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28-08-2006
  61
Power to the 99%
 
fashionista-ta's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maiden voyage
and i have to bring up diana vreeland, just to add some spice to this discussion of what's flattering. i think most people in the U.S. would be itching to give her a makeover, complete with soft highlighted hair and natural, dewey foundation and maybe even a nose job. it's obvious that she hated that kind of bland idea of 'attractiveness' and at the same time from her memoir, you find that she knew her face and body incredibly well and always dressed to make the most of her looks. in other words, her clothes flattered her, down to minute details of tailoring, but without sacrificing her original style for some mainstream idea of what's 'attractive'. although i'm a 'natural type' and don't go for much drama in my style, i'm with her in spirit in how she navigated these issues.

so for me it's yes to flattering clothes, yes to different trends and styles and yes to creativity and personal style.. but for me, flattering cuts are always the base, the part i struggle with the most, so that i can be more free with the rest.

(and of course the semi-annoying part is that when i get it right, people say 'it's easy for you, you're slim' etc)
Loved your post ...

I understand what you're saying about figure challenges for sure ... I think everyone has 'em, though. There is no figure that's perfect for everything ... but I also think that confidence makes possible a lot of things that otherwise wouldn't be. Only rarely do I see too much (for example, I may never forget a plus-size woman wearing a mini-dress and showing off what seemed like yards of cellulite it's my personal belief that cellulite should be hidden no matter the size of the thigh ).

And isn't Diana V a great example She had beautiful feet, and she consistently showed them off in skinny thongs, with nails painted dark red ... but she also showed off what wasn't so "perfect," and is still remembered for it today ... Agree with you that we Americans often have too narrow ideas of beauty. There seems to be a bit more perspective on the East coast, but taste seems to be quite bland in the Midwest, and often quite narrow in places like LA and Dallas. We tFSers should be thought leaders for a broader aesthetic

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28-08-2006
  62
flaunt the imperfection
 
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well- i have to admit---i think that one SHOULD take their own personal limitations into consideration when deciding what to wear...

one should not just throw on whatever the magazines and designers proclaim to be the latest 'must have' item unless it truly works for them...imo

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28-08-2006
  63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maiden voyage
a good meaty discussion - i just read thru all three pages! from my perspective, it seems like there are at least 2 different layers to the discussion, mostly related to the different things that 'flattering' means to people - one group (and the person who started the thread, i think) seems to be talking about 'flattering' as in working with challenging physical proportions and so on, and others seem to be talking about 'flattering' as in trying to look as hot and attractive, or as tall and slim as possible (and most seem to champion personal expression over cookie-cutter attractiveness).

i'm in the first group, having a lot of 'challenges' with my body type. from the waist up i'm thin and angular, from the waist down i'm curvy (or 'stocky' if i gain weight). To me, when i say i dress to 'flatter' my body, i mean clothing that is graceful, treats me well. it's not about showing off or trying to impress others or look hot - if i don't pay attention to cut and shape, my body can look completely weird and mismatched, so this is a definate priority!! some people have more factors like this to consider, and some have less, and i think it affects how one sees this topic.

on the other hand, i don't say 'no' to trends or shapes across the board though, for me or anyone else.
like ta-ta said, if you can tweak it right, a lot of things can work but it takes a good eye and patience. i think you have to realize that your body is the medium through which you're interpreting any aesthetic, and go more for the overall look than getting caught up in wanting to wear the exact brand of skinny pants that's being promoted everywhere...

i think understanding how your body and clothes interact is a lost art, to a certain degree. people used to work with tailors and dressmakers more in the past, and they educated themselves. on the sartorialist's blog he's always going on about this, recently pointing out the perfection of cary grant's tailoring in north by northwest. i think all of the great 30's and 40's movie stars were amazing in the way they dressed, especially the men, who were much more idiosyncratic-looking than the women and had more challenges.

and i have to bring up diana vreeland, just to add some spice to this discussion of what's flattering. i think most people in the U.S. would be itching to give her a makeover, complete with soft highlighted hair and natural, dewey foundation and maybe even a nose job. it's obvious that she hated that kind of bland idea of 'attractiveness' and at the same time from her memoir, you find that she knew her face and body incredibly well and always dressed to make the most of her looks. in other words, her clothes flattered her, down to minute details of tailoring, but without sacrificing her original style for some mainstream idea of what's 'attractive'. although i'm a 'natural type' and don't go for much drama in my style, i'm with her in spirit in how she navigated these issues.

so for me it's yes to flattering clothes, yes to different trends and styles and yes to creativity and personal style.. but for me, flattering cuts are always the base, the part i struggle with the most, so that i can be more free with the rest.

(and of course the semi-annoying part is that when i get it right, people say 'it's easy for you, you're slim' etc)
I think that red part sums up everything I want to say about the topic.

And BTW I love to read this topic just like many others :p

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28-08-2006
  64
flaunt the imperfection
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilettogirl84
I think it's hurtful and untrue to say that just because I do care what my body looks like in my clothes, that makes me somehow less intellignet than people who do not care, or dress without that consideration.
no one said that though...

choosing an intellectual approach is not a measure of intelligence...
it's more just about what perspective you are coming from...

superficial-which is just about the surface...is also not a measure of intelligence...

no one was commenting on anyone's intelligence that i saw.......

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28-08-2006
  65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey
no one said that though...

choosing an intellectual approach is not a measure of intelligence...
it's more just about what perspective you are coming from...

superficial-which is just about the surface...is also not a measure of intelligence...

no one was commenting on anyone's intelligence that i saw.......
definitely not!

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28-08-2006
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LOL, I don't feel that anyone is attacking anyone's intelligence, but I will say that now I feel like I'm completely unfashionable because I worry about the way my body looks in clothes! I've always felt pretty fashionable and have gotten compliments on the way I look, but now I feel like I'm not "fashion-foward" enough.

And goodness, this thread in infiltrating my life! My baby brother (he's 3), was running around in his PJs tonight, and I was watching him and thinking "Wow, those pants are very tight. They're reminiscent of the skinny jeans trend. He'd probably be considered fashionable, but they're doing NOTHING for his legs".

:p

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29-08-2006
  67
flaunt the imperfection
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmodel citizen

And goodness, this thread in infiltrating my life! My baby brother (he's 3), was running around in his PJs tonight, and I was watching him and thinking "Wow, those pants are very tight. They're reminiscent of the skinny jeans trend. He'd probably be considered fashionable, but they're doing NOTHING for his legs".

:p
... ... ...
tFS will do that to you from time to time...
that's when you know it's good...
:p...


**anyway-i don't think everyone HAS to be fashion forward...
some people just enjoy it more than others...

you know what bugs me...???
when people buy vintage that doesn't fit and wear it as though it were some fabulous thing...
when really it looks like some horrible worn out hand me down...
vintage is great-----sometimes...
but it's not automatically great just becuase it's 'vintage'...
and it SHOULD look good- even if you wear it oversized- it should look cute that way...not like it's just the wrong size...
imo...



..

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30-08-2006
  68
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its interesting that the interaction between clothing and the wearer's body was compared to 'good art' because I think that really shows how subjective this is. Both Turner and Tracy Emin are considered 'good art' but they express entirely different things in entirely different ways. good art can be so many things: provocative, inspiring, challenging, nostalgic etc etc.

and I kind of agree, softie, with your point about being comfortable or secure with your looks and your starting points for getting, but it can be less to do with actually being slim and more with just being secure with yourself. that's why some larger people can get away with (or even rock) some looks that one would think would only suit slim people.

myself, as a US size 10, I kind of waver between the starting point of "i want to look slim or disguise my chunkiness" and the starting point of "i want to wear xxx/express xxxx". sometimes if i may not get the right balance and perhaps people think "she's cool but got fat hips and stumpy legs". To them, I say "up yer bum, mate". seriously though, hanging around the fashion spot with styling doyens such as softie around has made me realise the importance of considering proportions, whatever statement you are trying to make.

also interesting that someone as slim and saucy as kokopuff gets as much attention in directional loose garb as she does in the typical 'show off your arse' uniform.

and finally, (talking of arses), what is 'flattering' is very subjective and cultural anyway. some cultures appreciate a big bottom and thick thighs.

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31-08-2006
  69
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I would love to be able to dress to flatter my figure but thats just not going to happen.. being only 5"2, short, dumpy, with really bad legs, fat, with freakishly large hips and a practically deformed small waist... i can never ever get clothes to fit me ... so therefore all clothes hang off me on werid angles , are too long etc.also a lot of shops dont carry my size so me for ive thort im never going to be able to get well fitting flattering clothes so i may as well dress for fashion.BEing short nothing looks good.... but maybe thats just me ??

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31-08-2006
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when I say flattering your figure- I don't mean showing off a hot bod

I mean wearing clothes that make you look like you have a good figure, even if you don't! Making your body look proportional when perhaps it isnt. If a person has a perfect body, perhaps this is not as important-

but I think the more "flawed" you think your body is, the more this kind of dressing is important for you- It can raise your self esteem, make you feel better about yourself and your body.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TiaMaria- What I hear you saying is that "I don't have a good figure, so I can't flatter it"

But you're missing completely my point. The "worse" you feel your figure is. the more that you need to try and make it look better based on the clothes you wear.

One of the wonderful things about clothes, is that they can mask your flaws, and accentuate your assets- and make you look completely different than your body is underneath.

(and I have a very difficult size to shop for too- I wear 14- 16 tall and I have to buy most of my clothes online- but I don't use that as an excuse to give up. It just makes shopping a much more involved process)

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Last edited by stilettogirl84; 31-08-2006 at 07:49 AM.
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31-08-2006
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first let me say a big thanks to fash ho for the lovely compliment...

Quote:
I mean wearing clothes that make you look like you have a good figure, even if you don't! Making your body look proportional when perhaps it isnt. If a person has a perfect body, perhaps this is not as important-
well- no one has a perfect body...
as a person who works behind the scenes and sees plenty of models/actors naked or in their skivvies...
let me reassure everyone here that EVERYONE has body issues of some sort or another...

i totally get your point stilletogirl...
and i think you are right...

no matter what style you choose to wear or how you try to express yourself with your clothing...
it is in you own best interest to wear things that flatter your figure/body type...
even if it's a really oversized thing on top...you can balance it with a skinny legging or jeans, etc...

i think the key to flattering every figure is balance...
if you have really broad shoulders and no hips...
then try a full skirt to balance the top and bottom...

and vice versa...if you have no shoulders and curvy hips...
a little jacket or a halter neckline will broadern your shoulders and make them more even with your hips...

tia- i am pretty sure that a babydoll dress with dark tights and little platforms or wedges would look super on the body you described...

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Last edited by softgrey; 31-08-2006 at 08:02 AM.
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31-08-2006
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thanks softgrey! You understand this quite well

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31-08-2006
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Quote:
tia- i am pretty sure that a babydoll dress with dark tights and little platforms or wedges would look super on the body you described...
I live in baby dolls and leggings and tights atm .. thanks for the advice

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31-08-2006
  74
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fash ho'
and finally, (talking of arses), what is 'flattering' is very subjective and cultural anyway. some cultures appreciate a big bottom and thick thighs.
You make an excellent point here. I had a friend in college each of whose thighs was within an inch or two of her waist measurement. Some would say her body wasn't proportional ... but I think a lot of people thought it was sexy.

I met someone the other day who was tiny ... except for her bum, and let me tell you, she was working it!!! And good for her

My point is that a body that's not "perfectly proportioned" ... that has unusual proportions ... is not necessarily something to be hidden ... maybe it's something to be celebrated!

PS Tia, I think I remember seeing you in WAYWT (or somewhere here), and you did not look at all like the Hobbit you describe Hopefully a few more years will bring you a healthy self-esteem boost ... you're a cutie and you should be the first to know it!

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31-08-2006
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this is a really good discussion, i enjoyed reading all of it!
i am not a woman, but strangely a lot of the opinions/thoughts expressed here match mine. i feel kind of bad about having a point of view on how women should dress, but i don't think i could get rid of it.

seems to me though...that this discusion started as an anti-volume thing, and progressed towards: "how to balance your proportions".
as for my opinion, i still think that the jeans-stilletos-cute little top uniform shows insecurity, or lack of imagination...
like i said in another thread...a person should dress for her/himself, not for others. and that means playing around with shapes, layers (without forgetting what looks good on you, of course. but that's a "trend" thing)
i mean...there is no challenge that kind of a unform. that's no fun!

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