Columnist Mark Longacre suggests how to dress according to your body structure and skin tone.
Dressing for your body type is never easy. What looks stunning on the slender mannequins in Nordstrom’s is rarely as good on your own flesh. Being the benevolent person I am, I feel it is appropriate to lend a helping hand on how to dress with your body, not against it.
First, you have to dress with your skin tone – the few things that look good on Snooki would look awful on Edward Cullen.
My sun-fearing friends should wear colors, such as beige, off-white, light blue, navy and black to complement their creamy skin tones.
If you’re paler than the Ice Queen, opt for warmer colors, such as brown and gold, and if your skin tends to turn rosy, blues, lavenders and taupes stop your skin from matching the Temple “T.”
My sun-kissed beauties need not fear because light colors, such as white, pink, khaki, gray and baby blue are complimentary and look very Miami chic. The idea is to balance your skin tone with the colors you are wearing.
Colors not only complement skin tone but also change the mind’s sense of size. White gives the impression things are bigger than they really are – wearing white top will give you the boob job your daddy never bought.
On the other hand, black is slimming, giving the impression you didn’t eat that extra bonbon on Valentine’s Day. Incorporate black and white when dressing but do so without looking like Cruella de Vil.
Not only are colors important, but the way clothing fits is crucial.
Let me begin by helping my muscular friends. Girls, if your biceps bulge, try using the slimming effect on your arms (or whatever muscular area you have a problem with) and boosting the buxom. Avoid skinny jeans because they sometimes stretch out and sag on muscular legs.
Muscular guys can show off the guns without having a double homicide. Don’t pull a Ronnie by wearing a shirt that’s four times too small. Instead, buy clothing that fits properly. Try wearing a pair of jeans, such as the vintage straight from Lucky Brand.
They are a classic fit that won’t cut off circulation but will show hours spent at the gym. If you’re actually as muscular as you want to portray, your muscles will do the talking.
If you find yourself disappearing when you turn to the side, leave the skin-tight outfits to Lady Gaga. Girls, wear a pair of skinny jeans with a fitted sweater and a peacoat. The skinny jeans will show you are actually thin and are not using an optical illusion of color.
Girls could also wear a loose-fitting cardigan, a billowy skirt and a tight shirt. The idea is to highlight your slender frame without looking emaciated like Nicole Richie.
Guys can add brawn without hitting the gym by wearing a pair of Lucky’s slim-straight leg jeans, a T-shirt and a flannel button down. Slim-straight leg jeans run fitted through the thigh and then fall straight down, which emphasizes muscular thighs. Distressing the thigh can take more attention away from your chicken legs.
The flannel button down gives the appearance of weight if left unbuttoned. What girl wants to walk around with a corpse?
Curvy girls need not fear because high-waisted apparel is making a comeback. Higher waists emphasize the beauty of the female figure, so try wearing a blouse with a pair of high-waisted trouser jeans overtop of it and a blazer to finish it off. The sophisticated look will definitely turn heads.
Voluptuous women can dress for their body by emphasizing their waist and bust. Empire-waist shirts and dresses call attention to the bussom while cinching the waist. Stores that cater to curvier women usually incorporate white around the buxom and black around the waist to help showcase the most important assets and use the mind-bending properties of color to do so.
Guys with a little extra baggage can hide it by wearing a pair of dark, boot-cut jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket. Stick with solid, dark colors for your shirt because it won’t give any indication of girth.
The jeans have a flare at the end which helps to balance out the girth of your waist with the width of the flare. Your jacket hides the dreaded muffin top caused by tucking in your shirt or wearing a belt or pants that don’t fit correctly.
It’s always important to know your size and get the right one. If you know the right colors and cuts of clothing for your body type, you will look and feel your best.
Mark Longacre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.