method Clothe

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    Replies
    1. I've tried numerous times to do the over-sized slouchy thing that some girls can do so well, but I just look dumpy.

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  19. I usually do not feel good if my clothes are not 'accentuating the positive'. Even when going hiking/camping/working out/gardening I try to find appropriate clothes that look the best in their category. Now, some other people may not think I look great but hey, I do what I can... Even if camping/hiking/gardening/etc. I do try to find balance between comfort and look and between trends and my own style but in general, if it does not look good on me, I would not want to wear it, having a choice.

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    Replies
    1. You and I need to go hiking/camping/working out together, because I am the exact same way. Except if I'm going errand running or dog walking. I usually look like a total schlump!

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  20. I think that 98% of the time I dress to accentuate the positive, and the other 2% of the time I am wearing my Minnie pants from J Crew. I am 5 foot nothing and have some serious thigh/booty action, so maybe not the most flattering look in the world, but I don't have to worry about my hems dragging in the mud or wearing heels, and I can get away with not shaving my legs for another day. So win-win for me, and anyone who doesn't like the look can kiss my big ol' booty. ;) JK.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean though - I love wearing my ripped rolled up jeans during the weekends. Not the most flattering look with flats but sometimes comfort and lazy Sundays win.

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  21. Love this color combination, and then you went and added the leopard and the stripes and my mind was blown! Gorgeous! Love it all! xoxo

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  22. I love your bright and bold color combo!

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  23. I love the color combo you did here!! The stripes and leopard work perfectly for just the right touch!

    oliviamoone.blogspot.com

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  24. Bold colours with bold prints? Ah, I just love this outfit! And I first thought your necklace was just a geometric pattern. I love how it camouflages perfectly with your shirt for a subtle pattern in there!

    Sincerely,
    Sabrina

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  25. First, I need you to write more about that faking a waist thing with belting because I somehow keep choosing belts that emphasize I have no waist :P You definitely look like you have a tiny waist to me, and terrific legs, and no way you have football players' shoulders. I would also like you to explain how come your indoor shots look so well lit, please, please, please :)

    Second, you're right. I see confident women carrying off the darndest things, or at least the things my older female relatives said not to wear. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, unless the beholders are Clinton and Stacy, and then all bets are off. I'm all for women rockin' their style preferences even if the rules say not to, as long as it's not interfering with their professional and personal goals.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, so my "faking it" has worked as planned haha. I don't think I necessarily have any tricks for the waist thing, though I've compared outfits with and without a belt, and I definitely look like I have more of a waist with a belt than without.

      As for my indoor pics, I always take pics next to a window. My back windows face east so I've got a wall near the window that is great for morning pics. The stairs get good afternoon/evening light. I've tried indoor pics with artificial lighting before and it just doesn't work for me. I hope to take more outdoor pics soon, but it's hard to find a willing photog and to be out during the "right" time of day!

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  26. This may be my favorite outfit on you EVER! Pink and green is my fave combo!

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  27. hmmm, i definitely think that you should feel good in what you're wearing. as long as its not distracting in the work environment. for example, i see a 300+ pound woman at work every day that wears skin tight, short skirts. i dont say anything, and she's super sweet, but sometimes i feel like maybe i should. there just is not a good way to approach such things. i think this is the extreme, though. i usually don't even notice what others are wearing.

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  28. I love your outfit today Lisa...it's definitely one of my favorites too. I would have never thought to add leopard print shoes with this look, but it really works. I love visiting your blog because you always come up with fabulous topics and food for thought. to me looking good in something and feeling good in something go hand in hand. When I'm getting ready for the day or when I'm out shopping, I have to feel good in the outfit that I'm wearing. However, I only feel good about the outfit when I'm confident that I look great in the outfit.

    Moody Girl In Style

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    1. I'm with you. When I'm out mundane errands and I'm in shlumpy sweats or something, I feel like a schlump. I'm jealous of those gals who can run around town on the weekend in cargo pants, Toms and a loose tee and still look trendy-glam - I guess I'm not built for that! ;o)

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  29. I don't have much of a chest (small 32A), but I still enjoy wearing deep v-neck tops since they are actually not scandalous on me. (I also like to accentuate my collarbone and shoulders, so it helps with that.) I do fake a waist with belts and high-waisted skirts/dresses, but I also wear ankle-length maxi skirts with flats. My printed silk maxi wrap skirts are some of the most consistent compliment-magnets in my closet, actually, and they aren't long enough to wear with a heel.

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    Replies
    1. I love the look of a strappy and flowy maxi skirt or dress with flat sandals - there is something really chic yet casual and borderline glam about it.

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    2. Unfortunately for me, I am only 5'2" and have a heck of a hard time finding maxi lengths that work for me without heels!

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  30. I love the bright colors in your outfit! I think it's more important to wear what you feel comfortable in, rather than what fits in with "rules" about body type. My one caveat would be that no matter whether you love a piece or not, if it's inappropriate in some way, don't wear it! :P

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  31. Love,love your outfit,those colors look great on you!!!
    I sm petite too and i am very aware of my height and i always wear heels. I totally feel stumpy without,but i admire all the shorties who wear flats and dont mind.

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    Replies
    1. I love a good ballet flat but I have to be careful what I wear with it - I most certainly do not resemble Audrey Hepburn when I wear cropped pants and ballet flats!

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  32. First, love your outfit! That green is a great color for you.

    Second, I'm with Pamela and others. I think you should wear what you love, but fit should be the most important thing. I love all backless dresses but these do not work for my body (I need a bra!). This topic reminds of of What Not to Wear, it's amazing what well fitting clothes can do for your appearance and your confidence.

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    Replies
    1. I did watch some reruns of WNTW this weekend, Stacey and Clinton have sunk into my brain!

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  33. I love how you're so honest and it's true, there all looks that are definitely better for certain shapes. I love the green with the pink and striped clutch. You pulled it off perfectly

    xoDale
    http://www.savvyspice.com/

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  34. I definitely think how you feel trumps how you look. If you feel confident in a look, you will radiate that no matter what you're wearing. Usually I try to dress in a way that's flattering to my body too, but there are a few things that I have that may not look the best on me (comfy boyfriend jeans) but I wear them anyway because I love them!
    I love this look on you--those colors are so pretty together and I love the stripes and spots!

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    Replies
    1. I wear my ripped rolled up jeans a lot over the weekends, but unless I'm wearing high heels, I usually look a bit stumpy in them - but I love them!

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  35. Love these colors and how you paired the green sweater with the green necklace!
    http://coffeebeansandbobbypins.blogspot.com//

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  36. I am absolutely in love with this outfit (& I don't even like pink)! The colors & patterns work so well together...& I love how you layered a green necklace over a green sweater.

    Hudson East
    HudsonEast.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh I didn't like pink before either - then I started blogging. And then the pink started proliferating in my closet. Go figure.

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  37. You are not the only one who thinks that. I just want to help restyle them. :) I love this outfit. That skirt is gorgeous and I really like this color combo!
    Meredith
    www.createthatoutfit.com

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  38. I adore this look. Great mix of color and pattern!
    For me, the way I feel in clothes is often reflective of how I look in them. I don't always follow your rule, but for the most part accentuating my positive assets is important.

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  39. LOL! I can't help but think the same thing when I see someone in a not so flattering outfit. You look great! I love the green and pink together!

    www.daisyraeboutique.com
    www.kacieskloset.blogspot.com

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  40. I love the pink and green together and your necklace is amazing!!

    xo,
    Angela
    headtotoechic.blogspot.com

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  41. Cute color combo and I love the striped bag :)

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  42. love the color blocking! especially with the leopard pumps!

    amy
    Leopard and Lillies

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  43. I love these two colors together, so preppy! I'd say how you feel is more important than how you look as long as it doesn't border on inappropriate. My 60 something year old co-worker wears tube tops. Clearly she thinks she looks great, but it's SO unflattering (not to mention inappropriate). I want to sign her up for What Not to Wear!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Enter my scarf giveaway! (open internationally)

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  44. I think the key to dressing is confidence, and the rest just falls into place. How I feel that day normally dictates what I'll be wearing for the day. I think for the most part I know how to dress my body, even though it's a hard body to dress, but there are days where I throw all the rules out the window and go for broke! Ha! I kid, I kid.

    I really love how you paired these bold colors together, Lisa. Bravo. Well done. :)

    xx Love & Aloha
    http://elisharon.blogspot.com

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  45. Well in some cases people exaggerate, but I am not a big believer in all those rules for dressing your body. It is always about minimizing something: apple, pear, tall, petite, etc. My best friend is 5 feet 2, and she dresses in the cutest dresses and flats all the time, doesn't do anything to appear taller, and she looks so good. Showing off what you have got is great. But real style is not about hiding what you have got. Is being yourself, and carry it with confidence.
    You look really great in these photos, the colors are so happy!
    xx
    Simona
    www.lakenmoon.blogspot.com

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  46. I ADORE this color combo! Perfect Summer/Fall combo. I say it's all about how you feel. I've thought the same thing about people - "oh, honey no" - but they always seem perfectly content so I guess who am I to judge?!

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  47. I'm new to your blog and loving it! This outfit is a favorite, for sure. I love that you write about fashion and other bits and pieces.

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